Paladin farming: Your paladin will not die, even if he attacks alone, against villages with absolutely no troops and wall. Bonus and barbarian village usually have no troops and have really low wall to no-wall during the first few days. This being said, don’t be afraid to send him alone. He also walks faster than your spears so, sending him alone is the way to farm with your paladin. You can also use it with as a scout since you do not have any. He gathers the same information as any units but he walk fast and is cheap to rebuild. You can find out spiked villages, resources balances and if a village is empty or not.
Farming with spears: Once you have 4 spears, send them with your paladin on your farming runs. Your paladin, even slowed down, allow some spears to farm and upgrade your income. Spears alone will die! If there is no paladin in your world, 7 is the minimum for the first farming run. Later on you can start escorting with other troops your spears. (in fact, 5 is the strict minimum but with 5 or 6 spears, you actually lose wood (and may lose clay as well with only 5 spears. Since you need wood, 7 should be the minimum.)) Depending on the situation, it is a really good idea also sometimes to wait for a few more spears before sending your first farming run.
Outdated with version 7.0 What to do with your single spear at home? Well, you can easily, during the beginner protection try to attack your neighbours to find out at which time they’re own beginner protection is off. Now even non-premium account can see when a beginner protection ends.
The end of the beginner protection: Note this time and plan your farming trips to be able to farm the inactive players at the moment their beginner protection is off. This will give you full hauls if you are the first one to attack them.
When you reach 32-35 spears you have the chance to send them alone (without the paladin or any units) without having one dying (depending on the luck). At this point, especially if you are still getting full hauls, sending your spears alone and your paladin alone should be your regular farming trips. If you feel however you need an escort, keep your paladin with them or use the strategy Sword escorting or Axes escorting.
When beginner protection begins to end, you can usually dry an inactive player village with 102 spears, sending more than this is not needed.
Farming with fewer troops (with escorts if needed) at more villages if they are dry allow you to optimize your income from farming.