Intro– Quick introduction to Roles and Positions
Woo, almost finished the Roles and Position series. Only two more roles to go, then a discussion on some new ideas for Plays, Positions, Roles, ect. So lets get this shit done. Today: Punishers….Those lucky few whose sole job is to hurt fools. My chaplin Al Caron said that the opponents are just looking for an excuse to go down. The punishers exist to give them that excuse.
Quick refresher, Punishers are the people who come up, drop 1 or 2 shots into an opponent, and then leave because that opponent is now twitching on the ground. They may be heavy artillery firing shells big enough pierce heavy tank armor or they may be that precise sniper, popping of one shot one kill strikes into meaty gaps…or even scarier, they may be both.
Punishers are almost exclusively 2 handed weapons fighters and the king of those weapons in the 5 v 5s is the short axe. When getting to larger scale battles, longer poles become more and more viable but their propensity to being tied up makes them a liability if your target has room to move and get in on you. So scale your pole with the size of the battle. And remember that may need to swing that thing 20-50 times if you run into a champion of Nurgle like Ryan Weaver or a stubborn Yeti like the Mangler. Hell sometimes even the fragile fucks can squirm out of the way enough that you need to drop bombs forever. So don’t bring an anvil on a stick. It looks and feels great, but 3 swings later you’re done being useful.
In general though, you’re hoping to get it done before the 3rd swing, because that’s usually all you’ll get. So find your shots and make em count. Look for guys tied up on a rail or standing around with their guard down. If you’re dude potential is zero, take a second, look for a gap or fake high than deliver low. Shoot for something open. A punisher can go out and just be a berserker, but they are way more effective as a calculating operator. Firing with frothing abandon is great and all, but too much friendly fire can really fuck up your day. And 10 shots thrown into a shield and quick succession do as little as falchion to the face once. Pick your targets, make em count.
You might think targets are only gaps, but if you’ve mastered the punisher power, then it’s not. Being a punisher is probably the hardest role to get to a level of any practical use, because most of the time when people pick up axes the swing like they were in T-ball. Alot of people coming from other martial arts know of the push pull method of delivering power with a long weapon. In case you don’t, you push with the top hand, pull with the bottom. Essentially the same motion as a Kayak or Canoe paddle, only you point the blade up. However most of the time this is taught with your hands separated, by a foot or more. This works on long poles, but not on your short axes. You want your hands together, like you were swinging a baseball bat. Push pull still happens, but it’s right at the end, a snapping motion with the wrists. Most of the power is legs, hips, and core, done with a twisting motion. Hard to explain in words, but hopefully some videos will come out soon going over that.
The point is, learning the subtle art of delivering a fucking pounding to a mofo, is a tricky, and until you get the timing and the motion right you are next to useless. There’s really two, maybe three levels here. Level 1, you can deliver enough power to sit someone if you hit them in any gap, and repeated hits to lightly armored spots should drop them. Level 2 you can occasionally drop people with shots to the helm, back plate, or even with pain through thigh armor. And there might be a level 3, where you can consistently do the above, as in greater than 50% of your shots.
Circling back, here are you targets. At level 1, you want to shoot for hips, collar bone, armpit. If someone is covered in tank armor and you can’t find gaps, don’t waste time on them. Find a new target. At level 2, You can start shooting for where the liver would be in the back or right to the inside of either shoulder blade(that will hit the lung and drive the air from them). On the front just lay it flat across the belly. And if you’re hitting someone in the helm, either the back of the head or the ear hole. Anything else is mostly a waste of time. It’s not that you can’t deliver punishment that will make people quit through those armor spots. It’s just not worth the effort it takes.
The keys to being a punisher are pretty simple. So while it’s hard to get started, once you hit level 1, it’s not that hard to get to level 2 and really lay some Axe. Key 1, Sledge work. Get a hammer. Get a big tire. Hit it. Alot. Often. Do it till your hands blister. Then tape em and do it some more. Get a heavier hammer. Do it faster. Do it while circling the tire, maintaining good foot work. Do it into a squat. Do it on the run. Do it as golf swing. Do it every god damned day.
Key 2. Pell work. Get a maul handle or similar waster. That way you can hit a pell without destroying it. Practice getting your timing and motion right. Practice getting too close, then firing while taking a step to clear space. Practice staying out and firing while taking a step in. Practice running approaches and landing shots without slowing down. Learn to use stutter steps and hops to get timing and distance right. Practice different angle. The sledge teaches you power and strength. This teaches you technique and timing.
Key 3. Learn to read the field. Where is the easiest target? Where can I do the most damage? What can I do to stay free so I can let my axe sing?
Last thing I want to say about punishment. Alot of people think it’s only used as a finishing technique. This is not the case. While it’s primary purpose to to put a dude in the dirt, that’s hardly all it can do. When you line up in front of someone, don’t be afraid to swing. In fact do it hard and do it fast. Make them twitch, Make them afraid. And while they’re reacting, go do something else. See a guy you can’t get a good shot on in range? Light em up anyway, then move on. Give em something to be afraid of. Make them constantly think the boogie is coming for them. Cause he is.
See you in the lists.