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Fyanna's epic newbie guide to not building fields

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    Posted: 21 Nov 2021 at 14:42

Bonus Tip at bottom: how to accidentally ride a cow


Fast Start with Cotters

How to live the high life with cotters.
 


Short Version

build 10+ cotters per town
gather basic minerals/herbs, grapes, sky stones or hides
sell them for gold to buy resources or trade them directly to a player who can supply you with basics
buy prestige on the market with the gold as well for fast building if you aren't buying prestige directly



What if I told you you could get resource production that normally takes a month or two to build in half an hour? You can with cotters. Sieging is the fastest way to grow when you're small - using cotters to fund your early empire is the next best thing you can do. And if you want to hunt or siege early without alliance help cotter wealth can fund your armies too.

A lot of small players are advised to focus on resource plots. You don't need to! Once you have enough production or donated resources to get your storehouse to where it can hold 50,000 plus resources and get your marketplace to level 12 you can rely on cotters for resources.

Ten cotters selling herbs, minerals or grapes can earn you 200,000 gold per day at a low price at Centrum. If you have a trader, trade office, and the right researches you can sell them in the 300's rather than 200's and earn 300,000+ per day. Basic resources can often be bought for 1 gold each. So 200,000 gold per day divided by the 4 basic resources equals a production of 2000 each per hour. If all you build in a town are the absolute necessary market, storehouse, and library you can fit 20 cottages and potentially have the equivalent production of over 6000 basic resources per hour selling cotter resources at higher prices.

After about 6 months my highest producing towns were at 4000 clay/stone/iron/wood per hour. That was partly on the low side on purpose because I was using cotters to fund resource buying but as you can see, using cotters can jumpstart a town by months. This allows you to build for population early and get to around 6 towns without wasting early growth time. Once you have anywhere between 4-8 towns, depending on when you get tired of buying tons of resources and sending out cotters everyday, you can stop and build up your production in all of those towns at once instead of going along one at a time.

Another big benefit of having a cotter empire is it allows you to keep your taxes low. Basically you don't need money and when you start leveling up your resource plots you can have your towns at zero taxes to boost production. Your production will rack up quickly once again saving more time to focus on population buildings. On my account that had the towns with 4k productions at six months, every town was at zero tax after 6 months of playing. Between army upkeep and sovereignty I was at negative 500k gold per day but that was fine because my cotters were earning 3 million plus per day.

One more benefit is that before you increase production a cotter town can also have high taxes. You have no basics production to lose so once you have even a few thousand population you can run taxes as high as your food production allows. Not only will your small to medium towns be hauling in resources from your cotters, they can also be making decent gold on taxes. At one point I had two towns with basics productions of a few hundred that were making 20,000 gold per hour in taxes and had 12 cotters. If I used all of that income on basics at 1 gold per basic it adds up to 8000 each per hour - more than I could use without pumping up the prestige build rate. In those towns I didn't grind basics production until after I had to start reducing taxes to feed the population.

One note on the high tax cotter town is the Library. Research is quite valuable and it's useful to have a stash in case you ever need to run a combo of high food sov plus military sov. Thus it's good to build up the Library early and run zero taxes until you have a nice million or two research points banked. Since you can only use up about 120 research/hour with a book binder there's no big reason to keep piling it up instead of taxing for gold. So if you still have few basics production to lose you can ramp up the tax and skip res day without skipping res gains.

Basics of harvesting and selling

Eresh's profile has the basics on how to use cotters. To find herbs/grapes/minerals on the world map it's a lot easier if you uncheck the terrain option in the Graphics section underneath the World Map. I'd advise against grapes since people seem to like to go after them and your cotters have a good chance of getting bumped off of them. This makes minerals an attractive choice since they're often pretty numerous, however I believe herbs are usually higher priced than minerals. Either is good and grapes might be fine too. Don't send more than 10 cotters at a herb patch if you haven't scouted it. Since humans harvest faster I'd scout a herb patch before sending more than 8 human cotters. Herb patches can be wiped out by too many cotters leaving you looking elsewhere to harvest. You might want to scout them before harvesting them at all since they can be wiped out by 10 or less cotters too. If you send too many cotters to minerals they'll just come back after an hour.

To find out the maximum number of cotters you can send to a patch take the amount at the square and divide by 5 for elves/orcs/dwarves and divide by 7 for humans. If you get an even number send one less. So for an elf if you scout a patch with 50 herbs you divide by 5 to get 10, so you can send 9 cotters there while 10 will overharvest the patch. For a human you divide 50 by 7 to get 7.14 meaning you can send 7 cotters there who will harvest 49 herbs per hour - one less than what it would take to overharvest the patch. Herbs will however occassionally overharvest on you for no apparent reason... the nice thing about grapes is there's always so many you can't send enough cotters to run them out.

Then you have a few different options on selling your resources and buying basics. If you're feeling neighborly you can message players around you or ask in Global Chat and see if they want to trade basic resources for whatever you're harvesting. This will probably get you the best price as large players can afford to send pretty unlimited amounts of basics to you in exchange for your cotter gatherings. A similar strategy would be to sell your herbs/minerals on the market and then make bulk payments to a relatively close player on the honour system - you send one of their towns a million gold and they send a million or two basics back at you. This will get you a good price and allow you to buy a lot of resources with a single caravan.

To sell at a low price early on you can sell straight to Centrum from your capital with the caravans you can train at the marketplace. If you click on the coin icon in the top row of icons that gives you the Trade Overview, then go to the Markets tab and scroll down on the left to minerals for minerals or herbs for herbs and grapes. Click on the basic minerals or on the basic herbs or grapes to bring up the buy and sell offers. Then in the buyers section click sell on the highest price and the sell option will come up. You can only sell as many herbs etc. at once as your caravans can hold. To check how much they can hold go to the Orders tab in the Trade Overview section and look down at the bottom where it says Total Capacity.

Once you have a trader and send him or her to Centrum plus have a trade office built and the right researches you can put up sell orders. To send a trader to Centrum go to the center of the map by putting 0 and 0 in the x and y co-ordinates spot in the World Map and press go, and then click on the middle of the large city of Centrum. One of the options if you have trained a trader is to send your trader there. Once your trader gets there once again go to the Markets tab and scroll down until you can see the two large buttons that say Place Sell Order and Place Buy Order. Click Place Sell Order to bring up the sell option, choose Centrum for your location and put up a sale in Centrum. You need to send the herbs or minerals to Centrum first which can be a bit tricky to find. If you go to the center of the map again you can click on Centrum city and click the send resources option. I'll also put the send to Centrum link right here. Herbs seem to sell out every once in a while even as high as 400 plus each so you can price pretty high if you want. If you're impatient or short on gold just sell for a good bit lower than the lowest price. Low 300's for herbs and mid 200's for minerals are probably decent quick sale prices.

Basics of buying basics

There are two other main ways of buying basics. One is to really build up your marketplace and buy from sell offers in the Markets tab. Click on the wood/clay/iron/stone options at the top left and see what's there. It doesn't take long to build up your marketplace to level 17 to 20 where you can buy a lot of basics with your own caravans. It is pretty expensive to build the market to level 20 though. You could ask for help from Global Chat or from your alliance if you're in one. Buying directly like this is usually a little cheaper than the other option - look for prices from 1.1 gold per basic and lower.

Personally I like the other option. This is the town buy order option that allows you to haul in basically unlimited amounts of resources. Go to the Markets tab and scroll down. Click Place Buy Order. The default location is to buy from your town and the first four items to buy are the four basic resources. You'll want to put the price a little higher than is available at Centrum and the nearby trade hubs. I'm a little impatient and buy at 1.3 per stone/iron/clay and 1.4 for wood since it tends to be a little more valuable. I'm guessing 1.1 would work although you might not get much action buying at 1 and less. The beauty of this is it takes one of your caravans per buy order to take the gold to the other player's town while you can put up an order for as much as 210,000 of the basic resource, which is the maximum amount the caravans from one town can hold. Basically, order as much as your storehouse can hold. I like to buy 50, 100 or 200,000 per order to leave a few of their caravans at home. Once you have a marketplace level 15 you should be able to buy all the basics you need this way and sell everything your cotters are gathering at the same time.

 


Yuki's Tip

To really open up fast building possibilities you can use Yuki's way. For this you buy large amounts of basics at the nearest trade hub that has them in stock. You send all or most of your caravans from all your towns there. Using the Hub Orders section of Trade Hubs section with your town that has a trader in the hub, send a resource bomb of basics at the town you are speed building. In that town you can go to Trade Movements and click the Double Speed Movement for incoming caravans button however many times you want to get them ripping to the town and back to the hub to go again, using prestige to instantly build in the town to use up the resources. It can be very handy to put a zero in front of the target town's name so that it's the first in the list of town choices to send res to.
 


 

The Cotter Empire Guide

One problem with the cotter strategy is finding the 7 food towns you probably want that also have herbs or minerals to harvest near them. One thing you can do is build in jungles where 7 food spots are common and herbs are almost as common. This isn't ideal for defence as ideally your towns are surrounded by plains but the benefits are pretty nice. Another option is following Skint Jagblade's cotter empire guide. Basically you settle or siege one 7 food town that you put most of your population growth into while you build 5 food towns near resources your cotters can harvest or 7 food spots if you can find them. This is nice if you don't know where to place your cities because all of your cotter towns are easily exodused once you find an alliance or place to move to, and if you want you can use your Tenaril spell to move the high population town as well without losing anything you've built.

When you tenaril a 7 food town it brings the 7 food plots with you so you can set it up in an ideal place in the area you end up moving your empire to. This is known as terraforming which you can do once per account. This is a good use of tenaril particularly if you find a spot with a good food dolmen that doesn't have a 7 food spot near it. I think there is one better use of Tenaril so keep in mind it can only be done once. This unusual use of tenaril is to build a very large standing army in one town. In a time of need you can move this town to a place where another town is under attack and use the army to attack the siege camp and defend the town even if it was far from where your army town was. You can also use this to move the large army towards an enemy alliance's base. Since it can only be used once what you would ideally do is have another large army that you exodus near the enemy alliance. Exodus leaves the town unable to move its military units for 5 days so it will be vulnerable to a quick siege. If your exodused army is found out you can then use your one time tenaril to move your other large army to the area to try to defend the exodused town until its army can move again.

 

 

How to accidentally ride a cow  


walk step whoosh bam walk SPLAT

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