The Bored Fat Cats started out with the name BYOB which stands for Bring Your Own Brick. BYOB was a new realm on s21 that sought to find players from different realms and time zones for an international team that combined a wide variety of contributions. The original founder of the realm quit playing Arkheim part way through the season and after that the name changes started. Before that can make sense, I need to tell you more of the story.
My gamer name is Lagavulin and I’m from the United States. I didn’t start out as the leader of this realm and was not the only leader in the end. However, I was there from the beginning helping the founder. As things evolved and challenges arose, I saw something unique in this team and became fairly obsessed with helping the team come together to achieve its potential. This is how I accidentally became the main leader of the winning realm on s21.
The team was about 40% pre-made. It was advertised for players on discord but didn’t attract too many players initially. Several additional experienced players joined in the rush of players when the server opened. By the end of day one, we realized we had a strong roster of players. After a couple days, we were solidly at the top of the chart in war power. We had also developed a long waiting list of top players who wanted to join us. At this point, we made a very tough decision and invited in 5 experienced players and helped our five least active or experienced players find other realms.
Our unique realm was formed from members of rival realms from the last several Carby seasons. We had a group of players who had last played with Suicide Squad, the winners on s17, a group of players from each of three top rivals on s19, and a few other players whose regular teams were not playing on s21. Unlike many international realms that are formed form players who usually play international realms, Bored Fat Cats included four players who often play with French speaking realms, six players who often play with Russian speaking realms, and two players who most recently had played with a Czech speaking realm, and only a few who consistently played in international realms. This mixing of people from different types of realms with different traditional rivalries created challenges but also brought strength to the team.
How did you organize communications and coordination within the Realm?
We did not have a shared language that all members spoke and this influenced how we organized communications. We used discord and kept it very simple with only two main channels–one for announcements and war orders and the other for general chat. Using screen shots helped. Our main discord was in English but there were separate communications that happened in other languages and a few of us helped ensure that all were included in anything important. Discord allows easier use of machine translation when needed so we did not use the in game chat or in game announcements. We also used in-game pins.
In terms of coordination, we worked to provide very clear instructions, especially in battle where war orders were communicated in a separate discord channel including pictures and individuals were tagged. At the same time, everyone had input. We had positive feedback from players on clarity of communications especially in the second half of the season.
Did you have "less experienced players" and how did you educate them?
Everyone on the team had played before but there were some who had mostly played in mid-level realms and others who had won many servers. The most experienced members were very helpful in guiding others. I think economy building was an area where players learned a lot. We even had a group who were free to play (or nearly so) learn how to play dual or mono resource after switching part way through the season from multi-resource setups. This was in large part due to guidance and analysis from Jaqen H’ghar, but also other experienced team members.
Overall, our less experienced players expressed that they learned a great deal from the level of game play in Bored Fat Cats.
Were there unexpected events or surprises this round?
Somehow, we ended up with 12 accounts playing elves and only 3 accounts playing dwarves. This, combined with the large warlord update right before s21, caused us concerns. We won many wars on i2, but we did not declare war on our main rival, The Great Tartary, until i3 because of the no-dwarf risk. They attacked us a few times early on and it was interesting defending against a rush of Trankards with only elves (This was before the earlier introduction of artillery on s22 when elves would have anti-cavalry artillery sooner). We figured with more developed warlords on i3 we would be better able to handle the situation.
When did you know you were going to win this round?
Even on i1 we knew we had a good chance of winning. On i2 we held the middle and won numerous wars and realms were very slow to ascend to i3 after us. Then early on i3 when we beat the number two realm, The Great Tartary, in war, they were set back very far in warpower and we ended up so far ahead that no one wanted to fight us. We were less than halfway through the game when this happened and had very mixed feelings. Many of us secretly (and later openly) hoped that an alliance would form against us. Maybe a server drenched in battles is better than winning the world?
Why did you change your name?
After getting so far ahead so early in the season, we started looking for ways to have fun and, after our founder left, we thought maybe we needed a new identity. Dreico came up with the idea that we could change our name frequently, maybe naming ourselves after whoever we were at war with. So when we went to war with Rats Voracies we were Well-fed Cats. Though Seabernetics later suggested The Pied Piper of Hamelin, which might have been even funnier. When we fought FC we called ourselves Food Club since we were feeding on orbs. We had some hilarious conversations trying to determine what FC stood for so we could come up with a proper parody.
After that, we went to war with The Great Tartary again who, despite their prior loss, was impressively continuing to challenge us. Our name during that war was Greatest Tartary. Because great is not enough! After the i3 wars were over, we thought about a new permanent realm name. We considered Goblin Horde in hope that might make more farming-oriented realms attack us but sadly the system said the goblins had already taken that name. So we settled on Bored Fat Cats which seemed to fit our mood. And we stuck with that until the end.
Did you notice any special tactics or moves your competitors used against you?
Our tactical expertise was high. In most cases, we were not particularly challenged. I do want to give a shout out to the realm called Orbs. They were significantly weaker than us and right next to us the entire server. They fought us on every island without complaint and even came up to i4. On i2, they caught us by surprise in our first formal war with them and our first war as a team. Orbs didn’t fight much but slowly lured us so that most all our troops were in the north into some conquests. At which point, they mounted a large attack from their ark on one of our overflowing orb towers to the south. This was the largest attack of the server to date. Had we made a mistake at that point they could have won the war with the orbs from that tower alone. We were able to drain off the overflow orbs and eventually get our troops back for a counterattack, but it was an impressive move for an asymmetrical Arkheim fight. We lost some sleep that night since Orbs were more challenging than they looked.
What was your biggest challenge of the round?
One challenge we had was diplomacy. We never knew if an alliance would form against us, so we needed to maintain some communication with other realms, but we also wanted a battle drenched server so we avoided alliances and commitments. Toward the end we even engaged in “anti-diplomacy” where we actively tried to help others form alliances against us. We learned of several alliance attempts but none of them worked out.
Also, because some of our Cats had played with various national based realms, we tried to remain neutral in any national rivalries. This was sometimes a diplomacy challenge. Toward the end, numerous realms asked for our help to secure or obtain their positions but we decided not to pick who would be second and third. Instead we let the battles play out around us.
Who are the heroes of your Realm, any special mentions?
I feel honored and grateful to have played with each of the 14 players who finished the server with me. Our players held top positions in various individual rankings. There were numerous unique contributions, and we had some superstars with individual play styles that influenced the result. This was not a one-size-fits-all team. Anything I write about the Cats will fall short in describing my appreciation. So settling on describing something I appreciated about each of them:
- Crazy for driving everyone on the server crazy by being so far ahead in XP and all those goblin clears, and constantly helping us all communicate and stay on track
- Forisil for bringing tactical knowledge to many situations and filling in early gaps in our war communications
- Gran’Pa for your consistency throughout the game and some great conversations
- Ikas for playing with deduction even if it took finding internet in the middle of the desert
- Jaqen H’ghar for leading in battles and economic development with spreadsheets and advice. Also for the epic poem that helped us understand why we always blame Dreico and Merder
- Nanu for contributing to the team cohesion on discord and late night defense
- Scribsi for joining us three days before end game when a player left suddenly and for holding your own with us on i4
- Seabernetics for handing diplomacy with with efficiency and humor
- Shazaam for your competitive spirit and genius method of managing your economy (which will remain a trade secret)
- Squeak for joining us mid-game, building up warpower from nothing, and oh those timers
- Sugar Coma for excellent game play and especially for help with a challenging diplomatic situation during end game
- Universal Remote for near constant availability especially when others were asleep
I could not have lead this realm successfully without the help of two who agreed to help lead:
Dreico was my partner in leadership in the beginning and deftly managed many challenging situations and provided advice throughout. Without his early work for the realm, this group of players would not have stuck together and won a server.
Merder was our main military commander from the beginning of i2. His outstanding tactical and strategic skills and management of the map, along with his steady leadership style, were a major key to our success. Because we pulled so far ahead so early, his skills were under-utilized. But he didn’t let the boredom change his focus on bringing us to victory– like a legendary General for the Arkheim history books.
Finally, a few players had duals who played at least a little bit during the season. A few contributed strongly to the team in discord chat. I won’t list by name, but you know who you are and please know my appreciation.
How does it feel winning s21?
I think it’s a whole mix of emotions and different things for different people. For some of our team this was not the most challenging server they won. But it’s still a test of endurance and some satisfaction in finishing well. Others expressed gratitude for being part of the win and for all they learned and relationships gained along the way.
Will there be a Bored Fat Cats realm next round?
No. The members of this team came from different places and will go back to their usual groups or move on to other realms, or they are taking a break.
Will the Realm members stick together and continue playing/chatting together?
Our discord won’t go away, and some of the realm members play together in different realms or will stay in touch.
Is there something you as the winners would like to share with newcomers?
Mastering the game is not easy but the more strong players we have, the more fun the game is for everyone. Big factors that influence success are activity, teamwork, battle tactics, economy building, and tower planning.
Anything we forgot to ask, and you can’t wait to tell?
First, I want to shout out to The Great Tartary. They were the number two team though i3 and the only team that had the courage to attack us on i2 and i3. Because of the way our wars with them played out on i3, they were not able to recover enough to take 2nd place. But the Bored Fat Cats have a lot of respect for them.
Second, we hope the developers of the game will consider what can be done to make the game entertaining in the long run for highly skilled players. This isn’t the only server where one team pulled far ahead while at the same time feeling penalized for having a good economy that led to strong war power.
Finally, the Bored Fat Cats may never play together again but will live on in spirit. We might turn up again one day when you least expect it. So stay on guard because when we get bored enough, we are known to appear late at night and destroy some section of a neighboring realm!