In our previous article, we discussed which troops you should build to best defend your Castle. Iron Throne’s battle algorithm is an incredibly complex beast, so every bit of optimization is needed if you want to make your Castle as strong as possible. We are performing these tests in order to show the math behind our reasoning when we say “XXXX is best.” A better understanding of WHY something is happening will help you to be a better Iron Throne gamer – specifically if you are running a trap account or rally lead.
After establishing which troops we want to use to defend ourselves (see the explanation here : best defense gear and troop types) – we now need to establish which tier of troops to build. This has been a very large debate since the game began – but, with proper testing and attention to detail, we should be able to figure it out.
The debate continues because you will lose LESS of a higher tier troop – they’re inherently tougher – but you will also be losing more power. This additional power loss can sometimes spell the difference between a victory or a defeat. Additionally, higher tiers of troops are MUCH more expensive in Iron Throne – meaning that you will be able to build far fewer of them.
But, does troop count even matter? We have all seen some of the largest bases in the game wreaking havoc on seemingly everyone. What is it that is causing the massive players to be able to utterly obliterate people with extremely high troop counts.
This testing will show that.
Test 1 – Tier 4 Troops Attacking
If you have been involved in rallies in Iron Throne, you have likely run into some targets that are an enigma. If you send T5 they will burn, but they cap your T4. When looking at a report, you see that a SMALL AMOUNT of T5 did ALL of the killing – your Tier 4 troops got zero kills. Why is this? How can we use this information to better build our defense? This test will establish exactly what is happening behind the curtain in castle defense in Iron Throne.
Test Setup :
For this test, we are running Tier 4 troops from one of the strongest accounts in Iron Throne into varying troop setups and logging the results.
- All stats and gear remain the same on both accounts.
- The attacker has higher VIP and better research than the defender.
- The defender has the same level troop training for every tier.
- The attacker is sending archers on each attack – though it does not matter.
Highlights from Tier 4 Testing – Best Defense Troops
- Hit 2 : Initially, we tested using full siege in the bottom tier against mixed troops in the bottom tier. Siege won, as we showed in our previous article.
- Hit 4 : Against Tier 4 troops attacking, adding Tier 3 or Tier 4 troops behind your T2 siege wall does NOTHING to help your defense. You lose the exact same number of troops, no matter how many T3/T4 you add.
- Hit 5 : Adding Tier 5 troops resulted in much less troops lost against Tier 4 enemies. This is why you see your T4 doing zero damage to enemies sometimes – they have a high Tier 5 troop count.
- Hit 8 : Adding troops to your BOTTOM TIER results in less losses – but at a very slow rate. You need to add a lot to have a big effect.
- Hit 9/10 : The NUMBER of Tier 5 defending reduces the losses from T4 VERY RAPIDLY.
So, we see that we need Tier 5 troops to defend against Tier 4. What if the attacker sends Tier 5?
Test 2 – Tier 5 Troops Attacking
We know that Tier 5 will hit harder than Tier 4 – but what tier layering do we need to focus on to best combat big T5 marches/rallies?
Test Setup :
- The setup for this test is the exact same as the one before, but this time Tier 5 troops are attacking.
Highlights from Tier 5 Testing – Best Defense Troops
- Hit 2-8 : Increasing our TOTAL TROOP COUNT using T3/T4/T5 did absolutely nothing to reduce losses against T5 – no matter how many we added. ONLY the count of the meat tier mattered. We used varying combinations of troops defending, but the ONLY thing that mattered was the number of T2 siege. The rest did nothing to reduce losses.
- Hit 9 : Adding Tier 6 defenders resulted in much less losses, even with the Tier 2 count remaining the same. Tier 6 defends against Tier 5.
Troop Layering for Castle Defense – Summary
- Your meat count MATTERS : Proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that the number of troops in your BOTTOM LAYER OF TROOPS – your meat tier – matters. As you increase that number, your losses go down.
- TOTAL Troop Count DOES NOT Matter : Your TOTAL troop count does not matter. Only your lowest layer of troops and the TIER ABOVE WHAT THEY ARE ATTACKING WITH.
- Troop Tier Defense for your Castle :
- Tier 1 – Meat. Not recommended.
- Tier 2 – Recommended meat tier. Defends against Tier 1
- Tier 3 – Defends against Tier 2. Nobody sends Tier 2, so your T3 count does not matter except to increase your killing ability.
- Tier 4 – Defends against Tier 3. Increases your killing ability on the enemy march.
- Tier 5 – Defends against Tier 4. Increasing this count will get you to stop burning to Tier 4 marches (eventually).
- Tier 6 – Defends against Tier 5. A castle with a high amount of Tier 6 is hard to burn with anything other than tier 6.
- This is why Tier 6 is so utterly devastating when attacking. The ONLY troop count that matters against Tier 6 is your base meat layer – there is no reduction on damage from any of your higher tiers.
Which Tier of Siege?
We have established which tiers are defending against which troops – but which tier is the most effective for your meat shield? Obviously, you do not want to be running an enormous tier of T1/T2 if T3 and T4 will be MUCH STRONGER against attackers. However, you also need to have a very high troop count in case you get hit by T6. What is the solution?
For this example, we used the total cost of building each tier of siege (RSS and Speeds). We took a set amount of T2 siege, then built the exact number of T3 siege we could for the same cost and tested, then the exact number of T4 siege we could build for the same cost. We want to use this to see which tier loses the least amount of POWER when attacked by a very strong attacker. Power is what determines if you burn or not, so whichever of these three tiers lost the least amount of POWER is the most efficient tier to trap with.
Tier 2 siege resulted in the least POWER loss for the cost to build the troops. This means that it is the most EFFICIENT TIER to use to bulk up your troop count and use as a meat layer. You will lose MORE of them, but you will lose less POWER – which means you’re more likely to capture the enemy hero.
Please Remember : Siege hits like a limp noodle. Do not build only Tier 2 Siege if you are trying to run a trap account. You will want higher tier troops to do the killing for you. If you don’t kill any of the enemy march, it doesn’t matter how many troops you (don’t) lose.