DUEL 2 NEWSLETTER

Date   : 11/03/2012    Duedate: 11/16/2012

NOBLISH ISLAND ARENA

DM-93    TURN-363

This Weeks Top Honors

THE DUELMASTER IS

LEAPING LILAC
PARKS AND REC (1611)
(93-9359) [6-1-0,64]

Chartered Recognition Leader   Unchartered Recognition Leader

ZOE YATES                      LEAPING LILAC
THE LOW ROAD 4 (1610)          PARKS AND REC (1611)
(93-9349) [4-6-0,46]           (93-9359) [6-1-0,64]

Popularity Leader              This Weeks Favorite

QUEENIE PAROE                  BROKEN WHEEL
THE LOW ROAD 4 (1610)          BASH BROS SUITCASE (1619)
(93-9345) [7-3-0,24]           (93-9410) [1-1-0,6]

THE CURRENT TOP TEAM

THE LOW ROAD 4 (1610)

          TEAMS ON THE MOVE            TOP CAREER HONORS
Team Name                  Point Gain  Chartered Team
1. COLLEGE FOOTBALL (1618)     42
2. PARKS AND REC (1611)        35      THE LOW ROAD 4 (1610)
3. BASH BROS SUITCASE (1619)   23      Unchartered Team
4. DRAGON DISCIPLES (1608)      0
5. OLYMPUS MAXIMUS (1612)       0BASH BROS SUITCASE (1619)

The Top Teams

Career Win-Loss Record           W   L  K    %  Win-Loss Record Last 3 Turns    W  L K
 1/ 1*BASH BROS SUITCAS (1619)   7   3  0 70.0   1/ 2 THE LOW ROAD 4 (1610)     8  5 0
 2/ 6*COLLEGE FOOTBALL (1618)    6   4  1 60.0   2/ 3*BASH BROS SUITCAS (1619)  7  3 0
 3/ 2*PARKS AND REC (1611)      17  14  3 54.8   3/ 4*COLLEGE FOOTBALL (1618)   6  4 1
 4- 3*DRAGON DISCIPLES (1608)    4   4  0 50.0   4/ 1*PARKS AND REC (1611)      5  7 1
 5- 4*OLYMPUS MAXIMUS (1612)     6   7  2 46.2   5- 5*OLYMPUS MAXIMUS (1612)    0  2 0
 6/ 5 THE LOW ROAD 4 (1610)     19  28  0 40.4   6- 7*PASSIVE GAMERS II (1315)  0  1 0
 7- 7*PASSIVE GAMERS II (1315)   0   1  0  0.0   7- 6*DRAGON DISCIPLES (1608)   0  1 0

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

                                    TEAM SPOTLIGHT

                                  What the Style?
My opponents of style ___ keep beating me, but my representatives of that style lose!
Manager ___ seems to dominate with style ___!  What style is the best?!?  What style
should I make my warrior?

     These burning questions come up over and over again.  And while it is true that
not all styles are equal, there are good reasons to use (and become proficient with)
all 10 fighting styles.  This article hopes to demystify some of questions above.
     First, it is useful to understand that winning warriors win by being a pure
offensive (and these are the easiest to master), a pure defensive, or a hybrid of the
two.  I list the styles in approximate ease to learn and succeed with.  The 'big
four' weapons (BA, BS, LO, SC) are often considered the best four weapons in the game
(weapons are also not equal)
     I try to give an overview of all strengths and weaknesses, but realize that the
higher your warriors advance in that game, the more the game favors attack and
defense skills.  But during your warrior's career in basic, all of the skills are
fairly well balanced.
     When I talk about tourney success, I am talking about winning it all!  ABs, Ls,
and STKs win more tourneys than the rest of the styles.  Also realize that these
descriptions are intended to help you know how to design to a style's strengths and
hide their weaknesses.

Strikers -- The premiere pure offensive style.  They learn decise and attack.  Their
starting skills are relatively low (most notably their attack), but they conserve
endurance well and can use virtually every weapon.  They are one of the strongest
tourney styles in basic.  However, because of their mostly one sided nature, they are
not as strong past graduation.  They cannot be bonused in attack.

Total Parries -- The ultimate pure defensive warrior, but by virtue of their defenses
also make fine hybrid warriors.  They learn defense and parry.  Starting skills other
than defense and parry are poor and have they the worst attack of any style.
Moderate enduracne conservation and can use all of the 'big four' well suited.
Usually considered a 2nd tier tourney style and the large numbers of ABs in tourneys
these days makes life harder for TPs.  However many managers have strategies and
designs to use for TPs to minimize their vulnerabilities to the most popular style
around.  TPs have shown themselves competitive at virtually all levels of the game
except the very top (Years away for a new warrior).  They cannot be bonused in parry.

Bashers -- I call them the poor man's striker.  They are solid pure offensives and
the most popular pure offensive style to use for Tank Hybrids.  They learn attack and
decisiveness.  They start with very high offensive skills and very low defensive
skills.  I put them in the middle for endurance conservation and have the worst
weapon selection of any style, unable to use any of the 'big four' well suited.  They
are one of the weakest tourney styles at virtually all levels, but are better than
average against ABs early on.  Past graduation, their usefulness is limited.  They
cannot be bonused in decise or riposte.

Lungers -- The ultimate hybrid, but can be offensives or defensives.  They learn init
and defense.  They have the highest attack and defense in the game and the highest
overall starting skills.  They burn endurance fast and have access to the LO.  A top
tier tourney style at all levels (though perhaps never the favorite).  They were once
the dominant style past graduation.

Wall of Steels -- Strong as hybrids or defensives.  They learn init, parry and
attack.  They are tied with lungers for highest overall starting skills.  They burn
endurance fast and use SC, BA, and BS well suited.  They can be competitive at most
tourney levels but are 2nd tier.  They can only be bonused in attack or parry.

Slasher -- Another pure offensive style, harder to play because they don't learn
decise as fast as other offensives.  They learn init and attack.  A high attack
style.  Somewhere between middle and high for endurance burn, they have access to all
of the 'Big Four'.  They have been successful at most tourney levels but at best can
be considered a 2nd tier tourney style.

Parry-Strikers -- Can run as any of offensive, defensive, or hybrid.  They learn
parry and decise.  They have very low starting skills, including attack.  They
conserve endurance perhaps better than any other style and can use all the 'Big
Four.'  They are shunned by tourney managers because of their poor learning in basic
and their typical horrible favorites in ADM.  I rank them higher than the bottom
three because in basic, parry and decise are very, very useful and the other three
are harder to make win early on.

Aimed-Blows -- Can run as any of offensive, defensive, or hybrid.  They learn attack
and riposte.  With 21 deftness, they are second only to Ls in best attack/defense.
They conserve endurance perhaps equal to or better than PSs and can use LO and SC.
However they can use FI and gain a bonus to defense skills, making them the strongest
style past graduation.  They are one of the big three tourney styles, but as strikers
dominate at the lower levels, aimed blows dominate at the upper levels (and rookies).
They cannot be bonused in decisiveness.  What makes them hard to run early on is
their tendency to learn so much attack and riposte (which without other skills are
not a pure winning formula).

Parry-Ripostes -- Great hybrids, ok defensives.  They learn riposte, parry, and
attack.  Their skills are frustratingly low, especially in attack and defense.  That
said, they are in the moderate area of endurance conservation and can use LO and SC.
Their best tourney success is in the lower tourneys, preying on strikers, but again,
2nd tier at best.  One of the harder styles to master, especially because there
aren't many good wind up strategies for them (every one seems to run optimally
slightly differently).

Parry-Lungers -- Mostly run as hybrids, have succeeded as defensives or offensives.
They learn initiative and parry.  Overall, their skills are strong, one of the higher
attack skill styles.  They burn endurance like slashers and have access to LO and SC.
Traditionally one of the better styles in upper tourneys, not nearly as many of them
are being run in today's game because of their difficulties in basic and are often
considered a poor man's version of the lunger.

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

                              Assur and His Bashers

     If you get to know Assurnasirbanipal at all, you will learn that his favorite
style is the bashing style.  Before going any further, you need to know that it is
not one of the 'best' styles in the game and that not all styles are created equal. 
'Most' warriors that make good bashers could likely be made into a better something
else.  There are a few notable exceptions which I will talk about briefly.

     Jorja's Profile of a Basher is a solid article.  The only things I'd say to
'add' to it are:
   1) For weapons, I highly recommend WH and QS first and foremost.  And I virtually
never use MS or WF.  But the first two are the bread and butter weapons for Bashers
   2) Design comments: Jorja undervalues wit.  For bashers, don't undervalue wit.
11 or more.  For Will, I recommend 9, 15, 17, or 21.  That is where you get skills.
I'll typically add to Strength, Speed or Deftness once my Will is at one of those
values.  If your setup starts with 9-11 will, I'd consider carefully whether adding
4-6 points is really worth it.  There are other ways to make bashers, but her article
is a great place to start.

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

                                  Profile of a Style
                                       Bashers

     I make no claims to being exhaustive in this study of Bashers.  There are
managers who know more about the style, managers who have better Bashers, managers
whose Bashers win more consistently.  But this is a place to start.
     I have the details of twenty-eight immortal Bashers under my hand here, Bashers
who, good, bad, or indifferent, survived long enough to graduate and discover their
favorites.  In those favorites lie clues to how the Gladiatorial Commission expects
Bashers to operate.  This does not mean that Bashers HAVE to operate that way, and it
can be fun to force a style to do the unexpected and take everyone by surprise, but
this could be said to be "what comes naturally."

     Favorite weapons.  You will find that only weapons that may be received as
favorites are ever described as "well-suited" to the style.  For instance, an epee
never occurs as a favorite weapon for a Basher, and any Basher who uses one will find
he "is unsuited to his weapon" or "uses this weapon in an unorthodox style" at the
top of his fight report.  There is little, if anything (well, okay, surprise), to be
gained from using a weapon unsuited to the style in question.
     The eleven weapons suited to use by Bashers, and the minimum stats required for
their best use (information courtesy of Pagan's Enchiridion), are:
     Greataxe       ST  13  SZ   5  WT   9  DF  11
     Greatsword     ST  15  SZ   9  WT   9  DF  11
     Halberd        ST  17  SZ   9  WT   9  DF   9
     Large Shield   ST  11  SZ   7  WT   5  DF   5
     Mace           ST  13  SZ any  WT   3  DF   5
     Maul           ST  15  SZ   9  WT   5  DF   7
     Medium Shield  ST   9  SZ any  WT   5  DF   5
     Morningstar    ST  13  SZ any  WT   7  DF  13
     Quarterstaff   ST  11  SZ   9  WT  11  DF  11
     Warflail       ST  11  SZ any  WT   7  DF   5
     Warhammer      ST  13  SZ any  WT   5  DF   7
Assurnasirbanapal offers the following alternate requirements for some of these
weapons:
     Halberd        ST  17  SZ   9  WT   9  DF  11
     Large Shield   ST  11  SZ   7  WT   3  DF   5
          (not sure about size, but I believe wit is 3)
     Morningstar    ST  13  SZ any  WT   7  DF  11
     Warflail       ST  11  SZ any  WT   5  DF   5
(I can see that some warriors in my future are going to have to test these weapons.)
     Study this chart, and never make a Basher who doesn't have the stats to use at
least one of the weapons well!  I've made the mistake more than once (and more than
once done it deliberately, but then, I'm perverse) of creating a warrior who is
unable to use well any weapon to which his style is suited.  This is enormously
frustrating.  Take my advice and DON'T DO IT.
     You may notice that the Fist is not listed as a weapon suited to the Bashing
attack.  This is an example--one of the most glaring ones--of the fact that sometimes
intuition and real-world experience are "not well suited" to Duelmasters.
     Two weapons not listed on this chart are the Broadsword and the Battleaxe.  If
you arm a Basher with one of these weapons, the fight report will inform you that
your warrior is not well suited to the weapon or uses it in a marginally effective
manner.  A manager I consulted informs me that he has had good results anyway with
the Broadsword and is still experimenting with the Battleaxe.  So you CAN ignore the
weapon suitability chart above, though I would not recommend doing it until you have
enough experience to know what risks you're taking.  And don't do it with a warrior
who adds the disadvantage of having inappropriate stats for the weapon to the
disadvantage of unsuited style.
     As you can see from this list, the most important stat for a Basher, from the
standpoint of weapon use, is Strength.  A Basher who is dumb and on the clumsy side
will find weapons he can use appropriately, provided he has the strength to lift
them.  This has led to the creation of a lot of dumb, clumsy Bashers.  My own
personal feeling--and I've run a lot of these depressing warriors--is that a dumb,
clumsy Basher is doomed in the long run.  And often very boring, as well.  Boring is
even worse than doomed.
     My immortal Bashers, their relevant stats, and their favorite weapons:
Madoc            ST  11  SZ  11  WT  13  DF   9  Mace
Wanda the Blonda ST  17  SZ   8  WT   9  DF  15  Warflail
Kenda Teegue     ST  19  SZ   7  WT  11  DF  11  Greatsword
Al Kore          ST  13  SZ  14  WT  11  DF  13  Quarterstaff
Broken Nose      ST  17  SZ  18  WT  11  DF   9  Quarterstaff
Hogar            ST  13  SZ  13  WT  21  DF   7  Maul
Ski Mask         ST  13  SZ  15  WT  15  DF   9  Maul
Crabby Appleton  ST  19  SZ  11  WT  13  DF   6  Warflail
Lissette         ST  14  SZ   9  WT  11  DF  15  Greataxe
Velendeis        ST   9  SZ  14  WT  13  DF   7  Maul
Hoftalj          ST  21  SZ  14  WT  11  DF   7  Mace
Cadal            ST  14  SZ  15  WT  15  DF  11  Mace
Caramella        ST  13  SZ  13  WT  14  DF  11  Quarterstaff
Lulu             ST  17  SZ  11  WT  15  DF   9  Morningstar
Franklin         ST  15  SZ   6  WT   5  DF  17  Morningstar
Bam Bam          ST  13  SZ  14  WT  11  DF   9  Medium Shield
Dune             ST  19  SZ  17  WT   4  DF   3  Halberd
Old Maid         ST  17  SZ   7  WT  15  DF  11  Halberd
Pelis the True   ST  13  SZ   9  WT  11  DF  15  Large Shield
Joe              ST  15  SZ  10  WT  15  DF  13  Medium Shield
Claudius         ST  19  SZ  13  WT  10  DF   7  Quarterstaff
Ekkar            ST  17  SZ  15  WT  13  DF   7  Mace
Jomon            ST  11  SZ  17  WT  11  DF  15  Greatsword
Dijanna          ST  17  SZ  12  WT  17  DF   7  Mace
Khora the Small  ST  15  SZ   9  WT  17  DF  11  Warhammer
Sweet Jorja      ST  13  SZ  13  WT  15  DF   7  Quarterstaff
Tarok            ST   7  SZ  18  WT  11  DF   9  Warflail
Kelan ten Salth  ST  14  SZ  15  WT  17  DF  11  Greatsword
     You will notice that some of these warriors did not have the initial stats to
use their favorite weapon efficiently.  That's a little trick the Commission plays on
us to keep us from getting too cocky.  Only one of them (Tarok) was initially unable
to use ANY of the bashing weapons well, and I trained up his strength early in his
career.  My personal favorites among the bashing weapons are the warhammer, the mace,
and if the warrior has the wit for it, the quarterstaff, as these seem to me to
produce the most interesting fights.  If I'm going to train a warrior as a Basher, I
try to make him able to use one or another of those weapons; it saves me a lot of
stress.

     Which brings up the question of Basher design.  In almost all cases, the advice
routinely given is to put the points on WT, WL, and DF in preference to other stats.
But to use any of the weapons listed above, the warrior DOES NOT NEED a WT of more
than 11, and depending on which version of the stats for Morningstar you accept, he
doesn't need more than 11 or 13 in DF.  Do not put points on these stats beyond the
necessary.
     ST:  A Basher needs strength, and lots of it--who wants a Basher who "does
little damage"?  Besides, he needs a minimum strength of 9 for the least of his
weapons, and that's a medium shield.  Who wants to send a Basher out with a medium
shield?  Pile 'em on here.
     CN:  No.  A Basher wins by attacking, not defending.  He should be keeping his
opponent too busy to fight back, and he should not have to worry about his hit
points.  Generally speaking, go with whatever you've been given on the roll-up.  The
time to experiment with the creation of a Scum Basher is later, after you have more
experience.
     SZ:  You can't do anything about this, but a large size is not such a handicap
for a Basher as for some of the more finicky styles.  And it will increase the damage
he can do--a Basher is all about doing damage.
     WT:  No more than is needed for the weapon you've chosen.  If you have extra
points after satisfying other requirements, sure, go ahead and put them on wit, but
you can get a decent learning rate with a wit of 11 so why waste the points here?
Besides, if he survives long enough, you can train up more wit later.
     WL:  I would always put points on will (unless it was 17+ already), but for me,
that's reflex, not conscious planning.  In theory, a Basher wins fights fast by
attacking all out, and so he doesn't need will for the stick-to-it effect.  But
then... if he's a good Basher, wins a lot, graduates, and you want to keep on running
him, a high will does make it easier to train up stats once you get around to it.
     SP:  I don't really have a feel for the effects of high or low speed on ANY
style.  I would cautiously suggest that if you can get the speed into the moderate
range (8-12?) without sacrificing anything important, then do it.  But if you can't,
then don't.
     DF:  Enough to use the weapon of choice, or perhaps two or three weapons for
variety.  No more.
     And a note on armor:  A Basher should NOT be loaded down with heavy armor.  He
isn't supposed to get hit, so what does he need that armor FOR?

     Favorite rhythms.  Sometimes it's expedient to ignore a warrior's favorite
rhythm, once you know it, but it does give you a guideline for running the style.
Rhythm is given as Very High or VH (10-9), High or H (8-7), Moderate or M (6-5), Low
or L (4-3), and Very Low or VL (2-1), for Offensive Effort first, and then for
Activity Level.  For the warriors listed above, the favorite rhythms are:
 H/VL   H/L    H/L    H/M   VH/M   VH/L    M/L    M/VL   H/VL   H/VL  VH/VL   M/VL
 H/VL   H/L    H/L   VH/VL  VH/VL  VH/VL   H/L    M/L   VH/M   VH/VL  VH/VL   H/L
 H/VL   H/L   VH/M    H/M.
     You'll notice that there is no Offensive Effort lower than Moderate, and no
Activity Level higher than Moderate, and that Offensive Effort is usually at least
two steps higher than Activity Level.  Not always--some of those listed above are
only one step apart, and another manager tells me that he has some Bashers with
favorite rhythms of Moderate/Moderate.  But from the sample I have, it seems that
Bashers favor a higher Offensive Effort than Activity Level, often considerably
higher.  While you may not always want to run a Basher this way, it appears that
nature and the Gladiatorial Commission intended them to run very offensively.  With a
newly entered Basher, this kind of speed is a place to start.  Once you get a feel
for the warrior in question and for his likely opponents, you can tinker with the
numbers for the ideal strategy.  But be warned that running so offensively, the
average Basher won't be able to keep going for long!  Especially, he won't be able to
go for long with a heavy weapon (one requiring more ST to handle) and heavy armor.
When I think of the Bashers I have seen come out in Plate and struggle to last a
single minute at high speed, I could weep.  High speed burns endurance.  Bashers go
out to win fast, or they become easy prey for a slower-paced, more deliberate
warrior.
     Of course, sometimes you'll run up against a Basher who ignores the stereotype,
the so-called "Scum Basher."  He differs from most of his kind by having a high
endurance which allows his manager to run him slowly and take people by surprise.
But this warrior is a freak.  I distrust freakish warrior designs as a matter of
principle.
     There is no evidence to support the hypothesis that warriors have a favorite
Kill Desire.
     There is no convincing evidence to support the hypothesis that warriors or
styles have a favorite attack location.  Managers have argued that the nature of the
bashing attack lends itself to overhead blows to the head and upper body.  However, I
suspect that this is one of those intuitive things which turn out not to work, just
as one would intuitively expect a Basher to do well with his fists, and he does not.
Some managers have pointed out that a Basher aiming at the head tends to end his
fight quickly.  ANY style striking the head tends to end the fight quickly.
(Consistently aiming at the head will increase the chance of killing, which will, in
the long run, decrease the chance of your Basher's survival.  Managers bloodfeud
dedicated killers with hostile intent.)  I consider this a case of "Not Proven."

     Favorite Tactics.  Of the twenty-eight Bashers listed above, only eight had
favorite tactics.  Two favored the offensive tactic of Decisiveness, and the rest
favored the offensive tactic of Bash.  It seems reasonable to assume that the
offensive tactics of Lunge and Slash are inappropriate for a Basher.  (Of course, you
can't always count on reason here, but....)  There were no defensive tactics favored
(granted, this is not a large sampling of warriors), which suggests that they should
be used sparingly, if at all--a Basher is a purely offensive style.

     Proceeding from the general to the specific, here's a basher who had a very
unpromising beginning--

                                Profile of a Gladiator
                                    Turo the Brick
                          Lord Protector and Pain in the Rear

     Turo, a seven-foot Troll, just graduated from Lin Tirian, my own home arena, at 
16-44-2, 94.  He's a basher.  And I suspect that most other managers would have sent 
him straight to the Dark Arena.
     At graduation, he is 11(2)-9-20-6(2)-17(2)-10-17.
     According to his overview, even after those stat raises, he 
     Is not very bright
          The more subtle points of the riposte simply escape him, which I could have 
told anyone right off
          Stands around making himself a target, which we noticed
     Cannot carry a lot of weight in weapons and armor (that low ST)
     Is slow on his feet (Does size have an effect here?)
     Can do tremendous damage with a blow (mostly SZ, I suspect)
     Turo is "naturally adept" with a maul (well, okay, he's probably pulled up a few 
trees and swung 'em around to bat at pesky people), favors a rhythm of very high/low, 
and has an innate ability to use the bash tactic.  None of this comes as a great 
surprise--it fits his character.  He's aggressive by nature (definitely) and most 
readily learns initiative skills.  (Doesn't that require BRAINS?)  Ah, well.  I've 
been running him lately as follows:
     Mace, backup war hammer, offhand medium shield, plate mail and a full helm.
          9   8   7   6   7   8  10
          3   2   1   1   1   1   1
          8   8   7   8   7   8  10 which I wouldn't swear is the strategy I sent in 
for him originally, but it is what he's using.  Attacking right arm, protecting head, 
no tactics.  Maybe this was based on something another manager suggested to me.
     He graduated with no ratings at all.  Yes, really.
     Obviously, he's not anybody's ideal warrior, but he's been surprisingly fun to 
read.  And it seems at least possible that if I'd paid more attention to his 
strategies, issued challenges and avoids, he might have taken a better record out of 
the arena.  He is headed for retirement, obviously.  I think he has some idea of 
going back to his home in the foothills of the Khriatrin Mountains and terrorizing 
his kin.

And another example of a basher, a much more successful one:

                                   Khora the Small
                                   Lady Protector
                   Contender for the Throne in Lirin Kiv (ADM 107)
                                       Basher

     I don't have her graduation overview here, as that was a long time ago.  But she 
started as 15-12-9-17-11-9-11.  Now, after years of fighting, maxed on skills and 
training stats, she is 25-12-9-17-17-13-16.  Her record at the present is 94-129-3, 
and despite doing devastating damage, being incredibly quick and elusive, and having 
an Advanced Master rating in attack and Masters in all the other skills, she is still 
not woman enough to take the throne in this smallest of the Advanced Duelmasters 
regions.  Her favorite weapon is the war hammer, her favorite rhythm high offensive 
effort and very low activity level, which are good favorites.  So why isn't she 
Duelmistress, or as it is called in Lirin Kiv, Champion of the Horn?  Because there's 
an even better basher up there already.  Her most serious problem is that low CN, I 
think.  Maybe she should train that up....
     Here's their most recent fight, a short one, so I'll give it to you in full--

     Phetmolge is 8' tall, right-handed, fights with no armor or helm, carries a war 
hammer and a large shield, to which he is well suited.
     Khora is 5'7" tall, ambidextrous, in leather armor and a helm, carrying a war 
hammer and an off-hand war hammer, to which she, too, is well-suited.  Khora is 
running 8 4 7 RA BD no tactics; about Phetmolge we can only guess.

     Both warriors move with snake-like speed around each other.
     The weapons lock together in a test of strength.
     Phetmolge is moving constantly without pause!
     He sweeps his large shield in a sudden unexpected assault!
     A spectator exclaims, "Brilliant!"  Phetmolge smiles briefly.
     Khora parries the blow with her war hammer.
     She disengages her foe's weapon arm and tries to steal the initiative!
     She makes a lightning-quick backhand smash with her war hammer!
     Phetmolge is struck in the belly.
     Khora says admiringly (this is irony), "How much damage can you take, anyway?"  
(Lots.  Lots and lots.  More than she can, anyway.)
     She launches a brilliant attack with her war hammer.
     Phetmolge stops the blow with his large shield.
     He sidesteps, trying to throw his opponent off balance.
     He launches a brilliant attack with his war hammer!
     Khora is hit on the right hip!
     It is a tremendous blow!
     Khora winces, obviously feeling great pain.
     She mutters a desperate prayer and is stopped by the herald.

     She is determined to become top basher in Lirin Kiv and will keep fighting
until she is Inducted into Primus.

Jorja
The Middle Way

           +>]H[<+-----+>]H[<+ Question of the Week #3 +>]H[<+-----+>]H[<+

Question, turn 403:

All -- I've read that once you have an AE in a skill area you don't need to use a
tactic in that area.  What if you have a favorite tactic?  Would it benefit your
warrior to use it even if he is maxed in that area? -- Hanibal's Q.O.W.

Answers, turn 404:

Q.O.W. -- Tactics.  It's generally believed that using a tactic, at any level of
skill, increases something (init, attack, damage, etc. though no one's sure) at the
expense of one or more other abilities.  Usually it seems you lose more for using the
tactic than you gain, so they should be used sparingly.  However, favorite tactics
are a bit different.  I've noticed, generally, that the penalties usually imposed by
using the tactic are greatly reduced or eliminated, making it more useful.  I run a
piker in AD who has response as a favorite and run her with it.  She seems to do
great with it against everybody.  My decise running striker still defends well
(though she's got favorite learn defense), and she still jumps everyone with a poor
decise rating.  My advice is to give it a try if it's a tactic you think your warrior
needs, or can use based on their current point of development. -- Adie

Hanibal -- It really is almost like flicking a switch the way you can (usually)
prevent death intent statements if you want to.  Dartor is the arena expert on
killing and he too agrees.  Most new managers gain pleasure from seeing their
warriors kill, and it's not something to be ashamed of.  But there is a better way of
going about things.  I think as you gain more experience and experiment with lower
KD, you'll find that running with a 4 where you used to run with a 6 will have little
effect on a warrior's performance other than decreasing the chance of death intent.
This is especially true in the first minute, or before your warrior would get tired.
-- Generalissimo Puerco

Hanibal -- Each tactic has some benefits and some drawbacks.  I can't tell you
exactly what those are because I don't know myself.  If a tactic only provided the
equivalent of extra skills, then it might be true that a warrior wouldn't need them
after a certain level of skill is achieved.  But let's say that your warrior has an
AE+3 and his opponent has a MA.  Then there might still be good cause to use a
tactic.
     I believe tactics grant benefits that can't always be translated into more
skills.  I think the best example of this is what happens when response is used
against decise.  Tactics have their value at all levels of the game, but the most
valuable tactics might change.  I don't think many would run with decise at the top
of AD, though lunge and dodge remain popular.  But for a new warrior, decise can be
very important.  Tactics are not well documented in the literature, and for that
reason you may do well to learn first-hand and develop some instincts regarding the
use of appropriate tactics. -- Generalissimo Puerco

Hanibal -- Regarding the latest question: if you have an advanced expert in an area
that equates to a given tactic, is there any point in running the tactic.  Yes, if
the tactic is a useful one.  I don't THINK that there is a one-to-one equivalence
between types of skills and types of tactics.  For one thing, there are eight tactics
and only six types of skills! -- Leeta

Question, turn 404:

All -- Do you think you are faster with your favorite weapon?  If your fav is a
Halberd would you be quicker with a War Hammer?  I've read you get +4 in each area if
you are using your favorite. -- Hanibal's Q.O.W.

Answers, turn 405:

Hanibal -- I strongly doubt that a favorite weapon gives four extra skills in each
category.  I don't see how anyone could know that unless it was said by a credible
source within the GC.  I'm terrible at finding favorite weapons.  I can tell you that
the one large favorite weapon I've had experience with is the greatsword, and it is
still lousy even as a favorite.  I really enjoy longsword as a favorite. --
Generalissimo Puerco

Q.O.W. -- With regard to favorites, the only really obvious effect is that you are
automatically well suited to it, and the warrior using it almost always throws more
critical attacks with that weapon than if it wasn't their favorite.  That pretty much
gives me the impression it only helps attack. -- Adie

Q.O.W. -- I would be amazed if you would receive +4 in each area for a favorite
weapon.  And we do not believe the fave adds to the speed with the weapon.  The fave
greatly aids attack and parry, hit %, and ability to hold onto the weapon.  And, of
course, criticals increase. -- Kennelworth

Hanibal -- I don't know about specific bonuses for using a favored weapon.  However,
I do believe that if your favored weapon is something that you aren't otherwise
suited for (for example, a broadsword for someone lacking the necessary attributes),
you can often get good results by going for a lower version of that weapon.  From the
halberd of your example, for instance, "down" to a great axe, or even farther down to
battle axe and then to hatchet.  Experiment with them and see what might work.  I
have no specific numbers to support this, but it is the impression I've gathered over
the cycles. -- Leeta

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

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

                                     Duelmasters
                                     -----------
 DM   9 ZUKAL (turn 708): VENTRIIE of DARK WARDS (Dark Warden, mgr.)
 DM  12 RIZTAB (turn 710): HERMIAS of DREAMERS (Sleepy, mgr.)
 DM  13 DULLENS (turn 651): FLOYDRIFFIC of ARCANE ROYALTY (Destitute Noble, mgr.)
 DM  15 MALCORN (turn 704): TONES OF HOME of BLIND MELON (Howlin' Wolf, mgr.)
 DM  16 WILLAF (turn 706): SNAKE of SERPENTS HOLD 114 (Khisanth, mgr.)
 DM  17 ALJAFIR (turn 698): POSITION IS EMPTY
 DM  19 ZUWAYZA (turn 699): DONT PAY RENT of BASH BROS HOUSEMATE (Assurnasirbanipal)
 DM  28 MORYA (turn 351): GARROT of STEEL AND SILK (Michael Eldritch, mgr.)
 DM  29 LAPUR (turn 696): SOLWYN of MID EARTH (Visionist, mgr.)
 DM  31 CHIMLEVTAL (turn 349): BUMBLE of BAD NEWS BEES (Stinger, mgr.)
 DM  32 ARVAT (turn 692): INSIDIOUS of DEATH BY DESIGN (Bubba Ganoosh, mgr.)
 DM  33 NIATOLI ISLAND (turn 689): MULCHER of TOOL SHED (Leprechaun, mgr.)
 DM  35 MURSKA (turn 681): MAIRIE AP GAUR of CHILDREN OF LLYR (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  43 VEASTIAN (turn 640): KHARIJANH of THE FAMILY (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  45 STORMCROWE (turn 327): SAPPHIRA of DARQUE FORCES (Master Darque, mgr.)
 DM  47 NORTH FORK (turn 321): BIG MAC of FAST FOOD (Madwand, mgr.)
 DM  50 SNOWBOUND (turn 308): 4-H of LIFE IMPACTS (Coach, mgr.)
 DM  56 ROCANIS (turn 571): LINKIN LOGGER of INCONSISTENT FURY (Banthius, mgr.)
 DM  60 ARADI (turn 556): TICK ... TOCK of UNNAMEABLES (Howlin' Wolf, mgr.)
 DM  61 JURINE (turn 538): HORSE D'OEUVRE of SHEWISH BUFFET (One Armed Bandit, mgr.)
 DM  65 DAL SHANG (turn 533): LINDIS TYL SARRO of SAND DANCERS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  73 ERINIKA (turn 256): JERMOME BETTIS of SUE'S BOYS (Crip, mgr.)
 DM  74 DAYLA KIV (turn 494): KINVER TEN PALAN of SAND DANCERS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  75 JADE MOUNTAIN (turn 488): MOUNTAIN STORM of SAND DANCERS (Jorja, mgr)
 DM  78 LIN TIRIAN (turn 480): TIGER JONSALMIN of SAND DANCERS (Jorja, mgr.)
ADM 103 FREE BLADES (turn 597): LORD FIREFLASH of LUROCIANS II (The Greek Guy, mgr.)

                                      Top Teams
                                      ---------
 DM   9 ZUKAL (turn 708): DARK WARDS (Dark Warden, mgr.)
 DM  12 RIZTAB (turn 710): DREAMERS (Sleepy, mgr.)
 DM  13 DULLENS (turn 651): CARDOW HUNTERS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  15 MALCORN (turn 704): GREENWARDENS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  16 WILLAF (turn 706): GOLDEN GLADIATORS (Midas, mgr.)
 DM  17 ALJAFIR (turn 698): MIDDLE WAY (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  19 ZUWAYZA (turn 699): VISIONS V2 (?, mgr.)
 DM  28 MORYA (turn 351): THE WOLF PACK (Wolf, mgr.)
 DM  29 LAPUR (turn 696): MID EARTH (Visionist, mgr.)
 DM  31 CHIMLEVTAL (turn 349): BAD NEWS BEES (Stinger, mgr.)
 DM  32 ARVAT (turn 692): DRAGON RIDERS (Daikkan, mgr.)
 DM  33 NIATOLI ISLAND (turn 689): SUMMERTEETH (Jugger, mgr.)
 DM  35 MURSKA (turn 681): CHILDREN OF LLYR (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  43 VEASTIAN (turn 640): THE FAMILY (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  45 STORMCROWE (turn 327): DARQUE FORCES (Master Darque, mgr.)
 DM  47 NORTH FORK (turn 321): BASH BROS PARK (Assurnasirbanipal, mgr.)
 DM  50 SNOWBOUND (turn 308): LIFE IMAPACTS (Coach, mgr.)
 DM  56 ROCANIS (turn 571): MIDDLE WAY 20 (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  60 ARADI (turn 556): RED DOG GANG (Spot, mgr.)
 DM  61 JURINE (turn 538): STAR WARS (Sir Jessie Jest, mgr.)
 DM  65 DAL SHANG (turn 533): SAND DANCERS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  73 ERINIKA (turn 256): WORLDWIDE GORE (Crip, mgr.)
 DM  74 DAYLA KIV (turn 494): SAND DANCERS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  75 JADE MOUNTAIN (turn 488): SAND DANCERSS (Floyd, mgr.)
 DM  78 LIN TIRIAN (turn 480): SHEWISH BUFFET (One Armed Bandit, mgr.)
ADM 103 FREE BLADES (turn 597): DIRT DEVILS et al (The Dark One, mgr.)

                                   Recent Graduates
                                  -----------------
 DM   9 ZUKAL (turn 708): KATANA of BATTEL BLADES (Madwand, mgr.)
                          JED TARRAN DAPP of BLUE MOON (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  15 MALCORN (turn 703): GOLDEN STAIRS of GREENWARDENS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  17 ALJAFIR (turn 697): LT. OLSEN of 82ND ILLINOIS (Otto X, mgr.)
                            DAWN of ZOMBIE SQUAD 2 (Khisanth, mgr.)
 DM  19 ZUWAYZA (turn 698): MISSOURI WILDLIFE of THE MAGNIFICENT MAGS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  28 MORYA (turn 351): MADELINE of DODGE BULLETS (Jorja, mgr.)
              (turn 350): COLGATE SMILE of MY GENERATION (Storm Lord, mgr.)
 DM  31 CHIMLEVTAL (turn 348): BUZZ-BUZZ of BAD NEWS BEES (Stinger, mgr.)
 DM  45 STORMCROWE (turn 327): SAPPHIRA of DARQUE FORCES (Master Darque, mgr.)
                   (turn 326): ANDROMEDA of DARQUE FORCES (Master Darque, mgr.)
 DM  47 NORTH FORK (turn 321): BIG MAC of FAST FOOD (Madwand, mgr.)
                   (turn 320): QUEEN OF TARTS of MYSTIC ORC FEAST (slugbait, mgr.)
                               BROOMSTICK of LAND OF OZ (Oz, mgr.)
 DM  50 SNOWBOUND (turn 307): 4-H of LIFE IMPACTS (Coach, mgr.)
 DM  60 ARADI (turn 556): BALKO DUNN of MIDDLE WAY 25 (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  74 DAYLA KIV (turn 493): 867-5309 of NUMB-ERS (Sherlock, mgr.)

                                      SPY REPORT

     It's me, The Unknown Spymaster here with my bag to give you the news on last 
week's fights.  We now have a new top team for all of you guys to dogpile on.  THE 
LOW ROAD 4 now holds the crown and they are betting they can keep it.  It looks like 
the guys(?) at COLLEGE FOOTBALL had a good week as they went 4-1-0 to put them in 3rd 
place.  I guess steroids help!  Hey everybody, watch out for HOOSIERS, who flew up 16 
points in the rankings after mashing TOMMY SNAITH like a melon.  Keep your eye on 
this guy.  And falling like a basher in the top ten was TOMMY SNAITH, who dropped 15 
points after a disappointing (to say the least) bout with HOOSIERS.  Well, 
everybody's pal LEAPING LILAC moved hers record to 6-1-0 by defeating KUNG-FU MASTER 
in the Duelmaster's Title Bout and gaining 19 recognition points.  Advice to 
bashers--never force anything, just get a bigger halberd!   
     Let's dig a little deeper into what's happening in the NOBLISH ISLAND arena.  
Here's a song for you:  Who's afraid of the big, bad BASH BROS  SUITCASE?  Big bad 
BASH BROS SUITCASE.  Big bad BASH BROS SUITCASE.  NOBLISH ISLAND's afraid of the big 
bad BASH BROS SUITCASE.  Tra la la la la!  Okay, so I may not be funny, but catch 
COLLEGE FOOTBALL's act in the arena.  Those acrobats seem to be fairly deft at 
running from BASH BROS SUITCASE.  Well just about everybody wants a piece of QUICK 
HIT HARRY, who was this week's most challenged warrior.   
     Death is kind of like a new puppy:  he's always around wanting to play.  (Ha 
Zontani, how's that for a wise saying?).  Knowing when to use the right tactics at 
the proper time is a very important step on the road to Duelmaster.   
     Well, that wasn't too bad; Alarond told me that the people in NOBLISH ISLAND 
have no sense of humor.  Or maybe that they were senseless.  Okay, so I may not be 
the world's best comedian, but then you guys aren't the world's best warriors.  Hasta 
la bye-bye.  (Loud choruses of 'Beat it, ya bum!')-- The Unknown Spymaster  

DUELMASTER                     W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 LEAPING LILAC 9359            6   1  0    64       PARKS AND REC (1611)

ADEPTS                         W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 AVERAGE JOE 9360              5   2  3    47       PARKS AND REC (1611)
 ZOE YATES 9349                4   6  0    46       THE LOW ROAD 4 (1610)

CHALLENGER INITIATES           W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 VINCE YARE 9367               4   2  0    31       THE LOW ROAD 4 (1610)
 OVERFILLED 9411               2   0  0    25       BASH BROS SUITCASE (1619)
 QUEENIE PAROE 9345            7   3  0    24       THE LOW ROAD 4 (1610)

INITIATES                      W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 HOOSIERS 9404                 1   1  0    17       COLLEGE FOOTBALL (1618)
 ACES 9405                     2   0  1    14       COLLEGE FOOTBALL (1618)
 JAYHAWKS 9402                 2   0  0    14       COLLEGE FOOTBALL (1618)
 NEUTER NELL 9358              3   4  0    13       PARKS AND REC (1611)
 OVERTHEWEIGHTLIMIT 9408       2   0  0    13       BASH BROS SUITCASE (1619)
-DOMITIUS 9362                 3   1  2    12       OLYMPUS MAXIMUS (1612)
 TIGERS 9403                   1   1  0    10       COLLEGE FOOTBALL (1618)
 RIPPED OPEN 9415              1   0  0    10       BASH BROS SUITCASE (1619)
 QUICK HIT HARRY 9356          1   6  0     9       PARKS AND REC (1611)
-DUNCAN 9338                   1   1  0     9       DRAGON DISCIPLES (1608)

INITIATES                      W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 BROKEN WHEEL 9410             1   1  0     6       BASH BROS SUITCASE (1619)
 TOMMY SNAITH 9412             1   1  0     5       THE LOW ROAD 4 (1610)
 HOLES 9407                    1   1  0     4       BASH BROS SUITCASE (1619)
 GAMECOCKS 9401                0   2  0     2       COLLEGE FOOTBALL (1618)
-HONORIA 9363                  0   2  0     2       OLYMPUS MAXIMUS (1612)
-VITRUVIUS 9406                0   1  0     1       OLYMPUS MAXIMUS (1612)
-WILMA 7620                    0   1  0     1       PASSIVE GAMERS III (1315)
 WILLA VARAN 9414              0   1  0     1       THE LOW ROAD 4 (1610)
-METALLUS 9364                 0   1  0     1       OLYMPUS MAXIMUS (1612)

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

THE DEAD                W  L K TEAM NAME            SLAIN BY              TURN Revenge?
BROKEN ZIPPER 9409      0  1 0 BASH BROS SUITC 1619 ACES 9405             362   
ASHER 9337              1  1 0 DRAGON DISCIPLE 1608 AVERAGE JOE 9360      362   
ANTONIUS 9361           1  1 0 OLYMPUS MAXIMUS 1612 ODIN THORSEN 9377     359  NONE
TYR ODINSEN 9375        0  1 0 TEAM NIETZCHEAN 1614 DOMITIUS 9362         359  NOT REVENGED
SALOME RYAN 9346        1  6 0 THE LOW ROAD 4 1610  DOMITIUS 9362         360  REVENGED

                                     PERSONAL ADS

Overfilled -- Just because you were overloaded was no reason to dump it all on me,
you bum! -- Gamecocks (University Of South Carolina)
P.S.  Who was that what said the basher is the aimer of the future?  Grrrr.

Congrats to Leaping Lilac of Parks And Recs!  A fitting and pleasantly smellng
Duelmaster! -- Coach Rah Rah

Vitruvius -- Rock, chalk, Jayhawks! -- Jayhawks (Kansas University)

Overtheweightlimit -- You are over a lot of things, and I am embarrassed I lost to
you.  If you were in the ACC, I would chew you up! -- Tigers (Clemson University)

Holes -- Aren't you lucky?  Everybody beats the Hoosiers nowadays.  I guess I am glad
you joined the party. -- Hoosiers (Indiana University)

Broken Zipper -- I can only say that I badly needed the win.  I did not enjoy killing
you, but since you were not a basher, I am sure Assur doesn't care.  Ta ta. -- Aces
(University Of Evansville Purple Aces)

Assur -- You despicable bum, this was our first below .500 start in Noblish and you
led the surge with your 3-1 over our College Footballers.  You are probably sitting
there smirking about having already put Coach Rah Rah's job in jeopardy.  May the
bluebird of false happiness fly up your nose or other appropriate orifices. -- The
Consortium Elders
P.S.  We liked your spot last round.  It was the most understandable and well written
one you have ever done--by far.

Okay, all.  Who wants to ask a question? -- Coach Rah Rah

     Are we there yet?

Neuter Nell -- Are you a park or a wreck? -- Queenie Paroe

Domitius -- Though that was a random match, it counts as a bloodfeud victory.  Good!
Salome was an okay person, even if she was a rotten gladiator. -- Zoe Yates
P.S.  A suggestion or two:  If you have the necessary WL, train up that deficient
stat.  And drop the off-hand impediment.  It isn't helping you any that I can see.

Quick Hit Harry -- Bah.  If I'd remembered to bring a book and a sandwich, I could've
held you off long enough for you to COLLAPSE. -- Vince Yare the Optimisitic

Ah!  An Embezzling Scribe.  A good beginning for me. -- Tommy Snaith

Wilma -- You should consider the following two weapons: SH and SS.  If those don't
work, try LO even though you won't be well suited.  I don't know if you are well
suited to the SS or not, but it is easier to use than the weapon you were trying (A
bad choice for lungers). -- Assur

     Even worse than the war flail?

Wilma -- Here is what beat you: Broken Wheel 12-9-14-11-17-10-11 B.  He rolled well
and will likely do well in his career here in Noblish Island. -- Assur

                                  LAST WEEK'S FIGHTS

GAMECOCKS was bested by OVERTHEWEIGHTLIMIT in a 1 minute amateur's Challenge fight.
TIGERS viciously subdued HOLES in a 3 minute brutal beginner's Challenge battle.
ACES defeated QUICK HIT HARRY in a 2 minute Challenge duel.
JAYHAWKS unbelievably bested BROKEN WHEEL in a 4 minute novice's Challenge contest.
LEAPING LILAC bested KUNG-FU MASTER in a action packed 1 minute Title brawl.
VINCE YARE savagely defeated NEUTER NELL in a exciting 3 minute bloody struggle.
QUEENIE PAROE was handily defeated by AVERAGE JOE in a 1 minute gruesome uneven fight.
ZOE YATES viciously subdued THE USEROUS MERCHANT in a action packed 3 minute duel.
HOOSIERS won victory over TOMMY SNAITH in a 1 minute novice's duel.
OVERFILLED overpowered EMBEZZLING SCRIBE in a 1 minute uneven match.
WILLA VARAN was overpowered by RIPPED OPEN in a 1 minute one-sided fight.

                                    BATTLE REPORT

             MOST POPULAR                        RECORD DURING THE LAST 10 TURNS     
|FIGHTING STYLE               FIGHTS        FIGHTING STYLE     W -   L -  K   PERCENT|
|STRIKING ATTACK                  4         PARRY-RIPOSTE      2 -   1 -  0      67  |
|BASHING ATTACK                   4         BASHING ATTACK    52 -  34 -  3      60  |
|SLASHING ATTACK                  3         PARRY-STRIKE       7 -   5 -  1      58  |
|AIMED BLOW                       3         SLASHING ATTACK   17 -  14 -  2      55  |
|TOTAL PARRY                      2         STRIKING ATTACK   25 -  21 -  5      54  |
|WALL OF STEEL                    2         WALL OF STEEL      6 -   7 -  0      46  |
|LUNGING ATTACK                   1         LUNGING ATTACK     6 -   9 -  0      40  |
|PARRY-LUNGE                      0         AIMED BLOW        12 -  19 -  1      39  |
|PARRY-STRIKE                     0         TOTAL PARRY        8 -  15 -  1      35  |
|PARRY-RIPOSTE                    0         PARRY-LUNGE        0 -   0 -  0       0  |

Turn 363 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:

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

                               TOP WARRIOR OF EACH STYLE

FIGHTING STYLE   WARRIOR                     W   L  K PNTS TEAM NAME                  
LUNGING ATTACK   LEAPING LILAC 9359          6   1  0   64 PARKS AND REC (1611)
STRIKING ATTACK  AVERAGE JOE 9360            5   2  3   47 PARKS AND REC (1611)
Note: Warriors have a winning record and are an Adept or Above.

The overall popularity leader is QUEENIE PAROE 9345.  The most popular warrior this 
turn was BROKEN WHEEL 9410.  The ten other most popular fighters were ZOE YATES 9349, 
VINCE YARE 9367, TIGERS 9403, ACES 9405, LEAPING LILAC 9359, AVERAGE JOE 9360, 
JAYHAWKS 9402, HOOSIERS 9404, RIPPED OPEN 9415, and OVERTHEWEIGHTLIMIT 9408.

The least popular fighter this week was WILLA VARAN 9414.  The other ten least 
popular fighters were TOMMY SNAITH 9412, QUEENIE PAROE 9345, HOLES 9407, GAMECOCKS 
9401, OVERFILLED 9411, NEUTER NELL 9358, QUICK HIT HARRY 9356, OVERTHEWEIGHTLIMIT 
9408, RIPPED OPEN 9415, and HOOSIERS 9404.

                                 Article for Newbies

     This here is an article aimed mostly at you new managers to the game out there.  
This chart is a consensus of managers on the internet about how they felt each style 
fairs against all other styles at the beginning levels of the game.  Of course, once 
you get ten or so fights under your belt the whole scenario changes and you can throw 
this right out the window.  But in the  meantime, use this chart to help you get a 
feel for the game, how the  different styles interact with each other and to hopefully 
dispel those 5-25 starts that can make you drop the game.  Hope this helps you some.

                         KEY FOR ODDS OF WINNING:

              1 - ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE     6 - BETTER THAN EVEN
              2 - HARDLY LIKELY         7 - GOOD CHANCE
              3 - NOT MUCH              8 - HIGHLY PROBABLE
              4 - SLIGHT CHANCE         9 - MOST DEFINATELY
              5 - 50/50                10 - ALMOST GUARANTEED

                   Reminder:  Left Row vs Top Column

          BA    ST    LU    SL    AB    TP    PS    PL    PR    WS  
    BA     5     2     6     6     8     9     7     6     5     6
    ST     8     5     8     9     9     6     7     5     6     4
    LU     4     4     5     6    10     5     7     7     9     6
    SL     4     1     5     5     8     6     8     7     8     9
    AB     2     2     2     4     5    10     6     6     6     7
    TP     3     4     6     4     1     5     7     8     6     5
    PS     3     3     3     4     5     4     5     4     5     4
    PL     5     4     3     3     6     2     7     5     7     6
    PR     7     5     2     2     4     5     6     3     5     4
    WS     5     8     6     2     4     6     7     5     6     5

    There you have it folks.  I would personally like to thank all the managers on the 
internet who made a contribution to this effort.  You know who you are.  Also a big 
nod of appreciation goes out to the mighty PUG (Ben Hitz) who organizes and runs the 
roundtable and without whose effort little projects like this would prove quite 
difficult.

                              David Gottwald - Magic Man

                              The Crew - Monuntial (34)
                           Rocky's Heroes - North Fork (47)
                       Tragedy Strikes - Andor (57) (inactive)
                              Natural Born - Illis (59)
                               Slow & Easy - Aradi (60)
                           Omega Squadron - Dragonhead (72)

                          MAKING YOUR CHALLENGES GO THROUGH

     First, you need to be sure you are making your challenges correctly.
     1.  Are you writing down the warrior I.D. number of the warrior you want to 
challenge?
     2.  Is your handwriting clear?
     3.  Is the warrior you are challenging within range of your warrior?  Warriors 
can challenge within their own class and the next higher class, plus the "Challenger" 
classes can also challenge the next lower class.  So, an Adept can challenge Adepts 
and Challenger Adepts.  A Challenger Adept can challenge Adepts, Challenger Adepts, 
and Champions.  (Try not to challenge down, though.  Besides being unsportsmanlike and 
making everyone mad, it isn't advantageous to your warriors.  They need to fight more 
experienced warriors so they will learn.)
     4.  Are your warriors eligible to make challenges?  If they didn't fight within 
the last two turns, then they can't challenge.
     5.  Are the warriors they want to fight eligible to receive challenges?  If they 
didn't fight within the last two turns, then they can't be challenged.

     Next, adjust your choices for the maximum likelihood of getting your challenges.  
There are several things that will help:
     1.  Have each of your warriors challenge two different opponents from two 
different teams.  That way, if the first opponent's team doesn't fight that turn, you 
still might get your second challenge.
     2.  Use your avoids.  Have each warrior avoid the teams of whoever you think 
might be likely to challenge him.  If you can get out of being challenged, that 
increases your chance of getting your own challenge through.
     3.  Don't challenge warriors who didn't fight last turn.  The odds are higher 
that they won't be fighting this turn.
     4.  Don't challenge warriors who might be involved in a bloodfeud (either as the 
killers, or the avengers).  A bloodfeud challenge has priority over all other 
challenges.
     5.  Don't challenge Tournament Victors.  A TV challenge has priority over all 
other challenges except bloodfeuds.  You'll need to do a little research in back 
issues of the newsletter to find out who the TVs are.
     6.  Don't challenge warriors who you know are going to challenge someone else, or 
are going to get challenged by someone else.  Your challenge has a better chance of 
getting through if it is the only challenge to that particular warrior.
     7.  Don't challenge the "easy pickings."  That is, warriors above you who have 
way too few fights or very bad records for where they are ranked.  They will tend to 
get challenged a lot.
     8.  Don't challenge warriors who are likely to be avoiding your team.  This 
includes any warrior your team fought within the last two turns.
     Well, it sounds like I've eliminated just about everybody, doesn't it?  Of course 
you can challenge opponents who fit into one or more of those categories; just try to 
find ones who don't.  Your idea candidate for a challenge is:  A warrior ranked 
somewhat above your warrior in the same class, or in the next higher class, with a few 
more fights than your warrior, and a winning record, who isn't a TV and isn't 
currently at war with anyone.
     I hope this will be of some help to you.

                                                  The Rogue She-Puppy

          MAXIMIZING THE DUELMASTERS EXPERIENCE: WHAT THE RULES DIDN'T SAY

     When you get your turn results in the mail it is very important that you squeeze 
as much enjoyment as possible out of that envelope!  I recommend (and also use!) the 
following procedures.
     First, open the envelope lengthwise with a letter opener.  Remove the blue-sheet 
BUT DON'T LOOK AT IT!  It may tell you that you are broke and owe RSI a lot of money.  
Flip it over instead!  The blue-sheet will be used as a "hider" when you read the 
fight results line by line, so you don't see the end of the fight by mistake and ruin 
the excitement.
     Remove the rest of the sheets in one smooth maneuver and place the flipped-over 
blue-sheet on top of the pile, without looking at anything.  You don't want to 
accidentally uncover an unexpected replacement rollup.  This is a traumatic experience 
that should be avoided at all costs, as it indicates that one of your battles didn't 
go exactly as planned.
     Now you must prepare your room, or whever you are, for the battles.  If you are 
suicidal, or a lousy manager, or a suicidally lousy manager, remove all sharp objects 
from the area.  If you happen to manage an entire team of scummy warriors it is okay 
to leave a loaded musket nearby.
     The next step is to put on music.  It definitely adds to the experience to have 
your favorite tunes playing in the background, preferably AS LOUD AS YOU CAN GET AWAY 
WITH!  I christen each new warrior with a song that is his and his alone, and play 
that song whenever it is his turn upon the sands.  It is a personal choice but I 
recommend Judas Priest, Manowar or Metallica.  Avoid Abba and Barry Manilow (like I 
had to say it).  It is also important to match the song length with the expected 
length of the fight.  Don't choose "The Immigrant Song" for your 21-con Ultra-Scum.  
Likewise, don't choose "Stairway to Heaven" for your quick lunger.  Finally, sometimes 
it is nice to choose an exceptionally violent alternate selection for those 
Bloodfeuds.
     Now you are almost ready!  The final preparatory step (optional) is to prepare a 
pot of coffee.  Beer also works well, especially on Fridays, but I understand that 
some managers are not Well-Suited to that particular beverage.  I've heard the Duke 
Malibu in Solven drinks goat blood, but mind you this is only a rumor.  For the final 
touch, try putting on any handy armor you have.  Or a loin-cloth.  I put on most of my 
hockey gear.
     The fights are on!  The music is loud!  The coffee is good!  Read the fights 
slowly, line by line using your blue-sheet as a guide.  Don't go too fast, now.  Yell, 
"Yeah!" if your warrior scores an especially gruesome hit.  Cringe if your warrior 
feels the joys of a great axe connecting with his face (that means you, Marilith).  
Raise your fist in the air when that total parry realizes that his last shield has 
broken!  And cry when your favorite gladiator is gravely injured and then takes ten 
consecutive war hammer shots to the head...
     When the end of the fight comes you will be emotionally drained, so yell out, 
"Huzzah!!!" or "Damnnn!!!" or whatever, to take the edge off.  When the fighting is 
ended take a breather before preparing for the next cycle's fights.  Reflect on what 
has transpired and make a few notes.  You'll be a better person (and manager) for it!  
Isn't Duelmasters great?

Brought to you by ICE (the deranged): DM-49 (Vithicar) Rotting Livers (205)
                                      DM-10 (Kolact) Beermacht
                                      DM-22 (Solven) Steel Warriors
                                      DM-24 (Zorpunt) No Escape

                           Winning With the Average Warrior

     Hi!  The Master of Anime here...  Yeah, yeah, I know, you're all doing a 
collective, "Who the Hell is this character?"  Well, my claim to fame, if you can call 
it that, is that I run Eve, one of the more popular, if not completely unspectacular, 
warriors to fight in Alastari.  I am a micro-manager (you've heard of mega-managers?  
Well, think in reverse) who has been mainly running only one team during my 8+ years 
of Duelmasters.  This little write-up is aimed towards the less experienced managers, 
the ones that can be brainwashed from some of the "How to build the perfect 
warrior..." spotlights that tend to appear from time to time.
     Many of the "How to build..." spotlights tend to deal with roll-ups that are 
quite ideal, but in reality, rarely come out of RSI's number crunching machine, 
commonly referred to as "the Roll-Up Gods".  There have been a few good articles on 
how to design skillful warriors from 'average' roll-ups.  Those articles, in my 
opinion, are the most helpful to new managers for the simple fact that you will almost 
always get an 'average' roll-up.  Occasionally, that 'average' roll-up might turn out 
to be something special, and that is what I would like to key in on.
     I know a lot of managers who will continually DA their warriors until they get 
something that is as close to perfect as possible.  You know, the warrior with three 
or four 17s or the warrior with a couple of 21s or that size 3 or 4 warrior, etc...  
If you are a relatively new manager and you are also doing this, I think you are 
missing out on one of the more intriguing aspects of this game and that is warrior 
development.
     Being a micro-manager, I do not have an army of warriors like the mega-managers 
do, but I'd like to think that I can hold my own against them (hey, if you're gonna 
dream, dream big).  Anyway, back to the point.  One of my 'average' warriors seems to 
have achieved a form of notoriety in Advanced Duelmasters to the extent that even the 
ever quiet Mirage (manager of Donatello) has had something to say (it was at the last 
Tempe FTF and my warrior, at the end of the 6th or 7th round, was listed as the top 
Primus warrior on the tourney list.)  Mirage pointed at my warrior on the list and 
said, "That, is embarrassing..."  I took it as a compliment.  In case you're 
wondering, my warrior is Akira (the reason I'm writing this article is that I've been 
approached many times of late by managers who wanted to see Akira's numbers, thinking 
he had some sort of godlike roll-up.  I set them straight).
     I'm not going to print Akira's numbers in this article for the main reason that I 
don't have them with me at this time (it'll probably tick-off a lot of managers whose 
warriors Akira has beaten anyway), but I do know this... he has about 30 attribute 
increases and only one attribute is in the 20's, that one being WL (he even got gypped 
by not getting some skills that you normally think he'd get by raising WL up the 
20's).  He won't be getting another attribute above 20 for a long, long time.  (I 
think his next highest attribute is 17... note that this is after the 30 or so 
increases...)  You should have a pretty good idea how generic this roll-up is... a 
roll-up that would probably be DA'd by most managers looking for a good roll-up... a 
roll-up that I even said, "I'll run him for kicks, but will probably retire him once 
he gets to AD."... a roll-up that entered AD with a less-than-stellar 14-10 record... 
a roll-up currently on a 20 fight win streak... a roll-up with three consecutive 
Primus TVs.
     So, before you give up on that average warrior, think again about giving him a 
chance to flourish... he might suprise you as Akira has surprised me.  Good luck in 
the arena!

M.A., a proud member of GAPPDA
P.S.  If you want to know Akira's original roll-up, diplo Anime Legends (Arena 102, 
104).
P.P.S.  Swift -- We GAPPDA members are NOT slugs!!!  At least, I don't think we are...

                                     TWELVE TIPS

     A rookie manager asked me a question recently which prompted my "teaching juices" 
to flow.  I quote: "Just give me a dozen hints, and I'll leave you alone!"  Obviously, 
his challenge prompted me to organize my thought creating my Twelve Tips.  
     "Now wait a minute!" I hear you asking.  "Why should I read on?"  Simply put:
-- If you're an experience manager, you'll want to "clue me in" on other valuable tips 
I missed.
-- If you're a "newbie," these tips will enhance your W-L record and compound your 
fun.
     "But, are they GOOD tips?" you ask.  Believe me, fellow opponents, after 5000+ 
fights, dozens of "tutored pupils," many A.D. warriors, and a rather lofty W-L record, 
they're GOOD tips.  So here we go, in no particular order.
(I)  ASK FOR HELP--Ask RSI about the Sponsor Program.  Diplo "good" managers in your 
arena.  Proclaim your willingness to learn in a personal ad.  You'll get some 
conversation.
(II) OFFENSIVES FIRST--This is not an easy game, and the basher, lunger, striker can 
be readily designed and more easily "mastered." (Whatever that means.)  Avoid the most 
difficult finessives, such as aimers (AB), rippers (PR), and probably wastes (WS).  
Get some confidence first!  Most of us old-timers yet struggle with a good aimed-blow.
(III) SKILLS, SKILLS, SKILLS--One of the most prevalent rookie errors is training too 
many stats.  Skills win fights, and in the long run, you will regret certain stat 
raises.
(IV) COLLECT DATA--The more you know about your own warrior (And even with the same 
stats, warriors differ) and the more you know about your opponents, the more likely 
you can cause something "good" to happen.  In the military/political world, we call 
this "intelligence." (Clue: ask about a D.M. handbook filled with info.)
(V) PERSONAL ADS--Don't be a jerk!  But write some every time.  Let me assure you that 
an unliked rookie cannot succeed in an arena against the local "Powers-in-control."  
You want to create friendly opponents. (When you know what you're doing--then you can 
try the jerk routine!)
(VI) TURN SHEET--Accuracy counts.  Fill it out perfectly (and legibly) pal!  Know what 
each section is for. (Reread the instructions.)  Many have been the surprised and 
frustrated manager who caused his or her own problem! (Even us "megas" blow it now and 
then!) 
(VII) NO CON--Don't ever (well maybe 1% of the time) add points to constitution on an 
offensive rollup.  Other attributes may add skills; con won't.  (Just wait until you 
hear someone shout never add to con--ever.  I didn't say that.)
(VIII) ONE WEAPON--For offensives.  When you get to finesse styles, you'll understand 
why you may want one in your off-hand also.  But, almost always carry a backup. (Hands 
can be hurt both striking and defending.)
(IX) CHALLENGE/AVOID--Always!  A manager's prime purpose is to optimize his warrior's 
chances.  Challenge those you'll have a good shot at beating and avoid teams who can 
cause you the most difficulties. (Challenge warriors--avoid teams.)
(X) ENTER TOURNAMENTS--What a way to acquire skills and experience without impacting 
your arena W-L record.  Actually, you will create a positive impact in that those 
"tournament earnings" are "hidden" from other arena warriors.  Plus, tournaments are a 
real "rush!"
(XI) FIND A FRIEND--In every arena find at least one "friendly" foe.  Share opponent 
info.  With two, or more, of you sharing, look how much more "intelligence" you'll 
have.
(XII) STAY COOL--Don't let any problem (loss, death, personal ad, error, etc.) anger 
you. (This is fun, right?)  The cool head wins more matches than the emotional one.
     So good luck, rookie!  We were all in your shoes once. (And for some of us that 
was a long, long time ago.)

                              THE CONSORTIUM
                              DM 8  Smithsonian (Curator)
                              DM 11 Bulldogs (Kennelworth)
                              DM 20 Animal Farm (Mino)
                              DM 46 Fandils (Fandil the Wise)
                              (and many, many more)