Hi all, thought I'd give you guys a pretty generous gift. You're all welcome. Banging them out about once a year atm, if the forum was differently maintained i'd of course be potentially interested in producing more but that's a separate thing. As always with me I try to be reasonably unbiased, but it's very opinionated. Essentially if I think you're dreadful, i'll tell you. Decent chance I do think that you're pretty terrible so look forward to that.
1st. MFH - 4/5
I'm starting with my own alliance because why not. MFH's past reputation was essentially as 'kingmakers' on the servers they played. Very much the Lib Dems of travian, enough power to be somewhat relevant but not especially close to the pinnacle. They tended to work as a small group of around 20 members whom would be very open with each other and were very tight knit. The players from that time who still make up a core part of this MFH are talented, persistent and experienced and that has to be respected. This MFH is a very different animal though as anyone can see with a quick glance. They've never been this size an alliance or set up this way which raises some questions as to how well they will adapt to becoming this new force. They gained invaluable experience on UK3 playing as a large alliance following a confed and merger with NMS and retained the key players and leaders from this time so it seems unlikely that they'll be hugely phazed but they can certainly expect some early issues as they play a full server from the beginning as an alliance of this size for the first time. It won't be an easy time for them due to the talented in-quad competition either who have commited a lot of time and effort into capturing prime croppers around the WW at -100/100. MFH themselves have captured many interesting croppers too - particularly in the central area of the map. The NW cropper situation isn't fantastic and considering the situation they have done well to secure some good locations. Their opposition though have successfully removed MFH from at least one of those strong cropper locations so it certainly isn't easy for them. In terms of raiding one wing of the two seems to be particularly dominant with the second scoring a pretty average amount, that additional res should prove important in assisting with alliance bonuses and developing their troop counts ahead of when the quad war really boots off. Another advantage is the numbers they have over those of their opposition which should allow them a greater access to defenses and boost their pursuit of those alliance bonuses further if they can utilise the additional players effectively. Their chance to use those numbers well is significantly boosted by the fact that the majority of members were recruited prior to the start of the server and are known quantities. Overall, had they been on their own in NW I would've made MFH early favourites. They have a huge amount of experience in the ranks and leadership and many of the alliance have forged respect for each other through working together or fighting each other on UK3. You can't underestimate the power of a large group of players so familiar with each other and having a lot of well-known talent. That said they do have a serious rival in GotN and the final result of the server could be highly dependant on how the quad battle goes.
2nd. GOTN - 3/5
GotN have invested a huge amount of time and effort in ensuring they can settle prime locations in and around the -100/100 locations - or at least not substantially far away from there. They've clearly come to the server with a game plan, they know each other well, play together frequently and know exactly how to achieve their aim which - as much as they deny it - seems pretty clearly to be to win this server. It seems pretty unlikely that the alliance who bragged about beating metas in DK to win servers would be here to play spoiler and seemingly laying an early claim on -100/100 doesn't exactly shout 'hey we're not out to win'. They've shown an early aggression which I do like and hit out at a few MFH players already, they certainly aren't afraid to push res through to specific players and focus on helping those players build up as quickly as possible in order to hit the opposition which seemingly has proven effective though MFH have recently caught some of their cats and troops out. Their members absolutely dominate the top 20 population account on the server so they've certainly been building up effective capitals and supplies already. I'm sure they're in this game for the long run and they've done everything they can early on to set up for that. That said they''ve showing huge confidence in their talking game after one early attack and to become over-confident is a danger. MFH are an animal unlike what they've seen on DK servers so they shouldn't underestimate the power of their opposition. It'll be highly interesting to see how much these invaders from Denmark can produce and whether the early victories might just be a flash in the pan.
3rd. ANTs - 1/5
A truly appropriate name for a small fry NW alliance. They're nowhere in raiders and there just isn't anything about them that would make you say anything except 'meh'. They have a few accounts that seem reasonably okay from the outside, but the reality is the vast majority of quality in NW sits in MFH or Gotn so if the ants would prefer not to be squished they'll need to either join or align themselves with one of the two real powers in the quad.
NW looks a truly exciting place to be with two well organised and high quality alliances ready to duke it out to be the alpha. I think with such a concentration of power in the NW the other quads have to be hoping that the two forces really rip each other apart in the next few months and leave the NW a desolate wasteland with no real power left in the tank for cross quad warfare. It could certainly end up being the first place people look to when they want to steal things if both GotN and MFH are still fighting in the Mid-Late game. I very much look forward to seeing how this conflict plays out and I think its a real treat for all involved to have this kind of competition in quad.
1st: CTL 3/5
CTL first you say? Why not fox who are twice this size? If you asked this question, I hate you. I can't say I know a great deal about CTL. There are one or two familiar names that I recognise to be solid players but they don't give us much to go on. Their raid score is pretty impressive, they've established themselves as one of the top 3 early on who right now seem to be a little far ahead of those below in this key statistic and that is what really sets them apart from fox in the early going (They beat the combined score of both wings of FOX). They're a smaller group with fewer obvious weak links to exploit and have every chance of dominating the quad over a passive and unimpressive fox who have a mortal cross quad enemy who'd be more than happy to beat the heck out of them when mid-game comes. CTL could be attractive to some of the fox players who aren't frequent members of that dumpster fire of an alliance and might be frustrated when they witness the functions of FOX up-close and personal. There is every chance they can pick up some more depth in the NE and establish themselves as real contenders and they have a lot more quality on show at the moment so I make CTL the ones to beat in NE at this early stage. The biggest danger for them imo is they bottle it and join fox. They don't strike me as 'FOX' type players and could end up leaving the server from sheer boredom if they make the error of aligning with their rivals.
2nd: FOX 2/5
Ugh. The amount of times I've talked about this lot in the past. It's a genuinely embarrassing thing that they have actually won a server in the past and we as the UK community should be collectively ashamed, I know I am and I didn't even play the server they won. FOX is for most of us a little bit of a joke, they don't have a huge supply of quality but in fairness to them they do have perennial members who form up a distinctly average core but tend to stick around. A lot like weeds except without the potentially damaging effects. Except to those poor newbies who join and get badly advised and end up being terrible at the game I suppose. Fox are incredibly passive as an alliance and could be quite easily dominated by smart organised offensive actions from CTL. It really doesn't help their case that a chunk of MFH still harbour enough resentment that come mid-game if MFH need a bit of a boost the first people they'll look to lash out at would be fox. I expect they'll probably take a few minor artes, hold on to them for dear life. Capture a WW with disappointing def numbers and hope to slip under the radar long enough that they win. I mean, it worked before, I guess? If they get really lucky CTL might end up confederating with them or joining and give them some actual talent but they'd have to do a lot more right now imo to look like an interesting partner.
Fox bad, CTL okay. CTL + FOX = NE boredom. CTL vs FOX = NE entertainment.
Lol, JK, this lot are worthless.
1st: FOL 2.5/5
Very bland/mediocre for the apparent best that SE has to offer. I pretty much forgot the whole quad existed more or less to be honest, and you can see why. Average scores across the board from FOL is hardly worth anyone's attention. What is interesting about them though is their locations. If you take a quick glance at getter you'll see they've almost strongholded the central SE area. Most seem to have settled their second villages there and they've formed a tight block which could be a potentially effective defensive strategy. Unfortunately it doesn't indicate though that they;ll have the most effective capitals in the world so they may be quite limited in their troop-build potential. The ideal for this group is that they manage to somehow bring the nine members of the 'losers' alliance into their fold. It would really be something of a coup if they could pull this off and show some actual ambition and intent on their part. Their potential offer of defensive support could be too much for a 9 member group to turn down, especially when we progress to the later stages of the server and it becomes a more pressing issue to have defense to help look after things you've secured.
2nd: Loser 1.5/5
Low score primarily because these guys aren't exactly looking like they're planning for the long term. They are however the spice that could turn a very bland SE alliance like FOL into a really tasty dish. High averages - especially in raiding - implies their members are building up very effectively and absolutely know what they're doing. The fact they've formed this group though does imply that they don't exactly have a huge amount of confidence in the potential of FOL. It could be that they intend to play a waiting game and start shaking loose solid members from the larger alliance, or it could be that they intend to be a bit of a spoiler and just throw things around and see what sticks. Either way they are actually potentially worth keeping an eye on. We'll have to take a wait and see approach with this particular group
Not exactly the most interesting quad i've ever seen in my life. Losers + FOL though could make themselves a very relevant and interesting proposition so the quad does at least have the potential to have one worthy alliance. Given the lack of opposition around there too they could have a lot of freedom to sim up and turn into something fierce. We'll see how things pan out as the server develops.
1st: GG 3.75/5
GG have certainly enjoyed a very promising beginning to the server. They've filled a single wing instead of dividing talent across two wings like some of the other big players on the server and that should benefit them on the bonuses front giving them a little advantage. They've put some solid scores on the board in most of the categories and are part of the trio of raiding alliances comfortably ahead of the pack (MFH, CTL being the other two) and everything is looking pretty rosey at the moment. They look like a superior version of Gotn in the NW imo and could really establish themselves as the dominant party. It really won't be easy for them with a rival like Betrayed of course, but they've started strongly and are working to put themselves in a decent position. They don't seem to have too much deadweight at this point and if they've a well-organised leadership they could work very well defensively and offensively as they look to tackle the internal quad opposition. We haven't seen much in the way of reports coming out of this quad yet so it could either be that neither side has looked to really do anything about the other yet or just that they don't come here to shout about how great they are. (Which we will hold against them, of course.) I would've liked to see them gravitate a little more towards a WW area early on as this could help them given the likelihood of a quad war but there will be plenty of time for this. Overall i'm impressed by how they've started and whilst there is plenty to do the future looks potentially promising for GG.
2nd: betrayed 3/5
The thing that disappoints me about betrayed straight away is that second wing. Top of def and nowhere in raiders (and considering GG's solid raiding) suggests that that wing is being a little bit victimised early on and whilst they're catching a few troops, someone is making away with a decent amount of resources from them. Its always a little concerning when you see this lack of balance as it presents risks such as players in that lower wing feeling like they are less important or ought to be 'moved up'. That said, balancing more could potentially slow their progress on bonuses so there is another side to the argument. The dominant wing of the confed isn't a million miles away from the best of the server but also has room to improve and grow. If it was a straight up contest of that wing versus GG it'd be close though GG would be the favourites. My worry is that the other wing of the confed here isn't exactly helpful. Is this a 100 member confed which is 50% dead weight? From the outside looking in I'm very much inclined towards that way of thinking at the moment, though of course they could show some usefulness in time. We do have to take into account that this isn't exactly their first dance so this could be a long-term strategy from betrayed involving a lot of simming (which is often effective to be fair) though you would expect them to maybe be more pro-active given the inevitable quad war to come. Basically I think this confed has a little catching up to do at the moment if they want to avoid being at a disadvantage against GG that could potentially cripple their game. Word is that they do have some nous though so it should be an interesting one to see.
SW is quite similar to NW in that there is a sense of inevitability about an impending difficult quad war as two strong parties look to establish themselves as the dominant force. I really look forward to seeing how the situation here unfolds as I think in the long term the battle will be a little closer and more gritty than Gotn/MFH as neither party is looking too far ahead of the other. We all ought to pay attention to how this one plays out.