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Initial Safety Strategy in advance of the second Barbarian attack (Dec 22th, 2010)

We are currently building the wall to level 2 which will grant us an additional 20% bonus to Guard Donations made leading up to the second attack. It is important that we hold off on Guard Donation until this project is done. After the wall is complete, citizens should feel free to donate on occasion leading up to the attack. It is important that all citizens be prepared to donate AT LEAST the amount needed to keep themselves personally safe. It is hoped that the arsenal and city wall will make the additional donations needed to keep the City buildings safe. It is a bit too early to predict with accuracy if this will be the case, but rough figures suggest each citizen may need to donate up to three additional guard donations beyond personal safety as a worst case scenario.

It is important that you do not "over build". That is, spend too much on personal upgrades (which raises personal Culture Points) and then not have enough time to earn enough to defend it! To help you predict where you will be at, here is the simple calculation that is used for the second attack:

  • PERSONAL DANGER VALUE = Personal Culture Points / Donations to the Guard

Since we know that we need to reach a Danger Value of 20 or less, all you need to know is your building goals to calculate your personal donations needed. Think what your personal property goals are (preferably using the Safety orientated goals outlined below) and then refer to this chart to get the culture points:

Level House CP Clothing CP Notes:
3 5 9 Suggested level for clothing until after 3rd attack
4 11 23
5 20 40 20% chance of extra resource per day
6 31 63
7 45 89
8 60 121 50% chance of extra resource per day
9 79 158
10 100 199
11 123 246
12 149 298 80% chance of extra resource per day
13 178 355
14 209 419 90% chance of extra resource per day
15 244 488 Automatic 2 resources per day

Do you have a garden or a pet? They give you CP's too. Find out how many here:

So, if you plan to have a level 12 house and level 3 clothing, that is 149 CP's for the house and 9 CP's for the clothing = 158 total. Modifying the formula above we get:

  • Donations to the Guard = 158 / 20 (remember, 20 or less is the Danger Level needed to be safe)

A quick run through the calculator gives us 7.9, or in essence 8 Guard donations needed. A donation is one ORE, one WHEAT and one WOOL each, or 24 resources in total. If this was you, would you have enough to defend yourself, plus kick in extra if the city needs it? Here is what you should keep in mind:

  • The attack comes on game day 75 - when you are logged in to the game, the 'Game Day' is listed along the bottom
  • Subtract 75 from the current game day to know how many more resources your house will give you (your BASE amount)
  • If you get a bonus for your house, multiply this number by the percentage of your bonus to get a rough idea of the extra you could get on top of your 1 per day
    • e.g., if your bonus is 50%, multiply resources by 0.5 to get your bonus - remember, this is only an estimate as luck may give you way more or way less!
    • add this bonus to your base amount
  • If you often get bonus resources from playing games, factor this in too - Remember, we have a level 3 Library so you get an extra gold at 3 and 5 games won
    • This bonus is every week, so divide the days left by 7 to find out how many more times you will get this bonus
  • If you often place in the monthly lists, get gold for playing in tourneys or get resources from other "one off" sources, factor this in too

Now, take a minute and figure this out:

  • What is my goal for personal belongings (see below for suggestions)?
  • How many resources will I get before day 75?
  • How many resources will it cost me to reach my goal?
  • How many donations will I need to make to keep my personal possessions safe?
    • Will I also plan to make up to 3 donations to keep the city safe if needed?

Knowing all this, you should be able to determine if you can afford the "lifestyle" you are planning for yourself. If you cannot at the very leas protect what you build - DON"T BUILD IT. You will lose one to two levels of housing and clothing each it in the next attack, and possibly take down city buildings with you in the process!

Here are Safety suggestions:

  • Continue to avoid clothing and garden items. If you have elected to build up your clothing level, be very aware of how costly it gets to defend yourself at mid levels (e.g. Lv 8 clothing requires over 6 donations just in itself) and perhaps put this on hold for now.
  • If you have clothing above level 3, please for the sake of the town and your own possessions' safety, do not strive for housing levels as high as below unless you are capable of making as many as 15 guard donations!
  • Do not plan to build your house over level 12, even if you can easily afford to defend a level 13+ house. Your resources can be better used elsewhere in this period and set us all up for some great growth next period!
    • If you determine that you can afford to build and defend a house at level 12, get there as quick as you can so that you will get your 80% bonus sooner.
    • That said, please make an effort to make a city donation to finish the wall (one donation per citizen as of this writing)
  • If you are not at Lv 8 housing yet, make that your goal. If you cannot make it to Lv 12, consider staying at level 10 and building up Gold and/or coin to spend on your housing after the attack
  • If you will have plenty left over after reaching your goal and making sufficient guard donations to the city and for yourself, please help build the Marketplace so that we all can start a "Personal Gold Reserve"

Guard donation strategy:

Clearly, everyone will need to make more guard donations than is possible to hoard in your house. This means either donating periodically as the attack approaches, building a Gold Reserve or both. As soon as the wall is finished, feel free to donate to the Guard now and then. If you can build a gold reserve, you can postpone donations until later when we have a better picture of our Safety situation. The best way to build up gold is by upgrading the Market. Thus, if you determine that you will easily meet and defend your personal goals, please donate to the Market too! While not vital, it will give everyone the options of trading a random resource 1:1 for gold - and each person can store 25 gold in their house. This can then be used for last minute donations or for a building spurt after the attack!


Individual safety is everyone's MINIMUM priority. In period 1, our total culture points were low enough that the arsenal could front most of the defense cost and unexpected situations could be covered by town gold. In this period, the arsenal will help lower city defense costs and there will be nowhere near enough city gold for gaps in defense. We cannot keep individual possessions safe unless everyone is doing their part. If you are not personally safe, you are in danger unless the Town itself is safe. Frankly, the town and fellow citizens simply will not have enough resources to cover for themselves and anyone who plans to skip making any guard donations. So budget for Guard Donations and avoid losing two levels of your house and clothing.

Safety Strategy leading up to the Barbarian attack (Nov 25th, 2010)

Just like in real life, the "bad people" target those who demonstrate abundance and do little to protect it. In the COW, the bad people are the Barbarians. Cities (and now individuals) that put too much into expansion and not enough into defense stand to lose some of what they have paid to create. KB has always been about keeping our stuff safe - but we are also about having a plan to ensure we can ensure such protection is done as cheaply as possible. As our mayor says, the ultimate goal is to make exactly 1 donation more than what would otherwise keep us in the "danger zone". We may never cut it that close, but we will make efforts to leave as many extra resources in your pockets as possible.
Defending cheaply means more resources for City and personal growth after the attack. With that in mind, the following strategies are proposed:

  1. Hold off on buying clothing, gardens and pets. This can spike the town's danger level. If you plan to buy a pet or garden items, or upgrade your clothing before the attack, please ensure you budget for an extra guard donation or two and PLEASE email 'Fleet' using the COW email so that he can anticipate the effects for the city.
  2. Do not upgrade your house beyond level 8 until after the attack. Again, if you insist on upgrading, please budget for extra guard donations to compensate and inform Fleet of your plans.
  3. If you are not yet at a level 8 house, make that your focus. Getting to level 8 gives you a 50% chance of getting 2 resources per day instead of one. This makes the town "richer" in general, giving us more options after the attack.
  4. If you are not interested in your house, or have reached level 8, donate to the city. HOWEVER: Do not donate if the building only requires 1 or 2 donations to be finished. We do not want to finish any more town buildings until after the attack. The Mayor will change the building before it finishes and donations can then be made to the new building. This "charges up" these buildings so that they can be finished quickly after the attack. FYI, we are building up the Town Hall (for more city gold) and then the Library (for more gold for winning games).
  5. If you have no Garden or pets, a house lv 8 or lower and Clothing lv3 or lower, and have made a fair share of city donations - do not make guard donations at this time. Everyone will be emailed using the COW email when donations should be made. There will be plenty of notice to allow those who do not get the right resources to trade with other players or at the Merchants.

At this time, thanks to a great effort from the citizens at building up our arsenal to level 3 early in the season - and hopfully compliance with the safety guidelines - we should easily acheive 100% protected with little effort.

Proposed Growth Strategy for Period 1 (Nov 1st 2010)
It is important that we have a coherent growth plan that meets the needs of all citizens and allows us to defend successfully against the Barbarians in 40 days, If we work together we can grow rapidly and minimize the costs of defending for all of us.


  1. increase the services provide to citizens
  2. allow those who want to, to upgrade their house.
  3. allow those who prefer to grow the city to make the most effective use of their contributions
  4. ensure that every one pays their fair share of the cost of defence.
  5. ensure that we minimize the number of city guard donatiosn required to defend what we build.

Proposed plan:

Upgrade the arsenal ASAP.

This will pay back in much fewer guard donations to make later. If you need convincing that this is worthwhile and time critical, look at numbers in Evaluation of Building Expansions. The net benefit over the game is 276 donations ! WE ask that you help finish the arsenal BEFORE the following:

Upgrade house to level 8

Those who want to upgrade their house may then do so. If you are just starting target level 5 which will increase your production from 1 to 1.2 resources per day. For most the next target is level 8 which will increase production to 1.5.
The next key level is then 12 when daily production goes to 1.8. It is unlikely that you will reach that before the barbarians attack. WE think it is wise to accumulate gold and make city expansion donations once you have reached level 8. This will minimize your defense costs and allow you to make a building spurt right after the attack.

Expand city

Those who want to expand the city may do so,. The next suggested expansion is Town Hall and then probably Market square.
Even if you are mainly interested in upgrading your house, we ask that you make 1-2 city expansion donations after every upgrade, This will allow us to increase the services provided to you which will be to your benefit in the long run.
City gold, while it lasts (currently 12), is available on request to make a city expansion donation.

Defend what you build

You may of course build what you please, but we ask that you protect what you build by making guard donations so that your personal danger level is below 18. THIS IS THE LAST THING YOU SHOULD DO BEFORE THE BARBARIANS ATTACK !

Depending on how much is built and how fast we get the arsenal upgraded, the arsenal may protect some of our personal property and not require us to make as many guard donations. WE may also build a wall which will increase the value of each donation by 20%. We'll give you plenty of advance notice on when and how many donations are required (about 3 weeks before the attack)

Our current estimate is that we would each have about 2 city guard donations to make. More if you have upgraded your house more. We'll update you if this changes.

and then there are clothes …

If you think you look good in red and level 12 clothing is all you care about, go for it, we're all here to have fun. You should realize however that clothes are very expensive to defend and produce nothing in return. From a pure cost point of view it is best to upgrade your clothing AFTER the last barbarian attack, in the last 30 days of the game. If you do so before, we simply ask that you defend what you build.

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