A Maritime Guild is a type of Town Building. It can be constructed only by the Barbarians, High Men and Orcs. To construct a Maritime Guild, a town must be immediately adjacent to a Shore tile, and must already contain both the Ship Yard and the Armory. The Maritime Guild's base construction cost is 400.
The only purpose of the Maritime Guild is to unlock construction of Warships. This is an advanced naval vessel, capable of moving across Oceans and carrying up to 2 Walking units in its cargo hold. However the ship's primary purpose is for warfare, having a strong Ranged Attack that can be used an unlimited number of times during combat. This can be exploited to create a very powerful navy that can attack anywhere and win almost any battle.
The Maritime Guild is an academy for naval design. It allows master shipbuilders and naval architects to come together and design advanced ships, particularly ships of war. With this knowledge and the combined expertise of its members, navies can be augmented with serious firepower for domination of the oceans.
In-game, the Maritime Guild is represented solely by a lighthouse on the edge of a rocky cliff. The rotating light, uncharacteristic of a medieval setting (and likely operated with some sort of magical apparatus) guides ships to the harbor. The meeting hall of the Maritime Guild is not visible.
Races and Construction Edit
Only three Races - the Barbarians, High Men and Orcs - have the ability to construct a Maritime Guild. These are the only races that have both the technical know-how to build large ocean-going vessels, and also the militaristic drive to construct warships of such destructive potential.
As with all buildings on the naval development branch, the Maritime Guild may only be built in towns that are immediately adjacent to a Shore tile (it can be even be the shore of a tiny inland sea, as long as a Shore tile is present).
A town requires both the Ship Yard and Armory to be present in order to construct a Maritime Guild. The Ship Yard provides a construction site for the new ships (as well as the basic training for advanced shipbuilders), while the Armory provides the powerful weapons mounted on the new warships and distributed to their crews.
Continuous Effects Edit
The Maritime Guild has no integral effects of its own. It is used only for unlocking the Warship (see below).
Unlocked Town Buildings Edit
The Maritime Guild unlocks no new buildings for construction. It is a developmental "dead-end" - the end of the naval development branch (assuming you do not count the Merchants' Guild as a naval building).
Unlocked Normal Units Edit
For the three races that can build a Maritime Guild, this building unlocks construction of the most advanced naval vessel in the game: the Warship.
Warships are powerful vessels, possessing both a strong Ranged Attack and respectable Melee Attack. They are extremely fast, though they can only move across Shore and Ocean tiles by default. In combat, Warships prefer to use their Ranged Attack, which they can use an unlimited number of times in each battle - being the only unit that can do so.
The unlimited ammunition of the Warship opens up several possible exploits that players have taken notice of - and utilize to great effect. Warships are often enchanted with Flight to allow them to travel anywhere, and may also be enchanted with Invisibility. Together these spells give the Warship an almost utter dominance of any battlefield, as it can repeatedly bombard its opponents without risking itself at all. Large fleets of Flying, Invisible Warships are extremely difficult to defeat. Read more on these advanced strategies in the Warship article.
Furthermore, the exploits discussed on the Warship article can turn these vessels into nigh-unstoppable opponents, who can win you the entire game if used correctly.
As a result, the Maritime Guild is an extremely important building for those races that can construct it. The more Warships you have, the more secure your ocean-side borders, and the more damage you can do to enemy shipping, scouts, and other ocean-going units.
It is not really necessary to build more than one Maritime Guild. Most players won't need more than a few Warships, even if they exploit these ships to win the game. The high Upkeep Cost of this structure also means that it is somewhat wasteful to build it in more than one or two towns. For best efficiency in building Warships, place the Maritime Guild in a seaside town with the highest Production output.