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Startup Guide

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If you follow the steps outlined in this guide, you will find yourself in a strong position very quickly. The most important part of this guide revolves around NPC farming, which will be discussed at length in the following sections.
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Let's start with how to begin building your city - a crucial first step. 

First thing to keep in mind is that inside your town, warehouses are worthless.  Have 0 of them. Instead, make a nine cottages and quickly level them up as more idle population is required. Also, it is recommended that you begin with eleven barracks, with the intention of getting more later on.

Next, you must make a few new structures, preferably in this order: Academy; Forge; Workshop; Marketplace; Embassy; Inn; Feasting Hall; Rally-point; Beacon tower; Stable; and lastly your Relief station.  Try to adhere to this order best you can, it's not life or death but i tried listing them in the order as to how much you use them when first beginning.

Next, once yours walls are level 10, military-science 10, you can demolish (yay dynamite!!!) your Forge/Workshop and make two additional  barracks. Once horseback riding is level 9 or 10 you can demolish (yay! more dynamite!) your stable for your fourteenth barrack.  Also, once you have all good heroes, consider blowing up your Inn for your fifteenth barracks. 

Note, some people also blow up their their Embassy / Marketplace but that's totally up to you - preferences vary amongst the more elite players.  We here at Evonypedia have a peculiar tendency to blow things up so I would consult other players in game about this as opposed to relying on our love of detonation and demolition.  What can I say.

Also, and very importantly, you should only take out the embassy if you have between 14999 - 18223 archer towers with a full 100,000 archers in your town. Keep your GATES open once you reach around 20,000 archers with a good 10,000 archer towers.  Keep your gates open at all times if these conditions are met. You must hope that your neighbors are not large enough or so inclined to attack you while your just starting. Furthermore, make sure that your EMBASSY should at all times (no exceptions to this!) have the "allow troops of allies to garrison your city" option checked off. If you are not online, and are under attack, hopefully one of your alliance members will come to your aid and reinforce / protect you in an effort to save your town and resources. 

Resource fields - In regards to your resource fields there a host of options and probably equally many opinions.  One particularly novel tactic is to have your town as a Full lumber town (keep reading - strange as this sounds) because once you're raiding NPC's that will provide for your food and that with your massive excess of lumber you can hit up the market to get the iron you will need.  This is unconventional but very effective. 
That being said, if you want to play the safe and more balanced car, you may want a mixed resource set up in your town.  One strongly recommended combination would be 15-16 sawmills, 10 farms, 10 iron-mines, and 1 Quarry (level 9 Town hall), however that is optional really. Also, note that you can demolish your quarry for a further resource field(Once your walls are level 10 of course!).

Npc level 5's - Once you've got the basic set-up of the city complete, a considerable portion of your time and effort in this game will be in creating and farming level five NPC's.  A level 5 npc is made by attacking a level 5 flat, taking it over, building a new city from scratch, and then abandoning it. Each level 5 npc has 3,000,000 food / 180,000 iron / 180,000 lumber / 180,000 stone and 450,000 gold.  If you have say 10 of them nearby (this is a low number), you can attack them every 8 or so hours (assuming you set your alarm clock).  Assuming you are not quite that hardcore, it is not unreasonable to assume you can hit 'em 2 times a day, netting you somewhere in the region of 60 million food per day.  Thats a lot of wheat and corn.  Better yet, this large pantry of Chips and Cheetos allows you to support a huge army.  Work towards starting out with say 500 - 600 ballistas, 500-700 transporters (logistics levels are important here - see the section on logistics for further details) to begin taking on other NPCS.

Defense - While builing towards making / Farming npcs you should make sure to use extra resources towards your DEFENSE. You can make 2 traps 1 abatis and then EVERYTHING else Archer towers, Or as people are finding 100k cavalry waves can work well if you attack right to take out defenses, you can get 2-100 traps 500-1000 abatis and maximum archer towers. Personally i use 2 traps 1 abatis 18223 (level 10 walls) archer towers per town. Also, i know it will be hard to do this while making ballista / transporters to farm npcs.. you need to build archers to help your towers out. If someone sends an attack at you they can kill 50k-100k archers or 18223 archer towers alone, but combined their gonna have one hell of a time trying to break your defense. You never want to build defense treb's or rolling logs, as players will send waves of 1,000 - 5,000 warriors to clear them out and get free honor. They're basically worthless.

Heroes - When starting out, it doesn't really matter too much what hero you choose.  Don't be too picky; the time for being picky will come soon enough.  That being said, it should be noted that your Mayor must be the hero with the highest politics you can get.  Once you have selected and appointed a mayor, you will then want to find one hero with exceptional intelligence (look hard and long for this) and, assuming you have a level nine or ten feasting hall, you will want to recruit 7-8 heroes with high attack skill.

Attack heroes - Aside from the fact that you want to use them when on the offensive, many people don't understand what else they can do.

Note: If you make your highest attack hero mayor before you queue troops into production it will lower the time on training them.
 

A hero with 40 attack as mayor might have say two minutes per archer, but one with 100 might have 1 minute 10s. With this in mind, before you start ramping up troop production, appoint your highest attack hero as mayor. After you queue up them into production you should then revert to appointing your highest politics hero as mayor.  This is a particularly useful tactic that is not well understood nor well used in the game. Employing this alone will give you a significant advantage over your competitors.

Intelligence (smart) hero - Much like high attack heroes, high intelligence heroes lower production times on researching technologies (as opposed to lowering troop production time like high attack heroes. Therefore, before you go off researching each technology, appoint your most intelligent hero as mayor.  Once this is complete, revert back to your highest politics hero as mayor like before.

High Politics Hero - It almost goes without saying that this hero should be the mayor at all times.  The only time he / she should not be mayor is in the situations mentioned above.  Also, it should be noted that politics gives your resource production a significant boost. The higher your politics skill, the better the benefits you receive. 

Another thing you will want to keep in mind is that you never want to have the maximum amount of cities.  For example, if you are a Baron, keep 3 cities at one time, not 4.  This allows further npc building and, in the future, you can take over other peoples cities and raze / abandon them if you dont' want them near you.

In regards to going on the offensive against other players, you should try to try attack with around 5x their "AT" (Archer towers) amount and 3 times their archer amount - to be safe.  To give you an example, if you are attacking someone with say 18,223 archer towers and 20,000 Archer towers, you will probably want to sent somewhere around 100k units.  Expect some losses as this is going to be a tough battle.  

Also, keep in mind that many if not all of your opponents will probably have defensive tre's, rolling longs, and traps.  We recommend that you send your attacks in waves (as opposed to all at once) so as to clear out the defenses before you hit with your main attack(A few 1000-5000 warrior waves will do).  This is of course tantamount to sending in inferior units for the sole purpose of getting slaughtered and well, sucks to be those troops.  Think of the first scene of Saving Private Ryan if you will...

Special note:  If your ppponent has even A SINGLE trap, your fight will start at 5,000 yards. With his archers perched on his walls, his range is longer than yours and he will be able to attack you before you get in-range, resulting in heavy and unnecessary unit losses. Your first attack should be to clear out tihngs like traps, with a wave or two of warriors, or how ever many more it may take, as noted above. Most attacks should consist of loads of archers and a rainbow (rainbow = 1 worker, scout, warrior, pikeman, swordsman, cavalry, cataphract and Archer, though archers are already included with the bulk of the attack).  Another tactic you may consider is to send like 80,000 archers, 10,000 pikeman + rainbow (assuming a level 9 rally point). Of course these are your final attacks, that do the brunt of the damage. Not to be confused with your "Clearing" waves, to get rid of easy junk that is ironically a deciding factor in your victory.

For lesser players and lower rally points you can do the same thing but with fewer units; experiment to your liking.

Finally, we turn our attention to
scouting - Never forget to scout before you attack.  You can scout the player to begin and evaluate whether  his resources and town are worth attacking and conquering.  Not all towns are worth going after.  Once you have made the decision to go ahead with the assault, send what ever type of attack you feel will best clear out his defenses. Not only that, but you also want to scout right before your attacks occur (i.e. hit his city).

For example, if your attack is 30 minutes away, use your camp timer to have scouts hit 60 seconds before. The camp option is below your hero selection for the attack. So using the attack timer, say your scouts are 30 seconds out, you can camp them so you can get a report of their army size and defense / fortification amounts before your waves start to hit. It is entirely possible that they may have reinforced during the last few minutes and that few seconds gives you enough time to evaluate whether or not to continue with the attack.  If there have been significant reinforcements you may want to recall your army so that you can either abort the attack or re-strategize due to the increased defenses.

Also, and another very important point, is that if you scout someone and they have scouts but your scouts did not fight, you can immediately be assured that their gates are not open.  Encountering closed gates provides a good opportunity as you can take their defenses out in a single blow, while attacking with full offense in your second and subsequent waves.
 
So, you just took over someones town. First thing you want to do is steal his/her troops. Yes, i said it steal them. But you have to pay a little. If you go to the medic camp you can heal a percentage of the troops you killed taking over your opponents city. Not only will they contiribute to you a town, but a portion of their army! Aside from this your loyalty is at 0. That's a problem as 1 attack from someone else, if not met by your troops will conquer the town. Promptly begin transporting food/gold. While these resources are being transported there is more to do. Go to your town hall and temporarily change all productions to ZERO. This will cause no negative idle population, ceasing any up coming riots. Also change your Tax rate to 0%, as it will raise loyalty faster. Once your gold/food arrive, go to the town hall and select comforting. Choose the "Praying" option, as it increases loyalty fastest. Once your loyalty is at 100, and your population has stabalized, you can begin changing productions back to 100%, Farms first as they feed your troops! Then you can also change your tax rate to your desired amount. Personlly i say that 50% is best is bull crap. If you're farming npc's like this guide is setting you up to do, your going to be rolling in the dough. Go for 10% or 0%, as more idle population will help you train troops faster! Not like the few thousand gold per hour of a 50% tax rate can rival 450,000 per npc attack right?
 
Now if you take over a npc town, hopefully you take a level 10 as it's the only one worth it, all the things noted above apply EXCEPT, unfortunately, you cannot medic camp the Npc's 40k+ warriors. But it does come with a bonus! When you capture it , they generally come with 9,000 to 11,000 Abatis, some Defense treb's, rolling logs, traps and archer towers. You can promptly demo all but 1,000 abatis (you can do more later, but you want at least some defense from a bystander with some cavalry noting you just took a level 10 npc at 0 loyalty and low defenses!), Completely demo the Defense treb's / rolling logs, all but 1-2 traps and KEEP the archer towers of course! (You are even encouraged to build more =D)

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