Early Spring 2015, I started playing Clash of Clans. The game reminds me of what Warcraft used to be nearly 20 years ago. Not that that is a bad thing. I am not a fan of World of Warcraft being it a first-person multiplayer game that it is now, but I enjoyed its original design.
Supercell Ltd is the parent company, owning and developing Clash of Clans, along with a large number of programmers and designers. Story line, videos and more are available at Supercell’s website, including direct links to the game in Play Store and Apple Store. This article is not written by or sponsored by Supercell Ltd or its associates and assigns. The information provided herein is based on my experience with the game. Displayed game graphics are presented for reference and I do not claim to own the copyright of the game graphics within these images; however they are used within the parameters of fair use in copyright law.
Here is some information and simple strategies for Clash players to consider.
Although each of the buildings in a village has a purpose they are passive in war, but they count towards overall destruction and are useful to distract enemy troops. Decorations, like flags and statues, have no purpose in war or otherwise; they simply cost resources to build and nothing more.
The municipal center of each village, this essential building is considered an indicator of the village value. This building used to hold 1000 units each of gold and elixir, however a December 2015 update changed the amount of resources (gold, elixir and now dark elixir) held by the town hall to 1/4 of on-hand (stored) resources. In war, protecting this building is very important; its destruction earns your opponent 25% of your resources and a star.
Hide a Builder’s Hut in a distant corner to reduce enemy chances of a third star.
When the builders are not busy working on village facilities, they sleep in their huts. Each builder can only work one project at a time, whether that is a building upgrade or new construction. The game allows up to five builders, but the third, fourth and fifth builder huts are expensive to purchase.
Builder’s Huts have no purpose in war and hold no resources. They can be safely placed outside the village walls and used to distract enemy troops. A hut hidden in a far corner of the village property could be missed by an enemy. This tactic can sometimes prevent total destruction (third star) as troops run out of time attacking the village.
Elixir is essential for basic troops and troop related facilities. An Elixir Collector extracts elixir from the ground. Each collector stores elixir temporarily until the village owner moves it to a storage unit. Placing collectors outside village walls is okay, but be sure they are in range of a defensive building, else elixir will be stolen by the enemy.
This building stores stockpiled elixir until it is used. When the building is attacked, the attacker steels the elixir. The amount of elixir stolen depends on a number of factors calculated by Supercell servers. I have seen up to 20% of my stores stolen in enemy attacks. It is important to protect the storage buildings.
Just like elixir, gold is essential in the game for constructing and upgrading structures, defenses and more. Gold Mines are used to remove gold from the ground. Each mine stores gold temporarily until the village owner moves it to gold storage. Placing mines outside village walls is okay, but be sure they are within the range of defensive buildings to reduce gold being stolen by enemy troops.
Gold is stockpiled within the village’s Gold Storage buildings until used by the village owner or stolen by enemy troops. The same calculations used for available elixir looting are used for gold theft. Be sure to protect these buildings along with other storage units.
Dark Elixir Drill
Extracts dark elixir from the ground and stores it temporarily until the village owner moves it to dark elixir storage. Dark elixir is slow to pull from the ground; a level one drill extracts only 20 units per hour. Placing drills outside village walls is okay, but be sure they are in range of a defensive building, else dark elixir will be stolen by the enemy.
Dark Elixir Storage
Dark elixir is used for training and upgrading dark troops. Dark elixir is stored in these cubical shaped storage units until used. Protect dark elixir storage to prevent theft by enemy troops.
Troops are trained in the Barracks; the level of barracks depicts what troops are available to be trained, starting with barbarians at level one. In war these buildings have no purpose, just like a builder’s hut, and they can be used as a distraction for enemy troops outside walls.
Dark troops are trained from dark elixir in the dark barracks. Level one dark barracks produce minions. In war these buildings have no purpose, just like a builder’s hut, and they can be used as a distraction for enemy troops outside walls.
Trained troops stay in the Army Camp until they are used in an attack. These troops do not defend your village; they are stored in the camp strictly for multi-player or clan war offensive attacks. Army Camps can be placed outside defensive walls and used as a distraction for enemy troops.
Research performed in the laboratory is used to upgrade troops, making them stronger and more effective in battle. This building serves no purpose in war and can be placed outside defensive walls.
Dark Spell Factory
War Weapons and Defenses
Clash of Clans clearly is not a world where diplomacy can solve problems. People come here to compete in battle. Tools for battle are defensive weapons, spells (sometimes called potions) and troops.
Defenses and defensive weapons help to protect your village. Placement is essential to their success. Upgrade defenses to make them stronger and more effective. Defensive weapons do not work while they are being upgraded, except during clan war. In clan war defensive weapons operate as their highest completed level.
The first defensive weapon the game has you place in training mode, cannons are simple and effective, but they can only hit ground troops. Having a slightly shorter range than Archer Towers and Mortars, Cannons are most effective inside the outermost walls of your village.
Archer(s) stand at the top of a tower shooting at enemy troops on the ground and in the air. Ranged second longest of the defenses, Archer Towers are good inside the outermost walls of your village as well as deeper towards center.
Only effective on ground troops, the mortar has the longest reach of defensive weapons and provides splash damage, but it has a key weakness. It cannot hit targets close to it and therefore cannot defend itself. Place mortars closer to center of the village to protect them.
Early in the game most attacks are mainly with ground troops, the Air Defense is almost a useless weapon as it only attacks flying troops. Upgrade Air Defense units early while air attacks are less likely and place near village center.
The shortest range defensive building, Wizard Towers attack a single enemy target, air or ground, but provide substantial damage and splash damage. Pairing them with longer range defenses, such as a mortar and archer tower, improves effectiveness in protecting your village.
Similar to the wizard tower, Tesla units are short ranged, but provide substantial damage to a single target plus splash damage. Tesla units are hidden from enemy view until they rise to attack air or ground troops. Sit them closer to village center paired with longer range defenses.
A giant crossbow
Similar to the Tesla, but shoots streams of fire.
Introduced in Spring 2015, Air Sweepers are set in a direction by the village owner and create a wind that pushes enemy air troops away. This tends to be more of an annoyance, but the air sweeper does help slow down air attacks. Place this building mid-way between village center and the outer edge then point towards center.
A simple and inexpensive defense is a wall. Walls stall enemy troops when deployed as a closed box. If there are openings within the wall, troops may walk around the wall and go through the opening. Upgrade walls early to slow enemy troops longer. Upgrading above level six is extremely expensive and at that level of the game enemy troops tend to jump or fly over walls.
All traps are invisible until triggered and they are single trigger. Do not rely on them to guard openings from more than one enemy troop. After being triggered the village owner must spend gold to re-arm the trap after the attack has ended. If traps are not re-armed, they do nothing.
Bombs are the first traps available to players and are best placed near common attack points, such as wall opening and corners. Placement between buildings can be effective in defending other buildings. Bombs only impact ground troops.
About the equivalent of stacking several bombs, Giant Bombs have a larger trigger and splash damage area than a regular bomb. Giant Bombs only impact ground troops.
Silly as it is, Air Bombs have balloons on them to allow them to hit air troops, but they are ineffective on ground troops.
Seeking Air Mine
Similar to an air bomb, Seeking Air Mines are more intelligent and follow a flying troop until striking it. Place Air Mines and air bombs in areas which your air defenses do not reach.
Another silly defense is the Spring Trap. When troops walk over the trap, they are ejected from the village. It is funny to watch. Spring traps are only effective on most ground troops; some troops are too heavy or too fast for the trap to eject them.
Placing the coffin of a Skeleton Trap within your village results in skeletons rising from the ground and attacking enemy troops when triggered. Skeleton troops can be set to attack ground or air troops, but not both.
The first spell that comes with the Spell Factory. Level one of this spell isn’t extremely effective, but it is still useful. Dropping this spell onto your opponents defensive weapons early helps improve success. Drop it directly on the center, ground level of the intended target to ensure maximum impact.
Note – Lightning spells are no longer effective on gold, elixir and dark elixir storage. In July 2015, Supercell implemented protection for the storage units against lightning spells.
Upgrading the Spell Factory to level two gains access to Healing Spells. Unlike Healers which can only heal ground troops, healing spells work to heal ground and air troops within the ring of the spell, until the spell is exhausted. Don’t wait too long to apply this spell to your battling troops, otherwise it may not help them advance.
When your Spell Factory is level three, Rage Spells can be created. This spell causes your troops within the ring of the spell to operate faster and with more power until the spell wears out.
The Jump Spell becomes available with Spell Factory level four. Troops are able to jump over opponent walls that are within the ring of the spell when cast.
At level five, your Spell Factory can produce Freeze Spells that immobilize opponent troops and defenses within the spell range.
Know your troops to improve your battles.
An AI (Artificial Intelligence) change made in Summer 2015 has caused many troops to more commonly walk around walls and destroy outer buildings before moving towards the center of a village. Barbarians, Wizards and Archers are most effective after sending in Hog Riders, Giants and Golems which target defensive buildings first.
The basic and first troop every player has to use. Wielding swords, they are inexpensive and not very intelligent, but when used in a large swarm Barbarians can be quite effective. Barbarians will attack the nearest building and may not defend themselves against enemies.
Archers are ranged troops produced by level two barracks. They are not as strong or durable as Barbarians, but being able to hit targets from a couple tiles away helps them keep out of range of some defenses. Archers will attack the nearest building and tend to attack enemy troops only after being attacked first.
Level three barracks can produce Giants, which as their name suggests, they use more space in your army camp (and clan castle) – equivalent to five troops. Giants are more durable than most other ground troops and cause more damage, but they will not defend themselves. They prefer to attack defensive buildings, which is why a Giant is useful to be deployed early in an attack. If no defenses remain in the enemy village, then Giants attack the nearest building.
Goblins are not good at defense and aren’t useful in clan wars.
Looting is what Goblins do best, but they will not defend themselves. This troop is inexpensive and trained in a level four barracks. They are faster than most other troops and can pass over a spring trap without being ejected. Goblins are the least desirable troop and usually not appreciated when donated to clan castles. Beginning in the December 2015 major update of the game when town halls began holding more loot, Goblins began including town halls as a preferred target.
Take down walls with this useful troop from level five barracks. Be prepared to house the wall breaker and his bomb; consuming the space of two troops.
Trained by level six barracks, balloons are big and slow, consuming five troop spaces. Like giants, balloons prefer to attack defensive buildings first. Be sure to clear out air defenses and other defensive buildings that can hit air troops.
The magical wizard comes from level seven barracks. He packs a hardy, ranged attack and uses four troop spaces.
A winged magical being, the healer flies over ground troops and send healing energy to them. Created in level eight barracks, the healer is expensive and consume 14 troop spaces. They are not smart enough to move out of range of attacking defenses, when deploying them place them behind the ground troops.
Note – Healers only heal ground troops; they cannot help air troops.
The most effective air troop is the dragon from level nine barracks. They are very expensive, slow to train and consume 20 spaces in camps and castles.
From the top level ten barracks comes the P.E.K.K.A (no period on the end, weird) that is slightly more expensive than dragons and take much more time to train. Wielding a massive punch, this troop uses 25 spaces and though faster than a giant he is as slow as a dragon.
Made from Dark Elixir, the barbarian king is a stand-alone “hero” and does not consume any troop spaces. He is a defensive troop in your village as well as a fighting troop when attacking other villages. Once trained, he only requires sleep time to recover from battle damages. Other than upgrade, he requires no further dark elixir investment.
Iron Fist is a specialty rage mode that is unlocked at level five. When activated in attacks, barbarians near him and spawned barbarians behave similar to when influenced by the rage spell.
Wielding a crossbow, the Archer Queen is a dark elixir created “hero” similar to the barbarian king in that she doesn’t consume troop space and is a defensive troop for your village as well as a fighting troop in attacking other villages.
The basic and first dark elixir troop created in the dark barracks. Minions are a fast flying troop attacking from close range.
Level two dark barracks produce hog riders. These big guys with a mohawk look like Mr. T riding on a pig and use five spaces in camps and castles. Using a big mallot, hog riders jump over walls and attack defenses first.
Using a two-headed axe, Valkyries spin to demolish troops and buildings in a small area very effectively. They are produced by level three dark barracks and use eight spaces in troop camps and castle.
Looking like a pile of rocks, A much better choice than giants or hogs, Golems prefer to attack defensive buildings and they can take quite a beating doing it. When destroyed, Golems regroup as two smaller units to continue the fight.
As fragile as a barb, this powerful troop hits the enemy with energy bolts and raises the dead to help attack enemy troops and buildings.
Take a minion and make it look like a bulldog and there’s the Lava Hound. This flying troop prefers to attack air defenses. When destroyed, Lava Hounds break up into smaller units that continue attacking.
Measuring Clash of Clans Success
When attacking another player’s village, success is measured by meeting certain conditions which stars are given. One star is given for destroying the opponent’s town hall, one star is given for 50% destruction of the village and another star is given at 100% destruction – for a total of three stars.
Many players spend all of their game resources building their army and earning trophies. Then their home village gets demolished by other players doing the same thing.
Maintaining a balance of spending between your offenses and your defenses will help level the playing field and reduce your losses when attacked.
I believe spending a little more on defenses rather than offenses is a better choice purely because it helps prevent 100% annihilation and will reduce the amount of trophies and resources lost in defeat of attacks on your home village. This is especially important when participating in Clan Wars. You don’t want to give stars away to your opponent.
Town Hall Protection
Before the December 2015 update, some players would intentionally leave their town hall outside the walls of their village. They do this to make it easier for attacking forces to destroy the town hall and enable the automatic shield. This strategy helped to reduce the amount of resources stolen overall by reducing the frequency of attacks, but it also guarantees a loss of trophies. This is no longer the case and not a good strategy.
Put the town hall in the center of the village and surround it with your highest level defenses, including Clan Castle, and then surrounded them with the highest level walls. This layering of defenses and then walls keeps the town hall out of the range of archers and wizards.
Add a layer of protection with another set of walls, divided into sections, containing more defenses along with resource storage and fill the gaps with resource collectors/mines. Now enemies have to get through two walls to reach the town hall and defenses.
Place your remaining buildings and collectors/mines around the outside wall creating a distraction barrier. Troops that are not designated to attacking defenses and walls first will attack the outside distraction barrier first, being attacked by your outer defenses.
In Clan battles, your war village is key to the success of your clan. Avoid giving away stars by putting your Town Hall in the middle, surrounded by your best defensive weapons and best walls. From there, layer more defenses and walls. For clan wars, your stores and collectors are the least important items; however, try not to have more than 25% of your village outside your closed walls.
Walls – Close them!
An important fact of walls for your village, whether your regular village or war village, is that you must close the walls. Any openings allow easy access for the enemy to get inside. Setting a trap at the opening only works for the first troop (or small group) to pass through the opening; everyone else will have free passage – including subsequent attacks before you rearm the trap.
The boarders around your village as well as objects like rocks and trees, where buildings cannot be placed, troops can be deployed in these spaces. Don’t build your village leaving these spaces open, thinking that you’ll be protected.
Looting and Total Defense
Opponents gain loot when attacking not only the storage units but the collectors/mines/drills too. Most important to protect are the storage units, because that is where most of the resources are kept, but a lot is also stored in the collectors/mines/drills before it is moved to the storage units. Keep storage units and collectors/mines/drills close to village defenses.
No loot is obtained from Barracks, Builders, Research Lab or Spell Factory. These facilities count towards 100% destruction, though. I have some of these facilities at the far outside corners of my village; only one per corner. An attacker that is not paying attention might not attack these before time runs out for the battle, preventing 100% destruction.
Farming [No longer Valid – as of December 2015 update]
Some players configure their village for farming.I changed to a farming configuration about a month after starting this post.
Typically any village not having shields is doomed to be attacked within an hour of when the shields expired. This is not conducive to saving the Gold and Elixir necessary to upgrade your village.
Most players that attack are looking for trophies. If the Town Hall is well protected, then the player is going to attack full force to get their trophies; this includes wiping out resource stores. By placing the Town Hall away from defenses, as an easy target, most players will go for the easy mark and happily walk away with their trophies. And of course since the Town Hall was destroyed the village owner has automatic shields for 12 hours. Now there is more time to continue farming resources.
This farming technique is no longer valid. An automatic shield is not obtained with the Town Hall destruction and the town hall holds more resources.
It is best to practice multiplayer attacks with the Goblin Campaign (single player). The Goblin campaign is a safe, easy way to learn battling strategy. Players can gain loot in the process.
When attacking other villages it is important to be ready for war. Make sure your camps are full and scout their village to find its weaknesses. If you feel that you do not have the ability to win at least one star, don’t attack.
Players sometimes share their attack in chat. Watching other players attacks and defense attacks will help you learn techniques of attack and help you in laying out your village for the best defense. In clan wars, be sure to watch the attacks of higher level players.
If you are a member of a clan, then you will have opportunities to fight against another clan. Each person in the clan war gets two attacks against any player (of their own choice) of the opposing clan. Being able to choose the opponent gives players the advantage of improving their chances of success. The clan with the most stars at the end of war, wins.
Unlike regular multiplayer battles, Clan Wars have special bases for the battle. Players can layout a completely different village for the purpose of war – using only buildings that they have already built in their regular village.
Full camps, full castle and full spells are needed to help with war success.
Clan Wars are not for personal gain, but to work as part of a team. When the team succeeds then players reap the rewards. Using Goblins in a clan war attack is frowned on by most clans. Be sure to use your strongest troops in clan wars.
When a player attacks another village in multiplayer, whether or not they win the battle, the opponent can choose to take “Revenge” on the attacker. Players should be ready for the backlash when willfully attacking another village.
Revenge is not an option in Clan Wars (not as an official button, anyway) or for revenge attacks. For example, if I attack your village and then you Revenge attack me, I will not have the option to Revenge back on your village.
Have you noticed that some people attack your village and only use one or so inexpensive troops. The battle ends and you now have a handful more of trophies. This is Trophy Dumping.
Players will dump trophies to lower their rating in the game for battles. In multiplayer attacks, the “Find a Match” function will match an opponent based on the number of trophies a player holds. By dumping trophies and being rated lower, the player will be paired up against a village with substantially weaker defenses than the player’s troops, ensuring better success for destruction and looting.
You can see by my village screen capture shown above that I had a Level 6 Town Hall, Level 2 Clan Castle and defense ranging from Level 2 to Level 7. My highest Barracks was just Level 7 and I had no Dark Elixir capability yet. The game “matched” a player about 20-levels of experience higher than me in a multiplayer attack against me.- this player obliterated my village with Dragons and Minions. This is an example of why trophy dumping is done; to allow easy opponents rather than fighting at their own level of the game. Kind of like a bully.
I am not a fan of trophy dumping, however I do take advantage of the players that dump on me. I will do a revenge attack on them, using archers that can loot their resources out of range of their defenses and then dump the trophies back on them. My best revenge dumped 24 trophies and acquired 125K Gold and 89K Elixir. Not bad for a dozen Level 3 Archers.
DON’T YELL – Using all upper-case letters is interpreted as yelling. When your troop requests are in upper-case letters, it is like demanding troops. Yelling and demanding isn’t conducive to a team environment of clans and certain lacks in manners and respect. Please keep your messages to mixed case.
Wait a little while before asking for troops. It is rude to join a clan and immediately request troops. It is just plain ignorant to join a clan, request troops and then leave. Communicate with the members of the clan, help the clan as much as they help you.
Stick with your clan during war. Players can only be in one war at a time. Supercell’s system for Clash of Clans will prevent a player from being included in a secondary war. Players that are included in a war should remain with that clan until the war is complete, then leave if they want to go elsewhere. Some clans will kick player’s that opt out or are ineligible for war.
Clan jumping is the practice of moving from clan to clan, usually looking for free troops, without actually contributing to the success of the clan. Clan Jumping is frowned upon by most clans and may result in the player being banned.
Don’t fall for gem and resource scams!