Hey guys, I am going to write a quick tidbit about how I farm
I have been a top 10 farmer on every server I have played, and believe me, it is not rocket science. Please note, this is a guide for an intermediate player. New players should check elsewhere for farming guides.
Let me start out with a quick rundown on the races.
Expensive units, high defense vs. infantry early on.
Relatively expensive units, first good raiding unit is the Thunder (commonly called the TT)
Has the mighty clubswinger - By far the most efficient all-around raiding unit. Very strong attack value (and carrying capacity) for the cost. A clubswinger only takes just over 4 trips to pay himself off. You can send 11 clubs at a village, lose 2, and still come out on top. No other race comes close to that ratio.
I feel that the Teuton is the only way to go if you are an aggressive player. I know many of you disagree, spare me the comments. Gauls are decent also, but the only reason I would go with Gauls are for their speed (you can be more selective about farms, and farm a wider area), or if I wanted a top attacker spot
Rule #1 of playing a Teuton successfully: You must be active. By active I mean you have to log into the game at least once every couple hours. If you want to be a top 10 robber you will have to be in playing at least once per hour, especially if you want to sleep at night. Remember that you have no resource fields. Your resources are earned through raiding. Logged off means no raiding. No raiding = no resources. I said it wasn't rocket science....I didn't say it was easy.
First off, after the first couple days, don't build anything unless it is a crop field or a barracks upgrade (or part of the settler/town hall tech tree). There is no need for resource fields if you are a Teuton in the first third of the server. Your goal should be to keep your barracks building clubs as fast as you can. Don't even look at your population ranking, it doesn't mean anything. If you want to find the top players on the server, check the robbers list.
Now, I am going to spare you all of the building information, and jump right into what I tell people when they ask how I play.
Okay, when you get your first 2 or 3 clubs, start hitting the closest Teuton or Roman to you. Just round-trip your guys on him until he dries up. Then move on to the next guy. Use every bit of resources you get from this to build more clubs. You want to keep your barracks busy. Do you have clubs queued for the next hour? Upgrade the barracks, and keep it upgrading. You will ALWAYS have your barracks producing clubs. Unless your army is 10x your population, you need to have that barracks running. Your clubs are your resource producers, never stop building them.
When you get up to 10 clubs and you have dried up your close neighbors, send 3 clubs around to all of the guys you have already hit, and make sure they are still dry. Your goal is to take all of the production of your neighbors, and to do that, you have to keep attacking them constantly. You should be attacking them so much that you know the instant they log on, because you get zero resources!
Once you get up to about 50 clubs, you can really start rocking the neighborhood. Continue to stay away from Gauls for now, since their traps could cripple you. From this point on you can follow my basic plan for farming. If you follow these rules, you will easily be a top farmer (given that you are active enough).
At 200 clubs
1. You should be able to hold down your 7x7 with this many troops. When you get up in the morning, or you have been away for a while, send an attack of 20 or so to pick up the resources that have built up.
-If you max out those 20, send twice as many (follow this rule indefinitely or until you feel you are getting close to emptying his storage).
-If you pick up resources, but do not max, send the amount of troops it would take to pick up that number of resources. (eg. If you get 756 resources, send 13 clubs, since they can carry 780 resources.)
-If you get no resources, move on, and attack that town with 5-10 troops in a couple hours.
-If you meet a defense, and lose some troops but max out the rest, send as many troops as you can to clear the force, and get the resources. (Given that you can do so without taking heavy losses.) A lot of people avoid anyone that is building troops, this is a terrible mistake. First of, you are losing a farm by leaving him alone. Worse still, you are probably losing other farms because you are allowing that person to farm in your neighborhood. For the first couple weeks of the server, you should be attempting to gain sole control of the area, do not allow anyone else to farm in the area.
Once you have 200 clubs you need to start working on getting some scouts. Gauls in your area will no doubt be working on getting TTs to ruin your little operation. You need scouts first, and then some spears shortly after that. Until you have some spears you need to make sure your clubs are not at home or they will get whiped. They only have 5 defense versus cavalry, so your 200 clubs can get annihilated by 20 or less of any cavalry in the game. 1 spear has the same defense vs. cavalry as 13 clubs, so you should get a few of them to defend your helpless little warmongers.
A note on messages: There are several different messages you will receive from your farms. Some will beg for mercy, some will threaten you, and some will tell you that they are going to delete because of you (those are my favorite). This is a delicate situation, because you don't want your farms to delete, and you don't want to get too much attention. Many top robbers just ignore messages, but I usually reply. One reason I reply is because I like to talk with people in game, another is because usually you can string them along and they won't delete. It is my policy to not take tribute or NAPs for the first quarter of the server. That early it is critical that you take full control of your area. This is at your discretion, but to be a top robber you just can't afford to have friends.
By 1000 clubs you should be looking for a Gaul or Roman employee nearby. These can be very useful because you will need a little defense vs. infantry, and either of these can do that for you. If you do not have an ally nearby that is one of these races, you should be looking for a mid to fast growing Roman or Gaul in your area to employ. They supply you with reinforcements in return for 'protection'. The best employee is one that you can sit for. Be careful to stay within the rules as far as sending resources and reinforcements, a 6 hour ban can really hurt your operation (especially if you have negative wheat production.)
Your expansion of your raiding zone, and your exact numbers in the scheme I have given you will be at your own discretion. Obviously when you have 2000 troops, you will not be sending attacks of 5 and 10, you will need to increase that number to 20-40. This is just a basic pattern that can launch you into the top 10 robbers.
The biggest mistake that potential farmers make is they try to send attacks that are much too large. I see so many players sending their entire army at one farm at a time. This is a terrible mistake, as you are usually not going to maximize your carrying capacity on a raid that large.
This is an article to help the intermediate farmer become an expert farmer. If you have comments to that end, please leave them below.