^ I have to offer my thanks to this poster. In the time since my question, I've picked up the game semi-regularly using the melee farming method as described to me above. That was precisely what I was looking for. From there, I went on to enjoy many Showdowns, and participated in the Campaign when it rolled around.
Thanks a bunch, without your tip I would have likely either shelved the game or remained lost. --- http://s6.invisionfree.com/No_Mercy_4_Life GT: SD Crippler