The differences between raids and attacks are often confusing to new players. There is a lot of overlap between the two, but they serve very different purposes and have many different effects.
An attack is meant to destroy its target. One of the two combatting armies will be reduced to zero at the resolution of the attack, and thus this offensive mode should be limited to targets that are meant to be eliminated. Unlike common thought, raiding with an attack does not reduce bounty. However, an attack (even successful) may inflict harder damage to both attackers and defenders and may provide less profit than using raid. Sitters may have the ability to launch attacks, or the account holder may have this ability removed.
Certain actions (usually with heavy consequences) can only be executed by a successful attack:
- Destroying Buildings: Catapults, Rams only work in an attack. Therefore, walls and buildings can only be destroyed during an attack.
- Conquering: Chiefs work only during attacks. Hence, attacks are required to conquer other villages.
- Releasing trapped troops: Troops that are trapped by a Gauls' trapper can only be released by an attack. If the defenders have traps, some attackers may be trapped and then released immediately if the attack is successful.
- Taking artifacts, world wonder plan
Recommendation: Attacks usually involve higher risks and may require scouting beforehand.
Raids are meant strictly to gather bounty, and are much less vicious. The armies will do battle until at least one side is reduced in strength by 50%, and therefore, the loss on both sides are usually smaller. Siege weapons are not active in a raid.
Trappers will capture raiders; a successful attack is needed to free the captives. A successful attack will release the captured troops, including those that have just been captured during the same attack and any troops belonging to a member of the same alliance as the attacker. Only Gauls can construct trappers. Until you know if a Gaul has traps or not, it is best to send attacks rather than raids, so you do not waste time having to free trapped troops.
A complete battle-report will only be sent to you if you were either the defender or killed at least 25% of the enemy troops in your attack. Reinforcement reports only show you the number of your own slain troops.
Many players will claim harassment when being attacked in-game. However, in Travian, multiple attacks are common and not against the rules. Trying to report someone for harassment simply because they attacked in this war-game is always unsuccessful. However, harassment in terms of abusive messages is a violation of rules, and if you send harassing messages to the person attacking you, they may report you to the multi-hunter and you may be banned or receive other punishments such as the emptying of all warehouses and removal of troops depending upon the severity of the harassment. Players might attack a player as much as 8-10 times in one second even without using scripts, bots, or other forbidden tools according to the game rules. This is also not harassment, but is simply aggressive and experienced game-play.
Potential Resource "Farms" Edit
Keep looking around your map for villages that could become usefull farms.
Abandoned Villages Edit
Some players start a village but fail to develop it (for various reasons). Fortunately for the alert player, these unused villages continue to build up resources that your troops can gather in raids. At the end of the protected period for new players it is not uncommon for an unused village with population 2 to hold 800 (or more) of each resource just waiting to be collected. Make a note of the time the protection period ends and give these guys a visit with your raiders.
Once the villages have been initially raided of all resources they should be treated as a Weaker Opponent.
Weaker Opponents Edit
Weaker opponent's villages can be kept in check by raiding their resources on a regular basis, with a handful of your troops. While you may meet some resistance from defending troops at first, this strategy provides a constant stream of resources while preventing your opponents from developing. This is most effective if you can start the raiding cycle before too many crannies have been built in the target village.
"Gone Fishing" Edit
Keep an eye on your larger neighbours with your scouts (if you have them). Try to work out when they are on-line. If there is no increase in population and the resources keep on rising for a prolonged period the player may be on a fishing trip (holiday). A large raid(s) to deplete the target village's resources could turn the village into a farm as per Weaker Opponents.
This strategy is however more risky as the target village may have large crannies and/or a large army away from home but the player could eventually abandon the village if they are unable to develop, providing many resources. Alternatively the player could join and/or request aid from an alliance or other larger players, providing you with tactical headache. You have been warned.
"Alliance" smokescreen Edit
Always check the Alliance details of a potential target village. Some useful potential farms hide behind the smokescreen of their own alliance name even though they are the only member. If a potential attacker sees the alliance name and skips to another target the deception has worked. You could take advantage of this approach yourself, hiding your farm behind the same deception.
Beware that using an alliance name like this may gain you enemies from that alliance.
Don't Annoy the (Big) Neighbours Edit
Another reason for always checking the details of a potential target is that the village may be a second, or subsequent, village for a strong player. Blindly attacking an apparently easy target may result in unwanted attention and could prompt the other opponent to destroy your resource fields and buildings with catapults. If they have more villages than you, the general rule is, scout the capitol/biggest pop before attacking. This way you can be sure that your army is enough to overpower them. Beware though, that they will probably have scouts as well and that these attacks may alert them to your presence. Also, if your sitter sends a raid to a big player blindly and you start receiveing big attacks back, a polite message can usually smooth over the creases. This can also be a good excuse if an attack fails, but remember; it is never good to lie!