Clan Spotlight: -G-

[-G-] Guerrillas
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If you ask a group of people involved in Clan Wars who the top Clan is right now, one Clan you'll hear a lot is [-G-], Guerrillas. As an offshoot of one of the earliest Clans on the North America server, many of their players have been playing since the start of Clan Wars and have lots of great advice for established Clans and those just getting their start.

We interviewed these players to learn more about Guerrillas:

Yankee [-G-] - Commander of Guerrillas
Nemesis79 [-G-] - Deputy Commander of Guerrillas and right hand man of Yankee. I run pretty much the majority of the Guerrillas day-to-day administration and day-to-day operations.
RedParadize [-G-] - Battle Caller for -G- and Deputy Commander.
Bockrocker [-G-] - Field Commander for -G-.

Please visit the extended interview thread to see more from this interview

When did -G- form and how did you get together?

Yankee - G was formed as a fragment of Brothers Grim, one of the original Clan Wars Clans. We decided at the time that there was little bit too much talent separation in the Clan. We wanted to be a little bit more successful, so we dragged the top talent away, recruited new talent, and created Guerrillas.

How did you guys choose the name Guerrillas?

Nemesis79 - Well, it was something that CaptainNopants had been considering for quite a long time - a name that he wanted to use. Generally the idea behind it is, when we first formed we were intending on being nothing more than a 35-40-50 man at the most raiding Clan. There was no intention to create Guerrillas in its current form. It was going to be raiding gold pots only, holding a single 4,000 gold pot territory and that would be pretty much it. That was the original intention.

Yankee - That didn't last very long.

RedParadize - Yea, that didn't. Actually it worked like this; we landed in Scandinavia, right after that we landed near Courland which led to Moscow and never left.

Nemesis79 - And the rest is history.

Yankee - We saw some early success, so that attracted some more talent and we got lucky with a couple diplomatic issues. Our initial war efforts kind of established us as the "powerhouse" over in that area. So we ended up being... umm NOT a raider Clan.

When you got into this area, was it your intention to keep it for long? You said that you decided after a little while to be a "land holding" Clan.

Yankee - Once it got started, sure. I think we started getting interested in holding it at... Nem, what was the first record we broke? 160?

Nemesis79 - Actually I think it was around 280.

Bockrocker - It was ROTA on Brandenburg, wasn't it?

Nemesis79 - It was ROTA on Brandenburg and NDP on Hessen if I can recall correctly.

Yankee - And I guess we became relevant during what's known as the "Four Horsemen War."

RedParadize - I'm pretty sure the turning point between being a raiding Clan and being a Clan that would stay on the map was actually the Four Horsemen War. When someone asked us to let them past through our territories, through Moscow and move elsewhere, that's pretty much when we decided to stay.

Yankee - That's a very good point. We were asked to leave, so we decided to stay.

Bockrocker - Coincidentally, when I first encountered G, my former Clan, the one and only, was one of said horsemen and it did not work out well for anybody, except for G so, eventually I found myself over here. I was impressed at the time.

Do you remember what happened with G and the Four Horsemen?

RedParadize - The "Four Horseman" planned to move to the inland in Russia and we were in their way. And Moscow was one of the territories they wanted, so they asked us to leave. And I think I might have been the earliest advocate in not letting that happen.

Yankee - It's not an uncommon situation to see on the map today. A stronger Clan came to what they thought was a weaker Clan and said "look we've got plans for this area, we don't want to fight you. Why won't you just move out of our way?", and we just found that unacceptable.

RedParadize - At that point I said that Moscow must not fall. Which is something that actually happened in World of War II.

What was going on internally while you were holding it for that long? Were there a lot of people getting nervous about losing it?

Bockrocker - How many times were we attacked on it?

Yankee - You know I don't know if I want to make that public or not. But might as well, like 7. In 420 days Moscow was attacked about 7 times. It was such a long way to the landing zone. You have to remember that Moscow was like a 5 day march from the landing zone. The map was pretty static back then. We had SSGS to our side before they got wiped out. Everybody else was pretty NAP'ed up, just controlling landing zones at the time.

Nemesis79 - The Four Horseman War was basically after the conclusion of it. That was when the majority of the attacks came. After the conclusion of the Four Horseman War is when you saw Guerrillas spread out to its European blob, which we held for quite some time. Pretty much after that it was rather long time before it was even touched again.

Yankee - Well we had Iron Wolves sink down a couple times along the east and Rebellion tried to hit it couple times. The defense of Moscow was not actually done in Moscow, the defense of Moscow was done in the landing zones and diplo rooms.

You said you wanted to be a raiding Clan - what did you change internally to transition from a raiding Clan to a Clan that is on the map and can stay there?

Yankee - Recruiting.

RedParadize - I think it's because we could.

Yankee - But once we got the taste if the gold and the taste of success, we felt we could do a little bit more. We had the system in place to get two or three Clan Wars teams up in a time zone. We were able to beat most of our opponents. So, you know there was no reason not to stay.

Nemesis79 - One thing you might see fairly often is notable Clans that disband or go inactive for whatever reason. We end up picking up quite a few talented individuals from those Clans. It's been our modus operandi for a long time. The first marked one was not too long after the Four Horseman War with HI (Home Invasion). That was, if I recall correctly, first group of large players. There were a bunch of former MLP guys in HI and we ended up recruiting several of them over to G, after the Four Horseman War when their activity died off, the guys in that Clan were looking for another place to go. So we picked up a bunch of the guys from Home Invasion and that's pretty much when it began, the switch from being a raiding Clan and into something more.

This sounds like a familiar story. Why have you guys succeeded, when other similar-intentioned Clans have failed?

Yankee - In simple terms, I could say ethical leadership. We don't steal gold from the Clan. It's a no-drama Clan. Anytime a situation occurs in the Clan, we usually get rid of whoever is creating the drama. It's just a more professional atmosphere. People take it seriously without getting too emotional about it. And I think that's the difference between us and some of these other high talent Clans that have tried to succeed. It's the experience with leadership: Captain, Red, Nemesis and I, we've been doing this together every night with probably I would say on an average 98% attendance for over two years. So it's just kind of a machine that keeps rolling at this point.

Nemesis79 - That would be my thing that I attributed to most is, the steadfastness of the leadership, especially the four that came from BG: Yankee, Captain, Red and myself. We've been together for a very long time. We are actually friends despite some of the differences we have and some of the disagreements we have...they're always there, they're always going to happen. But, we're friends and we've been working together doing this stuff day in and day out for a very long time.

Do you guys have any interesting traditions after working together for so long?

Yankee - I think we're probably the only Clan that has a nightly meeting that all members are expected to attend.

Nemesis79 - I haven't seen that any place else. Other than that, the only real tradition I can think of is me raging at people to make sure they're getting into ATC and/or MapTactic. And getting "readied up" in battle well ahead of time.

RedParadize - When you think about it, we don't even see it anymore I guess. But there's a bunch of stuff we do, each time we have a battle when the officers gather, and determine who's going to call and which players we pick. As we said before is a well-oiled system - it could be considered as a tradition.

Yankee - But as an example, Nemesis and I would be normally be watching the map, coordinating chip moves with our allies, discussing our own chip moves, who's going to attack us and what not. At 8:00 we watch the turns, we determine how many battles we're going to have. Within 10 minutes we usually have a battle caller assign to those battles. His job is to get tank line ups to the roster guys. We have guys that are dedicated in putting rosters together. They have list of players and available tanks and who's good in what tanks. The battle callers give that information to the roster callers. The roster makers, they make their rosters. Other people are editing the TeamSpeak room. Other people are making sure MapTactic and TeamSpeak is set up properly.

RedParadize - And then you have the battle caller explaining the strats and picking a flank commander.

Bockrocker - We're a well-oiled machine for the most part.

How much do you weigh your battle callers' influence vs. individual players?

RedParadize - A good strat doesn't normally require an exceptional player to work, but when the battle doesn't go as expected, then you need to count on your ace player to make a difference. That's the way I see it. If the battle caller knows what to do and knows how to explain the strat, and if he knows how to feel the battle given the information he has, given what he can see on the map, everything should be fine. But often times it doesn't. Nothing is perfect. In this situation, it's important to have that exceptional player to carry the team.

Nemesis79 - I would estimate for your average Clan, that 75% or more relies on the battle caller. For us, it's more 50/50 based on the reasons that Red explained. We have some brilliant minds for strategic play, map strategy, and battle calling, but we also have so many players that have been doing this for such a long time and they're so good at what they do, that often times it can make up for the battle calling. I think it's one of our key ingredients and one of our unique values.

RedParadize - I don't really like explaining numbers with that because it's very difficult to figure out. I can't ask our guys to pop up our Clan Wars battles just to see if it would work without me calling, or the opposite.

What can a less-experienced Clan do to get their battle callers up to the level where they need to be? What has to be developed in order to gain that skill?

RedParadize - Experience. For a long period of time, G has been very active in companies. And that's how I developed my skill of calling, how to feel the battles, how to give instruction and to be easily understood with my broken English. A big part of this came from companies. Experience is the key, also structure, but mostly experience. If I had to give advice to a new Clan, I would say to polish their commanding skill. Anyone can play pub battles and increase their own personal skills. When it comes down to battle calling, you have to CALL.

Yankee - I think that one of the big differences we started to see in battle callers, is that the most basic of battle callers will tell their team where to go, when the battle starts. They've got to develop their depth a little more than that. If this happens, we're going to do this, if this happens we're going to do that. You've got to have a plan in advance. I think too many teams start out with too many young battle callers, that instruct their team to go here- here - here- here and here. And then it just gets confusing at that point.

RedParadize - Then they start to micro-manage their players and lose their focus on the overall battle. You have to trust your player. When G first started, we didn't have the depth that we have now. A battle caller worked with what they had, and that's it. You explain your strat in a fashion that people will understand what you expect from them and don't micro-manage them. You tell them want you want them to achieve, not where you want them to go. The better your player can comprehend, the more likely you can provide a vague order like: "Hold there or attack there". The better the player, the less detailed the instruction will be.

Yankee - That's an interesting point because that's one of the reasons we broke up BG. As a matter of fact, we had this talent difference and the guys at the bottom that weren't able to play in Clan Wars, wanted the guys at the top to train them to be better so that they could play Clan Wars, but we weren't interested in doing that.

RedParadize - On our part, that's a luxury that very few Clans have. We don't train players. When they are recruited into G, they are expected to know what to do. They are expected to know how to play. That part we don't train them for. As far as flank commanding is concerned, in G we have multiple battle callers per game. There's one top battle caller and also a flank commander that controls a specific portion of the map or group of people or both.

Bockrocker - It's the guys that work with the commander. They know exactly what's going on in his head, what he needs to do, what he wants to accomplish. And whatever he doesn't see, they should be able to take over.

RedParadize - For instance, Bock has been my wingman for a long, long time. I'm pretty sure you can read my mind.

You don't have any sub-clans at the moment. Is there a reason for that?

Nemesis79 - Grrrrr...

Bockrocker - Let me just say one thing before he starts - Yankee and I went to Moscow for Ural Steel and came back and had a sub-clan. Nemesis got bored, lol.

Nemesis79 - I'll just say this and it's just a statement I've posted on the forums already back when we had those sub-clans. 1) Never again, G will not have a sub-clan ever again and 2) The basic problem that a lot of people experience with those sub-clans is you have to maintain a talent level in the sub-clan that is at least close to what the main Clan is to make it work properly for any extended period of time. Now, you have some exceptions to that obviously, Relic being one of the most notable. Lozarus does a fantastic job with his. The major problem that a lot of people run into in that respect is that you have players in those sub-clans who just don't understand how the diplomacy in Clan Wars fights and all that work on the highest level of this game. It's a very difficult thing to understand and one of the hardest things to master. And it's just really hard to get a group of people in a sub-clan that are capable of understanding and working at that level of diplomacy. Due to the fact that it's designed to work in conjunction with the main Clan and the literal definition of the sub-clan is that we all work towards one common goal, it doesn't work very often.

What have you guys learned now that you are where you at where at the beginning you wish you knew about running a Clan?

RedParadize - How time consuming it is? Haha

Nemesis79 - If I had known then what I know now, how much time that I would spend on this as far as the Clan management. Yeah, you couldn't have gotten me to do that for any amount of money.

RedParadize - People talk about talent and stuff like that, but they tend to forget how much work is required to get that experience. Even today, if we have to get into a big war it would be very time consuming. A war takes a lot of time, there's a lot of work you have to do.

YankeeI would agree, I wouldn’t believe what a time sink it’s become. It’s been very rewarding but four or five hours a night and maybe only an hour of that is playing tanks.

To read the extended interview, please visit the Clan Spotlight: -G- 10/28/13 forum thread. You can challenge [-G-] this Wednesday at 3:00PM PDT in Absolute Tank Companies to win yourself some gold.

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