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swarmofseals last won the day on June 19

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About swarmofseals

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  1. Not running WLV helps me make room for bridge. I think bridge vs Warp-grinder is a question worth considering, but for me it's pretty clearly bridge: Pros for Warp-grinder: It can come in anywhere Stormfiends start off the table, protecting them from other deepstriking ranged units and/or from an alpha that can get through your screen Can't fail and doesn't require someone to cast it (the latter point being relatively minor, imo) Pros for Soulscream: Reusable. Sometimes one round of shooting from the Stormfiends won't be enough, and mobile opponents might be able to keep their important pieces out of range, and bridge helps counter that. Reconfigurable. You can re-arrange your rats as needed, which is otherwise very awkward with the 60mm bases and low movement. Transports multiple units. You get to move your Stormfiends forward and move their screen and buffers with them Buffable. Your Stormfiends are present in your hero phase, and thus can be targeted with MMMWP and Vigordust Injector. With a Warp-grinder deployment they can only get Deranged Inventor, and even then only if you are able to set them up wholly within 13" of your general, which dramatically reduces your options of where to drop them. Can be used to block enemy movement in a pinch If your opponent is close enough to block you, they are close enough for your Stormfiends to shoot them conventionally. A low-drop horde opponent can potentially prevent you from coming in via Warp-grinder at all -- a rare case, but utterly disastrous and completely avoidable with bridge. No self damage (a minor point) Another possible 3 hero build would be: 2x Bombardier Screaming Bell 9 Stormfiends 2x40 Clanrats 20 Clanrats 40 Plague Monks Provides redundancy for MMMWP, splits Vigordust Injector and Deranged Inventor, and provides enough bodies that you can amply screen and not care too much if your opponent manages to battleshock one of your flanking units on turn 1. You can protect the units that matter and at least one unit of Clanrats with the bell and the unit of 20 as a throwaway screen.
  2. Not sure that I follow the reasoning on having the seer on foot as well. I mean, I get why it's good -- Grey Seers are good -- just not why it'd be necessary in this context. If I take an Arch-Warlock I can get rerolls on MMMWP and bridge by using one spark, so I don't need the seer to cast bridge. So he'd mostly be there to cast Wither and either Plague or Warpgale... all good stuff, but seems more like a luxury than a necessity.
  3. I've been bouncing around a bunch of different variations on "9 Stormfiends" and have found that my deliberations have come down to two questions: the clanrats and the heroes. For the rats, there are two obvious variations, one involving 3x40 Clanrats and one with 1x40, 2x20 Clanrats and 40 Plague Monks. The latter version requires shaving points from the characters. Alternately you can go for a slim 3x20 Clanrats version but I'm skeptical about that plan. The character suite involves choosing some combination of the following: Arch-Warlock, Warlock Bombardier, Grey Seer, Grey Seer on Screaming Bell, Verminlord Warpseer, and Thanquol. There are several necessary roles to play: sparking/casting MMMWP, providing battleshock immunity, reliably casting Soulscream Bridge, and holding objectives in hero-focused missions. I've considered the following variations: Warlock Bombardier, Grey Seer, Verminlord Warpseer: this was my first version but I'm pretty sure it isn't correct. It hits 2000 exactly with 3x40 Clanrats, but with no bonus CP you are at risk to lose a lot of rats if you go second and eat an alpha strike. Arch-Warlock and Verminlord Warpseer: Can't fit Plague Monks, but it does get a CP and a good shot at a triumph. Key Skryre caster is tougher, too. 2 Warlock Bombardiers and Verminlord Warpseer: As per the second option, but no CP. Has the advantage of being less vulnerable to getting your warlock sniped. Arch-Warlock and Grey Seer on Screaming Bell: Can fit the Plague Monk version, or can do 3x40 clanrats with room for something else. Battleshock bubble protection is much lower, but doesn't require CP. Not quite as tough for holding objectives as the Warpseer. If going the 120 Clanrat route, this build can take a backup Warlock Bombardier plus an extra CP. Could consider a Clawlord. Thanquol and Warlock Bombardier: Can't fit the Plague Monk version, reliant on Inspiring Presence for Battleshock, and a bit less tanky than either the bell or the verminlord, but Thanquol is a much bigger threat and can cast Warpgale much more reliably. Can do 3x20 clanrats + 40 Plague Monks. Thanquol and Arch-Warlock: as above but -20 Clanrats and plus an extra CP Thanquol, Arch-Warlock and Grey Seer on Screaming Bell: the heaviest set of characters should be quite solid in battleplans where heroes cap, but requires trimming down to 3x20 Clanrats, so pretty suspect for horde cap battleplans. I'd love to hear your thoughts as these are some very difficult choices! Also, I'm a bit embarrassed to ask this, but is the Clanrats box set the same as the IOB/Spire of Dawn Clanrats or are they different? I'm honestly not sure which ones I have, and I can't conclusively tell from pictures online.
  4. As others have pointed out this forum does have a trade section, although it isn't very active. Two of my favorite resources are www.bartertown.com (the gold standard in Warhammer trading, imo) and reddit.com/r/miniswap.
  5. X1 is unknown at the moment, and it varies list by list. Some lists are going to really benefit from having the turn choice while others care much less. X1 is basically a measure of how much a given list benefits from having the choice of the first turn (specifically the difference in winning percentage when having the turn choice vs. not having it) Couple of things -- for one, you will actually have the turn choice a slight majority of the time at 7 drops. I was really surprised by this, as a lot of people talk about it like you will never get the turn choice unless you are 5 or less. Second, I see what you are saying about the math being somewhat deceptive but the way that I framed it is actually very important to the later calculations in the post, and I'd argue that the way you are suggesting framing it is actually substantially more deceptive. For example, consider the gain from going down to 1 drop from 2 drops. In absolute numbers, your odds improve from 93.8% to 97.22%. So going from 1 to 2 increases your failure rate by 115%, or it's a 46.5% drop in failure rate going from 2 to 1. What I'm trying to do, however, is to paint a clearer picture of how this translates into win percentage. Let's imagine a really extreme example -- a list that wins 100% of the time when it has the choice of turn and wins 0% of the time when it does not. In this case, being 1 drop would have a 97.22% win percentage while being 2 drop would have a 93.8% winning percentage. Thus reducing from 2 drops to 1 would increase your winning percentage by 3.42%, or a roughly 3.6% increase in percentage terms. Sure, you could characterize this as a much larger reduction in "losing percentage" but I don't think many players really think that way. Ideally, my goal is to help people think more clearly about the tradeoffs in list construction between managing drop count and other concerns. Most of the battalions in the game really aren't worth taking just for the bonuses that they provide, but are very much worth considering simply because they reduce drops. But I also think going too far in the other direction and suggesting that you have to be low drop can be a trap as well: Consider the example above again. If you aren't really thinking about it clearly, you quickly conclude that a list that wins 100% of the time when it has the choice and 0% when it doesn't should do anything possible to get to 1 drop. But what if going from 2 to 1 drop requires diluting the list with battalion and tax unit point investments enough that the win rate when having the choice is reduced to 90%? Then reducing from 2 to 1 drops would actually be a clear downgrade in terms of overall expected value. I think that framing it in terms of % reduction in the time you don't get the turn choice doesn't lend itself to this kind of calculation nearly as well.
  6. @tripchimeras great comments! I'd be happy to try to figure out X1 for ETC, but unless I can find a complete round by round results summary I don't know how I'll be able to. Your criticisms of the team format are reasonable, although honestly when perusing the lists to compile this data I really didn't see that many lists that looked out of place in the usual competitive singles meta.
  7. For a long time one of the best kept secrets of competitive AoS players was the importance of managing the number of drops in your list in order to increase you chance at having the choice of turn order to start the game. Nobody was trying to keep this a secret, but the information just hadn't trickled down to the low level competitive scene and below. I think that has changed now, and most competitive or semi-competitive players seem to be aware that limiting drops is very important. I even think there may have been an overcorrection, with some holding the view that lists over 5 drops are generally not viable (with a few exceptions). What I haven't seen is anyone really attempting to take a more rigorous approach to the question of drop count, so I've decided to take a stab at it. The ETC 2019 lists give a very nice snapshot of the late GHB2018 metagame. I'm sure things are skewed somewhat due to it being a very competitive team tournament, but a perusal of the lists didn't make me think that it would vary all that much from what you'd see in the top half of any given GT. This dataset is valuable because it gives a complete view of the metagame at a sizable tournament rather than just focusing exclusively on the top lists. There are limitations however, particularly insofar as the dataset represents a somewhat outdated meta. It reflects neither the GHB2019 and FAQ changes nor the new Sylvaneth tome. That said, it's really difficult to say how much this fact skews the dataset, as the new rules push the number of drops in both directions. Reducing the competitiveness of Idoneth and Legions of Nagash and general point increases to many top-tier armies probably nudges the drop counts down some, but the removal of 1-drop Sylvaneth and points reductions among other factions likely nudges the drop counts up. That said, this doesn't account for changes in battalion use. If previous low drop high-tier faction lists solve their points crunch by dropping battalions, that could increase the drop count rather than lowering it. Similarly, if previously overcosted factions use their new points to fit in more battalions, then it could lower their drops instead of raising them. Basically, I think this data set is good enough to draw some general conclusions from now and it's risky to try to correct it for GHB2019 -- we just need to wait for more data. Anywho, here are the ETC drop counts: I think a lot of people might find this data surprising. The two largest clusters are around 4-5 drops and 8-9 drops, but the high drop cluster is larger. Despite the reputation of the competitive metagame being skewed toward low drop lists, less than 40% of the ETC lists are 5 drops or fewer. And I'd argue that the ETC meta is, if anything, more competitive than the meta as a whole. At ETC fully 48% of lists were top tier factions (defined as Slaanesh, FEC, Fyreslayers, LoN, DoK, Idoneth, and Skaven) vs. 35.7% of the overall meta compiled by The Honest Wargamer. Here is a chart of your chance to have the choice of turn against a random opponent if you show up to ETC with each of the following numbers of drops: And here is how much turn choice percentage you stand to gain by reducing your list by one drop at each of the following drop counts: So the numbers of drops that stand to gain the most by going down by 1 are, in descending order: 9, 10/5 (tie), 4, 8, 6, 11/7 (tie). For the rest of the drop counts, the percentage gain is pretty negligible. Mathematically, you can determine the expected value of shaving a drop with the following formula: X = W1*P - W2 Where W1 is the expected increase in winning percentage due to having the turn choice, P is the increased probability of getting the turn choice by reducing to the targeted number of drops, and W2 is the expected increase in winning percentage due to having whatever units you would be shaving in order to reduce your drops. This equation is not particularly easy to use primarily because W1 and particularly W2 are difficult to determine. Let's look an example: Obviously, the bigger W1 is the more likely reducing your drops will be a good idea. So if you are playing some kind of list that can basically never win if they go last, then you really need to watch your drops. But if you are playing a more normal list then it's a much closer question. This inquiry leads to a clear question: assuming you are running an "average" list (ie: not a list that cares about turn order to an unusual degree), what is X1? I would love to get some insight from top level players on how they would answer this question.
  8. @Gwendar nice batrep, cool to see reports from similar 9 Stormfiend builds go up! I actually think that this might be a case where going for the full 9 is significantly better than 6. It makes your buffs more efficient, but perhaps more importantly it makes it significantly harder for your opponent to kill the specific fiends that matter most in the situation. Having that extra body or two just makes the task tremendously more daunting.
  9. I think this is a very difficult question to answer. In a vacuum, Stormfiends are a weird unit. If you go for pure melee they don't really measure up. You'd definitely rather have Plague Monks and it's not even remotely close. If you take a shooting loadout, they are just a bit worse than Jezzails for general purpose and are worse than WLC at picking off characters. Despite being a little worse at shooting than these units, however, they are a LOT better at combat even with a shooting loadout and are much tougher. So essentially they are something of a hybrid unit, and hybrid units in general don't have a great competitive reputation right now. That said, I think they have a real chance. They do require a significant investment -- I think you pretty much have to take a unit of 6 or 9. That's a lot of points, but it's not really insane compared to what people spend on Jezzails and/or WLC. 9-12 Jezzails and 1-2 WLC costs the same as 9 Stormfiends. If shooting is good in the meta, then I think Stormfiends have a chance to be good. They aren't as good at picking off heroes as Jezzails and WLC, but I think they are actually as good if not better at blowing away troops, and they are still very good at shooting off combat monsters. They are also extremely good in the ranged vs. ranged matchup because their defensive efficiency is soooooo much higher. In the Jezzail vs. Jezzail matchup, whoever shoots first is going to win hands down. Against Stormfiends, they can actually tank the damage on their melee guys and maybe ratling cannons, leaving the Windlaunchers free to shoot back, and while the Windlaunchers aren't great in terms of absolute damage efficiency, against something like a Jezzail squad or WLC pack it really doesn't matter because those units have so little defense. The same logic applies against nearly every "artillery" style unit in the game. Are they competitive? I'm not sure, but I think it's a lot closer than most people think as they have generally been written off. They definitely don't have the raw power of Plague Monk spam, but not everyone wants to play a list that is quite so monotonous. I had my first game with my Stormfiend list today posted above, but for reference here it is again: My opponent brought Beasts of Chaos (Gavespawn): We rolled Starstrike for the battleplan. I deployed one unit of Clanrats on each flank, spread pretty wide to block off board edges and everything else in the center. I messed up my deployment pretty badly though and couldn't fit the Clanrat screen in front of the Stormfiends while still leaving room for bridge, so I had to leave my Stormfiends exposed. My opponent had the turn choice and elected to play first. I honestly have no idea if this was correct or not. I think it probably was, but if I had my screen in place it likely wouldn't have been. He brought in his Beastlord, 3 Enlightened on foot and 10 Ungors on my right flank and moved up the center with his Tzaangors in front followed by his Bestigors. His Enlightened on Disc moved up on my center left. His Centigors camped my Gnawholes. He managed to hit his 9" charge with the Enlightened on foot and got into the side of my Clanrats and also hit the charge with his Enlightened on Disc, but had to pull out of range of the Shaman in order to get into my Stormfiends with most of his models. The combat on the right flank was largely inconsequential, with a few Clanrats dying and a few more fleeing. He managed to get 5 Enlightened into my Stormfiends and did enough damage to kill two and severely wound a third. My Stormfiends and center Clanrats struck back and killed 5 of the 6 Enlightened between attacks and battleshock thanks to the melee Stormfiends starting in the front. I was mortified to realize that I couldn't make my Stormfiends battleshock immune though because I had no command points due to not taking a turn yet. I rolled a 5, and thus lost two Stormfiends thanks to the Enlightened's ability. That left me with one melee, three cannons and one mortar. In my turn I decided to use a regular cast from the Verminlord to try to bridge and failed. This would have allowed my Stormfiends to get out of combat and get all of their guns in range, but I thought I could likely kill the last Enlightened with other abilities and free up the Stormfiends to get most of their shots in to something else. In the end I resolved MMMWP (taking 2 mortals from the spark) but not much else. The Verminlord put three wounds on the Enlightened with tail lashes, but my Doomrocket failed to hit, and I had to resort to chucking the Warpseer's orb at the Enlightened to finish it off. Not what I wanted but it got the job done. That freed up my Stormfiends to blast the Tzaangors with two cannons and the mortar. My rolls were pretty fantastic, but my opponent also made an absurd number of 6+ saves -- in the end I killed 17 Tzaangors, with the rest fleeing from battleshock. I charged his Tzaangor Shaman with my center Clanrats and put a couple of wounds on him, and that finished up the turn. I won the roll off, chose to play first and we agreed that this was basically game. The objective had come down on the center right, which was good for my opponent but ultimately not that consequential as I was able to cast bridge, bring my Stormfiends forward and obliterate his Bestigors. I took 5 mortals from the vigordust and MMMWP, but that didn't matter at all as I was able to soak them on the melee rat. At that point he had only light troops left and not enough to contest my swarms of Clanrats. ______________________________________________ Overall, I think this was a very successful test run. It demonstrated well how the list can provide opportunities for your opponent to make mistakes. My plan all along was to win on objectives, which meant that I needed to kill his three threats before they could wipe out my Clanrats. My Stormfiends were tough enough to weather a fierce assault on turn 1 and kept most of their firepower intact despite taking heavy losses. In the end, that charge only allowed me to clear his threats off the table faster as my Stormfiends still hit hard enough in combat to take most of the Enlightened off the table, saving me the trouble of having to shoot them. This was a trade that I was happy to make. If I hadn't deployed badly, he might have let me take the first turn which would have allowed me to move into range and likely destroy one target with my shooting (likely the enlightened) before he wiped the Clanrats with his Tzaangors. If he double turns me, he then gets to pile his Tzaangors into the Stormfiends. They'll do an average of around 21 damage, so I'm probably losing my mortars and maybe taking a little extra damage on one of my melee guys. The return attacks will cause an average of 34.4 unsaved wounds to the Tzaangors, very likely wiping them out once battleshock is factored in. Then on my turn I likely finish off the Tzaangors with spells/doomrocket/verminlord tails and blow away the Bestigors. If he somehow manages to get all of the Tzaangors AND all of the Bestigors into my Stormfiends then it doesn't actually change the calculus as I can destroy whichever unit strikes second (both will do a similar amount of average damage to the Stormfiends, so it doesn't much matter what he strikes first with). Even if he hits me with the taurus and gets to swing with both of his units first, I'll still be able to keep the three melee guys alive on average and nearly wipe out one of the units. Then on my turn I likely get to strike first and cripple the other unit. This example illustrates perfectly why Stormfiends can be so powerful. They may not have incredible points efficiency, but they have top-shelf activation efficiency. Any time you activate them, they are going to do a lot simply because the unit is so expensive that even moderate points efficiency leads to a high amount of damage. On top of that, they are very resilient. Their defensive efficiency isn't great but it isn't terrible either. Because they are a mixed roll unit though you get to remove the models that matter the least, thus ensuring that the opponent has to do a ton of harm before they become unthreatening. If you are in a ranged duel they have to chew through 26 4+ wounds of melee guys before they can touch your shooting, and another 18 4+ wounds before they can touch your long ranged shooting. If you are in a close ranged fight you can afford to take 23 wounds before losing much short ranged shooting effectiveness OR combat effectiveness. If you are in melee, you can take 42 wounds before your melee punch degrades much at all. So the unit starts off as a general purpose unit that should be helpful in the vast majority of matchups, and if your opponent tries to focus it down you can selectively remove the least relevant components first.
  10. Was thinking about trying this list: Grey Seer (140) - Warpgale (can also see a case for Plague) Warlock Bombardier (100) -General: Deranged Inventor, Vigourdust Injector, More-More-More Warp Power! Veminlord Warpseer (300) 3x40 Clanrats (600) 9x Stormfiends (3x Mortars, 3x Ratling Guns, 3x melee, probably Shock Gauntlets) - 780 Endless Spells: Soulscream Bridge - 80 The list is obviously pretty extreme. The intention is to focus on playing the objective game through numbers while using the heavily buffed Stormfiends to slow down the opponent's damage output. The Soulscream Bridge should allow you to get the Stormfiends where you need them to do peak damage starting on T1. Between the bridge and the Gnawholes it will be very difficult for the opponent to zone you out, and even if they do it probably means pulling a lot of their stuff out of position, making it harder for them to quickly work through your Clanrats. I want to put as much strain on my opponent's resources as I can. Warpgale and Dreaded Warpgale should also assist with this. The Stormfiends should also be able to pack a surprising wallop in close combat. Some things I considered: I could trade the Verminlord for a Screaming Bell, but I think this army REALLY needs the bigger batteshock immunity command ability. I could drop the Grey Seer and upgrade the Warlock Bombardier to an Arch-Warlock. This is an interesting one, but I'm not really sure if it's worthwhile. Wither, Warpgale or Plague are really good, and Warpstone makes the bridge quite reliable. Arch-Warlock can spark himself for the reroll to cast, but that does increase the likelihood of self damage. I'd also be losing a cast/unbind and I'm not really certain what I'd do with the 80 points saved. I could drop 20 Clanrats to upgrade to an Arch-Warlock, but again this seems like giving up a lot for a pretty minor benefit. I could drop 20 Clanrats to upgrade the Grey Seer to a Screaming Bell. This does add extra help with battleshock, but the loss of 20 Clanrats makes that less relevant anyway. Also, Wither to Cracks Call is a big downgrade. Rolling a 7 or 10+ on the bell is really nice but hardly reliable. The damage results on the bell don't seem like they'd do much. I could drop the Grey Seer for a second Warlock Bombardier. This is perhaps the most tempting change, as it allows me to have a backup MMMWP and split off the Vigordust Injector from the Deranged Inventor while upping my ranged damage a little. I lose the excellent Grey Seer spell and am down one cast/unbind, but this might be worth it for the redundancy. It will likely force me to use a spark to increase the likelihood of resolving bridge, however. It also leaves me with 40 extra points, which would be enough for a triumph most of the time. Alternately I could grab Vermintide, which could be very helpful in limiting enemy mobility. Thoughts? Just in case anyone is curious, I compared the drop count to all of the ETC 2019 lists, and this list (7 drops) would get the turn choice about 51% of the time. An 8 drop list gets the turn choice about 41% of the time. ETC 2019 uses GHB2018 pointings, but I suspect the drop counts won't change massively.
  11. I don't really think that you can honestly make the argument that it's easier to generate Blood Tithe than it is to generate Depravity. Part of the issue wit Depravity is that all of the summoned heroes come with a built in refund -- any Keeper you summon will be giving you back a minimum of 43% of the Depravity that you spent on it, and that is assuming it doesn't get a chance to heal or deal any damage itself. A Bloodthirster, on the other hand, only comes with a built in refund of 12.5%. Personally, I think Depravity is a really nice mechanic. I do think it could use some tweaks though, and these are the tweaks that I'd suggest: Depravity only generated by damaging heroes or monsters, not any multiwound models. Summon only one thing per turn OR can only summon troops (no heroes) OR summoned heroes can't generate Depravity I would pair these two changes with some points reductions for Slaanesh units. I know many will find that to be crazy, but I think most of the troops are at least a little overcosted and the army is coasting now on Depravity. I do want to be absolutely clear about one thing: I do not think Depravity or Slaanesh is inherently broken or even all that imbalanced in competitive play. It's at the top end now, for sure, but I think there are multiple valid lines of attack and if Slaanesh is overtuned it isn't overtuned by much. I think these Depravity changes are actually more needed for casual and casual-competitive play than they are for the GT scene. The reason for this is that Slaanesh right now creates an incredibly unpleasant play experience for a lot of people. It just isn't fun to finally bring down your opponent's monsters only to see them all summoned right back again instantly. It's also really unfun to think that your faction starts off at a crippling disadvantage simply because you have no choice but to field multi-wound models. If I were playing Ironjaws, Bonesplitters, Stormcast, Ogres/BCR, or any similar faction I'd basically never want to play against Slaanesh. I'd also hate to have to intentionally avoid taking warscrolls that I like just because they are a liability against Slaanesh. These concerns are absolutely not appropriate for the tournament scene. Even if Slaanesh rose up to ~10% of the meta (way higher than DoK ever got), it still wouldn't warp the metagame too badly. If you play in tournaments you have to accept that sometimes you will have a bad matchup. In casual games though it can be soul crushing, especially if your local play group is small. You may not have any choice but to play against Slaanesh all the time, and that's the kind of thing that can drive people out of the hobby. So basically my goal would be to implement the above changes as a way of addressing Slaanesh in a casual context without hurting it too much in the tournament context.
  12. The weekly pre-order announcement is up and it's all 40k. No explanation yet from GW on the last-chance-to-buy stuff, so I'm guessing we probably won't get one. I was hopeful we would see cities pre-preorder today, but I guess it'll be another week at least! Seems like a big miss by GW to me. I can't see any reason not to coordinate the "last chance to buy" announcement with the official beginning of the Cities of Sigmar release cycle.
  13. Clearly yes, there has been a general move away from horses as the go-to mount in AoS. I won't argue with that. But I don't think that the reasoning that the kits that were removed went because "all horses have to go" holds up given that there are several kits that could have been purged which have horses, but those kits were not purged. So arguing that the War Altar is going away because it's drawn by horses just doesn't make much sense given that the Celestial Hurricanum/Luminark kit has basically the same design. Similarly, saying that Dragonblades, Freeguild General, Archmage, and Dragon Noble kits all must go because they feature horses doesn't make sense either given that they are keeping Pistoliers/Outriders.
  14. I don't think the "get rid of all horses" logic follows, as the Celestial Hurricanum/Luminark kit still has horses, as do Pistoliers/Outriders.
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