DUEL 2 NEWSLETTER

Date   : 12/25/2004    Duedate: 01/07/2005

NOBLISH ISLAND ARENA

DM-93    TURN-181

This Weeks Top Honors

THE DUELMASTER IS

TAKA PICKTUAR
GHOST TEAM (1373)
(93-7949) [3-1-0,72]

Chartered Recognition Leader   Unchartered Recognition Leader

SHADOW STALKER                 TAKA PICKTUAR
THE LORDS OF WAR (1358)        GHOST TEAM (1373)
(93-7861) [6-3-0,41]           (93-7949) [3-1-0,72]

Popularity Leader              This Weeks Favorite

SHADOW STALKER                 SHADOW STALKER
THE LORDS OF WAR (1358)        THE LORDS OF WAR (1358)
(93-7861) [6-3-0,41]           (93-7861) [6-3-0,41]

THE CURRENT TOP TEAM

GHOST TEAM (1373)

          TEAMS ON THE MOVE            TOP CAREER HONORS
Team Name                  Point Gain  Chartered Team
1. MIDDLE WAY 12 (1374)        32
2. THE LORDS OF WAR (1358)     29      THE LORDS OF WAR (1358)
3. GHOST TEAM (1373)           20      Unchartered Team
4. GRACES MUSES (1372)          7
5. CRIMSON SHADOW (590)        -5      MIDDLE WAY 12 (1374)

The Top Teams

Career Win-Loss Record           W   L  K    %  Win-Loss Record Last 3 Turns    W  L K
 1/ 1*MIDDLE WAY 12 (1374)       7   3  0 70.0   1/ 1*GHOST TEAM (1373)        10  5 0
 2/ 2*GHOST TEAM (1373)         13   7  1 65.0   2/ 2*MIDDLE WAY 12 (1374)      7  3 0
 3/ 0*CRIMSON SHADOW (590)       6   7  0 46.2   3/ 0 THE LORDS OF WAR (1358)   3  4 1
 4/ 0 THE LORDS OF WAR (1358)    7  14  1 33.3   4/ 0*CRIMSON SHADOW (590)      2  3 0
 5/ 0*GRACES MUSES (1372)        0   2  0  0.0   5/ 0*GRACES MUSES (1372)       0  2 0

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

                                    TEAM SPOTLIGHT

                                 Profile of a Style
                                      Slashers

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

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

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

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

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

Going from the general to the specific--

                                 Profile of a Warrior
                                     Black Victor
                                       Slasher

     Vic is 9-7-15-17-15-10-11, no stats trained, and he was 22-18-2 running on
maintenance at the time he received his graduation notice.  He had an advanced master
in initiative, and advanced expert in riposte, a master in attack, and an advanced
expert in decisiveness.
     According to his overview, he is very intelligent (something not always
demonstrated in his dealings with his teammates)
          Nothing short of a genius at keeping his foes at sword's point
          Does a lot of little things well
          Uses an unusual fighting style, deadly to slower, less active foes (I have
NEVER gotten an overview that claimed the warrior used a hackneyed, common fighting
style that would result in getting himself killed)
          Avoids blows well
     He's an extremely active fighter (the SP and DF)
     Cannot take a lot of punishment (low CN)
     Can only carry a very little weight in armor and weapons (low ST)
     Is very quick on his feet
          Avoiding rather than trading blows
     Can do good damage with a blow (largely a result of his SZ)
     The Commission claim he favors a battle axe, which he has never tried, and a
rhythm of very high offensive effort and very low activity level
     At the time this invitation to the Isle arrived, he was running 10-10-8 straight
across, carrying a scimitar and backup scimitar, in leather armor and a helm,
attacking right arm, protecting body, and using no tactics.  Sunset (DM 21) is not an
easy arena, but this strategy--you'll note that it is not his "favorite"--got him out
alive.

     But suppose he had the same stats but some other style.  What difference might
that have made?  None to his ability to take and deal out damage, but more than you
might think to his initial, or base, skills.  Several managers (Sir Boyd and Pagan
are prominent among them, but I know others have helped, all unsung) have done a lot
of research, analysis, and experiment on the relation between a warrior's starting
stats and style and his starting skills.  (Note that a warrior's starting skills may
not be exactly what the charts would lead you to expect.  There is a luck factor; a
warrior may sometimes have more or fewer of a given skill than expected.)  His
ability to take and deal out damage, and to carry or not carry weight would have
remained the same, but....
     This is how Vic would have stacked up as a warrior of another style in the
skills department:

                       Skills
Style  Init  Rip  Att  Par  Def  Dec   Total
  AB      5    3    6    1    5   10     30
  BA     12    7   10    1    3   10     33
  LU     13    7   12    1    7    9     49
  PL     10    7   10    3    5    8     43
  PR      8   11    6    3    3    6     37
  PS      8    7    6    3    5    8     37
  SL     14    7   10   -1    5    9     44
  ST      9    7    6    0    5   10     37
  TP      8    7    4    7    5    6     37
  WS     14    7   10    5    5    8     49
All styles are not created equal, but have their own various strengths and
weaknesses.

     Do you look at this chart and wonder why all warriors aren't created lungers and
walls of steel?  Well, a lot of them are, especially lungers.  Some die of that low
CN, inability to carry much armor, and lack of parry and defense skills.  Some fall
victim to bad matches, develop losing records (this warrior is NOT at his best
against a long-haul total parry, for instance), and get sent to the Dark Arena.  Some
managers simply LIKE to play other styles, and can make up in skilled management what
the warrior may lose on the initial roll-up.
     Which brings me to an issue I would like to just mention to those of you here
who are new managers.  You can design warriors to maximize starting skills.  Let's
suppose that Vic's initial roll-up had a ST of 7 and I decided NOT to add two points
to it.  I could have put those points on either WT, WL, or DF, the three most skill-
rich stats and had more skills for him to start with.  But with a ST of 7, I couldn't
have counted on getting at least normal damage done, even with his big SZ, and
"little damage" has been the end of many warriors.  What good are skills if you can't
take your opponent down?  If I'd accepted a lower CN, I could have put more points
into stockpiling skills... and maybe gotten a "very frail" warrior, one who couldn't
survive a blow.  What good are skills if you can die from a single blow?
     Good warrior design is a balancing act.  You have to know what you expect of the
warrior: is he to be a long-term project, destined to dominate high-end play, or a
dixie-cup short-term warrior?  A short-term warrior can get away with a lot of
"design flaws" that would be disaster for a long-termer.  He can get away with being
very frail, or having a WL too low for training up stats.  He can be experimental.
But the first requirement for a long-term warrior is that he survive to reach the
Isle and immortality.  Skills alone are not enough for that.

Jorja
Middle Way

P.S.  If there's something you'd specifically like to hear about, ASK.  I don't know
what your questions are if you don't ask 'em.

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

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

Question, turn 405:

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

Answers, turn 406:

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

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

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

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

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

Question, turn 406:

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

Answers, turn 407:

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

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

Question, turn 407:

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

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

                                      SPY REPORT

     I was going on vacation, see?  Surf, sun...  But what do those bums say?  "Hit 
the road, Debby Tonte.  NOBLISH ISLAND needs a spyreport."  Oh, well.  MVP award for 
NIN QUAYNE?  MIDDLE WAY 12's proud of her after beating OLIVER DEBARROW and getting 
20 points.  Talk about yer big time losers!  OLIVER DEBARROW got smashed by NIN 
QUAYNE, and lost 15 points!  Don't you think the Duelmaster is being unfair?  I think 
TAKA PICKTUAR should let CONVICTED ASSASSIN be Duelmaster for a while, without 
fighting about it.  Is the Duelmaster really being a real snob to his teammates?  
Don't ask me!   
     AAARRGH!!!  I HATE SPYREPORTING!!!  Sorry.  I just had to say it.   
     Challenges, revenges, Bloodfeuds.  All NOBLISH ISLAND ever talks about is 
fighting!  Me, I'm more laid back.  Fight, fight, fight.  Is that all you guys can 
do?   
     I really didn't, you know, study when I was a kid.  Who would've guessed I'd be 
a famous Spyreporter?  I gotta leave.  NOBLISH ISLAND is like such a dump, and you 
guys smell too much!  I had a fun time, see you later-- Debby Tonte  

DUELMASTER                     W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 TAKA PICKTUAR 7949            3   1  0    72       GHOST TEAM (1373)

CHALLENGER ADEPTS              W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 GHOST 7954                    4   0  0    60       GHOST TEAM (1373)

ADEPTS                         W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 SHADOW STALKER 7861           6   3  0    41       THE LORDS OF WAR (1358)

CHALLENGER INITIATES           W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 NIN QUAYNE 7959               2   0  0    28       MIDDLE WAY 12 (1374)

INITIATES                      W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 SIOBHAN 3428                  3   0  0    23       CRIMSON SHADOW (590)
 LUGG OPAR 7957                2   0  0    22       MIDDLE WAY 12 (1374)
 KIRLUA NORIS 7956             2   0  0    20       MIDDLE WAY 12 (1374)
 PUNCH 7955                    3   0  0    18       GHOST TEAM (1373)
 MAX II 7950                   2   2  0    16       GHOST TEAM (1373)
 OLIVER DEBARROW 3429          2   2  0     8       CRIMSON SHADOW (590)
 GOLDSKEER 7953                1   3  1     7       GHOST TEAM (1373)
 SMOKE 7899                    1   0  1     7       THE LORDS OF WAR (1358)
 LUTHIEN BEDWYR 3427           1   0  0     6       CRIMSON SHADOW (590)
 MALLE PENNELIS 7958           1   1  0     6       MIDDLE WAY 12 (1374)
 GARTH ROGAR 3426              0   4  0     4       CRIMSON SHADOW (590)
 HAWKEYE 7902                  0   1  0     1       THE LORDS OF WAR (1358)
 KATERIN O'HALE 3425           0   1  0     1       CRIMSON SHADOW (590)

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

THE DEAD               W  L K TEAM NAME             SLAIN BY             TURN Revenge?
EUPHROSYNE 7945        0  1 0 GRACES MUSES 1372     SHEWISH GIANT 21      181 NONE    
THALIA 7946            0  1 0 GRACES MUSES 1372     WURM KIN 27           181 NONE    
RUNT 7905              0  2 0 THE LORDS OF WAR 1358 SPYMASTER 22          181 NONE    
PIT VIPER 7901         0  2 0 THE LORDS OF WAR 1358 MOUNTAIN TROLL 18     181 NONE    
ORLI ROST 7960         0  2 0 MIDDLE WAY 12 1374    SMOKE 7899            181         

                                     PERSONAL ADS

Greetings, managers and warriors of Noblish Island!  The Council of Lords sends you
holiday greetings and wishes you well in '05.  We welcome you to Ghea and extend an
invitation for you to join us in the great city of Chimlevtal (arena 31.)  This is a
slow arena (once a month turns) that is considered by many to be the most challenging
arena in all the lands.  We have great history, lots of role-playing and wars and
feuds that have lasted for years!  So, when you graduate from Noblish Island, think
about bringing your team to Chimlevtal or start a new team now and join in on the
fun.  Ask for arena 31, announce yourself in the personals and strap on your chin-
straps for some serious gladiatorial action.  If you need any help, just call out to
The Council of Lords and we'll help if we can.  Salute! -- The Icelord, 1st Mage, The
Council of Lords

Punch -- Boy, are you asking for trouble!  If I'd had a little more experience, you
would have been TOAST!  But then, golems don't care about that, do they? -- Orli Rost

Convicted Thief.  A standby right off.  Okay, I handle that.  Fine.  But how come I'm
Fratsfan at only five-foot-six?  If I have to be blonde, I want the TALL to go with
it!  Who do I take this up with?  The Commission?  They won't let me train SZ,
dammit.  My mother, get her to tell me I'm not done growing?  My father, to say I'm
not REALLY Fratsfan?  I mean, this is really annoying! -- Kirlua Noris
P.S.  Of course, I *am* highly charismatic and attractive, which helps....

Ah, good, the Commission put me down as "Convincian."  I don't mind that, I was just
worried they'd call me Shewish.  I respect Shews, don't get me wrong, but six-foot-
two is too SHORT to be a Shew. -- Lugg Opar
P.S.  But I can be half Shewish.

I'm a...golem?  Gosh, I wonder if my mother knows? -- Malle Pennelis

Convincian?  As Lugg said, I can handle that.  But I'm a little surprised the
Commission didn't call me a Dwarf.  I'm short enough, aren't I?  Of course...no
beard.  That probably biased them against the Dwarf thing.  (sigh)  So I'm just a
short, bad-tempered (but courageous and trustworthy) Convincian.  (sigh)  Into each
gladiator's life a few bad numbers must fall.... -- Nin Quayne

Hello, Noblish managers (except Crimson Death, which is being booted out to the
mainland).  This is Jorja, manager of the Middle Way, back again.  I am here, despite
several years' experience, to lend a hand where I can and answer questions.  Which
presupposes you will ASK questions--that's a hint.
     I'll talk about my warriors' fights, offering advice to their opponents where it
seems like a good idea.  You can't stop me doing that, though you might want to.
     I can, if you would like, comment on the articles you'll find in the back of
each newsletter.  These articles, by the way, aren't the Final Word, or the Received
Wisdom, on any topic, they're just a sifting of what some managers have thought and
said over the years, to give you a little background.  You can ask questions about
them.  Some of the managers are no longer active, but someone else will be glad to
answer, even if it's me.
     The Question of the Week and Lighthouse features in the team spotlight sections
are the same kind of thing:  a little more background on the game and what some
managers are thinking.  You can ask questions about THESE, too.  Or you can suggest
other topics you'd like to see in the Lighthouse part, or ask for additional
examples.  Whatever.
     But you have to talk to us before we can answer your questions.  That's what
we're here for--me, and such other managers as keep an eye on this newsletter on the
website.  We want to help.
     -- Jorja, the Middle Way

Newlin -- Thank you for the very interesting and painful battle.  Thought you had me
there for a minute.  However, as you seen in min 3 I don't give in.  My will and
pride won't allow it.  Better luck next time. -- Shadow Stalker

Jorja -- Good to see at least one familiar team and manager around still.  Hope to
see you on the sand soon. -- Warrior Lord *Lords of War*

Taka Pictuar -- Look out, I'm on my way. -- *Shadow Stalker*

8 December 2004
Battle Royal 4
     The Battle Royal arena contests are one of the purest tests of manager skill
available. The rules are simple.  The scoring is simple.  The updates are live.  If
you would like to participate, simply get a team ready in Talcama in the next month
and announce in the personals that you're in.  The prize is bragging rights and
having your name along side previous winners (Doc Steele, Manray Frothingslosh, and
Manager).  It is a brutal contest, but it is a lot of fun!
     Basic rules:  No avoiding other contest teams.  Score = Wins + Kills - Losses.
Only fights against other BR teams count.  First team to 25 wins!
     BR4 begins in Talcama (DM 18) on turn 502, due on Jan 29, 2005.
     Visit http://www.geocities.com/assurnasir/br4 for more information.

8 December 2004
TURF WAR IV -- GRAND CONTEST NOTICE!
     The Turf War IV Grand Contest will commence on Turn 221 (approx. February 22,
2005).  For those who have never participated, Turf Wars are alliance-type contest
and Winner-Takes-All.  There are no 2nd place winners!
     Everyone may participate; known alliances, new alliances, or temporary alliances
created to compete in the Turf War!  However, to participate, each alliance must:
     A.  Announce the alliance name and the Captain of the alliance in the North Fork
         (DM #47) newsletter.
Captains are responsible for:
     A.  Verifying those who wish to participate under the banner of their alliance;
     B.  Distribution of prizes should their alliance win the TW4.
Managers must:
     A.  Submit one (1) RSI Roll-up Gift Certificate to participate;
     B.  Announce their intent to compete with manager name, team name and alliance
         in which they will be fighting under, in the DM #47 North Fork newsletter.
Rules:
1.  No scoring will begin until an RSI Roll-up Gift Certificate is received.  No
    exceptions will be made.
2.  Before a manager can compete, he must be acknowledged and verified by the Captain
    of the alliance he has claimed for;
    A.  The following turn, points will begin to be awarded or subtracted;
3.  Only one (1) team per manager may compete.  No multiple aliases please (we'll be
    checking this and if caught...you'll be disqualified and no refund);
4.  The contest will end on Turn 233 (12 turns!).  Winners will be announced on Turn
    234 and prizes sent to winning alliance between Turn 233 and 234.
5.  No declarations will be acknowledged after Turn 231.
6.  For the purpose of scoring, I reserve the right to make all final decisions.
Scoring:         Win    Lose     Kill     Die
Challenge         +2     -2       +5       -5
Match-up          +1     -1       +1       -5
Bloodfeud         +2     -5       +5       -10
Champion          x2     x2       x2       x2
Downchallenge     +2     -5       +2       -10
Dark Arena       +10     -5       xx       xx
Special Scoring:
     A.  Each mention in the Spy Report is worth 5 points;
     B.  Each Style Master is worth 5 points;
Champions:
     A.  Champions may be declared, but are not mandatory.  If declared, they must be
         in the Adepts or lower brackets.
Bloodfeuds:
     A.  Bloodfeuds will count for all four turns.  However, the same warrior may not
         bloodfeud all four turns.  A penalty of -10 will be given to the team who
         violates this rule.
Special Conditions:
     A.  I reserve the right for all final decisions.
     B.  If I make a mistake, I'll multiply the points by 2;
     C.  If you claim I did, and *YOU* are wrong; I'll subtract points at the rate of
         x10!
     D.  Each alliance begins with zero (0) points.
     E.  Dark Arena may be used on the first turn of every warrior with no penalty.
     F.  T.V.'s won after contest begins gain a Triple rate of scoring.
     G.  T.C.'s won after the contest begins gain a multiple of 10 scoring.
     H.  No switching alliances once verified by an alliance.
     Any questions or concerns may be addressed (if you're incarcerated) to:
Baphomet, mgr. Knights Templar (268), DM #47 -- North Fork.
     If you're in the free world:  Rick Strigner  Merit East
                                   SCI  P.O. Box 500
                                   Georgetown, DE  19947-0500
P.S.  Prizes are:
     A.  100% of the roll-up certs
     B.  Currently under negotiations with R.S.I. for other prizes
     C.  A special prize from me that I will discuss with the Captain of the winning
         alliance.

15 December 2004
The Company of Brothers Alliance would like to welcome Azereth as our newest member.
We are sure he will be an asset to both our alliance and the dueling community! --
Baphomet, Co-Founder T.C.B.

24 December 2004
Due to requests, the Turf War IV will be postponed until turn 225 (approx May/June
2005).  Sorry about the inconvenience. -- Baphomet, host of TW 4

                                  LAST WEEK'S FIGHTS

RUNT was butchered by SPYMASTER in a 1 minute Dark Arena fight.
PIT VIPER was butchered by MOUNTAIN TROLL in a 1 minute Dark Arena duel.
EUPHROSYNE was murdered by SHEWISH GIANT in a 1 minute Dark Arena melee.
THALIA was murdered by WURM KIN in a 1 minute gruesome Dark Arena fight.
TAKA PICKTUAR bested CONVICTED ASSASSIN in a popular 1 minute gory Title contest.
GHOST demolished DANGEROUS CRIMINAL in a 1 minute gruesome mismatched competition.
SHADOW STALKER overpowered MAX II in a crowd pleasing 5 minute one-sided struggle.
SIOBHAN defeated GOLDSKEER in a action packed 1 minute beginner's melee.
OLIVER DEBARROW was vanquished by NIN QUAYNE in a 1 minute one-sided duel.
MALLE PENNELIS lost to PUNCH in a 1 minute novice's fight.
GARTH ROGAR was overpowered by LUGG OPAR in a 1 minute one-sided melee.
ORLI ROST was slain by SMOKE in a 1 minute novice's match.
KIRLUA NORIS devastated KATERIN O'HALE in a 1 minute mismatched conflict.
HAWKEYE was savagely defeated by LUTHIEN BEDWYR in a 5 minute gory amateur's match.

                                    BATTLE REPORT

             MOST POPULAR                        RECORD DURING THE LAST 10 TURNS     
|FIGHTING STYLE               FIGHTS        FIGHTING STYLE     W -   L -  K   PERCENT|
|AIMED BLOW                       6         PARRY-LUNGE        2 -   0 -  0     100  |
|STRIKING ATTACK                  4         SLASHING ATTACK   12 -   4 -  0      75  |
|WALL OF STEEL                    3         WALL OF STEEL      5 -   2 -  0      71  |
|SLASHING ATTACK                  2         TOTAL PARRY        8 -   4 -  0      67  |
|PARRY-RIPOSTE                    2         AIMED BLOW         9 -   6 -  3      60  |
|BASHING ATTACK                   2         STRIKING ATTACK   13 -  10 -  0      57  |
|PARRY-LUNGE                      1         BASHING ATTACK     8 -   7 -  2      53  |
|PARRY-STRIKE                     1         PARRY-RIPOSTE      6 -   6 -  0      50  |
|TOTAL PARRY                      1         LUNGING ATTACK    10 -  10 -  0      50  |
|LUNGING ATTACK                   0         PARRY-STRIKE       0 -   2 -  0       0  |

Turn 181 was great if you     Not so great if you used      The fighting styles of the
used the fighting styles:     the fighting styles:          top eleven warriors are:

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

                               TOP WARRIOR OF EACH STYLE

FIGHTING STYLE   WARRIOR                     W   L  K PNTS TEAM NAME                  
STRIKING ATTACK  TAKA PICKTUAR 7949          3   1  0   72 GHOST TEAM (1373)
SLASHING ATTACK  GHOST 7954                  4   0  0   60 GHOST TEAM (1373)
AIMED BLOW       SHADOW STALKER 7861         6   3  0   41 THE LORDS OF WAR (1358)
Note: Warriors have a winning record and are an Adept or Above.

The overall popularity leader is SHADOW STALKER 7861.  The most popular warrior this 
turn was SHADOW STALKER 7861.  The ten other most popular fighters were HAWKEYE 7902, 
TAKA PICKTUAR 7949, LUTHIEN BEDWYR 3427, GHOST 7954, NIN QUAYNE 7959, SIOBHAN 3428, 
GOLDSKEER 7953, PUNCH 7955, LUGG OPAR 7957, and ORLI ROST 7960.

The least popular fighter this week was MAX II 7950.  The other ten least popular 
fighters were KATERIN O'HALE 3425, GARTH ROGAR 3426, MALLE PENNELIS 7958, EUPHROSYNE 
7945, PIT VIPER 7901, RUNT 7905, SMOKE 7899, OLIVER DEBARROW 3429, THALIA 7946, and 
KIRLUA NORIS 7956.

                 MAIL-IN TOURNEY XXXVIII

                                FACE-TO-FACE XXXIV

     Our next Winter Face-to-Face will be held on Martin Luther King weekend, Friday 
through Sunday, 14-16 January 2005, at the Embassy Suites in Tempe, Arizona (4400 S 
Rural Rd--this is the same hotel as last year).  Room rates are $139.00 per night, 
1-4 occupancy, which includes breakfast.  The rooms are blocked.  The reservations 
number is 480-897-7444; tell them you're with the "Reality Simulations Face to Face 
Convention" block.  Our room block will be released in mid-December, so please make 
sure you reserve your room before then! 
     Room rates include a full cooked-to-order breakfast and a complimentary two-hour 
manager's reception.  There is a free shuttle to the airport, as well as free parking.  
The hotel is located down the freeway in Tempe.  All rooms have high speed internet 
(for an extra charge).  There is a fitness center, jacuzzi, and pool, and of course a 
bar and Mexican restaurant inside the hotel.  And there's Denny's right across the 
street.  Look for transportation info in the tournament information sheet.
     The tournament information sheet/strategy sheet should be out sometime in late 
November/early December. 
     If you haven't been to a Face-to-Face before, you're overdue.  If you have, 
you'll be back.  Don't miss this one, it'll be a blast!  See you there! 

                                          -- Green Eyes and the RSI Staff

                             The Effects of Coordination

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

Coordination =  SP + DF

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

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

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

                                   The Basic Ripper

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

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

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

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

                                                       Cadmus
                                                       Wild Oats (479)
                                                       Solven, DM 22

                          Stimpy's Thoughts on Total Parries

                                       part II

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

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

or

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

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

                                                                 Stimpy

                              MORE ADVICE FOR BEGINNERS

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

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

                                  "Favorite Weapons"

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