DUEL 2 NEWSLETTER

Date   : 10/02/2004    Duedate: 10/15/2004

NOBLISH ISLAND ARENA

DM-93    TURN-177

This Weeks Top Honors

THE DUELMASTER IS

JERNIG MARS
MIDDLE WAY 11 (1369)
(93-7930) [6-3-0,77]

Chartered Recognition Leader   Unchartered Recognition Leader

POSITION IS EMPTY              JERNIG MARS
                               MIDDLE WAY 11 (1369)
                               (93-7930) [6-3-0,77]

Popularity Leader              This Weeks Favorite

GEROGE JIM                     DEBARROWS
MIDDLE WAY 11 (1369)           CRIMSON DEATH (1348)
(93-7927) [8-1-0,59]           (93-7809) [3-5-0,23]

THE CURRENT TOP TEAM

MIDDLE WAY 11 (1369)

          TEAMS ON THE MOVE            TOP CAREER HONORS
Team Name                  Point Gain  Chartered Team
1. CRIMSON DEATH (1348)        36
2. MIDDLE WAY 11 (1369)        31      BRUTE STRENGTH (491)
3. MINIONS OF MAGIDA (1370)     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*MINIONS OF MAGIDA (1370)   5   0  0  100   1/ 1*MIDDLE WAY 11 (1369)     11  4 0
 2/ 2*MIDDLE WAY 11 (1369)      30  14  0 68.2   2- 3*MINIONS OF MAGIDA (1370)  5  0 0
 3/ 3*CRIMSON DEATH (1348)      17  20  4 45.9   3/ 2*CRIMSON DEATH (1348)      5  5 1

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

                                    TEAM SPOTLIGHT

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

     I thought I'd say few words today about styles and challenges.  You have all
seen--or will see before you leave Noblish Island (it runs on turns numbered ending
in 3), this chart (and I thank Magic Man for making it available):

                         KEY FOR ODDS OF WINNING:

              1 - ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE     6 - BETTER THAN EVEN
              2 - HARDLY LIKELY         7 - GOOD CHANCE
              3 - NOT MUCH              8 - HIGHLY PROBABLE
              4 - SLIGHT CHANCE         9 - MOST DEFINATELY
              5 - 50/50                10 - ALMOST GUARANTEED

                   Reminder:  Left Row vs Top Column

          BA    ST    LU    SL    AB    TP    PS    PL    PR    WS
    BA     5     2     6     6     8     9     7     6     5     6
    ST     8     5     8     9     9     6     7     5     6     4
    LU     4     4     5     6    10     5     7     7     9     6
    SL     4     1     5     5     8     6     8     7     8     9
    AB     2     2     2     4     5    10     6     6     6     7
    TP     3     4     6     4     1     5     7     8     6     5
    PS     3     3     3     4     5     4     5     4     5     4
    PL     5     4     3     3     6     2     7     5     7     6
    PR     7     5     2     2     4     5     6     3     5     4
    WS     5     8     6     2     4     6     7     5     6     5

     I consider this chart to be a fertile topic for debate, possibly even
acrimonious debate.  There is some truth in it, I don't dispute that.  And it is to
this chart, usually, that managers refer when they speak of some warrior having "the
style advantage" over another.  But I believe that other factors than style are at
least as important, and perhaps MORE important, such as the relative skill of the two
managers and two warriors involved.
     But, as I say, there is some truth in it, especially where the managers and
warriors are on a level of experience.  Therefore, information on the styles of other
warriors in a given arena is important, so you can gauge your challenges and avoids
to give you the best chances for winning.  This is one of the things alliances do for
their members--provide a forum for exchanging style information.  It is also the
reason why experienced managers generally regard it is bad form to reveal a warrior's
style in the personals.  [Exceptions to this--when the warrior in question has been a
stylemaster, and when the warrior in question is graduating.]  Style information is
valuable; you, or somebody, fought to get it, so it shouldn't be given away.
     But there's more to "style knowledge" than simply being able to say, "X has the
style advantage over Y."  You have to use your information.  Note that "offensive
warriors" are bashers, lungers, strikers, and slashers.  Defensive styles are those
with "parry" in their names.  Aimed Blows and Walls of Steel are ambiguous and may be
considered--and run--either way.
     If you KNOW or even just suspect that you have an offensive warrior who will be
facing a defensive warrior, you can adjust your strategy accordingly.  You change
your armor and the speed with which you're running the warrior to pace him for a long
haul, perhaps.  (And this is the adjustment that most often needs to be made.)
     Or if you've got an offensive warrior facing another offensive, you can do the
same--slow your warrior's pace--and hope to take out your opponent in the second
minute when he's gasping for breath.  Of course, you have to survive the first minute
somehow.  More armor, perhaps, or defenisve tactics.  But it's a fact that,
especially in the lower levels of the game, many offensive warriors DO burn out by
the end of the first minute or shortly thereafter.  So if you're paced for that, you
may be surprised at some of the wins you can get.

Jorja
The Middle Way

           +<]H[>+-----+<]H[+ Question of the Week #10 +]H[>+-----+<]H[>+

The Question, Aruak City (dm 11), turn 426:

If a warrior is wearing plate and he is hit on the hand or ankle does he get the same
amount of protection?  It seems to me the most you could wear on your hand is
Chainmail. -- Hanibal, Q.O.W.

The Answers, turn 427:

Q.O.W. -- I think if you wear armor of chainmail or lighter, the protection to your
limbs is limited, certainly not to a degree equal to the armor you are wearing over
the body.  But I think with platemail or full plate, the armor protects your limbs
well.  Gauntlets, which I imagine being used with platemail and up, are steel plates,
so they protect better than chain.  I think this is played out well in our fighters'
fights.  I've seen chain wearing warriors who are tough go down with one shot to the
leg, while the same warrior in platemail takes one or two more hits.  You'd be
surprised at how well medieval gauntlets' metal plates flexed for hand movement. --
Adie

QoW -- When using heavy armor, the limbs seem to be less well protected than the
chest and abdomen.  I base this observation mainly on the number of ineffective
("bounced") hits seen against the torso compared to the limbs.  The lighter armors
don't seem to have this difference. -- Generalissimo Puerco

Hannibal -- Questions!  Great, I've missed them.  Unfortunately, I can't offer much
help on this.  I do know that to rely on "it would logically seem that" is the way to
get into trouble, unfortunately.  After all, it would logically seem that a basher
should be well-suited to using the fist, and this is not so.  So I can't guess about
the "armor for hands and feet" question. -- Leeta

Hannibal -- Take a good look at a suit of full plate some time. ; Everything EXCEPT
the head is protected, unless you're wearing a helmet of some sort as well.  If
you're going to have warriors wearing APA, you better put them in a Helm or a Full
Helm as well, otherwise you may as well send them out in leather.  A hit to an
unarmored head and you're APA is worthless. -- Talon, War-Priest of Mantor the Bright

The Question, Aruak City (dm 11), turn 427:

All -- I was looking at a fight a few turns ago with Predator (Broadsword fav).  In
min 1 he attacked 12 times w/ BS and only 1 crit.  Min 2 six normal attacks, weapons
breaks, pulls his epee and throws three crits in a row.  He always threw more crits
using an epee even though he is -6 in Deftness to use it.  He used a BS in two other
fights with no crits.  This makes me wonder; are favorites generated after your
warrior graduates? -- Hanibal Q.O.W.

The Answers, turn 428:

Q.O.W. -- From my understanding, favorite weapons are generated when your warrior is
created, and the bonuses are applied in basic.  However, I have experienced similiar
situations to what you have seen with Predator.  I have a lunger who never seemed to
throw a crit with the short spear, but constantly threw crits with the longspear even
though he wasn't quite suited to it in strength or deftness.  I felt certain the
longspear was his favorite weapon because of this, and was highly shocked when upon
graduation the shortspear was listed as his weapon of choice. -- the Outsider

Hanibal, Q.O.W. -- From what I have experienced and discussed with other managers,
fighting rhythm, weapon, learns and tactics are determined upon creation.  Did you
change rhythms during any of these fights?  Was your attack rating high or low at the
time?  If all is the same, and you throw more crits with an epee, maybe you should
send your "favorite weapon" to hell and go with what works.  After all, the whole
point of finding your fave weapon is to increase your crit percentage.  Although, it
would be nice to have BS crits over the EP crits (except for the knockdowns!) -- Dr.
Strange

QoW -- Well, now you're understanding why I don't make too much of an effort to try
to find a warrior's "favorite" weapon.  Finding a weapon they win with is much more
important, and Predator certainly had no problem winning.  I think people have had
enough cases where a suspected favorite weapon was confirmed to suggest that a
warrior's favorites are determined before AD, but the exceptions such as Predator's
are numerous.  I'll bet Adie will have more to say on this matter, since it seems
like it happens to her warriors a lot. -- Generalissimo Puerco

Q.o.W. (Fav Weapons) -- I was the closest thing the KoV had to somebody who found
their favorite weapon in basic.  But since I got my advanced master in attack so soon
it's hard to tell.  We really haven't noticed our warriors having a favorite weapon
in basic.  I personally think there may be something to what you're saying.  But I
think most people believe that it's there all along. -- Maxwell Honorblade

Hanibal's Question of the Week -- No, favorites are generated when the warrior is
first created.  Unless you get a favorites-prize and use it on a warrior, his
favorites always and forever remain what they were at the time of generation. --
Leeta

Q.O.W -- BS favorite and no crits sounds typical for a lot of warriors.  Or GA...or
BA...or even SC.  Sometimes, favorite weapons just don't serve.  I have a WS in
Primus with GA favorite and Grandmaster Attack who throws more normals than crits
with her favorite.  To make matters worse, I have a LU in Primus with Archmaster
Attack who still throws normals...with her favorite and with LO.  Some warriors, in
my experience, just don't throw crits like they should.  Others will go crazy with
their favorite weapon in basic, right from the start.  I've discovered many favorite
weapons that way over the years...then again, I've also THOUGHT I'd discovered
favorite, only to have them be something else.  I've always thought that somewhere, a
bit is kept with each warrior for how experienced they are with any given weapon...
and if you use a weapon enough, you get better with it (skills not withstanding).  I
can't prove it, but watching some of my LS and SS, SH and MS favorite warriors using
SC and LO, you see improvement over time, even when they aren't getting more attack.
-- Talon Warsmith, Epee favorite <grin>

Hanibal, Q.O.W., favorites are born with the warrior.  It's just that sometimes they
seem hard to believe. -- Kennelworth

Q.O.W. -- I've always understood that a warrior's favorite weapon is generated right
at the beginning.  I have however, had the similar experience of throwing more crits
with a non-fav weapon. -- Anti

                                 DUELMASTER'S COLUMN
                             Notes from the arena champ.

     That idiot Mars was going to do the Duel2Dude's column again.  I said "no," and
enforced it.  What has HE got to brag about, eh?  He LOST.  And he had, as the saying
goes, the "style advantage" over me, too, which just shows you what a wuss he is.
     I jumped him--got the first line in the report all to myself and struck the
first blow.  He shouldn't have let me do that, because I grabbed the initiative and
KEPT it.  Ah!  Oh, we did have a few clashes (struggles for initiative) later in the
first minute, but I won 'em all.  Ha!  Slammed him on the buttocks with my axe (who
the heck gave me this axe?  What self-respecting assassin uses an AXE, for the sake
of pete?), and that was all she wrote.
     I would have killed him--he deserved it, the worthless bum--but that softie,
Ganamir, stepped in and stopped me.  Arenamasters take a lot of the fun out of
things.

Kiaiah Srii
An Assassin and proud of it

                                      SPY REPORT

     Well, what are you looking at, NOBLISH ISLAND?  Ain't you never seen Snide 
Clemens before?  Ah, shaddup and listen to my news.  Of course, we're all terribly 
impressed to see GLINDORA win a fight and gain 14 points, terribly.  Tsk, tsk, 
GLINDORA beat IMBER LACK and IMBER LACK lost 9 points.  You're breakin' my heart.  
And if variety is the spice of life, NOBLISH ISLAND may be getting bland, as JERNIG 
MARS stays top dog in the city.  I'm not in a very good mood today, but why am I 
telling you this?  You want to know what's new, don't you, NOBLISH ISLAND?   
     My mother always told me, 'If you don't have anything nice to say, start 
talking.' I loved that woman.   
     Ah, now we come to my favorite part, where we see all the guys who are dead and 
gone, and get to see if their team cared.  Titanium shields and bamboo daggers, guess 
what brave team is developing these kinds of weapons?   
     What does the NOBLISH ISLAND arena have in common with the inns?  It's just as 
comfortable to sleep in either place.  Ha ha ha ha!  Phlllt!  Just had to do that 
before I leave the fine city of NOBLISH ISLAND.  I feel much better now.  I see the 
crowds are getting restless, I must leave now-- Snide Clemens  

DUELMASTER                     W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 JERNIG MARS 7930              6   3  0    77       MIDDLE WAY 11 (1369)

CHALLENGER ADEPTS              W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 GEROGE JIM 7927               8   1  0    59       MIDDLE WAY 11 (1369)

ADEPTS                         W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 NEWLIN 7811                   5   3  2    52       CRIMSON DEATH (1348)
 DARE 7810                     6   1  2    45       CRIMSON DEATH (1348)

CHALLENGER INITIATES           W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 FEORDIS INK 7926              8   1  0    32       MIDDLE WAY 11 (1369)

INITIATES                      W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 DEBARROWS 7809                3   5  0    23       CRIMSON DEATH (1348)
 GLINDORA 7807                 2   5  0    22       CRIMSON DEATH (1348)
 DULGIN 7808                   1   6  0    18       CRIMSON DEATH (1348)
-CHRISTIAN 7933                1   0  0    17       MINIONS OF MAGIDA (1370)
-GRAGAN 7934                   1   0  0    16       MINIONS OF MAGIDA (1370)
 LIMNOR ORDIN 7943             2   2  0    15       MIDDLE WAY 11 (1369)
-MELO 7937                     1   0  0    15       MINIONS OF MAGIDA (1370)
-SMITHY 7936                   1   0  0    15       MINIONS OF MAGIDA (1370)
-RAIN 7935                     1   0  0    13       MINIONS OF MAGIDA (1370)
 IMBER LACK 7932               3   3  0    12       MIDDLE WAY 11 (1369)

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

THE DEAD               W  L K TEAM NAME             SLAIN BY             TURN Revenge?

                                     PERSONAL ADS

Four fights against standbys?  This is not a promising situation.  Unless what it's
promising is an aborted turn. -- Jorja, Middle Way

Here's a thing!  I'm an Orc.  The Commission has it wrong, but try telling THEM
anything.  And I fought the "Captured Orc"--a volunteer, actually, we're harder to
capture than you might think--and they call HIM Ratani!  Ridiculous!  I don't see how
ANYBODY can mistake an Orc for some other race.  We're the muscular, manly ones with
tusks.  Unless, of course, we're the buxom broads with tusks, but that's not ME.
Still, what a mess. -- Geroge Jim

"Dangerous Criminal"?  I'll say!  Nasty tempered, too. -- Imber Lack

The Embezzling Scribe tried to steal my ink! -- Feordis Ink

Christian -- Good show!  You did that one right, and I salute you.  Also, it seems, I
dunno, friendly?  Suitable?  Whatever, I'm glad the only REAL warrior we fought won.
-- Limnor Ordin
P.S.  But I wish you'd won against somebody else....

Comments on the articles--

A Sacred Lord's Slasher, by Bookie.  This manager is active in DM 36, as indicated.
The fighter would work.  I don't say I'd do it that way, either in set-up or
strategy, but it WOULD work, and might work very well.  I just have my own
preferences....

Kill Desire: "Patience" by Jessie Jest.  This manager is inactive.  I don't know that
I agree with him completely on this, but I also don't think he's completely wrong.
It's one of those shadowy areas where everyone has opinions and very few people have
hard facts.

Some Info on the Ripper, by Necrom.  So far as I know, this manager is inactive.  I
agree with him on the question of warrior SZ, and maybe SP, but not on anything else!
For instance, I try not to go below SZ 9 on any style, because I hate warriors who do
little damage.  They lose and they die.  I wouldn't say "any" on CN, because a ripper
is an endurance style (you can tell by the word "parry" in the name).  And I wouldn't
burn the add-on points to take WT, WL, and/or DF to 21, if they weren't there
already.  You lose too much elsewhere (like survivability) for the few skills you
gain over a stat of 17 in any one of those areas.  And, of course, with radically
different stats, you need a different strategy....

Crimson Strikers, by Crimson Strategist.  So far as I know, this manager is currently
not active.  His article, however, is a good one.

20 September 2004
Azereth has returned!  I am the manager for Scarlet Blades in DM 25.  I was a member
of the Crimson Alliance and the Crimson Brotherhood (which was composed of former CA
members).  I've been out of the game for many (at least 5) years.  I would like to
hear from anyone who remembers me, as well as any Alliance that is seeking to add
experienced managers to their roster.  Contact me at:
     Anthony Wells
     600 W. Shore Dr.
     Stanton, MI  48888
or by personal ads in DM 25.

                                  LAST WEEK'S FIGHTS

JERNIG MARS viciously subdued VETERAN MERCENARY in a 3 minute Title fight.
NEWLIN demolished FRATSFA SLAVE in a 1 minute one-sided melee.
GEROGE JIM savagely defeated DARE in a 3 minute bloody duel.
FEORDIS INK unbelievably bested DEBARROWS in a popular 8 minute brutal fight.
GLINDORA bested IMBER LACK in a action packed 1 minute brawl.
DULGIN overpowered PERSISTANT BEGGAR in a 1 minute one-sided struggle.
LIMNOR ORDIN devastated MORDANT DESERTER in a 1 minute one-sided competition.

                                    BATTLE REPORT

             MOST POPULAR                        RECORD DURING THE LAST 10 TURNS     
|FIGHTING STYLE               FIGHTS        FIGHTING STYLE     W -   L -  K   PERCENT|
|LUNGING ATTACK                   3         TOTAL PARRY       10 -   1 -  0      91  |
|STRIKING ATTACK                  2         BASHING ATTACK    12 -   5 -  2      71  |
|AIMED BLOW                       1         AIMED BLOW         5 -   3 -  2      63  |
|TOTAL PARRY                      1         STRIKING ATTACK    9 -   7 -  0      56  |
|PARRY-RIPOSTE                    1         PARRY-RIPOSTE      7 -   6 -  1      54  |
|SLASHING ATTACK                  1         PARRY-LUNGE        2 -   2 -  0      50  |
|BASHING ATTACK                   1         WALL OF STEEL      4 -   4 -  0      50  |
|PARRY-LUNGE                      0         LUNGING ATTACK    11 -  11 -  0      50  |
|PARRY-STRIKE                     0         SLASHING ATTACK    5 -   7 -  0      42  |
|WALL OF STEEL                    0         PARRY-STRIKE       0 -   0 -  0       0  |

Turn 177 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         4  LUNGING ATTACK 
LUNGING ATTACK     3 -  0     PARRY-STRIKE       0 -  0         2  STRIKING ATTACK
STRIKING ATTACK    2 -  0     PARRY-RIPOSTE      0 -  1         2  BASHING ATTACK 
TOTAL PARRY        1 -  0     SLASHING ATTACK    0 -  1         1  AIMED BLOW     
                              BASHING ATTACK     0 -  1         1  TOTAL PARRY    
                              WALL OF STEEL      0 -  0         1  PARRY-RIPOSTE  

                               TOP WARRIOR OF EACH STYLE

FIGHTING STYLE   WARRIOR                     W   L  K PNTS TEAM NAME                  
LUNGING ATTACK   JERNIG MARS 7930            6   3  0   77 MIDDLE WAY 11 (1369)
STRIKING ATTACK  GEROGE JIM 7927             8   1  0   59 MIDDLE WAY 11 (1369)
AIMED BLOW       NEWLIN 7811                 5   3  2   52 CRIMSON DEATH (1348)
BASHING ATTACK   DARE 7810                   6   1  2   45 CRIMSON DEATH (1348)
Note: Warriors have a winning record and are an Adept or Above.

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

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

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                                  A NOTE ON MAILMEN

     In response to the articles on new fighting styles, those were good, but how can 
you forget our most favorite warrior who has a style all his own?  The Mailman!  To 
Duelmasters he is our most sacred person.  I mean, how many of you managers out their 
have sat down and calculated what day your Duelmasters will arrive and have sat 
waiting for it to arrive, while unknown to you, your mailman is fighting away to get 
your Duelmasters delivered.  Let's review him...
     ST - should be around 19.  He needs to heft two medium bags, cloth mail armor and 
a ton of rubber bands.
     CN - 13, give or take a few.  He does get bitten by dogs often.
     SZ - Any.
     WT - At least 10.  He often likes to read the mail.
     WL - Try about 20.  He must endure all kinds of weather.
     SP - 16 is good.  He needs to run across streets in traffic.
     DF - 10 is good.  Sometimes he has to carry packages.
     This setup should get you a good mailman but they are hard to come by.  If you 
can come up with any better, diplo me.  I am:

                                   Staple Gun
                                   mgr. of Technet (3)
                                   The New Deal (23)

     I am currently working on the U.P.S. and Federal Express warriors.

                                   "Strikers R Us"

     Greetings, everyone.  It is I, Talon, again.  I am very glad to see everyone 
participating in the arena and sharing their thoughts on styles and strategies.  This 
turn I will take on the striking attack style, which is certainly one of my favorites.
     I believe the striker is one of the easiest styles to run, and one in which no 
team should be without.  A high-powered striker can diversify and empower your team.  
A well run striker can beat any other style, period, at any level in regular 
Duelmasters.  In arenas where scum TPs are rampant, strikers are just the answer as 
they can attack for up to 12 minutes or more.  Strikers are versatile.  They can do 
exceptionally well with a dagger as a weapon or with a halberd.  They can do well with 
no armor or with plate armor.

Stats:

               Biff     Primal         Solid         Perfect
     
ST             5-21      9-17           13             15
CN              3+        3+             6              3
SZ             9-21      3-17            9              5
WT             3-17      17 +           17             21
WL             9-17      13 +           17             15
SP              5+       5-13            9              8
DF              9+       9-17           13             17

     With the way I design strikers, there are essentially two strikers that evolve.  
The BIFF and the PRIMAL.  The Biff striker is typically one that is not looking long-
term, but one which I want to run and have fun with.  With this striker, I try to have 
one stat (wit, will, or deftness) which is extraordinary, one which is average, and 
the other ends up being at some non-normal level.  Some examples of the Biff are: 10-
10-11-4-17-17-15, 7-11-17-17-11-6-15, 9-5-14-17-11-13-15, 4-8-17-15-13-10-17, and 21-
3-15-21-5-8-11.  With these warriors, the emphasis is on having fun and learning more 
about the style.
     The Primal is essentially a Primus-quality warrior.  In this category, the 
striker will be designed with stats that most other managers will gasp, "OH MY, WHY 
DID YOU MAKE HIM A STRIKER?"  It is also the warrior that will be Duelmaster for 8 
straight turns and will go to ADM with a 16-4-2 record, with 4 Masters and an Ad Ex.  
The key here is to create a warrior with AT LEAST a 17 wit and 15 deftness, along with 
a 13+ will and who will do normal damage or better.  The goal with the Primal is a 21 
wit and 17 deftness, because this will ensure a great warrior.
     Weapons and Armor:  As for weapons, the best striking weapons that I have found 
and used are the dagger, epee, scimitar, broadsword, quarterstaff, greatsword, 
longsword, war hammer, and sometimes the short spear.  I don't run my strikers with 
shields or off-hand weapons, as it takes away from their attack.  The heaviest armor I 
will use is padded leather.  Always wear a steel cap or a helm.

Strategy (general):

Min.           1    2    3    4    5    6+   Desp
OE             10   8    6    6    6    5    5
AL             10   5    4    2    2    1    8
KD             6    8    6    6    6    5    5
attack         arms/legs/head -- take your pick
protect        arms/legs/head -- take your pick
off tactic     decise, slash, bash,  depending on weapon
def tactic     response is best; try dodge though.

     With this strategy, a striker with a normal endurance should fight for eight 
minutes as a scum TP and come out on top, outrageously victorious.  Just match your 
weapon with your tactic and only use the tactics in minute one or desperation.
     If you have any further questions on this or any other style, feel free to diplo 
me.

                                                  Talon, mgr. Eagle's Claw

                    HOW I MADE DUELMASTER IN THREE EASY STEPS


                                          OR
                              a new look for Aimed Blows

     Greetings and salutations, all.  Here's a new twist on aimed blows I haven't seen 
before....one that works, at least for me!  Here's what I did with Rex Walters, my 
first Duelmaster in the Free Blades transfer arena, DM 70.
     ST: 17     (for good damage, attack and parry skills)
     CN: 13     (gonna need every hit point he can get)
     SZ: 4      (smaller the better!)
     WT: 4      (overrated for aimed blows!)
     WL: 21     (if ya try this method, 17 is a MINIMUM)
     SP: 4      (ya want NO speed, none, nothing, zero!)
     DF: 21     (better max this one out too, at least a 19)

     You laugh at me?  I started expert in both attack and parry! (OK, so I got lucky, 
I didn't expect either one of em.)  But both are in reach with a little luck.  Hey, if 
ya can get that strength to 21 you're almost guaranteed those experts... though a bit 
more CON would be nice.
     But how do I RUN this monstrosity, you may ask?  Why, I'm glad you inquired!  
LOTS of armor.  The hit points combined with, say, platemail should win this character 
a lot of fights.  But, while I've picked up a few easy wins scumming, that's not 
really what this character does best.
     I use the only weapon Rex is well suited to: the bare hand.  With an offhand 
small shield or shortsword, so I can take advantage of that expert parry rating.  So: 
FI-SH, APM-H.
     And I run him at a 4 offensive effort, with a matching 4 activity level.  He can 
last through the initial onslaught of nearly any offensive, then smash them.... like a 
good waste.  And with that monster endurance and good damage, no one scums this 
warrior!
     I attack and protect the head, usually, and keep the kill desire high... 5-7 
generally.  Now, how to become Duelmaster?
     Well, step one is fight your first fight... and train your CON.  Step two, now 
that you're in the arena, is get a fight with an up-and-coming young warrior from the 
Duelmaster's team... and kill them.  (I randomly matched up with, and killed, a member 
of the incoming Duelmaster's team...luck helps, ya know.) Offensives that wear 
themselves out but haven't quite dropped are the easiest to kill.
     Then, when the Duelmaster comes at you (bragging about how he "only" needs to 
beat you twice to assure his ascension to the Isle) you stomp him.  Badly.  Once 
you're on that lofty throne he won't even be able to bloodfeud you, since you can bet 
he's not gonna be anywhere near the challenger champions after losing to a 2-fight 
warrior (just ask Ciron of ENDS WITH IRON, now in AD).
     There are drawbacks, of course.  Once you get to that level, odds are you're 
gonna get stomped like a stuck pig (I was most challenged 2 turns in a row after this 
trick... Oo!  I love mixed metaphors...)  But... even a 4 wit warrior can learn skills 
against gladiators with 50 fights!
     Rex is now 7-3-1.  All three losses have come against warriors now in AD. In 
those ten matches, he's trained his strength and constitution once each, and learned 
twenty skills, including his adex in both parry and attack.  And boy, is it fun 
humiliating some of those "gods" bound for AD!
     What else can one do with this warrior?  Well, Rex is, get this, well suited to 
an off-hand epee!  He wouldn't dare use one as a primary weapon, but its a great off-
hand toy...
     Does he have what it takes to be a long-term winner?  Who knows?  He's probably 
the DUMBEST aimed blow to ever make Duelmaster... He's in the Challenger Champions and 
climbing....and he'll meet ya in AD! 
     Amazingly enough, this is not an isolated fluke.  We entered a similar warrior 
into Bloodgames (with the 4's as 3's, and a bit more CON).  That warrior, Jalon, is 
now in AD after going 9-1-5 and finishing on TOP of his Bloodgames arena.
     Ah, just thought I'd mention I have had a second bare-handed Duelmaster, now... 
Seeker Still Water in DM 74 is an open-hand lunger, Duelmaster at 8-1... but that's 
another story...

                                             --Khyron
                                             mgr., Pitt Gladiators (2,29,56,103)
                                             Jayhawks        (70)
                                             Silent Storm    (65,74,75)
                                             and numerous others....

                          THE WALL OF STEEL AS A BERSERKER

     This article is for newer players; more experienced managers will, I'm sure, have 
much more sophisticated ideas about warrior design and strategy.  This will enable a 
newbie to design a competent warrior who should be able to achieve a better than 50/50 
record.
     The wall of steel, or "waste," is often considered the second scummiest style in 
Duelmasters.  I love the style, but I don't run mine that way; I prefer to think of 
the waste as a fierce dervish ripping into his opponent like an airplane propeller.  
In accordance with this view, most walls of steel that I design couldn't scum if they 
wanted to (well all right, sometimes it happens by accident if the opposing warrior is 
going all-out and can't last very long).  It's fun to run them fast; they get the jump 
on people who don't expect it of them, and their fights are exciting.  Mind you, they 
don't win as much as if they ran more defensively, but the ones with good stats still 
do okay (I'll make practically anything a waste and run it, but this article isn't 
about the ones that a sane manager would DA).
     So, here is a design for a competent wall of steel:

ST   13+  Needed for endurance, damage doing, and weapon selection.
CN    9+  You need a passably good con for endurance.
SZ    7+  Teeny weenie wastes don't hit hard enough or take enough damage.  Real big 
          (15+) is bad because it hurts endurance.
WT   13+  Preferably 17.  Like any other style, the smarter they are, the better.
WL   17+  Needed for endurance, damage-taking, and sheer grit.  21 is recommended.
SP    3+  Whatever.
DF    7+  Higher deftness is better, but you can get by without it.

     As you can see, these are fairly easy requirements.  Of course, the more wit, 
will, and deftness, the better your waste will be (same as any other style).  If you 
don't end up with at least good endurance on the overview, the warrior probably isn't 
going to do very well.  With that high will, though, you can bump con a couple of 
times and you might get good endurance, so there's still a chance.
     Choose your weapons based on deftness, and your opponent's armor weight.  I 
normally use something like 0-8 SC, 9-12 BS, 13+ GA, backup SC or BS.  No shield.  
Some other good weapons for the waste are QS (only takes 11 ST, and can hit heavy 
armor), MS, and BA.  The war flail isn't a very good weapon, but you can play with it 
against leather armor.  For armor, I usually choose something middling like ARM & H, 
but will go with APL & H if he has a lot of con.
     For strategy--I heard a rumor (NOT confirmed) that a wall of steel gets a bonus 
if his OE equals his KD.  Since I don't like to use a kill desire above 6, I don't go 
by that in the first couple of minutes.  Keep the activity level moderate to low; the 
waste doesn't need to jump around a lot and the way he keeps his weapon moving, he's 
burning a lot of endurance without that added drain.  Attack and defend the arms, like 
a slasher; a waste is a sort of parry-slasher.  A typical strategy for my wastes might 
look like this:

Minute    1    2    3    4    5    6    Desp
Offensive 9    8    7    6    5    5    2
Activity  6    5    4    3    2    1    6
Kill des. 6    6    6    6    5    5    2
Att. loc. RA   LA   RA   LA   RA   LA   RA
Pro. loc. AM   AM   AM   AM   AM   AM   HE
Off tac.  none --   --   --   --   --   --
Def tac.  --   --   --   --   --   --   P

     I play with the numbers a lot, depending on what the warrior seems to like.  For 
example, if he doesn't parry too well, I'll give him a more offensive desperation 
strategy, like 8-4-8-slash.  (If I really like a warrior I sometimes use a 7+ KD to 
try and save his life.)  If he never manages to get the jump on anybody, I'll try 
running him more defensively, like with a first minute of 3-6-3.  It's not as much fun 
as going all out, but it's more fun than losing all the time.
     You can challenge pretty much any style (lungers aren't recommended).  When 
fighting a warrior you know to be very defensive (a TP, or a scummy variety of PS, PR, 
PL, or WS), slow down or you will be scummed.  For the most part, though, an offensive 
waste is very versatile and can beat any style.  The better his important qualities 
are (WT, WL, DF, endurance), the better the quality of warriors he can defeat.  In 
other words, if you have a so-so rollup that barely made the minimum requirements, 
challenge so-so opponents.  If you have a good rollup, go for the gold.  Challenge 
warriors with a few more fights than you, so you'll learn plenty of skills--but don't 
challenge way way up in experience, because it's no fun to lose a good warrior.
     For the most part, train skills--especially on your challenge strategy, when 
you're going after someone with more fights!  And for sure on the first fight, because 
you'll likely be matched against someone who can teach you a lot.  It's okay to train 
con once in a while if you need more endurance and damage-taking; and if you have bad 
luck on the rollup and get "does little damage" or something, you might have to train 
strength once or twice (no more!).  But it's best not to train any other stats until 
way, way down the road.
     Ask your DM sponsor or any experienced manager in your arena for more advice (if 
they tell you I'm full of hot air, they're probably right).  A little bit of good 
advice from a more advanced player can make a big difference in your enjoyment of the 
game!
     If you have any questions or suggestions, you can diplo:  the She-Puppy, mgr. 
Mordant Prison DM-1, and others.