Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Regular units overview

All presented below units have some parameters next to their picture. This is what they mean:

Attack or Defense value/FS - Unit's Attack or Total Defense (sum of 3 types of defense) value divided by Farm Space (population used to build the unit). There are 2 values here:
   -Land attack/support - when you attack on the same island, so you do not use ships for transport.
   -Sea attack/support - when you attack somebody on a different island, so costs of transport ships were included (all values include cost of Fast Transport Ships with bunks).

Cost/attack or /defense - Efficiency of your attacking or defending forces (how much 1 Attack or Defense cost in resources, which you spent building units). The smaller the number the better.
As with the previous criteria, there are 2 values here: Land (excl. ships) and Sea (incl. ships), both explained above.

Offensive Units

Building an offensive army is easier than building a defensive one. While a defense has to be balanced against all types of attack, offense is most effective when it is made of only one type. Therefore we will need to consider three types of attacking armies: blunt, sharp and ranged.

Which one to produce, you ask? You can base your decision on the data you have acquired (i.e. spy reports) or just attack blind and hope for luck. If you have spy reports available use my calculator and it will suggest you the most effective unit to use against that particular defense. However, unless your enemy prepares his defenses purely against range attack, the best unit is Slinger - quick and cheap to produce. It is a perfect unit when you have to attack unknown enemy blind.

If you would like to learn more attacking then please see my other guide which you can find here.

Type of attack: Range
Attack/FS: 17.5 (by Sea) or 23 (by Land)
Cost/Attack: 12.3 (by Sea) or 8.5 (by Land)

Slingers are kings of attacking forces among regular (non-Mythical). They are cheap and fast in construction. Also their cost is very balanced - you do need more stone than wood or silver but they require all three types of resources, so costs are more or less spread out.

Slingers are units that have the highest attack value per FS and provide the cheapest attack among regular (non-mythical) units - they are also the most effective and efficient Range attack units in the game including mythical units. In most cases Slingers can provide the highest damage unless a defender has proportionally more range defense than any other type.

Slingers are countered very effectively by Swordsmen or Cerberus. It is really important to note: even if a player builds Swordsmen, he most likely does only to maintain a balanced defense. What it means is that attacking with Slingers will at least be as effective as with any other unit and in most cases more efficient (low costs). In theory it is easier and cheaper to build Swordsmen than for example Hoplites (which provide good Blunt defense against Horsemen) but people usually do not build enough of range defense.

Remember though, only because they are the strongest regular units and the cheapest ones that doesn't mean they are always the most effective or efficient force to use - it depends on the enemy defense composition. If a player totally neglects use of sharp defense, like Archers, then I send sharp attack units (like Hoplites or Manticores) but its rarity. You can read more about battle mechanics here.

Slingers are also accessible very early in the game. The only problem with them is that they won’t be able to do much farming.

In the advanced stage of the game with 15+ cities I usually had most of my cities producing Slinger nukes and 1 sharp nuke (excluding my CS forces). You can have quick nukes or slow nukes. Here you will find more information regarding  Slinger nuke.

Based on this, it may be a good idea to go for Slingers attack, if you know nothing about your opponent’s defense. Unfortunately, there are no flying mythical units to complement ranged offensive army, unlike the blunt and sharp cases. Erinyes, Cyclops and Centaurs are mythical ranged attackers but since they have worse parameters than Slingers both in terms of effectiveness (attack/FS) and efficiency (resource cost) – and they also consume favor – there is not much point in building them purely for attacking.

Type of attack: Blunt
Attack/FS: 13.9 (by Sea) or 18.3 (by Land)
Cost/Attack: 17.9 (by Sea) or 13.1 (by Land)

Horsemen have lower attack/FS than Slingers and are more expensive. It’s not my favorite option when attacking enemy player, unless I am hitting defense with little Blunt defense. In most of the situations Slingers will be simply cheaper and faster to rebuild than Horsemen.

However if costs are not an issue for you then Horsemen can be often a very effective offensive force. Regular (non-mythical) units specializing in blunt defense (i.e. Hoplites or Chariots) have the lowest Defense/FS among all defensive units. Even if your opponent chooses to build a defense of 300 hoplites, you will be able to counter it with 100 horsemen (that is the same 300 FS). If you were building slingers you would find it much more difficult to deal with a defense of pure Swordsmen. For more details please check my tables here (especially the one at the bottom).

Stronger (more effective) blunt attackers are Harpies, simply because they do not need ships to be carried over. Therefore you can build more Harpies, using FS that did not go into transport ships and escort (Light Ships). Harpy has 19 attack/FS.

Horsemen are fast and can carry a lot of loot so it’s a good farming unit which I send to farm other players who have already been cleared by my offensive forces.

Offensive/Defensive Units 

Type of attack: Sharp
Attack/FS: 12.2 (by Sea) or 16 (by Land)
Total defense/FS: 9.4 (by Sea) or  12.3 (by Land)
Cost/Attack: 19.6 (by Sea) or 14.1 (by Land)
Cost/Total defense: 25.4 (by Sea) or 18.2 (by Land)

Hoplites are not as strong in attack as Slingers or Horsemen which doesn't make them perfect attack forces. They also don't have the best defensive stats. All non-mythical sharp attackers are balanced units, so your sharp attacking army will contribute a lot to your defense as well.

They can be used in attack when a player doesn't have any Archers (sharp defense) in his city.
Archers are very popular defensive units and they are very effective sharp defense. So if you are going for a chariot/hoplite offense, make sure your opponent is not stockpiling archers: this will make your attack extremely ineffective, even if you win your losses both in resource and in farm space will be a lot higher.
If you decide to focus on sharp attack, you have a choice between hoplites and chariots. Hoplites have a slightly higher Attack/FS, they are cheaper resource wise, the associated research requires less points and is accessible earlier in the academy. They are slow and can’t carry much resources, so not good for farming. Chariots have the bonus of speed and better loot, which makes so much more effective at farming, though still much worse than horses.

Hoplites are essential for balanced defense if you want to be protected against blunt attacks. You can start producing them early, before Chariots. They have strong blunt defense, medium sharp def (half of what Archers have but more than Swordsmen) and bad range def. 

Offense and Defense in one
Their strongest point is their ability to perform Conquest missions (so are more useful in a Conquest World). Their attack and defense values are not the highest but they can perform both tasks at the same time. Their weaker stats are price for their universality. When you send a Colony Ship it might happen that a defender will do a very quick dodge with his land units or plan an attack which will hit your CS forces before your support arrives. In that case you are defending the town and only defensive stats count. Some could think that sending Swordsmen and Archers would be a good idea but it is not. Archers and Swordsmen are terrible in attack, so if the defender decides to not dodge but take the hit, then all your forces will be wiped easily. For those reasons hoplites and chariots are the best regular units to send with your Colony Ship.

I must admit I have sent a few Archers with my CS but most of my forces were made of hoplites and chariots. I don't believe anyone will stick to rigid numbers but just to give you a few ideas of units that you can send with your CS:

a) Strong attack and blunt defense but weaker sharp and range defense - 400 hops+150 chariot
(attack: 14800  defense:   18600 blunt  /  7200 sharp  / 11200 range) 
b) Weaker attack and blunt defense but strong sharp and range defense - 250 Archers+188 chariots
(attack: 12528  defense:   15788 blunt / 9258 sharp  / 13528 range)

The weaker the attack the more units you will lose during it so will have fewer units left for defending, which makes option b not such a great idea. If the defender dodges though, then option b is better than a. I personally don't stick to any numbers - I mix Hoplites with Chariots and add some Archers for a quick conquest wave.

There are two mythical units with sharp attack, and both are excellent attackers. Manticore has the highest sharp Attack/FS (and attack in general) and Medusa has the 2nd best, only a little lower. Also Manticores can fly, so the same bonus as for harpies applies to them.

Type of attack: Sharp
Attack/FS: 10.6  (by Sea) or 14 (by Land)
Total defense/FS: 9.4  (by Sea) or 12.3 (by Land)
Cost/Attack: 23.5 (by Sea) or 17.1 (by Land)
Cost/Total defense: 26.6 (by Sea) or 19.5 (by Land)

The same story as with hoplites but they have different defensive stats. Basically blunt defense is the same, sharp defense is much worse and range defense much better. 

Their blunt defense is bit better than hoplites (19 not 18) but it doesn't make much difference.
Sharp defense is awful equal 4 (hoplites have 12).
Range defense is much better equal 14 (hoplites have 7)

So we can see that chariots and hoplites mixed together will add a lot of blunt defense and acceptable sharp and range defense. If you haven't noticed yet chariots have half of the Swordsman range defense and hoplites have half of the Archers sharp defense (which are their dominant stats).
Chariots are bit weaker in attack than hoplites (14 instead of 16).

Chariots and hoplites are expensive units and hoplites cost lot of silver leaving plenty of wood in the city producing them. They are not perfect for attacking but good as a CS escort.

Defensive Units

The best possible defense are defensive units behind high wall.

The highest overall defense value among regular (non-mythical) units has Swordsman but Archer is not far behind. These 2 units are bread and butter of every strong defense.

However the best defensive units in the game are Pegasus, then Cerberus and Medusa.

Pegasi with Centaurs (or Archers) are perfect combo (also note, that you can mix 2 mythical units in the same place as it is the same god). Just add a few swordsmen for extra distance defense and put them behind 25 lvl wall.

If you would like to learn more how to build a perfect land defense then please see my other guide which you can find here.

Strongest defense value: Range 
Total defense/FS: 13.2  (by Sea) or  17.3 (by Land)
Cost/Total defense: 15.5  (by Sea) or 10.4 (by Land)

Swordsman is a fundamental defensive unit with the highest among regular units Total Defense. Swordsmen with Archers make foundation of your land defensive forces. If you can’t afford hoplites make more of Swordsmen instead. Never send them to attack anything, not even to farm an empty city as even without walls you will have casualties.

Strongest defense value: Sharp
Total defensive/FS: 10.9 (by Sea) or 14.3 (by Land)
Cost/Total defense: 19.8  (by Sea) or 13.6  (by Land)

Second the most important defensive unit. Not much to say except that it’s one of the strongest sharp defenses in the game (2nd highest). You can send your Archers when farming other player cities (not attacking them, but farming after you've killed their army) because they can carry a lot of loot. Please remember that Archers are defensive units, which can be used to carry out resources from an enemy city when its empty and should not be used to kill enemy units.

Never attack another player’s city with Swordsmen or Archers.

If you have any question or would like to add anything, please leave your comment
cheers :)


  1. is it ok to have a chariot nuke? or are they mainly used for defense?

  2. I do not think Chariots are good for attacking in general. They are good when you send them with CS in a Conquest world, so they hold siege until stronger defensive units arrive but for purely offensive missions I would not rely on them.

    Check tables comparing attack per Farm Space of different units and you will see yourself:

    Also check how expensive chariots are:

    If you really want to send a sharp nuke use Hoplites, Medusae or Manticores. Mantis are the strongest and the cheapest if you don't count Favour Points.