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Elvenar Woodelves – Planning

It is time for us to start planning our approach to the Elvenar Woodelves chapter. Just as a usual reminder, some of the things here will be specific to Elves. In particular, this concerns layouts. I can’t bring myself to playing both races in parallel ๐Ÿ˜‰

Having said that, I am pretty sure that you can recreate similar human city with the same buildings – it is just layout and shapes would be quite different. Overall, elves and humans are pretty much on par. So you can still apply the same though process to planning for Elvenar Woodelves even if you play as a human.

Aftermath: This article was written from a perspective of someone who hasn’t played the chapter yet, but did a bit of research ahead of time. Now when I have finished the Elvenar Woodelves chapter, I added some comments from when it was known how all this planning turned out ๐Ÿ˜‰ These comments are highlighted.

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Target Layout
Target Layout

Just as a reminder, here is a final layout from the last day of the Orcs chapter (checkerboard pattern in the unused space for layouts is just so it is visually easier to count the expansions):

Elvenar Woodelves - Planning Old Layout
Elvenar Woodelves – Initial Layout

So without further ado, here is my end goal layout for Woodelves. As you can see in the numbers, it works – I can squeeze everything in positive population. Barely. But look at this culture! This is a bit ridiculous. Well, let’s just say that if everything goes according to plan, culture won’t be a problem ๐Ÿ˜‰

Elvenar Woodelves - Planning New Layout

Elvenar Woodelves – Target Layout

Aftermath: The final target layout looks somewhat different – take a look at analysis in the Elvenar Woodelves – Optimal Build post. So we expanded target settlement to 8L3/9/9/6, reduced upgrade levels for Planks from L23 down to L20, and Mercenary Camp from L8 down to L5. This allowed us to drop 3 extra residences. And due to expansion of the settlement we had to drop 2 Weeping Willows.

Elvenar Woodelves - Planning New Layout (after analysis)

Elvenar Woodelves – Target Layout (after proper analysis)

So let’s take a closer look at planning for Elvenar Woodelves chapter.


Expansions
Elvenar Woodelves - Planning Expansions

As you may have noticed, the target layout uses more expansions than I currently have (see red outline). I finished the Orcs with 79 expansions (including 4 premium ones, see my guide to free Elvenar diamonds). The target layout uses 88, so 9 more than I currently have. This is not a problem! As we go through any chapter, we get additional expansions through research and map negotiations.

  • Research Expansions: Woodelves chapter has 3 more expansions (36, 37, 38)
  • Province Expansions: This one is a bit trickier. As I overscout, I already have almost all the provinces needed for Sorcerers and Dragons Advanced Scout (215/220). But if I keep scouting at the same pace, I should be getting about 30+ extra provinces, which means another 3-5 expansions
  • Premium Expansions: I already have enough diamonds for 1 extra premium province (1,500 damonds), and may get enough for another one. So that’s another 1-2 expansions.

So there you have it, I expect to get 3-6 extra expansions during Woodelves chapter. Timing on these is uncertain, but the good news is that this layout design is pretty flexible for that. Basically, all the new expansions are occupied by Weeping Willows, so when I open a new expansion I can just plunk an extra Willow right there, and that’s it.

Backup plan?

Also, if I won’t get all the 9 extra expansions that’s OK too – I will just be running with fewer Willows. I mean, 18 Willows is likely to be an overkill, but we’ll adjust the plan as we go.

Aftermath: Well, I’ve got 8 extra expansions – 3 from research, 1 premium, and 4 from provinces. The problem is, you don’t get access to these from the beginning. In fact, 2 of the province expansions became available after the chapter was completed. And others were spread out throughout the chapter. While planning for Woodelves in Elvenar was flexible with the layout, lack of expansions early on may lead to insufficient mana production. So you may want to plan for less expansions being available throughout the chapter.


Population
Elvenar Woodelves - Planning Population

We get two extra levels on the residences – L22 and L23, and that provides quite a nice boost from 900 to 1,200 per residence. And Elven residences do not change shape! This is really nice, this would simplify transition a lot. Orcs residences changed quite a bit, so it was a struggle to upgrade and fit these in an efficient manner.

Also, target layout requires 33x L23 residences. I currently run 30x L21 residences, so in addition to full upgrades I will need to build and fully upgrade 3 more. That’s not too bad, and population upgrades can always be slowed down by postponing non-essential upgrades such as workshops, Main Hall etc. But I can already start working on these 3 extra residences until I unlock some more interesting research.

I also don’t plan on extra pop from upgrading Ancient Wonders such as Golden Abyss and Mountain Halls, but this is always an option if something changes and pop becomes a problem.

_

Aftermath: It was a bad idea to consider additional residences. It takes a very long time to upgrade one all the way from L1, and as chapters progress, you always reduce number of residences as each grows in size. Much better option is to postpone some non-essential upgrades until later chapter where extra pop will come via upgrades, not additions. Also, consider pop/culture event buildings for some temporary pop boost. Don’t add fully upgraded residences – that would be bad planning for Elvenar Woodelves, or for any chapter in my opinion ๐Ÿ˜‰

In my case, I dropped max level of T1 manufactories from L23 down to L20, and reduced max level of Mercenary Camp to L5. None were critical. This allowed me to keep the number of residences the same, and even upgrade all workshops to the max.


Supplies
Elvenar Woodelves - Planning Supplies

With quest cycling (I will make a separate post on that), I don’t have any issues with supplies. So far ๐Ÿ˜‰ Even though I see that research requirements on supplies start to crop up (150-200K). Event with running T3 manufactories and barracks non-stop. So I will keep my 6 workshops, but won’t be upgrading them to the max L23, only to L22 as there is no need. Current workshops level is L20. Workshops also change shape (3×6 -> 4×5), so this will require a transition.

I also have a bunch of Ancient Wonders that help with supplies:

AWs for supplies
  • Tome of Secrets L4: I used to dislike this wonder, but now it looks pretty good to me, so far. As I scout non-stop, it brings 100K+ of supplies daily, and will do more as I upgrade the Main Hall. I may even consider upgrading to L6 just for the extra KP that it will bring every day
  • Endless Excavation L2: This AW gets me about 36K supplies a day without any other requirements. It’s 5×4 (so 20 squares) to my current L20 workshops at 3×6 (18 squares), so space-wise it is almost the same as workshop (and workshops will grow while EE will not). But L20 workshop nets me about 3,180 per 3 hours. If I can collect 6 times a day from L20 workshop, I’ll be getting less than 20K in supplies per day. So EE is better than a workshop. I may eventually upgrade EE to L6, but this is pretty low on a priority list. Workshops can be boosted by culture and spells, but ultimately EE still wins.
  • Prosperity Towers L1 (new): OK, so I think I have space for an extra AW, and that’s Prosperity Towers. Pretty much everything said about EE can be said about PT. At 5×4, it is better than a workshop. It is even better than EE! So at L1 right now I could be picking up 7,800 per 3 hours, so with 6 collections a day that is more than 45K of supplies per day.
Built to last

Let’s just say that I overbuild for supplies ๐Ÿ˜‰ With this setup, I don’t expect I will need to increase number of workshops ever. Well, at least I am not planning to do it in Elvenar Woodelves chapter. If anything, I might be able to drop some if necessary.

Aftermath: Indeed, even with pretty significant supply requirements I had absolutely no issues with supplies in the Woodelves chapter of Elvenar; I didn’t even pay too much attention to it in planning. Given increased size of the settlement and higher mana requirements than originally anticipated, I did not place Prosperity Towers in this chapter. I just had no need for extra supplies, and that would just be a waste of space.


Manufacturing
Elvenar Woodelves - Planning Manufacturing

So here is how we will deal with manufacturing of T1/T2/T3 goods:

Tier 1: Planks

Currently, I run 5x L19 planks manufactories (5×2), so that is 50 squares worth of T1 manufacturing. Woodelves chapter has a tech that allows to upgrade planks to L23 (to 6×3). I plan to drop 2 manufactories so will end up with 3x L23 planks. That’s 54 squares worth of manufacturing, should be more than sufficient. I haven’t been low on T1 goods in a long time, but we’ll see. There are always cross-tier trades in a pinch.

Even though planks will grow in size, the new shape can fully enclose the old one, and as such transition is pretty straightforward.

Aftermath: Indeed, going from 5x T1 to 3x upgraded T1 didn’t cause any issues with T1 inventories. In fact, I only upgraded to L20 instead of L23, and that was more than enough. Skipping extra upgrades saved a lot of pop.

Tier 2: Scrolls

Don’t expect any changes here. I run 2x L19 scrolls manufactories (4×5), so that’s 40 squares worth of T2 production. It’s tight, but is generally sufficient (so far). I also get about 7K a day worth of Silk from 2x Winter Fair buildings (part of the Winter Market set), and it is also possible to upgrade these 2 levels each if I find enough Royal Restoration spells.

Aftermath: Didn’t upgrade Winter Fairs, and now I am thinking that doing so would be an inefficient use of Royal Restoration spells. There are better uses for RRs. Winter Fairs still provide link bonuses to other set buildings, but I don’t think I will be upgrading them. T2 situation is rather tight after negotiating 17 provinces at the chapter end – but probably the biggest contributor to that is scrolls tournament that just ended. It was bad, and I’ve blown tons of resources on catering. Luckily, another scrolls tournament is 9 weeks away. And in the next chapter we’re going to get another 4 upgrade levels for T2 manufactories, so this should help.

Tier 3: Magic Dust

Right now I am running L16 and L17 dust manufactories (5×4), and the plan is to finish upgrading both to L19. This is also 40 squares worth of T3 production, and I definitely can use some more. But I also have 2x Sled Carousels and 2 Frost Carved Winter Trees that produce quite a bit of gems (probably more than my boosted dust!), and I still have 1 extra Sled Carousel and 1 extra Frost Carved Christmas Tree stashed, and I will place them right now.

If you were wondering why I have 3 extra expansions open in the left bottom corner in Orcs (instead of finishing the rectangle), that’s why. Extra set buildings need to be connected together, so I needed quite an awkward shape to place it efficiently.

I am obviously maxed out on relic boosts (700% all), and have L2 Mountain Hall for the extra 28%. But upgrades to this AW are expensive, and its boost doesn’t seem to be that material (nor does it work for event buildings). But with new set buildings and upgraded dust manufactories, I am planning to be just OK on Elvenar goods in Woodelves. We’ll see ๐Ÿ˜‰

_

Aftermath: T3 is an interesting case. I did upgrade my 2 manufactories to the max L19 level, so that was a good boost. I also placed the remaining Sled Carousel and Frost Carved Christmas Tree, so that also boosted my T3 production quite a bit. But ultimately I converted all my Frost Carved Christmas Trees to mana production, and that dropped my T3 capacity quite a bit. However, with the new and improved barracks my tournament catering requirements (for anything that is not scrolls ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) also dropped dramatically. I think after all these changes I am still ahead on T3, albeit only slightly. At least I am not running Magical Manufacturing all the time.๏ปฟ


Armories
Elvenar Woodelves - Planning Armories

I am currently running with 2x L23 armories, and it worked fine for me so far. There are no armories upgrades in this chapter. The armories setup is more of a YMMV situation though, as it might not work well for you. The reason being is that with all the current speedups my barracks produce the whole 5 slot batch (about 2.5 squads) in pretty much exactly 2:30. While I am able to keep barracks running close to 24/7 with those cycles (well, maybe 22/7 on average), most people would find these production cycles too short. This means that your barracks would be underutilized, and you definitely don’t want that.

Ancient Wonder alternatives

Having said that, I have just unlocked Shrine of Shrewdy Shrooms AW, and it can almost double training size even at L1. I think I have space for this, and that’s why this AW a part of the target layout now. I will focus on additional improvements to troop production, so I don’t want it to be negated by too small a training size. SSS would also produce free units (light range), and who can say no to that?

Since Dwarves, I have also contemplated putting down Dwarven Bulwark AW – for similar reasons. But it’s massive in terms of space (7×4 vs 5×4 for SSS), and actually only gives me half the training size that SSS can provide. Bulwark is supposed to get better as the chapters progress, as it is based on the squad size (unlike SSS which is based on level of armories). If I decide to put DB down, I will replace Woodelves Habitat in the plan, as they have exactly the same size.

Aftermath: SSS is awesome even at L2, and is absolutely essential given massive barracks speed boost in this chapter. Free troops are not very significant at low levels, but even then tend to accumulate to some noticeable amounts over time. I still haven’t placed DB, but it will be coming online relatively soon, perhaps in the next chapter right after Elvenar Woodelves – I am indeed planning it.

Orcs Production

Starting from the Orcs chapter, armories also produce orcs. Now this one I have to keep a closer eye on, as I don’t get a solid feel on what would be sufficient orcs production. My 2x armories were fine in the Orcs chapter where orcs were used in the settlement productions, and it was more than sufficient. But I wouldn’t have had enough orcs to also do full workshop upgrades at the same time. And from now on all workshop upgrades will require orcs. Good news is, as I mentioned before, I am not really desperate to do any workshop upgrades. I don’t see myself being in a hurry to do any of those upgrades.

But another use for orc resources that I haven’t seen so far would be map negotiation. I haven’t run into this yet, but the next ring of provinces should required orcs to complete. And overall requirements of that are not clear to me. So exact planning for Elvenar orcs utilization in Woodelves is difficult.

I have options though. In addition to extra armories, I can get orc production out of specialized buildings (like Orc Nests, can be crafted in the Magic Academy), as well as AW – Heroes’ Forge. For now though, I keep it at 2x armories in the plan, and will keep a close eye on the orcs situation.

_

Aftermath: Orcs needed for map negotiation turned out to be immaterial – for now. So essentially all orcs production goes into workshop upgrades, and those are some relatively big numbers right there. 2x armories were more than sufficient for this chapter though – still had ~10K orcs left after all was said and done. I am planning to put down Heroes’ Forge soon, as I will need more AW levels for divine seed production later on. And HF will give me more orcs, and extra damage boost for heavy melee.


Military Buildings
Elvenar Woodelves - Planning Military Buildings

There are quite a few military buildings that will need to be taken care of. And Elvenar military buildings in Woodelves may need quite a bit of planning! Failing to plan is planning to fail ๐Ÿ˜‰

Barracks

The most important military building for me – by far – is barracks. I try to upgrade it to the max as soon as possible. And in Woodelves we’re getting an extra 4 levels (so up to L25)! This would be glorious, even though upgrading might be tough. It seems that for the first time, upgrading every level of barracks would take more than 24 hours. Ouch… That’s where those 20 hour time boosters would come in handy! You stocked up on those, didn’t you? ๐Ÿ˜‰

in terms of size, barracks grow from 4×7 to 5×7. Again, easy to transition. And those upgrades would be right on top of the priority list, just when I would be able to afford the research in terms of the mana costs.

Aftermath: L25 Barracks are nothing short of awesome. This was the biggest game changer for me at least as far as tournaments are concerned. It was glorious indeed!

Training Grounds

I am planning for no changes to the Elvenar Training Grounds in Woodelves. I have upgraded TG to L12 in Orcs, and there are no upgrades to it in this chapter. i will probably use the facility now, as I’ve also got Sinister Cerberus in Orcs, and these should be primary units in a couple of tournaments. We’ll see if production speed will be holding me down, as barracks are sped up 30% by Needles of the Tempest AW. We’ll see.

Aftermath: As much as I am gushing about Barracks (with Needles of the Tempest boost), that’s as much as I am disappointed in Training Grounds/Sinister Cerberus in this chapter. Well, in the scrolls tournament, to be precise. It was terrible, go read on that in my Woodelves – Day 29 post. Bottom line is, TG right now is almost twice as slow to produce troops, and TG troops don’t have a material enough edge over Barracks troops right now. This makes using TG a bad idea for the moment, at least as far as light melee is concerned. Need a lot more speed and/or boosts to be a viable option.

Mercenary Camp

Mercenary Camp is going to get 4 more levels, from L4 to L8. I plan to do all these upgrades, yet this would have one of the lowest priorities. I can also skip these upgrades if I’ll be running into any constraints. The reason is that I am not planning to use this facility in this chapter. I only have Drone Rider and Blossom Mage units there, with Ranger showing up later in Woodelves. But all these are L1 (vs L3 for all barrack units), and likely won’t be efficient to produce. I might experiment with Blossom Mage, but in all likelihood I will wait until at least L2 in order to deploy any of these units.

Shape change is not trivial – from 4×4 to 3×6, and will require a transition. This might be a reason to upgrade to L5 earlier (to change shape), and to hold off on the rest of the upgrades.

Aftermath: Yep, didn’t use MC for troop production this chapter, so upgrading to L5 was more enough. I did that just to lock in the new shape. Will complete the rest of the upgrades in later chapters.


Main Hall
Elvenar Woodelves - Planning Main Hall

We get two more levels for the Main Hall – L22 and L23. And oh no! The shape of the MH changes for the first time since L1! It will become 7×6 instead of 6×6. Well, not a problem as it fully encloses the old one. And man, those upgrades are getting really slow – L22 upgrade will take 40+ hours even with Builders’ Hut savings of 10%.

MH upgrades are usually low priority as these are expensive, slow, and are not that critical at all.

Aftermath: The biggest problem with MH upgrades is their substantial mana cost. Don’t rush these unless you have absolutely massive mana production (you probably don’t). Despite quest for MH upgrade coming up relatively early, don’t rush there until you’re done with settlement build at least. Or delay until the chapter end! You don’t really get any material benefit from these upgrades, but you will be blocked by insufficient mana. Especially while producing mana tears for construction. I suggest delaying both upgrades for quite a bit later in the chapter. Regardless, make sure you account for mana costs of the MH upgrades in your Elvenar Woodelves planning!


Culture / Mana / Special buildings
Elvenar Woodelves - Planning Mana

Well, this chapter is all about Weeping Willows, and it is clearly visible in the plan. Woodelves is the first chapter in Elvenar that will require mana for a lot of things, and this will require some planning. For now we can say that WW is a primary mana producer until something better comes along. Incidentally, it also generates a lot of culture (3,500). So given that you will need a lot of mana, and not that many options outside of WW to produce it, you end up with a TON of willows. This also means that your culture needs are automatically taken care of. For the first time since chapter 2 I will likely be running permanently above 100% culture bonus!

This ridiculous culture surplus also means that I am going to take out all the remaining culture / pop hybrid buildings as in this case it makes more sense to focus on pure pop buildings – residences.It remains to be seen how much mana do I actually need, but for now the plan is to go bananas on willows, and build the whole damn forest.

_

Aftermath: You will need a lot of mana in this chapter. Probably more than you anticipated, especially since you’re coming into the chapter with zero mana stockpiles and manufacturing. Not only you need space, but you also need time to ramp up the production. I had significantly more than 100K mana a day towards the end, and that was barely enough to complete the chapter without tech lock. And remember, while you can avoid tech lock due to settlement godds with Portal Profits, if you get stuck on mana requirements there is not much you can do in this chapter!

Having this massive mana generation probably requires some event buildings – it is highly unlikely to have space for that with Weeping Willows alone. So grab mana efficient buildings during events while in Woodelves, or even right before the chapter and store some Royal Restoration spells to upgrade them to mana production.

Special / Event buildings

As I have mentioned before, I will put down a couple of the remaining buildings in the Winter Market set. I can really benefit from juiced up T3 goods productions. Also, if I keep upgrading Frost Trees to Woodelves they would start generating mana, and non-trivial amount of that. So I may not need that many willows after all.

There are also a few small specialized buildings to produce good stuff – Trading Outposts (Portal Profit instants), Carting Libraries (KPs) and a few others.

Aftermath: Upgrading all 3x of my Frost Carved Christmas Trees from the Winter Market set was absolutely essential in meeting mana requirements of the chapter in the appropriate time frame. T3 goods production was not an issue, but mana was.


Ancient Wonders
Elvenar Woodelves - Planning Ancient Wonders

I generally do not plan levels for the AWs ahead of time. AWs do not change dimensions with the upgrades, so do not have an impact on the layout of the city – unless you want to add a new one. The only exception is when you rely on pop or culture production to meet minimum requirements. In this case, it makes sense to put down specific level for particular AW in question. Having said that, here is the list of AWs in the plan, in order of importance:

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  • Needles of the Tempest L6: Speeds up my barracks production, probably my most important AW right now. Will likely bring it to L11 ASAP.
  • Martial Monastery L6: Increases health of troops (so decreases losses). Expensive to upgrade and the boost is pretty small, but still, very important. Will likely bring it to L11.
  • Blooming Trader Guild L1: Boosts guest race goods production. May want to upgrade to L6 after combat AWs.
  • Shrine of Shrewdy Shrooms (new): Increases training size, and is excellent at L1. Will build it and keep it at L1 for now.
  • Golden Abyss L7: Haven’t had pop issues for a while, will keep at the current level for now.
  • Mountan Halls L2: Expensive to upgrade, production increase is not material. Will keep at the current level for now.
  • Prosperity Towers (new): Generates supplies. Will build it and keep it at L1 for now.
  • Endless Excavation L2: Generates supplies. Will keep it at L2 for now.
  • Tome of Secrets L4: Generates supplies and KP. May upgrade it to L6 to get extra KPs
  • Dwarven Bulwark (maybe): Increases training size; not sure I am going to build it in this chapter.
_
  • Needles of the Tempest L6: Speeds up my barracks production, probably my most important AW right now. Will likely bring it to L11 ASAP.
    • Aftermath: Only upgraded to L7. Further upgrades seem inefficient for now because L25 barracks are so fast already. My whole 5 slot queue takes less than 3 hours. I need to ramp up training size.
  • Martial Monastery L6: Increases health of troops (so decreases losses). Expensive to upgrade and the boost is pretty small, but still, very important. Will likely bring it to L11.
    • Aftermath: Didn’t upgrade at all. Pretty expensive in KPs, and I am placing Unleashed Unit Upgrade buildings for all tournaments. That’s effectively L25 MM for a period of time.
  • Blooming Trader Guild L1: Boosts guest race goods production. May want to upgrade to L6 after combat AWs.
    • Aftermath: Upgraded to L6. If you want to go fast, every production boost counts. While Portal Profits are generally superior, PPs are getting more scarce. And BTG boosts non-portal (construction/upgrades) goods as well.
  • Shrine of Shrewdy Shrooms (new): Increases training size, and is excellent at L1. Will build it and keep it at L1 for now.
    • Aftermath: Upgraded to L2 for now, and will keep upgrading. Increased training size is essential with much faster barracks speeds.
  • Prosperity Towers (new): Generates supplies. Will build it and keep it at L1 for now.
    • Aftermath: Didn’t build it as I had absolutely no issues with supplies.

Guest Race Settlement
Elvenar Woodelves - Planning Guest Race Settlement

There are several buildings that are involved in guest race goods production in Woodelves. Forest Glade plays role of the portal in this chapter, you also need Forest Fabrications (produce Wood Ghosts/Wind Chimes/Treant Sprouts used to unlock research, as well as upgrade Forest Glade + mana tears). You also need marble/steel/planks Grafting Sites which need mana tears for building, and produce refined marble/steel/planks that become inputs to Forest Fabrication productions.

Common setup is 6 FFs and 6/6/4 for grafting sites. Well, I added a bit more to the grafting sites, so the plan calls for 6 FFs and 7/7/5 for grafting sites. Now, this part is uncertain for now as I will need to work out what is the optimal set up, but this is a good start for planning. If I would want to expand the settlement some more, I might be able to do so at the expense of the willows.

I will need to consider guest race settlement composition and production separately, this will require more analysis. The target layout should be flexible enough to accommodate changes if necessary.

Aftermath: Yeah, that was a bit too light on analysis ๐Ÿ˜‰ See the full write up at Elvenar Woodlelves – Optimal Build. Bottom line, I went with substantially larger 8L3/9/9/6, and that was almost perfect (in fact, was still just a tad underpowered). Dropped an extra 25% PP to wrap it up.


Research
Research

We also need to do so some initial planning of research sequence in Elvenar Woodelves. Here is full research tree that we will need to analyze for this chapter:

Elvenar Woodelves - Planning Research

Elvenar Woodelves – Research Tree

This tree looks a bit unusual – normally, you see guest race facilities right at the beginning of the chapter, but here they seem to be practically at the end. What gives?!

A part of it is just a visual layout – these buildings are not really at the very end if you follow the dependencies. But still, they are probably about half way into the chapter. Well, the main reason for that is that you will need mana for everything, and the first half of the chapter you will need to focus on establishing and ramping up mana production.

Still, the usual principle of efficient Elvenar research applies in Woodelves planning as well – we want to get to guest race research as soon as possible. After it’s unlocked, then we can do all the other research that we managed to bypass so that we can get as much headstart on upgrading and producing guest race goods.

Dependencies for guest race facilities

So let’s work backward first:

  • Grafting Sites x3: The final research that allows full Woodelves goods production
  • Fabrication: Grafting Sites depend on it
  • Trail: FF depends on it
  • Glade: FT depends on it
  • Main Hall: FG depends on it
  • T1 Manufactories and SS 29 Upgrade: Main Hall depends on these
  • Barracks: SS Upgrade 29 depends on it
  • Workshops and Residences: T1 Manufactories depend on these
  • Willows and Greetings: Barracks, Workshops and Residences depend on these
Sequential reordering

Now that we know all the research that we have to unlock in order to establish guest race goods production, we can arrange these in the regular order:

  • Willows: Willows go first as establishing mana production ASAP is paramount
  • There is some flexibility here as to what to go for next – barracks, workshops or residences. Normally, I’d go for residences first (that’s a lot of upgrades to complete, might as well start early; also, you need pop for most other upgrades), then barracks (troop production speed is critical for tournaments), with workshops being distant third. However, there is a twist this time. workshops require no mana to activate, barracks need 25K and residences need 50K. I am not sure if I go in my preferred order I would have enough mana to unlock the tech.
  • Greetings: given the above, I’d go for Greetings which will lead to workshops and residences.
  • Residences, Barracks and Workshops: will have to determine the order based on mana situation
  • T1 manufactories x3: Will start with planks as this is my boost.
  • SS Upgrade 29: I try to postpone SS upgrade for as long as I can to reduce tournament losses, but this is the last research needed for the Main Hall
  • Main Hall
  • Glade
  • Trail
  • Fabrication
  • Grafting Sites x3: will likely start with the cheapest tech in terms of KP, so that I can start building and producing ASAP
The rest of the research

After this is done, we can start full on production of Woodelves goods, and can continue with the rest of the research tree. The rest of the research is pretty linear, I will just make sure that SS Upgrade 31 is the last research activated before Ancient Wonders of the Woodelves.


Transition
Transition

So obviously our target layout is quite different from the one we’ve got from the previous chapter. Target layout is also effectively the end of the Woodelves layout. So how do we get there in the least painful way? Buildings with change shape and size. Oh no!

Transitional Layout

And the answer is transitional layout. That is the layout that we can implement at the beginning of the chapter and that will make moving to the target layout as simple as possible. This generally means that as many buildings as possible are in their final places, with space reserved for upgrades.

You can’t always do that if shape change is non-trivial. In these cases, you find some temporary spot elsewhere and have a plan. A plan to get it to the final spot as soon as possible ๐Ÿ˜‰

So here is how it works. Here is a layout as we left the Orcs:

Elvenar Woodelves - Planning Old Layout

Elvenar Woodelves – Initial Layout

Here is transitional layout:

Elvenar Woodelves - Planning Transitional Layout

Elvenar Woodelves – Transitional Layout

And here is the target layout:

Elvenar Woodelves - Planning New Layout

Elvenar Woodelves – Target Layout

It is quite instructive to see them side by side. So basically, transition layout is a layout that you can execute immediately at the chapter start. And that brings you as close to the target as possible. So you only use space and buildings that you have available at the time. Well, you can sell some things, certainly settlement buildings ๐Ÿ˜‰

So in planning Elvenar Woodelves you can see that transition layout is pretty close to the target already. There are a few exceptions:

Exceptions
  • Winter Market Set (bottom left corner): I am planning to add 2 buildings there, but the space is already reserved. I am just waiting for daily production to complete to rearrange the set.
  • Workshops: This is the biggest issue, shape changes from 3×6 to 4×5. This cannot be reserved efficiently! So for now workshops are stuffed in temporary locations. These locations are primarily switched with residences and settlement, so the plan is to change it ASAP.
  • Mercenary Camp: MC changes shape from 4×4 to 3×6. Again, cannot be efficiently reserved. But this is much less of an issue, as currently it is parked in the spot reserved for Prosperity Towers. And I don’t desperately need Prosperity Towers! This means that I can wait with MC upgrade for as long as I want. When ready, I’ll transfer it to its final spot and be ready to deploy PT. Or I can move it to its final spot right away and move Builders’ Hut temporarily elsewhere. This is the easy one!
  • As I mentioned before, I’ll be ripping Orcs buildings gradually, not to waste resources. I will be starting to build Willows at the bottom right edge.
  • One more thing: implementing transition layout requires ripping out all the temp L1 residences first. Otherwise, you won’t have any space ๐Ÿ˜‰ You can easily rebuild them back when done, it only takes 10 seconds per residence.
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Aftermath: Transitional layout worked well, but the target layout changed, and so did the final layout.

Elvenar Woodelves - Planning New Layout (after analysis)

Elvenar Woodelves – Target Layout (after proper analysis)

Elvenar Woodelves – Final Layout (implemented)

Final layout is pretty close to the updated target. Settlement looks different (no grafting sites) because I sold all GS in the last couple of days to fill in temp Forest Fabrications production. Otherwise, settlement looked exactly like target. You can also note that I managed to upgrade all workshops to L23 instead of L22 in target. And I had 3 expansions less than the target (but I got 2 right after, when done negotiating map provinces). This part was expected. There are some temporary L1 buildings sprinkled here and there – these are for an ongoing event.


Conclusion
Conclusion

So this is it, now you have all the information you need for planning your transition from Orcs to Woodelves in Elvenar. Now it is time to execute! See you in the regular progress updates on how it will all go down.

Stay tuned! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Aftermath: Overall, I must say that the plan worked extremely well. Go check out my Woodelves Progress Reports for the full story. Bottom line, research and production went pretty much exactly according to schedule. I had to ramp up mana production though, and without event buildings that would be hard to do. I expected to use a little bit of Portal Profits to address some of the things that we ignored in the analysis (like build/upgrade times), but I only had to use 25% worth of PP on the final research. This is in addition to planned 65% PP for fast tracking Forest Glade upgrade to L4.

All in all, this is an excellent result!

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