Roman Guide [Eng]

Defensive Roman Strategy Guide1
“It’s the economy, stupid!” Bill Clinton


  • Introduction
  • Why Romans?
  • Principles
  • Have patience
  • Set goals
  • Maintain exponential growth
  • Don’t get into conflicts
  • Guideline
  • Walkthrough
  • Day 0
  • After 8 to 10 days
  • 3 to 4 weeks
  • 8 to 10 weeks



This guide will explain to you the basics of turning your village into an economical powerhouse, and it will teach you how to defend your resources effectively and with minimal expenses. If you want to be a heavy attacker who leaves behind a series of burning villages right from the start of the game, this is not the guide for you, although you may find it beneficial to read it anyway - even heavy attackers will need some economy. However, if you don’t mind biding your time and staying relatively low-profile for about 2 months before happily and easily grinding those nasty heavy attackers into the dust, please read on. Also note that in my opinion, a defensive strategy does not mean you shouldn’t attack. It just means that attacking serves the higher purpose of maintaining a high growth rate and does not become a goal in itself, and that economy is the most important goal. I will try to cover all the fundamental principles, and explain these with examples. I will also spend some time on the psychological and interactive aspects of playing a game like travian. After the theoretical part, I will give a walkthrough for the first 2 months of the game.

Why Romans?

Romans have expensive and slow units, why would I want them? A good question, and this guide could be used without too much trouble by a gaul, and even by a teuton (although the teuton will have better strategies available).
But the good thing about romans is that their units, while expensive, are the most powerful in the game. No other race can match the raw power of roman infantry, not even with cavalry. Praetorians and Imperians are the best specialists in the game, and legionnaires are among the best generalists.

At the start, training costs really hurt since at that moment these costs are the limiting factor for military size. Later in the game it is space efficiency that counts, meaning attack/defence power per unit of crop produced. And that is where Romans shine. Therefore our strategy will be targeted towards reaching this point as quickly as possible by putting a lot of effort into building a strong economy and keeping military and other expenses low during development.


Have patience. When you start playing, you will quickly notice that Travian is a slowpaced game at the start and that it takes you weeks or months to get any where. Therefore, the first principle is: have patience! Even though development may seem slow at times, keep the longer-term goals in mind and you will notice you are getting ever closer to them.


Set goals
That immediately introduces the second principle: Work towards longterm goals and don’t let events (such as attacks on you) carry you away from them. Instead, deal with these diversions and then immediately return to your long-term goals.
Maintain exponential growth
The third principle of this strategy is: maintain exponential growth. This means you continuously have to invest your resources in such a way that they increase your growth rate. This means you will grow ever faster and faster, allowing you to eventually catch up and pass people who initially may seem to grow faster.
Don’t get into conflicts
You are not out there alone, and people (especially children in web games) are less reserved than in real life. Many players around you will be immature and react emotionally and with verbal violence to your actions, or derive enjoyment from acting bad. Some will even go to great lengths, hampering their own growth, just to annoy you, others will abuse you if you give them half the opportunity. The most dangerous (and the rarest) will try to play psychological games with you.

You cannot avoid this, but you can do a great deal to stay out of trouble. Make friends, join an alliance, and be polite but firm. Never give in to threats, harassment or extortion, but don’t provoke people by being smug, defiant or triumphant. Be firm, rational and calm, don’t hesitate to call bluff and never, never, react to insults or do anything that might insult people yourself. Don’t get into pissing contests about who has the most allies. And stay away from the few really big and organized alliances.

And finally, don’t offend people with your actions. Sure, you can attack them, but don’t do it ten times a day, and politely react to messages asking you to stop without promising to and then breaking your promises. Be honest and open that you will attack them again if they dont defend themselves. They will still hate you, but they will be less likely to invest a lot of time and effort in destroying you. In short, don’t do anything that will get you dragged into long-lasting and potentially growth limiting conflicts.
Based on these principles, we can now formulate guidelines:

1. Most important: invest resources into production fields;
2. Only build buildings when you can easily afford them in terms of hourly production;
3. Only build buildings when doing so will make you grow faster;
4. Build a minimal defence that is just big enough to make raiding you unprofitable;
5. Build offence to raid inactives and undefended actives only.
This walkthrough is not a step-by-step description of every action you must take. It just tells you what your goals should be at each stage and what you must concentrate upon. Please feel free to follow it to the point where your own opinion and playing style starts to deviate from the one I advocate here, and be creative and adaptive. No two villages are alike. Thefore there is no best strategy, and I sure don’t claim to have it. Nevertheless, this walkthrough follows the principles and guidelines I outlined here, and therefore I think this is a good way to go for a defensive player. I know from experience that you will be able to grow faster than the vast majority of players if you follow it. In this walkthrough, I will assume you play on a server that has about 7 to 9 days of protection for new players. If you have more protection, you might want to move military training a bit to the back and instead continue working on your fields a little longer.
Day 0
So, you just started! As you will see, you start off with a lot of resources, but with very little production per hour and with an almost empty village. Do you feel the temptation already to do something about it? I’m sure you do. However, you must resist. This guide is not for those without self-restraint, so think long-term. Our long term goal is to get your production up as quickly as possible, all your fields to L10, in the time span of about 8-10 weeks, while also producing a sufficiently strong defensive force and a modest raiding force. All fields at L10 is where this guide will end: at that point you can easily found a second and even a third village, or you can build a strong militaryand switch to offensive strategies. Anyway, when you have played for 2 months you don’t need a beginners strategy guide anymore. Now, we touch upon a very important aspect of Travian: Whenever you upgrade a field of wood, clay or iron, your production of those resources will increase, but your crop production will decrease! Similarly, whenever you build or upgrade a building, and whenever you build military, your crop production will decrease. This may not seem too bad, but you need crop to upgrade or build those fields, buildings and military, so you always need to have sufficient crop production. You won’t be the first person to end up with no crop and no crop production, making it impossible to upgrade crop fields to increase your production... You don’t want that. Therefore, watch your crop production carefully. Whenever crop production tags behind, be sure to upgrade crop fields!

As we are trying to boost economy, we will spend our resources mainly on boosting resource production by upgrading resource production fields. If we check the total costs of upgrading all fields, we’ll see that we need clay the most, followed by wood, followed by iron, and we need crop least. For fastest growth, the ratio between wood:clay:iron:crop production should be something like 10:12:8:6. This means you should try to always produce the most clay, then wood, then iron, and finally crop. Crop production should be about half that of clay, sometimes more but never less! If you maintain this ratio, you will be able to grow slightly faster than people who upgrade an equal amount of every field. You will notice that if you just build whatever field you can build first at any time (so if it takes 4 hours of resource production before you can upgrade clay, 3 before you can upgrade wood, 3 for crop, and 2 for iron, build iron as soon as you can), you will automatically approach the ratio above. Travian plus can really help you here (you can buy it at the website for a small fee, which gives you certain user interface benefits and also helps the people behind Travian to support the game and keep it banner free), as it shows how much time you have to wait before you can upgrade each of your fields.Also, never have more than 1 level difference between fields of the same kind. For example, never upgrade a wood L 5 field to L6 if you still have L4 wood fields. Instead, upgrade your L4 wood fields to L5 first before starting on L6. This because the return on investment, the gains you get from an upgraded field versus the costs upgrading that field cost you, become ever lower at higher levels. There is one exception to this rule: Because of the high crop costs of L1 fields, directly upgrading clay, wood and iron (but not crop) fields from L1 to L2 and L3 before starting on a new L1 field results in slightly faster growth, however the maximum time gain you get from doing this is less than 6 percent. So I’d say don’t bother, unless you really want the best performance.

Still with me? Told you you’d need patience, but now we can start playing. Use the resources you got at the start to upgrade your fields, starting with clay. You will notice that you can only upgrade 1 field at a time and that it takes a while before the field is built. Just hang on to your resources for a while, don’t spend them on buildings, and upgrade the next field when the first is finished. If you have Travian plus, you can put one field in the building queue to ensure the upgrade starts as soon as the previous one is finished. In this way, upgrade your fields (sticking to the ratio I gave before) until your resources are all spent. As upgrading fields uses more of the other resources than crop and you start off with an equal amount of each resource, you can afford to produce slightly less crop than you would according to the ratio, until you use all the stored crop. However, only do this if you are confident you will be able to upgrade crop production in time and not end up with 0 crop! When your resources reach 0, just wait until you’ve produced them again, and spend all resources you gain as soon as you can. During the first 7 or more days you cannot be attacked. Therefore, there is no need to do anything about defence during these days. However, as the 7th day approaches, you will want to start spending time and resources on defence! There’s two ways you can defend yourself: one is limiting the amount of resources attackers can take, the other is producing defence to deter or kill attackers. At this moment in time, you don’t have enough resource production to start building sufficient defence. However, crannies are cheap and efficient! Crannies protect resources from being stolen. So build a cranny and upgrade it to L3 or 4. It will not protect all your resources, but attackers will not gain much from attacking you.
After 8 to 10 days
During the 8th to 10th day you should be able to reach the first turning point in the game: All your fields have reached L3. You now have a solid resource production of about 60/60/60/40 per hour, and now it is time to take a small break. Upgrading fields to L4 is relatively expensive and the 7 extra resources you get from doing are not much of a reward, so we need a boost to get past L3 quickly. We’re finally going to build buildings and get military! Upgrade your main building to L3, build a rally point and a barracks. Also, if you are sometimes away from Travian for more than 9 hours, you will want to build a warehouse to store your resources. And if you want to join an alliance (which I strongly recommend as raiders will be much less likely to attack an alliance member), you have to build an embassy. And finally, a marketplace will come in handy, as it allows you to trade away excess resources for stuff you need. When your barracks are built, train about 4-6 legionnaires. These are the basic roman troops, and they are good for both offence and defence. For now, we will use them to raid our inactive neighbours. You will see that some people in your neighbourhood are not growing at all, often even staying at size 2. These can be raided for resources. For the next few days, raid these people as often as you can until they are empty, but make sure you don’t attack people who are your size or who you suspect to have any military. You don’t want to lose those precious legionnaires or make enemies.Legionnaires start making a profit only after 12 successful raids, and therefore you have to keep them alive for at least that long. So, be careful!

You might be attacked in this period. If you are, make sure to have a big enough cranny, but don’t keep your troops at home unless they greatly outnumber the enemy. And communicate! Politely ask the attacker to stop and tell him you will start defensive troops and upgrade your cranny to make sure he won’t make profit out of you.But do this in a nice and positive manner, and don’t make it personal. And read the what to do when being farmed guide on the forums for more details.

Don’t neglect your growth though. As soon as the buildings and troops are in, start working towards your next interim goal: all fields at L6. Keep raiding inactives, expanding your target range when those inactives closest to you are empty. In the meanwhile, you don’t need any new buildings except for the granary to store your ever increasing crop production. And upgrade your warehouse and granary as you grow. Also gradually expand your military force, as this becomes ever cheaper while you grow. When you have all your fields at L6, you will want to have a force of about 30 legionnaires, more if you have threatening neighbours.
3 to 4 weeks
After approximately 3-4 weeks of play in total, you should reach the point where all fields are at L6, assuming you did not have major trouble with attackers. At this point, we will take another short break. The upgrade to L7 is again very expensive compared to the gains you get from it, so income can use another boost. Also, by now some of your neighbours will become dangerous and since legionnaires are not the best defenders, your defence needs to be reorganized. Upgrade your barracks to L3 and build an academy, and upgrade it to L5. Build an armory, a blacksmith and upgrade the blacksmith to L3. Build stables L1. In the meanwhile, research in your academy the praetorian, imperian and equites legatis as they become available. Also train about 30 praetorians or more depending on the amount of aggressive neighbours you have, and 30 imperians or less if you have few attractive targets. Train 3 legates. And build a mill! Don’t build the mill earlier, this is the point where a L1 mill starts making you a profit. Wait with the L2 mill for a while. You will probably also want to expand your market a bit to get more merchants.

Legates can be used for scouting. This means you can now see whether all those neighbours you never dared to attack have defence! Use them to scout around, and then visit the undefended neighbours with your legionnaires and imperians. Keep the praetorians at home, they are your defenders. This will have kept you from growing a few days, and therefore it’s high time to return to growth. Over the next 4 weeks, expand your fields to L10. Make sure to keep improving your defence, as you are now becoming an attractive target for the big fish out there. I would suggest having 100 of either defence unit at L10 at least.

Your offence probably does not need a big boost, as those 30 imperians and legionnaires are enough to raid the inactives and players without defence in your neighbourhood. However, if you feel you need more capacity, expand your offence a little bit. But don’t fall into the trap of raiding people with large armies! We are only raiding for profit and quick returns, we won’t switch to full offensive power just yet... While growing, you may want to upgrade your stables to L5 and research equites imperatoris. These are not particularly strong, but they are fast, and if you build 10 of them you might be able to expand your raiding range considerably, being able to target more inactives and undefended players. However, the costs are considerable and I would not suggest doing this before all your fields are at L7 or L8, and it may not be the effort at all. I at least am too lazy to spend much time on raiding people for relatively little profit, and raiding with imperians keeps me occupied enough already. When all your fields are at L8, there is a nice trick to speed up your growth somewhat. When your clay, wood and iron fields reach L10 you are able to build production enhancing buildings for these resources. These function much like a mill, but unlike the mill the first levels of these buildings come at almost no cost compared to the cost of field upgrades.

Therefore, the best strategy is to upgrade a clay field to L9 and immediately to L10 before doing anything else. This allows you to build the brickworks. Do so, and immediately upgrade it to L4. This will give you a 17 percent higher return on investment than upgrading an equivalent amount of clay fields to L9. Use the same trick for wood (which will be faster as this upgrade mainly consumes a lot of clay) and iron, and only then return to upgrading the rest of the fields to L9 and L10. This should save you a couple of days. For wheat the story is more complex as both the mill and the bakery improve production. The appropriate times for upgrading your mill are as
follows: Table 1.

PHP Code:
Table 1Upgrading your mill
Level  Fields    
And       Or
L1     5 x L5   1 x L6
L2     3 x L6   3 x L7
L3     1 x L7   5 x L8
L4     5 x L9   1 x L10   all fields L10
L5     5 x L9   1 x L10   all fields L10 
In principle, the L4 and L5 upgrade are so expensive that they only become profitable when all your fields are L10. However, when you have a mill L5 and a wheat field L10, you can build a bakery, which is very lucrative. By doing the maths I have shown that it is actually worth it to build a L5 mill and a L4 bakery as soon as you have 1 L10 crop field (and 5 L9 fields), but the investment costs are about 120k resources in total. This may be too much at this stage, although you do get over 35% higher return on investment.


8 to 10 weeks

At L10 this guide ends. There are a number of things you will want to do

• Build new villages and expand them using the huge production of
your primary village;
• Start raiding active, well-defended players with a huge army;
• Upgrade buidings, research catapults, build a few and start harrassing
other players, possibly fighting in alliance wars;
• Take revenge on those silly Teutons with a big force but no production
capacity of their own by fighting a war of attrition.

But whatever you do, have fun with your full-grown village and complacentlylean back while people start asking you how you possibly can grow this fast. Enjoy the full options this game gives you once you’ve taken the effort to get the income to use them all!

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