DUEL 2 NEWSLETTER

Date   : 05/12/2007    Duedate: 05/25/2007

NOBLISH ISLAND ARENA

DM-93    TURN-234

This Weeks Top Honors

THE DUELMASTER IS

CHAENY GROVE
MIDDLE WAY 17 (1464)
(93-8471) [4-1-0,44]

Chartered Recognition Leader   Unchartered Recognition Leader

POSITION IS EMPTY              CHAENY GROVE
                               MIDDLE WAY 17 (1464)
                               (93-8471) [4-1-0,44]

Popularity Leader              This Weeks Favorite

ABALOND EGRAN                  VORUS
MIDDLE WAY 17 (1464)           ABYSSAL PLAINS (1462)
(93-8469) [4-1-0,34]           (93-8462) [1-3-1,19]

THE CURRENT TOP TEAM

MIDDLE WAY 17 (1464)

          TEAMS ON THE MOVE            TOP CAREER HONORS
Team Name                  Point Gain  Chartered Team
1. ABYSSAL PLAINS (1462)       33
2. MIDDLE WAY 17 (1464)        24      AVENGERS (287)
3. THE MEAT LOCKER (1466)      24      Unchartered Team
4. BLOOD KNIGHTS (1461)         0
5. LORDS OF LIGHT (1458)        0      MIDDLE WAY 17 (1464)

The Top Teams

Career Win-Loss Record           W   L  K    %  Win-Loss Record Last 3 Turns    W  L K
 1/ 1*MIDDLE WAY 17 (1464)      16   9  1 64.0   1/ 1*MIDDLE WAY 17 (1464)     10  5 1
 2- 2*BLOOD KNIGHTS (1461)      12   8  0 60.0   2/ 4*ABYSSAL PLAINS (1462)     8  7 2
 3- 3*LORDS OF LIGHT (1458)     10  10  1 50.0   3- 2*BLOOD KNIGHTS (1461)      5  5 0
 4/ 4*NO QUARTER (1463)         10  15  0 40.0   4/ 6*THE MEAT LOCKER (1466)    5  8 0
 5/ 5*ABYSSAL PLAINS (1462)      9  14  2 39.1   5/ 3*NO QUARTER (1463)         5 10 0
 6/ 6*THE MEAT LOCKER (1466)     5   8  0 38.5   6- 5*LORDS OF LIGHT (1458)     2  3 0
 7- 7*THE WOLVES (1467)          0   1  0  0.0   7- 7*THE WOLVES (1467)         0  1 0

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

                                    TEAM SPOTLIGHT

            + ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ The Striking Style ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ +
                                     by Sir Boyd

     Strikers are very effective in basic, but have little use in Advanced
Duelmasters.  This is due to the nature of their primary strength:  decise.  Young
strikers win or lose in the opening few swings.  In basic, few styles can match the
striker's lightning opening or avoid his initial attack.  However, in higher levels
of the game most fighters have sufficient defenses to avoid the striker's relatively
low attack rating, and the striker has little to fall back on.
     A striker should be designed to maximize his initial decise (speed) or
alternately his ability to learn decise (wit).  Strikers have little use for
constitution or will.  Here are a few comments on which stats are good for strikers:

ST:  9-17, the higher the better.  ST 9 is required for SC, but unless you have a big
     fighter you shouldn't settle for less than 11.
CN:  unnecessary.
SZ:  up to 14 is great.  A good striker will have at minimum 21 points between ST and
     SZ (this is the average combination for being able to do good damage with a
     blow.)
WT:  the higher the better.  17 and 21 are great cutoffs.  You want to learn on
     average 2 to 3 skills per turn to maintain your decise advantage over other
     styles.
WL:  9-13 is all that's required.  Longer-term strikers (designed for relevance past
     invite to Advanced) might benefit from a higher WL, but in my opinion such a
     design would be better as a different style.
SP:  9+.  The higher your WT, the less initial SP you'll need.  But for a striker,
     speed is life.  Spend lavishly on your striker's speed.
DF:  11+.  This is also a good stat for a striker to have.  DF 11 allows the use of
     most weapons without coordination penalty, and provides valuable attack skills.

Here's my idea of some great strikers:
                                 13-4- 9-21-11- 9-17
                                 11-4-11-17-11-15-15

     As for strategy, use weapons that are fast and do decent damage (SC, LO, SS, BS,
QS, WH are some of the better ones,) and wear little or even no armor.  Run hard,
with high offense and activity levels.  The decise tactic is well suited to strikers,
and use it whenever the opponent doesn't know you're coming.  Beware that the Decise
tactic can be countered by the use of a Responsive tactic.  It's sort of a rock-
paper-scissors thing.  Decise tactic has advantage over no tactic or any tactic other
than Response.  Any tactic other than Decise has advantage over Response tactic.
Response tactic has advantage over Decise tactic.

Sir Boyd,
Elanti Hunters (102 and 107)

              + ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ The Lighthouse ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ +

     Jorja sat at her private table at the back of the Lighthouse's taproom and
scanned Sir Boyd's article again.  Quite good, straightforward, no freakish stuff.
Solid.  Helpful, she hoped.  Well, it had better be, because she didn't feel much
like trying to do one on Strikers today herself.  She glanced around the room to make
sure things were going smoothly.  A little rowdiness among a group of young
gladiators off behind the piano, but her back-up bartender, Olber Pring, was already 
moving that way.  He'd deal with it.  But maybe she could add just a little around
the edges....

Below is a list of weapons "well-suited" to use by strikers, and the minimum stats
required for effective use.  My thanks to Pagan and other number-crunchers who have
made this information available. -- Jorja

     Striker  Note that the strikers can use every weapon plus the small shield
effectively.  This is the only style that has so broad a selection.  Twenty-one
weapons.
Battleaxe      ST 15  SZ  9  WT  9  DF  9  Mace           ST 13  SZ  -  WT  3  DF  5
Broadsword     ST 11  SZ  -  WT  9  DF  7  Maul           ST 15  SZ  9  WT  5  DF  7
Dagger         ST  -  SZ  -  WT  7  DF  7  Morningstar    ST 13  SZ  -  WT  7  DF 13
Epee           ST  7  SZ  -  WT 15  DF 15  Quarterstaff   ST 11  SZ  9  WT 11  DF 11
Fist  -        presumably any              Scimitar       ST  9  SZ  -  WT 11  DF 11
Greataxe       ST 13  SZ     WT  9  DF 11  Shortspear     ST  9  SZ  -  WT  7  DF  7
Greatsword     ST 15  SZ  9  WT  9  DF 11  Shortsword     ST  5  SZ  -  WT 11  DF  3
Halberd        ST 17  SZ  9  WT  9  DF  9  Small shield   ST  5  SZ  -  WT  5  DF  5
Hatchet        ST  5  SZ  -  WT  3  DF  7  Warflail       ST 11  SZ  -  WT  7  DF  5
Longspear      ST 11  SZ  9  WT  5  DF  9  Warhammer      ST 13  SZ  -  WT  5  DF  7
Longsword      ST 11  SZ  -  WT 13  DF 11

A couple of specific examples of Strikers, neither of them great, but they both
survived to graduation--

                                 Profile of a Warrior
                                      Kardo Dosh

     Kardo was a classic example of the mediocre warrior, starting out as 10-13-15-9-
15-7-15.  He was trained as a striker, I forget why.  It must have seemed like a good
idea at the time.  He'd have made a better lunger, but I must not have wanted a
lunger.  One of the mysteries of the universe.  His overview was not impressive,
merely stating that he was--
     Left handed
     (no primary wit statement, due to the low number)
          Seldom wastes his endurance needlessly
     Is relatively slow and inactive (that 7 SP)
     Can take a lot of damage (SZ and CN)
     Cannot carry a lot of weight (relatively low ST)
     Can do good damage with a blow (mostly his SZ)

     The mode skills for his stats and style are:  three initiative, six riposte,
three attack, two parry, two defense, and seven decisiveness.  Not impressive, and I
must admit that I have not done any research to discover whether he is plus or minus
on any skill.

     At the time he received his graduation notice, he was 21-20-3, running with
minimal attention from the management.  No challenges, no avoids, and he probably
didn't have more than three strategy changes in his whole career.  On his graduation
fight, he was armed with a hatchet, an off-hand hatchet, and a backup hatchet,
armored in leather and a helm, and running 10-10-6 straight across, attacking the
arm.  It turns out that this was NOTHING like his favorite weapon and rhythm:  short
spear, moderate offensive effort (5 or 6), very low activity level (1 or 2).  In
other words, born to scum....  I have a personal bias against running warriors that
slowly, as I hate to wade through long fights.  He left the arena with a master in
decisiveness (his favorite learn) and an expert in attack (this is what he was
waiting for; he got it on the same fight as he received his invitation to the Isle).
     Kardo Dosh is headed for retirement; he's had his fishing spot picked out for
months.  But he was fun to run and with more attention would almost certainly have
done better.

                                Profile of a Gladiator
            Lord Protector and one-time Duelmaster of Noblish Island arena

     Olber is a striker, 15-7-14-11-17-5-15.
     His overview was nothing exciting--
He's right-handed
His intelligence is unremarkably average (no primary wit line on the overview)
     He makes clever attacks (I wouldn't have minded seeing some of these!)
     He is gifted at avoiding a blow (yeah, right!)
     He seldom wastes his endurance needlessly
He's slightly uncoordinated (that low SP)
He is incredibly quick and elusive on his feet (despite the lack of coordination
which caused him to trip over his own shadow around the guildhouse)
He can do good damage with a blow.
     From the lack of mention, we also know that he has normal endurance, a normal
ability to take damage, and can carry a normal amount of weight in armor and weapons.

His base skills, those deriving from his initial stats, are: initiative 5, riposte 5,
attack 7, parry 5, defense 9, decise 7.  He is plus four in defense, otherwise mode,
or normal for his stats.

     Olber was never a great warrior.  After leaving here at 8-2, he went to Aljafir
and proceeded to lose fights, ending up graduating at 22-29.  He could have done
better if I'd paid more attention to his strategy, issued challenges, and so on.
Given the neglect he labored under, he could also have done much worse.  Good but not
great about describes him.
     Despite this, he has some long-term potential, as indicated by the fact that
none of his base skills are lower than mode, and by that 17 WL which would allow him
to raise stats relatively easily.
     I normally ran him fairly fast, 8-6-x or, if he should have been getting the
jump and didn't, 10-x-x.  Light armor--ALE, H, and, of course, a scimitar and back-up
scimitar for weapons.  He held his own in Aljafir at first, until the arena pulled
out of its slump and began to gather determined managers again.  I feel that it was
the good management of his opponents, rather than his own short-comings, that
resulted in his losing record.  I feel that given a couple of decent--not great, just
decent--warriors matched against each other, it's the better manager who wins the
most.
     Despite my lack of attention, Olber hung on long enough to get the skills and
political points needed to graduate.  He will not be run on the Isle (that's why you
have to put up with him hanging around the Lighthouse).  At the time of graduation,
he was 22-29-0, had experts in attack and decise (only! what a slug--that 11 WT
doubtless slowed his learning), was found to be naturally adept with the dagger
(ick), and to favor a fighting rhythm of high offense and high activity.  If I was
running him further, I would ignore the dagger favorite and continue to arm him with
a scimitar, probably going 8-8-x.  An increase in CN would enable him to take more
damage without compromising his skill-learning.

     I thank you all for your patience with this presentation and invite you to
     1.  Drop in at The Lighthouse any time to talk about managing or mainland
politics or any other thing that's on your mind.
     2.  Let your warriors hang out here between practice sessions.  I'll see to it
that they get back home okay after closing.
     3.  State opinions, raise questions, make suggestions, etc.  If you like the
idea of a warrior profile each turn, I'd be glad to provide one from my files--pick a
style, any style....

Jorja
Middle Way 7

           +>]H[<+-----+>]H[+ Question of the Week #5 +]H[<+-----+>]H[<+

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.

Answers, turn 408:

This isn't in answer to the Question of the Week, but it looks like stuff you all
might find interesting, so here 'tis. -- Jorja

Hanibal -- Here's my advice:  Prep your warriors for the Apprentices, Inits, Adepts,
then next for the Freshmen.  Don't worry about the Champions class unless you have a
warrior that received their Invite to AD before the tourney.  Also, run rookies
whenever you can.  It is one of the purest competitions available.  Learn about aimed
blows then run some as rookies.  It is a lot of fun!  If you want to get serious
about tourneys, think about what every warrior needs to do to be at the top of their
class.  Take what the megas on the Duel List say with a grain of salt.  Someone else
will always have a better warrior than you, but the best doesn't always win!  Luck
plays a great role in determining tournament winners, meaning luck in matchups. --
Generalissimo Puerco

QoW -- Each skill makes just a little difference.  So little, that the difference
might be hard to see in any given fight.  I think that the ratings are just there to
give the manager an indication of their warrior's progression. -- Generalissimo
Puerco

If there were more answers in the newsletter in question, I missed them.  Also, I
didn't see a new question in this one!  And I seem to have mislaid the next
newsletter, so I will say again, that's all for now, but more next time. -- Jorja

     It's a little untidier this week, with some delayed answers to earlier
questions, and some questions not yet answered.  For those of you newly arrived on
Noblish Island, these questions and answers are taken from the Aruak City (DM 11)
newsletter, mostly asked by Hanibal, a graduate of Noblish Island, and answered by
any manager in that arena who has something to say on the topic.
     Feel free to ask questions of your own.  I'll answer, Pagan will answer, various
other managers, such as Rillion, who read the newsletter on line will answer, and
we'll put it up to the experienced managers of Aruak City as well. -- Jorja

From turn 410:
     The first three continue an earlier discussion of learning rates.

Q.O.W. -- I have three warriors that I bumped from 17 to 19 [WT] and it didn't make
any difference so I am inclined to believe it is the intelligence rating.  However, I
have talked to managers who have bumped wit to an even number and sometimes it helps.
-- Hanibal

Q.O.W -- I think learn rate for a particular warrior (and only the warrior, exclusive
of other factors) is centered around the intelligence comment.  The mean learn rate
is placed there, but there is also a range higher and lower than that mean rate.
Kind of like a standard deviation distance in statistics.  I feel, though its not
provable, that each warrior gets a random roll that places their own general learn
rate somewhere in this range.  The range is big enough to overlap with the higher and
lower categories of intelligence, thus a 13 WT warrior with a lucky roll could learn
as well as a 17 WT warrior, for example.  This is exclusive of other factors of
course that could greatly affect learning as noted in an earlier Q.O.W. -- Adie

QoW -- We are convinced that "average-skills-learned-per-fight" is dependent solely
upon the wit number.  E.G. -- a 14 wit learns  slightly better than a 13 who is
slightly better than a 12.  But ON-THE-AVERAGE-is key.  Each warrior is different. --
Kennelworth
P.S.  Yes, we run even-wit warriors with no qualms.  We prefer odd, hence optimizing
overall skills, but even works great.  Sure thing.

All -- I have heard about having a favorite of a double tactic.  If you had lunge and
dodge as favs would you use them separately or in the same minute? -- Q.O.W.
P.S.  Do offensive tactics raise your initiative?

From turn 411:

Q.O.W. -- Yep, it's rare, but you can get double tactics.  Though it's usually not
recommended to use two at once, I'd try it if it was your favs.  It's hard to tell,
but I think some offensive tactics might raise init.  I don't use them all that much,
so I can't really say what exactly I think each tactic influences. -- Adie

Q.O.W. -- What is the secret to keeping your warriors alive?  Of course winning all
your fights is the best way, but let's be for real.  I believe that wearing plate
armor could help the underskilled win fights, but does not appear to keep you alive
once you get a death statement.  Would all agree Con keeps you alive much better than
will?  I never had a warrior die on me who could take a lot of damage.  Have any of
your teams?  High skilled warriors with low con win a lot but do they seem to die a
lot when they do lose?  Fighting in tournaments and in Andorian arenas is this the
best way to get fight experience without dying?  What is the number of fights you
must have under your belt before it becomes unlikely you would be killed? -- AK47

Q.O.W.  To start to hold your own in Advanced Duelmasters I believe now you must have
3 master ratings in skills.  I am wondering if I am correct? -- AK47

All -- I have noticed that my great rollups seldom get blessed, but my average ones
almost always do.  Is this just me?  What say you all. -- Q.O.W.

Q.O.W. -- Double tactics are optimized separately; offensive tactics raise only that
which they are -- decisive to gain the attack, slash and bash to enhance the attack
via power and criticals. -- The Bulldogs

Q.O.W. -- If one gets an invite, goes to the tournament and is killed, that "dead"
warrior will appear alive in the selected ADM arena.  (It just occurred to one of our
compatriots in this most recent mailer.) -- The Bulldogs

                                 DUELMASTER'S COLUMN
                             Notes from the arena champ.

     Oh, please, I beat the Captured Orc in order to take the title?  This has got
to be some kind of sick joke.

                                     Chaeny Grove

P.S.  And he isn't even a real orc!  I know we don't have an orcish population here
on Noblish Island, but couldn't they import just ONE?

                                      SPY REPORT

     You elder fighters surely remember me.  The younger ones may call me Olaf 
Modeen.  I return to NOBLISH ISLAND once again!  What's with VORUS?  He actually beat 
NO QUARTER's CROMWALLIS, and walked away with 16 more points from the fight.  Laughs 
were big at NOBLISH ISLAND while they watched CAPTURED ORC clobber BARDON FROER.  He 
lost 4 points and got bruised from objects thrown from the stands.  Our Duelmaster 
has lost, folks, lost to VENEMOUS CONCUBINE, BUT CHAENY GROVE is still the Duelmaster 
because she has the most recognition points!  I suppose you want to hear some rumors 
and dirty gossip about your fellow fighters?  Tough!   
     No matter the time or place, men will always duel.  How well I know the feeling 
of being the most challenged warrior, MIDNIGHT RUIN!  Don't make idle boasts, they 
may come back to haunt you.   
     A fighter's lot is filled with strife, revenge, and killing.  Some fighters 
don't accept this.  The best do.  Is it my imagination, or are fighters getting 
younger every day?  To die so young, so gloriously!   
     Who knows what the future holds for a warrior.  More fights, there's no doubt.  
All work and no play makes Olaf a dull fighter.  Work and play no fighter dull Olaf.  
Olaffighterwork and no play.  Remember--a good fighter needs both good skills and 
good luck.  Until next time,-- Olaf Modeen  

DUELMASTER                     W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 CHAENY GROVE 8471             4   1  0    44       MIDDLE WAY 17 (1464)

ADEPTS                         W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 ABALOND EGRAN 8469            4   1  0    34       MIDDLE WAY 17 (1464)
 BARDON FROER 8470             4   1  0    34       MIDDLE WAY 17 (1464)

CHALLENGER INITIATES           W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
-RAPHAEL 8434                  3   1  1    33       LORDS OF LIGHT (1458)
-KYRA 8457                     4   0  0    28       BLOOD KNIGHTS (1461)
 MIDNIGHT RUIN 8461            3   2  0    26       ABYSSAL PLAINS (1462)
 PHOENIX RISING 8460           3   2  1    24       ABYSSAL PLAINS (1462)

INITIATES                      W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 ARDENT 8463                   2   2  0    23       ABYSSAL PLAINS (1462)
 MEATBALL 8481                 2   1  0    23       THE MEAT LOCKER (1466)
 DENCIE HILLIS 8472            2   3  0    20       MIDDLE WAY 17 (1464)
 VORUS 8462                    1   3  1    19       ABYSSAL PLAINS (1462)
-BASAIDO 8505                  1   0  0    17       BLOOD KNIGHTS (1461)
-TALYM 8455                    3   1  0    16       BLOOD KNIGHTS (1461)
 ELLIRIN IMBRAY 8473           2   3  1    16       MIDDLE WAY 17 (1464)
-AALAIYA 8456                  1   3  0    15       BLOOD KNIGHTS (1461)
 VELUNA 8465                   4   1  0    13       NO QUARTER (1463)
-HANIEL 8433                   2   2  0    13       LORDS OF LIGHT (1458)
 BURGER 8479                   1   1  0    13       THE MEAT LOCKER (1466)
-URIEL 8435                    2   2  0    10       LORDS OF LIGHT (1458)
 NIGHTBLADE 8464               2   3  0     9       NO QUARTER (1463)
-RATZIEL 8432                  2   2  0     8       LORDS OF LIGHT (1458)
-AEREON 8458                   2   2  0     8       BLOOD KNIGHTS (1461)
-KHAMAEL 8436                  1   3  0     6       LORDS OF LIGHT (1458)
 PORK CHOPS 8483               1   2  0     5       THE MEAT LOCKER (1466)
 MYSTERY MEAT 8480             1   2  0     5       THE MEAT LOCKER (1466)
-VALERIAN 8484                 0   1  0     1       THE WOLVES (1467)

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

THE DEAD               W  L K TEAM NAME             SLAIN BY             TURN Revenge?
DIRGE 8516             0  1 0 ABYSSAL PLAINS 1462   BLACK ORC 20          234 NONE    
ANGELYSTA 8454         1  1 0 BLOOD KNIGHTS 1461    RAPHAEL 8434          231         
ASYANA 8489            0  1 0 BLOOD KNIGHTS 1461    ELLIRIN IMBRAY 8473   232 REVENGED
MEATLOAF 8482          0  2 0 THE MEAT LOCKER 1466  PHOENIX RISING 8460   233         
BURCHARD 8468          1  4 0 NO QUARTER 1463       SHEWISH GIANT 21      234 NONE    
OX 8466                1  4 0 NO QUARTER 1463       DARK CHAMPION 24      234 NONE    
CROMWALLIS 8467        2  3 0 NO QUARTER 1463       VORUS 8462            234         

                                     PERSONAL ADS

Arturius -- A rivalry isn't a bad thing.  It keeps life interesting!  We'll see you
on the sands and in the tavern after the fights.  First round is on me! -- Reegan
Ironbeard (promoter, No Quarter)

Talym -- No worries, the shoulder has healed up nicely! -- Nightblade

Pork Chops -- I agree!  We matched up well in our first fight and it could have gone
either way.  Best of luck in the arena! -- Ox

Jorja -- Shaving isn't the problem.  Finding a decent aftershave lotion is nearly
impossible! -- Reegan Ironbeard

Arturius -- Here are the various skill levels:
Total Skills        Old %               Rating
    16                80%               Expert
    20               100%               Advanced Expert
    26               130%               Master
    34               170%               Advanced Master
    44               220%               Grand Master
    56               280%               Archmaster
    70               350%               Blademaster
Total Skills = Skill Base + Learned Skills + Skills gained from Stat trains Old% --
You'll see skills noted this way in some of the older articles.  Basically the theory
(now no longer held) was that 1 skill = 5%. -- Drake
P.S.  On the issue of your two dead warriors, I hate to tell you this, but those were
very solid builds.  The Aimed Blow may have been a little short on Decisiveness, but
it would have been very solid if it'd had the chance to develop.  Same goes for the
Striker.  Ah well, there's always the Halloween Dead Tourney.

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:

"Article for Newbies" by Magic Man -- Unfortunately, you really can't boil all this
down to a scale of 1-to-10.  My recommendation is to not put too much stock in this
article.  Sure, ABs and BAs occasionally have an advantage against scum TPs
(especially once the AB/BA hits Advanced Expert Attack), and STs will out-jump the
other offensive styles most of the time.  However, one of the things I like about
Basic more than ADM is that any style can beat any other style, given the right
strategy.

"MAKING YOUR CHALLENGES GO THROUGH" by The Rogue She-Puppy -- It's incredibly
frustrating to be on the receiving end of 5 challenges in a turn because none of
yours went though.  Of all the tips listed, I'd stress the handwriting.  The
inputters can't input what they can't read.

"MAXIMIZING THE DUELMASTERS EXPERIENCE: WHAT THE RULES DIDN'T SAY" by ICE -- I find
it terribly amusing that I can guess the date that article was written based on the
bands and songs listed.  One other thing, if you're going to follow this advice, make
sure no one else is in the room with you, unless you like being looked at funny.

"Winning With the Average Warrior" by The Master of Anime -- Back in the day (say 91-
93), there was a warrior that no one felt could ever be beaten.  That warrior was
Donnetello.  He was so dominant, that a rule was instituted that no warrior could TC
the Primus tourney more than once a year, because Donny was winning them all.  Akira,
this average warrior (whom rumor has it started with a 21 Will and 13 Wit, and most
everything else in the 11-13 range) was considered to have a chance at dethroning
him.  Akira didn't, but that's because M.A. retired some time ago.  What made Akira
so special?  Near as I could find out from other managers who knew M.A. better than I
did, Akira was blessed.  He had a blessed Wit that allowed him to max skills in less
than 5 years.  He had a favorite rhythm of 9-10/9-10 (or was it 7-8/7-8?) and a
favorite weapon of LO (the only weapon close to as feared as the SC).  The moral of
the story?  It takes some luck to develop a warrior that will dominate the top end.

"TWELVE TIPS" by THE CONSORTIUM -- This is one of my favorite old-time articles.
That's because it's realistic and it covers some of the "meta-game" issues that are
important to having fun and doing well (make friends, ask for advice, write legibly).
The Consortium is still around and goes by Oz in DM 47.  The Consortium is one of the
nicest and most fun schizophrenics I've ever met.

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 Hardware in arena 81, emailing dm_drake@sbcglobal.net or
you can find me on the Duel2 website posting under the name Drake; who'da guessed)

Midnight Ruin -- At least this time I showed up to fight!  Too bad for me that the
result was the same. -- Burchard

Valerian -- Not bad for your first fight and I'm glad to hear you survived the
infirmary! -- Nightblade

Burger -- Yikes.  You might want to rethink your weapon choice.  Find something
suitable for your style that you have the stats to use.  Perhaps a hatchet or mace?
-- Veluna

Mystery Meat -- You know, a decent opponent would teach you a skill when he gets
clobbered like you did.  Perhaps that's part of the mystery?  I'll still take the
win, though. -- Cromwallis

Bardon Froer -- Done and done.  My gratitude for your advice. -- Midnight Ruin

Burchard -- No Quarter is well-named.  An honorable foe is oftentimes rare. --
Midnight Ruin

Aereon -- Fate seems to have weighed against you.  Lighten that load methinks. --
Ardent

Jorja -- When my warriors leave Noblish for the wider world need they all go to the
same arena or may they separate?  How and when is the Commission notified of our
Arena choice? -- Lazarian, mgr. Abyssal Plains

Aalaiya -- What can I say?  So you won the fight, fine, congratulations, but you
still look dumb armored up like that given your style.  Did you BOUND forward at the
beginning, or trip and FALL forward?  Honestly, woman, THINK.  You were probably
outweighed by your armor and weapons! -- Ellirin Imbray

Talym -- Ah, now there is a point to bring up.  See that first line, where our
weapons lock together in a test of strength?  There's a lot of jealousy among
weapons--  No, seriously, that means our efforts to get in the first blow were a tie.
That is good, because we have styles with a very similar "action preference," and I
know *I* was doing it right, so *you* must have been doing it right, too.  Of course,
getting in the first blow isn't everything; sometimes (usually) it's the last one
that counts. -- Bardon Froer
P.S.  I wish the reporters wouldn't put those dumb comments in my mouth.  Or that
Jorja would give me some COOL comments to make, but she says no one listens and she
doesn't have time and why bother.  Honestly!  That woman!

Ox -- You've got a tricky style, don't expect great early success.  Especially
against a style such as mine. -- Abalond Egran
P.S.  And I'd wonder about late success, given what your height hints at for your
other stats.  There are times (like every time I step out on the sands) when I envy
the Dark Arena warriors who have more than eighty-four points to work with.  You just
can't have everything good.

Meatball -- Nasty man!  I had plans for that kidney. -- Dencie Hillis
P.S.  I'd drop the shield if I were you.  It's just going to get in the way.

Drake -- Good spotlight! -- Jorja

Arturius -- Re your question number one, I checked with the inputter, she checked
your strat sheets, and you're picking two-handed weapons for backups.  Won't work.
The computer does not accept them.

Re your question number two, the speed with which you accumulate skills to achieve
ratings may be the same, but a critical question is what base you're building on.
Your starting stats determine your starting skills, and then your learned skill are
stacked on top of that.  Ratings (I never remember the numbers, sorry) are the sum of
ALL the skills in a given area, starting and learned.  I have had warriors (I've
played run-everything D2 long enough to have experienced all kinds of rotten luck)
who started with so few skills (it's even possible to start with negative skills!)
that after fifty fights they had no ratings.

Re your two rollups, well, they wouldn't have gone all that far with single-digit
wills.  I tend to view all 21-point stats with deep suspicion, as they mean the
warrior has been shortchanged elsewhere, and probably more than one "elsewhere."  In
both cases, I'd've raised the WL (unless it was 3 to start with and 9 was the best
you could do) and then if there was anything extra... I dunno, maybe drop a little on
SP.  You do want the warrior to get moving, after all.  Stationary targets are easier
to hit. -- Jorja

Basaido -- That's what I get, a sliver of wood in the rear. -- Pork Chops

Dencie Hillis -- No hard feelings? -- Meatball

20 April 2007
All -- I've been...out of circulation for the last couple of months, and my lists
are not up to date.  If you've announced a manager name, a new alliance, or changed
a manager name or alliance since the middle of February, let me know in the ads, via
diplo, or in an e-mail (Sue (at) solberg-mathews (dot) com).  For that matter, if
you just want to make sure I've got things right, you can always do the same. -- The
Saint, keeper of lists

                                  LAST WEEK'S FIGHTS

BURCHARD was dealt death by SHEWISH GIANT in a 2 minute bloody Dark Arena fight.
OX was slaughtered by DARK CHAMPION in a 1 minute gruesome Dark Arena battle.
DIRGE was murdered by BLACK ORC in a 1 minute gruesome Dark Arena fight.
MYSTERY MEAT was bested by PHOENIX RISING in a 1 minute novice's Bloodfeud contest.
VELUNA was overpowered by MIDNIGHT RUIN in a 1 minute mismatched Challenge match.
VORUS viciously butchered CROMWALLIS in a 6 minute bloody novice's Challenge duel.
CHAENY GROVE was overpowered by VENEMOUS CONCUBINE in a 1 minute Title brawl.
BARDON FROER was defeated by CAPTURED ORC in a 1 minute beginner's melee.
ABALOND EGRAN won victory over ARDENT in a action packed 1 minute beginner's fight.
NIGHTBLADE was overpowered by DENCIE HILLIS in a 1 minute one-sided fight.
ELLIRIN IMBRAY handily defeated PORK CHOPS in a 1 minute one-sided bout.
BURGER demolished CONVICTED THIEF in a 2 minute mismatched match.
MEATBALL overcame EMBEZZLING SCRIBE in a 4 minute novice's contest.

                                    BATTLE REPORT

             MOST POPULAR                        RECORD DURING THE LAST 10 TURNS     
|FIGHTING STYLE               FIGHTS        FIGHTING STYLE     W -   L -  K   PERCENT|
|STRIKING ATTACK                  6         AIMED BLOW         6 -   1 -  0      86  |
|BASHING ATTACK                   4         PARRY-LUNGE        6 -   3 -  2      67  |
|SLASHING ATTACK                  2         LUNGING ATTACK    13 -   7 -  0      65  |
|PARRY-RIPOSTE                    2         PARRY-STRIKE       4 -   3 -  0      57  |
|PARRY-LUNGE                      1         BASHING ATTACK    24 -  19 -  1      56  |
|WALL OF STEEL                    1         TOTAL PARRY        3 -   3 -  0      50  |
|PARRY-STRIKE                     1         SLASHING ATTACK   11 -  11 -  0      50  |
|LUNGING ATTACK                   1         STRIKING ATTACK   20 -  23 -  1      47  |
|TOTAL PARRY                      1         WALL OF STEEL     11 -  14 -  1      44  |
|AIMED BLOW                       0         PARRY-RIPOSTE      5 -   9 -  0      36  |

Turn 234 was great if you     Not so great if you used      The fighting styles of the
used the fighting styles:     the fighting styles:          top eleven warriors are:

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

                               TOP WARRIOR OF EACH STYLE

FIGHTING STYLE   WARRIOR                     W   L  K PNTS TEAM NAME                  
STRIKING ATTACK  CHAENY GROVE 8471           4   1  0   44 MIDDLE WAY 17 (1464)
BASHING ATTACK   ABALOND EGRAN 8469          4   1  0   34 MIDDLE WAY 17 (1464)
LUNGING ATTACK   BARDON FROER 8470           4   1  0   34 MIDDLE WAY 17 (1464)
Note: Warriors have a winning record and are an Adept or Above.

The overall popularity leader is ABALOND EGRAN 8469.  The most popular warrior this 
turn was VORUS 8462.  The ten other most popular fighters were BURCHARD 8468, ABALOND 
EGRAN 8469, MEATBALL 8481, PHOENIX RISING 8460, BARDON FROER 8470, DENCIE HILLIS 
8472, ELLIRIN IMBRAY 8473, OX 8466, MIDNIGHT RUIN 8461, and ARDENT 8463.

The least popular fighter this week was BURGER 8479.  The other ten least popular 
fighters were PORK CHOPS 8483, NIGHTBLADE 8464, CHAENY GROVE 8471, CROMWALLIS 8467, 
VELUNA 8465, MYSTERY MEAT 8480, DIRGE 8516, ARDENT 8463, MIDNIGHT RUIN 8461, and OX 
8466.

                  Top Ten Reasons Why Duelmasters is better than Sex

10.  When you spend money on Duelmasters, you know you're going to get return on your
     investment.

 9.  One arena won't get jealous when you start playing in another.

 8.  With the right tourney prize, you can design your own warrior.

 7.  If you make it to AD, they tell you your warrior's favorites.

 6.  You can always DA and get another roll-up.

 5.  The more experience you get, the less likely you are to die.

 4.  SZ, CN and Charisma are less important in Duelmasters.

 3.  Most mangers are satisfied with two minute fights.

 2.  Warriors do as they're told, even if it means using ALE and a WF.

And the number one reason..........

 1.  You don't have to hold your turn for an hour after you're finished reading it.

Composed by the Jester and Predator

                              THE ULTIMATE AIMED BLOW

     Oh no, not another aimed blow, you think, they always lose and have a tendency to 
die if they meet the right person.  But I can promise you that this fighter will give 
you a lot of wins.  Not a 20-0-? record, but a respectable one.  Let's have a look at 
the stats:

THE BEST:      IF YOU CAN FIND IT:      TOO BIG:       TOO FAST:      THE MUTANT:
ST:  9         ST:  9                   ST:  9         ST:  9         ST:  7
CN: 15 +/-     CN: 14                   CN: 14         CN: 15         CN: 15
SZ:  3 - 5     SZ:  3                   SZ:  6 - 9     SZ:  3 - 5     SZ:  3
WT: 19 +/-     WT: 21                   WT: 17 +       WT: 19         WT: 13 - 15
WL: 18 +/-     WL: 19                   WL: 17 +       WL: 18         WL: 13 - 15
SP:  3 - 5     SP:  3                   SP:  3 - 6     SP:  4 - 9     SP: 15 +
DF: 15 +/-     DF: 15                   DF: 15         DF: 13         DF: 15 +

ST: So you can use some weapons.
CN: So you can stand some damage, and get at least good endurance.
SZ: The smaller the better.
WT: You need to be smart, and it helps a lot on stats and skills training.
WL: Helps you stand even more damage.  It also helps a lot on stats and skills 
training.
SP: The slower the better, but needs to be trained to avoid clumsiness.  It doesn't 
matter if this stat is low, you will hit when you want to hit.
DF: Gives you the response to other's actions, and gives you the initiative when you 
need it.

     The main weakness of this little fellow seems to be his speed, but this 
disadvantage is made good by his small size.  He will dodge nearly anything, and what 
hits him doesn't matter because of his constitution.  The strategy is all up to each 
manager, but I prefer to run mine like this:

Weapons:  Epee vs. Light Armor
          Short Spear vs. Medium Armor
          Shortsword vs. Heavy Armor

Shield:  Medium Shield vs. Light and Heavy Armor

Armor:   Depends on who I am challenging

Helm:    Full helm

Strategy           1st  2nd  3rd  4th  5th  6th+ Desp.
Offensive Effort    5    5    5    6    5    4    2
Activity Level      5    6    6    6    5    5    4
Kill Desire         4    4    5    6    6    4    2

Attack Location: Head or Chest

Defend Location: Body or Head

Offensive and Defensive tactics are something I seldom use.

     Challenging is very important when running an aimed blow.  Try to challenge big, 
unarmored fighters.  Train strength, speed, and deftness.
     Well, that's all, for now.  Try it and send me a diplo note if you have any 
comments on my aimed blow.
     Brought to you by Manimal, Manager of Cowards Guild, DM-31.
     May victory by yours (or mine.)

                                  Aimed Blows My Way

     Okay, so it's a pretentious title.  No more so than anyone else's, what with all 
these "the perfect" this and "the perfect" that; what I'm going to show you here is 
several different ways to make aimed blows and win with them.
     There is no one specific way to make an aimed blow.  You'll hear a lot of 
managers claim that they "HAVE" to have a 21 DF in order to be any good at all.  Well, 
that's a trifle exaggerated.  It's NICE to have a 21 DF.  This will increase your 
attack rating, and give you a certain boost.  But it isn't necessary for a good, 
solid, long-term aimed blow.
     I'm going to give several examples of aimed blows, both how-tos and how-not-tos.  
All the aimed blows represented here actually fight on one of my stables, so I did 
this all by hit-and-miss.  Unlike some managers, I don't believe that the first, 
third, and fifth rules of aimed blows is "they die."  It's only the third rule. <grin>

     Now then.  Design:
     ST: Any, really.  You can go low, since aims can handle daggers and open hand 
just fine.
     CN: Again, any.  A little more can help them take a hit, but if they're lucky, 
they'll do all right even if they can't.
     SZ: Any.  This is a versatile style.  Big ones do great.  Little ones do great.
     WT: I'm going to surprise you, here.  Anything.  Yep, anything.  Best is 11-21, 
of course.
     WL: Again.  Any.  Honest!  An aim can do without will and can also use it to its 
best advantage.  But from here on is where you've got to pay attention.
     SP: LOW.  Keep it below 9 if possible.  Below 7 is better.
     DF: HIGH.  21 is always best, but 17 works okay, too.
     So now you have a rollup with a low speed and a high deftness and it doesn't look 
like much else.  You've got a good aimed blow.  Yes!

     Examples of "do" design aims:
     1) 7-5-12-21-11-7-21
     2) 11-16-6-21-9-4-17
     3) 10-15-6-17-9-6-21
     4) 13-9-5-17-17-6-17
     5) 11-5-10-11-21-5-21
     6) 8-10-9-17-15-4-21
     7) 5-10-7-17-17-11-17
     8) 12-12-7-21-9-6-17
     9) 7-11-8-11-21-5-21
    10) 9-14-8-15-17-4-17

     Ten is a good, round number.  1-4 are Immortal.  All have winning records.  Most 
of them beat lungers in one minute.  The low-con ones have the most trouble, because 
they can't take a hit--if they get hit, they go down.  Fortunately, that's only killed 
a few of mine (the dead ones I won't list just now, since it's so depressing).

     Examples of "don't" design aims, unless you're as insane as me or much more 
experienced in your aimed blow running:
     1) 17-5-5-11-17-9-21  (beat the DA three times before he was killed--he gets a 
special place at #1)
     2) 13-8-12-11-11-18-11
     3) 11-12-6-21-13-8-13
     4) 11-12-12-17-11-4-17
     5) 12-7-18-13-13-5-16 (my first)
     6) 11-14-7-9-17-9-17
     7) 9-11-9-17-11-10-17

     There's certainly more "don'ts" than dos, but those are ones I actually have 
played somewhere; 2-5 are immortal, with usually 50% records except for the 11 DF (who 
is in permanent retirement).  He came along early in my aimed blow career, when I was 
making EVERY rollup into an aimed blow to see for myself what worked and what didn't.  
That didn't.  Some of the mortal ones I'm still running, and they do well enough, but 
as I said, until you get a little experience there are some things you may not want to 
try unless, like me, you want to see what happens for yourself. <grin>
     Now for strategy.  This is probably the most important thing you'll give your 
aim.

Weapons: Scimitar, unless they don't have the strength for it, in which case, dual 
daggers.  Longsword is next, then fists, then quarterstaff.  You need an 11 ST for 
longsword, so that's probably not always realistic.  If your aim likes to fight with 
his fists, you can let him, but I'd advise waiting until he's got some experience, and 
you know your opponent isn't much on armor and parrying, because you can do yourself 
some serious damage on the parries.  Quarterstaff is a two-handed weapon, so bear that 
in mind if you use it.

Armor: Keep it light, no more than ARM/H, and then only if you're worried about your 
opponent.  An aimed blow is a fast, offensive warrior--don't load him down.

Strategy:

10        8         8         6         6         6         10
10        2         2         1         1         1         10
 1 --------------------------------------------------------- >
LL --------------------------------------------------------- >
HE --------------------------------------------------------- >
 D

That's a good, all-purpose, general strategy.  Some aims will want to play around with 
it, and you let them--see what they like.  But, and this is VERY important: keep that 
KD low!  An aimed blow relies on his control and his accuracy, and higher KDs will 
cause them to lose a lot of that.  If you're bloodthirsty, change the attack location 
to the head.  I recommend the legs for knockdowns.  Either way, your aim will attack 
THAT LOCATION, over and over again, until he has defeated his opponent, and very 
decisively, from total parries (the classic aimed blow opponent) to lungers (the 
classic aimed blow enemy).  Remember: the aimed blow is an OFFENSIVE style.  He has 
some finesse, but he is a brutal and efficient warrior.  Keep him in control; he'll 
win.  You can also play with desperation, but for me just dropping the first minute 
tactic often works just fine.  As for the use of decise, as always, it's up to the 
manager, but decise will help keep your aim from "standing around looking for an 
opening" in the first minute.  Get him moving.

     As always, experiment, find what works for you, and have fun.

Raf
Lord Protector
Ivory League
Manager of Tex's Rangers (51, 100, 101), Assassins (40, 105), Impressionists (27, 
105), The Damned (30, 105, 101, 102), etc.

                                The Mechanics of Death

                                  By Sir Jessie Jest

     Greetings, joy and happiness to everyone!  This article discusses the mechanics 
involved when a warrior dies in combat.  It will give the reader a better knowledge of 
how a warrior actually gets killed in combat.
     Here is how a warrior dies... The Facts) ...in fact, get out a dead warrior's 
last fight so you can follow me.  To start the process of death, a warrior must first 
fail to make a death roll.  Let's say the death roll is 20 or less out of 100 to fail 
that roll for this example.
     There are 2 ways a warrior can be forced to make that Death Roll.

1. The vitals roll.
2. The second is when you run out of hit points, which is called the "infirmary roll."

     The vitals roll -- every time a warrior gets hit in a vital area you make a 
vitals roll.  Lets say that you fail on a 1-15% out of 100.  If you get hit in the 
head, chest, or abdomen, you will roll the vitals percent.  If you roll 15 or less you 
must make the death roll to determine if the warrior was killed.  Now look at the 
fight with your dead warrior on it...look for the death intent statement, it will say 
something like, "Trying to make this into a death match, or seeks death of his 
opponent, etc. etc." (there are a lot of them) that is telling you that your warrior 
was forced to make a death roll.
     Now comes the scary part: if you fail the death roll your warrior dies.  But the 
program does not kill you immediately because you still have hit points left.  So what 
happens next is that you will get normal attacks and damages that hit your character 
automatically in the vitals until yours hit points run out.  Then it will say your 
warrior is dead.  Remember that it will be normal hits to the vitals, not crits or 
extra damage remarks.  If your warrior dodges, crit attacks , parries,  has extra 
damage remarks or anything else EXCEPT a normal hit to the vitals, the sentence 
following right after the death intent statement comes up, then he made his death roll 
successfully and the fight continues.  You can have many death intent statements come 
up in one fight, depending on the number of times you hit a vital. You won't get one 
every time, only when you fail the vitals roll.  And your warrior will have to roll 
the death roll every time you fail the vitals roll to see if he is killed or not.  
EXAMPLE:

INFERNO leaps to his left!
INFERNO's scimitar lunges with awesome cutting power!
NULN takes an upper body hit!
NULN is badly hurt!
NULN is becoming FRANTIC!!!!
INFERNO's scimitar lunges with awesome cutting power!
NULN is struck on the left rib cage!
What a devastating attack!!
NULN is dangerously stunned!
INFERNO is trying to make this a death match----(Death Intent)
INFERNO slashes an attack with his scimitar---(Normal Attack)
NULN is struck on the side of the HEAD!---(Vital Hit)
INFERNO slashes with his scimitar
NULN is wounded in the upper chest.
INFERNO slashes with his scimitar
NULN is hit in the forehead!
NULN curses the gods in frustration!
NULN falls LIFELESS to the ground!
INFERNO has won the duel!
INFERNO laughs and says, "What a loser!"

     As you see, if you fail the vitals roll, and then fail the death roll, you will 
get normal attacks to the vital areas until all of your warrior's hit points are gone.  
All of your dead warriors that have died from DEATH INTENT statements will have those 
three things... death intent statement, then normal attack, then hits to the vitals 
until all hit points are gone.  Then you will get some sort of, "falls over dead 
statement."  In the past, if you failed the death intent statement roll, the program 
would just skip all the stuff that was in between the death intent statement and the 
falls over dead statement.   It would say something like this:

INFERNO seeks the death of his opponent
NULN falls to the ground lifeless
INFERNO has won the duel.

But they changed it to make death more dramatic.

     The second way your warrior is forced to make a death roll is if your warrior 
runs out of hit points during or after the fight has ended.  This roll is called the 
infirmary roll and can happen in or out of combat, and does not matter where your 
warrior gets hit.  If your warrior has taken many hits, that reduces his hit point 
total below the preset percentage... lets say it 5% of your total hit points... then 
he will make an infirmary roll.  If you fail the infirmary roll, you then make the 
death roll to determine if your warrior has died.  In combat, you will read that you 
died from serious wounds or something to that effect.  After a fight is over, the 
program checks to see if your warrior has fallen below that preset percentage of hit 
points, if you have, you will make an infirmary roll.  If you fail the infirmary roll, 
an infirmary statement will appear at the bottom of your fight letting you know if 
your warrior failed the death roll that comes after that.   Sometimes you can die in 
combat without a death intent statement that comes up during the battle .  This is a 
good example of an infirmary roll failure in combat from low hit points, triggering 
the death roll which actually is the roll that kills your warrior.  In some battles 
you can get hit several times in the vitals, have several death intent statements come 
up, make every roll successfully and still die from lack of hit points (i.e.: fail the 
infirmary roll).
     A simple way to think of this is the 2 ways are :  1. vitals roll, which deals 
with getting hit in the head, chest, or abs and dying when a death intent statement 
comes up.  Or  # 2.  infirmary roll, which deals with dying from lack of hit points, 
and does not use the death intent statement.  I'd say about 90% of all deaths are by 
death intent statement because of a failed vitals roll.  Only a small percentage die 
from the infirmary roll in or out of combat.
     Well, that's it.  These are facts, not theories.  You can check this out with all 
your dead warriors, and you will learn there are NO exceptions.   Those percentages I 
used up there are just made up, I have no way of knowing what they really are.
     Now I have formed theory regarding KD or kill desire.  I do not believe KD has 
anything to do with a warrior dying, but is rather a tool to determine your warrior's 
aggressiveness in combat.   In other words the timing of his blows, his shot 
selection, and other such things.  For example: The higher the KD the wilder he is 
with his shots, and easier to feint, dodge, parry and riposte.  Some styles like Abs 
(Aimed Blows) fight better with a 1 KD because they are very selective with their 
shots.  Most of the other offensive styles function well between 5-7 KD.  Any more 
than that is just a waste of endurance and has a negative effect on your warrior's 
performance in battle, in my opinion.
     Well that's it for now.  If you would like to chat sometime drop me a diplo at 
Jessie's Kids in DM 60 (yes, I've come out of retirement)  ;) May the axe fall in your 
favor!

Cheerio!
Sir Jessie Jest,
Lord of Puns, and Master of Laughter.

                                  Troll-Bred Bashers

     The Bashing attack is not, as many of you may have noticed, one of the dominant 
styles in Duelmasters.  There are two reasons for this; one of which I will cover 
here, the other I will cover in an accompanying article.  I will preface this article 
on Bashing attack design and strategy by saying that I have been playing Duelmasters 
for two years, and I have spent most of this time experimenting with and perfecting 
the Bashing Attack.  In my opinion, a Basher needs to possess a monumentally high 
attack percentage, with decisiveness and initiative not far behind.  What follows is 
designed to achieve the desired results.
     Let's get right down to business.  First, the stats:

                                           PERFECT
ST:  13-17                                   15
CN:   3-5                                     3
SZ:   6-9                                     6
WT:  17-21                                   21
WL:  17-21                                   21
SP:   5-9                                     5
DF:  11-15                                   13

     Here's why:
     Strength is arguably the most important attribute for a basher.  A basher with a 
high strength can virtually be assured of a reasonably high attack.  however, excess 
strength takes away points from other vital areas and, as you will see, this Basher 
will not want for attack.  A 13 strength gives the Basher most of the good Bashing 
weapons.
     Constitution is absolutely unimportant to any offensive styles warrior.  Bashers, 
and for that matter, offensives in general, should be designed to dish out damage, not 
absorb it.  If you are designing a Basher to absorb damage, then you are designing him 
wrong.
     Size is an attribute that this game system does not handle well.  As we all know, 
too large a size means that you do not have enough points to allocate to the other 
attributes.  You would think logically that a Basher would need a large size.  I am 
not talking about logic.  I am talking about winning within the parameters of this 
game system.  I give a minimum size of 6 since this is the smallest size that can 
achieve "great damage with a blow."
     Wit, in my opinion, is the most important attribute for every style.  This is 
strictly my opinion and you do not have to agree with me.  Where Bashers are concerned 
however, a Basher without very high wit is garbage.  High wit will greatly effect a 
Basher's initial attack, decisiveness, and initiative.  My research has led me to the 
conclusion that a Basher's initiative is primarily a function of wit.  high wit also 
ensures that the Basher will train consistently.  Also, a Basher with a high wit can 
expect an initial initiative rating somewhere in the 50-60% range.  Note that speed is 
also a modifier for initiative.
     Will is another attribute that the Basher cannot do without.  Will affects a 
Basher's attack and decisiveness, and is responsible for, in conjunction with 
strength, giving the Basher normal endurance, despite the pitifully low constitution.
     Speed has almost no affect on a basher.  I have seen many high speed Bashers, and 
I can tell with 100% certainty that Bashers do not derive strong benefit from speed.  
Slasher, strikers, and to a lesser extent, Lungers, all derive noticeable benefit from 
speed.  I am not saying that a 5 speed Basher will be equally as fast (initially) as a 
19 speed Basher, but I am saying that a Basher can derive greater benefit by placing 
points in other areas.  This Basher will drive his decisiveness from the high wit/will 
combinations: 21-21-5; 19-19-7;  17-17-9.  These combinations, or something similar, 
will generate an initial decisiveness rating of about 50%.
     Deftness is very important to a Basher.  The strength/wit/will/deftness 
combination is where this Basher will generate the awesome attack percentage and his 
attacking precision.  A Basher with the aforementioned minimums in 
strength/wit/will/deftness can expect to achieve an initial attack rating between 60-
80%.  A 13 deftness will also allow the use of my favorite weapon, the morning star.  
In the hands of a Basher, this is a devastating weapon.
     Now that you know how to design a Basher, here's how they should be run.
     This strategy should be used vs. offensive styled warriors:

          1    2    3    4    5    6    Desp
          10   10   10   10   10   10   10
          10    3    3    3    3    3   10
           7    7    7    7    7    7    7
          HE   HE   HE   HE   HE   HE   HE
          HE   HE   HE   HE   HE   HE   HE
           D    B                        D

     The offensive effort is self-explanatory.  If you are not trying to destroy your 
opponent, then you should not be running a Basher.  The activity level requires some 
explanation.  Bashers, as you might expect, perform better with a low activity level.  
This is because the Bashing attack style is a series of overhand, overpowering blows 
which are designed to deliver maximum hitting power.  Running around like a 
decapitated chicken would appear to be counterproductive.  Here is the key.  The 10 
activity level in minute one is designed to help you get the jump on another offensive 
warrior.  If you do get the jump, you will win.  Even if you are hurting the Basher's 
attack percentage, how many offensive warriors do you know of that will be able to 
parry or dodge this Basher's attack?  NONE.  Therefore, the 10 activity level in 
minute one is justified.  The decisiveness tactic in minute one is also there to help 
you get the first shot off.  Assuming you get the jump in minute one and the fight 
somehow manages to make it into minute two, that's where the bash tactic comes in.  
You enter minute two with the initiative, land a bash modified head shot into the poor 
slob in front of you, and down he goes!!!  Minutes 3-6 are basically superfluous as 
not many fights will go that far.  10-3-7 allows the basher to do what he does best.  
The theory behind the desperation configuration is the same as that for minute one.  
Since the bashing attack is a downward motion, attacking the head is logical to say 
the least.  Modify this to the chest if you suspect that you adversary is protecting 
his head.  Defending your head is simply there to ensure that you hold your hands up 
high.  My reasoning is that I am simply trying not to interfere with the Basher's 
attack, as opposed to seriously trying to defend myself.  Against defensive warriors, 
change minute one to 10-3-7 with no tactics: i.e., let the basher do what he does 
best.  I have only lost one fight to a defensive styled warrior with my best basher, 
and that was MY fault.  Minute two can be left the same, or you can drop the bash 
tactic.  I am tempted to leave the desperation minute the same.  If you are desperate, 
it probably means you were just hit.  This design cannot take getting hit.  You need 
to go berserk in order to regain the initiative.
     A high quality Basher should have no trouble with Parry-XYZ's and TPs.  Against 
scum try 7-1-7 with the bash tactic.  You should have no trouble blasting attacks 
through the feeble parries of a scum warrior, and the relatively slow (for a basher) 
tempo will allow you to keep it up for 3-4 minutes, which WILL be more than enough 
time to demolish even the most stubborn APA, F, ME, ME 1-1-1-P Total Parry.  Let me 
also mention that the bash tactic should never be used against PRs.
     Last, but by no means least, is what to wear.  Armor should be APL, ALE, or none 
at all.  DO NOT strap this basher into a suit of plate armor.  The Bashing Attack, 
despite what some other managers say (even those self-proclaimed "highly experienced" 
manager who relentlessly brag about their 600+ winning percentages who only run 
defensives, SCUM, and lungers) is a quick style.  The armor should be correspondingly 
light to allow the basher to get the jump on his opponent.  The same theory applies to 
weapon selection.  Try using the QS, MS, of the WH.  The GA and MA should only be used 
against slower offensives of defensive styled warriors.  Again, the key here is 
quickness.  THIS basher is designed to win his fights, with his tremendous attack 
percentage, not with his tremendous damage bonus.
     This article has been brought to you by.....

Mark Schwartz
280 Middlesex Road                                   aka  Troll King
Matawan,  NJ   07747                                      mgr. Troll Lords
201-583-5150                                              Arena #36  Jhans

                     HOW TO BUILD A BETTER WARRIOR (version Y2k)

     I'm sure that by now everyone has had enough of those "perfect" warrior advice 
articles.  And, while they are useful to a point, it's hard to apply their advice to 
the hordes of non-perfect warriors we get every day.  Hence, this article is for the 
other 99% non-perfect warriors.  The design ideas presented here have been valid over 
the course of my 15 years of experience with this game, with proven success at all 
levels of the game.
     There are several things to think about when designing a warrior.  First is 
fighting style.  Second is longevity.  Third is weapon suitability.  Fourth is 
physical capabilities.  Fifth is trainability.  While I will discuss these separately 
in this article, they must be thought about simultaneously in order to get the maximum 
potential from each and every roll-up.
     Fighting style is the most important decision you'll make about your new warrior.  
Consider all possibilities.  Sometimes you will need to experiment with the numbers, 
play around with several different combinations, before picking the best style.  The 
offensive styles are lunging, slashing, striking, aimed blow, and bashing.  The 
defensive styles are total parry, parry riposte, and parry strike.  The mixed styles 
are wall of steel and parry-lunge.  The offensive warriors have lots of attack ability 
and little defense (except lungers).  Their key attributes are usually will (for 
endurance and attack skills) and strength (for damage capability and attack skills).  
High wit and deftness are also high on the list as they both give a lot of skills, 
particularly attack skills.  [Tip #1: Never design an aimed blow with less than a 21 
deftness.]  The defensives have lots of defensive ability (particularly parry) but 
poor attack.  Their key attributes are usually will (for damage taking and parry 
skills) and constitution (for damage taking).  Again, extra wit and deftness is highly 
desirable for the extra skills.  [Tip #2: Keep wit as low as possible on scum 
warriors.]  The mixed styles have pretty good attack and pretty good defense, making 
them among the most formidable warriors in the game.  Their key attributes are will 
(what a surprise!) and whatever gets them to good cut-offs, because mixed styles use 
defensive and offensive skills with equal effectiveness.  If you notice, speed doesn't 
come up as an important stat for any style, but it is probably best utilized by the 
offensive styles.  I tend to like warriors that will perform well (as opposed to 
looking good but still losing), so I tend to design a lot of offensive and mixed 
styles.
     Longevity is another design concern.  The main decision here is whether your new 
warrior will have a long, Gateway oriented career, or have a shorter life span.  If 
shorter, how much shorter?  In general, for maximum learning and maximum training, 
you'll want to add as much as possible to wit and will.  If you envision Gateway god-
hood in your warrior's future, then designing him with a low wit or will has only a 
minor effect; it merely takes a little longer for him to reach his full potential.  If 
your warrior has a sandbagging champions future, then you'll want to add as much wit 
as possible to get him competitive as soon as possible.  For an ADM title shot, you'll 
want to build in some easy stat trains that give lots of skills.  For a short, rookies 
or novices oriented career, you'll probably want a high will because you'll most 
likely be looking for quick, significant stat trains.  The point is, decide when the 
warrior is born how long his career will be, and you will be better able to maximize 
his potential towards that ultimate target.
     Weapon suitability must also be considered.  As is well known, not all weapons 
are well-suited to all styles, and every warrior has a favorite weapon.  It is 
important to design a warrior so he will be able to use the significant weapons well-
suited to his style.  It should not take more than a couple stat trains to get your 
warrior well-suited to some good weapons.  (Consult available charts for weapon 
suitability.)  I feel that it is important to be well suited to several weapons of 
your style.  This gives you the opportunity to change and surprise your foes.  If your 
warrior lacks the attributes to use key weapons of his style, his effectiveness will 
be diminished.
     Physical capabilities is an often overlooked aspect of warrior design.  The three 
main areas of concern are endurance, the ability to inflict damage, and the ability to 
take damage.  At least one of these should be at the "good" level or above, and the 
more the better.  There is usually a trade-off between designing for skills and 
designing for physical attributes.  The trick is to maximize both.  Always evaluate 
the possibility of adding to strength over deftness.  The damage capability gained 
will usually out-weigh the difference in skills.  Endurance is usually a key factor in 
an offensive warrior's ability to defeat a defensive.  Conversely, the ability to take 
damage is usually a key factor in a defensive warrior's ability to defeat an 
offensive.  Again, use the available charts to design your warrior to reach the 
desired physical levels with a minimum of stat trains.
     The fastest way for a new warrior to improve is to learn skills with a 21 wit.  
With a 21 wit, you can usually average three skills per fight for your first 20 fights 
or so.  Going into an adepts tournament with 60+ skills is very good.  The higher the 
wit, the more skills your warrior will learn, so keep this in mind when designing your 
potential tournament champions.
     A number of managers advocate early stat trains that burn skills.  I only do this 
in the most severe of cases, like a 3 wit scummy warrior.  The main reason I don't do 
this is because any warrior I want to fight beyond novices is going to need as many 
skills as he can get.  In addition, if a warrior burns skills early, he'll end up with 
less than his contemporaries at the time they both max skills.  This leads to 
diminished skill levels when the warrior makes a TC run in the Freshmen, ADM, or 
Eligibles class, and to a protracted struggle to get the warrior inducted to 
Primus/Gateway when the time comes. It also eliminates the option to sandbag in the 
champions since your burned warrior will never have the skills to compete with non-
burned warriors.  
     However, I do design for trainability.  I like my warriors to have a shot at a TC 
in the ADM or Eligibles class, so I will purposely leave deftness at 9, counting on 
the quick, easy trains once all my skills are learned.  You can do the same in wit, 
will, speed, and even strength; leave the starting stat a couple points below a level 
with significant skills, then train those stats when you make your TC run.  Of course, 
since you're planning on making this training run in Advanced Duelmasters, the best 
stat for trainability is a 21.  Every train past 21 will give you quick, significant, 
valuable skills.
     Of course, any set of design rules or guidelines will have its exceptions.  There 
are many good warriors out there who did not follow any of the rules outlined above, 
but there are many, many more dead ones.  So, if you follow these rules most of the 
time, most of your warriors will be winners.
     That said, let's do a couple examples.  First, we'll redesign the legendary Broke 
Stroker.

                                   ST  10 + 0 = 10
                                   CN  10 + 0 = 10
                                   SZ           10
                                   WT   9 + 6 = 15
                                   WL   9 + 6 = 15
                                   SP  11 + 0 = 11
                                   DF  11 + 2 = 13
                                   Style: Lunger

Comments:  His wit and will are high enough to make him a viable long-term warrior.  
He starts well-suited to the short spear, and is only one strength train away from 
longsword suitability.  He's got enough con to take a hit, and he'll likely also get 
good damage with his first strength train, if not on the original overview.

                                   ST   5 + 4 =  9
                                   CN   8 + 0 =  8
                                   SZ           14
                                   WT   8 + 5 = 13
                                   WL  13 + 4 = 17
                                   SP  10 + 0 = 10
                                   DF  12 + 1 = 13
                                   Style: Slasher

Comments:  He starts well-suited to scimitar, and has enough ST, CN, & WL to get 
normal endurance.  He has a good shot at good damage to start with, and if not, it's 
only a train or two away.

                                   ST  12 + 5 = 17
                                   CN   8 + 1 =  9
                                   SZ            7
                                   WT  11 + 6 = 17
                                   WL   8 + 1 =  9
                                   SP  14 + 0 = 14
                                   DF  10 + 1 = 11
                                   Style: Striker

Comments:  This low will wonder needs help to get normal endurance, thus the high 
strength.  It gives the additional bonus of guaranteeing good damage on a relatively 
small warrior.  The 11 deftness gives him suitability to almost every weapon.
     Now it's time for you to go forth and design your own godlings (or is that 
"doglings"?).  Armed with these guidelines, you too can have your share of Broke 
Strokers in Advanced Duelmasters.  Good luck, and may the gods guide your blows 
straight and true! 

                            -- Neon Necromancer  
                               (DM 1: Care Less Bears; DM 18: Mad Scientists; 
                               other random teams and 100ish ADM warriors)