I conducted a special roundtable interview with leaders from all 3 of Server 9’s big alliances – TRUST, Chaos Factor, and Rangers – last Saturday, shortly after the game had ended. Posted below is the first part of this interview.
The players that were present were:
Rangers: Cupcake, Khess (aka Jess), Natasa (aka Manitowoc), Quietmonk
CF: Mooshie (aka Lone Tayra), Safi (aka Himanshu45754), Sparklyshiny (aka Elizabeth Swann from XYZ), Scorpio-Air, Jedeye, Borg_Splatter, Big G (arrived part-way through the interview)
TRUST: Bratsoni, Meet The Band (aka Layla), Petervle, Snake Plisskin
(Note: Some of the players from CF weren’t actually leaders, just players who got invited by other CF players. That was a bit of a mistake on my part, but I think most of them still had interesting things to say.)
To make it easy to tell which alliance is answering, Rangers answers are in green, CF’s answers are in blue, and TRUST’s answers are in red.
Throughout this interview, I have added some footnotes to responses if I had clarifications or notes to replies that people gave, or if another player had a dispute or more to add with something that was said. They’ll appear throughout the interview as parenthesied numbers, just(1) like(2) this(3). You can read the footnotes at the bottom of the interview.
During the interview, some side discussions and some arguments went on between some of the people participating in the Roundtable interview, but I tried to keep players from talking when it wasn’t their turn (I wasn’t very succesful). Most of this has been deleted from the interview below, so I could just include my questions and the alliance leaders responses.
Thanks again to all the leaders who took part in this interview.
UPDATE: See footnote #9 below for two updates with clarifications from Inocka and Big G.
Randomgeek: Okay, so I’ll start by asking the first question to Rangers: I’d like to first start by giving you the opportunity to explain in your own words why you decided to have Babuk withdraw from TRUST and switch to Rangers when it was on level 99?
Natasa: I`ll take this one. Despite what everyone thought, I invited Babuk back to his original wing. All the confeds were same as in TRUST, so same team was there too.
Randomgeek: Okay, wait, so are you saying that TRUST is the winning Meta-alliance then?(1)
Natasa: The only thing that changed was the name of an alliance he was in, which was his original alliance in the first place. The winners are all who helped feed and build and defend Cupcake.(2)
Randomgeek: Okay, but is TRUST the winners then, in your viewpoint?
Cupcakes: Kama, May I?
Cupcakes: TRUST was a Huge meta.
(At this point Cupcakes got interrupted by other people at the Roundtable. After she and I both asked them to be quiet and they had settled down, I re-asked the question to hopefully get the interview back on track)
Randomgeek: Okay, so I want every Rangers player here to answer, is TRUST the winning alliance, and did Babuk just merely switch back to his original wing, not to betray Trust, but just to be a part of his original team?
Cupcakes: I will start. TRUST was a massive collection of players. When you have thousands of players, it’s like herding kittens. Some go your way the others don’t. We played in TRUST until it was clear that TRUST was splintering. Our splinter took the win.(3) Kama, Please explain.
Natasa: Inocka was talking to me at the time it all happened. She asked me to drop Thunder confeds, but I refused. The only ones that were not on the list are the ones that never sent a confed offer in the first place.(4)
Randomgeek: Quietmonk, I want to hear what you have to say.
Natasa: Quietmonk was at work at the time it all happened.
Randomgeek: Quietmonk, are you here?
Quietmonk: Yes I am here.
Randomgeek: Okay, so what do you say, was this a TRUST win or a Rangers win?
Quietmonk: It was a win for those smiling.
Randomgeek: Okay, but I just want a straight answer, did Rangers betray TRUST and win on their own, or did TRUST win this (with) Babuk joining his origianl alliance?(5)
(There were more interruptions at this point – the roundtable was really going ballistic at this point. Again, Rangers and I asked other people at the roundtable to be quiet to let them finish answering. Is this an action packed interview or what?)
Randomgeek: Quietmonk, and any other Rangers leaders, please just answer this with a one word answer: Who Won, TRUST or Rangers?
Cupcakes: We have answered.
Randomgeek: Answer again.
Cupcakes: The players who are smiling today are all winners.
Randomgeek: Can you please just give me a straight answer to my question? That’s all I’m asking.
Cupcakes: Randomgeek, I’m not sure you understand Travian. It’s a complicated game.
Randomgeek: You’re not answering my question. It’s a simple question guys, just answer it.
Cupcakes: If you need a technical answer, then look at the server.
Natasa: We did not drop our non-Ranger confeds on purpose, although we were asked to, and we had a chance to.(6) Thunder did help us build our WW to some extent, and we are grateful for that. We did not back stab anyone, we did not steal a win from anyone, we just took Babuk home.
Randomgeek: Okay, so going by Natasa’s answer, TRUST is the winners. Do I understand that correctly(7)? Please guys, I’m trying my best here.
Quietmonk: We did not say that. Read into anything you want.(8)
(There were more interruptions here throughout – the interview didn’t get off to the greatest start. We’ll come back to this topic later in the interview anyway, so keep reading. I think the interview got a little bit out of control at the start, and Rangers really didn’t get a chance to finish on this question. But things did get better as the interview went on.)
Randomgeek: All right, I’m going to switch to asking CF questions now.
Randomgeek: So CF players, here goes: Did you think that TRUST would prevent Babuk’s World Wonder from reaching level 100, and therefore you didn’t have to?
Safi (Himanshu45754): We at first thought so, yes. And as Rangers told us, they too thought so.
jedeye: Randomgeek, most of CF players were under (the) impression that we were gonna hit all 3 leading TRUST WWs.
Scorpio-Air: Well this is not as straight forward… Initially we thought TRUST will hit, then later we came to know Thunder will not hit, but they (thunder) wanted us to hit.
Randomgeek: CF question #2: If Trust and Rangers had starting fighting against one another, do you think you would have then had a chance to win, or was TRUST still too strong?
Scorpio-Air: We always had a chance.. however slim it was.
Safi (Himanshu45754): TRUST were not strong .. they were well organized which was something we lacked at server end.
Dave|Mooshie|Tayra: We specifically were told not to hit Rangers up to level 93.
Randomgeek: By who, Tayra?
Dave|Mooshie|Tayra: Syed, Big G, Avie. Multiple big guys, so it was widespread.
Randomgeek: Did they say why?
Dave|Mooshie|Tayra: That Babuk would be switching.(9)
Randomgeek: CF question #3: Why didn’t you openly try to ally with Rangers yourself, especially after they broke up with Thunder earlier in the endgame?
Dave|Mooshie|Tayra: We took up the RT group.(10)
Borg, Splatter: Hmmm …. I think this comes down to the fact that Rangers at the very least were playing CF if not also Thunder. It was foolish to believe that Rangers would turn to CF as some perhaps did. I find it weird that in Quietmonk’s address in the forum he hinted that it was not a TRUST win and now they seems to distance from this stand.
Scorpio-Air: Dont judge us… Splatter. We knew for the fact that Babuk will change tag.
Borg, Splatter: Hmmm I’m not judging, I knew for some time about the offer that Rangers made with CF to change tags….. At the same time I think it has to be said that in hindsight not the best move.
Randomgeek: Here’s my first question for TRUST: I don’t think you ever really trusted Rangers, so why did you put the game on the line in this way?
layla (Meet The Band): You need someone who was doing the negotiations to answer that. Inocka would be best but maybe Bratsoni can chip in.
Pieter (Petervle): Don’t know much about it either, but Inocka told me she didn’t want to break her word by hitting them.
Snake Plissken(11): From the JD point of view, our allies ally was our friend.
Bratsoni: I was there. I can answer it pretty accurately. Me and Inocka had made promises to natasa/mowgli/khess that we wont hit them. Simple as that. And we kept our promise. Next question Random.
Randomgeek: Thunder was secretly helping JD and other SW alliances for several months, with the intention of having them betray CF and join Thunder. Leaders who took part in this often talked about how Thunder was playing the game with “honor”, and are now very upset with Rangers for betraying them. I understand the two betrayals aren’t exactly the same thing, but aren’t these two actions a contradiction, to some degree?
Bratsoni: Snake is better suited to answer that. After he says his piece I can say Thunder opinion also.
Snake Plissken: Working with Thunder started in a cordial way when we initially rebelled against the south, they helped us and in time we returned the favor helping each other out with artifacts and such, the decision to work with Thunder was there since roughly December towards end game , personally am I upset with the rangers, no not really, switching at the last moment, okay, I get why they did it. So yes it is a contradiction to some degree.
Bratsoni: Us working with JD isn’t something new.
layla (Meet The Band): On the other hand, JD had confeds with Thunder wings for 6 months. If CF didn’t want to believe it its their fault. It was there all the way.
Bratsoni: It was known as layla said for months. It is a contradiction…kinda, I will semi agree there.
Pieter (Petervle): In my opinion there is a difference, cause JD came out with enough time left for our enemies to react. Rangers came out exactly one hour before end game, without giving the enemy time to react. That’s a key difference in my opinion.
Randomgeek: Okay. Back to Rangers now. How much time was left before the end of the game when Babuk switched alliances?
Natasa: 1 hour, but not because we planed it that way, but because we had to wait for Babuk to come on line.
Randomgeek: Would you say that you betrayed TRUST, yes or no?
Cupcakes: We feel that you are leading the questions. I hope you have so many Yes/No questions for the other Factions. No, we did not betray Trust. We fulfilled a promise.
Randomgeek: What was the promise that you fulfilled?
Cupcakes: Quietmonk will answer.
Quietmonk: Well it was very simple I told Brantsoni we would retag at level 99.
Randomgeek: Okay. I’d like to have the details about when you made that promise, but you can just PM me then, I’ll move on to the next question.
Quietmonk: I told him we would do this 11 months ago. lol (12)
Randomgeek: Okay, good to know.
Bratsoni: No, I object. I want to answer here. He mentioned my name.
jedeye: Yeah let Brats answers here.
Randomgeek: Okay, fine Brats, go ahead but keep it short.
Bratsoni: That was a promise he made, when there was not even Thunder, we were CareBears…I didn’t even remember it, until 3 days ago. But what about the promises that natasa/khess and mowgli did? That’s why this move was just from a guy that his ego was hurt.
Randomgeek: Brats, you’ve made your point. I get what you’re saying. I’m going to move on now.
Natasa: You can PM me about that anytime, Brats, now let’s just finish this.
Randomgeek: CF, question for you: What would you say was the turning point of the endgame? How did things get to point where it was clear that you couldn’t damage TRUST’s World Wonders enough in order for your side to win?
Dave|Mooshie|Tayra: End Point: Would have been Watchers World Wonder going down, and the loss of the (3x building stability) artifact.(17)
Scorpio-Air: Turning Point for us was hit on The Watcher.
Safi (Himanshu45754): It was not when we lost the artifacts, plans or even the World Wonders. It was when our leaders vanished, one after the other. We had no one to guide us, no one. We were left in the dark, and we didn’t know what to do next
Dave|Mooshie|Tayra: Especially after The Watcher’s World Wonder was attacked.
Safi (Himanshu45754): No, it was before that, Dave.
sparklynshiney: It was before Watcher died, way before.
Randomgeek: TRUST, when Ranger’s World Wonder was nearing the last levels – level 95 and up, and still CF didn’t attack them, didn’t you start to suspect that something strange was going on?
Bratsoni: We had a vote at around that time, cause Tauno and Channing and some others wanted to hit them. The voting went in favour of not hitting,
layla (Meet The Band): I have to say here, yes, I know you promised that, but I have to say, if I had known what I have heard until now, I would’ve voted otherwise. In fact, I wouldn’t have even bothered to vote. I had armies with Babuk’s name written on them ready to roll out from deep NE at any second.
Bratsoni: We know layla.
Snake Plissken: From our point, we could not effect the outcome at all at that point.
Pieter (Petervle): Well the problem with rangers is they lie so much we didn’t know who they were lying to I guess.
Randomgeek: Okay, another question for TRUST: Given that people had their doubts about whether they could trust Rangers, why did leaders feel the need for Rangers to be a part of TRUST?
Pieter (Petervle): I can’t comment on that, don’t know enough about it to answer
layla (Meet The Band): Randomgeek, again, the person to answer that is Inocka. Bratsoni and Mwood were also in the table with Rangers.
Bratsoni: It was simple, I was against it at first. I didn’t want rangers in, no one did. Except Inocka, she trusted Khess and Mowgli a lot, so we took her word for it, because she thought that the words of those people meant something. (SIDENOTE: WE DONT BLAME INOCKA FOR NOTHING. If it wasn’t for her, Thunder wouldn’t exist)
Randomgeek: Rangers, Did you ever think of quitting the game, when things were going badly for you, or were you always resolute to stick it out to the end?
Natasa: Rangers are not quitters, never were, never will be.
Quietmonk: You can not beat a man who will not quit.
Randomgeek: Given that the Babuk switching alliances has generated a lot of anger, and that you still would have won even if he hadn’t switched, do you think it was worth it?
Cupcakes: We only care about our friends.
Quietmonk: When you make a promise you should keep it.
Jess (aka Khess): We didn’t expect such personal insults, for a game, for a tag, while we knew the win is for all those who helped, fed, and supported Babuk’s World Wonder.
Randomgeek: So Jess, are you saying that everyone from TRUST who helped Babuk is a part of the win? (13)
Jess: Yes. And I thank them for that…
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading part one this Roundtable Interview.
Part two will be posted on the site sometime in the next few days!
I hope it doesn’t seem like this is an attempt by me to get Rangers to say that TRUST is the winners too because I was a player in TRUST, though I think it may have seemed that way to Rangers leaders during the interview. After any game of Travian ends, I routinely ask for clarification (if any is needed) from the leaders of the victorious alliance about which of their confederates should be listed as the winners on my site, and that’s what I’m trying to do here. In the past I have always listened to what winning alliance leaders had to say and made the entry according to their specifications, and if Rangers had given me specifications I would have followed them, but they chose not to. (Here’s some good examples of where I got clarifications from other winning alliance leaders and used them on my site: On the recent Server 2, MDA leaders told me that 3 wings tha were allied with them were not worthy to be listed in their entry into the Travian Hall of Champions, and so I removed them from the entry on the site. And on the the recent Server 7, I was told to add alliances that weren’t confederated with the winners to the Hall of Champions entry because they had been a big help to the winners even though they weren’t allied with them officially in the game.) Most alliance leaders don’t have a problem answering a question like this, but once again Server 9 is an exception.
This isn’t the first server where I’ve seen a player say “the winners are everyone who helped support the winning World Wonder, regardless of which alliance they are in”. I think this is an acceptable way to view the game, but as someone who runs a site that list the winners of each server, I really need a list of the winning alliances to make an entry. It would be impossible for me go and figure out which individual players supported the winning World Wonder, which is why I list the winning alliances. Unfortunately, it looks like I’m not going to get a simple, easy to follow list for this server, so making the Hall of Champions is going to be a little bit difficult for me. Expect the entry to look a little different than the other ones on my site.
Cupcakes says that Rangers played in TRUST until it was clear that TRUST was splintering, but I’m nearly 100% certain that no other alliances splintered from TRUST beside Rangers, or even thought about doing so. None of TRUST’s leaders have ever talked about other TRUST groups possibly leaving. At this point CF and TRUST were interrupting Rangers, and the following was said:
Safi (Himanshu45754): Rangers.. why are you acting like it was a last minute decision?? I knew about it for weeks. I am confused.
Bratsoni: We as TRUST didn’t (know).
Dave | Mooshie (CF-SW): You played both sides guys.
Safi (Himanshu45754): And it was smart. So why are you afraid to admit it?
Dave | Mooshie (CF-SW): They had hinted about jumping for a while.
Scorpio-Air: Well Brat, Inocka too knew it.
Bratsoni: We were fearing it would happen, we didn’t know it (would).
Safi (Himanshu45754): The story in short is that both sides were wary and expected the other side to hit Babuk.. and they didn’t realize that no one made any move till it was too late!
I’ve got an interview with Inocka that I’ll also post on this site in the near future, so you can read her take on the series of events that Natasa is talking about. The two of them had different descriptions about what happened.
I should have just dropped the question at this point instead of persisting with it. Oh well, live an learn.
TRUST’s leaders say that they never asked Rangers to drop the confeds, but Natasa is right that Rangers had time to drop the confeds if they wanted to.
I was jumping to conclusions here at the time, she didn’t really say that.
This isn’t exactly what Quietmonk said here, but I think he made a typo and this is what he was trying to say.
“Think about it however you want to” seems to be the common thread running through all of Rangers responses to the questions about who the winners are. So I guess at the end of the day, that’s what we’ll have to do. That’s why there won’t be one single definitive list of the winners of this server on Travian Champions. I’m going to be presenting different possible lists of winners, and readers can determine for themselves which one they think is the “right” list. There’s not really a clear single answer to the question “Who won S9.com?”
Big G showed up later in the chat, but he wasn’t there when Tayra said this. It’s too bad, it would have been good to hear what he had to say about this. If I can find a place where he talks about this I’ll add what he has to say here.
UPDATE: I talked to Big G about this and here’s what he said after reading what Tayra wrote:
Big G: There are 2 reasons why I asked my guys not to hit.
1. There was the deal with babuk.
2. Secondly, and most importantly, the hammers will have done nothing if they had been launched at that time. What will 3-5 hammers, the largest probably about 140k, and the smallest about 60k, do to a level 93 WW with a lot of def. Even when I managed to gather more hammers, they didn’t do any damage.
Big G also said that he was the one who ordered the last-minute attack against Babuk that unfortunately didn’t arrive in time.
Also, Natasa from Rangers spoke up at this point, and had the following exchange with Scorpio, before Safi nicely used the argument they were having to sum up how each side was hoping the other one would lose the stare-down and hit Babuk:
Scorpio-Air: But they (thunder) wanted us to hit.
Natasa: Same as CF asked Thunder to hit us.
Scorpio-Air: No, I got a message from Inocka that Thunder wanted us to hit Babuk.
Natasa: I got a message from Inocka that CF asked her to hit Babuk.
Safi (Himanshu45754): “I got a message from Inocka that CF asked her to hit Babuk.” “I got a message from Inocka that Thunder wanted us to hit Babuk.” Everyone, look at this please, and you will know everything. :)
UPDATE: This is another thing that gets talked about during my interview with Inocka, and her side of the story is very different from what Scorpio says. She says that she never told CF that Thunder wanted them to hit Babuk.
After TRUST kicked Rangers off their side earlier in the endgame, some of the Rangers wing in the Northeast did join CF, but the majority of Rangers stayed as their own separate group, which was then later re-allied with TRUST.
Snake Plisskin was the leader of JD, which officially became a part of TRUST later in the endgame, so most of his answers in the interview focus on their view on things. They were located in the Southwest, unlike most of the rest of TRUST which was in the north.
I’m not sure if this “we made a promise 11 months ago” answer is supposed to be a serious answer or a flippant one, but in either case it’s an amazing thing to say something that early in the game and then have it come true in the end despite the very bad odds of such a specific sequence of events playing out. This “promise” was only known to a very small number of players, the majority of Rangers and TRUST members had no idea about this private conversation that took place between Quietmonk and Bratsoni during the earliest talks between KISS and Carebears. I asked Quietmonk more about this “promise” in a private interview and I’ll put his answers on the site in a later post.
I asked Jess this via PM but she wanted to have this posted in the main chat. Her answer here, while saying that she does consider TRUST players who helped Babuk to be the winners, doesn’t contradict what Rangers leaders said earlier about everyone who helped support Babuk being winners.
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