S2.com: Project Mayhem

While Project Mayhem didn’t have an overwhelmingly large influence on the Server 2 endgame, their overall impact on the game cannot be understated. So I wanted to do a post that takes a look at the damage this small but elite alliance was able to inflict on the world of Travian.

Here’s quick recap of what PM did on S2.com. I don’t have time to get super in-depth so please excuse me if there are some details that I skip over.

PM originated as a tightly knit group of good players who wanted to play Server 2 and just have fun as a small team, do a lot of fighting, and not become part of a larger Meta-alliance (I’ve also heard that part of the reason they wanted to stay as just one wing was because they didn’t want it to be possible for anyone to spy on them). And they managed to become one of the most succesful small alliances ever in Travian, going far beyond what most of their members likely ever expected, and earning the respect of every alliance on the server for their skill and results. They lasted the length of the entire server even though they expected to be taken out early in it when they met with a larger foe. They deserve a lot of credit for their play skill, but PAN, the alliance they spent most of the game fighting, also made some mistakes that allowed PM to flourish and become a permanent fixture on Server 2.

As the end of the game neared, a PM member posted the following on the forums, which gives a good explanation of what PM was all about:

Cythlen: Since there seems to be endless confusion about what we were, or what we intended…

Objective 1 — get into heavy fighting early, and hopefully ruin someone’s chances at endgame
Objective 2 — keep fighting until we’re dead

That was it

We should’ve been dead, 5 months ago, BY DESIGN, except for the inability of PAN to get the job done.

We accomplished objective 1 a long time ago…and #2, well, some of us are still here, and the others gave up the goal of death as being a futile pursuit.

So, please, before you try to judge our alliance based on typical meta/ally standards, understand that what we were doing had nothing to do with those standards.

We knee-capped PAN, mission accomplished.

60 accounts…ran by about 130 players…taken from at least 5 metas of the last S2…to see what a small group of strong players could accomplish.

So, the next time you ask yourself, “you know, I bet a small group of players who are actually involved and participating could do more than an entire meta”…we answered the question already, and the answer is yes. They can, and they did.

PM did what many outnumbered alliances do – cluster together in one sector of of the map, and clear it from all significant opposition. This meant they could move their defensive troops around quickly, and they did an overall excellent job of defending throughout the game.

Eventually they did a single support Wing, |PM|, that consisted of players from other Northeast alliances that wanted to help Project Mayhem against PAN. They also were on good terms with Potdogs, another northern alliance with good players that stayed largely independent.

MDA benefitted from the damage PM caused in the Northern quadrants, so they had an unwritten Non-aggression pact with PM throughout most of the game. The fighting between the two really only kicked into high gear after PM conquered one of the World Wonders, at which point MDA started to see them as an enemy. But PM never really put a committed effort into the endgame. They failed to grab one of the WW construction plans initially (MDA deserves some credit for that), and then they never really an effort to get plans afterwards (Panexus was able to steal one of MDA’s construction plans, so you’d think PM would likely have been able to if they had tried). And then the player who held their World Wonder city deleted his account (this was the first time I’ve ever seen a World Wonder deleted).

But PM’s lack of effort during endgame doesn’t take away from how much they accomplished as a small alliance. Their stats were amazing for a group of their size.


An unaligned alliance being ranked as the #4 attacker? You don’t see that very often. Note that the gap between them and the #3 and #2 alliances isn’t very big, showing that they were on the same level as the best alliances of MDA when it came to attacking.  And keep in mind that if you took Trevrep (the #1 attacking player) out of MDA L and instead had an average MDA player in his place, then MDA L would drop down to 5th overall. Without Trevrep’s record-breaking attack score, the race for #1 attacking alliance is a lot closer.

And this is after several of PM’s top players quit before the end of the server.

Now take a look at their defense score:

PM finished the game ranked #5 overall for defense, which again is very impressive for a group of their small size, who didn’t really get a ton of reinforcements from other wings like the other top defenders likely did.

PM never took a single Natar attack, unlike the players in the higher ranked alliances, which all took several (MDA 4Pay obviously dealt with a ton of Natar attacks, as did Panexus to a lesser extent, and World Wonder holders Stypa and The_Falcon are in PAN SzS and U.S., respectively). So unlike the 4 alliances ranked above it for defense, all of PM’s defense points come from real players and not NPCs.

PM was

PM was also ranked #6 overall for raiding out of all the alliances, and they were the highest ranked alliance not in MDA.

I wanted to get a shot of all of the medals that PM accumulated, but there are so many that it’s way too big to fit onto one screen. So to give you some idea, I zoomed out and then took a screenshot:

Each row of medals is for a different week, starting at week #4 and continuing all the way down to week #50.

Let’s not forget about the artifacts. PM held a couple of the unique artifacts (Eagle Eyes and Artifact of the Fool), and many of the great ones as well. They had the best player-to-artifact ratio, after taking 13 artifacts total shortly after they came to the server. Again, this is the kind of the thing that a small alliance doesn’t do very often.

Aside from just these impressive stats, PM’s effect on the outcome of the game was immense. I don’t mean to take anything away from MDA, who worked hard to achieve their absolute domination, but the bloodshed caused by PM definitely created a power vacuum in the Northeast. PAN probably would have had trouble holding onto its armies and artifacts regardless, but PM also played a role in how beaten down the large northern meta-alliances were headed into the endgame.

In the end, Project Mayhem may have been the ones who made the biggest mistake – they sold themselves short and they underestimated what they could do. If they had set their goals higher, they likely could have reached them as well. Perhaps with PM as the leaders of a united north, the game would have had a different turnout instead of a one-sided rout by MDA. Of course, doing this would have required them to ally with another group, and if they didn’t want to do so, that’s their decision (but it wouldn’t have necessarily required them to take on more wings). I can’t criticize PM for playing the game in the way they enjoy the most. If you’re one of the best basketball player in the world but you don’t want to be in the NBA, that’s your call. If you’re some of the best Travian players around you don’t have to play to win if you don’t want to. But it’s regretful to see an alliance that probably could have been in contention for victory settle for less. The endgame was more lacklustre because of it. A competitive alliance led by PM and including Potdogs, another powerful Northern alliance that stay independent from Panexus, along with other scattered members from northern alliances that would flock to such a well organized group, could have been similar to the legendary Silent But Deadly meta-alliance from S8.com 08-09.

But I hope to see players from Project Mayhem try to win servers in the future, either as part of a larger Meta-alliance or as a small group of elite players looking to do the near-impossible.

If you’ve enjoyed this look at PM, you might want to read about some small alliances and even single wing alliances have been able to go incredibly far in Travian games, such as Loners from S3.com 08-09, and PS from S7.com 09-10. (Loners was my selection for the best single-wing alliance in Travian for 2009, and Project Mayhem will definitely be an alliance that I consider when I give out the awards for 2010).


One Response

  1. Twisted facts…NE is was place where 4 strong alliances appeared….PM, Nemesis, PfTf and Hydra (runner up on previous com2)…Nemesis and PfTF joined forces as their goal was WW, later where named PAN , PM was outnumbered so they joined with Hydra that had 5 wings at that time and allied many other smaller alliances…like BWCOT (small alliance but with skilled players)…and later on DD-C, that had 3 wings and where in a way deff alliance for PM…

    Only reason and cause of such false statements is that PAN had their diplomacy out in the open while PM except of Hydra made all of their allies secret…as was their cooperation with MDS and later DA (SW and SE alliances) admitted only at the end of the server.

    Through the game allies emerged one by one, until all remains joined under PM flag.

    After some time DD-C joined with small alliance POT and made Potdogs…alliance that hardly represented power in NE, they where originally part of BORG alliance that consisted of 3 wings + smaller wing, that entered in negotiations with Nemesis (PAN), agreement was made that just 1 wing with best players will be accepted , leaders of other wings seeing that most of their wings will be left out, and takin the fact that alot of members where in PM area rebbelled and formed DD-C…they where considered farms most of the server and left to grow in faraway boonies…

    They came to radar of PAN alliance only when it was found out that they where supporting PM and allies with deff….it was good deff alliance, with their position 15+ h away from most of PAN hammers they where hard to dislodge, but their off contribution was none, 95% players where deff player…they where also openly flirting with southern alliances as well and in a few rare off actions even cooperated with some players…

    All in all, PAN did have more players but it was never one wing against whole quad. Advanatage in numbers wasn’t so big.

    Hydra was early on decimated by PAN to one wing…and later on remains of it renamed themselves in PM…

    PM was skilled alliance, they made good strategy, used opponents mistakes, their activity in NE throw NE from WW race early on…which was later proven to be vital role in server..

    Some leaders from PAN and Extreme (later known as Panexsus) early on decided that it would be wise to make cross-quad confed between NW and NE….all of those leaders left early on but legacy remained…it was common knowledge that new leaders on both sides wanted to break that confed, conflicts where piling up to the point that Extreme started recruiting PAN player…but southern alliances decided to use that confed and in same week that tension between NW and NE was about to burst and confed be broken, they found out about it and rushed to make huge southern meta while they still had excuse to do it…so northen confed was forced to stay altough NW and NE never cooperated and in best case had NAP…

    And here PM role is visible on this server, NE was tied with internal wars, so SW and SE ran over NW quickly…which represented unofficial end of server…

    PM’s role was significant, and there performance was peak of this server, altough they didn’t have WW ambitions they directed and influenced this server more then any other alliance on it. But in to represent it as Goliath vs. David, is twisting the facts.

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