Surprising Bases

Hey there!


I wonder how many of you have tried to use the base preview (mainly displayed troop and tower types) for tricking potential attackers?


Just to give you an idea of what I mean, consider this picture:

What you see here is the troop preview of one of my favorite mid-level bases.


There seems to be a lot of mortars and paladins in there, along with some frosters and pyromancers and a few arblasters to round things up. Other troop types or monsters aren’t used in relevant quantities, right?


Now, what would you say if I told you that exactly as many moral points are spent on each of gargoyles and on ogres (both not displayed at all!!) as are spent on paladins, which is just 1 point less than for mortars? Moreoever, 9 archers are hidden in there as well.

Furthermore, in that particular wave composition, many gargoyles and some ogres have been used in the first few waves, meaning they even appear twice (compared to just once for the displayed troops placed in later waves).

Effectively that means that not even 60% of the effectively used moral points (waves 1-8, then 1-3 again) are being displayed in the base preview, fooling any potential attacker.


E.g., I wouldn’t probably attack that base with arblasters just from looking at the preview - mortars in 1st place (resistant to pierce, deal out poison dmg), paladins in 2nd place (resistant to pierce, many hp), pyromancers (weak to pierce) just in 4th place - as I’d think the arblasters wouldn’t be effective at all against the troops there (and not effective against any towers either).

But with ogres (weak to pierce, hard to bring down otherwise) and pyromancers each having just 1 moral point less than 1st place, the arblasters could actually be quite helpful in there.


With barely any piercing damage displayed in there (arblasters in 5th place, archers not displayed at all), mortars (weak to fire, deals poison damage) in 1st place and paladins (no weakness or resistance against fire, but can’t can’t defend against ranged damage that well), bringing pyromancers (fire damage, resistant to poison) would really look like a good idea (especially as there are some firebolt towers in there as well).

Though, actually there are a lot of arblasters in there (just 1 point less than 1st place), a bunch of archers as well, and a few gargoyles can take out entire groups of pyromancers with their suicidal attacks, especially when supported by some slowing-down frosters here and there.


Another example:

Same base, some days earlier.

First thing you’d notice is that there seems to be insanely many frosters and quite many pyromancers - though, there’s actually not more than 1 froster in each wave, and not even one pyromancer in each wave. Any attackers smiling about the waste of damage (as froster damage is low and both slow and burning effects do not increase with more than 1 froster/pyromancer firing together) might get heavily disappointed when just as many arblasters and paladins are there.

Next, when considering this is not a high-lvl base and not even a base with more than 15 towers yet, from looking at the towers you might guess that this player recently switched to the new skull and firebolt towers - and as an attacker prepare for a lot of low-level firebolt and skull towers, with some snake towers in between and maybe two or three other towers. But actually, there is just 1 snake tower and 1 skill tower in there (both medium-lvl from their grey-scale), and a few low-medium lvl firebolt towers, while 50% of all the towers in that base are medium-high lvl arrow and some bomb towers.


So, Instead of a lot low-lvl-tower long-ranged fire and medium-ranged blunt damage, actually a big lot of piercing damage is dealt. Now, arrow towers might look weak, but high-lvl arrow towers are too often underestimated in mid-lvl gameplay. As there are plenty of fire-shield items but no piercing-shield gear, and arrow towers tend to target the hero, they can be actually a lot more dangerous than low level firebolt towers - especially when the attacker actually expects fire damage (pyromancers and firebolt towers) instead of piercing damage.

Also, that base seems to have a lot of weaknesses against ice damage (pyromancers, skull towers, blockades, gargoyle towers, and also the slowdown is effective against firebolt towers) and you may consider bringing in e.g. the blizzard spell. But actually, that base has only a few firebolt towers, only 1 skull tower, 2 gargoyle towers, less pyromancers than expected, and even the blockades are not too many, as there are high-lvl barricades and traps in between, drastically lowering the effectiveness of blizzard.



Now, I know, there might be more impressive examples…

But it took me quite a while and effort (including some runs through it with pausing, pen and paper next to me, and some experiments with my own wave composition) to figure out the actual amounts of troops in there and then come up with some relatively effective ways of combating that base - and as lately it has raised up about 800 trophies within a week , I guess a lot of attackers didn’t expect at all what was coming at them there! (As I’ve had an eye on that base for a longer time already, I can tell for sure that it didn’t just drop trophies before, so the gain in trophies is a honest one…)



What do you think about varying base designs frequently and “hiding” intensively-used troop/tower types? How effective can it be?

Does it generally help climb the leaderboard a lot, or is it better to concentrate on some troop types in one’s defense and specialize more on those?

Is it easier to beat very specialized and “non-surprising” bases with few troop/tower types (by using effective counter troops/spells/gear (e.g. a lot of fire shield) or to beat such “surprising” bases with many (hidden) troop types by going in with a more general combo of raiding troops/spells and mixed equipment (e.g. some fire, poison and blunt shield)?


From looking at some high lvl and elite players, I’d say no, because skull and firebolt towers dominate and also not too many troop types are used in most top-bases.

But as I had a lot of trouble when trying to beat the base described above, while being able to complete most bases of comparable tower/troop strength for a 100% victory without using scrolls, I’d say yes from my personal experience (at least for mid and upper-mid lvl gameplay).


Now, discuss! :wink:


PS: Has become quite a length post, but if you managed to read through all of it, congratulations!

PPS: As I didn’t want to only rely on a rough feeling, I have analysed that base quite intensively. If the owner of that base ever reads this: Nice work there, imho!

I’ve came across some bases that have hidden troops like you said , usually cost me a blessing haha.Its hard to figure out the exact composition though , I’ve tried that to no success :\ these bases works only for the first 2-3 times for each raiders until they get to study the waves and towers then it’ll be as easy as the other bases from my exp

I do like to concentrate more on the first 2 to 3 waves that repeat at the end. Those are the ones I have more morale than the rest too as they repeat. I havent done such extensive research but can conform your theory. Its a clever design for sure and both your work and theirs is commendable.

From left to right, is that by greatest to fewest in order for the units? So let’s say it shows Paladin first, then followed by Arblasters, is it safe to say there would be more Paladin Waves than Arblasters?

Well, I know that because of my perceived use of many gargoyles, some people are equipping swordrain instead of healing. Fatal mistake for each and everyone of them, no  exceptions.

The displayed order depends on morale points and troop levels.


From left to right: [Most morale points in all (8 at max) waves spent], [second-most morale points], …, [5th-most morale points]. The number of units per se is irrelevant, relevant is only their total morale cost (TMC, for short, = morale cost per unit * number of units of that type in all waves). This means that a base containing 10 knights (10*1 = 10 TMC) and 1 orge (1+12 = 12 TMC) will display orges further to the left than knights.

Also notice that some of your waves (the first/left-most ones) set up in the castle guard will be repeated. See original post for further details. E.g. a base with 8 knights in wave 1 and 1 ogre in wave 8 will actually contain 16 knights, but this won’t be considered for the preview troop display order.


In the case of identical TMC values for two troop types, the higher troop level(*) decides - if e.g. 10 morale points were spend on knights and another 10 points were spent on archers, then what is displayed further to the left/right of those two depends on the level of your knights and archers.


(* At least this is my own observation. Though, this might not be strictly true in all cases. Also I am not sure if the maximum troop levels for those types play a role. E.g. 4 knights at lvl 4 of max. 8 might be displayed right of 1 gargoyle at lvl 3 of max. 4? Not sure though, further testing needed. )





Of course, for high lvl bases knights are a bit outdated! :wink:

I generally avoid ones with Gargoyles at the far left. Getting bombarded by 20 of them in a row isn’t fun. :confused:

Recently I saw a base with a base preview like this:

Troops: Arblasters, paladins, frosters, ogres.

Structures: Firebolt towers, blockades, traps.

(Each in descending order; nothing else.)


I attacked the base several times (each time with the same spells: sonic blast, bladestorm, heal).


I failed with each of those combos (over the course of some days):

  • Cannon, arblaster, mortar.

  • Cannon, arblaster, pyromancer.

  • Cannon, mortar, froster.

  • Cannon, mortar, pyromancer.

  • Cannon, mummy, arblaster.

  • Gargoyle*, arblaster, mortar. (*looong overlapping path in the beginning, with across-path firebolt towers and arblasters = cannons die too quickly?)


Then I succeeded with the following combo (starting the attack by accident before switching troop types and just trying my best not to fail completely):

  • Cannon, arblaster, froster.

And to make sure this wasn’t just sheer luck, I tried (and won) again with that combo.


Really, I was quite surprised! I mean, all of that stuff that is supposed to counter arblasters+paladins (both weak to poison) didn’t work. Gargoyles instead of cannons didn’t work. Pyromancers to take out all those firebolt towers didn’t work.

And then that (seemingly?) bad combo just worked out so well…


Frosters = weak against fire from all those across-path firebolt towers.

Cannons = weak against that, too.

Arblasters = weak against paladins and not especially good against firebolt towers either, also happily impale themselves on traps.

No counter troop against the two most-used troop types.

No counter against the only tower-type used (firebolt towers).

No meat shields against arblaster damage. 

Together = A lot more effective than all of the other combinations.

I am testing a lot of combos against my alliance…and I agree with you. I’m surprised that against mummies and fb towers the pyros are so slow to destroy those…and cannons and arbs die so quickly they are really ineffective…as troops I saw that mummies+frosters+arbs (sometime cannons or pyros) are more effective…but the cannons are fundamental for castle gate…I love mummies because they save your a…we could say backside a lot of times!  :slight_smile:

Without cannons the castle gate is hard to destroy…with an average of 5-7 mummies and over 1000 of attack on my king sword and gloves, I need over 35 seconds to destroy it…


No desi, I cannot destroy by myself a max castle with blade storm and sonic blast max level in 35 seconds…I told you a lot of time and I know you don’t trust me  :stuck_out_tongue:

No men. I got a video and I sent to desi. now I will sent to you too Hero. Last 38 seconds (but only 35 close to castle wall) with 1st-2nd-3rd and 4th mummies I cannot demolish the castle. But we are going off topic…but please, if this is not normal, let me know (via pm or my topic “slow king”) and I will add this problem to the others my king have…  :grinning:

So, like does this strategy of hiding units only work for one or two waves tops? I can see how you can hide one or two waves that are ‘hidden’ unit heavy. Like have a variety of units on 6 waves, and for the remaining two of em mass a surprise that didnt show up on the pregame screen. If that is the case, then technically the rest of the ‘visible’ units are still dominant, your strategy should still be based around them and just have your hero deal with the 2 surprise waves right?


Also, how does the towers/traps determine order listed? I know it has to do with relative upgrades of each, not just numbers, but does anyone have specifics?


*Also, thankyou Hero for that post. I had a completely different topic posted here somewhere that asked something about the pre-game screen. Very detailed post, helped me out alot. Too bad I cant like it more than once XD


Thanks :wink:


Don’t forget you have more than 8 waves during a raid. Once, the 8th wave is over, they repeat beginning with wave 1. During the 2:40 of a full-length raid, you get sth like 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-1-2-3(-4?). Thus, placing surprising troops in the early waves will make those repeat (so e.g. wave 1+2 with surprising units means 4 actual raid waves with surprising troops) while still being hidden (as they are just 2 waves in the castle guard and the preview ignores repetition of certain waves).