And Troops Pathing
Today one of the things we will discuss is slightly controversial; deceptive base design. Is using something like decor to hide a defence or gold storage underhanded or just a smart? I must admit I do get frustrated when a base has 20 trees and it obscures the field of battle, but so what? Is it the defenders job to make the base fun for the attacker? Of course not. Rival Kingdoms is a game of war where your main goal is to steal gold and honor from others, use their mana portals against them, and make it as hard as possible for them to beat you back. Whether or not you like being deceptive in building your base doesn’t matter. You will face bases that do and you must be prepared.
There are two main ways to hide a building; trees and simply putting it off screen. Even with me pointing out where it is, you can’t see the gold storage building behind that tree at all. The store offers several trees that can not only make your base look less bland but cover at least part of a building behind it. Most people, especially in an event when they are in a rush for wins, will not check behind every tree or bush to find out what is where. This guide is not designed to give you 100% defence wins but increase your win rate and on the offense side make you less vulnerable to falling for the tricks.
Hiding a skywatcher or watchtower in some trees outside the base can lead them to drop a dragon there thinking it’s safe. Best case scenario they don’t notice right away and you damage or take out the dragon. Worst case they see it and they must waste a sweep to quickly move the dragon, perhaps to another unsafe spot. Both are good for you. A popular option is to place gold/defence/gold/defence in a row with trees blocking the whole thing. They might assume it’s a watchtower and just dump troops and dragon only to discover you put a skywatcher there instead.
Another option is to simply scatter a few trees around the base so it appears to only be decoration when in fact you are hiding gold behind them. This is a dangerous choice but can be effective. If they don’t notice and loose they will probably have stolen less gold from you. Also for every gold you hid that was missed they had 1 less mana to beat you with. On the other hand if they see them they get easy mana or use them to charge the dragon. Test your base with gold hidden vs exposed it might give you a few extra wins.
The final choice is to hide something off screen. While technically anyone can zoom out and see the whole base the game default is zoomed in. How often do you zoom out before battle? If you put a mana portal, gold, or one of the harder to protect buildings off screen that’s less mana for them. Personally I only put my Tavern off screen. It’s not worth mana but can be an extra building to get a dragon charge from around the base if not defended. Move it off screen and put that defender somewhere better. Most people don’t notice…
I did a simple test and put a smelter off screen and then checked the next 10 defences. 60% never destroyed the smelter, they missed it and left. 40% destroyed it after hitting my base probably because the troops all started wandering off screen and then they noticed the missing smelter. 0% hit the smelter first or charged their dragon on it. Not bad huh? Gold saved and less mana for them.
Here you see two bases, do you notice a difference? Which one is looks harder or which would you skip? Would you be surprised to know they have the exactly the same number of upgraded walls? Deceptive walls takes advantage of walls that when upgraded don’t change much, namely L10 & 11. Depending on when you most want to win you can use either approach.
L11 walls only turn red when they are linked to another L11 wall. Linking L10 to L11 to L10 your base appears weaker. Why would I want to appear weak? In a kingdom raid everyone who gets to you must face you. If they think you look weak with blue walls they might skip using a boost and fail. One less morale for their side. In MP you also must face the base in front of you, same scenario when appearing weak will increase your wins. In arena it will depend on if you want to be hit or not. A harder looking base can scare off attackers who will skip you and hit someone else. If you have a high defence rate you might choose to look weak so they loose, you gain honor. Totally up to you and the situation you want to do. If Rival Kingdoms adds a base save feature you could even switch between the two throughout the day.
Next we will discuss pathing. Troops follow a rather dumb AI where they basically just attack the defence they can get to fastest. If it’s quicker to walk halfway around a base to get to a defence rather than go through walls 6 deep they will. As a defender you can use this to your advantage and as an attacker you should understand how it works to avoid getting caught off guard.
The most simple pathing base it a circle. By placing defences close together the troops prefer to go to the next defence rather than go through the wall towards the stronghold. They end up going all the way around, dying slowly on the way, and ideally never even make it inside. This base design has fallen out of favor due to the large amount of mana outside the walls. Ancients such as Sulric will make mince meat of this base.
This base takes it a step farther by placing more space between troops and the inside defences hoping they won’t even think of breaking off. This base has a rediculous flaw to get inside, can you find it? (Hint: Father Frost’s Grandson)
Here we see a sample wall setup and a variation. By making both ends dangerous we are encouraging attackers to enter either narrow corridor first to gain mana. We are directing their path with the base design. But how do we get them to stay there and still slow them down. By placing weak wall breaks in between the troops they have a choice to make. Do I kill a weak wall or a strong one? Obvious choice wins, they slow down by going through the weak wall and yet still stay in our corridor.
Another choice you can make is to encourage the wall to break where you want it to. The troops will make it inside why not determine where? While not all troops can attack one wall and they will eventually take down several to let everyone in, you can determine which building gets attacked first.
If attacked from this side we give the attacker 3 options. Option A; to get the kingdom portal but have to go through a red and a blue wall. Option B; to attack in the center only needing to take out one red wall. Or Option C; to attack a blue wall. If we had all red walls and enough to triple cover everything we would but we don’t. When they choose C they first have to hit the high HP Shrine, hopefully allowing the Spell Towers time to recharge and kill them.
This base uses pathing by assuming you will choose one path only. Doing so directs you straight to the stronghold but bypasses 75% of the base mana.
Two more extreme forms of pathing can be seen here. The goal is have the troops travel through this maze following walls to get to the stronghold. If you try to do it as suggested you will almost certainly fail. These bases do have a weakness, can you figure it out? I won’t spoil it :)
The Obvious Entry:
The last design we will cover is being blatantly obvious where you want troops to go. Take a building out of the center of your base and encourage people to drop into a dangerous area. By making sure all your best defences overlap here anyone dropping in will likely explode in 2-3 seconds. Even if they just drop in one troop to see what happens that’s one less troop to kill you. If you try this strategy I would recommend putting a Freeze Tower in the area so they drop in and by the time freeze ends are dead.
The other alternative is beef up 3 sides of the base and put no walls or just mini walls on the fourth. This shows you want them to come in the front(Ex. old witches hat bases). You could even remove a small section of wall and make an entry point. By designing your defences to defend a smaller area they are more effective from that side. Now not everyone will follow your path. Some might use 2 mauler troops and totally come from another angle to beat you. As long as the majority of attackers do what you want your defence numbers will remain good. I had a base where I lost 90% of the time when they used Talasin, but won 50% of attacks with every other ancient. It was a great overall base with a single weakness and I was happy with the overall results. That’s what matters. If 1 in 100 people can beat you with just a dragon but you win the other 99 does it really matter?
I hope you have learned a thing a two or at least had an interesting read. Don’t look at the basic shape as the only part of base design any longer. Be inventive and unique. The hardest base is one you have never fought before. :)