|Races||All except Gnolls and Halflings.|
An Armorers' Guild is a type of Town Building. It can be constructed in any town belonging to any race except the Gnolls and Halflings. A town must contain the Fighters' Guild before it can construct an Armorers' Guild. The Armorers' Guild's base construction cost is 350.
Depending on the Race of a town, an Armorers' Guild can either be an important structure that unlocks a high-tier Normal Unit for production, or simply a stepping-stone towards top-end buildings like the Fantastic Stable and/or War College. For some Races, it serves both purposes at the same time. This also affects the considerations that must be taken before choosing to build this structure, but in all cases it will only be required in a major unit-production center.
The Armorers' Guild serves almost as an academy for weaponsmiths and armorers - and appears to double as an advanced workshop for constructing the finest grade of weapons available. With seasoned soldiers available to discuss the merits and weaknesses of various weapons and armor types, smiths can design and produce high-quality steelwork tailored specifically for these soldiers. The resulting weapons allow recruiting extremely potent and well-armed combat units.
Visually, the Armorers' Guild is very similar to the Armory: a rectangular green building, whose roof supports can be seen protruding out of the sides of the structure. The Armorers' Guild is much larger than the Armory however, and is longer than it is wide. A pair of chimneys at the top vent the fumes created during the smithing process, as weapons are now being produced here instead of at the Smithy.
Races and Construction Edit
Except for the Gnolls (who lack the skills for any advanced smithing) and Halflings (who lack interest in war altogether), all Races have access to the Armorers' Guild. For many of the races, the advanced weapons produced here can lead to creation of very powerful units. For others, it is simply another step in unlocking the secrets of the study of war itself.
A town requires the Fighters' Guild in order to construct an Armorers' Guild. It is these experienced fighters whose knowledge must be combined with the expertise of weaponsmiths in order to create high-quality weaponry. If the Fighters' Guild is missing, an Armorers' Guild cannot be built. In fact, if a Fighters' Guild is lost or sold off while the Armorers' Guild is still in construction, the project will be canceled prematurely and cannot be restarted until these required buildings are rebuilt.
Continuous Effects Edit
Despite having a very high Upkeep Cost, the Armorers' Guild has no continuous effects of its own. It either unlocks new units or new buildings (or both), as explained below. As a result, it is necessary to construct an Armorers' Guild only in towns that are not designated for unit construction - and can be very wasteful if constructed elsewhere.
Unlocked Town Buildings Edit
The Barbarians, Klackons, Lizardmen, Dwarves and Trolls cannot advance beyond the Armorers' Guild. The structure only unlocks new units for these races, and serves as the end of the military development branch.
For the remaining races, the Armorers' Guild unlocks no new structures on its own, but is one of the required components for the construction of either the War College or the Fantastic Stable (or both).
For the High Elves, High Men, Nomads, Orcs, Beastmen, Dark Elves and Draconians, the Armorers' Guild is one of two necessary stepping-stones required for reaching the War College. The Armorers' Guild provides highly-trained soldiers and high-quality equipment for battle, but it is the University which provides the academic infrastructure for the study of war itself. The resulting War College will bestow the rank of "Veteran" (at least) to any new unit produced in this town - along with the bonuses associated with this rank.
For the High Elves, Nomads, Orcs and Dark Elves, the Armorers' Guild together with the Animists' Guild will unlock the Fantastic Stable. The Armorers' Guild again provides military expertise and high-quality weaponry, while the Animists' Guild provides the understanding in working with otherworldly animals and the ability to train them. The Fantastic Stable's purpose will then be to breed such fantastic animals and train them to be ridden into combat.
Unlocked Normal Units Edit
For the Nomads, Orcs, Dark Elves and Draconians, the Armorers' Guild unlocks no new units for construction. These races need the Armorers' Guild only for unlocking further Town Buildings. As a result, they will usually avoid constructing an Armorers' Guild until either the Animists' Guild or University (as appropriate) are already present - and then build the Armorers' Guild and advance beyond it.
For the other 8 races that can get an Armorers' Guild, this structure will unlock some of the highest-tier and most powerful Normal Units in the game. Construction of these units, however, may require additional structures to be present at the town, depending on race.
Armorers' Guild (alone) Edit
The Barbarians, High Elves, Beastmen and Dwarves all receive a new Normal Unit for construction as soon as the Armorers' Guild is created. The unlocked units are race-specific, and include (respectively) the Berserkers, Elven Lords, Minotaurs and Golem - all very powerful units.
The Barbarian Berserkers are likely the weakest of these in terms of sheer combat strength. While they contain 6 figures, the Berserkers are not too strong, but are still deadly to weaker units. Their primary advantage is the ability to make a preliminary Thrown Attack before charging into Melee combat, an attack that can easily kill off several of the target's figures before they can retaliate at all. This allows Berserkers to engage and destroy weaker units with very little risk to themselves.
Elven Lords are heavy cavalry units. Like other Cavalry they are fast and can make a First Strike charge to kill off enemy defenders before they can retaliate. Furthermore, Elven Lords are deadly-accurate with their attack, and can strike easily even through very thick armor thanks to their Armor Piercing property. This makes them dangerous to almost any kind of unit.
The Beastmen's Minotaurs are extremely strong, and can cause massive damage to almost any unit. They are competent fighters and very reliable in combat. They also carry Large Shields, which protect them very well from enemy Ranged Attacks and even some types of Special Attacks. They too are very dangerous against most units.
Finally, Dwarven Golems are possibly the toughest Normal Units in the game - extremely difficult to destroy. They are very well armored, and are almost completely immune to all forms of subversive magic like Curses and even some types of Special Attacks. They cannot be Poisoned, and the majority of Death Magic spells have absolutely no effect on them. Golems are best used to engage and occupy enemies while other units join the fray, or taking on powerful creatures that would simply kill any other unit outright.
With the Stables Edit
The combination of Stables and Armorers' Guild is important only to a few races - namely the Klackons, Lizardmen and Trolls - but to them it is one of the most important combination in the game. It allows the production of the Stag Beetle, the Dragon Turtle, and the War Mammoths - respectively to the races listed above. All three units share similar characteristics in terms of their use: fast-moving, hard-striking units, similar in some ways to cavalry, but powerful enough to take on very strong or heavily-armored opponents.
With this combination, Klackons can produce the Stag Beetle. This creature has one of the highest Melee Attack scores of any individual creature in the game, at least as far as Normal Units go. This allows it to cause damage through heavy armor. A Fire Breath attack precedes its Melee Attack, allowing extra damage to less-armored units as well.
The Lizardmen may acquire the Dragon Turtle. This creature also has a strong Melee Attack score, but is much more notable for its high Defense, allowing it to survive battle against very dangerous enemies. It also breathes fire, and has the added common Lizardmen advantage of being able to swim as easily as it can walk.
Finally, Trolls produce the War Mammoths. While these lack the Regeneration abilities of their kin, they are nonetheless very heavy cavalry-like units, who can take out weakened enemies without fear thanks to a First Strike. They are also heavy enough to bring down enemy City Walls, making them an important tool on the battlefield.
With the Cathedral Edit
The High Men require both the Armorers' Guild and the Cathedral in order to create their strongest unit - but it is respectively strong. These are the Paladins; holy knights who have no fear and even inspire other units to fight better.
Paladins strike hard and deliver good damage even to well-armored opponents, thanks to their Armor Piercing skill. Furthermore, they are completely Immune to Magic, which gives them protection from almost all enemy spells, all Curses, and a large assortment of Special Attacks. While at least one unit of Paladins is on the battlefield, all friendly units receive a small bonus to their Melee Attack, Defense and Resistance scores - meaning that Paladins often work best as part of a large army.
For any race that can reach the Armorers' Guild, this structure is of extreme importance in the unit-production department - though the reason for this varies from race to race.
Since the Armorers' Guild has no continuous effect, and a high Upkeep Cost to boot, it should only be constructed in dedicated unit-production centers. There is no need to build it in other towns, unless those towns are also going to participate in unit production. Conserve your Gold by only building this structure where and when it is absolutely required.
As explained above, several races will be able to start producing their best troops once this structure is ready (though it may require another structure to already be present as well). This in itself is a good-enough reason to construct an Armorers' Guild.
If a race has access to the Fantastic Stable and/or War College, the Armorers' Guild is a necessary step towards these structures. However, since some races get no benefit from the Armorers' Guild itself, construction of the guild can be delayed until another component is ready. For example, if you're going for a Fantastic Stable, build the Animists' Guild first and only then build an Armorers' Guild when you're ready. If you're going for the War College, build the University first and only then the Armorers' Guild. Again note that this only applies if the Armorers' Guild gives no benefit of its own to the town's race. This applies specifically to the Nomads, Orcs, Dark Elves and Draconians.