Ludi Appolinares circenses!

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Ludi Appolinares circenses!

Postby Gnaeus Dionysius Draco on Mon Jul 07, 2003 9:30 pm

GROUP I (Indutiomarus, Maximus, Bibax, Victorinus)

Four factiones are represented in this group, and supporters have gathered to come cheer on their heroes. Not much is expected from Bibax, but you never know. The other three contenders offer more excitement. Can Victorinus live up to his newly made reputation? And can Indutiomarus stunt again and show us he's improved for good? And what about Maximus? Condemned to the sub-top forever?

There they go!! Wow, immediately an accident takes place. Bibax, with one wild movement, bumps into Maximus' Centaurus and lashes so hard at the russeus' head that he is flung into the other side of his chariot, causing it to become unstable and crash into the walls. Victorinus tries to pass Bibax but Bibax keeps zigzagging over the sands - strategically drunken, his limited but loyal fanbase claims - while Indutiomarus self-confidently takes the big lead.

Victorinus passes Bibax. Bibax treats the Green chariot on a few of his sparkling whip lashes, but Victorinus is unmoved. Impressive. Bibax shows no signs of frustration, however, and slacks down the road further. Victorinus, cheered on by the Green supporters, tries to catch up with Indutiomarus but to no avail, Indutiomarus wins.

1. Indutiomarus
2. Victorinus
3. Bibax
4. Maximus felt Bibax' whip

GROUP II (Damnator, Callidus, Myrtilos, Morgareth)

Two champions in one group. This sure could give some exciting racing!

Let's see. Callidus, Morgareth and Damnator storm ahead simultaneously, at a quick pace. In no time the three of them enter the sharp curve of the spina, followed closely by Caesar, the tragic Blue. Ah, and there Damnator seems to experience some problems and is forced to draw back. Alas for Caesar, who has caught up with him, he occupies the space between the walls and Damnator's Fulmen Draconis. Damnator repeatedly barges into the Blue chariot and, under the sound of cracking, splintering wood at the shattered hopes of many Veneta supporters, Caesar is powerlessly pushed against the walls. Tragic.

Morgareth is still ahead, but not far. Callidus is second. Doomed to be second, so it seems. Damnator advances and Callidus makes way. Lucky for him: the evil White's whip pulls Morgareth from his "Infernerator" into the sands. A shockwave goes through the aurei, seeing their hero assaulted and eliminated so brutally. Damnator now assumes the lead. Callidus tries hard to catch up, but the race is run: a disappointment and great money loss for those who had a bet running on Morgareth, and another blow for factio Veneta.

1. Damnator
2. Callidus
3. Morgareth was eliminated by Damnator
4. Caesar inspected the walls from a closer distance

GROUP III (Phaethoon, Juba Bane, Hannibal)

Veteran Hannibal from the Greens faces Juba Bane and newcomer Phaethoon. Phaethoon is sponsored by the naturalised Hellene Alexander Dionysius. We'll see how he'll fare. Usually debutants don't do that well, but Victorinus proved in the ludi Diei Natalis that it can be different!

Speed is slowly building in this race. Hannibal ahead of the rest, then Phaethoon and then Juba Bane. Oh, what a tragic accident! Phaethoon, in his second smooth curve round the spina, crashes! The Solar Chariot finds itself rended asunder. Luckily its driver is unharmed. Well, this makes sure that only one Red advances into the semis. There already is a Green, but Hannibal is so wise not to give up this opportunity and finishes this rather non-exciting race as first, with the equally uninspired Juba Bane coming second. Well at least factio Veneta has a contender in the semis!

1. Hannibal
2. Juba Bane
3. Phaethoon encountered the spina

GROUP IV (Myrtilos, PD Robur, Romulus)

Well, this should be a clean race without violence! It seems that we forgot just how freaking fast Romulus is! Even the improved skills and speed of PD Robur are no match for the Purple chariot as he dominantly takes the lead from the start. It seems the battle will be between the Blue and the Golden, unless Romulus makes an unhappy move. But nothing seems to be able to break his grace now. The Purple supporters are entranced, enthralled.

Myrtilos and PD Robur are constantly changing places; neither racer seems to have the edge. Both the noble "Aquila", in sky blue, and the shining "Quadriga Ignis", seem to dance over the sand. It's a pure contest. That's racing at its finest. The Blue and Golden supporters cheer on their racers and urge them to make more speed, some even to just kick the crap out of the other one. But neither PD Robur nor Myrtilos are in for a game of whipping and concentrate on speed. In the last round PD Robur finally gets the advantage and then, after the last bend, emerges second, the gap widening with the exhausted Myrtilos. Romulus has long crossed the finishing line. Is this an omen that the threefold champion will reclaim his rightful place?

1. Romulus
2. PD Robur
3. Myrtilos

*****

Go into the semis:

FACTIO ALBATA: Damnator
FACTIO AURATA: Indutiomarus, PD Robur
FACTIO PRAESINA: Hannibal, Victorinus
FACTIO PURPUREA: Romulus
FACTIO RUSSATA: Callidus
FACTIO VENETA: Juba Bane
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Postby Gnaeus Dionysius Draco on Wed Jul 09, 2003 5:52 pm

LUDI APOLLINARES SEMI FINALS

Group I (Indutiomarus, Damnator, Victorinus, Juba Bane)

With Morgareth out, the only two ex-champs remaining on the field are Romulus and Damnator, latter of whom is in this semi. Factio Albata has come to the circus en masse to see him crush his opponents. However, Damnator will be facing some pretty intense competition. With the bookies Indutiomarus is also ranked fairly high, and Victorinus' performances have pleased both friend and foe until now. Juba Bane is a potential outsider, but the select few Veneta fans who have come to the circus - scorned by the others - seem to believe desperately in the "Aenglish Wildfire"'s chances.

Oh and they've started already! Indutiomarus thunders down the straight lane and goes into the first bend with furious speed. That golden cape he's wearing may be a bit over the top but it sure is a looker. The other three racers keep their distance and seem to be entwined in what promises to be a bloody battle. Victorinus appears to be pinned in between the "Aenglish Wildfire" and the "Fulmen Draconis". Juba Bane is ready to defend, Damnator is ready to attack!

Indutiomarus increases his lead comfortably. The Aurata fans, who seem to grow in numbers every ludi now, are happy, clapping, cheering and singing, most of them secretly hoping that the other three contenders will simply finish off each other so that Indutiomarus may win.

The sound of a cracking chariot! Who is it? It's Juba Bane, being pressed against the spina by Victorinus' brute force. He got away with that one nicely. The few Blue fans who remain in the circus are embittered. A factio with three racers should do better! Dammit! The Greens and Whites are in terrible excitement and Damnator and Victorinus go neck on neck for the chase.

However the "Fulmen Draconis" seems to be going faster than its Green counterpart, passing it in the curve and increasing distance in the next straight. The Praesina fans can now only hope that Indutiomarus slips or that Damnator decides to slam himself into a wall. The cruel White comes closer and then, as Indutiomarus is finally within his reach, lashes out at his opponent. It's the cape, the bloody cape! The small spikes on the whip remain stuck in Indutiomarus' cape, and with one jerk the massive driver is thrown to the ground. Factio Albata cheers loudly! The Golden crowd is becoming insane while the Greens embrace each other with relief.

1. Damnator
2. Victorinus
3. Indutiomarus was wiped out by Damnator
4. Juba Bane was reduced to splinters by Victorinus

Group II (Romulus, PD Robur, Hannibal, Callidus)

So, Damnator, one of the favourites, has made it into the finals... Let's see how Romulus will fare. Actually the experts and bookmakers alike have more money set on PD Robur, who has done well in the last two races, showing stable performances and good potential. Of course, Callidus, the underrecognised Red leader, is also still good. Hannibal has long been the driving force of factio Praesina and has improved his skills steadily. But will they match his opponents'?

And yes, Romulus takes the lead from the start! It seems a classic all over again. Robur and Callidus second. But there comes Hannibal in his infamous "Elephant". Will Praesina have two finalists? Their opponents certainly don't hope so. The "Quadriga Ignis" and the "Celetior" ride side by side and seem almost to have agreed not to let the "Elephant" pass. This certainly will give some interesting rumours... Aurata and Russata ganging up on the rest? Who knows!

But Hannibal, the Punic devil that he is, breaks through the limes tactics! It's his whip, his black tongue of vengeance. It flies over PD Robur's head but hits Callidus on his temples. A second strike throws the "Celetior" out of balance and Hannibal forces his way in. The third strike is fatal, and Callidus' chariot goes out of control. He is severly bleeding and curses his opponents. The Russata fans are seething and accuse Praesina of having struck a deal with Albata - although they are not in this semi? - to thwart Callidus.

Despite Hannibal's moment of triumph, when the dust clouds leave the circus it's clear he's driving a lost race. Romulus, with an insane pace and superior technique, has crossed the finishing line, with PD Robur following at a comfortable distance.

1. Romulus
2. PD Robur
3. Hannibal
4. Callidus was eliminated by Hannibal

~~~

Go into the finals

FACTIO ALBATA: Damnator
FACTIO AURATA: PD Robur
FACTIO PRAESINA: Victorinus
FACTIO PURPUREA: Romulus

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Postby Gnaeus Dionysius Draco on Fri Jul 11, 2003 6:02 pm

LUDI APOLLINARES FINALS (Damnator, Publius Decius Robur, Victorinus, Romulus)

Factio Veneta has gone home. They have retreated in their darkest tabernae, in shaded places or in the forbidden catacombs, partially out of fear of being scorned and mocked by the other racing fans, partially to discuss what can be done to revert their painful situation. Factio Russata fans are also at home, and some discontent has spread among them; while certainly good enough, they can't seem to grasp a victory. Several russei where sighted last night in taberna brawls with other fans and conspiring to sabotage their hated opponent Romulus of Purpurea.

But let's not focus on the negative stuff only!

Fans of the other four factiones have gathered in the circus and are making their presence known through songs, cheers and battle cries. It feels good for the Purples to have Romulus in a final once again. Even if he doesn't win his fourth title it certainly pleases them that he's fully into the game again. Well, if he wants to win Romulus will need to keep his superior curving technique and stay out of the way of the powerful Green player Victorinus. Experts and fans alike foresee a great future for this charioteer. He may even overshadow Hannibal, his colleague. Praesina has given him a big thumbs up. Still, he is tipped more as a possible outsider than as a true winner.

The two other contenders are veterans to the final. Publius Decius Robur, who used to be among the worst charioteers in the races and was responsible for factio Aurata's blunders in the beginning, along with Indutiomarus, has now become one of the #1 favourites. He came second twice in a row this year and no one doubts that he can come first. His "Quadriga Ignis" has the potential. Robur looks confident today. The fourth finalist is the evil Damnator, who is locked in a battle with Piscinus for leader of the rankings this year, and won the Ludi Piscatari on both superior speed and brute violence. Few doubt that Damnator has a good chance of winning again. Both Victorinus and Romulus play risky games with the spina and everyone will also try to make sure no to race to close to the walls, or else they're game. He greets his supporters grimly. His span looks fear-stricken.

AND OFF THEY GO!

Victorinus comes on strong and attempts to take the lead, but he is only equal with Romulus. Robur makes sure that the gap between him and Damnator is wide enough to avoid early accidents.

Romulus comes first out of the first bend. Three cheers for factio Purpurea! Publius Decius Robur leaves Damnator behind and prepares for a speedy charge to get past Victorinus. He passes him, but immediately the "Res Publica" counters by speeding up just a little to annoy PD Robur and drive him into the next curve in a difficult angle. Aurata fans cheer when the "Quadriga Ignis" makes it out of there unscathed. Victorinus is back for more, however!

Meanwhile Romulus is increasing his lead. Is this a dream coming true for Purpurea? Is Romulus going to have his FOURTH victory this year? The Purples in the public are growing more silent, and more excited every second. Breathtaking moments, when Romulus takes a bend 'round the spina! Damnator is also making more speed, and is not so far from catching up with the entangled duo Victorinus and PD Robur.

The green "Res Publica" pushes the "Quadriga Ignis" further inwards, and in there the inevitable takes place. At high velocity the span narrowly misses the spina but the chariot itself is smashed against it. The reins break, the chariot is ripped into two large parts and a few smaller ones, leaving one wheel rolling over the sands. PD Robur is unconscious.

The aurei are angry and hope that Damnator, who is now catching up with Victorinus quickly, will settle the score for them, and their thirst for vengeance. As ever, the Albata fans are always in for a spectacular match. Meanwhile Romulus remains the uncontested leader. From above however one can see that Damnator is getting at top speed, and may yet catch up with him!

"Yeah!" goes through the public as a massive, victorious cry from both Whites and Golden. One brutal barge does the trick; Victorinus is pushed off course and his chariot is irrepairably damaged. A wheel breaks against the stone walls of the circus and his confused span drags the rest of the chariot alongside the wall, while their driver is desperately trying to stop them.

Damnator moves on to more pressing business: catching up with Romulus. He comes closer and closer, and now there's only one round left, and a few metres between the two of them. Oh, and on the straight they almost come equal! "Confici! Confici!" the Albata fans shout, "Finish him! Finish him!" But Damnator has to pay attention to the road! He doesn't have time to introduce his whip to Romulus. And in the final bend round the spina Romulus takes the decisive advantage, with grace unparallelled (and certainly not by the "Fulmen Draconis" brutality!).

This means that Romulus is back. Back for good? His fourth victory!!!

1. Romulus
2. Damnator
3. Victorinus was pushed against the walls by Damnator
4. Publius Decius Robur was pushed against the spina by Victorinus
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New rankings

Postby Gnaeus Dionysius Draco on Sat Jul 12, 2003 1:41 pm

Salvete,

With the circenses over, here are some updated rankings and points.

Romulus + 23
FACTIO PURPUREA + 23

Well, what can I say? Disregarding his two early eliminations in the ludi Piscatari and the ludi Diei Natalis Romulus has already achieved four victories. I highly doubt that any charioteer will be able to equal this achievement this year! So, kudos to Romulus! However, he doesn't regain his position as leader in the tables. He's still one point short of beating Damnator. Factio Purpurea rises to the third spot.

Damnator +19
Bibax + 0
FACTIO ALBATA + 19

Once again factio Albata owes all its points to Damnator. Damnator remains the current leader in the tables but his position is threatened seriously by Romulus. Albata now becomes the leading factio as well, but here too its position is threatened, not only by Purpurea but also by Aurata. Bibax "rises" from 11th to 10th spot, but this is only because there are so many ex aequos. If Bibax were to alter his tactics, factio Albata would most likely be stronger.

Hannibal + 4
Victorinus + 14
FACTIO PRAESINA + 18

Factio Praesina keeps going, continuing its positive trend. Hannibal and Victorinus are both skilled racers and have had pretty stable outcomes in the last races. With some luck Praesina may still beat another factio but it's unlikely they'll become this year's big champion. Hannibal remains in fifth spot and Victorinus moves from 8th to 7th. In the factio rankings they remain fifth but the difference between them and Russata is decreasing, and the difference with Veneta is increasing.

Morgareth + 0
Publius Decius Robur + 11
Indutiomarus + 4
FACTIO AURATA + 15

Decent races for factio Aurata. With three charioteers ranging from good to very good, what else to expect? Once again most points are coming from PD Robur, who now occupies the third spot! He's still a long way from threatening the two leaders, however. Indutiomarus finally gets some appreciation for his hard work and gains four points. He moves from 10th to 9th spot. Morgareth gains no points once again and drops to the 5th spot. If Aurata crushes the others in the next races, they will almost certainly become the new leaders in the factio ranking. With three gifted racers, they make a very good chance.

Maximus + 0
Callidus + 2
Phaethoon + 0
FACTIO RUSSATA + 2

Factio Russata seems to be going downhill. Only two points gained! Callidus drops from 3rd to 4th spot. Maximus remains 7th. Newcomer Phaethoon has zero points and comes in on the last position. Things may change, however. Maximus, Callidus and Phaethoon all have decent potential. We'll see how they fare in the next races. Russata remains 4th in the factio rankings.

Juba Bane + 2
Myrtilos + 0
Caesar + 0
FACTIO VENETA + 2

Poor Veneta... what is happening to them? Caesar and Myrtilos don't have bad statistics or tactics, but they just seem to be unable to compete. Caesar is still at a meagre zero points, and Myrtilos, erstwhile finalist, gains nothing once again. He remains 6th. Juba Bane advances slightly and is responsible for the only two points factio Veneta gains. There must be a crisis going in the camp of the Blues!

1. Damnator (Al): 93 (1)
2. Romulus (Pu): 92 (2)
3. Publius Decius Robur (Au): 49 (4)
4. Callidus (Ru): 44 (3)
5. Morgareth (Au): 38 (4)
5. Hannibal (Pr): 38 (5)
6. Myrtilos (Ve): 30 (6)
7. Maximus (Ru): 29 (7)
7. Victorinus (Pr): 29 (8)
8. Juba Bane (Ve): 10 (9)
9. Indutiomarus (Au): 8 (10)
10. Bibax (Al): 2 (11)
11. Caesar (Ve): 0 (12)
12. Phaethoon (Ru): 0 (-)

Factio ranking (2756):

1. Factio Albata: 96 (2) -- 2 racers
2. Factio Aurata: 95 (1) -- 3 racers
3. Factio Purpurea: 92 (4) -- 1 racer
4. Factio Russata: 75 (3) -- 3 racers
5. Factio Praesina: 67 (5) -- 2 racers
6. Factio Veneta: 40 (6) -- 3 racers

Valete bene,
Draco

PS: One of these days I will post some tactical discussions if anyone is interested. Some of you may be wondering why the same people keep winning and others keep losing. It's all in the tactics and statistics.. ;).
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