Attacks from big players are very dangerous and should be treated with caution. By big players I mean those who are clearly bigger than you both in population and offense rank.
The following guide applies to one-on-one skirmishes. So it does not apply to coordinated attacks during an alliance war.
The attack usually begins with scouting. Scouting is an act of aggression. It is an indication of intent to conquer, raid or simply to destroy village structures for whatever reason. Shortly after, the scouting is followed by a normal attack.
As a guideline, if a big player attacks you for the first time, always empty out and flee.
Yes, you may lose a few village structures in the attack. But that is better than losing your village structures and also your troops in the process.
The reason is obvious. If you have been scouted, then there’s a good chance that he’s sending a large army at you capable of dealing with your defenses. Even if you were not scouted, you still should not put your army at risk from an attack by big players.
Big players have massive armies and losing your defense army will cost you dearly. Instead, dodge the attack so you know what is his offense capability. Use that information to then decide whether to flee or fight in subsequent attacks.
I have seen too many noob players who try to defend with 500 praetorians or 1000 phalanxes. They think that’s a strong force but they don’t realize that the attacker is sending 10000 axemen and 4000 Teuton Knights at them.
The strategy is, after destroying a player’s army, it opens the way for subsequent farming and even cropkilling if I wanted to.
If you saved your army, then you can use it to either prepare proper defenses for future attacks or even use it to snipe at any cata attacks. Losing your army in a first strike doesn’t give you any options and practically makes you a sitting duck.
Don’t try to defend against a big player’s first strike, even if you think you have decent defenses.
Defending Your Oases
Oases are best left undefended. There are no walls in oases and its just silly to reinforce your oases. If you are attacked in your oases, send your army and raid your own oases so that your attack arrives one minute before the attacker.
A player owned oases carries 10 percent of the main village’s resources. Once raided, this 10 percent is replenished every ten minutes.
By raiding your own oases one minute before the attacker, you empty out your oases resources, so that your attacker won’t be able to steal anything.
Protecting Your Settler
In the early game, raiding and attacking between players can be very intense. Settlers and chiefs are very expensive units to lose, especially in the early game.
A very simple way to protect your settlers and chiefs from being caught in an overnight raid is to trap them in a friendly Gaul trapper.
Ask a friendly Gaul player to build trappers. Send your settler or chief to attack him and he will be trapped in his trapper. It is impossible to kill trapped units and your settler or chief is perfectly safe there. When you want them back, ask your Gaul player to release them.
The way trappers work is they will activate first. So if a trapper has 200 capacity, and the attacker sends 300 units. 200 of the units will be trapped first, leaving only 100 to do combat. If the attacker manages to kill all the defenders, then the 200 trapped units will be freed.
What troops that are trapped will follow the ratio of the attacking army. For example, if the attacker sent 200 clubswingers and 100 Teuton Knights. The ratio is 2:1. Therefore the troops that will be trapped is 133 clubswingers and 67 Teuton Knights (a 2:1 ratio).