Greetings, cannon fodders.
Let's start with a little Tolkien poetry:
Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them,
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
As you know, there is One Chart to Rule Them all. Yet that magical chart alone is not sufficient for victory. Rapid production of terrain-adjusted points is what helps to win wars, but it is tempered by two other factors: upkeep and build cost. Today we will learn how to evaluate units by points-per-upkeep. This article describes the "in the darkness bind them" part of Illyriad troops.
All About the Benjamins
Troops are useless if they bankrupt your treasury. If your gold hits zero, your unpaid troops will simply disband. Since many wartime cities run 0-15% taxes, this could cause a sovereignty implosion and the dismissal of your army. In a future article, I will hammer on the need for a strong gold farm to support any real PvP account. For the moment, we will just assume that you have a gold income at a fixed level, regardless of source.
Upkeep is perhaps the primary concern of tournament players. Tournament players will build up slowly for an entire year, holding large armies in reserve. What you can produce in a single 30 day tournament pales in comparison to the reserve armies getting thrown around. Therefore, it is imperative that tournament players get the maximum points for their gold. Even large PvP fighters are concerned with upkeep. Much of Illyriad is spent in peacetime, and carefully managing gold burn is what allows powerful players to start the next war with sizable armies.
One Chart to Bind Them
Since you've already read the One Chart to Rule Them All, I will simply present the three successive upkeep charts as a group. The first is the giant chart of all upkeep; the second chart illustrates similar units; the final chart filters out all the noise so I can highlight some conclusions.
Compared to the production chart, the spear units are the most different.
All t2 spears are superior to t1 spears for holding cavalry defense points. No surprise there.
Kobolds and dwarf yeomen are the only spear units that are truly adequate at holding infantry defense.
Most t1 spears are still much better than t2 spears at holding infantry defense.
Kobolds are about the same as other t1 spears for holding cavalry defense. Kobolds are inferior to all t2 spears for holding cavalry defense. If you are an orc player, you need to fully comprehend this statement. Commit it to memory. Kobolds produce infantry defense and cavalry defense at tremendous speeds, but their advantage is purely production speed. Per hourly gold upkeep, kobolds do not hold their points any more efficiently than any other spear unit.
On a mountain, t1 spears are better infantry defenders than bow units.
Per upkeep, t1 spears hold infantry defense better than non-elf t1 and t2 bows on all terrains.
For all races, t1 bows hold defense points at approximately the same cost as t2 bows.
Sentinels and trueshots hold about 8% more points than dwarf and human bows, and 20% more than orcs. Per gold, orc ranged units are rather poor.
Sentinels and trueshots still hold a terrifying number of bow attack points per gold, considering that the only effective defense against them is bows.
t1 and t2 swords hold attack points approximately the same.
Stalwarts hold attack points more efficiently than even t2 cavalry for all terrains except plains.
When attacking a mountain, we can see clearly that bows are not the most efficient attacker per upkeep. The relative ranking is: stalwarts > t1 and t2 swords > sentinels and trueshots > non-elf t1 and t2 bows. The comparison isn't even close. Stalwarts are more than twice as powerful for mountain attack compared to non-elf bow units, when evaluated by gold burn. Tournament players should take careful note here. Trying to clear mountains with bow units is burning up your reserve armies in a very inefficient way.
Non-dwarf t1 and t2 sword units will attack a mountain as equals against defending non-elf bows, when compared per upkeep.
t2 cavalry is efficient at holding attack points for plains, small hill. No surprise there.
t2 cavalry is surprisingly good at holding attack points for small forest and small mountain. I clench my teeth every time I see cavalry smashing into forests and mountains, but if your yardstick is points per gold burn, it's not an utterly tragic way to use your tournament reserves. Just be aware that opposing spear units are getting a great bargain when poking holes in your horses.
There were very few surprises in this article for experienced players. Points-per-upkeep corresponds much more closely to unit stats. Upkeep has also been exhasutively analyzed by most tournament alliances. In fact, upkeep (not production) is the source of many military "facts" presented by the GC crowd. It is why n00bs are told that humans build knights, dwarves build stalwarts. It is the source of the muggle obsession with cavalry. If you don't care about production speed, then terrain-adjusted upkeep alone tells you how to optimize troop mix to indefinitely hold the most power.
So, now we have two charts from the poetic warfare triad. The almighty One Chart to Rule Them All describes how to bury your enemies with troop production. It is the single most important chart to unlock the secrets of Illyriad PvP, and the most powerful of the charts. Now the One Chart to Bind Them reveals how to build your reserve armies in preparation for war. The third and final chart will be the One Chart to Find Them. It will describe the gold-per-point cost of recruiting troops. While this is less of a factor for yearly tournament players, the recruitment cost can create a supply bottleneck when producing PvP troops at full throttle.
Until next time, cannon fodders:
Misbehave. Kill lots of stuff.
<^^^^^^^^||==O Skint Jagblade