DUEL 2 NEWSLETTER

Date   : 04/10/2010    Duedate: 04/23/2010

NOBLISH ISLAND ARENA

DM-93    TURN-297

This Weeks Top Honors

THE DUELMASTER IS

POSITION IS EMPTY

Chartered Recognition LeaderUnchartered Recognition Leader

STONES                         POSITION IS EMPTY
IWC (1554)                     
(93-9031) [5-5-0,44]           

Popularity Leader              This Weeks Favorite

HICKS                          CUSTIS FORN
SPACEMARINES (1555)            MIDDLE WAY 23 (1556)
(93-9037) [4-5-0,23]           (93-9043) [6-2-0,56]

THE CURRENT TOP TEAM

MIDDLE WAY 23 (1556)

          TEAMS ON THE MOVE            TOP CAREER HONORS
Team Name                  Point Gain  Chartered Team
1. MIDDLE WAY 23 (1556)        38
2. SPACEMARINES (1555)          8      IWC (1554)
3. IWC (1554)                  -8      Unchartered Team

                                       MIDDLE WAY 23 (1556)

The Top Teams

Career Win-Loss Record           W   L  K    %  Win-Loss Record Last 3 Turns    W  L K
 1/ 1*MIDDLE WAY 23 (1556)      27  12  1 69.2   1/ 1*MIDDLE WAY 23 (1556)     11  4 0
 2/ 2*SPACEMARINES (1555)       26  19  5 57.8   2/ 3*SPACEMARINES (1555)       6  9 1
 3/ 3 IWC (1554)                21  21  0 50.0   3/ 2 IWC (1554)                4  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

                                   Rhythm and Blues
                               A Few Thoughts on Rhythm

     Every warrior has a favorite rhythm--a favored number for Offensive Effort and
Activity Level.  (Note, to the best of my knowledge and belief, there is NO favored
Kill Desire.)  This rhythm is set when the warrior is created, and it is revealed to
the manager when the warrior graduates.
     I have never been entirely clear as to what, exactly, using the favored rhythm
does for the warrior, but there is a general agreement that it does something,
usually something good.  Paces him, perhaps, to get the most fight for the least
endurance burn?  Paces him so that he can make the most of his style's specific
strengths and minimize the weaknesses?  Something like that, no doubt.
     This implies that favored rhythms are linked to style, and that certain ranges
may be specific to style, and I understand that the major number crunchers have
demonstrated this to be so.  It further suggests to me that if one knows the range of
favored rhythms for a given style, one may be able to give a warrior of that style a
more effective strategy than one derived simply by guessing and looking at the
warrior's stats and overview.
     Wherefore I have pulled out the favorite rhythms by style of the graduated
warriors available for my inspection.  You will note that the size of the samples
varies a lot from style to style.  This roughly indicates the ease with which I have
been able to keep the different styles alive until graduation, modified by my
personal preferences as to style.

The first letter in a pair indicates favored Offensive Effort, the second favored
Activity Level.
     VH=very high   H=high    M=moderate     L=low     VL=very low
Distributing the ten numbers available in an even and logical manner, we get:
     VH= 10, 9     H= 8,7     M= 6,5     L= 4,3     VL= 2,1
We don't know exactly which number of the pair a given "favorite" is, but this is
close enough.
     I'm including the raw data here, despite the fact that it looks very boring,
heck, it is very boring, so that any of you who wish to may study it and make your
own deductions.

Aimed Blows, twenty-two graduated warriors polled as to favorite rhythms:
      L/VL    L/L    VL/L    VL/M     L/VL    M/VL    M/L     L/VL   VL/VL    L/M
      L/L     L/M     L/L    VL/L    VL/M     L/VL    L/L    VL/L     L/M     M/L
     VL/VL    L/L
     Notice a pattern here?  Nothing higher than Moderate, and every pair has at
least one Low or Very Low.  In other words, Aimed Blows prefer to be run "scummy."
Or if you're feeling charitable, they like to take their time and make their blows
count, which is natural enough when you consider that accuracy is their strong suit.

Bashers, twenty-five graduated warriors polled.
     VH/VL   VH/VL   VH/VL    H/VL    H/L     H/L     H/M     H/L     M/VL    H/VL
     VH/VL    H/L     H/M     M/L     H/L     H/L     H/M    VH/L    VH/VL   VH/VL
      H/L    VH/M     H/L     H/VL    M/L
     Again, there's an obvious pattern, but it's a different one.  Offensive Effort
no lower than Moderate, Activity Level no higher than Moderate, and often a very
sharp division between the two in any given pair.  High Offensive Effort, low
Activity Level.  No instances of M/M listed here!  Bashers are very direct in their
fighting: attack, attack, attack.  No finesse, little dodging.

Lungers, forty graduated warriors polled.
     VH/H     H/H     H/M     M/H     M/H     M/VH    L/H    VH/M    VH/VH    H/VH
      H/VH    M/VH   VH/M     H/H     H/VH    M/VH    H/VH    H/H    VH/M     M/VH
     VH/VH    L/VH    L/H     H/VH    M/H     M/M     M/H     M/M     H/VH    H/H
     VH/VH   VH/H     M/VH    L/H     M/H     H/H     H/H    VH/M     M/M    VH/H
     Everything but VL is represented in this group.  Two out of the forty warriors
have rhythms of M/M.  It may be significant that these are both fairly old warriors;
other anomalies have shown up from time to time in very old warriors.  Other than
that, every pair contains either H or VH at least once, although there seems to be no
definite preference as to which position it should be in.  A slight bias toward
faster OE than AL, but the sample isn't large enough to be sure of that.  It's common
to see BOTH numbers H or VH for this style.  Lungers like to run fast, and a good
lunger fight has a lot of action--dodging to the side, leaping over or ducking under
a blow, as well as attacking.  Of course, that means they tend to burn out fast, too,
so you have to plan for that.

Parry-Lungers, twenty graduated warriors polled.
      M/VH    M/H     L/M     H/VH   VL/H     M/M     H/M     H/H     H/M     H/L
      M/L     H/H     L/L     H/L     M/M     H/L     L/L     H/M    VL/L     L/VH
     Granting that this is a small sample, I see no pattern here.  P-lungers vary a
lot from one warrior to the next, and you have to experiment to find the rhythm that
works best for any individual warrior.  Some are more lunger, some more parry.  In
fact, you could say that the "Offensive Total Parries" and "Defensive Lungers" that
some managers write articles about could be summed up as: Parry-Lunger.

Parry-Ripostes, a mere fourteen graduated warriors polled.
     VL/M     M/M     M/M     H/M     L/M    VL/M     L/M     L/H     M/H     L/H
     VL/M     L/H     L/M     L/M
     Hardly a definitive sample (these are hard to graduate), but there seems to be a
pattern of Offensive Effort no higher than Moderate (okay, one, unless it's a typo),
Activity Level no lower than Moderate.  I must admit that I have been known to run
them with an OE of High or Very High when I got tired of having them jumped by
offensive-styled warriors.  Some rippers can handle that without flailing or getting
tired, and some can't.

Parry-Strikers, twenty-one polled.
      M/VL    M/VL   VL/M     M/M    VL/H     L/L     L/VL   VL/L     L/L     M/L
      M/H     L/M     M/VL    L/VL   VL/L    VL/VL   VL/M    VL/L     L/L    VL/L
      M/L
     I see every range of numbers here but VH, and no obvious pattern.  Figures.
Everyone says this style is notional when it comes to how they want to run.  A large
sample might show some clear tendency, but from this small group, all I can say is,
they don't seem to like to run very fast.

Slashers, sixty warriors polled.  What can I say?  I like slashers, and when I was
starting out, I ran a lot of them, many of whom lived to graduate.  In some cases,
this was unfortunate, but at the time, it seemed like a good idea....
     VH/VL    H/L     H/VL    M/L     H/VL    H/L     M/VL    H/L     H/VL    M/M
      M/M    VH/VL   VH/L     H/VL    H/VL   VH/L     H/VL    H/L     M/VL   VH/L
     VH/M     M/VL    H/M     M/VL    M/VL    H/L     H/L     M/L     H/VL   VH/VL
     VH/VL    M/M     H/VL    M/VL    H/VL    H/VL   VH/L     H/L     H/L     H/VL
      M/L     M/L     H/VL    M/M     M/L     M/L    VH/VL   VH/L     M/VL    H/VL
      H/VL   VH/VL    H/VL    H/VL   VH/L     H/VL    M/L     H/VL   VH/VL
     Now that we're back among the pure offensive styles, a pattern emerges again.
No Offensive Effort lower than Moderate, no Activity Level higher than Moderate.
Within those limits, anything goes--from Moderate/Moderate to Very High/Very Low.
Slashers like to run hard, they don't like to stand around and scum their opponents,
but they'll accept a modestly cautious approach if it's called for.  Pay attention to
the details in your warrior's fight.  If he starts getting tired early on, you
probably need to lower his Offensive Effort some.  If he never gets the first blow
and loses continually because of that, raise Offensive Effort.

Strikers, sixty-three polled.  (shrug)  When in doubt, make it a striker....
     VL/M     L/L     L/L     H/VL    M/H     M/L     L/M     L/L     L/VL    M/L
      M/VL    M/L     H/VL    H/L     M/L     M/VL    M/L     M/H     L/VL    M/M
      L/M     L/VL    M/VL    L/VL    L/VL    M/L     L/VL   VL/L     H/L     M/H
      M/H     H/VL   VL/L     H/VL    M/VL   VL/L     H/VL    M/VL    M/VL   VL/VL
      M/VL    L/H     H/L     M/VL    H/VL    M/M     L/VL    M/L     M/L     M/L
      H/M     M/L     L/M    VL/M     M/VL    M/L     M/M     L/L     M/VL    M/L
      H/VL    H/H     M/L
     Neither Offensive Effort nor Activity Level of Very High appears, but that
leaves a lot of possible combinations (okay, only sixteen, but that seems like a lot
when you're writing an article late at night), and most of them seem to show up on
this list.  Strikers, like P-Strikers, need tinkering.

Total Parries, twenty-nine warriors polled.
     VL/M    VL/L     M/VL   VL/VL    L/L    VL/VL   VL/M    VL/VL    L/M    VL/L
     VL/M     L/M     L/H     M/M     M/VL   VL/VL   VL/L    VL/VL    L/L    VL/VL
     VL/L     L/L    VL/L     L/L    VL/L     L/VL   VL/L    VL/L    VL/L
     No Offensive Effort higher than Moderate, no Activity Level except one higher
than Moderate.  This is what you'd expect, right?  Total Parries conserve their
energy.  While you can run them faster, they aren't going to like it.  And if they
don't like it, they aren't going to perform really well.

Walls of Steel, thirty-five polled.
      M/VL    L/L     L/VL    M/L     M/M     L/VL    H/VL    L/VL    M/VL   VH/M
      M/L     L/M     H/VL    H/M     L/L     L/L     M/L     M/L     M/VL    M/L
      M/L     H/L    VH/VL    H/L     M/L     L/M     H/M     M/M     M/M     H/L
      M/VL   VH/M     H/L     M/VL    H/M
     No Offensive Effort of Very Low, no Activity Level higher than Moderate.  Some
people call this style the "parry-slash," others say it's a prime candidate for
running like a berserker.  Otherwise, a lot of variation.  Some are scummy (L/VL) and
some are slice-and-dice machines (VH/M).  Too bad you can't tell right off which
you've got, eh?  This style needs attention and experimenation for best results.

     Now that you've plowed through all the tedious stuff (at least, it was tedious
for me to organize the data, hope it was less so for you to look at it), I'll offer a
word of advice to new players.  Make all or most of your first warriors of the styles
that have clear patterns.  Bashers and slashers are the easiest to do well with right
off the bat.  Lungers and strikers are a little trickier, but not much.  The others
are a lot trickier.  Winning right off with your first attempts at those styles--
especially once you're out of Noblish Island and into the cold, cruel mainland, is
unlikely.  However, the study and struggle needed to master one of the trickier
styles is amply rewarded by the rush of guiding one to a winning record, a
duelmastership, and graduation.

Jorja
The Middle Way

           +<]H[>+-----+<]H[+ Question of the Week #9 +]H[>+-----+<]H[>+

The question, turn 420:

All -- I was noticing the skill modifiers for low to high size; do these negatives
keep a warrior from being successful at the high end of the game? -- Hanibal --
Q.O.W.

Answers, turn 421:

Q.O.W. (size) -- Smaller size has always had an advantage in the upper levels of the
game, especially at the top of Primus and Gateway.  The bonus to defense and parry
offsets the initiative loss and the damage taking and dealing that a large size
provides.  Of course, large size comes with its own defense penalty.  A high defense
is critical in the upper levels where it is imperative not to get hit.  If you are
unhittable, it comes down to an endurance contest.  However, huge warriors,
especially those gifted in defense can make devastating opponents on their road to
the top.  They are tough and dish out more than all the little pip squeaks ever
could.  It's much easier to get a great warrior out of a smaller size than out of a
larger size of course, due to stat distribution to the other critical areas like WT,
WL and DF, so finding a great huge warrior is difficult.  My best is Khazakh who is
in 105 right now.  He's gifted in defense and endurance, and he's devastating in the
arena.  But some day, near the very top, his size will probably be a hindrance unless
his attack is absolutely crazy and he can hit the little guys. -- Adie

Q.O.W. (answer) -- It depends greatly on what you define as the top of the game.
Certainly any sized warrior can be effective at the top of a basic arena or any AD
arena.  By the time you're talking Primus or Gateway it's mainly a matter of whether
or not your team can muster enough warriors to win magical prizes to enhance you,
those without them must be truly gifted indeed. -- Maxwell Honorblade

Q.O.W. -- Do the small size skill negatives prevent success in the top end game? --
Certainly not!  While the negatives are there, remember that small size allows more
"points" elsewhere, easily making up the skills.  The smaller warriors are *often*
the leaders at the top end.  There are also TC-winning ways to modify warriors, and
this past FTF prize is "very expensive" for this very purpose. -- Kennelworth

QoW -- I don't participate at the Primus/Gateway level of play, but the word is that
ability to deal a powerful blow remains important and thus allows the large warriors
(read: lungers) to remain competitive with their smaller peers.  What I do know is
that my sz 3 Lunger that's +4 in defense will have, when completely maxxed out in
both skills and stats, the highest number of naturally attainable defense skills in
the game.  Unfortunately, she'll only do tremendous if she's lucky. -- Generalissimo
Puerco

QOW -- My limited experience in the high end of the game (I have one whole Gateway
warrior...WHOO!) the most important skills are, in order:  attack, defense, and
initiative.  So while it isn't good to lose defense, init is a valuable asset as well
(helps keep the momentum).  Another aspect in the end game is the damage rating,
which size does help and can make a LOT of difference.  But since it is better to
have a 21 wit than a 21 size, I would say that in general over 11 size is unwanted.
-- Anti

The questions this time were in regard to the Style-vs-Style chart and how to run a
parry-riposte.

Parry-Riposte:  How to run them?  Hmm... well, I've only run three so far, but I
think I've seen a lot of what they can and can't do.  From my experience, if their
parry is decent, they can take a couple good hits, and carry decent, give them heavy
armor and run parry tactic (very helpful with their low parry bases), but at maybe 4-
5-5, or faster at 5-3-5.  The parry tactic augments their defense, but they'll still
try to riposte since they have so much of it.  For those who are more frail, can't
carry much, and have decent defense, I go in lighter armor and run maybe 3-6-4 (I've
never run dodge tactic here, but I'd try).  My first ripper to AD had a 7 ST, did
normal damage, and she ran in ALE/L running with moderate activity. She graduated 16-
6.  Of course, she's also +5 in att, +2 in par.  But she still defends much better
than she parries in that light armor. -- Adie
P.S.  As for early in the career, scumming is handy, but put OE up just a bit so
they'll swing if given the opportunity.  Armor for sure to keep them alive unless
you're bold.

Leeta -- I've seen that chart too, but I have no idea if it was based off of a large
number of fights.  I think those numbers for strikers reflects their great ability to
throw those crits early in the career, and to be quick to the first hit. For parry-
strikers, I think it merely reflects the variability in how they can be run and
designed.  The chart of course is based on gross stereo-typing of the styles.  I
wouldn't use it too much even as a beginner. -- Adie

Leeta -- I think that "chance to win by style" chart is silly.  Doesn't it say that
lungers will almost always beat aimers?  My aimers tend to do pretty well against
lungers, how about yours? -- Generalissimo Puerco

Leeta and ALL others -- While I have not seen this chart, I can't help but say that
it is probably not very accurate.  Too many things factor into a match-up of two
warriors to expect style to <cut off by Hal, unfortunately>

     On thinking it over in the light of the past month's fights, I have a feeling
that the chart is probably rather old, and that recent advances in management
technique have drastically undermined its usefulness in most instances.  Discounting
luck (which one should never do, of course), and all other things being more or less
equal, the best manager is more likely to win, rather than the one whose warrior has
the favored style.  (Now, there's an inflamatory statement!)  Probably that
overstates the case, but I think managerial skill is now a significant factor,
anyway, even if it isn't decisive. -- Jorja

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

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

                                     Duelmasters
                                     -----------
 DM   9 ZUKAL (turn 641): LIP GLOSS of HOT STUFF (Papa Bear, mgr.)
 DM  12 RIZTAB (turn 643): SCURVY LADY of SEA DOGS (One Armed Bandit, mgr.)
 DM  13 DULLENS (turn 516): ROBERTO LEATHAM of HOUSE OF CARDS (Zalgor Prigg, mgr.)
 DM  15 MALCORN (turn 637): STARIEL of DARK CREATION (H.P.L. West, mgr.)
 DM  16 WILLAF (turn 639): ON GOLDEN POND of GOLDEN GLADIATORS (Midas, mgr.)
 DM  17 ALJAFIR (turn 630): YAREK ZORN of MIDDLE WAY (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  19 ZUWAYZA (turn 631): FARM WEEKLY of THE MAGNIFICENT MAGS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  28 MORYA (turn 318): CRICTOR UNGERER of THE PENTARCHY (Le Pentarque, mgr.)
 DM  29 LAPUR (turn 628): LUCKY EIREANN of CLAN CROW (?, mgr.)
 DM  31 CHIMLEVTAL (turn 315): KOLUM MAROD of MIDDLE WAY 7 (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  32 ARVAT (turn 625): BILL P. GORE of DEVIL ADVOCATES (The Dark One, mgr.)
 DM  33 NIATOLI ISLAND (turn 622): BITCHIN' BEAST of DIVINE HERITAGE
                                                     (Bubba Ganoosh, mgr.)
 DM  35 MURSKA (turn 614): FROSTBITE of URBAN JUNGLE (Jugger, mgr.)
 DM  43 VEASTIAN (turn 576): PRINCE CONNOR of LUROCIAN ROYALTY (The Greek Guy, mgr.)
 DM  45 STORMCROWE (turn 293): DAN MACK GRU of NORTHERN LIGHTS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  47 TEMPLE OF ABARSIS (turn 287): RONDOL QUIGLO of THE MIDDLE WAY 3 (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  50 SNOWBOUND (turn 274): MRS. VAUGHN of LIFE IMPACTS (Smitty, mgr.)
 DM  56 ROCANIS (turn 504): FREM HARID of MIDDLE WAY 20 (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  60 COLLUSION COVE (turn 491): PERFECT SNOTLING of SUPERIOR FORCES 1601 (Manager)
 DM  61 JURINE (turn 471): COUNTER OFFER of VIKING LINGO (The Dark One, mgr.)
 DM  65 DAL SHANG (turn 467): LOEKER SMITH of SAND DANCERS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  73 ERINIKA (turn 223): EXTORTION of BLACKMAIL (The Mun, mgr.)
 DM  74 DAYLA KIV (turn 427): SPARTAN 1 of GATES OF FIRE (Chief Illiniwek, mgr.)
 DM  75 JADE MOUNTAIN (turn 421): QUINCY WATTS of GREATS OF TROY (Zalgor Prigg, mgr.)
 DM  78 LIN TIRIAN (turn 413): DEVONSHIRE of KIWI CONNECTION (The Mun, mgr.)
ADM 103 FREE BLADES (turn 529): JEANNE D'ARC of GORGEOUS GOBLINS (Bartender, mgr.)

                                      Top Teams
                                      ---------
 DM   9 ZUKAL (turn 641): BLUE MOON (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  12 RIZTAB (turn 624): SEA DOGS (One Armed Bandit, mgr.)
 DM  13 DULLENS (turn 516): HARRY POTTER AND THE (?, mgr.)
 DM  15 MALCORN (turn 637): RAINBOW CONNECTION (?, mgr.)
 DM  16 WILLAF (turn 639): GOLDEN GLADIATORS (Midas, mgr.)
 DM  17 ALJAFIR (turn 630): THE GENERALS (?, mgr.)
 DM  19 ZUWAYZA (turn 631): THE MAGNIFICENT MAGS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  28 MORYA (turn 318): PHANTACITY (Omega, mgr.)
 DM  29 LAPUR (turn 628): MID EARTH (Visionist, mgr.)
 DM  31 CHIMLEVTAL (turn 615): THE KINDRED (Godric Magnesson DaVinci, mgr.)
 DM  32 ARVAT (turn 625): DEVIL ADVOCATES (The Dark One, mgr.)
 DM  33 NIATOLI ISLAND (turn 622): DIVINE HERITAGE (Bubba Ganoosh, mgr.)
 DM  35 MURSKA (turn 614): URBAN JUNGLE (Jugger, mgr.)
 DM  43 VEASTIAN (turn 576): THE FAMILY (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  45 STORMCROWE (turn 293): ASAIRE (?, mgr.)
 DM  47 TEMPLE OF ABARSIS (turn 287): DEVIATION (Marma Duke, mgr.)
 DM  50 SNOWBOUND (turn 274): LIFE IMPACTS (Smitty, mgr.)
 DM  56 ROCANIS (turn 504): INCONSISTENT FURY (Banthius, mgr.)
 DM  60 COLLUSION COVE (turn 491): THE BROTHERHOOD (Godric Magnesson DaVinci, mgr.)
 DM  61 JURINE (turn 471): DOCTORS (?, mgr.)
 DM  65 DAL SHANG (turn 467): SAND DANCERS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  73 ERINIKA (turn 223): BLACKMAIL (The Mun, mgr.)
 DM  74 DAYLA KIV (turn 427): NUMB-ERS (?, mgr.)
 DM  75 JADE MOUNTAIN (turn 421): GREATS OF TROY (Zalgor Prigg, mgr.)
 DM  78 LIN TIRIAN (turn 413): J (?, mgr.)
ADM 103 FREE BLADES (turn 529): DO IT AGAIN et al (The Dark One, mgr.)

                                   Recent Graduates
                                  -----------------
 DM  13 DULLENS (turn 515): DARKWIND of CARDOW HUNTERS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  15 MALCORN (turn 637): STARIEL of DARK CREATION (H.P.L. West, mgr.)
 DM  17 ALJAFIR (turn 630): YAREK ZORN of MIDDLE WAY (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  28 MORYA (turn 318): SECI of PHANTACITY (Omega, mgr.)
 DM  29 LAPUR (turn 627): JULIANUS of EQUESTORS (Spartacus, mgr.)
 DM  31 CHIMLEVTAL (turn 315): KOLUM MAROD of MIDDLE WAY 7 (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  35 MURSKA (turn 614): FROSTBITE of URBAN JUNGLE (Jugger, mgr.)
               (turn 613): ORION of ON THE ROCKS (Bartender, mgr.)
 DM  43 VEASTIAN (turn 576): BITT BETRO of THE FAMILY (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  45 STORMCROWE (turn 292): WALRUS of NORTHERN LIGHTS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  50 SNOWBOUND (turn 274): HOOPS of LIFE IMPACTS (Smitty, mgr.)
                  (turn 273): KIRLA LORVIN of MIDDLE WAY 6 (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  56 ROCANIS (turn 503): RIA ROSEDANCER of INCONSISTENT FURY (Banthius, mgr.)
 DM  65 DAL SHANG (turn 465): FLITCHAK of CASTAWAYS (She-Puppy, mgr.)

                                 DUELMASTER'S COLUMN
                             Notes from the arena champ.

     Okay, so I lost to the Khalhums Dwarf, can you be surprised at it?  That was a
serious mis-match, which is a thing that happens in small arenas, oftener than one
might wish.  Of course, large arenas have their perils, too.  For instance, thera are
a few managers out there who will do anything for a win and glory in a kill.  That
is, of course, entirely their right within the rules of the game, but sometimes the
results come down hard on new managers.  What it comes down to is: no arena is a safe
place to be.  Natural enough, when you stop to think about it, but who wants to think
about it?  When it comes time for you to leave for the mainland, choose your new
arenas with care.

                                    Elspeth Haun

                                      SPY REPORT

     Oh, hi.  Its just little 'ol Debby Tonte.  Thought I'd check out NOBLISH ISLAND 
to see what's new.  MVP award for ARABELLA DEEDS?  MIDDLE WAY 23's proud of her after 
beating VASQUEZ and getting 16 points.  Talk about yer big time losers!  VASQUEZ got 
smashed by ARABELLA DEEDS, and lost 11 points!  Our last turn's Duelmaster has lost, 
folks, lost to VENEMOUS CONCUBINE, and ELSPETH HAUN has made the way for a new 
Duelmaster!  I hear the top team insists all their warriors get nine hours sleep.  
They want photogenic fighters for PR photos.   
     Look, you guys stick to fighting, all right?   
     What does a fighter fight for?  I mean, the crowds don't give a hoot if someone 
gets killed.  Not after four more fights.  ARABELLA DEEDS really fought hard against 
VASQUEZ.  That'll teach SPACEMARINES not to go and kill any of MIDDLE WAY 23's guys 
again, huh!  Fight, fight, fight.  Is that all you guys can do?   
     I really didn't, you know, study when I was a kid.  Who would've guessed I'd be 
a famous Spyreporter?  I gotta leave.  NOBLISH ISLAND is like such a dump, and you 
guys smell too much!  Remember you guys, ease up sometimes!  Chill out!  Later, Debby 
Tonte  

ADEPTS                         W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 CUSTIS FORN 9043              6   2  0    56       MIDDLE WAY 23 (1556)
 ELSPETH HAUN 9045             5   3  0    56       MIDDLE WAY 23 (1556)
 DRAKE 9039                    8   1  2    55       SPACEMARINES (1555)
 ARABELLA DEEDS 9041           6   2  1    50       MIDDLE WAY 23 (1556)
 STONES 9031                   5   5  0    44       IWC (1554)

ADEPTS                         W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 DEATH 9035                    5   5  0    37       IWC (1554)

CHALLENGER INITIATES           W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 DONIA GRELL 9064              2   0  0    30       MIDDLE WAY 23 (1556)
 VASQUEZ 9038                  7   2  2    26       SPACEMARINES (1555)

INITIATES                      W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 HICKS 9037                    4   5  0    23       SPACEMARINES (1555)
 HUDSON 9040                   5   4  0    22       SPACEMARINES (1555)
 DELIA GARTH 9044              5   3  0    20       MIDDLE WAY 23 (1556)
 STYX 9034                     5   5  0    20       IWC (1554)
 RIPLEY 9036                   2   7  1    14       SPACEMARINES (1555)

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

THE DEAD                W  L K TEAM NAME            SLAIN BY              TURN Revenge?
BONES 9032              4  3 0 IWC 1554             RIPLEY 9036           294  REVENGED
CHUCKIE FUDH 9051       3  1 0 MIDDLE WAY 23 1556   VASQUEZ 9038          295  JUST REVENGED

                                     PERSONAL ADS

Well, at least a Captured Orc is a fair match for me.  If such a pipsqueak could be
called a match at all.  I almost stepped on him, not seeing him down there. -- Custis
Forn

Ripley -- Ah!  A managed opponent, and a defeated one at that!  Just what I like to
see in front of me.  Drop the off-hand weapon, kiddo.  It slows you down. -- Arabella
Deeds

Hicks -- I probably hate you, but my head aches too much for me to be sure. -- Delia
Garth

The Embezzling Scribe was not impressive. -- Donia Grell
P.S.  He made *stupid* arithmetic errors.

                                  LAST WEEK'S FIGHTS

ELSPETH HAUN was viciously subdued by VENEMOUS CONCUBINE in a 1 minute fight.
DEATH was subdued by CUSTIS FORN in a 2 minute melee.
ARABELLA DEEDS demolished VASQUEZ in a 2 minute uneven fight.
DRAKE bested STONES in a 2 minute contest.
STYX was overpowered by DONIA GRELL in a 3 minute bloody one-sided fight.
RIPLEY was unbelievably bested by DELIA GARTH in a 3 minute gory duel.
HICKS bested OSKSI NOBLE in a 1 minute match.
HUDSON bested EMBEZZLING SCRIBE in a 6 minute competition.

                                    BATTLE REPORT

             MOST POPULAR                        RECORD DURING THE LAST 10 TURNS     
|FIGHTING STYLE               FIGHTS        FIGHTING STYLE     W -   L -  K   PERCENT|
|AIMED BLOW                       4         AIMED BLOW        23 -   9 -  5      72  |
|TOTAL PARRY                      3         STRIKING ATTACK   11 -   8 -  2      58  |
|STRIKING ATTACK                  2         LUNGING ATTACK    14 -  11 -  1      56  |
|LUNGING ATTACK                   2         TOTAL PARRY       14 -  12 -  0      54  |
|SLASHING ATTACK                  2         SLASHING ATTACK   13 -  13 -  0      50  |
|PARRY-LUNGE                      0         BASHING ATTACK     3 -   6 -  0      33  |
|PARRY-STRIKE                     0         PARRY-STRIKE       0 -   0 -  0       0  |
|PARRY-RIPOSTE                    0         PARRY-RIPOSTE      0 -   0 -  0       0  |
|BASHING ATTACK                   0         PARRY-LUNGE        0 -   1 -  0       0  |
|WALL OF STEEL                    0         WALL OF STEEL      0 -   1 -  0       0  |

Turn 297 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    2 -  0     PARRY-LUNGE        0 -  0         4  AIMED BLOW     
TOTAL PARRY        2 -  1     PARRY-STRIKE       0 -  0         2  SLASHING ATTACK
AIMED BLOW         2 -  2     PARRY-RIPOSTE      0 -  0         2  STRIKING ATTACK
LUNGING ATTACK     1 -  1     SLASHING ATTACK    0 -  2         2  TOTAL PARRY    
                              BASHING ATTACK     0 -  0         1  LUNGING ATTACK 
                              WALL OF STEEL      0 -  0     

                               TOP WARRIOR OF EACH STYLE

FIGHTING STYLE   WARRIOR                     W   L  K PNTS TEAM NAME                  
LUNGING ATTACK   CUSTIS FORN 9043            6   2  0   56 MIDDLE WAY 23 (1556)
SLASHING ATTACK  ELSPETH HAUN 9045           5   3  0   56 MIDDLE WAY 23 (1556)
AIMED BLOW       DRAKE 9039                  8   1  2   55 SPACEMARINES (1555)
STRIKING ATTACK  ARABELLA DEEDS 9041         6   2  1   50 MIDDLE WAY 23 (1556)
Note: Warriors have a winning record and are an Adept or Above.

The overall popularity leader is HICKS 9037.  The most popular warrior this turn was 
CUSTIS FORN 9043.  The ten other most popular fighters were ARABELLA DEEDS 9041, 
DONIA GRELL 9064, RIPLEY 9036, DRAKE 9039, HICKS 9037, ELSPETH HAUN 9045, DEATH 9035, 
STONES 9031, DELIA GARTH 9044, and VASQUEZ 9038.

The least popular fighter this week was HUDSON 9040.  The other ten least popular 
fighters were STYX 9034, VASQUEZ 9038, DELIA GARTH 9044, STONES 9031, DEATH 9035, 
ELSPETH HAUN 9045, HICKS 9037, DRAKE 9039, RIPLEY 9036, and DONIA GRELL 9064.

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                                  A NOTE ON MAILMEN

     In response to the articles on new fighting styles, those were good, but how can 
you forget our most favorite warrior who has a style all his own?  The Mailman!  To 
Duelmasters he is our most sacred person.  I mean, how many of you managers out their 
have sat down and calculated what day your Duelmasters will arrive and have sat 
waiting for it to arrive, while unknown to you, your mailman is fighting away to get 
your Duelmasters delivered.  Let's review him...
     ST - should be around 19.  He needs to heft two medium bags, cloth mail armor and 
a ton of rubber bands.
     CN - 13, give or take a few.  He does get bitten by dogs often.
     SZ - Any.
     WT - At least 10.  He often likes to read the mail.
     WL - Try about 20.  He must endure all kinds of weather.
     SP - 16 is good.  He needs to run across streets in traffic.
     DF - 10 is good.  Sometimes he has to carry packages.
     This setup should get you a good mailman but they are hard to come by.  If you 
can come up with any better, diplo me.  I am:

                                   Staple Gun
                                   mgr. of Technet (3)
                                   The New Deal (23)

     I am currently working on the U.P.S. and Federal Express warriors.

                                   "Strikers R Us"

     Greetings, everyone.  It is I, Talon, again.  I am very glad to see everyone 
participating in the arena and sharing their thoughts on styles and strategies.  This 
turn I will take on the striking attack style, which is certainly one of my favorites.
     I believe the striker is one of the easiest styles to run, and one in which no 
team should be without.  A high-powered striker can diversify and empower your team.  
A well run striker can beat any other style, period, at any level in regular 
Duelmasters.  In arenas where scum TPs are rampant, strikers are just the answer as 
they can attack for up to 12 minutes or more.  Strikers are versatile.  They can do 
exceptionally well with a dagger as a weapon or with a halberd.  They can do well with 
no armor or with plate armor.

Stats:

               Biff     Primal         Solid         Perfect
     
ST             5-21      9-17           13             15
CN              3+        3+             6              3
SZ             9-21      3-17            9              5
WT             3-17      17 +           17             21
WL             9-17      13 +           17             15
SP              5+       5-13            9              8
DF              9+       9-17           13             17

     With the way I design strikers, there are essentially two strikers that evolve.  
The BIFF and the PRIMAL.  The Biff striker is typically one that is not looking long-
term, but one which I want to run and have fun with.  With this striker, I try to have 
one stat (wit, will, or deftness) which is extraordinary, one which is average, and 
the other ends up being at some non-normal level.  Some examples of the Biff are: 10-
10-11-4-17-17-15, 7-11-17-17-11-6-15, 9-5-14-17-11-13-15, 4-8-17-15-13-10-17, and 21-
3-15-21-5-8-11.  With these warriors, the emphasis is on having fun and learning more 
about the style.
     The Primal is essentially a Primus-quality warrior.  In this category, the 
striker will be designed with stats that most other managers will gasp, "OH MY, WHY 
DID YOU MAKE HIM A STRIKER?"  It is also the warrior that will be Duelmaster for 8 
straight turns and will go to ADM with a 16-4-2 record, with 4 Masters and an Ad Ex.  
The key here is to create a warrior with AT LEAST a 17 wit and 15 deftness, along with 
a 13+ will and who will do normal damage or better.  The goal with the Primal is a 21 
wit and 17 deftness, because this will ensure a great warrior.
     Weapons and Armor:  As for weapons, the best striking weapons that I have found 
and used are the dagger, epee, scimitar, broadsword, quarterstaff, greatsword, 
longsword, war hammer, and sometimes the short spear.  I don't run my strikers with 
shields or off-hand weapons, as it takes away from their attack.  The heaviest armor I 
will use is padded leather.  Always wear a steel cap or a helm.

Strategy (general):

Min.           1    2    3    4    5    6+   Desp
OE             10   8    6    6    6    5    5
AL             10   5    4    2    2    1    8
KD             6    8    6    6    6    5    5
attack         arms/legs/head -- take your pick
protect        arms/legs/head -- take your pick
off tactic     decise, slash, bash,  depending on weapon
def tactic     response is best; try dodge though.

     With this strategy, a striker with a normal endurance should fight for eight 
minutes as a scum TP and come out on top, outrageously victorious.  Just match your 
weapon with your tactic and only use the tactics in minute one or desperation.
     If you have any further questions on this or any other style, feel free to diplo 
me.

                                                  Talon, mgr. Eagle's Claw

                    HOW I MADE DUELMASTER IN THREE EASY STEPS


                                          OR
                              a new look for Aimed Blows

     Greetings and salutations, all.  Here's a new twist on aimed blows I haven't seen 
before....one that works, at least for me!  Here's what I did with Rex Walters, my 
first Duelmaster in the Free Blades transfer arena, DM 70.
     ST: 17     (for good damage, attack and parry skills)
     CN: 13     (gonna need every hit point he can get)
     SZ: 4      (smaller the better!)
     WT: 4      (overrated for aimed blows!)
     WL: 21     (if ya try this method, 17 is a MINIMUM)
     SP: 4      (ya want NO speed, none, nothing, zero!)
     DF: 21     (better max this one out too, at least a 19)

     You laugh at me?  I started expert in both attack and parry! (OK, so I got lucky, 
I didn't expect either one of em.)  But both are in reach with a little luck.  Hey, if 
ya can get that strength to 21 you're almost guaranteed those experts... though a bit 
more CON would be nice.
     But how do I RUN this monstrosity, you may ask?  Why, I'm glad you inquired!  
LOTS of armor.  The hit points combined with, say, platemail should win this character 
a lot of fights.  But, while I've picked up a few easy wins scumming, that's not 
really what this character does best.
     I use the only weapon Rex is well suited to: the bare hand.  With an offhand 
small shield or shortsword, so I can take advantage of that expert parry rating.  So: 
FI-SH, APM-H.
     And I run him at a 4 offensive effort, with a matching 4 activity level.  He can 
last through the initial onslaught of nearly any offensive, then smash them.... like a 
good waste.  And with that monster endurance and good damage, no one scums this 
warrior!
     I attack and protect the head, usually, and keep the kill desire high... 5-7 
generally.  Now, how to become Duelmaster?
     Well, step one is fight your first fight... and train your CON.  Step two, now 
that you're in the arena, is get a fight with an up-and-coming young warrior from the 
Duelmaster's team... and kill them.  (I randomly matched up with, and killed, a member 
of the incoming Duelmaster's team...luck helps, ya know.) Offensives that wear 
themselves out but haven't quite dropped are the easiest to kill.
     Then, when the Duelmaster comes at you (bragging about how he "only" needs to 
beat you twice to assure his ascension to the Isle) you stomp him.  Badly.  Once 
you're on that lofty throne he won't even be able to bloodfeud you, since you can bet 
he's not gonna be anywhere near the challenger champions after losing to a 2-fight 
warrior (just ask Ciron of ENDS WITH IRON, now in AD).
     There are drawbacks, of course.  Once you get to that level, odds are you're 
gonna get stomped like a stuck pig (I was most challenged 2 turns in a row after this 
trick... Oo!  I love mixed metaphors...)  But... even a 4 wit warrior can learn skills 
against gladiators with 50 fights!
     Rex is now 7-3-1.  All three losses have come against warriors now in AD. In 
those ten matches, he's trained his strength and constitution once each, and learned 
twenty skills, including his adex in both parry and attack.  And boy, is it fun 
humiliating some of those "gods" bound for AD!
     What else can one do with this warrior?  Well, Rex is, get this, well suited to 
an off-hand epee!  He wouldn't dare use one as a primary weapon, but its a great off-
hand toy...
     Does he have what it takes to be a long-term winner?  Who knows?  He's probably 
the DUMBEST aimed blow to ever make Duelmaster... He's in the Challenger Champions and 
climbing....and he'll meet ya in AD! 
     Amazingly enough, this is not an isolated fluke.  We entered a similar warrior 
into Bloodgames (with the 4's as 3's, and a bit more CON).  That warrior, Jalon, is 
now in AD after going 9-1-5 and finishing on TOP of his Bloodgames arena.
     Ah, just thought I'd mention I have had a second bare-handed Duelmaster, now... 
Seeker Still Water in DM 74 is an open-hand lunger, Duelmaster at 8-1... but that's 
another story...

                                             --Khyron
                                             mgr., Pitt Gladiators (2,29,56,103)
                                             Jayhawks        (70)
                                             Silent Storm    (65,74,75)
                                             and numerous others....

                          THE WALL OF STEEL AS A BERSERKER

     This article is for newer players; more experienced managers will, I'm sure, have 
much more sophisticated ideas about warrior design and strategy.  This will enable a 
newbie to design a competent warrior who should be able to achieve a better than 50/50 
record.
     The wall of steel, or "waste," is often considered the second scummiest style in 
Duelmasters.  I love the style, but I don't run mine that way; I prefer to think of 
the waste as a fierce dervish ripping into his opponent like an airplane propeller.  
In accordance with this view, most walls of steel that I design couldn't scum if they 
wanted to (well all right, sometimes it happens by accident if the opposing warrior is 
going all-out and can't last very long).  It's fun to run them fast; they get the jump 
on people who don't expect it of them, and their fights are exciting.  Mind you, they 
don't win as much as if they ran more defensively, but the ones with good stats still 
do okay (I'll make practically anything a waste and run it, but this article isn't 
about the ones that a sane manager would DA).
     So, here is a design for a competent wall of steel:

ST   13+  Needed for endurance, damage doing, and weapon selection.
CN    9+  You need a passably good con for endurance.
SZ    7+  Teeny weenie wastes don't hit hard enough or take enough damage.  Real big 
          (15+) is bad because it hurts endurance.
WT   13+  Preferably 17.  Like any other style, the smarter they are, the better.
WL   17+  Needed for endurance, damage-taking, and sheer grit.  21 is recommended.
SP    3+  Whatever.
DF    7+  Higher deftness is better, but you can get by without it.

     As you can see, these are fairly easy requirements.  Of course, the more wit, 
will, and deftness, the better your waste will be (same as any other style).  If you 
don't end up with at least good endurance on the overview, the warrior probably isn't 
going to do very well.  With that high will, though, you can bump con a couple of 
times and you might get good endurance, so there's still a chance.
     Choose your weapons based on deftness, and your opponent's armor weight.  I 
normally use something like 0-8 SC, 9-12 BS, 13+ GA, backup SC or BS.  No shield.  
Some other good weapons for the waste are QS (only takes 11 ST, and can hit heavy 
armor), MS, and BA.  The war flail isn't a very good weapon, but you can play with it 
against leather armor.  For armor, I usually choose something middling like ARM & H, 
but will go with APL & H if he has a lot of con.
     For strategy--I heard a rumor (NOT confirmed) that a wall of steel gets a bonus 
if his OE equals his KD.  Since I don't like to use a kill desire above 6, I don't go 
by that in the first couple of minutes.  Keep the activity level moderate to low; the 
waste doesn't need to jump around a lot and the way he keeps his weapon moving, he's 
burning a lot of endurance without that added drain.  Attack and defend the arms, like 
a slasher; a waste is a sort of parry-slasher.  A typical strategy for my wastes might 
look like this:

Minute    1    2    3    4    5    6    Desp
Offensive 9    8    7    6    5    5    2
Activity  6    5    4    3    2    1    6
Kill des. 6    6    6    6    5    5    2
Att. loc. RA   LA   RA   LA   RA   LA   RA
Pro. loc. AM   AM   AM   AM   AM   AM   HE
Off tac.  none --   --   --   --   --   --
Def tac.  --   --   --   --   --   --   P

     I play with the numbers a lot, depending on what the warrior seems to like.  For 
example, if he doesn't parry too well, I'll give him a more offensive desperation 
strategy, like 8-4-8-slash.  (If I really like a warrior I sometimes use a 7+ KD to 
try and save his life.)  If he never manages to get the jump on anybody, I'll try 
running him more defensively, like with a first minute of 3-6-3.  It's not as much fun 
as going all out, but it's more fun than losing all the time.
     You can challenge pretty much any style (lungers aren't recommended).  When 
fighting a warrior you know to be very defensive (a TP, or a scummy variety of PS, PR, 
PL, or WS), slow down or you will be scummed.  For the most part, though, an offensive 
waste is very versatile and can beat any style.  The better his important qualities 
are (WT, WL, DF, endurance), the better the quality of warriors he can defeat.  In 
other words, if you have a so-so rollup that barely made the minimum requirements, 
challenge so-so opponents.  If you have a good rollup, go for the gold.  Challenge 
warriors with a few more fights than you, so you'll learn plenty of skills--but don't 
challenge way way up in experience, because it's no fun to lose a good warrior.
     For the most part, train skills--especially on your challenge strategy, when 
you're going after someone with more fights!  And for sure on the first fight, because 
you'll likely be matched against someone who can teach you a lot.  It's okay to train 
con once in a while if you need more endurance and damage-taking; and if you have bad 
luck on the rollup and get "does little damage" or something, you might have to train 
strength once or twice (no more!).  But it's best not to train any other stats until 
way, way down the road.
     Ask your DM sponsor or any experienced manager in your arena for more advice (if 
they tell you I'm full of hot air, they're probably right).  A little bit of good 
advice from a more advanced player can make a big difference in your enjoyment of the 
game!
     If you have any questions or suggestions, you can diplo:  the She-Puppy, mgr. 
Mordant Prison DM-1, and others.