Fighting Tutorials

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Shield and Weapon

Colloquially, "sword and board" refers to the style in which a fighter uses a shield in one hand and a weapon in the other. No matter where one travel through the lands of Dagorhir there will be warbands comprised of shieldmen and women. Ubiquitous and versatile, a majority of players will choose to own at least one shield. Due to the protective qualities offered in-game shields are perhaps the single most useful equipment next to a one-handed weapon. Shields are ideal for blocking arrows, spears, and one-handed weapons. Two-handed red weapons present a challenge as they can destroy shields, however the usefulness of the shield in tourneys and melees remains unparalleled.


From either sword or shield foot forward stance, with a careful step a fighter can switch to the other. An effective stance is one in which you are stable yet nimble. For most people this means the feet are about shoulder width apart and one foot is forward of your centerline while the other foot is just behind centerline.

Sword foot forward

A sword foot forward stance lends itself to a slightly more exposed fighting style and longer reach. A solid sword-side defense is beneficial, as using ones shield to intercept on-side attacks will close off lines of attack while exposing the off-side shield shoulder.

Shield foot forward

A shield foot forward stance allows for more defensive coverage at the expense of reach. This is an oldschool style that works well in formation, but can be static and vulnerable to shoulder snipes and deep wraps.

Upper Body

In order to execute proper body mechanics necessary for delivering sufficient force and minimize self injury, keep your back straight and your hips in line with your center of mass. Hunching and crouching may present a smaller target but can inhibit good power generation.



On-sides or Off-sides refers to which side from centerline a blow is delivered on an opponent. A sword wielded in the right hand, swung into an opponents left side is an On-side strike. When swung into thier right side, it is an Off-side strike. It is helpful to differentiate between the two because the body mechanics necessary for delivering sufficient force from either side varries. Changing angles of attack, stance, timing, and incorporating feints are the bread-and-butter of a sword n' boarder.


Footwork comprises how one closes distance or creates space between an opponent in an engagement.

Gathering/Passing Step

A gathering or passing step refers to a step in which the rear foot is lifted, landing forward of your centerline. This looks like a normal walking step and is a good way to advance on your opponent. Running obviously will get you there faster. This sort of straight forward motion opens angles of attack toward your leading leg and foot, but covers the most distance in the least amount of time.

Compass Step

A compass step refers to a step with the leading leg around a centerpoint that is your opponent. This sort of step opens oblique angles on your opponent that force them to adjust thier stance in response. This can be put to practice in order to bait and switch or snipe a loose defense.

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Spear Fighting

Use of the spear dates back to prehistoric times and it's significance has remained relevant even in boffer and reenactment sports today. In Dagorhir combat there are mainly two types of spears used in a hand-to-hand context: shorter spears used primarily in one hand, and longer spears used with both hands. While recent weapon construction tech has elevated the effectiveness of short spears, long spears maintain range dominance of the battlefield and a veteran spearman or woman will frequently be able to dictate the flow of combat as well as rack up considerable kills.

Long Spear

Long spears are typically from 8-12 feet in total length, are green/stabbing only, and are somewhat beefier than short spears with less core flex. Some spear fighters will carry a small shield to help deflect arrows and incoming blows.

Short Spear

Short spears are generally 5-7 feet in total length, are green/stabbing only, and held either over or under handed. They can strike at an intermediate distance and can land between small gaps which make them ideal for line fighting. A medium size shield is often wielded on the off hand.

Red Weapons

Two handed weapons over 48 inches are [red weapons] capable of destroying shields and cleaving through armor. This style is vulnerable to missile weapons as well as spears, but a skilled red user can destroy whole sections of a shieldwall and eliminate high profile targets if left unchecked. Popular sub-styles include longswords (48" length), great sword (72"), and glaive (102").


Two-weapon style, anachronistically referred to as "Florentine" is a popular style in Dagorhir, although mastery of it demands ambidexterity and a steep learning curve. While it's use is limited in melee situations, it remains a staple of tourney combat and is perhaps the flashiest and most enjoyable style to watch.

Single Sword

Single weapon style is at first glance not particularly exciting or advantageous. However, it is a popular choice for training purposes as well as tournament formats. Mastery of single sword combat transfers to many other weapon styles and can be a very enjoyable challenge on it's own.