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August 11, 2009

Wagon Training for Dummies
by Belladain

Greetings my fellow Medivianites!

I have recently discovered a form of trading that I had never done before. I had heard it was fast but required more people than you could usually get. This mysterious form of trading you ask? Why...the epic WAGON TRAIN!

Many know about it, few lead them, and fewer are GOOD at leading them.

I barely used to trade let alone wagon train. I had always found it one of the least fun aspects of Med. Much like how I recently changed my tune regarding shipping I have changed my tune about trading as well. This article will hopefully serve as mini-guide to those aspiring traders who have not plucked up the nerve to broadcast their desire to lead a wagon train.

I have set this article up in a particular way to hopefully walk you through step by step certain necessities before starting your train, how to react during the train, and required steps in case of disaster.

First though.....

The Basics

Before You Start

Wagon Trains hold around 33% more goods than regular covered wagons. This is why they are coveted because using some quick math if a covered wagon holds 3 million worth of goods running a wagon train will increase your profit to over 4 million gold coins. You will also likely arrive at your destination much faster.

Make sure your form purchases TRAIN. You do not want to start out and realize someone has a covered wagon.

Do not allow your form to purchase freight and just sit there while waiting on everyone else to show up. MF's can and will pop before you even move from the post. You should let everyone know what they are buying and then have them purchase TRAIN and purchase their goods.

Wagon Trains require a form of 8 or 9. You will notice the term require. You can do your wagon train less than 8 however it is very difficult and you should not voluntarily start a train with less than 8. The wagon trains speed is directly related the number of people on the train, so 9 people you can move at lightning quick speed. 8 people you can still move fast. Less than 8 is a SIGNIFICANT slow down. If you are in a position that you have 8 people I would make a serious attempt to get a 9th person. There are situations along the trade route where you may lose 1 or 2 of your trains. With 9 people you have a cushion, you can lose 1 train and still move very quickly, If you have 8 and lose 1 your train will be slowed down. To give you an idea of the speed of a wagon train with 8 or 9 people. It is possible to spam directions without stopping for breath. You just spam as fast as you can, and you don't stop....there is no panting unless you fall off the road.

The major decision to make even before you get your form together is where you should trade to. There is much demand for huge trade runs worth 10 million gold. However many of the trade routes have been wiped out by constant trading and not enough catastrophes. Runs to Trellor will not net you 10 million as of this writing. The highest valued single runs currently range between 5-7million. The 7million runs to Trellor are not advisable as Trellor is a very tough mf area.

The biggest failure in my eyes of Wagon Train leaders is they insist on a single run for as much money as possible. While that sounds ok the question is actually this: Would you rather do 1 run at 2800 rooms for 7mil or 2 runs at 1300 rooms each for 4mil each? For those math challenged individuals - that is 7mil for 2800 rooms or 8mil for 2600 rooms.

The trick to this is not telling your form the overall plan....which sounds bad....I do not wish to sound greedy but I do runs for my own personal profit. The chances are you will not get a form to agree to do back-to-back runs even if the overall time involved is LESS than a single long-distance run. Base your runs on what YOU plan to do. I typically do a minimum of 2 trains for maximum profit. I have run a train for 3million, usually on the tail end of a 4-5 million run.. Not everyone who was on the 4-5million finished it with me and so they lost out. What you DO tell your form is how much that single run is worth. They might be mad if they all receive 3million but if you tell them up front you get 3mllion for 15 minutes of sitting there doing nothing...they tend to like that.; Do not let anyone pressure you into running Lyryanoth-Trellor for 7 million gold because THEY Don't want to do a run half as long for 3-4 million. Tell them to stay or go but that you decide on the run.


So you have your form together, your destination set, and your goods purchased. Time to CHOO CHOO!

You're form is all together with wagon trains and goods purchase. You're ready to go! Put yourself in solo mode and start walking out of the Trading Post. Notice your form does not follow you...exactly....They will follow behind you in...a TRAIN formation. So for 8 rooms behind you there will be a person and their wagon train. You drag them

Important things for your form to remember while in the wagon train is that they must keep their movement points up. They will need to be casting refresh a LOT. If they AFK and lose movement points the train WILL break which will slow you down, forcing you to reconnect it, which sometimes can take a few minutes...which is just wasted time. They will be able to REST while being dragged along to recover mana/hp.

They need not fight anything that engages them(remind them not to flee if they get into a fight if the wagon is stopped for some reason, it is better they die and you res them then you try to move with half a train and it gets all messed up). They will be dragged from any fight that they are engaged in while you are dragging them.

Do not let them get overzealous. You will still have to ref yourself and occasionally kill wilderness mobs. I can not count how many times I have had people phase me before I asked them to because I am trying to c sleep a baenlyr and they think I am fighting an mf.

Things you need to remember - do not be gung-ho. If you DO need help, ask for a phase. If you engage an MF do not WAIT to ask for a phase.; The faster MF's die, the faster you get moving again. The longer you fight mf's solo, the more chance OTHER mf's might pop up in the near future.

If the train does break it can be much easier to just group everyone up and start again. Sometimes counting on form members to do what you tell them....doesn't work out. You understand what is happening while they don't.

Move as FAST as you can but do not make a habit of falling off the road. You lose a ton of breath that way and it usually takes 5-10 seconds to really get moving again...precious time.

Mob Factions

One of the least dangerous mob factions to covered wagon traders is the Haunted Forest.; You usually see them well in advance and can shield room and/or hitch your wagon and walk up and engage the trees. The trees being fairly simple to kill.

The MOST dangerous mob faction to a wagon train? Haunted Forest. You are a 9-long room mini-serpent. When trees pop they are popping relative to someone on your trade form. This can be devastating if its the last person because if a tree POPS on a wagon...that wagon is toast. Even if there is a good advance warning not everyone CAN shield room and if you do not react fast enough....wagon trains go poof.

What you should do if trees pop.........

1. tell everyone to shield room
2. hitch your wagon and run as fast as you can towards the forest - don't worry about messing train up, better to have a broken train that you can fix then to lose wagons
3. once you are in tree area have form phase
4. kill trees and reshape your train.

The biggest mistake people make when fighting trees is attempting to get every ones rooms shielded. If you can just ENGAGE a tree in a non-wagon room you should be safe. The more time you spend trying to shield rooms and protect wagons the more time those trees have to walk into a room and destroy them.

The other mob factions are fairly simple. Wolves, lions, and centaur bandits are rather annoying as they can unform you and in high risk the wolves can be slightly dangerous but as long as you follow the "don't be gung-ho" rule and have your form phase you they should be no problem.

Once you ice a mob faction have your form walk back to their freight reform if need be and resume your trade.


The biggest disaster that can occur on a Wagon Train is the loss of someone's Freight. First - that freight cost them 1 million gold coins. Do not be a gentlemen/lady and offer to reimburse them. This is not your fault. Stuff happens sometimes, and 99/100 times it is not the leaders fault they had to turn around and start reforming the train - it is whoever went AFK and lost moves - and trees pop up behind you and destroy freight. It is a good gesture but as with all things there is risk involved and your form knows that.

If you do lose a train first you must assess the viability of completing the trade. If you still have 8 wagon trains left you just continue on as if nothing happened. If you only have 7 left you should continue on unless you are fairly close to the starting trading post or another close tp(for instance if you break down close to Medievia and you are trying to get to Derah - just sell in Medievia and restart train with full form)

If you have less than 7 you need to seriously consider abandoning freight and starting over. You go at a snails pace. In the most horrific run I ever led we lost 4 trains and it took us as long to get from Karl/G'Dangus crossroads(where if you go e it goes to Karl and s is G'Dangus) as it did for us to get from Elwyn to that same crossroads. The pace is so slow, which also means more mf's popped, which means it was a bear...we got lucky and finished.

Complaining about mf's is a favorite past time of traders. There is nothing we can do about it. I have completed a full run from Sea's End to Ruellia popping 2 mf's and they were both in around 200 risk...which is very low and very easy. I have also started a run out of Riverton and within 50 rooms popped 4 mf's, 2 of them being old mf's which ignore risk and 1 of them being haunted forest which immediately destroyed 4 trains. It happens. Do not be afraid to start over. Yes it sucks to lose the 1mil gold but it is better than spending the next 4 hours trading 1 train when if you started over you could have done 3 or 4 more.

Wrap Up

To end this little article I have the following advice

1. You are in charge - act like it. If someone is not listening or they are complaining - tell them so and don't be shy about it. They will respect you for it or you will boot them from the form and not care what they think.

2. You lead trains for YOUR profit not others. Do the runs that are best for YOU. Do not take the last value run - you are the one doing most of the work - why should you get paid the least?

3. This is key and the most important advice of all I can give: DO NOT PANIC. Many people feel pressure when leading even simple things like eq or trading.  There is nothing really bad that can happen.  This is not CPK.  You are not going to lose all of your eq and your mother is not going to get punched in the head.  Stuff WILL GO WRONG eventually.  Do not freak out, stay calm, fix the problem.

Follow those steps and you will be rich.  Trading is not what it used to be.  The values are down right now but it is easy, fast, and fun.



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