Okay since nobling is here and you getting close to that big second village its time to start looking for room to expand. But which villages are the best villages? What do you noble and what do you keep as farms? Do you noble close or far? Is it worth clearing that village for nobling?
First of all you need to get the noble and understand how to use it. I assume everybody figured it out from the help files, but here it is again:
lvl 20 HQ
lvl 20 Smithy
lvl 10 Market
Then you can build your acad, and after that a coin or package, and last your noble.
Now that you have a noble you need a target. First you normally shouldn't noble on of your farms for your first target. What makes a good farm and what makes a good noble target are 2 different things. A good farm has high resources, a good noble target has good troop production. What you’re looking for isn't "the complete package". Your target village may have low mines, or bad farm, or similar and still be a good target. What you are looking for is a village that can be another troop production site so that you can pump the troops even faster. You can make it into a good village later.
So as you’re looking around at scouting reports you’re looking for villages with higher stables and barracks. Smithy and Farm are also important. HQ and Mines are helpful, but can be rather low without hurting you bad. These are the biggest factor in determining a good second village. You should be farming enough so that you can push the village from you other until you can get your resources and farming in your second village under way, but you need troops ASAP, for farming and countering outside threats.
You’re most vulnerable at this stage, right after nobling your second village. You just put a huge investment into getting that second village and likely lost a significant portion of your troops obtaining it. Further your troops are now spread between 2 villages, even though you only have 1 village with an army. This is why you want a military stronghold for a second village rather than a resource haven. Plus if your farming correctly you should be getting most of the resources back that way even though it’s not under your banner, so nobling it wouldn't really help you much.
Keeping this in mind you need to be careful who you target if you go after an active player. (Note: you only really have the option of going after an inactive player in TW 4.0 because of the growing abandons. If you are playing other settings your first noble should always be an active player.)
In attacking an active player you need to be wary of him and his neighbors. Figure out how many tribe mates he has in the area, there is a chance that several of them may support him/her during this. Also if you get a feeling for his activity level and log in pattern you can use that against him to get the drop on him/her. Also proximity has a huge place. If s/he is close (1-3 fields) you will be able to move fast and could take them out before they know what happened. It they are on the edge of your 13x13, good luck you could be in for a fight. Remember each field your target is away is another 60-90 mins that EACH attack is going to take you. That’s not only more time for support to arrive, but also the natural regeneration of loyalty that you will have to fight against further prolonging the effort. Also you need to consider the troop cost. Nobling an active player often requires you to clear a significant amount of troops(else he should already be a farm).
You need to be careful you can handle the losses and weight them against the possibility of support. Use the simulator and make a smart decision here. It’s not uncommon to be nobling on player and turn yourself into a noble target because you tried to take on too much and killed your troop count. I have seen many a player clear a good noble target to have support come in a finish off his decimated troops, or be nobled up or farmed right after nobling their second village because they didn't have anything left. Also don't forget these are your farming troops that are getting killed here, you must be careful not to kill them all else your farming is over. There is no magic number, weight the activity level of your region and your threats. Where in one case I might allow for 50% or even 75% casualties in another scenario 25% or 20% might be too much to pay. Like always, doing it "right" doesn't always lead to success.
There are mainly 2 routes of nobling in TW, train and wave. Train is the standard method and involves sending 4-5 nobles in very short succession to take a village loyalty from 100% to yours as quick as possible. The other, wave method, involves sending noble(s) multiple times to work the loyalty down and take more villages at once. Each have there advantages and disadvantages. Each has its place and can be very effective used correctly.
+ Quick, little time for support to counter
+ With great timing and coordination very difficult to counter
+ Focuses your attack so you can concentrate your nukes
+ Effective at any distance
- Easily identified
- Improper timing can render ineffective
- Offers opportunity to “bounce” D to target nobles
- Requires more nobles
+ Fewer nobles needed
+ Not as easily identified
+ Spreads the D over more villages
+ Doesn’t need as exact timing
+ Works with morale
- Takes more time, allowing for mass support to counter
- Only effective short range
- Spreads your offense over more villages
- Requires you to be online longer as you need to repeatedly launch armies/nobles