LN FFA - Land Nomad Free For All. By Jaissica


Normally played with 8 players on a giant map. There are no teams - everyone for themselves. The FFA community generally plays an "honourable" style now with a few notable exceptions. Rules such as no vil warring, no trading, no 2v1 exist and are mostly followed. Breaking these rules may see you kicked and blacklisted by some players.

Thoughts on your chances of actually winning

Only the very best FFA players can hope to maintain even close to a 1-1 win loss ratio. All things being equal, you should only win 12.5% of your games. Your chances of winning are grossly impacted by how lucky you are in your mandatory random civ roll, and how fortunate you are in your selected starting area. If you are isolated and can control half the map without a fight you can win with any civ, no matter how poor they seem; if you are crowded it doesn't matter what civ you got, you are in huge trouble.

So you can be the best player in the game, playing in great form, in your zone - and still have had no chance whatsoever. You can also be quite a weak player, playing poorly, and win easily. Keep this in mind and don't get disillusioned just because you've lost a few games in a row. Your time will come, probably isolated with Mongols while the other 7 players are stuck fighting for farming space on the far side of the map.

The short version

Winning LN FFA is not actually about killing anyone, necessarily, until you are part of the last pair. It is about map control, resource control and wealth accumulation. You must conserve your gold as frugally as possible, as gold is the key to the late game - and to win an FFA, you will nearly always be involved in a late game, post imperial fight.

Play defensively

Where you can and take and control as much territory as you can - aggressively wall the place up. Walling to box another player in not considered an attack and does not breach "2v1" rules (although it can provoke an attack if they are not already at war). Do not provoke multiple other players at once, as that is grounds for a legitimate 2v1 (or worse).

Always completely kill one player before going aggressor on another

Defeat them or make them resign. Do not risk allowing players to escape as they will nearly always come back for you with a grudge.

Hold any territory you take

Fill it with buildings or even walling it in segments. This becomes especially important in the final pair if both economies become a bit raided and ragged; you can end up chasing some players around the map for hours if you fail to control territory.

If you can kill a player without expending much gold, do it. If that means you use hussars instead of paladins, or halberds instead of champions, so be it. Gold is life. Run out and you are probably dead.

Opposition Player Profiles

The Boomer

The boomer ideally wants to get nearly a pop limit of villagers, wall in a chunk of the map, mine it out then get to work on accumulating enough resources to sell at the market. This player will sit back for hours while everyone else kills each other, then happily clobber the last survivor into submission. While passive and sometimes a little boring, this is the route to maximum win rates.

The Imperial Aggressor

These players may find booming boring; they might not be experienced in LN FFA; they might just not care about maximising their win rates and prefer to just play for fun. In any case, these players are essentially playing 40 minutes no cut michi; if left alone they will fast castle, boom, then clobber the hell out of their neighbours one by one. This player is the mortal enemy of the boomer, who won't be finished booming and will often get smashed. Unfortunately for the post imperial aggressor, by the time he kills one boomer, he likely has to deal with more.

The Random Aggressor

This player attacks everyone, at every age, because dude, its "free for all" ok? After scout rushing one neighbour its a castle built on another neighbour's gold expansion, while knights harass a third. They never understand why their victims all smash them at the same time in imperial. Often seen resigning in a rage crying about "3v1" and "rules". Don't be this guy.

The Turtle

This player wants to build a fortress and last the game out. They have no intention of doing so for economic reasons, like the boomer would, and will often be seen holding a large standing army for 3 hours without using it, if not attacked. Leave them for last, as they are no threat. Turtle turks are especially frustrating and can take hours to root out.

The Troll

This player often masquerades as the turtle. This player is not out to win, and not often actually teaming, but is out to impact the result in favour of the underdog. Any time the opportunity comes to undercut someone who is engaged in a post imperial deadlock, don't be surprised to see this player suddenly turn up with rams to deliver a nasty 2v1 shock to the stronger player. Trolls are often poor players who resent being belted down in fair fights over and over.

The Teamer

A genuine cheat, who has come into a FFA with a pre-arranged team, often with a pre-organised winner. Don't be this guy. You'll get blacklisted.

If you suspect teaming, there are a few trends you can check. View their profile and check their match history - are they often playing together? In game, was there any time where you seemed to be reading half a conversation (one player forgetting to go to private chat). Trading at all is a community blacklist, so teamers will mostly avoid this. Are their moves seemingly coordinated?

If you get 2v1'd, it isn't always teaming. While it is frustrating, it happens to everyone at times, and some players will never respect the "no 2v1" code. Just take note of who and make sure to kill them first next time :)

Advanced Ideas

My style is boomer. I get my satisfaction out of winning games, not killing individual players. This guide from this point on is from a boomer's perspective.

Your Initial Objective

Is to secure approximately a quarter of the entire map, and its gold supply, wood supply and relics, for yourself. This means that although I recommend a heavily defensive style overall, not going out of your way to get involved in conflicts where you can avoid it, if someone starts close to you - clobber them in whatever way is most appropriate. I favour tower rushing if its close quarters, but have been victim to successful dark rushes and dou-ches (town hall rushes). Remember that any fighting before imperial leaves you vulnerable to any aggressive player nearby, especially early imperial aggressive players - take this into consideration. If you early rush someone and they escape with a couple of villagers, hunt them down wherever possible, or you will wear a 2v1 later on.

Secure Your Economic Zone

Fortify it (walls and buildings) and farm your heart out. Do not hold a standing army! At most, keep expensive gold units that you used in castle or early imperial. Consider deleting cheap gold units, delete all other units, replace with more villagers. Watch on as other players rip each other apart. Avoid conflict wherever possible. Engage only when attacked. Don't be easily provoked and only respond to genuine attacks - e.g. if some idiot raids you with a couple of hussar, or puts a tower behind your wood on a mutual border - ignore it. Let someone else get angry at them and burn their gold fighting.

The End Game

if it comes down to a final four, and the other two are fighting in a stale mate, assess the fourth player. Can you kill them quickly? Are they likely to be engaged by the victor of the fighting pair, or are you? If you can kill them quickly or you are more likely to be the next target of the aggressor pair, you need to engage as soon as possible. You want to be the idle third wheel at the final 3 - this player most often wins LN FFA, and the longer the other two fight, the more often the 3rd player will win.

When the time comes to go gold-active, champions are the most effective unit for killing a gold-drained opponent.

A Special Note On Buying Spies

Spies is a massive advantage and one you should hopefully aim to get playing a boomer style, however it should be taken with some discretion and caution. Buying spies and being "outed" as the only person who could possibly have them may cause all other players in the game to go you, and the "no 2v1" rule ignored.

Don't admit to having spies unless its glaringly obvious. Consider holding off on buying if you can; if no one else has spies, or you are under no immediate threat of attack. Remember that you might get them a lot cheaper if you wait until the final 2, and that the true power of spies is the advantage you get in that final 2, when the entire GIANT map is up for crabs.

That said, even if you have to sell nearly all your resources to get spies, consider it. The advantage is huge and easily worth 30,000 gold.

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