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.
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).
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!