Defensive Strategies

Alliance defense is somewhat different from offense due to the urgency of the situation. Organizing defense requires centralized intelligence, so one person (your defense coordinator) should have the full picture of who is under attack, when and where. And he needs it fast.

The problem is, that’s easier said than done. Players may be offline when the attacks were sent, and worse yet, the defense coordinator may be offline too. Even if they were online, analyzing the incoming attacks is a very time consuming task which not many players are willing to do. Lastly, there’s much guesswork involved, as sometimes its just impossible to tell where the real attacks will land.

Unfortunately there isn’t any real solutions to this, but if its of any consolation, all alliances also face the same problem.

The Defense Coordinator is one of the toughest roles to play. Here are some suggestions to help alleviate the problem. These apply mainly during alliance wars.

Set A Defense Policy

Set a defense policy so that every player must have defense villages as outlined in the village specialization section. This will enable them to help themselves and their teammates too. Remind them to build level 20 walls and several granaries in every village and stonemason in the capital.

Second, there are some players who are defense oriented. Identify them and make them known to the alliance that they can be reached for help if defenses are needed. Get them to build massive defenders and use them as your defense shields.

Third, as Defense Coordinator, you should appoint at least one player in your wing to be a Scout hammer. His role is to train lots of scouts, over 10,000 scouts. In Travian 3.5, he ideally should be a Roman because the Equites Legati is cheap, fast and consumes only one crop with the Horse Drinking Trough.

The scout hammer should have a high level Tournament Square and ideally located near the border.

When you have been notified of an attack, immediately ask your scout hammer to scout the attacker. If you spot the attacker’s offense army at home, then you can eliminate that attack as a fake. At least it helps to remove some of the guesswork.

As alliance cata attacks can take up to 48 hours to arrive, the same Equites Legati can reach the attacker in just 9 hours. This time is even shortened if the scout hammer is located near the border. This still gives you some leeway to plan your defenses.

As you might have guessed, the defense policy has to be set upfront, even during peacetime.

When, Where, Who Do You Defend

During an alliance war, defenses can be stretched thin. Because of the strain it creates, its not worthwhile to defend against low level threats. There are exceptions to the rule, but as a guideline, avoid using alliance defense for the following:

  1. Non-cata attacks. These can only steal resources. Ask players to empty out their warehouses. Consume them and send the remainder to another village. Or just lose them.
  2. Raiding attacks. Which is the same as non-cata attacks.
  3. Oases attacks. See section on defending your oases.
  4. Single wave attacks to non-capital village. The damage potential is too low – the most is two buildings destroyed.

Where and who to defend has to be prioritized too. Generally, the following types of attacks should be defended:

  1. Top players get priority. For two reasons. They are usually the targets.
    And they stand to lose the most because of their high level croplands.
  2. Capital villages under cata attacks.
  3. Conquer attacks.
  4. Coordinated attacks. If attacks from different players are arriving seconds apart, then this receives a high priority.
  5. Multi wave attacks to important villages.

These concepts and principles may seem simple and easy to do. But in practice, it is not. The main challenge is in finding a committed defense coordinator who is also experienced enough to play the role.

Identifying the attack type can be really difficult and a lack of information adds to the confusion. As mentioned, there is much guesswork involved.

Once a major attack has passed, whether it is fake or real, the defense coordinator should announce it via MM. Your members will thank you for it because if a real attack from Player X has landed, then the other attacks from the same Player X are fakes. Letting others know that the real attack has passed allows others to ignore his attacks so they may send back the defenders.

Defense Coordinator

You may appoint several defense coordinators, but I’ve found that this isn’t really effective either.

A better approach is to grant MM rights to all players and ask them to ask for defenses themselves when they are under attack.

All defense requests should follow a standard format. An example is shown below:

Topic: MM Defense Call

The attacker: bios (-90,65)

The defender: my capital (-42, 10)

Attack arrival:

Bios attack against my capital

Attacks arriving in xx:99:11 at 11:22:33

Attacks arriving in xx:99:11 at 11:22:33

Attacks arriving in xx:99:11 at 11:22:33

Any additional info, such as if crop is needed.

Allowing players to ask for defenses means there is no defense coordination. But the truth is, even with a defense coordinator, I have never really seen any effective coordination.

For players who are uncomfortable with sending MMs, they may route their request though the defense coordinator.

As defense coordinator, you might find that taking inventory of your alliance defense troop count to be a smart idea. While generally comforting to know your alliance defense status, but I found it to be too burdensome to micromanage defenses.

Defense requests are urgent. It takes a lot of time to buildup a meaningful defense. Do not sit on defense requests. Six hours, ten hours or even twenty hours may not be enough leadtime to buildup a sufficient defense.

Since much of it is guesswork anyway, it is better to just send off the defense call even before you receive all information from the other players – and then hope for the best.

When an imminent attack is known, and where there is insufficient time to buildup reinforcements, send a MM for Sniping Defense. Provide the attack arrival waves and ask all alliance members to snipe if they can reach in time. This basically is the last line of defense in a botched up defense coordination.

Same Rank Defense

This is a simple defense method if only one of your wings is under attack. Send a message to the other wings to have same ranked players reinforce those under attack.

Again the defense coordinator need not micromanage this. A simple message informing players of both wings of the reinforcement arrangement will suffice. Let the players coordinate between themselves.

Scout The Attacker

This strategy is similar to using the scout hammer to scout if the attacker’s offense troops are home. Let your allied players know that the moment they spot an incoming attack, to immediately scout the attacker with their own scouts. Ensure they have at least 1,000 scouts (by mid game) otherwise they might not receive a report at all. Again this will help to remove some of the guesswork.

Until you receive the report, do not assume it is a fake.

2 Responses to Defensive Strategies

  1. Michael says:

    I have only played 2 rounds and started a third round a month ago. First round I played off. Teuton and quit at midgame because the hammer was splat. Second round I played as off. Gaul and finally got to see end-game and artefacts where my 30k hammer was splat again in an alliance war. IMO, to survive the game till WWs, it’s really not how good the alliance can attack, but how good the alliance can defend.

    Now I’m going full defense in this round as Gaul again, and only using phalanx to raid farms up to 10 hours away that have no troops.

  2. Rassing says:

    Have you never heard of analysing attacks.
    Analysing attacks can often show the real. i have personally, as a multiple server def cord., never tried this guess work.
    IT WONT WORK PROPERLY. find a guide to analysing incoming attacks… read it… use it.

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