Two main parts of this game are setting up your city and training your troops. When it comes to the last, it would perhaps seem that the higher the Tier of the unit, the better. And while this is somewhat true, the non-linear scaling of some of the attributes of the troops brings some nuance to the discussion.
This post is meant as an introduction and overview of the different troop types and Tiers, and help you come to a decision when it comes to picking which troops to spend your well-earned resources on. I know it a lot of information/thoughts/opinions, but bear with me…
Luckily for those trying to find out how the game works, KoM contains virtually no RNG. Only place it is probably at work is in the Gollum’s Riddles games, but these are not discussed here. When it comes to construction, training and waging war, this game is about simple, accurate math. So lets first take a look at the numbers involved for the units in the game. Please note that, like in all other posts discussing units, I’m leaving the supply units out of the equation. Numbers are as follows:
From the numbers above we can conclude a number of things:
- Resources, Speed and Attack/Life scale linearly
- Might and Build time do NOT scale linearly
- Slight increases in resources needed are seen from mounted>foot>ranged
- But I deem these negligible, since they’re roughly 1%
- Ratios of resources needed are ~1.3/1/1.1/1 (F/W/S/O)
- Since in later stages of the game you will be producing troops primarily, it is wise to correlate your resource buildings with the above ratio, unless of course you solely rely on farming….
Now these conclusions above are fairly simple and intuitive, but especially for the first two, how exactly does this translate, and how does it help to pick the correct type of troop to train? For your convenience, I have graphed the various attributes and their relations that ( at least in my opinion), make the biggest influence. Since the two primary factors for gauging army strength are Might and Attack power, I have plotted these two against each other and other factors. Lets start with looking at Might.
The below three charts show Might of all three Tiers plotted against Build-time, Attack power and per 100 Resources needed. Please note that the Build-time graph is relative, denoted by the (r): (100 food should be 100 Rss)
A number of conclusions can be drawn from these (discussion follows later):
- For quickest Might in least amount of time go for Tier 1 (>Tier 2>Tier3)
- To get the most Might per Attack power, go for Tier2 (>Tier 3>Tier1)
- For the highest Might for a given number of resources, go Tier 1 (>Tier3> Tier2)
Now, lets have a look at Attack power…
Attack power versus….
The following three graphs show, like the three above graphs, Attack power plotted against Build-time, Might and per 100 Resources needed.
The same set of conclusions for these graphs:
- For quickest Attack increase in least amount of time go for Tier 1 (>Tier 2>Tier3)
- To get the most Attack power per Might, go for Tier1 (>Tier 3>Tier2)
- For the highest Attack power for a given number of resources, there is no difference.
Now lets discuss which troops are best for which situations. We will discuss this from different stand point: Across Tiers, Attacking versus Defending and Might versus Attack power. After that, it will mostly be up to the reader to make their own final conclusions about the troop types.
1. Across Tiers
Lets first glance quickly over the different Tiers. The basic unit Tier, the Tier 1, provides you theoretically with the quickest gain in Might and Attack power over a given time, because build times across Tiers varies more drastically than even Might between Tier 1 and 2. This does come at a cost however, which is that Tier 1 production also burns through resources very rapidly. Attack/Might number per might is highest in Tier 1, so if you want the least inflated might number for your army, primarily produce Tier 1.
Tier 2 sees a rapid increase in build time, even so much that its Might cannot keep up. This means however that resources needed per build-time also drastically decrease. So if you are low on resources but still want to gain Might, produce Tier 2. It costs much less resources, while Might gained per build-time only lags a little behind Tier 1. Do note however that like Resources needed, the Attack power gained also lags tremendously behind Tier 1. In short, good for Might/resources and slowing down resources needed, bad at everything else.
Tier 3, for the time being the highest Tier in-game (though Tier 4 can already be obtained through non-conventional means). Looking at resources and attack power per single troop, the Tier 3 scales linearly with the previous Tiers. The increase in Build-time however is much more forgiving compared to Tier 2. Might is also much less inflated compared to Tier 2, meaning that you get more Attack power per Might point in a given Tier 3 army, event though Tier 1 still wins at this point. Because the Build-time increase is still a bit bigger than the doubling of Attack power/life (2.5 – 2), this Tier nets you the lowest Attack power, Resources needed, and Might per Build-time. In terms of Resources needed per Might, it sits between Tier 1 and 2. Also of importance is the fact that the climb in research levels needed between Tier 2 and 3 is incredibly big, and this will take a lot of time.
Now, you might be wondering why you would ever go for anything else than Tier 1, because everything but Attack power and Life scales so drastically. Three main reasons:
- Army sizes are limited. This is discussed further below.
- Save resources. If your resources cant keep up, produce higher Tiers.
- Speed. All to do with farming/attacking, discussed further below.
With the Tiers discussed, lets look at the two main styles of playing this game: Suicidal or Might hugging…
2. Might versus attack power
From my experience in this and former alliances, there are basically two styles to play this game, although of course it isn’t completely black and white: Suicide squad or Might hugging.
With Suicide squad I mean that you play primarily by fighting others, and do not mind getting zeroed every once in a while. Might hugging means exactly that: Building up large amounts of might and holding on to it. Although the latter is a more defensive, careful play-style, it is very useful for your Alliance ranking to have some members who hug Might.
Between these two main styles, something can be said about the most likely troops to be build. A Might hugger will want to produce the largest amount of Might in a given time, provided he can keep up with resources. For such a person, Tier 1 units are the best choice. They provide the quickest gain over time in both Attack power and Might. Also, since a Might hugger is less likely to send out his/her troops, factors like speed do not matter in this discussion. If resources are severely limiting troop training to the point where constantly producing Tier 1 is impossible, go to Tier 2. Unless you want to use the units for fighting as well, avoid Tier 3; Tier 2’s inflated might is much better.
For Suicide squad, the equation is a bit different. Because as far as I’m concerned, a Suicide squad does not care about Might but instead about actual Attack power, the Might inflated Tier 2 looses some of its charm.
Because of the fast production and under inflated Might, I would still advise to train Tier 1 units, because that nets you the mightiest army over time. Switch over to Tier 2 when:
- You cannot keep up with gathering/generating resources
- Speed becomes a significant factor in attacks over larger distances
- You fill up your max armies allowed by your Musterfield
(Note that these are essentially the arguments given in the Tier section)
The same arguments go for moving up from Tier 2 to 3. Now, because the step from Tier 2 to Tier 3 resource and time-wise is much smaller compared to Tier 1 to 2, one might argue that Tier 2 should be skipped. But this negates the fact that for training Tier 3 units, many research topics need to be at level 9! This makes reaching Tier 3 the most time consuming step between Tiers in the game. Hence the advice to first go to Tier 2 first.
3. Attacking versus Defending
Besides the difference in play styles, there are also two sides to fighting in this game: You are either defending or attacking. When you are attacking, you need to travel a certain distance and are bound to the maximum army size allowed by your Musterfield.
You will of course start with sending Tier 1 armies. And for what it is worth, I personally value their quick build-times and non-inflated Might numbers. I therefore advise here as well to stick to Tier 1 for quite some time.
Once again, if you cannot keep up with the resources, go to a higher Tier, preferably Tier 3. Same goes if you reach your maximum army sizes, or you really want the 1.5x speed bonus of Tier 2. Once you have researched Tier 3, forget about Tier 2 altogether.
Defending is a wholly different matter. Two of the three arguments for moving up Tiers are negated: Army size for defending armies is unlimited, and speed is of no concern. This makes it rather easy to figure out what troops to train: Tier 1. Quickest Might, quickest Attack power. Once again, switch to whatever higher Tier is available if you cannot keep up resource wise.
4. To sum it up
Ok, time to sum things up. I will try to do this as concise as possible.
4.1 Across Tiers
- Tier 1
- Quickest gain Might and Attack power over time
- Burns through resources fastest
- Slowest unit
- Tier 2
- Steep drop off in terms of Build-time
- Highest inflation of Might
- Ideal for saving resources
- Tier 3
- Fastest and hardest hitting units in-game
- Build-time drop off from Tier 2, though not as steep as form Tier 1
- Primary attack troop in later stages of game
- Takes a hell of a lot of time to get your hands on
4.2 Might versus Attack power
- Might Hugger:
- Go Tier 1 as much as you can, provided you dont fight too much
- Go Tier 3 if you cannot keep up with Resources
- Avoid Tier 3
- Suicide Squad:
- Go Tier 1 if you need Attack power fast and can muster the Resources
- Go Tier 2 if you:
- Cant keep up resource wise making Tier 1
- Fill up your armies at your Musterfield
- Want to gain the extra speed
- Trade Tier 2 for Tier 3 once you’ve researched them
4.3 Attacking versus Defending
- Start of with Tier 1 for fast Might and Attack power
- Switch to Tier 2 when:
- Cant keep up resource wise making Tier 1
- Fill up your armies at your Musterfield
- Want to gain the extra speed
- Trade Tier 2 for Tier 3 once researched
- Stick to Tier 1 as much as possible
- Switch only to other Tiers for saving resources
Finally, some of my thoughts on how I train my troops. First and foremost, I think whatever strategy you hold to, the higher the Tier, the less unit you will likely have of that Tier so should you. I’m making enough resources at the moment to keep with Tier 1 training for most of the time. I farm in a (relatively speaking) small area around my cities, so the extra speed of Tier 2 and 3 is of no concern, neither is the army size for farming trips. Tier 1 allows me to grow as fast as I can keep up at the moment. I produce some Tier 2 for the Might but primarily for cutting down on resource spending while not wasting time in the process.
Now, as the alliance is growing, wars will be more dominant game-play wise. The latest war being fought, against Destined2Rule (?) made me aware that distances can and will get pretty big over time. I am very busy unlocking the research to build all Tier 3 units, and once I do I will start producing those as well.
Once we will really get into big wars across the maps, army sizes will probably one day turn out to be insufficient to be filled completely with Tier 1, so in that case the higher Tiers will be favored. But still there are two things withholding me from using Tier 2/3 all the time. For one, if you loose them, it is a royal pain in the ass to bring your army back up to strength due to the incredible increase in build time between Tier 1 and 2. Also, virtually everywhere people state you should mix your armies: Tier (2/)3 for the punching, Tier for the cushioning. But a mixed army moves at the speed of the slowest unit (Tier1), so that negates the whole speed argument of the higher Tiers….I have not found a satisfactory way of negating this. Only argument left is that the 80k armies I can send out now can easily be filled up with the troop numbers I have, so that will be my reason to go Tier 3 later on.
Call me a sucker for Tier 1, but thats how it is. I hope somehow, somewhere, this post contains some useful information for the lot of ya. I would love to hear your thoughts or comments below, so I could perhaps change my mind or add it to this article…
(PS: Another great use for Tier 3 units is to get great scores in Campaign mode, but I myself am not a real campaigner, so…)