I wrote this a couple months ago as I began with Gaul, to convince the trapping skeptics and the poorly used trappers. You know the guys who piss the hell out of you by trapping 20 axes and having no troops to stop your other 100 axes from walking away with thousands of resources? Yeah, don't be one of them. And now for the calculations:
Let's say you have no wall, no residence, and equal village sizes, for simplicity, and Teutons clubbies are attacking Gaul phalanxes. Note that the second and third lines show what happens when 100 or 200 clubs are trapped.
1000 clubs vs 1500 phalanx: 827 phalanx die. (cost: 260505) 900 clubs vs 1500 phalanx: 708 phalanx die. (cost: 223020) Cost difference: 37,485 800 clubs vs 1500 phalanx: 595 phalanx die. (cost: 187425) Cost difference: 73,080.
Cost of rebuilding 50 traps: 4,000 (half of 100 repair when you release). Cost of rebuilding 100 traps: 8,000 (half of 200 repair when you release).
Cost of building trapper to level 10: 15,460. Cost of building trapper to level 20: 197,680.
Just three attacks like this will pay off a level 20 trapper's cost. Attack strengths will vary, but we're talking about dozens of attacks over many months. Resource advantages are even better at lower levels: just one attack pays back the cost of a level 10 trapper, the cost of rebuilding half your 100 traps (4k), and leaves you an additional 18k. The advantage in resources is clear. In early game, you make a profit in a single attack, and in late game, you make a profit after a few attacks.
You also paying about 130 less crop than you would if you had 200 more phalanx defending, and --- more importantly for late-game when resources are plentiful and time is money more than ever --- you can rebuild traps at the same time as your phalanx, temporarily doubling your defensive output.Overwhelming force case:
If your enemy sends more troops than you have, you still have an advantage over them, though you're losing either way:
1500 clubs vs 1000 phalanx: 828 clubs die. (cost: 207000) 1400 clubs vs 1000 phalanx: 855 clubs die. (cost: 213750)
Cost difference: 6,750.
Cost of rebuilding half of 100 traps: 4k
Costs them more than it costs you.
Even in defending against an overwhelming force, you have the resource and time advantage on them.Key Moral:
Traps are only useful if you have more troops than traps. The strategy I use is to have about five times as many defensive units as traps.
If you have very few troops, someone's just going to come along with 500 axes and stop the crap out of you and your traps, and traps are just going to annoy the piss out of them. This is especially true in the early game. Holding troops makes you a target.
Always release troops from traps. You cannot rebuild until they're released. You gain no significant advantage from keeping 200 troops sitting around in traps.
Exceptions for holding troops in traps:
- Early game: hold troops until a second attack heads your way, then release and rebuild.
- If the player attacking you is being overwhelmed by your alliance and you plan on zeroing him out soon.