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Showing posts from 2016

Journal of a Rusher - December Update....

Well...December kicked off with a bit of glee and a bit of pain.

I decided to bump Zed Verteidigung (my min-max) up to TH9 along with Clash Maniac.  When it finished the TH upgrade, I completely messed up.  Sitting there, watching a movie, in automatic mode and...I bought the "new TH" deal that included the X-bow, dropped the second one, and had a bunch of archer towers down before I even realized what I had done.  So...my min-max is now a regular TH9 game.  Since I screwed it up, I just went ahead and dropped everything else; I've been running upgrades like a mad man.  Real bummer - the game had been coming along very nicely as a min-max.  C'est la vie, c'est la guerre.  Now I have an extra TH9 game I didn't expect.  😎

Clash Maniac's TH9 upgrade completed and I've been actively upgrading structures ever since.  I'm running a slight variation of the Crows TH9 base and it's doing ok.  I'm considering moving to my previous mod of Crows (Rav…

Strategy Series #6: What about heroes? (A short overview....)

Let's talk a bit about heroes!

At TownHall 7 (TH7), you get your first hero - the Barbarian King (BK).  He can be upgraded to level 5, where you'll get your first gander at his "special ability", the Iron Fist.  Commonly used when the BK is at or below half his health, you simply tap the BK icon in the troop bar a second time to activate the ability.  He'll rage and several barbarians will appear to offer him additional support.  It's pretty neat.  At TH8, you can upgrade him another 5 levels to level 10; the next upgrade point for Iron Fist.

At TH9, you get the Archer Queen (AQ).  The AQ's special ability kicks in at level 5 as well; it's the "Royal Cloak".  This ability summons several archers to the AQ's side, and she turns invincible for a short while.  (BTW, this is a great time to heal her as she is not taking fire from enemy defenses.)
TH9 allows you to upgrade both the AQ and BK as high as level 30.  Level 30 heroes are formidabl…

Journal of a Rusher - TH9....

The time has come!

After a bit of traveling for work, and a solid run of building my games, I finally pulled the pin on the TH9 upgrade for Clash Maniac.  It was long overdue, but we were warring a lot, then there was finishing off the TH6 and TH7 games....

I took advantage of the $9.99 new TH package deal to get the level 2 x-bow, gold, AQ, and gems then bought the Black Friday package for 125K DE and gems.  This allowed me to immediately drop everything and start upgrades right away.  I have ten days of shield up and I'm boosting collectors to bulk up on resources while I start catching up the new with the old.

This is how I typically run TH upgrades, although the booster packs are definitely kicking things up a notch.  Through TH9, I nearly always put up 10-14 days of shields and boost collectors to generate some extra resources for upgrades.  I usually have my lab upgrading as well, although I chose to work a bit on my Archer Queen (AQ) this time around since the Black Friday …

Base Design: TH10 - The Raven

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SEE THE UPDATED VERSION OF THIS BASE HERE

I present to you a TH10 base design; The Raven.



The Raven TH10 base is a further modification of Aphrodi's original Crows base with Radiating's Birdland core.  This version includes slight changes to pathing, a rebalancing of resource rings, addition of the new Bomb Towers, and modifications to the core.

The Raven is an open base design that relies on pathing and distraction to decimate opposing armies before they reach the core.  It's primary goal is to protect the dark elixir storage; gold and elixir are less important, so they become distractions and are dispersed to reduce potential losses.

Most players who go out raiding will do so with barch, gibarch, goblins, GoWiPe, and GoWiVa.  These armies have fairly specific pathing in the troop AI.  Knowing this, bases can be designed to put enemy troops in the line of fire for extended periods of time.  Although there are techniques and army comps that can beat these open bases, they …

Debate: Engineering is bad, m'kay? (Let's talk about war weight....)

This is a debate that crops up on the official forums regularly.  "Engineering is bad!"..."It's a valid strategy and part of the game!"..."It's ruining clan wars!..."It makes the game challenging!"
We've already detailed the different types of engineering (see this article for more on engineering in general).  
But why is it good or bad for the game and why is everyone so up in arms about it?
As I've said before, EVERYONE engineers to a degree, assuming they plan what they believe to be the most efficient path to develop their game.  The individual player isn't so much the issue...it's when a bunch get together and craft a clan wars roster that draws in weaker opponents.
Every CoC game has a war weight.  It is the composite weight of the defenses and offenses deployed in that player's game.  In recent updates, defensive structures and their associated weights have factored more prevalently in the overall calculation.  War…

Game Management: How to manage upgrades?

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As anyone who has read my articles knows, I'm a diehard rusher.  I firmly believe that rushing strategically is hands down the best way to play this game.  I might max the lower levels, but after TH7 I move quickly up the stack.

I've discussed a bit of my strategy behind rushing in previous posts, but I've never really gone into detail on how I actually keep track of what I'm doing.  Rusher or maxer, if you want to really track your game's progress, you need to get out of the game and into a spreadsheet or something similar.  SuperCell has taken a step forward in providing suggested updates under the builder icon at the top of the game screen, but it only shows the next lowest 5 upgrades and that's not enough when there are upwards of 32 categories of upgrades (not including troops) comprised 122 structures and 300 walls.

To manage my upgrades on my more complex games, I use a spreadsheet that lists the item, quantity, current level, next level, max for the TH …

Strategy Series #5 - Maxing vs Rushing...which is better?

Anyone who has spent a little time on the official forums has witnessed a discussion become a debate on which is better - maxing or rushing.  These debates can get quite lively, as is the case with all discussions around religion.  (And make no bones about it, this IS a religious discussion.)

Maxing and rushing both offer their own benefits and each suits different gameplay strategies.  I use both, depending upon the end goal of my game and how I feel like playing at the time.  Although I have a clear preference toward rushing, I would not call one or the other "better".

First and foremost, let's just get this out of the way - no matter how much anyone argues against rushing, the simple fact of the matter is that it is the most efficient way to reach the endgame (max TH11).  There's no way around it and there's no argument.  Maxing has two significant drawbacks that puts it second to rushing - idle builders and lesser loot availability.

When you max out your game…

Journal of a Rusher - 5 Months In....

It is hard to believe, but yes - it is now FIVE months in for the Clash Maniac game!  I've been rushing this game with an eye toward both clan wars and getting ahead as quickly as possible.  Keeping it clan-war capable changed up the strategic rushing plan quite a bit, especially since I have a tendency to war non-stop for 2 weeks at a time.

Strategic rushing while warring is very different from doing the same without participating in clan wars.  The reality is that you can rush MUCH more quickly if you do not war.  The reason is simple - in non-war rushing, you can focus simply on your key farming troops and a basic, low level of defense; if you war, you also have to ensure you have 2 or 3 attacks that are suitable for clan wars and can defend against one TH level lower than your own.  The latter part of that point is particularly important - you do not want your game to be easily taken out by an opponent who is attacking UP.

Of course, I haven't been entirely negligent in pe…

Debate: Is the casual game really dead?

In December of 2015, SuperCell (SC) made a change to the game that could only be described as a serious game changer.

Ok - bad pun, but it really did rock the Clash of Clans (CoC) world.

Previous to December, the townhall (TH) really didn't have any value in the regular game.  In fact, it's greatest value was as a sacrificial lamb; by placing it OUTSIDE the walls, you invited a TH snipe.  This would cost you a few trophies, but it would also provide a 12 hour shield that kept your resources protected and TH snipers seldom went for anything more.

Of course, this is antithetical to the very concept of a tower defense game; how is it tower defense when you sacrifice the tower itself?!

SC's solution to this problem was to increase the value of the TH - it became a resource storage in its own right and no longer gave up a 12 hours shield when it was the only thing taken down.  This effectively killed TH sniping because now everyone would actually defend the tower (and they d…

The 2016 fall update!!!

The gang at SuperCell have put together a smash-banger of an update for us this fall with new troop levels, new defense levels, an all new defense, arranged wars, lower costs, a new army training dialog, and more.  This may actually be even more than we saw in the year end updates in 2015 (well, minus TH11 of course!).

There's a lot to talk about in this update.  The full announcement is HERE if you'd like to go piece by piece through it.

The new army training dialog is much simpler to use and allows us to train up two full armies at one time.  The best part of it all, though, is the "Quick Train" feature.  The community has been asking for years to have the ability to save common army compositions and just one-click them right into production - now we have it.  There's only 3 slots (be nice to have 6 or 7) but this is a real time saver.  Troop training times have been reduced and we're told costs are being reduced as well.  Looks like there might be some hig…

Strategy Series #4 - Farming army composition.

Effective game play on Clash of Clans requires gold, elixir, and (later) dark elixir (DE).  You can either buy it with gems or raid it in the multiplayer game.  Buying resources with gems gets real expensive, real quick.  A better solution: raid it.

Raiding in CoC yields better results today than at any previous time in the game.  There are many, many games available in the multiplayer track with hundreds of thousands in elixir and gold; finding games with 2000, 3000, and more units of DE is easy.  You don't even have to hit the NEXT button very often.

There are three types of raids:

1) Dead Base Raids - When you come across a dead base that hasn't been raided in a while, you've the jackpot.  Sometimes these are players who quit, while others are the kid who was grounded for a week.  Whatever the cause, the base is loaded and prime for raiding.

2) Collector Raids - This is a base, typically with resource collectors on the outside of its walls, with full gold mines/elixir c…

Eh.... What's up, Noc?

It's been a couple of weeks - and busy ones at that!

I like to run back-to-back wars for a couple of weeks, then raid like a mad man, and upgrade like crazy.  That's exacly what we just wraped.  We ran four, 15v15 wars for 1/1/2 (win/loss/draw) then a 25v25 war for the win.  Some great attacks...and some really miserable ones.  *BUT* all who participated had fun and we picked up a few hundred more XP on our inexorable march to becoming a level 5 clan.  (Just 1500 more XP to go!)

Along the way, I've finished off another TH7, upgraded our TH5s to TH6, and run some key upgrades on my TH9, TH10, and TH11 games as well as the TH8 Clash Maniac, TH8 defenseless, and TH8 mini-max.  I thought I'd recap a bit here.

In late August, I spun up 4 new minis to help with bringing down our overall war weight and firm up the TH7 war brigade.  Three have had zero $$$ invested and the fourth just had the $20 needed to buy the fourth builder (it was late to the party and I wanted to catch …

Strategy Series #3 - How NOT to rush to TH11....

We've talked about engineering and strategic rushing.  I've presented some notes on how to effectively and smartly rush your game to maximum effect.

Now I'm going to tell a story of how NOT to rush well.

Back in January, I took a brand spankin' new TH7 game and gemmed it up to TH11 shortly after the update came out. It was one of my umpteen games, so not my main and therefore just something to play around with. My intentions were to simply use it as a feeder base for the other games in the clan and, in all honesty, I just wanted to play around with the new stuff in TH11.

Even though I went into this with eyes wide open, it serves as a cautionary tale of what not to do.  Keep in mind - I had JUST upgraded this game to TH7 so it was running with TH6 troops and TH6 defenses.  What I found....

Raiding - Impossible. I made entirely too big of a jump.  My TH6 troops even struggled with collector raids.

Defending - Surprisingly...not a problem. The base I have up now is the…

Strategy Series #2 - How do I rush strategically???

There are many ways to play the game of Clash of Clans.  A lot of players like to max everything at each level - defenses, walls, offenses, troops and heroes - before they move up to the next town hall (TH) level.  That works out just fine...the first five TH levels.  After that, you quickly realize there is some pretty cool stuff at the higher levels and if you had access to what the higher level players had, you could REALLY rock it out.

And THAT, friends, is why so many people take the plunge into rushing their game.

"But rushing's bad, 'mkay?  You'll always be attacked and lose everything, you won't be able to attack other players because your troops will be weak, and you'll be a major detriment to your clan so you won't be able to participate in clan wars!"

Bah - people who say that are the same people who said we should never combine chocolate and peanut butter, ham and swiss, or put an after-market exhaust on a vintage Mustang.

Done smartly, r…