This week on the Clan Spotlight, we take a look at one of the veteran Clans on the map, Forge! These folks have been on the map almost since the beginning of the Clan Wars map itself, and gained some notoriety during the NASA days. While they have had their ups and downs, Forge has maintained a strong core group of players that have stood the test of time and created a fun and competitive community. Come and see what keeps this powerhouse hammering away at the Global Map!
We interviewed these players to learn more about the history of Forge:
Please visit the extended interview thread to see more from this interview
When and how did Forge get started?
Yawh: The original founding members branched off of the old AOD Clan. We got fed up with the way it was run, and didn't like being used as bait on the CW map while the other divisions reaped the rewards, so we formed FORGE and here we are, three years later.
You said your goals didn't line up - what are your goals now and how have they changed over time?
Yawh: We've always just wanted to make a name for ourselves. It was just the fact that we weren't happy with the leadership that we had, so we branched off, made a statement and started off small. When the European map was there, we started off in the sand for a long time. Sand River and El Halluf were our best friends and over time we grew and got better. We had Nagatron and his boys [Fulcrum Gaming] (now Fnatic), and then we hit that point where Nagatron and the Fulcrum guys wanted to do tournaments and pro gaming, so they broke off. We've had hiccups and rebuilt a couple of times, but our goals have been pretty much the same - stay on the map and enjoy it. We're a community along with ANVIL and ALLOY and do everything as a whole. We just enjoy the game and try to be as competitive as possible.
xXHyperionXx: I saw FORGE/ANVIL back in the day as this powerhouse. With Fulcrum leaving the void, they brought on a lot of people that didn't quite meet the FORGE standard, but had it in their heart. I believe we still are a CW powerhouse, we just have our hiccups and some rebuilding to do, which will take time. Other than that, I see us as a Clan not to mess with. We've proven that a few times in the past few weeks, with the Map Exhibition and when Clan Wars came back up. I see us getting better and better every day.
Wotandar: As commander of Anvil, which is a relatively recent change (historically I've been in Forge), I've grown in my role. I've been coerced along as well, since leadership is a new thing to me. It's something I'm adapting well to I think and in leading the sister Clan, we've got some big shoes to fill. It's always a constant struggle to keep up with these guys, but I think we do a pretty good job and hold our own.
How would you describe the overall environment of the community, and what is the relationship between the Clans in your community?
xXHyperionXx: Honestly, sometimes it's like the housewives shows, where no one gets along, then an hour later we're all happy and ready to do things together again. Just like any community, people have their cliques based on friendships and the way they play, but at the end of the day we're all a part of our community and have each other's backs.
Wotandar: We have a very close relationship, being in the same community. Generally, how we work depends on what's going on in Clan Wars - if we're engaged in a war or Campaign, we're very closely coordinated. If it's like now, where it's quiet, it's about getting fights, building cohesion within our Clan and getting your guys ready for the next thing to come along.
Yawh: As for the cohesion and as officers, we try to treat everyone in either Clan as an equal. We try to have that mutual respect between the two. When it comes to our diplomacy, we do it for the community as a whole, including all three Clans. We don't run as a dictatorship, it's a community decision between the officers. In the end, we are a community, be it in World of Tanks or another game. We're here to have fun and do our thing - in tanks that's to make a name for ourselves and be a pain in the ass for somebody.
xXHyperionXx: As a former outsider, I was one of those people that looked at Forge, Anvil, Havok, G, Relic thinking, "I wish I could be one of those Clans." Just for them to still be here after this long, I think that speaks loudly for them. Just to be a part of this is amazing. They might not be the same Forge of old but as we rebuild, we will be that Forge again one day. The people who want to be here will stay here and those who want to go will go, but we will not stop rebuilding and we'll be successful long after they're gone. We've had some people leave in the past few months, and we've gained new officers and players. It's nice to be here, and I won't be leaving anytime soon.
What's involved in the recruiting process for your Clan?
Wotander: We do a fair amount of recruiting, and first and foremost, we're looking for good players - not necessarily stats-wise - people who can take orders/follow direction and play the game intelligently and intuitively. That doesn't always show up in stats that are tracked in numerous places. We like to see how they do in their high-end tanks, but that's the main stat we really look at. Other than that, we invite them to our TeamSpeak and platoon with them a bit, and we make sure they're qualified. Also, at least for Anvil, we have a little bit of a different culture and we try to make sure they'll fit in too. Basically, we look for quality, not quantity.
When you were starting out, how many guys were in your Clan when you first took land, and what were those early battles like?
Wotandar : I remember playing my IS7 on El Halluf in the grinder constantly. We know that map inside and out.
Yawh: I think when we took land we had like 32-33 players.
Wotandar : We had several very active players and very motivated players.
Yawh: Grinding out my first tier X back then was the Maus... useless! A Maus in the sand does not go well. In the beginning it was a little bit like, "Let's get some Gold and take some land so we can make a name for ourselves." This was back even before the NASA days, and we proved ourselves enough to get in to NASA, and we all know what happened from there.
How much of your success is diplomacy versus skill?
Yawh: I think it's 50/50 - you can't have one without the other. If you have great diplo and can't back it up on the battlefield, your diplo doesn't mean anything.
Wotandar: That's right on point - this game has 2 aspects to it. One is your operational success and failures. If you can't do well in the field, your diplomatic effect is going to be a failure. On the other hand, if your diplo fails and you're really good in the field, you'll still get crushed by numbers. It takes a good mix to be successful.
Yawh: Eventually, if you're great at diplo, another Clan will come along and say "I don't care who your friends are, I want what you have." If you can't hold it, you don't deserve it.
If you could go back in time and teach yourself a lesson, what would you say?
xXHyperionXx: Recruitment is a big thing and teach the importance of focused-fire. We did the Clan Wars Map Exhibition to get ready for Clan Wars again. During the Campaign we let our teamplay and abilities lax, we took it as a way to knock the dust off. We ended up doing really well, everyone came out on a high.
Wotandar: What I've noticed changed most (at least tactically in fights) is that fights are a lot more active and fluid now. When things first started, there were a lot of static strategies. Battlecallers now have to be very fluid and adjust well now - that's something we look for and try to instill in our new callers.
xXHyperionXx: When I first started, there was no physics, and a lot of maps saw stalemates. Now, if you play smart and you know your maps, you can get to angles and places that you would never have thought about before. You have to be fluid and able to react much better on a second's notice, since the fight can develop in your favor or against it.
Yawh: My comment would be from a diplomatic view - some of the Clans we've helped have stabbed us in the back or have turned on us. I just wouldn't have supported them.
Is there a decision you regret in your Clan's history?
xXHyperionXx: I think in general we should only diplo when we have to, not when we want to. We tend to diplo a lot and I think it has hurt us recently and in the close future. As of late, we just need to let our guns do the talking. We're going that way lately, and I think been better for
During the Campaigns do you have a particular battle that you felt was the best battle you've ever fought?
xXHyperionXx: Recently, the first fight we had against Havok in the Map Exhibition [in Round 1], where Allusive one-shot their WT-E100 changed the fight from the start, and we kind of rallied around it for the rest of the tournament. The battle made us fight better all the way to the end.
Yawh: Most of our good fights have been with Havok, in the Campaign, up to the Campaign, and even in the fights to take the Wargaming Landing Zone on the first night of the Campaign. The finals came down to Forge and Havok, and they schooled us pretty well. They have great tactics and play great, and they're just awesome guys all-around. We learned, and moved forward, we have nothing but respect for them.
What would you recommend for the smaller guys now that are going against the powerhouse Clans? How can you learn from your losses?
xXHyperionXx: Any given Sunday, anyone can beat anyone else. We take our lickings very smartly. If we lose, we don't sit and yell at each other, we ask what we did wrong and what we could do better. We upload our replays and the callers can look at what went wrong. Instead of getting off for the night or going to platoon, we sit there and talk about a battle and figure it out so that it doesn't happen again. Knowing the maps and knowing your job is very important.
Yawh: To sum it up; Go through a good and thorough after-action report. What could have been better, what went wrong? Look at it from many perspectives; what they did, what we could have done, analyze the fight and go at them again. You learn by trying.
Who do consider the best player in your Clan?
xXHyperionXx: Galaxybane, on a nightly basis with strats and playing.
Yawh: I would have to agree. He a great guy, a great player and does quite a bit for Clan itself. And of course, Wotander for doing all internal paper work.
xXHyperionXx: Well I’ve got to out of Anvil obviously, one of biggest people who have stepped up lately and shown a lot of promise is our battle caller Dmanrlz2. He has recently shown a lot of promise in a minor skirmish, I wouldn’t call it a war, with [Tyr]. Just adapting to their strats and changing things around and getting his head into the game. Breaking their strat down and then countering it. He figured out a lot of things out for himself and it’s kind of a delight to see a Battle Caller come of age like that.
Does your Clan have any interesting traditions?
Yawh: Not that I can openly admit.
xXHyperionXx: We're a community - Tanks is just one game we play. Most people play multiple games together and we have fun doing it all together. When it comes to Clan Wars we're very serious. After Clan Wars we're back to having fun with nightly races or internal tournaments just to break up some monotony.
Yawh: We have bounties too.
xXHyperionXx: It's kind of like our own internal Sheriff thing. It's an out-standing thing rather than count-ins.
Yawh: Any time, any place, any team.
Any final comments?
Yawh: We love Gatekeeper, but he doesn’t know how to spell "potato." I’d like to say [Alloy] is doing quite well. They are slowly making a name for themselves. They are out there and trying to prove themselves. They are fighting whoever, as long as it doesn’t interfere with our relations. They are just trying through trial and error. They learn by doing.
xXHyperionXx: They are up there right now fighting RS and not doing too bad.