Clampy's Crazy Contemplations - The Bilbo Baggins - 1 thief province
(yes, I stole Krozair's theme)


Hello folks, for those that don't know I've played on and off since the early days and while I have played competitively in the past, I've always had more fun investigating game mechanics and playing around with ideas and that's the idea behind this. So these days I play in a mid-level kingdom that enjoys warring but doesn't really care about winning or losing, and likewise I experiment with strategies not because they are GOOD but because they are DIFFERENT as that's what I'm enjoying. So to be clear, I am not suggesting this as an effective strategy, but something curious and different.

The Build

The idea of this is to have only a single thief in a province, the idea came from age 43 when I played a solo explorer with a single wizard (and came 4th), but with the changes to Merchant, it spawned the idea to play with a single thief. This age Merchant's have:

The Merchant
+30% Income
Immune to All Income Penalties
100% successful on espionage ops at double stealth costs
Access to Clear Sight
+25% Income Science Efficiency
Starts with +800 Soldiers and +800 Specialist Credits

Most importantly Clear Sight (25% of thief ops fail on you), a very potent albeit expensive spell and the espionage ops bonus. The idea is that you can (and will) still use stealth doing intel, and the CS (with around 20% WTs) provides a reasonable thief defence to counteract the 0TPA. I paired this with Human primarily because the income bonus pairing with ToG, but partly because I was curious to try the prisoner conversion (which turned out to be a lot less potent than I hoped).

The 25% protection from CS and around 20-25% from WTs gives around 40-50% effective protection from ops with around 30-40% protection from op damage. This alone is (much) better than anything short of a thief-centric build like a T/M or A/T, but the real potency was from something I didn't expect - the enemy. It turns out when enemy kingdoms see 1 thief, they start opping like crazy... and failing... a LOT. So far this age, enemies have typically burned WTs which is a natural conclusion, but it takes a very large number of ops to drop the WTs number a reasonable amount, then they start NSing, but with still having around 35-45% autofail plus around 20-30% protection (ignoring sci, I figure they cancel out roughly), which means they're actually getting much lower damage then they would against another attacker. So in this way it feels like a bit of a honey trap, which so far all but 1 enemy has fallen for.

The flip side, and why you'd really do this is you can still intel just fine, but you've got a spare roughly 2ppa to spend on offense. This age I've been able to run noticeably higher opa than the other attackers in my kd, which is pretty sweet.


So far only one enemy kingdom has figured this out, and they were a pretty highly ranked kd (which we don't normally face - again, this is NOT a strategy that's effective against competitive kingdoms and just some fun), and that is wait 'til I go offline, then MV the CS away, bliz/drake the BE down, burn a few WTs then focus ops (NS). That hurt, although not that much more than it would have been if I was just a normal attacker with like 2tpa and a few WTs.


Not as bad as I expected. I didn't think this would work that well, but would be easy to transfer to a typical tpa, but the honeypot effect has been quite effective in wasting enemy stealth/thieves on low success rate and low damage ops. Having said that, no, I would not do this as a regular thing. It's fun and interesting, but not something I'd recommend.