Grepolis General Defense Guide by Asjo
Defense is pivotal in a conquest universe, unless you are surrounded by active alliance-members who can retake your city within 12 hours of its capture (normally, it?s 24 hours, but this is a 2x speed universe). Granted, no matter how are you defend, some people can capture your city if they want to, but the point is to discourage attacks and make sure other targets would be more viable.
While your city is still small, you main worry will probably be that of being farmed (attacked for resources/battle points) by bigger player. Bigger players will attack you to gain battle points and possibly to take your resources. The key to making yourself an unattractive target is to have a high level city wall, which will make your defender much more cost-effective and thereby my attacks less cost-effective. Therefore, the attacker would rather attack someone else, with worse defense and lower city walls. Once your city grows beyond 5000 points, you will want to have both tower (depending on city strategy, see multi-city guide) and level 25 city as it will otherwise be a juicy target because of being such a big city. Having such good defenses also means you can focus a bit less on defensive troops and spend more of your available population on attacking units.
Defensive unit mix
When you create defense, you have to consider the defensive properties of units. It?s important to have the right mix of units to defend against different attacks. One thing you should probably take note of is the armies of the big players close to you, since they will be the ones trying to farm you and they will also be the most likely to launch a conquest attack, since a city close to their own might be convenient and with short travel distance they will be more likely to succeed. Therefore, if you adjust your unit mix to their army rather than making a ?generalized? unit mix, it will likely benefit you. Mind you, if you have a big defensive army, it should not be necessary to adapt to individual players like this.
You can espect mainly to face two different kinds of attacks: attacks with only one unit-type (this is people who have a big offensive army and have enough units of one type to overwhelm you) and attacks with three unit-types times but with one main unit type (this is people who attack with their full army to have overwhelming numbers, but who prefer one type of unit). To rank which kind of units you are likely to defend against:
5. Mythical units
If you look at the Grepolis unit table, you can see the attack-type that these units use. There are three different: blunt, sharp and ranged.
Slingers are ranged attackers, so you need defenders who do well against them. Swordsmen are the perfect counter to slingers since they have 30 in ranged defense. However, if you only have swordsmen, the attacker will see this when he spies you and simply attack with another type of units. Since swordsmen only have 8 in defense against sharp attacks, chariots or hoplites do very well against them. So, this means that you have to have something against sharp units as well. Archers are the units you want to use against sharp units, since they have 25 in defense against sharp units. Someone might attack with horsemen, so you need something to defend against blunt attacks as well. Here, your choice is between chariots and hoplites. And thus, you will end up with a balanced mix of units for defense, since you never know what you will be up against.
While you are certain that you need swordsmen and archers, it?s never clear whether to choose hoplites or chariots. If you compare the two units in their overall defensive values (stats against all attack-types combined), it looks as such:
Overall defense value: 37
Resources per defense value: 6
Overall defense value: 148
Resources per defense point: 6,5
As you can see, hoplites are slightly cheaper for defense. In terms of population cost, both units are completely even, with 37 defend points per farm space. What could make chariots preferable, though, is that they are really good against horsemen and so will likely be able to discourage attacks from those. Hoplites are more general defenders, only with a slight weakness against ranged attacks. However, one thing that you have to keep in mind is that hoplites and chariots are versatile units that can be used for both attack and defense. If you compare attack values, chariots cost 17,1 resources for every attack point while hoplites only cost 14 resources per attack point. Once again, hoplites are cheaper, but do keep in mind that chariots are faster when you attack on your own island, can carry more loot (8 times as much, despite only costing 4,2 times as much) and are less likely to die in marginal situations you attack a weak defender who might be able to kill two hoplites but cannot kill a chariot. Another factor to consider is your resources balance. If you find it hard to balance your resources while using hoplites for defense (and occational attacks), you might want ot use chariots instead.
So, if we need to define a balanced defensive, it would be:
10 swordsmen / 5 archers / 5 holites
If you combine all the defensive values, you will have the followin ratio:
This defensive is best against ranged attackers, since you will be most likely to face them and since an attack solely consisting of slingers will be more powerful (as slingers have more attack points per population that other attackers). However, it is not too weak against blunt nor sharp attacks.
When you are being attacked, always make sure to activate militia (city overview ? farm ? enlist). The attacked will not gain any battle points for killing militia, but you will gain battle points for killing his units with your militia. Once militia is summoned, it will take three hours before they disappear and before you can summon militia again. So, if someone is attacking you with several attacks and it takes them more than three hours to reach your city, make sure to summon militia in advance (for instance, once the timer shows that there is 2:59:55 left for the incoming attack) so that you will have militia to face the first attack but can also summon the militia for the second attack).
Of course, if you have any good defensive spells such as Desire (-10% strength for attackers), Zeus? Rage (kills 10-30% of attacking units), Sea Storm (kills 10-30% of attacking ships), make sure to cast these. When you can them, you need to click on the icon for attack shown in your troop movement overview, not the city name, which is also clickable.
Role of offensive units
Any time you can, you will want to avoid defending with offensive units, since they are not at all cost-effective to defend with, while they still provide battle points for the attacker, making it more attractive to attack you. So, if you are being attacked, send them to support some 175 point city on your island to get them out of the city (or, if you can be online shortly before the attack, simply send it out of the city right before the attack and recall it afterward, which is a safer option). If you fear that attacks will come while you are offline and you want to keep your transport ships (these will be killed if an attacker managed to kill all your units and brings light ships to attack you as well) and offensive units safe, you can attack a 175 point player who is on a distance island so that the travel time means that the attack will return back when you are online again. Send all your offensive ships along with the offensive troops and transport ships. This is very effective since it also means that if someone captures your city, your offensive troops will attack him once they return. If your city is lost while your troops are out supporting another city, your troops will simply vanish.
Mythical units for defense
This is a quick defense-guide I made for internal use in my alliance a while ago. It was specifically targeted at players who had at least some knowledge of the game. The purpose was to avoid them becoming farms of anyone, and is made with a fairly new world in mind. In older worlds, where people make so-called ?nukes? consisting of unit only attack-type, I suppose you will be more likely to face horsemen than hoplites because of their higher attack per population.
As a bonus, I will add the defensive rankings of mythical units.
Most effective defenders (defense points per population)
1. Cerberus 90
2. Medusa 79
3. Pegasus 62
4. Centaur 55
5. Cyclop 53,7
6. Minotaur 51,1
7. Erineys 41,2
8. Manticore 20
9. Harpy 12,5
Cheapest defenders (resources per defense point)
1. Cerberus 2,1
2. Pegasus 2,6
3. Minotaur 3,3
4. Centaur 4,1
5. Cyclop 4,2
6. Medusa 5,2
7. Erineys 5,5
8. Manticore 12
9. Harpy 19,2
Note that it is not advisable to ever mass units such as the cyclops or centaurs for defense, as they are unbalanced defenders, and will very easily die against specific attackers. Pegasi are only really effective in big numbers when you know that the attacker is mainly using horsemen, but have the advantage of flying.
Medusa and minotaur are some of the most balanced defenders, and can be massed for defense, but medusas still need the support of a small number of swordsmen and minotaurs need the support of a small number of archers to act as a balanced, Cerberi are amazing defenders, but need the support of a good deal of archers.