August 11, 2009
Wagon Training for Dummies
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.
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
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
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
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 along.....fast.
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.
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
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
3. once you are in tree area have form phase
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.
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.
To end this little article I have the following advice
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
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