DUEL 2 NEWSLETTER Date : 09/05/2015 Duedate: 09/18/2015 NOBLISH ISLAND ARENA DM-93 TURN-437 This Weeks Top Honors THE DUELMASTER IS NOT ENOUGH BASH BROS LEFTOVERS (1685) (93-9834) [5-1-0,66] Chartered Recognition Leader Unchartered Recognition Leader LUSTFUL TRAMP NOT ENOUGH RAINBOW BRIGADE (1674) BASH BROS LEFTOVERS (1685) (93-9829) [3-2-0,29] (93-9834) [5-1-0,66] Popularity Leader This Weeks Favorite NOT ENOUGH HAWAIIAN SHADOW BASH BROS LEFTOVERS (1685) RAINBOW BRIGADE (1674) (93-9834) [5-1-0,66] (93-9765) [1-9-0,14] THE CURRENT TOP TEAM BASH BROS LEFTOVERS (1685) TEAMS ON THE MOVE TOP CAREER HONORS Team Name Point Gain Chartered Team 1. RAINBOW BRIGADE (1674) 48 2. BASH BROS LEFTOVERS (1685) 29 RAINBOW BRIGADE (1674) 3. FARM ANIMALS (1682) 0 Unchartered Team 4. ANGELS OF ANARCHY (1687) 0 5. KRAKEN'S DEN (1681) 0BASH BROS LEFTOVERS (1685) The Top Teams Career Win-Loss Record W L K % Win-Loss Record Last 3 Turns W L K 1/ 1*BASH BROS LEFTOVE (1685) 24 6 0 80.0 1/ 1*BASH BROS LEFTOVE (1685) 12 3 0 2- 2*ANGELS OF ANARCHY (1687) 3 2 0 60.0 2/ 3 RAINBOW BRIGADE (1674) 7 7 2 3- 3*FARM ANIMALS (1682) 14 10 1 58.3 3- 2*FARM ANIMALS (1682) 6 4 0 4/ 5 RAINBOW BRIGADE (1674) 15 29 3 34.1 4- 4*ANGELS OF ANARCHY (1687) 3 2 0 5- 4*KRAKEN'S DEN (1681) 3 7 0 30.0 5- 5*KRAKEN'S DEN (1681) 2 3 0 '*' Unchartered team '-' Team did not fight this turn (###) Avoid teams by their Team Id ##/## This turn's/Last turn's rank TEAM SPOTLIGHT CONSORTIUM RESPONSES TO RECENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 1. Should I take the Red Book and the CIC papers for their word? Do I need them? The Red Book is mostly helpful, occasionally misleading, and often called The Red Book of Lies. Use it carefully. The CIC, available in the Noblish Isle arena, is a compilation of empirical data by many managers working together. It can be "trusted," but it has a minor error here and there. The best information is available on line. Realize this: there is nothing out there which is perfect. Note: ALL newbies in Noblish Isle should request the CIC package from RSI. It will be invaluable. 2. If you put your fighter's favorite weapon on their side, as a backup weapon, will they still grab it, even though they have a weapon in their hand? Backups are interesting. If you put a backup in the primary hand and the warrior is already holding a primary weapon, he will not try to pull the backup. If you put a backup in the off-hand, and he already is holding an off-hand weapon, he will not try to pull the backup. (E.g., primary backups ONLY go in the primary hand and off-hand backups ONLY go in the off-hand.) Realize, though, that a warrior will not automatically draw a backup when that hand is empty. The draw is dependent on many things like luck rolls, heat of the action status, his deftness and/or coordination etc. He most will likely, but not always, try to draw the backup. 3. When you go to ADM, do you still "burn" skills or is that only during BASIC? Any time, whether basic or ADM, you raise a stat which contains skills, you are burning those skills. Burnt skills are not really a "bad" thing, especially in basic where any skill one can get is a good thing. Burning skills is only a potential bad thing for warriors who plan to or have already, earned all twenty skills of a type. 4. Can I downchallenge? What is downchallenging, anyway? A downchallenge occurs when one challenges a warrior lower in recognition points than oneself. There is nothing in the "rules" which precludes this. In some arenas and some circles (usually those Andorian leaning) downchallenging is considered unsportsmanlike and a "no no." In others, especially Darkholm-leaning, it is considered perfectly appropriate. Note: some believe the recognition ranking system is a farce or near farce. Consortium members feel it is a very appropriate rating system. 5. When should I DA a warrior? That is a very difficult question to answer, because the real answer is that DAing is a very personal decision. The Consortium very, very seldom uses the DA, thinking that any warrior can win; there is much to be learned from running "difficult" warriors; and being unwilling to take that nearly automatic loss to the record. Other managers and groups DA freely. Perhaps these are the most common reasons? "... I do not know how to/cannot make that warrior win. It is an ugly design. I want only godlings in my stables. The warrior is greatly hosed. It is just not a good enough design. It is not a tournament quality warrior. It just will not win. Etc. ..." So, there is no real answer for when you SHOULD DA; rather it is a question of when do you WANT TO DA. 6. What makes a "scum" really a scum? "Scum" tends to apply to a warrior that wins by absorbing hit point damage, wearing an opponent out rather than damaging him, and seldom swinging (and often not even carrying) a real weapon. Shields tend to be a scum's best friend. While the Total Parry style is considered the best scum style, other styles can scum. Very high CN, WL, and ST are common attributes for a scum. 7. Can a high will "15, 17" and a low wit "9" make it to ADM? Most certainly warriors as such can graduate. (Make it to ADM) Almost any design can make it to ADM. The Consortium finds a 3 will warrior to be the most difficult. Here are a few of the most recent of the 1000+ Consortium graduates which fit your question: 11-5-11-11-9-16-21 AB 11-16-14-5-16-9-13 TP 11-16-15-7-16-5-14 BA 10-10-10-4-17-9-14 TP All graduated with winning records. Of course, it would be "easier" to manage and graduate warriors with better designs than these. 8. What numbers should I watch out for, and where should I place them to make my warriors more lucky? We Consortium Managers do not believe one can make or design luck into a warrior. WE know of no model for such. Luck or blessing or hosing is just that: the luck of the roll. 9. What do I need to do to make my fighter want to wield two weapons, rather than one? All, or virtually all, warriors can wield a weapon in each hand. All it takes is listing a primary and a secondary weapon on the strategy sheet. If the question is how to get a warrior to wield two weapons without a penalty message then you must make sure your warrior has the strength, size, and deftness to do so. A warrior may not wield a two-handed weapon (such as a HL or a GS, etc.) in one hand, hence cannot wield two such weapons together. The real question might be, should a warrior have a weapon in each hand? My answer is usually "no." Having only one weapon can allow a warrior to use certain weapons two-handed (e.g. BS) making it more powerful. Having one weapon means less carry/weight. Having one only means the warrior will not attempt to swing with a "lesser" weapon. (Off-hand is lesser than primary.) BUT, some warriors do better with a shield to parry alongside a true weapon. There are other reasons to wield two, but I rate wielding one best in 80%+ of the circumstances. 10. How can I kill? Killing can be more complicated than it seems. To kill, first, you have to win. A warrior can be killed outright by another warrior. Also a losing warrior can go to the infirmary and randomly die. Approximately 2% of all warriors that lose a battle can die randomly. While that "kill" was somewhat randomly caused, it still goes on the winner's record and the loser is dead. So, DO NOT LOSE. It can be life threatening. Direct killing is highly dependent on the death die roll. High kill desires and aiming for vitals (HE, AB, CH) optimize the warrior's potential to kill. A blow to a vital, whether aimed there or not, may (die roll) cause the hitter to get a death intent statement. A direct kill will not occur without getting this death statement. (Example statement: "wants to be the only one to come out of this fight alive.") Death after the statement is dependent on many things, some, dependent on the loser's makeup. After a death intent, the loser may die, or the loser may give up, or, the seemingly loser can even fight back and possibly win or even kill for a victory. -- Friendly Farmer, Consortium affiliate ***---------*---------*---------*---------**---------*---------*---------*---------*** Skill Areas in Duel 2 What does each skill represent? I don't believe the rules give a description of what they do. Here is Assur's description. Attack - How good is your warrior at attacking? Note that your attack is modified by your opponents defenses and various other things, but this is one of the easiest skills to understand. Can I hit my opponent? Countered by defense and parry. Decisiveness - This skill was added later in development It is believed to be a primary contributor to determining who attacks first. That is the only thing I would say it for sure does. And even in that, it is only one of many factors and someone with way lower decisiveness can attack before someone with much more due to those other factors. Defense - This skill determines how well a warrior avoids an attack. High Activity level also helps if you rely on defense skills to win. (Though high activity level is good for many/most warriors). Initiative - This skill is primary in keeping your attacks going, one after another. It also plays a huge role whenever there is a pause in the fight. Which warrior is going to attack next? Countered by Riposte. Parry - This skill determines how well a warrior parries an attack. Note that it is possible for warriors to slip past parry with high attack, but this is the other primary defensive skill. Riposte - As far as I know, this skill is only for taking the initiative from your opponent. When used, it always follows a successful parry/dodge with a line of text reading something Riposting warrior feints an attack, trying to disrupt the rhythm of the fight. In terms of importance, decisiveness is HUGE early on. Parry, also, is enough to win fights with by itself early on. The balance of the game is very nice, though, and all of the skills are important in some form or fashion. However, as your warriors advance higher and higher in the game, the ultimate importance of the skills eventually becomes: DEFENSE > ATTACK > PARRY > DECISIVENESS > INITIATIVE > RIPOSTE. -- Assur DUELMASTER'S COLUMN Notes from the arena champ. It seems like every time my favorite meals come around, there are either no leftovers afterwards or not enough to satisfy me. I guess that means I need to have these meals more often. It probably also isn't a big surprise that there aren't enough left over, since I'll have the tendency to eat a bit more than normal for those meals. Meanwhile, that meat loaf from two weeks ago probably needs to be thrown out, now. SPY REPORT It's me, The Unknown Spymaster, back to give you this week's Spy Report. Sit back in your seats and we'll have more fun than a barrel of Zontanis. Hey everybody, watch out for WILD JULIO, who flew up 15 points in the rankings after mashing EMBEZZLING SCRIBE like a melon. Keep your eye on this guy. And falling like a basher in the top ten was TOO MANY, who dropped 4 points after a disappointing (to say the least) bout with DANGEROUS CRIMINAL. Going for the gusto and coming up with aught but bloody knuckles was NOBLISH ISLAND's VENEMOUS CONCUBINE, who was turned away from the Duelmastership by NOT ENOUGH. An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but an onion a day keeps T.P.s at bay. Here is other news that is of note. Death is kind of like a new puppy: he's always around wanting to play. (Ha Zontani, how's that for a wise saying?). Remember: alliances are great, but try and take your ally in the arena with you and see what happens. Well, there's the manager of the NOBLISH ISLAND giving me the 'cut' sign (or is that 'They're going to strangle you in the alley?). Okay, so I may not be the world's best comedian, but then you guys aren't the world's best warriors. Its been fun, and I'm sure you enjoyed it (boos). Now that I've got you worked up for Snide Clemens, I'll be leaving-- The Unknown Spymaster DUELMASTER W L K POINTS TEAM NAME NOT ENOUGH 9834 5 1 0 66 BASH BROS LEFTOVERS (1685) ADEPTS W L K POINTS TEAM NAME -PLOW HORSE 9816 5 0 0 44 FARM ANIMALS (1682) CHALLENGER INITIATES W L K POINTS TEAM NAME SOMEONE ELSE ATE 9833 5 1 0 29 BASH BROS LEFTOVERS (1685) LUSTFUL TRAMP 9829 3 2 0 29 RAINBOW BRIGADE (1674) MEAT STORM 9828 4 1 1 26 RAINBOW BRIGADE (1674) -PRETTY KITTY 9815 4 1 1 24 FARM ANIMALS (1682) INITIATES W L K POINTS TEAM NAME TOO MANY 9832 5 1 0 23 BASH BROS LEFTOVERS (1685) INITIATES W L K POINTS TEAM NAME MYSTERIOUS 9831 4 2 0 23 BASH BROS LEFTOVERS (1685) -FAT COW 9812 2 2 0 21 FARM ANIMALS (1682) -SWEETNESS 9841 1 0 0 21 ANGELS OF ANARCHY (1687) -ROOSTER 9813 2 3 0 20 FARM ANIMALS (1682) BUTCHER'S HAND 9827 2 3 1 19 RAINBOW BRIGADE (1674) MOLDY 9830 5 1 0 17 BASH BROS LEFTOVERS (1685) WILD JULIO 9845 1 1 0 16 RAINBOW BRIGADE (1674) -SPICULUS 9808 2 0 0 15 KRAKEN'S DEN (1681) HAWAIIAN SHADOW 9765 1 9 0 14 RAINBOW BRIGADE (1674) -AUTUMNBE 9643 3 2 0 12 CAVEAT EMPTOR (1657) -PRISCUS 9807 1 1 0 11 KRAKEN'S DEN (1681) -SUGAR 9840 1 0 0 9 ANGELS OF ANARCHY (1687) -MOCKINGBIRD 9814 1 4 0 7 FARM ANIMALS (1682) -DRAXXUS 9644 1 4 0 7 CAVEAT EMPTOR (1657) -SALTY 9844 1 0 0 6 ANGELS OF ANARCHY (1687) -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) -TETRAITES 9809 0 2 0 2 KRAKEN'S DEN (1681) -CARPOPHORUS 9811 0 2 0 2 KRAKEN'S DEN (1681) -ATTILIUS 9810 0 2 0 2 KRAKEN'S DEN (1681) -GINA 9843 0 1 0 1 ANGELS OF ANARCHY (1687) -SPICE 9842 0 1 0 1 ANGELS OF ANARCHY (1687) '-' denotes a warrior who did not fight this turn. THE DEAD W L K TEAM NAME SLAIN BY TURN Revenge? PERSISTANT BEGGA 0 0 0 MEAT STORM 9828 437 NONE TIGER MOTHER 9767 3 4 1 RAINBOW BRIGADE 1674 PRETTY KITTY 9815 434 PERSONAL ADS Congrats to The Duelmaster, even if he is a mere Leftover. -- Friendly Farmer Moldy, I don't mind moldy. I can peck at anything. I can crow at anything too! Cockadoodle do dah ha ha ha.ha. -- Rooster Not Enough, yes it was; yes it was. -- Pretty Kitty The Userous Merchant, thanks for the discount. (wink) -- Plow Horse Sugar! That's what I say, "sugar!". I could say "pshaw" or something similar, but "sugar" describes it well. -- Mockingbird (mumbling and chirping weakly about the loss to Sugar) Butcher's Hand, well, I was really worried when I read that matchup. My greatest nightmare! I was awfully lucky to get out of that alive, much less with a win. What's with that? -- Fat Cow All, the best information available to a newbie who is unable to access the internet is the CIC package from RSI. Lots of info there. -- Friendly Farmer Health. Humility. Honor. -- Friendly Farmer Arya -- #1- I believe the CIC has a decent skill chart. Realize that the skill charts are not official, but the work of years of effort. In fact, things about the skill charts are still being discovered today. #2- I've posted my definition of skills as a spotlight this turn. #3- Your definition of the slash tactic is as good as anyone's. My own belief: Increase Initiative and one or both of attack/damage. It decreases endurance, makes you slower, and presumably defenses. It may decrease other attributes as well. It works VERY, VERY well as a counter to the dodge tactic. (When I say very, very well, it doesn't mean an automatic but it helps a lot) #4- I assume right/left attack location matters relatively little except as you mentioned the dominant hand. #5- part 1: Death... There is a death subroutine that is used for all death in the arena. You can also die in the infirmary. The death subroutine starts with a death intent comment: Killer fights with a deadly bloodlust. Then if it enters the subroutine, you will see a non-crit attack followed by a hit to a vital (head or body). Then your killer will make a bunch of attacks, hitting vitals every time, followed by the death. part 2: Mighty Blows & Little Damage. The damage comment after you hit a warrior is (I believe) a description of how much damage your attack did after armor mitigation. I believe it is a raw number. They don't have a ton to do with death, other than how you get to the death intent or infirmary. -- Assur LAST WEEK'S FIGHTS NOT ENOUGH bested VENEMOUS CONCUBINE in a crowd pleasing 1 minute Title fight. SOMEONE ELSE ATE unbelievably bested HAWAIIAN SHADOW in a 3 minute battle. TOO MANY was overpowered by DANGEROUS CRIMINAL in a 1 minute mismatched duel. MYSTERIOUS overpowered MORDANT DESERTER in a 1 minute one-sided fight. MOLDY bested OSKSI NOBLE in a 1 minute brawl. MEAT STORM slaughtered PERSISTANT BEGGAR in a 1 minute mismatched fight. LUSTFUL TRAMP overpowered EMBEZZLING SCRIBE in a 1 minute mismatched brawl. BUTCHER'S HAND overpowered MORDANT DESERTER in a 1 minute uneven melee. WILD JULIO won victory over EMBEZZLING SCRIBE in a 1 minute beginner's duel. BATTLE REPORT MOST POPULAR RECORD DURING THE LAST 10 TURNS |FIGHTING STYLE FIGHTS FIGHTING STYLE W - L - K PERCENT| |BASHING ATTACK 3 TOTAL PARRY 12 - 1 - 0 92 | |SLASHING ATTACK 2 WALL OF STEEL 9 - 3 - 0 75 | |WALL OF STEEL 2 PARRY-LUNGE 7 - 4 - 1 64 | |AIMED BLOW 1 BASHING ATTACK 31 - 18 - 1 63 | |PARRY-LUNGE 1 SLASHING ATTACK 14 - 11 - 2 56 | |PARRY-RIPOSTE 1 AIMED BLOW 10 - 13 - 1 43 | |PARRY-STRIKE 0 STRIKING ATTACK 13 - 17 - 1 43 | |LUNGING ATTACK 0 LUNGING ATTACK 8 - 12 - 0 40 | |STRIKING ATTACK 0 PARRY-STRIKE 1 - 2 - 0 33 | |TOTAL PARRY 0 PARRY-RIPOSTE 3 - 14 - 0 18 | Turn 437 was great if you Not so great if you used The fighting styles of the used the fighting styles: the fighting styles: top eleven warriors are: AIMED BLOW 1 - 0 PARRY-STRIKE 0 - 0 4 BASHING ATTACK PARRY-LUNGE 1 - 0 PARRY-RIPOSTE 0 - 1 2 SLASHING ATTACK SLASHING ATTACK 2 - 0 LUNGING ATTACK 0 - 0 1 TOTAL PARRY BASHING ATTACK 3 - 0 STRIKING ATTACK 0 - 0 1 WALL OF STEEL WALL OF STEEL 1 - 1 TOTAL PARRY 0 - 0 1 PARRY-LUNGE 1 LUNGING ATTACK 1 STRIKING ATTACK TOP WARRIOR OF EACH STYLE FIGHTING STYLE WARRIOR W L K PNTS TEAM NAME BASHING ATTACK NOT ENOUGH 9834 5 1 0 66 BASH BROS LEFTOVERS (1685) Note: Warriors have a winning record and are an Adept or Above. The overall popularity leader is NOT ENOUGH 9834. The most popular warrior this turn was HAWAIIAN SHADOW 9765. The ten other most popular fighters were NOT ENOUGH 9834, MYSTERIOUS 9831, LUSTFUL TRAMP 9829, BUTCHER'S HAND 9827, WILD JULIO 9845, SOMEONE ELSE ATE 9833, TOO MANY 9832, MOLDY 9830, MEAT STORM 9828, and 0. The least popular fighter this week was MEAT STORM 9828. The other ten least popular fighters were MOLDY 9830, TOO MANY 9832, SOMEONE ELSE ATE 9833, WILD JULIO 9845, BUTCHER'S HAND 9827, LUSTFUL TRAMP 9829, MYSTERIOUS 9831, NOT ENOUGH 9834, HAWAIIAN SHADOW 9765, and 0. REALITY SIMULATIONS E-MAIL ADDRESSES For those of you who have e-mail access, you may find it more convenient to e-mail us! At this time, we cannot accept e-mailed strategy sheets, but we can accept your personal ads. If you would like to e-mail your personal ads, team spotlights, and DM columns, e-mail them to this address: ADS@REALITY.COM Our Customer Service Department has a separate e-mail address. If you have questions or any other requests, feel free to send us e-mail to this address: CSR@REALITY.COM Thank you. We wish you the best of luck in your games! -- RSI A NOTE ON MAILMEN In response to the articles on new fighting styles, those were good, but how can you forget our most favorite warrior who has a style all his own? The Mailman! To Duelmasters he is our most sacred person. I mean, how many of you managers out their have sat down and calculated what day your Duelmasters will arrive and have sat waiting for it to arrive, while unknown to you, your mailman is fighting away to get your Duelmasters delivered. Let's review him... ST - should be around 19. He needs to heft two medium bags, cloth mail armor and a ton of rubber bands. CN - 13, give or take a few. He does get bitten by dogs often. SZ - Any. WT - At least 10. He often likes to read the mail. WL - Try about 20. He must endure all kinds of weather. SP - 16 is good. He needs to run across streets in traffic. DF - 10 is good. Sometimes he has to carry packages. This setup should get you a good mailman but they are hard to come by. If you can come up with any better, diplo me. I am: Staple Gun mgr. of Technet (3) The New Deal (23) I am currently working on the U.P.S. and Federal Express warriors. "Strikers R Us" Greetings, everyone. It is I, Talon, again. I am very glad to see everyone participating in the arena and sharing their thoughts on styles and strategies. This turn I will take on the striking attack style, which is certainly one of my favorites. I believe the striker is one of the easiest styles to run, and one in which no team should be without. A high-powered striker can diversify and empower your team. A well run striker can beat any other style, period, at any level in regular Duelmasters. In arenas where scum TPs are rampant, strikers are just the answer as they can attack for up to 12 minutes or more. Strikers are versatile. They can do exceptionally well with a dagger as a weapon or with a halberd. They can do well with no armor or with plate armor. Stats: Biff Primal Solid Perfect ST 5-21 9-17 13 15 CN 3+ 3+ 6 3 SZ 9-21 3-17 9 5 WT 3-17 17 + 17 21 WL 9-17 13 + 17 15 SP 5+ 5-13 9 8 DF 9+ 9-17 13 17 With the way I design strikers, there are essentially two strikers that evolve. The BIFF and the PRIMAL. The Biff striker is typically one that is not looking long- term, but one which I want to run and have fun with. With this striker, I try to have one stat (wit, will, or deftness) which is extraordinary, one which is average, and the other ends up being at some non-normal level. Some examples of the Biff are: 10- 10-11-4-17-17-15, 7-11-17-17-11-6-15, 9-5-14-17-11-13-15, 4-8-17-15-13-10-17, and 21- 3-15-21-5-8-11. With these warriors, the emphasis is on having fun and learning more about the style. The Primal is essentially a Primus-quality warrior. In this category, the striker will be designed with stats that most other managers will gasp, "OH MY, WHY DID YOU MAKE HIM A STRIKER?" It is also the warrior that will be Duelmaster for 8 straight turns and will go to ADM with a 16-4-2 record, with 4 Masters and an Ad Ex. The key here is to create a warrior with AT LEAST a 17 wit and 15 deftness, along with a 13+ will and who will do normal damage or better. The goal with the Primal is a 21 wit and 17 deftness, because this will ensure a great warrior. Weapons and Armor: As for weapons, the best striking weapons that I have found and used are the dagger, epee, scimitar, broadsword, quarterstaff, greatsword, longsword, war hammer, and sometimes the short spear. I don't run my strikers with shields or off-hand weapons, as it takes away from their attack. The heaviest armor I will use is padded leather. Always wear a steel cap or a helm. Strategy (general): Min. 1 2 3 4 5 6+ Desp OE 10 8 6 6 6 5 5 AL 10 5 4 2 2 1 8 KD 6 8 6 6 6 5 5 attack arms/legs/head -- take your pick protect arms/legs/head -- take your pick off tactic decise, slash, bash, depending on weapon def tactic response is best; try dodge though. With this strategy, a striker with a normal endurance should fight for eight minutes as a scum TP and come out on top, outrageously victorious. Just match your weapon with your tactic and only use the tactics in minute one or desperation. If you have any further questions on this or any other style, feel free to diplo me. Talon, mgr. Eagle's Claw HOW I MADE DUELMASTER IN THREE EASY STEPS OR a new look for Aimed Blows Greetings and salutations, all. Here's a new twist on aimed blows I haven't seen before....one that works, at least for me! Here's what I did with Rex Walters, my first Duelmaster in the Free Blades transfer arena, DM 70. ST: 17 (for good damage, attack and parry skills) CN: 13 (gonna need every hit point he can get) SZ: 4 (smaller the better!) WT: 4 (overrated for aimed blows!) WL: 21 (if ya try this method, 17 is a MINIMUM) SP: 4 (ya want NO speed, none, nothing, zero!) DF: 21 (better max this one out too, at least a 19) You laugh at me? I started expert in both attack and parry! (OK, so I got lucky, I didn't expect either one of em.) But both are in reach with a little luck. Hey, if ya can get that strength to 21 you're almost guaranteed those experts... though a bit more CON would be nice. But how do I RUN this monstrosity, you may ask? Why, I'm glad you inquired! LOTS of armor. The hit points combined with, say, platemail should win this character a lot of fights. But, while I've picked up a few easy wins scumming, that's not really what this character does best. I use the only weapon Rex is well suited to: the bare hand. With an offhand small shield or shortsword, so I can take advantage of that expert parry rating. So: FI-SH, APM-H. And I run him at a 4 offensive effort, with a matching 4 activity level. He can last through the initial onslaught of nearly any offensive, then smash them.... like a good waste. And with that monster endurance and good damage, no one scums this warrior! I attack and protect the head, usually, and keep the kill desire high... 5-7 generally. Now, how to become Duelmaster? Well, step one is fight your first fight... and train your CON. Step two, now that you're in the arena, is get a fight with an up-and-coming young warrior from the Duelmaster's team... and kill them. (I randomly matched up with, and killed, a member of the incoming Duelmaster's team...luck helps, ya know.) Offensives that wear themselves out but haven't quite dropped are the easiest to kill. Then, when the Duelmaster comes at you (bragging about how he "only" needs to beat you twice to assure his ascension to the Isle) you stomp him. Badly. Once you're on that lofty throne he won't even be able to bloodfeud you, since you can bet he's not gonna be anywhere near the challenger champions after losing to a 2-fight warrior (just ask Ciron of ENDS WITH IRON, now in AD). There are drawbacks, of course. Once you get to that level, odds are you're gonna get stomped like a stuck pig (I was most challenged 2 turns in a row after this trick... Oo! I love mixed metaphors...) But... even a 4 wit warrior can learn skills against gladiators with 50 fights! Rex is now 7-3-1. All three losses have come against warriors now in AD. In those ten matches, he's trained his strength and constitution once each, and learned twenty skills, including his adex in both parry and attack. And boy, is it fun humiliating some of those "gods" bound for AD! What else can one do with this warrior? Well, Rex is, get this, well suited to an off-hand epee! He wouldn't dare use one as a primary weapon, but its a great off- hand toy... Does he have what it takes to be a long-term winner? Who knows? He's probably the DUMBEST aimed blow to ever make Duelmaster... He's in the Challenger Champions and climbing....and he'll meet ya in AD! Amazingly enough, this is not an isolated fluke. We entered a similar warrior into Bloodgames (with the 4's as 3's, and a bit more CON). That warrior, Jalon, is now in AD after going 9-1-5 and finishing on TOP of his Bloodgames arena. Ah, just thought I'd mention I have had a second bare-handed Duelmaster, now... Seeker Still Water in DM 74 is an open-hand lunger, Duelmaster at 8-1... but that's another story... --Khyron mgr., Pitt Gladiators (2,29,56,103) Jayhawks (70) Silent Storm (65,74,75) and numerous others.... THE WALL OF STEEL AS A BERSERKER This article is for newer players; more experienced managers will, I'm sure, have much more sophisticated ideas about warrior design and strategy. This will enable a newbie to design a competent warrior who should be able to achieve a better than 50/50 record. The wall of steel, or "waste," is often considered the second scummiest style in Duelmasters. I love the style, but I don't run mine that way; I prefer to think of the waste as a fierce dervish ripping into his opponent like an airplane propeller. In accordance with this view, most walls of steel that I design couldn't scum if they wanted to (well all right, sometimes it happens by accident if the opposing warrior is going all-out and can't last very long). It's fun to run them fast; they get the jump on people who don't expect it of them, and their fights are exciting. Mind you, they don't win as much as if they ran more defensively, but the ones with good stats still do okay (I'll make practically anything a waste and run it, but this article isn't about the ones that a sane manager would DA). So, here is a design for a competent wall of steel: ST 13+ Needed for endurance, damage doing, and weapon selection. CN 9+ You need a passably good con for endurance. SZ 7+ Teeny weenie wastes don't hit hard enough or take enough damage. Real big (15+) is bad because it hurts endurance. WT 13+ Preferably 17. Like any other style, the smarter they are, the better. WL 17+ Needed for endurance, damage-taking, and sheer grit. 21 is recommended. SP 3+ Whatever. DF 7+ Higher deftness is better, but you can get by without it. As you can see, these are fairly easy requirements. Of course, the more wit, will, and deftness, the better your waste will be (same as any other style). If you don't end up with at least good endurance on the overview, the warrior probably isn't going to do very well. With that high will, though, you can bump con a couple of times and you might get good endurance, so there's still a chance. Choose your weapons based on deftness, and your opponent's armor weight. I normally use something like 0-8 SC, 9-12 BS, 13+ GA, backup SC or BS. No shield. Some other good weapons for the waste are QS (only takes 11 ST, and can hit heavy armor), MS, and BA. The war flail isn't a very good weapon, but you can play with it against leather armor. For armor, I usually choose something middling like ARM & H, but will go with APL & H if he has a lot of con. For strategy--I heard a rumor (NOT confirmed) that a wall of steel gets a bonus if his OE equals his KD. Since I don't like to use a kill desire above 6, I don't go by that in the first couple of minutes. Keep the activity level moderate to low; the waste doesn't need to jump around a lot and the way he keeps his weapon moving, he's burning a lot of endurance without that added drain. Attack and defend the arms, like a slasher; a waste is a sort of parry-slasher. A typical strategy for my wastes might look like this: Minute 1 2 3 4 5 6 Desp Offensive 9 8 7 6 5 5 2 Activity 6 5 4 3 2 1 6 Kill des. 6 6 6 6 5 5 2 Att. loc. RA LA RA LA RA LA RA Pro. loc. AM AM AM AM AM AM HE Off tac. none -- -- -- -- -- -- Def tac. -- -- -- -- -- -- P I play with the numbers a lot, depending on what the warrior seems to like. For example, if he doesn't parry too well, I'll give him a more offensive desperation strategy, like 8-4-8-slash. (If I really like a warrior I sometimes use a 7+ KD to try and save his life.) If he never manages to get the jump on anybody, I'll try running him more defensively, like with a first minute of 3-6-3. It's not as much fun as going all out, but it's more fun than losing all the time. You can challenge pretty much any style (lungers aren't recommended). When fighting a warrior you know to be very defensive (a TP, or a scummy variety of PS, PR, PL, or WS), slow down or you will be scummed. For the most part, though, an offensive waste is very versatile and can beat any style. The better his important qualities are (WT, WL, DF, endurance), the better the quality of warriors he can defeat. In other words, if you have a so-so rollup that barely made the minimum requirements, challenge so-so opponents. If you have a good rollup, go for the gold. Challenge warriors with a few more fights than you, so you'll learn plenty of skills--but don't challenge way way up in experience, because it's no fun to lose a good warrior. For the most part, train skills--especially on your challenge strategy, when you're going after someone with more fights! And for sure on the first fight, because you'll likely be matched against someone who can teach you a lot. It's okay to train con once in a while if you need more endurance and damage-taking; and if you have bad luck on the rollup and get "does little damage" or something, you might have to train strength once or twice (no more!). But it's best not to train any other stats until way, way down the road. Ask your DM sponsor or any experienced manager in your arena for more advice (if they tell you I'm full of hot air, they're probably right). A little bit of good advice from a more advanced player can make a big difference in your enjoyment of the game! If you have any questions or suggestions, you can diplo: the She-Puppy, mgr. Mordant Prison DM-1, and others.