How to Capture Animals
Starting in Travian version 4, it is now possible to Capture or Cage Animals and bring them home to your village for defense. This guide will answer many of the questions regarding capturing animals.
Why would I want to capture animals?
One reason would be to remove animals from nearby oases allowing raiding of those oases sooner. This is even if you do not have enough troops yet to clear an oasis. In Travian v4, oases provide a large amount of easy resources. However those animals just get in the way. By capturing animals this will reduce or eliminate the possiblity of losing troops during your raids. But beware of respawning animal. Many oases will randomly respawn animals after a few days or weeks. Capturing respawining animals will be discussed later in the guide.
Another reason would be to provide decent and cheap defense for your village. Nothing suprises attackers more than finding animals in a village that has been constantly raided. Here is an example of an attack on a village that had animals as defenders. This was quite a suprise to see after raiding this village for several days.
Will capturing animals kill my hero?
No. If your hero attacks an oasis while equipped with cages no fight will take place between you and nature. Notice in the picture below where it says No fight will take place but animals will be captured.
What if I attack an oasis and my hero is not equipped with cages?
Then a battle will take place and your hero will suffer damage.
Is it possible to use my animals to attack or defend other villages?
No. Animals may only be used as defense for the village from which they were captured. It is not possible to control them for any other usage.
How much wheat do the animals consume in my village?
None, they are fed through the magic of the air.
What type of animals should I choose?
Here is a chart on the defense of the animals. Don't waste cages on rats and spiders unless it is needed. In most cases you will have to cage the smaller animals to get the bigger animals. It should be noted that crocodiles are better for overall defense than tigers. The only exception would be if you are facing an attack purely of cavalry and even there you're only losing 10 defense per animal
How much defense do the animals provide compared to my own troops?
The chart noted above describes the base defense of each nature troop. But let us compare that to the defense of the initial troop of each tribe. The first number is defense against infantry and the second number is defense against cavalry.
One Bear provides 140/200 defense. So to provide the same infantry defense as the bear you would need either 4 Legionnaire, 7 Macemen, or 4 Phalanx. It is even more beneficial for Teuton cavalry defense since you would need 40 Macemen to compared to that of one bear. Also, remember animals do not consume wheat.
In what order are animals captured?
The cages will cycle through the animals from lowest defense to highest. Using the following number of cages would trap the animals in this order.
5 cages = 1 rat, 1 snake, 1 bear, 1 tiger, and then another rat.
9 cages = 1 rat, 1 snake, 1 bear, 1 tiger, 1 rat, 1 snake, 1 bear, 1 tiger, 1 rat.
13 cages = 1 rat, 1 snake, 1 bear, 1 tiger, 1 rat, 1 snake, 1 bear, 1 tiger, 1 rat, 1 spider, 1 bear, 1 rat, 1 spider
(Notice the 13 cages example, after 11 cages there were no tigers left, so the next animal available was a rat.)
To optimize your cages (using the previous picture as an example) you may only want to equip 8 cages, even if you have more. There were only two tigers. If more cages had been used, that would just be capture more rats and spiders. Those cages could be saved for another oasis that might have more tigers.