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View Full Version : Siege Towers vs Flaming Catapults (and I don't just mean "Flaming" as in on fire!)



echus14
07-22-2012, 08:52 PM
For those players who are using machines as their primary offensive choice, how has your experience been with the Flaming Catapult?

For myself, after less than a week, I've pretty much sworn off them. At 3300 per pop and a supposedly low casualty rating, I would have thought they would be a little more robust. But yesterday, I again went on a raid against a silo with a few defence buildings but the opponent's Defence points were less than half of mine (less than 10 difference in allies). Further, I had over a hundred Siege Towers and only about 16-17 Flaming Catapults ... and I lost a Flaming Catapult.

I know that this isn't the first time this has been raised, but can anyone explain how my Flaming Catapult was the first unit to be chosen? Is there any way to mitigate this? Currently building nothing but Siege Engines. Even if I lose 2 at a go, it doesn't equal a single Flaming Catapult.

Futon
07-22-2012, 09:12 PM
I'm pretty sure its completely random. Right now i'm using siege towers as my main attack and catapults as my secondary. I lose more siege towers but i also have more. I'm getting ready to make the jump to Flaming Trebuchet at 40 attack for 5400 each, i think i'll just stop attacking for awhile when i do that, to build my army up.

echus14
07-22-2012, 09:24 PM
Yes, with the likelihood of losing a high cost unit being so high, one would have to be very selective about when to raid or PvP (probably only when there is a huge amount of unvaulted gold to be gained). Kinda of sucks some of the fun out of the PvP side of the game though.

Hobtuse
07-22-2012, 09:30 PM
Flaming Catapults - Low - 0.0095
Siege Tower - Medium - 0.0125

Those are the casualty rates for the units.

I believe The_Red posted a question on casualty rates and PVP in the AMA thread which CCM answered. You can actually go look for that post. He answers questions on how casualties are determined during combat. It does not answer everything but should help you seek the answers you want.

Yeah the huge losses do sometimes suck the fun out of the PvP side side of the game.. but I don't raid, I just attack most of the times since people around my levels are at least vault-trained.

echus14
07-22-2012, 09:40 PM
Thanks Hobtuse. I did read that thread when CCM talks about one unit being chosen and being allocated a likelihood of dying and if so, the next unit has less chance of dying, etc. Guess my big question is, which unit(s) get chosen in the first place? If its purely random, then that seems like a really crude algo because in a strategy game we should know and have some control over how we want to approach our attack and defence methodologies.

Futon
07-22-2012, 09:42 PM
I think it really is random. It's not really a good way to design the game from a player stand point, but from the business side it makes sense. Gotta keep people buying the best stuff over and over.

Talkazar
07-22-2012, 10:38 PM
From my observations, its completely random from the units bought to battle (which incidentally is why my cannon occasionally die, and how I lost a warlock despite only having 2 in an 800 strong army). The games FAQ even says that 'All units have a chance of being lost when deployed in combat'.

A strategy that I've seen a few people use successfully is to have a lot of cheap units (cats, imps, manticores, berserkers, battering rams - note you can't use the latter two if you have high priests) and relatively few expensive units necessary to boost your attack score to what you want. That way the units chosen most often will be cheap to replace.

As an aside, after following the casualty thread, I've been remodelling my army from machines to beasts, given how high (relatively speaking) the casualty rates for the flaming catapult and flaming trebuchet are.

echus14
07-22-2012, 11:38 PM
@Talkazar

Was there something in the thread that made beasts less likely to die than a machine (I must have missed it)? Could you elaborate, please? What I do recall was the reluctance of some beast "masters" to send their beloved basilisks into combat lest they die :D.

I also appreciate your comment about the cannons. For the longest time I was aiming to build the gnomish lab for the cannons, and now I find myself reluctant to spend the hard earned HP on something that may get lost all too easily. Now I'm just saving the HP for the day when I find something worthwhile to do with them

I think the problem with using lots of cheap units is that you would have to have a high allies number to accomodate the volume.

GetItOn
07-23-2012, 01:32 AM
Euchus: I just upped my allies to around 250ish so I'm taking close to my max of everything, and I tried the Meatshield principle and it's working nicely so far. Bought like 80 shamans at 200 a pop (very high casualty) and now I'm losing one of those around 50% of the time or better I suffer a casualty. Losing 200 gold feels so much better than a 3-4k unit. But u can't really do Meatshield until yer maxing out yer allies or close to it.

echus14
07-23-2012, 01:58 AM
Euchus: I just upped my allies to around 250ish so I'm taking close to my max of everything, and I tried the Meatshield principle and it's working nicely so far. Bought like 80 shamans at 200 a pop (very high casualty) and now I'm losing one of those around 50% of the time or better I suffer a casualty. Losing 200 gold feels so much better than a 3-4k unit. But u can't really do Meatshield until yer maxing out yer allies or close to it.

Thanks GetItOn. Why does the use of a meatshield depend on being high on allies? Or do you mean I can only use this when I am maxing out the number of units for a given number of allies? So, if I have 100 allies which allows for 300 units, does that mean I can have 250 flaming catapults plus 50 sharmans as the meatshield?

GetItOn
07-23-2012, 02:31 AM
Its mainly related to how many of yer best attack units you have. Say you can take 100 units into battle and you have 95 F.catap that only leaves room for 5 Meatshield units. Won't be that effective. But if you can take 400 units and have 200 f.catap that leaves you with room for 200 lesser meat units to take into battle. That make sense?

Talkazar
07-23-2012, 02:40 AM
Beasts have lower casualty rates than their machine equivilents so for eg Basilisk is 0.3 vs Flaming Treb 0.6, Cave troll is 0.6 vs siege tower 1.2 so they shouldn't die in such numbers. For context, I'm at 490 allies, and have had no option (except on rare occasions) except to attack people with 600+ units. At that level both cats and seige towers tend to die easily. The casualty rate numbers are in Fisk's datasheet (which is linked in ghost's sticky) by the by.

Re cannons, I didn't mean to suggest they die too often, but like all non-indestructable units they do die. I've slowly acquired about 80 cannon and I think I've lost 5-6 in that time. It also begs the question of what else you intend to spend your honor points on - people who save them are generally looking for Funzio to release even better units in the future. Of course these won't be immune to casualties either.

echus14
07-23-2012, 03:49 AM
Its mainly related to how many of yer best attack units you have. Say you can take 100 units into battle and you have 95 F.catap that only leaves room for 5 Meatshield units. Won't be that effective. But if you can take 400 units and have 200 f.catap that leaves you with room for 200 lesser meat units to take into battle. That make sense?

Thanks. Let me give this a go and see if I can duplicate your success :)

echus14
07-23-2012, 03:50 AM
Beasts have lower casualty rates than their machine equivilents so for eg Basilisk is 0.3 vs Flaming Treb 0.6, Cave troll is 0.6 vs siege tower 1.2 so they shouldn't die in such numbers. For context, I'm at 490 allies, and have had no option (except on rare occasions) except to attack people with 600+ units. At that level both cats and seige towers tend to die easily. The casualty rate numbers are in Fisk's datasheet (which is linked in ghost's sticky) by the by.

Re cannons, I didn't mean to suggest they die too often, but like all non-indestructable units they do die. I've slowly acquired about 80 cannon and I think I've lost 5-6 in that time. It also begs the question of what else you intend to spend your honor points on - people who save them are generally looking for Funzio to release even better units in the future. Of course these won't be immune to casualties either.

And thanks to you too ... so much to learn from the helpful people on this forum :)

taxing
07-23-2012, 04:18 AM
Something to consider, and something I haven't seen discussed, is I think the unit you lose when ttacking depends on what types of units the defending player has. Not just high, medium, or low but range vs. melee and type, i.e. magic, beast or machine.

echus14
07-23-2012, 04:32 AM
@GetItOn - sori, one further question? Assuming you are using High Priests as your defence, wouldn't they get drawn into the fray before your meatshield Sharmans since the HPs have higher attack capabilities?

Funkey monkey
07-23-2012, 05:00 AM
The way a meat-shield works is to combine a cheap offense unit with a great defense unit. So your expensive defense units don’t come into battle when you go for PVP or Raids.
Berserker or Imp w/ Zeppelin or Paladin
Imps or Maticores w/ High Priests
Look at the casualty rates on the game spreadsheet. As long as you don’t bring any units that are higher attack than your meat-shields, you shouldn’t lose any of your more expensive defensive units. Now, when you start to figure out what your odds of losing a particular unit, you take the casualty rate Imp .012 and Flaming Catapult .0095. Let’s say you have 100 imps, then your odds would be losing 1.2 units per battle. For the Flaming Catapults, your odds would be .16 units or out of six battles, you would expect to lose one out of six battles. The odds of losing do seem to decrease when you have 3x the battle strength of your opponent. There is always a randomness on which unit will die, unless you don’t bring any of those units to battle. If you have 88 allies, you take 264 imps, then none of your High Priests will be lost. Basically, completely fill up on your meat-shield units before buying your defense units. You can also lower your ally count, so you don’t have to buy as many meat-shields, unless you are in whale territory.

The_Red
07-23-2012, 06:43 AM
My opinion on the calculation:

for each of the units/equipment who your fighting army attacks they cast a die roll against your army (probably starting with the weakest units you sent in). The die roll is checked against your casualty rate of that unit multiplied by a random number. If that die roll fails, your unit dies. The next die roll is cast and they do the same check - for the 2nd third units they're probably multiplying the chance by 2-5x, which makes it more difficult to lose a 2nd troop and a 3rd. In these calculations, you're also going to get the hidden modifiers like your unit buildings, water temple, if a raid - the defense building around it, etc. From a programming perspective, this would be a pretty quick couple lines of code to run through this loop.

From all that Ive seen, this appears to be the rough calculation.

This explains why it matters less what your attack-ees defense score is but rather how many pieces of equipment they are bringing into battle (as CCM has suggested.) The reason it makes sense to attack lower D players, is that you're effectively seeing less units coming into battle because most of them do not have a full army.

Im sure they also take into account the composition of the attack-ees army, but that appears to be much less of a factor as Ive paid a lot more attention to unit losses. (IMHO)

Anyhow, this is my two cents.

Like others have said, I think it makes sense to ensure that your army isn't 100% super expensive units... dovetail in some imps, centurions, battling rams, or whatever corresponds to your income. I think of it like this - if your first unit fails the role (as an imp is more likely to do) - then when it gets up to your really expensive units, they will have a further advantage of the multiplier (hence meat shield.)

-Red

asdfg12345
07-23-2012, 08:09 AM
Regardless, pvp is a money losing activity at higher levels

The_Red
07-23-2012, 10:16 AM
Regardless, pvp is a money losing activity at higher levels

you just need to be more selective if you're trying to clear our the tournament quests.

Lord Moore
07-23-2012, 08:18 PM
For those players who are using machines as their primary offensive choice, how has your experience been with the Flaming Catapult?

For myself, after less than a week, I've pretty much sworn off them. At 3300 per pop and a supposedly low casualty rating, I would have thought they would be a little more robust. But yesterday, I again went on a raid against a silo with a few defence buildings but the opponent's Defence points were less than half of mine (less than 10 difference in allies). Further, I had over a hundred Siege Towers and only about 16-17 Flaming Catapults ... and I lost a Flaming Catapult.

I know that this isn't the first time this has been raised, but can anyone explain how my Flaming Catapult was the first unit to be chosen? Is there any way to mitigate this? Currently building nothing but Siege Engines. Even if I lose 2 at a go, it doesn't equal a single Flaming Catapult.

I've had the exact same experience.

echus14
07-23-2012, 08:49 PM
Haha (sob) ... I lost 5 Siege Towers yesterday raiding a silo of a player with weaker A/D stats and NO defence buildings protecting the silo. Darn silo must have had the shields of the USS Enterprise! :)

Jhoemel
07-23-2012, 09:14 PM
Haha (sob) ... I lost 5 Siege Towers yesterday raiding a silo of a player with weaker A/D stats and NO defence buildings protecting the silo. Darn silo must have had the shields of the USS Enterprise! :)

i lose a siege tower every 2 attacks. casualty rate is absurd

echus14
07-24-2012, 03:43 AM
@Red and Funky Munkey
Guys, thanks for the above but something that I am unsure about:

There’s a lot of talk about building one Attack Army and one Defence Army.

Assuming we use Imp (12/5) as the meat shield, then this should work well for attack since the Imp has lower attack points than (say) the Basilisk (37/21). When we attack, the Imp should die first.

However, if at the same time we use High Priest (11/32) as our premium defence unit, then wouldn’t the Imp be displaced by the Basilisk as the meat shield when defending – since the Basilisk has the second highest defence points of the 3 units? The expensive Basilisk gets targeted first when defending?

The best combination I could quickly think of was:
ATTACK
Imp (12/5) – meatshield when attacking
Flaming Cat (34/16) – premium unit when attacking

DEFENCE
Priest (6/17) – meatshield when defending
High Priest (11/32) – premium unit when defending

Funkey monkey
07-24-2012, 04:04 AM
When you have multiple units for attack, I think that is where the dice get rolled on what unit it falls upon. The probability is higher for the more units you own and the higher the causality rating. Red’s explanation is as good as any.
I haven’t lost a unit in defense in several months. I would purchase the best defense you can buy.
The basic meatshield principle is to purchase a cheap attack unit with higher attack value than your expensive defense unit, so the expensive defense unit doesn’t get brought into battle. The Imp will not cover the Flaming Catapult. The Priest will not cover the High Priest. In fact, if you have enough Flaming Catupults, your imps will not go to battle, same with priests – All you would lose is Flaming Catapults.
Another strategy you might consider - 2/3 of your attack and defense score is not a result of your units. You can purchase them and you can’t lose them.

echus14
07-24-2012, 04:13 AM
When you have multiple units for attack, I think that is where the dice get rolled on what unit it falls upon. The probability is higher for the more units you own and the higher the causality rating. Red’s explanation is as good as any.
I haven’t lost a unit in defense in several months. I would purchase the best defense you can buy.
The basic meatshield principle is to purchase a cheap attack unit with higher attack value than your expensive defense unit, so the expensive defense unit doesn’t get brought into battle. The Imp will not cover the Flaming Catapult. The Priest will not cover the High Priest. In fact, if you have enough Flaming Catupults, your imps will not go to battle, same with priests – All you would lose is Flaming Catapults.
Another strategy you might consider - 2/3 of your attack and defense score is not a result of your units. You can purchase them and you can’t lose them.

OK, so as you had earlier suggested, simple 2 unit army of (say) Imps and High Priests. The HPs get protected by the meatshield Imps but you accept the lower attack ability. Is this correct?

Talkazar
07-24-2012, 04:28 AM
You're right. I forgot about that benefit of the Flaming Cat (defense below 17 def units). Still, unless you are planning to use a lot of basilisks they probably won't be targeted for defense and they have a very low casualty rate.

Those army constructions look good to me - the only thing you may consider is using catapults instead of imps if you don't want to build the infrastructure, or want to use the boost building.

Regarding defense I didn't think about the meatsheild principle that much simply because a) you are far less likely to take a casualty on defense than attack - even at 400+ allies I'm only losing a unit every 6-7 combats (and its a zeppelin) and b) the main value of defense is deterrence - people inspect your kingdom, see a defense score higher than expected and leave you alone. This does depend a lot on level and allies (at level 20 everybody attacks everybody with abandon, at 60+ people are a lot more cautious).

Funkey monkey
07-24-2012, 06:11 AM
Echus14 – that is correct if you want to use a cheap meatshield. It all depends upon your strategy.

Like Talkazar says you will not likely get attacked because of your high defense. You pick who you want to attack, so you don’t have to be as concerned about your attack score. The meatshield works for those that want to do PVP, since you are not concerned about losing a pawn – they are disposable.

You can buy other higher attack units than your meatshield units that will assist you in going to attack and will protect your expense defense units, but you need to be aware that they will be brought into battle and do have a chance to lose them. You can use Flaming Catapults but they will get burned. You have to decide if the burn rate is worth the cost of replacement to obtain a higher attack score.

There are ways to increase your attack score without higher cost of loss. Only 1/3 of your attack score is from your units.

Futon
07-24-2012, 05:33 PM
@Red and Funky Munkey
Guys, thanks for the above but something that I am unsure about:

There’s a lot of talk about building one Attack Army and one Defence Army.

Assuming we use Imp (12/5) as the meat shield, then this should work well for attack since the Imp has lower attack points than (say) the Basilisk (37/21). When we attack, the Imp should die first.

However, if at the same time we use High Priest (11/32) as our premium defence unit, then wouldn’t the Imp be displaced by the Basilisk as the meat shield when defending – since the Basilisk has the second highest defence points of the 3 units? The expensive Basilisk gets targeted first when defending?

The best combination I could quickly think of was:
ATTACK
Imp (12/5) – meatshield when attacking
Flaming Cat (34/16) – premium unit when attacking

DEFENCE
Priest (6/17) – meatshield when defending
High Priest (11/32) – premium unit when defending

It's something i didn't understand for a long time. I was under the assumption that you just take your best units combined for each task. Anyways, once you get to the point where you can afford it there's really no reason to have meat shields for defense because you will rarely be attacked. I have one high priest for ever unit i'm allowed and they never go down because no one ever attacks me.

As for offense you have the right idea, but it just doesn't work as well as we'd like. I still have hundreds of catapults that i'll never lose because siege towers seem to go first.

whiterider
07-24-2012, 05:55 PM
And what happens when you start breeding dragons? They have the highest attack AND defense in game. So your High Priests will not go in battle? And your dragons are in double danger both when attacking and defending?

Talkazar
07-24-2012, 07:03 PM
And what happens when you start breeding dragons? They have the highest attack AND defense in game. So your High Priests will not go in battle? And your dragons are in double danger both when attacking and defending?

Yes & yes - to the amount of dragons you have. But a) dragons have the lowest casualty rate in the game and b) if you can afford 1500 dragons at 13000 gold a pop and the 1.9 million to build breeding den from 9 to 10 you probably aren't greatly worried about defensive casualties or obsoleting your high priests.



As for offense you have the right idea, but it just doesn't work as well as we'd like. I still have hundreds of catapults that i'll never lose because siege towers seem to go first.

I'm not sure I understand this - your strongest attacking units up to your unit limit always go into battle. The meatshield strategy is simply about what units go into battle. Your comment seems to suggest that you have oodles of siege towers and your cats aren't seeing battle - to even have a chance of helping the meat shields need to be the majority of the army. In any event, I suspect the meat shield strategy doesn't work that well for siege towers beyond a certain point as their casualty rate is too high. When I ran with cats and siege towers casualties did tend to reflect their relative numbers and casualty rate, but once I started to fight people with 600+ units, it tended just to reflect their numbers as the first unit selected for the casualty check inevitably died.

Joie
07-24-2012, 07:51 PM
I'm getting close to starting my offense and when I start losing 5k baskilisks to some I have double the power of, I might toss the iPad through the tv. Being as those would probably be the only two thing I would get in the divorce it would crate I classify that tactic as lose lose lose

Durwood
07-25-2012, 05:15 AM
They need to change the casualty status of Siege Towers and Manticores to VERY HIGH.
While they are at it, they could bump up High Priests, too.

For me, I lose more Manticores than anything. There is NOTHING random about the items you lose. Unfortunately, it makes the PVP almost not worth it. It's too bad there wasn't more consistency - but I am sure it is all on purpose, to get you to burn up your gold and gems.

John Snow
07-25-2012, 11:28 AM
I've initiated over 8000 battles and raids over the past few months and here's one person's observation about unit losses.

Background: Machines are my primary attacking units and I have an equal amount of flaming cats, trebs, and siege towers. Catapults are my primary meat shields. I have enough coverage so that I don't bring any high priests into any attack. I've upgraded my water temple to level 4.

- If I attack/raid anyone with more than 10 allies than I have, there's about a 40% chance that I'll lose units. And it always seems like it's the higher cost units - trebs and flaming cats.
- If I attack/raid anyone with an ally count close in count to mine, there's about 10% chance I'll lose units. Sometimes, it'll be a high cost unit, but mostly it's from the meat shield.
- If I attack/raid anyone with 10 or fewer allies than I have, there's probably a 1 in 30 or 40 chance that I'll lose a unit. Since it doesn't happen that often, it seems like it's random as to which unit I lose. I'm just as likely to lose a flaming cat as I do an imp.

echus14
07-25-2012, 07:51 PM
I've initiated over 8000 battles and raids over the past few months and here's one person's observation about unit losses.

Background: Machines are my primary attacking units and I have an equal amount of flaming cats, trebs, and siege towers. Catapults are my primary meat shields. I have enough coverage so that I don't bring any high priests into any attack. I've upgraded my water temple to level 4.

- If I attack/raid anyone with more than 10 allies than I have, there's about a 40% chance that I'll lose units. And it always seems like it's the higher cost units - trebs and flaming cats.
- If I attack/raid anyone with an ally count close in count to mine, there's about 10% chance I'll lose units. Sometimes, it'll be a high cost unit, but mostly it's from the meat shield.
- If I attack/raid anyone with 10 or fewer allies than I have, there's probably a 1 in 30 or 40 chance that I'll lose a unit. Since it doesn't happen that often, it seems like it's random as to which unit I lose. I'm just as likely to lose a flaming cat as I do an imp.


Hi John (back to the Wall you go ... hee hee)

A question - you mentioned the observations based on different ally comparison. For straight Attack (yours) vs Defence (opponent's) scores, are you only attacking people with lower D than your A? Incidentally, 8000 attacks - wow!

Talkazar
07-25-2012, 08:02 PM
@John Snow whats your level and ally count, if I may pry? And how have you changed your ally count as time passed?