[guide] Farming Advice (with some tips from lardingd)

cheesasaurus

Guest
Here's some farming advice I wrote for cheggs while starting the Tick Noby account. I joined a few weeks later than the other players in the continent but quickly rocketed to #1. Knowing what and when to build things isn't enough; you need to know how to use them effectively.

With growing barbarian villages, farming is one of the most important aspects of this game if you want to get ahead of the competition, whether you've got 1 village or a thousand villages. This guide covers basic farming concepts and was written with the early-game in mind. I'll cover mid-game and late-game farming in another post.

Knowing your targets
lardingd said:
I’ve found that any farm can be grouped into one of five categories. To be explicit I will go over each one, how they differ from the others and how to spot them.

a) The powerless
By powerless I mean as powerless as possible, so much so they cannot generate their own troops. This is the case in two conditions. First and most obvious is when villages are abandoned and the second is villages that have not yet gained 20 points. No matter when you start your hq is level 1. In order to make troops you need at the very least either a statue or a barracks. A statue is 24 points and to make barracks you need hq 3 which comes out to 20 points, thus a village must gain 20 points to make its own troops. Now these villages might be spiked (discussed later) but this does not occur often, especially the further you are from the core (starting area of a world).

b) The extremely weak
The next group of farms comes from players that are barely active and grow far slower then you. These are easy to pick out, because they have so few points. If you have scouts, any village that has not gained 134 points yet will not have scouts and so sending 1 scout to all these villages can show you people without troops that you can add to your farming roster. Note that 134 points is the minimum for the core of the world, to be more accurate a village that has not yet gained 106 points cannot have scouts. Players with fewer than 200 points with scouts are very rare and so as a rule of thumb I assume anyone below this point level has no scouts. These are the ideal farms because most people will avoid these slow growers due to fear of their tribes or hitting any form of active player, or simply fear of retaliation.

c) Fairly weak
Fairly weak players refers to clearly active players that although grow steadily grow at what feels to be a very slow pace. They differ from the extremely weak in that they won’t be nearly as apathetic to getting attacked. Also, unlike the extremely weak these players can make farming them non-worthwhile. As far as defense is concerned you can obliterate theirs with ease, but random troops a wall and morale can make these a pain. So with the fairly weak you need to remember that farming is about financial gain and just because a player is weak doesn’t mean it’s worth farming them.

d) Inactive
At first glance this seems like “the powerless” but there is a key difference. That is inactive villages can have troops, and if they have yet to be raided often enough they will if they are beyond a couple hundred points. It is not that they can’t generate troops, but that the players aren’t around to do it. Inactive players can also suddenly reappear and cause trouble immediately, that’s not a possibility for “the powerless”.

e) Big farms :O
These farms are the most risky targets but in exchange can have the highest payoffs. You’ll need to clear troops to get at the resources and ideally you scout and clear them while they are inactive, look at the section on “Active times” to get ideas on how to do that. Make sure though to keep some choice villages as future noble targets if possible.

Now tribalwars is a multiplayer game, so you most likely won’t be the only one farming so of course there is the issue of shared farms. The initial thought might be that they form a category of their own, but they really don’t warrant it. You’re going for gain when farming, and you are competing with your neighbors after all, therefore you don’t normally care that someone else got there first. Some players will make threats to scare people from farming certain villages, but they have no way to enforce them, so you can just ignore them.
lardingd said:
Raiding

This builds on the advantages to categorizing farms, and the ordering of categories is the same as in the “Knowing your target” section. I’ve chosen to describe raiding in a cautious manner, because I find that to be the ideal situation.

a) If your village is in category a, this is straightforward, simply attack it with enough troops to empty. In other words you can find the amount of resources they make per an hour by scouting them and then can come up with the number of needed troops to clear it every X hours. Ideally you make X around 2-3 hours so that other people get about 2-3 hours of resources tops for their efforts. Most people can’t be around 24/7 so logically you can either come up with another number for longer breaks or simply scout if it has been awhile.

b) If your village is in category b, then you can do effectively the same thing you did for category A. The key difference though is to be aware of sudden point increases thus making it more worthwhile to scout first each time for these to make sure they are safe.

c) If your village is in category c, definitely scout every time, if there are troops just make sure to send appropriately to remove them. If the wall keeps going up and the hiding place goes up, make sure that it is worth continuing to deal with them, it’s not a horrible issue if this type of village remains in you vicinity for a long time, they aren’t going to threaten you offensively, so you can ignore them.

d) If your village is in category d, if the account has been inactive for a couple days, scout them. If the warehouse has so many resources and the player so few troops, that you can clear it with very few losses (will revisit this in the troop conservation section) and immediate resource gains then consider it. If you don’t like the losses scout it regularly if someone else clears it or the resources become worth it then go ahead and start farming it. Scouting these villages before raids after clearing isn’t that necessary just send the appropriate amount to clear. Foolishly enough most returning players will mail the people farming them to stop now that they are back, which will tell you that you ought to start scouting them for a bit before raids.

e) If your village is in category e, then always scout at the start of the day, with these villages it quickly becomes the case that it is no longer worth farming them or alternatively takes some time to make them a reliable farm. There are several methods of discouraging continued play and I will address them later. It is vital that initial gains be good when you want to farm a big village.

After a certain point if you are farming well it’s going to start driving you mad. After all, farming in an optimal manner is incredibly boring for the majority of players, at least the ones I have met. When you no longer have the will to bother with scouting, it is time to switch to the regular method described for inactive targets. Just check to see when a report is yellow or red and adjust appropriately.
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protecting your farms
lardingd said:
Now of course you realize, especially since raiding the farms of other players was mentioned, that people can and will attack your farms. Therefore there is an incentive to find ways to minimize other people attacking your farms. I’ll discuss the three main ways of doing this.

a) the active option
This is as straightforward and simple as it sounds. Just think about it, when you keep getting horrible hauls from a village, especially one that isn’t close to you, haven’t you just thought “bah not worth it”? I certainly have, not that it makes me stop, but it has made me consider it. So of course the more often you haul the less other people will want to, and that is in my opinion not just the most straightforward solution, but the most successful one too.

b) spiking
Another option is to "spike" your farms, which means support villages with your troops. There are multiple spiking methods, however note that w19 does not allow spiking, because you can only support people in your tribe. Now you can spike a tribe mate’s village, but I really hope you weren’t farming someone in your tribe.

i.) Entire defense
This is straight forward and usually fairly stupid. If your entire defense is in a village, and people attack with large armies, well then that defense won’t be there for when your village needs it. Also in the case of farms with low walls or that are abandoned, you give attackers an easy way to remove your defense. The only times this really becomes plausible are around the really small villages that have yet to go abandoned and have at least a couple levels of wall. Even then when you aren’t there or right after something goes splat against your support don’t keep your defense there, you don’t want it hit by a big army, which people may send if their raiding party dies.

ii.) A few troops
This is basically leaving like 30 spears in random smaller farms. People use light cavalry to farm these villages usually, so 30 spears is an annoyance which will easily make them suffer losses that outweigh the amount of resources they will get I am against this spiking because you will lose your troops for sure and simply farming frequently will make their gains little. However, if you want to discourage people from farming then doing this a few times completely at random might make people who travel far distances for random smaller farms look elsewhere.

iii. ) A scout
This is done for farms that could produce troops themselves. Since these people are easily capable of producing troops without gaining points, leaving a few scouts in support can cause a headache for other players, simply withdraw for a while after you get a support hit report, and the other player will waste time either scouting with a larger party or sending way more troops then necessary to the village slowing their growth. Still this is troublesome since you have to keep track of where your scouts are.

c) Getting clever
This is a pretty vague category, the idea is to try to find ways to trick your neighbors into not farming things they otherwise would. I know that explanation doesn’t really help much, so I’ll give three examples. One thing you can do is put the names of farms on your profile, only putting on villages that other people are already raiding, and then add in after a little while "turtle" villages or villages of smaller players you communicate with. In this way, non-cautious people who are using your farms may attack and suffer losses without you losing troops. The second trick is that you can develop a friendly relationship with what would otherwise be an appealing farming target and have the player supply names of people who scouts him or otherwise attack him in order to get a general idea of the aggressive neighbors in your area (Side note, make sure they forward you a report before acting on it). A third possible trick I’ve seen is putting down clearing reports on a profile and then adding underneath that the person was farming their farms. I’m not too fond of that one since a lot of people don’t bother looking at profiles, and if they do you’re giving out information about your troops that you really don’t want other people to know. Keep in mind that other people might try some of these things to stop you from farming too. In general you can ignore them, however if you fall for something similar to the second trick, then I suggest trying to smooth it over with the other player. That is because unless you want a player’s village for nobling or farming, then there is simply nothing to gain from starting a conflict with them.
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types of farming
Rotational
In this method, you send large amounts of troops from farm-to-farm, wait a while for them to fill up, and then attack again. This is good when your neighbors don't farm. Be sure to send as few units as necessary to haul everything, and not take losses.

For example, while sitting bloodhood, I just waited 13 hours for his <100-point-player-farms' warehouses to fill with iron and then sent 104 spears to take everything. If you hover your mouse over a village on the map, it'll show the time of the last attack.

periodic attacks
My preferred method, due to the small amount of time required for upkeep and implementation. Not the most efficient, but good once you start getting sick of micromanaging attacks or if you you're only on the computer for small amounts of time. Basically you send a wave of units every 'n' hours to take 'n'
hours worth of res production.

procedure:
1) scout the village
2) calculate how many resources are generated in 'n' hours.
3) send as few troops as necessary to take those resources.
4) once the attack arrives, move the report to another folder. When I've only got 1 village, I have folders for different time increments (example: [2 hours] [4 hours] [6 hours] [8 hours])
5) when you're ready to send another wave, use the 'Attack again with the same troops' link from the report to easily repeat the attack

ahhhhh... bookmark farming. I'll go into detail about that in another thread :)

nonstop farming
These techniques are based off the premium feature of showing troop movements on the map. The goal is to never leave idle troops in your village

basic procedure:
1) calculate how many units to send
2) send those units
3) once they arrive, save the report
4) keep checking the map
5) whenever the desired icon isn't displayed over the village, click on it and open the latest report
6) scroll down and click 'Attack again with the same troops'
7) confirm the attack

always on route (villages always marked with
OR
)
The idea here is to always have units enroute to or from a village. Basically, send as few units as necessary to take all the resources that are generated while your troops travel to the village and then return.

If it takes two hours for troops to travel to a farm, then it takes 4 hours for the round trip. If the village makes 100 res an hour, then 400 res will be generated in between attacks.

always attacking & returning (villages always marked with
AND
)
The idea here is to always have units attacking AND returning to/from a village. Basically, send as few units as necessary to take all the resources that are generated while your troops travel to the village.

If it takes two hours for troops to travel to a farm, and the village makes 100 res an hour, then 200 res will be generated in between attacks.

Nonstop Farming, part 2
This way requires either some web database and javascript programming, or a large amount of scouts.

lots of scouts
Every time you attack a village, send a scout along. Whenever you go to attack it again, check the latest report and calculate from that how many res will be be in the village once your units arrive, and send as few as necessary to take that amount.

database
If you set up a report database, you don't need so many scouts.
procedure:
1) scout the farm
2) once you get the report, view it and run a script to send it to the database
3) run a script that pulls information from your server about how many res will be in the village once your units arrive
4) send as few units as necessary to take that amount.
5) from here on, just send the data from every report to your database. When you want to raid a village, run the script that reads from your server to calculate what troops are needed, and send them.

well, this can be done without the database, but frankly that's a waste of time as there's easier methods of farming.
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growing barbarians
Dealing with walls
growing barbarian villages have the annoying habit of building walls.
You can send light cavalry to power through lower-leveled walls, but eventually you'll start taking losses.

So here's what you do:
1) destroy the wall
2) destroy the barracks so the wall can't rebuild
3) downgrade the hq to lvl 1 so the barracks can't be rebuilt
4) send an attack of 2 catapults (yes, only catapults. no other troops necessary)
5) save the report from that attack in a special folder
6) from thenceforth, use the 'Attack again with the same troops' to send out catapults once-a-day to all your barbarian farms. No need to select anything special for the building, as HQ is selected by default.

just like bookmark farming, you can do bookmark plowing.

Plowing
the idea of plowing a village is to give it as high as possible a chance of upgrading res-production buildings.

Start by destroying all the buildings that are prerequisites for non-res-buildings:
well, actually, the only things you need to keep destroyed to achieve this are the hq and barracks. You can trim everything else down later once you've got your 2-cats-a-day dealio set up for all your grey farms.

don't destroy the rally point or statue.

I'll go into more detail about plowing, in a separate thread about farming later in the game. For early-game, this is all you really need to know.

adapting to increasing production
Theres a few ways of doing this.
A) scout every few days and setup new periodic attacks for the new levels.
B) predict production changes based on time passed. Every building upgrade increases production by about 16.3118%
If you plow your farms, every upgrade has a 43% chance of being a res building. Every 7 upgrades, it's likely that 3 upgrades occured. If a new building is made every 7 hours on average, then every 49 hours, you can:
1) send 1.163 times as many units per raid
2) send raids 16.3% more often

if that's too often for you, you can wait 98 hours, and
1) send 1.35 times as many units per raid
2) send raids 35% more often

if I send units every 8 hours and i want to send them 35% more often, I'd send them every 6 hours
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what units to send
no walls and 100% morale
Code:
units			haul	rating
2 axe:			20	0.128		
1 spear & 1 axe:	35	0.265		
1 spear & 2 axe:	45	0.214		
2 spear & 2 axe:	70	0.265
5 sword:		75	0.157		
2 spear & 3 axe:	80	0.234		
2 spear & 4 axe:	90	0.214		
3 spear & 2 axe:	95	0.299
2 spear & 3 sword:	95	0.227	
3 spear & 3 axe:	105	0.265		
3 spear & 4 axe:	115	0.243
3 spear & 3 sword:	120	0.248
4 spear & 2 axe:	120	0.323
5 spear & 2 axe:	145	0.340
4 spear & 3 sword:	145	0.264
5 spear & 3 axe:	155	0.308
6 spear & 2 axe:	170	0.354
5 spear & 3 sword:	170	0.276
6 spear & 3 axe:	180	0.323
5 spear & 4 sword:	185	0.260
7 spear & 3 axe:	205	0.335
6 spear & 4 sword:	210	0.270
8 spear & 3 axe:	230	0.345
7 spear & 4 sword:	235	0.279
9 spear & 3 sword:	255	0.354
8 spear & 4 sword:	260	0.286
10 spear & 3 sword:	280	0.362
9 spear & 4 sword:	285	0.292
11 spear & 3 axe:	305	0.368
10 spear & 4 sword:	310	0.298
12 spear & 3 axe:	330	0.374
11 spear & 4 sword:	335	0.302
13 spear & 3 axe:	355	0.379
12 spear & 5 sword:	375	0.296
14 spear & 3 axe:	380	0.384
anything higher than that and you can just send
(resources - 30)/25 spears and 3 axes
or
(resources - 75)/25 spears and 5 swords

you can send 76 spears by themselves and have no losses.
Note that you'll bring in resources faster if you use axes to guard your spears instead of swords. You can still farm with swords, just send them by themselves in groups of at least 5.

powering through walls
lvl 1) 2+ lcav
lvl 2) 8+ lcav
lvl 3) 22+ lcav
lvl 4) 46+ lcav
lvl 5) 85+ lcav
lvl 6) 142+ lcav
lvl 7) 219+ lcav
lvl 8) 320+ lcav
lvl 9) 449+ lcav
lvl 10) 607+ lcav
lvl 11) 800+ lcav
lvl 12) 1029+ lcav
lvl 13) 1298+ lcav

cbf to figure out anything higher. You should have siege weapons long before then anyways.

bad morale
if attacking with lcav, send at least 2. This'll survive any morale.
you'll have to send higher amounts of axes with your infantry. Play around with the simulator a bit to get an idea.

If you're online a lot, harness the production of the things closest to you first. This means you'll be farming in a circle. Also don't just stick to what you see on your map. Look all over the place. I've farmed about 40 fields out before with my first village (circle inscribed in a 81*81). Though lately everything's had growing barbarian villages, so you can very likely get away with a much smaller area.

Send your infantry to close villages, and cavalry to farther away villages. You want your troops to be gone for as little time as possible in case you need your army to... you know... fight?

If you're going to be gone for a while send all your units out to some farther-away villages so they don't return while your away and get caught in a sneak-attack.

Oh, and make sure you aren't choking off tribemates from supplies.
 
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Average

Guest
The information you put about your barbarian villages wouldn't really be right... As you said downgrade HQ to level 1? I'm pretty sure that would be a good noble if not downgraded from catapults? ;)
 

cheesasaurus

Guest
The information you put about your barbarian villages wouldn't really be right... As you said downgrade HQ to level 1? I'm pretty sure that would be a good noble if not downgraded from catapults? ;)
The goal of plowing is to boost income. I suppose if you like conquering the barbarians instead of players, then you wouldn't want to do that. But you'll find your farming limited when you cluster villages together. More resources = more noblemen = more villages. So even if you're simcitying your way through the game, I would recommend to plow the majority of barbarians in your territory and start new clusters elsewhere.
 

EllieGrl78

Guest
I'll go into more detail about plowing, in a separate thread about farming later in the game.

I can't seem to find this.... can you write one up or repost?