DUEL 2 NEWSLETTER

Date   : 05/28/2005    Duedate: 06/10/2005

NOBLISH ISLAND ARENA

DM-93    TURN-186

This Weeks Top Honors

THE DUELMASTER IS

NIN QUAYNE
MIDDLE WAY 12 (1374)
(93-7959) [6-1-0,90]

Chartered Recognition Leader   Unchartered Recognition Leader

POSITION IS EMPTY              NIN QUAYNE
                               MIDDLE WAY 12 (1374)
                               (93-7959) [6-1-0,90]

Popularity Leader              This Weeks Favorite

NIN QUAYNE                     POLI SARCHIS
MIDDLE WAY 12 (1374)           MIDDLE WAY 12 (1374)
(93-7959) [6-1-0,90]           (93-7971) [3-2-0,13]

THE CURRENT TOP TEAM

MATERIA MAGICA (1376)

          TEAMS ON THE MOVE            TOP CAREER HONORS
Team Name                  Point Gain  Chartered Team
1. MIDDLE WAY 12 (1374)        37
2. MATERIA MAGICA (1376)      -13      BANE'S CHILDREN (235)
                                       Unchartered Team

                                       MIDDLE WAY 12 (1374)

The Top Teams

Career Win-Loss Record           W   L  K    %  Win-Loss Record Last 3 Turns    W  L K
 1/ 2*MIDDLE WAY 12 (1374)      23  12  0 65.7   1/ 2*MATERIA MAGICA (1376)     9  6 2
 2/ 1*MATERIA MAGICA (1376)     12   8  2 60.0   2/ 1*MIDDLE WAY 12 (1374)      9  6 0

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

                                    TEAM SPOTLIGHT

                                   Rhythm and Blues
                               A Few Thoughts on Rhythm

     Every warrior has a favorite rhythm--a favored number for Offensive Effort and
Activity Level.  (Note, to the best of my knowledge and belief, there is NO favored
Kill Desire.)  This rhythm is set when the warrior is created, and it is revealed to
the manager when the warrior graduates.
     I have never been entirely clear as to what, exactly, using the favored rhythm
does for the warrior, but there is a general agreement that it does something,
usually something good.  Paces him, perhaps, to get the most fight for the least
endurance burn?  Paces him so that he can make the most of his style's specific
strengths and minimize the weaknesses?  Something like that, no doubt.
     This implies that favored rhythms are linked to style, and that certain ranges
may be specific to style, and I understand that the major number crunchers have
demonstrated this to be so.  It further suggests to me that if one knows the range of
favored rhythms for a given style, one may be able to give a warrior of that style a
more effective strategy than one derived simply by guessing and looking at the
warrior's stats and overview.
     Wherefore I have pulled out the favorite rhythms by style of the graduated
warriors available for my inspection.  You will note that the size of the samples
varies a lot from style to style.  This roughly indicates the ease with which I have
been able to keep the different styles alive until graduation, modified by my
personal preferences as to style.

The first letter in a pair indicates favored Offensive Effort, the second favored
Activity Level.
     VH=very high   H=high    M=moderate     L=low     VL=very low
Distributing the ten numbers available in an even and logical manner, we get:
     VH= 10, 9     H= 8,7     M= 6,5     L= 4,3     VL= 2,1
We don't know exactly which number of the pair a given "favorite" is, but this is
close enough.
     I'm including the raw data here, despite the fact that it looks very boring,
heck, it is very boring, so that any of you who wish to may study it and make your
own deductions.

Aimed Blows, twenty-two graduated warriors polled as to favorite rhythms:
      L/VL    L/L    VL/L    VL/M     L/VL    M/VL    M/L     L/VL   VL/VL    L/M
      L/L     L/M     L/L    VL/L    VL/M     L/VL    L/L    VL/L     L/M     M/L
     VL/VL    L/L
     Notice a pattern here?  Nothing higher than Moderate, and every pair has at
least one Low or Very Low.  In other words, Aimed Blows prefer to be run "scummy."
Or if you're feeling charitable, they like to take their time and make their blows
count, which is natural enough when you consider that accuracy is their strong suit.

Bashers, twenty-five graduated warriors polled.
     VH/VL   VH/VL   VH/VL    H/VL    H/L     H/L     H/M     H/L     M/VL    H/VL
     VH/VL    H/L     H/M     M/L     H/L     H/L     H/M    VH/L    VH/VL   VH/VL
      H/L    VH/M     H/L     H/VL    M/L
     Again, there's an obvious pattern, but it's a different one.  Offensive Effort
no lower than Moderate, Activity Level no higher than Moderate, and often a very
sharp division between the two in any given pair.  High Offensive Effort, low
Activity Level.  No instances of M/M listed here!  Bashers are very direct in their
fighting: attack, attack, attack.  No finesse, little dodging.

Lungers, forty graduated warriors polled.
     VH/H     H/H     H/M     M/H     M/H     M/VH    L/H    VH/M    VH/VH    H/VH
      H/VH    M/VH   VH/M     H/H     H/VH    M/VH    H/VH    H/H    VH/M     M/VH
     VH/VH    L/VH    L/H     H/VH    M/H     M/M     M/H     M/M     H/VH    H/H
     VH/VH   VH/H     M/VH    L/H     M/H     H/H     H/H    VH/M     M/M    VH/H
     Everything but VL is represented in this group.  Two out of the forty warriors
have rhythms of M/M.  It may be significant that these are both fairly old warriors;
other anomalies have shown up from time to time in very old warriors.  Other than
that, every pair contains either H or VH at least once, although there seems to be no
definite preference as to which position it should be in.  A slight bias toward
faster OE than AL, but the sample isn't large enough to be sure of that.  It's common
to see BOTH numbers H or VH for this style.  Lungers like to run fast, and a good
lunger fight has a lot of action--dodging to the side, leaping over or ducking under
a blow, as well as attacking.  Of course, that means they tend to burn out fast, too,
so you have to plan for that.

Parry-Lungers, twenty graduated warriors polled.
      M/VH    M/H     L/M     H/VH   VL/H     M/M     H/M     H/H     H/M     H/L
      M/L     H/H     L/L     H/L     M/M     H/L     L/L     H/M    VL/L     L/VH
     Granting that this is a small sample, I see no pattern here.  P-lungers vary a
lot from one warrior to the next, and you have to experiment to find the rhythm that
works best for any individual warrior.  Some are more lunger, some more parry.  In
fact, you could say that the "Offensive Total Parries" and "Defensive Lungers" that
some managers write articles about could be summed up as: Parry-Lunger.

Parry-Ripostes, a mere fourteen graduated warriors polled.
     VL/M     M/M     M/M     H/M     L/M    VL/M     L/M     L/H     M/H     L/H
     VL/M     L/H     L/M     L/M
     Hardly a definitive sample (these are hard to graduate), but there seems to be a
pattern of Offensive Effort no higher than Moderate (okay, one, unless it's a typo),
Activity Level no lower than Moderate.  I must admit that I have been known to run
them with an OE of High or Very High when I got tired of having them jumped by
offensive-styled warriors.  Some rippers can handle that without flailing or getting
tired, and some can't.

Parry-Strikers, twenty-one polled.
      M/VL    M/VL   VL/M     M/M    VL/H     L/L     L/VL   VL/L     L/L     M/L
      M/H     L/M     M/VL    L/VL   VL/L    VL/VL   VL/M    VL/L     L/L    VL/L
      M/L
     I see every range of numbers here but VH, and no obvious pattern.  Figures.
Everyone says this style is notional when it comes to how they want to run.  A large
sample might show some clear tendency, but from this small group, all I can say is,
they don't seem to like to run very fast.

Slashers, sixty warriors polled.  What can I say?  I like slashers, and when I was
starting out, I ran a lot of them, many of whom lived to graduate.  In some cases,
this was unfortunate, but at the time, it seemed like a good idea....
     VH/VL    H/L     H/VL    M/L     H/VL    H/L     M/VL    H/L     H/VL    M/M
      M/M    VH/VL   VH/L     H/VL    H/VL   VH/L     H/VL    H/L     M/VL   VH/L
     VH/M     M/VL    H/M     M/VL    M/VL    H/L     H/L     M/L     H/VL   VH/VL
     VH/VL    M/M     H/VL    M/VL    H/VL    H/VL   VH/L     H/L     H/L     H/VL
      M/L     M/L     H/VL    M/M     M/L     M/L    VH/VL   VH/L     M/VL    H/VL
      H/VL   VH/VL    H/VL    H/VL   VH/L     H/VL    M/L     H/VL   VH/VL
     Now that we're back among the pure offensive styles, a pattern emerges again.
No Offensive Effort lower than Moderate, no Activity Level higher than Moderate.
Within those limits, anything goes--from Moderate/Moderate to Very High/Very Low.
Slashers like to run hard, they don't like to stand around and scum their opponents,
but they'll accept a modestly cautious approach if it's called for.  Pay attention to
the details in your warrior's fight.  If he starts getting tired early on, you
probably need to lower his Offensive Effort some.  If he never gets the first blow
and loses continually because of that, raise Offensive Effort.

Strikers, sixty-three polled.  (shrug)  When in doubt, make it a striker....
     VL/M     L/L     L/L     H/VL    M/H     M/L     L/M     L/L     L/VL    M/L
      M/VL    M/L     H/VL    H/L     M/L     M/VL    M/L     M/H     L/VL    M/M
      L/M     L/VL    M/VL    L/VL    L/VL    M/L     L/VL   VL/L     H/L     M/H
      M/H     H/VL   VL/L     H/VL    M/VL   VL/L     H/VL    M/VL    M/VL   VL/VL
      M/VL    L/H     H/L     M/VL    H/VL    M/M     L/VL    M/L     M/L     M/L
      H/M     M/L     L/M    VL/M     M/VL    M/L     M/M     L/L     M/VL    M/L
      H/VL    H/H     M/L
     Neither Offensive Effort nor Activity Level of Very High appears, but that
leaves a lot of possible combinations (okay, only sixteen, but that seems like a lot
when you're writing an article late at night), and most of them seem to show up on
this list.  Strikers, like P-Strikers, need tinkering.

Total Parries, twenty-nine warriors polled.
     VL/M    VL/L     M/VL   VL/VL    L/L    VL/VL   VL/M    VL/VL    L/M    VL/L
     VL/M     L/M     L/H     M/M     M/VL   VL/VL   VL/L    VL/VL    L/L    VL/VL
     VL/L     L/L    VL/L     L/L    VL/L     L/VL   VL/L    VL/L    VL/L
     No Offensive Effort higher than Moderate, no Activity Level except one higher
than Moderate.  This is what you'd expect, right?  Total Parries conserve their
energy.  While you can run them faster, they aren't going to like it.  And if they
don't like it, they aren't going to perform really well.

Walls of Steel, thirty-five polled.
      M/VL    L/L     L/VL    M/L     M/M     L/VL    H/VL    L/VL    M/VL   VH/M
      M/L     L/M     H/VL    H/M     L/L     L/L     M/L     M/L     M/VL    M/L
      M/L     H/L    VH/VL    H/L     M/L     L/M     H/M     M/M     M/M     H/L
      M/VL   VH/M     H/L     M/VL    H/M
     No Offensive Effort of Very Low, no Activity Level higher than Moderate.  Some
people call this style the "parry-slash," others say it's a prime candidate for
running like a berserker.  Otherwise, a lot of variation.  Some are scummy (L/VL) and
some are slice-and-dice machines (VH/M).  Too bad you can't tell right off which
you've got, eh?  This style needs attention and experimenation for best results.

     Now that you've plowed through all the tedious stuff (at least, it was tedious
for me to organize the data, hope it was less so for you to look at it), I'll offer a
word of advice to new players.  Make all or most of your first warriors of the styles
that have clear patterns.  Bashers and slashers are the easiest to do well with right
off the bat.  Lungers and strikers are a little trickier, but not much.  The others
are a lot trickier.  Winning right off with your first attempts at those styles--
especially once you're out of Noblish Island and into the cold, cruel mainland, is
unlikely.  However, the study and struggle needed to master one of the trickier
styles is amply rewarded by the rush of guiding one to a winning record, a
duelmastership, and graduation.

Jorja
The Middle Way

           +<]H[>+-----+<]H[+ Question of the Week #9 +]H[>+-----+<]H[>+

The question, turn 420:

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

Answers, turn 421:

Q.O.W. (size) -- Smaller size has always had an advantage in the upper levels of the
game, especially at the top of Primus and Gateway.  The bonus to defense and parry
offsets the initiative loss and the damage taking and dealing that a large size
provides.  Of course, large size comes with its own defense penalty.  A high defense
is critical in the upper levels where it is imperative not to get hit.  If you are
unhittable, it comes down to an endurance contest.  However, huge warriors,
especially those gifted in defense can make devastating opponents on their road to
the top.  They are tough and dish out more than all the little pip squeaks ever
could.  It's much easier to get a great warrior out of a smaller size than out of a
larger size of course, due to stat distribution to the other critical areas like WT,
WL and DF, so finding a great huge warrior is difficult.  My best is Khazakh who is
in 105 right now.  He's gifted in defense and endurance, and he's devastating in the
arena.  But some day, near the very top, his size will probably be a hindrance unless
his attack is absolutely crazy and he can hit the little guys. -- Adie

Q.O.W. (answer) -- It depends greatly on what you define as the top of the game.
Certainly any sized warrior can be effective at the top of a basic arena or any AD
arena.  By the time you're talking Primus or Gateway it's mainly a matter of whether
or not your team can muster enough warriors to win magical prizes to enhance you,
those without them must be truly gifted indeed. -- Maxwell Honorblade

Q.O.W. -- Do the small size skill negatives prevent success in the top end game? --
Certainly not!  While the negatives are there, remember that small size allows more
"points" elsewhere, easily making up the skills.  The smaller warriors are *often*
the leaders at the top end.  There are also TC-winning ways to modify warriors, and
this past FTF prize is "very expensive" for this very purpose. -- Kennelworth

QoW -- I don't participate at the Primus/Gateway level of play, but the word is that
ability to deal a powerful blow remains important and thus allows the large warriors
(read: lungers) to remain competitive with their smaller peers.  What I do know is
that my sz 3 Lunger that's +4 in defense will have, when completely maxxed out in
both skills and stats, the highest number of naturally attainable defense skills in
the game.  Unfortunately, she'll only do tremendous if she's lucky. -- Generalissimo
Puerco

QOW -- My limited experience in the high end of the game (I have one whole Gateway
warrior...WHOO!) the most important skills are, in order:  attack, defense, and
initiative.  So while it isn't good to lose defense, init is a valuable asset as well
(helps keep the momentum).  Another aspect in the end game is the damage rating,
which size does help and can make a LOT of difference.  But since it is better to
have a 21 wit than a 21 size, I would say that in general over 11 size is unwanted.
-- Anti

The questions this time were in regard to the Style-vs-Style chart and how to run a
parry-riposte.

Parry-Riposte:  How to run them?  Hmm... well, I've only run three so far, but I
think I've seen a lot of what they can and can't do.  From my experience, if their
parry is decent, they can take a couple good hits, and carry decent, give them heavy
armor and run parry tactic (very helpful with their low parry bases), but at maybe 4-
5-5, or faster at 5-3-5.  The parry tactic augments their defense, but they'll still
try to riposte since they have so much of it.  For those who are more frail, can't
carry much, and have decent defense, I go in lighter armor and run maybe 3-6-4 (I've
never run dodge tactic here, but I'd try).  My first ripper to AD had a 7 ST, did
normal damage, and she ran in ALE/L running with moderate activity. She graduated 16-
6.  Of course, she's also +5 in att, +2 in par.  But she still defends much better
than she parries in that light armor. -- Adie
P.S.  As for early in the career, scumming is handy, but put OE up just a bit so
they'll swing if given the opportunity.  Armor for sure to keep them alive unless
you're bold.

Leeta -- I've seen that chart too, but I have no idea if it was based off of a large
number of fights.  I think those numbers for strikers reflects their great ability to
throw those crits early in the career, and to be quick to the first hit. For parry-
strikers, I think it merely reflects the variability in how they can be run and
designed.  The chart of course is based on gross stereo-typing of the styles.  I
wouldn't use it too much even as a beginner. -- Adie

Leeta -- I think that "chance to win by style" chart is silly.  Doesn't it say that
lungers will almost always beat aimers?  My aimers tend to do pretty well against
lungers, how about yours? -- Generalissimo Puerco

Leeta and ALL others -- While I have not seen this chart, I can't help but say that
it is probably not very accurate.  Too many things factor into a match-up of two
warriors to expect style to <cut off by Hal, unfortunately>

     On thinking it over in the light of the past month's fights, I have a feeling
that the chart is probably rather old, and that recent advances in management
technique have drastically undermined its usefulness in most instances.  Discounting
luck (which one should never do, of course), and all other things being more or less
equal, the best manager is more likely to win, rather than the one whose warrior has
the favored style.  (Now, there's an inflamatory statement!)  Probably that
overstates the case, but I think managerial skill is now a significant factor,
anyway, even if it isn't decisive. -- Jorja

                                 DUELMASTER'S COLUMN
                             Notes from the arena champ.

     I wouldn't have thought I had the experience for the Khalhums Dwarf, either.
Where I got the skills I needed...?  But better to win by surprise than to lose and
die.  Or even to lose and keep the throne, which would be a major embarrassment for
me, and for the arena as a whole.

                                     Nin Quayne
                               Duel2Dudette by Default

                                      SPY REPORT

     Oh, hi.  Its just little 'ol Debby Tonte.  Thought I'd check out NOBLISH ISLAND 
to see what's new.  Too bad, MIDDLE WAY 12, but MATERIA MAGICA was just too good to 
be stopped.  MVP award for MALLE PENNELIS?  MIDDLE WAY 12's proud of her after 
beating ZORT and getting 16 points.  Talk about yer major upsets!  ZORT's match with 
MALLE PENNELIS cost him a loss of 16 points!  This Duelmaster is like something else! 
NIN QUAYNE stopped CONVICTED ASSASSIN dead in his tracks!  Is the Duelmaster really 
being a real snob to his teammates?  Don't ask me!   
     So just why would someone becomes a warrior anyway?  It can't be for these 
really neat Spyreports can it?  MIDDLE WAY 12 was NOBLISH ISLAND's most avoided team. 
Is there some award for that?  I don't know what MATERIA MAGICA's been doing.  They 
certainly haven't been accepting many fights from MIDDLE WAY 12, that's fer sher.   
     Man, all these warriors dying and killing each other!  Don't you guys ever give 
it a break?  Hey you guys, don't you think your families would like to hear from you? 
Write!  (Or have someone write for you.)  
     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!  Remember you guys, ease up sometimes!  Chill out!  Later, Debby 
Tonte  

DUELMASTER                     W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 NIN QUAYNE 7959               6   1  0    90       MIDDLE WAY 12 (1374)

ADEPTS                         W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 HARBRINGER 7970               4   0  1    34       MATERIA MAGICA (1376)

CHALLENGER INITIATES           W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 KIRLUA NORIS 7956             5   2  0    33       MIDDLE WAY 12 (1374)
 MALLE PENNELIS 7958           5   2  0    31       MIDDLE WAY 12 (1374)
 TOOTHSMASHER 7968             3   1  0    26       MATERIA MAGICA (1376)

INITIATES                      W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 LUGG OPAR 7957                4   3  0    21       MIDDLE WAY 12 (1374)
 ZORT 7966                     3   1  0    16       MATERIA MAGICA (1376)
 POLI SARCHIS 7971             3   2  0    13       MIDDLE WAY 12 (1374)
 IRONBEARD 7969                2   2  1    13       MATERIA MAGICA (1376)
 IRONHORN 7967                 0   4  0     4       MATERIA MAGICA (1376)

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

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

                                     PERSONAL ADS

Kirlua Noris -- Ouch, ouch and triple ouch.  Next time I'll be ready.  After all, my
manager wanted to see what a shortsword would be like.  Go figure. -- Toothsmasher

Hey Malle Pennelis -- Well looks like I should have just went with a shortsword huh?
-- Ironhorn
P.S.  I will get better, or I'll be dead!!

Poli -- Well I must admit you are an excellent fighter and your scimitar is very
sharp.  I hope I didn't dull it any by deflecting ten of your blows, and dodging all
the rest! -- Zort

Hey Jorja -- Give it to me straight what you think about the ones you went up against
so far. -- P.B.R. mgr. MM

Ironhorn -- Three clashes to start with!  Impressive. -- Malle Pennelis
P.S.  Are you sure you need that shield?  It isn't like you were using it where it
counts.
P.P.S.  Darned if I know why I was hacking at your ankles when aiming for your arms.
I didn't think I was THAT clumsy.

Zort -- (sigh)  I hate losing on those terms. -- Kirlua Noris

I have often wondered why the Dangerous Criminal isn't ranked higher.  As standbys
go, he's a particularly tough one. -- Lugg Opar

Toothsmasher -- My dentist hates you. -- Poli Sarchis

4 May 2005
Several questions have been asked about Slaughter's Challenge that I'd like to
address and clarify.
     1)  All Prizes must be used on the contest team, this includes the resurrection.
         Remember any fast arena team should be able to transfer to a slow arena
         (except for arena 82, I believe).
     2)  Warriors will be allowed to fight and run in the dead tourney, should there
         be one, and return if an opening can be made without breaking the rules
         (i.e. only one DA fight allowed per team).
     3)  If you win your single DA match you do not get another.  It's one use of the
         Dark Arena win or lose so if you want him/her/it dead be sure and throw the
         match!
     4)  The resurrection potion's longevity has been extended by the commission to 6
         months but the other potions (favorites, and +1 bonus) must still be used
         within 2 turns and on a 5 FE or higher warrior.  The resurrection can go on
         any warrior regardless of FE.
Street Legal

P.S.  My thanks to those already entered (Hammer, The Consortium, Tripwire, Stik, and
Shaman) and hope many more find a reason to come to arena 54.  Again, my email is
triumph1971@hotmail.com or you can diplo me in arena 14 at THE DEATH SQUAD (63) if
you need more info!

21 May 2005
Amendment for "Fratsfas Quest for the Best!"
     Managers that have teams already established in Fratsfa need not have (3) three
warriors in the initiates.  FE will NOT be a factor.  Stables may be entered at any
time.  Just announce your stable in the p-ads.
     ***************************************************************************
     This in my invitation to all managers  who wish to prove their mettle against
managers from all over Alastari.  We have limited TP's in this contest to one a team
at a time.  We DO NOT want this contest to become a scum fest as many others have,
hence the Andorian arena.  Good luck to all who come to prove their skills.  "May
your enemies' blood flow freely" -- Dark Knight Toker, Desolate Empire Alliance

                                  LAST WEEK'S FIGHTS

NIN QUAYNE devastated CONVICTED ASSASSIN in a 1 minute mismatched Title fight.
HARBRINGER won victory over LUGG OPAR in a 1 minute battle.
ZORT was outwaited by MALLE PENNELIS in a slow 7 minute match.
KIRLUA NORIS vanquished IRONBEARD in a 2 minute mismatched brawl.
IRONHORN was defeated by POLI SARCHIS in a 3 minute novice's fight.
TOOTHSMASHER devastated CONVICTED THIEF in a 1 minute uneven brawl.

                                    BATTLE REPORT

             MOST POPULAR                        RECORD DURING THE LAST 10 TURNS     
|FIGHTING STYLE               FIGHTS        FIGHTING STYLE     W -   L -  K   PERCENT|
|WALL OF STEEL                    4         PARRY-LUNGE        5 -   0 -  1     100  |
|PARRY-RIPOSTE                    2         SLASHING ATTACK    8 -   1 -  0      89  |
|PARRY-LUNGE                      1         LUNGING ATTACK     5 -   2 -  0      71  |
|PARRY-STRIKE                     1         WALL OF STEEL     17 -   7 -  0      71  |
|STRIKING ATTACK                  1         TOTAL PARRY        6 -   4 -  0      60  |
|TOTAL PARRY                      1         PARRY-RIPOSTE      9 -   6 -  1      60  |
|AIMED BLOW                       0         STRIKING ATTACK   11 -   8 -  0      58  |
|LUNGING ATTACK                   0         AIMED BLOW         5 -   6 -  1      45  |
|SLASHING ATTACK                  0         BASHING ATTACK     1 -   7 -  1      13  |
|BASHING ATTACK                   0         PARRY-STRIKE       0 -   6 -  0       0  |

Turn 186 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         0 -  0         4  WALL OF STEEL  
WALL OF STEEL      4 -  0     PARRY-STRIKE       0 -  1         2  PARRY-RIPOSTE  
PARRY-RIPOSTE      1 -  1     LUNGING ATTACK     0 -  0         1  PARRY-LUNGE    
                              SLASHING ATTACK    0 -  0         1  STRIKING ATTACK
                              STRIKING ATTACK    0 -  1         1  TOTAL PARRY    
                              BASHING ATTACK     0 -  0         1  PARRY-STRIKE   
                              TOTAL PARRY        0 -  1     

                               TOP WARRIOR OF EACH STYLE

FIGHTING STYLE   WARRIOR                     W   L  K PNTS TEAM NAME                  
WALL OF STEEL    NIN QUAYNE 7959             6   1  0   90 MIDDLE WAY 12 (1374)
PARRY-LUNGE      HARBRINGER 7970             4   0  1   34 MATERIA MAGICA (1376)
Note: Warriors have a winning record and are an Adept or Above.

The overall popularity leader is NIN QUAYNE 7959.  The most popular warrior this turn 
was POLI SARCHIS 7971.  The ten other most popular fighters were NIN QUAYNE 7959, 
KIRLUA NORIS 7956, HARBRINGER 7970, TOOTHSMASHER 7968, MALLE PENNELIS 7958, IRONBEARD 
7969, LUGG OPAR 7957, IRONHORN 7967, ZORT 7966, and  0.

The least popular fighter this week was ZORT 7966.  The other ten least popular 
fighters were IRONHORN 7967, LUGG OPAR 7957, IRONBEARD 7969, MALLE PENNELIS 7958, 
TOOTHSMASHER 7968, HARBRINGER 7970, KIRLUA NORIS 7956, NIN QUAYNE 7959, POLI SARCHIS 
7971, and  0.

                             A SACRED LORD'S SLASHER

     Well, this article/spotlight is for Seal at 7th Order, so here goes.

ST:  If he's huge (15+), 3 is okay, and use HA.  I prefer 7 for epee.  9 gets scimitar 
and 11 gets broadsword.  Anything above 11 is a WASTE!!!
CN:  Whatever they send you.
SZ:  Any.
WT:  15, 17, or 21.  13 is workable, but I hate slow learners!   21 will probably take 
a lot from other areas, so 17 is best.
WL:  17, 17, 17!!!!  You need endurance, lots of endurance.  Some of my friends use 
15, but I prefer not to.
SP:  9+  They use SP as well as most, but don't add here until after WT/WL/DF.
DF:  15+, 15+, 15+.  Once again, I have high standards.  The reason?  Have you ever 
had a slasher come out w/ "relying on his speed to stay out of trouble"?  That's 
'cause his parry is in the negative.  With a 15 DF your slasher will have a much 
better parry and will probably be about 1-3 trains from a Master parry in advanced.  
Later on, you'll see!

Now, how to run them:

     10        9         7 ------------------------->  10
     10        4         2 ------------------------->  10
      7        9         7 ------------------------->   1
     CH/HE -------------------------------------------- >
     HE ----------------------------------------------- >
Off:  D at first, open later, min 2 +, open
Def:                                                  D/S (preferably Dodge)

     Min two+ is in case of a TP or WoS coming after you.  This setup works, so good 
luck!

Mike Bookout
Bookie, Sacred Lord of the Black Regime
Memphis Mafia (36,100)

P.S.  Anybody want to join the Regime?

                      The Dark Arena:  A Fighter's Perspective

(sung to the hymn:  Battle Hymn of the Republic)

Mine eyes have seen the glory
Of the coming of the dawn
I am walking down the tunnel
After everyone is gone
I step into the torchlight
And I see the blade he's drawn
My mind, it sings this song:

CHORUS
Worry, worry, I've come for ya
Worry, worry, I've come for ya
Worry, worry, I've come for ya
My mind continues on

The crowd is chanting praises
But all I hear are growls
Mine enemy's upon me
So I strike him and he howls
Parry, parry, slash, and parry
I smell his breath so foul
And death, he sings this song:

(CHORUS)

Now we both are tired
And my strength is fading fast
Oh, let me give that fatal blow
Oh, let me be the last
I swing my sword with all my might
The crowd it stands, aghast
As he dies, I sing my song:

(CHORUS x2)

Scotlan (28, 31, 39, 50, ?)

                               Kill Desire: "Patience."

     Many times I have lost warriors, and the manager claimed the KD was only five.  
As if KD had anything to do with the death of my fighter.  It was really the battle 
axe to the head that killed him.
     I was quite disturbed at the widespread belief that kill desire has something to 
do with killing an opponent.  But they have good reason to believe this: the 
Duelmasters Handbook definition of kill desire has a tendency to cast a "confusion 
spell" on the reader to make them think that way.  The wording is very misleading.  
The name "kill desire" is also misleading.  A more correct word would be "patience."
     Yes, kill desire is actually how much patience your fighter had before taking a 
shot.  KD doesn't add damage or tell your fighter where to aim at.
     Damage is calculated by weapon and strength.  (Of course, favorite weapon also 
affects damage.)
     You let your warrior know where you want him to aim at by filling out the attack 
location boxes on the fight sheets.
     Hit location and damage are the main two things that will kill warriors.  Hit 
locations to vital areas such as head, chest, and the abdomen repeated times increases 
your chance to kill.  The amount of damage inflicted to these vital areas also 
increases your chance to kill an opponent.
     As you see, none of this has anything to do with kill desire.
     Now, I will tell you what kill desire, or patience, as I call it, actually is.
     If you run your warrior with an 8-10 KD, you're telling him to swing like a 
drunken wildman.  You'll see statements in his fights that say "swings wildly" or 
other things to that effect.  He is not waiting for a good opening.  He is swinging at 
everything!  This is bad for several reasons.
     With his KD that high, he is very easily dodged and parried.  Also, he can be 
feinted into bad dueling decisions as well.
     I think that KD between 5-7 for offensive styles and 3-6 for defensive styles is 
perfect.
     You get a lot more hits with a 5-7 KD, and feint a lot less.  But you also get 
more kills in this range.  Reason being, you're waiting for a good shot that is hard 
to dodge or parry.  The example I used earlier about the manager with the 5 KD and 
battleaxe is the point I am trying to make.  If his warrior's KD was 10, my warrior 
could have dodged or parried the attack and still be alive today.  But since it was a 
5 KD, he waited for a good shot that my warrior had trouble defending against, and 
cleaved his head off!  (Well, not literally.)
     Defensive styles run about 3-6 KD.  Defensive styles swing wildly a lot in the 
beginning, but that is natural.  They will get better.  3-4 KD, they still have a 
tendency to let attacks go by.  Of course, if you're scumming, go with a 1 KD. 
     In short, having an 8-10 KD means your warrior is doing all that swinging and 
hitting less.  Not to mention all the endurance he is burning up to no avail.
     Any comments, you can diplo me.

                                        ta-ta,
                                                  Sir Jessie Jest

                                                  DM 11: Lords of the Abyss
                                                  DM 61: Pit Fiends
                                                  DM 67: Storm Wizards
                                                  DM 5:  Bad Girls

                               SOME INFO ON THE RIPPER

     Being that the parry-riposte is my favorite style, I thought I'd share a few 
things I've learned.
     General design:

     ST: 7-11  Strength isn't all important to the P.R.  An 11 will gives you all well 
               suited weapons.  I'll even go as high as 17, but with no dramatic 
               effect.

     CN: Any   A higher con will give a better endurance and make survival easier.

     SZ: Any   Although a smaller size gives you a defensive bonus.

     WT: 15-21 As with all other styles the higher the better.  15 will give the epee.  
               A P.R. needs to learn skills to survive.
     
     WL: 13-21 Will is as important as wit.  It helps endurance and life expectancy.  
               A higher will allows you to pick apart most scum.

     SP: 5-13  13 is a major breakpoint but it's not necessary to go that high.  A 
               combo of 15 wit, 15 deftness and 11 speed will give you an expert in 
               riposte with any luck.

     DF: 13-21 The higher the coordination the easier it is to hit your attack 
               location.  A 15 will give you the epee.

     The perfect P.R. would look something like this: 9-4-5-17-21-11-17 with starting 
skill bases like:
     Ini: 60%
     Rip: 90%
     Att: 75%
     Par: 70%
     Def: 75%
     Dec: 40%
     One of my first PRs looked like this: 15-10-9-15-15-6-14, Thror the Dark.  He was 
extremely unlucky as far as starting skills.  He now looks a little different: 17-11-
9-17-16-7-15 with 90% Init, 145% Rip, 130% Att, 130% Par, 115% Def and 80% Dec.  I 
destroyed him with early stat raises.
     I had a similar design that was luckier, at least until he got X-ed by a slasher 
in a tourney.  He died with a 12-3-1 record.  But enough of that.  You're probably 
wanting to get on with the strategies.
     So getting on with it, I've tried both offensive and defensive strategies.  
Generally defensive has worked better for me.  Something like: 3-6-6 going offensive 
in minute 3 or 4 with a 10-8-6 or a 9-7-6 and then backing off to a 6-4-6 or a 4-5-6.
     As far as tactics go I don't use 'em very often.  If you use any offensive tactic 
use the lunge or nothing.  Defensively use dodge and parry sparingly, if at all, and 
don't use the riposte tactic after you've achieved a master.
     Okay, now on to weapons and armor.  A parry-riposte is somewhat limited when it 
comes to weapons.  The longsword is their best choice against heavier armors.  I once 
tried the halberd (I'll wait until you finish laughing.)  Anyway, Thror the Dark 
savagely slew Spymaster with it.  I only give the PR an off hand weapon with epee, 
shortsword or the longsword.
     I've done varying things with armor, but I've found that lighter armor works 
better, personal favorites being APL, ARM, and ASM.  I read an article about the 
parry-riposte of coom that made me laugh.  It said something about wearing more armor 
than expected of a PR, listing nothing higher than ACM+F.  Imagine what he would have 
thought fighting Thror the Dark in APA+F.
     This is just an opinion brought to you by Necrom, manager of Knightmares (33), 
Pentad Paladins (55), Northlanders (70) and a couple of others.

                                   Crimson Strikers

     Greetings, fellow managers, I, Crimson Strategist, shall share my thoughts with 
you on the striking attack style.
     This style developed in cultures where weapon quality surpassed that of the 
armors, this made landing the first blow vital.  This blow is usually delivered in a 
downward fashion quickly, surely, and with power in a minimal of wasted motion.
     Here's how I rate the stats:
     ST 11-15: Never go below 11, strikers are well suited to ALL the weapons in the 
game and 11 allows the use of the majority of them.  They also need to hurt their foe 
when they hit, thus making this an important consideration for damage rating.
     CN 3-9:  This whole style revolves around finishing your foe quickly, if your foe 
has time to develop a complex formal attack on your striker, then you're not fighting 
him properly.  A properly run striker should never be hit more than four or five 
times, any more than this and the whole concept behind this style gets thrown right 
out the window, therefore I rate con as the least important attribute for this style.
     SZ 9-16:  A size of 9 allows use of all the weapons and it is important in 
determining your damage rating, plus, it also adds to your init and this style thrives 
on init.
     WT 13+:  As with any style, the higher the better.  13 is rock bottom, it allows 
the use of all weapons except the epee and you'll still learn at a decent pace.
     WL 7-13: This style conserves endurance which allows this attribute to go 
considerably less than most styles and still fight effectively for a respectable 
length of time.  I've had strikers with a 13 ST, 3 CN, and 5 WL get poor endurance 
ratings and ones with 11 ST, 6 CN, and 9 WL get normal.  However, if you want some 
long term potential, you'd want to be around 13 or so.
     SP 10+: This is very important for decise and init skills which are the heart of 
this style.  Landing the first blow and finishing the fight quickly is hinged on your 
striker's speed.
     DF 15+:  This is crucial attribute for this style, they NEED to be precise with 
their blows, plus, it also adds to their init.  Get to 17 or 21 if possible.
     Now let's take a look at the style itself.  The striking attack is one of the 
easiest styles to run, yet they have adversity that many styles lack.  As I've said 
before, a striker can use ALL the weapons in the game.  They can fight effectively 
wearing plate armor and no armor, they can use EVERY tactic in the game be it 
offensive or defensive, a striker can fight like a lunger or basher, ripper or 
slasher, etc... provided that you match up their strategy with the appropriate tactic 
and weapon.  They can beat ALL the styles in DM and beyond if you choose their 
strategy correctly for that particular style vs. style matchup.
     Here are some examples of style vs. style matchups for strikers and various 
tactic selections vs. the different styles.
     High decise strikers over slashers and lungers, strikers over total parry and 
wall of steel, rippers over strikers, etc...
     Using the decise tactic vs. lungers, slashers, and aimed blows.  Using the lunge 
tactic vs. rippers and aimed blows, using no tactic and having a moderate offensive 
effort and moderate activity level vs. total parries and wall of steel, etc...
     The possible variations for this style are virtually endless.
     Now let's take a brief look at your striker overview and glean some helpful hints 
on how to fight them.  If you see statements like "relying on speed to stay out of 
danger" or "avoiding rather than trading blows," this is telling you that your AL 
should be moderate to high.  If he does great damage, then don't use weapons like the 
epee or shortsword, this would be an underutilization of his strengths.  If he learns 
attack skills easily, then this is telling you that he likes to take his time and pick 
his shots so don't send him out with a 10 OE!  If you see statements like "has learned 
how to be a decisive and quick fighter," then by all means USE the decise tactic with 
a high OE.  Don't send him out with offhand weapons unless he's ambidextrous, if you 
do, it will take away from his attack.  As you can see, the various statements on your 
overview are very helpful in telling you how your striker likes to fight.
     Here's a very general strategy that has worked well for my strikers.

OE             10   8    7    7    7    6    6       Armor: ARM to ACM
AL              4   3    2    1    1    1    8       Weapons: BS,LO,SC,GS,BA
KD              6   6    6    6    6    6    5
ATT LOC        Head, body, arms
PRO LOC        Head or body
OFF TCT        Decise or bash
DEF TCT        Response or dodge

     Before I close there is one last point I wish to emphasize, USE the 
challenge/avoid system, it will help control who you fight and when.  In closing, I 
would like to thank the following managers for their diplos and articles which helped 
me learn the game: Sir Jessie Jest, Talon, Tex, the managers on the roundtable, and 
numerous others who took their time to put quill and ink on parchment and pass their 
knowledge on to others, thanks!
     Many of you know the Crimson Death stables or soon will know them since I plan to 
have quite a few of them up and running, however, some of them will be on and off due 
to monetary fluctuations so if you wish to diplo me with any comments, criticisms, 
whatever, send them to my home arena, which, from here on out, will always be active.

                                             Later, 
                                                  Crimson Strategist
                                                  Crimson Death DM 61