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Thread: Two questions about cavalry weapons and infantry swords

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    Default Two questions about cavalry weapons and infantry swords

    1. Why do some cavalry have a 9 spear attack with low lethality (like Italian)? Also do such cavalry have a better attack than those with 4 AP and high lethality?

    2. Why do celtic longswords have so high lethality while the gladius shortswords have little? I have read in Vegetius that the stabbing wounds in chest were the most lethal, while a slashing attacks did not manage to pierce some bones in the body.

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    RABO! Member Brave Brave Sir Robin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Two questions about cavalry weapons and infantry swords

    The overhand spear cavalry are meant as melee cavalry, not as chargers like underhand spears are. They are generally average in melee but suffer when subjected to other ap cavalry attacks. They are generally not worth the price they have uses against lightly armed troops such as skirmishers with their higher spear attack.

    The statting system for weapons is not perfect. It tries to represent the various types of weapons and what they would be most effective against. The gladius has low lethality but a relatively high attack compared with the longsword. What this strives to mean is that it is easier to land a blow with a gladius' quick strikes, but generally speaking, a large Celtic sword whirled about the head to gain momentum, and brought crashing down on an enemy was deadlier. This is of course all relative as a quick gladius strike to the abdomen would be just as deadly but I think the longsword can not only cut, but crush, and if well made could potentially stab as well.
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    EBII Hod Carrier Member QuintusSertorius's Avatar
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    Default Re: Two questions about cavalry weapons and infantry swords

    Lance-armed cavalry are useless in melee, because the lance has a long preparation time. Pit two equal units against each other, and have one switch to swords in melee, and you'll see them butcher the lance-armed unit. You can even see it in the animations, the lance doesn't strike as often as the sword. Or spear for that matter.
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    Arrogant Ashigaru Moderator Ludens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Two questions about cavalry weapons and infantry swords

    Quote Originally Posted by Brave Brave Sir Robin View Post
    This is of course all relative as a quick gladius strike to the abdomen would be just as deadly but I think the longsword can not only cut, but crush, and if well made could potentially stab as well.
    Well, Celtic swords of the period sometimes had a rounded tip, so they couldn't be used to stab. Otherwise, you are right. A stabbing wound to the abdomen or chest is deadly, but these areas would have been protected by a shield at least. On the other hand, the sheer momentum of a longsword could be used to shatter shields, if not bones. And you don't need to kill your oponent to take him out of the fight.
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    Default Re: Two questions about cavalry weapons and infantry swords

    Yeah, I find when mockfighting with swords and large shields, that you always want to go for a stab but often this isn't an option. For stabbing, you have to either sneak under the opponent's shield or over it; you go for the throat or the belly. IIRC, the Romans did the latter.

    For big heavy slashes, I think an axe would generally be better, but swords were better balanced, and even a sword with a rounded tip, if the tip was sharp, could stab into a torso.
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    Default Re: Two questions about cavalry weapons and infantry swords

    Well, I'm not sure, but Vegetius is probably discussing slashing v. stabbing with the gladius. One of the nice things about a longsword was that if you hit an opponent hard enough, even if you hit them where they are wearing armor, the amount of built up force that transfers through the armor can break bones or cause internal bleeding, effectively taking the enemy out of the fight. The sheer potential momentum and force that a longsword is capable of when slashing is probably much more than that of a slashing gladius.
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    RABO! Member Brave Brave Sir Robin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Two questions about cavalry weapons and infantry swords

    Quote Originally Posted by Ludens View Post
    Well, Celtic swords of the period sometimes had a rounded tip, so they couldn't be used to stab. Otherwise, you are right. A stabbing wound to the abdomen or chest is deadly, but these areas would have been protected by a shield at least. On the other hand, the sheer momentum of a longsword could be used to shatter shields, if not bones. And you don't need to kill your oponent to take him out of the fight.
    I think this is represented somewhat by the models in EB. The Neitos and elite Celtic units have sharp tipped longswords to represent the better craftsmanship of their weapons while the Botroas/Bataroas have more rounded blades as their swords were not as well made.

    Quote Originally Posted by QuintusSertorius View Post
    Lance-armed cavalry are useless in melee, because the lance has a long preparation time. Pit two equal units against each other, and have one switch to swords in melee, and you'll see them butcher the lance-armed unit. You can even see it in the animations, the lance doesn't strike as often as the sword. Or spear for that matter.
    I respectfully disagree. Lots of tests have been done that have shown that the secondaries are inferior to the lances, slow animations and all. The high lethality more than makes up for it.
    Last edited by Brave Brave Sir Robin; 12-01-2010 at 01:35.
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    Default Re: Two questions about cavalry weapons and infantry swords

    And the armor piercing ability of the lances, while some sec. weapons of the cavalry have no "ap" ability, too.
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    EBII Hod Carrier Member QuintusSertorius's Avatar
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    Default Re: Two questions about cavalry weapons and infantry swords

    Quote Originally Posted by Brave Brave Sir Robin View Post
    I respectfully disagree. Lots of tests have been done that have shown that the secondaries are inferior to the lances, slow animations and all. The high lethality more than makes up for it.
    Really? I've found even more lightly-armoured Epirote bodyguard using swords against an equal number of Seleukid, Ptolemaic or even Karthadastim bodyguard still using lances tends to win in a melee.
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    Default Re: Two questions about cavalry weapons and infantry swords

    Quote Originally Posted by QuintusSertorius View Post
    Really? I've found even more lightly-armoured Epirote bodyguard using swords against an equal number of Seleukid, Ptolemaic or even Karthadastim bodyguard still using lances tends to win in a melee.
    Its not a major disadvantage to switch to secondaries though I feel that serious MP contestants know better than to switch. In campaign mode there are too many factors including experience, morale bonuses, uneven terrain, unit numbers, command bonuses from generals, armor upgrades, etc etc. The only way to reliably test is a multiplayer battle against a friend just charging the two home on a flat grassy plain.

    In any event, some tests were done a while back and it was concluded that lances were superior mostly due to lethality and ap. Some reach around 0.4 which is almost twice even the Celtic longswords and almost 4 times as deadly as a kopis at 0.11. The extra attack points and slightly faster animations don't even matter especially considering that unlike sword animations, lance animations cannot be canceled. There are only attack animations as well, getting rid of the pointless "dodging" animations.
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    Member Member Burebista's Avatar
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    Default Re: Two questions about cavalry weapons and infantry swords

    Quote Originally Posted by Brave Brave Sir Robin View Post
    Its not a major disadvantage to switch to secondaries though I feel that serious MP contestants know better than to switch. In campaign mode there are too many factors including experience, morale bonuses, uneven terrain, unit numbers, command bonuses from generals, armor upgrades, etc etc. The only way to reliably test is a multiplayer battle against a friend just charging the two home on a flat grassy plain.

    In any event, some tests were done a while back and it was concluded that lances were superior mostly due to lethality and ap. Some reach around 0.4 which is almost twice even the Celtic longswords and almost 4 times as deadly as a kopis at 0.11. The extra attack points and slightly faster animations don't even matter especially considering that unlike sword animations, lance animations cannot be canceled. There are only attack animations as well, getting rid of the pointless "dodging" animations.
    In MP , lances beat secondaries w/o AP any time. That is why celtic heavy cavalry and german heavies too are very weak in a heavy cavalry fight. Also , i've noticed in MP that when a cav unit wants to hit with a sword or an axe it moves for aprox 1 sec towards the target and then strikes , while the lance dudes just hit. they even create sometimes focus -fire on a target unit , killing it before it gets the chance to get an attack with a secondary off.

    Also , in MP , cavalry with overhans spear as secondaries (AKA little charging bonus) is highly disregarded as they get chopped both in melee fights and in charges. the exception for this is the skirmisher ones which can be used as decoys , kiters or harrasers , but never in a real melee fight. the epithome of cavalry is imho Curepos , which are the most cost effective cav troop in the game with their high charge /high speed /skirmishing /high ammo .

    As a rule , i consider that any high lethality high attack no AP strike fails miserably against high armour/shield values from the front.
    Last edited by Burebista; 12-01-2010 at 13:09.

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    EBII Hod Carrier Member QuintusSertorius's Avatar
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    Default Re: Two questions about cavalry weapons and infantry swords

    Quote Originally Posted by Brave Brave Sir Robin View Post
    Its not a major disadvantage to switch to secondaries though I feel that serious MP contestants know better than to switch. In campaign mode there are too many factors including experience, morale bonuses, uneven terrain, unit numbers, command bonuses from generals, armor upgrades, etc etc. The only way to reliably test is a multiplayer battle against a friend just charging the two home on a flat grassy plain.

    In any event, some tests were done a while back and it was concluded that lances were superior mostly due to lethality and ap. Some reach around 0.4 which is almost twice even the Celtic longswords and almost 4 times as deadly as a kopis at 0.11. The extra attack points and slightly faster animations don't even matter especially considering that unlike sword animations, lance animations cannot be canceled. There are only attack animations as well, getting rid of the pointless "dodging" animations.
    In almost every case I'm experiencing, the AI has the better general (and thus all the bonuses to defense and morale that come with it), so those things go their way.

    I don't play MP, so I can't comment. Surely you could also try it out with one-on-one in Custom Battle? Since there's no generals stars or the like there.
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    RABO! Member Brave Brave Sir Robin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Two questions about cavalry weapons and infantry swords

    Quote Originally Posted by QuintusSertorius View Post
    In almost every case I'm experiencing, the AI has the better general (and thus all the bonuses to defense and morale that come with it), so those things go their way.

    I don't play MP, so I can't comment. Surely you could also try it out with one-on-one in Custom Battle? Since there's no generals stars or the like there.
    The AI has an annoying tendency to disengage and attempt to charge again, presumbably to get the bonus. They just end up getting cut down as they turn their backs.
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    Default Re: Two questions about cavalry weapons and infantry swords

    4 or 5 AP attack maybe strong enough, but when they have pathetic 2 or 3 attack
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    EB on ALX player Member ziegenpeter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Two questions about cavalry weapons and infantry swords

    Quote Originally Posted by Ludens View Post
    Well, Celtic swords of the period sometimes had a rounded tip, so they couldn't be used to stab. Otherwise, you are right. A stabbing wound to the abdomen or chest is deadly, but these areas would have been protected by a shield at least. On the other hand, the sheer momentum of a longsword could be used to shatter shields, if not bones. And you don't need to kill your oponent to take him out of the fight.
    A rounded tip doesnt necessarily mean that the sword wasnt used for stabbing. Actually if you stab an unarmoured target with that tip the wounds a more severe, because they were simply broader. I had an article about this topic (actually it was about the Katzbalger of the Landsknechte) if I find it I will post it.
    A broader tip however is less likely to get caught in the wood of a shield but not your tool of choice when fighting armoured dudes.

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    Default Re: Two questions about cavalry weapons and infantry swords

    1: Celtic Longsword VS Gladius

    I take this is the Gladius Hispaniensis now... the early gladius was not very broad and the wounds it made, not magnificent but they could still kill... A polybian soldier was trained to aim for the guts mainly and with a slim blade, you arrent gonna hit much, now with the later Gladius Mainz was super broad and would hurt alot...
    The Celtic Longsword: im just gonna say... one cut to the clavicula and you are out... not that i would like to bring that unwieldy gloryfied metaltube into battle... ;)

    2: Overhand Underhand cav.
    Well guys... the overhand cavalry can be good, just not for heavycav duties... use them against other cav, they stab faster with that little spear :)
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    Default Re: Two questions about cavalry weapons and infantry swords

    Vegetius is a useful source but you have to remember his purpose, he wrote the epitoma rei militaris after the disastrous Roman defeat at Adrianople c. 378, so his whole view had to do with the denial of rising Germanic power, and a sort of pompous revisitation of old Roman military principles. The Romans fought in rigid massed infantry formations which minimized personal heroism and instead put the emphasis on massed javelin showers, superior armor and overwhelming endurance. The gladius was as often as not the means of dealing the coup de grace to an enemy already wounded or impeded by pila showers, and exhausted by the grueling press against the Roman shield wall. So I think it is dubious to attribute the millions of men killed by Roman infantry to the superiority of the gladius per se. I know of not one Roman military history that makes a central theme of swordsmanship. Roman history instead puts the emphasis consistently on superior raw manhood (virtus), and military discipline. Celtic warriors who fought against Romans did well during the early period, all but destroying Rome in the early wars, and likewise remember that Celtic warriors held Hannibal's center at Cannae and successfully withstood the impetus of one of the largest legionary armies the Republic ever fielded. So to say that the Romans killed millions of Celts because the gladius and point weapons> edge weapons strikes me as simply a repeat of the Classical anti-barbarian snobbery. I would just as soon say that the Romans won with defence, not offense, and that the gladius was effective because it worked within the Roman legionary framework which prioritized endurance and tactical discipline over offensive flair and aggression.
    Last edited by Geticus; 12-18-2010 at 06:26.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Two questions about cavalry weapons and infantry swords

    If i had to empathize a horsemen in a pitch battle versus cavalry or infantry, i canīt help it, but the only weapon i can imagine is something as versatile as a sword, perhaps an ax or a club, but only for some poor horsemen, which would be a contradiction in itself, well perhaps not for some nomads, or maybe if it would be some kind of old style tradition to fight with those weapons. You canīt actually wield a spear and hit with it anything near accurately while surrounded by your comrades and/or enemy, you can only thrust; you canīt repulse attacks from different sides effectively, and you will never be able to do it with a spear as quick as with a sword, while sitting on a horse back, imo.
    There is, of course, the game engine limitation, only allowing a soldier to use 2 weapon types, but the reason why iīm arguing against the spear and for the sword is because the cavalry, not only the one controlled by a simple minded AI, but also my own, barely, if ever, switches to the secondary weapons, even when i order them to do so! I sometimes like to zooming in the battle camera close to watch the battle a bit, but this boring thrusting with spears performed by cavalry makes me zoom out very quickly, and move to the infantry...

    Btw: About swords an AP: i still have to figure out why the roman AI is so obsessed by Pedites Extraordinarii even though i have halved their initial size ( which means only 40 men on large unit settings )...!?! I mean, Triarii ( iīve halved their unit sizes too, btw. ) have got even better stats than the PO, but as soon as SPQR gets enough money in their coffers, they start to spam them. I still somehow suspect that the AI is very well aware of the armor piercing ability of their swords. And if it is, could it mean that the "ap" attribute significantly affects the auto resolving engine? o0
    Last edited by vollorix; 12-18-2010 at 04:44.
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  19. #19

    Default Re: Two questions about cavalry weapons and infantry swords

    Quote Originally Posted by vollorix View Post
    If i had to empathize a horsemen in a pitch battle versus cavalry or infantry, i canīt help it, but the only weapon i can imagine is something as versatile as a sword, perhaps an ax or a club, but only for some poor horsemen, which would be a contradiction in itself, well perhaps not for some nomads, or maybe if it would be some kind of old style tradition to fight with those weapons. You canīt actually wield a spear and hit with it anything near accurately while surrounded by your comrades and/or enemy, you can only thrust; you canīt repulse attacks from different sides effectively, and you will never be able to do it with a spear as quick as with a sword, while sitting on a horse back, imo.
    There is, of course, the game engine limitation, only allowing a soldier to use 2 weapon types, but the reason why iīm arguing against the spear and for the sword is because the cavalry, not only the one controlled by a simple minded AI, but also my own, barely, if ever, switches to the secondary weapons, even when i order them to do so! I sometimes like to zooming in the battle camera close to watch the battle a bit, but this boring thrusting with spears performed by cavalry makes me zoom out very quickly, and move to the infantry...

    Btw: About swords an AP: i still have to figure out why the roman AI is so obsessed by Pedites Extraordinarii even though i have halved their initial size ( which means only 40 men on large unit settings )...!?! I mean, Triarii ( iīve halved their unit sizes too, btw. ) have got even better stats than the PO, but as soon as SPQR gets enough money in their coffers, they start to spam them. I still somehow suspect that the AI is very well aware of the armor piercing ability of their swords. And if it is, could it mean that the "ap" attribute significantly affects the auto resolving engine? o0
    herm the knights in the midleages prefered the mace over the sword at least the more elite oneīs ... as for the reason i believe that just like the lance but on a more personal and intimate level "it leaves a strong impression either on a shield or in another horsemanīs head" once again many people choose to fight with diferent weaponry not because it was better but because they had a status to preserve in some way like the boers and the americans still today have their grandfathers winchesters at home since those are the familyīs "tradition"

    people had a warring tradition that allowed them to keep their status in their society and altough the romans didnīt had their fathers weapons cult in many warrior traditions the weapon that is passed on broken and reforged is still strong

    thereīs stories of a few nobles in the 17th century ordering the melting of their grandfathers swords and having those weapons reforged as rifles and pistols

  20. #20

    Default Re: Two questions about cavalry weapons and infantry swords

    There is one more thing which I would like to understand:

    Many people are often saying that you should use High lethality infantry against light/medium armoured foes. I can understand that when fighting cheap units like militias and light infantry who have so little overall defense that the Celtic longswords will work much better in getting a hit and kill. I also know that High lethality units are best when backstabbing other enemy units. But since most spear units have a 14-15 base attack then they should be just as/more effective when fighting against opponents with little armour but a high defense skill (even for a 2-penalty against swords).

    Also when I did often test using high lethality units as a frontal charge against all medium/professional enemy units with high overall defense (whether it is armour or high defense skill) then I really did not notice anything noteworthy about the high lethality units in comparison to others, like how Milites illergetum get their asses kicked while the Iberian scutari destroy all other medium units in their path. Maybe the Iberian scutari are an exception to this rule, but I wonder whether you should not just use a multi-purpose spearmen against all enemy units with a high defense skill. Are the high lethality units only useful against cheap units?

  21. #21
    EB:NOM Triumvir Member gamegeek2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Two questions about cavalry weapons and infantry swords

    Remember the formula: const1 * leth * 1.1 ^ (ATK - DEF + BONUSES)

    Lethality and attack skill are interchangeable. -1 attack skill is compensated equally by multiplying lethality by 1.1 - thus, kopides are strictly worse than maces and axes in EB, which makes no sense.
    Last edited by gamegeek2; 01-12-2011 at 01:16.
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    Villiage Idiot Member antisocialmunky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Two questions about cavalry weapons and infantry swords

    Quote Originally Posted by QuintusSertorius View Post
    Really? I've found even more lightly-armoured Epirote bodyguard using swords against an equal number of Seleukid, Ptolemaic or even Karthadastim bodyguard still using lances tends to win in a melee.
    The Eperiote Bodyguard has extra defense instead of armor. If they had more stamina, they would beat Persian cataphracts. Indeed, if you fight 2 of them online lance vs lance, the Eperiote BGs will have periods where they will be winning due to their slightly better stamina. But then the stamina equalizes and they start dropping.

    The high lethality units are always good. They just need an decent attack that can cut through high armor + defense stats. That's why high lethality + low attack + AP like axemen are so good against high tier heavily armored units while they die like flies to other cheap units with high attack and no AP. Therefore you want to employ units with lower armor and higher defense vs these sorts of cheap barb units. Thus, high lethality units with high attack stats like Drapnai, Bastarnae, Indian Longbows, and Indian Guild Warriors are able to pretty much kill everything in their way.
    Last edited by antisocialmunky; 01-12-2011 at 05:20.
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  23. #23

    Default Re: Two questions about cavalry weapons and infantry swords

    I think it rather strange that Falcata and Kopis have so low lethality in comparison to axes since these weapons are really axes in sword-form. Also when using hybrid swords like falcatas then they should give the wielder a better skill with them for attack and defense than by using clumsy axes. Its similar like longswords v.s blunt weapons in medieval times.

    I know how the Thracian and Indian units have both a great lethality and AP with their two handed weapons, but why do the thracian peltats get so high lethality with their one-handed swords in comparison to the falcata and kopis? I still think that the answer is not answered about the value of those Celtic longsword units who lack AP feature and whether they can stand up to heavier opponents with some decisive success above other units.

  24. #24
    EB:NOM Triumvir Member gamegeek2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Two questions about cavalry weapons and infantry swords

    I can't speak for the developers of the EB stat system. I don't think that stats were as well researched at that time, unless Aradan had already published his guide, though the EB team still seems to have come up with a good formula anyways. EBNOM's stats will be based on EB's, though generated with a different tool.

    I can say for a fact, that EBNOM stats will have axes, maces, and kopides similar in stats, though variable atk vs. defense
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  25. #25

    Default Re: Two questions about cavalry weapons and infantry swords

    Different lethality is a good idea but as far as I'm aware the swing speed for 'swords' in general is the same and not moddable, meaning that the gladius (or any of the other short/normal length 0.13 lethality swords) cant have a faster attack to make up for the lower lethality. In game I find that 0.225 longsword units are absolute killing machines even against heavily armoured targets and I pretty much wont recruit any infantry that dont have a longsword unless I have no other options (which is why bataroas are my favorite line infantry for cost vs effectiveness). The scordisii elite inf are a good example of a unit which is pretty gimped by its low lethality sword. Change it to 0.225 and see how huge the difference is.

    It says in a few of the celt unit descriptions that they 'twirl the swords around over their heads to gain momentum' which certainly makes it sound like they would not be matching the swing speed of a guy thrusting a smallsword back and forth. Mind you I would not want the Roman units to be any better offensively than they are already, due to their low cost and great equipment they are already very powerful.
    Last edited by Dram; 01-17-2011 at 13:14.

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