Grepolis Building a City Guide

Grepolis Building a City Guide by Asjo

This guide is for building up a city. It’s not necessarily a guide for starting out in the game, it’s just about the general mechanics that effect cities, and could just as well be applied to building up a new colony. Obviously, when you start out the game, there might be several other things to consider than those listed below, which are explained in isolation from other factors that might effect your decisions.


If you are not active enough to build up a useful attack force to capture new cities, you might just want to colonize a new city. This means that you can pick your exact location for the city and put it right next to players from your alliance.

When you start the new city, you will be building up mines at even levels and building up the farm alongside them. How you build your mine levels beyond level 15 fully depends on your desired unit mix. If you’re looking for a defensive mix of archers and swordsmen, you will want a higher level timber camp, but if you’re looking to build offensive units, you will want higher level quarry. Either way, always have your silver mines at higher levels than your other mines, especially if you build units for attack since you will more often spend resources on rebuilding units you attacked with and lost than on buildings.

Farming villages

Initially, don’t build your mines beyond level 15 (unless you’re not very active, in which case, you will need the resources from mine production more). Instead, you should make sure to get your farming villages as soon as possible. If you’re a fairly active player, they will be your main source of income. Getting six of the eight farming villages on your island is quite easy. They get harder to take every time your capture a new one (see details in the Grepolis farming guide, so don’t conquer your seventh farming village before you have a big city. To take the first four farming villages, simply get some slingers. They will easily defeat what is defending the farming villages. There will be 60 swordsmen defending the fifth farming village, so build some hoplites to defeat the fifth farming village as well. The sixth farming village can be defeated with 60 slingers (although, if you have them, using horsemen is optimal, and you need as few as 15), but you will need at least 150 slingers to defeat the seventh farming village. Always capture the farming villages with the highest levels first. Other players on your island have separate farming villages (meaning they can own all eight farming villages even though you do the same), so when you do with the farming villages has no effect on other players on your island, except if you expand them (then others on the island will benefit, since the levels are same for all players).

While you are online, you demand resources from your farming villages. Initially, you will have the choice of four different demands, and when you research booty, you will have eight different choices:

The example here comes from a farming village that is level 5. Every time you have some excess resources, it would be wise to use them to expand your farming villages since this will gain you more resources in the long run. If you demand 36 of each resource, you have to wait five minutes before you can demand from that village again, but if you demand 555 of each resources, you will have to wait 480 minutes (eight hours). One very important thing to note is the lower option you choose, the more resources per minute you will get. This makes a huge difference. Here, if I choose to get 36 of each resource, I will get 7,2 of each resources per minute. Meanwhile if I choose, I will only get 1,15 of each resources per minute. So, this system greatly favours people who spend a lot of time on demanding resources from the farming villages. If you are able to stay online for a while and demand resources every five minutes, this will earn you much more resources than if you only demand every eight hours. But when you go to sleep, of course, the best option is the eight hours, since you will not be demanding resources while you sleep (hopefully ).

Here is an illustration of the difference in resources if you were to use the different demand-options for a full 24 hours (with level 5 farming village used as an example):

Demand every 5 minutes: 10.368 of each resource per farming village
Demand every 10 minutes: 8.640 of each resource per farming village
Demand every 20 minutes: 5.616 of each resource per farming village
Demand every 40 minutes: 4.716 of each resource per farming village
Demand every 90 minutes: 2.720 of each resource per farming village
Demand every 180 minutes: 2.264 of each resource per farming village
Demand every 240 minutes: 1.998 of each resource per farming village
Demand every 480 minutes: 1.665 of each resource per farming village

Keep in mind that you can also select the loot-option for double the resources and a decrease in the mood of your farming village. Just be careful; once the mood of your farming village drops below 80% (or 64% if you have researched diplomacy), your farming village will revolt if you loot. So, you will lose it and have to capture it back. However, if I’m going to sleep and I loot the farming village causing the mood to decrease by 96%, this does not mean that I lose the farming village. It simply means that the mood will be at 4%, and I should not loot the farming villages before the mood goes to a safe level again (but demanding resources is still fine). Generally I don’t loot the farming village to a mood below 80% as this will make me unable to trade with them. If you loot, you should use the 20-minute option where possible as it has the higher ratio of resources per mood percentage. This means that if you don’t have too much time to loot, you might as well use the 20-minute option. Otherwise, using the 5-minute option brings you slightly less resources per mood, but will allow you to loot quicker, meaning you can make demands to the farming village afterwards.

A good reason to get market level five early on is that you can trade with farming villages at a really good ratio. The max you can trade with any farming village at a time is 2.000 resources. However, the starting ratio is always 1:1.25, which means that for your 2.000 resources, you get 2.500 back. Once you’ve traded with a farm, the ratio gets worse, so you have to wait a while until you can trade at the best ratio again. Each farming village can only make a specific trade – wood for stone, for instance. However, if you can manage to plan ahead and balance your resources, trading with farming villages is an easy way to get resources. If you have six farming villages, you just need to trade once with them all to earn 3.000 resources.

Building infrastructure

The only thing to really keep in mind when building up your city is the have a high level warehouse so that you will never end up blocking your increase of resources if you reach your limit. Grepolis is evil, so even if you capture or otherwise gain resources, they will simply vanish into thin air if you don’t have space for them in your warehouse. When you warehouse is high enough in level, make sure to get a high level senate as early as possible, since it will decrease building speed of everything else (and later, when your city is big, having a high level senate is needed to build the special buildings such as Thermal Baths and Tower).

Of course, when starting up a city, the most important thing is to get up your research. Research such as Architecture, Crane, Conscription and Phalanx will have an accumulative positive effect, so the earlier you get them, the better. It is debatable whether Crane can pay for itself, so make sure you consider your strategy carefully before choosing it (i.e. do you need the research points for other things, is your play long term or short term oriented). Researching Ceramics and Plow are also cheap ways of getting more population and resource storage space. You will need city wall for defense, so get that to at least level 6 relatively early as well.

Another thing to keep in mind is that buildings are really cheap at their first levels. So, make sure to quickly build a few levels of temple. For few resources, you can get started on accumulating favor points and use them to cast spells on your city that will get you more resources (usually, choosing Hera as your god and casting Happiness on your city will earn you the most resources). Build level 1 harbor early as well, since, as soon as you have a harbor, you will be visiting by the Phoenician merchant, who will offer you to trade resources at very favourable rates (meaning that you can earn resources by trading, but also balance any resource deficits). Of course, if you have more than one city, this might not be preferable, since the Phoenician merchant will alternative his visits between your different cities, meaning that he will not visit your more established cities as often (and it seems that the bigger harbor you have, the more resources he will trade with you). He will also offer you units, but they cost more than they normally would in the barracks, so only get them if you really need them (for instance, it’s useful to buy catapults if you haven’t researched them yet and need to break down some city walls). Keep in mind that they are instant, so if you need them quickly for attack of defense, this can also be an advantage.

Special buildings

Be aware that, while there are eight special buildings available to build, you can only build one on each side of the building tree; two special buildings in total. Once you build a special building, you can no longer build the other three on the same side. So, on the left side you have a tough choice of choosing between Thermal Baths, which will give you around 400 more population, the Lighthouse that provides an invaluable 15% increase in naval speed, the Theatre, which allows you to get tons of cultural points just for resources (I’d say you only need to build this on one city, and you can ship resources to it using market place). Library is typically not very useful when you specialize your cities. Simply make sure not to pick any technologies that will be unnecessary in the long term (as described in the research chapter), and you should have enough research point. On the right side, Tower seems a fairly obvious choice, although depending on your strategy, you might go for Divine statue.


This is my current research at academy level 29. Once I build academy level 30 and Library, I will have just enough research points to get the two last technologies I want: Battering ram and Cartography. As you can see, that means I will not be getting Mathematics. If I wanted to use this city mainly to build naval armies, then I would certainly get Mathematics. However, since this is an all around city, there is not really anything I would replace it with. It costs six research points, so in a city where I do not plan on building a lot of ground army to attack with, I might replace Bunks with Mathematics, or I might avoid researching chariots (you can always use hoplites instead of chariots, but it’s useful to be able to build chariots if your resource ratio does not enable you to build a lot of hoplites). Be very careful what you choose, since you will have to sacrifice a culture point if you want to choose other techs later (1 culture point = 300 battle points).

Keep in mind that the above example is a multi-purpose city, whereas your research will largely vary if you use specialized cities for a multi-city strategy.

Here, I will list the reasons for not researching specific technologies:

Diplomacy: I choose to research this myself as it only costs three research points, but if doesn’t really gain you much. It only means that you will be able to loot more often and thereby not waste resources by letting letting the mood of your farming village stay at 100% if you’re less active for a few days. If you’re active most of the time, you will not really gain much from this, since you can just loot whenever the mood of your farming village grows above 80%.

Espionage: Having your spies be 10% quicker is not really enough to make a significant difference. If you need to spy a target before attacking it (usually when you haven’t spied on this target recently), then it will save you a bit of time and allow you to start your attack quicker, but 10% still isn’t enough to warrant this research.

Bireme: I will not build biremes in cities where I intend to attack. Normally, the attacker will make sure to have enough light ships to kill your biremes, and if he doesn’t, he’s likely not big enough to attack you anyway. I would rather have one of my cities where I only build biremes, meaning I can send them somewhere to defend and have enough biremes to kill off the entire attacking fleet and the transport ships as well. When you don’t have any birimes, you won’t have any ships to defend your light ships when they are in your city, so be careful not to leave them in your city when you are offline (at least if people have attacked you with light ships before).

Shipwright: While it’s very useful to produce land units faster (research Trainer), I often have the ships I need and will only lose a few along the way. So, I rarely need the production boost that this research will give me.

Democracy: This research will mean that it takes another player 10% longer to capture your city. So, instead of it taking 12 hours, it will take 13,2 hours. Not much of a different, and I do not intend of letting others capture my cities in the first place. Probably the most useless research.

Fire ship: Researching this is pretty useless. Yes, fire ships are fairly cost effective, always killing one ship per fire ship, but it’s normally something you only want to use if you are always outnumbered and on the defensive. It doesn’t really give you any great advantage to use fireships unless you are fighting against an opponent who has several bonuses on his ships (Battering ram and Heroic power, for instance), where you have none. Apart from not being able to attack, fire ships are slow, so it will be hard to use them to support your alliance mates.

Cryptography: All this research really will do is to save you some silver from time to time. If you have 1000 silver in your cave, people who spy in you will need 1.201 silver to get their spy through. Really not very worthwhile, especially since people will often use a bit more silver than they have to.

Breakthrough: This can be really useful against a player who has a big sea defense and many more of your transport ships will get through. However, there will rarely be a situation where this pays off, not to mention that you will lose many more of your light ships in the attack. So, generally, it’s not worthwhile to research this, even though I can be under certain circumstances (if you often have massive land armies that outnumber your opponents but only few light ships to accompany, or if an alliance you are at war against have loads of biremes).

Trireme: A very versatile ship, which can both defend and attack. The advantage of a slightly stronger ship to defend (compared to bireme) is that is some marginal situations, you would not lose a trireme where you would lose a bireme. However, building triremes isn’t at all cost effective, since a trireme costs 1,75 times as much as a light ship, but has less attack and costs 2,5 times as much as a bireme, but only has 1,6 times as much defense.

Meteorology: I would usually research this, but if there are no player on your island that you wish to attack, it’s a bit of a waste, since your units cannot be faster within a ship. Of course, you never know if someone might make a city on your island and be worth attacking later in the game.

Crane: If you decide build another special building instead of Library, you might have to sacrifice this tech. Granted, it is great to have while you are still building up your city, but only you reach maximum building levels, it will do absolutely nothing. Of course, once you max out your buildings, it might be worthwhile to spend the one culture point on choosing new techs and then not pick Crane/Architecture, giving you the necessary research points to get what you want without having to build Library.

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