Introduction to Clash of Clans

Clash of Clans is a popular free game for iOS and Android devices. Launched on iOS in August 2012, it has a large international following. The Android version was added in October 2013. Best of all, Supercell is always looking for ways to improve gameplay, so it has improved over time.

Clash of Clans startup screen

A coworker introduced us to Clash some time ago, and most members of our production team have started our own villages, whether on iPhones, Android phones, or Android tablets. Getting started is seductively simple, beginning with a step-by-step walkthrough to introduce you to the game.

Clash of Clans startup

Be aware that Supercell would like some of your money, and they facilitate that by enticing you to buy green gems, which allow you to do some things much more quickly than otherwise. These gems are also necessary for adding builders.

The key to low-end, low-cost playing is patience. Impatience leads to spending money on those important gems, and that can quickly turn Clash of Clans into an expensive proposition.

Clash of Clans on iPhone and iPod touch

At this point, I have four villages: The first two on different iPhone 4S devices, the next one on my old iPhone 3GS, and the newest one on an 4G iPod touch. Gameplay is good on all devices, but the iPhone 4S has the best screen of this bunch, and the lower resolution screen on the iPhone 3GS can make reading text a challenge. If you want to play Clash of Clans on an iPhone or iPod touch, I recommend one with a Retina Display.

I’ve heard you can even play the game on the original iPad and iOS 5, although I have not tried it. Having seen the game on higher resolution Android devices, I would love to play it on an iPhone 6 or an iPad.

Getting Started

Before you start the game, I suggest you begin on a Friday – or maybe a Saturday if it’s a holiday weekend. Your village cannot be attacked for 72 hours after you begin its creation, so this gives you plenty of time to become familiar with Clash, attack some goblin villages, and build up your village.

Also note that the name you use when you create your village is your town name, and you are stuck with it until you have a Level 5 town hall. You may not want to use your name because of this. We had two villages named Dan in our clan: lower-case dan and upper-case Dan. It got confusing!

Fortunately Supercell recently added the ability to change your village name one time after reaching Level 5 in your town hall. Kudos, as this was a widely desired feature!

Rule 1: Don’t Let the Game Consume You

Like a lot of people, I can easily get addicted to open-ended strategy games, whether Galactic Conquest on the Apple II, Wizardry and The Bard’s Tale in some of their many incarnations, SimCity as it evolved over the years, and the original FarmVille among them. “Just a few minutes” can too quickly become 2-3 hours.

It’s just a game. It’s for fun. Don’t stress over it. And don’t overinvest yourself in your village or clan.

Rule 2: Never Waste Green Gems

The walkthrough teaches you how to add a second builder’s hut, which is essential to the game. This requires 250 of the 500 gems you have when you start the game. Gems are not easy to come by in quantity, so my advice is to only spend them on builder huts at lower levels, never or very rarely for anything else. Be patient.

Later on you may need to use gems to speed up construction projects or troops, but if you ever want a fourth builder (at a cost of 1,000 gems!), don’t waste them. Use them sparingly.

At this point I have three builders for each of my villages, something you can achieve at about the same time you upgrade your town hall to Level 5 if you don’t waste gems. A fourth builder would be nice, but I have not found it necessary.

Gold and Elixir

Supercell does a great job balancing projects by making you pay for some items with gold, others with elixir. Your best strategy is to upgrade gold and elixir capacity at the same time to keep things in step and keep your funding from getting lopsided. You use gold to upgrade elixir collectors, elixir storage, and your Town Hall, as well as building walls. You use elixir to upgrade gold mines, gold storage, barracks, and camps.

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