I realize there are a lot of guide's and posts on medal farming. The high level servers seem to be the hardest servers to get medals on. Most people claim about a 1% drop rate for medals on these servers. I bed to differ. I am currently pulling out 1 medal in every 5 attacks, or at a 20% rate.
Conversely, I have actually gone 2 full weeks, farming every day, without getting a single medal!!! During this time I was testing theories and strategies on how to farm medals. Obviously, I had failed. Yet, obviously, I was doing everything exactly wrong: which made it easy to figure out what were the right things to do to farm medals...
That being said: There are lot of good guides on this subject. Yet, they do not know "why" their guides are good. Here is a link to the best guide on farming medals on high level servers that I have ever found:
Here is a link to a spreadsheet showing medal drop rates per valley:
BASICS OF MEDAL FARMING ON HIGH LEVEL SERVERS
1) Make sure your feasting hall is full:
This is probably the most important aspect of medal farming that people do not realize. Basically, there is a roll for loot when you attack a valley. The game first rolls to see if you can capture a Hero as your reward. There is about a 40-50% chance to capture a hero from a valley. After that, if no hero is granted, it makes a roll for a medal. If no hero or medal granted, it makes a roll for random items.
There is a very very rare chance to get multiple items from a valley. We will get to that later, as certain conditions must exist which we have not covered yet. Otherwise, if you have Feasting Hall has slots available, the game will attempt to give you a Hero first, to fill these slots. Which isn't what we want... we want medals not hero's...
Yes, Time. Time is the second biggest factor when farming medals. Your extremely likely to get 2 medals every 6 hours or so. Getting more than 2 medals in a row, or within a series of 10 attacks is extremely rare, but getting 2 medals back to back is actually a common place. A lot of people / guides state that they are getting 6-12 medals a day. Reality of this is that they are getting 4-6 daily (spread out over 12 hours or so). Yes you can get tons of medals in one day. I've gotten 10 in a day, but these days are the expection not the rule. The rule is that you will get 1-2 medals every 6 hours or so.
Be sure to target specific valleys if you are looking for specific medals, when you log in and 6 hours after you received your first 2 medals.
Remember, if you get 1 medal, your extremely likely to get another medal in quick order, as long as you pay attention to #3.
#3) Valley Level is important!
This should really be #2. Valley levels work like this (in theory):
LvL 5 = 0.001%
LvL 6 = 0.01%
LVL 7 = 0.1%
LvL 8 = 1%
LvL 9 = 3%
LvL 10 = 5%
These percentages are approximations. There are a lot of factors involved in producing the true percentage chance of getting a medal from a valley. I will cover this a bit later.
A lot of people claim that loosing troops has nothing to do with getting medals. For the most part they are right, but: I was able to get zero medals in 2 weeks going lossless on every valley I attacked. Yes... zero medals. This is when I switched up my tactics. I am now able to literally "call" medals (as long as I watch how long its been since I got my last medal).
Lesson Learned: Always send 250-500 warriors for Prestige.
Yes you can get more prestige from say archers, but why loose archers? This is just 1 factor in many and does not guarantee you medals.
The prestige value of a troop is based off the net cost of the troop in the barracks. Just a word to the wise: Cavalry are worth ZERO prestige! Furthermore, rainbows of 1 of each do NOT grant prestige!
#5) Hero Level:
Here is another point for debate. A lot of people claim that your hero's stats don't matter. Well, they are right... your int, attack etc are moot points. What matters is your hero's level. I would recommend that you use a hero that is above lvl 50. I did / have gotten tons of medals with my int hero, but guess what... she's my primary medal farmer.
I have also leveled tons of hero's by attacking valleys. Guess what? They don't get as many medals as my lvl 50+ hero's. In fact, they rarely get medals at all.
#6 Over All Troop Count
Troop count really doesn't matter. If you stick to the first 5 rules, this will hardly affect you at all. This does play a factor in getting items from valleys though. The only time I've seen more than 1 item pulled from a valley is under rare circumstances where in someone has sent 100k scouts and accidentally attacked a lvl 10 valley. They took insane losses yes, but they won and pulled both an amulet and a nation medal from the valley. Sadly, I have seen this on multiple occasions.
People also like to send 25k archers and a rainbow to a valley. This is a minimum # of troops if you aren't sending warriors. Yes you'll get medals, but it will be a tad more sporadic than if you sent the warriors. The reason is summed up in the following:
Getting Medals From Valleys Is a Factor of Many Items Forming An Equation.
The Equation is Base % of Valley + Time Since Last Medal Gained + Prestige Gained + Hero LvL + Over All Troop Count
Each peice of the pie is worth points. They are listed in order. The first items listed are worth more points than the last item listed. That being said:
You are almost guaranteed a medal(x2) from a lvl 10 valley, every 6 hours, with 100+ prestige gained on the fight using a lvl 50+ hero with more than 25k troops.
This is just an example: The troop count will obviously change per valley and I recommend following the guide I linked above for supplemental information. It is a very good guide, and I will not have the space to explain everything here in regards to tactics.
The only point I have not hit on in this guide is distance from your town. This does seem to play a role, but if all of the other factors are accounted for, it should not affect you! During off times, I would recommend sending troops to attack valleys that are farther away.
The ONLY time troop count and prestige gains over ride the other factors is in very LARGE fights with huge troop looses: AKA lvl 10 NPCs, or accidentally scout bombing a lvl 10 valley. Under these circumstances you are more likely to get 2 items from a valley and or a Nation medal (I have never gotten one of these, nor seen one of these, except in these situations).
I am not going to get into too many details on this point: Attacking valleys / farming medals, is a dynamic situation that is dependent on each valleys make up.
Here is a brief list of the do's and do not's:
1) Don't spam attack valleys.
This does not work on high level valleys. Yes you can "catch and release" valleys to reset the troops though, but I do not recommend this for valleys over 10 miles away, if at all.
2) Don't Catch and Release Valleys Under 10 Miles and go "oh this is going to be a great day for medals!!"
This is more of a warning and not something to make a point to never do.
I don't care if you do eventually get the "perfect valley" when you catch and release a lake or some other valley close to your town. This does not guarantee you medals. The factors above still apply, and though this is a great tactic for farming "Specific Medals" (in fact this is how I got my rose medals), this does not guarantee " A great day for medals!"
The only time this is a solid tactic is when you are farming Rose and Honor medals: Why? Because Lakes, Flats, and Forests are highly coveted and claimed by other players. If you are like me, and the maps covered with alliance and NPC's, its good to Catch and Release Valleys... in fact, its probably your only option to get these medals. Let your neighbors know if you decide to upgrade that level 6 lake to a lvl 10 so they don't take it!
3) Target Valleys without Archers and Cavalry
You can literally spend hours "catch and releasing" valleys close to your Town to get a good valley set up. AKA: One without cav's and archers. This is why I don't recommend doing it. Just scout every lvl 9 and 10 valley for up to 30 miles and forget about the ones with tons of cavs and archers. You'll take heavy losses and regret it in the end.
4) Target Specific Valleys 6 hours after you get 1-2 medals and / or when you log in for the day:
It might take some time to get the medal you want when you first log in, but lets face it... your not farming cross medals. Its worth hitting the "right valley at the right time." All other valleys are supplemental. Attack the valleys that drop the medals you need until you get 1 (or get bored and give up).
5) Do not Capture Valleys
If you intend to attack that valley with 15k pikemen or 25k warriors over and over, don't capture it. This will reset the troops inside the valley once you release it.
6) Don't Re-Scout Valleys
I'm not sure if this is a bug or what, but I've "broken" tons of valleys. Once you scout a valley it doesn't change.
7) Wait 1 hour before attacking the same valley again
You want to keep your attack logs, atleast until you attack again. This will help you gauge when you can attack the valley again. Your more likely to get medals from fully replenished valleys.