Hannibal’s TH9 Base Design and Farming Guide
This began as a reference I wanted to link to when critiquing baseplans in the base design thread and I subsequently added a section on farming. None of the ideas in this thread are particularly new, original, or secret. They can all be found in many places on these forums and other CoC websites. On the other hand, I’m happy to make additions if folks think that I’ve missed important concepts.
I’m under no illusions that I’m the most amazing CoC player ever. Feel free to post about the time I failed raiding your base. If I can remember the attack (screenshots of your base and the attack help) I’m happy to comment on why I think I failed, be it the strength of your base or some error on my part.
2. Base Design Tips.
3. Preparations for farming.
5. Example videos on this channel.
First, bear in mind that TH9 armies are extremely strong. However, those armies are also expensive in both training time and elixir. If I only make 60k gold and 60k elixir off your base I’ve wasted my time. It wasn’t a cost effective attack. Start thinking of your defense in terms of making attacks cost-inefficient rather than stopping them.
On offense, CoC rewards time investment. The simple willingness to attack multiple times a day leads to huge profits over time, even if there are a good number of failures mixed in. Also, while farming below 200 trophies is completely viable at TH9, I’m not going to discuss it. First, I really don’t like sub-200 farming for quality of life issues. Second, there are more things about sub 200 farming that people consider, “secret” or, “proprietary information.” I don’t want to get tangled up in that.
2. Base Design Tips
Tip 1: Bulkheads. You may have beautiful level ten walls, but if you’ve distributed them in a single ring around your base, they’re only as strong as the first hole my wallbreakers blow. After that hole, your base may as well not have walls except for funneling effects possibly clumping targets for splash damage. By dividing your base into multiple segments that I have to open individually, you force me to make multiple holes in your walls and increase their effective strength. Ships work under this principle in which hulls are subdivided into bulkheads to prevent a single leak from sinking the ship.
This is particularly true of resource placement. Don’t put them all in a single compartment. Subdivide them into multiple compartments to slow the attack and make it cost-ineffective.
Example: Level 72? Level six wizard towers? X-bows? High level walls? Strips to deter wallbreakers? No problem. He has made the biggest and most important error of basebuilding in keeping all his resources in a single central chamber. I’ll pass on lower level bases with subdivisions but I’ll eat bases like this for lunch.
Example2: This base design does a nice job of subdividing, but it has the disadvantage of allowing me the freedom to blow essentially any wall I choose. How do you constrain wallbreakers to attack where you want them to attack? Read on.
Tip 2: Strips and Spikes. In order to either raid or defend your base effectively, you need to understand the basics of wallbreaker AI. There are several threads on this floating around, but try to emblazon in your mind the following rules:1. Wallbreakers launched singly will act as magnets going to the nearest wall.
2. If you launch an additional wallbreaker from the same spot, it will follow the direction the first took hitting the next wall in that line. This means that if a wallbreaker from one spot breaks an outer wall, a second wallbreaker launched from that same spot can often break the wall behind the first, possibly opening the base core.
3. But if you pick a different spot, they become magnets to the nearest wall again.
Wallbreakers can and do break the rules I’ve just described. Off the top of my head I can think of at least four ways to force what I consider to be “unnatural” wallbreaker lanes. But they tend to be fairly design dependent and because I can’t currently provide a logical framework for why they work, I’m going to limit consideration of them to the occasional video of these situations when I can make them work.
Strips and spikes are designed to confound wall breakers. It’s easier to explain how to do spikes well than strips, so for now I’m going to limit my discussion to spikes. The golden rule of spikes is to use the minimum number of spikes to cover your base in order to make them as long as possible, while making sure that the closest wall to any wallbreaker starting point is a spike.
Example: A spiky version of a design TNT posted to the base design thread. Note that the spikes are in line with walls behind them. Lining spikes up with internal walls has the advantage of denying wall breakers an unimpeded path to the base’s core even when the spike is destroyed.
Tip 3: Surround your base with decorations and collectors. Forcing enemy troops to start farther away gives your defenses more opportunities to shoot before they’re engaged. It can also be helpful in making wallbreakers target the spikes you want rather than dancing between them. Also, if you place collectors around your base, sometimes a goblin rush can be diverted from the core supply dumps to a collector on the periphery. A few extra seconds allowing mortars to shoot once or twice more can be the difference between success and failure of a goblin rush.
Tip 4: Town Hall. Put it outside and undefended. Losing your town hall is paid in a currency (trophies) you don’t care about and carries the benefit of earning a shield in exchange.
Tip 5: Clan Castle. While in farming range, your clan castle, mortars and wizard towers are arguably your strongest defenses. Your clan castle needs to be near the middle of your base.
Tip 6: X-Bow. Point it at the ground. Yes, I know about that one time that someone revenged you with max level dragons and cleaned you out. But if someone is going to take that kind of time to design a tier 3 army with complementary spells specifically to revenge you, they can just look at your X-Bows pointing skyward and choose to build PEKKAs instead. Tier 3 troops are designed for trophies in terms of both cost and build time rather than farming. There are no air-based farming troops. If you’re in a trophy range for farming, build your defenses accordingly. X-Bows are also excellent at killing wallbreakers.
Tip 7: DE Supply. Don’t put other resource storages immediately adjacent to the dark elixir storage. Lightning attacks on the DE storage are popular right now. Keep other storages away to prevent these attacks from being too profitable. Also, level your DE storage as high as possible. Higher level DE storages have more hit points and return fewer resources to the attacker per lightning spell.
Example: The poorly segmented base I attacked above revenges me with triple max level lightning trying to make back some of the 1200 DE that he lost. If you farm at high levels, you’ll be hit by a lot of these attacks. Lightning does damage within a 2 square radius with a random component at a 3.5 square radius. Since I have good separation between my storages, he fails to return the 66k gold he spent on those spells. I have around 16k DE in my storages when he attacks and ~3 million in gold and ~1 million elixir.
Tip 8: Bombs. Don’t use large bombs unless you’ve got them in a spot that they rarely get tripped. When farming the cost of each detonated bomb becomes a part of the overall cost of the attack. A couple exploded bombs at 50k can make even small attacks expensive quickly. Small and cheap bombs should be replaced as soon as they’re detonated. Remember that you don’t need a free worker to replace them.
Tip 9: Resource Supply Number. Don’t build that max level third gold storage at TH8 and fourth at TH9 just because it’s there. While the supply cap is split between the additional bases, it also becomes much more difficult to defend everything as supply number increases. Make the decision by considering what the additional storages unlock as well as your farming rate. If your farming rate is slow enough that you still have capacity when the next worker frees up, my opinion is that you’re better off not building the next storage. But if you are bumping up against either the gold or elixir cap regularly, the increased profit from a higher loot cap should outweigh the losses resulting from a slightly weaker base defending an additional supply.
Regarding “Eggshell” or “Egg Crate” Bases. An egg crate base violates Tip 1. You literally put all your eggs in one basket and then try to make that basket as strong as possible. Although I’m partial to segmented bases, egg crates can be built in such a way as to be fairly strong. I’m going to talk about a simple, unsegmented egg crate since that’s what the discussion in this thread revolved around. Segmented egg crates don’t violate Tip 1, and are a stronger animal.
Aside from allowing you to concentrate your efforts on making a single base circumference as strong as possible, these designs also have the subtle advantage of presenting an invading army with a plethora of targets outside the crate. You may know that you want your army to break the crate, but your giants will see more defenses outside the crate than in it, and similarly goblins will be overwhelmed with collector targets. While an experienced raider will use archers to remove those targets from outside the range of mortars, it’s not uncommon for an inexperienced player’s army to chase targets running loops around an egg crate while the mortars demolish the army from the safety of the crate.
In my opinion the best egg crate bases share a few features:
1. The walls of the crate are three thick. It doesn’t have to be a solid three, but this is a distance archers can’t shoot over. Thinner also risks people ignoring your spikes and just raging through.
2. The crate has a minimum of spikes, but the spikes are extremely long. This gives your walls maximum effective strength versus wallbreakers.
3. The crate itself is small with a minimum of contents. This allows spikes to be longer and allows denser coverage of your supplies from wizard towers in the event your crate is broken.
These base types do have a number of vulnerabilities. Their tight packing makes them vulnerable to splash damage of the irritatingly popular lightning spell attack. This can be used either just to grab large quantities of loot or sometimes to destroy X-bows or mortars making the crate effectively defenseless. Raged wallbreakers also tend to be very effective against the crate. And as a brute force design, they tend to be quite vulnerable to the brute force of TH9 armies.
Example: I neglected to get a “before” shot of my raid on this TH9 egg crate, but this is a pretty common “after” result with my standard raiding loadout. I don’t recall if I used a rage spell on this one, but I often do when I break the core.
3. Preparations for Farming
Upgrades: If you’re farming, make upgrading your army your top priority. Defenses and army upgrades draw largely from different resource pools so often this isn’t an either/or decision. But if there is a decision to be made because of available workers, gems, or other considerations, upgrade your offensive capabilities first. If you attack often, offensive upgrades will be used more commonly than your defense. And even assuming equivalent usage, offensive upgrades rend to offer more “bang for the buck” in terms of statistical improvement than defensive upgrades.
Troops: By definition, farming troops are cheap and train quickly which directs farmers to Tier one troops (archers, barbarian, goblin) fairly exclusively. The caveats to this are giants and wall breakers which are tier 2 troops but are used in most TH9 farming loadouts.
What’s the, “right” or, “best” proportion of tier one troops to include in your loadout? It depends on the base you’re attacking. And because you don’t know when you queue the army what sort of base you’ll ultimately attack, the best loadout is the most versatile one.
For example, opening my CoC I have a farming army of twenty barbarians, sixty-three archers, fifty-seven goblins, twelve giants, and twenty wallbreakers. The giants tank, the goblins grab resources, the archers produce damage, and the barbarians are versatile tanking/damage unit that acts as my strategic reserve. This army has a total elixir cost of 123,600. Nearly half of that elixir cost is wallbreakers. Think about these costs when you choose what kind of bases you want to attack and how many wallbreakers it’s worth investing.
From my perspective there is never any reason for a farmer to field a tier 3 army. I take it as a sign that I’m doing my job properly if I’m pissing off high level farmers badly enough that they incur the opportunity cost of spending half their day training a tier 3 army that can compensate for some lack of ability with tier 1 troops on their part. Even if tier 3 armies trained quickly, the elixir cost often approaches half a million. You’re not going to recoup it. For a farmer to field one of these armies is one of the purest distillations of cutting off your nose to spite your face.
Spells: I personally think rage and lightning are the only viable options when farming. Rage often enables goblins to clean storages out between the attacks of high level wizard towers that might otherwise demolish them. It can also be very useful with wallbreakers to break egg crates.
Lightning is best used to destroy a critical defensive structure. For instance, if you can see that the defense of one side of the base hinges on the presence of a mortar, using two level 5 lightning strikes (44k gold) can often open the door to high profits. Lightning can also be used to destroy clan castle troops, but in my opinion this strategy is better used by trophy chasers. Farmers should be able to handle the clan castle without spells.
Trophy Range: This question gets asked as if it’s some kind of huge secret. In my experience anything between 1400 and 2000 works well and I’ve heard of people having success into the low 2000s. Also bear in mind that trophy range is a moving target. As the upper end of trophies continues to climb for serious trophy hunters, this farming range also gets progressively larger at the top end.
As you survey bases for a likely target, do not be afraid of the next button. The jump in elixir cost for a viable TH9 farming army is arguably much larger than the jump in gold cost to move the magnifying glass along. A TH9 farming army may cost upwards of 120k, while the difference between pressing he next button ten and twenty times is 7,500 gold. Keep pressing “next” until you see something you like.
Which bases to attack – The preceding base design guide should offer insight to base types I think are generally weak, but train yourself to think not just about how strong or weak the base is, butwhere the loot is and how hard it is to access. For example, if a borderline gold base has their gold segmented between multiple loot cavities as well as possibly into collectors, it raises the chance that I’m going to miss loot leaving with a total gold return I’m more likely to classify as a failure.
This base seems like a good raiding candidate. Total resources are a little on the low side, but most of the supplies are clumped in a single cavity. In fairness, I can’t be sure it’s all in the storages. But I know that 121k gold will fit into four storages without triggering the first gold visual increase for a storage, so it’s at least plausible that it’s all there.
But wait a minute. This isn’t an empty elixir collector. The amount here appears low, but the elixir filling images only demonstrate around three changes in appearance between empty and full. It’s much easier to see these changes on elixir pumps than gold mines. Get in the habit of looking at elixir pumps.
So now I know it’s going to be tougher. This base is defending their collectors and there’s some nontrivial amount of loot in the collectors also. In fact, it’s possible that it’s all in the collectors and none is in the supply dumps at all.
I make the guess that there’s some in both the supply dumps as well as the collectors and it turns out that I’m right. But I have to blow a lot of walls to open all these cavities. I even dump several wbs into blowing the last elixir collector chamber that I fail to loot and end up losing elixir on this attack.
In summary, think about not just how much loot there is but where it is and how hard it’s going to be to open the relative chambers. Borderline total loot amounts can become negative fast if you fail to get into a loot source.
When you do attack:
Attack quickly. Most of my attacks are done within a minute thirty seconds. Err on the side of deploying more troops than fewer. The faster you get a concentrated attack force on the screen, the higher your chances of success. Dribbling troops out slowly increases the likelihood that single target defenses like cannons and archers can demolish them one by one.
Attack from one direction. Unless there’s a strong reason to attack from two sides, keep your attack concentrated.
Try to keep a small reserve. There’s nothing worse that realizing that someone tucked an undefended storage in a corner or that some isolated collectors held significant loot and being forced to leave that loot on the table.
5. Raiding Examples — YouTube
I find it hard to offer ironclad rules for farming. I’ll be slowly adding example videos to this channel displaying attacks against a variety of base designs as well as unusual wallbreaker behavior and the like.