DUELMASTERS NEWSLETTER

Date   : 08/23/2003    Duedate: 09/05/2003

NOBLISH ISLAND ARENA

DM-93    TURN-149

This Weeks Top Honors

THE DUELMASTER IS

RAVAGER OF DOOM
TYCRON'S MERCS (1298)
(93-7503) [5-3-0,34]

Chartered Recognition Leader   Unchartered Recognition Leader

POSITION IS EMPTY              RAVAGER OF DOOM
                               TYCRON'S MERCS (1298)
                               (93-7503) [5-3-0,34]

Popularity Leader              This Weeks Favorite

KATRINA THE RED                MELVISHNU
TYCRON'S MERCS (1298)          TYCRON'S MERCS (1298)
(93-7504) [6-2-0,33]           (93-7560) [1-0-0,9]

THE CURRENT TOP TEAM

TYCRON'S MERCS (1298)

          TEAMS ON THE MOVE            TOP CAREER HONORS
Team Name                  Point Gain  Chartered Team
1. MIDDLE WAY 9 (1344)         35
2. TYCRON'S MERCS (1298)       16      RAGE (388)
3. THE BLACK GUARD (1299)      16      Unchartered Team
4. LEATHER CHICKS (1239)       12
5. DRUNKEN CLONES (1144)        4      TYCRON'S MERCS (1298)

The Top Teams

Career Win-Loss Record           W   L  K    %  Win-Loss Record Last 3 Turns    W  L K
 1- 1*X-MEN (1236)              26  14  1 65.0   1/ 4*TYCRON'S MERCS (1298)     6  8 0
 2- 3*RIFF RAFF (1305)          15  15  2 50.0   2- 3*X-MEN (1236)              4  1 0
 3/ 4*TYCRON'S MERCS (1298)     18  19  0 48.6   3- 2*RIFF RAFF (1305)          4  6 0
 4/ 0*DRUNKEN CLONES (1144)     17  22  2 43.6   4/ 6*THE BLACK GUARD (1299)    3  2 0
 5/ 5*THE BLACK GUARD (1299)     5   7  1 41.7   5/ 0*DRUNKEN CLONES (1144)     2  2 0
 6/ 0*MIDDLE WAY 9 (1344)        2   3  0 40.0   6/ 0*MIDDLE WAY 9 (1344)       2  3 0
 7/ 0*LEATHER CHICKS (1239)      3  12  0 20.0   7/ 0*LEATHER CHICKS (1239)     2  8 0

    '*'   Unchartered team                       '-'  Team did not fight this turn
   (###)  Avoid teams by their Team Id          ##/## This turn's/Last turn's rank

                                    TEAM SPOTLIGHT

      * }%|[-----+O+-----]|%{ * }%|[-----+O+-----]|%{ * }%|[-----+O+-----]|%{ *

                                  Profile of a Style
                                       Bashers

     I make no claims to being exhaustive in this study of Bashers.  There are
managers who know more about the style, managers who have better Bashers, managers
whose Bashers win more consistently.  But this is a place to start.
     I have the details of twenty-eight immortal Bashers under my hand here, Bashers
who, good, bad, or indifferent, survived long enough to graduate and discover their
favorites.  In those favorites lie clues to how the Gladiatorial Commission expects
Bashers to operate.  This does not mean that Bashers HAVE to operate that way, and it
can be fun to force a style to do the unexpected and take everyone by surprise, but
this could be said to be "what comes naturally."

     Favorite weapons.  You will find that only weapons that may be received as
favorites are ever described as "well-suited" to the style.  For instance, an epee
never occurs as a favorite weapon for a Basher, and any Basher who uses one will find
he "is unsuited to his weapon" or "uses this weapon in an unorthodox style" at the
top of his fight report.  There is little, if anything (well, okay, surprise), to be
gained from using a weapon unsuited to the style in question.
     The eleven weapons suited to use by Bashers, and the minimum stats required for
their best use (information courtesy of Pagan's Enchiridion), are:
     Greataxe       ST  13  SZ   5  WT   9  DF  11
     Greatsword     ST  15  SZ   9  WT   9  DF  11
     Halberd        ST  17  SZ   9  WT   9  DF   9
     Large Shield   ST  11  SZ   7  WT   5  DF   5
     Mace           ST  13  SZ any  WT   3  DF   5
     Maul           ST  15  SZ   9  WT   5  DF   7
     Medium Shield  ST   9  SZ any  WT   5  DF   5
     Morningstar    ST  13  SZ any  WT   7  DF  13
     Quarterstaff   ST  11  SZ   9  WT  11  DF  11
     Warflail       ST  11  SZ any  WT   7  DF   5
     Warhammer      ST  13  SZ any  WT   5  DF   7
Assurnasirbanapal offers the following alternate requirements for some of these
weapons:
     Halberd        ST  17  SZ   9  WT   9  DF  11
     Large Shield   ST  11  SZ   7  WT   3  DF   5
          (not sure about size, but I believe wit is 3)
     Morningstar    ST  13  SZ any  WT   7  DF  11
     Warflail       ST  11  SZ any  WT   5  DF   5
(I can see that some warriors in my future are going to have to test these weapons.)
     Study this chart, and never make a Basher who doesn't have the stats to use at
least one of the weapons well!  I've made the mistake more than once (and more than
once done it deliberately, but then, I'm perverse) of creating a warrior who is
unable to use well any weapon to which his style is suited.  This is enormously
frustrating.  Take my advice and DON'T DO IT.
     You may notice that the Fist is not listed as a weapon suited to the Bashing
attack.  This is an example--one of the most glaring ones--of the fact that sometimes
intuition and real-world experience are "not well suited" to Duelmasters.
     Two weapons not listed on this chart are the Broadsword and the Battleaxe.  If
you arm a Basher with one of these weapons, the fight report will inform you that
your warrior is not well suited to the weapon or uses it in a marginally effective
manner.  A manager I consulted informs me that he has had good results anyway with
the Broadsword and is still experimenting with the Battleaxe.  So you CAN ignore the
weapon suitability chart above, though I would not recommend doing it until you have
enough experience to know what risks you're taking.  And don't do it with a warrior
who adds the disadvantage of having inappropriate stats for the weapon to the
disadvantage of unsuited style.
     As you can see from this list, the most important stat for a Basher, from the
standpoint of weapon use, is Strength.  A Basher who is dumb and on the clumsy side
will find weapons he can use appropriately, provided he has the strength to lift
them.  This has led to the creation of a lot of dumb, clumsy Bashers.  My own
personal feeling--and I've run a lot of these depressing warriors--is that a dumb,
clumsy Basher is doomed in the long run.  And often very boring, as well.  Boring is
even worse than doomed.
     My immortal Bashers, their relevant stats, and their favorite weapons:
Madoc            ST  11  SZ  11  WT  13  DF   9  Mace
Wanda the Blonda ST  17  SZ   8  WT   9  DF  15  Warflail
Kenda Teegue     ST  19  SZ   7  WT  11  DF  11  Greatsword
Al Kore          ST  13  SZ  14  WT  11  DF  13  Quarterstaff
Broken Nose      ST  17  SZ  18  WT  11  DF   9  Quarterstaff
Hogar            ST  13  SZ  13  WT  21  DF   7  Maul
Ski Mask         ST  13  SZ  15  WT  15  DF   9  Maul
Crabby Appleton  ST  19  SZ  11  WT  13  DF   6  Warflail
Lissette         ST  14  SZ   9  WT  11  DF  15  Greataxe
Velendeis        ST   9  SZ  14  WT  13  DF   7  Maul
Hoftalj          ST  21  SZ  14  WT  11  DF   7  Mace
Cadal            ST  14  SZ  15  WT  15  DF  11  Mace
Caramella        ST  13  SZ  13  WT  14  DF  11  Quarterstaff
Lulu             ST  17  SZ  11  WT  15  DF   9  Morningstar
Franklin         ST  15  SZ   6  WT   5  DF  17  Morningstar
Bam Bam          ST  13  SZ  14  WT  11  DF   9  Medium Shield
Dune             ST  19  SZ  17  WT   4  DF   3  Halberd
Old Maid         ST  17  SZ   7  WT  15  DF  11  Halberd
Pelis the True   ST  13  SZ   9  WT  11  DF  15  Large Shield
Joe              ST  15  SZ  10  WT  15  DF  13  Medium Shield
Claudius         ST  19  SZ  13  WT  10  DF   7  Quarterstaff
Ekkar            ST  17  SZ  15  WT  13  DF   7  Mace
Jomon            ST  11  SZ  17  WT  11  DF  15  Greatsword
Dijanna          ST  17  SZ  12  WT  17  DF   7  Mace
Khora the Small  ST  15  SZ   9  WT  17  DF  11  Warhammer
Sweet Jorja      ST  13  SZ  13  WT  15  DF   7  Quarterstaff
Tarok            ST   7  SZ  18  WT  11  DF   9  Warflail
Kelan ten Salth  ST  14  SZ  15  WT  17  DF  11  Greatsword
     You will notice that some of these warriors did not have the initial stats to
use their favorite weapon efficiently.  That's a little trick the Commission plays on
us to keep us from getting too cocky.  Only one of them (Tarok) was initially unable
to use ANY of the bashing weapons well, and I trained up his strength early in his
career.  My personal favorites among the bashing weapons are the warhammer, the mace,
and if the warrior has the wit for it, the quarterstaff, as these seem to me to
produce the most interesting fights.  If I'm going to train a warrior as a Basher, I
try to make him able to use one or another of those weapons; it saves me a lot of
stress.

     Which brings up the question of Basher design.  In almost all cases, the advice
routinely given is to put the points on WT, WL, and DF in preference to other stats.
But to use any of the weapons listed above, the warrior DOES NOT NEED a WT of more
than 11, and depending on which version of the stats for Morningstar you accept, he
doesn't need more than 11 or 13 in DF.  Do not put points on these stats beyond the
necessary.
     ST:  A Basher needs strength, and lots of it--who wants a Basher who "does
little damage"?  Besides, he needs a minimum strength of 9 for the least of his
weapons, and that's a medium shield.  Who wants to send a Basher out with a medium
shield?  Pile 'em on here.
     CN:  No.  A Basher wins by attacking, not defending.  He should be keeping his
opponent too busy to fight back, and he should not have to worry about his hit
points.  Generally speaking, go with whatever you've been given on the roll-up.  The
time to experiment with the creation of a Scum Basher is later, after you have more
experience.
     SZ:  You can't do anything about this, but a large size is not such a handicap
for a Basher as for some of the more finicky styles.  And it will increase the damage
he can do--a Basher is all about doing damage.
     WT:  No more than is needed for the weapon you've chosen.  If you have extra
points after satisfying other requirements, sure, go ahead and put them on wit, but
you can get a decent learning rate with a wit of 11 so why waste the points here?
Besides, if he survives long enough, you can train up more wit later.
     WL:  I would always put points on will (unless it was 17+ already), but for me,
that's reflex, not conscious planning.  In theory, a Basher wins fights fast by
attacking all out, and so he doesn't need will for the stick-to-it effect.  But
then... if he's a good Basher, wins a lot, graduates, and you want to keep on running
him, a high will does make it easier to train up stats once you get around to it.
     SP:  I don't really have a feel for the effects of high or low speed on ANY
style.  I would cautiously suggest that if you can get the speed into the moderate
range (8-12?) without sacrificing anything important, then do it.  But if you can't,
then don't.
     DF:  Enough to use the weapon of choice, or perhaps two or three weapons for
variety.  No more.
     And a note on armor:  A Basher should NOT be loaded down with heavy armor.  He
isn't supposed to get hit, so what does he need that armor FOR?

     Favorite rhythms.  Sometimes it's expedient to ignore a warrior's favorite
rhythm, once you know it, but it does give you a guideline for running the style.
Rhythm is given as Very High or VH (10-9), High or H (8-7), Moderate or M (6-5), Low
or L (4-3), and Very Low or VL (2-1), for Offensive Effort first, and then for
Activity Level.  For the warriors listed above, the favorite rhythms are:
 H/VL   H/L    H/L    H/M   VH/M   VH/L    M/L    M/VL   H/VL   H/VL  VH/VL   M/VL
 H/VL   H/L    H/L   VH/VL  VH/VL  VH/VL   H/L    M/L   VH/M   VH/VL  VH/VL   H/L
 H/VL   H/L   VH/M    H/M.
     You'll notice that there is no Offensive Effort lower than Moderate, and no
Activity Level higher than Moderate, and that Offensive Effort is usually at least
two steps higher than Activity Level.  Not always--some of those listed above are
only one step apart, and another manager tells me that he has some Bashers with
favorite rhythms of Moderate/Moderate.  But from the sample I have, it seems that
Bashers favor a higher Offensive Effort than Activity Level, often considerably
higher.  While you may not always want to run a Basher this way, it appears that
nature and the Gladiatorial Commission intended them to run very offensively.  With a
newly entered Basher, this kind of speed is a place to start.  Once you get a feel
for the warrior in question and for his likely opponents, you can tinker with the
numbers for the ideal strategy.  But be warned that running so offensively, the
average Basher won't be able to keep going for long!  Especially, he won't be able to
go for long with a heavy weapon (one requiring more ST to handle) and heavy armor.
When I think of the Bashers I have seen come out in Plate and struggle to last a
single minute at high speed, I could weep.  High speed burns endurance.  Bashers go
out to win fast, or they become easy prey for a slower-paced, more deliberate
warrior.
     Of course, sometimes you'll run up against a Basher who ignores the stereotype,
the so-called "Scum Basher."  He differs from most of his kind by having a high
endurance which allows his manager to run him slowly and take people by surprise.
But this warrior is a freak.  I distrust freakish warrior designs as a matter of
principle.
     There is no evidence to support the hypothesis that warriors have a favorite
Kill Desire.
     There is no convincing evidence to support the hypothesis that warriors or
styles have a favorite attack location.  Managers have argued that the nature of the
bashing attack lends itself to overhead blows to the head and upper body.  However, I
suspect that this is one of those intuitive things which turn out not to work, just
as one would intuitively expect a Basher to do well with his fists, and he does not.
Some managers have pointed out that a Basher aiming at the head tends to end his
fight quickly.  ANY style striking the head tends to end the fight quickly.
(Consistently aiming at the head will increase the chance of killing, which will, in
the long run, decrease the chance of your Basher's survival.  Managers bloodfeud
dedicated killers with hostile intent.)  I consider this a case of "Not Proven."

     Favorite Tactics.  Of the twenty-eight Bashers listed above, only eight had
favorite tactics.  Two favored the offensive tactic of Decisiveness, and the rest
favored the offensive tactic of Bash.  It seems reasonable to assume that the
offensive tactics of Lunge and Slash are inappropriate for a Basher.  (Of course, you
can't always count on reason here, but....)  There were no defensive tactics favored
(granted, this is not a large sampling of warriors), which suggests that they should
be used sparingly, if at all--a Basher is a purely offensive style.

     Proceeding from the general to the specific, here's a basher who had a very
unpromising beginning--

                                Profile of a Gladiator
                                    Turo the Brick
                          Lord Protector and Pain in the Rear

     Turo, a seven-foot Troll, just graduated from Lin Tirian, my own home arena, at 
16-44-2, 94.  He's a basher.  And I suspect that most other managers would have sent 
him straight to the Dark Arena.
     At graduation, he is 11(2)-9-20-6(2)-17(2)-10-17.
     According to his overview, even after those stat raises, he 
     Is not very bright
          The more subtle points of the riposte simply escape him, which I could have 
told anyone right off
          Stands around making himself a target, which we noticed
     Cannot carry a lot of weight in weapons and armor (that low ST)
     Is slow on his feet (Does size have an effect here?)
     Can do tremendous damage with a blow (mostly SZ, I suspect)
     Turo is "naturally adept" with a maul (well, okay, he's probably pulled up a few 
trees and swung 'em around to bat at pesky people), favors a rhythm of very high/low, 
and has an innate ability to use the bash tactic.  None of this comes as a great 
surprise--it fits his character.  He's aggressive by nature (definitely) and most 
readily learns initiative skills.  (Doesn't that require BRAINS?)  Ah, well.  I've 
been running him lately as follows:
     Mace, backup war hammer, offhand medium shield, plate mail and a full helm.
          9   8   7   6   7   8  10
          3   2   1   1   1   1   1
          8   8   7   8   7   8  10 which I wouldn't swear is the strategy I sent in 
for him originally, but it is what he's using.  Attacking right arm, protecting head, 
no tactics.  Maybe this was based on something another manager suggested to me.
     He graduated with no ratings at all.  Yes, really.
     Obviously, he's not anybody's ideal warrior, but he's been surprisingly fun to 
read.  And it seems at least possible that if I'd paid more attention to his 
strategies, issued challenges and avoids, he might have taken a better record out of 
the arena.  He is headed for retirement, obviously.  I think he has some idea of 
going back to his home in the foothills of the Khriatrin Mountains and terrorizing 
his kin.

And another example of a basher, a much more successful one:

                                   Khora the Small
                                   Lady Protector
                   Contender for the Throne in Lirin Kiv (ADM 107)
                                       Basher

     I don't have her graduation overview here, as that was a long time ago.  But she
started as 15-12-9-17-11-9-11.  Now, after years of fighting, maxed on skills and
training stats, she is 25-12-9-17-17-13-16.  Her record at the present is 94-129-3,
and despite doing devastating damage, being incredibly quick and elusive, and having
an Advanced Master rating in attack and Masters in all the other skills, she is still
not woman enough to take the throne in this smallest of the Advanced Duelmasters
regions.  Her favorite weapon is the war hammer, her favorite rhythm high offensive
effort and very low activity level, which are good favorites.  So why isn't she
Duelmistress, or as it is called in Lirin Kiv, Champion of the Horn?  Because there's
an even better basher up there already.  Her most serious problem is that low CN, I
think.  Maybe she should train that up....
     Here's their most recent fight, a short one, so I'll give it to you in full--

     Phetmolge is 8' tall, right-handed, fights with no armor or helm, carries a war
hammer and a large shield, to which he is well suited.
     Khora is 5'7" tall, ambidextrous, in leather armor and a helm, carrying a war
hammer and an off-hand war hammer, to which she, too, is well-suited.  Khora is
running 8 4 7 RA BD no tactics; about Phetmolge we can only guess.

     Both warriors move with snake-like speed around each other.
     The weapons lock together in a test of strength.
     Phetmolge is moving constantly without pause!
     He sweeps his large shield in a sudden unexpected assault!
     A spectator exclaims, "Brilliant!"  Phetmolge smiles briefly.
     Khora parries the blow with her war hammer.
     She disengages her foe's weapon arm and tries to steal the initiative!
     She makes a lightning-quick backhand smash with her war hammer!
     Phetmolge is struck in the belly.
     Khora says admiringly (this is irony), "How much damage can you take, anyway?"
(Lots.  Lots and lots.  More than she can, anyway.)
     She launches a brilliant attack with her war hammer.
     Phetmolge stops the blow with his large shield.
     He sidesteps, trying to throw his opponent off balance.
     He launches a brilliant attack with his war hammer!
     Khora is hit on the right hip!
     It is a tremendous blow!
     Khora winces, obviously feeling great pain.
     She mutters a desperate prayer and is stopped by the herald.

     She is determined to become top basher in Lirin Kiv and will keep fighting until
she is Inducted into Primus.

Jorja
The Middle Way

           +>]H[<+-----+>]H[<+ Question of the Week #3 +>]H[<+-----+>]H[<+

Question, turn 403:

All -- I've read that once you have an AE in a skill area you don't need to use a
tactic in that area.  What if you have a favorite tactic?  Would it benefit your
warrior to use it even if he is maxed in that area? -- Hanibal's Q.O.W.

Answers, turn 404:

Q.O.W. -- Tactics.  It's generally believed that using a tactic, at any level of
skill, increases something (init, attack, damage, etc. though no one's sure) at the
expense of one or more other abilities.  Usually it seems you lose more for using the
tactic than you gain, so they should be used sparingly.  However, favorite tactics
are a bit different.  I've noticed, generally, that the penalties usually imposed by
using the tactic are greatly reduced or eliminated, making it more useful.  I run a
piker in AD who has response as a favorite and run her with it.  She seems to do
great with it against everybody.  My decise running striker still defends well
(though she's got favorite learn defense), and she still jumps everyone with a poor
decise rating.  My advice is to give it a try if it's a tactic you think your warrior
needs, or can use based on their current point of development. -- Adie

Hanibal -- It really is almost like flicking a switch the way you can (usually)
prevent death intent statements if you want to.  Dartor is the arena expert on
killing and he too agrees.  Most new managers gain pleasure from seeing their
warriors kill, and it's not something to be ashamed of.  But there is a better way of
going about things.  I think as you gain more experience and experiment with lower
KD, you'll find that running with a 4 where you used to run with a 6 will have little
effect on a warrior's performance other than decreasing the chance of death intent.
This is especially true in the first minute, or before your warrior would get tired.
-- Generalissimo Puerco

Hanibal -- Each tactic has some benefits and some drawbacks.  I can't tell you
exactly what those are because I don't know myself.  If a tactic only provided the
equivalent of extra skills, then it might be true that a warrior wouldn't need them
after a certain level of skill is achieved.  But let's say that your warrior has an
AE+3 and his opponent has a MA.  Then there might still be good cause to use a
tactic.
     I believe tactics grant benefits that can't always be translated into more
skills.  I think the best example of this is what happens when response is used
against decise.  Tactics have their value at all levels of the game, but the most
valuable tactics might change.  I don't think many would run with decise at the top
of AD, though lunge and dodge remain popular.  But for a new warrior, decise can be
very important.  Tactics are not well documented in the literature, and for that
reason you may do well to learn first-hand and develop some instincts regarding the
use of appropriate tactics. -- Generalissimo Puerco

Hanibal -- Regarding the latest question: if you have an advanced expert in an area
that equates to a given tactic, is there any point in running the tactic.  Yes, if
the tactic is a useful one.  I don't THINK that there is a one-to-one equivalence
between types of skills and types of tactics.  For one thing, there are eight tactics
and only six types of skills! -- Leeta

Question, turn 404:

All -- Do you think you are faster with your favorite weapon?  If your fav is a
Halberd would you be quicker with a War Hammer?  I've read you get +4 in each area if
you are using your favorite. -- Hanibal's Q.O.W.

Answers, turn 405:

Hanibal -- I strongly doubt that a favorite weapon gives four extra skills in each
category.  I don't see how anyone could know that unless it was said by a credible
source within the GC.  I'm terrible at finding favorite weapons.  I can tell you that
the one large favorite weapon I've had experience with is the greatsword, and it is
still lousy even as a favorite.  I really enjoy longsword as a favorite. --
Generalissimo Puerco

Q.O.W. -- With regard to favorites, the only really obvious effect is that you are
automatically well suited to it, and the warrior using it almost always throws more
critical attacks with that weapon than if it wasn't their favorite.  That pretty much
gives me the impression it only helps attack. -- Adie

Q.O.W. -- I would be amazed if you would receive +4 in each area for a favorite
weapon.  And we do not believe the fave adds to the speed with the weapon.  The fave
greatly aids attack and parry, hit %, and ability to hold onto the weapon.  And, of
course, criticals increase. -- Kennelworth

Hanibal -- I don't know about specific bonuses for using a favored weapon.  However,
I do believe that if your favored weapon is something that you aren't otherwise
suited for (for example, a broadsword for someone lacking the necessary attributes),
you can often get good results by going for a lower version of that weapon.  From the
halberd of your example, for instance, "down" to a great axe, or even farther down to
battle axe and then to hatchet.  Experiment with them and see what might work.  I
have no specific numbers to support this, but it is the impression I've gathered over
the cycles. -- Leeta

     >)]H[(< + -----:----- + >)] The Free Cities #67 [(< + -----:----- + >)]H[(<

Near Zukal:

     After the thing--shadow, demon, whatever it was--left, Ghenis sat and stared 
into the night for a long time.  He kept the fire up, even though he didn't need it 
for heat; fire might be a defense, and the thing might come back.  He stayed awake 
just in case that happened; this wouldn't be the first night he'd gone without sleep.  
Better to be tired in the morning than dead.  And he had some serious thinking to do.
     He glanced around his campsite quickly.  The horse was calm enough now, no need 
to worry about it running off.  Besides, it would have to get past him to get out of 
the enclosure formed by the broken walls.  Veleks was asleep, or unconscious, and 
just as well.  The little thief was a useful tool, but not for thinking.
     What was this thing that he'd seen, that had driven Veleks, who feared water, to 
risk drowning rather than be caught?  He'd been thinking of it as a sort of demon, 
but what sort?  His defenses here would stop natural predators such as wolves, but 
not demons; for that, he should have needed something magical.  Could his amulet have 
been protection enough?  He didn't think so, especially since he hadn't called on the 
power behind it.  So was this... thing some kind of natural predator?  And if so, 
where had it come from?  Why had it appeared now when there was no indication of such 
a creature prowling the area in the past?
     And what would it DO to its victims besides drive them into a frenzy of terror?  
Was that all it wanted, or would it have killed Veleks if it had caught him?
     And most important of all, what use could he and his masters make of this new 
thing?
     Come morning, and even the gray and rainy light was welcome, though.  Ghenis 
wanted to get back to Zukal as quickly as possible.  With Veleks riding double with 
him on his one horse, that wasn't as quickly as he hoped for.  He thought of leaving 
his henchman at one of the smaller towns outside the city--his cult had contacts in 
several of them, and there were hangouts for thieves in general where the man would 
have been accepted if not welcomed.  But Veleks wouldn't have it.  He would stay with 
his leader who had rescued him from the monster, and not in some flimsy village inn.  
Suggestions that they part company always resulted in the little thief bursting into 
tears, which was damned embarrassing.
     Veleks was being a nuisance, so much so that Ghenis found himself wishing the 
little thief had died yesterday.  The man's nerve had been broken, and Ghenis was 
beginning to wonder whether the break might be permanent.  That would spell trouble 
for all involved.  There was no place for a broken man among the servants of the dark 
cult.
     The obvious thing would be to kill the wretch.  But the gladiator found it hard 
to follow through on that while Veleks was looking at him so gratefully.  It would be 
like kicking a puppy, and while he was prepared, in theory, to kick puppies if that's 
what needed doing, it wasn't an easy thing to contemplate in cold blood.  Perhaps he 
could send Veleks somewhere far away, to some place where the little thief could be 
sure of never meeting one of the monsters again.  Hmm, if water provided safety, 
perhaps he could send Veleks along with a mission to Niatoli Island that was in 
preparation.
     Yes, Niatoli Island would be the place for Veleks now.  He'd see about getting 
the thief onto the next ship headed that way.

Near Malcorn:

     Blackie, Lord Malcorn of Malcorn, stood next to the ancient stone and waited for 
the moon to rise.  It would be full tonight, and he knew, because he knew most of the 
natural world around Malcorn, that when it reached a certain height above the 
horizon, it would shine through the hole in a more distant rock and strike squarely 
onto the face of the rock beside him, revealing carvings that had been old when the 
first Lord Malcorn came to this land.  The records of his ancestors said that the 
Dregur were accustomed to gathering here when the moon was just so.
     "I must be insane," Tiljanz muttered behind him.
     "Courage and a sense of responsibility often looks like madness," Blackie 
agreed, "even to the people exhibiting it.  You didn't have to come here tonight, but 
you felt it was the right thing to do.  I can respect that in a man.  A lot."
     "Will it do any good?" the young Karnhorn asked curiously.  "We've turned the 
Dregur loose, and I'd think it hard if not impossible to rein them back in."
     "We turned them loose under terms," Blackie said.  His voice hardened, becoming 
the voice of the Lord of Malcorn.  "They have not kept those terms.  They were to 
attack only those who came here following Inzolas.  That a few innocents might get 
caught in that net by accident was... almost inevitable.  But some of the Dregur have 
been actively hunting those not indicated by the terms of their release."  He was 
silent for a long moment, then shrugged.  "I'm not certain that we can put an end to 
these... excesses.  But I am very certain that if we don't protest, the situation 
will become worse.  A failure to protest will be seen as an admission of weakness."
     Tiljanz shrugged.  It sounded like politics as usual, or at least, the politics 
of those he dealt with, the lesser lords within the Glorious Empire.  Vicious 
infighting was the order of the day in those circles.  "I trust your judgment in 
this, as I must, of course."  He glanced at the sky uneasily.  "And I should think we 
don't have much longer to wait...."
     "No."  Blackie watched the moonlight appear in the eye of the distant stone and 
slant across the clearing, creeping along the face of the stone beside him.  It 
wouldn't be long now.
     The finger of light slid across the surface and touched the worn carvings, which 
leaped into sudden clarity.  The little clearing, which had been empty except for the 
two of them, was suddenly full of shadows.  Or something.  Tiljanz could feel the 
weight of a dozen minds thinking about him--calculating minds, hostile minds, hungry 
ones.  He held himself still and quiet with difficulty.  This was Lord Malcorn's 
meeting; he himself was just present as a witness.
     Words came out of the darkness, hollow as caves, clear as trumpets.  "Why are 
you here, Malcorn?"

      * }%|[-----+O+-----]|%{ * }%|[-----+O+-----]|%{ * }%|[-----+O+-----]|%{ *

                        ---===FREE BLADES REGIONAL NEWS===---

                                     Duelmasters
                                     -----------
 DM   9 ZUKAL (turn 471): BLUE DUCK of BLUE MOON (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  12 RIZTAB (turn 469): EQUALIZER of THE LAWMEN (?, mgr.)
 DM  15 MALCORN (turn 465): DIRT KNAP of UNKNOWNS XX (Dark Spirit, mgr.)
 DM  16 WILLAF (turn 466): PA ELL of WAY OF THE SWORD (? mgr.)
 DM  17 ALJAFIR (turn 464): DUSK of DELTA DOOM (Barnabas, mgr.)
 DM  19 ZUWAYZA (turn 463): KANDY KANES of CARNIVAL (Carny, mgr.)
 DM  28 MORYA (turn 231): RAPAX of THE PENTARCHY (The Pentalque, mgr.)
 DM  29 LAPUR (turn 455): MR. YUCK of THE TAKEN (Stillgard, mgr.)
 DM  31 CHIMLEVTAL (turn 229): DELWYNNDWN of THE NIGHTHAWKS (Firehawk, mgr.)
 DM  32 ARVAT (turn 451): PICKLED PIGSKIN of BUFFY'S DINER (Alfredo Frothingslosh)
 DM  33 NIATOLI ISLAND (turn 449): APATHY of WHEN DOGMA FAILS (Prophet, mgr.)
 DM  35 MURSKA (turn 442): KING BEAR of THE BEARS (Papa Bear, mgr.)
 DM  43 VEASTIAN (turn 406): SUNGOD DESIGNED ME of WENSINWASIN (Youngblood, mgr.)
 DM  45 STORMCROWE (turn 206): SUNFLASH of NORTHERN LIGHTS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  47 NORTH FORK (turn 200): JUMBO MUMBO of SPOONERTIKS (Spawn, mgr.)
 DM  50 SNOWBOUND (turn 187): CLOUDS AWAY of OPEN SESAME (Crip, mgr.)
 DM  56 ROCANIS (turn 330): 4-0 PROLENE of GENERAL SURGERY (Darkfist, mgr.)
 DM  61 JURINE (turn 310): ON MY WAY of SADISTS F2F (SunGod, mgr.)
 DM  73 ERINIKA (turn 136): JUSTICE of PEACE MAKERS (Solomon, mgr.)
ADM 103 FREE BLADES (turn 356): NEMESIS of CHAMPIONS from JHELUM (Shadowgate, mgr.)

                                      Top Teams
                                      ---------
 DM   9 ZUKAL (turn 471): DARK TOADS (TigToad, mgr.)
 DM  12 RIZTAB (turn 469): BLOODSUCKERS (Way Cool, mgr.)
 DM  15 MALCORN (turn 465): UNKNOWNS XX (Dark Spirit, mgr.)
 DM  16 WILLAF (turn 466): WYLDERNESS WYLD (?, mgr.)
 DM  17 ALJAFIR (turn 464): KINDRED OF KAOS (PTFT, mgr.)
 DM  19 ZUWAYZA (turn 463): CARNIVAL (Carny, mgr.)
 DM  28 MORYA (turn 231): UGLY URBAN ORCS (Slugbait, mgr.)
 DM  29 LAPUR (turn 455): DEATH THREAT (Papa Bear, mgr.)
 DM  31 CHIMLEVTAL (turn 229): UNFIT TO BE ORCS (Slugbait, mgr.)
 DM  32 ARVAT (turn 451): DEVIL ADVOCATES (Dark One, mgr.)
 DM  33 ANASAZI (turn 449): WHEN DOGMA FAILS (Prophet, mgr.)
 DM  35 MURSKA (turn 442): COMIC MAYHEM (Phantasm, mgr.)
 DM  43 VEASTIAN (turn 406): THE FAMILY (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  45 STORMCROWE (turn 206): DYNASTIC (Jack Wolfspider, mgr.)
 DM  47 NORTH FORK (turn 200): SPOONERTIKS (Spawn, mgr.)
 DM  50 SNOWBOUND (turn 187): DARK SIDHE (Daehir, mgr.)
 DM  56 ROCANIS (turn 330): GENERAL SURGERY (Darkfist, mgr.)
 DM  61 JURINE (turn 310): FAVORITE GUYS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  73 ERINIKA (turn 136): WAY TO GO! II (Spawn, mgr.)
ADM 103 FREE BLADES (turn 356): MEOW MIX, etc. (Ultraist, mgr.)

                                   Recent Graduates
                                  -----------------
 DM   9 ZUKAL (turn 471): BLUE DUCK of BLUE MOON (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  12 RIZTAB (turn 468): LIFE SENTANCE of THE LAWMEN (?, mgr.)
 DM  16 WILLAF (turn 464): MALASION of THE BLACKHEARTS (Nunzio Frothingslosh, mgr.)
                           N.D. GRASSE of PUNNY AMINALS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  17 ALJAFIR (turn 464): KILLIN' STU of MINIONS OF MILO (Kleptov Grenufelbitz)
 DM  19 ZUWAYZA (turn 463): KANDY KANES of CARNIVAL (Carny, mgr.)
 DM  28 MORYA (turn 231): BATMANNING (28-3402) CANADIAN BACON (Firehawk, mgr.)
 DM  31 CHIMLEVTAL (turn 229):ODYSSEUS of OVERLORDS (The Icelord, mgr.)
                               KRAC D'CHEVALIERS of THE STORMGUARDS (The Icelord)
                               BABBS BUNNY of LOONY TOONS (Rascally Rabbit, mgr.)
                   (turn 228): SIR YDER of WILLBENDERS (Abraxis, mgr.)
                               BONEGRIN DEVAR of BUSHMASTERS (Tripwire, mgr.)
 DM  32 ARVAT (turn 450): LIGHTNING of HARBINGERS (High Lord Bosk, mgr.)
 DM  33 ANASAZI (turn 448): RYANATOR of OBSIDIAN HALL (Dameon Darkheart, mgr.)
                            LEMON DROP of JOYS OF BOOZE (Berylstar, mgr.)
 DM  45 STORMCROWE (turn 205): DEBBIE DAHMER of MORDRED'S MADMEN (Abraxis, mgr.)
 DM  47 NORTH FORK (turn 200): ZEEL BEBUB of SPOONERTIKS (Spawn, mgr.)
                               INCREDIBLE SULK of DRAKE'S COMICS (Drake, mgr.)
                               MARY ANN of SCREEN DREAMS (Fizban, mgr.)
 DM  50 SNOWBOUND (turn 187): CLOUDS AWAY of OPEN SESAME (Crip, mgr.)
 DM  73 ERINIKA (turn 135): PUNCH DRUNK of WAY TO GO! II (Spawn, mgr.)
                            MOONSTONE of FLAMING FIST (Firehawk, mgr.)

                                 DUELMASTER'S COLUMN
                             Notes from the arena champ.

     As you read this, the Middle Way 8 will have gone to a warmer place.  No, not 
there!  We're going to Fratsfa, which is not a prospect that fills me with 
enthusiasm, but there it is, when Jorja speaks, we move.  Come to think of it, 
though, a slow-cycle arena in a less rainy climate might be a good thing.  Give us 
time to do FUN stuff, you know?  I hear Fratsfa's a center of culture, you know, 
operas and plays, concerts, poetry readings, high fashion....  It's bound to make a 
change.
     Well, the ship's waiting to take us to the mainland, and by what I hear, on its 
return trip, it'll be bringing you Middle Way 9.  (Unless they show up late at the 
dock, for which I wouldn't blame them.  It isn't everybody who can take eight days of 
rain a week.)
     Adios!

                                        Tealin Sali

                                      SPY REPORT

     Well, what are you looking at, NOBLISH ISLAND?  Ain't you never seen Snide 
Clemens before?  Ah, shaddup and listen to my news.  Later days, MIDDLE WAY 8, since 
TYCRON'S MERCS took top team from you this turn, you guys are old news.  TYCRON'S 
MERCS turned their 3-2-0 turn into a 1st place rank in the listings this turn.  Any 
better than this, and you get put on hit lists.  Middle of the road, MIDDLE WAY 9, 
middle of the road; you'll get no good words from me, until you get better, or worse. 
Break a leg.  Of course, we're all terribly impressed to see TORANS ULRIK win a fight 
and gain 20 points, terribly.  Tsk, tsk, AMASTASIA beat MALITHORN and MALITHORN lost 
6 points.  You're breakin' my heart.  And it's out with the old, in with the new, as 
RAVAGER OF DOOM takes the Title and last week's bar tab from the old Duelmaster.  
Heh, heh.  Kickbacks and bribes, kickbacks and bribes, how else do you think some of 
these guys win their fights?  Skill?  Ha!   
     He who fights and runs away will live to fight another day, the coward.  RAVAGER 
OF DOOM was challenged more times this turn than the Duelmaster.  Now was the DM 
insulted or feared?  Heh, heh.  Now here's guts and stupidity all rolled into one, 
SOUTHERN BELL challenged up 30 to take on KATRINA THE RED of TYCRON'S MERCS.  But 
here's a pretty tale--SOUTHERN BELL did lose the fight, but gained 4 worth of 
recognition.  Some long shots can pay off, I guess.  I guess I can give a little 
credit to THE WIDOW of LEATHER CHICKS for challenging up by 24 to RAVAGER OF DOOM.  
THE WIDOW lost to get 10 points of recognition.   
     Some people like volunteer work in the hospitals.  I volunteer for NOBLISH 
ISLAND's morgue.  More variety.  Honor is like a chainmail shirt, it only shines 
through use.  Certain nameless cowards will doubtless rebuke me on this one.   
     I was about to buy a new quill pen the other day, but some fighter took it for 
an epee.  Forgive me for writing with a dagger.  Just wait 'till next time I show up 
here, I won't be so nice!  So nyaaah!  Glad to see the back of this place-- Snide 
Clemens  

DUELMASTER                     W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 RAVAGER OF DOOM 7503          5   3  0    34       TYCRON'S MERCS (1298)

ADEPTS                         W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
-GAMBIT 7166                   6   2  0    49       X-MEN (1236)
-BEAST 7165                    5   3  0    34       X-MEN (1236)

CHALLENGER INITIATES           W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 KATRINA THE RED 7504          6   2  0    33       TYCRON'S MERCS (1298)
-WOLVERINE 7163                5   3  0    33       X-MEN (1236)
-JINX 7546                     4   2  1    30       RIFF RAFF (1305)
 STRIDEN 6650                  5   4  1    28       DRUNKEN CLONES (1144)
-TOAD 7527                     3   2  0    27       X-MEN (1236)

INITIATES                      W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
-MORPH 7528                    4   1  0    22       X-MEN (1236)
 XARION 7108                   4   3  1    21       DRUNKEN CLONES (1144)
 TORANS ULRIK 7790             1   0  0    20       MIDDLE WAY 9 (1344)
 ZULOK THE SHADOW 7508         3   1  1    17       THE BLACK GUARD (1299)
-GRAVY 7561                    1   0  0    17       RIFF RAFF (1305)
-TRAILER TRASH 7557            3   2  0    15       RIFF RAFF (1305)
 ROMOR SAITH 7789              1   0  0    12       MIDDLE WAY 9 (1344)
 AMASTASIA 7506                1   2  0    12       THE BLACK GUARD (1299)
-WAIF 7556                     3   2  0    11       RIFF RAFF (1305)
-GUTTERSNIPE 7545              2   4  0    10       RIFF RAFF (1305)
 THE WIDOW 7179                1   2  0    10       LEATHER CHICKS (1239)
 MELVISHNU 7560                1   0  0     9       TYCRON'S MERCS (1298)
 LEONIDAS 7507                 1   3  0     6       THE BLACK GUARD (1299)
 THE MISTRESS 7181             1   2  0     6       LEATHER CHICKS (1239)
 WIDOWMAKER 7180               1   2  0     5       LEATHER CHICKS (1239)
 KET 7558                      1   2  0     5       TYCRON'S MERCS (1298)
 SOUTHERN BELL 7559            0   2  0     5       LEATHER CHICKS (1239)
 ZAK 7554                      1   1  0     4       DRUNKEN CLONES (1144)
 MALITHORN 7555                1   1  0     4       DRUNKEN CLONES (1144)
 THE DOMINATRIX 7182           0   3  0     3       LEATHER CHICKS (1239)
 LOUIE MURH 7786               0   1  0     1       MIDDLE WAY 9 (1344)

INITIATES                      W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
-NARYM 7505                    0   1  0     1       THE BLACK GUARD (1299)
 PITRE QUIN 7788               0   1  0     1       MIDDLE WAY 9 (1344)
 NAEFAN ORDH 7787              0   1  0     1       MIDDLE WAY 9 (1344)

'-' denotes a warrior who did not fight this turn.

THE DEAD               W  L K TEAM NAME             SLAIN BY             TURN Revenge?
THE ROOKIE 7502        2  6 0 TYCRON'S MERCS 1298   HIGH ELF 19           149 NONE    

                                     PERSONAL ADS

ArenaMaster Ganamir -- I apologize for not being exact with my last question about 
the warriors, they are already established and one is a slasher and one a wall of 
steel...sorry about that.... -- Mae

     Arm them with a scimitar apiece and they should do well, then. -- Ganamir

To all, once again it seems fate has handed me a bunch of lemons and try as I might, 
cant even get lemonade out of 'em.  Oh well, still going to try and would appreciate 
tips from all you fighters, good or bad about the fights.  Going into this turn will 
make my third attempt at running a team.  I realize there are people here that have 
been here for over a decade from what I can make out of the newsletter and if any of 
you who have been in the game for awhile have any tips sure would appreciate some.  
Thanks again. -- Mrs. Mae (LeatherChicks)

     There's nobody who has been here in Noblish Island for over a decade, not even
     Jorja.  The arena isn't that old, and, except for Jorja, everybody here, always,
     is new to the game.  But yes, there are managers on the mainland who have been
     running warriors for up to twenty years.  I am sure that advice will be
     forthcoming.  And never hesitate to ask questions here in this newsletter.  If
     you don't ask, how can you learn? -- Ganamir

Question to all -- How to make a slasher jump when they won't jump?

     Other than sending out a lion behind them?  I feel sure advice will be
     forthcoming, but I am NOT sure it's my place to offer it here, so.... -- G

Trailer Trash -- I did NOT select a War Flail as my weapon during the last fight.  
There must have been some blunder in the Arena.  Let's rematch! -- Ket

     If an input error is reported to Customer Service promptly, steps will be taken.

New managers -- I have two (2) nicely bonded handbooks which include parts of the 
"Enchiridion", "Style Design of Gladiators" from different managers and other things!  
First come first served.  Please make sure to print your return address so it is 
readable.  These two books are FREE!!!  Write to:
Mike A. Clough
P.O. Box 500
Georgetown, DE  19947

Hello again!  Just wanted to take some more of y'all's time and just say hi and kinda 
introduce myself.  As a lot of you may know already this is my first attempt at 
running a team and I seem to be a little slow in the going.  But hey hey, what can I 
say?  (I got a woman and she won't hit you.)  (little music lyric from my time sorry 
for changing the words a little).  My name is Mrs. Mae Millington, and my girls are 
known as the Leatherchicks.  They are having a hard time adjusting to their new lives 
but they are trying and I have to give them credit there.  So how 'bout you boys and 
girls play nice and kinda show them the ropes, will ya please?  Thanks. -- Mae

Guttersnipe -- I went snipe hunting once.  It was about like unting snarks, meaning I 
heard lots of noises in the bushes, but I never saw, much less caught, anything.  So 
you have fulfilled a long-felt yearning in me.  Thanks. -- Pol Olvan
P.S.  I would suggest that you get rid of your off-hand weapon and carry something 
really SERIOUS as your main weapon, such as maybe a scimitar.  Sure, you can handle 
what you've got, but what's the use of making pretty moves when you don't do enough 
damage?  Anyway, give it a try.  What harm can that do?

Waif -- You know, I feel so DUMB being Duelmistress with thirty-six points.  We 
should neither of us been in reach of the throne!  That's one problem with Noblish 
Island and everybody leaving after their team gets ten turns' experience--it's 
bottom-heavy.  Anyway, fare you well here, and if your team comes to Fratsfa and 
we're both still alive at that time, I'll show you around. -- Tealin Sali

The Dominatrix -- Well... you don't suffer from lack of nerve, I'll say that for you! 
-- Rendor Quil
P.S.  Drop the shield.
P.P.S.  And pace yourself better.  For you to get the jump on me, who has the more 
aggressive style and was running flat-out as well, means you're burning your energy 
(i.e., your endurance) too fast.

The Mistress -- Ah, now your problem is the reverse.  YOU should have gotten the 
first blow in our match.  I would recommend lightening your armor.  Your style is 
purely aggressive and should go all out for the win.  Good luck. -- Lena Koril

Ravager of Doom -- Oh, SURE, you just HAD to win, didn't you?  Now all my teammates 
are made it ME for denying them a 5-0 departing round, and it's NOT MY FAULT!  It's 
YOUR fault. -- Nefan Murh, chartered weasel

Mrs. Mae -- Both those warriors could be decent, if entered for the right styles.  
Arenamaster Ganamir's question is a good one, and must come first before other 
opinions, I think. -- Jorja, the Middle Way
P.S.  Yes, though the Middle Way 8 has left for the mainland, I am (or will be by 
next time, depending) here still, with Middle Way 9.  I'm the only manager that 
you'll see here on Noblish Island turn in, turn out.  I'm not a great manager, but I 
have years of experience at being fairly good, and I'm here to answer questions and 
give advice.  I will give the advice whether you ask questions or not, but you can 
make best use of my presence by asking questions.  Go for it!

Comments on the articles--

The Defensive Lunger, by the Wild Boar.  This manager is inactive.  I disagree with 
the type of experimentation that comes up with "defensive lungers" and "offensive 
total parries," though I understand the impulse that may lead a manager to do these 
weird things.  I do not recommend such experiments this early in your dueling career, 
because they go flat contrary to the way the system is designed to work, and you have 
to know what the working rules (as opposed to the official rules) are in order to 
break them successfully.  A "defensive lunger" is a parry-lunger, a style which 
already exists.  The roll-ups give would be good warriors at any offensive style but 
would tend to be so low in endurance and hit points that I would not expect them to 
do well as a defensive warrior.
     The idea behind "no armor if low con" is, I think, that these warriors can take 
so little damage, you want them to quit the first time their opponents scratch them.  
With armor, they might hang around for a second blow and get killed.

Warrior Endurance, by Jessie Jest.  This manager is inactive.  I'm not sure what the 
point of this article is.

The Numerology of Duelmasters, by the Ghost of Eldrid.  This manager is inactive.  
This article is meant largely as a joke.  Maybe not entirely, but a lot of it IS said 
in jest.

Parry-strike, Another Fun Style, by The Priest.  So far as I know, this manager is 
inactive.  As with so many articles of this type, the warrior described by the stats 

given would be good at most styles, and good luck getting hold of one like that!  My 
experience with the p-strikes has been that they differ a lot from one to the next.  
I usually end up running them like strikers.

The Armor-Piercing Parry-lunge, by Agath.  I think Agath is inactive at present.  
Take a look at his suggested roll-up.  Look familiar, such as maybe like a couple 
other articles in this newsletter?  There's plenty in this article that I don't agree 
with, which doesn't mean it isn't workable.  But I'd aim at legs and knock my 
opponents down, so I could jump on them, I think.

26 July 2003
     Citizens of Alastari, a bright dawn has risen.  While you slept, a pernicious
force has entered the once-fair City of Aruak.  It fought alongside their treasured
warriors, it drank with their fans, and it slept with their women.  Now the masks are
coming off.
     Warriors, be afraid...be very afraid.  After years of Andorian managers ranting
that Aruak is the safest city in Alastari, the Frothingslosh Syndicate has selected
Aruak City as the home for its next epic 'contest'--Murder by Numbers II.  Our spies
have selected the warriors for extermination, and the executioners have had several
months to prepare.  Now a new age of darkness will descend upon Aruak, as the
Syndicate and its allies bring an entirely new level of competition to the arena!
Downchallenges!  Assassinations!  Small poodles as hors d'oeuvres!
     The Murder by Numbers II 'rules' will be announced next cycle.  However, we
invite all managers, from all corners of Alastari, to come to Aruak City and take
part...in one way or another.  Help defend the honor of a long heralded haven for the
pure, or join the forces of change in their siege of the ice-cream and cake
stronghold of the Dukes of Nerf-Dueling!
     This exercise is not for either the faint of heart or the weak willed.  Blood
will flow, brains will leak, and beer will be chugged.  Either way, we welcome you
with open arms and gleaming blades.
     This public service announcement has been brought to you by Frothingslosh Epic
Contests (tm), the number 86, and the letter 'K'.

The Frothingslosh Syndicate

29 July 2003
           *     *     *     *The Third Annual Turf War*     *     *     *
     Yes, it's time again for alliances to go to war!  TW3 will be held in DM 47
(North Fork) at a date to be  specified later--right after Crip's Incomprehensible
Contest is over...but I'm sure everyone wants to get their teams there soon!  Here
are the rules:

1.  Each alliance must have a leader declare the arrival of his alliance.  The leader
    will be responsible for verifying any and all teams/managers who declare to the
    alliance he/she is leading.
2.  Each manager, team declaring for the contest must have approval of the leader,
    donate one Roll-up Certificate ($5) to the prize pot (send it to me by diplo, by
    snail, or a note to customer service), and declare his/her team by diplo, p-ad or
    snail.
3.  Each team may declare one warrior as champion.  All points scored by a champ are
    double!
4.  Prizes are as follows (mostly...there WILL be some things added as the prize pot
    grows with entry donations--this list is not final!)
    *  Highest scoring alliance -- Rename Arena 47 for a period of 6 months, one half
       of the total prize pot donated; roll-up certs.
    *  The Alliance with the most returns from the DA will get to re-name the DA
       monsters for a period of 6 months.
    *  The alliance with the most warriors listed as style masters will get to pick
       the Alastari city/arena to host the next Grand Tournament.
    *  The warrior with the most front page honors/awards will have the Arenamaster
       named after him for a period of 6 months.
    *  The Alliance with the most front page Honors/Awards will have the honor of
        picking the *slow* arena to host the Fifth Annual Turf War.
    *  The team with the most listings as Style Master will find out the favorites of
       one of their warriors.
    *  The warrior with the most listings as Style Master will fight at my expense
       for five turns (I will transfer to the manager's account).
    *  The Alliance with the most kills will be able to re-name the stand-in warriors
       for a period of 6 months.
    *  The warrior that scores the most total points will fight at my expense for 5
       turns (I will transfer $7.50 to the manager's account).
    *  The team that scores the most total points will receive an extra share of
       roll-up certs from the prize pot.
     There may be more categories to come, and the prize pot still has to be
divided...I'm open to category/prize ideas--and further donations to the prize pot.
     The contest will run for *TEN* turns; prizes will be awarded at the end of the
11th turn.
     Scoring will be as follows:
* 5 points per fight, doubled for each of the following conditions met:
     -- Two Alliance     -- Champion
     -- Challenge        -- Two Champions
     -- Bloodfeud        -- Challenger losing
     -- Kill
     (Note:  DA losses are exempt, but DA wins will be *tripled*!!!  Ex:  Happy
Slasher goes to the DA and dies, no points are lost.  If he wins, his team scores 60
points!  If he was a champ, he scores 120 points!)
     Use the following chart to calculate scores:
Conditions Met:       0     1     2     3     4     5     6     7
Points Per Fight:     5    10    20    40    80   160   320   640
* Awards/Honors and Style Masters will each be awarded points also.  Find the total
number of each (do note add Awards and Style Masters together) and consult the graph
below.  Champs that score an award or style master count as two.
     1 --   5      7 --  320
     2 --  10      8 --  640
     3 --  20      9 -- 1280
     4 --  40     10 -- 2560
     5 --  80     11 -- 5280
     6 -- 100     (x2 for each extra)
Note -- These categories *count as "triple"*--they will be figured for each team,
*AND* again for each alliance *as well as* for each warrior!
*  Each and every mention in the Spy Report is worth 5 points...period.
*  TVs will be scored on the same scale as Awards/Style Masters, but the total points
will be x10.  TC's will be scored as TV's, but x10 more.
Number of TV/TC's          Points Scored (TV/TC)
     1      50/ 500
     2     100/1000
     3     200/2000
     4     400/4000
     +     x2/ x2 (for each extra)
     Each alliance will start with 5000 points, scores for *fights* will be added to
the winner's total *AND* deducted from the losers.
     Come  one and all, defend your turf and the honor of your alliance...or your
own!
                    Asmo Dius, TCB
                    Arenas, DM 47, DM 73

1 August 2003
     Assurnasirbanipal invites you to Talcama to participate in the third BATTLE
ROYAL contest.  It is a Delarquan contest so brutal that even some of Talcama's most
notable managers will refuse to participate.  The rules are simpler than any other
contest:  You may not avoid any other contest team.  There are no silly rules for who
can and can't compete.  Any team in Talcama is eligible to compete.  The scoring is
also quite simple (+1 for a win, +1 for a kill (+1 for the win), -1 for a loss) and
the first team to reach 25 points is the winner.
     Scoring will be live--the results for the turn posted in the newsletter.  The
winner will be able to fight their contest team in Talcama for free for 6 months but
more importantly will win a contest against some of the best managers who play the
game in one of the hardest contests in the game.
     First turn for BATTLE ROYAL 3 is Talcama Turn 465, which is due August 30.

19 August 2003
     Citizens of Ghea (only the ignorant fail to note Lirith Kai is not in Alastari), 
no new day is rising, but the sun is setting on just another beautiful evening.  
While you were sleeping, an irksome rabble has entered the always fair Aruak City.  
Of course they fought alongside our warriors, most not so treasured, as all 
gladiators do.  They drank with themselves, and slept with themselves.  Whether they 
had masks, who cares.
     Warriors, don't be afraid.  For years Aruak has been one of the safest cities in 
Ghea, and that custom has been continually cultivated, and will continue to be by 
those who have called it home for years and those who live, fight, and die by the 
same ethics.  There is no contest, nor has there ever needed to be one for many 
years.  A conflict of personalities has arisen, and the city has been 'invaded' by 
pests.
     Any rules that are annouced will be purely for the joy of the lemmings' own 
little world.  Those who are being targeted have no interest in participating except 
to defend the integrity of an arena that is different from others.  Whether you 
choose to come to Aruak, do it for your own reasons, not theirs.
    Competing in Aruak City has never been for the faint of heart or the weak willed.  
Combat is combat, wherever you go.  Blood will flow as always, and now many innocents 
will be caught in the middle, but those who defend Aruak's traditions never target 
those who bring respect of Aruaki customs with them to our home.
    So ignore the private ranting announcement brought by the stuporous 
Frothingsloshers.  If you choose Aruak City, do not choose it for an unsanctioned and 
bogus 'contest', choose it for the tradition.  Choose it because Aruak is different.

Defenders of Aruak

                                  LAST WEEK'S FIGHTS

THE ROOKIE was butchered by HIGH ELF in a 1 minute Dark Arena fight.
THE WIDOW was viciously subdued by RAVAGER OF DOOM in a 2 minute Challenge Title duel.
SOUTHERN BELL slimly lost to KATRINA THE RED in a popular 3 minute Challenge match.
STRIDEN vanquished KET in a 1 minute mismatched brawl.
XARION overpowered LEONIDAS in a 1 minute one-sided fight.
WIDOWMAKER was devastated by ROMOR SAITH in a 1 minute uneven brawl.
THE MISTRESS savagely defeated NAEFAN ORDH in a 3 minute bloody novice's struggle.
THE DOMINATRIX slimly lost to MELVISHNU in a action packed 6 minute beginner's fight.
AMASTASIA won victory over MALITHORN in a 1 minute novice's duel.
ZULOK THE SHADOW won victory over ZAK in a 2 minute novice's duel.
LOUIE MURH was defeated by PERSISTANT BEGGAR in a 3 minute beginner's match.
PITRE QUIN was overpowered by MORDANT DESERTER in a 1 minute one-sided fight.
TORANS ULRIK demolished EMBEZZLING SCRIBE in a 1 minute mismatched competition.

                                    BATTLE REPORT

             MOST POPULAR                        RECORD DURING THE LAST 10 TURNS     
|FIGHTING STYLE               FIGHTS        FIGHTING STYLE     W -   L -  K   PERCENT|
|LUNGING ATTACK                   5         PARRY-LUNGE       11 -   5 -  1      69  |
|WALL OF STEEL                    5         LUNGING ATTACK    25 -  15 -  1      63  |
|BASHING ATTACK                   2         BASHING ATTACK    13 -   9 -  1      59  |
|PARRY-STRIKE                     2         TOTAL PARRY        8 -   7 -  0      53  |
|SLASHING ATTACK                  2         AIMED BLOW        15 -  16 -  0      48  |
|STRIKING ATTACK                  2         PARRY-RIPOSTE     12 -  13 -  1      48  |
|TOTAL PARRY                      2         SLASHING ATTACK   10 -  12 -  1      45  |
|AIMED BLOW                       1         STRIKING ATTACK   11 -  15 -  0      42  |
|PARRY-RIPOSTE                    1         WALL OF STEEL     14 -  21 -  1      40  |
|PARRY-LUNGE                      0         PARRY-STRIKE       5 -  14 -  1      26  |

Turn 149 was great if you     Not so great if you used      The fighting styles of the
used the fighting styles:     the fighting styles:          top eleven warriors are:

AIMED BLOW         1 -  0     WALL OF STEEL      1 -  4         3  LUNGING ATTACK 
PARRY-RIPOSTE      1 -  0     PARRY-LUNGE        0 -  0         2  PARRY-LUNGE    
BASHING ATTACK     2 -  0     SLASHING ATTACK    0 -  2         2  AIMED BLOW     
LUNGING ATTACK     4 -  1     STRIKING ATTACK    0 -  2         1  WALL OF STEEL  
PARRY-STRIKE       1 -  1     TOTAL PARRY        0 -  2         1  PARRY-RIPOSTE  
                                                                1  PARRY-STRIKE   
                                                                1  BASHING ATTACK 

                               TOP WARRIOR OF EACH STYLE

FIGHTING STYLE   WARRIOR                     W   L  K PNTS TEAM NAME                  
LUNGING ATTACK   RAVAGER OF DOOM 7503        5   3  0   34 TYCRON'S MERCS (1298)
Note: Warriors have a winning record and are an Adept or Above.

The overall popularity leader is KATRINA THE RED 7504.  The most popular warrior this 
turn was MELVISHNU 7560.  The ten other most popular fighters were KATRINA THE RED 
7504, RAVAGER OF DOOM 7503, SOUTHERN BELL 7559, ROMOR SAITH 7789, THE MISTRESS 7181, 
AMASTASIA 7506, ZULOK THE SHADOW 7508, STRIDEN 6650, XARION 7108, and MALITHORN 7555.

The least popular fighter this week was NAEFAN ORDH 7787.  The other ten least 
popular fighters were PITRE QUIN 7788, THE DOMINATRIX 7182, WIDOWMAKER 7180, LEONIDAS 
7507, KET 7558, THE WIDOW 7179, THE ROOKIE 7502, TORANS ULRIK 7790, LOUIE MURH 7786, 
and ZAK 7554.

                                       AVERAGE

     I was trying to design a warrior that would have no weaknesses, when my mind 
wandered (It does this a lot!) to what would be the average stat for this game called 
Duelmasters.
     Almost at once I came upon the number nine.  Why, you may ask?
     Okay, I'll tell you, after all that's the point of this article.  There are 
nineteen levels for each stat, half this is 9.5, since RSI randomly assigns attributes 
between 3-21.
     In this manner, even if they assign an attribute below average, the player can 
bring it up to at least average by adding 6 points when he modifies the rollup.  I 
checked this assumption with some rolls I have received, and it appears to run true 
with some interesting results.
     A 9 SZ seems to allow use of any weapon without being too small.
     9 ST seems to allow you to use most weapons without the comment "does not have ST 
to use weapon well."
     9 SP with a 9 DF will give the normal speed/coordination to offensive warriors 
and to PS, PL and PR. (Does anyone think WS, TP, AB are normal?)
     9 WT with a 9 WL will give no negative wit/will statement (no positive one 
either).
     A 9 in all attributes leaves 21 points to modify the key stats for a warrior's 
style.
     I have been trying for a while to design warriors with a minimum of 9 in all 
attributes, or to at least be able to train to a 9 in a couple of raises.  I am still 
trying with mixed results to date.
     I lost track to the point or purpose of this article, but maybe it will provoke 
some thought, yes, no, maybe?  Suggestion and comments will come.

                                             Jeff Hannah, c/o Star Signs, DM 13

                            EARTHWORM FLAMBE A LA THAIGYN

     Arena gourmets, try this tasty tidbit, before, during and after your next 
training session:

Ingredients -  3 qts. processed camel spit
               1 pint fingernail larva
               6K cups giant earthworm droppings (imported)
               3 cups sweet'n'sour orc sweat
               1 slice head cheese
               1 bavarian mint (imported)
               1 tsp. toe jam (I would suggest your own)

Directions -   1. Pre-heat oven to 6200C.
               2. Grease 1 22x22 Turtle shell.
               3. Pour camel spit & orc sweat into shell, mix with high octane 
               gasoline (unleaded for those on diet), place in oven, and heat for 3 - 
               4 hours.
               4. Place all other ingredients into osterizer at *whip* setting until 
               thick.
               5. Bake for 7 days or until you get that distinctive scorched aroma.
               6. Take out of oven, get a match, and light that sucker up.
               7. Now scarf it down.  Yum, yum.

               *It's perfect for those Dark Arena picnics.*

     For a first hand experience come over to Thaigyn's Scarf'N'Barf, right next to 
the Welcome Wench, or go to D. Tramp's Tune-Up Garage & Salad Bar, 1 block east of 
Saugum's Outhouse Inn..
     *** Coming to an arena near you, the Steel Breez Chop'N'Slop, (formerly known as 
the Eradicator's International House of Toe Jam***

                                   To all, enjoy, Thaigyn of Petrys Acoplys
                                   D. Tramp, Lord Petrys & Ennexa
                                   Mephobasheth of Steel Breez.

                           DEATH INTENT STATEMENT EXPLAINED

     In order to keep this brief, I'm going to avoid a long rambling opening and get 
right to the meat of the issue.  The `death intent statement' (`fights with a deadly 
bloodlust in his eyes,' `is going for the kill,' `is eagerly seeking the death blow,' 
etc.) can ONLY be gained in normal combat (non-Dark Arena, non-Bloodgames) AFTER 
striking an opponent in a vital location (some region of the HE, CH, or AB, pelvis 
included.)  Once the death intent statement is printed, the struck warrior makes a 
roll to survive the fight.  If this roll is failed, he is dead, and the rest of the 
fight is simply a matter of running down the dead fighter's hit points by normal, non-
critical attacks.
     Now, the moral offshoot of this is that, knowing this, any fighter sent out by 
his manager attacking a vital location is purposefully increasing his chance of 
killing his opponent.  The logic is this: if you attack vitals you are more likely to 
hit a vital location.  In striking a vital, you may get the death intent statement, 
and that's then one dice roll to end the fighter.  By attacking non-vitals you are 
decreasing your chances of striking a vital (by increasing your chances of striking 
non-vitals.)  Note that this is not flawless, as the percentage of actually HITTING 
your attack location is perhaps only 67% on high-deftness fighters, but by not 
attacking vitals you are doing the best you can, which is all anyone can ask.
     Here's the bottom line.  A fighter can run 10-10-10 L-N and NEVER kill (excepting 
infirmary deaths, which is an entirely separate case) if he hits only arms or legs.  
Thus, while KD is a large factor in determining kills (a head shot by a 10-10-1 
fighter is far less likely to get the statement than a head shot by a 10-10-10 
fighter,) it is less important than attack location.

Gary Triplett, a.k.a. Miles/Sir Boyd
diplo Crimson Pegasi (arena 105) for advice, questions, comments, wit statement charts 
or other charts, etc.

P.S.  Apologies to those I said I'd diplo this to.  I just decided to make this a 
general article.  If you're one of the managers in the wave that received only the tan 
wit statement chart and the lavender activity statement chart, please re-contact me if 
you'd like the explanation sheet, which includes details on all the statements printed 
on the fighter overview.


                           REBUTTAL TO "THE LITTLE BASHER"

     So many times I've seen one of these "helpful hints" that I disagreed with, but 
never have I been so disgusted that I'd write a rebuttal.  Well, this time I could not 
sit aside and watch someone slaughter a style that I love.
     I am referring to Belegrath's article, entitled, "The Little Basher."  Now, even 
though I have yet to have a warrior achieve the title of "Lord Protector," I have been 
at this game for a couple of years now.  I've run bashers more than any other style, 
and my record with them is over .500.  Therefore, I think I have enough experience and 
knowledge to say that Belegrath's basher sucks!!!
     The main purpose I write this is not to undermine Belegrath's managerial 
abilities, but to warn any new people who might read his article.  I don't think 
anyone should waste their money on Belegrath's basher theory.  Or even worse, to have 
someone quit the game after getting the crap beat out of them having warriors modeled 
after Belegrath's.
     First, I'll tell you what is wrong with "The Little Basher" (to refresh your 
memory: 20-6-3-13-7-20-15).
     1)  The best he can get, regardless of his strength, is good damage because of 
his 3 SZ.
     2)  He'll fall over from exhaustion before the first minute is up, unless you run 
a real low activity level.  He'll be very frail and have very little endurance.
     3)  A 3 SZ?!?  And what if the war hammer or mace aren't his favorite weapons?  
You lost the QS, a very reputable bashing weapon, and the GS, which I've recently 
found to be a great bashing weapon.
     4)  He probably won't pick up too many skills with a 13 WT.  Good luck maxing out 
in the next decade!!
     5)  With a 7 WL, he has only a 35% chance to raise a stat ONCE, then the chances 
for that same category are halved every time thereafter.  Therefore, he'll always be 
very frail with poor endurance.
     6)  20 SP, what a waste!  Bashers, in my opinion, have no need for speed.  And 
even if you wanted to waste points on speed, you don't need to raise it to such an 
extreme.  One stat raise here, and you lose app. four skills.
     7)  15 DF.  This is pretty much the only point I agree with.  I know, I know, 
bashers don't need deftness.  But just imagine a basher with an AB's accuracy!
     I had a ST once who looked similar to Belegrath's basher.  He looked like this: 
19-4-13-16-3-19-10.  What happened to him, you ask?  He was killed by a maul-wielding 
scum basher on his third fight.  In his first two fights he hacked the crap out of two 
TP's, and then fell over from exhaustion.  No broken shields, no broken bones.  Get 
the point, yet?
     Now, a better basher, not the best, mind you, would look like this:
13 ST     Achieve good damage (possibly great) and be able to use all 
          bashing weapons (except HL).
10 CN     This isn't important, but at least he'll be able to take a couple
          of blows.
 9 SZ     Fulfills requirement for all bashing weapons.
17 WT     A nice number.  19 isn't good, and 21 means that it should be
          something else.
15 WL     Gives at least normal endurance, and increases chances of raising
          stats.
 5 SP     SP is unimportant, absolutely no need!  Although, it will take a 
          few more skills to get a rating in Decise.
15 DF     Wonderful to have DF.  Keeps them from swinging at the flies (Most
          of the time).
     Well, there you have it.  I hope I cleared things up a little.  I doubt if anyone 
else agrees with me, but that's what makes this game so fun!

                                        LUVUALLWAYS,
                                        Vanion
                         Drunken Stupor (11)   The Dawn-Men (67)
                         The Dark (26)         Othrsydosanity (74)

                                    THE UN-SCUM

     The type of TP I make will often win fights without ever getting hit!  The fights 
are exciting to read, full of dodges and ripostes, and if you've never seen a TP 
outjump a Basher, make an offensive TP.

ST: 7-13   All you really need is normal damage!  11 is perfect, for carrying capacity 
and weapon selection.  Good damage is nice to have, but if it looks like your rollup 
will get good or great, he's probably better off as a WS, LU or BA.

CN: 9-16   Again, all you need is normal.  We're making a finesse substyle, and the 
points are badly needed on WT, WL and DF.  Just make sure he can take a hit or two.  
Don't add any points here on the rollup, but go ahead and raise it later if you think 
he needs it.  Endurance is not a priority.

SZ: 3-9    A single digit is important for dodging and activity levels.  I will go as 
high as 10, but any bigger and you can't dodge well enough.  Small size also helps 
parry and defense, as well as getting a good activity and elusive statement on the 
overview.  Plus, you need the points below.

WT: 15, 17 or 21 only!  This is the biggie, he'll learn like crazy!  I know what 
you're saying, "my 11 WT SCUM learns 3 skills a fight!"  Yeah, but your SCUM's skill 
base will be so low, when he's maxxed out in skills, my off. TP will be at the same 
level of expertise by his 10th fight!  For any style, 90% of the skills are in WT, WL 
and DF, and that's where the 14 points must go.

WL: 13-21  As with any fighter, more is better.  However, you can get by with normal 
endurance, believe it or not!  This TP will wear moderate armor, and can run active 
for 6-7 minutes with normal endurance.  That's long enough for all but a few 
opponents.  Raise WL on the rollup to 17 or 21 if you can, but if 13 or 15 is all he 
can have, he'll be okay.

SP: 5-9    This is a touchy area, and can make or break your TP.  I like to use 7, 8 
or 9.  If you use 5 or 6, he'd better be small, and have a 17 or 21 WT.  OR, a CN that 
will allow him to take a lot of damage.  If he's too big, dumb and slow then he'll get 
"slow and inactive" on the overview, and that is too scummy for my TP.  You MUST have 
normal or better activity.  SP also helps with your riposte, crucial to the off. TP.

DF: 11-17  Second in importance, behind WT.  Parry, Riposte, Defense and Attack are 
your mainstays, and they're all enhanced by a high DF.  Try to get normal coordination 
(SP+DF=21) if possible.

     Here are some examples of good off. TPs, all are real fighters;

     11        10         8        11         7        11        10
     14        12        15         9        15        13        12
      7         4         7         6         8         7        10
     17        15        15        17        21        17        17
     17        21        17        21        13        17        13
      5         7         9         9         7         8         8
     13        15        13        11        13        11        13

     Now, how to fight them, you ask?  Every one of them seems to like to run 
differently, I've seen some tee off at 2-7-5, some do better at 4-4-5, some 2-3-2, 
even those who go 3-3-5 first min, then go ballistic in the second (10-10-6).  Also, 
some run 7-7-7!  You just have to play around with the numbers, 'til you find what 
works best.  Here's a general strategy I usually start with:

     4    5    6    7    4    3    10   Armor: I use ARM/H most of the time,
     7    6    5    4    4    2    10   but guys like examples #1 and 2 
     5    5    5    5    5    5     6   would be better off in ACM/F.  If
                                        facing a LU or SL, you can wear 
     RA ------------------------>  HE   APA/F (yes, even with normal endur-
     AM ------------------------>  HE   ance!), 'cause the LU or SL is going
     -    -    -    -    -    -     -   to drop in min. 2, more than likely.
     S    S    -    -    -    -     D

Weapons:  Any sword and shield you're suited to, as well as the Quarterstaff and the 
Longspear.  Vs. heavy armor, use a BS two-handed.

Tactics:  Parry, dodge, and especially vs. strikers, responsiveness!  Resp. will drive 
other managers nuts, prompting them to say, "How'd you do that?"  My favorite tactic 
for the Un-Scum.

Matchups:  Every striker in the arena should be on your hit-list.  Other good 
challenges are PS, WS, PR, BA.  Avoid lungers and ABs like the plague!

     So, there you have it.  If you'd rather have a TP who's as elusive as a La-Z-Boy 
than one who sidesteps more blows than he parries, then don't follow my advice.  But, 
if you're ready to have fun fights with TPs, and watch their popularity rise (except 
vs. scum) every match, then that's what I offer you.
     Brought to you by Buri of the G.A.P.P.D.A., MGR. Aesier (3, 104), Swords of 
Sergio (4, 104), S.O.S. (59), and way too many others.  Fell free to diplo me, for 
praise, ridicule, or just for the halibut.

                               Duelmasters for Dummies

     There are handbooks around that will guide you in becoming the hottest player 
Duelmasters has ever seen... if you're prepared to work at it.  But what if you don't 
want to be hot, but only pleasantly warm, have a good time, and not fret and stew 
over maximizing the potential of every roll-up you receive?  What if spending months 
in the Dark Arena searching for the perfect roll-up sounds boring?  What if the 
"Perfect Warrior" is not for you, and you have no intention of dominating Gateway?  
What if such handbooks as the Enchiridion represent "more than you ever wanted to 
know" about the inner workings and minute tunings of the game?
     This article is for you....
     You have a new roll-up sheet in front of you; it doesn't matter whether it's a 
new team or only one replacement.  How do you design the warrior(s) for best present 
enjoyment?  First, don't send anyone straight to the Dark Arena.  Okay, do if you 
like to read Dark Arena fights, but not otherwise.  Give every roll-up, regardless of 
"Perfect Warrior" potential or lack thereof, your best design efforts and a chance to 
show his stuff.  Some supposed duds will surprise you.
     A few simple rules for basic warrior design and strategy:
      1)  Aim at achieving an odd number in your key stats, 15 is good, 17 is better, 
except in unusual cases (DF for aimed blows), 21 is too much of a good thing.
      2)  Wit and Will are the key stats for any warrior except a freak experiment.  
Deftness and Strength are second, Speed and Constitution are third.
      3)  Offensive styles (Basher, Lunger, Slasher, Striker) and Total Parries are 
easier to run and easier to win with than the finesse styles (Aimed Blows, Parry-
anythings, Walls of Steel).  Yes, the finesse styles can be fun and devastating, but 
don't START there.  Start with the easier styles and work up to finesse.  Watch out 
for stereotypes.  Big, dumb, clumsy bashers do not generally do well.  Fast, brainy 
lungers with low CN and WL burn out early in the first minute and also tend to die 
easily.  A medium good roll-up will do well at any of the offensive styles.
      4)  Pick your arena with some care, as different arenas favor and reward 
different styles of play and different tones in the personals.
     Generally speaking, arenas of the Andorian and Lirith Kai regions will frown on 
down-challenges and deliberate killing, and hostile "trash-talking" personals will 
not be appreciated.  On the whole, these Andorian and Adantri arenas are the more 
sociable arenas and will tend to have more personals and more role-playing.  (There 
are, of course, exceptions.)  Players in the Andorian and Lirith Kai arenas will tend 
to be helpful to a newcomer.
     Arenas of the Delarquan region will accept more aggressive styles in play and in 
personals, more down-challenging, and more killing... BUT you can expect to draw a 
quick and hard response in kind.  Generally these arenas are not as friendly as the 
Andorians, and they are much less likely to help out a newcomer.
     The arenas of the Free Blades region vary more among themselves than those of 
the other regions but generally tend to fall in between the Andorian and Delarquan 
extremes.
      5)  When arming your warrior, check the Weapon/Style/Stat Suitability chart 
below, probably THE most useful chart for a beginner.  It sorts the weapons by style, 
listing only those that are favored by each style, and gives the minimum stats (in 
ST, SZ, WT, and DF) to use any particular weapon.  Note which weapons your warrior is 
physically able to use.  Arm him with something he can use and that is favored by his 
style, and GIVE HIM A BACK-UP WEAPON, even if it's only a dagger.  Do not be misled 
by real-world logic, by the way: bashers are not well-suited to using the fists as 
weapons!  (If you are going to use the same weapon against all armor weights, it 
isn't necessary to make three categories on your strategy sheet, and it annoys the 
inputter.)
     In fact, you might want to consult the chart below before picking a style for 
your new warrior.  It is not a good idea to make a warrior into, say, a basher, if he 
is unable to use well any of the basher's weapons of choice.  (I've done this by not 
paying attention, and I have ALWAYS regretted it afterward.)  For example, I just got 
a replacement who is 8-10-20-9-12-4-7.  If I make it 9-10-20-15-17-4-9, then I should 
NOT make it a Basher, because the poor goop couldn't use any bashing weapon well.  If 
I go with this set of numbers, he should probably be a Lunger using a short spear, or 
a Striker using a hatchet.  But if I drop WT to 13 and raise ST to 11, he could use a 
broadsword and might make a Slasher; equally, if I drop WT to 13 and raise DF to 11, 
instead, he could use a scimitar and make a Slasher....  Choices, choices....
      6)  Put armor on the warrior before sending him out to fight.  Armor saves 
lives.  Total Parries can take the heaviest armors, as they generally don't move 
around a lot.  Offensives can run faster with no armor or leather armor, but that 
doesn't give them much protection.  If you're worried about their survival, put them 
in mid-weight armor; I favor ringmail for this, but scalemail and chainmail are also 
options.  Always put something on their heads!  A blow to the head can be especially 
deadly, so give them protection there--at least a steel cap, a helm for choice, a 
full helm if the warrior is a Total Parry.
      7)  Train skills, unless/until you're sure this is going to be a throw-away, 
short-term warrior.
      8)  Challenge warriors above your warrior, and/or those with more fights, for 
the best chance to learn skills.  Challenge warriors below your warrior to improve 
your chances of winning and to provoke maximum hostility from other managers.  
Repeated challenges to the same warrior, when there are other targets available, will 
also provoke hostility.
      9)  Avoid teams with high kill percentages and teams that regularly down-
challenge or repeat-challenge.
     10)  Don't run a warrior 10-10-10 unless you like to see him go berserk and then 
collapse half way through the first minute.  Yes, the pure offensives should run 
fast, but drop either Activity Level or Kill Desire or both by a few points if your 
warrior doesn't have a good or better endurance.  If endurance is not mentioned on 
the warrior's overview, then it is "normal" or "average," and 10-10-10 will probably 
burn him out early in the fight.  If endurance is poor, don't even think of it.  
(Yes, I can hear all you number crunchers out there rising up to point out that there 
are exceptions.  I admit the exceptions, but these are general guidelines for the 
average beginner.  Exceptions belong in a different article.}  Generally speaking, 
Total Parries should run slowly.
     11)  Be wary of using tactics.  Sometimes they help, sometimes they hinder, and 
they're tricky.  Even when a tactic gives some clear benefit, remember that it comes 
with a built-in danger in that it commits the warrior to that attitude during the 
minute it is used.  A defensive tactic will tend to hinder offense, offensive tactics 
will reduce the warrior's defense.  Do not use both an offensive and a defensive 
tactic in the same minute.
     12)  Fill out your strategy sheet clearly and completely to avoid antagonizing 
the inputter!  Don't make her guess what you want your warrior to do.
     13)  Write personal ads to take part in the player-player interaction.  This is 
a significant part of the fun of the game.  If you want other managers to help you 
learn, write =friendly= personals!  Surprising how some people miss this obvious 
point, but the obnoxious managers are likely to have a hard time getting help.
     14)  Fill out the front part of the Warrior Census Form.  Picking a warrior's 
race can make him a more clearly realized character and one that it is more fun to 
write personals for.  Filling out the warrior sayings can make reading the fights 
more amusing.  Fill out the back of the form only if you feel like it, as NOTHING on 
the back, not even the character stats, has any effect on the fights.  The back of 
the form is all role-playing information and, at this time, will only be used if/when 
your warrior appears in a spotlight written by a staff writer.  When/if the extension 
of the Duelmasters system for which the back of the form was originally intended is 
completed, you will have another chance to fill out this stuff.

                   Weapons, Styles, Minimum Stats required for use
The weapons best-suited to each style are listed under that style.  If a weapon is 
not listed under that style, then it is not well-suited to use by that style.  
Regardless of style, however, the stats required to use a weapon are the same.
     This chart was composed with information found in the Enchiridion, and I thank 
Pagan for making it readily available.

     Aimed Blow  nine weapons                   Slasher  eight weapons
Dagger         ST  -  SZ  -  WT  7  DF  7  Battleaxe      ST 15  SZ  9  WT  9  DF  9
Epee           ST  7  SZ  -  WT 15  DF 15  Broadsword     ST 11  SZ  -  WT  9  DF  7
FiST  -        presumably any              Epee           ST  7  SZ  -  WT 15  DF 15
Longspear      ST 11  SZ  9  WT  5  DF  9  Greataxe       ST 13  SZ  5  WT  9  DF 11
Longsword      ST 11  SZ  -  WT 13  DF 11  Hatchet        ST  5  SZ  -  WT  3  DF  7
Quarterstaff   ST 11  SZ  9  WT 11  DF 11  Longsword      ST 11  SZ  -  WT 13  DF 11
Scimitar       ST  9  SZ  -  WT 11  DF 11  Scimitar       ST  9  SZ  -  WT 11  DF 11
Shortspear     ST  9  SZ  -  WT  7  DF  7  Shortsword     ST  5  SZ  -  WT 11  DF  3
Shortsword     ST  5  SZ  -  WT 11  DF  3  
                                                Striker  Note that the strikers can 
     Basher  eleven weapons                use every weapon plus the small shield 
Greataxe       ST 13  SZ  5  WT  9  DF 11  effectively.  This is the only style that 
Greatsword     ST 15  SZ  9  WT  9  DF 11  has so broad a selection.  Twenty-one 
Halberd        ST 17  SZ  9  WT  9  DF  9  weapons.
Large shield   ST 11  SZ  7  WT  5  DF  5  Battleaxe      ST 15  SZ  9  WT  9  DF  9
Mace           ST 13  SZ  -  WT  3  DF  5  Broadsword     ST 11  SZ  -  WT  9  DF  7
Maul           ST 15  SZ  9  WT  5  DF  7  Dagger         ST  -  SZ  -  WT  7  DF  7
Medium shield  ST  9  SZ  -  WT  5  DF  5  Epee           ST  7  SZ  -  WT 15  DF 15
Morningstar    ST 13  SZ  -  WT  7  DF 13  FiST  -        presumably any
Quarterstaff   ST 11  SZ  9  WT 11  DF 11  Greataxe       ST 13  SZ  5  WT  9  DF 11
Warflail       ST 11  SZ  -  WT  7  DF  5  Greatsword     ST 15  SZ  9  WT  9  DF 11
Warhammer      ST 13  SZ  -  WT  5  DF  7  Halberd        ST 17  SZ  9  WT  9  DF  9
                                           Hatchet        ST  5  SZ  -  WT  3  DF  7
     Lunger  five weapons                  Longspear      ST 11  SZ  9  WT  5  DF  9
Epee           ST  7  SZ  -  WT 15  DF 15  Longsword      ST 11  SZ  -  WT 13  DF 11
Longspear      ST 11  SZ  9  WT  5  DF  9  Mace           ST 13  SZ  -  WT  3  DF  5
Longsword      ST 11  SZ  -  WT 13  DF 11  Maul           ST 15  SZ  9  WT  5  DF  7
Shortspear     ST  9  SZ  -  WT  7  DF  7  Morningstar    ST 13  SZ  -  WT  7  DF 13
Shortsword     ST  5  SZ  -  WT 11  DF  3  Quarterstaff   ST 11  SZ  9  WT 11  DF 11
                                           Scimitar       ST  9  SZ  -  WT 11  DF 11
     Parry-Lunger  six weapons             Shortspear     ST  9  SZ  -  WT  7  DF  7
Epee           ST  7  SZ  -  WT 15  DF 15  Shortsword     ST  5  SZ  -  WT 11  DF  3
Longspear      ST 11  SZ  9  WT  5  DF  9  Small shield   ST  5  SZ  -  WT  5  DF  5
Longsword      ST 11  SZ  -  WT 13  DF 11  Warflail       ST 11  SZ  -  WT  7  DF  5
Scimitar       ST  9  SZ  -  WT 11  DF 11  Warhammer      ST 13  SZ  -  WT  5  DF  7
Shortspear     ST  9  SZ  -  WT  7  DF  7  
Shortsword     ST  5  SZ  -  WT 11  DF  3       Total Parry  twelve weapons
     Parry-Riposte  six weapons            Battleaxe      ST 15  SZ  9  WT  9  DF  9
Epee           ST  7  SZ  -  WT 15  DF 15  Broadsword     ST 11  SZ  -  WT  9  DF  7
Longspear      ST 11  SZ  9  WT  5  DF  9  Epee           ST  7  SZ  -  WT 15  DF 15
Longsword      ST 11  SZ  -  WT 13  DF 11  Greatsword     ST 15  SZ  9  WT  9  DF 11
Scimitar       ST  9  SZ  -  WT 11  DF 11  Large shield   ST 11  SZ  7  WT  5  DF  5
Shortspear     ST  9  SZ  -  WT  7  DF  7  Longspear      ST 11  SZ  9  WT  5  DF  9
Shortsword     ST  5  SZ  -  WT 11  DF  3  Longsword      ST 11  SZ  -  WT 13  DF 11
                                           Medium shield  ST  9  SZ  -  WT  5  DF  5
     Parry-Striker  eleven weapons         Quarterstaff   ST 11  SZ  9  WT 11  DF 11
Battleaxe      ST 15  SZ  9  WT  9  DF  9  Scimitar       ST  9  SZ  -  WT 11  DF 11
Broadsword     ST 11  SZ  -  WT  9  DF  7  Shortsword     ST  5  SZ  -  WT 11  DF  3
Epee           ST  7  SZ  -  WT 15  DF 15  Small shield   ST  5  SZ  -  WT  5  DF  5
Greatsword     ST 15  SZ  9  WT  9  DF 11  
Longsword      ST 11  SZ  -  WT 13  DF 11       Wall of Steel  eight weapons
Quarterstaff   ST 11  SZ  9  WT 11  DF 11  Battleaxe      ST 15  SZ  9  WT  9  DF  9
Scimitar       ST  9  SZ  -  WT 11  DF 11  Broadsword     ST 11  SZ  -  WT  9  DF  7
Shortspear     ST  9  SZ  -  WT  7  DF  7  Greataxe       ST 13  SZ  5  WT  9  DF 11
Shortsword     ST  5  SZ  -  WT 11  DF  3  Greatsword     ST 15  SZ  9  WT  9  DF 11
Small shield   ST  5  SZ  -  WT  5  DF  5  Morningstar    ST 13  SZ  -  WT  7  DF 13
Warhammer      ST 13  SZ  -  WT  5  DF  7  Quarterstaff   ST 11  SZ  9  WT 11  DF 11
                                           Scimitar       ST  9  SZ  -  WT 11  DF 11
                                           Warflail       ST 11  SZ  -  WT  7  DF  5

Jorja
The Middle Way
DM 93 and elsewhere