September 10 - 2015
A Clash of Clans barching guide

Barching: to attack with mostly barbarians and archers with the aim of getting oodles of loot.

When executed well and backed up by supporting troops, barbarians and archers inflict considerable damage and plunder handsomely. The advantages of barching are:

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Low training costs - cheap troops.

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Quick training time.

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Very flexible setup: several types of attacks on different types of bases are possible.

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More predictable battles compared to say using giant/healer or wizards.

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Troops are not really affected by traps and bombs, not affected by air defence at all.

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Occassionaly your troops will mow down a weaker base and look like a ravenous horde.

The right trophy-range is low, especially if you like trophies.

Bring wall breakers and goblins. Consider it at least.

'next' until you find a good base. Be ready to spend gold.

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Typical number of times of nexting is in the range 20-100.

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Stage a new army in your barracks before nexting.

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Time spent nexting and battling will also be used to train new troops.

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It should be possible to find raidable 300k+ loot bases regularly.

Different types of attack are possible on different types of bases.

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Core dive or collector raid.

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Pushing to 50% or not.

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Which and how many troops to use.

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Choices may depend on the time you have spent nexting.

Accept that you will lose trophies on some attacks.

Use attacks on weak bases to replenish trophies (two or three stars).

Push some attacks towards 50% (one star) to gain a few trophies.

Analyse a base before attacking; location of loot and splash damage defences.

Attacking:

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Attack in waves, starting with barbarians and archers.

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Spread your troops, do not release from one point.

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Spread your troops, do not release from one point. It is that important.

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Use wall breakers to get deep into a base, only if useful.

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Use spells judiciously and sparingly, only if they serve a clear purpose.

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You do not always have to use all your troops:

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Keep a cool head. Pull out if mission accomplished or a lost cause.

Upgrade your troops and spells as soon as possible (do not rush town hall!).

If you search 'clash of clans barching' on the web you will find lots of other instructions and pointers to youtube videos. I recommend looking at a few of these - try not to be put off by, or simply skip, videos that show barching using very high-level troops. You can do barching at all levels. This guide is probably most useful if you are town hall 7 or higher. It was written based on my experience with barching in town hall 7 and 8. At lower town halls it is very feasible to use troops (almost) entirely consisting of barbarians.

Both wall breakers and goblins make your setup more flexible and powerful, I highly recommend it. Wall breakers will get you deeper into a base (this is called a core dive) if necessary - there is no need to always use them. Goblins are maniacal lunatics only interested in loot, just like you. They can be essential in getting loot out from deeper in the base, and very useful in attacks on collector bases.

Aim:
Get your revenue stream (that is, net resources gained per unit of time) up as high as possible. This is the amount of loot you get offset by your investment costs, elixir for training troops and gold for nexting.

Additional aim 1:
Get one star by destroying 50% or sniping the town hall if it is unprotected.

Additional aim 2:
Over multiple attacks try to stay in the same trophy range. You will lose trophies or occasionaly get one star against strong bases. You can also occasionally get two or three stars on a weaker base.

Make sure you are in the right trophy range. This tends to be low-ish, that is, a range where you find there are still quite a lot of town halls around of a level one lower than you. Remember that you can get a lot of loot from town halls just below you (but generally not from town halls lower than that). If your barching troops are not maximum level or one level lower than that, for your town hall, barching will become a lot harder. Upgrade your troops!

In the 30 April 2015 update, clash of clans tweaked the matchmaking algorithm so that you are more likely to find bases of your own town hall level. On the surface this would suggest trophy range matters less, but this has not been my experience. As a rough rule of thumb I suggest gold II as the maximum range for town hall 9, gold III as the maximum range for th8, and silver I as the maximum range for th7. Try it out, your experience may well be different.

I describe attacks by the following aspects: stages, base types, deployment choices.

STAGES


1)

'Nexting' / selecting the base. This is very important and several things need considering.

2)

Attack setup.

3)

Attack execution.

4)

Deciding when to stop the attack.

There is a fifth stage: Joy if the attack went well, despair if it all went bust. I have no advice for this stage, except to say: "this too shall pass".

BASE TYPES


1)

Collector bases (most likely your town hall level or better).

2)

Strong bases (your town hall level or better) with good loot shielded by walls. For raiding dark you will often have to deal with this type.

3)

Weakish bases (lower level town hall than you) with medium to good loot. These offer a good way to replenish trophies.

There is in fact a fourth type:
4)

Joker bases. These are far-out bases with unbelievably quirky layouts, often everything lumped together in a single large area shielded by one layer of walls or multiple layers of walls welded together (welding together walls does not really help as wall breakers do splash damage). Joker bases may be stronger or weaker than they look - often they are a rushed town hall with a few very strong defences and lots of weak defences. I will not discuss them further specifically, but they can be a rich source of loot and amusement. Share your attack on a joker base with the clan!

DEPLOYMENT


1)

Timing and deployment of wall breakers (if you use them).

2)

Yes/no decision, timing and deployment of (rage) spells.

3)

Yes/no decision, timing and deployment of barbarian king (if you have him).

Nexting is a very important stage. Do not choose a base too quickly. I typically go through 20-100 bases before attacking. Usually it is much closer to 20 (sometimes less of course), but occassionally I will go through 100+ bases. This is quite expensive and easier to do, mentally, if you have already made a good profit on previous raids. If you see an easy base with 300k+ loot, that is great. It is frequently possible to find a base with 500k+ loot (with nearly all of it reachable), but it is not advisable to insist on nexting until you find one. Do not next too quickly. People have been known to skip the ideal base just because they had been nexting for quite a while.

Note that during the time you 'next' your new army is already training. Even though you are not releasing troops, the barracks are no longer blocked. Any time you spent nexting and battling will also contribute to the training time of your new army. This is an important additional reason why it can pay off to next for a bit longer and increase the chances of finding a base with high amounts of loot.

This is a somewhat surprising feature of clash of clans, but highly useful. It is surprising because your new army will not be trained if you next for a while and choose not to attack. Only if you attack and spend troops the block is suddenly lifted retrospectively from the time point at which you started nexting. This feature is especially useful for barching, as after a bit of nexting and battling, and especially if you have not used all your troops, your new troops may take only a few more minutes to train or even be ready. Your troops composition may change if you have not used all your troops, but this is generally not an issue. You can take this into account and plan the order of training in barracks such that you stage those troops first that you are most likely to use (barbarians in my case).

Be flexible: a base with less loot might be easier to raid without the need to spend all your troops, or additionally offer the chance of getting trophies. Try to develop different sets of criteria for different types of bases.

It may also be the case that you are specifically looking for dark elixir. Keep an eye out for high town halls that have the dark collectors unprotected or weakly protected. There is a visual cue that tells you whether the collector is full or close to full. It is possible sometimes to penetrate two or even three layers of walls to get to a dark storage (a.k.a. core dive). An example is the type of base with a square moat-like lay-out, where attacks can punch through successive walls starting from one corner or one side. For this type of attack spells can be a necessity.

Early during nexting, you may be content with a relatively small collector raid (say 100k of each resource) where you only need to spend a modest amount of troops. If you have nexted for quite a while, you may as well aim to spend all or most of your troops and attempt a more ambitious raid, as the barracks will have stocked up most of your troops after the attack.

If you need to replenish trophies, keep an eye out for weak bases that will give you a lot of trophies (around 30).

These are bases where the pumps and mines are on the outside.

The challenge is to identify how much is likely stored in the pumps or mines. This can be done (tips/guides available on the web) based on the appearance of storages, pumps, and mines (there are visual clues how full they are), and sometimes based on the count of available loot. If the numbers are nice and round, chances are pumps/mines are filled up.

The amount of gold in storages can be hard to to gauge. Look at the elixir storages; if the elixir storages have elixir in them (more than the small puddle that remains when they are empty), it means that some of the available loot is in the storages and not in the mines and pumps. Note that it is highly likely that the amount of elixir in the pumps is the same as the amount of gold in the mines, as people will empty them at the same time. In conclusion, if there is some elixir in storages, the raid may be not as promising.

Opportunities are:

1)

wall breakers not needed.

2)

possibly not necessary to spend all your troops.

3)

if the town hall is outside you can snipe it and win one star.

4)

push the attacks towards 50% buildings destroyed.

5)

Dark elixir drills.

Try to spot dark elixir drills if the town hall is at least level seven. These drills can hold quite large amounts, and nearly all of it is available for raiding. They are not often found, but it does definitely happen and presents the opportunity for easy and substantial amounts of dark.

If you have a barbarian king it can be easy to push the attack towards 50% at the very end. Deploy the king and a few barbarians if you have them, use wall breakers if necessary to access buildings inside walls, and use the king's special rage ability. Stop the attack as soon as you hit 50%.

The base is strong so you will only be able to destroy part of it. Can you get through the walls and do some damage inside? You will need wall breakers of course. Gauge the defenses. Try to find areas with least splash damage. You need a short route through to the loot however, and this is probably more important. Some splash damage can be tolerated - try to gauge how many of the splash defenses you might be able to take out whilst progressing towards the loot. Attacks will often benefit from using a rage spell.

Prepare to lose trophies. In some circumstances it will be possible to get 50% of the base. If there are builders hut and army camps unprotected by defenses, it can be worthwhile to put one or two archers on each at the very beginning of the battle, if you think 50% is a possibility.

Roughly speaking, breaking through two layers of walls (and emptying storages afterwards) will almost certainly require a rage spell, and possibly a bit of luck with wall-breaker deployment. It is certainly often enough possible, and a way to raid dark elixir. This will require some practicing to get a feeling for when it can be achieved. Once you use a spell, it can be possible to break through a third layer. This will require that the layout of the base and the location of the spell are such that all your troops pass through the rage spell right after placing them.

Goblins can be very useful for this type of attack. Destroy pumps and mines on the outside using barbarians and archers, so that goblins will not be distracted by them. Make sure wall breakers have blasted a path to the core, then release goblins, ideally aided by other troops (hopefully occupying defences) and possibly a rage spell.

For bases with a square lay-out, sometimes one of the corners presents a good focal point of attack.

If it works it is highly rewarding! You have managed to do something in a trap-riddled base, with cheap troops, that you might never have managed with, say, a giant-healer combo.

You may be able to destroy the entire base. With good loot always go for it, with medium loot consider whether it is enough. Can be useful to replenish trophies - so check the number of trophies that you would get. It being high (30-ish) rather than low (10-ish) can be an important factor in deciding.

The aim is to empty pumps and mines outside walls. This should be relatively straightforward. I often use a line of barbarians first, followed by a line of goblins. Try not to spend too many, and equally, try not to spend too few. Do not release troops from a single point. Swipe across to deploy them in waves. Repeat as necessary. Archers can be useful too. Spells should not be necessary to use. Refer also to the section Speed of troop deployment.

For an attack that needs to break through walls a rough guideline to get started is this:

wave of barbarians (anywhere between 10-20, depending on village layout).
wave of archers
wave of barbarians
(wall breakers if needed)
wave of achers
(wall breakers if needed)
Barbarian king if you have it
continued below

This is meant to convey a certain spirit, it is not something to copy slavishly. It is important to start with barbarians first though. They soak up damage and indirectly protect your other troops that way. Only deploy wall breakers once the defenses are sufficiently distracted.

The barbarian king presents the challenge to get him in the base rather than circling around it. For this it may be necessary to wait a bit so that structures outside the base are already destroyed. This will sap your army however, and the cost can be too high. In that case never mind barbarian king circling the outside: He will draw fire away from your other troops.

It can work well to only use the barbarian king at a late stage to push the attack towards success, and then end the battle before the barbarian king loses too much health. Alternatively (this is more my style), use him as a battering ram in the initial stage and accept that he is not available for a while after the battle - or boost his recovery for two hours at a cost of ten gems.

For some raids you may not need to use barbarian king (e.g. for collector bases). Do not automatically use him, as he has a long recovery period. If your barbarian king has the iron fist ability, use it at a good moment, ideally when you have a little horde of barbarians in his vicinity - they will be affected by the rage spell that he summons.

At this point, it depends. Pick (repeatedly) from the following, in the order that makes the most sense:

wall breakers (I deploy them in pairs initially)
wave of barbarians
wave of archers
wave of goblins

A rage spell can be extremely useful to force your way through a bottleneck, or to empty a section where multiple storages are close together (if sufficient archers/barbarians/goblins are in that section). Make sure a spell will achieve something: Do not use it if you do not have a clear goal, and do not use them if your troops are too few and almost dead. Spells are expensive. It is not really sufficient if they will get you another 30K elixir (the cost of a spell, roughly). This is because a spell is also expensive in terms of training time. Occassionally you will mis-time or mis-place a spell. It happens to everyone.

I tend to release goblins quite late, but before other troops have died, and not necessarily as the last troop to release.

Stop the attack if your goals are achieved, or if it is clear they can no longer be achieved. Do not persist in a lost cause. You do not need to spend all your troops. Whatever you hold in reserve will save you training time and elixir for the next raid. This is especially true of wall breakers.

Obviously, research archers, barbarians, wall breakers and archers to the highest level that your town hall allows. Make sure your laboratory is among the first things you upgrade after a TH upgrade. Prioritise upgrading of your spells as well.

I have not gone into the details of how many shots/blasts it takes a defence of level X to take out a troop Z that is level Y. Obviously this is very important, and preferably you want your archers and goblins to be not one-shot-killable.

Very often I see spells placed centered on the troops that need them. Do not do this. Predict where your troops are going next, and center the spell there, whilst making sure that at their current location they will still be in the spell's sphere.

I always deal with those by deploying more archers in the area where the cc troops are concentrated, and using a rage spell if necessary and available. I never go to the trouble of luring cc troops.

If structures are outside the wall, get started on them. When the defenses are sufficiently distracted, deploy wall breakers. It is equally possible to get through walls that do not have structures in front of them. Deploy one or two waves of barbarians on the wall, then wall breakers. It can be worthwhile to tap (not swipe) the initial wave and spend barbarians sparingly, as you may trigger bombs. The defences may take out a few wall breakers, hence I suggest bringing eight. You do not need to use all of them of course. I really do not like using regular troops to get through walls in the initial stages of an attack. Nearly always your troops will suffer heavy losses. Use wall breakers.

If you can afford to spend gems, there are different levels of spending. The cheapest way is to pick a combination of these options:

Boost a single barrack. Train mixed troops in this one, including wall breakers. Use one barrack for training barbarians, one barrack for training archers, and another barrack for training goblins. Simply train as many as you can and keep these barracks drip-feeding the camps. The different training times means that the troop composition of barbarians / goblins / archers will be approximately 6 / 5 / 4 (it is 15/12/10 to be precise).

Boost (just) the barbarian king. I find this a nice way of raiding.

Boost the spells factory.

The most expensive option is to boost everything; all barracks, barbarian king (and archer queen if you have her), and spell factory. My prefered options, going from cheap to expensive, are:

1)

Barbarian king or spell factory.

2)

Barbarian king and spell factory.

3)

Barbarian king and spell factory and single barrack.

4)

Barbarian king, spell factory and all (regular) barracks.

Boosting all barracks should affect your decision on how many troops to deploy depending on how long you have been nexting. If you have nexted for a few minutes, you can spend all or nearly all your troops, as the new troops will be ready or almost ready. On the other hand, it can be ideal to find a collector base early in the nexting. In that case, spend a minimal amount of troops to get the resources, snipe the TH if possible and end the attack. Again, your troops will have replenished and you can immediately raid again.

While you attack, you may trigger bombs. This is not an issue as long as you deploy your troop in waves.

Do not ever use them in barch attacks. I will find you and berate you. They are expensive, take long to train, take up a lot of space and narrow the range of bases that you can attack as you will need to consider air defences and even archer towers. Air mines may ruin your raid.

When barching do not release your troops from a single point Move (swipe) your finger across to create waves of attack. This will make your troops less vulnerable to splash damage. Initially it was a bit of a surprise to me that this is possible (I used to be a tapper). It is even possible to use two fingers simultaneously to release two streams of troops. This is too advanced for me.

If you deploy all your troops at once, quite likely they will cluster and take a lot of damage from splash defences. More importantly, you can no longer change plans and affect the battle.

If you drip-feed your troops very slowly, each troop will be killed off before they can achieve anything.

If you spread your troops too thinly the enemy defences will be working efficiently; there are not enough surplus troops so that buildings are being destroyed sufficiently quickly.

The optimum is somewhere inbetween: there are sufficient troops so that at least they destroy structures and take out defences and you do this with sufficient efficiency (there are enough troops in a given area) that your attack will progress to be profitable.

An example is the case where there are multiple collectors lined up. Release a limited number of troops in two waves or so such that all collectors are attacked simultaneously. This way splash damage is less effective, and while defences are picking off some troops, other troops will empty the collectors. If your troops target one collector at a time they will be more vulnerable and the defences will be working more efficiently. Most often some collectors will be destroyed, and some will still stand. You can then release mini-waves of troops (as always, not from a single point) to finish off those remaining collectors.

You do not always have to use all your troops. This is especially true of wall breakers (these are relatively expensive).

I like this composition per barrack:

21 barbarians
15 archers
10 goblins
2 wallbreakers

This is in town hall 8 with 200 troop spaces. Everyone develops their own preferences of course.

Happy barching!