Noble Challenge
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Noble Challenge Manual


Noble Challenge (NC) is a multiplayer internet strategy game. No downloads necessary, the game is directly playable in a standard web browser.

You command a faction of characters trying by different means to gain control of the continent Norgard. The characters in NC are called nobles and represent the heroes and leaders of their time. Everything in the game is done through the nobles.

Your nobles start out as simple leaders with a few followers, but with time they will become mighty characters, like warlords, wizards, heroes or prophets. The goal is to become the first King of Norgard. There are many ways to reach that goal, but none of them are simple.

Story Background

Norgard was once a prosperous continent, and had few enemies or threats. It was ruled by a council of elders, which had an easy task due to the stable and peaceful conditions. But after hundreds of years, the cultural decline of Norgard became apparent. Weak leadership lead to the crumbling into many small city states. At this time several plagues and years of famine struck. New threats appeared like orcs, bandits and monsters. And worst of all, some dragons settled in the area. Much of the countryside was abandoned, but the cities managed to survive. The old council was too weak weak to handle the situation, but now a new generation of leaders have emerged, called nobles by the people. These have grown up during the hard times, and could perhaps have the strength and motivation to make Norgard a strong and unified country. But the nobles do not agree on how this should be done, and many of them are greedy or simply don't believe in ruling together with others, like the old council did.

Game Background

The main sources of inspiration for NC are actually play-by-email games like Olympia and Eldritch. But NC is an online game without strict turns as a typical play-by-email game has. Also there is no complex order writing.

A very common problem with multiplayer online games of this kind, is that they demand lots of time. Especially many of them require that you log on very often to have a chance of being successful. NC tries to avoid this in several ways.

The actions you perform in NC happen immediately. You don't have to wait for hours or even minutes to log in and see the results. Also the players are limited in how much they can attack each day. This means that you can often react to suprises whenever you have the time to log in. There is no need to check every hour if something new has happened. Of course you might want to do that anyway out of curiosity. But you can be successful without being online all the time.

Also, alliances with other players are always important in this kind of game, but in NC it is not absolutely necessary to be an active diplomat. There are successful strategies that do not require alliances.

Starting out

To play the game, you must first register at this site, and sumbit a faction name to the game administrator. The administrator must then add you as one of the players in a new or existing game. You enter NC by logging in and going to the Noble Challenge section. You will start at a page showing recent events that your nobles have experienced. From here you can select a noble to inspect closer or perform actions with, or look at the full map of Norgard. You can also send messages to the other factions (players).

The main page of the game is where you do actions with the nobles. At the top is a line with some general game information, followed by a line that briefly shows results of a recently attempted action, if any. Below that is a small part of the map and information about the selected location.

Click here for some screenshots from an early version of the game.

The map represents the NC world, and is a hexagonal grid of 21 x 21 hexagons or locations. Example:


Each location has coordinates ( x , y ) where ( 1 , 1 ) is in the upper left corner of the map. There are six types of terrain: plains, woods, mountains, swamp, water and city.

On the main page you can left-click anywhere on the map to center it on that location. If you move your pointer over the map, you'll get some additional information.

Te get detailed information about a location you either need to own it or have a noble there. Terrain, ownership, name and player submitted descriptions will always be visible though.

Your nobles can be given orders. There are two types of orders, "group movement orders" and "individual orders". Orders cost action points (AP), which are explained in detail below.

If you want to move nobles, select those you wish to move by clicking the selectboxes in the left-most column, and then click one of the direction-buttons below your list of nobles. The nobles will attempt to move, the page will reload, and you will get a brief message showing if they were successful or what went wrong. Moving costs AP:s and the nobles will fail to move if one or more of them currently have too few AP:s, or if they are overloaded.

Individual actions are performed by selecting one in the drop down list to the right of one of your nobles, and then confirming your choice by clicking the submit button below. The page will reload and you'll get a short result line near the top of the page. There are many possible individual actions, and some will require that you also select a target, something the noble has, and/or an amount.

Most actions require certain skills, possessions, followers, terrain, structures or influence, and result in obtaining new stuff or influence. Much of the game actually centers around this "tree" of requirements. It is fairly self explanatory but quite large, and you should study the compendium before chosing actions if you want to make intelligent decisions. The game does help you however, by only listing the actions currently available to your noble.

Action Points

Your nobles are limited by something called actionpoints (AP). Whenever a noble does something, it has to "pay" with some of it's actionpoints. If it doesn't have enough AP:s left it can't preform the action at the moment. AP:s are regained at a specific pace, usually 1 AP per hour (for each noble). Each noble can only store 48 actionpints. The instants when every noble in the game recieves a new actionpoint are called ticks. The word tick is also used to refer to a particular interval of time in the game, for example "tick 7" would mean the seventh hour since the start of the game. Apart from the new AP, nothing special happens to the nobles at the start of a new tick.


Influence in NC is very important to understand. It represents how much your nobles are currently affecting a location. There are six types of influence. Except for the influence type dominion, influence will "follow" your nobles as they move around.

Dominion is instead raised by a special action. The "dominion action" is performed by your entire faction. It initiates combat between hostile factions, and it raises dominion in all locations where you have nobles, unless the location is owned by an allied faction. Each faction has special actionpoints used only for the dominion action. It costs 24 AP:s to do this action, and the maximum stored faction AP:s is 36. This means the dominion action can be performed on avarage once per day and never more than twice per day, with minimum 12 hours in between.

Some details about the different kinds of influence:

- Dominion. This is a measure of the political control of a location. It can be increased by using political power or by force. The faction with highest Dominion in a location "owns" the location and is able to get resources from it and use it's fortifications.
- Power. This is not an independant influence type, but represents "peaceful" political power and does add to dominion when the dominion order is performed.
- Military. This represents how much military activity a faction has in the location. If you have a high military influence, it will be dangerous for your enemies to perform actions in that location.
- Prowess.Some of your nobles might be powerful individual fighters, and when they use their skills your prowess influence will increase. This is needed to kill monsters for example. But will also be lethal to enemy factions.
- Magic.Some mysteries will need magic to overcome, so magicians and wizards are needed for the required magic influence. But just like prowess, your magic influence will is also dangerous to enemy factions.
- Spiritual.This kind of influence is needed to overcome religius and spiritual challenges but is not harmful to other factions' nobles or followers. It does however give some additional protection to your own nobles and followers.
- Observation.Nobles and armies belonging to other factions will not always be visible even if you are in the same location. By raising observation influence you will make sure you spot them, and that you see what skills, followers and possessions they have. Also some structures and local monsters may be hidden unless you have enough observation influence.

The total influence of each type (except dominion) in a location is for each faction simply the sum of the corresponding statistic for all nobles present there.

Dominion is instead increased by the total sum of Power , Military , Prowess and Magic influence present, when the dominion action is performed. Before this increase is calculated, a battle might be triggered and fought. The resulting influnce added could then be lower than your nobles had before the battle.

Dominion influence will gradually disappear at a rate of 1% (rounded up to nearest integer) per tick. It will not disappear faster if your nobles leave the location. A noble can move around and raise your factions dominion in many locations, so that the nobles abilities are of use in an entire area and not only it's current location.

Dominion influence will never decrease below 1 if the faction has the most dominion influence in a location. If several factions have dominion influence in a location, those that don't have most will reach 0.

You will not automatically see how much influence the other factions have. The order of dominion influence is visible, but not the exact amounts. The other types of influence are not visible at all, but if you see the other faction´s nobles and followers you will be able to guess their influence. You will always see your own total influence, including amount.

Two factions may not have exactly the same amount of dominion influence. If this would happen, the faction who just performed the dominion action (coming last to that amount) will get 1 less influence than it normally would.

The different influence statistics of each noble is raised by certain skills, possessions and followers, as seen in the compendium.

Actions that require influence

Many actions require a test of influence or a certain amount of influence of a particular type, and/or that your faction has more influence (of that type) than any other faction has in that location.

If the action requires a test against influence, simply divide the current influence with the value tested against, to recieve a percentage chance of succeding. When ordering a noble to perform the action, a d100 roll will be made to see if it succeeds.

While performing the action but before the test is made, dangers and enemies in that location could hurt the nobles (and their followers) of the location so that the current influence is actually lower when it comes to the test, lowering chance of success.

More about locations

When inspecting a location you will see it's name, image, terrain and description, even if you don't have a noble or any observation influence there. Many locations will also have structures or other features however. Some are easy to spot for a noble (or with any amount of observation influence), but others have a statistic called hidden as seen in the compendium. To see those you need more observation influence than the hidden statistic indicated. If structures or nature features are needed as requirements for a specific action, they need to be visible at the time the action is performed. Structures (or nature features) will not get any hidden/stealth bonus from the terrain (but nobles will, as seen below).

Structures in a location are not owned directly by any faction. Some of their uses will be exclusive to the faction with the most dominion in the location (as getting resources and fortification bonus), but other uses will be available to all factions that can see the structure. The compendium shows when dominion is needed.

Each location also has the following statistics, determined by the terrain and local structures or features:

- Gold: This is the amount of gold obtained for each taxation action performed by an owning noble.
- Commoners: This is the amount of commoners obtained for each recruit commoners action performed by an owning noble.
- Supplies: This is the amount of supplies obtained for each harvest action performed by an owning noble.
- Resource AP cost: The easiest way to obtain resources (and commoners) is to own a location and perform an resource producing action (like the three described above, but there are also others). These actions cost a variable amount of AP:s. The initial cost is 5 AP:s, but each time you produce resources in the location through such actions, the cost increases by 5 AP:s. With time the cost will decrease again. For each 5 ticks, it is reduced by 1 AP (down to minimum 5 AP:s). This means that if you want to get lots of resources quickly from a location, it will cost much more AP:s than if produced slowly over an extended period of time. And the location will take a long time to recover.
- Fortification: This a bonus percentage increasing the effect of the owning faction's military influence. More about that later.

In a city, you can lower the resource AP cost faster by delivering supplies to the city. This will immediately reduce the resource AP cost by 1 (and the population will pay 1 gold for the supplies).

A thief can steal gold from a city without owning it. This action costs the same as the resource AP cost but will only increase it by 1 AP. The action will not be possible if the thief has less than 1 stealth. Also, if the owner of the location has more observation influence than the thief's stealth, the thief will automatically be wounded.

There are ways to obtain resources that require a fixed amount of AP:s instead. Those actions will not affect the resource AP cost.

Noble statistics

A noble can have many different skills, and if skilled at something it is said to belong to a certain class. For example if a noble is skilled at mining it will "have" the class Miner. Nobles can belong to (or "have") many classes. Most classes require the noble to belong to other classes first. Also some classes will make it impossible for the noble to obtain certain classes (or other features). This is indicated in the compendium, for example as "not thief" if a class can not be obtained by a thief. The effect of the classes are cumulative, for example a Magician can become a Wizard and even a Master Wizard, and will get the bonuses from all three. They will not replace eachother, all three will be visible as obtained classes.

A noble's abilities are determined by the classes, but also by possessions and followers. The following statistics are calculated based on what the noble has:

- AP: The current and maximum number of actionpoints for this noble.
- Power: Gives the ability to raise the your faction's Dominion influence in a location.
- Military: Raises your faction's Military influence in a location.
- Prowess: Raises your faction's Prowess influence in a location.
- Magic: Raises your faction's Magic influence in a location.
- Spiritual: Raises your faction's Spiritual influence in a location.
- Stealth: Hides your noble from other factions. To see your noble, their observation influence must be higher than your noble's current stealth. The current stealth is affected by the stealth bonus of the location, depending on terrain. To see all classes and possessions a noble has, an even higher observation influence might be needed.
- Observation: Raises your faction's Observation influence in a location.
- Defense: This is the nobles personal defense against dangers and battles. A high value means less risk of being wounded.
- Leadership: Higher leadership means the noble can lead more followers. Any noble can have any number of followers, but if the number exceeds their leadership rating, the military statistic will be reduced by 1% for each excess follower.
- Upkeep: Most followers require upkeep, which means that a certain amount of supplies will be needed if your noble has followers. Each tick the current upkeep will be added to the noble's supply debt.
- Supply debt: If the debt grows too large, followers might starve or leave when the noble acts.
- Weight: This is simply a weight sum of everything the noble has, including followers and the noble's own own weight.
- Walk capacity: How much the noble (including followers) can carry while walking (including their own weight).
- Ride/run capacity: How much the noble (including followers) can carry while riding/running (including their own weight).
- Sail/swim capacity: How much the noble (including vessels) can carry while sailing or swimming (including their own weight).
- Fly capacity: How much the noble (including followers) can carry while flying (including their own weight).

Some bonuses to stats will require that an item or follower is manually equipped or activated. Usually this happens automatically, but in some cases a specific class is needed. Also each noble can only equip one of each special type if equipment: mount, vessel, special weapon, special armor and special item. If another of the same type is equipped, the previous will be unequipped.

More about observation

If you can see a noble as explained above, you will also recieve reports about most of that noble's actions. Dominion actions are always reported if you have any amount of observation influence or a noble in the affected location. Actions that cost 0 AP are never reported, unless it is a give action and your noble is the target (then you will always be informed). All other actions are listed as reported events only if you could see the acting noble at the time of the action.

Possessions and which classes a noble has can be hard to spot even if the noble is seen. In the compendium you can see what hidden statistics different items and classes has. To see these details on other faction's nobles, you need an observation influence equal to or larger than that nobles current stealth + the hidden statistic of the possession.

Sometimes a player wants to reveal a noble to other factions. For example when trading or recieving gifts. There is an action that reveals a noble by voluntarily reducing the stealth. Such a noble is marked with the status revealing. Another action is available to switch back to normal status again.

Raising new nobles

Each faction starts with 3 nobles in the old capital of Norgard.

New nobles can be appointed if some requirements are met (see compendium). But each faction can only have a certain number of nobles. The limit starts at 3 and then increases as the game progresses.

The limit is determined by a formula based on a faction's total noble points. Every faction starts with 0 noble points.

Each tick, the number of noble points is increased by 1 + the number of victory points that faction currently has (see end of this manual for more details on victory points).

It is also possible for one of the faction's nobles to donate gold in a city to buy extra noble points for the faction.

Noble points are never lost during a game.

The current noble limit of a faction, is 3 + SQRT ( noblepoints / 100 ), rounded down:
- 4 nobles at 100 noble points
- 5 nobles at 400 noble points
- 6 nobles at 900 noble points
- 7 nobles at 1600 noble points
- 8 nobles at 2500 noble points
- ... and so on.

A new noble will start with the same amount of AP:s it's recruiting noble currently has.

Changing names, images and descriptions

You can change names, images and descriptions of your faction, nobles and owned locations by going to the page "names and images" on the menu. Follow the instructions on that page.


There are four movement modes: walk, ride/run, sail/swim, and fly. When moving a group of nobles, they will sum together their weight and their total capacity of each movement mode, and then chose the cheapest (in AP:s) way of moving. The cost depends on movement mode and terrain of the destination, as seen in the compendium. Note that all nobles will move with the same movement mode, so that in some cases it will be more efficient to move them separately (for example if one noble is riding and the other is walking). But sometimes it will be better or even necessary to move as a group (for example if several nobles are travelling by ship).

Sailing or swimming can be used to enter any water location, but also to leave a water location into any neighboring land location. But you can not sail or swim directly between two land locations, even if they are along the same coast.

Supply upkeep and Debt

As mentioned above, the upkeep is added to the supply debt each tick. The supply debt should be kept low if your nobles want to keep their followers. By using the resupply order, 1 unit of supplies will lower the supply debt by 1000. If the supply debt is currently higher than 1000, followers might starve or desert (as explained below) when an action costing more than 2 AP is performed. Also, they can't be transferred to other nobles until supplied.

But it is not necessary to resupply immediately when reaching 1000 supply debt. The resupply order itself costs 0 AP so it is completely safe. Just make sure to resupply before performing the action (see below about danger and losses).

The supply debt will remain with the noble even after the followers are gone. Only by paying the debt, the noble's reputation can be restored.

Battle, danger and losses

Battles in NC occur when a faction uses the dominion action and has nobles in the same locations as hostile factions. The factions' nobles will attack each other by means of the total influence they have in the battle locations. This is the only way to actively target and attack enemy nobles.

Also, whenever a noble does something that costs more than 2 AP, there might be risks involved. Actions that cost 0 , 1 or 2 AP are completely safe. Also many locations are completely safe unless an enemy faction has influence there.

The wait action is also completely safe no matter how many AP:s are used.

Each location has a danger value that is hidden to the players. It can range from 0 to over 500 and there is no way to see directly how much it is. The sources of this danger can be identified however (often some observation influence is needed), and if it comes from structures or monsters the compendium will show how dangerous they are. Note that there could be several sources of danger in the same location, and you might not see them all.

When moving between two locations, it is the danger in the location the noble is moving from that will apply. This means it is not safe to flee from a location. On the other hand the noble can always do something in the location being entered, before being exposed to the dangers there.

Danger and it's damages are applied before the action being made, also for the rest and heal action which will fail miserably if a noble is wounded again while attempting to heal. Available actions will be attempted regardless of the danger and it's damages.

Danger comes from these sources:
1. Structures and monsters in the location. Some of these are extremely dangerous. Values are shown in the compendium. It is impossible to hide from this source of danger, regardless of stealth. But it will not be used during a battle caused by dominion influence, since this is only between hostile factions.
2. The local military influence amount of each enemy faction
3. The local prowess influence amount of each enemy faction
4. The local magic influence amount of each enemy faction
5. High supply debt values will cause danger to all followers and possessions requiring upkeep (not affecting the noble itself)

Sources 2-4 will only apply if the noble is seen by the enemy faction. That faction must have larger observation influence than the nobles current stealth. A noble with stealth 0 or lower will always be visible to the enemy influence. Also when performing the military influence action, your noble temporarily act with stealth 0 and danger from enemy factions will always apply. Another special case is the steal gold action performed by a thief against a city. If the thief is visible to the city's owner it will automatically be wounded.

The danger of sources 1-4 will "attack" the noble and all it's followers. Also possessions that have a defense rating will be attacked (like horses, for example).

If an action is classified in the compendium as area danger (usually when attacking a monster or similar) or in a battle caused by the dominion action, the danger and attacking strength is spread between all the faction's nobles and followers in a location. The more people there are, the less risk for each one of them. Even hidden nobles and their followers will recieve their share of the attack, so that although they might not be affected themselves they will relieve others from harm by stealthy and confusing actions.

If it is not an area danger action, only the acting noble and it's followers are at risk and the danger will be spread only between them.

For military and prowess influence (danger source 2-3) the attacking danger for each target is simply divided between the total number of targets (nobles and followers). For example an attack of 100 military danger against 4 targets will result in 25 danger each.

Location danger (monsters and such) and magic influence will do more total damage on larger groups. Danger source 1 and 4 is for this reason instead divided by "the square root of total number of targets". For example an attack of 100 magic danger against 4 targets would be divided by 2 (SQRT of 4) and result in 50 danger each.

For each noble, follower or possession that is attacked, the risk of loss in percentage is calculated as danger / defense rating (rounded up to the nearest integer). For example some trolls with danger 150 attacking a noble with defense 15 will give a risk of 10%. This means there is a 10% chance that the noble will be wounded. If the noble instead had 3 knight followers with defense rating of 10, the noble and 3 knights would be attacked by 75 danger each, with 5% chance of wounding the noble and 7,5% chance of killing each knight (followers are never wounded, they die immediately when hit).

Important to understand is that each and every follower is tested separately to see if it is lost or not.

All followers have a battle mode, either "frontline" or "support". Followers with the support battle mode are more safe if they can keep to the rear when facing dangers. In any danger situation from any source, 50% of the followers (or possessions with defense and battle mode ratings) will automatically be placed in the front rank. The frontline followers will take these positions first, but if some support followers must fill the front rank, those will have their defense rating temporarily halved. The noble always counts as being frontline and in the front rank.

All of this is handled by the game and reported to the players. By making sure that at least 50% of the followers are frontline troops, you will avoid some casualties.

A noble will never die from a single risky action, it "only" becomes wounded. An already wounded noble recieving one more wound, will be instead become dying.

Please note (in the compendium) that there is a difference between each followers defense rating and the defense bonus provided to a noble by some classes and items.

Some locations will have a fortification rating coming from terrain or structures. This rating will increase the military strength of the faction owning the location. Ownership comes as usual from having the highest Dominion influence in the location, and gives a percentage boost to the danger from that factions military influence. For example a faction with 320 military influence in an owned forest (fortification +50%) the danger would be 480 instead.

Danger source no 5 (supply debt) will apply at the same time as other dangers, but works differently. It will cause starvation and desertation among all followers (or possessions that require upkeep). For each full 1000 points of debt there will be 1% risk of losing each follower, regardless of defense ratings.

Healthy, wounded, dying or dead

The health status of each noble is always healthy, wounded, dying or dead. If nothing else is shown, the noble is healthy. A wounded noble can perform the normal actions but everything except moving will cost the double amount of AP:s. Moving could also be a problem since a wounded noble has lowered movement capacity. Wounds will be healed by the action rest and heal but be careful since resting in dangerous locations is not safe at all.

A dying noble (by being wounded twice) can hardly do anything except give away possessions, and has no movement capacity at all (but can be carried). Dying status can only be healed by miraculous means, see compendium. The dying noble can cling on to life and refuse to die for as long as the player wishes. But unless there is a chance of supernatural healing, it might be better to let that noble die. A dying noble will count towards the maximum number of nobles allowed, so letting it die will allow the faction to obtain a new noble in it's place. When a noble goes from dying to dead, it is immediately disbanded and all current possessions and followers are lost. So don't forget to give away everyting a dying noble has before accepting death. There is no warning or confirmation required in the game. When the noble dies it is immediately gone forever.

Enemy factions

At the start of a game the factions are not enemies. Rivals yes, but not at war with eachother. Their initial stance is friendly. An enemy faction as referred to in the previous section, means that the faction's stance is set to hostile towards your faction. You can set stances towards other factions via the faction overview page.

You can try to take dominion control of another faction's location through power influence instead of military without starting a war.

Structures and closing

A location can have many structures, but only one structure of each kind can be built in each location. Many structures also have specific prerequisites, especially regarding terrain.

Some structures can be closed by the owner of it's location, as seen in the compendium. This is mainly because they are hindering some other kind of structure from being built, and a faction might want to change the production of the location. But it can also be used to hinder other factions from easily using the location, of course.

Mining and ore

When a noble builds a mine in a mountain location, one kind of ore will be discovered in that location. There is a 75% chance that it will be iron ore, 15% chance of mithril ore, and 10% chance of gold ore. If the mine is closed and then built again, the same ore will still be present.

Giving / waiting / dropping

Items and followers can be given to other nobles, also to those belonging to another factions. If the target noble is hostile towards the one trying to give someting, the gift will be refused.

Since followers do not have action points of their own, there is a restriction to passing them around (otherwise the followers would be able to move and act too much). The restriction is very simple: A noble can't give a follower to another noble who currently has more AP:s.

There is a useful action for situations where a player wishes to reduce a noble's AP:s to be able to give it someting. This is the wait action which simply removes an amount of AP:s from that noble.

Sometimes a noble will need to drop someting. Usually because it is overloaded and wants to move, but there is no other noble nearby to take over the possessions. Things that are dropped are lost forever. Also followers can be dropped and are then gone forever.

Something has happened nearby

Sometimes when you try to do something with your nobles, you'll recieve a warning that something happened nearby recently. When this happens, inspect the page and issue the orders again (or change your mind if the situation has changed). This mechanism is there to detect situations where another player did something nearby after your last page was created. The same warning could sometimes appear if you have used the "back" button in your web browser. You should avoid doing that. Use the links on the webpage instead.

Winning the game

NC is won by the first player who owns a noble that becomes King. There are several paths to becoming King, but all have one requirement in common: victory points.

Victory points are earned by having influence in conjunction with certain structures in the cities of Norgard. Each city can be worth up to 5 victory points in these different categories:

1 VP to the faction with the most Dominion influence if a city hall is present in the city
1 VP to the faction with the most Military influence if a castle is present in the city
1 VP to the faction with the most Prowess influence if an arena is present in the city
1 VP to the faction with the most Magic influence if a mages' guild is present in the city
1 VP to the faction with the most Spiritual influence if a temple is present in the city

These can be awarded to different factions within each city, and each faction can get VP:s from several cities. The VP:s are not awarded permanently. As influence changes, so will the VP:s.

Note that although some of these structures can also be built outside of cities they will only generate VP:s in a city.

To become King, in addition to other requirements (see compendium), the noble's faction needs at least 5 VP:s (total from all cities) and more than any other faction has in total. The tricky thing is, that there is no easy way to see how many VP:s the other factions have. Having a scout in each city is one way of course, but your nobles will probably have better things to do.
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