Thank you all!
Swords are Cool
And knowing how they work is even cooler.
And blasting past 200% of our funding goal is coolest of all. Thank you!!
Newsflash: We have our Liechtenauer funding!
Newsflash: Our Patron has spoken: his deck will be based on him personally, in the guise of a Teutonic Knight. This means of course that the Patron deck, probably named "Nicodemus Kariensis", will be a highly-trained Liechtenauer style swordsman. This will be compatible to fight with the other decks, with or without the Liechtenauer expansion pack. But if you want to beat him at his own style, you will need the Liechtenauer expansion!
About the Game
This game idea was born when Rami and Guy were discussing how hard it is for students to learn swordsmanship terminology and theory. So we thought about flash cards, and suddenly it came to us- a card game that is fun to play, and at the same time imparts real knowledge of our martial heritage.
So we talked to some game designers, raised some funds, and hired Games and Tales in Oulu, Finland, to come up with a prototype. The game is done, playable, ready.
Thanks to the generosity of our Patrons, we have raised thefunds to complete the artwork and print up the first run of cards. Not just the two original decks, but four character decks and the armour expansion. Now we are working towards expanding the game to include medieval German techniques. That's where you come in: please help us reach our new stretch goal of 50,000€!
Samuli, the game designer. He makes it fun to play.
Guy, the swordsmanship instructor. He makes it as accurate as possible.
Jussi: the Artist. He makes it beautiful.
Rami, the director: he keeps the artists (Guy, Jussi and Samuli) in check, and makes sure we won't go bankrupt or get arrested.
Your money is safe with us: Guy has done two campaigns before: Swordschool Syllabus Video, which raised money to create a free online swordsmanship video archive, and Veni VADI Vici, which raised money for Guy to translate and publish a medieval Italian combat manual. You can buy the book here! So when we raise the funds, the game WILL be made.
Why Buy Now?
Why not wait until the game is in the shops? Firstly, we will include a limited edition card for all subscribers who buy at least one deck of cards. This card will be playable in the game, or can be collected, as you like. The total print run will be determined by the number of copies of the game we sell during the campaign. Collectors please note, we also have a much more limited-run card (100 copies total) with some of our perks at 100€ and over.
Secondly, we may not release it through normal channels: it all depends on how many we end up selling here. The more sales we make now, the more likely it is that the appeal is broad enough to warrant normal distribution channels.
Please note that all perks at 10€ and above include the basic game pdf, so even if you can only afford a single printed deck, you can print out the other and play with your friends.
Update: We have decided to add a PDF copy of the second edition of Guy's book, The Swordsman's Companion, to all perk levels at 10€ and above. This will be retroactive, of course, so if you have already backed us, you will be getting this too. It will be bundled with the "full game in pdf" that is already included in all perks at 10€ and above.
For an unsolicited and independent review of the game, see here
In August 1395, two of the finest knights in the world met in single combat. A couple of months earlier, Jean le Maingre, known as Boucicault, had made disparaging remarks about the valour of Italian knights. Galeazzo da Mantoa heard him and demanded satisfaction. Finally, they met on the field of honour. Galeazzo was slow to mount his horse, so Boucicault got impatient, jumped off his, and ran at Galeazzo with a spear. Galeazzo beat his spear aside and smacked Boucicault upside the head.
Perhaps Galeazzo’s training with legendary Master of the Art of Arms, Fiore dei Liberi, had something to do with his success?
That master, Fiore dei Liberi, wrote a comprehensive manual of his techniques, which Guy has been studying since 1994. This sophisticated combat system is now sufficiently well understood that it has provided the mechanics for this game.
The game was born when, after a swordsmanship class one evening in October 2012, Rami and Guy were talking about how hard it is for some swordsmanship students to remember the basic terminology and theory of the Art of Arms. Sure, it doesn’t help that it’s all in Italian. Medieval Italian. With funny spelling.
Rami suggested flashcards. Guy then thought of the enemy recognition cards used by the Armed Forces. In WWII it was German planes and ships; in Afghanistan these days it’s pictures of wanted terrorists. So while G.I.Joe is playing poker, he is constantly being reminded of what the enemy looks like. So why not make swordsmanship playing cards?
Then Rami said: why not a game?
And a student passing by chipped in: “I’d buy it”.
So Rami went to his business college and secured some funding, which we used to hire Samuli and Jussi; we started a company; and here we are: On the point of launching the first ever card game based entirely on authentic, historical swordsmanship.
This game is the most accurate possible representation of Fiore dei Liberi’s swordsmanship style. Play the game and you will learn the terminology, tactics and techniques that Fiore describes in his monumental book, The Flower of Battle.
You can see video samples of gameplay in our Gallery.
What We Need & What You Get
We now have enough money to make the game, two extra decks, and our first expansion pack. Huzzah! We are now raising the funds to make a second expansion pack, which will add German medieval combat skills to the characters. We need money for the game designer (genius is not cheap), the artist (also a genius, and so not cheap) printing and packaging (which we could do on the cheap but will not: art of this quality deserves the best physical form we can get), and shipping. Please help!
We have made it to our first two stretch goals: a female deck, and the armour expansion pack, thanks to our kind and excellent patrons!
The Lady deck will probably be one of these amazing combatants:
- Joanna of Flanders, “Jeanne la Flamme”, who in the siege of Henneport in 1342 “took up arms and, dressed in armour, conducted the defence of the town”.
- Isabella, Duchess of Lorraine, who led an army to rescue her husband in 1436.
- Lady Agnes Randolph, “Black Agnes”, who defended her castle at Dunbar against a siege for 5 months.
- Agnes Hotot, of the House Dudley, who fought a duel in her father’s stead and (legend has it) following it stripped her breastplate to prove to the offender he’d been bested by a woman. This last is obviously impossible, as anyone who has ever worn armour knows!
Let us know which one you favour! We have a poll running here, where you can let us know what you think, or make your own suggestions.
The Armour expansion pack:
The armour expansion will be between 18 and 24 cards, which will include armour, and the techniques that work agains it. So with one copy, you can destroy your unarmoured opponent, or divide the armour and the techniques that work against it with your opponent. But best of all of course, and essential for a formal duel, is if you have a copy each.
If we make it to 50,000€, we will produce a second expansion: LIECHTENAUER (the dominant German system of Longsword). So all characters can add the guards, techniques, and tactics of this system to their repertoire.
If we get to 60,000€ we will produce a third expansion pack: AXES AND SPEARS! When Galeazzo and Boucicault actually fought, they did so with spears. Fiore provides us with instruction for the spear, and also the pollax, so if we reach our 60k stretch goal, we will make an expansion pack that allows players to add these fantastic weapons to their arsenal. This will include the possibility of fighting with the sword against axe or spear; the spear against axe or sword, and the axe against spear or sword, as well as the more usual matched weapons setup. If possible, we will include daggers as a back-up weapon for close quarters work, but that will depend on game design issues that are not yet resolved.
This game provides entertainment, of course. But it is firmly based on the system of knightly combat written down in 1410 by Fiore dei Liberi. So you will also learn something about our European martial heritage, and be supporting our work to research the lost martial arts of Europe. We know we have done our job right if by playing this game, anyone who then comes to a Fiore beginner's course will find that they are familiar with the terminology and basic structure of the system.
The game will also be useful to those already training in swordsmanship, as a teaching tool. It can, for instance, be used to make freeplay more interesting: pick a guard card and fight from there, or pick a technique card and that's the only action you can win with.
The game can also work for LARPers, as a set of combat mechanics to simulate fights between players.
Other Ways You Can Help
If you think this is a cool idea, please share it with your friends. If you can't afford the game right now, persuade your friends to get one!