......... game glitched out during the bit where you have to chase the guy that steals the crystal, suddenly had to reload and lose all my autosaves for like an hour before that, back to when I was first walking to savina from bavelonk >.< very annoying
Mm. tried making each place balanced at first to produce everything. bad idea. best idea is to make a pearl farming place for cash, some food churner (probably with cows?), an iron mine/blacksmithing place or places churning out spears and swords, and just endless cavalry and super soldiers. at least, it worked for me. Takes a lot of resource management, which can be a pain, but the games fun. kinda sucks that late game your late places need to have massive housing to accomodate your armies.
for 45, you want to use your starting 100 to take the ones out along one direction right or up and then swing out to take the middle lab (starts pre upgraded unlike the others) and then send your new guys the other direction to get income and then support that lab and use it to take and/or cripple the other labs and then start poisoning or taking the forts. simply put, if you let him get a lab for a minute you're dead, and if you don't take one of the forts near his hq early he'll probably run you over with his superior income pretty fast and manage to get a lab. then just fill all the forts and labs and send everything at him at once to get over his defense at the end.