Date   : 05/18/2013    Duedate: 05/31/2013


DM-93    TURN-377

This Weeks Top Honors


(93-9437) [5-1-1,66]

Chartered Recognition Leader   Unchartered Recognition Leader

                               USEFUL WEAPONS (1623)
                               (93-9437) [5-1-1,66]

Popularity Leader              This Weeks Favorite

(93-9446) [4-2-0,26]           (93-9438) [2-2-0,31]



Team Name                  Point Gain  Chartered Team
1. BASH BROS BROTHER (1625)    29
2. MISFITS OF DOOM (1624)      26      BANE'S CHILDREN (235)
3. GODS AND HEROES (1627)      12      Unchartered Team
4. TRIBES (1621)                9
5. THE HIGH WAY (1626)          6      GODS AND HEROES (1627)

The Top Teams

Career Win-Loss Record           W   L  K    %  Win-Loss Record Last 3 Turns    W  L K
 1/ 0*GODS AND HEROES (1627)     1   0  0  100   1/ 1*USEFUL WEAPONS (1623)    12  3 0
 2/ 2*TRIBES (1621)              6   1  0 85.7   2/ 2*BASH BROS BROTHER (1625) 10  5 0
 3/ 1*USEFUL WEAPONS (1623)     24   6  1 80.0   3/ 3*THE HIGH WAY (1626)       8  7 0
 4/ 4*BASH BROS BROTHER (1625)  16  13  0 55.2   4/ 4*TRIBES (1621)             3  0 0
 5/ 3*THE HIGH WAY (1626)        8   7  0 53.3   5/ 0*GODS AND HEROES (1627)    1  0 0
 6/ 5*MISFITS OF DOOM (1624)     2  18  0 10.0   6/ 5*MISFITS OF DOOM (1624)    1 14 0

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

                                    TEAM SPOTLIGHT

                            Team Name:  Gods and Heroes

     They really should say that there's a training arena somewhere.  I learned about
Noblish Island waaaay too late, but nevertheless, I am here.  Let's rock and roll!
     Since this is a training arena, I might go ahead and divulge the inner details
of my fighters here.  Use it against me in challenges if you will, but what I'm
looking for is criticism or advice on my building (roll-up) skills.
     Atlantea is a ST with 9-9-8-19-11-10-4 starting rollup.  I made her 9-9-8-21-17-
10-10 with modification since I've never had a 21 WT fighter, thought it might be
cool.  Want to see how fast 21 WT picks up skills, as I have a few 17 WT fighters
     Pollux, ST, base 9-9-9-12-10-17-4; now 9-9-9-17-15-17-8.
     Ganymede is a TP, starting 9-9-15-7-11-10-9, now 11-15-15-7-17-10-9.  I hate the
low WT starting warrior, but... I mean I hate the scummy TP, too.  Is there another
type that's okay with low WT?  They do amass good records in the arena I play in,
     I'm sure it's been covered in previous newsletters, but is there a chart for
favorite attack locations per style?
     More questions:
     How will I know if I've found a favorite weapon?  Does a fighter just fight
Better, or will it say in his pre-fight stuff?
     I've seen references to crits.  What's that?
     I have lots more questions, but I'll turn them in later.  I DO have ten turns
here, at least.
     Sorry if I'm a nag, and thanks for helping out...
                                          -- Mr. Mister, mgr. Gods and Heroes

P.S.  Where can I find "The Enchiridian?"  I have no internet access.

     It is no longer available, so far as I know. -- the Editor

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                                   Staying Alive

     Death is part of dueling.  This sport is dangerous!  But there are things that a
manager can do to help keep his warriors alive.  Nothing is a sure thing, and a
warrior with maximum hit points (21 con/siz/will) can still die.  There is some luck
involved regardless, and luck can run both ways.  But here are the experiences of
Assur with keeping warriors alive.

     1) WIN!  It is impossible to die unless you lose a fight.  In fact, some of the
suggestions later on may hinder your ability to win somewhat, so this should be the
first and highest priority in keeping your warriors alive.
     2) Wear armor.  Any armor.  Especially a helm.  It is Assur's experience that
warriors with NO armor die way more often than warriors that wear armor.  On the
other side of that, Assur has no conclusive proof that APA gives any additional
protection against death than ALE.  It likely does, but the benefit from none to ALE
is much greater than ALE to higher armors.
     3) Lower your KD, especially in desperation.  There are tons of theories about
what different KD does, but nobody is completely sure.  But Assur has found that is
does change your ability to kill and be killed.  Want to live? Go low, really low.
Want to die?  Go high, really high.  Assur guesses that it changes your desire to
keep fighting (both winning and losing) and the arenamaster respects that and lets
the fight continue or ends it sooner.
     4) Protect HE and/or BD.  If it is a warrior that Assur really wants to live,
he'll often protect one of these areas during minutes 1-6, and another in
     5) Hit Points, especially Size and Will.  Smaller warriors seems to die more
often.  it is also believe that Will is directly related to the stat the is checked
when your warrior enters the infirmary.
     6) Stay away from known killers.  See that 3rd number in your opponent's record?
It means something.  If that number is anything greater than 0, it means your
opponent has killed before.  When that number is 2 or higher, it suggests that you
may not want to fight that warrior (or if you do, make sure you win).
     7) Look for managers that aren't killers.  You will definitely see patterns over
time.  Divide kills by wins for a team's career record.  That is a great indicator as
to how bloodthirsty a manager is.  .10 is a very high kill ratio.  .05 is a manager
who probably tries NOT to kill.
     8) Stay away from huge mismatches.  For whatever reason, it happens over and
over again.  Young upstart challenges or is matched against very old veteran.  The
end is an early demise for the arrogant young upstart.
     9) Fight warriors that aren't going to kill.  The opposite of 5, but this goes
one further.  Pure scum Total Parries that let a warrior run himself to exhaustion
don't kill very often (since they don't attack very often).  However, see the final
     10) Stay out of exhaustion.  Warriors seem to die much more often when they are
completely exhausted.  Your opponent starts hammering down the blows and your warrior
takes blow after blow.

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                                  SKILLS vs. STATS
                                 CONSORTIUM OPINION
                            BE SURE TO TRAIN SOMETHING!

     Often one hears a statement similar to this: "Train skills; do not train stats."
The implication or sometimes direct statement is that you will be sorry if you train
stats, especially certain stats.
     The Consortium opinion is that, in the majority of circumstances, it is
perfectly all right and normal to train stats, and in some cases it is better to
train stats.  (This process of training stats is often called "burning.")  The
purpose of this article is to explore stat and skill training and to give the reader
some ideas as to if, or when, stat training is either a-okay or best.  The article
will also explore when it is considered best not to train stats.
     First, to set the stage, there are several principles, givens, and ideas that
the reader must understand.
1.  Skill raining is mostly dependent on WT.  (e.g.  The higher the wit, the more
    skills per fight the warrior is likely to learn.
2.  Stat training is mostly dependent upon two things:
    a.  WL; a warrior's stat learn probability is 5% times the will.  (E.g. a warrior
        with 10 WL has a (5%x10=50%) 50/50 chance to learn the stat, while a warrior
        with 15 WL has a 75% chance of learning the stat.
    b.  The number of stats of that type already trained.  A warrior's learning rate
        for a specific stat is halved each time he earns one of those stats.  For
        example, a warrior with 10 will has a 50% (5%x10) of earning a first stat of
        a type, but only a 25% (5%x10 halved) of earning the second stat of that type
        (and on to 12.5% for the third).
3.  Training most stats also earns the warrior certain skills.
4.  There are limits to the number of stats and skills a warrior can have.
    a.  In basic, a warrior can have no higher that 21 of any stat type.
    b.  A warrior is limited to earning 20 skills (beyond the initial skills the
        warrior is "born" with) of each type in his career.  Those 20 skills may come
        from learning skills or from training a stat which gives the warrior one or
        more of those skills.  He is deemed "maxed" when he learns the 20th.
    c.  A warrior can, however, learn more that 20 skills of a type if he first
        learns his 20 allowed skills, and then trains stats which give the warrior
        one of those skills.  (This factor is why one often hears, "Do not train
        stats or you will be sorry.")
5.  Certain stats improve the "physicals" of your warrior.  (e.g. there is a
    reasonable possibility that training ST can improve how much damage your warrior
    does when he hits)
     With those principles in mind, one can postulate certain scenarios which might
provide a basis for decision-making as to "what to train."  These represent, first,
the knowledge necessary, then, The Consortium scenarios for training decision--STATs
or SKILLs?

1.  Be aware of the probable skill learn rate.  (This is a highly variable number,
    based on many, many factors of the game, including luck rolls.)  (However WT is
    the primary factor.)
2.  Be aware of the stat training probability for that stat.
3.  Be aware that every thing in D2 has a probable roll or luck factor.
4.  Be aware of the potential "physical" improvement to your warrior for stat
5.  Know which stat trains do not provide any skills.  (E.g. Raising to 12ST improves
    the stat, but cannot provide any skills or "burning", while raising to 15ST
    improves that stat and provides two "burned" skills--attack and parry.)
6.  Determine if that specific warrior will be enhanced by a possibility of earning
    more than 20 skills of a type.  (Example, a warrior that is meant for the long-
    term, or is deemed to be a near-godling is extremely likely to benefit from the
    extra skills at high-ADM classes where every warrior is maxed or near maxed in
    stats and skills and every single skill can make a difference in a fight.  A
    warrior who is expected to be around for a shorter period, or is to be "retired"
    upon graduation to Lord Protectorship, will not be around long enough to earn and
    benefit from the few extra skills available.
7.  Know which is likely to benefit your warrior most when you decide to train skills
    of a certain stat.  (e.g. How many skills am I likely to learn if I train skills
    verses the probability of learning that specific stat train and the subsequent
    physical and skill gain earned.)

1.  Upon rollup, evaluate each warrior and classify--long-term/godling (GOD),
    possible long term (UNS), standard warrior--run to graduation. (NRM)
2.  Do not train stats on GOD, unless they are non-burning stats.
3.  Limit training stats on UNS, unless they are non-burning stats, until it is
    decided that this warrior is not a GOD.
4.  If a NRM, train whatever the manager believes will most enhance the warrior
    winning fights.
5.  When deciding between stat or skill training, compare the probability quantity of
    skill earning vs. the probable of learning the chosen stat and its potential
    physical and skill contribution.

     Perhaps a couple of Consortium examples are in order.  Let's consider these two
warriors" 14-7-12-15-20-14-11 striker and 4-10-11-17-17-4-21 aimed-blow.
     Although a solid warrior, the striker would be considered NRM, especially since
strikers are not considered likely Primus-level styles.  The warrior probably rolled
good damage and good endurance.  The odds of getting a first stat raise are near 100%
(5%x20, but everything has a "luck" roll).  The warrior at 15WT should expect to earn
nearly two skills per turn (Consortium rates 15WT skill learn rate at 1.75ish)
Consortium Managers would plan two immediate "bumps"--WL to 21 and ST to 15.  Moving
to 21 WL gains seven fine skills (2 each Att, Par, Def and 1 Decise) and enhances
physicals a tiny bit.  (Adds 0.4 hit points and improves endurance a small amount.)
Training skills would have yielded a probability of two skills, and three if lucky.
The choice to train WL is a no-brainer.  The 2nd plan train to 15ST is also a good
one.  At 15 ST, two skills are earned, attack and parry.  The 15ST also enhances
weapon selection, making the striker now strong enough to carry certain "larger
weapons" with no penalty.  (The battle axe is an often favored weapon of
Consortiumites--and probably should be a favorite of yours.)  The 15ST also has the
possibility of raising the warrior's damage rating from good to great.  Consortium
places this damage bump odds at 4-1, appx 20% likely.)  Compared to the probability
of learning 2 skills (or an unlucky 1 or a lucky 3) the 15ST raise seems like a good
one.  There are no more planned raises for this warrior, but that does not preclude
that a Consortium manager might not later attempt an additional ST raise to 16 (if
great damage was not attained) and a raise to 8 CN, especially if the warrior has a
"frail" rating.

     Warrior #2, the aimer is rated a GOD.  There would be no planned stat raises to
the warrior, training skill all the way until maxed.  However, there would be no
reason not to consider CN raises, as no CN raise burns skills and every aimer can use
additional hit points.  This choice would need to be balanced against the probability
of earning 2.25 skills per turn (Consortium rating).  One additional consideration
should be given.  If this warrior rolled "little damage", (normal damage is more
likely) the bump to 5ST could be what is needed to get normal damage.  The raising of
that stat "burns" a parry and an attack skill, however.  For a long-term warrior,
especially an aimer which can use little-damage somewhat effectively, this bump would
not be recommended.  

     In conclusion, there is no absolute when it comes to training skills or stats.
Training stats is certainly not a no-no.  Burning skills can be inconsequential.
Physical and skill gains from stats can greatly enhance the warrior and the W/L
record.  But, like most other decisions in D2, there is a trade-off.  Burning stats
on a long-term, ADM+ warrior could prove damaging to the warrior's long-term health.
Choose wisely rather than automatically.

                    Smithy (for The Consortium)

            >)]H[(< + -----:----- + >)] *IHI* [(< + -----:----- + >)]H[(<
                                 Profile of a Style

     When you read about the parry-riposte style in the rulebook, it looks like it
might be a lot of fun to run, and it is.  But it's also really tricky.  The plain
offensives: basher, lunger, slasher, striker, and the total parry, are easier.  I
don't think I've ever heard a manager say that he really understands the parry-
riposte style, I certainly don't myself.  But I've run a lot of them, and some have
survived, and they ARE fun.
     So just for a basic introduction to warriors of the parry-riposte style, known
to one and all as rippers, here's what I know.

     Design:  This is tough.  The ripper needs it all!  Especially important, though,
are endurance from constitution (CN) and will (WL), plus skill from wit (WT) and
deftness (DF), and it doesn't hurt to have enough strength (ST) to do a decent amount
of damage... and what does that leave that you can go short on?  Size (SZ), okay, a
ripper can be--usually is--small.  Speed (SP), well, I just don't know.  It wouldn't
hurt them to have speed, but where are all the points going to come from?
     I have made a lot of rippers over the years, some of them from roll-ups that
were spectacularly unsuited to the style.  These are ones who lived to graduation:
     Santee    13- 7-14-17-15- 8-10  LO  mod/mod   slash
     Toryn      9-12- 7-13-15-11-17  EP  vlo/mod
     Scovellie  9-13- 8-17-17- 5-15  SH  low/mod
     Chia      10-13- 5-17-17- 5-17  SS  low/high
     Saba       5-17- 9-15-17- 4-17  EP  mod/low
     Bali       9- 6-14-15-17- 8-15  LO  vlo/mod
     Jane       9-10- 9-17-17- 5-17  SS  mod/mod   lunge/riposte
     Cedar     15- 6- 7-15-17- 9-15  LS  mod/mod
     Azureen    9-12- 8-17-10-11-17  SC  high/mod  riposte
     Similde    6- 6- 5-17-17-16-17  LO  low/mod
     Tailida    9-13- 5-15-17- 8-17  SH  low/mod
     Korlo      9- 8-12-17-15- 8-15  LS  vlo/mod
     Tilona     9- 9- 7-15-17-10-17  SH  low/mod   lunge
You'll see my biases at work here.
  Strength is usually at least nine; in the cases where it started lower, the
warriors were cursed with little damage, and I trained it up as soon as I could.
(The numbers shown here are all original, before stat trains.)
  Constitution generally moderate.  Most of these warriors could take a hit or two
and survive.
  Size mostly small, but not always.  I did try a couple six-footers, and they didn't
do as badly as one might expect.
  Wit is 15 or 17, except in one case.  I always look for brains in a gladiator, and
this style needs it.
  Will is, except in one case, 15 or 17.  High will improves endurance, an important
factor for a parry-style, and makes it easier to train stats when the time comes.
  Speed may be anything.  I generally did not add any points to speed during the
design phase.
  Deftness is 15 or 17 again, except in one case.  Deftness, and the skills that go
with it, are important to a finesse style like the ripper.  Plus, where strength may
be a problem, accuracy helps.

     Weapon selection:  There are six weapons well suited to the parry-riposte style,
listed below with the minimum stats required for their best use.
                      Epee           ST  7  SZ  -  WT 15  DF 15
                      Longspear      ST 11  SZ  9  WT  5  DF  9
                      Longsword      ST 11  SZ  -  WT 13  DF 11
                      Scimitar       ST  9  SZ  -  WT 11  DF 11
                      Shortspear     ST  9  SZ  -  WT  7  DF  7
                      Shortsword     ST  5  SZ  -  WT 11  DF  3
Only weapons well suited to the style will show up as favorite weapons when a warrior
graduates.  Yes, you CAN put other weapons in their hands, but you aren't likely to
get the best results that way.  (You may note that some of my graduated rippers
listed above were initially unable to use their favorite weapon to best advantage.
This is one of the sneaky things the Gladiatorial Commission does to keep you on your
toes.)  I STRONGLY advise that when you design a ripper, consult the weapon chart and
make sure that your warrior will have the stats to use at least one of the weapons
listed to its best advantage.

     Armor selection:  This depends on how you plan to run the warrior.  If he's
going to be fast, and/or he can take a few hits (takes normal damage, for instance,
signified by no comment on the overview) but maybe has low endurance, put him in
light armor.  If you plan to run him slow, or he can take little damage but maybe has
high endurance, put him in medium to heavy armor.

     Strategy:  This is always a tricky thing to advise people on, which is why I've
listed the favorite rhythms on the warriors above.  Very low (vlo) is 1 or 2, low is
3 or 4, moderate (mod) is 5 or 6, high is 7 or 8, and very high (vhi) is 9 or 10.
Offensive effort is listed first, then activity level.  You can see that most rippers
in this sample prefer to run at middling speeds, usually with the activity level
higher than the offensive effort.  Not all of them, but a majority.  You can ignore
that--I sometimes do--and run them fast and hard, as though they were simple
offensive warriors.  Some take to this treatment, others burn out.  The medium speeds
are safe, and a place to start from.
     You'll note I haven't mentioned kill desire here.  There is no such thing as a
warrior or style having a favorite kill desire.  Your kill desire can have a profound
effect on how the warrior fights, but it is strictly a personal decision.  However, I
can say that my own experience has been that if a warrior has a high KD in
desperation, he will tend to go berserk, and if he has a low KD in desperation, he
will surrender.  Warriors who surrender lose fights, but generally they survive to
fight again.  I can't say the same of warriors who go berserk in desperation.

     Tactics:  I don't use tactics much, myself, but that's just me.  You'll note
that out of the thirteen warriors listed above, two have favorite offensive tactics
(slash and lunge) and one has a favorite defensive tactic (riposte) and one has both
an offensive and a defensive tactic (lunge/riposte).  All this tells us for sure is
that slash, lunge, and riposte are tactics that rippers can use well (or they
wouldn't appear as favorites).  Experiment with them, but don't try to use an
offensive AND a defensive tactic in the same minute; it confuses the warrior.

And to go from the general to the specific--

                                 Profile of a Warrior
                                   Tailida Dawnrain

Tailida is one of the rippers listed above.
She's left-handed
She's intelligent
     Makes the most of her enemy's mistakes
     Has an unusual fighting style that confuses many opponents
     Rarely makes mistakes
     Is always thinking ahead
     She plans out every move that she makes, seldom wasting any effort
She is very quick  (the DF more than the SP, I think)
She cannot carry a lot of weight in armor and weapons
     (more a question of her SZ than her ST)
She is incredibly quick and elusive on her feet
     Making even dangerous opponents look harmless
She does little damage with each blow
     (curses!  I had hoped that the ST of 9 would offset her small SZ.  It didn't.)

ST   9  CN  13  SZ   5  WT  15  WL  17  SP   8  DF  17
     If I decide to run her on the Isle, I will train up her ST until I get normal
damage.  (Note, no skills will be burned between ST 9 and ST 14, skill-wise, this is
a barren stretch.  But it WILL increase the amount of damage a warrior can do.)

She graduates with a master in riposte, an expert in attack, a master in parry, and
an advanced expert in defense.

She is naturally adept with the shortsword, which I don't think she tried
She favors a fighting rhythm of low offensive effort and moderate activity level
And she tends to learn parry skills most easily.

She received her graduation notice when her record was 21-9-2,96 in Tricorus (dm 51).

     On the same turn as her graduation notice arrived, she was challenged by a total
parry in plate armor and a full helm, carrying a broadsword and a medium shield.
     Tailida herself was in leather armor and a helm, carrying a scimitar (and a
     Tailida was running 7-7-x, faster than she would have liked, but that's how
she's being running straight along, and it kept her alive and with a winning record,
so I don't want to hear her complain.
     Tailida got the jump and hit her opponent twice in the first minute, several
other blows being parried, hit once each in the second and third minutes, with other
blows being parried, was parried completely in the fourth minute, was showing signs
of weariness in the fifth minute but still managed to land a few blows in the fifth,
sixth, and seventh minutes.  Then she collapsed with exhaustion at the end of the
seventh minute and lost the fight without being hit once.  This is why you find 
managers speaking harshly of "scum": we all hate to see our warrior work hard, do all
the right things, and lose because the opponent wasn't doing anything but standing
there in heavy armor.

The Middle Way

           +<]H[>+-----+<]H[+ Question of the Week #7 +]H[>+-----+<]H[>+

From turn 414:

All -- In case last cycle's personals don't make it:  What are the advantages and
disadvantages of using one or two weapons.  I'm particularly interested in Riposte
effects. -- Q.O.W. Hanibal

Q.O.W. -- Two Weapons.  That's a good subject.
     Disadvantages: Few if any, but it has been suggested that some weapons give
bonuses to attack if you use them in two hands instead of one, such as SC.  An
obvious one is you can't use two handed weapons.  If you don't have the attribute
requirements (which are more stringent for off-hand weapons), then you may suffer
penalties when using certain combinations.  Last, you may swing with an off-hand more
than you want, say if you are using a shield.  It's usually prefered to have a real
weapon in your off-hand.
     Advantages:  You have a second weapon already in hand if one breaks.  If you are
ambidextrous, this is the biggest advantage, because they will swing with that off-
hand weapon almost as if it were their on-hand.  My ambi-warriors will win fights
with off-hand weapons.  An off-hand weapon is not bound to a warrior's style
suitability, so a LU could use a SC in their off-hand without penalty if they have
the attribute requirements.  Another advantage is suggested in that it assists in
parrying.  I tend to think highly coordinated warriors are better at parrying with
their second weapon than those who aren't.  I rarely use shields, so I can't comment
extensively on their benefits over a real weapon, especially in AD, but in basic,
shields seem to make it easier to parry attacks.
     Riposte and 2-Weapons:  I have not noticed any specific variance in the ability
of a warrior to riposte if they are using two weapons.  Once in AD, riposting is more
often than not following a dodge.  I don't think there is much correlation here, but
it is definitely something to look into. -- Adie

     The Question of the Week is posed in Aruak City (DM 11) by Hanibal, a manager
who is himself an alumnus of Noblish Island.  The answers are provided by other
managers in that arena.  Any manager here in Noblish who wishes to pose a question to
the more experienced managers of Aruak City, feel free to do so, either by sending in
a personal directed to DM 11 and identifying yourself as a manager from Noblish
seeking enlightenment, or by posting the question here, in which case I will be glad
to see that it reaches Aruak.
     Also, Hanibal sends you greetings and asks that we remind you that all arenas do
not have the same attitude and local conventions.  Aruak City is an Andorian arena
and subscribes to the doctrine of Honorable Play, meaning, no down-challenging except
from the throne or in bloodfeuds, no deliberate attempts to kill the warriors of
other managers, and a general attitude of friendly respect toward the other members
of the arena.  It is, in fact, a fine arena, and one where you would all be welcome
(though there are plenty of others--just ask, and I'll be glad to tell you about my
     If you have questions that you would like answered by the experienced managers
of the game, don't hesitate to ask--we can't answer if you don't ask.  Questions can
be posed in the personals here, or by email to me (jputney@zianet.com) or Pagan
(pagan@gte.net), or by diplo to Jorja/The Middle Way 4 here in DM 93.

Question from turn 415 of Aruak City:

All -- Do you think you get negative modifiers when you go desperate?  What about "is
dangerously stunned" or "is bleeding badly" or "is on the verge of shock"? -- Hanibal

Answers from turn 416:

Hanibal -- That's a good question!  I honestly don't have much of an opinion on that.
In the old days, warriors could get permanent wounds that would affect their fighting
in later matches (but not anymore), and it's been suggested that getting hit in
certain locations affects what your character can do during a match (obvious cases
are losing the use of an arm or being knocked down), but the sorely wounded comments?
It probably just has to do with giving a hint as to how close that warrior is to
going down if it gets hit in that badly wounded spot again. -- Adie

QOW -- After 'bleeding badly', 'dangerously stunned', 'sorely wounded', 'verge of
shock', etc., a warrior's ability to defend themselves is penalized.  Desperation by
itself may not represent an ability penalty as much as a time to check for surrender
and a switch to the desperation strategy.  Often, with a drastic strategy switch in
desperation, a warrior's performance can improve. -- Carmen

QOW -- I've noticed that by the time I get somebody to that point they're finished.
But I've also noticed that some of my more defensive comrades will give their
opponent a moment to recover and they're still able to.  Despite this I would say
that by the time the comments you listed come into play the warrior who's getting
beat is in really bad shape.  Whereas statements like "fights with the cunning of
desperation" or "eyes flare with renewed determination" still leave plenty of room
for the warrior to make a comeback.  Therefore I would say that the earlier
desperation statements don't carry any significant penalties. -- Maxwell Honorblade

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

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

 DM   9 ZUKAL (turn 722): ARDSHEAL of RED FURY (Stillgard, mgr.)
 DM  12 RIZTAB (turn 724): AESARA of DREAMERS (Sleepy, mgr.)
 DM  13 DULLENS (turn 678): TOXIC SLUDGE of MMM BEER! (Khisanth, mgr.)
 DM  15 MALCORN (turn 718): AXEL of CRUCIAL TAUNT (Daikkan, mgr.)
 DM  16 WILLAF (turn 720): MISDIAGNOSIS of BASH BROS. DOCTOR (Assurnasirbanipal, mgr)
 DM  17 ALJAFIR (turn 711): GABOGOOL of STORMY'S TROOPERS I (Storm Lord, mgr.)
 DM  19 ZUWAYZA (turn 712): GRAVITRON of THE MOTHERSHIP CC (Floyd, mgr.)
 DM  28 MORYA (turn 358): THE INFLUENCER of LORD OF DISCIPLINE (Longshot, mgr.)
 DM  29 LAPUR (turn 709): HOPE of THE TAKEN (Stillgard, mgr.)
 DM  31 CHIMLEVTAL (turn 356): WAKIZASHI of AVENGERS (Huckle Cat?, mgr.)
 DM  32 ARVAT (turn 706): MUFFY STOFELES of DEVIL ADVOCATES (The Dark One, mgr.)
 DM  33 NIATOLI ISLAND (turn 703): FISHWIFE of SEA DOGS (One Armed Bandit, mgr.)
 DM  35 MURSKA (turn 695): SAVAGE BEATING of HAPPY FUN TIME (Floyd, mgr.)
 DM  43 VEASTIAN (turn 653): 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 328): FRASIER of CHEERS (Otis, mgr.)
 DM  50 SNOWBOUND (turn 314): 4-H of LIFE IMPACTS (Smitty, mgr.)
 DM  56 ROCANIS (turn 585): KASPAR of MEN OF STEEL (Howlin' Wolf, mgr.)
 DM  60 ARADI (turn 570): CHOPPED RABBIT of UNNAMEABLES (Howlin' Wolf, mgr.)
 DM  61 JURINE (turn 552): RACK OF LAB of CANINE CUISINE (Chuck, mgr.)
 DM  65 DAL SHANG (turn 546): XYLOID of SCRABBLE (Otto X, mgr.)
 DM  73 ERINIKA (turn 263): FRISBEE of FOUND IN THE SAND (Assurnasirbanipal, mgr.)
 DM  74 DAYLA KIV (turn 507): GEORGE PETERSON of MEDAL OF HONOR (The Anarchist, mgr.)
 DM  75 JADE MOUNTAIN (turn 502): STREGOICA of DARKSTALKER2 (Hombre, mgr.)
 DM  78 LIN TIRIAN (turn 493): STEAMED MUSCLES of SHEWISH BUFFET (One Armed Bandit)
ADM 103 FREE BLADES (turn 610): NOREASTER of DIRT DEVILS (The Dark One, mgr.)

                                      Top Teams
 DM   9 ZUKAL (turn 722): RED FURY (Stillgard, mgr.)
 DM  12 RIZTAB (turn 724): DREAMERS (Sleepy, mgr.)
 DM  13 DULLENS (turn 678): CARDOW HUNTERS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  15 MALCORN (turn 718): CRUCIAL TAUNT (Daikkan, mgr.)
 DM  16 WILLAF (turn 720): AIMER'S INC (Tolbin, mgr.)
 DM  17 ALJAFIR (turn 711): YORK'S ARCADE (Tolbin, mgr.)
 DM  28 MORYA (turn 358): EXPENSE ACCOUNT (Finance Manager, mgr.)
 DM  29 LAPUR (turn 709): SHADOWMIST (Tolbin, mgr.)
 DM  31 CHIMLEVTAL (turn 356): THE STORM REAVERS (?, mgr.)
 DM  32 ARVAT (turn 706): DEVIL ADVOCATES (The Dark One, mgr.)
 DM  33 NIATOLI ISLAND (turn 703): BIG LAKE BANDITS (Den, mgr.)
 DM  35 MURSKA (turn 695): CHILDREN OF LLYR (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  43 VEASTIAN (turn 653): TOLBIN'S X-MEN (Tolbin, mgr.)
 DM  45 STORMCROWE (turn 333): DARQUE FORCES (Master Darque, mgr.)
 DM  47 NORTH FORK (turn 328): CHEERS (Otis, mgr.)
 DM  50 SNOWBOUND (turn 314): LIFE IMAPACTS (Smitty, mgr.)
 DM  56 ROCANIS (turn 585): MEN OF STEEL (Howlin' Wolf, mgr.)
 DM  60 ARADI (turn 570): RED DOG GANG (Spot, mgr.)
 DM  61 JURINE (turn 552): MIDDLE WAY 16 (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  65 DAL SHANG (turn 546): SAND DANCERS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  73 ERINIKA (turn 263): THE FLYING FISH (?, mgr.)
 DM  74 DAYLA KIV (turn 507): MEDAL OF HONOR (The Anarchist, mgr.)
 DM  75 JADE MOUNTAIN (turn 502): RUNEBLADES (Stillgard, mgr.)
 DM  78 LIN TIRIAN (turn 493): SHEWISH BUFFET (One Armed Bandit, mgr.)
ADM 103 FREE BLADES (turn 610): COFFEE WARS et al (The Dark One, mgr.)

                                   Recent Graduates
 DM   9 ZUKAL (turn 722): ARDSHEAL of RED FURY (Stillgard, 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  31 CHIMLEVTAL (turn 356): WAKIZASHI of AVENGERS (Huckle Cat?, mgr.)
 DM  32 ARVAT (turn 706): SAMPSON of DEATH BY DESIGN (Bubba Ganoosh, mgr.)
              (turn 705): DEVLIN DE SEGIZE of DEVIL ADVOCATES (The Dark One, mgr.)
 DM  33 NIATOLI ISLAND (turn 703): FISHWIFE of SEA DOGS (One Armed Bandit, 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.)
 DM  50 SNOWBOUND (turn 312): MOLDAR NAY of MIDDLE WAY 6 (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  56 ROCANIS (turn 585): KASPAR of MEN OF STEEL (Howlin' Wolf, 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.)
 DM  75 JADE MOUNTAIN (turn 502): STREGOICA of DARKSTALKER2 (Hombre, mgr.)

                                 DUELMASTER'S COLUMN
                             Notes from the arena champ.

     Despicable!  That's what I am, despicable.  A lousy and unworthy and failed
Duelmaster!  Schmuck!
     Why?  I couldn't even beat The Veteran Mercenary!  I lost to that sucker in two
minutes!  Why, it should have been a wallop (by me) in one!  But, NO!  I blew it!
And to make matters even more hypocritical, The Commission still handed me The Title!
     Clearly I do not deserve it.  Someone like Pima, or Borrows Money, is far, far
more deserving.  I SUCK!
     However, as Smithy sat me down and told me (In a rather loud and blunt fashion)
I have The Duelmaster Title and I must defend it with all the power and ability and
dignity I am capable of.  So I will, doggone it!  I will!
     I am your Duelmaster.  I am on the top of the Noblish Island heap.  Come and get
me.  Test your mettle against me.  I WILL NOT be an easy match.  Beware.
          Pitchfork DMII

                                      SPY REPORT

     It's me, The Unknown Spymaster, back to give you this week's Spy Report.  Sit 
back in your seats and we'll have more fun than a barrel of Zontanis.  BASH BROS 
BROTHER is no joke as it posted a 4-1-0 week advancing from 2nd place to 2nd place.  
Well, everybody's pal PITCHFORK moved its record to 5-1-1 by defeating CONVICTED 
ASSASSIN in the Duelmaster's Title Bout and gaining 10 recognition points.  Advice to 
bashers--never force anything, just get a bigger halberd!   
     Here is other news that is of note.  Did you hear that TRIBES was most avoided 
team this week?  Well, knowing the personal hygiene of TRIBES' warriors, I'm not 
surprised!  Okay, so I may not be funny, but catch USEFUL WEAPONS' act in the arena.  
Those acrobats seem to be fairly deft at running from TRIBES.  Well dang howdy, but 
if challenges were votes, TRASH CAN would be president.  Although it may be a contest 
it doesn't want to win.  In a touching display by a 'touched' warrior, MAT TUKHOLT 
went after TRASH CAN, who was higher by 21 points.  Well, when the dust settled, MAT 
     Death is kind of like a new puppy:  he's always around wanting to play.  (Ha 
Zontani, how's that for a wise saying?).  Knowing when to use the right tactics at 
the proper time is a very important step on the road to Duelmaster.   
     I think I had better cut this one short.  It's been nice chatting to those of 
you whom I have not offended yet.  Well, there goes another Spy Report.  Good luck in 
next week's fights.  Its been real, and its been fun, but it hasn't been real 
fun...-- The Unknown Spymaster  

DUELMASTER                     W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 PITCHFORK 9437                5   1  1    66       USEFUL WEAPONS (1623)

CHALLENGER ADEPTS              W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 HARSH WORDS 9436              6   0  0    60       USEFUL WEAPONS (1623)

CHALLENGER INITIATES           W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 POCKET KNIFE 9434             4   2  0    33       USEFUL WEAPONS (1623)
 PIMA 9424                     6   1  0    32       TRIBES (1621)
 MAT TUKHOLT 9438              2   2  0    31       MISFITS OF DOOM (1624)
 MAKESMELOOKBAD 9446           4   2  0    26       BASH BROS BROTHER (1625)
 BLACK SHEEP 9443              4   2  0    26       BASH BROS BROTHER (1625)

INITIATES                      W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 BORROWS MONEY 9444            4   1  0    22       BASH BROS BROTHER (1625)
 BASEBALL BAT 9433             4   2  0    21       USEFUL WEAPONS (1623)
 INNISFREE JONES 9452          3   0  0    19       THE HIGH WAY (1626)
 GALLATIN HUGHES 9451          2   1  0    19       THE HIGH WAY (1626)
 DRUG USER 9447                3   3  0    17       BASH BROS BROTHER (1625)
 TRASH CAN 9435                5   1  0    16       USEFUL WEAPONS (1623)
 EMBARRASSING 9445             1   5  0    15       BASH BROS BROTHER (1625)
 ATLANTEA 9453                 1   0  0    12       GODS AND HEROES (1627)
 CHICAGO DAWES 9449            2   1  0    11       THE HIGH WAY (1626)
 ALBUQUERQUE BOONE 9448        1   2  0     5       THE HIGH WAY (1626)
 CAMI DEAORDEN 9439            0   4  0     4       MISFITS OF DOOM (1624)
 ZIDRIT DU'ORDEN 9441          0   4  0     4       MISFITS OF DOOM (1624)
 LADY DEATH 9442               0   4  0     4       MISFITS OF DOOM (1624)
 YAR'KEN TILLBIN 9440          0   4  0     4       MISFITS OF DOOM (1624)
 EDINBURG FINN 9450            0   3  0     3       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

Captured Orc -- Captivity does not suit you; you were easy. -- Harsh Words

     You'll have him crying next.

Alburquerque Boone -- Your name is too long, too odd, and too difficult to spell.
Humpf!  No wonder a mere miniscule blade took you down.  Humpf!  (But YAY!) -- Pocket

If I cannot beat the Veteran Mercenary, then how can I deserve to be Duelmaster?  I
am humbled and undeserving. -- Pitchfork, Duelmaster II

Drug User -- How can you do things like that?  How can you hurt your fine and
wonderful brother that way?  He deserves better. -- Baseball Bat

Black Sheep -- I'm ambidextrous.  Or Ambivalent?  Uh, well, either way--black or
white--I treat all sheep the same--I shear them. -- Trash Can

My Useful Weapons are somethin', ain't they? -- Smithy

Misfits Of Doom -- Keep on truckin', guys.  By the time your ten rounds are over, you
will see a marked increase in knowledge and understanding and improvement, and you
will be ready to enter an arena and compete with the best of them. -- Smithy

     Save your newsletters.  Ten consecutive newsletters from this arena constitutes
     a handbook to begin with.

A crashed computer and disorganization and I missed the personals entirely last turn!
My apologies. -- Assur

A Convicted Thief win!  Wow, I'm so...  Not sure what the word is.  But I do find my
performance here to be most... Embarrassing

Zuidrit Du'Orden -- And there you see the worst part about the infamous Morning Star.
It burns endurance way faster than it should for what it gives you on the sands.  For
one of your style, a Broadsword, Scimitar, or Battle Axe would be a better choice.  I
don't know if you can use all of those, but they are amongst the best weapons in the
game. -- Borrows Money

Cami Deaorden -- Close fight.  I got that one. -- MakesMeLookBad

Trash Can -- I prepared my if-challenged strategy just for you.  Not that it did any
good at all.  At least you are named appropriately.  Scum ARE trash.  But that
doesn't mean they are ineffective.  I bow before your superior ability to win. --
Black Sheep

Baseball Bat -- Assur says the drugs are affecting my performance, but I tell him
"What am I supposed to do when some thug comes at me with a baseball bat?!?" -- Drug

Baseball Bat -- I've always been fond of the highway. -- Gallatin Hughes

Pima -- Damn, it's a serious pain when you sneaky little experienced twits come along
and mosterize me.  Well done, I guess. -- Edinburgh Finn

Pocket Knife -- Oh, a stealth weapon!  I wasn't expecting that one. -- Albuquerque

Mat Tukholt -- Increase your CN if you can.  You shouldn't be getting tired that
soon. -- Gallatin Hughes

Yar'ken Tillbin -- Oh, cheese louise, guy!  You really drew the short straw.  That's
a seriously tricky style you've got. -- Innisfree Jones
P.S.  Armor wouldn't hurt.

Lady Death -- Armor, armor, armor.  Please!  I don't want to kill you. -- Chicago

I am Sofa King Wee Tard Ed.  Pwees stop hitting me in de face! -- Zidrit Du'orden

Kiwis!  Give me kiwis!  Inside joke.  Lol. -- Mat Tuk Holt

Trashcan -- Hate your liifeee!  No, really.  You are scum, literally, in the
Duelmasters (Duel 2) sense of the word.  Trashcan, I didn't even look at the rules
before I built my fighters, which I vow will never! happen! again! -- Yar'ken Tillbin

Random isn't always kool.  Obviuosly in Duel2 it's downright stupid. -- Misfits of

                                  LAST WEEK'S FIGHTS

MAT TUKHOLT viciously subdued TRASH CAN in a crowd pleasing 8 minute Challenge fight.
CAMI DEAORDEN was demolished by MAKESMELOOKBAD in a 1 minute Challenge melee.
PITCHFORK savagely defeated CONVICTED ASSASSIN in a 1 minute Title duel.
HARSH WORDS overpowered AMBITIOUS GUARD in a 1 minute bloody one-sided fight.
POCKET KNIFE bested EMBARRASSING in a 1 minute duel.
BASEBALL BAT was narrowly defeated by PIMA in a exciting 1 minute struggle.
BLACK SHEEP devastated ALBUQUERQUE BOONE in a 1 minute one-sided competition.
DRUG USER handily defeated ZIDRIT DU'ORDEN in a 1 minute uneven melee.
YAR'KEN TILLBIN was viciously subdued by INNISFREE JONES in a 3 minute novice's duel.
LADY DEATH was vanquished by GALLATIN HUGHES in a 1 minute one-sided fight.
BORROWS MONEY beat CHICAGO DAWES in a 1 minute novice's melee.
EDINBURG FINN was overpowered by ATLANTEA in a 1 minute one-sided match.

                                    BATTLE REPORT

             MOST POPULAR                        RECORD DURING THE LAST 10 TURNS     
|FIGHTING STYLE               FIGHTS        FIGHTING STYLE     W -   L -  K   PERCENT|
|AIMED BLOW                       5         SLASHING ATTACK   19 -   4 -  2      83  |
|BASHING ATTACK                   5         TOTAL PARRY        6 -   4 -  0      60  |
|WALL OF STEEL                    3         STRIKING ATTACK   13 -   9 -  0      59  |
|SLASHING ATTACK                  2         BASHING ATTACK    28 -  21 -  0      57  |
|LUNGING ATTACK                   2         WALL OF STEEL     12 -  12 -  1      50  |
|STRIKING ATTACK                  2         AIMED BLOW        14 -  18 -  0      44  |
|PARRY-STRIKE                     1         LUNGING ATTACK     7 -   9 -  0      44  |
|PARRY-RIPOSTE                    1         PARRY-STRIKE       0 -   4 -  0       0  |
|TOTAL PARRY                      1         PARRY-RIPOSTE      0 -   4 -  0       0  |
|PARRY-LUNGE                      0         PARRY-LUNGE        0 -   0 -  0       0  |

Turn 377 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:

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

                               TOP WARRIOR OF EACH STYLE

FIGHTING STYLE   WARRIOR                     W   L  K PNTS TEAM NAME                  
SLASHING ATTACK  PITCHFORK 9437              5   1  1   66 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 MAT TUKHOLT 9438.  The ten other most popular fighters were PITCHFORK 9437, 

The least popular fighter this week was TRASH CAN 9435.  The other ten least popular 


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                                  A NOTE ON MAILMEN

     In response to the articles on new fighting styles, those were good, but how can 
you forget our most favorite warrior who has a style all his own?  The Mailman!  To 
Duelmasters he is our most sacred person.  I mean, how many of you managers out their 
have sat down and calculated what day your Duelmasters will arrive and have sat 
waiting for it to arrive, while unknown to you, your mailman is fighting away to get 
your Duelmasters delivered.  Let's review him...
     ST - should be around 19.  He needs to heft two medium bags, cloth mail armor and 
a ton of rubber bands.
     CN - 13, give or take a few.  He does get bitten by dogs often.
     SZ - Any.
     WT - At least 10.  He often likes to read the mail.
     WL - Try about 20.  He must endure all kinds of weather.
     SP - 16 is good.  He needs to run across streets in traffic.
     DF - 10 is good.  Sometimes he has to carry packages.
     This setup should get you a good mailman but they are hard to come by.  If you 
can come up with any better, diplo me.  I am:

                                   Staple Gun
                                   mgr. of Technet (3)
                                   The New Deal (23)

     I am currently working on the U.P.S. and Federal Express warriors.

                                   "Strikers R Us"

     Greetings, everyone.  It is I, Talon, again.  I am very glad to see everyone 
participating in the arena and sharing their thoughts on styles and strategies.  This 
turn I will take on the striking attack style, which is certainly one of my favorites.
     I believe the striker is one of the easiest styles to run, and one in which no 
team should be without.  A high-powered striker can diversify and empower your team.  
A well run striker can beat any other style, period, at any level in regular 
Duelmasters.  In arenas where scum TPs are rampant, strikers are just the answer as 
they can attack for up to 12 minutes or more.  Strikers are versatile.  They can do 
exceptionally well with a dagger as a weapon or with a halberd.  They can do well with 
no armor or with plate armor.


               Biff     Primal         Solid         Perfect
ST             5-21      9-17           13             15
CN              3+        3+             6              3
SZ             9-21      3-17            9              5
WT             3-17      17 +           17             21
WL             9-17      13 +           17             15
SP              5+       5-13            9              8
DF              9+       9-17           13             17

     With the way I design strikers, there are essentially two strikers that evolve.  
The BIFF and the PRIMAL.  The Biff striker is typically one that is not looking long-
term, but one which I want to run and have fun with.  With this striker, I try to have 
one stat (wit, will, or deftness) which is extraordinary, one which is average, and 
the other ends up being at some non-normal level.  Some examples of the Biff are: 10-
10-11-4-17-17-15, 7-11-17-17-11-6-15, 9-5-14-17-11-13-15, 4-8-17-15-13-10-17, and 21-
3-15-21-5-8-11.  With these warriors, the emphasis is on having fun and learning more 
about the style.
     The Primal is essentially a Primus-quality warrior.  In this category, the 
striker will be designed with stats that most other managers will gasp, "OH MY, WHY 
DID YOU MAKE HIM A STRIKER?"  It is also the warrior that will be Duelmaster for 8 
straight turns and will go to ADM with a 16-4-2 record, with 4 Masters and an Ad Ex.  
The key here is to create a warrior with AT LEAST a 17 wit and 15 deftness, along with 
a 13+ will and who will do normal damage or better.  The goal with the Primal is a 21 
wit and 17 deftness, because this will ensure a great warrior.
     Weapons and Armor:  As for weapons, the best striking weapons that I have found 
and used are the dagger, epee, scimitar, broadsword, quarterstaff, greatsword, 
longsword, war hammer, and sometimes the short spear.  I don't run my strikers with 
shields or off-hand weapons, as it takes away from their attack.  The heaviest armor I 
will use is padded leather.  Always wear a steel cap or a helm.

Strategy (general):

Min.           1    2    3    4    5    6+   Desp
OE             10   8    6    6    6    5    5
AL             10   5    4    2    2    1    8
KD             6    8    6    6    6    5    5
attack         arms/legs/head -- take your pick
protect        arms/legs/head -- take your pick
off tactic     decise, slash, bash,  depending on weapon
def tactic     response is best; try dodge though.

     With this strategy, a striker with a normal endurance should fight for eight 
minutes as a scum TP and come out on top, outrageously victorious.  Just match your 
weapon with your tactic and only use the tactics in minute one or desperation.
     If you have any further questions on this or any other style, feel free to diplo 

                                                  Talon, mgr. Eagle's Claw


                              a new look for Aimed Blows

     Greetings and salutations, all.  Here's a new twist on aimed blows I haven't seen 
before....one that works, at least for me!  Here's what I did with Rex Walters, my 
first Duelmaster in the Free Blades transfer arena, DM 70.
     ST: 17     (for good damage, attack and parry skills)
     CN: 13     (gonna need every hit point he can get)
     SZ: 4      (smaller the better!)
     WT: 4      (overrated for aimed blows!)
     WL: 21     (if ya try this method, 17 is a MINIMUM)
     SP: 4      (ya want NO speed, none, nothing, zero!)
     DF: 21     (better max this one out too, at least a 19)

     You laugh at me?  I started expert in both attack and parry! (OK, so I got lucky, 
I didn't expect either one of em.)  But both are in reach with a little luck.  Hey, if 
ya can get that strength to 21 you're almost guaranteed those experts... though a bit 
more CON would be nice.
     But how do I RUN this monstrosity, you may ask?  Why, I'm glad you inquired!  
LOTS of armor.  The hit points combined with, say, platemail should win this character 
a lot of fights.  But, while I've picked up a few easy wins scumming, that's not 
really what this character does best.
     I use the only weapon Rex is well suited to: the bare hand.  With an offhand 
small shield or shortsword, so I can take advantage of that expert parry rating.  So: 
     And I run him at a 4 offensive effort, with a matching 4 activity level.  He can 
last through the initial onslaught of nearly any offensive, then smash them.... like a 
good waste.  And with that monster endurance and good damage, no one scums this 
     I attack and protect the head, usually, and keep the kill desire high... 5-7 
generally.  Now, how to become Duelmaster?
     Well, step one is fight your first fight... and train your CON.  Step two, now 
that you're in the arena, is get a fight with an up-and-coming young warrior from the 
Duelmaster's team... and kill them.  (I randomly matched up with, and killed, a member 
of the incoming Duelmaster's team...luck helps, ya know.) Offensives that wear 
themselves out but haven't quite dropped are the easiest to kill.
     Then, when the Duelmaster comes at you (bragging about how he "only" needs to 
beat you twice to assure his ascension to the Isle) you stomp him.  Badly.  Once 
you're on that lofty throne he won't even be able to bloodfeud you, since you can bet 
he's not gonna be anywhere near the challenger champions after losing to a 2-fight 
warrior (just ask Ciron of ENDS WITH IRON, now in AD).
     There are drawbacks, of course.  Once you get to that level, odds are you're 
gonna get stomped like a stuck pig (I was most challenged 2 turns in a row after this 
trick... Oo!  I love mixed metaphors...)  But... even a 4 wit warrior can learn skills 
against gladiators with 50 fights!
     Rex is now 7-3-1.  All three losses have come against warriors now in AD. In 
those ten matches, he's trained his strength and constitution once each, and learned 
twenty skills, including his adex in both parry and attack.  And boy, is it fun 
humiliating some of those "gods" bound for AD!
     What else can one do with this warrior?  Well, Rex is, get this, well suited to 
an off-hand epee!  He wouldn't dare use one as a primary weapon, but its a great off-
hand toy...
     Does he have what it takes to be a long-term winner?  Who knows?  He's probably 
the DUMBEST aimed blow to ever make Duelmaster... He's in the Challenger Champions and 
climbing....and he'll meet ya in AD! 
     Amazingly enough, this is not an isolated fluke.  We entered a similar warrior 
into Bloodgames (with the 4's as 3's, and a bit more CON).  That warrior, Jalon, is 
now in AD after going 9-1-5 and finishing on TOP of his Bloodgames arena.
     Ah, just thought I'd mention I have had a second bare-handed Duelmaster, now... 
Seeker Still Water in DM 74 is an open-hand lunger, Duelmaster at 8-1... but that's 
another story...

                                             mgr., Pitt Gladiators (2,29,56,103)
                                             Jayhawks        (70)
                                             Silent Storm    (65,74,75)
                                             and numerous others....

                          THE WALL OF STEEL AS A BERSERKER

     This article is for newer players; more experienced managers will, I'm sure, have 
much more sophisticated ideas about warrior design and strategy.  This will enable a 
newbie to design a competent warrior who should be able to achieve a better than 50/50 
     The wall of steel, or "waste," is often considered the second scummiest style in 
Duelmasters.  I love the style, but I don't run mine that way; I prefer to think of 
the waste as a fierce dervish ripping into his opponent like an airplane propeller.  
In accordance with this view, most walls of steel that I design couldn't scum if they 
wanted to (well all right, sometimes it happens by accident if the opposing warrior is 
going all-out and can't last very long).  It's fun to run them fast; they get the jump 
on people who don't expect it of them, and their fights are exciting.  Mind you, they 
don't win as much as if they ran more defensively, but the ones with good stats still 
do okay (I'll make practically anything a waste and run it, but this article isn't 
about the ones that a sane manager would DA).
     So, here is a design for a competent wall of steel:

ST   13+  Needed for endurance, damage doing, and weapon selection.
CN    9+  You need a passably good con for endurance.
SZ    7+  Teeny weenie wastes don't hit hard enough or take enough damage.  Real big 
          (15+) is bad because it hurts endurance.
WT   13+  Preferably 17.  Like any other style, the smarter they are, the better.
WL   17+  Needed for endurance, damage-taking, and sheer grit.  21 is recommended.
SP    3+  Whatever.
DF    7+  Higher deftness is better, but you can get by without it.

     As you can see, these are fairly easy requirements.  Of course, the more wit, 
will, and deftness, the better your waste will be (same as any other style).  If you 
don't end up with at least good endurance on the overview, the warrior probably isn't 
going to do very well.  With that high will, though, you can bump con a couple of 
times and you might get good endurance, so there's still a chance.
     Choose your weapons based on deftness, and your opponent's armor weight.  I 
normally use something like 0-8 SC, 9-12 BS, 13+ GA, backup SC or BS.  No shield.  
Some other good weapons for the waste are QS (only takes 11 ST, and can hit heavy 
armor), MS, and BA.  The war flail isn't a very good weapon, but you can play with it 
against leather armor.  For armor, I usually choose something middling like ARM & H, 
but will go with APL & H if he has a lot of con.
     For strategy--I heard a rumor (NOT confirmed) that a wall of steel gets a bonus 
if his OE equals his KD.  Since I don't like to use a kill desire above 6, I don't go 
by that in the first couple of minutes.  Keep the activity level moderate to low; the 
waste doesn't need to jump around a lot and the way he keeps his weapon moving, he's 
burning a lot of endurance without that added drain.  Attack and defend the arms, like 
a slasher; a waste is a sort of parry-slasher.  A typical strategy for my wastes might 
look like this:

Minute    1    2    3    4    5    6    Desp
Offensive 9    8    7    6    5    5    2
Activity  6    5    4    3    2    1    6
Kill des. 6    6    6    6    5    5    2
Att. loc. RA   LA   RA   LA   RA   LA   RA
Pro. loc. AM   AM   AM   AM   AM   AM   HE
Off tac.  none --   --   --   --   --   --
Def tac.  --   --   --   --   --   --   P

     I play with the numbers a lot, depending on what the warrior seems to like.  For 
example, if he doesn't parry too well, I'll give him a more offensive desperation 
strategy, like 8-4-8-slash.  (If I really like a warrior I sometimes use a 7+ KD to 
try and save his life.)  If he never manages to get the jump on anybody, I'll try 
running him more defensively, like with a first minute of 3-6-3.  It's not as much fun 
as going all out, but it's more fun than losing all the time.
     You can challenge pretty much any style (lungers aren't recommended).  When 
fighting a warrior you know to be very defensive (a TP, or a scummy variety of PS, PR, 
PL, or WS), slow down or you will be scummed.  For the most part, though, an offensive 
waste is very versatile and can beat any style.  The better his important qualities 
are (WT, WL, DF, endurance), the better the quality of warriors he can defeat.  In 
other words, if you have a so-so rollup that barely made the minimum requirements, 
challenge so-so opponents.  If you have a good rollup, go for the gold.  Challenge 
warriors with a few more fights than you, so you'll learn plenty of skills--but don't 
challenge way way up in experience, because it's no fun to lose a good warrior.
     For the most part, train skills--especially on your challenge strategy, when 
you're going after someone with more fights!  And for sure on the first fight, because 
you'll likely be matched against someone who can teach you a lot.  It's okay to train 
con once in a while if you need more endurance and damage-taking; and if you have bad 
luck on the rollup and get "does little damage" or something, you might have to train 
strength once or twice (no more!).  But it's best not to train any other stats until 
way, way down the road.
     Ask your DM sponsor or any experienced manager in your arena for more advice (if 
they tell you I'm full of hot air, they're probably right).  A little bit of good 
advice from a more advanced player can make a big difference in your enjoyment of the 
     If you have any questions or suggestions, you can diplo:  the She-Puppy, mgr. 
Mordant Prison DM-1, and others.