DUEL 2 NEWSLETTER

Date   : 12/31/2011    Duedate: 01/13/2012

NOBLISH ISLAND ARENA

DM-93    TURN-341

This Weeks Top Honors

THE DUELMASTER IS

DAISY
TEACHER'S PETS (1579)
(93-9172) [7-3-1,58]

Chartered Recognition Leader   Unchartered Recognition Leader

DAISY                          POSITION IS EMPTY
TEACHER'S PETS (1579)          
(93-9172) [7-3-1,58]           

Popularity Leader              This Weeks Favorite

DAISY                          SLOW CHECKER
TEACHER'S PETS (1579)          SUPERMARKET (1578)
(93-9172) [7-3-1,58]           (93-9167) [6-4-0,40]

THE CURRENT TOP TEAM

SUPERMARKET (1578)

          TEAMS ON THE MOVE            TOP CAREER HONORS
Team Name                  Point Gain  Chartered Team
1. TEACHER'S PETS (1579)       68
2. THE LOW ROAD 2 (1582)       32      SUPERMARKET (1578)
3. OLIVA GALVARIUS (1586)       0      Unchartered Team
4. SUPERMARKET (1578)         -16
                                       THE LOW ROAD 2 (1582)

The Top Teams

Career Win-Loss Record           W   L  K    %  Win-Loss Record Last 3 Turns    W  L K
 1- 1*OLIVA GALVARIUS (1586)     5   0  0  100   1/ 1 SUPERMARKET (1578)       10  5 1
 2/ 2 SUPERMARKET (1578)        33  17  1 66.0   2/ 2 TEACHER'S PETS (1579)     8  7 2
 3/ 3 TEACHER'S PETS (1579)     32  18  3 64.0   3/ 3*THE LOW ROAD 2 (1582)     7  8 0
 4/ 4*THE LOW ROAD 2 (1582)     22  23  0 48.9   4- 4*OLIVA GALVARIUS (1586)    5  0 0

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

                                    TEAM SPOTLIGHT

                    SOME DESIGN THOUGHTS FROM TEACHER

Here are, generically, The Consortium warrior design principles:
 1.  Design to strengths/excesses, making high roll numbers higher
 2.  Offensive oriented warriors need WT high to last.  Design to 15, 17, 21 for
skill breaks
 3.  All warriors except AB must have normal damage and really need good.  Make
certain that ST/SZ allow that and have high enough WL to bump stats if not.
 4.  9 WL is the acceptable low for offensives.  Some warriors can do well with 7 or
8.  No lower.
 5.  Do not add to CN for offensives.
 6.  Defensive style warriors need solid WL and CN.
 7.  Physicals never hurt any warrior.  Warriors can win early with lesser skill, but
good physicals.
 8.  If all else fails, make the design a TP.  They can win under almost any
circumstance.  However, they need a higher combination (total) of CN, WL, ST.
 9.  If the warrior is to be long-term (meaning a godling or really nice roll), do
not design a burner.  (A burner is one where the manager intends to raise stats and
physicals as a major strategy to winning.)
10.  However, there is not a thing wrong with making a burner.
11.  Design each warrior with the idea of winning 60%+ of its fights.
12.  Have variation in styles in arenas.  Allows for better challenging and matchups.

These three recruits were just received.  Here is what I did.  The recruits were:
A. 12-5-9-11-12-14-7
B. 3-7-14-12-9-12-13
C. 9-9-14-8-4-17-9

"A" became a 15-5-9-17-17-14-7 basher.  It could have been a nice SL or ST also.  I
already had a ST and a WS, so the BA, with more starting skills than the ST, was
chosen.  Because of the 14 SP, it really looked to be an offensive.  Fast and with
decise skills.  For an offensive, WT is so important, but it really is important for
all warriors, if you can get it.  I could get it to 17, so I took 17 WT.  The 17 WL
was not so necessary, but since it was already 12, it made sense to design to the
excess.  Besides, WL has many, many values, including some decise skills.  That left
three points, which could have gone on SP to design to excess, but the 15 ST, and the
good skills there, and the basher weapon (ML) were calling.  Voila!

"B" became a 9-7-14-17-10-14-13 striker.  I didn't need a striker, but the ending
lower WL and high speed and lesser CN just demanded to be a striker.  First, it is
really difficult to use decent weapons without a minimum 9 ST.  Perhaps if a really
skilled aimed blow, a lower ST is workable.  But good aimers really need that 21 DF.
No aimer here.  So, 6 points to ST.  (Just about the only stat that when really low,
counters that "design to excess".)  Need that offensive WT high-- same as the "A"
warrior above.  Two skills to SP, trying to enhance the striker's decise.  Why not
three?  Decise skills are on the even roll numbers is why.  SP is the only stat that
designing to even numbers pays off.  That left one.  It really could have gone
anywhere, but a little more endurance on this already pretty low endurance warrior
was my choice; hence, 10 WL.

"C" is a doozy.  With both low starting WT and WL, it is likely to be abnormal.  (At
least abnormal to Consortium desired designs.)  So, design to the excess.  21 SP,
let's do it!  What's a reasonably workable WT?  11 it is.  Big break point for skills
is 11 WT.  WL is already low, so let's go with 7, the very, very least one should
work with.  Don't like it, but this is an abnormal warrior.  DF and ST to 11 allows
for all the decent weapons to be used.  Therefore an 11-9-14-11-7-21-11 warrior
resulted.  What style should I make it.  It begged to be offensive with all that
speed.  But I already have the two offensives which can get away with low WL and low
endurance.  Slashers and Lungers really, really cannot do without WL and endu.  It
will not be a SL or LU.  But no more bashers or strikers for this team.  Let's try a
PS (piker) which we can run just like a striker.  We'll call it a striker piker.
(grin)

So there you have it.  The next three Teacher's Pets, designed, dealt, and delivered.
Feel free to question or challenge the ideas, philosophies or choices you have seen
here.  We critique designs on the RSI Duel site all the time.  Join us.

              + ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ The Lighthouse ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ +
                    Where do you go when you leave Noblish Island?

     After ten turns, just when you're getting used to the everlasting rain here on
Noblish Island, you're going to have to leave forever.  Everyone (except me) leaves
after ten turns.
     You have to go, but you get to choose your destination.  Out of sixty or so
possible arenas, how do you choose?
     Some of you will be following friends who have already gone, and for you this
question is moot.  Otherwise....

     Fast or slow?  Noblish Island is a "fast" arena in that the fights are run every
two weeks.  For some of you, this may not allow enough turn-around time.  "Slow"
arenas run every four weeks.  The slow arenas are 8, 28, 31, 39, 45, 47, 50, 52, 54,
59, and the three slow transfer arenas, 71, 72, and 73.  You may have an unlimited
number of teams in a transfer arena, and many managers do; I would not recommend
choosing a transfer arena for your first non-Noblish home.

     Regions--the world of Duelmasters is divided into four regions, which have
slightly different preferred style of management.
     The Andorian region as a general rule tends toward a role-playing, non-killing
style of play.  By "non-killing," I mean that Andorian managers perfer not to seek
kills and disapprove of down-challenging.  In most (but not, alas, all) cases,
Andorian arenas will have lively personals.  The Andorian arenas currently open are:
8 (slow), 11, 14, 22, 24, 25, 26, 30, 40, 41, 46, 52 (slow), 63, and 71 (slow
transfer).
     The Delarquan region, except in the case of some of the slow arenas, is not much
prone to role-playing and convesation.  For Delarquans, the win is all.  Down-
challenging is an accepted tactic used when desired by any manager.  Deaths may be
more frequent than elsewhere.  The Delarquan arenas currently open are: 1, 2, 3, 5,
6, 7, 10, 18, 21, 36, 38, 39 (slow), 42, 51, 54 (slow), 59 (slow), 62, and 72 (slow
transfer).
     The Free Blades region tends to be very active in the slow arenas and less
dogmatic in either direction about style of play.  Free Blades arenas currently open
are: 9, 12, 15, 16, 17, 19, 28, 29, 31 (slow), 32, 33, 35, 43, 45 (slow), 47 (slow),
50 (slow), 56, 61, and 73 (slow transfer).
     The Lirith Kai region is the youngest and is currently very small, having only
arenas 65, 74, 75, and 78 open at the present time.  There is a tendency to prefer
the Andorian-style, "no down-challenges and no deliberate killing," but the managers
seem to be less dogmatic about it.
     Note that currently contests of various kinds are being held in some arenas,
which I can't list for sure, they keep changing.  If you're interested in a contest
arena, let me know (a personal ad will do), and I'll look around.  Contest arenas
will tend to be bigger than others while the contest is going on, and full of
often-confusing personals.

     Large arenas or small ones?
     There are advantages for a new manager in either choice.  In a large arena,
there are lots of managers who will be willing to help a novice.  There will be a lot
of variety in the kind of competition your warriors come up against--varieties in
style, management, levels of skill.  You can learn a lot in large arenas.  But there
are drawbacks, too.  You can get lost in the crowd, maybe find no one or only a few
of the available managers responding to your personals.  You can get caught between
feuding factions.
     In small arenas, you soon get to know every manager's playing style and what to
expect from their warriors.  If you write personals, they will be noticed and
probably responded to.  But just as you get to know all the managers and warriors
sharing the arena with you, so will they get to know you.  You may see a lot of
standbys fighting, and while they are relatively easier to beat, they don't teach as
well.  After a while, you won't meet with many surprises.

     If you have access to the internet, I strongly recommend that you check out
RSI's website and sample the newsletters of various arenas to get the flavor of them.
If not, ask for advice.  Diplo managers mentioned in the Regional Arena News from
arenas you're interested in, as they are likely to be leaders in those arenas.  Ask
questions here, in the personals or by diplo.  I'd like to see you all have the best
possible Duelmasters experience that's consistent with other people doing the same,
and I ALWAYS have opinions!

Jorja
The Middle Way

           +>]H[<+-----+>]H[<+ Question of the Week #1 +>]H[<+-----+>]H[<+

     Hanibal, manager of Cannibalz in Aruak City (DM 11) and formerly of Noblish
Island, has asked a series of questions of the experienced managers of that arena.  I
believe you might find these questions and answers instructive, or at least
interesting.  Feel free to comment or question in response.  That goes for other
experienced managers, too; I'm sure your input would be valuable. -- Jorja, The
Middle Way

Question, turn 396:
     All -- If 2 identical warriors (theoretically) ran 10-10-2 and 10-10-8, who
would swing first?  Would they both have an equal chance? -- Hanibal's question of
the week

Replies, turn 397:
     Hanibal -- Of the three numbers, I think KD is least influential in determining
who swings first.  I'm not discounting its involvement entirely, but there are many
factors that weigh more heavily.  I ran aimers 10-10-1 for a long time, when it was
the 'in' thing to do, and they fought quite aggressively.  KD might be more important
in determining who swings LAST. -- Generalissimo Puerco

     Hannibal -- I firmly believe that 10-10-2 will sometimes outjump 10-10-8.  And
vice versa. -- Kennelworth The Seasoned

     See also Captain K's article on "Getting the Jump."  It was printed in this
newsletter a few turns ago, but if you want a copy and don't have it, email me at
jputney@zianet.com and I'll send it to you.  Okay, okay, if you don't have email,
request it in the personals or even send me a diplo. -- Jorja
P.S.  I believe this may now be included in the regularly cycling articles.

Question, turn 397:
     All -- If two warriors have a good damage rating, one has 11 str. and one has 13
str., would it make a difference in the amount of damage they do? -- Hanibal's Q.O.W.
     P.S.  Warriors are same size.

Replies, turn 398:
     Hanibal -- Regarding your QoW, it is a very good question.  I think that there
is a difference in damage done between warriors with different strengths but similar
damage comments.  Of course the attack rating a warrior has can make a world of
difference too.  I've got a piker (the Consortium may know Lustra from DM 52) that
has a 5 str. and does normal damage with a blow.  Yet, she performs like a warrior
that does little damage.  (And I have a lot of experience with those.)  Not only
that, she has normal endurance, too, but she seems to get tired awfully quick for a
piker with normal endurance.  So that's one example.  Another is my overall look at
warriors that do 'little' damage.
     If you take one with 9 str. and another with 13 str. I think a clear Difference
can be discerned.  On the high end, my experience doesn't go much past 'good' damage.
But what I can say is that my warriors that do 'good' damage seem to do more damage
than my few warriors that have done 'tremendous' damage.  That is probably because
those big strong warriors have relatively lousy attack ratings.  So in a nutshell I
would say yes, there is a minor but still noticeable effect.  What you might be
finding is that there seems to be differences within those broad categories given on
the warrior overview.  It's just like if you raise con you improve your warrior's
ability to sustain damage a little bit, even if the comment on the overview stays the
same.  Your questions are getting at some of the interesting subtleties of the game.
Keep asking them! -- Generalissimo Puerco

     Q.O.W. (Hanibal) -- I don't think so. -- Adie

Pagan's replies:

Question, turn 396:
     All -- If 2 identical warriors (theoretically) ran 10-10-2 and 10-10-8, who
would swing first?  Would they both have an equal chance?

This is a loaded question.  There are a number of factors which will determine which
warrior swings first.  In speaking of this I can only tell you what I have a 'feel'
for.  In no way does anyone know all the factors or how this works exactly unless
someone gets to look at the source code for the program.  I will ignore the KD
dispute simply because I don't know.
The Factors:
1.  At warrior creation, the program initiates a random string class to be used for
your warrior.  Each string has a series of numbers that are pre-generated and always
the same.  It however appears random except for the facts that some strings are good
for some warriors and bad for others.  You'll notice this only over time.  This
string class is permanent and not all of them are created equal.  This is above and
beyond any total number of skills.
2.  At fight time, the program calls a random string to be used for BOTH warriors.
This string affects the string of the warrior.  This is why you will never see two
fights that are line-by-line exactly the same.  But if the fights were constantly run
with exactly the same string, and no strategy changes are made then you will
consistently have the same fight line-by-line.
3.  Fight-String modified Warrior-String# are taken for each warrior and #Decise-
skills + OE + string# + tactic + weapon-weight + style-adjustment equates to a
number.
4.  These bonuses could be negative in adjustments also: IE. Running responsiveness
would be the addition of a negative number equal to warrior's Decise.  Running decise
would increase a lot, running lunge, slash, or bash use initiative instead of Decise
if higher than current #decise skills.
4.  Biggest controllable factors are OE, tactic, & weapon-weight
5.  If the number for JUMP does not have a disparity of a specific number then a
continued clash will occur until that disparity is shown.  Then the fight actually
begins.  You can have a series of 8+ clash statements until the program finds who
starts and initiates the fight sequences.  Example: fighterA ends up with a jump# of
60 and fighterB ends up with a jump# of 65; if the disparity had to be 10 points then
what would happen is a clash statement would be printed and the steps repeated.  The
next number from the Fight-String is called along with the next number in each of the
Warrior-strings ; the computation is done again until the disparity (for the computer
anyway) becomes true.  Then the fight sequence is activated. -- Pagan

Question, turn 397:
     All -- If two warriors have a good damage rating, one has 11 str. And one has 13
str., would it make a difference in the amount of damage they do? -- Hanibal's Q.O.W.
P.S.  Warriors are same size.

Most definitely.  Weapon damage is equated to Strength + damage class.  So damage is
done like this:
1.  Armor weight + 12 + any bonus it has vs weapon type is a negative to the damage
done.  (How the hell did he get 12!?)
2.  Damage done is strength + damage class variable + weapon variable.
3.  Slashing & Bashing increase the damage done.
4.  When the damage done equals 1 or less then there is a weapon bounce statement.
The minimum damage a blow can do is 1 point of damage.  The program knows there's a
hit before it knows damage so you can't reverse a hit, you merely take a minimum of 1
point of damage to your hit-points.
5.  The lower your strength then more bounces you will see.  The lower your damage
class the more bounces you will see.  The lighter weight a weapon is vs the armor its
hitting the more bounces you will see.
6.  In reverse to #5, all of those secondary-damage statements (often referred to as
extra-damage statements) such as "it was a devastating blow"... "what a massive blow"
-- these merely show that you hit your opponent with enough damage to exceed the
computer secondary-damage statement threshold.  Your warrior caused enough damage to
exceed a programmed set number (whatever that number may be) and the fight is only
showing that you exceeded that number. The programmed number for the secondary-damage
threshold is a Hard number: it is constant within the program and is used for all
fights and all warriors.  It is not random.  It has nothing to do with how much
damage you did in relation to your opponent's hit-points either.  If you exceed that
number in damage, you get a printed statement showing that to be the case.  There is
no such thing as Extra-Damage. -- Pagan

Question, turn 398:

All -- If you lower your kill desire in desperation, do you have less of a chance of
being killed? -- Hanibal's Q.O.W.

Replies, turn 399:

Q.O.W. -- I think that if your KD is lower in desperation, you're more likely to
surrender than draw out the fight.  Drawing out the fight by having a higher KD gives
the attacker more chance to kill you.  But you could defend and make a come-back.
But that higher KD also lowers your defensive ability somewhat. -- Adie

Hanibal's Q.o.W -- Yes, lowering your own KD helps keep you alive and allows you to
surrender...hopefully in time. -- Armalias

Hanibal -- The choice of kill desire in desperation seems to be a very tactically
important one.  I do believe that lowering kill desire will tend to preserve a
warrior's life by making him give up (and end the fight) sooner.  This also means
the warrior may end up losing fights he could have won if he had hung around.  I
think scum strategy is a good example of this.  While it may be counterintuitive, a
good scum strategy involves using a moderate to high kill desire.  This is done to
prevent them from giving up prematurely.  Also, most managers don't care too much if
their scum gets killed, so there's no point to running with a low KD.  There's a very
good article on the total parry written by Scrag, in which this scheme is discussed.
Maybe you saw it in Noblish.   Personally, I either lower or raise KD in desperation,
based on my expectations for a particular warrior.  I think it was Miles that first
wrote on this way of looking at kill desire, and I believe it to be the most correct.
Other published theories, such as Jessie Jest's, are variably more questionable.
(But then, everything Jessie Jest wrote should be taken with a grain of salt.) --
Generalissimo Puerco

Question, turn 399:

All -- If you have 18 HP and cannot take a lot of punishment and raise con once to
normal--20 HP, does the rating affect the rate at which you take damage or do you
just have 2 more Hit Points? -- Hanibal's Q.O.W.

Replies, turn 400:

Hanibal's QOW -- I think you just get a bump in hit points.  But that little bump
makes a big difference.  I think armor and warrior experience are the only factors
that affect the rate of damage per blow. -- Adie
P.S.  There's a new chart for hit points that is more accurate and does not involve a
luck factor.

Hanibal -- I think the amount of damage a warrior can take is not variable but
constant.  The variables in the equation are:  the weapon being struck with and the
armor it is striking, and the attack and damage-dealing ability of the warrior doing
the swinging.  Not to mention kill desire, as discussed last turn. -- Generalissimo
Puerco

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

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

                                     Duelmasters
                                     -----------
 DM   9 ZUKAL (turn 686): OGRE BATTLE of QUEEN (Howlin' Wolf, mgr.)
 DM  12 RIZTAB (turn 688): KUNG PO FROG of KAOS FROGS (Grimm, mgr.)
 DM  13 DULLENS (turn 607): GEMMA of HOUSE OF CARDS (The Dark One, mgr.)
 DM  15 MALCORN (turn 682): BOWEN of SERPENTS' HOLD (Khisanth, mgr.)
 DM  16 WILLAF (turn 684): POSITION IS EMPTY
 DM  17 ALJAFIR (turn 676): GANDALF of IN MIDDLE EARTH (?, mgr.)
 DM  19 ZUWAYZA (turn 677): MAGIC TODAY of THE MAGNIFICENT MAGS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  28 MORYA (turn 340): PYRITE of STEEL AND SILK (Michael Eldritch, mgr.)
 DM  29 LAPUR (turn 674): PRIORE of MID EARTH (Visionist, mgr.)
 DM  31 CHIMLEVTAL (turn 338): PANCAKES of KAOS II (Grimm, mgr.)
 DM  32 ARVAT (turn 670): TAMARIN of GOING APES (?, mgr.)
 DM  33 NIATOLI ISLAND (turn 667): DARK DUMPLING of BAD BREAD (Otto X, mgr.)
 DM  35 MURSKA (turn 659): KAILIE RHIN of CHILDREN OF LLYR (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  43 VEASTIAN (turn 617): JEREMIAH BROADBLADE of WARRIORS OF STEEL (?, mgr.)
 DM  45 STORMCROWE (turn 316): ROSELYN of DARQUE FORCES (Master Darque, mgr.)
 DM  47 TEMPLE OF ABARSIS (turn 310): EUREKA PRIDE of ALASKAN PIPELINE (Storm Lord)
 DM  50 SNOWBOUND (turn 297): 4-H of LIFE IMPACTS (Coach, mgr.)
 DM  56 ROCANIS (turn 549): RATHNOK MULROOT of INCONSISTENT FURY (Banthius, mgr.)
 DM  60 ARADI (turn 534): TICK ... TOCK of UNNAMEABLES (Howlin' Wolf, mgr.)
 DM  61 JURINE (turn 516): ANDRES of BOMB SQUAD (Howlin' Wolf, mgr.)
 DM  65 DAL SHANG (turn 511): KOLACTAN KABOB of SHEWISH BUFFET (One Armed Bandit)
 DM  73 ERINIKA (turn 245): BBIAB of H8 2 TXT (Sherlock, mgr.)
 DM  74 DAYLA KIV (turn 472): GORBLE of SAND DANCERS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  75 JADE MOUNTAIN (turn 466): GREEN ROCK of SAND DANCERS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  78 LIN TIRIAN (turn 458): UNBELIEVABLE of THE WILLBURYS 78 (Rascally Rabbit)
ADM 103 FREE BLADES (turn 575): LORD FIREFLASH of LUROCIANS II (The Greek Guy, mgr.)

                                      Top Teams
                                      ---------
 DM   9 ZUKAL (turn 686): BLUE MOON (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  12 RIZTAB (turn 688): DREAMERS (Sleepy, mgr.)
 DM  13 DULLENS (turn 607): HOUSE OF CARDS (The Dark One, mgr.)
 DM  15 MALCORN (turn 682): GREENWARDENS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  16 WILLAF (turn 684): GOLDEN GLADIATORS (Midas, mgr.)
 DM  17 ALJAFIR (turn 676): ZOMBIE SQUAD 2 (Khisanth, mgr.)
 DM  19 ZUWAYZA (turn 677): THE MAGNIFICENT MAGS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  28 MORYA (turn 340): DODGE BULLETS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  29 LAPUR (turn 674): MID EARTH (Visionist, mgr.)
 DM  31 CHIMLEVTAL (turn 338): AVENGERS (Huckle Cat?, mgr.)
 DM  32 ARVAT (turn 670): POSITION IS EMPTY
 DM  33 NIATOLI ISLAND (turn 667): SEA DOGS (One Armed Bandit, mgr.)
 DM  35 MURSKA (turn 659): HAPPY FUN TIME (Floyd, mgr.)
 DM  43 VEASTIAN (turn 617): IS THAT A CLUE? (Sherlock, mgr.)
 DM  45 STORMCROWE (turn 316): DARQUE FORCES (Master Darque, mgr.)
 DM  47 TEMPLE OF ABARSIS (turn 310): PALINDROMES (Assurnasirbanipal, mgr.)
 DM  50 SNOWBOUND (turn 297): THE MYRMIDONS (Sigurd Fafnisbane, mgr.)
 DM  56 ROCANIS (turn 549): INCONSISTENT FURY (Banthius, mgr.)
 DM  60 ARADI (turn 534): RED DOG GANG (Spot, mgr.)
 DM  61 JURINE (turn 516): MIDDLE WAY 16 (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  65 DAL SHANG (turn 511): BASH BROS EVANGELIST (Assurnasirbanipal, mgr.)
 DM  73 ERINIKA (turn 245): H8 2 TXT (Sherlock, mgr.)
 DM  74 DAYLA KIV (turn 472): SAND DANCERS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  75 JADE MOUNTAIN (turn 466): SAND DANCERS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  78 LIN TIRIAN (turn 458): SAND DANCERS (Jorja, mgr.)
ADM 103 FREE BLADES (turn 575): MIDDLE ITALY et al (The Dark ONE, mgr.)

                                   Recent Graduates
                                  -----------------
 DM  13 DULLENS (turn 606): ROBERT ROY of HOUSE OF CARDS (The Dark One, mgr.)
 DM  15 MALCORN (turn 680): SKITTLES of RAINBOW CONNECTION (Sherlock, mgr.)
 DM  28 MORYA (turn 340): PYRITE of STEEL AND SILK (Michael Eldritch, mgr.)
 DM  29 LAPUR (turn 674): DARIUS of OPEN HAND (Bahram, mgr.)
 DM  33 NIATOLI ISLAND (turn 667): DARK DUMPLING of BAD BREAD (Otto X, mgr.)
                                   VIN DIESEL of HEROES (?, mgr.)
 DM  35 MURSKA (turn 659): KAILIE RHIN of CHILDREN OF LLYR (Jorja, mgr.)
                           MOZART of PHILANTHROPISTS 3 (Aragorn, mgr.)
 DM  43 VEASTIAN (turn 616): BOOT PRINT of IS THAT A CLUE? (Sherlock, mgr.)
                             ODD DRAFT of IS THAT A CLUE? (Sherlock, mgr.)
 DM  47 TEMPLE OF ABARSIS (turn 310): RACECAR of PALINDROMES (Assurnasirbanipal)
                                      AGOSERIS of WARHAMMERS (Coyote, mgr)
                          (turn 309): TNT of PALINDROMES (Assurnasirbanipal, mgr.)
 DM  50 SNOWBOUND (turn 297): BULLDOG of LIFE IMPACTS (Coach, mgr.)
 DM  60 ARADI (turn 533): POTATO BUG of BUGS, SLUGS & THUGS (A-Sop, mgr.)
 DM  65 DAL SHANG (turn 511): KOLACTAN KABOB of SHEWISH BUFFET (One Armed Bandit)
                              SASHA of ZOMBIE SQUAD (Khisanth, mgr.)
                              GARNO TEN KORO of SAND DANCERS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  75 JADE MOUNTAIN (turn 465): GANOOSH of ZOMBIE SQUAD (Khisanth, mgr.)
                                  MONDEKKER of SAND DANCERS (Jorja, mgr.)

                                 DUELMASTER'S COLUMN
                             Notes from the arena champ.

     What does a Dark Arena winning fight look like?  As your Duelmaster, I can tell
you.  Let me summarize:
     I am Daisy, a pert 16 (+2)-5-8-15-17-14-11 striker.  I do good damage and have
normal endurance, and I know I am slightly blessed in defense.  (Why couldn't that
blessing be decise or attack?)  I was 6-2 going into the fight having lost to a BA
and an AB, while defeating 3 ST, 2 AB, and 1 BA.  I had only learned 9 skills (no
experts) including the two for bumping ST to 15.
     I decided to go for the legs and a knockdown early, and chose what I hoped to be
favorite longsword.  I hoped to get a jump, knock the monster down, and kill later.
I did not go after his head at all, as DA monsters attack head and protect head.  My
strategy looked like this:
10-9-7-7-7-7-10
10-9-3-3-3-3-10
 7-6-7-7-7-7- 6
LL-AB-AB-AB-AB-AB-AB
BD-HE-HE-HE-HE-HE-BD
D-N-L-L-L-L-L
N-N-N-N-N-N-N
Against Mountain Troll 6'-0" RH ASM/F MA/MA Basher
MINUTE 1
     I got the jump!  (With 14 total decise skills working and the decise tactic.)
lunge - parry
lunge - stomach
slash - lower body
lunge - right thigh
strike - parry
strike - right leg
slash - left hamstring
lunge - parry
lunge - lower body
he goes desparate!
slash - parry
lunge - left buttock
I am breathing heavily after 11 swings and NO crits
strike - upper body
lunge - left buttocks
crit strike - stomach - massive blow (yes!)
MINUTE 2
he is desparate again
slash - stomach
he is badly hurt and I get the death intent
he falls to the ground from the previous crit
slash - neck
SLAIN!
I learn a measly parry skill.
     Why did this work?
  1. I was fast enough and decisive enough to get the jump.
  2. I had enough endurance and initiative to swing a lot.
  3. I was lucky.
     My performance?  1/15/1 with the LO.  (Probably not my fave.)  One Parry skill
Learned-- a very weak learn rate, against a skilled foe at 15 WT.
     I hope this helps you learn something, and it is Okay for you to challenge me in
my final fight as I am OUTTA HERE (ALIVE so far) and retired!

                                      SPY REPORT

     Greetings, warriors of NOBLISH ISLAND!  Once again I've been called out of 
retirement for my abilities and insights into Spyreporting.  TEACHER'S PETS showed 
NOBLISH ISLAND what they were made of as they fought with a vengeance to walk off 
with 4-1-1.  What's with IZZY JORMIN?  He actually beat SUPERMARKET's ROTTEN PRODUCE, 
and walked away with 21 more points from the fight.  Laughs were big at TEACHER'S 
PETS while they watched MANDY clobber SLOW CHECKER.  She lost 16 points and got 
bruised from objects thrown from the stands.  Our Duelmaster has lost, folks, lost to 
M. CHARDINEE, BUT DAISY is still the Duelmaster because she has the most recognition 
points!  Advice to fighters with a 1 will--give up fighting!   
     Speaking of cowardly avoiders and unfair challenges...  NOBLISH ISLAND thinks 
SUPERMARKET and their 33-17-1 is too much!  If at first you don't succeed, give up... 
Management must be dealin', as the boys at TEACHER'S PETS ain't reelin'!  
SUPERMARKET's mad!   
     Warriors of NOBLISH ISLAND unite.  You have only your games to lose!  Many a 
warrior has met his fate in a hungover stupor.  You young rapscallions, take note!   
     Who knows what the future holds for a warrior.  More fights, there's no doubt.  
All work and no play makes Olaf a dull fighter.  Work and play no fighter dull Olaf.  
Olaffighterwork and no play.  Remember--a good fighter needs both good skills and 
good luck.  Until next time,-- Olaf Modeen  

DUELMASTER                     W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 DAISY 9172                    7   3  1    58       TEACHER'S PETS (1579)

ADEPTS                         W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 AISLE BLOCKER 9165            9   1  1    53       SUPERMARKET (1578)
 MANDY 9174                    7   3  0    51       TEACHER'S PETS (1579)
 SLOW CHECKER 9167             6   4  0    40       SUPERMARKET (1578)
 OUT OF STOCK 9166             6   4  0    38       SUPERMARKET (1578)

CHALLENGER INITIATES           W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 FORLOY GERDAN 9187            6   3  0    33       THE LOW ROAD 2 (1582)
 IZZY JORMIN 9190              3   6  0    33       THE LOW ROAD 2 (1582)
 KULBERT LEW 9191              4   5  0    27       THE LOW ROAD 2 (1582)
 GENNA HAYES 9188              6   3  0    24       THE LOW ROAD 2 (1582)

INITIATES                      W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 ROTTEN PRODUCE 9175           6   4  0    22       SUPERMARKET (1578)

INITIATES                      W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 LONG CHECKOUT LINES 9169      6   4  0    22       SUPERMARKET (1578)
 OXCAR 9213                    1   0  0    20       TEACHER'S PETS (1579)
 LEE ANN 9215                  1   0  1    16       TEACHER'S PETS (1579)
 HOBSON IPP 9189               3   6  0    15       THE LOW ROAD 2 (1582)
-QUILNY BOLDERIA 9210          1   0  0    15       OLIVA GALVARIUS (1586)
 JEROME 9214                   1   0  0    13       TEACHER'S PETS (1579)
-TILLYA WULNORA 9212           1   0  0    13       OLIVA GALVARIUS (1586)
-ALINA ULGARA 9209             1   0  0    13       OLIVA GALVARIUS (1586)
-ELIN TOECHU 9208              1   0  0     8       OLIVA GALVARIUS (1586)
-MARI YALN 9211                1   0  0     7       OLIVA GALVARIUS (1586)

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

THE DEAD                W  L K TEAM NAME            SLAIN BY              TURN Revenge?
PERSISTANT BEGGA        0  0 0                      LEE ANN 9215          341  NONE

                                     PERSONAL ADS

Mandy -- A loss AND no skills?  Almost as rotten as a store being out of stock on
something you need. -- Out of Stock

Tommy -- Excuse me, I'll be in the next aisle shortly. -- Aisle Blocker

Izzy -- Are you flirting with me?  You come down my line every week with that huge
smile. -- Long Checkout Lines

Christos -- Good luck in your next arena. -- Slow Checker

HTC -- Your turn to beat me.  Well fought. -- Rotten Produce

Rotten Produce was given to me as a 12-9-11-4-10-7-17 setup.  A flexible setup with
quite low wit and will.  Many managers would Dark Arena this without thought with
such low wit and will.  It could make a very boring defensive, adding 6 each to con
and will.  I don't like boring defensives, so that wasn't an option.  Instead, I
opted to go for an AB, utilizing the potential 21 deftness.  I next added to wit.
This is controversial, because it is often best to embrace the weaknesses given to
you on a rollup.  But on this one, I prefer the wit to will, simply because of how
many more skills the  warrior gets.  Five points left to add.  Strength, Con, or
Will.  I chose con, partially because I like hybrids that can take damage, partially
because I wanted to experiment with this design.  I ended up not doing the
experimentation because from fight number 1, Rotten Produce showed uncanny ability
with the weapon I gave him.

Assur's Helpful Tidbit -- Experimentation is a great thing in this game.  There are
always new things to try.  Realize that many experiments will fail, and that
sometimes the same experiment will not give the same results.  The computer dice are
very fickle and do not roll the same way twice.  And as I've mentioned before, there
are warriors  that are much more and less lucky than others.  This is built into the
warrior.  If a warrior cannot win with the strengths of his design, most likely no
amount of experimentation will save him.  And usually, the best way to win is not
through odd experiments but through the strengths of your warrior.  But the joy of
the experiment is in trying odd, bizarre, and hopefully fun things.

Hey, Mountain Troll, you should have practiced your hand and eye coordination with
video games, you loser! -- Daisy

Azuz -- I seemed to win the enduring battle of two determined warriors.  I think you
might have a bug or two, or maybe an infection, as you were mighty slow.  See ya. --
Mandy

We all thank you,
Spymaster (AB)
Stone Golem A)
Master Sen Ganamir (LU)
For killing us.
See you in the next world,
     Homer, Tommy and Little Johnny

Oliva Galvarius, Sin Roynstar -- GREAT start!  Kudos! -- Teacher

Alina Ulgora -- You WILL NOT be alone.  I promise. -- Teacher

Newby Sin Rowynstar -- There are several of us here to help.  Read the newsletters
closely. If you have access, read the past newsletters of DM93 wich are filled with
information. Ask, and you will get one, or two, or several answers.  You chose the
right arena to get HELP.  Good luck to you. -- Teacher
P.S.  Do NOT skip class, and NO sleeping.

Please welcome my newbies Oscar (BA), Jerome (ST), and Lee Ann (PS) for their first
and final fight round.  Be easy on them. -- Teacher

Alina Ulgora -- One thing you can count on, when the Low Road 2 charters and leaves,
it will be followed by the Low Road 3.  I'm next thing to perenial here, maybe not
the best source of advice, but I *will* be here. -- Jorja, the Low Road

Oh, cheese louise!  We wanted to offer advice (possibly good) to new managers, and
what do we draw?  Sherlock and Assurnasirbanipal, both experienced, and three
standbys.  This is just plain disappointing. -- Jorja and the Low Road
P.S.  Yes, okay, tell us we should get a good night's sleep and banter.  Honestly, we
MEANT to.  But stuff kept happening.

                                  LAST WEEK'S FIGHTS

DAISY was bested by M. CHARDINEE in a crowd pleasing 1 minute Title fight.
SLOW CHECKER lost to MANDY in a 2 minute battle.
AISLE BLOCKER overcame FORLOY GERDAN in a popular 1 minute gruesome match.
LONG CHECKOUT LINES was bested by KULBERT LEW in a 2 minute contest.
ROTTEN PRODUCE was overpowered by IZZY JORMIN in a 1 minute one-sided fight.
OUT OF STOCK devastated HOBSON IPP in a 1 minute uneven brawl.
GENNA HAYES defeated MORDANT DESERTER in a 1 minute struggle.
OXCAR overpowered EMBEZZLING SCRIBE in a 1 minute mismatched brawl.
JEROME overpowered MORDANT DESERTER in a 1 minute uneven melee.
LEE ANN slaughtered PERSISTANT BEGGAR in a 1 minute uneven duel.

                                    BATTLE REPORT

             MOST POPULAR                        RECORD DURING THE LAST 10 TURNS     
|FIGHTING STYLE               FIGHTS        FIGHTING STYLE     W -   L -  K   PERCENT|
|BASHING ATTACK                   5         PARRY-STRIKE       7 -   3 -  1      70  |
|STRIKING ATTACK                  4         BASHING ATTACK    34 -  18 -  2      65  |
|AIMED BLOW                       2         PARRY-LUNGE        6 -   4 -  0      60  |
|PARRY-STRIKE                     1         STRIKING ATTACK   22 -  16 -  1      58  |
|SLASHING ATTACK                  1         TOTAL PARRY       11 -   9 -  0      55  |
|WALL OF STEEL                    1         AIMED BLOW        24 -  21 -  0      53  |
|PARRY-RIPOSTE                    1         PARRY-RIPOSTE      6 -   6 -  0      50  |
|PARRY-LUNGE                      0         SLASHING ATTACK    9 -  11 -  0      45  |
|LUNGING ATTACK                   0         WALL OF STEEL     10 -  19 -  0      34  |
|TOTAL PARRY                      0         LUNGING ATTACK     3 -  10 -  0      23  |

Turn 341 was great if you     Not so great if you used      The fighting styles of the
used the fighting styles:     the fighting styles:          top eleven warriors are:

PARRY-STRIKE       1 -  0     STRIKING ATTACK    1 -  3         4  BASHING ATTACK 
SLASHING ATTACK    1 -  0     PARRY-LUNGE        0 -  0         2  STRIKING ATTACK
WALL OF STEEL      1 -  0     PARRY-RIPOSTE      0 -  1         2  AIMED BLOW     
BASHING ATTACK     4 -  1     LUNGING ATTACK     0 -  0         1  WALL OF STEEL  
AIMED BLOW         1 -  1     TOTAL PARRY        0 -  0         1  SLASHING ATTACK
                                                                1  PARRY-RIPOSTE  

                               TOP WARRIOR OF EACH STYLE

FIGHTING STYLE   WARRIOR                     W   L  K PNTS TEAM NAME                  
STRIKING ATTACK  DAISY 9172                  7   3  1   58 TEACHER'S PETS (1579)
BASHING ATTACK   AISLE BLOCKER 9165          9   1  1   53 SUPERMARKET (1578)
WALL OF STEEL    MANDY 9174                  7   3  0   51 TEACHER'S PETS (1579)
Note: Warriors have a winning record and are an Adept or Above.

The overall popularity leader is DAISY 9172.  The most popular warrior this turn was 
SLOW CHECKER 9167.  The ten other most popular fighters were AISLE BLOCKER 9165, 
DAISY 9172, MANDY 9174, KULBERT LEW 9191, OUT OF STOCK 9166, OXCAR 9213, JEROME 9214, 
LEE ANN 9215, IZZY JORMIN 9190, and GENNA HAYES 9188.

The least popular fighter this week was HOBSON IPP 9189.  The other ten least popular 
fighters were ROTTEN PRODUCE 9175, LONG CHECKOUT LINES 9169, FORLOY GERDAN 9187, 
GENNA HAYES 9188, IZZY JORMIN 9190, LEE ANN 9215, JEROME 9214, OXCAR 9213, OUT OF 
STOCK 9166, and KULBERT LEW 9191.

                             The Effects of Coordination

     Coordination has long been ruled as having no effect on a warrior.  I have 
noticed a few things that may be the cause of certain coordination levels.  So I 
decided to write this article to give the general DM populace something to ponder.  
Below is the coordination table:

Coordination =  SP + DF

06 - 16  = Clumsy
17 - 20  = Slightly Uncoordinated
21 - 27  = Normal
28 - 31  = Highly Coordinated
32 - 39  = Very Highly Coordinated
40 - 42  = Marvel of Fighting Coordination

     Since I run a lot of bashers that have a clumsy rating most of the time, I 
noticed a few things that happen to them and not the high coordination warriors I 
have.  Most people don't have clumsy warriors, save some bashers and TPs, so it may 
not be paid that much attention to.
     The first thing I have noticed is that a clumsy warrior seems to drop his weapon 
more often than a higher coordination warrior.  So I think that maybe he has a higher 
chance to do this than normally coordinated warriors.
     Second, I noticed that clumsy warriors have harder time trying to quick draw 
their back-up weapon, causing them to fumble around trying to get it.
     Third is that the clumsy warrior also is slower to get up after he has been 
knocked down.  It may also influence the roll on whether you get knocked down or not, 
along with other factors.
     These things aren't as noticeable the higher the coordination becomes.  That's 
probably why a lot of people don't place any  value on coordination.  At the higher 
levels of the game there aren't any clumsy warriors, so coordination isn't noticed.  
You can still get knocked down, lose your weapon, and draw your back-up quickly, but 
the odds are more in your favor with a higher coordination in my opinion.
     Well, may joy and happiness be with you.  If you would like to chat , I can be 
reached at 103260.3347@compuserve.com  
     You may diplo me at LORDS OF THE ABYSS, in DM 11, or any of the JOKER'S WILDS 
scattered about.

                                                         Ta-Ta,
                                                         Sir Jessie Jest
                                            (He who always gets the last laugh......)

                                NAME CHANGE-O-RAMA

     The crowd was surprisingly orderly, but it was still a crowd, and the Commission 
clerk, Algernon, looked at it uneasily.  Whenever this many people came together to 
petition for something, it meant trouble.  For him, anyway.  Records to be altered.  
Altering records was Bad.  It made Extra Work.
     His assistant clerk leaned close and whispered, "If it weren't for gladiators, we 
wouldn't have jobs.  Smile at them and ask what they want."
     Algernon closed his eyes briefly.  Looking at this crowd made him dizzy.  They 
were all wearing black and white stripes.  Like a herd of zebras, except that zebras 
didn't carry swords.  Then he took a deep breath and managed a smile.  "What... ah, 
what can I do for you?"
     "We want new names," the first gladiator said.  There was a number on the front 
of his shirt:  0381.  He thumped the number with his thumb.  "This here isn't a 
name--"
     "We want REAL names!"  That voice came from farther back in the crowd.
     "Yeah!  We've paid our dues," another shouted, "and we've EARNED real names!"
     One from the very back yelled, "I want to be called Tom."
     All the others turned to look at him.
     Algernon couldn't see him, but apparently those looks were accusing.  Well, he 
could understand that, "Tom" was such a... common name.
     "My mom called me Tom," the voice in the back protested.  "It's a good name."
     "It isn't the name you put on the petition," 0381 said.  "We talked about this.  
We got our manager's agreement.  You get the name on the petition."
     "But--!"
     Algernon didn't really want to keep staring at all these stripes while they 
argued.  He picked up the petition.  "These names are the ones you want?"
     0381 turned back.  "Yes."
     "It's a lot of trouble, and when other people see that YOU are getting name 
changes, THEY are going to want them--"  Seeing the gladiators beginning to frown... 
and finger their weapons, he went on quickly, "So I figure we might as well make it a 
complete deal.  A Name-Change-O-Rama.  Everyone who wants a name change can petition 
for it.  Get it all over with at once."  He glanced at the petition, shuddered 
slightly, and passed it to his clerk.  "We'll announce it, proclaim it, even, and you 
will get the names on this petition.  And others will get the names THEY think they 
should have had, too."  He paused.  "And I think I'll get a new name, I'm tired of 
being an Algernon...."

                                  *   *   *   *   *  

     Warrior and team name changes will be accepted during the month of February.  If 
you have names you want to change, please contact Customer Service. -- RSI

                                   The Basic Ripper

     Why isn't one of basic's most entertaining styles, a style capable of beating all 
others, a common sight upon the sands?  The myth that rippers are difficult to run and 
inherently prone to dying is widely accepted.  True, the graveyard is full of rippers 
that began their careers running little numbers and the parry tactic.  This is no 
mystery given that very few rippers start with great defenses and the parry tactic 
destroys a young ripper's offense.  In their efforts to make better punching bags, 
many managers have turned to big constitutions and heavy armor.  A dose of sanity is 
long overdue.  If you would like to run some rippers who will survive and win, read 
on.
     DESIGN:  My approach is somewhat unorthodox.  I maintain an evolving list of 
physical requirements for each style, i.e., endurance, punishment, damage, and carry 
capacity.  If you don't have the means to accurately forecast these ratings, ask 
around.  If at all possible, I first max out a new rollup's WL at a value of 15, 17, 
or 21 and then compare the rollup's physical potential with each style's physical 
requirements.  Generally, the style that matches up best and requires me to add the 
least number of points to ST and CN is the one I want.  It isn't absolutely necessary 
for a fighter to be physically fit at the beginning of his career.  Plan ahead.  Will 
a few preselected attribute trains make him so?  Must points be added to the rollup's 
ST or CN so that he can make the grade with no more than two trains per attribute?  
Which weapons will he use?  With these questions answered, it's simply a matter of 
taking WT to the highest odd value possible (avoid 19) and then doing the same with 
DF.  Godlings are not born as a results of how many points you can pump into WT, WL, 
and DF; that's luck's job.
     Young rippers need to be able to go fast for two minutes without tiring.  If your 
ripper isn't physically fit, he will slow down.  If he slows down, you are gambling 
with his life.  The more frail the warrior, the greater the gamble.  That said, if 
your ripper can quickly meet the following criteria and learn reasonably well, you 
will get your money's worth.
     Endurance: Something in the neighborhood of 350 (that's {ST+CN}WL)
     Punishment: Anywhere from the high end of very frail to midrange normal
     Damage:  Normal
     Capacity: Cannot carry a lot (minimum ST/CN combos: 9/8, 10/7, 11/6, 12/5)

     ST: 9 +   Midgets need an 11 or better.
     CN: See Endurance, punishment, and capacity requirements
     SZ: Small (3-8) to medium (9-14)
     WT: 15+   If your ripper doesn't learn, he's toast.
     WL: 15+   See endurance and punishment requirements.
     SP: Though frequently unimportant, it helps to have points here if you're stuck 
with a few 15's in WT, WL, and DF.
     DF: 15+   13 will do if you're fortunate to have a big WT and/or WL.

Strats:        X    8    9    5    5    5    8
               X    8    5    3    3    3    10
               X    6    7    7    7    7    5
               ARM ------------------------- >
               HE -------------------------- >
               N --------------------------- >
               N ------------------------ >  R

     Why the missing numbers in the first minute?  You'll want to find what works for 
your new ripper and possibly change his numbers as he develops.  8-8-6 is probably the 
best opening minute for a young ripper.  If your youngster has a high speed, try 10-
10-6.  6-8-6 is a bit slow for my taste.  Nevertheless, this might be the way to go 
even if your ripper doesn't need to build up his endurance.  Something I call "the 
change" occurs when your ripper approaches his master in riposte, his AD Ex in parry, 
and Experts in attack, defense and initiative.  This is a moment of decision.  If your 
ripper takes normal punishment, this is when you can opt to slow him down.  I don't do 
this, but I have seen 5-7-5 and 5-5-5 parry work rather well.  It's probably wise for 
a slow-running ripper to run fast in desperation.  If your ripper continues to run 
fast after "the change," a first minute strat of 8-10-4 often works well.
     WEAPONS:  A scimitar or longsword belongs in your ripper's hand.  After he starts 
critting, check to see if the epee is his favorite.  I don't believe in heavy backups 
for youngsters; a dagger will do.  Most youngsters will benefit from an offhand dagger 
(preferred), hatchet, or shortsword.  After "the change," rippers who don't slow down 
can improve the quality of their attacks by getting rid of their off hand weapons.  
These guys will need a backup scimitar, longsword, or epee.  Rippers who do slow down 
should keep their offhand weapons.
     ARMOR:  Very frail rippers should debut in ASM/H.  After ten fights or so, it's 
probably best to go with APL/H.  Guys who cannot take a lot of punishment belong in 
ARM/H for their entire basic careers.  Put them in ALE/H if you're feeling gutsy.  
Rippers who take normal punishment can debut in APL/H, ARM/H, or ASM/H.  After ten 
fights or so, it's definitely time for APL/H.  If you decide to slow one of these guys 
down, you'd better put him back in ARM/H or ASM/H.
     CHALLENGES:  Scummers deserve numbers like 4-1-6; keep that big desperation, 
though.  If you know that an opponent is out to kick you when you're down, go with 5-
8-5 or 5-5-5 while he's playing dead and 8-8-5 and 9-5-7 when he's active.  Good aimed 
blows are a pain.  Still, like every other style, they can be beaten with standard 
strats.
     Many people have contributed indirectly to the content of this article.  Foremost 
in my mind are The Lunatic, Scrag, Voo-Doo, U-Star, Shark, Moriarty, and Wormtongue.  
Thanks.  If you have a bone to pick or a story to tell, you know where to find me.

                                                       Cadmus
                                                       Wild Oats (479)
                                                       Solven, DM 22

                          Stimpy's Thoughts on Total Parries

                                       part II

     Well, when we last spoke I gave you a rundown on I feel TPs should be designed.  
Now I will give you my ideas on how to run them.
     First, you need to consider what type of warrior you now have.  A total parry is 
what its name suggests.  Total defense.  The idea around a TP is to concentrate on 
defense first and utmost.  Only when the situation arises will the TP decide to 
attack.  With this in mind NEVER run a TP with an offensive effort (OE) above 5.  In 
doing so you have just told your TP to do what they weren't designed to do.  Go 
offensive.  If you want to run your TP above 5, you should have made an offensive 
styled warrior, NOT a TP.  By using a high OE, you cause your TP to ignore defense and 
go offense.  This results in numerous "flailing" and "wild" attacks.  So don't do it.
     While running your TP, you may find that he tends to really turn on the offense 
often.  That is typical, typical of a warrior who favors initiative skills.  This does 
not mean that you should boost your OE.  What is happening is that one of your 
warrior's favorite learns is initiative.  So he/she will be naturally adept in 
initiative.  And remember that initiative is the skill that allows you to continuously 
make attacks on your opponent.  Since your TP decided to attack, your opponent should 
be relatively worn down.  So it will be hard for your opponent to steal that 
initiative back from you.  Hence the reason that your TP looks like an offensive 
killer.  But that's good.  It means that you have a very dangerous warrior on your 
hands.  High endurance burning styles, look out!
     I know, I know!!!  There are managers out there still that believe in the 
offensive TP and suggest using higher OE.  That's all fine and dandy.  Let those 
managers do just that.  I personally guarantee that if you run your TP with a low OE 
like the style was designed to do, you'll win fights.  Experiment with unorthodox 
strategies when you get a better hang of the game.
     Activity level (AL) is the variable in TP strategies.  I would definitely begin 
running a TP with a moderate/low AL.  Try a 3 at first.  After a few fights you'll see 
if your TP likes to dodge more or parry more.  It should be quite obvious; your TP 
will learn more skills in his "favorite" area.  Chances are, though, if your TP has 
received the statement: "avoiding rather than trading blows," or "relying on his speed 
to stay out of danger," your TP would rather dodge than parry.  And that's just fine.  
Boost your AL to about a 4 or 5.  If you choose to use the dodge tactic in defense, 
use AL up to 7.  Beyond that tends to hurt your warrior more than it helps.
     So why not go with an AL of 7 all the time if your TP likes to dodge more than 
parry, you might ask?  That's simple; your TP may like to dodge more, BUT HE STILL 
PARRIES.  So you'll need to be less active to allow your TP that choice.  With an AL 
of 4-5, your warrior will dodge when it is more advantageous, parry when it isn't.
     Kill desire varies greatly from warrior to warrior.  To be on the safe side, I 
always go low KD with my TPs, until they gain expert in attack.  After that point, I 
may begin to experiment, seeing how my warrior reacts to various KDs.  Generally, if 
your warrior learns attack skills relatively well, then a higher KD won't inhibit them 
at all.  If this is the case, I believe that your warrior is not looking for landing 
several blows to win the match (favoring initiative skills), but is instead looking to 
land a few good blows (favoring attack skills).  In the latter case, a moderate to 
high KD may help.  Keep in mind though that your TP is still defensively oriented.  An 
extremely high KD will cause any warrior to behave like a berserker, and may cause 
your TP to make lots of bad attacks.  With this in mind, stay below 7.
     Now to place it all together...

Minute         1    2    3    4    5    6on  Desp
OE             2 ------------------------ >  varies
AL             2 ------------------------ >    "
KD             2 ------------------------ >    "

or

Minute         1    2    3    4    5    6on  Desp
OE             2 ------------------------ >  varies
AL             4 ------------------------ >    "
KD             2 ------------------------ >    "

     These show my general strategies for parry and dodging oriented warriors, 
respectively.  Seldom do I use any tactics, unless I am making a challenge and wish my 
warrior to behave differently to that challenge (i.e., using the dodge tactic against 
a lunger).  At that point I would refer to the paragraphs in the beginning to 
customize that particular minute to fit the tactic.
     Attack and protect locations are totally up to you.  I like to protect the head 
and body, while attacking the head, arms, and legs.  This protects my vitals, yet can 
allow my warrior to land blows on parts of the body that can cause a warrior to lose a 
fight with the minimum number of hits.
     Desperation is my opposite area.  If I was relying on a low AL in the regular 
minutes, I will boost it in desperation.  While going vice versa if I had a high AL in 
regular minutes.
     Now the one tactic I haven't touched on is the riposte tactic.  Occasionally your 
TP will favor this tactic.  When he does, I like to raise my OE to 3, sometimes 4, and 
the AL to 4.  If I use the riposte tactic, I will use 4-5 OE and a 3-5 AL.  When these 
numbers are any lower, your TP may refrain from attacking in a riposte situation in 
favor of more defense.
     I have found that these strategies work well whether your warrior fights as a 
SCUM or skilled TP.  If you remember from my last article, the difference between the 
schools of thought are the amount of damage the warrior is willing/able to take.
     Well, I hope that this has been informative for the newer players, and the older 
ones, too.  Good luck and see you on the sands.

                                                                 Stimpy

                              MORE ADVICE FOR BEGINNERS

     Many essays dwell on style specifics.  This piece describes a playing philosophy.  
When you just want to WIN, create scum TPs and size 17 monsters with impunity.  Don't 
worry about getting these warriors into ADM!  YOU'RE concerned with winning those "Top 
Team" and "Team on the Move" awards.
     By comparison, managers with an excellent setup shouldn't be too concerned with 
the team win/loss record.  Their character must develop, gain every skill possible, in 
order to blossom into a deadly duelist.  THEIR goal is to advance this fighter into 
ADM, and eternal life.
     Here are some broad parameters for assessing a warrior's value, and a few 
representative samples:
Primus Bound:
     - WT, WL and DF total 49+.
     - 4 or more wit statements.
     - Start with Expert rating or gain it in one or two skills.
     - [13-5-5-21-13-10-17, 6-6-9-17-21-9-17, 11-7-9-17-17-6-17, etc.]
Basic/ADM Only:
     - WT, WL and DF total to 35+.
     - At least 3 wit statements.
     - Gain Expert rating in no more than five skills.
     - [17-9-10-17-9-9-13, 13-11-11-17-13-8-11, 9-13-10-15-21-5-11, etc.]
Dark Arena: [Any two of these qualify the character as "expendable"]
     - WT less than 13.
     - Less than 3 wit statements.
     - Is clumsy.
     - Has very little endurance.
     - [15-15-16-11-13-5-9, 7-18-13-17-5-13-11, 13-15-13-13-17-6-7, etc.]
     The Primus Bound setups are rare; they are coddled, protected and sometimes 
sandbagged for a year or so in order to build up a few Ad Experts to help them survive 
in the arena.
     The Basic/ADM Only fighters have mediocre to decent stats, and are going to be 
very dependent on their overview for that elusive "luck factor."  This class of 
warrior should be highly competitive.  Most of the fighters seen in the arena are in 
this category.
     Finally, the Dark Arena fighters: conceived from pitiful setups with little 
chance of being competitive.  However, these rollups might prove useful.  Don't fight 
the system; learn to use it to your advantage!  Many managers send fighters to the 
D.A. who might have provided them with a successful (if brief) career in Basic.
     Give BIG numskulls lots of ST and SP; these are your killer LUs and STs.  More WL 
= LU; Higher DF = ST. (I don't advise making Bashers unless you have a 17+ wit and 15+ 
points in WL.)  Give LITTLE morons a boost to WL, ST and CN; these are your TP scum.  
If they have absolutely no WT or WL, escort them to the Dark Arena.
     Of course, some fighters have good stats and decent overviews yet still lose most 
of their fights in the beginning of their career.  The "old" method of dealing with 
this phenomenon was to bump all stats by two or more.  Now, it's generally agreed that 
this increases performance at the cost of future skill learns.  This takes away from a 
duelist's competitive abilities in the higher levels of play.  Competitive fighters 
should be making as few stat raises as possible until they have "maxed out" in at 
least three of four skill areas. (Some managers advocate waiting until a character is 
completely "maxed out" before raising stats; this will take a long time for most 
warriors.)
     Some warriors (particularly the finesse styles: AB, PR, PL, PS) take a little 
longer to develop.  If they DON'T have the stats or the overview to raise visions of a 
Primus inductee, take a HARD look at their potential.  Will stat raises help?  Well 
they come easily?  Is the rest of the team strong?  How much money are you willing to 
invest in this character?
     ANYONE can create an awe-inspiring fighter by adding a couple of points to key 
stats.  It means the fighter may lose some of its long-term potential, but so what?  
Duelmaster, Most Popular Fighter, Best Win/Loss Record, etc. all equate into free 
fights and recognition.  If you don't have that Godling in your stable, what other 
goal might you have but to excel in your arena?!!
     I urge new managers to run EVERY setup at least once in the arena.  Look on 
rollups as a challenge; try to make the best killer or scum possible out of Dark Arena 
material.  There's a tremendous amount of experience to be gained by this.
     See what effect a high ST or DF has on specific styles; compare overviews to find 
what works and what doesn't; gain new insights on character design.  You will enjoy 
playing far more than you do now!  You might even come up with a better way of 
designing a character for a specific style, and write an article to share your views.
     The point is, DON'T wait around for the "right" rollup, or waste time and money 
(or sentiment) on characters who aren't doing anything for you.  Play the percentages.  
If a promising warrior is losing repeatedly, be patient.  Once a few AdExperts are 
gained he will probably turn things around.  If you Dark Arena Mutant loses a lot and 
his scumminess or killer-design aren't working, either bump a couple of stats or DA 
him.  If your scum/killer goes out there and wins a few, start paying attention to 
challenges/avoids (which you SHOULD be doing anyway).  Send that scum against a LU or 
ST; send that monster ST against a midget Parry-whatever.  Style vs. style matchups 
are crucial in the early careers of EVERY fighter.
     Generally, even lousy STs, LUs, BAs and TPs do well starting out.  Later the 
finesse styles--PL, PS, PR, AB--usually take over.  Summary: Recognize the difference 
between playing "to win" and playing "longterm."  Start noticing which teams have high 
win/loss percentages: what kind of warriors are they running?  Start sending diplos; 
don't be bashful.  You can bring that win/loss to a respectable level with careful 
play, short-term Mutant killers and scum, and the occasional stat-bump for those 
mediocre fighters whom you plan on retiring later.  Try it and see.  It gives the game 
more spice, you win more often, and you have more FUN!  And just remember... I told 
you so!

                         Diplo me with comments, questions, rebuke:
                              -- The Arcane Kid, of Astral Kin in Osksi (DM-3)

                                  "Favorite Weapons"

     One of the best ways to improve a warrior's record in basic is to find his 
favorite weapon.  The effect of using a favorite weapon is that a warrior's attack 
ability will improve.  A warrior will throw more critical attacks, improve the odds to 
inflict critical damage, and make attacks that are more difficult to dodge and parry.
     There are two methods used to find a favorite weapon.  The first is, "Don't worry 
about it.  They tell you when you get to ADM anyway."  While some managers have the 
patience to wait that long, I would rather have my favorite in hand in fight one!
     The second method is called, "Charting."  The way I chart weapons is I break 
down, statistically, my warrior's attacks with a particular weapon. (No, it's not 
difficult to do!)  I chart 4 categories, (1) Total number of attacks, (2) Total number 
of crit attacks, (3) Total number of crit damages, (4) Total number of knockdowns.
     (1) Total number of attacks (#ATT) -- Record the total number of attacks with the 
weapon in question, including hits, crits, misses, parried attacks, dodged attacks, 
and wild swings.
     (2) Total number of crit attacks (C ATT) -- Record the total number of critical 
attacks with the weapon in question.  Do not get good attacks confused with critical 
attacks.  A good attack is a statement that is more descriptive than, "strikes with 
dagger," but is not as spectacular as a critical.  An example of a good attack is, 
"Bats outward with her quarterstaff," or, "Makes a lunging attack wielding a short 
spear."  These are more descriptive but are not outstanding.  A critical attack is 
exemplified by spectacular statements such as; "Catapults forward, longsword stabbing 
cruelly at his foe," "Punches with piston-like horsefelling power," or "Hatchet 
flashes with snake-like speed and accuracy."  As you can see, crit attacks are very 
obvious.
     (3) Total number of crit damages (C DAM) -- A crit damage statement will signify 
a significant amount of additional damage and is typified by a statement such as; 
"Spectators cringe as the horrific power of the blow strikes home" or "It was a 
devastating attack."
     (4) Total number of knockdowns (# KD) -- Record every time an opponent is knocked 
off his feet with the weapon in question.
     The next step is to convert this data into a usable format.  To do this I divide 
the last three categories by the first.  This gives a "batting average" of sorts.  
EXAMPLE: Dark One fights his first three fights with a scimitar.  In those three 
fights Dark One made 16 attacks, 2 crit attacks, 4 crit damage, and 1 knockdown.  This 
breaks down as such:
C ATT = .125
C DAM = .25
# KD = .06
     Remember, the more fights with the weapon, the more accurate your chart will be.
     Looking at Dark One's performance with the scimitar we can conclude that it is 
not his favorite weapon.  I determine this by looking at the three categories in order 
of precedence.
     First I look at C ATT:
     .00-.25  Doubtful
     .25-.35  Slight possibility
     .35-.50  Very possible
     .50 +    BINGO!
     If your warrior is critting 50% of the time, stick with that weapon.  Favorite or 
not, it is VERY effective.
     Next is crit damage.  This is trickier to look at, as the primary chance to do 
critical damage is primarily based on strength.
Does little     0%
Normal         1-5% (style dependent)
Good           10%
Great          25%
Tremendous     50%
Awesome        75%
     Look for increases in the expected average crit rate.  These numbers may be a 
little off as I don't have a large enough sample of warriors with high damage ratings.  
In the example, Dark One rated at 25%, and with his great damage rating it appears he 
is not doing any additional crits.
     Finally, knockdowns.  I don't have a fast and easy rule for this, but anything 
over 15% or 20% if attacking the legs, could bear investigating.  It's best to look at 
all three and infer a weapon's performance.
     Dark One switches to a short spear and after 4 fights has 15 attacks, 7 crit 
attacks, 6 crit damages and 2 knockdowns.
C ATT = .466
C DAM = .40
# KD = .13
     This weapon suits him much better.  His crit percentage is up for all categories.  
This weapon has a very good chance to be his favorite weapon.  In this example it 
wasn't, but his W/L record improved with 6 straight wins. (By the way, the names and 
weapons have been changed but the numbers are from one of my ADM warriors.)
     Okay, I've figured out that the weapon I'm using is not my favorite.  What now?  
There are some indicators to help you.  Look at how your warrior uses his current 
weapon.  If he likes to slash a lot, stay with a slashing weapon.  Also, look at good 
attacks.  If a warrior makes quite a few good attacks with the weapon, try a weapon 
that is used in a similar fashion.  I.E. epee is used in similar fashion to a long 
sword.  Dark One loved to lunge with his scimitar at a 3:1 ratio.  Try weapons that 
fit your stats at first but don't be afraid to try a weapon that is out of your stat 
parameters.  Should you find your favorite and you don't have the strength, size and 
deftness to use it, who cares.  The fact that it's your favorite will nullify or 
minimize all those penalties.
     I know that this is a question on the mind of new managers, as it was for me when 
I was new to the game.  I hope someone can get some good use out of this article and 
expand upon the charting method in their own way.  If you have any questions, 
comments, additions, or criticism please feel free to Diplo.
                                   -- Abe
                                      Ango (DM 64, 103)
                                      Imploding Ducks (DM 19, 103)