DUEL 2 NEWSLETTER

Date   : 09/04/2004    Duedate: 09/17/2004

NOBLISH ISLAND ARENA

DM-93    TURN-175

This Weeks Top Honors

THE DUELMASTER IS

JERNIG MARS
MIDDLE WAY 11 (1369)
(93-7930) [5-2-0,66]

Chartered Recognition Leader   Unchartered Recognition Leader

POSITION IS EMPTY              JERNIG MARS
                               MIDDLE WAY 11 (1369)
                               (93-7930) [5-2-0,66]

Popularity Leader              This Weeks Favorite

DARE                           NEWLIN
CRIMSON DEATH (1348)           CRIMSON DEATH (1348)
(93-7810) [6-0-2,46]           (93-7811) [4-3-2,44]

THE CURRENT TOP TEAM

MIDDLE WAY 11 (1369)

          TEAMS ON THE MOVE            TOP CAREER HONORS
Team Name                  Point Gain  Chartered Team
1. MIDDLE WAY 11 (1369)        52
2. CRIMSON DEATH (1348)         1      BRUTE STRENGTH (491)
3. WIMPS (1039)                 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*WIMPS (1039)               1   0  0  100   1/ 2*MIDDLE WAY 11 (1369)      9  5 0
 2/ 2*MIDDLE WAY 11 (1369)      24  10  0 70.6   2/ 1*CRIMSON DEATH (1348)      9  6 2
 3/ 3*CRIMSON DEATH (1348)      14  18  4 43.8   3- 3*WIMPS (1039)              1  0 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[ +

     "Tinkering strategies?"  Jorja glanced around the common room of the Lighthouse 
quickly.  None of her gladiators were near by, but she leaned forward and lowered her 
voice anyway.  "The team here doesn't believe I ever do that, and I don't want them to 
hear me saying differently, Diaretic.  They'd get expectations, and I don't have any 
plan to make life that easy for 'em.  But here's the way I go at it when I'm feeling 
generous with my warriors.  Mind you, this is just the way *I* do it, and there are 
plenty of other approaches.
     "Say I've got a warrior who's a pure offensive style, which means a basher, a 
lunger, or a slasher.  I don't count strikers, as they're versatile and sometimes 
unpredictable.  Say I've started him out fast, maybe 8-6-x.  Unless he's fighting 
another pure offensive, he should be first off the mark.  So I look for the problem.  
If it's a problem with his numbers and style and he should have been some other kind 
of fighter, well, too bad, we're both stuck with it.  I can boost his offensive effort 
to ten--sometimes it already IS ten, of course, but if it isn't, then that goes up to 
the top.  I can drop his activity level, say to four.  I know some people start their 
offensive warriors going 10-10-x, but to my mind, this is just asking for early 
burnout in a fight.  I've seen that kind of thing--a warrior comes out of the starting 
gate like his socks are on fire, and by the MIDDLE, not the end, of the first minute, 
he's panting and staggering, and losing.  Sure, some warriors can take that kind of 
energy burn, but most can't.
     "So I tinker with his numbers, and it doesn't help, he still gets jumped when he 
shouldn't.  The next thing to try is dropping the weight he's carrying.  Maybe I've 
got him in some kind of mail, okay, I drop that to leather.  This reduces his 
protection against blows from his opponent, of course, but everything's a trade-off.  
If he gets out there first and deals a shrewd blow or two, it won't matter; he'll win 
before he gets hurt.  If he's already in leather, or if I want to lighten him up 
further, I'll drop his backup weapon and give him a lighter one.  Say he's got a 
scimitar with a backup same, maybe I'll drop the backup to a shortsword or even a 
dagger.  I'll always leave him SOME backup weapon--"
     "He'd have his fists, if you didn't give him a backup weapon, wouldn't he?" 
Diaretic asked.
     Jorja shrugged.  "Well... yes, but none of the pure offensives do well with their 
fists.  Strikers, maybe, but not bashers, lungers, or slashers.  They can and will use 
'em if they have nothing else, but they won't do well.  And frankly, I wouldn't even 
send out an aimed blow, the CLASSIC unarmed style, with nothing but his fists for 
backups.  I've seen too many of them 'struck in the arm with the parry'.  It's too 
risky for a warrior who's already got problems.  Unless, of course..." she looked 
suddenly thoughtful, "I'm hoping he'll get killed...."
     Diaretic raised his eyebrows.  "Do you do that much?"
     "Send them out hoping they'll die?"  Jorja shrugged.  "Well, yes and no.  I run 
everything, maybe send one warrior in a hundred to the Dark Arena--after he's fought 
for a year or two.  There are often warriors that I would LIKE to see die, even though 
I hate the hassle of recruiting new ones.  But I've never sent a warrior out unarmed, 
unarmored, and with the basic 1-1-1 default strategy.  At least, not deliberately.  
There's a team I have in Murska that was running on maintenance once.  I wasn't paying 
attention, and no less than THREE new warriors started up there without strategies--
and survived!  They had horrible records by the time one of the other managers managed 
to get my attention, 0-19 I think it was, but they survived.  Tough men, and they 
eventually made it to graduation, once I gave them 'sharp pointy things' to use on 
their opponents.  But I don't do that deliberately."  She paused and signaled for one 
of the waiters to bring Diaretic a fresh drink.
     "Where was I?  Warriors getting jumped when they shouldn't be, right.  As a last  
resort, because I don't really care for tactics, I might give such a warrior 
decisiveness in the first minute, also.
     "But if none of this works, if he still gets jumped regularly, then I have to 
think about taking a different approach.  Maybe he'd be better off running slowly, 
despite his style.  So I put more armor on him, some kind of mail, usually, and I slow 
down his first minute, maybe invert it: 4-6-x or 4-8-x or something.  And then in the 
second minute pop him up to eight or ten offensive effort, on the idea that he'll 
catch the faster offensives when they're tired.  Sometimes it works.  Especially with 
beginning warriors, winning can often be a game of endurance.  He who is still 
standing, wins."
     Diaretic nodded and sipped his drink.  Half-formed ideas of how he might use 
these ideas on his own warriors revolved in his mind.  "What about the opposite case, 
a defensive warrior who can't last long enough to win as he should?"
     "The total parry who collapses from exhaustion in the second minute?"  Jorja 
laughed.  "I've had a few of those over the years.  I call 'em 'the warriors of 
exasperation'.  It isn't easy running everything, you know--I end up with some 
warriors that not even a mother could love, and with them, I tend to do really dumb 
things, just for the heck of it.  The aimed blow with a deftness of three or four, for 
instance, or the total parry with no con.
     "But for the, hmm, 'legitimate' cases of warriors running too fast, well, there 
are signs as obvious as an offensive getting jumped.  'Fighting to conserve energy', 
'straining to hold his weary arms at guard', stuff like that in the fight report is a 
sure sign.  You can take two approaches to that, lower the weight they're carrying so 
as not to burn their energy that way--lighter armor, lighter weapons.  Or slow 'em 
down.  Say I've got a ripper going 6-8-x and stumbling with exhaustion in the second 
minute.  I might slow this warrior down to 4-6 and see if that helps.  Heck, I've even 
done that with offensives.  Back when I started slashers out going 10-10-x, I'd get 
them stumbling with exhaustion and losing because of it in the second or even the 
FIRST minute, and I'd slow 'em down.  Activity level comes down first for an offensive 
warrior--I think of that as the 'dodging and parrying' number.  Offensive effort comes 
down first for the defensives."
     "Hmm."  The younger manager frowned, making a series of linked rings on the table 
top with the wet bottom of his glass.  "What about warriors who flail wildly?"
     "I've been told that this is due to lack of attack skills, and unless you're 
going to train stats and burn those skills, nothing but time will cure it.  But I've 
found that sometimes--not always--lowering kill desire helps.  Drop it to five, say, 
if it's higher.  Dropping the offensive effort a notch might help, too.  I think of 
'flailing wildly' as 'trying too hard'.  You can never be sure, of course, because 
managing gladiators is an art, not a science."  She paused and half stood, looking 
toward a center of commotion.  "Do you want Wednesday to get falling down drunk on the 
night before the fights?"

           +<]H[>+-----+<]H[+ Question of the Week #8 +]H[>+-----+<]H[>+

Question, turn 417:

All -- Here's last cycle's question that didn't make it in (along with page two of my 
personals).  What are the top five weapons to be successful in Advanced? -- Hanibal 
Q.O.W.

Answers, turn 418:

Q.O.W. Response -- The top weapons in AD, or even basic DM, are generally agreed upon 
to be the SC, LO, BS, and BA.  The scimitar is an all round great weapon.  Seems 
easier to crit with, and even against heavy armor, still dishes out a lot of damage.  
Because it's a slashing weapon, it seems to pull a lot of critical damage on normal 
hits.  The longsword is the second best, though that could be contended, for its one 
great ability, the knockdown!  The broadsword is heavy, but it dishes out heavy abuse, 
it doesn't break often, and it is pretty good at smashing through parries.  The battle 
axe is just plain cool, and it is very painful!  After those four, it's difficult to 
say which weapon is better.  I like daggers, though shortswords are strong, and the 
halberd is really fun if your warrior can throw crits with it. -- Adie

I must have missed the question this is answering, or it was part of an ongoing and 
sometimes heated discussion on winning and killing  and aiming locations in Aruak 
City.
     Q.O.W. Response -- Other than the obvious ability of aiming at the 
chest/abdomen/head to gain death intent statement, I think that it's more difficult to 
win when aiming at the body because there are more hit-points there.  This is 
especially the case against tough, armored warriors.  Attacking the body with lunging 
weapons can get knockdowns, but I think that it's even easier if you aim at the legs.  
If you consider protect locations though, maybe the body is better to aim at because 
maybe fewer people protect it.
     The limbs, and head especially, have less hit points, so if struck, such a 
warrior usually gives up sooner.  Aiming at the head can get quick victories and death 
intent statements, but results in more deaths, obviously.  But I think a lot of people 
routinely protect the head.  Aiming at the arms allows the defeat of a warrior when 
they lose their weapon, or use of their arm, and can't draw a back up. -- Adie
P.S.  I only advocate aiming at the arms and legs in Aruak City.  Elsewhere is a 
different story.

Question for turn 418, to be answered next turn:
     New Q.O.W. -- What have people seen in regards to arms that hang useless?  Can 
warriors regain the use of them eventually if the fight goes on?  Can they punch or 
parry with it, even though they can't draw a back-up? -- Adie

Adie's QoW -- Striking arms can cause an opponent to drop their weapon and 
(temporarily) lose the use of the limb.  Striking the legs can increase the chance of 
a knockdown.  Striking at head, chest, or abdomen can allow for a kill on the sands.  
Chest and abdomen seem to be the locations best protected by armor.  Head can have a 
different level of armor protection than the rest of the warrior's body, which can 
make things tactically interesting.  From what I've seen, managers usually have their 
warriors protect their vital hit locations by default, so to me it makes more sense to 
aim at non-vitals. -- Generalissimo Puerco
     Is Generalissimo Puerco psychic?  Tune in next turn and find out!

Hanibal's QoW -- All of the one-handed swords make up the top tier of weapons, with 
the axes and spears on the second tier (consider halberd in this group), and all the 
bludgeoning weapons (and the greatsword) at the bottom.  Quarterstaves, war hammers, 
and mauls are liked by some, and as far as I'm concerned, they can have them.  
Unfortunately the quarterstaff recently became tied (with longsword) among my LPs for 
most popular favorite weapon.  Also, interestingly, I only have one LP that favors the 
scimitar, and it's a total parry! -- Generalissimo Puerco

Hanibal -- Top five weapons?  Hm, scimitar, scimitar, scimitar....  Oh, you mean 
DIFFERENT weapons?  A lot depends on the style of the warrior in question and his or 
her favorite.  But scimitar is up there near the top of the list for many styles. -- 
Leeta

The question from turn 418:
     New Q.O.W. -- What have people seen in regards to arms that hang useless?  Can 
warriors regain the use of them eventually if the fight goes on?  Can they punch or 
parry with it, even though they can't draw a back-up? -- Adie

Answers from turn 419 and 420:

Q.O.W. Answer:  I have had all sorts of s#&amp;t (not sure what word this was supposed 
to be) happen regarding arms falling uselessly at their side: some warriors give up, 
some continue on, I've even had a warrior lose his use of an arm twice in one fight 
(and he still won!!!).  One thing is certain...the weapon in the useless hand always 
drops in the sand. -- Dr. Strange

     Refers to last turn's question-- QOW -- Weapons?  We agree that SC seems tops 
with LO and BS highly desirable.  The Consortium clan has a great affinity for these 
also:  BA, DA, QS, SH, WH and GA.  Not the normal "feelings," but... -- Kennelworth

QOW --  A useless arm is a statement and since it normally comes at the end, it 
"seems" to mean something, but it is similar to a dropped weapon. -- Kennelworth

Answer Q.O.W. (arms) -- When arms are struck in combat, I too have seen a variety of 
things occur.  I've seen them get hit, forcing a weapon to be dropped, but then a back 
up pulled immediately.  I've seen them get hit, drop a weapon, and be too hotly 
engaged to pull a new one.  Also, they can hang useless after being struck.  The 
weirdest thing I've ever seen is a warrior lose the use of their arm, drop their 
weapon, strike with their fists, and then have one of those fists get parried, AND IT 
WOULD BE THE ONE THAT WAS USELESS THAT WAS INJURED BY THE PARRY!  Strange eh?  So if 
both arms went useless, you could still fight with fists?  Hmm... -- Adie

New question, turn 419:

All -- I recently tried an experiment where I gave a warrior a Primary weapon 
(Broadsword) and the same off-hand back-up.  She pulled the back-up when things slowed 
down in min. 2.   Does this mean she prefers two weapons or do they always do that?  
If you give a warrior two back-ups will they pull the one they prefer or whatever you 
list first? -- Hanibal -- Q.O.W.

Answers, turn 420:

Answer Q.O.W. (backups) -- When things slow down in a fight and neither warrior is 
eager to hold the initiative, they will usually pull any off-hand or backup weapon 
they have, whether they need it or not.  It has no relation to whether that warrior 
prefers to fight with two weapons or not.
     Drawing back-ups also can occur when the fight is intense.  If your weapon breaks 
while on the offense, often such a warrior will draw their back up and attempt a 
riposte to hold the init.  Also, if you're on the defensive and you attempt to 
riposte, but you have a back-up weapon or off-hand weapon to draw, your warrior may 
try to pull it. Success is not always guaranteed in either case though since your 
warrior may be 'to hotly engaged'.  Even if a defending warrior succeeds, drawing a 
weapon after a riposte forces that warrior to give up the init they could have taken.  
But if they pull a back-up and THEN riposte, then can take the init.
     If you give a warrior two back-ups, they pull the one listed first, and if it 
breaks or is dropped, they'll pull the second.  It is not random. -- Adie

QoW -- If the warrior has a free off-hand, and a backup off-hand weapon, it usually 
isn't long before they decide to make use of it.  I'm guessing that OE and 
coordination (anonymous source) are factors that affect the likelihood of drawing a 
backup in the off-hand.  Wanna Be, manager of A Savage Few here in Aruak, once hosted 
a fast draw contest where contestants had to start the fight unarmed but could have 
backup weapons.  The all-out offensives would sometimes spend a full minute or more 
with their fists before deciding to draw steel.  The defensives would usually draw 
something the first chance their opponent would give them. -- Generalissimo Puerco

New question, turn 420:

All -- I was noticing the skill modifiers for low to high size; do these negatives 
keep a warrior from being successful at the high end of the game? -- Hanibal -- Q.O.W.

We're now caught up with Aruak City (dm 11) on the Questions of the Week; they are 
about to run turn 421 as i write this.  So if Hanibal misses a turn in asking, or the 
managers there miss a turn in answering, we'll have to miss a turn in looking over 
their shoulders.  Amazing how things follow one another like dominoes falling, isn't 
it?  There is NO REASON AT ALL why you here can't pose Questions of the Week of your 
own.  Send them as a personal to DM 11, identify yourself as a new manager seeking 
enlightenment, and you should get a helpful response. -- Jorja

                                 DUELMASTER'S COLUMN
                             Notes from the arena champ.

     Ho!  Jernig Mars thinks he can LOSE to me and still write a column?  As if!  
(That Debby Tonte does have a way with words, doesn't she?  And what a great tan!)  It 
isn't like I have anything to say here, but I won't stand for Jernig lording it in a 
title he didn't earn.

                                    Haplaine Sarle
                                 "Venomous Concubine"

                                      SPY REPORT

     Hail and well met warriors of NOBLISH ISLAND!  Know me for who I am, Zontani 
Sharp Eyes, Spymaster extraordinaire of all Alastari.  Former top team CRIMSON DEATH 
was unseated this week as MIDDLE WAY 11 moved up from 2nd ranking to take the top 
spot with a 5-0-0 record for the round.  LIMNOR ORDIN caught the eye of many in the 
gladiatorial commission as she skillfully bested GLINDORA and was awarded 12 points 
in recognition.  In one of the week's more notable duels, GEROGE JIM put down 
DEBARROWS, causing him to lose 10 points of recognition in the process.  Not for 
nothing has JERNIG MARS in the past laid claim to the Duelmaster's throne, and this 
week he's proven his combat skill yet again.  Heed this!  A seer has warned that if 
exactly 6 die in duels this week, the whole city shall perish!  Just remember...5 or 
7!   
     But come now, let us look deeper into the maze of contention and crossed blades 
that is city NOBLISH ISLAND.   
     Is not Death a warrior's foremost adviser?   Warriors, may this counselor stand 
ready at your right hand forever!  Some say a warrior is judged by the way he bears 
arms.  One thing is sure, better a dagger in hand then a sword on the belt!   
     If it were not for my skills as a spy I would have been mugged three times 
already in NOBLISH ISLAND.  Nice atmosphere you have here!  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                  
 JERNIG MARS 7930              5   2  0    66       MIDDLE WAY 11 (1369)

ADEPTS                         W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 DARE 7810                     6   0  2    46       CRIMSON DEATH (1348)
 NEWLIN 7811                   4   3  2    44       CRIMSON DEATH (1348)
 GEROGE JIM 7927               6   1  0    40       MIDDLE WAY 11 (1369)

CHALLENGER INITIATES           W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 IMBER LACK 7932               3   1  0    24       MIDDLE WAY 11 (1369)

INITIATES                      W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 DEBARROWS 7809                3   4  0    20       CRIMSON DEATH (1348)
 FEORDIS INK 7926              6   1  0    19       MIDDLE WAY 11 (1369)
-FAHFER 6036                   1   0  0    13       WIMPS (1039)
 LIMNOR ORDIN 7943             1   1  0    13       MIDDLE WAY 11 (1369)
 GLINDORA 7807                 1   5  0     8       CRIMSON DEATH (1348)
 DULGIN 7808                   0   6  0     6       CRIMSON DEATH (1348)

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

THE DEAD               W  L K TEAM NAME             SLAIN BY             TURN Revenge?
FRATSFA SLAVE 7        0  1 0   1                   NEWLIN 7811           175 NONE    
HACKER KLUTZ 7928      1  2 0 MIDDLE WAY 11 1369    DARE 7810             171 NOT REVE
IDRIS LIN 7929         2  2 0 MIDDLE WAY 11 1369    DARE 7810             172         

                                     PERSONAL ADS

Here I am, me, the Duel2Dude, pushed into the common ruck of personals by that... 
cross-dresser!  That Venomous Gigolo!  Gods!  The things a Dwarf has to put up with. 
-- Jernig Mars
P.S.  I just hope that when this team moves out, I end up as something other than a 
Dwarf.  They tell me race changing is no picnic, but it'd be worth it.  I'm too tall 
to be a Dwarf!

Dare -- Tricky little thing, aren't you?  I bet you wouldn't've smashed me down like 
that if I'd had my right race.  I'm an Orc, I am.  Not somebody's red-headed step-
child.  Oh, well. -- Geroge Jim
P.S.  You shouldn't've taken so long, though.  You should've wrapped that fight up 
before you ever started getting tired.  What if I'd been a total parry?  You'd've been 
scummed, is what.  It's your armor.

Debarrows -- I don't see why you think you need help.  You're cleaning up. -- Feordis 
Ink

Dulgin -- Ha!  *I* can win a fight, at least.  (frowning pause)  I don't think you 
really did anything wrong, you know, just, I did more things right.  Or maybe I was 
lucky.  Sometimes it's hard to tell. -- Imber Lack

Glindora -- I may have lost the fight (congratulations on your first win, by the way), 
but LOOK at those skills!  If I don't die in the next couple of fights, I'll be a real 
terror! -- Limnor Ordin

Verol -- I hope the stuff in the last newsletter helped.  I'll still try--should 
succeed, but you never know, I do forget sometimes--to get a diplo to you with this 
turn. -- Jorja

Dare -- I suppose it's YOU who's after me now. -- Jernig Mars, much purused

Comments on the articles --

The Ultimate Aimed Blow, by Manimal.  This manager is inactive.  I am skeptical about 
"ultimate" articles, but you can learn from each one.  From this article, you learn 
that it was written a good few years back, since current opinion would not consider 
any of his examples the ultimate in aimed blows.  Research by many managers indicates 
that an aimed blow receives a powerful benefit not experienced by any other style and 
not achievable by later stat trains from having a starting DF of 21, and most strive 
for this in their aimers.  Other than that, a useful look at the style and how to work 
it.

Aimed Blows My Way, by Raf.  This manager is inactive.  Another useful article taking 
a different slant on the style.

The Mechanics of Death, by Jessie Jest.  This manager is inactive.  So far as I know, 
his despcription of the sequence is accurate.

Troll-Bred Bashers, by Troll King.  To the best of my knowledge, this manager is 
inactive.  I would not, myself, make a small basher if I had a choice in the matter.  
I don't demand that he be huge, but somewhere in the mid-range.  Still, this is yet 
another point of view.  His ideal basher would be good at any offensive style, though 
I wouldn't aim for twenty-ones in WT and WL.  Again, though, this is a matter of 
personal preference.  I'd rather go with a maximum of seventeen there and use the rest 
of the points elsewhere.  What can I say?  We all have different views on how to 
maximze warrior performance.

How to Build a Better Warrior, by Neon Necromancer.  I don't know if he's active at 
the moment or not, but you could try dm 18, or 102.  Neon is one of the Old Masters of 
the game, and he knows what he's talking about.

24 August 2004
                            Invitation to Newbie Managers
                                      by Hammer

     As a Captain of the Vendetta Cartel, Hammer has recently dissolved the Vendetta 
Cartel Crimson Ascension Family.  Lady Martilyo and Rook are NO LONGER members of the 
Vendetta Cartel.
     The Vendetta Cartel is divided into "Families" under the leadership of Captains; 
who have been appointed by the VC God Father known throughout the duelingland as 
Master Darque.
     Hammer is now the Captain of the Vendetta Cartel Tarantula Tribe and the veteran 
manager extends an invitation for prospective membership as a Probate [ONLY 2 Probate 
positions are available in the VC Tarantula Tribe at the present time!] to any Newbie 
Manager who qualifies under the following conditions:
     1. Newbie Manager MUST have Online Access for Email communications!   [Hammer is 
presently living in Qatar and Lieutenants Maximillian and Firehawk are  living in 
Canada; so Email Communication is a MUST for consideration!]
     2. Newbie Manager MUST have the time and funds to create 2 new  stables to be 
placed in 2 separate Slow Arenas [the cost of running 1 stable in a  Regular Arena!] 
to actively participate on a monthly basis with the other 3 T-Tribe  members of the 
Vendetta Cartel!
     3. Newbie Manager MUST have the DESIRE to be an Active Member of the  Vendetta 
Cartel as a Tarantula Tribe trainee aka Probate; developing his/her managerial skills 
under the mentorship of Hammer and the other VC members; thus proving themselves 
worthy to become Vendetta Cartel Lieutenants in the Vendetta Cartel Tarantula Tribe!
     The Vendetta Cartel Tarantula Tribe lives by the Feud; thereby prospective 
Probates are forewarned that membership guarantees instant Friends and instant 
Enemies!
     Any prospective Probates who:
     1) seek to improve their managerial insights/abilities under the counsel of 
Hammer and other Vendetta Cartel members 
     2) desire to be active members of an Active Alliance that WILL NOT Dissolve in a 
Few Months; building lasting friendships while enjoying Feuding with Common Enemies 
     3) who enjoy sending their gladiators to Tournaments and would strive to see 
their manager name listed among the TV and TC winners in the Mailer Tourney 
Newsletters as a member of the Vendetta Cartel 
MUST DO THE FOLLOWING:
     Send an Email to HammerDM@fastermail.com to introduce yourself and provide Hammer 
with a short Bio of your managerial successes/failures and favorite/least favorite 
fighting styles; with a listing of your active stable/stables for Hammer to verify in 
the online newsletters.
     Hammer will choose the 2 prospective Probates for membership in the Vendetta 
Cartel Tarantula Tribe on the basis of who he decides will be most suited [to Hammer's 
purposes as the T-Tribe Captain!] from among those responding to this All Arena Ad on 
a first response/first acceptance or rejection basis!
     -- Hammer; Vendetta Cartel Captain/WordSmith and WeaponSmith of the Vendetta 
Cartel Tarantula Tribe

                                  LAST WEEK'S FIGHTS

JERNIG MARS bested M. CHARDINEE in a 2 minute bloody Title fight.
DARE won victory over FRATSFA SLAVE in a 2 minute battle.
DEBARROWS was handily defeated by GEROGE JIM in a 1 minute one-sided match.
NEWLIN viciously butchered FRATSFA SLAVE in a crowd pleasing 5 minute gory brawl.
FEORDIS INK defeated DULGIN in a 2 minute match.
GLINDORA was viciously subdued by LIMNOR ORDIN in a 2 minute gruesome brawl.
IMBER LACK overpowered CONVICTED THIEF in a 1 minute one-sided struggle.

                                    BATTLE REPORT

             MOST POPULAR                        RECORD DURING THE LAST 10 TURNS     
|FIGHTING STYLE               FIGHTS        FIGHTING STYLE     W -   L -  K   PERCENT|
|LUNGING ATTACK                   3         TOTAL PARRY        9 -   1 -  0      90  |
|STRIKING ATTACK                  2         BASHING ATTACK    13 -   5 -  2      72  |
|AIMED BLOW                       1         PARRY-LUNGE        3 -   2 -  0      60  |
|SLASHING ATTACK                  1         SLASHING ATTACK    7 -   5 -  0      58  |
|BASHING ATTACK                   1         AIMED BLOW         4 -   3 -  2      57  |
|TOTAL PARRY                      1         PARRY-RIPOSTE      6 -   6 -  1      50  |
|PARRY-RIPOSTE                    1         STRIKING ATTACK    6 -   7 -  0      46  |
|PARRY-LUNGE                      0         WALL OF STEEL      5 -   6 -  0      45  |
|PARRY-STRIKE                     0         LUNGING ATTACK     8 -  10 -  0      44  |
|WALL OF STEEL                    0         PARRY-STRIKE       0 -   0 -  0       0  |

Turn 175 was great if you     Not so great if you used      The fighting styles of the
used the fighting styles:     the fighting styles:          top eleven warriors are:

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

                               TOP WARRIOR OF EACH STYLE

FIGHTING STYLE   WARRIOR                     W   L  K PNTS TEAM NAME                  
LUNGING ATTACK   JERNIG MARS 7930            5   2  0   66 MIDDLE WAY 11 (1369)
BASHING ATTACK   DARE 7810                   6   0  2   46 CRIMSON DEATH (1348)
AIMED BLOW       NEWLIN 7811                 4   3  2   44 CRIMSON DEATH (1348)
STRIKING ATTACK  GEROGE JIM 7927             6   1  0   40 MIDDLE WAY 11 (1369)
Note: Warriors have a winning record and are an Adept or Above.

The overall popularity leader is DARE 7810.  The most popular warrior this turn was 
NEWLIN 7811.  The ten other most popular fighters were JERNIG MARS 7930, DARE 7810, 
LIMNOR ORDIN 7943, FEORDIS INK 7926, GLINDORA 7807, IMBER LACK 7932, GEROGE JIM 7927, 
DEBARROWS 7809, DULGIN 7808, and  0.

The least popular fighter this week was DULGIN 7808.  The other ten least popular 
fighters were DEBARROWS 7809, GEROGE JIM 7927, IMBER LACK 7932, GLINDORA 7807, 
FEORDIS INK 7926, LIMNOR ORDIN 7943, DARE 7810, JERNIG MARS 7930, NEWLIN 7811, and  
0.

                FACE-TO-FACE TOURNEY XXXIII

                                   GETTING THE JUMP

                                      by Pagan

     There are a number of factors which will determine which warrior swings first.  
In speaking of this I can only tell you what I have a 'feel' for.  In no way does 
anyone know all the factors on how this works exactly unless someone gets to look at 
the source code for the program.  I will ignore Kill Desire simply because I have 
never noticed a difference in my warriors getting the jump whether they ran a 1 KD or 
a 10KD.

The Factors:
     1.  At warrior creation, the program initiates a random string class to be used 
for your warrior.  Each string has a series of numbers that are generated then and 
always remain the same.  It appears random, and some strings are good for some 
warriors and bad for others.  You'll notice this only over time.  This string class 
is permanent and not all of them are created equal.  This is above and beyond any 
total number of skills. You may call this 'knack'.
     2.  At fight time, the program calls a random string to be used for BOTH 
warriors.  This string affects the string of the warrior.  This is why you will never 
see two fights that are line-by-line exactly the same.  But if the fights were 
constantly run with exactly the same string, and no strategy changes are made, then 
you will have the same fight line-by-line.
     3.  FightString-modified-WarriorString# are taken for each warrior, and 
#Speed + 0.5#Wit + #DeciseSkills + OE + string# + tactic + style-adjustment - 
weapon-weight equates to a number.
     4.  These bonuses could be negative in adjustments also, i.e., running with the 
responsiveness tactic would be the negation of Decise skills and Speed skills--
rendering them out of the compilation (gaining them in parry and dodge instead).  
Running with the decise tactic would increase Decise.
     5.  The biggest controllable factors are OE, tactic, & weapon-weight (in that 
order).
     6.  If the number for Jump does not have a disparity of a specific number then a 
continued clash will occur until that disparity is shown.  Then the fight actually 
begins.  You can have a series of 10+ clash statements until the program finds who 
starts and initiates the fight sequences.
     Example: FighterA ends up with a Jump# of 60 and FighterB ends up with a Jump# 
of 65.  If the disparity between them had to be 10 points then what would happen is 
that a clash statement would be printed and the steps repeated.  The next number from 
the Fight-String is called along with the next number in each of the Warrior-Strings; 
the computation is done again until the disparity (for the computer anyway) becomes 
true.  Then the fight sequence is activated.

Pagan

                                     CONSTITUTION

     One the major assets to a warrior's survival is his constitution.  Sometimes CON 
is overlooked in order to maximize other attributes that give extra starting skills.  
This is okay depending what style is selected for the warrior in question.  I usually 
make a warrior with 9 or less CON an offensive style and higher than that a defensive 
style as a rule of thumb.  But it really depends on the rest of the stats as for the 
final verdict on which style he will actually become.
     CON affects three things: Hit points, endurance, and how much weight you can 
carry.  Endurance and weight allowance are also affected by strength as well as CON.  
The endurance formula is E = (ST+CN)WL and also has a chart of breakpoints that is 
covered in another one of my articles.  Weight allowance is also a large chart that is 
beyond the scope of this article, but can be found in many places.
     CON's main effect is HIT POINTS or the amount of damage a warrior can take before 
he gives up or is killed.  Defensive styles need more than offensive styles do to 
survive Basic.  Low con for offensive styles is OK for basic but really hinders a 
warrior's performance in Advanced Duelmasters.
     Hit points are determined by this formula:  CON x 2 modified by the following 
charts.

(Even numbers get modifier of the number before it)

SIZE modifier
  3  5  7  9  11  12  13  15  17  19  21
-5 -4 -3 -2  -1    0   +1  +2  +3  +4  +5

WILL modifier
 3  5  7  9  11  12  13  15  17  19  21  22  23  24  25
 0  0  0  0  0     0   +1  +2  +3  +4  +5  +6  +7  +8  +9

RATINGS
Very Frail -- (1-14)
Cannot take a lot -- (15-20)
Average (no statement) -- (21-29)
Can take a lot -- (30-34)
Tremendous -- (35-47)
Seemingly unaffected -- (48+)

     This formula as well as the charts are about 98% accurate.  For more information 
about this or other DM information you can contact me via DIPO in ADM 105, team name 
is The Joker's Wild.  I can also be reached at my e-mail address at 
103260.3347@compuserve.com or at my DM web site at 
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/jessiejest/homepage.htm

Cheers, and good luck!
Sir Jessie Jest

                            The Real Offensive Total Parry

     How many of you run total parry warriors?  Raise your hands.  Whoa, that's a lot!  
Now how many of you have run long term potential offensive total parries?  Uh huh, 
that's what I thought, a lot less of you actually have.  My name is Blackstorm and 
I'll show you an example or two for the O.T.P.  The main difference between "scum" 
TP's and "offensive" TP's are these:  Scum have massive amounts of CN, WL and ST.  
They tend to stand around getting pounded until their opponents drop.  In theory, the 
scum wins a lot at first, but sucks later in his career (but not always!).  The 
offensive version is quick, strong, and can parry very well.  Combine that with a 
medium based attack rating and you've got it all.  The main thing to remember when 
making "offensives" is to stay away from extremely high attributes (21).  The reason 
being is that the distribution of points in several domains is more important than 
having that beautiful 21 in WL and WT.  Here's a list of some other manager's 
offensive total parries and my best.

Lunatic's Off. P-Dodge    Slowburn's    My Offensive     
(TP)                      (Off. TP)     Total Parry
----------------------    ----------    ------------
ST-11                     13            13
CN-11                     11            12
SZ-8                       8             9
WT-13                     17            15
WL-13                     15            13
SP-11                      5             7
DF-15                     15            15

     There are several major differences between the three: 1) My guy does good 
damage.  2) He's coordinated without training.  3) More hit points.  4) He can use 
every single weapon suited to him.  I'll explain a bit below.

ST 13:  Coupled with a 9 size almost guarantees good damage and it helps endurance.
CN 12:  This allows him to handle a couple of hits and it balances well with the 13 
strength and will for endurance.
SZ  9:  He's hard to hit, can use weapons which need 9 and his damage rating is also 
better.
WT 15:  Great learns and it'll keep him competitive both in attack and defense.
WL 13:  Keeps him aggressive without lopsiding it for 17 or 21.  We want to be 
exciting and unscummy.  He rarely needs to go 10 minutes and if he does he'll still go 
the distance.
SP  7:  This isn't an important stat for TPs but it helps coordination and it'll give 
him a few decise and init skills to boot.
DF 15:  For his parry.  It also gives him a bit of precision while attacking.  You 
could reverse SP and DF by 2 points (SP-5, DF-17) without messing him up.  Remember 
SP+DF=21.

Strategy:  They are a special breed and require a little experimenting like ABs.  I 
could recommend 2-3-2 or 2-4-2, responsiveness vs. steroid types like ST, SL, BA, and 
PS.  Then open up in minutes 3 or 4 at 10-8-10-L, 6-4-6-L, or even 10-10-10 
decisiveness in desperation.  However he will respond to the lunge, parry, response 
and dodge the best.  And as I said, experiment and try new strategies.  Weapons and 
armor; use ARM or ASM with it or FH.  The LO, SC, and EP are good vs. light and 
medium.  The QS is also a good weapon for the heavier armor (TP's don't really use 
heavier weapons well.)  Tell me what you think.

                         Blackstorm -- Champions of Steel (8) and several others

                             HOW TO PHONE IN YOUR TURNS

     We've told you how to fill out your strategy sheets, we've told you how to do 
your personals and team spotlights, now it's time for a course in phoning in your 
turns.
     1.  The very first thing to do is to tell us your name, account number, and the 
arena number you are phoning in.  Example:  "Hello, this is John Doe, my account 
number is 12345, I'm phoning in turns for arena 35, Murska."

Step #1 only has to be done once, steps two and on have to be done for each warrior 
individually.

     2.  Tell us the name and ID number of you warrior.  Example: "Warrior name, Happy 
Slasher, ID number is 375."
     3.  Tell us what weapons your warrior is using.  Example:  "For armor weights 0 
to 3, scimitar with an off-hand dagger, for armor weights 4 to 10, broadsword with an 
off-hand medium shield, for armor weights 11 and above, great axe with no off-hand 
weapon.  Backup primary dagger, backup off-hand small shield."  Note, if you are using 
the same weapons for all armor types, just say, for example, "Hatchet with an off-hand 
small shield for all armor types."  Please, please, please don't use the abbreviations 
for the weapons; say "war flail," not "WF."  This goes for armor, training, attack and 
protect locations, and tactics too.
     4.  Tell us what kind of armor and helm your warrior is wearing and what training 
you are trying for.  Example:  "Armor:  leather armor, steel cap; training:  
strength."  Again, please don't use abbreviations.
     5.  Next read your challenges and avoids and tell us if you have a challenge 
strategy or an if-challenged strategy.  Example:  "Challenge Broke Stroker, ID number 
11.  I have a challenge strategy.  Avoid Dark Foundation, number 29, and the 
Mongoloids, number 15."  Be sure to read off the team ID; without that your avoids 
will not be processed.
     6.  Next, read off your normal strategy.  Example:  "Offensive effort:  7 5 4 5 7 
7 2  desperation.  Activity level:  3 5 6 5 3 7 10 desperation.  Kill desire:  first 
through third minutes 3 then 5 5 7 1 desperation.  Attack location:  abdomen all the 
way across.  Protect location:  body, body, head, arms, arms, body, legs desperation.  
Offensive tactics:  slash first and fifth minutes.  Defensive tactics:  dodge third 
and desperation minutes."  If you have the same number, location, or tactic for 
several minutes in a row, just say the beginning minute and the ending minute (often 
if you say "Activity level, 3 3 3 3 3 3 3," the machine cuts you off).
     7.  If you have a challenge or if challenged strategy, tell us what the 
differences are.  Example:  "If challenged strategy:  same except training skills and 
kill desire is 10 all minutes."  If you feel more comfortable reading the whole 
strategy, you can, but you don't have to.

     Then repeat the same steps for the rest of your warriors.  Of course if you want 
to, you can just have us run your warriors with the same strategies as they had last 
turn.  If you want to do that, then step three is, "Just run this warrior with the 
same strategy as last turn."  We, the transcribers, really like people who do that.  
And remember, there is a living human being that will have to transcribe your phone-
in, so speak loudly, clearly, and not too fast (unless you're really trying to save on 
the phone bill).  Also, the answering machine occasionally cuts people off for no 
reason, so, if at first you don't succeed....

                                          -- The Transcriber

     P.S. On behalf of the mailroom slaves, please, please, put your arena number on 
your personals and diplos.  Sometimes stuff gets misfiled or not printed or not 
delivered because we don't know where it belongs.  Thank you.

                           AVOIDS, BLOODFEUDS, & CHALLENGES

                                       by Pagan

     Ever wonder how the whole challenge/avoid thing works?
     Who you fight depends on exactly how it works.  We will never know exactly how it 
works unless we can get a look at the coding for the program, but this is how I think 
it works:

The Situation:
     The system allows a warrior to make two separate challenges and two distinct 
avoids.
     Avoids are distinct in that they MUST indicate a specific team to be avoided, so 
a "double avoid" indicates a single team twice, which by default means you are 
avoiding one team.  In this case, the second avoid is a duplicate and therefore a 
waste of an avoid.
     Challenges are to specific warriors.  You have a first challenge, and then you 
have a second challenge.

The Process:
     First the computer removes all Dark Arena challengers from the list of available 
warriors.
     Second, the computer checks for WHO fights WHO by going though all TVs and 
bloodfeuds, which are 100% sure to go through except in four instances:
     1. the warrior challenged does not fight,
     2. the warrior challenged is also making a bloodfeud or TV challenge and that 
challenge has already been assigned,
     3. the warrior has already been assigned to a Dark Arena fight,
     4. that warrior has declared your team to be one of his warrior's avoids, 
reducing your challenge to 50%.
     Third, the computer assesses all the regular first-challenge warriors and assigns 
fights.  All other challenges are at 100% chance of success except in a few instances:  
warrior challenged is going to the DA, warrior challenged is involved in a previously 
assigned challenge, warrior challenged is not running this turn, or warrior challenged 
has avoided your team at 50% chance to avoid.
     Fourth, the computer assesses and assigns all secondary challenges of warriors 
not so far assigned for bloodfeuds and TVs.
     Fifth, the computer assesses and assigns all the regular second challenges.
     Sixth, the computer assigns random matchups in each available class starting with 
the highest class first.
     Seventh, the computer finds the remaining warriors that have successfully avoided 
all first and second challenges and/or who also did not get randomly assigned, AND for 
whom no more available warriors remain in their class for random pairing.  All of 
these warriors get RSI-generated warriors to fight based on their class.
     So, if I'm right and avoids reduce the chance for a challenge to 50%, then:
     In the absence of an avoid
          single challenge = 100% success
          double challenge = 100% success, then an additional 100% success
     Where an avoid is involved
          single challenge vs avoid = 50% success
          double challenge vs avoid = 75% (chance to avoid is 0.5 * 0.5 = 0.25; 1 - 
0.25 = 75% chance to succeed

     Bloodfeuds and TVs may increase the percentage chance of success above 100%, or 
they may not.  I feel that their increased ability to get through is based solely on 
the way the computer assigns challenges.  They are first, so they are most likely to 
go through.  The 100% chance for a challenge to succeed is 100% if it's a TV bloodfeud 
and you are the first one to get assigned a fight that day because you are also the 
Duelmaster.  But after that the chances start to diminish rapidly.
     The run-through for second challenges theoretically means your challenge should 
be 100% but it's not the case if you are the LAST guy the computer goes to for finding 
challenges.
     If you don't double challenge, you significantly lower your chance to get your 
challenge through.  The second challenge is not equal to the first challenge.

Pagan

     ANOTHER BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO DUELMASTERS, BUT WRITTEN BY A DIFFERENT MANAGER

                                          or
             HOW TO FLOAT WHEN YOU ARE UP SNOT CREEK WITHOUT A BOAT!! :)

     I'll try to keep this short and sweet.  I have been playing Duelmasters for about 
3 years now and I've been helped by MANY managers.  I base my knowledge on this help 
and my experience as a manager.
     All my designs will give you warriors who will hopefully be able to win early on, 
late in life, or sometimes even both.

     First, the five offensives:

     Basher:  Bashers are generally one of two types: big and stupid or smaller, 
quicker, and skilled.  First, big and stupid: 17-16-17-8-17-4-5.  This guy wears plate 
armor and a full helm and wields a maul with a backup warhammer.  Run him like 8-1-8 
bash and he will win early on but suck later in his life.  The second guy is like 15-
6-9-21-15-7-11 and can use every bashing weapon but the halberd.  This rollup will not 
come up often and will be made into something else very often.
     Aimed-Blows:  I don't know much about aimed-blows so I won't tell you much about 
them.  They need high wit and deftness (17 and 17 if possible) and at the very least a 
13 will to be competitive later in life.  The rest of the stats will define how you 
run your aimed-blow, slow if he has the con to take a few hits, fast if he has high 
speed and low con.  I advise any new players to be VERY careful running ABs, they are 
notorious for dying.
     Strikers:  Strikers, much like bashers, generally do not make the best long-term 
warriors.  I run a striker who did well in regular DM but sort of sucks in Advanced 
DM.  He was set up 11-11-5-15-10-17-15.  He is a classic example of a "Biff" striker, 
good for a few wins, but not a god in later life.  You generally can't go wrong with 
strikers.  Give them at least a 15 wit to learn skills, and some speed to help their 
decise.  Low speed = big size, low-size = high-speed.
     Lungers:  Quite possibly the best style in the game.  I am sick of them but they 
can be damn good if made correctly.  Will is the single most important stat.  Lungers 
get tired real quick.  I recommend a setup like this: 11-8-11-17-17-7-13.  This is not 
a god roll-up but it is very good.  At 11 strength you can use ALL lunging weapons.  I 
think the longsword is the best lunging weapon, plain and simple.
     Slashers:  I have made one I think and I don't even run him.  They are a good 
style and like lungers get great ratings, but eat up endurance.  Ask around in your 
arena for help on slashers, I'm sure you can find help. :)

     Okay, now for the five defensives:

     Total Parry:  Well, there is only one way to make a total parry.  This is a very 
good design: 11-15-6-15-21-5-13.  He will have a good parry, a good defense, and a 
good attack.  He needs the wit to learn skills and the will to last long and not give 
up.  Many people might disagree with this design but as far as I'm concerned, it's 
solid.  You can also make a scum, but that is not a total parry.  15-18-11-5-21-3-11.  
He will win early and maybe even later, but suck in the long-haul.
     Parry-Riposte:  I like to consider this my bread-and-butter style.  I am going to 
give very high standards for a parry-rip.  Setup: 7-12-6-21-17-6-15 or if you are 
brave: 7-3-10-17-21-10-17.  Both warriors are very similar to warriors that I run, the 
second is an exact copy of one of my guys.  These roll-ups rarely come up but in my 
opinion a good parry-rip needs to have VERY good stats.  I am a bit biased to parry-
rips but that is just me.
     Parry-Strikes:  I am not the greatest on parry-strikes, but they are similar to a 
P-R.  Higher strength (11-13), con can be around the same (3-12), generally lose 
points in other stats.  Size needs to be low (<9), wit, will, speed and deftness need 
to be reasonably high if you have the points (17-17-9-13) for the last 4 stats would 
be beautiful.  Diplo "Horrible" of Team Titan (157) in Talcama (18) for advice.  He is 
a good PS manager.
     Parry-Lunge:  Much like a P-R in both fighting and the way to be set up.  Try 11-
5-6-17-21-9-15 for a good P-L.  I love the 9 speed on a parry-lunge and the 11 
strength gives good weapon selection and endurance.  All weapons can be used except a 
longspear and even that can be used without too much trouble.  It needs a 9 size.  
Like the lunger, he needs will.  Good style, very strong.
     Wall of Steel:  The waste is another good style for a good winning percentage.  
This setup is strong: 13-8-9-15-21-5-13.  A good style that can be strong against most 
opponents.  Scimitar, medium shield work great.
     Well, I am about done for now.  A few last minute tips, train skills at all 
times!  Never train stats unless it's con, or it is a scum T-P, or a scum basher.  The 
longsword needs 11 ST, 3 SZ, 13 WT?, 11 DF.  Scimitar needs 9-3-11?-11.  WH needs 13-
3-9?-7.  Longsword is best for lungers, scimitar is great for P-L, P-S, P-R, W-S, T-P, 
SL, AB, ST, and the warhammer is a reliable basher or striker weapon.  Well, I hope 
this will help new managers, and good luck!!!  (Oh yeah, always make wit/will/def on 
9, 11, 13, 15, 17 or 21) but do not train up to those stats!
     Please send all flames to "Jolly", Arena 18, Burn n' Pillage (218)
          or
     Adam Teshinsky                          - Jolly the green giant
     843 Cary Quad                           - 18, 69, 104, (2 coming soon!)
     West Lafayette, IN  47906
     (317) 495-2360

P.S.  I am notorious for getting very good guys, and it shows in my opinions.  I 
usually center around wit and will on all warriors though, for in my opinion they are 
the most important!

                             ARE YOU AT YOUR WIT'S END??

     Have you been unsuccessful in your attempts to make warriors that win 
consistently?  Are you unable to find fighting rhythms for your warriors that make 
them look like "studs" rather than "duds"?  If you answered "yes" to either of these 
questions, then read on!  This is another article in the endless stream of articles 
which focuses on how to be more competitive at Duelmasters.  One of my first warriors 
when I started playing in 1985 looked like this: 13-15-10-9-11-16-10.  He was a wall 
of steel that went 0-5 before I DA'd him.  Obviously, if this warrior went 0-5 back 
then, he wouldn't stand a chance of winning today.  Why?  Simply because the amount of 
information available about Duelmasters has skyrocketed.  This article will discuss:

          1. Understanding some of the basics.
          2. Ways to get more DM info.

     This article will attempt to help "close the gap" between you and the managers 
you compete against.  Typically, the only difference between teams at the top and 
bottom of an arena is the amount of knowledge their manager has about the game.  As 
you learn more about DM, you'll be on a more level playing field with your 
competition.

Understanding some of the basics

     The desire to succeed at Duelmasters has prompted many managers to do an 
incredible amount of research about the game.  In doing so, the scientific method has 
taken over.  Hypotheses have been formed and tested, leading to theories, which were 
tested some more.  Years later, many of these theories have become "laws" in most 
manager's minds.  Knowing some of these "laws" is absolutely essential to success in 
Duelmasters.

   Wit & Will:  These stats are generally thought to be the two most important in 
warrior design.  You can do without one or the other in certain instances, but if both 
are below 15 (i.e. Wit-13 Will-13) your warrior will usually be at a disadvantage.

   Warrior overview statements: The warrior overview tells you much more about a 
warrior's potential than meets the eye.  "Wit Statements" (those little sayings under 
the intelligence statement-i.e. "is VERY INTELLIGENT") can tell you your warrior's 
starting skill levels in every area except decisiveness.  If the overview starts out, 
"is BRIGHT" and has no indented lower case statements below it, it's time to visit the 
DA.

   Skills "lost" by stat training:  Some trained stats make your warrior "lose" 
skills.  For instance: training your strength from 14 to 15 makes you "lose" an attack 
and a parry skill unless you already have 20 skills in those skill areas.  It adds a 
skill onto your total in that area, but now that warrior can only train 19 skills 
instead of 20 so in essence, skills are lost (until they can be learned back in 
Gateway, but that's a loooonnnggg time away for new warriors).

     This is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg of knowledge that is waiting out 
there for you.  The next obvious question is, "How do I attain this knowledge?"

Ways to get more DM info:

     Now that I've given you  some examples of things you need to know, I'll give you 
information on how to access this pool of knowledge.  The key here is to expose 
yourself to information.  You can:
     1. Attend a Face to Face Tourney
     2. Join an Alliance
     3. Join the "aRt" (On-line Roundtable)

1. Attend a Face to Face Tourney:  Far and away the most fun of the three options, 
attending a FTF can be quite exciting.  You have lots of time between turns to discuss 
the game, and many managers who are willing to discuss it with you.  In fact, some 
managers are too willing (e.g. Man in Yellow).  It's a fun experience, but can also be 
quite expensive.

2. Join an Alliance:  There are many alliances out there for you to join.  I'm 
personally not in one (though I'm still considering it) but many great managers are so 
you can learn a lot from being in one.  Unfortunately for newer players, some 
alliances are probably closed off from them since they are relatively new to the game.

3. Join the "aRt" (Roundtable):  The roundtable is basically a mailing list (e-mail) 
where managers talk about DM.  More often than not when you ask a question, it gets 
answered by many different people, giving you a wide variety of different views on the 
subject.  I believe you can join the list by e-mailing a "Subscribe Duel-L Your Name" 
message to "listserv@ambience.com.au".  If you start receiving a bunch of messages 
that say "[DUEL]" in the title, you're in!  There are also some homepages on the web 
that deal with DM as well.  Use any search engine (i.e. Yahoo, Webcrawler) and search 
for "Duelmasters."

     Obviously, there is much more information out there than I touched on in this 
article.  Without actively seeking out some of this information, your future in DM 
could be rather grim.  Another way for newer players to learn more is the Duelmasters 
Sponsor program which you can contact RSI about.  If none of this sounds interesting 
to you, but you still want to learn more, ask one of the other managers in your home 
arena.  I've found that people generally like to talk about Duelmasters so it should 
be easy to get a response to any question you might have.
     Thanks for your time in reading this article.  I hope it helps some of you 
achieve more success at Duelmasters.  If any of you have responses, questions, or just 
wanna BS, I can be diploed at Notorious (Arena #32) or e-mailed at MBender842@AOL.COM.

                                                       Marty Bender
                                                       (a.k.a. Destitute Noble)

                                  The Darque Slasher

     I've read through all of the articles offered for the Slashing style, and with
the exception of a few, I am completely unhappy with them.  I know the styles of
today are Lungers and Aimed Blows because they dominate the upper levels.  I like to
make other styles and enjoy the Basic arena, so sometimes I just don't feel like
designing the norm.  I want to offer a few design tips on one of my favorite styles
and one I have relatively good success with in Basic DM (ADM too...for now).  Keep in
mind, this is not an exhaustive look at the Slasher, but merely a few design ideas
and strategy suggestions.

     STR:  9-17.  If anyone tells you otherwise, brand them as a heretic.  Epee is a
nice weapon if you HAVE to use it.  However, if the option is given to you, opt for
the SC.  I personally like the BA, but with other faves as SC and BS, I cannot
complain if I do not reach the 15 Strength.  I normally shoot for Good Damage, but
Normal is also workable.  I have noticed a reoccuring trend of Damage Bonuses on my
Slashers.  Other managers have made the same observations, and this may be an area
worth addressing in a later article.
     Con:  Who cares?  I may be a bit optimistic, but I do not design my warriors on
the theory they will be hit by an opponent.  CON is nice for endurance (slightly) and
damage taking, but unless you are planning a mutant Slasher, do not add any points
here.  Take what you can get!
     Size:  You can't control it, so why fret over it?  I like small Slashers with
lots of Strength.  After thinking about it awhile though, I like all my warriors with
small Size and lots of Strength.
     Wit:  11-21.  I like fast learners (don't we all), but I've had to work with the
slow ones before also.  It is really dependent on your playing style as to what I
suggest for Wit.  As a general rule, HIGH is GOOD, but that holds true in every
instance doesn't it?  I know some managers who will not run anything less than 15,
I'm not that jaded (you freaks know who you are)!  If you want to win and win a lot,
I suggest the high Wit (17 is ideal).  The more patient manager will work better with
the lower Wit, so do what is best for your playing style.
     Will:  15-21.  The higher your Strength and Constitution, the lower the Will can
be on the Slasher.  You want a minimum high-end Normal Endurance.  I like Good
Endurance for those pesky scum, but Normal is very workable.
     Speed:  Once again, it doesn't matter.  I like above a 9, but I have them as low
as 3.  You can never have too much Speed; however, I never add points to this stat.
It is a waste!
     Deftness:  7-21. Most people will tell you 15+.  I have a different theory and
become quite satisfied at 11.  It is a major skill break point, and my Slashers
perform quite well with it.  Higher is possible, but do not sacrifice other vital
stats for an extremely high Deftness.  I know the critics will say you need it to hit
your target, and I agree.  But, what good will it do your warrior to strike his
intended target if he cannot knock the opponent out due to low strength, or is unable
to function past minute one due to low Will?  DO NOT sacrifice other vitals for a
high Deftness. Look at the overall picture!

           JUST A FEW EXAMPLE WARRIORS in the DARQUE STABLES (successful):

             1>   9-11-11-15-17-10-11         2>  15- 6- 6-15-21-10-11
             3>  10-10- 8-15-17-13-11         4>  13-10- 7-17-17- 9-11
             5>   9- 3-13-21-15-16- 7         6>  10-10-10-15-15- 3-21
             7>  17- 9-11-15-15- 6-11         8>  15- 4- 8-17-17-12-11

I DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH ROOM TO LIST THE ALL THE MISTAKES I HAVE MADE.

     You will notice a pattern in most of them.  From the examples above, four were
blessed in their damage rating.  I mentioned in the design theory above that I prefer
an 11 Deftness, and my warriors prove this point. Two Tournament Victors are in the
above list, and one will hopefully be one in an upcoming mailer.  These are/were my
most successful due in large (I believe) to the guidelines I have given above.  Good
Damage (or better in some cases), Good Endurance, and good weapon selection are vital
to a Slasher's success.  If you design a terrible warrior, do not expect great
results.

     Strategy:  Although the general populace of DM believes that 10-10-6-Decise is
the answer to every offensive situation, I disagree (okay, not an emphatic
disagree...but sort of...just read on).  It is a viable strat in many situations, but
most managers do not explore outside of those set ranges for something that works.  I
have tried many strategies with the Slasher, and I continue to experiment, but the
following are just a few that have given me success in the past year.
     My typical strategy is 10-10-6 with no tactic.  I believe slashers riposte
better when unmodified, or in my experience they do.  I normally drop down to 9-5-6
in minute two, followed by 8-2-6 for the rest of the fight.  In desparation, I have
yet to find a spectacular set of numbers, so I normally experiment.  If I run 10-10-
6-Decise, my Slasher has shown exceptional tendencies towards that tactic (possible
favorite learn or bonused in that area).  Minutes two and on are the same for most of
my strats.  If you fight those pesky scum, carry a big weapon and go 7-3-7 for the
entire fight.  If you are having problems with Strikers, Bashers, and Parry Strikes,
I have found that Response works well with a Slasher.  My theory is once response
negates decise, an Initiative roll is began.  In most instances, a Slasher will win
an Initiative roll.  It has worked wonders for me and vastly improved my Win/Loss.
10-10-x or an inverted 8-10-x is what I use in most situations.

     Well, that is it for the Darque Slasher.  This is really a work in progress, but
I figured I would share my views with the rest of the DM populace.  Feel free to
disagree with me, I'm sure some will have reservations about what I have written.
However, the above guidelines work for me on a consistent basis.  Yes, I'm aware the
numbers I gave you would make a decent anything, but I'm not designing anything else,
I'm designing a Slasher!!!  Have fun with it and enjoy the game once in awhile!

Master Darque
Darque Forces DM 31, 103

                      Beginner's Guide to Duelmasters Rebuttal

     Now, I've never talked to, or even heard of, Fritz of Battle Pets (which is okay, 
because I'm sure a bunch of you have never heard of me, either), but I read Fritz's 
article, and felt that I had to write a response.  I am known as Drake, and I've been 
playing this game for a little better than four years.  Now, this does not make me the 
ultimate authority on Duelmasters (there are a lot of managers out there that are a 
hell of a lot better than me), but I do think that I know what I'm doing.
     Now, for the most part, Fritz's article doesn't have anything wrong with it, but 
there are a few points that I noticed that I do believe could hurt new players in the 
long run (no offense intended towards Fritz or his intelligence as a manager).  So, in 
all good conscience, I could not let his article go by without a rebuttal.
     First, he placed too many stats on even numbers in his example rollups.  When 
designing a warrior, it seems that the more odd numbers in the stats, the better the 
luck factor will be.  The values that you really want to shoot for are 7, 9, 11, 13, 
15, 17, and 21.  These values seem to offer more skills and are better for getting a 
high luck factor.  Now, I know it is impossible to have a rollup with all odd stats, 
so the one even stat should either be con or size if you can manage it.  These are the 
two least important stats (in my opinion; a lot of managers feel that con and speed 
are the bottom of the stat pile; however, we all agree that con is about useless 
because it does not give your warrior ANY skills), and also the least hampered by even 
numbers.  As far as stat importance goes, most managers will tell you that wit, 
deftness, and will (in that order) are the most important stats for any warriors of 
any style.
     Now, about the styles themselves.
     BASHERS:  An okay style that does well in basic, but tends to lose steam in ADM 
unless designed with extremely good stats.  The ranges I suggest are:  ST 13-17 (21 is 
nice but wastes points), CN 3-7 (no offensive style needs con), SZ 6+ (9 is perfect), 
WT 13+, WL 13+, SP 5-9 (not really that important), DF 13+.  I feel that Fritz's first 
example had too much speed and not enough deftness, and his second rollup had far too 
much con and not enough deftness.  Deftness is what gives you more skills and helps 
you place your shots where you want them; a deftness of less than 11 will severely 
hamper your warrior's performance.  As for weapons, the best for bashing seems to be 
the MA, WH, MS, and HL.  For the most part, you will want to run your bashers all-out 
offensive, with no more armor than ARM or ASM and F.
     LUNGER:  This is a style that one of my biggest disagreements with Fritz comes 
from.  His sample setup had WAY too much speed and way too little deftness.  Lungers 
DO NOT need speed.  For a lunger, a speed above 9 is a waste.  Basically, I suggest 
you try the following stat ranges:  ST 9-13, CN 3-7, SZ 6-11, WT 15+, WL 17+, SP 5-9, 
DF 13+.  As for weapons and strategy, use the SH, LO, SS, and LS with all-out offense, 
and 10-10-6 dodge in desperation.
     SLASHER:  Recently this style has started to gain a lot of respect among 
experienced managers.  Fritz gave his slasher too much con and speed and not nearly 
enough will and also shorted it on deftness.  I suggest:  ST 9-13, CN 3-6, SZ 6-11, WT 
15+, WL 15+, SP 7-11, DF 13+.  Slashers tend to burn a lot of endurance (almost as 
much as a lunger or wall of steel), and need a good will and strength combo for at 
least good endurance.  For weapons, try the HA, SH, SC, and BS.  Try running them like 
bashers (high offense, and low to mid activity), and never use the slash tactic; it 
hurts your decise, parry, and defense too much.
     STRIKER:  Fritz's had too much size and speed and not enough deftness.  Also, I 
would suggest avoiding the high size, low speed and deftness type of striker because 
they never seem to do well.  I suggest: ST 9-13, CN 3-7, SZ 6+, WT 15+, WL 13+, SP 7-
13, DF 13+.  Run them with a high offensive effort, and a medium to high activity 
level, and try using a DA, HA, SC, BS, MS, or WH.
     AIMED BLOW:  The best advice I can give you on these is to forget it.  This is a 
very picky and hard to run style.  I still haven't managed a successful one.  A lot of 
managers will tell you that a good aimed blow would make a better something else, and 
they may be right.
     TOTAL PARRY:  Fritz's advice on TPs is pretty much right on.  I generally try 
for:  ST 9-13, CN 8-10 (enough for normal hit points in 2 stat raises), SZ 3-11, WT 
13+, WL 15+, SP 3-7, DF 13+.
     PARRY-STRIKE:  This is another style I haven't had a lot of success with.  
Whether this is just bad luck or a fault of the style, I don't know.  However, if you 
want to try one, I suggest the following stats:  ST 9-13, CN 5-10 (PS can get away 
with a low con better than other defensives), SZ 3-11, WT 15+, WL 13+, SP 7-11, DF 
13+.  Try running them like strikers until they get some Expert ratings, then use 
their skills as a guide.  Good weapons are:  SH, SC, LO, BS, and WH with an offhand 
shield.
     PARRY-LUNGE:  A lot of experienced managers feel that this is the best style in 
the game.  Fritz's design was okay, but there was too much size, and too many even 
stats.  You might want to try:  ST 7-11, CN 8-10, SZ 3-11, WT 15+, WL 17+, SP 3-7, DF 
13+.  Run them like lungers until they get some Experts.  As for your weapons, try to 
EP, SH, SC, LO, or SS with an offhand shield.
     PARRY-RIPOSTE:  Fritz's design was okay, but they really don't need that much 
con.  A low con can be compensated with a high initial parry and/or defense for any 
warrior.  The stats I try for are:  ST 7-11, CN 8-10, SZ 3-11, WT 15+, WL 13+, SP 7-
11, DF 15+.  Basically, a beginning PR should be run like a TP.  Try using the EP, SH, 
SC, LO, or SS with an offhand shield.
     WALL OF STEEL:  Also known as the waste.  This is one of my personal favorite 
styles.  The way I usually design them is:  ST 9-13, CN 8-10, SZ 3-11, WT 13+, WL 17+, 
SP 3-7, DF 13+.  A good rule is to try and make sure that WT and WL is equal to at 
least 30 for good initial skill levels.  Wastes should be run defensively for the 
first couple of minutes, offensively towards the middle minutes, and slowing down 
towards the end.  The best waste weapons are the SC, BS, MS, and BA.
     Now, Fritz's designs may be working for him, and there is nothing wrong with 
using what works, but I think that if he gets most of those sample warriors to ADM he 
will end up in trouble.  This is way I wrote this article.  A lot of younger managers 
find out that warriors who were doing great for them in basic end up getting trashed 
in ADM.  It happened to me, and as far as I know, everyone else I know.  I hope this 
article will help make the transition from basic to ADM a little easier for a lot of 
new managers out there.
     One last thing.  As I said before, I am not the greatest manager in the game (or 
anywhere near it), but I do know what I'm doing.  However, don't feel that this 
article is in any way absolute.  If one of your warriors doesn't fall within the 
ranges given, it is not necessarily useless.  So long as your warrior has at least 13s 
in WT, WL, and DF, and they total at least 43, your warrior should be fine.
     If you have any comments, questions, or just think I'm completely insane, feel 
free to contact Drake at any of the following teams and arenas:  Power Tools Inc (47, 
101, and 103), Drake's Bar-B-Q (15, 103), Drake's Lodge (50), or Ballroom Blitz (3).
     Good luck all, and may you never run into a slasher wielding a chainsaw.

                            Yet Another Striker Article

     This is an article on strikers, so if you really hate the style (as I know many 
of you do), I suggest ignoring it completely because this is being written by someone 
who LIKES strikers and knows how to design them, fight them, and win with them. <grin>
     A good striker can have any design.  They can use any weapon, any strategy, and 
they should be able to beat any other style.  They are the simplistic basic fighter.  
They know how to slash, dodge, lunge, bash, riposte, parry, and respond (we already 
know they are decisive).
     So why do they get all this bad press, us striker lovers ask?  (I realize that 
anyone who has gotten this far must like strikers; the rest of them have quit in 
disgust.)  It's pretty simple, actually--strikers invariably get lower skill bases 
than most offensive styles and they also seem to mimic aimed blows in that even if 
they HAVE the initiative, often they won't attack (even with an Advanced Master 
attack).  It's frustrating at times, and that I'll admit; but the fun fights I've 
gotten from strikers all too often make it up for me (don't let those cynics fool 
you--strikers can dish out FAR more interesting fights than lungers!).
     Okay, enough exposition (author-type word).  On with the meat of a design 
article:

ST:  I like them powerful.  11 and up.  More weapon selection and greater damage.
CN:  The usual.  Doesn't matter.  A really good striker shouldn't ever get hit (except 
by one of my slashers).
SZ:  Any, of course.  I like nice, big strikers for damage (it IS fun to get 
TREMENDOUS on the rollup), but I have some just as good from SZ 6-9.  9 is a pretty 
good average to go on (but never discount a SZ 17, especially if he has a 21 WT).
WT:  High.  The higher the better.  Of course a striker can have any WT (especially a 
dixie), but if you're looking for one to keep, then no lower than 17 is a must in this 
stat.
WL:  This is where the trick comes in.  A striker can succeed with as low as a 5 WL in 
the regular arena.  I don't recommend this unless you're as crazy as me.  Don't go 
lower than 7.  At the moment, I'm advocating the low WL striker, so don't go higher 
than 13 on the outside.  He needs the WT and DF more.  9-11 is perfect.
SP:  Who cares?
DF:  The second most important stat for a striker of this sort.  High, high, high!  17 
or 21, nothing else will do.  (Oh, all right, if you MUST, then 15 is all right.  I 
don't recommend it, and don't blame me if you do go with THAT number.)

     Okay, you have your 13-9-10-21-9-5-17, what do you do with it?  Well, give him a 
scimitar, of course, and put a little (very little) armor on him.  I recommend no more 
than ALE/L (perhaps APL/L).  Don't worry about seeing a bad endurance statement on his 
overview!  It doesn't matter.  Run him like this:

10   6    6    5    5    5    10
10   2    2    1    1    1     5
 6 --------------------------- >
RA --------------------------- >
HE --------------------------- > (or body, or whatever other part you worry about)

     Why ones, you ask?  One thing I really love about strikers is their endurance 
bonus.  They can last and last and last, even with a 5 will.  My motto is, "strikers 
are keen, strikers are great, strikers take down total parries in plate."  You say 
you're pestered by those nasty scum?  Say they've been destroying your record?  Well, 
this is your answer.
     Then decide what kind of tactics you'd like to try.  A striker can use them all 
with some amount of success--most folks go with decise and that's cool early on.  
Naturally, you can counter other strikers using decise with responsiveness (and 
confuse other strikers coming at you with responsiveness by using dodge or no tactic 
at all!).  Most of the time I use either decise, response, dodge, or nothing.  The 
other tactics can be amusing, depending on the weapon you've given your striker--slash 
with scimitar or bash with war hammer or lunge with longsword.  Parry and riposte can 
be used to modest success in desperation, but I don't too often do it, since I usually 
have my strikers use a scimitar until they get to ADM and thereafter use their 
favorites (unless, as in the case of Ethan Edwards, you've gotten a small shield).  If 
their favorite is a two-handed weapon, then use the scimitar as a backup.
     Speaking of weapons: the scimitar is probably your best bet.  Scimitar is light, 
fast, strong, and deadly.  I've heard that it does devastating things when you're 
aiming for the head, but I don't advocate killing strategies.  Strikers already seem 
to have a kill advantage, no need to increase it; aim for the arms with the 6 KD (or 
5).  It's a nice thing to do. 
     And that's basically it.  But just to further my position, here are some samples 
that will show you what I'm talking about:

13-5-17-17-10-9-13  This warrior maxed out in 69 fights.  Yes!  Total!  He's currently 
     32-28-2, maxed with Ad Master init, Master rip, attack, and decise, Ad Ex 
     defense, and Ex parry.  As for worrying about stat raises, he's been maxed out 
     for five turns and already has four WL increases.
9-9-11-17-11-10-17  He ripped up his regular arena and went to ADM with a 15-5-4 
     record (no tournaments).  Currently: 39-26-4 with Masters in init, rip, attack, 
     def, and decise; Ad Ex parry.
17-6-11-17-9-11-13  Currently 33-24-3 with Masters init, rip, attack, decise, Ex 
     defense.
11-13-11-21-9-6-13  Currently 28-19-0 with Masters init, attack, decise and Ad Ex rip.
17-8-7-17-5-13-17  Went to ADM with a 19-9-4 record; currently 24-24-4 (ADM has not 
     been kind).  Still, he got two WL increases in four tries (it's 7 now) and he's 
     doing better overall; Masters attack & decise, Ad Master rip, As Ex init, Ex 
     defense.

For a change of pace (and to please those who want more endurance in their strikers), 
I have:
10-10-10-21-14-11-8  He got off to a slow start.  He's in Primus now with five 
     Advanced Masters and dozens of stat raises.  He's 55-55-4 (keeping a real even 
     record), and he's one of the ones that has that trouble with attacking with the 
     initiative.  One of his Ad Masters is, of course, attack.
12-15-4-18-21-4-10  Why did I make this a striker?  Because I didn't know any better 
     at the time! <grin>  He's 54-43-2 with Ad Master attack (not as much trouble as 
     the other, yet it's still there; I think the low WL strikers handle this better), 
     Masters init, parry, def, and decise, Ad Ex rip.
12-12-7-20-14-9-10  Went to ADM with a losing record, 17-20-3.  Currently 53-47-3 in 
     Primus with an Ad Master rip, Masters in init, attack, defense, and decise, Ad Ex 
     parry.

     Well, I have lots of other strikers, too, but these are the ones I term the "good 
ones."  (If anyone's interested, I could also show you how to make the WORST striker 
in existence--currently the reigning "pud" of Home Guard.)  Strikers have been, for 
me, the "fall back on" style; the style I'll make a rollup that can't be anything 
else.  I don't recommend that.  But they can be fun and provide hours of amusement, 
especially the ones that shouldn't win on a dare--and do.  (And oh, the fun when, 
after eleven minutes of beating on some plate-clad scum, they WIN instead of falling 
down--and they've been panting since minute 2!)
     Comments, criticisms, the usual hyperbole, to: Tex, mgr. Tex's Rangers (51, 104, 
101, 105); Excellent Venture (13, 103, 101), etc.

                                  The Godling Heresy

                                         Or
                    An Argument for Giving Every Warrior a Chance

     It came to me in a flash, but I'd like you to bear with me while I lay a little
groundwork in this article, because it's going to take just a little longer than a
flash to explain it.
     As I understand the term, a godling is a warrior who is expected to be superior
at all levels of play, but especially once he graduates and reaches the Isle (and
thus is safe from death).
     When you do a roll-up, you arrange the stats and choose the style, and from
these two factors, the computer calculates starting (base) skills.  The number
crunchers have done a LOT of research on this, and they can fairly well tell you what
the normal (mode) base skills for any warrior are, given his starting stats and his
style.  But sometimes, a random factor will kick in, and a warrior may be bonused
over the skills that would be expected and have more than expected, or, of course,
the reverse.  This you can't know until you get the overview and compare the
statements on it to one of the charts produced by a number cruncher.
     Note that this means that if you send the warrior directly to the Dark Arena at
the same time you send in the roll-up, you won't know about any possible bonuses
until it's too late.
     A warrior increases skills over his base during fighting by a) training skills
and/or b) training stats.  By training nothing but skills, you can learn twenty in
each of the six skill areas; then you're "maxed."  But you can also gain skills at
some points in the stat-training sequence, and if you train stats and gain skills
that way before you max skill trains, they will be counted against your twenty for
the skill in question.  So you still get twenty skills, what's the difference?  Ah,
but if you max the skills and THEN train stats, you get MORE than twenty!  This is
the argument behind all those admonitions not to train stats early in a warrior's
career.  The skills earned by training a stat to, say, 17 are calculated on exactly
the same chart as the skills earned by having a starting stat of 17.
     If two warriors, both of the same style, both entirely mode, start out as Abel:
7-8-8-17-17-12-17 and Baker: 17-17-8-10-11-12-9, by the time they have maxed skills
and trained all their stats up to 21, they will be exactly identical in skills!
Where's your godling then?  Abel may have been more exciting to run, he may have
taken off faster and had some rather spectacular wins, but he is equally likely to be
dead.  So what's the big deal with the trip-17?  Instant gratification, maybe, or
maybe just muddy thinking.
     But wait, there's more!
     Each warrior has a favorite weapon, a favorite rhythm, and sometimes a favorite
tactic, and THAT makes a lot of difference...but you don't find out (for sure) until
the warrior graduates.  Suppose you had two warriors with Abel's stats as given
above, both slashers, let's say, and one had scimitar, high/low favorites and the
other had hatchet moderate/low favorites.  The one with the scimitar is most likely
to do better than his twin.
     So that makes two things you can't possibly know when you send in your roll-up
sheet: bonuses and favorites.  Both of these are critical to the state of being a
godling, and my heretical opinion is that any reasonably good warrior should be given
a chance to demonstrate the presence or absence of bonuses and allow at least an
intelligent deduction as to favorites before being declared "worthless."  It seems to
me that the managers who engage in the wholesale use of the Dark Arena on unproven
roll-ups are missing a good bet.  If they're only interested in high-end play and
don't care about their win/loss record in Basic, why don't they give the half-way
decent roll-ups a chance?

     For a few examples of the things that might be hiding behind an untried set of
numbers, I'm going to give you the facts on some real warriors.  These are decent but
not extreme, ones I've graduated and have the numbers on.  All are slashers, so there
will be no style-based differences.

A:  16-10- 9-15-17- 7-10                G:  13-17- 9-17-10- 9- 9
B:   9- 8-13-17-17- 9-11                H:   9- 8-13-17-15-11-11
C:   9- 5-14-15-17-11-13                I:  10-12-12-15-13-13- 9
D:   9-12-13-17-17- 3-13                J:   9- 9-13-15-15-11-12
E:  17- 9- 7-11-17-13-10                K:   9-13-10-15- 9-15-13
F:  12-13-15-13- 9- 9-13

None are "godlings" in the sense of having outstanding numbers.  Many of them would
never have seen the light of day under other management.  If you could only run two
of these warriors, which would you pick?

     Here's the rest of the facts--
     A:  16-10-9-15-17-7-10, favorites are scimitar, very high/very low.  +1 init, +1
def, +4 dec.  Good potential.  A lot of skills waiting for an increase in DF.
     B:  9-8-13-17-17-9-11, favorites are broadsword, high/low.  +2 rip.  Good
potential.
     C:  9-5-14-15-17-11-13, favorites are hatchet, high/low.  +4 init, -4 rip, +1
dec.  Junk, because of the favorite weapon.
     D:  9-12-13-17-17-3-13, favorites are longsword, moderate/low.  +1 init.  Same
as C, junked by his favorites.
     E:  17-9-7-11-17-13-10, favorites are scimitar, moderate/moderate.  +2 def, +4
dec.  Rhythm and weapon are excellent, but he'd have been better with a bonus in
attack.  Still, there are a lot of skills just waiting for the stat raises in DF and
WT.
     F:  12-13-15-13-9-9-13, favorites are great axe, moderate/moderate.  +1 rip, +3
att, -2 def.  Mediocre, the penalty in defense offsetting the bonus in attack.
Raising stats will be hard, too.
     G:  13-17-9-17-10-9-9, favorites are great axe, very high/low.  +1 ini, +4 rip,
+2 att, +2 par, +2 def, +1 dec.  An interesting oddity (bonuses in ALL skills), but
basically mediocre, and the low WL will give trouble when it comes to raising stats.
     H:  9-8-13-17-15-11-11, favorites are broadsword, high/very low.  -1 rip, +1
par, +4 def.  Not bad at all.
     I:  10-12-12-15-13-13-9, favorites are battle axe, high/very low.  +2 dec.  Not
bad, but not great, either.
     J:  9-9-13-15-15-11-12, favorites are scimitar, moderate/very low.  -1 rip, +3
par, +3 dec.  Possible.
     K:  9-13-10-15-9-15-13, favorites are shortsword, very high/low, slash tactic.
+1 init, -4 rip, +2 att, +3 def, +3 dec.  Unfortunate weapon, but otherwise quite
possible.  Favorite or no, I'd give this one a scimitar to fight with.
     I forget off-hand which ones I'm actually running of these, if any, but just
looking at the list, I'd pick E and probably H.  But you see what I mean about not
being able to tell the warrior's potential from the initial roll-up sheet?  These
warriors weren't sorted by anything except style; they're simply the first eleven
slashers on my list of graduates.  None of them have "great" numbers.  None of the
DIED.  Not ONE of them is mode.  There's variation in favorite weapons and rhythms.
My recollection is that all of them did reasonably well in Basic.
     I'm not advocating running every rotten replacement that comes down the pike (I
do it, but that's a different story), but give those so-so roll-ups a chance to show
their stuff.  They might surprise you.

                                       Jorja
                                  The Middle Way 3

                             THE HIGH STRENGTH AIMED BLOW

                                          BY
                                     DONALD TRUMP

     While it's not entirely true that the aimed blow style is misunderstood, it IS 
often maligned by experienced managers.  Many tell beginning managers to avoid it, and 
I believe that this is doing the style an injustice.  Aimed blows can be the most 
fulfilling style to run, and are easily addictive.  What better way for a beginning 
manager to get into the game than by running a successful aimed blow?  It's a better 
notch on their belt than running a successful lunger to AD, I think.
     The following information is gleaned from my own experience, a long-standing feud 
over the style (which I subsequently lost) with Vlad Taltos, long conversations with 
Slowburn, Shadowmaster, Lady Hawk, Tex and Roadkill, and the longwinded diatribes of 
many on the DM roundtable on Internet.
     The setup for aimed blows is easily the most important part of their makeup.  
While other styles, bashers, lungers and even parry-strikers, for example, can make up 
for a poor setup by proper strategy, challenge and avoid decisions, the aimer cannot.  
A properly designed and run aimed blow can defeat any style; a poorly designed aimed 
blow can't beat anyone.
     Below is the setup I use for aimers.  It is somewhat different than what I've 
seen from other managers, but no more or less successful than usual.  I'm sure it will 
cause some stir among the aimer-running general public.
     ST:  I like it high, 13+.  High ST does four things for your Aimed Blow: it helps 
out endurance, it gives better encumbrance, it tends to give you better damage 
ratings, and it helps your Attack rating.
     Encumbrance is an important, and often neglected, part of the AB's makeup.  I 
currently have 2 AB's with 17 ST, and the high ST allows me to run them in ADM/H.  
Since encumbrance is high (normal to good), it allows me to run them in heavy armor 
without penalty, and also helps their damage-taking.  This is important early in their 
career, as many young aimers tend to lose after short flurries by offensives.  Later 
in their careers the extra damage taking isn't done at the expense of skills.  A 17 ST 
can be raised to 25 in AD without undue strain, and actually *gains* skills.
     The other areas can be helped out by other stats: CN, WT, and DF.  WT and DF 
certainly give more skills than ST does, but I believe that in the long run Aimers are 
better served by a few extra points in ST than in WT or DF.
     CN:  Any, naturally.  I like some CN, 7-9, just to help out encumbrance, 
endurance, and damage-taking.  Obligatory remark: Never add points.
     SZ:  The sticking point for many rollups.  All aimers (mine, yours, probably even 
Shadowmaster's) require WT 17 DF 17 minimum to succeed.  With high ST as well, this 
doesn't allow much leeway for SZ.  Since you can't change it, I'd say any SZ will do, 
but for this rollup, anything over 10 probably isn't going to work.
     WT:  No controversy here.  17 or 21.  I've seen 15 WT rollups do well, and if 
you've got 21 DF, maybe that's enough, but for a standard I'd say 17.
     WL:  I like to see a decent WL, if only because low WL rollups face a brick wall 
on stat trains once they max out on skills.  Many managers specify 9, 13, 17 or *gasp* 
21, but I say add points to get ST 13, WT 17, DF 17 first, then add whatever's left to 
WL, even if it makes it 10, 12, 14, or whatever.  It's not as important as ST/WL/DF.
     SP:  Blech.  5 if you can get it (I'm superstitious about 3 SP) otherwise leave 
it at whatever you get.  High SP aimers won't kill you, but it does take up valuable 
points better used elsewhere.
     DF:  Still no controversy.  17 or 21.  Yes, I've seen the aberrant 15 DF aimers, 
but that's really only for 21 WT characters, and managers who just *have* to have an 
aimed blow (do any of those really exist?).  21 DF aimed blows get real *nice* bonuses 
to attack, better than you might expect.  So, if you can, go for it, but don't make a 
13 WT aimed blow because of it.
     Some examples of good aimed blows I would actually run:

     #1   #2   #3   #4   #5   #6
ST   17   17   21   13   17   17
CN    3   12    3    8    6    3
SZ    8    5   10    7    7    8
WT   17   17   15   17   17   17
WL   13    7    5   15   11   17
SP    9    5    9    7    9    5
DF   17   21   21   17   17   17
     
     #1 is an actual character.  Currently 6-2-1 (both losses to characters with 15+ 
more fights).  Bases aren't great (so far, attack 60%) but looks great and should have 
good long-term potential.
     #2 is another actual character.  Started out Expert attack (something about that 
21 DF) and great damage (how did that happen?).  Currently 1-1-0.
     #3 is yet another actual character.  Started out Advanced Expert attack and great 
damage.  Died at something like 4-3-1 to a lunger who DA'd the next turn. (I hate you, 
Lords of Malbolge!)
     #4 and #5 are both examples of good but not great characters who would make 
excellent aimers.
     #6 is what I would make if I got an immortal design-your-own.  The "perfect" 
character.  Probably would die on first fight if I ever actually made that character. 
[grin]
     Strategy:
     Armor:  The main advantage my aimed blows have over others is their ability to 
wear armor, so use it!  ASM/H is pretty much standard operating procedure, but I dip 
into ARM/S for TP's and go as high as APM/F vs. lungers (if I know they're going to 
challenge me).
     Weapon Selection:  Nothing special here.  My aimers can use any weapon, from fist 
to longsword to epee.  The main point most people bring up about my aimers is that all 
that ST is wasted, since it doesn't add weapons to their repertoire.  This is a valid 
point, but I believe the extra armor, damage, etc. makes the points well spent.
     Offensive Effort:  Moderate (5-6) to Very High (9-10).  You really have to 
experiment to see what your aimer likes.  I've included a beginning strategy for 
aimers; adjust it to see what your aimer likes.
     Activity Level:  Low (3-4) to High (7-8) usually, Very High for minute 1 if 
you're in an arena with a plethora of offensive-types.  Once again, see what your 
aimer likes.
     Kill Desire:  Depends on you.  I don't believe in that "7 maximizes Decise" 
voodoo that someone came up with (how do you measure that?) but I like mine in a 
middlin' range: 4-7.  Generally, I run at 6.
     Challenges:  Good challenges are any parry style, but particularly parry-strikes 
and total parries; other aimed blows, obviously, and Wall of Steels.
     Avoids:  Avoid lungers like the plague.  If you know they're coming (on a 
bloodfeud, for instance) then wear APM/F and carry an off-hand shield.  Your only real 
chance is to withstand their offensive barrage and hit 'em when they're tired.  Once 
you're skilled, it's a slightly different story, but generally their attack rating is 
going to be better than your parry and defense rating.  Strikers and slashers are also 
good styles to avoid.  Aimers tend to do well against bashers, but I still wouldn't 
challenge one.
     Beginning Standard Strategy:

          1st  2nd  3rd  4th  5th  6th  Desp      Weapon Selection
Off Eff   10    8    8    6    5    4    2
Act Lev   10    8    6    4    3    2   10        (0,7)  SC
Kil Des    6    6    6    6    5    4    4        (8,14) SS
Att Loc   RA   --------------------------->       (15,+) LO
Pro Loc   BD   ---------------------->  LE

Off Tac    L
Def Tac                                  D

     I hope this inspires some debate about the style, and maybe even some of you to 
try it.  Don't be discouraged by early failures or even deaths.  This will come 
around.

Donald Trump, CEO Trump Gladiatorial Enterprises with wholly owned subsidiaries in:
Lapur (29) -- Perfect Timing
Murska (35) -- Too Much Posse
Vithicar (49) -- Colorful
Andor (57) -- Stragety, Dammit!

                   The Zen of Putting Your Opponents Six Feet Under

     This article is the result of a fellow Duelmasters manager asking me how to 
efficiently go about the business of killing.  He stated that I was "the resident 
expert" on the Duelmasters Round Table (an e-mail chat group) and was therefore the 
person to come to for tips.  Well, this got me thinking, and the reply that I sent to 
him is a subset of this full-fledged article.
     As for being an "expert," all I can say is that I hold the record for most  kills 
in Alastari with any one stable.  As of the end of January, Merlin's Lot in Sibikhas 
took the title with a record of 598-506-67.  The previous holder of the title was the 
infamous Death Squad of Zukal, but their overall record is 629-524-66, so my kill 
percentage is somewhat better, having the same number of kills in 49 less fights.
     So, for all of you who want to strike constant fear in the hearts of your weak 
opponents, here's my tips:

     1) This is my most important rule, and it is a corollary of Doc LeGrand's famous 
"First Rule of Duelmasters", which was "You can't die if you don't lose."  My rule is 
"You can't kill if you don't win." This is just as obvious as Doc LeGrand's rule, but 
many managers go forth and design what they believe to be "killers" with all sorts of 
scary damage ratings and the ability to swing two mauls.  But the likelihood of these 
warriors winning is rather slim, because they're brain-dead, or ponderously slow, or 
are just as likely to chop their own leg off at the knee as to hit their opponent.  
Sure, they might get lucky in one or two of their first few fights, but is one kill 
worth a 2-6-1 record and four skills learned followed by a DA?  Only the most twisted 
bloodthirsty manager would think so, and that's not me.  So, first you have to start 
with a warrior that will win at least half of his first 10 fights (or however long you 
think this warrior will last, although this number of fights is important, and will be 
discussed later in Point #9).  That is critical.  When all else is equal, the more you 
win, the more you'll kill...  guaranteed.
     2) You have to be offensive.  There's no getting around it.  You have to run with 
at least a 7 kill desire, and, while I can safely say that I got most of my kills 
running with a 9 or 10 KD, I also feel that I could have avoided more than a few 
losses by toning that down a little.  There is a big trade-off here; raising KD means 
more kills, but it can also mean less wins.  With a 10 KD, when your warrior is on the 
ropes, he'll be way too berserk to even care.  I now normally run at 6 or 7 KD, and go 
no higher than 9, but the rate that I've been getting kills has noticeably decreased.
     3) Point #2 does NOT mean that your warrior must be one of the offensive styles!  
Defensive warriors can be excellent killers as well, most notably, parry-lungers, 
parry-strikers and wastes.  Total parries and parry-ripostes just don't seem to have 
the knack.  Still, though, you can't just change the KD on your normal defensive 
strategy and hope to kill.  It's just not that easy.  You'll have to completely modify 
your warrior's strategy to get that killing edge.  This means high offensive effort, 
but not necessarily high activity.  I've had two parry-strikers that were great 
killers, but I ran them 7-7-7, which is out of the bounds of their potential favorite 
numbers.  Parry-lungers are better suited to killing because they can be run 
(relatively successfully) just like lungers.  There was a recent discussion on the 
Duelmasters Roundtable concerning parry-strikers that said that many managers run 
rookie PSs 10-10-6.  Well, how much different is 10-10-9, apart from the SLIGHT 
potential for more losses, as stated in Point #2?  Not that much, if you're looking to 
get that eagerly sought after "Belly-Up Silhouette" on the mantle of your stable's 
guildhouse....
     4) Your killer will have to do some damage.  This does not NECESSARILY mean that 
he will have to do at least good damage (although, for my killers, I prefer at least 
great damage).  What it DOES mean is that, if your warrior does only normal damage, 
he's going to have to hit A LOT to get that kill intent statement!  There's nothing 
more pleasing than having your tremendous damage basher send one shot to an opponent's 
head, get the death intent statement, and one more swing and the undertaker's already 
reserving a slab.  This just cannot be accomplished with a normal damage warrior, and 
is particularly difficult for any warrior that doesn't do at least great damage.  
     5) Obviously, to maximize your killing potential, you have to aim at vitals.  I 
prefer the head, although many of my lungers have gotten their kills aiming for the 
abdomen.  Also, a high deftness will greatly help in this regard, because it does no 
good to aim at the head and hit your opponent five times in five different locations.  
Sure, you'll get the win, but you'll have a much more difficult time getting the kill, 
unless you get lucky and that last swing before the death intent connects with one of 
your opponent's vital body parts.
     6) Killing means weeding out the worthless and weak.  One of my favorite sayings 
is "If a warrior dies, he wasn't meant to live." Of course, I use this to justify 
going after warriors that I BELIEVE just don't deserve to live, like that 2-6 ripper, 
or that 6-7 aimed blow who has gotten some lucky challenges through to defensives, but 
is finally going to have his luck catch up with him.  Or any warrior belonging to a 
member of the Ivory League...  You have to be merciless to enjoy killing, and to go 
after the warriors that deserve to die.  That's the Dark Circle way.  Also, when you 
have a chance to REALLY get a slam dunk on an opponent (and there is no better example 
than having a champion bloodfeud an initiate), then, by all means, crank up that KD 
all the way to 10.  You KNOW you're going to win, and your chance of killing is 
maximized.  Go for it.
     7) When in doubt, at least challenge warriors you know that you can HIT, not 
necessarily BEAT, just HIT HARD!  This tip is really only good for warriors that do at 
least great damage.  The more damage you do, the more likely that one hit will be all 
you'll need (especially if you hit where you're aiming, as I stated in Point #5, as 
hitting the head HARD could cause the stun that could win you the fight, or hitting 
the legs HARD could cause that all-important knockdown).  If there's a great lunger 
out there, but he's slow and you've sent him desperate with one shot from your faster 
striker before the lunger's dodge strategy kicked in and he pounded you, challenge him 
again and you'll be more than likely to send him desperate again!  Maybe you got a bad 
roll last time.  Maybe you'll get a really good roll this time....
     8) Being on the receiving end of a bloodfeud can be a good way to get those slam-
dunks as well.  If you kill a warrior who comes from a relatively new team, or from a 
team that has no warriors above yours (or, at least, no warriors that can beat yours), 
then you're home free.  Crank up the KD and stack up the opposition like cordwood as 
they try to revenge their pathetic loser.
     9) As we all know, the younger a warrior is, the more likely he is to kill when 
he wins or die when he loses.  Therefore, the tips on challenging that I have just 
stated should practically be ignored for any warrior in the Challenger Adepts or 
higher.  This does not mean that Champions don't die; far from it!  Sibikhas recently 
lost its Duelmaster, and arenas like Sunset and Talcama (where bloodlust reigns 
supreme) have at least one 10+ fight warrior dying practically every turn.  Even 
warriors with 20 or more fights can be fairly regularly found on any arena's dead 
list.  But, it's in the rankings of the Initiates where you will find most of the 
dead, and adjusting your strategy on the hopes of killing a Champion is almost always 
futile.  So, if you want to kill, you should "make hay while the sun shines", as it 
were, and try to get in those notches on your hilt within your warrior's first ten 
fights.
     10) If you're just looking to pad your kill total, then you should challenge the 
DA with any of your warriors that graduates to ADM.  I would estimate that at least 
half of the warriors that do this win the fight, and even if you lose it, all you lose 
are the skills that you may have gotten if you had fought a regular opponent.  You 
also don't have to worry about a bloodfeud if you DO get the kill.  I must admit, 
though, that I am pretty proud of the fact that my kill total in Sibikhas has NOT been 
inflated via this manner.  Just think how many kills I would have had if I had sent 
all two dozen of my Lord Protectors to the DA on their last fight!  Maybe over eighty!
     11) As you may well know, there are many managers out there (many of whom call 
themselves Andorians) who believe that killing is bad and wrong and all sorts of other 
judgmental stuff that has nothing to do with combat.  As for me, I couldn't care less 
whether you want to kill my warriors (or anybody else's) or not.  Just don't tell me 
what to do.  This is also the Dark Circle way.  Unfortunately, many of these Andorians 
have banded together in certain arenas, where the idea of "killing without remorse" is 
heavily frowned upon.  It is in these arenas where, if you kill and enjoy it (and even 
<shudder> SAY so...), your entire stable will be hunted down for the true warriors 
that they are, rather than for the "we all share a common goal, so let's play nice" 
slumber party pillow-fighters that all the other warriors in those arenas are.  
Therefore, if you wish to be proficient and successful at killing, I suggest you avoid 
these arenas like the plague that they are.  Trust me.  You will receive more 
enjoyment from your kills when the manager of your victim vows revenge in kind, but 
does not question your morals.
     12) Finally, and above all, when that manager of your victim DOES threaten to 
wipe out your entire stable, you have to be prepared to die yourself.  Some studies 
have shown (to varying degrees) that raising your KD also increases your own 
likelihood of death.  I'm not convinced of this, but I'm not denying it, either.  And, 
of course, when you kill, you invite a bloodfeud upon your killer, and the opposing 
manager will have all of the bloodfeuding advantages that I have mentioned above.  
Accept that death is part of the game, and relish the fresh rookies you receive and 
the chances to be bloodfeuded, just as much as you relish the kill.
     Well, that's about all I can think of.  I hope to see all of the undertakers 
throughout Alastari very busy!  Best of Luck in your headhunting!

                                                  Merlin, Warden of the Dark Circle

                                   WARRIOR DESIGN

     In everything except size, odd numbers in your stats are better than even numbers 
because of the way the program rounds them up; you get a little more for your 
investment with an odd number.  Every fourth number is a break-point that puts your 
warrior into a different category.  The break-points are 5, 9, 13, 17, 21, and 25 
(possible only in Advanced Duelmasters).  If possible, you want your important stats 
to be at these numbers because they are significantly better than the numbers right 
below them.  For deftness, 11 is also an important break-point.
     In general, emphasizing a few strengths in your rollup is better than trying to 
eliminate all weaknesses.  The most successful warriors have definite, sometimes 
drastic, highs and lows.  It's not that the lows aren't bad, but the highs more than 
make up for them.
     The most important places to put your 14 discretionary points are on wit and 
will.  Without a good wit and will, your character is not likely to be a good one in 
the long run.  Wit is vital for learning skills, and will is vital for raising your 
attributes.  They are also good for other things, of course.
     Strength affects how much damage you can do, what weapons you can use to good 
effect, and is of primary importance in how much weight you can carry.  It will 
strongly affect your endurance.
     Constitution is a primary factor in determining your hit points, and also affects 
your endurance a little bit.  The program will never actually tell you your hit 
points.  It's nice to have at least normal endurance; otherwise, your character will 
probably die young.  Flashy, maybe, if all the points that aren't on con are on wit 
and deftness; but right about the time you fall in love with them, somebody hits them 
and that's all she wrote.  However, if you waste too many points on con, your warrior 
will suffer in other areas, and will be very dull and mediocre.  If your character is 
fast and smart, he should quickly learn how to defend himself and not get killed.  
Usually.
     Size gives you more hit points, enables you to do more damage when you hit, and 
possibly gives you an advantage in reach.  However, it also slows you way down, and 
soaks up points that would do more good elsewhere.  The strategy gods around here seem 
to think a large size is not worthwhile, and most large rollups go straight to the 
Dark Arena.  9-10 are nice sizes.  Smaller warriors than that tend to be frail, but 
they often more than make up for it in other areas.
     Wit is important.  Did I mention how important wit is?  Wit is very important.  
17 is a nice wit.  21 is even nicer.  Sometimes, if you can choose between a 17 or a 
21, you might settle for a 17 because you really, really need the points someplace 
else or the warrior won't survive.  However, wit is very important.  In addition to 
helping you learn skills, it makes you fast, even if you don't have a good speed or 
deftness.  It can enable you to do more damage (because you know exactly where to 
hit).  Different weapons have different wit requirements.  For the epee, you need a 
15.  Overall, it's just really, really important.
     Will is pretty important, too.  Not quite as important as wit, but close.  It is 
the primary factor in your endurance, which is important for most styles.  It 
contributes to your hit points and to the damage that you do.  I believe it affects 
how many skills your warrior is born with, which is important.  And, of course, it is 
extremely important for raising stats.  The more will you have, the higher your chance 
of raising a stat.  By the way, even with a high will, don't count on more than two 
stat raises in basic Duelmasters.  After two raises, the probabilities get very low.  
Again, I don't know the formula.  But I have been told, and tend to believe, that your 
character will benefit much more by going for all skills from the word go, than by 
trying to raise all his stats by two (much less, any higher than that).  Sometimes you 
need to raise some stats right at the start (like, if your character does below-
average damage when he hits, you'd better raise your strength fast).  But for the most 
part, it's better to design a character who can function as is, and learn all the 
skills he can possibly learn, before you worry about stat raises at all.  That's what 
the strategy gods say, and it's probably true.  I sometimes tinker with my warriors' 
stats, anyway.  Maybe that's why I don't have a better record.
     Speed.  You'll want at least 5.  Some say slashers need more, like 9 or 13, but 
that's not for sure.  For the most part, anything speed can do, deftness can do 
better.  If the total of your speed and deftness add up to less than 17, you'll be 
clumsy.  17-20 is slightly uncoordinated.  21 to 30 or 31 is normal; above that is 
wonderful stuff, and you almost always get the jump on the other guy.  It's rare, 
though, because the points are better spent on wit and will.
     Deftness is probably the third most important attribute.  Did I mention that the 
first and second are wit and will?  When I design a character, I think about it a long 
time, and as often as not, end up adding six points to wit, six to will, and two to 
deftness.  Or something close to that, depending on break points.  All weapons have 
deftness minimums (15 for the epee).  None of them have speed minimums.  A good 
deftness can also affect how many skills you are born with.  A character who starts 
out with a wit, will, and deftness of 17 will probably be born with an expert rating 
or two.  This is highly desirable.

     Choosing a style that fits your rollup is very important.  One of my first five 
warriors ever, Ghed in DM-1, would have been pretty good if only I'd made him a basher 
or wall of steel instead of a slasher.
     Aimed blows:  Very few people can make them succeed.  In general, they lose a 
lot.  If you want an easy win, challenge an aimed blow.  For starters, don't inflict 
this style on any of your own warriors.  Supposedly they're effective against parry-
types, especially total parries.
     Bashers:  I haven't had very good luck with them myself.  I've been told they 
need a high wit in order to be decisive.  The decisiveness tactic makes up for their 
general lack of quickness, and lets them get an attack in once in a while.  Since they 
are slow and don't usually parry well, they need to be fairly durable as well.  And 
they need strength, both to increase the damage they do, and to let them carry the 
heavy weapons and armor they need.  Supposedly they're good against parry types.
     Parry-types:  They need to be able to take some damage (because, especially at 
first, they won't parry everything).  They need endurance.  They need wit and 
deftness.  They don't need much speed or strength.  They do best against lungers, 
slashers, and strikers.  You can run parry-lungers, parry-strikers, and wall-of-steels 
(which can be thought of as parry-slashers or parry-bashers) either all-out like the 
fast warriors, or at a medium to low rate, in which case they will try to parry and 
wear out a fast opponent.
     Strikers:  They need wit to be decisive (supposedly there's nothing faster than a 
decisive striker).  They need some strength (say, 11-13).  They need an adequate 
dexterity (9-11).  They don't get defensive skills very fast, so they need some 
durability (con & will; will is better).  Good against bashers & aimed blows, not too 
bad against parry-types (they don't jump around a lot so they don't wear out as fast 
as slashers & lungers), okay against other types.  A nice all-around style, except for 
not developing good defenses.
     Slashers:  Not my forte (ask Tex, who loves slashers).  I hear they need 
reasonable amounts of speed and strength (say, 13s), but I don't know if Tex would 
agree.  High wit for still more speed; high will for more damage; adequate deftness (I 
believe 11 will get you a scimitar, which is a wonderful all-round weapon, especially 
for a slasher).  Like lungers, they tend to win in about a minute in a half or else 
they lose, at least until they get very experienced.  Great against slow types 
(bashers & aimed blows).
     Lungers:  The sprinters of the arena.  A strength of 9 will get you the short 
spear, which is a great lunging weapon.  High wit, will, and deftness.  Con isn't too 
important; with a high will you can raise it a couple of points, and anyway, lungers 
do learn to parry and dodge.  At least mine do.  The experts say that in the very long 
run (2-3 years, when they're in AD), they aren't quite as good as the parry-types.  In 
regular DM, though, they do better because the parriers are such late bloomers.  If 
they're frail, put them in leather armor so they can soak up a hit or two, but 
anything heavier than that will slow them down too much.  I run my lungers 10-10-6 in 
the first minute, maybe 9-8-6 in the second.  I write down numbers for the other 
minutes, too, but it doesn't usually matter.  If they don't win by the second minute, 
they generally won't win.  With luck, they'll collapse from exhaustion before the 
other guy gets a chance to hurt them.  They're great against bashers and aimed blows, 
okay against parry-types who don't scum too much.
     Wall of steels:  I don't understand this style very well, but I love it.  
Supposedly they're a cross between the fast guys and the parry-types.  I usually run 
them all-out, slasher-style, and it seems to work.  Recently I found out you can slow 
them down and they'll parry, too.  Wastes (as they're often called) do well with a 21 
will, decent strength (11 or 13), decent wit (13), and decent con (9).  They don't 
seem to need much speed or deftness.  I don't know which styles in particular they're 
good against; they seem to handle everything okay.  Great against aimed blows, of 
course.
     Each fighting style has some weapons that are well-suited to it, some that are 
marginal, and some that are totally unsuited.  Be sure to design warriors who have the 
stats to handle at least one weapon appropriate to their style.  Note, however, that 
their favorite weapon, while suited to their style, may be something they don't have 
the stats for.  For example, a parry-riposte with a 14 wit might favor the epee.  I'm 
not sure how the bonus for using your favorite stacks up against the penalty for using 
a weapon beyond your abilities.  It's best to design warriors who have a good 
selection of weapons that they're both suited to, and able to handle well.

                              Best Wishes,
                              The Rogue She-Puppy of the Galaxy

                             FILLING OUT YOUR TURNSHEET

Here are a few pointers on filling out a Duelmasters turnsheet.

     1. Choosing your weapons:
     The reason there are three lines for this (vs. light, vs. medium, and vs. heavy), 
is that some weapons are better against an opponent who is not wearing much armor, and 
some are better against an opponent who walks into the arena armored like a tank.  
Look on the inside back cover of your Red Book.  There is a chart that gives the 
weight of armor and helmets.  Add together the weight of the armor and the helmet, and 
that is the weight of armor that your opponent is wearing.  For example, plate armor 
and a full helm add up to 18, which is the highest possible armor weight.  Leather 
armor and a steel cap add up to four.  Ringmail and a helm add up to nine.  And so on.  
If you want your warrior to use two daggers against opponents wearing armor of weight 
eight or less, then on the first line you would write an 8 inside the parentheses, 
like this: 

     vs. Light   ( 0,   8 ) ____dagger____  and ___dagger_____

Then, if you want him to use, oh, a short sword and small shield against medium 
armors, you might write:

     vs. Medium  ( 9,  14 ) __shortsword__  and _small shield_

And for anything heavier, you might choose a still heavier weapon:

     vs. Heavy   (15,  +  ) _broadsword___  and ______________

You might not want to use an off-hand weapon or shield with your heavy weapon, because 
your warrior needs both hands on his broadsword for maximum force to chop through that 
platemail!
     You don't have to make three different armor divisions.  You can use the same 
weapon against everything, or you can make two divisions instead of three.
     In case your warrior drops his weapon, or it gets broken, you might also want him 
to carry a backup on his belt.  A shortsword is a fine backup weapon, because it only 
weighs 2 (won't slow your warrior down), and it almost never breaks.  Weapons from the 
two-handed weapons list can't be carried as backups, because they are too big and 
awkward.
     You should bear in mind that your warriors will be well-suited to some weapons 
and poorly-suited to others, depending on their style and their attributes.  Most 
warriors are too small or too weak to use a maul, for example.  A basher wouldn't want 
to use an epee because it isn't suited to his style, even if he happens to have the 
attributes for it.  By reading your turn results, you will be able to tell which 
weapons your warriors use best.
     Be sure to use weapons from the lists on the inside back cover of the red rule 
book.  These are the only weapons our computer knows.  These weapons are described in 
the rules supplement.

     2. Bear in mind that the heavier the armor you put on a warrior, the more it will 
slow him down.  If he is lumbering around in plate armor and a full helm, other 
warriors will get the jump on him most of the time.  This is okay for certain styles, 
like bashers and total parries, but you wouldn't want to put most other styles in 
armor that heavy.  Warriors like lungers, slashers, and strikers, who depend on speed, 
very often go out on the sands wearing no armor at all.     
 
     3. On the line for training, you need to write either one of your warrior's 
attributes, or "skills."  If you write an attribute, say, "CN" (constitution), that 
means the warrior spent the last two weeks trying to raise his constitution.  Maybe it 
will go up by one point, or maybe it won't.  The first two raises on any given 
attribute are usually fairly easy.  After that, you might have to try for many turns 
before the warrior raises that attribute another point.
     If you write "SK" (skills), then he spends that time practicing and trying to be 
a better fighter.  His arena fights are highly educational.  If he has a good wit, he 
will learn plenty of skills.  If he fights someone with more experience than he has, 
he will learn more.  If the fight lasts three or four minutes, that is ideal for 
learning.  He can't usually learn much during a fight that only lasts 30 seconds!  
Sometimes he'll have bad luck and not learn any skills, but normally a bright warrior 
will learn at least one or two.  The skills keep adding up, and eventually he gets 
very, very good at what he does.  In the long run, it is usually more efficient to 
train skills instead of attributes.  By the way--there are six types of skills, but 
you really can't choose which ones you want your warrior to study.  He just learns 
whatever he happens to learn.

     4. The "wish to fight" lines are for challenges.  Your warrior can't challenge 
anyone on his first turn.  After that, he can challenge other warriors who are in his 
class or the next higher class.  For example, an Initiate can challenge another 
Initiate, or a Challenger Initiate.  You print the name of the warrior you want to 
challenge on the first part of the line, and then put his ID number after the "#" 
symbol.  You can challenge two different warriors if you want.  If someone has killed 
one of your warriors, then the other members of your team can bloodfeud the killer.  
To bloodfeud, you just circle your challenge--and, to make it extra clear, you can 
write "BF" beside it.

     5. The boxes for "challenge strategy" or "if challenged strategy" can give your 
warrior a little more flexibility.  You put his normal everyday strategy on the front.  
You challenge somebody, let's say a warrior you happen to know is a total parry.  
Check the "challenge strategy" box and then fill out the back side of the sheet, using 
a slower strategy that is more suitable for fighting a total parry, and maybe heavier 
weapons to get through his heavy armor.  Then, if your challenge goes through, and 
your warrior gets to fight the total parry, he'll use his special strategy.  
Otherwise, he'll use his normal one.
     Or, let's say one of your warriors has killed someone, and you think the dead 
guy's team is going to bloodfeud your warrior.  If you want to use a special strategy 
against those guys, maybe one with a higher kill desire, then you check the "if 
challenged strategy" box and write your special strategy on the back.

     6. The "wish to avoid" section lets you avoid two teams.  You can only avoid 
teams, not individual warriors.  Write the name of the team you want to avoid.  On the 
same line, also write that team's ID number.  Look on the front page of your 
current newsletter.  Find that team in the rankings.  The number in parentheses after 
the team name is that team's ID number.  That's what you need.
     I normally have a warrior avoid the last two teams he has fought.  This is mainly 
so my warriors will mix around the arena and not accidentally keep fighting the same 
teams over and over again.  If one of my warriors has killed someone, he won't avoid 
that team, because I don't run away from bloodfeuds.  Incidentally, avoiding a team 
does not give you 100% protection against them.  It helps, but once in a while their 
challenges will get through your avoids.

     7. You need to write numbers in the minute-by-minute strategy section.  For 
example, on the "offensive effort" line, I might fill in the boxes like this: 10, 9, 
6, 6, 6, 5, 10.  This means that in the first minute, my warrior will try to make a 
lot of attacks against the other warrior.  If the fight lasts longer than one minute, 
he'll start to slow down and try to conserve his endurance.  If he gets desperate (in 
serious trouble due to wounds or exhaustion), he'll start attacking all-out in an 
effort to end the fight quickly.  This is a strategy for an offensive warrior, by the 
way; you wouldn't want to run most parry-types this way.
     "Activity level" means how much your warrior moves around while he is fighting.  
Combined with a high offensive effort, a high activity level is good for an all-out 
fighter, like a lunger.  Combined with a low offensive effort, a high activity effort 
will make your warrior dodge and riposte a lot.  A high activity effort will tire out 
your warrior quickly.
     "Kill desire" is how much your warrior wants to kill his opponent.  A 10 kill 
desire means he's trying to murder the guy.  A 1 kill desire means he's trying very 
hard not to kill him.  My offensive types usually fight with a 6 kill desire, and my 
parry-types fight with a 2 or 3.
     "Attack location" is what part of his opponent's body your warrior is trying to 
hit during that minute.  "Protect location" is what part of his own body your warrior 
is trying hardest to protect.  Look at the bottom of the inside back cover of the red 
book to find the abbreviations you need to use, like "LL" for "left leg" and "HE" for 
head.  It's a good idea to keep attacking the same spot.  My warriors often attack the 
legs, because that's a good way to win a fight without killing the other guy.  For a 
kill, you could attack the head.  My warriors normally defend their heads, because I 
don't want them to get killed.

     8. Offensive and defensive tactics:  You can get by without using these at all.  
Do not use both an offensive and defensive tactic in the same minute; it will totally 
confuse your warrior and almost certainly cause him to lose.  For a description of the 
tactics and what they do, look in the rules supplement (let us know if you don't have 
one and we'll send you one).
     A couple of tips: "decisiveness" will help your warrior get the jump on his 
opponent.  For offensive styles, it is a good tactic to use in the first minute and in 
desperation.  A total parry usually does best using the "parry" defensive tactic in 
all minutes, and a parry-riposte usually does best with the "riposte" tactic in all 
minutes.  The "responsiveness" tactic ("S" on the "defensive tactic" line) doesn't 
seem to be good for much.  The offensive tactics of "slash," "lunge," and "bash" will 
add force to the blows of slashers, lungers, and bashers.  I often give my bashers the 
"bash" tactic when they are fighting parry-types, and are trying to smash through 
parries and through heavy armor.

                             -- the She-Puppy

                   Are You Ready To Take Tournament Play Seriously?

                                      By:  Pagan

     The following advice is a great general way to excel in tournament play.  It is 
intended more for a Face-to-Face Tournament, however much of the same advice also goes 
for a Mail-In Tournament....
     FE = Fight equivalency.  This is the term used by managers to denote how many 
fights RSI has registered for a warrior.  One arena fight equals One FE.  Simple.  
Tournament fights are the reason FE has become the thing to follow.  Tournaments give 
to one FE for every odd round.  So one FE on round one, two FE on round three, three 
FE on round five... and so on.  If a warrior fights for eight rounds he will have 
accumulated four FE.  If that same warrior also has six arena fights, then he would 
now have a total of ten FE.  Learn this, and understand it.

     1.  Stop fighting warriors from your active teams at breakpoints and wait for the 
Freeze date, then start running them, and enter them in the tourney.  A good roll-up 
will give you a chance for a TV, and average roll-up will give you skill learns.  If 
they die, then so be it.  Try and get the maximum number of fights per area, and wait 
for the cut-off date to be announced so you can go into a tournament with 2+ fights 
over the breakpoints.  (Example:  Your warrior has four fights so he's an Apprentice, 
and you then start to run him in the arena after the Freeze date is past.  Your 
warrior will still fight in the Apprentices but with extra fights, and hopefully extra 
skills.)

                    Breakpoints:
                    Rookies     = zero FE
                    Novices     = zero FE as of Freeze date
                    Apprentices = 1 to 4 FE as of the Freeze date
                    Initiates   = 5 to 10 FE as of the Freeze date
                    Adepts      = 11 to 20 FE as of the Freeze date
                    Champions   = 21+ FE as of the Freeze date

     2.  Check out all of your other warriors in inactive arenas that you think are 
good roll-ups.  If there are at least two on the same team then run that team for a 
breakpoint in FE, wait for the Freeze date, then run them until the tourney.  Don't 
bother with roll-ups that do not have at least a 17 wit, or are not awesome for some 
odd reason.  (Example:  A good endurance striker with tremendous damage and decent 
attack skills in Initiates or lower...stuff like that....)

     3.  Team Roll-ups:  Look for only good and excellent roll-ups.  Look also for 
Scum.  You want to end up with a certain number of good warriors.  Run only the good 
warriors, and let the other ferment in RSI database hell because you need not waste 
your time with them ever again.  Don't DA them, ignore them, just buy more roll-ups.  
Five bucks for five warriors is a much better deal than spending money DAing warriors 
that are only for tournaments.
     3a.  Normal:  Buy them in groups of 5.  That's $25.
     3b.  Determined:  Buy about 20 team roll-ups.  That's $100.

     4.  This is a SYSTEM here so everyone pay attention:
     4a.  Send in Roll-ups early and load up a tournament arena or whatever, so you 
can get the overviews back REALLY REALLY early.
     4b.  Scum go for Rookie tourney.  Run only really good Scum set-ups.  You all 
know how to check those physicals for Luck.  If not, then you need to learn.
     4c.  Aimed Blows for Rookie Tourney.  Again, check those Luck areas.  If they 
aren't lucky, or a really nice set-up, run something else.
     4d.  Prepare to run all of the nice roll-ups you have that are lucky in the 
Rookie tourney.  Don't design them for a Rookie tourney, design them for the later 
tourneys.  After the tourney you can then calculate FE for warriors and they become 
the warriors from #2 above.  By doing this, you always keep a fresh group of good 
warriors in the fights.  Watch these guys in detail.  Change weapons looking for a 
favorite.  They are not going to win the Rookie tourney (most likely).  Just find that 
weapon and you increase your opportunities in the next tourneys.  Really nice to do at 
the FTF since you can change strategies in every fight....
     4e.  RUN ALL OF YOUR WARRIORS OTHER THAN THE ROOKIES FIRST.  Then pick out your 
absolutely BEST rookies and get their strategies in.  Early on you have to take the 
time to WORK, so that later you can have the fun of getting late into the rounds on 
Sunday.
     4f.  After the FTF you should have a good idea about where some of your warriors 
are at in FE (some of the best ones end up 1-3-0 and then you fight twice in basic 
arena and they run hard in the novices or whatever--just find that damn favorite 
weapon!).  Be prepared to not look deeply into a fight.  Scan for criticals from 
weapon attacks (you may have just found your favorite weapon!) and personal strategy 
of your guy.  Only care about your opponent if you end up matching up against him a 
second time.
     4g.  KEEP PERSONAL RECORDS.
     4g1.  You should be able to list a warriors STATS, END, ENC, HP, & DMG on one 
line and immediately following that line you should have ten boxes.  You need to keep 
track of every fight IMMEDIATELY, not later.  Prepare that same warrior's fight 
IMMEDIATELY, not later.  Mark in the box if he wins or loses.  Make it simple.  You 
should be able to scan one sheet of paper and know exactly how all of your warriors 
are performing in wins and losses.  THIS ALLOWS YOU TO FOCUS more attention on those 
guys with one or less losses.  Remove any confusion of what to do with fight sheets 
(remember that you will have a lot of them).  Just put all fight sheets in one big 
pile, first on bottom, last one on top.  (In case you need to get to them; like you 
are meeting a warrior you fought before you know exactly where it is--it's in the 
pile... not anywhere else.)
     4g2.  After all fights are done on Saturday, sit in the same room and prepare 
your warriors for the Sunday morning.  All turn sheets need to be in really early 
Sunday, so prepare them while everything is in your head NOT AFTER DINNER. 
     4g3.  At night in your room after you've visited with the managers, scan the 
warriors you are most interested in and ESPECIALLY the ones with only one or less 
losses.  Bleed over those fights looking for that favorite weapon, better strategy vs. 
certain styles... et cetera.  Change the strategy sheet only if you REALLY think it's 
better than the one you just made for that Sunday morning.  If you aren't absolutely 
sure, then don't change anything.  Go with your first instinct and wait until after 
the first fight on Sunday.
     4g4.  NEVER NEVER NEVER talk about how good your warriors are that are winning.  
NEVER NEVER NEVER divulge strategy.  NEVER NEVER NEVER offer to allow someone to look 
at the warriors you have that are doing well.  NEVER NEVER NEVER... this means even 
your BEST FRIENDS.  Some managers parlay in-between their groups but what do you do 
when you match up against the guy who now knows A LOT about your best warrior?  NO ONE 
should have any idea of what you do to run a warrior.  It is best if no one even knows 
who the hell runs a certain warrior until there are only five left and that fifth one 
is yours.  Blindside everyone with your warrior.  Never talk about him until you have 
won the TC.  AND ALWAYS MAKE A MENTAL NOTE of the bastard that just won that 
tournament and the runner-up since you will probably be facing those same two warriors 
down the line in another tourney.
     4h.  Remember to work on your warriors.  The closer it gets to Sunday the more 
free time you have, since you'll have a continually shrinking stream of guys to do 
anything with.  Elimination sucks but it is inevitable.
     4i.  FTF--Don't ever try to manage more than 30 warriors (and even that's 
tough!).  If you run more than that then I'd say 25-30 guys are managed by you in 
every round, the others fend for themselves until they end up without a loss (gaining 
your attention on your warrior win/loss sheet) or Sunday comes around.  Best thing to 
do about more than 30 warriors is to have them in the Rookie Tourney.  Whatever makes 
it to Sunday you start to change strategies for.  Saturday is their time to shine by 
themselves.  This is possible since there are SO MANY WARRIORS in the Rookies tourney 
that it's almost impossible to know what style you are fighting until round 5+.  This 
makes it easy for warriors to hide.  Another thing you'd like to do is to spread your 
warriors into various classifications.  You're only hurting yourself if all 30 
warriors are in the same class.  A contingent of 15 Rookies, 10 Novices, 5 
Apprentices, 5 Initiates, a few Adepts... you get the picture.  If you run bad 
warriors, you will be sitting around Sunday watching everyone else play.  30 good 
warriors should keep you in the action.
     4j.  Style lists.  At your table everyone put a style list out (hotel stapler can 
be used).  NAME NUMBER STYLE, that's it.  If your group wants more, then make sure 
that everyone is willing to do it.  For example:  'Name', 'Number', 'Style', 
'Handedness', 'Manager Who put the Name In', 'Round' (this way you can ask about a 
warrior directly from the guy at your table who fought him).  Don't waste your time 
with anything else.  Some managers share their styles.  I am of the mind of not doing 
it, but that also means that you won't get help from other managers' tables when you 
start going around other to tables to ask if you can see their lists... so pick your 
poison.  Maybe just don't do it for your favorite warriors, and anything in the 
rookies... whatever....  However, DO NOT LIE.  If you decide to swap styles with 
another manager you need to be truthful.  Lying will get you outcast VERY QUICKLY.  
Don't become the persona non grata.
     4k.  Sunday's late fights will eat you up sometimes.  You know the guy's style... 
he may be reading a fight you had with some other guy and he's trying to judge your 
strategy... should I run decise... he may run decise... should I run response and 
blast him out.... how about no tactic... he doesn't do any damage, I should armor 
up... faster weapon... damn damn damn.... decisions, decisions.  These are why the 
managers whom win TCs like to play tournaments.  Outguessing your opponent is quite a 
bit of satisfaction, especially the old-time managers.  It's a little bit infectious.  
You won't even see Guardian come alive until it the last rounds, and there are many 
like him.  Go with your gut feeling and make the choice yourself.  DO NOT TAKE THE 
CHOICES FROM OTHERS.  (There have been managers getting one guy to alter his 
strategies, only after to tell the guy's opponent (who won, by the way) that he got 
the guy to go decisive since he knew that HE (the opponent and winner) was running 
responsive....)  TRUST NO ONE... refer to #G4 if anything is unclear.
     4l.  After Sunday is over, (and you most probably won't have a TC) you can talk 
DM with everyone else in the bar or at a restraunt, but this time stay around 
Soultaker, Consortium and the DOOMcorps (if the Doom Group is still coherent from all 
the booze) since they are the most fun (at least when I've gone).  Talk about your 
warriors then but not longer than five minutes on your WHOLE GROUP; everyone (just 
like you) will be having DM hangovers... now is time for fun and Grudge-Matches.  RSI 
will sometimes allow managers to run one warrior as an extra fight versus any other 
warrior (in the same tournament class) of a manager there at the FTF.  Makes for some 
fun.
     4l1.  Grudge-Matches.  VERY IMPORTANT:  Do not fight a in a grudge match that 
will count as one FE if that FE is going to put him over the threshold of the next 
tourney.  Don't hurt yourself, just fight a different guy.
     4m.  Spend the time until the wee hours of the morning with any drunks that are 
left.  Have fun, and if you are staying Monday night too, then see who else is also 
staying and join the group.  As long as you are not a weirdo during the tourney, don't 
smell bad (shower EVERY DAY--maybe even twice a day to avoid this, if necessary), and 
aren't annoyingly talking about your warriors/teams then most DMers will be happy to 
let you come along with them.  If you want to get to know people early then come in on 
Thursday.  Suck up your pride and say hello to people.  The front desk can help you 
with who's in the RSI group.  Some people are friendly, and others are busy with their 
families and don't have time to chat, but for the most part you'll meet some cool guys 
in the lounge/bar.  Don't be offensive, not everyone will agree with your ideas.  They 
may be really wrong but just agree to disagree and buy the guy a beer or something.  
Again, you may be the one who's wrong....  The whole idea is to hear LOTS of VIEWS on 
the game, make friends, and try to win the fights.  

     Most important:  Never take a loss personally.  If you lose, then so what.  So 
did every other guy who didn't get a TC (and that's a lot of guys).  Just remember 
that by following good tournament preparedness, you will one day be the Tournament 
Champion, and the guy you just beat will sincerely congratulate you on your hard 
fought victory.

                               Brought to you by Pagan