Clash of Clans is the most popular iOS games, developed by Supercell, who are also responsible for the success-story that is Hay Day. It is, however, a very different game to the farming simulator. Instead, Clash of Clans is a strategy game that harkens back to the old-style empire building of PC gaming. It also has tower-defense style elements, with the player being able both to attack enemy villages, and set up defenses to ensure they are secure themselves.
As with most popular iOS games, Clash of Clans is what’s known as freemium. This means that the initial game is free, but to realy excel and advance at it, especially in a timely fashion, you will have to spend some real money on the game. It should be borne in mind, however, that the entire game is available for free, it’s only for the unnecessary, flashy and time-saving items that payment is required.
The game was released in August 2012 but has also received content updates and patches since then.
The main point of Clash of Clans is that it is kind of massively multiplayer. You won’t get very far if you try to play the game on your own, although there is a single-player campaign of sorts to embark upon. Playing against the computer’s goblin armies gets tough, fast, and most players will need to take on other humans to be able to succeed, either way.
Success in Clash of Clans is measured in stars. The general aim is to completely obliterate the opponents base. While you train troops in your own base, the game then allows you to transport them almost wherever you like in the opponent’s base – there’s no walking or flying to get anywhere. Once your troops are placed, your attack is counted as a victory if you destroy 50% of the opponent’s base or more. If you destroy their Town Hall, you receive a second star (the first being given at 50%). If you destroy their entire base, it’s a perfect skirmish and 3 stars are given. If you are on the defense (more on this in the defense sections), you win if your opponent fails to get a 50% rate of destruction.
Defending is very simple, in that you don’t actually have any control over it in real time. Rather, defending in Clash of Clans is more like a tower defense game. You have to set your base up in the best way to defend it in your absence, using things like cannons, walls and traps. The general idea is to force the enemy, normally using walls, into a certain area where your defenses are able to take them out before they can reach the main part of your base.
If you launch an attack but fail to destroy at least 50% of the base, it counts as a loss, and you will lose Trophies. If you are attacked by another player, you lose if 50% or more of your base is destroyed.
Troops are generally trained in the Barracks. Once ready, they sit around the Army Camp waiting to attack. Select the Map and choose your target, be they computer or human. Then, you tap in their base depending on where you want to position your troops. You use the icons along the bottom of the screen to select which type of troops to deploy. Certain areas, such as right in the center of the enemy camp, you are unable to deploy troops. These areas are shown by a white outline. Sometimes you will find gaps in this line, but normally you have to station your army outside the enemy camp, at tactical positions depending on enemy defenses.
The game drops you in at the shallow end with a friendly tutorial stage. You are presented with the overarching story – essentially you are chief of your village and there is a Goblin horde on the loose.
At this point, you will be introduced to the Shop, which is accessed via the bottom right corner of the screen. You have to build a Cannon to combat the enemy threat. Click on the Shop and select the only item available, the Cannon, to continue. You will then be tasked with placing the Cannon, which you can drag around by touching the screen.
TIP: The game advises you to use Gems to speed up the construction of the Cannon. You should not do this, instead saving the gems for a future use as they are in extremely short supply.
NOTE: You are able to freely move items around as much as you like, so don’t worry about the Cannon’s positioning for now.
Once the Cannon is ready, Goblins will attack. Watch how combat works and see the Cannon in action. You are also introduced to unit healing.
Next you get to experience the thrill of attacking the enemy. To place your units in the enemy village, tap repeatedly where you want them to appear. Bear in mind you want a fair spread, though there is no real danger of failure in the tutorial. Following this victory you will earn 500 Gold and 500 Elixir.
To decrease building times, the tutorial recommends you hire a second builder. To do this, tap the Shop icon and choose the ‘Builder’s Hut’ for 250 Gems. Despite what we said about saving your Gems earlier, this is an essential purchase.
With that done, you are shown how Elixir works – build an Elixir Collector for 150 Gold to begin getting a steady supply of this important resource flowing in. Gems are not necessary to complete this. You should then construct Elixir Storage to house any overflow Elixir that can’t fit in the Collector’s capacity. Having completed that, you will probably level up.
The next task is to also increase the storage of your Gold. Repeat your task for the Elixir Storage with Gold Storage. You will then have to build a Barracks to combat the future Goblin threat. Tap the Barracks and place it on the landscape somewhere. Once it is built, tap on the Barracks and choose ‘Train Troops’. You are only able to build the classic Barbarian units at this point. To do so, tap and hold on the Barbarian icon. Let the meter fill up until you have 20 in the queue. You can use Gems to speed up the wait, but it’s a few minutes so shouldn’t be too arduous.
During this period you will see the Barbarians spilling out of the Barracks and going to wait around the campfire. Once the 20 are completed, you will be able to attack using the icon in the bottom left corner. Pick the Goblin Forest from the map that appears and deploy your units as you did before.
With the battle finished and won, you will choose your name. Be sure to pick one that you are happy with as this is not something you can change later on. Following this, you should upgrade the Town Hall, as instructed. That concludes the proper tutorial section, and the entire screen opens up for you to use, including all the indicators and meters at the top and down the side. You are now free to do as you wish!
Experience and Levels
You will advance to Level 2 during the Clash of Clans tutorial.
You can see your current level at the top left of the screen. This also shows your current amount of experience points. Levelling up allows you to recruit players into your clan more easily. You get experience, required for levelling up, by completing buildings. The more expensive and the longer a building takes to complete, the more experience you are rewarded with.
A small amount of experience is also given for removing rocks and trees, and destroying enemy Town Halls. Levels only really indicate how much someone has been playing Clash of Clans and are not used to rank players in multiplayer.
Experience Points are earned for upgrading, fighting, gifting troops – generally any task in the game, if meaningful, will contribute Experience Points to your list.