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Population - Important or not?
This article is from The Unofficial Trvian Guide Blog

Quote:Population - Important or not? Part I
There are two extremes of playing style in Travian. On the one hand there are those (often Teutons) who don't care about their population and want to build up an army as quickly as possible. At the other extreme some players don't care about troops and just want to grow their villages as fast as they can.

So which tactic is right?

Well the truth is that neither of them is completely right. The three tribes in Travian (Romans, Gauls and Teutons) all have very different characteristics, and if you are to succeed you must play to your tribe's strengths. Teutons, though ferocious raiders, will need to have continued resource production in their own villages, especially as the game matures and other players get stronger. Gauls do not have good raiding troops until they are fairly well developed, so the emphasis for a Gaul should definately be on solely upgrading resource fields and the necessary buildings until all fields are at around level 6, at which point you can research the swordfighter.

But the tribe which causes the most confusion in the population vs army debate is the Romans. Because a lot of beginners start with the Roman tribe, many have not appreciated the finer points of the game and set about trying to build an army as fast as possible. Romans have some of the best troops in the game in terms of footsoldiers, and for a beginner itching to start attacking, it can be very tempting to set about making an army of Imperians your main goal.

But Roman troops are very expensive to build, compared to the Teutons, for example. A Roman Legionnaire takes a total of 440 resources to build; a Teutonic Maceman costs 250 resources. So to make 50 Legionnaires you need 22,000 resources; 50 Macemen cost 12,500 resources. Both troops have the same attack value in this case, but the Maceman carries more resources (60 to the Legionnaires 40).

As a Roman player it is very difficult to build up troops when your fields are at a low resource production. The troops are expensive, and they require about ten successful raids before the resources they bring back have paid for building the legionnaire in the first place. if they get killed off before this time, then you're making a loss. Meanwhile, the Teutonic Macemen who are cheaper to build and much quicker to start making a profit, are rampaging all over you.

As a Roman, population is VITAL, because it equates to building up those resource fields. The Roman troops are excellent, but it's only once you get your resource fields up to level 7 or eight that you can start making enough of them in a short space of time to deter and damage the raiders.

However, get to this point as a Roman and you'll be very powerful! Why? I'll explain in my next post.

Population - Important or not? Part II
Earlier I stated that Romans are more powerful when their villages get bigger, compared to a Teuton village of the same size. Why is this? It's simple - Romans have more attack power per unit of crop than anyone else.

Here's an example. Lets say two villages, a Roman Village and a Teuton Village, can both afford to build troops that will use up 500 crop per hour. To keep things simple, they both choose infantry. The Teuton builds 500 Axefighters, and the Roman goes with 500 Imperians.

The Roman will have an attack power totalling 35,000 available to him; a single Roman Imperian's attack value is 70 (x 500). The Teuton meanwhile will have an attack power of 30,000 as the Axefighter has a single attack value of 60.

Now that might not sound like such a difference. But remember that comparing the attack values is something of a pointless exercise, because attack value vs defence values is what counts.

So if our 500 Roman Imperians were sent out to attack a Teuton village, how many Spearfighters (the defensive Teuton troops) would be needed to kill them all? The answer is 1000 Spearfighters. For a Teuton this is a BIG ask, as his crop production is so poor - if he has 1000 Spearfighters and 500 Axemen, he'll be using up 1500 crop per hour on those troops alone, so his crop is going to be seriously in the negative and his troops in danger of starving unless he can raid lots of crop on a very regular basis. Of course the Teuton does have better defensive troops available (the mounted Paladin is very good) but they themselves use up more crop than simple infantry.

Romans don't have this problem. If the 500 Teutonic Axemen come a-calling just over 460 Praetorians will see them off. A well developed Roman village is much more able to hold this amount of troops because of their better crop production and the fact that they need far fewer defensive troops than the Teutons do in order to do the same job.

In short, the Romans are more space efficient. They pack more offensive/defensive power into a smaller space, using up less crop - but you have to grow your village to accommodate them first.

[Please note; this post does not take into account bonuses/modifications for city walls, upgrades in the armoury and/or blacksmith or use of Heroes. Also cavalry has been omitted as this makes the calculations simpler! All this will be covered in future posts.


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