How I Mobilised 30 Friends To Go To War Against Neo-Nazis In Conan Exiles (2024)

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sh*t’s on War stories

Online games are foundries of weird and wonderful gaming tales. I’ve heard about people picking up full time jobs in Roblox. I’ve heard about people attending raging nightclubs in Final Fantasy XIV. Today, I thought I’d share a gaming story of my own, about the time I, and about 30 of my closest friends, spent two months glued to Conan Exiles fighting Neo-Nazis.

Yep, you read that right.

To paint the full picture, set your minds back to late 2019 – before COVID was even a whisper on anyone’s lips, before the PS5 launched and immediately vanished into the ether. Craving a new game to become heavily addicted to and finding Overwatch had run its course within my social gaming circle, we began to look at survival games and settled on Conan Exiles. It had it all: crafting, dungeons to explore, a dong size slider, multiplayer servers and raids.

About nine others and I jumped on to begin our journey, working our way up the food chain as we levelled at a breakneck pace. Given many of us at the time were still studying or living out of home, most were without a job to go to in the mornings. This meant we could play until the early hours of the morning, every single day.

It was a simpler time. We’d raid other clans on the server and be raided in return, building a stronghold in the Conan Exiles highlands worthy of any Norse royalty. However, one day, everything changed. After logging on and checking the player and clan lists for the server, we noticed a particular clan with some very specific Neo-Nazi dog whistles in their names.

Were they just edgy kids, or had we stumbled onto something more sinister? In the age of the internet, it’s often hard to tell. However, after some googling of their usernames and wider clan name, it became pretty clear that these niche references were a little too niche to be coincidental. Reporting them to Funcom didn’t seem to do anything. We waited a little while to see if they’d get tired of the game and leave. They didn’t.

Levelled up and ready to find a new clan to battle, we realised we had new task at hand: we had to fight the Neo-Nazis.

In Conan Exiles.

sh*t’s on

How I Mobilised 30 Friends To Go To War Against Neo-Nazis In Conan Exiles (1)

Initially, we merely planned to grief the Nazis enough that they’d f*ck off and take their garbage usernames and clan somewhere else, but they just wouldn’t leave. What began with assuring them they could get bent in the server chat quickly escalated into guerilla bombings of any of their bases we could find. The Nazis caught on, and the conflict quickly escalated as they armed themselves to the teeth and fought back.

As the battle wore on, our Conan clan of ten members found itself struggling to make much of a dent in their morale. We needed numbers. So, we began telling other friends to jump on and make their own clans to aid in the effort. A few especially spirited friends even bought PlayStations of their own just to get in on it, such was the draw of upsetting a clan of Neo-Nazis. Before long, there were almost thirty people, ready to rain hell down on these Neo-Nazis, at any time of the day or night.

Our online war continued for almost two months, and, still, tensions continued to escalate. We roped in other active players on the server, running diplomatic outreach to ensure a strong, united front (and keep our resources topped up) as the battle raged. We’d tell anyone who would listen about our mission and rally any and all interested parties to our cause.

People began taking days off work to guard the base. For those of us who were slightly less employed, we simply sat on the couch glued to our screens for anywhere up to 16 hours a day. Wake up, eat, fight Neo-Nazis in Conan, sleep, repeat. Some might say it became an unhealthy addiction – and you’d probably be right. But we had found something bigger than ourselves to fight for, something that was more important than touching the grass. When we caught up in person, we talked about strategy and regaled each other with our exploits.

War stories

To further underline our commitment to our Conan Exiles Neo-Nazi war, we began changing our clan name to increasingly aggressive anti-Nazi terms and phrases. For a while, we were the Night Witches – the female pilots who bombed Nazis under cover of darkness. Regrettably, vaguely menacing names weren’t doing much to shift the tides of war. Getting approximately thirty players to throw a carefully placed explosive arrow combo at the Nazi base seemed to do the trick, however.

The memory gets a bit hazy as the war effort drew closer to the beginnings of COVID in early 2020. At some point, the Neo-Nazis finally toddled off the server, either bored of Conan Exiles or finally sick of the ceaseless fighting. Either way, we regarded it as a total and unique victory, and celebrated as such. I vaguely recall one player brewing in-game mead and inviting us to his wizard tower to imbibe, at which point we held a virtual dance party to celebrate the win. Deeply chronically online stuff from the lot of us. But, god, it felt good.

It wasn’t too long after this that we found our base bombed into oblivion by another clan and finally put down the controllers to touch some grass. While Conan Exiles lay fallow for some months after that, we all quickly upgraded to PC during lockdown and eventually picked it back up again. This time around, though there were decidedly fewer Neo-Nazis on our server, we became just as addicted once more.

Even now, almost five years on, my friends still speak of the Conan Exiles Nazi war in hushed tones around campfires or glass tables at parties. It’s become a somewhat of a mythical tale, an urban legend set in a time of heroes long gone. I’ve never recaptured that feeling that we were gaming for a greater purpose again, even if what we were doing was, at its core, spending every waking moment griefing a bunch of sh*tters in a video game.

Image: Funcom

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