Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Organising waves

In the last guide I proposed some ways of putting clearing and support waves as close to CS as possible. When sending waves in general we have to alter our tactics and tailor them to the current enemy. However I remind you that defending is easier than attacking and against really skilled and strong players/alliance quick conquers might not be an option, not until we make them weaker or our team hit smarter. At the moment I focus on 1vs1 situations to describe general tactics of organising waves. I will write about operations in other guides.

Table of content

GROMs Manoeuvre

To make your life easier when organisng attack and support waves from many cities, try to use one of the two Attack Planners I provide on this site (both have similar core functions):

Traveltime Calculator - an excel file to download
Attack Planner - an online google doc


Sometimes to get these perfect clearing attacks we are forced to send many of them just before the CS landing time (ETA). However don't try to put all of them in that short window of time if your enemy is known for stacking units rather than dodging. If you know that enemy is going to defend and stack defensive units, try to clear his city few times during a day before CS ETA. By that I mean send LS nuke with attached to it land nuke made of Slingers/catapults or only LS if you expect many Biremes. I would not send land nukes alone as its risky - better to always send LS nuke followed shortly with land nuke. Ofcourse spying helps and if you cant do it, then your early attacks should give you an idea about numbers of defensive units. Also you might send 1 Harpy or Manticore - they will die but as they can fly over Biremes, they will hit ground units and give you report back about their numbers.

Send your clearing attacks few times before CS with some longer time intervals. So lets say your CS lands at 20:00 but you sent it at 8:00 - your enemy knows since 8:00 that your CS is coming (we always assume the worst, so lets say he knows straight away). Check on the map local cities and predict which one can send support. Lets say you estimate that the earliest support will come around 12:00 so send your clearing wave to hit at ~12:30, then at 15:00, 18:00 or if possible even more often. Why? Because you don't want to let your enemy to stack all defending units and then hit them. Mind that the defender can only dodge with his own units, not the ones sent by his teammates.

If he gathers lets say 2000 Biremes you will hit 2000 Biremes with 250 LS - with this attack/defense proportions you will sink very little. There are better ways of sinking your own fleet than hitting a 10 times bigger wall of Biremes (free BPs for defender). Most of the time support waves don't come all at the same time, so when he gets first 300 BMs you should attack them with 250 LS, then few hours later 500 BMs support comes in, you hit them with 250 and so on. Those hits will kill most of his BMs. If you let them to stack and then hit you will sink few times less of them.

If defenders have many support units they might arrive in few different ways:

  1. Support from other players comes most of the time "whenever" before the CS. People don't care to much about others and when they send support they don't spend extra hours and log in few times a day just to synchronise support with CS landing time - they will send it all at once. I was an active player so when I was supporting my friend I would try to put my BMs just before the CS wave. Most of the time it was easy to do because not that many people can put all clearing waves in 30s interval just before CS. However as I said most of the time support from other players will come randomly, hours before the CS.

  2. Support that comes from the attacked player may also arrive randomly before the CS (he sent all of his/her units at the same time)  
  1.  Usually defenders don't risk against CS attacks and if they have many support units to their disposition they will try to make sure all of them arrive before CS (not after). Therefore its unlikely they will take risks and manage to put big BMs wave 1-10s before CS lands but of course its still possible.
  2. If the defender is a skilled player then he/she might try to time support to arrive seconds before the CS.
Depending on the stage of the game you might clear the target city alone or get help from your teammates. In the second case its better to ask them to perform task of early clearing attacks rather than trying to get their clearing waves close to your CS. I only trusted one person in my alliance to be able to do that and once he got my final confirmation of CS ETA he was able to put his LS nukes 5s before it. Really admirable but as I said - if you're not sure about your teammate's skills, ask them to send clearing waves much before your hit in the way I described above. Better safe than sorry. Also while they clear everything that comes hours before your CS, you try to make sure to kill anything that comes 1-60s before it. 

I will write another guide about being efficient but just as a quick advice here - if the enemy stacks massive amount of units in his city to defend it, leave it. With all these massive forces behind walls or stacked Biremes from many cities against your little nukes, he will have a BPs orgy. Free BPs for the defender - its absolutely pointless to try to push with head against the wall. In that situations pick other city - I will write more details about it in another guide focusing more on large scale operations. 

Yes, our favourite type of defenders... NOT ;)  I had many occasions to deal with dodgers so here are some tactics I developed.

First of all you don't need clearing waves to be spread in time like I described in the first part about non-dodgers. This time squeeze as many as you can in 1 minute interval just before CS ETA. If you follow my advices from the previous guide about timing waves you should be able to put most of your clearing waves 50s to 1 second before the CS. I was risking little bit by sending my waves around 20s to CS ETA (using the previous example at 19:59:40) but this way I could put majority of my waves in the most dangerous time interval for the defender - between 19:59:10- 19:59:59 but mostly between 19:59:20-19:59:59. That 40 seconds were loaded with my clearing waves and made a defenders life so much harder. He could split his defending units and dodge with many of them risking that these little groups will get wiped by my nukes, or dodge with one big wave risking missing my CS. 

That one defensive wave could be very lucky one or very unlucky. You cant control these things to much and in the previous guide I showed only how to put big pressure on the defender and how to increase your chances of parking your CS in his harbour. You have many shots against his one but in general it all comes down to the randomisation mechanism which limits our control over the conquering process. We can control things only to some extent. Sometimes a defender will be more lucky with one wave than you with 10.

Other types of defensive tactics
If there are more than one support wave coming in just seconds before the CS hit, then we are talking about non-dodger who knows how to support himself with units from different cities just before the CS attack (or his team knows it). This is the hardest enemy to defeat and if luck is not on your side then forget about a quick conquest. As I mentioned before, defenders have easier life than attackers. In this case you will have to prepare a large scale operation involving your teammates, synchronise attacks on his other cities and if that doesn't bring results then start resources war.

There are also players who are forced to save resources and will try to support just before your CS hit and additionally try to snipe it after by sending a LS wave - its so called sandwich. Only good/lucky timing can help you against those players or as mentioned before large scale operation (targeting many cities aat the same time) and resources war.

Snipers are bit easier to deal with but again it depends how many offensive forces they can use. Enemy might send LS nukes before your CS lands, timing them to hit it just after its arrival. Therefore when we are dealing with many attack waves (defender is strong) then my strategy from the previous guide (about sending many support waves to land just after your CS) might save your CS but if it doesn't then you need to organise a larger operation or start resources war (making him weaker) so he cant send his army against you.

There is however one trick you can try to use against constant dodgers who are always online and I will describe it below.

How to fool a defender - GROMs Manoeuvre
I hated dodgers and being forced to play with luck, wasting my days just to be pushed back by some lucky dodger. I was in constant search for better ways of dealing with avoiding fight defenders. I developed a tactic that can be used effectively against dodgers and even "hard defenders" who stack their units. This tactic is based on misleading your enemy and then surprising him with an unexpected early CS. You will send a CS wave but before it lands you will send another one, which will hit before. Quick support and the city is yours, while your enemy tries to figure out what have just happened. Let me explain the whole process and go through details.

1) Prepare 2 CS waves, one very far and the second one as close to the target as possible. Its also good to have near your target some support cities - if you don't have any, maybe your teammates can help.

2) Send CS attack (1st CS) from the furthest city available, which can be even 20-30hrs away from your target city. Basically try to be sure that the defender knows its a CS wave. So much time might be necessary for him to notice it. You can even risk and not put any spell on your CS wave so he can spy it but the only danger is that he might sink your CS with the Sea Storm (CS is a big part of your population invested in the whole CS wave and therefore very often it can be sunk with a simple spell).

3) Send some clearing waves and try to put them all close to the 1st CS ETA. Depends on your army composition these can be any sort of offensive units, including real LS and land nukes. The best cities to be used here will be the ones positioned far away which have long travel time to the target city.

4) Send support waves to land just after the 1st CS. Like explained in the previous guide split your forces into smaller groups and send many small groups. However leave some for later (I will explain it soon). Again best suited for that job are cities located farther away (not the closest ones).

5) When all your clearing and support waves are on their way you can send your 2nd CS which should be launched from a city located close to the enemy target (like few hours away). Its up to you when you want to send it, just make sure that you will not have to face strong defense. Put a spell on it so the defender cant spy it. If you sent before many clearing waves, its very possible that the defender will not notice the long travel time for such a close located city - it will be just one of many attacks on his list.

6) Send couple of clearing waves to hit just before your 2nd CS. If your CS is in the "safe zone" and you think that the defender will not be able to support it quickly with massive forces then you can send support to land just after the 2nd CS. If its to risky (the defender might see new incoming support waves with different ETA, realise whats going on and send quickly strong support), then you should wait with sending your support to the moment when your 2nd CS lands successfully.

7) If your 2nd CS landed, send all your support straight away (ask teammates to do the same). You will need defensive/support cities close to your target to be able to reach it very fast, so keep them (don't send) till the last moment.

8) Don't worry about your incoming attacks - they will all come "for a tea and coffee" and go back home. They will not attack your units nor your CS. However we are talking about units sent only by yourself, not your teammates! Your teammates can clear the city before 2nd CS but none of them should hit it after as they will sink it (friendly fire).

I draw you a very professional picture :D showing the whole process. Click on it to make it larger.

There are few things to know when executing this tactic:
  • This tactic works if the enemy city is not already a fortress with many units defending it. Its all about surprise!
  • Be sure that your enemy knows about the 1st incoming CS. 
  • Spy your enemy often to see changes in his defenses. It might happen that his city will get support from other places long before 1st CS and they might catch your 2nd CS. Therefore keep close by strong clearing nukes for the 2nd CS. Sometimes you might have to send your 2nd CS much earlier to avoid fighting against all incoming support waves.
  • Send a Light Ships and land nuke to clear the target city something like an hour before 2nd CS ETA. Basically regarding all clearing waves, you can put some LS attacks just before 1st CS ETA (seconds before) and some spread through the day, every few hours, so it doesn't look suspicious and more like you trying to clear his city as normal.
  • Create chaos/"smoke cover" by sending many waves before so his log is full of incoming waves which indicate that the 1st CS is your main wave (all clearing and support waves are timed around it). You have to be sneaky :)

When I did that for the first time my 1st CS needed around 30hrs to reach the target - its ETA was 18.00 or 20:00 cant remember. I sent 3/4th of my offensive forces to "clear" his city just before 1st CS ETA. My 2nd CS was only 2,5 hrs away from the target. Around 11:00 I sent my 2nd CS and put spell on it (so they couldn't spy it). I was spying his city often and knew what he has inside. I made sure that my last spy mission will give me report just before the time I had to send my 2nd CS. It was pretty empty with only 200 BMs and some troops. After that I sent 1 LS nuke and 1 slingers nuke to clear it just before my 2nd CS (seconds before but not risking, sending it 30s before ETA) and asked my teammate to send something as well but not timed perfectly - I wanted to be on the safe side and clear anything that comes in this 2.5 hrs that my 2nd CS needed to reach the target. I parked my 2nd CS without any troubles and saw in the log 20-30 incoming support waves from all his alliance. I was laughing my ass off :D A lot of these people didn't even recall their support when the poor guy was desperately trying to sink my CS - they were killing each other! Some of his teammates were protecting my CS while others were trying to sink it - hilarious spectacle!

You can tailor this tactic to your own needs and decide yourself how big breaks you want to leave between 2 CS waves and how many clearing waves send with each. Help from your teammates might be necessary. The most important thing is to try to hide your 2nd CS between other waves. So use spell on it; send most of your waves with the first one; send some of your attacks in 2 hours intervals so it looks like you want to bombard him all day long before 1st CS; time many waves very close to the 1st CS; sometimes you might to have enough time to use your nukes twice so why not. If your 1st CS travel time is 30 hrs and your closest LS need 2 hours, send them very early to clear whatever is there and then resend it - his log of incomings must be full. Fool around with this tactic, create your own versions and have fun. If it works for you, come back here and say thanks grom ;P


  1. I had to edit everything again in HTML mode as blogspot editing tool produce crazy fonts, sizes etc However I could have deleted by mistake some words or parts of the sentences - if you notice something that doesnt make much sense, please let me know. I checked the guide but could have missed something. Cheers

  2. GROM - This is incredibly good strategy. Great work in coming up with this. I hope that with enough experience, I can do the same. Thanks for the guide.

  3. I think you really need to work on explaining things in a much simpler way. your other pages about attack units also beats around the bush instead of talking straight about the Proportions and the Numbers.

    Too many paragraphs.

    1. Your comment sounds more like a complaint than a constructive feedback but thank you anyway.

      To answer it I can only say that I always try but English is not my first language and its hard for me to make my guides shorter. I need long sentences to communicate everything that is on my mind.

      Ive just read this guide again and even though there are some parts I could correct, in general I would not change much. I don't think I repeat myself anywhere and things are explained to the point where no question need to be asked - that is my goal. There are way to many guides out there not explaining things at all, just throwing some random numbers and ideas without any logic backup (explanations). I believe authors of those guides have no clue why they propose those things.

      Anyway, if you are referring here to my guide about "attacking", I was actually thinking about rewriting it as it was one of my first guides I ever did and I agree it might be to long and not straight to the point.

      After all I only try to provide some quality information to people who seek for more. If my guides can help them I'm happy and I hope the knowledge they can gain by reading them will outweigh my imperfect style.

  4. Grom you are crystal clear to me and your articles, as well as being informative are also interesting to read.

    Strangely enough I executed a GROM Manoeuvre myself the other day before I read your article but out of respect for you that is the name I shall now use to describe it.

    1. I had a discussion about the name with other people who challenged me saying I should not take credit for it and that I didn't discover it. I replied to them that at the time when the idea came to my mind and later when I was testing it, I didn't know about anyone else using this tactic. Nobody told me about it, not even mentioned the "tea time" thing. So basically I did discover it myself.

      I don't claim to be the only one who discover it. I don't say I was the first one, although I had to be one of the first cus I used it 1.5 years ago on Delta. It is very likely that somebody before me and many after came up with the same idea but the fact stays - I did discover and developed it alone. So this is what I can say about "taking credit for it".

      I share it with all of you but apparently it is something that active players wanted to stay secret. If you don't know, many of the most active and knowledgeable players become Mods on grepo forum. I will not build here a conspiracy theory but all my posts trying to direct people to this guide were deleted many times, even recently...While they were deleted, the mod who did that didn't contact me saying I did anything wrong, nobody explained me why they were deleted and which rules were broken. I was only flamed by the other mod and our posts were again deleted.

      The only trace of this tactic on the public forum you can find here:
      posts no #33 "Correct...although...although don't go telling everybody"

      As I said, I wont go further with any "conspiracy" ideas, but mods controlling information on the forum and being active players is an obvious conflict of interests, isn't it?
      PS after many weeks/months I keep trying to post my guides on the grepo forum - the first mod took it off, then got banned, new ones don't really reply to my messages. Ive been waiting for 2 weeks now for any answer since the old mod was banned. All I got was: I will look at it...

    2. ..and sorry, I didn't mean to sound defensive. Just wanted to explain that issue up front bcus I was before attacked for it. I know you didn't try to do that here :) and thank you for kind words. Anyone can call it as he/she wants to. The name is just my private joke but after all I think that I do deserve to call it as I feel like ;)

  5. Great guide, long or not, I don't care. And I actually thought it wasn't all that long. Also, fantastic English. Before I read the post that said English was not your first language, I had thought you were a born speaker. I personally don't mind your guide not being on the forums on Grepolis, because it being out here makes it so that only those really wanting more advanced tactics and searching for them will find it. But I can see why it irritates you that the mods will not let you post on the forum, and delete your posts without reason. And I'm sure if I put the effort into a guide like this, I would want it known more, and posted on the Grepolis foums.

    1. Thanks for the nice comment, glad you liked it.

  6. the Great Baconator29 June 2012 at 00:32

    excellent guide for noobs like me! thanks for all your hard work.

    1. You are welcome and remember that everyone was a noob at the beginning. Good players are always interested to know more and get better but it doesn't happen over night. Good luck!

    2. im also glad they dont post your ideas in their forums, those that really want to learn seek out and read sites like this. very informative and i found everything easy to understand. maybe some are reading advanced tactics before knowing much about the game. iv been playing about 8 mos. and spent more time reading before playing at first.

      some people are noobs longer than others, depends how seriously they play. i know some 2 yr vets you might consider noobs :]

      thanks alot, keep up the good work please!!

    3. Hi, I apologize for late response but I was away for 3 weeks and had limited access to the internet.

      Thanks for this positive comment. Yes I have to agree that some people never learn or make any progress. Some so called veterans were lucky enough to start in a good/strong alliance and didn't have to do much to win. They consider themselves good players but all they had was not skill but a good team or bad enemy ;)

  7. Excellent work and thanks so much. I reference this site regularly.

  8. I couldn't disagree more with the guy who said it was too long and rambling. A good guide is one that details the logic behind the assertions so the reader is able to think more efficiently in the future. Some people just want to see straight numbers and not have to think for themselves. I appreciate how your guides simultaneously provide information and encourage me to analyze situations with my own mind. Keep up the great work. It's truly a pleasure to read your work.

    1. Thank you for this supportive and nice feedback.
      Ive just quickly read it again and I make many typos or my sentences could be better but honestly dont have time to spend on fixing every guide. Therefore Im happy that you still enjoy to read them and find them helpful.
      As you said, guides are not recipes and can only "guide" people, equip them with knowledge and show how to address common problems, cope with different challenges. Basically I believe that to become a better player, one need to understand the game and its mechanics, so I always try to provide logic explanation for everything I suggest. Im glad to hear that somehow I managed to do that.

  9. Thank you very much. Great stuff. Forget Hera I´m going to worship you in my Polis :)

  10. Great work... Recommending this in the FAQ section of my ally...

  11. Now, if only i can find a way to counter this...

  12. Grom, you aren't supposed to tell people this stuff.

  13. wonderful guide. i play a revolt world, but with a few tweaks it works all the same :)

    big thank you!

  14. Awesome guides. As a noob (playing 2 months) I've got quite good at dodging and sniping - better than most in my alliance and am looking forward to putting some of these tricks in place for next attacks. Thanks for clear, well explained and detailed analysis of how/why it works and how to make it work for you. Thanks

  15. awesome guides!

    what i have done in the past when dealing with dogers who read your blog about putting the resources in the market at ridiculous ratios, is to monitor the market and see when they put it up, i accept their ridiculous demands and time it such that the transaction occurs right before my raiding party lands. this way i get some of his resources and i get mine back. it also tells me he is trying to dodge. i have only done this with cities close to mine and i generally try to get a feel when the person is online before hand. its high risk high reward but its paid out for me in the past. i only do this on resource raids and not for conquest or BP's.

  16. Hello G.R.O.M,

    I have been on Grepo around 4+ years, and your guides are good and very useful for beginners, or those who are still learning the game,

    The beuty of Grepo is, we can all always improve and still learn good techniques and tactics, I consider myself an agressive player, but first and foremost a tactical one, I detest World wonders but have a high knowledge of building them faster than rival alliances through good organisation,

    just thought id post because even I myself and as you pointed out, we sometimes think we were the first to develope a good technique or tactic, but we can never bve 100% sure we did,

    there is a few other additions you could use or perhaps already do employ, but never under estimate the use of fakes, to help draw support from those darn annoying turtles who stack or just dodge and counter lol

    best regards.


  17. Whoa nice tactics GROM! I should try this XD

  18. GROM!!! You rock. I am that noob (2+months) reading stuff way over my head, and I stink at math, but this is the go-to guide for putting it all together. I have many 'Ah-ha!' moments reading your guides. :) Thanks for sharing all of your hard work.