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For some time I've been puzzling over just how optional routines work in En Garde!

I'm not even sure I fully understand how the Parry-Reposte routine works, let alone the Optional Block and Optional Parry routines.

Let's say I have the advantage, so start with a short sequence. I might write out the sequence Parry(Repost), Parry(Repost), Lunge, Slash:

-P-(R)- -P-(R)- -X-L-X- -X-S-

If my opponent starts with a Furious Lunge, I believe our sequences would go:


So I would Parry the initial Lunge, which triggers the Reposte, my second Parry would have nothing to protect against, so I would go on to my Slash, meanwhile my opponents Cut would strike me before my Lunge connected.

If my opponent starts with a Furious Slash, I believe our sequences would go:


My parries would not be effective, so I wouldn't get a Reposte, and my Lunge and my opponents Cut would strike at the same time.

Finally, if my opponent started with a Lunge/Slash combo, I believe our sequences would go:


So my first parry would be ineffective, the second would trigger a repose and our Slashes and Lunges would both hit at the same time.

So, are my sequences correct and beyond this, how do I use the -OB1-OB2- and -OP1-OP2- routines? These I just can't even start to understand how they might be used.

If anyone can provide some example sequences of how these might be used, I would really appreciate it.

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If my opponent starts with a Furious Lunge, I believe our sequences would go:

-L-X-X-C-X-X- -P-R-P-X-L-X-

No: your written sequence would be P-P-X-L-X-X-S... (to 12 actions)

The optional routines kick in when the duel is resolved.

So, when you see that your opponent's first action is a lunge, which is stopped by your Parry, you may replace your next routine with a Riposte. If you do so, the sequence that is executed is P-R-X-L-X-X-S...

Note that it replaces the next routine. If your opponent went X-L-X-X-S... to start with, your second Parry works and you may then Riposte. However the R replaces the X-L-X routine (padding with rests), so you end up executing P-P-R-X-X-X-S... As a Riposte does less damage than a Lunge, you might well prefer not to Riposte in these circumstances.

Personally, I don't think the other optional routines are particularly useful. There are some very specific circumstances where they can be used to avoid damage from an opponent's attack that you can see coming an action or two in advance, but this is often at the cost of sacrificing an attack of your own.

In a postal/turn-based game like mine (, the optional routines have to be used as conditional orders in a player's duelling orders: "If the first parry succeeds, then riposte; if the second succeeds, do not Riposte" for example. This can get very complicated...

The duelling rules work much better face-to-face - as originally intended - as there's the element of out-guessing your opponent.

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Glad I saw this : I'd always assumed that my LPBS characters would riposte whenever possible, unless instructed otherwise. – TimLymington Jan 7 '12 at 13:25
@TimLymington in a postal game, they might. It's a not uncommon house rule, from what I've seen. In fact, I've seen more houseruling for En Garde than for almost any single other game... – aramis Jan 7 '12 at 18:11
@aramis - True, the house rules for Les Petites Bêtes Soyeuses (Paul's game) stretch to 30 pages of pdf, but they do make the game more interesting and round of the rough edges for postal play with En Garde!. – Mark Booth Feb 22 '12 at 13:00

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