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Thread: Sweboz (Germans) slightly underpowered

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    Default Sweboz (Germans) slightly underpowered

    It seems to me that the Sweboz units in general are a bit underpowered. Im only comparing the Sweboz units to the Roman units as I feel the Celtic units are way overpowered. I think that the Swaiut(tribal) units in general are well done with the exception of maybe a bump in morale. I also think that the Merjoz (elite axe) should have an increased attack value. I would like to see a few more elite units though none should surpass the stats of the hundaskapiz or the Gastiz. I think these are well done and should be the best Sweboz infantry units.

    I stated in https://forums.totalwar.org/vb/showthread.php?t=83475 that I thought the Celt cavalry was weaker than it should be. I didnt see the Remi Mairepos (Belgae heavy cavalry) or the Brihentin (Gallic noble cavalry), therefore I stand corrected that they do have appropriate cavalry. The Sweboz on the other hand do not have adequate cavalry. The Sweboz are missing both heavy and noble cavalry. Ariovistus was mounted and had cavalry with him in his meeting with Caesar. While the Celt cavalry mostly defeated the Roman cavalry up till the Romans started using Celt cavalry, the German cavalry consistently defeated the Celt cavalry. The Sweboz heavy and noble cavalry should be better then the Celt cavalry. I understand that the Germans historically were mostly infantry, but they did have outstanding cavalry and was hoping that they will be added.

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    Member Member ElectricEel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sweboz (Germans) slightly underpowered

    Quote Originally Posted by Frostwulf
    It seems to me that the Sweboz units in general are a bit underpowered.
    Keep in mind that the Sweboz have access to a line of religious buildings that can give their units a +2 experience boost (in addition to the +1 boost from the game fields). Of course, if the romans have access to a similar boost, that can be ignored when comparing the two (I haven't played as Rome yet in EB). Though I do think the basic clubmen are overpriced (or should have their stats upgraded to be closer to the spearmen).
    The Sweboz on the other hand do not have adequate cavalry. The Sweboz are missing both heavy and noble cavalry.
    From what little I know of the subject, I must agree. There was a little discussion of this in this thread.
    Quote Originally Posted by Orb
    I think a new German cavalry unit is being added, but that's a 'wait-and-see' issue ;)
    The ridoharjoz aren't actually bad, they're just lighter than the hippophiles among us would like.
    Quote Originally Posted by Watchman, on the Ridoharjoz
    ...they should do well enough on flank and rear charges and as router-chasers, and ought to be able to cream the Celtic Leuce Epos types in a straight fight due to their higher base combat skills (the latter are of the underhand cav spear type with very low base attack, high delay, high charge and AP - not a very good combination against high-skill low-armour enemies like the Sweboz obviously).
    Last edited by ElectricEel; 06-05-2007 at 18:02.

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    Default Re: Sweboz (Germans) slightly underpowered

    ...they should do well enough on flank and rear charges and as router-chasers, and ought to be able to cream the Celtic Leuce Epos types in a straight fight due to their higher base combat skills (the latter are of the underhand cav spear type with very low base attack, high delay, high charge and AP - not a very good combination against high-skill low-armour enemies like the Sweboz obviously).
    Hmm, I always figured the Leuce Epos would win because the lethality of overhand spear attacks like that of the Ridoharjoz have a low lethality, wich makes the base attack value deceptive. The only way to be sure is to fire up a custom battle, though.

    Leuce Epos are still much better at skirmishing though IMO, the Ridoharjoz
    have a higher missile value, but their range is considerably shorter and they carry only 2 javelins versus 5 for the Leuce Epos.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Sweboz (Germans) slightly underpowered

    Based on my experience as Aedui: the Leuce Epos are just as advertised, a somewhat undervalued light cavalry force which can go toe to toe with most medium and light cavalry and even beat them.

    Ridoharjoz aren't that good. Not at all: they appear to break much faster. However their wedge formation should make up for this in the dense forests: it already is considerably difficult to maintain your battle lines with units that can do the shieldwall formation - so any good charge, even from the lightest of cavalry in the rear is just enough to split your lines apart.
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    Default Re: Sweboz (Germans) slightly underpowered

    Everyone always knocks the Ridharjoz and Clubmen; I dunno why. I'm not a historical expert, but I can't recall any tales of the Fearsome Germanic Heavy Cavalry Charges, its more the Fearsome Whacked-Out-Berserk Infantry Charge. Ergo, at BEST, they should only get a "medium cavalry" that would be roughly on par with, say, Hippeis, since Hippeis perform well enough, but definitely not anything like Successor cavalry. Also, my in-game experience with Ridharjoz and Clubmen is nothing but positive. Even without a charge bonus at all (my only complaint, since even sword cav get a charge bonus of some type) Ridharjoz eat Leuce Epos alive and spit the remains back out. And I like Leuce Epos, too, but Ridharjoz are much better at dealing with the enemies for which they are surrounded by. The clubmen, too, are pretty darn awesome. That AP places a hurting on folks like the Romans, and they are FAST. In fact, most of the German army is FAST. Which is awesome in so many ways.
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    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sweboz (Germans) slightly underpowered

    I know enough about Caesar's Gallic campaigns to know he tended to rely pretty heavily on Germanic mercs and allies for his cavalry arm - and those were apparently usually more than able to whip markedly superior numbers of their Gallic peers. Not that he didn't employ a lot of Gauls for the same purpose too, but the Germans were apparently of markedly higher calibre all other things being equal.

    Wonder if you could scratch-build a decent heavy-cavalry placeholder from the Gastiz model and pulling them stats out of Tha Sombrero...?
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Sweboz (Germans) slightly underpowered

    Quote Originally Posted by ElectricEel
    Keep in mind that the Sweboz have access to a line of religious buildings that can give their units a +2 experience boost (in addition to the +1 boost from the game fields). Of course, if the romans have access to a similar boost, that can be ignored when comparing the two (I haven't played as Rome yet in EB). Though I do think the basic clubmen are overpriced (or should have their stats upgraded to be closer to the spearmen)
    I was going by the base morale, as Im sure most factions have some sort of morale boosters such as buildings etc. etc. As far as the pricing of units, some do seem more expensive then should be but Im not familiar enough with the issues that go into it to make much of a statement.
    Also thanks for the info on the other thread

    Quote Originally Posted by LordCurlyton
    I'm not a historical expert, but I can't recall any tales of the Fearsome Germanic Heavy Cavalry Charges, its more the Fearsome Whacked-Out-Berserk Infantry Charge. Ergo, at BEST, they should only get a "medium cavalry" that would be roughly on par with, say, Hippeis, since Hippeis perform well enough, but definitely not anything like Successor cavalry.
    I agree with Mightypeon when he says:
    Quote Originally Posted by Mightypeon
    What I think is historically incorrect is the pathethic german Cavalry.
    Historically, Caesar made great use of German mercenary Cavalry units in his Gaullish wars, where they proved to be significantly better than their Gaullish equivalents.
    Caesars cavalry while in Gaul were attacked by 800 German cavalry. The 800 Germans charged the 2000-3500 Roman cavalry, routed them and chased them all the way back to Caesars base camp 2 miles away. Caesar used the Germans in their own fighting style (as did other Roman commanders in later dates) to great effect as shock troops. The German cavalry was better then the Gallic cavalry which in turn were generally better then their Roman counter parts.

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    Asia ton Barbaron mapper Member Pharnakes's Avatar
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    Smile Re: Sweboz (Germans) slightly underpowered

    Surely the Germanics never fielded anything even closley on a par with the Brehihntin and the Belgae heavies (can't remeber the name) though?
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    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sweboz (Germans) slightly underpowered

    Why not ? They had both a well-equipped if small warrior aristocracy, a decent equestrian warfare tradition (and regarded saddles as being crutches for weenies who couldn't ride properly...), and bad attitude a-plenty which is quite important particularly in cavalry warfare. Fewer than their Gallic peers perhaps, but I don't really see any reason why they would've been any worse.
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    Asia ton Barbaron mapper Member Pharnakes's Avatar
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    Smile Re: Sweboz (Germans) slightly underpowered

    I don't realy know why not, all I know is that I've never heard of germanic heavy cavalry.

    Anyway, I'm sure I saw somethoing somewhere about the Seboz getting a few more cavalry units, prehaps even some heavies, and maybe even in the next release, but I can't rememember where, or even if, to be honest...
    Last edited by Pharnakes; 06-05-2007 at 21:28.
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    Βασιλευς και Αυτοκρατωρ Αρχης Member Centurio Nixalsverdrus's Avatar
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    Default AW: Sweboz (Germans) slightly underpowered

    Unfortunately, it's not possible to make the famous Double-Riders, but surely the Germans deserve a better cavalry. From what I recall, Ariovist's cavalry has beaten the hell of a twice as strong celtic cavalry unit during Caesar's campaign in Gaul.

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    EB Token Radical Member QwertyMIDX's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sweboz (Germans) slightly underpowered

    One of the major advantages of the Germanic cavalry was just that, the double riders. 50 Horses meant 100 men, which is a hell of thing. We actually tried to implement them in game with a light, super fast infantry unit, but had no luck. Who knows, maybe we'll try again. Also, the Ridoharjoz have a charge bonus, it's in the mid 20s iirc. In the unit card you see the charge for the primary weapon (jav) not for the secondary (spear).
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    gourmand of carrot juices Member Lowenklee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sweboz (Germans) slightly underpowered

    "We actually tried to implement them in game with a light, super fast infantry unit, but had no luck".

    I think I recall the unit in question (assuming it was included in an official release)...bare chested with light blue trousers aremd with a short sword, or possibly a seax-type long knife?

    At either rate I was somewhat dissapointed to find their absence in the latest build. I found them to be quite useful in their intended role, as well as for flanking and routing pinned enemy light and medium infantry. If I remember correctly these units were listed as the Hundaskapiz no?

    Returning to the subject of the Ridoharjoz, I find them to be a superior cavalry and make very ample use of them in my german campaigns. They are superbly quick footed, and when combined with their great stamina are often able to exhaust even superiorly armored medium and heavy cavalry. Once exhausted of course it's a simply matter to turn and attack with the enemy routing quite quickly.

    Being able to drive or divert enemy cavalry away from the infantry lines usually leaves the enemy dangerously vulnerable to the superior speed and/or stamina of german infantry (at least in the case of the romans). The celts, once enticed to charge without cavalry support, usually succumb to the barrage of frame or the returning german cavalry.

    The Ridoharjoz might do well to be supplemented by a suitable medium infantry with an increased staying power during melee to approximate the two-riders tactics the germans used...but I don't think of it as required in order to balance the german faction. If I may offer a tip to other players...learn to fight effectively in the forests, allow heavier cavalry to engage while keeping the Ridoharjoz hidden. Once the enemy cavalry is pinned and tired hit them...well the rest is obvious.

    p.s.

    Hopefuly without sidetracking the topic too far i'd like to air the very few of my complaints thus far with the german faction. First would be the depiction of certain units, for example the current Hundaskapiz and Gastiz. They seem very migration period to me. This is based purely on a gut feeling more than any sort of evidence. With what evidence or inspiration is this sort of heavy chain wearing infantry unit borne out, or is that even chainmail?

    Also the Gaizaharjoz just seem...off. Would red have been such a commonly available color for them by means of Madder or Red Alder? What was the inspiration for the depiction of vivid green on the shields? I am unfortunatly ignorant of the plant or mineral from which vivid greens can be extracted although i suspect it's mineral based.

    The only cited work I see in the biblio is Mr. Schutz's "The Prehistory of Germanic Europe" but I'm sure there must also have been marvelous turns of phrase from contemporaneous sources that inspired the look of the above mentioned units.

    Also, perhaps a proper elite infantry type would be helpful in balancing the faction with late period romans and other mediteraneans. Whether that be the Merjoz, Sahsnotoz, or the Wodanawolfoz (a reskin of which might also be nice as they seem rather less than intimidating at present) while retaining the herthoz and gastiz as heavy line infantry.

    The current candidates for an elite infantry group suffer when engaged with even rank and file enemy infantry for any amount of time and, in my experience, lack a certain punch.

    If the lack of any germanic heavy hitters is intentional (and I can certainly win campaigns without one) then perhaps a readjustment of unit price and/or unit numbers would be helpful?

    ...Oh, and i'm greatly looking forward to the german ethnic traits and unit readjustments already hinted at. Great job guys, you are my daily history lesson!

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    Arrogant Ashigaru Moderator Ludens's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Re: Sweboz (Germans) slightly underpowered

    Quote Originally Posted by Lowenklee
    Hopefuly without sidetracking the topic too far i'd like to air the very few of my complaints thus far with the german faction. First would be the depiction of certain units, for example the current Hundaskapiz and Gastiz. They seem very migration period to me. This is based purely on a gut feeling more than any sort of evidence. With what evidence or inspiration is this sort of heavy chain wearing infantry unit borne out, or is that even chainmail?

    Also the Gaizaharjoz just seem...off. Would red have been such a commonly available color for them by means of Madder or Red Alder? What was the inspiration for the depiction of vivid green on the shields? I am unfortunatly ignorant of the plant or mineral from which vivid greens can be extracted although i suspect it's mineral based.
    I can't find the topic right now, but Safe once stated that both Hundaskapiz and Gastiz are overarmoured for the early period. He mentioned that the team discussed an Iron age reform for the Germans that would enable the current armoured Gastiz. The Gaizaharjoz skin is IIRC being redone.
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    gourmand of carrot juices Member Lowenklee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sweboz (Germans) slightly underpowered

    Thanks for the reply Ludens. I'll dig around for the mentioned thread once I have a free moment. Hopefully these changes will make it in for the next release...although I am somewhat confused about the iron age reform concept for the german faction.

    Certainly protogermans had achieved iron age technology centuries before the beginning of the EB timeframe as it was my understanding that limited scale production of poor quality ironware began relatively early in protogermanic scandinavian cultures.

    The only germanic iron-age reform I can think of would relate to the increase in ironware production following technical know-how introduced by contact with gallic peoples, but I think that was centuries before the EB timeline as well?

    I guess I should start digging for that particular thread from Safe for answers

  16. #16

    Default Re: Sweboz (Germans) slightly underpowered

    good points, guys.

    thank you for taking the time to write out some constructive criticism!

    I noticed the comment "lack of heavy hitters" but this follows the idea that the Germanic nobility is anachronistically overarmored- it seems to me that these ideas are contradictory. Either they are all similarly basic and bare, or the elite units have armor which is questionable. Mail is relatively easy to make and not so unique and hard to replicate a smithing process like pattern-welding, the Germanics happened to live in areas of Europe with less resources than their Celtic neighbors but that does not mean they were more primitive in intellect or less developed culturally. La Tene-Carpathian cultural interaction and influence would have been relatively common, so I do not see any reason why elite Europeans of warrior aristocracy of any ethnicity would not have mail, which would have been acquired from warfare and trade. I would completely agree that the units are too Migration Age if these were not elite units.

    I completely agree on the Gaizaharjoz color- it has been brought up before, hopefully changed for the next build.

    Keep up the comments!
    Last edited by blitzkrieg80; 06-07-2007 at 03:40.
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    gourmand of carrot juices Member Lowenklee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sweboz (Germans) slightly underpowered

    Thanks for the informative post Blitzkrieg,

    However I never intentionally characterized the early germans as "primitive in intellect or less developed culturally". The stone age and bronze age scandinavian-baltic history and it's evolution into the early germanic people is a favorite historical topic of mine. I am quite aware of the wealth of culture associated with this period and place. However this does not translate into material wealth for this cultural group during the EB timeframe.

    This would have it's effects on the scale of production for certain iron works such as iron armor wouldn't it? Specifically with regard to chainmail and it's place in early germanic culture, I just wouldn't care to characterize chainmail as commonplace enough even among the aristocracy to warrant being able to field numerous premigration era units of chainmail wearing infantry.

    I can imagine aquiring mail from beaten enemies would have viable but not large scale, afterall swords alone were uncommon amoung the early germans. I can also imagine that, much as it is in the present day, one is not likely to trade high quality armor to a potentially dangerous neighbor one may soon end up fighting. To regularly be able to equip aristocrats in mail the early germans would have needed a mean to domestically produce it.

    There must certainly have been a high cost associated with the import of large amounts of the required higher grade iron ore than the domestically available bog iron and the time/labour required for it's manufacture (which would not have been something within the means of just any iron smith) which might have made mail prohibitivly expensive for even many of the germanic chieftains?

    As I understand it, the relatively high level of armarment made available to celtic aristocracy was in part made possible by the system of large farm estates that yielded much in the way of personal wealth to celtic nobles. Unless I am incorrect no such system existed in early germanic culture?

    I'm not entirely sure the early tribal political system and land resources of the ancient germans allowed for that degree of personal wealth to field whole units of chainmail clad infantry. I'm always interested in having my opinion persuaded though.

    If a reform reflecting an increase in available wealth (perhaps triggered by expansion into celtic or italic lands) is afforded the Sweboz in the next EB release than I'd happily concede the plausibility of the Herthoz as mail clad. But the current graphic depiction of the Gastiz and Herthoz seems out of place with the other depictions of germanic units.

    In the meantime I wouldn't care to associate the comment "heavy hitters" with a heavily armored infantry. The Gaesatae are evidence enough against this.

    What i'm hoping for (and only if the historical evidence supports this) is an improvement in the charge effectiveness and defensive staying power of certain units in keeping with their unit card descriptions. Maybe not so much the Merjoz (as others seem to have more success with them) but the Sahsnotoz just seem a little underpowered for a "fierce and valiant" sword bearing war band fighting in dense formation.

    Pardon my confusing english, it is not my first language

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    Not Just A Name; A Way Of Life Member Sarcasm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sweboz (Germans) slightly underpowered

    It's so bloody good to read a discussion going on like this, especially when compared with some other threads. Keep it up guys, I'll be here to read it.



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  19. #19

    Default Re: Sweboz (Germans) slightly underpowered

    Your English is flawless, sorry Lowenklee- I didn't mean to imply that you were saying the Germanics were primitve, but I find it to be a common judgement since they were largely dependent on Celtic metalworks, so that was not a specific comment to you. You have a great point about fielding a large scale RTW units-worth of mail which I can not immediately explain concerning EB and their depiction because I am relatively new to the team and that aspect was unaccounted, but I will try and find that information out, so I can defend those units, besides supplement with anything else it very well might be something we need to address, but it certainly is a delicate and difficult balance to keep the Germanics from being generic and weak, yet accurate- LUCKILY, thanks to the active interest of players/testers/forum'ers we can beat it into bloody submission until it looks right I have been recently trying to brainstorm some ways to re-invent some of the less unique units like the tribal units so the Sweboz can have comparably diverse units to the Celts, Greeks, ect... also I really like the ideas suggested of another calvary unit, and I would LOVE for the Germanic med/elite foot-units to have their stats increased, so I'll bring up all of these great points mentioned by all of you throughout the thread.

    As I said before, keep the suggestions flowing... sorry I don't have anything just yet to keep a debate going- but I'll try
    Last edited by blitzkrieg80; 06-07-2007 at 08:07.
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  20. #20
    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sweboz (Germans) slightly underpowered

    Quote Originally Posted by Lowenklee
    I can imagine aquiring mail from beaten enemies would have viable but not large scale, afterall swords alone were uncommon amoung the early germans. I can also imagine that, much as it is in the present day, one is not likely to trade high quality armor to a potentially dangerous neighbor one may soon end up fighting. To regularly be able to equip aristocrats in mail the early germans would have needed a mean to domestically produce it.
    The funny thing is, in practice the potential future issues inherent in trading away advanced military gear to a potential foe didn't actually bother people. Or rather, they might bother rulers and suchlike, but their enterprising underlings tended to be only too happy to sell them off anyway.

    The way Frankish kings repeatedly banned the sale of high-quality swords to Vikings (to little effect) is a poignant illustration of this phenomenom. People are greedy little buggers.

    Moreover, if I've understood correctly it wasn't too unusual for Germanic mercenaries to fight for Celtic paymasters (among others), which would be another source of armour - both as loot, and as tokens of gratitude and friendship from the employer. Given the prestige associated with such gear, odds are they'd occasionally be given away as diplomatic gifts to foster goodwill in allied chieftains etc. Didn't the Celtic big shots pretty much have a practice of demonstrating their wealth and power with lavish gifts to followers, clients and so on ?

    There must certainly have been a high cost associated with the import of large amounts of the required higher grade iron ore than the domestically available bog iron and the time/labour required for it's manufacture (which would not have been something within the means of just any iron smith) which might have made mail prohibitivly expensive for even many of the germanic chieftains?
    If the smith knows how to draw wire, then he can make mail. It's not so much difficult as rather tedious and very time-consuming. And as for the iron, I'm under the impression you want it to be pretty soft (ie. the opposite of what goes into cutting edges) since the whole point of the stuff is that it deforms under the blow and absorbs its energy while simultaneously preventing the sharp stuff from getting as far as the meat under the armour where it could do major harm.
    I've no idea of the quality of raw iron available to the Germans at the time, but if it was good enough for spear-and axe-heads it ought to make the cut for mail too.

    It'd have to be damn near uselessly low-grade if it didn't, anyway, AFAIK.
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  21. #21
    gourmand of carrot juices Member Lowenklee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sweboz (Germans) slightly underpowered

    Thanks for the replies Blitzkrieg and Watchman,

    Hmm, it's an interesting point Watchman. While i'm familiar with the extensive use of germanic manpower for mercenary work in later Roman times i'm not so sure at what point in history this became a widespread phenomenon. Perhaps you could shed some light on this for me?
    I doubt the Romans made much use of them prior to their expansion northwards into Gaul, so that leaves the Gauls themselves and perhaps eastern european elements.

    I'll also have to plead ignorance as to the exact nature of trade between early germans and neighboring celts or eastern cultures. Blitzkrieg did mention the carpathian cultures. What high value items would the germans have traded to procure large amounts of mail or weaponry other than baltic amber? The idea of large scale trade for mail or weapons also seems to contradict the notion of the scarcity of iron weaponry and armor within early german society.

    Perhaps an answer to the above to points could lead to the basis for a germanic reform sometime within the Eb timeframe? The idea itself is quite exciting.

    As I mentioned earlier, i've no doubt that an ironware industry was in place early on in scandic-germanic society buts it's the scale and sophistication during the start of the EB timeframe that I question (chain wearing Gastiz and Herthoz are recruitable from the very beginning).

    To my knowledge, ironware manufacture increased in volume following the introduction of technical know how from celtic neighbors centuries earlier. This information concerned the extraction of small amounts of iron ore from bogs and swamps in which deposits form due to exposure of iron elements in the water to air. Traditionally it is considered quite soft and poor stock as it contains many impurities. It also happens to be painstakingly tedious and unpleasant work.
    I'd be interested in knowing the actual nature of early metal working among germans...such as what folding or laminant process may have been used to make better use of such poor quality iron.

    Watchman i'm under the impression the over lapping ring design of mail is whats intended to provide the bulk of the protection from missile fire, spears, and knives/swords, this would require that the rings stay interlinked even under stress. Given the unrivited nature of early mail i'm actually quite curious to what extant soft iron mail would provide adequate protection before "splitting"?

    Also I suppose it really depends on the answer to the above question concerning early german methods of removing or compensating for ore impurities. An unaccounted for concentration of impurities in an axe head or
    spearhead can lead to disastrous structural weakness as i'm sure you know, but that same possibility for structural weakness could lead to the drawing of iron wire as an impossibility without great losses due to breakage no?
    If later germanic sagas and mythos are indicative smiths were a very secretive group that kept ore extraction and metal working techniques very secret.

    I wonder how many smiths actually could refine poor quality ore enough to be drawn into wires. I also wonder if large industrial smithing complexes were present within early german society as they were among the celts? I happen to know for bronze age materials that a large bulk of bronzeware for military use actually came from only a handful of places. Presumably these were the only places where the sufficient technical know how or natural resources existed.

    This is a very interesting topic of conversation and I don't mean to pester with these inquires. I'll willingly concede my ignorance on many of the finer points! This just happens to be a great forum on which to air my curiosity.
    I wouldn't wish to hold you up from EB work, I look forward to the fruits of your labor Blitzkrieg.

    Perhaps if your time permits you could shed some light on the above questions Watchman?

  22. #22

    Default Re: Sweboz (Germans) slightly underpowered

    I have just recently brought up the idea of a late reform for the Sweboz, (many of us like it!) so that could partially qualify the armored units like [edit] the Herthoz and suggested the creation of a new heavy-ish cavalry unit for the Germanics that will be on par with the Greek/Celtic heavy cavalry- mailed with charging-spear/sword. There is some archaeological evidence of lance, spurs, sword- possibly implying such a cavalry force. Only time will tell if this becomes real

    The other unit concerns have been made more aware also, such as with the Merjoz.
    Last edited by blitzkrieg80; 06-09-2007 at 03:22.
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  23. #23

    Default Re: Sweboz (Germans) slightly underpowered

    Aww man my favorite faction getting mauled .


    Curse ye bastards!


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  24. #24
    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sweboz (Germans) slightly underpowered

    Quote Originally Posted by Lowenklee
    Thanks for the replies Blitzkrieg and Watchman,

    Hmm, it's an interesting point Watchman. While i'm familiar with the extensive use of germanic manpower for mercenary work in later Roman times i'm not so sure at what point in history this became a widespread phenomenon. Perhaps you could shed some light on this for me?
    I doubt the Romans made much use of them prior to their expansion northwards into Gaul, so that leaves the Gauls themselves and perhaps eastern european elements.
    Naturally. And they'd make use of mercenaries and allies like everyone else according to situation, whatever their lofty warrior ideals might theoretically have against the idea.

    I'll also have to plead ignorance as to the exact nature of trade between early germans and neighboring celts or eastern cultures. Blitzkrieg did mention the carpathian cultures. What high value items would the germans have traded to procure large amounts of mail or weaponry other than baltic amber?
    The services of skilled and willing fighters have usually been regarded as valuable you know... But other stuff I can think off the top of my head include various furs and hides (sealskins were exported from the Baltic already around Stone Age - and finds of Aegean bronze swords ought to suggest what kind of stuff might filter the other way - and some Finns were still paying their taxes in squirrel hides by the Early Modern period), walrus tusks from the far north, and probably also assorted craft products already for their exoticism. Salt from some regions too, probably. Less high-profile but rather larger-volume stuff would include things like fish, wool, metal (such as Swedish copper) both raw and worked, maybe honey... all the odds and ends common people now traded.

    The idea of large scale trade for mail or weapons also seems to contradict the notion of the scarcity of iron weaponry and armor within early german society.
    Large scale, hardly. Enough to outfit some of the senior nobility and their retinues, why not ? (Remember that the Gastiz/Herthoz are actually the only ones in armour; the current Gastiz-model Hundaskaspiz are a placeholder AFAIK, and the Ridoharjoz are also nobles...)

    To my knowledge, ironware manufacture increased in volume following the introduction of technical know how from celtic neighbors centuries earlier. This information concerned the extraction of small amounts of iron ore from bogs and swamps in which deposits form due to exposure of iron elements in the water to air. Traditionally it is considered quite soft and poor stock as it contains many impurities. It also happens to be painstakingly tedious and unpleasant work.
    I'd be interested in knowing the actual nature of early metal working among germans...such as what folding or laminant process may have been used to make better use of such poor quality iron.
    From the museum here I got the impression ironworking spread into Scandinavia already before the main Celtic expansion across Europe - the most logical route would be the very ancient Amber Road, as that one went directly into the proto-Celtic heartlands. The Germans could hardly have failed to pick it up as well. Anyway, by what I know of it whatever its quality issues might be bog iron (slightly a misnomer - around here at least you coud fish the stuff up from lakes too) formed a perfectly serviceable basis for the Northern European Iron Age. If it's good enough for spears and axes and eventually swords, it's sure as Heck good enough for mail.
    Heat and hammer iron enough, and most of the impurities go as far as I'm aware of. Apparently the iron-prospectors carried out a preliminary reduction on-site in small furnaces (to get rid of crystallized water and such) so they wouldn't be hauling overmuch useless slag back home.

    Watchman i'm under the impression the over lapping ring design of mail is whats intended to provide the bulk of the protection from missile fire, spears, and knives/swords, this would require that the rings stay interlinked even under stress. Given the unrivited nature of early mail i'm actually quite curious to what extant soft iron mail would provide adequate protection before "splitting"?
    "Butted" mail only really has trouble with pointy things, which obviously have a relatively easy time forcing a link open. Much Celtic mail was left that way by what I've read (although the Romans apparently insisted on properly closing all the links in theirs), and far as I know it performs against most things beyond the pointy stuff essentially as well as "closed" mail does. Mail largely relies on the sheer difficulty of cutting through the overlapping links, the diffusion of the impact energy into the yieldings but difficult to breach structure, and the fact it becomes functionally a smooth surface if the blow comes in at too shallow an angle, and thus glances off.

    And you want the links to be soft and flexible, iron or mild steel (bronze behaves much the same AFAIK). If they're soft and tough, they'll just deform under a blow for the most part. That's okay, since it's more or less part of the whole "absorptive" operative idea of the armour. If you make them hard - high-carbon steel and such - you strip them of their ability to "give in" under a blow and instead render them brittle - and that's Bad News because not only will they shatter, they will also be driven into the wound that much easier which isn't exactly pleasant.

    Also I suppose it really depends on the answer to the above question concerning early german methods of removing or compensating for ore impurities. An unaccounted for concentration of impurities in an axe head or spearhead can lead to disastrous structural weakness as i'm sure you know, but that same possibility for structural weakness could lead to the drawing of iron wire as an impossibility without great losses due to breakage no?
    So ? One very convenient thing about metals is their recyclability - if a part of the iron wire turns out to have an unacceptably high slag content (likely going to become apparent already during the drawing process), just put that bit aside, work with the rest, and melt and remake the deficient part later. It's actually much less a problem with wire than it is with weapons (nevermind, God forbid, long swords) far as I can figure, since you're here cutting the wire into short segments and the process of working it into thin bars for drawing ought to already get rid of much of the slag deposits. With the weapons you're making a more or less big lump that really should not have weak spots if possible, but I would imagine there is rather less concern with mail given the small size of the component parts and the way it works by "cumulative" effect.

    If later germanic sagas and mythos are indicative smiths were a very secretive group that kept ore extraction and metal working techniques very secret.
    I wonder about that ore extraction bit. I'm under the impression that part of the process was usually handled by other folks, the smith's main concern being working the metal rather than producing it. But certainly it has always been very typical that specialists who covered and important and demanding profession were regarded (and regarded themselves as) somehow special or downright arcane in premodern societies, with all kinds of ritual and sundry being tacked on both their status and work. (The cathedral-builders' fraternities the Freemasons grew out of would be a Medieval example, not that most craft guilds did not have their elements of mysticism.) In many sub-Saharan African cultures the blacksmith was regarded as a kind of shaman or witchman all but equal to, if different from, the primary specialists of the supernatural for example.

    I also wonder if large industrial smithing complexes were present within early german society as they were among the celts? I happen to know for bronze age materials that a large bulk of bronzeware for military use actually came from only a handful of places. Presumably these were the only places where the sufficient technical know how or natural resources existed.
    Bronze isn't readily comparable as with that stuff you had the peculiar availability issues of tin and copper to deal with (namely, the two rarely turn out in the same region). Iron is by far more abundant in many parts, or in Northern Europe anyway (although Sweden is rotten with copper, and the "tin isles" of Britain weren't that far away by sea...). Specialist stuff like swords would almost certainly have been mainly Celtic and other imports (although doubtless a powerful king or prosperous chieftain or community could also sponsor the presence of a specialist with the necessary skills - just think of the profit they could turn from selling his wares further, or the presitge and followers the head honcho would get by giving real swords as gifts...), but as things like axes and spears and arrows were both by far easier to make and vitally important to everyday life their production would by necessity already have been handled locally.
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  25. #25
    gourmand of carrot juices Member Lowenklee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sweboz (Germans) slightly underpowered

    "I have just recently brought up the idea of a late reform for the Sweboz, (many of us like it!) so that could partially qualify the armored units like the "Hundred" (upscaled for use as a late reform unit?) and suggested the creation of a new heavy-ish cavalry unit for the Germanics that will be on par with the Greek/Celtic heavy cavalry- mailed with charging-spear/sword.
    Only time will tell if this becomes real.
    The other unit concerns have been made more aware also, such as with the Merjoz".


    I am very excited about a Sweboz reform, it really does sound like a terrific idea.

    As regards the Hundred, I shouldn't think there is a need to make them exclusively a late reform unit. There's no reason to believe the system of military recruitment among the germans changed significantly during the three centuries covered by EB.

    If anything i'm curious about which element of the sebjo the hundaskapiz represent, are they the greater body of the gau's lower nobility gathered into a single unit? Or perhaps each unit represents an elected erlaz (if that word should be appropriate) of the sebjo assembling the household men and the extended kin group?

    If the latter is the case then it's worth mentioning that not all of the men fielded within the unit would have likely been aristocratic with access to the more extravagant arms and armor.

    The tendency of such peoples to fight together in extended kin groups would seem to suggest the latter was perhaps more likely? It is however somewhat vague with what was meant by Tacitus. Whatever the case I rather like the idea of the early hundaskapiz being fast moving close infantry support for advancing cavalry.

    Speaking of cavalry, i'm quite happy with the Ridoharjoz but would relish the chance to use a prereform medium/light-medium german cavalry. Lances would initially seem more appropriate for the early period, although I'm not up to date on the developments of early iron age cavalry swords among either the germans or neighboring people. Perhaps someone has some insights?

    Your posts are always informative Watchman,

    But I must say that I'm not sure how much we are in disagreement concerning mail armor. Perhaps my posts have been poorly illustrative of my position. I initially regarded the large scale availability of mail clad german units as perhaps more of a migration period phenomenon somewhat out of place during the beginning of the EB timeframe. I still stand by that position, my concern is primarily one of scale.

    As I posted earlier, I am well aware that rudimentary iron age technology was available quite early on among scandic and baltic peoples. In fact, I believe some quite old finds of iron implements were discovered in your area of the Baltic. Certainly the protogermanic iron age predates most significant contact with mainland La tene peoples. I'm also aware of role played by certain mineral additives and smithing techniques in contributing to a superior alloy and flexibility in iron weaponry. What i'm not so sure about is how well aware the early germans were of this!

    However, I digress...

    "Large scale, hardly. Enough to outfit some of the senior nobility and their retinues, why not ? (Remember that the Gastiz/Herthoz are actually the only ones in armour; the current Gastiz-model Hundaskaspiz are a placeholder AFAIK, and the Ridoharjoz are also nobles...)"

    Hmm, I don't have a problem at all with the Ridoharjoz. I'm not sure why they were brought up? Concerning my use of the term "large scale", that is in my opinion what is currently depicted in the EB mod. I have many many family members in my Sweboz campaign and each of them takes to the field with his numerous herthoz fully clad in mail. Even if we discount the Gastiz and Hundaskapiz this to me constitutes "large scale" availability.

    Of course I also posted...

    "If a reform reflecting an increase in available wealth (perhaps triggered by expansion into celtic or italic lands) is afforded the Sweboz in the next EB release than I'd happily concede the plausibility of the Herthoz as mail clad".

    The above remains my position although I should have included the Gastiz in that statement as well. A Sweboz reform would change everything as a gradual transition to greater material wealth due to territorial expansion, trade, prizes won through military service to foreigners, or whatever historical changes occurred as german populations expanded and came into greater prominence can be more accurately represented. Such wealth would have probably made the manufacture or purchase of mail armor more plausible.

    However, I maintain 272bc is simply too early for such advancements. Perhaps it is here we must simply agree to disagree?

    I spent several hours yesterday searching for evidence of mail wearing germans during the EB timeframe, the closest I arrived at was the following account from Tacitus.

    "Neither in truth do they abound in iron, as from the fashion of their weapons may be gathered...In their equipment they show no ostentation; only that their shields are diversified and adorned with curious colours. With coats of mail very few are furnished..."

    I know it's Tacitus so we must be careful. But this account gives a first century c.e. view of the germans as still being defficient in iron arms.

    This is consistent with my reading on archeological findings and classical writings which seem to strongly suggest, for whatever reason, a significant scarcity of iron martial implements for early germans. This makes, to my thinking, the current depiction of the Herthoz unlikely from a historical standpoint.

    Consequently for a future EB release I suggest it may be a fairer compromise to have the pre-reform Sweboz general's skin remain a depiction of a mail clad aristocrat while changing the accompanying herthoz skins to something more along the lines of heavy leathers or furs. I'll no longer address the current depiction of the Gastiz or the Hundazskapiz given their status as placeholders.

    Your common sense insights are very welcome and perhaps you are in possession of more specific information that compels your position. Do share if so! I am presently reading an interesting article on the Jastorf culture documenting recent grave excavations as well as several articles on the history of balto skandic metallurgy (regretably all are short but do provide interesting leads). Perhaps if new pertinent information arises it would be worth starting a new thread?
    Last edited by Lowenklee; 06-10-2007 at 00:11.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Sweboz (Germans) slightly underpowered

    Quote Originally Posted by Pharnakes
    Surely the Germanics never fielded anything even closley on a par with the Brehihntin and the Belgae heavies (can't remeber the name) though?
    Goldsworthy Caesar-The Germans had some 800 horsemen still guarding their encampment. Caesar had 5,000 cavalry, although if these were performing their duties as a patrolling and screening force properly, then they would not all have been concentrated in one place. Even so, the Gallic auxiliaries probably had a significant numerical advantage, and were mounted on larger horses than their opponents, which makes it all the more notable that the Germans quickly gained an advantage. In Caesar's account the Germans charged first, chasing away part of the Gallic cavalry, but were in turn met by their supports. Many of the Germans then dismounted to fight on foot-perhaps with the support of the picked infantrymen who regularly supported the horsemen of some Germanic tribes. The Gauls were routed and fled, spreading panic amongst a large part of the auxiliary and allied cavalry who galloped in terror back to the main force, which was probably several miles away. pg.274

    Phillip Sidnell-"Warhorse"-"Although not more than eight hundred German horsemen were present, as soon as they caught sight of Caesar's cavalry they charged and 'soon threw them into disorder'-all five thousand of them. The Celts did not break immediately, 'but in their turn, made a stand' and a sharp fight ensued in which the Germans, 'overthrowing a great many of our men, put the rest to flight'. pg.230-231

    Phillip Sidnell-"Warhorse"-"Caesar sent out his Gallic cavalry to engage them but these, being identical to the enemy but far fewer in numbers, quickly got into difficulties. Casesar now sent in his four hundred German riders, whom he had held back as a reserve, and 'their charge overpowered the enemy, who were put to flight and fell back with heavy loss on their main body'. The town surrendered." pg.232

    Phillip Sidnell-"Warhorse"-"It was the German cavalry, possibly with their own light infantry in support even though they are not mentioned, who made the breakthrough.
    At length the German horse gained the top of some rising ground on the right, dislodged some of the enemy, and chased them with heavy loss to a river where Vercingetorix's infantry was posted. At this the res of his cavalry fled, afraid of being surrounded, and were cut down in numbers all over the field.pg. 234

    Phillip Sidnell-"Warhorse"-"Once more Caesar had kept his German cavalry back as a reserve for the crucial moment; when these were committed, the enemy was quickly routed." pg.234

    Michael P. Speidel-"Riding for Caesar"-"Caesar threw his Germani into the fray-'some four hundred horsemen he had with him from the beginning'. the Gauls, unable to withstand their onslaught, broke and fled. Caesar's horse guard thus saved him from being trapped in certain defeat.
    Holding back reserves until the decisive moment, Caesar had won by tactical skill. It is nevertheless astonishing that only four hundred men made such a difference. They must have been the kind of men Caesar's own army feared, 'huge, unbelievably bold and expert fighters'."pg.12

    Goldsworthy Caesar-"Throughout the Gallic campaigns German warriors consistently defeated their Gallic counterparts, each success adding to their fierce reputation". Pg.274

    Goldsworthy Caesar-The tactics and the quality of the Germanic warriors usually gave them the edge over the Gaulish cavalry. Pg 229

    Michael P. Speidel-"Riding for Caesar"-"The emperor chose Batavians not for being foreigners, but for being the finest horsemen anywhere. His legate in Lower Germany no doubt picked them from tribal warriors who as allies had proven their horsemanship and fighting skill."pg.16 This quote is speaking of Augustus.

    You will notice that some of these are the same stories told by the different authors, I just figured it would be good to see the different perspectives from each. Goldsworthy and Sidnell deal with J.Caesar when talking of the Germanic cavalry during EB's time frame. Speidel takes it further down the line with the varying "Caesar's" with the same kind of results as you have read here. Each of these authors have other exploits of the Germanic cavalry in their books that Im not going to bother with as this should be enough examples. So as far as the Germanic cavalry being on par with the Brihentin or the Remi Mairepos I would say that are not on par with them. I say they are much superior!

    Quote Originally Posted by blitzkrieg80
    There is some archaeological evidence of lance, spurs, sword- possibly implying such a cavalry force.
    Speidel talks about this in his book "Ancient Germanic Warriors". He says "Tacitus, as we have seen, says that some first-century Germanic warriors fought with long spears, but scholars wondered whether he meant only foot or both foot and horse. Scene 5 of Trajan's Column answers that question, as do lance blades found in graves containing spurs:"pg 136
    Also of mention is that there are many "charges" done with Germanic cavalry that disperses their enemies. Some of the conflicts mentioned seem to promote at least to me the idea of heavy cavalry.

    Other things of note for the cavalry is:
    Phillip Sidnell-"Warhorse"-"In 55 BC two German tribes, the Usipetes and Tenctheri, migrated into Gaul. They scored an early success when their cavalry demonstrated the great stamina of their shaggy little mounts by making what would normally have been a three-day march in one night. The Gallic Menapii were taken by surprise and slaughtered."pg.230
    Also there is mention by both Sidnell and Speidel of the cavalry fording rivers in full armor in both Britain and Egypt.
    I agree with Watchman for the most part on distribution, though I am terribly weak on that subject. Be as it may and regardless of the situation of the armor, the Germanics still overcame their enemies and at greater odds.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Sweboz (Germans) slightly underpowered

    I was wondering what time period the reform for Sweboz would take place? I also was wondering if the barratus(sp?) or war chant was going to be used. If it is going to be implemented will it morale or other things?

  28. #28
    gourmand of carrot juices Member Lowenklee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sweboz (Germans) slightly underpowered

    The following passage is pasted directly from the wiki article on "Germanic peoples". I think it may lay interesting groundwork for establishing a Sweboz reform date.


    "The development of La Tene culture extended to the north around 200-150 BC, including the North German Plain, Denmark and Southern Scandinavia".

    "In certain cremation graves, situated at some distance from other graves, Celtic metalwork appears: brooches and swords, together with wagons, Roman cauldrons and drinking vessels. The area of these rich graves is the same as the places where later (first century AD) princely graves are found. A ruling class seems to have emerged, distinguished by the possession of large farms and rich gravegifts such as weapons for the men and silver objects for the women, imported earthenware and Celtic items".


    Sources as follows,

    Parker Pearson 1989:202

    Runes around the North Sea and on the Continent AD 150-700 - Looijenga, Jantina Helena - II.2, From the pre-Roman Iron Age to the late-Germanic Iron Age, University of Groningen, 1997.

    The dissertation piece written by Dr. Jantina Helena Looijenga goes on to state,


    "This process continued throughout the beginning of this era and is especially noticeable in Jutland and on Funen. The first historical contacts with the Romans took place during this period. The journey of the Cimbri and Teutons from Jutland, at the end of the second century BC, possibly resulted from different motives: e.g. internal struggles for power, overpopulation, climatic changes and long-distance trade, which included the import of prestige goods.

    The pre-Roman Iron Age Germanic society hardly knew any private property (perhaps apart from cattle), and certainly no privately owned land, since this was common property (Hedeager 1992a:245). The agriculture of the celtic fieldsystem could not expand much and an increase of agricultural production was not possible, which put a strain on society. The first four centuries AD saw a reorganisation of the villages, the redistribution of land, improved tools and a larger produce of the fields.

    Hedeager (1992a:245) conjectures that the early weapon deposits, and perhaps also the bog offerings of people in the north of Jutland, bear witness of internal conflicts. The differentiation process that may have started at around 150 BC continued till the development of royal power centres centuries later (Hedeager 1992a:244ff.).

    With the increase of the number of landowners (and private property), new tensions and conflicts could originate within the community. The accumulation of property produced a new elite. Social status became important, which was expressed by the possession of prestige
    goods (Hedeager 1988a:137ff.). Literacy, used for spiritual or profane purposes, may be expected to have developed among high-placed persons or privileged groups".


    The dissertation is available as a pdf download if anyone is interested in reading it in full. A simple google search should suffice.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Sweboz (Germans) slightly underpowered

    Thanks for the info Lowenklee,

  30. #30

    Default Re: Sweboz (Germans) slightly underpowered

    This is VERY, VERY interesting stuff.

    I will echo Sarcasm here, and congratulate all of you on excellent comments made.


    You like EB? Buy CA games.

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