This guide was originally posted by Blackewe. All credit for this guide goes solely to him.
The original can be found here:
4/4/4/6 vs 3/3/3/9 vs 1/1/1/15
This is one of those questions that will plague any travian player from the moment they realize not all villages are built the same. From now on, instead of those long names we shall refer to the choices as 6c, 9c, 15c, the same as the amount of croplands.
Sadly, even though people say different things, everyone will be happier with a 15c capital. That's the long and short of this rant. If you don't want to read further, that's more or less it.
If you do, enjoy.
Yes, there are villages like 4/3/5/6, but those will never be capitals, as they can never be your original village, and if the extra field of a certain type matters that much to someone to switch the capital... well, they are crazy.
A few things to note, in general: capitals are unconquerable, only destroyable. To switch, you make a L1 embassy and a L1 palace (after destroying your original palace, if any) in the new desired capital, and declare that your capital. You NEED to do this, it doesn't do it for you, even with a destroyed capital.
Any resource field over L10 and the stonemason is destroyed in the old capital. Any great barracks/stable is destroyed in the new capital.
We will start with the simple statement: you WANT a 15c capital, with as many crop oasises as you can snag.
Let me repeat: you WANT a 15c capital.
That being said, that's not always easily done, or even possible, or sometimes, in RARE RARE ULTRA-RARE cases, even desirable. Let's look at some problems:
1) Your original capital (OC) will rapidly evolve beyond level 10 fields. This is unavoidable, even to experienced travian players. By the time you can even think of switching, you will either have wasted resources, or build a higher-level resource field. It hurts to have this destroyed. You might have invested a lot, including up to L17 or L18 crop fields (the first cost almost a million total ressources, the 18... don't even look).
2) You lose a ton of production. Your capital can easily have 4k/hour production of a certain ressources. This is equivalent to 4 auxiliary villages.
3) You don't snag a 9c or a 15c quickly enough. Experienced people will snag it as their 3rd village or 4th village (while building the other two villages around that square and vigorously defending it), while less experienced and overeager people will snag it as their 2nd. People often put "pre-claimed" croppers in their profile to deter others. This only works if you are teuton and part of a big alliance, or plan on having everyone gang up on you. We'll go into detail WHEN you should settle the cropper later.
4) You lose troop upgrades. This is less of an issue, but still sucks. Generally, if you plan things through and will build the army in a new cropper early, you won't do any upgrades. The benefit is minimal and generally, you can be better served by building more troops for raiding.
5) You have a huge army in your OC, and will lose it because of #1. Non-crop is less important than crop/hour. If you have L13 or L14 crop fields, which are easly achievable, and move the capital, you will lose a TON of crop, and your army might starve. This is generally the reason why people don't switch. It's a tough decision, and often made for you if, hypothetically... you know... you lose everything .
6) #1 + #2 + #4 + #5. Often, a combination of the above.
Ok, so these are the major (but not only) issues with switching. Let's see what you gain. Whenever I mention crop-fields, I always do so with a L5 grain mill/L5 bakery. If you don't have that... I can't help you. You should go play tetris.
A L10 cropfield gives 300crop/hour. So:
- 6c -> 1800 crop/hour
- 9c -> 2700 crop/hour
- 15c -> 4500 crop/hour
It's pretty geometric here, but you can see that even a non-capital cropper can support a sizeable army.
Let's look up to L15 crop fields, which are buildable with 2 warehouses, which is reasonable from even 3 support villages, even 2 in a pinch. They give 1200crop/hour each. So:
- 6c -> 7200 crop/hour
- 9c -> 10800 crop/hour
- 15c -> 18000 crop/hour
L16 crop fields, each giving 1500 crop/hour, requiring 3 warehouses are still doable, and net:
- 6c -> 9000 crop/hour
- 9c -> 13500 crop/hour
- 15c -> 22500 crop/hour
I won't go further, but a L17 field has 1950 crop/hour, a L18 has 2400 crop/hour, a L19 has 3000 crop/hour (and requires 12 warehouses and 3 granaries. L20 cannot be build.
AAAANYWAY. As you can see, a 15c with manageable L16 fields can maintain a 20k crop army with no problems. With no plus account (which is another 25%).
So this is more or less what you gain. You can build with absolute impunity. All the big players (some taking it for granted) are doing this, and doing it comfortably. There's the occasional dude with a 9c capital in the top bunch, but none will have a 6c, even though it is possible.
It's tough to maintain an army with 9000 crop/hour. You will often be something like -25k crop/hour negative when your army is being used, and that hurts to maintain. You will need to wake up in the middle of the night, you will start building the L17 fields (5 warehouses), and you'll have to destroy buildings (which cripple your production) to make space.
Not worth it. It IS possible, but it's not worth it. Really, the ONLY thing that should matter to you is #5. If it happens that a cleaner has gone wrong, and you lose your army and have to rebuild, do yourself a favor: take the leap. If the natars are here, then there's not much point, really, but any time before that, especially if it's a LOT of time before that, screw the resources, screw the time, screw everything, make your biggest 15c your capital and start OWNING.
But what about the 9c capital?
This is a good question. It often happens that all the 15c are gobbled up, but you snag a few 9c with little problem. What should you do?
First, consider the fact that the 9c capital will easily outproduce your other villages. If the 15c has a problem, it's that it requires CONSTANT merchant control on it. This means that if your cluster of villages is far from your 15c capital, you will have pains. You cannot build on the meager resource production (a max of 200 from the field, plus the oasis's which you should only get if it's 25% crop with it, and the resource extenders, which you shouldn't build). So you will be forced to move stuff around a lot, which is far less painful than a big army on a 6c, but you have to do it. Gaul merchants help a lot, because they are quick and carry a lot. At least Teutons carry more, but roman merchants are horrific.
It's less painful, but equally important. You don't want to stagnate. Build close-by support villages, and be aware you will sink money in it.
So a 9c capital has a solid production. I won't bother analyzing the numbers, except in 2 cases, for L10 fields, and L15 fields, with no oasis, but with the brickyard type buildings:
- 6c -> 1000/hour
- 9c -> 750/hour
- 6c -> 4000/hour
- 9c -> 3000/hour
As you can see, not a really big change. Nor is the gain in crop, but that's far more useful than the gain in resources. A 9c capital will need little support, although it does help to have a village funnel resources into it.
A 9c capital has a few more advantages, one of which I covered already. You are able to get one with little trouble, and a bit of scouting. People won't fight you over it, knowing that there are more around, AND they are looking for a 15c anyway. This means that you can comfortably wait until your 3rd village to cap one, even if you start slow.
The second advantage is also described above. It's not an impotent village until you sink a lot of stuff into it. You can still have a strong economy in a self-sufficient, but slower, village, and start building an army alongside the economy.
Ok, so until now, you hopefully understand that you should go for a 15c, and if not, a 9c. A 6c can never really hold a big army. If you are still unconvinced, think it through.