DUEL 2 NEWSLETTER

Date   : 01/29/2011    Duedate: 02/11/2011

NOBLISH ISLAND ARENA

DM-93    TURN-317

This Weeks Top Honors

THE DUELMASTER IS

CHILMAN ELSE
MIDDLE WAY 25 (1566)
(93-9102) [5-2-1,47]

Chartered Recognition Leader   Unchartered Recognition Leader

POSITION IS EMPTY              CHILMAN ELSE
                               MIDDLE WAY 25 (1566)
                               (93-9102) [5-2-1,47]

Popularity Leader              This Weeks Favorite

CHILMAN ELSE                   CHILMAN ELSE
MIDDLE WAY 25 (1566)           MIDDLE WAY 25 (1566)
(93-9102) [5-2-1,47]           (93-9102) [5-2-1,47]

THE CURRENT TOP TEAM

GNU TEAM (1567)

          TEAMS ON THE MOVE            TOP CAREER HONORS
Team Name                  Point Gain  Chartered Team
1. GNU TEAM (1567)             20
2. MIDDLE WAY 25 (1566)        12      THE NEST (286)
                                       Unchartered Team

                                       GNU TEAM (1567)

The Top Teams

Career Win-Loss Record           W   L  K    %  Win-Loss Record Last 3 Turns    W  L K
 1/ 2*GNU TEAM (1567)           15  13  2 53.6   1/ 2*GNU TEAM (1567)           7  6 1
 2/ 1*MIDDLE WAY 25 (1566)      16  16  1 50.0   2/ 1*MIDDLE WAY 25 (1566)      6  7 1

    '*'   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 662): NORTHER of BLUE MOON (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  12 RIZTAB (turn 664): ARISTOCLEA of DREAMERS (Sleepy, mgr.)
 DM  13 DULLENS (turn 559): SAM ADAMS of MMMM BEER! (Khisanth, mgr.)
 DM  15 MALCORN (turn 658): VARICK of TERMINUS (Carrick, mgr.)
 DM  16 WILLAF (turn 660): GOLDEN DELICIOUS of GOLDEN GLADIATORS (Midas, mgr.)
 DM  17 ALJAFIR (turn 652): ALIDA BERN of MIDDLE WAY (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  19 ZUWAYZA (turn 653): AURELIUS of IDES OF MARCH (Caesar, mgr.)
 DM  28 MORYA (turn 328): TEZCATLIPOCA of THE PENTARCHY (Le Pentarque, mgr.)
 DM  29 LAPUR (turn 650): JEHLCH of MID EARTH (Visionist, mgr.)
 DM  31 CHIMLEVTAL (turn 626): OMBERT QURL of MIDDLE WAY 7 (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  32 ARVAT (turn 646): SLITHER of SERPENTS HOLD (Khisant, mgr.)
 DM  33 NIATOLI ISLAND (turn 643): SCUTTLEBUTT of SEA DOGS (One Armed Bandit, mgr.)
 DM  35 MURSKA (turn 635): SECOND WATCH of SEA DOGS (One Armed Bandit, mgr.)
 DM  43 VEASTIAN (turn 594): DANIEL SILVERLOCK of WARRIORS OF STEEL (?, mgr.)
 DM  45 STORMCROWE (turn 304): CALLOUS CORTNEY of STREET WALKERS (Roadkill, mgr.)
 DM  47 TEMPLE OF ABARSIS (turn 298): SALSA ELEMENTAL of DARQUE FORCES
                                                         (Master Darque, mgr.)
 DM  50 SNOWBOUND (turn 285): WHISTLIN DIXIE of DARQUE FORCES II (Master Darque)
 DM  56 ROCANIS (turn 525): ERBIN GOETZ of MIDDLE WAY 20 (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  60 ARADI (turn 510): GARM of RED DOG GANG (Spot, mgr.)
 DM  61 JURINE (turn 492): WALLIS YENT of MIDDLE WAY 16 (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  65 DAL SHANG (turn 487): HARITH TEN MORU of SAND DANCERS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  73 ERINIKA (turn 233): LILAS KEELER of MIDDLE WAY 18 (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  74 DAYLA KIV (turn 448): DIENEKES of GATES OF FIRE (Chief Illiniwek, mgr.)
 DM  75 JADE MOUNTAIN (turn 442): WATERLOO of KIWI CONNECTION (The Mun, mgr.)
 DM  78 LIN TIRIAN (turn 435): SJS of J (Sherlock, mgr.)
ADM 103 FREE BLADES (turn 551): SUPERIOR FORCES of DUPLICATE REDUNDANCY (A-Sop, mgr.)

                                      Top Teams
                                      ---------
 DM   9 ZUKAL (turn 663): BLUE MOON (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  12 RIZTAB (turn 664): DREAMERS (Sleepy, mgr.)
 DM  13 DULLENS (turn 559): CARDOW HUNTERS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  15 MALCORN (turn 658): TERMINUS (Carick, mgr.)
 DM  16 WILLAF (turn 660): GOLDEN GLADIATORS (Midas, mgr.)
 DM  17 ALJAFIR (turn 652): ALMOST THANKSGIVING (Sherlock, mgr.)
 DM  19 ZUWAYZA (turn 653): MONOPOLY (Sherlock, mgr.)
 DM  28 MORYA (turn 328): MY GENERATION (Storm Lord, mgr.)
 DM  29 LAPUR (turn 650): STREET WALKERS (Roadkill, mgr.)
 DM  31 CHIMLEVTAL (turn 326): MIDDLE WAY 7 (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  32 ARVAT (turn 644): FISHERMAN'S WHARF (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  33 NIATOLI ISLAND (turn 643): SEA DOGS (One Armed Bandit, mgr.)
 DM  35 MURSKA (turn 635): CHILDREN OF LLYR (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  43 VEASTIAN (turn 594): WARRIORS OF STEEL (?, mgr.)
 DM  45 STORMCROWE (turn 304): DARQUE FORCES (Master Darque, mgr.)
 DM  47 TEMPLE OF ABARSIS (turn 298): LES TURFISTES (Le Pentarque, mgr.)
 DM  50 SNOWBOUND (turn 285): DANGER DANGER (Sherlock, mgr.)
 DM  56 ROCANIS (turn 525): INCONSISTENT FURY (Banthius, mgr.)
 DM  60 ARADI (turn 510): RED DOG GANG (Spot, mgr.)
 DM  61 JURINE (turn 492): MIDDLE WAY 16 (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  65 DAL SHANG (turn 487): SAND DANCERS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  73 ERINIKA (turn 233): H8 2 TXT (Sherlock, mgr.)
 DM  74 DAYLA KIV (turn 448): NUMB-ERS (Sherlock, mgr.)
 DM  75 JADE MOUNTAIN (turn 442): KIWI CONNECTION (The Mun, mgr.)
 DM  78 LIN TIRIAN (turn 435): SAND DANCERS (Jorja, mgr.)
ADM 103 FREE BLADES (turn 551): GLADIATORS et al (Caesar, mgr.)

                                   Recent Graduates
                                  -----------------
 DM   9 ZUKAL (turn 662): HOMESTAR of HOMESTAR & CO (Otto X, mgr.)
 DM  12 RIZTAB (turn 664): ARISTOCLEA of DREAMERS (Sleepy, mgr.)
 DM  15 MALCORN (turn 657): STONEBOW of GREENWARDENS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  19 ZUWAYZA (turn 653): AURELIUS of IDES OF MARCH (Caesar, mgr.)
                (turn 652): DID NOT FLUSH of BASH BRO HOUSEMATE (Assurnasirbanipal)
                            WHITE CHOCOLATE of WALI'S FINEST (?, mgr.)
 DM  28 MORYA (turn 328): TEZCATLIPOCA of THE PENTARCHY (Le Pentarque, mgr.)
 DM  29 LAPUR (turn 648): ORATHAI of ECHL-EAST (LHI, mgr.)
 DM  33 NIATOLI ISLAND (turn 642): GANGPLANK RIDER of SEA DOGS (One Armed Bandit)
 DM  35 MURSKA (turn 634): SCAPA of ON THE ROCKS (Bartender, mgr.)
                           SAZERAC of ON THE ROCKS (Bartender, mgr.)
                           TAMRA KAI of CHILDREN OF LLYR (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  47 TEMPLE OF ABARSIS (turn 298): SALSA ELEMENTAL of DARQUE FORCES
                                                         (Master Darque, mgr.)
                          (turn 297): AFRICAN QUEEN of ROYAL FLUSH (Crip, mgr.)
                                      THE LION KING of ROYAL FLUSH (Crip, mgr.)
                                      ITHYIC THING of ABYSMAL RITES (Reaper, mgr.)
 DM  50 SNOWBOUND (turn 285): WHISTLIN DIXIE of DARQUE FORCES II (Master Darque)
 DM  60 ARADI (turn 509): READY EDDIE of RED DOG GANG (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  61 JURINE (turn 492): BARLO CHELLS of MIDDLE WAY 16 (Jorja, mgr.)
               (turn 491): HUGH GRANT of DOCTORS (Sherlock, mgr.)
 DM  73 ERINIKA (turn 232): ANASTASIA of MYSTERIOUS (Zalgor Prigg, mgr.)
 DM  74 DAYLA KIV (turn 448): ONE of NUMB-ERS (Sherlock, mgr.)
                  (turn 447): POLYNIKES of GATES OF FIRE (Chief Illiniwek, mgr.)
 DM  75 JADE MOUNTAIN (turn 442): WATERLOO of KIWI CONNECTION (The Mun, mgr.)
 DM  78 LIN TIRIAN (turn 434): MATT of J (Sherlock, mgr.)

                                 DUELMASTER'S COLUMN
                             Notes from the arena champ.

     Take that, Gnu Book!  Even a victory by chance encounter counts as a successful
bloodfeud.  Of course, I hadn't really wanted to be duelmaster--yes, I know, it's an
honor and all that--but Jorja insists that if one of us is duelmaster, we have to
write a column.  I'm not a literary type, and I find myself at a loss here.  Ah, a
winning loss.  Is this enough lines to count as a "column"?  I hope so, because I
don't think I can blather any longer, and it's a sure thing that Gnu Book doesn't
need any advice from me.

                                    Chilman Else

                                      SPY REPORT

     Hail and well met warriors of NOBLISH ISLAND!  Know me for who I am, Zontani 
Sharp Eyes, Spymaster extraordinaire of all Alastari.  Former top team MIDDLE WAY 25 
was unseated this week as GNU TEAM moved up from 2nd ranking to take the top spot 
with a 3-1-0 record for the round.  GOOD GNUS caught the eye of many in the 
gladiatorial commission as he skillfully bested CULT MEMBER and was awarded 10 points 
in recognition.  In one of the week's more notable duels, ELBETHA GRON put down 
STUPID GNUS, causing him to lose 1 points of recognition in the process.  Our 
Duelmaster has lost, folks, lost to VETERAN MERCENARY, BUT CHILMAN ELSE is still the 
Duelmaster because he has the most recognition points!  Informants "close" to the 
city champion have told me that he never fights without pantyhose on beneath his 
armor.  Watch out!   
     I have been in deep conclave with my spies who watched all that has recently 
transpired.  Indeed there is much I would report.   
     Vendettas.  Bloodied blades and broken spears.  Indeed the city has seen more 
than its fair share of red in recent times.  Fate is a fickle mistress.  She showers 
the miserable with fortune but sets enemies against the victorious.  Remember this!   
     A thought before I go.  Each warrior practices one style, but must not the wise 
manager learn the secrets of them all?  More than a sharp eye must I keep, indeed a 
stout pair of legs must I keep as well!  The endless paths of Alastari await me!  
Till we meet again, remember:  a turtle walks slow, hides head in a shell, and harms 
no one; a lion runs to slay its prey.-- Zontani Sharp Eyes  

DUELMASTER                     W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 CHILMAN ELSE 9102             5   2  1    47       MIDDLE WAY 25 (1566)

ADEPTS                         W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 GNU I KNEW 9109               4   2  1    36       GNU TEAM (1567)

CHALLENGER INITIATES           W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 ELBETHA GRON 9104             4   3  0    33       MIDDLE WAY 25 (1566)
 GOOD GNUS 9107                3   3  0    30       GNU TEAM (1567)
 GNU BOOK 9106                 4   2  1    28       GNU TEAM (1567)

INITIATES                      W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 STUPID GNUS 9108              2   4  0    14       GNU TEAM (1567)
 BALKO DUNN 9101               3   4  0    13       MIDDLE WAY 25 (1566)
 ELIN GISSORS 9120             1   2  0     5       MIDDLE WAY 25 (1566)

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

THE DEAD                W  L K TEAM NAME            SLAIN BY              TURN Revenge?
OLD GNU 9105            2  2 0 GNU TEAM 1567        CHILMAN ELSE 9102     315   
ABELARD CHOSE 9100      3  2 0 MIDDLE WAY 25 1566   GNU BOOK 9106         315  REVENGED
DEUCE FINGERS 9103      0  3 0 MIDDLE WAY 25 1566   GNU I KNEW 9109       313  REVENGED

                                     PERSONAL ADS

Good Gnus -- Indeed, a win is always good news.  But it is frustrating under the
present circumstances.  We're here to give advice to no managers, and in the case of
us versus you, that is pointless. -- Elbetha Gron

Stupid Gnus -- Damn straight. -- Balko Dunn

Gnu I Knew -- No need for you to be such a TEASE about it. -- Elin Gissors

                                  LAST WEEK'S FIGHTS

CHILMAN ELSE was unbelievably bested by VETERAN MERCENARY in a 3 minute Title fight.
GNU I KNEW demolished BALKO DUNN in a 1 minute one-sided melee.
ELBETHA GRON savagely defeated STUPID GNUS in a 5 minute bloody duel.
GOOD GNUS devastated CULT MEMBER in a 1 minute one-sided fight.
GNU BOOK demolished ELIN GISSORS in a 1 minute mismatched competition.

                                    BATTLE REPORT

             MOST POPULAR                        RECORD DURING THE LAST 10 TURNS     
|FIGHTING STYLE               FIGHTS        FIGHTING STYLE     W -   L -  K   PERCENT|
|AIMED BLOW                       2         PARRY-LUNGE        2 -   0 -  0     100  |
|LUNGING ATTACK                   2         SLASHING ATTACK    4 -   1 -  0      80  |
|STRIKING ATTACK                  1         LUNGING ATTACK    11 -   5 -  2      69  |
|WALL OF STEEL                    1         WALL OF STEEL     12 -   6 -  1      67  |
|BASHING ATTACK                   1         STRIKING ATTACK   17 -  13 -  2      57  |
|TOTAL PARRY                      1         BASHING ATTACK     5 -   6 -  0      45  |
|PARRY-LUNGE                      0         TOTAL PARRY        5 -   8 -  0      38  |
|PARRY-STRIKE                     0         AIMED BLOW         6 -  11 -  1      35  |
|PARRY-RIPOSTE                    0         PARRY-STRIKE       0 -   0 -  0       0  |
|SLASHING ATTACK                  0         PARRY-RIPOSTE      0 -   0 -  0       0  |

Turn 317 was great if you     Not so great if you used      The fighting styles of the
used the fighting styles:     the fighting styles:          top eleven warriors are:

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

                               TOP WARRIOR OF EACH STYLE

FIGHTING STYLE   WARRIOR                     W   L  K PNTS TEAM NAME                  
LUNGING ATTACK   CHILMAN ELSE 9102           5   2  1   47 MIDDLE WAY 25 (1566)
Note: Warriors have a winning record and are an Adept or Above.

The overall popularity leader is CHILMAN ELSE 9102.  The most popular warrior this 
turn was CHILMAN ELSE 9102.  The ten other most popular fighters were ELBETHA GRON 
9104, GNU I KNEW 9109, GOOD GNUS 9107, GNU BOOK 9106, BALKO DUNN 9101, STUPID GNUS 
9108, ELIN GISSORS 9120,  0,  0, and  0.

The least popular fighter this week was ELIN GISSORS 9120.  The other ten least 
popular fighters were STUPID GNUS 9108, BALKO DUNN 9101, GNU BOOK 9106, GOOD GNUS 
9107, GNU I KNEW 9109, ELBETHA GRON 9104, CHILMAN ELSE 9102,  0,  0, and  0.

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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.