There are different strategies for building depending on your play strategy.
In the beginning, you need to be able to defend from nearby villages who have more time on you and more forces. Once you get more villages, you can do whatever works for you, but your first village should be defensive. With sufficient build time, you can hold out against superior forces for a quite a while, but not forever. Holding out will either force your opponents to band more people together to get you, give you time to counterattack or get others to counterattack for you, or they will give up if they can’t get through.
I’ve found that, with some exceptions, most players and tribes are a little lazy and have poor organization. They may make a lot of noise about coming to get you, but its difficult to coordinate lots of strangers, and most people don’t want to attack you first because that player will lose all of their offensive troops. No one wants to do that.
Still, determined players will get you no matter what, so you can’t turtle forever.
Early on you want to have strong defense, but still have a flexible counterattack force.
These are my suggested build levels for villages, including troop development. Note: You don’t have to STOP at these levels, but they are good minimums.
Village Headquarters – 20
Barracks – 25
Stable – 20
Workshop – 15
Smithy – 20
Market – 15
Resources – 30
Farm – 30
Warehouse – 24
Hiding Place – 0
Wall – 20
First and foremost, buildings cost Farm to build, and you can only build to so much capacity (like in Warcraft/Starcraft, for example). Troops and buildings take Farm capacity. We’ll touch on this more later.
You will want these levels on the barracks, stables and workshop to produce units as quickly as possible, without investing more money than is worth. Notice that the workshop, stables and barracks are maxed out. I’m willing to sacrifice farm for the fastest troop production. You may want more, but slower troops.
Village headquarters and Smithy to 20 is sufficient both for faster development and as a prerequisite to building an Academy. You won’t need to go any higher.
Market of 15 is ok because as you go up, you get many more merchants to send resources back and forth. Although its important to be able to move resources back and forth, there’s little need to send more than 35,000 resources at a time.
All 3 of your resources lots (timber, clay, iron) should be maxed to 30. This will produce 2400 of each per hour, and this is critical to your production as you continue because you will need ever increasing resources to keep building, build faster and maintain both buildings and troops.
Likewise your farm should be maxed to 30 to allow you to have the most troops possible – more on this later.
Warehouse at 24 allows you to store enough to build any building. Why not higher? Because, you don’t need more capacity to build anything, and you won’t save up enough to fill a 30 Warehouse unless you go on vacation, and if you do, you’ll be nobled when you get back. (Note: Capacity and prices may be different on other worlds, but on the bottom 12 or so this is the rule.
Hiding Place seems like a great idea, but since it doesn’t hold that much, even when maxed out, it isn’t worth the expense. If your village gets beat such that your opponent can take your resources, having a couple thousand in the hiding place won’t save you. He’ll just come back and noble you.
Finally, the wall. Max it out to 20 to give your troops the best possible defensive bonus.
Now, by building to these levels, your village will finish up with around 9,000 points, and cost you about 3000 points of farm. Not bad. The maximum is 12,355 points. Many people like to build all the way to this level because its impressive, and it allows more points without having to take over more villages, but it also limits the troops you can have.
The other disadvantage with a full-sized village comes with morale. An attacker’s morale is based on their total points against all of your villages’ points. The greater the discrepancy, the stronger your troops are on defense. So, if a village with 12,000 points, (or a player with many 12,000 point villages) attacks, your troops will repel more invaders due to higher morale. At very high levels, low morale can gut an attack and leave you with many troops left over with which to continue.