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Man, there sure are a lot of free to play games on iOS where you build a city and attack other people. Who knew what Civilization would wreak? Well, Game of War: Fire Age [Free] seems to be a pretty popular new entry into the genre, and being a curious fellow, I naturally decided to take a look into it and see what was up. After spending some time with it, what I will say is that while it seems an awful lot like Clash of Clans [Free] and Kingdoms of Camelot [Free] on the surface, the path to success in this one is just different enough to require a slightly modified approach. Rather than give my usual list of tips, I'm instead going to offer you a guide to getting yourself established from scratch, all without spending a cent.
First off, as usual for this type of game, you have a main stat that takes into account your offensive and defensive potential, and building that up is one of your main goals. In this game, it's creatively named Power, and besides the actual troops and defenses you create, it also takes everything you build or upgrade into account. Also as usual for this type of game, you'll be drip-fed a bunch of quests, and if you follow them, your power will naturally build. But you've read to the second paragraph without scrolling down to make a sarcastic comment, and I see that glint in your eye - you want more Power, faster. Well, let's just show you how to do that, while everyone else fools around upgrading their farms because the game told them to.
Join An Alliance
The first tip I'll give you is to join an alliance as soon as you can. Alliances offer many benefits including protection from attacks and helping speed up your timers for construction and research. Until your stronghold reaches level six, you'll have access to a free teleport that you can use to teleport your city to a location nearby your alliance friends. This is important for protection purposes and coordinating attacks. If you've already passed stronghold level six, you can only teleport with the use of a rather costly item found in your alliance's shop, so it's better to do this while it's free.
You have 24 spaces to allocate to resources. There are a few different viable ways to go with dividing things up. Like in other games of this type, food is pretty important if you're going to have a large standing army, and you're going to want a large standing army, but there are some differences here that might lead you to take a different approach. Here are the three best methods I've discovered through experience and polling other players.
High food production: This is probably the most popular choice. With this style, you'll want to build 21 farms and have just one each of the other three resources. While you'll never have a problem with food with this set-up, and it's very effective early on, you're almost definitely going to need to find an alternative way of acquiring the other three resources, and that way is mostly going to be picking fights with others. Luckily, with all that food, you should have a pretty large standing army to do so.
Balanced: Another popular choice, as with this set-up you probably won't be short on anything too often. For this style, you'll want to build 10 farms, and four each of the other resources. This will leave you with two spaces to do with what you will, based on what type of units you favor. This is my preferred approach.
Low food production: This one is kind of risky, but I met a few high-level players that used this to good effect. In this set-up, you have one farm and spend the other spaces on a mix of the other resources. See, the funny thing is, while your army will consume food, they actually won't starve to death if you don't have any food. Naturally, you need food for things other than just feeding your standing army, but food is more easily gathered through completing missions and attacking others than the other resources are.
Planning Your City
Stronghold: As the heart of your city, leveling up your stronghold allows you to level up other vital buildings. As long as you've already found an alliance and cashed in your free teleport, you'll want to get your stronghold level up to level eight as soon as possible.
Villas: You're going to want a lot of these, probably around ten. Besides the four resources you'll generate outside the walls of your city, you'll also need silver. Silver is vital for research and research is vital for the next stage of our plan. Upgrade these villas a few times to make sure the silver is flowing. As silver is the one resource you cannot protect with your storehouse, it's vital to make sure you can re-acquire it quickly in the wake of an attack.
Gymnos: Make sure you have one of these and don't let it fall behind in levels. If the worst happens and you need to replace your hero, a properly leveled gymnos will ensure you aren't starting from scratch.
Hospitals: A lot of beginning players overlook hospitals, but they're absolutely vital. If you're attacked and you have no hospitals, all of the troops that fall in battle will be lost. Hospitals ensure your troops will be back up on their feet and ready to fight again. You'll probably want around six hospitals in the long run.
Barracks: Besides allowing you to train new soldiers, these give a defensive bonus and improve your queue capacity for your troops. You'll probably want about four of these for now.
Storehouse: This protects your resources, except for silver, in the likely event you are attacked. Keep it leveled according to the amount of resources you keep on hand. Don't let it fall too far behind, or you'll regret it.
Academy: Leveling up the academy gives you access to advanced soldiers, defenses, and more. As with the stronghold, you'll want to get your academy up to level eight as soon as possible, so that you can research advanced troops.
As you acquire the advanced buildings, you can tear down some of your extra villas, barracks, or hospitals at your own discretion.
The key to building your power more quickly than other players in the early stages of Game of War is to reach the second level troops as soon as possible. In order to unlock them, you'll need a level eight academy, along with a bunch of resources you'll probably already have at the time and 180,000 silver. This is why you want to level up your academy as fast as possible. As research consumes a lot of silver, make sure you aren't throwing your silver away researching any old thing before you unlock at least one of the advanced troop types. As you need to research each type independently, it's probably best to choose one initially and go for that one. Make sure any other research you do complements this goal.
Distributing Hero Skill Points
The top prizes on your hero's skill tree in the beginning are Troop Attack, Research, Troop Training, and Construction. These will give bonuses to your attacking troops and speed up the timers on research, training, and construction. After that, you'll want to make your way down the left side of the skill tree to reach the advanced unit type you decided on in the last section. Max them out, and after that, it's up to you.
Odds And Ends
Make sure you that whenever you play, you take on an alliance quest and a daily quest. They're just timers, so you don't need to do anything, and they'll provide free rewards. Don't forget to claim your rewards from the quest tab of the menu, either, because they expire after a day.
You can change your name, avatar picture, and hero design all via items found in the special tab of your inventory. The game doesn't really tell you this, so I thought I'd throw it out there for everyone who's tired of using the generic handle you start with.
If it looks like an overwhelming force is coming and your troops stand no chance, march them out to anywhere for a while so that they don't get wiped out. You can call them back after the flames have gone out.
After a lot of playing and talking to other players about their approaches, I believe this is a strong approach for beginners in Game of War: Fire Age. If you follow this advice, your Power level should soar, and you'll soon have a powerful army to be reckoned with while others are still wasting their time following the bread crumb trail. Have fun, keep your head down, and your stick on the ice!
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