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Blood on a Purple Robe: A Bloodgames Primer


by One Armed Bandit

Twice a year, there is a great gathering. These tiny men with their stained clothing and great intellects do not look like your traditional gladiators, but they will meet and compete for a chance at Duel2 immortality. No, no, I’m not talking about the managers at the Face-to-Face. I’m talking about the murderous dwarves at the Bloodgames.

Its probably the worst advertised event in Duel2 history. It happens twice a year, every year, and you don’t have to fly across the country to participate. For some, the Bloodgames are just a distant memory of a t-shirt that never arrived, newer managers may have never even heard of it. For others, though, it is a way of life. And it can be your way of life, too.

The cost: $10 to roll up the team, $49 to run them. At each Face-To-Face tourney, two Bloodgames arenas are run. One of them (called the FtF Bloodgames) gets run round-by-round for ten rounds, and warriors are allowed to change their strategies, avoid, and make Bloodfeud challenges. For the other arena (called the Mail-In Bloodgames), there are no bloodfeuds or avoids and each warrior must use the same strategy and train for all ten rounds. You can participate in both even if you don’t attend the FtF, but you’ll be at a slight disadvantage in the FtF Bloodgames (the Mail-In Bloodgames is a perfectly level playing field).

The teams: Each team consists of TEN warriors, one of EACH style. You can design each warrior however you want, as long as the stats add up to 84 points and no stat is lower than a 3 or higher than a 21 (referred to as DYOs or design-your-own warriors). Simply write down the following information on a piece of paper and mail it to RSI (or email it to your name, your account number, the words “Mail-In Bloodgames” or “FtF Bloodgames”, the team name, and all ten warriors (name, style, gender, ST-CN-SZ-WT-WL-SP-DF). If you submit them early enough you will probably get a chance to see the overviews before sending in strategies for each of them (using a normal strategy sheet, remember only one strategy and train for the entire event). If you want to play it safe, however, you can submit strategies along with the team information, just write “NEW” in each of the Warrior ID spots and either “MI BG” or “FTF BG” in the Game # spot. Some managers who are especially hard-core will roll up each team more than once, and look over the overviews to determine which team had the best luck in the roll-up process. Just remember, it costs $10 each time you roll them up.

The rules: So what’s the catch? $59 for 10 design-your-own warriors? Not so fast, buddy. At the end of ten rounds, the top three warriors of different styles from each arena will be granted immortality, trained up to the minimum ADM requirements, and will graduate to ADM. Every other warrior will be gone forever. Executed, freed, or retired to a quiet life on the farm like your childhood dog Buster, whatever helps you sleep at night. If the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd ranked warriors are a LU, a WS, and an AB, then those three will win the prizes. However, if the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd ranked warriors are a LU, a LU, and a WS, the 2nd place LU is out of luck, his prize will drop down to the highest ranking member of a style that isn’t LU or WS. So what does it take to be one of the top ranked warriors? Warriors are ranked based on number of kills, first and foremost, with their record and recognition points being the tie breakers. Oh, did I mention that the chances of dying are FIVE TIMES that of a normal arena?

What to expect: You will run into many opponents who are SZ 3, who have 21 WT and 21 WL, who are using a 10 KD and aiming for the vitals, who are using unusual weapons that Duel2 folklore says have a greater chance of delivering that killing blow, such as the Battle Axe. You may run into such classic archetypes as the 17-3-3-21-21-8-11 ST or the 17-16-3-3-21-3-21 AB.

So why should you play? There are many reasons. You don’t have to feel guilty about killing your friend’s warrior, for starters, because that’s the whole objective. Unique kill text make it all the sweeter, too. You won’t see anyone get “pierced completely through” or “skewered through their vital organs” anywhere else (at least I hope not). Not only is it exciting to read, but my most rewarding warrior came from the Bloodgames and yours could, too. Whether you are a tournament player or an arena player, if your warrior is tough enough to survive the Bloodgames, he’s tough enough for whatever task you set him to. My first Bloodgames graduate was a warrior named Sushi Slinger of Sea Dogs: 17-3-3-21-21-12-7 SL. He left Old Valamantis with a 10-0-3 record and immortality. Since then, he has been a Tournament Victor in the Freshman tourney, a Runner-Up in the ADM tourney, and a three-time Tournament Victor in the Eligibles tourney. He is now fighting in Primus against the best of the best and holding his own. Your Bloodgames graduate could join him in Primus, too.



Tournament prizes are of two varieties. First is the type that gives a warrior a temporary benefit. The second, more powerful type, is the type that permanently alter a warrior’s long-term potential. A sub-category of this second type are the ‘freak’ prizes, i.e. those prizes that allow the creation of a warrior that could not naturally exist.

Some tournament prizes are designed to only give a temporary benefit to a warrior. Immortality is such a prize. Once the warrior reaches ADM, the prize is null and void. The ten skill boost to learned skills is another such prize. It puts the warrior ahead of his peers, but in the long run, it does not change what the warrior will eventually become. The 87-point warrior is another example. Along with the stat-swap prize and DYO, they just give you an extraordinarily good starting warrior, but do not change what the warrior can eventually become. Resurrection is just limited immortality. The five train prize is also a temporary one since those trains will come eventually anyway.

The more powerful class of tournament prizes change the long-term potential of a warrior. The most famous example of this was the prize that added 5 skills to a warrior’s base ratings. That problem was fixed in Gateway, but it still exists in Primus. Another example is the style-swap prize. This prize allows the most skilled fighting styles to get rid of their only weakness, endurance burn. Another long-term prize is the favorites prize. This prize allows a warrior to gain a favorite weapon, rhythm, or tactics that he could not naturally get. All of these prizes allow the creation of ‘freak’ warriors. A freak is a warrior that could not naturally exist. An example would be a wall of steel fighter with very high/very high for a favorite rhythm, or a lunger getting a scimitar favorite (although there are a few running that got this favorite naturally in the old days). Another long-term altering prize is the size prize. This allows a warrior to increase his damage class rating beyond what would have been possible for his previous size. However, this does not create a freak warrior since any warrior grown is simply gaining what a warrior of the new size would naturally have. For instance, a warrior grown from size 6 to size 7 would lose a defense and parry skill, but would also gain awesome damage capability. He is still the equivalent of any warrior born at size 7. The freaks are those warriors that are shrunk, because RSI allows them to keep the damage ratings attained at the larger size, then gain the skills of the lower size. (Example: A size 7 warrior gets Devastating damage, then is shrunk to size 4: He gets to keep Devastating damage while gaining two more parry and defense skills, thus creating a warrior that could not naturally exist, a freak.)

What of the worth of the various tourney prizes? As always, worth is in the coinpurse of the buyer, but in general, some prizes are worth more than others. The most desired prizes (and thus the most valuable) are those that change the long-term potential of a warrior. The favorites prize falls into this category, with the latest offering retailing for around $700 per potion (and there’s three potions per prize!). The bonus potions sold for about $600 per potion. If the style swap were offered again, I’m sure it would command a greater sum. The size potions can go for a couple hundred apiece, and again there are three potions per prize. The stat train prize is a lot less valuable since the trains will come anyway, and it should go for $50-$75 per potion (but there’s five potions to this one). The limited use prizes (resurrection, immortality, swap, 87-point, etc.) will generally sell for around $250 per prize.

Some prizes are more valuable not for what they can do for a warrior’s long term potential but rather for what they can do for a manager’s short term potential to TC. The 10 skill prize was such a prize, as is the 5 stat train prize. Both give a temporary boost to a warrior, but that temporary boost can give a huge advantage over the warrior’s peers. These prizes become even more valuable for TC purposes when RSI fails to put proper restrictions on them. If a winner of multiple 10 skill prizes is allowed to put 20 skills on a single warrior, it gives that warrior a gigantic advantage in an apprentice or initiate tournament.

The real key to tournament prizes, in my opinion, is using them to generate more tournament prizes. Tournament prizes allow you to maintain a stronger stable of warriors than your competitors, and thus give you increased odds to garner more prizes. The best use of tournament prizes is using them in tandem with each other. Resurrection can be used to get back that really blessed, great physicals warrior that got unlucky enough to die, and then immortality can ensure he gets his chance to TC Freshmen, ADM, or Eligibles. The 10 skill prize can be used to give your apprentice a boost, but if it’s used on a favorites modified warrior, he can be a TC contender for adepts and champions as well. Or, as I did, you can take a very developed warrior, give him favorites to make him better, then give him growth potions to put him over the top. The two prizes I’ve used on Psycho Scientist have generated three TC’s in return (so far). One key to discovering these clever uses of TC prizes is to think about where the prizes can be used beyond the obvious first choices. One example is the 5 stat train prize. The most obvious use for that prize is on a warrior in ADM that is blowing out to try to TC either Freshmen, ADM, or Eligibles. Taking that 20 wit (trained from 17) to 25 instantly gives a huge boost to your TC contender. But, what if-what if you won two prizes, 10 potions? How good could a double 21 apprentice be if you took away his only weakness, lack of con? That was what struck me prior to the tourney where RSI offered that prize. Fortunately for me, I happened to win three tournaments and got 15 potions. The timing was such that I also was able to resurrect a dead clone to use the potions on. He was the perfect warrior for this purpose: a double 21 lunger that started with 23 attack skills, 81 overall. He also had riposte as a favorite learn, perfect for a high con lunger. All you have to do is miss once, then he sends his gigantic attack back at you. The rest is Cosmic Hammer history. I had successfully gotten on the TC merry-go-round where TC prizes generate more TC prizes.

Winning tournaments never gets old, and neither does trying to think up combinations of tournament prize use. It varies depending on what RSI offers when, but there are always some interesting and powerful combinations to be had, whatever the prizes involved.

Top 10 Things to Do to Have a Better FTF!

10.  Have at least one meal that doesn't involve either McDonalds or Domino's Pizza.  
Bonus points if that meal includes the use of utensils.  (Double bonus points if you 
already knew how to use utensils)

 9.  Recycle all those cover sheets and unwanted roll-ups into ammunition for the next 
great paper ball fight!  (And don't assume that because you don't have any ammo, 
you're not in the game.  When these things break out, ANYONE is a potential target!  
Don't assume that I'm going to throw AROUND you to get to my target, if you're sitting 
there in the middle of things trying to read your fights as the paper balls fly in all 
direction, you're not only likely to get hit by a misfired projectile, but I will be 
aiming for you!)

 8.  Showering at least once a day is not an option.  REPEAT:  Showering at least once 
a day, is NOT AN OPTION!!!

 7.  Much like a watched pot never boils, asking if your overviews or reprints are 
there yet every three minutes will only make the person sitting behind the desk 
irritable (or even more so than usual).  They'll be there when they get there.

 6.  Yes, the printer will break down, the hard drive will crash, and RSI will undergo 
some sort of catastrophe.  This is normal.  Be prepared for long delays.  Some people 
like to play Magic while waiting, some of us prefer heavy drinking.  

 5.  For you first timers, it is customary to do a triumphant little war dance each 
and every time you win a fight, complete with whoop-whoops.  That's what the raised 
platform is for, so the rest of us can see you.  If you don't do the dance, RSI will 
take away your TVs and you will forever get 3 WT roll-ups.  Would I lie to you?  

 4.  Converse with your fellow managers.  Take the time to chat, and introduce 
yourself to at least one complete stranger.  "Have you seen this warrior?" is not a 
good way to introduce yourself.  "Hi, my name is _______ and I run _______; nice to 
meet you!" is a much better way to introduce yourself.

 3.  When the run off fights are being read, I want to hear a lot of noise!  Cheer 
every time a brilliant parry is made, shudder at the impact of a horrific blow, laugh 
derisively when a warrior falls down.  Cheer those who read a good fight, and heckle 
those who can't.  Get crazy.  MAKE SOME NOISE GOLDURNIT!!!

 2.  Conversely, if you insist on reading your fights out loud and you don't have an 
audience, go back to your room until the urge passes.

 1.  Buy your good ol' buddy Forge a beer!

  As always, your own tips and comments are appreciated.  *LOL!*  Hope to see you all 

Strategy for the Bloodgames

First off, I don't have an ADM warrior by way of the Bloodgames.  In the last
one, I did come in fifth.  I think I have a fair idea of what it takes for
success in the games.

Strategy in the bloodgames shows up in several ways.  They are:

1) Attitude
2) Design of the team.
3) Design of the DYO.
4) Challenges
5) Round 10.

First though, lets review what the Bloodgames are.  It is a 10-round 
tournament with new warriors.  Each team gets one DYO, and the top 3 warriors 
at the end of the games go on to Advanced Duelmasters.  

Oh, and there are no replacements, and the death rate is about 5 times higher
than regular, and rankings are based on the number of kills.

Ready, well, lets get on to attitude!

You must understand this is not regular Duelmasters.  You will have no recourse
in the game later on when your genetic dies.  To properly enjoy the game, think
of the stereotype of the bad manager gloating at kills.  Get fired up about
the idea of senseless slaughter.  You should strive to murder your opponent
in every fight.  Victory is murder, here.  If you haven't killed your opponent,
you really haven't won the fight.  This will be examined later on.

2) Team Design. 

Now, you need to create a team of slavering murderers.  You should think of
these styles:  Lungers, Slashers, Strikers, Bashers, Walls of Steel and Total
Parries.  In both Bloodgames I was in, the Parry-Ripostes were slain the first
turn.  I suppose that a Parry-Strike or Parry-Lunge could make it, or even an
Aimed Blow could make it, but the AB will be targeted by every lunger in the
arena, and he'll lose and likely die.  Do whatever you can with the rollups..
you might be cursed, you might not.  Mostly, they are to help you graduate
your DYO.  Use them to scout out opposition.  

3.) The DYO.  This is your chance to get your dream warrior to AD... well,
to get your dream warrior that can get five kills in Bloodgames.  Then winners
in the Bloodgames that I have seen are strikers(2), Total Parries(2), a Slasher,
and a Wall of Steel.  Lungers and Bashers have made it - Pile Driver, the most
recent Primus TC, is a Bloodgames DYO.  Well, how to make him?

The most successful design that I have seen is 17-x-x-17-17-x-17.  This leaves
you with 16 points for three stats, there really isn't much to play around 

Why this design?  The 17's in Wit, Will and Deftness are fairly obvious...
they give a huge skill base, while being close to maxing out in Advanced
Duelmasters.  The 17 Strength is *required* because it seems to guarantee
good damage.  You must have this, in order to slay your opponent.  Normal
damage doesn't cut it.  At least good.  You can try a monster basher that
will do Awesome or even Devastating, but he might be beaten to the punch.
At least one Bloodgame Victor is built around the monster damage.

I'll go over my two designs.  The first was designed around total skill base:
9-3-4-17-17-17-17 ST.  I figured it would be close to 25s for maxing, plus
was virutally guaranteed the first attack.  I guessed that the warrior would
just kill her opponents, after all this was Bloodgames, isn't it?  Takako
started with three experts ( Riposte, Defense and Decisiveness), and by using
Gary Triplett's charts, had a minimum of 81 skills.  She died first round,
victim of little damage.  

The second: 17-4-5-17-17-7-17  LU.  I had an Expert in Attack, and went 8-2-4.
I was lucky enough to get Great Damage.  All four of my kills were with the 
Epee. If I ever get the chance, I will clone or twin this warrior. I didn't
want a size 3 because I didn't want to be hosed on damage forever.  I wanted
a 7 speed so that I would get a couple of defense skills.  

4) Challenges.  Very important.  Look over the remnants of your team from
the first round, and see how you did.  Bloodgames warriors do not have
any separations.  So, the proper challenge to make is to challenge down,
as much as necessary, to find a promising victim.  The point of this game
is to kill as many warriors as possible, and there are only 10 turns.
Try to find some people to share information with, and victimize the poor
fool.  Challenge warriors again that you won, but failed to slay.

The other side of this is defense.  Avoid the the top teams, he may have
gotten a lucky draw.  Challenge the warriors on the stylemaster list, with
warriors to get good stylistic matchups.  Avoid the team with the most
warriors surviving.  Avoid the people you fought last turn... he'll challenge 
you with another warrior he thinks will beat you.  Remember, kills are every-
thing.  In desperation, run with a kill desire of one.  If you can't win the
fight, survive it, so that you don't give your opponent a kill.  Win-loss
records only decides who goes to AD if kills don't.  Winning without killing
isn't very much in the game.  Do I need to tell you what kill desire to set?

5) Round 10.  This is what decides it. The top three warriors will go on to
AD and glory, the rest will be data on a floppy disk archived away.  I cannot
see any reason to run with a kill desire other than 10 on the final turn.
If you have one of the top three, or have a contender, who could make it
if your warrior kills again, challenge very carefully.  By this point,
about 75% of the arena will be dead.  You should know who to challenge 
and who to avoid.  If there is any doubt, go for it.  If you kill, you go
on to victory.  If you merely win, it is the same as dying.  You didn't make
it.  I recall one warrior from the 1991 Bloodgames, who was the "Top Dead 
Dude" at 9-1-6.  Obviously his manager was bummed.

There are a few more incidentals.  The turns run weekly.  You must have
the commitment to fax in your turn every week, unless you live in the Phoenix
area.  You do need to be ready to accept that the $10.00 you paid for the
rollup sheet and $49.00 for the Bloodgames are going to be gone first turn..
I lost three warriors in my first Bloodgames on turn one.

Bloodgames was quite enjoyable... it really is Duelmasters compressed, with
only the strongest ( or luckiest ) making it to AD, in just 10 weeks.  Every
week, getting the envelope and slowly looking through it, hoping that your 
warrior is not dead.  The comments are added so that you can mutilate limbs,
or even sever the head.  Awesome.  I'm looking forward to 1997.

Are You Ready To Take Tournament Play Seriously?

    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 

                    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....
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 
     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.
     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 
     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