Random: Forge of Empires Review and Negotiation Tutorial


Thousands of games suck up countless hours. Some feel like a waste of time because they feel like they’re going nowhere (i.e. Island Experiment), while others keep things interesting by providing long term and short term challenges. I’ve not played Civilizations, though I’m told it’s similar to Forge of Empires.


Rating: 4.5/5

It’s not perfect. Plundering is the single most annoying aspect of the game. My personal policy is to fight people for the tournament points but not bother plundering. You don’t need the goods if you build a few resource factories. It mostly just ticks your neighbors off.


Cool new edition (within the last year or so) to the game. You get to visit the taverns of your friends. When they visit your tavern, you earn silver. This silver can be spent on bonuses. The single most useful thing you can buy is a 4th round for negotiations. The second most useful item I’ve found is the City Shield. You get new neighbors every two weeks or so, but it’s inevitable that sometimes you’re going to be paired with those super-annoying people who have all day to fight and plunder people.


The majority of people in the game are there for fun and don’t bother others. Like in real life, exceptions to this exist. Sometimes, it helps if you kindly ask them to stop plundering you. Other times, it makes matters worse because they’re miserable, vindictive human beings. Go with the flow. Use a City Shield as needed but also do things like schedule when you can collect your goods the second they pop up.

Guild Expeditions:

One of the best aspects of the game is the ability to join a guild and participate in Guild Expeditions. Every week, starting on Tuesday at 8:00 AM server time GE starts. I fight my way as far as I can. Typically, that means the middle of the third round. A few months ago, the game designers added a harder 4th level with better rewards. After that, I negotiate.

How to Win at GE Negotiations:

Step 1: Go to your tavern and activate the 15 minute 4th turn. It’s third down on the left in the Resources Boost tab of the Tavern Shop. (You could get 30 minutes, but 15 is typically plenty. Remember, you only get 8 turns unless you win some as prizes.)

Step 2: Use process of elimination. By that, I mean choose everything. If you have 10 things to test, do the top five and the bottom five. Your goal here is to find out what’s NOT a choice. Every wrong guess will be marked with red. Every correct guess will be green, and every correct item in the wrong slot will be yellow. These are what you’re looking for.

Step 3: Once you know what is a part of the negotiation for that round, randomly place the yellow ones in slots that are different from the one they showed up in yellow. Here’s where you want them to turn green.

Step 4: Use process of elimination to continue placing the remaining yellow ones into new slots. If you do this well and get a little lucky, you will be able to guess a few of them then easily place the remaining ones.

Step 5: If you have to, use 10 diamonds to get a 5th round of guesses only if you’re reasonably certain that you can get it in that last round.

Notes about Negotiations:

  • If you happen to hit 3 of the green ones in your first random guess, you might want to cut your losses and start over. (It’s really difficult to do process of elimination with only two slots available to test new items.)
  • Diamonds initially can cost some real world money, but now with GE, you should be able to win enough at random through the rounds you can fight through to at least get a start. I’ve never gone negative overall because several of the higher rounds offer 50 or 100 diamonds as the prize.
  • Wait and start this method when you have 7 or 8 attempts so you can get the farthest. With the limited number of attempts, there’s usually no reason to go for the 30 minutes.


It’s a game. Have fun. Enjoy yourself. Be nice to people.

Associate links to follow…

Amazon Prime

Free Kindle Reading App

Audible – If you buy some of my audiobooks with your first credits, I’ll pay the first month’s bill (beyond the free ones). (Terms and conditions: must have proof of purchasing my books, like a screenshot. Will also have to have paypal.)

London Visit – Summer 2017 Part 5: Friday 7/14 Buckingham Palace and More Museums

Buckingham Palace

If you want to find crowds in England, go to a castle or a palace. The state rooms of Buckingham Palace aren’t open to the public all year. I think it’s something like ten weeks starting 7/22/17. Check their website if you want to know for sure. Timing is everything. We caught the tail end of the changing of the guards, as those coming off duty marched out. I find it amusing that they had police guarding the royal guards.

British Efficiency

About thirty seconds after the horse guards trotted through, a guy on a street sweeper came through. He probably needed to do a few more passes, but it’s the thought that counts. The horses still left their markers all along the path, so watch where you step if you go there for the changing of the guards.

Next up, Natural History Museum

This museum gave me a greater appreciation for the interactive nature of most British museums. It would be great fun to take kids to or to experience as a kid. We missed the unveiling of the big blue whale bones there. I believe the Duchess of Cambridge and her children where there for that a few days prior. Bet the place was crowded then.

In terms of order and layout and directions of how one is to proceed, the British museums excel. In sheer number of dinosaur bones, I believe the New York City Natural History Museum is better.

McDonalds – You Can’t Escape Them

Pretty sure we ate at McDonalds. We definitely ate at McDonalds one of the days, but I’m fairly confident it was this day. I think the whole meal for two of us cost ten pounds. Okay, so playing with the fancy ordering machine was kind of fun. Whichever day, I remember having a tough time finding it. We were looking for red golden arches…and the sign was green. Green.

A Stroll by Royal Albert Hall

We didn’t go in, but I’d wanted to see it because it shows up in a video game I play. (Forge of Empires If you want an invite just ask, but it’s free to sign up, unless you really want to pay them for things like diamonds to level faster.) I ended up deleting it from my game, but I see it around. Apparently, it got a paint job since the game designers fashioned their version of it.

Royal Albert Hall

Aside: I love that most of the Underground stations in central London tell you what to exit for and which lines you can transfer to. More on the Underground later.

Second aside: I tried to take the picture from an angle that would hide most of the ugly scaffolding. Many of these beautiful buildings in London are under construction to preserve them for future generations. Unfortunately, construction means ugly scaffolding.

Science Museum, London

If you’re still over in London, you can catch Dunkirk (the movie) in the imax theater at the Science Museum. Inside, you’ll find a lot of interactive exhibits. The Brits love their giant diorama displays. Everything from mind games to illusions to big replica termite mounds can be found in the science museum. The space food’s actually reasonably priced. They did have a nice variety of space ice cream. It’s not the best stuff on Earth, but it’s definitely worth checking out at least once in your life.

Robot display was a tad disappointing, but the constellation thing and the escalator that goes up through a mini Earth is very cool.


Both museums are worth seeing. If you’re trying to use things on the London Pass, these might be the ones to get cut, but I enjoyed them.

Need to Catch Up?

Part 1: Preparation, Planning, Cost

Part 2: Arrival and First Day in the City

Part 3: Getting into Tourist Mode

Part 4: Windsor Castle

Fancy some more Natural History?