Hammer Building

  • Having not seen one before, I thought I would write this guide to hammer building. It will include the basics of building a WW hammer, from tribe choice right the way through to factors to consider when actually sending it at a WW.

    Obviously, hammer building is a personal thing; everyone will have different opinions and preferences, but there are some essentials that are applicable to every hammer builder.

    Before You Start

    Catapults or rams?

    The first thing to do when planning a hammer is to decide what kind of hammer you are making. Whilst you can make a mixed siege hammer, choosing either catapults or rams is much more efficient. Ideally, you want to work together within an alliance to ensure that there are enough of each - a cata hammer without a ram hammer will never do as much damage.


    Once you have decided whether you want to build catapults or rams, you can then choose which tribe to be. Obviously, you can build a good hammer using any of the tribes, but each have their own drawbacks.


    [INDENT]Extremely wheat-hungry hammers
    Most efficient tribe for a ram hammer
    Cheapest to train[/INDENT]


    [INDENT]Poor as a ram hammer
    Quick troops
    Poorest off points[/INDENT]

    [INDENT]Most expensive to train
    Most efficient tribe for a cata hammer
    Low wheat upkeep[/INDENT]

    Which troops?

    Now this is a point that is continually argued about amongst hammer builders; which troops should make up the hammer?

    Personally I am of the view that upkeep and training costs should not be a factor in choosing what hammer to build; for a hammer builder, the only resource that is finite is time, and therefore one should pick the troops that yield the highest offence points:training time ratio, which are as follows:

    Romans; Imperians and Equites Caesaris
    Gauls; Swordsmen and Haeduans
    Teutons; Macemen and Teutonic Knights

    Of course, there are many different views to this, but these combinations will yield the highest offence power possible for your hammer.

  • Starting

    Unless you plan on funding your hammer through constant raiding, it is vital to get a good cropper capital to build a hammer. Ideally it should be a 125% 15c at least. Whether you use gold or not, this is essential. If you don't use gold, you will need a cropper with high level fields (18+) to feed your hammer. If you do use gold, you need to get the fields up in the cropper quickly, so you can npc to fund your queues. To get the best cropper possible, you will need to raid constantly at the beginning of the game, and aim to settle by the end of week one at the latest.

    Once you have chosen your capital, you then have to decide where to build your hammer. If your spawn village is in a good location, and near to the cropper, it can be a good choice as you can build it up and start building your hammer as soon as possible. If there is no good cropper near your spawn, or you'd rather build further out, where it is safer, it is worth looking at a 9c or 15c to settle, and build your hammer in, as it will avoid you going into minus too heavily whilst you move troops to you capital for storage.

    To build a decent hammer, you will need a fairly large account, with a decent number of villages, or a lot of help, so get those town halls up fast, and try to run grand balls constantly!

    When to start training?

    The first queue you should try to keep running 24/7 has to be siege. Whilst you can make up infantry and cavalry troops later on by using great stables and barracks, the siege workshop is limited. At the end of the day, the more siege you have, the more effective your hammer will be.

    It is always better to be able to train troops 24/7, than go for all five queues sporadically, so pace yourself; ensure you can run siege workshop, stables and barracks before you try to run greats.

    Once you have enough villages, or a high enough raiding income, you must train in all five buildings 24/7 constantly, or as often as possible.

  • During the game

    A few dos and don'ts;

    DO consider building a smaller secondary army for chiefing and eliminating threats
    DO use your hammer sensibly; if you must use it, send enough troops to minimise your losses
    DON'T overkill - do not send your entire hammer out to clear an oasis, or a player with very few troops. Remember that every time you use your hammer, you risk that report being passed on, and therefore risk your hammer becoming a target.
    DO remember to upgrade your troops in the blacksmith.
    DON'T make your hammer village obvious; call it something innocuous, not “MAIN OFF” etc!
    DO ensure that you have a good number of scouts in your off village - be prepared for incomings.
    DO ensure to level up your hero; at the very least you need the offence bonus maxed out - using a secondary offence for this is preferable.


    Clearly, the troop training speed artifacts are a huge benefit to hammer builders, but think carefully before clearing one; will the troop loss from clearing it be worth the benefit of the artifact? What has proved an effective method for many alliances in the past is sharing an artifact between players. If this happens, pour everything you can into troop queues whilst you have it, especially the siege queue.

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Essence ().

  • Sending your hammer

    After months of lovingly building your hammer, don't mess up at the final hurdle! Take your time, and make sure you pick the right target.

    Try to avoid fake or dummy WWs Keep an eye out for other reports and rumours. the population of the WWs is also often a good indication of which are real or not, for example the population is too low (the infrastructure isn't there) or much too high (unnecessary buildings have been built)

    Be realistic If your hammer is not that big, or only has 3-4k catas, don't wait until level 99 to try and hit! Hit early, and make a difference instead.

    Be prepared
    Try to get troop numbers for the different WWs, either by scouting, or sending a large raid in. Not only can this show you a fake WW, if the defence numbers are extremely low, but it will also allow you to run a combat sim, to try and work out what damage you can do where.

    Choose your target (s) wisely
    Whilst it might look more impressive hitting the WW itself, damaging infrastructure (Great warehouses, great granaries, main building) will often cost your opponent more time. DO NOT DOUBLE TARGET THE SAME BUILDING. Check how long the buildings will take to rebuild - remember that building times are halved in the WW. Once a WW reaches level 98, your only option is to hit the WW - the last two levels will have been queued and therefore hitting anything else will have no affect.

    Check the artifacts Most WW holders will now hold an artifact, so double check before you send; ensure you have taken into account increased building strength in your calculations and check about random fire; it is better to hit the WW itself and do less damage than to end up aiming randomly and taking out a wheat field or the rally point. The ones to watch out for are;


    • Rival's Large [or Unique] Confusion - These artifacts mean that you will only be able to target the WW itself, or random. Do not be fooled; you will still be able to pick the target in the rally point as you send your hammer, but it will hit a random target. In this case, it is always safer to hit the WW itself.
    • The Architect's Great [or Master] Secret - These artifacts make the buildings up to 5x stronger, so your hammer will have less impact. To hit these WWs, you need to have a much larger than average hammer to make a proper difference.


    Co-operate with your alliance and confeds If you have built a cata hammer, try to find a ram army to follow. Ram hammers are essential - remember that the wall can add 49%-81% defence bonus at level 20, so ensure you have a ram hammer go in before the cata hammers!

    Fake Fake several WWs, from several villages, to draw attention from your real attack.

    The Brewery As a teuton, this is invaluable for those making ram hammers; run the festival as you send for a 10% off bonus. For teuton cata hammers, it can spell catastrophe - remember that running the festival in the brewery will mean that you cannot aim your catas!

    DO NOT DOUBLE TARGET THE SAME BUILDING This is such a common mistake to be made, it needs to be said twice!

    The post was edited 2 times, last by Essence ().

  • I hope this helps :) any suggestions, please tell me and I'll add them in. Please note, I mainly play on speed servers, so it may differ slightly to normal servers.

  • I think you should add in what constitutes different levels of hammers i.e. in wheat consumption and troop numbers like:

    small hammer
    medium hammer
    large hammer
    massive hammer

  • You could throw something in there about managing neg wheat once the hammer is rolling.

  • i think you should throw something up about defending the hammer if you are attacked

  • You give tips % advice, but no actual guide with numbers, i know evrey hammer is different but to a complete noob this wouldn't do.

  • i think inf/cav/seige ratio's should get a mention, even if not exact numbers ;)

    good guide though, well done :)

  • Well I don't give numbers because in my mind, a hammer should be built not to numbers, but simply as big as possible?

    As for defending the hammer, there are already numerous deffing guides out there

  • Very good guide Ella, well done.

    As for ratio's. There is no ratio IMO. A hammer should always be built with no target in mind, just as many troops as you are able to train in the time period you have to build it.

    If you build it properly, you will get a ratio of 3:1 (inf:cav).

    And a small hammer isn't really a hammer, it's just a play off army which would better be used hitting supply villages/other hammer villages, not a WW as it is unlikely to do much damage

  • I like it!

    also you should think about adding sections on the following:

    1. artifacts and how they affect hammer building/targets. There was a small section, but maybe you can expand on this, talk about ram hammers
    2. aims for early game, mid game, end game
    3. Targetting and choice
    4. when to send off the hammer
    5. differences between speed and normal speed hammers.

    well thats all i can think of atm, hope it helps.

  • I've never made a normal hammer, only speed ones, perhaps someone can help me there?

    Will look into the artifact bit after I finish the mountain of pizza :p

  • I like :)

    The first thing to do when planning a hammer is to decide what kind of hammer you are making. Whilst you can make a mixed siege hammer, choosing either catapults or rams is much more efficient. Ideally, you want to work together within an alliance to ensure that there are enough of each - a cata hammer without a ram hammer will never do as much damage.

    ^^ usually - it depends on the server, and is definitely a decision to be taken in conjuction with the alliance. Pre-artefacts - mixed hammers were serious contenders (heh 8k rams and 10k cats in a single army was simply lethal); with arts I'm less sure it's the case - more single purpose armies are needed because of the confusion and strength arts.

    DO consider building a smaller secondary army for chiefing and eliminating threats
    ^^ and invaluable for learning hero xp (which you mention but don't connect later)

    ++ consider setting up "fake" gb/gs villages

    Sending your hammer
    ^^ this might reflect the alliances I'm used to..but co-operate with the alliance comes first and foremost...everything else is secondary or just not important because the decisions will be made by the alliance (most often in conjunction with the army holder tho) ...as an individual player you simply won't have the information available to you to make the most effective use of your army, if you are working as part of a team to help your alliance win. If you've got your own agenda it's a different matter.

    hmmm I'd agree that ratios and numbers are a bit pointless - it's just whatever you can build 24/7 + keep alive

    axe rather than mace are often, but not always, the choice for normal servers - feeding becomes a problem much sooner

    oh and mention the teut brewery bonus ;) and maybe a link to nosim's ww targetting guide; and also to avi's top 100 armies which are good guides as to the numbers that can be achieved (though they get better each server)

  • Ok added in the changes.

    Whilst I get what a lot of you are saying, I think that more comes under defence, especially fake Gbs and Gss, whilst this is aimed at improving hammer hits :)

  • Ok added in the changes.

    Whilst I get what a lot of you are saying, I think that more comes under defence, especially fake Gbs and Gss, whilst this is aimed at improving hammer hits :)

    Why havent you put in how to build a phalanx hammer - major flaw?

    What I would like to see added is timings around starting.
    You've mentioned that hammer building should be about building the maximum number of troops in the available time (which will be effected by how soon you go 24/7 - especially with siege)

    With that in mind - could we have a table ?

    10 weeks = ? cats
    8 weeks = ? cats
    6 weeks ... etc

    and I know you dont like being specific about numbers....

    but i think it would help knowing what kind of level of cats would qualify as a WW hammer (I realise that's an estimate) as that would help someone decide whether they had time left to get one started and / or whether they could afford to set up a second one or if not second hammer then significant secondary offence ?


  • The reason such things can't really be quoted, is because what may be useful on one server, may be useless on the next.

    To be honest, on a slow server, you wan't to be having probably ~5k catas minimum..to be of any worth. And thats on a fairly small defence. 10k+ should always be the target for anyone serious about making a decent army.

    As a very rough guide, if you havn't set up and started building before mid game artifacts, you need to get a move on ;) (or grab a 50% reduced training time one.. :oops:)(Info for slow servers.)

  • No you can't have a table :p

    It doesn't work that way; you just have to start asap ;)