Originally sent out as an MM
Artifacts are a huge part of travian and there is much preparation that needs to happen in order to be ready to capture and protect valued artifacts for the NE. If anyone is playing for the first time, or has not used artifacts in the past a great thread all about the artifacts, their effects, etc:
The tentative release date for artifacts is 27 February. This means we have just under two months to prepare. There are diplomatic preparations that the leadership team will focus on, but just a few pointers for individual account preparation:
Proper account building is necessary. At this point in the game everyone has settled a second village, if not a third or fourth. This means that most all players have either a 9-crop or 15-crop village that will be their capital if it is not already. All other villages are support villages. Over the course of January, it is important to develop your 9c or 15c capital well and develop your support villages. The question then becomes, what does it mean to develop well?
First: Proper account building involves quality troop count. During the month of January, the bare minimum amount of troops is 1:1 troop-to-population ratio for Gauls and Romans - 2:1 is bare minimum for Teutons due to how cheap club swingers are to produce. Top raiders and experienced defenders are already past this point - but over the next two weeks I will be watching the troop tool closely to see that players are growing their troop count and meeting this minimum requirement. Troop count is important because 1) it helps the individual and alliance defensively 2) it helps boost raiding which is free resources to help your account grow and any res you raid is less for a competing alliance to take
Second: Proper account building also involves developing your support villages. Support villages work like compound-interest. A village with level 10 resource fields and bonus buildings will produce a minimum of 1,000 of each resource per hour. That production level will rise if you are a gold player and pay for a 25% bonus. The production level will also rise if you build a hero's mansion and capture oasis'. One fully developed support village will then produce a minimum of 24,000 of each resource per day. If you have four fully developed support villages and a capital, you will produce in excess of 100,000 of each resource per day. That will help your villages grow more and help you build more troops. If you are thinking that you don't have the Culture Points to build more villages, there are a couple things you can do. One is to build buildings that produce more CP:
Also, in every fully developed village you should have a Town Hall built. At levels 1-9 you can purchase a small celebration that will give you 500 CP every 24 hours or less. At level 10-20 you also have the option of purchasing a great celebration which will give you 2,000 CP in 48 hours or less.
Third: Once you have at least the minimum amount of troops and are both continuing to produce troops and develop your support villages you are ready to get into the next level of artifact preparation. 1) You will have one main village for your offense if you are an offensive player. This will be either your capital or an adjacent village you plan to build a non-capital hammer out of. You will want to have one primary offense village because as you continue to build troops, you will be working on building your smithy in that village to level 20 and upgrade all of your offensive troops to level 20. The bonus given to your troops by the smithy is well worth the time and resource investment. As long as the smithy at level 20 and your infantry and cavalry are upgraded by 27 February you are good to go. The same goes for defense producers. You will want one main village producing defense early on in the game because the cost of upgrading your smithy is expensive early on. Later in the game you will have multiple villages with fully upgraded smithy's but right now that is cost prohibitive.
Smithy details: http://forum.travian.us/showthread.php?t=89703
Fourth: The other item you will want to upgrade in your primary offense/defense village is building a tournament square. Once you have a level 15 rally point you can build a tournament square. The tournament square provides your troops a speed bonus once they have traveled further than 20 squares away from their home village. At level 10 troops can travel 200% faster and at level 20 troops can travel 300% faster. A high level tournament square helps raiding troops and hammers to land faster and return home faster, it also allows defensive player's troops to reinforce a village faster - making CFD's [Calls for Defense] more effective
Fifth: You will, of course, be needing to develop your 9c or 15c crop fields to help feed the troops you will build. Gold using players may want to build those crop fields quickly and use the excess crop to NPC for more resources to build with. If you are able to keep your granary space growing such that you do not have to NPC more than once ever 12 or 24 hours it is not too expensive for gold players and can greatly accelerate growth.
Finally: You want to have your 9c or 15c developed well by the end of January and as many as possible support villages developed well by the end of January. This will help you to keep either your primary offense or defense village building troops 24/7 during the month of February. With your barracks built to level 20, a Teuton can build 891 clubbies per day without using the helmet bonus. This means that it is possible to build at least 24k clubbies in the month of February alone. You can use a troop building calculator to find out how many troops you can build per day and the resource cost:
You may notice that I have not talked about siege. Top raiders in our alliance already have siege. Siege is great for crop-locking farms as well as for fighting against enemies. For the purpose of artifact capturing, however, siege is not needed in huge numbers. Natar villages do not have walls and you will not need more than 100 cata to destroy a Natar treasury. Top offensive accounts will want to build strong siege, but that is something I will talk about later. Lastly, it is good to see that many of the players that were given 24 hours to join the troop tool joined - I will have an updated list out soon - an unfortunate Hall of Shame for those who have not yet joined. Join link so you don't end up in the Hall of Shame post:
As always: Victory for DV and the NE!