Zen Moment Guide: Plantation Wars for Rookies
Planation Wars (PW) is my favorite part of Chronicles of Merlin. PW is a huge team battle that gives everyone in the alliance a chance to contribute. Everyone gets contribution points and silver, and sometimes grain as well. This is a rookie guide to Plantation Wars, to help them with some of the more confusing aspects.
Rookies should also read the main Chronicles of Merlin wiki article for Plantation Wars.
The Plantation Itself
Every campaign from Viking Invasion Legion to Trojan Warriors Legion has an associated plantation. The CoM wiki also contains a chart of legions and plantations. The field of battle is selected by the alliance Commander or Deputy Commanders. Every player in the alliance can fight in any Plantation War that their alliance leaders select. However, individual players can only harvest a plantation if they have beaten the associated campaign.
In short: if your alliance fights at Cork plantation from Hundred Years' War, you need to have beaten Joan of Arc if you wish to harvest the plantation. If you haven't beaten Joan in HYWL, you can still fight in the Plantation War, but you cannot get bonus grain from the Cork plantation.
There are two sorts of opponents in Plantation Wars.
Typically your alliance will fight the computer legion from the plantation's assocated campaign. The enemy legion will contain 50 armies from that campaign chapter. The first armies will be weak and easy for that chapter, but the final armies will be full strength opponents from the campaign legion. You can streak, just like a legion battle, but in Plantation Wars you can streak four in a row.
Alternately, you might fight another alliance for a plantation. In this case, PvP battles are fought until one side wins.
The Attack Order
Players are sent into battle in order of alliance contribution, lowest to highest. Alliance rank and levels do not affect battle order. Typically this results in newer players getting sent out first, which is good. Newer players tend to be lower level players, and will fight the weaker legions. In PvP, the lower level players tend to fight each other, and then progressively more powerful players join the battle.
Buffing is the least understood aspect of Plantation Wars. It is also perhaps the most important aspect of PW, as the player really only controls their formation and buffs. Buffing at the wrong time is expensive but useless, and buffing at the right time can be very effective. It's important to get it right.
Buffing is a bet, just like enlightenment. You can use battle points or gold. NEVER USE GOLD. Never. The more buffs you gain, the lower your chance of the next buff being successful. You can have 20 buff points maximum, split as 10 attack and 10 defense. Each successful buff point will give you +5% to attack or defense, assigned randomly. You will also receive an additional bonus icon at 5, 10, 15 and 20 buffs. These bonuses are also assigned randomly, and are: Blitz (+10% attack), Streak (+1 army streaked), Endurance (+1 army streaked) and Iron Wall (+10% defense).
When to buff against the computer legion:
If you are more than two campaigns away from the selected plantation, I seriously recommend that you do NOT buff. Even the beginning armies will be far too powerful for you. Save your Battle Points for research, training and enlightenment.
If you are fighting the campaign before the plantation, or the campaign of that legion, then you must make a careful choice. Your position in the battle is important now. If you are early in the battle, then you should buff, as you should be capable of defeating several of the weaker armies. However, if you are later in the battle (due to high contribution), I recommend that you don't buff, or that you buff until you are failing more buffs than succeeding. If you can't streak the legion and you are late in the battle order, it is very unlikely you will streak four, five or six enemy armies in the plantation battle, even with +60% attack and defense.
If you have defeated that legion, or are very far ahead, pay careful attention. If you are early in the battle, it's worth it to buff until you have both Endurace and Streak, so that you can fight six armies. If you are late in the battle, and there are many capable players ahead of you, it's possible that you won't even get to fight. If you don't fight, all your buffs will be wasted.
When to buff against other alliances:
If you are very new to your alliance, it probably isn't worth it to buff. The odds of you immediately encountering a more powerful enemy is high.
If you have been fighting PvP against members of the enemy kingdom, and have defeated them often in your range (r30, r40, etc.) then you should buff if you can afford the Battle Points. However, alliance plantation battles tend to be 15-25 players. There are five lanes of battle, and players are sent out in reverse contribution order. This means that with 20 players, each lane is four deep... and I guarantee that if you are a lower level player in your alliance, you will meet a very powerful enemy player at the third or fourth position in your lane. Therefore, I advise to buff for the +5% per point bonus, but ignore trying for Endurance or Streak icons.
Post Battle Celebration
Always remember to congratulate team members who fought well during the battle.
If your alliance loses, please don't get frustrated. Try not to accuse your team members of not being powerful enough, of not buffing enough, or of otherwise causing the loss. The single biggest cause of losing Plantation Wars is not having enough players. The players who fought did real damage to the opponent--it's the missing team members who hurt your alliance the most.
Incidentally, the second biggest cause of losing Plantation Wars is because your alliance commander deliberately picked an extremely powerful opponent. Why do that? Simple. Unless the newer players get wiped out, the more powerful alliance members never get to fight. They are deprived of contribution and silver. Don't get discouraged if you are badly beaten by the Golden Horde... save your Battle Points for when your alliance fights the Heavenly Scourge Legion. Sometimes you will get 12000 silver for an easy plantation legion, other times you will get 4000 silver and a very short battle... just keep in mind that your senior players are getting the exact opposite. Fair is fair.
Harvesting Bonus Grain
A lot of people forget to harvest the plantation. I forget about 1-in-3 times myself.
If your alliance fights PW every day, then the commander will release the plantation in order to set up the next night's battle. If you have beaten the plantation's campaign chapter, go to Map > World > Plantation (the green square), find the plantation and harvest your bonus grain. Your alliance contribution rank determines how many times you can harvest, but the total is typically between 2500-5000 grain. I recommend harvesting immediately after the Plantation War, so you don't forget!