DUEL 2 NEWSLETTER

Date   : 08/29/2009    Duedate: 09/11/2009

NOBLISH ISLAND ARENA

DM-93    TURN-282

This Weeks Top Honors

THE DUELMASTER IS

QUIN ROSSAL
MIDDLE WAY 22 (1550)
(93-9006) [2-1-0,33]

Chartered Recognition Leader   Unchartered Recognition Leader

POSITION IS EMPTY              QUIN ROSSAL
                               MIDDLE WAY 22 (1550)
                               (93-9006) [2-1-0,33]

Popularity Leader              This Weeks Favorite

KARA LEK                       KARA LEK
MIDDLE WAY 22 (1550)           MIDDLE WAY 22 (1550)
(93-9003) [3-0-0,18]           (93-9003) [3-0-0,18]

THE CURRENT TOP TEAM

MIDDLE WAY 22 (1550)

          TEAMS ON THE MOVE            TOP CAREER HONORS
Team Name                  Point Gain  Chartered Team
1. FORT REAPER (1547)          45
2. MIDDLE WAY 22 (1550)        17      THE NEST (286)
3. TYRENT'S FURIES (1545)      -5      Unchartered Team

                                       MIDDLE WAY 22 (1550)

The Top Teams

Career Win-Loss Record           W   L  K    %  Win-Loss Record Last 3 Turns    W  L K
 1/ 1*MIDDLE WAY 22 (1550)      12   3  0 80.0   1/ 1*MIDDLE WAY 22 (1550)     12  3 0
 2/ 3*FORT REAPER (1547)         9  17  1 34.6   2/ 2*FORT REAPER (1547)        7  8 1
 3/ 4*TYRENT'S FURIES (1545)     2  12  0 14.3   3/ 4*TYRENT'S FURIES (1545)    2 12 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

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

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

                                     Duelmasters
                                     -----------
 DM   9 ZUKAL (turn 625): SEA LEGS of SEA DOGS (One Armed Bandit, mgr.)
 DM  12 RIZTAB (turn 627): SOPHOCLES of DREAMERS (Sleepy, mgr.)
 DM  15 MALCORN (turn 621): PIE EYED PIPER of STARBASE 5 (Zeus, mgr.)
 DM  16 WILLAF (turn 623): SILVIA MINNO of PUNNY ANIMALS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  17 ALJAFIR (turn 619): TIBERIUS of FIELDS OF ELYSIUM (Caesar, mgr.)
 DM  19 ZUWAYZA (turn 619): STEWIE GRIFFIN of CUNNING RUNTS (Deep Thought, mgr.)
 DM  28 MORYA (turn 310): CASH MEALS of EXPENSE ACCOUNT (Finance Manager, mgr.)
 DM  29 LAPUR (turn 612): LUNA of WILL DUEL 4 MEAD (Sporkis, mgr.)
 DM  31 CHIMLEVTAL (turn 307): ULTHAR STORMHELM of THE STORM GUARDS (The Icelord, mgr.)
 DM  32 ARVAT (turn 609): AGONY of ANGELS OF PAIN (The Dark One, mgr.)
 DM  33 NIATOLI ISLAND (turn 607): KOBALT of RAVAGING LORDS (General Ikillu, mgr.)
 DM  35 MURSKA (turn 598): CIVIL of LOST CAUSE (Vol, mgr.)
 DM  43 VEASTIAN (turn 560): ELOWAN of OBSCURE LORE (Tigtoad, mgr.)
 DM  45 STORMCROWE (turn 285): HALF of SRETSAMLEUD II (Phat Phat, mgr.)
 DM  47 DOUBLE X (turn 279): MOTHER TERESA of OLD HABITS (Soultaker, mgr.)
 DM  50 SNOWBOUND (turn 266): PETRA QUORD of MIDDLE WAY 6 (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  56 ROCANIS (turn 488): PURPLE KITTEN of INCONSISTENT FURY (Banthius, mgr.)
 DM  60 COLLUSION COVE (turn 475): LASSIE of RED DOG GANG (Spot, mgr.)
 DM  61 JURINE (turn 455): XAVAN YOLE of MIDDLE WAY 16 (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  65 DAL SHANG (turn 451): SUMMER RAIN of WEATHER (Sage?, mgr.)
 DM  73 ERINIKA (turn 215): DEATH SUCKS of BLACKMAIL (The Mun, mgr.)
 DM  74 DAYLA KIV (turn 415): MOKO TEN ZORA of SAND DANCERS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  75 JADE MOUNTAIN (turn 408): BEARSTONE KAI of SAND DANCERS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  78 LIN TIRIAN (turn 397): GABRIELLE REESE of GIRLS X3 (Non, mgr.)
ADM 103 FREE BLADES (turn 513): NIGHTCAP of DARKLINGS ( ?, mgr.)

                                      Top Teams
                                      ---------
 DM   9 ZUKAL (turn 625): BLUE MOON (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  12 RIZTAB (turn 627): SWEET MAGIC (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  15 MALCORN (turn 621): GREENWARDENS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  16 WILLAF (turn 622): PUNNY ANIMALS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  17 ALJAFIR (turn 619): MIDDLE WAY (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  19 ZUWAYZA (turn 619): THE MAGNIFICIENT MAGS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  28 MORYA (turn 310): EXPENSE ACCOUNT (Finance Manager, mgr.)
 DM  29 LAPUR (turn 612): VENUSIANS (Venus, mgr.)
 DM  31 CHIMLEVTAL (turn 307): WAR (Mannequin, mgr.)
 DM  32 ARVAT (turn 609): ANGELS OF PAIN (Dark One, mgr.)
 DM  33 NIATOLI ISLAND (turn 607): RAVAGOMG LORDS (General Ikillu, mgr.)
 DM  35 MURSKA (turn 598): LOST CAUSE (Vol, mgr.)
 DM  43 VEASTIAN (turn 560): LUROCIAN ROYALTY (The Greek Guy, mgr.)
 DM  45 STORMCROWE (turn 285): MIKES HEROES (Mike?, mgr.)
 DM  47 DOUBLE X (turn 279): THE OPERA (Manager, mgr.)
 DM  50 SNOWBOUND (turn 266): POSITION IS EMPTY
 DM  56 ROCANIS (turn 487): MIDDLE WAY 20 (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  60 COLLUSION COVE (turn 475): EX OBLIVIONE (Enigma, mgr.)
 DM  61 JURINE (turn 455): MIDDLE WAY 16 (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  65 DAL SHANG (turn 451): SAND DANCERS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  73 ERINIKA (turn 215): BLACKMAIL (The Mun, mgr.)
 DM  74 DAYLA KIV (turn 415): SAND DANCERS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  75 JADE MOUNTAIN (turn 408): GREATS OF TROY (Zalgor Prigg, mgr.)
 DM  78 LIN TIRIAN (turn 397): GIRLS X3 (Non, mgr.)
ADM 103 FREE BLADES (turn 513): DO IT AGAIN et al (The Dark One, mgr.)

                                   Recent Graduates
                                  -----------------
 DM  15 MALCORN (turn 621): PIE EYED PIPER of STARBASE 5 (Zeus, mgr.)
 DM  17 ALJAFIR (turn 618): GERMANICUS of GLADIATORS (Caesar, mgr.)
 DM  28 MORYA (turn 310): CASH MEALS of EXPENSE ACCOUNT (Finance Manager, mgr.)
 DM  29 LAPUR (turn 612): LUNA of WILL DUEL 4 MEAD (Sporkis, mgr.)
                          A.A. SHOCK of FORCE OF NATURE (Storm Front, mgr.)
              (turn 611): NEEDS SALT of BOHICA (Scruffy, mgr.)
 DM  32 ARVAT (turn 609): ARTEMIDORUS IV of ROMAN HEROES (Caesar, mgr.)
 DM  33 NIATOLI ISLAND (turn 607): DARK JOURNEY of STORM BRINGERS (The Rake, mgr.)
                       (turn 606): THE MONGOL of RAVAGING LORDS (General Ikillu)
 DM  47 DOUBLE X (turn 279): CHINA MILKMAID of LAND OF OZ (Oz the Successful, mgr.)
                             IVAN POISY of SPOONERTICS (Spawn, mgr.)
                             MADAME BUTTERFLY of THE OPERA (Manager, mgr.)
                 (turn 278): LURKING FEAR of ABYSMAL RITES (Reaper, mgr.)
 DM  50 SNOWBOUND (turn 265): C.H.S. of LIFE IMPACTS (Smitty, mgr.)
 DM  56 ROCANIS (turn 487): CHARLIE EKSA of MIDDLE WAY 20 (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  61 JURINE (turn 454): SAND MAGGOT of FEAR FACTORY (Var, mgr.)
 DM  65 DAL SHANG (turn 450): GRIZOLPOP of SAND DANCERS (Jorja, mgr.)

                                 DUELMASTER'S COLUMN
                             Notes from the arena champ.

     And here I am.  Huh.  Well, hard luck for Cheesy Ripper.  This is one of the
ways you can lose a title:  Lose to a standby and fall below the ranking of some
other active gladiator.  It doesn't even matter that I defeated my standby, only that
my end ranking is higher than yours--or anybody else's, of course.  But you fought
the Chardinee, and he's nowhere near as easy as the Embezzling Scribe that I faced.

                                    Quin Rossal

                                      SPY REPORT

     It's me, The Unknown Spymaster here with my bag to give you the news on last 
week's fights.  Hey everybody, watch out for NIGHT STALKER, who flew up 15 points in 
the rankings after mashing OSGAR POOLE like a melon.  Keep your eye on this gal.  And 
falling like a basher in the top ten was OSGAR POOLE, who dropped 9 points after a 
disappointing (to say the least) bout with NIGHT STALKER.  Our Duelmaster has lost, 
folks, lost to KHALHUMS DWARF, BUT QUIN ROSSAL is still the Duelmaster because he has 
the most recognition points!  4 out of 5 gladiators surveyed protect the body, so try 
and avoid aiming at that location.   
     Let's dig a little deeper into what's happening in the NOBLISH ISLAND arena.  
Well dang howdy, but if challenges were votes, KITSUNE would be president.  Although 
it may be a contest she doesn't want to win.   
     Death is kind of like a new puppy:  he's always around wanting to play.  (Ha 
Zontani, how's that for a wise saying?).  Here's some advice:  warriors with little 
wit and will may encounter problems on the trail to the Isle.   
     Well, that wasn't too bad; Alarond told me that the people in NOBLISH ISLAND 
have no sense of humor.  Or maybe that they were senseless.  Well, there goes another 
Spy Report.  Good luck in next week's fights.  Its been fun, and I'm sure you enjoyed 
it (boos).  Now that I've got you worked up for Snide Clemens, I'll be leaving-- The 
Unknown Spymaster  

DUELMASTER                     W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 QUIN ROSSAL 9006              2   1  0    33       MIDDLE WAY 22 (1550)

CHALLENGER INITIATES           W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 CHEESY RIPPER 9001            2   1  0    27       FORT REAPER (1547)

INITIATES                      W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 MAXIE NEBB 9004               3   0  0    22       MIDDLE WAY 22 (1550)
 CAPT. JACK 8999               2   1  1    22       FORT REAPER (1547)
 SAL TOPPO 9007                3   0  0    20       MIDDLE WAY 22 (1550)
 NIGHT STALKER 9000            2   1  0    19       FORT REAPER (1547)
 KARA LEK 9003                 3   0  0    18       MIDDLE WAY 22 (1550)
 ALEXANDRA 8981                1   5  0     8       FORT REAPER (1547)
 OSGAR POOLE 9005              1   2  0     5       MIDDLE WAY 22 (1550)
 STARGAZER 9013                1   1  0     4       TYRENT'S FURIES (1545)
 UNSIDHE 8969                  0   3  0     3       TYRENT'S FURIES (1545)
 SINISTER KISS 9016            0   1  0     1       TYRENT'S FURIES (1545)

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

THE DEAD                W  L K TEAM NAME            SLAIN BY              TURN Revenge?
FACE REAPER 9002        1  2 0 FORT REAPER 1547     MASTER SEN GANAM      282  NONE
KHALID 8982             1  1 0 FORT REAPER 1547     MAGGY EVERBLOOD 8989  278  NOT REVENGED
NIMASHEY 8979           0  2 0 FORT REAPER 1547     TOMMY EVERBLOOD 8991  278  NOT REVENGED
KITSUNE 8968            1  2 0 TYRENT'S FURIES 1545 CAPT. JACK 8999       282   

                                     PERSONAL ADS

Quin Rossal -- Thanks for the advice.  I think I may just try it.  Yes, I was
training skills, just a bad break that day.

How do you get cowards into the arena?  For three fights, I have been bloodfeuding
the ever-running Clan, yet get no shows.  You really can expect more from the
children of an infect commercial campaign. -- Fort Reaper's management

Unsidhe -- I've been thinking, you're from the Unseelie Court, right?  Maybe you
could carry a petition for me?  Meet me after the fights to talk about it. -- Maxie
Nebb
P.S.  With your style, armor would not be a bad thing.  An offhand weapon--and a
shield counts--is probably not the best idea at your experience level.
P.P.S.  And you ARE training skills (SK in the relevant blank), aren't you?  You
should be LEARNING skills, but if you chance to be training stats, any stats, well,
forget skills.
P.P.P.S.  I'm not really a golem, you know, I'm Shewish.  If you want to get together
privately somewhere to talk over, ah, stuff--all kinds of stuff, well, I'm willing.
P.P.P.P.S.  Good moves.

Alexandra -- A hard style to work with, but you're stuck with that.  However, you are
NOT stuck with a weapon in each hand (see not above, shields count as weapons).  Even
though you can use them competently, I would strongly advise you to try just the
primary weapon, drop the off-hand weapon (but not on your foot--or mine!).  I don't
KNOW that it will help, but it might. -- Kara Lek
P.S.  Further, it's possible that your fight numbers (offensive effort and activity
level) were a little too high.  One thing your style is good at is hanging on till
your offensive-styled opponent, which would be me, burns out and then, whammo, you
come out and deal a hard blow.  Because, as you can see, I *was* getting tired.  You
just didn't have the right strategy to take advantage of it.  Hmm, if you aren't
running a specific desperation strategy, you might want to try low fight numbers for
the first couple of minutes and high ones in desperation.  I can't guarantee that'll
help, but who knows?  It might be worth a try.

Face Reaper -- Stop snickering!  I am NOT a dwarf.  The Commission is nuts about
this.  Good choice of primary weapon, you're painfully effective with it.  But drop
the offhand weapon for two reasons:  a) Jorja is generally against offhand weapons
anyway, says it's too confusing for a new gladiator, and b) your offhand weapon is
not one suited to your style. -- Osgar Poole

Did you ever wonder what motivates a Persistant Beggar to fight in the arena?  It's a
hard life and an easy death, so why do they do it, over and over again? -- Sal Toppo
P.S.  Yeah, okay, sometimes they aren't given a choice, and it's probably cheaper
than keeping them in jail, but still.  I think in that position *I* would go out and
get an honest job of work.
P.P.S.  But everyone says I'm weird.

26 August 09
     There has been a run lately of personals and columns turning up in the wrong
     arenas.  When you email in something, check and make sure you have the correct
     arena number!  It's easy for a finger to slip onto the wrong key.  When the
     receipt comes back, check again to be sure it went where you intended!
     Vigilance is your friend, and mine too. -- the Editor

                                  LAST WEEK'S FIGHTS

FACE REAPER was butchered by MASTER SEN GANAMIR in a 1 minute bloody Dark Arena fight.
UNSIDHE lost to SAL TOPPO in a 3 minute beginner's Challenge battle.
STARGAZER was demolished by MAXIE NEBB in a 1 minute uneven Challenge fight.
KITSUNE was butchered by CAPT. JACK in a 1 minute one-sided Challenge contest.
QUIN ROSSAL was defeated by KHALHUMS DWARF in a 3 minute Title match.
ALEXANDRA was viciously subdued by KARA LEK in a 2 minute bloody fight.
NIGHT STALKER overpowered OSGAR POOLE in a 1 minute gory mismatched brawl.
CHEESY RIPPER handily defeated SINISTER KISS in a 1 minute uneven melee.

                                    BATTLE REPORT

             MOST POPULAR                        RECORD DURING THE LAST 10 TURNS     
|FIGHTING STYLE               FIGHTS        FIGHTING STYLE     W -   L -  K   PERCENT|
|STRIKING ATTACK                  6         WALL OF STEEL      3 -   0 -  2     100  |
|SLASHING ATTACK                  2         PARRY-LUNGE        5 -   1 -  1      83  |
|AIMED BLOW                       2         SLASHING ATTACK   10 -   3 -  1      77  |
|PARRY-STRIKE                     1         STRIKING ATTACK   29 -  18 -  1      62  |
|PARRY-RIPOSTE                    1         BASHING ATTACK    16 -  10 -  1      62  |
|LUNGING ATTACK                   1         LUNGING ATTACK    10 -   7 -  0      59  |
|BASHING ATTACK                   1         TOTAL PARRY        4 -   5 -  0      44  |
|PARRY-LUNGE                      0         AIMED BLOW         4 -   5 -  0      44  |
|TOTAL PARRY                      0         PARRY-STRIKE       2 -   9 -  0      18  |
|WALL OF STEEL                    0         PARRY-RIPOSTE      0 -   4 -  0       0  |

Turn 282 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:

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

                               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 KARA LEK 9003.  The most popular warrior this turn 
was KARA LEK 9003.  The ten other most popular fighters were QUIN ROSSAL 9006, CHEESY 
RIPPER 9001, SAL TOPPO 9007, MAXIE NEBB 9004, CAPT. JACK 8999, NIGHT STALKER 9000, 
ALEXANDRA 8981, OSGAR POOLE 9005, FACE REAPER 9002, and UNSIDHE 8969.

The least popular fighter this week was SINISTER KISS 9016.  The other ten least 
popular fighters were KITSUNE 8968, STARGAZER 9013, UNSIDHE 8969, FACE REAPER 9002, 
OSGAR POOLE 9005, ALEXANDRA 8981, NIGHT STALKER 9000, CAPT. JACK 8999, MAXIE NEBB 
9004, and SAL TOPPO 9007.

                                 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 103260.3347@compuserve.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.