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Advanced Scout Bombing (PvP)

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Author's note: 

I'm going to quit this game so I thought I'd share some of the tactics that I use to PvP. I've used these tactics in order to defeat some very tough opponents, and I consider this an end-game guide rather than a beginners guide.

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I'll also say that most of this article focuses on tactics, and not strategy. There are greater aspects of this game with regards to strategy, resources, diplomatics, which someone else can write a guide about. This focuses on battle tactics, and a very specific one at that. 

My perception of current game mechanics leads me to believe that defense is heavily favored over offense. The only advantage of offensive tactics is the element of surprise / initiative: choosing the time of the attack while the defender is not online. Every strategy offensively can be countered defensively if the other player is online, and knows what they are doing. In addition to the added bonus of walls, which makes offensive attacks extremely challenging. The other big factors that contribute to the imbalance is : 1) reflief station's ability to reinforce more quickly, and 2) beacon tower's telling of exactly what is coming and when it is coming.

I'll also make it a point to note that the honor system is fairly broken, and the only way to "win" as defined by the destruction of cities / conquering of cities, is to lose honor, at the end game, at least. 

My contention is also that if your opponent realizes these strategies that I listed here, there is a counter for everything.

Some Concepts:

Scout Bomb - Priority Targetting - Exercises

- One key tactic that much of this guide is based on is the usage of the scout bomb tactic (as originally developed by Pokey after the wall/defense changes). That is, sending in 100k scouts on a kamikaze mission to attack an enemy base with gates open, killing about 20k archers (varies) , to be used repeatedly to eventually wear down the enemy enough, for your real 100k archer/rams/calv force to clear all troops. You can refer to that thread here: <add link that i can't find right now>
- One aspect of this depends on the game mechanics of priority target. That is: with all things being equi-distant reachable by range, the attacking units will choose the unit that is most "valuable" as defined by # * resource cost.
- It may somethings be difficult to figure out what your units will target, especially when you see something like 80k swords , 100k archers defending (for example), what will the scouts attack?
- The way to find out, is to use Exercises from your rally point. Exercises from rally point, will almost always tell you, exactly what your scouts will attack, given the correct reading of defending troops. The # of kills will be wrong, but who to attack is always right. This way you can plug in #s, and find out which unit will be killed by scouts, and find out when to stop sending scouts.

Gates Open/Close

- It's important to realize that scout bombing does not work when gates are closed. 
- It is also important to note that scout bombs do NOT work when there's any other unit in the attack force. So sending in 99k scouts , and 1 warrior, will effectively nullify the scout bomb effect (of attacking archers)
- Additionally, if the defending opponent has Archer towers up, your scouts will break on them, 100k scouts, even with 20% attack bonus will only kill about 700 ATs (some of which gets instantly repaired depending on his tech). If he has 18k , you are looking at a lot of losses for little gain. 
- I do not think this is winnable with brute forcing a closed gate with 18k ATs up. (Though i've never tried)
- It is my proposal, that it is best to use maneuvers as described below post to overcome this, to detect player online/offline and gate open/close is key.

Losing Heroes

- It is important to note that even with loyalty 90+, you can still lose your heroes on attacks with scout bomb kamikazes. 
- This is based on if the defending city has empty spots available in their feasting hall.
- Attackers need to be extremely careful sending in their prized 200+ ATK heroes on scout bombs. You need to either know that the guy is offline, or his heroes in feasting hall is full
- Yet, the amount of archers you kill is directly proportional to the ATK power of your hero. So it is best to send a strong ATK hero, if you can risk it. You could always send fodder , hired heroes (ATK 60/70), but those will take more scouts to kill the same # of archers.

- To mitigate the risk, one tactic here is: before your 100k scout bomb lands, send in a bunch of small, 1 scout, or 1 - whatever attacks. have them land 1 second before your 100k scout bomb attacks. Use crappy heroes as fodder. That way the person has not enough time to go to his feasting hall and "release" his captured heroes from the small fodder attacks. 
- If he has scouts and open gates, then even better, send in your scout on scout missions with a hero, which will also get your bad fodder heroes captured, and ensure the survival of your good hero when your real attack lands.

Distance/Forward base

- It should be obvious by now that the effectiveness of your attack depends on the relative distance of you vs the attacker, in order to achieve the element of surprise.
- It is best to position an attack base / city at the next tile of the enemy.
- You can do this by either setting up and building a forward city, or conquer a lvl 10 NPC.
see this thread about how to conquer a LVL 10 NPC over great distances : http://bbs.evony.com/showthread.php?...hlight=forward
- The distance to your enemy is directly inversely porportional to your rate and chance of winning the conflict.

Marking a Target / Element of Surprise

- Because of the beacon tower advantage, fighting an online opponent is extremely hard, they can see your attack timed to arrive down to the second, and do all sorts of maneuvers to counter it.
- What I've found is useful is to "mark" the target of attack with a 1 worker attack, camped at 99 hrs. (March 2010 Update: Note that this technique is obsolete. The report button will not start blinking until the camp time has expired).
- This will initiate an attack of time: 100 hr on the target city.
- Your opponents UI for reports button will start blinking continuously for the next 100 hours.
- He will need to have the reports menu open the whole time in order to see when a "real attack" is on its way, instead of be notified by the blinking birdie.
The purpose of this is to 1) get the player complacent about the blinking birdie, and 2) put him on edge so he has to worry about it 24/7, and 3) hide your real attacks.
- Doing this greatly increases your chance of success because you have the element of surprise. I typically send the 100 hr attack 24 hrs before I land in my forward base, so they get complacent, the down side of this they know you are about to hit them and they teleport away before you even get there! 

Honor Points

- Don't worry about honor points. 
- I've realized that it's best to be at 0 honor. After a few scout bombs you will up the defender's honor, and lower your own to the point that they will only get 10% back on Heals, while you get 50%
- This is actually to your advantage if you want to "win" by conquest. (note: will will lose by honor points, if you use that metric)

Manuevers

Feint/Multiple Cities:

- This is farily standard and doesn't even rely on solely on scouts bombs. The idea here is to attack multiple targets of your enemy and use camp time to have them land at the same time. 
- This forces your oppoent to defend two positions instead of 1, and thus have to split his forces. Allow the attack to land on the undefended city, and recall the attack on the defended city at the last moment.
- This tends to not work well at the end game, against big players, since everyone has enough defending armies in all cities to defend against your simultaneous attacks.

Gate open / close Detection:

- The situation here is that your opponent is online 24/7. (Or perhaps he's got friends who can play his account all the time.)
- He will see your scout bombs coming and close the gate at the last second, and always open the gates on archer attacks. (see above on why this is bad)
- note that: distance / marking target really helps with this situation (as described above)
Gate open/close can be detected by this way:

1) Relying on enemy scouts:
  • If the enemy has scouts defending his base, that is sometimes a *good thing*.
  • Even if you outnumber his scouts and can kill them, don't... leave them there
  • Instead use those enemy scouts to your advantage to indicate whether or not the gate is open or closed at the last second.
  • This resolves into a Simple Tactic, which is key:
    • send a 1 scout , scout mission.
    • if his gates are open, and he has more than 1 scout, your scout will die. red bar dissapears
    • if his gates are closed, your scout will return. red bar becomes blue bar.

2) Relying on an attack report for detection.
  • This is basically the same thing, except you need time an attack and then read the logs, it is less preferable than method 1, because its slow, and it alerts the opponents alliance via war reports. Its not that reliable...

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