Beginners guide to building your army in Stormfall part 1

by Bob Cornelissen

I have written this story mainly for the benefit of Lords and Ladieswith Castles of level 10 up to level 55, approximately.

The story is purely about how to get your army stronger and some of the things you need to do to get there. This is not the whole story of all you can do in Stormfall, but something to get you started and actually growing in strength and level!

There are a few simple points to getting your army bigger and stronger:

  1. More troops
  2. Stronger troops
  3. Well-fed troops

And to be able to train:

  • Ability to train certain kinds of troops
  • Increasing the training speed of these troops
  • Having a lot of Resources to train a lot of new troops

Now I know these items sound logical enough, yet many people do not follow these basic points and thus their army is small and weak, and is hard to build. And yes, these players are able to reach levels of 10 to 55, but that doesn’t mean their army is very strong! Of course, in general, the higher the Castle level, the more likely it is that they are stronger than a lower level counterpart, but from experience we know looks can be deceiving!

An army consists of offensive troops, defensive troops and Spies. I will leave the spies alone for this story and dedicate a separate post for those later. Let’s just focus on Offense and Defense for now. (Just remember to sometimes build the occasional Spy and level it up in the same way as detailed below).

Infantry

Alright, let us begin. At almost any Castle, the first two troop types you will be able to build are Pikemen and Archers. It so happens that these are “well-rounded” troops as well. By this I mean that the defensive power of an Archer is low, but equally divided to be able to defend against all types of incoming attacks. The Pikeman has the most offensive points per 1000 resources spent of any of the offensive troops you can build. So for now, assume that these two Infantry Units will be your biggest assets and tools.

The way you work with these determine how you work with other troop types later. In fact, at a level 80 Castle today, my building queue for these Infantry Units never slows! I will discuss some other Unit types later in the story. So how can we maximize their numbers, strength, speed, building speed?

Lost Art Levels

Alright, I believe that as of Castle Level 8-12 you will be able to train these troops by learning the Lost Arts of Imperial Steel and Composite Bow. Open up the Lost Arts view and have a look at what it offers you. From the start, you will have a row for trading/Resources, a row for the Fortifications, a row for Units (Infantry and Cavalry) and a row for the Spies. After that, the troops row splits again, but we will ignore that for now as there is enough to do before getting to the Occult Units and Mountain Dwarves and such.

So the things to focus on up to a certain level are the trade/Resource row and the Units row (and the Spies will follow your progress if you follow the quest assignments to upgrade their Lost Art each time. Now check out the Level of your Imperial Steel (Pikeman) and Composite Bow (Archer) Lost Arts. A higher level (up to level 20) means those Units build more muscles. You want them with muscles!

Lost Arts

Make sure you level the Lost Arts for the Units you can build up to level 20 as soon as possible. I would even postpone learning new Unit-training Arts until you level up all the troops you can already build up to level 20 (Pikeman/Archer/Spy to start with). If you postpone learning new Arts (for new Units), the quests will keep asking you to upgrade your existing Arts and give you bonus troops for doing that (and Experience Points, too). Win-win for you. Ignore the other quests that you to learn other Lost Arts for a bit. If you level up your troops this means you have more striking power with the same amount of troops. More power per amount of Food you produce.

The time spent on building them is the same, so you can do more damage in the same time, for the same Resource cost, and the same Food consumption. Please understand this reasoning as it will help you a lot further down the line. So again, preferentially do the quests on the left-hand side of your screen asking you to upgrade existing Lost Arts for troops to higher levels. Also, while you are postponing learning other troop Lost Arts, you can still put a little bit more effort in getting the scrolls for the trading/Resources row of Lost Arts and learning those! You will end up with too many Scrolls for the troop-Arts, but you can try to trade them for the trading/Resource arts!

Speed and Obelisk

So after talking strength of the troops you can train right now, let’s talk about training speed. Open up your purple Obelisk of Power building. This is where you can make good use of your Skull Runes. Again, this can be discussed further at another time for details on what all the icons do, but let’s focus on training speeds for the troops we can already train. Assuming you have the Obelisk screen open now you will see a long line of items moving down. The colored items are the ones which are unlocked and which you can upgrade by adding Skull Runes and the grey ones are still locked.

Scroll down with me for about 6 icons and follow the line to the left. What I care about you seeing are two icons on the left hand side. One is for Archer training speed and the other one is for Pikeman training speed, right below it. My advice is to spend the amount of Skull Runes at each level prior to those to unlock the following icons until you reach these two. Add Skull Runes to both these training speeds for Archers and Pikemen.

As you will be training more and more of these troops it makes sense for them to be trained fast. I prefer the training speed over the travel speed (which you need to add Skull Runes to, to unlock these in the first place). It takes 42 Skull Runes to get to the Archer training speed icon. And 10 Skull Runes added to the Archer training speed to get to the Pikeman build speed. It is possible to level these two items up to level 40 if you want to.

Because applying Skull Runes to the Obelisk takes time, I would suggest to start doing this right now and to not forget to add them at every chance you have as long as you have Skull Runes left. Every Skull Rune placed in the training speed of Archers and Pikemen increases the building speed by 0.3%. This is not a lot and 30 Runes added will give you a 10% speed increase. However, if you reach the point where you have queues of hundreds or thousands of them waiting to be trained you will appreciate it.

 Obelisk of Power

Resources to Train

So what is left now are Resources. You need Resources for two reasons. To train troops you need Gold+Iron+Food, and next, after you train your troops, you need to feed them (higher level players do not worry about feeding troops anymore, but while you are building up at the first 50 Castle levels or so I suggest you do take heed of your Food situation).

As you will notice the Archers and Pikemen are also the cheapest Units to train. In all cases, the offensive troops take more Iron than Gold and the defensive troops take more Gold than Iron. And even less Food is required, in both cases. So look at your income stream (left top corner for production numbers of Gold+Iron+Food, when you hover with your mouse over the numbers currently in your Warehouses/Barns).

This income stream is the safest one you have. Other income comes from gifts (top of screen), fiefs from Sieges, raiding other Castles (do NOT attack Castles in other Leagues, unless you know what you are doing!), tribute items laying around your Castle walls and around the Castles of friends you can visit daily, trading in all forms, tribute from Settlements and Hamlets (be careful, this is usually for Level 50 and up and after learning what to do!), Resource pushes by League members and friends, Paragon level bonuses, and the Daily Quests you receive at the left side of the screen.

Your in-Castle income is coming from your Townhouses (Gold), Iron Mines (Iron), and Farms (Food) and is increased by the Lost Arts at the end of the trading/Resource row (Waters of Life, Bran’s Legacy, Light of Eldur) by up to 25% of the applicable Resource and by buying the Altar of Weor. The Altar of Weor can be bought for 1000 Sapphires and is probably the best buy for the Sapphires you get through playing the game (or otherwise) as an investment. It increases your Fold and Iron production by 25% after you increase its level a few times (increasing its level is for free; it just takes time). So there are ways to increase your Resource production by the default buildings (Farms, Townhouses, Mines) and by means of additional items as just discussed.

Upgrading Dungeons

These are the additional Resource buildings you get through learning the Lost Arts on the top row, and the Altar of Weor (on the left), obtained with Sapphires.

The game will ask you through its Quests to upgrade the Resource buildings to the next level. It will ask you to bring 4 Iron Mines to level X and next ask you to bring 4 Townhouses to level X and so on. What if you want to bring the level of one type of Resource building up faster than the game asks you and still take advantage of the bonus rewards the Quests offer you? Simple - by levelling up 3 of each building type. It asks you to upgrade FOUR buildings to a certain level to get the reward. So just upgrade three of them faster if you want to. The fourth and other buildings of the same kind you can leave behind until the game asks you to upgrade the fourth one by one step. Read on to see an example of this Resource trick.
Balancing the orders

Assume you have about equal Resource production rates for Gold and Iron. In that case, if you order only one type of troop, you will either run out of Iron or Gold faster than the other Resource. You can counter this by ordering a number of Archers and a number of Pikemen. You will quickly see how to balance them a bit to cost you an even amount of Gold and Iron.

Food

Alright, now we can order the troops. Next we need to feed them. Farms! (Yes, there are other methods, as mentioned above, but let’s stay within the Castle walls for now, as this is a beginner’s course, and everybody has Farms even if they have had very little time to play the game).

Take a look at your Farms. Make sure you have built the 6 of them you are permitted. Next, as I explained before, the quests of the game will ask you to upgrade 4 Farms to the next level (and next it will ask you to do the same for Townhouses/Mines and other Buildings, then come back to the Farms again for yet another next level). So if you want to take advantage of the quests, but also have the maximum Food production, you do the following.

Upgrade 3 Farms as much as possible. The 3 other Farms you keep at the same level, until the quest asks you to raise the fourth Farm to the next level (the first three will already be at much higher levels anyway). You collect the bonus prize for raising the four Farms, and next you upgrade the two last Farms to the same level as number four. An example? Alright. Say today you have your Farms at level 7 for the quests. This means many of you might have farms at these levels: 7+7+7+7+1+1. You know the next time the quest comes it will ask you to raise four Farms to level 8. What I propose you do now is from now on to raise your Farms to: 8+8+8+7+7+7. Do you see that Farm number 4 stays the same level and Farms number 5 and 6 are catching up to number 4? The next time the quest comes along it will ask you to raise 4 Farms to level 8. And you only need to raise Farm number four to get the bonus!

When you have done this you can even do 10+10+10+7+7+7. This moves the Food production of your Farms a lot further up while still following the quests of the game. However you will have a LOT more Food production than the next person with their Farms at 7+7+7+7+1+1. This means that you can feed a lot more Troops in your castle. Let’s say up until Farms’ level 11 the price of upgrading them is not that expensive (ask somebody working on Farms above level 13 and you will hear them complaining).

Stormfall Farms

These two pictures would reflect the same quest level for the Farms (level 7), but the one on the right will have a lot more Food production per hour, so you can build and feed more Troops in your Castle.

Storage

Of course in order to build higher level Buildings it will take more and more Resources, also in Gold and Iron. And in order to be able to spend those Resources, your Warehouse and Barn need to be of sufficient level as well, so that they are able to collect these Resources for you before you spend them. Also, some Battlegrounds give you Resource rewards back, and it would be a waste to receive more from them than you can hold in your Warehouse/Barn storage. Also, if you go raiding regularly, you will need more storage.

Another reason for having sufficiently large storage space is that if somebody attacks you and wins (a successful Raid against you), that attacker will take all the Resources they can carry that are available in your storage above 50% of its storage capacity. Say, for example, you have 40,000 storage capacity in your Warehouses and Barns. And say you have 30,000 of each Resource in your storage. That means an attacker can steal from you 10,000 of each Resource (50% of 40K = 20K, so everything in storage above the 50% level means 10K of each). Now imagine you upgrade your storage a few times and you can hold 80K of each Resource, and you have the same 30K of each Resource sitting in there. That means your storage is less than 50% filled, so when they steal from you it is not going to be much. It rewards them a little bit - a small percentage of what is in your storage, perhaps a few hundred in total - but not nearly what the previous example showed. So having a large storage means you safeguard the stuff in there, you can hold any gifts and rewards you get and you can hold whatever your raiding of inactive Castles brings you.

Also, for instance, to upgrade your Spring of Life building to its maximum level you need to be well into your second Barn to hold enough Food to initiate the upgrade. So do not neglect to develop your storage buildings!

Troop strategy

If we assume we can build only Pikemen and Archers for a minute, you see you need Resources to be able to hire them and you need extra Food production in order to feed them and stay at positive Food production for now. Now you know how to build more troops and thus get stronger through sheer numbers of troops, and you know how to level them up to level 20 to make those troops 40% stronger.

Now, let’s talk Units again in order for us to be able to link the troop strength and numbers back to the Food discussion. Because, as you know, the Pikeman and Archer are not the only troops available for fighting (I will ignore Spies for now). If you are a skeptical higher level player, stick with me here and read through the reasoning below before arguing J.

There are 4 types of Units: Infantry, Cavalry, Occult, and Bestiary. They increase in strength in that order. And every type consumes a different amount of Food per hour (1, 2, 3 and 4 per hour for these types). As a rule of thumb, you can say that Cavalry is 7 times stronger than Infantry. You can perform more exact calculations later - just bear with me for a bit.
Within the Infantry category, there are multiple types of Units, and in the beginning you will be able to build Pikemen and Paladins for offensive purposes and Archers and Dwarves for defense. I personally do not see a big advantage as far as the Dwarf Unit is concerned, as they walk so slowly! I do see the advantage of Paladins, however. They are stronger and faster than Pikemen. The disadvantage is that they cost more Resources than you get back in offense points.

So why would you want them? Well, like I said, their offense points are higher, and they eat 1 unit of Food per hour – the same as the pikeman. So when factoring in Food consumption per hour, you might rather have the stronger and faster Paladin. It will cost you more Resources to build them and more time to build them, too. So it all depends on if you have bigger Farms to feed your Units or if you have more Resources and time in general to build them. Of course, the speed bonus is nice, too, as Paladins march faster (they travel at 12 mph, while the Pikeman moves at 6 mph). Also, if you build your Paladins during the night, you might not care about the time it takes to build them for a while.

Cost of Units

Cavalry

Alright, now following the same line of reasoning, we move on to the Cavalry category. You will be able to build them soon enough. The first ones you will be able to build are Nomads (defense) and Knights (offense). Like I said, when you have them around the same Lost Arts level as the Infantry Units they are about 7 times stronger. So when you start to train them they will be about 6 times stronger than your Pikeman and Archer Units and about 5 times stronger than the Paladin. However, you ultimately want to level them up to level 20 of the Lost Arts. At that point, they will be around 7 times stronger again. Use the factor of 7 as a rule of thumb to make it easier for you to calculate and follow the reasoning. Now that you know they are 7 times stronger, you will look at training them, and discover that they are 9 or 10 times more expensive to train!

So what is the use you say? Well, let’s name three reasons. The first reason is that one Knight with the strength of 7 Pikemen eats 2 Food units per hour (all Cavalry eat 2 per hour!), while 7 Pikemen eat 7 Food per hour. So Cavalry is more expensive to build, but cheaper to maintain in the long run! Remember you are building your army both for the short run and the long run! The second reason is that you can train Cavalry troops at the same time as Infantry troops, because they are trained in a separate queue. This means that if you are in a hurry to build more strength you can use two queues simultaneously for building your army up. Assuming you have the Gold/Iron/Food Resources to train that many troops.

A third reason in case of the Knight is that it moves at a speed of 18 mph (recall that the Pikeman moves at 6 mph and the Paladin at 12). So if you need to get to someplace quickly, you will find the Knights to be very nice indeed. Now, the Nomads and Barbarians of the Cavalry category move at 12 mph, and thus are not faster than the Archers (speed 18), so reason 3 does not apply to the defensive Units here. There is a fourth reason, and it is called Battleground strategies – but this is to be discussed another time.

Units

Reason number two was that you have multiple training queues for your troops. You can see Infantry and Cavalry have their own queues, wherein you can train both types of Units at the same time.

Training troops

As I said before, when training troops yourself, I would focus on Pikemen and Archers until you have them each at level 20 strength. You will continue to train more of these every day, even when you have a level 60+ castle. Next, you will unlock Dwarves and Paladins and level them up to maximum strength. Then, you will move on to the Nomads and Knights of the Cavalry category. Again, make these as strong as you can and start training them alongside the other Units you have available to you. Perhaps train 1 Nomad and 10 Archers, and 1 Knight and 10 Pikemen. Make sure the relevant Lost Arts are at level 20 (the maximum) before moving on. As you will see, the Cavalry also has Barbarians and Great Lords.

The Great Lords cost a lot of Resources to build and upgrade to higher Lost Art levels, so I advise you to have your Resource Buildings strong, have your Resource-related Lost Arts learned, and those extra Buildings that they unlock built and upgraded so you have loads of Iron/Gold/Food coming [KB1] into your Castle. A Barbarian is about as strong as a Nomad but has different specialties. For instance, a Nomad is strongest when defending against Cavalry and Occult forces, and a Barbarian is strongest defending against Cavalry and Infantry. Nonetheless, the statistics do not vary that dramatically, so I would prefer a combination of Nomads and Archers for defense and Pikemen and Knights for offense for the moment, as they are cheap options in the short run. Recall that here, I am talking about the Units that you train YOURSELF.

Why do I keep qualifying this with “YOURSELF”? Well, the ultimate goal is to increase the strength of your army as much as possible. I already explained that a Paladin is stronger than a Pikeman and a Great Lord is stronger than a Knight, while they eat the same amount of food. So, in the long run, you should be aiming to collect the stronger troops, so that one of your Farms can support more "offense points" or "defense points". Follow me into the “Battlegrounds” section of this article, below, to gain some insight on how to do that.

This article was written by player Bob Cornelissen, who granted permission for it to be posted on Plarium.com. Any thoughts or views expressed herein are the player's own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Plarium Global.

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