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Rise of Empires: Ice and Fire Beginner’s Guide: Tips, Tricks & Strategies to Conquer the World

Another day, another harvest! The fields are doing well, the ale is flowing from the distilleries. One of the iron forges caught fire when someone tried to take some shortcuts to make more iron ingots, but it was quickly dealt with and nobody got hurt. You, a farmer turned king, look at your city from your castle’s parapet, expecting a slow, quiet day.

Unfortunately, the quiet is interrupted by your aide: He brings disturbing news from your scouts, telling of an army forming up to breach your city’s gates. You prepare your numerous troops, well armed and fed but not entirely enthusiastic farmers and laborers, for combat. You also have everyone else hide the stockpiles of resources in your city. You are determined to make the enemy walk home with nothing, even if your armies lose.

rise of empires guide

Walking home with nothing is more or less what the enemy does: Your troops fight a delaying action, but the enemy forces have superior training and tactics, and your soldiers inevitably fold and retreat. The enemy loots the city, but they don’t come home with a lot, the spoils they took not nearly making up for the losses they suffered against your individually unimpressive but well-equipped and numerous army. At the end of the day, despite what looks like a defeat, you and your citizens get the last laugh as the people put out fires and return to their daily grind for another day, another harvest. Such is the life of a farmer king.

Welcome to our Rise of Empires: Ice and Fire beginner’s guide! Rise of Empires is a mobile strategy title by Long Tech Network Limited. In this game, you set up your city, build an army, pick fights with other players to take their stuff, farm and grind for resources, and generally try to keep your city running and prosperous. It’s a lot like other strategy games on the App Store and Google Play, with a focus on getting a larger army than the enemy while making sure the heroes lead them to have skills that synergize with each other.

rise of empires march

Though unlike most of those games, army building only really comes into its own much later in one’s playtime, with hero slots for armies being unlocked very slowly. You will spend a lot of your time as a rookie with only a single hero in each army you have. We warn you, this is a very slow game, and you will need patience and an appreciation for the long haul to do well in it.

CLASSES

rise of empires classes
Every ruler has their specialty.

Very early into the game, you will be given the option to pick between 3 differing class archetypes for your city. The differences between them are large enough that they will determine how you play the game. Raiders are strongest when doing lots of PVP because of their increased siege bonuses but suffer from heavily inefficient resource gathering.

Farmers are blessed with resource generation and defense good enough, and cursed with siege damage worthless enough, that ignoring PVP entirely is a viable option for them. Traders work best when paired with a good, reliable Alliance to make the most of them because of their ability to trade with and help out Allies mixed with their vulnerability to attackers.

Trader: International Trade, International Beatdown!

rise of empires trader
Profit moves the world forward!

A good pick if you want to be helpful to a tight-knit Alliance, the Trader unlocks an exclusive structure that allows them to trade resources with Allies. They also have buffs to Gold Production, have better prices in the Trading House, and their troops eat less Food and later Trader archetype classes can even get a few indirect offensive buffs for PVP.

All this allows them to grow faster, especially if they’re in a good Alliance. Their downside? They are hideously poor on the defense, as they lose twice as many resources to attackers when their city is raided and they replenish troop losses more slowly because of their expensive and slow troop healing. This makes them more vulnerable to repeat attacks, on top of being very juicy targets.

Raider: Their Misery, Your Prosperity

rise of empires raider
Violence isn’t the answer… Violence is a question, and the answer is always “Yes.”

If you like ruining another player’s day, then being a Raider is your calling. They take fewer losses from attacks, replenish those losses twice as fast, gain much greater rewards from fighting than the other classes, and can plunder Gold from Sieges using their exclusive structure.

Later Raider archetype classes also get Siege buffs so they can bully people even harder. Their downside? While they may replenish losses faster, they generate resources much more slowly than either class when not taking them from someone else. This makes the early game as a Raider fairly dangerous, as you’re at a disadvantage against other players who can build up their cities, and therefore their armies, faster than you can.

As a Raider, you also have a big target painted on your back since nobody likes being attacked, and they may decide to attack you pre-emptively so you can’t build up. That being said, once you get the ball rolling and have a large army, you can give other players kidney stones from all the salt your powerful raiding buffs can cause!

Farmer: Comfort Even As The World Burns!

rise of empires farmer
While the rest of those barbarians fight each other, you simply make sure victory against you is not worth the headache.

Say you’re sick of PVP in games like this and just want to be left alone to relax, grind, and treat the game as if it were a simplified Sim City. This means the life of a Farmer is for you! Farmers generate resources quite quickly, and their soldiers get more resources from Gathering on the map than other classes.

Their unique structure leans into this further, allowing even better resource gathering and the Bountiful Harvest ability, which lets them instantly gather an hour’s worth of resources once every day. They also protect their resources more effectively than the other classes. They have bigger Depots, which means they take fewer losses from Sieges in general, especially with the later Farmer archetype classes.

Not only does this let them expand stably even when in a fairly dangerous part of the map, but this also makes them problematic to attack since not only do they usually have a threatening, well-fed army that mostly just stays at home when not gathering or bullying NPCs, they tend to be not worth attacking in the first place since you get less out of hitting them when compared to fighting Raiders or Traders.

Farmers can lose defensive battles and not care all that much, because they lose a fairly small percentage of resources when it happens, maybe a bit compounded by losses to medical bills. The downside is that Farmer cities are as sick of war as any player using them: They do very poorly on the offense, with greatly reduced stats while besieging other players’ cities.

And even if they throw their big well-fed army at you, they march slowly and give you time to prepare, provided you listen to your phone notifications or are attacked while playing. Though if you picked Farmer, PVP’s likely not on your agenda anyway.

 Craftsmen: Technological Superiority!

rise of empires craftsman
Rome wasn’t built in a day, but this city isn’t Rome.

The Craftsman archetype is not available as a starter class, so you likely won’t have access to this until much later in the game. Thankfully the game allows you to check what classes you don’t use are about, and Craftsmen are about fast upgrades and fast city development. They typically get reduced research and build times, and they pay less for such too. This allows them to go through the Insitute’s tech trees faster, and unlock things like extra Hero slots in their legions more easily.

GENERAL TIPS

rise of empires home
Home sweet home.

While Rise of Empires is fairly similar in many respects to other mobile strategy games, it does have its weird quirks to take into account, especially outside of combat. Like how there is a certain time when it’s best to roll in the Recruitment gacha, or how one needs to attach all structures to roads because the workers cannot be paid to touch grass no matter how badly you want them to. Here are some things to keep in mind while playing Rise of Empires.

Logistical Roadways

rise of empires disconnected
The workers aren’t allowed to touch the grass unless they’re out killing deer and trees.

All structures you build must connect to the Castle via Road tiles. This makes building your town an exercise in trying to make efficient use of space whenever possible. At one point the game will force you to automatically rearrange your city, so wait until then to start designing the roadways for your city. When doing so, you have two things to keep in mind: Structure sizes and Resource tiles.

Resource tiles should have a 1-tile area around them cleared so you can surround them with resource-gathering structures, which are usually just 1 tile large. As for structure sizes, most structures are 4 tiles square, but some are 1 tile square or 9 tiles square.

Always try to use the as little road as possible, so you have more space for buildings. The auto-layout function does a good job of making sure everything is next to a road, but it may scatter resource structures around, making it harder to look for them when it’s time to upgrade them, or for Charcoal Factories, to feed them Wood.

Join an Alliance

rise of empires allies
 Even in the middle ages, when everyone was at each others’ throats, it was still advantageous to have some friends to gang up on the other guy.

As with most online games, joining a guild confers several benefits. For this game, they’re called Alliances, and they allow other players to speed up your building construction. You also get Wages for doing various daily tasks for the Alliance such as donating to Guild Research or beating the tar out of NPC Marauders littering the map.

There is also Alliance Research which gives the entire Alliance buffs, but allies must contribute to it to upgrade said buffs. Make sure NOT to use Quick Join when looking for n Alliance, at least if you’re in an Asian server: The game may sling you into an Alliance that doesn’t speak the same language as you, ensuring confusion for all involved. Instead, look for an Alliance that speaks the same language as you or at least one that you understand, by checking their Alliance Statements.

A Gacha Rolling Schedule!?

rise of empires gacha
Ten rolls, always. Especially if you’re being rewarded for them.

A tip you may have heard among many gacha games such as this one would be to only do 10-rolls for the discount. It still rings true here, since a roll costs one gacha ticket for the appropriate Recruitment type, and yet 10 of them get you 11 rolls if you do it all at once. But just because you get your 10 tickets doesn’t mean you should roll immediately.

One of the Hourly Challenges allows you to get points for it by rolling the Recruitment gacha, with more rolls for higher tier gachas getting you more points, and therefore better rewards. It’s usually a good idea to save your gacha tickets should such an Hourly Challenge pop out, since as their name implies, these challenges only last an hour. This allows you to get the most out of your tickets as possible, with you getting the Hourly Challenge reward along with the heroes you rolled for! Speaking of which…

Hourly Challenges

rise of empires hourly challenge
The Hourly Challenge encourages players to progress their cities and tech trees.

Hourly Challenges are missions that change every hour, meant for players who have been playing the game for at least a week or so. The gist of it is you get points for doing certain tasks, and if you gather enough points, you get escalating rewards like resources and gems.

The easiest one for a newbie to do would be the Gacha challenge since you’ll get some free rolls early on. You’ll need to roll at least once to get some heroes for your town, but the rest of the tickets should be saved for your first Hourly Challenge of this type.

Save Your Gems For The Town Hall and Watch Tower

rise of empires town hall
Paperwork costs money.

The Town Hall allows you to appoint certain, predetermined Heroes to your government to act as public officials and give your kingdom passive buffs, usually for generating resources or military action. The Town Hall can only hold a certain amount of officials based on a Cost Capacity system, with certain Heroes taking up more capacity than others when appointed.

To increase this cost capacity, you need to upgrade the Town Hall. Just one problem though: Town hall upgrades, on top of costing the usual resources, also cost Stationing Plans. Stationing Plans cost Gems to buy. This means you should use the free gems the game occasionally gives you to buy Stationing Plans as a long-term investment, instead of going for their other use: Instantly completing construction upgrades.

That way, every time you get a new Hero meant for the Town Hall, you can appoint them in short order instead of letting them sit in your roster doing nothing. After all, it’s not like you can send them to combat.

 As for the Watch Tower, it does one very simple task: Shoot at attacking player armies while being immune to attack itself. Leveling this up requires you to buy Alloy Barrels with gems, so you should save gems for those too. Especially if you’re playing a Trader since Traders have more to lose from an attack than any other class and need to be able to beat back invaders more than classes like the Farmers do.

Remember to Upgrade Your Farms After Every Castle Upgrade

rise of empires farm
Pitchforks and pickaxes need to be kept sharp, forges need to be kept clean.

In most kingdom builder games, it’s pretty easy to remember to upgrade your resource-generating structures: There would usually be only a few of them, and they’re often a requirement to upgrade the central structure (Usually called a Castle or Town Hall), or outlined in your quests. Here, resource structures tend not to be a requirement for either, and you can have several of them for every resource tile you own. Keep them upgraded on your own time.

One tip to remember this more easily: Upgrade each resource structure once every time you upgrade your Castle since the max level of a resource-generating structure is the same as your current Castle level. After that, you can complete your upgrade quests and your Castle normally.

Use Your Speedups

rise of empires speed ups
You’re in a rush early on, so your workers should rush too.

Initially, the game may look a bit sparse in terms of speedups compared to other mobile games of this type, but it isn’t long until you get a lot of quests and events that give them out like candy, at least early on. Make sure you use your speed-ups often early on, as you only have a limited number of builders and loads of buildings to upgrade while that newbie shield ticks down.

Mostly because of the multiple copies of resource-gathering structures you’ll construct to maximize gathering efficiency. The majority of the speed-ups you’ll get are of the small 5 minute kind though, so speed up the 10-30 minute constructions first so you can free up the build slots quickly for your next upgrade or construction project.

Your Other Stockpile: Don’t Use Inventory Items Until You Need Them

rise of empires stockpile
Turns out, your royal treasury is much safer than even supply depots.

Sometimes, resources rewarded to you are not immediately put into your resource stockpile. Instead, it is sent to your account inventory as a consumable item. Resources in this form cannot be taken by the enemy should your City be attacked. This means you should only use these resource items when you need them or will spend said resources immediately.

This goes double if you’re not running a Farmer class city, and tenfold if you’re a Trader: Traders lose double the resources to PVP attacks compared to any other class on top of having expensive medical bills, so keeping resources as inventory items is a good idea to prevent heavy losses from enemy attacks.

DAILY GRIND

rise of empires dailies
Up and at ’em!

Every login, there are some things you can do regularly to progress your city. You’ll most likely develop some form of habit as you play the game, which is a good thing since that allows you to play efficiently even at your own pace.

Knowing which things might make good daily habits will make it easier to play the game in general, as Rise of Empires asks you to keep your city maintained so it can generate certain resources like Population and Charcoal, or to keep an eye on your army and replenish it when needed. Here are some of the habits you’re likely to form as you play.

Fill The Charcoal Factory and Tavern

rise of empires fill up
The Tavern and Charcoal Factories need to be kept fed.

The Charcoal Factories and the Tavern are resource structures that produce charcoal and population respectively. Unlike other resource structures that need to be built next to a resource tile or in the case of the mint, can be left completely alone, the Charcoal Factory and Tavern each need to have resources delivered to them manually by your command.

For the Charcoal factories, they require Wood to make Charcoal, while the Tavern asks you for Ale and Food to generate Population. The deliveries take up a work slot but are fairly quick, and the production of population and charcoal takes long enough that you won’t minding them as you play through your daily session.

This means delivering resources to the Charocal factories and the Tavern should be the first thing you do, since forgetting about them means you might have to wait several hours for a building to upgrade, or use a ton of speedups, just to be able to do those deliveries, which may take a minute top.

Go Hunting

rise of empires hunt
Look, dragon food!

You see the deer running around your city? They’re not paying taxes, and your Dragon thinks they’re tasty, as they drop Meat (not to be confused with the Food resource) when killed. Meat can be used to level up the Dragon, which increases the maximum troop count for your Legions, even with Legion slots that lack Heroes.

This means after you deliver resources to the Charcoal factory and the Tavern, you should kick those freeloading deer out of this mortal coil and feed the Meat they drop to the Dragon. This is also another task that eats up Worker slots yet is done relatively quickly per kill, so do it early in the day before your worker slots are eaten up by construction projects. Once both tasks are done, you can get to work with your planned upgrades and construction for the day.

Plan Ahead

rise of empires the plan
If all else fails, check the Castle’s wish list to figure out what to do next.

Now that all the local deer are dead and your Tavern and Charcoal factories are chugging along, it’s time to plan out what structures need upgrades today. The easiest way to find this out is to check your Castle’s upgrade requirements.

You’ll find out which of your structures also need upgrades, and you can usually keep tapping the listed Structures as they lead to the needed upgrade chain, since those have prerequisites to their own upgrades too. Then get those upgrades and spend those resources, so you have some space in your warehouses for the next couple of steps.

Check Your Daily Tasks and Rewards

rise of empires dailies
The best part of a new day.

Rise of Empires typically has quite a few events happening all at once, not to mention the Benefits Center which is a source of free stuff every time you complete some form of task or reach a certain milestone as a newbie. As such, you get quite a load of resources by checking them. After emptying your coffers by upgrading structures, it’s best to refill by grabbing those dailies afterward.

As for the Daily tasks, they can be checked along with the Main Tasks by tapping the Book icon in the lower left of the screen. They can give you a boost of resources to get your other plans going, particularly upgrades to your city.

Train Troops

rise of empires training
Your ramparts are useless without soldiers behind them to prop them up.

As with any kingdom-builder, Rise of Empires lets you control a military force that can protect your city from hostile players or, allow you to be the aforementioned hostile player to others. Keep your Barracks, Range, and Stables next to each other in the town and collect your finished troops, then spend resources to train more.

Early on, training is fast enough that you may need to do this several times throughout your daily login since as a newbie, you’re likely going to be training low-tier units in smaller batches. Once you start upgrading your unit production facilities though, you’ll not only unlock higher tier units, but you will also be training them in larger batches, which takes more time and demands less attention from you.

Check On Your Alliance

rise of empires allies
Having allies has its perks.

Upon logging in, you may notice a big fat notification circle with the number 20-something in the Menu button to the lower right of your screen. That’s telling you to look inside the Menu tab and tap the banner-looking Alliance tab since that’s where the majority of those notifications are from. Not only are there more daily rewards to nab from the guild, but you should also give the Alliance your daily allowance of Donations in the Technology section.

That way you not only contribute to making your guild stronger, but you also get a reward for it via the Salary tab. Not to mention simply logging in allows you to contribute to your Allies since all Alliance members get a stipend of Gems when a certain number of Allies log in for the day. Remember to check the Handshake icon too, since that leads to the Help section. This allows you to help your Allies with construction and research projects, by cutting down the timer a bit for them.

Dragon Exploration

rise of empires dragon exploration
The dragon will get bored if all they do is sit around the city and torch the occasional bandit: Send them out for some exercise.

Dragon Exploration can be accessed by tapping the structure your Dragon is standing on. They provide Dragon EXP, Speed Ups, and resources when completed, and all it takes to complete them are a tap. Your dragon has 100 stamina to complete them, but the stamina only gets spent if the dragon fails to do those Explorations. This means you should do the ones which have a 100% success chance first, and do whichever has the lowest success chance last. That way, you waste less Stamina on failures and can get the most rewards out of the stamina you have.

White Crow Bounties

rise of empires white crow bounties
Even if you don’t care about conquering the world, there are still people in need of assistance or a sword to the face. Usually the latter.

As you level up, you’ll eventually unlock the White Crow Tavern, not to be confused with the Tavern and the Bar. The White Crow Tavern has a bulletin board of tasks you can complete on the world map, with rewards on top of whatever you would have gotten from just randomly killing Marauders and other things there. Unless you’re playing a Raider class nation, these are likely the main reason you have an army!

Always check on these every day and finish as many as you can with the forces you have. These missions are a great way to get rewards like Hero EXP, Dragon EXP, Courage Medals, and resources. Unlocking the White Crow Bounties is a sign that the game will start picking up soon, as before this you won’t have much reason to pick fights with map NPCs beyond participating in Events.

GETTING STRONGER

rise of empires weak sauce
One of the most irritating messages you’ll find in this game.

In any strategy game of this genre, having a strong military is important to survival. Rise of Empires is no different. Even if you don’t plan on engaging in PVP, you would still need a large or powerful army to do tasks like gathering materials outside your city, picking fights with NPCs, or protecting yourself against other players, who naturally don’t care if you want to be left alone.

The Institute

rise of empires the institute
Grit and bravery are paramount to victory, but having a sharper sword than the other guy certainly doesn’t hurt.

If you have already constructed an Institute, you will see a button on your screen that looks like a round chemical beaker. That’s your Research tab. If you go in there, you’ll see several upgrade types, and tapping on one of them takes you to their respective tech trees.

Of particular importance to your military starting out would be the Research Legion and Class Legion Research trees. Those trees have upgrades in them that allow you to assign Heroes to each legion, as unlike most other games like this, Rise of Empires does not allow you to immediately assign multiple heroes to an army group or Legion: You start with 1 Legion with one Hero slot out of three, and you unlock a Class Legion that doesn’t even have the first slot unlocked!

A hero-less slot will carry a base of 400 soldiers, with upgraded Training Grounds and Legion training Grounds allowing those hero-less slots to carry more soldiers. That being said, putting a Hero in a slot allows the said slot to carry a heck of a lot more soldiers, since the hero’s level stacks with the Training Ground level to provide more troop space. Before getting the other military research upgrades, you’ll need to go through the whole Legion and Class Legion tech trees to unlock all 3 slots per legion.

Hero Leveling and Training Grounds

rise of empires battle formation
Note how the slot with a commander carries more troops than the slots without.

A Hero’s level, as we discussed earlier, can increase a Legion’s army slot size by roughly 100 men per level. You can do the same for all 3 slots by upgrading a Legion’s respective Training Grounds structure, which is cheap but time-consuming since the upgrade process can be slow (Or consume a lot of Speed-Ups!) but it only uses up basic resources.

On the other hand, not only can you grind EXP for your Heroes by sending them out to do their jobs and kill things, but you might also find yourself accumulating EXP-increasing items as you finish tasks or participate in events.

Upgrading your Hero’s level is one of the more reliable ways to power up an army because of this, and why upgrading the Legion tech trees to unlock all the hero slots is so important. Upgrade your assigned combat Heroes to get a quick boost to your army while upgrading the Legion Training Grounds to enlarge your army sizes over time.

Academy Training

rise of empires academy training
Reservists need refresher courses before you can send them out to a fight.

As you upgrade your Barracks, Stable, and Archery Range, you will unlock higher-tier soldiers and can train them in larger batches. Considering troops are kept in separate slots in a legion even if they’re the same kind of soldier but of different tiers, it makes sense to transition to the higher tier unit types in time.

That being said, you should always train troops even if the next tier of the unit is almost unlocked. You have two ways to get higher-tier troops: Either train them or upgrade the lower-tier troops using the Military Academy. This way, your bulk of low-tier reserves are not wasted, as they can be upgraded to your current unit standard.

The Dragon

rise of empires dragon
Having air cover in an era without man-made flying machines is a pretty big force multiplier.

Your Dragon is another important pillar of strength not just for your military, but for your city as a whole. It has 4 kinds of upgrades available to it.

Dragon talents are a set of Dragon skills that increase your city’s productivity. Certain skills will upgrade either resource gathering of a specific resource, or construction speed. You can unlock talents by feeding the dragon enough Meat to level the Power of the Dragon bar up high enough. You must manually activate the Dragon Talents every so often, once you see the circle with the dragon symbol fill up.

The main Dragon tab is the simplest way to upgrade it for combat. Here you can give the Dragon EXP. A higher-level Dragon will increase the maximum number of troops in your Legions, making them stronger if you have the troops to fill those slots. 

The Skills tab allows you to upgrade the Dragon’s fire breath attack, which is used in combat if the Dragon is assigned to a specific Legion, then that Legion is sent out to fight. It requires items called Words of Truth to level it up.

Combat Talents are unlocked by Advancing your Dragon, using Blaze Stones to evolve it. You can access the Evolution screen by tapping one of the Combat talents and then tapping Advance Now. These talents are usually either upgrades to your Dragon’s main attack skill or passive buffs to whatever army the Dragon is currently attached to.

Not only does your dragon power up both your armies indirectly, but you can also assign them to a single specific Legion. This drastically boosts the Legion’s Power Rating both immediately and potentially, with immediate boosts coming from the Dragon’s various skills and buffs, and the potential boost coming from the increased max troop count that you admittedly still need troops to fill up.

Whether you assign the Dragon to one of your weaker or stronger armies is a matter of preference: You may want to assign the Dragon to your strongest army if you want easier access to high-level White Crow Bounties, or you may want to assign it to a weaker unit so you have two units of relatively good strength which can tackle multiple not-too-dangerous tasks at once. Thankfully, assigning the dragon isn’t a one-and-done deal, and you can change which Legion it follows whenever you want.

And this ends our Rise of Empires: Ice and Fire beginner’s guide. If you’ve got your own tips to share, don’t hesitate to talk about them in the comments!