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Volume 1, Issue 20 - Turn 368

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Volume 1, Issue 20 - Turn 368

Post  lord_dragon on Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:51 pm

Hello again fans, and welcome to the Turn 368 Edition of the Pit Gazette, our 20th issue! We have a real treat for you this week, as besides the normal content you have come to know and love, we also get to bring you, care of Dux Mortalitas, our very first Style Spotlight, on resurgent Parry.

Why is this such a big deal? Well, for those of you who have followed our sport for the last few years, the use and usefulness of Parry was, not long ago, at an all time low. As Dux will explain, this has now changed and will likely continue to change for the foreseeable future.

So, on with the issue!

STYLE SPOTLIGHT– A PARRYIN’ WE WILL GO – By Dux Mortalitas, edited by The Gazetteer
For a long time I was under the impression that Parry was a useless style. Although I knew that Stalker has used it somewhat successfully against many managers it just never seemed to work very well against my warriors. As a result I dismissed it entirely as a style.

Recently, it occurred to me how I might be able to optimize warriors around the Parry style so that they could keep pace with my usual expectations of 60+% win/loss.

The main problem I have found with Parry as a style is that it reduces the damage that your warriors inflict. On the flip-side, though, it also reduces the damage that you receive.

Based on these precepts I took a large number of my younger warriors and configured them up around my new Parry concepts:

Idea 1 - Run parry with Polearms and train Charge skill – The idea here is to increase damage dealing to offset the deficiencies of Parry as a strategy.
Result: Boriel, 31-14-2 with Parry.
Idea 2 - Run powerful, heavily armored warriors that can rely on their armor and the many resulting partial deflections from Parry to greatly reduce damage received while still being able to lay in a heavy hit due to weapon choice and high strength.
Result: Pitt Lord A, 27-5-0 with Parry.
Idea 3 - Huge warriors that can just absorb a ton of punishment even with moderate to light armor and who can definitely lay down a big hit through sheer brutal size and strength.
Result: Pitt Lord B, 16-7-2 with a combination of Parry and CS

Other findings:
Wielding a shield in a warrior’s off-hand greatly assists the parry style (no surprise there) and having a weapon that does some real damage is vital. However, if you have an intelligent warrior like Boriel who can train parry and dodge up pretty quickly you can do very well without the shield.

Both Parry and Dodge skills are highly utilized with the Parry style and Feint skills assist a great deal as you climb the ranks.

Parry doesn't fair nearly as well in the advanced ranks as it does below 100 fights in general. The main reason for this, in my experience, is that the offensive styles that get heavy use among the advanced set also tend to thrash Parry.

The real disadvantage to Parry is that setting a warrior up and training him to effectively run Parry can weaken the warrior’s ability to run any offensive styles. Once your warrior goes down the Parry route, he loses some amount of flexibility to use other styles well. That said, a warrior that is trained well for Parry might use some other defensive styles very well. Unfortunately, those other defensive styles often lose to the same offensive styles that Parry is deficient against.

Overall:
My record with Parry has been running slightly above my 63% average. Additionally, my Parry warriors have taken far fewer perms and I have yet to suffer a death to one. That said, my warriors have claimed several kills using Parry.

All in all I think Parry is a great style to use below 100 fights. Parry warriors win, stay alive and avoid permanent injuries. My experience above 100 Fights suggests that Parry will continue to keep warriors alive and protect them from crippling injuries, but they will tend to lose a lot more. So the question for 100+ warriors is do you fight to live or do you fight to win...

It should also be noted that by no means does a warrior need to “major” in Parry. It can be used to great effect as a change-up style, to take advantage of key situations in a fight, such as when a warrior is near death or when his opponent is likely to be using styles that are weak against Parry.

Conclusion:
I have been using Parry very intensively for the better part of this last year (just shy of 50 turns now), and since that time I have seen some other managers picking up on the idea. I hope everyone gives it a fair shake, so that we can see more variety in our fights and simultaneously up the level of play in our fair city-state.

The publication of this article basically concludes my mass experiment with Parry. I will of course keep are few warriors running it for further refinement and longer-term experimentation, while some will be forced to use Parry until I can train them towards options. In time, expect to see new toys employed in my fights!

Good luck to you all in your experimentation!


FEATURED ARTICLE – LORD DARIUS LIVES FOREVER
For a long time, it seemed as if Lord Darius, The Overlord's greatest living warrior and indisputably the top example of Human kind in Veteran's Blade, would live forever. By that, we mean that Lord Darius' manager seemed content, from the casual observer's perspective, to allow Lord Darius to fight a Peasant turn after turn, ad infinitum.

So it came as something of a shock this week when The Overlord registered The Great One for his match with The Monsters. There was much rumble and murmur in the city. Would Lord Darius face one of the three remaining Monsters? Would Ratyr or Zurn Bloodbringer instead fall before the Longest Living Warrior of All Time? Or could either MJ's or Sleazee's prides and joys thwart Lord Darius' attempt? Prior to the turn, the Oddsmakers Guild put his chances against Zurn at Even odds, but gave him 10:1 against beating Ratyr. Sadly, the rush of gold pieces that were placed on this match up would be refunded on Turn day.

Lord Darius, instead of facing one of the two remaining Monster Slayers, found himself matched against Jason the Half Troll.

And in the end, it was affirmed that Lord Darius will live forever (or at least a significantly long period of time) indeed.


FEATURED ARTICLE – UNDEFEATED WARRIOR ALLIANCE ANALYSIS
Hello esteemed effendi, it is I, Raul Anjinarikar Siv, again here to tell you the ins and outs of the Alliances of your fair Veteran’s Blade Arena. You are probably expecting an abbreviated report from this lone reporter. A chance for me to take a vacation? Well I am happy and sad to disappoint you. There will be many things to discuss this turn amongst the three warriors that remained to compete in the Undefeated Warrior contest, and much to discuss of the two winners. So, sit back, grab that excuse for a silver cup of yours, and drink the filthy dishwater that resides within while I go over what has happened.

I will start with the first loser. Or second, if you recall my speech about second place but a week ago. Aerdra the Punisher finally went down at the skillful hands of Palor’s Hate. Through sleet, wind, and avoids, the tailored match was handily won. Xavier didn’t seem to wish to talk to me, but I saw him shrug his shoulders and then order one of his warriors to the monsters in response. This is the type of steely, brazen iron-flexing I was expecting from everyone else, but it warmed my heart. Ever so briefly. Good bye GAPPDA, better luck next year!

The Lords of Darkness, bless their dragon-employing souls, are still the front runners. With a full 50% of the contestants left in the field, and a new champion of which to boast (or at least a tying of the record as most undefeated new warrior of all time). Truly, a day to celebrate.

And what better way to celebrate than toasting a favorite glass of your substandard ale at your local tavern to the memory of Lord Darius! Well done, you clearly got the message from the Padishah. What, you think that The Overlord has a will of his own? Let me explain. No, it will take too long. Allow me to sum up.

With Lord Darius gone, the range of challenges in the lower ranks will be reduced significantly. So what, you ask? Raul, I know this, I can do basic, ratio-based math and percentages, after all I have dealt with the challenge rankings for years. Well my friends I will tell you anyways, it means that many warriors capable of defeating Sorah Magdar with the long arm of the down challenge will no longer be able to reach Mr. Magdar (genderless is the masculine in your culture?). Currently even the likes of Persival, the 22 win, 22 loss Rhino of Raging Thunder, with twice the fights but only half the caffeine of Sorah Magdar, could challenge him. But no more! One more turn to go Lord Dragon and your field of competition is nearly halved!

But it gets better, as my math skills tell me. The reverse is true for Rawg Brainsplatter. Yes, sadly, I am afraid my wet-sounding friend that the uncompressed range that you reside in means that someone, say for example Poeg’s Sand Boa, not that I would point that out in a public way, will be able to reach down from the heavens and smite your glorious warrior with his trident (he does use a trident, yes? Or is this a bad assumption? Impossible.). Well, forget about those avoids, they don’t work. I have it on good source that there is a lot of presence to that warrior.

Which brings me of course to Rawg and the "army of one", manager Sleazee from STUD. Another fine match won over a classic GAPPDA upchallenge from the master of honor, Cliff Banana. Well the precipice of fruit collapsed like so much, uh, dirt, in the three-minute match. My sources tell me that it was an exciting fight, but one-sided. Next time GAPPDA, send a down challenge like everyone else. What, you have no one worthy? Well, perhaps you should let, say, Sand Boa, take a crack? Again, do not avoid Rawg.

Sleazee himself took a crack at claiming the title all to himself by facing Sorah Magdar on the sands with Green Machine. But alas the incredible machine could not cut the mustard and goes down to his superior. With Lord Darius gone you’re probably not even in range, so I wouldn’t bother looking. And don’t forget to clear your challenge!

Well, you have done it once again. My time is out, and my wind is gone. Next turn I expect to see the conclusion of this contest and a return to my real job. Salaam and Good Hunting.


100 WIN CLUB WATCH
Its been a bloody couple of weeks for 100 Win Club contestants in our Arena. As was not really seen in the first wave of this 100 Win Club cycle, the last two turns have proven that one cannot simply reach 95 Wins and automatically book the talk show circuit for some number of weeks hence. For the second straight turn one of our contestants breathed his last breath. Elsewhere, Geryon and his manager remain absent from the city.

Beginning with our surviving contestants who graced the sands with their presence on Turn 368, we saw one, Stalker’s famed blood-thirsty Halfling, take the opportunity to Blood Challenge down nearly 80 fights to pound on Hosehead’s Fracker. As Fracker survived the match and Popper gained his 97th win without eliminating a long-wounded warrior, perhaps this match was best for everyone involved. Our other two surviving contestants for 100 Wins found themselves matched together, with Poeg’s Asiago targeting Sleazee P. Martinee’s 98 Win Rihn the Bladesinger. These two warriors, first entered into the games within a turn of each other over 147 weeks ago, had faced each other only once in the last 10 turns, with Rihn taking the previous match in Turn 362. The tables were turned in 368, however, with Asiago gaining his 96th win.

Those who have been reading this space are asking themselves “Whither Suffering Overdue”? Sadly, the recent spate of Chirurgeon incompetence caught up to another of the super-veterans of our fair arena, as Palor’s Moss quickly recognized their sub-par work on the Half-Orc and exploited the shoddy workmanship to take the win and kill.

The result of this turns action puts our remaining contestants at 96 (Asiago), 97 (Popper), 98 (Rihn) and 99 wins (AWOL Geryon) apiece. One has to assume that wily challenges and likely inactivity will pull this one down to the wire, but the Gazette’s money is on Rihn the Bladesinger being the next warrior to join this most exclusive club.

Good luck to the surviving warriors in Turn 369.


THIS TURN’S 100 FIGHT BIRTHDAYS
Turn 368 began a trend of single warriors approaching the 100 Fight milestone, a string unlikely to change for several weeks. The single warrior to hit 100 Fights in Turn 368? Valcor Aurthor’s prodigious killer Half-Orc Wreckless, who sadly matched with more-experienced fellow Orc, Pop Rock, a member of Chen Man Ching’s stable (and a hearty welcome back to the arena to the inestimable Chen, who had taken leave to welcome a new member to her personal stable). With the loss to Pop Rock, Wreckless still manages an exemplary 100 Fight record of 64 wins and 10 kills matched against only 36 losses. Nice work Valcor. It’s good to see an elder member of the Legion bring a classic killer Half-Orc to super-veteran status.

Will Wreckless threaten the Half-Orc kills record of 13 kills? Stay tuned Pit Fans. Given the deadliness of the pit in recent times, all signs point to “maybe”.


NEXT TURN'S 100 FIGHT BIRTHDAYS
As noted, only a single warrior will hit 100 Fights next turn, Hosehead’s oddly-named Dwarf butt Hat. butt Hat, a warrior with solid credentials, is hoping to take a win in 369, which would secure him 58 wins in his first 100 Fights. The Gazette sends its good wishes to butt Hat for next turn.


NOTABLE DEATHS
Unlike last turn, which was undoubtedly one of the bloodiest in the history of our game in terms of sheer fight experience removed from the game, Turn 368, with three exceptions, one notable, was about clearing out some of the chaff from the veteran ranks, as five losing warriors were cleared permanently from the Arena rolls: Drachir’s Burger Bait, Eca Za’s Siberian, Panther’s Grimm Madok, Solincar Nelflan’s Grim Spector and Chaosadow’s Arthur.

Among the winning warriors lost on the turn, none had more impact on the fans and followers of the sport than Scotty Body’s Suffering Overdue, a Half-Orc that had been approaching 100 Wins and had spun a spectacular life tale on the sands across his 150 fights. Sadly, it was not to be, as Palor’s Moss very quickly put him down for good.

It turns out, though, that Moss and Suffering Overdue had quite a history. This was, indeed, not the first time Moss has killed Scotty Body's Half-Orc, doing so for the first time in Turn 264. Through some mysterious intervention Suffering Overdue returned to the sands the following week and all those after. Moss and Suffering Overdue would, in fact, match twice more before their final fight, with Moss taking wins each time (Turns 287 and 310).

After the match, Palor granted brief comment, stating: "It was fate that Moss would again kill Suffering Overdue on Turn 368. Souls do not get to escape the dark lords once they are claimed."

Suffering Overdue meets his destiny, fittingly on his 150th fight, having compiled 96 wins and 5 kills in that time.

Moving down the list of the few winning warriors slaughtered on the turn, we come to Poeg’s Elf Facon, who, like several of Poeg’s less fortunate warriors, dies in a random match with a fellow Legion of Darkness warrior, in this case Lord Kelvin’s Searing Goddess after a fairly quick 2 minute match.

Facon leaves us having compiled 35 wins and 2 kills in 55 fights.

The final winning warrior to pass on the turn was Missus Biggus’ hard luck Gehenneh, squashed in a lopsided Blood Challenge by Danny D. Bloody’s 147-Fight Halfling, TNT. Was the choice to use TNT informed by Popper’s widening Kill lead among Halflings in our fair arena? Considering the public statements made by Danny D. Bloody, we can only assume he sees his own Halfling as a challenger for the record on the long term. That said, one wonders if dropping lopsided Blood Challenges is really the way that TNT wants to end up owning said record.

Cornered by Gazette reporters after the match, Danny D. Bloody had the following comments on his blood challenge. "After losing my favorite Half-Elf Scythe user, who had well over a 70% win record at over 30 fights, I decided there was some type of repayment in order. TNT is trying to live up to his name and kill people."

Gehenneh leaves Missus Biggus as her only winning veteran warrior, having compiled 28 wins and 2 kills in 52 fights. Missus Biggus’ remaining veteran warriors, Azazello and the Captains Sharpe and Kangaroo carry a combined 84 wins, 2 kills and 125 losses. It has been dark times indeed for the Missus.

Of the remaining noted losing warriors demolished on the turn, the Gazette would like to take a moment to salute those who did the cleansing: Marius and Deconstructor (Burger Bait, 31-56-0), Marcus and Pain (Siberian, 33-44-2), Lady Templar and Nixon (Grimm Madok, 29-31-1), Master Misfit and Aster Plaster (fighting off Grim Specter’s BC no less, 24-26-2), and Panther and Kalis (Arthur, 21-29-1).

To the fans and managers of those lost, the Gazette sends its measured condolences. As fans ourselves, we certainly prefer turns like 368 over those which preceded it. The loss of poor warriors is hardly felt so much as those like Suffering Overdue (this turn) or Pitt and Guardian (burgeoning legends lost last turn).

‘Til Turn 369 claims its own warriors, the caretakers of the notable deaths section bid adieu.


CLIFF BANANA'S BC ROUNDUP
Yet another interesting turn on the Blood Challenge front! Our overall numbers were sharply down, with only thirty-five qualifying challenges for the round (roughly ten fewer than the average turn). The results of the turn were fairly well polarized: lotsa-good, lotsa-ugly, very little in between. That being said, for this first time in quite a while, we did not have a single manager qualify for the Bad list through multiple BC losses, despite their being several possible candidates. Instead their warriors managed to fight them off of the list.

THE GOOD
For Turn 368, there were a solid number of BCs that fell on the Good front. Not only did we see a solid volume of BC defenses, but we also saw a handful of warriors who have made consecutive defenses. Leading off of our list, is Dude Doomer’s ROQUEFORT 2. ROQUEFORT 2 faced the greatest disparity in experience among those warriors who defended their BC, and was also one of our four warriors making successive BC defenses. ROQUEFORT 2, we salute you! Joining ROQUEFORT 2 in the multi-defense club were Caesar Invictus’ ORION, Frank The Tank’s JAH-BUL-ON, and Sanguine Savior’s LONGROD VONHUGENDONG. Excellent job to all of our BC defenders.

Dude Doomer’s ROQUEFORT 2 (20)
Valcor Aurthor’s BONECRUSHER (18)
Lord Kelvin’s SHAMUS THE GLUTTON (14)
Gouged Eye’s RAGNAR (14)
Jaws’ NUMBER ONE (12)
Ironman’s CAPT. CRUNCH (10)
Caesar Invictus’ ORION (9)
Sanguine Savior’s LONGROD VONHUGENDONG (3)
Frank The Tank’s JAH-BUL-ON (3)
Sdan’s DJ DIZZLE (2)

THE BAD
Now, there are those loyal readers who will have noticed that Egor scored three BC victories this round. Normally this would qualify one for an honorable mention within the list of Good. However, when all three of those victories also qualified for the Ugly list, no such honor can be bestowed. Sadly, overall there wasn't much that fell neatly into the Bad list for the turn.

THE UGLY
Again our list of Ugly is outpaced by that which qualified as Good. As we had mentioned earlier, our leader of the Ugly this turn remains Egor, registering 3 mismatched BC wins with a total of 92 fights of advantage over his opponents. Thankfully, only one manager managed to reach this list and also killed his opponent (TNT, covered above), yet each of the others soundly thrashed their victim.

Danny D Bloody's TNT (105)
Ilneval’s R’SHANN (64)
Egor’s CRONK (45)
Cpt. Switch’s STORMER313 (33)
Lady Templar’s PARIS HILTON (31)
Egor’s MASSIVETOO (27)
Mydgar Le Gnome’s FREGON “LE MAUDIT” (27)
Egor’s SMATTY (20)
Davron’s FIREFLY (20)
Sliv’s MR NICE (20)

Just another week in the pit. Sword high!


MANAGER OF THE WEEK
Once again, the events in our arena have made the Manager of the Week award an easy call, with GAPPDA’s Hoffa managing a 21 win turn. Most amazingly, this achievement was managed without Hoffa, apparently, filing even a single challenge of his own, yet facing a number of challenges issued by various opposing managers (one of which did cost Hoffa Quindaro). The Gazette not only awards Hoffa with the Manager of the Week award, but also nominates his performance in Turn 368 as one of the more impressive since our publication began tracking weekly results.

Though he runs very inconsistently and accrued 5 of his wins in a team fight, Cpt.Switch is awarded Runner Up for Turn 368 with 20 wins and a kill, as those 5 team fight wins did come against managed opponents (Nemesis’ Nemesisters) and only a single fight, a BC, brought dishonor upon the achievement. Congratulations Captain. We hope you stay awhile this time.

We hope both managers enjoy the small, plastic statuettes soon to be delivered to their complexes by the GPS (Gnomish Postal Service).


RANDOM NOTES
There was not even a single kill in Team Fights in Turn 368. Have the Peasants gone soft again?


THIS TURN IN QUOTES
"I know our managers have had their differences, but I want you to know that it truly is an honor to rid the arena of trash with a legend like yourself! Welcome to our ranks, brother!" - Zurn Bloodbringer, welcoming Lord Darius to post-fight hang out of The Monsters.

"I am launching my own investigation into this matter. I was unaware of the use of Performance Enhancing Potions, and I will hunt down the seller if I find the allegations to be true. My warriors are not on stimulants." - Ilneval, responding to reporters' questions on last turn's Featured Article.

"Let me put it this way - Deconstructor is a decent warrior but not a killer. Burger Bait's record was far from impressive, but I am nonetheless amazed that the warrior was put down in such a fashion. Perhaps Drachir hoped for a quick death. Sadly, Deconstructor dragged the fight out into a death of a thousand cuts." - Marius, after emerging, seemingly puzzled, from Deconstructor's kill of Burger Bait.


WHISPERS AROUND THE VETERAN'S BLADE
Taken from an open letter to the Gazetteer by from the No Bozos Squad:
"Mygdär Le Gnôme couldn't hide a smile when he saw Fulmor "La Rage" succeeded in challenging Gnomewrecker. He also couldn't contain his wrath when he discovered the target wasn't terminated. Tss tss tss...
It's a pity he didn't even permed him...Well, another hunter will soon try to get the bounty.

By the way, maybe Travelocity Gnome thought challenging another NBS member's warrior (Tornado from Ted Supreme's stable) would be a clever way to save his life... Mygdär will seek and find you wherever you hide till you get yours! The only other way out is to seek death at the hands a Monster. This is your only hope for a fast, less painful death!

Great news! Sorah made it, most to the Almighty Gnôme's joy! Myggy is eager to see Sorah win the UW Challenge, so that I will get the fame (shame?) to be the first one to stop Sorah's winning trend. Let us know, Lord Dragon, which gladiator of Mygdär's stable you want fight in a fair challenge"


That's if for this week's edition of The Gazette! If you'd like to submit items for a future edition or provide feedback and clarifications, please pm them to my account on pitt.bloodspit.net.

-The Staff at The Pitt Gazette
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