In war, it's not uncommon to wake up one morning to find that you've got an insane number of incoming attacks. If this happens Don't Panic! The worst thing you could do is start sending your troops around in a flurry without taking the time to evaluate the incoming attacks.
First thing that you should note, is that most attacks during a war are fake attacks, consisting of 1 unit. The whole idea behind fake attacks is to overload the defender with information, and try and get them to give up mentally, or try and disguise where the 'real' attack(s) are going. Remember, these 'real' attack(s) may not even be heading towards you. The real attack(s) may be headed towards a tribe member, in which case the fakes are sent at you to make sure you don't send support to any other tribe members.
The best thing to do right away as soon as an attack is headed your way is to try and identify what kind of troops are being sent in the attack. If you've got premium, tribalwars just recently added a nifty little 'troop marching time' calculator to the attack screen. If you don't have premium, you'll have to calculate the attack time using a tool like the 'attack planner' at www.twstats.com. At any rate, you can often identify what is the slowest troop in an incoming attack, especially if you are online when the attack is sent, or the attack is sent from a long distance. For premium accounts, you can actually rename your attacks to help keep track of them.
Next thing to do is try and identify which villages (if any) are under the highest threat of being attacked with a real attack. The biggest threat is obviously a noble train, which is usually one or more nukes in front of 4 nobles, probably followed by support. Nobles are usually pretty easy to spot because they take so bloody long to travel... Also, when people send noble trains, most of the time they pay more close attention to timing, so the closer together these nukes/nobles/support are, the more likely it's a real attack. Fake noble trains usually are four or five ram attacks in a row, followed by some sloppy support. If all of the nobles/nukes/support come from the same village, that's a dead giveaway that it's a fake noble train, why would a player support from the same village when they know the last noble would support the village with all of it's troops? Players often send this sloppy fake noble train because they don't have the time to properly co-ordinate attacks from multiple villages.
Real noble trains often (but not always) use multiple villages in the attack, so be wary when the nuke/noble/support is all spaces a few seconds apart, and from different villages. It's rare that someone will spend that much time co-ordinating a fake noble attack.
Some good defensive tactics for when you spot a noble train heading your way:
- If the noble train obviously doesn't have more than one nuke, run your troop counts in the simulator, if you can withstand it, especially without taking too many losses, you can just stand up to it heads up.
- If you're concerned about losing too many troops, you can 'split' a noble train by sending your troops out on a farming mission to a nearby city. There are two ways to time this, you can either calculate the 'there and back' time for the farming mission, ensuring that your forces will return in the middle of your opponent's noble train, or you can send them out right before, and then cancel the attack. Personally, I prefer the timed 'there and back' approach, because if you mess it up, you can try it again with a different village, or you can always back up to the 'cancelled attack approach' if you have no other option.
- Another variation of the above is to send support to the village being attacked, allowing it to arrive before the final noble hits.
- If you're pretty sure there's no way in hell you can either split the troops or kill off the incoming nobles, there's a sneaky tactic that will allow you to really hurt the enemy. The biggest downfall of this tactic is that when your village is nobled, all of your troops build in that village dissappear. Anyhow, before the attacks hit, if you can lower the loyalty of the village, there's a good chance that the incoming noble train will noble the village multiple times, and they'll lose all of the packets it took to build the noble, really hurting the enemy in the resource department. To cap it all off, you can send in a nuke and final noble to hit the village in between the last noble and the incoming support (if any) to take the village back.
- A spin off of the last strategy is that you can also simply just noble the village back by timing a nuke/noble to hit after their last noble, but before their support.
As for single attacks, sometimes they could be catapult attacks, or random nukes being send out. In this case, it's best to weight your options.
- If you have a ton of support, best move is to just take the brunt of the attack, and hopefully wipe out the nuke/cat attack. I'd only suggest this if you're confident that you're doing more damage to your opponent than they're doing to you.
- If you're worried about incurring to many losses, you can always 'dodge' the attack, worst case scenario, you may lose some resources and your wall if it's a nuke (as for resources, you can always send them to another village with your merchants, or try and put them into troop queues. Just as a side note, resources up on the market CAN get plundered even though they aren't in your warehouse). Dodging an attack is basically just clearing your village of troops for when the attack hits. If the attack is a catapult attack, they're probably going after your smithy or academy, so worst case scenario, you'll have to build up some damaged buildings. It's all a cost/benefit situation... Weight your potential costs that will be incurred from an attack, against the benefits involved in keeping all of your troops intact.
I'm sure I'm forgetting something in this little guide, and I have no doubt that there will be dozens of posts with things to add :)
I guess I'll leave with a little extra tidbit... Wars are all about resource and time management. Whomever have access to more resources and can use them quickly and efficiently will win the war.
A successful attack or defense is one that has cost the enemy more resources (and time) than they cost you.
The more defence you have in 1 village the less you lose. sounds simple but what it means is spreading yourself too thinly increases the chances of your losing lots of villages! If you can make sure you have minimum 2 full villages of support if you are going to 'tough out' what looks like a full on attack. Better to defend a few villages well, than all of them poorly.
If there's no nobles incoming, and you dont have lots of troops, just dodge the nukes. A wall can be built back quicker and cheaper than troops. Especially if they have an attack time of multiple days. We'd rather kill the enemy troops, but if they take days to get to you and days to return, that means they are tied up, and cant be reused.
Targeting 1 noble in a train. You time your troops to return as the clearing attacks are finished but before the last noble hits. You dont have to kill the last noble. Depending on the time gaps you can target the 2nd or the 3rd noble in the train with good timing, and get back out again. If your lucky the middle attacks can be weaker then the 1st and last nobles.
Lowering morale. If you expect to lose a village, this is a devastating blow to the enemy. If you can lower morale so that the 1st or 2nd noble gets the village, attacker nobles themselves 2 or 3 times. Each noble then costs the full price to replace, e.g. 30 - 50 noble coins each!!! Added to any troop loss this is a huge blow!
If you can combine this with a swift counter attack to try to retake the village, it can actually hurt the enemy more than if you defended your village! Finally if you expect to lose your village and cant counter, perhaps your tribe mates can noble it back for you. Keep it from the enemy's hands.
How to Handel Attacks, By Dazander.