Silver Shield 13th Edition
WE have returned...! Yes it's been quiet for many months in our workshop... Shogun 2 was finally released to the world (which to my extreme misfortune I've not been able to play) and as time passes so do some amongst us, one namely such individual who made a significant impact on the Total War community 'TosaInu' former admin of the Org. In tribute to his hard work and dedication to the game and its fans a 1v1 online tournament was officially sponsored by the Org and Creative Assembly (which you can find @ the Org.) For those concerned an online memorial was produced where many shared a word on the kind spirit behind the handle they had come to know.
In brighter news our Head of TWC Content Belisarius became a member of HEX. What does that mean? Hell if I know, but hopefully something good for Content staff!
As for the delay of The Shield we've experienced some scheduling issues, man power etc (all the boring technicalities that go on (or don't go on) behind scenes). We do however have some pieces you might be interested in, such as an interview with Anthonius II regarding his work with CBUR (a.k.a Complete Byzantine Unit Roster). I would also like to welcome in an entirely new staff of reporters each making their debut, and lastly I caught up with an old partner in crime 'Naz' who has returned to share his military journal so have a seat and have a read, and again please feel free to comment!
13th Edition Staff
Editor in Chief / Group Moderator Armatus
Art Director Tzar
Artist / Reporter Subuatai de Bodemloze
ContentsInterview with Anthonius II on CBUR by Bolkonsky
Many of us know the inexplicable feeling we get, that urge to stare at the faction choices of our favorite game, be it Medieval: TW, Europa Universalis, or Age of Empires, looking for a break, for a different nation, before finally sucumbing to our impulses and clicking on the purple of the Byzantine Empire. For those of you who don't, well, I envy your willpower.
Sadly, however, two words that many people connect with Byzantine are "Greek Fire." And so in games, we often see representations of men cloaked in purple, shooting guns and launching balls of flame at enemy warships. When they do engage in melee combat, they often have expensive heavy cavalry, or lots of pikemen. Rare is the game that captures the Byzantines in their true glory.
Thankfully, we have mods and modders. So today the Silver Shield is featuring the Complete Byzantine Unit Roster! Developed by Anthonius II and team, it is the largest and most comprehensive Byzantine army to date. Created with the utmost historical accuracy, beatifully rendered with the greatest attention to detail, it's something that Emperor Maurice himself would be proud of!
Using the famed Silver Shield as an excuse, I got to ask the esteemed Anthonius II some questions!
I don't just speak for myself when I say that many are drawn to the Byzantines. What's your interest in them?
“Byzantines” and their heritage still live in the Modern Greek society. We (Greeks) hear their language every day via the church hymns. We see their art and still reproduce it. We are having history lessons about them in the school. Their era seams fascinating but no matter the long international literature about them, Byzantines are still one of the “great unknown” and their life style or their warfare are covered by a mist of mystery. That made me interesting in them. Revealing their armies CBUR is revealing their world too.
As a fellow Byzantine fan, I have to ask this. Why did you go with the name Byzantine? Wouldn't Eastern Roman have been more accurate?
The most accurate name would be “Medieval Roman Empire”. The reason is simple. The known Roman Empire lost its west part but the remaining one was still “The Roman Empire”. What we must know is that even after the total prevails of the Greek language as the empire’s formal one, the state continued to define its self as the Roman Empire. The ruler still had the title “August” or “imperator” side by side with the Greek titles of “Basileus” or “Autocrator”. We could not use the term “eastern” simply because there was not a “western” any more. So the remaining part was the “Roman Empire”. The reason that CBUR project uses this term has to do with making understandable what we are talking about.
Creating a mod, and making it historically accurate, is very difficult. Since there's already Byzantines in Medieval II, what sparked you to start this project?
As I said Medieval Romans are a real mystery. That leads us all too many misunderstandings about them. CA created them as a separated culture and that was correct. But their presentation was generic, following also generic terms, names and ideas. The real spark of creating an accurate unit roster came when I saw MTR mod. That was an early attempt of creating a real M2TW supermod. That mod ended up dead. Then I gave a promise to myself. I would try to help any modding team that needs this kind of models, researching background and education about what we call “Byzantines”. That way me and the people that became part of what we call CBUR’s fellowship would comfort just a bit every mod that seeks an accurate (as possible) medieval Roman faction.
You've started The Great Conflicts now, so what happens to CBUR? Two projects at once is a lot.
CBUR is not a mod. It is a unit producing project that (as I said) aims to help any modding attempt with this specific faction/state. We focus on accurate/historical units and info only. If you watch closely our first attempt about the Komnenean/Palaeologean era armies we do not have “what if” units in our project. We focus to teach that empire’s history through its armies. The decline of those armies stated the decline of the empire its self.
“The Great Conflicts 872-1071” is a mod with the classic meaning. Based on the same point of view we have in CBUR about accuracy we wanted to expand more than medieval Romans. The reason was simple. Medieval Romans were not the only people in their part of the world. They lived among other people with different cultures and warfare tactics. We called every similar modding team to CBUR to add their knowledge and efforts. Some responded like the BGTW team that provided research and material for the Bulgarian faction. We intend to create an educational tool via the M2TW engine. A “tool” that will offer to people knowledge and pleasure the same time.
Maybe a tough question, but what is your favorite Nikephorean unit?
That is really a tough question. The unit that required the most deep historical research and modding experience was “Kontarati”. But what make the roster really attractive is the Hikanati/Scholarii cataphract style Tagmatic units that will be presenting in the near future. We know that public likes real strong and elite units. Our obligation as CBUR is to teach them what those guys were really, how they fought and to make sure that we will present them as accurate as possible.
In your opinion, do you think you have done the Byzantine army a justice?
From the beginning I was not alone in this long journey of research. I was very fortunate that CBUR had some really educated researchers. Of course we all based in books and real historian research projects. What we tried to do in CBUR is to follow the history’s path and present those armies as accurately as possible. I point the phrase “as possible” for a reason. The game has limitations of its own and we cannot just over look them. As we wrote in our “Nikephorean Thematical Armies” unit presentation every unit follows history but certainly under the game’s limits. We would be happy if we could present a real medieval roman infantry or cavalry battalion with every kind of warriors it really had but I am afraid that this is not yet possible. But yes I can ensure TWC members that units in our rosters/projects are result of a real hard research work. They needed to be because we despairdly want to show the entire course of the empire after the death of Heraclius to the the heroic death of the Last Roman Emperor in 1453. Accurate units are the "tool" to show that history because players will expirience the glory or the decline ,the dificulties or the hopes those people had. Their armies are the miror of their times.
You've given your work to a lot of mods in the few years it's been out. Any recommendations?
I would be unfair to some mods that used our material. Some mods focus on advanced scripts and others for more unique unit’s presentation. At the end it’s all about what any of us seek about his/her pleasure. Mods are like history events. We can describe the same thing under different prospective. That is what history and mods are all about.
In that point we -in CBUR- would like to thank the TWC for its suport but most of all the people and the modding teams that trusted us and our work.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, and why you love history so much.
My name is Anthony and I live north of Thessaloniki in Greece. I am forty years old and besides history, bowling and backgammon are the next favorite hobbies of mine. History was always part of the school education in Greece and when someone is too young, history seems like a fairytale. So when I was young enough instead reading fairytales with big bad wolves I read history that was more fascinating! Kings and armies that fought one against the other inspired my imagination as a kid. Later when I became a teenager I started to ask questions to myself about the background of the stories I knew. “Alright he won that battle. Why did he go to war at first place? Why and how did he win the battle? Why did his opponent lose?” All these questions generate more and more questions and each answer creates even more ones. But despite the fact that I read for real events, history still remains a well written fairytale. And I like fairytales!
What got you interested in Total War games?
As I said to another answer TW game series offer the best ancient/medieval battle simulator that is available in games. I realized it when playing Shogun I used medieval Roman (Byzantine) tactics with them and the “experiment” seamed successful. With proper attention and high quality work TW games can become the basis of real educational projects.
How did you find Total War Center, and what has made you stay here for so long?
That is a funny story. My engagement with the Internet became when I saw some pictures of some RTW mods inside a PC magazine. The link referred to the TW.org but searching in the links a mod (MTR) had in there I came across with the TWC. Having no experience in the internet or how such sites work I wanted to know which site hosted the “official” MTR mod. The creators needed a lot of posts to make me to understand that the mod was hosted in both sites. Soon I realized that TWC had a more easy work environment and more members logged in the same time. Soon I found here in TWC a friendly environment that would allow me to offer my knowledge and help in an easier way. Many real friendships followed since those early posts of mine back then. Today TWC is my second home where I share with many people that are friends of mine, not only modding experiences but also solutions and comfort with my personal life. Believe me that I am now writing these lines in a pc that REAL FRIENDS I made here in TWC helped me to buy. Without them I would be forced to stop visiting TWC or any other websites. I would be forced to quit helping others with the research our team made and I would never start modding at all. Through this article I want to express my gratitude to those friends of mine that are well known members of TWC.
What first interested you in modding?
Americans use to say that “you can’t teach old dog new tricks." That is quite correct. However I had to do something to help CBUR and later TGC to continue developing. The main creators that have far more experience than I could use some extra help with minor details that could only delay their primary creations. So this old dog learned some basic modding that I call “The Frankenstein way” to help the rest of my friends that honored me with their participation in the CBUR/TGC development. I could not just “order” and wait others to do without any kind of help. My modding involvement is still secondary but I keep things going on.
What's your favorite national food?
I am meat eater. My favorite food is something my Father used to make. Natural tomato sauce blundered with eggs. I do not think my country is famous for this food anyway.
Do you have any favorite authors/books?
Depends on the books. For most of my life I read translations of ancient Greek historians and their works. Thucydides, Herodotus and Xenophon where my favorite. I like Thucydides most because I learned how a proper history researcher should bring truth to his readers. Truth may not like the researcher himself but none can have two truths. A few years ago a friend gave me a book to read with a bizarre name “Silmarilion”. I was amassed by that author’s style. A fairytale could have similar style with a true history! Tolkien is now my favorite author for his style of making tales.
What style music do you like?
I am a teenager of ‘80s so the last versions of disco music are still my favorite. I have no problem to hear anything else except of heavy metal music and its versions.
Tell us about your most epic Total War battle!
It was in RTR 6.0 some years ago. I like cavalry a lot so I had Sarmatians, if I remember well. With an army full with my most expedient cavalry I crossed Asia Minor and crashed Greeks and Romans I found my way. But I had no spies to inform me about a huge gathering of Ptolemaic armies around their city in south Asia Minor. Grid based on my recent success lead me to attack them believing that I have to face only two armies. But there were 4 armies that were deployed in four different directions surrounding my army of horsemen. My horsemen eliminated three of the armies but four was a number beyond their ability. None survived.
Did you take your forum name after Marcus Antonius?
No. I am the younger of two cousins with the name Anthony in my family. So my older cousin was the “1st” and I was the second. That’s the catch.
Is there a God? And does he see you too?
I am not a good Christian. But I believe that God exist. I hope He will forgive me for my way of life but yes, I believe he sees me as everyone else on the universe.
Do you have any big aspirations in life?
I had when I was young. Now I just need a quite life with steady job and a girl to marry and make a family. Simple things that look simple for some but they are so precious to others.
I know love history. They say those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it. Any advice on how to avoid this?
First of all I am not big in history, I am still learning and I am still willing to learn. I follow Socrates moto "I know one thing. I know nothing."
Now I may sound pessimistic but we cannot avoid repeating history. I am not saying that this can be a disaster or not. What make the difference is how to deal with the history itself through our lives. We all making history just living on this planet. My father had almost no education but he used to say that “if you know history none can fool you in every aspect of your life political or not”. Knowing history everyone will never be the politicians’ victim because he will have the ability to “read” the signs of his time and will be able to make the correct choices for him/her. History is just the path that allow us to come across with our decisions that create the “new” history repeating it or not.
Anthonius II and team are clearly very dedicated to providing the best, all around, Byzantine experience, and the general consensus is that they've succeeded. The workmanship and accuracy is unlike anything else ever created. No corners have been cut, no little details overlooked, and they haven't sacrificed anything from what could easily be called a work of art. As of November 26th, 2009 (which is well over a year ago) there were 33 mods using CBUR, including Rusichi Total War and Stainless Steel. So go on, I wont take up any more of your time. If you don't have a mod with CBUR, you're missing out like an emperor without a purple robe to wear! If you're still not convinced, take a look at this wonderful compilation of screenshots, as well as their most recent preview! Get downloading and get playing, and of course, thanks for reading the Silver Shield!
Interview with Fortes by Okmin
Interview with FortesOkmin here with my first piece for the Silver Shield: an interview with Fortes, one of the 2010 Modding Award Rising Stars and team leader of Victoria: Total War, voted the Most Promising ETW mod of 2010. Enough from me, on to what Fortes has to say:
Originally Posted by Fortes
About your name?
Well it just happened to come to my imagination the name of Fortes, nothing special
June 19, 2010
How did you find TWC?
I can't remember exactly but I think that I was looking for modifications to ETW.
What Total War games do you own?
Rome: Total War ; Medieval II: Total War ; Empire: Total War ; Napoleon: Total War
Victoria Mod forum
What do you like about Total War?
Especially the modding potential, plus I'm a big history fan.
What Total War theme would you like CA to release in the future?
Rome II: Total War or a Discoveries: Total War focusing in the Portuguese and Spanish explorations.
Post in the D&D forum?
No I don't, some time ago I did but then I've realized that some times discussions tend to become a little out of control as so I've stopped posting there.
Is there a God?
What are your future plans (TWC, Life, Work?)
I wish to get more involved with TWC, both modding area and civic, in the future I would like to become Moderator.
Now we've got the standard stuff done, on to other questions.
You said you're a history fan, what's your favorite time period?
XVII and XIX centuries
Also, why do you want to join the moderation staff?
Well, I don't really know, as I said I want to get more involved with TWC and become a moderator seem me the best next step for me to do.
Anything you want to say about your mods?
All I hope for my mods is that people enjoy to play them.
Last question. Any advice for people who want to start modding?
Yes, before start modding think very well if you want to do it or not, mod the game is great but it takes a lot of time, anyway I suggest everybody to try it, initially even the easiest change will seem hard but don't surrender within some time it will become easy and you will want to know more and more, make mods is about have imagination, have good ideas, do what you like, do something new, don't surrender initially only because it may seem to hard, do never say that something is impossible to do, just work hard to find a way 'cause in the end you you'll feel accomplished.
Note from Okmin: After the interview, Fortes and I started working on Imperial Splendour, another hosted mod for Empire: Total War. Also, Fortes has told me that he's going to be slowly getting out of TW modding after completing his current projects. He plans to still be around the forums doing 2D art and wants to get more involved with the non-TW parts of the site.
Warcraft Total War by Ozy
Introduction: Perhaps one of the most popular RTS games, the Warcraft series has it all: a great storyline, excellent gameplay and a huge fan base. Thinking of those great features, it is not surprising that a new mod has been under development for some time now, featuring the Universe of Warcraft. For this issue, we have contacted the team of Warcraft Total War (WTW), who are currently at the working stage of getting their own forum here at TWC within the Medieval II hosted modifications.
Without further ado, I present you this interview with TheHappyCrusader, mod leader of Warcraft Total War.
Could you give us some information about yourself?
I am TheHappyCrusader, some of my friends call me HappyC. I am Canadian, currently finishing high school. Some of my hobbies are downhill skiing, biking, history, games (such as Total War, Mount and Blade, Minecraft and Warcraft) and, of course, modding Medieval 2 Total War!
How did you become a fan of Warcraft and Total War, respectively?
I first discovered Warcraft when my cousin was visiting. He had Warcraft 3 on his laptop (it had just come out) and I watched him play it. After a while of staring at the screen over his shoulder, he let me try playing it and I loved it. I bought my own copy the following week and I loved the game and the lore behind it ever since.
Back when Rome: Total War came out, several of my friends purchased it and they would always be talking about their epic campaigns of conquest and glory. Feeling rather left-out, I decided to find out what this whole "Total War" thing was about, so I found some videos of the gameplay and it looked amazing. The next day I went out and bought it, played it (thankfully my old Windows 98 machine could run it, though barely) and I became a Total War fan.
So, Warcraft in a Total War game. How did this idea come to you?
In the Warcraft series, the lore behind everything was hugely epic, but the actual game play in Warcraft was pretty small scale, with only a few dozen units on each side actually fighting each other in an in-game battle. I've always felt that Warcraft could be even better if it had large scale battles with thousands of undead, demons and footmen fighting it out. And what better way to do this than to put Warcraft into a Total War game?
Sounds awesome!!! So, What has been the reaction of the TWC community to a mod featuring the Universe of Warcraft?
The reaction of the TWC community has been positive, I think there's a lot of people out there who want to see a Warcraft mod made for Total War. There hasn't exactly been a huge outpouring of offers to help with making the mod, but hearing how people are excited about WTW has still been really encouraging.
Could you tell us something about your job(s) as leader of WTW? What's a day's work like as you lead your minionsteam further into the completion of the next step in the mod's progress?
Well, I make sure that all the work being done by everyone follows the "vision" for WTW, so everything we do will come together into the finished product we imagined. I also work closely with the co-leader of the mod, Sulphuristical, to organize the different things that people are working on. I am also the mapper for WTW so I spend time coding stuff onto the map and sculpting the world of Azeroth in the Total War engine.
I understand the mod will take place in the time frame of the events prior and during the emergence of the Scourge in Loarderon. How many and which factions do you intend to include for the mod?
For the Alpha release (which is what we are currently working towards), we plan on having 7 factions:
The Burning Legion
After the Alpha, we will continue to add more factions (bringing the total up to 14):
Dark Iron Dwarves
And after that we plan on looking at doing some of the smaller, yet still fairly important factions. This would be factions like Gilneas, The Amani or the Qiraji.
Will we see the heroes and villians of the period fighting in as playable characters (Arthas vs Illidan, Thrall and Sylvanas come to mind!)?
Yes! Important characters of the time will be repressented as skilled generals with a powerful bodyguard unit in battle. They won't be able to single handedly win a battle, but they will be a powerful asset.
Of the many fans out there, I think two of the main features that have driven people deeply into the game world have been the stories and lore involved. Do you plan to insert such features across into the M2TW engine?
Yes we do, we hope to make WTW very immersive mod through the use of scripted events and such to portray many lore events that occured during Warcraft 3 (such as the plague of Lordaeron, the invasion of the Burning Legion and Arthas becoming the Lich King). This won't be fully implemented in the first couple releases of the mod, but we plan on increasing the number and complexity of these scripted lore events with each major release.
Time for the eye candy Do you have any previews or other developments that you would like to share with us?
Here's a few screenshots of the map, a few loading screens, some faction symbols and a few images of some WIP units and UI:
Spoiler Alert, click show to read:
Burning Legion UI
The mod is still in a farily early stage. Are you still in need of more members to aid in the development?
We most certainly are, especially if the mod is to be finished in this lifetime! We are especially in need of some dedicated 3D modelers and skinners, so if anyone has any skills in this area and is interested, please send us a PM!
- - - -
Awesome The Shield and I thank you very much for your time and this interview, HappyC. Best of luck getting WTW to its completion!
Be sure to check out their current mod thread here if you're interested in this promising mod.
Military journal of Nazgûl Killer
Introduction I'd like to start out by bringing our new readers up to speed especially those who have not yet browsed our past issues Nazgul Killer... If you could my friend give us a run down on who you are to the TWC forums, where you've been most active among them; as well as the reason and or decision which lead to the event of your departure.
Who am I? Well... The TWC-me is much less interesting than the ''real'' me, but I'll give you a run-down of both.
Some of you may know me already, I've started off as an enthusiastic M2TW player, asking questions and answering questions. I've gained a reputation for myself around the M2TW forums as somewhat of a good player but more so as a confident one (A nice advice for you lot: Confidence gets you far. Even when it border-lines vanity). Starting off as a simple M2TW player here at these forums, I've decided that I'd like to expand my horizons further. I've always taken a keen interest in writing yet never had a proper floor to present said writings... So I've started writing for the Tale of the Week contest for quite a while, and I've gained some attention there as well.
I've started writing my guide of M2TW, taking some ideas and theories I've had for quite a while and implementing them to see if they work, in hope that my guide would help people. I think it has. It took me several months to work on that guide and I'm proud of it, to be honest.
Soon enough, my dear Pontifex offered me to become a Librarian in the Scriptorium, and I took the job with good interest. It seemed like something I'd love to do, and indeed it was. It was a good opportunity for me to hone my writing skills by reading other people's works and helped me with my other ''job'' at the time: During said period I also took a job with the Critic's Quill which offered me a writing space I've wanted for quite a while in creating critiques of AARs, from the amount of PMs I got during that period I would think I got quite a reputation for myself for one sole reason: I spared no words. I simply said what I thought, brutal honesty... Now, you could ask: "Who the hell made you an expert?" No one, that's who. And I've mentioned that several times, that I'm no expert, I'm just expressing my opinion of the stories written as a story reader and writer, nothing more. Most writers took my critiques with a smile and accepted them, to be honest I can't recall one who took it badly. Which surprised me because my editor at the time, Junius, had to ask me to edit my critiques sometimes as they were too harsh...
I took up work at the Silver Shield also, under my good friends Y2Day and Armatus, who offered me one thing I really wanted and lacked at the Critic's Quill... Absolute freedom. They simply asked for one thing; Write. Nothing more. No subject, nothing. Just write about whatever you want. It took me a while to adjust to this new frame of work... But I got so addicted to it that I eventually simply quit the Critic's Quill because of the fact that the Silver Shield offered me all that I wanted to begin with. I honed my writing skills there more than I did anywhere else, and to be honest? It helped me in real life as well. Quite a lot I might add.
After about 9 months at the Librarian job, I applied to become a Citizen (Under his patronage, of course) and was accepted (The second time around, one should point out). Three months later I quit the job due to lack of time. I tried during that time to become active around the political sections of the forums... And it was fun for a while. Until I realized that political debates in a forum is just useless.
Partying and studying (The former more than the latter to be honest) took my time then, I had little time for TWC anymore, especially with the army coming up just around the corner. I had a lot to do. I finished High-School at June 20th, and just a month later I was already drafted. So, I had a lot to do as you might guess.
During that time around I was most active around the Thema Devia, for the sole reason of its hilarity. I had very little time for anything else, exactly the same as now.
So... Here I am. I found myself, at the 24th of July, ready for the army. Two days before that I had returned from a trip around England (From Newcastle to London via Whitby (Unplanned, but amazing), Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham and Cambridge), a day before that I had confessed before the woman I loved that I do love her, having been shot down in a heart-shattering fashion. But I was ready to start anew. In the army. I somehow know that the army will be good for me... Maybe it was because I was ready for life in the army since I was just a young boy... Maybe it was because I fantasized about it. But I was right.
I was drafted, the initial shock of the military system came immediately, physical training, disciplinary training... It was rough, but I loved it and took it in good spirit. I made new, good, friends immediately. We were the best company in the platoon. Our NCOs were the toughest, meanest sons of s I've ever seen, our sergeant was the greatest, most ingenious man I've ever seen. He was tough, very tough to please and had extremely high expectations. He had us write 20 location-lists (A list which contains the location of all 35 members of our company, their exact locations) in three minutes while getting into uniform, which meant that some had to cloth others while they wrote the lists. It was tough, hard but we did it. In two minutes and a half. We were the best.
Two weeks later, pre-bootcamp was over. And we were demolished. Our perfect company had been broken apart, 80% went into platoon A, whilst 20% remained in platoon B (I'm not allowed to explain the differences, sorry). And even those who were in the same platoon were separated into different companies... Until from 35 people together... I found myself with just one more individual from my company in my new company. I was devastated. People I had gotten to know in two weeks more than I knew friends that I had known for years... Separated from me for who-knows how long...
But the difficulties did not stop there. During intensive training, I had broken four ribs and was sent home for two weeks for recovery with a pack of Morphine tablets (Army-made) and tons of pain-killers. Naturally, that didn't help me assimilate into my new company, and I had to sit at home for two weeks when all I wanted was to go back to my base, 5 hours drive away. I was visited by my sergeant, and I urged him to take me back only to have him explain to me how much he wants but can't.
Eventually I returned, and for around a month I felt out of place, distant... But that didn't discourage me. My motivation was never higher, I wanted to prove myself. And I did. What I missed in two weeks, I caught up very quickly, and what people managed to do in a month and a half in the company, I managed to catch up and do more in just two weeks. I became my personal-CO's favorite and became one of the most highly appreciated soldiers in the platoon, the only one the platoon-leader has ever smiled at even (I'll explain why that's important), the one who all the NCOs, officers and sergeants treated with a gentle hand and a smiling face.
Now, this is important to say because of a certain thing that's called "Distance". Emotional distance. Meaning that the NCOs, officers and sergeants share no emotions with us. Be it laughter, anger, joy, disappointment... Nothing. Total emotional disconnection. As the training went on, the emotional disconnection dissipated more and more (And it keeps dissipating) as they get to know you, pull you through your darkest hours (I'll expand on that) and see you weep like a teenage girl during her period. But they still have to keep that emotional distance from you, their job is impossible otherwise.
One of my darkest hours was our "War-week". A week in which we slept outside, in war-like conditions, digging a foxhole for ourselves (As we have), eating battle rations, never been given a moment's rest, even during night time. During night time we had several ''attacks'' performed on us by our commanding figures, to which we had to respond in force. Be it our platoon leader trying to steal our weapons at night or be it our sergeant throwing fake grenades at us and screaming "ATTACK!" and performing actions as if our enemy would. During said war-week we had to sleep in our uniforms with full battle gear (Vest, helmet and all things included in them) and be ready at all times. Even in the freezing desert nights. We rarely had more than 2 hours of sleep each night.
One day I simply shattered. During our 'lunch' (Battle rations, after all), our sergeant started throwing fake grenades at us, meaning we had to run away and duck for cover. The 15 minutes we had to eat shrank to a minute, and I couldn't bare it. The first time it was just annoying. The second time it was irritating. The third time it was angering. The fourth time it was frustrating. The fifth it was mind-shattering. The sixth... I snapped. Forget the fact that it was the first time I had a chance to eat in a day and a half. It was just frustrating. And I couldn't help but snap emotionally. My personal NCO (Our commander during war week) took my to the side and talked to me. I told him how hard all this was for me, especially as it was a week without phones so I couldn't even call home, something that kept me alive during bootcamp. He calmed me down and pulled me through war week, and he's the sole reason I pulled through it. And I did it all for him.
We kept on going... And bootcamp was over. With treks that started off as 2 kilometers at a pace of 4 KM/H at the beginning of bootcamp, and continued to 30 kilometers at a pace of 6 KM/H, one each week. With full battle gear on, at the freezing nights... Without stopping. In absolute night-discipline (Absolute silence). These treks could take up to 7 hours (Every 60 minutes of walking, there's a mandatory 15 minutes stop for drinking so we don't die ). During all this time, at days, we were in full bootcamp training and discipline, standing still in threes, perfectly so. Not allowed to move without permission, talk, scratch, sneeze, cough... Nothing. Perfect discipline. And I loved it.
My commanding officer (Company leader) called me "The Perfect Soldier" for the sole reason that I loved the discipline and never disobeyed it. Not for one second. Because what is an army without discipline?
One thing they taught us from the beginning was the spirit of the IDF which contains the main principles of it: "Defense of the Country and its inhabitants", "The love of the motherland and loyalty to it", "Human respect". Along these, stand comradeship, trustworthiness, responsibility, aspiration to victory and sticking to the mission at all costs, personal example, human lives, purity of the weapon and proper use of force, professionalism, the mission and discipline.
If one would implement just three of these things he would be a great soldier and a much better individual.
We continued into advanced training, and the discipline reduced somewhat. After a while it became really moderate rather than truly strict... And now, just two weeks away from finishing training, advanced training and everything... It's almost non-existent. Along with the emotional distance. We went through a lot. Most of which I'm not allowed to tell you, but I can tell you that I've made friends during these 6 months that I've gotten to know better than I know my own brother. People whom I'll never forget and never want to forget. People who are truly my brothers in arms. I've went through Hell with them and back again. And I'd do it again. Gladly.
I wish I could tell you more, but I can't. I'm in a unit that's considered very highly classified, and I've only told you things that I'm allowed. If I were to tell you my full story it would take me around 1000 pages and it would reveal quite a few secrets.
That's the story of a combat-trained IDF soldier who just completed his 7-months training. Wish me luck in the front lines.
An addition after finishing my training: I wanted to add something, without changing anything beforehand, as to keep the genuineness of my feelings before finishing training... So, here goes.
Yesterday (February 10th 2011), I finished my advanced and high training and got my "Warrior's Pin" after a very tough trek, 10 KM long trek, with an addition of 7 KM with an open stretcher, on which we put someone who weighs at least 100 KG with all his equipment... Tough to say the least. My shoulders are all black and blue from the damn thing .
I can't begin to explain the excitement of getting my warrior's pin from my NCO, my best friend, I radiated with excitement and I smiled like I never smiled in my entire life. 7 long months, a lot of sweat and quite a bit of blood... Just for this small thing... And it means so much to me. The past two weeks were filled with laughter and jokes with our NCOs and officers, retrieving and giving back our equipment to the base (Work uniform, battle gear and all that) as we are no longer assigned to that unit and base. It's all over.
So... We're done. It's all over. The other day we broke the emotional distance with our NCOs and Officers, and we talked like old-time friends, people whom I've gotten used to seeing every day I may see only once a month or so... It's really hard to be honest. My family and friends came to see the ceremony in which we got our warrior's pin, and took me home after that... A 4 hour drive... It was emotional to say the least. I looked back at my former base and all I could think of was how much I wanted to go back there. Back to the place I once called "Hell"... Back to where I became a man, a soldier and a warrior. I can't even begin to explain how weird it is to add them to Facebook as your friends now, how weird it is to look back and smile while feeling you want to burst into tears of joy and sadness together. It's all over.
Right now I have a lump in my throat that refuses to let go, each time I look at my Facebook page and see all the people I used to call "Sir" and now I call by their personal names... I just want to go back there, I want to go to Hell again, just to see them again. And heck, I'm not afraid to say that I love each and every one of them, I love them so much that I would die for them right now. I just want to see them again, I miss them more than I miss my girlfriend, and it's not because I don't love her... It's because you simply cannot explain the bond that is made between warriors when they are in their darkest hours. It's all over.
If this is how I feel after a 7 month training course, I'm scared to think how I would feel after a war or a few months with my new combat team. But there's nothing you can do, you can't take the wheel back and turn time back, you can just enjoy the time you had and make sure you keep in touch with these people for as long as possible, and do the best you can to see them again. The people who I like to call my friends. The people who I like to call my brothers. The people who I love like I've never loved before. It's all over... And oh my I wish it wasn't... But I leave with a smile on my face and expectations of new experiences... I'll never forget. I'll forever love, and I'll never, ever give away these memories. I wish for all of you to find people whom they love this much, it's... I just can't explain how wonderful it is. It's all over.
Silver Shield Classifieds
INVASIO BARBARORVM : VLTIMVS ROMANORVM
Amidst the Ruins of the Western Roman Empire, a new hero has emerged; Flavius Aetius and his Roman Legions will bring rome to it's former glory once more. But a new threat looms just over the horizon; Attila and his huns are currently ravaging the balkans, but when will he turn west to betray a years old fiendship? Experience the Internal conflict between Aetius and Bonifacius, ravage Africa as the Vandals, or reenact Aetius' legendary victories over the barbarians as the Western Roman Empire. This new mod features Aetius, Attila, Gaiseric, Theodoric, and many other new leaders, along with new units, factions, and buildings covering from 429 - 461 AD.
Platform: Rome Total War: Alexander (Invasio Barbarorum : Rio's Flagellum Dei : Beyond Roman Glory IV patches 1-3 transfer)
Mod Co-Leaders: Magister Militae Flavius Aetius, hannibalcaesar
Mod Forum: INVASIO BARBARORVM : VLTIMVS ROMANORVM (IBUR) (ALEX.EXE)
1. Mappers [2 positions availible]
Requirements: Ability to create new regions, place cities, and terrain features
The Job: Terrain, cities, and regions
2. Modelling and Skinning [2 positions availible]
Requirements: Advanced knowledge of 3D modelling and/or skinning
The Job: Units, Ships, Buildings
PM me or Hannibalcaesar if you wish to join.
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Last edited by Armatus; May 23, 2011 at 12:50 AM.
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Wow excellent reading guys
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Originally Posted by cedric37
Wow excellent reading guys
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Good Job Guys!
An exelent work jentlemen.
Message to all TGC/CBUR fellowship's members :
There is a problem contacting with pms here in TWC. Please log in, in TWHellas develpoment forum to continue our mod's development. Unforthunatly i have no other way to contact you.
Ας εχουν λοιπον, την πληρη και απολυτη ασφαλεια ,οσον αφορα τη ζωη τους ,τους ναους τους ,
τις πεποιθησεις τους και ολους τους προς προσκυνηση τοπους που κατεχουν τωρα εντος και εκτος της πολης.
Οι υπολοιποι χριστιανοι θα ερχονται ως απλοι προσκυνητες και θα υπαγονται στον Πατριαρχη Ιεροσολημων.
So..let them (Roman Orthodox christians) have the full and absolute safety for their lives,
their temples, their beliefs and to all worship sites currently held within and outside the city.
The rest of the Christians will come as ordinary pilgrims and subject to the Patriarch of Jerusalem.
Achtiname (decree) of Capliph Muʿāwiyah ibn ʾAbī Sufyān 658AD
"This is a message from Muhammad ibn Abdullah, as a covenant to those who adopt Christianity, near and far, we are with them. Verily I, the servants, the helpers, and my followers defend them, because Christians are my citizens; and by Allah! I hold out against anything that displeases them. No compulsion is to be on them. Neither are their judges to be removed from their jobs nor their monks from their monasteries. No one is to destroy a house of their religion, to damage it, or to carry anything from it to the Muslims' houses. Should anyone take any of these, he would spoil God's covenant and disobey His Prophet. Verily, they are my allies and have my secure charter against all that they hate. No one is to force them to travel or to oblige them to fight. The Muslims are to fight for them. If a female Christian is married to a Muslim, it is not to take place without her approval. She is not to be prevented from visiting her church to pray. Their churches are to be respected. They are neither to be prevented from repairing them nor the sacredness of their covenants. No one of the nation (Muslims) is to disobey the covenant till the Last Day (end of the world)."
Achtiname of Muhammad
Pechenegs are here![click it]
Nice work everyone, well done!
أسد العراق Asad al-Iraq
KOSOVO IS SERBIA!!!
Under the proud patronage of the magnificent Tzar
good job fella's
Dominion of the Sword | My Art | The Silver Shield
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