I. The Compact Defense (CD) is already well document elsewhere, plenty of screen shots of folks using it to murder millions of attacking troops. My personal opinion, it is probably the best off-line defense there is. But remember, this is a big game of paper-rock-scissors . CD, is strong against range, weak(er) against foot and hoof. But as most folks are archer heavy, you reduced the effectiveness of vast portion of their standard army.
II. Why range is weak against CD? Range attacks ATs first, ATs suck for damage output, but can absorb a crap load of damage. A 100k archer can normally kill between 3-5k ATs, depending on the hero used, then a third of them regenerated. So to taking out 18k ATs can become a very expensive process, about a 500k archer or so just to remove the ATs. Then you have to work on the archers. And even if you have a 50% heal, you are getting owned in the resource war. In a nutshell, mass archers is not a good way (though brute force will eventually win) to plow through a Compact Defense.
III. The above means defending horse and foot will not get systematically peeled away by archers like they would in a 5k defense, do to the closer range and the range attack priority.
IV. My best advice against a CD is get close, like insta-take an lvl 10 NPC one mile away. The reason is you will want to have ballistas and pults (even if just one) in a lot of your attacks.
V. If the defender has a reasonable number of each range type, they can clear 4 layers per round. The Archers, Balls, Pults, then ATs will each generally remove a layer. The defending range will generally take out troops in this order (Pults, Balls, Archers), Scouts, Cavs, Cataphs, pikes, swords, warriors, workers, transports, rams. Note: Remember, attacking range will be targeted by who has the highest attack value.
VI. Then for each attack, you need to decide, where your damage dealing stack is in the above order, the minimum number rounds you want your damage dealing stack to avoid the range. Here are a few examples :
a. Cav Cleaning ? Pikes or warrior bombs would work best, I have not don?t a cost analysis but since pikes do 3 times the damage as warriors, plus an attack bonus to cavs, Pikes are probably better. Since Round 1, the Cavs will be upon them, first you need to figure out if the enemy cavs will be able to one shot them or not. If enemy cav can, then layers are not important, your dead round 1 anyways. If not, you need 4 layers (assuming the defender has Arch,Balls,Cataph, and a number of ATs). So 1 archer, 1 scout, 1 cav, 1 cataph will do the trick without slowing you down too much. If you think your pikes can survive 2 rounds, where the second round includes the Cataph damage, then add the 1 ball and catapult, you?ll still get hit Round 2 with Pult and AT damage.
b. Cataphs cleaning, with pikes, you still meet round 1, with warriors, if at ballista start range (1600) your warriors will now Warriors to 1200, Cataphs to 1125, cataphs swing, warriors just die? bad idea. Pult range, neither attack, so if you have enough layers, they?ll trade blows round 2.
c. Lets jump to the ?worst case? all that is left is range and warriors. How to you scratch them? This is tricky, more layers could cause the D. Warriors not to move, yet not enough layers and warrior die to soon. Best I could come up with using warriors is this :
1. If at 1700 : 1 Archer, 1 Ball,1 pult, 1 Scout, 1 Cataph, 1 pike, 1 sword, 99kish warriors.
a. R1) move at speed, range and scout die.
b. R2) Cataph bounce into Warriors at 400, A. Warriors move to 900.
i. Cataphs, Pike, Sword die, ATs hit warriors. Taking out about 16k (if 18k ATs).
c. R3) D. Warriors move to 800, A. Warrior meet them both swing.
i. 84k warriors will kill about 44k warriors at 200 Attack.
2. If at 1600 : 1 Archer, 1 ball, 1 scout, 1 cataphs 99kish warriors
a. R1) Move at speed, all layers die.
b. R2) Both meet at 800, swing. 99k warriors will kill about 52k warriors.
d. The above is not ideal, you need a 50% heal to break near even. Which sucks. A common practice is to use cavs. They do a good job, but do to their speed, and cost, and time, also not cost effective, but probably the best option. Here are some things to consider. Only range and scouts can layer them, 4 layers. So generally, round 2 the archer will hit you. Assuming you are at pult range, and no enemy cavs you will move to 200. That will be in range of ?everything? that is not range, round 1. So if there is a large number of pikes/swords/warriors. The odds of you living to Round 2 is slim. So layers in this case, actually don?t do much until you can live to round 2.
1. 100k Cavs with a 200 attack hero can one shot the following numbers : Warriors : 262k ? Swords : 83k ? Pike : 136k. ? Not a efficient trade, but does get the job done.
2. Number of foot needed to 1 shot 100k cavs assuming a 200 Attack defender : Warriors : 700k ? Swords : 350k ? Pikes :180k
e. So looking at the above, if you think you can survive, also taking into account any rams, then layer up and you might get another swing with the survivors of round 1, which will at least up the kill/loss ratio a little. Also note, the towns best hero is usually better than the average attacking hero, so take that into account. I usually attack with my high 200 Attack heroes for normal hits, but every one of my towns have a 350 attack hero or better hanging out. Got tired of moving my best around to train and under normal conditions a 20 second-ish archer is good enough. I don?t usually need my 8 second archer hero?.
VII. CD ? Summary
a. Better all around defense, while off line, but you will always take some damage, were you will not using a 5k if you are online to tune the defense. It is weaker in a lot of ways to enemy horses and foot, but horses are expensive and people keep fewer numbers around, and same with foot compared to archers by most people. Also, the majority of people are still stuck on thinking archer rule in every situation. I?d recommend at 18332 ATs this leaves 4 slots to surprise people with a last minute trap or abatis. For a surprise 5k configuration, and move the right troops out last second for a no-loss win.