Farming with BAM for TH9/TH10

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  • Jun 24, 2014 (100 months ago)

I have seen a lot of threads about how bad loot is at TH9 and TH10 and how various people struggle to farm for walls in CoC. My experience has always been the opposite, in that I feel loot is insane at TH9, and it's lower at TH10, but still pretty darn good.

Certainly loot goes up and down, but no matter what it does you should strive to farm it as efficiently as possible. If youíre hitting next 150 times waiting for a 200k Gold base, then youíre not doing it right. Also, if youíre hitting the first 50k Gold base you see to avoid nexting costs then youíre not doing it right either.

Iíve managed to consistently farm very successfully through all the loot ups and downs as a TH9 and now TH10 so I figured Iíd break down my farming methodology into key areas and give you my thought process on each of them. I am always looking to improve my farming, so this is a work in progress and by no means do I claim this to be the ďbestĒ way to farm gold. Itís simply the ďbestĒ way I've found to consistently farm gold as fast as possible.

Gold Mines
Letís start with an easy one. Gold mines are often overlooked by farmers because of the small amount of gold you get compared to raiding. If I can raid 200k Gold in 10 minutes, why do I care about upgrading my mines?

Letís break down the numbers though. At TH9 you have 6 gold mines and at TH10 you have 7. If you max them out, you get 3,000 gold per hour per mine. So thatís 504k Gold per day as a TH10, or 432k per day as a TH9.

Calculate that over 30 days, and youíre at 15m Gold per month at TH10 or 13m Gold per month at TH9 for free. If youíre farming skull walls at TH9, thatís 26 walls per month, or 13 Lego walls for month doing absolutely nothing. Take it out to 12 months and I think you get the idea, so maxing your mines is priority 1.

Upgrade your money makers
Iíve played many different games over the years and fairly consistently across all of them is to upgrade your economy items first, then work on your defenses. CoC is no different, because the faster you can make gold the faster you can upgrade your defenses and walls. If you upgrade all your defenses and neglect your camps/troops then you have nothing worth protecting and itís just makes progression slower.

So, my personal preference and recommendation to anyone who wants to maximize their farming is to max out your camps/barb/arch/minions/rage spell at a minimum. If youíre trying to farm with lvl 4 barb/arch against TH9 bases, itís going to be a lot more difficult and more importantly slower.

Understanding the loot penalty and how it effects you
Most of you probably already know this, but in an attempt to be thorough I want to cover it.
From the Clash of Clans wiki page: the maximum amount of available loot is calculated as the loot available times the loot multiplier.

ē5% for attacking someone with a Town Hall (TH) 4+ levels lower than the attacker's.
ē25% for attacking someone with a TH 3 levels lower than the attacker's.
ē50% for attacking someone with a TH 2 levels lower than the attacker's.
ē90% for attacking someone with a TH 1 level lower than the attacker's.
ē100% for attacking someone with a TH level equivalent to the attacker's.

To greatly simplify this, if youíre a TH10 you are going to be attacking TH9/10 only and if youíre a TH9 you are going to be attacking TH8/9/10 only. If you attack 2 THís below you, then you have a 50% loot penalty applied, so itís rarely worth it.

Trophy range to farm in
Trophy range is one of the most important aspects of a good farming strategy and I feel itís also an area where many people struggle with their farming, so make sure youíre keeping an eye on your surroundings as your nexting away.

Raiding is really a game of odds and chance because we have no control over what base will be presented, so our goal is to increase the odds as much as we can in our favor by selecting the appropriate trophy range to get the highest number of ďsweet spotĒ bases we can.

With BAM, we really try to prey on the weaker/premie bases and collector raids. Based on the loot penalty above, we want to primarily farm within the trophy ranges where the majority of those premie bases live. Generally speaking TH8ís live in the 1500-1700 range, TH9ís live in the 1700-1900 range, and TH10ís are in the 1900+ range with the premieís hanging on the lower ends of those ranges and stragglers all over the place. Itís not always the same of course, so this is why I say keep an eye on your surroundings and make sure you can identify the THís youíre primarily seeing and move up or down if necessary.

Most of us know what a TH9 and TH10 look like, but make sure you can easily tell the difference between a TH7 and TH8.

TH7 TH8 TH9 TH10

If youíre a TH9 and 15 out of the last 20 bases youíve been presented with are TH7, then your trophies are too low and you need to move up. Yes, you will still find the occasional TH8 or TH9 where youíre at, but youíre odds are greatly reduced of finding a ďjuicyĒ base worth attacking. If you have 15 out of 20 that are TH8/TH9 then the odds of a ďjuicyĒ premie or collector base are much greater.
Also, if youíre a TH9 and 15 out of the last 20 bases are TH10 and youíre seeing fewer and fewer TH9/8 bases then youíre likely too high in trophies making it harder to find a base where you can actually get to the loot they have. So, if you get too high, youíre pretty much only able to attack collector bases which, depending on the day, could make for a slow farming day.

Identifying where loot is at in the bases you find
Here is where you really make your money. Iím sure weíve all had that base showing 430k gold with bursting storages in the middle and mines that are showing some gold in them. We go in full forced at the mines/pumps and finish the raid with 30k total gold not understanding what the heck just happened.
I feel it starts by understanding the loot caps for each TH level, the loot penalties applied to them, what the various storages/mines look like at different ďfullĒ levels. All of this helps us determine where the actual loot is when we see that juicy base.
Once we understand where the loot is at, we can determine if itís reachable or not with the army we have.

Here is the maximum amount of loot thatís available from each respective TH level. The cap is probably the most important to remember because it tells us how much gold is required to be in each storage for them to be at the ďstorage capĒ. This in turn tells us how much is available in their mines. (info from CoC Wiki)

TH Level % Available Cap Storage to reach Cap
8 14% 300k 2.1428M
9 12% 350k 2.9167M
10 10% 400k 4.0000M

For each of the respective storages they roughly have to be 1/3 full in order to be at the storage cap.
Here is what each storage looks like at the various levels.

0% Ė 25% 25% - 50% 50% - 75% 75% - 100%

Itís not an exact science, but if the storages are 50% or greater, then you know that 350k (th9) or 400k (th10) is definitely in the storages and the rest is in the mines.

When I attacked this guy I saw that his storages were at 50% or greater. So, I instantly knew that he had 400k (loot cap) available in storages and 77k in mines.

Hereís another one where heís a TH9 with 50% or greater gold storages. Knowing TH9 cap is 350k and I have a loot penalty of 10% I immediately know that 315k of loot is available from storages and the rest is in the mines.

Gold Mines
For Gold Mines, you can steal a total of 50% of what is available. So a lvl 11 gold mine can get you as much as 75k Gold per mine if itís completely full at 150k.

Similar to gold storages, the mines have graphics to indicate how full they are. (not sure of exact %, so approx. If you know exact please let me know so I can update)

~0-10% ~10%-25% ~25%-50% ~50%-75% ~75%-100%

Using what weíve learned looking at this base we can do some calculations. The storages could be empty, or they could be up to 25%, which would be 2M Gold, or up to a little over 200k to me with loot penalty/cap. However, when we look at the mines we can see that theyíre between 25%-50% full. So at 25% full weíd be looking at a minimum of 18.75k Gold per mine multiplied times 6 gives us a minimum gold from mines of 112.5k or a max of 225k if theyíre closer to 50%. So, armed with the information from both mines and storages I feel comfortable that the vast majority of the 162k is in the mines.

If the mines are empty, you can assume that near 100% of the loot is in the storage. Hereís a defense I had where I just looted my mines and logged off. Iím showing ďemptyĒ storages, but Iím also showing empty mines. So near 100% of the 149k loot is in my storage.
You can also use the elixir as a tell. You can see my elixir is maxed and my elixir available is showing 411k. So, across all my elixir pumps thereís a total of 11k elixir which is likely the same as my Gold.

Army Composition, spells, and barracks build order
Iíve farmed with quite a few different army compositions and BAM (Barbarian/Archer/Minion) is by far my favorite for a few reasons. One, itís the fastest building army out there because it uses all 6 barracks to build. Second, Itís really easy to keep queued up in the barracks and requires almost zero thought to re-queue (youíll see why thatís good later). Third, it packs more of a punch (with rage) to go deeper into bases if necessary. Fourth, barb/arch/minion build times are fast so army build is extremely quick.
The minions are also great for sniping those last few gold mines that are just out of reach for archers.

Here's my barracks layout:
Barracks 1 & 2 (full archers)
Barracks 2 & 3 (full barbs)
Dark Barracks 1 & 2 (15/15 minions when necessary) 30 total
Spell factory (non stop rage)

As you can tell, it requires pretty much zero interaction with the barracks other than topping them off after each attack. I like things simple.

The final army comp varies from battle to battle, but as a TH10 it usually ends up around 100 Barb/80 Archers/30 Minions.

Full build time takes 4m 10s boosted (15+ attacks per hour), or 16m 40s regular (~4 attacks per hour) as a TH10. TH9 is crazy fast at 3m41s boosted (16+ attacks per hour), or 14m45s regular (~4 attacks per hour)
I feel that 3 barracks archers and 1 barracks minions is a little stronger, but I really try to emphasize quantity over quality on my army. Switching to 3 rax archers and 1 barb adds approximately 20 seconds to each army build, which over 14-15 attacks in a boosted hour works out to one less attack per hour. So, will I get an additional 150-250k per hour by having a few more archers? Iíve generally found the answer to be no.

Prior to each raid I top off my 4 regular barracks so theyíre fully queued, I do not start any minions because I donít use them every attack, or I may only use 5-10 of them. So, at the end of every attack I queue the appropriate number of minions split across both dark barracks.

How to BARCH for collector raids
Our number one target, when we find them is collector raids. These are the ones with those beautifully full gold mines sitting there just begging to be hit.

Iím sure most of you know what to do with these, but thereís still some efficiency to be gained.
First step is to lure the heroís if theyíre alive and or CC if possible. One nice thing about collector bases is that itís rare to have bombs/CCís charged.

One of the advantages of having more barbs than archers is that we have more meat shields. So, when you see that row of gold mines, you can send in a wave of barbs, and then lay down a row of archers behind them. As the barbs are about to die you send in another row of barbs to keep your archers up longer. Then add more archers as needed.

If gold mines are behind one layer of walls, then youíll want to sweep barbs wider on both sides of the mine as well as archers. If you send them all in at one spot a mortar will have fun with your troops. If there is a mortar, try to time your archer/barb release right after the last mortar strike to maximize the damage your troops inflict.

If you have excess trophies to spare, don't go for the win on collector bases. Use the fewest troops possible to get the gold and then surrender so you can attack the next guy sooner. Remember, quantity over quality. By "losing" the 200k gold collector raid only using 40 troops, you just added an extra attack for the hour and possibly increased your gph by 150k-250k.

Here's a couple simple BARCH collector raid examples. I was low on trophies at the time, so I need to 50% each base. However, if I had trophies to spare I would have just grabbed the mines on each one of these and quit. If possible, I try to use as few barb/arch as possible to get the 50% to speed up the time required until the next attack.

How to BAM for deeper gold
Now is the fun part. We get to learn one of the best attack strategies in the game.

BAM, which stands for Barbarian/Archers/Minions is fairly straight forward as an attack strategy, but you do have to learn its capabilities and its limitations. Youíll inevitably mess up some attacks, but it doesnít take long to learn what you can and canít do.

OK, weíve determined that a base has a significant amount of gold in its storages, but can we get to it?
BAM is an attack strategy that pretty much floods one side of a base with 100 barbs, 80 archers and lets them chew through the first 2 layers of defense. You then send in 1 minion to test for air bombs (I sometimes send 3 spread out a little). Then you dump the rest of your minions and hit em with a rage spell. Then you just watch the minion buzz saw wreck their storages.

So, as you can imagine, itís best suited for storages that are fairly close together. If there are four storages in four corners of the base, thereís pretty much no way youíre going to get them all. This doesnít mean youíll never do it, because if theyíre showing 400k gold available and itís all in storages, hitting two full storages for 200k gold is a worthwhile attack.

What to look for
Storages clumped together
Air Defenses, Wizard Towers spread out on the edges
X-bows down (you can still overwhelm an up one, but down is obviously easier)

What to avoid
Inferno Towers Ė they just wreck minions
Clumped wizard towers near storages
Spread out gold storages
High level walls Ė your barb/archers canít get through them to get to the second/third layer

Hereís an example of what Iíd consider a textbook ďBAM baseĒ. The guy has most of his defenses on the perimeter with his storages relatively close in the center. Not a good idea when the BAMFury express comes to town.
Remember, this army took 4 minutes to build. I used a couple rage spells on this attack, but I only use them on occasion when there's a juicy base like this so I pretty much always have at least 1 or 2 ready to use.

I wonít spend a ton of time on BAM, because there are a lot of youtube videoís of people describing it. Iíll certainly post some videoís here so you can get a feel for how I raid. I probably use the minions more to pick off mines here and there than I do a full BAM attack to the core.

Here's another example of a storage raid of a premie base. This is the one from the screenshot I used earlier. I knew there was 400k of gold in storages and 77k in the mines, so I wanted to get both. I try to save my minions for any deep push towards the end. So, I sent in small wave after wave of barb/arch to get the first two storages and then saved my minions for all the mines & remaining storages at the top.

Barracks queue time while nexting
Thereís a little known secret that you get credit for your entire nexting and battle time towards your barracks build time after your battle. Meaning if you are nexting for 60 seconds and then fight for 3 minutes and come back to base, your next army is sitting there 100% done (when boosting). This isnít a huge deal with regular speed play, but when boosting itís a massive increase to gph.

Nexting and base selection
Now comes that part that everybody hates. Next, Next, Next, Next, NextÖ

As I mentioned earlier, you want to make sure youíre in the right zone for your target TH range. If youíre a TH9 you want to be mostly seeing mid TH8 and premie TH9 bases to choose from. If youíre a TH10, you want to be seeing mostly mid TH9 and premie TH10 bases. It could be different now, but my TH9 sweet spot was usually in the 1700-1900 range. As a TH10, it seems to be in the 1950-2050 range.

I almost exclusively farm boosted because I feel the barracks queue time while nexting is a huge benefit to my overall gph. What I do is I search for a base with 200k+ gold thatís reachable, but I search for a maximum of 2 minutes. I keep nexting and nexting until I hit my 2 minute window. I glance over to the clock each time I start searching and after approximately 2 minutes of nexting I drop my threshold to 100k+ gold bases and hit the next one I see. If Iíve wandered into too low of a trophy range Iíll hit some 100-150k bases that are easy wins to bump up trophies, but generally try not to until after the 2 minute minimum.

The reason I do this, is because as soon as I finish an attack after two minutes of nexting and return to my base I have another army completely ready to go. Remember, 4 minute build times boosted. So, that gives me 2 minutes to search, 2 minutes to attack, re-queue all barracks and start again.
No matter what return I get on the attack after 2 minutes, itís better than sitting there nexting away for 5 more minutes waiting for that ďperfectĒ base.

Iíve found that patience with ďnextingĒ is the true key to big gold profits. If you find yourself hitting the first 100k base you see, then you will rarely be presented with the 200k+ base and your gph will always be low. However, if you hit next for another 90 seconds it may cost you 20k in gold, but for the 200k, 300k, or 400k base you find two or three times an hour it makes it all worthwhile.

OK, now you found that base with 250k of loot available. You will need to use the tools I gave you above to quickly identify if you can get to the loot or not. If itís all in the storages surrounded by ITís then next it is. If itís a premie base with clumped storages in the center, itís BAM time. If itís a full collector raid, then itís party time.
Donít be afraid to mess up, because you have another army waiting for you as soon as you get back to camp. It makes life a lot less stressful.

Things you can do to increase your gph
Keep an eye on your trophy range so you donít fall out and try to hit the 50% when possible. Thereís nothing worse than falling out of your sweet spot and spending 30 minutes fighting your way back up in trophies to get back in it.

Know how long you've been searching for the attack you're on. If you get an easy collector raid right away and dump your full army you will be sitting for 3 minutes waiting on your troops. However, if you just use 40 or 50 barb/arch and grab the mines real quick and quit you will have an instant full army again to continue searching for the next battle as soon as you return to base. On the flip side, if you've been searching for 2 or 3 minutes, you can use your entire army because you know that you'll have a full army completed when you get back to base. I usually get anywhere from 2-5 extra attacks per hour by simply doing this.

Remember, itís all about gph and increasing your quantity of attacks is the best method to blow it out of the park.

Defending your loot
Hey, youíre a farmer now, so you need to start thinking like a farmer. Farmers donít care about losing trophies overnight, we care about losing loot overnight.

Defense is just like attacking in that you want to do everything you can to improve your odds of ďNOTĒ being attacked. The best way to not be attacked is to have a shield on and the fastest way to get a shield is to put your TH on the outside.

Similar to attacking, thereís a right way and a wrong way to put your TH outside your base. If you put your TH right up next to your base, then you are minimizing the number of people who are going to hit your TH. If you have 10 TH7ís trying to get to crystal next by your base and a TH10 then shows up to rock your world, you have failed. However, if you put your TH way outside your base so itís unprotected in the corner and even go so far as to put decorations around it to let the low level guy know that he has zero risk by taking your TH, then you have increased your odds of getting sniped as high as you possibly can.

This doesnít mean youíll never get attacked, but it does mean that you have the greatest chance of getting a shield as quickly as possible.

A couple weeks ago I had my entire defense log filled with TH snipes. Not asingle person tried attacking me and I was sitting on capped gold/elixir/DE almost the entire time. Iíd guess that half to 2/3 of the attacks were by lvl 3 or 4 archers or very low level queens from TH7/8 folks pushing trophies.

Here's a replay one of my clan mates shared a few weeks back. It's one of those we like to chuckle about where the guy tried grabbing the TH and didn't succeed. You can tell this attacker just gave up on the TH and tried to grab some mines to salvage what he could. It"seems" like he made a point to NOT give the defender a shield.

So,the defender shared this as a successful defense, but I personally view it as a defensive failure. What if a TH10 rolled in 15 minutes later and 3 starred him?

What to expect
Obviously thereís going to be a learning curve, so donít expect to be cranking 4m gold per hour the first time you try this, but I will tell you itís absolutely doable on some nights and others, it's not.

As aTH9, I would average anywhere from 3M gold per hour to 4.5M gold per hour(boosted) fairly consistently. As a TH10 itís lower, but still pretty good. I managed to pull close to 4M (boosted) per hour two nights last week, but Iíd say Iím generally in the 3M-3.5M gph range on most nights as a TH10.

There are certainly days when loot is just horrible and you might have a tough time making 2M (boosted) gold per hour, but there are also those early Saturday mornings where every other base you hit is 400k collector raids and youíre getting over 6M gold per hour.

The important thing to remember is to maximize your efficiency in getting the highest gph possible with the current loot being offered. Don't get too wrapped up in always hitting X amount of gold per hour, because it's just not practical.

Raiding Example
As much as Iíd love to just post a bunch of cherry picked 400k+ raid videos to make you all think I farm 6M gold per hour non-stop I thought it will be much more helpful and productive to simply show you 30 minutes of me raiding. I kicked off my boost and recorded the first 30 minutes of my session last night. You can see exactly what kind of bases Iím seeing as a TH10, which ones I skip and which ones I attack. No editing or cherry picking whatsoever.

One thing of note, youíll see that I was seeing quite a few TH8 bases early on, so I immediately identified that my trophy range was too low for this raiding session and started to adjust upwards. This resulted in me sniping a few more THís than I normally would and hitting several bases with under 200k gold prior to the 2 minute window I mentioned above to get my trophies up a little higher.

Even with a couple bad attacks and hitting several lower loot bases I started with 1.758M Gold and 33 minutes later had 3.285M gold. So, all nexting, win bonuses,etc. added in I netted 1.527M Gold in just over 30 minutes. So, now you can point to this video when people say itís impossible to farm gold at TH10.

What if I don't want to Boost?
There is absolutely nothing you need to do differently without boosting. I do the same strategy throughout the day without boosting and only boost when I know I've got a couple hours straight I can play. The only real adjustment I make when not boosting is I tend to search a little bit longer at times and I also try to hit every open TH I can for quick win bonuses. The extra trophies give me more flexibility to snipe collector mines and surrender without having to worry about my trophy count.

What is the minimum TH/troop level for this strategy?
With the simplicity and build speed of the army, this same philosophy really works all the way from TH1 through TH10. Obviously you can't use the minions until TH7, and even then DE is so sparse in good farming ranges that they're not too viable.

Without question, the higher level your troops the better you will do, but overall it's still the most efficient way I've found to farm no matter what your troop levels.

If you're a premie TH10; First off, I apologize for taking all your loot. Second, you will still need to farm in the same range as an updated TH10, but this strategy will still work well. You may have to focus on collector bases more and won't have the option to go deep on storage raids, but you can still have a fair amount of success. The important thing is to focus on your money maker upgrades first over defenses.

I have a second account that's TH7 (Barefury, same clan) that I farmed "non boosted" with BARCH primarily from TH1 to where he is now.
He has lvl 4 barb/arch and does very well in the Gold III range right now. I will farm that account maybe two days a week for a couple hours here and there non boosted and fill his storages up in no time.
I haven't played him in a couple days, but here's the last three attacks from his log:

Other than clan wars, I have yet to build a giant or healer on Barefury, because it just slows down my gph. Also, if you go visit him... I can explain.... He's my experiment to see how well I can do on an account without walls. You'll also notice that all his gold mines are lvl 10 and in the process of being upgraded to 11 (at TH7)

Suggestions from other players
As I mentioned at the start, this is a work in progress. Therefore, I am reserving this section for suggestions others have made to me in the comments or via PM.

From LordVal: A great time for a high volume of collector raids is directly after longer maintenance windows because everyone in the world has been logged off for at least as long as the maint window.
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