CoC: More fun with numbers! Also spots open in our clan

September 8, 2015

(Writeup and stats by Delpez. Also our clan, “Supreme Cream!” has a few open spots due to recent roster cleanup. Please mention the blog when applying).

Supreme Cream Performance

During a previous CoC blog post, a comment was made that we should start tracking individual war performance. That sounded like great fun to me – another opportunity to gather and play with large amounts of data! I also didn’t have to reinvent the wheel, because a while ago we played against JTJU, and they already tracked lots of metrics which I took as a starting point. I only used their output sheet to get the metrics – the raw data capturing is manual (takes about 30 minutes per war) and the rest is calculated by a new Excel macro. So a big hats off to JTJU for saving me the trouble of finding metrics by myself. They also have a really cool website and YouTube channel where all kinds of strategies are discussed. We might consider joining their affiliate program – you get a clan advertisement on their site, and also access to various war tools. The most useful seems to be the ‘one tree’ – a decision tree to help decide what attack to use and a checklist on how to execute the attack. If nothing else it’s a decent place to recruit (via the clan add), since players from a site like that usually have an interest in wars and improving their game.

But on to the performance tracker. Here’s a link to a picture of the final output file:

If you want to have a look at the Excel files behind these numbers, just drop your email in the comments or chat and I’ll send it along. The VBA macro and formats don’t seem to play well with Google Drive. I would appreciate any comments, spot checks or troubleshooting; it’s a ton of data, and although I’ve checked as much as I can, it’s quite possible that errors have crept in. So view this as an early beta version.

So what’s the use of this? I don’t think it should become a measuring stick to punish people – as far as I’m concerned, players only need to execute proper attacks (no barcher!) and try to improve. However, this should give you something to measure your performance against. Obviously you can’t compare an early TH8 with a late TH9, so I think it’s best if you compare with your peers. Look at the performance of players with similar experience and TH levels, and see how you match up – or pat yourself on the back if you are already the best! Currently the numbers are organized by TH level, but I may split it into experience level at a later stage. Also, JTJU have seasons and careers stats – I’m thinking of letting a season last for 10 wars, after which the seasonal tracker resets. On to an explanation of the metrics:

Wars: The number of wars a player participated in.

Attacked: Was the player attacked or not in a war? This is a yes or no trigger (1 or 0).

Bleeds: How many times a player was attacked over and above the first. So if you are attacked three times in a war, you score two bleeds. This is an indication of how many attacks are wasted on your base. There are big differences between high and low level bases here, because typically a clan will keep attacking TH8’s until they get 3-stars (or run out of attacks), but usually won’t bleed much against a high level base with some stars against it.

Holds: How many stars did the player manage to hold onto – if your base is 2-starred at the end of a war you score one hold. If you were not attacked you don’t get any holds, but you’re also not penalized in the normalized numbers. Holds are the opposite of bleeds, in that high level bases usually score high holds and low bleeds, whereas low level bases score low holds and high bleeds.

Overall Closer: The first player to score the highest number of stars against a base will get the closer stars for that base. For example, if player A scores a 2-star and later in the war player B scores a 3-star, B will get three closer stars and A none. However, if B also scored a 2-star, A will get two closer stars (he was first) and B none. Overall Closer just means that all attacks are considered, whether the player attacked up, down or sideways.

Overall All Stars: This just adds all the stars a player scored – doesn’t matter if it’s closer, up, down or sideways.

Overall 3 Stars: The total number of 3-stars achieved, irrespective of up, down or sideways.

>= Same Level Closer, All Stars and 3-stars: This tracks exactly the same metrics as before, but you don’t get credit for attacking down.

MIA: Missing in action – the number of attacks a player has missed in wars he participated in. Sometimes a player will miss attacks when opted in by Syncaine to make up numbers. I don’t have a way to track it here, but it is recorded in a separate activity sheet.

In the second half of the spreadsheet these numbers are normalized by using the attacked trigger (for defensive stats) and war participation (for offensive stats). These normalized numbers should be analyzed for any performance based comparison or discussions.

In the context of wars, Overall Closer is an indication of how much a player contributed to the overall war result, while Overall All Stars show how well a player attacks in general, irrespective of the effect it had on wars. If Overall and Same Level attacks look similar, it means the player attacks mostly sideways and up, whereas a significant difference means the player is attacking down a lot. As mentioned before, you should compare yourself with your peers and keep in mind the type of attacks you’re doing. We need players to take out same level bases, but we also need players who hit down and clean up. Issues with players hitting too low should be picked up during wars and addressed in chat – these numbers don’t give enough context to make assumptions regarding the suitability of an attack.

Finally, I really don’t want to mention names (for fear of leaving someone out!), but I do like to point out some numbers as an example of what to look out for. I’ve been tracking performance for the past four wars (last one was Kosarmaniacs), and three of those were non-events. Thus, the values are skewed by players hitting for loot or practicing new attacks. Having said that, Mikrakov’s attack numbers at TH9 is really impressive, and they were all done against same or higher level bases. At TH8 Zelazny is averaging 5.5 closer stars per war, and all against same level bases. Alistair is average 6 closer stars per war – a perfect record! The difference between his Overall and Same Level stats means that some of those attacks were clean-up against TH7’s, but as a low TH8 that’s part of the job. On defense people seem to like Caldazar’s base, even though they struggle to crack it – he has recorded 12 bleeds! Not many bleeds at TH9, but Adam and Saate have both managed to hold onto 8 stars in four wars.

Lots of other interesting stuff, but I’ll let this run for a couple more wars before commenting further. Any thoughts or suggestions?

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





Mass Witches


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





Minions + Queen


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.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 228 other followers