Here are some additionally strategies you can employ during an Ikariam war. Some of these I learned from Travian, and can probably be applied to most OSG’s. Others I learned from my allies on JRG. More to come next week!
As mentioned, one of the toughest parts of a war is getting your troops onto the same island as your enemy. This can be tough when you first have to take out their navy, or start engaging an innocent bystander who just happens to be on the same island. One way around this is to have a Mobile Colony. If your Palace is upgraded high enough to support an exta city that you haven’t yet built, you can build it right next to your enemy. Once the war ends you can abandon the village and still have a city slot available for next time.
The benifit of the MC is that there’s an extra port on the island that the enemy will have to blockade. Also, your troops don’t cost any additional upkeep. Depending on the size of your army, this can even make up for the lost production in your other cities (assuming you haven’t upgraded your governor’s residences high enough).
The trick with an MC is that you’re going to have to upgrade it quickly. A new city has no wall, no hideout, and only 1 action point, so your troops will be pretty vulnerable there until you can erect some infasructure.
Alternatively, you could build a Mobile Colony on an island that is near the enemy, and use it as a base to island hop. You’ll get the benifit of the lower upkeep, will have a port that isn’t too far, and will have more time to upgrade the city before your enemy finds out.
Ikariam has four advisors that are generally useful. The Military Advisor shows all incoming and outgoing troops. Additionally, if there is an incoming attack he will turn red. This can be very helpful because you notice an incoming attack as soon as you log in. You can, however, make this feature useless to your enemy. If you build a very cheap, slow naval ship (ideally a Ram Ship) and send it to block the harbor of your opponent’s furthest city, his Military Advisor will be lit up the whole time. To see if he has any additional incoming attacks, he’ll have to keep manually checking his military overview. Ganted, this tactic is merely annoying, but it just might give your real attack a few extra minutes before being noticed.
Alot of warfare in Ikariam seems to be a game of cat and also cat, with armies not attacking unless they have the upper hand. You might often find yourself with an army not quite ready for combat, waiting another day or so for reinforcements to arrive, and hoping your oppoenent doesn’t chose this moment to attack. However, it’s nigh on 1am, you have work in the morning, and your opponent from Indonesia is just about to start looking for your army. What you can do is send your army on a long raid, so that they can’t be attacked until you return. If you plan to be offline for 8 hours, find a small, inactive town 4 hours away and send your troops to pillage. By the time you get back to the game your troops will just be returning. This also works for navy, and you can send them to block a harbor for 1-8 hours.
Spearmen As Eyes
In a war between alliances, battle usually only occurs in a few cities> More often than not this will not be in your own city, but one of your allies. It can be very useful to have eyes in your allies’ cities so you can know what’s going on, even if your allies aren’t online. For example, say you’re trying to send reinforcements, but need to know what type of troops to send? Or you need to know how long until the enemy arrives. If you put a cheap unit (Spearman) in your allies’ towns you’ll be able to check for yourself all the troops in that town (both friendly and hostile) as well as any incoming attacks or reinforcements.