This is a compact guide on playing Treaty. It won’t cover everything (because that would take a novel) but I want to give newer players some important tips that I think are very important in getting them up-to-speed. I’ve been playing a lot of bad custom treaty games online, and I’ve noticed many players don’t seem to understand some necessary, fundamental concepts to win. So hopefully I can give to the community and help out.
Basic Principles To Know -
I. Maximize your economy, especially before treaty ends
You have 40 minutes to make your economy as strong as possible. You are expected to fight a long, hard, resource-intensive fight, so you need to make sure your economy is producing as much as it can to sustain the war. You need to do the following few things to ensure you can last:
1. Put economic cards in your deck that increase gathering rates. Put all the ones that that are available for your civ, specifically the ones that increases gathering rates for mills, farms (infinite food), estates, and plantations (infinite gold). Try to avoid cards that boost woodcutting cards (unless you have a specific strategy for wood. Otherwise, wood will run out and the card has no use anymore). Also avoid cards that increase berry bush collecting speed (bushes are slow and run out) and hunting cards (hunts will run out will inevitably be overtaken by mills/farms).
2. Get to maximum villagers ASAP. The more villagers you have and are working, the more your economy is producing. Thus always make villagers constantly and make as much villagers as fast as you can. This means you must get to Age 3 fast so you can build 3 TCs. Having 3 TCs will triple your villager production to reach maximum villagers. And more settlers means more resources. And don’t stop making villagers until you hit the maximum for your civilization.
3. Get essential economic upgrades along the way. It is worth getting market upgrades to harvest the map ASAP (hunting, woodcutting, gold mining). This is because early on, you can’t send all your fancy cards to boost mill/farm/estate/plantation rates to something great. So it is more effective to get market upgrades now, before you have to transition to mills and plantations. Another key thing to do is to race to Age 4 and plant your factories ASAP. These considerably boost your economy by producing free resources for you. The quicker you plant both of them, the more value you get out of them before treaty ends. And also you need to race to Age 5 and build the capitol (for European civs). You NEED to get the +50% gathering rate techs asap, as these crazily multiply your economic power. Even if you and someone else has 99 villagers and the same economic cards, the person who has these +50% gathering rates will vastly outgather the player who did not. That’s how important these +50% gathering techs are.
Put resource cards or villager cards in your deck. Why? Think about the long run - these are temporary bursts. In 30 minutes of fighting, a +15% plantation card will pay off dividends more than a mere 1000G card. You will look like a noob if you bring resource cards into a treaty game, unless it’s an infinite one with a purpose (like 300W).
Make mills/plantations early. They are very slow and take awhile to get fast (via cards and upgrades). You will stunt your economy and fall behind in score if you resort to mills/plantations fast. You must focus on herds and gold mines. Only resort to mills/plantations if there literally are NO natural resources left near you.
II. Maximize your military strength as much as possible, including natives
This is self explanatory – why are you bringing in veteran musketeers into fight against imperial gendarmes? Upgrade your units, or you will get ripped to shreds with your KD/R. Don’t expect to be able to send all your military buff cards before 40 or 60 minutes, just send the ones that you think are important to your strategy. I tend to like having faster infantry and faster cavalry training so I can react dynamically to the war going on.
One thing to note is natives ARE a gamechanger if you are fighting an enemy with the same military population, but you are the one who has them. They are abbreviated in-game as “nats”. They are extremely helpful if you supplement them with your main army, but can be costly if they die fast and you don’t protect them like your own units. They are extremely beneficial if you are facing a 1v2 situation, or if your friend needs help and you have no spare military pop to assist them. So definitely fight for those trading posts after treaty ends and multiply your military power. Don’t be lazy and be the one at disadvantage!
III. Make it harder for your enemy to reach you (walls and good city design)
This is so simple but so exploitable.
Storytime: I had a 3v3 treaty game on Orinoco against a team of 2 Russians and Portugal. I foresaw that since they were Russian, they were gonna make 2 masses of oprichnicks and try to barge in. Thus, I built walls around my town, but my allies weren’t so experienced and left a gaping hole in his city. I told him to move his buildings and fix it, but he said “I’ll protect it” (huge doubt, but I didn’t want to waste the boom I had). At 35 minutes, one of the Russian players gets spies (obviously bad sign), and at 39 minutes, two masses of oprichnicks are running and squeezing into the opening of the wall. 100 oprichnicks bypassed the 40 goons that I had set there, and in 3 minutes, our factories were gone. My other teammate was nooby, and didn’t make ruyters in anticipation. I was very angry, and the Russian players also snuck villagers near our bases to build blockhouses and spammed musketeers on the outside (which is common Russian gameplay).
It is frustrating that newer players don’t understand the importance of completely encircling walls around your base, and the importance of layering them. For a treaty game, my recommendation is that you must give yourself 4 layers of walls at the minimum to give you plenty of time to react and counter to these lame strategies (because they WILL happen sooner or later if you leave yourself vulnerable). When unattended, units with high siege damage can break through 2 layers in just 2 minutes or less. You MUST build more layers than that, especially if you aren’t experienced watching for flanking mortars or flanking siege units. And don’t leave holes in your walls.
With city design, do several things:
Put your factories, mills, and plantations in the rear of your city, away from the center. Why are you gonna put mills and plantations next to your walls? When the walls break down, what’s there to stop incoming enemy units from raiding you?
Building non-military buildings around your factories. This includes the church, saloon, capitol, arsenal, etc. Use these as free, makeshift walls to stop enemy units from freely reaching your factories.
Make some military buildings in your base. Obvious, but this gives you ability to fight within your walls. Strangely, some people don’t do that. They don’t expect enemies to creep up on their walls, and later they are helpless when don’t have the internal infrastructure to fend them off.
IV. Build infrastructure, everywhere
People are lazy and don’t build forward bases. People will literally send military units across half the map, giving their opponent so much time to recover and to properly counter the new fresh army that you trained. You need to have villagers behind your military units to build military infrastructure (forward bases). This will help you replenish units on the battlefield faster and counter enemy units more flexibly. It also helps you take map control and maintains your offensive into the enemy base.
Claim your map control by building walls across the map. This prevents enemy calvary or high-siege units from doing roundabout tactics. It also can force your opponent to fight face-to-face and protects your flanks.
V. Other tips
Don’t forget artillery, especially culverins. People just are content at making 1-2 unit composition armies and watching them slowly widdle down each other. They don’t make cannons or realize that the DPS of their army would be greatly enhanced if had cannons in the back. Literally, you win stalemates of mass infantry V.S. mass infantry with cannons (if the other opponent doesn’t have cannons and your armies are of similar sizes), but if both sides have cannons, then it forces flanking cav or culverins.
At that point, you must maintain culverin superiority to maintain artillery superiority, and you will make the opponent spend more resources to replenish units than you are. Don’t be lazy and make the right type of artillery to win these common stalemates, even if you think artillery is slow to create. 1-2 unit compositions can be strong, but you are still handicapping the full potential of your military pop if you don’t have artillery in your army.
And protect your artillery, ESPECIALLY from cavalry. Too many times a person gets carried away and leaves artillery wide open on the field. It’s so easy to train some quick hussar to eliminate them.