In only my second ever game of En Garde! (with the first being a couple of months ago) we had four players and we sort of paired off.
First the players with the most poise became targets and I was one of the earlier target, quickly being reduced to 1 poise or no poise but with a number of discards and a Poise Recovery card allready in my hand I was luckily able to raise myself back up to four poise while everybody else was still a target with high poise.
Then slowly the other three wittled down each others and their own poise until two of us were around four/five and the other two were at no poise.
One of the No Poise-ers is sort of predictably retrobution type player. If you attack him, his is likely to attack you just to get back at you for going after him even if it isn't in his best advantage to so do. So I stood by and let him and another player pick at each other. These two players were also the only two that were getting items such as the Second Sword, bucklers and cloaks for the most part of the game.
Sort of secretly, I communicated with the forth of our group that we should sort of combine to eliminate these two No-Poise-ers, and then just finish the game between ourselves. I also let it secretly slip that I had the all remaining players regain 1 poise card adding to the appeal of our secret alliance.
The two No-Poise-ers remained primarily at each others throats and survived our allied attacks for a surprisingly long time, but eventually they succommed to each others attacks and our allied attacks.
I had held on to the group poise restoration and a couple of helpful fancy moves that I kept on picking up (web of steel I believe) and then finally got a second sword for myself which played with the no poise cost attacks slash (for a 4 poise attack with a cost of zero) with the "no parry riposte" provido allowed me to come off the victor in our reduced to two person melee.
As I said, it was only my second time playing, but I believe I have come off the victor in both games.