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The original En-Garde! rules started as a fencing system. The rules for regiments, mistresses, clubs and Social level arose from a desire to have duels have some amount of background. Thus the strategy part of the game was developed.

This has taken more of a role-playing element on the internet and play-by-mail games. Along with additional house rules, the play of the game in many cases is more important than social climbing, and dueling (the original reason for the entire system) is usually minimized. The original game was meant to be played face-to-face (FTF) and the dueling system works well in that format, however it is impractical on the net, and impossible in PBM gaming to resolve duels properly in reasonable time. Most games of en-garde feature dueling in either an abstract manner, or though computer simulation and pre-planned dueling instructions.