Part 1- Introduction, Premise, and City Set Up (UPDATED June 2016)
A lot has changed since this series was originally written. New research, new cores and new game features have all changed the nature of Rally Trapping. Over the next couple of weeks, this series will be updated to reflect all the new changes.
(To see the other articles in the series click here)
So you want to be a rally trap. Everyone should, to be perfectly honest. I believe it is the most dynamic way to play the game, since you can both join rallies, and take them. The premise of rally trapping is simple: instead of avoiding being rallied like the plague, your intention during Kingdom vs. Kingdom kill events (abbreviated to kill event(s) from here on) is to bait, annoy, or otherwise entice enemy alliances into rallying you. This can be done in a variety of ways which I will be sharing with you over the course of the series. This will be the first article in a series of articles that will describe how to play as a rally trap as efficiently and inexpensively as possible. This article will cover the premise of rally trapping, the mechanics of doing so, and how to set up your city to best sustain this play style by improving the effectiveness of your troops by boosting defense. Future articles will cover:
- How many troops/meat shields you should aim to have, what research specifically you should focus on
- How to skill your hero to take rallies
- How to craft passable cores over time to take rallies, what permanent gear you should focus on crafting
- Overall strategies for rally trapping using the set up I am recommending, and describing other methods/setups of rally trapping
As kill events can be won or lost by a handful of skilled or very bad traps of any variety, becoming a knowledgeable and skilled rally trap will be greatly appreciated by your alliance and your kingdom. The ultimate goals of this series of articles are to help as many readers as possible reliably improve their outcomes when taking enemy rallies of any kind, to give readers a strong knowledge base to work from for this play style, and to help people play the role of rally trap as inexpensively as possible.
What is Rally Trapping?
Rally trapping, in general, is not very different from solo trapping or playing a solo defensive turtle. For more on solo trapping or playing as a solo defensive turtle, see the in-depth series on the topic. The overall premise is much the same; you want players (in this case a group of players) which are typically much more powerful than you to hit you, with the expectation that your losses will outweigh their gain. Naturally, you want this to be the case for both power-destroyed kill events, and the troop tier point scale kill events. Instead of hoping for big players to send solo marches at you, you are hoping they will set rallies on you. If you do happen to be soloed as a rally trap, politely thank your attacker for the free kills, event points, and high-level hero to hold.
What is the Difference Between a Rally Trap and a Solo Trap?
The main difference between a rally trap and its solo brethren will be the size/power of the account. Successful solo traps nowadays tend to have comparable gear to rally traps, and higher level heroes as well. What used to suffice as a small rally trap is now a normal solo trap. Solo traps range from around 500 million power to 1.3 billion or 1.4 billion power. Rally traps have grown to between 2 billion or so all the way up to 6 billion power – 7 billion power.
Personally, my rally trap account is right around 5 billion power. I would consider between 3.5 billion power and 5 billion power a viable and safe recommendation (though I have been playing the role of a rally trap since about 850 million power, the game has changed dramatically since then). Much of your effectiveness will depend on troop power alone, so as little research power as possible is necessary. More on that later.
Requirements for Rally Trapping
Some general outlining principles: In general, this is a more expensive form of trapping than solo trapping (defensive turtle, if using the standard lingo for the site). Everything you build, research, and craft should be oriented towards defending rallies. There are a few things most highly successful rally traps have nowadays. These are what I would suggest:
- You must have T4, and they should be an even mix. Strategic troops are slightly more powerful in terms of attack power, but this advantage has largely been negated by Wild troops. So I would recommend training an even mix of strategic T4 and regular T4. DO NOT TRAIN SIEGE units. They do nothing for you.
- Typically, 20 million – 60 million T4 are present in dedicated rally traps, with higher numbers usually belonging to rally traps that join rallies more often than those that don’t. In order to do this, you need to complete the Economy research tree, as well as the Combat and Strategic Combat trees. You can run a rally trap using normal troops alone; I’ve always used both.
- You should train at an absolute minimum, 200 million T2, evenly spread between normal and strategic troop types. You really want 350 million-450 million T2, even more if possible.
- You should have as much of the defense tree done as possible, preferably to Defense Debuff Resistance Lv.10. This is a considerable amount of power, but I believe the results are worth it.
- Having an embassy is highly recommended, though one can rally trap without it.
- Aside from an Academy (debatable, safer to leave though in case there’s new research that becomes important at some point), Watchtower, Forge, Prison, Altar (debatable, useful if you can capture heroes and force them to hemlock while in your prison, or you have a steady supply of Instant Executions), and Gymnos until your hero hits Lv.60. Every other building you have should be a Barracks, Lv.21 at minimum. This is because of the defense boost conferred by Barracks; 10% at Lv.21, but 18% when combined with Altar Bonus Boost hero skills (more later).
- ALWAYS stay below the Nerf ratio of 12.525:1, with the ratio being T2:T4. So for every T4 you have, you can have 12.525 T2. If you have no wall traps, you can push the ratio slightly higher, to 13:1, but it’s not recommended. If you push your ratio close to the Nerf and cross over it for whatever reason, the next attack that hits you will cause catastrophic damage. Don’t push it that close. If you don’t join rallies, stick to 12:1 or so, 10:1 if you do.
- For the T2/T4 setup, you don’t need presets from the march or set bonus trees, anything from the Wild tree, or the Restorative tree (though the Restorative tree does reduce the cost of troops considerably). Completing the Crafting tree for the 4th Gem Slots is recommended, but adds a considerable chunk of power along with the ability to add a 175% defense if using Elite Defense Gems, or 245% if you happen to have a seven Rainbow gems. I did it, but it’s up to you.
This bit of this section is still important if you intend to use cores when taking rallies, but not if you intend on running the standard T2/T4 trap configuration using regular combat gear. You can use cores if you have fewer troops still, however.
- You should have researched level 6 cores. I have seen rally traps run using level 5 cores, but I would strongly recommend against doing so. You are severely limiting your effectiveness in combat by consciously using all level 5 cores or permanent gear.
- You should have two presets unlocked, I would suggest doing so through the march tree instead of the set bonus tree. There are some other small, but additive combat boosts present in the march tree that are helpful. I rally trapped for several events without presets, so it can be done (albeit very stressfully and inefficiently), but for the purposes of this series of articles, you need two unlocked. One will be equipped with your permanent defensive gear, and the other will contain your defensive core suit that you will equip a moment before the enemy rally lands.
How to Actually Take a Rally
As there is not an existing guide on insidegameofwar.com about the overall method for rally trapping, I will quickly go over the order of events in an ideal rally trapping scenario.
- An outlander alliance declares war (sets a rally) on you. This means you have just under 60 seconds assuming the enemy rally leader has completed Rally Reduction Time level 10 (they usually have) and his alliance is organized, (usually closer to 50 or 55 after confirming the rally is on you) before the rally marches. If you have them, now is the time to click on Rally March Speed Debuff in your boost lists to reduce the speed of the incoming enemy rally, and quickly check the rally leader’s hero for cores (lag permitting).
- If you have an embassy, you should quickly ask for reinforcements in alliance chat.
- I used to think that the troop type of reinforcements you had made a difference, but that is not the case. The troop type reinforcing you only matters if your meat shield is broken through. As in you’ve lost all of your T2. You should no longer be taking rallies at this point. The proper counter troop type will lose fewer troops reinforcing than the weaker troop type, depending on what type of cores you’re being hit with.
- After you ask for reinforcements, wait 10-15 seconds, then pop your combat boosts. I use Troop Defense boosts and Enemy Attack Debuff boosts, though I am aware there is a difference of opinion on the matter.
- This next step is to check the troop make-up of the incoming army. This is only possible if you are far enough away from the attacker, otherwise you won’t have enough time. If you are far enough away (or have enough great wave gems embedded in your permanent gear to slow the incoming rally march considerably), stay in your city view and click on the “war march incoming” notification to look at the rally to make sure it is a real rally.
- (SUPERCEDED, permanent gear is far easier using T2/T4) If it is and you are going to pop defensive cores, then click on your hero and prepare to equip the preset containing your defensive cores. If you will not have time to look, omit this process and wait in your hero view screen. Wait until there are five seconds or so before the rally lands (you’ll likely have to count this out in your head), and equip your defensive core preset. If the lag is particularly bad, err on the side of caution and equip a bit earlier (as in seven or eight seconds, don’t go wild). Do note that if you equip your defensive cores too early, most rally leaders will cancel their rally if they have enough time to do so. This is why it is important to wait until they are unable to cancel the rally if possible, though it is better to have equipped them too early than to take a full rally in your regular gear most of the time.
- (SUPERCEDED, you should have all barracks now) As soon as your troops show up in your hospitals, switch to your training gear if you have more than two presets and one of your other presets contains it, and heal your troops, either instantly, or using speed ups. If you have time to wait for a few helps or more before you will be rallied again, do so, if not heal them as quickly as possible. Once you’ve pressed heal, equip your permanent defensive gear preset again in case someone decides to solo you when they see your training gear or in case another rally may be marching. If another rally is incoming and you don’t have time to switch to your training gear preset, just heal without doing so while wearing your cores, and do so as quickly as possible. If you are being double or triple rallied, they most likely know you have cores so there is less incentive to switch back to your permanent gear.
- If there is not a double rally set on you, switch back to your permanent defensive gear preset and hope they rally you again. Repeat as necessary.
- If you aren’t popping defensive cores, all you need to do is put Anti-scout back on after the rally has landed unless there is another rally incoming. If you are small enough to be hit anyway, then this is less important.Hopefully, this gives a bit of an outline to the process if you were unaware of the actual mechanics. There are other ways to play the role of rally trap; I strongly prefer to play as a mobile rally trap; I join rallies, will reinforce teammates in my immediate area that are being rallied, and generally do not sit still like the static “offline” rally trap style requires. To play as an “offline” rally trap, you are essentially hoping an unsuspecting giant player will wander into your hive and set a rally on you, thinking you are offline. That requires patience, and tons of it. I will discuss the protocol for this in a later post, but I much prefer playing as a mobile rally trap as it is much less boring. If you are having trouble getting hit, then you may need to rethink this.
City Set Up
So, moving on to city set up. Resource buildings are of little to no consequence to a rally trap. If you want to hyper-produce one material, feel free, if not, it doesn’t matter. It makes no practical difference. One could make the argument that you don’t need any resource buildings, as they add several million power that does nothing for your defensive capabilities. Inside your city walls, however, is very important. All buildings should be Lv.21. My city is set up as follows:
- 1 Academy
- 1 Forge
- 1 Treasury/Dungeon/Wonder Dungeon
- 1 Gymnos (not technically needed, just speeds up getting to hero Lv.60, can be knocked down afterwards with the only penalty being the loss of 10 hero monster skill points)
- 1 Prison (kept for the attack boost when heroes have been captured)
- Altar optional, can be worth considerable combat boosts if you can eat rallies and capture heroes and force them to hemlock
- 1 Watchtower (debatable, but I strongly recommend having it, even if just for the defensive boost for reinforcements and small enemy attack debuff)
- 1 Embassy
- 20+ Barracks or as many as possible.
- Anything you decide to knock down should be replaced by a Barracks
The city set up is largely preference, though rally traps tend to be made up primarily of barracks (for the defense boost they confer at level 21 and to a lesser extent, below level 21).
Note that I do not have a Hall of War (not needed, as I will not be leading rallies or setting fake eight-hour rallies). I also do not keep a Market normally. I will knock a hospital down to put the Market up if I know I will be sending a considerable amount of resources, then put a Barracks back up once I have finished sending the resources.
Stay tuned for the next article in the series, Budget Rally Trapping 102: Recommended Troop Numbers, Meat Shield Numbers, and (more in-depth) Research Strategies.
(To see the other articles in the series click here)