HEMA Game Archive


How the game is played/scored. This should be information about WHAT to do, but please save WHY for the "Design" field.

Additional rules could be added because:
- You've decided that the game is better in every way with the new rule.
- You found a *slight* tweak that makes a small difference in a meaningful way. (If it's a big enough change just make a new game and tag it as a variant of this one.)


Why the rules are designed the way they are. What are the core skills targeted, and possible weaknesses.
Descriptions of the design iterations, failed attempts, or changes in thoughts are also helpful to other coaches.


Notes on what coaches have noticed playing this game with their students.


Video or article links

Feder vs Schwert

Uploaded by Sean Franklin on 2023-06-26
Tags:   control |


Normal sparring with two roles.

Feder: Has no minimum quality standards on rotation/structure, only clear intention and edge alignment. Must hit with feather light contact, aka suitable for no gear sparring. Hits with normal force are non-scoring.

Schwert: Only high quality rotation/structure attacks allowed. 

Note that the [Feder] can still swing and beat the blade as hard as they want. They just can't score off anything other than ultra-light contact.

Rules (added 2023-10-01 by Sean Franklin)

I've found a good format for this to be play rounds of 4 exchanges, switching the Feder & Schwert roles between them. Starting with both people at the schwert role makes everyone ramped up to normal sparring, and then they have to be constantly dialing up/down based on the context.

  • Round 1: Schwert vs Schwert
  • Round 2: Feder vs Schwert
  • Round 3: Schwert vs Feder
  • Round 4: Feder vs Feder
Design (added 2023-06-26 by Sean Franklin)

The Schwert role is pretty standard, however the Feder role is kind of tricky. You want to move as fast as you can but still decelerate right before impact. 

The first few times you play the Feder will probably get wrecked, but then eventually learn to start leveraging their advantages in the game. This really forces people to learn how to decelerate their strokes before impact.

Note (added 2023-06-26 by Sean Franklin)

Doing a normal game but telling both people they have to use "feder" rules is an interesting technical challenge for them to overcome. Doubly so if you drop the ability to score with small rotation cuts.

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HEMA Game Archive
Developed by Sean Franklin
GD4H project