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The main approach these strategy guides take is by principle (for lack of a better term): the idea is that there are factors to maybe consider as you play. It isn't so much to make a case for the only way or the best way to play the game so much as it principles to consider carefully when playing to help you get the most out of it, regardless of your style of play.
Each principle will be referred to throughout these guides. For that reason, it is a good idea to read and consider the full Introduction first, in order for the rest of it to make sense.
Principles to consider
The first principle is style of play. The idea behind this is to have a good idea of what you want out of the game, in order to enjoy it, and how it is that you can achieve it in the best possible way. Style of play can change, of course, to meet your short-term needs, and sometimes very dramatically, but the idea is to know what you want out of the game, long-term. The game has no single or final, best outcome. Completion is attainable, definitely, but perfection really isn't. (It's important to know and remember the difference.)
The second principle is symmetry vs. asymmetry. This principle is in many ways the key principle because it factors directly into all of the others. The idea here is that the game rewards balance in many important ways, but it can penalize balance in other circumstances. Likewise, there are ways the game rewards imbalance. The principle applies in many, many ways, but generally, symmetrical can mean "even," "level," or "balanced," while asymmetrical can mean "uneven" or "imbalanced." Once again, it depends in many ways on your style of play.
The third principle is on the importance of establishing strong interior lines. This one might seem minor once it is explained, but it will become clear the many ways it can be applied -- and not just practical ones. The significance behind it is that if your attacker is coming at you from all sides, your advantage is that you can use your firepower against all of your enemies -- and not just the ones directly in front of each of your defenses individually. A simple example is this: if your base has only four Archer Towers, situated in a 2x2 square, and your enemy sends a swarm of Barbarians against it, attacking from the left and the right, then the archers who defeat all of the Barbarians in front of them (let's say on the left-hand side) can then turn and attack the Barbarians on the right-hand sided. You then have four towers firing at enemies on one side, but the Barbarians can't even touch the two towers on the left until they've knocked out the two towers on the right. It's the inherent advantage to commanding the interior lines of battle. Again, this is a simple example, but the principle extends into maybe all corners of gameplay.
The fourth principle is to understand the difference between strategy and tactics. The idea behind it is this: strategy involves the critical decisions you make about how to achieve your broadest goals, and tactics involve the critical decisions you make about how to achieve those strategic goals on a day-to-day basis. Strategy generally relates to playing style, and tactics generally relate to battle methods, decisions about upgrades, and placement of your defenses. For example, if your strategic goal is to earn Trophies through a balanced defense and offense, then the tactics you use might involve frequent and costly raids on other players for the purpose of earning gold to more rapidly upgrade your base's walls. This is an unbalanced tactical approach, short term, to achieving a balanced, long-term strategic goal. There is some wisdom in it, though, because you're keeping your gold and elixir reserves low, through spending and training, respectively, so that there is less for anyone to steal. So long as you're gaining good amounts of gold in these raids, it can be an effective approach.
Styles of Play
As mentioned above in the first "principle," style of play is a factor that really shouldn't be overlooked. Below is a list of playing styles, in the broadest sense imaginable:
The Trophy Hunter
The Trophy Hunter is the player who takes trophies as his or her highest priority, sometimes even above the best interests of his or her clan. The most aggressive trophy hunters are sometimes the most single-minded and depraved individuals you could ever have the misfortune to encounter (but not that this is such a bad thing, necessarily): they want your trophies, period, and their ultimate goal is almost certainly to be the player with the most trophies in the world. If they are really committed to this and if your clan is not, particularly, they can be particularly difficult (read: "individualistic") to deal with or reason with, and this is because, in the Trophy Hunter's view, these trophies were so hard to acquire that the thought of sacrificing them, for any reason whatsoever, is inconceivable.
The Grappler is a player who has the means to have a much higher trophy count, but for whatever reason, deliberately chooses to have a low trophy count. Usually this is because, if the Grappler has a low trophy count, then few of the other players in his or her trophy class will have the firepower to steal any of his or her resources. That way, the Grappler can play the game in relative peace, sometimes conducting raids, but not often, because winning raids often means winning trophies, which the Grappler does not want to do. Instead, a skilled Grappler will conduct a raid to gain the most resources possible, but also lose the raid. Some less sophisticated (but no less effective) approaches to grappling involve the use of a sacrificial lamb: sending a single, inexpensive troop (often a Barbarian) to be slaughtered by an opponent's defenses for the express purpose of losing. On occasion, the more masochistic types will even send a hero, so that possibly a third party will have a better chance at cleaning out even more trophies before the slaughtered hero has time to heal.
The Jangler is a player who chooses to circumvent the rules by which many others play by spending his or her way into prosperity and success. That is, this player has more money than patience. There's nothing inherently wrong with this approach, but this type of player views the game very differently than many other players do. Of course, trophies can't be bought (unlike the other three resources). For this reason, while the Jangler does not participate in the game's economy the way other players do, he or she does have to earn trophies just like everyone else. (Note: Contrast the Jangler with a sub-type, the Jingler, who is a player spends his or her money occasionally, or in certain circumstances.)
The Vindicator is the player who takes an especially personal approach to the game. This person invests more emotion into it, and will therefore take greater advantage of the "Revenge" option. Pity to the player who steals the Vindicator's resources because the Vindicator certainly won't. The Vindicator thinks of little else than murder, all the time. Contrasted with the Trophy Hunter and the Grappler, there are relatively few of these types around, and trophies play a less direct role in the Vindicator's style of play. The role trophies do play is to further fuel the Vindicator's burning anger because winning back more trophies than he or she lost to an opponent goes a long way in slaking the Vindicator's unquenchable thirst for vindication.
The important thing to remember, though, is that these are more like playing philosophies than "styles," in a way: a player might adapt certain elements of all of them from time to time, or that player might use one style of play for a time and then switch to another.
Table of Contents
|Resource Management||Describes strategies for effectively managing Gold, Elixir, Dark Elixir, Trophies, and Gems.(This page does exist, but in incomplete form.)|
|Village Management||Describes strategies of setting up your village to maximize what you want to get out of it. (This page is currently being developed and finished.)|
|Developmental Purgatory||Describes strategies for managing resources when other players always steal them. (This page does exist, but in incomplete form.)|
|Offense||Describes tactics for effective attacking to best suit your style of play. (This page does exist, but in incomplete form.)|
|Defense||Describes strategies for conducting a long-standing, effective defense to best suit your style of play. (This page does exist, but in incomplete form.)|
|Warring||(This page does not yet exist, but check back soon!)|
|Improving your game||(This page does not yet exist, but check back soon!)|
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