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Things to Keep in Mind in Kingdoms of Camelot (Facebook Game)
The first thing to keep in mind for the Facebook game Kingdoms of Camelot is that other players can only take your resources (gold, food, wood, stone, ore). They can't actually destroy your buildings, conquer your city, make you pay tribute, or anything like that. They can kill all of your troops, but only if your troops are set to defend the city. Which brings us to tip number one:
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Tip #1 - Set Your Troops to Hide In Sanctuary
Click on your castle. Up near the top of the Overview tab, there are some buttons that say "hide troops in sanctuary" and "order troops to defend city." You want "hide troops in sanctuary." Why? Because your attacker is going to win whether you defend the city or not. With your troops in sanctuary, they won't die with each attack, and you won't have to keep spending resources to train new ones over and over. It may sound like the coward's way out, but it saves up your resources to do more helpful things in the long run - things that will get you out from under your attacker's thumb. In short, the best defense while your might is still low is to not defend at all.
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Tip #2 - Upgrade Your Storehouse and Research Shrinking Powder
Next, you want to secure your resources. Kingdoms of Camelot provides you with a wonderful building called the Storehouse, which allows you to save 100,000 of each resource per level from being plundered by someone else - which means 900,000 food, 900,000 wood, 900,000 stone, and 900,000 ore when your storehouse has reached level 9. Make upgrading the storehouse a top priority.
In addition, shrinking powder will allow another 10% per level to fit in the storehouse. A level 1 storehouse with level 1 shrinking powder will therefore fit 110,000 of each resource, while a level 9 storehouse with level 9 shrinking powder will fit 900,000 + (90% of 900,000 = 810,000) = 1,710,000 of each. (If you get nothing else out of playing this game, you'll at least get really good at basic math.)
Shrinking powder is researched in the Alchemy Lab. After you build one, it's third from the bottom in the technology list.
(Note that the levels of everything actually go up to 10, but only if you have Divine Inspirations. These are only available by winning them in Merlin's Magical Boxes, or by spending real money to buy gems to spend in the shop (Chests tab, Divine Ascension chest which contains five apiece).
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Tip #3 - Keep Your Gold Low in Kingdoms of Camelot Facebook
Gold is the only thing that you can't protect. Even so, there are ways to keep too much from being stolen.
First, set up your tax rate for a net income somewhere in the low double digits. You want it above zero, but not by much. Gold comes from your population and pays for two things: knights and Alchemy Lab research. At present while Kingdoms of Camelot is in beta, knights will actually work for free, but this will not always be the case, so it's good to get in the habit of making sure they're paid. As the knights level, they demand more pay; as you build more cottages or upgrade existing ones, your population goes up and gives you more gold; you will periodically have to adjust the tax rate in response.
(A hint about knights: keep a few extra to idle and level. It may look like a waste of gold now, but it will help when you start attacking things later.)
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Tip #3 (cont) - Where To Get Gold When You Need It
Gold for research in the Facebook game Kingdoms of Camelot can come from several sources besides tax accumulation. First, as your might increases, you earn new titles which you claim as an "improve title" quest. These come with gold. Population quests also come with gold. Don't claim the gold until you're about to start researching something - they'll stay there and wait until you're ready.
You can also receive gold as gifts from friends. These will appear in My Items under the Production tab. Don't claim those in advance either.
In the castle, there is a button for "Increase Gold." What that does is collect gold out of your population (a levy) in exchange for happiness. The higher your population, the more gold you get. Happiness will drop 20 points, which means your population will go down, but then both will rise back to pre-levy levels. As long as your idle population is high, you won't have to worry about it dipping below zero and slowing your resource production rates.
You can also sell resources in the market for gold. First, figure out how much gold you need. Flip through the tabs to see what people are buying (bottom right, "resource requested" box) and for how much (wood is usually highest). Check what you have available to sell. Fill in the highest "unit price" and then fiddle with the number in "resource amount" until the gold total at the bottom is exactly, or just above, the amount you need. (Keep in mind that the game rounds down to the nearest 1000 for resources). Click sell, and a few seconds later the game should update to reflect your new gold.
Finally, you can get small amounts of gold by attacking barbarian cities (they have 1000 per level) or inactive player cities (varies, depending on what they left their population and tax rate at) which dot the landscape at less than 1000 might apiece.
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Hiding Extra Gold
If you do find yourself holding too much gold, you can hide the extra in a wilderness if you have one. The gold can still be stolen (and any troops you sent with it killed) if someone attacks it and wins, but people don't normally attack wildernesses, so it's likely safer than holding it in your city.
You can also spend it in the market for resources. Pick the lowest price in "resource for sale" and fiddle with "resource amount" until the total matches, or is just below, the amount of gold you have. Buying is not as instantaneous as selling; the resource you've bought has travel time before it makes it to your city. This can be helpful if you're able to time its arrival for after an incoming attack.
If you are part of a Kingdoms of Camelot alliance, you can send it to other alliance members. Check that they are not under attack themselves before you do so.
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Tip #4 - Hitting Back
The point of securing your resources and keeping your gold low in Facebook's Kingdoms of Camelot is two-fold. First, you stop losing it to theft and can use it to build your city. Second, and more importantly, it gives your attacker nothing to steal and therefore no reason to attack. At that point, many attackers will wander off for more rewarding targets on their own. If they don't, there's still something you can do.
With every attack, you received a battle report in your messages. After the plunder part of the report, you should see your attacker's name followed by their city's coordinates - something like "Attackers (name) - (123, 456) Winner". Click to the map view. Fill in the attacking city's coordinates in the little boxes at the upper left, and click Go. You should see their city in the center of the screen, and by hovering your mouse over it, you can find out their might. Is it really high? Like, in the mid-hundred thousands? If so, you won't be able to strike back directly, but they are an excellent candidate for some guerrilla warfare.
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The Wilderness Theft Strategy
High might offensive Kingdoms of Camelot players have massive armies, which eat massive amounts of food. To keep everyone fed, they need food wildernesses (grasslands and lakes). Click around on the ones near their city or cities to see if any are theirs. Note down the coordinates of any you find. Wildernesses usually aren't guarded because it takes up an army slot to defend them. This makes them really easy to steal - all you have to do is attack it with one scout (any troop type will work, but scouts travel fastest). Make sure you have space to hold it after you conquer it so that it becomes yours (check your limit in your castle - you get one wilderness per castle level). Once it's yours, abandon it. If they want it back, they have to fight for it all over again. If it is defended, you've only lost one scout. And if they are defending all their wildernesses, they probably don't have enough army slots left to attack you, too, so either way you're in good shape.
Do that to enough of their food wildernesses at the same time, and their food inflow stands a good chance of going negative. If their food supply drops to zero, their troops go hungry and desert, and they have to be trained anew. Other types of wildernesses should be stolen at the same time to slow down the retraining, which requires a lot of wood and ore (woods and mountains).
Wilderness theft will almost certainly infuriate your opponent. However, if you've properly secured your own resources and gold, and they were already hitting you on a daily basis anyway, there is nothing more they can do to you. This gives you the leverage you need to convince them to go away.
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A Kingdoms of Camelot Cheat - Player Search
At this point, just about everyone of any import knows about KoC Tools. This is a third-party website that allows you to look up the city locations of any player (by their Lord or Lady name), or every member of any Kingdoms of Camelot alliance on any server, for free. You can also get wilderness lists - which would reduce the amount of time spent hunting for them on your own if you're willing to pay.
(Yes, this probably counts as cheating, since it gives people unfair map advantages. I mention it here so that the more casual players stand a chance of knowing about it.)