View Full Version : a few thoughts on optimal strategy

04-11-2012, 05:04 PM
Since I decided not to chase the blue boxes and prizes this event, in my spare time I typed up some of my thoughts for your amusement :)


There are 1440 minutes in a day, so everyone has 4,320 energy points to play with each day... unless of course you play as IRAN with a 10% bonus, which means an extra 432 energy per day for you. It does not seem much, but if you convert it, it could easily mean an extra $100,000+ cash per day as a bonus if you are hitting the right missions. And this is an advantage you will constantly have over all other nations day by day, week by week, they will not be able to compensate for this in any other way.


Other nations will certainly reply, that their Air, Sea or Ground defense bonus is worth more than this extra daily cash. If you do the math, it is obvious that they are right - an extra $100,000 daily will not be enough for you to buy 10% more units than they have, especially not at higher levels. However, and this is the key to understand: you are not comparing yourself against one other guy of another nation, you are playing against a horde of players and there will ALWAYS be someone stronger than you. So unless you are they GOLD king of the hill, we can safely conclude, that no defense is enough... EVER :)

Now, if no defense is ever enough, then why bother at all? I say, money is king in this game and it is simply futile to waste money on defense, especially if you can vault all your money and if all else fails, invest the unvaultable money in defense buildings or palm tree parks until you need it.

Unvaultable money:

Yes, when you have extra, unprotected money you can't fit in the vault you have two choices: either try to defend it with an army (hopeless, as there is always a bigger fish than you are) or you invest it in a building and pay a 50% protection fee for this type of storage. Yes, it is a hefty price, but what this way you can be certain that that (half of)the money WILL be available on demand when you need it. The alternative is to risk losing ALL of your money (and sleep over it) and you cannot count on it being there when you need it.

Skill points:

There is absolutely no reason to have more energy points than the longest period you spend away from the game daily (number of hours of sleep time to fill it to the max). The rest is wasted, when it could be used for more important things.

Now, originally, when I was thinking about what strategy to follow, I realized, that to spend skill points on ATTACK bonus is kinda stupid, as I can always look up the enemy profile and pick someone way way weaker than myself to make sure I can defeat them. On the other side, since DEFENSE skill ponts do not show up in the defense total ponts, having a huge DEFENSE skill will surprise the attacking enemy. I noticed, that 50 or a 100 defense skill points can easily cause an attacker to lose a few battles even if they have 3-5-10 thousand attack points over my defense points.

Now, I know that this will not fool the smart players, however, since my defense SKILL bonus will usually make them lose the very first one or two battles, this will certainly demoralize the enemy, even if they know what is happening. When I am faced with such a surprise, I almost always keep attacking, knowing that they luck is simply a defense skill bonus which runs out in 1 or 2 fights and from then on the real attack defense values will determine the fight. Howver, psychologically it is quite a deterrent to those who let feelings guide them instead of pure rationality :)

what else?

Oh yes... however, since I am about to reach whale territory, I am changing my skill points strategy because now I must look at the situation differently. Whales are not effected by my high defense skill bonus, as they will have twice or thrice the attack points over my defense, and no amount of skill bonus will make them lose even one fight against me.

Therefore, defense again is a futile excercise, and I must focus on making my attacks have as much success as I can.

So now, I look at attack skill points as the extra force I can add to raise my attack / win chances against those I am planning to attack. I can only spend as much money as I make a day to buy units, and besides the boost buildings, the skill points is another way to "boost" your winning chances.

Cheers and see you out there :)

04-11-2012, 05:12 PM
Seems rational - but for the first 3-4 months of playing, you should be able to actually utilize defense buildings against the normal "mortal" enemy - SO - why not buy ALL the defense buildings you can along the way - keep them at level one only because I don't think you get back more money when you sell a level 1 building vs a level 10 building - and then SELL all your defense buildings (if you honestly feel they are worthless) when you reach the level that you want money for a Nanotech building or Space Station.

Not my strategy - but maybe makes a little sense added on to your strategy.

To each his own :)

04-11-2012, 05:41 PM
Since part of the optimal strategy is to always utilize the other reasource I haven't talked about, namely TIME, what I noticed (on both my accounts, each using different goals) is that I can always spend all my money on keeping the one upgrade, one building and one extension process going. Therefore, I eaither have no money left to be stolen via attacks, or I invest them into defense buildings or palm trees until I need the cash to buy something above my vault limit.

Also, since I can collect the high value buildings at least once or twice every day on schedule, and raiding my lower value buildings is not lucrative for the enemy, I really do not see any reason to protect anything at all :)

Seriously, reading went down so much, that I have a level four bio dome sitting there for a day an no one is interested in half a mill :D

And finally, at $450,000 income per hour I am having trouble spending the money as it is... so I do not mind sharing some fat loot with an occasional visitor... I am really quite happy for him... I can see the grin on his face and enjoy his joy as well ;)

On a further note, reflecting on my original post, that extra 10% energy bonus does convert to +10% mission loot units, so it does make up for at least the loot unit strength advantages of other nations.

04-11-2012, 07:50 PM
That's a completely different way of looking at things. A couple things though:

1) the nation bonus for units is not just defense, it also applies to offense. So it's not just a question of making up for lost defense, it's also a question of making up for lost offense as well. I don't see that what you're suggesting does that.

2) Just because a strong defense can't protect you from every last threat, doesn't mean there's no point in building one, anymore than the fact that a seat belt can't protect you in every single accident means there's no point in using a seat belt. To me, it looks like at the upper levels it's a choice between being just whale food or being whale food and whale food's food(for non gold or light gold players anyway). Granted, I'm low level now and haven't been there, but it just seems like that is the case based on the many things I've read by people who have been there.

Still though, that's an interesting way of looking at things and I enjoyed reading it.

Jp lfs
04-12-2012, 10:55 PM
There are some very interesting points made here. And I have to share that I have had some very strange outcomes while attacking with my LLP. For example, someone with no boost buildings or country bonus beats me when my stats are easily 30-40% above theirs. Or I lose an attack on someone I should have easily beaten. Or I will win 3 in a row, then lose the 4th and 5th attacks. Very strange. My higher level account has never had this result, and I put quite a few points into attack and defense in both players. There really is an unknown, secret, or even random factor at work here. Thanks for sharing, it has given me a lot to ponder.

Jp lfs
04-12-2012, 10:57 PM
Also, I have noticed that even when I can't successfully attack someone, I can still raid their base like crazy, regardless of defense buildings. I think that raiding is based on a completely different set of rules.

War Priest
04-12-2012, 11:30 PM
Also, I have noticed that even when I can't successfully attack someone, I can still raid their base like crazy, regardless of defense buildings. I think that raiding is based on a completely different set of rules.

They do because then defense building stats jump in and all. Except mine works the opposite compaired to you. Sometimes when I raid somebody I lose a super hornet or one of the really high stat money units. Haven't done it in a few weeks so I don't know if I am all gold yet or not but now I just stick to attacking.

Thunder Child
04-12-2012, 11:53 PM
@ Ascent
A very refreshing appraisal of and attitude toward the game. Notice a lot of ideas, strategies and conclusions I use or have used, and some new ones, too. Hope to see more of your thoughts...
Great avatar, BTW

05-12-2012, 01:28 PM
It is about time I expanded a bit on my original thoughts about optimal strategy.

I will not explain and prove every point as we can nitpick about the details... but on the overall grand scale the situation looks like this:

1.) Valor is a limited and finite resource. You will get less and less of it for an ever increasing price until it will not be worth pursuing it at all.

2.) Cash on the opposite is an ever increasing resource as you build up your economy.

3.) Funzio will not likely to introduce any future ways to make valor easier or cheaper to get, as it would only "make the rich richer" and funzio does not want to spread the player base even more thinner than it is now.

Therefore, it is assumed that:

4.) Any valor lost is lost forever and is irreplacable on the long run.

Well then, if it is so, I am looking for the strategy to make use of valor in a way that prevent any loss of it. I do not mean hoarding it, I really do mean USING it, but in a way that will allow me to minimize its losses.

Now, we do know that attacking the the fastest way to lose units, so I will obstain from using valor to purchase attack units. In fact, I will try to make sure that valor units will never be taken to battle.

The only way to do this is to spend valor on defensive units.

And since they will NOT participate in ANY attacks EVER any such defensive unit I will have to have the lowest attack stats possible... why pay for something which will be never used...

...in fact the lower the attack stats the easier to make sure they will never be used in attacks.

So, I am spending all my valor points on Military Ambulances (for now) and M270 MLRS on the long run. At the same time spending all my cash on making sure I will always have at least 2000 units with higher than 17 Attack stats.

I know it is a long run to get that many separate units for attack and defense, but hey... money just keeps growing at an hourly rate of $560.000 and Valor isn't. Also, until I get there I really don't need too high Attack stats to beat up those 5-6000 A/D stats guys who exist on every level... and as I notice, the higher I get the more of them there are (I guess they are the whale gangbang victims?)

So, what do you think guys? :)

05-12-2012, 03:25 PM
Your assesment regarding the finite nature of valor and it's best use is brilliant. I will be rethinking my strategy.

Quick note regarding military ambulances, mine cost $84,000, no valor. Did you mean another unit?

05-12-2012, 04:30 PM
Quick note regarding military ambulances, mine cost $84,000, no valor. Did you mean another unit?

You are right, it is not a valor unit, but it has the desired properties for a defense only unit - tiny attack and great defense therefore good value and easy to keep away from fights. The military ambulance is perfect in fact because while stacking them up with cash I am saving the valor for MLRS.

Another thing I do is making sure that I obtain units which are appropriate for my level... i.e.: stealth frigates and super hornets would certainly give a great boost to my A/D but are overkill and expensive to lose because I have no meatshields for them.

For example, I look at my stats and then buy a unit... Then I look at the stats again. If the unit purchased does not increase my stats that means that my unit strength avarage is higher than that unit's stats... therefore no sense getting it. If it adds to my stats but only little (2-4 points) I may get them as meatshields. If it adds around 10 points or so I will use that unit to raise the stats. If it adds way too much (over 15 points) I can't protect it with meatshileds anymore. { these point values are valid for my current level only, i.e.: military ambulances add around 11 points to my defense each which means my avarage defense unit strength is 7-8 points now}

05-12-2012, 06:03 PM
I personally don't see the point to trying to prevent the loss of every single one of your valor units, especially now that funzio introduced the ranking system that, potentially, can net you tens of thousands of valor points if you reach the highest rank. Also, remember that you get valor points for every PvP attack or raid you do. I think it's better to get loads of meat shields to act as cannon fodder in defense of your valor units when you attack. This works most of the time (but not all, I'll readily admit). And, contrary to what you seem to think, meat shields don't need to be close to Your average attack density to work. For the longest time my meat shields were the desert leaders from the first map, which had an attack score of 1, but they did an excellent job of sacrificing the self to protect my 140 SH with their ridiculously high stats (by comparison). The trick was to have 300 or so desert leaders engaged in each battle.

In addition, there is another flaw in your plan--military ambulances are not valor units, they are cash units. The MLRS is the only valor nit that is biased toward defense instead of attack, so you'll have to concentrate on that one. That said, it's also one of the higher-casualty valor units, so you will still lose some while defending (although not nearly as many as when attacking).

05-12-2012, 06:35 PM
Beside the main goal of protecting high valor units, I think the idea of meat shields being of decent stats is more to keep defense units from entering battle than anything. You need meat shields to protect SHs and SFs, but their stats don't matter so much in this goal. Preventing Sea Scouts, Military Ambulances, Global Hawk Drones from entering battle is intermediate to end game strategy, however, and in this case higher stats definitely are important. This is why snipers are really great at keeping every intermediate defense unit out of the attack group, other than that-stats are simply to keep density up. Also, I find it is difficult to overwhelm the opponent if there are 300 low grade meat shields, however the higher the stat, the more powerful and easier time to find opponents to raid, attack, and destroy, lol. If there is any sort of defense strategy going on, meat shields play a large part in protecting it.

05-12-2012, 06:59 PM
Johnny--I agree with you fully on the need to use meat shields that don't dilute your army density and exluding defensive units from attacks. I phased out my desert leaders around level 40 or so, once I started building up enough higher-stat units to ramp up my army's density and also began buying units intended only for defensive purposes. Now I rely on ATs and Minisubs as meat shields (also have about 300 of them combined) and will soon (probably within a couple of weeks) begin buying tons of SEALS to replace them, as I'm no longer very keen on the XP I get from farming meat shields.

I just think that Ascent's viewpoint on density and meat shields is not correct, and the logic he uses to evaluate his purchases (as well as the math), according to his second post, is flawed. There is no such thing as having a unit that has stats that are "too high" for your level or "too high" to be defended by meat shields. The way he goes about calculating density and deciding which units to buy also is not entirely correct. Not seeing a change in your attack/defense stats after buying a unit doesn't mean that your unit strength average is higher than the unit that you bought--your A/D stats are not averages, they are totals. In this case, it means that the unit you bought is either too weak to make it past the cutoff for your army (say the lowest unit you bring into battle has an attack score of 10 and the one you bought has an attack score of 8, for example--in this case, your attack average could easily be 15 but you could have bought a unit with an attack score of 12 and still seen your attack score go up) or that it tied with your lowest scoring unit and therefore didn't raise the over attack score.

To get your exact army density, take your attack score and divide it by the number of units you take into battle (same goes for your defense density). On a practical level, denity gives you Seoul information regarding how efficiently you are using the finite number of attack/defense slots you have to go into battle, but Ascent is neither calculating it right not using it the way it should be used.

05-12-2012, 08:07 PM
Gotcha DJ, you are completely correct in regards to the math and fuzzy logic there.

05-12-2012, 09:04 PM
I disagree that your nation boost only holds up for the first two attacks, and that you are just free meat after two fend offs. The Nation boost is a permanent boost. The weird part is that similar stats attacker and defender will often just go back and forth, win lose win lose etc. there are many unknown factors never revealed to us, so it's hard to draw a clear strategy on that. Also important to know that for raiding totally different rules apply than for attacking. Somebody with lower stats will always be able to raid your buildings but unable to beat you in a fight.
The ambulances are a great cheap way to build a strong defense, one should have ambulances as the lowest defense unit in stock. After I have replaced my last 100 global drones I'll be all ambulances as the weakest defense unit, with 350 allies. That makes a huge difference, even most of the strong gold player with more allies can't crack that, along with a lvl 9 composite.

05-12-2012, 09:08 PM
Thank you for your comments :) You guys are right on the details, I should have used better terms to describe my thoughts. Yes, the "avarages" word is totally wrong. The value I named as avarage in fact is simply the cutoff line below which units do not make the cut for the attacking force.

Since I am above level 100 I can take 2000 units to fight and use 2000 units for defense.

My goal is to maximize the density of both of these forces, but in a way that they are independent from each other. I want to use valor for the defense army and cash for the attack force.

To shield the defense army (meaning those 2000 units that will be in play) my weakest attack unit will have to have a higher attack value than any of my defense units'.

When I was talking about the meat shields' having not too much points over my cutoff line (weakest units which will make the cut) I think it is obvious why:

- If what I buy does not change the A/D stats displayed under my profile, that means I buying **** that will not be in play (falls outside the 2000 strongest units). So it is a waste.

- If what I buy increase the stats by a lot, that means I am buying strong units which will likely be expensive. The more expensive a unit is the less bang it gives for a buck. So I am trying to be miserly in paying the least cash/stat which will still give me an increase.

- If what I buy increases by a moderate amount, that means I am replacing the weakest units within those who do make the cut (fall within the 2000 limit) with the units I am purchasing. These I call the meat shields.

Meatshields have to make the cut otherwise they do not play and thus can't prtect the premium units, which we all have one way or another. I too bought quite a few super hornets which I am not eager to lose... and we all have loot units from battles as well as events, which are high in value.

So basically what I am doing is gradually upgrading from weaker cash meatshields to stronger ones (as I can now afford more expensive ones) thus increasing the density of my attack force.

On the other side, I am increasing the density of my defense by getting the ambulances, and later the MLRS to have the maximum density out of obtainable units... but in a way that my attack losses would never compromise my defense strength as the two armies are entirely separate. My attack forces will never play defense and vice versa.

As to wether the rankings game will actually be profitable as far as getting Valors we should do the math. I am using snipers and SEALs as meatshields right now. Every single battle I lose as minimum 2 snipers, and maximum 2 snipers and 2 SEALs or subs. That means I am paying about 40,000 - 60,000 cash on avarage for each bullet fired.

If you add up the total valors you could possibly win via the ranking game, it comes to about: 80,000 valor points.

Someone did the math on this forum, that to reach the 19,000,000 rank points you need to attack 200,000 times.

Using my current expenditure rate (and we are lowballing here) it will cost me 2,000,000,000 two billion cash to earn a measly 80,000 valor points (if I only lose one sniper per fight)

80,000 valor would pay for 53 elite ops jets for a 5,300 attack and 3445 defense value in total.

2 billion cash would buy me 555 Stealth bombers for a 27,750 attack and 8,880 defense value.

I say **** ranking valor :D

05-12-2012, 09:18 PM
I disagree that your nation boost only holds up for the first two attacks

I was talking about the "defense skill points" not nation boosts.

As to raiding, I haven't spent much thought on that yet besides noticing, that yes, I can raid people I can't beat.

How to defend against raids? I don't.

I collect the money in time... and if I am late, then I made a nice gift for someone ;)

05-12-2012, 09:28 PM
You have the right strategy for sure. That is exactly what I am pursuing. Density for both, attack and defense units. And like you I shifted to the mlrs as my strong defense core, now it will be my goal to equip my attack army with at least higher stats than the mslr's due to their high casualty in attacks. That however takes forever. What I'm actually working on right now is the density of my defense army, so I can calmly lay back and build up attack.

05-13-2012, 04:31 AM
I have a dream
I have a dream of having 2000 MLRS and 2000 Demolitions as my army

Now let's see how much it will cost me:

2000 x 300 = 600,000 valor for the MLRS
2000 x 200,000 = 400,000,000 for the Demolitions

I currently have 86,000 valor saved up, so I am 15% there
I make about 15 million a day so it would take 26 days to get there

What would be the stats?

2000 x 20 = 40,000 attack
2000 x 37 = 74,000 defense

Currently I have no MLRS and no Demolitions and still have to do 4 upgrades each to be able to buy them.

My stats are: Level 103 Attack 17651 Defense 34850 (with level 1 boost buildings and level 4 composite and about 1200 ambulances)

My hourly income is $560,026

Let's see what can be done in 30 days :)

see you then...

05-13-2012, 06:31 AM
Unwise strategy IMO but I won't go into why. I could be wrong, but you learn by trial and error the best. You have to constantly adapt too as the only constant is change so any long term plan needs to be flexible. Everyone is different and you need to play as it fits your needs and plans. It doesn't fit my needs and play style.

Just note your stats now, then let see where you are in30 days. We will see which players here that posted have the better strategies. That should settle it. Believe in yourself though and prove us wrong.

05-13-2012, 07:04 AM
To get your exact army density, take your attack score and divide it by the number of units you take into battle (same goes for your defense density). On a practical level, denity gives you Seoul information regarding how efficiently you are using the finite number of attack/defense slots you have to go into battle, but Ascent is neither calculating it right not using it the way it should be used.

One correction here for density. Defense is slightly different. Alliance defense includes the sum of your base defense structures, so you must remove those from your units. But I've seen people do it each way. But I think the denisty should be the average of your units ONLY, so to be more accurate taking out the base defenses is the right thing to do. It doens't hurt to do it both ways to see how much the defense structures might be adding. If you ever post your density I would suggest posting the formula you used to derive it. Maybe the other seniors can help to decide a published standard that is the best.

Attack Density = Aliiance Attack / # of Units Taken to Battle

Defense Density = Aliiance Defense / # of Units Taken to Battle
Defense Density = (Aliiance Defense - Sum of Your Base Defense Structure Values) / # of Units Taken to Battle

# of Units Taken to Battle = Level * 5 allies per level * 4 units per ally (up to L100, thus your 2000 max unit limit)

05-13-2012, 07:09 AM
I agree. If you read the entire thread you will surely notice that some of the things I wrote in the beginning already contraddict things I write about later. It IS an ongoing learning process. That is why I am posting what I am currently thinking... it may make sense as strategy for me now... it may make sense as strategy for others in the future... it may make someone realize something they haven't thought about otherwise...

From the start I played the game as it was designed by the creators... completing missions, buying upgrading to optimize for best use of funds and time and I must say I did not see those problems most of the campers keep fearing... I was playing "all in" and it worked great

Then as I observed my own actions (living off those who leveled up too quick without a sound economy and defense) I realized, that once I hit the whale territory I might end up in the same ****ty situation - getting attacked and raided by forces I can't defend against while having no income to even compensate for the daily losses.

So I thought about slowing down and camping for a while but luckily my upgrade costs and ugrade times became so big, I can't spend all my income fast enough on the economy so I started to build up the army.

The latest strategy is certainly smells like a crazy dream rather than something based in real experience... but until I get there I do not have the experience needed to adjust my strategy... So, this is my best shot at the best theoretical strategy to follow... mor like setting a direction which sounds good enough...

Naturally, when reality hits I will adjust accordingly.

For example, right after finishing my final post about what I am gong to do, I went to look at my excel spreadheet to see what should I upgrade next. Well, I had to decide whether to hoard 33 million for a Nanotech upgrade or spend the cash on building my army. It is a hard choice :D:D:D I just loooove building the economy ;)

05-13-2012, 07:56 AM
OK, now I get what you intended, Ascent. That makes sense, and it's very similar to what a few others have proposed in the past, with a couple of unique twists. Any particular reason you are aiming for the Demolitions infantryman as your attack unit of choice? They die when you so much as look at them, so you will have to replenish them constantly. I would suggest looking elsewhere for you preferred attack unit--preferably one that has a low consumption rate from the spreadsheet that Enjoy Life was maintaining. Here is the link to it: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/lv?hl=en_US&hl=en_US&key=0AgEHrvnoijXudG1NaFdaQUp5QlowT0RqS1Z2bll6ZUE&type=view&gid=8&f=true&sortcolid=15&sortasc=true&rowsperpage=250

According to the consumption rates listed, the demolitions unit dies more often than nearly every single other unit you can buy, with the exception of the scout and the light gunner, so even with meat shields, they are likely to drop like flies.

05-13-2012, 09:28 AM
Any particular reason you are aiming for the Demolitions infantryman as your attack unit of choice? They die when you so much as look at them, so you will have to replenish them constantly. I would suggest looking elsewhere for you preferred attack unit--preferably one that has a low consumption rate...

According to the consumption rates listed, the demolitions unit dies more often than nearly every single other unit you can buy, with the exception of the scout and the light gunner, so even with meat shields, they are likely to drop like flies.

Demolitions are the cheapest units with higher attack stats (20) than the MLRS attack value (17). If I am to build a monster army of MLRS and I want to make sure they will never be used in attacks initiated by me, I need my attack force to be at least 18 or stronger as minimum. Looking at the available units, the cheapest way to achieve this is Demolitions.

As to the casualty rates, it does bring up a good point, maybe worth even opening a new topic about.

I understand, that if I have two units, one with High Casualty and another with Low Casualty, I will more likely lose the one with High Casualty. But if all my units are High Casualty, does it really matter?

So the big question is this: if all my units were Very Low Casualty would I lose less of them in battle than if all my units were High Casualty? Or Casualty rate only allows me to chose which units I am more likely to lose but not how many will I lose?