The point of this compact guide would be to make a few suggestions on how to
get your empire running in as brief a time period as possible. It merely covers
the first few days. I will try to avoid stating the obvious or repeating the
information already given in-game too much.
1) Why you should play this game
Terra Bellica isn't a clone. It is the only MMO that resembles proper offline turn-based strategies (e.g., Age of Wonders, Master of Magic, Civilization) and bears zero similarity to any known MMO strategy. Units actually move on the map and there are proper tactics, not just timed attacks. The map can be permanently altered. The game may look amateurish at times, but it has deep mechanics that work. Give it a chance, it is a unique and intelligent game, and that can be said of very few MMOs. It has a lot of potential. By the way, as you grow, you'll have more heroes and it will no longer appear as slow-paced.
2) Your position on the map
It makes sense to review your strategic position by looking at your coordinates and finding yourself on the world map (see below). Consider teleporting (Worlds -> Move), but note that you'll lose the newbie boots and potions. The newbie boots fully restore your AP the first time you put them on, effectively meaning you have 7 AP + 14 AP at start.
3) The location for your first city
The first city should be built with both timber and stone tiles next to it. It takes a lot more time to gather resources that are even two tiles away from the town. Pictured below is a good location for a city: it has 6 resources within 1 tile. Timber is a bit more important than stone in the beginning. Consider building in the proximity of large forests so tat it would be convenient to kill orcs (large forests can be seen on the world map). Water isn't very critical, it only matters because of ships - and you won't build those in a while.
4) How to develop your first city
Keep your dark aura till the tax becomes absolutely unbearable. Its positive effect on the economy is tremendous. Note that the economic benefit applies to all of your cities, not just the first one! You should try to build a citadel as soon as possible - not just because it gives two more serfs, but because it allows to build roads and factories. The cheapest and most useful buildings to fulfil the requirements would be the barracks and the tavern. Once you build a citadel, you should focus on factories and roads. The builder is a decent investment as well, but only becomes critical shortly before your dark aura is removed. Build a fencing school so that your swordsmen grow while you're busy with the economy.
5) What to do with the quests
In addition to getting you acquainted with the game, the quests give huge material rewards. The one about the orcs is especially important. Here is how it goes: build a village, get a LVL 3 hero with volunteers. Drop the volunteers into the village - you won't need them. Click the portrait of the hero and invest two points in close combat and one in logistics. Build the barracks as soon as you can. You will be rewarded with 20 swordsmen. Give the swordsmen to your LVL3 hero. Go smash the quest orc, but don't attack others just yet. Equip the items. The sword gives +25% attack against orcs.
6) How to hunt orcs if you're a newbie
Orcs are a good source of items and XP. They are found on darkened wood tiles (don't forget to turn darkened tiles on). At this stage, the only kind you should attack are archers, as they are feeble in close combat. You should attack them with your swordsman hero, who should be standing in the woods for better cover. Be careful not to attack while adjacent to two or more orcs, as all of them will retaliate simultaneously.
Eventually, you should start hunting orcs with squads of 60+ volunteers or
pikemen, and save the swordsmen.
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