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The art of Catfishing /bottom feeding / finishing

(The following is based on the Ronin anti-rank war philosophy on App) Provided by: jakobite


Catfishing - A catfish, in RL terms, is a sort of bottom feeding fish that often feeds on wounded or dead fish. So Catfishing is going low in order to make attacks on wounded or disabled mages in war.

Bottom Feeding – Not really a correct term as it is usually used outside of war to describe what a mage might do temporarily to gain land and other resources before moving up in the ranks. Or used disparagingly to describe mages in the middle ranks.

Finishing - Taking the final fort(s) of a mage bringing his total to zero or DEAD status. Not PC to call it killing or getting kills as any mage finished in the bottom ranks will often only be there do to the work of your guild mates in the higher ranks through Spells, items and attacks. So when finishing a mage you are just taking the final step in his demise. Making it not YOUR kill but your guilds.

Fort Sieging – Using the minimum amount of troops to take the minimum amount of land required to take a fort. In this way you take the Maximum amount of forts possible in a series of attacks before putting a mages status to damaged.

Council Protection – Status your mage enters when being attacked while having less than 1500 land and no troops. When entering CP all enchantments on your kingdom will be dispelled as will all offensive spells being held by you. It is impossible for anyone to attack you for 48 hours but is possible for others to use items or cast spells on you while your in CP. CP will also end at anytime if you take a turn. This will likely be removed from the game after 2000 turns taken when the next script update is added.

Spell locked - Is when a mage that has 0 mp, no minor indulgences or Mana crystals, has at least he offensive enchantment Death and Decay or Meteor Storm cast on his kingdom and believes himself unable to escape by any other means short of help from others. The mage will often stop taking turns at this time in fear of dying.

CP Surfing – This as tactic of survival/catfishing will likely become irrelevant in war on App next reset with the next script up date. Council Protection surfing is the act of disbanding your entire army so as to go into Council protection on the first hit. This can be used offensively to avoid receiving counters in full for attacks made. The first soften attack or counter taken in the form of a Siege or Regular will cause the mage to enter Council protection and make it impossible for any mage who has counters on you to take them as long as you are in CP. There is a somewhat effective way to counter this tactic that I will probably discuss later in case CP is kept on App. CP surfing used defensively mages who are spell locked will often disband there entire army in order to prolong there life. Mages will often do this in order to buy time for there guild mates to help them escape the spells or just to frustrate there enemy by not allowing there enemy to count them as a kill as soon. Killing a mage that is CP surfing defensively can be time consuming as you can only make one attack, likely taking only one fort, every 48 hours. A mage with 5 forts can take 10 days to kill or more. There isn’t really anyway to counter this tactic other than pillaging into pillage damaged status before taking the fort to decrease the likely hood that they will every successfully escape the spells or just learning patients as the mage will die eventually anyway. Sometimes called ‘being on life support’

How to do it

Single most important role any player can take on in a war is the Catfisher. While it is possible to kill a mage with 3000+ land or more it doesn’t happen often. As most good players will only succumb under extreme pressure and putting them onto low land will often create a great amount of pressure in itself. So the majority of the actual death blows will often be done by one of you guild mates operating on very low land.

Deaths in war are incredibly demoralizing and a demoralized enemy will often look more to insuring there own mages longevity and stop being as aggressive. Aside from the demoralizing factor deaths are often the only way to make an enemy succumb and admit defeat. Loss of rank will rarely be enough especially on App. And should you face an enemy who refuses to every admit defeat a Death tally will often be the only determining factor (14 enemies dead to our 2 lost mages)

To start off I guess I should say that my favorite color for cat fishing currently is Icon ERADICATION.gifEradication. Have had a lot of discussions about this with various people and almost all seem to disagree with me. The reason I like red as a catfisher is that it is incredibly easy to toss together and army that will win battles down low. 2-4 casts of Chimera is about all that’s needed to beat almost any army. Just as 2-4 casts of Efreeti mono stacked will present a decent defense. You also still have good access to black and greens low NP fodder units such as dryad and Skeleton for getting low and still taking forts. Red is less likely to be dependant to enchantments to operate effectively as say Green. Eradications units tend toward being much more geld dependant and less MP dependant which can be a great aid to catfishing that I will talk about more as we go.

The best way to kill a mage is to place the maximum amount of pressure possible on them through attacks, items and spells. The constant rebuilding and lowering resource availability to continually rebuild, maintain and possible gain back lost land/NP/rank can become near impossible. Add to this the vast majority of mages inexperience of operating on low land (many mages will explore out to 1000, 1500 or even 2000 land during research and never look back) and you create pressure on the mage that will cause them to eventually ‘crack’ commit an exploitable mistake or just find themselves unable to maintain there kingdom effectively enough to survive. To be an effective Catfisher you must be able to operate within the effective Catfishing rang (500 -1500 land) more effectively than your enemy. Much more effectively if you expect to survive.

The very first thing that becomes a difficulty for a Catfisher is land distribution. Most people that learn to play learn to play on something near 2k land. They are often taught to distribute there land in certain % amounts. Usually something along these lines

  • 10% towns
  • Adjoining farms needed to keep max population
  • Minimum of 299 workshops
  • (Barracks only if using barrack units
  • 34.9, 39.9, 44.9, etc. depending on color played and strategy
  • Guilds usually 0 but maybe a few for random item generation
  • Fortresses in war you will most likely hear 20 as your minimum
  • 2-2.5% barriers

On 1k land this becomes near impossible and on 500 is absolutely impossible.

  • Town and farm % should be the last thing worried about for reasons I’ll describe later.
  • 299 minimum workshops is an absolute must for catfishing or other wise. Efficiency is the key to effective catfishing and turns used rebuilding will pile up very fast. I will often build over 299 in the amount that is maximum to build per turn after reaching 299
    • Example- I have 290 workshops so my maximum to build on the next turn is 29.1. So I’ll build 29 bringing me to a total of 319 workshops. The reason for this is 2 fold. The leaser is I hate to waist the partial turn of only building 9 workshops and the second is that I’ll likely lose some workshops to pillages, attacks and dispelling spells. So having a few extra makes it much easier to recover to 299 quickly.
  • forget barracks and the use of barracks units on low land.
  • 34.9-39.9 or higher nodes is a must. The amount depends on the amount of land you are operating on.
  • No Guilds
  • 20 forts is a sure fire way to insure your mage lives another day
  • 2.5% barrs is an absolute must. When on low land your enemy will be trying to do to you what you are trying to do to your enemy. So expecting items and spells in mass is the way to go. Besides with full barrs you’ll waist more of your higher ranked enemy’s turns/resources making it easier for your guild mates to put pressure on them. And send them to you in Catfish land.

You are probably wondering how it is possible to fit everything needed to run your kingdom on say 800 land. Well it isn’t. You’ll have to make priorities and find ways to get what you need to operate your kingdom outside of generating it yourself.

Example of land distribution on 800 land.

    • 279 nodes
    • 299 workshops
    • 20 barriers
    • 20 forts
  • For a total of 618 land used, Leaving 182 land.
  • If you use the 10% town recommendation you would need 80 towns and using the basic 3 farms for every town 240 farms for a total of 320 land. As you can se is not possible. So I would build roughly:
    • 45 towns
    • 135 farms

I’m going to say again, If you are going to operate effectively on low land making priorities and then sacrifices to do so effectively will be the key.

Your number one priority is staying alive. I can’t stress enough that to do this you MUST have full (2.5%) barrs and enough manna to dispel spells. Therefore to maintain the barrs and mp charge enough mana effectively you MUST have at least 34’9% nodes. So the sacrifice will have to come from towns and Farms. This will effectively cause you problems with population and geld that you must find ways around.

-First of all DO NOT use units that have population upkeep. Also while you are at it NEVER use undisbandable units. (Why black and blue are discounted as catfishing colors IMHO)

I recommend trying to keep 100mil geld on hand adjusted for incomes/ losses through pillages, iteming, etc over the next 24h. Getting enough geld to maintain your kingdom isn’t really as difficult as it might seem for a number of reasons.

-You will be conducting a number of pillages on you enemies on a regular basis anyway and on low land maintaining a proper number of units to defend against pillages can be difficult so they are likely to be easy marks. -Also on 1k land and less a lot of the mages around you will be abandoned mages with little or no army and easily accessible for pillages to gain geld. -In order to get to lower ranked enemies you will often be forced to operate on a very small but effective army. This very often allows you to take turns with a positive geld income even with a limited population. -In order to Fort Siege you will often be running with only 1-2k units again allowing for a lot of turns taken with a positive geld income -Always disband your entire army before MP charging. Sounds crazy possibly but in order to go low you will often have little or no army anyway. -Never ever waste turns gelding

All of these tips should allow you to keep more than enough geld around to continue operating even with 0 towns and farms. Though I don’t recommend that considering with 0 towns and farms your enemies pillages will hurt much worse.

Units I like to use as a red Catfisher and why. Keep in mind that most enemies on very low land will be mono stacked or if not they will often have no more than 3 stacks. It must be said that using on color units as often as possible is the way for a catfisher. Remember you must be more efficient than your enemy.

  • Chims - the complex unit I use the most. Incredibly easy to get enough to do a lot of damage to your enemy. A mono stack of Chims and at 125% NP over your enemy will often beat even tops stacked Lich.
  • Efreeti - good defense against sieges and regulars when mono stacked. Very easy to put together a quick defense
  • Salamander -when I need a ground unit other than Efreeti that kills and kills well this is what I pick
  • Dryad - Ranged fodder is often the best as they don’t take counter attacks and there for won’t cause you to take losses when attacking mono stacked enemies. They are the lowest NP ranged unit you have easy access to and are a good unit besides
  • Skeleton - lowest NP unit you can summon (nonbarricks unit) Good to have for going really low to attack mages on life support. Only need 1-2 k to take a fort so they can be all the army you need in one or 2 casts. Also good fodder behind Chims when attacking mono stacked flying armies. Easy numbers with lower NP per unit.
  • Pegs - sometimes you need a flying fodder to take in with you behind your chims. Very tough flying fodder
  • Sprite - sometimes use this instead of pegs
  • Lizardmen- Can often get enough units to take an item on pillages with one cast.
  • Hydra - used to push the fodder lower when facing deeper stacked enemies to push the fodder down
  • Shadow - A great unit for catfishing Greens. Sometime all you need without chims or pegs if facing Mono treant. Toss in a blaze or fireball and you’ll probably win if they aren’t using Rust armor.

There are a lot of Small tips and advanced strategies I could give out. Most related to going lower such as

  • When and why you might not what to rebuild pillage damage.
  • Which spells when were how
  • Guild to losing land
  • Using items on yourself is not always a bad thing

And lots of other crap like what to change if you use an alchemist or merchant or other potential good heroes, how many troops is the minimum to take a fort and other stuff like that. But I am currently thinking that I probably never will teach that stuff. The reason being that, to me, this game is fun and has remained fun over the years BECAUSE I have never yet run out of new things to figure out and learn. So I doubt you’ll see me ruining your fun any time soon If you take the info and add it to the last few tips here at the end you’ll be chalking up finish tallies that’ll make all the girls wet in no time. Trust me.

Just remember that attaining the balance in aggressiveness is the key to winning wars. Be too aggressive and you’ll die. Not aggressive enough and you’ll lose the war and if you’re not dead anyway then a lot of your guild mates are. I’ve probably died more times then the entire teaching staff combined so I can tell you risking death is the only real way to learn just how far you can stick your neck out without getting your head chopped off.

You should probably save a copy of this somewhere so when war come to you or you go out and find it and you decide to go for the glory of Catfishing you can reread it. BUT when you come to this point I want you to lock away everything you ever learned about playing this game except the basic mechanics and read this all again. BECAUSE Catfishing is, in every way possible, simply anti-ranking.