Special thanks to TNT PoE, the TNT guild master
The Settlers 7 is...
An computer RTS (Real-time Stretegy) game, in which you build production and research buildings and make troops to attack opponents or get victory points with research or trade. The game is similar with StarCraft and Age of Empire.
This article is for...
Experienced players who can make cannons. This artcle doens't explain research or trading. It explains know-how's on making 30 or more cannons in 50 minutes.
The Author is...
TNT Sunyata, currently world top 14 as of Aug. 2011 in Settler 7 official leader board. I'm good at making massive cannons but I don't know much about church play. I've learned from TNT PoE who is the master of guild 'TNT' who is the strongest player I've ever seen.
Major steps for massive cannons
There are some players who use 'minimal build' - you make as few building as you can. I'm not good at that, and I prefer 'maximum build' - make many buildings in a relatively short time.
So, the major steps are:
1. Make strong construction infrastructure:
- Get many constructor offices
- Get many planks and stones
2. Make mass meat production line
3. Make clothes and sell them for gold coins
4a. Make sword maker and wheel maker
4b. Upgrade important storage houses to speed up the production
5. Keep making cannons
Make strong construction infrastructure
At the very beginning:
Hire 3 pikemen from the tavern and get 2 sectors which have coal and iron mines.
Make 1 additional constructor's office, upgrade it to level 3 (later, make 1 or more additional constructors as needed).
Stone miners and lumber jacks and lumber mills:
Make 2~3 stone miners and give them fish.
Make 1~2 lumber jacks and 1 lumber mill depending on the main sector's condition. Don't cut down forest with animals.
Followings are for making tools:
Make 1 hunter (if game is available) and give the hunter meats.
Make 3 butchers and give them meats.
Make 1 iron bar maker and 1 tool maker, and give them meats, and set them to 'On demand' production mode.
More plank production line:
Many main sector does not have enough space for more plank production line. So make them in the second sector.
Including the workers in the main sector, total 5 ~ 7 lumberjacks, 3 or 4 lumber mills are needed.
More stone production line:
Get prestige points to get geologists. I prefer building stronghold and trading office and attach prestige blocks to get prestige points. Then make 6 ~ 12 coal miners and 3 iron ore miners, and set 2/3 (66%) of them to geologiests to get stones.
Now you have big construction infrastructure to make buildings fast. Select planks or stones when you get rewards.
Make mass meat production line
Make 5 ~ 6 crop fields.
Make 3 piggeries and give them meats (2 wells are also needed).
Make total 9 butchers and give them meats.
Input and output calculations are:
1 hunter (if there are): - 1 meat, + 3 animals
3 piggeries: - 3 meats, + 9 animals
9 butchers: -9 animals, - 9 meats, + 18 meats
Bottom line: 5 (more or less) constant meats increase
You should have at least 20 ~ 30 meats at all times to keep this production line working. Otherwise, the production stops. Animal stock can be 30 or less. If you have more, make more butchers.
Make clothes and sell them for gold coins
Selling clothes is the best for gold coins.
Return on investment (this is my way of calculation when you use meats, may be incorrect):
* Tools: 2 (tools can be sold only in Throne of Tandria, in military position)
So generally clothes are the best, but the cycle is slow. You may need 2 cloth makers.
Make 1 shepherd (with a well).
Make 1 weaber.
Make 1 cloth maker and give him/her meat.
If you need 2 cloth makers, you can make double of production line, or give fish to the weaber and make additional cloth maker (give meats to them). When you doubled the production line, watch out for meat stocks as it may get short.
Make sword maker and wheel maker
Make 1 sword maker and 1 wheel maker and give them meats.
Change the production mode for iron bar makers from 'On Demand' to 'Always'.
Now net meat increase is 2 (more or less)
Upgrade important storage houses to speed up the production
Important storage houses are the ones which are near meat and sword production line and near boundary between sectors. Those storages often become bottlenecks and slow down the production.
This build step can be done before making sword maker. It depends on the opponents. If they are fast attackers, you need to upgrade your stronghold and make cannons quickly, and you can upgrade your important storages later when you have time.
Some people make very few storage houses, like 1 or 2 in a sector. I recommend 5 or more. Positioning storage houses and logistics are very important and tricky part of the game. Let's talk about it in some other time.
Keep making cannons
Now you have all resources for cannons. Keep building or upgrading houses and make cannons. In this phase, monitoring meat stock is very important.
If you have 40 or more meats, you can make cannons, but if it is below 40, like 30, stop making cannons. You also may need to stop meat consumers (sword maker and wheel maker).
With above building steps, you can make about 10 cannons in 40 minutes, 30 or more in 50 minutes. Very few opponents can attack you earlier than 40 minutes. If you are fortunate enough to meet those superior players, you need to hurry up making cannons and upgrade your wall.
Epilogue - Doubling the meat and sword production
In most cases, above building steps give you enough cannons to dominate the game. However, in a big map, or if there are good military players watching each other and waiting for other's mistakes, you need to stay safely in your sectors and double your meat and sword production. Get more sectors, and make more crop fields, more piggeries, more butchers, and so on.
Recently, in a match with top 20 player, both had to make full 140 cannons because both players had very similar production capability. You don't see 140 cannons very often (actaully 136 cannons and 4 bearers). Anyway, in that game we had full 140 cannons in about 1 hour and 30 (or 40) minutes.
However, before thinking doubling the production, it's better to streamline your production and make cannons faster than opponents. If you can start making cannons in 30 minutes and keep building until you have 30 or more cannons, you can be top 14 or higher.
If you can start making cannons in 20 or 25 minutes, which I can't, you can win over virtually anyone, even the very best victory point players. Current top 1 player can finish Grassland Mesa in 30 ~ 35 minutes with victory points. So it is almost impossible to attack him with cannons before he finishes. I've heard that TNT PoE can start making cannons in 20 or 25 minutes.
A sample village layout in Monhaim Vally
This village has:
Costruction: 3 constructor's offices, 8 lumber jacks, 4 lumber mills, 3 stone miners
Mining: 9 coal miners and 3 iron ore miners (8 of them are geologiests)
Meat production: 3 wheat fields, 3 hunters, 3 piggeries, 9 butchers
Gold coin trade: 1 shepherd, 1 weaber, 1 cloth maker, 1 trading office with 4 traders
Millitary production: 1 iron smelter, 1 sword maker, 1 wheel maker
Others: 1 tool maker
This village is made in about 20 minutes. You need to cut down trees around wheat fields and coal miners before building them with lumber jacks.