The size of the Orc Rally Point is huge! Thirty-five spaces. As a comparison, the Main Hall is one space larger for Elf players and seven spaces larger for Human players. Lengthy production runs in the Mushroom Farms (where 12 hours is the shortest production time) necessitate a large amount of Farms to keep things running smoothly, somewhat like the Granite Mines of the Dwarves Chapter. These aspects make a good argument for embracing an unusual strategy to get through the Orcs research. In continuing the theme of the Orcs and Goblins Chapter, here is a run down on some considerations that you can make about how you may want to continue.
The name of the game with this particular strategy is selling off our pesky Culture Buildings, especially the larger buildings like Pond of Recreation, Temple of Holy Fire, Ancient Grounds etc… The reason this strategy can work is that you don’t need Culture to build and upgrade settlement buildings. Selling one Pond of Recreation will open 30 spaces, enough for two rows of three Mushroom Farms (6 farms) and the requisite Swamp Trails to connect them to the Portal Site. If you have 6 Pond of Recreation, that’s room for 36 Mushroom Farms with Swamp Trails! You should also have empty space from selling off the Fairy Settlement buildings to make a decent head start with the Portal Site and some Farms.
To gain the amount of room you’ll need for this strategy, you may also have to sell off other buildings like residences. The Orc Residences are going to grow and change the layout of our city, so it is wise to calculate how many residences you will need for continued growth after the Orcs and Goblins chapter. Elvenarchitect.com has a great feature where you can plug in the buildings you want to keep and the level you want them to be at, and it will calculate how much population you will need to get there. Then, knowing how much population each residence adds (900 for a level 21 residence), you’ll be able to decide on how many houses you can keep and how many might be expendable.
Before You Start!
Before going through with the deletion of your large culture buildings there are some things that must happen for the culture-less strategy to work.
Make sure that all of the Armories you will be keeping are at least up to level 20. You will need to produce Orcs for creating goods in the Orc Rally Points, so this is a must. You may also need the Orcs for Negotiating Province Encounters and for Training Orc Warriors in the Training Grounds. It is likely that you will not be able to get to Orc Style Workshops before the mass sell off of your culture buildings, so the Orcs needed for those Upgrades will come later.
Make sure that all of your Workshops are upgraded to level 19. You will have no culture, so you will not gain extra Supplies from a Culture Bonus and you will need your Workshops as high as possible to leverage this. Having some Power of Provision Spells will come in handy. The Mushroom Farms have a cost of Supplies for upgrades with the Level 4 upgrade costing about 10,000 supplies. If you have 50+ Mushroom Farms (which you should), those upgrades will cost over half a million supplies in total just for level 3 up to level 4.
Optionally, you should try to stockpile a good amount of Tier 3 goods (Elixir, Magic Dust, Gems) before the chapter hits. You will need them for the Mushroom Farms. Using a Magical Manufacturing spell on a boosted tier 3 factory is the most efficient use of the spell, so they will come in handy to gain goods for trading.
Now that you’re ready, it’s time to go all-in on the Orc Settlement and sell off those culture buildings.
Some Tips to Use During the Process
Selling off your culture buildings will give you back Coins and Supplies, so sell them off wisely. Don’t sell them all at once, you will lose resources. Use the coins and supplies you gain back to put up Mushroom Farms, Rally Points, or Swamp Trails until you can safely sell off more buildings.
Hardshrooms are important to produce early on to be able to upgrade all of the settlement buildings to level 4. When you’re ready to do the Mushroom Farm upgrades from level 3 to level 4, you will want to calculate the amount of Hardshrooms it will take for you to finish all of your upgrades so that once you have reached that Hardshroom goal you will be able to switch over to the other Shrooms that you will need. Hardshrooms cost Gems to produce and take 12 hours to complete a batch.
Debris, which is also needed for early upgrades to the settlement buildings, is produced in the Rally Point. To make Debris you will need Psychoshrooms and Orcs from the Armory. Psychoshrooms cost Magic Dust to produce and take 24 hours to complete.
As an example set up, if we have 50 Mushroom Farms, the first few runs should be 25 Hardshrooms and 25 Psychoshrooms. Then 20 Hardshrooms, 20 Psychoshrooms, 5 Powershrooms, 5 Shrooms of Wisdom, until eventually you can get to 20 Shroom of Wisdom, 15 Psychoshroom (you should only use them for Dung by this point), 15 Powershroom. This will give you 1600 Shrooms of Wisdom every 2 days (if the farms are level 4) so calculate the amount you will need carefully, you can store a maximum of 2200 Shroom of Wisdom in the level 4 Orc Portal Site. Then, when you are near the end and have enough Shrooms of Wisdom to complete all research, you can go back to making some Hardshrooms for the new Orc streets.
If you feel you have too many Mushroom Farms by the end, you can make some cuts. You will want 50+ Mushroom Farms early on and 5+ Rally Points by the end to really get through smoothly.
A New Beginning
The Wood Elf chapter will change our city layouts since we now need to attach roads to certain Wood Elf Culture Buildings to produce Mana. The bright side is that we gain a large culture building in the beginning of the chapter (the Weeping Willow) instead of at the end like the Pond of Recreation or the Temple of Holy Fire. There also is no need to unlock a Portal Site or other settlement buildings at the beginning of the Chapter, which means that we can safely finish the Orcs and Goblins and head straight to the Weeping Willow technology to start our cultured strategy right where we left off.
This culture-less strategy embraces a free-to-play spirit where paying for City Expansions to keep everything we have and add these huge buildings is not an option. Furthermore, if you have payed for premium culture buildings you won’t be able to incorporate this strategy without taking quite a beating to your wallet.
Some Final Notes
During the course of this strategy you will:
have negative amounts of culture,
you will only be able to gain ranking points by finishing province encounters, upgrading Ancient Wonders or getting high ranks in tournaments,
you will get stuck on the main quest when asked to have level 20 workshops if not sooner,
and the Orcs will take over a very large portion of your city.
But, you will be able to smoothly sail over the sea of Dung and hopefully only get splashed a few times.
Even if you don’t go through with this strategy, hopefully you found some useful tools to hammer your way out of this tough chapter! So have fun out there!