DUEL 2 NEWSLETTER

Date   : 07/10/2004    Duedate: 07/23/2004

NOBLISH ISLAND ARENA

DM-93    TURN-171

This Weeks Top Honors

THE DUELMASTER IS

JERNIG MARS
MIDDLE WAY 11 (1369)
(93-7930) [3-0-0,24]

Chartered Recognition Leader   Unchartered Recognition Leader

POSITION IS EMPTY              JERNIG MARS
                               MIDDLE WAY 11 (1369)
                               (93-7930) [3-0-0,24]

Popularity Leader              This Weeks Favorite

IDRIS LIN                      DARE
MIDDLE WAY 11 (1369)           CRIMSON DEATH (1348)
(93-7929) [2-1-0,7]            (93-7810) [2-0-1,15]

THE CURRENT TOP TEAM

MIDDLE WAY 11 (1369)

          TEAMS ON THE MOVE            TOP CAREER HONORS
Team Name                  Point Gain  Chartered Team
1. CRIMSON DEATH (1348)        23
2. MIDDLE WAY 11 (1369)         4      RAGE (388)
3. DOOM LEGION (1357)           0      Unchartered Team

                                       MIDDLE WAY 11 (1369)

The Top Teams

Career Win-Loss Record           W   L  K    %  Win-Loss Record Last 3 Turns    W  L K
 1/ 1*MIDDLE WAY 11 (1369)      12   3  0 80.0   1/ 1*MIDDLE WAY 11 (1369)     12  3 0
 2- 2*DOOM LEGION (1357)        23  18  3 56.1   2- 2*DOOM LEGION (1357)        4  5 1
 3/ 3*CRIMSON DEATH (1348)       3   9  1 25.0   3/ 3*CRIMSON DEATH (1348)      3  9 1

    '*'   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[+ Question of the Week #4 +]H[<+-----+>]H[<+

     The Question of the Week is posed in Aruak City (DM 11) by Hanibal, a manager
who is himself an alumnus of Noblish Island.  The answers are provided by other
managers in that arena.  Any manager here in Noblish who wishes to pose a question to
the more experienced managers of Aruak City, feel free to do so, either by sending in
a personal directed to DM 11 and identifying yourself as a manager from Noblish
seeking enlightenment, or by posting the question here, in which case I will be glad
to see that it reaches Aruak.
     Also, Hanibal sends you greetings and asks that we remind you that all arenas do
not have the same attitude and local conventions.  Aruak City is an Andorian arena
and subscribes to the doctrine of Honorable Play, meaning, no down-challenging except
from the throne or in bloodfeus, no deliberate attempts to kill the warriors of other
managers, and a general attitude of friendly respect toward the other members of the
arena.  It is, in fact, a fine arena, and one where you would all be welcome (though
there are plenty of others--just ask, and I'll be glad to tell you about my
favorites). -- Jorja

Question, turn 405:

All -- If I had a warrior blessed +4 in all areas, maxed out with all 25's would I
have a chance to beat the top warriors in Primus or Gateway?  RSI says you get better
as you gain FE.  Some of those warriors have 10 years of FE.  How could one ever
compete? -- Hanibal's Q.O.W.

Answers, turn 406:

Q.O.W. -- A warrior as you have described would definitely be a viable contender at
the top of Gateway!  Maybe even the best.  Experience, though helpful, is vastly
outweighed by raw skill.  Plus, a great set of favorites make's such a warrior much
better.  If worked properly, a warrior +4 in everything could possibly TC a couple of
times and use those prizes to make them better.  Young warriors are continually
making gains into being competitive with the top of Primus and Gateway.  It just
takes a lot of time.  Donatello and some older warriors used to be the very best, but
younger ones have upset the balance.  Nothing is set in stone. -- Adie
P.S.  Not that I've had much luck chipping at that stone.  It's very difficult when
you're a small manager.

Hanibal -- If that hypothetical warrior you speak of had one of the fighting styles
that were suited to high end competition, then it would be very competitive.  Let's
say you went whole-hog and made it a lunger.  Being bonused by four in every category
would make it one of the very best.  But it just doesn't happen!  Ask the Consortium
how many +24 warriors they've had.
     Total FEs have a slight, even marginal effect, on the outcome of fights.  Having
good favorites is more important, and the amount of tourney prizes used on a warrior
cannot be discounted either.  If you're trying to choose which tourney class to try
and TC, I would advise something lower than Primus or Gateway! -- Generalissimo
Puerco

Hannibal -- Regarding your question of the week:  Does their long experience make the
top warriors in Gateway unbeatable?  I have no personal experience with Gateway and
don't care to get any at this point, but a manager who IS in Gateway says, No, the
top warriors in Gateway are not unbeatable.  But the critical factors include not
only the warrior's abilities but those of the manager. -- Leeta

Not a question of the week, but something else you might find interesting.  Thank of
it as an alternative to all the "How to make a perfect whatever" articles.

Jorja -- In dm 12 Riztab you asked me what I'd do with a certain roll-up wich wasn't
too good: 12-16-12-3-9-12-6.
     IF I wanted to actually play this monstrosity of brilliance, then I would do so
only for a limited time it depends upon what I can challenge in the arena but let's
say there are a lot of poor endurance weaklings, and/or a lot of Scum TP's.  Then I
would run this guy until I didn't have a descent chance to get my challenges through.
There seems to me only one option for this guy: 17-16-12-3-13-12-11  Basher.  He has
a 50-50 chance to get tremendous damage capability.  If he only gets Great Damage
then DA him.  If he gets his Tremendous damage then what you do is challenge EVERY
scum TP you possibly can, and since they are scum TPs they are prime targets for
down-challenging. Its not like you are picking on them; they are scum.  This guy has
a 100% chance to get Good endurance.  I would ONLY run a 10 Kill-desire and try to
kill things, but perhaps multiple wins over the same warriors is beter than being
bloodfeuded by a warrior that can beat you.  I would ONLY run with the MAce.  You
could go ahead and use a HL or a ML for those TP's but at tremendous damage and a
MAce you shouldn't get any bounces, and plenty of massive damage statements.  Only
use a MODERATE OE with a 1 AL starting in minute 3.  USE BASH.  Minute 1 and 2 go
with a scum TP strategy but use response.  No armor of course.  Now for all other
match-ups you go out like the scum you are: APA+F MA+LG  (well-suited to the weapons
selected), and run a triple-10 trying to get the jump, desperation should mimick your
minute 1 strat.  Minute 2 onward just drop the AL to LOW and then to VERY LOW.
Physicals for this guy are: Good endurance, can sustain a Tremendous amount of
damage, can carry a Tremendous amount of weight, can do a Tremendous amount of
damage.  This kind of warrior is much more fun than a Scum TP.  He should beat any TP
as long as you follow my guidelines.  During random match-ups you will have some
definate good chances to kill those weaklings that can't do enough damage to get
through the plate and the hit-points.  If you don't want to kill then I advise not
droping your KD below a 6.  The problem is that although you can take a lot of hits
like a TP you can't parry any of them.  If you can't start swinging sometime in
Minute 2 then your chances to win are slim against those random offensive matchups. -
- Pagan

Question, turn 406:

All -- Does having a lot of initiative skills help to steal initiative or is it all
riposte skills?  Is there a difference between "seeking the counterstrike" and "tries
to steal the initiative" or is it the same thing, but a different statement. --
Q.O.W.

Answers, turn 407:

Hanibal -- QoW:  If two warriors are fighting and one has a great deal more init.
skills than the other, it is possible for the initiative in the fight to get taken
without a riposte.  It doesn't happen an awful lot, but it isn't shocking to see it
happen.  Ex: A friend had a basher that started AE init on the rollup.  His first
fight he matches against an aimed blow.  The aimed blow wins decise, hits him once in
the head, and without going desperate or anything, he just starts swinging and beats
the poor aimer just like that.  You probably know that aimers usually tend to lack
init skills, so in that case the difference in total init allowed the basher to just
steal it.  Even when ripostes are involved, init still plays a role.  If you've seen
a warrior repeatedly make riposte attempts, only to get attacked again, then its
because the defending warrior's init was insufficient to allow him to attack after
the riposte.  Alternatively, styles like plungers and wastes make fewer attempts to
riposte, but their attempts are usually successful because their init is so good.  Of
course, the strategy a particular warrior is using (as well as the strategy of his
opponent) is important in taking and maintaining the initiative too. -- Generalissimo
Puerco

Q.O.W. -- Those fancy terms that come after a parry or dodge are successful attempts
to potentially riposte.  Then, once you succeed at getting that fancy line (your
riposte vs. their init), you make another check (I think your init vs. your
opponent's init) to actually take the initiative from them.  This is usually the
easiest way to take the initiative from a warrior.  Each riposte line is a chance to
take it away.  An example is how some rippers with low init may attempt to riposte
off of every single attack, but they may only steal it after several tries.
     Sometimes, however, a warrior may actually just straight out steal the
initiative.  This occurs usually when the one doing the stealing has a very high
rating in init and the opponent's rating is low.  A good example includes when a
lunger gets hit by say an aimed blow, but the very next line is the lunger swinging
back.  No riposte what-so-ever!  This is much rarer.  This can also be a function of
what offensive effort and activity a warrior is running.  Warriors running more
slowly can often lose the initiative this way as they just give it up. -- Adie

Question, turn 407:

All -- Is there a difference in between an Expert and (AE).  It appears to me that
your (17, 18, 19th) skills don't seem to make a difference until you get that next
rating @ 20? -- Q.O.W.

Answer next turn, don't have the time to dig it out today! -- Jorja

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

                                 Profile of a Style
                                      Slashers

     This article is not the Last Word on Slashers.  But I've run a lot of them, and
I think I have something useful to say.  They were my default style when I was
learning the game; if I didn't know what else to do with a roll-up, I made it a
Slasher, armed it with a scimitar, and ran it 10-10-x until I figured out what I
should be doing instead.  Usually, "instead" meant lightening the armor and slowing
them down because they got tired too fast, activity level first, then if necessary,
offensive effort.  An amazing number of them survived and even graduated on this
strategy.
     I have the details of sixty-five immortal Slashers here, warriors who,
regardless of my managerial expertise or lack thereof, managed to survive to
graduation.  Some are very bad, but lucky.  A few are very good.  Most are ordinary
warriors of moderate ability, made from the kind of roll-ups that you see every day.
I'm not going to list all sixty-five of them, which is way too many for a practical
discussion, but think of them in the background, confirming or denying suggestions
and suppositions.

     Favorite weapons:  You will find that only those weapons which may show up as
favorites when a warrior graduates will be listed as "well-suited" in the fight
reports.  These favored weapons vary with style, and I assure you they have been
thoroughly researched by players over the years.
     The eight weapons suitable for use by Slashers, and the minimum stats required
to use them, are:
     Battleaxe      ST  15  WT   9  DF   9  \\  12 in sample
     Broadsword     ST  11  WT   9  DF   7  \\   7 in sample
     Epee           ST   7  WT  15  DF  15  \\   5 in sample
     Greataxe       ST  13  WT   9  DF  11  \\   8 in sample
     Hatchet        ST   5  WT   3  DF   7  \\   9 in sample
     Longsword      ST  11  WT  13  DF  11  \\   8 in sample
     Scimitar       ST   9  WT  11  DF  11  \\  10 in sample
     Shortsword     ST   5  WT  11  DF   3  \\   6 in sample
[Data courtesy of Pagan and other managers, for which I thank them.  Any errors are
my own.]
     The final number on each line is the total number of Slashers in my sample who
had the weapon in question as a favorite.  (Just as a warning on the unreliability of
statistics, the first twenty-two warriors on my Slasher list favored an axe of some
kind over a sword by 2 to 1.  But on the group of sixty-five, the proportions are
reversed!  Tricky things, numbers.)
     Study this chart, and resist the temptation to make a Slasher who doesn't have
the stats to use at least one of these weapons well.  I can tell you from bitter
experience that you do not want a warrior who is unsuited to every weapon in the book
by reason of either stat deficiencies or style preferences.  If you haven't done it
yet, then take my advice and avoid this pitfall; it is enormously frustrating.
     Weapons not listed on this chart are not suited to the slashing style.  Really,
we're not guessing--managers have tested this repeatedly, and arming a Slasher with,
say, a war hammer or a long spear will always, regardless of his stats, get the
result "uses this weapon in an unorthodox style" (meaning "badly").  You want to
avoid that.
     As you can see from the list above, a Slasher doesn't have just ONE important
stat where weapon choice is concerned.  Over all, strength, wit, and deftness are
equally important, but there is enough variation that a warrior deficient in one area
but not the others can find something to fight with.
     Below are two dozen immortal Slashers, three who favor each of the Slasher's
weapons, their relevant stats, and their favorite rhythms.
     Battleaxe
Damoreth       ST  13  WT  17  DF  11  H/VL
Kaltho         ST  10  WT  17  DF  13  VH/L
Robin          ST  10  WT  17  DF   7  M/M
Note that none of these three warriors has the minimum stats needed to use a
battleaxe to best advantage!  That's one of the little tricks the Commission plays on
us to make sure we don't find things too easy.  You'll see others below who lack some
critical stat needed for using their favorite weapon, also.
     Broadsword
The Kid        ST  13  WT  11  DF  11  H/L
Elin           ST  19  WT  11  DF  17  H/VL
Gilis          ST   9  WT  17  DF  11  H/VL
     Epee
Billie         ST  12  WT  12  DF   9  H/VL
Anlis          ST  11  WT  15  DF  13  VH/L
Kyra           ST   9  WT  11  DF  17  M/VL
     Greataxe
Kothland       ST  10  WT  15  DF   9  H/VL
Jane Erh       ST   9  WT  15  DF  15  M/VL
Ginger         ST   9  WT  11  DF  11  H/VL
     Hatchet
Kirmo          ST   9  WT  15  DF  13  H/VL
Treefrog       ST  10  WT  13  DF   9  H/L
Medio Curr     ST   9  WT  11  DF  13  H/L
     Longsword
Goff           ST   9  WT  11  DF   9  H/VL
Tumbleweed     ST  11  WT  13  DF   9  H/L
Nelinaria      ST  12  WT  17  DF  13  H/L
     Scimitar
Horace         ST  13  WT  11  DF  13  VH/VL
Wolf           ST   9  WT  15  DF  13  H/VL
Geladina       ST   9  WT  15  DF  12  M/VL
     Shortsword
Rover          ST  13  WT   9  DF  11  VH/VL
Riya           ST  10  WT  15  DF   9  VH/VL
Hammir         ST   9  WT  15  DF  13  VH/L
     My habit of giving any Slasher with the necessary stats a scimitar to wield
means that a lot of these warriors never ran their favorite weapon.  But they
survived anyway, because the scimitar is so GOOD.  I really like arming Slashers (and
many other styles) with scimitars, and I highly recommend it.  Just one scimitar in
hand, off-hand empty, and a back-up on the belt.  A warrior who does NOT have the
stats for a scimitar (hard to imagine, given my basic design philosophy) is not
trained as a Slasher.

     Which brings us to the question of warrior design.  With me, if I'm determined
that a warrior shall be a Slasher, the basic design decisions are already made: a
Slasher must be able to use a scimitar.  Okay, not always.  Seven of the twenty-four
warriors listed above lack the deftness for a scimitar, which means I probably sent
them out with a shortsword or a hatchet.  But "able to use a scimitar" is still my
basic Slasher criterion.  If there are points left over after arranging that, I put
'em on will.  And if will is 11 or better, I MIGHT put some points on speed, just to
see what happens.
     You will note that I don't figure any points to be added to CN.  True, a Slasher
burns endurance rapidly and may get tired in less than a minute if running hard.  But
Slashers are offensive warriors.  They aren't out there for a long fight; their style
wins quickly by attacking, or quits and fights another day.  For the same reason, I
am unlikely to put a Slasher in anything heavier than leather armor.  (The "quits to
fight another day" strategy has offensive effort and kill desire both dropped to
moderate or lower in desperation.)

     Favorite rhythm:  As I said at the beginning, when I started playing, I used to
run my Slashers 10-10-x, and many of them did well enough to graduate under that
regimen.  But looking at the favorites from my graduated Slashers, I find no
offensive effort lower than Moderate (5 or 6) and no activity level higher than
moderate.  It breaks down this way:
     Very High (9-10)/Moderate (5-6):  2
     Very High (9-10)/Low (4-5):       6
     Very High (9-10)/Very Low (1-2):  8
     High (7-8)/Moderate (5-6):        1
     High (7-8)/Low (3-4):            10
     High (7-8)/Very Low (1-2):       21
     Moderate (5-6)/Moderate (5-6):    4
     Moderate (5-6)/Low (3-4):         6
     Moderate (5-6)/Very Low (1-2)     7
This gives you a clear idea of how the Gladiatorial Commission sees Slashers:
offensive.  In all but four out of sixty-five cases, offensive effort is higher than
activity level, and sometimes--often--it's a lot higher.  This is not to say that you
will always want to run your Slasher hard and fast, which will burn his endurance at
a furious rate, but this is what he does best.
     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 have a
favorite attack location.  Logical arguments based on real-life concepts do not
necessarily apply to Duelmasters.  There IS evidence to support the claim that
increased deftness means a better chance of hitting the designated attack location,
in case you wondered about that.  And even without training DF to a higher number, a
warrior appears to gain accuracy with experience and an increase in skills.

     Favorite Tactics:  In my sample of sixty-five warriors, only four have a
favorite tactic, and in all four cases that favorite is the offensive tactic Slash.
This is not to say that your warrior can't use any other tactic to advantage, because
maybe he can.  Well, okay, I wouldn't give him a Bash tactic, and probably not a
Lunge, either....  But apparently the only tactic he really likes is Slash.

Jorja
The Middle Way

       >)]H[(< + -----:----- + >)] Getting the Jump [(< + -----:----- + >)]H[(<

     One of the most common questions that new players ask is what they can do to
defeat a certain warrior from another team who always attacks first and beats their
own warrior before he can get an attack in.  Attacking first in a fight is called
"jumping" your opponent, and it decides the victor in a majority of fights between
two offensive warriors.  By offensive, I mean Strikers, Bashers, Lungers, Slashers,
and Aimed Blows, although any style can be run offensively.
     In this article, I will teach some of the more common things you can do to make
your warrior get the jump.

Part 1, the setup:  To design a fast warrior, you must take into account Decisiveness
skills.  Decise is gained from only three statistics: Wit, Will, and Speed.  Of these
three, Speed is the only stat that has a large number of Decise skills in it.  So if
you design a rollup with a high Speed stat and/or a high Wit and Will, it will be
fast.
     Styles are also an important consideration.  Strikers, Bashers, and Aimed Blows
start with more Decise skills than any other style.  Slashers and Lungers have
slightly less, followed by Parry-Strike, Parry-Lunge, and Wall of Steel.  Total
Parries and Parry-Ripostes have very low starting Decise scores.
     Each style also learns Decise skills at different speeds.  Strikers learn Decise
the fastest. Parry-Strikes also learn it quickly, and Bashers learn it reasonably
well.  The other styles fall into the "don't count on learning it unless it's your
favorite learn" category.

Part 2, the strategy:  What you put on your strategy sheet drastically affects your
chances of getting the jump.
     Offensive effort:  As high as possible (10).  The more your warrior tries to
attack, the more likely he is to take the first opportunity offered him.
     Activity level:  As high as possible (10).  The more your warrior moves around,
the more chances he will see to attack.
     Note that running at these levels will tire your warrior out very quickly, and
your warrior may not fight at his best.  Most styles prefer a much lower activity
level as their "favorite".  But this article is about getting the jump, not fighting
efficiently.  :)
     Kill Desire:  Kill desire is one of the most intangible factors in Duelmasters,
but one of the common theories is that each number of KD corresponds to a certain
skill, maximizing that skill.  Seven is supposed to be the magic number for
Decisiveness.  Try it and see if it works for you.
     Tactics:  Obviously, the Decisiveness (D) tactic increases your Decise.  Other
tactics may increase your Decise, like the Bash tactic, but they don't increase it as
much as Decisiveness does.
     Armor:  None.  Nada.  Zilch.  Armor weighs you down.  Even if you have the
ability to carry a large load, you will still be faster running naked.  Of course,
you will take much more damage if you get hit, so you'd better make sure you can put
your opponent down before he hits you back.  With this strategy, you either win big
or you die.
     Faster weapons:  Lighter weapons are faster than heavier ones, but there are
certain weapons that are considered to be "faster" in general.  Warhammer and Hatchet
are some of the best.  Dagger and Bare Fist (FI) are probably the fastest, but
fighting bare-handed is dangerous.

So you've designed your warrior, probably a Striker or Basher with a good speed, wit,
and will.  You're running him 10-10-7 Decise with no armor and a Warhammer.  And that
same enemy warrior *still* outjumps you.  If that's the case, he's probably running a
similar strategy and just has more Decise skills than you.  So you have one more
trick up your sleeve:  the Responsiveness tactic ('S' in the defensive tactics
section).  If your opponent is using Decise and you use Response, you will probably
win.  If your opponent is not using Decise, you will probably lose.  It's like a
rock-scissors-paper relationship:
     Decise beats no tactic; no tactic beats Response; Response beats Decise.

There are some other minor factors in getting the jump that are beyond the scope of
this article.  Hopefully this will give you a better idea of how the warrior who
attacks first in a fight gets chosen.

Captain K., manager of Men of the Sea in DM 12 and assorted others

     >)]H[(< + -----:----- + >)] The Free Cities #81 [(< + -----:----- + >)]H[(<

Near Barikala:

     The heavy bell-tone sounded again, and this time the wave-front came with a
light that was brighter than sunlight and sharper than needles.  Artemisia felt that
she was being raked over with a curry-comb.  It didn't feel bad, exactly, but if it
had been a little more forceful....  The tentacle holding her did not fare so well:
its flesh was ripped by the comb-teeth of sound and light.  A dark fluid that must
have been its blood splattered on the deck.
     The tilting deck.  There are just so many assaults of sound-light that any
wooden ship could take, and _The Golden Moon_ had taken them.
     Artemisia rolled free of the tentacle that had been pinning her down and looked
around, assessing options.  The tentacles seemed to be out of the fight, at least for
now.  The zombies, too--the bell's attack had shattered their flimsy bodies.  The
ship was coming apart around her.  But what about her crew?  The few men she could
see were dead.  They couldn't all have died but her, could they?  It certainly looked
like that was what had happened.  Maybe it was the Isle spells that had accompanied
her oath to the Greywand that had preserved her.
     Which didn't answer the immediate question:  What to do?  If she stayed with the
ship, no spell of physical toughness would preserve her from the possibility of being
crushed by a falling mast or the like.  And if she dived overboard...was the tentacle
thing killed or just injured?  But gladiators didn't make it to the Isle through
being indecisive.
     She sheathed her cutlass, gathered her limbs under her, and dived, cutting the
water cleanly and stroking away from the ship and toward the dark hump of Barikala
island.  They said that no one ever came back from Barikala these days, but she would
deal with that problem later.  She could feel turbulence in the water below her and
guessed that it might be more tentacles, and whatever it was they sprouted from.
Well, nothing she could do about it right this minute, but she vowed that if she
survived this, she would encourage the eating of giant octopus.  Or squid, as the
case might be.
     Her fingers grazed rock and something grasped her wrist.  She looked up, gasping
for breath and already twisting to reach her cutlass.
     There was a man kneeling on the rock and pulling her upwards.  An ordinary man.
The most beautiful sight she'd seen in hours.  She allowed him to help her onto the
rock, which she saw was part of the shoreline of the island.
     "I'm surprised you survived," the man said.  "And glad, of course, we see so few
new faces here!  My name's Eddystone, by the way--graduated from the arena here and
didn't get off-island fast enough."
     Artemisia gave up trying to wring water out of her hair and clothes.  "I'm a
Lady Protector myself," she admitted.  "What's going on here?  The zombies, the
tentacles, the bell...?"
     "Ah, well, it's a longish story," Eddystone muttered.  He squinted out across
the water.  "But I guess you're the only survivor on my section of the coast, so we
might as well head back to the Hall."
     "And you can tell me this long story on the way," Artemisia suggested firmly.
"Start with the short version, and we can go into detail later."
     "Yes, well...hmm.  I guess it began with the Invasion, or around the same time--
I don't know if they were connected.  But the Duke says that's when the Light-Keepers
started having trouble with--  Er, you HAVE heard of the TRUE Barikala Light, haven't
you?"
     Artemisia glanced inland toward the pillar of light that was visible over the
island every night and on cloudy days.  "Even if I hadn't heard of it then, I have
since."
     "Well, the Light-Keepers started having trouble with the, uh, controls on it, I
guess you'd say.  Most of us didn't know a thing about it then, of course, but we've
all--everyone on Barikala--become, uh, well-informed, I guess you could say, since
then.  The Light got loose.  At least to the extent you see now.  Don't even ask what
happened to the Keepers on duty when that happened!  The Light isn't, well, Evil or
anything like that, but when it's loose, it strains things.  The fabric of the
Multiverse and so on.  Like having a lot of little temporary Gates around the place.
Well, the Duke's no fool, you know.  There were procedures.  Close off the island to
local traffic.  The power of the Light can be tapped, and it was used to set up a
Barrier.  Things can get in, but not out.  Because all these little Gates were
leaking...monsters.  Like the one you fought, we've had several of that type.  They
come from a place called, uh, Miskatonia or something like that.  Not always inside
the Barrier, but since the monsters are all drawn to the power of the Light, they all
come in, sooner or later.  And we kill them as fast as we can."  Eddystone grimaced.
"It isn't easy!  We kill monsters, but there are always more coming, and OUR
population is dropping, because since the Barrier went up and people realized that no
one was LEAVING Barikala, we haven't gotten people to replace the ones that die."
     "Sounds like what you need to do is close the Gates," Artemisia said.
     "That's easy to SAY," Eddystone agreed, "and we do when we can, although we're
running out of magicians.  But for every Gate we close, it seems like two more open.
It's the Light that makes all these Gates POSSIBLE, so what we NEED to do is get the
Light back under control.  And that isn't something anyone seems to know how to do."
     "Then we'd better find out," Artemisia said.

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

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

                                     Duelmasters
                                     -----------
 DM   9 ZUKAL (turn 495): INSOMNIAC of DSM4 (The Sandman, mgr.)
 DM  12 RIZTAB (turn 493): RIFT of SPIRITUAL GIFT (Sultan, mgr.)
 DM  15 MALCORN (turn 489): RUTHLESS of TRIPLE CROWN (Sultan, mgr.)
 DM  16 WILLAF (turn 489): SLOTHIS of MINOTAURS (?, mgr.)
 DM  17 ALJAFIR (turn 487): KARO LEE of MIDDLE WAY (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  19 ZUWAYZA (turn 486): ADARA AL ZAHRA of JAGUAR WARRIORS (Noachian, mgr.)
 DM  28 MORYA (turn 243): CIARAN POWER of 50TH MILK RAS (Dr. Mabuse, mgr.)
 DM  29 LAPUR (turn 478): COOKIE of CROC FILES (THawk, mgr.)
 DM  31 CHIMLEVTAL (turn 241): LUCKY 7 of NUMBERS GAME (Destitute Noble, mgr.)
 DM  32 ARVAT (turn 475): STYLISH of SARATOGA GLORY (The Trainer, mgr.)
 DM  33 NIATOLI ISLAND (turn 473): LUCKY LADY HAMMER of CASINO HAMMERZ (Hammer, mgr.)
 DM  35 MURSKA (turn 466): TOM THUMB of THE BEARS (Papa Bear, mgr.)
 DM  43 VEASTIAN (turn 429): MISERY of HELL'S PAWNS (Harbinger, mgr.)
 DM  45 STORMCROWE (turn 218): MARILYN of DARQUE FORCES (Master Darque, mgr.)
 DM  47 NORTH FORK (turn 212): HONEY BEAR of THE BEAR'S PAW (Kat, mgr.)
 DM  50 SNOWBOUND (turn 199): MAEGOLOS of DARK SIDHE (Daehir, mgr.)
 DM  56 ROCANIS (turn 354): BROKEN TOE of REDHORSE (Mila, mgr.)
 DM  61 JURINE (turn 334): TAIL IN THE AIR of ARENA FELINES (Garfield, mgr.)
 DM  73 ERINIKA (turn 148): RED HOT CHILE PAPA of WORLDWIDE GORE (Crip, mgr.)
ADM 103 FREE BLADES (turn 379): WOUNDWORT of DARKMOON from RIZTAB (Bobby Bigfoot)

                                      Top Teams
                                      ---------
 DM   9 ZUKAL (turn 495): BLUE MOON (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  12 RIZTAB (turn 493): HIGH JINKS (Jondeaux, mgr.)
 DM  15 MALCORN (turn 489): GREENWARDENS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  16 WILLAF (turn 489): LUST MUPPETS (Ebenezer Frothingslosh, mgr.)
 DM  17 ALJAFIR (turn 487): THE HORDE (?, mgr.)
 DM  19 ZUWAYZA (turn 486): CURTAIN CALL (?, mgr.)
 DM  28 MORYA (turn 243): BAD GERMS (Assurnasirbanipal, mgr.)
 DM  29 LAPUR (turn 478): SHREW CAN IT BE NOW (The Anarchist, mgr.)
 DM  31 CHIMLEVTAL (turn 241): OVERLORDS (The Icelord, mgr.)
 DM  32 ARVAT (turn 475): SARATOGA GLORY (The Trainer, mgr.)
 DM  33 NIATOLI ISLAND (turn 473): FOOD FIGHT (Ebenezer Frothingslosh, mgr.)
 DM  35 MURSKA (turn 466): THE BEARS (Papa Bear, mgr.)
 DM  43 VEASTIAN (turn 429): WIDOWMAKERS (Soultender, mgr.)
 DM  45 STORMCROWE (turn 218): DARQUE FORCES (Master Darque, mgr.)
 DM  47 NORTH FORK (turn 212): ROYAL FLUSH (Crip, mgr.)
 DM  50 SNOWBOUND (turn 199): DARK SIDHE (Daehir, mgr.)
 DM  56 ROCANIS (turn 354): BAD APPLES (Uncle Wolf, mgr.)
 DM  61 JURINE (turn 334): FAVORITE GUYS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  73 ERINIKA (turn 148): DEMONIC (?, mgr.)
ADM 103 FREE BLADES (turn 379): DARKENED PRIDE, etc. (

                                   Recent Graduates
                                  -----------------
 DM  12 RIZTAB (turn 493): RIFT of SPIRITUAL GIFT (Sultan, mgr.)
 DM  28 MORYA (turn 243): CIARAN POWER of 50TH MILK RAS (Dr. Mabuse, mgr.)
                          STUPID SMILEY of IDIOTIC ICCERS (THawk, mgr.)
              (turn 242): TERRIBLE TOTOMAC of IDIOTIC ICCERS (THawk, mgr.)
 DM  31 CHIMLEVTAL (turn 241): DIXIE SCUM of LOONY TOONS (Rascally Rabbit, mgr.)
                   (turn 240): LAPHROAIG of SINGLE MALTS (Berylstar, mgr.)
                               TIGBASA of STORMWATCH (Polar Bear, mgr.)
                               SIR PELLEAS of WILLBENDERS (Abraxis, mgr.)
                               STIGMA OF STUPID of UNFIT TO BE ORCS (Slugbait, mgr.)
 DM  43 VEASTIAN (turn 429): MISERY of HELL'S PAWNS (Harbinger, mgr.)
                             PREDNIZONE of MEDS (Berylstar, mgr.)
                 (turn 428): PENICILLEN of MEDS (Berylstar, mgr.)
 DM  45 STORMCROWE (turn 218): SUNFLASH of NORTHERN LIGHTS (Jorja, mgr.)
                   (turn 217): SCORPIUS of KNIGHT BREED (The Omnimancer, mgr.)
 DM  47 NORTH FORK (turn 212): HONEY BEAR of THE BEAR'S PAW (Kat, mgr.)
 DM  50 SNOWBOUND (turn 199): MAEGOLOS of DARK SIDHE (Daehir, mgr.)

                                      SPY REPORT

     I can't believe the violence in NOBLISH ISLAND!  I still haven't told Mom I'm 
writing Spyreports.  She'd have a cow!  Well, here we go...  MVP award for DEBARROWS? 
CRIMSON DEATH's proud of him after beating IDRIS LIN and getting 14 points.  Talk 
about yer major upsets!  IDRIS LIN's match with DEBARROWS cost her a loss of 11 
points!  What a putz!  POISON SUMAC fights so hard to be Duelmaster, then quits 
fighting and loses the title.  No one said she was a genius...  Was that a tear I saw 
in JERNIG MARS' eye, as he took over Duelmastership?  And wasn't NEWLIN fit to be 
tied!  Is the Duelmaster really being a real snob to his teammates?  Don't ask me!   
     I gotta admit I haven't been in "deep con caves" with any spies.  Really, I just 
wing this stuff.  Like, is JERNIG MARS popular, or what?  He was challenged the most 
in all of NOBLISH ISLAND!  He's got a 3-0-0, is that good?   
     Man, all these warriors dying and killing each other!  Don't you guys ever give 
it a break?  Hey you guys, don't you think your families would like to hear from you? 
Write!  (Or have someone write for you.)  
     Remember, blood on a purple robe may stain.  Soak it in cold water, and hand 
wash.  I gotta leave.  NOBLISH ISLAND is like such a dump, and you guys smell too 
much!  Its been really albendranius!  Later, guys-- Debby Tonte  

DUELMASTER                     W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 JERNIG MARS 7930              3   0  0    24       MIDDLE WAY 11 (1369)

CHALLENGER ADEPTS              W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
-POISON SUMAC 7855             5   4  1    63       DOOM LEGION (1357)

ADEPTS                         W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
-BROPHY 7856                   6   3  0    45       DOOM LEGION (1357)
-RAGNAROK 7853                 6   3  0    43       DOOM LEGION (1357)

INITIATES                      W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 GEROGE JIM 7927               3   0  0    23       MIDDLE WAY 11 (1369)
-GRATCH 7903                   3   3  1    21       DOOM LEGION (1357)
 FEORDIS INK 7926              3   0  0    19       MIDDLE WAY 11 (1369)
 DEBARROWS 7809                1   2  0    16       CRIMSON DEATH (1348)
 DARE 7810                     2   0  1    15       CRIMSON DEATH (1348)
 IDRIS LIN 7929                2   1  0     7       MIDDLE WAY 11 (1369)
 NEWLIN 7811                   0   3  0     3       CRIMSON DEATH (1348)
 GLINDORA 7807                 0   2  0     2       CRIMSON DEATH (1348)
 DULGIN 7808                   0   2  0     2       CRIMSON DEATH (1348)

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

THE DEAD               W  L K TEAM NAME             SLAIN BY             TURN Revenge?
HACKER KLUTZ 7928      1  2 0 MIDDLE WAY 11 1369    DARE 7810             171         

                                     PERSONAL ADS

Verol -- Got your diplo, and I'd be glad to help, or to put you in touch with someone
who can, if I can't.  But you have to ask me specific questions.  One thing I would
advise, though, is save your Noblish Island newsletters.  They have enough in the way
of articles and helpful hints to constitute a handbook in themselves. -- Jorja

Dulgin -- Good try, but here's a thought.  Try a hatchet in both hands.  It might not
work, but if it DOES, you can go to town on the slicing and dicing. -- Idris Lin
P.S.  Jorja usually doesn't recommend weapons in both hands, but she makes an
exception for the two-hatchet approach.  Something about a graduated warrior she has
with hatchet favorite.
P.P.S.  Why did you let me get the jump on you?

Debarrows -- Ooooh, your manager hates you, right?  That's one of the trickiest
styles.
     My advice would be, drop the off-hand weapon, or if you have to carry something,
get a small shield.  If you've got the stats for a better primary weapon--like a
scimitar--change over.
     Pace yourself better.  You shouldn't be rushing around constantly with no pause.
Lower offensive effort or activity level; your style is out there for the long haul.
     That "flailing wildly"?  You need more attack skills.  Only time will cure that,
but I hope you're well-fixed for DF points?  Attack skills lurk there, or so I'm
told.
     And get something more substantial in the way of armor! -- George Jim

Dare -- Good one!  At least you have a real weapon; I'm stuck with this dumb shield
until I can get my strength up enough for something serious. -- Hacker Klutz
P.S.  And with a WL of only 13, I'm not going to get that second ST raise easily.

Newlin -- Oooo, classic.  What they call a "classic style match," with the predicted
outcome.  If you can handle some more substantial weapon, I'd advise making that
change.  And then go for Hacker--that's a "classic style match," too, and one in your
favor. -- Jernig Mars

Glindora -- Okay, to begin with, the scimitar is not a suitable weapon for your
style.  That's what the "marginally effective" comment in the intro section means.
As for the other negative comments about your weapon choice, stat trains would help,
but anywhere but Noblish Island, they wouldn't help fast enough.  My suggestion would
be to go with a shortsword, which is a wimpy weapon but you should be able to handle
it.  You'll still get the "not quite clever enough" comment, but that's only ONE
thing to fix.
     All this stuff, this is why there's an arena on Noblish Island at all.  It gives
you a chance to get the worst novice mistakes out of your system before you hit the
hard-nosed, experienced managers on the mainland. -- Feordis Ink

Verol -- Read the Question of the Week spotlights carefully; in my own view, they're
of more use to a beginning manager than most of the articles you'll find in the back
of the newsletter.  These are answers to questions posed by a Noblish alumnus in a
busy, friendly arena (Aruak City, DM 11), and represent the opinions and advice of
many experienced managers. -- Jorja

Comments on the articles--

Strength and Weapon Damage, by Pagan.  Pagan is inactive at this time, and this is
one of the articles of his that annoys me just a little.  Make no mistake about it,
Pagan is smart and has a keen analytical brain.  But what I say is, if it looks like
extra damage, and it quacks like extra damage....

The Brainy, Low-Will Striker, by Blind Man.  This manager is inactive, so far as I
know.  As to his idea presented here, note that he says it has "no long-term
potential."  Accepted on this terms, why not try it?  Short term warriors can be fun,
too.

And Now, for Something Completely Different, by Elder Snorri.  I think he's inactive
at the present.  Not a bad article at all.

Warrior Handedness, by Pagan.  This is interesting, but there isn't a thing you can
do about it.  Mind you, there's nothing wrong with interesting for its own sake.

A Beginner's Guide to Duelmasters, by Fritz.  So far as I know, this manager is
inactive.  But his article is full of good basic advice.

Endurance, by Tankesh/Adie.  I think he's active right now, and he's a friendly,
helpful guy, as you can tell by his frequent responses in the Question of the Week
segment.  This is good material.

An Unbiased Look at the Slashing Attack, by Tex.  This manager is inactive but was,
in his day, noted for skill with slashers.  The article should be read with that in
mind.

Priority Skill Learning, by Pagan.  These numbers are too crunchy for me (I prefer
mine no more than lightly bruised), but I have no doubt that the analysis is
accurate.

Parry-Riposte, by Blackhawk.  This manager is inactive, or else using a different
name.  I agree with him that rippers can be fun and successful, but I disagree with
some of his numbers.  To wit, I'd never give any warrior a ST below 9 if I could
avoid it, because then you get "does little damage," which is the death of many
rippers.  As to CN, I have made rippers with CN of less than 9, but not happily; if a
style has "parry" in the name, they're SUPPOSED to be able to take a few hits and a
slower pace.  The program is written that way.  True, as the writer notes, CN "gets
you no skills."  If I had a dollar for every low CN high SK warrior who died young, I
could pay off my credit card.  Skills are great, but they won't keep you alive when
you take a hit.  I *like* a 17 WT, but I've run successful rippers with less, and I
would NEVER raise a warrior's WT to 21 on the initial roll-up.  Balance the few extra
skills that'd give against the ST to take your opponent down before you collapse
yourself or the CN to take a hit yourself and keep on living and see which YOU would
rather have.  DF, again, I like a 17 there, but I wouldn't waste the points to get it
higher for any style but an aimed blow.
     What he has described here is a "godling" warrior, and the thing godlings do
most easily and most often is they DIE.

Jessie's Guide to a Good Basher, by Jessie Jest.  Some managers will tell you that
there is no such thing as a "good" basher.  But bashers were one of Jessie's favorite
styles, and he was pretty good with 'em.

16 June 2004
                             Death Fest Begins July 29/DM 59 T-172

     "You drive a hard bargain Hammer," responded Lord Lian Ki Na-Sul, "but the
Gladiatorial Commission has agreed to re-open DM 58 Delarq Tor as a Slow Arena
exclusively for a period of six months to those Death Fest contestants who fight
their stables at least 67 times out of a possible 75 during the 15 rounds of Death
Fest; on the condition that at least 20 stables qualify for the Illis Iron Stable
Award at the conclusion of the Death Fest and those qualifying managers send a New
Stable to DM 58 Delarq Tor without Cannibalizing their participation in the other
arenas where they have active stables!"
     Hammer felt a certain sense of satisfaction as he studied the ghoulish grin
spreading across the face of Lord Lian Ki Na-Sul; proud Arena Master of the once
dying Illis Arena, as the DM 59 Arena Authority signed the Gladiatorial Commission
papers authenticating the arrangement agreed upon by the two parties presiding.
     "You and the Gladiatorial Commission also drive a hard bargain," Hammer replied
as he reflected upon the prospects of Delarq Tor DM 58 being re-opened as a Slow
Arena with at least 20 New Stables by the Managers who fight their stables at least
67 times out of a possible 75 during the 15 rounds of Death Fest. "I also notice the
clause that for Delarq Tor to be open Exclusively for 6 months to the New Stables
managed by the Illis Iron Stable Award Winners that there must be at least 15 stables
Active each cycle. That is a fair bargain for the opportunity to battle for the
Duelmaster Throne each of those six months before Other New Stables are allowed to
enter Delarq Tor."
     This was a Golden Opportunity for both Veteran and Newbie Managers to pave a new
frontier of Delarq history by qualifying their Death Fest stables in DM 59 with 67
fights out of a possible 75; then for the price of running a stable in a Regular
Arena, continuing to be Active in DM 59 and sending a New Team Roll Up to be a part
of "History in the Making" when Delarq Tor would re-open for its First Turn as a Slow
Arena on November 3rd, 2005.
     Death Fest would conclude on T-186 August 25th, 2005 allowing the Illis Iron
Stable Award Winners enough time to be registered with the Gladiatorial Commission;
whereupon they would be able to submit a New Team Roll Up to the GC to start a New
Stable in Delarq Tor; be able to fight those New Gladiators in the Rookies 2005 Fall
Mailer Tourney; then begin competing for the DM 58 Duelmasters Throne in Delarq Tor
right out of the gate with the November 3rd 2005 T-1 Debut Opening Round.
     Hammer of the First Part had also negotiated with Lord Na-Zul of the Second Part
an agreement that All 10 Dark Arena Monsters and 17 NPCs Characters be re-named by
the Top Ten Death Fest Finishers. [See DM 59 T-171 Newsletter Team Spotlight by
Hammer for the complete listing of Dark Arena Monsters/NPCs and the Official Death
Fest Designation for which Top Ten Finishers re-name which characters!]
     Lord Na-Sul could not hide his delight at the prospects of Death being re-
delivered to his once dying arena during the Delarq Death Fest; the DM 59 Arena
Master agreed that these Death Fest Prizes were but a Small Exchange in Comparison to
the Profits to be made by the local Illis business merchants and surrounding
community from the Anticipated Influx into Illis by the Veteran and Newbie
Managers/Gladiators/Stables seeking to make History in the Delarq Death Fest.
     Nor could Hammer conceal his jubilation regarding the Call Across Alistari being
Answered to Cross Blades and Match Wits with the Devious, the Diabolical, the
Dangerous and the Down Challenging who were being drawn to the Delarq Death Fest to
Fulfill their Delarq Dueling Destiny!
     REMEMBER: Death Fest begins July 29th T-172 with 25 points being awarded to
those who write a minimum 15 paragraph Team Spotlight [including Stable Name &
Managerial Alias in the Storyline!] for the DM 59 T-172 Newsletter [So Make Sure HAL
Does Not Eat any Lengthy Sentences that are Emailed without Proper Formatting; and
the RSI Typist has Plenty of Time to Type Any Hand Written Spotlights; Lest Ye
Discover 0 Points Awarded for a Missing or Incomplete T-172 Team Spotlight!]
     "May Your Blades Be Sharp and Your Wits Sharper!"  -- Hammer/Death Fest
Host/Vendetta Cartel Captain; WordSmith and High Priest of the Crimson Ascension
Family in DM 28

                                  LAST WEEK'S FIGHTS

NEWLIN was devastated by JERNIG MARS in a 1 minute mismatched Challenge Title fight.
GLINDORA was vanquished by GEROGE JIM in a 2 minute brutal uneven battle.
DULGIN was luckily beaten by FEORDIS INK in a unpopular 7 minute gory amateur's duel.
DEBARROWS luckily beat IDRIS LIN in a 3 minute amateur's match.
DARE delivered the death blow upon HACKER KLUTZ in a 2 minute bloody novice's duel.

                                    BATTLE REPORT

             MOST POPULAR                        RECORD DURING THE LAST 10 TURNS     
|FIGHTING STYLE               FIGHTS        FIGHTING STYLE     W -   L -  K   PERCENT|
|LUNGING ATTACK                   2         TOTAL PARRY       10 -   0 -  0     100  |
|STRIKING ATTACK                  2         SLASHING ATTACK   10 -   3 -  1      77  |
|BASHING ATTACK                   2         PARRY-LUNGE        5 -   3 -  0      63  |
|PARRY-RIPOSTE                    1         STRIKING ATTACK    3 -   2 -  0      60  |
|TOTAL PARRY                      1         LUNGING ATTACK     7 -   5 -  0      58  |
|AIMED BLOW                       1         WALL OF STEEL      9 -   7 -  1      56  |
|WALL OF STEEL                    1         PARRY-RIPOSTE      6 -   5 -  1      55  |
|PARRY-LUNGE                      0         BASHING ATTACK    10 -  10 -  1      50  |
|PARRY-STRIKE                     0         AIMED BLOW         2 -   7 -  0      22  |
|SLASHING ATTACK                  0         PARRY-STRIKE       0 -   0 -  0       0  |

Turn 171 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 -  1         2  PARRY-RIPOSTE  
TOTAL PARRY        1 -  0     PARRY-LUNGE        0 -  0         2  BASHING ATTACK 
LUNGING ATTACK     1 -  1     PARRY-STRIKE       0 -  0         2  WALL OF STEEL  
STRIKING ATTACK    1 -  1     SLASHING ATTACK    0 -  0         1  LUNGING ATTACK 
BASHING ATTACK     1 -  1     WALL OF STEEL      0 -  1         1  PARRY-LUNGE    
                                                                1  STRIKING ATTACK
                                                                1  TOTAL PARRY    
                                                                1  AIMED BLOW     

                               TOP WARRIOR OF EACH STYLE

FIGHTING STYLE   WARRIOR                     W   L  K PNTS TEAM NAME                  
Note: Warriors have a winning record and are an Adept or Above.

The overall popularity leader is IDRIS LIN 7929.  The most popular warrior this turn 
was DARE 7810.  The ten other most popular fighters were HACKER KLUTZ 7928, JERNIG 
MARS 7930, GEROGE JIM 7927, IDRIS LIN 7929, NEWLIN 7811, GLINDORA 7807, DEBARROWS 
7809, DULGIN 7808, FEORDIS INK 7926, and  0.

The least popular fighter this week was FEORDIS INK 7926.  The other ten least 
popular fighters were DULGIN 7808, DEBARROWS 7809, GLINDORA 7807, NEWLIN 7811, IDRIS 
LIN 7929, GEROGE JIM 7927, JERNIG MARS 7930, HACKER KLUTZ 7928, DARE 7810, and  0.

                             The Effects of Coordination

     Coordination has long been ruled as having no effect on a warrior.  I have 
noticed a few things that may be the cause of certain coordination levels.  So I 
decided to write this article to give the general DM populace something to ponder.  
Below is the coordination table:

Coordination =  SP + DF

06 - 16  = Clumsy
17 - 20  = Slightly Uncoordinated
21 - 27  = Normal
28 - 31  = Highly Coordinated
32 - 39  = Very Highly Coordinated
40 - 42  = Marvel of Fighting Coordination

     Since I run a lot of bashers that have a clumsy rating most of the time, I 
noticed a few things that happen to them and not the high coordination warriors I 
have.  Most people don't have clumsy warriors, save some bashers and TPs, so it may 
not be paid that much attention to.
     The first thing I have noticed is that a clumsy warrior seems to drop his weapon 
more often than a higher coordination warrior.  So I think that maybe he has a higher 
chance to do this than normally coordinated warriors.
     Second, I noticed that clumsy warriors have harder time trying to quick draw 
their back-up weapon, causing them to fumble around trying to get it.
     Third is that the clumsy warrior also is slower to get up after he has been 
knocked down.  It may also influence the roll on whether you get knocked down or not, 
along with other factors.
     These things aren't as noticeable the higher the coordination becomes.  That's 
probably why a lot of people don't place any  value on coordination.  At the higher 
levels of the game there aren't any clumsy warriors, so coordination isn't noticed.  
You can still get knocked down, lose your weapon, and draw your back-up quickly, but 
the odds are more in your favor with a higher coordination in my opinion.
     Well, may joy and happiness be with you.  If you would like to chat , I can be 
reached at 103260.3347@compuserve.com  
     You may diplo me at LORDS OF THE ABYSS, in DM 11, or any of the JOKER'S WILDS 
scattered about.

                                                         Ta-Ta,
                                                         Sir Jessie Jest
                                            (He who always gets the last laugh......)

                       Parry-Riposte:  The Best of Both Worlds

     I've had the urge to write this for a long time but Seeker's all arena PA finally 
drove me to ink it out.  I am not a Primus manager, I am a very experienced with PRs, 
though.  With the introduction aside, let's get back to basics.

ATTRIBUTES
     ST:(6-13)  I have PRs with both.  Strength depends a lot on your size.  You 
definitely do not want to be cursed with "does little damage."
     CN:(10-13)  It's always nice to be able to roll with a few punches.  This will 
allow your warrior to miss a few parries and still take out his opponent (very 
important early in life).
     SZ:(3-14)  Size is an attribute you cannot work with.  I've had good set ups with 
all these sizes.  Above 11 is somewhat large, but a larger size can be successful.
     WT:(17,21)  You knew that, though.  Rippers must have at least a 17 wit.  They 
need all the skills and the intelligence level.  Parry-riposte is an art form.
     SP:(5-13)  Some say riposte is hindered with a low speed.  I have a ripper with a 
5 speed and it doesn't hold true with him.  Most of my PRs do have lower speeds.
     DF:(15-21)  Once again, parry-riposte is an art form.  Your warrior must be very 
deft to master this art.  Not to mention deftness is where you acquire most of your 
skills.

WEAPONS:  Primary use SH, EP (my favorite), LO, or SC, offhand use DA, HA, or SH.  I 
personally use weapons instead of shields because rippers have a tendency to attack 
with their offhand.

ARMOUR:  This is your decision.  I usually run mine with ARM and H.  It depends on 
your opponent and your carrying ability.

STRATEGY:  What is parry-riposte?  An art form.  Like painters use different 
techniques, rippers use different strategies.  I usually higher OE's and AL's early on 
in the career.  Especially if they have higher speeds.  Strategy also depends on your 
opponent.  After your PR starts to mature, try a more methodical strategy.  Somewhere 
in the range of 3-3-3 and 6-5-6.  A 3-3-3 is pretty much a scum strategy, your PR will 
parry more than riposte.

NOTES:  Parry-rips take a lot of work and fine tuning.  Parry-riposte is a wicked 
style once your warrior starts to develop.  It's always fun to jump a lunger and put 
it on its face with a OR.  It's even more fun to beat a scum at its own game.  A parry 
rip can easily do both.  Parry Riposte is the best of both worlds.  This is my first 
article so please feel free to diplo me (Tempest-36 and 100) or e-mail me 
(CPetta8272@ad.com) with any questions or comments.  May honour and righteousness 
bless your blades.  May the horsemen of the night reign forever.

                                                       Nobly,
                                                            Lord Dauthstorm

                                   The Basic Ripper

     Why isn't one of basic's most entertaining styles, a style capable of beating all 
others, a common sight upon the sands?  The myth that rippers are difficult to run and 
inherently prone to dying is widely accepted.  True, the graveyard is full of rippers 
that began their careers running little numbers and the parry tactic.  This is no 
mystery given that very few rippers start with great defenses and the parry tactic 
destroys a young ripper's offense.  In their efforts to make better punching bags, 
many managers have turned to big constitutions and heavy armor.  A dose of sanity is 
long overdue.  If you would like to run some rippers who will survive and win, read 
on.
     DESIGN:  My approach is somewhat unorthodox.  I maintain an evolving list of 
physical requirements for each style, i.e., endurance, punishment, damage, and carry 
capacity.  If you don't have the means to accurately forecast these ratings, ask 
around.  If at all possible, I first max out a new rollup's WL at a value of 15, 17, 
or 21 and then compare the rollup's physical potential with each style's physical 
requirements.  Generally, the style that matches up best and requires me to add the 
least number of points to ST and CN is the one I want.  It isn't absolutely necessary 
for a fighter to be physically fit at the beginning of his career.  Plan ahead.  Will 
a few preselected attribute trains make him so?  Must points be added to the rollup's 
ST or CN so that he can make the grade with no more than two trains per attribute?  
Which weapons will he use?  With these questions answered, it's simply a matter of 
taking WT to the highest odd value possible (avoid 19) and then doing the same with 
DF.  Godlings are not born as a results of how many points you can pump into WT, WL, 
and DF; that's luck's job.
     Young rippers need to be able to go fast for two minutes without tiring.  If your 
ripper isn't physically fit, he will slow down.  If he slows down, you are gambling 
with his life.  The more frail the warrior, the greater the gamble.  That said, if 
your ripper can quickly meet the following criteria and learn reasonably well, you 
will get your money's worth.
     Endurance: Something in the neighborhood of 350 (that's {ST+CN}WL)
     Punishment: Anywhere from the high end of very frail to midrange normal
     Damage:  Normal
     Capacity: Cannot carry a lot (minimum ST/CN combos: 9/8, 10/7, 11/6, 12/5)

     ST: 9 +   Midgets need an 11 or better.
     CN: See Endurance, punishment, and capacity requirements
     SZ: Small (3-8) to medium (9-14)
     WT: 15+   If your ripper doesn't learn, he's toast.
     WL: 15+   See endurance and punishment requirements.
     SP: Though frequently unimportant, it helps to have points here if you're stuck 
with a few 15's in WT, WL, and DF.
     DF: 15+   13 will do if you're fortunate to have a big WT and/or WL.

Strats:        X    8    9    5    5    5    8
               X    8    5    3    3    3    10
               X    6    7    7    7    7    5
               ARM ------------------------- >
               HE -------------------------- >
               N --------------------------- >
               N ------------------------ >  R

     Why the missing numbers in the first minute?  You'll want to find what works for 
your new ripper and possibly change his numbers as he develops.  8-8-6 is probably the 
best opening minute for a young ripper.  If your youngster has a high speed, try 10-
10-6.  6-8-6 is a bit slow for my taste.  Nevertheless, this might be the way to go 
even if your ripper doesn't need to build up his endurance.  Something I call "the 
change" occurs when your ripper approaches his master in riposte, his AD Ex in parry, 
and Experts in attack, defense and initiative.  This is a moment of decision.  If your 
ripper takes normal punishment, this is when you can opt to slow him down.  I don't do 
this, but I have seen 5-7-5 and 5-5-5 parry work rather well.  It's probably wise for 
a slow-running ripper to run fast in desperation.  If your ripper continues to run 
fast after "the change," a first minute strat of 8-10-4 often works well.
     WEAPONS:  A scimitar or longsword belongs in your ripper's hand.  After he starts 
critting, check to see if the epee is his favorite.  I don't believe in heavy backups 
for youngsters; a dagger will do.  Most youngsters will benefit from an offhand dagger 
(preferred), hatchet, or shortsword.  After "the change," rippers who don't slow down 
can improve the quality of their attacks by getting rid of their off hand weapons.  
These guys will need a backup scimitar, longsword, or epee.  Rippers who do slow down 
should keep their offhand weapons.
     ARMOR:  Very frail rippers should debut in ASM/H.  After ten fights or so, it's 
probably best to go with APL/H.  Guys who cannot take a lot of punishment belong in 
ARM/H for their entire basic careers.  Put them in ALE/H if you're feeling gutsy.  
Rippers who take normal punishment can debut in APL/H, ARM/H, or ASM/H.  After ten 
fights or so, it's definitely time for APL/H.  If you decide to slow one of these guys 
down, you'd better put him back in ARM/H or ASM/H.
     CHALLENGES:  Scummers deserve numbers like 4-1-6; keep that big desperation, 
though.  If you know that an opponent is out to kick you when you're down, go with 5-
8-5 or 5-5-5 while he's playing dead and 8-8-5 and 9-5-7 when he's active.  Good aimed 
blows are a pain.  Still, like every other style, they can be beaten with standard 
strats.
     Many people have contributed indirectly to the content of this article.  Foremost 
in my mind are The Lunatic, Scrag, Voo-Doo, U-Star, Shark, Moriarty, and Wormtongue.  
Thanks.  If you have a bone to pick or a story to tell, you know where to find me.

                                                       Cadmus
                                                       Wild Oats (479)
                                                       Solven, DM 22

                          Stimpy's Thoughts on Total Parries

                                       part II

     Well, when we last spoke I gave you a rundown on I feel TPs should be designed.  
Now I will give you my ideas on how to run them.
     First, you need to consider what type of warrior you now have.  A total parry is 
what its name suggests.  Total defense.  The idea around a TP is to concentrate on 
defense first and utmost.  Only when the situation arises will the TP decide to 
attack.  With this in mind NEVER run a TP with an offensive effort (OE) above 5.  In 
doing so you have just told your TP to do what they weren't designed to do.  Go 
offensive.  If you want to run your TP above 5, you should have made an offensive 
styled warrior, NOT a TP.  By using a high OE, you cause your TP to ignore defense and 
go offense.  This results in numerous "flailing" and "wild" attacks.  So don't do it.
     While running your TP, you may find that he tends to really turn on the offense 
often.  That is typical, typical of a warrior who favors initiative skills.  This does 
not mean that you should boost your OE.  What is happening is that one of your 
warrior's favorite learns is initiative.  So he/she will be naturally adept in 
initiative.  And remember that initiative is the skill that allows you to continuously 
make attacks on your opponent.  Since your TP decided to attack, your opponent should 
be relatively worn down.  So it will be hard for your opponent to steal that 
initiative back from you.  Hence the reason that your TP looks like an offensive 
killer.  But that's good.  It means that you have a very dangerous warrior on your 
hands.  High endurance burning styles, look out!
     I know, I know!!!  There are managers out there still that believe in the 
offensive TP and suggest using higher OE.  That's all fine and dandy.  Let those 
managers do just that.  I personally guarantee that if you run your TP with a low OE 
like the style was designed to do, you'll win fights.  Experiment with unorthodox 
strategies when you get a better hang of the game.
     Activity level (AL) is the variable in TP strategies.  I would definitely begin 
running a TP with a moderate/low AL.  Try a 3 at first.  After a few fights you'll see 
if your TP likes to dodge more or parry more.  It should be quite obvious; your TP 
will learn more skills in his "favorite" area.  Chances are, though, if your TP has 
received the statement: "avoiding rather than trading blows," or "relying on his speed 
to stay out of danger," your TP would rather dodge than parry.  And that's just fine.  
Boost your AL to about a 4 or 5.  If you choose to use the dodge tactic in defense, 
use AL up to 7.  Beyond that tends to hurt your warrior more than it helps.
     So why not go with an AL of 7 all the time if your TP likes to dodge more than 
parry, you might ask?  That's simple; your TP may like to dodge more, BUT HE STILL 
PARRIES.  So you'll need to be less active to allow your TP that choice.  With an AL 
of 4-5, your warrior will dodge when it is more advantageous, parry when it isn't.
     Kill desire varies greatly from warrior to warrior.  To be on the safe side, I 
always go low KD with my TPs, until they gain expert in attack.  After that point, I 
may begin to experiment, seeing how my warrior reacts to various KDs.  Generally, if 
your warrior learns attack skills relatively well, then a higher KD won't inhibit them 
at all.  If this is the case, I believe that your warrior is not looking for landing 
several blows to win the match (favoring initiative skills), but is instead looking to 
land a few good blows (favoring attack skills).  In the latter case, a moderate to 
high KD may help.  Keep in mind though that your TP is still defensively oriented.  An 
extremely high KD will cause any warrior to behave like a berserker, and may cause 
your TP to make lots of bad attacks.  With this in mind, stay below 7.
     Now to place it all together...

Minute         1    2    3    4    5    6on  Desp
OE             2 ------------------------ >  varies
AL             2 ------------------------ >    "
KD             2 ------------------------ >    "

or

Minute         1    2    3    4    5    6on  Desp
OE             2 ------------------------ >  varies
AL             4 ------------------------ >    "
KD             2 ------------------------ >    "

     These show my general strategies for parry and dodging oriented warriors, 
respectively.  Seldom do I use any tactics, unless I am making a challenge and wish my 
warrior to behave differently to that challenge (i.e., using the dodge tactic against 
a lunger).  At that point I would refer to the paragraphs in the beginning to 
customize that particular minute to fit the tactic.
     Attack and protect locations are totally up to you.  I like to protect the head 
and body, while attacking the head, arms, and legs.  This protects my vitals, yet can 
allow my warrior to land blows on parts of the body that can cause a warrior to lose a 
fight with the minimum number of hits.
     Desperation is my opposite area.  If I was relying on a low AL in the regular 
minutes, I will boost it in desperation.  While going vice versa if I had a high AL in 
regular minutes.
     Now the one tactic I haven't touched on is the riposte tactic.  Occasionally your 
TP will favor this tactic.  When he does, I like to raise my OE to 3, sometimes 4, and 
the AL to 4.  If I use the riposte tactic, I will use 4-5 OE and a 3-5 AL.  When these 
numbers are any lower, your TP may refrain from attacking in a riposte situation in 
favor of more defense.
     I have found that these strategies work well whether your warrior fights as a 
SCUM or skilled TP.  If you remember from my last article, the difference between the 
schools of thought are the amount of damage the warrior is willing/able to take.
     Well, I hope that this has been informative for the newer players, and the older 
ones, too.  Good luck and see you on the sands.

                                                                 Stimpy

                              MORE ADVICE FOR BEGINNERS

     Many essays dwell on style specifics.  This piece describes a playing philosophy.  
When you just want to WIN, create scum TPs and size 17 monsters with impunity.  Don't 
worry about getting these warriors into ADM!  YOU'RE concerned with winning those "Top 
Team" and "Team on the Move" awards.
     By comparison, managers with an excellent setup shouldn't be too concerned with 
the team win/loss record.  Their character must develop, gain every skill possible, in 
order to blossom into a deadly duelist.  THEIR goal is to advance this fighter into 
ADM, and eternal life.
     Here are some broad parameters for assessing a warrior's value, and a few 
representative samples:
Primus Bound:
     - WT, WL and DF total 49+.
     - 4 or more wit statements.
     - Start with Expert rating or gain it in one or two skills.
     - [13-5-5-21-13-10-17, 6-6-9-17-21-9-17, 11-7-9-17-17-6-17, etc.]
Basic/ADM Only:
     - WT, WL and DF total to 35+.
     - At least 3 wit statements.
     - Gain Expert rating in no more than five skills.
     - [17-9-10-17-9-9-13, 13-11-11-17-13-8-11, 9-13-10-15-21-5-11, etc.]
Dark Arena: [Any two of these qualify the character as "expendable"]
     - WT less than 13.
     - Less than 3 wit statements.
     - Is clumsy.
     - Has very little endurance.
     - [15-15-16-11-13-5-9, 7-18-13-17-5-13-11, 13-15-13-13-17-6-7, etc.]
     The Primus Bound setups are rare; they are coddled, protected and sometimes 
sandbagged for a year or so in order to build up a few Ad Experts to help them survive 
in the arena.
     The Basic/ADM Only fighters have mediocre to decent stats, and are going to be 
very dependent on their overview for that elusive "luck factor."  This class of 
warrior should be highly competitive.  Most of the fighters seen in the arena are in 
this category.
     Finally, the Dark Arena fighters: conceived from pitiful setups with little 
chance of being competitive.  However, these rollups might prove useful.  Don't fight 
the system; learn to use it to your advantage!  Many managers send fighters to the 
D.A. who might have provided them with a successful (if brief) career in Basic.
     Give BIG numskulls lots of ST and SP; these are your killer LUs and STs.  More WL 
= LU; Higher DF = ST. (I don't advise making Bashers unless you have a 17+ wit and 15+ 
points in WL.)  Give LITTLE morons a boost to WL, ST and CN; these are your TP scum.  
If they have absolutely no WT or WL, escort them to the Dark Arena.
     Of course, some fighters have good stats and decent overviews yet still lose most 
of their fights in the beginning of their career.  The "old" method of dealing with 
this phenomenon was to bump all stats by two or more.  Now, it's generally agreed that 
this increases performance at the cost of future skill learns.  This takes away from a 
duelist's competitive abilities in the higher levels of play.  Competitive fighters 
should be making as few stat raises as possible until they have "maxed out" in at 
least three of four skill areas. (Some managers advocate waiting until a character is 
completely "maxed out" before raising stats; this will take a long time for most 
warriors.)
     Some warriors (particularly the finesse styles: AB, PR, PL, PS) take a little 
longer to develop.  If they DON'T have the stats or the overview to raise visions of a 
Primus inductee, take a HARD look at their potential.  Will stat raises help?  Well 
they come easily?  Is the rest of the team strong?  How much money are you willing to 
invest in this character?
     ANYONE can create an awe-inspiring fighter by adding a couple of points to key 
stats.  It means the fighter may lose some of its long-term potential, but so what?  
Duelmaster, Most Popular Fighter, Best Win/Loss Record, etc. all equate into free 
fights and recognition.  If you don't have that Godling in your stable, what other 
goal might you have but to excel in your arena?!!
     I urge new managers to run EVERY setup at least once in the arena.  Look on 
rollups as a challenge; try to make the best killer or scum possible out of Dark Arena 
material.  There's a tremendous amount of experience to be gained by this.
     See what effect a high ST or DF has on specific styles; compare overviews to find 
what works and what doesn't; gain new insights on character design.  You will enjoy 
playing far more than you do now!  You might even come up with a better way of 
designing a character for a specific style, and write an article to share your views.
     The point is, DON'T wait around for the "right" rollup, or waste time and money 
(or sentiment) on characters who aren't doing anything for you.  Play the percentages.  
If a promising warrior is losing repeatedly, be patient.  Once a few AdExperts are 
gained he will probably turn things around.  If you Dark Arena Mutant loses a lot and 
his scumminess or killer-design aren't working, either bump a couple of stats or DA 
him.  If your scum/killer goes out there and wins a few, start paying attention to 
challenges/avoids (which you SHOULD be doing anyway).  Send that scum against a LU or 
ST; send that monster ST against a midget Parry-whatever.  Style vs. style matchups 
are crucial in the early careers of EVERY fighter.
     Generally, even lousy STs, LUs, BAs and TPs do well starting out.  Later the 
finesse styles--PL, PS, PR, AB--usually take over.  Summary: Recognize the difference 
between playing "to win" and playing "longterm."  Start noticing which teams have high 
win/loss percentages: what kind of warriors are they running?  Start sending diplos; 
don't be bashful.  You can bring that win/loss to a respectable level with careful 
play, short-term Mutant killers and scum, and the occasional stat-bump for those 
mediocre fighters whom you plan on retiring later.  Try it and see.  It gives the game 
more spice, you win more often, and you have more FUN!  And just remember... I told 
you so!

                         Diplo me with comments, questions, rebuke:
                              -- The Arcane Kid, of Astral Kin in Osksi (DM-3)

                                  "Favorite Weapons"

     One of the best ways to improve a warrior's record in basic is to find his 
favorite weapon.  The effect of using a favorite weapon is that a warrior's attack 
ability will improve.  A warrior will throw more critical attacks, improve the odds to 
inflict critical damage, and make attacks that are more difficult to dodge and parry.
     There are two methods used to find a favorite weapon.  The first is, "Don't worry 
about it.  They tell you when you get to ADM anyway."  While some managers have the 
patience to wait that long, I would rather have my favorite in hand in fight one!
     The second method is called, "Charting."  The way I chart weapons is I break 
down, statistically, my warrior's attacks with a particular weapon. (No, it's not 
difficult to do!)  I chart 4 categories, (1) Total number of attacks, (2) Total number 
of crit attacks, (3) Total number of crit damages, (4) Total number of knockdowns.
     (1) Total number of attacks (#ATT) -- Record the total number of attacks with the 
weapon in question, including hits, crits, misses, parried attacks, dodged attacks, 
and wild swings.
     (2) Total number of crit attacks (C ATT) -- Record the total number of critical 
attacks with the weapon in question.  Do not get good attacks confused with critical 
attacks.  A good attack is a statement that is more descriptive than, "strikes with 
dagger," but is not as spectacular as a critical.  An example of a good attack is, 
"Bats outward with her quarterstaff," or, "Makes a lunging attack wielding a short 
spear."  These are more descriptive but are not outstanding.  A critical attack is 
exemplified by spectacular statements such as; "Catapults forward, longsword stabbing 
cruelly at his foe," "Punches with piston-like horsefelling power," or "Hatchet 
flashes with snake-like speed and accuracy."  As you can see, crit attacks are very 
obvious.
     (3) Total number of crit damages (C DAM) -- A crit damage statement will signify 
a significant amount of additional damage and is typified by a statement such as; 
"Spectators cringe as the horrific power of the blow strikes home" or "It was a 
devastating attack."
     (4) Total number of knockdowns (# KD) -- Record every time an opponent is knocked 
off his feet with the weapon in question.
     The next step is to convert this data into a usable format.  To do this I divide 
the last three categories by the first.  This gives a "batting average" of sorts.  
EXAMPLE: Dark One fights his first three fights with a scimitar.  In those three 
fights Dark One made 16 attacks, 2 crit attacks, 4 crit damage, and 1 knockdown.  This 
breaks down as such:
C ATT = .125
C DAM = .25
# KD = .06
     Remember, the more fights with the weapon, the more accurate your chart will be.
     Looking at Dark One's performance with the scimitar we can conclude that it is 
not his favorite weapon.  I determine this by looking at the three categories in order 
of precedence.
     First I look at C ATT:
     .00-.25  Doubtful
     .25-.35  Slight possibility
     .35-.50  Very possible
     .50 +    BINGO!
     If your warrior is critting 50% of the time, stick with that weapon.  Favorite or 
not, it is VERY effective.
     Next is crit damage.  This is trickier to look at, as the primary chance to do 
critical damage is primarily based on strength.
Does little     0%
Normal         1-5% (style dependent)
Good           10%
Great          25%
Tremendous     50%
Awesome        75%
     Look for increases in the expected average crit rate.  These numbers may be a 
little off as I don't have a large enough sample of warriors with high damage ratings.  
In the example, Dark One rated at 25%, and with his great damage rating it appears he 
is not doing any additional crits.
     Finally, knockdowns.  I don't have a fast and easy rule for this, but anything 
over 15% or 20% if attacking the legs, could bear investigating.  It's best to look at 
all three and infer a weapon's performance.
     Dark One switches to a short spear and after 4 fights has 15 attacks, 7 crit 
attacks, 6 crit damages and 2 knockdowns.
C ATT = .466
C DAM = .40
# KD = .13
     This weapon suits him much better.  His crit percentage is up for all categories.  
This weapon has a very good chance to be his favorite weapon.  In this example it 
wasn't, but his W/L record improved with 6 straight wins. (By the way, the names and 
weapons have been changed but the numbers are from one of my ADM warriors.)
     Okay, I've figured out that the weapon I'm using is not my favorite.  What now?  
There are some indicators to help you.  Look at how your warrior uses his current 
weapon.  If he likes to slash a lot, stay with a slashing weapon.  Also, look at good 
attacks.  If a warrior makes quite a few good attacks with the weapon, try a weapon 
that is used in a similar fashion.  I.E. epee is used in similar fashion to a long 
sword.  Dark One loved to lunge with his scimitar at a 3:1 ratio.  Try weapons that 
fit your stats at first but don't be afraid to try a weapon that is out of your stat 
parameters.  Should you find your favorite and you don't have the strength, size and 
deftness to use it, who cares.  The fact that it's your favorite will nullify or 
minimize all those penalties.
     I know that this is a question on the mind of new managers, as it was for me when 
I was new to the game.  I hope someone can get some good use out of this article and 
expand upon the charting method in their own way.  If you have any questions, 
comments, additions, or criticism please feel free to Diplo.
                                   -- Abe
                                      Ango (DM 64, 103)
                                      Imploding Ducks (DM 19, 103)