DUEL 2 NEWSLETTER

Date   : 12/15/2012    Duedate: 12/28/2012

NOBLISH ISLAND ARENA

DM-93    TURN-366

This Weeks Top Honors

THE DUELMASTER IS

LEAPING LILAC
PARKS AND REC (1611)
(93-9359) [8-2-0,85]

Chartered Recognition Leader   Unchartered Recognition Leader

LEAPING LILAC                  JAYHAWKS
PARKS AND REC (1611)           COLLEGE FOOTBALL (1618)
(93-9359) [8-2-0,85]           (93-9402) [5-0-0,49]

Popularity Leader              This Weeks Favorite

LEAPING LILAC                  RIPPED OPEN
PARKS AND REC (1611)           BASH BROS SUITCASE (1619)
(93-9359) [8-2-0,85]           (93-9415) [1-3-0,6]

THE CURRENT TOP TEAM

COLLEGE FOOTBALL (1618)

          TEAMS ON THE MOVE            TOP CAREER HONORS
Team Name                  Point Gain  Chartered Team
1. PARKS AND REC (1611)        30
2. BASH BROS SUITCASE (1619)   23      PARKS AND REC (1611)
3. OLYMPUS MAXIMUS (1612)      10      Unchartered Team
4. COLLEGE FOOTBALL (1618)      2
5. LOW ROAD 5 (1620)            0      COLLEGE FOOTBALL (1618)

The Top Teams

Career Win-Loss Record           W   L  K    %  Win-Loss Record Last 3 Turns    W  L K
 1/ 2*COLLEGE FOOTBALL (1618)   16   9  1 64.0   1/ 1*COLLEGE FOOTBALL (1618)  10  5 0
 2/ 3*BASH BROS SUITCAS (1619)  15  10  0 60.0   2/ 2*BASH BROS SUITCAS (1619)  8  7 0
 3/ 1*LOW ROAD 5 (1620)          6   4  0 60.0   3/ 3 PARKS AND REC (1611)      7  5 0
 4/ 4 PARKS AND REC (1611)      24  19  3 55.8   4/ 4*LOW ROAD 5 (1620)         6  4 0
 5/ 5*OLYMPUS MAXIMUS (1612)     8  14  2 36.4   5/ 5*OLYMPUS MAXIMUS (1612)    2  7 0

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

                                    TEAM SPOTLIGHT

                              TIDBITS OF D2 KNOWLEDGE
                                        or
                       WHAT THEY DIDN'T TEACH YOU IN D2 101
                                        or
                       MISCELLANEOUS THOUGHTS FROM A VETERAN

     a. Any warrior that loses a fight can die.  One can die by being killed by the
opponent, and every loser has a small chance (estimated odds 1 in 50) of dying in the
infirmary.  Note: There is no chance of dying if one wins!
     b. Any warrior can use any weapon.  However, there are undefined penalties for
using marginal, unsuited, inadequate wit, inadequate size, inadequate strength, and
inadequate deftness weapons.
     c. Warriors are born with certain skills which are dependent on the base 70
point stat sheet and the style selected. The 14 points of added stats add to those
base skills.
     d. RSI seldom makes input errors.  I said seldom.  The best thing a manager can
do to help avoid input errors is to fill out the strategy sheet accurately and
legibly with good penmanship.
     e. These are considered the three best ways to acquire information, knowledge
and "secrets" about D2:
          * Terrablood.com
          * Reality.com
          * Noblish Island newsletters
     f. There is more to strategy than filling out the warrior's initial armor and
weapon selection and offensive effort and activity level and kill desire and tactic
selection.  Challenges and avoids are an important way to attempt to give your
warrior an advantage.  Challenge warriors (warrior ID) that your warrior is likely to
defeat and learn a lot from, and avoid teams (team ID) with warriors who are likely
to defeat you.  Indeed, your warrior can be provided with an alternate strategy for
challenging or when being challenged or both.  A warrior does not have to challenge,
bloodfeud, or avoid, but it is in his best interest to do so.
     g. Ask dumb questions!  Often managers, especially new managers, have a doubt or
a question, but they feel "asking for help/advice" is a sign of weakness or lack of
intelligence or knowledge about D2.  Do not let this be you!  Ask!  We veteran
managers ask each other "dumb" questions all the time.  What are the best ways to
ask?
          * On the Reality.com site
          * On the D2 Chatzky site
          * In personal ads in the arenas (especially Noblish Island)
          * By diplo to another manager in D2 (Certain managers will almost always
            respond; some may not
     h. No matter what any veteran, friend or expert tells you about design or
strategy, it is not necessarily the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
truth.  It may be good or great or common advice, but it is not necessarily the only
good advice.
     i. D2 is a normally a friendly atmosphere.  While managers are very competitive,
most of the vets know each other, see each other at Faces, chat with each other on
line, and even help each other out with advice and ideas.  The fount of knowledge
available now, about D2, was acquired by a collective "working together" and sharing
info.  Be advised that an overly mean, overbearing, threatening, haughty, unfriendly
character/manager is likely to be colluded against and ostracized by D2 regulars.
Smack talk is desirable and a part if the game.  Personal threats, harsh meanness, or
overbearingness is not.
     j. Noblish Island is a great learning atmosphere.  What comes after Noblish?
Chose wisely an arena to next participate in.  (Fast-- two week turnaround or slow--
four weeks) (Large-- 15+ teams participating, medium-- 8-14ish, small-- 7 or less)
(friendly-- usually Andorian arenas are up for role-playing and up for helping
newbies, and down on down challenging or taking advantage of newbies; cutthroat--
Delarquan arenas tend to be win-at-all-cost).  You can participate in as many arenas
as you want.  You can also participate in separate tournaments, held quarterly, which
allow warriors from all arenas to compete with each other for acclaim and prizes.

Coach Rah Rah here.  Contact me for help.  Ask me dumb questions.  I tutor and coach
--all too often for free.

             + ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ The Lighthouse ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ +

     The topic I've chosen to address today is The Obvious.  There are some obvious
mistakes that new players can and sometimes do make.  I've seen it happen.  I'm sure
none of YOU have made these mistakes, but just in case....

     Choice of weapon, there's a good area for mistakes.  Every style has its
preferred weapons, NO weapon can be used by every style, nor can every style use all
weapons.  At some point in your ten turns here in Arena 93, you will see the chart
that separates out weapons by style.  Pay attention to that, this is not just whim,
opinion, or personal taste.  This has been tested, over and over again.  The fights
are monitored by a computer, and a computer doesn't care about "this should work" or
"that should be cool."  If your weapon is unsuited to your style, you will be
penalized in the fight.  This is more than just "doesn't seem to have the
strength/wit/deftness to use his weapon."  That handicaps you, but not as badly.  In
fact, just to confuse people, sometimes a warrior's "favorite" weapon, chosen by the
computer at the time the roll-up is first input, will be one for which he lacks the
perfect numbers.  But it will ALWAYS be one suitable for his style.
     Don't trust real-world logic in picking weapons, this is a game and has its own
rules.  My stock example, which is TRUE, is bashers and fists.  You'd think--many
have--that a basher would be a natural going in with his fists.  No.  Bashers are
unsuited to this weapon and will not do their best with it.  Do not trust logic,
trust the charts.
     Also, weapons have weight and bulk.  If you go in loaded like an armory cart, as
I have seen characters in a role-playing game do, you will be at a disadvantage.  The
computer is merciless when it comes to encumbrance.  Always carry a backup, yes.
That's common sense.  But do NOT carry a backup that's heavier than your primary
weapon, it's for emergencies, and you may not be able to draw it in time anyway.
Don't even THINK about carrying a two-handed weapon as a backup, the computer will
not allow this.  The input program rejects this.  Always.  Yes, sure, if you go to
the Dark Arena, you might see the Shewish Giant with backup mauls.  He's a special
case, he exists only to kill your warriors, and he is allowed more weapons than any
managed warrior will ever be able to carry.  When you're looking for a backup, pick
something relatively light:  dagger, shortsword, scimitar, if you want a sword,
hatchet, shortspear, warhammer.  Maybe a mace.

     Training.  This is one of my stock cautionary tales, and it's true.  It happened
back before Noblish Island was opened.  A new manager who had run three turns and
pulled 0-15 wrote and asked me what was wrong.  Not only were his warriors losing,
they hadn't learned a skill in the whole time.  He sent me their stats to demonstrate
that they SHOULD have learned skills.  Five warriors, three fights each, and between
them, they had TWELVE stat increases.  They hadn't learned skills because they hadn't
been training skills.  Read the rule book, read ALL of your Noblish Island
newsletters, and pay attention!  It's depressingly easy to overlook the obvious, and
this can mean a disaster.

     Armor.  The offensive styles, basher, lunger, slasher, striker, are geared to
run fast, fight fast, move fast, get in and win and get out before they're hit.  If
you put them in full plate, yes, you will probably reduce their chance of death.  But
you will also reduce their chance of winning.  They should not need the heavy armor
to keep them alive; their offensive capabilities should be doing that, by winning the
fight before they're in danger.

     Perhaps not so obvious, but... you can often surrender when a fight is going
badly.  If your desperation strategy is set up for that.  Raising any of your fight
numbers, much less all of them, in desperation, will often cause your warrior to go
berserk, and it increases his chance of doing something stupid and getting killed.
Dropping the numbers, on the other hand, makes him feel that he doesn't want to fight
so hard, and he might surrender before his hit points drop to zero and he dies.  No
guarantee, but it's worth a try in many cases.

Jorja
The Middle Way

              + ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ The Lighthouse ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ +

                                  Profile of a Team
                                    Middle Way 7

     Instead of giving you the profile of a graduating warrior this week, I'm going
to show you what I started with and what I did to make the Middle Way 7.
     Warrior #1 I made a parry-riposte, as much because I like making rippers as
because I thought this was an "ideal" ripper.  (Hint, it is NOT an "ideal" ripper.)
     13 + 0 = 13  I left the ST at 13 because that's enough to use any ripper's
      5 + 0 =  5  weapon.  I didn't raise the CN, though an "ideal" ripper would have
     12 + 0 = 12  more, because I didn't have the points to spare.  I can raise this
     13 + 2 = 15  warrior's CN later, and in fact I did so on the first fight.  Why
      7 + 6 = 13  didn't I raise the WT to 17 or 19, as I could have done?  Again, I
     13 + 0 = 13  needed the points more elsewhere, and 15 is sufficient for any of
      7 + 6 = 13  the ripper's preferred weapons.  Learning with a 15 WT is fine,
also.  I raised WL to 13, the maximum allowable addition of points, because that is
THE most important stat.  Without a decent WL, you can't raise any of the other
stats, and 13 is marginal anyway.  If this warrior survives to graduation, it will go
into automatic retirement because of that low WL.  SP I left alone because that's
more than enough for any ripper to start with.  DF I raised by the maximum six points
because it's so useful for a) getting initial skills (this warrior was born with an
expert in riposte) and b) hitting on target and winning fights before the low CN
loses them.  This warrior is very frail--mostly the low CN, but incredibly quick
(relatively high SP and DF combined).  She can't carry much weight, but she does do
good damage.
     Warrior #2 I made a wall of steel, which may be my favorite style.  I added
      6 + 3 =  9  three to ST because I HATE warriors who do little damage.  Also,
     10 + 0 = 10  raising ST to 9 will allow this warrior to use the SC, one of my
     16 + 0 = 16  favorite weapons.  Nothing to CN, 10 is okay.  Not great, but okay.
     12 + 5 = 17  Five to WT, since I have the points to spend there, gives me 17,
      7 + 6 = 13  just about the ideal starting WT.  The full six to WL for the same
      6 + 0 =  6  reason as above--gotta get it as high as possible, and this is
     13 + 0 = 13  still just marginal for a long term warrior.  I left the SP at 6,
because I never know what to do with SP anyway.  And DF left at 13 because the points
were needed more urgently elsewhere, and 13 will give this warrior the SC, the wall
of steel's best weapon.  This warrior came out slightly uncoordinated (the low SP)
but at the same time quick on his feet.  He can trip faster than anyone you ever saw!
Again, can't carry much weight but does good damage.
     Warrior #3 I made another ripper.  Hey, I warned you I'm doing rippers right
      9 + 0 =  9  now!  It would probably have made a better lunger, but I didn't
      8 + 0 =  8  feel like making a lunger, and besides, the idea of a seven-foot
     20 + 0 = 20  tall ripper tickled my fancy.  I left ST untouched, as 9 will
     14 + 3 = 17  give this warrior the SC.  CN is acceptable, though low for a
      4 + 6 = 10  ripper.  Raised WT to 17, because WT is always useful to have; if
      4 + 1 =  5  I could have put the two extra points on WL, I'd have settled for
     11 + 4 = 15  a WT of 15, though.  Six points to WL for the same reason as above
--this team is cursed in the WILL department.  Oh, well, you work with what you've
got.  Four added to DF for starting skills and accuracy, and the final one point I
dropped on SP because it looked so desperately low.  This warrior came out with
"slightly uncoordinated" but is not listed as "slow and inactive," possibly thanks to
that extra point on SP.  At least, that's what I choose to tell myself.  This one
came out slightly uncoordinated but incredibly quick and active, can't carry much
weight but does great damage (the SZ).
     Warrior #4 has perhaps the best potential, in my view.  I made it a wall of
     11 + 0 = 11  steel (you're not surprised, are you?).  Left ST and CN alone;
      9 + 0 =  9  they're high enough to go with.  Raised WT to 15, which is a good,
     13 + 0 = 13  meaty WT.  Why not 16?  Because that wouldn't give me anything I
     10 + 5 = 15  can't get at 15, and save the extra point for use elsewhere.  WL to
     12 + 5 = 17  seventeen--gotta love it.  If this warrior survives, that 17 WL
      5 + 1 =  6  means long-term possibilities in the form of relatively easy stat
     10 + 3 = 13  raises later on.  One point on SP because I had it and that seemed
more useful than any other place I might put it.  Three to DF, because the extra
accuracy is always useful, though I could have stopped at 11 (the minimum needed to
use a SC) and put the other two points elsewhere.  If I had chosen to do that, they
would probably have gone to ST for more damage.  Slightly uncoordinated but active
and very quick on his feet, can't carry much weight but does good damage.  A familiar
pattern, eh?
     Warrior #5 is a total parry.  Somehow he just didn't look like anything else.
      4 + 5 =  9  Points to ST to reach my minimum preferred of nine, so that he will
     14 + 1 = 15  not be cursed with little damage.  After all, he MIGHT strike a
     16 + 0 = 16  blow some day.  Also, I wanted him to be able to stand up under his
      9 + 0 =  9  armor.  An extra point to CN, because total parries can always use
     12 + 5 = 17  more of that.  Nothing on WT, as skills are not important for him,
      9 + 0 =  9  and 9 isn't too bad... for a total parry.  Five to bring WL to 17;
      6 + 3 =  9  this is as important for a total parry as for any other style, and
maybe more so, since it affects endurance.  Left SP alone; he won't be moving much.
Three to DF to bring that up to 9 so that he can use some weapons other than the
shields.  I have a hard time thinking of shields as weapons, frankly.  Normal
intelligence--no statement as to how intelligent he is, but then again, no statement
that he is "very stupid" either.  A compromise I--and he--can live with.  He's got
good endurance and can take a lot of damage, thanks to CN, SZ, and WL.  Can't carry
much weight (the low ST) but does great damage (the high SZ).  I've already raised
his ST by one and plan to up it another point to 11, as I have chosen to arm him with
a longspear (they use 'em like quarterstaves for parrying and may, on rare occasions,
even attack with them); also, if I am reading the chart correctly, there are no
skills to be burned by stat trains from 9 to 11.
     You'll note that only one of them won its first fight.  This is not unusual, nor
is it distressing to me.  In fact, I like for them to lose their first fight, as it
teaches them a little humility!  But seriously, the first fight gives you a chance to
get the feel of the warrior and decide what adjustments to make to each one's
standard strategy.
     Number 1 was going 6-6-6 straight across, not fast enough to burn out early, not
slow enough to scum.  She got the first blow, which is good, but I don't expect her
to do it again; her opponent should probably be cranking up his Offensive Effort to
grab the first blow for himself.  She didn't start showing exhaustion statements, so
she can handle this speed, at least; it was damage (that low CN) that took her down.
     The second was going 8-6-6 and did NOT get the first blow, which was appropriate
considering his opponent's style.  He went down to damage, the wimp, before I could
tell if he could sustain this speed.
     The third, my seven-foot ripper, went 6-6-6 and had no trouble dealing with the
Persistent Beggar.  I really can't call that a test.
     The fourth was jumped, knocked down, went desperate, and quit, all in the space
of a few seconds.  He's going to get some teasing for that from his teammates!  He
was going 8-6-6, but there wasn't time to see how he liked that.
     The last one, the total parry, went down to damage, having made no attempt to
parry, dummy that he is.  I may set him the parry tactic in minute one.  He was going
6-6-6, for all the good it did him.  If he'd bothered to parry and hung on a little
longer, he could have had that fight, because his opponent was staggering with
exhaustion in the first minute.

Jorja
Middle Way 7

           +>]H[<+-----+>]H[+ Question of the Week #6 +]H[<+-----+>]H[<+

From turn 412:

AK's Q.O.W. -- There's no single trick to keeping warriors alive. Constitution and
armor probably helps the most because it's more difficult for them to run out of hit
points and die in the infirmary, plus they don't go desperate as easy which is
usually when the death intent comment comes.  Warrior experience is a big help, but
it takes time to earn, of course.  Tourneys could help with this, but you can die
there too.  It may be at half chance, but you get so many....  It really comes down
to the death intent statement usually.  Skill, and toughness (including armor) help
to keep you from getting to that point, and once there, only warrior experience makes
a difference in reducing the chance of failing the survival role after that death
intent statement. -- Adie

AK's Q.O.W. #2 -- It takes a lot more than three master ratings once you get to the
middle ranks of ADM.  In the lower end, that could be enough.  But success is much
more attributed to the sum of the warriors' capabilities.  Are they tough?  Do they
have staying power/endurance?  Do they defend well, even with low skills?  Do they
have good rythyms?  Do they 'like' their rythyms?  How bout their favorite weapon?
Is it good and do they love it or hate it?  Sometimes a warrior, for a reason not
easily definable, just wins.  Other super skilled ones can just lose regularly.  Of
course, each warrior may win at one level of the game, like basic and as freshmen,
but maybe lose like crazy higher up.  Godlings will commonly come into their own as
champions and freshmen.  The very rare few can win ALL the way.  Those warriors are a
true joy.... -- Adie

Another Q.O.W. -- Perhaps it is not the fact that your good roll-ups never get
blessed and the others do.  But it may be the fact, that you only get few great ones,
and it is EASY to remember them not getting gifted.  Kind of like that syndrome where
people find it easy to remember all the negative things in their life, but find it
difficult to point out the equal or more numerous good things.  However, if this is
not the case, keep those better gifted average roll-ups.  Especially those that can
win in basic.  You may find them winning in ADM later too, especially once they start
training stats.  Also, if you get enough great roll-ups, you will eventually get
gifted ones.  Remember, some styles find it easier to be more gifted. -- Adie

AK47 -- Let's see... <shuffling through paperwork>  It says here that the three
recently deceased warriors from my team had 'normal', 'a lot', and 'very frail' hit
points.  The 'very frail' one died in the infirmary, which is a little different.
The hit points, if you will, just determine how much damage can be sustained before
the warrior goes desperate/frantic/careless/you-name-it.  Once that happens, con
ceases to matter.  I've seen all types of warriors buy the farm, from 7 will to 21,
from no armor to APA/F.  You hit upon the most important point, winning as much as
possible, but beyond that it's all about luck.  Running in a friendly arena can help
the statistics of dying, but it doesn't mean any individual is safe and unkillable.
Tournies aren't that safe, in my opinion.  FEs are helpful, but I think they are just
a visible artifact of being a developed fighter.  A warrior with a lot of FEs but a
lousy learn rate probably isn't much more survivable just due to those FEs. -- Axly

AK47 -- Three masters sounds like a good rule of thumb, but that would vary depending
on what the warrior's physicals were like.  I might say two masters and two ad exes
for defensives, but I'm no expert on them. -- Axly

Hanibal, QoW -- I have no idea.  Some styles get gifted more than others, and in
certain areas.  If you want the best bonuses, run aimers! -- Axly

QOW / AK 47 -- I've found skills keep a warrior alive better than anything.  My best
learners have all lived.  Especially offensives who learn a lot of init and decise
quickly.  Swing first and keep swinging.  I'd take WL over CN for its skills.  I fear
mentioning this that it may jinx me, but I've never lost a warrior past about 10
fights.  Armor has helped me at times, but it robs warriors of much of their finesse.
If a good defensive warrior can live through about 5-10 fights and learn well
he/she/it should be well on the way to success. -- JRK

QOW / AK 47 -- I think it's an oversimplification to say three masters are needed in
AD. I also think it depends on the arena.  Andorak is very competitive right now.  I
have warriors with three advanced masters who can't seem to win much anymore.  As to
what the requirement is... I think it depends on a number of factors, where you are
in the rankings, what your favorites are, what you get in the way of challenges,
matchups and where your attributes fall.  Three masters and tremendous
damage/endurance would be much different from three masters and normal in both areas.
I'm not sure a good benchmark can be set.  But it is certainly and interesting
question. -- JRK

QOW -- Overall, I would lean toward saying the reverse is true as far as giftedness.
Most of my average warriors have come out very close to average, usually a little
above.  While many of my good warriors have been at least +3, often +5 or more.  On
my all star team of long ago (Maxwell Honorblade, Monica Virtueshield, Michael
Honorblade, Corina Honorblade, and Angela Silverblade) all of my warriors were gifted
(four of them by +3 or more, 3 by +5 or more), average or not.  I also tend to do
well in attack and poorly in init.  Giftedness seems to be a fickle thing, I suspect
this is because the RUGS are involved.  -- JRK
P.S.  I apologize if it seems I am bragging, but my record and I have never gotten
over the graduation of all those warriors.

Axly -- Damned if I know.  I found the style-linked starting points very curious.
Looks to me like there was an attempt to balance styles that resulted in drastic
imbalances! -- Leeta

Hanibal -- Once you've gotten the death-intent statement, only luck will keep you
alive.  The thing you need to do is avoid getting the death-intent statement.  No,
this is serious.  You can up a warrior's hit points in the design stage, by adding to
CN and, I think WL (but maybe ST), and having a large SZ helps.  Of course, if you
pile the points on there, he may be dumb and clumsy.  You can pile on the armor,
which will help keep him alive but may lose him fights unless he can scum; some
warriors are totally immobilized by armor.
     On a more positive note, if I have a warrior who is "very frail" that I really
don't want to die, I will use armor, and I will attempt to keep him alive by using
the "surrender in desperation" tactic.  No, no, it isn't a joke!  Honest!  Say I've
got a frail warrior, probably with normal or lower endurance.  I send that boy out
running hard, 10-10, even.  Sometimes, especially if he's smart and deft, he wins
right off.  But if he doesn't win right off, he rapidly becomes exhausted and quits.
I forget who it was who suggested this to me, years ago--Phido, maybe.  It doesn't
always work (nothing ALWAYS works), but it may help.  And I'd rather have good
warriors lose than die; if they stay alive long enough, they build up skills and
start winning. -- Leeta
P.S.  Yes, CN keeps you alive better than WL.  WL sometimes leads a low-CN warrior to
go on fighting a little too long.
P.P.S.  Yes, warriors who can take a lot of damage do die, sometimes, because some
warriors can dish out a lot of damage.
P.P.P.S.  The survival of low-CN high skill warriors is more a matter of strategy
than anything else.  And, obviously, if you don't lose, you don't die.
P.P.P.P.S.  Picking your arena does contribute to warrior survival, but it can be
tricky, since a warrior has, as a normal minimum, a year to go before graduation and
the character of an arena may change in the course of a year.  Andorian is not always
a guarantee of relative safety; you need to look at the actual managers present and
evaluate THEM for propensity to run killing styles and strategies.  In my opinion,
tourneys are of limited value in building up a warrior for the regular arena.  Sure,
the chance of dying is only half that in regular dueling, but the chance of learning
skills or training stats is also only half.  And that's what increased FE is about:
more skills, more stat trains.
P.P.P.P.P.S.  There is NO number of fights that will preserve you from being killed,
and if you fight equally experienced opponents who happen to be "headhunters," it
won't improve your chances much, either!  Pick your fights with care, challenge and
avoid every time.  The only absolute guarantee against death is a potion of
immortality (a tourney prize) or graduation.

AK47 -- It depends on the advanced arena you're fighting in.  And by "hold your own,"
do you mean have a 50% winning percentage, or rise rapidly through the ranks, or make
it to the top, or what?  I have run warriors in Lirin Kiv (ADM 107) from the day it
opened, and in that arena, no, you don't have to have three masters.  Oh, sure, it
HELPS, especially now that the arena has aged enough so that some of the foundation
warriors DO have those masters.  But it happens to be a small advanced arena fed by
small basic arenas, and while the competition among the fossils in the upper levels
is stiff, the lower levels aren't that bad.  Heck, even MY warriors win sometimes!
Or, try 101, Home Guard.  Yes, the current status lets in warriors who are
potentially good, but I doubt anyone there has three masters, and if they do, they're
probably on their way out. -- Leeta
P.S.  And no amount of innate ability on the part of a warrior can overcome for long
the effects of careless management.  Management may not be ALL, but it's at least
half.

Hanibal -- Regarding blessed warriors and great rollups, the law of averages says
everybody has a chance to be blessed.  But it takes a LOT of warriors for the law of
averages to operate visibly.  I have had great (in stats) warriors who were blessed
and the same who were cursed, ditto for average ones. -- Leeta

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

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

                                     Duelmasters
                                     -----------
 DM   9 ZUKAL (turn 711): TRAKE DARROWS of CRIMSON DEATH (Verol, mgr.)
 DM  12 RIZTAB (turn 713): DIZZY GILLESPIE of BLUE NOTE (Howlin' Wolf, mgr.)
 DM  13 DULLENS (turn 657): THE BEAKSTER of ARCANE ROYALTY (Destitute Noble, mgr.)
 DM  15 MALCORN (turn 707): LUCK DEVIL of THE DEVIL'S OWN (The Dark One, mgr.)
 DM  16 WILLAF (turn 709): POSITION IS EMPTY
 DM  17 ALJAFIR (turn 701): WHIRLING FROGGY of KAOS FROGS (Grimm, mgr.)
 DM  19 ZUWAYZA (turn 702): GRAVITRON of THE MOTHERSHIP CC (Floyd, mgr.)
 DM  28 MORYA (turn 353): POP TARGET of DODGE BULLETS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  29 LAPUR (turn 699): GRASSFIRE of CARDOW HUNTERS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  31 CHIMLEVTAL (turn 351): DRONE-ON of BAD NEWS BEES (Stinger, mgr.)
 DM  32 ARVAT (turn 695): PAM DEMONIUM of DEVIL ADVOCATES (The Dark One, mgr.)
 DM  33 NIATOLI ISLAND (turn 692): HULL SCRUBBER of SEA DOGS (One Armed Bandit, mgr.)
 DM  35 MURSKA (turn 684): SMILE WAFFLE of HAPPY FUN TIME (Floyd, mgr.)
 DM  43 VEASTIAN (turn 643): ARCHERS OF LOAF of UNC COLLEGE RADIO (Floyd, mgr.)
 DM  45 STORMCROWE (turn 328): ROSELYN of DARQUE FORCES (Master Darque, mgr.)
 DM  47 NORTH FORK (turn 322): WILHELM SCREAM of OTTODROME TW (Otto X, mgr.)
 DM  50 SNOWBOUND (turn 309): 4-H of LIFE IMPACTS (Coach, mgr.)
 DM  56 ROCANIS (turn 574): LINKIN LOGGER of INCONSISTENT FURY (Banthius, mgr.)
 DM  60 ARADI (turn 559): PRIME MINISTER of INGRATE WHITE NORTH (Crip, mgr.)
 DM  61 JURINE (turn 541): GRAHAM CRACKER of SHEWISH BUFFET (One Armed Bandit, mgr.)
 DM  65 DAL SHANG (turn 536): IRONIC TWIST of THE MOTHERSHIP CE (Floyd, mgr.)
 DM  73 ERINIKA (turn 258): SUN STROKE of SUPER STARS (Crip, mgr.)
 DM  74 DAYLA KIV (turn 497): SPIDERPIG of HOMER'S PETS (Floyd, mgr.)
 DM  75 JADE MOUNTAIN (turn 491): KOGAN DJIAN of SAND DANCERS (Jorja, mgr)
 DM  78 LIN TIRIAN (turn 483): NAKED LUNCH of SHEWISH BUFFET (One Armed Bandit, mgr.)
ADM 103 FREE BLADES (turn 600): MARTIN BLANK of BLOOD TITANS (The Greek Guy, mgr.)

                                      Top Teams
                                      ---------
 DM   9 ZUKAL (turn 711): CRIMSON DEATH (Verol, mgr.)
 DM  12 RIZTAB (turn 713): DREAMERS (Sleepy, mgr.)
 DM  13 DULLENS (turn 657): ARCANE ROYALTY
 DM  15 MALCORN (turn 707): GREENWARDENS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  16 WILLAF (turn 709): SHADOWMONGERS (Shadow, mgr.)
 DM  17 ALJAFIR (turn 701): MIDDLE WAY (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  19 ZUWAYZA (turn 702): THE MAGNIFICENT MAGS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  28 MORYA (turn 353): DODGE BULLETS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  29 LAPUR (turn 699): METAL MINCERS (Oremaster, mgr.)
 DM  31 CHIMLEVTAL (turn 351): POSITION IS EMPTY
 DM  32 ARVAT (turn 695): DEVIL ADVOCATES (The Dark One, mgr.)
 DM  33 NIATOLI ISLAND (turn 692): SEA DOGS (One Armed Bandit, mgr.)
 DM  35 MURSKA (turn 684): BATTLE FROGS (Grimm, mgr.)
 DM  43 VEASTIAN (turn 643): THE FAMILY (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  45 STORMCROWE (turn 328): DARQUE FORCES (Master Darque, mgr.)
 DM  47 NORTH FORK (turn 322): FAST FOOD (Madwand, mgr.)
 DM  50 SNOWBOUND (turn 309): LIFE IMAPACTS (Coach, mgr.)
 DM  56 ROCANIS (turn 574): INCONSISTENT FURY (Banthius, mgr.)
 DM  60 ARADI (turn 559): RED DOG GANG (Spot, mgr.)
 DM  61 JURINE (turn 541): SHEWISH BUFFET (One Armed Bandit, mgr.)
 DM  65 DAL SHANG (turn 536): SAND DANCERS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  73 ERINIKA (turn 258): SUPER STARS (Crip, mgr.)
 DM  74 DAYLA KIV (turn 497): SAND DANCERS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  75 JADE MOUNTAIN (turn 491): SAND DANCERSS (Floyd, mgr.)
 DM  78 LIN TIRIAN (turn 483): SHEWISH BUFFET (One Armed Bandit, mgr.)
ADM 103 FREE BLADES (turn 600): DEAD WE SUCK (Manager, mgr.)

                                   Recent Graduates
                                  -----------------
 DM   9 ZUKAL (turn 711): TRAKE DARROWS of CRIMSON DEATH (Verol, mgr.)
              (turn 710): BLAMMO of BLUE MOON (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  13 DULLENS (turn 657): GRIM LAUGHTER of CARDOW HUNTERS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  16 WILLAF (turn 709): JOHN DERE of PUNNY AMINALS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  19 ZUWAYZA (turn 701): DONT PAY RENT of BASH BROS HOUSEMATE (Assurnasirbanipal)
 DM  29 LAPUR (turn 697): SOLWYN of MID EARTH (Visionist, mgr.)
 DM  31 CHIMLEVTAL (turn 350): BUMBLE of BAD NEWS BEES (Stinger, mgr.)
                               XANDAR of AVENGERS (Huckle Cat?, mgr.)
 DM  33 NIATOLI ISLAND (turn 692): SHELLBACK of SEA DOGS (One Armed Bandit, mgr.)
 DM  45 STORMCROWE (turn 327): SAPPHIRA of DARQUE FORCES (Master Darque, mgr.)
 DM  47 NORTH FORK (turn 322): WILHELM SCREAM of OTTODROME TW (Otto X, mgr.)
                   (turn 321): BIG MAC of FAST FOOD (Madwand, mgr.)
 DM  60 ARADI (turn 558): KOTTER of RED DOG GANG (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  75 JADE MOUNTAIN (turn 490): MOUNTAIN STORM of SAND DANCERS (Jorja, mgr)

                                      SPY REPORT

     Well, what are you looking at, NOBLISH ISLAND?  Ain't you never seen Snide 
Clemens before?  Ah, shaddup and listen to my news.  Gee, I'm impressed, a 4-1-0 is 
nice, but don't get cocky, BASH BROS SUITCASE, the Fates teach humility, and the 
Fates are proud.  Of course, we're all terribly impressed to see AVERAGE JOE win a 
fight and gain 15 points, terribly.  Tsk, tsk, AVERAGE JOE beat ACES and ACES lost 12 
points.  You're breakin' my heart.  And if variety is the spice of life, NOBLISH 
ISLAND may be getting bland, as LEAPING LILAC stays top dog in the city.  I'm not in 
a very good mood today, but why am I telling you this?  You want to know what's new, 
don't you, NOBLISH ISLAND?   
     My mother always told me, 'If you don't have anything nice to say, start 
talking.' I loved that woman.  What's the big D?  PARKS AND REC was the most avoided 
team?  Bunch of lily livered... grumble... mumble... curse...  And it looks like 
COLLEGE FOOTBALL avoided them the most this turn.  What a pack of would be losers, if 
you ask me.  Hmph.  Ooh, I'm frightfully impressed, OVERFILLED was this turn's most 
challenged warrior.  Watch that ego swell, sports fans.   
     Death and Taxes.  The less death I see, the more it taxes my patience.  Let's 
see if anyone's dead or dying.  Honor is like a chainmail shirt, it only shines 
through use.  Certain nameless cowards will doubtless rebuke me on this one.   
     I was about to buy a new quill pen the other day, but some fighter took it for 
an epee.  Forgive me for writing with a dagger.  Just wait 'till next time I show up 
here, I won't be so nice!  So nyaaah!  Glad to see the back of this place-- Snide 
Clemens  

DUELMASTER                     W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 LEAPING LILAC 9359            8   2  0    85       PARKS AND REC (1611)

ADEPTS                         W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 AVERAGE JOE 9360              7   3  3    50       PARKS AND REC (1611)
 JAYHAWKS 9402                 5   0  0    49       COLLEGE FOOTBALL (1618)

CHALLENGER INITIATES           W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 OVERFILLED 9411               4   1  0    31       BASH BROS SUITCASE (1619)
 ACES 9405                     4   1  1    29       COLLEGE FOOTBALL (1618)
 BROKEN WHEEL 9410             4   1  0    27       BASH BROS SUITCASE (1619)
 GAMECOCKS 9401                3   2  0    27       COLLEGE FOOTBALL (1618)

INITIATES                      W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 NEUTER NELL 9358              5   5  0    20       PARKS AND REC (1611)
 TIGERS 9403                   2   3  0    20       COLLEGE FOOTBALL (1618)
 ELMER GREEN 9416              2   0  0    20       LOW ROAD 5 (1620)
 HOLES 9407                    2   3  0    16       BASH BROS SUITCASE (1619)
 HOOSIERS 9404                 2   3  0    15       COLLEGE FOOTBALL (1618)
 OVERTHEWEIGHTLIMIT 9408       4   1  0    14       BASH BROS SUITCASE (1619)
 DOMITIUS 9362                 3   3  2    14       OLYMPUS MAXIMUS (1612)
 QUICK HIT HARRY 9356          2   8  0    14       PARKS AND REC (1611)
 CHARLOTTE ELLIS 9418          1   1  0    13       LOW ROAD 5 (1620)
 VITRUVIUS 9406                1   2  0    10       OLYMPUS MAXIMUS (1612)
 DAISY FRYE 9417               1   1  0     7       LOW ROAD 5 (1620)
 RIPPED OPEN 9415              1   3  0     6       BASH BROS SUITCASE (1619)
 ABRAM CROSS 9420              1   1  0     6       LOW ROAD 5 (1620)
 METALLUS 9364                 1   2  0     5       OLYMPUS MAXIMUS (1612)
 BENNY DOGGE 9419              1   1  0     4       LOW ROAD 5 (1620)
 HONORIA 9363                  0   4  0     4       OLYMPUS MAXIMUS (1612)
 AURELIUS 9413                 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  NOT REVENGED
ASHER 9337              1  1 0 DRAGON DISCIPLE 1608 AVERAGE JOE 9360      362  NOT REVENGED

                                     PERSONAL ADS

Assur -- How exciting!  Any time I can do something that makes an impression on you
is a great day!  Keep on unenjoying that football. (wink) -- Coach Rah Rah

Parks And Rec -- Kudos to Leaping Lilac, who is going out in style. -- Coach Rah Rah

Assur -- You think your team is "bad"?  Perhaps The Consortium did get the better
"deal" this time, with all wits 15+ and sizes a mediocre 19, 18, 11, 11, 6. -- Coach
Rah Rah (feeling invigorated with that knowledge)

Overtheweightlimit -- You are the bane of College Football existence.  What would you
do without us? -- Hoosiers (fighting just like they play)

     Sit home on the couch and eat caramel popcorn?

Quick Hit Harry -- Or was that Quickly Hit Harry? -- Tigers

Neuter Nell -- There is always some way to skin a cat.  Consider yourself neutered.
(wink) -- Gamecocks

The Userous Merchant -- Gotcha!  But what a great and difficult battle!  I'd rather
have fought a suitcase. (wink) -- Aces

Average Joe -- I guess you could say I am slightly above average. -- Jayhawks

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good fight. -- Coach Rah ah and The College
Footballers

Coach Rah Rah -- Just lazy and forgetful.  I don't the energy you have as a coach! --
Assur

Coach Rah Rah -- It seems the you don't teach your players how to pack correctly.
They keep getting dinged by because their baggage weighs too much. --
OverTheWeightLimit

Vitruvius -- Not sure if you want to come out that way.  Strikers, historically, want
to come out going fast in lighter armor, a good weapon, and no shield.  That said, I
don't know your strengths and weaknesses.  If you have high con and will, your
strategy may make perfect sense. -- Assur

Some of you probably read that I consider Holes a terrible specimen of a warrior.
Why?  He was given to me as a 13-10-16-5-3-11-12 setup.  Wit and will are two very
important statistics.  In general, you want a total of at least 25 on wit and will.
Even adding 6, I could only get to a total of 20.  Not pretty.  So time to have some
fun!  Normally, I'd never recommend less than 7 will, but in this case I decided to
go as extreme as possible.  Strength and Deftness to 17, both good breakpoints.  Add
the balance to Constitution.  It comes out with 17-15-16-5-3-11-17.  Being deep into
little endurance, it is required that he be a style that conserves well.  AB or TP
would make the most sense.  The TP would win more fights, but this warrior is for
fun, not wins.  So AB I went! -- Assur

Before I look at my fights, I want to say a word about warrior design.  A relatively
new player in another arena commented on a warrior he had who was performing poorly,
a parry-riposte with these stats:  10-13-12-15-4-13-17.  This is something I see when
new players allot their numbers with role-play experiences in mind.  Don't do it!
This game works differently.  A warrior with a four will COULD, perhaps, survive and
even graduate, but this is unlikely.  That's the kind of design pattern usually seen
only in the creations of long-time players who are feeling quirky or want to test
some esoteric theory.  Will has many uses, but one that is of first importance is
that it takes will for a warrior to keep fighting after he gets hit once.  Without a
strong will, an injuried warrior is likely to say to himself, quite reasonably, "Why
am I doing this?  I could be home with a beer and a good book."  I don't know the
starting stats on this warrior, but I'd be inclined to bet that a lot of points went
onto DF.  In such a case, you're more likely to get a successful warrior if you put
six points on WL instead of six on DF. -- Jorja

Honoria -- I would recommend that you train the deficient stat (the one mentioned in
the warrior intro).  Training stats is not automatically bad, especially when you're
learning the game.  Getting your warriors to win fights is GOOD, and training stats
may help that. -- Benny Dogge
P.S.  And you might want to drop the off-hand weapon, or stick it in a sheath on your
belt.  Never stick a weapon directly into your waistband, as it is likely to rip the
waistband going in and/or coming out, and it's hard to fight with your pants around
your ankles.  Yes, I know, *I* have an offhand weapon, but this is a combination
Jorja has used before successfully, and I have the stats for it.
P.P.S.  Ah, I noticed at the bottom of the fight (didn't look there first) that you
HAVE trained that stat, and it may help you amazingly.  Good!

Metallus -- Same advice as Benny's, train that stat!  Ah, if you have the will to
train it.  Another reason to have a good WL, training stats. -- Charlotte Ellis
P.S.  I interpret the statement that you won "luckily" to mean, You probably won't be
able to do that next time!

Domitius -- Train the stat!  And as a word of general advice to your manager, look at

the weapons/styles/stats chart when designing warriors and do NOT design a warrior
who is unable to use any of the style-appropriate weapons well. -- Elmer Green
P.S.  That chart will appear again in the back of the turn 369 newsletter.

Ripped Open -- Duck tape. -- Daisy Frye

Holes -- Well, of course.  Without holes, your hamsters can't breathe. -- Abram Cross

ALL -- MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL IN ALASTARI!!!
May your year end in peace and the new year hold great things for you and your
families. -- Gentleben (Sunset-21, Morya-28, Arvat-32 and Talahya-100)

                                  LAST WEEK'S FIGHTS

TIGERS was bested by OVERFILLED in a 2 minute amateur's Challenge fight.
HOOSIERS won victory over BENNY DOGGE in a 1 minute beginner's Challenge battle.
LEAPING LILAC demolished M. CHARDINEE in a 1 minute uneven Title fight.
AVERAGE JOE devastated ACES in a 1 minute one-sided contest.
JAYHAWKS savagely defeated CAPTURED ORC in a 4 minute bloody amateur's match.
NEUTER NELL slimly won victory over ABRAM CROSS in a 6 minute bloody fight.
DOMITIUS was savagely defeated by BROKEN WHEEL in a crowd pleasing 1 minute brawl.
QUICK HIT HARRY was overcome by CHARLOTTE ELLIS in a action packed 1 minute melee.
METALLUS was viciously subdued by ELMER GREEN in a 1 minute gruesome novice's duel.
GAMECOCKS vanquished HONORIA in a 1 minute one-sided fight.
VITRUVIUS luckily beat RIPPED OPEN in a popular 3 minute brutal novice's melee.
HOLES luckily beat DAISY FRYE in a crowd pleasing 3 minute amateur's competition.
OVERTHEWEIGHTLIMIT subdued AURELIUS in a 2 minute novice's brawl.

                                    BATTLE REPORT

             MOST POPULAR                        RECORD DURING THE LAST 10 TURNS     
|FIGHTING STYLE               FIGHTS        FIGHTING STYLE     W -   L -  K   PERCENT|
|STRIKING ATTACK                  6         PARRY-STRIKE       4 -   2 -  1      67  |
|BASHING ATTACK                   5         BASHING ATTACK    43 -  24 -  3      64  |
|AIMED BLOW                       3         LUNGING ATTACK     9 -   8 -  0      53  |
|TOTAL PARRY                      3         STRIKING ATTACK   24 -  23 -  5      51  |
|WALL OF STEEL                    3         TOTAL PARRY       12 -  12 -  1      50  |
|LUNGING ATTACK                   2         PARRY-RIPOSTE      1 -   1 -  0      50  |
|SLASHING ATTACK                  2         SLASHING ATTACK   11 -  13 -  1      46  |
|PARRY-LUNGE                      0         WALL OF STEEL      8 -  10 -  0      44  |
|PARRY-STRIKE                     0         AIMED BLOW        13 -  20 -  0      39  |
|PARRY-RIPOSTE                    0         PARRY-LUNGE        0 -   0 -  0       0  |

Turn 366 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     2 -  0     STRIKING ATTACK    2 -  4         3  BASHING ATTACK 
BASHING ATTACK     4 -  1     WALL OF STEEL      1 -  2         2  STRIKING ATTACK
AIMED BLOW         2 -  1     PARRY-LUNGE        0 -  0         2  AIMED BLOW     
TOTAL PARRY        2 -  1     PARRY-STRIKE       0 -  0         1  LUNGING ATTACK 
                              PARRY-RIPOSTE      0 -  0         1  WALL OF STEEL  
                              SLASHING ATTACK    0 -  2         1  SLASHING ATTACK
                                                                1  TOTAL PARRY    

                               TOP WARRIOR OF EACH STYLE

FIGHTING STYLE   WARRIOR                     W   L  K PNTS TEAM NAME                  
LUNGING ATTACK   LEAPING LILAC 9359          8   2  0   85 PARKS AND REC (1611)
STRIKING ATTACK  AVERAGE JOE 9360            7   3  3   50 PARKS AND REC (1611)
WALL OF STEEL    JAYHAWKS 9402               5   0  0   49 COLLEGE FOOTBALL (1618)

FIGHTING STYLE   WARRIOR                     W   L  K PNTS TEAM NAME                  
Note: Warriors have a winning record and are an Adept or Above.

The overall popularity leader is LEAPING LILAC 9359.  The most popular warrior this 
turn was RIPPED OPEN 9415.  The ten other most popular fighters were DAISY FRYE 9417, 
VITRUVIUS 9406, HOLES 9407, OVERFILLED 9411, ABRAM CROSS 9420, BROKEN WHEEL 9410, 
CHARLOTTE ELLIS 9418, ELMER GREEN 9416, GAMECOCKS 9401, and AURELIUS 9413.

The least popular fighter this week was NEUTER NELL 9358.  The other ten least 
popular fighters were HONORIA 9363, METALLUS 9364, ACES 9405, QUICK HIT HARRY 9356, 
DOMITIUS 9362, BENNY DOGGE 9419, TIGERS 9403, OVERTHEWEIGHTLIMIT 9408, JAYHAWKS 9402, 
and AVERAGE JOE 9360.

                             A SACRED LORD'S SLASHER

     Well, this article/spotlight is for Seal at 7th Order, so here goes.

ST:  If he's huge (15+), 3 is okay, and use HA.  I prefer 7 for epee.  9 gets scimitar 
and 11 gets broadsword.  Anything above 11 is a WASTE!!!
CN:  Whatever they send you.
SZ:  Any.
WT:  15, 17, or 21.  13 is workable, but I hate slow learners!   21 will probably take 
a lot from other areas, so 17 is best.
WL:  17, 17, 17!!!!  You need endurance, lots of endurance.  Some of my friends use 
15, but I prefer not to.
SP:  9+  They use SP as well as most, but don't add here until after WT/WL/DF.
DF:  15+, 15+, 15+.  Once again, I have high standards.  The reason?  Have you ever 
had a slasher come out w/ "relying on his speed to stay out of trouble"?  That's 
'cause his parry is in the negative.  With a 15 DF your slasher will have a much 
better parry and will probably be about 1-3 trains from a Master parry in advanced.  
Later on, you'll see!

Now, how to run them:

     10        9         7 ------------------------->  10
     10        4         2 ------------------------->  10
      7        9         7 ------------------------->   1
     CH/HE -------------------------------------------- >
     HE ----------------------------------------------- >
Off:  D at first, open later, min 2 +, open
Def:                                                  D/S (preferably Dodge)

     Min two+ is in case of a TP or WoS coming after you.  This setup works, so good 
luck!

Mike Bookout
Bookie, Sacred Lord of the Black Regime
Memphis Mafia (36,100)

P.S.  Anybody want to join the Regime?

                      The Dark Arena:  A Fighter's Perspective

(sung to the hymn:  Battle Hymn of the Republic)

Mine eyes have seen the glory
Of the coming of the dawn
I am walking down the tunnel
After everyone is gone
I step into the torchlight
And I see the blade he's drawn
My mind, it sings this song:

CHORUS
Worry, worry, I've come for ya
Worry, worry, I've come for ya
Worry, worry, I've come for ya
My mind continues on

The crowd is chanting praises
But all I hear are growls
Mine enemy's upon me
So I strike him and he howls
Parry, parry, slash, and parry
I smell his breath so foul
And death, he sings this song:

(CHORUS)

Now we both are tired
And my strength is fading fast
Oh, let me give that fatal blow
Oh, let me be the last
I swing my sword with all my might
The crowd it stands, aghast
As he dies, I sing my song:

(CHORUS x2)

Scotlan (28, 31, 39, 50, ?)

                               Kill Desire: "Patience."

     Many times I have lost warriors, and the manager claimed the KD was only five.  
As if KD had anything to do with the death of my fighter.  It was really the battle 
axe to the head that killed him.
     I was quite disturbed at the widespread belief that kill desire has something to 
do with killing an opponent.  But they have good reason to believe this: the 
Duelmasters Handbook definition of kill desire has a tendency to cast a "confusion 
spell" on the reader to make them think that way.  The wording is very misleading.  
The name "kill desire" is also misleading.  A more correct word would be "patience."
     Yes, kill desire is actually how much patience your fighter had before taking a 
shot.  KD doesn't add damage or tell your fighter where to aim at.
     Damage is calculated by weapon and strength.  (Of course, favorite weapon also 
affects damage.)
     You let your warrior know where you want him to aim at by filling out the attack 
location boxes on the fight sheets.
     Hit location and damage are the main two things that will kill warriors.  Hit 
locations to vital areas such as head, chest, and the abdomen repeated times increases 
your chance to kill.  The amount of damage inflicted to these vital areas also 
increases your chance to kill an opponent.
     As you see, none of this has anything to do with kill desire.
     Now, I will tell you what kill desire, or patience, as I call it, actually is.
     If you run your warrior with an 8-10 KD, you're telling him to swing like a 
drunken wildman.  You'll see statements in his fights that say "swings wildly" or 
other things to that effect.  He is not waiting for a good opening.  He is swinging at 
everything!  This is bad for several reasons.
     With his KD that high, he is very easily dodged and parried.  Also, he can be 
feinted into bad dueling decisions as well.
     I think that KD between 5-7 for offensive styles and 3-6 for defensive styles is 
perfect.
     You get a lot more hits with a 5-7 KD, and feint a lot less.  But you also get 
more kills in this range.  Reason being, you're waiting for a good shot that is hard 
to dodge or parry.  The example I used earlier about the manager with the 5 KD and 
battleaxe is the point I am trying to make.  If his warrior's KD was 10, my warrior 
could have dodged or parried the attack and still be alive today.  But since it was a 
5 KD, he waited for a good shot that my warrior had trouble defending against, and 
cleaved his head off!  (Well, not literally.)
     Defensive styles run about 3-6 KD.  Defensive styles swing wildly a lot in the 
beginning, but that is natural.  They will get better.  3-4 KD, they still have a 
tendency to let attacks go by.  Of course, if you're scumming, go with a 1 KD. 
     In short, having an 8-10 KD means your warrior is doing all that swinging and 
hitting less.  Not to mention all the endurance he is burning up to no avail.
     Any comments, you can diplo me.

                                        ta-ta,
                                                  Sir Jessie Jest

                                                  DM 11: Lords of the Abyss
                                                  DM 61: Pit Fiends
                                                  DM 67: Storm Wizards
                                                  DM 5:  Bad Girls

                               SOME INFO ON THE RIPPER

     Being that the parry-riposte is my favorite style, I thought I'd share a few 
things I've learned.
     General design:

     ST: 7-11  Strength isn't all important to the P.R.  An 11 will gives you all well 
               suited weapons.  I'll even go as high as 17, but with no dramatic 
               effect.

     CN: Any   A higher con will give a better endurance and make survival easier.

     SZ: Any   Although a smaller size gives you a defensive bonus.

     WT: 15-21 As with all other styles the higher the better.  15 will give the epee.  
               A P.R. needs to learn skills to survive.
     
     WL: 13-21 Will is as important as wit.  It helps endurance and life expectancy.  
               A higher will allows you to pick apart most scum.

     SP: 5-13  13 is a major breakpoint but it's not necessary to go that high.  A 
               combo of 15 wit, 15 deftness and 11 speed will give you an expert in 
               riposte with any luck.

     DF: 13-21 The higher the coordination the easier it is to hit your attack 
               location.  A 15 will give you the epee.

     The perfect P.R. would look something like this: 9-4-5-17-21-11-17 with starting 
skill bases like:
     Ini: 60%
     Rip: 90%
     Att: 75%
     Par: 70%
     Def: 75%
     Dec: 40%
     One of my first PRs looked like this: 15-10-9-15-15-6-14, Thror the Dark.  He was 
extremely unlucky as far as starting skills.  He now looks a little different: 17-11-
9-17-16-7-15 with 90% Init, 145% Rip, 130% Att, 130% Par, 115% Def and 80% Dec.  I 
destroyed him with early stat raises.
     I had a similar design that was luckier, at least until he got X-ed by a slasher 
in a tourney.  He died with a 12-3-1 record.  But enough of that.  You're probably 
wanting to get on with the strategies.
     So getting on with it, I've tried both offensive and defensive strategies.  
Generally defensive has worked better for me.  Something like: 3-6-6 going offensive 
in minute 3 or 4 with a 10-8-6 or a 9-7-6 and then backing off to a 6-4-6 or a 4-5-6.
     As far as tactics go I don't use 'em very often.  If you use any offensive tactic 
use the lunge or nothing.  Defensively use dodge and parry sparingly, if at all, and 
don't use the riposte tactic after you've achieved a master.
     Okay, now on to weapons and armor.  A parry-riposte is somewhat limited when it 
comes to weapons.  The longsword is their best choice against heavier armors.  I once 
tried the halberd (I'll wait until you finish laughing.)  Anyway, Thror the Dark 
savagely slew Spymaster with it.  I only give the PR an off hand weapon with epee, 
shortsword or the longsword.
     I've done varying things with armor, but I've found that lighter armor works 
better, personal favorites being APL, ARM, and ASM.  I read an article about the 
parry-riposte of coom that made me laugh.  It said something about wearing more armor 
than expected of a PR, listing nothing higher than ACM+F.  Imagine what he would have 
thought fighting Thror the Dark in APA+F.
     This is just an opinion brought to you by Necrom, manager of Knightmares (33), 
Pentad Paladins (55), Northlanders (70) and a couple of others.

                                   Crimson Strikers

     Greetings, fellow managers, I, Crimson Strategist, shall share my thoughts with 
you on the striking attack style.
     This style developed in cultures where weapon quality surpassed that of the 
armors, this made landing the first blow vital.  This blow is usually delivered in a 
downward fashion quickly, surely, and with power in a minimal of wasted motion.
     Here's how I rate the stats:
     ST 11-15: Never go below 11, strikers are well suited to ALL the weapons in the 
game and 11 allows the use of the majority of them.  They also need to hurt their foe 
when they hit, thus making this an important consideration for damage rating.
     CN 3-9:  This whole style revolves around finishing your foe quickly, if your foe 
has time to develop a complex formal attack on your striker, then you're not fighting 
him properly.  A properly run striker should never be hit more than four or five 
times, any more than this and the whole concept behind this style gets thrown right 
out the window, therefore I rate con as the least important attribute for this style.
     SZ 9-16:  A size of 9 allows use of all the weapons and it is important in 
determining your damage rating, plus, it also adds to your init and this style thrives 
on init.
     WT 13+:  As with any style, the higher the better.  13 is rock bottom, it allows 
the use of all weapons except the epee and you'll still learn at a decent pace.
     WL 7-13: This style conserves endurance which allows this attribute to go 
considerably less than most styles and still fight effectively for a respectable 
length of time.  I've had strikers with a 13 ST, 3 CN, and 5 WL get poor endurance 
ratings and ones with 11 ST, 6 CN, and 9 WL get normal.  However, if you want some 
long term potential, you'd want to be around 13 or so.
     SP 10+: This is very important for decise and init skills which are the heart of 
this style.  Landing the first blow and finishing the fight quickly is hinged on your 
striker's speed.
     DF 15+:  This is crucial attribute for this style, they NEED to be precise with 
their blows, plus, it also adds to their init.  Get to 17 or 21 if possible.
     Now let's take a look at the style itself.  The striking attack is one of the 
easiest styles to run, yet they have adversity that many styles lack.  As I've said 
before, a striker can use ALL the weapons in the game.  They can fight effectively 
wearing plate armor and no armor, they can use EVERY tactic in the game be it 
offensive or defensive, a striker can fight like a lunger or basher, ripper or 
slasher, etc... provided that you match up their strategy with the appropriate tactic 
and weapon.  They can beat ALL the styles in DM and beyond if you choose their 
strategy correctly for that particular style vs. style matchup.
     Here are some examples of style vs. style matchups for strikers and various 
tactic selections vs. the different styles.
     High decise strikers over slashers and lungers, strikers over total parry and 
wall of steel, rippers over strikers, etc...
     Using the decise tactic vs. lungers, slashers, and aimed blows.  Using the lunge 
tactic vs. rippers and aimed blows, using no tactic and having a moderate offensive 
effort and moderate activity level vs. total parries and wall of steel, etc...
     The possible variations for this style are virtually endless.
     Now let's take a brief look at your striker overview and glean some helpful hints 
on how to fight them.  If you see statements like "relying on speed to stay out of 
danger" or "avoiding rather than trading blows," this is telling you that your AL 
should be moderate to high.  If he does great damage, then don't use weapons like the 
epee or shortsword, this would be an underutilization of his strengths.  If he learns 
attack skills easily, then this is telling you that he likes to take his time and pick 
his shots so don't send him out with a 10 OE!  If you see statements like "has learned 
how to be a decisive and quick fighter," then by all means USE the decise tactic with 
a high OE.  Don't send him out with offhand weapons unless he's ambidextrous, if you 
do, it will take away from his attack.  As you can see, the various statements on your 
overview are very helpful in telling you how your striker likes to fight.
     Here's a very general strategy that has worked well for my strikers.

OE             10   8    7    7    7    6    6       Armor: ARM to ACM
AL              4   3    2    1    1    1    8       Weapons: BS,LO,SC,GS,BA
KD              6   6    6    6    6    6    5
ATT LOC        Head, body, arms
PRO LOC        Head or body
OFF TCT        Decise or bash
DEF TCT        Response or dodge

     Before I close there is one last point I wish to emphasize, USE the 
challenge/avoid system, it will help control who you fight and when.  In closing, I 
would like to thank the following managers for their diplos and articles which helped 
me learn the game: Sir Jessie Jest, Talon, Tex, the managers on the roundtable, and 
numerous others who took their time to put quill and ink on parchment and pass their 
knowledge on to others, thanks!
     Many of you know the Crimson Death stables or soon will know them since I plan to 
have quite a few of them up and running, however, some of them will be on and off due 
to monetary fluctuations so if you wish to diplo me with any comments, criticisms, 
whatever, send them to my home arena, which, from here on out, will always be active.

                                             Later, 
                                                  Crimson Strategist
                                                  Crimson Death DM 61