I have been answering many questions about who, what, and when we are allowed to attack. So this thread is meant to answer the questions I have gotten so far, and provide an opportunity for anyone to ask questions for further clarification if needed. MY OVERRIDING GUIDANCE IS: DON'T START A WAR WE AREN'T READY TO WIN
-If the flag is RED you can hit, farm, and conqure the city without any further permission required.
-If the flag is Blue, you wont be allowed to attack it because it is a friendly alliance
-If the flag is grey, you must first check that it does not belong to an alliance in our NEUTRAL list. Consider this a 'no-hit-list'
-If the flag is grey, and they are not neutral, you can hit any city that does not belong to a top 20 alliance, or their known affiliates. You can not take their city until you send them a mail inviting them to leave our territory or join our alliance, and then get permission from an officer to take the city.
-If the flag is grey and they belong to a top 20 alliance you need Vice or Host permission to hit it.
-If you get attacked by a non-top 20 alliance, tell me, and you can expect we will declare war in response most of the time
-If you get hit by a top 20 alliance, we might or might not go to war depending on the diplomatic situation. For example, we are not going to declare war on Epitaph. However, please tell a presbyter or above right away, so we can start working on the diplomatic front to solve the problem one way or another. If possible, my intent will be to build a coalition and hit them back but sometimes that won't be possible, and we will not get suckered into a suicide war out of pride.
-In all cases, when you are under attack, get as many reinforcements as you can, and do everything you can to wipe out the attacking army.
-You can always take unoccupied valleys, and you can always defend your valleys from attack, like your cities
-When attacking other players valleys, the same 'Top 20' and 'no-hit-list' rules apply to grey alliance owned valleys and you can always take a red flag alliance valley
-If your valley is taken, the same top 20 rule will apply which means tell a presbyter and let us work the diplomatic piece of the puzzle before starting a war.
OTHER PLAYERS NPCS:
You will find more and more that players are getting possessive over NPC farms. This is true of us as well. In general, if we built them, we own them and no one else should be farming them without the permission of the one who built them. Farming another players npcs is a hostile act, and we use this tactic to soften up some of the bigger enemies we have faced. By farming their NPCs, we effectively starve their army. So the same rules apply to red alliance npc farms...hit them often, starve their city. With Blue and Grey alliance npc farm, try to mail the other guy and work out a schedule, or split the farm between you so everyone is happy. If you don't want to share a farm you built, don't feel like you have to. However, pick your battles carefully. I wouldn't argue with an Epi member over npc farms, it's not worth the risk.
Overall, we are a combat oriented guild that uses teamwork as our primary asymmetric advantage. We work as a team within our alliance, and we work as a team with other like minded alliances. Don't be the guy that drags the team into a war we are not in a position to win before it ever starts. I promise as your leader to keep you busy enough with the wars we plan to fight. If you are board and want more fighting, please tell me and I will step it up a notch. For the most part, I try to fight one war at a time, win it, then let the guild rebuild troops and cities for a few days before I start the next one.
This holiday season will be an intentional exception. I will not start a war between now and the New Year because I will be on holiday myself for most of this time, and I expect many of you will be too. After the new year, we will get back into the combat soon enough.
I would like everyone to find the right balance in their own life this holiday season between time spent with the family and time spent on Evony (and what ever else you spend time on). For those of you who will not be going on holiday, I would like to see you work toward the goals I set in the 'Standing guidance' thread for troops counts. I would also encourage you to challenge yourself to conquer a lvl 10 npc and convert it to a 16 barracks city. Of my 9 cities, 4 are conquered lvl 10 npcs, and they are the ones in which I can keep my largest armies because of their food production ability.
Hope all this answers most of your questions, and please feel free to post questions I didn't answer in this thread. Even while I'm on holiday, if I get online, I'll check back in the forums and answer questions as I have time.