This is a guide that I wrote several months ago while playing World 4. After getting a pretty good amount of experience under my felt I really feel like this guide is great for those that are new to the game and learning the mechanics. The best players in the game play a much different playing style, but a playing style that just is not possible for the large majority of players/tribes out there. So if you're a new player and intelligent to research the forums for help congratulations, this is a good starting point. Otherwise if you're more experienced I'd suggest reading through it and the excellent comments found below to possibly learn something or view the game in a different shade of light.
With the creation of these new worlds some of these tactics do not apply or are slightly different. Worlds with new units will be in italics to help differentiate between the two. Regardless of units though, the strategies are generally the same either way with just a different means of getting there.
When I started it seemed somewhat difficult to find any information out there without having to search through many different threads and compare different strategies others swear by. This thread is intended for those that are new to the game and in a smaller tribe that doesn't have established set of guides yet but others may also learn something as well. I am not selfish so I would happily share what I've learned even if it leads to my nobling one day.
If anyone else has any advice they would like to add please message me or post below, I am still learning and any advice would be greatly appreciated.. If it's something you would rather not have placed on public forums you can message me through the forums with my word that it will not be passed around by me.
This is by far the most important thing that I have learned through other tribe members and players that I have found. Troops define the player, not points. It is extremely important to keep at least one defensive troop (spearmen or swordsmen) per village point in your towns. Also make sure to upgrade both spearmen and swordsmen to level 3 in every town you have. Just because you have a lot of points does not mean you're strong, I just nobled a 5000 point village with only a few hundred units on defense. So if you're sitting at 2500 points with a strong army you could easily take over a similar village.
The new units add an entirely different dimension to the game because of the many varieties of offense and defense that could be made. So there is no longer a generally agreed ratio of troops that could be used. Some players have devoted a lot of research to find the "best" ratios and those could be found by joining some tribes with these types of players (I respect their work, so I will no give these ratios). In general, you want your troops to be a reflection of the offense/defense that you're up against. As for defense, try to carry a few of each unit in each town. Archers may seem to be invincible, but a formidable opponent can demolish through them with few losses (Once again, your forces are best when they reflect what you come across). As for the paladin, it is best used to send support troops to your friends in trouble or vice versa.
Once you're defensive situation is figured out you will want to start thinking about building up an army.. no you do not have an army yet, spearmen and swordsmen don't count (They are defensive.. not offensive). When you feel it is time to attack another player you will need axes and light cavalry. As many as you could build without sacrificing your defensive troop production. If the player has over 1000 points you will also want to build rams to take down that wall. To give you an idea of what you might need, a little over 200 level 1 rams will take down a level 20 wall to 0 (see section 5 for a more detailed approach). I wouldn't recommend using catapults unless the attack is purely to set a player back a little bit (retaliation maybe??).
When it comes to building an attacking force, scouting is extremely important! Make sure to create plenty of scouts so that you could mold your offense to the troops stationed in your soon to be farm/town. In general, Mounted Archers kill Archers, Light Cavalry kill Swordsman, and Axes kill spears. For a more specific answer work with the values in the Help Section and play around with the useful tool in your rally point, the simulator.
3. Nobling Targets
In terms of how to get/use a noble there are excellent posts found elsewhere and you should refer to them. However, I really think this is what separates players like ::insert random top 10 player here:: from the rest of the pack. You won't see him/her nobling small abandoned villages and building them up from there. It takes too much time! To build a village from scratch into a decent size village could take about 3 weeks. Now would you rather spend that extra day nobling a further village or get one quick and spend the next 3 weeks trying to build that village into something you could have already had? Easy answer to me. When picking targets, points do matter. Since you want to build as few buildings as possible in your new town you should try to pick the one with the most points and the smallest tribe. It's a tough equilibrium and post on your tribal forums if you have any doubts. If you pick the right targets you could consistently gain 3k+ villages and never have to worry about building up your first academy ever again.
4. Managing Towns
I'll be honest this is something that I still have a lot to learn but I will still share what I have read and heard works well. When you get past your 2nd town you will realize that you can only have so many troops per village. 24,000 may seem like a lot for a maximum population, but in reality it is not nearly enough. It becomes a problem when you are maintaining a good level of defensive troops and trying to maintain a decent attack army. If you try to have both a defensive and offensive army in each town you will run out of technologies and troops. What a lot of players have done is try to maintain 1 or 2 defensive towns per 1 offensive town. Now the definitions of what a "defensive" and "offensive" town are what I am still learning. From my understanding your "offensive" towns will have level 3 upgrades for spear, swords, axes, and light cavalry with 3 left for whatever and your "defensive" towns will have level 3 upgrades for spear, swords, scouts, and whatever else you feel like using resources on. Obviously you won't be producing as many defensive troops in your offensive village with the assumption that you will support it with the extra troops in you defensive village. I have no idea how many units of each to place in a offensive town and this will take a lot of trial and error on our parts.
With the creation of new units in W5, there are an endless amount of possibilities for the actual makeup of your villages. When it comes to offensive villages it is typically best to only have only two types of units in there so that you could attack with that army if a weakness is found in the other towns defense. As for defensive villages, you'll really want to plan around that ever important paladin. Typically you would want your slowest units (Swordsmen) in the same town as the paladin so that they could get to other towns a little bit quicker.
5. Make Friends
Alright tribal wars is not like Contra (the videogame), you can't just kill the whole world with one or two people. You will need friends along the way to provide support if/when times get rough. This is why sending out tribal invitations is extremely important if you are not in an established tribe and want your village to stay around for a while. Yes you can survive on your own for a while, but it's only a matter of time until a tribe sees you as a great "nobling target" and will go after you (Note: this is not the time to join a tribe... most people don't think highly of harboring a fugitive). If you feel that you can't possibly send out any more invites in your area, send a few more just to be safe. After doing that look around your area and try to find out who has some muscle and go to them and suggest pursuing diplomatic relations. However, be careful! If you get too many weaker allies in your area you will lose out on nobling some great towns in the future. Also if you are in an alliance be prepared to offer them every troop you have if you expect them to return the favor. Keep the number of alllies few, yet strong. Once all this is done there is not much that you can really do aside from sending out emails from time to time asking if any of your allies need help. This will ensure that when it comes time that you need help they will not get the impression that you are leaching off of them and they will also respond much sooner and forcefully.
6. Advanced attacking - Rams/Catapults
This information was sent to me by a user that wishes to remain anonymous so people don't think he's nice I would like to thank him a lot because a lot of this I did not know
Due to max limit constraints I've placed this info in one of my future posts (I believe page 4). I will try to keep the more general information in here as the more advanced material is generally found through a good tribe or could be reached through me directly (forums only, you won't find this name playing)