Forums / Questions and Answers / Example of mechanic knowledge

Example of mechanic knowledge
03:45:09 Sep 17th 22 - Prince Charmer:

When I read people speak about old vets they always say they were great, they understood mechanic of the game better than others. They use that to their advantage. Is that only in the past or is that still like that. Like what exactly do the casual players do not understand about game mechanic?

To me stuff seems pretty straight forward, but it seems like people say for example army of the dead chain attack, it should be hit, aotd, merge into scout... Like what is there that vets might know that the rest of us do not know? 

Could be the cheap control time spell to move Mages around faster, but that is mostly for mages and casual players who are not Mages will not need that. Game mechanics like moving armies knowing the exact number of soldiers split in armies to move faster? That is all kinda known and people mostly know about these things. 

What are the things that vets know that the casuals do not know that gives them an advantage? If you guys want to keep that advantage give me just a basic example without going in details if you want to keep that information for yourselves. 

Thank you!

13:59:53 Sep 17th 22 - Percy (Mr. Percy The Range Test Officer):

I can provide a couple examples, as this is the exact thing that spurred all my in-game testing. 

1) Army sizes. The amount of times I’ve broken 100k-200k armies down to 50k/10-20karmy sizes thinking I’m gaining speed is laughable. It wasn’t until I was helping teach new players the game that they asked the question of “what is the limit”? Myself and other vets in the KD didn’t know. A quick 5 minutes later and we knew it fully. We provided that info to the player base, and I don’t think a single person knew the cutoff points of 7630 and 178.000. Which, by the way, there are 5 distracting movement speed categories: 1-12, 13-322, 323-7630, 7631-179870, 179871-♾️.

2) Merge army for speed boost. When moving 500k armies, you can gain on another 500k army by scout merging at tic the farthest distance possible.

3) Land drop. I started playing back in 2009-ish and stopped in 2013 when I started college. Never once had I been told about this mechanic, and wasn’t something I even heard about until I came back in 2019. Could argue that isn’t a huge boost now with the OOP-centric fights, but for longer eras, this is an insane econ boost.

These are just a couple examples I feel most vets are like “duh, how do you not know those?” Yet I was never taught those in my 4-5 years of playing back in the day. Then when I came back, I did learn most of tbose from vets, but then I took up the mantle to teach others, some who had been playing as long or longer than I had.

Brings me to the main reason I’m even replying here: vets of old hoarded their knowledge and didn’t share it outside of their circles. Quite easy to be good if you keep the average populace dumb ;) now that myself and others have put a major emphasis on open distribution of info, the average player skill has massively risen. 

Oh, and from this, we’ve helped patch major bug abuses “the greats” used to become great. Which, to me, should put their “greatness” into question entirely. If you took the greats of old and had them compete with today’s player base, I’d argue most of the greats would still be fearful today, but they wouldn’t appear quite so “greatest of all time”, as many of them used bug abuses to get to powerful and kept the average player from learning their tricks.

14:43:57 Sep 17th 22 - Mr. Fcukr:

Effectiveness of mage counts per cast.

05:51:41 Sep 18th 22 - Matthew (Chief Trogdar):

too much word.

vets > new blood who dont even use blockers 

05:53:02 Sep 18th 22 - Matthew (Chief Trogdar):

'let me settle a 2k city for GT vision, but let me not settle on the bridge with 1 wall'

-Noobs, probably, or the 'new best players' in the era where the game is LEAST COMPETITVE DUE TO SMALL PLAYER POOL OF OLD AND BAD

05:54:14 Sep 18th 22 - Matthew (Chief Trogdar):

Somehow I trust players who INVENTED the strategies good players use today, such as:

Land-Dropping: Barny
AOTD Nazgul: Pure

more than I trust the guys who dont understand why magic chain-fails or chain-succeeds who write 123123123 word essays

06:01:58 Sep 18th 22 - Matthew (Chief Trogdar):

atleast make your walls of text funny or entertaining 

I can't sit down and read all that word

highlight the important parts to catch my interest

right now this looks like:


written by people who read the wall of text and see the word 'SWORDS'

07:00:47 Sep 18th 22 - Percy (Sir Percy The Arma Caster):

The fact you can’t be bothered to read a well thought out message speaks more about you than it does me :P 

The question was to provide examples of knowledge gaps. I provided three, with supporting evidence and their applications. Stating a gap exists but not explaining how it applies leaves the entire thing open for interpretation. Anyone who knows me, knows I don’t half-ass anything, including replies to forum posts I have no business replying to ;)

07:46:38 Sep 18th 22 - Prince Charmer:

Army sizes for increased speed and merging into a scout are well known things, with all due respect. You require a lot of activity to do that, but I believe everyone knows and does that when they have time for that.

Same goes for land dropping even thought I have seen people say its not that crucial, but I guess gives a certain advantage. Still what I was looking for are tricks that are not well known. Are there any tricks that are really unknown?

To me a siege trap is showing more skill them just merging into scout for speed, you need coordination as well as activity, to make sure you're on city, siege it, then hit the enemy all really quick. That as well is a known tactic and not really something you would gain advantage over a casual? Or do we assume casuals do not know about that?

Is there any kind of trick when doing aotd hits? Specific numbers or specific % to hit with or something like that? 

11:51:29 Sep 18th 22 - Konstant (The Ancient Ahura Mazda):

The average knowledge of the average player these days is much, much greater than in the past when vets hoarded any sort of advantage they could possibly get.

There's no special use of any mechanic today which the general VU player isn't aware of these days due to the current vets of VU doing their best to spread such knowledge.

The only difference now isn't necessarily in knowledge, but in how good you are in combining strategies and knowing when to most effectively utilize such strategies. 

For instance, nativing today is seen as a basic concept, but in the past only very experienced players were aware of how to use the mechanic for more efficient growth. That said, while most players understand how to native these days, they may not understand what is the best time to do so. So rather than knowledge, experience and tactical awareness is a bigger separator these days between "vets" and everyone else.

While legendary players of the past would still be great players today, they certainly would have a difficult time achieving similar success levels, whereas if you take the average player into the past, they would be one of the most knowledgeable players in the game.

Prime examples today are players like Cyrus, Newb, and Thor, who all have played less than 8 eras of VU, down to 4 or so. They have been shown how to best utilize certain mechanics and are now proper monstrosities. Take their knowledge back into VUs golden age and they're mentioned right alongside Bihn and Barny today.


AoTD is a great question. Unfortunately, there is a general answer (hit at 24%+) and then there's a very specific answer depending on whether it's self aotd or mage aotd, which sort of unit you're attacking with and attacking into, and you're science levels. This answer would take several paragraphs to account for the many different variables. So this is another great of example of the "average" VU player knowing what a mechanic is, but maybe not understanding how to most effectively to utilize the strategy. Rather than write a comprehensive guide for the specific set of circumstances, it's better to first understand the general, and then come to your friendly neighborhood vet to help with specifics. 

14:11:26 Sep 18th 22 - Percy (Sir Percy The Arma Caster):

@Prince Charmer, you might be aware, and the players today might know, but not due to past experiences with it. Kon, Sal, myself and others had to provide that info the player base and really show them those break points. I can assure you those were NOT “well known” items 3 years ago. The concept that more troops = slower army are known by playing for 5 minutes, but those exact break points were not.

Same for land dropping. I can’t even begging to describe to you have few knew how to do that effectively. Just because the knowledge existed does not equate to “most of the players knowing it”. And the fact the average player today knows it is due to many people (not just myself and friends, but even those across the aisle) emphasizing teaching of those mechanics, unlike in the past when those were guarded closely. 

To say the mechanics were known to the average player before that shift in community mentality 2+ years ago is entirely false.

18:12:52 Sep 18th 22 - Konstant (The Ancient Ahura Mazda):

I can definitely vouch for Percy here. I came back to VU probably around 3 years ago now and I had no clue about any of these advanced strategies. Furthermore, I've been privileged to have been tagging along in learning more about these mechanics and seeing them be refined "live", as before - except a few exceptions - a lot of strats were extremely crude. 

16:56:16 Sep 19th 22 - Matthew (Chief Trogdar):

This thread is full of wordburgers

19:34:26 Sep 19th 22 - Prince Charmer:

I spawned on map, I think one hour later than the first few people.

I do not see anyone but two tagless.

I start getting messages from other people who saw me. 
I do not see them.
I can understand they have 1 hour advantage, but why do they have more vision?

I do not see their scouts either
And even if its halfling scout that is invisible, my scouts are supposed to see them
Only towns can not see haler scouts, correct? 

But I got messages from 2 people who I do not see
And they see me. Its only the few first hours, I doubt people invest in GTs?

19:36:48 Sep 19th 22 - Prince Charmer:

Actually nevermind, it was explained

____________ (9/19/2022 11:33:51 PM)GOODBAD
Well I don't know where your cities are exactly, but judging by the fact that I saw your scout 2t into the era, which us 4t on FM at the very most, I can safely assume you're fairly close by.

Since you were coming from the south, you have to be south of us somewhere.

19:37:20 Sep 19th 22 - Konstant (The Ancient Ahura Mazda):

Cities have a larger natural field of view than armies.

The people who saw you probably had cities nearby, so they could see you but you can't see them.

19:38:04 Sep 19th 22 - Konstant (The Ancient Ahura Mazda):

Cities have a larger natural field of view than armies.

The people who saw you probably had cities nearby, so they could see you but you can't see them.

21:22:47 Sep 19th 22 - Percy (Sir Percy The Arma Caster):

On top of that, which Kon is correct, LoS is revealed in blocks. Your army/city may be in a block revealed to the enemy, but your LoS range was not able to uncover the block the other player is situated in. 

LoS range expands as a circle based on GT count, and when that circle impacts any part of a “block”, that block of map is revealed. This can lead to “I see you but you can’t see me” situations quite easily.

22:20:04 Sep 19th 22 - Matthew (Chief Trogdar):

Now THAT is good mechanical knowledge

00:01:02 Oct 1st 22 - Prince Charmer:

Does it have any difference if I merge another army into an army that has exp, or if I just add troops from the city manually into the army with exp. Which is better if I want to keep as much exp as possible. 

00:29:54 Oct 1st 22 - Percy (Sir Percy The Arma Caster):

It depends on how many units you are ultimately trying to add.

Each time you move troops from city to army, it will reduce XP by 1 at minimum, or a max of a scalar based on ratios of troops in army and troops trying to move. But this is done for EACH move. So if you wanted to move 50k zerks and 150k MUs, that would be a double deduction, removing st minimum 2 XP (cause two “transactions”). In this scenario, it’s best to move them into a random army and merge that army into the main one. That single merge counts as one “transaction”, so minimizes XP loss.

If moving only a single unit type (let’s say advents) into an army, it makes no difference if those are moved up at once or merged in from another army, as it counts as a single “transaction”.

There is no functional difference between army merging and moving up from city except moving from city typically requires multiple transactions to get multiple unit types moved. The equation for reduction is the same, it treats units in city as 0 XP, same as a basic army

00:50:30 Oct 1st 22 - Ms. Wandderer:

What the formula to figure out how many units I can add for losing only 1 exp?

03:31:31 Oct 1st 22 - Percy (Sir Percy The Arma Dude):

I’ll copy a guide from the VU Discord guides (highly recommend joining that if you aren’t there already):

Transfering units from the city to an army


These are rough numbers, left side is xp, right the % you can transfer based on total units in the army to only lose 1 point of xp. You lose 1 point of XP no matter what. For small armies calculate with at least 5-10% less to be safe. Below 10k units remove 2-3% to be safe.

Merging armies with exp
A - Troops Before Merge
B - EXP before merge

(A*B) / (B-0.49) = Total Troops after merge (we will call this C). Round this number down (10,000.7 becomes 10,000).

So (C - A) = How many you can merge and only lose 1 XP.

If merging two armies where both have XP, use this to find final XP amount (I think it’s missing the -1 though):

(Army_A_Size * Army_A_Exp + Army_B_Size*Army_B_Exp) / (Army_A_Size + Army_B_Size) = Final Exp


What if I merged an army with 18k troops and 16 exp to an army of 2500 troops with 6 exp?

= 20,500 troops with 14 exp

04:54:36 Oct 1st 22 - Matthew (Chief Trogdar):

Is that the chart that Binh and I used 10 years ago or did someone re-do the math/science on that one?

If it's the latter then that's really impressive.

05:00:43 Oct 1st 22 - Konstant (The Ancient Flupperpop):

Pretty sure it's from 10 years ago.

04:08:26 Oct 2nd 22 - Matthew (Chief Trogdar):

it looked the same to me, I think it was Binh who figured that one out but it was one of those things that wasnt spread around during the age where it was most useful

05:48:50 Oct 2nd 22 - Konstant (The Ancient Flupperpop):

I would say the vast majority of things weren't spread around back then.

07:00:03 Oct 2nd 22 - Matthew (Chief Trogdar):

Back then people couldnt really spread information in the way we do now because mIRC was basically dead and Skype groups for stuff relating to VU often died with kingdoms and Skype didnt have a good sorting system for info-posts like Discord

There was always some interest in making a VU Wiki but making a Wiki takes a lot of effort and nobody wants to put that kind of effort into a game that they couldnt even raise $500 in for Undead

most information was not spread around back then

Information today is still not openly accessible in the way it will be 10 years from now if VU and other games are still alive.

We live in The Age of Discord and information is kept behind open gates (discord), one day wikis and such will make a comeback.

tl;dr youre right

01:02:51 Oct 3rd 22 - Prince Charmer:

Asked a friend to prep my bridge blocker just to test out this thing. So when you're under attack, you can't move over the army. So I can't go south at all now. No matter that he's much weaker than I am.... I do not want to kill him but I want to go around him and down south. Just to see how to do that in case there is a stronger enemy against me.

I tried going west one hour and then path south, but does not allow me. I tried going one tick north, and then head down south but still does not let me. Do I need to actually leave town for one tick and then path over the enemy? Or how do I walk around enemy when he's prepping my city and I want to walk over the enemy army?

error: Our soldiers refuse to go south: They are afraid Prep will attack. Try ordering them into another direction.

(edit: just moved another army from another city, I can easily walk over the enemy, I can't move from inside the city. Is there a way to move when I am inside the city he's prepping. I am not under siege by the way)

03:27:07 Oct 3rd 22 - Percy (Sir Percy The Arma Caster):

From my experience, that first Rick’s worth of movement just can’t be in their direction. Using a clever pathing, you should be able to get around him.

And that message is only partially based on your relative power of the enemy. Once the enemy has a sufficiently large army, it will trigger regardless of your own strength. 

10:00:10 Dec 6th 22 - Sir Ellezar:

Having mages in city or in army gives the same magic protection?

12:48:52 Dec 6th 22 - Percy (Sir Daniel Radcliffe):

Correct, they provide the same magic defense.

And while on that topic, each MT is the same magic defense as 3 MUs.

16:14:36 Mar 25th 23 - Prophet Eldarion:

Frozen armies can’t settle cities. So, always have scouts near your army

We moved armies from spot A to spot B - armies moving same speed. As soon as I adjusted my path, the army fell behind. Apparently first tick of movement is slower? Wth, why? 

Examples of this should be written somewhere showing some mechanics good to know.

16:43:36 Mar 25th 23 - Mr. Existentialist:

We should probably make a thread for new player tips maybe ? 

17:31:11 Mar 25th 23 - Percy (Mr. Percy The Range Test Officer):

Yes, first tick movement is slower than all other ticks. Its the same level of shift for all armies, but it becomes more pronounced for larger armies. At 500k size, its basically half a tick's movement less. At scout size, its nearly imperceptible.

Think of it this way: changing direction for a couple people is as simple as "lets go that way", "okay!". Done, direction changed. For hundreds of thousands of people, that isnt quite so easy. Orders have to be handed down through entire ranks of soldiers, which takes time. Hence the stagger.

20:04:37 Mar 25th 23 - HorusPanic (Sir Horus al):

I think frozen armies Can settle cities, just cannot transfer troops

20:50:51 Mar 25th 23 - Percy (Mr. Percy The Range Test Officer):

Frozen armies cannot settle cities, can confirm :) its part of why being frozen when in chaining range of an enemy is so powerful. Only way to drop a city is to have a scout nearby to drop said city and merge in to it.

09:19:49 Apr 30th 23 - Dark Spawn (Lord Dark Spawn):

When price of tree is 2.5 and I want to native. How do I calculate the native price?

10:25:23 Apr 30th 23 - Sable (Mr. Sable The Sympathist):

Dark Spawn:

When price of tree is 2.5 and I want to native. How do I calculate the native price?

Simple answer is half the market value, so 1.25 should native, if it doesn't sell 10 for 1 gold until it does

10:40:30 Apr 30th 23 - Percy (Sir Tyr The Valiant):

You can’t derive native rate based on lowest market value.

The way you native is sell 1 resource below the max possible. For me, I use:

1 food for 3 gold
1 stone for 2 gold
1 wood for 4 gold
1 Slave for 500 gold

Unless market rates are high, it should fail and say “you cannot sell more than 25 above current market rate” and give a number with a decimal. Take that number, divide by 2.5, and that’s the native market rate.


On Fant right now, lowest market rate visible is 1.2 from Hummonculi. I sell 1 food for 3 gold and get this message:

  • Your total price can not be over 25 of the average market price (max 1.833332083375 gold for 1 food)!

Take the 1.833333 and divide it by 2.5

1.8333 / 2.5 = 0.7333

So I would native food at 0.73, a value slightly below that calculated value. If it doesn’t sell immediately, sell 10 resources for 1 gold until it does, sometimes takes 2-3 of these sales to trigger

You can use Sable’s method (which is the old way) but usually results in reduced native profits. By the old “half the native” situation, you’d get 0.6, whereas you’d get 0.733 with this method, a 22% increase in profit. 

Also keep in kind the max native rates of each resource:

Food: 1.099
Stone: 0.599
Wood: 1.349
Slaves: 99.999

15:46:34 Apr 30th 23 - Mr. Fantah:

Playing human, you have those 3 science buys that are almost free. Human players, is there an unwritten rule to always get mining 3 right away to get that boost. Or do you guys take those 3 free sciences for something else?

16:10:28 Apr 30th 23 - Jack Daniels The drunk (Mr. Jack The Evilest):

It's actually 4 scis. human also being the only race that can go 7 mag 7 mil 7 mining cost about 130m g and misc other resources essentially a 2nd 200ker. but the damn x3.7 multiplier is a killer on letting you get anything over 7 

20:44:21 Sep 11th 23 - Mr. Ghost Whisper:

How does dwarf self mp work? How much mp boost do they have?

17:29:07 Sep 12th 23 - Penguin (Mr. Penguin The Niugnep):

So much spam. Praising younglings without any proper reason. Saying they are in comparison with other vets in “golden age”.. you forget game was on 24/7 back in the day and you had over 300peeps per map. I wonder how would those new “greats” match against that. In the end it’s about doing things at the right time, if they know doesn’t mean they will be able to utilize it at the right time or do it properly.

I’m half “vet” I always shared info regarding bugs to patch them up and informed new players about the correct information regarding game mechanics.

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