This guide intends to give information on how to protect your town from being pillaged. Feel free to edit this page and add any useful tips you know or other content relevant to ways to make your towns and resources more secure in order to avoid possible pillagers. General guidelines
Since stronger players can usually afford to build and keep stronger military units, it is very difficult for a player to defend himself versus a stronger player using military power alone. Therefore, the best way to defend your towns is to not be attacked in the first place. You can make yourself an unattractive target by cleverly managing your resources, protecting your towns from being spied on, and maintaining some basic physical defenses. Remember: you don't need to be stronger than the pillager, you only need to be a less attractive target than other players. Managing resources
Pillaging enemies are looking for a large amount of loot for a small effort. So try to not have a lot of resources in your towns. Stockpiling resources makes you an attractive target. One way to get rid of resources is to donate to your island sawmill or your island statue. Another way is to give them for 48 hours to somebody who needs the resource for an upgrade. They can return it to you in 48 hours. Remember that only resources can be pillaged-- not gold. Selling your unused resources and keeping their value in gold will protect your wealth. But remember that enemies will also see whatever you offer for sale on your trading post, so sell only a small amount of resources each time. Your warehouse protects a small amount of resources from being pillaged. Keep your warehouse at a high enough level to prevent disasters. Dispersing your resources amongst your towns will make an attack on any individual town less profitable. If you need to stockpile resources (for example, if you are saving resources to upgrade your palace), disperse them amongst your towns and only bring them together when you have enough to start the upgrade. Where you gather resources, you should also gather/create military units to protect the town and its resources.
An attacking player will usually try to gather intelligence about the target before attacking. You can make yourself a less attractive target by making intelligence gathering more difficult.
Protect your town from being spied on by having a high level hideout and keep plenty of spies there "working in defense". To see what level of hideout you need, click on Town Spy Defense. Each level of your hideout decreases the probability of a spying mission by 2% and each spy working in defense gives an additional 5%. Each level of your town hall increases that probability by 2%, so a good rule of thumb is to raise your hideout to level 20 or higher as soon as possible. You will see this when you look at the table in the Town Spy Defense section. Avoid moving your army between towns, unless it's necessary to protect a town that is collecting a large amount of resources for an upgrade. Pillagers often attack at random times. If you move your army, you might not have any troops to defend. A good defense has troops in all it's towns using barracks.
Your town wall is your first line of defense in battle and it also gives the troops stationed in your town an important defensive bonus.
A town of levels 1-4 is classed as a Village and has 3 wall segments. At this level it is probably not very useful to invest in walls, as even a level 4 wall will be taken down easily by as little as 6 rams (in three rounds). However, this small battlefield can be useful late-game to bottleneck opponents, as there are no flanking positions. A town of levels 5-9 is classed as a Town and has 5 wall segments. By keeping your walls at a high level you can make it very difficult for an enemy attacking with rams (e.g. a level 9 wall will take 18 rams five rounds to take down), but mid-level enemy, who is strong enough to attack with catapults, will take it down in about two rounds. Thus, keeping walls at this level only offers protection against similar players. A town of level 10 and above is classed as a Metropolis and has 7 wall segments. A level 16 wall will take 18 catapults five rounds to destroy. Because of ammunition limits, walls of level 17-25 will require 36 catapults. It will not be too difficult to bring the walls down with Mortars, so bringing your walls to around level 15 will offer defense against all but players big enough to have a very strong army. Your town wall should always be at least 1 level above your town size if possible. Your wall is very important in a battle; it could make the difference.
Keeping a strong military is costly, and therefore only recommended if you can keep it big enough to stop attacks. If you can't afford a strong army in every town, it is often more effective to concentrate your army in a few towns. Each military unit costs upkeep, and double upkeep if they are in use. Keep at least one warship in every town. This will force any player attacking you from a different island to either: (a) bring a fleet; (b) occupy another town in your island first; or (c) use a town on island with which it has garrison rights as a base for the attack. All options make it more costly for the attacker and options (a) and (b) also mean that you will have an early warning before the attack to react. Thus, even keeping a single ram ship at bay can be very beneficial. Do not allow another player to use your town as a starting point to pillage other towns on your island. Some times the pillaged player will not realize that it was the person occupying you, and try to strike back your town. If you allow an attack from your town, be prepared for a revenge attack. (send away resources, etc).
Send away as many resources as you can before the attack arrives. A high-level Trading port and many Cargo Ships will be very helpful at this situation. Find the most costly upgrade that you can afford and do it. Use as much as possible on training spies, upgrading units in the Workshop or experiments in the academy. If attacking by sea, determine the capacity of the attacking fleet. Depending on the capacity they have and the combination of resources you have you may decide to limit your mitigating actions (e.g. you have 20,000 sulphur and 20,000 marble on a marble island, your attacker has a capacity of 20,000 units, you consider marble to be more valuable to you right now. Instead of donating your 20,000 sulphur to the island miracle you may want to do nothing, allowing the attacker to take some of the sulphur, which is less valuable to you, leaving some marble which is more valuable to you at that time.) Then either donate all your wood to the island resources and your luxury resources to the miracle or use your wood and any sulphur you have to start training units. These can later be used to exact revenge upon the pillager. If you have purchased Ambrosia, you can use the Premium Trader to transform all your resources in , and and then follow the above tips. If your port is blockaded, you can always send the resources to an ally on your island! You can also send it to a weaker player with plans to pillage it back. If you are doing the latter, do not send it to an alliance member, because you can not pillage your alliance members. Ask for help from your alliance, as well as from your neighbors on your island - if you are on good terms with them, or even just donate lots to the Saw mill and mine, they are often likely to help you. You can activate vacation mode here. What this means is that your game account will not be deleted if you are inactive for too long and you cities will not be attacked during that time your workers and scientists will also be on holiday and will not be working. So that vacation mode is not taken advantage of, your holiday has to last for a minimum of 48 hours. You will not be able to play Ikariam during this time. After those two days, your holiday will automatically come to an end the next time you log on. Fleets and armies that are outside your cities will be dispersed and will return to their home towns if you activate vacation mode! Goods on board will all be lost!
Note Units, that are attacking you, will scatter because you are on vacation mode.
If you use vacation mode when somebody has occupied you then their units will not scatter.