COE Mercenary War AAR

Time to finish up several After Action reports (AAR) on recent New Year scenarios at the warren, David’s garage, and the Strategicon-OrcCon 2019 LAX convention. First AAR is an unusual Clash of Empires 28mm Mercenary War scenario, featuring defeated Carthage vs. their former hired mercenaries after the conclusion of the 1st Punic War. Before this afternoon of ancient tabletop warfare, WR must admit his knowledge of the post 1st Punic War Carthaginian wars was grossly lacking, in reality WR must state as nonexistent. So, welcome to the Battle of Bagradas River 240 B.C.

The Battle of the Bagradas River, or the Macar by another name (c. 240 BC), was fought by the loyal Carthaginian army (civic levy in most part) against former Carthaginian mercenaries awaiting payment for service after the peace of the 1st Punic War, and joined by rebelling Libyan cities. After the forces of Hanno the Great were defeated at Utica, and failed to engage the mercenaries afterwards despite favorable conditions, Carthage raised a new army under Hamilcar Barca in Carthage. Hamilcar managed to leave Carthage despite the lacking rebel blockade of the city and cross the Bagradas River (the ancient name of the Medjerda). Rebel armies from besieging Utica and the camp guarded the bridge on the Bagradas River. Hamilcar Barca, by brilliant maneuvering, defeated the combined rebel army. This was the first major Carthaginian victory of the war.

Sources for this period of Carthage are hard to come by, most could be viewed as secondary in their reporting. WR’s friend David Kometz used the following internet information for structure and background material for his COE tabletop Battle of Bargaras River scenario design. The Wikipedia article seems a good overview with some detail on this battle.

The Carthaginian army has surprised the rebels near their respective camps and marched on the tabletop fully deployed. They will set up 40cm from their long table edge with a deployment zone total width of eight feet, centered at the 16×6 table centerline. Thus they can deploy up to four feet from the table bisecting centerline, facing both enemy camps or either one individually. This is a important decision for the Carthage players to decide. The “Bridgehead” rebel Mercenary / Libyan levy camp starts near the stone bridge. All units start across the river, on the same side as the Carthaginian arriving army, placed along the river within 16″ of the bridge (either side), and cannot extend from river edge by 12″. The mercenary / Libyan units cannot cross the river via the bridge to avoid combat and are considered lost for scenario victory conditions if they cross. Units forced into the river are considered destroyed. The upriver “Riverbank” rebels start near their camp along the river near the short table edge. Like the “Bridgehead” camp, they must start within 16″ of the short table edge, measured from the table edge and river exit point. Scenario lasts eight turns with diced 50% chance for additional turns after the conclusion of turn eight. Carthage has first movement as the rebels seek to recover from their surprise reaction seeing the Carthaginians rearward approach. Victory based on total victory points calculation found in COE MRB pages 132-133.

The 16×6 foot table starting set up. Upper left deployed Carthaginian army. Upper right Mercenary /Libyan levy “Bridgehead” command. Foreground shows “Riverbank” mercenary /Libyans.

Terrain notes: A simple straight gravel road somewhat bisects the table near the center point and crosses the bridge. The stone bridge crosses the Bargaras River off-center to the table centerline by 6″ it seems viewing the post battle photos. A small riverside marsh or swampy ground is placed about 2 feet from the bridge, again view the photos for size and placement. Otherwise, the tabletop battlefield is open with scattered light bushes to break up the flatness. Note: The bridge procession is worth extra victory points if controlled by the Carthaginians or likewise, control the “Riverbank” force’s encampment tents as told to the mercenary rebellion player side. Extra victory points unknown to WR during game but I think it was 50 VP per site.

Closer view of the “Bridgehead” mercenary / Libyan command tightly camped at the bridge.

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COE Roman Armies

For the regulars, who stopped by the warren blog this December, may noticed the lack of recent December posts. Even gaming was curtailed for bad weather one weekend here in So. California, and except for two Flames of War games, the month’s time was totally absorbed by the Project. The Project (Roman) was continuance of the Clash of Empires (COE) rules miniature basing and organization effort, started back in 2nd quarter 2018 with the WR’s Chariot era 25/28mm collections, Evenings of planning, organization of miniature units to the Clash of Empires system, glued fingers, worn brushes, trips to the local stiff wire hardware store, and shipping orders arriving on the doorstep, adding to the patio pile of tabletop confusion mentioned in my prior COE miniatures project post. Streamlined now, the quick process results pictured below show the effort involved for six COE Ancient Roman era armies. For background details on the basing, organization, and inventory bookkeeping process, see WR’s previous post:  COE Chariot era armies

The six Ancient Roman Clash of Empires (COE) army collections completed during the Project: Early Rome (Kingdom) & Italian City States, Republican Rome, Late Republican Rome including Caesarian period, Early Imperial Rome, then Middle (2nd / 3rd Century) and Late Imperial Rome armies.

First up is the Early Rome and Italian City State Clash of Empires (COE) collection. These units will fill out the ranks for Rome’s armies or be opponents against the growth of Rome. Still weak in cavalry (or chariots), small tabletop actions like “border” disputes or cattle raids are planned.

Wargamerabbit’s Clash of Empires 25/28mm Early Rome – Italian City States era ancient army collection formed for review as of Dec 2018.

Side view of the Early Rome – Italian City State collection. Italian Greeks at top, Samnites and Romans lower half.

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COE Chariot era Armies

For the regulars who stop by the warren blog, some have noticed the lack of recent posts since March. Even gaming was curtailed for pending miniature projects. Well, the WR has simply been overwhelmed project wise, some of which have caused many evenings of planning, organization of units, glued fingers, worn brushes, trips to the local hardware store, and shipping orders arriving on the doorstep, eagerly adding to the patio pile of tabletop confusion (photos below). Slowly the process became streamlined, the process showed progress, and completion showed the effort involved. What is all this chatter about?… is the dreaded basing, re-basing, organizing and formation structure of WR’s ancient Chariot era armies plus some other smaller projects. Five chariot era ancient armies finally had their day under the patio roof…. on hot days, on cold evenings, and the occasion of rain twice.

Clash of Empires (COE) Egyptian, the Assyrians, the Indians, the Chinese, and the Steppe-Nomad armies are the Chariot era armies for this project. After these armies are completely inventoried, the Classical era Greeks, Republican Rome, Imperial Rome, Persians, Macedonian, Successor period, various minor eastern states (like Palmyra), Barbarian regional huge hordes (various), Carthaginian, Picts will follow with their own projects. Then as time permits the Dark age nations (various), early and late medieval, War of the Roses, and medieval Scots will see work next year…. if WR is still alive.

For many years these stored armies have seen limited service on the tabletop. WR hopes the army collection organization, identify what miniatures are painted and based, form units to standard Clash of Empires (COE) organizational unit size, and inventory the unpainted lead (some plastic) miniatures with spreadsheets (.xls) covering all the collections, will lead to more ancient games with the local ancients gamer group. That is the hope and target future goal for this effort. Plus identity what needs to be painted!

The process of organization and inventory. Pictured is the Chinese army undergoing the multi-step ten stage process outlined below in the article.

A side view of the Chinese army undergoing the review and organizational process with work table upper right. Stacks of apple boxes (storage) form the backdrop.

So the Clash of Empires army organization basing and inventory project process had a multi-step (1 to 10 stage) format done for each Chariot era army:

(1) Lay out the miniatures and form Clash of Empires (COE) ancient army units based from the rules and list parameters. Typically infantry are 20-30 miniatures for three rank massed formations, cavalry 8-12 miniatures for single rank formation, and skirmisher units 8-14 miniatures formed as loose formations.

(2) Base or glue the loose individual miniatures on their 20mm x 20mm bases (infantry), 25mm x 50mm (cavalry), or larger sizes for special units like elephants, field artillery, or chariots. Most of the basing is standard for the common rules sets in print, including WAB, Hail Caesar, and other non element rules. The individual miniatures are maneuvered on the tabletop using textured sabot trays sized for the formation footprint. Basing included gluing the miniature to the base, then apply putty to build up the base and hide the miniature base footprint. Note that complete miniature units stored in pre-determined sealed OEM bags or boxes are not opened and based pending their actual scheduled painting. Just the loose unpainted miniatures are based for this stage.

(3) Paint… really stain the putted base to a common brown background look.

(4) Dip or brush on a brown or black wash to give some depth and contrast to the miniatures. Only the painted miniatures has this treatment then allowed to quickly dry (except on the rainy days).

(5) Glue a light dusting of fine Woodlands Scenics green or earth blend flocking material with additional fine stones or other color textures to each painted miniature base. The unpainted miniature omitted this step pending their paintwork.

(6) Apply a texture clump of flocking material to decorate the basing. Glue a small piece of Woodland Scenics clump material to roughly half the painted infantry bases or all the painted cavalry and artillery bases. WR did only half the infantry unit bases to avoid a look of massed “bushes” in the unit miniature formation.

(7) Create an excel spreadsheet (.xls) for each army (example spreadsheet below). The spreadsheet has unit numbering slots 1 to 100 with pre-grouped numbers for each type of general unit. The numbering somewhat organizes the unit numbering across all armies. the numbers are assigned out in groups: 1-10 Leadership or Icon units or single miniatures, 11-30 close order cavalry units, 31-40 open order or skirmisher cavalry units, 41-50 chariots, elephants or unique cavalry / infantry units, 50-80 close order infantry units, 81-90 skirmisher infantry units, and 91-00 artillery etc.. The actual unit identity number in reality doesn’t matter in theory as the number is truly a unique number for each unit.

(8) Write down each unit to the army spreadsheet with identifying color, # of painted miniatures in unit, # of unpainted miniatures based in present unit, required miniatures to complete the unit (future purchase), and generic notes including the miniature company manufacturer if known.

(9) Write the unit number with a gold fine marker on rear base edge or bottom side of base (larger bases). By doing this action every unit has an identifying unit number and ease of returning the individual miniatures to the original unit formation, and more importantly, anyone can return the miniatures to the correct labelled storage box location (slotted space in storage apple boxes) without WR direct involvement. Complete unpainted miniature units still in their box or plastic OEM bag are still labelled on the box or bag with black marker unit number.

(10) Lay out the ancient army into the storage cut down apple boxes, construct cardboard gridded zones for each unit based upon unit size. Then label each unit storage gridded zone to match the previously determined unit identifying number. Finally create a unique nationalistic box label to identify each nation’s storage boxes for quick visual locating in the storage shed. Continue reading

Battles of Nola 216-214 BC

Catching up with the two month backlog of WR gaming activities. At the end of YR 2017, on the last gaming saturday of December, WR drove south to join several friends for a Clash of Arms (COE) 28mm ancients game. David our host had designed a Roman-Carthaginian 214-216 BC battle based from the Hannibal campaigns around the Roman city of Nola.

First a little background before the COE game scenario report posted below. Digging about on the internet we found Nola was one of the oldest cities of Campania, its coinage bearing the name Nuvlana. Generally thought as been founded by the Ausones, who were certainly occupying the city by c. 560 BC. During the Roman invasion of Naples in 328 BC, Nola was probably occupied by the Oscans in alliance with the Samnite allies, from which the Romans took the city in 311 BC, during the Samnite War. Later, Nola and nearby Capua rivaled each other as “cities of luxury” south of Rome during the years of peace before the arrival of Hannibal and his army.

The historical city of Nola was the site of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Battles of Nola during Hannibal‘s invasion of Italy amid the Second Punic War. On two occasions (215 and 214 BC), it was defended by Consul Marcellus and his roman army. After the departure of Hannibal from Italy, the city returned to their business trade pursuits. Falling to treason, the Samnites controlled the city during the Social War. They held it until their ally Gaius Marius was defeated by Lucius Cornelius Sulla, who subjugated it with the rest of Samnium in 80 BC. It was stormed by Spartacus and his army of slaves during his failed slave revolt to worsen their lot a decade later. Though a relative backwater city by now in history, Nola retained its status as a municipium, its own institutions, and the use of the Oscan language during this period of Roman history. It was divided into pagi, the names of some of which are still preserved to this present day: Pagus Agrifanus, Capriculanus, Lanitanus for examples.

Campaign map for 216 – 214 BC (.doc):  Nola map

Many people think Hannibal’s won all his battles and suffered his only defeat at the battle of Zama near Carthage. That is false. Hannibal himself was held in 3 inconclusive battles outside the city walls of Nola during the 2nd Punic War Italian campaign. All were tactical stalemates, somewhat uncommon for the Punic warfare period, but allowed Republican Rome to regain its momentum against the recent Carthaginian victory on the bloody battlefield of Cannae. Continue reading

List of After Action Reports (AAR)

Here is a listing of all the After Action Reports (AAR) written by WR and posted on the Wargamerabbit blog. I have broken out the AAR list into several time period bands or subject along with a special category list of the monthly napoleonic scenario games held at Bob’s garage in Redondo Beach CA. Should be noted several of WR’s AAR have YouTube links embedded in the reports. WR’s ancients gaming group used the old Warhammer Ancient Battles (WAB Ver1.5) till recently we switched to Clash of Empires rules (COE).      Updated 03/12/2021

Ancients and Medieval era AAR (COE):  Battle of Mantineia 362 BC, Battle of Granicus 334 BC, Megalopolis 331 BC, Nola 216-214 BC, The Batavian Revolt 70 AD, Bagradas River or Mercenary War 240 BC., Battle of Dara 530AD.,

Unspecific Ancient battles: Sparta vs. Persia,  Etruscan State vs. Early Republican Rome,  North (WR) vs. South (DK) Ancient Indian,  Spartan Revolt vs. Macedonians,  Late Spartan Greeks vs. City State Greeks,  Late Hoplite Greeks vs. Achaemenid Persian,  Republican Rome vs. Seleucid,

Pike and Shot era AAR:  Pending a report 🙂

French Revolutionary wars and the later Imperial period WR uses his Ver2.0 Napoleonic rules found on this blog. For Bob’s monthly game day, the older Ver1.0 Napoleonic version is used (mostly differences in the morale tests using % vs. d10 ratings, artillery ammunition, and cavalry charge effects). While WR’s tends to run specific historical battle scenarios, typically Bob’s games are pick-up games, therefore are generic in scenario labeling or title.

French Revolutionary wars AAR:  Battle of Voltri 1796,  Battle of Voltri 1796 revisited,  Battle of Montenotte 1796,  Battle of Dego 1796,  Cosseria 1796,  Lodi 1796 like, Battle of Castel Bolognese 1797,  Battle of the Pyramids 1798,  Battle of Gaza 1799,  Battle of Gaza 1799 revisited,  Battle of Aboukir 1799,  Battle of Alexandria 1801, Arronches 1801,

Imperial Napoleonic era AAR:  Saalfeld 1806,  Halle 1806, Halle 1806 revisited,   Battle of Halle 1806 (Dan),  Battle of Teixeira 1808,  Battle of Alcolea 1808,  Battle of Alcolea 1808 revisited, Evora 1808,  Battle of Sacile 1809 revisited,  Battle of Sacile 1809,  Battle of Gospic 1809,  Battle of Klagenfurt 1809,  Battle of Raszyn 1809,  Battle of Raab 1809, Gefrees 1809,  Battle of Salamanca 1812,  Battle of Wartenburg 1813,  Battle of Gilly 1815,  Battle of Ligny 1815,

Non-historical FRW and Imperial era scenarios: Tussle in Republican Italy 1798,  Westphalia vs. Imperial France 1812 era,  France vs. Russia 1812 era,

Bob’s Napoleonic AAR:  Austro-Sardinians hold! 1796,  Lucky Saxons 1806,  French vs. Russians 1807 era,  French & Allies vs. Russians 1812 era,  France vs. Russia 1812 era,  Two Farms: French vs. Prussians 1815 era,  France vs. Russo-Prussian 1813 era,  French vs. Bavarians 1815 era,

Nonspecific napoleonic era scenarios at Bob’s:  Ottomans, Spanish and Bavarians,  French & Danes vs. Austria, England and Russia,  French Allies vs. Grand Alliance,  French vs. Russo-Spanish Coalition,  French & Allies vs. Austrians, Center Hill,

Generic scenario and designs:  Multiple Tables scenario, Doubles Game Napoleonics,  Napoleonic Training scenario 1,

For 20th Century gaming WR generally has used the Flames of War (Ver3.0) rules but with his 20mm WWII collection of miniatures instead of the common 15mm miniatures. Some adaptations on infantry team basing and minor rules tweets made for the game.

20th Century era FOW AAR: Western Desert 1940, Breaking the San Fratello Line Sicily 1943,  Battle of Troina Sicily 1943,  Paestum Landing Salerno 1943,  Ordeal of 179th RCT Salerno 1943,  Calore River Salerno 1943,  Calore River Salerno 1943 revisited,  Valmontone Italy 1944, Valmontone Italy 1944 revisited, Cole’s Charge Normandy 1944, Roncey Pocket Normandy 1944,  String of Pearls Normandy 1944,  Barkmann’s Corner Normandy 1944,  Re-Assault on Hill 105 Brest 1944, Assault on Hill 105 Brest 1944,  D-Day Omaha Beach Normandy 1944,  St Algnan de Cramesnil Normandy 1944, Pointe du Hoc Normandy 1944,  Eastern Front (Blocking) 1944, Station 19 Eastern Front 1944, French Countryside 1944, Singling Lorraine 1944,  Peiper’s Charge Bulge 1944, Pz Brigade 150 Bulge 1944, Stoumont Bulge 1944,  Ludendorff Bridge (Remagen) 1945, Ludendorff Bridge “Hollywood” 1945,  Festung Breslau 1945,  Operation Overcast May 1945,  Operation Overcast 1945 Pt II,

20th Century era Bolt Action AAR: San Pietro, Italy 1943, Italian Village, Italy 1943, Canaryville Normandy 1944,  Hedgerow Normandy 1944,

Other Land Periods AAR:  Marne Battle 1914,  Belleau Woods – Hill 142 June 1918,

Naval Period AAR: Pending a post….

Cheers from the warren.


List of All WR Scenarios

The following is a list of WR’s mostly historical scenarios with direct blog post links. Some have scenario write-up and summary After Action report (AAR) together formatting. Independent scenario play AAR can be found under the AAR pull down menus or use the search feature box.     Updated 03/12/2021

Ancients: Mantineia 362 B.C., Granieus 334 B.C., Megalopolis 331 B.C., Bagradas River (Mercenary war) 240 B.C., Nola 216-214 B.C.,  Batavian Revolt 70 A.D., Dara 530 AD.,

French Revolutionary War: Dego 1796, Lodi 1796, Millesimo-Cosseria 1796, Montenotte 1796, Voltri 1796, Castel Bolognese 1797, Battle of the Pyramids 1798, Gaza 1799, Aboukir 1799Alexandria 1801, Arronches 1801,

Imperial Napoleonic: Wertingen 1805,  Saalfeld 1806,  Halle 1806.  Halle 1806 (Dan),  Alcolea 1808, Teixeira 1808,  Evora 1808. Gospic 1809,  Sacile 1809,  Klagenfurt 1809, Raszyn 1809,  Raab 1809,  Gefrees 1809,  Westfalia vs. France 1812,  Wartenburg 1813,  Gilly 1815,  Ligny 1815,

Flames of War 20mm WWII: Western Desert 1940, Breaking the San Fratello Line Sicily 1943, Troina Sicily 1943,  Ordeal of 179th RCT Salerno 1943, Paestum Landing – Salerno 1943, Calore River Salerno 1943, Station 19 Russia 1944, Eastern Front 1944 at home,  Valmontone, Italy 1944, String of Pearls and Roncey Pocket Normandy 1944, Cole’s Charge Normandy 1944, Barkmann’s Corner Normandy 1944, Re-Assault on Hill 105 Brest 1944, Assault on Hill 105 Brest 1944, Omaha Beach D-Day 1944, St Algnan de Cramesnil Normandy 1944, Pointe du Hoc Normandy 1944, Singling Lorraine 1944, French Countryside 1944, Peiper’s Charge Bulge 1944, Pz Brigade 150 Bulge 1944, Stoumont Bulge1944 Ludendorff Bridge (Remagen) 1945 w/ Hollywood version, Festung Breslau 1945, Operation Overcast May 1945, Operation Overcast Pt II 1945,

Other Period scenarios or scenario design: Marne 1914, Belleau Woods – Hill 142 June 1918, Card Table Napoleonics, Napoleonic Training Game,  NCG or Napoleonic Command Generation system, Multiple table scenarios.



COE Spartans vs. Persians

WR has been busy either tossing dice, painting miniatures, or ballroom dancing this last quarter so his written AAR effort has taken a back seat. Time to correct my poor literary efforts with three AAR for the blog sphere gaming world. First up, the classic ancient clash of Spartans with Greek city states vs. their eternal foe, the Persian hordes.

With the linear Persians horde overlapping and positioned before the smaller Spartan-Greek city-state army, the classical ancient scenario of two battle lines crashing, shield to wicker shield, spear to spear, was about to commence. The Spartan plan was simple. Advance quickly, shoulder to shoulder with the Greek city-state hoplites, crush the Persian center infantry, and hope the Persian flanking cavalry is held briefly by the weaker Greek flanking cavalry. Cunning Persian plan…. hold the center to allow the Persian wing cavalry (3:1) to engage and roll up the Spartan and Greek flanks. Nothing very original here and truly reflective of the poor COE generalship ratings rolled for.

YouTube video link of the starting line up: Spartan and Persian set up

Starting positions for Spartan and Greek army in foreground, Persians in distance.

Starting positions for Spartan and Greek army in foreground, Persians in distance.

Another view of Spartans vs the Persians starting positions.

Another view of Spartans vs the Persians starting positions. Flat, open spaces with fields in foreground. Low, line of sight hills in the distant background.

Opening movements per carefully designed plans….. quick march forward for the Spartan-Greeks. Try and flank the Spartan line while giving the Greeks a taste of Persian arrows. Simple and so ancient. Add in a little skirmisher on skirmisher action to clear the center sums up the opening game movements.  Continue reading

COE Etruscan State vs. Early Republican Rome

Late in December 2012 or 400 B.C. local year, the Etruscan state of King Mic met the Early Republican Romans (of Consul Tim) on the field of battle. History will record some notion of a border dispute, a kidnapped-captive lady, some “lost cattle”, or that the Romans were late with their field dispatches, but these armies were spoiling for a fight.

The clouds parted to give a sunny day on the Italian peninsular. The armies had marched into their starting deployments with a line of small hillocks separating the shield pounding infantry. Some scattered grain fields near a ruined temple (to an old relative of Mic?) completed the scene as King Mic joined his bodyguard near the rock of Mic. With a hatred of Rome, a late arriving Samnite force joined the Etruscans on their distant right flank.

Armies deployed for battle separated by the low hills. Etruscan in foreground, Rome in distance.

Armies deployed for battle separated by the low hills. Etruscan in foreground, Rome in distance.

View towards the right Etruscan right and in the distance the Samnite allies.

View towards the right Etruscan right and in the distance the Samnite allies facing the Roman allies.

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Battle of Mantineia 362 B.C.

This past weekend WR traveled south to Long Beach CA and joined in a 28mm Clash of Empires (COE) ancients game. The Battle of Mantineia 362 BC scenario was enlarged and based upon the same battle mentioned in “The Rise and Fall of Persia” (pg. 124) COE supplement.

Greek phalanx marches forward, keeping that classical line look.

First some quick background material. The Battle of Mantineia was fought on July 4, 362 BC between the Thebans (links in blue), led by Epaminondas and supported by the Arcadians and the Boeotian league against the Spartans, led by King Agesilaus II and supported by the EleansAthenians, and Mantineans. The battle was to decide the hegemony over Greece, but the death of Epaminondas and the defeat of the Spartans paved the way for Macedonian conquest by Phillip II of Macedon. Wikipedia link: Battle of Mantineia for more background material on the actual battle in 362 BC.

Historical battle of Mantinea 362 BC.

Greek hoplites fighting in their lines…

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COE North (WR) vs. South (DK) Ancient Indian battle

Ok, this is simply a 28mm Ancient Indian Clash of Empires (COE) grudge battle to determine who will control the greater Los Angeles ancient Indian bragging rights. The northern Indians, from tribe WR, tossed the challenge to the southern Indian tribe led by David K. Only Indians could be used and the classical Indian list from COE Rise and Fall of Persia book. Since both David and WR have large 28mm ancient collections, this feud may extend into other periods. I think it was 3500 COE points plus elephants for each Indian army but the Indian beer has dulled accuracy of the abacus field returns.

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