Sword-and-Shield Fighting was the art of using the broadsword and shield in combat. It likely originated in the Dark Ages, although conclusive evidence is scanty. Its heyday was the early Middle Ages, but it survived - even thrived -well into the Renaissance. The Spanish used sword-and-shield troops until the 16th century, and the style vanished from the battlefield only after the spread of firearms rendered the shield obsolete.

Unlike bucklers, shields were distinctly military in character. Civilians rarely carried them. After 1350, the shield was primarily a tool of the infantry in Europe. Fighters used shields of all sizes - from small to large - made of metal, wood, and leather. Some even sported sharp spikes!

Sword-and-Shield Fighting required lots of room. It stressed footwork, darting strikes, and fighting at arm's length. Stylists held the shield forward to repulse enemies, and used more blocks than parries. They learned some wrestling moves but largely avoided close combat (unlike practitioners of Sword-and-Buckler Play).

The sword-and-shield fighter circled his foe and used Wait and Evaluate to seek an opening, or a Beat (pp. 100101) with his shield to create one. He often attacked by rushing in, striking, and pulling back quickly. Treat this as a Committed Attack (Determined) with two steps - one in, one out. He might instead launch a Defensive Attack in the form of a jabbing thrust to a vulnerable location. If his attacker left himself open on the offensive, the stylist punished him with the Counterattack technique. If his enemy pressed the attack, the sword-and-shield man responded with All-Out Defense (Increased Block), and used retreats to open the gap. When things got too close, he made aggressive use of his shield -both to shove his opponent back to arm's length and to bash him.

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