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[BTS] BOTM 172: Saladin, Immortal: Final Spoiler

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Game of the Month' started by DynamicSpirit, Mar 17, 2019.

  1. DynamicSpirit

    DynamicSpirit Fear him of the pink tie Moderator GOTM Staff

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    BOTM 172 - Saladin .. Final Spoiler



    Did you win?

    Reading Requirements


    Stop! If you are participating in BOTM 172 then you MUST NOT read this thread unless
    • You have submitted your entry

    Posting Restrictions
    • Do not post any savegame file from the game. Discussions and screenshots are fine but not actual games.
     
  2. Berolsaurus

    Berolsaurus Chieftain

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    Well, that went as expected. I held out for a while but eventually Russia came for me. I held my own for a bit but eventually they destroyed my three city nation with superior numbers and technology. Hopefully Saladin can learn Russian :hmm:

    Hopefully some of you won and can give me some tips on what you did as I felt completely outmatched.
     
  3. DynamicSpirit

    DynamicSpirit Fear him of the pink tie Moderator GOTM Staff

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    Well done for trying! Immortal level is certainly hard, and takes a lot of skill to win at. I personally can probably win no more than half the times I try playing immortal... and that's after a lot of years of playing Civ!
     
  4. Pangaea

    Pangaea Rock N Roller

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    Yikes and a half. This turned into a very eventful game :eek:

    At 1AD I had 7 cities and had only recently got Alpha and traded a bit. The game felt absolutely awful and at many points I wondered about just handing it in and doing something else. Felt like I was just droning about, unable to really do anything because the economy was shot, we had no resources (that I knew about). Then I learnt we had both iron and horses. Being pretty fed up by the whole save, I figured I'll just go for broke and see how it pans out. HBR in 2 turns, and chop and whip till our hands bleed and cramp up.

    Russia first on the chopping block. Then HC. Spears isn't fun for HAs, but we did get through them and killed off both. Economy again in quite the state, but we had expanded our territory and city count a fair bit. Totally unrealistic to take on anybody else with HAs at this point, as everybody (especially Zara) was teching like a bat out of hell, and seemingly one-turning wonders at an alarming pace. Great people were popping all over the place too, and Zara had a very well-spread Buddhist shrine. No wonder he was sitting on thousands of gold with no idea how to spend it.

    Got first to Music. Genuinely tried to build some wonders, but it mostly led to failgold. The exceptions were Colossus, and way later Taj Mahal. I had to focus on getting to Lib, so had to spend the few GPs I got well. One GS part-bulbed Education. De Gaulle had been first to Philo, but I got it way later via trade - think it was from a friendly AI. Teched Lib into an inch from the finish, then spent all my gold on Nationhood, and then ofc popped Military Tradition from Lib. Still needed Gunpowder and put a full turn of research into it, and by sheer coincidence Frederick (think it was him) just finished it himself, and we were friendly. So I saved two turns there. The capital started on Taj Mahal when it was possible, and I actually got that one. Despite failing to get MoM I launched a golden age to help get to lib a little faster, and build Taj faster.

    Earlier Zara had demanded I change to Theocracy and since he had been nice enough to initially spread Buddhism to the starting 7 cities, I kept Theo instead of changing to something like Pacifism. I was gearing up for more warfare anyway, and the extra promotion would be useful. Had also erected Heroic Epic. No great cities for it, so I used the very food-rich to the NE of the capital. At least it had a decent amount of hills, and it didn't need anything else at the point. Some Russian cities would have been better, but they would have required other infra first, and I just needed to pump HAs. Expensive to upgrade HAs to Cuirs, so I turned off research for a while during the Taj GA and upgraded all I could.

    Wang had peace vassaled to Zara, and they had declared war on non-Buddhist de Gaulle. Kicking his ass pretty well too with a 40-50 unit stack combined. de Gaulle didn't even have longbows, so easily lost some cities. But thankfully he did have castles, and Zara-Wang didn't have a million siege with them, so it took time to bomb down one of de Gaulle's wonder-laden cities (MoM and Itza among others). Wang had demanded I join that war earlier, which I did. Once I had some Cuirs ready, I went after him. Would still take a while before Zara-Wang's giant stack would attack, so I went for some other cities while their attention was on Orleans. Hoped to be able to 'steal' Orleans too, the city they were camped outside, but there was no way really. Would have suffered heavy casualties attacking that many units on a hill, and once Zara-Wang attacked for real, they would obliterate everything inside. No way for them to simply soften it up. Once they took it, de Gaulle capped. Ouch.

    But some good luck. Due to the military build up (I assume), Wang's power had increased a lot, almost as much as Zara, so he broke free and claimed independence again. Outside Orleans, Wang had attacked first and lost rather heavily, simply softening up the city for Zara next turn. This meant his power took a very serious dip. I hadn't noticed to be fair, so was pretty giddy when next turn processing had done its thing, a screen popped up with Wang offering himself as a peace vassal. Woot!

    Things were looking good, and I was starting to eye an AP win. The next diplo win vote was coming up, I had Wang as a vassal (who had earlier voted for Zara (the AP owner) as he was 'more' friendly with him than me. Now I had his votes. And I was friendly with Frederick, who also voted for me. Zara still had enough to block it on his own, but that might change. And in any case, I was set to become the AP president pretty soon.

    Let's check some possible trades. Friendly AIs is nice. Looking at the tech screen, Fredrick has a tech I can try to get. Probably won't get it as it's expensive, but worth a try. Right-click on Frederick leaderhead to bring up the conversation with him.

    WAR HORNS!!!!!

    WTF?!??!? :eek::cry::eek::cry::eek::cry::eek::cry::mad::mad::mad:

    The timing could barely have be worse. We had a giant border, most cities were poorly defended. My entire army was healing up in the north after taking a couple of French cities. Zara's stack had just taken Orleans and was healing up. My plan was to declare on Zara once I had healed up, smacking into his still wounded stack in still-in-resistance Orleans. Zero chance for that now. Suddenly I had to deal with no-longer friendly Frederick. He was actually really powerful too. Had a ratio of 1.07 with me, which is no joke when I had a giant army of Cuirs. A couple of cuirs were scouting out his border to find out where it was, because I genuinely hadn't seen anything and thought he was super-weak. I was really quite confused by the power number in demographics. Enter our starting GSpy, and he eventually managed to locate his stack, which was sitting in a NW coastal city for some reason. A whole heap of knights, HAs (soon knights), the odd musket +++++.

    Right after the war horns had sounded, which must have been down to some bug of some kind, I did try to snipe a city of his along our border with some of the reinforcements (I was whipping everywhere after all, and certainly after this massive idiocy DOW). RNG screwed me, HARD, and I didn't take a single defender. Eventually I took it, but damn. Even Cuirs struggle with pikes on hills in 60% culture. At this point I was incredibly frustrated. First the bloody unintentional war, and then getting RNG-screwed on top of it. Was very, very close to quit and hand in the game right there and then.

    But didn't. Took a little time-out and collected forces in the south instead of going in with too few units again. Slowly I got the upper hand and took a few cities from him. Frederick's pretty huge stack invaded from the NW into a recently captured city there, which was yet to expanded borders I think, or maybe it had just come out of revolt. Most units were healed up now (thank you super-healer), and I slammed into his stack, which also had a good amount of catas in it, which Cuirs love to flank. Well, the RNG was again in a very hostile mood. More knight survived than they had any right to do with 25-30% survival odds in all fights. But enough units did get killed anyway, probably partly due to the flanking. Checked the trade thingy with him, and he was willing to capitulate. Despite the losses , he must have still tipped a threshold of some type, and was willing to bend the knee. Usually it's very tempting to wipe stacks in cases like this, but I held off and let his wounded guys live. Maybe he would be able to use them later, in the coming war on Zara, with his colossal stack, and massive culture everywhere. He was also teching very hard and getting dangerously close to Cuirs himself. Turn before I was going to declare on him, he has the audacity to demand MilTrade. NO THANKS!!! :lol:

    War horns sounded again, and this time it was intended. Bad luck with border expansion from Orleans, so getting there took longer, which left us stranded outside the city. I had tried to sort-of block his attacking routes to some of the French cities I had taken, which either hadn't come out of revolt yet (easy to snipe) or hadn't expanded borders. That means I split up the stack in two pretty big ones each. Maybe he would have attacked anyway, but he slammed all siege and loads of knights and assorted others into the smallest stack. We did kill a decent amount, but my entire stack got wiped. Overall a draw I'd say. Many of his other units were wounded now, though. I slammed a recently whipped cata into them. It had 0.03% chance to survive or something, but it did a little bit of damage to collateral. Most of the other fights went well, although I didn't have enough units to take the city. Got it next turn, with a few fresh units, and the best wounded ones.

    Zara still had plenty of power everywhere, but at least his main threat was gone. Wang had gotten some Cuirs himself by now. Don't think he did a great deal with them, but it looked like he was harassing Zara bit as I saw the odd wounded Ethiopian pike and such using the GSpy. Healed up units from the Zara-stack again went for another French city in the north, and a stack went for another Zara city from the south, then his capital Aksum (with 80% cultural defence, and over 10 000 :culture: ). Had gotten to Rifling and managed to upgrade a few Cavalry, but the bulk of the army were still Cuirs. Took a few turns when approaching Aksum by bringing some catas with me. They got the culture defence slightly down, and then a few slammed into the stack. The top longbow suffered zero damage (a monstrous double-hill promoted longbow on a hill), but some other got knocked back a little. Some upgraded C3 Cavalry got 70% odds, which was much better than the Cuirs. So important to get enough base strength to get above the defenders, putting the odds from 35-40% to 70%, or thereabouts. Most of the few cavs I had in the stack won their battles, and then the Cuirs could take over. We got the city, without too bad losses this time.

    At this point de Gaulle was still a vassal of Zara, so I was very surprised that Zara was willing to capitulate after losing his capital. Usually the AI is absurdly irrational about capping as long as they have a vassal, no matter how weak. Once Zara capped, de Gaulle broke free, and was then also willing to instantly cap. So that was that. Victory type would be a coin flip as we had well over the required 64% of land.
    Spoiler :
    Conquest it is :ar15::rockon:


    Not going to lie, this was at times an extremely frustrating game. Not least because it felt like I had no room for manoeuvring in the beginning and was just hitting end turn, and then of course due to the bug that launched a very unintended war on friendly Fredrick, which may well have prevented a diplo/religious win. In the end it turned out all right and I got a win in decent time, but it was certainly tough.

    Sorry about the book above. I do have a query too, though, if anybody have read this far without falling asleep and damaging your head on the desk: On this very last turn, after the victory screen, it would have been possible to trade for Constitution and Chemistry to slightly boost the score. But I didn't do that because my understanding has been that we are not allowed to do ANYTHING in that turn of the victory screen. In other words, select "Just one more turn..." and then save and submit. Is this correct, or would it have been possible to for instance trade those techs? Come to think of it, I'm not sure if that would have affected the score either, or if that is set in stone, so to speak, once the victory screen is shown. What's the official stance on this?
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2019
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  5. Berolsaurus

    Berolsaurus Chieftain

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    Very nice, had me wondering if you were going to win or not, especially when this happened:

    I do find it amusing, bug or not, to think that Fredrick just enjoys the drama and was simply waiting for you.

    Fredrick(to your diplomat): How dare you enter my palace uninvited! I won't suffer such an insult! To war! :ar15:

    Nice to see you pulled off a win.
     
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  6. Pangaea

    Pangaea Rock N Roller

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    Thanks. It was definitely a very tense game. Glad I managed to win in the end, because it looked pretty dire in some parts, especially in the beginning before I HA rushed Stalin and HC. Although I think the end of the game went relatively well, horrible buggy accidental DOW aside, the start was so god-awful that I can't imagine it will be competitive for anything. The big guns are a lot better Civ players than me, which is fine. I've probably reached a ceiling, and don't want to go down the path of mass cheese, even though I'd probably get slightly better results if I did. Being (mostly) comfortable on Immortal and sometimes winning on Deity is good enough for me :)
     
  7. DynamicSpirit

    DynamicSpirit Fear him of the pink tie Moderator GOTM Staff

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    Well done for winning such a hard game.

    Are you sure the war declaration was a bug, and not an accidental mis-click ;-) I've done that once or twice before, and I'm pretty sure it's always been that I clicked in the wrong place. But great work recovering from that anyway.

    To answer your question, I'm not aware of any rule that says you can't do anything in the turn of victory screen, and I'm not sure what the point of such a rule would be. What makes you think we have a rule against doing anything on the victory?

    The instructions to select 'just one more turn' when you win aren't really game rules in the sense of being something that you're cheating if you don't do them. They are more like, instructions on how to get the game to work: The reason we specify 'one more turn' is that if you don't play the extra turn, the game gives you no opportunity to save your winning game - so if you don't select 'one more turn' then you don't have a save in which you actually won, that you can submit! That's caught a few players out occasionally because it's not intuitively obvious what you need to do if you haven't played GOTM before.
     
  8. Pangaea

    Pangaea Rock N Roller

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    Yes. I'm 100% sure it wasn't a mis-click, because I basically never use any keyboard buttons when interacting with the UI -- except to manage build queues (or arrow keys to move around the map). It has happened again in a Hall of Fame game I tried to play, meaning I had to abandon a really promising save. I'm now pretty sure this is the sequence of events:

    (And do keep in mind that I'm playing the game on Linux). I use Ctrl-Alt-arrow (left or right) to change Workspaces. It's a duplication of the desktop, sort of, making it easier to multitask. It's sort of similar to Alt-Tabbing on Windows, but not quite. So what looks to happen is that the button is erroneously held down when going back into the game (I think even if I don't use any keyboard button to change workspaces, but change them via the UI with the mouse). When I then right-click on a leaderhead to bring up the conversation with them, so that I can trade techs or whatever, the game instead declares war. Grotesquely horrible ofc in competitive no-reload games.

    I do this so, so often too. Change workspace out of the game to change music, read/post something in the forum, read news, check mail, whatever. Then back into the game and continue playing. And I check trade overview and possible trades a lot. Probably many times a turn on average, at least post 1AD or so. Having one game destroyed and one almost lost due to this, I've gotten super-paranoid about it, and try to keep it in mind. But I'm not 100% sure when it's safe or not to right-click, and it's just second nature, so something I don't really "think" about it. I just do it. As far as I know there is no sign of any kind that the Alt/Ctrl button is held down, so I have no way of telling. But if the game has bugged out, war is declared and there is no turning back from that. Hence the extreme frustration :(

    It's probably just something I have assumed to be the case then, based on the description of how to submit the save. I've no idea what BUFFY does so have been on the side of caution in case doing anything post "Just one more turn..." would invalidate the game.

    I also think that potentially there are many ways to boost the score on that last turn, at least in non-conquest games. You could declare war and conquer four cities or something in a culture game, or like in this case, trade some techs to slightly boost the score. Perhaps this is already common behaviour, I don't know, I simply have never done it myself.
     
  9. Pangaea

    Pangaea Rock N Roller

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  10. Anatoly

    Anatoly Chieftain

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    Ech, I retired after I tried to do impossible thing - attack Frederick with my poor army:crazyeye: few turns later I was backstabbed by Wan Kong and that´s it...Zara use AP to stop the war between me and F. but there wasn´t chance to win this game...immortal is too hard for me...now:lol: I´m waiting for some more friendly enviroment like monarch Monty to conquer the world:ar15:

    Everyone who won the game :goodjob:
     
  11. MarleysGh0st

    MarleysGh0st Chieftain

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    I met the goal I set in my first spoiler: Russia is destroyed! :D

    The other AI, however...didn't fulfill their part of the plan.

    I captured Moscow in 175, then Yekaterinburg in 300, leaving Stalin with only two cities. That's when he bent the knee to De Gaulle in return for his aid. :mad:

    I captured one more Russian city, then razed the last one in 500. I also managed to defend the captured cities against De Gaulle's attacks, although I lost my super-healer chariot in that defense. Although the computer tells me De Gaulle is willing to make peace, he won't actually make any deal. Meanwhile, the economic pressure is still huge. I give five captured workers to HC to reduce that cost, and don't even get a thank you.

    In 740, I finally research HBR. Despite being several techs ahead of me, De Gaulle still doesn't have that. Now he'll make peace, in exchange for that tech. Okay, okay, I'll pay that price.

    With my cottages growing and by trading my surplus clams and gems to HC and De Gaulle, I'm able to move my slider all the way up to 10% science, while breaking even economically. Wow, what progress! :rolleyes:

    Then HC declares war on me in 940, with De Gaulle doing so in 960. :eek: HC's maces and crossbows capture Moscow, without even needing to use a catapult to reduce its 40% defense bonus, and without losing a single unit from the attacking stack. That's enough fun for me. I retire. :(


    Hey, it looks like I can take a whole day off from BOTM, before starting over with Monty, tomorrow!
     
  12. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    I didn't go for camels, but instead cuirs, won lib and built taj. (Traded away my marble half-way through for 4gpt)

    I had rotten luck with vassals. Just got a few cities from Stalin before he joined DeGualle.
    Fredrich vassaled to Zara before I could finish him off.


    Zara had a massive army and I had to bribe him off DeGualle, and was too afraid to engage Zara with only cuirs/cavalry, so I had to go for cannons too, which turned out to be massive overkill.
    I should have just whipped everything to the ground with cuirs/cava earlier, but got stuck in buildermode I guees. :)

    Did go for a 3GPerson GA, so 4 GAs in total, it's insane how good they are once you have a large empire.


    Screenshots:
    Spoiler :


    Things where dicey at times. :) Total war!!
    Civ4ScreenShot0033.JPG

    Quite a slog to manage 30+ cities.
    Civ4ScreenShot0035.JPG
     
  13. Ocre307

    Ocre307 Chieftain

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    First post here! Hi y'all! :D

    I was about where most were in 1AD. 8 cities, just got Alpha and was building :science: to get Currency and finally having a real economy.

    Some time later, I decide I want to attack Stalin with camels. But, around 900AD, the AP DoWs Inca! So I sent my small stack over and capped him (he had 2 cities).

    After that, I attacked Korea with my camels. He peace vassaled to Frederick so I guess I missed the oppurtunity to cap him? Anyway I held off Fred long enough to wipe out Korea, then made peace.

    None of that mattered, though, because Zara and his MECHS come after me and my Grenadiers. I guess he must have been plotting against my vassal Inca because he was friendly with me. Or did having France, his vassal, annoyed with me make him not care about friendly? Not sure.

    Either way, retire in 1808AD. I liked the map, it was a fun challenge :)
     
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  14. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    Hi and welcome! :)

    Zara really did have some nasty runaway potential in this game. I paid a hefty price to get him off DeGualles back at one point, else he would have capitulated him.
    Zara can plot at pleased (but not at Friendly, only Cathy does), so it's likely that HC as your vassal was your doom.

    Very nice that you tried camels, I was contemplating that myself, but techrate was so good that I went straight for cuirs instead.
    In hindsight, I do suspect that camels would have been better though, the fact that Stalin and Fredrich both lacked metal would have made them easy pickings.
     
  15. Pangaea

    Pangaea Rock N Roller

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    Welcome to GOTM @Ocre307 :)
    Small note on this parenthesis. Cathy doesn't plot at Friendly, but she can be bribed to war even if you are Friendly with her.

    Zara could get pretty scary in this game. Pure luck in my case really. Wang peace vassaled to him, but at some point broke free again, and later peace vassaled to me.
     
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  16. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    This is true, not really minor either. Thanks for pointing it out!
     
  17. jerza

    jerza Chieftain

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    My first game on higher-than-Monarch (first game with Blue Marble, too :)). I didn't expect to survive long really, but thigs went pretty well from the start, at 1AD I had 6 cities (3 of my own and 3 former Russian) and got some valuable advice in the 1AD spoiler thread, so I managed to finish off Stalin by 325AD (t128), and the Inca soon after (which gave me the holy cities of Jud, Christ, and Hindu).
    Spoiler 800 AD :

    Not 100% sure about the AP victory voting mechanics, would it have been enough if Judaism had spread to a couple of Ethiopian cities before Zara went Theo?
    Civ4ScreenShot0043.JPG

    By that time, I had 14 cities (more than anyone else :crazyeye:), but I was terribly behind in teching (-10 techs compared to Zara), power (0.3 ratio with Zara) and just about everything. But the world was all Buddhist, not much fighting was going on, so I neglected the army and teched as quickly as I could (slowly narrowing the tech gap, but knowing there's no chance to win for me anyway). Zara finished Apollo around 1700 AD (t250) and me some 20turns later, but soon after that, the inevitable happened and Zara, Frederick, and Wang Kon declared war on me (taking two of my cities in the very first turn), so I quit as there was no way out of this :)
    Spoiler 1800AD :

    The peak of my civilization :) The next turn all my neigbors declared war and in the save I have submitted I have -2 cities and -200 points :D
    Civ4ScreenShot0116.JPG Civ4ScreenShot0117.JPG


    All in all, it was a fun game to play and a great learning experience :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2019
  18. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    Immortal is no joke and you are in a very good position in that screenshot, well done!

    If you are looking for some feedback:
    I see a clear "builder mentality", you are building things everywhere, better to build wealth to be able to tech at 100% and reach key military techs earlier and then build units. :)

    If going peacefully, you should probably have gone with theocracy+buddhism, that would have kept you 100% safe diplomacy-wise against Zara, which is totally crazy about religion and equally crazy about theocracy. This is worth much much more than the +10% research from free religion.
     
  19. Pangaea

    Pangaea Rock N Roller

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    Perhaps you do this already and turned it off for the screenshots, but in any case... you may find it useful to have tile yields on. I've put an awful lot of hours into the game, but still use it. So much easier to see what needs to be improved and suchlike. It's one of the buttons above the minimap (4th from the left).

    Also, since you were pleased with Ethiopia in the above screenshots and he was plotting (the fist in the scoreboard), you could have tried to beg a little gold from him. He may then have stopped plotting, and in any case it would have given you ten turns of guaranteed peace to whip out units.

    But as @krikav posted, Immortal is no joke, and you did well here. Next time you'll win :)
     
  20. jerza

    jerza Chieftain

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    @krikav @Pangaea thanks for your feedback, I'll make sure I won't make the same mistakes the next time (pretty sure I'll make a bunch of new mistakes, though :D)
     
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