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Thread: Hellfire's (Advance?) Combat Guide

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    In the land of fruits and nuts

    Default Hellfire's (Advance?) Combat Guide

    Hellfire566's (Advanced?) Combat Guide (Age 1) :
    (Note: No longer stickied, no guide are now, guess page one was getting cluttered. Edit 8/23)

    Table of Contents :

    A) Introduction

    I. Greeting: I am writing this guide to share what I have learned over the past 13 months in this game. Though I have not been an active poster on these forums, I have read many of the guides and war reports. I figured I would share what I have posted only on my internal guilds forums in the past. Now there are many theories and ideas of what is "best". The following is my take on it all. I don't expect everything here to be agreed with, but I hope anybody reading this can take away at least a few gems. Side note: On S24(R6)-->SS4(R20's)-->SS45(R100's) - Hellfire566, I am in holiday a lot now days so slipping, not that prestige really means anything.

    II. Scope: The Initial focus of this guide will be the combat engine and how to use it to your advantage. Namely, as an Attacker, kill the most for your buck, and as a Defender, win against an attack with next to no losses. In all this I will assume lvl 10 Techs and Walls (for range and defense). Generally the attacker will have a 200 Attack Hero (negligible INT). This will primarily deal with a 5k range defense/Attack. Note: I am a big fan of the Compact Defense when off-line, but as a defender, when you are online, and able to move troops around, a 5k is generally better.

    II-2. Scope2: Though I have a few examples (that need to be worked on), this guide is intended to give you the tools to determine the best (or at least a good) attack/defense combo in a given situation. Not just say 'here do this'. With these concepts, you hopefully can pull out a pad of paper and write out a scenario, get your mad excel, or software program skills on.(Edit Aug 9)

    III. Disclaimers:
    a. This builds a lot on what people have written before me. So a general thanks for all the guides and posts others have written.
    b. I don't have a lot of screen shots, someday if I have time, I'll collect more and attach them to this guide.
    c. My English writing skills suck, I wish I could claim it is because it my second or third language, but alas, no, I just suck. There is a reason I became a Software Engineer instead of an English Major.
    d. It has been shown to me Age 2 has some different mechanics. So Age 2 players, use at your own risk.
    e. Wall Range Bonus : It has been proven to me 5% is wrong, 4.5% is a more accurate number, My examples below are now a bit off, I will try to redo them sometime soon.

    f. (07/20/10) As expect, this is a work in progress. Now that more eyes are on this, they are helping shape this guide to more accurately reflect 'reality', in other words, fix where I was wrong. :-) Current discussion are around, movement rules, and the 'exact' range bonus from walls. Thanks all that are helping!!! Gonna have to make tweaks to my examples below :-(
    B) Combat Engine :

    I. Setup : Initial Range = Max Unmodified (by Tech or Wall) Range + 200.
    a. Traps/ Abatis/DTs (t/a/d) = 5200
    b. Pults = 1700
    c. Balls = 1600
    d. ATs = 1500
    e. Archers = 1400

    II. Movement Phase :

    a. (Redone 8/9) Starting with the Fastest Unit (Review b & c for the exceptions), if a tie (like both have cavs) then the defender's unit goes first, a range check occurs. If there is no enemy within attack range, the unit will move up to its full combat speed, stopping early if it "bounces" into an enemy unit. Horse/Foot/Rams, all the same rules, minus Range,Transports and Scouts.
    Note: Techs do count, the above assumes equal movement techs, but if the sides are mismatched, you need to adjust.
    b. (Redone 8/9) Range always follow Horse/Foot/Rams, this only really affects archers as Ball and 'Pults are the slowest anyways.

    c. Transports and scout follow different rules, defenders start at range 0 "AND NEVER MOVE NO MATTER WHAT". Attackers move after there are no other attackers alive. I have a report where my 1k archers took out near 100k of 200k scouts before walking home after 100 round.

    d. The order laid out:
    Scouts (Special), Cavs, Cataphs, Pike, Swords,Warriors,Workers,Transports (Special) ,Rams, Archers, Balls, Pults

    e. Each unit type is treated as one "block" 1 archer, or 1,000,000 archers, are just one block of troops, just one with more health and attack.

    e. The order laid out
    III. Combat Phase :
    a. The Fastest unit attacks first.

    b. Target Priority :
    1. Range Troops: Of the opposing units in range, range will first attack the opposing range block that has the most combined attack power that has not yet received terminal damage. No range, the fastest opposing foot (or hoof) unit. Once caveat, if attacking archers are in range of the ATs, they target them first regardless.

    (Updated using new info from "DeadlySinners", probably should reformat this... but for now)
    2. Foot/hoof : Of that enemies that are in range, that have not received terminal damage, the foot will attack the closed unit first. If multiple units at that range, then it will attack enemy block with the most combined attack power.
    Exception : Archer Towers are last .. always for foot. The reverse of range :-)
    (Thanks for the reminder DeadlySinners)

    IV. Combat Resolution :
    a. Casualties are now removed from the field.

    b. Note: To limit confusion, I'll explain this another way, All units that start the round get to swing if there is an opponent in range, even if they are very dead from a faster unit. But if your archers took out a lone ballista this round, your ballista's will target another block, like the catapult, though the lone balista has taken terminal damage, it will still fire when it is its turn. This in important when trying to decide the layer sizes at times.
    Exception : Fortifications seem to 'fire' after damage resolution, So if AT's die first, they don't poke. Also explains why you
    don't see traps pop on 'one round' scout bombs'

    V. Steps II & IV are repeated till one side is dead, or 100 rounds has been reached.

    C) Combat Theory :
    I. I'll go out on a limb and say, 95% of combat is trying to figure out when and where the defending archers will hit your damage dealing stack. Most importantly when the defending archers will hit the attacking archers (or horses for a smack). As an attacker, you must operated under the assumption, whatever block the defending archers target 'dies' Badly. With that in mind both the attacker and defender have 2 basic goals :
    a. As Attacker
    1. Keep the defending archers (range in general) away from your archers as long as possible. (By giving then small blocks to shoot at) to give you time to murder as many foot/horses as possible.
    2. If possible, try to have the final round have the attacking archers hit archers. Yes, it is possible, even though at range is 600 different, and only move 500. If the defending archers have nothing in range and move 500, and the attacking archers have nothing in range, and move 500, you closed 1000.
    b. As Defender :
    1. Have the minimum number of troops to protect your archers as possible, size one stacks are enough.
    2. Have the right number of layers to prevent the attacker's number 2 from happening.
    II. Goal : How to determine the best troops combination of under some of the more common conditions with some examples.

    III. Assumptions :
    a. The defender has enough archers combined with their hero to one shot the attackers archer stack. This is normally the case in any reasonably defended town, hell with a big enough hero, you only need about 100k archers. Generally 200k is enough.
    b. There is a some traps, Abatis, or Defensive Trebuchet (t/a/d), but not enough to pre-remove your layers or effect combat other then set the range. If there are a large number of them, you may need to adjust the layer sizes.
    Last edited by hellfire566; 09-09-2010 at 11:49 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    In the land of fruits and nuts


    IV. Other Concepts :

    a. Since there is a large archer mass, in most cases your layers will die in one shot so 100 swords will do the same jobs at 1,000, or 10,000. So use the smallest layer possible in most case, taking the t/a/d into account. The only time you should use thicker layers is if they will survive an extra round, and the extra round buys you more than it costs you. Remember, the thicker layer means fewer archers, which attack almost every round, where your layer may hit once at full strength, maybe.

    b. Layers generally only serve one purpose, giving to opponents archers something to shoot at so they (hopefully) don't move. Important more on the attackers side, then the defenders. On occasion, it will help prevent horses from getting to your archers.

    c. As an attacker, you cannot determine a 'win' by whether or not your troops walk away from the battle from a single attack. A win should be determined by looking at the field and determining the best way to kill a lot more than you lose, or at least breaking even. An easy way to get an idea of that is the honor stat after your troops go splat. If you gain/lost '0' honor, on a wipe-out, you killed more than you lost.

    d. I have an excel spread sheet that uses the formulas posted all over the place on how to calculation the damage and defense reduction. For defense, I include the 50% wall and 50% tech bonus in basically all my calculation. (Up to the max defense) It is usually accurate to within 5% or so.

    e. Scouts : Scouts on attack can be very important, or a waste of space. In general, at 5k range, they are a waste of space. They sit at 5200, wasting time (though absorbing traps) till everyone else is dead, then charge forward to the closest unit. This is why scout bombs work, there are no other units so round 1, they charge at 6000 speed (3000+100% tech bonus). Being the fastest unit, they move first, as defending scouts never move, so all the enemies are at range 0. Following the foot combat rules, target the stack with the highest attack points. But if you add something else, they will move at a subsequent round, where some of the enemies are at a different ranges. Which I have seen people use as an inefficient, but quick way to remove some mini-layers.
    V. Notations :
    a. Round : R1 == Round 1.

    b. Range : 500-->2900 or 3700-->1900 is commonly used for range units, Defending Archers are at 500 and can reach 2900, attacking archers are at 3700 and can reach 1900.(Note: All Defending range attacks are a bit off, this was done with the +%5 per wall level, not the +4.5% which is more accurate, maybe exact, need to fix)

    D) Combat Examples :
    Here is the typical poorly layered attack. Like the 100k archer attack.

    The Attacker - 100k Archers.
    The Defender - No horses, anything else. Enough archers too one shot the attacking archers.

    R1 Move -- D.Archer move (500->2900) A.Archers move (4700--2900)
    R1 Attack -- None
    R2 Move -- D.Archer move (1000->3400) A.Archers move (4200--2400)
    R2 Attack -- None
    R3 Move -- D.Archer move (1500->3900) A.Archers move (3700--1900)
    R3 Attack -- D. Archers Attack A. Archers at 50% damage.
    Attack analysis : Minimum number of archers needed to one shot that stack:
    Hero's Attack 200(190k Archers),300(150k),400(120k),500(105k)
    Also note the fastest defending foot, the pikes, are only at 1800 in round three
    so do not get touched.

    So, as long as you can one shot the stack, no losses to the defender.. if you can't
    one shot the stack, add one pike, The pike will move to 2400 R4, the attacking
    archers won't move do to the one pike. The leftover archers will attack the one pike.
    Can't 2 shot? Now add a sword too... R5 Attacking archers will hit them and not move.
    Cat't 3 shot? Now add a warrior, archers will normally move first, but in R5, the
    warriors already had moved to 2000 (5*400) so the archers would not
    have moved. Warriors move to 2400 now.
    Can't 4 shot? Add a workers (In R6 they would have moved to 2160..) So archers
    still would be at 3700 (while your archers are still at 1500.

    So... if the attacking force is just 100k archers... naked, and you have at least
    1 t/a/d. And have one of every layer from workers to pike. You have 5 - 50% shots...
    For near free (cost of 4 troops) A 200 Attack Defending hero would only need
    about 40k Archers...

    The Attacker - 99k Archers 1k Cavs (or enough cavs to survive a round of the t/a/d.)
    The Defender - No horses, pikes and swords.

    R1 Move -- A. Cavs move to 3700, D.Archer move (500->2900) A.Archers move (4700--2900)
    R1 Attack -- None
    R2 Move -- A. Cavs move to 2200, D.Archer stand(500->2900) A.Archers move (4200--2400)
    R2 Attack -- D. Archers attack A. Cavs.. they die... badly.
    R3 Move -- D.Archer move (1000->3400) A.Archers move (3700--1900)
    R3 Attack -- Nothing happens
    R4 Move -- D.Archer move (1500->3900) A.Archers move (3200--1400)
    R4 Attack -- Archers swap blows, both at 50% damage
    Attackers Attack Analysis : 99k archers will do the following damage :
    Attack 200(50k),300(64k),400(78k),500(92k)

    Results analysis : Now you are getting somewhere, At least you are starting to hurt the defenders. If you have a 50% heal, you are basically breaking even with a 200 attack hero. This is not the best option if there is 500k archers defending (Abatis cleaning and a horse smack there). But for the quick strikes against 100k or 150k defending archers, this is good.
    Though requires you to clear the faster layers, but that is fairly easy.

    Example in action : )
    Thank you TheOne045 (Report) & un3x (Break down and graphic)

    Note: Fragile, all the defender needs to do is add one little pike or sword, In round 4,
    the attacking archers will see the pikes/swords that just moved to 2400/2200 (they are faster they move first), and stay at 3700, then fire all 99k arrows at that lone pike/sword. Instead of the archers, as they will not be in range. But the defending archers will kill you dead. If you add a sword or pike on the attacker side, you mess things up again, because the D. archers will not move. Many variation... This sort of fine tuning the results only really works well against an offline opponent, or one that does not grasp the engine.

    Ok, how about attacking a fully defend (no horses) town.

    Defenders - Pikes, Swords, Archer Mass, Warriors, Workers, Mechanics
    Attackers - 1k of each layer (layer size if dependant of the number of t/a/d, as you want them to survive to be layers)
    With caveats with Workers, Cataphs and Swords.
    Example attack force --
    1k Workers (Maybe)
    1k Warriors
    1k Swords (Enough to survive a round of Catapult Fire)
    1k Pikes
    1k Cataphs (Enough to survive a round of Catapult & Ballista Fire)
    1k Cavs
    94k Archers.

    R1 Move -- Everything moves at speed (namely D. Archers move to 500-->2900)
    R1 Attack -- Nothing

    R2 Move -- Most everything moves at speed, A. Cavs move to 2200, so defending archers stay at 500 as the cavs are within the 2900 reach they currently have. A. Cataphs move to 2950
    R2 Attack -- D. Archers murder the cavs, D. ballista and D. Catapults hit Cataphs. Note: Cataph
    need to survive this, if not, don't send them at all, you lose a round of attack but
    Cataphs are expensive, your call.

    R3 Move -- A. Cataphs move to 1825, So D. Archers stay at 500, A. Archers move to 3700-->1900
    R3 Attack -- A. Cataphs dies... badly.

    R4 Move -- The pikes move to 2400 and 2800 respectively. Both archer blocks stay, due to the pikes.
    R4 Attack -- D. Archers take out the Pikes, A. Archers (50%) take out about 32k Pikes (200 Attack). Now another tricky part, the defending pults will attack the swords, you need enough Swords to defend against it, or just leave them home. (Balls should not 'reach'.. barely, 2800, plus the round one movement to 150 = 2950, they should not have moved since)
    -- Assumptions Pikes dead on defending side, swords alive on attacking side --
    Note: If Pikes survive, the below changes again, pikes would move to 3000, and the D. Archers would move up in R5. The attacking archers would have a 100% strike against the pikes(under 50% range).

    R5 Move -- D. Swords move to 2750 (550*5) A. Swords move next to them (could have moved to 2450) Archers on
    both sides stay. A. Warrors move to 3200 (400*5) D. Warrriors move to 2000.
    R5 Attack -- Archers both attack swords, defending mechs only can target the swords. A. Swords die. A. Archers attack swords (50%) ATTACK 200 killing about 20k swords.

    -- Gets confusing now, wildly varies if swords are alive or dead, going to assume dead with some notes if alive)
    R6 Move -- D. Archers finally move to 1000 (3400) A. Archers chill (3700) as the warriors are in range. Warriors move to 2800 (or 3300 if swords are still alive, as that is where they would move too). Workers move to 3040 (or 3300).
    R6 Attack -- Swords (if alive) would kill the warriors, then the archer will kill the Workers, or if not alive, archers will kill the warriors, and the mechanics (if any) would probably kill the workers. Workers are probably a waste of space. They funcation only as a layer if the swords are dead and there are no mechanics (ball/cata).
    A. Archers will 100% the swords (40k) or 50% Warriors (62k) the if the swords are dead.
    Last edited by hellfire566; 08-10-2010 at 08:12 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    In the land of fruits and nuts


    R7 Move -- Odds are, you will die this turn, the odds of the workers still being alive is small, if it is, you get another hit,
    but let?s assume they are not. Defending archers move to 1500(3900) Now... if at this time there are no pikes, swords, warriors or workers, you will move to 3200 (1400).
    R7 Attack -- D. Archers murder your poor archers. A. Archers will attack what is left, if you are still at 3700 it will whatever foot is left, though I think if there were still swords or pikes left, you would be dead by now.
    So let?s assume you will hit Warriors (3200 ) at 100% (124k) or workers at 50% (Don't have them in my spreadsheet, but probably all of them). If you moved to 3200, you will hit the enemy archers at 50% (50k)

    Results : Your archers have up to 4 round (5 under rare cases) of fire before death, Taking out at least their value if not twice their value. The odds are the pikes and swords will be gone with a single strike, or at least hurt badly. If they have 100s of thousands of them. Fine, just send more attacks, what is also nice is 100k attack followed by 25k attack will do about the same damage as a 125k attack, so save your War Ensigns. No Enemy Pikes, that is fine, R4 the swords will be at 2200 within range of the attacking archers, so they'll just start there.

    Rinse wash and repeat till the pikes and swords are gone. Only a few pikes and swords? Reduce your archer count to be just enough to kill them, save on loses that way.

    As I stated above, depending if the archers kill or don't kill the stack completely, it changes the movement and next target choice. But even in the worst case senerios, you are doing serious damage....

    Same attack, the defender simply moves every last other non-range troop out.

    R1 Move -- Everything moves at speed (namely D. Archers move to 500-->2900)
    R1 Attack -- Nothing

    R2 Move -- Everything moves at speed, A. Cavs move to 2200, so defending archers stay at 500.
    R2 Attack -- Archers kill Cavs, Cataphs take mechanics fire.
    (Assuming the A. Cataphs are still alive else you move forward, which is not that bad)

    R3 Move -- A. Cataphs move to 1825, So D. Archers stay at 500, A. Archers move to 3700-->1900
    R3 Attack -- A. Cataphs dies... baddly.

    R4 Move -- A. Pikes move to 2800, D. Archers stay at 500(2900) A. Archers move to 3200-->1400
    R4 Attack -- A. Archers kill the pikes. (If you had moved forward in R2, no cataphs, you hit archers)

    R5 Move -- A. Swords move to 2450 (assuming they are still alive) S. D. Archers stay at 500,
    A. Archers move to 2700 (900)
    R5 Attack -- D. Archers will target the archers, killing the stack (if you have enough to one shot).

    R6. Move -- A. Swords move to 1900, you stay at 500... still... (Warriors 2800)
    R6 Attack -- Kill the swords.

    R7 Move & Attack -- kill the warriors. (Workers 2680)
    R8 Move & Attack -- kill the workers.

    All done... go home. Squish.
    If you have mechanics, or they are missing one or two of the layers, do the math, you need
    to make sure you don't fall into the both groups with no target, close 1000, and strike each other scenario. As an attacker, you might think adding a bigger layer would help, but even you have enough swords or pikes that can live an extra round, R5, the archers will still attack the archers, and the foot is still too far away to matter. R6, the pikes if they had survived are now at 1600, your archers are still chilling at 500, range 1100, that is 2 rounds of fire at 100% damage? They won?t live. Sorry.

    Only stupid people keep cavs & cataphs in a 5k defense...

    BEST CASE (for attacker)

    Why having ponies/Cataphs hanging out in a 5k defense is just dumb, really, really dumb.
    Keep these in mind. The following Costs : (I tend to only look at wood and iron, evony looks at all three.
    Troop | Wood + Iron | W + I + Food
    Archer | 650 | 900
    Cav | 1,100 | 2,100
    Phract | 3,000 | 5,000

    So, in a nutshell, assuming equal heal. If you take out 1/2 the cavs as lost archers you break even.
    If you take out 1/5 the cataphs as archers losses you break even.
    But I will show you that even with a normal 300 Attack Hero (which is common good, but not best hero, in any SS) you will not only break even, you will take out a crap load more. Better yet, you won't incure any honor gain. (As you lose the battle). If you see an opponent with a cav/cataph mass hanging in the front line, on a 5k defense... punish them for being dumb.

    For this example lets use real numbers. Let?s say the Defender has :
    60k cavs, 100k cataph, 100k pikes, 100k swords, 300k archers, a warrior mass, 50k balls, 50k pults
    and his (defenders) best hero, let?s say it is an insane hero of attack 1000.
    I choose 60k cavs because I want to kill them in 2 rounds of fire, as the 'Ideal case'.
    Contrary to the other case, I upped the hero a little (300A), as if you see this senerio, it is worth breaking out your better heroes (never best).

    Your assault force is
    99,500 Archers
    100 Swords
    100 Pikes
    100 Warriors
    100 Workers
    100 Rams (Optional, but adds little extra damange, not worth it for long range attacks)
    (Note: Increase layer size if a large number of traps & DTs.)

    Round 1 - Everyone charges (D. Archers at 500--> 2900, A. Archers at 4700 --> 2900
    Attacks -- none

    Round 2 - D. Cavs move to 3000, D. Archers move to 1000->3400. A. Archers stay at 4700-->2900, A. Pikes move to 4000
    Attacks --> D. Archers, do nothing, A. Archers 50% strike against Cavs. Killing 22k

    Round 3 - D. Cavs move to 4000 (pikes block), D. Archers move to 1500->3900.
    A. Archers stay at 4700-->2900, A. Swords & Warriors move to 4000, blocked by Cavs, A. Warriors move to 3200. Attacks --> D. Archers, do nothing..again, D. Cavs completely murder the A. Pikes
    A. Archers 100% strike against Cavs. Killing 44k Cavs. (Yes the A Pikes, swords & warriors swing, but not enough damage to matter) You would need a lot of pikes to live through this, not worth the exchange for fewer archers.

    So at this point you have killed up to 66k, Assuming there was only 60k, they are now dead. At this point, assuming equal heal, you have already won the resource war. But wait you got a lot more in you.

    Round 4 - D. Cataphs finally reach the Swords at 4000 (1125*4 > 4000), D. Archers move to 2000-->4400 (Finally in range..woot)
    A. Archers chill again.. A. Swords & Warriors are stopped still at 4000, A. Workers join them at 4000. A. Rams finally move to 4480 (5200-(180*4))

    Attacks --> D. Cataphs completely slaughter the the A. Swords, The D. Archers mutilate the warriors. The other D. foot are still far away :
    i.e. Pikes are still at 2400. D. Mechanics are still not in range. Balls 600-->3400 Pults 480-->3480.
    A. Archers due a 100% strike against the Phracts, killing 18k. The swords, warriors, workers, and now rams swing, but really not enough damage to matter.
    Note: If there are only a token number of phracts, it might be worth while to increase the sword count to survive the Cataph swing, then

    Round 5- D. Cataphs still chill at 4000, D. Archers still chill at 2000 (as Workers are still there). All the other defenders are still a non-issue. No one moved on the Attackers side (rams have the Cataph as a target so do not move).

    Attacks --> D. Cataphs slaughter the workers, D. Archers take aim at the workers, but notice they are dead, and the rams are not in range, so pick their nose instead. A. Archers take out another 18k Cataphs. Workers and Rams again pretend to matter.

    Round 6- The D. Cataph move to 4480, the rams. The D. Archers move to 2500-->4900 , oh oh...
    The 2 attackers stacks don't move...
    Note: if you chose not to include rams, you would move to 4700, melee range of the archers. With that is true, they'll do only 25% damage

    Attacks --> D. Cataphs beat the heck out of Rams (or Archers if no rams) Now the 300k archers will turn your archers into pin cushions.
    300k archers at attack 1000 with 50% damage will kill 500k (yes a 1/2 million) archers, but alas, you only
    have 99,500k, so a lot of wasted effort, see, the D. hero did not matter. The D. Pikes moved to 3600, still a non-issue. The D. Mechanics are still far away, but again nothing is left.
    The Attacking Archers do one last strike against the poor cataphs. 17k cataphs. (4k if in melee range).
    You lose.... sort of.

    Your approx 100k archers, took out.
    60k Cavs (22k+44k, but only 60k there)
    51k Cataphs (assuming rams)

    Using the formula above, cav worth 2 archer, cataphs worth 5
    (60k*2)+(51k*5) = 375k Archers worth of resources....

    Now.. really, who lost? Even if you had the crapest of heals, 10% and he had 65% you kicked butt.

    As a defender, please protect your horseflesh, keep them away from the battlelines when off line, and store them in a Compact Defense Town. They will still be the first to die there, pike bombs will hurt, but at least it won't be for almost free.
    Last edited by hellfire566; 08-09-2010 at 01:33 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    In the land of fruits and nuts



    Same as above. except insanely large Cav force, say 1 TRILLION CAVS... :-)
    You, a crap hero of attack 100, and you only 10k archers.
    10k Archers, with attack hero 100 at 100% damage kills 2.5k Cavs.

    R1 - Everyone charges (D.Archers at 500--> 2900, A. Archers at 4700 --> 2900
    Attacks -- none
    R2 - D. Cavs move to 3000, D. Archers move to 1000->3400. A. Archers stay at 4700-->2900, A. Pikes move to 4000
    Attacks --> D. Archers, do nothing, A. Archers 50% strike against Cavs. Killing 1.25k

    R3 - D. Cavs move to 4000 (pikes block), D. Archers move to 1500->3900.
    A. Archers stay at 4700-->2900, A. Swords & Warriors move to 4000, blocked by Cavs, A. Warriors move to 3200. Attacks --> D. Archers, do nothing..again, D. Cavs completely murder the A. Pikes
    A. Archers 100% strike against Cavs. Killing 2.5k Cavs.

    R4 - D. Cataphs reach the Swords at 4000 D. Archers move to 2000-->4400 (Finally in range..woot)
    A. Archers chill again.. A. Swords & Warriors are stopped still at 4000, A. Workers join them at 4000. A. Rams finally
    move to 4480 (5200-(180*4))
    Attacks --> D. Cavs, Cataph, and archers, remove the Swords, Warriors, Workers from existence.
    A. Archers remove 2.5k Cavs

    R5 - With an attack like this, rams were probably not desired, so let?s assume they are not there.
    Archers.. die, Since at melee range, only kill about 600.

    Results : 10k archers dead (minimal layers) Cavs dead? About 7k.
    The math, 10k archer vs. 14k equivilant. 40% more then you lost. Again, assuming equal heals.
    This worst case (sans heal), and you come out ahead, with a crap hero, and few troops.

    Looking above, you'll notice you only needed 2 layers, the pikes (R3), and either the warrior or swords (R4).
    So if you just use pikes and swords, you'll move at archers speed, instead of worker speed. Always
    a plus.

    Best case, you really screw them up. Worst Case is still good. Your newbie players can even
    join in with this attack, they truly hurt the opponent, don't gain any honor, and don't risk much.

    The above attack with near 100k Archers, damage of 70k cavs,
    now put a 200 attack hero in 98k Dead Cavs (near 200k equivalent archers)
    now put a 300 attack hero in 126k Dead Cavs
    400 Attack - 154k
    28k cavs more per 100 attack.

    G) Compact Defense :
    (Not as clean or as coherent as I would like, I'll try to fix it later, more of random musings)

    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.
    Last edited by hellfire566; 08-09-2010 at 01:33 PM.

  5. #5


    very very good advanced combat mechanics guide. +rep

  6. #6


    Great Guide Rep+


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    In the land of fruits and nuts


    Damage Calculator :
    (Semi Updated 07/21/10 - Now global readable)
    I upload my damage calculator spread sheet to google docs,

    This is a rough tool I threw together, for my own personal amusement. It is not a combat simulator, all it does is give a estimate of how many unit one stack of troops will take out, 'if' they got a chance to swing at the other group. Most useful for me when determining the minimum number of cavs or archers I need to clear layers or murder the archers. i.e. If I am doing a cav smack, and there is only 300k archers, with a 300 attack hero, you don't 'need' 100k cavs. This way, you lose less if there is a last moment trap, or something that messes you up. Same with layers, if there are a bunch of 10k layers in front of the archers, you don't need 100k archers to remove them. 100k archers shooting at 10k blocks is a waste.

    As an added bonus are 3 other pages that have my combat movement notes in it (The range component might be a bit off, I assumed 50% wall range bonus) it. I'd use the last one. Well named as 'Sheet3'.
    Last edited by hellfire566; 07-21-2010 at 05:27 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    In the land of fruits and nuts


    Attacks with Layer Defense :

    Archer Defense, with defending sword layer

    Archer Defense, with defending sword layer (both worked as there were other attacking layers to keep my archer busy and unmoving)
    Newbie Attack Defense :

    Low attack hero (180ish) and 50k Archers defeat 300 Attack hero, no real losses)

    Psuedo Newbie attack, popped a bunch of traps 3 seconds before the hit.

    Run a Compact Defense, but when online, I switch to 5k and move layers out.
    12 seconds later

    Notes: Traps take 20 seconds with no hero, so 70 seconds before the hit, I queued 3 traps and 1 trap, so there are some before and inbetween the hits poping out.
    10-15 seconds before the hit, started sending all my layers out. Then, brought up Army Movement screen, recalled the layers a little after the first hit,
    so they were back about 10 seconds after the last hit. Why, to mess with the opponents head,if they are not scouting enough. All they'll
    see is a few ram loses (should moved all but 10 out, and healed between the 2 hits.)
    Saved AT losses this way. I do this all last moment, so I give the illusion of being offline, till it is too late.


    Compliments of kanosig :
    Two exact attacks, except one forgetting the horse layers.
    Show why they are 'very' important when layer cleaning when no enemy horses are around, as they hold the archers back.

    Thanks to DeadlySinners, these two reports show the following rules :

    A) If there is a tie in speed, the defender's unit goes first. Both sides have cavs, so the defender's cavs go first.

    B) Even melee won't move if there is a target in range

    C) Melee will first choose the closest target first, then the (as various cav bombs have shown in the past) the highest attack value second if multiples at the closest range.

    D) And defending scouts don't move. (The defending horse/scout hit)

    The moral of the story, is the range is set to 1600 (Batista +200). Round 1, the Defending cavs move to 1500, when the Attacking Cavs look, (with range 100) they see cavs are in range and stay at 1600, then rest of the non-range defenders 'pile in' 1500. (Though the 1 Ram stays back too, range 600).
    So when the 'combat phase happens. The attacking cavs swing at the defending cavs, but the attacking cavs waste their turn attacking one of the layers. In both cases the cataphs.
    The Horse/Scout clean is epic, it adds insult to injury, in round 2, even the enemy practs bounce into foot wall at 1500, leaving the attacking cavs free to attack unmolested (Note: the enemy cavs are still there, takes 2 round at least to clear them).
    The final stick in the eye is when the horses are all dead, the attacking cavs move from 1600 to 100. Just in range of the 300k scouts. And beats the crap out of them, while the scout just sit back and get there butt handed to them.


    Other Attachments?
    1) Clearing example using rams against 5k w/ horse (Not a large archer defending force)
    2) Part 1, A hit I stole from the war reports page, dunno who, but I liked it enough to Screen Shot the report. Good clear.
    3) Part 2 of above
    4) 100 round 'proof' scouts don't move on defense.
    5) Friends don't let friends reinforce with 100k naked archers.... just don't do it. Offline defender I had been working.

    For those who got this far in reading everything, here is an easter egg for you all. The best defensive tool out there, useful for making troops or fortification pop out seconds before the hit, or timing gate toggling.
    Use the count down timer :-D Open it up in another window, move it off to the side so you can have your barracks, wall, rally point up and see it.

    FYI : Scout with your best hero, you won't lose him (Remember scout mission not attack)
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by hellfire566; 06-06-2010 at 06:37 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    in the OT, under Morgan's desk, hiding with CHICK


    a very organised guide

    + rep

    (c) Ravensigs production
    Quote Originally Posted by llCHICKll View Post
    lol, you are worst than ardee... at least she tells you right away to pizz off lol
    Quote Originally Posted by Alusair View Post
    I will start randomly deleting a post of practicalfool here and there over time to mess with his mind.

  10. #10


    I strongly approve of this guide. Many of things here I've considered guarded secrets myself.
    I particularly like the archer + cav wave, which would work against even archers + workers + warriors, as long as the defender has compass 10. The attacker can even add a worker + warrior layer as well, which helps in the event where attacking archers wipe out defending archers and start to fight defending melee. I have personally used this many times.

    Your explanation involving 'terminal damage' is pretty good, although I suspect most people would be confused by the concept itself. I've always thought of it as 'targetting to prevent overkill'
    How did you figure out (and then test) the firing order of units?
    I'd love to see some of your reports showing your results. In particular, I've been too lazy to test archers before warriors, archers before rams, and phracts before pike.

    edit: I forgot to correct you on one count.
    Range units target:
    2.Other range by total attack
    3.Melee unit by speed.
    This is one of the things that makes Compact Defences so effective. Attacking archers target defending towers first.

    Melee units target
    1. closest unit
    2. highest total attack
    3. AT

    The two reports here show that melee units target closest units first. (It also shows that catapults are necessary in a compact defence)
    Last edited by DeadlySinners; 05-13-2010 at 11:55 AM.


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