As the last instalment in our ‘Tanks for your Service’ series, how could we go past WoT ANZ’s most iconic band of misfits – 1AR! We sat down with IMC_Jimmy, SteelSoldier, StewieJP, and (little) Stewy to find out more about the history and the antics of this renowned clan.
When was 1AR founded?
Steel: I'm unsure of the exact date that 1AR was founded as it was just a bit before my time. 1AR was originally started on the NA server and came across to the SEA server in the early days. I joined 1AR in early 2013.
StewieJP: A long time before I started playing the game – as mentioned 1AR is older than the Asia/SEA server and as far as I am aware, the only English-speaking / ANZ clan on our server still going continuously from day one.
Stewy: Big call I know, but we believe 1AR is the only clan on the server to have competed actively in every single Clan Wars season and campaign.
For those who don't know, what are the 1AR Shenanigans?
StewieJP: Training room games with different rules and objectives, with the aim of blowing off a bit of steam over a few frothies and laughs on a Saturday night.
- Pz1C Races – Max Tier 3, no shooting allowed (other than the bit at the start where we all shoot in the air or try and draw big ones on the ground). Racing around the Lakeview lake, Klondike Klassic, Sandy River or Himmelsdorf Square. Tactics can get intricate with the lighter “Racing Turret and Radio” setup and chocolate and fuel for that extra boost… or does a heavier tank give lower centre of gravity for more momentum through the corners and an advantage for a “Malachi Crunch”?
- Argy Bargy – Bring the Biggest Baddest Heaviest tank you’ve got for the opportunity to push the other team off the Mountain Pass bridge and be the last man, woman or child standing for bragging rights and Hi5’s all round!
- Overlord Sheet Shooting and flying off the Sherman, which must be seen to be believed.
- “The Moggie” is like the World Championship Title in the ultimate Clan Wars-meets-Battle Royale style fight through the tiers where the maps are random, and the pressure is real.
- Hide and Seek, HUD’s off Arty v Arty, ram-only games, British Bulldogs...
- Fun Fact: Shenanigans is where I “dipped my toe” into the 1AR experience. I knew hardly anyone but was made welcome from day one and haven’t stopped laughing since!
How long was it before Shenanigans came about?
StewieJP: Shenanigans has been around from day one when 1AR migrated from the NA server. Armour Girl, one of our members, had a big hand in setting it up, and she still pops in a Panzer 1 c every now and then to show us who’s boss.
How did clans like 2AR and 1AR-M come about?
Steel: Both 2AR and 1AR-M were originally created/formed as clans to cater for those who didn't have Tier X tanks but were trying to grind towards them, and/or for those who didn't want to participate in Clan Wars. There have been quite a few branches of 1AR over the years, including 1AR-S, 1AR-X, 1AR-Z, 1AR, 2AR, 1AR-M & 1AR-R.
Jimmy, how long were you the commander of 1AR? How did you get into that position, what were the highlights, and why did you decide to step down?
Jimmy: I was an executive officer of 1AR when Struth and OZ Panzer Ace were commanders; first Oz, then Struth, helping them out with whatever I could. The idea of me taking over came up when Struth needed to spend more time with his family than World of Tanks, which is when he reached out to me. After a lot of consideration, he asked if I wanted to be the new commander, and after a few days I said yes, would love to. I had been in the clan for about 2 years at that time and had run a campaign previously, so I was confident in my ability to take it all on. The thing is though, that running 1AR you also had to look after 2AR, 1AR-M and 1AN (the World of Warships branch) as well, so there was a lot of admin work.
Highlights included building a great community of players and taking Shenanigans to the next level. Going onto Twitch/YouTube with content was also satisfying; I think going onto social media helped us quite a bit to put the 1AR name out there, as Struth wasn’t really a social media sort of person. But as far as highlights go, I can’t go past steering the clan through its most successful campaign ever. It was a big campaign where we got the clan 24 tanks, but beyond my efforts, all the recruiters, combat officers, executive officers recruited well for the clan and helped a lot of the older players bond. It was a big effort by all, that’s for sure.
I had to rebuild the clan 3 times, which took a massive toll on me that almost lost me to the game. After 3 campaigns and 4 seasons of Clan Wars I finally decided I needed to take a break from the clan and step down as Commander. Work commitments played a huge part in that and just needing to take a break from the responsibilities of being a leader was what I thought was going to be the best decision for the health of the clan. There was only one option in my eyes for the next commander, and that was SteelSoldier. He is doing a fantastic job so far.
Steel, do you have plans to take the clan in a different direction in the post-Jimmy era? Or is it more of the same?
Steel: That's an easy question: an active player base and a formidable Clan Wars side is the goal, which is a goal we are getting closer to every day.
StewieJP, as a Community Contributor, how do you find the ANZ Community relates and responds to 1AR?
StewieJP: One advantage of a smaller server/community is a lot of the time everyone knows each other – familiar faces are everywhere. 1AR, having been around since day one – a LOT of players have been through the ranks or they have mates who have, including many in the top English-speaking clans – so you often get a hello in game or an o7, which I reckon is fantastic.
I only play on the ANZ server unless there is an event which is Hong Kong-exclusive, so you do often see the same players, and in general, I think 1AR has a positive reputation in the community.
On-ground events and unofficial meet ups have given me the opportunity to meet people in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns where 1AR and the 2AR/1ARM family have been well represented, and if people didn’t know who we were before those events, they certainly knew by the end!
Stewy, as one of the youngest (if not the youngest) members of 1AR: how do you find it relating to a bunch of older (commonly inebriated) guys?
Stewy: Settling into 1AR for me was awkward. At first I felt extremely out of place as one of the first under-18 members, being 15 at the time. Coming from clans that were mainly full of 14-18 year-olds, if I want to be brutally honest, it was a relief to be able to associate with adults. I’ve always found kids my age can get very over-the-top when playing video games, to the point where their toxicity becomes extremely irritating. For the first month, I felt like this stereotype was stuck to me, and others assumed I would be the same. After a while, however, I became a lot more comfortable chatting with everyone else.
Now, about the commonly inebriated part. You aren’t wrong there! If clan rankings were ranked by the amount of alcohol consumed on average per night, 1AR would be world champions! If I'm honest, it's great to be able to banter with the lads when they're all having a good laugh. Although I cannot relate to this behaviour, I can still enjoy their company, and some of the best nights in the clan have come from some ripping drunken humour.
What is the best part about being in the 1AR clan network?
StewieJP: “The 1AR Clan Network” sounds like one of those secret societies with a secret handshake where you leave your trousers at the door! Sort of like 1AR on a Wednesday Night!
Being part of the 1AR family is epic no matter what day of the week it is. The laughs and friendships formed are what stands out, and I guess what most people in the community think of when they think 1AR. Players who have been in 1AR often drop in to say G’day and share a story, joke or tall tale, often into the early hours. It’s like dropping into your favourite pub and knowing who is at the bar and up for a good laugh.
On top of that, those who organise the Clan Wars, Campaigns, Advances etc – Steely and the leadership team have done an epic job continuing to steer 1AR into not only a friendly group of social players – but a competitive Clan Wars clan.
Special shout out to the 2AR lads and laddettes who are also having a great time on the Global Map, as well as our mates in 1AR-M who have a ball without the requirement to participate or grind towards Clan Wars and Advances.
Stewy: The best part about the -1AR- community is how diverse it is. The age range is massive; I wouldn't want to really look into it, but I wouldn't be surprised if there are a few lads 50 years older than myself! On top of that, despite this range of diversity, everyone is welcome.
The atmosphere is super relaxed, although we do our best in clan wars and advances, we always have a laugh, win, lose, or draw. Whether it be flying it around Lakeville in a pimped-out Panzer 1 c, or listening to Jimmy carry on about the time Jezza stole his pork crackling, the 1AR community is always a good time. I could go on for pages on how amazing the community is, but I reeeeally don’t think Jay would want to read through a whole bunch of blabbering on.
But by far, the best part about the clan is Jimmy's singing. If you're ever in Discord any time past 8PM when Jimmy is in chat, just say it is your birthday today. Leave the chat, and make everyone else suffer – I mean enjoy his wonderful vocals!
Steel: The best part about being in the 1AR clan network is the people. We have a good bunch of people from all walks of life that enjoy tanking and talking shit. Can’t ask for much more.
If 1AR sounds like a clan you'd like to get involved with, feel free to talk to any of these fine men in the Tanks Asia Discord, or contact JayRated to put you in touch!