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El Ryano
16 Apr 2009, 07:54 PM
Guide by El Ryano.
If you want a guide written by Support, please send me a PM (http://archive.forum.travian.co.uk/private.php?do=newpm&u=11467) and give it 24 hours.

THE DEFENSIVE GAUL GUIDE



Introduction

Whether you are a new player who just wants to survive as you come blinking into the world of Travian, or one more hardened who has realised that there is no better way to support your alliance than through defence, Gauls are the tribe to be.

Their expertise for the new and experienced player alike can be broken down into three specific fields:
Troops
Traps
Crannies

NB: I have decided against the traditional day-by-day guide, as there is information here applicable to anyone at any stage, as well as the fact that I find the strict timescales oppressive. It is best in my opinion to complete the quests, taking the economy approach to receive maximum resources, then continue advancing in each of the areas stated below as applicable (remember that each area is, broadly, as important as the others).



Troops

Phalanx

The first troop Gauls are able to build are Phalanx. Whilst being poor for raiding with, they shine when defending, which is especially useful to defend against the ravaging hordes of rampaging macemen from Teutons trying to gain an early advantage.

The questmaster tells you to build two phalanx (if you follow the military route). Whilst phalanx are good at defending, only having 2 will mean they are guaranteed to die, and you will have wasted resources. Therefore, by all means build phalanx, but do not defend with them (see below for how to protect your troops). It is somewhat of an oxymoron that the best way to start a server as a defensive Gaul is to not defend with your troops (as long as your resources are protected by a cranny). It is best to know when to pick your battles, so dodge any attacks that you suspect will have a chance at destroying your troops, but if there is a raider who consistently sends two macemen (sorry - clubswingers!) at a set time every day, then you may choose to leave your 5 phalanx at home so that his troops are killed. Keep gradually adding to your phalanx army as your wheat allows, and try not to lose too many through negligence.

'Dodging' and Protecting your Troops

It is not always productive, though, to keep sacrificing troops early in the game. You should instead pick your battles, and only defend if you suspect it is a small raid which you can win. Therefore, if you are online when an attack is about to arrive, you can dodge the attack. This is a technique that requires you to wait until less than a minute before the attack hits. Choose a nearby village to send your troops to (attack or reinforcement, it doesn't matter). When there is less than a minute until the attack, send all your troops. Wait until the attack hits, then recall your troops. You can do this by going to the rally point, and clicking the red 'x' next to your travelling troops. You have 90 seconds after you send your troops to recall them, so don't leave it too long. However, this way you can keep building troops without losing any to rogue attacks.

A second method protects your troops over night, or whilst you are offline. Estimate how long you will be away from your account (ie. 8 hours), then find a small village 4 hours away. Send all your troops on a raid to that village, so that they return by the time you do. Ensure it is a small village, so that none of your troops are accidentally killed.

Scouts

The next troop to research is the Pathfinder. These are essential if you are to know whether you have fallen under the scrutiny of more advanced raiders. By having scout units available, you will know if you have been visited by enemy scouts. Scouting raids work differently to those with other troops Ė only scouts take part, and the attacking force only gets the information if they survive. Therefore, it is common advice to keep 3-5 scouts in each village. This will allow you to know if you have been scouted. If you want to repel all scouting parties, though, then keep more, so that all attacking scouts are killed (this amount will vary depending on the stage of the server). Note that scoutsí armour can also be upgraded at the Armoury (see below).

Mounted Defence

Next - Druidriders. These are the first mounted defence unit available. They excel against infantry, and so can be very useful against any teutons still raiding with macemen or axemen. Given their speed, they can be very useful for reinforcing any alliance members who may request it. Incidentally, I choose to have a druidrider hero, given that his base stats are good, and that he will not slow down any reinforcement group of druidriders.

Finally, Haeduans. They are excellent against cavalry, but are expensive to both research and to feed, and should be used instead for attacking. By the time you are able to research them, you should have far greater numbers of phalanx which should be used for cavalry defence instead of the haeduans.



Traps

Traps can be very useful in the early game for deterring raiders. The possibility that any Gaul may have a Trapper is often enough to stop any raids before they start. However, there are some difficulties with the Trapper. Whilst the traps are far cheaper than any troop, and automatically incapacitate an enemy troop, they encourage larger players to launch an immediate counterattack in order to release their trapped troops.

Traps can be used as an effective bargaining tool (however, with the new rule change you cannot explicitly state a ransom charge, you may only suggest if they were to make the offer then you would accept it). However, this generally only works against smaller, less experienced players. The maximum capacity of the trapper (200) also means it is all but ineffective past the early stages of the server. In my view, it is best to build up to a level 5 trapper (50 traps) in the early stages, so that most raids can be deterred. Note - now that servers have undergone the T3.5 update, Gauls are able to build more than one trapper in each village. Whilst this might seem enticing, I would not recommend it, as the buildings take up valuable slots in your village, and the resources for multiple buildings are best spent on troops if you can afford it.

However Ė the trapper does not relinquish its usefulness past this point. When preparing for a second village, a nearby Gaul friend with a trapper can be a saviour. If you are being attacked, and donít want your settler to die before you can build the other two, use him to attack your Gaul friend. Give them notice, of course, but as long as they have at least one trap, your settler will be ensnared by it (This is because traps always work before any troops present). He is then safe from any attack on either your village, or the one he is trapped in. Once you have all three settlers built, release him and found your second village. The same tactic can also be used to store catapults (which can be a pain to lose, as they canít defend themselves).



Crannies

Another advantage of Gauls is their double cranny size. This means that by level 10, a cranny can protect 2000 of each resource (even when taking into account the Teutonic ability to plunder 1/3 of the cranny there are still 1333 units protected). If you are completely paranoid about a Teuton raid while you are offline, to protect your resources completely your cranny size must be 150% of your warehouse capacity. Once you have a level 10 cranny, you can build another, so that more than 2000 resources can be protected.

The cranny is the last resort when being raided incessantly, but also the most important tool for getting a good start. Basically, if you are being farmed to the point where you donít have enough resources for anything else, then build a cranny. The resources it protects can add another level, until you have enough resources stashed away to mount a suitable defence. If your assailant's raids are not fruitful, then the likelihood is that they will stop. Raiders generally don't mind losing a few troops, but receiving no bounty is a far crueler thing. If you keep your cranny levelled up at the start, then not only will attackers not get any resources from you (and not return), but you will also have more to spend.



Other Buildings

Palisade

The palisade adds a % bonus when defending (it can be built in the ring around your village - next to the moat-type thing). By the time it is upgraded to level 20, this is equal to 64%. You can see how this is a major bonus, when combined with troops. As this takes a lot of time and resources, level it up gradually, not just when you realise there is an attack coming.

Furthermore, the palisade can be used effectively in conjunction with a residence. Even if you have no troops in your village, if your residence and palisade are significantly highly-levelled, a few attacking troops will be killed. This can be used to great advantage early on, when only small numbers of troops are raiding you, as you can inflict relatively heavy damage without wasting your own troops.

Armoury

This building allows you to upgrade the defensive capabilities of each individual troop type (obviously donít waste resources upgrading offensive troops). Each level upgraded gives approximately a 1.5% increase to that troops defence. This is best used when you have more troops (over 500), but can be used earlier to prepare. On a side note Ė scoutsí defence can be upgraded too, and does help when you are being scouted.



Hybrid Defence

The rest of this guide has been concerned with simply defending. However, as has been cited numerous times, attack can be the best form of defence. Here are a few methods to help the not-entirely-pacifist Gauls:

One distinct problem for Gauls at the start of the server is their low resource production, as fields take time to upgrade. Other tribes gain extra resources through raiding, so why shouldn't Gauls? Phalanx are appalling raiders, but every little helps at the start, you just have to be careful who you target: Stick to low population villages, as there is less chance of them having any sort of defence; remember that any accounts under 9 population will not have a rat, so there is no chance of them killing your few phalanx; try to raid Teutons and Romans, as fellow Gaul players may also be defending. Make sure you spend the raid bounties wisely!

Later in the server, once you have built an academy and stables, you can research and build Theutates Thunders (colloquially referred to as TTs). These are an extremely quick and powerful troop, especially when you are being raided by a Teuton. You can dodge the attack, using the technique outlined above, then send your TTs to attack the attacker's village just after his clubswingers return home. You will then kill his troops, and probably steal back the resources he took (as well as some of his own). This link (http://www.javaschubla.de/2006/travian/wegerechner/wegerechner-t3i.html?lang=en)can be used to work out when to send your troops to land at the right time.



Conclusion

In conclusion, as a defensive Gaul, the odds are stacked in your favour. If you can protect your resources using a cranny, then you can begin to build more effective troop-based defences (which you should continually add to). These troops can be augmented using both the armoury and the palisade. You will probably find that as you grow, you are attacked less. This will be especially true if you can deny raiders any spoils early on, as they will be unlikely to return. Furthermore, as you join an alliance, you may find others request your services as a reknowned defender, which may eventually lead to defending a Wonder of the World during the endgame.

What is true as a Gaul is true as any other tribe - you will be successful if you are active. If you are online to see attacks coming in, and successfully dodge them, whilst spending resources to ensure they are protected by the cranny, then you will succeed. Taking precautions, such as overnight raids to protect your troops, and ensuring that your daily resource production will not overflow your cranny and/or warehouse, will help to reduce your status as a target to attackers.

Good Luck!