HIGHLANDER Card of The Week #1
                           Week of 5 November 1995
             Copyright 1995, Jeff Barnes (barnejd@wkuvx1.wku.edu)

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
HEAD SHOT
Event

"There can be only one!  Play this card in conjunction with an Upper
Attack.  If it succeeds it takes your opponent's head.  This counts as
a Power Blow."
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chicago, November 1995...

	"There can be only one!"

	As I dive under Taylor's blow, those haunting words echo in my head
once again.  I first heard them spoken by my doomed mentor, Hassan al
Rahul, over two centuries ago.  They were repeated by a thousand thousand
voices I've encountered since.  And now they come from Taylor.

	My blade springs to my hand, almost as if it had a life of its own.
Had I the time, I might well sigh.  It comes so naturally for me now.  So 
much blood.  So much death.  Will there ever be an end to it?

	"There can be only one," the voices repeat insistently.

	Taylor smiles in that unnerving way he has.  He has become a 
predator, "the lion" that Hassan said he would be.  He strikes again, his 
speed the swiftness of a serpent.  My blade meets his.  I launch a counter
which he in turn foils.  He steps back.

	Why?

	Not for lack of breath, certainly.  The duel has just begun.  Nor
can it be because he believes himself overmatched.  Taylor's arrogance has
ever been his defining characteristic.  Why, then?

	Could it be the remembrance of friendship lost?

	Then the respite ends, and there is no more time to consider the
question.  He stops his circling, and his blade slices at me once again.  I
parry and return the blow.  He sidesteps.  And so the dealy dance contines.

	Then I see it. The flaw in his defenses.  His recovery from my
parry is slow, just a split second too slow.  A minor flaw.

	But a fatal one.

	The silence is thick as he continues his circling.  A pause.  Our
eyes meet.  He rushes toward me.

	He strikes.

	Swords meet.

	I push his blow aside.

	I strike.

	Then, silence returns, punctuated only by the collapse of a body,
and the sound of a head -- Taylor's head -- falling to the pavement below.

	And in the Quickening which follows, I weep for my friend...

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

	There can be only one, and the HEAD SHOT is often what determines
who that one shall be.  With a little luck, one well-aimed swipe can win
the game, taking the victory and your foe's head.

	There are many strategies which can work in conjunction with the
Head Shot.  The first and most obvious is to use the Head Shot in
conjunction with a hidden attack.  However, there are several ways around
this.  As many have noted, the mere fact of a head shot indicates the
attack is to the upper area.  If the initial block should fail, your
opponent can always exert for another defense.  Dodges, of course, avoid
the Head Shot entirely.  Holy Ground: Temporary Escape also allows your foe
to escape the situation.  Another thing to keep in mind is that the Head
Shot is a power blow; if you should fail to take the other's head, he or
she will get a hidden attack the next turn.

	What strategies work best with a Head Shot, then?  I have won
several duels by employing a Jump to dodge the opponent's lower blow,
followed by a Head Shot.  It also is neccessary to note that upper attacks
to the corners in conjunction with a Head Shot tend to work better, since
fewer defenses work against those attacks.

	One way to ensure the potency of a Head Shot is to use a Gypsy the
turn previous to the Head Shot.  Determining what defenses your foe has
will then allow you to exhaust these defenses, opening them up for the Head
Shot (provided, of course, that they do not draw a valid defense in the
meantime).  If they do not have a defense for your upper blow that will
deliver the Head Shot, the duel may just be over.

	Other cards may maximize the chance of a clean Head Shot if played
the turn before it.  Intereference may just cause them to discard the one
useful defense they had.  Watcher: Discard Dodge may get rid of it as well. 
Finally, Segur allows you to push those nasty avoidance cards he might need
further down in his endurance.

	In short, the Head Shot is perhaps the most useful and used card in
the game for a "battle deck"; it is, of course, less useful in an
"avoidance," "sniper," or "discard" deck.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Highlander is a protected trademark of Gaumont Television, used under license
by Thunder Castle Games.  The card text is copyright 1995 by Thunder Castle
Games.  All rights reserved.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------