Travian Champions Interviews Ice (aka Red Queen)

After the end of S8.com 08-09, I did an interview with Red Queen, also known as “Ice,”  from the winning alliance ap.PTT. Red Queen was a co-played account and Ice was one of the two players on it.

Randomgeek:  You had some previous experience leading a Meta-alliance in Travian before, during the past S6.com. Tell us a little bit about that, and why you decided to do it again.

Ice (RQ): Last server 6 was my first time playing travian, I started the server half way through and knew nothing about travian. I didn’t take over the meta leadership until about a month before endgame. The odds were overwhelming against us but we did the best we could and gave our selves a fighting chance in the end. Although we lost I took it as a learning experience that would hopefully serve me well in the future.

Randomgeek: What were some of the things you learned on that server that helped you win on S8?

Ice (RQ): One lesson I learned was that trust was the foundation of effective cooperation between alliances. On that server I was in a similar position as SBD and LEGO were (on S8.com), with no history of cooperation but the necessity to work together with another quad to eliminate the larger threat.  There were many trust issues and no cooperation.  The server ended prematurely because of this lack of cooperation. This leads to the second lesson learned which is that effective hammer use and maintenance is critical to success.  On S8 I made sure to work closely to work with our apeiron allies and keep all hammers engaged and on track.

Randomgeek: Do you think your alliance was the most organized of the 4 Metas, and did that help make the difference in the end?

Ice (RQ): Prior to endgame phase there was very little organization and coordination between the PTT wings. PTT was not a cohesive alliance but leading up to endgame I reorganized the wings geographically, improved communication (new forums and MMs) and implemented central decision making to give us a better chance for endgame. It was not perfect as there was still some sub-alliances that did their own things mainly due to language barriers.  This new streamlined organization and goal focusing, allowed PTT to work better as a team and take 5 WWs and 5 plans in a coordinated fashion. I did not get to see the inner working of the other alliances so I cannot say we were the most organized. But I can say we were alot better organized than we were two months before endgame.

Randomgeek: Given that your side had a lot of things go your way that were out of your control – One of LEGO’s leaders – CartesianCo – deleting, the Northeast’s internal wars, SBD only grabbing one World Wonder, LEGO only grabbing two sets of plans, and the other side miscalculating how much infrastrucure you had built at the end… Do you think Ap.PTT had the most luck during the endgame of the 3 sides, and did that help make the difference in the end?

Ice (RQ): I dont believe in luck. There is only opportunity matched with preparation. It is true that CartesianCo went inactive but his account was actively played by leadership. (On our side) the original King of Defense left shortly before endgame. LEGO made the strategic decision that they could not defend 4 wonders, this was not a spot of bad luck but something decided by their leadership.  It also helped their decision that Heinz-James successfully convinced LEGO leaders that CartesianCo may have been compromised. This is not luck.  Plans are not given to you they are taken. PTT successfully conquered 5 out of the 6 plans we attempted to obtain.  Success and failure is decided by organization and activity not luck.

As for the NE, again SBD only grabbing one WW according to their own leadership was a strategic decision and even if it was not, their failure could not have been ascribed to bad luck. PTT planned for 5 wonders and conquered 5 wonders, this did not happen by accident.  As for their internal wars, one cannot dismiss faulty diplomacy as bad luck, it is part of the full spectrum of travian. Lastly miscalculation of our remaining infrastructure was not bad luck. We were all working with incomplete information trying to make the best decisions we could. Furthermore, we purposely built extra capacity as part of our strategy of having our WWs bounce back quickly from GW hits. This was not luck this was the plan.

In sum, there were too many smart people on all sides working hard for months, to say that the result was just a matter of luck.  Everything you mentioned is part of the long chain of cause and effect. None of the things you mentioned happen in a vacuum, but happen as a result of an action taken by somebody.

Randomgeek: Some people have said that Ap.PTT couldn’t have possibly lost and had the Endgame won from the start. Personally I disagree, especially as the actual finish was pretty darn close. But what’s your take? Did you feel like you had a large advantage? If so, did that impact your play?

Ice (RQ): ap.PTT’s only advantage was our coordination and cooperation. This is something that SBD and LEGO did not have until the final month of endgame. Our meta only comprised half the server meaning we still had to overcome the other half. If some of our enemies were weaker than they should have been, that is because we weakened them. We played the endgame we wanted. If our enemies cannot say the same, I think that means we did something right.

Randomgeek: How close was the finish, to the best of your knowledge? How close do you think SBD or LEGO was to winning?

Ice (RQ): We know we set LEGO back at least another week according to one of their leaders, Darkseid. They would not have overcome us.  Cassini was the only real threat. To win they needed to delay every ap.ptt wonder ahead of them. After SBD sent out its last hammers, we still believe that both indoing and obviously Obor were ahead of Cassini. Although it was a close race they would have still needed two super hammers to knock them both out. They didn’t have them and neither did we and that is why Obor won.

Randomgeek: So two more big armies would have made the difference?

Ice (RQ): Yes, but there were only a handful of those size armies to begin with on the server in any case. And at that stage of the server no one expected to see anymore other than Kirsa’s (SBD) legendary and imaginary second hammer. I am sure all sides wished they could have found two more super armies of 250k+ hidden somewhere in their quad.  The largest remaining army was jajoh of apeiron who reportedly had a 200k army left. Both LEGO and SBD said they had no more hammers of the size necessary to change the outcome.

Randomgeek: You mentioned earlier how important proper Hammer use is, so I wanted to ask about the massive attack Ap.PTT arranged on SBD’s sole World Wonder. How did you go about planning that attack, choosing how many armies to use, which ones to use, which ones not to use, etc.?

Ice (RQ): Up until that point apeiron and PTT had not shared their full hammer lists. When it became apparent how well defended Cassini was, both sides agreed that it was time to put all cards on the table. Both sides agreed that the strike would be “make or break” and that we would not be able to do significant damage at that wonder a second time.  Therefore we needed to do as much damage as we possibly could in one strike and we would need to win before Cassini recovered.  Before the strike we had fresh intelligence on the wonder, but given the importance of the strike it we decided to overcompensate by 125%. Before the strikes went out we began faking known SBD hammer players and leaders which resulted in a large decrease in defenses once the attack landed. Our overestimation of defenses plus panicked withdrawals from SBD resulted in what some would call “overkill”.  However, the purpose was to definitively knock Cassini out of the race in one hit and it seems we did that. 🙂

On a side note, we had a few hammers attack Cassini without orders just because they knew a large strike was occurring.

Randomgeek: I know that PTT had its own leadership council, when Ap.PTT came together and you started to really share information with each other, what was the leadership arrangement like? How were big decisions made in Ap.PTT?

Ice (RQ): We had a shared skype room with all leaders of PTT and apeiron and other officers.  As issues arose we discussed them and reached a consensus but no official votes were taken.  Thinking back I don’t recall a situation in which we disagreed with each other on how to proceed.

Randomgeek: When you realized that you had finally won, how did it feel for you personally? What did you look back on most fondly?’

Ice (RQ): Personally, a sense of accomplishment and relief. My first instinct was to thank all our world wonder holders and sitters that put in ungodly amounts of time.  The two best moments for me during endgame were having Bofiwar’s (LEGO) hammer capital zero popped after he harassed King of Defense on which I was a sitter. And also the complete destruction of all of Bellhouse’s (LEGO) villages which required the coordination of over 25 players and whose success obviated the need to attack Bellhouse’s strongly defended WW (at that time) and preserved our remaining hammers for Arnold.

Randomgeek: Tell us a little bit about the person behind Ice and what she does when she’s not leading Travian alliances.

Ice (RQ): I am a happily married 28 year old attorney and practice family law. I live in Illinois. I enjoy volunteering in the community and on local political campaigns. I can list a lot more of the hobbies I used to have before travian sapped a lot of my free time, lol. I plan on cutting back the amount of time I play travian but I do plan on returning to help lead another alliance in the future.

Randomgeek: Are you really made of ice?

Ice (RQ): Some say I am but you only see that side of me if you don’t follow orders. :p

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4 Responses

  1. Go Icy! One server down, one more to go (s6)… =P

  2. Well, i have to say something.

    We had two leaders of PTT before RQ.
    First it was supdude, and when he left it was joelhsieh.
    And during period of their leadership we was in war on our quadrant against Ares, Aztec, OGC, OG and some other smaller alliances.
    That was peroid when apeiron and LEGO were confeded.
    And during their leadership we destroyed all enemies in our quadrant.
    And after all that fights, our leadership decided to do reorganisation of PTT.
    That was in april, but I`m not sure about that. Maybe it was a month earlier.
    And after that reorganisation,RQ become leader of PTT.

    We had a good comunication, we had a good coordination, we had a lot of well organized attacks and defends before RQ become leader.

    And I can`t agree with her when she said that was a very little comunication and coordination between PTT wings.
    We were good even before she become PTT member.

  3. Congrats to all my PTT and apeiron brothers and sisters. Thanks to everyone who put in so much time and effort pushing us all toward the win. I know who you all were and I thank you so much, mostly to Red Queen, Heinz, Tommy, and SD who kept the team together and focused. Everybody’s contribution is necessary but it is worth nothing without the people that keep things moving.

  4. Congratulations for all my brothers and sisters in Ap.PTT. Well, i think RQ wasn’t fair in some of her speech. I agree with Shella and would add that this winning is belong to all the members and all the council. RQ made her self the leader and was not ellected by PTT or council. But no one objected because no one want to break the communications in the end game. All of us wanted to win and thats why we were keeping in silence most of the time. but to be honest, RQ was planning 24/7 and she has a big part of that winning. About mentioning the re-organization, RQ did nothing about it. I(my dual peacefull22) gathered the council again with assistance from Jerry(Enema) & Jahneero.

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