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Rules En garde:

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Introduction and Object of the board game

En Garde is a game from Reiner Knizia and published by Ferti Games. En garde is a game where 2 fencers fight against one another. The game is played over several rounds, the first to win 5 rounds is the winner.

At the start of each round, the two Swordsman figures are placed onto the two end spaces of the board (no. 1 for white and no. 23 for black) and all the cards are shuffled. There are 25 fencing cards (five of every value between 1 and 5). Each player is then dealt 5 cards which he looks at without the opponent knowing his cards. The rest of the cards are placed face down in a pile by the board. White is the starting player in the first round, the start player then alternates in every subsequent round. Below is the starting position of the game.


Game play

Players play alternately. During his turn a player can play 1 or more cards to:
  • move his Fencer (forward or backward)
  • attack (direct attack)
  • advance and attack (indirect attack).
    If a card has been played it cannot be used again and is discarded. The 3 actions a fencer can make, are explained below..

    Movement of a Fencer.

    The player moves his Fencer the exact number of spaces on the board as shown on one of the cards above the board. You can choose if you want to advance or to retreat. The Fencer may not move off the board, nor may he move onto or over the space occupied by the other swordsman. After this move, the turn of the player ends and he gets a (random) replacement card from the pack so once again has five cards in his hand. In the below figure, the white Fencer makes a move of 3 steps forward.


    A Direct Attack

    When a player is able to play a card which will allow his Fencer to move exactly onto the square occupied by his opponent, then, instead of moving he attacks. In this case his fencer does not move. The attacker may now play multiple cards of the same value to strengthen his attack. In the figure below the black Fencer attacks with two 4 cards. You can see the strength of an attack by the number of dots below a Fencer.


    After confirming his move the turn ends and the player gets 1 or more (random) replacement cards from the pack so once again has five cards in his hand.

    Parry a direct attack
    The opponent has the opportunity to "parry" a direct Attack. To do this he must play the same number of cards as his opponent and with the same value as the attacker's cards. The opponent may parry an attack of a single card or of multiple cards (note, it is not possible to parry an attack of three cards because there are only five cards of each value). On YourTurnMyTurn.com you can parry an attack by clicking on the attacked Fencer. The parry is taken in between turns which means that the defender may not replenish his hand until after he has taken his turn. If able to parry, the player then proceeds to take his turn as normal, except that the player will have a depleted hand. The player may move or attack as normal and once he has taken his turn and played one or more cards he may replenish his hand back up to five cards. Example: the attacker (in the figure below) has two 4 cards played as an attack, and the opponent parries the attack by also playing two 4 cards. The opponent now has only 3 cards left to play during his turn. If a player cannot parry a direct attack, he gets hit and looses immediately the current round.

    Advance and Attack (indirect attack)

    In this case you first play a card to advance (not retreat!) and then a card to attack your opponent. You can also strengthen an indirect attack by playing multiple attack cards of the same value. The different with a direct attack is that a fencer moves forward before the attack. In the figure below the black Fencer first advances 1 square and then attacks with the 5 cards (note: the Fencer does not move on the attack card).


    After confirming his move the turn ends and the player gets 1 or more (random) replacement cards from the pack so once again has five cards in his hand.

    Defend an indirect attack
    The player that has been attacked indirectly now has 2 options to defend:
  • He can parry the attack in the same way as a direct attack. In the example above he can parry if he has at least one 5 card. After a parry, the player may move, attack or advance and attack as normal, once he has taken his turn and played one or more cards may he replenish his hand back up to five cards. His cards will only be replenished on the end of his turn (and not after parrying).
  • Alternatively he may "retreat" and give ground by moving backwards. The player lays a card and moves backwards the number of space shown on the card. As a retreat is just a normal move it ends the players turn, he draws a card to bring his hand back up to five cards. So it is possible to parry both a direct and an indirect attack, but you can only retreat on an indirect attack.

    Ending and Winning a Round

    A round can end in 3 different ways:
  • as soon as a player makes an attack that cannot be defended by his opponent (also on an indirect attack if a player cannot parry and also cannot retreat), then he wins the current round.
  • alternatively a round ends when one player can make no legal move (for example he can only move backward and a move will take him off the board).
  • if both players cannot win in the 2 situations above, the current round ends when one player draws the last card from the pack. When a player attacks on the last move, the opponent still can parry the attack (or retreat on an indirect attack), if a player cannot defend the attack then he looses the round. If there is no winner yet (not even after the final attack), then the winner is determined as follows: The player (only if the last attack can be parried) with the most cards in hand that would allow for a direct attack on the current situation on the board wins the round. If the player retreats or if there still is no winner, then the winner is determined only by which Fencer is currently furthest down the board. If both players moved the same distance, then this round ends in a draw and neither player gets a point.

    Game End

    The Game ends when one of the player gets 5 points, that player wins the game.