DUEL 2 NEWSLETTER

Date   : 07/27/2013    Duedate: 08/09/2013

NOBLISH ISLAND ARENA

DM-93    TURN-382

This Weeks Top Honors

THE DUELMASTER IS

POSITION IS EMPTY

Chartered Recognition LeaderUnchartered Recognition Leader

POSITION IS EMPTY              POSITION IS EMPTY

Popularity Leader              This Weeks Favorite

INNISFREE JONES                FAVE RHYTHM
THE HIGH WAY (1626)            BASH BROS PIKER (1634)
(93-9452) [6-2-0,29]           (93-9491) [0-1-0,1]

THE CURRENT TOP TEAM

THE HIGH WAY (1626)

          TEAMS ON THE MOVE            TOP CAREER HONORS
Team Name                  Point Gain  Chartered Team
1. THE HIGH WAY (1626)         25
2. COUNT ON ME (1633)          22      S.O.N. (28)
3. BASH BROS PIKER (1634)      10      Unchartered Team
4. GODS AND HEROES (1627)       0
5. MISFITS OF DOOM (1624)       0      COUNT ON ME (1633)

The Top Teams

Career Win-Loss Record           W   L  K    %  Win-Loss Record Last 3 Turns    W  L K
 1- 1*GODS AND HEROES (1627)     4   0  0  100   1/ 2*THE HIGH WAY (1626)       9  6 1
 2/ 0*COUNT ON ME (1633)         4   1  0 80.0   2/ 0*COUNT ON ME (1633)        4  1 0
 3/ 3*THE HIGH WAY (1626)       21  19  1 52.5   3- 3*GODS AND HEROES (1627)    1  0 0
 4/ 0*BASH BROS PIKER (1634)     1   4  0 20.0   4/ 0*BASH BROS PIKER (1634)    1  4 0
 5- 0*MISFITS OF DOOM (1624)     3  25  0 10.7   5- 0*MISFITS OF DOOM (1624)    0  5 0

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

                                    TEAM SPOTLIGHT

                        MORE MISC STUFF ABOUT DUELING ET AL
                                         Or
                           MR.  MISTER QUESTIONS ANSWERED
                                         Or
                           GODS AND HEROES WANT TO KNOW

     Oh, yes.  Undelivered fights and arena newsletters.  The bane of the day.  We
all suffer from it.  Without e-mail access to RSI, it can be really, really painful.
The RSI staff are convinced that the issue is all caused by shenanigans at the
Phoenix-area USPS.  Will it be fixed soon?  Pray!
     Mister, let's start with all your questions about skills and what they mean and
do.  We all wanna know!  In the last Noblish newsletter, which hopefully you have
your reprint by now, and, if not, keep asking, Assur did a yeoman's job of explaining
them all.  What a guy!  So when you get that newsletter, read about "irapfd" (That's
init, riposte, attack, parry defense, and decise to me!)
     Off hand questions?  Of course.  Put a shield in the off hand and the warrior is
likely to fight more defensively using that off-hand shield.  But he will only do so
if necessary.  Putting a weapon in his off-hand is not as likely to cause the warrior
to think defensive and he may, indeed, decide to attack with the off-hand--especially
if he is highly coordinated or ambidextrous.  (Since attacking with the usually
lesser off-hand and lesser off-hand weapon is less valuable than attacking with the
primary weapon and hand, most good offensives do not utilize an off-hand implement.)
Those were quite intelligent observations on your part, Mister.
     Do rippers (parry riposte style) sometimes let the offensive attack after
riposte slip away?  They surely do!  Why?  Perhaps no one knows exactly, but the
reason may be one of these:
  1.  The ripper simply is not skilled enough to take advantage of riposting--e.g.
      not enough attack skills?
  2.  The opponents' skill levels, especially initiative, are too high to allow the
      ripper to hold the advantage after ripping?
  3.  The ripper in question gets lousy die rolls?  (Few rippers have the knack of
      the immortalized Daydream Believer who, while not of perfect godling design,
      was the epitome of knack.)
  4.  The OE (offensive effort) or the AL (activity level) or KD (kill desire) or all
      the above are too low?
  5.  Heck if I know!
Send a diplo to Mannequin of Second Bananas in DM47.  He is a close friend, the owner
of Daydream Believer and several clones, and a perceived expert on rippers.  Perhaps
he will shed more light on the subject.  P.S.  I, too seldom run rippers with AL or
OE above mod.
     Can a warrior be too small for a favorite weapon, you ask?  Can a watermelon
attract flies?  Can Lebron James dunk with authority?  Was Vince Lombardi a great
coach?  Of course a warrior can be too small for a favorite weapon!  But supposedly,
there are no size penalties if this occurs.  It is not so uncommon in ADM to see tiny
warriors running around with big weapons and whoopin' butt!
     Thanks for making a noob feel welcome, you say?  Well, sure.  But you have to
realize most of us doing this Duel stuff are noobs right along with you.  It is great
to have company!
     The "best" warriors for Primus?  Need you ask?  Aimers, aimers, aimers.  Not
much else.  Indeed, the RSI staff, recognizing this, offers a stylemaster skill
potion in the Primus tournaments to encourage other and all styles to participate.
Long, long ago, the parry lunge style was considered optimal; then came the era of
lungers; now is the time for aimed blows, and that time does not look to end at all
soon.  Getting an aimed blow alive up through DM can be difficult, but once they
become immortal....  If one were to ask MY opinion of the order of value of styles in
the immortal ranks, it would be:
1.  aimer
2.  aimer
3.  lunger
4.  plunger, ripper, waste, total parry
5.  basher, slasher, piker, striker
Nuff said?
     Continuing with additional questions under the Gods and Heroes large set of
questions.  All the questions related to skills and their workings, I shall refer you
to the above, which refers you to Assur's recent fine article on Noblish.  He
explains skills as best as is known.
     Your 9-9-10-15-12(+1)-11-19 ripper?  Where do I start?  An interesting, but not
at all bad, design.  First, the 19 deftness.  Not much reason to have anything other
than 17 or 21 at that level.  (For any design.)  Since I do not know your starting
numbers, I cannot comment much else on design.  Style--looks like a ripper to me!  If
the deftness were 21, well, then it would look more like a conventional aimer.
Bumping will seems like a fruitless task to us.  Not that it doesn't help, but you
are too worried about will.  It would not at all be uncommon for aimers or rippers to
work well with 9 will.  They both have low endurance burns.  If we had a 9-9-10-15-
11-11-19 design, it would probably be, in this order, ST, PR, maybe PL.  As to
running the ripper style, see my comments way above.  This ripper looks like it
should run somewhat offensively, something like Jorja has indicated.  It probably
does not have the hit points (con), nor can it carry heavy armor, to run defensively
as you seem to wish.  If I HAD to run it defensively, it might look like:
SC/-     backup DA     APL/L
4-4-4-4-4-4-7
4-4-4-4-4-4-7
4-8-8-8-8-8-5
P - open....
     "10-10-5-7-14-9-15 to 10-10-5-13-16-9-21 PL.   I will bump WL to 17, ST to 11,
and (maybe) WT to 15.   I could've made this an AB or a PR, but since he probably
won't doa lot of damage, I wanted him accurate.   Also, the low skill base for the AB
frightens me."
     My thoughts on your comments.  The low WT makes it a difficult design.  But
accentuate the DF and WL and this becomes an 11-10-5-11-17-9-21 AB or us
Consortiumites.  The best design for "not doing much damage" is an aimer, which is
probably the only style that can get away with little damage.  You are correct that
some styles have a higher starting skill base than the aimer, but we thin k the aimer
we designed is a pretty sweet little arena warrior.
     "Which is why my second guy's an AB.  9-11-14-10-9-3-14 to 9-13-14-16-9-3-20.
Burner, as well, even with 9 WL (DF to 21, WT to 15).   I JUST saw Jorja's rhythm and
Blues article (AFTER I've designed these guys) and I won't think that this dude's
gonna be able to run L/L; I wanted high WT and DF and run him hard, 8-8-x, like a
striker.  With his (hopefully) decent damage output, a few shots to the head and he
should win.  I think."
     We think...  Making a "burner" with a starting will of 9 is a difficult task
which even we Consortiumites seldom try.  Not that there is a thing wrong with a 9 WL
as we often design warriors to exactly that.  If I had wanted to retain the 9 will,
then this warrior would have been an 11-15-14-15-9-3-17 piker (PS) or, even more
likely, an 11-11-14-15-7-17 striker.  But given those starting numbers an 11-11-14-
15-15-3-15 is calling us and it would be, in this order, LU, SL, WS, PL.  As an
additional comment, "running your AB hard, 8-8-x, like a striker" is not likely to
get him moving as he has such a low skill and decise, and he is the likely one to get
two head shots and out.  The warrior you designed will have to rely on defense,
first, to then steal the initiative.  Can it?
     "Another burner: 7-9-9-9-14-9-13 to 10-9-9-14-17-9-16.  DF, WT, and ST get a
bump each.   Kinda modeled, in theory, after a few of Jorja's graduated rippers.  So
the explanation for this is his article.  (Translation:  it's Jorja's fault if this
guy sucks).  This is a PR."
     All at once this thought grabs me!  You seem too focused on burners!  Now
realize that comment is coming from a Consortium fellow, and The Consortium is
probably the king of burner-builders!  Nothing wrong with making your design a
ripper.  I sorta like it!  Were we to have made it a ripper, it would have been 10-9-
9-15-17-9-15, or preferably 11-10-9-15-17-9-13 because it is stronger and can take
one more hit before needing to riposte.  We would, then, have fought this guy very
much as we listed above, but have added more armor such as ASM/S.  What we really,
really would probably have done is to make this an 11-9-9-15-17-10-13 slasher.
     " Another burner: 9-10-7-12-13-9-10 to 14-10-7-16-17-9-16.   After a bump to WT
and ST, she'll use a BA and (probably) heavy armor.   I'm still waiting for a
definitive PS article.  I've seen one in the DM93 turn 378 newsletter, but there's no
way I'm running this guy 10-10-10 Decisiveness every minute.  This guy's a PS by the
way."
     Hmmmmm.  Why not run him 10-10-x-D in the first minute?  It would certainly fit
my thinking.  As to a definitive piker article... even if there were one, it would be
inaccurate or incomplete because no one has figured out how to SPECIFICALLY quantify
the illusive, ambivalent piker.  Pikers are different from minute to minute and from
design to design.  Pikers are personal.  Pikers take that loving feeling to
interpret.  Live with it!  However, why place such pressure on oneself by selecting
the piker style?  Leave that for even the most-daring experts.  If we had to make
this a piker, it would likely look like a striker and run like a striker.  11-10-7-
17-17-10-11 with that last point optional, but probably on ST for me.  Indeed, this
warrior is a lovely, no-need-to-burn 13-10-7-17-17-9-11 whatever.  Our order of
preference would be-- SL, BA, ST, LU, PL.  Really, don't burn such a lovely.
     And on to your final design, a non burner!  Wow!  What got into you?!  "And a
striker, no bumps on this one:  6-10-16-17-9-7-5 to 9-10-16-21-9-8-11.  Mainly
because SOMEONE's got to have a winning record on this squad."
     My thoughts?  Well done!  I can only offer compliments and agreement.  If I had
to make another choice, I would certainly retain the 21 wit, and go 11-10-16-21-9-10-
7 ST, limiting myself to the SH/HA/SS/BS combo, which are really pretty fine weapons.
But, then, your 9 ST design is limited in weapons also.
     So there you have it.  The last bit of advice you will get from me, the one and
only Smithy of The Consortium clan.  If you want to talk to me more, come and compete
in DM31.  You will find me there, at least in the near future.  Salutations.
                             Smithy, Useful Weapons, Consortium affiliated

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

                             Basics of Strategy, part 3

Hybrids, (not including tank offensives):
     Let's assume you've designed a great hybrid warrior, who has skills in all the
right places and the right mix of physicals for his style.  There is not a 'catch
all' strategy for these warriors.  In fact, one of the things that makes hybrids so
hard to run (even after you have the right design) is that not all hybrids respond
the same to the same strategy.
     Offensive Effort is the 'easiest' number to decide on.  Find what works for your
warrior and stick with it.  Most hybrids operate best on the favorite Offensive
Effort.  You can find other articles talking about favorites and what is likely for
your warrior.  I've seen scum and parry ripostes do nasty things at 1-2 offensive
effort.
     Activity Level is tougher.  Higher is often better and it often won't hurt your
warrior to run at 10 AL.  It makes your warrior move around, helping dodge and your
willingness to strike, but 10 AL will burn endurance fast and probably hurts parry.
For a Lunger with lots and lots of endurance, I highly recommend 10 AL.  For a Parry
Striker that isn't learning defense skills, maybe not so much.  Once again, if you
can find a number that works well, go with it.  Assur starts most of his hybrids at
5-10 AL and works from there.
     All that said, you might opt to run your hybrid differently in different
minutes.  My comments above are assuming you are expecting a short fight (which is
usually the case).  For a hybrid with high parry, you might go with a parry strategy
minute 1 and slowly wake up in minutes 2 and 3.  For a lunger hybrid, you might opt
for very high numbers in minute 1, then go with some endurance conserving strategy in
later minutes.  Work with your warrior and style and his strengths and weaknesses.
And use your challenges, avoids, and your alternate strategy to mix it up a bit.
     Armor: DO NOT OVER ENCUMBER YOUR HYBRID!!!  One popular formula for determining
your carry ability without penalties is to add your Strength to the lesser of
Strength/Constitution and subtract 6.  This is the number of points your warrior can
carry.  After you've determined the max you want to carry, that helps you decide your
armor/weapons. For higher dodge, Assur recommends ARM or lower, even if you can carry
more, in most fights.
     Weapons: Feel free to try and find your favorite weapon, but most of Assur's
warriors use the best weapon they can use given their stats.  SC, BS, BA, LO are all
great choices if you can use them and highly recommended.  For basic strategy, it is
tough to go wrong with those weapons.

I am going to skip the counter strategy section against hybrids.
   1) Different hybrids fight differently
   2) It is pretty rare to find yourself against an unbeatable hybrid
   3) Most of the time, it is combination of skills and luck that will determine the
      outcome of these fights.

     If you do find yourself sharing an arena with one of the few hybrids that
appears to wipe the arena sands with anyone they face, I recommend avoiding that
warrior.  These warriors are special and often look really mediocre until they get on
the sands.

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

     Pikers are often considered the worst style and for good reason.  In an
environment where extremes tend to do so well, Parry Strikers, the jack of all
trades, are not extreme.  This time around, Assur hopes to show that Pikers can
indeed succeed.  So this time, Assur's designs show how to force setups that might be
better as something else into a different style.

     15-13-17-3-10-6-6.  The low wit/deftness makes it tough to make and offensive.
With the low attack of Pikers, it is virtually impossible.  As a defensive, it is
choice between 11 deftness and higher hit points.  Assur chooses the hit points and
we have a scummy piker at 17-18-17-3-16-6-7.
     12-7-16-4-13-14-4.  Another low wit/deftness guy.  With the lower starting con
and higher speed, it looks like a lunger or basher.  Those designs won't work so well
for a piker, so I'll opt for a strange hybrid burner.  Nineteen will/nine deftness
for huge breakpoints in two trains.  Spread the rest of the points around for 13-8-
16-5-19-14-9.  After burns, he'll look 15-10-16-7-21-14-11, using a BA.
     7-13-12-15-8-6-9.  This warrior is easy to design.  21 wit is clear.  9 will and
11 deftness.  5 points left.  2 more to deftness and 3 to strength look good and we
end with 10-13-12-21-9-6-13.  5-9-9-11-14-13-9.  Most managers opt for 17-17-x-11 on
guys like this.  That is solid design.  The burner looks much more exciting to me.
7-9-9-16-20-13-10 (which burns to 9-10-9-17-21-13-11)
     12-4-8-10-10-12-14.  This wants to be a pure offensive with the low con.  Since
he's going to be a piker, I'll maximize attack skills and count on his natural
learning to get decise skills.  The end result is a 17-4-8-15-11-12-17 piker.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jorja
The Middle Way

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pagan's replies:

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

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

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

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

Question, turn 398:

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

Replies, turn 399:

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

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

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

Question, turn 399:

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

Replies, turn 400:

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

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

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

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

                                     Duelmasters
                                     -----------
 DM   9 ZUKAL (turn 726): SCALES of SERPENTS HOLD 3 (Khisanth, mgr.)
 DM  12 RIZTAB (turn 729): AESARA of DREAMERS (Sleepy, mgr.)
 DM  13 DULLENS (turn 688): BOUTTE of ARCANE ROYALTY (Destitute Noble, mgr.)
 DM  15 MALCORN (turn 723): DUSKBLOOD PUDDING of SHEWISH BUFFET (One Armed Bandit)
 DM  16 WILLAF (turn 725): WELL DON of GARBAGE PAIL KIDS (Kharadmon, mgr.)
 DM  17 ALJAFIR (turn 716): JIMI APPENDIX of BODY OF MUSIC (Howlin' Wolf, mgr.)
 DM  19 ZUWAYZA (turn 717): WALTER PIDGEON of MAN OR BEAST? (The Dark One, mgr.)
 DM  28 MORYA (turn 361): TALISMAN of MAGICAL MADNESS (Dameon Darkheart, mgr.)
 DM  29 LAPUR (turn 714): CALYPSO of BOHICA (Scruffy Puff, mgr.)
 DM  31 CHIMLEVTAL (turn 359): POSITION IS EMPTY
 DM  32 ARVAT (turn 711): OBLITERATION of ANGELS OF PAIN (The Dark One, mgr.)
 DM  33 NIATOLI ISLAND (turn 708): DIGITALIS of OBSIDIAN HALL (Dameon Darkheart, mgr)
 DM  35 MURSKA (turn 700): FURIOUS FROGPALER of BATTLE FROGS (Grimm, mgr.)
 DM  43 VEASTIAN (turn 658): KHARIJANH of THE FAMILY (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  45 STORMCROWE (turn 336): ROSELYN of DARQUE FORCES (Master Darque, mgr.)
 DM  47 NORTH FORK (turn 330): LEGION of LUROCIAN DEVILS (The Greek Guy, mgr.)
 DM  50 SNOWBOUND (turn 317): C IS FOR COOKIE of OPEN SESAME (Crip, mgr.)
 DM  56 ROCANIS (turn 590): MERVIN OLDES of MIDDLE WAY WO (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  60 ARADI (turn 725): DAISY DAWG of RED DOG GANG (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  61 JURINE (turn 557): ZENSU LASAGNA of SHEWISH BUFFET (One Armed Bandit)
 DM  65 DAL SHANG (turn 551): LORAND TEN SORN of SAND DANCERS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  73 ERINIKA (turn 266): R.S.I. of ALPHABET SOUP (Crip?, mgr.)
 DM  74 DAYLA KIV (turn 512): GEORGE PETERSON of MEDAL OF HONOR (The Anarchist, mgr)
 DM  75 JADE MOUNTAIN (turn 507): ANDA of FALSE OVERTURES (Guido, mgr.)
 DM  78 LIN TIRIAN (turn 498): STEAMED MUSCLES of SHEWISH BUFFET (One Armed Bandit)
ADM 103 FREE BLADES (turn 615): GIMME SOME SUGAR of ARMY OF DARKNESS (The Dark One)

                                      Top Teams
                                      ---------
 DM   9 ZUKAL (turn 727): SERPENTS HOLD 3 (Khisanth, mgr.)
 DM  12 RIZTAB (turn 729): DREAMERS (Sleepy, mgr.)
 DM  13 DULLENS (turn 688): ARCANE ROYALTY (Destitute Noble, mgr.)
 DM  15 MALCORN (turn 723): POSITION IS EMPTY
 DM  16 WILLAF (turn 725): GOLDEN GLADIATORS (Midas, mgr.)
 DM  17 ALJAFIR (turn 716): BODY OF MUSIC (Howlin' Wolf, mgr.)
 DM  19 ZUWAYZA (turn 717): MAN OR BEAST? (The Dark One, mgr.)
 DM  28 MORYA (turn 361): EXPENSE ACCOUNT (Finance Manager, mgr.)
 DM  29 LAPUR (turn 714): THE TAKEN (Stillgard, mgr.)
 DM  31 CHIMLEVTAL (turn 359): MILITARY MAYHEM (Crip, mgr.)
 DM  32 ARVAT (turn 711): THE WALKING DEAD (Deep Thought, mgr.)
 DM  33 NIATOLI ISLAND (turn 708): KNIGHTS OF LEGEND (?, mgr.)
 DM  35 MURSKA (turn 700): SOUND (Trim, mgr.)
 DM  43 VEASTIAN (turn 658): THE FAMILY (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  45 STORMCROWE (turn 336): DARQUE FORCES (Master Darque, mgr.)
 DM  47 NORTH FORK (turn 330): ERRATA! (JE, mgr.)
 DM  50 SNOWBOUND (turn 317): LIFE IMAPACTS (Smitty, mgr.)
 DM  56 ROCANIS (turn 590): MEDAL OF HONOR Z11 (The Anarchist, mgr.)
 DM  60 ARADI (turn 575): RED DOG GANG (Spot, mgr.)
 DM  61 JURINE (turn 557): MIDDLE WAY 16 (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  65 DAL SHANG (turn 551): SAND DANCERS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  73 ERINIKA (turn 266): WORLD WIDE GORE (Crip, mgr.)
 DM  74 DAYLA KIV (turn 512): I HATE TOURNEYS (Anti-Tourney, mgr.)
 DM  75 JADE MOUNTAIN (turn 507): FALSE OVERTURES (Guido, mgr.)
 DM  78 LIN TIRIAN (turn 498): MEDAL OF HONOR Z2 (The Anarchist, mgr.)
ADM 103 FREE BLADES (turn 615): DIRT DEVILS et al (The Dark One, mgr.)

                                   Recent Graduates
                                  -----------------
 DM   9 ZUKAL (turn 727): BARELY LEGAL of IT'S YOUR BIRTHDAY (The Dark One, mgr.)
 DM  12 RIZTAB (turn 729): AESARA of DREAMERS (Sleepy, mgr.)
 DM  15 MALCORN (turn 723): VARICK of TERMINUS (Carick, mgr.)
 DM  28 MORYA (turn 360): CAPEX of EXPENSE ACCOUNT (Finance Manager, mgr.)
 DM  29 LAPUR (turn 714): CALYPSO of BOHICA (Scruffy Puff, mgr.)
 DM  31 CHIMLEVTAL (turn 359): THRALL of THE STORM REAVERS (?, mgr.)
                   (turn 358): KATANA of AVENGERS (Huckle Cat, mgr.)
 DM  33 NIATOLI ISLAND (turn 709):FROGGY FOO-FOO of BATTLE FROGS S01 (Grimm, mgr.)
                                  KARINIRINA of THE SEWING CIRCLE (Jorja, mgr.)
                       (turn 707): FLOUR CHILD of BAD BREAD (The Baker, mgr)
                                   PANDORA of OBSIDIAN HALL (Dameon Darkheart, mgr.)
 DM  35 MURSKA (turn 700): SMILE WAFFLE of HAPPY FUN TIME (Floyd, mgr.)
 DM  45 STORMCROWE (turn 336): ROSELYN of DARQUE FORCES (Master Darque, mgr.)
 DM  47 NORTH FORK (turn 329): FRASIER of CHEERS (Otis, mgr.)
 DM  50 SNOWBOUND (turn 316): 4-H of LIFE IMPACTS (Smitty, mgr.)
 DM  56 ROCANIS (turn 589): GERHART ERVIN of MIDDLE WAY WO (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  60 ARADI (turn 723): CHOPPED RABBIT of UNNAMEABLES (Howlin' Wolf, mgr.)
 DM  73 ERINIKA (turn 265): FRISBEE of FOUND IN THE SAND (Assurnasirbanipal, mgr.)
 DM  75 JADE MOUNTAIN (turn 507): ANDA of FALSE OVERTURES (Guido, mgr.)
                      (turn 506): LING of FALSE OVERTURES (Guido, mgr.)
 DM  78 LIN TIRIAN (turn 498): STEAMED MUSCLES of SHEWISH BUFFET (One Armed Bandit)
                   (turn 497): URIK DARKHEART of SAND DANCERS (Jorja, mgr.)

                                 DUELMASTER'S COLUMN
                             Notes from the arena champ.

     What a surprise!  I guess Smithy wanted to get an early start in DM 31.  More
likely the tourney interference with normal arena activity caused a slight mixup on
dates and his crew left before fighting their last fight.
     So here I am, sitting atop the throne on the eve of my departure from Noblish
Island.  Assur says he plans to run me again.  As you may or may not recall, I was
designed 9-7-12-16-20-10-10.  While those trains would have gathered a whole bunch of
skills, Assur is saving them for the future.  He hopes I can one day make a lot of
noise in some far future tournament.
     So farewell!

Makes Me Look Bad

                                      SPY REPORT

     Busy, busy, busy, lots of things happening in NOBLISH ISLAND this turn, and 
let's start with a look at some of the teams.  It seems the training can make the 
difference, as BASH BROS BROTHER is pushed out of top team by THE HIGH WAY, who came 
from 2nd with a 4-1-0 this turn.  On their very first turn, COUNT ON ME had a 4-1-0, 
and with this kind of luck or skill, should do well.  Welcome to NOBLISH ISLAND.  And 
let's see, CHICAGO DAWES fought PERSISTANT BEGGAR and gained 10 points and 
contributed to THE HIGH WAY's 4-1-0.  GALLATIN HUGHES has lost to CAPTURED ORC, 
falling 9 points, while helping make THE HIGH WAY a 4-1-0 turn.  Can someone confirm 
a rumor for me?  I hear the top team makes their losing fighters do dishes at The 
Swinging Aardvark until they win.  Maybe?   
     He who challenges well, fights well.  He who avoids without cause, shall lose 
for good reasons.  My mama told me that one.   
     A coward dies a thousand deaths, a brave man only once.  Wise men know this to 
be true.  Is it really true that NOBLISH ISLAND has more dishwashers per capita that 
fighters?  Just thought I'd ask...   
     I like this place, NOBLISH ISLAND, the taverns have old wine, and young serving 
girls.  Who could ask for more?  Well, I'm burning daylight here in NOBLISH ISLAND 
and I've a long road ahead of me.  Happy Trails.  Until the sun next rises and my pen 
sets to paper-- Alarond the Scribe  

ADEPTS                         W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
-ATLANTEA 9453                 4   0  0    51       GODS AND HEROES (1627)

CHALLENGER INITIATES           W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
-MAT TUKHOLT 9438              3   3  0    33       MISFITS OF DOOM (1624)
 INNISFREE JONES 9452          6   2  0    29       THE HIGH WAY (1626)
 GALLATIN HUGHES 9451          5   3  0    29       THE HIGH WAY (1626)
 ALBUQUERQUE BOONE 9448        4   4  1    27       THE HIGH WAY (1626)

INITIATES                      W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 CHICAGO DAWES 9449            3   5  0    21       THE HIGH WAY (1626)
 EDINBURG FINN 9450            3   5  0    21       THE HIGH WAY (1626)
 FIRST DOWN 9486               1   0  0     8       COUNT ON ME (1633)
 HORRIBLE LEARNING 9489        1   0  0     6       BASH BROS PIKER (1634)
 THIRTY-LOVE 9488              1   0  0     6       COUNT ON ME (1633)
-ZIDRIT DU'ORDEN 9441          0   6  0     6       MISFITS OF DOOM (1624)
-YAR'KEN TILLBIN 9440          0   6  0     6       MISFITS OF DOOM (1624)
 100 YARD DASH 9484            1   0  0     4       COUNT ON ME (1633)
 3 POINT SHOT 9487             1   0  0     3       COUNT ON ME (1633)
 FAVE RHYTHM 9491              0   1  0     1       BASH BROS PIKER (1634)
 FAVE WEAPON 9493              0   1  0     1       BASH BROS PIKER (1634)
 INDY 500 9485                 0   1  0     1       COUNT ON ME (1633)
 LOW SKILL BASE 9490           0   1  0     1       BASH BROS PIKER (1634)
 JACK OF ALL TRADES 9492       0   1  0     1       BASH BROS PIKER (1634)

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

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

                                     PERSONAL ADS

Mat Tukholt -- You and your manager will learn that in a Basic AB vs AB match, it is
very often the one that goes first that wins the fight.  ABs are attack machines.
Drug User was using the tried and true 10-10 pure offensive strategy last turn. --
Assur

Pitchfork -- Crit dodge and riposte?  Really? -- Assur

Chicago Dawes -- That was a pretty bizarre Basher vs. Wall of Steel fight.  Short,
but bizarre.  Result is typical, but how they got there not so much. -- Assur

Albuquerque Boone -- That's what a HL blow feels like when wielded by a 6'8" Basher.
-- Embarrassing

Mister Mister -- Nobody can explain, really, what each one does with absolute
certainty, but here is my answer:

INITIATIVE: The least understood skill.  Assur believes Initiative is crucial for
actually getting your warrior to attack.  Once you are attacking, initiative helps
you keep attacking (not letting your opponent get a chance).  Low initiative warriors
will often just let opponents attack for no reason (and might not try to make an
attack when they otherwise would).  Realize that it is not your initiative skills
alone that determine if you'll attack or keep attacking, but this is what Assur
believes initatiative does.

RIPOSTE: After your warrior successfully parries or dodges a blow, your riposte
skills come into play.  A riposte happens immediately after a dodge or parry, reading
something like:
     "WARRIOR sidesteps, trying to throw his opponent off balance"
After the riposte message, your warrior may or may not attack (Assur believes after
the riposte is where Initiative comes into play), but the message itself is the
'riposte'.  Eventually, virtually every successful dodge/parry results in a riposte
(Primus & later in the advanced arenas).  In basic it is much more important.

ATTACK: How good your warrior is at attacking.  High attack lets your warriors "crit"
more often.  Crits are fancier attack messages and result in higher damage and more
hits.

PARRY: How good your warrior is at parrying an attack.  Parries can be bypassed, so
they aren't as good as dodging, but early on in the game (pretty much through basic),
parry based warriors are very, very good.

DEFENSE: How good your warrior is at dodging an attack.  Dodge is the most important
skill in the very end game.  Dodges cannot be bypassed.  Even before Advanced Duel2,
dodging warrior can make opponents look foolish.

DECISIVENESS: Mostly the ability to strike first in a fight.  There may be some other
places decisiveness is used, but it eventually becomes one of the least important
skills.  In basic, though, it is one of the most important skills, especially for
pure  offensives.  However it is also a very fickle mistress, as it is possible for a
warrior with a much lower decise rating to attack first.  (A large component of who
attacks first is determined by die rolls)

Hope this helps.  When I say "basic," I'm talking about fighting in the normal
arenas, which are numbered 1-93.  Advanced Duel2 are the arenas you go to if you keep
fighting after you graduate (or advance) from those normal arenas.  These are arenas
100, 101, 103, 104, 105, 106, and 107.  The End Game is Primus, arena 102, where
warriors go when they've developed even further.  Many warriors have trained stats to
all 25s in Primus.  Congrats to Assur on his Duelmaster. Yeehaw! (I was sure you
could do it, Assur, if my Useful Weapons would just step out of the way. (-wink-) --
Smithy

The Useful Weapons are now in DM31. (They just ran starting 3-2.)  They were
transferred early after nine fights due to a communication error.  Since they were
already transferred pre-FTF, my Trash Can did not participate in that tournament.
(Saved me $7!)  However, you will soon see the newest Consortium entry here in
Noblish.  Something about "numbers."  (I don't get it?)  I don't even know if The
Consortium has picked his newest manager yet.  Probably some professor or whatever.
Good-by from me. -- Smithy
P.S.  Someone from The Consortium just might have something to say here later about
those voluminous questions asked in the last newsletter.  Not me; I'm going to take
me a nap.

Assur, et al, as to running pure defensives -- yes, it is true, we Consortiumites run
more than most.  We hold the record of five times maxing out at 32,000+ minutes.
Fights of 30+ minutes are not too unusual in basic, with 200+ happening now and then
in ADM.  We agree and utilize almost everything you said in your tutorial, except
that we make significant use of Ps.  Lotsa Ps for tactics.  ( A P a day keeps the
doctor away!)  We do not ignore responsiveness tactics either.  Very few Ds, though.
Pure defensives don't seem to move well enough to dodge effectively.  Nothing like a
good shield or two for a scum as long as his bag of tricks is filled with Ps and very
healthy and heavy armor. -- The Consortium Elders

Atlantea -- Really looking forward to seeing the fight against Black Sheep.  I'm 
still waiting on results.  But not often you see a Basher and a Striker have a fight 
last into the second minute.  Good win! -- Black Sheep

before the fight is estimated at 15 attack, 14 decise, and 14 init skills. -- Assur

     Not sure where this fragment goes.  Sorry.

Mr. Mister -- My answers
  1) I think your observation is too small to make a conclusion.  My experience is
that warriors attack far too often with their off-hand weapons than I'd like
(especially when carrying shields).  Shields are way better for parrying though.  So
I use a shield when I want the parry, I use an off-hand weapon when I don't want to 
attack with a shield.

2) First read my article on hybrids.  PRs are really finicky to strategy changes.
You really need to find what works for your PR.  7-7 is a possible favorite rhythm
for a PR, though.  As far as getting the riposte message and failing to attack?
Welcome to the world of PRs!  That is the norm for them.  I generally keep the KD
moderate 4-7.  And I keep changing the rhythm slightly until I find something that
works.  Even so, they still will have fights where they refuse to attack.  One way to
almost ensure they WON'T attack, though is to put the AL at 1.

3) Your favorite weapon can be any weapon well suited to your style.  Until you
graduate, you may not have the stats to use your favorite weapon (and you will take
penalties for such).  Once you graduate, though, you will be told your warrior's
favorite weapon and can use it without penalty.

In Primus, the game becomes all about dodge.  So the 'best' warriors are warriors
that dodge the best.  Fist-using ABs get a bonus to dodge.  Ls and PLs can get VH
Activity level as a favorite.  Other styles have succeeded, but I'd recommend those 3
styles first and foremost.  My recommendation, though, is play for fun now.  Primus
is a long ways off.

1) Skills: Attack (How good your attacks are--VERY IMPORTANT).  Initiative (related
to when you attack and how well you maintain the attack.  Nobody really knows exactly
how init works.  Eventually becomes unimportant).  Decisiveness (very powerful in
basic (especially for offensives), mostly relates to attacking first).  Riposte
(Assur's belief is that Riposte is only related to the message after a successful
parry/dodge.  Only important that you have 'enough'.  Many warriors have succeeded
with little or no riposte)  Defense and Parry (dodge and parry ability)
     Realize that skills are not the end all.  Strategy, Luck, Style, and your
Opponent all play a role in fights.

2) Your ripper looks okay to me.  If he doesn't do good damage, I'd either Dark Arena
him or train strength once.  Question answered above and in my article.  Rippers are
not easy to run.  I wouldn't use a tactic on him.  Experiment with offensive effort.
I just graduated a ripper that was completely mediocre and looked bad until I started
using 2 OE.  Then he started looking more like I wanted him to.  He graduated and
sure enough, favorite offensive effort of Very Low.  He went to the Dark Arena on his
final fight and won using a 2-10 strategy.

3) The Red Book has a nickname.  Most players know it as the "Red Book of Lies."  My
opinion on those two tactics: Decise: Try to attack first.  Gives a fairly big bonus
when trying to attack first.  Penaltiesin other areas.  Response: Best used to
counter the Decise Tactic.  When used in other situations, I see bizarre results.
Sometimes the warriors stands around and gets hit.  Other timesthe warrior just
fights in strange ways.

Finesse styles are only harder to learn to run.  There isn't a catch-all strategy for
them.  Doesn't mean you shouldn't make them.  For most finesse styles, I recommend
11+ str!  Average or higher con.  Prefer low size speed.  11 deftness is perfect for
all but ABs.  (Some managers like high deftness PRs).  ABs are actually easier than
people think.  Give them 21 deftness and they can work just fine.  Keep AL 6-10,
though.

All your designs look reasonable.  You learned somewhere not to add to speed and that
will is important (and breakpoints are 7, 9, 15, 17, and 21).  There is an age old
argument about deftness.  Some manager vehemently say 11 is all you need.  Others
love the skills it gives.  Right now you're with the latter group.  Hopefully my
article this turn gives you insight into how to run hybrids, which is what most of
those guys will be most successful as. -- Assur

Mr. Mister -- Question #2:  I wrote that ripper article a long time ago... don't
remember much about it now.  I hope that others will answer.
Question #3:  Yes.  A warrior can be too small, or too weak, or too unintelligent, or
too undeft for his/her favorite weapon.  I don't know whether more than one stat can
be too low, but it wouldn't surprise me.

Three Brothers and two Mordant Deserters.  Two-three-one.  Chicago actually LOST to a
Mordant Deserter.  It's enough to make me throw things. -- Jorja
P.S.  And my favorite things to throw are warhammers....

                                  LAST WEEK'S FIGHTS

GALLATIN HUGHES was devastated by CAPTURED ORC in a 1 minute mismatched fight.
CHICAGO DAWES vanquished PERSISTANT BEGGAR in a 1 minute uneven battle.
EDINBURG FINN demolished PERSISTANT BEGGAR in a 1 minute uneven fight.
ALBUQUERQUE BOONE devastated PERSISTANT BEGGAR in a 1 minute one-sided contest.
INNISFREE JONES overpowered PERSISTANT BEGGAR in a 1 minute mismatched match.
100 YARD DASH bested FAVE RHYTHM in a crowd pleasing 6 minute novice's duel.
INDY 500 was beaten by HORRIBLE LEARNING in a popular 1 minute amateur's brawl.
FIRST DOWN viciously subdued LOW SKILL BASE in a 3 minute beginner's melee.
3 POINT SHOT outlasted JACK OF ALL TRADES in a slow 11 minute gory beginner's duel.
THIRTY-LOVE beat FAVE WEAPON in a popular 1 minute novice's melee.

                                    BATTLE REPORT

             MOST POPULAR                        RECORD DURING THE LAST 10 TURNS     
|FIGHTING STYLE               FIGHTS        FIGHTING STYLE     W -   L -  K   PERCENT|
|PARRY-STRIKE                     5         SLASHING ATTACK   16 -   2 -  0      89  |
|STRIKING ATTACK                  3         TOTAL PARRY        8 -   2 -  0      80  |
|BASHING ATTACK                   2         LUNGING ATTACK    12 -   7 -  2      63  |
|TOTAL PARRY                      2         STRIKING ATTACK   10 -   6 -  0      63  |
|LUNGING ATTACK                   1         WALL OF STEEL     13 -  12 -  0      52  |
|WALL OF STEEL                    1         BASHING ATTACK    23 -  22 -  1      51  |
|AIMED BLOW                       1         AIMED BLOW        18 -  19 -  0      49  |
|PARRY-LUNGE                      0         PARRY-STRIKE       1 -  10 -  0       9  |
|PARRY-RIPOSTE                    0         PARRY-RIPOSTE      0 -   5 -  0       0  |
|SLASHING ATTACK                  0         PARRY-LUNGE        0 -   0 -  0       0  |

Turn 382 was great if you     Not so great if you used      The fighting styles of the
used the fighting styles:     the fighting styles:          top eleven warriors are:

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

                               TOP WARRIOR OF EACH STYLE

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

The overall popularity leader is INNISFREE JONES 9452.  The most popular warrior this 
turn was FAVE RHYTHM 9491.  The ten other most popular fighters were FIRST DOWN 9486, 
HORRIBLE LEARNING 9489, THIRTY-LOVE 9488, INNISFREE JONES 9452, CHICAGO DAWES 9449, 
ALBUQUERQUE BOONE 9448, INDY 500 9485, LOW SKILL BASE 9490, FAVE WEAPON 9493, and 
GALLATIN HUGHES 9451.

The least popular fighter this week was 3 POINT SHOT 9487.  The other ten least 
popular fighters were 100 YARD DASH 9484, JACK OF ALL TRADES 9492, EDINBURG FINN 
9450, GALLATIN HUGHES 9451, FAVE WEAPON 9493, LOW SKILL BASE 9490, INDY 500 9485, 
ALBUQUERQUE BOONE 9448, CHICAGO DAWES 9449, and INNISFREE JONES 9452.

                                 TRICKS OF THE TRADE

     Here are a few tricks of the trade I've found out.
     15, 17, and 21.  Those are the magic numbers for stats; any fighter who starts 
with a stat (except Con and Size) at any of those numbers will have more beginning 
skills than normal.
     Stats:  The stats in order of importance with regard to skills, most to least, 
are wit, will, deftness, speed, and strength, with con giving you no skills, just hit 
points and endurance.  The higher you can start any of these, especially the first 
three, the more skilled your fighter will be.  Logically, therefore, what you really 
want is a fighter who has wit, will, and deftness at 21.  This will be a GOD!  And 
probably go out and get killed immediately due to low con...
     Raising stats:  Care must be taken in doing this.  All fighters start out with 
the ability to learn 20 skills in the categories of  Defense, Parry, Riposte, Attack, 
Decisiveness, and Inititive.  When you learn all 120 skills, you've maxed out.  You 
can get skills though normal learns, or by raising stats; however, if you raise stats 
BEFORE you max out (except for Con), anything gained will count as one of the 20.  
This is called "burning" skills.  If, on the other hand, you wait until you've maxed 
out, then raising stats will add those skills to the ones you've learned, enabling you 
to exceed your limits.  But raising stats will give an immediate boost to your 
abilities.  It's a question of short term vs. long term gain, you see.
     And aiming at vital areas - head, chest, and abdomen - will increase your chances 
of getting kills.  And being bloodfeuded, and maybe getting your fighter killed in 
return.  Keep in mind that what you send forth will come back to you.  Sometimes 
redoubled.

					  Roku

                  Warrior Handedness, is he a Righty, Lefty or Ambi?

     Greetings, Joy and Happiness to everyone!!!!  I hope everyone that reads this 
article is doing well and remembering not to drink and duel.  This article discusses 
things about the handedness of a warrior.  Most managers only worry about things like 
skill, weapons and trains.  Handedness is not a major factor in playing the game but 
it's nice to know some things about it.
     Most warriors will be right handed, with a small percentage left handed.  Even 
more scarce is the ambidextrous warrior.  I believe that the defensive styles have a 
higher percentage chance to be a lefty or an AMBI than offensive styles do.  It's just 
an observation that I made in the 513 warriors surveyed.  Another note on that, I 
notice that out of 211 parry-ripostes that I was using for a PR article, about 43% of 
them were AMBIs.  The highest percent of AMBIs out of all the styles polled.
     When a manager puts weapons into his warriors hands and also when he tells his 
warrior where to strike, handedness plays a key role in the manager's decision making.  
I had a team with 4 AMBIs on it, and I started to do some experiments with them to see 
how the AMBI thing worked.  I noticed that in general the AMBI favors using the left 
hand more than the right hand.  But, there are a small percentage of AMBI warriors 
that are reversed, where the right hand is used more than the left.
     There also seems to be some confusion amongst managers that get the USE of a hand 
mixed up with which hand the weapons go in (IE which is primary and which is off-
hand).   Right handed warriors USE the RIGHT hand the most and the primary weapon is 
the RIGHT hand, off hand is the left hand.  For left-handed warriors, it is the 
opposite of right-handed warriors, of course.  The confusion comes with the AMBI 
handed warriors.  AMBIs USE the left hand more BUT the RIGHT hand holds the primary 
weapon, and the left hand holds the off hand weapon.   Every so often you will get an 
AMBI that this is reversed, where the RIGHT hand is USED more and the PRIMARY weapon 
is held in the LEFT hand.  But this kind of ambi is extremely rare.
     Well, that's it for now.  Have fun, and watch out for that right hook... 'cause 
it might be a left hook!!!!!
     For more DM info, or just to chat you can DIPLO me at ADM 103, THE JOKER'S WILD.  
You can also email me at 103260.3347@compuserve.com   or visit my DM web site at the 
following address: http://ourworld.compuserve.com./homepages/jessiejest/homepage.htm

Ta-Ta,
Sir Jessie Jest

                                  The Arcane Slasher

     I love the Slashing Style!  Slashers are finesse artists, but they're much more 
aggressive than your aimed-blow.  Well-designed slashers are formidable opponents; 
they are as ready to defend as to attack, though they prefer the latter.  Fate has 
been to kind to this style, perhaps too kind.  Even a badly-designed slasher may do 
well in basic, prompting many well-intentioned managers to promote questionable set-
ups as "the slasher ideal."  After reading another `Eureka!' article, I am compelled 
to add my 2 cents.  I've learned how to design great slashers, and I'd like to pass on 
my ideas to the rest of Alastari.  I can't tell you how to keep them alive (in four 
years I've only gotten one to ADM) but I can outline guidelines for creating a spooky 
character that will win for you--until they die or get to ADM.  Just remember that 
decent opportunities to make a slasher aren't very common!
     WT, WL, & DF--15 pts each at least.  Period.  If you don't have it, you don't 
have a great slasher.  Believe me, you can't afford to skimp anything here!
     ST--Anything from 7-11 is fine.  The smaller the character the higher the number, 
but anything with a +9 size can get by with a 7 ST.  For light armor use an epee, for 
anything heavier use a pair of hatchets, a scimitar, or a broadsword, depending on ST.
     CN & SP--Ideally, both are single-digit; if your con is high you're probably 
looking at a WASTE.  Whatever else you do, don't add them.
     SZ--Since this is something we can't change anyway, don't worry about it.  The 
bigger they are the less points to spread around to other areas, though.
     My slashers come up with the best overviews when I follow these guidelines.  Most 
earn at least four wit statements; about 50% either start out with an Expert or two, 
or they pick them up within a couple of skills.  One of my very best died in a 
tourney: 6-3-11-15-51-11-17.  He started out doing good damage; picked up Experts in 
att, init, def, and rip.  in two skills or less.  This is an extreme example, but it 
seems to me that the well-designed slasher gets more than their fair share of luck on 
their overview.  I've run one a lot worse that did fairly well--a winning record, 
until he was killed by a veteran lunger: 11-7-14-15-15-7-15, good bases in attack and 
init, four wit statements, great damage.
     Running them?
     Start out with an offensive effort of 10, and never let the OE drop below 7.  How 
quick you taper down depends on the endurance rating.  Slashers burn endurance very 
quickly; if you don't have good endurance drop right away from 10 to 7 and leave it 
there unless desperate, then go back to 10.  Otherwise try 10, then 9, then 7.  
Remember, these are aggressive beasts; keep 'em on the offensive!
     Keep the activity level fairly low except in the very beginning, when you should 
be running 10.  Then drop to 5 or 6, then 3 or 4m then 1.  Go back up to 7 or 10 in 
desperation.
     Match your kill desire to your offensive effort, always.
     Summary: 10-10-10, 9-5-9*, 7-3-7, 7-1-7 across.  Desperation: 10-10-10 or 10-7-
10.
     Avoid armor unless you MUST, but no higher than ARM and H.
     Don't use tactics--they seem to inhibit the slasher's ability to riposte and 
respond well to their opponent.  Exception:  to take out scum pick the heaviest weapon 
your character can lift and use the slash tactic--go for the legs or the arms: 7-1-7.  
Slash all the way!
     These `rules' have worked for me.  The biggest problem I've had is that my 
slashers rise too high too quickly.  Within five or six fights they're fighting 
warriors with 15 fights' experience.  So be forewarned; give them sometime off every 
few turns so that they won't get clobbered by some old-timer looking for an easy win!  
Good Luck!

                                   The Arcane Kid, of Astral Kin, Osksi DM-3

                                   *Remember, with `good' endurance only!

                                     "The Basher"

     My friends would laugh if they knew I was writing this, but who cares what they 
think?  The basher is not a bad style in my opinion.  It starts with the same base 
decisiveness as the striker, but has 4-5 more skills in initiative, and 3-4 more 
skills in att.  That's what makes this style so good.  I mean, you have the ability to 
get the jump on your opponent, you have the ability to hit your opponent, and who 
cares about their high riposte with your high att rating combined with your exp+ in 
initiative, they won't know what train hit them, much less think about the counter 
attack.

O.K.  I only make two types 1st the WL Basher:

#1      #2
12      13
10      11
10      9
21      16
15      15
9       13
7        7

Example #1--Currently 8-3-1 in Firehold (68) has Master+1 att, Master +1 init., and 
Adv.Exp. dec., and is already sitting pretty with 80 recognition points.

Example #2--Currently 8-3-0 in Jhans (36) has Exp.+3 att, Adv.Exp. init., and Exp+3 
dec. with 87 recognition points.

     O.K., the other kind I like to call it the "High damage, low will, needs to end 
the fight before he passes out with exhaustion" Basher.  This type of basher relies on 
his high damage capabilities to make up for his low WL.  I've not had the best of luck 
with these types of bashers, but I do know they can win (Warbeast has proved that to 
me).  The key is to get at least great damage on the roll-up.  O.K. some examples:

#1      #2      #3
11      13      17
11       9      12
16      17      10 
17      17      17
7       10      11
11      11      10
11       7       7

Example #1--I DA'ed, he didn't win
Example #2--Killed in round 1 of the winter FTF, went 4-3 in the Oct. Tournament, 
learned 6 skills 5 being Att.
Example #3-1-0 in Jhans(36)

     I run both styles ALE +L, WH light armor, mace medium armor, and WH heavy armor.  
Go 10-10-7 dec 1st minute, and after min 1, go 8-8-5.  WL basher, and the other kind 
drop down drastically.  Always aim for the head (it gets you an att bonus and could 
score you a kill every now and then) unless you know you're gonna be up against a TP 
or waste, then aim for a leg.  Well that's gonna be it.  Somebody write me and tell me 
what you think.

                                                       Uncle Charlie Mgr.
                                                       Genocide (68)
                                                       Helter Skelter (36, 100)

                              The Anti-Thesis Slasher

     Greetings all.  No, this is definitely not another "Perfect" article.  In fact, 
it actually is just the opposite--finding success with a warrior whose stats were just 
average.  I am not an expert at this game and do not have near the experience that 
some managers have.  What I do have is some now solid experience with Slashers thanks 
to this guy.  So what I will do with this article is show you how my first attempt at 
building a Slasher went, what it taught me, and maybe I can show a new or old manager 
something about the style that can help their game.
     This Slasher was my first attempt at the style.  His starting stats were average 
at 13-11-12-10-16-11-11.  Definitely no Primus-quality warrior.  By most people's 
standards, he wouldn't have even been thought of as an ADM warrior because of his low 
wit and will combo.  Today, I don't know if I would even keep this guy, but at the 
time I didn't know any better and kept him.  I'm glad I did because he turned out to 
be a good warrior, not great, but good and a fun one to watch.
     He had three statements to start:  "...learned how to be decisive and quick", 
"...conserve his endurance past what might normally be expected", and "does great 
damage".  The last statement I think helped him a lot in many of his fights.

Weapons and Armor

     Weapons-wise, all I knew about the Slashing style at the time was that a scimitar 
was good, so I gave him one.  He did well with it, so I kept using it.  I didn't use 
any off-hand weapon because I knew that an offensive-styled warrior could make quicker 
attacks with a weapon using two hands.  I gave him one back-up scimitar, knowing that 
scimitars break though not that often.
     Early on, I may have given him light armor and a helm, but later I discovered 
that if he didn't get the first hit, he almost had no hope of winning.  After all, the 
credo of an offensive warrior is to "hit first, hit hard" and hope it ends the fight 
quickly.  I also started to realize he would never be a "great" warrior.  My 
philosophy changed and I could only hope to get him to ADM.  So, I decided to use no 
armor or helm, which slows warriors down.

Strategy:

     Ah, the most important part of this warrior's winning ways.  Looking back at his 
early strategy, I wonder how he did so well.  I started him going 10-10-10, attack and 
protect the head with no tactics.  My desperation strategy was usually 10-10-5, which 
did nothing to help him.  I used the decisiveness tactic since his overview said he 
was decisive.
     Through observing his fights and looking at what he preferred, I ironed out a 
general strategy which I think is good for a lot of Slashers:

min.      1    2    3    4    5    6+   desp
OE        10   8    6    4    4    4    5
AL        10   4    2    2    2    2    8
KD        6    8    6    4    4    4    5
AL        RA   HE ----------------------->
PL        AM   BD ------------------->  HE

     Against more parry-type warriors like WOS and TP's, I've used a 10-6-6 min. One 
strategy that he seems to like.

Design and Trains:

     I started him off training skills only.  But I soon learned that his average 
stats meant that he wasn't going to learn very well.  I decided late to train skills, 
then stats, every other turn.  The training of his will to 17 really helped his 
endurance out.  He finally went to ADM at 15-11-12-12-17-12-11.  If I had recognized 
earlier that he would not be a great warrior, and accepted that, then I might have 
been about to train everything twice like in the "old" days and he would have gone at 
15-13-12-12-18-13-13.

Record:

     He started out great at 4-0-0, then was 8-4-1.  He hit a rut and was soon 9-7-1.  
He was mediocre in his middle fights but was above .500% at 14-12-2.  He was under 
.500% once at 14-15-2.  Near the end of his regular DM career, with some careful 
challenges and strategy changes, he went 5-0-0 and ended up 21-16-2.  He was 
Duelmaster for three turns in Cliffhome.

Final Notes:

     So, what's the purpose of all this?  It's to show that anyone can take a mediocre 
warrior and through careful strategy and design build them into a formidable warrior.  
I recognized long ago that this Slasher would never be great and accepted it.  That's 
what turned him into the warrior he is today.  I was willing to take the risks 
necessary to make him win.  His name is E.G.B.D.F.  (Every Good Boy Does Fine) and in 
this case his name is true.  I couldn't have asked more from him in his 
accomplishments.  He can be found fighting occasionally in Darkholm.  He's taught me 
an incredible amount about this style and has contributed to my 65% overall win-loss 
record with them.
     I'm open to feedback, positive or negative, and hope in some way that I've helped 
someone learn more about this style.
     So, good luck to all and may your swords ring true!

                                        Brought to you by Talon, mgr. of
                                   Eagles Claw (38,104), Farfignewtons (32)
                              where I'm known as Volksie, and other teams
                         throughout Alastari.