Update II: Note that this article is for Version 1.2.8 and that there is now a *new* version 1.3.1 available! It includes bonus arena gold every 6 hours, online backup of your stats and heroes, weapons etc. and also has different difficulties in the arena for those of you that think it is too easy! See the GoodTeam Studio page on FaceBook for the latest info: https://www.facebook.com/GoodTeamStudio.
Now I have downloaded v1.3.1, it seems there are a few changes – coins earned from killing soldiers are now back to the old values! This means that Shirtless Swordsmen give a paltry 5 coins when you kill them, and the others give 6, 7, 10 for Yellow Rebel, Raider/Hussar and Guard/Knight respectively. So beware! You now have to plan your selection of soldiers more carefully! The *goodnews* is that the enemies’ strength is also back to the old values, so they are comparatively weaker, although mini-bosses are back to their old ways of being annoyingly tough! (But super slow) Some arena maps may give you a multiplier on the coins gained from enemies due to the balancing of gameplay they seem to have implemented.
Also, you can now farm arena gold twice as fast – play in the Elite field and drop down to rank 1000 or lower, or whatever you can beat. Just win the match against the person and you get 15*2 = 30 arena gold!
The Common Field I have discovered only gives you 10 arena gold and a maximum of 20,000 crystals for completing the 40 waves! (Even though it said I made 31,515 crystals in the first screen!)
The Elite FIeld will give you 30 arena gold and I haven’t found the maximum crystals yet… Crystal counts are up by the way – you earn more than you used to in version 1.2.8 for the same amount of waves completed!
I may make a new article as this one will become ridiculously long and messy if I keep tacking things on, not to mention all the cross referencing of different areas within the article! Feel free to read the comments for the new stuff in the mean time.
Update: This article is now kind of like a wiki, except that I have to do all the editing! If you have any valuable information to share, please do and I will add it to the article. People who “contribute” will be listed.
I haven’t completely finished this article, however I have currently stopped playing games on my phone and thought I’d better post this before it becomes a relic on my hard drive, like my outdated 1.18 and 1.19 articles… 🙂 At 7200+ words this is longer than any essay I’ve ever written! I hope you can find something interesting in amongst the jungle of this “comprehensive” guide.
Empire Defense II is a tower defence style game made by GoodTeam Studio. It is a game for the Android platform; tower defence games are well suited to the touchscreen interface. It is loosely based around some Asian dynasty story with characters like Liu Bei, Guan Yu, Cao Cao and Lv Bu to name a few. These characters are your “hero” which you protect with soldiers. A nice thing about this game is that you get to choose the path the enemy takes, so you can try many different strategies on the same map. I’m assuming you have the basics of how to play tower defence games; even if this is your first one, it is fairly easy to pick up.
The main aim of the game is to survive as many waves as you can without your hero losing too much health. There are two modes – “story”, and “arena”. You begin in story mode with Liu Bei; the first map is a training session which teaches you the basics of the game, i.e. how to move your character, how to add soldiers and how to use your hero’s special skill. After this, you begin the journey of Liu Bei, Gaun Yu and Zhangfei to “bring peace to the lands”. Your progress in the current map/battle will be saved at the wave number you last started. Upon re-entering story mode, you are given a choice to continue your last battle or begin a new one. You have to survive all the waves in a particular map before you are allowed to attempt the next map, however you can re-play any maps you have already completed.
There are four difficulty levels in story mode – Leisure, Skilled, Proficient and Hero. You need to finish the story using Leisure or Skilled (or both) before you can attempt the harder difficulties. Once you unlock Proficient and Hero, you can complete the maps in any order you like. As you progress in the story, the enemy gets tougher in relation to the difficulty selected – i.e. the last map in “Leisure” is probably more difficult than the first in “Skilled” or even Proficient. Details about the difficulties are as follows:
Leisure: Basically this is beginner difficulty. The first few maps have only 20 or 30 waves, the rest have 40 waves. If you are beginning, this is the difficulty to choose, as the enemy units are fairly weak which is good, as your hero and soldiers won’t be super strong either. It is better to complete the map rather than having your hero die and having to restart from wave 1.
Skilled: Although this sounds way more difficult than “Leisure”, it is the equivalent of “Moderate”. You get 40 waves for every map, and as expected, the enemy units are tougher. Once you acquire a few upgrades, you can try this difficulty. If you complete a map on Skilled, you get more crystals and experience points than completing the same map on Leisure.
Proficient: “Hard” difficulty with 50 waves per map. I think late in the story, the last 10 waves are the same as each other for each map… More crystals and experience for completing levels on Proficient as compared to lower difficulties.
Hero: A “Very Hard” difficulty with 50 gruelling waves of very tough enemies. By the time you are able to complete the last map on Hero, you will have played a lot of Empire Defense II! You get the most crystals and experience from maps on this difficulty.
Another thing to note with the story mode is that you get progressively more crystals and experience for completing maps later on in the story. This also affects how many crystals are gained from the arena mode!
The arena mode is unlocked after you complete the first “real” battle in story mode. First time users are shown a tutorial which teaches you the basics about how the arena works. It can be quite confusing at first, and you don’t get to see the tutorial again! I will try to explain the arena for you. Note that you don’t actually battle someone in real time – it is just comparing power scores and honour for performance in the various arena maps.
When you first enter the arena you are shown a “home” screen. Up top are your avatar, name and rank group. Choose your name and avatar carefully, as you cannot change it later on! The little picture under you name is just an indicator of which ranking group you are in (eg top 5000-2500) and it determines how many crystals the arena grants you. Also shown along the top of screen are your “arena gold” and crystals. Along the bottom of screen are some icons where you can view reports/news, visit the store, equip your hero(s) and complete missions (for beginners). Do not “get revenge” when reports show up, as it usually is not worth the cost, and you could still “lose”.
In the middle of the home screen are two icons: a “castle” and a crossed swords battle symbol. The castle is where the arena grants you a certain number of crystals every six hours. A timer counts down to 0 where it changes to a “Collect” button. (The question mark takes you to a web page with useful info) Click this button to deposit the crystals into your main bank (top of screen). Note that if someone defeats you in the arena then the number of crystals in the castle will decrease. Once your crystals are in your main bank, they cannot be taken by other players. Seeing your castle “on fire” is merely an annoyance that you should mostly ignore (and the reports as well). I once wasted 123,000 crystals because I accidentally clicked “fight” after checking the “revenge” details. Simple solution, don’t click revenge J
The battle symbol is where you enter the ranking list. You it also shows you your power, rank and win/played ratio. Click on the battle symbol to go to the ranking list.
A new symbol is shown at top left of screen – it is your arena ticket(s). You get one every hour and can store a maximum of five. Under this is a header which explains the various columns: (the rank group symbol is shown at far left)
Rank: Your rank number compared to everyone else.
Name: Self explanatory, you see some odd ones and some exact same ones here.
Honour: A number that determines your rank in the arena. You gain or lose honour depending on the rank difference between you and another player. If players have the same honour, then the rank depends on who has the higher power. You gain honour for beating higher ranked players. You lose honour for losing against higher or lower ranked players. Your honour doesn’t change if you beat a lower ranked opponent or if someone battles you and loses. Eg. If you win against a player ranked at 50 and your rank is 100, you get 50 honour. If you lose against a player ranked at 90 or 110 you lose 10 honour. If you win against a player ranked 110 you get 0 honour. If the player at 110 fights you and wins, they get 10 honour and you lose 10 honour. If player 90 beats you, you lose 0 honour.
Power: A number that depends on how well you perform in the battle. The power number determines who wins and loses a battle. How much power you get depends on how much unused money you have in the battle, how many units you killed and some other factors I am not sure of. Note that selling soldiers in the battle reduces your power, and you can actually get a negative power if you keep selling and replacing soldiers! The best estimate for your power is to multiply the coins you have in the battle by 10. As long as you don’t sell any soldiers, you are guaranteed to get at least this power. The aim of the battle is to get a larger power than the player you clicked on! So if they have a power of 50,000, you need at least 5000 coins to be sure of victory, although you can still win with less coins if you’ve killed enough enemy units. The power score shown next to your name is your highest power achieved in the last 6 hours. If you don’t play an arena battle for more than 6 hours, the power diminishes at 10% per hour.
The crystal symbol: Shown on the far right, this just tells you if the other players’ arena castle has crystals you can take by defeating their power score. Note how yours is also shown! If a player’s castle has already been raided, you get less crystals from it if you win. After 3 raids, the crystals are not available for taking. Higher rank group has more crystals in their arena castle = more for you if you win!
The best way to fight arena is to select the closest player with a higher rank, crystals and preferably a low power score! For beginners, you can fight players with a way higher rank to get to the top 500 quicker, as rank 4128 doesn’t offer as much crystal taking ability. Once you have selected an opponent, click fight! It will cost one ticket and some crystals equal to rank difference x10.
You are presented a screen where you can select you hero and soldiers you will take into battle. For beginners you will only have Liu Bei and the four basic soldiers (spearman, archer, witch and crossbow). You can also visit the equipment room and store.
When the battle begins, you get a random arena map, a certain enemy set and coins. You move your hero and place/upgrade soldiers like you do in story mode. The maximum arena wave is 80, however you won’t get there unless you have the most expensive and powerful items/soldiers/hero. The game plays through and you can keep an eye on your coins and hero’s health. When your hero dies or you quit from the menu, the first box gives you crystals and experience (and stars which don’t really matter in arena). The next box will show you your power score compared to your opponent. The loser is crossed out. You may also be awarded arena gold and “plunder” i.e. castle raid. Honour gained/lost is also shown here.
Arena Battle Hints and Tips:
• You get more crystals (up to double) in the first box when you quit from the menu before your hero dies. Having 1 health or full health doesn’t make a difference.
• Having a saved battle on the furthest map in story mode gives you up to double the crystals as compared to having one at the beginning. (Difficulty doesn’t matter as far as I know)
• Save your hero’s special skill for levels 5, 10, 15, 20 etc. at first since they contain bosses which can take away up to 10 health and are really fast and tough to kill.
• You get 15 arena gold for defeating higher ranked opponents but only 5 for defeating lower ranked opponents. You get 0 for losing.
• Try to avoid having to sell and replace soldiers as you waste coins and lose power. For example, spear man at 50coins + 80coins + 170coins is fully upgraded spearman =300coins or = 3000 points (power). If you sell for 225 coins you just lowerd your power score -3000 points and got +225 coins (2250 points) so you net -750 power from selling.
• You can swap heroes in the middle of a story mode battle by playing an arena map with a different hero then going back to the saved game.
Hopefully now you have an understanding of how the arena mode works. If you find it difficult to defeat the first few waves, stay at rank 4128 and defeat players with 0 power if only to get 15 arena gold – this comes in useful later on! Remember if you quit at wave 1 with your 300 coins, you still get 3000 power!
Equipment and Store:
Now we shall look at some other features of this game – notably the Equipment screen and the Store.
The Equipment screen is where you can add weapons, armour, “horse” and one-time items (consumables) to your hero. But before you can do any of that, you must buy them from the store! This is what crystals and arena gold is for.
The first tab in the Store contains soldiers. You can unlock and upgrade soldiers here. The little number on the soldier’s icon is how many coins it costs in the battle. Soldiers will be detailed later on; that said, hammer soldiers are a valuable purchase since they haven’t been nerfed unlike the Taoist priest, which is now weaker and more expensive than in previous versions.
The “General” tab is where you can unlock different heroes. Click on a hero to view details. The special skill descriptions can be vague at times, so I will detail what I know later on. A good hero to save up for is X.Guan Yu, as he has possibly the most powerful skill, and doesn’t cost too much relative to the bottom right four.
The “Item” tab has four different categories – weapon, armour, horse and consumables. There are many many weapons to choose from – so many that even I haven’t and can’t afford to unlock them all. Some may only be purchased by arena gold and can take months to save up for! Take note of the weapon’s “skill” which is a vague phrase under all the other stats. Also note what bonuses it gives to soldiers, etc. Don’t select one that gives bonuses to soldiers you aren’t going to use! Weapons can be upgraded here as well.
Armour allows you to give more health to your hero and also contains other bonuses. I select armour mainly for the bonuses, as you get more health from levelling up your hero. You may notice things like Santa hats giving better bonuses than seemingly more “warrior-like” armour, however these are from additions to the game over its development.
The “Horse” section is weird in that you get further away from horses as they get more expensive… Unfortunately you don’t get to see your horse change in the battle; even if you purchase a Heart Rocket or a Llama, Liu Bei will still be riding a horse in the battle. A great horse to get is Flying Sand – it is cheap to unlock and upgrade, which means you can get a lot of additional moves in battle, plus you get soldier bonuses that are quite useful. I would save arena gold for weapons, then horse, then armour.
The consumables section is for one time use items that you unlock once, then purchase with crystals for additional ones. Generally these aren’t value for crystals or arena gold, with the exception of Kylin Heart, which is great for levelling up when you progress to the last few maps of story mode. Make sure you can complete the map well before using the Kylin Heart! I wouldn’t advise it for arena maps, as they don’t give much experience compared to story mode.
The “Crystal” tab is where you can purchase crystals for real money, or get some free ones from TapJoy. If you have internet and space on your phone, some of the TapJoy offers are great for beginning as you can get a great little outfit to make story mode and the arena easier in the beginning.
General Strategy, Soldiers, Generals (Heroes), Weapons, Armour, Horses, Consumables, the queue order and spawning, sometimes hero attacks boss, critical hits and numbers
Liu Bei: The hero you begin with, and the main character of the “Story”. You don’t have to use him to complete the story mode; in fact it is amusing to see these characters in the dialogue when you are using a hero which is actually an “enemy” of Liu Bei in the story! Liu Bei isn’t very powerful by himself, however he does have a decent base amount of moves at 7. His special skill is Eightfold Spirit Blades – eight dragon like figures that emanate from him in a plus sign. They deal big damage to anything caught in their way, and they have no range limit. The downside is that they only move in the plus sign which is 3 tiles wide. Your strategy will be to make long straight lines (or zig-zag in the 3 tile width) to catch the enemy as they come out or approach Liu Bei.
Guan Yu: One of the “3 brothers” inc. Liu Bei and Zhangfei. His special skill is Dragon Breaking Heaven – five dragons strike among the enemy dealing big damage and stunning any that don’t die for a few seconds. Usually can take out most units unless they are spread around a huge map, in which case a few may be missed.
Zhangfei: The last of the 3 brothers, his special skill is Thunderous Serpent Blast – A big lightning bolt that darts between first and last enemies, dealing big damage to a max of about 20 units. The rest are super slow for a few seconds after. A somewhat limited skill due to the number limit.
Zhaoyun: A “good guy” in the story, his special skill is Whirlwind of Roses. This conjures up a spiral of red roses that deals massive damage to enemies in the radius. It seems to do more damage to enemies than the ones above, however this is only noticeable in very high arena wave numbers, i.e. 60+. Is somewhat range limited, and units that are missed are not affected at all.
Zhuge Liang: More of a “tactical” hero, he has trades attack for greater leadership. His Heterodox Divination stuns all enemies for 1 minute of game time, leaving your soldiers to do the attacking. This can be great when the enemies are in a soldier hotspot, but can suck if all the tough enemies are next to trees instead of spearmen…
Cao Cao: An “enemy” hero, his Origin of all Swords shoots about 20 swords into the sky, which rain down among enemies, dealing damage. Appears to be fairly weak in that there are only about 20 swords, and they don’t deal as much damage as some other skills. Works better when there are only a few enemies left, as all the swords go into the few enemies.
Xiahou Dun: With a skill that does nothing to kill enemies, you have to use this guy carefully. The Gold Shield skill makes him invincible for 20 seconds or so, meaning enemies run into him but cause no damage. Works well when enemies are bunched up, but borders on least effective skill when enemies are spread out. It sucks to see the shield run out just before a huge bunch of enemies hit.
Lv Bu: He used to be the most powerful hero, he has a lot of health and attack compared to the others above. His Super Man skill is also quite useful, as he becomes red and shoots many red firebolts in quick fashion for 20-30 seconds, which deal about double the damage of his normal stat + weapon. The key is to get a high attack weapon to maximise the effectiveness. (This also works on other heroes’ attack strength of the skill)
Diao Chan: Female heroes were introduced, however she is fairly weak and expensive to unlock. She does have a good range and horses. Her Sky and Fire creates large red fiery circles which cause enemies to burn fast. Another skill which really benefits from a high attack weapon as it is quite weak otherwise.
Shangxiang: Another female hero with middle of the range stats. Her special skill can be used and abused in the arena. The Tekken skill sends enemies back to the entrance while dealing a bit of damage. With higher wave numbers in the arena, you could possibly have only witches and gold miners and keep sending the enemies back to the start over and over while the miners make a ton of coins. I never really tested this out, however I do know that you can kill yourself on one wave if you keep sending elephants and eagle carriers back to the start, as they keep spawning more and more enemies. Eventually the hero cannot send them all back before the skill runs out as she can only attack one at a time and there are now more than 50 enemies. It looks odd to see an elephant spinning and flying through the air. They can also spin fast or slow, which is a randomness factor.
X.Liu Bei: Improved version of Lui Bei with faster skill recharge and a better skill. “Sword of the Devil” gives 8 blue dragons which do more damage (about 50%) than the red ones of normal Liu Bei. In the battle X.Liu Bei has a blue-ish aura surrounding him.
X.Guan Yu: Improved Guan Yu with double the dragons (10 blue ones) and half the recharge time. Possibly the most powerful skill as all enemies are hit and you can do it every 2-3 waves. The hero to get for people who are starting out and don’t want to wait or play so much to get 300,000 crystals. He only takes 70,000 to unlock; double Guan Yu, double the power! ***NOTE: he now only gives 6 Dragons in v1.3.1!***
X.Zhangfei: Improved version with “Devil’s Blast” skill. I’m pretty sure it was quite similar to the normal Zhangfei but with more damage and longer lasting slowness.
Xiang Yu: Expensive hero with very high attack, health and horses. His Shadows Burst skill gives you four shadow clones of Xiang Yu, placed randomly around the main hero. All “heroes” get infinite range and utilise a Monk type weapon with increased speed, and ~150% damage. If your normal weapon has abilities such as chain lightning or a slowing effect, these will be negated for the duration of the skill, which lasts for two minutes! (About 1 minute in FF mode) Could be very useful once you figure out which wave numbers will cause you trouble normally.
X.Zhao Yun: Basically Zhao Yun decided to take off his shirt and light himself on fire, plus he’s a bit bigger, with a massive sword. He has the highest leadership of all the heroes, and he is also the most expensive at 320,000 crystals. His Pomp skill appears to look like he throws his staff around his head like a boomerang. Any enemies within radius get hit with big damage, and every other enemy turns around and goes the wrong way for about 10 seconds. Quite amusing effects occur as any spawned enemies go the right way while the carrier still goes backwards. Bomb-Men can work in your favour as your soldiers are stunned during the 10 seconds, so the enemy gets to walk further backwards before things return to normal. Another amusing feature is that creepers that are looking around at the time they switch back to the proper direction move and look around at the same time. Needless to say this looks really silly.
Spearmen: A basic short ranged melee unit with fast, strong attacks in a tiny radius. Attacks ground units only. He is cheap to put on the battlefield. I think they upgraded this unit for the new arena difficulty, as he attacks super fast to the point of silliness and does a bit more damage. Once you get a few soldiers’ range bonuses, you can put him on a platform and watch as he stabs thin air because the range far exceeds the stabbing spear animation! (Of course the enemy still gets damaged)
Archer: Also supercharged, he now fires very fast to get every unit that walks out of his range on fire just before it is out of range. Can be useful in the beginning to space at intervals where the burn effect wears off, however he runs out of steam after wave 10 in the arena. Can shoot flying things as well as ground units.
Witch: An essential girl that conjures up icy spells that slow the enemy. Does a minuscule amount of damage, usually only enough to make a health bar appear. Only use to re-slow the enemy where the spell wears off. Place her where a small amount of her range is overlapping the track, otherwise she keeps casting at the leading enemy and the others behind get to walk faster for a while.
Crossbow: Not a good idea to get caught without one as archers just don’t do enough damage to flying units and are also distracted by ground units. The crossbow is not distracted by ground units. In fact, it will prefer to shoot at flying units even if the ground unit came out of the entrance first. Only the Ghost Archer (still attacks ground units first if they come out in front) or Terror Crossbow has similar air killing abilities. The Taoist priest isn’t too bad either.
Taoist Priest: Used to be the most versatile unit in the game, as they did big damage, had a large range and could attack ground and air units. In a previous version, they were weakened, range didn’t increase much when you upgraded them in battle, and the cost to upgrade in battle was also more expensive. Now it seems some of their strength is back, and the range increases normally. They are still slightly more expensive to upgrade in battle, however could be a great option for casual players since they only cost 12,000 crystals to unlock. The Taoist priest would be quite a good unit if you can get a Storm Guitar weapon. They use lighting so you get to see a lot of lightning chaining between enemies, which does look quite good.
Drum Soldiers: A tactical reinforcement type unit that cannot attack. Instead, he increases the attack and critical rate of soldiers within the radius. Quite useful to put on a platform as you can fit many soldiers within the radius, so you are trading one square for many soldiers with 15-25% better attack (only estimating from the critical numbers). More info on Drum Soldiers posted later.
Axeman: A ranged unit similar to the archer but with a different ability. He throws axes at ground and air units, with each throw having a chance at stunning the enemy. A stunned enemy has 3 yellow “stars” circling his head, and he will not be able to move for a few seconds. If you have enough axemen, you can almost immobilise the leading unit until they are destroyed. The damage from the axeman isn’t the greatest, so he may not be the best choice for leading an attack, but rather to keep lone units from reaching your hero, i.e. boss that runs ahead of the pack.
Monk: A unique unit with infinite range, however this comes at a cost – he can only attack in a “plus sign” direction of one tile width. This is similar to Liu Bei’s special skill limitation. The monk can attack both ground and air units, and may be useful when you can create long lines for him to shoot fireballs along. The monk is almost useless if firing across a path, as his spell takes time to charge up.
Hammer Soldiers: Could be the ultimate ground unit – they even compare to the elite Zambie Spearman for killing power. Swinging a massive steel ball above them, the Hammer Soldier delivers low damage at a very high rate, however, the biggest strength is that they can attack up to 20 units at once within their range. Normally you can’t fit 20 units inside the range, so not too much issue with number limitations. The downside is that they are double the cost of the spearman to put on the battle field, but are usually worth it (plus they are only 30,000 crystals to unlock). Get a few range upgrades and they become very effective. Upgrading this soldier is sort of an unknown, since “each level will be improved for the penetration properties” is kind of vague. Penetration of what? Another thing to watch (literally) is the spiky balls stagnating at random spots around your screen due to their speed, not to mention the bright blue flashes that appear under each enemy that is struck – and it does this for every strike, so you get a strobe light if you try to use them at night.
Catapult Soldier: It could just be called a catapult… This unit is now very redundant as it is very expensive to upgrade/place on the battle field, and it takes up 4 squares. Add this to the now tiny arena maps and it is only useful on one that has lots of space behind walls. Oh, and it has a minimum range… Given that you can’t see what map you’re getting, it is difficult to pick this unit. The Ghost Archer is more useful for that map in any case. The catapult does have a nice animation, and you get to leave explosive craters on the ground.
Gold Miner: The gold miner is able to generate coins in the battle. He cannot attack at all, so is best placed in an area of the map where the enemies will never come. The miner is the most expensive unit to place in the battle, with a starting cost of 200 coins, and upgrades of 550 and 1200 coins. He will generate 17, 34 and 51 gold per 30 seconds at base level. You can upgrade him in the store so that more gold is generated each time. With the shirtless swordsmen giving 250 gold and the addition of Zambie spearmen, the gold miner is not a worthy investment any longer unless you are able to survive high arena waves.
Ghost Archer: One of the most powerful soldiers and way more useful than the normal archer. Has a massive range and does high damage. The burn rate is also fantastic and lasts a very long time, plus it is green! He is also “smart” so he will shoot a non-burning enemy instead of wasting his skill on an enemy that is already burning like the normal archer does. Downside is a very slow fire rate and expensive to unlock. Has the worst animation that is like 3 frames long, the rest of the time he stands still. On fast forward speed, all you see is a tiny “glitch” and an arrow is flying. The animation is probably designed for normal speed, but is still really short even then! That said, this is probably the first elite soldier I would save up for.
Ice Vamp: Must have something to do with Edward Cullen’s white face how they got ice and vampires into this game, but she is quite useful. Combining the witch’s normal abilities with the axeman’s stun ability, this girl is very useful to congregate in quads near the end of the path so that the last enemies are frozen in place almost indefinitely. Has a very fast fire rate. I would select the Ice Vamp or Zambie Spearman as second elite soldier to unlock. Weird looking animation – looks like a penguin flapping while wearing a bathrobe and a party hat (which is supposed to be tied hair). The pellet she wears also flaps out really far for the action she performs, and when viewed from the back, there is a spike anomaly that flashes from her head…I have now figured this is part of the thing she uses to keep her hair tied up. I suppose I am being too picky with the graphics, but it does seem like they got a bit lazy with the new ones…
Terror Crossbow: From what I’ve tested, you should be terrified to waste your crystals on this – it seems to do nothing more than the standard crossbow and is really expensive to unlock. The “burst” ability doesn’t seem to do anything useful – it lets the crossbow shoot three bolts instead of just one, however these bolts do less damage so the overall gain isn’t much. The animation also has too many stationary parts – the wheels should go backwards when the bolt is fired. On the plus side, it does get lights when you upgrade it in the battle…
Zambie Spearmen: The last of the new “elite” or “royal” line up, he has a very high attack and a massive critical bonus. Same cost as spearman to put on the battle field, expensive to unlock. This soldier also gets 1/3 coins extra from the enemy if he is the one who kills it (last strike). Also seems to flash critical on every hit even though the real critical is every so often. At least you get to see how much damage he is doing! The downside is that he attacks a lot slower than the normal spearman. The graphics animation is too short and is just a bit of a jerk while he stands still most of the time. An amusing thing is that his massive yellow spear tip disappears during the attack motion…
Shirtless Swordsman: Speed: normal Toughness: high Health: -3 Coins: +250 Ability: None
He used to be the weakest enemy but has since been revised to be one of the strongest behind the Knight and battering ram. The good news is that he rewards you with 250 coins instead of 5 when you kill him. This is good for quickly getting soldiers at the start of a battle, since you will usually face up to 30 of these guys in the first 3 waves. However, for beginners in the arena, beware! They are difficult to kill and reduce your hero’s health by 3! You will possibly need to use your hero’s special skill early on to kill them, then pause the game and set up your soldiers so you can take out the next few waves.
Yellow Rebel: Speed: slow Toughness: low Health: -1 Coins: +60 Ability: None
Has been “improved” so now he is very weak and super-slow. They don’t usually make it past the first 10 squares in my games…even at wave 50 in arena! Carries a curved blade on the end of a stick. Would be better use harvesting crops with it…
Raider: Speed: normal Toughness: low Health: -1 Coins: +35 Ability: None
Leather-clad foot soldier with a short and fat sword.
Guardsman: Speed: normal Toughness: low-med Health: -1 Coins: +60 Ability: None
Wears iron armour and a blue cloak. Also carries a fat sword and a metal shield.
Creeper: Speed: normal Toughness: medium-high Health: -1 Coins: +70 Ability: Untargetable when moving
A unique unit that cannot be targeted by soldiers when moving since it is “underground”. Creepers can still get hit by splash damage attacks (eg. Witch, catapult) while underground, and any lasting effects such as burn will still work while they are underground. They pop up out of the ground at random intervals and are still. This is when your soldiers will target them. The good news is that usually all of them end up getting hit by your witches or ice vamps since the splash damage gets the ones travelling past the one that if being fired upon. Looks like he is wearing a bucket on his back which makes you wonder how he can actually move through the dirt…
Hussar: Speed: normal Toughness: low Health: -1 Coins: +35 Ability: None
Basically a raider on a pony. He carries his sword up high ready to slam it down hard onto the ground as your soldiers take him out…
Knight: Speed: fast Toughness: med-high Health: -1 Coins: +70 Ability: None
Like a guardsman on a horse, however he carries a large curved blade on a stick. Much tougher than the Hussar to kill.
Battering Ram: Speed: normal-fast Toughness: high Health: -1 Coins: +60 Ability: None
Some kind of battering ram that is used to attack men instead of castle doors, these will get you worked up as they come out first and die last. Your soldiers will be distracted trying to take them down while other units walk by. This is where Hammer soldiers excel, as they do not differentiate.
Elephant: Speed: slow-normal Toughness: medium-high Health: -3 Coins: +60 Ability: Spawn Raiders
Spawned raiders only provide +7 coins.
Elephant equipped with big butt shield and spears. Spawns 2 raiders every so often which can be annoying as they get closer to your hero.
Hang Glider: Speed: normal Toughness: low Health: -1 Coins: +16 Ability: None
Grey coloured man with no visible weapon floating upon a grey coloured hang glider – no wonder he is easy to take down!
Eagle Warrior: Speed: normal Toughness: medium Health: -1 Coins: +17 Ability: None
Brown fluffy and feathery flying unit with human legs, a spear and a dark grey face.
Eagle Carrier: Speed: slow-normal Toughness: medium Health: -4 Coins: +300 Ability: Spawn Hang Gliders
Spawned hang gliders only provide +7 coins.
They used to be the toughest and most annoying units, being similar to elephants except they are in the air! They seem slightly easier to kill now, however they are still annoying in the more difficult waves.
Fatman (Xuchu): Speed: slow-normal Toughness: low Health: -3 Coins: +200 Ability: Spawn 3 mini Xuchu when killed
Pale fat man with a big log/club over his shoulder. He used to be tougher than his offspring, however he is now much weaker than them!
Mini Xuchu: Speed: slow-normal Toughness: high Health: -3 Coins: +250 Ability: Being annoyingly tougher than Fatman and there are 3 of them!
These guys spawn when a Fatman is killed; they are much tougher and are usually spawned close to your hero! Particular difficult when there are 4 Fatmen that last until half way of the track.
Boom Man: Speed: fast-normal Toughness: high Health: -2 Coins: +150 Ability: Blow-Up and Stun
With the “new and improved” tiny arena maps, these guys usually come in pairs and can stun half your troops for a seemingly long time – while the rest of the enemy walks by. Stops appearing after wave 45 of arena and doesn’t seem to re-appear until after wave 70. There may be new enemy sets, however.
The bosses can appear in any wave, and you will be notified of this in the wave before, as well as via the “next wave” info at the top left of screen. Usually bosses are toughest at wave numbers like 10, 15, 20, etc. Weak bosses will usually be worth very little in coins; some boss Eagle Carriers are only worth 20 coins! Stronger bosses are usually worth more. The stronger bosses will also move very fast if they are Hussar, Raider, Knight, Guardsman or Elephant. All bosses glow with yellow light, although fat ones like elephants and bomb-men don’t show much light… Luckily they also have their name displayed above their head, so you can still easily identify where they are. Beware of fast bosses – they can take away 10 health!
Shirtless Swordsman (Boss): Speed: slow Toughness: low Health: -1 Coins: +300 Ability: None
Yellow Rebel (Boss): Speed: slow Toughness: low Health: -1 Coins: +19 Ability: None
Boom Man (Boss): Speed: slow-normal Toughness: low Health: -2 Coins: +80 Ability: Blow-Up and Stun
At this stage I won’t list all the stats for the weapon since you can see it in the game – I will give info on what the weapon actually does in the battle since you can’t see this before you unlock! As you may appreciate, not every weapon can be listed here since I don’t have the time to unlock them all! It would literally take a year to get all the arena gold and crystals. If you have unlocked a weapon that I haven’t, post in a comment and I will add it here 😉
Ice Sword: A witch-like weapon that is fairly cheap to unlock, and can be useful if you place your hero near the middle since you will require less witches in the battle. Soldiers get a small upgrade.
Fire fan: A little more expensive than the Ice Sword but is worth it! You get a burn weapon with ok damage and your soldiers get a boost. It’s kind of like a not-super crossbow…
Evil Sword: One of the more expensive weapons, it gives you a starry looking yellow ball that does ok damage to the enemy it hits. The special ability is a stun ability like the axeman, and unfortunately this ability only occurs the same as one axeman. It isn’t the greatest weapon since it only hits one enemy at a time and the ability doesn’t do much, but on the plus side you get 25% more crystals for every match and your soldiers are 45% faster (usually equates to 45% more damage for melee units and more usefulness for things like archers or crossbows). Leadership is ok for the cost of the weapon, however I would save up for something else if you want a “wow” weapon. The Evil Sword may in fact be a better choice if you are grinding to get a Regulus Sword or Kirin/Dragon, etc. It’s cost is lower and the 45% speed boost for all types of soldiers is probably more useful than specialist weapons like the Storm Guitar and Super Crossbow.
Snow’s Dancing: Gives your hero a witch-like weapon that slows down enemies and does big damage to one of them it hits. Other units in the area get hit by the splash effect for the slow ability. Witches get massive bonuses but you still can’t fill a whole map with them and be effective. The +150% damage against bosses is useful. At 2000 arena gold (I think) I would probably save up for something different…
Storm Guitar: Turns Taoist Priest into a powerful unit and also gives your hero a big chain lightning weapon with very large range. Leadership is also good so your soldiers will have increased attack. This weapon is great against the smaller units and as such you can complete lower waves with only your hero, however, because it is more effective when there are multiple enemies, it does not fair as well against high level bosses (mainly in arena). You can unlock a horse or armour that has increased damage against boss to help with this. It seems that the Storm Guitar fails when arena waves get to 40+ due to the reliance on using Taoist Priests and the fact that it is more of a “group damage” weapon. You may get overrun by large units. Consider using the Evil Sword as a lower cost alternative with more useful bonuses.
Super Crossbow: A very powerful burn weapon with a slow fire rate – you will not be able to use your hero by itself for any waves except wave 1! This being said, you will not ever reach its range limits except for very large maps, and your soldiers get a big boost from its leadership. Another plus is that normal crossbows become so powerful that you won’t have to worry about air units until high wave numbers! Note that Terror Crossbows do not get upgraded! The other good thing is that it is very effective at taking out that annoying boss that won’t die – pair this with a “damage against boss” item and bosses need to fear you! It probably does more damage to the boss than the Regulus sword, however the Regulus Sword is the better overall weapon.
Crutch Candy: Not sure what this one is, and I’m not going to play arena for a month to get it! If you have unlocked it, please let me know what it is 😉 One thing I can guess at is that it only damages ground units…and maybe, just maybe it has a slow ability (don’t quote me on this!)
Firecracker: Another Christmas edition weapon, I’m guessing this one does some kind of area damage to ground units only – perhaps like the catapult? For 1000 more arena gold, I choose to get the Regulus Sword.
Regulus Sword: Yep, it’s the best sword in the world! This one gives you the highest damage and leadership, and also costs the most to unlock. Do not under-estimate leadership with these big weapons, it can double or triple your soldier’s attack depending on the number! The Regulus Sword is like a chain lightning weapon, however it is probably 3-5 times more powerful than the Storm Guitar since it fires much quicker, has larger range and does more damage. Plus, it gives your soldiers enhanced abilities to boot! Still is slightly less effective against very high level bosses, however you can get a shield or horse to combat this. I would love to pair this with a Kirin!
• Grinding for crystals + arena gold: Once you get some good weapons and soldiers, you can begin to easily grind for more crystals/arena gold. You can use up all your moves in the first wave and place many soldiers by the end of the thrid wave. You can then probably leave your phone/tablet alone for quite a number of waves before you need to come back and tend to the battle! If you can get the Evil Sword and the Ghost Archers, this will be powerful enough to beat most people in the arena since they don’t always check their power score. Just add witches/ice vamp in the normal places, a few Ghost Archers around the track and then it is up to you if you want to add extra Hammer Soldiers or Zambie Spearmen.
• If you are stuck in story mode with “not enough coins” syndrome, you can “cheat” by exiting the battle during an easy wave and re-entering the saved game. The last wave starts from the beginning, however all the enemy units from before are still there! You can also recharge your hero skill with this cheat. Of course it can backfire if you are unable to kill all the units that are now flooding the path. Note that you have to exit before the last unit comes out of the entrance or else the game will just wait until you kill all the units on the map before sending anymore. You don’t gain anymore experience or crystals from this, all it allows you to do is finish the map if you are getting stuck.
• When you start a battle, two soldiers are locked in and you cannot change them unless…: “After we select out hero and hit next, 2 soldiers are selected by default and locked and if I don’t want those two soldiers in that map the simplest way is to select EQUIPMENT and again come back and select our hero again and keep doing it until we get our suitable soldiers”.
• You can swap heroes in the middle of a story mode battle by playing an arena map with a different hero then going back to the saved game.
• Sometimes it is possible to change the coins you have in a story mode battle by playing an arena match, getting as many coins before quitting, then continue your saved game in the story – the coins you had in the arena match is now the amount of coins you have in the story! I don’t know the parameters for this to work each time.
• You get more crystals (up to double) in an arena battle when you quit from the menu before your hero dies. Having 1 health or full health doesn’t make a difference.
• Having a saved battle on the furthest map in story mode gives you up to double the crystals in arena battles as compared to having a story mode game saved at the beginning. (Difficulty doesn’t matter as far as I know)
• When you get into the top 200 in arena, you may get to a stage where everyone above has a power score that is too high. Instead of playing lower ranked players, you sacrifice one battle to play against a person 100 ranks above you. This will net you -100 honour points, so you can go back to an area where you can raid peoples’ castles. Make sure to get to at least wave 10 in this battle just to make up for the 1000 crystal cost.
• If you are aiming for arena gold, go lower in rank and only play against the players closest above you so as not to shoot up too far. This way you can easily get the 15 arena gold without spending much time in the battle. You may also get some bonus loot!
• If you’re aiming for crystals in the arena, go to a rank area you are comfortable with so that you can easily raid peoples’ castles with minimal effort. Of course you may want to wait out for more waves to get the better crystal reward. An area where you can double the power of everyone around you means that you have little chance of being raided yourself. Tripe power is even safer!
• If you can’t be bothered playing too many arena matches but want a good amount of castle crystals, you can rank up and get a large power score – play a match until your hero dies and try not to waste coins on 10 soldiers just to get up only one more wave, etc. Then, simply start and exit an arena battle every 5-6 hours with the closest person just so your power score doesn’t diminish at the 10% rate. You should be able to hold your crystals for collection especially if you use the double or triple power tip.
• When playing a long arena battle, it is possible that your opponent is also in a battle, and they may finish before you! This could mean their power score is now higher than the one you saw, which could be a nasty surprise! It is also possible that they lose and are now ranked lower than you, meaning you only get 5 arena gold instead of 15.
• The way to get to rank 1 in the arena is to beat the player at #1 from rank 60 or so, since you can jump them in honour. If you are at number 2 and play number 1, you only get 1 honour, which may not be enough to pass them!
• If you care about your arena gold/crystals, you may want to take periodic screenshots of expensive heroes, items and how many crystals/gold you have if you’re saving a lot. This may help if your game resets for any reason. It seems the game remembers anything to do with arena gold since it is stored online, however anything crystal related is lost, usually happens after updating or during a big phone freeze/crash. Be nice to the person you are emailing and you should get at least some crystal compensation (once I actually got more than I had since they seem to give 500,000. Needless to say it went to unlocking Storm Guitar instead of re-unlocking other items… XD)
• When choosing a hero, it can be better to choose one with higher leadership over attack, as your soldiers benefit from leadership. Range is not that important when you get a decent weapon.
• The hero with higher base health/horses will level up a lot more than one with lower amounts of these. Lv Bu will end up with way more health than Liu Bei when fully levelled up.
• The number of stars you receive at the end of a battle aren’t really important, same goes for earning achievements – they don’t reward you with anything other than a pretty icon (unless there is a reward offered in the news).
• If you do want to get the “Complete all levels on each difficulty” achievement, then all you have to do is get up to the last map with Leisure of Skilled difficulty, then play the last map on Proficient and then Hero. You don’t actually have to do all the maps 3 times for the achievement!
• Try to avoid having to sell and replace soldiers (mainly in arena mode) as you waste coins and lose power. Eg: fully upgrading a soldier cost 300 coins and you sell it for 225 coins, therefore you lose 75 coins = 750 power. You then buy another soldier which takes even more power away – one Hammer Soldier cost 700 coins fully upgraded = -7000 power. Usually you can do this in story mode with little consequence aside from wasting coins, which you have plenty of these days.
• I’ve noticed that stats are sometimes missing the last digit – if your hero has 1000 attack, then it will be displayed as 100. Don’t be too concerned, the attack will still be 1000. The critical hits also seem to be missing the last digit at times, not that that affects anything, especially once you’re getting so many critical hits that they are just a red mess on the screen!
Common Terms, Phrases, Items, etc:
Switch Gold: This is the amount of coins you start with at the beginning of a match; i.e. wave 1. You usually start with 300, 600 or 750 coins in arena mode. Some items will give you extra switch gold, for example, if you use a consumable that gives you 500 switch gold, then you will start your next match with 500 extra coins. Say you get 300 in the beginning, then this item will let you have 800 (300+500) coins (switch gold).
Arena gold: The reward from winning in arena matches, the symbol is a piece of gold.
Battle coins/coins: The coins you recieve in the battle, used to buy soldeirs and gives you power for remaining coins at the end of the battle. The symbol in the battle is coins. I only use the term coins here so you don’t get confused with arena gold.
Note on bonuses: I have a feeling that bonuses can be stacked, but they only affect the base stat of the unit they upgrade. This means that if you have an item that gives a 30% speed bonus to soldiers, and another that gives a speed bonus of 15%, it means that the total speed is +45% of the base speed. If your hero has high leadership, then damage bonuses from items will make less of a difference due to the already high damage bonus given by the leadership.
This can also be seen when you already have accumulated many types of bonuses; if you already have a total speed bonus of +100%, then that extra 30% will actually only feel like 15% due to your soldiers effectively having a speed of 200% from the +100% bonus.
Here is a basic strategy I used on the Jiang Ling map (Leisure) with Ghost Archers and Liu Bei with only Flying Sands (no weapons, etc). Admittedly my Ghost Archers and Hammer Soldiers are at level 15, however you can still complete the map fine if you use all of it.
This is proof I played this game far too much…this is the strategy I used (Leisure) with my current hero X.Zhao Yun with Regulus Sword lvl 19, Iron Man armour, Flying Sand.
• Story Level 3-4: Jiang Ling Strategy using Lui Bei level 20, Fire Fan(+5), Thorn Armour(+4), Flying Sand(+8):
Save your hero skill for wave 40 so you can take out the 5 Bomb-Men (and a few battering rams). Note you will have to take the hit from the 25 rams in wave 39, however you should have enough health to survive. I managed to not take a hit until wave 39 using this strategy. You can replace all the crossbows with priests at wave 39 since there won’t be anymore flying enemies.
Testing the effect of Leadership and Drum Soldiers by Maneos:
Considering the benefits of leadership/drum soldiers, here are the results of my testings sessions. All the tests were done on the first level, in leisure difficulty. I’ve noted the value of the critical hits on the Blue Rebel (the guys with a blue short and a sword).
– Drum soldier(+5) :
See the other soldier for the effect of this unit.
Upgrading the lvl of the drum soldier will increase it’s effectivenes in damage (it’s about +10%/+20%/+30% for lvl 1/2/3 with a low leadership – see after).
The more leadership you have, the less the effect of this soldier on the other will be (about +30% with 200 leadership, about +15% with 1500 leadership).
– Spearmen(+10) :
208 1050 1400
752 1780 2070
1258 2170 2400
1519 2350 2620
The value are : Leadership of the hero, average crit from a lvl 3 spearman, average crit from a lvl 3 spearman + lvl 3 drum soldier.
Getting from lvl 1 to lvl 2 will increase the dmg of the spearman by about 70%.
Getting from lvl 1 to lvl 3 will increase the dmg of the spearman by about 190%.
The result is a linear function which can be approximated as :
AVGcrit(x) = 0.33 * a * x + 300 * a, where a is the lvl off the spearman and x is the leadership of your hero.
– Hammer soldier(+5) :
109 370 475
874 540 640
1519 660 785
The value are : Leadership of the hero, average crit from a lvl 3 hammer soldier, average crit from a lvl 3 hammer soldier + lvl 3 drum soldier.
Getting from lvl 1 to lvl 2 will increase the dmg of the hammer soldier by about 75%.
Getting from lvl 1 to lvl 3 will increase the dmg of the hammer soldier by about 230%.
The result is a linear function which can be approximated as :
AVGcrit(x) = 0.06 * a * x + 100 * a, where a is the lvl off the hammer soldier and x is the leadership of your hero.
– Taoist priest(+5) :
278 1030 1250
724 1240 1510
1481 1630 1820
The value are : Leadership of the hero, average crit from a lvl 3 Taoist priest, average crit from a lvl 3 Taoist priest + lvl 3 drum soldier.
Getting from lvl 1 to lvl 2 will increase the dmg of the Taoist priest by about 80%.
Getting from lvl 1 to lvl 3 will increase the dmg of the Taoist priest by about 230%.
The result is a linear function which can be approximated as :
AVGcrit(x) = 0.16 * a * x + 266 * a, where a is the lvl off the Taoist priest and x is the leadership of your hero.
This is all for now, hopefully you got some useful info if you play this game a lot or if you are just beginning!
If you have some tips not mentioned, I will try to add them at the bottom; simply make a comment which will be useful enough!
Edit: If you are stuck on a map, describe it to me (or post its name) and perhaps I can try and find a strategy for you! Be sure to list what items you have, and what difficulty you are playing on!
Walter: Unlocked the Terror Crossbow and gave info on the “Burst” ability.
Maneos: Info regarding Xiang Yu and X.Liu Bei. Also did testing with the Drum Soldier and hero Leadership.
Donny: Review on Evil Sword vs Storm Guitar, finding Evil Sword more useful/better value.
Showyodo: Info on selling soldiers and loss of power score.
Abhishek: Tip on how to get your 6 preferred soldiers in battles.
My Google doc for item upgrades: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Ajl5ls_061bTdGY5d3YxOEpUR1BzM3VHZDdHM2hDdkE#gid=0
Google doc created by showyodo with arena stats for power testing, etc: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AuGa63QpgLjydEJ0U2lEbFZ5SzhEV0xHMV9zZ1ptZkE&usp=sharing#gid=0
Feel free to add to them!