Illyriad Basic Self Defense for New Players Guide

Illyriad Basic Self Defense for New Players Guide by Rill

Illy is in general a warm and welcoming community for new players.  However, in any group of people there are those who would seek an advantage by preying upon those who are less powerful. Therefore, it behooves new players to learn about the threats they face and how to counteract them.

This guide describes the most common attacks new players may face and describes steps all new players should take to defend against them.  I will focus on steps players should take in their first week of play, while still under beginner protection, in order to be prepared to defend against attacks when the rainbow wears off.  I will conclude with some remarks about dealing with the aftermath of an attack.

I begin with a word about alliances.  Alliances are an excellent source of support and defense for new players — although this is not their only function.  Just being in an alliance can offer a measure of protection against military attacks, and in general alliances will help defend their members and assist them in recovering from any attack.  Various alliances may have specific instructions to new players about defense that supersede the general advice in this guide, based on those alliances’ specific experiences and situations.

With that wiggle statement out of the way, there are two basic types of attacks a new player might face:  military and diplomatic.  Military attacks are attacks on a city by armies.  Diplomatic attacks may take the form of thieves, saboteurs or assassins.  New players are more likely to be attacked by thieves than any other form of attack; therefore this guide will first focus on defending against theft, although the defenses against theft will also help guard against other types of attack.

I.  Buildings Needed: Mage Tower and Consulate


This is the most important building needed for initial defense.  New players should study Arcana and build a mage tower in their first day in game.   Runes is strongly recommended as the first school of magic to study.  Slaying Runes are probably the most useful type of protection for a new player; they can be studied and cast at the following levels of Mage Tower:

Name Mage Tower Kills (# units)

Mark of Slaying Level 3 5
Death Rune Level 7 20
Killing Glyph Level 11 75
Ward of Destruction Level 15 250

Note: Casting Slaying or Seeking runes requires books and cattle as well as mana and basic resources.

An alternative for new players is to cast Seeking Runes targeted specifically at thieves.  This option may be better for players in alliances who are less likely to be attacked militarily.  Unlike Slaying Runes, which offer some defense against military attacks, Seeking Runes can only protect against one type of diplomatic attack — most new players would likely choose to target thieves, since risks from assassins and saboteurs is lower while you are new.  You may only cast one spell from the Rune school on your city, so you must choose EITHER a Slaying OR a Seeking rune.

Seeking Runes can be studied and cast at the following levels of Mage Tower:

Name Mage Tower Kills (# units)

Mark of Seeking Level 2 12
Seeking Rune Level 6 40
Seeking Glyph Level 10 130
Ward of Intentions Level 14 400

Practical tip:  If you upgrade your Mage Tower once each day during your 7 days of new player protection, you will emerge from protection being able to cast a Death Rune or a Seeking Rune.  Go forth and scorch the bad guys!

Slaying/Seeking runes stay in effect until they have killed the specified number of enemy units.  After they have been exhausted or if you are replacing a weaker rune with a stronger one, there is a minimum 6-hour cooldown before they can be cast again.  Make sure you replace the rune promptly upon completion of the cooldown period.  You receive a mail when the rune is activated or taken down, so you can use the timestamp on the mail to calculate when you can re-cast the rune.

Mark of Fear and other runes in the Fear line are NOT recommended for self-defense for new players.  While Seeking and Slaying runes kill a specified number of units even if more units than that are sent, Fear runes simply fail if more than the specified units are sent — they will then do absolutely nothing.  It is better to kill some, even if not all, of the attackers.


The consulate is the second building needed for new player defense.  Building and upgrading your consulate allows you to produce diplomatic units to protect your town.  Your army will NOT defend against diplomatic attacks.  The only defense against diplomatic units is other diplomatic units of the same type.  Therefore it is highly advisable to upgrade your Consulate to Level 9 and build thieves as soon as possible.  If you upgrade your  Consulate once a day during new player protection, you will be close to being able to build your own thief units when you emerge from protection.

Some researches in the Diplomacy portion of the research tree are useful in diplomatic defense.

Consulate Lev 1 Counter Intelligence allows your diplos to defend against enemies

Consulate Lev 5 Interrogation your diplos may discover who sent diplos

Consulate Lev 5 Finesse opens way for studies for spies, thieves

Consulate Lev 9 Diplomacy allows you to study Theft

Consulate Lev 9 Theft allows you to build thief units

By the time you reach Consulate Lev 9 you can also do the studies to build scouts and spies, however priority should be on building Thief units.  (Thief units have different names depending on race: Burglar (human), Rogue (elf), Footpad (dwarf), Goblin Cutpurse (orc).)  Note that t1 thieves have better defense than t2 thieves; therefore players looking mainly to defend should focus on t1 (basic thief) units.

To make thieves you need gold, horses and books.  T1 thief units have an upkeep of 2 gold per hour.

II. Defense Against Military Attack

New players are not likely to be attacked militarily by larger players.  If you are attacked by a much larger player during the first month or so of play, please go to global chat as soon as possible.  Be prepared to give details about the attack, such as who the attacker is and when it will arrive.  If the attack already occurred, other players may request a report of the attack be forwarded.  The Illy community takes military attacks by larger players on smaller ones very seriously; for this reason alone, these attacks are rare.

Unfortunately, you are more likely to be targeted by a fellow new player than you are by a veteran.  The community is less likely to intervene directly in this sort of attack.  However, if you use a rune from the Slaying series to protect against diplomatic attacks, the rune will also fry any incoming military units — probably as many as a fellow new player can send at you.  This is one of the main benefits to using a Slaying rune if you are a new player.

In general, players in their first two weeks of play cannot build an army big enough to make a large difference in defense.  Therefore this guide will not cover building a barracks or wall, except to note that if you complete a lev 9 consulate and
a mage tower at least level 10, building a wall and upgrading barracks is a logical next step.

Being Attacked: The AfterMath

Although war is not the only path in Illy, most players will probably find themselves attacked at some point or other.  It’s best to be mentally prepared for the possibility and to know how to respond.

The most important point to remember about any attack is, “It’s not the end of the world.”  Being attacked, especially without provocation, can be infuriating.  In fact, diplo attacks in particular can be used as much as an instrument of psychological warfare as to create real damage to a player’s cities.  As The_Dude says, a diplomatic attack is “an affront to the dignity of the defender.”

However, there’s really very little an attacker can do to damage the long-term growth prospects of a new player.  Let’s take a look at the effects of various types of attack:

1)  Military attacks

Sieges will not be addressed in this guide.  In the highly unlikely event that you’re a player just out of protection and you’re being sieged, seek advice in global chat immediately.

The effect of military attacks other that sieges is simple:  They can kill your army (if you have one) and make off with some of your basic resources.  Since it’s vastly more likely that a military attack came from another new player, they probably won’t have taken much with their small army.

2)  Theft

Thieves can take basic or advanced resources.  However, they cannot take cattle or horses.  (Apparently “Cattle Rustling” and “Horse Thieving” technologies have not yet been introduced to Illy.)  Theft attacks may occur by players of any size, but the most important thing to remember is: They can’t steal anything you don’t have.

For this reason, it’s wise for new players not to keep a lot of advanced resources and gold around.  If you receive a gift of books, convert most of them to research points upon their arrival — research points cannot be stolen.  Retain 10-20 books to cast spells and make diplo units.  If you are in an alliance, it is a good idea to ask a trusted alliance mate who has high-level runes and adequate defensive thieves to take care of your advanced resources.


Every new player has a responsibility to themselves, to their fellow newbs, and to the Illy community to undertake appropriate precautions against attack.  By limiting the potential rewards to attackers (such as by not keeping advanced resources lying around) and by ensuring that stealing from new players is painful (by maintaining killing runes and protective thieves) and by making it more likely that they will be found out (through Diplomacy research and maintaining thieves),every new player can contribute to the defense of all new players.

Some players feel ashamed or embarrassed after being attacked, particularly by thieves or other diplos.  Resist this feeling! There is no shame in being new and not yet strong.  Everyone starts somewhere.  The shame is on the cowards who try to take advantage of new players.  Hold your head up high, ask for help, and be proud to be part of a community that stands against this sort of attack.

The worst thing you can do in response to any attack is to leave Illy.  Don’t let the bastards get you down!   Ask for help from veterans and rebuild. Stay strong, keep building and you will succeed!

City Defense for New Players Guide by LadyLuvs

I wanted to let you know how to protect your city from thieves in your early stages.  I know you all are advised to worry about Storehouse and Library in the beginning.  You also need to focus on protecting your city.  Here is a list of Runes that your should put in effect as your Mage Tower grows:

Mark of Seeking – kills 12 foes lvl 2 Mage (set for Thieves)
Seeking Rune – Kills 40 foes lvl 6 Mage (set for Thieves)
Seeking Glyph – kills 130 foes lvl 10 Mage(set for Thieves)
Ward of Intentions – kills 400 foes lvl 14 Mage (set for Thieves)
Ward of Destruction – Kills 250 of anything – lvl 15 Mage

The next thing I would focus on is Consulate. Level it up to at least 9 to build thieves.  You can choose to build them by clicking on the Consulate or by hovering your mouse over the Rose Icon and then click on the bird icon on the right. Remember basic diplomats defend against Advanced and Basic if you have enough.

Let a vet know you need the advanced resources to build Diplomats and they will be more than willing to help you out.  You may not be able to stop every Thieve attack, but you can at least make it hurt  when they do. I hope this helps you build a more secure city.

LadyLuvs, Chancellor of T?

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