The Burning Stands have the same exact set-up and the Everwinter Glacier. Once you finance your expedition, in terms of resources, you will be asked to pick an edge (North, South, East or West). Unless you have advanced information from other players, there is really no method of picking what edge is better, just pick one. As in the Everwinter Glacier you will start with Level 1 keep and work your way up. The cost of the buildings and construction times are the same (factoring in the keep level) and so are the recruiting costs and times.
The added difficulty comes from higher expedition cost and higher cost of sending resources and troops over. The total travel cost of resources is 100%. So for every 100 resources you want to send, you have to pay (loose) 100 resources. The maximum occupancy rate for fields is 2 plants, with 1 plant for each forest and stone quarry; which will result in lower resource production. Furthermore the resource villages are harder to come by, they are better defended and they offer lower production bonus.
After traveling to Everwinter Glacier the hard way, I decided to play in smart and not rush into The Burning Sands. Here some tips that may help you:
- You have to “pay” expedition resources before you are even able to choose a place on the map. I have “paid” all the required resources, but one unit to stone. Once that one unit of stone is added to the total, the map will open up and you will be prompted to select a location, but let’s not do that right now.
- So, at this point you are one unit of stone short of going to The Burning Sands. Good, keep it like that. The best thing to do at this time is to stock up on a lot of resources at all of your available castles and outposts. I would say that you should have 80,000 of each wood, stone and food ready before you spend that last unit of stone on expedition. This stockpile will keep your new castle supplied until it is self sufficient.
- At the same time you are upgrading your charcoal burners at the Everwinter Glacier and working on upgrading the village to level 3. You are trying to get 72,000 units of charcoal, before you go to The Burning Sands. 72,000 units of charcoal will get you 100 wolfhounds (from Level 3 village), but do not purchase them until you are at The Burning Sands, as the exchange is instant and you do not have to wait. Why wolfhounds? Well if you look at their information, you will see that they are fast, very fast at speed of 50. That is faster than any other unit you can get in this time.
- While you are stocking up on resources (stone, wood, food and charcoal) save up at least 15,000 coins. They will go towards cost of sending units and tools over along with 100 wolfhounds. In addition, build up some extra defense tools at the Everwinter Glacier to take with you at the same time.
- When you are ready with all resources you can pay that last unit of stone and move on to The Burning Sands. You will be asked to pick an edge (North, South, East or West). Unless you have advanced information from other players, there is really no method of picking what edge is better.
- Once there you will be given tasks and quests as in rest of the game. Feel free to follow them as little or as much as you like. Keep going through the tasks that upgrade your buildings first, as you are looking to get an option to build a loot warehouse. Only with loot warehouse you can capture resource villages. You would also want to build stables, before you go out to capture any resource villages, as they will give you that slight speed bonus.
- As soon as you have a free minute, hop over to the world map of The Burning Sands and start scanning the outer edges of the map. You are looking for a cluster of free resource villages (RVs). You may not find any your first day, but keep looking every day until you find them. The idea is to find out on what edge the RVs are appearing on. The game releases them in segments (clusters) along one edge first, then takes a break, and moves on to whatever edge follows in clockwise motion. As a new castle you are on the edge and you are trying to predict when RVs will be near you, so you may strike at them with your wolfhounds (that should not be purchased just yet).
- Once you figure out a pattern of when the RVs appear, you should be able to predict when they will start appearing at your edge and near you. When you see that you are day or two away from having them near you, go ahead and spend the 72,000 (or more) charcoal on wolfhounds and have them transferred over along with the defense tools you built up. Optional: If you have any fast attack units and if you can support them, you may want to transfer them over temporarily to aid in capturing multiple RVs at once. Fast attack units would be any veteran soldier, traveling knights, horror units, marauders, pyromaniac, renegade norseman,…
- When your wolfhounds arrive, it will become a waiting game. Check as frequently as you can for new RVs that open up on your edge. I recommend attacking (capturing) an RV when it is 60 travel time away or less. Closer it is, the sooner you will get there. Keep in mind that you are not the only one going for RVs. Get on them, fast! The defense distribution of the armed citizen is proportional, so attacking one flank over another gives you no real advantage, thus I recommend attacking from center. 50 wolfhounds should be able to take on one RV. When attacking do not use tools, and use horses for added speed. Time is extremely critical when capturing new RVs. There are 200 armed citizens at each RV.
- Since speed is an important factor in getting RVs you may want to equip a commander or two specifically for speed. All other equipment bonuses are secondary. This will increase your chances in capturing RV.
- If you are well prepared (food reserves, coin reserves, fast soldiers) and you are on top of the RV locations; you may be able to transfer several hundred soldiers (fast soldiers) to The Burning Sands castle right before they appear near you. This will greatly multiply the number of RV’s you can capture in one go.
- What RV’s should you go for first? Well, that is debatable, but I would get one of each food, stone and wood (in that order) and repeat until you cannot have anymore.
- Once you capture an RV, recall all but one unit (to keep RV occupied) back to your castle. If you are lucky you may have another go at capturing more RV’s, but it does not happen often.
- Few days (or weeks) down the line RV’s will come up again on your edge. They will not be as close, but you can have another run at them.
Earlier I have mentioned that “unless you have advanced information from other players, there is really no method of picking what edge is better” but now I can tell you what edge to pick if you have players already at Everwinter Glacier. RVs appear along edges in clockwise motion. So North, East, South and then West; not necessarily starting with North when you get there. Before picking an edge ask your alliance member(s) what edge the RVs are currently appearing on. If RVs are appearing on East edge, for example, you want to pick an edge that is before East (ie counter-clockwise) in this case North. You may be wondering why you would not pick an edge that RVs are currently appearing on or the next edge in line; but you need to consider the fact that it will take time for you to build up and upgrade enough building to have an ability to build a loot warehouse, without which you will not be able to capture any RVs. That is why you pick the edge in the opposite direction. By the time RVs cycle back to you, you should be well established and ready to capture them.
Disclaimer: Take this guide as you want it. There is no guarantee. Use your past knowledge of this game to help you.