Simple Ideas

Valor City Capture Guide

Video Games | July 2, 2012

This is a guide for capturing cities in the game Valor. I'll cover the basics and go over some of the rookie mistakes that can be made. Then I'll look at this in a little more depth and do some risk analysis on the multiplayer attacks, an area where thing can get upside down quite easily.

So the basics are this. You have to get you scholar alive into the enemy city. The usual approach is to send a clearing wave to wipe out the defenders. If you are going against a barbarian city, there is little risk as the barbs don't get reinforcements. If a barb city is clear, all you need do is get over the wall.

That was how I lost my first scholar. I sent 70 lancers as an escort. That force would normally beat a level 14 wall, but the wall got a plus 5 luck roll and i got a minus 19 luck roll. That was enough to kill my scholar. So yup, I lost a fight with an inanimate object. Not a good start. I usually use rams to knock down the walls and rebuild them, so this attack force was fine until I was on a team project that left the wall in tact. Lesson learned number 1. You have to have troops that can smack down the wall.

Next up was in a different world. I was attacking a small barbarian city that I didn't think anyone else would want. Sure enough, 30 seconds after taking the city, one of my guild mates took the city from me. And sure enough, he had posted a claim in the guild claim folder. I glanced at the folder, but didn't see the claim. Rookie error number two (though this guy made an error also, I had lowered the loyalty from 100 to about 50 before his first hit. If he was attentive, he'd have seen someone else was working the project and backed off. I could have been someone from another guild.) So you need to be able to do the math and know what to expect each time your scholar hits. if the number don't add up, you have an outsider on the project and should pause to reconsider.

Here is how the math works. The city starts at 100 loyalty. A scholar hit takes 20 to 30 points off the loyalty. When loyalty hits zero or lower, the attacker takes the city. What this does is limit the range of the cities you can take. That is what makes this very much a geography game. No matter how strong you are, you don't have an air force or ballistic missiles. You can only attack cities within a reasonable walking distance. The problem is that the cities regain loyalty at two points per hour. And scholars move slower than any other unit. So if you try to take a city a 4 hour walk away, the target will regain 16 loyalty points each cycle, meaning you only net 4-14 point per attack...meaning 9 attacks or 3 days real time to take one city. That is untenable. Hence players team up or use multiple scholars (and don't put two scholars in one wave, if you have two scholars send them in separate groups to get maximum usefulness.)

As a player, you can recall an attack up to a point of no return. That is like 40-50% of the way to the target (exact number?) After that point, if things change, you are in trouble. So this presents a large risk management issue.

We had one such issue the other night. I think three different players launched a total of 5 scholars on a target 6 hours away. When all the scholars got past the point of no return, another guild took the city. What this meant was that every subsequent scholar would either take the city from a guild mate, or die to the support troops. This is a large waste of resources for both guilds. Turns out our guild ended up winning the city, but given the lost resources, we would have been better served to have taken a smaller city near us and grow it to a 6k city. The problem was, there was no factor of safety in this plan. Had we sent in a "scout scholar" with a 3 hour lead, that scholar would have hit and we would have seen that the loyalty was down and could have recalled the other 4 scholars. But there was no room for any errors in the this plan. Granted this plan had worked before, but at this point in the game there were only two barbarian cities over 5k in the region. And this one was surrounded by an enemy guild that could (and did) take it in less time given their proximity. I don't think we did the risk analysis, I think the focus was only on timing the attacks so the "right" player on our side got the city.

That guy didn't get the city. So the next night the team attacked a closer target. This was live player who was booted from his guild and was in our territory. It was, quite simply, raw meat. The guy was wiped slick, then the scholars came in. The guy who was supposed to take the city...ended up not taking it again. Not sure if it was a result of the 20-30 point issue per attack, but think it was. The numbers were close to zero and it fell on the "wrong" attack.

So now we are ready for the third time to be a charm. Same guy, third night against a different player. In this case there was a simple addition error in the landing times. One guy lost 10 minutes in an addition and that was enough that this player who was supposed to get the city three days in a row came in second to a guild member three days in a row.

And that of course, was the genesis of this write up. So here is my take on the pre-attack risk analysis.

1. Who else might take it? if the answer is "only an idiot" then check the area for known idiots. If a strong guild is nearby, you are looking at a high probability that someone over there is working the project. Factor that in with an escape plan for the group. Somehow, find out if the city is in play for that guild.

2. The hit variability. 20-30 is a large range. Four good hits close together can take it. Five weak hits over an hour or two may not take it...( To figure this out, I'd put the loyalty drop number in a regression tool and see if there is a pattern. I think the first hit is almost always above 25. Latter hits seem to dip below 25. Making it look like there a base hit number and a percentage of the remaining points. But I'd need to see more data to extract a workable formula.) And even with that the best we can do is come up with a confidence interval on who will take the city in a multiple attacker scenario.

3. The 2 points per hour regeneration of loyalty. How does this work? does it regenerate 1 point every thirty minutes after the loyalty drops? Or is it a "pulse" where all cities get a plus 1 every 30 minutes of game time. If you know this, you can figure it into the calcs as a 1 loyalty is a fail and 0 is a success. With that bright line result hanging possibly on this regen time, an expert would want to know when it increments.

4. Human error. Simply making a math mistake or launching at the wrong time. Either can happen and mess up the plan. My approach is to add 12 minutes to the last attacker that way they can make a +1 error on both the tens digit and the units digit and I'll still hit after them. I don't see a reason to cut it any closer than this, but I admit that I'm new to this and I may just not have seen that reason yet. So I'll leave that open as a possible area to look at later as I play more.

Once the city is taken, the first thing you want to do is "support" the city. This is to avoid a recapture (easy to do as loyalty is low and the defender has nothing in the city after the capture. This is another reason long distance attacks are risky, I think the total risk goes up as a square of the distance from the attackers base.) Anyway, if you are attacking a barbarian city, quite often you will see the portal light up as soon as you take the city. Most of the time, this is just a farming run. Twice I've had farming runs from over an hour away. When they come that far, they are sending a large force, usually of knights.

I used to try to get my knights there first. Bad idea on my part as 600 knights defending can lose to 400 knights attacking. It makes little sense, but it is how the game is coded, so that is how it plays out. The attackers may be upgraded, or they may be lucky...but the net result is that sending knights to defend is not what I do now.

Here is my approach now. First and foremost, change the city name from "barbarian city" to whatever you will call it. That tells the farmers it is off their list for future attacks. If there are inbound attacks, let them hit. Send your foot soldiers set to arrive after the farmers hit. They will then defend against anyone who thinks that the freshly taken city is weak for a recapture.

That is my beginners thoughts on this. Would like to thank my various guild mates in world 73 and 75 for showing me the ropes on this. And not laughing too hard when I finished second in a fight with a wall.


1. Graham Weaver on November 7, 2012

Thank you very good guide, but I have a question. If for example my guild an I plan to take a city and I take it and my guild Still has troops attacking will there be any loss to those troops supposing we are in the same guild?

2. BigButch69 on November 11, 2012

Yes they attack it...its dumb but thats how it works.

Any Comments?

Online scrabble primer

Published: February 12, 2011

With the Android version of Words with Friends due out "real soon now", thought I'd post a primer for people who might want to start playing

Hanging With Friends Primer

Published: July 5, 2011

Intro to playing the iPhone game Hanging with Friends (Hangman).