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

S64 (long long s-word) Game

Uploaded by Sean Franklin on 2024-05-14
Tags:   decision_to_commit | measure | mobility |


Find the longest and shortest sword you have available, and tape the top 10 cm (4') of each with colored tape. You have two roles (guess which role gets each sword):

  • Long: Can only hit with the taped part of the blade.
  • Short: Can not hit with the taped part of the blade, must hit below it. (Can still thrust)

Two hands on the hilt at all time, no grappling or half swording is allowed

Design (added 2024-05-14 by Sean Franklin)

This is an interesting game, because different people struggle with different roles based on their fighting style. Naturally the Long has advantage at the engagement, but fencers who overcommit on bad openings will find the advantage wasted as they get parried and the Short closes distance. Likewise fencers who use aggression to compensate for poor parrying skills will suffer a lot when in the Short role. Mobility also becomes super important for both, as a Long who can't keep space between while attacking will be overrun quickly, and a Short who can't make up distance while parrying can never get close enough to hit. The no-grappling rule is also important to maintain the balance of the Short role being very dominant if they can get in closer.

I'm not sorry for the name.

Note (added 2024-05-14 by Sean Franklin)

I fortunately have a 86 cm (34") and 105 cm (41") blade to play this with and the sheer difference makes the game. If you have more equal length swords you could also try to tape even more of the short blade to make it effectively "shorter".

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HEMA Game Archive
Developed by Sean Franklin
GD4H project