Date   : 05/04/2013    Duedate: 05/17/2013


DM-93    TURN-376

This Weeks Top Honors


(93-9437) [4-1-1,56]

Chartered Recognition Leader   Unchartered Recognition Leader

                               USEFUL WEAPONS (1623)
                               (93-9437) [4-1-1,56]

Popularity Leader              This Weeks Favorite

(93-9446) [3-2-0,21]           (93-9443) [3-2-0,20]



Team Name                  Point Gain  Chartered Team
1. USEFUL WEAPONS (1623)       40
2. THE HIGH WAY (1626)         20      COLD IRON BLOWS (794)
3. BASH BROS BROTHER (1625)     7      Unchartered Team
4. MISFITS OF DOOM (1624)       5
5. TRIBES (1621)                2      USEFUL WEAPONS (1623)

The Top Teams

Career Win-Loss Record           W   L  K    %  Win-Loss Record Last 3 Turns    W  L K
 1/ 1*USEFUL WEAPONS (1623)     21   4  1 84.0   1/ 1*USEFUL WEAPONS (1623)    12  3 0
 2/ 2*TRIBES (1621)              5   1  0 83.3   2/ 2*BASH BROS BROTHER (1625)  8  7 0
 3/ 3*THE HIGH WAY (1626)        6   4  0 60.0   3/ 4*THE HIGH WAY (1626)       6  4 0
 4/ 4*BASH BROS BROTHER (1625)  12  12  0 50.0   4/ 3*TRIBES (1621)             3  0 0
 5/ 5*MISFITS OF DOOM (1624)     1  14  0  6.7   5/ 5*MISFITS OF DOOM (1624)    0 10 0

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

                                    TEAM SPOTLIGHT

                           DIARY OF A MAILER PARTICIPANT

     Perhaps the chronicling of entering and fighting a warrior in The Mailer will be
of value to newby managers?  Perhaps there will be clues and tidbits of strategy and
methodology that prove useful to new managers to D2? We shall see....

-- Early March...................................................

     I thought to myself, "I have a pretty good team in Noblish Island.  I wonder if
anyone can be competitive in the upcoming tournament?"  From that grew the idea of
sending one warrior from the Useless Weapons team to the Spring Mailer in mid April.

Why compete in a tournament?  These are the reasons as I see it:
1. To see if I, as a manager, and my warrior/s can compete with other managers and
   warriors in D2.
2. To attempt to win a TV or TC.
   a. A TV (Tournament Victor) is awarded if a warrior can win 8 fights (before
      losing three and being eliminated).  Along with the honor, a TV gets priority
      challenging for six months in the arena.
   b. A TC (Tournament Champion) goes to the last warrior standing in each of the 11
      classes.  (Classification allows warriors of like experience--FE--to compete.
      It really would be outlandish to have a rookie fighting against a very
      experienced warrior!)  (All TCs get a pre-announced valuable prize, typically a
      potion which can greatly enhance a warrior.  Such as immortality potions,
      maximum damage doing potions, design your own warrior potions, etc)
3. To gain skills and experience which will help the warrior fight "better" in the
   arena.  (For only $7, it is advertised that the average warrior gets five fights.
   While skill learning and potential dying are halved in tournaments, that is a lot
   of fights and a lot of skills for that price!)  (And, yes, one can train stats,
   that also with the potential halved,)

What are the strategies that managers have in choosing what warriors to send to a
tournament?  Here are some of the thoughts:
1. How much have I budgeted or can afford?  (Many managers send none, some send a
   few, and many send 20, 30, 40, or even 100+.  The Consortium, of which I, Smithy,
   am affiliated currently, sends appx 30 to Mailers and 55 to Face-To-Faces.  In the
   "old" days, those numbers were 50 and 100.)
2. Do I have "good" warriors?  Realize that there are a handful of managers out there
   that ONLY send godling warriors and focus their D2 career on tournaments.  Others
   select their best to send to tournaments.  Some select warriors that need quick
   development and can get it in the multiple fight conditions of tournaments.
3. Are my warriors properly positioned for the classes they will fight in?  For
   example, the Initiates class is for warriors with from 11 to 20 FE.  (FE = fight
   equivalent; generically put, a fight in the arena counts as one and a fight in a
   previous tournament counts as 1/2.)  Most managers will attempt to have their
   warriors at exactly 20 FE to fight in the class.  Why?  The more experience the
   warrior acquires, the better it becomes in fighting, skills, etc.  A tournament
   warrior with 11 FE is at a disadvantage with one at 20!  It should certainly be
   noted that not all TVs and TCs are won by warriors maxed in their class.  There is
   always a chance.

Hence was borne the decision to send a warrior to do battle in the tournament and
hopefully bring honor to Noblish Island.  I knew that whichever warrior I selected
would not be a rookie (zero fights prior to the tournament) and that I could only get
him three fights (3 FE) prior to The Mailer.  This would place him in the Apprentices
Class (1-4 FE).  Not bad.  I wish I could have maxed him at four, but it was close.
I had five warriors to choose from which I rated, in my opinion, as a SZ12 better-
than-average slasher, a SZ13 poorly designed 9WT/9WL aimer, a SZ8 solid basher, a SZ9
nice total parry scum, and a SZ5 interesting and not-bad-at-all bonused slasher.  The
interesting slasher, Harsh Words, was selected
     Harsh Words is a 13-11-5-17-21-10-7 slasher.  He has good endurance and good
damage (bonused) and is at least +1 initiative in skills.  He learns extremely well
(in his three fights prior to the tournament he earned nine skills for a 3.00 skill
learn rate.  (As good as a top-end twenty-one witter!)  His deftness is a weakness,
especially for weapon selection, but he had shown reasonable proclivity for the HA (1
kill) and BS (1 extra damage blow) in his first three arena fights.
     Assessing his chances in the tournament:
Weaknesses--Unmaxed FE; Deftness; Slashing style (slashers are not usually the best
style for tournaments); Not a godling design
Strengths--Good damage for the size; He can hit; There are a lot of aimed-blows and
total parries in this class, and he can handle them both well
Estimated results: 3-3; if he can win more than he loses, it will be a very
successful entry

-- Late March, about three weeks pre tournament...................

     Time to send in the entry.  What does that mean?  I need to submit a MAIL-IN
TOURNAMENT STRATEGY form for Harsh Words.  An interesting thing about Mailers is that
the manager may enter two strategies.  He/she may select which styles he wants the
"alternate" strategy to be used against.  I would guess that there are very few
warriors that do not enter two strategies.  (Looking back at the last 100 Consortium
warriors entered in Mailers, zero were entered with only one strategy.)
     So, a strategy.  Let's see.  My slasher, and slashers in general, have no
defenses and no real desire to defend.  So my primary strategy will be all out
offensive.  Harsh Words is, in general, reasonably fast and quick, but probably less
so that most strikers and  the better bashers and some other slashers.  And the
second strategy?  Harsh Words, and young slashers, in general, are often at a
disadvantage against scummy warriors.  Slashers eat up endurance quickly, and if they
do not hit early and hard, are likely to be scummed by the high hit point, high
endurance types.  Hence, I will give him a "slowed down" strategy against these
types.  While many styles can scum (or tank), I shall select the TP, which often
does, and the WS which sometimes does, and is not typically going to outjump Harsh
Words--even though he is slowed down.
     Without further strategic discussion, these were the two strategies employed for
Harsh Words during the 2013 Spring Tax Mail-In:

Standard (against  AB, BA, LU, PL, PR, PS. SL, ST)
Weapon selection - 0-7 HA, 8+ BS; backup DA; Armor naked
Training - only skills
OA   10-9-8-7-7-10-10
AL   10-6-3-2-1- 1-10
KD    7-6-8-7-7-10-10
OT    D-N-S-S-S-S-N
DT    N-N-N-N-N-N-N

Alternative (against TP, WS)
Weapon selection-- 0-4 HA, 5+ BS; backup BS; Armor: ALE/N
Training-- only skills

OA    7-7-7-7-7-10-9
AL    3-1-1-1-1-1-1
KD    7-7-7-7-7-10-6
OT     S-S-S-S-S-S-N
DT     N-N-N-N-N-N-N

The strategy sheet for Harsh Words was sent to RSI along with about 20 other strategy
sheets for Consortium warriors.

-- April 13, The Mailer (realizing this information was received USPS on Apr 22).....

Fight 1 vs. WORFLAIL of Bubba's 18th Army
     5'4" RH slasher with BS, backup HA, naked
     Both warriors clash (neither gets the jump)
     Then Harsh Words gets the jump
     3 hatchet swings and hits to the arm and Harsh Words wins
     Harsh Words learned an attack skill.
     Harsh Words is 1-0-0.

Fight 2 vs. LEIA (0-1-0 so far in the tournament) of Dragons Guard II 
     5'11" RH striker with SC, backup DA, naked
     A clash
     Leia gets the jump
     3 SC hits (one a critical) and Harsh Words is done
     Harsh Words learns an initiative skill
     Leia later TV'd this tournament.  (CONGRATS to her.)
     Harsh Words is 1-1-0.

Fight 3 vs. FANGS (2-0-1--a killer!) of Supe Forces 7BOB  (Manager stole this name
from Khisanth!)  (Two well-known managers)
     5'9" RH basher with HL, backup WH, wearing APA/F
     Harsh Words is the aggressor; Fangs is saving endurance and "scumming"
     Fangs is the type of basher that might be termed "tank basher"
     In the first minute, Harsh Words swings twelve times to zero for Fangs
     Harsh Words hits 10 times, 3 for "extra value"
     He appears winded, while seemingly winning
     In minute two, although tired, Harsh Words hits once
     Then Fangs finally swings his monstrous halberd 
     Fangs hits for extra value and Harsh Words goes frantic and desperate 
     (Harsh Word's desperation strategy kicks in)
     Fangs strikes again, but it is parried and riposted by Harsh Words
     Harsh Words hits Fangs two more times and wins the match.
     Harsh Words learns decisive and initiative skills and an expert Initiative
     Harsh Words is happily 2-1-0.

Fight 4 vs. Ice Cream Man (3-0-0) of Van Duel
     5'5" RH  total parry with SC/HA and wearing ASM/H
     Because it is a TP, Harsh's alternative strategy is used.
     Ice Cream Man is not acting as a pure scum, rather is being aggressive
     Ice swings first and twice, hitting once. 
     Thanks to the little armor and some CON, Harsh Words does not go down.
     Harsh swings 5 times(1 crit). Crit hits and there are 3 parries and a dodge.
     After one minute--too close to tell
     Minute two is more Ice Cream than Harsh Words.
     Ice Cream has 4 scimitar swings and one hatchet, hitting Harsh's body twice
     Harsh swipes two times and both are parried. Ice forges ahead.
     Minute three sees Harsh coming back with 8 swings (1 crit)
     Sadly only one hits as ice Parries four and dodges three.
     Harsh is winded, but edges ahead after three.
     Round four, Harsh is only able to muster a weak swing
     While Ice swings four and finished Harsh off with a crit.
     Harsh Words learns 2 initiative skills, and goes 2-2-0, nearing elimination

Fight 5 vs. NOODLES (2-2-0) of Pasta
     5'8" RH striker with a BS, backup DA, and surprisingly wearing ARM
     Strikers tend to be a slasher nemesis, as they more easily get the jump
     There are three clashes.  Harsh is holding his own in quickness.
     Harsh gets the jump and never gives it up.
     1 HA hit and Noodles is desperate, and goes into the death intent routine.
     The first thereafter hit is to the face and 4 hits later Harsh has a Kill!
     Harsh Words learns an attack skill and is now 3-2-1.

Fight 6 vs. RETORT (4-1-0) of Legions of Hell
     5'3" RH ripper with EP/HA(b/u HA) wearing APM/F.
     (Could this be a Daydream Believer clone?)
     Harsh jumps first, and luckily gets off a crit with extra value hit. Yes!
     Retort becomes desperate, but holds on.
     Harsh swipes, is parried and Retort tries to riposte and fails!
     Harsh gets off another crit/extra value hit1
     Harsh is fighting amazingly!
     Harsh swings again, hoping to end it, but is parried.
     Then Retort does riposte (Shucks! Not good at all!)
     He lunges and somehow my slasher dodges.
     He sticks me in the shoulder with the EP, unfortunately
     Driving me on the verge of shock and desperate!
     But Harsh somehow keeps going on his desperation strategy
     One more BS swing and hit and Harsh has a fabulous win!
     Harsh Words learns two wonderful decisiveness skills and goes 4-2-1.

Fight 7 vs. POOR BOY 4-2-0) of Go Now
     5'1" AM waste; SC (b/u SC & DA), APA/S
     Harsh's alternate strategy is in play
     Harsh swings twice, both parried
     Poor Boy swings and hits twice, once for extra value
     And it is all over. Harsh Words finishes The Mailer 4-3-1
     He did acquire one more initiative skill. 

-- Late April, a couple of days after the receipt of the fights....................

Harsh Words returns to arena fighting, but the after assessment includes these
1. He fought well.  An under maxed, non-godling slasher going 4-3-1 is great.
2. He learned 10 skills.  That is an appx 2.86 skill learn rate.  (Remember, skill
   learning is halved for the tournament.)  This confirms that his 3-turn arena rate
   of 3.00 is no fluke.  He is a learner!
3. He has some knack.  He doesn't give up easily; he steals initiatives or overcomes
   riposte attempts.
4. He can both crit and hit hard for extra value.
5. He just may be a "keeper".

--- Later April, the diary will be shared in the Noblish Island newsletter.

Brought to you by Smithy (Consortium affiliated.)

             + ]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.

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.

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

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===---

 DM   9 ZUKAL (turn 721): ARDSHEAL of RED FURY (Stillgard, mgr.)
 DM  12 RIZTAB (turn 723): TAFFY of SWEET MAGIC (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  13 DULLENS (turn 676): SHOCK TOP of MMM BEER! (Khisanth, mgr.)
 DM  15 MALCORN (turn 717): VARICK of TERMINUS (Carick, mgr.)
 DM  16 WILLAF (turn 719): WELL DON of GARBAGE PAIL KIDS (Kharadmon, mgr.)
 DM  17 ALJAFIR (turn 710): FENSTER GOLLY of MIDDLE WAY (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  19 ZUWAYZA (turn 711): POCKET NEWS of THE MAGNIFICENT MAGS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  28 MORYA (turn 358): THE INFLUENCER of LORD OF DISCIPLINE (Longshot, mgr.)
 DM  29 LAPUR (turn 708): ANSHIN of BLACK SAMURAI (Doc Miracle, mgr.)
 DM  31 CHIMLEVTAL (turn 355): THRALL of THE STORM REAVERS (?, mgr.)
 DM  32 ARVAT (turn 705): DEVLIN DE SEGIZE of DEVIL ADVOCATES (The Dark One, mgr.)
 DM  33 NIATOLI ISLAND (turn 702): SHE'S A JAR of SUMMERTEETH (Howlin' Wolf, mgr.)
 DM  35 MURSKA (turn 694): SAVAGE BEATING of HAPPY FUN TIME (Floyd, mgr.)
 DM  43 VEASTIAN (turn 652): ARCHERS OF LOAF of UNC COLLEGE RADIO (Floyd, mgr.)
 DM  45 STORMCROWE (turn 333): ROSELYN of DARQUE FORCES (Master Darque, mgr.)
 DM  47 NORTH FORK (turn 327): BLIZZARD of FAST FOOD (Madwand, mgr.)
 DM  50 SNOWBOUND (turn 314): 4-H of LIFE IMPACTS (Smitty, mgr.)
 DM  56 ROCANIS (turn 584): KASPAR of MEN OF STEEL (Howlin' Wolf, mgr.)
 DM  60 ARADI (turn 569): BIG DOG of RED DOG GANG (Spot, mgr.)
 DM  61 JURINE (turn 551): HAN SOLO of STAR WARS (Sir Jessie Jest, mgr.)
 DM  65 DAL SHANG (turn 545): XYLOID of SCRABBLE (Otto X, mgr.)
 DM  73 ERINIKA (turn 263): FRISBEE of FOUND IN THE SAND (Assurnasirbanipal, mgr.)
 DM  74 DAYLA KIV (turn 506): JACK PENDELTON of MEDAL OF HONOR (The Anarchist, mgr.)
 DM  75 JADE MOUNTAIN (turn 501): STREGOICA of DARKSTALKER2 (Hombre, mgr.)
 DM  78 LIN TIRIAN (turn 492): STEAMED MUSCLES of SHEWISH BUFFET (One Armed Bandit)
ADM 103 FREE BLADES (turn 609): SANDMAN of NIGHTLINGS (She-Puppy, mgr.)

                                      Top Teams
 DM   9 ZUKAL (turn 721): RED FURY (Stillgard, mgr.)
 DM  12 RIZTAB (turn 723): DREAMERS (Sleepy, mgr.)
 DM  13 DULLENS (turn 676): ARCANE ROYALTY (Destitute Noble, mgr.)
 DM  15 MALCORN (turn 717): CRUCIAL TAUNT (Daikkan, mgr.)
 DM  16 WILLAF (turn 719): AIMER'S INC (Tolbin, mgr.)
 DM  17 ALJAFIR (turn 710): MIDDLE WAY (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  19 ZUWAYZA (turn 711): CUNNING RUNTS (Deep Thought, mgr.)
 DM  28 MORYA (turn 358): EXPENSE ACCOUNT (Finance Manager, mgr.)
 DM  29 LAPUR (turn 708): CARDOW HUNTERS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  31 CHIMLEVTAL (turn 355): BAD NEWS BEES (Stinger, mgr.)
 DM  32 ARVAT (turn 705): SECRET SQUIRRELS (Gentleben, mgr.)
 DM  33 NIATOLI ISLAND (turn 702): BIG LAKE BANDITS (Den, mgr.)
 DM  35 MURSKA (turn 694): CHILDREN OF LLYR (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  43 VEASTIAN (turn 652): TOLBIN'S X-MEN (Tolbin, mgr.)
 DM  45 STORMCROWE (turn 333): DARQUE FORCES (Master Darque, mgr.)
 DM  47 NORTH FORK (turn 327): LAND OF OZ (Oz, mgr.)
 DM  50 SNOWBOUND (turn 314): LIFE IMAPACTS (Smitty, mgr.)
 DM  56 ROCANIS (turn 584): MEN OF STEEL (Howlin' Wolf, mgr.)
 DM  60 ARADI (turn 569): RED DOG GANG (Spot, mgr.)
 DM  61 JURINE (turn 551): MIDDLE WAY 16 (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  65 DAL SHANG (turn 545): SAND DANCERS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  73 ERINIKA (turn 263): THE FLYING FISH (?, mgr.)
 DM  74 DAYLA KIV (turn 506): MEDAL OF HONOR (The Anarchist, mgr.)
 DM  75 JADE MOUNTAIN (turn 501): RUNEBLADES (Stillgard, mgr.)
 DM  78 LIN TIRIAN (turn 492): SHEWISH BUFFET (One Armed Bandit, mgr.)
ADM 103 FREE BLADES (turn 609): DIRT DEVILS et al (The Dark One, mgr.)

                                   Recent Graduates
 DM  12 RIZTAB (turn 722): ELEVENTH of BLUE NOTE (Howlin' Wolf, mgr.)
 DM  13 DULLENS (turn 676): SHOCK TOP of MMM BEER! (Khisanth, mgr.)
 DM  15 MALCORN (turn 717): MORGUE of TERMINUS (Carick, mgr.)
 DM  16 WILLAF (turn 719): TWILO TALON of TALON'S TERRORS (Floyd, mgr.)
 DM  19 ZUWAYZA (turn 711): POCKET NEWS of THE MAGNIFICENT MAGS (Jorja, mgr.)
                            BULL HALSEY of MAN OR BEAST? (The Dark One, mgr.)
 DM  28 MORYA (turn 358): THE INFLUENCER of LORD OF DISCIPLINE (Longshot, mgr.)
 DM  29 LAPUR (turn 708): THE CLEAR of ARCANE PHARMACY (Destitute Noble, mgr.)
                          WINTERSONG of CARDOW HUNTERS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  32 ARVAT (turn 705): DEVLIN DE SEGIZE of DEVIL ADVOCATES (The Dark One, mgr.)
 DM  47 NORTH FORK (turn 327): BLIZZARD of FAST FOOD (Madwand, mgr.)
                               SLUGBAIT of I HATE THEM (Rillion, mgr.)
                               WRATH of OBSIDIAN ORDER (Skaven, mgr.)
                   (turn 326): SOUTH SPOON of OTTODROME TW (Otto X, mgr.)
 DM  50 SNOWBOUND (turn 312): MOLDAR NAY of MIDDLE WAY 6 (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  61 JURINE (turn 551): HAN SOLO of STAR WARS (Sir Jessie Jest, mgr.)
                           GRAHAM CRACKER of SHEWISH BUFFET (One Armed Bandit, mgr.)
                           VINDA YARRO of MIDDLE WAY 16 (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  74 DAYLA KIV (turn 506): TUNA SALAD of PARKING LOT 4 (Khisanth, mgr.)

                                 DUELMASTER'S COLUMN
                             Notes from the arena champ.

     Hey, I like it.  I really like it!  Duelmaster Pitchfork!  Has a truly wonderful
ring to it, doesn't it?
     Okay, I will admit it.  I was lucky.  Not so lucky to be 4-0, I think, but lucky
to have ascended to the top in only four fights.  Perhaps it was that initial kill of
Persistant Beggar that propelled me quickly upwards?  (Don't you just hate those
persistant beggars?)  I did pick up a lot of recognition points with my somewhat
lucky wins over top rated warriors with far more experience than me.  (4-4-0 and 4-5-
0)  Yeah, I was a little scared when the Match-Up-Gods (MUGs) gave me those lopsided
experience matches, but, what the heck, they were, as they say, opportunities.  And I
capitalized on both of them.
     I hope to keep up this hectic and successful pace.  Will you all wish me well?

          Your Duelmaster, Pitchfork

                                      SPY REPORT

     So why do I have this bag over my head?  Because I am The Unknown Spymaster and 
I'm going to give you a spy report!.  Hey everybody, watch out for BASEBALL BAT, who 
flew up 12 points in the rankings after mashing DRUG USER like a melon.  Keep your 
eye on this beast.  Ya know, some days it doesn't pay to walk out on the sands.  
ALBUQUERQUE BOONE was subdued by POCKET KNIFE and drops 7 points.  Our Duelmaster has 
lost, folks, lost to VETERAN MERCENARY, BUT PITCHFORK is still the Duelmaster because 
it has the most recognition points!  Advice to bashers--never force anything, just 
get a bigger halberd!   
     But enough of that bunch, let's get on to the wimps who like to avoid battle!  
And hey, kiddies, those of you who didn't avoid TRIBES, please raise you hand.  Wow.  
Does NOBLISH ISLAND really have that many liars?  And you guys like to boo me?  Well, 
unsling your rasberries, cause USEFUL WEAPONS beats feet every time TRIBES smiles at 
them.  Try farming, eh?  And who is this BLACK SHEEP you ask, with 20 points and a 
3-2-0 record.  Ooh, the tales I could tell!   
     Remember that an arena is not always a safe place to be, but it is one of the 
most interesting, though!  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.  See 
ya next time I'm on this circuit!-- The Unknown Spymaster  

DUELMASTER                     W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 PITCHFORK 9437                4   1  1    56       USEFUL WEAPONS (1623)

ADEPTS                         W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 HARSH WORDS 9436              5   0  0    53       USEFUL WEAPONS (1623)

CHALLENGER INITIATES           W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 POCKET KNIFE 9434             3   2  0    31       USEFUL WEAPONS (1623)
 TRASH CAN 9435                5   0  0    30       USEFUL WEAPONS (1623)
 BASEBALL BAT 9433             4   1  0    26       USEFUL WEAPONS (1623)

INITIATES                      W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 PIMA 9424                     5   1  0    23       TRIBES (1621)
 MAKESMELOOKBAD 9446           3   2  0    21       BASH BROS BROTHER (1625)
 BLACK SHEEP 9443              3   2  0    20       BASH BROS BROTHER (1625)
 CHICAGO DAWES 9449            2   0  0    19       THE HIGH WAY (1626)
 INNISFREE JONES 9452          2   0  0    16       THE HIGH WAY (1626)
 EMBARRASSING 9445             1   4  0    15       BASH BROS BROTHER (1625)
 BORROWS MONEY 9444            3   1  0    12       BASH BROS BROTHER (1625)
 GALLATIN HUGHES 9451          1   1  0    10       THE HIGH WAY (1626)
 DRUG USER 9447                2   3  0     9       BASH BROS BROTHER (1625)
 MAT TUKHOLT 9438              1   2  0     9       MISFITS OF DOOM (1624)
 ALBUQUERQUE BOONE 9448        1   1  0     4       THE HIGH WAY (1626)
 ZIDRIT DU'ORDEN 9441          0   3  0     3       MISFITS OF DOOM (1624)
 CAMI DEAORDEN 9439            0   3  0     3       MISFITS OF DOOM (1624)
 LADY DEATH 9442               0   3  0     3       MISFITS OF DOOM (1624)
 YAR'KEN TILLBIN 9440          0   3  0     3       MISFITS OF DOOM (1624)
 EDINBURG FINN 9450            0   2  0     2       THE HIGH WAY (1626)

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

THE DEAD                W  L K TEAM NAME            SLAIN BY              TURN Revenge?

                                     PERSONAL ADS

Gallatin Hughes -- It was my way or the highway and, while it must have hurt, you
made the right choice. (smirk) -- Baseball Bat

Yar'ken Tillbin -- How's it feel to have a trash can pulled down tightly over your
body?  Luckily, it wasn't full. -- Trash Can

Ambitious Guard -- Harsh and aggressive words were not all I had to offer. -- Harsh

Dangerous Criminal -- Ahhh, you ain't so dangerous after all. -- Pitchfork

Borrows Money -- See, when you reach into MY pocket to try to "borrow" money, you get
a deep gash for your efforts.  Go borrow from Assur; he's easy. -- Pocket Knife

All -- For those interested, Harsh Words eked out a 4-3 in the recent Mailer even
though he was not quite maxed.  Read the spotlight for further details. -- Smithy

Baseball Bat -- Ow!  I don't see THAT on the armory list. -- Gallatin Hughes

Cami Deaorden -- Seriously, armor is your friend!  Wear some. -- Chicago Dawes

Lady Death -- Should be named Death-WISH.  That is a bad style to start out with, and
you definitely need armor. -- Albuquerque Boone

Black Sheep -- Glad you aren't MY brother. -- Edinburg Finn

Embarrassing -- I can see that it would be.  Better you than me! -- Innisfree Jones

Tukoh of Misfits Of Doom -- Your missive was received.  You are welcome.  The
previously sent charts are the kind of info on line.  You should have them all.  Keep
getting/reading the info posted in DM93, as Jorja ries to provide many spotlights and
articles, plus much past info.  You should have what you need to excell.  Ask
questions of anything you want to know in the 93 newsletter (or whatever other arena
you gravitate to).  You will get answers.  Again, welcome and good luck. -- Smithy

                                  LAST WEEK'S FIGHTS

BASEBALL BAT devastated DRUG USER in a 1 minute mismatched Challenge fight.
TRASH CAN subdued BLACK SHEEP in a 5 minute novice's Challenge melee.
PITCHFORK was defeated by VETERAN MERCENARY in a 2 minute Title duel.
HARSH WORDS overpowered CAPTURED ORC in a 1 minute one-sided fight.
PIMA bested EDINBURG FINN in a action packed 1 minute brawl.
POCKET KNIFE overpowered ALBUQUERQUE BOONE in a 1 minute one-sided struggle.
MAT TUKHOLT was overcome by GALLATIN HUGHES in a 2 minute beginner's fight.
CAMI DEAORDEN was viciously subdued by MAKESMELOOKBAD in a 3 minute beginner's duel.
YAR'KEN TILLBIN was overpowered by INNISFREE JONES in a 1 minute uneven duel.
ZIDRIT DU'ORDEN was defeated by BORROWS MONEY in a 2 minute novice's fight.
LADY DEATH was handily defeated by CHICAGO DAWES in a 1 minute one-sided bout.
EMBARRASSING demolished CONVICTED THIEF in a 1 minute mismatched match.

                                    BATTLE REPORT

             MOST POPULAR                        RECORD DURING THE LAST 10 TURNS     
|FIGHTING STYLE               FIGHTS        FIGHTING STYLE     W -   L -  K   PERCENT|
|BASHING ATTACK                   5         SLASHING ATTACK   18 -   5 -  2      78  |
|AIMED BLOW                       5         TOTAL PARRY        7 -   3 -  0      70  |
|WALL OF STEEL                    3         STRIKING ATTACK   14 -   9 -  0      61  |
|LUNGING ATTACK                   2         BASHING ATTACK    27 -  21 -  0      56  |
|SLASHING ATTACK                  2         LUNGING ATTACK     7 -   8 -  0      47  |
|TOTAL PARRY                      1         WALL OF STEEL     10 -  13 -  1      43  |
|PARRY-STRIKE                     1         AIMED BLOW        11 -  18 -  0      38  |
|PARRY-RIPOSTE                    1         PARRY-STRIKE       0 -   3 -  0       0  |
|STRIKING ATTACK                  1         PARRY-RIPOSTE      0 -   3 -  0       0  |
|PARRY-LUNGE                      0         PARRY-LUNGE        0 -   0 -  0       0  |

Turn 376 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:

TOTAL PARRY        1 -  0     AIMED BLOW         2 -  3         5  BASHING ATTACK 
BASHING ATTACK     4 -  1     PARRY-LUNGE        0 -  0         2  SLASHING ATTACK
WALL OF STEEL      2 -  1     PARRY-STRIKE       0 -  1         1  AIMED BLOW     
LUNGING ATTACK     1 -  1     PARRY-RIPOSTE      0 -  1         1  TOTAL PARRY    
SLASHING ATTACK    1 -  1     STRIKING ATTACK    0 -  1         1  LUNGING ATTACK 
                                                                1  WALL OF STEEL  

                               TOP WARRIOR OF EACH STYLE

FIGHTING STYLE   WARRIOR                     W   L  K PNTS TEAM NAME                  
SLASHING ATTACK  PITCHFORK 9437              4   1  1   56 USEFUL WEAPONS (1623)
Note: Warriors have a winning record and are an Adept or Above.

The overall popularity leader is MAKESMELOOKBAD 9446.  The most popular warrior this 
turn was BLACK SHEEP 9443.  The ten other most popular fighters were MAKESMELOOKBAD 

The least popular fighter this week was LADY DEATH 9442.  The other ten least popular 

                             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 

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:

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:


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:


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 
     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.

                                                  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 

     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.

                                                  Crimson Strategist
                                                  Crimson Death DM 61