Battlesword: Cardio with Combat

For my first Battlesword fight I tried a shield and scimitar.

Spending a quiet Battlesword Sunday hitting people with weapons

Yes I’m probably way more excited about Battlesword this than I should be. But I get to wear full riot armor and hit people full force with (plastic) swords. It’s full-contact and defense is important not just to save your crystals, but to ensure you don’t get hit and bruised in areas that the armor doesn’t cover. But a few sore spots don’t detract from the fun and I wear mine proudly as proof that I was in combat.

Full riot armor. Sword. Crystals. Not pictured are some bruises.

Scoring is handled not by actual wounds inflicted, but by seven breakable crystals, one on each limb and three in the chest for a total of seven. The goal is simple: break more of your opponents than they break of yours. Lose all seven and you are “dead”.

Battles last three minutes, though there are other options such as sudden death which go until the first crystal is broken. Three minutes might not seem like a long time, but you are usually attacking and defending the whole time, so pacing is important.

Yesterday, a Sunday afternoon, (there are also Thursday night sessions) we had eight people show up and all of them were Battlesword members. Since we were all around for a few sessions in the past, we got to do some some very fun things.

A few warm-up fights gave way to a ladder where we divided into two teams of four and would have one-on-one fights until the first person lost a crystal. Then that person’s next-in-line teammate would fight and it’d continue until one side was dead (in this case had four crystals broken to keep things moving). After all, we needed to have time for the 2v2 tournament.

On the surface this is a great idea. If two fighters stay close together, they can defend each other and gang up on an out-of-position opponent when the opportunity presents itself. Of course with everyone wearing matching black riot armor, there were a few instances where it became hard to tell who was enemy and ally (in the future we’ll probably add some sort of colored armbands to distinguish sides). But my team managed to come in third place out of four so not too shabby.

However my new personal favorite option is the “Sword of the Morning”. The defender duel-wields two-handed longswords and has to fight four attackers. The attackers must break all of the defender’s crystals. However the attackers fall if the defender breaks one of their crystals. I suppose upping that to two could make it a bit more of a challenge. Having been a defender, it is fun to do combos off the attackers when they stand too close together. Or to sweep for both a shoulder and a leg crystal in a single motion from one side – usually they can only defend one of the strikes.

Since words can’t really do the epicness of this justice, here is some video of a “Sword of the Morning” fight that happened last summer. This makes me wish I’d have known about Battlesword sooner.

If you’re interested in joining, check them out: http://www.battleswordleague.com/