DUELMASTERS NEWSLETTER

Date   : 10/04/2003    Duedate: 10/17/2003

NOBLISH ISLAND ARENA

DM-93    TURN-152

This Weeks Top Honors

THE DUELMASTER IS

TORANS ULRIK
MIDDLE WAY 9 (1344)
(93-7790) [4-0-0,40]

Chartered Recognition Leader   Unchartered Recognition Leader

POSITION IS EMPTY              TORANS ULRIK
                               MIDDLE WAY 9 (1344)
                               (93-7790) [4-0-0,40]

Popularity Leader              This Weeks Favorite

TORANS ULRIK                   THE WIDOW
MIDDLE WAY 9 (1344)            LEATHER CHICKS (1239)
(93-7790) [4-0-0,40]           (93-7179) [1-5-0,8]

THE CURRENT TOP TEAM

MIDDLE WAY 9 (1344)

          TEAMS ON THE MOVE            TOP CAREER HONORS
Team Name                  Point Gain  Chartered Team
1. SHADOW WARRIORS (1346)      69
2. LEATHER CHICKS (1239)       36      AVENGERS (287)
3. MIDDLE WAY 9 (1344)          1      Unchartered Team
4. THE BLACK GUARD (1299)       0
                                       SHADOW WARRIORS (1346)

The Top Teams

Career Win-Loss Record           W   L  K    %  Win-Loss Record Last 3 Turns    W  L K
 1/ 0*SHADOW WARRIORS (1346)     4   1  2 80.0   1/ 2*MIDDLE WAY 9 (1344)      10  5 0
 2/ 1*MIDDLE WAY 9 (1344)       12   8  0 60.0   2/ 0*LEATHER CHICKS (1239)     6  9 0
 3- 0*THE BLACK GUARD (1299)     5  11  1 31.3   3/ 0*SHADOW WARRIORS (1346)    4  1 2
 4/ 0*LEATHER CHICKS (1239)      9  21  0 30.0   4- 0*THE BLACK GUARD (1299)    0  4 0

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

                                    TEAM SPOTLIGHT

              + ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ The Lighthouse ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ +

                                  Profile of a Team
                                    Middle Way 7

     Instead of giving you the profile of a graduating warrior this week, I'm going
to show you what I started with and what I did to make the Middle Way 7.
     Warrior #1 I made a parry-riposte, as much because I like making rippers as
because I thought this was an "ideal" ripper.  (Hint, it is NOT an "ideal" ripper.)
     13 + 0 = 13  I left the ST at 13 because that's enough to use any ripper's
      5 + 0 =  5  weapon.  I didn't raise the CN, though an "ideal" ripper would have
     12 + 0 = 12  more, because I didn't have the points to spare.  I can raise this
     13 + 2 = 15  warrior's CN later, and in fact I did so on the first fight.  Why
      7 + 6 = 13  didn't I raise the WT to 17 or 19, as I could have done?  Again, I
     13 + 0 = 13  needed the points more elsewhere, and 15 is sufficient for any of
      7 + 6 = 13  the ripper's preferred weapons.  Learning with a 15 WT is fine,
also.  I raised WL to 13, the maximum allowable addition of points, because that is
THE most important stat.  Without a decent WL, you can't raise any of the other
stats, and 13 is marginal anyway.  If this warrior survives to graduation, it will go
into automatic retirement because of that low WL.  SP I left alone because that's
more than enough for any ripper to start with.  DF I raised by the maximum six points
because it's so useful for a) getting initial skills (this warrior was born with an
expert in riposte) and b) hitting on target and winning fights before the low CN
loses them.  This warrior is very frail--mostly the low CN, but incredibly quick
(relatively high SP and DF combined).  She can't carry much weight, but she does do
good damage.
     Warrior #2 I made a wall of steel, which may be my favorite style.  I added
      6 + 3 =  9  three to ST because I HATE warriors who do little damage.  Also,
     10 + 0 = 10  raising ST to 9 will allow this warrior to use the SC, one of my
     16 + 0 = 16  favorite weapons.  Nothing to CN, 10 is okay.  Not great, but okay.
     12 + 5 = 17  Five to WT, since I have the points to spend there, gives me 17,
      7 + 6 = 13  just about the ideal starting WT.  The full six to WL for the same
      6 + 0 =  6  reason as above--gotta get it as high as possible, and this is
     13 + 0 = 13  still just marginal for a long term warrior.  I left the SP at 6,
because I never know what to do with SP anyway.  And DF left at 13 because the points
were needed more urgently elsewhere, and 13 will give this warrior the SC, the wall
of steel's best weapon.  This warrior came out slightly uncoordinated (the low SP)
but at the same time quick on his feet.  He can trip faster than anyone you ever saw!
Again, can't carry much weight but does good damage.
     Warrior #3 I made another ripper.  Hey, I warned you I'm doing rippers right
      9 + 0 =  9  now!  It would probably have made a better lunger, but I didn't
      8 + 0 =  8  feel like making a lunger, and besides, the idea of a seven-foot
     20 + 0 = 20  tall ripper tickled my fancy.  I left ST untouched, as 9 will
     14 + 3 = 17  give this warrior the SC.  CN is acceptable, though low for a
      4 + 6 = 10  ripper.  Raised WT to 17, because WT is always useful to have; if
      4 + 1 =  5  I could have put the two extra points on WL, I'd have settled for
     11 + 4 = 15  a WT of 15, though.  Six points to WL for the same reason as above
--this team is cursed in the WILL department.  Oh, well, you work with what you've
got.  Four added to DF for starting skills and accuracy, and the final one point I
dropped on SP because it looked so desperately low.  This warrior came out with
"slightly uncoordinated" but is not listed as "slow and inactive," possibly thanks to
that extra point on SP.  At least, that's what I choose to tell myself.  This one
came out slightly uncoordinated but incredibly quick and active, can't carry much
weight but does great damage (the SZ).
     Warrior #4 has perhaps the best potential, in my view.  I made it a wall of
     11 + 0 = 11  steel (you're not surprised, are you?).  Left ST and CN alone;
      9 + 0 =  9  they're high enough to go with.  Raised WT to 15, which is a good,
     13 + 0 = 13  meaty WT.  Why not 16?  Because that wouldn't give me anything I
     10 + 5 = 15  can't get at 15, and save the extra point for use elsewhere.  WL to
     12 + 5 = 17  seventeen--gotta love it.  If this warrior survives, that 17 WL
      5 + 1 =  6  means long-term possibilities in the form of relatively easy stat
     10 + 3 = 13  raises later on.  One point on SP because I had it and that seemed
more useful than any other place I might put it.  Three to DF, because the extra
accuracy is always useful, though I could have stopped at 11 (the minimum needed to
use a SC) and put the other two points elsewhere.  If I had chosen to do that, they
would probably have gone to ST for more damage.  Slightly uncoordinated but active
and very quick on his feet, can't carry much weight but does good damage.  A familiar
pattern, eh?
     Warrior #5 is a total parry.  Somehow he just didn't look like anything else.
      4 + 5 =  9  Points to ST to reach my minimum preferred of nine, so that he will
     14 + 1 = 15  not be cursed with little damage.  After all, he MIGHT strike a
     16 + 0 = 16  blow some day.  Also, I wanted him to be able to stand up under his
      9 + 0 =  9  armor.  An extra point to CN, because total parries can always use
     12 + 5 = 17  more of that.  Nothing on WT, as skills are not important for him,
      9 + 0 =  9  and 9 isn't too bad... for a total parry.  Five to bring WL to 17;
      6 + 3 =  9  this is as important for a total parry as for any other style, and
maybe more so, since it affects endurance.  Left SP alone; he won't be moving much.
Three to DF to bring that up to 9 so that he can use some weapons other than the
shields.  I have a hard time thinking of shields as weapons, frankly.  Normal
intelligence--no statement as to how intelligent he is, but then again, no statement
that he is "very stupid" either.  A compromise I--and he--can live with.  He's got
good endurance and can take a lot of damage, thanks to CN, SZ, and WL.  Can't carry
much weight (the low ST) but does great damage (the high SZ).  I've already raised
his ST by one and plan to up it another point to 11, as I have chosen to arm him with
a longspear (they use 'em like quarterstaves for parrying and may, on rare occasions,
even attack with them); also, if I am reading the chart correctly, there are no
skills to be burned by stat trains from 9 to 11.
     You'll note that only one of them won its first fight.  This is not unusual, nor
is it distressing to me.  In fact, I like for them to lose their first fight, as it
teaches them a little humility!  But seriously, the first fight gives you a chance to
get the feel of the warrior and decide what adjustments to make to each one's
standard strategy.
     Number 1 was going 6-6-6 straight across, not fast enough to burn out early, not
slow enough to scum.  She got the first blow, which is good, but I don't expect her
to do it again; her opponent should probably be cranking up his Offensive Effort to
grab the first blow for himself.  She didn't start showing exhaustion statements, so
she can handle this speed, at least; it was damage (that low CN) that took her down.
     The second was going 8-6-6 and did NOT get the first blow, which was appropriate
considering his opponent's style.  He went down to damage, the wimp, before I could
tell if he could sustain this speed.
     The third, my seven-foot ripper, went 6-6-6 and had no trouble dealing with the
Persistent Beggar.  I really can't call that a test.
     The fourth was jumped, knocked down, went desperate, and quit, all in the space
of a few seconds.  He's going to get some teasing for that from his teammates!  He
was going 8-6-6, but there wasn't time to see how he liked that.
     The last one, the total parry, went down to damage, having made no attempt to
parry, dummy that he is.  I may set him the parry tactic in minute one.  He was going
6-6-6, for all the good it did him.  If he'd bothered to parry and hung on a little
longer, he could have had that fight, because his opponent was staggering with
exhaustion in the first minute.

Jorja
Middle Way 7

           +>]H[<+-----+>]H[+ Question of the Week #6 +]H[<+-----+>]H[<+

>From turn 412:

AK's Q.O.W. -- There's no single trick to keeping warriors alive. Constitution and
armor probably helps the most because it's more difficult for them to run out of hit
points and die in the infirmary, plus they don't go desperate as easy which is
usually when the death intent comment comes.  Warrior experience is a big help, but
it takes time to earn, of course.  Tourneys could help with this, but you can die
there too.  It may be at half chance, but you get so many....  It really comes down
to the death intent statement usually.  Skill, and toughness (including armor) help
to keep you from getting to that point, and once there, only warrior experience makes
a difference in reducing the chance of failing the survival role after that death
intent statement. -- Adie

AK's Q.O.W. #2 -- It takes a lot more than three master ratings once you get to the
middle ranks of ADM.  In the lower end, that could be enough.  But success is much
more attributed to the sum of the warriors' capabilities.  Are they tough?  Do they
have staying power/endurance?  Do they defend well, even with low skills?  Do they
have good rythyms?  Do they 'like' their rythyms?  How bout their favorite weapon?  
Is it good and do they love it or hate it?  Sometimes a warrior, for a reason not
easily definable, just wins.  Other super skilled ones can just lose regularly.  Of
course, each warrior may win at one level of the game, like basic and as freshmen,
but maybe lose like crazy higher up.  Godlings will commonly come into their own as
champions and freshmen.  The very rare few can win ALL the way.  Those warriors are a
true joy.... -- Adie

Another Q.O.W. -- Perhaps it is not the fact that your good roll-ups never get
blessed and the others do.  But it may be the fact, that you only get few great ones,
and it is EASY to remember them not getting gifted.  Kind of like that syndrome where
people find it easy to remember all the negative things in their life, but find it
difficult to point out the equal or more numerous good things.  However, if this is
not the case, keep those better gifted average roll-ups.  Especially those that can
win in basic.  You may find them winning in ADM later too, especially once they start
training stats.  Also, if you get enough great roll-ups, you will eventually get
gifted ones.  Remember, some styles find it easier to be more gifted. -- Adie

AK47 -- Let's see... <shuffling through paperwork>  It says here that the three
recently deceased warriors from my team had 'normal', 'a lot', and 'very frail' hit
points.  The 'very frail' one died in the infirmary, which is a little different.
The hit points, if you will, just determine how much damage can be sustained before
the warrior goes desperate/frantic/careless/you-name-it.  Once that happens, con
ceases to matter.  I've seen all types of warriors buy the farm, from 7 will to 21,
from no armor to APA/F.  You hit upon the most important point, winning as much as
possible, but beyond that it's all about luck.  Running in a friendly arena can help
the statistics of dying, but it doesn't mean any individual is safe and unkillable.
Tournies aren't that safe, in my opinion.  FEs are helpful, but I think they are just
a visible artifact of being a developed fighter.  A warrior with a lot of FEs but a
lousy learn rate probably isn't much more survivable just due to those FEs. -- Axly

AK47 -- Three masters sounds like a good rule of thumb, but that would vary depending
on what the warrior's physicals were like.  I might say two masters and two ad exes
for defensives, but I'm no expert on them. -- Axly

Hanibal, QoW -- I have no idea.  Some styles get gifted more than others, and in
certain areas.  If you want the best bonuses, run aimers! -- Axly

QOW / AK 47 -- I've found skills keep a warrior alive better than anything.  My best
learners have all lived.  Especially offensives who learn a lot of init and decise
quickly.  Swing first and keep swinging.  I'd take WL over CN for its skills.  I fear
mentioning this that it may jinx me, but I've never lost a warrior past about 10
fights.  Armor has helped me at times, but it robs warriors of much of their finesse.
If a good defensive warrior can live through about 5-10 fights and learn well
he/she/it should be well on the way to success. -- JRK

QOW / AK 47 -- I think it's an oversimplification to say three masters are needed in
AD. I also think it depends on the arena.  Andorak is very competitive right now.  I
have warriors with three advanced masters who can't seem to win much anymore.  As to
what the requirement is... I think it depends on a number of factors, where you are
in the rankings, what your favorites are, what you get in the way of challenges,
matchups and where your attributes fall.  Three masters and tremendous
damage/endurance would be much different from three masters and normal in both areas.
I'm not sure a good benchmark can be set.  But it is certainly and interesting
question. -- JRK

QOW -- Overall, I would lean toward saying the reverse is true as far as giftedness.
Most of my average warriors have come out very close to average, usually a little
above.  While many of my good warriors have been at least +3, often +5 or more.  On
my all star team of long ago (Maxwell Honorblade, Monica Virtueshield, Michael
Honorblade, Corina Honorblade, and Angela Silverblade) all of my warriors were gifted
(four of them by +3 or more, 3 by +5 or more), average or not.  I also tend to do
well in attack and poorly in init.  Giftedness seems to be a fickle thing, I suspect
this is because the RUGS are involved.  -- JRK
P.S.  I apologize if it seems I am bragging, but my record and I have never gotten
over the graduation of all those warriors.

Axly -- Damned if I know.  I found the style-linked starting points very curious.
Looks to me like there was an attempt to balance styles that resulted in drastic
imbalances! -- Leeta

Hanibal -- Once you've gotten the death-intent statement, only luck will keep you
alive.  The thing you need to do is avoid getting the death-intent statement.  No,
this is serious.  You can up a warrior's hit points in the design stage, by adding to
CN and, I think WL (but maybe ST), and having a large SZ helps.  Of course, if you
pile the points on there, he may be dumb and clumsy.  You can pile on the armor,
which will help keep him alive but may lose him fights unless he can scum; some
warriors are totally immobilized by armor.
     On a more positive note, if I have a warrior who is "very frail" that I really
don't want to die, I will use armor, and I will attempt to keep him alive by using
the "surrender in desperation" tactic.  No, no, it isn't a joke!  Honest!  Say I've
got a frail warrior, probably with normal or lower endurance.  I send that boy out
running hard, 10-10, even.  Sometimes, especially if he's smart and deft, he wins
right off.  But if he doesn't win right off, he rapidly becomes exhausted and quits.
I forget who it was who suggested this to me, years ago--Phido, maybe.  It doesn't
always work (nothing ALWAYS works), but it may help.  And I'd rather have good
warriors lose than die; if they stay alive long enough, they build up skills and
start winning. -- Leeta
P.S.  Yes, CN keeps you alive better than WL.  WL sometimes leads a low-CN warrior to
go on fighting a little too long.
P.P.S.  Yes, warriors who can take a lot of damage do die, sometimes, because some
warriors can dish out a lot of damage.
P.P.P.S.  The survival of low-CN high skill warriors is more a matter of strategy
than anything else.  And, obviously, if you don't lose, you don't die.
P.P.P.P.S.  Picking your arena does contribute to warrior survival, but it can be
tricky, since a warrior has, as a normal minimum, a year to go before graduation and
the character of an arena may change in the course of a year.  Andorian is not always
a guarantee of relative safety; you need to look at the actual managers present and
evaluate THEM for propensity to run killing styles and strategies.  In my opinion,
tourneys are of limited value in building up a warrior for the regular arena.  Sure,
the chance of dying is only half that in regular dueling, but the chance of learning
skills or training stats is also only half.  And that's what increased FE is about:
more skills, more stat trains.
P.P.P.P.P.S.  There is NO number of fights that will preserve you from being killed,
and if you fight equally experienced opponents who happen to be "headhunters," it
won't improve your chances much, either!  Pick your fights with care, challenge and
avoid every time.  The only absolute guarantee against death is a potion of
immortality (a tourney prize) or graduation.

AK47 -- It depends on the advanced arena you're fighting in.  And by "hold your own,"
do you mean have a 50% winning percentage, or rise rapidly through the ranks, or make
it to the top, or what?  I have run warriors in Lirin Kiv (ADM 107) from the day it
opened, and in that arena, no, you don't have to have three masters.  Oh, sure, it
HELPS, especially now that the arena has aged enough so that some of the foundation
warriors DO have those masters.  But it happens to be a small advanced arena fed by
small basic arenas, and while the competition among the fossils in the upper levels
is stiff, the lower levels aren't that bad.  Heck, even MY warriors win sometimes!
Or, try 101, Home Guard.  Yes, the current status lets in warriors who are
potentially good, but I doubt anyone there has three masters, and if they do, they're
probably on their way out. -- Leeta
P.S.  And no amount of innate ability on the part of a warrior can overcome for long
the effects of careless management.  Management may not be ALL, but it's at least
half.

Hanibal -- Regarding blessed warriors and great rollups, the law of averages says
everybody has a chance to be blessed.  But it takes a LOT of warriors for the law of
averages to operate visibly.  I have had great (in stats) warriors who were blessed
and the same who were cursed, ditto for average ones. -- Leeta

     >)]H[(< + -----:----- + >)] The Free Cities #69 [(< + -----:----- + >)]H[(<

Zukal:

     Ghenis watched the ship _Relentless_ ease out into the channel and brushed his
hands together.  It was bound for Niatoli to further certain interests of the dark
cult.  On it was Veleks, and Cousin Og, who would look after the small thief...one
way or another.  Which freed him to attend to other matters.
     First of those other matters was a meeting with Pelishtekan, the Ferencian who
was currently the 'chief priest' of the cult.  Ghenis scowled to hide his grimace of
disgust.  He didn't like the Ferencian.  In fact, he loathed the man.  But it wasn't
necessary to like him, not really.  As long as Pelishtekan did his job, nothing else
counted.
     And right now, the man's job was to explain what manner of creature, monster, or
whatever was hunting over the lands just north of Zukal.  And how the damned thing
could be fought and destroyed.  It was in the way of certain plans that he had made
for the benefit of the dark cult...and of himself, of course.  The dark power did not
expect his minions to work for nothing but the joy of it.
     Ghenis left the waterfront behind and wove his way through the twisted and
noisome alleys of one of Zukal's poorest districts.  The cult always had its centers
among the homes of the poor.  They were the ones who had something to gain from it,
and nothing to lose, from shaking up the old order, after all.  Ghenis smiled just a
little.  He liked shaking things up.
     The cult was headquartered in a tall narrow building squeezed between other tall
narrow buildings.  The cellar, which was dark and always damp and divided into tiny
rooms no more than six feet square, was used for...storage.  More or less.  The
ground floor, reached by going down half a dozen steps from street level, was the
shrine itself.  The level above that was where the main work of the cult was done,
the plotting and planning, the gathering of information, the good stuff.  Above that,
two floors of small rooms where members of the cult lived if they couldn't do better
for themselves.  And on the top floor, the pigeons that carried messages from points
as distant as Zuwayza and Murska in the north, Rocanis, Xochithlan, and even Tricorus
in the south.  Most people had no idea how far the cult reached.
     Which was another source of amusement to Ghenis.  The authorities here in Zukal,
the very heart of the cult, had no idea that it was anything more than a handful of
dissatisfied commoners meeting to worship some petty godling.  Ha!  If Bey Sekahos
knew how near he stood to the rim of disaster, how fast he was sliding down the slope
into hell--!  Even the Bandit Princes, who had a clearer understanding of their city,
didn't know that the cult was gaining power daily and would soon be ready to make its
move.  IF the monster north of the city could be dealt with.
     Ghenis pushed open the door and stepped toward Pelishtekan's office.

Near Malcorn:

     The finger of light slid across the surface of the tall stone and touched the
worn carvings, which leaped into sudden clarity.  The little clearing, which had been
empty except for Lord Malcorn and Tiljanz al Burgos, the young Karnhorn diplomat, 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?"
     "To demand that you enforce your side of the agreement we made, Dregur," the
lord of Malcorn replied.  If a great tree had spoken, its voice might have sounded
like that.
     "Our side?  What have we, the true and original lords of all the land between
the lakes, to 'enforce' at the command of an ephemeral like you?"
     "Do not play games with me.  A deal was made and sworn under just such a moon,
that the dregur would attack only those who entered this land at the command of the
Easterner Inzolas.  In return for this, you were released from the Silent Place."
     "And if we choose now to disregard that 'deal' you speak of?"  Idle inquiry.
     "The Silent Place is still there."
     "You think you could return us to that captivity?"  Scorn and amusement.  "You?"
     "If you do not keep your side of the agreement," now Malcorn's voice was like
iron, cold black iron, "I will return you to that captivity.  Me."  At that moment,
Tiljanz did not doubt that Blackie would do just that, whatever the cost to himself.
     "We did make an oath."  The voice was the same, but different.  A different
dregur speaking, Tiljanz thought.  "The oath is a binding already.  He could do it."
Warning, cool consideration.
     "Because a few of us have chosen to Hunt freely, as we used to?  Unfair!  This
land was OURS.  If we stretch out our hand to take it back, where is the injustice in
that?"  Passion.
     "The injustice is in the breaking of our oath.  The land itself will reject an
oathbreaker.  It has always been so."  Stern command.  "We must keep our part of the
bargain, or by our failure we release Lord Malcorn from his.  And he could then
return us to the Silent Place, if he is willing to pay the price."  A pause.  "And
you can see that he is so willing."
     Objection.  "Those who Hunt alone will not be called back to the kennel, even by
you."
     Unyielding command.  "Then I myself will lead a Hunt against them."

                                      SPY REPORT

     Greetings warriors!  It is I, Zontani Sharp Eyes, here to bring report of the 
clash and bustle of the weekly NOBLISH ISLAND games.  Former top team TYCRON'S MERCS 
was unseated this week as MIDDLE WAY 9 moved up from 2nd ranking to take the top spot 
with a 3-2-0 record for the round.  I could not but notice the fine record for SHADOW 
WARRIORS (4-1-2) after their first round of combat.  May the gods of war favor you in 
NOBLISH ISLAND!  SHADOW WALKER caught the eye of many in the gladiatorial commission 
as she skillfully bested EMBEZZLING SCRIBE and was awarded 21 points in recognition.  
In one of the week's more notable duels, WIDOWMAKER put down ROMOR SAITH, causing him 
to lose 13 points of recognition in the process.  This time victory fell to the grasp 
of the usurper.  All hail TORANS ULRIK, Duelmaster of NOBLISH ISLAND!  Would you 
believe that over half of the old women in NOBLISH ISLAND seem to feel that they 
could fight better than you gladiators?   
     But come now, let us look deeper into the maze of contention and crossed blades 
that is city NOBLISH ISLAND.   
     What warrior does not hone his years, impatiently waiting for the moment of his 
foe's mortality?  Fate is a fickle mistress.  She showers the miserable with fortune 
but sets enemies against the victorious.  Remember this!   
     The girls are as pretty in NOBLISH ISLAND as ever I remembered them....and the 
fighters as ugly!  Don't let your reputation slip!  Ahh, but I can hear the spires of 
a far off city calling to me.  I must away!  Till we meet again, remember:  a turtle 
walks slow, hides head in a shell, and harms no one; a lion runs to slay its prey.-- 
Zontani Sharp Eyes  

DUELMASTER                     W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 TORANS ULRIK 7790             4   0  0    40       MIDDLE WAY 9 (1344)

CHALLENGER INITIATES           W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 WIDOWMAKER 7180               3   3  0    32       LEATHER CHICKS (1239)

INITIATES                      W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 SHADOW KING 7800              1   0  1    21       SHADOW WARRIORS (1346)
 SHADOW WALKER 7797            1   0  1    21       SHADOW WARRIORS (1346)
 THE DOMINATRIX 7182           2   4  0    19       LEATHER CHICKS (1239)

INITIATES                      W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 THE MISTRESS 7181             2   4  0    19       LEATHER CHICKS (1239)
-ZULOK THE SHADOW 7508         3   1  1    17       THE BLACK GUARD (1299)
 SOUTHERN BELL 7559            1   4  0    16       LEATHER CHICKS (1239)
 NAEFAN ORDH 7787              3   1  0    14       MIDDLE WAY 9 (1344)
 SHADOW LORD 7799              1   0  0    13       SHADOW WARRIORS (1346)
 SHADOW MISTRESS 7798          1   0  0    13       SHADOW WARRIORS (1346)
 ROMOR SAITH 7789              3   1  0    10       MIDDLE WAY 9 (1344)
 THE WIDOW 7179                1   5  0     8       LEATHER CHICKS (1239)
 LOUIE MURH 7786               1   3  0     8       MIDDLE WAY 9 (1344)
-LEONIDAS 7507                 1   4  0     7       THE BLACK GUARD (1299)
-AMASTASIA 7506                1   3  0     6       THE BLACK GUARD (1299)
 PITRE QUIN 7788               1   3  0     6       MIDDLE WAY 9 (1344)
-NARYM 7505                    0   2  0     2       THE BLACK GUARD (1299)
 SHADOW QUEEN 7796             0   1  0     1       SHADOW WARRIORS (1346)
-BORLORIEN 7509                0   1  0     1       THE BLACK GUARD (1299)

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

THE DEAD               W  L K TEAM NAME             SLAIN BY             TURN Revenge?
EMBEZZLING SCRIBE 5    0  1 0   1                   SHADOW WALKER 7797    152 NONE    
EMBEZZLING SCRIBE 5    0  1 0   1                   SHADOW KING 7800      152 NONE    

                                     PERSONAL ADS

The Mistress -- (flirting desperately)  Excellent moves, fair lady.  I am impressed
with your, um, attributes. -- Torans Ulrik
P.S.  (worried look)  Did I say that correctly?  Flirting is not part of my basic
programming.
P.P.S.  Darn, my aim is awful.  I didn't ONCE hit my assigned target.  Are you using
the dodge tactic in desperation?  If not, you might try it.

The Dominatrix -- The thing is, you see, I can take it as well as dish it out.  Or
maybe you can't dish it out.  After all, you hit me several times and not ONCE did we
see that debated "extra damage" statement...until I hit you.  Also, you got tired too
fast.  Your style needs to pace itself more.  Slow down (maybe wear a little heavier
armor?) and try to hang on to win in the second minute instead of losing half way
through the first (in effect, when you first "appeared winded" and "struggled to hold
your fatigued arms at guard"). -- Romor Saith

Widowmaker -- (crossly)  If you want to make me a widow, you have to attack my
HUSBAND, not me.  Of course, I'm not married at the moment, but if you really, really
want to make me a widow, I'll go out and find some rich old man.... -- Louie Murh
P.S.  Excellent work on your part.

Leonidas -- I advise you to drop the off-hand shield, which you never once used.
Reducing the weight you're carrying MIGHT let you dodge my blows a little better.  I
don't know for sure, but it seems like it's worth trying, don't you think? -- Pitre
Quin
P.S.  At least I learned an attack skill.  I need lots of those.  I'm told that if I
get a bunch, I'll stop flailing around quite so much.

Zak -- If that's the only weapon you can use, train your strength.  Do it now. --
Naefan Ordh

Greetings and Well Come to Ichabod Frothingslosh, who has arrived to save you from
the horrors of my uncontested opinions.  He's an experienced player and his words are
good.  I may not agree with all of them, but that doesn't make either one of us
wrong. -- Jorja

Mae -- Regarding the lazy lunger, is her minute one offensive effort ten?  Is she
using the decise tactic?  Is she lightly or not at all armored (try jumping with
heavy armor!)?  Is she...fighting the wrong opponents?  One of the things that a good
manager does, eventually, is start saving up notes about her opponents.  Styles,
definitely, maybe preferred armor and weapons, anything you can deduce about the
opponent's fighting pattern.  Then you issue challenges based on that information and
who you think you have a reasonable chance to beat.  Maybe your lunger needs to be
attacking warriors who are consistently slow off the mark. -- Jorja
P.S.  I realize there isn't much selection here, but once you hit the mainland,
there'll be more opponents to pick from.

Mae -- Regarding Ichabod's advice to get a chart for weapons, stat requirements, and
styles, that does come around in this arena every ten turns.  Watch for it and hang
onto it.  I keep one beside my computer and consult it every time I have to design a
new warrior.  I just HATE it when I slip and make a warrior who cannot use well any
weapon at all, for reasons of insufficient stats and/or style unsuitability. -- Jorja

The Saint -- I think Elder Snorri MAY be active in 73, but he may also have changed
his manager name. -- Jorja

     Ah, that would be sneaky.... -- The Saint, keeper of lists

Comments on the articles--

Effects of Coordination by Jessie Jest.  Jessie is inactive in all arenas at this
time.  "Coordination has long been ruled to have no effect on a warrior"?  This is
news to me.  I've been playing steadily for the past ten years, and no one ever said
that to me.  This is one instance where the intuitive response ("Of course it
matters!") is the correct one.  So his point about the value of coordination is
valid.

Parry-Riposte, the Best of Both Worlds, by Lord Dauthstorm.  I think this manager is
currently inactive, and in any case, he's changed his name at least once since
writing this, which would make him hard to track down.  I don't happen to agree with
a lot he says, but that doesn't mean that either one of us is wrong.  I've said
somewhere, I think in this newsletter, that I've been doing a lot of rippers lately,
and the ones that succeed have been varied.  Of course, as I said in the previous
newsletter, I believe that the current small size of many arenas has had a strong
effect on what can be run successfully.
     A couple of specific points of difference: I would not make a ripper or any
other style with a ST of less than 9.  I've tried it and I didn't like it.  And on
the initial rollup, I wouldn't take any stat (except DF for an aimed blow) to 21.
These are personal biases, not hard-and-fast "thou shalt nots."

The Basic Ripper, by Cadmus.  So far as I know, he is currently inactive.  I've had
good advice from him about rippers in the past, which predisposes me to look with
favor on this article.

Stimpy's Thoughts on Total Parries, Part II, by Stimpy.  This manager is inactive, so
far as I know.  And no, you did not miss Part I, it has vanished into the past and
cannot be recovered.  Frankly, I don't like total parries.  I always fall asleep
during their fights.  So I can't give you a helpful opinion on this article.  I don't
know the style well enough.

More Advice for Beginners, by The Arcane Kid.  I thought he was active again, but I'm
not seeing his team listed in the most recent newsletter from Osksi, so maybe not.
He makes some excellent points, particularly in his recognition that a warrior may be
good at one level of play and not good at another, and that the warrior should be
designed with this in mind.

Favorite Weapons, by Abe.  He's inactive.  And since I have never crunched a number
for the purpose of discovering a warrior's favorite weapon, I can't say how effective
the system presented here would be.  My own interest is to find a weapon the warrior
is well suited to (choice made before he ever fights his first fight) and WINS with.

Whether it's his favorite or not is beside the point.  As Ichabod observed last time,
lots of warriors have war flail favorites, but you don't see many flails on the
sands.

9 September 2003
WE'RE LOOKING FOR A FEW GOOD MANAGERS!  If you think you have what it takes to match
wits and blades with some of the best managers in Alastari, then WE WANT YOU!  The
Tournament Of The Golden Scrod #4 will begin in Aradi (DM 60) the turn after the Fall
Mail-In.  It's not too late for you to sign up.  I realize that many of you may be
hesitant after seeing that myself and Hombre have teamed up again, but we'll try to
take it easy on you guys a little bit.  For more information on T#%S IV, please
contact me at ganolus@aol.com.  We're looking for a few good managers...the few, the
proud, the TOGS!

-- Ganolus Oakleaf, T#%S IV Commish

15 September 2003
An Announcement Concerning the Brotherhood of the Blade Alliance:
     I have chosen to withdraw my membership from the Brotherhood of the Blade
alliance.  The years I have spent in the alliance have been the best of my DM career.
I leave the alliance with many great friends and will always remain close to my
former brethren.
     The Brotherhood of the Blade will not skip a beat without my membership.  It
remains in very capable hands and its roster is among the strongest in the game.
With the return on some of its founding members to DM, I know the BOB will continue
to grow in strength and prestige in the years to come. -- The Sandman

29 September 2003
All -- Let it be known that the Firm accepts SOL into its ranks.  The Firm is:
SunGod, Dark Spirit, Youngblood, Tripwire, and SOL.

                                  LAST WEEK'S FIGHTS

SOUTHERN BELL was devastated by TORANS ULRIK in a 1 minute Challenge Title fight.
THE MISTRESS vanquished PERSISTANT BEGGAR in a 1 minute uneven battle.
THE DOMINATRIX demolished PITRE QUIN in a 1 minute uneven fight.
THE WIDOW was unbelievably bested by NAEFAN ORDH in a popular 3 minute gory contest.
WIDOWMAKER demolished ROMOR SAITH in a 1 minute mismatched competition.
LOUIE MURH slimly won victory over SHADOW QUEEN in a 4 minute brutal amateur's fight.
SHADOW WALKER butchered EMBEZZLING SCRIBE in a 1 minute one-sided competition.
SHADOW MISTRESS handily defeated MORDANT DESERTER in a 1 minute uneven melee.
SHADOW LORD vanquished CONVICTED THIEF in a 1 minute one-sided duel.
SHADOW KING slaughtered EMBEZZLING SCRIBE in a 1 minute gory one-sided duel.

                                    BATTLE REPORT

             MOST POPULAR                        RECORD DURING THE LAST 10 TURNS     
|FIGHTING STYLE               FIGHTS        FIGHTING STYLE     W -   L -  K   PERCENT|
|WALL OF STEEL                    4         PARRY-LUNGE       11 -   4 -  1      73  |
|LUNGING ATTACK                   3         BASHING ATTACK    13 -   6 -  1      68  |
|STRIKING ATTACK                  3         LUNGING ATTACK    27 -  15 -  1      64  |
|PARRY-RIPOSTE                    1         TOTAL PARRY       12 -   7 -  0      63  |
|SLASHING ATTACK                  1         PARRY-RIPOSTE     10 -   9 -  2      53  |
|TOTAL PARRY                      1         STRIKING ATTACK   11 -  12 -  1      48  |
|PARRY-STRIKE                     1         AIMED BLOW        10 -  15 -  0      40  |
|BASHING ATTACK                   1         SLASHING ATTACK    8 -  13 -  0      38  |
|AIMED BLOW                       0         WALL OF STEEL     13 -  25 -  0      34  |
|PARRY-LUNGE                      0         PARRY-STRIKE       4 -  11 -  0      27  |

Turn 152 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:

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

                               TOP WARRIOR OF EACH STYLE

FIGHTING STYLE   WARRIOR                     W   L  K PNTS TEAM NAME                  
LUNGING ATTACK   TORANS ULRIK 7790           4   0  0   40 MIDDLE WAY 9 (1344)
Note: Warriors have a winning record and are an Adept or Above.

The overall popularity leader is TORANS ULRIK 7790.  The most popular warrior this 
turn was THE WIDOW 7179.  The ten other most popular fighters were SHADOW QUEEN 7796, 
LOUIE MURH 7786, TORANS ULRIK 7790, THE DOMINATRIX 7182, WIDOWMAKER 7180, THE 
MISTRESS 7181, SHADOW MISTRESS 7798, SHADOW LORD 7799, SHADOW KING 7800, and NAEFAN 
ORDH 7787.

The least popular fighter this week was ROMOR SAITH 7789.  The other ten least 
popular fighters were PITRE QUIN 7788, SOUTHERN BELL 7559, SHADOW WALKER 7797, NAEFAN 
ORDH 7787, SHADOW KING 7800, SHADOW LORD 7799, SHADOW MISTRESS 7798, THE MISTRESS 
7181, WIDOWMAKER 7180, and THE DOMINATRIX 7182.

               NEW GRADUATES--FROM ALL ARENAS (INCLUDING CLOSED ARENAS)

     For those of you who keep track of such things, 18 additional warriors graduated 
from regular DM arenas (including closed arenas) since the last tournament:

                          CAFFEINE JUNKIE (3-6110) ADDICTED 
                        CATFISH HUNTER (5-3315) PARTY ANIMALS 
                          MATTAHOOPLE (16-4203) GIFTED GODS 
                         SWEET JANE (53-6535) THE DARK TEMPLE 
                              LIL NOIR (62-3311) ENIGMA 
                         NARCISSISTIC NUN (69-8644) ODD SQUAD 
                             LEGION '8' (71-2369) D.O.A. 
                       RAW SEX APPEAL (82-1331) WHY WE LOVE TUM 
                         ZOMBIE STOMP (82-2617) NO MORE TEARS 
                        VIOLENT VOLE (82-4565) MAMMAL MILITIA 
                         LADY OF THE MOON (82-5481) HARM NONE 
                      KAMIKAZI GNAT (82-6073) DEADLY ATTACKS II 
                      THE 13TH WARRIOR (82-6346) STOOPID MOVIES 
                              SIRTON (82-9190) I AM SUCK 
                            DUNE (82-10414) 4-LETTER EPICS 
                           FLEM (82-12614) 4-LETTER FLUIDS 
                     GREENHOUSE EFFECT (82-12996) GLOBAL WARMING 
                         UGLY (82-14501) 4-LETTER DESCRIPTION 

                                          -- Green Eyes 

                                 TRICKS OF THE TRADE

     Here are a few tricks of the trade I've found out.
     15, 17, and 21.  Those are the magic numbers for stats; any fighter who starts 
with a stat (except Con and Size) at any of those numbers will have more beginning 
skills than normal.
     Stats:  The stats in order of importance with regard to skills, most to least, 
are wit, will, deftness, speed, and strength, with con giving you no skills, just hit 
points and endurance.  The higher you can start any of these, especially the first 
three, the more skilled your fighter will be.  Logically, therefore, what you really 
want is a fighter who has wit, will, and deftness at 21.  This will be a GOD!  And 
probably go out and get killed immediately due to low con...
     Raising stats:  Care must be taken in doing this.  All fighters start out with 
the ability to learn 20 skills in the categories of  Defense, Parry, Riposte, Attack, 
Decisiveness, and Inititive.  When you learn all 120 skills, you've maxed out.  You 
can get skills though normal learns, or by raising stats; however, if you raise stats 
BEFORE you max out (except for Con), anything gained will count as one of the 20.  
This is called "burning" skills.  If, on the other hand, you wait until you've maxed 
out, then raising stats will add those skills to the ones you've learned, enabling you 
to exceed your limits.  But raising stats will give an immediate boost to your 
abilities.  It's a question of short term vs. long term gain, you see.
     And aiming at vital areas - head, chest, and abdomen - will increase your chances 
of getting kills.  And being bloodfeuded, and maybe getting your fighter killed in 
return.  Keep in mind that what you send forth will come back to you.  Sometimes 
redoubled.

					  Roku

                  Warrior Handedness, is he a Righty, Lefty or Ambi?

     Greetings, Joy and Happiness to everyone!!!!  I hope everyone that reads this 
article is doing well and remembering not to drink and duel.  This article discusses 
things about the handedness of a warrior.  Most managers only worry about things like 
skill, weapons and trains.  Handedness is not a major factor in playing the game but 
it's nice to know some things about it.
     Most warriors will be right handed, with a small percentage left handed.  Even 
more scarce is the ambidextrous warrior.  I believe that the defensive styles have a 
higher percentage chance to be a lefty or an AMBI than offensive styles do.  It's just 
an observation that I made in the 513 warriors surveyed.  Another note on that, I 
notice that out of 211 parry-ripostes that I was using for a PR article, about 43% of 
them were AMBIs.  The highest percent of AMBIs out of all the styles polled.
     When a manager puts weapons into his warriors hands and also when he tells his 
warrior where to strike, handedness plays a key role in the manager's decision making.  
I had a team with 4 AMBIs on it, and I started to do some experiments with them to see 
how the AMBI thing worked.  I noticed that in general the AMBI favors using the left 
hand more than the right hand.  But, there are a small percentage of AMBI warriors 
that are reversed, where the right hand is used more than the left.
     There also seems to be some confusion amongst managers that get the USE of a hand 
mixed up with which hand the weapons go in (IE which is primary and which is off-
hand).   Right handed warriors USE the RIGHT hand the most and the primary weapon is 
the RIGHT hand, off hand is the left hand.  For left-handed warriors, it is the 
opposite of right-handed warriors, of course.  The confusion comes with the AMBI 
handed warriors.  AMBIs USE the left hand more BUT the RIGHT hand holds the primary 
weapon, and the left hand holds the off hand weapon.   Every so often you will get an 
AMBI that this is reversed, where the RIGHT hand is USED more and the PRIMARY weapon 
is held in the LEFT hand.  But this kind of ambi is extremely rare.
     Well, that's it for now.  Have fun, and watch out for that right hook... 'cause 
it might be a left hook!!!!!
     For more DM info, or just to chat you can DIPLO me at ADM 103, THE JOKER'S WILD.  
You can also email me at 103260.3347@compuserve.com   or visit my DM web site at the 
following address: http://ourworld.compuserve.com./homepages/jessiejest/homepage.htm

Ta-Ta,
Sir Jessie Jest

                                  The Arcane Slasher

     I love the Slashing Style!  Slashers are finesse artists, but they're much more 
aggressive than your aimed-blow.  Well-designed slashers are formidable opponents; 
they are as ready to defend as to attack, though they prefer the latter.  Fate has 
been to kind to this style, perhaps too kind.  Even a badly-designed slasher may do 
well in basic, prompting many well-intentioned managers to promote questionable set-
ups as "the slasher ideal."  After reading another `Eureka!' article, I am compelled 
to add my 2 cents.  I've learned how to design great slashers, and I'd like to pass on 
my ideas to the rest of Alastari.  I can't tell you how to keep them alive (in four 
years I've only gotten one to ADM) but I can outline guidelines for creating a spooky 
character that will win for you--until they die or get to ADM.  Just remember that 
decent opportunities to make a slasher aren't very common!
     WT, WL, & DF--15 pts each at least.  Period.  If you don't have it, you don't 
have a great slasher.  Believe me, you can't afford to skimp anything here!
     ST--Anything from 7-11 is fine.  The smaller the character the higher the number, 
but anything with a +9 size can get by with a 7 ST.  For light armor use an epee, for 
anything heavier use a pair of hatchets, a scimitar, or a broadsword, depending on ST.
     CN & SP--Ideally, both are single-digit; if your con is high you're probably 
looking at a WASTE.  Whatever else you do, don't add them.
     SZ--Since this is something we can't change anyway, don't worry about it.  The 
bigger they are the less points to spread around to other areas, though.
     My slashers come up with the best overviews when I follow these guidelines.  Most 
earn at least four wit statements; about 50% either start out with an Expert or two, 
or they pick them up within a couple of skills.  One of my very best died in a 
tourney: 6-3-11-15-51-11-17.  He started out doing good damage; picked up Experts in 
att, init, def, and rip.  in two skills or less.  This is an extreme example, but it 
seems to me that the well-designed slasher gets more than their fair share of luck on 
their overview.  I've run one a lot worse that did fairly well--a winning record, 
until he was killed by a veteran lunger: 11-7-14-15-15-7-15, good bases in attack and 
init, four wit statements, great damage.
     Running them?
     Start out with an offensive effort of 10, and never let the OE drop below 7.  How 
quick you taper down depends on the endurance rating.  Slashers burn endurance very 
quickly; if you don't have good endurance drop right away from 10 to 7 and leave it 
there unless desperate, then go back to 10.  Otherwise try 10, then 9, then 7.  
Remember, these are aggressive beasts; keep 'em on the offensive!
     Keep the activity level fairly low except in the very beginning, when you should 
be running 10.  Then drop to 5 or 6, then 3 or 4m then 1.  Go back up to 7 or 10 in 
desperation.
     Match your kill desire to your offensive effort, always.
     Summary: 10-10-10, 9-5-9*, 7-3-7, 7-1-7 across.  Desperation: 10-10-10 or 10-7-
10.
     Avoid armor unless you MUST, but no higher than ARM and H.
     Don't use tactics--they seem to inhibit the slasher's ability to riposte and 
respond well to their opponent.  Exception:  to take out scum pick the heaviest weapon 
your character can lift and use the slash tactic--go for the legs or the arms: 7-1-7.  
Slash all the way!
     These `rules' have worked for me.  The biggest problem I've had is that my 
slashers rise too high too quickly.  Within five or six fights they're fighting 
warriors with 15 fights' experience.  So be forewarned; give them sometime off every 
few turns so that they won't get clobbered by some old-timer looking for an easy win!  
Good Luck!

                                   The Arcane Kid, of Astral Kin, Osksi DM-3

                                   *Remember, with `good' endurance only!

                                     "The Basher"

     My friends would laugh if they knew I was writing this, but who cares what they 
think?  The basher is not a bad style in my opinion.  It starts with the same base 
decisiveness as the striker, but has 4-5 more skills in initiative, and 3-4 more 
skills in att.  That's what makes this style so good.  I mean, you have the ability to 
get the jump on your opponent, you have the ability to hit your opponent, and who 
cares about their high riposte with your high att rating combined with your exp+ in 
initiative, they won't know what train hit them, much less think about the counter 
attack.

O.K.  I only make two types 1st the WL Basher:

#1      #2
12      13
10      11
10      9
21      16
15      15
9       13
7        7

Example #1--Currently 8-3-1 in Firehold (68) has Master+1 att, Master +1 init., and 
Adv.Exp. dec., and is already sitting pretty with 80 recognition points.

Example #2--Currently 8-3-0 in Jhans (36) has Exp.+3 att, Adv.Exp. init., and Exp+3 
dec. with 87 recognition points.

     O.K., the other kind I like to call it the "High damage, low will, needs to end 
the fight before he passes out with exhaustion" Basher.  This type of basher relies on 
his high damage capabilities to make up for his low WL.  I've not had the best of luck 
with these types of bashers, but I do know they can win (Warbeast has proved that to 
me).  The key is to get at least great damage on the roll-up.  O.K. some examples:

#1      #2      #3
11      13      17
11       9      12
16      17      10 
17      17      17
7       10      11
11      11      10
11       7       7

Example #1--I DA'ed, he didn't win
Example #2--Killed in round 1 of the winter FTF, went 4-3 in the Oct. Tournament, 
learned 6 skills 5 being Att.
Example #3-1-0 in Jhans(36)

     I run both styles ALE +L, WH light armor, mace medium armor, and WH heavy armor.  
Go 10-10-7 dec 1st minute, and after min 1, go 8-8-5.  WL basher, and the other kind 
drop down drastically.  Always aim for the head (it gets you an att bonus and could 
score you a kill every now and then) unless you know you're gonna be up against a TP 
or waste, then aim for a leg.  Well that's gonna be it.  Somebody write me and tell me 
what you think.

                                                       Uncle Charlie Mgr.
                                                       Genocide (68)
                                                       Helter Skelter (36, 100)

                              The Anti-Thesis Slasher

     Greetings all.  No, this is definitely not another "Perfect" article.  In fact, 
it actually is just the opposite--finding success with a warrior whose stats were just 
average.  I am not an expert at this game and do not have near the experience that 
some managers have.  What I do have is some now solid experience with Slashers thanks 
to this guy.  So what I will do with this article is show you how my first attempt at 
building a Slasher went, what it taught me, and maybe I can show a new or old manager 
something about the style that can help their game.
     This Slasher was my first attempt at the style.  His starting stats were average 
at 13-11-12-10-16-11-11.  Definitely no Primus-quality warrior.  By most people's 
standards, he wouldn't have even been thought of as an ADM warrior because of his low 
wit and will combo.  Today, I don't know if I would even keep this guy, but at the 
time I didn't know any better and kept him.  I'm glad I did because he turned out to 
be a good warrior, not great, but good and a fun one to watch.
     He had three statements to start:  "...learned how to be decisive and quick", 
"...conserve his endurance past what might normally be expected", and "does great 
damage".  The last statement I think helped him a lot in many of his fights.

Weapons and Armor

     Weapons-wise, all I knew about the Slashing style at the time was that a scimitar 
was good, so I gave him one.  He did well with it, so I kept using it.  I didn't use 
any off-hand weapon because I knew that an offensive-styled warrior could make quicker 
attacks with a weapon using two hands.  I gave him one back-up scimitar, knowing that 
scimitars break though not that often.
     Early on, I may have given him light armor and a helm, but later I discovered 
that if he didn't get the first hit, he almost had no hope of winning.  After all, the 
credo of an offensive warrior is to "hit first, hit hard" and hope it ends the fight 
quickly.  I also started to realize he would never be a "great" warrior.  My 
philosophy changed and I could only hope to get him to ADM.  So, I decided to use no 
armor or helm, which slows warriors down.

Strategy:

     Ah, the most important part of this warrior's winning ways.  Looking back at his 
early strategy, I wonder how he did so well.  I started him going 10-10-10, attack and 
protect the head with no tactics.  My desperation strategy was usually 10-10-5, which 
did nothing to help him.  I used the decisiveness tactic since his overview said he 
was decisive.
     Through observing his fights and looking at what he preferred, I ironed out a 
general strategy which I think is good for a lot of Slashers:

min.      1    2    3    4    5    6+   desp
OE        10   8    6    4    4    4    5
AL        10   4    2    2    2    2    8
KD        6    8    6    4    4    4    5
AL        RA   HE ----------------------->
PL        AM   BD ------------------->  HE

     Against more parry-type warriors like WOS and TP's, I've used a 10-6-6 min. One 
strategy that he seems to like.

Design and Trains:

     I started him off training skills only.  But I soon learned that his average 
stats meant that he wasn't going to learn very well.  I decided late to train skills, 
then stats, every other turn.  The training of his will to 17 really helped his 
endurance out.  He finally went to ADM at 15-11-12-12-17-12-11.  If I had recognized 
earlier that he would not be a great warrior, and accepted that, then I might have 
been about to train everything twice like in the "old" days and he would have gone at 
15-13-12-12-18-13-13.

Record:

     He started out great at 4-0-0, then was 8-4-1.  He hit a rut and was soon 9-7-1.  
He was mediocre in his middle fights but was above .500% at 14-12-2.  He was under 
.500% once at 14-15-2.  Near the end of his regular DM career, with some careful 
challenges and strategy changes, he went 5-0-0 and ended up 21-16-2.  He was 
Duelmaster for three turns in Cliffhome.

Final Notes:

     So, what's the purpose of all this?  It's to show that anyone can take a mediocre 
warrior and through careful strategy and design build them into a formidable warrior.  
I recognized long ago that this Slasher would never be great and accepted it.  That's 
what turned him into the warrior he is today.  I was willing to take the risks 
necessary to make him win.  His name is E.G.B.D.F.  (Every Good Boy Does Fine) and in 
this case his name is true.  I couldn't have asked more from him in his 
accomplishments.  He can be found fighting occasionally in Darkholm.  He's taught me 
an incredible amount about this style and has contributed to my 65% overall win-loss 
record with them.
     I'm open to feedback, positive or negative, and hope in some way that I've helped 
someone learn more about this style.
     So, good luck to all and may your swords ring true!

                                        Brought to you by Talon, mgr. of
                                   Eagles Claw (38,104), Farfignewtons (32)
                              where I'm known as Volksie, and other teams
                         throughout Alastari.