Welcome to our fourth Travian: Tides of Conquest alliance spotlight! If you are not familiar with the concept, every Friday in August we are interviewing a key member of a well-known alliance that is planning to join one of our upcoming Annual Special‘s gameworlds.

Let me introduce this week’s guest: Buli from Lab Rats (former name – TM).

Hello and welcome to our fourth Alliance Spotlight, Buli. First of all, tell us something about yourself and your Travian: Legends career.

G’day, I’m Buli and I’m from Australia.

I have been playing since 2008. I was lucky enough to stumble into an epic T3 server, where WBBP and MDS were duking it out with LoS.

I have learned a lot about the game over time from a number of influential players; Bully, one of the WBBP leaders, Shenorock aka Livid from [PM], Daki, Quickbeam, MTK, and ELE.

How many Annual Specials have you played? What was your favorite so far and why?

I was one of four founders of the alliance TM (Twelve Monkeys) back in 2014 on the first Ancient Europe server, and have since played every version of the Annual Specials to date, being part of the winning team in Rise of Alliances 2016 / Fire & Sand 2017 and Path to Pandora 2018.

I probably enjoyed the 2016 RoA the most.

After being hammered the year before on Scattered Empires 2015 by Kras’s Bali-Go team and their allies, we achieved our first hard-fought win, but we also learned a lesson in humility from Murx.

It was particularly rewarding seeing a number of our former rivals join our team and fight alongside us for a number of subsequent servers.

By reading the Travian: Tides of Conquest feature set, what is the most interesting feature, in your opinion? Why?

What’s most interesting to us is how the game has changed since the last Annual Special server.

It’s not just the feature set of Tides of Conquest but also things like the anti-cheating measures introduced in version 4.6. The playing field finally seems level enough to bring back some of the veterans who retired in frustration.

The ability to conquer victory points is bound to keep the server alive as long as there are players willing to fight, hence we think it is the most important feature of Tides of Conquest.

It is also now possible to have a good start with a tribe other than Egyptian. Many of us never enjoyed playing Egyptian but didn’t seem to have a choice if we wanted a shot at getting a good capital. Overall, we’d say the whole of the changes is more than the sum of its parts.

How does your alliance normally recruit for an occasion such as the Annual Special? Do you have any special tools you use?

On previous servers, TM relied heavily on a pre-formed core made up of their player network and built a reputation in-game that attracted some very good players. But like most long-running alliances, they become hard to maintain. Mistakes get made, playing relationships get strained. And so the TM tag was dropped in 2019.

For the upcoming x1 ToC server we’re excited to have a mix of veterans that have been playing the annual specials since 2014, both old teammates and former rivals, as well as new players from nysx1 International server.

We will also be looking to recruit in-game; player applications need to show some insight into the player’s experience, give a glimpse of personality and instill some confidence in commitment.

Gettertools is a good way of screening candidates as we generally prefer players that have some history, and take a degree of pride in who they played with before. Then we open up a conversation on Discord.

In fact, anyone that’s interested in playing can contact CrocodileHundee in-game on the Travian: Tides of Conquest OPEN BETA.

Without revealing your strategy, how do you come up with your “winning strategy”? Guide us through the process.

With most servers, we formulate a plan by playing and studying the BETA, but then it can change drastically based on exploits with new features, and teams that we come up against.

As Mike Tyson famously once said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face”.

Teams have to be adaptive.

One last question: what is your biggest wish for this Annual Special? Apart from winning, of course! Anything new you want to try out with your alliance?

No rollback… LOL! Joking aside, for me it’s about rebuilding a positive culture not only in our team, but also in the broader Travian: Legends game world; where old players can come together and play well together, and new players can build their experience in a game world that promotes competitive but fair play.

Thank you for your time Buli! See you next Friday with one last bonus Alliance Spotlight!