Food is one of the three main Resources that rule the game. Gold, Iron, and Food. No, Amulets are not a main Resource; you can acquire them by converting Gold and Iron in the Altar of Mara or by occupying an Amulet Shrine.
Now the big question is whether Food is really the most important Resource in the game.
To answer this question, we have to consider the point of view of two (if not three) groups of people.
There is also one more thing that makes Food an important Resource but I will elaborate on that later as it is the centerpiece of this study :)
We all know that the upkeep in our Castle with maxed out Buildings and no other bonuses, such as Paragon or Relics, is somewhere around 32k Food per hour. 32,000/h, how much is that? About 8,800 Beasts, 11,800 Occults, 17,700 Cavalry, or 35,500 Infantry Units. Seems small and weak, right? You bet it is!
Well, the Food depletes until it reaches zero. Not so long ago Plarium changed the game mechanics and now when our Food reaches zero the Units will not desert (die), but will stay alive once they get out of the building queue.
Good change? Bad? I'd say neutral, leaning more towards it being good. And here is why.
Someone might say that it is still an unbalanced change that puts coiners above the regular non-coining players. Well, yes and no. This game is free to play, yes. Just like other games, it is made by people who are giving/selling their knowledge and ideas and they need money too. Did they block the game completely to non-paying, free players? No, they did not; they made it available to all. People who pay to get more are the ones keeping the game alive. 80%, if not 90%, of the game content is still achievable and accessible for free! Keep this in mind!
Let us assume a coiner player builds (besides buying) Griffins and Undead Dragons to defend his own Beacons with these Units while a free player builds only Infantry Units such as Pikemen, Paladins, Seekers, and Pathfinders that are cheap and quick to build.
a Griffin gets easily killed by 9 Paladins and 3-4 of them will survive. Coining players struggle to maintain the necessary amount of Food to build those Griffins while non-coining players can be quite a pain for them :)
Let's stick to the topic though. It is obvious already that Food determines the rate of your growth. With a positive production rate you are not struggling that much and you can build 24/7; when you have a negative balance, however, you need to raid, trade, and receive assistance from friends to keep your production going.
But what about Food as a main factor in BG's? Well, as you may know, the BG system is Resource based; we need to put in the same amount of Resources, right? So why don’t we use it to our advantage then? We can build Units that require a lot of Food, right? Food is a Resource too, like Gold and Iron, and it will count as well!
While we are at it, let us analyze one more aspect of Food. Why is it the most important Resource in the game? We know already that you need it for upkeep and positive production to keep a steady rate of growth; we know that Units that consume a lot of Food help pay the debt to the bank in BGs quicker. But have you ever compared Units that are similar in stats with the only difference between them being the Food cost? Here are a few examples:
All these Units are designed to be used against other type of Units. Namely, Arbalester and Bear Riders cost more than Archers and Dwarves but they provide extra Defense against Infantry (Arbalester) and Cavalry (Bear Rider). Wardens are great against Occult Units while Ballistas are best used against Beasts. Building these Units will require a lot of Food and slightly more Gold and Iron but we get more Defense points overall. Killing one Dragon while losing 7-8 Ballistas is humiliating. Is it worth it? In my opinion, it is.
Both have the same Average Defense but we pay more Food (and less Gold and Iron) for building Nomads. Why?
(the first number – Barbarian, second – Nomad):
Anti Infantry: 170 vs. 130
Anti Cavalry: 170 vs. 170
Anti Occults: 130 vs. 170
Anti Beasts: 130 vs. 130
The answer is simple – Nomad is a Cavalry type Unit that performs better against Occult Units, which are obviously a higher tier Unit, and that is what we need.
Just like in the previous comparison, we know that the Golem provides an extra 100 base Defense against Bestiary Units, which is desired in any lower tier Unit, right?
My personal opinion is that the Golem is a much more balanced Unit than the Demon, and it takes 2 minutes less to build.
These Units are not only stronger (Pike: 40, Paladin: 60, Pathfinder: 75), they are also faster (Pike: 6mph, Paladin: 12mph, Pathfinder: 18mph).
Knight vs. Great Lord vs. Reaver: See above
Warlock vs. Necromancer: See above
Wyvern vs. Dragons
Although Wyverns are faster and are the best for Raiding, Dragons are the main force behind our Armies; they provide the biggest punch.
The bottom line is that Food is indeed the most important Resource in the game, and it is a factor that determines the strength and versatility of our Units in terms of speed, power, and usage.
***Note: All values used in the calculations are base values.
This article was written by player Łukasz Bryzek, 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.