Previous: Kiss of War, Part IV - The Sack of Tula
Like the Jews of antiquity, our guild was forced into exile, but instead of the Egyptians of Exodus we were pursued by the Russians of Ruu. Our flight into exile was a frantic one, with many of our guildies who were offline or too slow being sacked and burned. We didn't have a Moses, but we had a Kreature, and he teleported into the heart of the Ruu hive and started burning Ruu bases left and right. None of the larger Ruu seemed to want to take him head on, preferring to plunder the weaker EGGs at our burning hive, and so he faced no organized opposition. Soon the Ruu hive was also on fire, and Kreature was soon joined by Hush, PPT's second. Inspired by this frenzied assault into the heart of enemy territory I also teleported into the fray, and started attacking the weakest of the Ruu with my meager forces. PPT had made several peace overtures to Ruu which were ignored, but soon word came that Killden, leader of Ruu, would allow us to leave in peace. Thanks to Kreature's reckless charge, we had bought ourselves a ceasefire. By that time many of the EGGs had been looted and plundered, and quite a few (LuxuriaCat, I'm looking at you) decided discretion was the better part of valor and joined their vanquisher's guild. The instigator of the incident, SayCheese, was gone and had joined another guild far, far to the west. For those in the vanguard there was no immediate relief - our goal was to set up a new base as quickly as possible, and that meant ejecting the smaller guild that lived in the peninsula we wanted to claim for our own. I can't remember the name of this guild, but the carnage Ruu inflicted on us was paid forward to them. They only numbered four or five bases, and they had no chance. Such is the nature of this game. The weak get taken, and there is always a bigger fish. Hobbes would have been vindicated in his dim view of human nature.
Ruu is now my official enemy in this game, even though I bear them no real animosity. We now inhabit a small peninsula northwest of the Polish city of Krakow. I went to Krakow in real life in August 2019, not actually realizing that my first European trip could be the last one for years thanks to this pandemic. The virtual Krakow doesn't have nice weather, lovely people or bustling markets. In fact, I don't actually know what benefits city ownership confers. It must be significant, because guilds fight over them all over the map. Our new home is cold, windswept and bereft of resources. We are pretty much the Starks of Winterfell if this was the Game of Thrones. I now have two accounts - my main is Guderian, and my alt is Manstein. Any student of history will immediately recognize the names I used as the preeminent German generals of WW2. Guderian is credited (largely by himself!) as the father of blitzkrieg, while Manstein is considered to be one of Wehrmacht's very best generals. Manstein drew up the successful plan to invade France, captured the fortress city of Sevastopol, and defeated a Russian force that outnumbered him 6 to 1 in the second battle of Kharkov. I named my generals after their historical counterparts because I'm a history nut, and my forces in-game were nominally German. Would it be virtue signalling if I said I'm not a fucking Nazi? Just so I don't get misquoted in the future. Guderian and Manstein are great generals, but they took great pains to help create the myth of a clean Wehrmacht, and their subordinates have testified to the contrary. At best they were passive bystanders, fully aware of the atrocities perpetrated in the eastern territories. But in the clean, sanitized, sexed-up version of World War 2 emulated in the mobile game we can pretend that they are honorable, upstanding and free of sin, apart from those I commit under their names.
The layout of our new home is a defensive masterwork, and I attribute all credit to Kreature for it. Ruu's attack on our original homeland near Tula taught me how warfare is waged in this game. Players use their cities much like aircraft carriers, and teleport close to their targets to minimize the march time between their cities and their targets. Teleports do not work in enemy territory, however, which means the closest enemies can teleport to are on the borders of guild territory. Raiders will have to cover the remaining distance by marching. What makes our peninsula so defensively sound is that we have covered every mile of it in guild territory through careful placement of guild towers. This means the entire peninsula is safe from marauding teleporters – the closest they can get are the borders, which are quite some distance from where most of the juvenile EGGs are placed. Any attack can be seen coming from a mile away, and can be subjected to numerous counterattacks. Lightning raids are out of the question – at least that's the theory anyway.
This is assuming, of course, that you are planning to stay within the confines of guild territory. Our new hive is poor in resources, and so I have to send my farmers on long trips to secure food, steel, oil and energy. I ended up placing Guderian outside our territory on the other side of the peninsula just so he could get access to more resources. Parking Guderian far from guild turf is not as risky as it sounds, because every night I parked Manstein's forces in Guderian's city to act as a garrison. Manstein, on the other hand, is located at the very back of the peninsula, and the significance of that is any would be attacker would need to travel through miles of guild territory to reach him. This means Manstein doesn't require a garrison at all, and so I sent his biggest army to reinforce Guderian while I slept. It didn't make him safe from attack, but the number of troops present would have exacted a high toll on anyone willing to have a go.
Another reason for parking myself out of guild territory is that it would give me freedom of action to attack the small bases around me. I still needed to learn the ins and outs of combat, and I couldn't do that tucked away in the safety of our territory. So while my guild settled into our new home I was out in the steppes committing bloody murder in the night. Again, this was not personal - it's a war game and I needed to learn the rules if we were ever going to rise again and get our revenge against Ruu. I zeroed a couple more bases, making sure that my victims were not affiliated with powerful guilds and being careful to pick on bases less powerful than I was. Most of these guys were inactive and didn't put up a fight - more than likely they were trial accounts that lapsed, but they gave me a great opportunity to learn combat mechanics against a passive opponent. One base fought back, but he or she contented themselves with just one attack that set my base on fire while my troops were out, and then they teleported out of the area of their own volition.
One funny anecdote I have is that the first guy I ever zeroed, Capelbarbaro, found me again and began spam scouting as revenge. After having his base defense reduced to zero and being randomly teleported away he had apparently scoured the map for my new location, found our new hive, and started spam scouting me. Whenever your base or troops are being scouted or attacked your UI begins to flash red, and it can be used to distract or annoy people. I really admired Capelbarbaro's stubborn tenacity, and told him so in a private message. That prompted the end of scouting, and I hope that if I ever get zeroed in this game I will conduct myself with the same tenacity and grace that this Brazilian player had after I zeroed him.