The Chieftain and The Challenger Interviewed - S1E1 - TreadheadS

Uploaded by theTreadheadS on 29.07.2012

HAEGR: Hello, and welcome to TreadheadS War Report
In these videos we will bring you in-depth interviews
with many of the key people behind World of Tanks
and anyone else interesting we find along the way.
In this episode we will be showing you an interview
between two of's most prominent military and historical advisors.
We apologize in advance for the poor sound quality,
as at this point at Tankfest our microphone had taken a pretty hefty whack.
So we recommend you turn on the captions provided to maximise your viewing experience.
Conducting today's interview is TreadheadS own
Anyway, on with the interview.
DORJAN: We're here with's Chieftain and Challenger. Could you introduce yourself lads?
I'll go first then: I'm Chieftain, real name's Nicholas Moran, North American office.
My official title is Director of Military Relations,
National Guard tanker, U.S. Army National Guard, couple of tours of Iraq, Afghanistan.
I've been in tanks 15 years, give or take. Not as much as my good colleague here, however...
...Richard! Hand over!
Hi, I'm Richard Cutland, obviously known as The Challenger in game.
Job spec's exactly the same as Nicholas' to be fair, but I work for the European office.
Resigned from the Army approximately 8 weeks and 3 days ago, not that I'm counting.
Obviously most of my life I was in the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment. Service-wise, 29 years and 8 months in the British Army.
Served on Chieftain, Challenger 1 and Challenger 2. Bit of experience with M1A2, Leopard 1, Leopard 2, etc. etc.
DORJAN: Well earned titles of Tank Gods.
So how are you enjoying Tankfest?
CHALLENGER: Tankfest, to be honest, is my absolute favourite event of the whole year.
Absolutely brilliant to be here, and fortunately this year we got some good weather as well, so, it's been a fantastic event.
DORJAN: It's been very lucky. We've had almost... no, we've had no rain during the actual day.
CHALLENGER: Almost, though, I'd like to say almost. DORJAN: Almost no rain. Very windy though. CHALLENGER: Very windy.
DORJAN: Awesome. How about yourself?
CHIEFTAIN: Tell you, my hat almost blew off.
I've been to Bovington a few times, and I have to say, I've always managed somehow to miss Tankfest.
It's almost a case of never meeting your hero --or being afraid to meet your hero--
because you might actually be disappointed when you do?
I'm not! This is great!
DORJAN: Good! CHIEFTAIN: Come out here, you see all the old tanks running.
Where else are you going to see like a Matilda Mark I careening across the countryside at speed?
Well, I say 'countryside', it's a little arena with an oval track around the back.
But I don't think that there was... I think I was expecting me a slow little thing.
And I'll tell you, the Churchill had a good turn of speed on it as well.
DORJAN: Squeaky! CHIEFTAIN: Well, the problem with the Churchill is that the return doesn't have return rollers,
it just has return sleds, so you have steel on steel, there's not even any rubber on the tires,
but that's a little bit too much information for right now!
Surprised to say, it has been a lot of fun.
I got a ride on the Churchill as well, so that was great.
DORJAN: We've actually got the footage for that,
so look out for that.
What is your favourite part of the event so far, that you've seen, witnessed or been a part of?
CHIEFTAIN: I had a good laugh at the British Army firepower demonstration. That was... memorable!
Although probably not for reasons the British Army would like.
DORJAN: Well, we're meant to hear, that it's going to be different today. So I hear. CHIEFTAIN: Yes, the British Army won today!
DORJAN: Fantastic! How about yourself, Richard?
CHALLENGER: Well I'm going to stick up of course for the British Army and that was without any shadow of a doubt
the best part of yesterday, no matter what Nicholas says.
DORJAN: And that was the best bit for you in the entire event. Is there any other moments here that stood out for you?
CHALLENGER: Well obviously for us, we are very tied up for the moment
I mean, where we've got our stands up today, we haven't actually had the opportunity yet
to get around and see much of the rest of the museum, to be fair.
DORJAN: That's a shame. CHALLENGER: Obviously it's been great talking to the players.
DORJAN: So of all the tanks you've witnessed here today or yesterday,
how are they performing here in the arena, and under high maintenance,
than they do on the battlefield?
CHALLENGER: Well obviously, I mean a lot of the collection
are extremely a) valuable, and shall we say, a bit temperamental.
I mean the primary example, the Black Prince, was supposed to be running this weekend.
Black Prince has unfortunately blown a head gasket, so we can't see that today.
So they do tend to take, obviously, extreme care of them, they don't tend to push them to the extremes
they could do, and on the battlefield, which is good DORJAN: Yes, which is definitely good.
Have you got anything to add?
CHIEFTAIN: Not a great deal. You have a very limited size of the arena, it's only 150 yards long.
A tank can only get up to a certain level of speed at that point anyway.
They're confined to the track, so maneuver is limited.
Only so many obstacles, of course, you have the mound and a little AVLB-laid bridge.
That's about it, so you're not going to see the full range of capabilities of an armoured vehicle,
which is unfortunate.
DORJAN: What about the Challenger 2, because I'm sure you guys have seen that in actual combat situations,
compared to in the arena,
because that's a fully operational tank? CHIEFTAIN: There is absolutely no comparison
between a tank going full tilt in an open battlefield than there is parading around in a circle.
CHIEFTAIN: I'm not trying to disparage Tankfest. DORJAN: ...of course! It's still a beautiful display. CHIEFTAIN: There's only so much they can do here
they can't do anything about the environment but a tank is designed to maneuver
hundreds or thousands of yards at a time, engage and destroy enemies at ranges of 2000 meters or beyond.
We're limited to blank fire a hundred meters at the one end to the other
so firepower and maneuver is the focus of the tank.
You can't do the maneuver in something this small, so it's not really a true comparison.
You get the noise and you get the look but you don't get the full effect.
DORJAN: So what is it actually like to drive a tank compared to being an armchair general
or commander, playing the game World of Tanks
than being in the actual battlefield surrounded by real dangers and real tanks?
CHIEFTAIN: Well, you get to go to sleep when you finish playing World of Tanks.
In real life you don't.
The most information overload I've ever been through is my first time running as a platoon leader.
So I'm controlling my tank, controlling the crew in the tank,
looking around, trying to figure out where the heck I am compared to where the terrain is,
where I should be, where my other tanks are compared to where I should be,
then, by the way, where is the enemy? and oh yeah, the commander's on the radio
looking for sitrep, wondering what on earth is going on and giving you more instructions
what are usually contrary to what you started with.
The first time this happened, just a shock of overload that you just don't get in World of Tanks
where you just kind of Control-click ping and if you mess up, yeah, so what, you reload in fifteen seconds.
DORJAN: There's no minimap in real life. CHIEFTAIN: There's no minimap.
it's the complexity of operating an armored vehicle
that's so far not been created in World of Tanks, but World of Tanks is fun
and oftentimes... there are times when you're running around in your tank
going, "this... there are things that I'd rather be doing."
Then again, you have sending one 120 mm downrange, there are some times that there is nothing else I would rather be doing.
CHALLENGER: Yeah as Nick mentioned there, well, he mentioned the word 'fun' on there.
Obviously the game is designed to be fun.
A real tactical situation you know, Iraq etc. a lot of time you have spent sat around doing absolutely nothing.
That wouldn't lend itself to very good gameplay to be perfectly honest with you.
And also Nick mentioned that map reading in a closed down armoured vehicle is an absolute nightmare.
Turret going one way, hull going the other direction. You may have to reverse at times, all of that sort of thing as well.
The other bonus is that at the end of the day you don't seem to get shot by anything that's in your home
which is a massive bonus.
DORJAN: Although your tanks do. CHALLENGER: Although your tanks do, but that's fine. DORJAN: Fantastic.
CHIEFTAIN: Maintenance is much easier in World of Tanks. CHALLENGER: Absolutely.
DORJAN: Yeah, if you break your tank, you're not going to get in trouble.
So, how comfortable is a real tank?
CHALLENGER: If you're talking about... I assume you're talking about modern main battle tanks as opposed to some historical vehicles? DORJAN: Yes, of course.
CHALLENGER: Obviously my experience in Challenger 2, my latest one that I served on, yeah, they are pretty comfortable.
Ride, it's got hydro-gas suspension nowadays as opposed to some of these behind us.
To the ride itself, it's not too bad at all you've got some air conditioning inside the vehicle.
So the ride is actually quite good, to a degree.
I mean it's not your Ferrari, it's not your Porsche, ain't your Mercedes. but it's not bad at all.
DORJAN: Fantastic, you see how technology has improved for the comfort of the crew. CHALLENGER: Oh yeah, massively, yeah massively.
Obviously everybody harps on a particular thing on the forum,
it's about the boiling vessel on the British tanks. In British tanks we've got to have the ability to make a cup of tea.
Which we have, of course, in tanks and that is by far the most important thing that there is on the armoured vehicle.
DORJAN: Fantastic. Same question?
CHIEFTAIN: We've caught up, we've got a boiling vessel in the Abrams down by the loaders' feed. CHALLENGER: It's not as good though, apparently.
CHIEFTAIN: I do think that we have the same design. I think they've gone for NATO standard boiling vessels. CHALLENGER: Yeah, it is.
It's a bizarre concept, but the Bradley have them as well right at the back of the back-ramp.
The other thing that we are kind of jealous of, that you guys have but we don't in the Abrams
is the track tensioning system where the driver just pushes a button
and you're done in like 30 seconds. For the Abrams--I know it's bitter--
there was this piece of equipment that costs far too much money, so they didn't install it. It takes us 20 minutes to do the same job!
In terms of comfort, the tank is not designed to be comfortable, it is designed to be survivable.
Insofar as crew comfort will keep you alive, yes.
But beyond that my turn of phrase is, "why carry a weapon when your weapon will carry you?"
It's much easier to lug around your 7.62 mm machine gun or your caliber 50
if the tank is holding the weight, and your backpack is also much lighter.
You do a 30 km road march in 40 minutes, 50 minutes, give or take. On foot, not so much.
So it's a civilized warrior's way of going to war.
DORJAN: So what's the most comfortable tank you've been --I think we've already touched on yours--
but out of all the American tanks which aren't so comfortable which one is your favourite?
CHIEFTAIN: It's actually a pretty difficult question because as I said, none of them are really designed to be comfortable.
The Abrams rides like a Cadillac, the suspension is wonderful and as a commander I'm not worried, I'm 2 meters tall, 6 foot 5.
There are some seats that I have issues with. The commander's seat though, I'm just standing head out the hatch
so head room is not so much of an issue. I've really very much enjoyed the Abrams.
on the other hand it's easier to say which is the most god-awful vehicles you've ever been in in your life and one is the MRAP, the RG-31
--I hate those things--
and of course a lot of the WWII vehicles, like the Jagdpanzer 38t, it was a crew nightmare. There are some other ones there.
I was inside the Tiger today, and I cannot physically drive the Tiger. My legs are just too short... they're not! My legs are too long! The pedals are too short.
CHALLENGER: I've touched on the Challenger 2, it's fantastic and I've also driven the Leopard 2 as well.
To be fair it is absolutely brilliant, very, very comfortable as well.
Perhaps one of the most god-awful ones I ever drove, quite recently as well,
was a T-64, which was actually pretty --and I'm only 5 foot 10--
and I actually found that pretty uncomfortable
so poor Nick I think would have certainly little chance of closing down in there and actually driving it.
But for us obviously--British guys--
FV432 is probably the most ropiest vehicle I've ever driven in my life When it wasn't broken down it was just incredibly uncomfortable.
DORJAN: So... not in real life, but in the game, what is your favourite tank to drive?
CHALLENGER: I have to say that my favourite is the Churchill, for no other reason than I love the history of the Churchill.
And I think, like a lot of World of Tanks players you get up and take to the vehicle you feel an affection to.
It is not the best, certainly not the worst either, but I just absolutely adore the Churchill.
CHIEFTAIN: I kind of go for the American T34 heavy... CHALLENGER: Boo! CHIEFTAIN:'s not... it is not the tank I have the best win rate in.
It is just so satisfying to get that 120 mm "BOOM!" and you know that it will penetrate when it goes through.
After it got turned into a Tier 8 premium it lost a little bit of the fun but the T32 is pretty fun as well.
I just like mobility. It's my basic, good, fun tank.
I enjoy the Churchill, don't get me wrong. I really do enjoy it, that little 6 pounder is a great little auto-cannon.
But for me I think World of Tanks is all about mobility and maneuver and the Americans... CHALLENGER: And firepower. CHIEFTAIN: Well, firepower helps, yes.
Not much point in getting round the side if you still can't hurt the guy.
DORJAN: We have an expression with World of Tanks and Churchills "You don't trundle into battle..." CHIEFTAIN: " sail." I believe it.
DORJAN: Fantastic. Have you a memorable moment in World of Tanks?
CHIEFTAIN: This year and a half have been awfully short.
I mean I have had one or two epic games where I was --I'm going to toot my own horn--
where I was... I was in a T34 actually, back before it got turned into a Tier 8.
The enemy had gotten onto our cap, they were at a 100% cap, and I reset it twice from 100%, went round
and then killed all the enemy and we won the game.
There was just pure epicness, and of course it was before replays and I never got to keep it!
So yeah, I'm telling you that now and you're going, "yeah, the fish was this big..."
CHALLENGER: Probably the moment --yes, we've had lots of memorable games--
at the moment the problem we have is
everybody now sees our in-game names. We're starting to get known in the forums and that
and they assume it's like "Kill the Courier", they decide to kill us anyway,
or the friendlies turn on us and decide they want to kill us as well because we're Wargaming, and they figure it gets them gold out of it
so at the moment we're all debating, perhaps we need new accounts or something.
CHIEFTAIN: I just hope that they'll ask, "hey, do I not get gold for killing you?"
And I say, "no, but you get satisfaction!"
"Ok, I guess I'll live with that."
DORJAN: Fantastic, fantastic. Do you have a battle-cry?
CHALLENGER: I would have to say, obviously I'm an ex-RTR man, so for us it's, "through the mud..."
"Through mud, through blood, to the green fields beyond!" That's our battle-cry.
DORJAN: Do it for me like you would do it in battle! CHALLENGER: No, we won't do that. We would not do that.
It's the British Army and we are perhaps a bit more laid back and it's very... calm.
DORJAN: How about the American? CHALLENGER: ...oh here we go... CHIEFTAIN: Actually you'd be surprised.
When we used to go on patrols in the tanks in Iraq, I'd get on the radio and key forward for the mic
and go, "Right so, off we go!"
"To do battle yet again against the forces of evil!" CHALLENGER: Tally ho! CHIEFTAIN: Pretty much.
DORJAN: Very British! CHIEFTAIN: The Army... the U.S. Army is ...they do tend to be, the word is 'hooah'
and, it's a god-awful word, I wish, dear God, that someone in a higher ranking position got rid of that idea.
Unfortunately it's not going to be happening. But there's no battle cries per se.
I mean, I do have one that I put on my personal account, but it is an anonymous account, and if I said it now
you'd all recognize it, so I won't do that. But it is a Monty Python quote
and it's amusing how many people will recognize the movie and how many people will go, "what the hell is he talking about?"
DORJAN: So now we know to look out for a Monty Python quoting tank that you don't recognize. CHALLENGER: That's pretty much given the game away, yeah.
CHIEFTAIN: In fairness I'm not the only Monty Python fan on World of Tanks either.
So we'll do well... so "for Equestria!" will probably do.
DORJAN: Fantastic, fantastic. Do you have anything --now this sounds like a silly question-- that is 'you'? What makes you instantly recognizable?
...other than the Cav Stetson. That started out, oh--Jesus, five, six months ago.
And we decided it's probably a good idea to have some way of just identifying us, The Chieftain in the hat at the events
because I am a relatively public figure and being a cavalryman it was pretty much,
"Ok, let's go with a Stetson." I don't do any patterns on my tanks or anything else like that.
The thing that defines me though on the forum usually is adherence to historical accuracy.
Again, if you say anything on the Internet, if you get anything even remotely wrong, you will be pounced on
and so I made sure that if I state something as a historical fact I've not just gone to a book to look this up,
as much as possible, I've gone to a primary source and looked it up.
So, attention to detail and accuracy, and the Stetson and a general irreverence, I think, are my true character.
CHALLENGER: And the fact that you're really, really short helps.
CHIEFTAIN: Well I got off.. I was flying Sydney to Auckland so I'm the other end of the world from this point
and of course you can't put this in the suitcase, so you got to wear... so you go through customs, get out the other end.
New Zealand customs are pretty horrible. They were nice about it but they were very, very thorough.
And I'm at the kiosk, the ATM trying to get some money for my taxi and some guy just walks up to me,
looks up to me a bit weird, says, "are you the Chieftain?"
"Well actually, I am."
"I figured as much, there can't be too many two-meter tall people wearing U.S. Cavalry hats around here."
DORJAN: Thank you Chieftain and Challenger for being with us today and answering the questions, and just being awesome guys.
CHIEFTAIN: You're most welcome, sir. CHALLENGER: Thanks, it was an absolute pleasure.
HAEGR: We hope you've enjoyed this edition of TreadheadS.
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