Obviously your offensive nukes are weakened not having LC. The comparison of HC to LC is comparable to the comparison of LC to Axes. Mathematically it would make the most sense to have all axe nukes. But because of time restraints we use LC, which in turn allows us more nukes because we can use and rebuild the nuke in less time than just to build a single axe nuke. Similarly HC give us the same option. By using HC instead of LC it allows us to get away with more offensive villages vs. defensive villages thus allowing us to put more nukes out to our disposal without sacrificing defense. Even with my 3:2 Offense:Defense villages I still have the defense better than a 1:1(by the numbers) closer to a 2:3(considering the stacking advantage) at my disposal. Further the added HC from the defensive villages and the cats(if used properly) more than make up for the disadvantage my nukes have.
This strategy allows for several different strategies to be employed so it can make the enemies life of timing your attacks much more difficult.
Straight forward clearing/nobles attacks as are 99% or real attacks.
Admittedly, this is where only disadvantage(I have found) rears its ugly head. You nukes aren't as strong as they could be. Solution: Send more nukes. You have more offensive villages now, so employ them. No need to hold anything back you've got the defense still in reserve (the defensive HC shouldn't be employed except as fakes, same with the cats).
The nobles can come from anywhere, defensive or offensive, and provided you don’t leave yourself completely undefended(which is a no-no no matter what strat, HC or Sw/LC, you employ) you shouldn't have any problems. In fact these situations allow you to use your offensive HC to quick support a newly nobled or newly to-be nobled village. Provided they have already identified your village "A" to be offensive they may pass it off as a fake support and discredit the entire train as fake(which has happened for me). Further, it gives your defensive villages nobling a little bite to there bark when 1k HC escort the noble making the dodge strategy a little more costly for your enemies(also happened).
Now on to some of a bit unorthodox strategies. What about the catapults? Many(99.999%) people stop using catapults after initial farming stages(if they use them at all) for anything except fakes. I believe this to be a mistake. If catapults were useful then they can be useful now. First you have a near inexhaustible supply of flak fakes(those annoying 100+ fakes with random times of landing just to confuse and overwhelm).
Second: Do you know what 4 waves of 200 cats can do to a cleared village? Bye bye HQ; Bye bye Farm. Do you know how long it takes to rebuild a maxed village when the farm and HQ are reduced to rumble? Over 3 months. When the farm is reduced to below the population level of the village they cant even start rebuild the wall or HQ until the farm is back to the positive. Not to mention troops. In less than 5 seconds you can turn a thriving troop producing village into a desolate wasteland good for only noble packages, killing your own troops, and farming/sending resources(unless you hit the markets and acads too).
Your going to take out player X, s/he's a pretty good fight equal points and village count. You want to make it as quick as possible but don’t really have any outside help. Outside of a bit of support you’re on your own.
You launch the initial attack, to him/her it looks like a pretty straight forward attack. Good timing, less than 5 second "noble trains" etc etc. The defense is moved to counter and everything goes as planned, right until the attacks hit. The "ram, ram, noble, noble, noble, noble" attacks turned out to be nothing but 2 rams and 4 nobles(costing you a whooping 4 packages). But the 6 ram attacks in a row that just looked like a train fake ended up being 2 nukes followed by 4 attacks of 50 HC and 200 cats. Or if you got real sneaky, you split those cats up even more into strikes of 50 cats; it looks even less realistically threatening. When was the last time the village with 10 incomings at ram speed was defended when you had others with noble speed incoming?
Likely there was nothing there to defend, sometime they even get lazy and left an offense in thinking it would have nothing to fear from fakes. In the initial wave, those losing several nobles and the packages and time associated with their rebuild, you walk away with no villages but managed to effectively destroy 5-20% of the villages fighting abilities(depending on how you used your cats). Remember the more waves you send the cats in the less you need in each wave. 200 in a wave does a decent job, but I prefer 50 cat waves. Now that even fight just became a lot more lopsided in your favor.
This offers a lot of advantages for you if executed properly. On the next wave of attacks s/he's going to be a lot more cautious of those ram fakes. You can use this to your advantage when you do come in with the real nobles as you can expect a lot less in terms of stacking. Not only that, but lucky you, you've got 30/30/30 farms(good use of those HC on defense) that can't spend resources to keep them away from you(supposing you were a bit short on packages, as I found myself often, this really helped speed the nobling process). Maybe you'll even get so lucky that they try to support the village to prevent you from farming it. No walls and no ability to make walls make it a great support trap, nice quick and easy way to kill off those pesky troops. It doesn't work real well on good players, but noobs hate to lose villages, and tribal support(especially noob tribes) is always likely. Further, its really disheartening to see your villages destroyed to the point of uselessness and can even in itself get them to give up the defense right then and there(happened several times).
Lastly and most importantly you have an effective means to combat morale because of point loss. Allow me to explain. They can’t get rid of those villages, unless somebody else was stupid enough to noble them. As such they are left stuck with the 8-9k points each of them adds to somebody’s score without any of the troops building benefits those points normally mean. Hence they stay inflated with false points, keeping them up higher in the morale ranges and preventing them from using the "turtle till you're too small to hurt" strategy. Used effectively, by saving those villages to be nobled last you have a real easy way to keep this guy in your range to continue to pick off his good villages at your leisure, which is another very disheartening realization when you are on the defense.
This is also a great means to stop pesky support or otherwise discourage others from assisting your soon to be annexed villages. You don’t support too much after getting hit in one or two villages this way, and in itself can really throw a question mark up for people to consider when they send out support or attacks against you.You can really slow down a semi coordinated tribe by simply adding the fact that your ram speed attacks have the potential for lethality.
Further it’s great because it’s a fire and forget weapon. Once a village is cleared and razed by the cats it’s really not a threat for a couple months. As such you can move on to other villages and continue to equalize the field or assert your dominance as needed. Lastly if you have a front that you really don’t want to expand by nobling but need a little security, just destroy all the villages on the border. No troop production no worries. Really good to create a no-man's land or force players around you to quit.
Although HC cost more than swords or LC, it’s almost all in iron, which is the easiest and cheapest resource to get on the markets. Clay gets eaten by the builders as does wood. And wood is always in short supply but iron, if you have a surplus its in iron. And it’s real easy to obtain additional iron on the market. Further the high iron cost does well to balance the high clay cost of buildings and the high wood cost of axes and spears, and when you’re storing packages its iron that always ends up in surplus so it’s nice to be able to have a stockpile in your maxed villages to help rebuild the armies on your border and newly acquired villages.
There you have it, my entire strategy. 4th ranked in W4 at one time(though it wasn't 100% committed too at the time) and took 100 villages and 1 million points in less than 5 months from scratch after being essentially rimmed following the 4th place. Sorry it’s so much a book, but it’s pretty involved and I wanted to lay it out explained well enough that both newbs and vets could understand. I don’t care about the n00bs, because they won’t read it anyhow. Thanks for taking the time to read and I hope I have enlighted a few of you into the world of HC. Also, many thanks for the many who credited me with the strategy. Though not all of its due to me, Thar deserves much more than me.
The most important reason to learn the HC strategy is that sooner or later you will be targeted in a war. Once that happens, you won't care about ratios and strategies. At that point the only thing that matters is how much defense per hour you can accumulate to replace your losses.
The absolute fastest you can build defense points is by building spears, HCs and cats all at once. As the war progresses, you are going to find yourself with lots of spears, HCs and cats, even if that wasn't your initial plan. This strategy teaches you how to use them effectively.