Date   : 11/11/2006    Duedate: 11/24/2006


DM-93    TURN-221

This Weeks Top Honors


(93-8353) [6-0-1,56]

Chartered Recognition Leader   Unchartered Recognition Leader

                               INDIGO CIPHER (1445)
                               (93-8353) [6-0-1,56]

Popularity Leader              This Weeks Favorite

AGASAYA                        MENTU
GODS OF WAR (1446)             GODS OF WAR (1446)
(93-8355) [5-0-0,38]           (93-8354) [3-2-1,32]



Team Name                  Point Gain  Chartered Team
1. INDIGO CIPHER (1445)        32
2. FOLLOWER'S OF XOAN (1441)   31      DARK TOADS II (725)
3. GODS OF WAR (1446)          27      Unchartered Team
4. U B DEAD (1450)             24
5. ORDO HERETICUS (1420)       13      INDIGO CIPHER (1445)

The Top Teams

Career Win-Loss Record           W   L  K    %  Win-Loss Record Last 3 Turns    W  L K
 1/ 3*INDIGO CIPHER (1445)      16   9  1 64.0   1/ 1*FOLLOWER'S OF XOA (1441) 11  3 0
 2/ 1*ORDO HERETICUS (1420)     17  11  1 60.7   2/ 2*GODS OF WAR (1446)       10  5 1
 3/ 2*GODS OF WAR (1446)        15  10  2 60.0   3/ 5*INDIGO CIPHER (1445)      7  4 1
 4- 5*DEATH BREATHERS (1447)     3   2  0 60.0   4/ 3*ORDO HERETICUS (1420)     5  5 0
 5/ 6*FOLLOWER'S OF XOA (1441)  13   9  0 59.1   5- 6*CANOE CLUB (1434)         5  5 0
 6- 7*MARIONETTE PETS (1433)    16  13  2 55.2   6/ 8*MIDDLE WAY 16 (1454)      5  5 0
 7/ 4*MIDDLE WAY 16 (1454)       5   5  0 50.0   7- 7*DEATH BREATHERS (1447)    3  2 0
 8/ 0*U B DEAD (1450)            2   3  0 40.0   8- 4*MARIONETTE PETS (1433)    2  3 0
 9- 9*CANOE CLUB (1434)         12  21  0 36.4   9/ 0*U B DEAD (1450)           2  3 0
10- 0*MARAUDER'S FIVE (1443)     1  11  0  8.3  10- 0*MARAUDER'S FIVE (1443)    0  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

     Howdy, everyone.  Again it is a pleasure to say "hello" to some of the most
important people in our game--"newbies".  Does that sound derogatory?  We hope not,
as we meant what we said.  "Newbies" are some of the most important people to D2.  We
very veteran managers appreciate you.  And, you are in for great fun in this game
that some of us have played for 20+ years with passion and gusto.
     We see that Jorja and Drake are taking great care of you.  You are being trained
and mentored by some of the best.  Appreciate them as they truly care about your
     Jorja cannot really ONLY suggest that Aruak City is a great place for newbies to
go after their training.  But WE can.  Aruak City is highly competitive, but stands
out for several reasons
     1.  The managers there respect life.  They are truly sorry to see your warrior
killed.  They will apologize, and more than likely explain that they purposefully
were not aiming at "vitals" and were using lowered kill desires.
     2.  Downchallenging and "picking on Newbies" is greatly frowned upon.  The terms
"Health.  Humility.  Honor." are revered in The Heart and Soul Of Andoria--Aruak
City.  The arena caters to newbies.
     3.  It is the only arena where QOW (we see you have been fed excerpts of them)
are regularly posted, and, more importantly, answered by those who know.  Learning is
part of the environment established in Aruak City.
     4.  It has teams that are new and teams that are "older than dirt"--and is one
of few, maybe the only one where "1000 Win" teams regularly play.
     5.  Role-playing and personal ads thrive.
     But do not let our zeal for Aruak City make you think it is your only
alternative.  There are some great arenas that are more bloodthirsty (Sunset or
Talcama), some that are a little larger, some than run slower, and some that are very
small in participants.  Do not pass up the opportunity to play in a "small" arena.
Some do not enjoy it.  We do.  You will find us Consortiumites in arenas large and
     We will challenge you of this--take the time to "meet" fellow managers--whether
by e mail, the RSI site, phone calls, letters, Face To Face competitions, diplomatic
ads, texting or whatever.  Why?  Because this is a game of interactions, and your
enjoyment of the whole will rise if you interact.  Learn together.  Oh, but you are a
true introvert and do not want to invest the time to interact?  My friends, you are
reading an article by one of the nerdiest dudes ever, and 20 years of excitement in
this game have been enhanced by a willingness to interact.  Enjoy.
     We look forward to seeing you on the sands.
          The Consortium (with 40+ Managers too many to list)
What do you mean, too many to list?  You can mention me.  I run The Bulldog Inn in
Aruak City, and we welcome one and all. -- Kennelworth, Bulldogs

Aye, mates.  This'n old pirate bea seein' ye in Aruak city.  Aye. -- Mino, Animal

Well Dearies, tell them about Fratsfa (Floral Valley).  And be sure to mention The
Flower Shoppe.  We let it all hang out there!  (wink) -- Lady Fern, Flower Girls

Now, Lady Fern, you know the best slow arena is Arkers.  We reside there. -- Curator,

Whoa, now.  Perhaps you are all hiding the best from them?  North Fork (Formerly
SCOMSS Swamp, now Double X) is where The Turf Wars are held and everyone there is
looking for teammates. -- Oz The All-Welcoming, Land Of Oz

The best event in the game--TOGS (Tournament Of the Golden Scrod) is regularly held
in Aradi.  It combines great writing and massive personals with intense competition.
This is The ONE! -- The Creepster, Crazy Creeps (edited by The Crazy Creeps Scribe
because you would not understand a word Creepy says)

OK, only one more....

Iaye forever.  (pronounced Eye-long a)  For over 1500 fights we have resided in the
honorable Iaye.  Come and join us. -- Lenpro, Lenpros

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

     Gilia Harn shed her dripping rain cape and sank into a chair.  "It's useless,"
she said.
     Jorja raised an eyebrow.  "Nothing is useless except trying to teach people the
proper use of an apostrophe.  What's the problem?"
     "Trying to push an arena--"
     "We haven't been trying very hard."
     "Yes, but why should we?  I bet nobody's listening."  Gilia shook her head.
"That isn't what I was going to say.  I've been doing research.  For instance,
pushing Solven (dm 22) because Team Country went there already.  Well, Team Country
has vanished.  They aren't in Solven, and I can't find them anywhere else.  So that
reason is a goner, for a start."
     Jorja shrugged.  "It happens.  If that's all the problem you have, we can deal
with it."
     "Well, it isn't.  That Misfit Crew or whatever it was that just moved out?  THEY
went to Iaye (dm 30).  So by the logic that picked Solven, we should now be pushing
Iaye, and we just CAN'T go chopping and changing constantly.  That won't work!"
Gilia paused and frowned.  "Or maybe it wasn't Misfit Crew, maybe it was Hellsworn
that went to Iaye.  Right, that's it, and Misfit Crew went to Transel (dm 6)."
     "Very different places," Jorja noted.  "Transel's Delarquan, and they don't talk
much.  I don't have an active team there, but I've seen the newsletters.  Tough
managers, too, but they pop in and out a lot.  Well, Transel may suit the Misfits.
You never know.
     "Iaye, that's Andorian.  Slightly steadier, much more chatty--I have a team
there, after all!"
     "I didn't see a Middle Way listed."
     "No, on Iaye, it's Red Dog Gang.  Actually, my Andorian alter-ego, Leeta, runs
it.  Just as well, I get so sick of islands!"
     Gilia glanced out the window at the wall of icy rain.  "I can see why.  But what
do we do about pushing an arena for lots of Noblish graduates to move to?  Assuming
we have lots of Noblish graduates."
     "I'm not seeing this as a major problem," Jorja said.  "Sure, it would be, well,
I guess the word is 'cozy' if all the current batch of Noblies went to the same
mainland arena after their ten turns are up.  But it isn't like the early days here,
when there were twenty or thirty teams, they talked to each other, they made
connections with each other and had a feeling of community.  The group is just too
small.  I think there must be some minimum number that's the 'critical mass' for
generating community in an arena, and we are below that number here and now.  Which
is too bad, but that's life.  Hmm.  It would make the most sense maybe to push arenas
that already have a viable community.  Except that sometimes newcomers have a hard
time fitting in--which would be the whole point of urging graduating Noblies to move
to the same place, where THEY could set the standards.  Still, it's a thought."
     Gilia nodded, reaching for paper and pen.  "Mordant (dm 1), for instance."
     "It might drop in population when the Mordanti Olympics ends, if it hasn't
already.  There's Arkers (dm 8), though."
     "It's a slow arena, isn't it?  Four-week cycle?"
     "Yes, but you often find more players and lots more interaction in the slow
arenas.  Arkers is Andorian, although not as, ah, outspokenly so as Aruak City (dm
11).  Which would be another place a graduating Noblie might go, lots of talkative
managers there, and some are quite friendly and helpful.  Or there's Riztab (dm 12).
Active, some reliable talking, and it's Free Blades, which means not so hard-line
about style of play."
     "Well, if we're talking up Free Blades, what about Willaf (dm 16)?  That's a
bustling place, and also talkative."
     Jorja grimaced.  "It's Karnhorn, though.  I've never really cared for the
Karnhorns--that religion is just...well, it isn't my cup of tea."
     "They seem to like it.  And they cut a lot of slack for the gladiators, probably
because gladiators bring money into the town.  Which is why arenas keep wooing the
Noblies, I guess.  Everybody wants a bigger slice of the pie.  What about--?"
     Jorja glanced at the messenger who had appeared in the doorway and raised her
hand.  "No more speculation today, this has got to go to the newsletter office."
     "Okay, but you know, this would be a lot easier if someone would voice an
opinion or ask a question."
     "We take what we can get and run with it," Jorja said.  "Give 'em the best
advice we can, and that's all we can do."

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

                                  Profile of a Style

     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
     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

     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
     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
     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
     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
     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)

     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.

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
     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

                                      SPY REPORT

     Hail and well met warriors of NOBLISH ISLAND!  Know me for who I am, Zontani 
Sharp Eyes, Spymaster extraordinaire of all Alastari.  There were bitter words at 
MARIONETTE PETS' guildhouse after a 0-0-0 showing this week which dropped the stable 
into 8th.  Dark Arena anyone?  URTHON AEDAR caught the eye of many in the 
gladiatorial commission as he skillfully bested ROEKFORT SIMS and was awarded 17 
points in recognition.  In one of the week's more notable duels, ARVIN LARN put down 
TILLISE ULAM, causing her to lose 11 points of recognition in the process.  Due to 
its absence and inability to defend the throne, SINSTER MINSTER has lost the title of 
Duelmaster.  This time victory fell to the grasp of the usurper.  All hail XIAN THE 
BLACK, Duelmaster of NOBLISH ISLAND!  Heed this!  A seer has warned that if exactly 6 
die in duels this week, the whole city shall perish!  Just remember...5 or 7!   
     But come now, let us look deeper into the maze of contention and crossed blades 
that is city NOBLISH ISLAND.  Loose talk at the arena has reached my ears and it but 
confirms the knowledge that many fighters are after WILDCHILD.  Watch your back!   
     Is not Death a warrior's foremost adviser?   Warriors, may this counselor stand 
ready at your right hand forever!  Fate is a fickle mistress.  She showers the 
miserable with fortune but sets enemies against the victorious.  Remember this!   
     If it were not for my skills as a spy I would have been mugged three times 
already in NOBLISH ISLAND.  Nice atmosphere you have here!  Sadly warriors, now 
longer can I keep thy company nor savor the ale of thy fine city.  Depart I must and 
soon!  Till we meet again, remember:  a turtle walks slow, hides head in a shell, and 
harms no one; a lion runs to slay its prey.-- Zontani Sharp Eyes  

DUELMASTER                     W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 XIAN THE BLACK 8353           6   0  1    56       INDIGO CIPHER (1445)

CHALLENGER ADEPTS              W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
-SINSTER MINSTER 8277          5   1  1    59       MARIONETTE PETS (1433)

ADEPTS                         W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 PIER 8326                     5   0  0    40       FOLLOWER'S OF XOAN (1441)
 AGASAYA 8355                  5   0  0    38       GODS OF WAR (1446)

CHALLENGER INITIATES           W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 WONGA 8385                    3   0  0    33       FOLLOWER'S OF XOAN (1441)
 MENTU 8354                    3   2  1    32       GODS OF WAR (1446)
 TOBIUS 8209                   5   1  0    28       ORDO HERETICUS (1420)
 WILDCHILD 8369                3   0  0    26       FOLLOWER'S OF XOAN (1441)
 ARVIN LARN 8289               3   1  1    25       ORDO HERETICUS (1420)
 YOUSEFF 8208                  3   3  0    25       ORDO HERETICUS (1420)

INITIATES                      W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
-JON 8286                      4   3  0    23       CANOE CLUB (1434)
-RHAPSODY RHYME 8275           3   3  0    19       MARIONETTE PETS (1433)
 MORRIGAN 8382                 3   1  0    18       GODS OF WAR (1446)
 URTHON AEDAR 8386             1   1  0    18       INDIGO CIPHER (1445)
 OBERON 8349                   4   1  0    17       INDIGO CIPHER (1445)
 PARLEN QUIR 8409              1   1  0    17       MIDDLE WAY 16 (1454)
 GULLET 8207                   4   2  0    16       ORDO HERETICUS (1420)
 CAMULUS 8358                  2   3  1    16       GODS OF WAR (1446)
-CALUMOR 8366                  1   0  0    16       DEATH BREATHERS (1447)
-SOLEMN GOLEM 8278             4   2  1    15       MARIONETTE PETS (1433)
-RICK 8284                     2   5  0    15       CANOE CLUB (1434)
 BEQUIN 8206                   2   3  0    13       ORDO HERETICUS (1420)
-LIONHEART 8288                2   5  0    11       CANOE CLUB (1434)

INITIATES                      W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 SHEVA CALLISTER 8408          1   0  0    11       INDIGO CIPHER (1445)
 HOPE U DIE 8391               1   0  0    11       U B DEAD (1450)
-LOATHING MAULER 8279          2   4  0    10       MARIONETTE PETS (1433)
 WASTOID 8390                  1   0  0    10       U B DEAD (1450)
-ROLNANDO 8359                 2   2  0     8       CANOE CLUB (1434)
-DEATH ROSE 8365               1   0  0     8       DEATH BREATHERS (1447)
 ENYALIUS 8425                 1   0  0     8       GODS OF WAR (1446)
-STEEL 8341                    1   1  0     8       MARAUDER'S FIVE (1443)
 VECTOR 8370                   1   2  0     7       FOLLOWER'S OF XOAN (1441)
 VERELLE WIST 8412             1   1  0     7       MIDDLE WAY 16 (1454)
 NAVANNA 8407                  1   0  0     5       INDIGO CIPHER (1445)
-VENGENCE SWORN 8361           1   1  0     4       MARIONETTE PETS (1433)
 YAREON ZED 8413               1   1  0     4       MIDDLE WAY 16 (1454)
 TILLISE ULAM 8411             1   1  0     4       MIDDLE WAY 16 (1454)
 ROEKFORT SIMS 8410            1   1  0     4       MIDDLE WAY 16 (1454)
-SKUMM 8364                    1   0  0     3       DEATH BREATHERS (1447)
-SNAKE 8340                    0   3  0     3       MARAUDER'S FIVE (1443)
-SHANK 8337                    0   3  0     3       MARAUDER'S FIVE (1443)
-BLACK DEATH 8363              0   1  0     1       DEATH BREATHERS (1447)
 I AM DUCK 8388                0   1  0     1       U B DEAD (1450)
 BRAIN KILLER 8389             0   1  0     1       U B DEAD (1450)
-DEATH BLOW 8362               0   1  0     1       DEATH BREATHERS (1447)
 NO BRAINER 8387               0   1  0     1       U B DEAD (1450)
 VANIC IRONSHAND 8424          0   1  0     1       FOLLOWER'S OF XOAN (1441)
-NIGHTSHADE 8376               0   1  0     1       MARAUDER'S FIVE (1443)

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

THE DEAD               W  L K TEAM NAME             SLAIN BY             TURN Revenge?
FRATSFA SLAVE 7        0  1 0   1                   XIAN THE BLACK 8353   221 NONE    
GRIMJAW 8343           2  3 0 CANOE CLUB 1434       MENTU 8354            220         
STRIKER 8339           0  1 0 MARAUDER'S FIVE 1443  CAMULUS 8358          217 NOT REVE

                                     PERSONAL ADS

Drake's Comments on Last Turn's Articles:

Note that I'm specifically writing about the articles that appear at the end of the
newsletter as they tend to be a bit dated and thus misleading.  Those articles that
appear under the Team Spotlight heading are going to be far more recent and thus
accurate in the info they provide.  So, with that in mind, here we go:

'FAXING IN TURNS' by Green Eyes -- All I can say is that I've never had to fax in a
turn for a slow (4 week turnaround) arena.  Pick your arena according to the speed of
your mail service and hopefully you'll never be in that much of a time crunch.

'STRENGTH AND WEAPON DAMAGE' by Pagan -- It should be noted that almost all of this
is hypothesis and some of it not even good hypothesis.  The only real way some of
these things (such as the formulas given in points 1 & 2) can be verified is by
looking at the code and that's not likely to happen.  Point 3 is a gross
oversimplification of what the different critical statements do:  Slashing = highest
damage bonus; Lunging = highest knockdown chance; Bashing = chance to stun opponent
so they can't riposte.  Point 4, if not true, is close enough.  Point 5, I really
don't think Strength and Damage Class count separately the way Pagan thinks it does.
Point 6 is basically common knowledge for veterans of the game.  Of course, like
several of Pagan's articles, it gives a lot of theory (but this time no statistics)
but doesn't tell you how this might apply in any useful way.  The end point of this
article is:  The higher your Strength and Size, the more damage you do.  Shocker.

'TEAM AND CHARACTER MAINTENANCE SERVICE' by Green Eyes -- I've never had to put a
team or warrior on maintenance.  Yet another reason I prefer slow arenas to the
normal 2-week turnaround.

'The Perfect Scout' by Mr. Drake -- No, this guy has absolutely no relation to me
whatsoever.  He apparently was around in the late 90s while I was on hiatus.  By the
time I came back he'd disappeared.  Pretty basic scum setup in this article.  I like
to put a bit more Deftness on my scum (depending on starting STR & WIL) as I like
them to have a parry rating of 10 to start (I'll go lower if Hit Points are really
high).  Not that it matters much for Scum, but Most Common Favorite Offensive
Efforts: 1-2, 3-4 then 5-6.  Most common favorite Activity Levels:  3-4, 1-2 then 5-

'THE BRAINY, LOW WILL STRIKER' by Blind Man -- This kind of striker has been used in
Tournaments for many years now.  I TCed Champions once with a Striker of this type.
Just a couple quick notes:  19 Wit has no real advantage over a 17; the extra 2
points would have been better off in STR, DFT, SPD or WIL.  Try to avoid going below
9 on Will if at all possible.  If you can do so and still hit 'Poor Endurance' that's
okay, but avoid 'Very Little Endurance' if at all possible.  I generally don't put
near that much Deftness on any Striker.  I generally go for enough to get my Striker
to an 8 base Attack (6 if his Wit is 21).  Overall, though, the article was pretty
solid.  Most Common Favorite Offensive Efforts:  5-6, 7-8 then 3-4.  Most Common
Favorite Activity Levels:  3-4, 1-2 then 5-6.  Favorite Weapons:  BS, SC then
SS/WF/WH (tied).

'AND NOW, FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. . .' by Elder Snorri -- First things
first, way more CON than needed for a Lunger.  While a little CON will help a lunger
more than most other offensive styles, you don't need to be hitting a 13; 7-10 is
plenty.  Conversely, this article way under-emphasized Will.  Contrary to what E.
Snorri writes, Will is the major component in Endurance (the formula usually used is:
(STR + CON) * WIL).  Otherwise this article was okay but not really great.  There are
better lunger articles out there.  Most Common Favorite Offensive Efforts:  7-8, 9-10
then 5-6.  Most Common Favorite Activity Levels:  7-8, 9-10 then 5-6.  Favorite
Weapons:  LO, SH then SS.

'WARRIOR HANDEDNESS' by Pagan -- Here we have another Pagan article with a bit of
theory.  In this case, his theory is correct and can be verified if you get the right
fights.  However, this info doesn't really do much to change how you'll run you
warriors.  It's mainly just a curiosity.

'A BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO DUELMASTERS' by Fritz -- Ah, the article I rebut in my
'Beginners Guide to Duelmasters Rebuttal' that you'll see cycle around in about 4 or
5 turns.  My rebuttal article goes into much more detail but the short of it is that
he makes far too much use of even numbers on his example roll-ups.  With the way
skill & physical breakpoints fall, you're usually much better off going for odd
numbers (with the exception of 19).  Since you have to have an even numbered stat,
try to have it in either SIZ or CON.  Also, he advises new managers to train stats.
This should be done VERY SPARINGLY.  First, do this ONLY if it will get you to a
breakpoint of some kind (Damage, Endurance, Hit Points, whatever).  Second, you'll
generally get more benefit from skill trains so long as you're averaging 1.5 skills
per turn or more.  At the 1 to 1.5 SpT level it's a break-even proposition.  Finally,
training stats to a skill breakpoint can harm your warrior's ADM career (until they
reach Primus).

'ENDURANCE' by Tankesh/Adie -- Hey, it's a manager you can still find running around
this game.  Come to the Duel2 message boards and talk to him yourself.  This one is a
solid article, but the website address he gives is out of date.  The new address is

'An Unbiased Look at the Slashing Attack' by Tex -- In general a pretty good article,
but a couple statements can be easily mis-read:  Speed has no effect on learning rate
and offers more skills than just Init; it also gives Decise, Defense & Rip.  A high
starting Decise can be very beneficial to a SL as they tend to be slow to learn that
skill.  Deftness doesn't really need to be that high, just high enough to start with
a 10+ Attack skill.  Also, typical Aimed Blow designs sacrifice Will for Deftness
which is not something you want to do with a Slasher (you'll really regret the low
Endurance).  BTW, the skill ratings use the old percentage style.  The more modern
style is to simply list the actual number of skills.  To convert, divide the
percentage by 5 to get actual number of skills (50% = 10 skills).  Most Common
Favorite Offensive Efforts:  7-8, 9-10 then 5-6.  Most Common Favorite Activity
Levels:  1-2, 3-4 then 5-6.  Favorite weapons are SC, EP and BS in that order.

'PRIORITY SKILL LEARNING' by Pagan (again) -- Good grief, it's a Pagan-fest this
turn!  This article is good in its generalities but the specifics are purely
supposition on the part of Pagan; they are things that can only be verified by
looking at the actual code.  However, the listing of the priority learns by style is
correct and the theory regarding teaching by style is fairly widely accepted.  The
short of it is, if you want to increase your odds of learning parry, challenge a TP.

'PARRY-RIPOSTE (the how to and why)' by Blackhawk -- First off, this is another one
of those articles where the given stat ranges would make for a good ANYTHING (just
about).  Also, these are stats you won't find very often.  That right there limits
the utility of this article as it only applies to maybe 1% of the roll-ups you'll
see.  Second, low-CON defensives lose a lot; you can't parry/dodge everything.
Third, high Riposte with crappy Initiative leads to frustrated ripostes.  Basically,
you'll see a riposte statement ("ducks under his onrushing foe" or the like) followed
by his opponent attacking.  Lot of good your high Riposte did there.  Fourth, if
you're not looking at ADM/Primus potential, PRs can get away with a Will as low as 9
(assuming decent CON and DFT).  The strategy advice given is pretty sound.  Most
Common Favorite Offensive Efforts:  3-4, 5-6 then 1-2.  Most Common Favorite Activity
Levels:  5-6, 7-8 then 3-4.  Favorite Weapons: EP, SS then SC.

'There is a Tavern in the Town...' by Swift -- The man left out Drake's Bar-B-Q in
Malcorn!  How could he possibly call that a complete list of the finest restaurants &
pubs is beyond me. ;-P

'JESSIE'S GUIDE TO A GOOD BASHER (3rd Edition)' by Sir Jessie Jest -- Size impacts
the following skills: Init(+), Defense(-) and Parry(-).  It has no impact on Decise
or Attack.  In general the stat ranges are good, though I'll state that a Basher
really only needs enough DFT to reach a base 10 Attack, so a score of 11 is most
likely plenty.  The notes on weapons & strategy are very good.  Most Common Favorite
Offensive Efforts:  7-10 then 5-6.  Most Common Favorite Activity Levels:  3-4, 1-2
then 5-6.  Favorite Weapons:  MA, ML then GS.

Another general note for everyone:  I strongly recommend those with internet access
check out www.terrablood.com for all kinds of useful charts, tips & hints to help
with this game.  Also, visit the Forums on www.duel2.com where you can converse with
many of the more experienced managers in the game.  If you don't have internet
access, contact me with a mailing address and I'll see about putting together a small
'D2 Care Package' with some of the more commonly used charts. -- Drake (who can be
reached by diploing Drake's Bar-B-Q in arena 101, emailing dm_drake@sbcglobal.net or
you can find me on the Duel2 website posting under the name Drake; who'da guessed)

Vector -- Congratulations on your rating increase. -- Bequin

Tillise Ulan -- Thanks for the pounding.  You'd think that I would get something out
of that other than a nice note from my doc attached to the bill.  Care for a rematch?
-- Arvin Larn

Wildchild -- You could have let me swing once or twice before you one shot me.  By
the way, good hit. -- Youseff

Arvin Larn -- Well... DARN.  Here I am, my first day on the sands, and I meet a guy
who's tall, blond, and handsome, and I can't do a THING with my HAIR.  I must look
awful!  This is so frustrating. -- Tillise Ulam
P.S.  Why are you using that weapon?  Surely you have the stats for something better?

With, you know, more reach, to make USE of being tall and all that.
P.P.S.  And with your greater experience, you should have jumped me.  Uh... gotten in
the first blow.  You might need to run faster?  Worth a try.

Morrigan -- (wincing)  YOU don't need any advice, do you?  That was (wincing again)
really well done on your part. -- Verelle Wist

Urthon Aedar -- Good try, but, um, your weapon...?  If you have the stats for a
scimitar (ST 9, WT and DF 11 each), you might find it works better.  Or you could try
two hatchets, one in each hand, I've heard that sometimes works well, if you have the
DF for it. -- Yareon Zed
P.S.  I was not "heartlessly seeking the death of my foe," or whatever the phrase
was.  My heart was in it.  When it wasn't in my mouth.
P.P.S.  Oh, all right, I wasn't seeking the death of my foe at all, but when you get
hit on a critical location (head or torso), the announcer always ASSUMES someone is
trying to kill you, when in actual FACT, it could just be bad luck or a clumsy

A Persistent Beggar?  The first time I come out on the sands, I get a STANDBY?  That
is SOOO insulting! -- Parlen Quir

Parlen Quir -- Is it still an insult if you LOSE to the standby? -- Verelle Wist

Well, I drew a standby, also, but I am NOT insulted.  Better to ease into this
gladiating stuff, is what I think. -- Roekfort Sims
P.S.  Of course, I won, which always helps brighten the outlook.  I just slapped him
on the hand and he quit.

Drake -- For those kind words, my thanks.  Your point about starting with a few
styles and learning them thoroughly is good, in fact, it's what I did myself.  For
me, it was slashers mostly; if I didn't know what else to do with a rollup, I made it
a slasher.  (wince)  I once made a whole TEAM slashers, even though some would have
done better otherwise!  The weird thing is that I graduated all five of them, and it
was an active arena.  Probably a fluke, or configuration of the moons of Jupiter, or
something equally weird. -- Jorja

20 October 2006
In accordance with those rules set forth by the Lady of the Realm, I hereby announce
the formation of a small group of managers calling themselves "The Outsiders".  The
group consists of the following members:
     Doc LeGrande
     Street Legal
     This group has only one rule.  Respect the play of the managers of this
alliance.  We have no worries about not playing by the rules set forth by others.  We
fight the way we like, and all those in this group appreciate what tools each manager
brings.  We have managers from the Delarquan, Andorian and Free Blade regions.  We
have managers that focus on the tournament arenas, and we have those that focus on
the regular city arenas.  We have those in our ranks that fight with honor and
respect for all, and we have those that have a bloodlust that cannot be quenched.
     Our goal is simple.  To create a ensemble of managers that will show their
prowess in the land of Alastari, and to bring a new level of competition to all those
that share the sands with our warriors.  Our warriors are many throughout the land.
We have no home arena.  We have no pacts we abide by.  Our fighters range from
Mordant to Talcama, from Lapur to Lyratilan, Aruak City to Valamantis, the Primus
arena to Talahya, and many more arenas throughout the land.

     Whether we are sought out or ignored makes no difference to us.  We are what we
are.  We fight how we fight.  And we do it however we wish.  We have no rules.  We
have no leader or ruler.  Be prepared.  We are.

20 October 2006
The Dark Knights of the Desolate Empire respond thus to the Avengers of the Light:
Where are you?  EACH AND EVERY Dark Knight can be found in arenas 31 and 52.  Your
pretty words mean less than nothing if you won't fight.  EVERY Dark Knight is more
than willing to back up their talk.  So...we give you three turns in either 31 or 52,
REPEAT 31 or 52 to show up or shut up.  If you don't show we'll let all of Alastari
know the Avengers are indeed cowards! -- Dark Knights of the Desolate Empire

2 November 2006
I received a Gift Certificate from someone.  I'm assuming it's for entry into the
Turf War 5.  Whoever sent this to me...please email me at rbaphomets@yahoo.com.

10 November 2006
     The Quest of the Best has come to an end.  Dark Knight Toker, host of the Quest,
wants to proclaim the Ultimate Victor and give a listing of prize winners.
     Lady Fern and her Flower Girls of the Consortium are the Ultimate Victors of the
Quest.  Well fought and there's nothing like coming from behind to leave us all in
the dust.  Can't wait to see you defend your title! (wink)
     Here is a complete list of managers who placed in prize positions:

1)  Lady Fern, mgr. Flower Girls
2)  Le Pentarque, mgr. Blood & Guts!
3)  Crip, mgr. Otto's Parts
4)  D.K. Heathen Hatebred, mgr. Odin's Chosen
5)  Ghab, mgr. Assassin Nation
6)  Fanthayne, mgr. Dark Raiders
7)  D.K. Toker, mgr. Silver Knights
8)  D.K. Wasby, mgr. Bronze Knights
9)  The Expatriate, mgr. Bleak Legion
10) Still the Distilled, mgr. Springborne Fair

     Thanks to all that had the gall to show up, but I really want to thank the
managers that had the mettle to survive and not run when they started getting their
butt handed to them.
                                                           Respect to All.
                                                           Quest #1 host,
                                                           Dark Knight Toker

                                  LAST WEEK'S FIGHTS

OBERON was devastated by AGASAYA in a 1 minute mismatched Challenge fight.
MORRIGAN was vanquished by PIER in a 3 minute brutal uneven Challenge battle.
WONGA overpowered TOBIUS in a crowd pleasing 1 minute mismatched Challenge duel.
CAMULUS was overpowered by YOUSEFF in a 1 minute one-sided Challenge fight.
BEQUIN was bested by WILDCHILD in a 1 minute Challenge brawl.
ARVIN LARN vanquished TILLISE ULAM in a 1 minute mismatched Challenge fight.
MENTU beat GULLET in a crowd pleasing 2 minute Challenge brawl.
XIAN THE BLACK assassinated FRATSFA SLAVE in a 1 minute uneven Title melee.
VECTOR lost to ENYALIUS in a 2 minute beginner's duel.
PARLEN QUIR narrowly defeated EMBEZZLING SCRIBE in a popular 1 minute beginner's duel.
URTHON AEDAR overpowered ROEKFORT SIMS in a 1 minute uneven match.
YAREON ZED was beaten by HOPE U DIE in a 2 minute novice's fight.
VERELLE WIST savagely defeated NO BRAINER in a 1 minute amateur's competition.
NAVANNA subdued I AM DUCK in a 3 minute novice's brawl.
SHEVA CALLISTER handily defeated BRAIN KILLER in a 1 minute one-sided conflict.
WASTOID vanquished VANIC IRONSHAND in a 1 minute mismatched bout.

                                    BATTLE REPORT

             MOST POPULAR                        RECORD DURING THE LAST 10 TURNS     
|FIGHTING STYLE               FIGHTS        FIGHTING STYLE     W -   L -  K   PERCENT|
|LUNGING ATTACK                   7         SLASHING ATTACK   30 -  16 -  4      65  |
|WALL OF STEEL                    4         TOTAL PARRY       29 -  19 -  1      60  |
|SLASHING ATTACK                  4         BASHING ATTACK    33 -  28 -  3      54  |
|STRIKING ATTACK                  4         STRIKING ATTACK   20 -  21 -  1      49  |
|AIMED BLOW                       3         LUNGING ATTACK    31 -  33 -  3      48  |
|TOTAL PARRY                      3         PARRY-STRIKE      11 -  14 -  1      44  |
|BASHING ATTACK                   3         WALL OF STEEL      6 -   9 -  1      40  |
|PARRY-STRIKE                     1         AIMED BLOW        12 -  18 -  1      40  |
|PARRY-RIPOSTE                    1         PARRY-RIPOSTE      9 -  22 -  0      29  |
|PARRY-LUNGE                      0         PARRY-LUNGE        4 -  10 -  0      29  |

Turn 221 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     TOTAL PARRY        1 -  2         4  LUNGING ATTACK 
PARRY-RIPOSTE      1 -  0     PARRY-LUNGE        0 -  0         2  TOTAL PARRY    
WALL OF STEEL      3 -  1     BASHING ATTACK     0 -  3         1  PARRY-STRIKE   
AIMED BLOW         2 -  1                                       1  BASHING ATTACK 
LUNGING ATTACK     4 -  3                                       1  STRIKING ATTACK
SLASHING ATTACK    2 -  2                                       1  AIMED BLOW     
STRIKING ATTACK    2 -  2                                       1  SLASHING ATTACK

                               TOP WARRIOR OF EACH STYLE

FIGHTING STYLE   WARRIOR                     W   L  K PNTS TEAM NAME                  
PARRY-STRIKE     XIAN THE BLACK 8353         6   0  1   56 INDIGO CIPHER (1445)
TOTAL PARRY      PIER 8326                   5   0  0   40 FOLLOWER'S OF XOAN (1441)
STRIKING ATTACK  AGASAYA 8355                5   0  0   38 GODS OF WAR (1446)
Note: Warriors have a winning record and are an Adept or Above.

The overall popularity leader is AGASAYA 8355.  The most popular warrior this turn 
was MENTU 8354.  The ten other most popular fighters were WONGA 8385, PIER 8326, 

The least popular fighter this week was VANIC IRONSHAND 8424.  The other ten least 
popular fighters were BRAIN KILLER 8389, NAVANNA 8407, NO BRAINER 8387, ROEKFORT SIMS 
8410, TILLISE ULAM 8411, BEQUIN 8206, CAMULUS 8358, TOBIUS 8209, OBERON 8349, and 

                             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.

                                                         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 
     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 
     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.

                                                       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 ------------------------ >    "


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.


                              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 
     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 
     (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)