Openeye’s HC/Cat Strategy
A few things you will need to understand to follow me.
1) First of all this strategy doesn't make the most mathematical sense. I'm sorry but what works on paper rarely works in real life. For those who think that it does, you really need more exposure in RL and TW. I don’t know of anybody who makes use of 20k axe armies and yet using the math it would seem to be the most effective strat.
2) This strategy doesn't work for people on the fence. It's largely an all or nothing deal simply because of teching limits. If your villages don’t have HC teched to 3 then you can’t send HC there to defend. You lose too many to remain effective and with LC in your offense you loose your ability to tech HC to 3. Also uniformity is simpler.
3) This strategy is originally Thar's(at least on .net) though I did modify it a bit mainly the catapults, as everybody does along the way.
4) If you can’t identify fakes and can’t effectively time/stack defenses you will fail at TW, but especially fail at this strategy.
5) This also works best when all your villages are named the same, simply compounds the confusion this strategy can put your enemy in.
6) Also considers what I remember of speeds of W4. Though it may change based on your world the ratios remain the same.
7) Obviously this is old units.
My HC strat:
Grouped villages in 10 village tactical groups based on proximity(Largely just for organization and to maintain ratios). 6:3:1 Offense:Defense:Scouts
First, thing I would like to point out now is that I employed this strategy even though my 100+ villages were all touching. This isn't just for spread players in fact it works even better for players who are condensed. The way this strategy beats others is not in power. Obviously, your average army is comparatively weaker to sp/sw & axe/lc players. What you win with is versatility, speed, agility, outsmarting, and disheartening your enemies.
Why is 1250 HC the magic number? Simply it’s a balance issue. It's easy to get carried away with the HC and since they are (statwise) weaker than their opposites(LC/Sw). You don’t want to swing too far one way simply because of a need to maintain balance. And though 10k/1250 HC isn't a balanced defense but by the time you figure in the villages with 1250 HC you can pull in from further out and from offensive villages you will find that your defense will be HC heavy as it is. Further given that axes compared to HC are much better on offence its better to give them the benefit and keep the balance swayed their way (more so than you would with LC).
Since it’s easier for everybody to see the advantage on defense before offense I will start there. Sp/HC build nearly 3x faster, this alone is huge. In wartime you’re looking a rebuild in less than 2 weeks rather than over a month. Further since spears move nearly 2x as fast as swords(not really but in times of need it feels like it) and your support moves at the speed of the slowest unit you can move a lot more of your armies a lot further when needed to counter.
This becomes even more special when you log in and only find an hour or two before the first strike hits. In times when you can’t see the slowest unit because you logged in late this strategy really shines.
You log in to find attacks on one your villages, or on a newly nobled village that were incoming before you nobled. In both cases no way to identify the troops and only 2 hours until they hit.
With a sp/sw defense set you can only draw in full defense from villages within 2 fields of the target and spears from 3 fields away. Chances are you only have 1-2 D villages nearby(if you’re lucky and it’s near your cluster). So you can decide to call them in and expect heavy loses(especially in that newly nobled walless village) or wait it out and prepare a counter offensive. Not a lot of options and your right where you opponent wants you: losing a village, or losing a large number of troops.
Now with the HC strat you have a lot more options. In 2 hours you can have sp/HC from up to 3 fields away(nearly doubling the number of fields support can originate from) and draw HC from 7 or 8 fields away. This gives you 2-3defensive villages to draw full defenses from and, considering your offensive village HC are also fully capable of defending, likely 4-5 villages you can draw HC from. (Maybe more if you built in a compact cluster like I did.)
In two hours you talking about the difference of 20k/20k and 30k/10k HC Please do the math for me and tell me what defense will hold up better... You will suffer less loses, less wall damage, and further you will lose troops over 8 villages allowing you to rebuild your armies in 1/4 (or less) the time verses loosing in only 2 villages. Now you have 8 villages pumping new recruits from barracksand stable rather than rebuilding from 2 village barracks. Spread the loses; Spread the rebuild
This strategy really shines when your villages are close because of this situation that I illustrated. The closer you villages are the further the enemy armies have to march and the shorter your support takes. The defense works because it allows you to stack defense to minimize you loses while maximizing your enemy loses. You aren't looking to match kills with the enemy; rather you’re looking to kill 4 or 5 or more enemy troops for every casualty you take. In this aspect your troops will last through a lot more battles on defense than with the sp/sw strat.
Sometimes though you are just getting whooped. 1k+ incoming everywhere and all at once. Your sp/HC aren’t as powerful as sw/sp so how do you survive?
Worst fear is realized: Massive incoming, many enemies, and lots of nobles. Sure you have time to react, 24+ hours to impact, but what’s the use?
First don’t panic. Just get to marking the incoming. Over half of that crap is ram fakes, scouts, or armies without nobles. Pick out the nobles and likely nukes. (As any good player would do, right?) Most large operations of this nature have bad timing, maybe not on individual villages but between villages. The noble train on village "A" hits 5 hours after village "B", Village "C" & "D" 2 hours later ect ect. Guess what each of these is? A repetition of example 1. Sure it’s on the massive scale but it’s not undefendable.
Sometimes though you can't get enough defenses there in time, the walls are down, there timing is across several villages at once. Then what do you have? You have the best dodge defense available. Every village has a defense waiting to block a noble somewhere. And while you are playing kill the noble in sector A, sector B can be stacked up in 2 hours to kill a nuke or two and 2 hours later be moved to block a nuke elsewhere(Not only does support get there twice as fast it gets home to be redeployed 2x as fast).
I'm sorry but sp/sw can’t do this nearly as well. Your offenses in a sp/sw & axe/lc get launched off to either noble back lost villages(not that villages without troops are what you need in this situation) or go on suicide runs to piss off your aggressors(who if they are smart just dodge). HC on the other hand though it may not be able to hold on paper, with a dedicated player at the controls and sitters to remain vigilant you stand a real shot at holding out. Though admittedly there are some situations where you are going to die no matter what(In which case saving packages and running to the rim is always an option).
Eventually they slow down. After a week or two of intense fighting like that where you opponent gets no real headway they are bound to get a little discouraged. Further after a week or two you can likely have most if not all of your losses paid for and in the queues ready for deployment over the next week. (Provided you held strong)
And if you’re shattered, beaten, and destroyed then well you can still enjoy a lengthy game of "kill the noble." Ask Thar(Best timer ever, bar none), he held off MCD and w00t for 3 months dodging nobles. He could literally kill the nobles on a one second train(but I'm getting off topic). And no better troop can be found for such a situation as HC. They are faster and by having some in every village you give yourself multiple options in case you miss you timing window the first few attempts.