Although you are safe from attack for the first 72 hours of your village’s creation, after that all bets are off. Your village can be attacked at any time that it doesn’t have a protective shield and you don’t have it running on your Android or iOS device.
Start with Goblin Villages
Clash of Clans starts you out battling goblins during the training tutorial. Attacking goblin villages has three huge advantages of attacking other players: You can attack goblins without taking down your shields, there is no time limit, and they will never attack back. Goblin villages don’t have the revenge option human players do.
Goblin villages don’t have the limitations of player villages, so you’ll often find far more wall units that you’d expect, along with more bombs, spring traps, hidden Teslas, and who knows what. The nice thing is you can keep going back to the same goblin village until you get it right – or return to it in the future when you have a better mix of troops. Some villages are horribly difficult for ground troops but almost laughably simple with balloons – once you’ve taken out the archer towers, wizard towers, or air defenses.
Some villages are designed to draw in giants with their defensive layout, so beware hidden bombs and spring traps as you approach them. It can be very useful to send in just a few barbarians or goblins to check for bombs at low cost to you.
Experiment with pacing. Some villages won’t fall to an all-out frontal assault, but if you have a few groups of giants (and maybe some archers t00) target air defenses followed by a barbarian horde, still more giants, massive quantities of archers, or balloons.
After Your Village Is Attacked
There are three important things to do after you village is attacked: Reset any bombs and spring traps, request new troops for your Clan Castle (more on that in Part 7), and replay the battle to look for weaknesses in your defenses.
Sometimes you lose to overwhelming forces, and there’s really nothing you could have done at your current level to defend yourself. But maybe you could have slowed the enemy with higher level walls in a few locations, moving this spring trap or that bomb over there, etc. Slowing down the enemy at least lets you inflict more damage on their troops – and will slow down lower level enemies even more.
See how enemy troops flowed into your village, which areas they seemed to concentrate on, how well their archers or giants or goblins or balloons did against your current defenses. There’s almost always room for improvement.
Your goal is to keep the enemy from destroying your Town Hall or devastating 50% of your village. Here’s a village with a Level 4 Town Hall where everything except walls has been upgraded as far as possible. In fact, the Town Hall is being upgraded to Level 5. This village layout has proven very resilient, with two recent attacks only achieving 49% destruction and not taking out the Town Hall.
Part of this village’s success comes from using natural resources – two huge boulders help protect walls next to them. I also gave attacking troops an invitation to enter from two points (top and left) where I have bombs just waiting for them.
One new thing I’ve done with this layout is put a wall between the two halves, leaving a trapped opening in the wall between them, which slows enemy troops and pushes them to follow a specific route.
Maybe I just got lucky with two successive attacks only reaching the 49% mark, but I think this is my best design concept yet for a lower-level village. And I’ve already made a few tweaks since this shot was taken while the Town Hall is still being upgraded.
No, I’m not talking about planting crops. That would be FarmVille. Farming refers to attacking villages in search of gold, elixir, and/or trophies.
As I mentioned in Part 5, some players are mostly interested in building up their trophy numbers, and they’ll look for villages where the Town Hall can be destroyed at minimal cost in troops. When I do this, I try to use only 3-5 archers strategically placed where defenses cannot hit them while they plunk arrow after arrow at the Town Hall until it falls. One star, one-third of the potential number of trophies, but at a cost of maybe 360-600 elixir to train those few archers. The return on investment is good.
Why archers? Because they have a ranged attack and thus will be further from defenses than barbarians, goblins, or giants.
One coworker has taken the strategy of finding villages where he can acquire a lot of gold or elixir with a similarly small number of archers.
Full Fledged Battles
The real challenge is to take down an entire enemy village within the 3 minutes allotted to your battle. You have 30 seconds to decide whether to attack a village or skip it and move on to the next one. Each time you do this it costs a bit of gold, but that’s a minimal expense compared to waging a losing campaign and having to train new troops.
Try to make sure the village you’re attacking is one you can demolish. If you do less than 50% damage and don’t destroy the Town Hall, you lose and the village you’re attacking gets trophies. If you only destroy the Town Hall or 50% of the village, you get a single star and one-third as many trophies as you would from a full 100% victory. In between is the 2-star partial victory that comes from wrecking the Town Hall and destroying at least 50% of the buildings. This also gives you two-thirds as many trophies as a complete victory.
Take your 30 seconds and look carefully at the village. Where are the defenses? Where can you put your troops for maximum offensive damage at minimal troop cost? Which troops will be most effective? Are there archer towers, air defenses, and wizard towers you need to take out before sending in balloons? Are there areas that seem suspiciously easy to access – and are thus probably bombs or spring traps?
Plot your strategy. Do you want to ring the village with dozens and dozens of archers? Would a blanket mob of 50-100 barbarians be the best attack? Should you use giants right away to attack defenses or sacrifice some barbarians looking for bombs and spring traps?
Weigh that against the amount of loot and trophies you may acquire, and then compare that to the cost in training troops and creating spells. Sometimes your best bet is to skip on to another village you’re more sure you can take.
Losing Big Can Help You
When your village is attacked and loses, you lose some gold and elixir, but your walls and buildings are immediately rebuilt. That’s true whether your enemy scores 100% or 20% damage to your village.
With enough damage, though, your village gets free shields to protect it for 8, 12, or even 16 hours, during which other players cannot attack. This is a great opportunity to do upgrades and allow your gold and elixir to accumulate for future use.
Join a Clan
Whether you ever want to participate in a clan war or not, there is one huge benefit to joining a clan: Other clan members can donate troops to populate your Clan Castle. These troops will be available to defend your village against a single attack and can also be use once to attack another village. Then you need to ask your clanmates to replenish your troops.
One benefit here is that other clan members may have higher level troops than you do, so where you may have Level 3 archers, someone might be able to donate Level 5 archers.
We’ll look more at clans and clan wars in the next installment.
Next: Clans and Wars
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