It is an exciting time here at the Audatia headquarters.
We are busy working away on the Liechtenauer Expansion deck, and the Patron’s own character deck, which is also based on Liechtenauer’s system. I thought you might like to know how we are handling the specifics of the Liechtenauer system, and making these decks compatible with the existing four (Galeazzo, Boucicault, and Agnes character decks, and the Armour expansion).
The guards were easy enough. We started by mapping the similar ones onto each other; Alber to porta di ferro la mezana, for instance. Vom tag is not posta di donna destra, but is sufficiently similar that with some tweaking of what it can do, it’s close enough for a card game. Posta di donna destra gives you +2 strength, because it is chambered so far back; Vom Tag gives you speed instead, because it is chambered further forward.
The strikes likewise; for our purposes, the difference between a right oberhau and a mandritto fendente are so small that they cannot be applied in the game. As the original German sources don’t have convenient terminology distinctions regarding left and right, we have called all mandritti “right” and all roversi “left”. So “left mittelhau” for “roverso mezano”, and so on. We balanced the decks differently though, and allowed some German blows to be used differently to their Italian equivalents, to take into account the overall preferences of the systems as I understand them.
The skill cards were where the real action lay. We began, of course, with the Meisterhau. Can’t have a Liechtenaur deck without them!
Zornhau ort will work exactly like a counterattack of mandritto fendente, without the tedious necessity of having more celeritas; you’ll need prudentia instead. (Yes, there was no way round keeping the Fiorean virtues; I don’t think Master Liechtenauer would mind.)
Krumphau will work similarly, in that you can parry and strike with a single card; and of course you can use it to attack a left ochs. Because the Master says so!
Schielhau again works like a counterattack (because it is one!) though it will (uniquely) require that the opponent is stronger; it’s supposed to work against the “buffalo” opponent.
Zwerchau will work like another counterattack, of course, and we have figured out how to let it continue from the other side (helicopter of death-style) if the first one is parried. This is one of my favourite cards now.
Scheitelhau was the hardest in many ways, as it is an attack, and also a sort of continuation; basically an angulation around Kron or Frontale.
Then the real fun began. How to incorporate Indes? We came up with this:
Play Indes to take initiative as attacker, after defender’s parry, so you do not have to wait for their riposte; therefore works like audatia entry, but you can continue with any eligible strike or stretto remedy. That action can be countered normally.
Vor and Nach are implicit in the turn-based system of the game; we will make sure that these terms are in the rules, but couldn’t find a sensible way to make cards out of them. We also squeezed in Fuhlen, Ringen, and some special plays that the Patron asked for; currently TOP SECRET.
Winden, Zucken, Duplieren and Mutieren fit nicely into the stretto plays; my understanding of the two systems suggests that where Fiore might enter, the Germans might wind, bind and do some funky actions on the blade. Winden is the German general remedy to the stretto situation, and, with Zucken, basically allows you to get back to largo plays from the stretto, because the strikes that Winden and Zucken make here are countered like any other thrust or cut respectively.
Don’t worry though; our Liechtenauer-trained players will have some pommel strikes and other close-quarter mayhem available to them.
We are play-testing the decks now, and Jussi, artist of DOOM, is working on the images as we speak. So while we are late, we are on our way!