This might surprise some, but Food is not absolutely necessary as long as your troops are not at your Castle! If they are in Catacombs, or stationed at another Castle, a Settlement or a Beacon, they won't desert or die if your Food drops down to 0.
It means that you can make a mutually beneficial arrangement with anyone who has similar defenses by swapping Defensive Units. Just talk with someone you trust, station your Defensive Units in their Castle and have them station theirs in yours. This way, both of your defensive armies are safe from starvation.
Now, if your inventory is at 0 food, you will not want to pull your troops from the Catacombs to raid or attack your enemies. If you do, they will start dying the second they arrive at your Castle.
1. Whenever you get a Class IV or V Daily Quest, accept it but do not collect it. Just let it sit there to be claimed the moment you need Food to jumpstart your game.
2. After you have finished playing for the day, send a Trade Offer with all your remaining Food, asking for twice its value in Gold or Iron. Most likely, this trade will never be accepted and when you log in the next day, you can just cancel the trade and you will have your Food back. This is a good way to ensure you don’t waste any food if your Barn might reach full capacity, and you reclaim it in a pinch.
3. If you have run out of options, bring 10 Archers or Pikemen out from Catacombs. As they die, they will produce a little Food that will sustain the rest of your army - hopefully long enough for you to launch a raid to recover more Food. A few seconds before your raid returns, collect your tribute at your Castle, or visit friends’ Castles to collect tribute, so that your raiders don’t starve upon arrival. Once your raid returns and the Food has been added to your inventory, you can resume playing without further issues.
If you have Units queued for production and you see that you will drop to 0 Food while they are being built, the produced troops will certainly die. Browse the market; there will almost definitely be trades where twice the Food is offered for Gold or Iron, and Trade Offers will be available from a few minutes away to 24 hours away.
Accept those trades so that you will keep receiving Food in time before it drops to 0. This way, you should be able to go 24 hours without encountering a problem.
Most players I know will aim to reduce food consumption as much as possible and as soon as possible, using the Obelisk of Power. After a while, you will most likely permanently have your Barn full, so in the long term that would be a waste of 80 Skull Runes.
It’s better to work on upgrading your Farms to be able to produce the required food supply. Also, activating Paragon status at Level 7 or 8 will boost your Food production significantly.
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This article was written by Ángel Dorantes, who granted permission for it to be posted on Plarium.com. Any thoughts or views expressed here are the player's own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Plarium Global.