War of Legends Starter Guide
War of Legends Starter Guide by Lord Pearboy
Welcome to my guide to War of Legends. While I have reserved space to add to the guide later, initially this is designed to be an introduction for new players which will not cover all topics. Hopefully you will find it helpful!
If anyone has suggestions for additional topics to be addressed, revisions or corrections, please feel free to post them below.
War of Legends is a massively multiplayer game in which each player controls cities, armies and “legends.” As further discussed below, while building cities and armies is important in the game, recruiting and training strong legends really is what distinguishes strong players from mediocre ones. Strong legends make cities more productive and armies more powerful, enabling the owners of those legends to gain the reputation and titles upon which players are ranked.
You begin the game with a single, undeveloped city, no technology (skills) and no troops. As you build your city, you gain the abilities to research skills, recruit legends and train troops, which in turn allow you to venture outside the city in search of resources, weapons, armor and other magical items. The game provides you with a list of tasks to complete which is very helpful in learning how to play. Indeed, the tasks really are one of the main focuses of the game, as they become more and more advanced as you play. Follow them, and you’ll learn quickly.
LIST OF SECTIONS
INSIDE THE CITY
OUTSIDE THE CITY
ARMOR AND ARTEFACTS
While the objective of any game obviously is to have fun, there are some metrics in the game that I should explain at the outset. The players on each server are ranked based first on their title, and then on their reputation. (This means that you can have the highest reputation in the game but still be ranked low because you have a low title.)
Each new title is obtained by completing the aspiration task, which requires you to reach a certain reputation level, upgrade your palace to a certain level, and donate gold and/or jewels. Better titles provide benefits including allowing you to occupy additional wildlands, conquer additional territories, and build additional cities (known in the game as “sub-cities” ). You also receive better rewards from the daily “ambition” task as your title advances.
Reputation is basically like your score. You gain reputation principally in battle, but also by completing tasks and in other ways discussed below. Your reputation will increase naturally as you play the game, and I think you’ll have more fun if you don’t focus on what your reputation is as you play. Just try to make your cities and legends as strong as you can, complete as many tasks as you can, and the reputation will come quickly.
INSIDE THE CITY
The inside of your city begins with a Level 1 Palace surrounded by 28 empty spaces in which you can construct other buildings. New buildings start at level 1, and they can be upgraded one level at a time to level 20 (Famous Cities, discussed below, allow buildings to be upgraded to level 25 or 30). It is important to plan your city from the beginning so you don’t waste resources on buildings you’ll later decide you don’t want, and also to focus your upgrades on the most important buildings.
Palace – The Palace is the most important building to upgrade, as it determines how many resource fields you can build outside your city, and how many wildlands and territories you can control.
Village – These buildings determine the maximum population of your city. You want to build a lot of them and upgrade them quickly, because population is one of the requirements for upgrading your palace, and population affects how much tax revenue you can raise and how many troops you can build.
University – The University is where you research “skills,” which are various technologies that make you more powerful. The skill levels you can research are limited by the level of your university, so you want to upgrade the university as your research progresses. If you have multiple cities, you’ll get skill levels you obtained in other cities as soon as your university reaches that level (i.e., if you have Army Attack level 10 in your capital, you’ll have level 3 in a second city with a level 3 University, level 4 with a level 4, etc.).
Ramparts – The Ramparts are your city’s walls. The higher their level, the harder it is for an enemy army to attack your city successfully. The Ramparts need to be upgraded to allow further upgrades of your palace.
Legend Sanctuary – The Legend Sanctuary attracts legends to your city and allows you to recruit legends you capture.
Legend Pavilion – The level of this building determines how many legends you can have in your city.
INSIDE THE CITY/2
Garrisons – This is where you make troops. You can build more advanced troops (and build them faster) as the building level increases. Making more of these lets you build troops faster by splitting production among the garrisons, but if you build too many you lose space you could use for villages. I usually build 5 in regular cities, but I know good players who only build 3.
Watchtower – This building determines how quickly you learn of incoming attacks on your city, and it also affects spying. Maximize it quickly.
Parade Ground – This determines how many units you can have moving around the map at any given time.
Spy Camp – This building determines how many spies you can send out and how effective they are.
Smithy – This building is used to improve armor, which is important later in the game. Initially, you need to upgrade it so you can upgrade your armory and build advanced troops. If you have multiple cities, you only need one (you can demolish it after your armoury is done and build a village instead).
Armoury – This building affects the troops you can build. Some people leave it at level 5 because that’s all you need to build charioteers, but I keep mine at 20. Why not?
Market – You need this building to buy and sell resources. The higher the level, the more you can buy and sell.
Stable – This building is used to transport resources between cities and to recruit “mounts” for your legends. The higher the level, the more you can transport and the more mounts you’ll see.
Relay Base – Determines unit movement speed. Very important as you advance in the game.
Warehouse – Protects resources against pillaging by other players. I never build them, as I don’t allow my cities to be pillaged. Use the space for more important buildings.
Ally Base – Needed to join or create an alliance. Also allows alliance members to send troops to help defend your city. Most people I know only build them in their capital.
INSIDE THE CITY/3
The order in which you build buildings is largely determined by the prerequisites you’ll see when you hover over the upgrade tab. But here is my suggested layout for your capital (your first city), together with some comments on how quickly to upgrade:
Palace — Upgrade as quickly as possible, without losing beginner protection.
University – Upgrade quickly so you can research advanced skills.
Ramparts – Upgrade quickly for defense and to upgrade palace.
11-13 Villages – Upgrade as needed to get Palace to level 20, then as needed for tax revenue until they are maxed.
Legend Sanctuary – Build early but upgrade only as you acquire more legends; not a big upgrade priority.
Legend Pavilion – Same as sanctuary.
3-5 Garrisons – You only need one early, although you may want to build the others at level one as placeholders.
Parade Ground – Upgrade as you acquire more legends and start to build troops.
Relay Base – Important to upgrade rapidly once you start sending troops out.
Ally Base – Build early and join an alliance. Upgrades beyond level 2 can wait.
Watchtower – Important after beginner protection expires.
Market – Not important early.
Smithy – Build to level 5 early, upgrades beyond that can wait.
Armoury – Same as Smithy.
Spy Camp – Upgrade as you acquire legends and your intelligence needs grow.
Warehouse – Although I do not recommend that you keep a warehouse, the tasks will direct you to build and upgrade one. Completing these tasks will unlock others, so it is OK to build one for the purpose of completing the tasks. Just demolish it when you’re done and build a village in its place. And I would not make completing the warehouse task a priority.
OUTSIDE THE CITY
The “outskirts” of your city contain 33 spaces in which you can construct resource fields – cropland, timber mills, copper mines and quarries. The spaces become usable as your palace is upgraded. Like the buildings, these fields are constructed at Level 1 and then upgraded one level at a time to a maximum of level 20 (25 or 30 in Famous Cities).
The Advanced Sketch item allows you to upgrade resource fields beyond level 20. One item gets you one additional level in one field (it doesn’t “unlock” unlimited future upgrades).
Cropland makes food, which is needed to build buildings and to train (make) and feed armies (there is a per-unit food cost for training each troop, and the troop also will consume a certain amount of food per hour after it has been recruited). You want most of your outskirts spaces used for cropland because large armies eat a lot of food, and you’ll have large armies later in the game. I recommend that you build 18 croplands.
Timber mills make lumber, which is needed to build buildings and train troops. This tends to be the scarcest resource in the game. I recommend that you build 8 timber mills.
Copper mines make copper, which is used to build buildings and train troops. This is the most expensive resource to buy, but you won’t use as much copper as you will lumber. I recommend 6 copper mines.
Quarries make stone, which is needed to build buildings and maintain your ramparts (ramparts consume stone much like troops eat food). Stone also is needed to make troops in Famous Cities. Stone is cheap and plentiful, so DO NOT MAKE MORE THAN ONE QUARRY!!! You don’t need more than one, trust me. And don’t worry about the stone tasks — you can do them later in the game with a stolen city if you’re bored.
Skills are technologies you can research in your University. You want to get all of the skills to level 20 as soon as you can, with the exception of logistics (since you don’t care about your warehouse). The skills break down into four groups on the University screen, as follows:
Cultivation – Increases production of food. Highest priority.
Logging – Increases production of wood. Highest priority.
Mining – Increases production of stone. Low priority.
Digging – Increases production of copper. High priority.
Alchemy – Increases revenue. Medium priority.
Riding – Increases transport speed. Medium priority.
Construction – Increases building speed. Highest priority.
Logistics – Increases warehouse capacity. Lowest priority.
Conscription – Increases troop training speed and allows training of advanced troops. Highest priority.
Army Attack – Increases troop attack power. Highest priority.
Army Defense – Increases troop defense power. High priority.
Army Speed – Increases troop marching speed. Medium priority.
Legend Defense – Increases defense power of legends. Medium priority.
Magic – Reduces legend mana consumption. Initially low priority, becomes important as you acquire artefacts for troops.
Leadership – Increases number of troops legends can command. High priority.
Skill Sense – Increases ability to obtain skill information through spying. Lowest priority.
Resource Sense – Increases ability to obtain resource information through spying. Low priority.
Army Sense – Increases ability to obtain troop information through spying. Low priority.
While the above discussion of cities is important, I think the biggest mistake new players make in this game is not understanding that cities are pretty fungible. You’ll spend a lot of time working on your cities and researching skills, but once they’re “maxed,” you’ll realize that you can’t distinguish yourself from other players with a great city. While people may have different views on the ideal city layout, the cities are really all the same.
LEGENDS truly are the heart of this game. The players with the best legends are the strongest players — period. And you are going to spend all of your time trying to acquire the best legends you can and then help them reach their full potential. If you understand that when you first start playing, you’ll have a huge advantage over those who don’t.
There are three types of legends, all of which have four basic characteristics: courage, magic, strategy and ability. WARRIORS have the strongest attack; COURAGE is their important characteristic. SEERS have the strongest defense and can lead the most troops; STRATEGY is their important characteristic. MONKS have the strongest magical ability; MAGIC is their most important characteristic. Most experienced players will only upgrade courage for warriors, strategy for seers and magic for monks. However, some advanced players will use other strategies for upgrading their legends.
The most important characteristic for any legend is ABILITY. Ability ultimately determines how powerful a legend can become because it determines how many “potential” points you will receive when you upgrade a legend. When you upgrade a legend, you will receive between 1 and 4 “potential” points you can use to increase the legend’s courage, magic or strategy. If you recruit a legend with low ability, the legend will simply not become very strong over time because each upgrade will result in a relatively small improvement in the legend’s characteristics.
When you first start playing the game, the highest ability a legend can have will be 30. “Famous” legends, which you will be able to acquire later in the game, have ability above 30. You can acquire them by capturing them in battle in wildlands or special paradises, by searching in wildlands, or by completing tasks. Later on, you will be able to increase the ability of legends using special items. More on that later.
When you first start playing, my recommendation is that you not recruit any legend whose ability is less than 29. When you become advanced, you’ll end up dismissing most if not all of these legends anyway because you’ll have famous legends. Ideally, you should only “train” legends whose ability is 30. This can be frustrating because you’ll want to play the game, but you’ll be glad you were patient later if you can follow my advice.
Legends become more powerful through upgrades. You can upgrade a legend when he or she reaches an experience level shown in the “XP” box on the legend screen. Each time you click the upgrade button, you’ll receive “potential” points which you can assign by clicking the “+” button next to courage, magic or strategy. Again, I recommend that (at least until you know what you’re doing) you only upgrade courage for warriors, magic for monks and strategy for seers.
There are 2 important items for potential — renew seeds and reflections. If you upgrade a legend and don’t like the points you received, you can click the “+” button next to potential and use a reflection item. That allows you to re-upgrade the legend and get a new roll of the dice on potential points. Renew seeds let you return the legend all the way to level 1, and then re-do all of the upgrades. If you have enough reflections, this lets you try to create a great legend with maximum points. For example, you could reflect the legend each time you only get 1 point, or 2, or even 3, so you have the highest possible courage, magic or strategy.
There are four ways to obtain the experience you need to upgrade your legends: fighting in a wildland or special paradise, practicing in a “regular” paradise, using “boon” items, and acting as governor of a city. There are various items you can use to receive experience bonuses, such as clarity which doubles experience legends receive during battle.
Legends receive experience from battle whether they win or lose (more if they win). If more than one legend is sent to fight, the experience is divided among the legends based on their level. There are various strategies you can use for training legends through battle, such as sending an inexperienced legend with a stronger one who does the fighting. Just remember that the stronger legend will get most of the experience. There is a glitch you can take advantage of once you “soar” a legend (more on that later) — the system looks only at level, whether soared or not. So if you have a level 1 “soared” true legend (who really is level 101) and send it to fight with a level 20 legend, the level 20 legend will get most of the experience. The higher the level of the wildland in which you fight, or the higher the floor of a special paradise, the more experience you’ll receive.
To practice in a paradise, you just occupy the paradise and practice. More on that in the wildland section below, but I have found that this is not the fastest way to get experience.
To use a boon item, click the “+” button next to the XP box on the legend screen and pick the item you want to use.
Governors receive experience as things occur in the city. For example, a governor will get more experience in a city in which lots of buildings are being built than a governor in a maxed city.
Having the right governor is important for maximizing results in the game. Whenever you do anything with a city, the characteristics of your governor will determine how quickly and how well the thing is done.
Your governor should usually be your highest-magic Monk. This is because resource production is determined in part by the magic rating of your governor. The speed at which you build and upgrade buildings also is determined by the magic level of your governor.
When you are going to research a new skill level, change your governor to your highest-strategy Seer. Do this because the speed at which you research new skills is determined in part by the strategy rating of your governor. The calculation is done at the time you click the skill upgrade button, so as soon as you have clicked the button to upgrade a skill, change the governor back to your highest-magic Monk.
When you are going to recruit troops, change your governor to your highest-courage Warrior. Do this because the speed at which you recruit new troops is determined in part by the courage rating of your governor. The calculation is done at the time you click the recruit button, so as soon as you have clicked the button to recruit troops, change the governor back to your highest-magic Monk.
One advanced note here — if you join an alliance that is sufficiently advanced, you can buy boost items using the alliance tab. I buy the skill boost and skill bonus items literally all day long so that I have two skill bonuses working at all times. This increases my resource production (by boosting the magic rating of my governor) and also gives all of my legends who fight additional “mana,” which is needed to use artefacts in battle. You also can buy strategy and courage boosts and bonuses if you want.
There are probably many schools of thought regarding the best mix of legends in your cities, but I have four roles for my legends and recruit and train them accordingly.
First, I have one monk I use as my governor.
Second, I have five legends I use to attack wildlands and special paradises. These are my best legends, usually warriors and seers, and they are the ones I train. I usually will have three legends with archers and two with chariots. More on why below.
Third, I have five legends I use to raid the cities of other players. These can be monks, warriors or seers, but I want to maximize their strategy so they can carry as many troops as possible. They lead halberdiers so they can carry as much loot as possible back to my city.
Finally, I have ten legends whose job is to explore or search wildlands. It doesn’t matter what kind of troops they lead, but I use swordsmen just to make it easier to distinguish them from the raiders. These are my “scrubs” or legends I’m not ready to train. Some people will arm these legends with only 1 troop, or a small number of troops, on the theory that troops are costly and you don’t get better search/explore results from using lots of troops. I just have them lead the maximum number of troops they can, partially because some people claim that you get better results with more troops and partially because this is a strategic reserve in the event of a war. It has come in very handy for me in that regard.
This is a war game, so troops obviously are important. When you first start playing there are only four types of troops you can recruit: halberdiers, swordsmen, archers and charioteers. Later on, you can acquire more advanced versions of the same troops — “expert” troops, “skilled” troops and “master” troops. These can be made if you own a Famous City or if you receive a token exchangeable for the troops.
The four troop types have different requirements for production and different abilities, all listed below.
Halberdiers receive a bonus against charioteers. These are the weakest troops and the cheapest to produce, but they are fast and carry the greatest load so they are effective to use in looting the cities of other players.
Gold cost 10
Food cost 75
Wood cost 75
Copper cost 50
Swordsmen receive a bonus against archers. They have strong defense.
Gold cost 20
Food cost 100
Wood cost 150
Copper cost 125
Archers receive a bonus against halberdiers. They have very strong attack and weak defense, and their “first strike” capability makes them probably your most important weapon. They get to hit the enemy once before the enemy hits them, so if you send enough archers with a strong enough legend, they can kill all of the enemy troops with no losses. This doesn’t work when fighting archers, however, so finding out whether there are archers at your target is very important in the game.
Gold cost 30
Food cost 150
Wood cost 250
Copper cost 100
Charioteers receive a bonus against swordsmen. These are the fastest and most powerful troops, but they also are the most expensive to produce.
Gold cost 60
Food cost 300
Wood cost 200
Copper cost 300
ARMOR AND ARTEFACTS
Legends become stronger when equipped with armor and magic artefacts. These typically are acquired in boxes and chests that “drop” when you attack wildlands and special paradises, or which you find when you explore wildlands. You also can buy them from the shop.
There are many different types of armor, most of which is usable only by a particular type of legend (i.e. a monk, seer or warrior). “Professional” armor can be used by any type of legend. The benefits of armor include bonuses to courage, magic and strategy, as well as bonuses to attack and defense ratings. Each type of armor has a level requirement to be equipped to a legend.
Most types of armor have various types of bonuses your legend receives when he or she wears two or four pieces of the armor type. This usually is a bonus to magic, strategy or courage, or an attack or defense bonus. For example, feral armor, the full set of which can be used by warriors who reach level 28, gives a +10 courage bonus if two pieces are worn, and a 10% attack bonus for archers in the first round of battle if four pieces are worn. Such attack bonuses are extremely valuable, as archers are trying to kill all enemy troops in the first round of battle, before they are attacked by the enemy. Drake armor is the best “basic” armor for warriors — it gives a 25% attack bonus in the first round if the full set is worn.
Armor can be improved in the smithy if you have bluestones and redstones. When armor is improved in this manner, it gives higher bonuses. When armor reaches +4, a gem can be mounted in the emerald slot, giving whatever additional bonus the gem offers. The sapphire slot opens at +7, and the ruby slot opens at +10. Just be careful not to waste redstones and gems on low-level armor – when you are more advanced, you may regret not saving them for high-end armor like Drake.
ARMOR AND ARTEFACTS/2
Each legend has four slots available for magic artefacts to be used in battle. Each artefact has a level requirement, as well as a mana requirement for usage. “Mana” is an amount of magical power the legend has which is depleted as items are used. The higher the legend’s magic rating, the more mana he or she will have. Mana comes back gradually once your legend returns to a city and rests, or it can be restored using items such as bloodflowers.
There are four types of artefacts – attack bonus, defense bonus, troop restorer and troop decreaser. These items respectively provide an attack or defense bonus, increase the number of troops your legend is leading (but not above the number of troops you started the battle round with), or kill a percentage of the troops your legend is fighting.
I am not going to try to list all of the different artefacts here, but I will say that troop restorers and decreasers are extremely valuable. For example, if you send a legend with archers to a wildland, he or she may be able to kill all of the enemy troops in the first round but there will be losses if there are enemy archers. Troop restorers (such as Vital Rune and Devil Rope) allow you to recover the troops you lose at the beginning of the next round. Troop decreasers also are extremely valuable, as they allow a legend to win a battle he or she might otherwise lose by magically killing a percentage of the enemy troops.
As you advance in the game, you will see that some Famous Legends have special artefacts usable only by them. The basic artefacts come in heaven boxes and holy boxes, among others.
There are five types of wildlands that appear on the map: lakes, forests, hills, mountains and flats. All of them are defended by legends and troops, with the strength of the legends and number of troops increasing with the level of the wildland. After you kill all of the troops in a wildland, they reappear in about an hour unless you occupy the wildland.
Wildlands are important because you can obtain resources by invading them and resource production bonuses by occupying them (except for flats); they provide your legends with an opportunity to gain experience (and you also get reputation); they provide items when you attack, search or explore them; and you can capture legends including Famous Legends with ability above 30.
Lakes provide food, forests provide wood, hills provide copper, and mountains provide stone. Flats do not provide resources, but you can build new cities on them.
In order to invade a wildland, click on the wildland you want to attack and assign one or more legends to invade. When the legend(s) reach the wildland, the battle screen will appear and the fight takes place. After the troops are gone, send another legend to occupy using the same steps. There will be no battle if there are no remaining troops. You can occupy a wildland before invading it, but then you lose the ability to get the resources.
When you first start playing, you will want to scout wildlands before invading them to see what troops are there. Do this by sending a spy using the same method for invading (except you click the spy button). You generally want to attack wildlands with archers so you don’t lose troops, and you may want to avoid wildlands with archers in them for the same reason.
The number of wildlands you can occupy is determined by the level of your palace (max 10 for a normal city). If you click on your palace, and then click the wildlands tab, you can see which wildlands you have occupied and what production bonuses they are providing.
Typically, you will want to invade a wildland to kill the troops and take the resources it offers, then occupy it immediately afterwards to secure the production bonus. Leave the troops in the wildland, click on the wildland and choose search or explore. Searching can result in finding legends for your city or legacy scrolls which activate tasks you can follow to obtain nine Famous Legends. For details on the legacy scrolls, use quick find code 76-77-6-64340. Exploring obtains additional resources and items. I try to have the maximum number of occupied wildlands with legends searching or exploring them at all times.
The level of occupied wildlands will decrease by one every day at midnight GMT. Because this results in a reduced production bonus (and also less valuable items from explores), you will want to abandon the wildlands and get new ones with higher levels from time to time. Some people do this every day, others less frequently. (To abandon a wildland, use the wildland tab in your palace, highlight the wildland and click abandon.)
One trick you can use to avoid having to invade new wildlands all the time is to withdraw your troops from occupied wildlands and abandon them shortly before they are going to degrade, then reoccupy them right after the level reductions occur. You only have about an hour before the troops will reappear in the wildland, so you need to time this perfectly for it to work.
Before attacking (or even spying on) a wildland, make sure it isn’t already occupied! Also, don’t occupy empty wildlands — chances are that another player just attacked the wildland and has occupiers on the way, or abandoned it with the intention of reoccupying it after degradations take place. You may start a fight if you do this.
This section addresses how to fight, whether you are attacking wildlands, special paradises or other players. The mechanics are all the same, although fights move more slowly when you fight a player because you have to wait for him or her to “make their move” each turn.
The benefits of attacking wildlands and special paradises are addressed elsewhere in this guide, but I want to start with a discussion of why you would attack other players (and why they might want to attack you). Obviously, since this is a war game, part of the answer is that it’s just fun for some people. But there are plenty of other reasons for attacking other players.
The most common reason to attack other players is “farming,” or stealing resources. You need lots of resources to build and maintain large numbers of troops, which are basically the fuel you will use to train your legends and increase your reputation. Good cities produce lots of resources, but you’ll always be wanting more. So attacking and pillaging the cities of other players is a good way to get the resources you need.
When you successfully invade another player’s city, your troops will carry away whatever non-gold resources they can carry. They’ll take these resources in the proportion the city has them (i.e., if a city has 200,000 food, 200,000 wood, 400,000 stone and 200,000 copper, the loot will be 20% food, 20% wood, 40% stone and 20% copper), subject to a maximum of 25% of the city’s resources which are not stored in a warehouse. When you successfully “occupy” or “conquest” a city, you steal gold instead of the other resources. As discussed below, occupy/conquest attacks can result in capturing or enslaving the city.
Different players have different rules they choose to follow for farming. Personally, I don’t like attacking other players who haven’t done anything to me, so I generally only attack cities that are not in an alliance and which either appear to be abandoned or have no defenses in place.
You can only take resources from a city three times per day – after that, resources are hidden and you have to wait for the next day to take more.
Other reasons to attack other players include retaliation for them attacking (or insulting) you, wars between alliances, and wanting to capture or enslave a city.
Every city has a loyalty rating which is affected by factors including the tax rate and attacks on the city. When you successfully occupy/conquest a city, the loyalty will be reduced by an amount based in part on the legend and troops performing the attack. Once it hits zero, the next occupy/conquest attack will result in the capture of a subcity (i.e., a city other than the capital) if you have an open “slot” for another city. If the city is the other player’s capital and you are attacking from your capital, the city will be enslaved. This will make the city your territory for up to three days (assuming you have room for another territory), giving you reputation bonuses and allowing you to perform various territory functions on the city once a day. You can access these functions under the territories tab in your palace.
Before attacking a city, it is critical to spy on the city to see what is inside it. The level of your spy skills and spy camp, together with the opponent’s watchtower level, determine whether your spying mission will be successful. The information you can obtain from spying includes what resources, legends and troops are inside a city, and what skill levels your opponent has.
When I need to farm, I scroll around the map near my city and send spies to cities that may be good candidates for farming. As the reports come in, I decide who to attack and then send out my raider legends with their halberdier troops (together with archers or chariots if there are enemy troops I need to kill — again, I rarely attack cities with defenses). I send three waves at each city, choosing invade or occupy based on what I want to take.
OK, combat. Let’s start with the battle screen. Your legend(s) and troops will appear on one side of the screen and your opponent’s legends and troops on the other. At the bottom of the screen on the side with your troops, you will see the artefacts your legend has available. At the top on your side, you’ll see how many life and mana points the legend has left.
Ordinarily, the legends will fight one at a time, from top to bottom, until all of the troops on one side have been killed. However, if you sent multiple legends to the fight, you can select one of your legends to fight in the next round by clicking on the legend’s picture and then clicking the sword tab. This allows you to try to get good match-ups, like having your archers fight against enemy halberdiers or your charioteers fight against enemy swordsmen.
Each round, you will see a clock at the top of the screen counting down. This is to give you time to pick a different legend you want to fight in the next round and pick any artefacts you want your legend to use in this round. Click “End of Round” at the bottom of the screen once you’ve made your selections, and the fight will happen immediately if you’re in a wildland or special paradise, or when the other player has made his or her selections in player v. player combat.
Your main objective in combat (in addition to killing all enemy troops) is to avoid losing troops. Archers are the best troops to use for most fights, since they can kill the enemy with zero losses if you are strong enough, but you don’t want them fighting other archers when you can avoid it because even strong legends take losses in archer v. archer combat.
For this reason, one strategy you can use is to send one legend with archers and one with charioteers. Have the archers fight all troops except archers, switching to your charioteers when archers are coming up in the next round. They have strong defenses, so they will take minimal losses against the archers.
Although the game claims that swordsmen are the best troops to use against archers, and many armor bonuses give defense bonuses to swordsmen in the first round, in my experience chariots are much better than swordsmen against archers.
Another tactic you can use in combat is sending “reducer” legends with your main attackers. These legends lead only one archer and have a troop decreaser artefact like a bronze sword or peacemaker. When they fight, you use the artefact to kill a bunch of the enemy’s troops (twice if you’re not fighting archers), and you only lose one archer. This is a very effective tactic against strong opponents.
Because you are trying to minimize troop losses at all times, it is important that you know the type and numbers of troops you are facing and what order they will fight in. You get this information for wildlands when you spy them, and you see the information before you fight on each floor of a special paradise. For opposing players, they can change up the order on you, but you at least can see what troops and legends they have. Send legends and troops that will be able to defeat the enemy! And send them in an order that maximizes your ability to get good match-ups.
For example, if you are attacking a wildland with archers in the first wave of defenders, don’t send archers with the first legend — have the first legend use chariots. Send archers with the second legend, then switch the legends who are fighting after the first round. And vice versa.
At least when you first start playing, you should send archers with warrior legends and chariots with seers. This is because warriors have the strongest attack and the objective with archers is to kill all enemy troops in round 1. Similarly, seers have the strongest defense, so use them with chariots. As you gain experience, you can experiment with other tactics. At the very beginning of the game, you may not want to use chariots at all, just archers.
In order to defend your city, you need to set up your defenses. You do this on the city screen by clicking on the parade ground and selecting “defence.” Click on the legends you want to defend the city in the order you fight them to fight. Use the drop-down menus to pick any artefacts you want them to use if you are not online. Select “ride out” as the defence strategy (unless you don’t want anyone to defend the city). Then click the save button.
You need to go through this process twice — once for “anti-invade” and once for “anti-conq.” This establishes what will happen when your city is invaded or occupied, respectively. You generally want your strongest legends defending your city. You may want to make sure your governor is one of the defenders so someone defends the city if other troops are out doing other things. You also may want to have different legends defending against invasion and occupy attacks in order to maximize the number of defending troops.
Special Paradises are probably the most important aspect of the game for advanced players. Attacking them is impossible when you first start – they just have too many troops for you to deal with. But once you can attack them, you will spend most of your time doing only that.
Special paradises are important in the game because attacking them is the best way to get experience for your legends and reputation points for yourself. You also can capture lots of Famous Legends and obtain valuable items as rewards for successful combat.
There are two types of special paradises – level 4 and level 5. (It makes no difference what form the special paradise takes, such as Cairn or Shrouded Peak — they are all basically the same.) Level 4 special paradises have 7 floors, and level 5 special paradises have 15 floors. You can move to the next floor after killing all of the troops in the prior floor. The floors get tougher and tougher to get through as you move through the paradise, but the rewards get better and better in terms of experience, reputation and items.
At the end of each floor, you’ll have the chance to refresh your troops if you click the “+” button — you need the army aid item to do this. You also can close the special paradise screen, go to your city, and use items on your troops to restore life and mana points if you wish. You continue through the special paradise by clicking on the paradise again and just continuing.
I have yet to figure out what, if anything, is to be gained by talking to the bad guys.
Each special paradise is unique. The first two floors have different legends and troops on them each time you attack those floors. From Floor 3 on, however, the legends and troops are always the same. This makes it possible to keep track of what troops you’ll find in each special paradise, and only attack the ones that are easier to get through without losses. Cabola on the Imperial Palace server has a great web site listing the contents of all of the special paradises, with all of the floors covered for most of them. The forums won’t let me list the web address, but maybe you can find it with a search engine. If not, just compile your own list.
Special paradises reset once a day. Unless you use the time lock item, if you attack a special paradise twice in the same day, you’ll start wherever you finished after your last attack.
The key thing to look for in special paradises is how many archers there are, especially with the first and last legends on each floor. As discussed above, you don’t want to fight archers most of the time because your own archers will take losses no matter how strong they are. The troops with the first legend on a floor are key because the first legend in your attack group will have to fight those troops (you can’t switch to a different legend with charioteers before the fight). The troops with the last legend also are key, because you can’t use a troop increaser artefact after the fight to regain the troops you lost. This doesn’t matter if you are sending multiple legends to fight in the special paradise, but it is extremely important if you are sending only one legend with archers — he or she will take losses on that floor and not be able to restore the troops. On the next floor, the number of troops you start with is the maximum number you can restore, so you’ll have fewer archers than you started with for the remainder of the special paradise.
While there are many strategies to use in special paradises, here are a few:
SINGLE ATTACKER — When trying to gain experience, the fastest way to do it is to send one legend to a special paradise using whatever experience bonuses you can (clarity, etc.). Just like in wildlands, experience is divided among legends based on their level. So if you have a legend who can get all the way through a special paradise, or at least deep into it, you can get millions of experience points from a single special paradise explore. Usually you’ll do this with archers, but I do it with charioteers also.
TWO ATTACKERS — An archer/charioteer team made up of two very strong legends (usually a warrior and a seer) can be very effective in getting through (or deep into) special paradises. This allows you to switch between the legends depending on the troops you need to kill. You also can send an inexperienced legend along with a really strong one, letting the strong one do the fighting. The weak one will get a lot of experience this way.
MORE ATTACKERS — When you want to go deep into a special paradise but can’t do it with one or two legends, you obviously can send more. This gives you a better chance to keep going as you lose troops, although each legend will gain less experience because it is being divided among the whole group. You can do this sending a full complement of troops with the 3/4/5 legends, or use some of them as “reducers,” sending them with one archer and a troop decreaser artefact.
If you know what troops you’ll be facing on each floor of the special paradise, you can make good decisions about the order you send your legends in. Remember that your first legend will face the first legend on each floor, so if there are lots of floors where archers are in the first group, consider having a legend with charioteers as your first legend. Otherwise, it’s best to lead with archers since they can kill the enemy without taking losses.
The best thing you can do as a new player is join a good alliance. There are lots of reasons to do this.
First, you’ll have teammates who can help you. You can talk with your allies in alliance chat, get tips from more experienced players in the alliance, send resources to each other, and help defend each other when someone is attacked. If you don’t join an alliance, you really are putting yourself at a huge disadvantage and missing out on half the fun. You’re also placing a giant target on your back, as people in alliances are much less likely to be attacked than people playing solo.
Second, alliance members get bonuses. The higher the level of your alliance and the better it is managed, and especially if the alliance controls strongholds, the more stuff you’ll get. Bonuses include things like faster resource production and troop training.
Third, especially in advanced alliances, you can get items not available to other players. Under the alliance tab, if you pick “items,” there are things you can buy with gold like skill, courage and strategy boosts. If you donate troops to your alliance for use in stronghold battles, you get honor points which you can trade for other valuable items.
Another benefit of joining an alliance is the ability to use gold to purchase items through “worship.” Each alliance has two menus of items listing what its members can obtain through worshipping one of two gods (Shang alliances have one pair of gods, and Zhou alliances have a different pair).
Much like the items that can be researched at the alliance “items” tab, the items you can obtain through worship get better as your alliance makes contributions required to make items available. In the case of worship, alliance members gain “favour” with each god by sacrificing resources and equipment to that god. At different favour levels, you gain the ability to purchase various items shown on the screen. The most useful of these items are strong mounts that give movement and either strategy, magic or courage bonuses; and experience boosts that increase experience gain by various percentages for different periods of time.
In order to obtain the worship items, you donate gold to your alliance to build up a “contribution” level. You do this at the international affairs tab, selecting “donations.” You can then use your alliance contribution balance to buy worship items.
As of January 23, 2011, there is a bug (or at least I hope it’s a bug) that causes alliances to lose all favour with one god when they switch to the other. Hopefully this will be fixed shortly. Only the leader of an alliance can switch the god you can get worship items from, and the bug effectively forces alliances to pick which god they want to get items from.
Note that you can leave a Zhou alliance and join a Shang alliance (and vice versa) to get worship items available only to that type of alliance. You don’t lose the items after switching back to your regular alliance. Be careful if you do this, however, as you lose your contribution balance and honor from stronghold donations when you leave your alliance. Use all of your honor and contributions before you leave.
Famous cities are fixed cities on the map with special abilities. There are three types — Barbarian, Zhou and Shang. Barbarian cities make “expert” troops and the buildings and resource fields can be upgraded to level 25. Zhou cities make “master” troops and also have an upgrade limit of 25. Shang cities make “skilled” troops and have an upgrade limit of 30. Master troops are the strongest, followed by expert, followed by skilled. Each Famous City has its own Famous Legend who can be recruited in the legend sanctuary. You can see the legend name (and type of Famous City) by clicking on the city.
Famous cities work the same way as regular cities with a few exceptions. First, you cannot build an ally base in a Famous City, so your allies can’t help you defend yourself. Second, Famous Cities cannot be moved using the wind items. Third, Famous Cities will automatically defend themselves with all legends when attacked. (Regular cities will be defended only with the legends you selected when you set up your defenses.) Fourth, stone is needed to build troops in Famous Cities. Finally, Famous Cities cannot be protected with the Parley (truce) item. There is a two-hour truce, however, when a Famous City is captured.
On new servers, Famous Cities start out with system-run defenses much like a special paradise or wildland.
There are tasks asking you to spy on, then invade, then occupy a Famous City. Be careful doing this! Players who own Famous Cities tend to be very strong, and they will almost certainly view any spying or invasion attempt as an attack and respond accordingly. If you ask nicely, however, some players will let you complete the spy and invade tasks at an agreed-upon time. Keep in mind that it is very difficult to spy on a Famous City that has a level 25 watchtower. You’ll need a level 20 spy camp and level 20 spy skills to do it, and even then it will take many tries.
Stronghold battles are an advanced part of the game I won’t attempt to address comprehensively here, but I do want to provide an introduction.
Stronghold battles are done at the alliance level, so strongholds only matter to you if you are in an alliance. Strongholds basically are spaces on the map controlled by alliances. Once per week, each alliance may attack one stronghold (and also defend whatever strongholds it already has). A second alliance can assist in the attack or defense. Stronghold battles are fought by the leaders of the participating alliances (or their designees) using legends and troops donated by people in their alliances. Legends can lead much larger numbers of troops in stronghold battles than in regular battles.
When an alliance controls a stronghold, everyone in the alliance receives bonuses during the week the stronghold is held. These bonuses include things like better experience gain. The more strongholds the alliance controls, the higher the bonuses. Each member of an alliance controlling a stronghold also gets some free resources and reputation by clicking the right buttons on the stronghold once per week.
When an alliance controls all three strongholds in a region, cities in that region get additional bonuses (better production, faster troop training, etc.). In addition, if your alliance controls all three strongholds in a region and you have a city in that region, you have a chance to recruit the Famous Legend for that region in your sanctuary.
While I will not cover the mechanics of stronghold battles, I will cover how to donate legends and troops to your alliance, and how to get stronghold rewards.
The stronghold button is at the left of your screen next to the buttons for the Fen* Shen tower and Divination Trigram. Click it and you’ll get the stronghold screen. To donate troops and legends, click the “DON.” button at the top center of the screen.
On the left side of the screen, you can select up to five of your legends to donate for alliance stronghold battles. This has no effect on the availability of your legend for normal gameplay, it just allows your alliance leader to use your legends in the stronghold battle if he or she so chooses. If your legends are used, you’ll get honor points you can exchange for items under the rewards tab.
On the right side of the screen, you can donate troops to the alliance. You will not get these troops back once you donate them — they become alliance troops — but you will receive honor points you can trade for items. You also can donate soldier tokens and war tokens which the alliance leader needs for stronghold battle purposes.
If your alliance controls one or more strongholds, you will see them listed on the main stronghold screen. To get the weekly rewards, click each stronghold, view the report, then select “receive” to get the rewards.
To trade honor points for items, go to the rewards screen and select the items you want to get.
Your first city is your capital. It is unique in that it cannot be taken away from you and it can enslave other cities (making them your territories). Other cities you control are called “sub-cities.”
You can only have one city (your capital) when you first start playing. You can build (or capture) your first sub-city when you obtain the title of Senior Prefect. You get a second sub-city when you make State Minister, a third when you make Education Minister, and a fourth when you make Civic Notary (allowing you a total of five cities).
In order to build a sub-city, you need to occupy a flat and spend 100,000 units each of gold, food, wood, stone and copper. You build the sub-city by clicking the “fortify” button you will see when you click on the occupied flat. You then get a brand new empty city that looks just like your capital did when you started playing the game.
As discussed above, you also can acquire a sub-city by capturing it from another player. You do this by sending troops to occupy someone else’s sub-city until the loyalty drops to zero. At that point, if you have an open “slot” for another city, the sub-city will be yours. The city will have whatever buildings and resource fields were there when you captured the city, giving you a big head start (or a big headache if you don’t like the way the other player designed the city — you can fix it by demolishing the buildings and resource fields and then building the city the way you want to).
Sub-cities can make you more powerful and make the game more fun, as they give you room for more legends and allow you to build more troops and obtain more resources. When you first start playing, however, I do not recommend that you rush into building a sub-city. Focus your energies on making sure that your capital is well-established and defended first. Otherwise, you’ll stretch yourself too thin and be vulnerable to attack.
There are many strategies for the design and use of sub-cities. Here are a few:
STAND-ALONE CITY – Most people, at least with their first sub-city, build and use it pretty much the same way as their capital. You make the city self-sufficient – the resource fields are set up to make enough of each resource to support the city, the garrisons and armoury allow sufficient troop training, etc. You do not need a smithy in your second city except to make the armoury, so demolish it when the armoury is completed and build a village or garrison instead. You also don’t need an ally base unless you want your alliance members to be able to reinforce you. Other than that, you build this type of sub-city the same way you built your capital.
RESOURCE PRODUCER – Some people specialize their resource production by creating sub-cities that focus on one or perhaps two resources. For example, a sub-city might have almost all croplands to make food for the giant armies in your other cities.
GOLD PRODUCER – You also can have a sub-city designed to produce lots of gold. You do this by building as many villages as you can, and building only enough resource fields to support the needs of the city (a single quarry to support the ramparts, enough croplands to feed the troops defending the city, and maybe some coppermines and timber mills to support the build out).
ARMY BASE – This type of city has maximum villages and croplands for making and feeding troops, plus garrisons and an armoury. Other cities need to supply wood and copper.
Your capital and your sub-cities (except Famous Cities) can be moved around the map using the fated wind and divine wind items. Fated wind moves the city to a random spot in a region you select, and divine wind moves it to specific coordinates you select. If you use the divine wind item, there is a 12-hour hold on sending troops out of the city.
If you place your cities close together, they can share resources and defend each other much more easily. The farther apart they are, the longer it will take to send troops and transport resources between the cities. For this reason, many people keep their cities (or at least pairs or groups of cities) right next to each other or close enough to support one another. This is a good strategy when you have specialized cities that aren’t designed to protect themselves, or you have a Famous City you want to help defend with another city.
The problem with having your cities right next to each other is that they have to share wildlands, special paradises and farming targets. Especially in crowded areas, it can take a long time to find wildlands to occupy and cities to farm. If you have two cities next to each other, you are multiplying this difficulty for yourself. Similarly, because Special Paradises can only be attacked once a day unless you use the time lock item, putting cities together will make it a bit harder to complete your daily SP runs.
In addition to these factors, placement of cities is affected by whether your alliance controls strongholds in different regions. When your alliance controls all three strongholds in a region, you’ll want to move a city into that region to try to recruit the stronghold legend from the city’s sanctuary. You also gain various bonuses when you locate your cities in regions controlled by your alliance.