Conquering is an important part of your expansion. To remain at the top of the overall player rank, you need to conquer more often than you found new villages. Without conquering, you will find it difficult to keep up.
Conquering is done using chiefs (or senators and chieftains). A village is conquered by attacking with chiefs to lower its loyalty. When loyalty reaches zero, the village is conquered.
The Advanced Basics
Before explaining further, there are some basic rules about conquering you need to understand. I call them basic but yet they are not so basic:
- A Capital cannot be conquered. A player’s only village also cannot be conquered.
- You need culture points in order to conquer a village. Without the necessary culture points, your chief will simply do nothing. He cannot even lower loyalty.
- A village cannot be conquered while the Palace or Residence still exists.
- You can send the chiefs and the cleaner and catas ALL in a single wave. The catas will destroy the Residence and the chiefs will still do their job.
You must use the Attack button. The Raid button will not work during a conquer.
- Once a village is conquered, it will take the tribe of the conquerer.
- A conquered village will lose its walls, all researches in the Academy, all troop upgrades in the armoury and blacksmith, and all troops trained from the conquered village will be dissolved.
- The conquered village will inherit any used expansion slots. For example, if the conquered village had founded two other villages, then two expansion slots would have been used. When you conquer this village, the expansion slots will still have been used.
In order to free up the expansion slot, you need to zero pop (cata down) the village that it had founded. If the player deletes, the expansion slot will also be freed.
- When a village is conquered, the chief that conquered the village disappears. One expansion slot from the village where the chief is trained is then used up.
Any troops that accompanied the chief will stay in the newly conquered village as reinforcements. They will eat crop from the new village until they are sent back.
- You can’t inherit non-relevant structures. For example, if a Roman conquered a Gaul village, and it has built the trapper. Since Romans can’t build trappers, then it will be demolished once it is conquered.
- Population penalty. If a player with a higher population conquers a player with a lower population, then a population penalty is applied. This applies for players with a higher total population, NOT the individual population of the conquering villages.
All structures, including resource fields in the conquered village will be leveled down by one level. If a structure is already at level one, then it will not be affected.
Population penalty does not apply to a Natar World Wonder village. Natar structures will not level down.
- The loyalty of the conquered village starts at zero. Build Residence or Palace to increase the loyalty. The higher the Residence or Palace, the faster the loyalty increases.
- You can conquer your own village. Supposing village A has founded village B and village C. So two expansion slots in village A would have been used.
You can use village B to conquer village C. This will free up one expansion slot in village A, and village B will have one used expansion slot. This effectively transfers the expansion slot to another of your own village.
Remember that village C will lose all researches, upgrades and troops, even if you had conquered your own village.
This measure is used only when accidental conquers occur. For example, if village X has 3 chiefs and accidentally conquered a village. Then you might want to re-conquer your own village to free up the expansion slot to retrain the chief in village X.
- You can conquer your own village at anytime, even if you do not have enough culture points.
- You do not need a free expansion slot in the Palace or Residence in order to conquer a village.
You need a free expansion slot in order to train chiefs or settlers. Once the chiefs have been trained, your Palace or Residence may be demolished or destroyed, but your chiefs will still function just as well.
How Loyalty Works
When a chief attacks a village to lower its loyalty, there are a number of factors that influence how many loyalty points it will lower. The factors are:
- The attacking tribe. At base value, Roman senators are more effective in that they lower between 20 to 30 percent of loyalty points. The Teuton chief and Gaul chieftain lowers between 20 to 25 percent.
- Great celebration, whether they are held in the attacking village or defending village. A Great Celebration held in the attacking village will cause each chief to gain up to a 5 percent increase in loyalty attack points.
Likewise, if a Great Celebration is held in the defending village, then the effectiveness of each attacking chief is lowered by up to 5 percent. However use this only a guideline because sometimes a Great Celebration may alter effectiveness by only 3 or 4 points per chief.
- Player population. If the attacker has a higher population than the defender, then the defender is granted a defensive bonus. This is also known as “morale bonus”. The bigger the difference in population, the higher the morale bonus.
If the attacker has a lower population, no bonus is granted to either attacker or defender. The population difference is calculated on the player’s total population, NOT on the population of individual villages.
The number of points that morale bonus plays can be quite significant. The worst I have ever seen is when my Teuton chief lowered loyalty by only 11 points when attacking a player about ten times smaller than my population.
The highest I ever had was around 22 or 23 points.
- A random factor. Travian adds in some excitement by throwing in a random factor to every loyalty attack. You may send 2 chiefs to attack from two different villages – and yet each attack lowers a different amount of loyalty points. The random factor can run anywhere from 1 to 5 points.
When conquering villages, you need to estimate how many loyalty points your chief will lower.
As a rough estimate for the tribes, without any Great Celebration :-
Teuton and Gauls
- against equal or higher population players – over 20 points
- against slightly lower population players (ie. 90%) – below 20 points
- against even lower population players (50% to 90%) – around 15 points
- against lower than that – 11 to 14 points
For Romans, the same estimates apply, except add between 2 to 4 points to the estimated values.
Again, I need to qualify myself. These are only estimates, because you can get different values due to the random factor added by Travian. Hopefully the defender does not hold a Great Celebration, as you can see how that will upset your estimates.
A Practical Guide
If you play the game aggressively, one of the challenges you will face is running out of villages to conquer. Because of your aggressiveness, you would have cleared your neighborhood of any threats, and by doing so, left with limited choices of who to conquer.
That is why you need to keep that in mind. Plan ahead and don’t overkill the area by killing everybody in sight and also dry up your own hunting grounds in the process. Spare some for your future growth.
Don’t stop other players from settling near you. Let them settle, and then wait until they have grown enough so you may conquer them.
Tell your alliance leader about your intentions because they usually get recruited into your alliance. This messes things up and creates unnecessary competition when someone you intend to conquer ends up in your alliance. This is an important point, so don’t forget to tell your alliance leader to check with you first before recruiting any players close to you.
As conquering expands your empire, consider your village spread. It is a bad idea to spread too far out, making it difficult to defend and supply your new village. Try to keep your villages as close together as possible by expanding slowly outwards, similar to an inner ring and then outer ring.
It is definitely a bad idea to conquer villages that are more than six hours distance because you cannot effectively supply or defend it.
What type of villages make good choices for conquer?
By the very nature of offensive players, choose high crop villages. Choose 15 croppers over 9 croppers, and 9 croppers over 6 croppers. Do consider their crop oases bonus, because a 6 cropper with 100 percent oases bonus generates more crop than a 9 cropper with no oases bonus.
Village population size is another consideration. Because of the high training costs of chiefs, research costs, and building costs of Residence, the village you conquer must be sufficiently well developed in order to turn a profit.
Based on population size, the following are worthwhile targets (sizes shown are before conquer) :-
|6 cropper||– 500 population and above|
|9 cropper||– 400 population and above|
|15 cropper||– 250 population and above|
The higher the population, the better. Due to population penalty, all structures in the conquered village will level down by one level if the attacker has a higher population. Expect to lose over 100 population if you have a higher population than the defender.
When conquering other players, your odds of success are much higher if you complete your conquer in just one run – clean, cata, chief and conquer all at once.
The main setback is this requires quite a number of chiefs and most players usually resort to making multiple chief runs. This is a bad idea because it drastically reduces your chances of success.
Once your opponent is alerted to your intention, he knows where you will attack next – and have numerous options at his disposal to defeat your conquer. He can call for reinforcements, snipe, use the Palace defense, or hold a Great Celebration or directly attack you. See section on Defending Against Conquers.
For the best results, gather enough chiefs, and plan your attack so you complete your conquer in one sweep. In the early game, ask for alliance help to lower loyalty while you conquer the village.
On average, you need between 5 to 7 chiefs to conquer a village. I recognize this limitation, especially in the early game. But from mid game onwards, you should easily have more than enough cheifs.
A vital strategy to make your life easier in conquering is to train 3 chiefs in your capital. This is so vital that it is a must do. As soon as you have 3 chiefs, demolish the palace and build a Townhall in its place.
Combined with Great Celebration, you can use 3 chiefs from your capital to lower loyalty, and another 2 chiefs from a second village to complete the conquer. If that was not enough, you can also train 3 chiefs in non-capitals too.
Whichever way it goes, you need to have at least 6 chiefs in total and try to get this number of chiefs as soon as possible.
Executing Your Conquer
Assuming you have met all the pre-requisites, such as the needed culture points, a village to conquer and have at least one chief, then its time to carry out your conquer.
The strategies below assumes you’re conquering an active player who belongs to an alliance.
Your typical conquer steps are :-
- Start by estimating the number of chief runs you need to make. For example, if you have one chief, you need six runs. With two chiefs, you need three runs.
- Scout the village for defenses. You need to know whether it has Residence or Palace and what is its level.
- Try to attack when the defender sleeps. Typically at 2 o’clock local time in the morning.
- Attack the village with sufficient catas to destroy the Residence or Palace.
- Send chief(s) to attack the village. Every time the village is attacked with a chief, its loyalty reduces (it must not have Residence or Palace during the attack).
When loyalty reaches zero, the chief disappears and the village becomes yours.
If you send two chiefs in a single wave, the number of loyalty points reduced is doubled. Holding a Great Celebration will increase the effectives of each chief by up to 5 percent.
Catapults take a long time to travel. Let’s say it takes 4 hours one way, or 8 hours for a roundtrip.
With only one chief, you will need to make six runs. That means you need 8 hours x 6 runs = 48 hours if you attack non-stop.
This is impractical. Forty eight hours is plenty of time for the defender to spot your attacks and rush defenders in. So don’t even try.
You need to reduce your total conquer time. Work with your alliance members and ask for help to lower loyalty. You can take up to 24 hours for the attacks to arrive, just that once the attacks arrive, the conquer should complete in a single sweep.
Fake a few other villages with multi cata waves, so it looks like you’re sending normal cata attacks, rather than conquering. I guarantee you that if you try to conquer somebody’s village, you will get his full attention and probably lots of reinforcements from his alliance.
If you didn’t complete the conquer in one sweep, the defender would have been alerted to your intention. Your risks grows exponentially higher at this point. With a good active player and a good alliance, your hammer can be completely wiped out in your next attack.
If you’re closeby and need an additional six or ten hours to complete the conquer, then you still have a chance because it takes time to build a meaningful defense. But if you’re going to need more than twelve hours for the next chief to arrive, your chances are pretty slim indeed.
That’s the reason why you need to have at least six chiefs so you can complete the conquer in one sweep. That makes a lot of difference.
In any case, if the player is a weak player, or is not very active or belongs to a weak alliance, you might still go ahead and make multiple chief runs. There’s a world of difference when attacking weak players.
In sending multiple runs, ensure that you send catas in every run because the defender will rebuild his residence the moment you destroy it. Also send scouts in between to scout for defenses. You’d be surprised at what you find.
If you have enough chiefs, then your best bet is to complete it in one sweep. You’ll need to attack from at least two villages, or at most 3 villages. In each attack, send multi waves of attacks to disguise your true intention.
- Send four or five waves from your capital. The first few waves are fakes, followed by last waves of cleaner and chiefs. Set your catas to aim at the residence.
- Send another 3 waves from each of your chiefing village. Time it to arrive about one minute apart. If you had wrongly estimated the number of chiefs required, and the village is conquered earlier than you had expected, then you still have one minute to send your troops back, thus preventing subsequent waves from slamming into your own army.
- Ensure your chiefs have a moderate sized cleaner so it doesn’t get sniped. If not, you need to arrange for a cleaner from another village.
Once the village has been conquered, build a residence to increase its loyalty and ask for reinforcements.