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

Punish Game

Uploaded by Stephen Cheney on 2024-01-02
Tags:   afterblow | creativity | parry |


Regular match to 7 or 10 (start with 7, if matches are to short up it to 10).

A clean cut is worth 1, after you land a clean cut, you can continue hitting, and each subsequent hit you land will be worth an extra point on top of the initial hit. During this time, hits from the opponent do not count, and your flurry only ends when you are parried. The cuts must be linked together, if you hesitate or do a series of feints, your flurry ends. 

Clean thrusts are worth 2, but you cannot follow up a thrust with extra hits (you can end a flurry with a thrust, and it will still be worth 2).

Doubles are thrown out (call halt as soon as possible on a double so both fencers don't wail on each other)

Points earned from a grapple cap out at 3.


  • Have different point values, subsequent hits don't add up, but you can go from a lower point value to a higher one.
  • Play so you if you are parried, you lose all points from your flurry, so you need to bank your points by withdrawing. 
Design (added 2024-01-02 by Stephen Cheney)

The inspiration from this game is French lightsaber rules, in which you can keep hitting after you land a hit in order to reach a higher value target. 

There is no specific skill that this works, but it is a challenge for judges, and makes you think about different things when you're fencing. 

Note (added 2024-01-02 by Stephen Cheney)

The name may seem weird, the inspiration is from fighting video games. In a fighting game, there are two phases of a match, neutral game and punish game. Neutral is when both players start separated and are looking for an opening to land a hit, and punish game is your ability to continue hitting your opponent after you've capitalized on an opening. In fencing, we only have neutral game because as soon as a hit is landed the action is stopped. The name "punish game" is given to this game because it adds an element of punish game to the fencing. 

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HEMA Game Archive
Developed by Sean Franklin
GD4H project