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.
- 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.