Tribal Wars Game

Tribal Wars Game Play Tribal Wars

Tribal Wars – A browser-based, real-time strategy game where you can literally go ‘medieval’ on your opponents


Well, if it isn’t another real-time strategy game that wants to go ahead and take a hefty slice of the genre. Games that are based on the massively multiplayer online format or the real-time RPG style are often remarkably similar; generic even. They often involve the running of your own discrete plot of land (read: city, village, tribe, settlement, people, civilisation, or pretty much any collective noun) with a set of resources that must be continuously replenished at increasing rates by upgrading and constantly improving your resource production buildings; all of this progress is inevitably the basis of your secondary goal of expansion in order to improve the size and standing of your growing empire. Tribal Wars does very little to deviate from this classic format: taking control of a small village, your goal is to upgrade your various centres of production in order to support a growing population, with the end game being to conquer and expand your way to notoriety amongst the servers of Tribal Wars, which are positively overflowing with dedicated players trying to achieve the very same thing as you. Forging alliances with neighbouring villages is essential; your very survival relies on it.

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Build me Up

Beginning a game of Tribal Wars has you running through a very brief registration process that involves your email address and the choosing of a location that you wish to be placed within whichever world you have chosen to set up your village. The location of your village really doesn’t make too much difference if you’re just a casual player, but if you already have friends who play the game, it can be of great strategic value to set up somewhere nearby (this is where the forging of alliances comes into the foreground of the gameplay; this is discussed below).

The game begins with a very helpful and easy to follow tutorial that guides you through the essential processes involved in the continued playing of Tribal Wars, beginning with the creation and expansion of vital buildings within your village. The very first buildings required are the production buildings which will function as centres of manufacture, such as an iron mine, timber camp and clay pit, all of which produce their respective supplies in order to fuel the construction and expansion of further buildings within the village. The village headquarters act as the central hub of your settlement through which all changes and developments being to your city are authorised. The construction of and upgrades to various buildings comes at varying cost to your supplies, with these costs rising with each level of upgrade that is applied to each building. The farm resource also dictates the overall number of people in the population. After you have managed to arm yourself with the basic production buildings, further structures will become available for erecting at your leisure, including the basis of your eventual military might, a fully-fledged barracks. 

Tribal Wars: Village Headquarters

It may not look it, but my village headquarters is pretty sizeable for a beginner

It pays to bear in mind that due to the competitive (and MMO) nature of the online gameplay, it is essential that much care and attention is dedicated to the initial expansion and strengthening of your village’s potential for resource production/population expansion; this is to ensure that your village is fully prepared to fight off the inevitable attacks that it will face from surrounding villages.

Military Might

Reaching the level 3 upgrade of your village headquarters will allow you to begin the process of creating a military presence in your village. The presence of an army in your tribe is required in order to attack other villages, as well as being absolutely essential to the very survival of your village in the first place. Building a barracks allows you to produce various troops to add to your army including Archers, Swordsmen and Axemen, with expansion of your village eventually affording you greater choice of more specialised troops such as horsemen and entire cavalry units that add significant military weight to your agenda of expansion. With enough progress in the game comes the option of building an academy, which allows for the training of ‘noblemen’; these are a specialised kind of rank that facilitate the conquering of neighbouring villages by reducing their loyalty to their own tribe; reducing their loyalty to zero will allow for the effective assimilation of said villages into your own. One of the ultimate goals is to get to the stage of possessing such military might that you are able to ‘noble’ a village, effectively encircling it with a defensive wall and effectively creating a self-contained medieval city with the most powerful troops and military resources available.  

The expansion of your military strength depends on your current resources, and reaching higher levels of military power in order to garner the upper hand on your surrounding villages is pretty much the point of the entire game. It is essentially expansion for the sake of expansion, though this also rings true of most real-time strategy games, since they all pretty much rely on an initial expansion of resources to support a growth of population which in turn fuels a military boom with which you can conquer more land in order to continue the cycle; it is quite a basic process, but it’s also a fairly fun cycle when you are the one managing the variables that it relies on. 

Tribal Wars: Barracks Level 9

Building and upgrading your barracks is essential to the defensive capability and offensive might of your village

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Forging of Alliances/Making of Enemies

One of the features of Tribal Wars that distinguishes from other real-time strategy games is the extent to which your relationship with the surrounding villages affects your standing in the game. Even as early on as the tutorial stages, you are encouraged to interact with other tribes that surround you in order to develop relationships with them; this is not simply an elaborate way of socialising, however, but is rather an essential part of securing the safety and the eventual prosperity of your village. Once you have shaken off the training wheels of the tutorial, you are pretty much left to fend for yourself, and if your relationships with the surrounding villages are strained (or even worse, non-existent), you will find yourself at a disadvantage because you can pretty much guarantee that there are multiple villages out there that belong to one tribe whose cumulative strength is greater than that of any of the individual villages that it is comprised of.

Applying to join a tribe is a definite way to strengthen your position in whichever world you choose to build your village; being part of a tribe means that if you do happen to get attacked you then have allies with which you can launch a retaliatory strike. Communicating with your neighbouring villages, whether in a call for alliance or to issue a warning of imminent attack, is an integral part of the Tribal Wars experience, adding greatly to the ‘real-time’ feel of the gameplay and to the sense of community within the game. 

Tribal Wars: Continent 75

The map denotes your position in the fictional Tribal Wars World; be sure to keep up relations with your neighbours

A Numbers Game

Aside from the graphical representation of your village as it progresses (which, while fairly basic is quite detailed and reasonably animated), the action that takes place in the game is based entirely on mathematical projection and calculation of outcomes based on the current attributes of your city. Battles do not take place on a visual battlefield, but rather on a screen where you input the troops you wish to deploy and the results are calculated numerically and without any further input from the player. This is a far cry from games such as Tribal Wars which allow for some manoeuvring and strategy in battle, and absence of this sort of freedom is one of the main drawbacks of Tribal Wars.

The Cost of Progress

While a player can happily go about their business without every handing over a penny of their hard-earned cash for the privilege, the ownership of a premium account most certainly puts the odds of survival and success in the favour of the paying player by offering them a number of advantages. One of the most noticeable of benefits is allowing for the queuing of building construction. Since non-paying players are restricted to the building of one building at a time, their potential for development is severely limited by being restricted to being allowed to build/upgrade only one building at a time, while those paying for a premium account can pop their buildings into a queue and see their village grow at a much faster rate. In addition to more efficient building construction, premium players also benefit from being able to train their troops at a much faster pace than their penny-pinching peers. While this is most certainly not a criticism of the premium system of gameplay in general, the relative advantages make the gap between the paying and non-paying player quite considerable, and most definitely makes the game more difficult for anyone that doesn’t wish to amass days of gameplay or tens of pounds of online purchases for their experience

A Worthwhile Endeavour

The potential for Tribal Wars to entertain is undeniable: the game’s addictiveness appears to grow exponentially with time, with my initial impressions being less than favourable, but the fact that I kept compulsively returning to continually upgrade my village is an indication of the beauty of the game. The visual interface isn’t that pretty, and you won’t get to involve yourself in a beautifully-animated (or even graphically-represented) battle of epic proportions, but the emphasis on communication with the surrounding tribes adds to the city-development fun, and the ability to form alliances with neighbouring tribes adds to the sense of community of the game. I’d say it was worth a tickle; the worst that can happen is that you end up not playing it again.


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