This, is not a guide for an already developed player.
This, is not a guide to wrecking heads, balls or even hippies.
This, is not an all around guide that will tell you how to develop and build a great empire. No it sure doesn't.
This, is not a guide toward world domination (although it lays the groundwork for it)
This is a guide easily understandable and directed to those whose experience of humans is turning very bad.
This is a guide for those who heeded the unhelpful advise of the dev team to start with human and ever since go from bad to worse back and forth.
This guide is a way out of your predicament.
This guide is designed for 2.11 version, with and without honor.
It is devided into 3 parts.
1-Getting started (newbie read)
2-Duck and cover (main dishes)
3-The Master Plan
Now let it begin.
"Let's get it started, in here", Black Eyed Peas -aun,author's unhelpful note- if you don't know already don't bother searching, doesn't worth the time
Skip this part if you already have 2 cities and a somewhat balanced economy.
Get a city on a nice little terrain. As a human, you can get on pretty much everything but for your first city this is what your looking for :
- Double terrain and those specifically :
river/savannah + hills/jungle/mountains
Triple terrain (better than double, but not alway available) :
any combination of the three above or 2 above + gem, gold, w/e.
I suggest you don't chose that if the realm is not young, cause it's really asking for a good spanking.
Humans have a +25% production on grassland which really makes it a really good choice for any human city. But as your first, you'll lack wood and iron.
For technology, grab everything that is quest related (except taking control of your village and tax collection, as those are the last step in your early stage of development). I recommend that you research age of monastery and university rather soon but not immediately especially for university. Research university when your science academy is level 4 or 5.
Until you have trading, concealment, palace (not in quest, but get it), blast furnace warfare (not in quest), hunting (not in quest), abilty (not in quest), diplomacy peace-human (not in quest).
Tax collection isn't that necessary to human early game and it's pretty low on my priority list, but you will need it in the next part.
You will have hard time with gold, but culture as well. Upgrade workshop to level 6 (at least). Max out production building (especially stone mason, if you're on a jungle, upgrade your wood production as you need wood), church, temple and upgrade monastery as soon as you can). Nb: temple, markeplace, church and monastery will help you manage with gold.
Level your stash (you need concealment) asap until it can cover your warehouse and treasury.
As far as magic is concerned, i suggest black magic above everything else. Especially on those x2 ressources realm which kinda beats the only purpose of white magic which is "times of plenty".
Try building barracks soon.
When you're at the point where you have enough gold with taxes being at 50% or lower, you're halfway from nowhere to somewhere, where somewhere is anywhere but safe (and you might already have experienced regretfull events. Don't fret, legends are expendable, and useless at this stage, even when lvl25, almost a pain in the ass. Witches are there to be killed and princess aswell, you can mourn them but that's it)
And you can proceed to the next part.
2-Duck and cover
"Don't panic", Douglas Adams
This part is your light. The part of the guide that will help you end the seemingly unending stream of sorrowful events that have been your ingame experience so far.
First of all i suggest you pay the utmost attention to the first few words of this part, "don't panic". You'll soon find that each one of your best decisions in this game have been made while your head was cool. Get a cup of tea if it helps, but not more because of the cafeine. (aun:frustration leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to your doom, dummy ). This part is subdivided into 3 more part :
- a)Protecting your ressources
About ressources stolen, the ressources that gets looted first is the one you have more, until it isn't anymore. Here's a short example :
You have a village with :
-ten thousand stone
-hundreds of thousand iron and wood
-absolute 0 gold (like your village is rioting already you set your atax too low (aun what stupid people they revolt because they don't pay enough taxes)
and a level 1 stash
that gets looted by a bazillion berzerker, you will end with
2,5k food, iron, wood and stone
Easy, your store hide 10k, you end with 10k.
Should you had a bazilion gold you would end up with :
2 439,08 food, iron, wood, stone and gold
Same amount of gold as anything else but they take less room in stash. Now you should now what to do to not lose anything but food.
- b)Protecting your villages
Think of colors.
-You're green (as in you don't have to fear anything) when you have 200 001+ people in your village (because that would require a level 21 emissary, not even mentioning the generals)
-You're in pale green within 140 001-200 000 (because it would requires an emissary either trained by exploit (and not easily trained) or by an academy of great warriors most likely)
-You're in yellow with so much blue in it, it is almost green, within the 70 001-140 000 (because it either require academy of great warrior and/or many multi-racial training buildings)
For every 10k range under 70k you're in different shade of yellow and red until you get to <20k which is deep red. <10k have the advantages of being so deep in the red that people don't even notice them. aun-They are the infra-red villages.
What you aim for is 200 001 (and more, to cover up for accidents), until then, the more the better. It offers you a certain degree of safety which depends of the realm but you're most of the time safe at much lower population level.
What you'll need is food and warriors. For food, you can get windmill, bakery (culinarism), palace, building villages on grassland help very much. For warriors all you need to do is train. They doesn't cost anything except their population worth of food. Put your defense tactics to dodge, and you'll be alright.
You can easily host 140k on grassland without any technology greater than culinarism. Even more by pushing it. With wheat and game you may even reach 200k without breaking a sweat.
Now you need to not build any training building. As in none. No fucking training building. When you start chain training lvl 1 warrior, you're still in the very red zone. You don't want to convince people your villages are ripe for the taking and that's the reason why you shouldn't build training building yet. You don't want people to want your villages. Regardless of where you have built your villages, building monasteries, universities and churches is a huge step towards that direction. Building training building is another, Building on triple terrain is yet another (as well as having load of gold, culture, and w/e). Destroy those training buildings if you already built them. You can build them later (they cost heap to upkeep, and they will be useless to you until you get ready, and by doing so you'll get bonus amulets). You can shun their technologies too (as they are of no use to you for the time being). As well as you can shun light infantry (useless, don't train it if you don't find an imbecile to buy them, but i strongly suggest your reserve your training spots for warriors, try to remember what your aim is, 200k+).
Don't shun espionnage and counter espionnage.
Also, your warriors best serve their purpose as lvl 1 warriors. They are cheaper this way, provide the same population and count for less in the power-o-meter. One of the thing which tell if you lose or gain honor in battle and how much. Aside for warrior you won't be producing any other units with level so you should get the picture.
- c)Protecting your amulets, diamonds
Should an attack show up when your least prepared too. do what you can and have the time to (train trader, move trader, put things to sale, move warriors, etc...). If you're out of time, take as many time as you can pounding whether or not it's opportune to go into peace mode. Do it if you're gonna lose your first city or otherwise important cities.
If you're clear on those 3 points, you can watch at your leisure this little explicative video which explain better than me how to execute "Duck and cover".
And move to the next point
3.The master plan
"Gee, Brain, what do you want to do tonight?", Pinky
"The same thing we do every night, Pinky—try to take over the world!", The Brain
To get bigger you need to build villages. The hard way. With settlers. Build your city, send a couple warriors to it (they are there for your village not to get destroyed in case of attack in the early hours of its existence, move them out when your village's population > 1k), build a stash soon send trader with ressources. Also, alway makes your first cities safe, rather than spreading your warriors. If you must lose something better be loose ends of your empire in growth rather than its core.
The main purpose of ducking and covering is not to make you invincible, it is to make you invisible, mostly because you're not worth the attack. Also, because people won't get anything from you (except maybe food).
This is what you look like :
This is what you want to be :
Ultimately, when you get bigger, people won't attack you to get loot. When you get big, duck and cover won't be enough a tactic to shield you from harm completely. Although it can and most probably will be a solid backbone and allow you to not worry about a large part of your empire.(aun-Should you ever try defending against nuclear explosions by ducking and covering you might experience mitigated success). As you get bigger, you will have to depend on a larger number of tactics than just one. And those are not covered by this hopefully helpful guide.
That being said...
And remember :
Duck... and cover.