Line fighting is exactly what it sounds like, arranging 2 teams of fighters into equal length lines to face off with one another. While you’ll be tempted initially to consider yourself in a long line of duels, you’ll notice that the threat of kills comes from more than just the fighter directly across from you. Keep your eyes open not only to the front, but to the sides of your surroundings. Learning to fight in a line can strengthen your observation skills, which will only benefit you in duels in the future.
Points of safety
With more blades to address and additional opponents, it’s important to be greatly aware of your surroundings. Monitor your environment and maintain control of your movements. It’s easy to get caught up in the energy and chaos of a melee, but with practice and exposure, it’ll be easier to keep calm and controlled in your movements.
- Multiple Opponents: In a line fight, your opponents include the person in front of you as well as to either side. Be aware that a strike could come from any of them.
- Watch 180s: When initiating a strike, your body (not just your sword) must be within your opponent’s 180. Be especially conscious of how and when you initiate a strike. With multiple opponents in a line fight, be prepared to give or receive a shot from an odd angle.
- Gauge Shots: In a line fight, distances to different opponents change frequently. Your ability to gauge and break shots can keep your fellow fencers safe and reduce the number of hard shots.
Line Fighting is a very common occurrence in Melee. When two teams meet, they will line up side to side and face the opposing team. This allows everyone on the team space to fight and prevents the opposing team from gaining any more ground. Line Fighting is a very common occurrence in Melee. When two teams meet, they will line up side to side and face the opposing team. This allows everyone on the team space to fight and prevents the opposing team from gaining any more ground.
- Address The Line: As you stand in a line, check your spacing and your positioning relative to the rest of your team.
- Area of Awareness: Your area of awareness includes the person directly in front of you and the people to either side of them.
- Cross Shots: Cross shots are one of the best ways to kill an opponent in a line fight. They are shots taken at an angle to the left or right of the person in front of you. Your sword side is the best opportunity for a cross shot.
- Reckless/Cowardly Cowboys: A reckless cowboy is someone who jumps in front of their line in hopes of getting a kill. A cowardly cowboy is someone who falls behind their line in the hopes of surviving. Either is detrimental to your teammates around you.
- Team Work: Communicate with your team and work together to kill your opponents. You are not fighting several duels. Emphasize teamwork over individual kills.
- Move Together, Fight Together: With a group of fencers, line up and learn how to move around the field following basic commands.
- Address the Line: Start out of place and practice quickly falling into place when someone calls “address the line.”
- Basic Commands: Become acquainted with the following phrases and what they mean on the field:
- Address the line
- Purple Line
- Punch/fill the gap
- Sweep/taking blades
- Line Fighting Safety: What are the rules to remember for fighting safely in a line?
- Line Fighting Basics: Do you remember how to respond when you hear a commander ask to you “Address the Line”? Can you define cross shots? What are the two types of cowboys, and how can you avoid being one?
- Line Fighting Training: Do you feel ready to participate in line fights in a melee? What commands or techniques would you like more practice with?