DUEL 2 NEWSLETTER

Date   : 11/01/2014    Duedate: 11/14/2014

NOBLISH ISLAND ARENA

DM-93    TURN-415

This Weeks Top Honors

THE DUELMASTER IS

AGEHA
THE SHADOW GUILD (1654)
(93-9613) [7-2-0,66]

Chartered Recognition Leader   Unchartered Recognition Leader

POSITION IS EMPTY              AGEHA
                               THE SHADOW GUILD (1654)
                               (93-9613) [7-2-0,66]

Popularity Leader              This Weeks Favorite

KOKO BELLA                     SPARTAN
THIRD HIGHWAY (1642)           THE SHADOW GUILD (1654)
(93-9618) [8-2-0,31]           (93-9614) [7-1-0,45]

THE CURRENT TOP TEAM

BASH BROS SCUM (1663)

          TEAMS ON THE MOVE            TOP CAREER HONORS
Team Name                  Point Gain  Chartered Team
1. DARK LOTUS (1659)           37
2. THE SHADOW GUILD (1654)     32      THIRD HIGHWAY (1642)
3. TOXIC STORM (1658)          18      Unchartered Team
4. THIRD HIGHWAY (1642)        13
5. MY 60'S TV (1661)            6      BASH BROS SCUM (1663)

The Top Teams

Career Win-Loss Record           W   L  K    %  Win-Loss Record Last 3 Turns    W  L K
 1/ 1*BASH BROS SCUM (1663)     16   4  1 80.0   1/ 1*BASH BROS SCUM (1663)    12  3 1
 2/ 2*MY 60'S TV (1661)         13   7  0 65.0   2/ 2 THIRD HIGHWAY (1642)     12  3 0
 3/ 3 THIRD HIGHWAY (1642)      61  39  3 61.0   3/ 3*MY 60'S TV (1661)        10  5 0
 4- 5*PHOENIX GUARD (1655)      18  16  0 52.9   4- 4*PHOENIX GUARD (1655)      7  3 0
 5/ 6*THE SHADOW GUILD (1654)   17  23  0 42.5   5/ 6*THE SHADOW GUILD (1654)   4 11 0
 6/ 7*DARK LOTUS (1659)          8  12  0 40.0   6/ 5*TOXIC STORM (1658)        3 12 0
 7/ 8*TOXIC STORM (1658)        10  20  2 33.3   7/ 8*DARK LOTUS (1659)         2  8 0
 8- 9*CAVEAT EMPTOR (1657)       4  18  0 18.2   8- 9*CAVEAT EMPTOR (1657)      1  4 0

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

                                    TEAM SPOTLIGHT

                    The CIC (Consortium Information Collection)
                         Noblishers Should Ask RSI for it

     Once upon a time there was a long-time manager who decided to collect a lot of
valuable information, in irregular small print form, on only three pages of 8.5x11.
That manager, or group of managers, use said data information when:
1. The internet is down and the Terrablood/RSI  sites are unavailable
2. Traveling around the world and "working D2 strategies" in unusual places
3. Quick information is needed
4. They feel like it
The information is not necessarily the prettiest, but it can be quite invaluable to
D2ers especially D2ers with no internet accessibility. Copies of that information are
now available for Noblish Island managers. Contact the RSI office to request it by
mail.
     Most of the information on the data sheets is self-explanatory. Some will
require explanation. Most has been gathered from various sources over time in the old
DM community. Much of it has been gathered empirically. (Meaning that the information
is not programming code, or from the designers, but rather gathered by users and
players of the game.) The information may not always be "perfect", but it is widely
used in this or similar fashion.
     I will explain the information by placing it into two categories -
straightforward, and intricate.  First let's cover what is in the first category.
     The following charts/info fit the straightforward category. Some include simple
calculations.
1. WEAPON SUITABILITY - shows which weapons are suited, marginal, or unsuited to a
   style.
2. WEAPON REQUIREMENTS - indicates the ST, SZ, WT, DF limitations for a weapon.  It
   also covers the weapon weight, the armor it is best used against, and whether it
   is a slash, bash, lunge weapon.
3. INTELLIGENCE - defines the WT needed for each rating.
4. DAMAGE - reveals the approximate damage rating one should expect for all ST/SZ
   combinations.  Note: a luck roll factor can both hose and bless damage rating.
5. ENCUMBRANCE - a table which shows what level of "carry" (encumbrance rating) one
   should expect at all SZ/CN combinations.
6. HEIGHT - a simple conversion between the SZ number and height.
7. COORDINATION - which is defined as SP + DF; the chart provides a summary of each
   coordination rating and the "points" range for each
8. ENDURANCE - most still use this calculation, although a "luck roll factor" can
   alter the results slightly. The endurance rating which is WL x (ST+CN) is defined
   for each rating.
9. HIT POINTS - sometimes called "damage taking" is broken down in this chart.  The
   HP is defined as 3.75CN + 1.1SZ + 0.4 WL. The rating levels are defined by
   "points."

     And now for the more difficult to explain charts which interact with each other.
The three intricate charts are:
1. BAGMAN2 SKILL CHART - this chart explains how many and what skills are added to
the warrior base for each stat point. (All stats, including SZ, add or subtract
skills at certain levels except CN.)
2. STYLE SKILL MODIFIER - indicates the modification, by style, of skills per type.
This occurs "at birth" of the warrior.
3. HIGH WIT STATEMENTS - a chart of phrases which indicate, at birth, the skill
level, by skill type, of your warrior. Note: there is a Low Wit Statement chart for
warriors with less than 8 WT, but it is very inaccurate (minimal empirical data) and
seldom used. It is not included in this collection of charts. (A good low WT
statement chart was later developed by Assur.)
These three charts work together to help a warrior determine his anticipated starting
skills. They also define at which skill levels, per stat, that skills are added
during the warrior's development. Note: Depending on the warrior's style, it is
possible to be blessed or hosed by up to 4 skills by the "luck of the roll". The
other thing to remember is that an ambidextrous warrior gets one attack skill added
to his base at birth.
     These intricate three charts, and the interaction between them, can seem quite
complicated. After a certain amount of trial-and-error, and/or by absorbing enough
advice, a manager finally "gets it". Use them well.

                 DETAILS OF USING THE CIC

What can you do with the Consortium Information Collection (CIC)? How does one use
all that info? (Noblish Island managers can contact RSI for a copy.)
     You can use the information to:
1. Predict what your designed warrior is going to look like. (Indeed, you can use the
info to "try out" several design ideas, before you choose your final design.
2. Review the overview of the warrior you received to see if he/she is bonused/hosed.
3. Help keep track of the warrior's skills, including those earned from certain stat
raises.
4. Determine advantageous and usable weapons and armor for certain situations.
One note: Use of this information can be meticulous, detailed and exasperating at
first. It will take practice. So let's examine the CIC in detail.
1. ***DAMAGE CHART*** This chart shows you the range of expected damage doing your
character will yield. For example, a SZ16, 10ST warrior yields "-R+", meaning great
damage is typical, but lower and higher are not uncommon. Damage doing is dependent
on SZ, ST, and luck of the roll. If a warrior is much below, or much above, the chart
predictions, he is "hosed" or "blessed". This chart is more of generic reference than
most of the other information.
2. *** HIT POINTS*** HP is calculated as (3.75xCN)+(1.1xSZ)+(0.4xWL) . This chart
shows the HP needed for each rating. For example, an 11-10-8-15-17-12-11 warrior
would have (3.75x10)+(1.1X8)+(0.4x17)=53.10 HP and his "hit point rating" would be
"cannot lot", meaning cannot take a lot of damage. One raise of CN elevates him to
56.85 and "normal HP".
3. ***ENDURANCE*** By this chart's definition, endurance equals (WL)x(ST+CN) Using
the warrior mentioned above, endurance is (17)x(11+10) = 357. Based on the chart,
this warrior should have "normal endurance. It is possible to be hosed/blessed in
endurance, which would be the case if this warrior did not have normal. Note: On a
warrior profile sheet, the lack of any comment about endurance, means the warrior has
normal.
4. ***COORDINATION***  Coordination is merely SP + CN. There is no hosing or
blessing. The warrior listed above has 12+11 = 23 or normal coordination.
5. ***ENCUMBRANCE*** is often called "carry". Carry is a non-hosed/blessed attribute
dependent on ST and CN and it indicates how much weight a warrior can carry without
penalizing the endurance. Checking the chart for the above listed warrior shows
11ST/10CN yields "B" carry, or "cannot carry a lot of weight". Each level of carry
adds 9 points of weight that can be carried. A = 9; B = 18; C = 27, etc.  Items to be
carried are armor, helm, and weapon/shields. Check the WEAPON REQUIREMENT chart to
see the weights of weapons and armor. As an example, a warrior wearing ASM/H, and
carrying BS/ME and a backup SH, has the following weights of 8 + 3 + 4 + 4 + 2 = 19.
That amount of carry is more than the 18 indicated for "B carry", hence, the warrior
wears out much quicker than normal. (Drop the back up to DA and carry is 18 points!)
6. ***HEIGHT*** this is a simple conversion chart showing what heights equate to what
SZ. While the warrior fight summary may list the warrior in ft.-in, the D2 program
really runs using the SZ number. Size may limit weapons or shields that may be used
without penalty, and as seen above, it impacts certain other characteristics.
7. ***INTELLIGENCE*** This chart indicates the intelligence statement you will
receive at each numeric WT. In general, only the numeric value is of importance.
8. ***STYLE SUITABILITY*** This is a chart which summarizes which weapons/shields are
suitable, marginal, or unsuitable for which styles.
9. ***WEAPON REQUIREMENTS*** This chart only refers to primary-hand weapons, and it
is a terrific summary of weapon requirement and impact. This chart reveals all of the
following and more:
a. weapon weights
b. ST requirements for a weapon
c. SZ limitations for a weapon
d. WT requirements for all weapons
e. DF requirements for a weapon
f. Weapon impact vs. armor type
g. Kill "ratings" for weapons (Take this rating with a "grain of salt" as it is not
really supported by empirical results, and it appears to say heavy weapons kill
better.)
h. Whether the weapon is a slash, bash, or lunge type weapon.
10. ***BAGMAN 2 SKILL CHART AND STYLE MODIFIERS*** This chart is a doozy! It took
years of data and development, and has become a highly important tool in D2. The
SKILL CHART explains what skills are earned at each stat level. For example: at 5 WL
the warrior gets 1 each Attack, Parry, Defense, and Decisiveness skill; at 6 WL, no
more skills are earned; but bumping the 7WL again adds one each of those same four.
Note also that SZ does impact skills. A SZ3 warrior gets two each defense and parry
skills and loses two initiative, while a SZ21 earns 4 initiative but loses four each
defense and parry. This chart is prepared in an accumulative fashion, showing the
total skills at each stat.
          Coupled with that chart the STYLE MODIFIER chart shows the "at birth" style
        of modifications. (All negative or zero.  Each style starts with a different
        base of skills. Let's take our previously mentioned 11-10-8-15-17- 12-11
        warrior for example, and let's say he is a slasher. The skill chart shows 2
        each attack and parry skills at 11 ST; no skills for CN and no skills for SZ;
        at 15WT 9 initiative, 3 riposte, 7 attack, 7 defense, and 2 decisiveness; 4
        each attack, parry and defense plus 5 decise at 17WL; 3 init, 4 riposte, 2
        defense, and 5 decise at 12SP; and at 11DF there are 3 Init, 4 Riposte, and 5
        each attack, parry and defense skills. Add those all together to get a
        15Init-11Rip-18Att-11Par-18Def-12Dec total of skills for that design. Now you
        must apply the style modifier chart, and a slasher has as follows: -2 Init,
        -4Rip, -8Att, -10Par, -12Def, -2Dec. Putting them both together yields a
        slasher who should expect starting skills of 13 Init, 7 Rip, 10 Att, 1 Par, 6
        Def, and 11 Dec.
11. ***HIGH WIT STATEMENTS*** These statements apply to those warriors with 8+ WT.
(There are also Low Wit Statements, but that information summary is inaccurate due to
lack of input data.) This list indicates what "statements" should appear on your
"warrior profile" for each of Initiative, Riposte, Attack, Parry, and Defense per
each level of wit.  Using our warrior above, as stated, he is expected to start with
13 Initiative skills. He has 15 WT. Examining the chart, under Initiative and across
from 15 WT (which also applies for 16WT, since the next listed level is 17), the left
side (high order) is for 13+base init skills, and the right side (low order 10-12
base init). We determined that he should start with 13, so we should expect the
statement "Nothing short of genius ...". If we do get this statement as expected, we
DO have 13+ Initiative skills. (13 min) Hence, we could be bonused with skills above
13. We would know if we were bonused 3 Init skills, as we would start with an expert
in Initiative. However, if, indeed, we received the other statement "With a very
aggressive .....", we would know we started with 10-12 Initiative skills, and were
hence hosed 1 to 3 initiative skills.
          Let's try one more example - for Riposte. Our skill evaluations showed him
        to have 7 skills. Looking at the HIGH WIT chart at 15WT, he has fewer skills
        than the low order amount of 10-12, so he should expect no riposte statement.
        If he did get the low order statement, then he truly has at least 10 riposte
        skills, so he is bonused +3 or +4 (4 is max skill hose or bonus.) Evaluating
        the high wit statements of all five skill areas (There is none for
        decisiveness.) will lead to a true and actual understanding of the starting
        skill set of any warrior.

NOTE: With internet accessibility, use The Terrablood site for ALL this info.

***** Brought to you by Mr. Ed Sullivan and CONSORTIUM affiliates everywhere. *****

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

                              ASSUR'S GUILD TO KILLING

     Part of arena fighting is the fact that warriors will die.  Last time I told you
how to optimize your chances to keep your own warriors alive.  This time I give you
the 'best practices' if you want to KILL your opponent.  It should be obvious that
winning fights is a requirement to kill.  Some of the suggestions do not help your
warrior win.  But when you do win, here are the things that will help you get more
kills.  In the order that I believe makes a difference:

     1) Aim for HE, AB, or CH.  There is nothing that will increase your kills more
than aiming for the areas that are the most important areas of the body.  Arms and
Legs are for not killing.  Head, Abdomen and Chest are for killing.
     2) Use High KD!  High KD tells the arenamaster you want the fight to keep going
longer.  He is less likely to end the fight early if one or both warriors are using a
high kill desire.  I recommend 8+.
     3) Good or Great damage.  Over the years, it has become very evident that
killing with good or great damage is far easier than killing with little, normal, or
tremendous damage.  Tremendous damage warriors make opponents give up faster.  Little
and Normal damage warriors can't do the kind of damage that causes wounds that kill.
I do not have enough experience to say anything about higher damage ratings than
Tremendous.  I suspect they are more like tremendous damage, but I'm not sure.
     4) Some warriors appear to have a higher blood lust than others.  Nobody can
prove this for sure, but you see some warriors go after the kill much more often than
others.
     5) Use higher damage weapons.  The easiest way to judge weapon damage is to look
at the weapon weights.  Weapons that do slash or piercing damage are better than
bashing weapons.  Be careful, though, of selecting a high damage weapon that is
really slow (HL comes immediately to mind).
     6) Look for warriors that don't wear any armor.
     7) Young fighters die much more often than experienced fighters.  The number of
deaths in the first 5 fights is much greater than warriors in the Champion and
Challenger Champion classes.
     8) Challenge warriors with fewer fights than you.

     Realize that killing requires a bit of luck, but these things can help you have
a high kill percentage.  Anything over 10% (Kills/Wins) is a fairly high kill
percentage.
     Finally, realize that most managers want to keep their warriors alive.  By
trying to kill someone's warriors, you may be taking away from their enjoyment of the
game.  I'm not saying you should not try to kill, but realize what you are doing.  We
all know death is part of Duel2.  But some managers like it less than others.

            + ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ The Striking Style ]H[ + ---:--- + ]H[ +
                                     by Sir Boyd

     Strikers are very effective in basic, but have little use in Advanced
Duelmasters.  This is due to the nature of their primary strength:  decise.  Young
strikers win or lose in the opening few swings.  In basic, few styles can match the
striker's lightning opening or avoid his initial attack.  However, in higher levels
of the game most fighters have sufficient defenses to avoid the striker's relatively
low attack rating, and the striker has little to fall back on.
     A striker should be designed to maximize his initial decise (speed) or
alternately his ability to learn decise (wit).  Strikers have little use for
constitution or will.  Here are a few comments on which stats are good for strikers:

ST:  9-17, the higher the better.  ST 9 is required for SC, but unless you have a big
     fighter you shouldn't settle for less than 11.
CN:  unnecessary.
SZ:  up to 14 is great.  A good striker will have at minimum 21 points between ST and
     SZ (this is the average combination for being able to do good damage with a
     blow.)
WT:  the higher the better.  17 and 21 are great cutoffs.  You want to learn on
     average 2 to 3 skills per turn to maintain your decise advantage over other
     styles.
WL:  9-13 is all that's required.  Longer-term strikers (designed for relevance past
     invite to Advanced) might benefit from a higher WL, but in my opinion such a
     design would be better as a different style.
SP:  9+.  The higher your WT, the less initial SP you'll need.  But for a striker,
     speed is life.  Spend lavishly on your striker's speed.
DF:  11+.  This is also a good stat for a striker to have.  DF 11 allows the use of
     most weapons without coordination penalty, and provides valuable attack skills.

Here's my idea of some great strikers:
                                 13-4- 9-21-11- 9-17
                                 11-4-11-17-11-15-15

     As for strategy, use weapons that are fast and do decent damage (SC, LO, SS, BS,
QS, WH are some of the better ones,) and wear little or even no armor.  Run hard,
with high offense and activity levels.  The decise tactic is well suited to strikers,
and use it whenever the opponent doesn't know you're coming.  Beware that the Decise
tactic can be countered by the use of a Responsive tactic.  It's sort of a rock-
paper-scissors thing.  Decise tactic has advantage over no tactic or any tactic other
than Response.  Any tactic other than Decise has advantage over Response tactic.
Response tactic has advantage over Decise tactic.

Sir Boyd,
Elanti Hunters (102 and 107)
(now inactive)

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

     Jorja sat at her private table at the back of the Lighthouse's taproom and
scanned Sir Boyd's article again.  Quite good, straightforward, no freakish stuff.
Solid.  Helpful, she hoped.  Well, it had better be, because she didn't feel much
like trying to do one on Strikers today herself.  She glanced around the room to make
sure things were going smoothly.  A little rowdiness among a group of young
gladiators off behind the piano, but her back-up bartender, Olber Pring, was already
moving that way.  He'd deal with it.  But maybe she could add just a little around
the edges....

Below is a list of weapons "well-suited" to use by strikers, and the minimum stats
required for effective use.  My thanks to Pagan and other number-crunchers who have
made this information available. -- Jorja

     Striker  Note that the strikers can use every weapon plus the small shield
effectively.  This is the only style that has so broad a selection.  Twenty-one
weapons.
Battleaxe      ST 15  SZ  9  WT  9  DF  9  Mace           ST 13  SZ  -  WT  3  DF  5
Broadsword     ST 11  SZ  -  WT  9  DF  7  Maul           ST 15  SZ  9  WT  5  DF  7
Dagger         ST  -  SZ  -  WT  7  DF  7  Morningstar    ST 13  SZ  -  WT  7  DF 13
Epee           ST  7  SZ  -  WT 15  DF 15  Quarterstaff   ST 11  SZ  9  WT 11  DF 11
Fist  -        presumably any              Scimitar       ST  9  SZ  -  WT 11  DF 11
Greataxe       ST 13  SZ     WT  9  DF 11  Shortspear     ST  9  SZ  -  WT  7  DF  7
Greatsword     ST 15  SZ  9  WT  9  DF 11  Shortsword     ST  5  SZ  -  WT 11  DF  3
Halberd        ST 17  SZ  9  WT  9  DF  9  Small shield   ST  5  SZ  -  WT  5  DF  5
Hatchet        ST  5  SZ  -  WT  3  DF  7  Warflail       ST 11  SZ  -  WT  7  DF  5
Longspear      ST 11  SZ  9  WT  5  DF  9  Warhammer      ST 13  SZ  -  WT  5  DF  7
Longsword      ST 11  SZ  -  WT 13  DF 11

A couple of specific examples of Strikers, neither of them great, but they both
survived to graduation--

                                 Profile of a Warrior
                                      Kardo Dosh

     Kardo was a classic example of the mediocre warrior, starting out as 10-13-15-9-
15-7-15.  He was trained as a striker, I forget why.  It must have seemed like a good
idea at the time.  He'd have made a better lunger, but I must not have wanted a
lunger.  One of the mysteries of the universe.  His overview was not impressive,
merely stating that he was--
     Left handed
     (no primary wit statement, due to the low number)
          Seldom wastes his endurance needlessly
     Is relatively slow and inactive (that 7 SP)
     Can take a lot of damage (SZ and CN)
     Cannot carry a lot of weight (relatively low ST)
     Can do good damage with a blow (mostly his SZ)

     The mode skills for his stats and style are:  three initiative, six riposte,
three attack, two parry, two defense, and seven decisiveness.  Not impressive, and I
must admit that I have not done any research to discover whether he is plus or minus
on any skill.

     At the time he received his graduation notice, he was 21-20-3, running with
minimal attention from the management.  No challenges, no avoids, and he probably
didn't have more than three strategy changes in his whole career.  On his graduation
fight, he was armed with a hatchet, an off-hand hatchet, and a backup hatchet,
armored in leather and a helm, and running 10-10-6 straight across, attacking the
arm.  It turns out that this was NOTHING like his favorite weapon and rhythm:  short
spear, moderate offensive effort (5 or 6), very low activity level (1 or 2).  In
other words, born to scum....  I have a personal bias against running warriors that
slowly, as I hate to wade through long fights.  He left the arena with a master in
decisiveness (his favorite learn) and an expert in attack (this is what he was
waiting for; he got it on the same fight as he received his invitation to the Isle).
     Kardo Dosh is headed for retirement; he's had his fishing spot picked out for
months.  But he was fun to run and with more attention would almost certainly have
done better.

                                Profile of a Gladiator
            Lord Protector and one-time Duelmaster of Noblish Island arena

     Olber is a striker, 15-7-14-11-17-5-15.
     His overview was nothing exciting--
He's right-handed
His intelligence is unremarkably average (no primary wit line on the overview)
     He makes clever attacks (I wouldn't have minded seeing some of these!)
     He is gifted at avoiding a blow (yeah, right!)
     He seldom wastes his endurance needlessly
He's slightly uncoordinated (that low SP)
He is incredibly quick and elusive on his feet (despite the lack of coordination
     which caused him to trip over his own shadow around the guildhouse)
He can do good damage with a blow.
     From the lack of mention, we also know that he has normal endurance, a normal
ability to take damage, and can carry a normal amount of weight in armor and weapons.

His base skills, those deriving from his initial stats, are: initiative 5, riposte 5,
attack 7, parry 5, defense 9, decise 7.  He is plus four in defense, otherwise mode,
or normal for his stats.

     Olber was never a great warrior.  After leaving here at 8-2, he went to Aljafir
and proceeded to lose fights, ending up graduating at 22-29.  He could have done
better if I'd paid more attention to his strategy, issued challenges, and so on.
Given the neglect he labored under, he could also have done much worse.  Good but not
great about describes him.
     Despite this, he has some long-term potential, as indicated by the fact that
none of his base skills are lower than mode, and by that 17 WL which would allow him
to raise stats relatively easily.
     I normally ran him fairly fast, 8-6-x or, if he should have been getting the
jump and didn't, 10-x-x.  Light armor--ALE, H, and, of course, a scimitar and back-up
scimitar for weapons.  He held his own in Aljafir at first, until the arena pulled
out of its slump and began to gather determined managers again.  I feel that it was
the good management of his opponents, rather than his own short-comings, that
resulted in his losing record.  I feel that given a couple of decent--not great, just
decent--warriors matched against each other, it's the better manager who wins the
most.
     Despite my lack of attention, Olber hung on long enough to get the skills and
political points needed to graduate.  He will not be run on the Isle (that's why you
have to put up with him hanging around the Lighthouse).  At the time of graduation,
he was 22-29-0, had experts in attack and decise (only! what a slug--that 11 WT
doubtless slowed his learning), was found to be naturally adept with the dagger
(ick), and to favor a fighting rhythm of high offense and high activity.  If I was
running him further, I would ignore the dagger favorite and continue to arm him with
a scimitar, probably going 8-8-x.  An increase in CN would enable him to take more
damage without compromising his skill-learning.

     I thank you all for your patience with this presentation and invite you to:
     1.  Drop in at The Lighthouse any time to talk about managing or mainland
politics or any other thing that's on your mind.
     2.  Let your warriors hang out here between practice sessions.  I'll see to it
that they get back home okay after closing.
     3.  State opinions, raise questions, make suggestions, etc.  If you like the
idea of a warrior profile each turn, I'd be glad to provide one from my files--pick a
style, any style....

Jorja
Middle Way 7

           +>]H[<+-----+>]H[+ Question of the Week #5 +]H[<+-----+>]H[<+

Question, turn 407:

All -- Is there a difference in between an Expert and (AE).  It appears to me that
your (17, 18, 19th) skills don't seem to make a difference until you get that next
rating @ 20? -- Q.O.W.

Answers, turn 408:

This isn't in answer to the Question of the Week, but it looks like stuff you all
might find interesting, so here 'tis. -- Jorja

Hanibal -- Here's my advice:  Prep your warriors for the Apprentices, Inits, Adepts,
then next for the Freshmen.  Don't worry about the Champions class unless you have a
warrior that received their Invite to AD before the tourney.  Also, run rookies
whenever you can.  It is one of the purest competitions available.  Learn about aimed
blows then run some as rookies.  It is a lot of fun!  If you want to get serious
about tourneys, think about what every warrior needs to do to be at the top of their
class.  Take what the megas on the Duel List say with a grain of salt.  Someone else
will always have a better warrior than you, but the best doesn't always win!  Luck
plays a great role in determining tournament winners, meaning luck in matchups. --
Generalissimo Puerco

QoW -- Each skill makes just a little difference.  So little, that the difference
might be hard to see in any given fight.  I think that the ratings are just there to
give the manager an indication of their warrior's progression. -- Generalissimo
Puerco

If there were more answers in the newsletter in question, I missed them.  Also, I
didn't see a new question in this one!  And I seem to have mislaid the next
newsletter, so I will say again, that's all for now, but more next time. -- Jorja

     It's a little untidier this week, with some delayed answers to earlier
questions, and some questions not yet answered.  For those of you newly arrived on
Noblish Island, these questions and answers are taken from the Aruak City (DM 11)
newsletter, mostly asked by Hanibal, a graduate of Noblish Island, and answered by
any manager in that arena who has something to say on the topic.
     Feel free to ask questions of your own.  I'll answer, Pagan will answer, various
other managers, such as Rillion, who read the newsletter on line will answer, and
we'll put it up to the experienced managers of Aruak City as well. -- Jorja

From turn 410:
     The first three continue an earlier discussion of learning rates.

Q.O.W. -- I have three warriors that I bumped from 17 to 19 [WT] and it didn't make
any difference so I am inclined to believe it is the intelligence rating.  However, I
have talked to managers who have bumped wit to an even number and sometimes it helps.
-- Hanibal

Q.O.W -- I think learn rate for a particular warrior (and only the warrior, exclusive
of other factors) is centered around the intelligence comment.  The mean learn rate
is placed there, but there is also a range higher and lower than that mean rate.
Kind of like a standard deviation distance in statistics.  I feel, though it's not
provable, that each warrior gets a random roll that places their own general learn
rate somewhere in this range.  The range is big enough to overlap with the higher and
lower categories of intelligence, thus a 13 WT warrior with a lucky roll could learn
as well as a 17 WT warrior, for example.  This is exclusive of other factors of
course that could greatly affect learning as noted in an earlier Q.O.W. -- Adie

QoW -- We are convinced that "average-skills-learned-per-fight" is dependent solely
upon the wit number.  E.G. -- a 14 wit learns  slightly better than a 13 who is
slightly better than a 12.  But ON-THE-AVERAGE-is key.  Each warrior is different. --
Kennelworth
P.S.  Yes, we run even-wit warriors with no qualms.  We prefer odd, hence optimizing
overall skills, but even works great.  Sure thing.

All -- I have heard about having a favorite of a double tactic.  If you had lunge and
dodge as favs would you use them separately or in the same minute? -- Q.O.W.
P.S.  Do offensive tactics raise your initiative?

From turn 411:

Q.O.W. -- Yep, it's rare, but you can get double tactics.  Though it's usually not
recommended to use two at once, I'd try it if it was your favs.  It's hard to tell,
but I think some offensive tactics might raise init.  I don't use them all that much,
so I can't really say what exactly I think each tactic influences. -- Adie

Q.O.W. -- What is the secret to keeping your warriors alive?  Of course winning all
your fights is the best way, but let's be for real.  I believe that wearing plate
armor could help the underskilled win fights, but does not appear to keep you alive
once you get a death statement.  Would all agree Con keeps you alive much better than
will?  I never had a warrior die on me who could take a lot of damage.  Have any of
your teams?  High skilled warriors with low con win a lot but do they seem to die a
lot when they do lose?  Fighting in tournaments and in Andorian arenas is this the
best way to get fight experience without dying?  What is the number of fights you
must have under your belt before it becomes unlikely you would be killed? -- AK47

Q.O.W.  To start to hold your own in Advanced Duelmasters I believe now you must have
3 master ratings in skills.  I am wondering if I am correct? -- AK47

All -- I have noticed that my great rollups seldom get blessed, but my average ones
almost always do.  Is this just me?  What say you all. -- Q.O.W.

Q.O.W. -- Double tactics are optimized separately; offensive tactics raise only that
which they are -- decisive to gain the attack, slash and bash to enhance the attack
via power and criticals. -- The Bulldogs

Q.O.W. -- If one gets an invite, goes to the tournament and is killed, that "dead"
warrior will appear alive in the selected ADM arena.  (It just occurred to one of our
compatriots in this most recent mailer.) -- The Bulldogs

                                      SPY REPORT

     Ready for some action-packed adventure, some thrills, chills and spills?  Well 
fergit it, cause this is the Spyreport for NOBLISH ISLAND.  Don't you think the 
Duelmaster is being unfair?  I think AGEHA should let VENEMOUS CONCUBINE be 
Duelmaster for a while, without fighting about it.  Is the Duelmaster really being a 
real snob to his teammates?  Don't ask me!   
     I gotta admit I haven't been in "deep con caves" with any spies.  Really, I just 
wing this stuff.  The warriors of MY 60'S TV must be getting lonely.  They were the 
most avoided team.  Do you guys know something that I don't?  I don't know what BASH 
BROS SCUM's been doing.  They certainly haven't been accepting many fights from MY 
60'S TV, that's fer sher.  Like, is MONNA KOPI popular, or what?  She was challenged 
the most in all of NOBLISH ISLAND!  She's got a 3-7-0, is that good?  For sure, I was 
holding my breath when I found out SPARTAN challenged KOKO BELLA.  After all, haven't 
THE SHADOW GUILD and THIRD HIGHWAY had a long standing duel in NOBLISH ISLAND?  It 
wasn't a spectacular fight, or anything, but KOKO BELLA wants me to write about it 
since she was defeated by SPARTAN.  Satisfied?   
     Challenges, revenges, Bloodfeuds.  All NOBLISH ISLAND ever talks about is 
fighting!  Me, I'm more laid back.  Hey you guys, don't you think your families would 
like to hear from you?  Write!  (Or have someone write for you.)  
     Remember, blood on a purple robe may stain.  Soak it in cold water, and hand 
wash.  I'm getting tired of writing this stuff, so I'm calling it quits.  Its been 
really albendranius!  Later, guys-- Debby Tonte  

DUELMASTER                     W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 AGEHA 9613                    7   2  0    66       THE SHADOW GUILD (1654)

ADEPTS                         W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 SPARTAN 9614                  7   1  0    45       THE SHADOW GUILD (1654)
-JINN SHAKAR 9653              5   0  0    42       PHOENIX GUARD (1655)
-CONOR PYREHEART 9624          4   3  0    35       PHOENIX GUARD (1655)

CHALLENGER INITIATES           W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 FURY 9671                     2   2  0    33       MY 60'S TV (1661)
 MIGGY OWENS 9621              7   3  1    32       THIRD HIGHWAY (1642)
 LUCKY CHUCKY 9619             6   4  0    32       THIRD HIGHWAY (1642)
 KOKO BELLA 9618               8   2  0    31       THIRD HIGHWAY (1642)
 SKY KING 9672                 4   0  0    29       MY 60'S TV (1661)
 MONNA KOPI 9620               3   7  0    29       THIRD HIGHWAY (1642)
 JOHN ASAZI 9617               6   4  1    28       THIRD HIGHWAY (1642)
 URSUS DRAVEN 9650             2   4  0    24       TOXIC STORM (1658)

INITIATES                      W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 MIKE DRE' 9651                2   4  1    23       TOXIC STORM (1658)
 TERRIBLE ATTACKERS 9682       4   0  1    22       BASH BROS SCUM (1663)
 BORING 9681                   4   0  0    20       BASH BROS SCUM (1663)
 BRIENNE 9657                  3   1  0    20       DARK LOTUS (1659)
 VIOLENT J 9658                3   1  0    18       DARK LOTUS (1659)
 THE RED VIPER 9659            1   3  0    18       DARK LOTUS (1659)
 ROOKIES AND DONE 9680         3   1  0    17       BASH BROS SCUM (1663)
 RAVEN LEIGH 9648              2   4  0    16       TOXIC STORM (1658)
-RAGE 9628                     4   3  0    15       PHOENIX GUARD (1655)
 HADDYR WOTAN 9647             2   4  1    13       TOXIC STORM (1658)
-NHICOLE 9686                  1   0  0    13       PHOENIX GUARD (1655)
-AUTUMNBE 9643                 3   2  0    12       CAVEAT EMPTOR (1657)
-KURZAK 9660                   3   1  0    12       PHOENIX GUARD (1655)

INITIATES                      W   L  K POINTS      TEAM NAME                  
 MODE PARRY 9683               3   1  0    11       BASH BROS SCUM (1663)
 MICKEY MOUSE CLUB 9669        3   1  0    10       MY 60'S TV (1661)
 PERRY MASON 9670              2   2  0     9       MY 60'S TV (1661)
 AMERICAN BANDSTAND 9668       2   2  0     9       MY 60'S TV (1661)
 DO NOTHING 9679               2   2  0     8       BASH BROS SCUM (1663)
 OARS 9661                     1   4  0     7       THE SHADOW GUILD (1654)
-DRAXXUS 9644                  1   4  0     7       CAVEAT EMPTOR (1657)
 FREDDY 9673                   1   3  0     6       THE SHADOW GUILD (1654)
 SHAGGY 2 DOPE 9684            0   3  0     5       DARK LOTUS (1659)
-SEARRUS 9645                  0   4  0     4       CAVEAT EMPTOR (1657)
-PERSEPHONE 9642               0   4  0     4       CAVEAT EMPTOR (1657)
-AGRISEL 9646                  0   4  0     4       CAVEAT EMPTOR (1657)
 STONG BELWAS 9685             0   2  0     2       DARK LOTUS (1659)
 KOGA 9697                     0   1  0     1       THE SHADOW GUILD (1654)

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

THE DEAD                W  L K TEAM NAME            SLAIN BY              TURN Revenge?
THE UNSULLIED 9655      0  1 0 DARK LOTUS 1659      MIKE DRE' 9651        411  NOT REVENGED
VLAD TALTOS 9656        1  1 0 DARK LOTUS 1659      HADDYR WOTAN 9647     412   
LA PATRONA 9649         2  4 0 TOXIC STORM 1658     MASTER SEN GANAM      415  NONE

                                     PERSONAL ADS

Ageha -- We 60's TV guys salute you as Duelmaster.  Well done.  Again. -- Ed Sullivan

Jinn Shakar of The Shadow Guild -- Can you be the next Duelmaster?  We are watching
you with relish.  You seem to have the right stuff. -- Ed Sullivan

The Red Viper -- Thanks for asking me to dance.  Perhaps, however, you need more
practice or better dance moves? -- American Bandstand

Brienne, Brienne, Brienne -- Wasn't that a pretty deep downchallenge for you?  If you
are going to do that, you need to make sure to win; otherwise, we are going to make
great fun of you.  Har har har har har.  (sticks out his long horsey tongue) -- Fury

Kurzak -- I flew away with that win.  To the victor goes the spoils and I feel very
spoiled. -- Sky King

Oars -- Aorry, pal, but I am just not willing to give up my ears. (wink) M I C K E Y
M O U S E. (chanted appropriately) -- Mickey Mouse Club

Nhicole -- Losing was bad enough, but losing to one who can't even spell her own
name?  Pshaw! -- Prery Maosn

All -- Glad to see so many here on Noblish Isle.  Keep up the good work.  Read the
spots and info.  Write lots of personals.  Win lots of matches.  Vie for Duelmaster.
Have fun.  (And watch me on Sunday nights.) -- Ed Sullivan (thinking he is still in
the 60's)

Mickey Mouse Club -- If standing around in a Campbell's soup can and swinging around
or holding two soup spoons makes you a warrior, you're wrong.  You stand around and
take hits the way a former "Club" member of yours does...Brittany Spears. -- Oars

All -- I have but two more turns.  So, an open invitation to all challengers.  COME
IF YOU DARE! -- Ageha

All -- I, Abyss, bring forth from a shadowy realm, a fighter the likes of which you
have never seen before.  I gave him a new life and a way to channel his power and
anger.  I GIVE YOU KOBA! -- Abyss

Abyss -- You gave me a new life and I give you a means to win. -- Koba

Mike Dre' -- Ha Ha Ha.  What the hell was that?  Do us both a favor and find a new
hobby.  Your manager still owes me that soup. -- Spartan

Kaydis Todbearer -- I received your diplo.  You should have received a piece of paper
telling you to chose an arena.  I have decided on DM 11, Aruak City.  I hope to see
you there.  There're others apart of the Scorpion's Alliance. -- Abyss

Kaydis Todberaer -- I'll diplo you and teach you what and how an alliance works.  So
be expecting my diplo. -- Abyss

Terrible Attackers -- Does your honor remain intact since slaughtering thieving
peasants became a pastime of yours? *smiles impishly*  By the way, with what was the
miscreat equipped? -- The Professor, mgr Dark Lotus

Bash Bros Scum -- Though your  warriors were merciless when the strength of my two
warriors failed them, the blood of my wicked clowns, Violen J and Shaggy 2 Dope, has
awoken my wrath! -- The Ringmaser of the Dark Carnival

Koko Bella -- With not one but three losses to you, my manager wouldn't dream of
letting me at you again.  So, an associate of mine will have some fun with you.  He's
no stranger to any here, Spartan. -- Ursus Draven
P.S.  Armor is good sometimes, but it didn't matter against your friend John Asazi!
Ha Ha Ha Ha!

John Asazi -- You have bruised my ego, but I have friends who have my back.  Never
turn your back on a bear! *wink* -- Haddyr Wotan

Miggy owens -- Crazy as an out house mouse with a death wish! -- Mike Dre'

Monna Kopi -- Thanks for the props.  And since I'm a woman even on my worst day 'well
done' is to be expected. -- Raven Leigh

Jorja -- I honestly don't know a lot about the races/land/ethnic groups of Duel 2.  I
have played the same RPG since 1992 and have sorta gotten stuck in that world, so to
speak. So Ireally don't know about the origin of any of my warriors.  I've read the
"Role-Playing in Duel 2" papers but a lot didn't stick cause I usually read after a
hard days work here on the unit so I'm tired. -- American Infidel

Jorja, Assur, Ed Sullivan -- I understand that you're here to help us and that's
cool.  I for one appreciate teh help.  I'm a smart a$$ by nature, so I give people
the blues when I can or even when I shouldn't sometimes! -- American Infidel

Ageha -- I know you're the Duelmaster, but, you sill gotta clean out the outhouse
this week.  A deal was a deal! -- Mike Dre'

All -- Here I sit all strained and wary, droppin a load on that dude mode parry! --
Mike Dre'

Dark Lotus -- Here we are.  Come get us! -- Toxic Storm

La Patrona -- Sacrifices must be made.  Your fate has arrived. -- American Infidel

All -- Cacthing flies in his mouth/tasting freedom while he adares/then
crawling back, back to the top, top of the stairs, of the stairs/he won't
see the sun again for years to come/he's broke out in love/ like a cat
without a care/roaming freely through teh streets/ you can find him amonst
the pigeons in the square/but he won't see the sun for years to come/he's
broken out in love/but he won't see the sun for years to come/he's
broken out in love/but he won't see the sun for years to come/he's
broken out in love. -- American InfidelPersonals for dm 93

It looks like we went four-one again. -- Jorja, Third Highway

Answers:
     1.  With regard to pulling the backup weapon, so far as *I* know, it won't
matter whether it's your favorite, you won't try for it till your hands are empty,
and even then you may be "too hotly engaged" draw it, or you may fumble and drop it.
     2.  You still burn skills in ADM until you have maxed them.  Then, you gain more
skills with stat trains.  Just like in Basic.
     3.  Neither the Red Book nor the CIC is lying to you.  However, they may be
wrong in some spots, and inadequate in others.
     4.  Long fights with little action.  Low fight numbers (OE and AL) and usually
heavy armor.
     5.  Anything CAN make it to ADM and probably has.  Some managers who have long
experience in the game find it a challenge to graduate unlikely rollups.
     6.  Not a clue what you're looking for here.  Luck, by definition, can't be
planned.
     7.  Hire an idiot?  Nothing that I know of, no manager that I've heard speak,
has indicated that two weapons is better than one; in fact, I have been told by
experienced managers that it's better to only use one at a time, leaving the off-hand
free to double up and wield a weapon two-handed at need.  Otherwise, my guess would
be high DF, probably high WT, and enough ST to carry both.

American Infidel -- Wouldn't we all!  But the ten styles are what we've got. -- Jorja

Ursus Draven -- Remind me never to bathe with you! -- John Asazi

Haddyr Wotan -- I can pipe faster than you can dance.  Besides, with a weapon in each
hand, and not light ones or wieldy ones, you don't have time to think about the
dance, do you? -- Koko Bella

Raven Leigh -- That "flails wildly" bit?  That's lack of attack skills and will be
"fixed" by experience and learning skills.  TRAINING skills will help with that. --
Miggy Owens

Freddy -- Neither of those weapons gets good reviews when managers talk about
weapons, and carrying BOTH, one in each hand, seems ill-advised. -- Lucky Chucky

Rage -- Good try, but I really needed the win, you know? -- Monna Kopi

Violent J -- Great challenge.  You should be looking for any defensive (especially
scum) warriors you can find.  Better weapon choices?  Scimitar would probably have
been the best weapons choice for you, even if you lack a few points to use it.  If
you lack way too many points, try Dagger (DA).  As you see, Aimed Blows can fight for
a long time!  Lighten the armor and you'd go even longer! -- Assur

Shaggy 2 Dope -- I've had very mixed results with Parry Ripostes against scum.  They
seem to conserve endurance as well or better than Total Parries, but all too often,
I've fallen short.  Total Parries are tough to beat. -- Assur

Assur's Answers:
     1. Warrior will use off hand weapons and draw backup off hand weapons.  I've
never tried it but I've seen warriors use just backup weapons off-hand and they will
draw those weapons eventually in a fight.
     2. When you train a stat that 'burns' skills, you won't be able to 'unburn'
those skills until you get to Primus, so yes, you can still 'burn' skills in ADM.
     3. The Red Book is nicknamed "The Red Book of Lies."  There are reasons for
that, but there is also plenty of truthful and good information in it.  I should get
ahold of the CIC.  The charts players have put together (including the CIC) are the
best attempts by players to give accurate information.  They are mostly to be
trusted, but there are plenty of charts with plenty of mistakes.  Skill charts
especially have errors.
     4. Scum are typically defined by winning by virtue of their opponent's inability
to take them down, regardless of how long the fight goes, and using a defensive
strategy.  Long long ago, they were thought virtually impossible to defeat.  Today we
know that Aimed Blows tear them apart.  And eventually Aimed Blows take the place of
scum.
     5. Any warrior (with some luck) can make it to ADM.  I've graduated a 3 wit/7
will warrior, a 5 wit/7 will warrior, and a 3 will warrior.  Super low will is much
harder than super low wit.  3 wits are easy to graduate (they just take time).
     6. I will put a spotlight in next turn's newsletter about luck and what I
believe about it (but realize that nobody is entirely sure what makes warriors
lucky).  As far as what to look for?  3s and 21s are what most managers covet.
Especially 21s in wit/will/deftness and especially 3s in con, size, and speed.
(Though 3 con and speed together are tough to succeed with--though not impossible)
     7. You can send any warrior out with two weapons.  They will do their best.  As
far as what the requirements are to use those weapons best?  My requirements chart
tells you what deftness you need.  A better questions is 'Should' I send my warrior
out with two weapons.  It is also harder to answer.  There are two reasons I
typically send my warriors out with an off hand weapon or shield.  A) For parrying.
B) To use a weapon I can't otherwise use (Bashers can use scimitars in their off
hand, for example).

                                  LAST WEEK'S FIGHTS

LA PATRONA was butchered by MASTER SEN GANAMIR in a 1 minute bloody Dark Arena fight.
SPARTAN won victory over KOKO BELLA in a action packed 4 minute Challenge battle.
HADDYR WOTAN was defeated by MONNA KOPI in a 4 minute bloody Challenge duel.
RAVEN LEIGH was bested by MIGGY OWENS in a 2 minute Challenge fight.
STONG BELWAS was defeated by PERRY MASON in a 1 minute amateur's Challenge match.
VIOLENT J devastated DO NOTHING in a unpopular 6 minute one-sided Challenge duel.
OARS was overpowered by SKY KING in a 1 minute mismatched Challenge brawl.
SHAGGY 2 DOPE was outlasted by BORING in a 13 minute beginner's Challenge melee.
BRIENNE won victory over AMERICAN BANDSTAND in a 1 minute novice's Challenge duel.
FREDDY was vanquished by JOHN ASAZI in a 1 minute one-sided Challenge duel.
AGEHA overpowered VENEMOUS CONCUBINE in a popular 1 minute gory uneven Title match.
URSUS DRAVEN was luckily beaten by LUCKY CHUCKY in a 3 minute bloody match.
MIKE DRE' handily defeated MICKEY MOUSE CLUB in a 1 minute one-sided contest.
THE RED VIPER was luckily beaten by TERRIBLE ATTACKERS in a popular 5 minute brawl.
FURY handily defeated MODE PARRY in a 2 minute uneven fight.
ROOKIES AND DONE defeated KOGA in a 5 minute beginner's struggle.

                                    BATTLE REPORT

             MOST POPULAR                        RECORD DURING THE LAST 10 TURNS     
|FIGHTING STYLE               FIGHTS        FIGHTING STYLE     W -   L -  K   PERCENT|
|TOTAL PARRY                      6         LUNGING ATTACK    15 -   8 -  0      65  |
|STRIKING ATTACK                  4         TOTAL PARRY       31 -  17 -  1      65  |
|BASHING ATTACK                   4         BASHING ATTACK    35 -  30 -  2      54  |
|SLASHING ATTACK                  4         SLASHING ATTACK   19 -  17 -  3      53  |
|AIMED BLOW                       3         PARRY-RIPOSTE     14 -  14 -  0      50  |
|LUNGING ATTACK                   2         STRIKING ATTACK   22 -  23 -  0      49  |
|WALL OF STEEL                    2         WALL OF STEEL     35 -  37 -  1      49  |
|PARRY-STRIKE                     2         AIMED BLOW        18 -  23 -  0      44  |
|PARRY-RIPOSTE                    2         PARRY-STRIKE       5 -  17 -  1      23  |
|PARRY-LUNGE                      1         PARRY-LUNGE        0 -   1 -  0       0  |

Turn 415 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:

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

                               TOP WARRIOR OF EACH STYLE

FIGHTING STYLE   WARRIOR                     W   L  K PNTS TEAM NAME                  
BASHING ATTACK   AGEHA 9613                  7   2  0   66 THE SHADOW GUILD (1654)
LUNGING ATTACK   SPARTAN 9614                7   1  0   45 THE SHADOW GUILD (1654)
Note: Warriors have a winning record and are an Adept or Above.

The overall popularity leader is KOKO BELLA 9618.  The most popular warrior this turn 
was SPARTAN 9614.  The ten other most popular fighters were THE RED VIPER 9659, KOKO 
BELLA 9618, MONNA KOPI 9620, URSUS DRAVEN 9650, FURY 9671, RAVEN LEIGH 9648, MIGGY 
OWENS 9621, JOHN ASAZI 9617, AGEHA 9613, and TERRIBLE ATTACKERS 9682.

The least popular fighter this week was BORING 9681.  The other ten least popular 
fighters were SHAGGY 2 DOPE 9684, DO NOTHING 9679, ROOKIES AND DONE 9680, MODE PARRY 
9683, MICKEY MOUSE CLUB 9669, FREDDY 9673, AMERICAN BANDSTAND 9668, VIOLENT J 9658, 
LA PATRONA 9649, and MIKE DRE' 9651.

                 FACE-TO-FACE TOURNEY LIII

APPRENTICES TOURNEY                    W  L  K         TEAM NAME            
CHORLYNDYR 9629 (0-1-0)                1  3  0         SCORPIONS            
LORD MASONKLITZ 9616 (1-1-0)           0  2  0  DEAD   SCORPIONS            

                                   GETTING THE JUMP

                                      by Pagan

     There are a number of factors which will determine which warrior swings first.  
In speaking of this I can only tell you what I have a 'feel' for.  In no way does 
anyone know all the factors on how this works exactly unless someone gets to look at 
the source code for the program.  I will ignore Kill Desire simply because I have 
never noticed a difference in my warriors getting the jump whether they ran a 1 KD or 
a 10KD.

The Factors:
     1.  At warrior creation, the program initiates a random string class to be used 
for your warrior.  Each string has a series of numbers that are generated then and 
always remain the same.  It appears random, and some strings are good for some 
warriors and bad for others.  You'll notice this only over time.  This string class 
is permanent and not all of them are created equal.  This is above and beyond any 
total number of skills. You may call this 'knack'.
     2.  At fight time, the program calls a random string to be used for BOTH 
warriors.  This string affects the string of the warrior.  This is why you will never 
see two fights that are line-by-line exactly the same.  But if the fights were 
constantly run with exactly the same string, and no strategy changes are made, then 
you will have the same fight line-by-line.
     3.  FightString-modified-WarriorString# are taken for each warrior, and 
#Speed + 0.5#Wit + #DeciseSkills + OE + string# + tactic + style-adjustment - 
weapon-weight equates to a number.
     4.  These bonuses could be negative in adjustments also, i.e., running with the 
responsiveness tactic would be the negation of Decise skills and Speed skills--
rendering them out of the compilation (gaining them in parry and dodge instead).  
Running with the decise tactic would increase Decise.
     5.  The biggest controllable factors are OE, tactic, & weapon-weight (in that 
order).
     6.  If the number for Jump does not have a disparity of a specific number then a 
continued clash will occur until that disparity is shown.  Then the fight actually 
begins.  You can have a series of 10+ clash statements until the program finds who 
starts and initiates the fight sequences.
     Example: FighterA ends up with a Jump# of 60 and FighterB ends up with a Jump# 
of 65.  If the disparity between them had to be 10 points then what would happen is 
that a clash statement would be printed and the steps repeated.  The next number from 
the Fight-String is called along with the next number in each of the Warrior-Strings; 
the computation is done again until the disparity (for the computer anyway) becomes 
true.  Then the fight sequence is activated.

Pagan

                                     CONSTITUTION

     One the major assets to a warrior's survival is his constitution.  Sometimes CON 
is overlooked in order to maximize other attributes that give extra starting skills.  
This is okay depending what style is selected for the warrior in question.  I usually 
make a warrior with 9 or less CON an offensive style and higher than that a defensive 
style as a rule of thumb.  But it really depends on the rest of the stats as for the 
final verdict on which style he will actually become.
     CON affects three things: Hit points, endurance, and how much weight you can 
carry.  Endurance and weight allowance are also affected by strength as well as CON.  
The endurance formula is E = (ST+CN)WL and also has a chart of breakpoints that is 
covered in another one of my articles.  Weight allowance is also a large chart that is 
beyond the scope of this article, but can be found in many places.
     CON's main effect is HIT POINTS or the amount of damage a warrior can take before 
he gives up or is killed.  Defensive styles need more than offensive styles do to 
survive Basic.  Low con for offensive styles is OK for basic but really hinders a 
warrior's performance in Advanced Duelmasters.
     Hit points are determined by this formula:  CON x 2 modified by the following 
charts.

(Even numbers get modifier of the number before it)

SIZE modifier
  3  5  7  9  11  12  13  15  17  19  21
-5 -4 -3 -2  -1    0   +1  +2  +3  +4  +5

WILL modifier
 3  5  7  9  11  12  13  15  17  19  21  22  23  24  25
 0  0  0  0  0     0   +1  +2  +3  +4  +5  +6  +7  +8  +9

RATINGS
Very Frail -- (1-14)
Cannot take a lot -- (15-20)
Average (no statement) -- (21-29)
Can take a lot -- (30-34)
Tremendous -- (35-47)
Seemingly unaffected -- (48+)

     This formula as well as the charts are about 98% accurate.  For more information 
about this or other DM information you can contact me via DIPO in ADM 105, team name 
is The Joker's Wild.  I can also be reached at my e-mail address at 
103260.3347@compuserve.com or at my DM web site at 
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/jessiejest/homepage.htm

Cheers, and good luck!
Sir Jessie Jest

                            The Real Offensive Total Parry

     How many of you run total parry warriors?  Raise your hands.  Whoa, that's a lot!  
Now how many of you have run long term potential offensive total parries?  Uh huh, 
that's what I thought, a lot less of you actually have.  My name is Blackstorm and 
I'll show you an example or two for the O.T.P.  The main difference between "scum" 
TP's and "offensive" TP's are these:  Scum have massive amounts of CN, WL and ST.  
They tend to stand around getting pounded until their opponents drop.  In theory, the 
scum wins a lot at first, but sucks later in his career (but not always!).  The 
offensive version is quick, strong, and can parry very well.  Combine that with a 
medium based attack rating and you've got it all.  The main thing to remember when 
making "offensives" is to stay away from extremely high attributes (21).  The reason 
being is that the distribution of points in several domains is more important than 
having that beautiful 21 in WL and WT.  Here's a list of some other manager's 
offensive total parries and my best.

Lunatic's Off. P-Dodge    Slowburn's    My Offensive     
(TP)                      (Off. TP)     Total Parry
----------------------    ----------    ------------
ST-11                     13            13
CN-11                     11            12
SZ-8                       8             9
WT-13                     17            15
WL-13                     15            13
SP-11                      5             7
DF-15                     15            15

     There are several major differences between the three: 1) My guy does good 
damage.  2) He's coordinated without training.  3) More hit points.  4) He can use 
every single weapon suited to him.  I'll explain a bit below.

ST 13:  Coupled with a 9 size almost guarantees good damage and it helps endurance.
CN 12:  This allows him to handle a couple of hits and it balances well with the 13 
strength and will for endurance.
SZ  9:  He's hard to hit, can use weapons which need 9 and his damage rating is also 
better.
WT 15:  Great learns and it'll keep him competitive both in attack and defense.
WL 13:  Keeps him aggressive without lopsiding it for 17 or 21.  We want to be 
exciting and unscummy.  He rarely needs to go 10 minutes and if he does he'll still go 
the distance.
SP  7:  This isn't an important stat for TPs but it helps coordination and it'll give 
him a few decise and init skills to boot.
DF 15:  For his parry.  It also gives him a bit of precision while attacking.  You 
could reverse SP and DF by 2 points (SP-5, DF-17) without messing him up.  Remember 
SP+DF=21.

Strategy:  They are a special breed and require a little experimenting like ABs.  I 
could recommend 2-3-2 or 2-4-2, responsiveness vs. steroid types like ST, SL, BA, and 
PS.  Then open up in minutes 3 or 4 at 10-8-10-L, 6-4-6-L, or even 10-10-10 
decisiveness in desperation.  However he will respond to the lunge, parry, response 
and dodge the best.  And as I said, experiment and try new strategies.  Weapons and 
armor; use ARM or ASM with it or FH.  The LO, SC, and EP are good vs. light and 
medium.  The QS is also a good weapon for the heavier armor (TP's don't really use 
heavier weapons well.)  Tell me what you think.

                         Blackstorm -- Champions of Steel (8) and several others

                             HOW TO PHONE IN YOUR TURNS

     We've told you how to fill out your strategy sheets, we've told you how to do 
your personals and team spotlights, now it's time for a course in phoning in your 
turns.
     1.  The very first thing to do is to tell us your name, account number, and the 
arena number you are phoning in.  Example:  "Hello, this is John Doe, my account 
number is 12345, I'm phoning in turns for arena 35, Murska."

Step #1 only has to be done once, steps two and on have to be done for each warrior 
individually.

     2.  Tell us the name and ID number of you warrior.  Example: "Warrior name, Happy 
Slasher, ID number is 375."
     3.  Tell us what weapons your warrior is using.  Example:  "For armor weights 0 
to 3, scimitar with an off-hand dagger, for armor weights 4 to 10, broadsword with an 
off-hand medium shield, for armor weights 11 and above, great axe with no off-hand 
weapon.  Backup primary dagger, backup off-hand small shield."  Note, if you are using 
the same weapons for all armor types, just say, for example, "Hatchet with an off-hand 
small shield for all armor types."  Please, please, please don't use the abbreviations 
for the weapons; say "war flail," not "WF."  This goes for armor, training, attack and 
protect locations, and tactics too.
     4.  Tell us what kind of armor and helm your warrior is wearing and what training 
you are trying for.  Example:  "Armor:  leather armor, steel cap; training:  
strength."  Again, please don't use abbreviations.
     5.  Next read your challenges and avoids and tell us if you have a challenge 
strategy or an if-challenged strategy.  Example:  "Challenge Broke Stroker, ID number 
11.  I have a challenge strategy.  Avoid Dark Foundation, number 29, and the 
Mongoloids, number 15."  Be sure to read off the team ID; without that your avoids 
will not be processed.
     6.  Next, read off your normal strategy.  Example:  "Offensive effort:  7 5 4 5 7 
7 2  desperation.  Activity level:  3 5 6 5 3 7 10 desperation.  Kill desire:  first 
through third minutes 3 then 5 5 7 1 desperation.  Attack location:  abdomen all the 
way across.  Protect location:  body, body, head, arms, arms, body, legs desperation.  
Offensive tactics:  slash first and fifth minutes.  Defensive tactics:  dodge third 
and desperation minutes."  If you have the same number, location, or tactic for 
several minutes in a row, just say the beginning minute and the ending minute (often 
if you say "Activity level, 3 3 3 3 3 3 3," the machine cuts you off).
     7.  If you have a challenge or if challenged strategy, tell us what the 
differences are.  Example:  "If challenged strategy:  same except training skills and 
kill desire is 10 all minutes."  If you feel more comfortable reading the whole 
strategy, you can, but you don't have to.

     Then repeat the same steps for the rest of your warriors.  Of course if you want 
to, you can just have us run your warriors with the same strategies as they had last 
turn.  If you want to do that, then step three is, "Just run this warrior with the 
same strategy as last turn."  We, the transcribers, really like people who do that.  
And remember, there is a living human being that will have to transcribe your phone-
in, so speak loudly, clearly, and not too fast (unless you're really trying to save on 
the phone bill).  Also, the answering machine occasionally cuts people off for no 
reason, so, if at first you don't succeed....

                                          -- The Transcriber

     P.S. On behalf of the mailroom slaves, please, please, put your arena number on 
your personals and diplos.  Sometimes stuff gets misfiled or not printed or not 
delivered because we don't know where it belongs.  Thank you.

     ANOTHER BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO DUELMASTERS, BUT WRITTEN BY A DIFFERENT MANAGER

                                          or
             HOW TO FLOAT WHEN YOU ARE UP SNOT CREEK WITHOUT A BOAT!! :)

     I'll try to keep this short and sweet.  I have been playing Duelmasters for about 
3 years now and I've been helped by MANY managers.  I base my knowledge on this help 
and my experience as a manager.
     All my designs will give you warriors who will hopefully be able to win early on, 
late in life, or sometimes even both.

     First, the five offensives:

     Basher:  Bashers are generally one of two types: big and stupid or smaller, 
quicker, and skilled.  First, big and stupid: 17-16-17-8-17-4-5.  This guy wears plate 
armor and a full helm and wields a maul with a backup warhammer.  Run him like 8-1-8 
bash and he will win early on but suck later in his life.  The second guy is like 15-
6-9-21-15-7-11 and can use every bashing weapon but the halberd.  This rollup will not 
come up often and will be made into something else very often.
     Aimed-Blows:  I don't know much about aimed-blows so I won't tell you much about 
them.  They need high wit and deftness (17 and 17 if possible) and at the very least a 
13 will to be competitive later in life.  The rest of the stats will define how you 
run your aimed-blow, slow if he has the con to take a few hits, fast if he has high 
speed and low con.  I advise any new players to be VERY careful running ABs, they are 
notorious for dying.
     Strikers:  Strikers, much like bashers, generally do not make the best long-term 
warriors.  I run a striker who did well in regular DM but sort of sucks in Advanced 
DM.  He was set up 11-11-5-15-10-17-15.  He is a classic example of a "Biff" striker, 
good for a few wins, but not a god in later life.  You generally can't go wrong with 
strikers.  Give them at least a 15 wit to learn skills, and some speed to help their 
decise.  Low speed = big size, low-size = high-speed.
     Lungers:  Quite possibly the best style in the game.  I am sick of them but they 
can be damn good if made correctly.  Will is the single most important stat.  Lungers 
get tired real quick.  I recommend a setup like this: 11-8-11-17-17-7-13.  This is not 
a god roll-up but it is very good.  At 11 strength you can use ALL lunging weapons.  I 
think the longsword is the best lunging weapon, plain and simple.
     Slashers:  I have made one I think and I don't even run him.  They are a good 
style and like lungers get great ratings, but eat up endurance.  Ask around in your 
arena for help on slashers, I'm sure you can find help. :)

     Okay, now for the five defensives:

     Total Parry:  Well, there is only one way to make a total parry.  This is a very 
good design: 11-15-6-15-21-5-13.  He will have a good parry, a good defense, and a 
good attack.  He needs the wit to learn skills and the will to last long and not give 
up.  Many people might disagree with this design but as far as I'm concerned, it's 
solid.  You can also make a scum, but that is not a total parry.  15-18-11-5-21-3-11.  
He will win early and maybe even later, but suck in the long-haul.
     Parry-Riposte:  I like to consider this my bread-and-butter style.  I am going to 
give very high standards for a parry-rip.  Setup: 7-12-6-21-17-6-15 or if you are 
brave: 7-3-10-17-21-10-17.  Both warriors are very similar to warriors that I run, the 
second is an exact copy of one of my guys.  These roll-ups rarely come up but in my 
opinion a good parry-rip needs to have VERY good stats.  I am a bit biased to parry-
rips but that is just me.
     Parry-Strikes:  I am not the greatest on parry-strikes, but they are similar to a 
P-R.  Higher strength (11-13), con can be around the same (3-12), generally lose 
points in other stats.  Size needs to be low (<9), wit, will, speed and deftness need 
to be reasonably high if you have the points (17-17-9-13) for the last 4 stats would 
be beautiful.  Diplo "Horrible" of Team Titan (157) in Talcama (18) for advice.  He is 
a good PS manager.
     Parry-Lunge:  Much like a P-R in both fighting and the way to be set up.  Try 11-
5-6-17-21-9-15 for a good P-L.  I love the 9 speed on a parry-lunge and the 11 
strength gives good weapon selection and endurance.  All weapons can be used except a 
longspear and even that can be used without too much trouble.  It needs a 9 size.  
Like the lunger, he needs will.  Good style, very strong.
     Wall of Steel:  The waste is another good style for a good winning percentage.  
This setup is strong: 13-8-9-15-21-5-13.  A good style that can be strong against most 
opponents.  Scimitar, medium shield work great.
     Well, I am about done for now.  A few last minute tips, train skills at all 
times!  Never train stats unless it's con, or it is a scum T-P, or a scum basher.  The 
longsword needs 11 ST, 3 SZ, 13 WT?, 11 DF.  Scimitar needs 9-3-11?-11.  WH needs 13-
3-9?-7.  Longsword is best for lungers, scimitar is great for P-L, P-S, P-R, W-S, T-P, 
SL, AB, ST, and the warhammer is a reliable basher or striker weapon.  Well, I hope 
this will help new managers, and good luck!!!  (Oh yeah, always make wit/will/def on 
9, 11, 13, 15, 17 or 21) but do not train up to those stats!
     Please send all flames to "Jolly", Arena 18, Burn n' Pillage (218)
          or
     Adam Teshinsky                          - Jolly the green giant
     843 Cary Quad                           - 18, 69, 104, (2 coming soon!)
     West Lafayette, IN  47906
     (317) 495-2360

P.S.  I am notorious for getting very good guys, and it shows in my opinions.  I 
usually center around wit and will on all warriors though, for in my opinion they are 
the most important!

                             ARE YOU AT YOUR WIT'S END??

     Have you been unsuccessful in your attempts to make warriors that win 
consistently?  Are you unable to find fighting rhythms for your warriors that make 
them look like "studs" rather than "duds"?  If you answered "yes" to either of these 
questions, then read on!  This is another article in the endless stream of articles 
which focuses on how to be more competitive at Duelmasters.  One of my first warriors 
when I started playing in 1985 looked like this: 13-15-10-9-11-16-10.  He was a wall 
of steel that went 0-5 before I DA'd him.  Obviously, if this warrior went 0-5 back 
then, he wouldn't stand a chance of winning today.  Why?  Simply because the amount of 
information available about Duelmasters has skyrocketed.  This article will discuss:

          1. Understanding some of the basics.
          2. Ways to get more DM info.

     This article will attempt to help "close the gap" between you and the managers 
you compete against.  Typically, the only difference between teams at the top and 
bottom of an arena is the amount of knowledge their manager has about the game.  As 
you learn more about DM, you'll be on a more level playing field with your 
competition.

Understanding some of the basics

     The desire to succeed at Duelmasters has prompted many managers to do an 
incredible amount of research about the game.  In doing so, the scientific method has 
taken over.  Hypotheses have been formed and tested, leading to theories, which were 
tested some more.  Years later, many of these theories have become "laws" in most 
manager's minds.  Knowing some of these "laws" is absolutely essential to success in 
Duelmasters.

   Wit & Will:  These stats are generally thought to be the two most important in 
warrior design.  You can do without one or the other in certain instances, but if both 
are below 15 (i.e. Wit-13 Will-13) your warrior will usually be at a disadvantage.

   Warrior overview statements: The warrior overview tells you much more about a 
warrior's potential than meets the eye.  "Wit Statements" (those little sayings under 
the intelligence statement-i.e. "is VERY INTELLIGENT") can tell you your warrior's 
starting skill levels in every area except decisiveness.  If the overview starts out, 
"is BRIGHT" and has no indented lower case statements below it, it's time to visit the 
DA.

   Skills "lost" by stat training:  Some trained stats make your warrior "lose" 
skills.  For instance: training your strength from 14 to 15 makes you "lose" an attack 
and a parry skill unless you already have 20 skills in those skill areas.  It adds a 
skill onto your total in that area, but now that warrior can only train 19 skills 
instead of 20 so in essence, skills are lost (until they can be learned back in 
Gateway, but that's a loooonnnggg time away for new warriors).

     This is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg of knowledge that is waiting out 
there for you.  The next obvious question is, "How do I attain this knowledge?"

Ways to get more DM info:

     Now that I've given you  some examples of things you need to know, I'll give you 
information on how to access this pool of knowledge.  The key here is to expose 
yourself to information.  You can:
     1. Attend a Face to Face Tourney
     2. Join an Alliance
     3. Join the "aRt" (On-line Roundtable)

1. Attend a Face to Face Tourney:  Far and away the most fun of the three options, 
attending a FTF can be quite exciting.  You have lots of time between turns to discuss 
the game, and many managers who are willing to discuss it with you.  In fact, some 
managers are too willing (e.g. Man in Yellow).  It's a fun experience, but can also be 
quite expensive.

2. Join an Alliance:  There are many alliances out there for you to join.  I'm 
personally not in one (though I'm still considering it) but many great managers are so 
you can learn a lot from being in one.  Unfortunately for newer players, some 
alliances are probably closed off from them since they are relatively new to the game.

3. Join the "aRt" (Roundtable):  The roundtable is basically a mailing list (e-mail) 
where managers talk about DM.  More often than not when you ask a question, it gets 
answered by many different people, giving you a wide variety of different views on the 
subject.  I believe you can join the list by e-mailing a "Subscribe Duel-L Your Name" 
message to "listserv@ambience.com.au".  If you start receiving a bunch of messages 
that say "[DUEL]" in the title, you're in!  There are also some homepages on the web 
that deal with DM as well.  Use any search engine (i.e. Yahoo, Webcrawler) and search 
for "Duelmasters."

     Obviously, there is much more information out there than I touched on in this 
article.  Without actively seeking out some of this information, your future in DM 
could be rather grim.  Another way for newer players to learn more is the Duelmasters 
Sponsor program which you can contact RSI about.  If none of this sounds interesting 
to you, but you still want to learn more, ask one of the other managers in your home 
arena.  I've found that people generally like to talk about Duelmasters so it should 
be easy to get a response to any question you might have.
     Thanks for your time in reading this article.  I hope it helps some of you 
achieve more success at Duelmasters.  If any of you have responses, questions, or just 
wanna BS, I can be diploed at Notorious (Arena #32) or e-mailed at MBender842@AOL.COM.

                                                       Marty Bender
                                                       (a.k.a. Destitute Noble)

                                  The Darque Slasher

     I've read through all of the articles offered for the Slashing style, and with
the exception of a few, I am completely unhappy with them.  I know the styles of
today are Lungers and Aimed Blows because they dominate the upper levels.  I like to
make other styles and enjoy the Basic arena, so sometimes I just don't feel like
designing the norm.  I want to offer a few design tips on one of my favorite styles
and one I have relatively good success with in Basic DM (ADM too...for now).  Keep in
mind, this is not an exhaustive look at the Slasher, but merely a few design ideas
and strategy suggestions.

     STR:  9-17.  If anyone tells you otherwise, brand them as a heretic.  Epee is a
nice weapon if you HAVE to use it.  However, if the option is given to you, opt for
the SC.  I personally like the BA, but with other faves as SC and BS, I cannot
complain if I do not reach the 15 Strength.  I normally shoot for Good Damage, but
Normal is also workable.  I have noticed a reoccuring trend of Damage Bonuses on my
Slashers.  Other managers have made the same observations, and this may be an area
worth addressing in a later article.
     Con:  Who cares?  I may be a bit optimistic, but I do not design my warriors on
the theory they will be hit by an opponent.  CON is nice for endurance (slightly) and
damage taking, but unless you are planning a mutant Slasher, do not add any points
here.  Take what you can get!
     Size:  You can't control it, so why fret over it?  I like small Slashers with
lots of Strength.  After thinking about it awhile though, I like all my warriors with
small Size and lots of Strength.
     Wit:  11-21.  I like fast learners (don't we all), but I've had to work with the
slow ones before also.  It is really dependent on your playing style as to what I
suggest for Wit.  As a general rule, HIGH is GOOD, but that holds true in every
instance doesn't it?  I know some managers who will not run anything less than 15,
I'm not that jaded (you freaks know who you are)!  If you want to win and win a lot,
I suggest the high Wit (17 is ideal).  The more patient manager will work better with
the lower Wit, so do what is best for your playing style.
     Will:  15-21.  The higher your Strength and Constitution, the lower the Will can
be on the Slasher.  You want a minimum high-end Normal Endurance.  I like Good
Endurance for those pesky scum, but Normal is very workable.
     Speed:  Once again, it doesn't matter.  I like above a 9, but I have them as low
as 3.  You can never have too much Speed; however, I never add points to this stat.
It is a waste!
     Deftness:  7-21. Most people will tell you 15+.  I have a different theory and
become quite satisfied at 11.  It is a major skill break point, and my Slashers
perform quite well with it.  Higher is possible, but do not sacrifice other vital
stats for an extremely high Deftness.  I know the critics will say you need it to hit
your target, and I agree.  But, what good will it do your warrior to strike his
intended target if he cannot knock the opponent out due to low strength, or is unable
to function past minute one due to low Will?  DO NOT sacrifice other vitals for a
high Deftness. Look at the overall picture!

           JUST A FEW EXAMPLE WARRIORS in the DARQUE STABLES (successful):

             1>   9-11-11-15-17-10-11         2>  15- 6- 6-15-21-10-11
             3>  10-10- 8-15-17-13-11         4>  13-10- 7-17-17- 9-11
             5>   9- 3-13-21-15-16- 7         6>  10-10-10-15-15- 3-21
             7>  17- 9-11-15-15- 6-11         8>  15- 4- 8-17-17-12-11

I DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH ROOM TO LIST THE ALL THE MISTAKES I HAVE MADE.

     You will notice a pattern in most of them.  From the examples above, four were
blessed in their damage rating.  I mentioned in the design theory above that I prefer
an 11 Deftness, and my warriors prove this point. Two Tournament Victors are in the
above list, and one will hopefully be one in an upcoming mailer.  These are/were my
most successful due in large (I believe) to the guidelines I have given above.  Good
Damage (or better in some cases), Good Endurance, and good weapon selection are vital
to a Slasher's success.  If you design a terrible warrior, do not expect great
results.

     Strategy:  Although the general populace of DM believes that 10-10-6-Decise is
the answer to every offensive situation, I disagree (okay, not an emphatic
disagree...but sort of...just read on).  It is a viable strat in many situations, but
most managers do not explore outside of those set ranges for something that works.  I
have tried many strategies with the Slasher, and I continue to experiment, but the
following are just a few that have given me success in the past year.
     My typical strategy is 10-10-6 with no tactic.  I believe slashers riposte
better when unmodified, or in my experience they do.  I normally drop down to 9-5-6
in minute two, followed by 8-2-6 for the rest of the fight.  In desparation, I have
yet to find a spectacular set of numbers, so I normally experiment.  If I run 10-10-
6-Decise, my Slasher has shown exceptional tendencies towards that tactic (possible
favorite learn or bonused in that area).  Minutes two and on are the same for most of
my strats.  If you fight those pesky scum, carry a big weapon and go 7-3-7 for the
entire fight.  If you are having problems with Strikers, Bashers, and Parry Strikes,
I have found that Response works well with a Slasher.  My theory is once response
negates decise, an Initiative roll is began.  In most instances, a Slasher will win
an Initiative roll.  It has worked wonders for me and vastly improved my Win/Loss.
10-10-x or an inverted 8-10-x is what I use in most situations.

     Well, that is it for the Darque Slasher.  This is really a work in progress, but
I figured I would share my views with the rest of the DM populace.  Feel free to
disagree with me, I'm sure some will have reservations about what I have written.
However, the above guidelines work for me on a consistent basis.  Yes, I'm aware the
numbers I gave you would make a decent anything, but I'm not designing anything else,
I'm designing a Slasher!!!  Have fun with it and enjoy the game once in awhile!

Master Darque
Darque Forces DM 31, 103

                      Beginner's Guide to Duelmasters Rebuttal

     Now, I've never talked to, or even heard of, Fritz of Battle Pets (which is okay, 
because I'm sure a bunch of you have never heard of me, either), but I read Fritz's 
article, and felt that I had to write a response.  I am known as Drake, and I've been 
playing this game for a little better than four years.  Now, this does not make me the 
ultimate authority on Duelmasters (there are a lot of managers out there that are a 
hell of a lot better than me), but I do think that I know what I'm doing.
     Now, for the most part, Fritz's article doesn't have anything wrong with it, but 
there are a few points that I noticed that I do believe could hurt new players in the 
long run (no offense intended towards Fritz or his intelligence as a manager).  So, in 
all good conscience, I could not let his article go by without a rebuttal.
     First, he placed too many stats on even numbers in his example rollups.  When 
designing a warrior, it seems that the more odd numbers in the stats, the better the 
luck factor will be.  The values that you really want to shoot for are 7, 9, 11, 13, 
15, 17, and 21.  These values seem to offer more skills and are better for getting a 
high luck factor.  Now, I know it is impossible to have a rollup with all odd stats, 
so the one even stat should either be con or size if you can manage it.  These are the 
two least important stats (in my opinion; a lot of managers feel that con and speed 
are the bottom of the stat pile; however, we all agree that con is about useless 
because it does not give your warrior ANY skills), and also the least hampered by even 
numbers.  As far as stat importance goes, most managers will tell you that wit, 
deftness, and will (in that order) are the most important stats for any warriors of 
any style.
     Now, about the styles themselves.
     BASHERS:  An okay style that does well in basic, but tends to lose steam in ADM 
unless designed with extremely good stats.  The ranges I suggest are:  ST 13-17 (21 is 
nice but wastes points), CN 3-7 (no offensive style needs con), SZ 6+ (9 is perfect), 
WT 13+, WL 13+, SP 5-9 (not really that important), DF 13+.  I feel that Fritz's first 
example had too much speed and not enough deftness, and his second rollup had far too 
much con and not enough deftness.  Deftness is what gives you more skills and helps 
you place your shots where you want them; a deftness of less than 11 will severely 
hamper your warrior's performance.  As for weapons, the best for bashing seems to be 
the MA, WH, MS, and HL.  For the most part, you will want to run your bashers all-out 
offensive, with no more armor than ARM or ASM and F.
     LUNGER:  This is a style that one of my biggest disagreements with Fritz comes 
from.  His sample setup had WAY too much speed and way too little deftness.  Lungers 
DO NOT need speed.  For a lunger, a speed above 9 is a waste.  Basically, I suggest 
you try the following stat ranges:  ST 9-13, CN 3-7, SZ 6-11, WT 15+, WL 17+, SP 5-9, 
DF 13+.  As for weapons and strategy, use the SH, LO, SS, and LS with all-out offense, 
and 10-10-6 dodge in desperation.
     SLASHER:  Recently this style has started to gain a lot of respect among 
experienced managers.  Fritz gave his slasher too much con and speed and not nearly 
enough will and also shorted it on deftness.  I suggest:  ST 9-13, CN 3-6, SZ 6-11, WT 
15+, WL 15+, SP 7-11, DF 13+.  Slashers tend to burn a lot of endurance (almost as 
much as a lunger or wall of steel), and need a good will and strength combo for at 
least good endurance.  For weapons, try the HA, SH, SC, and BS.  Try running them like 
bashers (high offense, and low to mid activity), and never use the slash tactic; it 
hurts your decise, parry, and defense too much.
     STRIKER:  Fritz's had too much size and speed and not enough deftness.  Also, I 
would suggest avoiding the high size, low speed and deftness type of striker because 
they never seem to do well.  I suggest: ST 9-13, CN 3-7, SZ 6+, WT 15+, WL 13+, SP 7-
13, DF 13+.  Run them with a high offensive effort, and a medium to high activity 
level, and try using a DA, HA, SC, BS, MS, or WH.
     AIMED BLOW:  The best advice I can give you on these is to forget it.  This is a 
very picky and hard to run style.  I still haven't managed a successful one.  A lot of 
managers will tell you that a good aimed blow would make a better something else, and 
they may be right.
     TOTAL PARRY:  Fritz's advice on TPs is pretty much right on.  I generally try 
for:  ST 9-13, CN 8-10 (enough for normal hit points in 2 stat raises), SZ 3-11, WT 
13+, WL 15+, SP 3-7, DF 13+.
     PARRY-STRIKE:  This is another style I haven't had a lot of success with.  
Whether this is just bad luck or a fault of the style, I don't know.  However, if you 
want to try one, I suggest the following stats:  ST 9-13, CN 5-10 (PS can get away 
with a low con better than other defensives), SZ 3-11, WT 15+, WL 13+, SP 7-11, DF 
13+.  Try running them like strikers until they get some Expert ratings, then use 
their skills as a guide.  Good weapons are:  SH, SC, LO, BS, and WH with an offhand 
shield.
     PARRY-LUNGE:  A lot of experienced managers feel that this is the best style in 
the game.  Fritz's design was okay, but there was too much size, and too many even 
stats.  You might want to try:  ST 7-11, CN 8-10, SZ 3-11, WT 15+, WL 17+, SP 3-7, DF 
13+.  Run them like lungers until they get some Experts.  As for your weapons, try to 
EP, SH, SC, LO, or SS with an offhand shield.
     PARRY-RIPOSTE:  Fritz's design was okay, but they really don't need that much 
con.  A low con can be compensated with a high initial parry and/or defense for any 
warrior.  The stats I try for are:  ST 7-11, CN 8-10, SZ 3-11, WT 15+, WL 13+, SP 7-
11, DF 15+.  Basically, a beginning PR should be run like a TP.  Try using the EP, SH, 
SC, LO, or SS with an offhand shield.
     WALL OF STEEL:  Also known as the waste.  This is one of my personal favorite 
styles.  The way I usually design them is:  ST 9-13, CN 8-10, SZ 3-11, WT 13+, WL 17+, 
SP 3-7, DF 13+.  A good rule is to try and make sure that WT and WL is equal to at 
least 30 for good initial skill levels.  Wastes should be run defensively for the 
first couple of minutes, offensively towards the middle minutes, and slowing down 
towards the end.  The best waste weapons are the SC, BS, MS, and BA.
     Now, Fritz's designs may be working for him, and there is nothing wrong with 
using what works, but I think that if he gets most of those sample warriors to ADM he 
will end up in trouble.  This is way I wrote this article.  A lot of younger managers 
find out that warriors who were doing great for them in basic end up getting trashed 
in ADM.  It happened to me, and as far as I know, everyone else I know.  I hope this 
article will help make the transition from basic to ADM a little easier for a lot of 
new managers out there.
     One last thing.  As I said before, I am not the greatest manager in the game (or 
anywhere near it), but I do know what I'm doing.  However, don't feel that this 
article is in any way absolute.  If one of your warriors doesn't fall within the 
ranges given, it is not necessarily useless.  So long as your warrior has at least 13s 
in WT, WL, and DF, and they total at least 43, your warrior should be fine.
     If you have any comments, questions, or just think I'm completely insane, feel 
free to contact Drake at any of the following teams and arenas:  Power Tools Inc (47, 
101, and 103), Drake's Bar-B-Q (15, 103), Drake's Lodge (50), or Ballroom Blitz (3).
     Good luck all, and may you never run into a slasher wielding a chainsaw.

                            Yet Another Striker Article

     This is an article on strikers, so if you really hate the style (as I know many 
of you do), I suggest ignoring it completely because this is being written by someone 
who LIKES strikers and knows how to design them, fight them, and win with them. <grin>
     A good striker can have any design.  They can use any weapon, any strategy, and 
they should be able to beat any other style.  They are the simplistic basic fighter.  
They know how to slash, dodge, lunge, bash, riposte, parry, and respond (we already 
know they are decisive).
     So why do they get all this bad press, us striker lovers ask?  (I realize that 
anyone who has gotten this far must like strikers; the rest of them have quit in 
disgust.)  It's pretty simple, actually--strikers invariably get lower skill bases 
than most offensive styles and they also seem to mimic aimed blows in that even if 
they HAVE the initiative, often they won't attack (even with an Advanced Master 
attack).  It's frustrating at times, and that I'll admit; but the fun fights I've 
gotten from strikers all too often make it up for me (don't let those cynics fool 
you--strikers can dish out FAR more interesting fights than lungers!).
     Okay, enough exposition (author-type word).  On with the meat of a design 
article:

ST:  I like them powerful.  11 and up.  More weapon selection and greater damage.
CN:  The usual.  Doesn't matter.  A really good striker shouldn't ever get hit (except 
by one of my slashers).
SZ:  Any, of course.  I like nice, big strikers for damage (it IS fun to get 
TREMENDOUS on the rollup), but I have some just as good from SZ 6-9.  9 is a pretty 
good average to go on (but never discount a SZ 17, especially if he has a 21 WT).
WT:  High.  The higher the better.  Of course a striker can have any WT (especially a 
dixie), but if you're looking for one to keep, then no lower than 17 is a must in this 
stat.
WL:  This is where the trick comes in.  A striker can succeed with as low as a 5 WL in 
the regular arena.  I don't recommend this unless you're as crazy as me.  Don't go 
lower than 7.  At the moment, I'm advocating the low WL striker, so don't go higher 
than 13 on the outside.  He needs the WT and DF more.  9-11 is perfect.
SP:  Who cares?
DF:  The second most important stat for a striker of this sort.  High, high, high!  17 
or 21, nothing else will do.  (Oh, all right, if you MUST, then 15 is all right.  I 
don't recommend it, and don't blame me if you do go with THAT number.)

     Okay, you have your 13-9-10-21-9-5-17, what do you do with it?  Well, give him a 
scimitar, of course, and put a little (very little) armor on him.  I recommend no more 
than ALE/L (perhaps APL/L).  Don't worry about seeing a bad endurance statement on his 
overview!  It doesn't matter.  Run him like this:

10   6    6    5    5    5    10
10   2    2    1    1    1     5
 6 --------------------------- >
RA --------------------------- >
HE --------------------------- > (or body, or whatever other part you worry about)

     Why ones, you ask?  One thing I really love about strikers is their endurance 
bonus.  They can last and last and last, even with a 5 will.  My motto is, "strikers 
are keen, strikers are great, strikers take down total parries in plate."  You say 
you're pestered by those nasty scum?  Say they've been destroying your record?  Well, 
this is your answer.
     Then decide what kind of tactics you'd like to try.  A striker can use them all 
with some amount of success--most folks go with decise and that's cool early on.  
Naturally, you can counter other strikers using decise with responsiveness (and 
confuse other strikers coming at you with responsiveness by using dodge or no tactic 
at all!).  Most of the time I use either decise, response, dodge, or nothing.  The 
other tactics can be amusing, depending on the weapon you've given your striker--slash 
with scimitar or bash with war hammer or lunge with longsword.  Parry and riposte can 
be used to modest success in desperation, but I don't too often do it, since I usually 
have my strikers use a scimitar until they get to ADM and thereafter use their 
favorites (unless, as in the case of Ethan Edwards, you've gotten a small shield).  If 
their favorite is a two-handed weapon, then use the scimitar as a backup.
     Speaking of weapons: the scimitar is probably your best bet.  Scimitar is light, 
fast, strong, and deadly.  I've heard that it does devastating things when you're 
aiming for the head, but I don't advocate killing strategies.  Strikers already seem 
to have a kill advantage, no need to increase it; aim for the arms with the 6 KD (or 
5).  It's a nice thing to do. 
     And that's basically it.  But just to further my position, here are some samples 
that will show you what I'm talking about:

13-5-17-17-10-9-13  This warrior maxed out in 69 fights.  Yes!  Total!  He's currently 
     32-28-2, maxed with Ad Master init, Master rip, attack, and decise, Ad Ex 
     defense, and Ex parry.  As for worrying about stat raises, he's been maxed out 
     for five turns and already has four WL increases.
9-9-11-17-11-10-17  He ripped up his regular arena and went to ADM with a 15-5-4 
     record (no tournaments).  Currently: 39-26-4 with Masters in init, rip, attack, 
     def, and decise; Ad Ex parry.
17-6-11-17-9-11-13  Currently 33-24-3 with Masters init, rip, attack, decise, Ex 
     defense.
11-13-11-21-9-6-13  Currently 28-19-0 with Masters init, attack, decise and Ad Ex rip.
17-8-7-17-5-13-17  Went to ADM with a 19-9-4 record; currently 24-24-4 (ADM has not 
     been kind).  Still, he got two WL increases in four tries (it's 7 now) and he's 
     doing better overall; Masters attack & decise, Ad Master rip, As Ex init, Ex 
     defense.

For a change of pace (and to please those who want more endurance in their strikers), 
I have:
10-10-10-21-14-11-8  He got off to a slow start.  He's in Primus now with five 
     Advanced Masters and dozens of stat raises.  He's 55-55-4 (keeping a real even 
     record), and he's one of the ones that has that trouble with attacking with the 
     initiative.  One of his Ad Masters is, of course, attack.
12-15-4-18-21-4-10  Why did I make this a striker?  Because I didn't know any better 
     at the time! <grin>  He's 54-43-2 with Ad Master attack (not as much trouble as 
     the other, yet it's still there; I think the low WL strikers handle this better), 
     Masters init, parry, def, and decise, Ad Ex rip.
12-12-7-20-14-9-10  Went to ADM with a losing record, 17-20-3.  Currently 53-47-3 in 
     Primus with an Ad Master rip, Masters in init, attack, defense, and decise, Ad Ex 
     parry.

     Well, I have lots of other strikers, too, but these are the ones I term the "good 
ones."  (If anyone's interested, I could also show you how to make the WORST striker 
in existence--currently the reigning "pud" of Home Guard.)  Strikers have been, for 
me, the "fall back on" style; the style I'll make a rollup that can't be anything 
else.  I don't recommend that.  But they can be fun and provide hours of amusement, 
especially the ones that shouldn't win on a dare--and do.  (And oh, the fun when, 
after eleven minutes of beating on some plate-clad scum, they WIN instead of falling 
down--and they've been panting since minute 2!)
     Comments, criticisms, the usual hyperbole, to: Tex, mgr. Tex's Rangers (51, 104, 
101, 105); Excellent Venture (13, 103, 101), etc.

                                  The Godling Heresy

                                         Or
                    An Argument for Giving Every Warrior a Chance

     It came to me in a flash, but I'd like you to bear with me while I lay a little
groundwork in this article, because it's going to take just a little longer than a
flash to explain it.
     As I understand the term, a godling is a warrior who is expected to be superior
at all levels of play, but especially once he graduates and reaches the Isle (and
thus is safe from death).
     When you do a roll-up, you arrange the stats and choose the style, and from
these two factors, the computer calculates starting (base) skills.  The number
crunchers have done a LOT of research on this, and they can fairly well tell you what
the normal (mode) base skills for any warrior are, given his starting stats and his
style.  But sometimes, a random factor will kick in, and a warrior may be bonused
over the skills that would be expected and have more than expected, or, of course,
the reverse.  This you can't know until you get the overview and compare the
statements on it to one of the charts produced by a number cruncher.
     Note that this means that if you send the warrior directly to the Dark Arena at
the same time you send in the roll-up, you won't know about any possible bonuses
until it's too late.
     A warrior increases skills over his base during fighting by a) training skills
and/or b) training stats.  By training nothing but skills, you can learn twenty in
each of the six skill areas; then you're "maxed."  But you can also gain skills at
some points in the stat-training sequence, and if you train stats and gain skills
that way before you max skill trains, they will be counted against your twenty for
the skill in question.  So you still get twenty skills, what's the difference?  Ah,
but if you max the skills and THEN train stats, you get MORE than twenty!  This is
the argument behind all those admonitions not to train stats early in a warrior's
career.  The skills earned by training a stat to, say, 17 are calculated on exactly
the same chart as the skills earned by having a starting stat of 17.
     If two warriors, both of the same style, both entirely mode, start out as Abel:
7-8-8-17-17-12-17 and Baker: 17-17-8-10-11-12-9, by the time they have maxed skills
and trained all their stats up to 21, they will be exactly identical in skills!
Where's your godling then?  Abel may have been more exciting to run, he may have
taken off faster and had some rather spectacular wins, but he is equally likely to be
dead.  So what's the big deal with the trip-17?  Instant gratification, maybe, or
maybe just muddy thinking.
     But wait, there's more!
     Each warrior has a favorite weapon, a favorite rhythm, and sometimes a favorite
tactic, and THAT makes a lot of difference...but you don't find out (for sure) until
the warrior graduates.  Suppose you had two warriors with Abel's stats as given
above, both slashers, let's say, and one had scimitar, high/low favorites and the
other had hatchet moderate/low favorites.  The one with the scimitar is most likely
to do better than his twin.
     So that makes two things you can't possibly know when you send in your roll-up
sheet: bonuses and favorites.  Both of these are critical to the state of being a
godling, and my heretical opinion is that any reasonably good warrior should be given
a chance to demonstrate the presence or absence of bonuses and allow at least an
intelligent deduction as to favorites before being declared "worthless."  It seems to
me that the managers who engage in the wholesale use of the Dark Arena on unproven
roll-ups are missing a good bet.  If they're only interested in high-end play and
don't care about their win/loss record in Basic, why don't they give the half-way
decent roll-ups a chance?

     For a few examples of the things that might be hiding behind an untried set of
numbers, I'm going to give you the facts on some real warriors.  These are decent but
not extreme, ones I've graduated and have the numbers on.  All are slashers, so there
will be no style-based differences.

A:  16-10- 9-15-17- 7-10                G:  13-17- 9-17-10- 9- 9
B:   9- 8-13-17-17- 9-11                H:   9- 8-13-17-15-11-11
C:   9- 5-14-15-17-11-13                I:  10-12-12-15-13-13- 9
D:   9-12-13-17-17- 3-13                J:   9- 9-13-15-15-11-12
E:  17- 9- 7-11-17-13-10                K:   9-13-10-15- 9-15-13
F:  12-13-15-13- 9- 9-13

None are "godlings" in the sense of having outstanding numbers.  Many of them would
never have seen the light of day under other management.  If you could only run two
of these warriors, which would you pick?

     Here's the rest of the facts--
     A:  16-10-9-15-17-7-10, favorites are scimitar, very high/very low.  +1 init, +1
def, +4 dec.  Good potential.  A lot of skills waiting for an increase in DF.
     B:  9-8-13-17-17-9-11, favorites are broadsword, high/low.  +2 rip.  Good
potential.
     C:  9-5-14-15-17-11-13, favorites are hatchet, high/low.  +4 init, -4 rip, +1
dec.  Junk, because of the favorite weapon.
     D:  9-12-13-17-17-3-13, favorites are longsword, moderate/low.  +1 init.  Same
as C, junked by his favorites.
     E:  17-9-7-11-17-13-10, favorites are scimitar, moderate/moderate.  +2 def, +4
dec.  Rhythm and weapon are excellent, but he'd have been better with a bonus in
attack.  Still, there are a lot of skills just waiting for the stat raises in DF and
WT.
     F:  12-13-15-13-9-9-13, favorites are great axe, moderate/moderate.  +1 rip, +3
att, -2 def.  Mediocre, the penalty in defense offsetting the bonus in attack.
Raising stats will be hard, too.
     G:  13-17-9-17-10-9-9, favorites are great axe, very high/low.  +1 ini, +4 rip,
+2 att, +2 par, +2 def, +1 dec.  An interesting oddity (bonuses in ALL skills), but
basically mediocre, and the low WL will give trouble when it comes to raising stats.
     H:  9-8-13-17-15-11-11, favorites are broadsword, high/very low.  -1 rip, +1
par, +4 def.  Not bad at all.
     I:  10-12-12-15-13-13-9, favorites are battle axe, high/very low.  +2 dec.  Not
bad, but not great, either.
     J:  9-9-13-15-15-11-12, favorites are scimitar, moderate/very low.  -1 rip, +3
par, +3 dec.  Possible.
     K:  9-13-10-15-9-15-13, favorites are shortsword, very high/low, slash tactic.
+1 init, -4 rip, +2 att, +3 def, +3 dec.  Unfortunate weapon, but otherwise quite
possible.  Favorite or no, I'd give this one a scimitar to fight with.
     I forget off-hand which ones I'm actually running of these, if any, but just
looking at the list, I'd pick E and probably H.  But you see what I mean about not
being able to tell the warrior's potential from the initial roll-up sheet?  These
warriors weren't sorted by anything except style; they're simply the first eleven
slashers on my list of graduates.  None of them have "great" numbers.  None of the
DIED.  Not ONE of them is mode.  There's variation in favorite weapons and rhythms.
My recollection is that all of them did reasonably well in Basic.
     I'm not advocating running every rotten replacement that comes down the pike (I
do it, but that's a different story), but give those so-so roll-ups a chance to show
their stuff.  They might surprise you.

                                       Jorja
                                  The Middle Way 3

                             THE HIGH STRENGTH AIMED BLOW

                                          BY
                                     DONALD TRUMP

     While it's not entirely true that the aimed blow style is misunderstood, it IS 
often maligned by experienced managers.  Many tell beginning managers to avoid it, and 
I believe that this is doing the style an injustice.  Aimed blows can be the most 
fulfilling style to run, and are easily addictive.  What better way for a beginning 
manager to get into the game than by running a successful aimed blow?  It's a better 
notch on their belt than running a successful lunger to AD, I think.
     The following information is gleaned from my own experience, a long-standing feud 
over the style (which I subsequently lost) with Vlad Taltos, long conversations with 
Slowburn, Shadowmaster, Lady Hawk, Tex and Roadkill, and the longwinded diatribes of 
many on the DM roundtable on Internet.
     The setup for aimed blows is easily the most important part of their makeup.  
While other styles, bashers, lungers and even parry-strikers, for example, can make up 
for a poor setup by proper strategy, challenge and avoid decisions, the aimer cannot.  
A properly designed and run aimed blow can defeat any style; a poorly designed aimed 
blow can't beat anyone.
     Below is the setup I use for aimers.  It is somewhat different than what I've 
seen from other managers, but no more or less successful than usual.  I'm sure it will 
cause some stir among the aimer-running general public.
     ST:  I like it high, 13+.  High ST does four things for your Aimed Blow: it helps 
out endurance, it gives better encumbrance, it tends to give you better damage 
ratings, and it helps your Attack rating.
     Encumbrance is an important, and often neglected, part of the AB's makeup.  I 
currently have 2 AB's with 17 ST, and the high ST allows me to run them in ADM/H.  
Since encumbrance is high (normal to good), it allows me to run them in heavy armor 
without penalty, and also helps their damage-taking.  This is important early in their 
career, as many young aimers tend to lose after short flurries by offensives.  Later 
in their careers the extra damage taking isn't done at the expense of skills.  A 17 ST 
can be raised to 25 in AD without undue strain, and actually *gains* skills.
     The other areas can be helped out by other stats: CN, WT, and DF.  WT and DF 
certainly give more skills than ST does, but I believe that in the long run Aimers are 
better served by a few extra points in ST than in WT or DF.
     CN:  Any, naturally.  I like some CN, 7-9, just to help out encumbrance, 
endurance, and damage-taking.  Obligatory remark: Never add points.
     SZ:  The sticking point for many rollups.  All aimers (mine, yours, probably even 
Shadowmaster's) require WT 17 DF 17 minimum to succeed.  With high ST as well, this 
doesn't allow much leeway for SZ.  Since you can't change it, I'd say any SZ will do, 
but for this rollup, anything over 10 probably isn't going to work.
     WT:  No controversy here.  17 or 21.  I've seen 15 WT rollups do well, and if 
you've got 21 DF, maybe that's enough, but for a standard I'd say 17.
     WL:  I like to see a decent WL, if only because low WL rollups face a brick wall 
on stat trains once they max out on skills.  Many managers specify 9, 13, 17 or *gasp* 
21, but I say add points to get ST 13, WT 17, DF 17 first, then add whatever's left to 
WL, even if it makes it 10, 12, 14, or whatever.  It's not as important as ST/WL/DF.
     SP:  Blech.  5 if you can get it (I'm superstitious about 3 SP) otherwise leave 
it at whatever you get.  High SP aimers won't kill you, but it does take up valuable 
points better used elsewhere.
     DF:  Still no controversy.  17 or 21.  Yes, I've seen the aberrant 15 DF aimers, 
but that's really only for 21 WT characters, and managers who just *have* to have an 
aimed blow (do any of those really exist?).  21 DF aimed blows get real *nice* bonuses 
to attack, better than you might expect.  So, if you can, go for it, but don't make a 
13 WT aimed blow because of it.
     Some examples of good aimed blows I would actually run:

     #1   #2   #3   #4   #5   #6
ST   17   17   21   13   17   17
CN    3   12    3    8    6    3
SZ    8    5   10    7    7    8
WT   17   17   15   17   17   17
WL   13    7    5   15   11   17
SP    9    5    9    7    9    5
DF   17   21   21   17   17   17
     
     #1 is an actual character.  Currently 6-2-1 (both losses to characters with 15+ 
more fights).  Bases aren't great (so far, attack 60%) but looks great and should have 
good long-term potential.
     #2 is another actual character.  Started out Expert attack (something about that 
21 DF) and great damage (how did that happen?).  Currently 1-1-0.
     #3 is yet another actual character.  Started out Advanced Expert attack and great 
damage.  Died at something like 4-3-1 to a lunger who DA'd the next turn. (I hate you, 
Lords of Malbolge!)
     #4 and #5 are both examples of good but not great characters who would make 
excellent aimers.
     #6 is what I would make if I got an immortal design-your-own.  The "perfect" 
character.  Probably would die on first fight if I ever actually made that character. 
[grin]
     Strategy:
     Armor:  The main advantage my aimed blows have over others is their ability to 
wear armor, so use it!  ASM/H is pretty much standard operating procedure, but I dip 
into ARM/S for TP's and go as high as APM/F vs. lungers (if I know they're going to 
challenge me).
     Weapon Selection:  Nothing special here.  My aimers can use any weapon, from fist 
to longsword to epee.  The main point most people bring up about my aimers is that all 
that ST is wasted, since it doesn't add weapons to their repertoire.  This is a valid 
point, but I believe the extra armor, damage, etc. makes the points well spent.
     Offensive Effort:  Moderate (5-6) to Very High (9-10).  You really have to 
experiment to see what your aimer likes.  I've included a beginning strategy for 
aimers; adjust it to see what your aimer likes.
     Activity Level:  Low (3-4) to High (7-8) usually, Very High for minute 1 if 
you're in an arena with a plethora of offensive-types.  Once again, see what your 
aimer likes.
     Kill Desire:  Depends on you.  I don't believe in that "7 maximizes Decise" 
voodoo that someone came up with (how do you measure that?) but I like mine in a 
middlin' range: 4-7.  Generally, I run at 6.
     Challenges:  Good challenges are any parry style, but particularly parry-strikes 
and total parries; other aimed blows, obviously, and Wall of Steels.
     Avoids:  Avoid lungers like the plague.  If you know they're coming (on a 
bloodfeud, for instance) then wear APM/F and carry an off-hand shield.  Your only real 
chance is to withstand their offensive barrage and hit 'em when they're tired.  Once 
you're skilled, it's a slightly different story, but generally their attack rating is 
going to be better than your parry and defense rating.  Strikers and slashers are also 
good styles to avoid.  Aimers tend to do well against bashers, but I still wouldn't 
challenge one.
     Beginning Standard Strategy:

          1st  2nd  3rd  4th  5th  6th  Desp      Weapon Selection
Off Eff   10    8    8    6    5    4    2
Act Lev   10    8    6    4    3    2   10        (0,7)  SC
Kil Des    6    6    6    6    5    4    4        (8,14) SS
Att Loc   RA   --------------------------->       (15,+) LO
Pro Loc   BD   ---------------------->  LE

Off Tac    L
Def Tac                                  D

     I hope this inspires some debate about the style, and maybe even some of you to 
try it.  Don't be discouraged by early failures or even deaths.  This will come 
around.

Donald Trump, CEO Trump Gladiatorial Enterprises with wholly owned subsidiaries in:
Lapur (29) -- Perfect Timing
Murska (35) -- Too Much Posse
Vithicar (49) -- Colorful
Andor (57) -- Stragety, Dammit!

                   The Zen of Putting Your Opponents Six Feet Under

     This article is the result of a fellow Duelmasters manager asking me how to 
efficiently go about the business of killing.  He stated that I was "the resident 
expert" on the Duelmasters Round Table (an e-mail chat group) and was therefore the 
person to come to for tips.  Well, this got me thinking, and the reply that I sent to 
him is a subset of this full-fledged article.
     As for being an "expert," all I can say is that I hold the record for most  kills 
in Alastari with any one stable.  As of the end of January, Merlin's Lot in Sibikhas 
took the title with a record of 598-506-67.  The previous holder of the title was the 
infamous Death Squad of Zukal, but their overall record is 629-524-66, so my kill 
percentage is somewhat better, having the same number of kills in 49 less fights.
     So, for all of you who want to strike constant fear in the hearts of your weak 
opponents, here's my tips:

     1) This is my most important rule, and it is a corollary of Doc LeGrand's famous 
"First Rule of Duelmasters", which was "You can't die if you don't lose."  My rule is 
"You can't kill if you don't win." This is just as obvious as Doc LeGrand's rule, but 
many managers go forth and design what they believe to be "killers" with all sorts of 
scary damage ratings and the ability to swing two mauls.  But the likelihood of these 
warriors winning is rather slim, because they're brain-dead, or ponderously slow, or 
are just as likely to chop their own leg off at the knee as to hit their opponent.  
Sure, they might get lucky in one or two of their first few fights, but is one kill 
worth a 2-6-1 record and four skills learned followed by a DA?  Only the most twisted 
bloodthirsty manager would think so, and that's not me.  So, first you have to start 
with a warrior that will win at least half of his first 10 fights (or however long you 
think this warrior will last, although this number of fights is important, and will be 
discussed later in Point #9).  That is critical.  When all else is equal, the more you 
win, the more you'll kill...  guaranteed.
     2) You have to be offensive.  There's no getting around it.  You have to run with 
at least a 7 kill desire, and, while I can safely say that I got most of my kills 
running with a 9 or 10 KD, I also feel that I could have avoided more than a few 
losses by toning that down a little.  There is a big trade-off here; raising KD means 
more kills, but it can also mean less wins.  With a 10 KD, when your warrior is on the 
ropes, he'll be way too berserk to even care.  I now normally run at 6 or 7 KD, and go 
no higher than 9, but the rate that I've been getting kills has noticeably decreased.
     3) Point #2 does NOT mean that your warrior must be one of the offensive styles!  
Defensive warriors can be excellent killers as well, most notably, parry-lungers, 
parry-strikers and wastes.  Total parries and parry-ripostes just don't seem to have 
the knack.  Still, though, you can't just change the KD on your normal defensive 
strategy and hope to kill.  It's just not that easy.  You'll have to completely modify 
your warrior's strategy to get that killing edge.  This means high offensive effort, 
but not necessarily high activity.  I've had two parry-strikers that were great 
killers, but I ran them 7-7-7, which is out of the bounds of their potential favorite 
numbers.  Parry-lungers are better suited to killing because they can be run 
(relatively successfully) just like lungers.  There was a recent discussion on the 
Duelmasters Roundtable concerning parry-strikers that said that many managers run 
rookie PSs 10-10-6.  Well, how much different is 10-10-9, apart from the SLIGHT 
potential for more losses, as stated in Point #2?  Not that much, if you're looking to 
get that eagerly sought after "Belly-Up Silhouette" on the mantle of your stable's 
guildhouse....
     4) Your killer will have to do some damage.  This does not NECESSARILY mean that 
he will have to do at least good damage (although, for my killers, I prefer at least 
great damage).  What it DOES mean is that, if your warrior does only normal damage, 
he's going to have to hit A LOT to get that kill intent statement!  There's nothing 
more pleasing than having your tremendous damage basher send one shot to an opponent's 
head, get the death intent statement, and one more swing and the undertaker's already 
reserving a slab.  This just cannot be accomplished with a normal damage warrior, and 
is particularly difficult for any warrior that doesn't do at least great damage.  
     5) Obviously, to maximize your killing potential, you have to aim at vitals.  I 
prefer the head, although many of my lungers have gotten their kills aiming for the 
abdomen.  Also, a high deftness will greatly help in this regard, because it does no 
good to aim at the head and hit your opponent five times in five different locations.  
Sure, you'll get the win, but you'll have a much more difficult time getting the kill, 
unless you get lucky and that last swing before the death intent connects with one of 
your opponent's vital body parts.
     6) Killing means weeding out the worthless and weak.  One of my favorite sayings 
is "If a warrior dies, he wasn't meant to live." Of course, I use this to justify 
going after warriors that I BELIEVE just don't deserve to live, like that 2-6 ripper, 
or that 6-7 aimed blow who has gotten some lucky challenges through to defensives, but 
is finally going to have his luck catch up with him.  Or any warrior belonging to a 
member of the Ivory League...  You have to be merciless to enjoy killing, and to go 
after the warriors that deserve to die.  That's the Dark Circle way.  Also, when you 
have a chance to REALLY get a slam dunk on an opponent (and there is no better example 
than having a champion bloodfeud an initiate), then, by all means, crank up that KD 
all the way to 10.  You KNOW you're going to win, and your chance of killing is 
maximized.  Go for it.
     7) When in doubt, at least challenge warriors you know that you can HIT, not 
necessarily BEAT, just HIT HARD!  This tip is really only good for warriors that do at 
least great damage.  The more damage you do, the more likely that one hit will be all 
you'll need (especially if you hit where you're aiming, as I stated in Point #5, as 
hitting the head HARD could cause the stun that could win you the fight, or hitting 
the legs HARD could cause that all-important knockdown).  If there's a great lunger 
out there, but he's slow and you've sent him desperate with one shot from your faster 
striker before the lunger's dodge strategy kicked in and he pounded you, challenge him 
again and you'll be more than likely to send him desperate again!  Maybe you got a bad 
roll last time.  Maybe you'll get a really good roll this time....
     8) Being on the receiving end of a bloodfeud can be a good way to get those slam-
dunks as well.  If you kill a warrior who comes from a relatively new team, or from a 
team that has no warriors above yours (or, at least, no warriors that can beat yours), 
then you're home free.  Crank up the KD and stack up the opposition like cordwood as 
they try to revenge their pathetic loser.
     9) As we all know, the younger a warrior is, the more likely he is to kill when 
he wins or die when he loses.  Therefore, the tips on challenging that I have just 
stated should practically be ignored for any warrior in the Challenger Adepts or 
higher.  This does not mean that Champions don't die; far from it!  Sibikhas recently 
lost its Duelmaster, and arenas like Sunset and Talcama (where bloodlust reigns 
supreme) have at least one 10+ fight warrior dying practically every turn.  Even 
warriors with 20 or more fights can be fairly regularly found on any arena's dead 
list.  But, it's in the rankings of the Initiates where you will find most of the 
dead, and adjusting your strategy on the hopes of killing a Champion is almost always 
futile.  So, if you want to kill, you should "make hay while the sun shines", as it 
were, and try to get in those notches on your hilt within your warrior's first ten 
fights.
     10) If you're just looking to pad your kill total, then you should challenge the 
DA with any of your warriors that graduates to ADM.  I would estimate that at least 
half of the warriors that do this win the fight, and even if you lose it, all you lose 
are the skills that you may have gotten if you had fought a regular opponent.  You 
also don't have to worry about a bloodfeud if you DO get the kill.  I must admit, 
though, that I am pretty proud of the fact that my kill total in Sibikhas has NOT been 
inflated via this manner.  Just think how many kills I would have had if I had sent 
all two dozen of my Lord Protectors to the DA on their last fight!  Maybe over eighty!
     11) As you may well know, there are many managers out there (many of whom call 
themselves Andorians) who believe that killing is bad and wrong and all sorts of other 
judgmental stuff that has nothing to do with combat.  As for me, I couldn't care less 
whether you want to kill my warriors (or anybody else's) or not.  Just don't tell me 
what to do.  This is also the Dark Circle way.  Unfortunately, many of these Andorians 
have banded together in certain arenas, where the idea of "killing without remorse" is 
heavily frowned upon.  It is in these arenas where, if you kill and enjoy it (and even 
<shudder> SAY so...), your entire stable will be hunted down for the true warriors 
that they are, rather than for the "we all share a common goal, so let's play nice" 
slumber party pillow-fighters that all the other warriors in those arenas are.  
Therefore, if you wish to be proficient and successful at killing, I suggest you avoid 
these arenas like the plague that they are.  Trust me.  You will receive more 
enjoyment from your kills when the manager of your victim vows revenge in kind, but 
does not question your morals.
     12) Finally, and above all, when that manager of your victim DOES threaten to 
wipe out your entire stable, you have to be prepared to die yourself.  Some studies 
have shown (to varying degrees) that raising your KD also increases your own 
likelihood of death.  I'm not convinced of this, but I'm not denying it, either.  And, 
of course, when you kill, you invite a bloodfeud upon your killer, and the opposing 
manager will have all of the bloodfeuding advantages that I have mentioned above.  
Accept that death is part of the game, and relish the fresh rookies you receive and 
the chances to be bloodfeuded, just as much as you relish the kill.
     Well, that's about all I can think of.  I hope to see all of the undertakers 
throughout Alastari very busy!  Best of Luck in your headhunting!

                                                  Merlin, Warden of the Dark Circle

                                   WARRIOR DESIGN

     In everything except size, odd numbers in your stats are better than even numbers 
because of the way the program rounds them up; you get a little more for your 
investment with an odd number.  Every fourth number is a break-point that puts your 
warrior into a different category.  The break-points are 5, 9, 13, 17, 21, and 25 
(possible only in Advanced Duelmasters).  If possible, you want your important stats 
to be at these numbers because they are significantly better than the numbers right 
below them.  For deftness, 11 is also an important break-point.
     In general, emphasizing a few strengths in your rollup is better than trying to 
eliminate all weaknesses.  The most successful warriors have definite, sometimes 
drastic, highs and lows.  It's not that the lows aren't bad, but the highs more than 
make up for them.
     The most important places to put your 14 discretionary points are on wit and 
will.  Without a good wit and will, your character is not likely to be a good one in 
the long run.  Wit is vital for learning skills, and will is vital for raising your 
attributes.  They are also good for other things, of course.
     Strength affects how much damage you can do, what weapons you can use to good 
effect, and is of primary importance in how much weight you can carry.  It will 
strongly affect your endurance.
     Constitution is a primary factor in determining your hit points, and also affects 
your endurance a little bit.  The program will never actually tell you your hit 
points.  It's nice to have at least normal endurance; otherwise, your character will 
probably die young.  Flashy, maybe, if all the points that aren't on con are on wit 
and deftness; but right about the time you fall in love with them, somebody hits them 
and that's all she wrote.  However, if you waste too many points on con, your warrior 
will suffer in other areas, and will be very dull and mediocre.  If your character is 
fast and smart, he should quickly learn how to defend himself and not get killed.  
Usually.
     Size gives you more hit points, enables you to do more damage when you hit, and 
possibly gives you an advantage in reach.  However, it also slows you way down, and 
soaks up points that would do more good elsewhere.  The strategy gods around here seem 
to think a large size is not worthwhile, and most large rollups go straight to the 
Dark Arena.  9-10 are nice sizes.  Smaller warriors than that tend to be frail, but 
they often more than make up for it in other areas.
     Wit is important.  Did I mention how important wit is?  Wit is very important.  
17 is a nice wit.  21 is even nicer.  Sometimes, if you can choose between a 17 or a 
21, you might settle for a 17 because you really, really need the points someplace 
else or the warrior won't survive.  However, wit is very important.  In addition to 
helping you learn skills, it makes you fast, even if you don't have a good speed or 
deftness.  It can enable you to do more damage (because you know exactly where to 
hit).  Different weapons have different wit requirements.  For the epee, you need a 
15.  Overall, it's just really, really important.
     Will is pretty important, too.  Not quite as important as wit, but close.  It is 
the primary factor in your endurance, which is important for most styles.  It 
contributes to your hit points and to the damage that you do.  I believe it affects 
how many skills your warrior is born with, which is important.  And, of course, it is 
extremely important for raising stats.  The more will you have, the higher your chance 
of raising a stat.  By the way, even with a high will, don't count on more than two 
stat raises in basic Duelmasters.  After two raises, the probabilities get very low.  
Again, I don't know the formula.  But I have been told, and tend to believe, that your 
character will benefit much more by going for all skills from the word go, than by 
trying to raise all his stats by two (much less, any higher than that).  Sometimes you 
need to raise some stats right at the start (like, if your character does below-
average damage when he hits, you'd better raise your strength fast).  But for the most 
part, it's better to design a character who can function as is, and learn all the 
skills he can possibly learn, before you worry about stat raises at all.  That's what 
the strategy gods say, and it's probably true.  I sometimes tinker with my warriors' 
stats, anyway.  Maybe that's why I don't have a better record.
     Speed.  You'll want at least 5.  Some say slashers need more, like 9 or 13, but 
that's not for sure.  For the most part, anything speed can do, deftness can do 
better.  If the total of your speed and deftness add up to less than 17, you'll be 
clumsy.  17-20 is slightly uncoordinated.  21 to 30 or 31 is normal; above that is 
wonderful stuff, and you almost always get the jump on the other guy.  It's rare, 
though, because the points are better spent on wit and will.
     Deftness is probably the third most important attribute.  Did I mention that the 
first and second are wit and will?  When I design a character, I think about it a long 
time, and as often as not, end up adding six points to wit, six to will, and two to 
deftness.  Or something close to that, depending on break points.  All weapons have 
deftness minimums (15 for the epee).  None of them have speed minimums.  A good 
deftness can also affect how many skills you are born with.  A character who starts 
out with a wit, will, and deftness of 17 will probably be born with an expert rating 
or two.  This is highly desirable.

     Choosing a style that fits your rollup is very important.  One of my first five 
warriors ever, Ghed in DM-1, would have been pretty good if only I'd made him a basher 
or wall of steel instead of a slasher.
     Aimed blows:  Very few people can make them succeed.  In general, they lose a 
lot.  If you want an easy win, challenge an aimed blow.  For starters, don't inflict 
this style on any of your own warriors.  Supposedly they're effective against parry-
types, especially total parries.
     Bashers:  I haven't had very good luck with them myself.  I've been told they 
need a high wit in order to be decisive.  The decisiveness tactic makes up for their 
general lack of quickness, and lets them get an attack in once in a while.  Since they 
are slow and don't usually parry well, they need to be fairly durable as well.  And 
they need strength, both to increase the damage they do, and to let them carry the 
heavy weapons and armor they need.  Supposedly they're good against parry types.
     Parry-types:  They need to be able to take some damage (because, especially at 
first, they won't parry everything).  They need endurance.  They need wit and 
deftness.  They don't need much speed or strength.  They do best against lungers, 
slashers, and strikers.  You can run parry-lungers, parry-strikers, and wall-of-steels 
(which can be thought of as parry-slashers or parry-bashers) either all-out like the 
fast warriors, or at a medium to low rate, in which case they will try to parry and 
wear out a fast opponent.
     Strikers:  They need wit to be decisive (supposedly there's nothing faster than a 
decisive striker).  They need some strength (say, 11-13).  They need an adequate 
dexterity (9-11).  They don't get defensive skills very fast, so they need some 
durability (con & will; will is better).  Good against bashers & aimed blows, not too 
bad against parry-types (they don't jump around a lot so they don't wear out as fast 
as slashers & lungers), okay against other types.  A nice all-around style, except for 
not developing good defenses.
     Slashers:  Not my forte (ask Tex, who loves slashers).  I hear they need 
reasonable amounts of speed and strength (say, 13s), but I don't know if Tex would 
agree.  High wit for still more speed; high will for more damage; adequate deftness (I 
believe 11 will get you a scimitar, which is a wonderful all-round weapon, especially 
for a slasher).  Like lungers, they tend to win in about a minute in a half or else 
they lose, at least until they get very experienced.  Great against slow types 
(bashers & aimed blows).
     Lungers:  The sprinters of the arena.  A strength of 9 will get you the short 
spear, which is a great lunging weapon.  High wit, will, and deftness.  Con isn't too 
important; with a high will you can raise it a couple of points, and anyway, lungers 
do learn to parry and dodge.  At least mine do.  The experts say that in the very long 
run (2-3 years, when they're in AD), they aren't quite as good as the parry-types.  In 
regular DM, though, they do better because the parriers are such late bloomers.  If 
they're frail, put them in leather armor so they can soak up a hit or two, but 
anything heavier than that will slow them down too much.  I run my lungers 10-10-6 in 
the first minute, maybe 9-8-6 in the second.  I write down numbers for the other 
minutes, too, but it doesn't usually matter.  If they don't win by the second minute, 
they generally won't win.  With luck, they'll collapse from exhaustion before the 
other guy gets a chance to hurt them.  They're great against bashers and aimed blows, 
okay against parry-types who don't scum too much.
     Wall of steels:  I don't understand this style very well, but I love it.  
Supposedly they're a cross between the fast guys and the parry-types.  I usually run 
them all-out, slasher-style, and it seems to work.  Recently I found out you can slow 
them down and they'll parry, too.  Wastes (as they're often called) do well with a 21 
will, decent strength (11 or 13), decent wit (13), and decent con (9).  They don't 
seem to need much speed or deftness.  I don't know which styles in particular they're 
good against; they seem to handle everything okay.  Great against aimed blows, of 
course.
     Each fighting style has some weapons that are well-suited to it, some that are 
marginal, and some that are totally unsuited.  Be sure to design warriors who have the 
stats to handle at least one weapon appropriate to their style.  Note, however, that 
their favorite weapon, while suited to their style, may be something they don't have 
the stats for.  For example, a parry-riposte with a 14 wit might favor the epee.  I'm 
not sure how the bonus for using your favorite stacks up against the penalty for using 
a weapon beyond your abilities.  It's best to design warriors who have a good 
selection of weapons that they're both suited to, and able to handle well.

                              Best Wishes,
                              The Rogue She-Puppy of the Galaxy

                             FILLING OUT YOUR TURNSHEET

Here are a few pointers on filling out a Duelmasters turnsheet.

     1. Choosing your weapons:
     The reason there are three lines for this (vs. light, vs. medium, and vs. heavy), 
is that some weapons are better against an opponent who is not wearing much armor, and 
some are better against an opponent who walks into the arena armored like a tank.  
Look on the inside back cover of your Red Book.  There is a chart that gives the 
weight of armor and helmets.  Add together the weight of the armor and the helmet, and 
that is the weight of armor that your opponent is wearing.  For example, plate armor 
and a full helm add up to 18, which is the highest possible armor weight.  Leather 
armor and a steel cap add up to four.  Ringmail and a helm add up to nine.  And so on.  
If you want your warrior to use two daggers against opponents wearing armor of weight 
eight or less, then on the first line you would write an 8 inside the parentheses, 
like this: 

     vs. Light   ( 0,   8 ) ____dagger____  and ___dagger_____

Then, if you want him to use, oh, a short sword and small shield against medium 
armors, you might write:

     vs. Medium  ( 9,  14 ) __shortsword__  and _small shield_

And for anything heavier, you might choose a still heavier weapon:

     vs. Heavy   (15,  +  ) _broadsword___  and ______________

You might not want to use an off-hand weapon or shield with your heavy weapon, because 
your warrior needs both hands on his broadsword for maximum force to chop through that 
platemail!
     You don't have to make three different armor divisions.  You can use the same 
weapon against everything, or you can make two divisions instead of three.
     In case your warrior drops his weapon, or it gets broken, you might also want him 
to carry a backup on his belt.  A shortsword is a fine backup weapon, because it only 
weighs 2 (won't slow your warrior down), and it almost never breaks.  Weapons from the 
two-handed weapons list can't be carried as backups, because they are too big and 
awkward.
     You should bear in mind that your warriors will be well-suited to some weapons 
and poorly-suited to others, depending on their style and their attributes.  Most 
warriors are too small or too weak to use a maul, for example.  A basher wouldn't want 
to use an epee because it isn't suited to his style, even if he happens to have the 
attributes for it.  By reading your turn results, you will be able to tell which 
weapons your warriors use best.
     Be sure to use weapons from the lists on the inside back cover of the red rule 
book.  These are the only weapons our computer knows.  These weapons are described in 
the rules supplement.

     2. Bear in mind that the heavier the armor you put on a warrior, the more it will 
slow him down.  If he is lumbering around in plate armor and a full helm, other 
warriors will get the jump on him most of the time.  This is okay for certain styles, 
like bashers and total parries, but you wouldn't want to put most other styles in 
armor that heavy.  Warriors like lungers, slashers, and strikers, who depend on speed, 
very often go out on the sands wearing no armor at all.     
 
     3. On the line for training, you need to write either one of your warrior's 
attributes, or "skills."  If you write an attribute, say, "CN" (constitution), that 
means the warrior spent the last two weeks trying to raise his constitution.  Maybe it 
will go up by one point, or maybe it won't.  The first two raises on any given 
attribute are usually fairly easy.  After that, you might have to try for many turns 
before the warrior raises that attribute another point.
     If you write "SK" (skills), then he spends that time practicing and trying to be 
a better fighter.  His arena fights are highly educational.  If he has a good wit, he 
will learn plenty of skills.  If he fights someone with more experience than he has, 
he will learn more.  If the fight lasts three or four minutes, that is ideal for 
learning.  He can't usually learn much during a fight that only lasts 30 seconds!  
Sometimes he'll have bad luck and not learn any skills, but normally a bright warrior 
will learn at least one or two.  The skills keep adding up, and eventually he gets 
very, very good at what he does.  In the long run, it is usually more efficient to 
train skills instead of attributes.  By the way--there are six types of skills, but 
you really can't choose which ones you want your warrior to study.  He just learns 
whatever he happens to learn.

     4. The "wish to fight" lines are for challenges.  Your warrior can't challenge 
anyone on his first turn.  After that, he can challenge other warriors who are in his 
class or the next higher class.  For example, an Initiate can challenge another 
Initiate, or a Challenger Initiate.  You print the name of the warrior you want to 
challenge on the first part of the line, and then put his ID number after the "#" 
symbol.  You can challenge two different warriors if you want.  If someone has killed 
one of your warriors, then the other members of your team can bloodfeud the killer.  
To bloodfeud, you just circle your challenge--and, to make it extra clear, you can 
write "BF" beside it.

     5. The boxes for "challenge strategy" or "if challenged strategy" can give your 
warrior a little more flexibility.  You put his normal everyday strategy on the front.  
You challenge somebody, let's say a warrior you happen to know is a total parry.  
Check the "challenge strategy" box and then fill out the back side of the sheet, using 
a slower strategy that is more suitable for fighting a total parry, and maybe heavier 
weapons to get through his heavy armor.  Then, if your challenge goes through, and 
your warrior gets to fight the total parry, he'll use his special strategy.  
Otherwise, he'll use his normal one.
     Or, let's say one of your warriors has killed someone, and you think the dead 
guy's team is going to bloodfeud your warrior.  If you want to use a special strategy 
against those guys, maybe one with a higher kill desire, then you check the "if 
challenged strategy" box and write your special strategy on the back.

     6. The "wish to avoid" section lets you avoid two teams.  You can only avoid 
teams, not individual warriors.  Write the name of the team you want to avoid.  On the 
same line, also write that team's ID number.  Look on the front page of your 
current newsletter.  Find that team in the rankings.  The number in parentheses after 
the team name is that team's ID number.  That's what you need.
     I normally have a warrior avoid the last two teams he has fought.  This is mainly 
so my warriors will mix around the arena and not accidentally keep fighting the same 
teams over and over again.  If one of my warriors has killed someone, he won't avoid 
that team, because I don't run away from bloodfeuds.  Incidentally, avoiding a team 
does not give you 100% protection against them.  It helps, but once in a while their 
challenges will get through your avoids.

     7. You need to write numbers in the minute-by-minute strategy section.  For 
example, on the "offensive effort" line, I might fill in the boxes like this: 10, 9, 
6, 6, 6, 5, 10.  This means that in the first minute, my warrior will try to make a 
lot of attacks against the other warrior.  If the fight lasts longer than one minute, 
he'll start to slow down and try to conserve his endurance.  If he gets desperate (in 
serious trouble due to wounds or exhaustion), he'll start attacking all-out in an 
effort to end the fight quickly.  This is a strategy for an offensive warrior, by the 
way; you wouldn't want to run most parry-types this way.
     "Activity level" means how much your warrior moves around while he is fighting.  
Combined with a high offensive effort, a high activity level is good for an all-out 
fighter, like a lunger.  Combined with a low offensive effort, a high activity effort 
will make your warrior dodge and riposte a lot.  A high activity effort will tire out 
your warrior quickly.
     "Kill desire" is how much your warrior wants to kill his opponent.  A 10 kill 
desire means he's trying to murder the guy.  A 1 kill desire means he's trying very 
hard not to kill him.  My offensive types usually fight with a 6 kill desire, and my 
parry-types fight with a 2 or 3.
     "Attack location" is what part of his opponent's body your warrior is trying to 
hit during that minute.  "Protect location" is what part of his own body your warrior 
is trying hardest to protect.  Look at the bottom of the inside back cover of the red 
book to find the abbreviations you need to use, like "LL" for "left leg" and "HE" for 
head.  It's a good idea to keep attacking the same spot.  My warriors often attack the 
legs, because that's a good way to win a fight without killing the other guy.  For a 
kill, you could attack the head.  My warriors normally defend their heads, because I 
don't want them to get killed.

     8. Offensive and defensive tactics:  You can get by without using these at all.  
Do not use both an offensive and defensive tactic in the same minute; it will totally 
confuse your warrior and almost certainly cause him to lose.  For a description of the 
tactics and what they do, look in the rules supplement (let us know if you don't have 
one and we'll send you one).
     A couple of tips: "decisiveness" will help your warrior get the jump on his 
opponent.  For offensive styles, it is a good tactic to use in the first minute and in 
desperation.  A total parry usually does best using the "parry" defensive tactic in 
all minutes, and a parry-riposte usually does best with the "riposte" tactic in all 
minutes.  The "responsiveness" tactic ("S" on the "defensive tactic" line) doesn't 
seem to be good for much.  The offensive tactics of "slash," "lunge," and "bash" will 
add force to the blows of slashers, lungers, and bashers.  I often give my bashers the 
"bash" tactic when they are fighting parry-types, and are trying to smash through 
parries and through heavy armor.

                             -- the She-Puppy

                   Are You Ready To Take Tournament Play Seriously?

                                      By:  Pagan

     The following advice is a great general way to excel in tournament play.  It is 
intended more for a Face-to-Face Tournament, however much of the same advice also goes 
for a Mail-In Tournament....
     FE = Fight equivalency.  This is the term used by managers to denote how many 
fights RSI has registered for a warrior.  One arena fight equals One FE.  Simple.  
Tournament fights are the reason FE has become the thing to follow.  Tournaments give 
to one FE for every odd round.  So one FE on round one, two FE on round three, three 
FE on round five... and so on.  If a warrior fights for eight rounds he will have 
accumulated four FE.  If that same warrior also has six arena fights, then he would 
now have a total of ten FE.  Learn this, and understand it.

     1.  Stop fighting warriors from your active teams at breakpoints and wait for the 
Freeze date, then start running them, and enter them in the tourney.  A good roll-up 
will give you a chance for a TV, and average roll-up will give you skill learns.  If 
they die, then so be it.  Try and get the maximum number of fights per area, and wait 
for the cut-off date to be announced so you can go into a tournament with 2+ fights 
over the breakpoints.  (Example:  Your warrior has four fights so he's an Apprentice, 
and you then start to run him in the arena after the Freeze date is past.  Your 
warrior will still fight in the Apprentices but with extra fights, and hopefully extra 
skills.)

                    Breakpoints:
                    Rookies     = zero FE
                    Novices     = zero FE as of Freeze date
                    Apprentices = 1 to 4 FE as of the Freeze date
                    Initiates   = 5 to 10 FE as of the Freeze date
                    Adepts      = 11 to 20 FE as of the Freeze date
                    Champions   = 21+ FE as of the Freeze date

     2.  Check out all of your other warriors in inactive arenas that you think are 
good roll-ups.  If there are at least two on the same team then run that team for a 
breakpoint in FE, wait for the Freeze date, then run them until the tourney.  Don't 
bother with roll-ups that do not have at least a 17 wit, or are not awesome for some 
odd reason.  (Example:  A good endurance striker with tremendous damage and decent 
attack skills in Initiates or lower...stuff like that....)

     3.  Team Roll-ups:  Look for only good and excellent roll-ups.  Look also for 
Scum.  You want to end up with a certain number of good warriors.  Run only the good 
warriors, and let the other ferment in RSI database hell because you need not waste 
your time with them ever again.  Don't DA them, ignore them, just buy more roll-ups.  
Five bucks for five warriors is a much better deal than spending money DAing warriors 
that are only for tournaments.
     3a.  Normal:  Buy them in groups of 5.  That's $25.
     3b.  Determined:  Buy about 20 team roll-ups.  That's $100.

     4.  This is a SYSTEM here so everyone pay attention:
     4a.  Send in Roll-ups early and load up a tournament arena or whatever, so you 
can get the overviews back REALLY REALLY early.
     4b.  Scum go for Rookie tourney.  Run only really good Scum set-ups.  You all 
know how to check those physicals for Luck.  If not, then you need to learn.
     4c.  Aimed Blows for Rookie Tourney.  Again, check those Luck areas.  If they 
aren't lucky, or a really nice set-up, run something else.
     4d.  Prepare to run all of the nice roll-ups you have that are lucky in the 
Rookie tourney.  Don't design them for a Rookie tourney, design them for the later 
tourneys.  After the tourney you can then calculate FE for warriors and they become 
the warriors from #2 above.  By doing this, you always keep a fresh group of good 
warriors in the fights.  Watch these guys in detail.  Change weapons looking for a 
favorite.  They are not going to win the Rookie tourney (most likely).  Just find that 
weapon and you increase your opportunities in the next tourneys.  Really nice to do at 
the FTF since you can change strategies in every fight....
     4e.  RUN ALL OF YOUR WARRIORS OTHER THAN THE ROOKIES FIRST.  Then pick out your 
absolutely BEST rookies and get their strategies in.  Early on you have to take the 
time to WORK, so that later you can have the fun of getting late into the rounds on 
Sunday.
     4f.  After the FTF you should have a good idea about where some of your warriors 
are at in FE (some of the best ones end up 1-3-0 and then you fight twice in basic 
arena and they run hard in the novices or whatever--just find that damn favorite 
weapon!).  Be prepared to not look deeply into a fight.  Scan for criticals from 
weapon attacks (you may have just found your favorite weapon!) and personal strategy 
of your guy.  Only care about your opponent if you end up matching up against him a 
second time.
     4g.  KEEP PERSONAL RECORDS.
     4g1.  You should be able to list a warriors STATS, END, ENC, HP, & DMG on one 
line and immediately following that line you should have ten boxes.  You need to keep 
track of every fight IMMEDIATELY, not later.  Prepare that same warrior's fight 
IMMEDIATELY, not later.  Mark in the box if he wins or loses.  Make it simple.  You 
should be able to scan one sheet of paper and know exactly how all of your warriors 
are performing in wins and losses.  THIS ALLOWS YOU TO FOCUS more attention on those 
guys with one or less losses.  Remove any confusion of what to do with fight sheets 
(remember that you will have a lot of them).  Just put all fight sheets in one big 
pile, first on bottom, last one on top.  (In case you need to get to them; like you 
are meeting a warrior you fought before you know exactly where it is--it's in the 
pile... not anywhere else.)
     4g2.  After all fights are done on Saturday, sit in the same room and prepare 
your warriors for the Sunday morning.  All turn sheets need to be in really early 
Sunday, so prepare them while everything is in your head NOT AFTER DINNER. 
     4g3.  At night in your room after you've visited with the managers, scan the 
warriors you are most interested in and ESPECIALLY the ones with only one or less 
losses.  Bleed over those fights looking for that favorite weapon, better strategy vs. 
certain styles... et cetera.  Change the strategy sheet only if you REALLY think it's 
better than the one you just made for that Sunday morning.  If you aren't absolutely 
sure, then don't change anything.  Go with your first instinct and wait until after 
the first fight on Sunday.
     4g4.  NEVER NEVER NEVER talk about how good your warriors are that are winning.  
NEVER NEVER NEVER divulge strategy.  NEVER NEVER NEVER offer to allow someone to look 
at the warriors you have that are doing well.  NEVER NEVER NEVER... this means even 
your BEST FRIENDS.  Some managers parlay in-between their groups but what do you do 
when you match up against the guy who now knows A LOT about your best warrior?  NO ONE 
should have any idea of what you do to run a warrior.  It is best if no one even knows 
who the hell runs a certain warrior until there are only five left and that fifth one 
is yours.  Blindside everyone with your warrior.  Never talk about him until you have 
won the TC.  AND ALWAYS MAKE A MENTAL NOTE of the bastard that just won that 
tournament and the runner-up since you will probably be facing those same two warriors 
down the line in another tourney.
     4h.  Remember to work on your warriors.  The closer it gets to Sunday the more 
free time you have, since you'll have a continually shrinking stream of guys to do 
anything with.  Elimination sucks but it is inevitable.
     4i.  FTF--Don't ever try to manage more than 30 warriors (and even that's 
tough!).  If you run more than that then I'd say 25-30 guys are managed by you in 
every round, the others fend for themselves until they end up without a loss (gaining 
your attention on your warrior win/loss sheet) or Sunday comes around.  Best thing to 
do about more than 30 warriors is to have them in the Rookie Tourney.  Whatever makes 
it to Sunday you start to change strategies for.  Saturday is their time to shine by 
themselves.  This is possible since there are SO MANY WARRIORS in the Rookies tourney 
that it's almost impossible to know what style you are fighting until round 5+.  This 
makes it easy for warriors to hide.  Another thing you'd like to do is to spread your 
warriors into various classifications.  You're only hurting yourself if all 30 
warriors are in the same class.  A contingent of 15 Rookies, 10 Novices, 5 
Apprentices, 5 Initiates, a few Adepts... you get the picture.  If you run bad 
warriors, you will be sitting around Sunday watching everyone else play.  30 good 
warriors should keep you in the action.
     4j.  Style lists.  At your table everyone put a style list out (hotel stapler can 
be used).  NAME NUMBER STYLE, that's it.  If your group wants more, then make sure 
that everyone is willing to do it.  For example:  'Name', 'Number', 'Style', 
'Handedness', 'Manager Who put the Name In', 'Round' (this way you can ask about a 
warrior directly from the guy at your table who fought him).  Don't waste your time 
with anything else.  Some managers share their styles.  I am of the mind of not doing 
it, but that also means that you won't get help from other managers' tables when you 
start going around other to tables to ask if you can see their lists... so pick your 
poison.  Maybe just don't do it for your favorite warriors, and anything in the 
rookies... whatever....  However, DO NOT LIE.  If you decide to swap styles with 
another manager you need to be truthful.  Lying will get you outcast VERY QUICKLY.  
Don't become the persona non grata.
     4k.  Sunday's late fights will eat you up sometimes.  You know the guy's style... 
he may be reading a fight you had with some other guy and he's trying to judge your 
strategy... should I run decise... he may run decise... should I run response and 
blast him out.... how about no tactic... he doesn't do any damage, I should armor 
up... faster weapon... damn damn damn.... decisions, decisions.  These are why the 
managers whom win TCs like to play tournaments.  Outguessing your opponent is quite a 
bit of satisfaction, especially the old-time managers.  It's a little bit infectious.  
You won't even see Guardian come alive until it the last rounds, and there are many 
like him.  Go with your gut feeling and make the choice yourself.  DO NOT TAKE THE 
CHOICES FROM OTHERS.  (There have been managers getting one guy to alter his 
strategies, only after to tell the guy's opponent (who won, by the way) that he got 
the guy to go decisive since he knew that HE (the opponent and winner) was running 
responsive....)  TRUST NO ONE... refer to #G4 if anything is unclear.
     4l.  After Sunday is over, (and you most probably won't have a TC) you can talk 
DM with everyone else in the bar or at a restraunt, but this time stay around 
Soultaker, Consortium and the DOOMcorps (if the Doom Group is still coherent from all 
the booze) since they are the most fun (at least when I've gone).  Talk about your 
warriors then but not longer than five minutes on your WHOLE GROUP; everyone (just 
like you) will be having DM hangovers... now is time for fun and Grudge-Matches.  RSI 
will sometimes allow managers to run one warrior as an extra fight versus any other 
warrior (in the same tournament class) of a manager there at the FTF.  Makes for some 
fun.
     4l1.  Grudge-Matches.  VERY IMPORTANT:  Do not fight a in a grudge match that 
will count as one FE if that FE is going to put him over the threshold of the next 
tourney.  Don't hurt yourself, just fight a different guy.
     4m.  Spend the time until the wee hours of the morning with any drunks that are 
left.  Have fun, and if you are staying Monday night too, then see who else is also 
staying and join the group.  As long as you are not a weirdo during the tourney, don't 
smell bad (shower EVERY DAY--maybe even twice a day to avoid this, if necessary), and 
aren't annoyingly talking about your warriors/teams then most DMers will be happy to 
let you come along with them.  If you want to get to know people early then come in on 
Thursday.  Suck up your pride and say hello to people.  The front desk can help you 
with who's in the RSI group.  Some people are friendly, and others are busy with their 
families and don't have time to chat, but for the most part you'll meet some cool guys 
in the lounge/bar.  Don't be offensive, not everyone will agree with your ideas.  They 
may be really wrong but just agree to disagree and buy the guy a beer or something.  
Again, you may be the one who's wrong....  The whole idea is to hear LOTS of VIEWS on 
the game, make friends, and try to win the fights.  

     Most important:  Never take a loss personally.  If you lose, then so what.  So 
did every other guy who didn't get a TC (and that's a lot of guys).  Just remember 
that by following good tournament preparedness, you will one day be the Tournament 
Champion, and the guy you just beat will sincerely congratulate you on your hard 
fought victory.

                               Brought to you by Pagan