DUEL 2 NEWSLETTER

Date   : 06/24/2006    Duedate: 07/07/2006

NOBLISH ISLAND ARENA

DM-93    TURN-211

This Weeks Top Honors

THE DUELMASTER IS

BELISSA HOUGH
MIDDLE WAY 15 (1427)
(93-8241) [2-0-0,26]

Chartered Recognition Leader   Unchartered Recognition Leader

POSITION IS EMPTY              BELISSA HOUGH
                               MIDDLE WAY 15 (1427)
                               (93-8241) [2-0-0,26]

Popularity Leader              This Weeks Favorite

BELISSA HOUGH                  JUDARIUS
MIDDLE WAY 15 (1427)           DRAGON DANCERS (1423)
(93-8241) [2-0-0,26]           (93-8223) [1-0-0,13]

THE CURRENT TOP TEAM

MIDDLE WAY 15 (1427)

          TEAMS ON THE MOVE            TOP CAREER HONORS
Team Name                  Point Gain  Chartered Team
1. HELLSWORN (1421)            50
2. MISFIT CREW (1417)          41      BANE'S CHILDREN (235)
3. DRAGON DANCERS (1423)       31      Unchartered Team
4. ORDO HERETICUS (1420)       27
5. THE WILL-O-WISPS (1422)     25      MIDDLE WAY 15 (1427)

The Top Teams

Career Win-Loss Record           W   L  K    %  Win-Loss Record Last 3 Turns    W  L K
 1/ 1*MIDDLE WAY 15 (1427)       7   3  0 70.0   1/ 1*MIDDLE WAY 15 (1427)      7  3 0
 2/ 0*ORDO HERETICUS (1420)      3   2  0 60.0   2/ 4*MISFIT CREW (1417)        5  5 1
 3/ 4*MISFIT CREW (1417)         8   7  1 53.3   3/ 2*TEAM CHAOS (1416)         4  6 0
 4- 3*TEAM COUNTRY (1407)       16  20  3 44.4   4- 3*TEAM COUNTRY (1407)       3  0 0
 5/ 2*TEAM CHAOS (1416)          4   6  0 40.0   5/ 0*ORDO HERETICUS (1420)     3  2 0
 6/ 0*THE WILL-O-WISPS (1422)    2   3  0 40.0   6/ 5*HELLSWORN (1421)          3  7 0
 7/ 0*DRAGON DANCERS (1423)      2   3  0 40.0   7/ 0*THE WILL-O-WISPS (1422)   2  3 0
 8/ 5*HELLSWORN (1421)           3   7  0 30.0   8/ 0*DRAGON DANCERS (1423)     2  3 0

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

                                    TEAM SPOTLIGHT

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                                  Profile of a Style
                                       Bashers

     I make no claims to being exhaustive in this study of Bashers.  There are
managers who know more about the style, managers who have better Bashers, managers
whose Bashers win more consistently.  But this is a place to start.
     I have the details of twenty-eight immortal Bashers under my hand here, Bashers
who, good, bad, or indifferent, survived long enough to graduate and discover their
favorites.  In those favorites lie clues to how the Gladiatorial Commission expects
Bashers to operate.  This does not mean that Bashers HAVE to operate that way, and it
can be fun to force a style to do the unexpected and take everyone by surprise, but
this could be said to be "what comes naturally."

     Favorite weapons.  You will find that only weapons that may be received as
favorites are ever described as "well-suited" to the style.  For instance, an epee
never occurs as a favorite weapon for a Basher, and any Basher who uses one will find
he "is unsuited to his weapon" or "uses this weapon in an unorthodox style" at the
top of his fight report.  There is little, if anything (well, okay, surprise), to be
gained from using a weapon unsuited to the style in question.
     The eleven weapons suited to use by Bashers, and the minimum stats required for
their best use (information courtesy of Pagan's Enchiridion), are:
     Greataxe       ST  13  SZ   5  WT   9  DF  11
     Greatsword     ST  15  SZ   9  WT   9  DF  11
     Halberd        ST  17  SZ   9  WT   9  DF   9
     Large Shield   ST  11  SZ   7  WT   5  DF   5
     Mace           ST  13  SZ any  WT   3  DF   5
     Maul           ST  15  SZ   9  WT   5  DF   7
     Medium Shield  ST   9  SZ any  WT   5  DF   5
     Morningstar    ST  13  SZ any  WT   7  DF  13
     Quarterstaff   ST  11  SZ   9  WT  11  DF  11
     Warflail       ST  11  SZ any  WT   7  DF   5
     Warhammer      ST  13  SZ any  WT   5  DF   7
Assurnasirbanapal offers the following alternate requirements for some of these
weapons:
     Halberd        ST  17  SZ   9  WT   9  DF  11
     Large Shield   ST  11  SZ   7  WT   3  DF   5
          (not sure about size, but I believe wit is 3)
     Morningstar    ST  13  SZ any  WT   7  DF  11
     Warflail       ST  11  SZ any  WT   5  DF   5
(I can see that some warriors in my future are going to have to test these weapons.)
     Study this chart, and never make a Basher who doesn't have the stats to use at
least one of the weapons well!  I've made the mistake more than once (and more than
once done it deliberately, but then, I'm perverse) of creating a warrior who is
unable to use well any weapon to which his style is suited.  This is enormously
frustrating.  Take my advice and DON'T DO IT.
     You may notice that the Fist is not listed as a weapon suited to the Bashing
attack.  This is an example--one of the most glaring ones--of the fact that sometimes
intuition and real-world experience are "not well suited" to Duelmasters.
     Two weapons not listed on this chart are the Broadsword and the Battleaxe.  If
you arm a Basher with one of these weapons, the fight report will inform you that
your warrior is not well suited to the weapon or uses it in a marginally effective
manner.  A manager I consulted informs me that he has had good results anyway with
the Broadsword and is still experimenting with the Battleaxe.  So you CAN ignore the
weapon suitability chart above, though I would not recommend doing it until you have
enough experience to know what risks you're taking.  And don't do it with a warrior
who adds the disadvantage of having inappropriate stats for the weapon to the
disadvantage of unsuited style.
     As you can see from this list, the most important stat for a Basher, from the
standpoint of weapon use, is Strength.  A Basher who is dumb and on the clumsy side
will find weapons he can use appropriately, provided he has the strength to lift
them.  This has led to the creation of a lot of dumb, clumsy Bashers.  My own
personal feeling--and I've run a lot of these depressing warriors--is that a dumb,
clumsy Basher is doomed in the long run.  And often very boring, as well.  Boring is
even worse than doomed.
     My immortal Bashers, their relevant stats, and their favorite weapons:
Madoc            ST  11  SZ  11  WT  13  DF   9  Mace
Wanda the Blonda ST  17  SZ   8  WT   9  DF  15  Warflail
Kenda Teegue     ST  19  SZ   7  WT  11  DF  11  Greatsword
Al Kore          ST  13  SZ  14  WT  11  DF  13  Quarterstaff
Broken Nose      ST  17  SZ  18  WT  11  DF   9  Quarterstaff
Hogar            ST  13  SZ  13  WT  21  DF   7  Maul
Ski Mask         ST  13  SZ  15  WT  15  DF   9  Maul
Crabby Appleton  ST  19  SZ  11  WT  13  DF   6  Warflail
Lissette         ST  14  SZ   9  WT  11  DF  15  Greataxe
Velendeis        ST   9  SZ  14  WT  13  DF   7  Maul
Hoftalj          ST  21  SZ  14  WT  11  DF   7  Mace
Cadal            ST  14  SZ  15  WT  15  DF  11  Mace
Caramella        ST  13  SZ  13  WT  14  DF  11  Quarterstaff
Lulu             ST  17  SZ  11  WT  15  DF   9  Morningstar
Franklin         ST  15  SZ   6  WT   5  DF  17  Morningstar
Bam Bam          ST  13  SZ  14  WT  11  DF   9  Medium Shield
Dune             ST  19  SZ  17  WT   4  DF   3  Halberd
Old Maid         ST  17  SZ   7  WT  15  DF  11  Halberd
Pelis the True   ST  13  SZ   9  WT  11  DF  15  Large Shield
Joe              ST  15  SZ  10  WT  15  DF  13  Medium Shield
Claudius         ST  19  SZ  13  WT  10  DF   7  Quarterstaff
Ekkar            ST  17  SZ  15  WT  13  DF   7  Mace
Jomon            ST  11  SZ  17  WT  11  DF  15  Greatsword
Dijanna          ST  17  SZ  12  WT  17  DF   7  Mace
Khora the Small  ST  15  SZ   9  WT  17  DF  11  Warhammer
Sweet Jorja      ST  13  SZ  13  WT  15  DF   7  Quarterstaff
Tarok            ST   7  SZ  18  WT  11  DF   9  Warflail
Kelan ten Salth  ST  14  SZ  15  WT  17  DF  11  Greatsword
     You will notice that some of these warriors did not have the initial stats to
use their favorite weapon efficiently.  That's a little trick the Commission plays on
us to keep us from getting too cocky.  Only one of them (Tarok) was initially unable
to use ANY of the bashing weapons well, and I trained up his strength early in his
career.  My personal favorites among the bashing weapons are the warhammer, the mace,
and if the warrior has the wit for it, the quarterstaff, as these seem to me to
produce the most interesting fights.  If I'm going to train a warrior as a Basher, I
try to make him able to use one or another of those weapons; it saves me a lot of
stress.

     Which brings up the question of Basher design.  In almost all cases, the advice
routinely given is to put the points on WT, WL, and DF in preference to other stats.
But to use any of the weapons listed above, the warrior DOES NOT NEED a WT of more
than 11, and depending on which version of the stats for Morningstar you accept, he
doesn't need more than 11 or 13 in DF.  Do not put points on these stats beyond the
necessary.
     ST:  A Basher needs strength, and lots of it--who wants a Basher who "does
little damage"?  Besides, he needs a minimum strength of 9 for the least of his
weapons, and that's a medium shield.  Who wants to send a Basher out with a medium
shield?  Pile 'em on here.
     CN:  No.  A Basher wins by attacking, not defending.  He should be keeping his
opponent too busy to fight back, and he should not have to worry about his hit
points.  Generally speaking, go with whatever you've been given on the roll-up.  The
time to experiment with the creation of a Scum Basher is later, after you have more
experience.
     SZ:  You can't do anything about this, but a large size is not such a handicap
for a Basher as for some of the more finicky styles.  And it will increase the damage
he can do--a Basher is all about doing damage.
     WT:  No more than is needed for the weapon you've chosen.  If you have extra
points after satisfying other requirements, sure, go ahead and put them on wit, but
you can get a decent learning rate with a wit of 11 so why waste the points here?
Besides, if he survives long enough, you can train up more wit later.
     WL:  I would always put points on will (unless it was 17+ already), but for me,
that's reflex, not conscious planning.  In theory, a Basher wins fights fast by
attacking all out, and so he doesn't need will for the stick-to-it effect.  But
then... if he's a good Basher, wins a lot, graduates, and you want to keep on running
him, a high will does make it easier to train up stats once you get around to it.
     SP:  I don't really have a feel for the effects of high or low speed on ANY
style.  I would cautiously suggest that if you can get the speed into the moderate
range (8-12?) without sacrificing anything important, then do it.  But if you can't,
then don't.
     DF:  Enough to use the weapon of choice, or perhaps two or three weapons for
variety.  No more.
     And a note on armor:  A Basher should NOT be loaded down with heavy armor.  He
isn't supposed to get hit, so what does he need that armor FOR?

     Favorite rhythms.  Sometimes it's expedient to ignore a warrior's favorite
rhythm, once you know it, but it does give you a guideline for running the style.
Rhythm is given as Very High or VH (10-9), High or H (8-7), Moderate or M (6-5), Low
or L (4-3), and Very Low or VL (2-1), for Offensive Effort first, and then for
Activity Level.  For the warriors listed above, the favorite rhythms are:
 H/VL   H/L    H/L    H/M   VH/M   VH/L    M/L    M/VL   H/VL   H/VL  VH/VL   M/VL
 H/VL   H/L    H/L   VH/VL  VH/VL  VH/VL   H/L    M/L   VH/M   VH/VL  VH/VL   H/L
 H/VL   H/L   VH/M    H/M.
     You'll notice that there is no Offensive Effort lower than Moderate, and no
Activity Level higher than Moderate, and that Offensive Effort is usually at least
two steps higher than Activity Level.  Not always--some of those listed above are
only one step apart, and another manager tells me that he has some Bashers with
favorite rhythms of Moderate/Moderate.  But from the sample I have, it seems that
Bashers favor a higher Offensive Effort than Activity Level, often considerably
higher.  While you may not always want to run a Basher this way, it appears that
nature and the Gladiatorial Commission intended them to run very offensively.  With a
newly entered Basher, this kind of speed is a place to start.  Once you get a feel
for the warrior in question and for his likely opponents, you can tinker with the
numbers for the ideal strategy.  But be warned that running so offensively, the
average Basher won't be able to keep going for long!  Especially, he won't be able to
go for long with a heavy weapon (one requiring more ST to handle) and heavy armor.
When I think of the Bashers I have seen come out in Plate and struggle to last a
single minute at high speed, I could weep.  High speed burns endurance.  Bashers go
out to win fast, or they become easy prey for a slower-paced, more deliberate
warrior.
     Of course, sometimes you'll run up against a Basher who ignores the stereotype,
the so-called "Scum Basher."  He differs from most of his kind by having a high
endurance which allows his manager to run him slowly and take people by surprise.
But this warrior is a freak.  I distrust freakish warrior designs as a matter of
principle.
     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 or
styles have a favorite attack location.  Managers have argued that the nature of the
bashing attack lends itself to overhead blows to the head and upper body.  However, I
suspect that this is one of those intuitive things which turn out not to work, just
as one would intuitively expect a Basher to do well with his fists, and he does not.
Some managers have pointed out that a Basher aiming at the head tends to end his
fight quickly.  ANY style striking the head tends to end the fight quickly.
(Consistently aiming at the head will increase the chance of killing, which will, in
the long run, decrease the chance of your Basher's survival.  Managers bloodfeud
dedicated killers with hostile intent.)  I consider this a case of "Not Proven."

     Favorite Tactics.  Of the twenty-eight Bashers listed above, only eight had
favorite tactics.  Two favored the offensive tactic of Decisiveness, and the rest
favored the offensive tactic of Bash.  It seems reasonable to assume that the
offensive tactics of Lunge and Slash are inappropriate for a Basher.  (Of course, you
can't always count on reason here, but....)  There were no defensive tactics favored
(granted, this is not a large sampling of warriors), which suggests that they should
be used sparingly, if at all--a Basher is a purely offensive style.

     Proceeding from the general to the specific, here's a basher who had a very
unpromising beginning--

                                Profile of a Gladiator
                                    Turo the Brick
                          Lord Protector and Pain in the Rear

     Turo, a seven-foot Troll, just graduated from Lin Tirian, my own home arena, at
16-44-2, 94.  He's a basher.  And I suspect that most other managers would have sent
him straight to the Dark Arena.
     At graduation, he is 11(2)-9-20-6(2)-17(2)-10-17.
     According to his overview, even after those stat raises, he
     Is not very bright
          The more subtle points of the riposte simply escape him, which I could have
told anyone right off
          Stands around making himself a target, which we noticed
     Cannot carry a lot of weight in weapons and armor (that low ST)
     Is slow on his feet (Does size have an effect here?)
     Can do tremendous damage with a blow (mostly SZ, I suspect)
     Turo is "naturally adept" with a maul (well, okay, he's probably pulled up a few
trees and swung 'em around to bat at pesky people), favors a rhythm of very high/low,
and has an innate ability to use the bash tactic.  None of this comes as a great
surprise--it fits his character.  He's aggressive by nature (definitely) and most
readily learns initiative skills.  (Doesn't that require BRAINS?)  Ah, well.  I've
been running him lately as follows:
     Mace, backup war hammer, offhand medium shield, plate mail and a full helm.
          9   8   7   6   7   8  10
          3   2   1   1   1   1   1
          8   8   7   8   7   8  10 which I wouldn't swear is the strategy I sent in
for him originally, but it is what he's using.  Attacking right arm, protecting head,
no tactics.  Maybe this was based on something another manager suggested to me.
     He graduated with no ratings at all.  Yes, really.
     Obviously, he's not anybody's ideal warrior, but he's been surprisingly fun to
read.  And it seems at least possible that if I'd paid more attention to his
strategies, issued challenges and avoids, he might have taken a better record out of
the arena.  He is headed for retirement, obviously.  I think he has some idea of
going back to his home in the foothills of the Khriatrin Mountains and terrorizing
his kin.

And another example of a basher, a much more successful one:

                                   Khora the Small
                                   Lady Protector
                   Contender for the Throne in Lirin Kiv (ADM 107)
                                       Basher

     I don't have her graduation overview here, as that was a long time ago.  But she
started as 15-12-9-17-11-9-11.  Now, after years of fighting, maxed on skills and
training stats, she is 25-12-9-17-17-13-16.  Her record at the present is 94-129-3,
and despite doing devastating damage, being incredibly quick and elusive, and having
an Advanced Master rating in attack and Masters in all the other skills, she is still
not woman enough to take the throne in this smallest of the Advanced Duelmasters
regions.  Her favorite weapon is the war hammer, her favorite rhythm high offensive
effort and very low activity level, which are good favorites.  So why isn't she
Duelmistress, or as it is called in Lirin Kiv, Champion of the Horn?  Because there's
an even better basher up there already.  Her most serious problem is that low CN, I
think.  Maybe she should train that up....
     Here's their most recent fight, a short one, so I'll give it to you in full--

     Phetmolge is 8' tall, right-handed, fights with no armor or helm, carries a war
hammer and a large shield, to which he is well suited.
     Khora is 5'7" tall, ambidextrous, in leather armor and a helm, carrying a war
hammer and an off-hand war hammer, to which she, too, is well-suited.  Khora is
running 8 4 7 RA BD no tactics; about Phetmolge we can only guess.

     Both warriors move with snake-like speed around each other.
     The weapons lock together in a test of strength.
     Phetmolge is moving constantly without pause!
     He sweeps his large shield in a sudden unexpected assault!
     A spectator exclaims, "Brilliant!"  Phetmolge smiles briefly.
     Khora parries the blow with her war hammer.
     She disengages her foe's weapon arm and tries to steal the initiative!
     She makes a lightning-quick backhand smash with her war hammer!
     Phetmolge is struck in the belly.
     Khora says admiringly (this is irony), "How much damage can you take, anyway?"
(Lots.  Lots and lots.  More than she can, anyway.)
     She launches a brilliant attack with her war hammer.
     Phetmolge stops the blow with his large shield.
     He sidesteps, trying to throw his opponent off balance.
     He launches a brilliant attack with his war hammer!
     Khora is hit on the right hip!
     It is a tremendous blow!
     Khora winces, obviously feeling great pain.
     She mutters a desperate prayer and is stopped by the herald.

     She is determined to become top basher in Lirin Kiv and will keep fighting
until she is Inducted into Primus.

Jorja
The Middle Way

           +>]H[<+-----+>]H[<+ Question of the Week #3 +>]H[<+-----+>]H[<+

Question, turn 403:

All -- I've read that once you have an AE in a skill area you don't need to use a
tactic in that area.  What if you have a favorite tactic?  Would it benefit your
warrior to use it even if he is maxed in that area? -- Hanibal's Q.O.W.

Answers, turn 404:

Q.O.W. -- Tactics.  It's generally believed that using a tactic, at any level of
skill, increases something (init, attack, damage, etc. though no one's sure) at the
expense of one or more other abilities.  Usually it seems you lose more for using the
tactic than you gain, so they should be used sparingly.  However, favorite tactics
are a bit different.  I've noticed, generally, that the penalties usually imposed by
using the tactic are greatly reduced or eliminated, making it more useful.  I run a
piker in AD who has response as a favorite and run her with it.  She seems to do
great with it against everybody.  My decise running striker still defends well
(though she's got favorite learn defense), and she still jumps everyone with a poor
decise rating.  My advice is to give it a try if it's a tactic you think your warrior
needs, or can use based on their current point of development. -- Adie

Hanibal -- It really is almost like flicking a switch the way you can (usually)
prevent death intent statements if you want to.  Dartor is the arena expert on
killing and he too agrees.  Most new managers gain pleasure from seeing their
warriors kill, and it's not something to be ashamed of.  But there is a better way of
going about things.  I think as you gain more experience and experiment with lower
KD, you'll find that running with a 4 where you used to run with a 6 will have little
effect on a warrior's performance other than decreasing the chance of death intent.
This is especially true in the first minute, or before your warrior would get tired.
-- Generalissimo Puerco

Hanibal -- Each tactic has some benefits and some drawbacks.  I can't tell you
exactly what those are because I don't know myself.  If a tactic only provided the
equivalent of extra skills, then it might be true that a warrior wouldn't need them
after a certain level of skill is achieved.  But let's say that your warrior has an
AE+3 and his opponent has a MA.  Then there might still be good cause to use a
tactic.
     I believe tactics grant benefits that can't always be translated into more
skills.  I think the best example of this is what happens when response is used
against decise.  Tactics have their value at all levels of the game, but the most
valuable tactics might change.  I don't think many would run with decise at the top
of AD, though lunge and dodge remain popular.  But for a new warrior, decise can be
very important.  Tactics are not well documented in the literature, and for that
reason you may do well to learn first-hand and develop some instincts regarding the
use of appropriate tactics. -- Generalissimo Puerco

Hanibal -- Regarding the latest question: if you have an advanced expert in an area
that equates to a given tactic, is there any point in running the tactic.  Yes, if
the tactic is a useful one.  I don't THINK that there is a one-to-one equivalence
between types of skills and types of tactics.  For one thing, there are eight tactics
and only six types of skills! -- Leeta

Question, turn 404:

All -- Do you think you are faster with your favorite weapon?  If your fav is a
Halberd would you be quicker with a War Hammer?  I've read you get +4 in each area if
you are using your favorite. -- Hanibal's Q.O.W.

Answers, turn 405:

Hanibal -- I strongly doubt that a favorite weapon gives four extra skills in each
category.  I don't see how anyone could know that unless it was said by a credible
source within the GC.  I'm terrible at finding favorite weapons.  I can tell you that
the one large favorite weapon I've had experience with is the greatsword, and it is
still lousy even as a favorite.  I really enjoy longsword as a favorite. --
Generalissimo Puerco

Q.O.W. -- With regard to favorites, the only really obvious effect is that you are
automatically well suited to it, and the warrior using it almost always throws more
critical attacks with that weapon than if it wasn't their favorite.  That pretty much
gives me the impression it only helps attack. -- Adie

Q.O.W. -- I would be amazed if you would receive +4 in each area for a favorite
weapon.  And we do not believe the fave adds to the speed with the weapon.  The fave
greatly aids attack and parry, hit %, and ability to hold onto the weapon.  And, of
course, criticals increase. -- Kennelworth

Hanibal -- I don't know about specific bonuses for using a favored weapon.  However,
I do believe that if your favored weapon is something that you aren't otherwise
suited for (for example, a broadsword for someone lacking the necessary attributes),
you can often get good results by going for a lower version of that weapon.  From the
halberd of your example, for instance, "down" to a great axe, or even farther down to
battle axe and then to hatchet.  Experiment with them and see what might work.  I
have no specific numbers to support this, but it is the impression I've gathered over
the cycles. -- Leeta

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

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

                                     Duelmasters
                                     -----------
 DM   9 ZUKAL (turn 543): MRI of SOLITAIRE (The Dark One, mgr.)
 DM  12 RIZTAB (turn 543): NICK FURY of MARVEL HEROES (Dr. Strange, mgr.)
 DM  15 MALCORN (turn 537): TENDER LOIN of MEAT MARKET (?, mgr.)
 DM  16 WILLAF (turn 540): POT OF GOLD of GOLDEN GLADIATORS (Midas, mgr.)
 DM  17 ALJAFIR (turn 538): THORIK of STEEL WOLVES (?, mgr.)
 DM  19 ZUWAYZA (turn 536): JILL OPPY of FUNKY FOLK (Papa Bear, mgr.)
 DM  28 SLAUGHTER PRIEST MEM (turn 268): LADY CONSOLACION of FILIPINA LADYZ (Lady
                                         Martilyo, mgr.)
 DM  29 LAPUR (turn 529): YEAR OF THE CAT of ARENA FELINES (Garfield, mgr.)
 DM  31 CHIMLEVTAL (turn 266): JARL FORKBEARD of THE STORMGUARDS (The Icelord, mgr.)
 DM  32 ARVAT (turn 525): GRETH of RILL'S GCSC2 (Rillion, mgr.)
 DM  33 NIATOLI ISLAND (turn 523): THIMBELL of THE SEWING CIRCLE (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  35 MURSKA (turn 514): NOREASTER of DIRT DEVILS (The Dark One, mgr.)
 DM  43 VEASTIAN (turn 477): DAPHNE CAMISADO of TERMAGANT VOTARY (Noachian, mgr.)
 DM  45 STORMCROWE (turn 243): FROSTFLARE of NORTHERN LIGHTS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  47 SCOMSS SWAMP (turn 237): FIGHTING TREE of LAND OF OZ (Oz the Successful)
 DM  50 SNOWBOUND (turn 224): YAIWE of DARK SIDHE (Daehir, mgr.)
 DM  56 ROCANIS (turn 404): TOE of GET (JE, mgr.)
 DM  61 JURINE (turn 383): RANDY of FAVORITE GUYS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  65 DAL SHANG (turn 370): DEADWOOD of POSSE (Rosebud, mgr.)
 DM  73 ERINIKA (turn 173): ENDU ENDU of DUDS (Amy A Airhead, mgr.)
 DM  74 DAIYLA KIV (turn 341): REM of DARKLINGS (She-Puppy, mgr.)
 DM  75 JADE MOUNTAIN (turn 336): PRONGS of HOGWARTS EXPRESS (Rillion, mgr.)
 DM  78 LIN TIRIAN (turn 325): AIDEN of LETHAL HERITAGE (Lord Xiang, mgr.)
ADM 103 FREE BLADES (turn 430): FUNNY BUNNY of RHYME TYME from KHALANI (Emerald Orbs)

                                      Top Teams
                                      ---------
 DM   9 ZUKAL (turn 543): PHILANTHROPISTS II (Aragorn, mgr.)
 DM  12 RIZTAB (turn 543): none
 DM  15 MALCORN (turn 537): TRIPLE CROWN (Sultan, mgr.)
 DM  16 WILLAF (turn 540): PUNNY AMINALS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  17 ALJAFIR (turn 538): STEEL WOLVES (?, mgr.)
 DM  19 ZUWAYZA (turn 536): JAGUAR WARRIORS (Noachian, mgr.)
 DM  28 SLAUGHTER PRIEST MEM (turn 268): OLD WANDERERS (?, mgr.)
 DM  29 LAPUR (turn 529): CARDOW HUNTERS (Uncle Wolf, mgr.)
 DM  31 CHIMLEVTAL (turn 266): SOL INVICTUS (Bobby Bigfoot, mgr.)
 DM  32 ARVAT (turn 525): RILL'S GCSC2 (Rillion, mgr.)
 DM  33 NIATOLI ISLAND (turn 523): DEATH PENALTY (Rosebud, mgr.)
 DM  35 MURSKA (turn 514): CHILDREN OF LLYR (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  43 VEASTIAN (turn 477): THE FAMILY (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  45 STORMCROWE (turn 243): THE FIVE RONIN (Bones, mgr.)
 DM  47 SCOMSS SWAMP (turn 237): none
 DM  50 SNOWBOUND (turn 224): DARK SIDHE (Daehir, mgr.)
 DM  56 ROCANIS (turn 404): GET (JE, mgr.)
 DM  61 JURINE (turn 383): FEAR FACTORY (Var, mgr.)
 DM  65 DAL SHANG (turn 370): SAND DANCERS (Lani, mgr.)
 DM  73 ERINIKA (turn 173): FAMILY JEWELS (Gem Genius, mgr.)
 DM  74 DAIYLA KIV (turn 341): SAND DANCERS (Olinda, mgr.)
 DM  75 JADE MOUNTAIN (turn 336): HOGWARTS EXPRESS (Rillion, mgr.)
 DM  78 LIN TIRIAN (turn 325): LETHAL HERITAGE (Lord Xiang, mgr.)
ADM 103 FREE BLADES (turn 430): MEOW MIX, etc. (Ultraist, mgr.)

                                   Recent Graduates
                                  -----------------
 DM  12 RIZTAB (turn 543): NICK FURY of MARVEL HEROES (Dr. Strange, mgr.)
               (turn 542): AGGRANDIZIN ANNE of HIGH JINKS (Jondeaux, mgr.)
 DM  28 SLAUGHTER PRIEST MEM (turn 268): LADY CONSOLACION of FILIPINA LADYZ (Lady
                                         Martilyo, mgr.)
                                         GRIM BLACKSMITH of NORTHERN BADLANDS
                                         (Maximillian, mgr.)
                             (turn 267): MOONSHINE of LUNAE MILITES (The Omnimancer)
 DM  29 LAPUR (turn 528): ENOSHIMA of BLACK SAMURAI (Doc Miracle, mgr.)
 DM  31 CHIMLEVTAL (turn 266): JARL FORKBEARD of THE STORMGUARDS (The Icelord, mgr.)
                               KIRKEN TUORNIN of THE NIGHTHAWKS (Firehawk, mgr.)
                               WARGASM of AVENGERS (Huckle Cat, mgr.)
 DM  35 MURSKA (turn 514): BUMP 'N' JUMP of FLIPPERS ARCADE (Huckle Cat, mgr.)
 DM  43 VEASTIAN (turn 477): DAPHNE CAMISADO of TERMAGANT VOTARY (Noachian, mgr.)
 DM  61 JURINE (turn 382): PITSPAWN FOULDOG of FEAR FACTORY (Var, mgr.)
 DM  65 DAL SHANG (turn 369): TEBAS TEN KOGAN of SAND DANCERS (Lani, mgr.)
 DM  74 DAIYLA KIV (turn 341): REM of DARKLINGS (She-Puppy, mgr.)
 DM  78 LIN TIRIAN (turn 325): AIDEN of LETHAL HERITAGE (Lord Xiang, mgr.)

                                      SPY REPORT

     It's me, The Unknown Spymaster here with my bag to give you the news on last 
week's fights.  Call it luck at the right time or bribes in the right hands, but the 
new team ORDO HERETICUS scored a 3-2-0 record this week.  THE WILL-O-WISPS:  Not 
great, but not bad.  Keep up the work and look forward to having better success as 
your warriors become more seasoned.  Hey everybody, watch out for ALIANNA, who flew 
up 15 points in the rankings after mashing ORION like a melon.  Keep your eye on this 
gal.  And falling like a basher in the top ten was ORION, who dropped 11 points after 
a disappointing (to say the least) bout with ALIANNA.  Try as hard as the TEAM 
COUNTRY stable might, they were unable to find their warrior (and ex-Duelmaster) 
COUNTRY before this week's fights.  In front of all the crowds, BELISSA HOUGH took 
the Duelmaster's crown for hers own.  I give the bum two weeks.  4 out of 5 
gladiators surveyed protect the body, so try and avoid aiming at that location.   
     But enough of that bunch, let's get on to the wimps who like to avoid battle!   
     Being a spy is great--other people die and you spend the rest of the day 
drinking to their memory.  Better tanked than dead!  Knowing when to use the right 
tactics at the proper time is a very important step on the road to Duelmaster.   
     Well, that wasn't too bad; Alarond told me that the people in NOBLISH ISLAND 
have no sense of humor.  Or maybe that they were senseless.  C'mon, Leadfoot, let's 
make some tracks.  And remember, you can pick your friends and you can pick 
your--(loud boos), oh, you've heard that one already!-- The Unknown Spymaster  

DUELMASTER                     W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 BELISSA HOUGH 8241            2   0  0    26       MIDDLE WAY 15 (1427)

CHALLENGER ADEPTS              W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
-COUNTRY 8127                  6   2  2    57       TEAM COUNTRY (1407)

CHALLENGER INITIATES           W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
-AMIDAMARU 8126                5   3  0    30       TEAM COUNTRY (1407)
-NARUTO 8128                   4   4  0    30       TEAM COUNTRY (1407)
 EDGILES KAPP 8244             2   0  0    24       MIDDLE WAY 15 (1427)

INITIATES                      W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 MAORAKITH 8214                2   0  0    22       HELLSWORN (1421)
 DORTHA JANETTO 8243           2   0  0    19       MIDDLE WAY 15 (1427)
 ALIANNA 8221                  1   0  0    15       DRAGON DANCERS (1423)
 ZIDIA 8211                    1   1  0    15       HELLSWORN (1421)
 MYRA 8191                     2   1  1    14       MISFIT CREW (1417)
 MEAN TEA 8190                 2   1  0    13       MISFIT CREW (1417)
 JUDARIUS 8223                 1   0  0    13       DRAGON DANCERS (1423)
 YOUSEFF 8208                  1   0  0    12       ORDO HERETICUS (1420)
 ATARA VERSARIAN 8218          1   0  0    12       THE WILL-O-WISPS (1422)
 QUEENLISA CHOLE 8217          1   0  0    10       THE WILL-O-WISPS (1422)
 GROTHEN 8194                  2   1  0     8       MISFIT CREW (1417)
 GULLET 8207                   1   0  0     8       ORDO HERETICUS (1420)

INITIATES                      W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 CROCKER 8192                  2   1  0     7       MISFIT CREW (1417)
 TOBIUS 8209                   1   0  0     5       ORDO HERETICUS (1420)
 ADRION GOTMALK 8240           1   1  0     4       MIDDLE WAY 15 (1427)
 STRATUS 8185                  1   1  0     4       TEAM CHAOS (1416)
 ORION 8186                    1   1  0     4       TEAM CHAOS (1416)
 AURORA 8189                   1   1  0     4       TEAM CHAOS (1416)
 LOKI 8187                     1   1  0     4       TEAM CHAOS (1416)
 CHAOS 8188                    0   2  0     2       TEAM CHAOS (1416)
 CHUCKER ISTTA 8242            0   2  0     2       MIDDLE WAY 15 (1427)
 GABRIELLE MYSAN 8219          0   1  0     1       THE WILL-O-WISPS (1422)
 PANDORA KUSILLO 8215          0   1  0     1       THE WILL-O-WISPS (1422)
 EMA'LINA 8224                 0   1  0     1       DRAGON DANCERS (1423)
 GEMINI 8220                   0   1  0     1       DRAGON DANCERS (1423)
 MARYAH 8222                   0   1  0     1       DRAGON DANCERS (1423)
 KASANDRA LEFAYN 8216          0   1  0     1       THE WILL-O-WISPS (1422)
 BEQUIN 8206                   0   1  0     1       ORDO HERETICUS (1420)

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

THE DEAD               W  L K TEAM NAME             SLAIN BY             TURN Revenge?
PUG 8257               0  1 0 HELLSWORN 1421        MASTER SEN GANAMIR 23 211 NONE    
DUT 8256               0  1 0 HELLSWORN 1421        BLACK ORC 20          211 NONE    
FET 8255               0  1 0 HELLSWORN 1421        DARK CHAMPION 24      211 NONE    
NO NAME JOE 8193       0  3 0 MISFIT CREW 1417      MASTER SEN GANAMIR 23 211 NONE    
KRUGER 8205            0  1 0 ORDO HERETICUS 1420   MYRA 8191             211         

                                     PERSONAL ADS

Noblish Island -- Meet your new neighbors, the Hellsworn!  May our encounters on the
sands be met with honor forever! -- Ikaun, mgr. Hellsworn

Myra -- Pleased to meet you, fair lady. -- Maorakith

Mr. Kapp -- My leg throbs beneath the bruise! -- Zidia

Jorja -- What can you tell me about arena 16? -- Ikaun, mgr. Hellsworn

All -- I give you fair warning.  A new corporation has been born.  We are here to
show you people what Arena Masters really are.  So fear our swords and stoves, your
live are now in our hands! -- Juice, mgr. Arena Masters, Inc

Country -- Enjoy your position while it lasts, but I am afraid my fighters are going
to relieve you of your duty! -- Juice

All -- I bring forth the light, guiding my ladies to victory over those of you who
dwell in dark places.  Nothing hides from the light--your every weakness shall be
revealed.  Do not fret, o' managers of shadows, when your warriors fall victim to the
bright shining of a true star!  You are forewarned of you fate! -- The Prophet known
as the Light Bearer, mgr. Will-O-Wisps

Mean Tea -- Too long steeping.  I can deal with that--pour it out on the ground,
preferably where there are weeds to be killed. -- Belissa Hough
P.S.  Golems don't feel pain, do they?
P.P.S.  You might want to try dropping the off-hand weapon to see if you can get off
the mark faster.

Crocker -- Damn.  Tell me this is not a bad omen for my career as a gladiator! --
Chucker Istta

No Name Joe -- Urk.  They tell me that can be an effective weapon, but I've always
wondered about it.  Still...it was effective for me that you carried it! -- Adrion
Gotmalk
P.S.  I suspect you need to get off the mark faster.

Grothen -- Ah.  A change of weapon seems advisable for you.  Assuming you have the
minimum strength required for that particular weapon, and taking note of the problems
with wit and deftness, I'd suggest a hatchet, or maybe a hatchet in each hand.  This
actually does work, at least sometimes, and sometimes is often the best you can hope
for. -- Dortha Janetto

Zidia -- I never cared for beards on women, but a beard on a defeated opponent...
that's a fine thing to see.  But you need to get moving a little faster.  Well, I'd
rather you didn't, actually, but Jorja says we're here to provide advice.  (sigh)
It's hard, advising people on ways they can beat us.  Anyway, that first line, with
the "trading blows" bit?  That means we tied for first off the mark, but then I edged
you out.  So, just notch yourself a little higher, or maybe use decise in the first
minute.  Okay, maybe it won't help.  Maybe you're doing it already.  But hey, I gave
advice, right?  I did my best to make it GOOD advice, even!  What more can you ask?
-- Edgiles Kapp

26 May 2006
     The Dark Knights of the Desolate Empire want to announce the joining of a new
member who cherishes the same ideals, respect and loyalty that we hold dear.
     From this day forward let all know that Blackstorm is now a Dark Knight of the
Desolate Empire Alliance.  With him as our chosen brother, our alliance only becomes
stronger.  Let all his foes become ours, and ours his.  May all our enemies' blood
flow freely and give NO quarter in war.
     This is also a warning to any cowards, bullies, etc....  If you play with fire,
you WILL get burnt!!!

Dark Knights of the Desolate Empire

6 June 2006
To those involved, no, I have not abandoned your stories.  But I've been letting them
drift, and that has to stop, so I am taking the time to make sure that I know where
they are going, more than just "what happens next" dreamed up on the fly, before
resuming work on them.  No new stories will be started until at least one of the old
ones has concluded, for the same reason:  quantity can't substitute for quality.
Your patience in this matter is appreciated. -- the Scribe

20 May 2006
Dark Knights of the Desolate Empire
Our newest Dark Knight disrespected?!?!?!  ARE THEY SERIOUS?!?!  If at all possible,
let's get over to 31.  I'm on the way.  Let's get 'em. -- Dark Knight Osiris

                                  LAST WEEK'S FIGHTS

NO NAME JOE was butchered by MASTER SEN GANAMIR in a 1 minute bloody Dark Arena fight.
PUG was slaughtered by MASTER SEN GANAMIR in a 1 minute gruesome Dark Arena battle.
DUT was narrowly killed by BLACK ORC in a 1 minute Dark Arena fight.
FET was slaughtered by DARK CHAMPION in a 1 minute Dark Arena brawl.
ORION was bested by ALIANNA in a 2 minute novice's fight.
LOKI was subdued by ATARA VERSARIAN in a 3 minute amateur's competition.
CHAOS was vanquished by YOUSEFF in a 2 minute mismatched fight.
AURORA was overpowered by EDGILES KAPP in a 1 minute mismatched brawl.
MEAN TEA overpowered BEQUIN in a 5 minute uneven melee.
MYRA slaughtered KRUGER in a 1 minute uneven duel.
CROCKER savagely defeated CHUCKER ISTTA in a slow 7 minute gory beginner's duel.
GROTHEN narrowly defeated GEMINI in a 2 minute novice's melee.
STRATUS was savagely defeated by JUDARIUS in a crowd pleasing 4 minute novice's match.
DORTHA JANETTO devastated KASANDRA LEFAYN in a 1 minute one-sided battle.
ZIDIA devastated ADRION GOTMALK in a 1 minute mismatched bout.
MAORAKITH handily defeated MARYAH in a 1 minute uneven fight.
BELISSA HOUGH overpowered PANDORA KUSILLO in a 1 minute uneven Title struggle.
GABRIELLE MYSAN was luckily beaten by TOBIUS in a 3 minute bloody amateur's brawl.
EMA'LINA was overpowered by QUEENLISA CHOLE in a 1 minute one-sided bout.
GULLET beat CONVICTED THIEF in a 2 minute novice's bout.

                                    BATTLE REPORT

             MOST POPULAR                        RECORD DURING THE LAST 10 TURNS     
|FIGHTING STYLE               FIGHTS        FIGHTING STYLE     W -   L -  K   PERCENT|
|BASHING ATTACK                   7         PARRY-RIPOSTE      7 -   3 -  0      70  |
|STRIKING ATTACK                  5         BASHING ATTACK    22 -  17 -  3      56  |
|TOTAL PARRY                      5         STRIKING ATTACK   23 -  20 -  0      53  |
|LUNGING ATTACK                   4         SLASHING ATTACK   19 -  17 -  2      53  |
|AIMED BLOW                       4         AIMED BLOW        13 -  12 -  0      52  |
|SLASHING ATTACK                  3         LUNGING ATTACK     6 -   7 -  0      46  |
|WALL OF STEEL                    3         PARRY-LUNGE        3 -   4 -  1      43  |
|PARRY-RIPOSTE                    2         PARRY-STRIKE       2 -   5 -  0      29  |
|PARRY-STRIKE                     1         TOTAL PARRY        4 -  13 -  2      24  |
|PARRY-LUNGE                      1         WALL OF STEEL      1 -   7 -  0      13  |

Turn 211 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-STRIKE       1 -  0     STRIKING ATTACK    2 -  3         3  BASHING ATTACK 
LUNGING ATTACK     4 -  0     TOTAL PARRY        2 -  3         3  AIMED BLOW     
AIMED BLOW         3 -  1     SLASHING ATTACK    1 -  2         2  STRIKING ATTACK
PARRY-RIPOSTE      1 -  1     BASHING ATTACK     2 -  5         2  LUNGING ATTACK 
                              PARRY-LUNGE        0 -  1         1  TOTAL PARRY    
                              WALL OF STEEL      0 -  3     

                               TOP WARRIOR OF EACH STYLE

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

The overall popularity leader is BELISSA HOUGH 8241.  The most popular warrior this 
turn was JUDARIUS 8223.  The ten other most popular fighters were YOUSEFF 8208, 
BELISSA HOUGH 8241, ALIANNA 8221, ATARA VERSARIAN 8218, GABRIELLE MYSAN 8219, EDGILES 
KAPP 8244, MEAN TEA 8190, GROTHEN 8194, STRATUS 8185, and DORTHA JANETTO 8243.

The least popular fighter this week was CHUCKER ISTTA 8242.  The other ten least 
popular fighters were CROCKER 8192, BEQUIN 8206, LOKI 8187, EMA'LINA 8224, MARYAH 
8222, ADRION GOTMALK 8240, KASANDRA LEFAYN 8216, GEMINI 8220, KRUGER 8205, and CHAOS 
8188.

                             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)