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I’m going to take a break from politics for a minute here to talk about a game.  I quite enjoy the game Clash of Clans, mostly because I’m in a very friendly, helpful clan.  We’ve been talking over strategy and tactics for various attack styles and other game philosophies.  I said I’d offer several approaches to prioritizing weapon builds, but as I thought about writing it it was way too long for their little chat bar.  So I’m going to put it here.  Not on any game forum because I want my clan to see it, not all of our opponents.  Enjoy.

Note that this is focused on spending gold on weapons.  Spending elixer on other buildings is a different question.  Also, spending gold on walls is a different calculation.  Depending on which weapon upgrade strategy you use, you may want to delay all wall upgrades until weapons are done.  Or you may want to interrupt weapons upgrades occasionally to do sections of walls.

The simplest approach is Cheapest First.  Basically, every time you have a builder available, find the cheapest upgrade and, if you can afford it, kick it off.  A recent upgrade to the game makes this method easier—when you tap on the builder icon at the top it shows you what builders are doing and the cheapest upgrade waiting to start.

This little gadget is great except that you should never upgrade your spring traps beyond level 2.  So before long the ‘pending cheap’ list is just going to say spring traps forever.

The benefit of this approach is that you’re not holding large amounts of gold prepping for a build until such time as all your cheap upgrades are done.  So when you get raided you’re losing less gold per attack.

The downside is that, early on, you gain the needed gold for a next upgrade long before you have a builder available to do the work.  Gold languishes,builds up, and the benefit you’re supposed to be getting gets eroded.

A variant of this, then, is to select the most expensive upgrade you can afford, when a builder becomes available.  This resolves the conflicting benefit and downside from the previous method and minimizes your stolen gold.

These two methods key on reducing resources stolen, which is fine for general game play.  But it does not optimize your defense abilities, meaning your clan war success won’t advance at the pace it might.

A first option is to extend the higher end upgrades of the previous method to always have one expensive upgrade going.  Then start easy ones while that one goes, stopping to accumulate gold again to have a bundle ready for the next expensive upgrade when the previous one finally completes.  This gets you some of the powerful upgrades early while still advancing the easier things at a reasonable pace.

My next technique for optimizing defense is what I call Invisible First.  In this case, when someone is looking at your base and deciding if they should attack you, they’re going to gauge how built up you are.  But there are things they cannot see, specifically bombs, traps, and Tesla’s. If you build these things up first, you’ll still lure in lower level attackers, on average, and therefore lose a little less over time.  No matter what other strategy you employ for the remainder of builds, I always recommend Invisible First (ok, after getting any new weapons on the table).

The next approach I call Damage Ratio.  I’ve used this one through most levels (I’m Town Hall 9 right now).  It works like this: suppose you could upgrade an archer tower, mortar, or cannon.  Suppose the archer tower will increase damage by 7, and currently does 70 damage per second.  This means for every 10 points of current damage,you’ll get one more, or 10:1.  Meanwhile the cannon might give you 1 more, but currently does 9, meaning a 9:1 ratio.  Finally, the cannon might give an extra 6 points but currently gives you 48 points damage, thus an 8:1 ratio.  In this configuration i would order it cannon then mortar then archer tower.  This seems counter-intuitive, but I figure the weapons are balanced for what they can shoot at, how far they can shoot, and how much damage they do.

Apparently I’m disdaining the associated method of max new damage.  It may work for  others, I’m just not going to use it.  It’s too…obvious.

Finally, now that I have a weapon where I can change its range and effectiveness (xbow), I’ve become aware of another aspect of  weapon damage.  Weapon damage is displayed as damage per second, even though weapons don’t fire at a 1 second rate.  One may attack every 2 seconds, doing double the advertised damage.  Imagine there were a little widget that popped up during an attack—a progress bar counting down from total HP of troops deployed down to 0, where battle ends whether time is up or not.  When troops are in range of a weapon, it’s shooting, and the progress bar is dropping.  So the longer a weapon is firing, the more it helps. So damage per second, times seconds firing is total contribution to the fight.  But apart from replaying battles over and over examining each weapon and making statistics, how do you capture it?

I’d say a shortcut is this: damage per second times range of the weapon.  So a weapon that does 100 DPS with a range of 7 squares would be worth less than a weapon that does 90 DPS with a range of 8 squares (700 vs 720 total points by this metric).  Note that if a weapon is on the edge of your base, an enemy can walk right up to it and kill it, so it doesn’t really have a range of 7 or 10 squares.  Also, if you want to be a major math nerd, you could note that the map is 2-dimensional and so the range metric should be squared before combining with damage (ie 100 x 7 x 7 in one of the above examples).

In terms of prioritizing upgrades using this metric, I’d take the added damage for the upgrade and multiply by the range (or range squared, or truncated range if on the edge) and rank them from highest to lowest.

i think I’ll use this one for TH 10.  What do you use?  Did I miss any?
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