Monday, 29 November 2010

Grepolis units - everything you would like to know

This is the most fundamental and important guide you should read if you want to play better in Grepolis. This is an online war game and winning battles against other players is one of the most important things you should master if you want to rule in this virtual world. Understanding roles of all army units, their attributes, strong and weak points is crucial if you want to win battles and wars. You must know which unit serves what purpose. Each of them have a specific role in the game. In this guide I will describe them quickly and tell how to use them.

Saturday, 27 November 2010


 This is an old info page from my first alliance in Grepolis which I started with couple of guys from LoA. A sentimental trip... back in time when everything was born ;)

Online war games - feel free to play whichever role you want, even a tyrant if its what makes it enjoyable. After all its only a game so don't hide your alter ego - its the right place to let it run freely.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Mythical units

Mythical units...powerful but only when used properly. Even though they are great, stronger than any regular unit, rebuilding them takes a lot of time. I prefer to have a slingers nuke ready in a few days rather than to wait weeks to finish my mythical army. However, if you have time and resources, training mythical units make perfect sense as long as you know how to properly use them. Think about these creatures as special forces - you don't use them or let be killed to win an average battle but the most important and crucial one.  If you are not at war, this is the best time to use your FPs for mythical units.

However, please mind that defending with mythical units is very limited - the city which is supported by them, has to worship the same god. It is not a very reliable defense if you cannot send it anywhere quickly, unless you don't mind switching gods and losing all current FPs.

Offensive mythical units is a totally different story though but remember to use them wisely. Don't send them to unimportant battles because it takes time and many FPs to build a nuke of mythical units.

Below is the comparison of all mythical units in Grepolis with some descriptions and ways/strategies of using them properly. The purpose of this guide is to help you decide which units you should use for which task, and this can usually be done by comparing values ranked below.

Land Defense

What is the perfect defense? well it is the one which will take every possible attack and make the attacker to pay the most for it. Its a defense which will take as many enemy troops to Hades as possible.

First I will show you how looks balanced defense (the one ready to defend equally against all types of attack). Basically its 6 Swords + 2 Archers + 5 Hoplites but read the whole guide to understand why. Then I will explain different tactics to make our defense as painful as possible to the attacker. Please mind that these are tactics for players who have their first few cities and should focus more on saving resources rather than destroying an enemy.

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Three types of attack and corresponding three types of defense
We have three types of attack and corresponding to them three types of defense. Each unit has 1 type of attack and three of defense. It means that they use their main weapon to attack/fight but deal in a different way when being attacked depending on what kind of unit attacks them. Check stats of all units and you will see clearly that some of them should never be used in attack, some never in defense while some can do both. For more information regarding Grepolis units read my guides: Land Army and Mythical Units.

Offensive units are: Slingers, Horsemen, Light Ships, Erinyes, Manticores and  Harpies etc.

Multitask (Offensive and Defensive) units are: Hoplites, Chariots, Cyclopes, (they are not the strongest in attack nor in defense, but can perform both tasks at the same time – you can send them to attack and leave to defend till stronger defensive units come to support them. Medusa are also multitask units but at the same time are very strong in both roles.

Defensive units are: Swordsman, Archers, Pegasus, Cerberus and Centaurs.

Support units: Catapults (they demolish walls but are not good stand-alone offensive units)

Population Cap
Each city has the population cap which is 3500 (with upgrades). Additionally a player cannot merge offensive units from few cities and therefore is limited in his attacks to this number (minus population needed for buildings or transport ships). You can produce units in many cities but you have to send them separately and they can’t be merged into one big attack. Therefore population cap is the main factor limiting strength of your attacks. You can however merge armies in any city to defend it.

Farm Space
Farm Space (FS), is equal to 1 population in your city. Smart management of available FS is crucial in Grepolis because of the mentioned above population cap. Players should be interested to have maximal values of attack and defense per population used by their army (FS), especially at later stages of the game when they can gather big armies and stack all their defensive units in one place. 

Battle mechanics
Grepolis uses a very simple system in determining the outcome of battles. When the units meet in battle, the total attack value of the attacking units is compared to the defending unit's total defense value of the corresponding weapon type (Blunt, Sharp, Range) - if you attack for example with Slingers only then compare range attack to range defense.

When attacking, take into account the attack value of the unit(s) which you use for it. Defense value of the unit which you send to attack doesn't matter at all. Defense of any unit is taken into calculations only if that unit is being attacked (example). When there are few types of defending or attacking units, you have to add their values (example).

In Grepolis units fight till the total annihilation of the opposing side and there can be only two outcomes. The only exception are battles when there are some Transport Ships left for some reason. As a general rule if attack>defense then all defending units die, and if attack<defense then all attacking units will die - its that simple!

Different goals - different forms of attack

I will say something that most of the people reading guides hate - in Grepolis a lot of things are relative, situational and depends on particular circumstances or players goals. Your attacks should help you to achieve your goals. You might have 3 different goals:

  1. Short term - the most effective attack (hit your enemy as hard as possible, without looking at costs or long term results). There is always one type of attack (blunt, sharp or range) which will deal the most damage to the enemy defenses (will be the most effective). If you put all your available population into it and hit your enemy's vulnerable point, you will blast him away. Vulnerable point? Yes, this might be a Light Ships fleet without any Biremes to defend them, or a land units nuke or a badly made defense, which ignores one type of attack. 
  2. Medium term - the most efficient attack in terms of time needed to rebuild lost units (hit your enemy as hard as possible but losing units that can be quickly replaced). These types of attacks might be needed when you fight a strong player and you don't want to let him to recover. You will not defeat him in the first battle but shortly after.
  3. Long term - the most efficient attack in terms of resources (hit your enemy as hard as possible but with minimal costs). These types of attacks you should use during long conflicts which are more about endurance than a quick knock out. Often the most effective type of attack is the most efficient one but not always (more about it later).

Attack's Effectiveness

Nobody knows the battle formula. The only information available is the experience of the players and experimentation in the simulator. As such, in the majority of instances predicting the battle outcome is an educated guess and never fact. (Source)

If you look closer at the units parameters you will realise that each unit has a different attack value per Farm Space: 1 Slinger = 23 range attack/FS, 1 Hoplite = 16 sharp attack/FS, 1 Horseman = 55 blunt attack, but because its made of 3 population then attack/FS=18.3 (55 / 3 farm Spaces = 18.3) - more about Land Army Units. Therefore an attack made by 1000 Slingers will have higher total attack value (strength) than one made by 1000 Hoplites. It doesn't mean though that a Slingers attack will be always the most effective force against every defense.

As described before we have to compare the total attack value of the attacking units to the defending unit's total defense value of the corresponding weapon type. Its easy then to find out which units will be the most effective against any particular defense - you simply divide total attack by the total corresponding type of defense and the biggest number will indicate the most effective type of attack against that particular defense (example). You can use my Units Calculator (Basic or Full), which will calculate it for you.

You can see then that the effectiveness of your attacks is not based solely on the strength of your army but rather depends on the relationship between the strength of attacking and defending units. In a nutshell, when attacking remember that proportions are everything. The bigger the attack/defense ratio the better results for the attacker - more damage done and less units lost. The more effective attack is then: a) when Attack>Defense, less attacking units will be lost or b) when Attack<Defense, more defending units will be killed.

Size of attacking armies
It should be obvious for everyone now that the size of your attacking army is a very important factor impacting its effectiveness. One attack made by 1000 Slingers will hit harder and bring better results than 2 separate attacks of 500 Slingers each. Therefore every good player in Grepolis specialise its cities. You should dedicate a city to each type of attack, mainly focusing first on Range and Blunt attack (Hoplites don't provide much Sharp attack and to build a Manticores army you will need to have many cities) - more about City Specialisation.

Its in your best interest to make in a single city as big armies as possible. You should invest in research like Plow, Bunks, Breakthrough. Yes, indirectly they make possible to build more fighting units. For example Breakthrough will allow you to build smaller Light Ships escorts, while thanks to Bunks you will save on Transport Boats. Remember about constructing Thermal Baths as well.

You will be able to put ~2800 population into your army in a single city if you save a lot on your buildings. This way you will be able to build the most powerful offensive armies in Grepolis - nukes. It is an attack made of the same type of units, only Slingers, Horsemen, Hoplites, Light Ships or mythical units - more about Nukes.

Type of attack
By checking the attack/defense ratio for each type of weapon (as described before), you will be able to find out the most effective type of force against that particular defense and pick the right nuke for the job. Therefore another thing to remember is that by choosing the best type of units for the specific mission you control the effectiveness of your attacks - there is always 1 type of attack which will bring the best results (example).

The only limitation here is that you have to know or be able to predict what type of units you are attacking to prepare the right squad. Knowledge is power as they say and espionage in Grepolis should not be underestimated. It might be expensive though and you may have to attack blind. In that situation some people advice to use a mixed attack (made of Blunt, Sharp and Range attack units).

I am not a huge fan of mixing attacking units and for some reason a lot of people don't know they should invest more in range defense (Swordsmen) than any other type. This is why I was very often successful by just sending Slingers nukes, however things might look different for you and if you feel safer sending mixed attacks, do it. It will never be the most efficient and effective type of attack but its less risky if you don't know what you are hitting.

Mixed attack - this is how would look like an attack equally strong against all 3 types of defense:
5 Horsemen/17 Hoplites/12 Slingers = 275 range attack, 272 sharp attack and 276 blunt attack.

Sometimes adding extra units will increase effectiveness and efficiency of your attack (example). Use the Grepolis in-game simulator and compare loses in my Units Calculator to check if adding those units increase or decrease your loses (in resources) - more about it later.

Size of your army will definitely increase the total strength of your attack, however you can increase it by investing into research, like Phalanx or Battering Ram. Additionally you should boost your attacks with Divine Powers, like Heroic Power or Favorable Wind, which will further increase the strength of your attacks. Finally Commander and Captain, premium paid features, provide very strong bonus of extra 20% strength.

Other Factors
City Wall - it can add an extra 142% defense value! This means that with lvl 25 you don't attack 100 Swordsmen, but 242 of them. Add catapults to your Slingers nukes - their task is to lower enemy's wall level (extra defense value that city walls provide - example). More about Catapults and City Walls.

Morale - decreases the advantage of a large attacker on the smaller player and its based on the Defender/Attacker total points ratio (not the strength of attacking units but points which are rewarded for each building you construct in your cities). The exact formula is: [(Points Defender/Points Attacker)*3+0.3]*100. 
It can be between 30% to 100% and is a setting (decided by an administrator) which is turned on only in certain worlds. If one as an aggressor has +30% morale this means that the fighting ability of the attacking units is 30% higher.

Luck - random factor that can vary between -30% and +30%.

Attack's Efficiency

Another thing to consider when attacking are your goals. As mentioned before you might be more interested in weakening your strong opponent than killing all his units in one particular battle. In that case you should check efficiency of your attack and to do that you just need to take into account costs of units lost in resources. It is a very straightforward operation where you do couple of simulations using the simulator in Agora and then type in lost units number into my Units Calculator to see which attack cost you more (example).

Some basic and the most fundamental tips

  • Navy - Light Ships are for attacking only and Biremes for defending only (unless they escort CS).
  • ALWAYS use Light Ships to escort your Transport Ships!
  • NEVER send to attack defensive units like Archers or Swordsmen, unless you want to get rid of them and give free BPs to the attacked one.
  • When you look at the enemy defense keep in mind that a balanced defense (the one which protects equally against all types of attack) is something like 6 Swords + 2 Archers + 5 Hoplites.
  • For detailed guide about conquering cities in revolt worlds check the Revolt Guide

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Organising waves

In the last guide I proposed some ways of putting clearing and support waves as close to CS as possible. When sending waves in general we have to alter our tactics and tailor them to the current enemy. However I remind you that defending is easier than attacking and against really skilled and strong players/alliance quick conquers might not be an option, not until we make them weaker or our team hit smarter. At the moment I focus on 1vs1 situations to describe general tactics of organising waves. I will write about operations in other guides.

Table of content

GROMs Manoeuvre

To make your life easier when organisng attack and support waves from many cities, try to use one of the two Attack Planners I provide on this site (both have similar core functions):

Traveltime Calculator - an excel file to download
Attack Planner - an online google doc


Sometimes to get these perfect clearing attacks we are forced to send many of them just before the CS landing time (ETA). However don't try to put all of them in that short window of time if your enemy is known for stacking units rather than dodging. If you know that enemy is going to defend and stack defensive units, try to clear his city few times during a day before CS ETA. By that I mean send LS nuke with attached to it land nuke made of Slingers/catapults or only LS if you expect many Biremes. I would not send land nukes alone as its risky - better to always send LS nuke followed shortly with land nuke. Ofcourse spying helps and if you cant do it, then your early attacks should give you an idea about numbers of defensive units. Also you might send 1 Harpy or Manticore - they will die but as they can fly over Biremes, they will hit ground units and give you report back about their numbers.

Send your clearing attacks few times before CS with some longer time intervals. So lets say your CS lands at 20:00 but you sent it at 8:00 - your enemy knows since 8:00 that your CS is coming (we always assume the worst, so lets say he knows straight away). Check on the map local cities and predict which one can send support. Lets say you estimate that the earliest support will come around 12:00 so send your clearing wave to hit at ~12:30, then at 15:00, 18:00 or if possible even more often. Why? Because you don't want to let your enemy to stack all defending units and then hit them. Mind that the defender can only dodge with his own units, not the ones sent by his teammates.

If he gathers lets say 2000 Biremes you will hit 2000 Biremes with 250 LS - with this attack/defense proportions you will sink very little. There are better ways of sinking your own fleet than hitting a 10 times bigger wall of Biremes (free BPs for defender). Most of the time support waves don't come all at the same time, so when he gets first 300 BMs you should attack them with 250 LS, then few hours later 500 BMs support comes in, you hit them with 250 and so on. Those hits will kill most of his BMs. If you let them to stack and then hit you will sink few times less of them.

If defenders have many support units they might arrive in few different ways:

  1. Support from other players comes most of the time "whenever" before the CS. People don't care to much about others and when they send support they don't spend extra hours and log in few times a day just to synchronise support with CS landing time - they will send it all at once. I was an active player so when I was supporting my friend I would try to put my BMs just before the CS wave. Most of the time it was easy to do because not that many people can put all clearing waves in 30s interval just before CS. However as I said most of the time support from other players will come randomly, hours before the CS.

  2. Support that comes from the attacked player may also arrive randomly before the CS (he sent all of his/her units at the same time)  
  1.  Usually defenders don't risk against CS attacks and if they have many support units to their disposition they will try to make sure all of them arrive before CS (not after). Therefore its unlikely they will take risks and manage to put big BMs wave 1-10s before CS lands but of course its still possible.
  2. If the defender is a skilled player then he/she might try to time support to arrive seconds before the CS.
Depending on the stage of the game you might clear the target city alone or get help from your teammates. In the second case its better to ask them to perform task of early clearing attacks rather than trying to get their clearing waves close to your CS. I only trusted one person in my alliance to be able to do that and once he got my final confirmation of CS ETA he was able to put his LS nukes 5s before it. Really admirable but as I said - if you're not sure about your teammate's skills, ask them to send clearing waves much before your hit in the way I described above. Better safe than sorry. Also while they clear everything that comes hours before your CS, you try to make sure to kill anything that comes 1-60s before it. 

I will write another guide about being efficient but just as a quick advice here - if the enemy stacks massive amount of units in his city to defend it, leave it. With all these massive forces behind walls or stacked Biremes from many cities against your little nukes, he will have a BPs orgy. Free BPs for the defender - its absolutely pointless to try to push with head against the wall. In that situations pick other city - I will write more details about it in another guide focusing more on large scale operations. 

Yes, our favourite type of defenders... NOT ;)  I had many occasions to deal with dodgers so here are some tactics I developed.

First of all you don't need clearing waves to be spread in time like I described in the first part about non-dodgers. This time squeeze as many as you can in 1 minute interval just before CS ETA. If you follow my advices from the previous guide about timing waves you should be able to put most of your clearing waves 50s to 1 second before the CS. I was risking little bit by sending my waves around 20s to CS ETA (using the previous example at 19:59:40) but this way I could put majority of my waves in the most dangerous time interval for the defender - between 19:59:10- 19:59:59 but mostly between 19:59:20-19:59:59. That 40 seconds were loaded with my clearing waves and made a defenders life so much harder. He could split his defending units and dodge with many of them risking that these little groups will get wiped by my nukes, or dodge with one big wave risking missing my CS. 

That one defensive wave could be very lucky one or very unlucky. You cant control these things to much and in the previous guide I showed only how to put big pressure on the defender and how to increase your chances of parking your CS in his harbour. You have many shots against his one but in general it all comes down to the randomisation mechanism which limits our control over the conquering process. We can control things only to some extent. Sometimes a defender will be more lucky with one wave than you with 10.

Other types of defensive tactics
If there are more than one support wave coming in just seconds before the CS hit, then we are talking about non-dodger who knows how to support himself with units from different cities just before the CS attack (or his team knows it). This is the hardest enemy to defeat and if luck is not on your side then forget about a quick conquest. As I mentioned before, defenders have easier life than attackers. In this case you will have to prepare a large scale operation involving your teammates, synchronise attacks on his other cities and if that doesn't bring results then start resources war.

There are also players who are forced to save resources and will try to support just before your CS hit and additionally try to snipe it after by sending a LS wave - its so called sandwich. Only good/lucky timing can help you against those players or as mentioned before large scale operation (targeting many cities aat the same time) and resources war.

Snipers are bit easier to deal with but again it depends how many offensive forces they can use. Enemy might send LS nukes before your CS lands, timing them to hit it just after its arrival. Therefore when we are dealing with many attack waves (defender is strong) then my strategy from the previous guide (about sending many support waves to land just after your CS) might save your CS but if it doesn't then you need to organise a larger operation or start resources war (making him weaker) so he cant send his army against you.

There is however one trick you can try to use against constant dodgers who are always online and I will describe it below.

How to fool a defender - GROMs Manoeuvre
I hated dodgers and being forced to play with luck, wasting my days just to be pushed back by some lucky dodger. I was in constant search for better ways of dealing with avoiding fight defenders. I developed a tactic that can be used effectively against dodgers and even "hard defenders" who stack their units. This tactic is based on misleading your enemy and then surprising him with an unexpected early CS. You will send a CS wave but before it lands you will send another one, which will hit before. Quick support and the city is yours, while your enemy tries to figure out what have just happened. Let me explain the whole process and go through details.

1) Prepare 2 CS waves, one very far and the second one as close to the target as possible. Its also good to have near your target some support cities - if you don't have any, maybe your teammates can help.

2) Send CS attack (1st CS) from the furthest city available, which can be even 20-30hrs away from your target city. Basically try to be sure that the defender knows its a CS wave. So much time might be necessary for him to notice it. You can even risk and not put any spell on your CS wave so he can spy it but the only danger is that he might sink your CS with the Sea Storm (CS is a big part of your population invested in the whole CS wave and therefore very often it can be sunk with a simple spell).

3) Send some clearing waves and try to put them all close to the 1st CS ETA. Depends on your army composition these can be any sort of offensive units, including real LS and land nukes. The best cities to be used here will be the ones positioned far away which have long travel time to the target city.

4) Send support waves to land just after the 1st CS. Like explained in the previous guide split your forces into smaller groups and send many small groups. However leave some for later (I will explain it soon). Again best suited for that job are cities located farther away (not the closest ones).

5) When all your clearing and support waves are on their way you can send your 2nd CS which should be launched from a city located close to the enemy target (like few hours away). Its up to you when you want to send it, just make sure that you will not have to face strong defense. Put a spell on it so the defender cant spy it. If you sent before many clearing waves, its very possible that the defender will not notice the long travel time for such a close located city - it will be just one of many attacks on his list.

6) Send couple of clearing waves to hit just before your 2nd CS. If your CS is in the "safe zone" and you think that the defender will not be able to support it quickly with massive forces then you can send support to land just after the 2nd CS. If its to risky (the defender might see new incoming support waves with different ETA, realise whats going on and send quickly strong support), then you should wait with sending your support to the moment when your 2nd CS lands successfully.

7) If your 2nd CS landed, send all your support straight away (ask teammates to do the same). You will need defensive/support cities close to your target to be able to reach it very fast, so keep them (don't send) till the last moment.

8) Don't worry about your incoming attacks - they will all come "for a tea and coffee" and go back home. They will not attack your units nor your CS. However we are talking about units sent only by yourself, not your teammates! Your teammates can clear the city before 2nd CS but none of them should hit it after as they will sink it (friendly fire).

I draw you a very professional picture :D showing the whole process. Click on it to make it larger.

There are few things to know when executing this tactic:
  • This tactic works if the enemy city is not already a fortress with many units defending it. Its all about surprise!
  • Be sure that your enemy knows about the 1st incoming CS. 
  • Spy your enemy often to see changes in his defenses. It might happen that his city will get support from other places long before 1st CS and they might catch your 2nd CS. Therefore keep close by strong clearing nukes for the 2nd CS. Sometimes you might have to send your 2nd CS much earlier to avoid fighting against all incoming support waves.
  • Send a Light Ships and land nuke to clear the target city something like an hour before 2nd CS ETA. Basically regarding all clearing waves, you can put some LS attacks just before 1st CS ETA (seconds before) and some spread through the day, every few hours, so it doesn't look suspicious and more like you trying to clear his city as normal.
  • Create chaos/"smoke cover" by sending many waves before so his log is full of incoming waves which indicate that the 1st CS is your main wave (all clearing and support waves are timed around it). You have to be sneaky :)

When I did that for the first time my 1st CS needed around 30hrs to reach the target - its ETA was 18.00 or 20:00 cant remember. I sent 3/4th of my offensive forces to "clear" his city just before 1st CS ETA. My 2nd CS was only 2,5 hrs away from the target. Around 11:00 I sent my 2nd CS and put spell on it (so they couldn't spy it). I was spying his city often and knew what he has inside. I made sure that my last spy mission will give me report just before the time I had to send my 2nd CS. It was pretty empty with only 200 BMs and some troops. After that I sent 1 LS nuke and 1 slingers nuke to clear it just before my 2nd CS (seconds before but not risking, sending it 30s before ETA) and asked my teammate to send something as well but not timed perfectly - I wanted to be on the safe side and clear anything that comes in this 2.5 hrs that my 2nd CS needed to reach the target. I parked my 2nd CS without any troubles and saw in the log 20-30 incoming support waves from all his alliance. I was laughing my ass off :D A lot of these people didn't even recall their support when the poor guy was desperately trying to sink my CS - they were killing each other! Some of his teammates were protecting my CS while others were trying to sink it - hilarious spectacle!

You can tailor this tactic to your own needs and decide yourself how big breaks you want to leave between 2 CS waves and how many clearing waves send with each. Help from your teammates might be necessary. The most important thing is to try to hide your 2nd CS between other waves. So use spell on it; send most of your waves with the first one; send some of your attacks in 2 hours intervals so it looks like you want to bombard him all day long before 1st CS; time many waves very close to the 1st CS; sometimes you might to have enough time to use your nukes twice so why not. If your 1st CS travel time is 30 hrs and your closest LS need 2 hours, send them very early to clear whatever is there and then resend it - his log of incomings must be full. Fool around with this tactic, create your own versions and have fun. If it works for you, come back here and say thanks grom ;P

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.

Monday, 22 November 2010


Q: Will I receive BPs when I support someone with my army?
A: Unfortunately you will not, only the defender receives BPs for units that died attacking him/her. Supporting someone is purely altruistic act and maybe it's not such a bad idea after all ;)


Q: I killed many units but they don't show in Agora, why?
A: Very often it takes some time to update it, don't worry, you will get them, just check later.



Please post your questions here using Post a Comment box. 
Some of the most pupular questions will become sticky and get their place on the main page. Thanks for reading :)


Friday, 5 November 2010

Conqering Citites Part 1 - Timing


One of the most crucial skills you need to learn is how to time your waves perfectly. Easier said than done - I know the pain! We are talking here about the anti-timing mechanism which will alter the travel time +/- 30 seconds at launch. It affects attacks and supports. In my world and unit speed equal 1 I never really experienced 30s but 1-20s most of the time. 

Clearing Attacks

To be able to squeeze few clearing waves just before your CS ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) you need to be bit lucky and help your luck as well. Also to get best results you will need few waves - with only one wave you cant do much. Play safe and send it 30s before your CS ETA.

Strategy with many waves:
Make your first LS wave a sure hit - open the attack window at least a minute before sending your clearing wave. Then refresh it few times while watching the timer showing ETA (while watching it just refresh your window by closing it and opening it again). When it shows 1 minute to your CS ETA send your attack. That means if your CS ETA is 20:00:00, you will click the attack button when the timer shows 19:59:00. Then do the same with your land nuke (use breakthrough!) to have a definite land hit but send it around 19:59:30. By sending your LS nuke a minute before you should create big enough window for your land attack, so it will hit after navy but still close to the CS (if luck is not on your side and land clearing wave is going to hit after LS, then you will have to send another early LS wave - add 30s to the land clearing wave ETA, so if it hits at 19:59:10 then send LS at 19:58:40).

From now on you can start sending your waves around 19:59:30 or even 19:59:45 if you want to be more risky or know how much time is usually added/taken (after sending hundreds of waves I knew it was 1-15s, max 20s for me). 

Napkin math - what are the chances your attacks will miss your time window
I'm not a mathematician but if an attack can be moved by anti-timing mechainsm by 30s in one way and 30s in other, then its 60s total. That 60s is equal to 100% possibilities. When I send my attack at 19:59:40 then it can hit between 19:59:10 and 20:00:10 (+/-30s). Therefore only if the system adds 20s-30s I will be out of my time window. That is 10s out of 60s, which is 1/6 of the all possibilities, which is 100%/6=16.6%. So in other words when you are sending your waves at 19:59:40 (or 20s before ETA) there are roughly 85% chances you gonna make it and 15% that your wave will land after the CS. If you send your attack at exact ETA it will be 50/50 chances you get there before the CS.

So after this cool risk management lesson from Grom you should know what to do with your waves :P The more offensive specialised cities you have, the more chances you will get close to your CS ETA. Each time check ETAs of your waves. That way you will see how much they are changed on average and you can make your decision to risk or not. If all are still 20s away from CS ETA why not to try and send one much later?

 When I was desperate for a "good shot" i would split my last LS nuke into 2 parts and send one around 19:59:40 and the other one at 19:59:45, risky? Maybe, but I was sure that 15-45s before my CS lands, there will be plenty of LS waves hitting that city anyway so I can waste one and try to get a good shot. If you don't have that many offensive cities then you cant really afford to risk that much. It worked for me because almost 9/10 times my waves were not altered more than 15-20s.

I was risking little bit by sending my waves around 20s to CS ETA (using the previous example at 19:59:40) but in this way I could put majority of my waves in the most dangerous time interval for the defender - between 19:59:10 - 19:59:59 but mostly between 19:59:20-19:59:59. That 40 seconds were loaded with my clearing waves and made a defenders life so much harder. He could split his defending units and dodge with many of them risking that these little groups will get wiped by my nukes, or dodge with one big wave risking missing my CS. 

So first I was making sure that my LS and land nukes hit the target before my CS and then was gradually sending more risky attacks (at 19:59:35, 40, 45) until I got one very close to the CS ETA that would make me happy. From my experience most of the attacks that I was sending around 19:59:40 were good ones even though I knew that in theory it can be altered as much as 30s. By watching ETAs I learnt to trust my instinct and was able to get 19:59:59 hit couple of times and 19:59:50-55 on regular bases. 

Naturally things might totally change if you don't send your CS first but sometime between sending your attacks. For example you planned your CS to land at 20:00:00 but it landed 19:59:50. It might be good as your best hit was 19:59:49 or it can be bad if you already managed to put couple of waves after 19:59:50. If you want to avoid that situations send your CS very late (around 20:00:00 if the defender is not a sniper and you dont care much about recalling and resending your support again) and make sure that your support waves don't come earlier as they will defend against your CS. All of your attacks (not teammates) that hit after CS won't hurt it (they will drink coffee and have some cakes...literally).

As Wellagain says in her instruction for traveltime calculator:
If you are sending your CS as the last wave (it's travel time is the shortest, and you have to send all other waves before actually knowing where anti-timing will put your CS), knowing how exactly your queue looks like will allow you to make the best decision on where to aim your CS at (remember, attacks landing after your CS will not harm it, so it's better to put it before the last attack rather than after first support).

There is nothing more to that really - no way to go around anti-timing mechanism. If you have only one or two waves you cant get a close hit without risking everything, so I would play safe and send it at around 19:59:30, maybe 25.

Now go and make some tests - send your troops at a ghost town or farm - keep sending and recalling troops to see what sort of times you get. You will get a feeling of how anti-timing mechanism works for you, how often it adds or takes 30s and how often its stays in closer range between 0-20. Some people reported that the mechanism never added more than 15s for them. Is it true? I dont know. Go and check by sending many waves and recalling them.

Supporting CS 

Supporting is  much easier, because if things go wrong you can recall it and send it again. It depends on how many waves you can send but good news are that you can split your forces in as many parts as you want to! This is not attacking anymore, we are supporting, so we don't care about size of our sent waves.

First prepare yourself - decide how big "chunks" you want to send (divide your forces into smaller groups). So lets say I have 350 Biremes in my city, I decide to send them in 7 groups of 50. I will type number 50 in, select it and copy (Ctrl+C). Now when its around 19:59:40 I will send first group, then fast Paste (Ctrl+V) number 50 and send next one, and again and again 7 times (7x50=350). I copy/paste as it saves me time from typing, You can type these numbers manually if you wish of course. After that I will check all ETAs and these groups which land before CS will be cancelled and resent back as soon as possible. If you have to send troops and ships then you can split them into 2 groups - just prepare first wave and then second one will be easy to send straight after without typing in numbers (just select all).

I would do the same with all my other supporting cities. Enemy would probably see 100s of incoming support waves but that doesn't matter. What matters is that with so many shots you can put many of your support waves 1-5 seconds after your CS lands. If for example I was sending support from 3 cities and sent only 3 big waves there was chance I would get times like 20:00:08, 20:00:10 and 20:00:15. But if I split them as I proposed above I will get 21 different waves and lot of them might hit magic 20:00:01.

I did that many times and no-one ever sunk my CS because my support was to late. Snipers had a hard life against me. Especially that anti-timing mechanism applies to defenders as well. For worlds older than 2.0 there is some short info about dodging (from grepo forum):
"Such precision is not possible in this game in any case, owing to time randomization factor that is built in to any troop movement. This can add or subtract up to 30 seconds at the time you click the attack button."
"Farming villages are exempted from the antitiming rule when outbound. That is the strengthening waves will land before the looting attack. They don't always return in the same order. With a farming village they arrive at the appointed time but lose a few seconds or gain a few on their way back, the real anti-timing rule takes over when you use it against a player." 
I can add that cancelling troops while they are moving to strengthen a farm will not work - anti timing is applied when cancelling.

If you have any comments or questions post them below, thanks.