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The T1 Defense

This article leans heavily on a set of king’s mails that another player, Redwood, on the server I play on, sent out. I am crediting him as a contributing author. However, please note I have deviated from his original ideas, but not tested this theory myself yet. Use with cation.

If you follow my recommendation on wall general, you chose George Dewey. He does not have a strong ground buff to start with, so you want to use mounted troops for your meat shield. For Mounted troops, your tiers look like this:


For your defense, the HP and Defense figures are how much your troops can absorb, and the attack is how much damage they give back.

If you are trying to build what is known as a trap keep, one that entices the enemy to attack but has 1) very little of value in it (in case you misjudge the size of the attack you attract) and 2) hopefully costs the enemy more points than it gives up, you care a great deal about the attack of your meat shield, because you have few if any other troops present. Redwood’s advice leans heavily towards keeps that are either traps, or are just transitioning from ghosting towards having troops at home.

To help understand how this works, lets look at the above attack figures differently.

tierAttack Per UnitNumber Needed to
Hit 1,000,000 Power

So if we were hunting monsters, where we attack first, you can send 133 t15s, 173 t13s, 301 t10s, 1,000 t6s, 2439 t3s, or 4545 t1s, and any of these single tiered marches will do precisely the same amount of damage on their first hit. They will differ though in that with 4545 t1s, you might have some survive to make a second hit, whereas with only 133 t15s, if more than 13 get damaged, you just lost the entire battle. That’s where having numbers helps more than having high stats on individual units, and that is even more true when you are defending your keep, because in this situation, you attack second; the other guy gets to attack first.

However, so far we have only looked at the mounted troops base statistics.
That is hardly realistic, your average keep gets buffs from a wide variety of sources. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • civilization treasure
  • art treasure
  • wall general (skills, specialties, ascending skills)
  • wall general’s assistant (skills ans specialties, but not ascending skills)
  • the spiritual beast or dragon attached to the wall general
  • any civilization gear you might own (passive effects)
  • any champions in your keep (such as Helen)
  • some duty generals give buffs to your defending troops
  • your blazons might help

Most of these will help in the form of percentages. To make just one example, lets say you have art treasures Excalibur and Terracotta Army, both at level 3. We will take the first table, and see what these do to our figures.

TierAttack+12% Attack
from Excalibur
+25% in City Attack
from Terracotta Army
Total Attack ValueNumber Needed to
Hit 1,000,000 Power

As you can see, these percentage based refines did not change the t1s much, instead of sending 4,545 t1s, we are now sending 3,317 troops. If we were hunting monsters, being able to kill the same monster with 1,000 fewer troops would be a big deal, but on the other hand, you had to increase two art treasures three whole levels to do it.

But look at the power change in the high-end troops, t12 and up. The difference this percentage based buff has made is much, much more noticeable.

Flat refines have almost an inverse effect. They help the smaller troops more than the big ones. You are looking for a flat refine of 950 or more as you refine, so lets stick with that low-end number.

tierAttack Per UnitAttack after a
+950 Flat Refine
Number Needed to
Hit 1,000,000 Power

So for our t1s, this flat refine cut our figure from 4545 down to 854!!! On the high end however, it cut our t12s by 30 troops, and our t15s by only 15. While we would all be absolutely thrilled to cut the number of troops we need to send down by a factor of 5, cutting the number we need to send down by a mere 30 does not seem worthwhile.

But we are defending, not hunting monsters, so there are a few things we need to consider.

  1. T1s are cheap to build, we can have millions of them for the same cost that we can have only dozens of t13s or t14s (most of us don’t have t15s and might not ever).
  2. In PvP, unlike monster hunting, you lose the battle if your loss percentage is higher than the other person’s percentage. Because we have an enormous number of t1s, we will probably win.
  3. T1s give very few points compared to t12s, t13s, or t14s. We can lose hundreds of t1s for every t12 of the enemy’s we kill and come out ahead in points.

So if in raw numbers, if the enemy is sending a full march of mostly high-end troops, per the chart above, I need 854 t1s for every 162 t12s the enemy sends. If the enemy has 2,000,000 t12s coming at me, that means I need 10,542,630 t1s. Because of my flat refines, that’s a thousand times better than the 4545 t1s per 192 t12s we started with, where I would have needed 47,340,720 t1s. Better yet, unlike percentage based refines, flat refines are immune to the enemy’s debuffs, so these ratios actually stay fairly fixed. Note, however, that the chart above only looks at a single flat refine on a single piece of armor.

While flat refines are better, we want to get the most out of his special skill that we can. For a pure t1 meat shield defense, you want 8 flat refines on mounted attack, each with a value of 950 or better. This will give your meat shield the best ability to hit back. If you are ghosting everything else, this attack is the bulk of your counter-attack, so that is important.

Regardless of whether or not you are ghosting everything else, it is important that your meat shield survive. To do that, attack does not actually matter.
Defense and HP do.

The health refines

  • Refine your helmet and leg armor looking for mounted HP.
  • Look for HP values in excess of 1800.
  • If you cannot build enough mounted, or find that for some reason you are losing your t1 ground despite your high numbers of t1 mounted,
    • Flat refines on 6 of the 8 possible values for mounted HP
    • Flat refines on the other 2 for ground HP
    • This makes your mounted roughly equivalent to a t8 instead of t10
    • This gives your ground roughly the same toughness as a t4
  • Refine your chest armor and boots looking for mounted defense.
  • Look for defense values in excess of 650.

When you no longer ghost everything else

You focus on t11 and t12 siege, and t12 archers for your defense.

  • t11 and t12 troops attack high-end troops before attacking low-end troops. All other tiers usually attack low-end troops first. (I have seen some battle reports that seem to suggest there are some other exceptions that remain to be fully documented).
  • t11 and t12 siege are much cheaper to repair than t13 and t14 siege.
  • If you ever notice a siege attack coming your way, teleport away as fast as you can. The only defense against a strong siege attack is to have:
    • more siege than the attacker
    • at higher tiers than the attacker.
  • NOT counting your t1s and t2s, 60% of your troops should be t11s and t12s.
    • For siege, 60% of those should be t11s. T12s are not hugely more powerful, but are noticeably more expensive to build and repair.
    • For ranged, 60% should be t12s. They give you more damage per RSS spent building them than any other tier.
  • See the Next Steps for more details on your layers.
  • Your attack refines need to be on your ranged and siege instead of on your mounted
    • This is where my co-author and I differ. Refining is expensive, and I dislike some of his advice.
    • You are no longer depending on your t1 meat shield for your counter-attack.
    • While the t1s are busy surviving (using those HP and Defense refines), your ranged and siege are damaging the enemy.
    • This only works if you have large numbers so that you can destroy the incoming attack within a few rounds of any given engagement (the inner unseen mechanics that constitute a single report).