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Posted by: Kianne Cassidy
« on: October 25, 2018, 01:18:08 PM »

Ancient Wonders

Ancient Wonders are advanced buildings that require rune shards (in addition to regular resources) to build. In addition, upgrading an Ancient Wonder building requires knowledge points (those same ones you spend in your Technology Tree). You unlock Ancient Wonders through the Technology Tree; until you research the technology that gives you access to the first two wonders, you cannot interact with other players' wonders.

Whenever you complete a Province (that is, clear all Encounters therein), you are given a random rune shard for one of the Ancient Wonders you have unlocked. There are other ways to obtain shards, mentioned below. Keep in mind the rune shards are specific to a particular wonder; you have to use them on the building they are named for. Broken shards, on the other hand, can be used on any wonder.

Using the Ancient Wonder menu in your town, you can apply that building's rune shards to its runic circle. There are nine slots in the circle that must be filled with runes. When you click the "Insert" button, the game randomly picks one of the nine slots and tries to stick the rune there; if the slot is already full, your rune shard breaks and is added to the broken shards cache. This makes filling out the runic circle a rather frustrating experience when you have limited shards; the closer the runic circle comes to completion, the more likely you are to break shards.

If you are trying to build a particular Ancient Wonder, there are two ways to get shards specifically for that building:

  • First, visit other players' cities and find someone else who has already built that wonder. (Tip: You don't have to have even "discovered" the player for this!) By clicking on their wonder (while the Neighborly Help cursor is not active), you can donate knowledge points to their wonder, and if you are one of the top contributors, you will receive one or more rune shards for that wonder once the knowledge point bar is full. (Note that you can do this even for Ancient Wonders that you have not yourself unlocked yet; you'll still obtain the rune shards and they will be waiting and available for when you unlock that wonder.) You receive the reward the instant the bar is filled, even if the player that owns the building never actually upgrades that wonder. (However, you cannot donate to a wonder if its bar is full and it has not yet been upgraded.) Keep an eye on this because only the top contributors are rewarded; if someone comes along and usurps your place in the rewards list, you may lose out on your reward. (You can view the pending reward by pointing the cursor to the chest icon that is to the right of the name of the player in the list of contributors. Note that the player that owns the wonder shows up in the list but does not count in regards to placement for contributor rewards.) Note: Some Ancient Wonders are different between Humans and Elves. Their function is the same, but they are named differently and have different appearances. You can obtain runes for your version of the building by donating knowledge points to the equivalent Ancient Wonder of the opposite race. For example, an Elven player can donate knowledge points to a Human player's Sanctuary wonder and the Elven player will receive rune shards for his own Martial Monastery. You can verify this by looking at the chest icon in the rewards list. The icon will identify the exact rune that the player will receive; this is why sometimes the named rune does not match the name of the wonder itself.
  • Ten broken shards can be forged into a rune for any Ancient Wonder you like; this forging is always guaranteed to work (and is a great way to fill out that last slot in a runic circle). You cannot store more than ten broken shards, so any further broken shards you obtain are wasted. So be sure to spend them when you get to ten. You can get broken shards from certain Tournament rounds (by repeating certain levels of the Tournament multiple times). This is one reason Tournaments are beneficial even if you never reach any of the checkpoints. Also, if you have an abundance of runes for other Ancient Wonders, you can deliberately break them on their runic circles and then use the broken shards on the wonder you actually want to build. This is not necessarily particularly efficient (it is a 10-to-1 ratio, after all), but might still help. (To break runes for a particular wonder, just go to its runic circle and try to insert runes. As the circle fills, more likely than not several of the runes will break. This doesn't work for wonders that you have already built or if the circle is already full.)

Depending on your luck in obtaining the necessary shards for the particular Ancient Wonder that you want to build (and your luck in not breaking them in the runic circle), wonders can be time-consuming and annoying to construct. Whether their benefits are even worth the effort is up to some debate. Some wonders provide unique features that you cannot obtain in any other way, but others just provide things like additional culture or population that you can get through other buildings.

Note that after you have upgraded an Ancient Wonder to certain level thresholds, you will again require runes to upgrade the wonder further. So runes that you acquire for wonders you have already built are not necessarily wasteful.

Some Ancient Wonders will add a large building graphic to the backdrop of your city (usually somewhere in the cliffs to the upper right); this is cosmetic only, but it is a way to quickly identify which wonders that player has built. Also, completing certain wonders for the first time will grant you access to a new portrait to use.
Posted by: Kianne Cassidy
« on: August 30, 2018, 12:39:39 PM »


The way the Provinces work is each one is focused around a particular type of unit. Every Province has three possible enemy unit types (types, not specific enemy units), and these three types are determined by the main Province unit:

- The primary enemy type is one of the two that the focus unit is specialized against, and there are multiple different enemy units classed as this type which may show up in the Province.
- The secondary enemy type is the other type the focus unit is specialized against.
- The third enemy type is one of the two types that is specialized against the focus unit.

For example, the Steel Province is Light Ranged and has these possible enemy units:

Primary: Heavy Melee    <- Light Ranged is specialized against
Secondary: Mage    <- Light Ranged is specialized against
Counter: Light Melee    <- Specialized against Light Ranged

The idea in theory is you are intended to use the focus unit--that is, the unit type that is specialized against both the primary and the secondary enemy units (this is always exactly one unit type). The enemy counter unit is there to provide some challenge and to shake things up a little.

However, in practice, for each individual battle the actual enemy unit mix is determined randomly among the possible three types. In a Steel Province, you might encounter a fight that has only Heavy Melee, or a fight that has the other two but lacks Mages, or even a battle that is nothing but Light Melee. The sky's the limit here. And, ultimately, the actual mix that you are dealing with determines what units you should use. After all, when facing a battle consisting of nothing but Light Melee, you're better off just tossing the Light Ranged and going with a roster of all Heavy Melee or even Heavy Ranged--despite the fact that it's a Steel Province where you are "supposed" to use Light Ranged.

As such, it's impossible to give absolute advice of "use this unit on this Province." Enemy unit mix matters. As much as you can, strive to use units that are specialized--not just neutral--against as many of the enemies as possible. And if you are facing a particularly bad combination, you may wish to just negotiate instead of fight.


Focus Unit:
   - Heavy Ranged
Enemy Types:
   - Primary: Light Ranged
   - Secondary: Light Melee
   - Counter: Heavy Melee

This is a Heavy Ranged Province. If there are only one or two Heavy Melee, use all Heavy Ranged but gang up on the Heavy Melee. For Mortars, your goal of course is to focus-fire them down before they can reach your Mortars. For Golems, try to dance around them, staying just out of their range, and only attack a Heavy Melee with all five Golems in a single turn (pass turns as necessary); usually this will be enough to take down a single Heavy Melee before it can strike. (Once you commit to attacking, your Golems will be in attack range so if you do not eliminate the enemy unit before it gets its turn, you are guaranteed to take damage. If the Heavy Melee corners you, even go so far as to ignore the enemy Light Ranged until you defeat the Heavy Melee.) If there are two Heavy Melee, this will work without casualties if you can separate them and take them down one at a time; this often depends on terrain and on what direction the Heavy Melee units decide to move.

When the enemy mix includes many Heavy Melee and few/no Light Melee, using Light Ranged of your own might be beneficial.

Note that the Heavy Ranged are weak against Heavy Melee so they need to be dealt with first, and Golems have no defenses against Light Melee (just an offensive bonus) so focus on taking those out early as well.


Focus Unit:
   - Light Ranged
Enemy Types:
   - Primary: Heavy Melee
   - Secondary: Mage
   - Counter: Light Melee

The only Light Ranged Province type. This Province has Heavy Melee as a common unit, so archers are indeed handy, but there are often also Light Melee mixed in. If the mixture is extremely weighted toward Light Melee, you may be better off just using Heavy Melee units yourself. And even if there are only one or two Light Melee, it's still helpful to bring along a couple of Heavy Melee to support your Light Ranged, unless the battle contains an over-abundance of Mages.

When using Light Ranged without support, focus-fire any Light Melee units to get rid of them as soon as possible. If using Heavy Melee, target the Mages first before taking on any of the other units.


Focus Unit:
   - Mage
Enemy Types:
   - Primary: Heavy Melee
   - Secondary: Heavy Ranged
   - Counter: Light Ranged

The mix of main and assist units that you use depend on the mix of enemies. If there are a lot of Heavy Melee and few Light Ranged, you can go heavier (or even entirely) Mage. However, some Heavy Melee of your own can be useful to help protect the Mages; Heavy Melee are also weak against Light Ranged but tend to not die to them anywhere near as quickly as Mages do. In battles with few or no Heavy Melee, you can use Heavy Ranged to help protect the Mages instead.


Focus Unit:
   - Heavy Melee
Enemy Types:
   - Primary: Light Melee
   - Secondary: Heavy Ranged
   - Counter: Mage

The enemy Mages pose a challenge for your Heavy Melee, but honestly, unless there are more than two Mages, you're best off just using all Heavy Melee anyway. The Heavy Melee have high enough health to survive the onslaught; just make sure to target the Mages first. The main trouble you will have is if terrain and/or enemy placement makes it impossible for your Heavy Melee to reach the Mages.

Attack the Mages first, then the Heavy Ranged. Ignore the Light Melee unless they get in the way; your retaliations will take care of most of them and you can mop up the remainder afterward. (If you're using Paladins you can also whack them on your way to the other enemies; Paladins lack defenses against Light Melee so you may wish to prioritize them over Heavy Ranged.)


Focus Unit:
   - Light Melee
Enemy Types:
   - Primary: Light Ranged
   - Secondary: Mage
   - Counter: Heavy Ranged

In battles that have any Heavy Ranged at all, you are at a disadvantage using straight Light Melee. Instead, go with a mixture of Light Melee and Heavy Ranged. You need the Heavy Ranged being neutral to the other Heavy Ranged for this mix. Note that Heavy Ranged are vulnerable to the enemy Mages but since Heavy Ranged have low initiative they tend to not be targeted as often. Even though the Heavy Ranged are not specialized against the enemy Heavy Ranged, they need to focus on them in order to deal appreciable damage to them (otherwise your Light Melee will get massacred). I would do roughly equal numbers of Heavy Ranged to the enemy Heavy Ranged, or even more if there are few Mages. (In fact, Elves can get away with using nothing but Golems unless there are a lot of Mages. If you do this, target the Mages first, followed by Heavy Ranged, and leave the Light Ranged for last.)

Using Mages in lieu of Heavy Ranged is also an option as long as there are no Light Ranged units to decimate your Mages. When the entire enemy mix is nothing but Heavy Ranged, the Mages will have a bonus against them unlike your own Heavy Ranged. I do not personally suggest Mages in battles that have Light Ranged enemies, because the Mages tend to be targeted first and will typically get shot down before they can contribute much to the battle.


Focus Unit:
   - Heavy Melee
Enemy Types:
   - Primary: Heavy Ranged
   - Secondary: Light Melee
   - Counter: Mage

Many of the enemy Heavy Ranged have the range of a Mortar (and like to hide in corners), so they will take a lot of time to chase down with your Heavy Melee (Paladin, of course, has the advantage here). For this reason, sometimes throwing in your own Mages can help, but this won't end well for them if there are a lot of Light Melee enemies around. Try to wall off using your Heavy Melee or use terrain to your advantage. Also, let the enemy Mages come to you rather than chasing them down. You can do the same with the Light Melee, then take care of the Heavy Ranged at the end; if you are using only Heavy Melee and Mages, both of those have defenses against Heavy Ranged, so they should have an easier time surviving.


Focus Unit:
   - Mage
Enemy Types:
   - Primary: Heavy Ranged
   - Secondary: Heavy Melee
   - Counter: Light Ranged

Another mixture of Heavy Ranged and Light Ranged, with occasional Heavy Melee. Although technically this is a Mage Province, Mages tend to get decimated by the Light Ranged, so in battles with Light Ranged enemies you may actually be better off using Heavy Ranged (if there are few Heavy Melee) or Heavy Melee (or a mixture of both) instead.

Magic Dust

Focus Unit:
   - Light Melee
Enemy Types:
   - Primary: Mage
   - Secondary: Light Ranged
   - Counter: Heavy Ranged

Technically this Province is meant to be for Light Melee (Cerebus excels here), but a large number of Heavy Ranged will tend to slaughter them. So in battles that have many Heavy Ranged and few Light Ranged, you can bring your own Mages along as well. If you lack sufficient Mages, you can use Heavy Ranged to help take out the other Heavy Ranged if they stay away from the enemy Mages.


Focus Unit:
   - Heavy Ranged
Enemy Types:
   - Primary: Light Melee
   - Secondary: Light Ranged
   - Counter: Heavy Melee

As always, the enemy unit mix will determine your unit mix. Lots of Light Melee and Light Ranged are good fodder for your Heavy Ranged. You can use Heavy Melee as buffers to block off the enemy Heavy Melee to allow your Heavy Ranged to shoot at a distance. Proper positioning and use of terrain will help keep your units alive.
Posted by: Kianne Cassidy
« on: August 30, 2018, 12:39:27 PM »




Your units are grouped into squads. This means each "unit" that you see during battle is actually multiple units in a squad. Different unit types have different squad sizes. For example, you start out with an overall squad size of 6. Your Axe Barbarian / Sword Dancer units have a size of 1 so 6 of them fit into a squad. But your Paladin / Treants will be just 1 per squad at a squad size of 6.

You can view your current squad size and other details by examining your Barracks. Click the Barracks to open the interface, then hover the mouse over various parts. The Camp tab will show you how many individual units you have if you hover on each unit type; the numbers beneath the icons are squads.

The number of units you presently have in a squad determines the attack power and HP of that squad on the combat field. During combat, as the individual units start getting whittled away in the squad, the squad will deal less and less damage. This applies to enemies as well, so one strategy might be to spread out your damage to weaken as many enemy units as you can.

An interesting side effect of squads: The bigger your squad size, the more powerful the unit, but the more losses you will suffer. This is due to the way HP works. An example would be easiest. When you have a squad size of 6, the HP bar looks like this:

0% |--|--|--|--|--|-- 100%

As the unit takes damage, whenever his HP reaches one of those vertical markers, the squad loses an individual unit (shown via the skull icon in battle). So you start out with 6 units in the squad; when the squad suffers roughly 16% damage, 1 unit is lost, and so on. When the squad is at half health, you've lost roughly 3 units.

Now picture that you get the squad upgrade and now your squad size is 9. Now that same HP bar looks like this instead:

0% |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|- 100%

Now, when the unit suffers roughly 11% damage, you lose 1 individual unit from the squad. When the squad is at half health, you have lost around 5 units.

In terms of percentages, the damage the unit suffers stays roughly the same as you progress through the game, but the losses increase exponentially. Whereas early in the game, an enemy archer might hit your squad and deal 20% of its health and kill 1 unit, later in the game, an archer will hit your squad, deal 20% of its health, and kill 34 units. Thus, the larger your squad size, the more time-consuming it will be to replace units that you lose during combat.

This is, ironically, one reason why Tournaments cost less and less to fight the more advanced your city gets. Tournaments use fixed squad sizes (well, fixed to a degree; they do increase slowly based on your own position in the Technology Tree), and the fixed size is usually far smaller than your actual squad size. (This is why you have so many more squads when fighting in Tournaments than regular Provincial battles.) Thus, you lose far fewer units overall than if you were fighting equivalent Province battles.


To build units at all you need a Barracks. The in-game tutorial/advisor system will guide you to build the Barracks at an appropriate time. You can also train units at the Training Grounds and Mercenary Camp once you unlock the necessary technologies to build them, but all three buildings share the same training queue.

You have to unlock the unit types through technologies. In particular, note that you begin the game with some Paladins / Treants in stock, but will not be able to train replacements until quite a bit later on. So be careful when using them in early game.

There are no standard buildings that improve your combat prowess; some Ancient Wonders and event buildings do so, but these are generally outside of the scope of this beginner's guide.


Your Barracks has a number of training slots. These slots are for your convenience only: they allow you to queue up units to be trained in order. When one slot is finished, the next one will automatically start training with no intervention from you. Unlike with Supplies and Goods, you do not need to collect the units from the previous slot before the next slot will train. Thus, you can queue up a bunch of slots and then go to bed and come back in the morning and collect all of your newly minted warriors.

Upgrading your Barracks sometimes increases the number of slots you have. Upgrading it will also increase the speed at which units are trained. Upgrading your Barracks has no effect on the combat proficiency of your troops, though.

Keep in mind you have to upgrade the Training Grounds and Mercenary Camp separately.  Although upgrading the Barracks alone is enough to give you more training slots, upgrading the others will increase the speed at which their respective units train.  To give an example, in one city I had upgraded my Barracks as much as my chapter allowed but still had a Level 1 Training Grounds.  Training a full squad of one of the units in the Training Grounds required 14 hours, whereas training a Barracks squad required just 1 hour.  This is the difference between upgrading vs not upgrading your training buildings.


Armories increase the size of each training slot. With only a Barracks and no Armories, your training size is 6. This is the same size as your squad when you first start out, so in the beginning, every time you train a slot, you will be training a full squad. This does not remain the case as the game progresses, however; your squad size increases exponentially while your training size increases linearly. What this means is very soon each slot in your Barracks will only be training a small portion of a squad (more or less depending on how many Armories you have). Thus, if you go into battle and lose 3 squads, it may take you days to train them all back again. This means training speeds drop off dramatically the further you advance in the game (unless you build lots of Armories). It is recommended to be training units whenever you can spare the Supplies, even if you aren't presently fighting battles; thus you can be storing them up for when you want to use them.

How many Armories you should build depends on your play style. You will likely want to always have at least one, but you can build more if you wish to train units faster. It's totally up to what works for you. Having fewer Armories will not make your units less powerful; it will just make it take longer to train more units.


There are two technologies that directly affect combat:

  • Squad Size Upgrade: These technologies will increase your squad size, which increases how many units are in a squad. This will be elaborated upon below. Note that when you research one of these upgrades, your Barracks will start showing that you have fewer squads than what you had previously. This is because more individual units are now fitting into a single squad--in other words, the squad requires more units to be full. So don't worry, you haven't lost units.
  • Advanced Scouts: This technology caps off the end of every chapter; you have to research it to progress to the next chapter. This technology is also explained in more detail below.

Here is an important tip for beginners: Never scout more Provinces than what you need to open the chest at the end of your current chapter! (The Technology Tree window will show you the number of required Provinces.) Unlocking the "Advanced Scouts" at the end of the chapter only cuts the difficulty for Provinces that you scout after unlocking the technology. If you scouted them in advance, you are shooting yourself in the foot as you are going to have to slog through unnecessarily difficult battles.

Another tip: scout Provinces in order of difficulty. In other words, first scout the ones that say "Very Easy" or "Easy" on them. Do all of those before you move on to "Medium" ones, and avoid "Hard" and "Very Hard" (you are not intended to clear those Provinces). The higher-difficulty Provinces will become lower in difficulty as you unlock "Squad Size Upgrade" and "Advanced Scouts" technologies, so leave them be until they drop in their difficulty rating.

Unit Types

There are five unit types: Light Melee, Light Ranged, Heavy Melee, Mage, Heavy Ranged. Every unit, both yours and those of the enemy, falls into one of these categories. Each unit type is said to be "specialized" against two other types, and no two types share the same pair of specialization s. If you draw the types on a pentagon and draw arrows representing specialization s, you will see the pattern. (Note that units are specialized toward particular unit types, not toward particular units.)

Every unit type is always "about even" (that is, "neutral") toward its own type--this means a unit has no advantages and no disadvantages against its own type.

Unit Selection

When you are selecting units to enter battle, the interface displays some important information.

First, when you hover your mouse over one of your units, you will see icons overlaid on the unit portraits of the enemy units that your unit is either specialized against -OR- is neutral to. This latter part is a danger that you need to be aware of. A unit that is merely "about even" with the enemy is not specialized in any way against that enemy, so don't be misled by a whole bunch of icons showing up on neutral enemies. Where possible, you ideally want to use units that are specialized, not merely "about even" with the foe. (Though neutral units are still useful in situations where the enemy has a mixture of lots of different unit types and your unit is specialized against some and neutral against the rest.)

In order to see the exact nature of a particular unit against other units, click on the blue "i" on his portrait (you can do this with enemy units as well) and the game will list the two unit types that the unit is specialized against. There will be a row of stars beside these specialization s. These stars are basically ratings, but I find they are not really all that accurate. Instead of merely going by the number of stars, point at one of these rows of stars and the game will specifically tell you exactly what benefits the unit gets against that foe. Notice that some benefits are offensive in nature (listed as "+XX%" damage) and some are defensive (listed as "-XX%" damage). You can use this information to guide your strategy: such as to try to get units with a -80% defensive boost to soak up all of the hits from the enemy, and so on.

Note: Underneath the unit portraits are one to three tiny little stars. These are not specialization ratings. They are the unit's level. Every unit has one to three levels. You yourself gain these levels by researching them in the Technology Tree (these level increases apply retroactively to your existing units). Higher level units will have some improvements over lower level units, such as higher health; in addition, level 3 units typically gain some sort of special feature such as a debuff that is applied when they attack.

Note: Enemy squad size is influenced by how many enemies there are in that particular battle. If there are very few enemies, their squad sizes will be bigger; when there are many enemies, their squad sizes will be smaller. Thus, if you go into a battle where there are only one or two enemy units, their squad sizes will be much larger than a battle in that same Province with five or six enemies. This is something to note when trying to compare your squad size to that of the enemy. The idea is the overall difficulty for each battle in a particular Province remains the same regardless of how many enemies there are. With fewer enemies, the enemies will get fewer turns in comparison to you, so each enemy is stronger to compensate for this. When the enemies outnumber you, they get more turns than you do, but individually they are weaker.

Unit Tips

Axe Barbarian / Sword Dancer

They have a fairly long movement range, moderate attack damage, and moderate health. Their initiative is also pretty high. The main problem with Light Melee is they are not overly durable so you will tend to have pretty high losses when using them, even against units they are specialized against. Also, ironically, although they are meant to be used against Light Ranged and Mages, both of these unit types are ranged, which means the Light Melee has to chase them down. Their movement range usually makes this fairly easy to do; however, battle field obstacles, as well as other combatants, can often get in the way. Another irony is that their "Strike Back" capability is typically useless against their favored enemies unless the AI commits suicide.


These are Light Melee units that have a longer movement range and are more specialized against Mages than they are Light Ranged. They're okay against Light Ranged, but generally you want to use them against Mages.

Crossbowman / Archer

Their attack range is 4. Heavy Melee movement range is 2. This means Light Ranged can attack outside of the range of Heavy Melee. If the Heavy Melee enemy has an attack range of 1 (which most of them do), the Heavy Melee will not be able to damage your archer. Every turn, just keep moving your Light Ranged back so that they remain outside of the range of the Heavy Melee.

Light Ranged are specialized against Heavy Melee and Mages. Target Mages first where possible; most of the time, an archer at full health can kill an equal-squad Mage in a single shot, so you're best off if you can hit them before they hit you. You might have to bait the Mages out of hiding, however, if they are hanging back behind other units. Note that the movement range plus attack range of a Crossbowman / Archer is such that he can strike the enemy directly across from him on his very first turn in battle if there are no terrain obstacles in the way (and assuming the enemy doesn't get to move first, which rarely happens). On many maps this can be utilized to take out Mages before they can even get out of the starting gate.

Light Ranged tend to have the highest initiative of any unit. This means they get to shoot first, but it also means they get targeted first. They have almost no defense so you need to keep them out of harm's way.

When one of your archers' turns comes up, always point at all of the enemies and check their movement ranges before moving your archer. Careful placement of your Light Ranged is key.

Paladin / Treant

This is fairly unique to Heavy Melee, but don't be afraid to use these guys even against units that they are not specialized against, if you are facing a mixture of enemy unit types. Heavy Melee have extremely high health and deal good damage even against non-ideal targets, so they are far better at dealing with being at a disadvantage than most of the other unit types. For example, if you are facing a mixture of Light Melee, Heavy Ranged, and Light Ranged, go ahead and load up on Paladins / Treants even though the archers are specialized against them. Just focus on and kill the Light Ranged first. The same applies to battles that have Mages in them.

Heavy Melee units also have very low initiative so they tend to be targeted last, which also (ironically) aids their survivability if you are using them alongside other unit types. For example, if you are using a mixture of Light Ranged and Heavy Melee in a fight that happens to include some Mages, the Mages will tend to shoot your archers first (which, for Humans, have a defense bonus against Mages), sparing your Heavy Melee (which are weak against Mages). This might not always be a good thing since most other unit types have lower health and defenses than the Heavy Melee, but it does come into play.

You wouldn't want to use Heavy Melee in a fight that is nothing but archers and mages, but when you are looking for a support unit to deal with a diverse enemy group, Heavy Melee is often the best choice.


Paladins have an attack range of 2. This might not sound like much, but it gives them a huge advantage in many ways. Here are some tips on how to make use of it:
  • Attack Light Melee and Heavy Melee targets from two tiles away (meaning there is a gap of one tile between your Paladin and the target). This way the enemy units cannot retaliate unless they happen to also have an attack range of 2 (which few units do).
  • Paladins can retaliate from two tiles away as well, which allows them to strike back against all Heavy Melee and even ranged opponents who get too close.
  • Paladins can poke enemies over top of terrain obstacles (those little rocks and shrubs that block tiles). Stand on the opposite side of such obstructions and hit enemies from there.
  • In narrow confines, you can line up your Paladins such that the first one is directly next to the target and the second is right behind him, allowing the second to hit the target over top the first.
  • When chasing down long-ranged units like Heavy Ranged, the movement range of the Paladin is effectively 4 because he can move 2 and then attack 2 tiles past that. This allows the Paladin to catch up to enemies more quickly than a Treant.
  • Barring any obstacles or interfering units, archers cannot stay out of the reach of a Paladin no matter where they shoot from. If they're hitting your Paladin, your Paladin can hit them. Compare with a Treant, where archers that choose their placement wisely can stay out of their reach effectively forever. (Though luckily for Elven players, the computer AI is not good at actually doing this.)


Their attack range is 5. This allows them to shoot not only outside of the range of Heavy Melee, but also outside retaliation range of certain Heavy Ranged units (the Golem types) and even Light Ranged (though you shouldn't be taking Priests up against Light Ranged if you can help it). Many of the tips for archers apply to these guys. Strive to never put them within striking range of the enemy.

The Priest's attacks apply a defense debuff on the enemy. This means stacking all of your damage onto a single enemy is most efficient; however, this might not be practical depending on the layout of the battle field (as trying to all gang up on a single target might put your Priests into harm's way).


Their very short attack range means their positioning is not as important. Instead, focus on spreading out their attack debuff onto as many enemies as possible. This will help lessen your losses. Do be careful when attacking Heavy Melee that have an attack range of 2. The Sorceress can attack one tile outside of retaliation range, but if you're not careful when moving her, she'll often get too close and needlessly take damage.


These guys have relatively high health and hit pretty hard. They are very much like a ranged Heavy Melee, though not nearly as durable. Still, you can often use Golems as a support unit when facing a diverse mix of enemy unit types. (Most other unit types make poor support units since they tend to get slaughtered before they can contribute much to the battle.)

If you are using Golems in a fight that happens to have some Heavy Melee enemies (this often happens in Elixir and Planks Provinces), try to keep the Golems out of the range of the Heavy Melee until you take out interfering units. Then, when you have the opportunity, have all of your Golems gang up on the Heavy Melee in a single round; this will hopefully enable them to remove the Heavy Melee enemy without taking a hit from it.


These guys make good support units, but they are fairly poor if used exclusively on their own, even against units they are specialized against. This is because their damage output is not that great; this combined with their whopping 1 movement range and lackluster defense means they are easy for the enemy to pin down. For best results, add in at least one unit of another type (typically Heavy Melee) to act as a guard for your Mortars.


Display Bug

Note: Due to a bug in the game, sometimes when combat begins, one or more graphical features fail to load. This can cause certain units to be invisible or the entire hex grid to be invisible.
  • If units are invisible, you can tell where they are based on the squad number at the unit's feet. You can tell which unit they are by looking at the turn order at the bottom of the screen.
  • On the other hand, if the hex grid fails to load, it is extremely difficult to fight strategically. In this case, you may be better off either: turning the battle onto auto-battle; surrendering and trying again; or closing your browser window and reloading. In the latter case, when the game reloads, you will receive a notification that you have units in battle; choose the option to continue fighting and you will reload back into the battle. Just hope that the next time you load into the battle, the hex grid actually appears!
  • Very rarely, terrain obstacles (fallen trees, rocks, etc.) are invisible. You can tell when this is the case when the entire battle field looks clear and open yet your units cannot walk through a hex that appears completely empty. You may wish to restart the battle in this case also, or just "feel your way" around the obstacles by observing how they alter your units' movement ranges.

Combat Execution

When your unit's turn comes up, the unit is shown at the far left in the turn order at the bottom of the screen. Also, the movement range of the unit is displayed in the hex grid. As you point your mouse at enemies, the game will show the specialization stars for enemies that unit is specialized against. (E.g. if the unit has a three-star specialization, you will see three stars just like during the pre-battle setup screen.) If your cursor turns into a sword or bow icon on the enemy, the unit can attack that enemy. If such an icon does not show up, your unit is not close enough to attack that enemy.

Also, when you point your mouse at various other units (enemies and your own units), you will be shown the movement range of whatever unit you are pointing the mouse cursor at. This is crucial! (Which is why it's so critical that the hex grid actually draw and not be invisible.) Enemy movement ranges are displayed in red outlines. Use the enemy movement ranges to carefully position your own units. For example, Light Ranged can attack Heavy Melee outside of their movement range. Point at the Heavy Melee, then find a tile that is two tiles away from the red movement range--that's a safe place to fire from. (Though any Heavy Melee that has an attack range of 2 like the Paladin will be able to hit your archer; there's nothing you can do about that.)

You can do two things on your turn: move and attack. Attacking ends your unit's turn, so if you are going to move, you have to do it first. To move, just click on the desired destination tile (which has to be within the unit's movement range, of course). To attack, click on the desired enemy target (which also has to be within the unit's range, of course). If you click on your unit itself, the unit will pass his turn doing nothing, so be careful about this as it's very easy to do on accident! You can also have the unit pass his turn by clicking on the icon on the top of the unit's portrait at the bottom of the screen. You can have the unit move first, then pass the rest of his turn, if you wish. Note that you cannot take back a move once you've made it, even if the unit's turn hasn't ended yet.

Note: If you move a unit its maximum movement distance and there are no enemies within range to attack, the unit's turn automatically ends. On the other hand, if you've moved a unit its maximum movement distance and its turn hasn't ended, this is because there is an enemy somewhere that it can hit. Point at the various enemies to find which one(s) this is. It's not necessary to attack if you don't want to, even if there is an enemy within range; just have the unit pass his turn after moving if you don't wish for him to attack.

When attacking, be very, very conscious of the fact that: when you click on an enemy target, if your unit is not presently within range of his target but he can move within range, the game will pick some tile that is within range and move the unit there. (Before you click, it highlights the tiles that it is proposing your unit move to.) The game's pathfinding is pretty bizarre; it appears to pick whatever tile causes the unit to travel the farthest possible distance. Even if the unit only has to move one tile to get within range, the game will often have him move his full maximum movement distance off to the side somewhere. It's crazy. I would highly recommend not relying on this auto-movement. Manually move the unit to the desired tile first, then click the enemy to attack. (As long as the unit is within range of his weapon, he will not move before attacking.)

As you play the game, you will get used to the ranges of your units and you will get good at being able to move the unit to where it can attack. Before then, just move the unit one tile at a time until he is close enough to attack. (You can tell if he is close enough if you point at the target and the game doesn't highlight any tiles for your unit to move to.) You can also click the blue "i" icon on the unit's portrait to bring up that unit's detailed information and look at its attack range there, then count hexes. I highly recommend practicing with Light Ranged units and get good at positioning them outside of the movement range of Heavy Melee; but the same concept applies to all units.

Note: Units have to take their turns in the order presented (which is based on their initiative stats). You cannot have a unit "save" his turn for later. The most you can do is have a unit pass his turn, in which case he has to wait for his next turn in the next round.

Unit Positions

Unit facing doesn't matter in this game. Attacking an enemy from the rear will not do any additional damage. Units always turn to face whomever is going to attack them at the moment that they get attacked, but this is cosmetic only.

All units block movement through their occupied hex to all other units. This includes both friendlies and enemies. Your own units will block your units' movements. This is critical to keep in mind to avoid blocking your own advance.

However, there is no flanking this game. Although a unit blocks his own hex, he doesn't influence any hexes around himself. An enemy unit can waltz right past him without hindrance. If you want to, say, use melee units to protect your ranged units in the back, you'll need to line up multiple melee units or use the terrain to your advantage.


Some units can retaliate when attacked. (The game shows this on the unit's "i" information card as "Strike Back.")

Most of the time, a unit gets only one retaliation per round (the rounds are demarcated at the bottom of the screen). Thus, you can reduce overall retaliations by ganging up on a single enemy within a single round. Later in the game, some units will gain the special ability to retaliate multiple times in a round. You can also see this on the unit's information card.

Furthermore, a unit can only retaliate if its attacker is within its own attack range, so if you strike from outside of the attack range of the enemy, it can't retaliate against you. Remember that attack range is not the same as movement range; the game shows you the enemy's movement range in the hex grid, but not its attack range. You can check the attack range on the--you guessed it--information card of the unit in question.

Enemy AI

As in any game, the computer AI has some predictability that can be exploited.
  • Enemies tend to target the unit with the highest initiative (of those that are within reach). This generally means your Light Ranged will get picked on first.
  • At higher levels, AI units do appear to make more of an attempt to target units they are specialized against. (They don't seem to do this so much at lower levels.)
  • But overall the AI will go for whichever unit is presently within range. So you can bait the computer by deliberately putting your strongest unit within range of an enemy so that the enemy has no choice but to hit that unit.
  • Note though that the AI can sometimes be pretty clever. Say the enemy is a Light Melee that's just itching to attack that Light Ranged that's just out of its reach, and you stick a Heavy Melee in its way; in this sort of situation the AI will often walk all the way around your Heavy Melee before attacking in order to get into position to attack the Light Ranged on its next turn. This is something to watch out for. (And something to try doing yourself.)

Posted by: Kianne Cassidy
« on: August 30, 2018, 12:39:07 PM »


"Quests" are given by the face portraits shown on the left side of your screen. Click on one to see what he wants you to do. Side quests can be declined. Main story quests cannot unless you have already proceeded past the chapter in which they were given.

Quests grant you rewards for performing certain actions. The main story quests also serve as the game's tutorial because the advisors will direct you to do things which help you to learn how to build up your city. Main quests follow a preset order. Side quests are somewhat random and tend to cycle. You will see these repeat from time to time.

When you begin your day, one trick is to collect only the resources needed to complete whatever quest is currently on the board. This is because after you complete that quest, you will receive a different quest, and it could be that the new quest will ask for something you already have waiting to be collected.

Declining side quests (the second quest giver) may be beneficial in rare circumstances if the quest giver is asking for something that you know you will be unable to fulfill for a very long time. (Just keep in mind some side quests are in chains, and if you decline one, you might break the chain and miss out on the rest.) It is generally not recommended to decline main quests unless you absolutely have to. Also, try to fulfill quests rather than decline them where possible, because the rewards you gain do add up. (Of course, if whatever the quest giver is asking you to do will cost more than his reward, it might be worth declining.)

Quest Types

Some notes on some of the types of quests:
  • Create Item: This is a request to build something at your Workshops or Manufactories. The named object will be one of the time-based productions. For example, a request for "Bread" is fulfilled at your Workshop (the 1h production) and a request for "Warrior Mask" is fulfilled at a Steel Manufactory (the 9h production). Note that you have to actually build the named object; simply obtaining the equivalent amount of Supplies or Goods is not the same. This is one reason it is a good idea to always have at least one Manufactory of each type: so that you can fulfill these quests when they come up. The quest completes when you collect the Good from the building that produced it.
  • Obtain Coins/Supplies/Goods: When the quest giver just says to obtain Coins or Supplies or a particular Good, any mechanism for adding the named item to your total will work. Some exploits include: starting a building construction/upgrade and then canceling it to get back the Supplies that were spent; offering a trade and then canceling the offer, which gives you back the Goods you were offering; selling a building to get back some of the resources that went into it.
  • Train Units: This one completes when you collect the troops from the Barracks or other training building.
  • Solve Encounter: Unless the quest giver specifies otherwise, you can either fight or negotiate. However, notice that Tournament Encounters do not count. You have to clear regular Province battles for this one.
  • Clear Province: This means to solve all Encounters within a Province. Again, Tournament Provinces do not (usually*) count, which is particularly troublesome when you are over-scouted for your chapter and can't clear any further Provinces. (*One time I had one of these quests surprise me and complete after finishing a Tournament Province, but usually they don't count.)
  • Have a Building/Technology: If you already have the named building or have researched the named technology this quest will complete automatically.
  • Build/Upgrade a Building: You have to complete the construction for this one to count. Already having a building of the correct type/level does not clear the quest.
  • Place Trade Offer: This one is easy to do because even if you don't want to make a trade, you can put up a tiny trade or even put up a trade and then cancel it after the quest is complete.
  • Accept Trade: Ironically, using the Wholesaler actually counts for this.
  • Spend Knowledge Points: You can complete this quest by spending the points either in your Technology Tree or in any Ancient Wonder. Using an "Ancient Knowledge" instant also counts.
  • Buy Knowledge Points: Click the "+" button beside your knowledge point bar to purchase knowledge points. Note that I personally do not recommend purchasing knowledge points unless you are fulfilling one of these quests, because unlike the Wholesaler, the price increase for each purchase is permanent.
  • Gain Culture: Sometimes the quest says to build a culture building. But if the quest just specifies to gain culture, it also counts if you sell a building that was using culture, thereby granting you back the culture that had been used. Note that gaining culture via Neighborly Help does not count.
  • Gain Population: Gaining population and then losing it again doesn't hurt your progress in this quest. So it's a little silly, but if you are desperate for this one, you can build level 1 Residences and sell them over and over until the quest is complete.
  • Fix Missing Street Connection: This one is a tutorial quest that is given to you if you have some buildings with the red "no action" icon over them. To clear this quest you have to reconnect all of your buildings that are missing a connection; simply connecting one does not help if you have more than one such building. (Amusingly, selling the offending buildings also counts.)
This list doesn't cover every possible quest, but just those that I had some remarks on.

It should be noted that some quests offer an "either/or" option; in this case, you have to do all of one or all of the other. You can't do a little bit of both. The quest counter showing your progress will show the option you are closest to completion on.


Events occur seasonally (and just whenever the developers feel like putting one on); you can identify them by their special button in the upper left of your interface, the special quest givers, the custom load screen, and the decoration graphics that get added to the backdrop of your city (typically around the outer edges).

Events produce a pair of special quests for the duration of the event (although sometimes one of those two quests is simply "complete all of the quests in the series"). You will typically receive a notification dialog the first time you log in after the event begins; the event-specific quests can only be completed while that event is active. Note that these special quests are in addition to your regular quests; thus you will have four quest givers during an event rather than two.

Many events involve collecting some sort of special item unique to that event (feathers, snowflakes, tickets, etc.), and spending those items like currency to open chests with random rewards and to work your way toward grand prizes. Events provide a number of special buildings that generally cannot be obtained in any other way--which includes set buildings that gain additional benefits if you place multiple buildings in the set side-by-side.  (They have to be touching each other--in fact, each building only gets set bonuses for the other set buildings that it individually is touching.  So you can't just chain them in a row and get all of the bonuses.)

While an event is running, every time you log in, it's a good idea to check the quests first before collecting anything from any of your buildings. Sometimes daily quests will ask for something you've already built and you can complete them by simply collecting the awaiting resources.

Actually getting all the way to the end of a special event typically requires looking up a list of quests online somewhere so that you can prepare in advance for them. It can be helpful during events to build extra level 1 Workshops and Manufactories to more quickly produce the items that the quests require. (There's no need to upgrade the temporary buildings because it doesn't matter for most of the quests how many Supplies/Goods you get for the items; all that counts is that you make the items. Keep in mind that level 1 buildings require no culture.) You can sell the temporary buildings once the event is over.


Note: Tournaments are only available if you are in a Fellowship. If you do not wish to actually join a Fellowship, you can create one of your own just to participate in Tournaments.

Tournaments occur on a weekly rotating schedule, and each Tournament always takes place within a particular Province type. You will find Tournaments on the world map placed on cleared Provinces of the Tournament's type. Tournaments proceed in levels of difficulty (with level 1 being the easiest); you have to clear all four fights in a level 1 Tournament Province before you can move on to level 2, and so on. However, you can re-fight a particular level once per day, and the rewards for each level change depending on how many times it has been cleared.

Tournaments provide prizes for reaching certain score counts, but for beginning players, these rewards are not really the goal. Instead, Tournaments are an excellent opportunity to practice fighting battles. This is because squad sizes in Tournaments are very small and thus your overall losses will be numerically much lower. It's nowhere near as expensive to lose a Tournament battle as it is to lose a regular Provincial battle.

So rather than catering, use Tournaments to try out the combat system!

Fellowship Adventures

Note: As you can tell by their name, Fellowship Adventures are only available if you are in a Fellowship.

Fellowship Adventures are to this game what the "raid" is to MMORPGs: they require a lot of input from all of the players in the Fellowship working together. The basic idea is you complete the special quests to gather tokens of specific types, then use those tokens to open gates on the special Fellowship Adventure map. This requires coordination so that everyone knows who is making what tokens and which path on the map the Fellowship is going to take.

For a small casual guild, Fellowship Adventures do not have much to offer. There are no rewards for making it only part way through the map, and reaching the end requires a very large investment from pretty much everyone in the Fellowship. As such, unless everyone in the Fellowship is on board, it's generally not particularly worthwhile to spend any time gathering the tokens from the special quests.
Posted by: Kianne Cassidy
« on: August 30, 2018, 12:38:29 PM »


When you go to the world map, you can see the cities of other nearby players. Note that the game can and will move people, so your neighbors may not stay consistent. You can, if you wish, turn off movement of your own city in the options, but this won't prevent other players' cities from shifting around you.

You can view the city of any player you wish, but you can only assist those you have "discovered" or players who are in your Fellowship (guild). To "discover" a player, you need to have scouted a Province that is adjacent to that player's city. (The city will show up in color if it is discovered.)

Keep in mind that other players with more advanced cities (who have cleared more Provinces on the world map) might be able to view you as "discovered" when you see them as undiscovered. This explains why players, for example, can give you aid in situations where you can't return the favor.

Neighborly Help

Once per day (every 24 hours), when you visit a player that is either "discovered" or a member of your Fellowship, you can assist that player (and gain a reward for yourself). To do this, click the shaking hands icon at the toolbar on the bottom of the screen, and then click on a building in the player's town that has the same icon hovering over it. If you point your mouse cursor at such a building without clicking, the game will tell you what kind of benefit you will grant the player.

There are three categories of things that you can click on.

  • Main Hall: This allows the player to collect Coins from his Main Hall. The Coins remain until the player collects them. Multiple players can assist the Main Hall. You can't donate to the Main Hall if it is presently being upgraded.
  • Builder's Hut: This gives the player a "boost" which shortens the time required for the next construction or upgrade he performs. By default the Builder's Hut can store two boosts; you can no longer click on the hut when it already has its maximum boosts. (It is possible to upgrade the number of boosts by spending Diamonds.) The boost is spent the next time the player builds or upgrades a structure. The boost is consumed even if the player cancels the construction before it finishes (which is why the game asks if you're sure in that situation).
  • Culture: Doubles the culture that the building provides for 8 hours. You can only click on buildings that are 2x2 or larger. (This is one of the benefits of constructing the larger culture buildings over the tiny ones.) You can't boost buildings that already have a boost applied. Keep in mind that the boost to culture only affects Coins and Supplies that the player collects while the boost is active. If the player doesn't log on during the 8 hour duration of the boost, the boost is entirely wasted.
You yourself always get the same reward for neighborly help regardless of which building you click on. The amount of Coins you get depends on the level of your Main Hall. Also, sometimes (randomly) a treasure chest will spawn somewhere in the outskirts of the neighbor's city (around the edges of the city view map--there's one potential spawn spot cunningly placed at the top beneath your title bar, which is one to watch out for). The first time this happens, the game will scroll the screen to show you the chest, but subsequent chests you have to hunt down yourself. (This is rather frustrating during wintertime since the chest blends in to the snow.) Click on the chest for the random reward; chests can contain relics, enchantments, or knowledge points. Note that as of this writing, chests are only available on the browser client. You can only collect 3 chests per day regardless of how many neighbors you assist.  (Also note that even though the chest appears to be coming from the owner of the city that you are in, the reward is not coming out of his inventory or anything.  The contents of the chest are generated out of thin air by the game.)

How to Choose?

Some players put a note in their city name regarding which type of assist they prefer. Always check the city name first. Some players abbreviate: C = Culture, B = Builder's Hut (or sometimes BH), MH = Main Hall (or sometimes just M or H). Many times the players specify their preferences in order. Example: "B/C/MH" would mean Builder's Hut first, then a culture building if you can't click on the Builder's Hut, and finally Main Hall if nothing else is available.

If the player doesn't specify his preference, it's up to you. Here are some notes to keep in mind:
  • For players that log in infrequently, culture boosts often wear off before they can get any use out of them. Builder's Hut and Main Hall boosts in this case might be more beneficial since those stick around until the player consumes them.
  • Most players are absolutely swimming in Coins, and thus view Main Hall boosts as the least valuable of the three.
  • When going for culture, try if you can to click on the highest-culture building. This is hard to do though if you aren't familiar with the buildings. A rule of thumb is the bigger the building, the better the culture, but there are a lot of exceptions to this. Also, look for white sparkles on the culture buildings. These are buildings that the player has enchanted. (When you point to such a building, the tooltip will say that the enchantment is in effect.) Clicking on one of these buildings will grant a better benefit than one without the sparkles, so always aim for the sparkles when you can.

Neighborly Aid

If you help someone who has helped you within the past 8 hours, you will get Supplies in addition to Coins when you assist them. This is signified by the golden hands icon in your notifications window.


Trading requires a building which your advisor will instruct you to build at the right time. Once you have the Trader building, you can click it to open the trading interface.

You can use the Trader to either trade Goods for other Goods with other players, or to straight-up buy Goods with Coins, Supplies, or other Goods. Use the "Wholesaler" tab for the latter. Note that buying Goods is deliberately expensive. However, this is a handy way to get rid of your spare Coins when you reach your capacity. Every time you buy from the Wholesaler, the price increases for that particular offer. However, all Wholesaler prices reset after 24 hours (there is a timer at the top of the interface showing you the reset time).

You can trade with players you haven't discovered yet, but the Trader extracts an additional cost which is in addition to the Goods that the other player receives. For example, the player might receive 100 Goods but you have to pay 150; the extra 50 is the Trader fee. It's thus cheaper to trade with players you have discovered (or with Fellowship members) because in those cases there is no fee.

The game rates trades according to the base Supply cost of the Goods involved. Tier 1 Goods cost less than tier 2 Goods and so on. A 2-star trade is considered a "fair" trade, meaning the costs of the Goods are considered equal. A 1-star trade often occurs when there is a Trader fee involved, because the game rates the trade's cost after the fee is applied, not before. This is why you often see undiscovered players offering 1-star trades: it's not that they are trying to rip you off, it's that the Trader fee is unbalancing the rating. 3-star trades occur when the player is being overly generous, often because he has an urgent need for whatever Good he is trading for.
Posted by: Kianne Cassidy
« on: August 30, 2018, 12:35:39 PM »

Elvenar Guide


Elvenar is a browser-based city-building game. The browser application is presently coded in Flash; there are also some mobile apps available, but the mobile versions are developed separately and lack some of the features of the browser version.  (Update: There is also now an HTML5 option for browsers.)

The game is designed to be played in small sessions over a long period of time. In other words, the idea is to log in, collect resources, perhaps start one or two construction projects, maybe fight a couple of battles, and then log out and come back in a few hours or the next day or whenever is convenient. As such, it is not a game for the impatient; do not expect things to progress quickly.

The game is nominally multiplayer, but there is no direct contact between players. You do not compete with players or fight against them. You can view other players' cities on the world map, but their presence does not hinder your own personal progress through the game. There is no PvP; other players cannot harm you in any way. (All combat is against the computer.)

The game is free to play. You can, if you wish, spend real-world money to purchase in-game "Diamonds" which is a special currency that you can spend on various things in the game. (Not to be confused with "Gems" which are an in-game Good.) Keep in mind that Diamonds are never required to advance in the game. The things you can buy with Diamonds are mostly things which allow you to advance more quickly through the game or grant you cosmetic buildings.

Note: If you haven't played yet and are thinking of joining, keep in mind your account name will also be your player name, so pick something you want others to see.

Be sure to check the official wiki for the game's basic manual:
The official forums are also a useful resource:

Keep in mind that what follows here is a beginner's guide and as such only covers the first few chapters. Many features which are only available later in the game (such as guest races) will not be discussed here.

Note: The information on this guide exclusively deals with the browser version, as I have not tried any of the mobile apps. The mobile versions differ significantly in their capabilities and UI, and thus won't match descriptions given here.

Humans vs Elves

The first decision you have to make is whether to play as Humans or Elves. (Hint: You can play multiple cities with a single account by playing on different worlds, so try both races!) For the most part the two are pretty equivalent, so you really can't go wrong with either that you pick.

There are three main differences between the races:

  • Cosmetic: The buildings look different and your advisors are different. These are cosmetic only and do not affect game play. The Elves tend to have more "nature" style buildings (trees and stumps and whatnot) whereas the Humans have more brick-and-mortar.

  • Building Shapes: Although in functionality the buildings are basically equivalent, there are some differences in the sizes and orientations of the various structures. These differences do not really affect game play (except in very minor ways) but they do affect the layout of your city.

  • Military Units: Humans and Elves share the unit rosters of the Training Grounds and Mercenary Camp, but their Barracks units are different. This is perhaps the most significant difference between the two races. As such, I have an analysis of the differences between the units below.

Military Units

Interestingly, the Human units are mostly focused on defense, whereas the Elven units are focused on offense. The practical result is the Elves suffer a lot more losses during combat, leading them to have to spend time and Supplies replacing all of those lost units. Whereas a Human player can often get through combat without a single loss, the Elves are not usually so lucky.

  • Light Melee: Axe Barbarian (Humans) / Sword Dancer (Elves)
    Functionally, these units are almost identical. I prefer the appearance of the Sword Dancer but they work basically the same in combat.
  • Light Ranged: Crossbowman (Humans) / Archer (Elves)
    Again, these units are very similar. I personally like the Archers because I like bows better than crossbows, but in a practical sense, there's not a lot of difference between them. Keeping with the traits of the two races, Crossbowmen have slightly higher health and better defense, whereas Archers deal slightly more damage, but these distinctions are not hugely significant.
  • Heavy Melee: Paladin (Humans) / Treant (Elves)
    Here is where we start to get into the differences. Paladin wins, hands down. The Paladin has an attack range of 2, which makes a huge difference. They can get into range to attack more easily. They can attack melee units outside of retaliation range. They can hit things over obstacles--and over each other. Treants do appear to be a bit more durable than Paladins, but they still will suffer damage in many places where the Paladins do not.
  • Mage: Priest (Humans) / Sorceress (Elves)
    Here is the curious exception to the defense/offense rule mentioned above: the Priest lowers the defense of enemies, making them suffer more damage, whereas the Sorceress lowers the enemy attack power, making them deal less damage. As such, the Sorceress's ability is defense-oriented, whereas the Priest's is offensive in nature. The Sorceress's ability is far more useful in practice; you can protect your units by scattering this debuff across multiple enemies at once. Having said that, the Priest still comes out on top when comparing the two units overall because he can hit at a distance. The Sorceress has to put herself within attack range of the enemy in order to deal damage--which means she's going to be taking damage as well. Note that the Sorceress has a -60% defense boost against Heavy Melee and the Priest does not. Taken in isolation, this would be a big deal. However, the reason for this bonus is because the Sorceress has to get within range in order to deal any damage. If she didn't have this defensive boost, she would get absolutely massacred by the very Heavy Melee she's supposed to be specialized against. Priests, by contrast, can dance around Heavy Melee and stay out of their attack range. So overall, although the Sorceress's defense bonus is helpful, in the end, the fact that the Priest can avoid damage altogether is far better than a mere defense boost. After all, not getting hit at all is always better than taking less-than-normal damage.
  • Heavy Ranged: Mortar (Humans) / Golem (Elves)
    Mortar units have a ridiculous attack range. They can just stand back at the far side of the battle field and pepper enemies almost anywhere. Golems are far more conventional units; they have a decent movement range and a medium attack range, but--naturally--have to expose themselves to attack in order to deal any damage. Having said that, Mortars deal less damage than Golems (all else being equal) and are not as durable; they are quite vulnerable if enemies get within striking range since they can barely move at all. So, ironically, even though Golems have to go out there and take the fight to the enemy, often they can knock down foes more efficiently than the same number of Mortars.

In the browser client there is a bug you should be aware of: the tooltips are slow to update. Very often when you point at something that produces a tooltip, you will get the tooltip from the previous thing you'd pointed at. For example, you might point at a Workshop and it says that it's producing Planks. Or the tooltip might just show " ? ? ? " rather than the production amount. In situations like this the tooltip is wrong. To get the correct tooltip to appear, you need to move the mouse off the desired object and then point at it again to "refresh" the tooltip's content. Usually the second time will be correct.