MMHK Mondays, Part 3
“On the Brink of the Brink of War”
Somehow my alliance has managed to avoid war for the past week, but our peace won’t last. My faction shares a border with our rival, and we can’t both keep expanding without more disputes arise.
There are two main factions in that screengrab. Unfortunately the game assigned the same medium-blue color to both of them, so on the left is ours and on the right is our rival’s. (If I had to pick one feature of MMHK to improve on, it would be the maps. This is as far out as you can zoom in the game. I can’t fit my own cities into the screengrab since they’re way too far to the left of this area).
So I didn’t have to fight any other players this week, but it was an important one nonetheless as the decisions I’m making now will determine how well I fare for the rest of the game.
The biggest event of my week was my founding yet another town, my fifth—I’m working on a guide to town-building, so I won’t cover it in depth right now. But here’s my newest town:
It wasn’t cheap–cost me 150 wood, 150 ore, and 150,000 in gold. More than anything else you can build. But that double-mercury is worth the investment.
I will go into my overall empire-building strategy, though. The only real goal of city-building is to create a strong and diverse army; anything you can build is meant for this purpose. Here’s a look at my Necropolis units and how much they cost, in increasing order of strength:
So what I need most are gold, crystal, and especially mercury. (Which makes sense, I guess, because my faction raises troops by bringing them to life. Isn’t mercury used in spells? I think so).
I’ve started by developing only my capitol city. That’s where I’ve built the structures necessary to recruit most of these units, plus my magic guild and my biggest storehouses—it’s the heart of my empire. I’ve treated my other four towns like the backwater resource-collection outposts that they are. I settle them, liberate the surrounding woodlands, improve the mines, and move on. I don’t spend many resources building duplicate versions of the buildings I already have at my capitol.
This approach requires a lot of management. Having lots of resources in five different towns means I’m constantly sending supply caravans back and forth. By far that’s the most common order I give day-to-day. Maintaining my empire isn’t always glamorous.
When I started out I was in the habit of coming up with silly names for all my towns. But now that I have five of them to manage, I decided this week to rename them to reflect their purposes. My second town is now “mercrys,” for its mercury and crystal mine, (it also has sulfur and gold); my third town became “toomuchore” for its double ore mines; my fourth, “mygoldmine,” for its double gold; and my fifth “Vilanch,” after legendary Hollywood joke writer Bruce Villanch. So I didn’t TOTALLY break the habit.
My army grows stronger daily, but I do wonder whether this really is the best foundation for a Necropolis empire. For starters, this is my first time playing MMHK and I didn’t research what resources are most important until I’d built my second or third town. (Brilliant, right?) As a result, I always have too much ore and sulfur, and never have enough wood or crystals, plus two gem mines that I don’t need at all. Had I known earlier what my most important resources were, I would have built mygoldmines and Vilanch second and third, and found a site with double-crystal mines after that.
Usually I can trade my unnecessary resources within my alliance for the ones I need—this week I sent away most of my sulfur for much-needed mercury and crystal—but it’s cumbersome and time-consuming. What concerns me the most, though, is that strategy to mostly ignore the security of my outlying towns. Right now, only my capital has defensive structures. I keep a small-ish army there, but it has no advanced units. My main army is stationed at mygoldmine, busy routing the remaining NPC characters. If I weren’t in an alliance, I’d be toast. My enemies would only have to pick off my border towns one-by-one to starve me of resources and then close in on my capitol.
But if I’d spent resources on developing my border towns instead of on raising my army to what it is now, I’d be weak and small. It’s another reason why you pretty much have to join an alliance in this game. They offer the protection you need to grow stronger. But I’m sure I’ll be repaying them soon, pouring my strength into a border war. Even though my faction leader negotiated a peace settlement last week, he recently warned us all to be on guard. I think we’re starting to get bored anyway.