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

Deep vs Shallow - On The March

Uploaded by Sean Franklin on 2022-11-07
Tags:   closing | hand_targeting | measure | hand_defense | on_the_march |


Two roles, [Deep] and [Shallow], Both on a linear path facing each other, [Shallow] can only back up (or stand their ground), [Deep] can move freely forward or back. Win conditions:

  • [Deep] Win: Lands thrust to torso or a cut/thrust to the head. They also win if they can get their opponent tied up in a grapple.
  • [Shallow] Win: Lands an attack to the arms or leg bellow the knee.
  • [Deep] Win: [Shallow] backs up across a stop line placed several meters behind their initial position.
  • [Deep] Win: [Shallow] steps forward and does not land a scoring hit in the process. [Shallow] is allowed to step forward with an attack, but if it does not hit they lose. (similar to a sacrifice throw.)
Design (added 2022-11-07 by Sean Franklin)

I originally did this with saber to help develop the attackers skills if a defender was just backing up and hand counter-sniping. And it worked very well.

When I tried it with longsword the "shallow" attacker was instead very aggressive, going forward after the hands. Which was not the original intent of the game: forcing an attacker learn how to close into a deep target against someone who wanted to keep them at bay. The addition of rules prohibiting Shallow from advancing made the game go back to the tactical scenario it was originally intended to replicate. (and made the linear path necessary)

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HEMA Game Archive
Developed by Sean Franklin
GD4H project