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Are You Ready To Take Tournament Play Seriously?

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    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
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