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A Darque Slasher

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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. Bear 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 for my Slashers, 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 warrior with small Size and lots of Strength.
Wit: 11-21. I like fast learners, but I’ve worked with the slow ones before too. It is really dependent on your playing style. I know some managers who will not run anything less than 15, I’m not that jaded yet! 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 at 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 for my Slashers, 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 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, 4 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. 2 Tournament Victors are in the above list, and one will hopefully be one in an upcoming mailer. There 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. 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 my Slasher Riposte better when unmodified. 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 2 and on are the same for most of my strats. If you fight those pesky scum, carry a big weapon (BA is my fave) 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 with Slashers. 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, et al DM 31

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