See also: Easy Tips To Protect Resources and Gold During Attacks Some defencive strategy is avalible here:War Tips Defend victory

Understanding How The Game Actually Works

Firstly, be aware that this is a strategy war game. You need strategy if you want to get strong and win in fights or wars. Now let's start by learning how to defend your city effectively. The first step to defending yourself is to know what damage can be done to you, and what cannot.

  • No one can destroy your City. They cannot destroy your Buildings and facilities like farms, mines and quarries. Everything that you build is safe.
  • No one can make you unlearn Research. Once you have learned, or even started to learn a skill, it is yours to keep.
  • They can steal resources. Food, Wood, Stone and Ore that you have in your inventory can be stolen if it is not protected in a storehouse. Gold in your inventory can be stolen and cannot be protected.
  • Wilderness can be stolen if they are not defended well enough. You will lose the gathering bonus from the wild when this happens. This means you will experience a sudden loss of resource income and your troops may desert if you do not have enough food for your troops.
  • Your Might will go down if you lose Troops. Attackers can kill your troops if they are set to defend your city against a much stronger army. You can also lose troops via desertion if you run out of food to feed them.
  • Your Defensive Units can be destroyed by an attack. This will cost you might, as well as resources if you would like to build them back up again.
  • Although there are many who play with honor, there are also many who play with little or no honor. Players with strong armies will attack you. It's not fair. You need to be prepared to deal with someone who doesn't care about fair. The game will not stop them. But please note that bullying is not tolerated in the game. If you still get attacked even if you ask that person to stop, report it to a moderator so that actions can be taken against the lifeless bully.
  • This is primarily a war game, pure and simple. You have to get your city and defenses and storehouse up as fast as you can. Chances of getting attacked and being farmed are low. Unless you're a troublemaker, that's a different story.

What Do I Do If I Keep Getting Farmed? * sad face * :(

One of the thing you can do is to try to talk to the player that is attacking you. Call them to stop attacking you, because you're just like everyone else who wants to play the game and not get bullied.

Ask politely, without threatening. If you make empty threats, they will be recognized and will probably result in further attacks.

If the attacker is a member of an honorable alliance, speak with the chancellor of that alliance. Alliances are usually responsible for the conduct of their members. Again, be polite.

Alliance Icon

Uses Of An Alliance

If you are a member of an alliance, first thing when you get attacked or scouted is to report to your Officer or Chancellor. Then, send them a copy of the report and they will tell you what to do next.

What do an alliance do?

Alliance, are basically your family. Your new home. They will make you stronger and send you resources if you're lack of it. They will teach you. Pass on knowledge to you. Give you protection and etc. Therefore if you're in an alliance, do not hesitate to ask. Joining the top 20 alliance would be advised. Better still, the top 10.

Protect your resources

...Build a Storehouse to protect your resources from being stolen. Work on your Shrinking Powder research as well. This will allow you to keep a certain amount of food, wood, stone and ore in your inventory where it cannot be stolen by an attacker.

If you have more resources than you can protect in your storehouse, consider moving the extras to your other city if you have one. Or, you can even hide some of them in a wilderness space if you think that wilderness is less likely to be attacked than the city.

Also, if the player farming you is not sending a massive army, but instead sending a few K archers and some supply wagons (because you are so weak that is all they need), consider building 500 spikes or so to limit the amount of resources they can carry back with them (500 spikes will knock out quite a few supply wagons). This is one of the best tactics to protect gold, as the resources the winners carry back are automatically determined; having a surplus million food can help shelter your gold if the attackers have been reduced to a 300K load.

Protect your gold

...Good Gold management is key to saving gold. Use the Increase Gold strategy. This keeps your knights employed without creating a stockpile of gold. - when you need gold, go to your castle and use the increase gold button. Immediately spend that gold: buy your latest research, or put it on the market for some resource you need. Do not leave it lying around to be stolen.

If you know an attack is coming from your Watch Tower and you have gold in your inventory, go to your Market and buy any resource that is currently available for sale. The idea is to spend your gold on a resource that will then take 30 minutes to reach your city, instead of losing it for nothing to an attacker. While recent game updates mean that all market transactions are immediately canceled as soon as your city comes under attack; once you have completed the sale and the money has been given to the seller, the transaction cannot be canceled.

Also reinforcing a wilderness can be quite useful when your city is under attack. You can reinforce your wilderness with supply troops or wagons, carrying the gold from your city, so this will not be stolen during the raid. For more information read "protect your troops" below.

Protect your troops

Put your troops in Sanctuary. It is advisable for weaker players to never defend your castle with your troops in your city when you're not there to change it under attack. Additionally the informed choice to defend or not defend is not even available without a level 8 watchtower, as this is the only level you'll get detailed information about an incoming army. Don't waste the troops trying to defend unknown army numbers, you'll just lose might when they die to overwhelming odds. Defensive units won't cost you might, but they are still mostly a waste of resources better spent on city upgrades.

Nonetheless, one option to defend does exist to deal with the persistent farmer, with all the troops reinforcing the wilderness (carrying the gold and what your storehouse couldn't hold), you're free to set your castle to defend by clicking the castle and selecting "order troops to defend city" with no risk of losing your troops. (choose a semi-distant level one wilderness; players who click it won't be able to beat what you have, and choose anything but a plain, even a higher might player would click a lev 1 plain to build a city!) A distant wilderness will make it harder to find by players looking to take out your wilderness holdings.

The reason to defend is simple; with all the goods on the backs of your troops and city set to defend (I like to call it meatgrinder) the person farming you will lose might every time he attacks you and will walk away with nothing. Sure, you'll lose castle defenses, but you can rebuild them and it's a small price to pay to get the local bully boy to never farm you again. To further stymie the effort to farm you, do this when you log off for the night, (you're troops can stay in the wilderness indefinitely with no penalty) set that tax rate to bare minimum (just enough to stay positive) because you can always use the "increase gold" option when you log in again. I threw a player a 10k might loss with this technique, (with only a third of available defenses built) and for his trouble he walked out with 78 gold. Needless to say, he never tried it again.

Wait for them to go away

Follow this advice, and most people farming for resources will move along when they can't get anything from you. There's no point in repeating an attack with no profit.

Once you reach 300k might or so, you should be strong enough to defend against attacks from other players. Build up an army of 30k troops of your own, and start working on your Defensive Units to support them. Then you can start defending your city if you like.

Wilderness Ping-Pong

A weak player can still take revenge on a stronger attacker. Remember that players with lots of might have a constant need for food to feed their large armies. If you steal the Grasslands and Lakes that they own, that will cause them to lose food income. Very large armies can lose so much food that they start to starve, and the troops will desert from the attacking player.

Most players do not defend all of their wilderness tiles. They simply cannot afford to keep one army stationed at each wilderness, because then they would have no slots open in their Rally Point to send attacking armies out. Players who do defend their wilderness tiles usually only leave a token force of a few hundred small troops, just enough to deter a small attacker from sniping the wilderness away.

A Sniper Attack is the fastest way to steal a wilderness, and it can be done by a low-level player. First, locate a wilderness that belongs to your enemy. Scout the wilderness to make sure it has no troops (or skip this step if you want to make sure the attack is a surprise). Then send a small army of 500 scouts or 100 cavalry (1 Scouts or a few Cavalry aren't enough after July 2010) to attack the wilderness. Use scouts or cavalry because those units move faster than most troops. As soon as you conquer the wilderness, reload the game if necessary and recall the troops back to your city so you don't lose them in a counter-attack.

If your scouts turn up a small defensive force, you may be strong enough to defeat them with a larger strike force. Be careful because now some owned wilderness have traps. Plan accordingly.

This turns into a game of ping-pong when the enemy counter attacks and steals the undefended wilderness right back from you. Obviously this strategy is much more effective if you believe the enemy player is not online and therefore cannot take the wilderness back from you before losing a significant amount of income.

The ultimate way to win this game of ping-pong is to lose: Snipe the wilderness, and immediately abandon it. It will revert to an uncontrolled tile, and the barbarian army will build back up over the course of the next hour. If you can snipe and abandon a wilderness this way more than an hour before the enemy can retaliate, they will be faced with fighting the barbarians to take it back, instead of facing your forces.

See the Wikipedia pages on Guerrilla warfare and Sieges for historical examples of this type of tactics.

Please note that this type of strategy is looked down upon by a large percentage of players, and can garner you and your alliance the label of "wild-stealers" and cause many alliances to band against you to make you cease these actions. Constant complaints to the game creators resulted in the addition of wilderness defenses as a way to defend against players who only steal wilds as a method of attacking an enemy.

[Alternative point of view:] Let's face it, the people who are most against "wild stealing" are the higher might players. Wild stealing is one of the few ways a lesser player has of getting the greater one to go find someone else to pick on. Is it surprising that bullies want to be protected from the consequences of their predations?

If you are anywhere near my might and you want to fight, that's fair. But when you outgun someone ten to one and then you want to criple your victim's one means of striking back, you are just a coward.

The question is, "If you are being picked on by a larger might player, do you have any other method of getting him to stop other than begging for mercy?" We all play this game for fun. Unfortuantely, "fun" for some people, means the ability to dominate someone else. I don't think anyone is playing this game to be someone's personal whipping boy. I suggest that wild stealing is a viable defensive strategy. Instead of you begging him to quit attacking you, there can be diplomacy. He wants to keep his wilds and you want to not be a farm. Everyone is happy, except for the bully, whose ego won't permit him to make such a request.

Perhaps it is appropriate to divide this into two issues. The first issue is "wild stealing", which should mean the random use of attacks on wilds to annoy someone without point. The second issue should be called "wild defense", which means striking back at an attacking player's weakness in an attempt to make him move on.

Remember, what can a group of players do to you that the bully isn't doing right now? The person who suggested wild stealing is, "looked down upon by a large percentage of players", isn't from the majority regardless of his claims. He's a higher might player wanting to protect himself. If enough people stand up for the fair concept of returning injury for injury, "wild defense" will become an acceptable strategy.

An extreme variation of this strategy, called the "Branshinder Gambit", was first pioneered on Goshwit 48 by the Lords of Branshinder (Might of 50M) when attacked by an enemy of might 250M. The Lords of Branshinder trimmed down their cities and abandoned their wilds maintaining only rapid moving cavalry forces. Then they struck the enemies' lvl 10 wilds, captured and abandoned them and then announced the location of the newly abandoned lvl 10 wilds in global chat. The result was a feeding frenzy of online players scrambling to capture the newly abandoned lvl 10 wilds. As a result the enemy lost those high level wilds permanently unless they were willing to risk war with numerous other alliances to get those wilds back. Within 48 hours, the much larger enemy was begging for a cease fire.

Surviving as a low level farmed player

I notice a lot of players complaining about how they are being treated as farms and how 'unfair' etc. the game is to new players.

Yes it is unfair but it is survivable.

Here are a bunch of tips for farmed players to use and grow stronger even as they are being farmed.

Keep the following in mind:

  • The only thing that can be taken is resources (which are gold, food, wood, stone and ore). You will always be making more of them.
  • Your buildings and fields cannot be hurt. Your researched technology will never go down. So you should always have something being built and something being researched at each city. Try to keep your building levels even. At low levels, building your city quickly is best done by upgrading all the level 1s, then the 2s, then the 3s, etc. Save long term builds (Castles, Walls, Alchemy Lab, etc.) for when you will be offline or doing other stuff. Remember you can only have one building being built per city, one research per city, etc.
  • Combat is voluntary for the defender. You have to have your troops on defend to have them fight. You can always have them hide in your sanctuary (in your castle) until you are strong enough to hurt your attacker(s). If you want to have some scouts to just cover your city to keep it from being scouted, keep your troops in your castle and have another city send the scouts. Reinforced troops always defend.
  • Gold is the only resource you can not protect to with a Storehouse, so keep your gold low or be ready to run with it. One way to protect your gold is to have a bunch of troops carry it to another city or a wild you control (if you are in an alliance, another player's wilderness will also work) and recall them when you are not being attacked. Keep your gold production at or below what your Knights are costing you and then when you need gold click the "Increase Gold" button in your castle. That will lower happiness by 20 but since your tax rate will be low you will recover that happiness without any problems over the next 15-25mins.
  • As for your other resources, you should not have huge amounts over what your Storehouse can hold. If you need to build faster, upgrade your buildings and research more. Do this as often as you can. Your storehouse should be the highest level thing in your city or equal to it. Also, research Shrinking Powder. With a level 6 Storehouse and level 6 SP, you can hold 960k of each resource.
  • If you are in an alliance build up your Embassy and Relief Station. Each slot in the Embassy can hold as many troops as an alliance member can send in a wave. Nothing stops a farmer better then having his troops wiped on an attack. If you aren't in an alliance - why not? Half the fun of the game is chatting with your alliance, and the help and advice of an alliance is very useful.
  • When you get to about 150k Might, you will want to build Wall Defenses also. Do not waste resources on Traps as they can be set off by Milita and are pretty worthless. Build as many Crossbows as you can. You can queue up lots of them if you need to. Each Crossbow will take a couple of Archers or whatever with them when they die. After you have several hundred Crossbows, build some Caltrops and (not too many) Spikes. Making yourself harder to farm will discourage the casual farmers.
    • Added on 7/11/10: I seem to be seeing in more then a few reports that either xbows are not firing or firing a lot weaker then they should be. Caltrops are no longer worth anything as 2 militia can kill one caltrop. Spikes seem to be useful but only if backed by huge amounts of archers as xbows seem to be asleep at this time. Also bonuses such as stoneskin, bloodlust, etc. are only showing up for the attacker.
  • Once your might is in the hundreds of thousands, you shouldn't have too many people farming you.
  • As a final 'defense' or if you just need to take a break and walk away... set your tax rate to 100%.. your people will leave and your production will stop, no gold, no ore, no nothing. As far as I know the buildings stay up forever. When you are ready lower your taxes and get some people back and start up again. :D
    • Added on 7/11/10: ok I have finally tested this, the lowest you can go production-wise is 100 food, wood, stone and ore. So there is still a little leakage production. I have a city with a pop of -13k (??) and they still putting out 100 of everything. Your troops will died off, but your knights will stay and continue to gain skill (??) as loyalty has not yet been implemented. You can still build if you have materials. Your buildings stay there.
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