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 Knights and Merchants - Advanced Strategy Guide

Knights and Merchants - Advanced Strategy Guide


Knights and Merchants: Advanced Strategy Guide
Version 1.6


1.1 Introduction
1.2 Legalities

2.1 Logistics
2.2 Ratios
2.3 General Strategy
2.4 Troop Analysis
2.5 Tactics
2.6 Starter Troop Wins

3.1 Contact information
3.2 Copyright

1.1 Introduction 

This is my first GameFAQ guide, so please bare with me if the layout and 
wording isn't top-notch; I am trying my best! At the time of writing there is 
only a single Knights and Merchants FAQ. This is frankly outragous. Whilst an
old game it is an incredible RTS, with charming graphics and a decent enough

However if you are viewing this guide, I've no doubt you already know all of
that. You already know how the game works, and all the basics. This guide is 
designed to help you always have food stocks, materials delivered to outlets
faster and without jams, and to cover the finer points of combat. I've read 
several reviews, and they all complain about the above issues. In actuality
they're just playing the game badly. If you don't enjoy the game pace, then 
this game clearly is not for you. Missions are designed to take upto several
hours to complete.

So without further ado, I'll cover the legalities then you'll be able to
scroll down and read the guide.

1.2 Legalities

All trademarks and copyrights contained in this document are owned by their 
respective trademark and copyright holders.

If you wish to reproduce this guide, for whatever reason please email me
first at the email given in the contact information section. I'm sure there 
will not be an issue, I just like to know where my work is being used.

2.1 Logistics

There is a saying that an amature general studies tactics, whilsta true 
general studies logistics. Never have I seen this phrase come to life in a game
as much as it does in Knights and Merchants. What I mean by logistics, so that
there is no confusion, is the transportation of materials and supplies. 

The most important building to note is the storehouse. What I see many people
do is simply stick with the starter storehouse. After all, it can hold infinite
resources (or else a very large amount) so there seems little reason to build
another one. However, one storehouse and a large town quickly adds up to a huge
queue to access the building. It slows down transportation, and this in turn
leads to weapons and armour not being built fast enough, with men dying of
starvation as the inn is not stocked up with food. What should be done instead
is the town should be split into areas. The serfs will put the resources into
the nearest warehouse. It is also best to try and put resource 'pairs' near
to one another to cut down travel time. Let me try and give an example of this:

- Build a storehouse in an area. To one side of it place your farms. Then add
the swine farm and mill to another side, whilst the butcher and baker to 
- Build another storehouse. Place the tanner and stables between the two 
storehouses. Then build sawmills, armour and weapon workshops near the new 
storehouse. Build a barracks nearby also. 
- Build a third storehouse near gold, iron and coal outputs. Place the 
metallurgy Shop nearby, as with the iron smithy. 
- Build a school between the barracks and the third storehouse. 

I could go on, but I'm sure you are now getting the idea. Cutting down travel
time for serfs, whilst spreading them out as much as possible so they are not
all crammed into one area. Try to make your town as compact as possible, this 
will decrease travel time. Another important feature is to make as many road
bypasses as possible around your buildings. If serfs are forced to travel up
a single road, they will soon slow each other down. Think about what routes
they will take, and produce many options.

Always build a school house near your barracks. I'm sure you will have noticed
that when the school is far away, recruits will sit outside the school enmass,
going one-by-one to the barracks. Having a school close to the barracks not
only fills the barracks faster, it also decreases congession for the serfs.

Like the storehouse, the inn will also attract a lot of visiters. The larger
your town gets the more inns you should make. This again decreases travel time
for your townsmen getting them back to work faster, and decreases congession. 
It also means there is a greater chance of the inn being stocked with food.

So, a summary:

- Build different storehouses for different resource areas.
- Provide as many routes as possible for your serfs to travel by.
- Build different inns for different areas.
- Build a schoolhouse near your barracks.

If these points are followed, you should never experience a famine again.

2.2 Ratios

There are a number of mathetically correct ratios to have with number of
buildings. If the ratios are not followed, then there will either be too much
supplies (which wastes serf power) or too little supplies. 

1 Quarry: Stone use (eg Building and Guardtowers).
2 Woodcutter: 1 Sawmill (only really useful if wooden weapons are to be built).
1 Sawmill: 1 Wood use (Building and Weapon/Armour production).
1 Farm: 1 Corn use (Swine farm, Mill, and Stable).
1 Mill: 1 Bakers.
2 Swinefarms: 1 Butchers.
2 Swinefarms: 1 Tanner.
1 Tanner: 2 Armour workshops.
1 Mine: 1 Mine use (Metalurlogists, Metal Smithy, Weapons Workshop etc).
1 Metal Smithy: 1 Metal use (Weapons Workshop and Armour Workshop).

I've still to find an exact ratio for number of serfs to use in a village. I
like to have such an amount that if no building is going on there are still
serfs stood around doing nothing. This means that troops can be feed quickly,
and any further building I choose to build can be done efficently. I've also
to find an exact ratio of food producers : men. Perhaps in a later update.

2.3 General Strategy

Knights and Merchants plays out best with a long term plan, a long term 
strategy. The following points should help you produce your own strategy for
any particular map.

1) Scout as much of the map as possible. There is no fog of war in KnM, so
once an area is explored you can view it for good. Knowledge is power.

2) Look at your area and decide how you want it to look once you've finished 
building. Which are the easiest spots to defend for instance, where would
farms and food outlets be best placed. 

3) Which enemy should be attacked first? If an enemy starts off with a small
town and expands it, then it's probably best to eliminate them early on before
they can grow. If an enemy starts with a town which will never produce troops
then they are the least important to kill. Look for weakness in enemy defences
then pounce on it. 

2.4 Troop Analysis

Before going into tactics, I feel it's probably best to go over every troop 
and what their purpose is. It can be assumed that metal versions of leather
troops serve the same purpose, so I won't touch absolutely every troop.

Militia - The most basic of all the troops. With no defence and only a single
attack point, they can seem quite useless. Except they're not. Often the enemy
will attack before you have had a chance to build a proper army. The advantage
of the Militia is that they are very quick and easy to build. With a weapons
workshop built at the sametime as the sawmill, 20 axes can be built up, and 
20 militia can be built. Presuming archers are left from the starter troops
it is an adequate defence, especially when combined with watch towers. 

Axefighters - These troops are much more powerful then the militia. They are 
the ones who should do the bulk of the fighting. Like "tanks" on RPGs, 
Axefighters need to take the hits for the team. If needs be small squads can
be taken away from the main bulk for flanking purposes, but generally their
purpose is to stand, look pretty, then take hits. Axefighters also come 
equipped with a "charge" option. If an enemy is retreating, or archers are
firing at them, this is a quick way to cover the ground (the same applies to 

Bowmen - Of all the troops in the game, these are the most vital. They make the
difference between winning and losing. In battle they need to be kept behind
rocks, behind troops, and never actually confronting the enemy. It is worth
having reserve squads to take down enemy archers (see tactics). Bowmen are 
also useful for sneaking behind enemy lines and taking down buildings whilst
enemy troops still exist.

Bowmen work best in small groups of 6-8, rather than larger groups. This makes
for better mobility.

Lance Carriers - Weaker versions of Axemen. Almost. They are faster to produce
which has an advantage, and against Cavalry they get an extra 3-4 attack points
making them incredibly powerful. If needs be they can take the role of tank
instead of the axefighters, but they are better used on the side lines to
pincer any enemy cavaly to take the strain off the Axefighters.

Scouts - Axefighters on horses. The unit that takes the most resources to
actually produce. They travel at the rate of a constant axefighter charge,
and are exceptionally vunerable to spears. For this reason it is best to use
scouts not as tanks, but instead as a flanking unit. Keep small squads of
scouts way to the sidelines, then should bowmen arrive they can run in and
destroy them without worry. If it is definite that the enemy have no Lance 
Carriers, then scouts can move in after destroying the archers inorder to 
aid the Axefighters.

Barbarians - The most powerful unit in the game. They are also an unbuildable 
unit, and have absolutely no defence points. If Axefighters are the tank of
the KnM world, Barbarians are undoubtably the damage dealers. They are best 
used for flanking, destroying buildings, or providing extra support to axe-
fighters whilst the Axefighters are already taking the hits. They can stand
up for themselves when in head to head battles, but are not best used in that

2.5 Tactics

The use of correct tactics can result in massive wins, or even wins without
touching a single enemy troop. This is a complete list of what I have used in
my games.

Luring - this is possibly the most important tactic. Early on enemies have 
guard towers defending their bases, and also have troops. It is important to 
get the troops away from the guard towers. Inorder to do this, send a single
Bowmen out to attack a tower, then once enemy troops are following lead them 
back to the main bulk of the army (it is sometimes required to turn around
and fire another arrow to keep them interested). Sometimes multiple luring
has to be done, whereas sometimes the enemy will keep on sending troops at you
until they run out.

It is also possible to lure the enemy back to your main camp, where upon your
guard towers can set upon them.

Flanking - Bowmen make the difference between victory and defeat. It is prudent
therefore to deprive the enemy of his Bowmen. Usually melee troops will come 
first when lured, followed by the Bowmen. If a group of Scouts, or Axefighters
(only small, such as 6 or 8 soldiers) is placed both forward and to the side of 
the main army, when the bowmen come the flanking group can decend upon them
before they have a chance to set up.

Flanking can be equally effective as a tactic to use against Scouts, when you
have a group of Lance Carriers.

Pincers - This is where two groups of troops move in to attack an enemy on 
both sides. This is best done by Barbarians, or Lance Carriers, but can also be
an effective tactic to swarm the enemy with more Axefighters. 

Narrow Passageways - There are places which exist in the game which are very
narrow. They can only hold a row of 4 or less troops. This means even if the
enemy has more troops, they won't be able to overwealm your troops (think 300).
With bowman support and flanking cover using narrow passageways is an excellent
alternative to having a war on a plain.

Double Bowmen - Bowmen can fight without rocks or troops to hide behind, but
it requires two squads and a lot of room to move. Have one squad fire at the 
target, whilst the other squad moves backwards and sets up. The first squad
can then be moved behind the second squad, whilst the second squad provides
the support fire. Ultimately the enemy troops will die, but without a large
open space this can not work.

Commando Bowman - Sometimes it's possible to sneak bowmen behind enemy lines,
and have them wreak the storehouse and inn causing the enemy to starve to 
death. Bizarely attacking buildings inside the enemy towns doesn't upset the
enemy troops, and seeing all the enemy troops starve to death can be quite

2.6 Starter Troop Wins

This is an on going section whilst I play through the game again. Quite often
when the game is nice enough to gift starter troops, it is possible to 
defeat the enemy, or at least the aggressive enemy towns, before a single 
weapon of your own has been produced. In some levels I have not found a means 
to win with the starter troops, but where it is possible it can be quite 

Mission 1 - After saving the town you will be left with some Militia, and 
some Axe Fighters. Inside the castle there are some bows, and some leather 
armour. It is vitally important at this point to produce the 20 bowmen.

First have two groups of Militia, one small group, another large. Head over
your bridge, then turn them left. In the mean time, line up your Axe Fighters, 
Bowmen and remaining Militia facing north, just over the bridge. Ideally at
this point you should be able to see some (yellow) Lance Carriers.

The two groups of Militia should encounter some blue Axe Fighters. Have the 
smaller group attack them, whilst the larger group walks past and follows
the rock north-east. They should continue to head around the rock, move
south and start killing the Bowmen. Whilst this is underway the main force can
advance forwards and kill the Lance Carriers under the protective fire of 
your own Archers. The yellow town will still have troops remaining, but with
archer fire you'll take them out easily. Head into the yellow town, and
destroy it.

Then it's a case of heading to the west, and doing the same thing to the
blue town. They have no archers, only axefighters, so the battle will easily
be in your favour.

Mission 2 - This win is a little more sneaky, and perhaps quite underhand. 
All troops will need to be sent to the bridge to the north-east. Split your
Bowmen into two groups, and one group into another. Place three Bowmen
to the path to the right of the bridge, facing away from the enemy troops.
Then place the remaining troops slightly to the south west. Have the group
containing just a single Bowman head out over the bridge and lure out the
cavalry. Take the cavalry back to your main army, and start a fight. Then
take the three Bowmen and keep them on the right-hand side and advance into
the village.

Shoot at the storehouse, and then the inn. It'll take quite a while, but the 
end result is that everyone starves to death. Some Militia may still have to
be created to smash the remaining buildings, but this is essentially a 
starter troop win.

Mission 4 - A complete starter win is not possible, or if it is I have no found
it yet. What is possible however is a victory over the first town (there are
two), and the first town is the aggressive one that will launch raids later in
the game. Notice to the east, just south from the bridge, there is a narrow
area between the water and the rocks. Place the Lance Carriers there. Make
sure you have a single Bowman for luring, then place some behind the Lance
Carriers and some on the rocks to the west. All the Axe Fighters should be 
north of the west side of the bridge.

Lure out the enemy Scouts, and take them to the Lance Carriers. Soon the enemy
will launch everything they have at you. The Lance Carriers and Bowmen can
take it, until the enemy Bowmen arrive. Luckily the Axe Fighters can flank 
them to prevent them from doing any damage. Once everyone is dead, advance into
the town and destroy it. Make note that attacking the line of guard towers
is probably not a good idea 'til a bit later on.

Mission 7 - The enemy will attack right from the start. It will be a tough
fight, but ultimately you will come out the victor. Wonderful. Unfortunately
the enemy still has such a mass of troops your forces alone will not be able
to handle them. Lucky your ally still has a zerg of Militia left then. Place 
all your Bowmen behind your white ally, except for a single troop, and place 
any other remaining troops with the white Militia.

Have a Bowman lure out the enemy, then run away. What you're aiming for is
about half the force to get bored and retreat, whilst the rest follows. Between
the masses of white's Militia, and your remaining troops, they will die. Repeat
the process again and the remainder of blue's army will be finished. At this
point it is safe to advance all the Bowmen and remove the watch towers.

The second town will still exist, but that town does not attack. Hence you are
safe to just build up and attack when you wish. 

Mission 9 - This part needs to be done fast. Take two Crossbow Men, and 
advance them north, just east of the purple encampment. Make them keep
to the rocky wall, and head around. With luck the watchtower will only have
a single stone, and it will miss. Keep them moving in and you'll find the store
house. Destroy it. If possible also kill the inn.

Whilst that is in progress, move the two squads of Barbarians and the remaining
Crossbow Men far east. Keep one squad pressed against the south wall, and move 
them so they are at the side of the purple Bowmen. Have the other squad ready
to charge the Axe Fighters, with the Crossbow Men to back them up. Charge into
the Bowmen first, then the Axe Fighters. Scouts will also come to attack, but
they won't put up much of a fight. Advance forward and smash the (at that 
point) small town. 

Now what happened for me was a lone Crossbow Man decended from the north-east
town, which I killed and this brought out more troops. This may not happen
on every game, but I'm sure the troops can just be lured. The town has 
Crossbow Men and Swordsmen, they can all be killed. The town also contains 
watch towers inside it, which need to be watched out for. Once the town has 
been crippled (inn, storehouse and barracks gone) troops can be moved to the 
west, pressed along the rocks to the south. There is a further storehouse to 
destroy, and if the crossbow men left earlier need more help they can be aided. 
All the remaining troops will starve to death, and so three villages have been 
destroyed with a few barbarians and 10 crossbow men. 

*Awaiting update* 

3.1 Contact Information

I've no doubt this guide is littered with errors and problems. I was just
amazed that only one other guide existed for KnM, and had to do something about 
it. If you want to contact me about anything to do with the guide, or 
whatever really (come to think of it I'd actually like email even if you have
only opened the guide.. just to know someone else cares about the game). This 
is my email:

3.2 Copyright

Copyright 2009 Scott Oxtoby


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