At some point in time you're going to want to start attacking players - after all, this is a war game! At the early stages of the game, however, you run into some hurdles. Your supplies of gold, Advanced Teleports, and Aegis are low, and every one is precious. Unfortunately you almost always need to teleport somewhere in order to attack someone, because your marches are so slow. In addition, once you've attacked you're going to want to protect yourself again, yet each Teleport item costs 1,000 gold or more, and unless you're spending money on the game already, you probably only have one or two of those on hand. If you've joined a Corps, you'll want to get back home to your Hive - this requires another teleport. Fortunately, there is a less expensive option for coming back home: the Corps Teleport (aka: cuddle-port). This item teleports you to a space on the Battlefield that is close to your Corps Commander, and is usually available for purchase at a fraction of what a full Advanced Teleport costs. Just be sure your Corps Commander is actually at your Hive and not out on the Battlefield somewhere!
Attacking players can be lucrative, providing large gains in Resources, and giving you Kills - something other players tend to measure your worth by. When you are ready to launch an attack, here's what you'll do:
- First, figure out if it's OK to attack. This is governed by the rules of your Battlefield, usually set by a group of the most powerful Corps on the Battlefield. Some fields discourage attacking during weekdays. A Non-Aggression Pact (NAP) is established to allow players to grow during the week, and save the attacking for the weekend. Check with your Corps - they will know the rules of the field. You also want to take into account what Corps your target aligns with. If your target is in a powerful Corps, their comrades may come to their defense. Additionally, some Corps form alliances with other Corps, and agree not to attack each other. Check with your Corps to see if you have any alliances, and make sure not to attack players in allied Corps. If you do, you might be kicked out of your own Corps, or you might be forced to pay the player you attacked back.
- Pick your target. You'll want to pick a player that you're reasonably confident you'll beat. Knowledge about how battle works helps here, but in lieu of that, compare your power against theirs. Compare your HQ Level against theirs. If your HQ Level is higher than your prospective target, and your Power is as well, it's likely that you'll beat them in a 1-on-1 battle. If you're lesser on either of those two metrics it will be a gamble. The higher level player you attack, the more resources they're likely to have, and the more troops you will be likely to kill. You'll also need to pick someone who doesn't have their Aegis bubble up - you can't attack someone who is bubbled. Look for players that have let their Aegis down. Your Corps might also have sworn enemies - other Corps that they are at war with, and you'll gain respect in the eyes of your own Corps by attacking them.
- Know the risks. In order to attack another player you must let down your own Aegis. This makes you open to attacks from other, higher power players. If the field is at war, especially on the weekends, higher power players are probably scanning the field looking for targets, and you might be their next one. There's a saying in poker: "At every poker table there are Fish, and there are Sharks. If you don't know who the Fish at the table are, you're one of the Fish." What this means in AMS terms is that if you're not one of the most powerful players on the field, you're a potential target for them. A favorite tactic for high level players is to watch unbubbled targets for hunters such as yourself. When you unbubble yourself and attack, they teleport in and attack you. There's not much you can do to avoid this - until you become very high level you will always be at risk for being attacked by someone else. Joining a high level Corps can sometimes provide some protective muscle that might discourage other players from attacking you, but not much. Your best bet, especially as you start out, is to find someone who is in a small Corps or no Corps at all.
- Be prepared. Even with all of this, you should expect to be attacked when you're attacking. This means you should be quick about it. You will want to use an Advanced Teleport to teleport right in next to your target. Have a Formation set up to make it easy to select your strongest troops for the attack. Be ready to make your attack, then quickly bubble as soon as your troops come back to your Command Center.
- Making your attack. Select the player you want to attack and click the Attack button. If your Aegis is up you will get a warning that attacking someone will bring it down - click through this warning. Select your best Attack Officers, and your best troops for an attack. If you have planes, select your best plane for attack. Note that the default march that AMS gives you when you start your attack probably isn't the best for the job. You can make all of these selections beforehand by creating a Formation - you select your officers, troops, and plane such that you can simply select the correct Formation when it's time to attack. Then launch your attack!
- If you believe you are at risk for being counter-attacked (which you should always assume), bring your bubble back up to protect yourself as soon as possible. You must wait until your attack march has returned to your Command Center before you bring up your Aegis (you will get a warning if you try to do so when your troops are still out marching). Know ahead of time what steps you need to perform in order to re-bubble. If you have an attack coming in, as long as you bring your Aegis back up before it hits you will be protected, so you will want to do it fast! Also, if you are under attack and you have a march out, you can use March Speedups to get it back quicker.
When attacking, ways to protect your troops and resources:
Resources: First of all, you can't be stripped of resources if you don't have them. One way to protect your resources is to use them up when you get them. You can create troops, you can construct a building, you can start a research task. You can also give resources to your Corps mates by using Resource Assistance (however, this has a heavy tax, especially at low levels). Your Shelter will automatically protect some of your resources, but not much.
Troops: There are ways to protect your troops when you are attacking. One way is to send them Gathering, especially to your Corps Depot. Troops that are Gathering can be attacked, but some fields discourage this, so it can provide you with a way to protect your troops if that's the policy on your field. Another way to protect your troops is to send them on a Rally or a march. You can start a Rally on a Fanatic General, or even another player. Rallies can be anywhere from 5 to 60 minutes, and troops in a Rally are not subject to attack. You can also cancel a Rally at any time with no penalty. Therefore, a trick some players use is to start a 60 minute Rally on a Fanatic General, tell the other players in their Corps not to join the Rally, then make an attack on a Player. Just remember to make sure that any Officers, Planes, and Troops you want for your attack aren't in your Rally - they won't be available to attack! Finally, you can make Camp, also known as Occupying a space. When you Occupy a space, your troops are sent out to a spot on the Battlefield, and are not at your Command Center. The Camp itself can be attacked, so this only works if your Battlefield agrees not to attack Tiles.
Tips for Silver Event:
If you're considering attacking a player that is bigger than you (higher level HQ) check their power level first, and Scout first if you can.
Stay bubbled if you're not attacking. For relatively low power players like us: harvest silver from lower level players (HQ level 8 and up). Set yourself a formation for attack and use it to make your attack quicker. Be ready for other players to port in on you and attack you - look for the red screen and bubble up if you see it. Know that you can't bubble if your troops are out on a march, so don't send long marches.