This is a turn-based war game and theattacker has initiative during battles. This means the attacker moves and attacks, then the defender moves and attacks, and back and forth until someone wins.This page describes some of the troop requirements and their stats. Battle Mechanics have been developed through experience playing the game and are not 100% fool proof.
Basic actions of the troops is that each type of troop acts as a group. All LBMs act as 1 group, not individual units for example. Life is also a group characteristic, in order to kill 1 LBM... the entire group has to have taken enough damage to kill 1 unit.
Units with the most speed move and attack first, then the next fastest troops, then the next. For example, SSDs move and attack, then the giants move and attack, then the FMs move and attack.
The different troops types that counter each other depends on variables such as the numbers included, the damage output of the opposing troops, what is within their range (because if something is in range, they must hit it), and the highest combined life of a troop type. So determining which troop a type takes preference to can be tricky and sometimes will change based on factors individual to this particular battle.
If you think of this as a real battle, generally speaking... attackers target the troops within their range that are the biggest threat.
The battle field is a default length of 500 units. If you add a ranged troop type, you add the range of that troop to the default length of the field (500 units) making a formula of:
(troop range with Weapon Calibration) + base battle field range (500) = total length of battle field
For example; A fire mirror with level 10 Weapons Calibration has a range of 2,250 + 500 = 2,750 unit battle field
Troops all start at the same line at the end of the battle field. However, they will move towards the enemy according to their speed as indicated on the troops' stats. So troops with high speed will get in front of the slower troops. Ranged troop move according to their speed until they are in range of an enemy unit, at this point... they stop moving forward and shoot.
Theoretically, there are 3 groups of troops that actively participate in battle: Speed, Melee, and Ranged. Ranged are closest to the starting line, melee are in front of the ranged (meat shield), and speed are furthest ahead.
Dragons and Banshees are classified as speed troops. If you have level 10 Rapid Deployment and Dragonry, an SSD has a speed of 2,000, a BD has a speed of 1,500, and a Banshee has a speed of 2,700. Speed troops are used in battle against ranged troops. When speed troops are on the attacker's side, they target other speed troops and ranged troops.
The ratio of SSD:Banshee on a Fire Mirror is 10:4... Meaning, you would only need 4 Banshees to kill a single FM, but you would need 10 SSDs to kill a single FM.
When the defender has ranged troops, speed troops are usually sent as a first wave to kill the LBMs, FMs, and LJs. Speed troops move past melee troops and target the defending speed troops and ranged troops. BDs generally tend to target BDs, LBM, and LJs. While SSDs target all ranged troops, but LBM imparticularly. These troops are sent alone in a seperate wave, while the other troops (LJs, Ogres, ect.) are sent as after waves. If they are sent with other troops, range incompatibilites will cause the speed troops to be less effective than if they were sent alone.
Speed troops are not sent with ranged troops because the ranged troops extend the battlefield causing the speed troops to take more fire than they would by themselves. Other melee/transport troops are safe to send as long as you send enough speed troops to fight the battle as they will speed ahead of slower foot troops. This principle applies to all ranged troops including the Great and Elemental Dragons.
Melee troops are any that do not use a ranged attack such as Conscripts, Halberdsmen, Minotaurs, Giants, Fangtooth, and Ogres. These troops are used in combination with range troops. They move ahead of range troops allow the range troops to shoot without being hit by opponents.
If you send Fangtooth into battle without another ranged troop (longbowmen, fire mirrors, and lava jaws), they use their range attack which is much lower than their melee attack. FT have higher speed and melee attack than any other melee troop type. Therefore, when using these you want to send an LBM. This causes the FT to move ahead of the LBM using its ranged attack until it comes into contact with opponent troops... it will then switch to melee attack.
For example: A fangtooth has a range of 900 (10 weapons cal), a melee attack of 2,400 (10 metalurgy), and a range attack of 1,200. So in order to make the FT act as a melee troop (which it is better at) you must send a troop with higher range than the FT.
Granite ogres in battle would be right behind fangtooth. GO's with level 10 Rapid Deployment, have a speed of 525. Melee troops would then follow behind in this order (according to speed): Halberdsmen, Minos, Consripts, and then Giants.
Ogres, FT, and Giants have very high life making them excellent at shielding for ranged troops. In order for 1 LBM to kill 1 Ogre, it would need require the LBM to hit the Ogre 188 times!
Ranged troops (fangtooth, lava jaws, longbowmen, and fire mirrors) are always behind all other troops laying fire onto every troop they are in range of... They're weak against speed troops when they are used on defense, but they excel at killing speed troops (and everything else!) when they are the attackers.
Fangtooth has both a ranged and melee attack (see Melee Troops for details), but are generally used as melee troops.
If melee troops are not sent with ranged troops, they are easily killed by the defending troops. The attacker must send enough melee troops (Ogres, FT, giants, minos) to shield the ranged troops, giving the ranged troops enough time to kill all the defenders troops.
Having a well balanced army in sufficient numbers is the key to a successful defense. If you do not have experience defending, you should ask someone that does before you attempt it. Otherwise, you may wind up losing all your troops to someone with much more experience in attacking or just superior troops.
This is just some general thoughts on defense, add to it as you can.
Dragons shield ranged troops when defending against other dragons, therefore having a sufficient amount of dragons to protect your ranged troops is important.
Attacking dragons usually head straight for other dragons and then to the ranged troops.
Attacking melee troops take a preference for defending speed troops, so you can use this to your advantage by drawing the attention away from your ranged troops towards the speed troops.
Everyone picks on the dragons, attacking dragons target them as well as melee troops so they are likely to be the 1st to die in a big multi-wave battle.
Ranged troops usually start on the melee troops with the highest speed first, but will kill anything within their range.
Ogres and giants are the beasts of defense. The have high life and defense stats which make them difficult to kill if you have sufficient numbers.
When gathering information about battle mechanics, it all comes from experience and listening to others that have experience. The smartest thing you can do is read the Dragonomicon from front to back. These guys are great and they have proven most of the theories that are commonly used throughout the game today.
Q. Why does the Great Dragon/EDs cause me to lose dragons when I send them together?
A. The Great Dragons increase the length of the battlefield because of their range, therefore the dragons have to cross a longer battlefield than they typically would without the GD included. When sent alone, the dragons are able to cross the battle field in a few turns and begin killing the defender. Ranged troops do not have this issue.
Q. Why do I lose ATs before I lose LBM?
A. Even thought LBM have more speed than ATs, LBM stop moving when their are enemies in range. ATs have a melee attack (for some stupid reason) and continue to move forward until they get to an enemy to kill. If you do not send enough LBM to kill all the opponents before the ATs get there, the ATs will attack and die until the LBM finish the opponents off. To fix this, send more LBM or research higher levels of Weapon Calibration.
Q. Why do people send 1 of other troop types?
A. This 1 troop causes the defenders troops to either stop moving and focus on this 1 troop taking the focus off the others, or it adds length to the battlefield, or (as is the case with LBM and FT) causes the FT to act in a melee attack fashion. This all depends on what the attacker is trying to do.