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Short? Left Handed? Sword and Board could work for you!
by Tree


I have been in Amtgard a little less then two years now... I started off, single short sword... advanced to Florentine, and then explored the other weapon types: staff, polearm, hinged... I had never thought of picking up a shield... Why? Cause I'm left handed, and short. I always figured that the taller players could easily reach over my shoulder and hit me. And that I could never jump high enough to wrap around their shield with my left hand, because most Amtgarders are right handed...

Just over two months I have been fighting sword and board now. Everyone around me, and myself have noticed my fighting skills have more then doubled. Being short is not a disadvantage… it's an advantage of all things! Being left handed is even more of an advantage, cause players are used to fighting right handers. With the right shield, usually a medium depending on your body size, you can become a Human Turtle, especially when legged. But having a shield isn't the only thing you have to learn... You have to learn a whole new stance, and body positioning.

First off... the shield goes in your off hand… and weapon in your primary hand. Your primary heel needs to be lined up with your off foot. Off foot forwards, primary foot turned outwards. Then comes bending the knees... Not only does this give you more footing, but also puts you closer to the ground. Never block a shoulder shot by moving the shield. It's all about moving the body backwards, leaning out of the shot. It has been my experience that people tend to try NOT to hit you in the head... though short players sometimes get it more often due to miscalculation by the other player. But then again, if you get hit in the head... and the other player stops to say... *Are you Ok?* This is a great opportunity to kill them, then say Yes.

With your right leg more exposed then your left, usually you will get legged… No big thing… this only means it will be harder for them to get another shot off. Always make sure your good leg is way back and guarded by the shield. When the other player starts to get aggravated that they can't hit you, usually their guard will slowly come down and they will leave themselves open. Faking shots always helps, and while being low on the group give great opportunity to double leg your opponent or stab them in the side or gut.

To help with keeping your right leg from getting hit, square off your body and tilt the shield so that it is away from your body slightly, but out more so that your leg is behind it enough to where they would have to get close to hit it... Then go for a back shot, they will have to go forward or down cause your short.

Hope this helps all the other short or left handed... or both like me players!

This page last updated 09/26/00

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