CoC BB - The Four Pillars of Clash - Bringing it all together....

OK - we've talked in some detail now about the Four Pillars of Clash in two articles:

Offense ->
  • Offensive Capabilities - What your offense is capable of doing.
  • Attacking Skills - What YOU can do with your offense.
Defense ->
  • Defensive Capabilities - What your defense is capable of doing.
  • Base Design - What YOU can do with your defense.
Your goal, as a player, is to balance your game as much as you can across the Four Pillars.  A balanced game will provide the greatest likelihood of success and enable you to move up the ranks.  

It is a common misconception that players who have strong offensive and defensive capabilities are immediately contenders.  While it is true that having stronger tools helps one's game, it only goes so far.  A player could have a fully maxed everything yet be a terrible attacker and have an awful base design.  More often than not, we see this in the heavily rushed BH7 who cannot break 3000 trophies because they have all the right defenses and troops unlocked/placed, but they haven't upgraded them enough to support BH7 level combat or they're simply poor at attacking.

The Builder Base (BB) definitely encourages moving through the BH levels quickly to gain access to higher level troops and defenses.  You can literally go from brand new to BH7 in just about a month, all without even spending a dime.  Of course, this creates a relatively weak BH7 game that will require a lot of work to strengthen, but it still can be done.

On the forums, we often hear the same complaints....

"Troop X is OP" (OverPowered)
"I can't win because I'm matched with higher level players"
"Matchmaking holds me down"
"I don't win enough loot to progress"
"You can't play without spending money"

All of these complaints stem from unbalanced game development.  This is why you need to establish a solid, even balance across the Four Pillars as you develop your game.  

As I said - the game encourages rushing through the BH levels quickly.  The question you need to ask yourself you really want to do that and end up with a high level game that is weak on defense and offense, and you not gaining the experience as an attacker necessary to be successful?

I recommend slowing progress just a little bit to balance your game.

Develop your key troops before you upgrade the BH.  There's just no good reason to zip through the BH levels without first maxing at least one or two troops.
Develop your defenses so they're never more than 2 levels behind your current BH level.  If you're at BH5, you should get everything to level 3 before you jump to BH6.  Before going to BH7, everything should be at least level 4.
Develop key defenses before upgrading.  The Roaster, MultiMortar, FireCrackers, Hidden Teslas, Crushers, AirBombs, Giant Cannon, and Mega Tesla are all key defenses.  Max them before moving up and you'll be in a much stronger position to defend.
Manage your walls.  You want the Bomber to have to use 2 regular hits to take down a wall.  Level 3 walls work fine up to BH6, but after that you need at least level 4 walls to slow down the Bomber.  Likewise, the higher the wall, the longer troops and the Battle Machine will have to beat on it to get through.

These basic guidelines will slow your progress a little bit, but they set up a much more fun game experience.

What if you haven't done these things though?  What if you  don't want to?

Well...first and foremost - expect to struggle, and that means losing more frequently.  You will not be as high in the trophies as some others and that means you earn less loot each day.  You'll be steamrolled by players with stronger troops (such as L14 Raged Barbarians).  Set your expectations accordingly so you know what you've walked into, right up front.

Next - establish a good upgrade plan to make your game stronger.

Take a look at the meta for your current level - what attacks are being used against you the most?  What do other players have to say about the next few hundred trophies above your current range?

You can also ask for advice on the forums and/or from more experienced players.  A good example:

"Raged Barbarians are OP; everyone has access to L14 way too early and I can't compete!"

Players who complain about Raged Barbarians are almost always heavily rushed.  Every so often we get someone who is a poor attacker (you really need to get 65% 2-star results or better on your BH7 attacks), but the biggest problem most players have with Raged Barbarians is that their defenses simply cannot stop the barbarian horde.

The answer is straightforward - upgrade key defenses to level 7 so you can defend against Raged Barbarian based attacks.  The L14 Raged Barbarian is designed to be competitive against a fully maxed BH7 game.  However, you don't have to max EVERYTHING to be able to slow this attack strategy down.  The troops used in these attack strategies are typically weak to the Roaster (which, at L7, can take a L14 Raged Barbarian out in a single volley), the MultiMortar, the Crushers, and the Hidden Teslas.  Likewise, the Giant Cannon will take down a Battle Machine of any level in no time at all...which means the Raged Barbarians (and other troops) will not have him to tank or take out a Crusher for them.

If you focus your upgrades on these key defenses, suddenly, Raged Barbarian based attacks will be much less successful against your game.  In fact, the entire ground game (Sneaky Archers, Boxer Giants, Cannon Carts) will all become far less effective against you.

This is why I always max these particular key defenses before upgrading to BH7 - I know how important they are to defending at BH7, so I get them to a point where they'll be easy to upgrade quickly.   Low level BH7 play...level 6 key defenses will do just fine.  That provides the time required to perform the upgrades so when you get to mid-level play, you're ready to rumble.

If you have L7 key defenses and you're still losing to ground attacks on a regular basis, then you need to consider the other 3 pillars.  

Offensive Capabilities - Do you have strong enough troops, and enough of them, to be able to attack your opponents?  If you're running level 12 troops against mid-level BH7 bases, you're going to have a hard time getting a high enough result to win the match.

Attacking Skills - Are you a strong enough attacker with your key troops to win?  Again - you've got to get around a 65%, 2-star result on your attacks to win most matches from just a few weeks into BH7.  If you're consistently pulling out 1-star results (or worse), you'll lose more matches than you win.

Base Design - Is your base design up to snuff?  There are lots and lots of great bases out there.  Some work better than others, though.  It might be where you are in the trophy range, the attack of the day, the meta, wall levels, which defenses are maxed or still low...there are lots of factors that render one base design strong but another weak.  I literally have bases that I use at 4500 with great success that are an abysmal failure at 3500.

There is also an unofficial, "Fifth Pillar", that doesn't bear much weight but does factor into gameplay sometimes.  That's the game itself, most importantly, the AI and the offensive/defensive balance.  

Troops and defenses sometimes do some pretty crazy things and SuperCell is constantly tweaking the game's AI to make it more predictable and consistent.  Just a few days before I wrote this article, SC backed out an AI change that many of us strongly disliked; it was intended to overall improve the troops but actually made them do things that were counterproductive to most attack strategies.  

The balance of offense and defense makes a huge difference in the style of gameplay that we, as players, must adapt to in order to be successful.  For example, at BH6, defense was a bit stronger than offense and just getting a decent two star was enough to win many matches; at BH7, however, offense is much stronger than defense so you need to score much higher to win in a very competitive leaderboard.

Other, general-play strategies factor into the game as well.  On the DayMode game (classic CoC, main game, etc), you can choose between rushing and maxing with really no penalty either way; on the Builder Base (NightMode) though, what main game players call rushing is actually the best and most efficient way to play the game.  Sure - you can take the extra time and max.  If you do, though, you'll have a rough way to go because the game is designed to encourage moving through BH levels far more quickly than maxing and that's what the majority of players do, so you're kinda fighting against the current.

I don't usually include this as one of the actual pillars, but the way the game is designed/programmed is definitely a factor in how we play.  (Or, at the least, it really should be!)  

Hopefully, this final article in the Four Pillars series brings it all together for you and helps you see how it all ties together into your game.  The Builder Base is probably one of the most, well balanced games of its kind that I've ever played.  I'm really impressed with how well SuperCell designed this game, tightly integrating gameplay strategies into the fabric of the rules-based system itself.  If you understand the underlying mechanics of the game - how it works and how it's designed - you'll get much more enjoyment out of the game and be far more successful.

Here are the links to the companion video for this article, as well as the previous videos/articles in the series.

The Four Pillars of Clash - Bringing It All Together


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