Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A Team Fencing Idea

As I've sometimes mentioned, an actual Renaissance duel was not necessarily a fight to the death. Plenty of people certainly died, but it wasn't a necessary outcome. The seconds or physicians of the duellists might decide to end the match on the grounds that one of the combatants could no longer continue to fight, or one fighter might concede defeat and the other accept that result as “satisfaction”. I'm therefore trying to think of a way to have a tournament in which combatants might find it advantageous to concede a match.

My thought is to have a tournament with two teams. Each time a team member wins a match against an opponent, that team scores a point. The match ends when one of the duellists either “dies” or concedes defeat. Surrendering keeps the duellist in the tournament to fight another round, but a “dead” duellist is completely out of the tournament. The tournament ends when one side runs out of duellists, and the team that scored the most points wins.

This allows some room for strategy. If you've taken a debilitating wound, you might choose to concede the match so that you can try to make up the loss in subsequent rounds. If you win more matches than you lose, you help your team. On the other hand, if your team is ahead in points and you're the last member of your team, you could choose to fight to the death; if you die, your team still wins the tournament.

Naturally, I invite commentary on this notion.

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