Maerlyn Style White
Written by Maerlyn, posted by Ninarx
I've played white for a very, very long time now. I have always been a rankwhore and most of the time I have been rather succesful with it (as long as there was no block beating the crap out of me). However, because of countless online BBQs, I am done with ranking (hopefully forever).
Quite often I have been asked by other players about some tips for white, but never posted any guides. Well, looks like it's time.
I'm not giving you any certain stacking to follow, because it all depends on your land size, the numbers of attacks you get by different colors, your rank and the time of the reset. So if something I suggest doesn't work well, try something else. Analyse your battles and eliminate the reason why you lost land (if you did).
Your top stack should always and under any circumstances be AA (except if you are kickstarting, then I'd suggest SW top for the first 2-2.5 weeks of the reset, but that's a whole different chapter). AAs will also be your only flying stack for two reasons: Phoenix and Devils. In case someone attacks (counters) you with a short stacking and heavy either one of them you'll lose your other flying stack (be it Doms, Angel or whatever) to the burst/counter.
Top ground are two possibilities: SW or Unicorns. Usually at the beginning you willl prefer SWs there, because you'll get more green attacks. Later on you'll like Unis because the nethers will become a problem. As soon as you can afford to defend with carpet, get Unis top ground.
Third and Fourth you want the other one of the two (SW/Uni) and KTs. But this doesn't mean that KTs will always be fourth. Experiment with them. In the beginning I'd rather go SW, KTs, Unis. Later in the reset Unis, KTs, SWs .
Now your stacking is becoming more difficult. The most safe, but most likely too expensive version, would be to get MRs here. But Werebear are nice too. You can also get Medusa and Knight fifth. Knight mainly in the beginning of the reset when they come cheap with Gate, Werebear later. Medusa are very nice units, but can be countered hard. So if you use them, CHANGE THEIR POSITION after every run.
Once you use carpet in defense you can have Knight higher, because of their large shield ability. Early on Crusader might do nice too because they are cheap and come in big numbers and large shield is a good ability. I don't recommend using Paladin, as we will use The Holy Light very much anyway. Because of the new THL I prefer MELEE type attacks.
As soon as you can afford them, Titan do REALLY well in offense. However, they are really expensive to cast and especially to upkeep. Titan should be the last thing you cast (before THL) and right after attacking you need to disband them. Don't forget this or you'll be in income troubles. If you use carpet in defense they can be stacked fifth, if not I would recommend stacking them lower. But most likely once you have got enough land to be able to afford Titan, you can also afford the carpets.
Below the MELEE stacks you'll need some ranged ones to counter the pure Wraith attackers by fatiguing them. MRs are perfect here, Nymph are nice too (try to get them from the Black Market too) as are Soul Speakers and Psychic Wisp (PW). Just don't stack SS or PW higher than eighth, better ninth or tenth, as they can easily lose you the battle. I also like High Priests now. Because THL doesn't give HOLY attack to RANGED anymore and they have got HOLY all the time. I don't like Catapults anymore because they are very expensive and without the HOLY attack type they don't really work for me.
Stack very close. This is important for two tricks you are gonna use later on. This means your AAs should be between 9% and 11% of your power and your last stack should have between 6% and 8% of your power.
As you'll see it depends a lot on your current position, so I'll advice you on how to get into a good one!
Start the reset with a fast research (if you don't know how to do a fast one get someone to tell you, e.g. Wiki:Researching for dummies). You should be done with research somewhere between 1230 and 1400 turns. Then rebuild your country by using a lot of Workshops and building Farms last. Build barriers up to 30-50% protection (is 1% of land) and get an army. For the beginning Gate plus KTs, HPs and SS and damage items will do well. Defend with Blinding Flash/Satchel of Mist.
Now try to make as much land as possible. You need to get to 3.5k to 4k fast in order to participate in the top early on. You need to get to the top early on, because there are the most tasty nethers to feed on. For the first run you can attack whoever you want. Either start with pure Frogs and go for targets with no army or go for mages with high land/low power ratio and use damage items and the Gate army mentioned above.
After you finished your first run, get Love and Peace and keep it running ALL THE TIME. Recast it 10 turns before it runs out. I start with 44.99% nodes and lower them as time goes on. I also keep around 10% Workshops, depending on how many attacks you can do.
Spend all your money on items and in the Spawning Hatchery. Get a few Satchels for defense first and get offensive items like Potion of Valor, Flask of Holy Water and if you use MRs, Nymphs, SS and stuff use Monkey Brains. Missile Shields are good if you lose a lot of battles due to more damage dealt to you. Get some Nymphs and MRs in the hatchery and cast the rest.
Once you manage to get above 4k land start collecting carpets and build your bars to max. Once you've reached max bars defend with carpet/Blinding Flash or carpet/Sword of Light depending whether green or black is the bigger threat. Set carpets at 90% because you won't use them when you get devilled. From this moment on you shouldn't lose any land besides to BBQs or lucky online hits.
Plan all steps carefully and open all windows, including charging, build and all casting windows. You need to be very, very fast. The higher you are the more people are watching you. Set Carpet/BF on defense at 50% before you start your run.
Plan your attack run carefully. Save all battle reports on black mages you hit. The best would be if you do this together with your guild. I attack only blacks, and I siege most of the time. In the first month you'll attack a lot of new mages, later on you will nearly always know what he is stacking.
Attack new nether mages (meaning those you don't know the stacking) at the end of your run, because they might end the run sooner than you want. Try to increase your battle report collection steadily though and DON'T attack the same mage in two consecutive runs. He might get angry and nethers can do nasty things to you.
Because you stacked close you can now easily adapt your stacking to your targets. You don't want his URs to hit ANYTHING besides your Unis. You never ever want his Lichs/Efreeti hit your Medusas (but you want your Medusas to hit them). You want your units with large shield (KTs, Knights, etc) to be hit by RANGED stacks. You want your SWs to be hit by units with high primary/low secondary and so on and so on.
Check out your units, check out his units. Read BRs and learn. If you don't know his stacking go for reg (except for the starting run) if you know his stacking, or feel good, go for a siege. Your Titans got SIEGE anyway and THL should win you the battle.
Doing this, you can attack people down to 50% of your usual power, or even lower, and still win. If you see a tasty all skels/zombies nether 200k below your 80% then disband a few SS or other stuff to get there before you need to try the UR/Carpet/DoS guy. If done carefully you'll make 300-400 acres per run in the beginning and once you know your targets, 500-700 acres.
I use Web of the Spider Woman plus one of the mentioned items in attack. Web because it is very cheap, nethers tend to use a lot of barriers, white spells are useless due to their Shroud of Darkness enchantment, and a succesful Web can prevent a lot of nether stacks from hitting at all. Other nice spells if you need them or know he ain't got full bars are Call Hurricane and Rust Armor. If you know for sure that he runs no barriers, go for a siege and use carpet. You will win for sure and mostly won't take any damage at all. I love this kind of target.
Once you are done, dispel THL (forget this once and you are toasted), disband your Titans and maybe some other units. Build (nodes first), mana charge until there are 40-60 (plus the number of barriers to build) turns left (depending on your land size) don't forget to recast L&P if necessary. Build barriers. Cast your units, starting with simple/off-color first, ending with SWs, Gate, Titans. Cast THL once you are finished. You can do this with the next 10 turns you get though, if needed. Rechange your assignment to carpets at 90% (you don't want your carpetsto be triggered by a devil counter or you'll lose half your army if the nether runs a short stacking).
The next 24 hours, you are gonna leave your comp running. Stay in IRC and let your guild mates/allies have an eye on you to highlight if you have been devilled because you'll be devilled a lot. BUT because you stacked so close and run THL you wont lose any land. Be careful though to recast your AAs as soon as you been devilled because you might not block the second devil, and will very, very likely lose the third one. This is no big mouth talking. Maerlyn blocks 80% of the devil attacks I receive and once you get the hang on it it makes you thrilled.
Remember, once you've passed 5k land it gets dangerous and once you've passed 6k land you'll be devilled after every run. The most dangerous time is the last hours before your counters expire, so stay online then. Do some work on the computer, check the Black Market and refresh your mage every ten minutes.
Don't overtarget any nether and write nice arrows. If someone feels annoyed, let him go for a week. You have got enough targets and if he starts multi-devilling you and can do three devil attacks you are toasted, because after him all the other counters will come and you can say goodbye to 1k land.
However, if this ever happens, don't give up. You can make a lot of land with this strat and I lost a lot of land to mass-devil-counter-BBQs.
Sometimes when you make too much land in too little time and annoy every nether in the top 100 twice in a row, take a break. Do one turn cycle of mana charging. Fill your storage. Get more MRs and stuff. It doesn't hurt once in a while but don't be too greedy.
Other Strategy Tips
Once you're in the top 10 (and given there is no block that prevents you from doing so you'll be there faster than you can imagine) be very careful. Everyone will watch you from now on. So as long as possible I'd suggest you stay at about rank 12. But once it's neccesary , get up to the top three if possible. You won't receive any randoms there but you'll receive a lot of online hits. So plan your runs very, very carefully. Do like 2-3 sieges to targets you know and summon up again fast. Up there a well done siege will earn you around 150-200 acres, so 2-3 is enough. Don't even dare to be greedy. you'll get online BBQed and then countered like hell. Everybody likes to jump on the fat top whitey.
Now if you really managed to get up there you will have loads of geld (due to your landsize and L&P). Don't bother gelding (except for the last 2 weeks before Arma) since L&P won't help then and you'll have loads of geld anyway. A high level Alchemist might be good now too as you have got enough mana.
What you do now depends on your guild. If your guild has got a few gelders/hero heavy mages you should keep bouncing on all those fat nethers that no one else besides you will hit. Try to get your hands on a good unique and maybe some spells now. I dont ever buy MCs because I want to be a battle mage and want to help my guild but buying MCs might be wise here too.
If however you are alone up there, get some heroes because without the help of your gelding guild members suddenly a hero heavy white will arrive and beat the crap out of you. In this case you are going to get an Alchemist first and then the white heroes that won't command your top stack. Then a Priestess and the rest (Warlord, Amazon...)
Stop attacking nethers then and feed on whatever is tasty. Your guild should provide you with sufficient battle reports about targets you can feed on. Every colour can be beaten by white (even green). However, if you don't manage to get carpets through his bars do regs instead. Adapt your stacking to your new threats/targets/your heros. Be VERY careful if you are alone. Do very few attacks and don't touch the dominating block or you'll be BBQed faster than you can imagine.
I am not going into a detailed hall strat now (pretty similar for all colours) but white can lay his hands on many cheap units with a lot of power. SS being great here and Crusaders come in masses for the last recruiting. You should end Arma with no pop (because fully recruited), no geld and very little mana left. So plan carefully.
Hope this helps and hope you have fun,