Epee is fenced as a duel: the concept is ‘hit without being hit’.

It is a thrusting weapon - hits can be scored with the point, but not the edge of the blade. The whole body is valid target and, unlike in foil and sabre, there is no 'priority' rule. If the two fencers hit each other simultaneously, they each score a point. 

Epee is the heaviest of the three fencing weapons. The blade is triangular and 90cm long, and the guard is larger than that of the foil, as it needs to protect the hand and wrist – which are valid target. Hits are scored by depressing the button on the tip of the blade, and electronic scoring equipment decides the timing. If both fencers hit within 1/20th of a second, the hits are treated as simultaneous.

Compared to the other two weapons, epee bouts take longer, are more cautious, and can have long periods of careful small adjustments of distance before a sudden attack - which will usually draw an equally fast response. Many epeeists prefer their opponent attacks first because they will then parry or evade the attack and then hit their opponent.

The weapon design was derived from a French duelling weapon of the 1800’s.

For more information, see the Wikipedia entry on Épée.