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With less and less players coming to this game I wanted to put together a guide to help retain newer players. I'd like your help.

I want to crowd source a guide and include the things that are generally not listed else where. As an example some players will raid with settlers in the beginning of the game due to its large carrying capacity.

What tips do you have? Hero items? Artifacts? Farm list building? What else can I include?

Things like WW plan spawn locations and how to influence them? How artifact spawn works? How to hold more than 3 artifacts on an account? How to set up easy meta-wide wonder feeders through trade routes (even to villages that aren't yours)? Efficient arti use? Why legos are better than preats in wonders? How to chief villages from alliance mates without having to drop tag?

How large and/or complicated are you imagining this guide to be?
Really, the best guide will be an in game helping hand from those in the know.

Jonothan Crane wrote:

Patients suffering delusional episodes often focus their paranoia on an external tormentor. Usually one conforming to Jungian archetypes. In this case, a scarecrow.

A little bit of all that and then we'll organize it down into sections.

That's exactly the line of thought I had though. Most people don't understand the benefits of the unique cranny. I held five artifacts on one account. Efficient use of troop builds (something I never see) are things that I plan to include.

One of the raging debates I had with my dual was on the usefulness of raiding natars; the overwhelming answer is, YES, it is worth it. If you are able to be active enough to do so regularly (every hour or so), natar lists are amazing income. This becomes especially true later in the game when the minor troop loss is far outweighed by the res gain and ability to feed and grow larger hammers.

Can expand if needed, but this has been covered already on the forums.

good idea would be make something like casual player guide for ones who login once or twice a day with minimum/non gold usage with some tips how to improve with maybe minimal gold usage or with couple more logins etc.

something to show that you can play the game and be usefull even if you arent onlie 12h a day and spend tons of gold

Really like this idea! Often guides can be very subjective to one persons point of view, opinion, or experiences. Creating a guide with multiple perspectives could be more helpful, but also more time consuming to coordinate.

That said if you need any help putting it together just let me know and I'd be happy to pitch in. I've wanted to write an up-to-date guide for defending for some time now.

One option might be to identify the broader theme (how to defend) then identify the topics within that theme (defence for beginners, importance of the forge, how to make cuts) and see who is up for writing which topics

I would suggest as players add tips and tricks here you collect it onto one main sheet so that way you can begin to see what you get so you know how to group each suggestion into sections.

Here is a tip that many always suggest but hardly is used unless suggested....

If you are new to Travian or just going on to a new server where you do not know anyone....

Talk to your neighbors and learn about them, teach them about you and do it in a respectful way. This goes a long way in becoming skilled at diplomacy and respected among your neighbors.

As it is now, I think it's kinda hard to contribute because the topic feels so broad. I think it might be a good idea to write the guide in "chapters." Start off with like "tips for the first 10 days" then move onto "defense" or "CP" or "Resource Production" or "Raiding." That way any little tips come to anyone contributing's mind quickly. Later, they can be compiled into one thing.

like the idea if everybody contribute in small pieces even someoe post a big guide and we can all add something it will be less subjective guide and can fit more players

Put all your troops in the first wave to kill defenders with as few losses for yourself as possible. The cat waves behind (especially if they land in the same second as the clear) don't need the extra offense troops. If your waves are not going to be in the same second use a single "stinger" wave, or mini clear 4-5 waves in rather than escorts for the individual waves.
I often see cat waves with 40-50 offense troops accompanying 100 catapults. Those offense troops have less attack than the cats do. Additionally if you expect the defender to split your waves, they aren't likely to split with 100-200 troops but more like 1k-2k troops, so the tiny individual escorts are just going to die. But a single stinger wave of 5k will have a good chance to clear the splits.

Lead and trailing fakes

If you are sending 4 waves that all land in the same second, you don't need lead and/or trailing fakes. If you are sending more waves, or they won't all land same second, you probably do. A lead fake is an extra wave in your attack that lands before your clear. A trailing fake is an extra wave that lands after your last cat wave. The goal is to give the defender extra places to try to split your attack.

So the defender sees an attack of 16 waves over 6 seconds that looks like this:

:00 2 waves
:01 2 waves <--Most will try to split before this wave
:02 3 waves <-- Some will split here instead/also
:03 4 waves \
:04 3 waves -) <-- Very few will split before these slots
:05 2 waves /

But what your attack really looks like is this:

:00 2 fakes
:01 2 fakes
:02 Clear and 2 waves
:03 4 waves, second has a stinger
:04 1 wave, and 2 fakes
:05 2 fakes

The reason you want lead fakes you hope to draw the split before your clear. If you are dealing with someone who will try to split every wave, you've likely just decreased the size of the splits (five smaller splits rather than one large split) giving an easier job to your stinger. The reason you want trailing fakes is to not be predictable. If you always include the same pattern of fakes, your opponents will know where to split. But if sometimes your fakes are in front, sometimes they are at the back, and sometimes they are in both spots you force your opponent to split every wave if they want to have a chance. And again that just likely decreased the size of the individual splits. With enough lead and trailing fakes, even attacking from your phone with 5-10 seconds between waves can be hard to split

Don't put your chiefs in your clear wave

Your clear is supposed to run into defense. Some percentage of it will die. If that percentage is higher than 16.33% and you sent three chiefs, one of them will die and not lower loyalty (with two chiefs the number is 25%, with one chief 50%). I've seen otherwise successful chiefing operations fail because a chief or two died in the clear. You want your chiefs to land in a second wave in the same second as the clear. If you cannot manage to land 2 waves in the same second, then the clear is safer, but plan on sending extra chiefs to make up for potential deaths.

OK, it is bothering me that I wrote 16.33 in the last paragraph when it should have been 16.17.
So since I have to make a new post to correct that here are a couple more tips.

Rally point 20 does not magically make your catapults twice as powerful

Rally point 20 lets you pick two targets, but only half your cats will fire at each target. The advantage is that you can send fewer waves (so it’s harder to split your waves), not that your catapults are stronger. if you only want to target one thing (say a world wonder) leave the second target drop down blank. Two half shots are weaker than one whole shot.

If you set your hero to hide from attacks, that also includes scout attempts

Sometimes you don’t want people to know your hero is home. You don’t need to send him away to hide him from scouts, just set him to hide.

This is going to a be a long post. Jacopo got me thinking about an age-old argument. I've always had my beliefs, but I've never done the math. Today, I decided to do the math.

Maces or Axes?

Axes vs maces is an interesting argument that I've seen thrown around the forums since the beginning of the game, but I've yet to see someone do out the math. What makes a hammer "better" than another hammer? When it comes down to it, it's fighting strength that matters. In a perfect world, everyone trains maces. They gain a good bit more strength per hour, so it makes sense to only make them. They are also considerably cheaper to keep queued than axes. They're faster. They raid better. Some like to use axes for hammerstands, but that's a hybrid strategy so it's hard to quantify so I'll ignore that for this analysis. The only reason that people use axes is for the improved attack / wheat consumption. This (besides the defense) is quite literally the ONLY advantage axes hold over maces. Players who can keep maces/TK queued 24/7 with a small trainer in the GB/GS all game are few and few between. It typically requires an alliance dedicated to hiding the EGH in little pieces around the map. Even when using them as a working hammer, just the sheer build-cost is rather steep. So I'd like to suggest that there are several "tiers" of Teut hammer based off what the player can afford to keep queued and what they can afford to feed. For this exercise, I'll be making a few assumptions. First, I'll assume that the player's res production is constant. Any troops that are fed are fed with res that otherwise would go towards the hammer. Second, I'll use some typical late-mid game numbers for queuing times. That means this: 8% recruitment bonus and tier 2 infantry and cavalry helms. This gives us 76 seconds for maces and 127 seconds for axes. All strength values are also based off of level 1 smithy. This isn't accurate in a real hammer, but the strength boost for each is an identical percentage, so it doesn't really matter. Another odd assumption is that you queue up all of the troops from "axe savings" at the end of our measured period. This is the absolute optimal build for maxing axes' utility in our equations, and is a bit odd, but still demonstrates the absolute minimum time needed for axe pay-off.

Now, moving on, what are these "tiers"? They are several hammer styles, ordered by feed cost and strength /time (the two go hand in hand). These styles are:
Axes, barracks only
Maces, barracks only
Axes, barracks (2x arti) only
Maces, barracks (2x arti) only
Axes, barracks (2x arti) + Axes, GB (1x)
Axes, barracks (2x arti) + Maces, GB (1x)
Maces, barracks (2x arti) + Axes, GB (1x)
Maces, barracks (2x arti) + Maces, GB (1x)
Axes, barracks (2x arti) + Axes, GB (2x arti)
Axes, barracks (2x arti) + Maces, GB (2x arti)
Maces, barracks (2x arti) + Maces, GB (2x arti)

A couple notes. Yes, you lose off on some of the weapon bonus if you mix. But the weapon bonus is smaller than most think. Maces get a 9.5% boost from a Tier-3 weapon. Axes get a 6.6% bonus. However, switching one queue from axes to maces grants an 11.4% boost in strength. So yes, 2x axes + 1x GB maces is stronger than 2x axes + 1x GB maces. The bonus for sticking to one troop type is much less than people usually assume.

Another important note: if you raid, maces are significantly better than they appear in the following list. Maces are the third best raiding unit in the game, behind TT and EI. A mace hammer lets you easily be a top raider. So if you like to raid, give a little bias to maces over what is here.

One more note: I don't include TKs here, but TKs should always be added to the 2x arti or GS after the same tier of infantry is filled out. Infantry are always more resource efficient, so there isn't much analysis to be done there.

Yet another note: what does 1x GB mean? Clearly, all my tiers with a GB already have a 2x arti, so the troops are actually in 2x time. The jump from no GB to 24/7 GB is a huge leap, so I use 1x GB as an intermediate. It represents a player who runs a 2x GB 50% of the time.

So what good is this tier list? What does it measure? It measures absolute strength /time. However, there are other factors that play into building a hammer. As a hammer grows old, the cost of maintaining it cuts into the resources that could be used to build it further. A hammer may eventually reach the point that production must be dropped in order to continue to feed it. It's possible that choosing a low tier could have resulted in a larger hammer by nature of the hammer being more feedable. There are also other factors that go into making a hammer. How do you intend to use it? Is it an EGH that will sit around doing nothing all round? What if you want to build a working hammer? What if you only think it will last 30 days, max? The goal is to have the max strength for what your resources can build at the time it splats, whatever the use is. Any savings over the course of a hammer build can be reinvested into more troops. But how long do each of the choices you make take to pay off? To figure this out, we need a mathematical model of the hammer-building process.

One way to represent a hammer build is as a total cost. If we use total cost, we can first find the break-even point for axes vs maces. Then, we can find how long it takes for the savings to out-match the reduced strength / resource of the axe hammer. Our total cost can be thought of like this: total cost = build-cost + feed-cost. Build cost is a linear function of either troops or time, so we represent it as either build-cost = x * base-cost or build-cost = t * base-cost / training-time, where x is the number of troops or t is the time. Feed cost can be represented by series(x(y)) where y goes from 0 to h, h is the total number of hours, and x(y) is the number of troops at time y. This can be simplified to series(y/training-time), where y goes from 0 to h and h is the total time in hours. This, in turn, is the mathematical equivalent of .5 * (h^2 + h) / training-time, where h is the total time in hours. Combining these, we get that total cost = h * base-cost / training-time + .5 * (h^2 + h) / training-time.
Now that we have a model, let's take a look at the barracks. If resources is you limiting factor, how long do you need your hammer to survive before the axe hammer gets you extra strength? Let's say that you have enough to queue up your barracks 24/7 at 1x speed with either troop. Your limited extra resources are being invested into either a 2x trainer arti your alliance has access to, or, a GB. This gives us three scenarios to test. 1) you invest extra res into axes in the GB, 2) you invest extra res into maces in the GB, and 3) you invest extra res into the 2x trainer, and make the same type of troops.
First, we need to find the barracks resource break-even point. Before this point, there are no "axe savings," which is the variable we will test. Experience tells me that the answer is 9 days, which we can verify mathematically (I've used hours for all time-units):
Maces = (9*24)*250/(76/3600) + 0.5*(216^2+216)/(76/3600) = 2557895 + 1110126 = 3668021
Axes = (9*24)*490/(127/3600) + 0.5*(216^2+216)/(127/3600) = 3000189 + 664327 = 3664517

However, maces are naturally 11.4% stronger than axes in the same training time. So we've spent the same amount of resources on a worse hammer. For this reason, the break-even point we should care about is the strength break-even point. The result will be different for each of the three cases I gave above. Let's do the math real quick.

First, we need a new model. An inverted model, to be exact. Before, we knew how long we had, the question was how much did it cost. Now, we need to know how long we can train for given a certain level of "axe savings." The easiest was it to sub in the constants for simpler ones. Let's say base-cost / training-time = a and .5 / training-time = b. In that case, we have total-cost = a * h + b * (h^2 + h). This can be rearranged to a quadratic (hey, I knew I'd use high school algebra at some point!). 0 = b * h^2 + (a + b) * h - total-cost. A quick plug into the quadratic formula gives that h = (sqrt((a + b)^2 + 4 * b * total-cost) - (a + b)) / (2 * b). At this point, the math is little too complex, so I'll keep most of the work to my spreadsheet (don't worry, I'm not doing all of this by hand! I'll put a download link at the end of the post if you're curious.) From h, we can get that the bonus strength from axes savings is h * base-strength / training-time.

Tier 1

Case 1) 1x barracks production. The "axe savings" go into 1x GB axes. Result: 30 days
After 30 days of hammer-building, your axe savings will let you queue up GB axes for the last 80 hours of your 30 days. This means you now have 20409 barracks axes + 2291 GB axes, netting you 22700 axes for 1362086 fighting strength, equal to the amount you could get from the 34105 maces you could train in this same time with the same resources.

Case 2) 1x barracks production. The "axe savings" go into 1x GB maces. Result: 25.5 days
After 25.5 days of hammer-building, your axe savings will let you queue up GB maces for the last 62 hours of your 22.5 days. This means you now have 17348 barracks axes + 2961 GB maces, netting you a total of 1159330 fighting strength, equal to the amount you could get from the 28989 maces you could train in this same time with the same resources.

Case 3) 1x barracks production. The "axe savings" go into 2x arti barracks axes. Result: 16.2 days
After 16.2 days of hammer-building, your axe savings will let you queue up 2x barracks axes for the last 44 hours of your 16.2 days. This means you now have 11021 barracks axes + 1258 2x arti axes, netting you 12279 axes for a total of 736783 fighting strength, equal to the amount you could get from the 18416 maces you could train in this same time with the same resources.

So that's if you only have the resources for 1x training in the barracks. These numbers are a good guideline for beginners, for long-term hammers, axes win out strongly. Even without a trainer arti, even GB axes pay off over maces in only 30 days. That said, a working hammer should figure out how long they expect to survive. If they expect to only last 30 days, a mace hammer is probably a better call.

Tier 2

What about if you are a few tiers higher? What do you do then? Let's say that you have access to a 2x trainer arti and can keep your barracks queued. Spare res go to either 4) GB axes or 5) GB maces. How long does it take for this to pay off?

Case 4) 2x barracks production. The "axe savings" go into 1x GB axes. Result: 31.7 days
After 31.7 days of hammer-building, your axe savings will let you queue up GB axes for the last 185 hours of your 31.7 days. This means you now have 42795 barracks axes + 5247 GB axes, netting you 48042 axes for a total of 2882561 fighting strength, equal to the amount you could get from the 72075 maces you could train in this same time with the same resources.

Case 5) 2x barracks production. The "axe savings" go into 1x GB maces. Result: 26.8 days
After 26.8 days of hammer-building, your axe savings will let you queue up GB maces for the last 140 hours of your 26.8 days. This means you now have 36180 barracks axes + 6673 GB maces, netting you a total of 2437759 fighting strength, equal to the amount you could get from the 60934 maces you could train in this same time with the same resources.

For working hammers, axes are not going to be worth it in this tier unless you believe you will survive more than 30 days. GBing axes is an especially bold move as the payoff is nearly 32 days.

Tier 3

Let's go up one more tier. You have already decided based on the above what you will be producing in your 2x barracks. Therefore, I won't make that a factor here. You want to know what you should be producing 24/7 in your 1x GB. Any axe savings will go directly into 6) 2x GB axes. Is axes worth it?

Case 6) 1x GB production. The "axe savings" go into 2x GB axes. Result: 48.6 days
After 48.6 days days of hammer-building, looking only at your GB, your axe savings will let you queue up 2x GB axes for the last 132 hours of your 48.6 days. This means you now have 33063 1x GB axes + 3764 2x GB axes, netting you 36829 GB axes for a total of 2209663 fighting strength, equal to the amount you could get from the 55250 GB maces you could train in this same time with the same resources.

This seems like a very strange choice for a working hammer. The only reasonable use of 1x GB axes is in an EGH. A working hammer should not survive 50 days if used right. Maces are the way to go here.

Tier 4

If you're at a higher tier, it's really up to you. If you can keep 2x barracks + 2x GB queued up all round long, you are truly a master of resource management and raiding. If you think you can survive maces or plan to be a working hammer, do maces. If you're unsure or want to do an EGH, axes may be the better choice. Remember, a mace hammer is only 11.4% stronger if resources aren't a problem.

Making You Own Decision

So what should YOU build? There a couple things to consider. First, what do you think you can handle? 1x barracks? 2x barracks? 2x barracks + 1x GB? 2x barracks + 2x GB? As a beginner, you probably won't be queuing full-time 2x barracks unless you have some great mentors. If you've played before, you know what you're capable of. Are you a working hammer? If so, get a number that is how long you think your hammer will survive for. Go to what tier you think you can support. Pick based on the break-even points there. If resources is you main constraint, the "Days to Strength Break-Even" is how many days until the resources saved by an axe hammer will get you enough extra troops to reach the same strength as a mace hammer. If the hammer survives longer, axes are better than maces for this use. There are other things to consider as well. Are you a raider? Bias toward maces. Maces are amazing raiders and the extra res will net you extra strength. This depends on how good of a raider you are of course. Are you an EGH? First, figure out if you alliance will feed parts your EGH for you. Figure out how much extra wheat you can expect to gain from storage. Factor this amount into whether you can afford to go up a tier. If you are confident you can maintain 2x maces in the barracks and GB, you already know that's the best. If not, axe 2x barracks + mace 2x GB is a good compromise. If not that, axe 2x barracks + 2x axe GB. If still not, fill in as much as possible with axes.

TIER 3: 2x barracks + 1x GB 24/7
(This assumes that you have already chosen the troop you will produce in the barracks. Therefore, this table only factors in the troops you produce in the GB)

Axe Savings go to:

Days to Strength Break-Even

2x GB Axes

48.6

TIER 4: 2x barracks + 2x GB 24/7

If you can push a tier 4 hammer you are an amazing player. The best hammer in the game is Tier 4 mace hammer. The cost will be absurd. There is no break-even if you can maintain it. A tier 4 axe hammer is 10% weaker but is much more manageable after resource break-even at 22 days. Maces in the GB and Axes in the barracks is a compromise hammer that sits between the two.