Sword and Board

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Sword and Board is a common fighting style in which the combatant wields a sword in their main hand and a shield in their off hand. This style is among the first new combatants learn and is useful in many different situations, especially in shield walls. The sword is usually a Class 1 Weapon as they are easier to swing one-handed than a Class 2 Weapon is. Shields come in many shapes and sizes, and all have unique advantages and disadvantages when fighting with and against this style.


The largest benefits to Sword and Board are versatility and protection. Most positions on the field can utilize a sword and board combatant as either offense or defense. They make up a lot of the lines and can quickly turn the tide of any battle.


A downside to Sword and Board is that the weight and size of a shield can significantly slow down a combatant. A flanker who must move quickly from one side of the field to the other will not find the added weight of a tower shield useful. Florentine, a smaller shield such as a buckler, and/or a medium coreless shield can aide flankers.


  • Axe/Adz and Board - With the ability to score a hit even when the haft is intercepted by shield or boffer, an axe or adz can be a good replacement for a sword when taking on other shields.
  • Ball and Wall - A flail replaces the sword, allowing for a variety of different angle shots.
  • Bat and Board - A bat is useful as it is effective no matter what side hits your opponent; therefore, some people replace the sword with one in order to be more effective on the field.
  • Bread and Butterknife - A variation in which the fighter uses a shortsword or dagger in their main hand.
  • Downstick - An addition to any of these variations where the combatant holds a weapon with a reverse grip in the same hand that they are holding their shield with.
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