Capital Hits in Travian

Capital hits in the online massively multiplayer online browser game (MMOBG) Travian aren’t to be taken lightly. Players always defend their capitals because they are very expensive to build. They’re expensive in terms of the time you need to invest, the resources in the game that you need to build them, and actual real money that you need to help build them.

Now, hitting the capital of a small player is simple, but that’s boring. Here, I’ll go over a few elements of strategy to hit a capital of a large player. If you’re not familiar with Travian, this won’t make any sense to you, so, this is primarily for those that play the game.

First, don’t hit the capital. That’s right. Don’t hit it. It’s suicide. Your hammer takes a long time to build, so you don’t want to waste it.

Instead, hit another village. And hit it hard.

The core strategy is to create confusion and panic. The player will freak out, do stupid things, and you’ll laugh as you destroy his villages. The strategy can be summarized as, “Fake everywhere, and hit where they don’t expect it. Rinse. Repeat. Check on the capital.”

To do this most effectively, set up attacks to land in several of your target’s villages. Let’s just say 6 villages for the sake of argument.

4 or 5 of the attacks you set up should be fakes (19 of a cheap unit + 1 catapult). Each of those attacks should have the same number of waves as your real attack. As of Travian v4, the Rally Point lets you determine if an attack is fake if there are fewer troops being sent than the Rally Point level. So, by sending 20 units, you are equal to the Rally Point level and they cannot see if it is a real attack or a fake one. This is critical. If you know the Rally Point level for a village, then you can send that many troops. However, I’d recommend adding 1 or 2 units to whatever the Rally point level is, up to 20 total.

So, if you’re zero popping a village, you need to set up 20 attacks. i.e. 18 crop fields + 21 buildings = 39 catapult targets. Divide 39 by 2 (for a level 20 Rally Point) to get 20 (rounded up). That translates into 1520 infantry and 80 catapults for faking 4 villages. Ouch. A bit steep. If you have a very large hammer, this isn’t a problem, but for most people, it’s better to not try a massive fake like this at a zero pop hit. i.e. If you have a very large hammer, go for it. If not, don’t.

Instead, consider croplocking villages. It’s much cheaper in terms of fakes and highly effective in stopping a player.

For a typical 6c village, you need 5 or 6 waves to croplock a village:

  1. Marketplace + Granary
  2. Granary + Main Building
  3. Crop + Crop
  4. Crop + Crop
  5. Crop + Crop
  6. Warehouse + Rally Point (optional wave)

That’s a pretty normal croplock attack. You can of course tweak the order and a few things, but you must hit all Croplands, the Marketplace, and 2 Granaries. Why 2 Granaries? because that’s what any experienced player will have in every village – at least 2 granaries, but usually 2. The Main Building is a good target to hit because it prevents them from building anything up quickly. If the player isn’t using Gold, then they are completely hosed. The Warehouse and Rally Point are just good targets to hit to stop them from building and stop them from controlling troops in that village. If you want to farm them, then don’t hit the Warehouse. However, if you want to destroy the player, hit it. You’ll even stop them from raiding their own village to get those resources, and they’ll all be wasted, which is good for you, and bad for them.

So, that brings the number of troops for fakes down to 456 infantry and 24 catapults for faking 4 villages, which is much more manageable. It’s less than a day of production.

The rest of your hammer goes into your real attack.

1 of your fakes MUST be their capital. They will defend there. They will also likely try to reinforce other villages, but the bulk of reinforcements will go to their capital. This is a VERY good thing. If other players are helping to reinforce him, they need to spend time sending troops to the capital. Changing where they reinforce takes a long time then as they need to recall their troops and resend them to a new village.

Timing is important. If at all possible, make all attacks and fakes on all villages land at the same time to the second. If you can’t manage that for some reason, e.g. work, sleep, life, etc., then simply try to get as many of the attacks/fakes hitting as close together as possible. You can even have 1 fake purposefully hit at a different time when everything else is coordinated. You can use that “pattern” then to mess with your victim’s head later on.

Once your first hit goes through, they’re basically down by 1 village. Congrats. They’re now confused and scared. You just screwed with their head and they’ll be second guessing from now on.

The next phase is a “rinse & repeat” phase. You simply repeat the above fakes and real attacks but choose different targets. If you’re in a war, you can even choose another player entirely.

After each set of attacks/fakes, scout his villages and his capital. This is important because it tells you what you can hit easily. Also, at some point other villages may be reinforced or troops may be pulled out of the capital, which tells you that it’s time to strike!

Iterate through that at least 2x to take out 2 of his villages. If you can do more, great. If not, oh well. Move on.

When you’ve finished your iterated attacks from above, it’s time to hit the capital. However, you must be prepared. That means that before you send your real attack on his capital, you must scout it as mentioned above. Hopefully, you’ve created the idea in your victim that you are after all of his other villages, and that may prompt them to pull defense out of the capital, signaling to you that it’s time to hit your victim’s capital.

This strategy works particularly well in a war. The main point there is that you never hit anywhere that is defended, and you constantly draw defense to a player who calls for it. Once defense is deployed with a player, you then shift your attacks to another player, causing further problems for your victims.

However, in a war it’s best to coordinate with other players for fakes and reals. Seeing 10 players bearing down on you all with attacks landing inside of a few seconds is a terrifying thing. Using coordinated fakes is an important strategy to use because it tells your victims that they will never know if you are really attacking or not. It will create complete confusion with them.

Now, that all may seem a bit over the top, and a bit difficult, but that’s how you go about attacking experienced players. If you’re attacking newbs, well, who cares. They’re pretty easy to run over. Chaotic fakes are more than enough to sew complete chaos and confusion in the ranks of the inexperienced. The experienced players though will not be fooled so easily.

Hopefully that helps explain a bit about how coordinated fakes can help destroy players. There is a lot more to know, and I’ve only scratched the surface, but it should be enough to help even inexperienced players get up to speed on some advanced psychological warfare techniques in Travian.





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