Sunday, November 27, 2016

Basic Timing: Mission 1

Ok, cannon fodders. It's time to talk about TIMING. This is the first skill that separates casual players from true military players.

Illyriad contains no built-in timers. There are no in-game currency options for speeding up armies that are marching. If your alliance wants to land a precision operation together, the only method is for all individual players to launch at the correct time. Is this important? You bet. For example, in a siege, the army that executes the Siege command (the catapults, battering rams, and raze troops) might be 5% or less of the entire defensive camp. If that siege army arrives before the reinforcements, it could be smashed upon landing, and your entire two week operation is rendered useless. If your reinforcements arrive too early, that gives the enemy several advantages. First, they can see how big the camp is growing, and they might decide to exodus away from your siege. Second, your reinforcements might get picked apart individually. Third, it signals the landing square to the enemy, which allows them to launch clearing troops earlier, or might even allow them to counter-reinforce your landing square.

If this seems hypothetical, it isn't. During the great Unbow-SIN war, there was an enormous battle fought on a small hill adjacent to an Unbow town. SIN lost about 1 million troops, and Unbow used around 400000 cavalry. During the operation, a single SIN player put an army on the square over a day in advance. Hey, it happens to the best of us. This allowed Unbow to pre-launch clearing troops. Instead of facing primarily regional forces from Unbow, our opponents were able to launch intercontinental cavalry all the way from Tallimar in Elgea. The heavy losses to SIN troops delayed future operations against Unbow. The siege had to be recalled and the mission scrapped. If everything had gone according to plan, the SIN forces would have destroyed the city and gone home before any Elgean cavalry could have arrived.

In short, timing is important.

Military alliances will have tools to calculate launch times. But having a great battle plan is worthless if your players can't launch their troops on schedule. The only way to get good at timing is to practice, practice, practice. This basic timing exercise can be run with just a single city, a Marketplace 1 and five caravans. That's all you need to start. Even a total n00b can participate. You will mimic launching armies from multiple cities to one location, by launching multiple caravans from one city to multiple locations.

  • Locate five different basic resources on the map. Iron, clay, wood, stone, or food.
  • Measure the distance by clicking on the square and selecting Send Army or Send Diplomats.
  • Calculate your caravan speed: 20 + marketplace level.
  • Select a single arrival time for all sites.
  • Calculate the travel time for each site, using the method below.
  • Calculate the send time for each site, using the method below.
  • At the appropriate time, launch each caravan on schedule.
  • As your caravans travel, their time remaining should line up nicely.
  • When your caravans arrive, your notifications should line up nicely.

Tip: Try to select basic resources that are relatively close to your cities. If you want the exercise to be harder, select locations that are varying distances, so that your caravans must be launched several hours apart.

Calculating Travel Time 

This is the manual method for calculating travel time. You don't need to manually calculate army travel times, because the system will display them accurately in the launch window. Diplomats don't display a travel time, but you can get it quickly by actually sending, noting the time, and then immediately recalling. Unfortunately these methods don't exist for caravans, because trade units are non-recallable. Which is great, because this is good practice at maffs!

Caravan speed is 20 + Marketplace level, squares per hour. Travel time = distance / speed, which will give you the time as hours, in decimal format. Punch that decimal into an online calculator to get the HH:MM:SS format. 

Calculating Dispatch Times

Now that you have your caravan travel times to the five targets, let's get the launch times. It's pretty simple. Arrival time - travel time. Let's just spare you the headache and use this online calculator. Those are your launch times. Keep in mind, most alliances have players in multiple timezones, so people typically use the server time, not your local time.

An Example

Gentle Reminder

     738|-2417 in Fellandire
     Marketplace 12
     Caravan speed 32
     Arrival time: 04:00:00 server time

Resource [X|Y] Distance  TT(dec)  HH:MM:SS Launch Time
iron 741|-2425 12.65 0.395 00:23:42   28 Nov 03:36:18
clay 749|-2426 13.60 0.425 00:25:30   28 Nov 03:34:30
wood 752|-2409 8.06 0.252 00:15:07   28 Nov 03:44:53
wood 752|-2411 7.28 0.2275 00:13:39   28 Nov 03:46:21
clay 751|-2397 17.09 0.534 00:32:02   28 Nov 03:27:58
gold 740|-2392 21.59 0.675 00:40:30   28 Nov 03:19:30
food 713|-2392 38.28 1.196 01:11:46   28 Nov 02:48:14

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