You need to dominate your landscape. If you come across other players who have trained troops, either clubswingers or legionnaires, raid them and kill off their troops. You gain offense points in the process, but that’s only a side benefit.
You need to remove your farming competition within your 21 x 21 grid. If they dodge your attacks by sending their troops away when you attack, then when you have catas, begin to crop lock their village and remove these players from the map.
In the end, the only players that remain in your 21 x 21 grid are either allied players, or farms. Farms are players who do not (or almost never) train any troops. Any player who trains troops or farms others in your 21 x 21 has to go. You need to dominate your area.
Do not join any alliance in the very early game. Doing so only limits your farming opportunities and also creates farming competition between allied players because they will be farming your farms.
You can keep one gaul and invite him to be your ally. Teutons are vulnerable from infantry attacks. Send your gaul ally resources, and get him to train phalanxs to be sent to your village permanently.
Be careful you don’t get banned for sending more than the hourly production rule. And do not sit for your ally, because sitters are not allowed to send any amount of resource.
If you find that your warehouse or granary is about to overflow, then you should NPC resources. Another tip is you can temporarily increase the capacity of your warehouse/granary using your Marketplace.
Go to your Marketplace and put up an offer for 1000 units of iron, and search for 2000 units of crop. The iron will be subtracted from your current stockpile, so you’ve just extended your iron capacity by 1000 units.
Be careful that when you cancel it, it doesn’t cause your warehouse to overflow.
If you are unlucky enough to meet another aggressive player like yourself, then either kill him off, or consider deleting and starting in a new location because in the long run, two aggressive players close together creates farming and conquering competition.
If you are attacked during this stage, then never defend, and always attack back. Here is an actual example :-
I had put up in the marketplace an offer of 1000 iron, and searching for 2000 crop. This was to increase my warehouse capacity, but later forgot about it.
Some players tend to examine the marketplace and then raid players who put up big offers. The theory is these players are rich with resources and have a lot of resources to be raided.
So out of nowhere, a player sent me a raid from almost 3 hours away. He was about the same size as me, but had more offense points than I did.
The first rule is, never defend. I emptied my village, and used all my resources. As it turned out, he sent 250 clubswingers, so do you see why to never defend. He managed to steal about 1000 iron.
The second rule is, always attack back. Even before his attack arrived, I sent off 200 clubswingers to raid him back. This sends a strong message that he’s raiding the wrong player. He was foolish enough to defend, because I killed 15 of his scouts, and stole a few thousand resources – for a loss of only 1 clubswinger.
The third rule is, never be afraid of their alliance. At this stage of the game, an alliance cannot/will not help their members. Attack freely as if they didn’t belong to an alliance.
You should not join any alliances either, not for the first couple of weeks, unless they are spread out far enough. Doing so will only limit your raiding potential. Don’t worry about not being able to join up later. You will receive tons of offers just because you have a high population and high offense points.
Strong alliances would have formed in about 2 weeks or so. Top alliances are usually very picky about who they recruit. Most are probably on invitation only.
Here’s a hint if you want to get into the top alliance. Send a scouting party or even a small raiding party to the alliance leader. Make sure he is far away, maybe 12 or 24 hours away. This will get his attention, and wait for him to contact you about why sent an attack his way. It opens the dialogue for your entry into the alliance.
With your credentials, you will have no problem joining, but be friendly with your request.
If the same attacker tries to raid you again, then do a timed counterstrike to permanently kill off his army. See section on Timed Counterstrike.
Should you train paladins in your first village? No, not until your second village has been founded. At this stage, there are plenty of farms nearby, and paladins are really needed only when raiding far away, beyond your 21 x 21 grid. For now, when resources are scarce, spend them on clubswingers because they are the best raiders of the game.
Should you train spearman for defense? Again no, not until your second village has been founded. You should not be defending at this stage. Remember rule number 1? If you really need defenders, then ask your Gaul ally to train phalanxs for you.
Needless to say, you do not train axeman or Teuton Knights in your first village, ever. But later on, you may want to train rams and catas for cata’ing other players in your neighborhood.
And the golden rule that sums all these is, you must have a big army. In Travian, if you have no army, you are practically a sitting duck.