An Evony Battle Guide, for players who want to understand more about battle mechanics, how troops interact, and logical army compositions to can work towards.
Follow this guide closely, and you will understand battlese much better, and soon be creating focused and powerful armies to crush your enemies! Muahaha!
Last Updated: January 11 2021.
Table of Contents:
- Battle Mechanics
- What to Build First?
- Army Compositions
- How to Increase Your Fighting Strength
There are 4 types of troops in Evony: Ground, Ranged, Mounted, and Siege.
There is a rock-paper-scissors relationship between the first three types of troops. This is revealed in the description of the troop-producing buildings – Barracks, Archer Camp, Stables, and Workshop.
- Ground beats Ranged
- Ranged beats Mounted
- Mounted beats Ground
- Siege is neutral
When a troop fights against what it naturally counters, it is significant and very noticeable.
If you battled Ground against Ranged in a neutral situation (like a temple) with equal numbers and equal buffs, you would see Ground dominate. Maybe around 80% of the Ground would still be standing at the end. Same goes for the other relationships.
In practice, the speed and range stats (next section) also create hidden advantages/disadvantages.
- Ranged super-duper kills Mounted, due to extra attacks from outranging.
- Ranged doesn’t perform quite as badly as you’d think against Ground, for the same reason. And superior stats/numbers can let ranged defeat ground without taking damage.
- Siege super-duper kills Ranged, since it gets like 12-14 free turns of attacking. Due to massive range difference and slow Ranged speed.
- Mounted and Ground demolish siege, since they can approach with quick walking speed and high stats.
Troops have 5 stats that affect battle in different ways.
Attack – Increases damage dealt
Defense – Reduces damage received
HP – Lets troop withstand more damage before dying
Range – Indicates how far away the troop can attack
Speed – Indicates how far the troop can move in a single round
Those last 2 stats hint at layout of the battlefield itself. They will make more sense after you read the next section.
These screens get a little wonky to explain, because the green numbers have been affected by buffs from my research and probably a few other things like monarch gear.
But the broad strokes are this:
- Mounted have huge attack, defense, HP, and speed. They’re the best choice for PvM (player vs monster) due to their huge stats, especially that tremendous attack. Their main issues in PvP (player vs player) are their small attack range, plus their tendency to run out in front of everything else and take all the fire, especially from their weakness – ranged troops.
- Ranged have pretty good stats. Their big advantage is their range, which lets them fire on mounted/ground for free before they can run up close.
- Ground have awesome stats. They’re just a bunch of solid buggers really. Only issue I can see with them is that they’re weak to mounted, which most people build a ton of for bosses.
- Siege are pretty weak, but incredibly long range. They get to attack more times during battle than anybody else, because they don’t have to waste time walking.
This picture is the best way to imagine things.
Each army starts on opposite side of the battlefield – with a distance between them equal to the longest ranged troop in play. That’s usually from the highest level siege, involved in the battle, with maybe 2000 or more range.
The defender gets to use absolutely all the troops they have in the city, while the attacker is limited by their march size. The defender’s troops are led by their wall general, while the attackers are obviously led by the general they chose when attacking.
The troops begin to move towards each other and act independently.
- Siege begins to attack because it can already reach the enemy.
- Ranged steps forward 100.
- Ground steps forward 350.
- Mounted steps forwards 600.
- That was one round of battle.
Troops will keep following this behavior. Firing if there is something within their attack range, or walking forward if there is not.
- Mounted troops meet in the middle of the battlefield and start damaging each other.
- Ground Troops reach the melee in the middle and begin fighting with Mounted and Ground. They’ll stay here until one side’s melee troops are defeated.
- Ranged troops eventually get to a position ~600 away from enemy Mounted and/or Ground troops and begin to fire. They will stay here until they get killed, or until they have no targets to fire at (and then will continue to walk forward)
- This entire time, Siege is at the back of the battlefield firing away.
- Eventually, one side has nothing but siege left, and the other sides remaining troops walk toward the siege and try to finish the job.
The battle is over when one side’s forces have been totally defeated.
The game calculates all of these complicated battle mechanics and processes instantly, and then sends each player the report with the results.
Reading a Battle Report
The battle ends when one side is totally defeated and all their troops are dead or wounded.
Quick couple of notes.
- If an attacker loses the battle, all their troops will be dead – other than those which were saved by “death to survival” or “death to wounded.” The hospital wouldn’t normally come into play except for death to wounded.
- If a defender loses the battle, all their troops will be saved by the hospital if possible. If the hospital fills up, that is when they will begin to die.
Here is the “non-detailed” part of the report. Haha! I’ll go through what we see line by line.
- Total Power: Just says what size the city + reinforcements are. So this accurately shows the size of the defending force, but not the attacking force which is limited to 1 march of troops.
- Lost Power: Very important. Gauges who got the better of the exchange. As you can see, this punk lost 92.2m power worth of troops, while I only lost 11mil. Hah!
- Total Troops: Says how many troops were involved in the battle, but nothing about what level. It could be 8 million Tier 1 against 1.2 million Tier 14 for all we know, until we look closer.
- Survived: Troops that didn’t die. Or were saved from death with “death to survival”
- Wounded: Troops sent to the hospital.
- Deserter: Doesn’t apply to Battlefield or Server War. Otherwise, it’s a mechanic where troops that should be dead turn into deserters instead, and are kept in the Holy Palace
- Killed: They’re dead and gone, never to be seen again. Yikes.
- Captured: Just a little thing where opposing dead troops can go into a player’s prison and put to work later for resources or prestige.
- Holy Palace Troop Soul: Another holy palace mechanic which gives an alternative to dead or wounded. It’s a bit more costly than wounded, but far preferred to dead.
- Reinforcements: All the same as above, but for any troops reinforcing the defender or joining the rally of an attacker.
- Traps: Self-explanatory
- Death to Wounded and Death to Survival: A couple of mechanics to make life not so hard on the attackers, who would normally have all their troops die. Academy research, VIP, the general’s Politics stat, and some other factors allow some of them to be saved.
The report continues. This is the section I always check when evaluating how tough a player really is.
Like we learned earlier, Attack, Defense, and HP are the variables used in deciding how much damage is given and received during battle. The higher the numbers, the stronger those troops are.
The bottom half of the report also shows “debuffs” which are more available to bigger players (K33+), and are literally reductions to the enemy’s stats. So for instance, this player had 481% ranged attack, but I reduced it by -195%… so it was really like they had 286%. And he’s doing the same back to me, just not as much. Debuffs come from academy research, certain pieces of gear, or general skills (including sub generals). Last thing to know about debuffs, is they are limited to reducing half of the enemy stats. So at the very bottom of the picture, that’s their siege attack being reduced by -215%. That’s the most possible, since they had twice that to begin with, 430%.
At the very bottom of a report is a Battle Detail button, which shows you the fate of every troop involved in the battle. You can see exactly which troops scored kills, which troops died, which troops went to the hospital, which ones deserted, and so on. It’s a lot to scroll through, but I do recommend checking out the details of interesting battles.
I know this section has been long, but that’s honestly the most brief I could be on these basics of battle. I’ve noticed a lot of players struggle with these concepts. How you use this information to win will be covered in more detail in future sections.
Bosses are much less complicated than PvP.
Your speed and range do not matter in a boss battle. You will always strike first.
If you strike the boss and do not kill it, he will strike back. Then you will hit again. You’ll trade blows back and forth until you win or lose.
You lose if 5% or 10% of your troops get wounded, depending on the situation.
The way to do as well is to use troops with the highest attack – mounted troops. If you do enough damage to win the battle in 1 attack, you will receive 0 wounded. If it takes you 3 attacks, the boss will be able to hit you 2 times in between those, and you’ll receive wounded according to the bosses attack vs your mounted defense and HP.
It all boils down to this. Improve your mounted stats, and especially especially mounted attack % as much as possible with:
- Your general
- The general’s equipment
- Monarch gear
- Academy research (Military tree. 100% from Horsemanship alone)
- Temporary buffs (if you want)
Here are a few more random things about bosses:
1) The boss responds to each attack right after it happens. When people team up, it’s really a bunch of individual attacks in a row. Once everybody has attacked once, it’s the first person’s turn again.
2) Because of the above point, teaming up on a boss is rarely effective. When smaller players add troops into a larger player’s rally, it likely won’t cause the boss to die any faster, and those smaller players will be wounded all the same.
Imagine someone who deals 55% of the bosses health per attack, and 3 other players who deal about 12%. The first player could kill the boss in two attacks, whether the other players added troops in or not. Yet all 4 of them are going to take 1 boss attack and the corresponding wounded. If it was the first player alone, they would still take the same amount of damage – one attack’s worth.
3) The lead rally person is not necessarily the first one who strikes the boss. As far as I can tell, it’s a random order.
My evidence for most of these points is from the same experiment. If you have allies around your strength, you can try this too. For us, it was teaming up on Jr Hydras back when we could barely kill them. Me and two others would take turns starting the rally on a Hydra, and add our full march in. Alone, I would get something like 5,000 wounded at that time.
With two others, we found that usually two people would take 2,500 wounded, and one lucky person would get 0 wounded – they must be the one who attacked 3rd and delivered the killing blow.
The person who got 0 wounded would keep changing. Sometimes it would be the rally leader and sometimes not. We all tried taking turns, and couldn’t find anything predictable about it, so I am pretty sure it’s random.
What to build first?
This section about focus is written for players below K33. At K33 (or K35 if you’re patient enough, it’s actually better to wait imo) it’s finally time to start building out all the troop types evenly. Before that, I strongly discourage it.
From what I’ve observed, most people build all 4 troop types constantly. More and more and more of them. Out of every building, all the time.
They think that when they get attacked by someone else, all these troops are going to come to their defense and help win the battle.
Well it doesn’t usually work out that way. In this game, people generally only attack when they know they can crush their opponent. And if you know what you’re doing, it’s very easy to flatten someone smaller than yourself.
It doesn’t matter how many troops of all the types that a K30 player makes. They’ll be completely annihilated by the first K32+ that comes along, who knows what they’re doing.
That’s why I recommend choosing something to focus on.
Pick 1 type of troop. Focus on that. Specifically focus on making a powerful attack. Forget about all the other troops until you get to K33.
Get the best ranged general you can, get all the research for ranged , put on ranged monarch gear, build skills and gear on the general related to ranged.
Once again, pick 1 type of troop. If you picked ranged, don’t worry about upgrading the barracks/stables/workshop very much. Don’t worry about building up generals to command those other troops, and certainly don’t worry about building a whole bunch of those troops.
If you build all that, and then mainly used ranged in your attacks, then you get the maximum possible %atk/def/hp bonuses for your army.
“But doesn’t ranged lose to ground?” Yes it does. But most people don’t build much ground. And even if they did, if you totally focus and invest in getting ridiculous buffs on your ranged, while the opponent is wishy-washy with their investments, your 600-1100% buffed ranged will cut through their 300-600% buffed ground troops like butter.
Every resource, gold, and speedup you spend into other troops… takes away from the fact that you could be advancing keep levels and working harder on your favorite troop type.
If you only focus on one troop type, then you don’t need to worry about almost 70% of the research in the military tree until much later. And you can forget about a whole bunch of buildings until later, and keep advancing your Keep, Academy, and other useful buildings for your chosen troop.
Furthermore, I would recommend building just 1 “full march” of your chosen troop type. You’ll save big on costs and still be able to unleash the most powerful possible attack for your size. What exactly a proper march looks like will be discussed in a later section of this guide.
Here’s a note I wrote earlier in my general guide, which applies here as well.
If you agree with me, keep reading. If you don’t agree, then this might not be the guide for you from this point on. I’ve written this for players who want to be as strong as possible, given a limited resource budget. Not for people who just want to build everything because they think it’s fun, or they like doing things evenly.
You know what’s not fun? Getting hit by a better player who built with focus and power in mind… and losing all the excess troops that you built for no reason.
What Should I Focus On?
Mounted, or Ranged.
Forget about siege for now. For one thing, it’s way more expensive to heal siege if they get hurt. For another, they’re quite weak if you’re doing a solo attack. They can be nice to add into a rally but that’s another story. And surely you want something that you can also attack with all by yourself, right?
Forget about ground too. They are primarily useful as a follow-up to ranged attacks. Which means they aren’t very good if you don’t have a good ranged attack to hit with first. (Or a teammate to cooperate with).
+ Best troop for killing bosses. This is a very significant point and why most people choose to focus on mounted. Killing bosses helps you and your alliance grow bigger. Every alliance needs a lot of boss killers.
+ Useful for backstabbing players who send their archers out to attack
– Probably the weakest of the 3 for PvP, but still quite good. Has more use in higher level play, when enemies are so big that they take multiple attacks to defeat.
– Usually takes more casualties, even against weaker players.
+ Best troop for PvP. First, because most people build mounted. Second, because if you overwhelm the enemy with higher stats and numbers, they can eliminate mounted/ground from a distance without getting hurt… then approach enemy ranged/siege afterward and overwhelm them with higher stats too.
+Ranged lets you attack weaker players with very few casualties.
+ Even when they lose a battle, they usually at least deal a ton of damage to the enemy mounted who stand at the front of your opponent’s army.
– Disadvantaged against siege. So higher level, bigger players who have invested in siege-based defense will be hard to defeat in one attack. But like mentioned before, ranged is still your best bet for an initial attack… You’ll just need some follow-up.
– Super weak against bosses. You have to rely on teammates to kill bosses and help you grow
+ Great troop for lategame PvP. Not so much early on.
+ They decimate enemies that don’t have mounted troops, so they are useful for backstabbing players who sent out their mounted march, for for taking buildings that are full of ranged troops, or as a follow-up attack to a ranged attack that was sacrificed to kill the mounted troops of a large player.
– Takes casualties, even against weaker players.
– Not good for attacking cities with a lot of mounted inside
All of the above types are perfectly good choices. And you will need them all eventually, but I strongly suggest focusing on 1 or 2 until you reach K33+.
You may wish to work on a strategy that matches your best general. For example, if you’re lucky enough to have Roland, go for mounted. If you have Alfred or Simeon, go for ranged. If you don’t have any of those fancy guys, then wait for one of the best tavern generals like Li Shimin. Or better yet, wait until you unlock Martinus or Minomoto from the Tavern’s Great General Chest.
If you belong to a smaller alliance, or a newer server, I do recommend picking mounted so that you can help ensure there are boss rallies running whenever you happen to log in and play.
In this section, we wade heavily into subjective opinion territory. It’s all what I personally think we should do, based on how I personally think battles work.
While I do think I have a pretty good idea, there are still holes in my theories. In fact, you may read this article again in a few weeks and see that I have made changes. Learning is ongoing.
PvP March Templates
If you want to skip the logic of it all and just follow a recipe…
For Advanced Players:
Here is a sample ranged attack march. This is what I currently use.
All the way down to the bottom. 20000, 5, 5 5… 20000, 5,5 5…
I like to have big groups of archers, especially at the top, because of the way that troops pick targets independently. If I only had T13 archers, and the enemy has 48 different troops and levels, it will take a minimum of 48 rounds to defeat them all.
If I have larger groups of archers, each selecting different targets every round, I should be able to do a lot more damage in fewer rounds. With less overkill. An example of overkill would be 900000 archers spending an entire round to shoot at 5 cavs.
Those 5s in the report are my layers. Now it’s time to talk about that.
I briefly touched on a concept in the last section called overfiring or overkill. This is when a big group of troops might waste time firing at small group of troops.
A group of troops, such as T13 archers, can only aim at one other group per round of battle. If there are 13 levels of enemy mounted troops, that will take a single group of archers 13 rounds to kill. Even if those mounted groups only have 5 troops each, it still takes 1 round each.
Adding layers means adding as many small groups as possible, with intent to cause the enemy to overkill. You can use every type of troop, at every level.
Imagine this scenario:
- Player A has 900,000 top tier ranged and nothing else.
- Player B has 800,000 top tier ranged, and also a very small amount of everything else. Layers.
If this battle actually occured, player B would win. Bigtime.
Test it yourself on a smaller scale. During NAP, send 9,000 ranged troops to camp on a tile, and have a friend of similar strength send 8,000 ranged troops + layers to attack it. Then reverse the experiment.
I bet the person with layers will win both times.
Here is another look at my attack march. I use layers of only 5. I think layers of 1 would probably work just fine, but I like 5.
I use more ranged troops since they are the troops I choose to focus on powering up. I figure, if the enemy knows about layers, then all my archer groups can help tear theirs down.
Some people swear by layers of 3,000. Some say you need 10,000. I actually think all of those people are right, in a way.
If you and me fight in a temple… Me with my layers of 5, and you with layers of 3,000… I think you will have the edge. After a couple rounds of battle, I’m not going to have anymore layers! Your layers of 3,000 siege will have killed all my layers. And then its a fight of layers vs. no layers, which is terrible for me!
If you have layers of 3,000 then I would really like to have layers of 6,000. My layers of 6,000 should dominate your layers of 3,000. After a couple rounds, I’ll have layers and you won’t! It’s sort of a power creep. Layers of 12,000 would beat layers of 6,000… and so on.
However, when layers get really big, we start running out of march space. Eventually it’s going to swing back around, and my layers of 5 will beat your layers of 12,000… Because I will have 900,000 strong archers in my top 3 layers and you’ll only have room for 350,000. Your 12,000×48 layers take up too much space.
Hopefully that makes sense. That’s how I think it works anyway. I’ve done my fair share of fighting and examined a lot of reports.
The way I see it, there are a few important implications here:
- Scouts are very important. If you see layers of 3,000 sitting somewhere – for example, left in a temple, or battlefield building, or throne – you can dominate those with layers of 6,000.
- Defensively, you want pretty good sized layers, because march size is not an issue. Maybe 20,000-50,000 of each… especially siege. If you have that many siege, you’ll defend attacks as if your opponents didn’t even send layers.
- If you scout someone with 20-50,000 defensive layers, you should either give up on winning a given layer and send 5…or decide to try to win it and send enough to do so(like 80,000 archers of that tier). I recently had the idea to send 80,000 archers at every second tier against cities like this. Still testing.
How to Increase Your Fighting Strength
This section is all about how to make your troops stronger. Go hit a dead city and find out what your fighting buffs are to get started. Here are mine.
Since I focus on ranged, the only section I really care about is the one hilighted in blue. My attack march is comprised of more than 99.9% ranged troops of various tiers, with just a pinch of everything else (AKA layers, discussed in the previous section).
For ranged troops, attack is the most important stat by far. Defense and HP are okay too, but prefer ranged attack whenever given the choice.
Attack is not only attack. It’s also ranged troops’ best defense! Remember the battlefield section from part 1 and picture this – mounted and ground troops are charging towards you. The faster your ranged troops can kill them, the less damage they’ll take. If you can shoot them all down before they reach you, you’ll take virtually no damage from those troops.
The only other fighting buff that really helps is March Size, which lets you send more troops in a single attack.
Sources of Fighting Buffs
Case Study: My Elektra’s Attack March
Let’s reverse engineer those ranged buffs, break down the various sources, and evaluate how important they actually are, compared to their cost.
We need to account for…
- 1000% attack
- 630% defense
- 560% HP.
Obviously more research becomes available as you reach higher keep levels. You should get everything you possibly can for your chosen troop type at your particular level. Here are the upper limits.
- Military Tree:
- Flat increases for Attack/Defense/HP
- 100% Attack/Defense/HP
- 50% Attack/Defense while marching to attack
- 200% + 60,000 March Size
- Military Advance Tree:
- 40% Attack/Defense/HP
- 150,000 March Size
I have level 8 gear which is 50% Attack/Defense/HP
General – Stats
My level 34, 5 star Elektra has:
- 1458 Leadership, which is worth 201% HP
- 1442 Attack, which is worth 198.4% Attack
- 1463 Defense, which is worth 202.61% Defense
- 1390 Politics, which is a non-factor
I honestly didn’t realize how impactful stats were until I just checked this.
General – Skills and Specialties
I use Elektra (35% Attack) with a ranged attack skill book (25% Attack).
I have 3 specialties at Lv4, giving me 18% Attack, 6% Defense, 12% HP, and 4% March Size
General – Equipment
Equipment is a huge source of buffs. Especially starting at K30.
It’s also where you really have to start making choices about which troops you want to improve, at the expense of the others. It deserves and will have its own section of my general guide someday.
For now, I have two tips.
- Always compare and evaluate your options. At Dragon level and below you have two choices per piece of gear. At Ares level and above, you have 4 choices, because Ares Lv30 gear is just as good as Ach Lv33. When building Elektra’s gear, I compared the options to find the most Ranged Attack and other ranged stats. If you are using mounted, you should select different gear, looking for Mounted Attack and other mounted stats.
- Don’t refine anything until Ares level. Refine stones are extremely precious and you’ll need hundreds of thousands of them to achieve your ultimate refining goals. Dragon gear will be cast aside someday, and it can only refine up to 80% anyway (compared to 100% for Ares and Ach level gear).
Ok let’s check out my Elektra’s equipment.
- Base Equipment:
- Ares Bow: 67% Attack
- Ares Helmet: 22% Attack
- Ach Leg Armor: 22% Attack
- Ach Boots: 22% HP
- Ach Ring: 30% Attack and 30% Defense
- Red Dragon: Lv10 Skill gives 25% Attack and 15% March Size
- Red Dragon: +100 to each stat, which is worth about 12-15% more Attack, Defense, and HP)
- Equipment Refinements:
- Bow: 65% Attack, of a possible 100%
- Ring: 79% Attack, of a possible 100%
- Leg Armor: 66% HP out of a possible 100%
- Boots: 68% Defense out of a possible 100%
- Chest: 8% Defense out of a possible 100%
- Helmet: 15% HP out of a possible 100%
- Dragon: 51% Attack out of a possible 60%
- Equipment totals:
- 332% Attack
- 118% Defense
- 115% HP
- 15% March Size
As you can see, I’m getting a ton of buffs from this equipment, but there is still have a lot of room to grow. I haven’t even gotten around to refining my helmet at chest armor at all.
Because of the way refining works, you can never realistically have a “perfect general” – you can always spend more gold and stones and keep attempting to improve.
Only Japan subs make any difference. They provide attack for marching troops. I get 42% attack from my 6 Japan subs.
By the way, there is nothing wrong with having 0 Japan subs. For growing players, I recommend Korea, China, Europe, and America. Not Japan. Resources and speeds will help you get big and strong.
Art Hall Buffs
Check out the “Art Treasure” button in the Art hall and you will see that there are some interesting permanent buffs that get applied as you finish off various areas of your art hall.
I have Excalibur, Tutankhamun, and Nike sections complete, giving my ranged troops 15% Attack, 10% Defense, and 15% HP
When your shrine is high enough level, you get the great honor (eye roll) of donating 20 times in a row to get some fairly small buffs for 24 hrs.
My Lv33 Shrine grants me 15% ranged attack, 15% mounted defense, and 15% ground defense.
At K35 it will max out at 20% and also include siege attack.
Pretty small, but it should be mentioned. Some special duty generals have abilities that add bonuses to battle. I have John of Portugal in my archer camp, granting ranged troops 5% Attack, Defense, and HP
Self explanatory. The buffs from Alliance Science donations apply at all times.
Battlefield Building Buffs
The blessing tower in Battlefield events provides 20% Attack, Defense and HP. I took my screenshots from a battlefield report when we were holding the tower.
When you have a big battle to engage in, it’s a good idea to use some temporary buff items, like the ones that provide 20% or 50% Attack, Defense, or HP.
Before this guide, you probably thought these items made a huge difference. They are definitely nice, but not doubling your fighting power or anything. That 50% attack increase will just turn your attack from, for example, 820 to 870%.
Summary: Anatomy of a ranged attack buff
- Attack (Total – 1011%)
- 190% from academy research
- 50% from monarch gear
- 198% from general’s stats
- 78% from general’s skills and specialties
- 178% from general’s equipment base stats
- 154% from general’s equipment refines
- 42% from Japan subs
- 5% from Archer Camp Duty General, John of Portugal
- 15% from Art Hall
- 15% from Shrine Buff
- 11% from Alliance Science
- 20% from Battlefield Blessing Tower
- 50% from Temporary Buff from items
To sum it up…
- Academy Research and Monarch Gear is about 25%.
- General Stats, Skills and Specialties are more than 25%.
- General equipment and refines are about 33%
- Everything else put together splits the remaining 17% or so.
- Your results may vary, but this shows a general idea of whats important.
Hope you enjoyed this guide. Cheers!