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Volume 1, Issue 37 - Turn 385

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Volume 1, Issue 37 - Turn 385

Post  lord_dragon on Fri Jun 03, 2011 11:07 pm

Speak softly and carry a big stick, preferably a pointy one like a long spear. That's what our father always told us and its good advice in these circles.


ALLIANCE OLYMPICS ROUND WRAP-UP AND PREVIEWS
If someone had told the Gazette staff before the beginning of the Alliance Olympics that a team would have a playoff spot wrapped up by Week 6 of the Alliance Olympics, I think we all would have pointed to LOD Frostbite and nodded our heads. If someone were to tell us that there would be a team just one match back of LOD Frostbite, I think the same people would have looked at PDA or LOD Black or STUD or DIE and shrugged. We certainly would not have looked at GAP with any confidence, and really, that is our own shame, because Week 5 saw another dominating performance by Frostbite (in clobbering the Brute Squad) and a just as impressive drubbing of the NBS by GAP.

Similarly, if someone had asked us if we thought that any matches would go to a tie breaker, we would have probably said "sure, it's possible". Tell us that one team would end up at the tie breaker for two weeks in a row and we probably would have laughed. Tell us further that it would be PDA and that they would win by kill totals, we probably would have dissolved into hysterics. And yet, in reaching 3 wins and 2 losses, that's exactly what PDA did, tying DIE on points but taking the win by kills (and if it had gone to the second tie breaker, they would have had it by pure wins as well). This despite one of the more impressive overall challenge performances we have seen out of all three members of DIE.

Finally, if you told us that Sleazee P Martinee would go 2-13 against a team at any point in the competition, well, we would have just glared at you. Some things just aren't possible. Wait, what's that? Oh. LOD Black slaughtered the STUD team to the tune of 47 points to 18. Ok.

And so, while no one is yet technically eliminated from the Playoffs yet, any one of the of the 1-4 teams (DIE, STUD or Brute Squad) will need to run the table for two weeks and then win a play-in game against whichever 3-2 team (LOD Black or PDA) stumbled to the unlikely 3-4 record. And that's ignoring a potential charge by 2-3 NBS. In other words, it's pretty likely right now that the competition is effectively over for the Council sub-teams and the upstart Brute Squad. So much for parity.

NBS' chances for that fourth and final playoff spot face a stiff challenge this week from undefeated LOD Frostbite. We're picking Frostbite to continue to roll on Caesar Invictus' overall MVP-caliber play across the last two weeks and despite Dux Mortalitas' sluggish performance in the same span. All three of the 1-4 teams then faces one of the other teams in control of their playoff destinies. We're picking all three favorites to win, with PDA eliminating Brute Squad from playoff contention, GAP doing the same to STUD and Black continuing to surge on the strength of Palor's exceptional play to put down DIE for good.

And so, our predicted standings for next week:
LOD Frostbite 6-0-0
GAP 5-1-0
PDA 4-2-0
Black 4-2-0
NBS 2-4-0
DIE 1-5-0
STUD 1-5-0
Brute Squad 1-5-0

What's that you say? We were dead wrong on three of our four predictions last week? Well, that might be why we're not picking the underdogs this week.


FEATURED ARTICLE – RAUL'S ALLIANCE UPDATE
Good morning. I, Raul Anjinarikar Siv write to you over a steaming home brew of the finest beans from my homeland. Bitter, as I do not filth it with your sugars or cakes. I prefer the taste as it sharpens the mind and the writing skills, it hones them as well. Yea, for we turn the corner on the AL with a mere two regular season fights in play and fate has so far only chosen one team for victory, and no teams for utter loss as of yet.

As required by edict of the Padishah, I will start as I often like to by looking into the betting favorite Frostbite. Notice no worries or laments from me as the bookmakers are already happy with the lock on the playoffs rounds that Frostbite arrived at with a crushing victory over the younger, cannier Brut Squad. It would be laughable to say that someone other than Caesar carried the day with a record-setting 33 points over 13 fights. If only they could sit their warriors out and rest for a short while, but as the other teams do, they must fight on for two more weeks while being hand-fed grapes by the Alliance Olympic cheer committee. Please do not disparage them, they must not shave until the competition ends.

If one thing can be said for certain there are no sure things in life. This may sound like an impossible statement, but it is true. For fans of DIE and detractors of PDA alike assumed once again that the CoC faction would score wins and kills over their current rivals of incongruent colors whilst losing on points to the math-magician Xavier. But who would have guessed that the adapt and so-far-overcome managers of the Council had turned their strategy around, bringing the war to PDA in the upper ranks. Where wills are tested of pure steel you can find others swimming in courage, for the mighty Ilneval reaped a 13 point slice of a 7-4 challenge assault that left PDA tied despite holding a 4 win margin overall in the match-up. In uncharacteristic fashion, the lone kill was taken home on the backs of the PDA warriors (and with 75 individual slices it was a messy affair) to take the cup of victory home as well.

To the other side of our Council divide we find the facing off of old foes like Uruks over a mate atop a hill. But clearly the horns of these beasts were unequal in size and firmness, for Black delivered what some would deem to be an utterly crushing loss to STUD. Sleazee P Martinee, who has been carrying his team throughout the competition, found himself on the unpleasant end of the horn with a 2-13 turn that has many in the commission asking questions, once again, what sway the Lords of Darkness have over the refs this season.

And lastly we have what was thought to be a near-mirror match between GAP and the NBS, both teams having shown unpredictable promise so far. But if you wanted a close shave you will need another razor my friends, for GAP showed that even though one of their star players, Hoffa, didn’t get the team switch-up memo, that it had more than the right stuff for a steamrolling victory over their foes. In the final standings, GAP, though not officially locking a playoff spot, could perchance assume that they will be going to big red dance.

That, my friends, encompasses what is going on. No team is yet eliminated, one team stands predominant. Next turn may very well shape the nature of the whole competition making round 7 a virtual bye week. Until that glorious shining moment, Salaam and Good Hunting.


THIS TURN’S 100 FIGHT BIRTHDAYS
Tolome's Slowpoke came into Turn 385 with a good chance to tie the Singles-only win record at 100 fights, a record shared by several warriors at 74 wins. Unfortunately for Slowpoke, Izzboticus' veteran Half-Orc was stood in his way and dealt a rough loss in less than two minutes. Still Slowpoke survives the day to become Tolome's first truly exceptional 100+ warrior. The Gazette sends congratulations and future good wishes to Tolome and his excellent Human moving forward.


NEXT TURN'S 100 FIGHT BIRTHDAYS
For an arena that has seen such a volume of new 100+ warriors over the past weeks, it comes as some surprise that we will see a turn -- 386, to be precise -- that includes no warriors fighting their 100th contest. Rest assured, though, that several more are coming, including, just as examples, Dux Mortalitas' Mortalitas and Davron's Helios in two weeks.


NOTABLE DEATHS
After last weeks' ruinous turn for 100+ warriors, there was some expectation that we would see at least one more superveteran die this week. That was not to be, however, and overall it was not the most notable of weeks for notable deaths, with just seven qualifying warriors filling body bags at the end of fight day. That's not to say that the ones that passed weren't more or less quality warriors, though, as three of the seven veterans who passed brought at least 40 wins into the fight that was their undoing.

Nemesis, once a stranger to this section, at least as a killer of veterans, has certainly begun to have fickle fate frown upon his opponents, as this week his Dwarf Jefrey (with one f) matched up against and killed Palor's high-quality Elf, Rhubarb in a well-attended 3-minute match.

Rhubarb is harvested after a 72 fight career which included 45 wins and a kill.

What's that you say? A warrior managed by Sanguine Savior killed someone this turn? Well color us shocked. In one of the premier singles match-ups of the turn, pitting 45 win, 5 kill Half-Orc Bender B. Rodriguez against 47 win, 4 kill Half-Orc Aster Plaster (managed by Master Misfit), it seemed likely that someone was going to perish (indeed, book makers were running around like Halflings with their heads cut off trying to field as many last minute death pool bets as possible). In the third round, it was Aster Plaster who would be put down and Bender who notched the annihilation.

Aster Plaster masters in out-of-body after a very nice 67-fight career.

Valcor Aurthor was once one of the most feared managers in Veteran's Blade. Indeed, he does still run the top living killer Half-Orc, Wreckless. Still, in these latter days he is more known for the mediocrities he's running a the midlevel, one of whom, Elf Twista, was mercifully undone by Marcus' Fahta Lo in a singles match this turn. There does seem to be some young talent on Valcor's roster these days and we hope Twista's replacement falls into the same bucket.

Twista spirals into the afterlife having notched 36 wins and 3 kills in 73 fights.

While locksmiths were attempting unsuccessfully to free The Badman from his own tower this week (long story), his warriors were scheduled to fight anyway and went to the sands without his hand to guide them. One in particular, Cheesy Ron, will not be returning to The Badman's compound this week, as Staple Gun's Half-Orc Taconite (not to be confused with alliance-mate Hoffa's Human Taconite) seized the opportunity to permanently remove Ron from the games.

Cheesy Ron melts away after 66 fights in which he managed to grab 39 wins and a kill.

It is rumored that Acheron once led Marius on a recruiting trip to the land whence came Robin Williams, and the result of this trip was Whiskeyjack. Poeg must be gritting his teeth this turn as hot Dwarf-on-Dwarf violence led to the death of Nammu in just under 2 minutes of action.

Nammu becomes incorporeal gain after a 60 fight career that brought Poeg 41 wins and 2 kills.

Few will mourn the last two warriors to pass this turn, Eca Za's disappointing Saifu and Aconite's almost-competent Flaangle, killed in turn by Yopi's Raven and Frank the Tank's Temujin Borjigin.

Saifu passes after taking in only 25 wins in 74 fights while Flaangle ends his career just barely under water with 31 wins and a kill in 63 fights.

Thus ends a fairly quiet week for the gods of death. May there be more paperwork for them to deal with in Turn 386.


CLIFF BANANA’S BC ROUNDUP
Greetings aficionados of the mortal arts! We were all treated to an action-filled round and fights numerous. Indeed, our fight totals jumped to thirty-seven Blood Challenge contests, well up from the previous turns' trend of totals in the low twenties. We also bore witness to a large number of Ugly challenges, far out-pacing the BC defenders by a tune of about 5.5 to 1! While this reporter is generally against the Ugly challenge, it has certainly provided a lively turn for us to break down and enjoy. Off to the roundup.

THE GOOD
Our list of the Good is rather short on BC defenders (again), as only three warriors displayed the fortitude to turn back Blood Challenges. SNAKE CREEPS DOWN represented the only true upset victory this turn in giving up thirty-nine fights while defeating Nads' HACK ATTACK. Ironman and Solincar fielded solid warriors and even more solid strategies in turning in minor upsets in the other two cases. Congratulations to all!

Chen Man Ching's SNAKE CREEPS DOWN (39)
Ironman's MCMUFFIN 2.5 (9)
Solincar Nelflan's FORLORN (8)

Our list of the Good continues with some steady managerial trends. Acheron served out some BC punishment to the interloping Boot Strap Billy. He makes this list despite laying out several Ugly challenges based on his public service contributions! We also have to do service to several managers who have amassed impressive BC records over the past three turns: The Spoiler (6-2), Violentkitty (4-1), Master Misfit (5-0), and Stimpy (4-0). Excellent work all!

THE BAD sponsored by Poppa Balrog
Our list of the bad includes both BC futility as well as some questionable decision-making in the pursuance of vengeance. The aforementioned Boot Strap Billy had a particularly difficult turn in being on the receiving end of four victorious Blood Challenges. Bill Taylor has had a rough stretch over the past several turns, failing to register a single BC victory in four qualifying fights. Finally, and with judgment that only Poppa Balrog could love, Ragnarok lost both of the BC's he issued this turn, with one of those challenges resulting in the death of a stablemember. As the Balrog smiles, the rest of the arena shakes their heads.

THE UGLY
What a lengthy and vile list of the Ugly this round. We have strong representation from some of the more veteran managers in the arena and we also have many managers with multiple entries. While we have previously lauded Acheron, we cannot ignore the fact that his name appears on the Ugly ledger three times this cycle. Joining Acheron on the list with multiple Ugly challenges were Palor, Eca Za, and Validian. The lone kill on the list of the Ugly belongs to Eca Za's STANLY IPCUS, putting to death Marcus' SYRINGE. What kind of a response should we expect from Marcus? Well, none really as the reticent manager rarely fires back. While the Olympics have muddied the waters a bit, it cannot be overlooked that Ilneval sent R'SHANN down eighty four fights to dice up Dux Mortalitas' THE CHEF. The arena will breathlessly await Dux's response to this injustice!

Ilneval's R'SHANN (84)
Acheron's MEGATON (79)
Acheron's ROBIN WILLIAMS (75)
Palor's XENBRU (70)
Acheron's FLUFFY (67)
Eca Za's GUTTER SLUDGE (62)
Sleazee P Martinee's CONAN THE BARBARIAN (61)
Eca Za's STANLY IPCUS (55)
Vic Vegas' BASQUE (47)
Palor's LOATHING (45)
Angel of Death's YDUR DOLA (44)
Stimpy's LOVE VULTURE (40)
Validian's THE ARENA WALL (38)
Dux Mortalitas' YAMAKAGASHI (38)
D-Man's THE PRESIDENT (32)
Validian's MITEY MOUSE (29)
Sanguine Savior's HORROR-TERIA (27)

As much as we had been asking for more BC activity, I'm not sure that list above was exactly what we were hoping for. Sheesh fellas.

Until next week!


MANAGER OF THE WEEK
Several managers had truly excellent weeks in the singles fight vacuum outside the Alliance Olympics, including Frank the Tank (20 wins), Master Misfit (19 wins), Vic Vegas and The Spoiler (18 wins apiece). Each are worthy of recognition for such excellent turns. However, with 17 wins and one of the highest point totals on the week against stronger and more pointed competition (Sleazee P Martinee, Potness Monster and Missus Bigus to be exact), the Gazette chooses to grant Manager of the Week to Legion of Darkness leader, Palor.

Congratulations to Palor on a most excellent turn.


RANDOM NOTES
For his BC trouble, and other less than honorable activities, Acheron was served up with 12 points of dishonor on the turn. Stimpy, who, like Acheron, served up three ugly BCs, was next up with 7 points of dishonor.

Caesar Invictus, with his simply stunning point total in this turn's Alliance Olympics match-up, also gained 8 points of honor through his upchallenge efforts.


THIS TURN IN QUOTES
"'Nother day, 'nother dollar. Seriously, there are 47 kills on my active roster. How many managers even have 47 kills?!? Trying to come up with something to say to you people week by week is getting tedious. Burn has seven, Horror five, Mother four, and Bender and Happy have six each. That's twenty-eight stupid little things where I'm, what... supposed to say something nice or encouraging about some jagov who should have just killed himself rather than step onto the sands? Maybe I'll just start numbering these interviews like I do the warriors I send to the monsters. Y'know like, "47. That's one more than 46". How's that for a eulogy?" - An on-edge Sanguine Savior, trying to sweep aside reporters after Bender's kill of Master Misfit's Aster Plaster this turn.

"What can I say? In regards to Butt Crack Wilhelmina, well, I couldn't resist sending the elbows after the way he has harassed certain Alliance Olympics participants, principally Ilneval and Cliff Banana. As for Megaton's drop, that requires a little background. Crossdresser over the last few weeks has chosen to sit teams out for three of my BCs. Ok, fine, the first two BCs came on deaths on my challenges. You wanna sit those, whatever. Somewhere, Poppa Balrog is smiling. However, Geico-Guy sat for two rounds after killing on his own challenge. It's just too bad my spies caught Crossdresser sneaking in turn orders for him late this week while he was still eligible for the third BC. What'd he think I was going to do, let Guy off with a stern lecture? Megaton didn't get the kill, but mark my words: he might as well get my name embossed on Guy's Avoids sheets because I will be visiting him every turn until he is dead." - Acheron, fending off reporters' questions about his relatively aberrant elbow drop Blood Challenges on the turn.

"I have great respect for Poeg and his stable of warriors. When I see that I have matched against one of his warriors, I anticipate a good fight. Nammu's was no exception, and he did not go quietly. His marching orders, however, may not have matched up well against Whiskeyjack's strategy. Such is the precarious fate of random match ups. In the end, Nammu took some heavy hits and ultimately expired before his time." - Marius, commenting on Poeg's loss this turn.

"Aster Plaster was a true brute. He was as strong and tough as an elephant and almost as smart as one, too, except that he'd always forget. He seemed to be doing pretty well getting his opponent to desperation. But then strategies changed and, of course, Aster did not catch on to it (nor to the ABCs for that matter). Thus, Sal had to clean up his mess. He will be missed." - Master Misfit, eulogizing Aster Plaster after the turn.


WHISPERS AROUND THE VETERAN'S BLADE
A war is coming. While it is obvious now that the Council and GAPPDA will go toe-to-toe following the Alliance Olympics, there are rumblings in the city that go beyond just rural farmland v. polka dots. Our spies trolling the taverns of this fair city begin to catch the whispers of co-conspirators. Is it possible that we might have two full wars blazing in the city in just over a month? Intertwined with these hints and strands of quiet truths we hear that at least one alliance will also be expanding. Oh joyous day. Stay tuned to this spot for more in the weeks to come.

That's it 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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