CoC – Activity tracker link

August 28, 2015

Here is the link to our activity tracker that Delpez put together. Bookmark it!

I’ll be using this to remove inactives to free up spots for others, and to keep the clan as active as possible for wars.

Also, our clan currently has a few open spots, so if you are interested in joining up just find “Supreme Cream!” and mention the blog in your app.


CoC: Time for a little clan tune-up!

August 17, 2015

(Text by Delpez, and I agree with all thoughts/suggestions other than to attack down 1-2, I think if we generally improve we should still be able to hit our matching number, plus it causes less confusion overall)

As you guys have probably noticed, our war performance have declined over the last three or four weeks. In the past we used to smash rushed clans (we still do), beat clans of equal strength (it’s becoming 50/50) and put up a decent fight if the matchmaker screws us over (not the case anymore). I have some comments and suggestions on this, and would appreciate the clan’s views on the issue.

In my mind the problem is one of activity, both in wars and in general. Our war activity has been poor lately – in the last five wars we’ve missed 15% of our attacks. If I only count players who has opted in, that number is still very high at 10%. This means we are missing 10% of attacks by players who have actually opted into a war! I’m convinced that we’ll go a long way towards improving our war performance if we just sort out this activity, as there is no way we can compete against strong clans while missing 15% attacks.

I also see people waiting longer and longer to execute their attacks – sometimes with less than four hours to go we still haven’t executed half our attacks. A lot of players then squeeze both attacks into a small period of time. Although technically those attacks were made, they are often rushed and not planned out carefully. It becomes a bigger issue if you are a TH8, because as the war winds down there are less viable bases to attack, so you are forced to attack up. That won’t happen if you’ve used the twelve hour window to attack a base that is of similar strength. It also becomes really hard for TH9’s to plan a second attack if TH8 activity was low. TH9’s are supposed to clean up TH8 bases, but it’s difficult to decide which base to attack if a lot of TH8’s still have to attack (because you don’t want to waste an attack on an easy base). I know that sometimes you don’t have a choice – you might feel that your opposite base is too strong, or your heroes might be on upgrade, or sometimes real life happens. However, making your first attack within the first twelve hours should be the norm, rather than the exception.

As I’ve said, improving our war activity (overall and during the first twelve hours) will go a long way towards improving our war performance. There is also a second type of activity that is hurting us, and that’s general raiding activity. More and more players are not raiding anymore – doing only war attacks. There is nothing wrong with that, just understand that it will affect our war performance. I can see this in my own war attacks. When I just reached TH9 I was very active, and my 3-star percentage in wars was over 60%. Nowadays I raid a lot less, and that percentage has dropped to below 30%! I’ve not really moved up the war ladder – I’m still sitting around #10, and the bases I hit do not appear to be any stronger than before. It’s telling that my 3-star percentage started dropping when I began playing FFXIV – so blame Syncaine!

War attacks are hard; this is true at all levels but especially at TH9 and TH10. Not only do you have to execute a lot of actions very accurately in a short period of time, you also have to make decisions on the fly when the unexpected happens. Most of these skills are honed by raiding, so if you only execute four war attacks a week your skills will suffer. I can see three solutions to this problem. The first is to force people to raid – this can be measured in their experience level. I’m not a fan of this, mostly because I myself are not raiding much these days, but also because that would push us firmly into the territory of a hardcore clan. Just understand that as general activity decreases, we will basically become a social clan that will struggle in any tough war. Secondly, we can execute easier attacks first up. At TH9 GoWiPe and GoWiWi attacks are easier to execute than LaLoon or Hogs, but the 3-star percentages are also lower. However, from where we are now I will take solid 2-stars all day over the failed attacks with an occasional 3-star we are getting with Hogs and LaLoon. Finally we can attack down. The decision to attack our opposite number was made at a time when most players were active and we were all improving. If we settle for a more social setup it might make sense to start attacking down.

To summarize, I believe we can do the following to improve our war performance (I have included some points that was not discussed in detail, but are also quite important):

Get your first attack in as early as possible, and if you don’t plan to attack early state so in clan chat so someone else can take your base.

All TH8’s should try to complete both attacks two hours before the war ends. I know this is not always possible, but it would assist TH9’s a great deal when deciding which bases to clean up.

At TH8, get access to GoWiPe, Dragons and Hogs. The days are long gone where dragons were enough to be effective in a war. These days we struggle against any clan which prepares for dragons, and to a lesser extent GoWiPe. That’s why you need all three attacking options, as it’s very difficult for a TH8 to build a base that defends against all three.

Know how to execute your attacks! There is no point in having access to Hogs but not knowing how to execute a Hog attack. There are exceptions to every rule, but most LaLoon and Hog attacks should follow a similar pattern. You’ve GOT to deal with the CC and Queen before you release your Hogs or LaLoons. Nine times out of ten the CC and especially the Queen will ruin those attacks, so your first order of business is to take them out. Most players try to deal with the CC, but not everybody realizes how key the enemy Queen is for Hog and LaLoon attacks. So bring a golem or two, some wizards and both your heroes to take out the Queen and CC BEFORE the main attack starts. Btw, this step is not as critical with GoWiPe(Wi), which is part of the reason why those attacks are easier.

If you are struggling with LaLoon and Hogs (or are facing a tough base) don’t be ashamed to Town Hall dive you opposite for a 2-star. GoWiPe(Wi) is preferable to dragons, because it’s more powerful and reveals more traps.

Maybe we should attack one or two down first up? That would mean sacrificing some stars at the top, but those bases are usually very hard in any case. Also, our last couple of players would have to wait for others to attack before they can join in.

And finally, the only hard rule I would have. If you opt into a war you must use both attacks. As before, life happens and sometimes you miss an attack due to unforeseen circumstances. However, this should not become a trend. There’s nothing more demoralizing than being invested in a war, following the attacks and donating a ton of troops, only to lose because our activity was poor.

Any idea, thoughts, suggestions?


CoC: Spot open

August 11, 2015

Just a quick programming announcement; we currently have a spot open in the Clash of Clans… clan, “Supreme Cream!”. So long as you are active and willing to learn/improve, please apply mentioning the blog.


I just fixed WoW, you’re welcome Blizzard

August 6, 2015

As I wrote over at TAGN, what the next expansion should be, but won’t because this is New Blizzard, is an expansion of garrisons, with Blizzard taking one of the current most successful games (Clash of Clans) and doing what Blizzard did best; copy/paste + apply Blizzard coat of paint.

Garrisons should be expanded to be used in the same way a base is used in CoC. You set up its layout to defend, and your followers become your troops that attack. Via questing, crafting, raiding, and battlegrounds, you can collect resources to upgrade both your defenses and followers, and your overall garrison has an ‘iLvl’ like your character.

You would initiate a search for a base to attack, be able to skip to another until you find one you want to hit, and then the attack would play out much like it does in CoC; you can’t directly control your followers but they have different AI with different focuses (some target defenses, others resources, etc). Since WoW is focused around a character, you can also use your character in the fight as a kind of super-minion, with customizable AI.

Add in a ranked mode, along with guild vs guild wars, and you have something that ties a lot of the existing WoW content into this new ‘end-game’ feature, allows you easy expansion (more defenses, more followers, more skins for garrisons/followers) without having to create new zones, more character levels, or dungeons/raids that would go stale once someone has the items they want.

But knowing New Blizzard, the expansion will just be more orcs or something equally dumb.


Are Clash of Clans and Boom Beach MMOs?

June 30, 2015

This is mostly just food for thought, and spoiler answer: No, but its real close.

To really answer this question, you first have to ask yourself what you value most in an MMO, and how many of those factors does a game have to have before we can label it an MMO in the traditional sense.

Let’s start with the easy stuff.

Massive: A large number of players need to be around, more than a large FPS map or private Minecraft server of 64 or 128 players.

Multiplayer: Not only must a larger number of players be around, but that should mean something critical to the game. If you can get 90% or more of the experience without interacting with others, the game fails here.

Online: This one is interesting, because at first you think this is simply about connecting to a server, but does asynchronous activity count here? Or does ‘online’ mean two people are online and interacting in real time? A dungeon run is real-time, you selling something on an auction house is asynchronous. How much of the core gameplay needs to be real-time to count? Does it at all?

Let’s look at how I play CoC/BB. I run a ‘clan’ in both, the CoC one has 50 accounts, the BB around 30. In both games we have regular, guild-wide activities (Clan Wars and Operations), and in both of these activities we spend a solid amount of time helping each other out and working together to win. One is group-based PvP, the other is group-based PvE. Chat is very frequent and lively, and Reddit/YouTube is often referred for strategy or game updates.

Personal and guild-wide progression is a main focus of both games, and both games are frequently updated, often with content that adds more progression. Both games are played by millions in one ‘world’ (you can potentially interact with anyone playing), and minor solo PvE content aside, everything is multiplayer.

Basically, the way I play CoC/BB is more like playing an MMO than how I play FFXIV today with my wife, where we duo almost exclusively (random fate groups and dungeon runs aside). I’m more invested in CoC/BB, I’m more into the community of those games, and I do more massive, multiplayer, online gaming in those titles than in FFXIV.

Again, the biggest disconnect is the asynchronous difference, and the lack of a true ‘character’ to play in CoC/BB, although that last one I could argue is no different than flying a ship in EVE. In CoC/BB I’m the chief (pilot) of my village (ship), fighting against other chiefs (pilots) and their village (ship)*.

*Insert easy TiDi is asynchronous gameplay joke here.


CoC: TH9 Tactics

June 22, 2015

(Write-up by Delpez)

Our recent wars have shown something quite clearly: Clash of Clans is a game of skill, and the gap between skilled and unskilled is large. Two weeks ago we warred in a complete mismatch. Our opponents had more high level bases and those bases were also more advanced. Some of their TH10’s were completely maxed out, even the walls. However, from their achievements it was clear that they didn’t actually play much – those maxed bases were bought. The result was a pretty easy victory for us; they did not have the skills to complement their high level bases. It showed that buying your way to a max base is a trap. You can call it pay-to-advance, but it’s definitely not pay-to-win. In fact, because of the way the matchmaker works it’s more like pay-to-lose.

Contrast that with our most recent loss against one of the Clashheads clans. It was a decent matchup – we had more high level bases, but their bases were more advanced. Now we’re not exactly a pushover clan – we win around 80% of the time and are usually victorious in closely matched wars. They took us apart. Clashheads really showed how big a role skill plays in this game, with good attack selection and great execution. One advantage of a beating is that you can learn a lot. For instance, they showed that it is possible to 3-star almost any TH9 base. This write-up aims to list some of the tactics and trends I’ve noticed from their attacks against our TH9 bases, and hopefully it will help us improve our own TH9 attacks.

Some context first: they 3-starred every TH9 base except for Syncaine’s (a 90% 2-star). And I didn’t see a single Pekka! In fact, the serious war clans don’t recommend GoWiPe at TH9 – apparently it’s a safe 2-star but a hard 3-star, and they’re after 3-stars. So how did they attack? The following table summarizes the main attacks used against our TH9 bases. Note that many of the attacks were hybrids – hog attacks often used balloons or vice versa to take out key defenses or pull the clan troops – what I show here is the main attack after clan troops and the queen were taken care of:

Main Attack

Nr of Attacks

Hogs

7

Lavaloon

5

Mass Witches

1

That mass witch attack against Tirn was really cool, but besides that it was hogs, lava hounds and balloons all the way. The next question is how they dealt with clan troops. Every attack except one dealt with clan troops before releasing the main attack. Troops were usually pulled with balloons or hogs, taking out a defensive structure in the process. So if the main attack is balloons, they’ll use some hogs to clear an exposed air defense. If the main attack is hogs, they’ll use some balloons to destroy a couple of ground defenses. After clan troops were pulled, the next order of business is to deal with those troops and the archer queen. The following table shows how clan troops were taken care of:

Kill CC

Nr of Attacks

Killsquad

7

Shattered

4

Minions + Queen

1

Killsquad refers to a couple of barbarians, two witches, two wizards and the queen. Shattered is two golems (one in the castle), some wizards, wallbreakers and the king. Basically, all the hog attacks used Killsquad for the clan troops and Shattered for the queen (only one golem then), while all the lavaloon attacks used Shattered to deal with both clan troops and the queen. Jump spells were almost always used to core into the queen, and/or to destroy some key defenses.

The main attack was usually deployed in a surgical way. In other words, only a couple of hogs or balloons were dropped per defense. Two of the attacks used a swarm deployment, where the hogs or balloons were deployed in a line. Not a single hog attack dropped all the hogs in one or two spots, like we are prone to do. Some other observations:

Any defensive structure that is not covered by an air defense will be taken out by balloons at the start of the attack. This usually pulled the clan troops as well.

High level heroes is extremely important. A number of those 3-star attacks would not have succeeded with mid-level heroes. I’m not sure where the threshold is, but it seems to be around level 20.

Just having double bomb spots are not enough to deal with hogs. The bomb spots should be difficult to access and ideally between two defenses, so the hogs would have to run through the bombs. Some of the attacks cleared double bomb areas with balloons first, to prevent the hogs from ever having to go there.

The closer the clan castle and queen is to each other, the easier it is to kill both with Shattered. Some base designs don’t allow for this, but try and have the clan castle and queen as far apart as possible, while still central enough to make a pull difficult. Same goes for air defenses – having one next to the queen is an invitation to take out both with the Shattered tactic.

A number of hog attacks dropped a giant to pull fire, and then two or three hogs per defense. The giant absorbs enough fire to allow the hogs to clear the outer defenses with minimal casualties, before joining in the center to clean up the base. In this way four giants and twenty hogs can clear all the outer defenses.

Finally – Onehive Raids have some amazing videos describing these attacks in detail. Especially those covering surgical hogs and The GoWiPe Rut (making the case why GoWiPe sucks!) Just on that, I believe GoWiPe is still viable as a safe 2-star option until your troops and heroes are high enough to start attempting 3-stars. It can also be quite devastating against anti-dragon TH8 bases.


CoC: Supreme Cream! Vs Ganu Bersatu

May 20, 2015

(Stats and writeup by Delpez)

Another close war and another come-from-behind victory! With 90 minutes on the clock we were still 15 stars behind, but a solid clean-up strategy and some impressive attacks sealed the win. We also got the wrong end of the matchmaker, as the following tables show:

Nr. of TH’s

SC! Enemy
Nr of TH10 2 3
Nr of TH9 13 15
Nr of TH8 26 24
Nr of TH7< 4 3
Ave TH level 8.20 8.36

Average experience per TH

SC! Enemy
TH10 107 115
TH9 94 94
TH8 78 75
TH7 60 60
Overall 81 82

Not a complete mismatch, but certainly not in our favour. The 0.16 difference in TH level is significant, and they had three more high level bases. Their TH10’s were also more advanced, but our TH8’s compensated somewhat – both in numbers and experience level. The attack stats and stars left per base are shown next:

Attack stats

SC! Enemy
Score 112 109
Total Attacks Used 85 81
Total 3 Star Attacks 28 22
Total 3 Star % 32.9 27.2
3 Stars Against Same Level 21 14
3 Star % Against Same Level 30.4 21.2
3 Stars Against Lower Level 7 6
3 Star % Against Lower Level 63.6 50.0
TH8 3 Stars 14 13
TH8 3 Star % 29.2 28.9
TH8 3 Stars (same level) 13 9
TH8 3 Star % (same level) 29.5 22.5
TH8 Ave Stars / Attack (same level) 2.0 1.7
TH9&10 3 Stars 12 6
TH9&10 3 Star % 40.0 18.8
TH9&10 3 Stars (same level) 6 5
TH9&10 3 Star % (same level) 28.6 20.0
TH9&10 Ave Stars / Attack (same level) 1.62 1.72

Stars left

SC! Enemy
TH10 3 5
TH9 9 12
TH8 14 6

In isolation, the 3-stars numbers suggest an easy victory. However, we left a lot of 1-stars against their TH9&10 bases. This was a deliberate move towards the end of the war to clean up TH8 bases, and the strategy worked out well. However, it also shows that we can improve quite a bit by getting 2- or 3-stars against high level bases on a more consistent basis. The performance and attacking strategies per TH level are discussed next.

We have a couple of new TH5’s, and wars are difficult at that level. Your only real option is a giant/healer army, backed up by archers/wizards. Giants or a high level healer in the clan castle can go a long way in ensuring a successful attack. The strategy is to first take out the clan castle troops, then take out the air defence with your giants before dropping the healers. Once the giants have most of the aggro, deploy your ranged troops. This strategy is also viable at TH6, and some of the skills you’ll learn are also applicable for higher level attacks (such as GoWiPe), so this is an ideal opportunity to practice. Just keep in mind that you are not expected to make much of a contribution until TH7, so just have fun and learn!

At TH7 dragons are still the only effective attacking option, and even the new air blower is not enough to prevent an easy 3-star against another TH7. However, at TH8 the blower has changed things quite a bit. During this war it appeared as though our TH8’s were struggling, but looking at the numbers they actually smashed the opposition pretty hard. TH8 3-star percentages have certainly dropped – in the past it ranged from the high 30% upwards. These days 30% 3-stars against other TH8’s seems like a good number, and that includes TH8 GoWiPe attacks. This presents an opportunity – previously TH8’s pretty much cancelled each other out in wars, since the attacks were easier. Since that is no longer the case, one can now build up a substantial advantage at this level. This means that GoWiPe and Hog attacks are becoming more important at TH8, as their 3-star percentages have not changed with the blower, while dragons have taken a hit.

At TH9&10 we scored more 3-stars at a higher percentage, but left a lot of stars behind as well. As discussed earlier, this was partly due to the fact that they had more high level bases, but also because we decided to clean up TH8 bases towards the end of the war, leaving a number of 1-star bases behind. Attacking options really opens up at this level (I can only talk about TH9 – not sure how this changes at TH10). GoWipe and Hog variants are strong against the right bases, and Lavaloon seems very powerful against some low-mid TH9’s. There’s also a lot of scope to improvise, like using Hogs in a GoWiWi attack to clear a cluster of defences (see Syn’s attack against #15). I guess matching the base to an attacking strategy is key, and one of the most important skills at higher levels. This link (provide by Jonneh) is still pretty valid, even though it was posted before the air blower. It shows how to attack the popular bases, and how to execute most TH9 attacks:

https://www.reddit.com/r/clashofclansmu/comments/2mcxx5/common_war_bases

A final comment – the air blower has made dragon attacks at TH9 much harder. Dragons used to have a decent chance to 2-star a TH9 base, and although still possible, that percentage have certainly decreased. Even more reason to max everything at TH8, since you really need GoWiPe and Hogs to contribute as a new TH9.

SynCaine edit: To add to what Delpez wrote, at TH8+, especially once you have multiple attack types maxed (hogs, gowipe, lavaloonion), it becomes very important to carefully review the base you are attacking and build the correct mix of troops. To do this successfully you have to learn how many troops it will take to get something done.

For example, if there is a cannon or tower on the outside of the base without air defense coverage, a loon or two to take it out might make sense, but you need to learn and correctly estimate how many loons you will need to get the job done. If that attack can also pull the CC, that is a major bonus, and is again something to factor in to your overall attack plan/build.

In addition to bringing the correct troops, you should also actually plan out the attack how you expect it to go, as you often will have to drop certain troops at a certain time, rather than just dumping everything at the start like at lower TH levels. This takes a lot of practice, as predicting the AI in CoC is very difficult, and traps/teslas will also change things up for you. You will screw attacks up often, so don’t get discouraged.

On the other side of things, designing your base correctly is the reverse of attack planning. You want your base to be as difficult to predict as possible, and to ‘trick’ someone into thinking something will work against you. This is why taking a base off the internet isn’t recommended; while it might work well vs the average player who doesn’t do his research, against a skilled clan you are easy stars.

The best way to make a great base is to understand the basics of CoC AI, the basics of base design, and then refine your base design anytime someone around your level has a successful attack against it (if your are a TH8 and a TH10 gets 3-stars, not much you can do in terms of design).

Question for the clan: Would people be interested in the occasional trophy push? One weekend every month or so we all try to go as high as possible in trophies, just to see how high we can get our total as a clan. Just a ‘go for big numbers’ thing, but perhaps something fun to do as a clan? Drop a comment for yes/no and why.


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