Date   : 02/08/2014    Duedate: 02/21/2014


DM-93    TURN-396

This Weeks Top Honors


(93-9525) [5-0-1,56]

Chartered Recognition Leader   Unchartered Recognition Leader

                               BASH BROS WASTE (1640)
                               (93-9525) [5-0-1,56]

Popularity Leader              This Weeks Favorite

OLD EL PASO (1641)             OLD EL PASO (1641)
(93-9530) [1-4-0,7]            (93-9534) [3-0-0,32]


OLD EL PASO (1641)

Team Name                  Point Gain  Chartered Team
1. OLD EL PASO (1641)          52
2. THIRD HIGHWAY (1642)        27      DARK TOADS (527)
3. BASH BROS WASTE (1640)      23      Unchartered Team
4. GHOSTWALKERS (1630)          0
5. FIVE NATIONS (1558)          0      THIRD HIGHWAY (1642)

The Top Teams

Career Win-Loss Record           W   L  K    %  Win-Loss Record Last 3 Turns    W  L K
 1/ 2*THIRD HIGHWAY (1642)       7   3  0 70.0   1/ 1*OLD EL PASO (1641)       11  4 0
 2/ 1*OLD EL PASO (1641)        16   9  0 64.0   2/ 2*BASH BROS WASTE (1640)    9  6 1
 3/ 3*BASH BROS WASTE (1640)    14  11  1 56.0   3/ 3*THIRD HIGHWAY (1642)      7  3 0
 4- 4*FIVE NATIONS (1558)        1   1  0 50.0   4- 4*GHOSTWALKERS (1630)       1  5 0
 5- 5*GHOSTWALKERS (1630)       12  23  3 34.3   5- 5*FIVE NATIONS (1558)       0  1 0

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

                                    TEAM SPOTLIGHT

                            BE SURE TO TRAIN SOMETHING!
                                  SKILLS vs. STATS

     D2ers often hear a statement similar to this: "Train skills; do not train
stats."  The implication or sometimes direct statement is that you will be sorry if
you train stats, especially certain stats.
     The Consortium opinion is that, in the majority of circumstances, it is
perfectly all right and normal to train stats, and in some cases it is better to
train stats.  (This process of training stats is often called "burning")  The purpose
of this presentation is to explore stat and skill training and to give the D2 Manager
some ideas as to if, or when, stat training is either aok or best.  The article will
also explore when it is considered best not to train stats.

     First, to set the stage, there are several principles, givens, and ideas that
the reader must understand.
     1. Skill raining is mostly dependent on WT. (e.g. The higher the wit, the more
        skills per fight the warrior is likely to learn.
     2. Stat training is rather highly dependent upon two things:
        a. WL; a warrior's stat learn probability is 5% times the will. (E.g. a
           warrior with 10 WL has a (5%x10=50%) 50/50 chance to learn the stat, while
           a warrior with 15 WL has a 75% chance of learning the stat.
        b. The number of stats of that type already trained. A warrior's learning
           rate for a specific stat is halved each time he earns one of those stats.
           For example, a warrior with 10 will has a 50% (5%x10) of earning a first
           stat of a type, but only a 25% (5%x10 halved) of earning the second stat
           of that type. ((and on to 12.5% for the third) Realize, however, that it
           is really 50% for the 1st, 27.5% for the 2nd (since he earned the 1st and
           is now at 11 WL) and 15% for the 3rd. (Since he had previously bumped the
           WL to 12)
     3. Training most stats also earns the warrior certain skills.
     4. There are limits to the number of stats and skills a warrior can have.
        a. In basic, a warrior can have no higher that 21 of any stat type.
        b. A warrior is limited to earning 20 skills (beyond the initial skills the
           warrior is "born" with) of each type in his career. Those 20 skills may
           come from learning skills or from training a stat which gives the warrior
           one or more of those skills. He is deemed "maxed" when he learns the 20th.
        c. A warrior can, however, learn more that 20 skills of a type if he first
           learns his 20 allowed skills, and then trains stats which give the warrior
           one of those skills.  (This factor is why one often hears "Do not train
           stats or you will be sorry".)
     5. Certain stats improve the "physicals" of your warrior. (e.g. there is a
        reasonable possibility that training ST can improve how much damage your
        warrior does when he hits)

     With those principles in mind, one can postulate certain scenarios which might
provide a basis for decision-making as to "what to train". These represent, first,
the knowledge necessary, then, The Consortium scenarios for training decision--STATs
or SKILLs?

1 Be aware of the probable skill learn rate. (This is a highly variable number, based
  on many, many factors of the game, including luck rolls.) (However WT is the
  primary factor.)
2 Be aware of the stat training probability for that stat
3 Be aware that every thing in D2 has a probable roll or luck factor
4 Be aware of the potential "physical" improvement to your warrior for stat 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
  versus the probability of learning that specific stat train and the subsequent
  physical and skill gain earned.)

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

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

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

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

                    Ponce de Leon (Consortium affiliated)

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

                                   Staying Alive

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

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

As I began, you can't ensure your warrior will never die, but you can do everything
in your power to prevent it.

             + ]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 741): CHANTAL of BLUE MOON (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  12 RIZTAB (turn 743): CHARLENE of SWEET MAGIC (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  13 DULLENS (turn 716): PARAGON ORCA of 7TH SANCTUM (Hombre, mgr.)
 DM  15 MALCORN (turn 737): SIR TOO DUMB of THE GRAIL KNIGHTS (The Dark One, mgr.)
 DM  16 WILLAF (turn 739): 56TH AND WABASHA of BLOOD ON THE TRACKS (Howlin' Wolf)
 DM  17 ALJAFIR (turn 730): PING of G.O.L.F. (The Chosen One, mgr.)
 DM  19 ZUWAYZA (turn 731): NEWT ROCKNE of MAN OR BEAST? (The Dark One, mgr.)
 DM  28 MORYA (turn 368): MERCURY of ZODIAC (Stargazer, mgr.)
 DM  29 LAPUR (turn 728): RAVAGE of THE TAKEN (Stillgard, mgr.)
 DM  31 CHIMLEVTAL (turn 365): NABUCA of WHAMMO & THUDDA 4U! (La Guillotine, mgr.)
 DM  32 ARVAT (turn 728): DISEMBOWELED DORA of THE WALKING DEAD (Deep Thought, mgr.)
 DM  33 NIATOLI ISLAND (turn 722): WHITE SQUALL of SEA DOGS (One Armed Bandit, mgr)
 DM  35 MURSKA (turn 714): LORD'S PRAYER of FOOT OF PRIDE (Howlin' Wolf, mgr.)
 DM  43 VEASTIAN (turn 672): BLACK ZANJO of THE FAMILY (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  45 STORMCROWE (turn 343): LAPUR BISQUE of SHEWISH BUFFET (One Armed Bandit, mgr)
 DM  47 NORTH FORK (turn 337): JACK B. NIMBLE of ROYAL FLUSH (Crip, mgr.)
 DM  50 SNOWBOUND (turn 324): QUALITY of LIFE IMPACTS (Smitty, mgr.)
 DM  56 ROCANIS (turn 604): GASTON IPPS of MIDDLE WAY 20 (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  60 ARADI (turn 589): DAISY DAWG of RED DOG GANG (Spot, mgr.)
 DM  61 JURINE (turn 571): RACK OF LAB of CANINE CUISINE (Chuck, mgr.)
 DM  65 DAL SHANG (turn 565): KALDAN TEN KARAN of SAND DANCERS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  73 ERINIKA (turn 273): ADAM of THE BEGINNING (Chuck, mgr.)
 DM  74 DAYLA KIV (turn 526): HOGSHEAD of COUNTRY PIE (Howlin' Wolf, mgr.)
 DM  75 JADE MOUNTAIN (turn 521): ANGEL of RUNEBLADES (Stillgard, mgr)
 DM  78 LIN TIRIAN (turn 512): GENERAL 2 of MEDAL OF HONOR Z2 (The Anarchist, mgr.)
ADM 103 FREE BLADES (turn 629): SANDMAN of DARKLINGS (She-Puppy, mgr.)

                                      Top Teams
 DM   9 ZUKAL (turn 741): BLUE MOON (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  12 RIZTAB (turn 743): SWEET MAGIC (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  13 DULLENS (turn 716): CARDOW HUNTERS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  15 MALCORN (turn 737): THE GRAIL KNIGHTS (The Dark One, mgr.)
 DM  16 WILLAF (turn 739): BLOOD ON THE TRACKS (Howlin' Wolf, mgr.)
 DM  17 ALJAFIR (turn 730): BODY OF MUSIC (Howlin' Wolf, mgr.)
 DM  19 ZUWAYZA (turn 731): MAN OR BEAST? (The Dark One, mgr.)
 DM  28 MORYA (turn 368): ZODIAC (Stargazer, mgr.)
 DM  29 LAPUR (turn 728): THE GUILD (Guido, mgr.)
 DM  31 CHIMLEVTAL (turn 365): WHAMMO & THUDDA 4U! (La Guillotine, mgr.)
 DM  32 ARVAT (turn 725): SECRET SQUIRRELS (Gentleben, mgr.)
 DM  33 NIATOLI ISLAND (turn 722): SUMMERTEETH (Howlin' Wolf, mgr.)
 DM  35 MURSKA (turn 714): FOOT OF PRIDE (Floyd, mgr.)
 DM  43 VEASTIAN (turn 672): THE FAMILY (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  45 STORMCROWE (turn 343): DARQUE FORCES (Master Darque, mgr.)
 DM  47 NORTH FORK (turn 337): TOLBINS HIVE A (Tolbin, mgr.)
 DM  50 SNOWBOUND (turn 324): MESOPOTAMIA (Var, mgr.)
 DM  56 ROCANIS (turn 604): MEDAL OF HONOR A11 (The Anarchist, mgr.)
 DM  60 ARADI (turn 589): RED DOG GANG (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  61 JURINE (turn 571): MIDDLE WAY 16 (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  65 DAL SHANG (turn 565): SAND DANCERS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  73 ERINIKA (turn 273): MIDDLE WAY 18 (Jorja, mgr>)
 DM  74 DAYLA KIV (turn 529): SAND DANCERS (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  75 JADE MOUNTAIN (turn 521): GRIZZLED VETERANS (Dameon Darkheart, mgr.)
 DM  78 LIN TIRIAN (turn 512): MEDAL OF HONOR Z2 (The Anarchist, mgr.)
ADM 103 FREE BLADES (turn 629): DIRT DEVILS et al (The Dark One, mgr.)

                                   Recent Graduates
 DM  12 RIZTAB (turn 742): TATUM of BLUE NOTE (Howlin' Wolf, mgr.)
 DM  19 ZUWAYZA (turn 730): SAMUEL COLT of MAN OR BEAST? (The Dark One, mgr.)
 DM  32 ARVAT (turn 727): RUE LEROHELL of DEVIL ADVOCATES (The Dark One, mgr.)
 DM  33 NIATOLI ISLAND (turn 721): PIEHOLDEN SWEET of SUMMERTEETH (Howlin' Wolf, mgr)
 DM  35 MURSKA (turn 713): DEIRDRIE of CHILDREN OF LLYR (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  45 STORMCROWE (turn 342): THE STATISTITIAN of AVID FANS (Crip, mgr.)
 DM  47 NORTH FORK (turn 337): JACK B. NIMBLE of ROYAL FLUSH (Crip, mgr.)
 DM  50 SNOWBOUND (turn 324): QUALITY of LIFE IMPACTS (Smitty, mgr.)
 DM  56 ROCANIS (turn 604): GASTON IPPS of MIDDLE WAY 20 (Jorja, mgr.)
                            DROXINE of TREXTRAS (Otto X, mgr.)
                (turn 603): LOIS THUG of STRAIGHT UP THUGS (?, mgr.)
 DM  61 JURINE (turn 671): CHUCK ENDERN of MIDDLE WAY 16 (Jorja, mgr.)
 DM  75 JADE MOUNTAIN (turn 521): WRATH of MASTERS OF SIN (The Greek Guy, mgr.)

                                 DUELMASTER'S COLUMN
                             Notes from the arena champ.

     Assur and his pacifist ways.  If I'm forced to go out and risk my life on the
sands, I'm certainly not going to hold back when my own life is on the line.  So good
riddance.  Starfire came after me and saw his measly life ended.  Assur also called
me a pr <cut off by hal, no idea why>

                                      SPY REPORT

     Greetings, warriors of NOBLISH ISLAND!  Once again I've been called out of 
retirement for my abilities and insights into Spyreporting.  Some people say I ramble 
too much, I don't say anything relevant.  I repeat myself.  I ramble.  Well THIRD 
HIGHWAY moved up 0, to 3rd.  What's with CHIHUAHUAN DESERT?  It actually beat NOBLISH 
ISLAND's THE USEROUS MERCHANT, and walked away with 20 more points from the fight.  
Laughs were big at BASH BROS WASTE while they watched SPECIAL DISPOSAL clobber DEL 
CURVE.  He lost 9 points and got bruised from objects thrown from the stands.  
KUNG-FU MASTER was reminded on the sands why LOSING TO AIMERS is Duelmaster.  Advice 
to fighters with a 1 will--give up fighting!   
     If at first you don't succeed, avoid.  That'll get you in the Spyreports.  How 
well I know the feeling of being in the most avoided team!  Don't fall out of 
practive, GHOSTWALKERS!  In my day, no team with a 12-23-3 would scare me off!  
What's the problem, OLD EL PASO?  How well I know the feeling of being the most 
challenged warrior, STINKS!  Don't make idle boasts, they may come back to haunt you. 
     A fighter's lot is filled with strife, revenge, and killing.  Some fighters 
don't accept this.  The best do.  Many a warrior has met his fate in a hungover 
stupor.  You young rapscallions, take note!   
     Many other cities have retirement homes for aged warriors.  Any plans here?  All 
work and no play makes Olaf a dull fighter.  Work and play no fighter dull Olaf.  
Olaffighterwork and no play.  Time for my medication, so I'll leave now.  Practice, 
practice, practice!-- Olaf Modeen  

DUELMASTER                     W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 LOSING TO AIMERS 9525         5   0  1    56       BASH BROS WASTE (1640)

ADEPTS                         W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 CHIHUAHUAN DESERT 9531        2   3  0    46       OLD EL PASO (1641)

CHALLENGER INITIATES           W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 PASO DEL NORTE 9532           5   0  0    37       OLD EL PASO (1641)

CHALLENGER INITIATES           W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 THE RIO GRANDE 9534           3   0  0    32       OLD EL PASO (1641)
 CIUDAD JUAREZ 9529            4   1  0    27       OLD EL PASO (1641)

INITIATES                      W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 GERONIMO FORD 9536            2   0  0    22       THIRD HIGHWAY (1642)
 STINKS 9526                   3   2  0    21       BASH BROS WASTE (1640)
-STRIKER 9469                  4   5  1    18       GHOSTWALKERS (1630)
 MODE SKILLS 9524              3   2  0    18       BASH BROS WASTE (1640)
 SPECIAL DISPOSAL 9527         2   3  0    18       BASH BROS WASTE (1640)
 ALLEN BRIDGER 9538            2   0  0    18       THIRD HIGHWAY (1642)
-THUMPER 9471                  4   5  0    17       GHOSTWALKERS (1630)
 SHADY LANE 9537               1   1  0    13       THIRD HIGHWAY (1642)
 DEAN END 9539                 1   1  0    13       THIRD HIGHWAY (1642)
-SWIFTY 9470                   1   5  1     9       GHOSTWALKERS (1630)
 CONQUISTADOR 9530             1   4  0     7       OLD EL PASO (1641)
 ENDURANCE BURN 9528           1   4  0     7       BASH BROS WASTE (1640)
 DEL CURVE 9535                1   1  0     6       THIRD HIGHWAY (1642)
-JOV THUNDERFIST 9053          1   1  0     4       FIVE NATIONS (1558)

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

THE DEAD                W  L K TEAM NAME            SLAIN BY              TURN Revenge?
STARFIRE 9472           3  4 1 GHOSTWALKERS 1630    LOSING TO AIMERS 9525 395   

                                     PERSONAL ADS

Special Disposal -- I think I just wasted you. -- Ciudad Juarez

Dangerous Criminal -- It was unfair for the MUGs to match me with you.  Aargh!  You
are like a camel (You know, humpy-like.) and camels always seem to defeat deserts.
Unfair, I say.  I protest! -- Chihuahuan Desert

Thumper -- When I saw the match, I was worried.  I would not have thought I could
beat a warrior of your experience.  I was mighty, mighty lucky. -- The Rio Grande

Mode Skills -- I bow to your greater talent.  Salute. -- Conquistador

Mr. Assur -- I am getting mighty tired, Sir, of your walls mishandling what I thought
was one of my better warriors--Conquistador.  I must salute you.  Perhaps the problem
is that I am an incompetent manager with bashers? -- Ponce de Leon

Dean End -- The scribes proclaimed that a dull fight?  Well, I for one, enjoyed every
exciting minute of it! -- Paso del Norte

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone. -- The Consortium (A golem:  a living machine, a
robot, a created life form. -- Jorja)

Conquistador -- Yes, you are doing better.  BUT I HAVE THE THRONE!  MUHAHAHAHAHA. --
Assur (1-1 last turn)

Spectre -- Alas, aimed blows seem to like to die.  I've published my staying alive
article again this turn.  My apologies, he was told to aim for limbs, but... -- Assur
P.S.  And while the Wall of Steel / Aimed Blow matchup usually favors the Aimed Blow,
nothing is a sure thing in this game...

Ponce de Leon -- Thank you, although a monetary tribute would be more useful than a
salute. -- Smythe Todd
P.S.  Check out Smith Center sometime, quite a decent little town.

Paso del Norte -- (mutter grumble)  (grimace)  Thanks. -- Milton Only

Jov Thunderfist -- You're supposed to hit back!  Ah, in the introductory part, where
it lists your weapons and says you use it in an unorthodox manner?  Means you should
get a different weapon, because you're never going to do well with that one.  The
weapon you had is not suited to your style, and the computer is merciless in judging
that. -- Allen Bridger
P.S.  Could it be an input error?

Stinks -- I noticed! -- Shady Lane
P.S.  Any woman would.

Paso del Norte -- You think that was dull, try watching the fence wire rust at the...
Dead End
P.S.  I'm NOT a dwarf, dammit!

A couple of standbys?  As the El Pasoans would say, No problemo! -- Del Curve and
Geronimo Ford

                                  LAST WEEK'S FIGHTS

THE RIO GRANDE bested STINKS in a action packed 1 minute amateur's Challenge fight.
CIUDAD JUAREZ demolished ENDURANCE BURN in a 1 minute gory one-sided Challenge melee.
LOSING TO AIMERS viciously subdued KUNG-FU MASTER in a 2 minute Title brawl.
CHIHUAHUAN DESERT demolished THE USEROUS MERCHANT in a 1 minute competition.
PASO DEL NORTE unbelievably bested AMBITIOUS GUARD in a crowd pleasing 4 minute fight.
MODE SKILLS bested CONQUISTADOR in a action packed 1 minute novice's competition.
SPECIAL DISPOSAL slimly won victory over DEL CURVE in a 3 minute beginner's duel.
DEAN END overpowered CONVICTED THIEF in a 2 minute uneven duel.
GERONIMO FORD overpowered CONVICTED THIEF in a 1 minute one-sided fight.
SHADY LANE handily defeated CONVICTED THIEF in a 1 minute one-sided bout.
ALLEN BRIDGER subdued PERSISTANT BEGGAR in a 1 minute amateur's match.

                                    BATTLE REPORT

             MOST POPULAR                        RECORD DURING THE LAST 10 TURNS     
|FIGHTING STYLE               FIGHTS        FIGHTING STYLE     W -   L -  K   PERCENT|
|WALL OF STEEL                    6         TOTAL PARRY       17 -   8 -  0      68  |
|LUNGING ATTACK                   2         STRIKING ATTACK   18 -  11 -  2      62  |
|SLASHING ATTACK                  2         LUNGING ATTACK     4 -   3 -  0      57  |
|TOTAL PARRY                      2         AIMED BLOW         9 -   7 -  1      56  |
|AIMED BLOW                       1         SLASHING ATTACK    7 -   6 -  0      54  |
|STRIKING ATTACK                  1         WALL OF STEEL     24 -  21 -  1      53  |
|BASHING ATTACK                   1         PARRY-STRIKE      18 -  18 -  1      50  |
|PARRY-LUNGE                      0         BASHING ATTACK    10 -  11 -  0      48  |
|PARRY-STRIKE                     0         PARRY-RIPOSTE      4 -   5 -  1      44  |
|PARRY-RIPOSTE                    0         PARRY-LUNGE        0 -   0 -  0       0  |

Turn 396 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:

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

                               TOP WARRIOR OF EACH STYLE

FIGHTING STYLE   WARRIOR                     W   L  K PNTS TEAM NAME                  
WALL OF STEEL    LOSING TO AIMERS 9525       5   0  1   56 BASH BROS WASTE (1640)

FIGHTING STYLE   WARRIOR                     W   L  K PNTS TEAM NAME                  
TOTAL PARRY      PASO DEL NORTE 9532         5   0  0   37 OLD EL PASO (1641)
Note: Warriors have a winning record and are an Adept or Above.

The overall popularity leader is CONQUISTADOR 9530.  The most popular warrior this 
turn was THE RIO GRANDE 9534.  The ten other most popular fighters were DEL CURVE 
and DEAN END 9539.

The least popular fighter this week was PASO DEL NORTE 9532.  The other ten least 
popular fighters were ENDURANCE BURN 9528, GERONIMO FORD 9536, SHADY LANE 9537, DEAN 
JUAREZ 9529, STINKS 9526, and ALLEN BRIDGER 9538.

                             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