This guide is a comprehensive explanation of how to progress and upgrade your base in the most efficient and effective ways possible. And I say ways plural, because there is no single best way to farm resources. So you're tired of struggling to round up enough gems and loot from your mines, collectors and drills and whatever farming you're currently doing to upgrade a single structure. While your problems might not be eradicated, you should find yourself having no issue keeping your builders busy after reading this guide.
~From the beginning (THs2-4)~
The reason this guide does not cover the first level of town hall is that is covered in the tutiorial provided by the game itself (ya I know, duh). Now with your town hall level 2 you can train the most versatile farming strategy in Clash of Clans, Barch! By filling one barrack full of barbarians and one barrack full of archers you're on your way to swimming in loot. Once your camp is full (or mostly full) with archers and barbs (barbarians), you're ready to find a base.
For the most enjoyable and effective farming possible you should maintain a trophy count that complements your town hall level so that you can find bases with good loot while staying out of the way of big and scary higher level players (in this context "higher level players" means anyone who can easily 2 or 3 star you with a farming army, some giants and some wall breakers) (yes I've heard of sub-200 farming, but I haven't looked into the current state of that in a while, you can let me know about that if you like)
These suggested trophy counts may be adhered to loosely due to the ever changing economy and general nature of the game.
Suggested trophy counts:
TH2: less than 800
STRATEGY NOTE: When your camps are at least half full (and if you find amounts of loot you can't obtain all of with a "half-army" don't stress about it beacuse you would not have found that base if you waited until your camps filled up), you want your barracks to keep training troops while your out raiding for maximum efficiency, because, yes, they can do that. You want to do this by filling up your barracks with whatever composition you'd like to use next so it will be partially trained up by the time you finish your raid.
-The "Barch" (barbarian-archer) strategy-
Hence the name, you want to fill your camps with roughly half archers and half barbs. Once you've got that you want to find a base with most of the loot in the collecters and a lot of structures outside walls and you want to place a line of barbarians around the outside structures and a line of archers behind the barbs so that the barbs will "tank" for the archers. By using only (or at least mostly) archers and barbarians, you can go out and grab loot rather frequently due to the short training time of those 2 troop types. This strategy can be modified slightly by throwing in about 3-5 wall breakers and about 4-8 giants to make your way deeper into bases to get at those storages!
While this is a widely effective strategy, this may not be the strategy for you however, you may want to utilize the loot-grabbing capabilities of goblins! This will add strategic diversity to your army, therefore improving your loot-grabbing capabilities in many cases.
-The "BAG" (barbarian-archer-goblin) strategy-
By filling up your camps with the 3 troop types listed you have another variety of cheap and simple attacking strategy. By adding goblins to your barch you may much more easily take out collectors and storages at the cost of some trophies as goblin-heavy strategies usually have trouble getting 50%, the town hall and other similar trophy-hunting objectives.
*Whenever you have trouble maintaining trophies, you want to look out for bases with the town hall placed outside the range of defenses (look out for x-bows and mortars, and occasionally you might have to deal with the cc (clan castle)) and take it out so you can more-easily maintain your trophies.
STRATEGY NOTE: You want to make sure to spread out your troops well when your using tier 1 troops (barbs, archers and goblins) so they dont get their butts handed to them by wizard towers and mortars
~Into the thick of it (THs5-8)~
Now that you've moved up in the world a bit, even though you haven't aquired many new troop types for farming, you've now unlocked mid level farming armies with level 3, 4 and 5 barch and bag (when I say level x barch or bag, I'm simply refering to barch or bag with lv x troops).
Suggested trophy counts:
-The All Archer Strategy-
This composition may seem simple, because it is. All you have to do is train a bunch of archers and circle a base with them and you can acquire quite a fair bit of loot. You could even throw in a few giants and wall breakers just like any of the other strategies detailed in this guide to have a chance at the town hall (assuming it's not outside) or even some of the storages. :P
~Acquiring Dark Elixir~
Starting at town hall 7 you find yourself in need of a third resourse type. This enhances the game in the way of calling for new strategies, some of which I will show you. Once you've built your DE (dark elixir) storage, you now are able to store up to 10k DE and 20k once you upgrade it. This may seem like a lot, but it's really not. Acquiring the 10k DE needed to start raiding with a new and shiny barbarian king can be done in a matter of 1 week at 1 hour per day and with expirence, at town hall 8 you can acquire as much as 10-15k DE per hour, but everyone starts somewhere. TH7 dark elixer farming can be accomplished with any of the farming strategies listed in this guide, personally I would suggest using BAG to take out DE storages more easily. Getting into the strategy itself, you want to raid bases with no less than around 800 DE if it's all in the storage, or 500 if it's in both the drill/s and the storage. Your not going to find very much DE in silver leauge however (at least not usually), your going to need to go a bit higher, if you're TH7, you should hover around 1350-1450 trophies and if you're TH8, you should hover around 1600-1700 trophies. Your going to want to look for a base with DE that you can get to, now this may seem excedingly obvious, but a lot of people like to put their DE storage and drill/s closer to the center, so your going to want to go for DE that's a bit farther out.
-The "BAM" (barbarian-archer-minion) strategy-
Once you manage to hit town hall 7, you've been granted the oppurtunity of unlocking a few new troop types, one of those types, being minions! These flying buggers can be added to your barch for a new and interesting way of looting those mines, collectors and drills. This strategy can be more effective in many cases due to minions' ability to avoid cannon and mortar fire. As you immerse yourself into the fun of town hall 7 however you may value your dark elixir enough not to use this strategy, that is your own choice. However, you may find yourself able to max out your barb king and DE troops easily enough that this isn't a problem (at least after you take a look at the next section of this guide)
STRATEGY NOTE: If/when you find yourself capable to take out a resource storage/storages and you want to send a large group of troops deep into a base, before you go dropping them all down at once, you want to send a few "test troops" in the direction your sending the main group into so that the "test troops" will use up any traps in the way of your main attacking force so that they don't all get eraticated by 1 big bomb or whatever other splash-damage-traps might be there.
After aquiring all 5 builders huts you can start using your gems to increase your resource findings by boosting your barracks. Any calculations to prove this as a productive use of gems would be unnecessary because when you look over it, 40 gems gets you quadroupled resource production for 2 hours (with 4 barracks) which means, that under the reasonable assumption that you can farm around a million resources per hour at town halls 7 and above or the equivalent for town halls 1-6, boosted raiding allows THs 7+ an extra 3 million resources per 40 gems invested.
~A Strategic Marathon (THs 9 & 10)~
Congratulations, you've gone through countless upgrades only to find yourself only at the begining. You now have access to the most powerful troops in the game including levels 6 and 7 tier 1 troops. This is where you have plenty of room to optimize your strategies in ways you could'nt before. This is also where you can farm high enough in the leauges and produce enough DE from your drills to use BAM without even thinking about dark elixir.
Suggested trophy counts:
~Farming The Leauge Bonus~
Due to the exponential increase in the amount of resources you recieve for earning at least one star on a base, as you draw closer to the end-game you can more easily 50% bases and snipe THs in crystal, master's and even champions leauge with the all archer strategy, barch or whatever cheap strategy you'd like, to recieve a more beneficial loot bonus. I would suggest considering this strategy starting in crystal II at 50k gold, 50k elixir and 100 DE.
I hope this helps and if there's anything you want me to add or if you have any suggestions, let me know.