I learned a lot more about warfare in Travian. Up to now I'm coming out ahead of the competition, but the system is not a very pleasant one. It all started by me wanting to know more about the other players around me, and pushing my tech tree far ahead to develop cavalry scouts, of which I'm apparently the only one in the vicinity owning any. When you send out a single scout on an "attack", you instead get the option to either scout an enemies defense fortifications or his resources, and in both cases you see his number of troops.
So I'm scouting out everybody around me and notice that my neighbor is preparing for war. I had 20 legionnaires, cheap allround troops to defend myself and do raids on inactive villages. My neighbor, whose village has half my size, was building up troops to a level of 50 legionnaires. At that point I realized the flaw in the Travian system: You can hide your resources in crannies, so nobody can steal them. But hiding troops is a lot more difficult, you would have to send them as "reinforcements" to the village of alliance partner. So if my neighbors 50 legionnaires attack my 20, he could start repeatedly attacking me, and it would be impossible for me to build up an army.
So I first build 20 praetorians, specialized defence troops. But then I thought that attack is the best defence, and build 30 imperians, specialized attack troops. I sent another scout to my neighbor when my troops were ready, and got lucky: My neighbor had obviously just attacked somebody else, and lost some troops, he was down to 30 legionnaires, but building more. So I hit him with all I got. I lost about a quarter of my troops, but completely eliminated all his troops. And since then I attack him every couple of hours, so he can't build up an army bigger than mine. It's a cruel game.
The map of Travian has changed, because inactive villages disappear after a while. So there are less and less inactive targets to raid. Having to attack an active player instead was just a question of time. And sooner or later somebody with a bigger army than mine will come and more or less kick me out of the game, turning me into a "farm". I'm not really in favor of games where it takes months to build something up, and then you can get everything destroyed in a single attack.