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 with. 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.