A strong army is essential for your cities for two reasons: defense and supply. Defense is self–explanatory. Supplying resources for you to manufacture advanced weapons and armor, or even just to sell outright, grows your supply of Gold so you can buy what you can’t harvest or make.
Growing strong armies is a process and trying to do it by the seat of your pants can be wasteful and disappointing. Let’s start with the basics — ignore these or try to do them out of order and you will be facing wasted troops as well as wasted resources.
- Get your Barracks up to Level 20
That means growing your city so that you can support that growth. Don’t even think about starting anything except a basic hunting army to gather needed resources until you have a population of 10,000+.
- Research what you need
Concentrate on the Cavalry line of research, all the way to Elite Squadrons. Research all of the command line as well as Offense, Defense, Strategy and Seasoning. You will need the Occupy Territory, Feint, Blockade, Reinforcement and Covert Operations under the Stratagem line, as well. Be sure to obtain Military Outfitter as your population nears 10,000.
- As you add cities, make them single or dual–purpose manufacturers
You will need to create armor, spears and mounts for your armies. Rather than have every city making everything, equipment and mounts are created faster when you have 3 or 4 manufacturers of the same item in each city.
- Make sure you have several Cotters in each city and as many Skinners as possible
Also, max out your caravans — total number and quantity of goods they can carry.
- Grow your Gold as your city grows
Start your city’s taxes at 0% to maximize growth at first. Once population hits 500, make your taxes 5%. At 1,000 move taxes to 10%. At 5,000 increase taxes to 15%. At 10,000 go to 20% — that should get your Gold total flowing. At 15,000 go to 25% and keep it there.
NOTE: Find the nearest trade hub to you and put a Trader in there. Then send excess Gold and resources there for storage. You can always get it back out when needed or send Gold to Centrum for buying stuff. Stash Gold daily — keep only a minimal amount in your cities for growth. That way if someone sends thieves or spies, you won’t look like a valuable or worthwhile target.
Now you have the skeleton in place for your military — research, abilities, manufacturing and supply lines. Time to build your armies! (See Building Army Commanders By Hunting for an overview of these steps)
First of all, every hunting and/or fighting army needs to be cavalry. Even though archers, swords and militia are good in terrain other than plains, cavalry is still the most powerful force. The majority of hunting will happen on the plains, for the most part, unless you are located in jungle or mountains.
Now, you will need a force to defend your city. While building up, create one army for this purpose, of any type or mix them up, with NO commander. Use T2 troops, not T1, in case you are attacked and they need to fight. Outfit them after your hunting armies are all kitted out.
Now, you will need at least two (three is better) cavalry armies. The first is your commander training army, the second and third will be your hunt squads. Once your commanders are fully trained, your training army can become another hunting army.
- Create your command training squad
Make 4 divisions of 30 Chariots and 30 Knights each (if you are Human, otherwise your race’s equivalent). Create 5 commanders from Knights and assign 4 of them to the training army, one to each division.
- Create your other army (or armies)
Make 5 divisions: 4 each of 60 Knights each and one division of 200 Chariots and 200 Knights at a minimum (more as your city grows and is able to support them with Food and Gold). Assign the 5th commander to the first division in one of these armies. Rotate your commanders out of the hunting army and into the command training army, one at a time, so they all get experienced relatively together.
- Train your commanders
Target small NPC units to attack at first. Use this chart to determine the relative size of the unit you want to attack. Depending on your area, you want to go after the easier targets (Wild Dogs, Giant Rats, Wolves). If the NPC’s in your area tend to be tougher kills, such as Scritchers, Scuttlers and Scaled Chargers, definitely keep your newbie army away from the larger size units until they have gained valuable experience.
- Commander experience and ratings
When you click on a commander’s name, the chart shows the commander’s experience rating, his/her value in terms of specific experience and also how they are outfitted.
After a battle or hunt, if the commander has gained any experience, the buttons next to specific experiences turn red if that experience has been researched in that city. Concentrate on leveling up Heroism and then Defy Death. This increases your commander’s fighting ability and keeps him/her from taking a dirt nap prematurely.
After those two have maxxed out, work on Accelerated Healing and Vitality. Then work on offensive things such as Charge and Seasonng things such as Forced March.
- Outfit your commanders and their armies
Get the best armor, weapons and mounts for your commanders and their armies by using the chart at https://illystuff.uk/recommendkit.html.
Depending on the parameters you enter, this web page will tell you the optimal way to outfit your troops. These are the items your cities should be manufacturing constantly to keep your armies supplied.
As for your commanders, try to outfit them with Silversteel spears and armor, if possible. Check with Snivla to see if he can help you out with this stuff because Silversteel is expensive and the major players have all of the Silversteel mines locked up. Otherwise, use Vanguard armor, chain or plate if you can’t get Silversteel.
- Be patient and systematic
A great way to keep track of your commander’s growth is by ranking them. Use this chart as a guide to rank your commanders by experience.
As your commander gains experience, rename him/her by rank. [Example: You promote a knight to commander and his experience is 0, so he starts as a 2nd Lieutenant – let’s call him Adam. After a few hunts, his experience has risen to 1000 and you rename him 1st Lieutenant Adam. As his experience grows, he becomes Captain Adam, Major Adam and so on.]
By doing this you can get a rough idea of how ready your commanders are to take on larger or tougher NPC units. Generally, by the rank of Lieutenant Colonel they have maxxed out Heroism and Defy Death and Accelerated Healing and Vitality are around level 5.
Now, all this does take time but you will build armies that are tough to kill. Also, after a kill, get your army back home and send another, smaller army to guard the harvest for your Cotters and Skinners. Move your commanders to your second or third fully outfitted army and you are ready to go again. Replenish your just returned army and re–outfit them with armor, weapons and mounts. Rinse and repeat.
How to keep your commanders alive by rating the NPC before going into battle
First, know the rating of your army. Click on the troop icon to get its Attack rating. Now multiply that by the total number of troops in that army. (If you are using T1 and T2 cavalry, do this for both types and add them together). Now click on the weapon, the armor and the mount for each troop type and note if there is an attack bonus or penalty for that item. If so, multiply it times the troop Attack rating total.
EXAMPLE: You have a Human army of 5 divisions: 4 elite divisions of 60 each + 1 division of 500, all knights, all wearing Vanguard Platemail, carrying Boar Spears and riding Heavy Warhorses. The attack is on the plains.
Knights have an Attack rating of 65 x 740 (4 x 60 = 240 + 500 = 740) which totals 48,100. Boar Spears give a 120% boost against animals. Vanguard Platemail adds another 5% boost. A Heavy Warhorse adds another 5% boost. Altogether, that’s a 130% boost to the Attack total, which is 62,530 + 48,100 = 110,630.
You have 4 commanders leading the elite divisions ranked at Brigadier General with ratings of 10,387 each for a total of 31,161. Each carries a Silversteel Spear (50% attack bonus), Silversteel Platemail (40% attack bonus) and each rides a Heavy Warhorse (5% attack bonus) for an attack bonus of 95%. 31,161 x 1.95 = 60,764. Add the troops and command totals together (110,630 + 60,764) and your army Attack rating is 171,394.
Yes, this seems complicated and a lot of work. However, if you keep your armies at the exact same strength and outfitted identically, the only new calculation you will have after you have done this all once will be your commanders’ ratings. That simplifies things for you.
Now for the NPC’s. What you do is send out a scout (T2 type preferably) to see the strength of the NPC troop. Let’s say this army wants to go after a legion of Giant Scuttlers and your scout reports back the following results:
- 356 Scuttlers
- 1,478 Adult Scuttlers
- 1,126 Ravenous Scuttlers
- and 778 Elder Scuttlers
By clicking on each Scuttler icon you get their defense strength depending on the troop type. Since you are using Cavalry, you use the rating under Cavalry multiplied by the number of units.
Scuttlers rate a 10 against Cavalry, so 356 x 10 = 3,560.
Adult Scuttlers rate 19 against Cavalry so 1,478 x 19 = 28,082.
Ravenous Scuttlers rate 34 against Cavalry so 1,126 x 34 = 38,284.
Elder Scuttlers rate 52 against Cavalry so 778 x 52 = 40,456.
The total strength of this legion of Scuttlers is 3,560 + 28,082 + 38,284 + 40,456 = 110,382.
Since your attack rating is 171,394, you will win that battle but a good part of your army will be destroyed. Your commanders should survive and, on the plus side, you should harvest a couple thousand hides and at least a few hundred Scuttler Exoskeletons, which sell for a nice price in Centrum, but can also be used to make Razor-edge swords or spears.
Again, this is a bit complicated but it keeps your armies from being destroyed quickly so you have to start over again. It allows you to build up your commanders and harvest ever increasing amounts of hides, furs, carapaces and other animal parts.
Be patient and systematic and your armies will become formidable. Hunting will not only supply you with goods to sell or manufacture but also prepares you in case someone decides to attack you.