DUEL 2 NEWSLETTER Date : 11/25/2006 Duedate: 12/08/2006 NOBLISH ISLAND ARENA DM-93 TURN-222 This Weeks Top Honors THE DUELMASTER IS XIAN THE BLACK INDIGO CIPHER (1445) (93-8353) [7-0-1,66] Chartered Recognition Leader Unchartered Recognition Leader POSITION IS EMPTY XIAN THE BLACK INDIGO CIPHER (1445) (93-8353) [7-0-1,66] Popularity Leader This Weeks Favorite YOUSEFF PARLEN QUIR ORDO HERETICUS (1420) MIDDLE WAY 16 (1454) (93-8208) [4-3-0,28] (93-8409) [1-2-0,8] THE CURRENT TOP TEAM ORDO HERETICUS (1420) TEAMS ON THE MOVE TOP CAREER HONORS Team Name Point Gain Chartered Team 1. LADY ROSE FAERYS (1457) 36 2. ORDO HERETICUS (1420) 30 AVENGERS (287) 3. ANGEL HUNTERS (1452) 18 Unchartered Team 4. MIDDLE WAY 16 (1454) 13 5. INDIGO CIPHER (1445) 13 ORDO HERETICUS (1420) The Top Teams Career Win-Loss Record W L K % Win-Loss Record Last 3 Turns W L K 1/ 2*ORDO HERETICUS (1420) 21 12 1 63.6 1/ 4*ORDO HERETICUS (1420) 9 6 0 2/ 1*INDIGO CIPHER (1445) 19 11 1 63.3 2/ 3*INDIGO CIPHER (1445) 8 4 1 3- 3*GODS OF WAR (1446) 15 10 2 60.0 3/ 6*MIDDLE WAY 16 (1454) 8 7 0 4/ 0*LADY ROSE FAERYS (1457) 3 2 1 60.0 4- 2*GODS OF WAR (1446) 7 3 1 5- 6*MARIONETTE PETS (1433) 16 13 2 55.2 5/ 1*FOLLOWER'S OF XOA (1441) 7 7 0 6/ 7*MIDDLE WAY 16 (1454) 8 7 0 53.3 6/ 0*LADY ROSE FAERYS (1457) 3 2 1 7/ 5*FOLLOWER'S OF XOA (1441) 14 13 0 51.9 7- 8*MARIONETTE PETS (1433) 2 3 0 8- 8*U B DEAD (1450) 2 3 0 40.0 8- 9*U B DEAD (1450) 2 3 0 9/ 0*ANGEL HUNTERS (1452) 2 3 0 40.0 9/ 0*ANGEL HUNTERS (1452) 2 3 0 10/ 0*CLAN GHOST BEARS (1456) 2 3 0 40.0 10/ 0*CLAN GHOST BEARS (1456) 2 3 0 11/ 9*CANOE CLUB (1434) 13 24 0 35.1 11/ 5*CANOE CLUB (1434) 2 7 0 '*' Unchartered team '-' Team did not fight this turn (###) Avoid teams by their Team Id ##/## This turn's/Last turn's rank TEAM SPOTLIGHT Profile of a Style Slashers This article is not the Last Word on Slashers. But I've run a lot of them, and I think I have something useful to say. They were my default style when I was learning the game; if I didn't know what else to do with a roll-up, I made it a Slasher, armed it with a scimitar, and ran it 10-10-x until I figured out what I should be doing instead. Usually, "instead" meant lightening the armor and slowing them down because they got tired too fast, activity level first, then if necessary, offensive effort. An amazing number of them survived and even graduated on this strategy. I have the details of sixty-five immortal Slashers here, warriors who, regardless of my managerial expertise or lack thereof, managed to survive to graduation. Some are very bad, but lucky. A few are very good. Most are ordinary warriors of moderate ability, made from the kind of roll-ups that you see every day. I'm not going to list all sixty-five of them, which is way too many for a practical discussion, but think of them in the background, confirming or denying suggestions and suppositions. Favorite weapons: You will find that only those weapons which may show up as favorites when a warrior graduates will be listed as "well-suited" in the fight reports. These favored weapons vary with style, and I assure you they have been thoroughly researched by players over the years. The eight weapons suitable for use by Slashers, and the minimum stats required to use them, are: Battleaxe ST 15 WT 9 DF 9 \\ 12 in sample Broadsword ST 11 WT 9 DF 7 \\ 7 in sample Epee ST 7 WT 15 DF 15 \\ 5 in sample Greataxe ST 13 WT 9 DF 11 \\ 8 in sample Hatchet ST 5 WT 3 DF 7 \\ 9 in sample Longsword ST 11 WT 13 DF 11 \\ 8 in sample Scimitar ST 9 WT 11 DF 11 \\ 10 in sample Shortsword ST 5 WT 11 DF 3 \\ 6 in sample [Data courtesy of Pagan and other managers, for which I thank them. Any errors are my own.] The final number on each line is the total number of Slashers in my sample who had the weapon in question as a favorite. (Just as a warning on the unreliability of statistics, the first twenty-two warriors on my Slasher list favored an axe of some kind over a sword by 2 to 1. But on the group of sixty-five, the proportions are reversed! Tricky things, numbers.) Study this chart, and resist the temptation to make a Slasher who doesn't have the stats to use at least one of these weapons well. I can tell you from bitter experience that you do not want a warrior who is unsuited to every weapon in the book by reason of either stat deficiencies or style preferences. If you haven't done it yet, then take my advice and avoid this pitfall; it is enormously frustrating. Weapons not listed on this chart are not suited to the slashing style. Really, we're not guessing--managers have tested this repeatedly, and arming a Slasher with, say, a war hammer or a long spear will always, regardless of his stats, get the result "uses this weapon in an unorthodox style" (meaning "badly"). You want to avoid that. As you can see from the list above, a Slasher doesn't have just ONE important stat where weapon choice is concerned. Over all, strength, wit, and deftness are equally important, but there is enough variation that a warrior deficient in one area but not the others can find something to fight with. Below are two dozen immortal Slashers, three who favor each of the Slasher's weapons, their relevant stats, and their favorite rhythms. Battleaxe Damoreth ST 13 WT 17 DF 11 H/VL Kaltho ST 10 WT 17 DF 13 VH/L Robin ST 10 WT 17 DF 7 M/M Note that none of these three warriors has the minimum stats needed to use a battleaxe to best advantage! That's one of the little tricks the Commission plays on us to make sure we don't find things too easy. You'll see others below who lack some critical stat needed for using their favorite weapon, also. Broadsword The Kid ST 13 WT 11 DF 11 H/L Elin ST 19 WT 11 DF 17 H/VL Gilis ST 9 WT 17 DF 11 H/VL Epee Billie ST 12 WT 12 DF 9 H/VL Anlis ST 11 WT 15 DF 13 VH/L Kyra ST 9 WT 11 DF 17 M/VL Greataxe Kothland ST 10 WT 15 DF 9 H/VL Jane Erh ST 9 WT 15 DF 15 M/VL Ginger ST 9 WT 11 DF 11 H/VL Hatchet Kirmo ST 9 WT 15 DF 13 H/VL Treefrog ST 10 WT 13 DF 9 H/L Medio Curr ST 9 WT 11 DF 13 H/L Longsword Goff ST 9 WT 11 DF 9 H/VL Tumbleweed ST 11 WT 13 DF 9 H/L Nelinaria ST 12 WT 17 DF 13 H/L Scimitar Horace ST 13 WT 11 DF 13 VH/VL Wolf ST 9 WT 15 DF 13 H/VL Geladina ST 9 WT 15 DF 12 M/VL Shortsword Rover ST 13 WT 9 DF 11 VH/VL Riya ST 10 WT 15 DF 9 VH/VL Hammir ST 9 WT 15 DF 13 VH/L My habit of giving any Slasher with the necessary stats a scimitar to wield means that a lot of these warriors never ran their favorite weapon. But they survived anyway, because the scimitar is so GOOD. I really like arming Slashers (and many other styles) with scimitars, and I highly recommend it. Just one scimitar in hand, off-hand empty, and a back-up on the belt. A warrior who does NOT have the stats for a scimitar (hard to imagine, given my basic design philosophy) is not trained as a Slasher. Which brings us to the question of warrior design. With me, if I'm determined that a warrior shall be a Slasher, the basic design decisions are already made: a Slasher must be able to use a scimitar. Okay, not always. Seven of the twenty-four warriors listed above lack the deftness for a scimitar, which means I probably sent them out with a shortsword or a hatchet. But "able to use a scimitar" is still my basic Slasher criterion. If there are points left over after arranging that, I put 'em on will. And if will is 11 or better, I MIGHT put some points on speed, just to see what happens. You will note that I don't figure any points to be added to CN. True, a Slasher burns endurance rapidly and may get tired in less than a minute if running hard. But Slashers are offensive warriors. They aren't out there for a long fight; their style wins quickly by attacking, or quits and fights another day. For the same reason, I am unlikely to put a Slasher in anything heavier than leather armor. (The "quits to fight another day" strategy has offensive effort and kill desire both dropped to moderate or lower in desperation.) Favorite rhythm: As I said at the beginning, when I started playing, I used to run my Slashers 10-10-x, and many of them did well enough to graduate under that regimen. But looking at the favorites from my graduated Slashers, I find no offensive effort lower than Moderate (5 or 6) and no activity level higher than moderate. It breaks down this way: Very High (9-10)/Moderate (5-6): 2 Very High (9-10)/Low (4-5): 6 Very High (9-10)/Very Low (1-2): 8 High (7-8)/Moderate (5-6): 1 High (7-8)/Low (3-4): 10 High (7-8)/Very Low (1-2): 21 Moderate (5-6)/Moderate (5-6): 4 Moderate (5-6)/Low (3-4): 6 Moderate (5-6)/Very Low (1-2) 7 This gives you a clear idea of how the Gladiatorial Commission sees Slashers: offensive. In all but four out of sixty-five cases, offensive effort is higher than activity level, and sometimes--often--it's a lot higher. This is not to say that you will always want to run your Slasher hard and fast, which will burn his endurance at a furious rate, but this is what he does best. There is no evidence to support the hypothesis that warriors have a favorite kill desire. There is no convincing evidence to support the hypothesis that warriors have a favorite attack location. Logical arguments based on real-life concepts do not necessarily apply to Duelmasters. There IS evidence to support the claim that increased deftness means a better chance of hitting the designated attack location, in case you wondered about that. And even without training DF to a higher number, a warrior appears to gain accuracy with experience and an increase in skills. Favorite Tactics: In my sample of sixty-five warriors, only four have a favorite tactic, and in all four cases that favorite is the offensive tactic Slash. This is not to say that your warrior can't use any other tactic to advantage, because maybe he can. Well, okay, I wouldn't give him a Bash tactic, and probably not a Lunge, either.... But apparently the only tactic he really likes is Slash. Going from the general to the specific-- Profile of a Warrior Black Victor Slasher Vic is 9-7-15-17-15-10-11, no stats trained, and he was 22-18-2 running on maintenance at the time he received his graduation notice. He had an advanced master in initiative, and advanced expert in riposte, a master in attack, and an advanced expert in decisiveness. According to his overview, he is very intelligent (something not always demonstrated in his dealings with his teammates) Nothing short of a genius at keeping his foes at sword's point Does a lot of little things well Uses an unusual fighting style, deadly to slower, less active foes (I have NEVER gotten an overview that claimed the warrior used a hackneyed, common fighting style that would result in getting himself killed) Avoids blows well He's an extremely active fighter (the SP and DF) Cannot take a lot of punishment (low CN) Can only carry a very little weight in armor and weapons (low ST) Is very quick on his feet Avoiding rather than trading blows Can do good damage with a blow (largely a result of his SZ) The Commission claim he favors a battle axe, which he has never tried, and a rhythm of very high offensive effort and very low activity level At the time this invitation to the Isle arrived, he was running 10-10-8 straight across, carrying a scimitar and backup scimitar, in leather armor and a helm, attacking right arm, protecting body, and using no tactics. Sunset (DM 21) is not an easy arena, but this strategy--you'll note that it is not his "favorite"--got him out alive. But suppose he had the same stats but some other style. What difference might that have made? None to his ability to take and deal out damage, but more than you might think to his initial, or base, skills. Several managers (Sir Boyd and Pagan are prominent among them, but I know others have helped, all unsung) have done a lot of research, analysis, and experiment on the relation between a warrior's starting stats and style and his starting skills. (Note that a warrior's starting skills may not be exactly what the charts would lead you to expect. There is a luck factor; a warrior may sometimes have more or fewer of a given skill than expected.) His ability to take and deal out damage, and to carry or not carry weight would have remained the same, but.... This is how Vic would have stacked up as a warrior of another style in the skills department: Skills Style Init Rip Att Par Def Dec Total AB 5 3 6 1 5 10 30 BA 12 7 10 1 3 10 33 LU 13 7 12 1 7 9 49 PL 10 7 10 3 5 8 43 PR 8 11 6 3 3 6 37 PS 8 7 6 3 5 8 37 SL 14 7 10 -1 5 9 44 ST 9 7 6 0 5 10 37 TP 8 7 4 7 5 6 37 WS 14 7 10 5 5 8 49 All styles are not created equal, but have their own various strengths and weaknesses. Do you look at this chart and wonder why all warriors aren't created lungers and walls of steel? Well, a lot of them are, especially lungers. Some die of that low CN, inability to carry much armor, and lack of parry and defense skills. Some fall victim to bad matches, develop losing records (this warrior is NOT at his best against a long-haul total parry, for instance), and get sent to the Dark Arena. Some managers simply LIKE to play other styles, and can make up in skilled management what the warrior may lose on the initial roll-up. Which brings me to an issue I would like to just mention to those of you here who are new managers. You can design warriors to maximize starting skills. Let's suppose that Vic's initial roll-up had a ST of 7 and I decided NOT to add two points to it. I could have put those points on either WT, WL, or DF, the three most skill- rich stats and had more skills for him to start with. But with a ST of 7, I couldn't have counted on getting at least normal damage done, even with his big SZ, and "little damage" has been the end of many warriors. What good are skills if you can't take your opponent down? If I'd accepted a lower CN, I could have put more points into stockpiling skills... and maybe gotten a "very frail" warrior, one who couldn't survive a blow. What good are skills if you can die from a single blow? Good warrior design is a balancing act. You have to know what you expect of the warrior: is he to be a long-term project, destined to dominate high-end play, or a dixie-cup short-term warrior? A short-term warrior can get away with a lot of "design flaws" that would be disaster for a long-termer. He can get away with being very frail, or having a WL too low for training up stats. He can be experimental. But the first requirement for a long-term warrior is that he survive to reach the Isle and immortality. Skills alone are not enough for that. Jorja Middle Way P.S. If there's something you'd specifically like to hear about, ASK. I don't know what your questions are if you don't ask 'em. +>]H[<+-----+>]H[+ Question of the Week #4 +]H[<+-----+>]H[<+ The Question of the Week is posed in Aruak City (DM 11) by Hanibal, a manager who is himself an alumnus of Noblish Island. The answers are provided by other managers in that arena. Any manager here in Noblish who wishes to pose a question to the more experienced managers of Aruak City, feel free to do so, either by sending in a personal directed to DM 11 and identifying yourself as a manager from Noblish seeking enlightenment, or by posting the question here, in which case I will be glad to see that it reaches Aruak. Also, Hanibal sends you greetings and asks that we remind you that all arenas do not have the same attitude and local conventions. Aruak City is an Andorian arena and subscribes to the doctrine of Honorable Play, meaning, no down-challenging except from the throne or in bloodfeus, no deliberate attempts to kill the warriors of other managers, and a general attitude of friendly respect toward the other members of the arena. It is, in fact, a fine arena, and one where you would all be welcome (though there are plenty of others--just ask, and I'll be glad to tell you about my favorites). -- Jorja Question, turn 405: All -- If I had a warrior blessed +4 in all areas, maxed out with all 25's would I have a chance to beat the top warriors in Primus or Gateway? RSI says you get better as you gain FE. Some of those warriors have 10 years of FE. How could one ever compete? -- Hanibal's Q.O.W. Answers, turn 406: Q.O.W. -- A warrior as you have described would definitely be a viable contender at the top of Gateway! Maybe even the best. Experience, though helpful, is vastly outweighed by raw skill. Plus, a great set of favorites make's such a warrior much better. If worked properly, a warrior +4 in everything could possibly TC a couple of times and use those prizes to make them better. Young warriors are continually making gains into being competitive with the top of Primus and Gateway. It just takes a lot of time. Donatello and some older warriors used to be the very best, but younger ones have upset the balance. Nothing is set in stone. -- Adie P.S. Not that I've had much luck chipping at that stone. It's very difficult when you're a small manager. Hanibal -- If that hypothetical warrior you speak of had one of the fighting styles that were suited to high end competition, then it would be very competitive. Let's say you went whole-hog and made it a lunger. Being bonused by four in every category would make it one of the very best. But it just doesn't happen! Ask the Consortium how many +24 warriors they've had. Total FEs have a slight, even marginal effect, on the outcome of fights. Having good favorites is more important, and the amount of tourney prizes used on a warrior cannot be discounted either. If you're trying to choose which tourney class to try and TC, I would advise something lower than Primus or Gateway! -- Generalissimo Puerco Hannibal -- Regarding your question of the week: Does their long experience make the top warriors in Gateway unbeatable? I have no personal experience with Gateway and don't care to get any at this point, but a manager who IS in Gateway says, No, the top warriors in Gateway are not unbeatable. But the critical factors include not only the warrior's abilities but those of the manager. -- Leeta Not a question of the week, but something else you might find interesting. Thank of it as an alternative to all the "How to make a perfect whatever" articles. Jorja -- In dm 12 Riztab you asked me what I'd do with a certain roll-up wich wasn't too good: 12-16-12-3-9-12-6. IF I wanted to actually play this monstrosity of brilliance, then I would do so only for a limited time it depends upon what I can challenge in the arena but let's say there are a lot of poor endurance weaklings, and/or a lot of Scum TP's. Then I would run this guy until I didn't have a descent chance to get my challenges through. There seems to me only one option for this guy: 17-16-12-3-13-12-11 Basher. He has a 50-50 chance to get tremendous damage capability. If he only gets Great Damage then DA him. If he gets his Tremendous damage then what you do is challenge EVERY scum TP you possibly can, and since they are scum TPs they are prime targets for down-challenging. Its not like you are picking on them; they are scum. This guy has a 100% chance to get Good endurance. I would ONLY run a 10 Kill-desire and try to kill things, but perhaps multiple wins over the same warriors is beter than being bloodfeuded by a warrior that can beat you. I would ONLY run with the MAce. You could go ahead and use a HL or a ML for those TP's but at tremendous damage and a MAce you shouldn't get any bounces, and plenty of massive damage statements. Only use a MODERATE OE with a 1 AL starting in minute 3. USE BASH. Minute 1 and 2 go with a scum TP strategy but use response. No armor of course. Now for all other match-ups you go out like the scum you are: APA+F MA+LG (well-suited to the weapons selected), and run a triple-10 trying to get the jump, desperation should mimick your minute 1 strat. Minute 2 onward just drop the AL to LOW and then to VERY LOW. Physicals for this guy are: Good endurance, can sustain a Tremendous amount of damage, can carry a Tremendous amount of weight, can do a Tremendous amount of damage. This kind of warrior is much more fun than a Scum TP. He should beat any TP as long as you follow my guidelines. During random match-ups you will have some definate good chances to kill those weaklings that can't do enough damage to get through the plate and the hit-points. If you don't want to kill then I advise not droping your KD below a 6. The problem is that although you can take a lot of hits like a TP you can't parry any of them. If you can't start swinging sometime in Minute 2 then your chances to win are slim against those random offensive matchups. - - Pagan Question, turn 406: All -- Does having a lot of initiative skills help to steal initiative or is it all riposte skills? Is there a difference between "seeking the counterstrike" and "tries to steal the initiative" or is it the same thing, but a different statement. -- Q.O.W. Answers, turn 407: Hanibal -- QoW: If two warriors are fighting and one has a great deal more init. skills than the other, it is possible for the initiative in the fight to get taken without a riposte. It doesn't happen an awful lot, but it isn't shocking to see it happen. Ex: A friend had a basher that started AE init on the rollup. His first fight he matches against an aimed blow. The aimed blow wins decise, hits him once in the head, and without going desperate or anything, he just starts swinging and beats the poor aimer just like that. You probably know that aimers usually tend to lack init skills, so in that case the difference in total init allowed the basher to just steal it. Even when ripostes are involved, init still plays a role. If you've seen a warrior repeatedly make riposte attempts, only to get attacked again, then its because the defending warrior's init was insufficient to allow him to attack after the riposte. Alternatively, styles like plungers and wastes make fewer attempts to riposte, but their attempts are usually successful because their init is so good. Of course, the strategy a particular warrior is using (as well as the strategy of his opponent) is important in taking and maintaining the initiative too. -- Generalissimo Puerco Q.O.W. -- Those fancy terms that come after a parry or dodge are successful attempts to potentially riposte. Then, once you succeed at getting that fancy line (your riposte vs. their init), you make another check (I think your init vs. your opponent's init) to actually take the initiative from them. This is usually the easiest way to take the initiative from a warrior. Each riposte line is a chance to take it away. An example is how some rippers with low init may attempt to riposte off of every single attack, but they may only steal it after several tries. Sometimes, however, a warrior may actually just straight out steal the initiative. This occurs usually when the one doing the stealing has a very high rating in init and the opponent's rating is low. A good example includes when a lunger gets hit by say an aimed blow, but the very next line is the lunger swinging back. No riposte what-so-ever! This is much rarer. This can also be a function of what offensive effort and activity a warrior is running. Warriors running more slowly can often lose the initiative this way as they just give it up. -- Adie Question, turn 407: All -- Is there a difference in between an Expert and (AE). It appears to me that your (17, 18, 19th) skills don't seem to make a difference until you get that next rating @ 20? -- Q.O.W. Answer next turn, don't have the time to dig it out today! -- Jorja DUELMASTER'S COLUMN Notes from the arena champ. Suppose that I should write a little something for reaching the highest ranking position in this arena. I think that I will stay for a little while as did the fighter from Hellsworn before me.... What was his name again, oh it doesn't matter, and he is a thing of the past now. As reigning Duelmaster I think I will no let it go to my head. I will just be patient and build up the rest of my squad. I have had to experiment and take advice from a great manager, Drake. Guess I owe him quite a bit as to where I am right now. Thank you. All challenges welcome, I don't put people on my avoid list! Orellon Silver-cloak mgr. Xian the Black (Duelmaster) SPY REPORT Thankyouthankyou. It's great for me, The Unknown Spymaster to be back in NOBLISH ISLAND. Hope you enjoy the show. Oh, who am I kidding? I already got paid! Say good-bye to FOLLOWER'S OF XOAN, as they are pushed from the coveted top team spot by the ORDO HERETICUS stable. A stormcloud is brewing over the CANOE CLUB guildhouse. Rumor says any more weeks like this ones 1-3-0 may send the team to the Dark Arena. Coming up with a solid 4-1-0 outing, ORDO HERETICUS has advanced 3 places in the rankings. Hey everybody, watch out for FOAWR, who flew up 17 points in the rankings after mashing SHEVA CALLISTER like a melon. Keep your eye on this guy. And falling like a basher in the top ten was PIER, who dropped 13 points after a disappointing (to say the least) bout with TOBIUS. Well, everybody's pal XIAN THE BLACK moved his record to 7-0-1 by defeating CONVICTED ASSASSIN in the Duelmaster's Title Bout and gaining 10 recognition points. 4 out of 5 gladiators surveyed protect the body, so try and avoid aiming at that location. Here is other news that is of note. Well just about everybody wants a piece of WONGA, who was this week's most challenged warrior. Challenging down 20 points was WONGA. Pretty soon she'll be using two shields and selling 'T.P.: The only way to clean up' pins. Definition of petty: WONGA won victory over BEQUIN, a mismatch of 20 points. Being a spy is great--other people die and you spend the rest of the day drinking to their memory. Better tanked than dead! Remember: alliances are great, but try and take your ally in the arena with you and see what happens. Well, there's the manager of the NOBLISH ISLAND giving me the 'cut' sign (or is that 'They're going to strangle you in the alley?). Okay, so I may not be the world's best comedian, but then you guys aren't the world's best warriors. Its been real, and its been fun, but it hasn't been real fun...-- The Unknown Spymaster DUELMASTER W L K POINTS TEAM NAME XIAN THE BLACK 8353 7 0 1 66 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 TOBIUS 8209 6 1 0 39 ORDO HERETICUS (1420) ADEPTS W L K POINTS TEAM NAME WONGA 8385 4 0 0 39 FOLLOWER'S OF XOAN (1441) -AGASAYA 8355 5 0 0 38 GODS OF WAR (1446) CHALLENGER INITIATES W L K POINTS TEAM NAME -MENTU 8354 3 2 1 32 GODS OF WAR (1446) ARVIN LARN 8289 4 1 1 31 ORDO HERETICUS (1420) JON 8286 5 3 0 28 CANOE CLUB (1434) YOUSEFF 8208 4 3 0 28 ORDO HERETICUS (1420) PIER 8326 5 1 0 27 FOLLOWER'S OF XOAN (1441) GULLET 8207 5 2 0 25 ORDO HERETICUS (1420) INITIATES W L K POINTS TEAM NAME WILDCHILD 8369 3 1 0 22 FOLLOWER'S OF XOAN (1441) URTHON AEDAR 8386 2 1 0 20 INDIGO CIPHER (1445) -RHAPSODY RHYME 8275 3 3 0 19 MARIONETTE PETS (1433) -MORRIGAN 8382 3 1 0 18 GODS OF WAR (1446) FOAWR 8428 1 0 0 17 LADY ROSE FAERYS (1457) -CAMULUS 8358 2 3 1 16 GODS OF WAR (1446) NAVANNA 8407 2 0 0 16 INDIGO CIPHER (1445) -SOLEMN GOLEM 8278 4 2 1 15 MARIONETTE PETS (1433) VERELLE WIST 8412 2 1 0 15 MIDDLE WAY 16 (1454) OBERON 8349 4 2 0 14 INDIGO CIPHER (1445) BEQUIN 8206 2 4 0 14 ORDO HERETICUS (1420) RICK 8284 2 6 0 13 CANOE CLUB (1434) LIONHEART 8288 2 6 0 12 CANOE CLUB (1434) YAREON ZED 8413 2 1 0 12 MIDDLE WAY 16 (1454) LADY OF THE LAKE 8427 1 0 1 11 LADY ROSE FAERYS (1457) -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) NYBBAS 8399 1 0 0 10 ANGEL HUNTERS (1452) ROEKFORT SIMS 8410 2 1 0 9 MIDDLE WAY 16 (1454) ROLNANDO 8359 2 3 0 9 CANOE CLUB (1434) PARLEN QUIR 8409 1 2 0 8 MIDDLE WAY 16 (1454) -ENYALIUS 8425 1 0 0 8 GODS OF WAR (1446) ANKOU 8429 1 0 0 6 LADY ROSE FAERYS (1457) TILLISE ULAM 8411 1 2 0 5 MIDDLE WAY 16 (1454) TAMARA 8423 1 0 0 5 CLAN GHOST BEARS (1456) VERDELIT 8401 1 0 0 5 ANGEL HUNTERS (1452) -VENGENCE SWORN 8361 1 1 0 4 MARIONETTE PETS (1433) SHEVA CALLISTER 8408 1 1 0 4 INDIGO CIPHER (1445) FAIRUZA 8420 1 0 0 4 CLAN GHOST BEARS (1456) VANIC IRONSHAND 8424 0 2 0 2 FOLLOWER'S OF XOAN (1441) ORNIAS 8400 0 1 0 1 ANGEL HUNTERS (1452) LOCKENLOAD 8419 0 1 0 1 CLAN GHOST BEARS (1456) XANUS 8426 0 1 0 1 LADY ROSE FAERYS (1457) -I AM DUCK 8388 0 1 0 1 U B DEAD (1450) ASMODAY 8397 0 1 0 1 ANGEL HUNTERS (1452) -NO BRAINER 8387 0 1 0 1 U B DEAD (1450) BERNIE 8422 0 1 0 1 CLAN GHOST BEARS (1456) BEAN SI 8430 0 1 0 1 LADY ROSE FAERYS (1457) -BRAIN KILLER 8389 0 1 0 1 U B DEAD (1450) BUNSON 8421 0 1 0 1 CLAN GHOST BEARS (1456) '-' denotes a warrior who did not fight this turn. THE DEAD W L K TEAM NAME SLAIN BY TURN Revenge? MASTEMA 8398 0 1 0 ANGEL HUNTERS 1452 LADY OF THE LAKE 8427 222 GRIMJAW 8343 2 3 0 CANOE CLUB 1434 MENTU 8354 220 VECTOR 8370 1 3 0 FOLLOWER'S OF XO 1441 DARK CHAMPION 24 222 NONE PERSONAL ADS Jorja -- Well, I certainly wasn't so focused as you were. However, pretty much every team I build for my first 5 years always had at least one TP, WS and ST. The other two warriors usually varied between PS, AB, BA & SL; but TP, WS & ST were my main standbys. You know, your story reminds me of an old team from the late 80's/early 90's from Cliffhome: Every single warrior on the team Pentaclone was made into an Aimed Blow. Even all the replacement warriors. As I recall, they had a team W/L somewhere in the 20-30% range. I guess there is such a thing as being a bit too focused. ;-) -- Drake 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: 'The Effects of Coordination' by Sir Jessie Jest -- This article is pretty accurate for as old as it is. A couple of additional notes I have are that if you've gotten the substatement "with the ability to use a weapon in each hand", it seems to lower the Deftness requirements for using certain weapons in your off-hand; also, highly coordinated warriors may get knocked down less often than clumsy; finally it seems to play some part in how likely your warrior is to hit their chosen attack location. That said, however, I don't worry too much about coordination in warrior design. Other factors (like Damage Doing/Taking, Learning Rates (skill & stat) and Endurance are far more important. 'The Basic Ripper' by Cadmus -- I'd avoid running a Very Frail PR, and I'm not so sure about his pseudo-lunger strategy. I've heard that advice for PRs before, and I've never gotten it to work (except when someone else challenged my PR expecting him to be running slow). I've been more successful running them slow to start and gradually getting more offensive in minutes 3 or 4 as a general strategy. This probably is due to what their likely favorites are. Offensive Effort: 3-4 is most likely, then 5-6 and 1-2. Activity Levels: 5-6, 3-4 then 1-2. Their most common favorite weapons are: EP, SS then SC. 'Stimpy's Thoughts on Total Parries II' by Stimpy -- A pretty straight-forward TP article. Unlike most, it favors the classic TP strategy of waiting for your opponent to wear themselves out, then beat them up. It's hard to go wrong with that. Most commonly, their favorite Offensive Effort is 1-2, 3-4 then 5-6. Their most common favorite Activity Levels are 3-4, 1-2 then 5-6. One little trick I use if someone starts hunting my TPs is to up their OFFENSIVE EFFORT and KILL DESIRE (at least in desperation) a few points on their 'If Challenged strategy', as many managers slow their warriors down when challenging a TP. This way you can occasionally catch them napping and jump or riposte them. 'MORE ADVICE FOR BEGINNERS' by The Arcane Kid -- One thing I really like about this article is it's design philosophy starts with the Stats, not the Style of the warrior. This is an important way of looking at warrior design that gets mentioned in far too few articles. That said, I have a few comments. Primus-bound warriors are really dependent upon 2 things and neither of them is starting stats. The first is Style, which you can control. Basically, you want one of the 4 "Power Styles" - AB, LU, PL, WS. the second is Luck, which you have no control over. You want a warrior with at least 2 of the following: high bonuses in both Attack and Defense, a good favorite weapon (LO, SC, BS, BA, EP or maybe HL) or a favorite rhythm in the 7- 10 range for both OFFENSIVE EFFORT and ACTIVITY LEVEL (the only way for an AB or WS to get this is with certain tourney prizes). Another thing is that I used to be part of the 'a high DF is mandatory' club, but I don't sweat it so much anymore. Once you've maxed out skills, your DF will go up through stat training. Technically, so will your Wit and Will, but as Wit controls how long it takes to max out skills and Will controls how easy it is to raise stats, I generally like them both to be 15+ (heavy on the '+'). The play and warrior evaluation tips are solid, I'd just add that if you're willing to be a bit cheesy, DA that Killer Mutant as soon as it gets a kill. That way you avoid the Bloodfeud, but a lot of managers consider that to be a somewhat slimy tactic. 'Favorite Weapons' by Abe -- Finding your favorite weapon requires a fair amount of attention and record keeping. Here's what I do to try and find favorites: 1. I track the following events - Number of Attacks (#A); Number of Successful Attacks (#SA) which is #A minus any wild, flailing, exhausted, etc swings; Number of Crit Attacks (#CA) = very fancy attack descriptors like ""twists into a tremendous cutting attack"", ""thrusts with unbelievably deadly force"", ""brings his weapon hurtling down from overhead"", and so on; Number of Hits (#H) = the number of attacks that do damage; Number of Extra Damage Hits (#ED) = extra damage statements like "spectators cringe at the horrific power of the blow"; and Number of Knock Downs (#KD) = the number of times a foe is knocked down in a fight. 2. From these numbers I figure out Accuracy Percentage (A%) = #SA divided by (/) #A; Crit Attack Percentage (CA%) = #CA / #A; Extra Damage Percentage (ED%) = #ED / #H; and Knock Down Percentage (KD%) = #KD / #H. 3. Track this over several fights with many different weapons. Compare the results between the different weapons. If you see a weapon that performs significantly higher (say twice or more) than other weapons in the same categories, it's a good bet it's your favorite. For example, one of my warriors throws Critical Attacks about 9 to 10% with most weapons, but 20% with the short sword. This makes the SH a good candidate for a favorite weapon. 4. Some additional things to keep in mind - Big weapons (ML, HL, GS, etc) do extra damage often, so you'll want to compare ED% between like-sized weapons. Comparing your ED% with a Maul to an Epee doesn't really tell you much (unless the EP is throwing as much ED as that ML). Keep in mind how much your attack skill has improved when using a new weapon. If you've learned 6 attack skills in the last 5 fights, you're going to be doing significantly better with the Quarterstaff you've never tried before than you did with the Scimitar you tried 5 fights ago simply because your warrior is better. Something to keep in mind: Your favorite weapon will *always* be well suited to your style, but might not be well suited to your stats. So, being 1 or 2 points shy on the stat requirements for a weapon is not a good reason to never use that weapon. If you have a 7 STR, go ahead and try the scimitar. If you use it two-handed (don't carry an off-hand weapon), the 2-handed use bonus will override or cancel out most of your penalties. Also, if it's your favorite, you'll go way above any penalties. Personally, I won't go more than two points below a weapon's requirements in any 1 stat. Beyond that point, I feel the penalties will skew your results too much. Also, you're always well-suited to your favorite weapon when you get to ADM. 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 email@example.com or you can find me on the Duel2 website posting under the name Drake; who'da guessed) Tillise Ulam -- Congrats on the recent bout. As to your question about my beefiness, let's just say there's a shortage of cows from where I hail. -- Arvin Larn Mentu -- Nice job that last go around. Congrats on the skill increase. Try staying away from the hair next time. -- Gullet Wonga -- Great Beard of Zeus that hurt, good job though. My manager will be sending you the bill to replace everything you broke. -- Tobius All -- Could someone end my life before I'm sent to the Dark Arena. -- Bequin Bequin -- Quit your belly aching. Your ticket's already been brought. Now stow your gear and git already. -- Eisenhorn Arvin Larn -- Heck. Jorja wants me to tell you "well done," but *I* didn't think it was well done. That HURT. Also, I lost, and I don't like that. -- Tillise Ulam P.S. And I can't go dancing tonight, that's for sure! I never did like embezzlers. -- Parlen Quir Urthon Aedar -- You HAVE? Where do you bathe? I want to avoid that tub. -- Roekfort Sims P.S. You might try a broadsword or something. Or train the relevant stat. Hope U Die -- That is a very unkind thing to say. Even golems can be programmed for courtesy, you know. -- Yareon Zed P.S. Try a scimitar, no offhand weapon. It might work better for you. Not that *I* want you to do better, but Jorja insists I comment. No Brainer -- And it shows. Drop the offhand, change the primary to, hmm, lots of things given your style. A shortspear might be good. Assuming you can move at all, loaded down with spares like that. I'll tell you a secret, you might draw one backup in the course of a novice fight like this, but not two or three. You're just wasting your strength with all that extra stuff. -- Verelle Wist Arvin Larn -- No, I did NOT care for that rematch. Ouch. -- Tillise Ulam P.S. You ARE training skills, aren't you? Because you won't show any learned if you're trying to raise a stat. Jorja -- I see that your new Middle Way team has started off with a bang! Please accept my apologies for handily defeating Roekfort Sims. Almost sounds like a shoe. Hopefully the rest of your team can do a little better. Looking forward to the competition and advice that you can lend to me. -- Orellon Silver-cloak mg. Indigo Cipher All -- My first kill was a standby, and he will probably fight again. Go figure! -- Xian the Black (Indigo Cipher) Brain Killer -- I am fairly new at this game but, your style is supposed to strike hard and fast. You didn't even move. I guess you took your lickings like a man. Sorry. You may want to raise your offensive effort higher to attempt to out jump people. -- Sheva Callister (Indigo Cipher) P.S. Sorry to embarrass you in from of your family.... I Am Duck -- You fought well, I fought better. I must say I was impressed completely with how well you attacked and I parried your blows effortlessly. Hope to see you again on the sands. -- Navanna (Indigo Cipher) P.S. Try less armor and more activity if you want to see better results. I just got the better on this particular day, doesn't mean my style is better than yours. P.P.S. You should pick different names. I had to laugh that I was fighting Howard the Duck or Darkwing Duck. Maybe Donald.... Agasaya -- I must give credit where credit is due. You defeated me, and you did it quickly and with style. Today was your day. We will see what tomorrow will bring to you and I. Until then I bow my head slightly and give passage to you. I never thought my first loss would come at the hands of a _________________, bet you thought I was gonna blow you up huh? I play fair. -- Oberon (Indigo Cipher) All -- My fighters do not believe in avoids. I wish that others were also like that. I hope that all fighters can come to the realization that you cannot run forever. -- Orellon Silver-cloak, mgr. Indigo Cipher Please have someone from the "Outsiders" contact me as soon as you can. Possibly to set up snail mail or diplo me here. I am interested in your group and I am looking to see what there is to offer. -- Orellon Silver-cloak mgr. Indigo Cipher 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks. 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 14 November 2006 A Tale of Fusion Confusion Delusion Revolution as told by Hammer the WordSmith SomeWhere Beyond ElseWhere and ElseWhen a hooded figure brooded upon the lingering wisps of memory from days gone by. From the howling sands to the sanding howls the streams of thought bubbled and flowed, winding endlessly entwined within the darkest recesses and lightest resources of the learned and unlearned disciplines of managerial mayhem and manipulation. Nameless faces and faceless names floated in the swirling mists of madness embalmed within the memories of one who knew he did not know how far reaching the influences [both positive and negative] had rooted and flowered in the march of time and energy expended in the historical markings of gladiatorial essence and excellence experience. The tamed and the untamed coupled with the named and the unnamed resources that spilt their sweat and blood on the sands of arenas both known and unknown had metamorphosed into the dreamings and the schemings of the fadings of jadings and paradings [in both public and private] amongst the elite and the indiscreet posturings and babblings of managers becoming legends in their own minds and times. Hammer pondered upon beginnings and the seemingly endless myriad of endings possibly possible among the interspersed and intertwined impossible possibilities presently past and future. Echoing and reechoing in the vast depths and countless compartments along the corridors of his mind, Hammer played and replayed the glories shared and dared in the sixty-plus stabled arena on fabled Noblish Island DM 93. The training had been all too brief, but the competition generated by the multi faceted personages inhabiting DM 93 and the sheer multitude of numbers had forever instilled themselves in the heart and soul of the veteran manager [Hammer]; insomuch that the migration to Niatoli Island DM 33 triggered the desire to emulate the glory and the grandeur of the spectacle of stables vying for recognition from among the virtually numberless no-name newbies making names for themselves as they numbered their stables and accomplishments for all to see and behold, to the song and the sound of the sight of clashing cold cruel steel simmering the flesh of gallant gladiators consumed by the gory and the glory of crossing blades with the superior and the inferior within the interior of Greywand's Global Gladiatorial Galaxy. Far far ago and long long away had many abandoned hope for a return to the reminiscences revered by so many managers; predating even the generations of gladiators graduating from Noblish Island and the years of yore and gore and gallantry before. Rumblings and mumblings of a renovation rejuvenating the reflexes of managers numbed by the numberless trysts of tourney tarnished stables began revolutionizing the very fabric of time and space and time-honored tradition throughout the ranks of visionary newbies and volatile veterans alike and dislike. History was being shaken to the core of the gore as glory and grandeur responded to the revelry reverie revelations and reveille revolutionizing the creation of a new arena in the making; populated by No-Tourney Warriors and Full Stable Participants pledging to forge a new vision version of "The Fiercest and Best" for crossing blades and crosser banter in the personal ads and team spotlight tomes. Now was the time for Hammer to emerge and once again merge his talent among the gifted and grifted; answering the call to assemble the drifted [and to directly divulge and converge with the dozens] for the destiny of destructive denizens determined to build a new legacy upon the all-but-forgotten ashes of the old and olden legends of times lost. [TIME JUMP] Hammer sifted the sands in the dead of night in the desert reaches [located SomeWhere BeYond ElseWhere and ElseWhen] to discover 5 gladiators not tourney worthy, yet interesting enough to begin their careers in a No-Tourney Arena! "They need not be dispatched to the Dark Arena," the veteran manager mused as he sorted through paperwork long discarded and vaguely forgotten, "because there is nothing like a good Blood Feud to provide inspiration for writing personal ads in the arena newsletter! Besides, there are times when the replacement for a warrior wounded mortally on the arena sands fares much better than the one exchanged from Torch Light!" Fights by Torch Light were certainly deemed unnecessary as Hammer had already deduced that a number of determined stables would undoubtedly congregate with High Octane Warriors under the guidance of Higher Octane Managers to populate and depopulate the new No-Tourney Arena currently under construction in DM 81. Fortunately his feeble foray into the desert would yield somewhat suitable candidates for the newfound purposes Hammer had in mind. From among the candidates to be found Hammer would be rewarded in time by BLOODFEUDS and REPLACEMENT WARRIORS aplenty! Deep into the night Hammer searched and searched until five not-so-promising stables were uncovered in the waning hours before dawn. Ripper discards were scattered far and wide, but this was not the time or the hour to let sentimental views cloud the issue at hand. Future events would lend themselves to a suitable Ripper replacement, especially with the prospects Hammer was now sorting for his selection decision to dispatch to the Gladiatorial Commission for processing. Most managers have the luxury of selecting the best group [or discarding the worst group!] Hammer had the novelty of rounding up the castaways from the New Stables paperwork accumulated long ago from Maximillian's Morya Madness contest in DM 28 that were deemed below inferior as contest prizes [and thus banished from sight!] Hammer scrutinized and agonized over which group of gladiators were worth the sacks of gold coins he was prepared to release to the Gladiatorial Commission for fees to MAINTENANCE his new stable in the No-Tourney Arena. After what seemed like long hours passing by, Hammer discarded one and then another group of hopefuls. After lengthy debate a third was cast aside. Deciding between the final two groups found Hammer going back to interview the rejected candidates time and time again [until a final decision was made that Hammer could live with and his new stable could die with!] before the final quirks were hammered out and pen put to paper to process the prospective puny stable with the Gladiatorial Commission. The only solace gained from the painful process was the knowledge that other managers would be less tempted to run stables in DM 81 populated by their tourney- worthy warriors [under the penalty of death imposed and enforced upon tourney experienced gladiators by the Committee being formed to police and regulate such matters!] as sworn to and signed in good faith by each registering manager. [TIME JUMP] Hammer had worked long and hard to find suitable candidates for his stable and now it was time to begin their training. The paperwork had been dispatched for registration with the Gladiatorial Commission and now was the hour in which preparation was paramount! Dispatch riders had arrived with the news that Considerable Bounty was being offered as incentive rewards to those managers sending new stables to the No-Tourney Arena. Hammer realized this would Up the Ante [causing greater pause in the managerial community for selecting suitable stables!] as the creative competition was certain to escalate and produce Serious Sword Slinging Stables Staining the Arena Sands Red! Obviously a serious upgrade in the quality of competition migrating to the No- Tourney Arena in DM 81 would definitely work in favor of Hammer; enormously increasing the death toll percentage potential amongst the ranks of his new start-up stable in DM 81 [Sands Running Red and Blood Feuds Running Rampant as Undoubtedly Expected!] Hammer observed the futility of his new warriors training [as well as they could for what they were made from!] while recent memories came to the forefront of his mind! When the paperwork was nearly completed and names were selected for each Gladiator, Hammer decided to name the stable according to what he had discovered in the darkness while searching during the dismal hours of the desert night. These warriors would probably be more well suited to fight by Torch Light had they fallen into the possession of most other managers! Paper Warriors better suited to confronting Dark Arena Monsters [rather than being fed to the Gladiatorial Lions certain to be populating the regular No-Tourney Arena!] Specimens blatantly better suited for feeding upon agitated armadillo ants than for striving to attain recognition and fame in the No-Tourney Arena [or any arena!] Thus was AARDVARK HAMMERZ birthed and born for Greatness or Disgrace! [TIME JUMP] Dispatch riders on winged steeds brought the news Hammer had been awaiting! Not since the days of training on Noblish Island in DM 93 had Hammer encountered such collective enthusiasm for crossing blades in a selected arena such as DM 81 [recalling the time Hammer generated a gathering of newbies to transfer to Niatoli Island in DM 33 to match wits and cross blades with the assembling veterans upon graduation!] The Consortium had represented the veterans well in DM 33 with the SWEETNESS stable managed by Sweety Pie. Now the good news had arrived that The Consortium was seen registering a stable named LIFE IMPACTS in the No-Tourney Arena! Former alliance mates Darque and Kat had reportedly registered DARQUE AGES and KATHOUSE with the Gladiatorial Commission. Morya Madness combatant LePentarque from DM 28 had registered LA PENTARCHIE and longtime fixture Drake in North Fork DM 47 [recently returned from a lengthy hiatus] had been lured by the competition to register DRAKE'S HARDWARE. Deke [at the helm of DOC LEGRAND'S LAB] was instrumental in promoting the No- Tourney Arena by repeatedly negotiating terms with the Gladiatorial Commission. Others had laid the groundwork before him, but Deke raised the banner and carried it the final distance [Supported by Countless Managers too numerous to mention!] Salute Yourselves for Your Efforts are Most Graciously Applauded throughout Alastari! Apex had signed in with CAROLINA BLUE as had Ghab with ASSASSIN NATION. Another familiar name was found on the rolls as DeGotti registered CULT OF BACCHUS followed by DOOM KNIGHTS managed by Blackstorm. Also on the rolls to be noted were AS SEEN ON TV II managed by Indimar and RAGNAROK'S WOLVES by none other than ragnorokwolf. Nomad had signed on with PHANTOM REGIMENT and Silas followed suit with GRIFFONRAWL MMA. Another notable signature was that of MasterBeru with CHILDHOOD HEROES and a penchant for scribing Team Spotlights [A Plus in Any Arena!] Detective Kellumbo had followed the clues and was observed enroute to registering a yet unannounced stable [such are the ways of sleuthhounds and such!] Rumor had it that the manager known as Roadkill was on his way to register a stable after his namesake and Slugbait was close behind [obliviously lost in thought!] Finally [in no particular disorder!] managers Grimm, Woody, Terminator, Den and Bill were also seen elbowing their way through the gathering registration crowd to officially announce their participation in the No-Tourney Arena. COUNTLESS OTHER MANAGERS were known to be pondering the consequences of sending stables to a No-Tourney Arena and had yet to make the commitment public knowledge as to their intentions. Howbeit the Gladiatorial Commission was reportedly swamped with requests for New Stable Registration Forms [whether for the Tempe Facer or No-Tourney Arena was anybody's guess at the present time!] Judging from the furtive figures darting and ducking in the shadows and alleyways throughout Alastari [as well as those huddled in taverns or communicating with one another by various means available!] the success of such a No-Tourney Arena was Ballooning far Beyond the Expectations of the Promoters and Petitioners Bar None! HAMMER WAS UNDERSTANDABLY ENTHUSED BEYOND MEASURE BECAUSE the No-Tourney Arena had the Best Potential for attracting and assembling a congregation of competitors rivaling the numbers of Noblish Island from days gone by! JANUARY 2007 MARKS THE BEGINNING of a Journey where both Newbies and Veterans join together in a Historic Assemblage Celebrating the Crossing of Blades between some of the Best Managed Stables in all of Alastari [Known and Unknown!] "May Your Blades Be Sharp and Your Wits Sharper" Hammer Minister of War LAST WEEK'S FIGHTS VECTOR was dealt death by DARK CHAMPION in a 1 minute Dark Arena fight. TOBIUS outwaited PIER in a monotonous 17 minute Challenge duel. WONGA handily defeated BEQUIN in a 1 minute one-sided Challenge match. LIONHEART was vanquished by ARVIN LARN in a 1 minute mismatched Challenge brawl. NAVANNA narrowly defeated PARLEN QUIR in a 3 minute novice's Challenge fight. ROLNANDO was bested by YAREON ZED in a 1 minute beginner's Challenge brawl. XIAN THE BLACK narrowly defeated CONVICTED ASSASSIN in a 1 minute Title struggle. YOUSEFF bested RICK in a 2 minute competition. WILDCHILD was overpowered by DANGEROUS CRIMINAL in a 1 minute uneven melee. JON vanquished TILLISE ULAM in a 1 minute uneven duel. GULLET savagely defeated OBERON in a action packed 1 minute gory duel. URTHON AEDAR defeated BUNSON in a popular 1 minute beginner's match. VANIC IRONSHAND was defeated by ANKOU in a 2 minute novice's match. VERELLE WIST devastated BERNIE in a 1 minute mismatched conflict. ROEKFORT SIMS subdued ASMODAY in a 2 minute gory amateur's match. SHEVA CALLISTER was handily defeated by FOAWR in a 1 minute one-sided conflict. VERDELIT unbelievably bested LOCKENLOAD in a 3 minute gruesome amateur's bout. ORNIAS was outwaited by FAIRUZA in a 10 minute amateur's bout. NYBBAS devastated BEAN SI in a 1 minute one-sided brawl. MASTEMA was executed by LADY OF THE LAKE in a 1 minute one-sided match. TAMARA luckily beat XANUS in a 2 minute novice's match. BATTLE REPORT MOST POPULAR RECORD DURING THE LAST 10 TURNS |FIGHTING STYLE FIGHTS FIGHTING STYLE W - L - K PERCENT| |LUNGING ATTACK 8 SLASHING ATTACK 29 - 16 - 3 64 | |TOTAL PARRY 5 TOTAL PARRY 28 - 21 - 1 57 | |WALL OF STEEL 5 BASHING ATTACK 32 - 27 - 4 54 | |STRIKING ATTACK 4 STRIKING ATTACK 21 - 19 - 1 53 | |AIMED BLOW 3 WALL OF STEEL 7 - 8 - 0 47 | |BASHING ATTACK 3 AIMED BLOW 14 - 16 - 1 47 | |PARRY-STRIKE 3 LUNGING ATTACK 31 - 37 - 3 46 | |PARRY-RIPOSTE 3 PARRY-STRIKE 12 - 16 - 1 43 | |SLASHING ATTACK 3 PARRY-LUNGE 4 - 10 - 0 29 | |PARRY-LUNGE 2 PARRY-RIPOSTE 9 - 23 - 0 28 | Turn 222 was great if you Not so great if you used The fighting styles of the used the fighting styles: the fighting styles: top eleven warriors are: AIMED BLOW 2 - 1 LUNGING ATTACK 3 - 5 4 LUNGING ATTACK BASHING ATTACK 2 - 1 PARRY-STRIKE 1 - 2 2 TOTAL PARRY TOTAL PARRY 3 - 2 PARRY-RIPOSTE 1 - 2 2 AIMED BLOW WALL OF STEEL 3 - 2 SLASHING ATTACK 1 - 2 1 PARRY-STRIKE PARRY-LUNGE 1 - 1 1 BASHING ATTACK STRIKING ATTACK 2 - 2 1 STRIKING ATTACK TOP WARRIOR OF EACH STYLE FIGHTING STYLE WARRIOR W L K PNTS TEAM NAME PARRY-STRIKE XIAN THE BLACK 8353 7 0 1 66 INDIGO CIPHER (1445) TOTAL PARRY TOBIUS 8209 6 1 0 39 ORDO HERETICUS (1420) AIMED BLOW WONGA 8385 4 0 0 39 FOLLOWER'S OF XOAN (1441) Note: Warriors have a winning record and are an Adept or Above. The overall popularity leader is YOUSEFF 8208. The most popular warrior this turn was PARLEN QUIR 8409. The ten other most popular fighters were XIAN THE BLACK 8353, GULLET 8207, URTHON AEDAR 8386, LOCKENLOAD 8419, ORNIAS 8400, WONGA 8385, YAREON ZED 8413, YOUSEFF 8208, ROEKFORT SIMS 8410, and XANUS 8426. The least popular fighter this week was TOBIUS 8209. The other ten least popular fighters were PIER 8326, FAIRUZA 8420, MASTEMA 8398, BEAN SI 8430, SHEVA CALLISTER 8408, BERNIE 8422, BUNSON 8421, OBERON 8349, TILLISE ULAM 8411, and WILDCHILD 8369. TRICKS OF THE TRADE Here are a few tricks of the trade I've found out. 15, 17, and 21. Those are the magic numbers for stats; any fighter who starts with a stat (except Con and Size) at any of those numbers will have more beginning skills than normal. Stats: The stats in order of importance with regard to skills, most to least, are wit, will, deftness, speed, and strength, with con giving you no skills, just hit points and endurance. The higher you can start any of these, especially the first three, the more skilled your fighter will be. Logically, therefore, what you really want is a fighter who has wit, will, and deftness at 21. This will be a GOD! And probably go out and get killed immediately due to low con... Raising stats: Care must be taken in doing this. All fighters start out with the ability to learn 20 skills in the categories of Defense, Parry, Riposte, Attack, Decisiveness, and Inititive. When you learn all 120 skills, you've maxed out. You can get skills though normal learns, or by raising stats; however, if you raise stats BEFORE you max out (except for Con), anything gained will count as one of the 20. This is called "burning" skills. If, on the other hand, you wait until you've maxed out, then raising stats will add those skills to the ones you've learned, enabling you to exceed your limits. But raising stats will give an immediate boost to your abilities. It's a question of short term vs. long term gain, you see. And aiming at vital areas - head, chest, and abdomen - will increase your chances of getting kills. And being bloodfeuded, and maybe getting your fighter killed in return. Keep in mind that what you send forth will come back to you. Sometimes redoubled. Roku Warrior Handedness, is he a Righty, Lefty or Ambi? Greetings, Joy and Happiness to everyone!!!! I hope everyone that reads this article is doing well and remembering not to drink and duel. This article discusses things about the handedness of a warrior. Most managers only worry about things like skill, weapons and trains. Handedness is not a major factor in playing the game but it's nice to know some things about it. Most warriors will be right handed, with a small percentage left handed. Even more scarce is the ambidextrous warrior. I believe that the defensive styles have a higher percentage chance to be a lefty or an AMBI than offensive styles do. It's just an observation that I made in the 513 warriors surveyed. Another note on that, I notice that out of 211 parry-ripostes that I was using for a PR article, about 43% of them were AMBIs. The highest percent of AMBIs out of all the styles polled. When a manager puts weapons into his warriors hands and also when he tells his warrior where to strike, handedness plays a key role in the manager's decision making. I had a team with 4 AMBIs on it, and I started to do some experiments with them to see how the AMBI thing worked. I noticed that in general the AMBI favors using the left hand more than the right hand. But, there are a small percentage of AMBI warriors that are reversed, where the right hand is used more than the left. There also seems to be some confusion amongst managers that get the USE of a hand mixed up with which hand the weapons go in (IE which is primary and which is off- hand). Right handed warriors USE the RIGHT hand the most and the primary weapon is the RIGHT hand, off hand is the left hand. For left-handed warriors, it is the opposite of right-handed warriors, of course. The confusion comes with the AMBI handed warriors. AMBIs USE the left hand more BUT the RIGHT hand holds the primary weapon, and the left hand holds the off hand weapon. Every so often you will get an AMBI that this is reversed, where the RIGHT hand is USED more and the PRIMARY weapon is held in the LEFT hand. But this kind of ambi is extremely rare. Well, that's it for now. Have fun, and watch out for that right hook... 'cause it might be a left hook!!!!! For more DM info, or just to chat you can DIPLO me at ADM 103, THE JOKER'S WILD. You can also email me at email@example.com or visit my DM web site at the following address: http://ourworld.compuserve.com./homepages/jessiejest/homepage.htm Ta-Ta, Sir Jessie Jest The Arcane Slasher I love the Slashing Style! Slashers are finesse artists, but they're much more aggressive than your aimed-blow. Well-designed slashers are formidable opponents; they are as ready to defend as to attack, though they prefer the latter. Fate has been to kind to this style, perhaps too kind. Even a badly-designed slasher may do well in basic, prompting many well-intentioned managers to promote questionable set- ups as "the slasher ideal." After reading another `Eureka!' article, I am compelled to add my 2 cents. I've learned how to design great slashers, and I'd like to pass on my ideas to the rest of Alastari. I can't tell you how to keep them alive (in four years I've only gotten one to ADM) but I can outline guidelines for creating a spooky character that will win for you--until they die or get to ADM. Just remember that decent opportunities to make a slasher aren't very common! WT, WL, & DF--15 pts each at least. Period. If you don't have it, you don't have a great slasher. Believe me, you can't afford to skimp anything here! ST--Anything from 7-11 is fine. The smaller the character the higher the number, but anything with a +9 size can get by with a 7 ST. For light armor use an epee, for anything heavier use a pair of hatchets, a scimitar, or a broadsword, depending on ST. CN & SP--Ideally, both are single-digit; if your con is high you're probably looking at a WASTE. Whatever else you do, don't add them. SZ--Since this is something we can't change anyway, don't worry about it. The bigger they are the less points to spread around to other areas, though. My slashers come up with the best overviews when I follow these guidelines. Most earn at least four wit statements; about 50% either start out with an Expert or two, or they pick them up within a couple of skills. One of my very best died in a tourney: 6-3-11-15-51-11-17. He started out doing good damage; picked up Experts in att, init, def, and rip. in two skills or less. This is an extreme example, but it seems to me that the well-designed slasher gets more than their fair share of luck on their overview. I've run one a lot worse that did fairly well--a winning record, until he was killed by a veteran lunger: 11-7-14-15-15-7-15, good bases in attack and init, four wit statements, great damage. Running them? Start out with an offensive effort of 10, and never let the OE drop below 7. How quick you taper down depends on the endurance rating. Slashers burn endurance very quickly; if you don't have good endurance drop right away from 10 to 7 and leave it there unless desperate, then go back to 10. Otherwise try 10, then 9, then 7. Remember, these are aggressive beasts; keep 'em on the offensive! Keep the activity level fairly low except in the very beginning, when you should be running 10. Then drop to 5 or 6, then 3 or 4m then 1. Go back up to 7 or 10 in desperation. Match your kill desire to your offensive effort, always. Summary: 10-10-10, 9-5-9*, 7-3-7, 7-1-7 across. Desperation: 10-10-10 or 10-7- 10. Avoid armor unless you MUST, but no higher than ARM and H. Don't use tactics--they seem to inhibit the slasher's ability to riposte and respond well to their opponent. Exception: to take out scum pick the heaviest weapon your character can lift and use the slash tactic--go for the legs or the arms: 7-1-7. Slash all the way! These `rules' have worked for me. The biggest problem I've had is that my slashers rise too high too quickly. Within five or six fights they're fighting warriors with 15 fights' experience. So be forewarned; give them sometime off every few turns so that they won't get clobbered by some old-timer looking for an easy win! Good Luck! The Arcane Kid, of Astral Kin, Osksi DM-3 *Remember, with `good' endurance only! "The Basher" My friends would laugh if they knew I was writing this, but who cares what they think? The basher is not a bad style in my opinion. It starts with the same base decisiveness as the striker, but has 4-5 more skills in initiative, and 3-4 more skills in att. That's what makes this style so good. I mean, you have the ability to get the jump on your opponent, you have the ability to hit your opponent, and who cares about their high riposte with your high att rating combined with your exp+ in initiative, they won't know what train hit them, much less think about the counter attack. O.K. I only make two types 1st the WL Basher: #1 #2 12 13 10 11 10 9 21 16 15 15 9 13 7 7 Example #1--Currently 8-3-1 in Firehold (68) has Master+1 att, Master +1 init., and Adv.Exp. dec., and is already sitting pretty with 80 recognition points. Example #2--Currently 8-3-0 in Jhans (36) has Exp.+3 att, Adv.Exp. init., and Exp+3 dec. with 87 recognition points. O.K., the other kind I like to call it the "High damage, low will, needs to end the fight before he passes out with exhaustion" Basher. This type of basher relies on his high damage capabilities to make up for his low WL. I've not had the best of luck with these types of bashers, but I do know they can win (Warbeast has proved that to me). The key is to get at least great damage on the roll-up. O.K. some examples: #1 #2 #3 11 13 17 11 9 12 16 17 10 17 17 17 7 10 11 11 11 10 11 7 7 Example #1--I DA'ed, he didn't win Example #2--Killed in round 1 of the winter FTF, went 4-3 in the Oct. Tournament, learned 6 skills 5 being Att. Example #3-1-0 in Jhans(36) I run both styles ALE +L, WH light armor, mace medium armor, and WH heavy armor. Go 10-10-7 dec 1st minute, and after min 1, go 8-8-5. WL basher, and the other kind drop down drastically. Always aim for the head (it gets you an att bonus and could score you a kill every now and then) unless you know you're gonna be up against a TP or waste, then aim for a leg. Well that's gonna be it. Somebody write me and tell me what you think. Uncle Charlie Mgr. Genocide (68) Helter Skelter (36, 100) The Anti-Thesis Slasher Greetings all. No, this is definitely not another "Perfect" article. In fact, it actually is just the opposite--finding success with a warrior whose stats were just average. I am not an expert at this game and do not have near the experience that some managers have. What I do have is some now solid experience with Slashers thanks to this guy. So what I will do with this article is show you how my first attempt at building a Slasher went, what it taught me, and maybe I can show a new or old manager something about the style that can help their game. This Slasher was my first attempt at the style. His starting stats were average at 13-11-12-10-16-11-11. Definitely no Primus-quality warrior. By most people's standards, he wouldn't have even been thought of as an ADM warrior because of his low wit and will combo. Today, I don't know if I would even keep this guy, but at the time I didn't know any better and kept him. I'm glad I did because he turned out to be a good warrior, not great, but good and a fun one to watch. He had three statements to start: "...learned how to be decisive and quick", "...conserve his endurance past what might normally be expected", and "does great damage". The last statement I think helped him a lot in many of his fights. Weapons and Armor Weapons-wise, all I knew about the Slashing style at the time was that a scimitar was good, so I gave him one. He did well with it, so I kept using it. I didn't use any off-hand weapon because I knew that an offensive-styled warrior could make quicker attacks with a weapon using two hands. I gave him one back-up scimitar, knowing that scimitars break though not that often. Early on, I may have given him light armor and a helm, but later I discovered that if he didn't get the first hit, he almost had no hope of winning. After all, the credo of an offensive warrior is to "hit first, hit hard" and hope it ends the fight quickly. I also started to realize he would never be a "great" warrior. My philosophy changed and I could only hope to get him to ADM. So, I decided to use no armor or helm, which slows warriors down. Strategy: Ah, the most important part of this warrior's winning ways. Looking back at his early strategy, I wonder how he did so well. I started him going 10-10-10, attack and protect the head with no tactics. My desperation strategy was usually 10-10-5, which did nothing to help him. I used the decisiveness tactic since his overview said he was decisive. Through observing his fights and looking at what he preferred, I ironed out a general strategy which I think is good for a lot of Slashers: min. 1 2 3 4 5 6+ desp OE 10 8 6 4 4 4 5 AL 10 4 2 2 2 2 8 KD 6 8 6 4 4 4 5 AL RA HE -----------------------> PL AM BD -------------------> HE Against more parry-type warriors like WOS and TP's, I've used a 10-6-6 min. One strategy that he seems to like. Design and Trains: I started him off training skills only. But I soon learned that his average stats meant that he wasn't going to learn very well. I decided late to train skills, then stats, every other turn. The training of his will to 17 really helped his endurance out. He finally went to ADM at 15-11-12-12-17-12-11. If I had recognized earlier that he would not be a great warrior, and accepted that, then I might have been about to train everything twice like in the "old" days and he would have gone at 15-13-12-12-18-13-13. Record: He started out great at 4-0-0, then was 8-4-1. He hit a rut and was soon 9-7-1. He was mediocre in his middle fights but was above .500% at 14-12-2. He was under .500% once at 14-15-2. Near the end of his regular DM career, with some careful challenges and strategy changes, he went 5-0-0 and ended up 21-16-2. He was Duelmaster for three turns in Cliffhome. Final Notes: So, what's the purpose of all this? It's to show that anyone can take a mediocre warrior and through careful strategy and design build them into a formidable warrior. I recognized long ago that this Slasher would never be great and accepted it. That's what turned him into the warrior he is today. I was willing to take the risks necessary to make him win. His name is E.G.B.D.F. (Every Good Boy Does Fine) and in this case his name is true. I couldn't have asked more from him in his accomplishments. He can be found fighting occasionally in Darkholm. He's taught me an incredible amount about this style and has contributed to my 65% overall win-loss record with them. I'm open to feedback, positive or negative, and hope in some way that I've helped someone learn more about this style. So, good luck to all and may your swords ring true! Brought to you by Talon, mgr. of Eagles Claw (38,104), Farfignewtons (32) where I'm known as Volksie, and other teams throughout Alastari.