This method relies on getting certain researches and buildings built as quickly as possible to make sure you can have max rations all day long. You will also build all the honour buildings and decoration as soon as it becomes available allowing you to gain about tens of thousands of honour a day. Only build one village type and that is the default lowland. The reason being you can make 5 types of food in it so you will never have to buy food and with a lot of food buildings you can run max rations all day gaining honour, training troops quicker etc. It also allows you to bypass a large section of the industry tree, the parts about increased honour good production.
No matter what route you take starting off there is a few things you must research before anything else.
Tools - To reduce building Cost (preferably get this done before you start building a lot of buildings)
Forestry - (to increase lumber production)
Quarrying - (to increase stone production)
After tools try to concentrate on forestry. It takes stone and lumber to build woodcutters huts but only lumber to build quarries. Get a few woodcutters huts built then use what you are making from them to constantly build quarries. After a while your stone will build up and you can start building more woodcutters huts. Get as many done as possible of both
Also take mathematics up a few levels now maybe 5 or 6 to bring down your research time in the long run.
To get up the early levels very quickly you need to collect resource stashes before other people get to them. Make sure you concentrate on horsemanship to increase your scout speed, you can research scouts (number of scouts) and foraging (scout capacity) after, but the main thing is having the speed to beat other players to the stashes.
Food for Honour
Build 3 of every food building (3 orchards, 3 dairy farms etc.)
Finish researching as much of the farming research tree as possible. Concentrate on plough first to unlock other food buildings. Try to get hops tending as high as possible and start building brewery’s also. About 8 per village is a good number and will allow you to keep max ale rations all day and sell the excess. Place your granary and food buildings as far away from the town hall as you can so you leave a lot of space for your popular buildings and decoration
When you have built a few hovels for population, place them as far away from the centre of the city as possible so you always have 1 or 2 excess population but don’t have too little population for your buildings. As you build more buildings you can move them closer so you have the required population.
Max every food research apart from the following:
Arts and literature should be researched as soon as they are unlocked. Research them in between your farming research. Also any decoration research that unlocks you should do it as soon as possible and placed as close to your village hall as possible.
As you place more buildings look at taking architecture up so your building speed increases but only research this when you need to. If you don’t have much building then it’s not worth it. You want to max it when you are sure you produce enough to build constantly in your village.
Trading and Storing
Before you start researching theology make sure you research both your granary and stockpile up 2 or 3 levels each. You want to start placing churches etc. as soon they become available but they are very costly so you will need to expand your stockpiles to have enough resource to place them.
After you do this this will allow you store more resources and in turn sell more. You should start building up as much gold as possible and researching your traders so you can trade within your county (commerce) and so they move quicker (transportation). You can take transportation up 3 or 4 levels and it should be good for a while.
You should get theology to level 10 as soon as you have gotten all the researches above done. Although you unlock the abilities associated with monks, what you really want is the religious buildings and their honour multiplier. They cost a lot to place but are worth it. Some are huge so place them off screen as much as possible so you have as much room available for other buildings.
The Honour Machine
At this stage you should be making about 40,000 to 50,000 honour per day - per village meaning you don’t have to really attack enemy AI because you are gaining so much from your villages. You will rank up crazy fast and build up a large surplus of research points. You may think to yourself now what about attacking?.... well that’s the drawback to this method. It leaves you wide open to attack as you won’t be doing any military research for quite a bit. But there is yet another advantage to this method... you won’t be doing any achievements. How is this a good thing?.... because the honour you get from achievements is based on your rank and while you may get 1,000 for an achievement at a low rank, you can get maybe 100,000 honour for doing the same achievement at a higher rank, and at crown prince ranks a diamond achievement is worth 2,000,000 honour, meaning you will have much more with which to attack players with, as it costs honour to attack.
This is everything you should have maxed (or as high as your rank allows) before moving onto your defensive/castle research You can also research and place a couple of the justice buildings if you want, this requires philosophy level 1
(level 4 or higher)
(level 4 or higher)
(level 4 or higher)
(level 2 or higher)
(level 4 or higher)
Now for Defence
With a strong industry and massive honour production behind you, it’s time to start your castle and create a strong defence for yourself. Castellation and fortification should be the first two things to max. After this you can max construction to reduce your castle build time and finally defence. As you are doing these place your castle bit by bit, but make sure you have a well thought out layout before you do so you don’t have to end up demolishing and replacing parts of it later.
Now for Attack
After you have the necessary research to make your castle you can move onto creating a large army by researching command (increase army size) and of course forced march (to increase army speed).
Next it’s all up to you. By now everything you essentially need has been researched and no you can attack players and AI opponents and concentrate on whatever other researches you want. My advice is to unlock and max all the different troop types, archers, pikemen etc. before maxing and placing all the weapon production buildings and research.