Yellow Vehicle Combat Guide
EDIT: Due to bad game mechanics yellow guards have a rather significant advantage over yellow highwaymen, so I have decided not to include any HM strategies, as it is a waste if time to write. This does not mean there are not yellow HM, as some people do it just for fun.
Because I am no longer going to include HM tactics you can probably just skip to the sections titled trader/guard, but the other information is useful and will help you understand exactly what is going on.
Yellow vehicles and items have recently been split from green+ vehicles and items creating a whole new area for trading. New strategies are needed to successfully trade, guard and pillage. There are not as many variables in yellow vehicle fighting making it easier to plot what will happen, but it is still exciting (if you don't mind the slow speeds) and random enough to be interesting. This guide will cover all aspects of yellow vehicle combat.
Before this goes into detail about strategies I will explain the actual game mechanics. This explains how vehicles, combat, professions and gadgets work. If you already understand skip this section.
The first choice when using yellow vehicles is which profession? Do you wish to trade, guard or highwayman? Each profession requires a different number of melds: 0 for traders, 20 for guards and 30 for highwaymen. Being a highwayman does not take more melds because it is "better", but because it is in general harder and more dangerous for new players.
When you have chosen your profession the tab on left side of the screen labeled "Vehicles", will have a whole new meaning. This page gives you an overview of all your vehicles, where they are and what they are doing. Assuming you have a vehicle, it will show up in this list. You can look at a vehicles status by clicking on the word in the status column. Right now it should say "stopped" because the vehicle is not moving. From here you can look at the vehicle's logs from its last journey, and re-name your vehicle.
To send a vehicle click the "send" button on the far right. It will take you to a page where you set up your vehicle. You need to choose a destination (if you have not visited the other cities before they will be ???). Traders then decide what cargo and weapons to take. Guards have to decide what weapons to take, if they will be aggressive against yellow vehicles, and what is the minimum bribe they will accept. Highwaymen can only take weapons, choose if they will be aggressive against yellows and decide what is the bribe they will pay upon defeat.
After you have picked a location and cargo click the send button at the bottom of the page. This will take you to a confirmation page, where you can review what you have set up. When you are happy press "confirm" and your vehicle will be sent.
Combat occurs when a few conditions are met:
- The two vehicles paths must cross either by going opposite directions, or a faster vehicle catching up to a slower vehicle from behind.
- If only one vehicle is aggressive, and it is faster combat occurs with the aggressive vehicle using its attack, and the non-aggressive vehicle using its defense.
- If both vehicles are aggressive combat commences, with both vehicles using their combined attack + defense.
- If neither vehicles are aggressive nothing will happen.
Remember that traders attack no-one, guards only attack highwaymen and highwaymen attack everyone.
Combat lasts for 5 to 30 minutes, and then the vehicle with the highest attack, defense or combined depending upon the type of battle wins.
- If a trader wins they escape with their cargo.
- If a guard wins if they have room they recover stolen loot from the highwayman. The highwayman also either pays a bribe (if their bribe is larger then the guards minimum bribe) or their vehicle gets damaged.
- If a highwayman wins they loot whoever they beat, and have a small random chance at damaging the other vehicle.
Gadgets are items that give boosts/short term abilities to players. They are *extremely* useful, some even essential, but they are a bit expensive for a new player. A gadgets bonus applies to all vehicles sent *after* it is used, and lasts until they arrive even if the gadget has expired. When you use a gadget it gives you the boost for a certain period of time depending upon what type of gadget it is. There are two different groups of gadgets, and four levels:
- Tin - Lasts for .5 of a day.
- Aluminum - Lasts for 3.5 days
- Iron - Lasts for 20 days
- Titanium - Lasts for 120 days.
Tin/Iron gadgets give the same boost and so do Aluminum/Titanium. For example a tin whetting stone gives you .5 days of whetting stone, while an iron whetting stone gives 20 days of the same boost. It does not stack with the other whetting stone, just increases the overall time.
There are a number of essential gadgets, and a few useful gadgets.
The following gadgets are extremely useful/recommended:
- Turbo Engine: Increases your speed by 10%.
- Shield: Increases your defense power by 10%.
- Whetting Stone: Increases your attack power by 10%.
These gadgets are extremely useful -without them another player using gadgets will be able to defeat you.
While not essential these gadgets are rather handy to have:
- Radar: Shows number of traders, guards and highwaymen on each route.
- Binoculars: Shows the name and vehicle of anyone you engage.
Both these gadgets provide rather nice information, but it is not required to be able to compete.
All the extremely useful/recommended gadgets come in tin form and as such you can buy them in Cissna (where the gadgets mine is located) and move them to your home city to use. You can also buy the gadgets in Harmond, but it would be more expensive.
This is a brief overview of details to consider when using yellow vehicles. They are:
- Vehicle choice: Donkey, Camel, Unicycle or Rickshaw. Which vehicle best suits your needs, and allows for the greatest chance at success?
- Weapons/Cargo: Defensive, offensive or cargo? In yellow vehicle combat weapons and capacity are very simple: 1 attack, 1 defense, or 1 space to steal/move an item. The best combinations will be discussed in more detail relating to each profession.
- Gadgets: Whetting stone, shield and turbo engine. While gadgets may seem very expensive for a new player, they are definitely worth it otherwise you will be easily defeated. If you cannot afford it try bidding low, someone may get impatient and sell to you.
- Inventory: Do you have the room to hold weapons/vehicles? One thing about yellow vehicle combat is it can become very inventory intensive, so saving up for an avatar (+25 inventory) would definitely be worth it.
Because there are so few variables you can almost plot exactly what is going to happen, meaning positioning of your vehicles and strategy are very important.
Trading is actually quite simple when you follow these rules:
- 1 Always bubble.
- 2 Know your enemy.
- 3 Plan your movements/strategy.
1: Bubbling. A traders main defense is bubbling. Please read the page on bubbling, it is the best strategy available for traders right now. As a brief description: Bubbling is where you send empty vehicles out before and after your cargo vehicles to get in the way of HM attacking you. If a HM never engages your cargo vehicles, you cannot loose your cargo ;)
A useful tip with bubbling: If you are using rickshaws with a turbo you cannot be caught from behind. This means you do not need a rear-guard, so your bubble can be bigger.
2: Know your enemy. As of the 24/07/11 there is only 1 major yellow HM: Nailedshut. He has:
- A fleet of 50ish rickshaws.
- An armory of 10ish yellow weapons.
- He also uses gadgets. As he is the main HM you need to figure out how to combat him.
- Inventory: He has at least a few inventory upgrades, but his whole inventory is not dedicated to yellow HMing.
Note that these are the 4 things that I mentioned in the overview, the only variables/factors in yellow vehicle combat.
3. Plan your movements/strategy.
Let us think about the information above. Nailedshut is using rickshaws, meaning you cannot escape him. He has a very large fleet compared to what a new player will have access to, especially if you consider inventory limits. This means sheer bubbling just wont cut it - unless you have room for 55+ vehicles. The fact he uses gadgets means if you don't have gadgets he has an advantage - making it harder for you to beat him. Nailedshuts main weakness appears to be a lack of weapons.
After considering the above information there are two strategies to use:
The first strategy actually isn't effected by what nailed shut has at all. As a trader, if you use a camel with 7 defensive weapons and a shield, you can carry 1 cargo and be literally invincible. Nothing can damage or take your cargo from you. The major disadvantage to using camels though, is speed, and the amount of inventory it takes to move each item.
A more practical strategy can be formed based on the above analysis of the HM:
- Vehicles: While you cannot easily out-bubble nailedshut I would still suggest a bubble of 20 rickshaws to make it harder for him.
- Weapons/Cargo: The main part of this strategy is to use 2 defensive weapons on each rickshaw carrying cargo. This will give you rickshaws a defense of 3, compared to nailedshuts 2.2 (2 natural, 10% + attack from whetting stone). The reason this will be so effective is because nailedshut has a very limited armory. He may be able to steal a few items from you if he is lucky - his 1 or 2 rickshaws with weapons would need to hit yours, but the majority of your cargo will get through. If nailedshut gets more weapons you may need to load 3 weapons, 1 cargo per cargo rickshaw.
- Gadgets: There are 4 gadgets you may want to consider using: Firstly there is the turbo. This will reduce your travel time by 10%, and it will also stop any HM catching you from behind. Second there is the shield. As you are using weapons a shield will be useful - with a shield nailedshut would need more weapons to steal from you thus leaving less space for him to take items, and also meaning he can arm less vehicles. The next two gadgets are just interesting, but not as important as the turbo/shield: The radar - so you can see if you are sending directly into a HM swarm and Binoculars - so you can see who is attacking you.
- Inventory: 20 rickshaws and 2 weapons for each cargo rickshaw will take up a significant portion of a new players inventory. It is manageable though, especially if you get a basic avatar. An avatar gives +25 inventory, and all you need is a background, model and border of any color to get the bonus.
While this strategy is specifically tailored to beat nailedshut, it will work just as effectively against most other yellow HM. If you find yourself being defeated on a regular basis by a different HM analyze their strategy and figure out how to counter it.
The main reason I have gone into so much detail about this is to prepare you for the green+ world. If you can learn the above rules/ideas and use them with yellow vehicles, you will have a much easier time in the green+ world.
Yellow Guarding is by far the easiest profession of all. While inventory intensive, there is a foolproof strategy for winning:
A camel, loaded with 8/8 weapons (and a whetting stone/shield to be safe) is 100% safe. It cannot be damaged, as the best a HM can do is draw with it, using another fully loaded camel. As HM mainly use rickshaws to catch traders, they will target yellows and run into your camels. 100% win chance, either damaging their vehicle or getting a bribe.
There is only 2 real decisions a guard has to make: Do you arm with 7/8 weapons, so you can potentially get stolen items from HM? This comes at the risk of about a 1/10 chance of your camel being damaged upon defeat by HM specifically using another camel with 8/8 weapons. As not many HM use camels with a full load of weapons, and if you are damaged... its just a camel I would probably use 7/8 weapons for the chance at loot :)
The reason there are not many yellow guards (if any) is because it is not very profitable. Be reasonable with your bribe, its a yellow vehicle we are talking about here. Even if it is 2g per vehicle, that is better then nothing. If you are aiming to put HM out of business so you can trade more easily, set your bribe to either an insane level, or maybe even 20g. Are you going to complain if the HM pays 20g and keeps his rickshaw?
- When yellow vehicles are damaged they actually disappear from your inventory, as yellow or green damaged items are automatically trashed, due to never being worth fixing.
- Damaged yellow vehicles will stay on your vehicles page for 48-64h, so you can see what happened to them.
- Weapons cannot be stolen.
- To send multiple vehicles in quick succession use tabs. Scroll down your vehicles page ctrl + clicking on all the vehicles you want to send. ctrl + tab to quickly swap tabs and set them all up, then ctrl + tab through confirming everything.
- Re-naming your vehicles makes it much easier to track where they are/what vehicles you have.
- While vehicles get a random 0 to melds/5 defense bonus, this does not apply to yellows.