Defensive Roman Strategy Guide1
“It’s the economy, stupid!” Bill Clinton
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.
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.
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.Set goals
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.Maintain exponential growth
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.Don’t get into conflicts
Based on these principles, we can now formulate guidelines:Guideline
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.Walkthrough
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!Day 0
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!After 8 to 10 days
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.3 to 4 weeks
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!