The Grey Chronicles


Learning Diplomacy and Strategy from Travian, Part II

Continued from yesterday’s post

The next morning, I had a seemingly large smile on my face when my village’s Granary and Warehouse were almost full to the brim. I upgraded some buildings, especially the Embassy to receive the incoming members, also raised the level of the City Wall and trained more troops for defense. I also visited the Alliance Z Forum, and found out that the officer I corresponded with deleted his own membership from the alliance, assigned the administration of the Alliance to another; then joined a much stronger alliance.

Asking the remaining officer whether he could change the settings of the Alliance Z, much to my dismay, he could not because the officer who recently left also assigned limited rights to the remaining officer. I sent him an in-game message [IGM] that I might just have to delete my membership citing the same reasons why I had to delete the Alliance X and start over. When I signed up for Alliance Z, there was only three members: me, the officer, and a new one. The former members of Alliance X, the original alliance I belonged to when I started playing in the Speed Server, did not respond to Alliance X invitation to join.

Then the attacks came. I immediately deleted my membership from Alliance Z fearing that I might bring the other two players, still with small population and troops, into the cross-fire. The first attack was only to spy on my troops and defenses. I have already deployed most of my troops to raids on other villages, with a token number remaining in the village for defense. I immediately founded a new Alliance, named it Alliance X v.2. Sent IGM to former Alliance X members as well as the same message to the two remaining members of Alliance Z.

As soon as the new Alliance X v.2 debuts, I immediately send off an Non-Aggression Pact [NAP] to the two Alliances, A and B, who promised the same. Thirty minutes later, 16 waves of attack with catapults came from a member of the third alliance. While the aggressor’s troops were on their way, I previewed the attacker’s profile and found out that he is also an officer of Alliance C, and I fired up an IGM with one question: Why? He answered with another wave of attack. With my existing troops out raiding, and the Warehouse and the Granary almost depleted after the recent building upgrades, I only had a handful troops in the village. I increased the level of Stonemason from 10 to 11, hoping it could help save most of the buildings. At Level 11, according to the Travian FAQ, the village buildings have a 210% durability.

With no other recourse to take, with no alliance members to seek help from, being the only one member at the moment, as there was nothing I could do, I just let the attack run its course. Meanwhile, I silently proceeded reviving the Alliance X v.2, edited the Forum pages, and added some posts to break the ice. Using BBcode, I also designed some text-based graphics, and littered the profile page with it; then deleted some because the final page looked too messy and just retained the text. In the Forum pages, the posts were some newbie guides, a few defensive strategy pointers, an offensive strategy quotes from various historical military minds I learned sometime in the 1980s, plus the hold-over of the original Alliance X’s penchant for jokes, anecdotes and stories.

After an hour of attacks against my Travian village, the results were in. The 17 attacks with catapults, colloquially referred in Travian as cata, destroyed the Grain Mill, the Workshop, one out of five Croplands, and the City Walls. It also decreased the levels of the Heroes’ Mansion (two levels down), Stable (three levels down), Marketplace (two levels down), Academy (one level down), Blacksmith (one level down), Warehouse (one level down), Barracks (two levels down), Armory (two levels down), Granary (two level down), Embassy (one level down), Main Building (one level down), one out of four Lumberyards (two levels down), the Palace (two levels down), one Croplands (two levels down), and four other Croplands (three levels down). Oh, well …. Nothing to do that night but rebuild, I slept it off.

The next morning, the attacker finally replied to my single-line IGM: Why? He answered:

“the reason why i cata you because of your profile.. reverse to my profile… you said Defence is the best offence is for week [sic]..”

Huh? I immediately reviewed his profile and he had indeed posted a similar quote, to wit:

“DEFENCE is the best OFFENCE! … defence is all … offence is you”

Another, Huh? What’s that again? The reverse of what? His was: DEFENCE is the best OFFENCE! and mine was: “When weak, defense is the best offense; When strong, offense is the best defense.” Probably, his eyes wandered off and just mixed up the two? Or possibly what he meant with the reverse of his quote was my second line. Below the above quote, he also added some personal statements:

“i dont care to [sic] my population. … population means decoration’s [sic]”

“troops than population … i don’t care to [sic] medals i need active players”

Believing that he was irked by the fact that somebody else used a similar quote, and not wanting to provoke further attacks, I apologized and offered to change mine. At least, I know enough other strategy-related quotes other than the above. Maybe he knew only that particular one. From the looks of his profile statements, it was as though written by a school grader who does not have any idea of forming grammatically-correct statements! Is this the way grammar is taught in London? And he proudly claimed to have been an Alliance founder/leader in one of the servers? I wondered how was he understood by his international allies whenever he communicated with them. If I were one of his members in, or if I were his father, I could have thrown in a grammar rule book for him to read instead of devoting his time to non-stop playing Travian.

Such pomposity! Such arrogance! Such pettiness! Some Youth?


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