Troop training times can severely impact your ability to being able to burn through your resources, defend your city, or destroy your opponents. It is very important to optimize the training speeds of each unit as well as possible.
Basic training times
The basis for all troop training times is the basic troop training time without any bonuses applied. Across the tiers the times are the same for the different types of units, but between tiers, the difference is significant, a fact that will be taking into account in the troop discussion post. Basic training times are as follows:
Tier 1 unit: 90 seconds
Tier 2 unit: 480 seconds
Tier 3 unit: 1200 seconds
So a tier 2 unit takes 5.33 times as long to train compared to tier 1, and a tier 3 takes 2.5 times as long as tier 2, or 13.33 times as long as tier 1.
Number and level of barracks
The single biggest factor in speeding up training times is the number of barracks. Each barrack constructed adds a 100% bonus to the troop training speed. Important for the calculations is that the bonus in the formula starts at 0%, meaning that your first barracks gives you the initial 100% bonus which leads to the 90 second base-time for Tier 1 troops. In other words, if you build only one barracks, keep it at lvl 1, and have no forge or Siege weapons research, build time is 90 seconds..
Next to constructing the Barracks, each additional level of a Barracks adds another 10% bonus. So a lvl 3 and a lvl 2 barracks would yield (2 x 100%)+(3 x 10%)=230% bonus.
Swift Stones Guardian buff
Recently new to the game is the addition of the Activation buff for your city Guardian statue. Similar to the Ferocity and Resilience buffs, this buff can be leveled by acquiring Swift stones from the Sage tower. In turn, these stones are crafted from Light Metals and Ambers found in the Mirkwood campaign, similar to the Precious Metals and Gems from Clearing the High Pass and Moria. Farming the Stones will be easy at first, but like the other guardian buffs, numbers of materials increase drastically very fast.
For each level of your Guardian Activation buff, training speeds in that city are increased 10%.
Leveling you Forge , Stables and Armory also helps increasing training speeds of all tier units. Now, instead of universal bonuses per level of a certain building, each level of Forge,Armory and Stable seems to impact training speeds of only certain units, across the tiers. In general, it seems the Forge mainly benefits T1 units, and the Stables affect T2 mounted and foot units mostly. I cannot be sure what level does influence what units exactly, so I’ll leave this bit with the advice to just get those three buildings up to lvl 10 as soon as possible.
For each level of the building mentioned above, training speeds for (certain) units are increased by 10%.
This one is rather easy…. same as with the Forge, each level of the Siege Weapons research adds another 10% bonus.
Hero level in ‘Training’ position
A high level Hero can definitely help improve training speeds. Right now, in my first city, which is definitely NOT optimized for troop training, my level 146 Gandalf brings down the training speed of 100 Tier 1 troops from 4 minutes flat to 3 minutes 9 seconds! In short, each hero level adds 0.5% bonus. Use them!
Formulas and relations: Additive AND Multiplicative!!!
Now as I mentioned in my post on Hero bonuses seeming smaller than expected, the game works primarily with additive bonuses, leading to diminishing returns the more bonuses are applied. However when it comes to troop training speeds, the bonuses from the Barracks buildings and the rest (Forge/Siege Weapons/Hero) are separated and work multiplicative! (Note that this makes sense: If everything was additive, the Siege Weapons research and Forge levels would be absolutely useless compared to many 100′s of percents bonus from all your barracks!) I found this out the hard way with some back-of-the-napkin calculations for various situations:
Troop training time = base/ [(Barracks+levels)*(1+ F/S/A + SW + Hero bonus + AB)], where
Troop training time is seconds to train 1 unit
Base is the base time for that unit’s Tier
Barracks is simply the number of barracks in your city
Levels is the extra levels of your barracks/10
lvl 3 = 0.2 / lvl 8 = 0.7 etc
F/S/A is you level of Forge/Stables/Armory /10
SW is your level of Siege Weapons/10
Hero bonus is your hero level/200
AB is your Guardian Activation buff level/10
(1) is the minimum needed on the right side (multiplicative/math)
Please note that this is from before the Activation buff in the Guardian statue was introduced.
Example: 11 Barracks , 29 additional levels, a level 9 Forge, level 8 Siege Weapons and level 146 Gandalf. For training 1000 Tier 1 troops, my time becomes:
Time = 1000 x 90 / (11+2.9) * (1+ 0.9 + 0.8 + 0.73)
= 90,000 / (13.9 * 3.43)
= 90,000 / 47.68
= 1887.7 seconds (31m, 28s)
At first sight, it seems that building Barracks is the key to decreasing training times. And indeed, the 100% per construction is big. But through the the combination of factors involved and the multiplicative nature of the formula, all other factors are equally important, because 400% times nothing is still nothing.
It is therefore important to look at all factors involved, and make sure that for example your Forge is also of high level. Especially as building and research times increase exponentially, try to level them all at the same time. Do not research to level 9/10 without investing in the Forge or Hero as well, as leveling up all at the same time will net you a quicker growth in training speed overall, due to the diminishing returns later on.
Luckily, you can both upgrade your Hero, do research and construct at the same time. I advise everyone to first build all your barracks…fill your city. The basic building takes what, some 3 minutes to construct? Choice between upgrading Barracks or your F/S/A is a different question. For those interested, you could plug your own numbers in the formula and see what building upgrade will net you the biggest improvement, but my advise here is to simply spread it out.
Last advise is to definitely not underestimate the effect of the Hero. Even with my numbers and levels of buildings, my 146 Hero, which is not super-high by any standard, still reduces training time by nearly 25%!!! So get that Hero leveled up and start pumping out those troops!