Friday, 26 November 2010



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Three types of attack and corresponding three types of defense
We have three types of attack and corresponding to them three types of defense. Each unit has 1 type of attack and three of defense. It means that they use their main weapon to attack/fight but deal in a different way when being attacked depending on what kind of unit attacks them. Check stats of all units and you will see clearly that some of them should never be used in attack, some never in defense while some can do both. For more information regarding Grepolis units read my guides: Land Army and Mythical Units.

Offensive units are: Slingers, Horsemen, Light Ships, Erinyes, Manticores and  Harpies etc.

Multitask (Offensive and Defensive) units are: Hoplites, Chariots, Cyclopes, (they are not the strongest in attack nor in defense, but can perform both tasks at the same time – you can send them to attack and leave to defend till stronger defensive units come to support them. Medusa are also multitask units but at the same time are very strong in both roles.

Defensive units are: Swordsman, Archers, Pegasus, Cerberus and Centaurs.

Support units: Catapults (they demolish walls but are not good stand-alone offensive units)

Population Cap
Each city has the population cap which is 3500 (with upgrades). Additionally a player cannot merge offensive units from few cities and therefore is limited in his attacks to this number (minus population needed for buildings or transport ships). You can produce units in many cities but you have to send them separately and they can’t be merged into one big attack. Therefore population cap is the main factor limiting strength of your attacks. You can however merge armies in any city to defend it.

Farm Space
Farm Space (FS), is equal to 1 population in your city. Smart management of available FS is crucial in Grepolis because of the mentioned above population cap. Players should be interested to have maximal values of attack and defense per population used by their army (FS), especially at later stages of the game when they can gather big armies and stack all their defensive units in one place. 

Battle mechanics
Grepolis uses a very simple system in determining the outcome of battles. When the units meet in battle, the total attack value of the attacking units is compared to the defending unit's total defense value of the corresponding weapon type (Blunt, Sharp, Range) - if you attack for example with Slingers only then compare range attack to range defense.

When attacking, take into account the attack value of the unit(s) which you use for it. Defense value of the unit which you send to attack doesn't matter at all. Defense of any unit is taken into calculations only if that unit is being attacked (example). When there are few types of defending or attacking units, you have to add their values (example).

In Grepolis units fight till the total annihilation of the opposing side and there can be only two outcomes. The only exception are battles when there are some Transport Ships left for some reason. As a general rule if attack>defense then all defending units die, and if attack<defense then all attacking units will die - its that simple!

Different goals - different forms of attack

I will say something that most of the people reading guides hate - in Grepolis a lot of things are relative, situational and depends on particular circumstances or players goals. Your attacks should help you to achieve your goals. You might have 3 different goals:

  1. Short term - the most effective attack (hit your enemy as hard as possible, without looking at costs or long term results). There is always one type of attack (blunt, sharp or range) which will deal the most damage to the enemy defenses (will be the most effective). If you put all your available population into it and hit your enemy's vulnerable point, you will blast him away. Vulnerable point? Yes, this might be a Light Ships fleet without any Biremes to defend them, or a land units nuke or a badly made defense, which ignores one type of attack. 
  2. Medium term - the most efficient attack in terms of time needed to rebuild lost units (hit your enemy as hard as possible but losing units that can be quickly replaced). These types of attacks might be needed when you fight a strong player and you don't want to let him to recover. You will not defeat him in the first battle but shortly after.
  3. Long term - the most efficient attack in terms of resources (hit your enemy as hard as possible but with minimal costs). These types of attacks you should use during long conflicts which are more about endurance than a quick knock out. Often the most effective type of attack is the most efficient one but not always (more about it later).

Attack's Effectiveness

Nobody knows the battle formula. The only information available is the experience of the players and experimentation in the simulator. As such, in the majority of instances predicting the battle outcome is an educated guess and never fact. (Source)

If you look closer at the units parameters you will realise that each unit has a different attack value per Farm Space: 1 Slinger = 23 range attack/FS, 1 Hoplite = 16 sharp attack/FS, 1 Horseman = 55 blunt attack, but because its made of 3 population then attack/FS=18.3 (55 / 3 farm Spaces = 18.3) - more about Land Army Units. Therefore an attack made by 1000 Slingers will have higher total attack value (strength) than one made by 1000 Hoplites. It doesn't mean though that a Slingers attack will be always the most effective force against every defense.

As described before we have to compare the total attack value of the attacking units to the defending unit's total defense value of the corresponding weapon type. Its easy then to find out which units will be the most effective against any particular defense - you simply divide total attack by the total corresponding type of defense and the biggest number will indicate the most effective type of attack against that particular defense (example). You can use my Units Calculator (Basic or Full), which will calculate it for you.

You can see then that the effectiveness of your attacks is not based solely on the strength of your army but rather depends on the relationship between the strength of attacking and defending units. In a nutshell, when attacking remember that proportions are everything. The bigger the attack/defense ratio the better results for the attacker - more damage done and less units lost. The more effective attack is then: a) when Attack>Defense, less attacking units will be lost or b) when Attack<Defense, more defending units will be killed.

Size of attacking armies
It should be obvious for everyone now that the size of your attacking army is a very important factor impacting its effectiveness. One attack made by 1000 Slingers will hit harder and bring better results than 2 separate attacks of 500 Slingers each. Therefore every good player in Grepolis specialise its cities. You should dedicate a city to each type of attack, mainly focusing first on Range and Blunt attack (Hoplites don't provide much Sharp attack and to build a Manticores army you will need to have many cities) - more about City Specialisation.

Its in your best interest to make in a single city as big armies as possible. You should invest in research like Plow, Bunks, Breakthrough. Yes, indirectly they make possible to build more fighting units. For example Breakthrough will allow you to build smaller Light Ships escorts, while thanks to Bunks you will save on Transport Boats. Remember about constructing Thermal Baths as well.

You will be able to put ~2800 population into your army in a single city if you save a lot on your buildings. This way you will be able to build the most powerful offensive armies in Grepolis - nukes. It is an attack made of the same type of units, only Slingers, Horsemen, Hoplites, Light Ships or mythical units - more about Nukes.

Type of attack
By checking the attack/defense ratio for each type of weapon (as described before), you will be able to find out the most effective type of force against that particular defense and pick the right nuke for the job. Therefore another thing to remember is that by choosing the best type of units for the specific mission you control the effectiveness of your attacks - there is always 1 type of attack which will bring the best results (example).

The only limitation here is that you have to know or be able to predict what type of units you are attacking to prepare the right squad. Knowledge is power as they say and espionage in Grepolis should not be underestimated. It might be expensive though and you may have to attack blind. In that situation some people advice to use a mixed attack (made of Blunt, Sharp and Range attack units).

I am not a huge fan of mixing attacking units and for some reason a lot of people don't know they should invest more in range defense (Swordsmen) than any other type. This is why I was very often successful by just sending Slingers nukes, however things might look different for you and if you feel safer sending mixed attacks, do it. It will never be the most efficient and effective type of attack but its less risky if you don't know what you are hitting.

Mixed attack - this is how would look like an attack equally strong against all 3 types of defense:
5 Horsemen/17 Hoplites/12 Slingers = 275 range attack, 272 sharp attack and 276 blunt attack.

Sometimes adding extra units will increase effectiveness and efficiency of your attack (example). Use the Grepolis in-game simulator and compare loses in my Units Calculator to check if adding those units increase or decrease your loses (in resources) - more about it later.

Size of your army will definitely increase the total strength of your attack, however you can increase it by investing into research, like Phalanx or Battering Ram. Additionally you should boost your attacks with Divine Powers, like Heroic Power or Favorable Wind, which will further increase the strength of your attacks. Finally Commander and Captain, premium paid features, provide very strong bonus of extra 20% strength.

Other Factors
City Wall - it can add an extra 142% defense value! This means that with lvl 25 you don't attack 100 Swordsmen, but 242 of them. Add catapults to your Slingers nukes - their task is to lower enemy's wall level (extra defense value that city walls provide - example). More about Catapults and City Walls.

Morale - decreases the advantage of a large attacker on the smaller player and its based on the Defender/Attacker total points ratio (not the strength of attacking units but points which are rewarded for each building you construct in your cities). The exact formula is: [(Points Defender/Points Attacker)*3+0.3]*100. 
It can be between 30% to 100% and is a setting (decided by an administrator) which is turned on only in certain worlds. If one as an aggressor has +30% morale this means that the fighting ability of the attacking units is 30% higher.

Luck - random factor that can vary between -30% and +30%.

Attack's Efficiency

Another thing to consider when attacking are your goals. As mentioned before you might be more interested in weakening your strong opponent than killing all his units in one particular battle. In that case you should check efficiency of your attack and to do that you just need to take into account costs of units lost in resources. It is a very straightforward operation where you do couple of simulations using the simulator in Agora and then type in lost units number into my Units Calculator to see which attack cost you more (example).

Some basic and the most fundamental tips

  • Navy - Light Ships are for attacking only and Biremes for defending only (unless they escort CS).
  • ALWAYS use Light Ships to escort your Transport Ships!
  • NEVER send to attack defensive units like Archers or Swordsmen, unless you want to get rid of them and give free BPs to the attacked one.
  • When you look at the enemy defense keep in mind that a balanced defense (the one which protects equally against all types of attack) is something like 6 Swords + 2 Archers + 5 Hoplites.
  • For detailed guide about conquering cities in revolt worlds check the Revolt Guide


  1. Very good, I will like to have your excel spreadsheet,LOL.

  2. thanks...a awesome work...and a must read for all the players...

  3. About morale, it varies between 100 and 30 per cent. not 30/-30.

    Great guides, love all of 'em ;)

  4. Never seen a better guide. Something I always searched for.