A hammer is your offensive strike force in Travian. You mainly use it to destroy and capture enemy villages, but you can use it for raiding too. A proper hammer is a mix of different offensive units; infantry, cavalry, rams and catapults. It’s important to have the right amount of the right ingredients in order to have the most efficient hammer. But the first thing we need to do is to choose which village we build it in…
Capital vs. a Regular Village
These are the two choices we have. Both of them have pros and cons.
Capital hammer in Travian is maybe the easier choice. Your capital can not be captured, so you don’t have to be afraid of your hammer vanishing without a fight. Capitals and hammer villages are prime targets for your enemies. When you have your hammer in the capital you have one important village less to defend. Your capital also produces most of your crops, so your crop production won’t suddenly drop heavily to the negative side when you decide to move your troops. This saves you from the headache of moving tons of food from other villages.
However, you can’t build great barracks or great stable in your capital. This increases your efforts considerably, if you plan to have a huge army. Training a hammer also requires a few building slots, slots that you desperately need in your capital for warehouses and granaries in order to build high level croplands.
The more popular choice among top players in Travian is to have a specific village in which to build the hammer; the hammer village or an offensive village. Unlike the capital, this village can be captured and feeding your troops will become a pain in the ass later on. However, building the hammer to a designated offensive village gives you more flexibility. You can build great barracks and great stable which enable you to have a bigger army. Building slots are now more plenty also. Remember that moving rams and catapults takes a lot of time, so your offensive village should be as close as possible to your capital. This increases the readiness of your troops.
Infantry and Cavalry
These obviously are the muscles in your army. Infantry is cheap and fast to train so it should be the bulk of your army. However, for balance we need to train cavalry also. There is no exact relation on how many units of infantry you need for one unit of cavalry. A good guide line is 1:1 in terms of crop use, in example, four Imperians for one Equites Caesaris. There is no upper limit for these so train, train and train, but remember that you have to feed them too.
In order to save resources in weapons upgrades, you should train only one infantry and one cavalry units.
The importance of rams is often underestimated in Travian. Whether your target village has a wall or not makes a huge difference for the success of your attack. You can check this at the battle simulator found in game. 500+ rams is almost always enough to break a level 20 wall, depending on circumstances. Less than that, try at your own peril. Of course if you have very few infantry and cavalry units to go with them, it’s not worth it to have 500 rams. But eventually 500 is the target.
Catapults are used to destroy buildings. The more you have, the more damage you can inflict. Catapults are very expensive so you shouldn’t build too much. Again, 500 units is a good number to target, enough to make some meaningful damage. 500 units is by no means an upper limit, produce as much as you need.
To give you some idea, it takes about 20 (lvl 20) catapults to destroy a lvl 10 building completely and about 50 for a lvl 20 building. You need lvl 20 rally point in order to do double targeting which is highly recommended because it halves the amount of attack waves you need.