Plunder War, also known simply as Plunder, is perhaps one of the sweetest aspects of Imperial Warfare gameplay---as long as you're on the right end of things. Simply put, Plundering is the process by which a Hero attacks another player's City to steal its Resources and bring home a heavy load of Wood, Stone, Food, Metal, and Gold.
The effectiveness of Plunder depends on the Plunder Power of a Hero and his/her troops, a number that increases with troop quality and size---few and weak troops can carry far fewer resources out of a burning enemy City than strong and numerous ones can.
It is important to Scout a City before Plundering it to gauge how well it is defended (judging from the number of Heroes and adjoining troops Garrisoned in the City Defense Office); it would be foolish to attack a City with 3 Garrisoned Heroes and 10,000 troops when all you have to offer is one Hero commanding a few hundred Cavaliers. On the other hand, it would be foolish not to attack a completely undefended City when you're feeling particularly strong and needful of Resources---though do be careful that you are well prepared to take on any counterattacks later on.
I. How to Plunder a CityEdit
1. Choose a city in the same Age as you and then click on it to display the "City Information" interface.
2. There, click on the 'Plunder' button to open the 'Marching' interface.
3. Select the Hero and troops you wish to initiate the Plunder and click on the 'Plunder' button at the bottom to dispatch the troop(s) to the target City. Be sure to select a Hero with enough troops that their collective "Plunder Power" is fairly high, or else the amount of Resources you will gain from Plunder will be minimal.
4. If there is a Garrison in the City, a battle will ensue. If the plunderer wins the battle, s/he can go on with her/his plan; otherwise, the Plunder ends. If there are no garrisoned troops in the City, the City will be plundered immediately, a status change that is indicated when it catches on fire!
5. When the victorious plunderer is done, s/her will head straight home and the resources plundered from the target city will be shown in the "'Event" interface and entered into the plunderer's city resource records.
II. Help! I'm Being Plundered!Edit
And counterattacks and random Plunders will come, particularly if you are in the Castle or Imperial Age, when anyone from both ages can attack you. Plundering other people is easy enough, but how do you defend against being Plundered yourself? According to the Imperial Warfare FAQ, a few useful steps might be taken:
a) First of all, don't take it personally. The game is not called Imperial Puzzle Challenge or Imperial High-Speed Racer for a reason; plundering is part of living in a barbaric and war-torn world. While nihilistic anguish and keyboard-crunching tantrums are not recommended, a healthy sense of vengefulness is welcomed and encouraged. Work hard, and one day you will be the one laughing over little burning cities.
b) Don't waste time Upgrading your City Defense Office. Upgrading the City Defense Office would seem to be a good idea for those who want to increase City Defense, right? Not really; right now, the level of your CDO has no more effect than making you feel lame when you look at the sad little single-digit number sitting above a Castle-Age building (and affecting Fame to some degree). And helping you build sweet Sentinel Towers for Neutral Area/Wonder War. But that's a different story.
c) Join a Guild and send out a cry for help! You might be a Dark-Age noob, but at least some of your fellow Guildies are probably outfitted with some sweet Wuzi Iron Armor and Imperial Footmen. Don't feel bad asking for their aid—they will probably welcome yours in the future.
d) Garrison as many Heroes and troops as possible in your City Defense Office. You might end up losing all your soldiers (and thus the time and resources you poured into them) during the next round of attacks, but the good news is that your Heroes can never die. At the very least, you'll cause some annoyance and delay for enemies expecting a cheap and dirty Resource boost, and doesn't that feel good? Even if you ultimately fail, resisting Plunder will drastically reduce the number of Resources the other player will be able to steal from you. So even if the Resources lost to Recruiting Units only to be killed a few hours later is roughly equivalent to the probable Resources loss to Plunder by an unresisted thief, at least your enemies won't be the ones snatching your goods, and they'll probably think twice before attacking you in the future.
e) Bolster your Civilization with Mall Items. Oh, no; a shameless plug for charging your account is going to appear even in a FAQ? For better or for worse, here we go: Many Mall Items can be quite helpful in guarding against constant or unexpected Plunder: Training Manuals can help you recruit troops more quickly; Practice Arenas will help you speedily increase your Hero levels to guard against more attacks; HP and MP Potion packs will make you extremely strong on the battlefield when the thieves come back for more. Moreover, rumor has it that the next patch of the game will even allow you to directly purchase Resources with points, but remember that these Resources need to be put to good use quickly, or they will simply be Plundered away. Finally, do keep in mind that purchase with real money is not the only way to gain many of these special Items; we do hold many events in which they are granted to the winners for free.
f) If you're really in dire straits and can swallow your pride for a while, you might consider sending the Plundering Player a private message. Keeping in mind that s/he has every right to attack you, politely explain your situation and ask her/him to stop. You might get lucky with a few big-hearted enemies, but don't count on this strategy working with everyone—and continual Plunder by other players is probably an indication that you should stop writing all those private messages and just play the game.
g) Upgrade your Stockpiling skill. Even if your army melts like Jell-O in the sun at the slightest touch of a Desert Guard Pikeman, you can still minimize the number of Resources stolen from your Warehouse by upgrading your Stockpiling skill in the Production Center once you've researched through the Level 9 Heavy Plow.