Conqueror’s Blade is one of those interesting games that’s managed to make me love and hate several aspects of it at the same time. Specifically and in the case of this article, I’m talking about crafting. On one hand, I would really like to see more effort put into the crafting system for the game. I’m just not crazy about a system that effectively has the player trade resources with a vendor for magic results.
On the other hand, I’ve come to find through playing the game that crafting is more and more important. Even once you’ve unlocked a unit type, you still need to purchase or craft the equipment needed to build it, and then you have to have to keep some of that equipment on hand to resupply the unit as it takes damage over time. While you can elect to pay bronze in lieu of some equipment, the cost is significant and can’t be purchased at all in some cases.
Also, because collecting the needed raw material involves expeditions with troops, which takes food and also costs bronze, there is more strategy to the resource collection than might appear at first. The different types of resources also add additional complexity, and of course the quality of those different resources change how much of the refined goods can be created from them unit-for-unit.
The net result is a fascinatingly complex economic system that rewards strategy. For all my issues with the actual crafting system, I can’t complain about how that system has been fitted into the game. I know it’s a little complex and I haven’t seen a lot in the way of tips for newer players, so I thought we’d take a look at crafting in Conqueror’s Blade today. Here are some of the key things that I’ve learned that might help you in your own time in-game.
Pay attention to the rarity of materials, because it matters a lot when you go to refine the raw material into something you can craft with. It takes a lot more of the common material than it does the rarest material to make the same amount of refined good. If you have the choice to harvest raw material from two equal-distant points, choose the rarer of the two.
Speaking of distance, spend some time strategically planning out your run for whatever material you’re in need of. Look at the map and see if you can collect multiple types of material in one run, and balance that against the rarity of the material. You’re probably better off going a longer distance for just one really rare material than you would be going to get two or more common materials. Of course, two or more rare materials on one trip is even better.
Boots Cost Money
Okay, old Army joke aside, food really does cost money. Plan your trips so that as much of it as possible is inside a friendly region so your troops don’t eat the food. Once you do move into hostile territory, keep an eye on your food situation. Also, know how much it costs to buy food or harvest more, so you’ll know what the actual cost of the trip is. Compare that against the quality of gathered material for a better idea of whether it was worth the trip or not.
Use Inns and Farms
Stop at inns or swing by a farm to restock on your food supplies. It’ll cost a little extra bronze, but it’ll extend the range of your expedition significantly. One thing to check is to ensure your intended source of food is actually supplied. Mouse over it first. Otherwise, you might march your men deep into hostile territory and find yourself suddenly without supplies.
Supply on Demand
If you’re able, one thing you may consider is spending the extra bronze to harvest fields for food. I’m not sure that I’d burn a requisition token for it, but I’d definitely burn the bronze. Loading food in your wagon allows you to resupply your army on the march. Just click the wheat icon in the bottom left and next to the food bar. This is a great way to extend the range of your army. It’s also cheaper than buying food at an inn to resupply.
Speed is Life
Pay attention to your army’s speed as you prepare your expedition into the open world. Cavalry units are great for speed when you want to ambush other players, but there are drawbacks that we’ll cover next. One specific case where I use a cavalry-based army is when I’m running around looking for wagons, huts, and other loot-able points that randomly pop up. Not only does the cavalry make it faster to get to these loot opportunities, but it also allows me to travel farther on less food, which maximizes my trip out into the open world.
Cavalry has speed, but it doesn’t have labor. Labor matters a lot. I did an experiment using a unit of cavalry with 2.3 labor to harvest 623 cotton from a nearby farm. A full army of infantry with 26.96 labor harvested 9,534 cotton, 16 flax, and 8 hemp from the same farm a little later. Of course, they only had a few minutes of food when I marched them out there.
Another way to extend the range of your gathering is to join a house which is also in a good alliance. If the house/alliance has captured additional fiefs, then you can travel there without burning food just like you can in the starting area. You also don’t pay the additional tariffs when gathering sans requisitions, which allows you to harvest each point one extra time a day at the same cost. The more area an alliance controls, the more resources you’ll have access to at the discounted rate and without the need to burn food.
Craft Your Stuff
Craft your own arms and armor when you can. In fact, do it as often as you can, even if you already have that piece of equipment. There are two reasons to do this. First, you’ll want multiple sets of armor so that you can swap it around depending on the weapons you decide to use at any given time to compliment the new playstyle. In the second place, the bonuses you get each time you craft a new item is random, and then there’s the difference in rarity which is also random. This means the actual stats of each piece are so randomized that it’s worth cranking out new ones occasionally just to see if you can find something that’s a little better than what you have. Since the materials aren’t used for creating units, you’re not hurting yourself there, either.
I hope some of my fellow crafters found this a little useful. The more I dig into the economy of Conqueror’s Blade, the more I feel like there may be more here than you see on the surface. It’s still missing some of the complexities that I’d like to see, and they don’t do a great job of really explaining a lot of the what they do have, but it is a deeper system than I’d initially believed. I’d also like for it to be a little easier to participate in the economy.
While I definitely appreciate games with steep learning curves and barriers to entry that serve more or less to drive off the gold-farmers and those who might impact early economic components before dropping out of the game entirely, I think the game would be well-served by just a little work on the crafting. As it is, I worry that too many are being turned off prematurely and that they’re losing some of the players that might otherwise have really contributed to the stability of the game in the long-term.
That’s why I thought I’d write this article. With these few tips, I’m hoping some of those who enjoy playing with in-game economies as much as I do will stay around to experiment a bit more. Whether it’ll be enough to maintain the player population in the long term or not is a big question, though. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.