On Thursday I posted my recap of the S9.com finish that I wrote for Travian Magazine, but I also wanted to do some more in-depth analysis of the ending, so that’s what this post will focus on (and after this I’ll try to finish posting the interview – I’ve ran into a glitch with getting it done the way I wanted to, but I’ve come up with a solution that should work).
In an earlier post about the S9.com endgame, I talked about how when Babuk’s World Wonder took the lead, both TRUST and CF were locked into a stare down. Both sides were expecting the other to make the first move and launch the attack on Babuk’s World Wonder, which had a clear lead in the standings. As days went on, the stare down continued, and both sides refused to act.
For TRUST, they thought that they had their side’s World Wonder in the lead, and that CF was just trying to get them to waste their own armies in attacking it. They thought that eventually CF would have no choice but to attack it themselves. The longer CF went without attacking it, the more they thought that CF was trying to goad them into action. Their leaders had also “given their word” that they would not attack Babuk and thus they wanted to hold themselves to this promise (more about this in a later post…)
For CF, who had been the ones to initiate the stare down by hitting TRUST’s other leading World Wonders, they thought that TRUST was just trying to push them into action against a world wonder that TRUST had no intention of letting win themselves. And they didn’t want to waste their precious armies on a target they though they didn’t have to hit, because they were behind at this point and they knew it, so they had to make every army left count (the general consensus among S9 players was that while CF still had several larger armies left at this point, they likely didn’t have enough to damage all of TRUST’s other top 3 World Wonders twice, which they would need to, as everyone knew that TRUST had enough to take down Big G, the only CF World Wonder in striking distance at this point).
Both TRUST and CF thought the other was trying to trick them. But instead, Rangers tricked them both (or betrayed them both, depending on how you look at it).
Apparently some CF leaders (but I emphasize only some) had attempted to make a deal with Rangers for Rangers to switch the World Wonder to CF when it reached level 100 (I’ll talk more on this in a later post – but ugh, I feel dirty just thinking about something like that). Of course, as we can all see, this didn’t happen – Rangers only wanted the level 100 World Wonder for themselves.
Apparently some other leaders from CF did finally realize that TRUST wasn’t going to hit Babuk, and that no rogue TRUST players were going to do it for them (which was a possibility I’m sure all 3 sides in this had strongly considered), so they did launch some of their big armies against Babuk, but unfortunately for CF, and ironically even more unfortunate for TRUST, they did not arrive in time. Thus Babuk got to level 100 without ever facing a major attack besides the Natars (at least to my knowledge).
This staredown between CF and TRUST was something that both sides viewed as being important to win, but both of them knowingly took a big risk in waiting, and in the end they played with fire and got burned. If either side had been the one to slow down Babuk, they would both look a lot less foolish right now, and we likely wouldn’t have had this bizarre finish (This was probably Rangers one and only shot at doing what they did). It should also be noted that both sides had some internal dissent over whether or not they were doing the right thing, but in the end they stuck with this course of action despite the objections of some of their players, who now can get a small amount of solace from saying “I told you so”.
During my coverage of S9, I always said that the politics of Server 9 were complex and that they would play an important part of the game’s outcome, but I would never have guessed that the outcome would be something as strange as this. This endgame had by far the strangest and most complex politics of any of the Servers I’ve covered on this site so far. And I’ll try to break down those politics a bit more before I close the book on this server, and I’ll also be posting reaction to the outcome of the game from various players. Stay tuned for more soon!
I think a lesson that all players can take from this outcome is that in Travian, doing nothing is sometimes the most dangerous course of action an alliance can take.