Turning War Into Gold

Waging war in Illyriad is expensive. That’s probably the main reason why people rarely march to war. In conventional browser-based wargames, attacking other players is a way to get rich (and so build more troops, and so attack more players…). Illyriad is neither conventional nor specifically a wargame, and attacking other players is expensive.

Think about the numbers. Most decent sized cities – the sorts of places with resources worth stealing – will have a Ward of Destruction in place, or will be able to cast one very swiftly if menaced. If you Raid or Attack a city with a Ward of Destruction up, you can expect to lose 250 troops. Even the cheapest troops to recruit cost 200 gold each in equipment: look at the market prices for spears and beer (required for the cheapest Orc unit) for example. That means that before you even engage the enemy defenders, you are out of pocket at least 50,000 gold. And if the city has a decent Wall then you will probably lose more troops than the target in an even fight. And because troop movement takes some time in Illyriad a clever defender can hide away anything worth pillaging anyway.

Even without considering any political ramifications, is it worth spending 50,000 gold just to start with? Generally not.

But what if all that you risked was, say, 5,000 gold? Or 500 gold? That might make sense.

And that’s where Blockades come in.

Consider this:

  • A Blockade can be just ten troops, or just one, with a level 1 Commander
  • The Commander’s Resurrection costs (remember to only use Level 1 Commanders) will be a mere 100 gold, and the troops could be worth just 200 gold each
  • The average value of a successful caravan capture might be, say, half a million gold (a full compliment of ‘vans laden with stone will be worth that – a delivery of saddles could be worth much more)
  • If your Blockades have 10 inexpensive soldiers each. And
  • If your Blockades keep getting destroyed (so all Blockading troops are lost)….

Then if less than just 1 percent (1 in 100) of your Blockades capture ‘vans, you have still doubled your money. (500,000/2,100=238. I.e. one in 238 is break-even.)

Starting Blockades against peaceful players in peaceful times would be a bad move, politically. But in war time, Blockades give you a way to make a profit – turning war into gold.


About Kurdruk

Kurdruk is a fictitious character. Specifically, he is a fictitious Orc. Orcs are, of course, a fictitious race. And so, being a fictitious member of a fictitious race, it is unsurprising that Kurdruk lives in a fictitious land - Illyria. So it is no surprise that Kurdruk's great wisdom relates to life in the realm of Illyria - in other words, in Illyriad.
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6 Responses to Turning War Into Gold

  1. Pingback: Blockade: Illyriad’s Most Underrated Tactic | The Wisdom of Kurdruk

  2. TDJR says:

    Can blockades capture caravans being sent via the global market? I was under the impression blockades only capture caravans sent directly to another player.

    • Rill says:

      Blockades capture all caravans, including those sent via the market.

      • Bonaparta says:

        Outgoing gold carrying trade caravans can not be captured by blockade…

        A few months ago I wanted to destroy global market. The devious plan was:
        My alliance friend made an alt and didn’t research any anti-blockade technology…
        I blockaded that town with 8 armies.
        That small town was given 1 billion gold and started purchasing various advanced resources on global markets. In theory my 8 blockading armies should be able to capture practically all outgoing gold caravans and majority of incoming resource carrying caravans. This way I would end up with gold and resources… Buying all the global market resources for free would certainly crash the markets…
        Well none outgoing gold carrying caravan was captured. After around 50 million gold was spent the operation was aborted. My blockades captured all incoming caravans carrying resources…
        When we tried the other way around – creating buy orders, it didn’t work too… None of the outgoing resource carrying caravans were captured…

        Conclusion: Blockade can be worked around. You can transfer any amount of resources or gold to your friend(s) past blockades (1 gold buy/sell offers). Making blockades effectively useless…

  3. Rill says:

    I like Kurdruk’s thinking, but I have some reservations:
    1) Players who expect to be blockaded may reduce the amount of trade they undertake.
    2) Blockade running technologies substantially reduce the likelihood that you’ll get a caravan
    3) Even if you do capture a caravan, it takes forever to get to you, and then you’re stuck with a load of stone. Personally, I sell my stone just to get rid of the darn stuff, not even really to make a profit.
    4) Even if you do capture something worth getting, someone else would be just as likely to blockade you when you try to resell it, severely cutting into your profit margin.
    5) The cost of a rune is a one-time cost, where many thieving journeys can be sent within an 18-hour cooldown (provided for united effort by an alliance) Spread over massive numbers of thieves, the return on thieves seems likely to be better than the return on blockading. The main risk of thieving during peacetime is being discovered and facing consequences. Thieving during war doesn’t have that downside — what are they going to do? Declare war on you for thieving?

    I’m not firmly attached to any of these positions, just posting in the interest of sparking some additional discussion.

    • Rill says:

      I want to add that the main disadvantage to thieving during wartime is that you have to maintain the upkeep cost of the thieves during peacetime, but this can be offset to some degree by raiding inactives. Note I don’t personally do this; my thieves stay home and defend my cities. However, I have colleagues who do with some success.

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