Minds of Nations: Complete Guide

This guide is a compilation of various guides available on the Discord Community Group, combined with original content. It discuses various stages of the game, game mechanics, and important ideas to prioritize.

 

Introduction
This guide is designed for new players and veterans alike. I recommend playing through the tutorial and exploring the interface before reading this guide. I know some people get lost in the souls discussion of the tutorial, but power through!

I also recommend very new players skip over the section I wrote on mechanics. It may be slightly overwhelming for players who haven’t familiarized themselves with the game yet. Such players will likely get the most value out of the “Era Guide” and “Recommended Starting Ideas”.

While I hope that veterans will learn a thing or two from the mechanics section, the idea lists should present a lot of value.

Balance changes happen often in Minds of Nations and the values in this guide may be out of date. The era of +11% fit for service modifiers is already over. If you find any discrepancies please message me on Discord (Berserk#9885) and I’ll update the guide.

Era Guide – by Argonaru
To grow a strong nation, you should approach the game as if it has six different eras:

1. First 100 years – Birth

Begin the game by exploring—then colonizing—as many provinces as possible. Provinces, if scouted, can give bonuses that may change the course of your growth. Potential bonuses are lost if a territory is not explored.

While souls may be confusing at first, know that noble souls generate the least amount of ideas. You should minimize their number by reducing the ‘noble soul length’ value to generate ideas faster in the future. The lower the value, the quicker they become ascetic and then freed souls, which each generate more idea points.

Ideas to target in this stage:

  • colonization speed
  • idea generation
  • cost reductions for idea categories that are larger than 20%
  • noble soul cycle length and common soul cycle length reductions

Go for ideas that provide large idea generation modifiers first. Don’t be afraid to choose ideas that give you a debuff of gold or food— there are a massive amount of ideas that buff those. Keep an eye on your balance of food though, if it runs out your population will start to die. Maintain a food supply that can feed at least 200% of your population. Check out the “Recommended Starting Ideas” section of the guide.

2. 100-200 years – Empire Formation

At this stage, you form the fundamental part of your nation’s territory. Do not colonize isolated provinces or provinces located on the edge of your landmass, you will have time to do that later. Expand to the center of your landmass to maximize your future conquest opportunities.

Colonization of provinces that are not connected to your territory takes longer. Use this knowledge tactfully. Avoid a situation where you will be cornered. Block the expansion of other nations. If someone is colonizing beside you, or trying to block, check when their colonization will finish. You may be able to beat them if the territory in question is closer to you. Do not block your potential allies. Leave paths open for them to expand towards conquest goals.

Along with decreasing your noble soul cycle length, also work on increasing population growth and research speed. Population and technology are what will bring you victory in wars.

Ideas to target in this stage:

  • colonization speed
  • population growth
  • noble soul cycle length and common soul cycle length
  • cost reduction for idea categories that are larger than 15%
  • research speed
3. 200-300 years – War Preparations

Begin preparing for war. Your population fit for service increases slowly, so prioritize raising your fit for service multiplier. Ideally you want to reach 50 – 60% before starting your warmongering, and keep raising it throughout the rest of the game until you hit the 100% cap. You should already have a good population growth modifier by now, turn your attention to the needs of the army.

If you are cornered, or you realize that you will be soon, send colonists to any unoccupied part of the continent. Regardless of whether or not you are cornered, send colonists to the small islands around the map. You should also begin finding friends, forming alliances. By the time the ‘peaceful context’ time is up, alliances will already be formed. Know that not all alliances are necessarily visible. Many will form secret alliances in order to surprise unsuspecting nations. Without allies, you will be an easy target.

Ideas to target in this stage:

  • population fit for service
  • population growth
  • noble soul cycle length and common soul cycle length reductions
  • cost reduction for idea categories >=10%
  • research speed
4. 300-450 years – Army Training

As you continue to increase your population fit for service, do not forget about the quality of your soldiers. Quantity advantage will serve you fine when fighting 1 or 2 nations, but if you are opposing an alliance capable of sending army after army, you will need strong soldiers.

You should also use this time to send colonists towards your allies, that way you’ll be able to spawn armies near them in the future wars. Identify conquest targets and use colonists to construct ‘land bridges’ towards them. You may also consider sending colonists to any other large landmass on the map. It’s always preferable to be able to spawn armies directly on a landmass rather than having to employ a navy.

Ideas to target this stage:

  • range dmg, melee dmg, charge dmg, defense, hp, morale
  • population fit for service
  • population growth
  • noble soul cycle length and common soul cycle length
  • research speed

5. 450-550 years – Purge of the Inactives

As soon as the peaceful context ends, immediately begin conquering inactive players. Prioritize target inactive player small islands, and clumps of inactive players on foreign landmasses. They will be hotly contested. Do not rush to attack active players, or even threaten them (remember they may have secret alliances). You can search for their username on the discord community group. Odds are if they are a veteran player, you’ll find them there. Be more cautious of such people. Take as much land as you can as fast as you can.

Be cautious about choosing military ideas that have a population growth debuff. They can be taken if absolutely necessary. If you truly need to gain a numbers advantage, -[military] -> how do we get soldiers -> permit woman- is useful. It is also useful if you are already a large empire with a large army where you win battles through numbers rather than quality.

6. 550-850 years – Wars of Supremacy

During this period, there will be major wars between large alliances vying for control. Strong nations will attack their neighbours and foreign landmasses relentlessly to gain territory and increase their strength. When a dominant force appears, it is vital that smaller alliances cooperate. The smaller alliances will need to put up a unified force or they will be crushed one by one. Whatever faction wins supremacy will remain dominant for the rest of the game barring any internal breakdowns and inactivity.

When the Wandering Scholars become available, with the offer of permanent peaceful context, some will take it and those who don’t will eventually be consumed by the dominant force. Generally, at the end of this period the game will be recognized as complete and most people will abandon it. Those who stay will be far less active. This does provide the opportunity for smaller nations to gain strength by eating inactive players, but with so few active players left the game does lose its charm.

Mechanics Part One
Counter-Sieging

If a hostile territory has been fully sieged and occupied by another nation, regardless of whether that other nation is allied, hostile, or neutral towards you, by attacking the occupied territory you can ‘counter-siege’ it. Essentially, you erase the other player’s occupation status and begin sieging it yourself from fresh. This can even be done if the other player’s army is still on the tile.

Distribution of Treaty Rewards

Congratulations! Three of your allies answered your call to war and you have finished sieging all tiles belonging to the enemy. Because you have control over every tile, when you sue for peace your treaty will be automatically selected. This is how the vast majority of wars end, so it is important that before starting the war you check the map for any enemy territory locations. Pay close attention to the small islands and, if they have any islands or are on multiple landmasses, ensure you have a navy prepared.

Depending on what cassus belli was used to initiate the war (I recommend territorial claim if possible, living space otherwise) you can claim up to three territories for yourself and two territories for your allies. That is two total territories for your allies, not two for each. Furthermore, only you—the main belligerent— can take resources as a reward.

To take territory in a peace treaty, the territory must be able to form a direct connection to your capital through your territory. This applies to territory awarded to allies. The tile in question must connect to your ally’s capital through your ally’s territory. The exception is if the territory desired is on a different landmass than your allies or your capital. In that case, the first territory taken on a new landmass acts as the local capital and future gains must connect to it. Colonization is not bound by this rule, only conquest gains. It is meant to balance PVP.

Colonization and Exploration

Colonizing is extremely important to growth. Whenever possible you should always begin colonizing as soon as your previous colonies are complete but be sure to explore first. Note that you receive a colonization speed boost on tiles adjacent to your territory, as well as for the first two tiles you colonize. You receive a speed penalty for every tile between your territory and the territory you want to colonize.

Exploring tiles allows you to (1) see the tiles population, mineral resources, field fertility, and revolt risk; (2) see any hidden colonization bonuses. With the exception of 1 tile distant islands, it is always worth exploring a tile before colonizing.

When colonizing tiles, I recommend following these priorities:

  1. Tiles with critical modifiers (-10% infant mortality, +5% ideas, -5% research time, etc)
  2. Strategic tiles
    a. Get 1 or 2 single tile islands
    b. Border claims (important early game, tells other civilization where you plan on making your future border and disincentives the land between you and your border claim)
    c. Land bridges to conquest goals

    d. Area denial (for example, if another player is one tile from forming a border connection with a third player, colonize that tile to prevent the player from being able to conquer the other player)
    e. Forward operations base (if you plan on colonizing a new area, begin by taking a central point in that area so future colonies receive a beside-territory speed bonus, you may also want to colonize a FOB near an ally if you are far from them)
  3. Tiles with minor modifiers (+5% morale, -20% exploration time, etc)
  4. Regular tiles

Land bridges are how you expand towards conquest targets as you require a direct connection to your local capital in order to claim territory through war. Your starting location, and the first territory you take on each landmass, serve as local capitals. Plan strategically to minimize the amount of colonizing you need to do to get to each target.

If you are colonizing a territory which required a navy to get to, when the colony is complete the settler will not automatically disband. You will need to manually delete the settler. Do not reuse the settler. There are, at present, bugs that result in settlers not receiving all colonization speed boost modifiers when reused.

Through ideas, it is possible to get territory-side colonization down to 30~ years. Through exploration bonuses you can drop it further. The lowest I have seen so far is 15 years / colony.

Rebellions

You will make your subjects angry. There is no two way about it, rebellions will start brewing. Luckily, you get plenty of notice about impending rebellions and can check their current status by clicking on one of your tiles and hovering over / tapping on the ‘revolts’ indicator.

In the tooltip that pops up, you can accept the rebel’s demands or pay them off to reduce rebellion progress by 50%. Later on you can adopt ideas that reduce and reverse peasant rebellion progress. For noble rebels, it is more efficient to accept their demands. You will lose 30% of your mineral resource’s income, but that really doesn’t matter. There are a variety of ideas that increase mineral resource income, and a lot of ideas that increase gold income in general. You can also take gold from other nations in treaties.

In the event the rebels form an army, peasant armies are easily crushed. Watch out for noble armies though, they have troops equivalent to your most advanced soldiers. Be sure to bring 4 – 6x as many equivalent troops to minimize manpower lost on your side. Do not lose manpower in battles against rebels, manpower is far too precious.

You receive buffs in battle for having 2x as many soldiers as the enemy, and for having 3x as many soldiers as the enemy.

Military

Your fit for service multiplier is an important stat to nurture. Unit stat modifiers are secondary to fit for service but are still important to develop. Hit points in particular should be developed.
When you create an army or navy, you can summon a great person to lead it. This is worth it if you are entering a large war and have the energy to spare. Prioritize great researchers first. The current army composition meta is 55% infantry, 10% ranged, 35% cavalry. For ranged, you can swap out archers for siege towers. Until you unlock longbowman, siege towers are more effective than any other ranged unit. Even once you have longbows you may still wish to keep using siege towers, especially if you have gone hard on hit points modifiers.

When you are sieging territories, there is a maximum amount of siege submission that can be induced each month. If hostile armies are not a risk, split your army into multiple stacks in order to siege multiple tiles at the same time.

Plan your military campaigns. Use cassus bellis that enable you to take three territories per war, then take territories that get you access to more territories. For example, in the below screenshot, if the blue nation on the left were to settle the territory marked with an X, they could initiate a chain of wars that would enable them to quickly take 16 tiles (politics permitting).

After 50 years blue nation would be able to do it again.

Astral Probes

Astral Probes can be sent to foreign territories in order to spy on the tile, and for a chance at stealing souls from said tile. Souls are valuable for gaining idea point generation. Using the astral probe counts towards your non-military unit cap.

They are not worth using while there are still tiles to colonize.

Mechanics Part Two
Technology

Technology is king. Whoever has the best tech wins. If the enemy has more advanced troops than you do not waste your manpower fighting them. Peace out. The number of troops you will need to field to win is ridiculous. For example, 1 000 triremes will lose against 30 quadriremes. Similarly, you can deploy a million decent soldiers against noble rebel’s 50 000 elite soldiers and your army will be slaughtered. Technology is king.

If you’re planning on going to war and are almost done finishing some technologies that unlock new troops, wait for them. When you see enemy navies or armies it is worth clicking on them to get an idea of your potential opposition’s tech levels.

There are a variety of ideas you can grab to reduce overall research time, as well as specific research times. There are also some ideas that are important to grab but increase research time, don’t be worried about those, just ensure the trade off is worth it. A prime example would be -[Education] -> who teaches -> Employees of the state- which is +4% governance ideas, +10% day to day ideas, but also +1% research duration. That also unlocks another great idea, -what happens if a child is not studying -> child is taken and enrolled in the army-, +5% fit for service, +10% day to day ideas, but +4% research duration. The trade off is worth it.

Another important facet to research is great beings. These are great people you can spend energy to recruit that modify research time by up to -13%. There are a handful of ideas that increase the amount of great person slots. Ensuring all your great person slots are filled is paramount to remaining competitive in technology. Whether by design or through bugs, slots do empty overtime so check them periodically.

Energy

Energy is used for recruiting great people, purchasing stories, and purchasing energy-based ideas. While there are no ideas that modify energy income, there are ideas that modify the cost of energy-based ideas (mostly in Spiritual Methods), and it is possible to find +10% energy modifiers through exploration.

Energy income is based on:

  • Province count (only your first 40 provinces contribute to energy)
  • Peaceful years
  • Number of recent casualties suffered
  • Number of recent casualties caused to others
  • Number of players bordering your territory
  • Bonus from wonders, stories

Stories are event chains that can lead to both positive and negative modifiers. If you have spare energy, they can be worth purchasing but are not a priority. It is also possible to randomly begin a story chain each year though extremely unlikely.

Call to War

Mind of Nations is a game of politics. A nation without alliances and defensive pacts will be invaded. If your neighbour refuses to sign a non-aggression pact with you, they will be invading you. Managing your treaties is important to launching safe wars, as is understanding the unexplained mechanics of treaties.

Note: in the following descriptions “declare war” is synonymous with “enter war” when one of the treaty members is the main aggressor or defender.

Vassals

By becoming a vassal, you are giving control over your diplomacy to another. If your suzerain enters a war, aggressive or defensive, you enter the war. If someone declares war on you, they declare war on your suzerain. While you should not become a vassal lightly, it can be a smart play.

Military Alliance

Entering a military alliance restricts the ability to declare war on one another. It also derestricts the ability to call one another into a defensive or aggressive war. Call to war can be ignored or declined.

Dissolving a military alliance creates a 244-year truce.

Defensive Pact

Entering a defensive pact restricts the ability to declare war on one another. It also derestricts the ability to call one another into a defensive war. Call to war can be ignored or declined.

Dissolving a defensive pact creates a 244-year truce.

Non-Aggression Pact

Entering a non-aggression pact restricts the ability to declare war on one another.

Dissolving a non-aggression pact creates a 144-year truce.

Truce

Entering a truce restricts the ability to declare war on one another.

Consequences

Carefully managing these treaties is key. Read the note above the descriptions carefully and you should be able to start understanding the consequences of treaties.

Let us say that I declare war on the Great Nation. We are both allied with Melwood. Melwood can not accept either of our calls to war.

Let us say that I declare war on the Great Nation. I send the Order a call to war. The Order has a non-aggression pact with the Great Nation. They cannot accept the call to war.

Let us say that I declare war on the Great Nation. I have a non-aggression pact with Pike, and Pike is allied with the Great Nation. The Great Nation sends Pike a call to war. Pike cannot accept the call to war.

Let us say that I declare war on the Great Nation. The Great Nation is allied with Xana. I am allied with Texas. Xana and Texas are allied with each other. I send Texas a call to war, Great Nations sends Xana a call to war. Both nations accept the call to war.

I end my war with Great Nation and enter a 50-year truce. I declare war on Bunnicula. Bunnicula is allied with Great Nation and sends a call to war. Great Nations cannot accept the call to war.
Manipulating these restrictions is how you defeat alliances stronger than your own. Maneuver into a position where part of the enemy alliance is unable to engage you in war.

A Path Cannot be Found

Ordinarily, if you try to move a unit to a tile that cannot be reached without passing through neutral or hostile territory, you will receive an error saying no path found. This error can be remedied by selecting your unit, shift clicking on each of the neutral or hostile territories, and then clicking your final destination.

This is often used for moving through nations that have encircled you, for moving to war goals on the other side of a nation, and for moving your armies back to your territory after a war has ended leaving them stranded in the other nations land.

If you are trying to get to another landmass, you’ll need to use a navy.

Recommended Starting Ideas – by Rigan
To efficiently grow your empire’s culture, it is recommended to focus on ideas that:

1. Target large idea point generation modifiers
2. Decrease colonization time
3. Increase population growth percentage
4. Increase fit for service percentage
5. Increase children per woman modifier
6. Increase army quality (prioritize health first)

The following is a suggested list of ideas and the order in which to acquire them.

Spiritual Methods

1. [Insight meditation] -> Stages of Purification -> Conduct (+20% day to day ideas)
2. [Virtue, Body] -> Physical Training 1 -> Mystery of breathing (+10% pop growth)
3. [Virtue, Body] -> Physical Training 2 -> Conscious Pore Breathing (+10% pop growth)
4. [Other Meditations] -> Six dharmas -> Inner Fire [Tummo] (+10% pop growth)
5. (optional) [Other Meditations] – > get all ‘senses involved’ -> Anything can become a gate -> 112 meditation techniques of Shiva (+10% spiritual ideas)

Governance Ideas

Industry and Environment
1. How do we avoid environment degradation -> rammed earth
2. How do we deal with overgrazing? -> herd owners

Economy
3. How do we avoid a single entity controlling too much wealth and power -> Inheritance ban
4. Economy -> Currency accepted -> pegged to nothing (get others later) -> who decides – > leadership or every new decade a person survives-> based on what -> based on the number of people not involved in agriculture

Religion
5. Does the state help this institution get more converts -> Yes! The institution does not pay taxes (reduces cost of religious ideas by 80%)
6. Theistic position -> Monotheistic (This is one of the best ideas in the game, do not skip it)
7. View of reincarnation and after life -> reincarnation doesn’t exist
Industry and environment
8. Industry and environment -> How do we avoid environment degradation -> rammed earth
9. Industry and environment -> How do we deal with overgrazing? -> herd owners

Who Leads
10. Who leads -> How do we avoid disconnect… -> Limit political life (Yearly day-to-day ideas +10%, Yearly governance ideas +4%)

Education
11. Who teaches -> Employees of the state -> What happens if the child is not studying -> child is taken to the army
12. Foreign policy -> Which people become our citizens -> By request of nomads (+5% fit for service)

Day to Day Ideas

1. Colonization duration ideas -> see “Colonization Speed Boosts”
2. Animal based pop growth -> see “Population Growth Ideas” tagged [Animals] (ensure you have herd owners first, otherwise temporarily bypass this)
3. Population growth ideas -> see “Population Growth Ideas” (if you have picked up any large modifiers, such as one of the -17% sanitation cost modifiers, start there)
4. Traditionally, when is a girl considered a woman and can be married off -> After blood
5. Traditionally, when is a boy considered a man can be married off -> After puberty

Construction Priorities – by Rigan
After colonizing a territory, it is important to begin upgrading that territory. Additionally, check that newly conquered territories are fully upgraded and, if they are not, upgrade them.

Construction priorities are as follows:

  1. Riverine Channels
  2. Specialized Villages
  3. Imperial Highways
  4. Service Buildings

After service buildings you can finish the upgrades in any order.

Military Cap Ideas – by Grandmaster Iskander
While not initially important, once you begin expanding you will find yourself quickly hitting your military cap. You can only have 3 armies and navies at a time initially. As the game goes on and you begin fighting simultaneous wars, grow your military cap as needed.

Government Ideas
• [Economy] -> How do we avoid a single entity controlling too much wealth and power -> Ever increasing community service based on wealth
• [Industry and environment] -> How do we deal with overgrazing -> Mandate nomadic lifestyle for herdowner
• [Foreign Policy] -> Which people can become our citizens -> War refugees
• [Military] -> How do we improve our military prowess -> Standing army
• [Military] -> How do we improve our military prowess -> Military hunts and camps near major villages
• [Regional Administration] -> How is the regional leadership selected -> When a region is conquered or colonized – keep local rulers as regional administrators
• [Regional Administration] -> Services offered -> Police / order

Day to Day Ideas
• [Diet] -> Traditionally, what food is consumed -> Ovo-lacto-vegetarian
• [Childcare] -> Games -> “Sovereign’s loyal wolves and the traitors”

Population Growth Ideas – by von Wallenkirsch
This is a complete list of all present ideas in the game that boost population growth. In total, a nation can currently receive a +287% population growth modifier.

Spiritual Methods

Virtue, Body
• Physical training 1 -> Mystery of Breathing (+10% pop growth)
• Physical training 2 -> Conscious pore breathing (+10% pop growth)
Reflections
• on Virtue -> Examine the easiness of a life without deceit (+10% pop growth)
Other Meditations
• Six dharmas -> Inner Fire Tummo (+10% pop growth)

Governance Ideas

Economy
• Currency accepted ->Money we made->who decides…->when someone is born… (+7% pop growth, children per woman + 1.0)
Industry and Environment
• How do we avoid environment…->Encourage rammed… (+10% pop growth, -18% cost for sanitation options)

Education
• what do we want our people…-> health (+10% pop growth)

Military
• how do we avoid… -> soldiers can bring their families (+10% pop growth)
• how do we avoid… -> prostitutes (+10% pop growth)

Regional Administration
• Services offered -> health (+10% pop growth)

Day to Day Ideas

Animals
• which animals are worshipped -> cattle (+10% pop growth)
• which animals are skinned -> cattle (+10% pop growth)
• which animals are skinned -> bears (+10% pop growth)
• which animals are skinned -> goats (+10% pop growth)
• which animals are skinned -> sheep (+10% pop growth)
• which animals are skinned -> mustelids (+2% pop growth)

Clothing
• clothing in warm-> nakedness (+10% pop growth)

Childcare
• the child [13-19] -> take care of his older relatives (+10% pop growth)

Social
• ceremonies -> Marriages (+10% pop growth)
• ceremonies -> anniversaries (+2% pop growth)

Family
• is sex before marriage accepted -> yes, for men (+4% pop growth)
• is sex before marriage accepted -> yes, for women (+2% pop growth)
• who is expected to help… -> man’s family (+10% pop growth)
• when is divorce granted -> Never (+10% pop growth)

Sanitation
• washing habits in winter -> Daily (+10% pop growth)
• washing habits in summer -> Daily (+10% pop growth)
• toilet culture -> Public baths (+10% pop growth)
• toilet culture -> far away river via aqueducts… (+10% pop growth)
• after going to the toilet -> wash (+10% pop growth)
• as a social gathering -> Public baths (+10% pop growth)
• as a social gathering -> natural springs (+10% pop growth)
• teeth brushing -> after every meal (+10% pop growth)

Research Ideas – by von Wallenkirsch
Spiritual Methods

Reflections
• on immortality -> The talents of some people… (-20% cost for researchers)
• on immortality -> Reaching out to the oldest… (-1% research duration)
Insight Meditation
• Stages of Purification -> Purification of Conduct (20% day to day ideas)

Governance Ideas

Economy
• Currency accepted… -> Money we made -> who decides… -> ??? -> based on what -> something else devised by our scientists (-1% research duration)
Education
• how are things thought -> insist upon practicality (-1% research duration)
• who is obligated to study -> Children into teenager (-1% research duration)
• who is obligated to study -> Teenagers into adulthood (-1% research duration)

Military
• how do we improve -> standing army (-1% research duration)
Institutionalized Religion
• Charitable endeavours (-2% research duration)

Day to Day Ideas

Animals
• which animals are worshipped -> cats (-1% research duration)

Clothing
• clothing in cold -> the more complex (-1% research duration)

Currency
• How is spare currency spent -> in what -> new ideas (-1% research duration)

Childcare
• the child [6-12] -> study and learn (-1% research duration)
• how is it socially acceptable -> Clam voice -> (-1% research duration)
• when is a child expected to leave the household -> after finishing the educational -> (-1% research duration)
• games->The kid who answered all (-1% research duration)

Social
• social alcohol drinking -> abstinence (-1% research duration. +8% governance ideas)

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