Guard stances.

dabarrett

Insider
The guard that is mainly being discussed here is the roof guard, it is an offensive rather than defensive stance, to quote what I linked before:
"Unlike the Ox or Plow, the Roof guard does not protect by intercepting an oncoming blade. Rather, the Roof guard protects by offense. Should an opponent blindly charge in, the Roof guard allows you to make a quick and powerful downward stroke. Your opponent most likely will see this and therefore will have to plan around this."
Various guards will allow for different play styles and force you to adapt to your opponent like in historical duels, one specific guard is guaranteed to give you an advantage over everyone, they all have checks and balances, not everyone has the same play style, whether you are aggressive and on the offense or defensive and focus on parrying until the opportunity rises to strike, these various guards would be an effective solution, four basic guards for each weapon type interchangeable with the q e z and x keys perhaps
 

bobchaos

Member
The quote that really got me from that link is this:
"Fencing is not realistic swordplay. Many unrealistic elements come into play, such as the fact that the swords do not actually cut into a person, the uncertainty of whether a cut would truly stop the fight or not, the safety factors, and even the psychological effect of being in a friendly bout versus a deadly encounter. Likewise, there are many tools for free-fencing, and all of them are unrealistic simulators. The only thing that handles like sharp steel is sharp steel, which is hardly a safe option for regular bouting."

That's, from now on, my answer to anyone who claims a "modern master" has reproduced "historically accurate" technics. Nowadays we learn these arts for entertainment purposes or to look cool on Youtube, the men who created those arts were getting ready for deadly encounters, as the text put it. They can read the old texts, do their best to reproduce it with dummies or in friendly swordplay, but its very unlikely any of them ever will have to use their skills against a well trained opponent that's hell bent on KILLING them. I suspect technic and showmanship took a backseat in favor of "what keeps me alive and/or gets my enemy dead" o_O

Not to say some of those guys aren't impressive, some swordplay clips I saw on these forums look really great, but it doesn't mean in any way that historical sword-fighting actually looked like that.
 

Hartigan

Member
...And there's a reply so good that I'm draw right back in.

Though I'd initially agree with you, Bob The Chaotic One, you need to take one thing into account. Historical techniques weren't exactly techniques used in battles, it's what they trained in hopes of using in battle. Fencing manuals are great, but they were trained, historically, in a "safe" enviroment, and repeated over and over again in the hopes of triggering a different fight-or-flight reaction (a safer and more reliable one) during actual conflict.

I do agree that, yes, fencing today is nothing like historical battles. But then again, fencing practice back in the old days was also quite different from the battles themselves. Fencing schools nowadays, like HEMA or JSA or various others, don't aim to be historically accurate battles. They're historically accurate training techniques.

(wow, that was a long rant that went quite off-topic, I apologize for that)
 

Syllabear3

Member
In the past, even for training they were dueling to death in a "deadly encounter".

Thanks master bobchaos, i learn a lot from you.
TFW currently there is not a single swordmaster in the world because they dont duel to death anymore.
 
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Hartigan

Member
I'm sorry, Sylla, I don't follow your train of thought.
Are you saying that even when they didn't duel to the death, in a safe training session, they trained with the idea that they were "dueling to the death", but in a safe enviroment?

Or that they eventually had to fight to the death, so training was scary and stressful enough on it's own?
 

Hartigan

Member
It's not exactly an assumption. Something that marks a huge increase on the number of swordsmen ready for battle in Japan came from the advent of bamboo training swords.

Before that, they used wooden swords. They're deadly enough, even in training. No need to tell of the many duels fought by Musashi where he used wooden swords to kill his opponents. When the training became less deadly, people survived longer and could hone their abilities more.

Mistakes happen. A lot, even, if you're talking about inexperienced fighters. Giving a safe way for them to make mistakes gives them time to correct the flaws in their techniques.
 

Gsprfdude

Member
"Unlike the Ox or Plow, the Roof guard does not protect by intercepting an oncoming blade. Rather, the Roof guard protects by offense. Should an opponent blindly charge in, the Roof guard allows you to make a quick and powerful downward stroke. Your opponent most likely will see this and therefore will have to plan around this."
I see we both read on myarmoury ha. I do like the idea of this and would like to maybe go further with it. The four main guards in German Longsword Techniques (German techniques appear to be what the current two-hander stance and movements are based off of) are Roof, Ox, Plow, and Fool's Guard.
73984554722b996867660821c4544124.png
Of note the Roof Guard is technically made up of two stances. The first one (which is what this thread has been about) is the High in which the blade is held directly above or off to the side of the head in an upward position. This is a very offense orientated guard where your only defense is to stop the opponent's blade, either by striking it away or striking downward on your opponent's skull. The other guard is Low which is almost exactly the same as the default sword position in Exanima, with the blade being held at the side of your head while still pointing sharply upward. I really like this as the default stance as I feel it is the most balanced in terms of offense and defense.
a4504fe19c66f1b924e0b681b1d6b1d1.png
The next guard and probably my favorite one is the Ox Guard. In this stance the guard of the sword is held slightly in front of your face and the sword points directly at your opponent's face. This stance is primarily for high thrusts, but it also transitions easily into and out of the Plow Guard while still easily being able to be used for high slashes at your opponent's torso and head. It also protects you from high attacks, but similar to High Roof is vulnerable to low attacks.
aae24a2a33abc57592dc53471bfa9f68.png
After that is the Plow Guard. This stance is very similar to Ox but is held at your waist and pointed up towards your opponent's face and upper torso. This stance is very useful for low swipes and thrusts aimed up towards your opponent and can be good at defending from low and high attacks.
710d91a8efaa3d5d3a6fdc2ab0379c79.png
The last is Fool's Guard. This is a strange one as it almost shouldn't be called a "guard". In this stance the sword is held pointing directly at the ground in a low grip. The stance makes one appear to be defenseless and "fools" the opponent into rushing in. From there the guard is quickly used for a counter-attack. A good counter in this stance would be striking upwards towards your opponent's arms when they attack, or a low thrust. Of note here is the duology between this stance and High Roof. Both stances completely sacrifice protection from either above or below, and both stances are natural counters for eachother.

This wall of text was mainly to give some background on the different guards in German Longswordship, but also to discuss how they can be applied in-game. I was thinking that switching between these guards could be done on the fly during battle. Ideally I'd want this to be done with the arrow keys or a different set of keys arranged identically. So something like...
arrowKeys-300x205.pngthis.
To switch back to the default Low Roof stance one could just press the key for the guard they are already using to revert to default. I'm open for suggestions as far as how to gain the ability to do these guards is concerned. Maybe getting a new sword skill will also bestow the use of one of these guards to the player?
 

dabarrett

Insider
I agree although I feel like keys around the wasd arrangement would be better than the arrows so it would be easier while moving without letting go of the mouse to hit the arrows you could easily switch guards on the fly but that's just a matter of keybinding, onto the training part, duels wouldn't have been about who executed each guard with proper footing and perfect form, rather it would be more about reading your opponent an how to hold yourself to slip past their defenses while minimizing the chance for you to get hurt majorly, or to manipulate your opponent into thinking there's an opening and punishing them for trying to exploit it, that is the major premise for the fools guard. It also is a resting position to conserve your energy, if you are in fools guard and your opponent goes to cross cut you can simply raise your blade to slip under their attack. I like ox guard as well although I prefer plow or high roof because of how unpredictable they can be, high roof isn't limited to just a downward strike you can make extremely quick cuts to either side with a twist of the wrists and cross the forearms then you are already in ox. I like the idea of tapping the guard key again to switch, ox could be on either side, roof could be high or low and plow could be on either side, not sure what fool's variant would be though.
 

Tyon

Member
Different stances would be a great addition to the game, as long as the devs implement them elegantly. I don't want it to be overly complicated though, maybe just like 3-5 additional stances that you can cycle between by pressing a button.
 

konggary

Member
My problem with these proposed additional stances is that they don't seem to fit the core gameplay as it is now. I don't think the current combat is fluid enough to handle these stances, since these stances would require entirely new movesets for attacking with the mouse, etc. Currently there's 4 basic attacks that essentially mirror the concepts of these four stances.



I've proposed my own alternate stance on these forums before, the Mordschlag. This moveset is unique not because it uses different attacks, but because it uses the same attacks to give advantages against certain opponents. In completely arbitrary numbers, it's something like

+5 attack Vs Armoured opponents
-3 attack Vs Unarmoured opponents
-3 balance

The stances proposed here by both syllabear and gsprf are basically already in the game. These stances are used when parrying or preparing for a strike, actions done automatically with the input from the player. You double-click and automatically assume Roof position before striking down. Quit the double-click early, and you can switch to another 'stance' fairly rapidly, also known as a feint.

New stances sound great, but they need to be unique enough to be distinctly different from the current fighting style, giving clear advantages/disadvantages (tradeoffs) for the current, neutral stance.

No I'm not talking about gripping the blade backwards, that's just silly


Edit: Perhaps as you progress from a novice to expert with a certain type of weapon, your stance/grip/strikes evolve to reflect better techniques. Better techniques could improve the recovery time, striking speed, precision, or the overall strength with which you strike, depending on the weapon used. This would be pretty advanced in terms of implementation, unfortunately.
 

Tyon

Member
I think the devs plan to add half-swording stances, and being able to use a different end of polearms.

I'd like if characters had a more "experienced" looking default stance as they got more skills, but I think that's already the case.
 

Gsprfdude

Member
My problem with these proposed additional stances is that they don't seem to fit the core gameplay as it is now. I don't think the current combat is fluid enough to handle these stances, since these stances would require entirely new movesets for attacking with the mouse, etc. Currently there's 4 basic attacks that essentially mirror the concepts of these four stances.



I've proposed my own alternate stance on these forums before, the Mordschlag. This moveset is unique not because it uses different attacks, but because it uses the same attacks to give advantages against certain opponents. In completely arbitrary numbers, it's something like

+5 attack Vs Armoured opponents
-3 attack Vs Unarmoured opponents
-3 balance

The stances proposed here by both syllabear and gsprf are basically already in the game. These stances are used when parrying or preparing for a strike, actions done automatically with the input from the player. You double-click and automatically assume Roof position before striking down. Quit the double-click early, and you can switch to another 'stance' fairly rapidly, also known as a feint.

New stances sound great, but they need to be unique enough to be distinctly different from the current fighting style, giving clear advantages/disadvantages (tradeoffs) for the current, neutral stance.

No I'm not talking about gripping the blade backwards, that's just silly


Edit: Perhaps as you progress from a novice to expert with a certain type of weapon, your stance/grip/strikes evolve to reflect better techniques. Better techniques could improve the recovery time, striking speed, precision, or the overall strength with which you strike, depending on the weapon used. This would be pretty advanced in terms of implementation, unfortunately.
I agree that the current combat probably isn't quite fluid enough to handle this type of thing yet, this was more of a long term kind of thing. I'd prefer that thaumaturgy and the levels get finished first. I do sincerely hope eventually that we do get a more complicated but still enjoyable combat system where you must properly read the situation to understand what stances you enter.

I do disagree with you though on the idea that these guards are basically already in the game. The only one I can reliably say is presented well in the game is the default Low Roof stance, which can transition into an overhead attack. The overhead attack to me can't really be considered the High Roof stance because it is just one attack and not a held position. We could technically do what Sylla said and just keep mashing left click in order to keep our sword held high, but that doesn't sound very fun to do anytime I want to really throw some overheads. Also, like dabarrett said High Roof isn't just overhead chops it's also used for delivering very high slashes aimed at your opponent's shoulders, neck, or scalp. So imo High Roof isn't very well represented currently.

I also believe that the other stances are unique enough in application to warrant being in the game. Ox for example is a high guard used primarily for stabbing and high slashes. Now we already do have a dedicated thrusting attack for weapons now but this wouldn't be quite the same. The current thrusting attacks are done while half swording, while thrusts in this stance are done purely from the low handle and pommel. This means that the stabs would be less powerful and less controlled, but with a much longer range. Ideally I would want to use Ox on opponents with short ranged or one-handed weapons as unlike the regular thrust this lets me keep my range advantage. On top of that the stance's high slashes would be very useful against users of one-handed weapons as those weapons aren't held naturally as close to the head as two-handers and polearms.

The Plow Guard is a guard that is almost as versatile as the default guard we currently have. It's held at the midpoint of the body and is possibly the easiest guard to switch in and out of. In game I'd like it if when transitioning from stance to stance, this one occurs the fastest. It is a very effective stance for guarding low or high on the body, and is a good counter for any of the higher stances, as it's strikes and thrusts will come from below. This is also good because one will not have to crouch to throw good low attacks like in the game, and put one's self in a bad situation when attacked.

The Fool's Guard is probably the most complicated one to effectively pull off and should only be used by advanced users just like in real life. It is a very high risk high reward stance which I think can appeal to many in the game who find nothing more satisfying than landing that perfect attack (you know the one). In this stance you give up all offense and defense above the waist, all for landing one very powerful counterattack. I think this is very different from what we have in game since we don't have a dedicated countering stance or attack that does the job better.

Now personally I've always been behind the idea of using Mordschlag in the game. I can think of two ways additionally to use it in regards to the stances idea.

Either:
A. One can manually switch to a blade grip and still switch in and out of other stances while using that grip.
or
B. My preferred way is that the Mordschlag is a completely different stance from the others.

I prefer B because Mordschlag was used much differently than how one would normally use a sword (besides the obvious holding of the blade). It was a lot more brutal and forceful than normal sword wielding as you were either trying to dent and break plate (which I'd love to see in game) or knock over/trip your opponent. Thrusts in Mordschlag could either be used to forcefully bash with the pommel or to trap an opponent's limb or weapon with the guard. I recall others saying that weapons that had a hook-like apparatus on them would be more improved with thrusts later on. As one could thrust low, aim around an opponent's leg, and then pull back tripping the opponent, which was a technique for Mordschlag. After this the opponent would usually get their helmet mashed into their face with an overhead from the Mordschlag user.

Mordschlag would end up being a very forceful but also technical stance which offers obvious advantages and disadvantages in battle. Additionally in the thread you made you mentioned a tab wheel for switching stances. That or something like that sounds much better than my idea for switching stances.
 

Roryn

Member
One simple thing they could do with the stances would be to simply alter the angle at which you stand, like facing 45 degrees more to the right or left when your cursor is directly on the enemy.

It's extremely simple, and I grant it's already possible to do that in the game, but has anyone ever tried it? It actually changes the way you fight completely, and looks totally different, especially when you strike. For example, I've been trying facing 45 degrees to the right while dual-wielding short-swords, and when I make an attack with my off-hand, it's so quick and low, and it looks really awesome because you're advancing to the enemy with one foot forward, as opposed to both of them being in-line, like in the normal stance.

So yes, it looks different, unique and awesome, but it also plays differently. Attacks that come to my left need to be adeptly dodged, because that's my vulnerable side naturally, while attacks that come to my right are easily and always practically automatically parried, and actually frequently tangle up the enemy's weapon in addition, which leaves them open to a devastating riposte from either hand -- I find it usually hits the head with the right weapon, and hits anywhere along the completely vulnerable left-side of the enemy if you use the left weapon, even if they have a shield. In this "stance", even if you attack while they're trying to strike you from the right, you'll usually be able to parry and strike simultaneously (at least the way i'm doing it, with dual-wielding).

So, if complex stances are too much of a problem, I think this is a great way to add stances. It's simple, yet effective. Actually, I'd like this version of "stances" to be in the game even if they do make more complex stances.
 

Syllabear3

Member
So re reading some stuff i come to the conclusion that using the mwheel would be better to switch stances (if they ever are added)... and maybe having no more than two (player discretion).

It would be like this: you scroll up your weapon will raise from lower stances to the upper. Scrolling down the oposite.
To prevent that you skip stances and your character looking like epileptic, switching stances should have a little cooldown... and an animation maybe?

What do you think?
 
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Roryn

Member
So re reading some stuff i come to the conclusion that using the mwheel would be better to switch stances (if they ever are added)... and maybe having no more than two (player discretion).

It would be like this: you scroll up your weapon will raise from lower stances to the upper. Scrolling down the oposite.
To prevent that you skip stances and your character looking like epileptic, switching stances should have a little cooldown... and an animation maybe?

What do you think?
That seems like it would be the most effortless and immediate way to switch stances, which is important. However, it could be done on accident which is a drawback, and of course the mouse wheel is already used for zooming the screen right now.

So, the next most obvious move would be to make switching stances something like alt+scroll. Seems like a good idea to me, since it still keeps that easily accessible immediacy you might need when changing stances. Alt is an easy button to hit which I'm sure is the reason behind why they made that the thrust button.

Although, if there's more than 3 stances that will be made available, then switching to one that's not next to the first stance you're in could be problematic. Unless the stances are designed to be transitioned into one after the other, or at least that sort of thing. But I doubt they will be.
 

Syllabear3

Member
That seems like it would be the most effortless and immediate way to switch stances, which is important. However, it could be done on accident which is a drawback, and of course the mouse wheel is already used for zooming the screen right now.

So, the next most obvious move would be to make switching stances something like alt+scroll. Seems like a good idea to me, since it still keeps that easily accessible immediacy you might need when changing stances. Alt is an easy button to hit which I'm sure is the reason behind why they made that the thrust button.

Although, if there's more than 3 stances that will be made available, then switching to one that's not next to the first stance you're in could be problematic. Unless the stances are designed to be transitioned into one after the other, or at least that sort of thing. But I doubt they will be.
Too much problems to be pressing so many button just for a stance switch. If you accidentally roll your mouse wheel while playing then something is wrong at your end ;p
 
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