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Hey guys! This guide will be a comprehensive explanation on war weight and the "X.5" route. Enjoy!
Knowledge of war weight and how it affects the war is essential for the clan war enthusiast.
What is War Weight?
Basically, your war weight is how "strong" your village is, both offensively and defensively. Your war weight determines the "strength" of the enemies you are matched up with in clan wars. I.e. if I have a lower war weight, I will be matched up with "weaker" enemies, and vice versa.
What Influences My War Weight?
Your war weight in clan wars is determined by your defensive strength and your offensive strength.
Every building, except for decorations, gold mines, elixir collectors, storages, and other buildings that do not affect your battle performance, affect your war weight in some way. However, some things weight more than others. Generally, your defense weights more than your offense (troop, spell, and hero levels) does. Some defenses also weight more than others: traps and walls weight less than all the other defenses, and splash-damage defenses weight more than point defenses.
How Can I Calculate My Exact War Weight?
There are calculators floating around the internet that can help you determine your exact war weight. This one (click here to download) from CoCLand should do the trick. This particular one is an Excel spreadsheet.
This article spells out which defenses you should upgrade first (the ones with the least war weight) pretty well.
The X.5 Strategy/Engineered Bases
With this knowledge of war weight and what determines it, we can explore the X.5 strategy.
What is the X.5 Strategy?
The X.5 strategy is a strategy clan war players use to be "matched up" with easier targets in clan wars. This involves taking advantage of the war weight system.
Remember, your offense weights much less than your defense. X.5 players, upon upgrading their Town Hall, do not upgrade their defenses but upgrade their offense (troops, spells, and heroes). This allows them to be matched up with easier opponents, but with stronger troops and more spells, they gain the upper hand over their match-ups.
Most players also upgrade their walls and their traps while using the X.5 strategy. This is because walls and traps weight much less than the other defenses and are still significantly helpful in defending.
Applying the Strategy
Now that we know what the X.5 strategy is, we can apply it.
Note that if you're rushed defensively, you can generally easily become an X.5, since the strategy is all about having a weaker defense and a stronger offense.
The strategy doesn't generally apply to TH7 and below, since there are no defensive structures that weight significantly more than others.
Remember, you do not have to stay at X.5 forever! It's only another stage in the CoC journey.
Defenseless bases are villages that players use for war only. They only consist of resource buildings, offensive buildings, sometimes walls and traps, and the level 1 cannon you are required to build during the tutorial. Players with defenseless bases do not buy or upgrade any defenses. Instead, they focus solely on upgrading their offense. This causes the war weight of the base to remain extremely low but the offensive strength to be very high.
I would not recommend starting an account as a defenseless base unless you are very committed to clan wars. Because of your weak/nonexistent defense, it is extremely easy for others to obliterate your base and steal your loot. However, if you are very committed to war, defenseless bases can prove to be beneficial.
TH8.5 is the in-between of a TH8 and TH9 base. Essentially, a TH8.5 will have the defense of a max TH8 and the offense of a TH9.
As a TH8.5 you should not buy the X-Bows. They have a significantly large weight and will give you the weight of a TH9, defeating the purpose of TH8.5. Instead, buy everything else, but keep it at a TH8 level (buy the fourth wizard tower and keep it at level 6, etc.). It is a great idea to buy and upgrade your walls and your traps, as they do not affect your war weight largely.
After getting all your new defenses to TH8 level (don't buy the X-Bows!), you have the option of upgrading your defenses to TH9 level. To keep your war weight relatively lower, upgrade the defenses with the least war weight, namely the traps, air sweepers, air defenses, and teslas (in that order).
Offense-wise you should upgrade your spell factory, laboratory, army camps, clan castle, and barracks. Upon reaching TH9 you should upgrade these as soon as possible, in that order. Upgrading these will unlock the next step to obtaining the offensive power of a TH9.
Don't neglect upgrading your heroes. They are very important for more advanced strategies like the Queen Walk.
Once you can consistently three-star other TH9s and pull your weight (ahahahaha), if you would like, you may upgrade the rest of your defenses to TH9 level and even buy your X-Bows. Start with the point defenses, then move on to the AoE defenses (wizard towers, bomb tower, mortars).
TH9.5 is the in-between of a TH9 and a TH10. TH9.5 bases have the defense of a max TH9 and the offense of a max TH10.
Upon upgrading to TH10, you may be tempted to buy the new Inferno Towers. Do not. They have a massive war weight (second to the Eagle Artillery) and will defeat the purpose of a TH9.5. Do not buy any other new defenses, except for traps and walls. Upgrade your walls (not higher than level 10) and max your trap levels. Keep your defenses at TH9 level (except walls and traps)!
If you would like to, you may upgrade your air sweepers, air defenses, and hidden teslas, since they have the least war weight and are very important.
Offense-wise, like TH8.5, upgrade your spell factory, laboratory, clan castle, army camps, and barracks. Make unlocking Bowlers a higher priority, as they are essential for success against TH10 bases. Focus on war things like the Valkyrie, Lava Hound, and Freeze Spell in the laboratory. Be sure to only upgrade the troops and spells you REALLY need, since upgrading things in the laboratory adds to your war weight.
Remember to upgrade your heroes, especially your Archer Queen, as fighting TH10s can often involve your queen destroying multiple key buildings by herself. Upgrading your Barbarian King will allow him to tank for other troops like Bowlers longer.
As you find yourself becoming a more skilled attacker and destroying more powerful bases, you can start upgrading your defenses in the order of least to highest war weight. You can build the new cannon and archer tower, and, if you think you are ready, you can buy the third X-Bow and the two Inferno Towers and become a TH10.
Public Opinion on Engineered Bases
There are many different views on the "ethics" of engineered bases. While some view engineered bases as a cheap, easy way to gain an advantage in clan wars, others view them as mere strategy. Some argue that the offensive strength of a village should have as significant (if not more) a war weight as the defensive strength, while some oppose this. What's your opinion?
A Balance of Offense and Defense
Since engineering is shunned by the majority of the war community and especially the CWL, what's the best way to upgrade your base practically, having a powerful offense and still a powerful defense?
The way I upgrade was introduced to me by Klaus Gaming. He calls it "Ethical Upgrading," which is essentially a guideline on how to upgrade your offense AND defense while remaining an asset to your clan.
Generally you would ask yourself "with my current offense, would I be able to destroy (name a defense or specific level of a defense)?" If the answer is "yes," then build said defenses. If not, continue to upgrade your offense until you are able to, then build said defenses. For example, if I wanted to buy Inferno Towers, I would ask myself "Am I skilled enough and equipped to destroy Inferno Towers?" If yes, then I would buy them, and if not, I would wait until my offense was powerful enough and I had enough practice against them, as to not be a liability to the clan.
Ethical upgrading also implies buying defenses that you KNOW you can destroy, yet you did not buy them because you wanted your war weight to remain low. For example, if I had 20/20 heroes and maxed war troops yet still had TH8 level cannons and archer towers, according to Ethical Upgrading, I would upgrade my cannons and archer towers, knowing that I was already able to crush similar-level defenses.
Some examples of unethical upgrading would include defenseless bases (an extreme) and, in general, not maxing your defenses before upgrading your Town Hall.
Link to Klaus's video here.