How to Build the Ultimate Solo Defense Turtle / Trap Account in Game of War
This is the first part in our 13-part series of articles on building turtle or trap accounts (from now on we will just call these turtle accounts) that are designed as solo defense against solo attack marches. This guide is all about setting up your stronghold for highly effective defense, and it is not really about going out and attacking other accounts.
Turtle accounts are an incredibly fun and effective way to play Game of War. They let you score lots of point and rack up lots of kill without requiring you to spend lots of money. This series will cover everything you need to know including:
- What is a Turtle Account
- Different Types of Turtles
- Choosing Research
- Setting Up your City buildings
- Keeping Your Power Low
- Which type and how many troops to train
- How to equip your hero to take big hits
It really is one of the most exciting areas of Game of War, hope you enjoy!
What is a turtle account?
A Game of War turtle is a defensively focused account which is designed to take solo march hits from big players for lots of points in Kingdom vs Kingdom Kill Events. The basic principle is to keep your power as low as possible, optimising your defenses, whilst simultaneously packing a huge punch using your defensive elements to attack and kill the troops they throw at you. Low power makes you appear weak and encourages attacks. The success of turtle accounts relies upon the two most important defensive asymmetries that exist in Game of War.
1) Your attacker has a limited attack size with a maximum allowed march size of 375k (using a 50% march size boost), whilst you can have an unlimited number of troops that can defend your stronghold.
2) You have hospitals, and the attacker doesn’t. Their troops die, yours don’t have to!
There are of course several other asymmetries that work in your favour, and we will make use of them, but they are not as critical as the first 2 above. You have traps, your attacker doesn’t, and finally, your hero can be at home for every attack, even if they send 8 sequential fast marches at you, but they can only send one of those 8 fast attacks with a hero.
The terminology being used here for this account type is Turtle. But other players may refer to them as trap accounts or landmines or anvils. The core principles of being a defensive build are the same, they just use different names.
If you build a turtle correctly, you can take multiple T3-4 hits without losing a single troop. And get massive points for your alliance, whilst not giving up many (or in some cases ANY points) to the other kingdom.
Lower Tier Troops Are Very Effective in KvKs
As we discussed here, Tier 4 troops are very expensive and give away lots of points in KvKs.
Simple equation: If you kill 100k Tier 4 troops, you gain 10M points, as each T4 troop is worth 100 KE points each under the original Kill Event points scheme. If they kill no troops and hospitalize only Tier 1 troops, you give up 0 points. If they kill no troops and only hospitalize 200k T2s, then you only give up 200k points. Under the new Kill Event points scheme, that same equation gives you 3.6M points (100k T4 at 36 power each), and gives them 2 points for each T1 they hospitalise or kill. So if they hospitalise 300k T1, then you give up 600k points to the 3.6M points you gained.
Turtles come in all shapes and sizes, from Sh14 with a truckload of T1 troops, all the way up to Sh21 with maxed research, lots of T3s and a full embassy of 1M T4s. And they can be anything in between.
But designing a turtle has to take a number of things into consideration, including a consideration of the sustainability of your build, and where you see yourself ending up. Designing an account appropriately has to take into consideration a variety of tradeoffs, decisions that must be made along the way, rather than just following the well-worn path that MZ has set out for you with their build sequence, reward systems and research tiers.
You Need to Make Some Decisions
The most important decision that has to be made is: are you an attacker or defender? If you are an attacker, then a turtle is not really for you. If you are a defender, your preferred targets are mid-sized or big players, but you have to love the idea of taking whatever they can throw at you. It is quite a different mindset, and I strongly suggest you think deeply about how you like to play.
A related question is: Is this account going to be a T4 account or not? The vast majority of people playing aspire to reaching a T4 account, with little understanding of the tradeoffs and headaches that come with running a T4 account. The pressure to climb the Mount Everest that is unlocking T4 troops, keeps getting more and more intense. Every time you think you are getting close, the summit is still just as far away, shrouded in clouds. And the pressure to spend to reach that summit gets more and more. It is very hard to have the psychological strength to resist the urge to spend to reach that summit. But T4 troops are NOT required to be a strong defensive player, and they are definitely not required to be a solo march turtle. It is quite possible to turn a turtle account into a T4 attacking account, but it is almost impossible to turn a T4 attacking account into a defensively minded turtle account.
You don’t have to make that decision yet, but you have to keep it in the back of your mind. If you are going to consider it, it is strongly recommended that you take the time to estimate the requirements to achieve T4 from where you currently sit in your account. Go and visit our Time to T4 calculator, and input your specific account details in full into the Advanced tab. That will give you the most complete and accurate view of your requirements to achieve Tier 4 troops.
Until that point where you decide to commit to unlocking T4 troops, this guide assumes that you are planning on staying at academy 20 or lower, and should give you an outline of the kind of things you need to keep in mind if you want to build a sustainable account that you can grow into over many months or a year, and you can have a lot of fun with.
Trust me, there is a huge amount of satisfaction in taking a hit from a 1-5 Billion power player, killing a large chunk of their T3-4 troops, and only have them wounding your T1-3 troops. And killing them where it counts, on the KvK Kill Event scoreboard. Don’t be surprised if you see people who have sped all the way through to T4, grown their account to 500M or more, and then decide to develop one of their secondary accounts into a turtle, because they missed how much fun it was baiting and taking hits. It can be a much more fun way to play, and a lot less stressful if you follow the build guidance here.
Principles of Turtle Accounts
The guiding principles that we are looking to adhere to in this guide:
1) Exploit the asymmetries available to city defense (unlimited troops, presence of hospitals etc)
2) Be efficient in our build, maximizing strength of our city defenses for the least possible power gain
3) Design a sustainable build that fits with our preferred play style, and can grow from turtle into something larger in the future.
4) Be strategic in what we do and what we decide not to do.
“The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do” – Michael Porter
MZ lays down a clearly defined path to build, and encourages several behaviours in their Athena walk-through guide, which may or may not be the best path to follow when building a turtle. We will encourage you to consciously focus on the tradeoffs in the decisions that face you as you build your account. There are quite a few important decisions to be made as you go through, and this guide will endeavour to provide a comprehensive set of the considerations that you need to take into account when faced with choosing whether to stop at stronghold level 18 or push all the way through to level 21, whether to take your combat researches to level 8,9 or 10, whether to train tier 1, 2 or tier 3 troops, and whether those troops should be regular or strategic.
Who This Guide is For
This guide is intended for people just starting out building their Game of War account as well as those looking to start a second account. We hope that it also has some insights for those who are already well into their build, because it is never too late to think critically about the pros and cons of your particular account build.
This article was just a short introduction to the concept of a turtle, and the principles that we will follow in subsequent parts of this guide. In part 2, we will dive into a top-level outline of a couple of different turtle variants and explore the fundamental core of any turtle account: COMBAT RESEARCH.
Get ready, because we are going to comprehensively examine how best to build a lean mean turtle fighting machine. This will be a multi-part series, with each one being a substantive chunk of writing, ideally backed up with a fair chuck of evidence in the form of battle reports. As of present, it is an 11 part series, with 2 more final parts expected shortly. The final part of the series will include some very short sharp guidance on what to do, as a summary of all the detail and evidence presented in the next 11 parts.
But just to re-orient yourself, this is where we want to get to: a turtle that can eat massive chunks out of T3-4 marches without giving up many kill event points. And maybe one day, eat whole T4 marches and catch big heroes in our prison.
- Guide to Turtle Accounts in Game of War – Introduction (Part 1) – You are Here
- Guide to Turtle accounts in Game of War – Research (Part 2) – Detailed examination of which researches are of value to a turtle.
- Guide to Turtle accounts in Game of War – Buildings (Part 3) – Look at which buildings can and cannot be deconstructed
- Guide to Turtle accounts in Game of War – Hospital Barracks Villas (Part 4) – Discussion of arrangement of these key buildings
- Guide to Turtle accounts in Game of War – Troops (Part 5) – Examines different troop tiers, and looks at designing a model army
- Guide to Turtle accounts in Game of War – Armies (Part 6) – Attacks 5 models of turtle armies and compares results
- Guide to Turtle accounts in Game of War – T4 follow-up (Part 7) – Follow-up to Part 6 using a T4 attack on an 8M T1 turtle
- Guide to Turtle accounts in Game of War – Strategy (Part 8) – Examines the pros and cons of strategic vs regular troops
- Guide to Turtle accounts in Game of War – Wall Traps (Part 9) – Mythbusting episode looking at value of different wall traps
- Guide to Turtle accounts in Game of War – Combat Boosts (Part 10) – Designing ways of getting more health / defense boost
- Guide to Turtle accounts in Game of War – Hero Gear (Part 11) – Examines health vs defense vs attack and looks at gear options