Well, I would advise not building more units than what you can reliably handle with your resources.
Exploration will reveal more points of interest that give more resources – typically for 12 turns, but some of them are permanent.
When you get some of them, an apprentice can build a lodge to collect those resources, and so long as you’re continuously exploring you’ll have some new places to plop down new lodges.
The main tower itself is also mobile, so scouting for a place with lots of permanent resources spots and relocating there isn’t a bad idea either.
Don’t rush your mage tower past tier 2 upgrade. at tower 3 you will basically enter a state of permanent war with almost every other mages.
For your army economy, basically use most of your Flow to mana …
Setup your tower/lodge around areas with permanent sources of gold or mana (either, since you can convert one to the other at any time) so more is better, regardless of which.
For armies, try to run with as many “no cost” units as possible, some can be bough for an initial cost in town, but require no more sustain past the initial buy.
They tend to be weaker, but with a hero, and after a few levels, they can be quite competent for simple stuff.
You can eventually get “slaves” units as well… they will lose 20% stats but they will always be free of sustain, again here, some town actually sell slaves units.
Had a town selling slaved monsters, and at t3 they were selling spider queen.. and it was no joke as it had permanent vampirism on her attacks.
If you can get slaver units from the weekly events it’s a good thing to have.
Find a place to recruit more apprentices, get them to place a lodge in a resource dense area, recruit more of them as soon as your tower level allows ( i think its +1 apprentice per tower tier) so you should have 4 by tier 3, with lodge.
XP those apprentices, one of the upgrade they can get is +1 to the area of control for their lodge. so you can get more resources.
If you have a big overflow of mana, consider summon creature, the wisps are some of the best cost effective summon you can get for anything doing physical damage because of their innate -50% damage taken.
The other summon pretty much depends on your starting main school your picked.
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