How to get started (A small guide for new players)
When do the servers tick?
Lands and Lords is a turn-based strategy game. The various servers change from one turn to the next. This is called a "tick". Server 1 (S1) usually ticks every full hour and Server 2 (S2) every other hour to the half hour (5:30, 7:30 and so on). Server 3 (S3) has ticks every 30 minutes (5:15, 5:45, 6:15, 6:45 and so on). During the intervals between ticks players may plan and enter their orders, like extending buildings, moving armies, increasing militia or performing espionage actions. Increasing militias and espionage actions will be performed immediately; everything else happens during the upcoming tick calculation. The current turn number and the time left until the next tick is shown in the top left corner of the header.
The starting site
The first steps after registering are mentioned under Creation of an account. At the beginning of the game every player is supplied with a starting site consisting of a number of fields and buildings. This includes: Here the starting fields should be displayed
- 1. a Castle
- 2. a Quarry (98% stone)
- 3. a Coal Mine (80% coal)
- 4. an Ore Mine (60% ore)
- 5. a Stone Mason
- 6. an Iron Smelter
- 7. an Armoury
- 8. a Saw Mill
- 9. a Bakery
- 10. a Mill
- 11. a Woodcutter's Hut
- 12. three Grainfields (100% fertility)
To facilitate getting started for players registering later in the game (or re-starters), the buildings' extension levels increase according to the game progression. Castles remain at level I, all other building levels increase by one each 50 ticks. Additionally, after 50 ticks starting buildings will also include a Thieves' Guild, a Heroes' Shrine, and a Laboratory. After 100 tick, you will also receive a Gold Mine. Furthermore each passed turn, the starting amount of resources is increased by 0.8 % for new players; similarly, the number of people on the starting fields is increased by 0.2 % for each tick. The size of the starting army increases for new players in later turns as well. When starting after tick 50 you will also get a certain amount of science points, which you can distribute between the different research paths.
In addition to the starting site players are supplied with a starting army, which is based in the castle at the beginning of the game. For a quick start it is advisable to split this army into 2 or 3 smaller armies and to move those armies for conquest across neutral fields that are only protected by small militias. For this task it is best to use swordmen assisted by bowmen (distributed 80:20) as the spearmen of the militia can be dangerous to rookie horsemen. When a player orders an army to move, the army will do so at the next tick. The army will enter the respective field, fight the present militia and (hopefully) conquer the field.But players have to be aware that even small militias should not be underestimated, especially as the armies become more exhausted! After the first conquest players should examine the exhaustion of their armies. More about exhaustion and its effects can be found in the Combat section of this manual. It is important to keep the exhaustion level within a reasonable range and to send overly exhausted armies back to the castle (increased reduction of exhaustion) to rest. Exhausted armies have a greatly reduced combat value and they stop moving when the exhaustion level exceeds a value of 50. It may be a good idea to let armies rest in the castle for some time and to further reduce their exhaustion level by merging the armies with newly trained armies. However, players should take care not to lose their experienced generals during the merging process.
Players may also use their starting ressources to train more armies. Army training can only take place in castles; the training can be started through the menu option "Train Army". Players should carefully consider whether to train just enough units to finish training with the next tick or rather go for a higher number of troops over the course of multiple ticks. The former achieves a higher number of units trained over the course of multiple ticks compared to the latter option. However, players then have to remember to start a new training for every tick. It is tempting to only train archers because of the low costs for this unit type. But an army should not consist of archers to more than 20 %. This limit allows the archers to fully support the army, but does not reduce the overall quality of the troup too much. After an army has been fully trained, an icon for the army is displayed in your castle on the map. Additionally you receive a message under "Events".
Strengthening the economy
Once players expand their realm by conquering new fields, the population of the realm is increased to the new people coming from those fields. And this new population needs to be feeded. So players should always take care to upgrade their grain fields, mills, and bakeries to higher levels to increase the food production. For the beginning we highly recommend to conquere unused plains, to allow for the seeding of new grain fields. For that, the fertility of the plains should be taken into account. Depending ion the number of your plains, it pays off to construct grain fields on plains with fertilities of 80 % or higher.
The running expenses are covered with your starting site at the beginning of the game. These fields will produce a little bit more fiood than needed by your population (each person in your realm requires 0.5 units of bread per tick). In addition, new players receive some extra starting ressources; the amount of these ressources depend on the turn number the player enters the game. These ressources form the basis of all constructions and upgrades and need to be produced by various specialized field types (see field types). Gold is acquired mainly from the realm's population.
Under "Events" the amount of bread rationalized to your people can be adjusted from 0.5 to 1 bread per turn per person (0.5 bread is the standard setting).
- with 0.5 bread, the population grows by only 60 % of the standard rate.
- 1 bread each turn leads to an population growth 25 % than standard. (The research area Herbalism increases the population growth an additional 20 % of the normal population growth).
- If the population has to starve, the rations are automatically lowered to the next-lower setting. This should prevent an unpleasant surprise in the morning if bread runs low during the night.
By clicking on the single fields on the map or in the field-overview under "events", players can access the Area Selection; here, constructions may be started and buildings upgraded. All available information about a specific field are listed here. These informations are very vague for neutral fields and fields of a different realm; complete information is available for the players' own fields, and fields of their alliance partners. Fields in the distance are completely grey; these fields are unknown to the player and can be explored only by conquer or espionage.
In the beginning, 2-3 mountain fields are plenty (their exploration is very expensive). This is less crucial for players entering the game later in an age. Besides the production of ressources, a laboratory, a Heroes' shrine, a Thieves' guild, and additional armoury should be built early in the game. It is not always a good idea to expand the castle too soon, even if there are enough ressources available. This would only lead to an increase of the player's score, leading to the loss of the newbie protection. And then most propably the economy would not yet be strong enough to allow a successful defense against attackers.
The laboratory is a very expensive building, first during construction, but also in research costs. But without research, a player would soon fall behind other players. A heroe increases the combat value of an army and gets experience with every combat, so it makes sense to raise a shrine soon. The abilities of the heroes should match the player's way of playing this game, because there is a suitable heroe for any situation. If a heroe appears with an undesired ability, the heroe can be dismissed; then the waiting for another heroe starts a-new. The Thieves' guild has to be of a high level to be efficient; an early expansion is advisable. In the Thieves' guild, spies are trained and re-trained (under the menu-point Espionage). Spies might turn a war around; their abilities are described under Espionage.
Every player is under newbie protection to allow him to get used to the game in the beginning without being attacked by other players.
Good luck on your way to High Emperor!