DUEL 2 NEWSLETTER

Date   : 12/28/2013    Duedate: 01/10/2014

NOBLISH ISLAND ARENA

DM-93    TURN-393

This Weeks Top Honors

THE DUELMASTER IS

MAT TUKHOLT
MISFITS OF DOOM (1624)
(93-9438) [5-5-0,56]

Chartered Recognition Leader   Unchartered Recognition Leader

MAT TUKHOLT                    SMYTHE TODD
MISFITS OF DOOM (1624)         HIGH WAY 2 (1637)
(93-9438) [5-5-0,56]           (93-9510) [5-4-0,44]

Popularity Leader              This Weeks Favorite

MAT TUKHOLT                    STINKS
MISFITS OF DOOM (1624)         BASH BROS WASTE (1640)
(93-9438) [5-5-0,56]           (93-9526) [1-1-0,4]

THE CURRENT TOP TEAM

HIGH WAY 2 (1637)

          TEAMS ON THE MOVE            TOP CAREER HONORS
Team Name                  Point Gain  Chartered Team
1. MISFITS OF DOOM (1624)      40
2. HIGH WAY 2 (1637)           28      MISFITS OF DOOM (1624)
3. OLD EL PASO (1641)          25      Unchartered Team
4. BASH BROS WASTE (1640)       1
5. GHOSTWALKERS (1630)         -3      HIGH WAY 2 (1637)

The Top Teams

Career Win-Loss Record           W   L  K    %  Win-Loss Record Last 3 Turns    W  L K
 1/ 3*HIGH WAY 2 (1637)         24  21  1 53.3   1/ 2*HIGH WAY 2 (1637)         8  7 0
 2/ 2*BASH BROS WASTE (1640)     5   5  0 50.0   2/ 4 MISFITS OF DOOM (1624)    7  3 1
 3/ 1*OLD EL PASO (1641)         5   5  0 50.0   3/ 3*OLD EL PASO (1641)        5  5 0
 4/ 4*GHOSTWALKERS (1630)       11  18  3 37.9   4/ 5*BASH BROS WASTE (1640)    5  5 0
 5/ 5 MISFITS OF DOOM (1624)    14  33  1 29.8   5/ 1*GHOSTWALKERS (1630)       4  9 3

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

                                    TEAM SPOTLIGHT

                              THE STRATEGIC ADVANTAGE
                                         of
                             CHALLENGING AND AVOIDING

     In the last newsletter, only one of the thirteen fights was a "challenge."
Challenges, and their partner "avoids" are underused strategic weapons.  Don't be
left home without them!
     An avoid is an attempt to prevent a warrior from challenging you.  Why allow a
warrior the advantage of selecting you for a match?  Why allow a warrior to decide on
a special strategy just for you?  One great thing about avoids is that you may avoid
THE WHOLE TEAM of any warrior you want to avoid.  You are allowed to avoid two whole
teams.  There is no use double-avoiding as it does not improve your chances to avoid
that individual team.
     A challenge is an attempt to fight a specific warrior.  Why not attempt to fight
a specific warrior of choice?  Why leave the opponent selection to the MUGS (match-up
gods) or, worse yet, an opponent who chooses/challenges you?  You are allowed to
challenge two warriors.  You may, indeed, challenge the same warrior twice.  (Double
challenge.)  It DOES improve your chances of a match to double challenge a same
warrior.
     Of utmost importance is to understand that you must challenge and avoid NUMBERS,
not names.  Challenge WARRIOR NUMBERS.  Avoid TEAM NUMBERS.  Challenge individual
warriors; avoid whole teams.
     No challenge or avoid is 100 percent effective.  Challenges can be further
enhanced by winning a TV or TC (Tournament Victor; Tournament Champion) in a Mailer
or Face-to-Face Tournament.  The TV/TC effectiveness lasts six months.  So, in a
normal arena, the warrior who won the TV gets 12 or 13 turns of enhanced challenging.
The most effective challenge, The Blood Feud, is nearly 100 percent effective.  A
four turn BLOOD FEUD is awarded to your TEAM (Any member can use it each turn.) when
an opposing warrior kills one of yours.  Blood feuds transcend classes.  (E.g. a
Challenger can BLOOD FEUD an Adept or an Initiate can BLOOD FEUD a Challenger
Champion, etc.)  To use a TV or Blood Feud, simply write BF or TV on the challenge
line with the to-be-challenged warrior number and circle it all for emphasis.
     How does one choose whom to challenge and what to avoid?  That's a good question
and like many decisions, they are more of an art than a technology.  This is the
methodology used by The Consortium managers.  It works well for them.
1.  Always avoid two teams
2.  Actively seek to challenge twice.  (If only one good choice is available, double
    challenge.)
3.  Challenge for these situations
    a.  A probable win
    b.  A warrior you have beaten before
    c.  To tie up a warrior you do not want to fight one of your fellow warriors--
        especially the Duelmaster
    d.  To take advantage of a Blood Feud (4 rounds)
    e.  For a good style match up.
4.  Avoid for these situations--always
    a.  Emphasis on a team who is bloodfeuding you
    b.  Emphasis on a team who just beat you
    c.  Emphasis on a team with warriors in range who are far more experienced or
        skilled than you
    d.  Emphasis on a team you just cannot seem to beat.
    e.  Emphasis on teams with warriors whose styles are difficult for your style
Often there will be more warriors to challenge or more teams to avoid than the
strategy sheets allow.  Choose wisely.
     Most of the circumstances are straightforward, and it is easy to select the
challenges and avoids.  However, in many cases, especially those with little
knowledge of nearby opponents, it will come down to what style or type of warrior is
best to challenge/avoid.
    There are available charts "out there" which prioritize which styles have
advantages over other styles.  Beware of them.  The data is based on warriors over
the years and those managers who submitted data for those charts.  The warning--
today's lunger is not yesterday's lunger, and my aimed blow is not your aimed blow,
and today's basher is not yesteryear's basher, and a tourney warrior is not
necessarily an arena warrior, etc, etc, etc.  The Consortium offers their generic
style considerations for challenges and avoids:
1.  Fast offensives challenge AB, slower BA, SL, ST
2.  Aimers challenge scummy/tanky warriors
3.  Scums challenge LU and softer hitting/smaller offensives
4.  Scum hunters (need special strategy ) are good damage/endu LU, hard hitting BA,
    critting or hard hitting ST, hard hitting SL with good endu, good PS
5.  Consortium-style wastes challenge LU and softer hitting/smaller offensives
6.  Lungers challenge AB, PR, PS
7.  Rippers, if skilled, challenge ST, faster BAs
The Consortium always avoids and almost always challenges.
     One final note.  The challenging will bring into play and discussion: What is an
appropriate challenge?"  The "rules"/"D2 system" allow you to challenge anyone in
your class and the class just above you.  Your class is defined, interestingly, as
Inits, Adepts, Champs, and Duelmaster.  A "Challenger" Init is an Init--challenge-
wise.  A "Challenger" Champ is a Champ--challenge-wise.  Hence the higher level
challenger category can challenge the lower level "non-challenger" class.  (Simply
put, a Challenger Init can challenge an Init, a challenger Init, and an Adept.  An
Adept can challenge Adepts or Challenger Adepts.) This system can allow/cause
challenges from very high experience and recognition point warriors to very low
recognition point and experience warriors.  Some regular arenas foster the belief
that challenges may/should ONLY be parallel or up in recognition points.  These are
usually Andorian arenas.  The rules/system may allow otherwise, but the environment
and the beliefs of sportsmanship of Andorian types differ.  This can cause some
"discussion altercations."
     Challenges and avoids are there to be used to your advantage.  Do so.

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

                                  What is Knack?

     If you stick around Duel2, you will eventually hear about a concept called
'Knack'.  It is also sometimes called a warrior's Luck Factor or Hidden Stats.
Nobody completely understands what it is, but most managers agree that it exists.
     First, understand that while Knack exists, there are many other items that
contribute to a warrior's record.  Sometimes you may think you have a knacky warrior,
but you eventually figure out that it is something else that makes your warrior win.
This can include favorites (every warrior has a set of favorites which they get
bonuses when using), raw skills, as well as just plain old good design and
management.
     But sometimes, you'll run across a warrior that fights above and beyond (or
below and before) their abilities.  I will talk mostly about the positive side of
knack, but the negative side also exists.  Warriors with knack will just plain find
ways to win.  There is really nothing fancy about it.  It doesn't mean they can't
lose, but it does mean they win fights they shouldn't.
     The 9-1 parry-striker I just finished running may have been a knacky warrior.
His skills weren't terrible, but he won a lot of fights in different manners.
Misfits of Doom's Cami Deaordan may be a knacky warrior.  You can't be entirely sure
when your warrior has 'it', but time will tell the story.  You also need to face
competition that proves one way or another that you are better than you should be.
My Piker was mostly fighting NPCs and while they were champion level NPCs, they are
NPCs still.  He jumped several faster warriors early in his career, but attacking
first is so fickle it is impossible to be sure.  Cami only has 3 wins, but it is a
great start, especially when one of the wins was against a tough style for a Parry
Riposte.
     Perhaps the best example of a Knacky warrior is a famous warrior named Daydream
Believer.  This PR started 17-14-4-17-7-8-17.  Now understand that this is a solid
design for a Parry Riposte.  In addition, the warrior rolled +4 in both attack and
parry.  Finally, Mannequin, the manager, found DDB's favorites from fight #1.  All of
that together and you'd expect some major success from DDB.  On the other side of
things, 7 will...  I (and many other managers) would fully expect to lose many a
fight because of that 7 will.  Well, DDB surpassed all expectations and TC'd Rookies,
Adepts, Champions, and Challengers.  DDB is the only naturally born warrior to TC 4
different classes.  People have copied DDB's stats many times since then and to the
best of my knowledge have never seen more than a single TC from those stats.  Even
with all the positives DDB had, you shouldn't see 4 TCs from this warrior.  But DDB
has that magical knack (in addition to everything else) and been cloned many times.
While many of the clones have died one or more times, they have also generated
something like 5 or 6 additional TCs.
     This article is mostly to be aware that there is a 'knack' factor to warriors.
Just because a warrior looks horrible on paper doesn't mean it can't win.  And
sometimes, you may have a warrior that looks fantastic on paper, but can't win.  It
is possible that warrior has 'inverse knack' and really is worse than it should be.
Or it could just be that you've had bad luck or really bad matchups.

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

                              Assur and His Bashers

     If you get to know Assurnasirbanipal at all, you will learn that his favorite
style is the bashing style.  Before going any further, you need to know that it is
not one of the 'best' styles in the game and that not all styles are created equal. 
'Most' warriors that make good bashers could likely be made into a better something
else.  There are a few notable exceptions which I will talk about briefly.

     Jorja's Profile of a Basher is a solid article.  The only things I'd say to
'add' to it are:
   1) For weapons, I highly recommend WH and QS first and foremost.  And I virtually
never use MS or WF.  But the first two are the bread and butter weapons for Bashers
   2) Design comments: Jorja undervalues wit.  For bashers, don't undervalue wit.
11 or more.  For Will, I recommend 9, 15, 17, or 21.  That is where you get skills.
I'll typically add to Strength, Speed or Deftness once my Will is at one of those
values.  If your setup starts with 9-11 will, I'd consider carefully whether adding
4-6 points is really worth it.  There are other ways to make bashers, but her article
is a great place to start.

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

                                  Profile of a Style
                                       Bashers

     I make no claims to being exhaustive in this study of Bashers.  There are
managers who know more about the style, managers who have better Bashers, managers
whose Bashers win more consistently.  But this is a place to start.
     I have the details of twenty-eight immortal Bashers under my hand here, Bashers
who, good, bad, or indifferent, survived long enough to graduate and discover their
favorites.  In those favorites lie clues to how the Gladiatorial Commission expects
Bashers to operate.  This does not mean that Bashers HAVE to operate that way, and it
can be fun to force a style to do the unexpected and take everyone by surprise, but
this could be said to be "what comes naturally."

     Favorite weapons.  You will find that only weapons that may be received as
favorites are ever described as "well-suited" to the style.  For instance, an epee
never occurs as a favorite weapon for a Basher, and any Basher who uses one will find
he "is unsuited to his weapon" or "uses this weapon in an unorthodox style" at the
top of his fight report.  There is little, if anything (well, okay, surprise), to be
gained from using a weapon unsuited to the style in question.
     The eleven weapons suited to use by Bashers, and the minimum stats required for
their best use (information courtesy of Pagan's Enchiridion), are:
     Greataxe       ST  13  SZ   5  WT   9  DF  11
     Greatsword     ST  15  SZ   9  WT   9  DF  11
     Halberd        ST  17  SZ   9  WT   9  DF   9
     Large Shield   ST  11  SZ   7  WT   5  DF   5
     Mace           ST  13  SZ any  WT   3  DF   5
     Maul           ST  15  SZ   9  WT   5  DF   7
     Medium Shield  ST   9  SZ any  WT   5  DF   5
     Morningstar    ST  13  SZ any  WT   7  DF  13
     Quarterstaff   ST  11  SZ   9  WT  11  DF  11
     Warflail       ST  11  SZ any  WT   7  DF   5
     Warhammer      ST  13  SZ any  WT   5  DF   7
Assurnasirbanapal offers the following alternate requirements for some of these
weapons:
     Halberd        ST  17  SZ   9  WT   9  DF  11
     Large Shield   ST  11  SZ   7  WT   3  DF   5
          (not sure about size, but I believe wit is 3)
     Morningstar    ST  13  SZ any  WT   7  DF  11
     Warflail       ST  11  SZ any  WT   5  DF   5
(I can see that some warriors in my future are going to have to test these weapons.)
     Study this chart, and never make a Basher who doesn't have the stats to use at
least one of the weapons well!  I've made the mistake more than once (and more than
once done it deliberately, but then, I'm perverse) of creating a warrior who is
unable to use well any weapon to which his style is suited.  This is enormously
frustrating.  Take my advice and DON'T DO IT.
     You may notice that the Fist is not listed as a weapon suited to the Bashing
attack.  This is an example--one of the most glaring ones--of the fact that sometimes
intuition and real-world experience are "not well suited" to Duelmasters.
     Two weapons not listed on this chart are the Broadsword and the Battleaxe.  If
you arm a Basher with one of these weapons, the fight report will inform you that
your warrior is not well suited to the weapon or uses it in a marginally effective
manner.  A manager I consulted informs me that he has had good results anyway with
the Broadsword and is still experimenting with the Battleaxe.  So you CAN ignore the
weapon suitability chart above, though I would not recommend doing it until you have
enough experience to know what risks you're taking.  And don't do it with a warrior
who adds the disadvantage of having inappropriate stats for the weapon to the
disadvantage of unsuited style.
     As you can see from this list, the most important stat for a Basher, from the
standpoint of weapon use, is Strength.  A Basher who is dumb and on the clumsy side
will find weapons he can use appropriately, provided he has the strength to lift
them.  This has led to the creation of a lot of dumb, clumsy Bashers.  My own
personal feeling--and I've run a lot of these depressing warriors--is that a dumb,
clumsy Basher is doomed in the long run.  And often very boring, as well.  Boring is
even worse than doomed.
     My immortal Bashers, their relevant stats, and their favorite weapons:
Madoc            ST  11  SZ  11  WT  13  DF   9  Mace
Wanda the Blonda ST  17  SZ   8  WT   9  DF  15  Warflail
Kenda Teegue     ST  19  SZ   7  WT  11  DF  11  Greatsword
Al Kore          ST  13  SZ  14  WT  11  DF  13  Quarterstaff
Broken Nose      ST  17  SZ  18  WT  11  DF   9  Quarterstaff
Hogar            ST  13  SZ  13  WT  21  DF   7  Maul
Ski Mask         ST  13  SZ  15  WT  15  DF   9  Maul
Crabby Appleton  ST  19  SZ  11  WT  13  DF   6  Warflail
Lissette         ST  14  SZ   9  WT  11  DF  15  Greataxe
Velendeis        ST   9  SZ  14  WT  13  DF   7  Maul
Hoftalj          ST  21  SZ  14  WT  11  DF   7  Mace
Cadal            ST  14  SZ  15  WT  15  DF  11  Mace
Caramella        ST  13  SZ  13  WT  14  DF  11  Quarterstaff
Lulu             ST  17  SZ  11  WT  15  DF   9  Morningstar
Franklin         ST  15  SZ   6  WT   5  DF  17  Morningstar
Bam Bam          ST  13  SZ  14  WT  11  DF   9  Medium Shield
Dune             ST  19  SZ  17  WT   4  DF   3  Halberd
Old Maid         ST  17  SZ   7  WT  15  DF  11  Halberd
Pelis the True   ST  13  SZ   9  WT  11  DF  15  Large Shield
Joe              ST  15  SZ  10  WT  15  DF  13  Medium Shield
Claudius         ST  19  SZ  13  WT  10  DF   7  Quarterstaff
Ekkar            ST  17  SZ  15  WT  13  DF   7  Mace
Jomon            ST  11  SZ  17  WT  11  DF  15  Greatsword
Dijanna          ST  17  SZ  12  WT  17  DF   7  Mace
Khora the Small  ST  15  SZ   9  WT  17  DF  11  Warhammer
Sweet Jorja      ST  13  SZ  13  WT  15  DF   7  Quarterstaff
Tarok            ST   7  SZ  18  WT  11  DF   9  Warflail
Kelan ten Salth  ST  14  SZ  15  WT  17  DF  11  Greatsword
     You will notice that some of these warriors did not have the initial stats to
use their favorite weapon efficiently.  That's a little trick the Commission plays on
us to keep us from getting too cocky.  Only one of them (Tarok) was initially unable
to use ANY of the bashing weapons well, and I trained up his strength early in his
career.  My personal favorites among the bashing weapons are the warhammer, the mace,
and if the warrior has the wit for it, the quarterstaff, as these seem to me to
produce the most interesting fights.  If I'm going to train a warrior as a Basher, I
try to make him able to use one or another of those weapons; it saves me a lot of
stress.

     Which brings up the question of Basher design.  In almost all cases, the advice
routinely given is to put the points on WT, WL, and DF in preference to other stats.
But to use any of the weapons listed above, the warrior DOES NOT NEED a WT of more
than 11, and depending on which version of the stats for Morningstar you accept, he
doesn't need more than 11 or 13 in DF.  Do not put points on these stats beyond the
necessary.
     ST:  A Basher needs strength, and lots of it--who wants a Basher who "does
little damage"?  Besides, he needs a minimum strength of 9 for the least of his
weapons, and that's a medium shield.  Who wants to send a Basher out with a medium
shield?  Pile 'em on here.
     CN:  No.  A Basher wins by attacking, not defending.  He should be keeping his
opponent too busy to fight back, and he should not have to worry about his hit
points.  Generally speaking, go with whatever you've been given on the roll-up.  The
time to experiment with the creation of a Scum Basher is later, after you have more
experience.
     SZ:  You can't do anything about this, but a large size is not such a handicap
for a Basher as for some of the more finicky styles.  And it will increase the damage
he can do--a Basher is all about doing damage.
     WT:  No more than is needed for the weapon you've chosen.  If you have extra
points after satisfying other requirements, sure, go ahead and put them on wit, but
you can get a decent learning rate with a wit of 11 so why waste the points here?
Besides, if he survives long enough, you can train up more wit later.
     WL:  I would always put points on will (unless it was 17+ already), but for me,
that's reflex, not conscious planning.  In theory, a Basher wins fights fast by
attacking all out, and so he doesn't need will for the stick-to-it effect.  But
then... if he's a good Basher, wins a lot, graduates, and you want to keep on running
him, a high will does make it easier to train up stats once you get around to it.
     SP:  I don't really have a feel for the effects of high or low speed on ANY
style.  I would cautiously suggest that if you can get the speed into the moderate
range (8-12?) without sacrificing anything important, then do it.  But if you can't,
then don't.
     DF:  Enough to use the weapon of choice, or perhaps two or three weapons for
variety.  No more.
     And a note on armor:  A Basher should NOT be loaded down with heavy armor.  He
isn't supposed to get hit, so what does he need that armor FOR?

     Favorite rhythms.  Sometimes it's expedient to ignore a warrior's favorite
rhythm, once you know it, but it does give you a guideline for running the style.
Rhythm is given as Very High or VH (10-9), High or H (8-7), Moderate or M (6-5), Low
or L (4-3), and Very Low or VL (2-1), for Offensive Effort first, and then for
Activity Level.  For the warriors listed above, the favorite rhythms are:
 H/VL   H/L    H/L    H/M   VH/M   VH/L    M/L    M/VL   H/VL   H/VL  VH/VL   M/VL
 H/VL   H/L    H/L   VH/VL  VH/VL  VH/VL   H/L    M/L   VH/M   VH/VL  VH/VL   H/L
 H/VL   H/L   VH/M    H/M.
     You'll notice that there is no Offensive Effort lower than Moderate, and no
Activity Level higher than Moderate, and that Offensive Effort is usually at least
two steps higher than Activity Level.  Not always--some of those listed above are
only one step apart, and another manager tells me that he has some Bashers with
favorite rhythms of Moderate/Moderate.  But from the sample I have, it seems that
Bashers favor a higher Offensive Effort than Activity Level, often considerably
higher.  While you may not always want to run a Basher this way, it appears that
nature and the Gladiatorial Commission intended them to run very offensively.  With a
newly entered Basher, this kind of speed is a place to start.  Once you get a feel
for the warrior in question and for his likely opponents, you can tinker with the
numbers for the ideal strategy.  But be warned that running so offensively, the
average Basher won't be able to keep going for long!  Especially, he won't be able to
go for long with a heavy weapon (one requiring more ST to handle) and heavy armor.
When I think of the Bashers I have seen come out in Plate and struggle to last a
single minute at high speed, I could weep.  High speed burns endurance.  Bashers go
out to win fast, or they become easy prey for a slower-paced, more deliberate
warrior.
     Of course, sometimes you'll run up against a Basher who ignores the stereotype,
the so-called "Scum Basher."  He differs from most of his kind by having a high
endurance which allows his manager to run him slowly and take people by surprise.
But this warrior is a freak.  I distrust freakish warrior designs as a matter of
principle.
     There is no evidence to support the hypothesis that warriors have a favorite
Kill Desire.
     There is no convincing evidence to support the hypothesis that warriors or
styles have a favorite attack location.  Managers have argued that the nature of the
bashing attack lends itself to overhead blows to the head and upper body.  However, I
suspect that this is one of those intuitive things which turn out not to work, just
as one would intuitively expect a Basher to do well with his fists, and he does not.
Some managers have pointed out that a Basher aiming at the head tends to end his
fight quickly.  ANY style striking the head tends to end the fight quickly.
(Consistently aiming at the head will increase the chance of killing, which will, in
the long run, decrease the chance of your Basher's survival.  Managers bloodfeud
dedicated killers with hostile intent.)  I consider this a case of "Not Proven."

     Favorite Tactics.  Of the twenty-eight Bashers listed above, only eight had
favorite tactics.  Two favored the offensive tactic of Decisiveness, and the rest
favored the offensive tactic of Bash.  It seems reasonable to assume that the
offensive tactics of Lunge and Slash are inappropriate for a Basher.  (Of course, you
can't always count on reason here, but....)  There were no defensive tactics favored
(granted, this is not a large sampling of warriors), which suggests that they should
be used sparingly, if at all--a Basher is a purely offensive style.

     Proceeding from the general to the specific, here's a basher who had a very
unpromising beginning--

                                Profile of a Gladiator
                                    Turo the Brick
                          Lord Protector and Pain in the Rear

     Turo, a seven-foot Troll, just graduated from Lin Tirian, my own home arena, at 
16-44-2, 94.  He's a basher.  And I suspect that most other managers would have sent 
him straight to the Dark Arena.
     At graduation, he is 11(2)-9-20-6(2)-17(2)-10-17.
     According to his overview, even after those stat raises, he 
     Is not very bright
          The more subtle points of the riposte simply escape him, which I could have 
told anyone right off
          Stands around making himself a target, which we noticed
     Cannot carry a lot of weight in weapons and armor (that low ST)
     Is slow on his feet (Does size have an effect here?)
     Can do tremendous damage with a blow (mostly SZ, I suspect)
     Turo is "naturally adept" with a maul (well, okay, he's probably pulled up a few 
trees and swung 'em around to bat at pesky people), favors a rhythm of very high/low, 
and has an innate ability to use the bash tactic.  None of this comes as a great 
surprise--it fits his character.  He's aggressive by nature (definitely) and most 
readily learns initiative skills.  (Doesn't that require BRAINS?)  Ah, well.  I've 
been running him lately as follows:
     Mace, backup war hammer, offhand medium shield, plate mail and a full helm.
          9   8   7   6   7   8  10
          3   2   1   1   1   1   1
          8   8   7   8   7   8  10 which I wouldn't swear is the strategy I sent in 
for him originally, but it is what he's using.  Attacking right arm, protecting head, 
no tactics.  Maybe this was based on something another manager suggested to me.
     He graduated with no ratings at all.  Yes, really.
     Obviously, he's not anybody's ideal warrior, but he's been surprisingly fun to 
read.  And it seems at least possible that if I'd paid more attention to his 
strategies, issued challenges and avoids, he might have taken a better record out of 
the arena.  He is headed for retirement, obviously.  I think he has some idea of 
going back to his home in the foothills of the Khriatrin Mountains and terrorizing 
his kin.

And another example of a basher, a much more successful one:

                                   Khora the Small
                                   Lady Protector
                   Contender for the Throne in Lirin Kiv (ADM 107)
                                       Basher

     I don't have her graduation overview here, as that was a long time ago.  But she 
started as 15-12-9-17-11-9-11.  Now, after years of fighting, maxed on skills and 
training stats, she is 25-12-9-17-17-13-16.  Her record at the present is 94-129-3, 
and despite doing devastating damage, being incredibly quick and elusive, and having 
an Advanced Master rating in attack and Masters in all the other skills, she is still 
not woman enough to take the throne in this smallest of the Advanced Duelmasters 
regions.  Her favorite weapon is the war hammer, her favorite rhythm high offensive 
effort and very low activity level, which are good favorites.  So why isn't she 
Duelmistress, or as it is called in Lirin Kiv, Champion of the Horn?  Because there's 
an even better basher up there already.  Her most serious problem is that low CN, I 
think.  Maybe she should train that up....
     Here's their most recent fight, a short one, so I'll give it to you in full--

     Phetmolge is 8' tall, right-handed, fights with no armor or helm, carries a war 
hammer and a large shield, to which he is well suited.
     Khora is 5'7" tall, ambidextrous, in leather armor and a helm, carrying a war 
hammer and an off-hand war hammer, to which she, too, is well-suited.  Khora is 
running 8 4 7 RA BD no tactics; about Phetmolge we can only guess.

     Both warriors move with snake-like speed around each other.
     The weapons lock together in a test of strength.
     Phetmolge is moving constantly without pause!
     He sweeps his large shield in a sudden unexpected assault!
     A spectator exclaims, "Brilliant!"  Phetmolge smiles briefly.
     Khora parries the blow with her war hammer.
     She disengages her foe's weapon arm and tries to steal the initiative!
     She makes a lightning-quick backhand smash with her war hammer!
     Phetmolge is struck in the belly.
     Khora says admiringly (this is irony), "How much damage can you take, anyway?"  
(Lots.  Lots and lots.  More than she can, anyway.)
     She launches a brilliant attack with her war hammer.
     Phetmolge stops the blow with his large shield.
     He sidesteps, trying to throw his opponent off balance.
     He launches a brilliant attack with his war hammer!
     Khora is hit on the right hip!
     It is a tremendous blow!
     Khora winces, obviously feeling great pain.
     She mutters a desperate prayer and is stopped by the herald.

     She is determined to become top basher in Lirin Kiv and will keep fighting
until she is Inducted into Primus.

Jorja
The Middle Way

           +>]H[<+-----+>]H[<+ Question of the Week #3 +>]H[<+-----+>]H[<+

Question, turn 403:

All -- I've read that once you have an AE in a skill area you don't need to use a
tactic in that area.  What if you have a favorite tactic?  Would it benefit your
warrior to use it even if he is maxed in that area? -- Hanibal's Q.O.W.

Answers, turn 404:

Q.O.W. -- Tactics.  It's generally believed that using a tactic, at any level of
skill, increases something (init, attack, damage, etc. though no one's sure) at the
expense of one or more other abilities.  Usually it seems you lose more for using the
tactic than you gain, so they should be used sparingly.  However, favorite tactics
are a bit different.  I've noticed, generally, that the penalties usually imposed by
using the tactic are greatly reduced or eliminated, making it more useful.  I run a
piker in AD who has response as a favorite and run her with it.  She seems to do
great with it against everybody.  My decise running striker still defends well
(though she's got favorite learn defense), and she still jumps everyone with a poor
decise rating.  My advice is to give it a try if it's a tactic you think your warrior
needs, or can use based on their current point of development. -- Adie

Hanibal -- It really is almost like flicking a switch the way you can (usually)
prevent death intent statements if you want to.  Dartor is the arena expert on
killing and he too agrees.  Most new managers gain pleasure from seeing their
warriors kill, and it's not something to be ashamed of.  But there is a better way of
going about things.  I think as you gain more experience and experiment with lower
KD, you'll find that running with a 4 where you used to run with a 6 will have little
effect on a warrior's performance other than decreasing the chance of death intent.
This is especially true in the first minute, or before your warrior would get tired.
-- Generalissimo Puerco

Hanibal -- Each tactic has some benefits and some drawbacks.  I can't tell you
exactly what those are because I don't know myself.  If a tactic only provided the
equivalent of extra skills, then it might be true that a warrior wouldn't need them
after a certain level of skill is achieved.  But let's say that your warrior has an
AE+3 and his opponent has a MA.  Then there might still be good cause to use a
tactic.
     I believe tactics grant benefits that can't always be translated into more
skills.  I think the best example of this is what happens when response is used
against decise.  Tactics have their value at all levels of the game, but the most
valuable tactics might change.  I don't think many would run with decise at the top
of AD, though lunge and dodge remain popular.  But for a new warrior, decise can be
very important.  Tactics are not well documented in the literature, and for that
reason you may do well to learn first-hand and develop some instincts regarding the
use of appropriate tactics. -- Generalissimo Puerco

Hanibal -- Regarding the latest question: if you have an advanced expert in an area
that equates to a given tactic, is there any point in running the tactic.  Yes, if
the tactic is a useful one.  I don't THINK that there is a one-to-one equivalence
between types of skills and types of tactics.  For one thing, there are eight tactics
and only six types of skills! -- Leeta

Question, turn 404:

All -- Do you think you are faster with your favorite weapon?  If your fav is a
Halberd would you be quicker with a War Hammer?  I've read you get +4 in each area if
you are using your favorite. -- Hanibal's Q.O.W.

Answers, turn 405:

Hanibal -- I strongly doubt that a favorite weapon gives four extra skills in each
category.  I don't see how anyone could know that unless it was said by a credible
source within the GC.  I'm terrible at finding favorite weapons.  I can tell you that
the one large favorite weapon I've had experience with is the greatsword, and it is
still lousy even as a favorite.  I really enjoy longsword as a favorite. --
Generalissimo Puerco

Q.O.W. -- With regard to favorites, the only really obvious effect is that you are
automatically well suited to it, and the warrior using it almost always throws more
critical attacks with that weapon than if it wasn't their favorite.  That pretty much
gives me the impression it only helps attack. -- Adie

Q.O.W. -- I would be amazed if you would receive +4 in each area for a favorite
weapon.  And we do not believe the fave adds to the speed with the weapon.  The fave
greatly aids attack and parry, hit %, and ability to hold onto the weapon.  And, of
course, criticals increase. -- Kennelworth

Hanibal -- I don't know about specific bonuses for using a favored weapon.  However,
I do believe that if your favored weapon is something that you aren't otherwise
suited for (for example, a broadsword for someone lacking the necessary attributes),
you can often get good results by going for a lower version of that weapon.  From the
halberd of your example, for instance, "down" to a great axe, or even farther down to
battle axe and then to hatchet.  Experiment with them and see what might work.  I
have no specific numbers to support this, but it is the impression I've gathered over
the cycles. -- Leeta

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

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

                                     Duelmasters
                                     -----------
 DM   9 ZUKAL (turn 738): ODDLY ELEGANT of DEVIATION (Marma Duke, mgr.)
 DM  12 RIZTAB (turn 740): HELIODORUS of DREAMERS (Sleepy, mgr.)
 DM  13 DULLENS (turn 710): FRANKIE of SERPENTS HOLD 929 (Khisanth, mgr.)
 DM  15 MALCORN (turn 734): NO RAIN of BLIND MELON (Howlin' Wolf, mgr.)
 DM  16 WILLAF (turn 736): EVERBRINGER of SHADOWMONGERS (Shadow, mgr.)
 DM  17 ALJAFIR (turn 727): PING of G.O.L.G. (?, mgr.)
 DM  19 ZUWAYZA (turn 728): RAMEX of VISIONS V2 (Tolbin, mgr.)
 DM  28 MORYA (turn 366): FREDDY FENDER of OTTO'S MECHANICS (Crip, mgr.)
 DM  29 LAPUR (turn 725): SERENA of SHADOWMIST (Tolbin, mgr.)
 DM  31 CHIMLEVTAL (turn 364): NABUCA of WHAMMO & THUDDA 4U! (La Guillotine, mgr.)
 DM  32 ARVAT (turn 722): RUE LEROHELL of DEVIL ADVOCATES (The Dark One, mgr.)
 DM  33 NIATOLI ISLAND (turn 719): LADY KALDRA of LUROCIANS II (The Greek Guy, mgr.)
 DM  35 MURSKA (turn 711): VAMPIRE SQUID of SEA DOGS (One Armed Bandit, mgr.)
 DM  43 VEASTIAN (turn 669): HALFTIME of EPIC RAP (Howlin' Wolf, mgr.)
 DM  45 STORMCROWE (turn 341): LAPUR BISQUE of SHEWISH BUFFET (One Armed Bandit, mgr)
 DM  47 NORTH FORK (turn 336): JACK B. NIMBLE of ROYAL FLUSH (Crip, mgr.)
 DM  50 SNOWBOUND (turn 323): QUALITY of LIFE IMPACTS (Smitty, mgr.)
 DM  56 ROCANIS (turn 601): BACKLASH of SERPENTS' HOLD (Khisanth, mgr.)
 DM  60 ARADI (turn 586): DAISY DAWG of RED DOG GANG (Spot, mgr.)
 DM  61 JURINE (turn 568): FIFINE GILLY of MIDDLE WAY 16 (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  65 DAL SHANG (turn 562): KALDAN TEN KARAN of SAND DANCERS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  73 ERINIKA (turn 571): EDMONDS of GASHOUSE GANG (Crip, mgr.)
 DM  74 DAYLA KIV (turn 523): HOGSHEAD of COUNTRY PIE (Howlin' Wolf, mgr.)
 DM  75 JADE MOUNTAIN (turn 517): DEADLY FORCE of CRITICALS (Howlin' Wolf, mgr.)
 DM  78 LIN TIRIAN (turn 509): THE MONGOOSE of SAND DANCERS (Jorja, mgr.)
ADM 103 FREE BLADES (turn 626): MARTIN BLANK of BLOOD TITANS (The Greek Guy, mgr.)

                                      Top Teams
                                      ---------
 DM   9 ZUKAL (turn 738): QUEEN (Howlin' Wolf, mgr.)
 DM  12 RIZTAB (turn 740): WHO DA MAN? (Var, mgr.)
 DM  13 DULLENS (turn 710): CARDOW HUNTERS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  15 MALCORN (turn 734): BLIND MELON (Howlin' Wolf, mgr.)
 DM  16 WILLAF (turn 736): AIMER'S INC (Tolbin, mgr.)
 DM  17 ALJAFIR (turn 727): ALL THINGS FLOYD (Floyd, mgr.)
 DM  19 ZUWAYZA (turn 728): THE MOTHERSHIP CC (Floyd, mgr.)
 DM  28 MORYA (turn 366): LORD OF DISCIPLINE (Longshot, mgr.)
 DM  29 LAPUR (turn 725): SHADOWMIST (Tolbin, mgr.)
 DM  31 CHIMLEVTAL (turn 364): BASH BROS OCEAN (Assurnasirbanipal, mgr.)
 DM  32 ARVAT (turn 722): DEVIL ADVOCATES (The Dark One, mgr.)
 DM  33 NIATOLI ISLAND (turn 719): CLASSIC CHARACTERS (The Producer, mgr.)
 DM  35 MURSKA (turn 711): CHILDREN OF LLYR (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  43 VEASTIAN (turn 669): TOLBIN'S X-MEN (Tolbin, mgr.)
 DM  45 STORMCROWE (turn 341): AVID FANS (Crip, mgr.)
 DM  47 NORTH FORK (turn 336): DEAD GAWDS (Death Jester, mgr.)
 DM  50 SNOWBOUND (turn 323): MESOPOTAMIA (Var, mgr.)
 DM  56 ROCANIS (turn 601): MEDAL OF HONOR A11 (The Anarchist, mgr.)
 DM  60 ARADI (turn 586): MEDAL OF HONOR B11 (The Anarchist, mgr.)
 DM  61 JURINE (turn 568): MIDDLE WAY 16 (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  65 DAL SHANG (turn 562): SAND DANCERS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  73 ERINIKA (turn 271): GASHOUSE GANG (Crip, mgr.)
 DM  74 DAYLA KIV (turn 523): TOLBINS LADIES (Tolbin, mgr.)
 DM  75 JADE MOUNTAIN (turn 518): SAND DANCERS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  78 LIN TIRIAN (turn 509): MEDAL OF HONOR Z2 (The Anarchist, mgr.)
ADM 103 FREE BLADES (turn 626): DIRT DEVILS et al (The Dark One, mgr.)

                                   Recent Graduates
                                  -----------------
 DM   9 ZUKAL (turn 738): ODDLY ELEGANT of DEVIATION (Marma Duke, mgr.)
 DM  15 MALCORN (turn 733): STOLEYOURSPOT of BASH BROS PARKING (Assurnasirbanipal)
 DM  16 WILLAF (turn 736): EVERBRINGER of SHADOWMONGERS (Shadow, mgr.)
 DM  31 CHIMLEVTAL (turn 363): GROM HELLSCREAM of THE STORM REAVERS (?, mgr.)
 DM  33 NIATOLI ISLAND (turn 719): LADY KALDRA of LUROCIANS II (The Greek Guy, mgr.)
 DM  43 VEASTIAN (turn 669): HALFTIME of EPIC RAP (Howlin' Wolf, mgr.)
 DM  45 STORMCROWE (turn 340): THE JANITOR of AVID FANS (Crip, mgr.)
                               A TALENT SCOUT of AVID FANS (Crip, mgr.)
 DM  61 JURINE (turn 568): FIFINE GILLY of MIDDLE WAY 16 (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  65 DAL SHANG (turn 561): NOCALLLISTEXEMPTION of BASH BROS EVANGELIST
                                            (Assurnasirbanipal, mgr.)
 DM  73 ERINIKA (turn 270): CARPENTER of GASHOUSE GANG (Crip, mgr.)
 DM  75 JADE MOUNTAIN (turn 518): WINTER ROSE of SAND DANCERS (Jorja, mgr.)
                      (turn 517): DEADLY FORCE of CRITICALS (Howlin' Wolf, mgr.)

                                      SPY REPORT

     It's me, The Unknown Spymaster, back to give you this week's Spy Report.  Sit 
back in your seats and we'll have more fun than a barrel of Zontanis.  Say good-bye 
to GHOSTWALKERS, as they are pushed from the coveted top team spot by the HIGH WAY 2 
stable.  A stormcloud is brewing over the GHOSTWALKERS guildhouse.  Rumor says any 
more weeks like this ones 0-4-0 may send the team to the Dark Arena.  It looks like 
the guys(?) at HIGH WAY 2 had a good week as they went 4-1-0 to put them in 1st 
place.  I guess steroids help!  Hey everybody, watch out for CONQUISTADOR, who flew 
up 20 points in the rankings after mashing MILTON ONLY like a melon.  Keep your eye 
on this guy.  Our Duelmaster has lost, folks, lost to KHALHUMS DWARF, BUT MAT TUKHOLT 
is still the Duelmaster because it has the most recognition points!  4 out of 5 
gladiators surveyed protect the body, so try and avoid aiming at that location.   
     Let's dig a little deeper into what's happening in the NOBLISH ISLAND arena.  
And hey, kiddies, those of you who didn't avoid GHOSTWALKERS, please raise you hand.  
Wow.  Does NOBLISH ISLAND really have that many liars?  Okay, so I may not be funny, 
but catch OLD EL PASO's act in the arena.  Those acrobats seem to be fairly deft at 
running from GHOSTWALKERS.  Well just about everybody wants a piece of LOSING TO 
AIMERS, who was this week's most challenged warrior.  In a touching display by a 
'touched' warrior, PASO DEL NORTE went after SPECIAL DISPOSAL, who was higher by 18 
points.  Well, when the dust settled, PASO DEL NORTE beat SPECIAL DISPOSAL.   
     Remember that an arena is not always a safe place to be, but it is one of the 
most interesting, though!  Ask not the elves for counsel, for they will say both yes 
and no.  Silly buggers, eh?   
     I think I had better cut this one short.  It's been nice chatting to those of 
you whom I have not offended yet.  Okay, so I may not be the world's best comedian, 
but then you guys aren't the world's best warriors.  And remember, you can pick your 
friends and you can pick your--(loud boos), oh, you've heard that one already!-- The 
Unknown Spymaster  

DUELMASTER                     W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 MAT TUKHOLT 9438              5   5  0    56       MISFITS OF DOOM (1624)

ADEPTS                         W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 SMYTHE TODD 9510              5   4  0    44       HIGH WAY 2 (1637)
 CAMI DEAORDAN 9500            4   0  0    35       MISFITS OF DOOM (1624)

CHALLENGER INITIATES           W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 MEOSHA PALMER 9508            7   2  1    32       HIGH WAY 2 (1637)
 QUINCY ROSS 9509              5   4  0    28       HIGH WAY 2 (1637)
 KEOSAQUA LANE 9506            5   4  0    26       HIGH WAY 2 (1637)
 SHMEGAL 9499                  3   1  1    26       MISFITS OF DOOM (1624)

INITIATES                      W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 THUMPER 9471                  4   3  0    22       GHOSTWALKERS (1630)
 CONQUISTADOR 9530             1   1  0    21       OLD EL PASO (1641)
 PASO DEL NORTE 9532           2   0  0    18       OLD EL PASO (1641)
 STRIKER 9469                  4   3  1    16       GHOSTWALKERS (1630)
 LOSING TO AIMERS 9525         2   0  0    15       BASH BROS WASTE (1640)
 MILTON ONLY 9507              2   7  0    13       HIGH WAY 2 (1637)
 STARFIRE 9472                 2   3  1    10       GHOSTWALKERS (1630)
 YAR'KEN TILLBIN 9523          1   1  0    10       MISFITS OF DOOM (1624)
 SWIFTY 9470                   1   5  1     9       GHOSTWALKERS (1630)
 SPECIAL DISPOSAL 9527         1   1  0     9       BASH BROS WASTE (1640)
 FITZ 9522                     1   1  0     7       MISFITS OF DOOM (1624)
 MODE SKILLS 9524              1   1  0     6       BASH BROS WASTE (1640)
 STINKS 9526                   1   1  0     4       BASH BROS WASTE (1640)
 CIUDAD JUAREZ 9529            1   1  0     4       OLD EL PASO (1641)
 CHIHUAHUAN DESERT 9531        0   2  0     2       OLD EL PASO (1641)
 ENDURANCE BURN 9528           0   2  0     2       BASH BROS WASTE (1640)

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

THE DEAD                W  L K TEAM NAME            SLAIN BY              TURN Revenge?
RIO GRANDE 9533         1  1 0 OLD EL PASO 1641     SHMEGAL 9499          393   

                                     PERSONAL ADS

Losing To Aimers and Stinks -- We hate losing to Assur's wastes because it just plain
stinks! -- CHIHUAHUAN DESERT and CIUDAD JUAREZ

Fitz -- I think maybe I was just too wide and fierce for you. -- RIO GRANDE

Yar'ken -- I salute your proficiency, but I salute mine more. -- PASO DEL NORTE

Mordant Deserter -- Bah.  We get those all the time from my country. -- CUIDAD JUAREZ

Mat Tukhold, Duelmaster -- I and my team salute you, Sir. -- PONCE DE LEON and OLD EL
PASO

Spectre -- Might I add DM11 to those potential lists of arenas.  Aruak City is The
Heart And Soul of Andoria, and supportive of newcomers.  My fellow Consortium mates
would continue to help and mentor you there. -- PONCE DE LEON, Consortium affiliated
P.S.  One can have many teams of warriors as we do.  While ours all have different
Team themes and Managers, they all fall under the Consortium umbrella.

     Aruak City is a lively arena, but it is significantly larger than this one and
     will be more demanding.  That isn't bad, but it's a fact.

Assur -- A salute to you.  0-2. -- PONCE DE LEON

Any -- If I DO NOT EXCEED, but do max, my warriors carry capacity will they be slowed
or penalized in any way?  If I am substantially under capacity do I get a bonus? --
Spectre

Even though we were 1-3, I am pleased witht the way the Ghost Walkers fought. My
skills as a manager will improve. -- Spectre

Swifty -- Change your primary weapon, maybe to a scimitar?  Try to get moving faster
by raising some of your first-minute fight numbers, either Offensive Effort or
Activity Level.  Maybe both, but do something.  You shouldn't just STAND there. --
Milton Only, glad of another win but almost embarrassed at how easy it was

Mat Tukholt -- Classic style match, in your favor.  Damn. -- Meosha Palmer

Thumper -- Huh, out to make me look bad, are you?  Actually, that was a pretty good
fight, if you like fights.  Kinda cool the way we passed the desperation back and
forth. -- Keosaqua Lane

Striker -- Either change your weapon, or train that stat.  It's never a good thing to
be unable to use your weapon effectively. -- Smythe Todd

Ah, thieves.  Silly buggers. -- Quincy Ross

Abba Cuss -- No avoids.  Remember the DM is considered a Challenger Champion and so
you have to be a champion to fight him. -- Assur

Ponce De Leon -- Unfortunately, for you, I strongly suspect my record this time will
exceed the barely above .500 record I achieved with the Pikers. -- Assur

For arena ideas, DM 31 is seeing a resurgence and has a very unique feature--a spy
report that isn't computer generated.  For fast arenas, DM 21 is one of the best,
followed closely by 32 & 11.  There is also DM 81, but that is the no-tourney arena,
so has a much different atmosphere.

     Basically, it's a matter of taste.  All these arenas are larger than Noblish,
     all have experienced and determined managers.

Cami Deaordan -- Impressive victory.  Wall of Steels usually win against Parry
Ripostes. -- Assur

Spectre -- You may run as many teams as you like, but each team/stable can only have
5 warriors.  As Green Eyes responded, you can only have a single team in most arenas,
but there are some special arenas (intended for tournament warriors) where you can
run multiple teams.  Be careful of these special arenas, they are ugly places and
really not much 'fun'.  (71, 72, 73, and 84.  82 is also one of these arenas, but
that arena is closed to new teams.) -- Assur

                                  LAST WEEK'S FIGHTS

STRIKER was devastated by CAMI DEAORDAN in a 2 minute mismatched Challenge fight.
SWIFTY was demolished by QUINCY ROSS in a 1 minute one-sided Challenge melee.
CIUDAD JUAREZ was defeated by LOSING TO AIMERS in a 1 minute amateur's Challenge duel.
PASO DEL NORTE defeated SPECIAL DISPOSAL in a 4 minute novice's Challenge fight.
STARFIRE was devastated by KEOSAQUA LANE in a 2 minute uneven Challenge brawl.
MAT TUKHOLT was defeated by KHALHUMS DWARF in a 3 minute Title struggle.
MEOSHA PALMER beat THUMPER in a 5 minute brawl.
SMYTHE TODD overcame THE USEROUS MERCHANT in a 3 minute fight.
MILTON ONLY was handily defeated by CONQUISTADOR in a 1 minute uneven melee.
SHMEGAL slaughtered RIO GRANDE in a 1 minute one-sided duel.
FITZ viciously subdued ENDURANCE BURN in a popular 1 minute brutal novice's duel.
YAR'KEN TILLBIN overcame STINKS in a exciting 4 minute novice's bout.
MODE SKILLS subdued CHIHUAHUAN DESERT in a 3 minute amateur's competition.

                                    BATTLE REPORT

             MOST POPULAR                        RECORD DURING THE LAST 10 TURNS     
|FIGHTING STYLE               FIGHTS        FIGHTING STYLE     W -   L -  K   PERCENT|
|WALL OF STEEL                    7         TOTAL PARRY       18 -   9 -  1      67  |
|BASHING ATTACK                   3         STRIKING ATTACK   21 -  14 -  2      60  |
|STRIKING ATTACK                  3         BASHING ATTACK    13 -  10 -  0      57  |
|AIMED BLOW                       3         PARRY-STRIKE      27 -  22 -  1      55  |
|TOTAL PARRY                      2         AIMED BLOW         6 -   5 -  1      55  |
|PARRY-STRIKE                     2         WALL OF STEEL     15 -  14 -  0      52  |
|PARRY-RIPOSTE                    2         PARRY-RIPOSTE      4 -   5 -  1      44  |
|LUNGING ATTACK                   1         SLASHING ATTACK    2 -   7 -  0      22  |
|SLASHING ATTACK                  1         PARRY-LUNGE        0 -   0 -  0       0  |
|PARRY-LUNGE                      0         LUNGING ATTACK     0 -   3 -  0       0  |

Turn 393 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:

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

                               TOP WARRIOR OF EACH STYLE

FIGHTING STYLE   WARRIOR                     W   L  K PNTS TEAM NAME                  
STRIKING ATTACK  SMYTHE TODD 9510            5   4  0   44 HIGH WAY 2 (1637)
PARRY-RIPOSTE    CAMI DEAORDAN 9500          4   0  0   35 MISFITS OF DOOM (1624)
Note: Warriors have a winning record and are an Adept or Above.

The overall popularity leader is MAT TUKHOLT 9438.  The most popular warrior this 
turn was STINKS 9526.  The ten other most popular fighters were CHIHUAHUAN DESERT 
9531, SPECIAL DISPOSAL 9527, FITZ 9522, CAMI DEAORDAN 9500, LOSING TO AIMERS 9525, 
KEOSAQUA LANE 9506, MAT TUKHOLT 9438, SMYTHE TODD 9510, QUINCY ROSS 9509, and 
CONQUISTADOR 9530.

The least popular fighter this week was MEOSHA PALMER 9508.  The other ten least 
popular fighters were ENDURANCE BURN 9528, RIO GRANDE 9533, STARFIRE 9472, SWIFTY 
9470, STRIKER 9469, MILTON ONLY 9507, THUMPER 9471, PASO DEL NORTE 9532, CIUDAD 
JUAREZ 9529, and MODE SKILLS 9524.

                                 Article for Newbies

     This here is an article aimed mostly at you new managers to the game out there.  
This chart is a consensus of managers on the internet about how they felt each style 
fairs against all other styles at the beginning levels of the game.  Of course, once 
you get ten or so fights under your belt the whole scenario changes and you can throw 
this right out the window.  But in the  meantime, use this chart to help you get a 
feel for the game, how the  different styles interact with each other and to hopefully 
dispel those 5-25 starts that can make you drop the game.  Hope this helps you some.

                         KEY FOR ODDS OF WINNING:

              1 - ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE     6 - BETTER THAN EVEN
              2 - HARDLY LIKELY         7 - GOOD CHANCE
              3 - NOT MUCH              8 - HIGHLY PROBABLE
              4 - SLIGHT CHANCE         9 - MOST DEFINATELY
              5 - 50/50                10 - ALMOST GUARANTEED

                   Reminder:  Left Row vs Top Column

          BA    ST    LU    SL    AB    TP    PS    PL    PR    WS  
    BA     5     2     6     6     8     9     7     6     5     6
    ST     8     5     8     9     9     6     7     5     6     4
    LU     4     4     5     6    10     5     7     7     9     6
    SL     4     1     5     5     8     6     8     7     8     9
    AB     2     2     2     4     5    10     6     6     6     7
    TP     3     4     6     4     1     5     7     8     6     5
    PS     3     3     3     4     5     4     5     4     5     4
    PL     5     4     3     3     6     2     7     5     7     6
    PR     7     5     2     2     4     5     6     3     5     4
    WS     5     8     6     2     4     6     7     5     6     5

    There you have it folks.  I would personally like to thank all the managers on the 
internet who made a contribution to this effort.  You know who you are.  Also a big 
nod of appreciation goes out to the mighty PUG (Ben Hitz) who organizes and runs the 
roundtable and without whose effort little projects like this would prove quite 
difficult.

                              David Gottwald - Magic Man

                              The Crew - Monuntial (34)
                           Rocky's Heroes - North Fork (47)
                       Tragedy Strikes - Andor (57) (inactive)
                              Natural Born - Illis (59)
                               Slow & Easy - Aradi (60)
                           Omega Squadron - Dragonhead (72)

                          MAKING YOUR CHALLENGES GO THROUGH

     First, you need to be sure you are making your challenges correctly.
     1.  Are you writing down the warrior I.D. number of the warrior you want to 
challenge?
     2.  Is your handwriting clear?
     3.  Is the warrior you are challenging within range of your warrior?  Warriors 
can challenge within their own class and the next higher class, plus the "Challenger" 
classes can also challenge the next lower class.  So, an Adept can challenge Adepts 
and Challenger Adepts.  A Challenger Adept can challenge Adepts, Challenger Adepts, 
and Champions.  (Try not to challenge down, though.  Besides being unsportsmanlike and 
making everyone mad, it isn't advantageous to your warriors.  They need to fight more 
experienced warriors so they will learn.)
     4.  Are your warriors eligible to make challenges?  If they didn't fight within 
the last two turns, then they can't challenge.
     5.  Are the warriors they want to fight eligible to receive challenges?  If they 
didn't fight within the last two turns, then they can't be challenged.

     Next, adjust your choices for the maximum likelihood of getting your challenges.  
There are several things that will help:
     1.  Have each of your warriors challenge two different opponents from two 
different teams.  That way, if the first opponent's team doesn't fight that turn, you 
still might get your second challenge.
     2.  Use your avoids.  Have each warrior avoid the teams of whoever you think 
might be likely to challenge him.  If you can get out of being challenged, that 
increases your chance of getting your own challenge through.
     3.  Don't challenge warriors who didn't fight last turn.  The odds are higher 
that they won't be fighting this turn.
     4.  Don't challenge warriors who might be involved in a bloodfeud (either as the 
killers, or the avengers).  A bloodfeud challenge has priority over all other 
challenges.
     5.  Don't challenge Tournament Victors.  A TV challenge has priority over all 
other challenges except bloodfeuds.  You'll need to do a little research in back 
issues of the newsletter to find out who the TVs are.
     6.  Don't challenge warriors who you know are going to challenge someone else, or 
are going to get challenged by someone else.  Your challenge has a better chance of 
getting through if it is the only challenge to that particular warrior.
     7.  Don't challenge the "easy pickings."  That is, warriors above you who have 
way too few fights or very bad records for where they are ranked.  They will tend to 
get challenged a lot.
     8.  Don't challenge warriors who are likely to be avoiding your team.  This 
includes any warrior your team fought within the last two turns.
     Well, it sounds like I've eliminated just about everybody, doesn't it?  Of course 
you can challenge opponents who fit into one or more of those categories; just try to 
find ones who don't.  Your idea candidate for a challenge is:  A warrior ranked 
somewhat above your warrior in the same class, or in the next higher class, with a few 
more fights than your warrior, and a winning record, who isn't a TV and isn't 
currently at war with anyone.
     I hope this will be of some help to you.

                                                  The Rogue She-Puppy

          MAXIMIZING THE DUELMASTERS EXPERIENCE: WHAT THE RULES DIDN'T SAY

     When you get your turn results in the mail it is very important that you squeeze 
as much enjoyment as possible out of that envelope!  I recommend (and also use!) the 
following procedures.
     First, open the envelope lengthwise with a letter opener.  Remove the blue-sheet 
BUT DON'T LOOK AT IT!  It may tell you that you are broke and owe RSI a lot of money.  
Flip it over instead!  The blue-sheet will be used as a "hider" when you read the 
fight results line by line, so you don't see the end of the fight by mistake and ruin 
the excitement.
     Remove the rest of the sheets in one smooth maneuver and place the flipped-over 
blue-sheet on top of the pile, without looking at anything.  You don't want to 
accidentally uncover an unexpected replacement rollup.  This is a traumatic experience 
that should be avoided at all costs, as it indicates that one of your battles didn't 
go exactly as planned.
     Now you must prepare your room, or whever you are, for the battles.  If you are 
suicidal, or a lousy manager, or a suicidally lousy manager, remove all sharp objects 
from the area.  If you happen to manage an entire team of scummy warriors it is okay 
to leave a loaded musket nearby.
     The next step is to put on music.  It definitely adds to the experience to have 
your favorite tunes playing in the background, preferably AS LOUD AS YOU CAN GET AWAY 
WITH!  I christen each new warrior with a song that is his and his alone, and play 
that song whenever it is his turn upon the sands.  It is a personal choice but I 
recommend Judas Priest, Manowar or Metallica.  Avoid Abba and Barry Manilow (like I 
had to say it).  It is also important to match the song length with the expected 
length of the fight.  Don't choose "The Immigrant Song" for your 21-con Ultra-Scum.  
Likewise, don't choose "Stairway to Heaven" for your quick lunger.  Finally, sometimes 
it is nice to choose an exceptionally violent alternate selection for those 
Bloodfeuds.
     Now you are almost ready!  The final preparatory step (optional) is to prepare a 
pot of coffee.  Beer also works well, especially on Fridays, but I understand that 
some managers are not Well-Suited to that particular beverage.  I've heard the Duke 
Malibu in Solven drinks goat blood, but mind you this is only a rumor.  For the final 
touch, try putting on any handy armor you have.  Or a loin-cloth.  I put on most of my 
hockey gear.
     The fights are on!  The music is loud!  The coffee is good!  Read the fights 
slowly, line by line using your blue-sheet as a guide.  Don't go too fast, now.  Yell, 
"Yeah!" if your warrior scores an especially gruesome hit.  Cringe if your warrior 
feels the joys of a great axe connecting with his face (that means you, Marilith).  
Raise your fist in the air when that total parry realizes that his last shield has 
broken!  And cry when your favorite gladiator is gravely injured and then takes ten 
consecutive war hammer shots to the head...
     When the end of the fight comes you will be emotionally drained, so yell out, 
"Huzzah!!!" or "Damnnn!!!" or whatever, to take the edge off.  When the fighting is 
ended take a breather before preparing for the next cycle's fights.  Reflect on what 
has transpired and make a few notes.  You'll be a better person (and manager) for it!  
Isn't Duelmasters great?

Brought to you by ICE (the deranged): DM-49 (Vithicar) Rotting Livers (205)
                                      DM-10 (Kolact) Beermacht
                                      DM-22 (Solven) Steel Warriors
                                      DM-24 (Zorpunt) No Escape

                           Winning With the Average Warrior

     Hi!  The Master of Anime here...  Yeah, yeah, I know, you're all doing a 
collective, "Who the Hell is this character?"  Well, my claim to fame, if you can call 
it that, is that I run Eve, one of the more popular, if not completely unspectacular, 
warriors to fight in Alastari.  I am a micro-manager (you've heard of mega-managers?  
Well, think in reverse) who has been mainly running only one team during my 8+ years 
of Duelmasters.  This little write-up is aimed towards the less experienced managers, 
the ones that can be brainwashed from some of the "How to build the perfect 
warrior..." spotlights that tend to appear from time to time.
     Many of the "How to build..." spotlights tend to deal with roll-ups that are 
quite ideal, but in reality, rarely come out of RSI's number crunching machine, 
commonly referred to as "the Roll-Up Gods".  There have been a few good articles on 
how to design skillful warriors from 'average' roll-ups.  Those articles, in my 
opinion, are the most helpful to new managers for the simple fact that you will almost 
always get an 'average' roll-up.  Occasionally, that 'average' roll-up might turn out 
to be something special, and that is what I would like to key in on.
     I know a lot of managers who will continually DA their warriors until they get 
something that is as close to perfect as possible.  You know, the warrior with three 
or four 17s or the warrior with a couple of 21s or that size 3 or 4 warrior, etc...  
If you are a relatively new manager and you are also doing this, I think you are 
missing out on one of the more intriguing aspects of this game and that is warrior 
development.
     Being a micro-manager, I do not have an army of warriors like the mega-managers 
do, but I'd like to think that I can hold my own against them (hey, if you're gonna 
dream, dream big).  Anyway, back to the point.  One of my 'average' warriors seems to 
have achieved a form of notoriety in Advanced Duelmasters to the extent that even the 
ever quiet Mirage (manager of Donatello) has had something to say (it was at the last 
Tempe FTF and my warrior, at the end of the 6th or 7th round, was listed as the top 
Primus warrior on the tourney list.)  Mirage pointed at my warrior on the list and 
said, "That, is embarrassing..."  I took it as a compliment.  In case you're 
wondering, my warrior is Akira (the reason I'm writing this article is that I've been 
approached many times of late by managers who wanted to see Akira's numbers, thinking 
he had some sort of godlike roll-up.  I set them straight).
     I'm not going to print Akira's numbers in this article for the main reason that I 
don't have them with me at this time (it'll probably tick-off a lot of managers whose 
warriors Akira has beaten anyway), but I do know this... he has about 30 attribute 
increases and only one attribute is in the 20's, that one being WL (he even got gypped 
by not getting some skills that you normally think he'd get by raising WL up the 
20's).  He won't be getting another attribute above 20 for a long, long time.  (I 
think his next highest attribute is 17... note that this is after the 30 or so 
increases...)  You should have a pretty good idea how generic this roll-up is... a 
roll-up that would probably be DA'd by most managers looking for a good roll-up... a 
roll-up that I even said, "I'll run him for kicks, but will probably retire him once 
he gets to AD."... a roll-up that entered AD with a less-than-stellar 14-10 record... 
a roll-up currently on a 20 fight win streak... a roll-up with three consecutive 
Primus TVs.
     So, before you give up on that average warrior, think again about giving him a 
chance to flourish... he might suprise you as Akira has surprised me.  Good luck in 
the arena!

M.A., a proud member of GAPPDA
P.S.  If you want to know Akira's original roll-up, diplo Anime Legends (Arena 102, 
104).
P.P.S.  Swift -- We GAPPDA members are NOT slugs!!!  At least, I don't think we are...

                                     TWELVE TIPS

     A rookie manager asked me a question recently which prompted my "teaching juices" 
to flow.  I quote: "Just give me a dozen hints, and I'll leave you alone!"  Obviously, 
his challenge prompted me to organize my thought creating my Twelve Tips.  
     "Now wait a minute!" I hear you asking.  "Why should I read on?"  Simply put:
-- If you're an experience manager, you'll want to "clue me in" on other valuable tips 
I missed.
-- If you're a "newbie," these tips will enhance your W-L record and compound your 
fun.
     "But, are they GOOD tips?" you ask.  Believe me, fellow opponents, after 5000+ 
fights, dozens of "tutored pupils," many A.D. warriors, and a rather lofty W-L record, 
they're GOOD tips.  So here we go, in no particular order.
(I)  ASK FOR HELP--Ask RSI about the Sponsor Program.  Diplo "good" managers in your 
arena.  Proclaim your willingness to learn in a personal ad.  You'll get some 
conversation.
(II) OFFENSIVES FIRST--This is not an easy game, and the basher, lunger, striker can 
be readily designed and more easily "mastered." (Whatever that means.)  Avoid the most 
difficult finessives, such as aimers (AB), rippers (PR), and probably wastes (WS).  
Get some confidence first!  Most of us old-timers yet struggle with a good aimed-blow.
(III) SKILLS, SKILLS, SKILLS--One of the most prevalent rookie errors is training too 
many stats.  Skills win fights, and in the long run, you will regret certain stat 
raises.
(IV) COLLECT DATA--The more you know about your own warrior (And even with the same 
stats, warriors differ) and the more you know about your opponents, the more likely 
you can cause something "good" to happen.  In the military/political world, we call 
this "intelligence." (Clue: ask about a D.M. handbook filled with info.)
(V) PERSONAL ADS--Don't be a jerk!  But write some every time.  Let me assure you that 
an unliked rookie cannot succeed in an arena against the local "Powers-in-control."  
You want to create friendly opponents. (When you know what you're doing--then you can 
try the jerk routine!)
(VI) TURN SHEET--Accuracy counts.  Fill it out perfectly (and legibly) pal!  Know what 
each section is for. (Reread the instructions.)  Many have been the surprised and 
frustrated manager who caused his or her own problem! (Even us "megas" blow it now and 
then!) 
(VII) NO CON--Don't ever (well maybe 1% of the time) add points to constitution on an 
offensive rollup.  Other attributes may add skills; con won't.  (Just wait until you 
hear someone shout never add to con--ever.  I didn't say that.)
(VIII) ONE WEAPON--For offensives.  When you get to finesse styles, you'll understand 
why you may want one in your off-hand also.  But, almost always carry a backup. (Hands 
can be hurt both striking and defending.)
(IX) CHALLENGE/AVOID--Always!  A manager's prime purpose is to optimize his warrior's 
chances.  Challenge those you'll have a good shot at beating and avoid teams who can 
cause you the most difficulties. (Challenge warriors--avoid teams.)
(X) ENTER TOURNAMENTS--What a way to acquire skills and experience without impacting 
your arena W-L record.  Actually, you will create a positive impact in that those 
"tournament earnings" are "hidden" from other arena warriors.  Plus, tournaments are a 
real "rush!"
(XI) FIND A FRIEND--In every arena find at least one "friendly" foe.  Share opponent 
info.  With two, or more, of you sharing, look how much more "intelligence" you'll 
have.
(XII) STAY COOL--Don't let any problem (loss, death, personal ad, error, etc.) anger 
you. (This is fun, right?)  The cool head wins more matches than the emotional one.
     So good luck, rookie!  We were all in your shoes once. (And for some of us that 
was a long, long time ago.)

                              THE CONSORTIUM
                              DM 8  Smithsonian (Curator)
                              DM 11 Bulldogs (Kennelworth)
                              DM 20 Animal Farm (Mino)
                              DM 46 Fandils (Fandil the Wise)
                              (and many, many more)