Tuesday, October 31, 2017

PvP Roles for Small Players

Good afternoon, cannon fodders.

Today we dispel the myth that you need significant account size to be useful on a PvP combat team.

Can a new player really be a PvP asset? Absolutely. Just to be clear, I am not saying that a small account will deliver the same devastating troop strikes as a full 9-city military account. A powerful war machine has a number of roles, and some of those roles can be filled by even a 1-city account. So let's talk about nine useful tasks that can be accomplished by a new military player.

  • Recon: 10000-20000 t2 scouts in one city.
  • Recon: 2000-3000 t2 spies in one city.
  • Harassment diplomats.
  • Probe runes.
  • Clear runes.
  • Support blockades.
  • Frontline pin blockades.
  • Supply besieged cities via exodus.
  • Scavenge battlefields.

Eye on the Ball

Reconnaissance is the first valuable role for a new player. Field commanders always need players with large t2 scout armies to examine enemy cities. A single specialized scout city can allow anyone to peek at enemy troop counts. Alliances are also looking for active research (to pin cities with saboteurs) and unattended piles of loot. A pack of t2 spies, used consistently, can produce valuable information for your comrades.

Diplomatic harassment is another role that can be accomplished at any size. If a city has no assassin defense, even 5-10 t1 assassins will succeed at killing a commander. Sending 5-10 t2 saboteurs can identify running research queues. Many cities lack even basic scout and spy defense. Never underestimate what 10 t2 scouts might uncover. As part of this harassment process, the player sending diplomats can build up a list of runes at enemy cities. Should their alliance attack a particular target, a smaller player can also assist by purposely detonating runes with various inexpensive techniques, particularly the Ward of Destruction.

Block and Tackle

Blockades are another role where smaller players can shine. Most siege plans call for 1-4 large siege camps, and possibly a large static blockade. The blockade hinders the target's ability to prestige build and artificially hold the city above raze population. For all the plains squares around the target, people often send little support blockades. While easily destroyed, these auxiliary blockades will make things more challenging for the defending player. A 10-troop blockade can intercept supplies as effectively as a 10000-troop blockade. Anyone can build and send 10 t1 cavalry to assist with a siege.

Additionally, even tiny blockades can pin targets when supported with large scale troops. A small player with a fresh capture can move that city directly to the front lines and assist with pinning down enemy cities. Many established players are reluctant to move fully built cities, so a smaller player can serve a key role in trapping and destroying the enemy.

Defeat the Block

That same city mobility can help to save besieged allies. When a city comes under siege, typically a competent enemy mirrors the above process: 1-4 big siege camps, at least one big blockade, and many smaller blockades. Buying more time becomes crucial to defeating the sieges. This is especially true of forest sieges where much slower infantry must be dispatched to remove the siege camps. (Should you have a city with adjacent forest tiles? Probably not. But not everyone follows good City Placement procedures.) A small player can move a town direct adjacent to an allied city. By employing thieves or modifying the diplomatic relationship, the besieged player can bypass blockades and take resources directly from the little town. This technique creates a fresh delivery point for the alliance to provide resources to the besieged city, defeating the enemy blockades. Again, this is not something that established players will want to do with a fully built city, but a newer player with a fresh capture can be a major asset in this situation.

You Dropped This, Sir

Scavenging battlefields seems like a minor role, but that isn't necessarily true. Sometimes enemies use large amounts of Vanguard Leather and other valuable gear to attempt siege breaking. Just having 20 cotters in a single city can make harvesting gear much faster. In hostile territory, typically you can only scavenge as long as your siege camps are present, and those will leave when the siege succeeds or fails. Rapidly snatching up all the dropped gear is a useful task, even if it isn't particularly glorious.

The Recon Build

Let's assume for a moment that you have selected the reconnaissance build. How do you get there quickly? A few key components and you should be on your way. Note that you can do this layout using your teleport and a Lightning Build strategy. This is a very aggressive build, but it will get you into the action relatively quickly.
  • Consulate 20
  • Scout Lookout x2
  • Foreign Office [Optional]
  • Sov II for Diplomacy

If you teleport and don't want this to be your permanent city build, keep the following technique in mind. You can definitely just construct the resource plots to level 12. For settlement population, all you need is the standard 450, 2000, 5000 thresholds to create 3 auxiliary cotter towns.

These support towns are important. You can run negative basic resources on your main town and ship in the deficit from your support towns. This will allow you to support 20x2 sovereignty for a 200% diplomat building boost on your Consulate 20. It will take about a month to build 20000 t2 scouts with that setup. Your gold burn on the main town will be about -10000/hr for the sovereignty and another -10000/hr for 20000 t2 scouts (assuming 2x Scout Lookout 20). If you are harvesting herbs and minerals with your cotters every day, you should generate twice the gold that you burn. This will help you to pay for your upkeep. If your alliance doesn't just provide supplies directly, you can invest the excess gold there (although if they can't spare saddles and books to get a quality recon player running, you are probably in the wrong PvP alliance).

Is this a stable build? Probably not if you teleport and do it overnight. But it will get you into the action quickly, performing useful military tasks during a war, with a minimum of resources and prestige. I would probably pick a 7 food build for a long term scout city, just because at some point your losses will be minimal and gold generation will become the most important factor.

Small Can Be Mighty

Never underestimate the power of a small PvP gamer focusing on a valuable role. Every successful war machine needs recon and support on the battlefield. Logistics might not seem as glorious as fielding big armies, but it can be every bit as important to winning wars.

Misbehave, kill lots of stuff.

<^^^^^^^^||==O    Skint Jagblade


  1. I'd like to add that small players can also add by defending cities that are having siege armies out against enemy scouting probes by reinforcing with T1 scouts. Those are cheaper in making and upkeep.

    Good post. :)