Fencing Practice: March 19, 2021

Practice in a Nutshell

Type of Practice: Melee

Our awesome Sergeants have set up a great practice for us this week. After lessons, we are going to use all the light to do a Fight of the Tabard. If you have a tabard bring it. And we will do as many other melees as we can until the light fades.

Then we are going to do a melee creation night. Bring cloaks and blankets, an internet-capable device, and we will make some new melees! This is in preparation for, the summer in general, but also we will be hosting an extra melee day in May to play these. We are doing this early so we can edit the melees before we play them.



Bring Your Tabards:

For the Fight of the Tabard.

Read Your Lessons:

Luna reminded me last week that we have asked that students read their lessons before they come. This is really helpful for teachers because with our current schedule focused on giving you time to practice the lesson, there isn’t much time to go over all the details in each lesson. So read them before you come. The links are above. Thanks for the remind Luna!

Masters School:

Masters School this Saturday, 9am, at Woodland. These are such great practices! We have lots of fun, we really dig into our personal styles and learn the art of fencing. Everyone is welcome!

Melee Article:

Lorcan wrote a comprehensive article on great melees last year. If you missed it or didn’t finish it, HERE is the link. Enjoy!

Shay’s Thoughts

Since we are doing Melee Creation week on Friday, I have been thinking about what my favorite types of melees are and why. So I’m going to share a few ideas here that might supplement Lorcan’s awesome article and give you some ideas for our activity.


There is a real excitement about melees. Big or small. I get this sort of fluttery nervous excitement waiting for the lay-on. I love it! To me, nothing kills that faster than a terribly long, overly complex, impossible to remember, set of rules. I’ve designed my fair share of total flops, but the lesson I have learned goes back to an acronym we’ve all heard, K.I.S.S., Keep It Simple Sweetheart. Keep your game simple, and get to the fun.

Challenge v. Winning

Taceo is a gold mine of wisdom, we have been talking about this principle for years now! He first discovered it in a seminar on gaming, and we now use this principle in a variety of situations in our lives. It really helps with raising kids, surprisingly. The idea is that: people like a challenge, but they also like to win. If winning isn’t possible there is little motivation to play. In every melee someone will lose, that is just how it goes. But when designing a melee, it should be possible for anyone to win. That is hard to work with when it comes to IP-themed melees. The Fellowship won right? But They could have lost, the orcs could have taken Helms Deep. So when designing a scenario make sure it’s anybody’s game.

Start with the Fun

We fence to have fun. So when designing a good game, start with that. Think about what makes this game fun and how can you use the rules to support it. Having people run up and down from the Witches Well in Upper Woodland to Maeton’s Tree in Lower Woodland as their 20-second count rez points, fighting over a Dog’s Head in the sandpit, in the middle of August, might fit your theme, but it is not fun. Seriously you’re going to kill someone. Maybe pull that Dog’s Head out to the field and make the rez points either end of the field. The fun in this game is the tussle and quick victory. So find the fun in your idea and support it with the rules.

Those are my thoughts fencers. You guys are awesome! Let’s play!