Info and data for fans of the play-by-mail games Duel II, Forgotten Realms, and Hyborian War from Reality Simulations, Inc

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.
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