Date   : 09/21/2013    Duedate: 10/04/2013


DM-93    TURN-386

This Weeks Top Honors


(93-9489) [5-0-0,53]

Chartered Recognition Leader   Unchartered Recognition Leader

                               BASH BROS PIKER (1634)
                               (93-9489) [5-0-0,53]

Popularity Leader              This Weeks Favorite

FIRST DOWN                     FIRST DOWN
COUNT ON ME (1633)             COUNT ON ME (1633)
(93-9486) [2-3-0,14]           (93-9486) [2-3-0,14]


COUNT ON ME (1633)

Team Name                  Point Gain  Chartered Team
1. BASH BROS PIKER (1634)      34
2. COUNT ON ME (1633)          30      DARK TOADS (527)
3. SPEED DEMONS (293)           0      Unchartered Team
4. HIGH WAY 2 (1637)          -16
                                       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*SPEED DEMONS (293)         1   0  0  100   1/ 2*COUNT ON ME (1633)       10  5 0
 2/ 3*COUNT ON ME (1633)        18   7  0 72.0   2/ 1*BASH BROS PIKER (1634)    9  6 0
 3/ 4*BASH BROS PIKER (1634)    13  12  0 52.0   3/ 3*HIGH WAY 2 (1637)         5  5 1
 4/ 2*HIGH WAY 2 (1637)          5   5  1 50.0   4- 4*SPEED DEMONS (293)        1  0 0

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

                                    TEAM SPOTLIGHT

                                  SKILLS vs STATS
                               A CONSORTIUM OPINION

     Often one hears a statement similar to this: "Train skills; don't train stats."
The implication or sometimes direct statement is that you will be sorry if you train
     The Consortium opinion is that, in the majority of circumstances, it is
perfectly all right 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 and to give a manager some ideas
as to if, or when, stat training is either fine or even best.  The article will also
explore when we considered best not to train stats.
     First, to set the stage, there are several principles, givens, and ideas that
the reader really needs to understand.
1. Skill raining is primarily 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 on 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 17 WL has an 85% 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.)
2 Be aware of the stat training probability for that particular stat
3 Be aware that everything in D2 has a probable roll or luck factor
4 Be aware of the potential "physical" improvement to your warrior for stat training.
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 probably 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 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.

                    Abba Cuss,  Consortium Affiliated

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

                        Assur's Guide to Riposting Hybrids

The following describes Assur's vision of a hybrid warrior that relies on riposte to
win.  Hybrids are the hardest warriors to master, but great hybrids are tough to
beat.  From here on out, when I say hybrids, I am specifically talking about Hybrids
designed to win with riposte.
     Riposte messages in the fight are the message you often see right after a
warrior parries or dodges that reads something like: 
   "Hybrid steps back, and then rushes forward in a counterstrike!"
There are a number of such messages that all mean you are using your riposte skill.

Riposte Skills are given (when creating warriors) at:
WIT:  5,7,15,17,21(x2)
SPD:  5,7,9,13(x3),15,17,19,21
DFT:  4,6,8,10,12,14,16,18,20

1) Design
Hybrids need a balance of physicals and skills.  More is always better, but your
hybrid cannot start with 21's in all stats, so...

Encumbrance is one of the most important attributes.  You do not want to over-
encumber your hybrid for most all fights.  Your armor will be chosen according to
your ability to carry weight.  A guideline: APL - 9 Str/Con.  ASM - 11 Str/Con.  APA
14 Str/Con Realize that with those minimum str/con values, you need to be careful
with helms and weapons or you will be over-encumbered.  Sometimes it is fine to carry
too much, but if you aren't sure who you are fighting, stay under your limit!

Hit Points are wonderful.  Hybrids love hit points.  The more the better because
there are nasty pure offensives that will try to take you down and they are good at

Damage and Endurance are not as important, but you want some.  Little damage is tough
to work with.  Endurance depends on your style (Suggested Minimums: Poor for PR/AB,
Good for L)

The most important skills are your parry/defense and attack skills.  You'll want some
riposte skills and initiative skills don't hurt.  Decise is almost useless for

I would recommend at least one of your encumbrance, hit points, or defensive skills
to be on the high side, preferably two of them.

With all that in mind, here is what your stats should look like:
Str: 9+  Con: medium+  Siz: any  Wit: 11+  Will: 7-21  Spd: 3-9  Dft: 11+
*** 13 speed is a big breakpoint for riposte skills.  10-12 is a bad starting place
*** While an 11 wit PR can learn enough skills to compete as a hybrid, that same 11
wit total parry or lunger might have more difficulty as they learn too many of their
primary skills and not enough of their secondary skills.

2) Style Choice
Only two styles naturally learn riposte.  However, because initiative is
underpowered, you can live with a non-riposte learning style.

Parry Ripostes are the king of this type of hybrid.  The naturally learn att/par/rip,
though they often learn too much riposte and not enough of the other two.  They learn
init and decise last.

Aimed Blows learn attack and riposte naturally, but do not learn their defensive
skills as fast.  Still, they can make excellent hybrids, but when you put 21 points
on deftness, it is difficult to find a balance with the rest of your stats.

Lungers are the king of all the hybrids (as you'll see in my follow ups the next
couple of turns).  They have high attack and defense bases.  They have the highest
total skills of all styles (tied with WOS's).  They learn defense and init skills
first, but attack and riposte are their secondary skills, so they will learn some
riposte.  They burn endurance fast, so it is recommended to start with high will.
Total Parries can be run very similar to Parry Ripostes.  They have better natural
defenses, but worse attack and riposte.  As mentioned before, they learn defense and
parry first, but attack and riposte are their secondary learns, so they can still
make good hybrids, especially with high wit.

Wall of Steels, Parry Lungers, do not learn riposte much at all.  It can be their
favorite learn, but usually it is not.  That said, because of their attack / init /
defenses, these styles can be run as a riposting hybrid.  Riposte is one of the
easiest skills to 'fake'.  Again, these are high skill/high endurance burn styles, so
make sure they have more endurance than I suggest as minimum.

3) Weapon Selection
I am not a fan of shields on Riposting Hybrids.  You are trying to attack and nothing
is worse than attacking with a shield (which tends to do no damage).  It is
recommended to use the best weapons in the game that you qualify for.  I tend to use
off-hand daggers for PRs and PLs and a single weapon with the other styles.

For main hand, I usually pick (style dependent) in order of preference:
BA, SC (poor against scale), BS, LO (poor against plate)

Feel free to experiment with other weapons.  Most of the time, weapon selection will
not be the deciding factor in the fight.  Different weapons have different strengths
and weaknesses.  Until you start to learn those strengths, the safe choice are the
top overall weapons in the game.

4) Strategy and tactics
This is where things get difficult.  You really need to experiment to find where your
hybrid wants to fight.  Different warriors like different rhythms and typically your
favorite rhythms are a good place to start for most of these hybrids.  For AB's, I
tend to ignore their favorite activity level and run 7-10 in early minutes.  What
works on one hybrid may not work on another.  When your hybrid starts to act like a
monster at a certain set of numbers, you may be hitting his favorites.  For
reference, the 'most common' set of favorites for the styles mentioned in this
        PR: 5-6 AL/3-4 OE                     TP: 3-4 AL/1-2 OE
        AB: 3-4 AL/3-4 OE                     PL: 5-6 AL/5-6 OE
         L: 7-8 AL/7-8 OE                    WOS: 3-4 AL/5-6 OE
Once again, this is only a place to start.  These numbers may work well or not at all
for your warrior.  But, it is not a bad place to start.  And if you're going to err,
I'd recommend erring on the higher side.  But one of my favorite hybrids was a Total
Parry that went crazy running 2 OE.  He always wanted to attack.

If you refuse to attack after a riposte messages, consider lowering armor or raising
your activity level and offensive effort AND drop any tactics you are using.

As I mentioned, riposte is easy to fake.  The Riposte tactic is a wonderful tool for
warriors that need help in the riposte department.  Very rarely will ABs or PRs need
to use this tactic (and I almost never use it for those two styles).  The hardest
styles to riposte are typically Slashers and Lungers (and sometimes Wall of Steels
and Parry Lungers, depending how they are running).  These two styles tend to be
running fast and have lots of initiative and though it is underpowered, if you have
enough, it is tough to riposte you.

Parry and Dodge are also useful when you need to augment your defenses.

5) Armor
I talked a lot about armor in the design section.  Wear some, but watch your weight.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Middle Way

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

                                  Profile of a Team
                                    Middle Way 7

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

Middle Way 7

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

From turn 412:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 DM   9 ZUKAL (turn 731): WATSON of SERPENTS HOLD 3 (Khisanth, mgr.)
 DM  12 RIZTAB (turn 733): MUD MUD FROG of KAOS FROGS (Grimm, mgr.)
 DM  13 DULLENS (turn 696): TOOTH FOOT of 7TH SANCTUM (Homre, mgr.)
 DM  15 MALCORN (turn 727): SABBATH of CRUCIAL TAUNT (Daikkan, mgr.)
 DM  16 WILLAF (turn 729): GOLDEN GLOBE of GOLDEN GLADIATORS (Midas, mgr.)
 DM  17 ALJAFIR (turn 720): DEBRA ELSITH of MIDDLE WAY (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  19 ZUWAYZA (turn 721): NEWT ROCKNE of MAN OR BEAST? (The Dark One, mgr.)
 DM  28 MORYA (turn 363): TRAVEL of EXPENSE ACCOUNT (Finance Manager, mgr.)
 DM  29 LAPUR (turn 718): THE WHITE RABBIT of EVIL EATER BUNNIES (The Dark One, mgr.)
 DM  31 CHIMLEVTAL (turn 361): STEEL DRAGON of THE CANUCKS (?, mgr.)
 DM  32 ARVAT (turn 715): FRANK WHITE of B.I.G. (Howlin' Wolf, mgr.)
 DM  35 MURSKA (turn 704): THE DARK FROG of BATTLE FROGS (Grimm, mgr.)
 DM  43 VEASTIAN (turn 662): MARCO THE KNIFE of THE FAMILY (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  45 STORMCROWE (turn 338): THE STATISTICIAN of AVID FANS (Crip, mgr.)
 DM  47 NORTH FORK (turn 332): CARLA of CHEERS (Otis, mgr.)
 DM  50 SNOWBOUND (turn 319): NEFARA of PUBLIC ENEMY (Pec Killer, mgr.)
 DM  56 ROCANIS (turn 594): MEECHAM of MEN OF STEEL (Howlin' Wolf, mgr.)
 DM  60 ARADI (turn 579): DAISY DAWG of RED DOG GANG (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  61 JURINE (turn 561): STORMCROWE PIE of SHEWISH BUFFET (One Armed Bandit, mgr.)
 DM  65 DAL SHANG (turn 555): LORAND TEN SORN of SAND DANCERS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  73 ERINIKA (turn 268): ENDU ENDU of DUDS (Dudley, mgr.)
 DM  74 DAYLA KIV (turn 516): GEORGE WHALEN of MEDAL OF HONOR (The Anarchist, mgr.)
 DM  78 LIN TIRIAN (turn 502): RIB IAYE of SHEWISH BUFFET (One Armed Bandit)
ADM 103 FREE BLADES (turn 619): SERGE of ASSORTED (A-Sop, mgr.)

                                      Top Teams
 DM   9 ZUKAL (turn 731): QUEEN (Howlin' Wolf, mgr.)
 DM  12 RIZTAB (turn 733): DREAMERS (Sleepy, mgr.)
 DM  13 DULLENS (turn 696): CARDOW HUNTERS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  15 MALCORN (turn 727): THE GRAIL KNIGHTS (?, mgr.)
 DM  16 WILLAF (turn 729): BLOOD ON THE TRACKS (Howlin' Wolf, mgr.)
 DM  17 ALJAFIR (turn 720): MIDDLE WAY (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  19 ZUWAYZA (turn 721): VISIONS V2 (Tolbin, mgr.)
 DM  28 MORYA (turn 363): OTTO'S MECHANICS (Crip, mgr.)
 DM  29 LAPUR (turn 718): SHADOWMIST (Tolbin, mgr.)
 DM  31 CHIMLEVTAL (turn 361): MILITARY MAYHEM (Crip, mgr.)
 DM  32 ARVAT (turn 715): B.I.G. (Howlin' Wolf, mgr.)
 DM  33 NIATOLI ISLAND (turn 712): BIG LAKE BANDITS (Den, mgr.)
 DM  35 MURSKA (turn 704): BATTLE FROGS (Grimm, mgr.)
 DM  43 VEASTIAN (turn 662): THE FAMILY (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  45 STORMCROWE (turn 338): DARQUE FORCES (Master Darque, mgr.)
 DM  47 NORTH FORK (turn 332): NUKE TEST (Malaquar, mgr.)
 DM  50 SNOWBOUND (turn 319): OPEN SESAME (Crip, mgr.)
 DM  56 ROCANIS (turn 594): MEN OF STEEL (Howlin' Wolf, mgr.)
 DM  60 ARADI (turn 579): MEDAL OF HONOR B11 (The Anarchist, mgr.)
 DM  61 JURINE (turn 561): FEAR FACTORY (Var, mgr.)
 DM  65 DAL SHANG (turn 555): TOLBIN'S GEMS (Tolbin, mgr.)
 DM  73 ERINIKA (turn 268): GASHOUSE GANG (Crip, mgr.)
 DM  74 DAYLA KIV (turn 516): TOLBINS LADIES (Tolbin, mgr.)
 DM  75 JADE MOUNTAIN (turn 511): FALSE OVERTURES (Guido, mgr.)
 DM  78 LIN TIRIAN (turn 502): SHEWISH BUFFET (One Armed Bandit, mgr.)
ADM 103 FREE BLADES (turn 619): DIRT DEVILS et al (The Dark One, mgr.)

                                   Recent Graduates
 DM  12 RIZTAB (turn 733): TAFFY of SWEET MAGIC (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  13 DULLENS (turn 695): FLYING CLOUD of CARDOW HUNTERS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  15 MALCORN (turn 727): SABBATH of CRUCIAL TAUNT (Daikkan, mgr.)
 DM  28 MORYA (turn 362): LILY OF SARMATIA of DODGE BULLETS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  31 CHIMLEVTAL (turn 360): MAJOR PAIN of MILITARY MAYHEM (Crip, mgr.)
 DM  35 MURSKA (turn 704): THE DARK FROG of BATTLE FROGS (Grimm, mgr.)
               (turn 703): FURIOUS FROGPALER of BATTLE FROGS (Grimm, mgr.)
 DM  43 VEASTIAN (turn 661): KHARIJANH of THE FAMILY (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  61 JURINE (turn 560): FLAME SPIDER of FEAR FACTORY (Var, mgr.)
 DM  65 DAL SHANG (turn 554): XYLOID of SCRABBLE (Otto X, mgr.)
 DM  74 DAYLA KIV (turn 515): KINVER TEN PALAN of SAND DANCERS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  75 JADE MOUNTAIN (turn 510): TEASER II of FALSE OVERTURES (Guido, mgr.)
 DM  78 LIN TIRIAN (turn 501): MONSTER MASH of SHEWISH BUFFET (One Armed Bandit)

                                 DUELMASTER'S COLUMN
                             Notes from the arena champ.

     Well, the Pikers have overcome the odds.  Don't count against us!  I'm a bit
surprised I got here first.  Unlikely I'll stay, though.  I can't see myself beating
a champion level NPC.
     I am an offensive piker.  No, that doesn't mean you don't want to be in the same
room as me.  It means I try to win by attacking first and fast.  Pikers can utilize
just about any strategy to win, but the best pikers will have a focused design,
intending to win by a single strategy, not changing strategies every turn.
     Luckily, even if I lose, we pikers should retain the throne.  But regardless of
whether our (and my) reign is a single turn or many, I will enjoy being the
Duelmaster of Noblish Island for turn 385.
     And who knows, maybe I happen to be using my favorite weapon.  (Probably not,

Fave Weapon

                                      SPY REPORT

     Greetings, Warriors of NOBLISH ISLAND.  Allow this humble servant Novgorodny Vir 
to give you a respite from the fights in the form of this Spyreport.  The boys at 
BASH BROS PIKER left the arena dejected, after being kicked out of the top spot by 
COUNT ON ME.  Good show!  Practice pays for HORRIBLE LEARNING, who pummelled 
DANGEROUS CRIMINAL, to pocket 19 points.  SMYTHE TODD certainly had a baffled 
expression on his face, after losing to JACK OF ALL TRADES and losing 9 points in the 
process!  Out with the old, in with the new.  Enter KUNG-FU MASTER, handily defeating 
FAVE WEAPON.  With 53 points, HORRIBLE LEARNING of BASH BROS PIKER takes the position 
of NOBLISH ISLAND's Duelmaster.  Word has it one team in NOBLISH ISLAND is taking 
speech lessons to try to bore their opponent to death.  I'll bet it works.   
     So much to report, so little time!  To quell some nasty rumors, the guys in BASH 
BROS PIKER are not carrying any incurable diseases.  No need to avoid 'em.  The 
warriors of BASH BROS PIKER found their efforts at combat frustrated as COUNT ON ME 
apparently had more important things to do than fight.  Everyone is famous for 
fifteen minutes, and LOW SKILL BASE is it right now.  Most challenged warrior.  Isn't 
     The moving sword slashes, and having slashed, moves on...  Ask not for whom the 
sword slashes; it slashes for thee.   
     All good things must come to an end.  My fingers tire and I fear my incessant 
prattling may cause unfair judgement upon my impeccable character.  Do not despair!  
I shall return!-- Novgorodny Vir  

DUELMASTER                     W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 HORRIBLE LEARNING 9489        5   0  0    53       BASH BROS PIKER (1634)

ADEPTS                         W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 FAVE WEAPON 9493              3   2  0    35       BASH BROS PIKER (1634)

CHALLENGER INITIATES           W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 INDY 500 9485                 4   1  0    31       COUNT ON ME (1633)

INITIATES                      W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 THIRTY-LOVE 9488              4   1  0    21       COUNT ON ME (1633)
 JACK OF ALL TRADES 9492       2   3  0    21       BASH BROS PIKER (1634)
 3 POINT SHOT 9487             4   1  0    19       COUNT ON ME (1633)
 MEOSHA PALMER 9508            2   0  1    18       HIGH WAY 2 (1637)
-SPEED 1629                    1   0  0    18       SPEED DEMONS (293)
 FIRST DOWN 9486               2   3  0    14       COUNT ON ME (1633)
 100 YARD DASH 9484            4   1  0    13       COUNT ON ME (1633)
 KEOSAQUA LANE 9506            1   1  0    10       HIGH WAY 2 (1637)
 LOW SKILL BASE 9490           2   3  0     9       BASH BROS PIKER (1634)
 QUINCY ROSS 9509              1   1  0     8       HIGH WAY 2 (1637)
 FAVE RHYTHM 9491              1   4  0     7       BASH BROS PIKER (1634)
 SMYTHE TODD 9510              1   1  0     4       HIGH WAY 2 (1637)
 MILTON ONLY 9507              0   2  0     2       HIGH WAY 2 (1637)

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

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

                                     PERSONAL ADS

Assur -- Thank you for the warning.  And a great 5-0, by the way!  I appreciate your
concern for me within The Consortium system which demands 60% W/L from teams and
managers.  I, too, worry about it and strategize at all hours of the night.
Currently I am holding my own above 60 as my strategizing, and perhaps my prayers,
are working.  I do wish that perhaps I had entered a more lenient and lesser
expectations coalition like yours.  Oh, well; live and learn. --      Abba Cuss
(Count Number)

Sir Assur -- Thirteen is better than 11, and 65% is better than 55%, but perhaps you
will catch me next time? -- Abba Cuss

All hail Fave Weapon, Duelmaster of Noblish Isle.  What a piking feat! -- Count
Number, Count On Me

Very, very fine "Pure Defensive" article, Assur. -- Abba cuss (the jealous)

Jack Of All Trades -- Perhaps a little speed work would do you some good?  You need
to get good at something, don't you? -- 100 Yard Dash (easily outdistancing JOAT to
the finish line; very easily)

Horrible Learning -- How well, I know.  Kudos on your clear-cut victory over lousy
old me. -- First Down (dropping back into punt formation)

Milton Only -- It was my day to drink the milk.  Your day will come. -- Indy 500

Fave Rhythm -- I got my rhythm and was named MVP with a triple-double.  Maybe some
day you will get better and improve with a lot (quite a lot) of hard work. -- 3 Point

Fave Weapon -- I bow to my better.  Your serve killed me. -- Thirty-Love

It was time to take a hike.
But along came a parry-strike.
Then four more.
Trouble in store.
Pikers can be hard to like.

But Assur worked like the dickens.
With very slim pickin s.
His rolls were thin.
But he got some wins.
And he minimized the lickin s.
     Abba Cuss, Poet Laureate
Personals for dm 93

Indy 500 -- I was RUN DOWN at EXCESSIVE SPEED!  How can this be ALLOWED?  And not
even a proper chariot, it had FIVE HUNDRED horses hitched to it!  Do you know how
much of a MESS five hundred horses makes on the sand? -- Milton Only

For the rest, we had a pleasant introduction by way of four wins over standbys.  This
is a little like running over someone else's roadkill. -- the rest of us on High Way

Speed Demons -- Welcome to Duel2 and Noblish Island.  Many of the managers are here
to help you in your start (or restart if you are returning) to this game.  So ask
questions and feel free to challenge and even try to kill if that appeals to you.
But most importantly, feel free to ask very specific questions either in the
personals or in diplomatic note. -- Assur
P.S.  I run the Bash Bros Pikers, and they actually are all 5 pikers.  No
misdirection on my team.  (More than a few managers have named warriors intending to
mislead of the style.)  Pikers conserve endurance!  That is what makes them pretty
good scum hunters.  Didn't help me last turn, but they really are one of the better
scum hunters.

Count Number -- Two-2 last turn, but the one that mattered most went to me! -- Assur

Speed -- Ouch, I'm supposed to be able to scum you.  Don't embarrass me like that or
Assur may give up on me. -- Low Skill Base

                                  LAST WEEK'S FIGHTS

FIRST DOWN viciously subdued LOW SKILL BASE in a 2 minute amateur's Challenge fight.
FAVE WEAPON was demolished by KUNG-FU MASTER in a 1 minute one-sided melee.
HORRIBLE LEARNING overpowered DANGEROUS CRIMINAL in a 1 minute mismatched Title duel.
100 YARD DASH outwaited FAVE RHYTHM in a monotonous 14 minute novice's fight.
INDY 500 devastated QUINCY ROSS in a 1 minute uneven brawl.
3 POINT SHOT luckily beat KEOSAQUA LANE in a 3 minute novice's struggle.
THIRTY-LOVE devastated MILTON ONLY in a 1 minute one-sided competition.
JACK OF ALL TRADES handily defeated SMYTHE TODD in a 1 minute uneven melee.
MEOSHA PALMER won victory over CONVICTED THIEF in a 1 minute novice's duel.

                                    BATTLE REPORT

             MOST POPULAR                        RECORD DURING THE LAST 10 TURNS     
|FIGHTING STYLE               FIGHTS        FIGHTING STYLE     W -   L -  K   PERCENT|
|PARRY-STRIKE                     5         TOTAL PARRY       12 -   4 -  1      75  |
|TOTAL PARRY                      3         SLASHING ATTACK    7 -   3 -  0      70  |
|STRIKING ATTACK                  3         LUNGING ATTACK     9 -   4 -  2      69  |
|BASHING ATTACK                   2         AIMED BLOW        13 -  10 -  0      57  |
|SLASHING ATTACK                  1         STRIKING ATTACK   14 -  11 -  0      56  |
|WALL OF STEEL                    1         WALL OF STEEL     11 -   9 -  0      55  |
|AIMED BLOW                       0         BASHING ATTACK    15 -  18 -  1      45  |
|PARRY-LUNGE                      0         PARRY-STRIKE      13 -  16 -  0      45  |
|PARRY-RIPOSTE                    0         PARRY-RIPOSTE      1 -   2 -  0      33  |
|LUNGING ATTACK                   0         PARRY-LUNGE        0 -   0 -  0       0  |

Turn 386 was great if you     Not so great if you used      The fighting styles of the
used the fighting styles:     the fighting styles:          top eleven warriors are:

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

                               TOP WARRIOR OF EACH STYLE

FIGHTING STYLE   WARRIOR                     W   L  K PNTS TEAM NAME                  
PARRY-STRIKE     HORRIBLE LEARNING 9489      5   0  0   53 BASH BROS PIKER (1634)
Note: Warriors have a winning record and are an Adept or Above.

The overall popularity leader is FIRST DOWN 9486.  The most popular warrior this turn 
was FIRST DOWN 9486.  The ten other most popular fighters were HORRIBLE LEARNING 
9489, KEOSAQUA LANE 9506, INDY 500 9485, THIRTY-LOVE 9488, JACK OF ALL TRADES 9492, 

The least popular fighter this week was 100 YARD DASH 9484.  The other ten least 
popular fighters were SMYTHE TODD 9510, MILTON ONLY 9507, 3 POINT SHOT 9487, QUINCY 
9490, JACK OF ALL TRADES 9492, and THIRTY-LOVE 9488.

                             A SACRED LORD'S SLASHER

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

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

Now, how to run them:

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

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

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

P.S.  Anybody want to join the Regime?

                      The Dark Arena:  A Fighter's Perspective

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

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

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

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


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


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

                               Kill Desire: "Patience."

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

                                                  Sir Jessie Jest

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

                               SOME INFO ON THE RIPPER

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                   Crimson Strikers

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

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

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

                                                  Crimson Strategist
                                                  Crimson Death DM 61