In Part 1 – Introduction and Part 2 – Research of this series discussing considerations when building a solo defense turtle, we talked high-level about design philosophy and how you can exploit some key asymmetries when taking hits, as well as the core foundational importance of combat research for regular troops and regular traps. This article will talk a little more about each of the ‘single’ buildings of which only one copy can be constructed, and their relative importance to the turtle’s ability to be a lean mean fighting machine. Ultimately this post will try and answer the question of which building really are necessary, and which can be deconstructed after their primary purpose is fulfilled.
Having had some initial thoughts around where to settle on your stronghold level, how far to push your combat research levels and strategic or regular troops, we now have some decisions on how you are going to structure your build.
You have 25 slots in terms of urban buildings available to you that you can decide what to do with. Some of them are more important than others, and some are very special purpose that you may or may not need. There are 3 additional structures that you can’t deconstruct, being the Stronghold, Walls and the Treasury.
But all the other buildings are candidates to be built permanently, or built then deconstructed permanently, or built temporarily and rotated in and out as needed. And some of them require high levels of build to make them functionally useful, whilst others can fulfil their core role in a turtle account at low levels (eg levels 1-5). This guide will discuss these considerations for each of the 10 ‘single’ buildings available to be built inside your walls.
Building 2×2 Matrix
|Low level only required for turtle functionality||Higher level required for turtle functionality|
|Single buildings||TreasuryGoldmineHall of War
Altar (but requires prison 15)
Forge (required for Walls at each sh)
Marketplace (required for sh17)
Watchtower (required for sh20)
Walls (required for each sh level)
Academy (required for sh16)
Gymnos (required for sh19)
Storehouse (required for sh14, sh21)
|Multiple buildings||Hospitals, Barracks, Villas, Quarry, Farm, Mine, Logging Camp|
For the purposes of this article, lower level only required for turtle functionality is best illustrated through a few examples. The prison can hold heroes at a low level of prison, the marketplace can send resources at a low level, and the forge can craft equipment at a low level. Yes, they are all more effective buildings when upgraded, but their core functionality is present from a low level, and does not impact on your ability to fight as a turtle.
This article will only focus on the single buildings, of which only one copy is allowed to be built. The first lens when examining them is whether they require high level or low level to contribute to a turtle build, and the next lens is how long they are required for, if at all. The ultimate decision with each building is whether it is necessary longer term for your build, and hence able to be deconstructed after its primary use is fulfilled. The reason we will be examining each building individually to decide whether it can be deconstructed, is because jettisoning a building that does not contribute to your turtle’s ability to fight, will make more room available for buildings which do productively contribute to your ability to fight. Remember, we are aiming to build a lean mean fighting machine, and that means making some tough decisions on what is and is not necessary. MZ deliberately encourages you to have one of each building by requiring most of them at some point for stronghold upgrades. And the turtle approach is to discount most things that MZ mandates, and try and make your own decisions on what is best for your build.
BUILDINGS THAT CANNOT BE DECONSTRUCTED
Firstly, your Stronghold. The prior article talked about 2 turtle variants, one at sh18 and one at sh20-21. Those are ultimately driven off decisions on research levels based upon Academy 18 vs Academy 20. The main reason most people upgrade their stronghold as quickly as possible to level 21 is:
- because MZ drives the build process and encourages racing through to 21
- because you get larger march sizes on attack the more you upgrade your stronghold
If you are playing as a turtle, where people attack you, your march size is effectively UNLIMITED. You can have zero troops at home, or you can have 500k troops at home, or you can have 100 Million troops at home, and anything in between those, whilst your attacker can only send a maximum of 375k in any one solo attack.
That is asymmetry 1 as described in article one. Asymmetry 2 is that you can have hospitals whilst an attacker can’t. And the number and level of hospitals, along with research level is what should drive your decision on stronghold level.
The treasury is a building added during the middle of 2014. It only becomes available for use at sh15, and can then be upgraded from levels 1-7. Do NOT under any circumstances upgrade this to level 7. Level 7 adds 9.6M power, and you cannot deconstruct the building. A well built turtle account should produce enough gold each KvK Kill Event to fund a 30-day treasury deposit, and the decision on how far to upgrade your treasury depends upon how much you value the incremental gold each month against the 50-120k power increase for each level. Please note that level 2 is 68k power gain, and it then drops down to 34k for level 3. Obviously, the treasury has no direct bearing on your ability to fight as a turtle.
The gold mine is entirely optional. Long-term, a turtle should collect enough gold from Kill Events not to need a gold mine, but the decision on whether to build one is entirely up to you. Not going to discuss the facebook integration aspect of the gold mine. It is outside the walls, so does NOT impact upon the decision on how many hospitals / barracks / villas you can build.
One of the core structures of your stronghold, and cannot be deconstructed. Goes hand in hand with stronghold level, so decision on walls level is driven by stronghold level. Your decision with the wall then becomes what traps to build and when. There will be much more discussion on this in a future article. But for the purposes of this article, IF you are going to build a full wall of traps, then a higher level wall (walls 17-21) is better than a lower level wall (walls 1-5).
BUILDINGS THAT CAN BE BUILT PERMANENTLY AND THEN DECONSTRUCTED
A storehouse is needed to get from sh13-14, and then from sh20 to 21. After that, it is arguable whether you need one. You definitely need one to unlock academy 21 as a precursor to T4, but once that is done, almost everyone deconstructs it as the first building deconstructed. If you are not going to unlock T4, but are going to stronghold level 21, then you can choose to deconstruct it once you reach sh21. Most people consider that saving 2 Million of each resource is not worth it compared to an additional hospital which can save 40k troops.
But ultimately the decision should come down to how you want to use your hospitals in terms of troop healing, and whether you ‘burn’ when taking a hit. Much more on this later when considering which troops to build. Some turtles at sh18 who have made the conscious decision to stay at sh18 will also deconstruct their Storehouse, as they have no intention of progressing to sh21, which requires an intact Storehouse. If you are going to use your Storehouse to protect resources during battle to allow instant healing, then it usually requires a higher level storehouse (level 15-21), as a lower level storehouse cannot hold enough to instant heal troops in your hospital. As such, the storehouse is not really a candidate building to be rotated in and out frequently at lower levels (1-5).
Gymnos 18 is required to build Stronghold 19. Having said that, most people do not reach Hero level 50 before moving to stronghold 19, and if they do, they have usually made a decision to stay at sh18. A gymnos is very useful up until Hero Level 50. As you get higher up, it gives you additional XP bonus for each XP point earned. Once you hit hero level 50 though, adding XP is unneccesary (at least until MZ changes their mind and adds a new tier of prestige hero levels above level 50, just as they have done with Prestige VIP). But if you are NOT going to unlock T4 via Academy level 21, once you have Gymnos level 21 (unlocking an extra 20 hero skill tree points), you can effectively deconstruct it. The % Hero XP retained only relates to the situation where you are hiring a new hero, ie you have not resurrected your hero before 7 days after execution. If you resurrect within that 7 day period, you retain all hero XP points.
If you deconstruct it, you retain the additional 20 hero skill tree points, but lose 10 monster skill tree points. You may find this risky that you will lose your additional 20 points, but ask around and you will probably find some players who have deconstructed with no effect on their hero skill tree. Trust me, I have deconstructed my Gymnos on all accounts that have reached Hero level 50 and Gymnos level 21. My accounts that have reached Gymnos level 21, definitely have the full 275 skill points available after deconstruction of the Gymnos. Those that have reached Gymnos 18-20 have 255 points after deconstruction of the Gymnos.
Hero tree skill points after Gymnos Level 21 deconstruction
An embassy can be very important to a turtle, as they can effectively hide up to 36M troop power that does not show up on your profile. A full embassy can really help you cream points from KvK Kill Event opponents by killing more and losing less of your own troops. Level 18 holds 400k (just over a full 375k march), level 19 holds 450k, level 20 holds 500k and level 21 holds a full 1 Million reinforcements. Just remember that if you shield, reinforcements go home. Likewise if you teleport, reinforcements go home, so you can’t just take reinforcements with you when you port around the outlander kingdom.
Most new turtles tend to over-rely upon their embassy, because they don’t really know the limits of their account. They don’t really believe that they can take a full hit of 375k T3-4s, so it is not uncommon for them to ask repeatedly for T4 reinforcements. The more experienced turtles know their account strength, and hardly ever use their embassy. They prefer to be a mobile turtle with a strong build that can take any solo hit, than a stationary trap with a full embassy. I’ve seen quite a few very experienced turtles deconstruct their embassy so they can put in yet another hospital, but it is a big decision, so think carefully before deconstructing your embassy.
If you are going to have an embassy, it is only really useful at a higher level (18-21), so again, not really a candidate to be constructed and deconstructed as needed on a rotational basis.
BUILDINGS THAT CAN BE CONSIDERED FOR ROTATION
The last grouping here is of buildings that do not require to be built to a high level to get their core functionality, and as such are candidates to be built at a low level, and constructed and deconstructed as needed. Some people hold one low-level rotational swap position, and some use 2 or 3 rotational slots. And having previously discussed what MZ considers the money buildings (Treasury and Gold Mine), we will start off by discussing what players consider the ‘Money Buildings’, the Hall of War, Prison and Altar.
Hall of War
Some turtles can lead a rally, but if the primary purpose is to take hits and not to lead rallies, then you don’t need a HIGH LEVEL hall of war. Usually best left to a designated rally leader who has the highest level hall of war (19-21), and the strongest hero. Whilst if you perform regular ‘fake rallies’ of 8 hours duration you will need a hall of war at level 1, by the time you get your turtle built, you should be well beyond your march size and hospital bed capacity, so fake rallying becomes very difficult (and risky, as will be discussed later). None of the turtle accounts I have built have had a hall of war, not only because it is the third most expensive regular building in power terms at 523k when fully upgraded, after the stronghold 21 (746k power) and the Treasury (10M power).
If you fake rally regularly, then by all means keep a hall of war, just don’t waste the war books to get it to a high level (all you need is a level 1 HoW to fake rally). Just let war books slowly accumulate in your items until such time as you decide that either you are going to lead rallies, or that you deliberately commit to unlocking T4 troops. Some people choose to fake rally during the week with their low-level HoW, and then replace it with a low-level prison for the weekend when they will be fighting in Kill Events. Note that a construction of a hall of war requires an embassy at the same level, so if you have deconstructed your embassy permanently, the option of rotating a hall of war in and out is much more difficult.
These are very useful once you get to KvK Kill Events. Capture some outlander heroes (even farm heroes), and it paints a big red sign on your head that says: “hit me, oh though great T4 player. I dare you”. And makes it much more likely that they will notice you, hit you, and give you free points!!!! If you have already made the decision to progress all the way to stronghold level 21, then building a level 21 prison can be a very nice addition. Level 21 gives a very nice attack boost for the highest level hero in your prison (30% for level 50 hero, 22% for 45-49, and 16% for 40-44 level hero). Unfortunately only one boost applies, but every little bit helps, right?
A prison is functional from a low level in that it captures prisoners. The main problem is that it requires a gymnos of level 10 to build one, so if you have deconstructed your gymnos, if you want to use a rotational slot for prison, you need a second slot to temporarily hold a gymnos, and a gymnos requires a villa of equivalent level. All the turtles I have built have had a prison when it comes time to fight.
Resist the temptation to put in an altar if you ever reach prison level 15. At this stage prisons are useful, but altars are not. You have to be willing to hold a hero in your prison for at least 3 days without shielding until you are able to execute a hero. That puts you at risk of being zeroed when you are offline. Most consider that it is not worth the risk for a temporary benefit of ~1 day boost per hero executed. To retain permanent boosts, you need to capture and hold to execution at least 10-14 heroes from sh15-21 each Kill Event each fortnight, otherwise your boosts expire before the next fortnightly kill event.
We suggest that you consider leaving hero execution for the massive T4 players who need the altar boosts to lead rallies. Again, let the sacrificial daggers accumulate in your items until such time as you decide you are definitely making a push for academy 21 and T4 troops. None of the turtle accounts I have built have had an altar. But if you really want to complete the execution quest just once in GoW, then you can temporarily construct an altar. Just be aware that to really do it, you need a high-level prison and altar (level 20-21) to give you enough time to execute before the next weekly Kill Event rolls around. Although if you have fortnightly Kill Events, and your kingdom rules protect you when holding an outlander hero, then you can execute within 2 weeks with a low-level prison and altar.
The marketplace is only used for sending resources to other players in your alliance. It is not necessary to have a marketplace to receive resources. Some turtles choose to deconstruct their marketplace after upgrading to stronghold level 17, for which marketplace 16 is required. It is usually very beneficial to alliance participation to have a marketplace, but those that deconstruct their marketplace are usually the players who have decided to undertake all hyperfaming resource production in separate farm accounts, and if they need to send resources to a particular alliance player, they get their farm to apply to the alliance and then transfer the resources. Alternatively, a marketplace can be temporarily constructed in one of your rotational spots for a special purpose transfer. None of the turtle accounts I have built have a marketplace once they are set up to fight.
And now we get even more controversial!!!!
If you are going to sh21, then your forge should be the second thing you upgrade after hitting sh21. Build a level 21 mine, then level 21 forge, so that you can equip a third Odyssey to reduce construction time, and a third Chalice / Glass Vase to reduce research time.
Some turtles that know their account well and don’t use any relics / cores, wait until they have crafted great Level 50 permanent hero gear and embedded their gems, then choose to deconstruct their forge. If you deconstruct your Forge, you don’t lose your materials / gems / cores / pieces. They get stored ‘somewhere’, and then if you rebuild it at level 1 whenever you decide that you want to craft something from the latest and greatest gear to replace your existing hero gear, then all your mats / gems / cores / pieces are available to you to use. Again, a risky maneuver to deconstruct, and one that most are not willing to take. If you use cores or relics regularly in your turtle, then obviously you will not deconstruct, but if you rely solely upon permanent gear, then deconstructing your forge is an option for consideration.
Deconstructing the Forge from an sh19 turtle
Forge re-construction – Gems still available for use after re-constructing a level 1 Forge.
The main thing to watch out for with deconstructing the Forge is that unlike other buildings, when you deconstruct a level 21 Forge, you lose your 3rd accessory slot. It of course comes back if you reconstruct, but it does mean that there is a significant downside to deconstructing a level 21 Forge. This is not the case with level 20 forge or below.
And the two most contentious saved for last.
The Watchtower is a pre-constructed building, with MZ including one in every account. It however can be deconstructed. A watchtower is very important for a turtle, but it can be argued that you only need a low-level Watchtower to fulfil the core function of notifying you when an attack is inbound. The watchtower gives you a warning when you have an incoming march. For a turtle, this is your trigger to apply a 75% attack boost, and every second counts. After applying attack boost, some turtles head straight to their hospitals, so that as soon as they see troops in there they can instant heal ready for the next march. The usual reason for deconstructing your watchtower (either permanently or temporarily) is to avoid scout bombs giving serious lag. That is not usually an issue for turtles, with scout bombs usually reserved for big players in wonder battles or critical rallies.
As to whether you need a high-level watchtower, a level 1 tower is sufficient to warn you of incoming marches. This is all that most turtles need. Level 11 gives you ad estimate of troop numbers, level 13 gives you the troop type, level 17 gives you exact number of troops and hero level. But in the grand scheme of things, it can be argued that all you need is a level 1 watchtower to get a warning of an inbound attack. Which means that a watchtower can be considered for use at a low level, as a rotational spot when needed for Kill Events.
And last, but not least, the most controversial building to consider for deconstruction, the Academy.
Absolutely vital for any build. As per the details outlined in Part 2 – Research, combat research is the fundamental core of a turtle build. As a turtle, having made the decision not to go to Academy 21 and T4 troops, then ideally you build your academy to the highest level you need for your combat research, whether that is Academy 16, Academy 18, Academy 19 or Academy 20. Once you have completed the combat research that you think is necessary to be an effective turtle, taking into consideration your stronghold level and decision on whether to take each of the combat researches to levels 7,8,9 or 10, then you can get into a position to make a decision to deconstruct your academy. Most turtles that deconstruct their academy do so after several months of it sitting there being a useless building, as they are no longer doing any more researches.
None of the recent research trees released by MZ have had anything particularly useful for materially improving the ‘lean mean fighting machine’ nature of a turtle. It is entirely possible that MZ will release future research trees with meaningful improvements for turtles, but recent trends suggest that most of the new research trees are designed to help the high end of the game, the players who are >1B and need the latest edge so that they can have a 1-2% edge over each other, as well as improving their chances of beating turtle accounts.
UPDATE: The latest Defense research tree released on 28th April, 2015 includes a number of defense focused researches. Initially it included a requirement for T4 troops and T4 traps as well as Academy 21 to be unlocked before you could start the new Defense research. Within 24 hours of release, that has been reduced to T3 troops, T3 traps and Academy 21. As it stands, that rules it out for almost all turtles. The payoffs in the new tree are good, but the power increase looks too high to be all that useful for a solo march turtle.
So, what are the consequences of deconstructing your Academy? You free up an additional urban building slot. But you DO NOT lose your research. If you deconstruct your Academy, all of your research boosts are still present. Your troop health does NOT go back to zero. Your infantry / ranged / cavalry attack does NOT go back to zero. Your trap attack / trap defense does NOT go back to zero.
Deconstructing Academy Level 20
After Academy 20 deconstruction – research boosts are still present
The above screenshots are of a turtle that has had the hero tree reset, and all hero gear unequipped, leaving only the research boosts present. These screenshots are directly after deconstructing the Academy level 20 in the account above. The research boosts are identical to immediately before deconstructing the academy.
If you re-construct your academy, then you do not have to start researching from the beginning, you can just pick up where you left off. So, if MZ does release a new research tree with fantastic properties, you can jump right in. And most of the research trees released recently have Academy 15 to unlock them, so you would need to build your re-constructed academy to level 15 at a minimum. Likewise, if you were at Academy 18 before deconstruction, and suddenly decide that academy 20 is where you want to be with your core combat research, then you can just rebuild the academy to level 20 and get cracking with troop health 7, 8 and 9, and inf / rang / cav attack level 10. If you are hesitant, I suggest you try it on either an existing farm account, or a new stronghold level 1-5 account before trying it on your main account. Caveat deconstructor!
This guide has taken a look at each ‘single’ building, of which only one can be built. Consideration has been given to whether the building has a core battle role to play, whether it requires a high level to function properly for a turtle account, or whether it can function at a low level and hence be considered for a rotational spot as needed.
Ultimately the goal with this article is to prompt decision making around which buildings really are necessary, and which are nice to have when constructing a lean mean fighting machine. And the question that should always be in the back of your mind when evaluating these buildings: “Is this building more important for helping me create a lean mean fighting machine, or can I deconstruct it and make space for another hospital / barracks / villa?”
There are 25 available slots for urban buildings. How you choose to arrange these requires some thought and ultimately some tough decisions. You can fill them with up to 10 ‘single’ buildings, whether they be Academy, Forge, Embassy, Marketplace, Storehouse, Watchtower, Gymnos, Hall of War, Prison or Altar. But that only leaves 15 spaces available for hospitals, barracks and villas. Or you can choose to build them, then deconstruct some of them when their primary usefulness is exceeded, or rotate some of them as low level buildings when needed. The extreme case at the other end of the spectrum is having NONE of the single buildings, and leaving all 25 slots for hospitals / barracks / villas.
The next article in this series on how to build a turtle account will look in some detail at the ‘multiple’ buildings, being the above-mentioned hospitals / barracks / villas, as well as the rural buildings, the farms / quarries / mines / logging camps.
Please feel free to express your opinion in the comments below as to your experience with deconstructing some of these core single buildings. I would love to know if any of you have any major regrets from deconstructing a building and replacing it with another hospital / barracks / villa.
- Guide to Solo Defense Turtles in Game of War – Introduction (Part 1)
- Guide to Solo Defense Turtles in Game of War – Research (Part 2)
- Guide to Solo Defense Turtles in Game of War – Buildings (Part 3)– You are Here
- Guide to Solo Defense Turtles in Game of War – Hospital Barracks Villas (Part 4)
- Guide to Solo Defense Turtles in Game of War – Troops (Part 5)
- Guide to Solo Defense Turtles in Game of War – Armies (Part 6)
- Guide to Solo Defense Turtles in Game of War – T4 follow-up (Part 7)
- Guide to Solo Defense Turtles in Game of War – Strategy (Part 8)
- Guide to Solo Defense Turtles in Game of War – Wall Traps (Part 9)
- Guide to Solo Defense Turtles in Game of War – Combat Boosts (Part 10)
- Guide to Solo Defense Turtles in Game of War – Hero Gear (Part 11)