Guide to Research for Turtle Accounts
In part 1 of this guide, we introduced the concept of a turtle, and put forth a little argument as to why it can be fun to build and play in a turtle account when your kingdom gets around to playing in the Kingdom vs Kingdom Kill Events.
One of the guiding principles in designing a turtle is to make your account as ‘strong’ as is possible, whilst minimizing power gain. All things being equal, a turtle at 30M with lots of UNNECESSARY research, and with weaker troops, will not be as effectively able to take a T4 hit when compared to one that has put the effort in all the right places, and minimized unnecessary power gain.
“The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.” – Michael Porter
The guiding principle of this article is that to be strategic in your build, you have to make deliberate decisions about what you are are NOT going to do. This article will discuss a number of decisions you need to make, including stronghold level, research level, and regular vs strategic troops etc. You need to make conscious decisions, and this article will try and provide some evidence upon which you can base your decisions.
Total power is made up of Base power (Building power / Research power / Quests power / Hero power) and then added on top of that is Troop power and Trap power. A quick word on Quests power: these are the ‘Empire quests’ that you have at the top of your Quests tab for upgrading buildings or completing researches etc. This only ever goes up, and you can’t give it back. You need to make a decision as to which of these quests to complete, if any. They give Hero XP, resources and power when completed, but you need to make a decision whether the Hero XP and resources are worthwhile for you, or whether you can forgo them to keep your power lower. By the time you get to around Sh20-21, the Quests can account for around 4M power, but it is power that does not really make your account any ‘stronger’. Some people hold off on completing all their quests until around sh17-19, because by that point their Gymnos has good XP boosts, and can almost double the amount of Hero XP you get for completing them, and can be even more lucrative if you complete them in the Coliseum.
If you have waited until Gymnos 17-19, you can then still be very selective about which quests you complete and which ones you don’t. Some quests give 10-20 times as much hero XP as power gain. Some give 2-5 times as much power gain as Hero XP points. Most people considering doing the quests at Gymnos level 18 are intensely interested in the Hero XP points to get from hero level 46-48 all the way to 50.
Quests – useful and not so useful
My rule of thumb is that I will not complete a quest unless it has at least 5-10 times as much hero XP as power gain. If you are hero level 48, you still need almost 300M hero XP to get to level 50. Completing quests with equal Hero XP and power gain might get you around 2-3 Million Hero XP, but it will also add a 2-3M power that is effectively ‘useless’. So, you end up with 297M Hero XP still left over to get to hero level 50, but you have wasted 2-3M power that could have been ‘spent’ on more productive research or troops or buildings (eg hospitals). The absolute purist turtles will not open a SINGLE Empire Quest so that they have no additional ‘useless’ quest power.
Right now, we are going to focus on the research component of your turtle build, by describing the progression of research you should consider, and the tradeoff decisions that should factor into your design. The reason we are discussing research first, is that research should always be the core of your build. It is non-destructible power that can’t be taken away from you. And it makes your troops and traps stronger, even if your hero tree is set to economics and your hero is wearing research gear instead of battle gear. Combat research is your foundation. Without the research, your troops and traps will simply be wasted resources.
For the sake of this guide, it is assumed that you are starting from scratch, rather than being in the middle of a build. As such, we suggest that you consider early a decision on doing the research for either regular OR strategic troops, but not BOTH. A much more detailed rationale for this is outlined in part 5 of this guide, but for now, please just consider making on a decision on one OR the other.
The research for strategic troops to maximum for Academy 18 puts on 5.7M power, whilst the equivalent research maxed for Academy 18 for regular troops is 3.97M power.
Table 1: Comparison of power gain of regular vs strategic troop health research
|Level||Regular Troop Health Power gain||Strategic Troop Health Power gain||Difference|
The further you go down the research tree, the larger the difference between regular and strategic troops gets when looking at power gain. At Academy 20, the completed combat troop research adds 11.26M power, whilst maxed strategic combat research for academy 20 adds 16.3M research power.
If you have made a decision to go with strategic troops ONLY, then the minimum set of regular combat researches required to unlock up to strat T3 are Inf / Ran / Cav attack level 1, Inf defence 3, ranged attack 2, cav attack 2, then the regular troops themselves, being swordsmen, slingers, outriders, hoplites, skirmish archers, light cavalry, armored pikemen, guardians, and companion cavalry.
You do not have to unlock any siege troops or do any siege research if all you want is strategic troops. In total, this only adds 338k power, of which 270k is unlocking regular T3 troops (pikemen etc) to allow unlocking of phlangites, stalkers and lancers.
For the purposes of this guide, we are approaching it as if you have made the decision that 1.7M incremental research power at academy 18 (3.97M vs 5.7M), and 5M incremental research power (11.26M vs 15.3M) at academy 20 is not worth it to max strategic troop research instead of regular troop research. As such, priority 1 is regular research, with the option of adding strategic research as priority 4. This is a controversial topic, and one that not everyone will agree with, but for the purposes of this article, that is how we are approaching it. Suck it up, princess.
Stronghold level 18
70k regular t3 traps, 5k t2 traps (meat shield)
Regular Troop health 6
Regular Troop defense 6
Regular Trap attack 7-9
Regular Trap defense 7-8
Troop health and troop defense apply to all 4 regular troop types. They are the most important researches you can do as a turtle. They only unlock at academy 16, but from then on you should prioritise them over and above any other troop researches. By the time you get to Academy level 16, you will likely have already started doing the infantry / ranged / cavalry / siege attack and defense researches. They are at the top of the tree, whilst Troop Health and Troop Defense are down the bottom, below Siege. MZ is conditioning you to put the effort into the individual troop attack / defense. Once you unlock academy 16, you should prioritise troop health / troop defense. Then quickly move to Academy 18, so that you can get troop health and troop defense up to level 6. By completing level 6 Troop Health, you get a cumulative 31% health boost across all 4 regular troop types for 97k power. And an equivalent boost for troop defense when completed to level 6 at Academy 18. Trap defense is a controversial research, in that if you end up with a T3 troop army and T2-3 traps, then trap defense is helpful. IF you end up with T3 traps and a good army of T1-2 troops in front of it, then you never lose a T3 trap, so trap defense research is pretty much wasted.
Priority 2 – Individual regular troop research:
Regular Inf / Ran / Cav defense 7-8
Regular Inf / Ran / Cav attack 7-9
And then you can do the 5,6,7,8 individual troop attack and defense researches. Note that the research can go to level 9 for individual troop attack if you want to max your combat research for your level, whilst defense can only go to 8. We are deliberately excluding siege research for now, as will be discussed later.
Hero tree trap attack 7-8
Hero tree trap defense 7-8 (if having T3 traps and T3 troops. If T3 traps and a large number of T1-2 troops, then trap defense research is mostly wasted)
For the majority of turtle accounts designed to take solo hits, traps are an important part of the design process. Hero tree research for traps is relatively easy to unlock, and can provide additional support for both regular and strategic traps, as long as your hero is at home when attacked, which it ALWAYS should be.
Strategic troop defense 6
Strategic Inf / rang / Cav attack 9
Strategic inf / rang / Cav defense 8
As a reminder, this guide assumes that the build is prioritising regular combat research over strategic combat research. If you really want to do both sets of researches, this is where you can get to at Academy 18.
There is a slight anomaly in that you can get your strategic troop health to level 7 at Academy 18, but only regular troop health level 6. Some people choose to exploit this, and only focus their build on strat troops. There will be a lot more discussion later on strat troops in a turtle build in a future guide.
Hospital beds 280-600k
Regular Troop defense 8-9
Regular Trap defense 8-9
Regular Trap attack 8-10
Academy 19 unlocks up to troop health 8 and troop defense 8. At level 8, your cumulative health boost is 66%, at the cost of 658k power. Taking it to 9 at Academy level 20 results in an additional 25% health boost for an increase of 1M power. It is important to point out that this 25% is additive, not multiplicative. If you are at 400% troop health, completing level 9 takes you to 425%, not 500%. As such, you get diminishing relative returns as you go further in your research.
Priority 2 – Individual regular troop research:
Inf / Ran / Cav defense 8-9
Inf / Ran / Cav attack 8-10
Again, you can get your individual troop attack research to one level higher than troop defense research, in this case to level 10 at academy 20. The level 10 individual troop attach researches require the level 9 individual troop defense to be completed, so you have to have ranged defense 9 unlocked to allow ranged attack 10. Each of these level 10s take 150 days before boosts and alliance helps, so end up requiring around 50 days worth of speed-ups to complete (depending upon your research gear) for 1.143M power each. All 3 level 10 attacks add at least 3.4M power for 40% incremental individual troop attack. Clearly diminishing returns compared to just over 1M power for all 3 level 9s, which gives you an incremental 25% troop attack.
The reason I have left this as 8-9 on defense and 8-10 on attack is to allow you to make a conscious decision on whether the power gain is worth it in terms of the effectiveness of your overall troops. In future updates, we will test these builds with identical T3 attacks to see where the sweet spot is. Until then, you need to make a decision on how far you will push on research, given the resources and speedups available to you.
Hero tree trap attack 8-10
Hero tree trap defense 8-9 (if having T3 traps and T3 troops. If T3 traps and a large number of T1-2 troops, then trap defense research is mostly wasted)
Strategic troop health 8-9
Strategic troop defense 8-9
Strategic inf / rang / Cav defense 8-9
Strategic Inf / rang / Cav attack 8-10
Whether you choose to end up at 7,8, or 9 (or even 10) is up to you and your decisions of the incremental benefits of the additional troop health and defense. The same considerations go into trap research. The benefits get larger as you get closer to 9-10, but cost a lot more, and put on a lot more power. I tend to find that the best benefit / cost ratio is balanced at around level 8 for most of these combat / trap researches, which means going to sh19 and academy 19 to unlock troop health 7&8 and troop defense 7&8 (and that means going from the sh15-18 bracket to the sh19-21 bracket in KvK scoring terms).
Other than Combat / Trap research, what other research should I do?
Economics: if your alliance hyperfarms, then research only the resource you need to produce, eg ore production if you are hypering ore. If you are not hyper farming one resource on your main account, then resource production is ‘wasted’ in a turtle. It is more efficient in power terms to do resource production in a separate farm account. When I say more efficient, I mean it adds less unnecessary power. Most people still do construction research, and at least some degree of march speed research, although it is not absolutely necessary in a turtle that takes hits.
Restorative research: Warning, almost all the payoff is in level 9 and 10. There is NO point in doing these to only get them to 5-8. For a turtle that is not going to mass-produce troops, then training resource reduction is not worth the time, silver and resources. Likewise, trap salvaging is not really worth it overall. Some people do tier 2 trap salvaging to level 9 or 10. Tier 3 trap salvaging is not worth the resources that go into it. If you get to trap defense 8-9 and hero trap defense 8-9, and have more than 1M troops, you almost never lose a Tier 3 trap during a solo attack.
Crafting research – Some people like to unlock up to core mastery level 4, as it allows you to craft very capable temporary hero gear whilst at hero level 40-49, that can be as good as some of the best level 50 permanent hero gear. The power increase is not all that high if you just stick to the minimum to unlock Core Mastery 4, i.e. the central part of the tree. It is not recommended to try and fill out the side researches that helps refinement. Level 5 and 6 core mastery are not worth it for a turtle, nor are any of the 4th gem slots, each of which take 600-1000 days. Cores are not needed to be an effective turtle if you are able to craft good hero gear, but can be useful if you want to be as effective as possible whilst waiting to complete hero level 50.
March tree research – Complete waste of money for turtle. All payoff in level 9-10, and level 9s all are bigger in terms of time to complete than the researches for Tier 4 troops and traps. Do not waste your time, silver and speedups.
Defense tree research – UPDATE April 28th, 2015 – A new defense tree has been released, as seen at right. The first part includes individual troop defense, trap defense, and overall troop defense. At release, the requirements to start the tree were Academy level 21, T4 troops and T4 traps. This was reduced to Academy level 21, T3 troops and T3 traps. As such, it remains out of reach for the vast majority of turtles who do not have Academy level 21 (requires ~600k gold to complete the 3 money buildings first). The screenshot at right is from the bottom of the march tree, promising a hospital capacity increase, in addition to more Troop Health. So far, analysis suggests that this will not be useful for solo march turtles, as it will put on too much power. The payoff from Troop Defense is 131% at level 10, the same as for the Troop Defense in the Combat tree. However the power increase to get that 131% troop defense bonus looks like it will be in the order of 15-20M power, once you have completed all the other 4 researches to allow Troop Defense Level 10. So, to get to the bottom of hospital capacity increase will likely be at least 40-50M power. Will update this post once we know more.
In this article we have covered a number of big decisions, mostly around how big you are going to get (sh18 vs sh20-21), briefly discussed whether to max strategic or regular troop research, and whether it is worth undertaking the level 8,9,10 researches. These are all very difficult decisions, knowing full well that MZ encourages you to go to 21, to max your research to level 10 and to train both regular and strategic troops, as well as siege troops.
“The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.” – Michael Porter
So, coming back to the starting point of this article, if you want to build an effective turtle, you need to make some conscious, deliberate decisions about what you are not going to do. You need to decide whether you are going to follow MZ’s well laid build path to level 21, or decide to stop early at sh18-19. You need to decide whether to push all your combat researches to level 9-10 or settle for level 7-8. You need to decide whether to do regular troops only, strategic troops only, or a mix of both.
Our suggestion is to make a decision on which of regular or strat troops is going to be your primary troop type, get to sh18, get your core regular combat researches to level 8, and stop there for a bit and see how you go.
It is a tough decision between sh18 and sh19, with the main determinant of that decision being whether you want to unlock academy 19, which unlocks level 7 and 8 troop health and troop defense. But only you can make these decisions for your account. Don’t rush them. You can’t go back, you can’t deconstruct research from level 9 to level 8, and life as an sh18 can be a lot of fun, irrespective of whether you have regular or strat troops.
The next part of this series will discuss decisions around urban buildings and then hospitals / villas / barracks before progressing on to troops…….
- Guide to Turtle Accounts in Game of War – Introduction (Part 1)
- Guide to Turtle accounts in Game of War – Research (Part 2) – You are Here
- Guide to Turtle accounts in Game of War – Buildings (Part 3)
- Guide to Turtle accounts in Game of War – Hospital Barracks Villas (Part 4)
- Guide to Turtle accounts in Game of War – Troops (Part 5)
- Guide to Turtle accounts in Game of War – Armies (Part 6)
- Guide to Turtle accounts in Game of War – T4 follow-up (Part 7)
- Guide to Turtle accounts in Game of War – Strategy (Part 8)
- Guide to Turtle accounts in Game of War – Wall Traps (Part 9)
- Guide to Turtle accounts in Game of War – Combat Boosts (Part 10)
- Guide to Turtle accounts in Game of War – Hero Gear (Part 11)