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Thread: Hannibalís Farming Base Guide

  1. #1
    Super Member Hannibal's Avatar
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    Dec 2012

    Hannibalís Farming Base Guide

    Last Content Update: 8/23/13


    Start by defining the attacks you’re defending against. Farming attacks are different than trophy attacks. They generally involve masses of fast-training, low hit point troops rather than the slow-training, high hit point troops featured at high level trophy play. They are also almost exclusively ground troops. With the exception of the minion (which suffers from the cost being paid in DE, and the limited training capacity available from the DE barracks), air troops are slow-building and expensive which generally rules them out as farming troops.

    For these reasons, when designing your defense, you’ll want to prioritize defenses effective against masses of low hit point ground troops.

    Also bear in mind that game balance has changed quite a bit over the months. With current game balance, a maximally upgraded TH9 or TH10 defense is much stronger than upgraded farming troops.

    Base Design Tips

    Tip 1: Defensive Clusters. Previously, people often started their base design by formulating a wall pattern and then filling in buildings between the walls. Designs like this are quite easy to identify, but more than ever it’s important to invert that process. Start with effective defense clusters and then figure out the best configuration of walls to enclose them. An effective defensive cluster is one in which spash coverage is effectively shielded with both single target and air defenses.

    One extremely effective cluster is a mortar deployed behind a wizard tower. Mortars are quite powerful, in part for their range, and in part for their knockback which acts as a "cheap stun." Wizard towers suffer from short range, but the "cheap stun" allows the wizard tower time to take additional hits against nearby targets while taking less damage from the "stunned" troops. Normal bombs also produce this knockback effect and can produce the "cheap stun" so valuable near a wizard tower.

    Tip 2: Bulkheads. You may have beautiful level eleven walls, but if you’ve distributed them in a single ring around your base, they’re only as strong as the first hole wallbreakers create. After that hole, your base may as well not have walls except for funneling effects clumping targets for splash damage. By dividing your base into multiple segments that must be opened individually, you force the attacker to make multiple holes in your walls and increase their effective strength. Ships work under this principle in which hulls are subdivided into bulkheads to prevent a single leak from sinking the ship.

    This is particularly true of resource placement. Don’t put them all in a single compartment. Subdivide them into multiple compartments to slow the attack and make it cost-ineffective.

    With current game balance tilted against offensive farming at high defense levels, "vault" type bases in which storages are concentrated in a single chamber are viable. They are also viable when attempting to control the entire playing field in a "misdirection" type base -- a base which allows so many targets that armies tend to wander through them while ignoring the vault. However, it is unusual when looking at the history of CoC for "vault" bases to be viable. If you decide to run one, I wouldn't get too attached to it. Balance may change again making them liabilities.

    Tip 3: Don’t Just Segment – Separate. Most farming armies involve large numbers of archers. Gold stores separated only by a wall will commonly fall to the archers in these armies. I recommend trying to separate gold stores by at least two 3x3 building lengths when possible.

    Tip 4: Consider funneling effects. There are several ways to set up your compartmentalized base. Set yours up in such a way as to clump troops maximally for splash damage. Bear in mind that even destroyed buildings have funneling effects. Invading armies tend to preferentially follow paths between buildings even after they are destroyed. This can be helpful both to clump armies for splash damage, as well as for trap placement if paths are sufficiently constricted.

    Tip 5: Staggered boxes and T-Junctions. Wallbreakers are very strong and fairly idiot-proof with the current AI fix and radius buff. Avoid X-junctions that open avenues into multiple compartments when destroyed either by wallbreakers or tunneling troops.

    In your base periphery, try to avoid T-junctions which open two compartments with a single wallbreaker attack. Stagger the box length of your perimeter compartments to prevent this.

    Use T-junctions staggered by two squares in areas wallbreakers will attack. T-junctions staggered by one square are acceptable for deeper junctions that are vulnerable to troops but unlikely to be blown apart by wallbreakers. Look at your junctions from the perspective of an attacking wallbreaker and determine where a wallbreaker will impact when determining if you need a “strong” two-offset, or a “weak” one-offset will suffice.

    Tip 6: Clan Castle (CC). While in farming range, your clan castle is arguably one of your strongest defenses. New players tend to underestimate the strength of the clan castle and place it peripherally. It’s a major error.

    Your clan castle needs to be near the middle of your base for multiple reasons. First, a central clan castle will respond to attacks from any direction. Secondly, a smart attacker knows how strong a filled CC is, and will attempt to lure out the defending troops where they can be isolated and destroyed with focus fire. A central CC requires a much higher troop investment on the attacker’s part to lure. Archers are the best "cheap" troop to place in your clan castle. As a ranged troop, they aren’t as prone to leaving your base’s perimeter on defense. And as a one-pop troop, they exit more slowly from the clan castle than higher pop troops which increases the attacker’s troop investment when luring CC troops. Wizards and dragons are fairly good higher tier troops.

    Also bear in mind that the clan castle's hit points were buffed to make them immune to destruction via lightning spell. This has the secondary effect of making it the third largest hit point sink in the game after the town hall and DE storage. Placing the CC adjacent to storages often causes the momentum of invading armies to stall while attacking the CC, allowing defenses time to finish them.

    Tip 7: Give your base a buffer. This can be done by arranging non-defensive buildings around your base as well as avoiding the map edge. Forcing enemy troops to start farther away gives your defenses more opportunities to shoot before they’re engaged. Also, if you place collectors around your base, a goblin rush can sometimes be diverted from the core supply dumps to a collector on the periphery. A few extra seconds allowing mortars or wizard towers to shoot once or twice more can be the difference between success and failure of a goblin rush.

    However, placing buildings too far from your base allows enemies to pick them off out of range of your defenses with a minimal investment. With the old wallbreaker AI, it was paramount to control as much of the playing field as possible in order to limit possible spawn points. With the new wallbreaker AI, this is no longer a significant consideration, but farming bases still show this traditional tendency to control of the entire green space. With the exception of a "misdirection base," this is a mistake. Place noncombat buildings within range of as many defenses as possible to allow them to serve as hit point sinks and tanks for attacking armies.

    Always check your buffer against the clan castle's activation radius. Make sure invading troops can't engage your clan castle (luring) without encountering a building first. This prevents attacking armies from luring your clan castle troops without a significant troop investment to destroy those buildings first.

    Tip 8: Town Hall. Put it outside and undefended. I know there’s a league system. Forget it. The rewards are trivial compared with the combined benefits of a cheap shield and farming in an optimal trophy range. Remember however, that the town hall is the largest hit point sink in the game. Consider placing it at a weak spot in your defensive perimeter.

    Tip 9: X-Bow. I recommend pointing it at the ground unless your base is so strong that people are revenging with high tier armies. As previously discussed, farming armies tend to be ground-based. If you’re in a trophy range for farming, build your defenses accordingly. An X-Bow's strength is not dps, which even maximally upgraded is fairly low, but rather its range. Take full advantage of this strength by pointing it at the ground. You'll find that X-Bows particularly excel at killing wallbreakers.

    Tip 10: DE Supply. Don’t put other resource storages immediately adjacent to the dark elixir storage. Lightning attacks on the DE storage are popular. Keep other storages away to prevent these attacks from being too profitable. Also, level your DE storage as high as possible. Higher level DE storages have more hit points and return fewer resources to the attacker per lightning spell.

    Giant-heavy DE farming attacks are quite popular these days. Consider a few things you can do to protect your DE storage:

    (1) Bear in mind first that the attack fairly predictably comes from the base's weak side -- the side with the shortest path to the DE storage. These attacks rely on clumped giants to tunnel through walls. And they rely on the giants being clumped to be healed by the accompanying healer. And clumped giants have a major weakness -- spring traps. Place your spring traps on the weak side of your base along likely giant paths if you are targeted by these attacks.

    (2) These attacks tend to rely on wizards rather than melee troops to destroy the DE storage. If your DE storage is within a large, central compartment, try to place it greater than three squares from the nearest wall, to prevent wizards or other ranged troops from attacking the DE storage without destroying the last wall.

    (3) A "misdirection" base (which I really don't discuss in detail for the purposes of this document) should serve as a fairly hard counter to this loadout. With a misdirection design giants will always find abundant unwalled defensive targets, and as such should not tunnel into the vault.

    Tip 11: Traps. Despite the tendency of many players to sprinkle bombs haphazardly at the base periphery, not all bombs are created equal. Large bombs and air bombs in particular are quite powerful. Dead space in a base design is your friend as it allows bomb placement. Avoid the tendency to cram defenses together with no space for bombs between them, forcing them onto the periphery.

    Large bombs since the buff and price reduction are quite valuable. They are great both for their direct damage, as well as increasing uncertainty regarding if empty spaces in bases are teslas or bombs. Use them liberally.

    Air bombs and air mines are unique for two reasons. First, they home in on attacking troops. Second, they represent a disproportionately large amount of the damage you have available against air troops. Place air bombs and mines centrally. This accomplishes two things. First, it makes it much harder to lure the bomb out with single troop spawns. Secondly, if they are placed centrally, more of them are likely to engage against a massive air attack than bombs placed peripherally which may never activate to attacking troops coming from the opposite of the base.

    "Normal" bombs were introduced early and their damage hasn't kept pace with troop hp levels. They are fairly worthless but for one feature -- they produce the same knockback effect as a mortar hit. If you have space near storages, sometimes this can slow a goblin rush allowing a second wizard tower or mortar shot to destroy the attack before damage is done. Previously this knockback could also interrupt and delay wb detonation, but since the patch they detonate more quickly and this effect is hard to achieve.

    Spring traps are extremely effective for slow-moving, high hp troops like giants. As I've mentioned previously, attacking troops often preferentially follow the space between buildings even after buildings are destroyed. Use funneling effects from buildings which do not have defensive roles to force paths that giants will likely follow.

    Also, remember that no trap requires a worker to replace.

    Tip 12: Avoid using Heroes Defensively. But why? High level trophy play involves extensive use of defensive heroes!

    If you look at those high level trophy bases, you’ll notice that the heroes are placed centrally. But one major difference between high level trophy play and farming play is that high level trophy play arguably prioritizes the defense of the town hall, while in farming play you’re defending nine storages. This puts central real estate at a premium in the farming base. And a peripheral hero is extremely weak. Any mobile defense which can be lured away from your stationary defenses is easy to isolate and bring down with focus-fire. It still arguably requires the investment of some minimal number of attacking troops to destroy the hero, but the value of that regeneration cycle has been lost in that setting. The hero would have been more valuable saving the rest cycle for offense than to be lost so trivially due to peripheral placement.

    Tip 13: Consider the use of fins or angled buttresses. The reality is that fins or flying “L-shaped” buttresses are of limited use. But they do have some utility worth considering. First, they can force wallbreakers to avoid certain portions of the fin by keeping available paths below the AI’s pathing minimum. Second, even if the fin is compromised by wallbreakers, bear in mind that giants are launched before the wallbreakers to shield them. In practice the AI seems to have e a fairly high threshold to change the path. What this means is that even if the fin is compromised by wallbreakers, the giant will commonly not change their path. Although the fin has structurally been destroyed, you can still capture the benefit from the simple fact of giants determining their path before wallbreakers.

    Tip 14: Change Designs Often. This tip is less for base strength, and more in the interest of developing your own basebuilding skills. The simple reason is that you’ll learn less if you simply latch onto a popular design engineered by someone else than if you’re actively engaged in trying and troubleshooting different designs. Failures may sting but you'll learn more from each failure than many successful defenses.
    Last edited by Hannibal; August 26th, 2013 at 10:34 PM.
    With apologies, I don't give out my Gamecenter ID or respond to PM solicitations to do base design critiques.

  2. #2
    Thanks - although you forgot one thing, trophy range!
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  3. #3
    Pro Member Michaelsd's Avatar
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    Well done! Referenced in my guide, just because!
    Last edited by Michaelsd; February 8th, 2013 at 11:30 PM.
    ..IGN: Iron-Ingot | | "Killer of Dreams" / Inventor of the CoC meme fad
    Level: 63
    Status: Farming
    One does not simply
    | | Guide to farming (Basics) | | Guide to resources | | Iron-Ingot

  4. #4
    Super Member Hannibal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Somerandomguy64 View Post
    Thanks - although you forgot one thing, trophy range!
    Right now I'm intending it to be mostly about base design (of farming bases) rather than farming itself, although there's certainly overlap. Let me think about that.
    With apologies, I don't give out my Gamecenter ID or respond to PM solicitations to do base design critiques.

  5. #5
    It would be really helpful if you posted some solid TH 8 farming layout. Good thread!

  6. #6
    Super Member Hannibal's Avatar
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    Going to leave discussion of specific base designs for the base design thread. This is really just intended to save me the time of typing some of the same explanations over and over again while critiquing bases.
    With apologies, I don't give out my Gamecenter ID or respond to PM solicitations to do base design critiques.

  7. #7
    Junior Member undine22's Avatar
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    Great write up! Thanks
    Living in a cozy TH8 village at Black&Blue

  8. #8
    Centennial Club Reznor's Avatar
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    Thanks Hannibal, I found this really helpful!

  9. #9
    Forum Master zachUVA's Avatar
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    Dec 2012
    Pretty nice guide. The only thing I really disagree with is heros. Since the update, with the dramatically reduced heal times, I think it is a no brainer to set them on "guard". So what if they get taunted out and killed, your opponent just wasted time and a few troops to do it. Better than nothing in my book. Also having to wait 1 hour (for a lvl 1 barb king) to heal after a battle is by no means ridiculous.

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  10. #10
    Super Member Hannibal's Avatar
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    I may have jumped the gun with a tip on heroes given how new they are, but let's chat about it because my tip in the guide represents only part of my thinking.

    Assuming griefing isn't an issue, the question becomes if the hero is more valuable on offense or defense. If the hero is peripheral to your base it's going to be the first thing hit in attacks which may or may not require a hero to defend them. I'd say that easily 70% of the attacks my base sees don't need the hero to go on cooldown, and am not enamored with the idea of the hero being the first line of defense.

    Now, if the heroes had central positioning, they would only engage those attacks in which they were really needed. But the problem with this is that real estate in the center of your base tends to be pretty expensive and often it's hard to find a spot there for them.

    Personally, considering the associated opportunity costs I'd rather know that I have the hero available for offense when he comes off cooldown rather than dealing with a significant chance that I'd lose the hero for no appreciable benefit during base defense simply because he was the first target an archer saw during an attack.

    But again, these heroes are so new that I may have jumped the gun with that recommendation. I'll mull it over a bit and may remove that line until we all have more experience with them.
    With apologies, I don't give out my Gamecenter ID or respond to PM solicitations to do base design critiques.

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