Militia in Defense

Militia4In the latest version of the game, the militia is introduced earlier in the game.  The best part? It is free to build and gives you some free units.

You get 20 per farm level and a maximum of 300 over the life of the village. Of course, they do have an opportunity cost, if not a building cost.  They last 6 hours, and are not mobile between villages. During this time, they cost you about 3 hours of mine production, reducing all your mines income by half during these 6 hours. But don’t be dismayed; it can still be very cheap to afford, especially early on while you have low mine levels.  They also are good early defense, as they can do a lot of damage to attacking units who attempt to farm you.

Strategically, this unit is pretty new and a relative question mark.  Besides  a few speculations about benefits of sniping with militia, no real tactics or strategies incorporate the militia. In some instances, you benefit more from the resources, especially if you are really active, than you would from the militia.  It is best to use it if you have an attacker approaching and little time to build troops. Use them wisely!

Countering Backtimes and Anti-Backtimes Strategies

BacktimingThough backtiming can be crippling, there are tactics to avoid being backtimed, or to counteract it when you are.

  • You use a few catapults, or cats (10-25 usually does the job) with your attack, and you destroy his rally point. This way, he can’t keep sending troops back to you right away. Of course, if he backtimes you with only axes, your choices are more limited.
  • Time more catapults to destroy the rally point; this is your best option if he is online 24 hours a day (you can try catching him offline, if he is really near you).
  • If he continues to backtime you despite avoidance tactics, you can also try a counter-backtime.

Another strategy to protect your own ability to backtime your enemy is demolishing your own rally point (you need a HQ lvl15 at least). Time the reconstruction to finish just after the scheduled attack, thus preventing your opponent from knocking down your rally point when you need it. Make sure to dodge troops before demolishing your rally point.

For more information on backtiming and all the strategies surrounding it, search on the guide section or mail other more experienced players. These kinds of strategies are advanced and are used by really experienced players.

 

Early Defensive Strategy

DefensiveThere are some low-cost tactics for defending your village in early stages.

  • Guess the incoming troops by comparing the walking speed of the units and the total traveling speed, which will reflect the slowest speed of the units (usually the rams or catapults), and upgrade defenses accordingly. This is easier if you have a premium account, although it is still doable on non premium accounts.   
  • Check attacks IDs (check this thread for more information).
  •  Once you think you know what is coming, dodge the attack.  Dodging means sending your troops elsewhere during the attack to avoid losses.
  • Spend your resources on troop upgrades \or send them to your farm; often, players send their troops and their resources to the same barbarian village. Your wall will damage his troops and the attacker suffers damage, while yours is minimal and you don’t get farmed.

After that, try a tactic called backtiming.  Time your dodge so your troops return as soon as possible after the enemy attack, and counter attack with troops that have the same or better walking speed.   Use it against offensive players, since you can kill their troops with very few losses. You can also time an attack to land when his own troops are returning; he will not have properly estimated the fire power needed to overtake you, and will suffer heavy losses.


If you are facing a noble train, you probably have no other defensive choice than both sniping and backtiming your opponent. Sniping is having troops either returning home or being sent in to support one of your villages (by tribemates, for example) after the first of the 4-5 noble attack but blocking the other ones. If you manage to hit the nobles with a backtime, it can guarantee your survival against this player.

 

Demolishing Strategy

Wrecking ballDemolishing as a strategy is rarely used, but becomes more popular while the world expands. To employ this strategy, demolish your own buildings temporarily when your farm capacity is full and you want to continue produce troops.

Sometimes, you can free up farm space faster by demolishing a few buildings than waiting for your farm to upgrade another level. You can then queue also a farm level after and rebuild your demolished buildings.

Usually, demolishing is a counterproductive strategy, but occasionally makes sense as noted above, especially later in the game. A good example of a smart use of demolishing is the market; if you frequently use your market and needed to level it up earlier in the game and have since moved on to another strategy, lowering it a few levels can free up a few villagers to become soldiers.

Another strategy for demolition, especially for those who want to demolish faster, is to cat themselves and leveling down several buildings at once. They can continue to grow their village by building new buildings instead of demolishing old ones.

Demolishing isn’t always a smart strategy, but it can work in specific situations so make sure that you consider your options carefully.  Pay special attention to incoming attacks and how long downgrading/upgrading will take you, and the resources consumed during the process.

Defense After Beginner Protection

DefenseIn early stages, most players focus on offensive growth and farming.  Keep in mind that while growth is important, it will matter very little if you can’t defend yourself.  You don’t want to neglect the defenses of your new village.

Building defense units like swords or archers doesn’t boost growth, which is why many players neglect them early on. If you are able to keep your stable working 24 hours a day (see 24h 7d), and you do not need axes for any clearing task, build spears to increase your farming capacity. Spears are defensive units but are used to farm like any other units.

All troops should be out farming, even defensive troops. Many players keep their troops at home for defense, but defensive troops are also good farmers and should be used for dual purpose whenever possible.

The key to building a good defense is anticipating your opponent. Spears are good versus cavalry, swords against axes and archers are a good universal gift card. A diverse defense is stronger, so make sure you have good variety.

The requirement for swords, the earliest available defensive unit, is a Smithy level 1.  For archers you need Barracks level 5 and Smithy level 5.

Early Defense Strategy with Archers

In order to properly set yourself up for a defensive strategy, make sure you have completed the necessary upgrades.

ArcherFor the Barracks:

  • Barracks level 2
  • Barracks level 3
  • Barracks level 4
  • Barracks level 5

The Smithy will need:

  • Smithy level 2
  • Smithy level 3
  • Smithy level 4
  • Smithy level 5

And finally:

  • Research archers
  • Wall level 1 to 7-8

Build as many archers as you want (you can decide for yourself, there is no right number- but if you have had success with this, please let us know how many you built). If you are playing as a Turtle, use this defensive strategy on archer worlds and mix it with the Light cavalry addition.

In a long beginner protection, this is a good alternative for defensive players, and still lets you use the light cavalry strategy, which is a good approach if you want a mixed offensive/defensive strategy.

Note that there is no specific order for upgrading the Smithy and Barracks levels. Often, experienced players will weigh their options, and will upgrade the Smithy if they know they won’t have the resources to queue more buildings for quite some time, or Barracks levels if they know they have the resources to keep their HQ working. Building the Barracks first allows you to produce soldiers faster but you may end up low on resources. From what I know, this tactic is really rare even if with common sense many players would know how to do it.

Simple Defense Template

Troops2

No matter your nobling strategy, you must be able to defend your existing villages, and your new village once you win it.  Here are a few suggestions:

Build 1

  • Spear Fighter 10000
  • Swordsman 10000
  • Scouts 500

This build is the best in terms of defense per farm space, and can easily take out a full nuke on its own. The downside is it takes 45 days to build with a level 25 barracks (on a speed 1 world), so it’s very time-consuming. Also, this build takes a long time to move around to support villages, so keep your villages clustered.

Build 2

  • Spear Fighter 8000
  • Heavy Cavalry 2000
  • Scouts 500

This is a popular defensive choice, as it takes far less time to build than a foot defense, just 17 days. You sacrifice 20% of your troop’s effectiveness from a foot defense for a faster building time, and a quicker supporting ability.

Build 3

  • Spear Fighter 7000
  • Swordsman 7000
  • Heavy Cavalry 1000
  • Scouts 500

This is also a fairly popular defensive build, as it takes 31 days, which is approximately 2/3 of the time required to build a foot defense. This build is good for axe heavy nukes, but less effective for cavalry heavy ones.

Defense Builds

InfantryOnly Infantry – [1 : 1.3 : 1]

  • Spears: 6.200
  • Swords: 8.000
  • Archers: 6.200
    • General Defense – 98%
    • Cavalry Defense – 98%
    • Defense Archer – 97%
    • Farm space: 20.400

* very good defense configuration against all type of units
* recruitment and support is very slow
* this configuration will need a lot of wood

 

Only Infantry – [1 : 2 : 2]

  • Spears: 4.400
  • Swords: 8.000
  • Archers: 8.000
    • General Defense – 106%
    • Cavalry Defense – 96%
    • Defense Archer – 92%
    • Farm space: 20.400

* very good defense configuration against axes
* recruitment and support is very slow
* this configuration will need a lot of wood

Only Infantry – [2 : 2 : 1]

  • Spears: 8.000
  • Swords: 8.000
  • Archers: 4.400
    • General Defense – 91%
    • Cavalry Defense – 99%
    • Defense Archer – 103%
    • Farm space: 20.400

* very good defense configuration against light cavalry and mounted archers
* recruitment and support is very slow
* this configuration will need a lot of wood

Infantry2

Only Infantry – [1 : 1 : 1]

  • Spears: 6.800
  • Swords: 6.800
  • Archers:6.800
    • General Defense – 96%
    • Cavalry Defense – 103%
    • Defense Archer – 90%
    • Farm space: 20.400

* very good defense configuration against light cavalry
* recruitment and support is very slow
* this configuration will need a lot of wood

Infantry and Cavalry – [1 : 1 : 1 and 0.07]

  • Spears: 6.000
  • Swords: 6.000
  • Archers: 6.000
  • Heavy Cavalry: 400
    • General Defense – 94%
    • Cavalry Defense – 95%
    • Defense Archer – 94%
    • Farm space: 20.400

* good defense configuration against all units
* recruitment and support is more or less slow
* this configuration will need more wood then iron

Infantry and Cavalry – [2 : 1 : 2 and 0.3]

  • Spears: 6.000
  • Swords: 3.000
  • Archers:6.000
  • Heavy Cavalry: 900
    • General Defense – 88%
    • Cavalry Defense – 95%
    • Defense Archer – 88%
    • Farm space: 20.400

* good defense configuration against light cavalry
* recruitment and support is fast
* for this configuration wood = iron

Infantry and Cavalry – [2.5 : 1 : 2.5 and 0.7]

  • Spears: 5.000
  • Swords: 2.000
  • Archers:5.000
  • Heavy Cavalry: 1.400
    • General Defense – 86%
    • Cavalry Defense – 86%
    • Defense Archer – 93%
    • Farm space: 20.400

* good defense configuration against mounted archers
* recruitment and support is very fast
* this configuration will need a lot of iron

In peace time you could choose to make defenses only using “Infantry” since they are most powerful; however in war time it will be difficult to make defensive armies at the same rate as offensive armies.

Types of Incoming Attacks

AttackThere are three basic kinds of fake attacks, used with different intentions.

Swarm Fake:

Swarm Fake’s main purpose is to confuse and overwhelm the opponent with 10-500 attacks incoming from a tribe. Swarm Fakes are usually launched 1 or 4 from a village (4 may be mistaken for nobles from a larger village) by everyone in the tribe from every village.  They are launched 1-5 hours before a main assault begins.

Swarm is a fake attack of scouts and 1 ram or cat. Since they move slowly they may be mistaken for an actual offensive attack.

Decoy:

These are fakes are precision-timed and focus on large villages, and are timed to land as if they were an assault. Decoys usually are similar to Swarm Fakes (scouts and a ram/cat) but aren’t launched randomly before an attack. Decoy Fakes are launched on targets that have more than one large village to hopefully have the target spread his def troops too thin or defend the wrong village in an assault.

Fanged Attacks:

Fanged attacks are by far the most advanced and evil fake; these are launched to land immediately after a large scale attack. They focus on villages that have already been hit by “nukes” or other clearing forces.

These fakes are usually used:

  • Against large targets that will take a while to defeat or
  • in a large scale war when the target is member of an enemy tribe especially
  • if you do not have enough nobles available to rim him.

Fanged Fakes usually consist of scouts and cats. They are sent in after an offensive army to mimic nobles, but instead demolish buildings (usually farms).  This way, troops that have been killed cannot be rebuilt quickly, leaving the target vulnerable and unable to send help to his tribe mates.

Learn these well. They are the second most important thing, after timing, to winning against skilled opponents.

Note: If it is Ram/Cat speed, always leave some troops to kill it off.

 

Defending

VillageThere are several ways to defend; you will need to master all of them to survive against the upper echelons.

Stacking is the most fundamental skill in defense, and also one of the most effective. This is supporting villages under attack in an effort to kill the attacking armies. Make sure to move in enough defensive troops to do the job, and select villages that are well-located.

When requesting stacking, it’s so important to post attack times when you’re requesting support, and check the travel times/unit types.

When you’re stacking you should avoid:

  • Defending villages that don’t have full walls or at least level 15+ (support requests should mention this also).
  • Defending a village with less than 30k population of defensive units.
  • Defending with just Heavy Cavalry support (do this only to avoid being nobled).
  • Using offensive units to defend.
  • Defending remote villages.

The goal with stacking is to maximize your opponent losses while minimizing your own.  Defending villages, unlike attacking, allow you to amass armies as large as you want. Remember that the more defense you can get to support you, the fewer casualties you will take. When you’re playing defense, it’s all about conserving troops which stacking allows you to do very effectively.

Blocking/bouncing nobles is a defensive method that is a far step up from simply stacking and often requires very exact timing and planning. You must be able to mark incoming or this method will fail you. Your goal here is not to kill the offensive armies, but to dodge and just defend against the nobles. This is a very risky strategy but can be used to buy time if you need to hold out for a while longer and have low troop counts.

Mark the incoming nuke and noble speed attacks so that you can dodge defense in between the clearing and noble attacks. This works because nobles (especially the middle nobles of a train) often have small escorts which make them for very easy targets and if the nobles don’t survive the counterattack, no loyalty is lost.

Your villages are likely to have the walls destroyed, which makes any future defensive efforts very risky.

NoblesFurther, to employ this method your account must be watched 24/7 to avoid becoming a sitting duck.

Additionally there is always the possibility that those nobles could be escorted by a full nuke which will render most any defense useless with the loss of the wall. See my Noble train guide.

Counter attacking/back-timing is important because if you are constantly on the defense you can never bounce back. You can use your offense to actually effectively defend yourself by targeting enemy offenses.

First step is to identify which villages are offensive and which are defensive. Next, nuke the offensive villages to take out their nukes while they are at home. It’s the best and most effective way to cripple your opponent. The catch is that they can dodge your attack, but the best way to ensure that this isn’t the case is to time your offense to arrive immediately after the target nuke returns home.

Re-nobling your own villages is the most unorthodox defensive methods, but one of the most effective. You purposely allow your village to fall into enemy hands or even pre-noble it to make it “easier” for them. The goal is to make the enemy take the village, spending the noble, then repeatedly re-noble his new village over and over again, before taking it back again.

Your enemy spends his nobles, wasting the packages that they cost to build. Eventually, you can turn their own troops against them as they repeatedly attack and re-noble themselves, wasting nobles and resources along the way.

Risks include:

  • If you are using this method, be sure that all the troops of the village are used, or else you will lose them without a fight when the village is nobled.
  • The costs of the renobling the village on a package world as well.
  • When the village is out of your control you will take a dive in points, lowering morale.
  • You will need to renoble quickly (within seconds if possible) or you may lose troops and loyalty. Like so many of the defensive methods, timing is key.

This option is best used when it’s a train targeting an offensive village (so you can use those troops on an enemy before nobling) and you can’t arrange at least 20k of support in time – or more if the clearing wave/s are from villages different from the noble train. Your own nobles should reduce the loyalty to below 20 when the enemy attacks hit. If there are clearing waves from separate villages in front of the actual train, you should try to get in an attack between his 1st and 2nd noble so you kill the clearing wave and the enemy repeatedly re-nobles his own village. This will be hard if it’s a well-timed train, of course.

Regardless, your counter-attack should arrive within a few seconds of the enemy’s last noble, since a good opponent will have support timed to arrive not long after the conquest. Try to send the usual clearing wave then nuke+noble combo, in case the enemy nobled from a defensive village with support accompanying the last noble.