(Warning, lots of text >_>)
IntroductionThis is my view point on playing the start of the world . To be clear the start goes from a non-crazy beginner protection (i.e. not like w30) to about the 15-25 village mark. As well, sections will first be released with the most relevant information in my opinion, then for completeness I will add to the section as time permits. Anything preempted by NOTE is included primarily for explanation as oppose to guiding.
AudienceThis guide is targeted at people who play actively! That’s somewhat ambiguous so what do I mean by actively? Clearly, checking an account once a day for less than an hour is not actively playing ><. To be active, your account is checked regularly, and you only have one or two periods of 6-8 hours where the account idles. To be clear though parts of this guide will work under the assumption of almost continuous activity until I have the time to update them for a large range of people, please when you read the newest section be aware that it might not take into account activity and should you wonder how this ought to effect you, just ask and I can make a quick post before the next update. Also, a section is any part which is given a Capital letter to mark it. For example, “A) Beginning of the world beginner protection”, is the first section.
PrerequisitesYou need to understand basic game terminology. I have no patience to explain what each abbreviation stands for. You’ll also need to know the requirements to build each structure; this can also be found in the help files.
I will use the word day in this guide. It does not refer to 24 hours. It refers to a day in the game. You can calculate this by dividing 24 hours by the world speed. So for speed 1.5, you have 24/1.5 = 16 hours.
This guide will come in parts!!!! (Btw exclamation points are awesome to me atm, live with it!!!).
Part 1!!! Beginner protection!There are two types of beginner protection. The first is the time in the period from the start of the world until players begin to be attackable. The second is any time later in the game when you join the world. I’ll discuss these in this order
A) Beginning of the world beginner protection.
Beginner protection is the best possible time in the game to use your activity to gain a lead on your competitors. This does not mean in points necessarily!
i) Upon entering
The first thing you want to do depends on whether you are in world with new units. In a world with no statue, you simply want to queue timber then clay then iron to lvl 1 each. However, in a world with the new units you will want to make your statue first than queue all your res to lvl 1. The reasons for this is because you will gain such a small amount of resources from doing it the other way around and potentially you could be letting someone else grab another 100 resources from your closest barb making it in fact a total loss of resources. (NOTE: This DOES NOT mean rush to barracks!)
After setting your Headquarters queue, it’s time to look at the map. Look at how many abandons you have in your 7*7. If you have none there and don’t have multiple just outside your 7*7, then you have a few options. First, you can use your 1 restart to hope for a better location, (if there are bonuses in this world be aware that there is a good chance you will get a bonus in your 7*7 soon enough). Second, you can be indifferent to the situation and let things happen as they happen. Finally, you can attempt to coerce some of your neighbors into restarting. I’ll talk more on that last point in a moment, but before that there is one other thing you need to look for in your map. If you recognize a very good player near you, not in the late game, but someone who does very well at the start, realize that they will most likely make farming comparatively harder than most areas and if you don’t want to play super competitive, you ought to consider restarting to get a different area. (Note: You can only restart once). Ok then onto getting your neighbors to restart.
Restart coercion: Since a large amount of growth can be obtained from neighboring barbarian villages, it might be tempting to try and get more of them through…diplomacy. There is also the con of retaliation from a neighbor who does not like that you asked him/her to restart. From what I’ve seen though, the most effective restart methods are letters clearly showing a player’s excelling status at the game, and an added willingness to give advice upon restart. (Note: I’ve got a 0% success rate with restart coercion; my notes are based on other people’s success). I suggest if you are willing to do this to send to almost everyone close to you in order to raise the chance of a restart. Be careful though, if you don’t have any proof of exceptional playing ability your chances of success plummet. Also it shouldn't be surprising that restart advice can lead your neighbors to a more aggressive stance towards you, quite easily causing random attacks soon after protection ends.
Ok, so you’ve had a good look at your map, it’s time to make your first real decision. This will be based on two things, how active a player you are and amount of barbarian/bonus villages + range.
a) Barbarians near you.
If you’ve got a barbarian/bonus within 2 units then I suggest getting resources to 3-1-1, the build order doesn’t matter too much, so I won’t work out the numbers to optimize it. More timber can help depending on your situation, the more active you are the less clay and iron you'll need. Don't go to barracks at less timber, the timber upgrades will make up for the timber loss before you get enough sp to start farming.
(Note: only upgrade non-resources once you no longer plan to upgrade resources again until after you start farming).
In an archer world you only need 4 spears to start farming, so 3-1-1 becomes more appealing, though I would only consider this if you have a barbarian village touching yours.
(Note: Spear amounts are chosen to yield a profit, you need 9 to not lose more than 1 when sending just spears, but you ought to wait for more in order to not waste too many of the barbarian resources. Even if the barb will grow if you don't have a lot near you, wait till 13 or so spears then instead of hitting repetitively build up a few more inbetween. For example start with 13, then 16, then 20, then 24/25. Your troops will stall, but not so long and you sac less spears saving precious timber. For a paladin world 4 spears can be sent with the paladin, any less and you should pick the speed of sending just the paladin over sending the paladin + spears.)
The first thing you want to do with your hauls is invest in getting your spear force to approximately 20. If your barbarian closest to you runs out before then and you don’t have another close one STOP making spears. Once you get to this spear amount if you’ve got a decent amount of villages close by to farm, you can consider producing some spears till you get to about 33 (decent chance of one living). If you are getting good returns consider avoiding iron upgrades. This is because you will have built up a good amount making spears+farming.
(Note: Your village’s resource per an hour production is deceiving when you start farming because in general raiding income is close to 1:1:1 making your own income closer to that)
Even if you can afford the clay upgrade first consider waiting for a timber upgrade, even if you’ve got a timber surplus. I’ll explain why you want to over emphasize timber and neglect iron in a bit.
!IMPORTANT! do not upgrade barracks or hq or anything else, including construction of a wall during this stage. The only exception is getting a warehouse upgrade and only if your activity forces you to.
b) Not really farming…
If you do not have any barbarian villages within 2 units of you, you will most likely want to keep upgrading timber+clay and maybe iron every once in a while 2-3, keeping timber 0-2 lvls above clay. Keep checking the map if something close by goes abandoned consider getting barracks and starting what I described in the previous section.
So that is how you should use your map to make your beginning decisions. Don’t necessarily stick exactly to what I write. You’ll notice I didn’t give a specific build order! This is because to be correct in best build order varies too much on situation…I’d have to program something that would take the different things into account for each player to give the theoretical best order…which even then is debatable based on whether or not people around you will farm or spike (both will be added to the appendix later)….So it’s not worth doing for me at all ;).
I hope this part gave you a good idea of how and when you should start to farm during protection. Now I left off saying you’d focus on resource upgrades, so I’ll discuss how to know when you’re done with that stage next.
iii) When to stop with the resources, and what to do next
This is an interesting decision, but before that something else will most likely happen, you’ll be forced to upgrade your warehouse and/or you’ll gain a timber surplus. Earlier I mentioned focusing on timber and neglecting iron, that’s to allow you to do the following. If you’ve gained an ~400 timber excess or ~300 and need iron, it’s time to build a market. You can then trade over any excess timber at 2:1 ratio for iron, or a bit less if you want clay.
(Note: The market gives a nice boost because the vast majority of people who build an early market will keep resources about even and this will give them large amounts of excess iron. Especially if they make spears >_> )
Anyway, the latest you want to stop the resource focus is to allow yourself enough time to build ~100 spears before your neighbors start to come out of protection. (This will be discussed more in part 2 of the guide!) If however, you’ve had a decent deal of farming luck, you will want to stop significantly earlier. If your hq is constantly running while you are upgrading resources, keep making spears till you get to 76 (0% chance to lose 1). At this point if hq is still running smooth, it’s time to get a smithy.
(Note: Running smooth might seem ambiguous. You won’t be able to keep things running constantly during protection without a very nice location, but if you’re able to build spears to 100 while upgrading resources over half the time, that’s decently smooth. A limit of resource upgrading before protection ends is timber 14, for sure if you’ve gotten that it’s time to move on to a smithy, If you are heavily active, timber 13 ought to be the highest you get)
With smithy lvl 1, you can make a few swords and split up your spears to keep hitting the closest abandons more often, or if resources are flowing decently, you will want to go straight to smithy lvl 2 and research axes, then use those to split up into multiple raiding parties instead of the slower swords.
(Note: In a 10-tech system this will be even more worthwhile because lvl 1 research for units is much cheaper)
(Note 2: Once you get close to 76 spears and you have a paladin, split these up to take advantage of the paladin’s speed again).
Once you have your troops split up and rotating around abandons, you will want to move towards stables, you won’t have more than a day or two of protection left now normally, so a resource upgrade is now a waste.
Now I want to mention a quick few things about world settings.
EDIT: Deciding to add to this guide, for now want to address this point here. Which brings up another issue. Just because you dominate a top rank, doesn't mean you can't improve.
I previously suggest 76 before splitting up. This is unreasonable as by that point unless you have a large amount of barbs, then a large percentage of hauling will be empty. Let me address a nicer way.
With no paladin, try to limit the amount of sp needed to be remade by starting looting with ~13 sp. Instead of imidiately resending, build a few more to say ~16. Then to 20. Around 30-35 move towards smithy so you can get axes and split up your sp. 30-40 sp may lose spears still, but it gives reasonable chance of living and you waste more resources continuing to build sp that won't mean much if the barb doesn't have that many resources.
With a paladin, spears will always live so no need to not resend immediately but still get that smithy for better splitting at 30-40 sp is nice.
Make axes to allow yourself to split up into small groups of spears and 3 axes. Figure out the resource production of barbs by hitting 1-2 hours apart and seeing how much it made, by micro-farming in this way you efficiently pick up a lot of resources instead of fearing a neighbor hits a barb right before your big group does.
iv) World settings
There are some adjustments you might want to make dependent on the world speed, the unit speed, and the length of beginner protection. The world speed in and of itself doesn’t matter, what’s important is its speed relative to unit speed. If unit speed * world speed is greater than 1, you will be able to farm more and better, so you can consider more farming sooner even with sparser targets.
(Note: I’m not going to consider the length of beginner protection that happened in w29/w30. It was too ridiculous…)
Anyway, if your world speed * beginner protection is greater than 4.5 you have a long beginner protection.
Anyway with a longer protection you’ll want to stop making resources about a day and a half in advance and focus solely on troop production, once you hit 100 or so spears get axes and focus mostly on axes, making spears to keep resources balanced
(Note: I don’t have much fondness for swords, you should never defend until a reasonable time out of beginner protection, will discuss this in a future section more)
Also, don’t upgrade barracks until you have to (in order to make stables) or if barracks and hq are constantly producing, which is highly unlikely during protection. With protection 4.5 days and less, you will start making spears with enough time to get ~100 before protection ends unless again you’re able to keep barracks and hq queued.
(Note: the 100 spears is a bare minimum troop level amount to have, much better is to have a couple hundred spears, and a number of axes to allow splitting)
All that’s left now is preparing for protection to end.
v) End of protection!
If you’ve had a decent income you will be approaching stables or have stables by this time, if not it’s not unreasonable to only have a smithy, or close to it. Anyway, with this point approaching you’ll want to check your neighbors that have under 46 points, for when their protection ends, pick an order to attack these players in right after protection ends because everyone can know they have no barracks (and therefore no troops) so other people can easily rush for them too. You want to pick your first target as the free village your troops will come back from first, which may not be the first easy village to come out of protection.
vi) Final notes
Just a few quick things
a) During protection more than any other time, every resource is precious. Do not ever use any on something you do not need, or by a weird build order. This means do not make a wall during protection, the resources can always be used for something else more, such as getting a resource upgrade even a few minutes earlier.
b) Avoid inter-mixing resource upgrades with other upgrades, once you decide to get the smithy, you shouldn’t get more then 1-2 resource upgrades for the rest of protection max, these take a bit of time to make up for their cost, so with real farming coming in after protection ends, this will be a waste. As well it’s a waste of potential resources to queue hq/smithy/barracks with the intention of queuing a resource lvl right after, unless you cannot afford the resource upgrade and a farming raid will make it possible whether or not you get the hq/smithy/barracks/something else upgrade. A good start will get you a couple hundred infantry troops before protection ends; a great start can get you lc!
c) Some people will be wondering why I didn’t talk about the lc rush, with the skipping of axes and scouts to gain them. First of all, you will almost definitely gain resources faster by using axes to split your troops for protection farming. Second, scouts will help you organize your raids more efficiently then the gains that any lc rush will give you. Now I admit you may get to steadier income faster coming out of protection, and if that’s what you are aiming for that’s fine. I’ve never seen anyone who has done this strategy keep up with my traditional order of units start though to be honest. Not to mention that with a couple hundred axes that you could get instead, you could clear some spear only farms to stimulate your income faster…I’ll discuss this stuff more in a future section ;). I will concede though that it is plausible so will at some point work it into this guide.
TO BE CONTINUED :O:O:O