Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Farming and resources

To win we need constant inflow of resources. Whenever we fight we lose troops and we need to be able to replace them as soon as possible. The faster we can produce our troops the bigger advantage we have over our enemies. RESOURCES are the most important thing to focus on when you want to grow and conquer. The goal is to gather maximum resources in the shortest time possible.

We can obtain resources in 4 different ways:
  1. Trading with non-player villages 
  2. Farming - demanding and looting non-player (farming) villages
  3. Farming other players - The most effective way of farming
  4. By building production camps, like Timber Camp, Silver Mine and Quarry
The fastest way to gather resources in my opinion is to farm other players, then in order of importance are:  Demanding and Looting farming villages, production camps (Timber Camp, Quarry and Sliver Mine) and finally Trading with farming villages.

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Trading with villages (not players)

I start with trading option because it should be the first one to consider before looting. Its easy to explain - when you use the option to Loot a village (which provides more resources than Demanding), you will decrease the farming village's mood. However the farming village you wish to trade with must have a mood of at least 80%, so it is advisable to trade with a farming village before you loot it (if you want to loot of course). 

Why trading is a way to gain resources?
Every farming village on your island will trade with you once you build a Marketplace (and if the villages mood is higher than 80%) with a ratio 1:1.25 so essentially for every 2000 resources you trade you can get 2500 resources back of something else - thats 500 extra resources. Each village will have a different offer (it wont change in time). You can "circle" through the farming villages for free resources. Trade silver for wood , then wood for stone , then stone for silver.  Let me explain using an example:

Lets say you need more silver -but you dont want to lose any other resources.
Step 1: Village A is selling wood for silver, so you can sell 2000 silver for 2500 wood 
net result: silver:-2k  wood:+2.5k 

Step 2: Village B is selling stone for wood, so you can sell 2000 wood for 2500 stone 2.5k wood (from the 1st transaction) - 2k wood = 0.5k wood and +2.5k stone
net result: wood:0.5k stone:+2.5k  silver:-2k 

Step 3: Village C is selling silver for stone, so you can sell 2000 stone for 2500 silver.
2.5k stone (from the 2nd transaction) - 2k stone = 0.5k stone
2.5k silver (from the 3rd transaction) - 2k silver (result of the 1st transaction) = 0.5k silver
net result: wood:0.5k  stone: 0.5k silver:0.5k

Now after 3 transactions you have extra 500 of each resources.

Lets assume now that you need more silver and dont care about other resources or you have to much stone that you want to get rid.
In this case you simply do only step 3 (3rd transaction. The result is: silver:+2.5k stone:-2k

Of course these are only examples, just to show you the process.

Requirements and limitations:
  • In order to trade your city must have a Marketplace. For this, you must have a level 9 Senate and a level 6 Warehouse, in order to build your Cave, which must be then expanded to level 5.
  • 2000 is the max amount of resources you can trade with a farming village.
  • The maximum ratio is always 1:1.25 which means that for example for every 100 Wood you send, you get 125 Stone back.
  • After the trade, the trade ratio falls by 0.03 points per 100 offered resources (max by 0.6)
  • Irrespective of the mood or strength of the farming village, the trade ratio will rise by 0.02 points per hour until it reaches 1.25 once more. That means if you traded maximum amount of resources permitted in 1 transaction (2000) you will need to wait 30 hrs (wrodls with speed 1) to get the ratio up to maximum level.
Trading with farming villages influence neither the mood nor the strength (villages strength exists in worlds before 2.0).

Each level of Marketplace allows you to trade 500 resources. Its quite easy to build a Marketplace up to lvl 4 in the beginning, so do it. As transaction takes time (merchants need to travel) you will need to upgrade your Marketplace if you wish to save your time. If for example you trade with 4 villages and dont have time to wait for all these transactions to be finished, then you will need your Marketplace at lvl 16 (every 4 lvls let you to trade 2000 resources).

Farming Villages

Worlds after 2.0
New patch and totally different rules of farming villages. The official wiki guide can be found here I would start from it if you are new to the game or 2.0 patch. The guide is not great as it doesn't really explain everything in the best way but it covers basics. I will write here about everything that is not explained well in the above guide and will give you some methods of gathering resources in the most efficient way no matter how much time you can spend on playing.

Conquering Farming Villages
First make sure to conquer farm villages. First 4 should be really easy to take, just make sure to invest in the Academy and research slingers. Here is some extra information you might need (which you will not find in the farming guide that I linked above).

 Source: Grepolis Forum, author: Corinthian II
Farm villages are slightly complicated, you don't just need to have the farm space available, to attack them, you need to have a certain amount of farm space occupied with troops. For the 8th farming village, for example, you need 1,000 or more farm space to be used for troops.

If you click on the farming village that you are trying to attack, the pop-up window (shown below) should, at the top, have a line which says "Your units", and then shows a bar with two numbers in it.. something like "100/300". The first number is the amount of farm space you have filled with troops, the second number is the amount of farm space you need to fill with troops to be able to attack that village.. once you have trained enough troops, you will be able to attack that village.

...and the table helping with planning your farming village conquests:

Source: Grepolis Forum, author: Shadowkillerr 
On the first line, I'll be listing the farming village and what the minimum required Farm Space (FS) is. Whatever number is listed here is the amount of Farm Space you must have used on units. Units can be either land or naval units and they must be built, not just in the queue. You don't have to attack with all of them, but you must have them built.

On the second line, I'll be listing what the farming village has for defense.

On the third line, I'll be giving information about what forces to use to conquer the farming village successfully. *DISCLAIMER* These numbers can vary based on some internal calculations made by the server!

1st Village - 0 FS

Defense - Nothing
Conquer - Any unit can take this, just send something.

2nd Village - 6 FS

Defense - 1 Slinger
Conquer - 5 FS of anything will win, but Slingers, Horsemen and Chariots will do it without lossing anyone.

3rd Village - 10 FS

Defense - 3 Archers
Conquer - 1 Horseman or 5 Slingers (will lose 2) or 2+ Chariots (will lose 1)

4th Village - 40 FS

Defense - 60 Slingers
Conquer - 7 Slingers (will lose 5)

5th Village - 100 FS

Defense - 60 Swordsmen
Conquer - 35 Hoplites (will lose 30)

6th Village - 300 FS

Defense - 100 Archers
Conquer - 13 Horsemen (will lose 11)

7th Village - 600 FS

Defense - 300 Slingers, 80 Hoplites and 80 Horsemen
Conquer - 140 Slingers (will lose 133)

8th Village - 1000 FS

Defense - 150 Swordsmen, 150 Archers, 75 Hoplites, Level 20 Wall
Conquer - 175 Horsemen (will lose 166)

Farming options (Loot and Demand)
Basically as you should already know, you can: Demand Resources, Loot Resources or Demand Troops (Level 3+ farming villages only). The 3rd option is only good at the beginning when you don't have barracks and would like to get new units fast to start conquering farm villages. It might happen when for some reason your neighbours grow faster than you and invest in the farming villages by expanding them. Otherwise I would never use that option as it is less efficient than simply demanding/looting and then producing units in your barracks.

Now regarding looting and demanding - the more often you loot/demand the more resources per minute you collect. This means that when possible you should be using option with the lowest cooldown (CD). The lowest one is 5 minutes, however each time you choose any option ask yourself this question: "when I can do it again"? If you cant be back in 5 to 10 minutes then its better to choose 10 min CD. If you think you will be back in 3 hrs then chose 180 min CD, and so on.
The option to loot/demand every 10, 40, 180, 480 minutes comes with Booty research.

The fastest way to gather resources is to use Loot option (5 min CD one to be exact). However if you loot a village which has mood lower than 80% (or 64% with Diplomacy) then you risk losing that village in revolt. In the consequence you will have to retake it, which in the beginning of the game might be hard. Therefore I advice to stay in the "safe zone" and never loot when the village mood is below 80% (when peasants laugh on the picture, its safe to loot). You don’t really gain more in the long run if you loot “harder” and it will only temporarily boost your income, while being risky. You will still have to wait for the mood to recover to loot again. So there is no point to loot much below 80%..

Let me explain you that in more details. Control of the farms is dependent on the mood of the village. If you loot a village which has less than 80% mood then you risk a revolt - the village might revolt against you. If this happens, you will no longer be able to gather resources or troops from that village until you have reconquered it. The official guide from Grepolis wiki says: "the lower the mood, the higher the risk of revolt", which is misleading. At some point it also says "If you loot whilst the mood is low, you run the risk of revolt." As far as I understand the whole idea, basing on my experience and gathered information from other players, it should be rather explained in this way:
The lower the mood of a village at the time of looting it (or demanding troops), the higher chance that it will revolt.

There is no risk of a revolt if you loot the village when its mood is at or above 80%, so it doesn't matter if you loot it "hard" or "soft" (using short or long CD). As long as the village mood is above 80% it is as safe to choose 5 min CD loot as it is to choose 480 min CD loot. So if you loot a village that has 100% mood using 8hrs cooldown, you will drop its mood to 20%, which doesn't mean it will revolt. It only means that you should not loot it again until the mood is back to at least 80%. Simply, to not take any risk, don't loot when the mood is below 80%.

This number (80%) is lowered to 64% if you research Diplomacy, however remember that it will not speed up mood regeneration, so its not such a great research after all.

Happy to see you back, take anything you like, we almost forgot how you plundered us last time.

How often you will demand depends on your game-time availability and if you can be bothered clicking on farms every 5 minutes. I would say that the best way to farm is to loot every 5 minutes until mood drops below 80% and then use any demand CD that will fit your time schedules. After taking mood below 80% the most effective way to farm is to use 5 min demand CD every 5 minutes but don't feel bad when using other options. Being able to click a button (or many buttons if you don't pay for premium features) every 5 minutes is not always possible and can enslave you to the point when its not fun any more. Even when I have time to play I don't use 5 min CD demand option, just cant be bothered to do it that often. Draw your own personal line. 

Unfortunately this system favours those who can spend more time in front of the game, to the absurd point of 5 minutes cooldown. Same thing goes with some premium features speeding up production time of units which unbalanced the game bit to much in favour of those with more cash. It shouldn't be the reason to stop playing though, because majority of players don't wish to spend fortune on the game and cant be 24/7 glued to their screens - so if you cant click 5 min CD all day long you are not the minority here. Also as I will show you later in this guide, Demanding and Looting farm villages is not the fastest way of gathering resources - farming other players provide more resources.

All I try to say is to ignore those who can play more often, have more money and just take it all with distance - don't get frustrated with it. If you cant catch up with the fastest growing guy on your server then you probably know why, and it might have nothing to do with your or his skills. Don't let the game to push you into doing something you don't enjoy or in the worst scenario into using a BOT - its not worth it. Win with honor or not at all - that's my motto. Actually my motto was "Victory or Death" but victory is only when I achieve it myself and not with help of cheats. Do your best with time and money you can spend on this game and see where it takes you. I think that its still possible to be successful without spending fortune, but unfortunately it requires you to be online quite often.

Other thing to remember is that mood increases by 1% per hour depending on the World Speed. Therefore as far as I understand its 1% per hour for the worlds with speed equal 1 (in most cases wiki guides give examples basing on worlds with speed 1). Here you can check information about your world speed. By knowing how fast the mood regenerates, you can estimate when it will be back at 80%. 

Looting for longer periods of time is not worth it. If you log in few times a day, you should be able to use 5 min CD loot option 4 times a day in the world with speed 1 or 8 times in the world with speed 2. Four 5 min loots will take mood down by 24% (4x6=24). In the world with speed 1 you will need 24 hours to regenerate 24%, in the world with speed 2 you will regenerate 48% during 24 hours, so you can use 5 min loots 8 times (8x6=48). Let me also notice that using 5 min loot CD takes only 20 minutes per day (4x5min) in the world with speed 1 and 40 min (8x5) with speed 2.

For longer periods when you are offline its better to use a long demand CDs. For this reason its a good idea to research Booty. If you are confused just check the official guide table. With Booty you get extra 4 options, each of them proportionally doubles CD and resources received of the original 4 options (using example of a farming village at level 1, as default you receive 10 resources every 5 minutes but with the extra option you can receive 20 resources every 10 minutes as well). The most useful option is the one doubling 240 minutes, which gives you 480 minutes CD (8 hrs). Its perfect for the night time when you go sleep or go to work where you cant play.

480 minute (8hrs) Demand option with Booty

I wouldn't use Booty on looting because as I explained 5 min loot CD gives the best results,  its fairly easy to use all your "daily mood capital" by choosing this option (you need only 20 or 40 minutes per day) and finally because even though Booty doubles the CD (like with the demand) it doesnt however double resources output - it only adds 66% extra resources (not 100% like in the case of demanding). You double the CD time but proportionally receives less resources if you use 4 extra options for looting.

Don't worry to much about farming villages though there are other ways of gathering resources that will not change you into a grepo-slave. Just keep using 5 min loot CD when possible (don't stay at 100% mood as its a waste, loot a bit before going sleep). Keep demanding in a way that is comfortable for you and trade as soon as you get 1:1.25 ratio.

Farming other Players

Other players towns were the main source of my income (resources) in the early stages of the game and even later. If you manage to make another player city your farm, you will boost your resources income a lot! Recently I cleared my neighbors city from his units and started farming it, even though he had 1300 points at that point and I had only 1000. I observed his development and when I didn't see any changes in his points for more than 7 days I decided to spy him and then attack.

This is how much it cost me to change other player town into my farm (producing almost 10k resources per day!) I had to build up my Academy and research catapults to get rid of those walls, but alternatively you can use a Phoenician Trader, he sell catapults as well.

He never came back or if he did, he saw his troops dead and decided to leave. He built up all his production camps to level 18 - this is 132 resources per hour, ~3200 per day. I go back and forth and boost my income by 9600 resources per day! Im not able to get that much from farming villages, which I cant be bothered to farm ever 5 minutes. On top of that I farm few other small players on my island. Soon will build up my fleet and start farming players on other islands. You can imagine all this boost from resources - never ending construction queue.

Therefore make sure to focus on development of your army and farm other players - its your priority!

Most of the time there are only maybe 2-4 active players on an island. The rest of other players stop to log in early or do it so rarely that they can easily become your farms. Start attacking early but only those players who don't grow at all. You can Demand Troops from your farming village and get hoplites - they are the best against Swordsmen, or just wait till you can produce them yourself. Each player at the beginning will have 6 Swordsmen.

Each small town will provide you with 600 resources a day. If a player is growing slowly, let him for awhile. Its up to you when to hit and clear his army. Usually after first attack or first few, slow growing players stop to log in. Once you clear out players city from troops you can go back again and again for resources. The player you attacked may rebuild his military. If that is the case you must continue your attacks and regularly "clear" (kill) his forces, unless he use often militia against you, in that case its not worth it - you will have to get bigger and come back later.

If a player is online only sometimes then usually the cheapest way to deal with them is to keep sending Slingers (because of militia).

I will keep coming till I get everything and then...I will come back for more

Units to be used for farming
Never farm another players city with only Swordsmen or Archers. You will always lose at least 1 unit, even if they have no City Walls. The only exception is when you send Archers with your other offensive units like Slingers or Hoplites. You can and should send your Archers when farming other player cities (not attacking them, but farming after you've killed their army) because they can carry a lot of loot. Please remember that Archers are defensive units, which can be used to carry out resources from an enemy city when its empty and should not be used to kill enemy units. Swordsmen should stay in your town though.

The higher City Walls the more units you will lose (even slingers). So if enemy player managed to build some walls, you will need to use Horsemen to avoid loses and farm his city or build catapults and get rid of those walls (which might take some time).

The best units to farm empty cities are Horsemen, Chariots and Harpies. Hera has Harpies which I send to other islands for "gifts".

In the more advanced stage of the game you will know who around you, play this game seriously and who is not. Start by clearing smaller players with slingers. Later when they only rebuild their troops or if there is a chance they catch you with militia, send first wave of slingers and then few seconds later horsemen with 1 slinger. This extra slinger is to slow down your horsemen attack so it will hit after slingers wave. Basically slingers are the cheapest and best option to clear enemy cities as long as there are not to many swordsmen. Lastly when the player stops to log in and give up then send horsemen everyday to empty his warehouse.

Defending farms
Lastly "defend" your farms :) Other players can use the same town as you to get resources. If you suspect it, or would like to know if they do and who does it, then support that city with 1 swordsman. If its attacked, you will receive a report saying when and who did that. If it happens, send your defensive units there. He will not know who sent these units, unless you are on the same island and he can make a reasonable guess. However by sending there some or all defensive units you can wipe out other player farming forces or even all his offensive (plus maybe some archers) forces if its early stage of the game. I was often defending my farms like this - intruders were surprised and sometimes shocked but most of the time unaware who did that to them :) I also used that technique to limit enemy player ability to rebuild his army fast by supporting all ghost/"dead" towns around him but that's a different story.

Production Camps

Production camps shouldn't be neglected. In the late stage of the game they can be the main source of your income if you don't pay for premium feature (having many cities, farming for all of them might be really time consuming and impossible). In the beginning you should build them up to around lvl 15 but don't prioritize them over other constructions, like warehouse, barracks, senate, academy or farm.

Make sure to get barracks and academy as soon as possible (if you read previous part you should know why) and keep your warehouse lvl high enough (to never waste your resources). You cannot store more resources in your city than what you can keep in your warehouse, so if you're an active player who gains a lot of resources through demanding, farming other payers or trading, these will be lost if you bring in resources once the limit of the warehouse has been reached. Having Marketplace early is beneficial as well (I explained that in the first part of this guide).

Let me play around with some numbers (using world with speed 1) to show you the difference between production camps and demanding/looting Farming Villages.

 It is safe to assume that most of the farming villages will be expanded on your island to the 3rd level. At this level they provide 14 resources every 5 minutes and 222 every 480 minutes (this is minimum and maximum speed of gaining resources when using demand option).

We can then calculate that if we we were able to use 5 min demand CD all day long we would get  4032 resources per day per Farming Village (24 hrs x 60 minutes / 5 min = 288 then 288 x 14 = 4032). Normally you will be able to conquer 5 or 6 FVs pretty fast. By farming 6 FVs all at lvl 3 you could collect 24k resources per day if you are able to click 5 min CD all day long. If we use the slowest method by clicking 480 min demand CD, we will get 4k resources.

Production camps at lvl 15 will give us 2,5k per day.

Obviously nobody is capable of using 5 min demand CD 288 times a day (if he is, then he needs to see a special doctor) and it is safe to assume this number will be lower. Lets use another, a bit less extreme example but still very demanding - lets assume someone can use 20 min demand CD all day long. He will gain by this 13.4k resources per day, which is 6 times more than production camps lvl 15 can provide.

However I still doubt anyone can do that. If one is able to use 90 min CD all day long (which is more possible than 2 examples before) then his income will drop to 6.5k (again for 6 FVs all lvl 3). Production camps at lvl 33 will produce the same amount of resources. Production camps at level 40 will provide 8400 resources per day (when not on - or +).

I hope that after these few examples you can sort of imagine how effective production camps can be. In the beginning, farming FVs will most probably give you about 2-3 times more resources than production camps at lvl 15.



    sign by Sheye1, delta world ;)
    btw, i started again under the name of Mano Negra

  2. thanks mate :)
    welcome back in Delta

  3. GROM is it not true according to your math about production camps giving more than demanding, but those are numbers of just 1 FV and if you have camps at level 15+ you will at least have 5-6 FVs witch is a lot more than what camps can bring in even on 20 min intervals.With 5 FVs at level 3 on 20 mins you get 11160 resources, but level 40 camps bring only 8400.So unless you have to many cities to farm its better than camps, 2nd to farming other players.

    1. I will check these numbers and fix it. You are right that I calculated it only for 1 Farming Village, which is my mistake. I will soon fix it. Thank you for your comment.

    2. Ive changed my previous conclusions thanks to you Nyx93. My math was good, just the wrong conclusions. Im getting to old for 2.0 apparently :)
      Its very hard to compare production camps to FVs, because everything depends on how often a player can farm and what are FVs and PCs levels. I provided just few scenarios to illustrate possible differences - hope they will help you to get the feeling how things work.

  4. I have been doing some math and have come to the following conclusion.

    A 175 pt. city will let you raid 200 of each resource.
    It will fill back up if you leave it alone for 12 hours (or it is about full in a speed 2 world)

    5 x 175 pt. cites = 1,000 of each resource.

    Taking into account that each island has about 3 or 4 active player, that leaves about 15 little players to farm. That comes out to 3,000 of each resource about every 12 hours.

    Just thought I should mention that....

  5. GROM,
    You didn't mention if this was a land attack on the same island. What advantages/ disadvantages are there?
    What about sharing resourses between your cities?

    1. Are you asking about farming players on the same island? In this guide I was talking about farming anyone, anywhere. Naturally you will start with closer located neighbors (on the same island) and then gradually build ships (Harpies) and start farming players on other islands.

      Sharing resources? Do you mean sending them between your own cities? I was constantly doing that (my marketplace was on very high level in each city).

  6. You need to be farmed HARD GROM!!! C how you like it boy...

    1. Farm or get farmed... or quit the game and play minecraft, farmville, so many options.

  7. I found that funny. You've clearly done a good job on anonymous. This guide has helped me cover up my noob reality. Many thanks.

    Please enter a conquest world and do blog regarding it. It's pretty exciting in comparison to conquer. When you know you're going to be conquered - send attacking troops out just before CS lands and recall them to hit CS. Tight timing and so very exciting.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. I stand corrected. There is reference to Conquest where ever it's pertinent. Love your work G.R.O.M! How long were you playing before you started the blog?

    1. Glad you like it. I have played for about a year before starting this blog. I won all my wars (even when going with 10 against hundreds) and there were no real enemies left around me to fight against so I quit.

      The only way for me to come back was to make this blog as I dont have time to play full time as I used to. I was invited to many other servers and my friends were offering me cities, even unlimited gold but I just simply dont have time for it right now in my life. This game is a demanding one and I dont do anything "half-arse", all or nothing, victory or death ;)

  10. Grom, I've found hoplites to be completely useless. Researching Hoplite seems to be a poor use of CP. wouldn't it be better to conquer the 5th farming village with Medusae or Harpies. Please provide statistics for these units and other sharp attacks.

    1. 5th FV has swordsmen defending it so any sharp attack will be better than other 2 types. Of course you can even attack with blunt or distance attackers but then you have to be prepared to pay more (as you will have higher loses). Medusa is a great unit, Harpies as well but Harpy is blunt attack.

      Here is a table - sharp attack/FS (Farm Space), the higher the better:

      Sea* Land
      Manticore 21.0 21.0
      Medusa 17.9 24.2
      Hoplite 12.2 16.0
      Chariot 10.6 14.0

      *attack made by sea so cost of ships included

  11. It is better to go behind in points but have a higher army? What it is a good amount of troops for 1000 city points?

    1. Army is your priority number 1. Sorry but there is no magic number of units I can give you here. In the conquest world make more offensive units in your first city, in a revolt world you need to be sure that you can defend revolt/CS attacks. However, everything depends on your particular circumstances (neighbours, allies, other alliances etc).

    2. I understand that we need to upgrade farming villages so we can demand units and therefore after the the beginers proctetion goes out we start farming players in our islands. I am correct?

    3. I am playing on the world Thebes where the alliances are 35 members only, I should continue to build offensive units

    4. You should start farming other players as soon as you can but do not make more enemies than you can handle.

      If someone is growing slowly (slower than you) you can leave them so they build up their production camps and then start farming.

      When I was playing, demanding units wasnt a good idea. You could get more resources per happiness point when looting.

  12. The farming other cities has so far been the best advice I've received so far.

    If I was to farm the 6 villages I control on my island every 5 minutes for 30 minutes, each village is level three giving 28 resources each, then the most I could make in that 30 minutes would be 1008 resources.

    However, I found a city (1127 points) on my island that I started farming. It is a 30 minute round trip for my troops, however, every 30 minutes it brings in 2527 resources. I’m so glad I’m not just relying on ghost cities or villages anymore.