<edited 27/5/16> Preface
This post has easily been the most visited on this blog, more than 5 times the next most viewed post. The game has changed a lot since I posted this. Unfortunately, I no longer play. As a result, readers should keep in mind that this was posted over 2 years ago and hasn’t been updated for all additional content and patches that have occurred since that time. I believe that this post does still contain a number of principles that would be of value to newer players, but cannot guarantee the details any more. Especially in terms of troops being donated. Even in the time before I retired, those dynamics had shifted a number of times. Proceed at your own risk.
I play Clash of Clans on my iPhone. It is the only game I play on it, having broken the Candy Crush habit (one day at a time…). Clash of Clans is a strategic game where you build up a base and an army of Barbarians, Wizards, Dragons and other fantasy creatures. Then you go and attack other players to steal resources that are used to build more troops or upgrade your base. You do so in a Clan, which is a group of players that support each other by giving troops to help you and advice through in game chat.
I like the game. It is free to play, but with options for in game purchases to expediate the earning of resources or the length of time it takes to finish constructing buildings. I am in a Clan called ‘Melbourne Aus’ that unsurprisingly is mainly made up of fellow Melbournians, so we all tend to have similar play times.
Recently, the game added a new dimension called Clan Wars. Largely for my own clan to refer to, but also for other players that are interested, I wanted to prepare a reference guide.
Honestly, if you haven’t played Clash of Clans, most of this will be wasted on you, so instead of reading, go download it and have a try for yourself.
Clan Wars Intro
A Clan War is a direct battle between your clan and another clan. Normally, you cannot choose your target when attacking in Clash of Clans. During a Clan War, you can. A Clan War is decided by who collects the most stars through attacking their opponent’s Clan Members within a 24 hour period.
There are several steps in a Clan War. Initiation, Preparations Day, Battle Day, and Aftermath.
I am embedding some Youtube clips that helped me as I started out, and adding some of my own suggestions and strategy that I will have my Clan members assist in updating.
The matching system works on ‘strength of the clan members’. Trophies held by opposing players do not influence matchmaking, so dumping trophies to try and get an easier opponent is a waste of time. The matchmaking can also result in clans that aren’t very well matched. But even if your opponent looks to be generally stronger, one of the most telling success factors is the impact of inactive members, and that is something that cannot really be identified until Battle Day at the earliest.
Strength of members is based on each member’s attacking power. This is a factor based on troops available, their levels, army camp capacity, spells, and hero levels. Also considered is defensive strength based on number of and levels of walls, traps, heroes (again) and defensive building levels.
Clan Wars will have the same number of war bases in each clan and in some cases, players may be set as spectators to even out the sides (up to 4 clan members). These will be those with any ineligible members or those with the lowest trophy count. So players toward the bottom of your clan listing should be motivated to raise their ranks if they want to be involved in war, because if your clan membership is not divisible by 5, those bottom players could miss out.
Clan leaders should pay attention to inactive members before kicking off a Clan War. Ideally, sending out a Clan Mail so members know that it is coming up. Or having a regular cycle (my clan is trialling weekly wars over each weekend). If your top 5 players happen to all be away on holidays on the date of your Clan War, then you should probably think about rescheduling. An actively warring clan should also look at clearing out inactive members (those that go for a couple of seasons without any troops donated or received for example). While 100% participation is always going to be difficult to achieve, it should always be your goal.
War bases appear in the war map from highest to lowest strength top to bottom of the screen.
The three key things a responsible warring Clan Member must do in Preparation Day are (1) Rearrange your base (2) Defensive troop donations and (3) Scouting.
Rearranging Your Base
Outside of Clan Wars, bases are set up to protect resources. In Clan Wars, the resources don’t matter. You are trying to stop from getting stars stolen. Outside of wars, leaving your Town Hall outside your walls is a common tactic, as is leaving lesser buildings on the outskirts of your map. Pull it back together. A Town Hall outside your walls is giving away one star. And buildings on your outskirts unprotected by defensive towers can be picked off by single archers or barbs, making it that much easier for your opponent to reach the percentage destruction targets to earn stars as well. Your objective should be to have a war base that will give away zero stars. Any resources stolen during Clan Wars do not subtract from your stores.
Your war base layout gets locked in once War Day commences, and you can switch back your normal base to be farm proof. This can be a lot of work and the idea of saving a War Base and a Farming Base to easily switch between the two has already been raised with the game developers (allegedly within the next week).
Remember, building upgrades that are commenced during Preparation Day will appear as fully completed in your War Base during Battle Day, but at the level they were being upgraded from. Some players thought it was the level they were being upgraded to and dropped a bunch of upgrades at the last minute. There is no point. Clan Wars should have no influence on your upgrade strategy other than the potential for a healthy resource boost. Also, try and keep a builder available for the conclusion of your Clan War so that the loot you earn can be quickly put to work, instead of sitting around for other players to steal while farming.
Defensive Troop Donations
Every War Base in your Clan’s War Map can receive troops for defence. These troops are not used when attacking. In my first war, players did not understand this and were donating Goblins and (of all things) Wall Breakers. Curently, once War Troops are donated, you are stuck with them for the duration of the war (also a point that has been raised with the game developers).
Players have the opportunity to add troop donation messages to their War Base, stating the types of troops they want. Unfortunately, being new and exciting, many players do not wait and go crazy on donating reinforcement troops the moment Preparation Day breaks. Do Not Do This.
Wait for players to update their donation messages. Also, these reinforcements should be dominated by higher level troops. Ideally maxed out troops, though depending on your clan member levels, this could place an unfair burden on your top players. So, one star off top level should be acceptable. But if the best you have to offer is level 4 archers while your top 10 Clan Members can all do level 6, you should not be donating. As a rule of thumb, troops equivalent to what your top 10 players can produce should be the minimum quality of donation.
There is no such thing as the best type of troop for war donations. Clans strategies are cyclical, so that if everyone starts using a troop type, players configure their attacking armies to handle that troop type. Generally, higher damage troops are preferred, as are ranged or flying troops. If a player asks for a particular troop type, and you think it is a bad idea, raise it in chat. Have a discussion about why they want that particular troop. But give them what they ask for. They may have a particular strategy In mind. Don’t undermine that because you think you know better. That kind of action damages clan mate trust.
To recap, hold off donating until players have updated their troop request message to tell you what they want. If you are getting down to the last few hours before Battle Day and messages still haven’t been updated, then by all means load them up with whatever troops are available. Also, leave these reinforcements for your stronger Clan Members. Again, if you are getting toward Battle Day and Clan Castles in War Bases are sitting empty, fill them up. Any troops are better than none, but higher level troops are better still.
Go and have a look at your opponent bases. Start with the recommended target for you. If you look at your opposite number in the enemy clan and they look weaker than you. Don’t spend too much time on tactics here as your opponent’s bases can and will change configuration before Battle Day kicks off. This is really about testing the relative strength of your opponent and getting a feel for which enemy War Bases you are likely going to target.
Its on! Often, players are so excited that there is a sudden influx of attacks as soon as Battle Day commences. Relax! You have a whole day to complete just two attacks. When Battle Day kicks off, you probably shouldn’t even have your assaulting army constructed yet.
Lower level Clan Members should attack first. Ideally, everyone should be attacking their recommended target, but if that is a mismatch, you are better off getting a victory against a lower opponent than facing absolute defeat. Top clan members should be saving their attacks for at least the first 12 hours, and saving at least one of those attacks for the last 4-6 hours.
No player should be using up both of their war attacks in the first 12 hours unless they know they won’t be able to log in during the second half.
Before your first attack – go through the following steps.
1 – Re-scout your targets. Check if their base layout has changed. Think about the best army configuration for that target . Your normal farming army can be set aside. Invest in more expensive troops to get the victory and if you win the war, the war bonuses will be worth it. Cost effectiveness of armies should not be a consideration. If they have a couple of outlying buildings unprotected by towers because they didn’t reconfigure their layout, make sure to construct a couple of archers to pick them off. Seeing bases with Town Halls still outside their walls is usually an indicator of an inactive player.
2 – Having decided on your target, declare in Clan Chat who you are aiming for. This allows other clan mates to identify where multiple players are targeting the same person. You can discuss alternatives. Ideally, you should be confident of being able to take at least 2 stars from your opponent.
3 – Construct the army custom designed for taking out the target. Check your reinforcement troops. If they are lower level, dump them and ask for War Troops. War Troop donations, like those given during preparation day, should be higher level. Only give lower level troops if a player is left hanging for an extended length of time that could delay their ability to attack.
4 – Go forth and conquer! Since your opponent will always have their heroes and reinforcements active in defence, think about the best way to handle them in your deployment strategy.
In a second wave attack, or for the higher levels that held off, there are a few additional considerations.
1 – Look for opponents that have had zero stars taken. If you can take them, target them first. Then target opponents with 1 star taken as the next priority. If you are down to the last 3 hours and the bottom ranked opponent players haven’t all had 3 stars taken, feel free to wipe them out. As the war reaches closure, provided one army hasn’t been so dominant
2- When a target has already been attacked once, watch the replay to see where their bombs and hidden teslas are located.
3- There should really be no instance where a player attacks an opponent that has already had 3 stars taken, unless your Clan has been so dominant that you simply cannot find any opponent within your ability range that hasn’t.
4 – All else being equal, the higher ranked your opponent, the better your war loot will be when you win.
5 – Celebrate your victories. Let Clan members know that you noticed when they perform well. Review clan failures and try to give constructive suggestions on how to improve next time.
The war is over! If you won, you should have a nice dollop of resources sitting on the roof of your Clan Castle that you should collect immediately before somebody comes along and farms you for it. If you lost, you still get some resources, but at a heavily discounted rate. Ties fall somewhere in the middle.
Take some time following the war to celebrate. Watch some replays from your members that achieved 3 star victories to try and learn some strategies from them. Skilled players may want to watch the replays from less successful members to give them suggestions and advice on how to improve.
Also, realise that your top players have probably spent the last couple of days mass producing war troop reinforcements. If they were making a lot of Dark Elixir troops, then the war loot is probably not going to cover the cost of those troops. Give some thanks and try and take the burden of reinforcement donations off of them during peacetime. Constant Clan Wars can be very draining to these players, so if they need some time to recover before the next Clan War, be understanding.
Clan Wars changes the kinds of opponents you will battle. Many players when farming will see an opponent of the level they need to be able to beat to win at Clan Wars, and click next to look for an easier attack. You don’t know what your upper limits are until you start losing. If you aren’t performing very well in Clan Wars, start taking on harder opponents outside of the wars. Play around with your army to see what is more effective against tougher opponents. Fortune will favour the bold, and the best War fighters will be those who have spent plenty of time losing battles to develop their optimal offensive strategies.
If you made it through all of that, here is a fun Clash of Clans video for your enjoyment.
Click here for my other COC post about levelling.