Defend your HQ
If the attacker destroys your Headquarters, they win the entire battle. Everything else blows up, and they steal all of your unprotected loot. Therefore, you need to defend your HQ at all costs. A large portion of your defenses should overlap this important building.
Defend your “useless buildings” too
Unfortunately, your Sawmill isn’t going to chop up the enemy’s troops. It’ll just sit there and do nothing during the battle. However, for every building the attacker destroys, they get 3 energy for their Gunboat. So basically, all of these “useless buildings” (such as the Sawmill) only provide free energy. To avoid this, place these buildings within range of your defenses, and in spots where the attacker won’t easily destroy them.
Don’t let the corners touch
If the corners of two or more buildings are touching each other, one artillery shell can damage all of them. And that’s not good! So try to keep most buildings at least 1 unit apart from each other.
Spread your defenses apart
At Headquarters level 7, Shock Bombs are unlocked. These are fired from the Gunboat, and they disable defenses within a 3.5 unit radius (don’t get caught up on numbers like these). Therefore, if your turrets are packed very close together, a large group of them can be disabled. Avoid this by spreading out important defenses, as well as defenses of the same type.
Work around upgrades
Your weapons can’t function while upgrading. If you have a Sniper Tower that’s being worked on, rearrange your other turrets to compensate for it.
Fill the gaps
You aren’t setting up a parade route for the attacker’s troops! Don’t leave an unguarded path where your opponent can walk right through everything. This is a more common problem at lower levels.
Put some defenses in the back
Those pesky troops can walk right through your trees! Don’t let them sneak behind your defenses and get an easy victory. Instead, place enough weaponry behind your HQ, and use mines to stop your opponent from walking though the forest.
The corner layout
Advantage: Gives the enemy only one angle to attack from, allowing you to defend one side of the HQ.
Disadvantage: Defenses are close together, and can easily be shock-bombed, barraged, and destroyed.
The middle layout
Advantage: Turrets are spread out on all four sides of the HQ, and troops have to do a lot of walking (or running, or driving) to destroy them.
Disadvantage: Opponent can attack from multiple angles, and you must have strong defenses on all sides.
The frontal layout
Advantage: Immediately bombards the troops at the moment they step off of the landing crafts. The attacker has very little time to react.
Disadvantage: Very easy for Warriors and Smoke Screens because the HQ is close to the sand.
The best place to hide Boom Mines (or even regular mines) is behind the tallest part of a Sniper Tower. In this spot, they are completely hidden. And if your opponent doesn’t locate them while scouting, they might be in for a nasty surprise. Other decent hiding spots include masterpieces, Iron Storages, the Sawmill, and many other tall structures. Additionally, the Flamethrower’s red color could disguise the Boom Mines.
If you didn’t cut down all of your trees, you can use them to hide defenses, especially Rocket Launchers. Although trees are supposed to become translucent when turrets are placed behind them, that doesn’t always happen. It’s possible, with some luck, to completely bury something in the forest.
Types of Defenses
Mortars, Rocket Launchers, and Flamethrowers are all splash damage defenses. What does that mean? They can damage multiple units at the same time. These are effective against small troops such as Riflemen and Zookas. However, they don’t do much damage to Heavies, Medics, and especially Tanks. Lastly, Warriors are mainly affected by Flamethrowers.
You should place Rocket Launchers on the outside of your base, but within range of most buildings. Place Mortars in any tricky places. And put your Flamethrowers right next to the HQ.
Sniper Towers, Cannons, and Boom Cannons are all one-shot turrets. They fire each shot at one troop, rather than a group of them. These defenses are most effective against the large units: Heavies, Warriors, Tanks, and Medics. Additionally, Cannons and Boom Cannons do double-damage to Tanks.
Spread out your Sniper Towers, and have them protect multiple defenses and buildings. Do the same for Cannons and Boom Cannons.
Machine Guns fall into an entirely separate category. They fire small, quick shots in the direction of the enemy troops. Therefore, not all of the bullets will hit someone. Machine guns are most effective against Riflemen and Zookas, as well as Warriors surrounding the Headquarters.
Place them close to the HQ to maximize their damage and avoid missed shots.
Shock Launchers are the only defense with a special ability. They fire Shock Bombs at your troops, disabling them for a short period of time. Furthermore, they do a very insignificant amount of actual damage. These are effective against all combos.
However, the attacker can also shock-bomb a Shock Launcher. To avoid that, place them away from groups of defenses, but within range of the HQ.
Mines do significant damage to small troops, but they hardly leave a mark on Heavies and Tanks. However, Boom Mines can instantly kill almost any troop.
Place mines in areas where the enemies will walk through. They can truly be the difference between a win and a loss.
Have you been longing for an MMG 9000? Or a Super Mortar 3000? Sorry, Hammerman is the only person who can use those turrets. He could never let you have his superweapons!
Perfecting Your Layout
Watch the replays
There is nothing that can help you more than the replays. Your opponents will usually be kind enough to point out the flaws in your design. Additionally, you can see what kind of troops they’re using, and what defenses they destroy or disable with their gunboat.
Look at the activity log
The “enemy activity” log will show you how often you’re being attacked, how many troops you kill, and what level your foes are. The daily summary can also be found here, showing you how many people scout, attack, and successfully raid you.
View other bases
What layouts are other people at your level using? That’s usually a good tool to judge your own base.
Think about how you’d attack yourself
Imagine that you’re attacking yourself. How would you attack your own base? If the solution is easy, then that’s a problem. You need to stump yourself if you want to stump your opponents. Follow the tips mentioned throughout this guide, and fix any part of your layout that doesn’t look right.
You get diamonds for killing a percentage of the attacker’s troops. On top of that, you don’t lose a VP, and you keep all of your resources. Defense is a huge aspect of the game, and with a strong layout, it’ll feel very rewarding.