Monday, 7 July 2014

On Unusual Fencing Forms

At this weekend's Midwinter Coronation event in Politarchopolis, there were several rapier tourneys held, which, given the fact that the participants were out there for fun for the most part, and a requirement that weapons forms not be repeated, ended up with several unusual weapons forms used. I thought I might give a brief exploration of some of those I've seen, both this weekend and at other events, along with some of my schemes.

Sword and Rubber Chicken

One of the standards, when silliness is called for (can also work with dagger and chicken, if you like). The chicken acts like a short, somewhat floppy baton - not overly combat effective, but it can provide a good distraction. For bonus effect, get a rubber chicken with a squeaky toy inside - when the bird is hit, or is thrust vigorously into the mask of a fallen opponent, giggles will ensue from the audience. Not the most period-looking form (depending on the grade of rubber chicken acquired).

Dagger and Beverage

Well-suited to tavern feasts, the off hand is taken up by a goblet full of liquid (often water and food dye to simulate wine without wasting any). The victor is not the fighter who survives, but the one who reaches the end of the bout with the most remaining in their cup. Hand-snipers can do well in this form. I once received a 'best death' prize in this form, as I lost my dagger hand, and my response (once it was established I couldn't attack without dropping the cup) was to throw down the goblet, and with a cry of "I CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT WINE", run myself through on my dagger. Not to be attempted indoors (the cleanup is a pain).

Single Dagger

This form actually occurs in period manuals, but is rendered rather odd by our safety rules making most of the period techniques unusable. Denied the chance to ram into my opponent, knock their legs out from under them, and slit their throat, it usually devolves into a dodging, flailing mess.

Case of Daggers

Everything about fighting single dagger, but... more so.

Monkey Knife Fight

Because single dagger isn't silly enough. Right hand holds the knife, left arms are tied together (either directly, or with a short length of rope between). Very silly, and you get some interesting tactics involving using the joined arms as a parrying device.

Sword and Puppet

Yes, hand-puppet. Essentially the same as fighting single sword, unless you've agreed that the sword the puppet carries (it HAS to carry a sword, let's face it) is capable of drawing blood, in which case you get the embarassing situation of having your face torn to shreds by Don Binky.

Sword and Minion

There have been a few cases with the off-hand being occupied by the belt of another fighter (while they're wearing it). Usually a Don or Guildmaster, and usually only permitted defensive items. I'm really not a fan of this one, for safety reasons - I've had my arm get stuck in a flailing knot of batons, while being pushed too hard to be physically able to call a hold.

Sword and Banner

There are a few variants on this one. This weekend, I saw two people fighting with banner poles, each twice their own height (one with a banner), and the lack of maneuverability seemed to make it a bit silly from what I could see. I have my own plans for a fighting banner (applique for strength, rather than painted silk), which I plan on having a 60cm banner on a 90cm pole - it should essentially handle like a cloak draped over a baton, probably with the disadvantages of both.

1 comment:

  1. Regarding Sword and Minion, I've always liked the idea of an off-hand Silfren myself... :)