Beginners’ Guide Chapter 2 – The prime directives

Prepare for war. Pick your battles. Hoard nothing. Simple rules form the backbone of any reliable strategy and guide you when you’re facing new challenges on your journey.
This post is part of a series of guides intended to help beginners discover the immense world of Kingdoms and massively multiplayer strategy. For this series, we assume that you’ve completed the tutorial and have chosen the role of governor.
In the previous chapter, you learned about the goals of the long game.

It may seem unusual to start this topic early in a guide for new players. “Oh, welcome to our game. How nice to have you with us! NOW PREPARE FOR WAR!!!” hardly seems like a friendly greeting, does it?
But I presume you’re here reading this to learn how to survive and prosper in the game. In Kingdoms, you’ll find yourself in the thick of things sooner rather than later. It’s vitally important to keep the goals of your game, or your strategy, in mind – you should know the purpose behind the things you’re doing and progress accordingly. And this purpose should not be to simply marvel at endlessly increasing levels and buildings!
Let’s discuss the three basic rules that always serve as a guide in times of uncertainty:

1. Prepare for war

As Kingdoms is a strategic war game, and the victor is determined on the battlefield, the most important way to grow is steadily maintaining a larger standing army. It’s important to keep in mind that your armies are your primary asset in the game – your villages merely represent the necessary infrastructure to support their growth.
So, while you are certainly well advised build up your villages, you should always invest resources with one ultimate goal in mind – to end up with a military capable of defeating your enemies.

2. Pick your battles

To maintain growth, it is important you’re able to pick your battles. It doesn’t make sense to defend your infrastructure if that jeopardizes your main goal of increasing your military power.
No matter if you’re a defender or an attacker, your goal is to smite your enemies.
As a defender, you allow enemies to approach you or your allies, only for them to be subsequently thwarted. While as an attacker, you seek out your enemies.
Now, it may seem very brave to make a stand in the face of a superior enemy, but bravery doesn’t earn you victory. If your forces get wiped out, you have very likely lost the game. You can’t teach an enemy to leave you alone by sacrificing every means of defense you have against him. If he suffers high losses, he’ll just have to plunder you more often to recoup them.
Much stronger enemies especially may not even feel the sting if you send all you have into the slaughter.

Nice defense, Sam! Your foe may have lost more resources than he looted, but how are you going to stop him from coming back for more without any of your troops?

So, you need to make sure you fight as and when the situation is favorable to you, and avoid fights you can’t win.

3. Hoard nothing (except your troops)

It’s never smart to stock up on resources ’til your warehouse overflows, since you’re then vulnerable to losing your precious income to both overflow and plundering.
There are, however, two sources of income that generate resources in vast quantities, and can store infinite amounts of resources both safely and indefinitely:

  1. Quest rewards. You know, you technically don’t have to collect them immediately.
  2. Stolen goods recovered from robber hideouts and camps. In your inventory, they’re safe and sound forever.

You might think it smart to save up on them for bad times. But, you’d be wrong. It merely becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Anything you hoard is an unused opportunity to keep up with your enemies and dish out some damage. If you don’t use any advantage available, the bad times will inevitably come to you, and the emergency stash won’t help because any resources you have to spend on rebuilding things, you wouldn’t have had to lose in the first place. It’s a waste.

There you have it: Three simple rules. Thousands of other players are trying to stop you from applying them. And all your instincts are trying to get you to fight instead of run, hoard instead of spend, and pray instead of prepare.

But you will prevail – in the next chapter.
Watch this space on Saturday, February 17th, 2018 – you’ll find Chapter 3: Boost your infrastructure
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Your Travian Kingdoms Team

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