As a long time Clash gamer/player with a very respectable lvl 117 TH10 base, I recently started a new account (mostly to occupy time while waiting for my 14 day upgrades to finish) and rediscovered the fun of playing and especially warring at lower TH levels and was quick to be thankful to lean on the lessons of the past and the rapid growth and effectiveness it yielded this time around, so this guide is is intended as a concise A-Z guide for beginners and even some experienced players on how to maximize your growth potential (without gems), your fighting effectiveness and defensive base design BOTH FOR FARMING AND WAR. Any comments or questions are welcome.
First things first, if you want to grow fast and cheap, the golden rule is NEVER LET YOUR TOWN HALL (TH) GROWTH OUTPACE THE REST OF YOUR BUILDINGS AND RESEARCH! Always, Always, Always max every building including walls, and RESEARCH before you upgrade your TH. Why you ask? see below (thanks to badwolf007 for doing the math.)
Secondly, the more builders you have the faster you'll grow, so don't spend any of your free gems on speedups or buildings, save every one to acquire builder huts, complete as many achievements as you can quickly to earn free gems , you can easily attain the 3rd builder by trophy hunting to 1250 trophies within a couple of weeks. Donate as many troops as you can (250 gem bonus for 25k troops donated) you'll have fun and grow quickly with only 3 huts and by the time you get to crystal league (2000 trophies) (another 250 gem bonus), you'll have enough for the 4th! (free gems can also be earned with social media 'likes' etc. if you're willing to spend a few minutes claiming them on the promotions tab)
The percentage of gold/elixir that can be stolen from storages is 20% and is capped at 198k. This means that if more than 992k is being held in storages, it is subject to the cap.
The percentage of gold/elixir that can be stolen from mines/collectors is 50% and is capped only by the storage capacity of the mine/collector.
There is an additional 1k of each resource that can be stolen inside the Town Hall.
Therefore, calculated loot = (20% x stored resources, up to 198k) + (50% x amount in mines/collectors) + 1k.
This means that the maximum calculated loot, for each resource, that can be stolen from 1 opponent (with maxxed mines/collectors and full storages) is: 198k + (7 x 75k) + 1k= 724k.
These figures are BEFORE the multiplier is applied. The multiplier is what is behind the loot "penalty" and the loot "bonus". The amount of AVAILABLE loot= calculated loot x multiplier. The multiplier is determined as follows:
5% for attacking someine with a TH 4+ levels lower than the attackers.
25% for attacking someone with a TH 3 levels lower than the attackers.
50% for attacking someone with a TH 2 levels lower than the attackers.
90% for attacking someone with a TH 1 level lower than the attackers.
100% for attacking someone with a TH level equivalent to the attackers.
110% for attacking someone with a TH 1 level higher than the attackers.
150% for attacking someone with a TH 2 levels higher than the attackers.
200% for attacking someone with a TH 3+ levels higher than the attackers.
Maximum loot after the multiplier is applied is [(200%) x (198k + 7 x 75k)]+1k = 1.447 million of either gold or elixir. This is, of course, highly unlikely for someone to actually raid, though.
The comprehensive formula for finding available loot is:
(multiplier percentage) x [(20% x storage amount, capped at 198k) +(50% x mine/collector amount) + 1k]=loot
NOTE: The 1k that the TH stores is subject to the PENALTY, but not the BONUS, as 1k is the most it can ever store.
In addition to what is won in battle, there are loot bonuses for being in trophy leagues.
Dark Elixir Loots:
Dark elixir storages have 5% available for raiding and dark elixir drills have 75% available for raiding. The cap for raiding from the storage is 2k, while the drills are raidable according to (75% of uncollected DE) x (loot multiplier) or the maximum capacity of the drill, whichever is lower.
The maximum amount of DE that can be looted from a single raid is: (200% x 2k)+(3 x 1.6k)=8.8k
The formula for dark elixir loots is:
(multiplier percentage) x [(5% x storage amount) + (75% x amount in drill(s))]= loot.
In other words, upgrading your TH prematurely will waste a lot of time and loot, you will develop at an accelerated rate and never be worrying about empty storages.
Ill break this down into building types for ease of viewing by Defensive, Offensive and Economic.
#1 Splash weapons - Mortar and Wizard Towers
#2 Air defense
#4 Primary Weapons - X-Bow and Inferno Tower (IT)
#4 Point defenses - Teslas, Archer Towers, Cannons
#5 TRAPS - don't forget these!
Note* teslas are the highest DPS in the game and the best value, max them!
#1 Army Camp - The more troops you can build the easier the farming
#2 Lab - Upgrades troops
#3 Barracks - Unlocks new troop types and increases the queue size
#4 Spell Factory - Increases the type and number of available spells
#1 Storages - First priority every level, you can't steal more than you can hold after all and some of those upgrades will require maximum capacity each TH level, plus they are strong defensively with high HP pools, you can splash damage a lot of troops while they're busy attacking one.
#2 Collectors - Don't neglect these, maxed at TH 5 they can produce 200k of each every 16 hours so shield time isn't wasted (at TH 7 with maxed collectors its 288k/16 hours and by TH10 its 336k/16 hr). Note* take advantage of boost promtions, once in a while you'll be able to boost production for 1-7 days for a single gem.
If you are using 2 builders only at this point; upgrade 1 storage and one defense at a time until the storages are completed, then upgrade 1 offensive building and one defensive building (in the above noted orders)until they are complete each TH level then complete your collectors
If you are using 3 builders; upgrade 1 storage/collector, one defense and one offensive building at a time(again, in the orders above). This way you'll minimize the effectiveness of enemy raids by only having one defense disabled at a time and ALL your buildings will attain their maximum defensive potential (everything takes time to kill adding to troop attrition and eats up the clock as well).
This is a hotly debated and contested subject so I'll try to keep it simple, for examples I'll delve into my own database of original and copied/modified designs.
1) There are three types of bases; defensive/war, farming and hybrid. A defensive bases purpose is to protect your TH, minimize base damage % and trophy/rank loss during regular play and clan war. A farming base is intended to protect your resources at the expense of trophies. A hybrid, naturally, is a combination of both and generally one of the more preferable designs if you want to both climb the ranks and still stay on the upgrade path.
2) NO BASE IS PERFECT! Every base will be vulnerable to at least one or more attack methodologies/strategies, the object is to minimize the impact of the most popular ones and as many as possible of them rest. Some common examples (and acronyms) of attack strategies both for farming and trophy hunting are: BARCH (barbarian/archer), GOBARCH (goblin/barb/arch), BAM (balloon/archer/minion), DRAGONIAN (dragons/barbarians) GOWIPE (golem/wiz/pekka), GOWIWI (golem/wiz/witch), HOGGARD (hog/wiz) and the simplest trophy hunting combination at lower levels consisting of massed giants and healers with support troops.
3) NO BASE IS PERFECT! But here are some basic ABC design precepts to follow if you want to keep your hard-earned loot and keep those war stars off the enemy score sheet. Be prepared to tweak or completely redesign your base every two TH level (or every one if necessary) as some levels the new buildings granted will just have nowhere to be placed effectively. As your base matures so too do your design tactics need to adapt to the higher level of opposition armies, the different types of troop combinations opposing you and the experience levels of the human players you'll be facing (ie. what worked at TH levels 1-7 is not going to work at TH levels 8-10).
A) Keep your base symmetrical in design to maximize both the weapons triangulation and the ease of editing in the future. Strive to have every building within the radius of at least two defenses.
B) DON'T build a basic square design, keep your base highly sectored and offset your wall sectors, this will prevent a few wallbreakers from opening up your whole base like a can of tuna and getting to your goodies. The best way to achieve this is to avoid lots of X intersections that can allow wallbreakers to open up 3 or 4 sectors at once (especially on the perimeter walls).
C) USE YOUR TRAPS EFFECTIVELY. Traps are the most often overlooked thing I see in bases, most just thrown around the outside of the base as an afterthought or inside in places where they're unlikely to be effective. You want your traps to be used so they are generally best used as perimeter defenses, killing troops before they can get close to their objective, the more troops you can kill on the perimeter the better, so build troop funnels, areas that will lure attacking troops into your traps and bunch them up so they're more vulnerable to splash damage, (after all, traps that don't go off aren't doing you much good are they?) Air bombs (the red ones) should be clustered to deal with balloons and minions and placed to cover any weak spots, protecting your storages or TH depending on your priority. Placing a seeking air mine (the black ones) near your air defense is usually a safe place since players will release their healer close to it after the ground troops kill it.
D) For TH 1-7 keep your design compact with splash weapons (mortar/wiz) in the second line of defenses and place your Clan Castle (CC) and air defenses so that the majority of your base is within their defensive radius (CC reinforcements can end an attack very abruptly).
E) Archer towers are your secondary line of air defense so spread them out in such a way as to cover any gaps that your air def cant.
F) Cannons can absorb more damage and have a faster rate of fire (ROF) and smaller defensive radius than archer towers so place them at the mouth of troop funnels to attract attacking troops, especially giants and hogs.
G) Notes for farmers: Try to keep your storages within the radius of your wizard towers and mortars. Centralized storages are usually highly vulnerable to goblin raids so keep every storage in a separate sector and covered by multiple (3-4 or more) defensive buildings.
H) Notes for trophy hunters and war bases: Centralize your TH, CC, Hero(s) and air defenses and keep each splash weapon and as many other defenses as possible in separate sectors to maximize the time they stay alive and the damage they inflict, use your highest hit point (HP) buildings (storages, army camps and collectors) as shields to protect your defenses, especially your wizard towers.
***For examples of simple yet effective base designs that employ these features, check out the following farm vs war base designs of the same TH level. Keep it simple, you can see especially from the TH 4,5 and 6 designs, its not always the strength of the defenses that make the make a base work, but how well they do what was intended by the design that you should grade them.
TH 4 Farming #1 - http://clashofclansbuilder.com/plan/489472
TH 4 War/Def #1 - http://clashofclansbuilder.com/plan/489447
TH 4 War/Def #2 - http://clashofclansbuilder.com/plan/489495
TH 5 Farming #1 - http://clashofclansbuilder.com/plan/489522
TH 5 Farming #2 - http://clashofclansbuilder.com/plan/489534
TH 5 War/Def #1 - http://clashofclansbuilder.com/plan/489549
TH 5 War/Def #2 - http://clashofclansbuilder.com/plan/489607
TH 6 Farming #1 - http://clashofclansbuilder.com/plan/492526
TH 6 Hybrid #1 - http://clashofclansbuilder.com/plan/492501
TH 6 War/Def #1 - http://clashofclansbuilder.com/plan/489819
TH 6 War/Def #2 - http://clashofclansbuilder.com/plan/489634
TH 6 War/Def #3 - http://clashofclansbuilder.com/plan/491792
TH 7 Farming #1 - http://clashofclansbuilder.com/plan/498562
TH 7 War/Def #1 - http://clashofclansbuilder.com/plan/498604
TH 7 War/Def #2 - http://clashofclansbuilder.com/plan/498629
TH 7 War/Def #3 - http://clashofclansbuilder.com/plan/505081
TH 8 Hybrid #1 - http://clashofclansbuilder.com/plan/462762
TH 8 Hybrid #2 - http://clashofclansbuilder.com/plan/462908
TH 8 War/Def #1 - http://clashofclansbuilder.com/plan/491834
TH 9 War/Hybrid #1 - http://clashofclansbuilder.com/plan/454293
TH 9 War/Hybrid #2 - http://clashofclansbuilder.com/plan/462504
TH 9 War/Hybrid #3 - http://clashofclansbuilder.com/plan/462590
TH 9 War/Def #1 - http://clashofclansbuilder.com/plan/462550
TH 10 Farming #1 - http://clashofclansbuilder.com/plan/334457
TH 10 Farming #2 - http://clashofclansbuilder.com/plan/232864
TH 10 War/Hybrid #1 - http://clashofclansbuilder.com/plan/409943
TH 10 War/Def #1 - http://clashofclansbuilder.com/plan/462665
TH 10 War/Def #2 - http://clashofclansbuilder.com/plan/403637
As you can see there are many styles to choose from, all have their strengths and weaknesses respectively and each is designed for a specific task. I definitely encourage players to use an original base design whenever possible but feel free to take a look at my complete base collection (128 at last count) if you're in need of inspiration or thinking of a change but you're not sure where to start.
FARMING and WAR:
There are enough guides out there on how to farm so I will just stick to the very basics. For players between the TH 1-8 range The cheapest and most cost effective farming army is the barbarian/archer (BARCH) or the goblin/barb/arch (GOBARCH) method, its very cheap and fast to build, use it to collector farm and raid vulnerable storages only, you can still achieve a plus rating using this method if you encircle a base and destroy the outer buildings to earn a 50% rating. I've used this method even in crystal league with build times between 15-20 minutes on average.
For TH 1-7 the best and most cost effective hybrid attack method is massed giants (10 or more), lots of wallbreakers (10 or more) a healer or two and then equal numbers of barb/arch/goblins in support and cleanup. Just draw out and kill the CC troops (if any) with archers and barbarian then target the air defense with your giants and deploy your healers after the air def is destroyed. Use your giants as a meat shield and don't deploy your tier one troops behind them until the giants have distracted the defenses, especially the mortars and or wiz towers. You'll climb the trophy ranks quickly and easily this way and never have to worry about letting your storages go empty either.
*** A note about wallbreakers (WB); they target the closest wall sector each time they are deployed but will continue in a straight line if you send more of them then required to break through a wall, soif you are looking to punch a hole straight into the middle of a base, send them out in a large group of 6 or more behind your giants. I see a lot of people get frustrated using WB because they die by mortar before reaching the wall, just remember to time your deployment just after a mortar round drops and you'll have few instances of this.
On the subject of war, since you are able to scout out the opponent ahead of time, the first thing you'll want to do is pick your target and build a custom army to exploit an individual bases weakness. For example, If they have weak or exposed air defenses, build a balloon or dragon based army. Second and most important when attacking during a war base is to lure out the CC troops first! Draw them far enough away from the base defenses so that you can surround and kill them without taking attrition loss from the bases defenses while you do it.
*** Note: I would suggest every war army with the exception of an all dragon attack should include at least 4-6 wizards as they can be used to surround and easily kill the CC troops once they are isolated.
Every unit has its strengths and weaknesses and each is complimented by differing spell use accordingly.
RAGE: While all units will benefit from the rage boost, it is most effective when applied to your slow moving primary offensive units, namely giants, balloons, golems, pekkas and dragons.
HEAL: Use it to keep your troops alive especially giants, balloons, hogs and tier one troops; all units with the exception of dragons, pekkas and golems (the movement speed and HP pool of these units is so large that they will drain a heal spell to its recovery limit quickly and will not greatly increase their effectiveness in combat) will benefit greatly by a nicely timed heal spell.
LIGHTNING: Use it one of three ways, to kill CC troops (try to cluster the CC troops close to one another before using it on them), to kill a mortar/air def or wiz tower or to farm dark elixir.
JUMP: An oft overlooked spell, best utilized with your heavy defense seeking units; giants, golems and pekkas. This spell will automatically redirect any units in the immediate vicinity to your spells area of effect (so those units pounding away uselessly at a wall while at the mercy of the base defenses can be put to better use)
FREEZE: Utilized almost exclusively at the TH10 level to disable the inferno towers and nearby defenses for a momentary respite, not really effective until max level is reached.
RESEARCH: The final frontier... troops and spells need to be upgraded to keep pace with your base in order to tackle the tougher opponents and to increase your chances of success in clan war. In general you should upgrade regular troops in this order: Giants, barb, archer, goblin, healer, wallbreakers, wiz, balloon, dragon, pekka. Dark troops upgraded in this order: minion, hogs, witch, golem, valkyrie. Spells: Lightning, heal rage, jump, freeze. If you can stick to this you'll find an equal balance between farming and war success and should always be ready to tackle any opponent of equal TH level and be able to at least one star or more an opponent of one TH level higher.
I hope you found these insights and observations useful and welcome any comments or constructive feedback, there are many nuances to the game that could not possibly be covered in one guide but following these simple guidelines will keep you on the swiftest path to growth, success and the least amount of frustration and hair-pulling, good luck and CLASH ON!