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What are advanced units?
Simply put, advanced units are army units that are higher Age of one's City. With some planning, it is possible that one can achieve advanced, or higher Age, army units.
The basis of the information presented on this site is from the Higher Age Units Guide (credit UBERHelp1), advice from Friends and personal experience.
Do I really need advanced units?
No! Obtaining advanced units is not a requirement for play but it can make some areas of the game play easier or allow certain challenges obtainable such as completion of the Guild Expedition (GE) or to carry much higher amounts of Attrition in the Guild Battlegrounds (GBG).
How does it even work?
There are three dimensions when it comes to time in the game and they are measured by Ages. General gameplay is based around maintaining these three dimensions together; that is to say - your Story Quests occupy one timeline, the areas you are exploring on the World Map occupies another timeline, and your City has it's own timeline. They can all be in the same time frame, for example your City is in the Iron Age, you have only explored the Iron Age area of the CMap, and your Story Quest's narrative (and rewards!) is about your actions in the Iron Age.
The idea behind the advanced units is to keep your City in the earliest timeline but move your Story Questline (and subsequently the CMap) into the future so you reap on those futuristic rewards for the military units they can offer. This is accomplished by progressing the Story Quests into the future by unlocking Technology - here it kicker - in the strange, alternate timeline that the Quests occupy, problems are solved by any technology discovery such that you can "discover fire" from a prehistoric age to solve some futuristic heating problem (sometimes it doesn't even need to be in the same technical theme!). This can be done by skipping Technologies in earlier Ages and apply them in later Ages as Quests demand.
- The overall strategy is to take the technology research very, very slow and do not unlock any technology unless required. More so, having unlocked technology available in previous ages is extremely beneficial so those may be utilized first. Sadly, those technologies will consist of Land Expansions or Goods Production buildings.
- In the majority of Ages, you will need to explore the Story Quests well beyond the current Age of your City. For instance, to obtain Postmodern Era (PME) units while in the Industrial Age (InA), you will explore the CMap along with the Story Quests of the Industrial Age (InA), Progressive Era (PE), Modern Era (ME) and Postmodern Era (PME). To accomplish this feat, you will need to have Technologies accessible to Research when the Story Quest requires it.
- Only research essential technologies. This is typically defined as when a non-abortable quest requires it (and not when the player just wants it). Some quest rewards are tantalizing such as the 'Complete all research of this Age' for these 100 Diamonds. These should be aborted and you should seek to obtain diamonds via the GE or GBG if you desire to obtain advanced units.
- Patience is a virtue. Utilize available resources to fulfill Quests instead of conducting Research. For example, a Quest may ask for "x-number of units of your Age". Instead of conducting Research and building a barracks; use GE/GBG rewards, Emmissaries, or collections from certain buildings to complete the Quest.
- Be careful and do your research when exploring the Campaign Map (aka, World Map, CMap) as certain provinces can and will trigger quests. Some quest lines cannot be aborted and so you may run the risk of losing one (or all) Recurring Quest slots if that is a concern.
- Have a solid understanding of the combat system as it is much, much less expensive to acquire Sectors with combat (especially if they are two Ages above your current Age). In some instances, combat is required to earn the advanced units and in others Sectors will need to be negotiated. Ensure that you have sufficient Goods on hand by always working the necessary trades or purchase the Goods to have them on-hand prior to starting out.
- It is recommended to have the Statue of Zues, Castel del Monte and Cathedral of Aachen at Level 10 (or equivalent combat boosts) and a Level 6 Alcatraz. A Chateau Frontenac can be very helpful as well.
- As a safeguard, once you do acquire advanced units, always have a minimum of 200 Diamonds to resurrect them should they accidentally die (yes, it will happen).
While it is fairly easy to obtain units one Age higher; the challenge (and bigger payoff!) - is obtaining units two or more Ages higher than your current Age. This can be accomplished while in the Industrial Age (InA) and Contemporary Era (CE). A good base set of Great Buildings makes this easier as as well as patience to ensure you are not researching unnecessary or terminal Technology (that which does NOT lead to further Technology), such as ...
- Goods Buildings. Instead, rely on on other sources to obtain those Goods such as purchasing Goods, trading different types of Goods, GBs such as the LoA, SMB or CF, the GE/GBG.
- Land Expansions. It may feel like it is necessary research, but patience or acquistion and leveling of the Arc GB will help obtain medals for Land Expansions to provide relief until such time that you can go back and research those Land Expansions.
Snozz's AU Snippet contains one way to obtain advanced units. The method of approach very combat intensive and is geared toward making the Questing process faster so typical game play can resume. This is achieved by CMap exploration coupled with Technology sprints. The reader is cautioned that not all experiences will be equivalent as the game may have received certain modifications so outcomes may vary.
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