It is possible to live a peaceful life on Aegis! Not all provinces are aggressive as they do not need to directly attack other players to gain resources for growth. These provinces normally produce all the resources they need and have a terrific economic system that turns the wheels of growth for them.
These economic powerhouses are potential targets for the not so fortunate, defense is imperative. A province who chooses not to make a regular habit out of attacking others, will need to host an army appropriate for its size. This army will mostly be defensive but as the saying goes, the best form of defense is attack. If an attacker knows you cannot hit back he may become relentless in his attacks and eventually your walls and city will crumble under his persistence.
It is important to choose your troop types wisely. Select highly trained troops like phalanx or pikemen which will give any enemy a run for their money in the defense field. Unfortunately these troops need a training ground but this should not be a problem for a large well constructed city. Other forms of defensive troops are also available for smaller less developed kingdoms which will surely fit all needs. Sometimes it is wise to select troops that can be used for both defensive and offensive action, but these troops are naturally more expensive and cost is of importance.
A city with a strong economy can always opt to have a small but well trained defensive army and supplement their ranks with mercenaries in time of need. Mercenaries become the strong arm of prosperous rich cities. Any city with a good gold account can call on these instant armies of destruction. Mercenaries will come to the aid of those who pay, but at an outrageous price.
A mercenary troop must be paid their fee in advance and every turn after that. They will perform a basic service of protection and will defend your city against attacks like your regular troops. If you wish for mercenaries to take part in an attack you must pay half their fee per attack.
A prosperous city must always have strong walls to protect it. A city without walls is easy pickings for marauders. A city wall will deter the strongest of armies as these usually mean heavy losses and time. A player who decides to build up his walls, will need a good supply of stone. Walls are classified into 5 types; Breached(No wall), Complete, Strong, Robust and impenetrable. Each type of wall is stronger than the last and will require more and more stone to build. Each type of wall multiplies your defense force so the effects of defending from behind a wall can prove catastrophic to an enemy. A small force can defend from a much larger force when walls are present. Having walls has the additional advantage that the enemy cannot enter your city even if he wins the battle and thus cannot gain war loot like gold, land or slaves until your walls are breached.
An attacker who does not field siege engines cannot damage your walls so effectively an attack without siege engines will end in no gain for an attacker. Siege engines damage your walls upon each attack. They destroy sections of wall until your city falls breached or there are no walls left standing. Usually it takes quite a few attacks before any results are obtained and your walls are breached.
A province may also build towers as an extra form of defense. A city wall with towers will cause casualties amongst the enemy regardless of the size or how the battle turns out. Towers are especially good at knocking out enemy siege engines although this is never guaranteed.
In brief, the future of a good defender is dependant on his army and above all -- the state of his city walls. A good economy is also required to grow and in the event of needing a helping hand, you can always convince mercenaries to join your cause with gold.