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NoImagination
21 Apr 2010, 03:37 PM
I wrote this at the start of last UKx round and when we decided it would be our last, decided to post when it was over. I've not proofread it since, sorry if it needs work.

This guide isn't intended to help you determine which of your villages is being chiefed, or which to defend. It's to help you cut chief waves in villages you cannot defend conventionally. Note that you should always have a big party running in a village you suspect is being chiefed. It likely won't make much difference but life sucks when it would have but you didn't have it running.


Residence vs. Palace

Everyone knows that chiefs only work on villages without a residence. Everyone should know that a palace offers the same defence. The number of times people have tried to chief me with their catapults on single target shows this isn't quite as common knowledge as you might think. The simplest defence is therefore to demolish your own residence and build a palace level instead.

Attackers can combat this by double targetting residence & palace. This results in a random building being destroyed, but ~50% of the time it'll be a field anyway. If you're chiefing villages where one random building being demolished makes a significant difference, you should be aiming at larger villages anyway.


Residence Cutting

The vast majority of chief attempts will consist of at least three waves, it is hard to get them all to land at the same second. I have captured at least a hundred villages but probably no more than 50% of them were with three perfect waves. Therefore there is often a one or two second gap which you can exploit. The simplest is to residence cut.

The idea is that you demolish your own residence leading up to the attack. Then you rebuild it to finish the second after the clearer. Travian processes building events before troop events - i.e, if the building finishes at 17:00:00 and the second wave of chiefs lands at 17:00:00, the chiefs will not lower loyalty. Note that you can't cut same second waves with a residence because of this.

The problem is that you need to calculate in advance which second to build the residence. However, you will also have several chances at it. You can self lower your main building level from 20 to 17 or 18, try to time the build and if you miss you can add a level, instabuild and try again. It's hard to tell which second the residence will finish on though, so this is a difficult skill to master.

Note also that Palace levels take a lot longer to build than Residence levels, so you can combine the first two techniques to give yourself more shots at cutting the wave.

Attackers can combat residence cutting by sending catapults with their chiefs. This is infrequently done due to increased travel time making it easier for defenders to spot the true target and get defence. Furthermore, if the defender does not residence cut, the catapults will random target. Note that it only requires one undefended catapult to destroy a level 1 building (two with double target on palace). The best way to combat this is to land all your chiefs on the same second.


Troop Cutting

The most well known method for cutting chief waves. As covered above, most chief attempts have gaps between the waves. The idea is to not defend the first wave but aim to land reinforcements for the gap. If the clearer lands at 16:59:59 and the second wave at 17:00:00, you need to time your reinforcements to land at 17:00:00. You can do this by going to the rally point, clicking send troops, then waiting til their arrival time is 17:00:00 then sending. Of course, you can also ask alliance mates to send for that precise second.

If your defence is nearby, you can often have several attempts at the timing. You do this by sending slower units along - typically, catapults and rams. It's often worthwhile having a handful of rams in your defensive villages for this purpose (or for sending chief speed fakes). If your first attempt doesn't work, you can recall and try again at the faster speed.

Similiarly, you can demolish tournament square levels so that your first attempt is with a low TS Level. If you miss the timing, you can add levels and try again. Note that you need to be > 30 fields away for the TS to kick on, preferably more or the time change is very small. This is generally the best option for alliance members to cut for you as often players won't have village this far apart from each other.

Attackers can combat this by sending large escorts with their chiefs. It can be a balance because if you send 20 macemen or whatever (i.e, enough to stop chiefs dying on wall remnants) you can be cut by a handful of spearmen. However, if you are cut by a 50k spears, you are going to lose your escort no matter what. It is difficult to find a happy medium, but that medium will increase as the server grows older. I generally prefer to be optimistic that my opponent isn't good enough to cut me (or that I time the chief correctly), and err on the side of smaller escorts.


Troop Cutting - Same Second

As I mentioned earlier, it's often possible to land your three chief waves at the same second. It is also often possible to cut these waves. To do this, you need to send before the attacker launches his 2nd/3rd wave. Sometimes five chiefs is sufficient, so this method is unreliable.

Last server I had an attacker with two villages 3 hours away and a third ten minutes away. This is the ideal situation to cut same second waves. To defend, I sent my spearmen from that village to an ally 30 minutes away. When they arrived, I could check the recall timer via rally point. Note that you only get one shot at the timing because you can't cancel the recall. Attacks for the same second are processed in order of largest travel time first.

Note that the best defence is simply to defend the village with the well timed chiefs landing - this method is unreliable as it requires a wide disparity in the attacker's distances, and for you to spot the attack early on. I've used this method a few times to defend my starter village when the rest of my villages are further out near my capital. It's often clear very early on in these attacks that the target is your starter village because your others are too far from the attacker's.

A more effective way to use this method would be to permanently station some defence in an ally's capital 2-3 hours away. When an attacker from 2-3 hours away attacks, you will often be able to recall even if his three waves are at similiar distances and hit the same second.

Attackers can't easily combat this but the situation is relatively rare. If the attacker ensures that all his chiefs are at similiar travel times, it will give the defender a smaller window to plan what to do. Another option is for the attacker to send large clearers with their second/third waves. Finally, it's possible to build three chiefs in two villages (i.e, raise palace to 20, build 3 chiefs, demolish and repeat), thus requiring only two waves. The problem with the final method is that it sucks to lose a chief from the first village then having to demolish/replace palace again. Sometimes this is your only option for hurting strong players.


Self Lowering

This is only useful when a non-vital village is being attacked (i.e, a village without a significant army in) as it relies on letting your attacker capture it. Many players send 3 chiefs in the same wave as their clearer. If you lower your loyalty level yourself by demolishing your residence/palace then attacking yourself with nearby chiefs, your attacker's first wave will capture your village. When his army captures it, it will stay at the village and he'll need to manually recall.

You therefore time your biggest offensive army to land a second after his hits. This is particularly effective against Teutons with mace armies because their defence is so low. If your army is even only half the size of his, you will likely destroy it and recapture your village immediately. Note that if his waves are split by a second or two, you should aim to hit the second after his final wave, he still won't have time to recall because he won't realise what has happened.

Attackers can combat this by sending their chiefs as a seperate wave to their clearer. I like to do this at catapult speed so that I can send both waves in the same second. The majority of the time, I can cancel and send again if they end up in seperate seconds because my additional chiefs will be travelling faster. Note that you should send a small escort of ~10 infantry with the chiefs so that they don't die if he has remaining wall.


Switch Capital

This is the most frustrating method to play against, but is incredibly effective early game. If your capital has L10 fields or less, it costs you almost nothing to switch capitals (except losing capital only buildings). This is by far the most common defence method early on when you have just teched to chiefs and most of your opponents have not got there yet.

If your capital has L11 wheat fields but someone is trying to chief your off village and all your attempts at cutting have failed, you could simply sacrifice your fields and swap capitals. Note that you will need to have a palace to do this, so you can't wait for a residence cut to fail. Given the unreliability of that method, it's probably worth losing the fields.

It may also be worthwhile sacrificing considerably higher field levels. Given the choice between losing your off village with a 400k wheat army or losing your L18 wheat fields, the latter seems to me a more attractive option. I don't know anyone who has actually done this in practice because there're always other options available - it's probably preferably to try for a residence cut or (vastly preferably) a conventional defence. I suspect though that this method is actually under-utilised though because people don't want to sacrifice their fields even to save their off armies.


Pre-Emptive Chiefing

When you capture a village the original owner will lose all the troops that were built there. You can take advantage of this by capturing a village which is chiefing you. This has been fairly impractical in the past because your catapult clearing time will be very similiar to that of your attacker, with only tournament square improvements to give you an edge. It was still possible to chief a nearby village of your attacker which you suspect a third wave might come from, but this is obviously not foolproof.

A player with a speed artifact may be able to chief a village before its troops can reach you. Obviously your opponent can use all of the techniques mentioned in this guide to thwart you (and it's highly likely he'll aim to defend conventionally because you'll be hitting his main off village). Nonetheless, it's a very efficienct method of defence if you are able to pull it off.

Attackers should therefore pre-emptively have defence in their off village to fight off a pre-emptive chiefing from players with speed artifacts. It's valuable to do this anyway against opponents in strong alliances incase of retaliation.


Joining Alliance

I just thought of this while writing, but it may be possible to avoid being chiefed by joining the alliance of your attacker before the chiefs land. This is pretty underhanded obviously, particularly if you intend to leave and rejoin your original alliance after. It's also often not possible because they won't accept you by then or they won't accept you in time. You'd obviously need to keep the reason to yourself when it's a single player attacking you rather than the alliance as a whole.

The game SHOULD be hard-coded to stop alliance-mates capturing from each other, but I'm unsure on whether this is the case 100% of the time. It's possible that this could be considered attempting to circumvent the game rules and will get you banned. Just throwing it out there!

NoImagination
21 Apr 2010, 04:00 PM
Oh, and if anyone wants an (advanced) guide on any particular topic, let me know. I don't mind telling anyone everything I know now. If you don't know me I played 3 rounds with Eerik on UKx.

Fizzy
21 Apr 2010, 04:04 PM
Note that it only requires one undefended catapult to destroy a level 1 building (two with double target on palace). The best way to combat this is to land all your chiefs on the same second.

If you're suggesting sending 2 cats targetting both palace and residence, remember you need to send 20 cats to be able to double target. This may result in damaging your potential new village but if you're trying to take out a offence village its still worth it.


A lot of what you've said is already in various Guides, including Gowfs, which I think is an important read for pretty much everyone, however, I think this one is worthy, as its put together very well and sensibly

NoImagination
21 Apr 2010, 04:09 PM
If you're suggesting sending 2 cats targetting both palace and residence, remember you need to send 20 cats to be able to double target. This may result in damaging your potential new village but if you're trying to take out a offence village its still worth it.


A lot of what you've said is already in various Guides, including Gowfs, which I think is an important read for pretty much everyone, however, I think this one is worthy, as its put together very well and sensibly

Ah yes, good point. I've not read anyone else's guide before, sorry if there's repetition

pranjal
22 Apr 2010, 09:07 AM
this one's is gr8!

Placid
22 Apr 2010, 11:22 AM
Joining Alliance

I just thought of this while writing, but it may be possible to avoid being chiefed by joining the alliance of your attacker before the chiefs land. This is pretty underhanded obviously, particularly if you intend to leave and rejoin your original alliance after. It's also often not possible because they won't accept you by then or they won't accept you in time. You'd obviously need to keep the reason to yourself when it's a single player attacking you rather than the alliance as a whole.

The game SHOULD be hard-coded to stop alliance-mates capturing from each other, but I'm unsure on whether this is the case 100% of the time. It's possible that this could be considered attempting to circumvent the game rules and will get you banned. Just throwing it out there!

New rules do state that this is hard-coded for same alliance and allied alliance conquers, also worth noting that arti villages are an exception to this and can alway be conquered

atabner
23 Apr 2010, 02:09 AM
Troop Cutting

The most well known method for cutting chief waves. As covered above, most chief attempts have gaps between the waves. The idea is to not defend the first wave but aim to land reinforcements for the gap. If the clearer lands at 16:59:59 and the second wave at 17:00:00, you need to time your reinforcements to land at 17:00:00. You can do this by going to the rally point, clicking send troops, then waiting til their arrival time is 17:00:00 then sending. Of course, you can also ask alliance mates to send for that precise second.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but presuming you're sending your def after the attack waves have been launched, I think you'd have to land at 16:59:59 in the example above to successfully def the 17:00:00 attack - if you landed the def at 17:00:00 then it would process the attack before the def landing, and you would be defending his village :)

Running Tiger
23 Apr 2010, 09:36 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but presuming you're sending your def after the attack waves have been launched, I think you'd have to land at 16:59:59 in the example above to successfully def the 17:00:00 attack - if you landed the def at 17:00:00 then it would process the attack before the def landing, and you would be defending his village :)

No your right. To cut the 17:00:00 wave you would need to land at 16:59:59, then it would land after the clearer but before the chiefs.

I would recommend getting more than 1 cut in, either yourself or get some good alliance members with a decent internet speed to cut too, as many larger players use a large escort with one set of chiefs they send, so if there are 2 waves of chiefs, get a cut in inbetween each one if possible.

Once perfected cutting is brilliant fun and unbelieveably effective, a fast Browser and good internet speed helps loads, then you just need to practice to find what the best time is for you to send.

koolthekat
23 Apr 2010, 11:15 AM
New rules do state that this is hard-coded for same alliance and allied alliance conquers, also worth noting that arti villages are an exception to this and can alway be conquered

This is true, however I believe that the hard-coding is applied to the state of affairs when the attacks are launched, not when they arrive. So if you joined your attackers alliance when chiefs were already en route, the chiefing would still happen.

I'm not 100% confident on this as I've never seen that exact scenario played out, but I do know for a fact that team-mates can chief a village off each other if chiefs were sent when it still belonged to another alliance.

Incidentally, it's also possible to target specific buildings in a village covered by a rival's confusion artefact, as long as the cats were launched either before the artefact was active, or before the owner of the artefact took possession of the village. There's a bit of random trivia for you...