There are few things more frustrating than logging in for the first time in over a day to find your buildings have been plundered and you lost their productions. If you're anything like me, you're a functional adult with a career or some other major event that interferes with your ability to be online at any given time. You're also in a hostile neighborhood whose members attack and plunder you several times a day. This guide is for people like you and me, who have a life and often cannot log in to the game for over a day at a time. It contains very simple, practical solutions for keeping plunderers away when you are. While there is no absolute guarantee to stop it entirely, it can be minimized with the use of city layout and planning techniques. ***Please note that this tactic is not for players who are being plundered once or twice per day, with minimal losses. It is aimed toward players who are losing the majority of their buildings' productions to multiple attacks on a consistent, if not daily, basis and that do not occur at the same basic time each day.*** The most popularly-plundered buildings, based on my observations, tend to be event buildings that cannot be motivated. These buildings run on a 24-hour clock and you cannot manually control their output. This is especially true of buildings who come as part of a set, where the centerpiece will produce more if surrounded by other pieces of that set. While these buildings reap wonderful benefits for you, they also make you a target for greedy neighbors who are not content to collect solely from their own event buildings. As such, it is essential to place these buildings in their own sector of your city, where they function as a separate unit. Hostile Neighborhoods While many neighborhoods are peaceful, it is almost guaranteed that you will find yourself in an overwhelmingly hostile neighborhood littered with players who would rather attack than aid. Using myself as an example, I was just rotated out of an extremely hostile neighborhood today, one that was full of players with significantly more ranking points; many had over 200k while three had over one million. I would log into the game once a day only to find that I had been attacked multiple times throughout the day by 3 or 4 different people, all of whom had watch fires and other buildings in quantities that can only come from dumping hundreds of dollars into the events that give them out as prizes. As shown in my screenshots, I have two event sets: Royal Garden and Mahajara's Palace. Five of these buildings produce goods. I would log in to see all but one, sometimes all, of my event buildings had been plundered. This was a daily occurrence. I reorganized my city and separated my event buildings from the rest of the city, disconnected them for a short time, and permanently stopped being attacked by all but one person. Only one person stuck around while the others moved on to other targets. What was previously 80-100% losses plummeted to 20%. If you can convince your predatory neighbors to leave you alone, and are left with only 1 or 2 consistent attackers, the rest is easy. The purpose of this tactic is to reset the production clock so that you can collect your productions when the neighborhood parasites cannot. City Layout City layouts are unique, whether they be square, rectangular, or anything else you decide to make it. Regardless of your city's layout, the basic goal is to place your most frequently-plundered buildings such that they are connected to the main hall via a single road. Houses are not much to worry about as their productions are too low to bother with, but this strategy is something to consider for event buildings and supplies/goods production buildings. Personally, my city is largely fan-shaped and spans in two basic directions: west and southeast. The portion of the city that produces low amounts of goods and/or goods that cannot be plundered is set up in the manner of a square/rectangle (houses, supplies, and Great Buildings). I have temporarily placed the Lord's Manor in this section as well, in order to clear out more space for new buildings. My city, west side My city, southeast side In addition, everything that can be manually controlled and/or cannot be plundered is grouped into blocks to allow for efficient use of roads and available space. Buildings that can be motivated are connected to the city at large. Meanwhile, buildings that produce automatically (Royal Garden and Mahajara's Palace) are only connected to the rest of the city with ONE ROAD. This is imperative for keeping your automatic-production buildings safe during AFK periods. If the road leading to your automatic-production buildings is shared by blocked buildings, make sure to leave it disconnected from the block, like so: This setup will allow your manual-production buildings to function while you implement the coup-de-grace maneuver: disconnecting your buildings from the rest of your city. Disconnecting Your Buildings In order to easily disconnect your buildings and reset the production clock, simply move the road connecting your automatic-production buildings and place it somewhere else. Be sure to reconnect them at a time that you are able to collect your productions! This accomplishes two goals: 1. Resets the production counter, and 2. Keeps greedy neighbors from plundering the buildings. Yes, this delays your buildings' productions for a little while, but if you're AFK for too long and are losing their productions to parasitic neighbors, it's worthwhile to change up the production schedule. If you're not able to reap the benefits of your buildings, then predatory neighbors shouldn't be able to either. This is particularly useful should you go on vacation but are otherwise able to play normally. Pay close attention to your parasite's plundering schedule because once they launch an attack, they can't interact with you for another 24 hours. If they attack you in the evening, they're relegated to evenings unless they skip a day. This allows you to reset your buildings' production clock such that you can collect from them at a time that your parasitic neighbors cannot. At the very least, it prevents them from being plundered until you are able to play more consistently. Below is how my city looks when I disconnect my event buildings: As you can see, the rest of the city can function normally while my event buildings remain disconnected. I reconnect them at a time that I will be online to collect from them when the counter expires. The best part about this strategy is that it saves you valuable time and resources. If someone with a significantly higher rank plunders you and you visit their city only to see a gargantuan army and a plethora of watchfires, it can be overwhelming as you wrack your brain to conjure an adequate defense. Spoiler alert: there is no adequate defense for someone like that. Don't waste your resources building a giant army when all it takes is to move the road. It may only take one time to reset the production clock and cause the parasites to move on to a new host, or it may take multiple times depending on your parasite's IQ and also depending on your neighborhood. This strategy is an excellent way to show them that even the highest-ranking player is at the mercy of your personal schedule. Tips and Tricks The purpose of this strategy is to spare you the time and resources of having to construct a large defending army, as well as to make life difficult for predators and easy for you. In order to further benefit, consider the following tips: 1. Build a decent army and make sure the units are also assigned to the defense. This will deal damage to their units and make it more difficult for them to fight you. Bonus points if they happen to attack you while your buildings are disconnected. Check out https://forum.us.forgeofempires.com/index.php?threads/general-defensive-military-guide.8654/ to find the best defensive combinations for your current age, if you're so inclined. 2. Place the moved roads somewhere highly visible, so they can see what horror you've wrought. 3. Build cultural buildings and appropriate Great Buildings to maximize your citizens' enthusiasm and compensate for any deficit that is created by unplugging your automatic-production buildings. Update your roads to build happiness into your infrastructure. Try to minimize your decorations; ultimately, you want to be at a point where you can eliminate them altogether. This will ensure that motivations from friends and guild mates go where they're needed most. 4. If you're going to be AFK for an extended period of time, set your supplies and goods buildings to a 24-hour (48-hour if available and needed) production or don't produce at all. Buildings can't be plundered while they're actively producing something. It may be simple but it is highly effective. It's worth sharing if it saves fellow gamers confusion and frustration. Consistent use of this strategy will cause predatory neighbors to leave you alone. They may have a right to attack you, but you have the right to defend yourself in any way you deem necessary, even if it's something as silly as disconnecting buildings and resetting their clocks. Happy gaming!