DUEL 2 NEWSLETTER Date : 12/06/2008 Duedate: 12/19/2008 NOBLISH ISLAND ARENA DM-93 TURN-272 This Weeks Top Honors THE DUELMASTER IS KARIN LO MIDDLE WAY 21 (1538) (93-8915) [2-1-0,29] Chartered Recognition Leader Unchartered Recognition Leader POSITION IS EMPTY KARIN LO MIDDLE WAY 21 (1538) (93-8915) [2-1-0,29] Popularity Leader This Weeks Favorite QUITA REMMING QUITA REMMING MIDDLE WAY 21 (1538) MIDDLE WAY 21 (1538) (93-8918) [2-1-0,27] (93-8918) [2-1-0,27] THE CURRENT TOP TEAM MIDDLE WAY 21 (1538) TEAMS ON THE MOVE TOP CAREER HONORS Team Name Point Gain Chartered Team 1. POWER FORCE (1512) 39 2. DOPE SHOW (1534) 0 BRUTE STRENGTH (491) 3. RAVENS SONG (1532) 0 Unchartered Team 4. MIDDLE WAY 21 (1538) -7 MIDDLE WAY 21 (1538) The Top Teams Career Win-Loss Record W L K % Win-Loss Record Last 3 Turns W L K 1/ 1*MIDDLE WAY 21 (1538) 10 5 1 66.7 1/ 1*MIDDLE WAY 21 (1538) 10 5 1 2- 2*DOPE SHOW (1534) 8 7 2 53.3 2/ 3*POWER FORCE (1512) 5 5 0 3/ 3*POWER FORCE (1512) 5 5 0 50.0 3- 2*DOPE SHOW (1534) 3 2 0 4- 4*RAVENS SONG (1532) 1 5 0 16.7 4- 4*RAVENS SONG (1532) 1 5 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 SPY REPORT Greetings warriors! It is I, Zontani Sharp Eyes, here to bring report of the clash and bustle of the weekly NOBLISH ISLAND games. LONE WOLF caught the eye of many in the gladiatorial commission as he skillfully bested ORRIE POLLAS and was awarded 15 points in recognition. In one of the week's more notable duels, LONE WOLF put down ORRIE POLLAS, causing him to lose 11 points of recognition in the process. Due to his absence and inability to defend the throne, BRAIN CELL 2 has lost the title of Duelmaster. The city has turned out in honor of KARIN LO, for with hers arena victory she may now lay claim to the highest position in the city! Informants "close" to the city champion have told me that he never fights without pantyhose on beneath his armor. Watch out! But come now, let us look deeper into the maze of contention and crossed blades that is city NOBLISH ISLAND. Vendettas. Bloodied blades and broken spears. Indeed the city has seen more than its fair share of red in recent times. Fate is a fickle mistress. She showers the miserable with fortune but sets enemies against the victorious. Remember this! A thought before I go. Each warrior practices one style, but must not the wise manager learn the secrets of them all? Sadly warriors, now longer can I keep thy company nor savor the ale of thy fine city. Depart I must and soon! Till we meet again, remember: a turtle walks slow, hides head in a shell, and harms no one; a lion runs to slay its prey.-- Zontani Sharp Eyes DUELMASTER W L K POINTS TEAM NAME KARIN LO 8915 2 1 0 29 MIDDLE WAY 21 (1538) ADEPTS W L K POINTS TEAM NAME -BRAIN CELL 2 8893 2 1 1 45 DOPE SHOW (1534) -TY LOX 8895 3 0 1 41 DOPE SHOW (1534) CHALLENGER INITIATES W L K POINTS TEAM NAME QUITA REMMING 8918 2 1 0 27 MIDDLE WAY 21 (1538) INITIATES W L K POINTS TEAM NAME -TY STICK 8894 3 0 0 22 DOPE SHOW (1534) FIRST AID 8767 2 0 0 16 POWER FORCE (1512) EAGLE 8771 1 1 0 16 POWER FORCE (1512) LONE WOLF 8769 1 1 0 16 POWER FORCE (1512) SAM TALL 8919 2 1 0 9 MIDDLE WAY 21 (1538) ORRIE POLLAS 8917 2 1 1 8 MIDDLE WAY 21 (1538) MORIS NAHR 8916 2 1 0 7 MIDDLE WAY 21 (1538) -ELAZU DANIN 8882 1 1 0 4 RAVENS SONG (1532) WHITE TIGER 8768 1 1 0 4 POWER FORCE (1512) ANGEL 8770 0 2 0 2 POWER FORCE (1512) -GRUUSH 8885 0 2 0 2 RAVENS SONG (1532) -EMIL LASORD 8884 0 2 0 2 RAVENS SONG (1532) '-' denotes a warrior who did not fight this turn. THE DEAD W L K TEAM NAME SLAIN BY TURN Revenge? PERSONAL ADS For me to fight the Veteran Mercenary is a travesty. Surely the Commission could have found some standby that didn't have 67 more recognition points, indicating the Commission's opinion of their capability, for me to fight. I think they're out to GET me. -- Karin Lo Emil Lasord -- Good gods, man, you don't have the STRENGTH for that weapon? What was your manager THINKING? The only weapon that is both suited to your style and takes less strength is the shortsword. Not a fun tool, but better than none. And having the right tool for the job can be critical. -- Sam Tall P.S. Also, you should consider a little more armor. Maybe not as much as me, but more. Elazu Danin -- Standard caution number something: Not two weapons at once to start with. However gifted you may be in the way of stats, the odds of you having enough skill to handle both well at the beginning of your career are low. -- Moris Nahr, not a Dwarf P.S. And more armor, given your style. Dumb standbys. -- Orrie Pollas Yep, what he said. -- Quita Remming Dr. Fil -- Regarding your missing personals, it was the damned golem. Our Ed. puts together a newsletter and sends it to the printer, but if the arena doesn't run, it doesn't print. So one of two things happens: the as-yet-unprinted newsletter hangs around waiting for a chance to cut into the printing queue, or it vanishes without a trace. Another turn, Our Ed. prepares another newsletter and sends it to the printer. If there's already one out there waiting, the new one vanishes, if not, the new one prints. You just can't tell. WE just can't tell, either. Frustrating. -- Jorja LAST WEEK'S FIGHTS QUITA REMMING was unbelievably bested by THE USEROUS MERCHANT in a 2 minute fight. FIRST AID unbelievably bested MORIS NAHR in a 2 minute novice's duel. WHITE TIGER was handily defeated by KARIN LO in a 1 minute one-sided Title match. LONE WOLF bested ORRIE POLLAS in a 1 minute novice's contest. ANGEL was narrowly defeated by SAM TALL in a 4 minute bloody amateur's match. EAGLE won victory over EMBEZZLING SCRIBE in a 1 minute amateur's fight. BATTLE REPORT MOST POPULAR RECORD DURING THE LAST 10 TURNS |FIGHTING STYLE FIGHTS FIGHTING STYLE W - L - K PERCENT| |BASHING ATTACK 3 SLASHING ATTACK 9 - 3 - 0 75 | |TOTAL PARRY 2 TOTAL PARRY 6 - 3 - 0 67 | |STRIKING ATTACK 1 AIMED BLOW 8 - 4 - 0 67 | |WALL OF STEEL 1 STRIKING ATTACK 11 - 7 - 1 61 | |AIMED BLOW 1 LUNGING ATTACK 11 - 12 - 1 48 | |LUNGING ATTACK 1 BASHING ATTACK 11 - 13 - 2 46 | |SLASHING ATTACK 1 PARRY-LUNGE 2 - 3 - 1 40 | |PARRY-LUNGE 0 WALL OF STEEL 1 - 2 - 0 33 | |PARRY-STRIKE 0 PARRY-STRIKE 0 - 0 - 0 0 | |PARRY-RIPOSTE 0 PARRY-RIPOSTE 0 - 5 - 0 0 | Turn 272 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: STRIKING ATTACK 1 - 0 BASHING ATTACK 1 - 2 3 STRIKING ATTACK TOTAL PARRY 2 - 0 AIMED BLOW 0 - 1 3 BASHING ATTACK WALL OF STEEL 1 - 0 PARRY-LUNGE 0 - 0 2 TOTAL PARRY PARRY-STRIKE 0 - 0 1 WALL OF STEEL PARRY-RIPOSTE 0 - 0 1 LUNGING ATTACK LUNGING ATTACK 0 - 1 1 SLASHING ATTACK SLASHING ATTACK 0 - 1 TOP WARRIOR OF EACH STYLE FIGHTING STYLE WARRIOR W L K PNTS TEAM NAME Note: Warriors have a winning record and are an Adept or Above. The overall popularity leader is QUITA REMMING 8918. The most popular warrior this turn was QUITA REMMING 8918. The ten other most popular fighters were KARIN LO 8915, FIRST AID 8767, MORIS NAHR 8916, LONE WOLF 8769, ANGEL 8770, EAGLE 8771, WHITE TIGER 8768, ORRIE POLLAS 8917, SAM TALL 8919, and 0. The least popular fighter this week was SAM TALL 8919. The other ten least popular fighters were ORRIE POLLAS 8917, WHITE TIGER 8768, EAGLE 8771, ANGEL 8770, LONE WOLF 8769, MORIS NAHR 8916, FIRST AID 8767, KARIN LO 8915, QUITA REMMING 8918, and 0. A DM TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS 12 political points a'pumpin' 11 TVs a'workin' 10 free duels of credit 9 ABs to challenge 8 criticals a'connectin' 7 scums a'dyin' 6 skills a'maxin' 5 A.D. invites 4 lucky warriors 3 size on replacement 2 proxied TCs And a quarterstaff from a pear tree. May your days be merry, And your wins be often. The Consortium WINTER FACE-TO-FACE IN SUNNY ARIZONA! Our next Winter FTF will be held in Tempe, Arizona, January 16-18, 2009. It will be held at the Fiesta Resort in Tempe, AZ at 2100 South Priest Drive, Tempe, 85282 (480-967-1441). Rooms are only $139.00 per night, 1-2 occupancy. There is a free 24-hour shuttle from the airport, free parking, free high-speed wireless internet in all guest rooms. There is a fitness center with cardiovascular and weight-lifting equipment, a heated swimming pool and jacuzzi, with poolside beverage delivery. They have a bustling happy hour in the Kachina lounge, with complimentary hors d'oeuvres. There are tons of restaurants nearby at the Mall, a Denny's across the street, and several fast food options nearby as well, as well as a restaurant in the hotel with room service. If you arrive early or stay late, don't forget that there is excellent golfing in the Phoenix area, with several championship courses nearby. Winter is an excellent time to explore Arizona with a trip to the Grand Canyon or Sedona or any of our other scenic sites across the state. Hotel info: http://www.fiestainnresort.com The rooms are blocked--ask for the "Reality Simulations" room block. The tournament information sheet will be out imminently. We hope you're all looking forward to the tournament and that we will see you there! 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.