Does Your Swash Buckle?
John Hilla
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Are you an armchair Zorro? A couch-bound Captain Blood? When you look up at a chandelier, do you wonder if it would really hold your weight? If so, you may be a natural Swashbuckler!

Then again, maybe not ... There's a little more to it than lofty dreams of derring-do. Take this simple test to determine whether you have any actual business rescuing damsels in distress.
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1. Board Game: Walt Disney's Zorro Game [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
John Hilla
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Do you have a moustache?

A moustache isn't, by itself, wholly indicative of swashbucklerism--but it helps. The right moustache provides proper definition to a defiant, cocky grin. The wrong moustahce, however, makes you look like a 70s porn star. Choose carefully.
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2. Board Game: Scurvy Musketeers of the Spanish Main [Average Rating:6.08 Overall Rank:8276] [Average Rating:6.08 Unranked]
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Do you have panache?

This is a must. If you can't raise a drinking cup, kiss a woman, and thrust a sword through the chest of an opponent with the same bemused attitude, you are not a swashbuckler. A swashbuckler with true panache even lets loose a hearty "A-HA!" when leaping from a toilet-seat, his task complete. Do you meet this high standard?
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3. Board Game: De Cape & d'Épée: La mission secrète [Average Rating:7.07 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.07 Unranked]
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Do you look good in a cape?

No, I'm not talking to you, Elvis impersonators and Liberace enthusiasts! I'm talking about the kind of cape that, in one instant, cloaks the swashbuckler in camouflaging darkness as he lays in hidden wait for his true love in the corner of a moonlit garden while, in the next instant, provides flowing, aerodynamic thrust to a daring leap from her third-story bedroom window onto his waiting horse's back. This sort of cape always flows slightly, regardless of whether you are standing in a hurricane-force wind or a complete vacuum. Can you pull this off?
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4. Board Game: The Romance of the Three Kingdoms [Average Rating:6.49 Unranked]
John Hilla
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Are you a romantic?

I think Cher said it best: do you believe in Love? No cynics allowed! A swashbuckler doesn't slide down a ballroom curtain and fight his way through a platoon of blade-wielding guards to the side of his heart's desire out of wry intellectualism, after all. Did you leave a single red rose on her window-sill before you leaped out onto your horse? You'd better have!
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5. Board Game: Sea Hawks [Average Rating:4.25 Unranked]
John Hilla
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Are you an escaped slave, indentured servant, or impressed seaman?

This is not strictly necessary to swashbucklerism, but it helps to have a good motive for your brash action. Revenge is one of the classic motives, but other acceptable motives include "reclaiming your family estates" and "loyalty to a toppled monarch." Whatever it is, you'd better take it personally and there'd better be some fire to it. If your motive for wearing a cape is, well, just a need to wear a cape, you may be more in the Liberace camp after all.
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6. Board Game: En Garde! [Average Rating:5.81 Overall Rank:6501]
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Can you fight?

It's sad but true: we live in a violent world. The true swashbuckler mourns this unfortunate truth while, at the same time, never hesitating to engage his opponent for the sake of his superior, far more just motive. Never hesitating to leap into the fray is just one half of the equation, however: you actually have to be good at it. Not just a little good, but really good. Inexplicably good. An eight-on-one fight should still sound like reasonable odds to you. It doesn't matter if you are a former surgeon like Peter Blood or a talentless dilettante like Don Diego de la Vega, you must be a master swordsman and at least an Olympic-level pugilist.
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7. Board Game: Zorro: The Fight Against Alcalde [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
 
John Hilla
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Do you stand up for the little guy?

Whatever the swashbuckler's personal motives may be, he never hesitates to leap off of his horse, blade in hand, to deal out some justice on behalf of harried peasants, ill-dressed though they may be. If you wouldn't put down your hoagie mid-bite let alone leap off of a horse to help out a fellow in need, your swash does not buckle, sir. Not even a little bit.
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8. Board Game: Swashbuckler [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:3742]
John Hilla
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Do you take yourself too seriously?

Technically, this is a part of having panache, but it's important enough to draw out on its own: the swashbuckler never loses that twinkle in his eye that not only connotes supreme self-confidence but also an acknowledgement that, despite the seriousness of his mission and his zeal for meting out justice, it's all part of some big joke. He doesn't go around challenging people to duels in answer to petty insults; he laughs it off and sticks to fighting the good fight. The swashbuckler is well aware that running about in a flapping cape is a pretty ridiculous thing for a grown man to do ... It makes him laugh, really. Does it make you laugh?
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9. Board Game: Swashbuckled! [Average Rating:5.86 Overall Rank:12031]
John Hilla
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So tell me: ARE you a swashbuckler?

If you've answered all of these challenges with a wink and a tip of your feathered hat, congratulations! YOU ARE A SWASHBUCKLER! Bully for you!

Leave a comment here to alert the rest of the world to that fact: if there's one thing a swashbuckler isn't, it's modest! Go ahead and blow your own horn--and then get out there and do some good!
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