What Rise of Tyrants boils down to is a game of tactics and statistics. This is a persistent world type game with a primary objective of building a virtual army and commanding it to greatness. You might say it's an MMORPG, but it's not exactly massive yet.
In this game, the person who has put in the most time and effort to build the strongest army wins, or at least has the power to decide who wins.
Soldiers are the basic unit of your army here. Soldiers can fight with weapons, produce gold each turn, and they can die if they fight at the front of the line during any mission. Soldiers can be trained to one of four types of specialists to increase effectiveness in that area of your army. You gain soldiers by one of three methods: Recruit clicking, Unit production, or finding them in a treasure chest. (It's either a big treasure chest, or they're really small soldiers!)
Recruit clicking is the act of using a specific link that only you have access to (unless you spam it) that can provide you a certain number of soldiers each time it is processed. Soldiers gained by this method (called "clicks" for short) can be given an unlimited number of times.
Unit production is an upgrade available to be purchased in-game or found in treasure chests. Noone knows what the tangible equivalent of a unit production upgrade is, so it is entertaining to try and describe how these are found in treasure chests, but regardless... Unit production is very likely the most important upgrade in the game, for this gives you more soldiers, and more soldiers gives you more gold every turn.
More about treasure chests later... Back to a basic overview of the game:
Your army's effectiveness is divided into four areas:
To determine your standing, each of these is first ranked individually, and then your army is ranked in order of the total of these ranks. In other words, the one with the lowest total of the four ranks is declared #1 at that moment. This may not always be all four of the #1 ranks, but rather the one with the best balance of good ranks.
The division of game periods is called a round, and the counter labeled "Reset in: dd:hh:mm:ss" will tell you how long it is until the end of the round. At the end, every player's stats and ranks are finalized. The standings are then posted in the battlefield as another entry in the Hall of Fame. All armies in the game by the end of each round are granted a spot in history, and the main statistics for each army are listed publicly (whereas normally you would have to spy to see it, if the round was active). Furthermore, an entry in each player's Personal Best log includes their statistics from each round, so that each one can see when they played best, and compare their statistics from then to the statistics they have now.
A large percentage of your time during the round will likely go to either attacking other armies to take their money (called Gold in this game), or spying on other armies to locate and abscond with treasure chests buried in the ground. These two activities are the fastest way to quickly gain more resources which you can use to advance in the ranks. While your army does produce its own gold and soldiers, and you can stumble upon a treasure chest in your own base, this is a tiny amount compared to what you can pillage from the rest of the world.
The primary unit of destruction in the game is a weapon. Weapons are purchased in the armory. The standard weapons that you see first are to be used by your soldiers. They are more cost effective. The unmanned weapons below it do not require that you have soldiers, but are more costly. More on weapons below.
To maximize your army's power, you should make upgrades to your technology as soon as your advisors say you are due. When you visit the Upgrades page, if you are due for an upgrade in one of your four fighting powers, you will see a notification listing the upgrade and what you will gain by purchasing it rather than weapons. The blacksmith level is an upgrade which decreases the price of weapon repairs. Some weapons may get damaged in battle as you use them, and the higher your blacksmith level, the less it will cost to fix them to full strength. Your other upgrades do not necessarily have a point when they are due, so upgrading these as soon as you have the money for them is an effective use of your gold.
Additional power can be gained by optimizing your army's training. In the training page, you have the option of training or untraining your soldiers, or hiring or firing mercenaries. As mentioned before, your soldiers can be trained as specialists. A specialist can only hold one type of weapon, but it doubles the effective strength. All types of soldiers and specialists produce the same amount of gold each turn. Mercenaries, although they do not produce gold, are like soldiers and can hold one of each type of standard weapons. Mercenaries are equivalent in strength to normal soldiers (untrained). Your advisors will notify you if you have weapons that aren't being picked up. In this case, hire more mercenaries or untrain some soldiers to be able to pick up more weapons.
There is literally an infinite number of possible actions and outcomes. Use the knowledge you gain from these help pages, the advisors provided in the game, and strategies you develop or learn from your friends, and see how well you stack up against others.
Are you among the few chosen to rise to greatness? That is up to you. Be cold and ruthless in your fight to the top, taking all the gold and glory with you along the way.
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