This guide is for players that play aggressively. It will not only tell the basics of how to win your first wars, but how to play in a way that allows for expansion to many new continents. The guide will move in a chronological direction, from first continent to endgame. This is a lot of information to cover for the less experienced players, so this guide will be written in a rough form at first and improved upon over time. There are many topics to cover and add to. The most powerful alliances combine all forms of warfare to win. It is not as simple as winning on water or winning on land. But this will teach you the basics and more (once it is finished).
- You pay to play. Sorry, but you can't pull this off without ministers (even with them it becomes very time consuming).
- You are actively online for at least 2 hours per day, probably more like 4 hours.
- You have a good alliance (A guide for running a good alliance will be added later).
Your First ContinentEdit
The first continent is key. Losing your first continent can lose you and your alliance the game. So here are some key points about it. This is not comprehensive, because your strategy might need to change depending on how crowded your continent is or how good the alliances are that occupy it. This guide will start with addressing two scenarios, continent 22 (or a situation similar to it), and a relatively unorganized continent with 2-4 minor alliances.
On continent 22 the most important thing is that you have a good alliance. It doens't matter how good a player you are, on any server worth playing on, you can't hold it yourself. Now, a good alliance tends to be made up of good players, so this is what you have to do.
Assuming that you have a decent raiding income from your first and/or second city (using zerks). You should at this point start coordinating with your nearby allies. The entire alliance on your continent should divide up into smaller squads (2-5 players) that work together to secure their immediate section of the continent.
Depending on the situation you will need to figure out whether you are more likely to need offense or defense. But listen close. Most players when threatened will turtle. They will build defensive troops and try to win an extended and more costly war. You cannot afford this and if your alliance is good, you won't need to.
Once you have your nearby squad, you need to figure out who is going to occupy each role. Since many players go with zerks and rangers for their first units, having a player each with knights and mages is key to winning early victories. You must also remember that winning baron sieges early on in the game is going to be very difficult, so do yourself a favor and don't try unless you are sure it is worth the effort. In a 4 player squad, this is one possible lineup of early castles.
First 4 Castles
- 8 total zerker castles or zerker/ranger castles (2 per player). These will be your raiding troops, don't lose them doing something you will regret.
- 1 mage
- 1 knight
- 1 siege
- 2 ranger/guardian
- 3 other "balancing" bastles. These could be special defense for siege, mages, or knights. They could also be more offensive castles. It depends on the situation and your allies.
The most important thing here is to remember that you have allies. If two people are going for knights and mages, they will be low on gold and you will need to help them out early on. Remember to support each other and don't get greedy! There will be spoils a plenty in the end.
Personal Experience: So, a quick story about what an author of this did wrong once upon a time. After gaining momentum early on with his close allies (he had build 2 zerker castles, 1 ranger/guardian, 1 ram, and 1 knight). He ran through his zerkers (his raiding troops) trying to win a baron siege that lasted 16 hours. This costly mistake cost him between 100 and 200 global ranks over the next two months until he gained the ground back.
GENERAL TIP: Keep a few scouts in one of your castles and use these to find players that have left the game with tons of resources building up in their cities. Find the right jackpot and it will save you hours of raiding time (and could be less costly).
Minor continents are fun if you know what you are doing. If you are the best player on them you can sometimes use your own power to leverage against entire alliances that need land around shrines (don't do this, people hate you for it). You are more likely to run into a continent like this on European Servers (they are less competitive).
You will probably have fewer allies nearby for this kind of situation. So you and your allies will need to be more self-sufficient. Quickly try and discover which of your nearby enemies are the most dangerous and dispatch them. Scouts will be more important in this situation, as you will have a lot of ground to cover and threats to identify.
Remember that with players and threats more spread out, warnings for attacks will also be greater. This means that if you are to be aggressive, you will need to be intelligent about it. Not only must you scout your enemies at every possible opportunity, but you must deceive them and play to their weaknesses.
This section won't have a possible castle lineup because the situation is more open to adaption, just remeber to be aggressive and keep your enemies on their toes. You will have good days and bad days, but if your enemy is making 70% defensive troops while you are making 70% offensive, you are probably winning.
GENERAL TIP: Over time you should convert all of your resource cities to raiding castles (other than food cities and hubs). Especially on alliance-controlled continents. If the resource city is on water, make it a water castle. Never too many troops as long as you can support them.
The Offensive ProcessEdit
This section will detail the general strategic process when deciding how to handle an enemy. It will go over risk assessment and battle planning. It will also include tales of great stupidity seen in other, weaker alliances.
This process is made up of several parts, and never really has an ending. Even when the last enemy threat is gone you should still be scouting and indentifying possible siege castles near your shrines.
- Ranking Data
This is definitely the most important of the three. You should be doing it as soon as you have your first group of scouts, and you should not stop until the threat is gone. Generally it is wise to scout in a variety of manners. Here are a few key things to remember.
- Scouting an enemy castle soon after a nearby dungeon has closed is more likely to get you a good estimate of its numbers.
- Scouting at night increases these odds as well as making it less likely that an enemy will be awake to shift troops.
- Using a fake assault (with multiple stages) along with a wave of scouts will get you a good idea of their defenses if you have enough scouts to counter any possible ones that they may have. If they are smart, they will have them.
This topic can be one of contention, as some players don't think it is being a good sport to be a spy or to use a spy. But most good alliances use it very effectively, and really, when multi-accounting is so common, you need to use everything you have at your disposal to win (minus cheating). This section should be straight forward, get someone on the inside, have them pass you important info (that isn't dangerous to their cover if used).
This data can be highly revealing if properly assessed. Most of the time by combining different parts of the ranking data and knowledge of a continent you can discover which enemies have which troop numbers. This is important when planning attacks, as you may want to deal with the most serious threats first.
The planning stage is very important. Because once you know what you are up against, you will need to decide how to handle it. This section will detail general strategies to use against 3 types of players, defensive, balanced, aggressive.
These players really are the easiest to handle. With a ratio of defense in the 70-90% range, these players are basically perfectly suited to an aggressive playing style. The trick here is to not go after their offensive castles too early. Depending on what types of offensive units you have the most of, you should go after their important (and expensive) defensive castles. Such as temp/pally castles and ballista castles.
When you attack them you should always send fakes to their offensive castles, at least a few of them. These castles are fewer and more valuable, so the will be protected more heavily. The priority in terms of targets for offensive castles should go something like this (most to least important), siege, mage, knight, zerk. Keep picking away at their defensive castles until they begin to be more responsive to the threat against them. Then make a move on their offensive castles.
Remember: Do not take the priority rankings as a be all end all, if you have some closer targets that are more of a threat, decide if those need to be handled first. Figure out what your particular enemy values most, usually you can tell through scouting reports and fake attacks. But play to their weaknesses.
These can be handled much in the same way as defensive players, but expect to be attacked more often. In this case you will also be at a similar disadvantage in defensive troops to the one they are experiencing. So the thing to remember here is to finish them off before they do too much damage to you. More about defending later.
Players like you are the most dangerous. At this point it is a battle, a race, to see who can destroy the other first. You will both have several times as many offensive troops as defensive, and the one that can use both kinds of troops most effectively will win.
Because of your lack of defensive troops, you will probably have a specific weakness. This could be mages, knights, or siege. Deal with this threat as soon as possible.
Probably the most important thing here is to attack as often as possible. Daily will help your chances greatly, but it will require hunting bosses in large numbers, 100+ daily, in order to replenish lost troops quickly enough. Just remember to use plenty of fakes and figure out what they are most likely to target (siege castles are a big one).
Finally, because of the troop ratios, attacking during night protection might be very important for both players. It is risky, but with fewer defensive troops to deal with it could be done. The important thing is to only try this if you are within 5 hours of the enemy target. Even that amount of warning is cutting it close and should only be done with plenty of fakes.
Its one thing to say, I need to be more aggressive or I need to target these kinds of castles. Its another completely to actually do this on a large scale with many players involved.
When you plan an attack, you want it to be as painful a process for the enemy to defend against as possible. Even when you are only planning an attack between you and a single opponent, they should be worried.\
1 Attacker - 1 DefenderEdit
The most important thing here is to have spread. It will be easier the more distant their castles are from one another and you should take advantage of this by faking their distant, valuable castles.
NOTE: Whenever you attack you should also send a significant force of scouts to any important fakes, that way you can tell when an enemy is getting less concerned about a location.
Multiple Attackers - 1 DefenderEdit
This should be simple. Swamp them, target as many castles as possible. In reality, you should be targeting every castle. Even if you are just sending fakes, you need to make them spread their defense out as thin as possible.
1 Attacker - Multiple DefendersEdit
This situation is always interesting. The best option for a player that is outnumbered but on a relatively even military footing (or even disadvantaged) is to take advantage of the fact that they must coordinate. Their defense will be slower to respond and their attacks will be less frequent. It is imporant that you attack as often as possible, sometimes even sending fakes in the morning and your real attack (with more fakes) later in the day. Change it up, make them stay on their feet. Eventually they will make a mistake, or you will.
Multiple - MultipleEdit
This is where many alliances lose wars. Planning large scale attacks is normally left to trusted officers, and this job is time consuming to do correctly. Here are several imporant things to remember,
- Psychology: Enemy officer or leader that is self-absorbed? Make an effort to have them seem like the real target, and they will draw defensive troops towards themselves in large numbers. Then, once their allies are sick of losing castles, hit them hard.
- Allies: Everyone, or most everyone, has a life outside the game. Make sure that you give your allies enough time to set up attacks. If you are in an active alliance, 48 hours before the first troops need to leave is plenty of time. Some teams work well with 24. For large attacks, stick with 4 days.
- Scale: Everything about these attacks will be bigger. Distances, time traveled, warning before strikes land, numbers of attackers and defenders. Everything. Don't underestimate the number of defenders that an enemy can place at your targets. Over estimating never hurt any attacker.
- Clustering: The idea behind these large scale attacks is to use many players to spread out defenses but focus offensive firepower in order to take out or weaken a single player. In this light it is important to not give away the real target with sloppy planning. Sometimes it is best that your most dangerous players not send attacks at the real targets to draw defenses away. Be aware of the patterns of your own attacks and those of your alliance, and create more obvious ones that can be used to deceive.
Remember: If this advice seems vauge. It is because it is impossible to predict every situation. The best substitute is to impart the process, the basic experience, and let the player adapt it to their own situation. Know your own weaknesses and strengths. For example: If your allies use lots of mages, target the enemy defensive castles that build templars and pally.
Because this article is about being aggressive, this section will take up as little space as possible. But, it is still important to know how to do.
The important thing to remember if you are playing aggressively, is that you will never have enough defensive troops. This means that you need to use them wisely and you need to figure out which castles you have to have and which you could live without. The most common suggestion is to protect siege castles the most heavily, with a close second being mage/warlock castles. Zerk and knight castles are somewhat less time consuming to build up, so you can afford to lose them.
If you are going for raw efficiency in terms of defense, you should go with ballista. The disadvantage here is of course time, not only to build the castle but to recruit and move troops. So weigh your options and have a good variety of defensive options with your limited defensive castles.
This section will cover many of the different kinds of tricks you can use to mess with the head of an enemy. There are two primary types, Single-Use and Multi-Use. This list is limited currently, but feel free to add to it.
Single use deception tactics tend to be simple to implement and can be very dangerous. However, as stated, they cannot be used multiple times to full effect.
This is a relatively broad type, and covers most kinds of single-use deception. Primarily it is used to disguise one kind of offensive unit as another to a potential enemy. It is not a foolproof method (as it is possible to identify a castle type by its score), but it will work against most players.
It works by making a few of one type of unit that is slower than the type you are actually using in the castle. So making rams in a knight or mage castle is a fairly popular one, or mages/zerks in a knight or warlock castle.
There is one major item in this category that every player should use.
Faking is the most important military tactic in LOU, and it is why playing defensively is rarely the intelligent option (explained in more detail later).
Faking involves sending small groups of troops (as small as your castle can send), to enemy targets in an effort to get them to send their defensive troops to the wrong location. Most good players use between 4 and 6 fake attacks for every real attack (depending on castle type).
The reason why faking kills defensive style strategies in most cases is because of a couple reasons,
- It is very difficult to identify the real target of an attack before it lands. In fact, your odds of doing that suck. So if you have 20 castles, and all of yours are targeted by an enemy, where do you send your troops? Its an awful situation for the defender. Even if you have nearby allies, they can't send too many troops themselves because they likely have attacks incoming on them as well. Your best bet is thinking like the enemy. Try and figure out who you would attack, and what you would attack, if you were them. With a little smarts and practice, that method works.
- It is more time consuming to be the defender than the attacker. Massive attacks can take a long time to plan. But defending agains those attacks successfully is a horribly painful experience. On competitive servers you can have hundreds or thousands of attacks land simultaneously against an alliance. Defending against that is stressful and time consuming. So for most people who have lives (work and friends), it is really not fun.
The result of these two points is that it is actually a relatively common strategy to have an entire team target a single player over a period of weeks to wear them down and hopefully make them quit the game.
Invasions and Post-Primary ContinentsEdit
"Join the Army! Travel to exotic, distant lands. Meet exciting, unusual people, and kill them!"Edit
A strong invasion or post-primary continent expansion has many facets. Here are a few,
- Teamwork and allies (notice a pattern?).
- Resource Support
- Military Support
- Gate Support
As previously stated, it is important to work with your nearby allies. If you trust them, you should even give one substitute access on your account in case you are attacked while offline (this can be dangerous though, I've seen spies tear someone apart from the inside after they were given access to a major player).
Resource support is going to come in the form of hubs that are sent resources from your safe continent(s). It is important that the continent you are targeting is close to at least one safe continent that can support it. Otherwise you will have resource problems until your raiding is active and you will be more vulnerable for it. The more resources and water-based hubs you can have available to send support to your invasion, the better. Just make sure to balance castles with hubs, as always.
Miliary support is primarily going to need to come from water castles at first. It is a necessary pre-requisite to a strong invasion that you also have a strong navy. The best alliances can have hundreds of millions of TS in water based defense for the purpose of protecting water-based palaces and invasions.
You also need to have strong gate forces on other continents to beat down the enemy near your invading allies and give them breathing room. But be ready for the enemy to try the reverse and end your invasion pre-maturely.
This is actually one of the less well known pieces to a closely fought war on a contested continent. It is important that you kill between 50 and 100 bosses per day if at all possible in order to bring in enough (item that builds troops faster) in order to quickly build up your forces and reinforce them after encounters. If your mana is at 100% at any point, you are doing it wrong.
Now we get to this very important part. Often during invasions your forces end up very close to enemy castles. These close-combat situations are poorly handled by most players and can be quickly used to your advantage if you are smart and willing to put in a little time. If your castles are within 3 or 4 hours of an enemy stronghold, this is the situation you are handling.
The key to winning in this situation is to be quick on your feet. You can't be reliant on defensive troops, and the longer the fight lasts the more painful it will be for both sides. In order to win you need to do a couple of things,
- Scout often, never allow your scouts any rest. Even at night.
- Attack at night (yes, I know you have been told not to do this, but you must do it).
- Attack daily
The reason you need to be scouting constantly is so that you can be aware of enemy troop locations at all times. It also allows you over time to discover when your enemy is most often offline (whether asleep or at work). If you dscover that an enemy raiding castle has finished a nearby dungeon and is vulnerable, hit it, whether or not it is during night-protection (as long as you have the proper troops). Most of your early castles are going to be on water if you have a good navy, so use them wisely. Some players in the face of an invasion will turtle and build extra defense. If they do this, build more offense and make their life miserable.
The reason why you need to be hitting bosses every day, many times a day, is so that you can attack on a daily basis by speeding up recruitment (it will be costly in mana, but worthwhile). This is also why you need strong support lines, as raiding will rarely be able to provide all of the necessary resources.
Begin by simply harrassing your enemy and if possible, destroying nearby castles. As you and your allies gain in strength and numbers, be more and more aggressive. Every single slot of land will be important at this point, so take every opportunity to grab land for more castles. With highly contested continents it is unlkely that you will ever have a lot of room to yourself. The key is to be aware of yourself, your allies, and your enemies. Check for attacks against nearby allies as you would yourself, and attack the enemy as often as possible.
I feel like this was somewhat scattered, so I will go over it again and refine it more later. It was written in a single session with no drafts, so please forgive me and feel free to modify it (but please do not stray too far from the initially proposed concepts). If you must add something contrary to my views on how a campaign should be run, leave both versions to allow players to choose between the methods. To my previous allies and teammates, I'm sorry if I told our secrets. But I find competition more fun than a slaughter (that is, if I ever return to the game).