Note: with the introduction of dark spells in the 1 July 2015 update, there are now more options for dealing with clan castle troops (poison spell) and more options for extending your attack (haste and earthquake spells). I think the odds of achieving three stars with a gowipe-type attack have been improved signficantly, but I have not yet gained sufficient experience using these spells in wars. As that happens, I will update this document.
Historical note: this was written for a clan with a few th9s (some rushed) and the rest th8 and lower. With this clan composition, each th9 attack is important and none should be wasted on an ambitious 3-star plan with a substantial risk of failing. I have tried to make the reasoning generally applicable however.
Any first attack on opponent th9 that does not get us at least two stars will put us at a disadvantage in war. Gowipe-type attacks have the highest succes rate. Mastering these attacks will benefit you and the clan. I propose our th9 practice and prioritise the type of attack described here so that they can consistently get 2 stars even on stronger th9s. Here is how and why.
Our first th9 attacks must aim to secure 2-stars on opponent th9s with a very low risk of failure. After securing those victories we can use spare attacks to take out strong th8 or to execute a more risky 3-star attempt on a th9, provided all th8 were three-starred and all th9 were two-starred.
Mastering gowipe and related attacks will give a better understanding of how to match your troop composition to a variety of base layouts, it will give you a feeling for how long your golems will survive, how to have an exact plan for enemy cc troops, how to deal with the enemy Archer Queen, how to time your deployment of pekkas and heroes, and so on. You can later start to create variants, for example by adding hogs, witches or balloons. In summary, mastering gowipe gives you a very solid grounding for expanding your th9 attack repertoire.
Gowipe has a reputation of being boring and not sufficiently ambitious. However, this only applies to a fairly elite group of players. From my experience (in clans dominated by casual players), gowipe-type attacks are not trivial to master. We learn to walk before we run; it is only fair to call it boring after you have thoroughly mastered it and achieved a very high 2-star rate. This document is aimed at occassional players like myself. I think the natural way for us to progress is to focus on golem-led ground assaults as described here.
You master this type of strategy by executing it many times; it may take dozens of attacks to be able to confidently plan and predict an attack. I do not claim to have mastered this approach yet. It has, however, so far given me a 2-star rate above 95% against strong th9, and the feeling that the experience I gain actually helps me progress further.
Troop compositions and battle plans for 3-star attempts tend to be delicately balanced. There is a genuine danger that if the attacks falls short, it will fall short of destroying the town hall, leading to a disappointing 1-star attack or even the dreaded nought-star. Gowipe-type attacks are overpowered for their purpose (2-starring) but tend to run out of steam after destroying the core. I find it more rewarding to find the 3-star sweet spot by modifying the overpowered gowipe-type attack, rather than trying to find it from the smouldering remains of a host of failed nought-star and one-star attacks.
Lava-hound based attacks and hog-based attacks are too volatile in a clan that as a whole is still finding its attacking mojo. They can both work and fail spectacularly, with failing the more common outcome in our clan. We are not a well-oiled war machine, and such failed attacks really diminish our prospects of winning the war. If we are to win wars, the attacks by our th9 on opponent th9s should nearly all result in at least two stars, and gowipe is the best starting point for that.
Ideally you start practicing this type of attack at the later stages of th8. A well designed maxed-out opponent th8 may be hard to 3-star with mass-dragons anyway (although bases with centralised air defences are a good target for dragoon attacks), and having this experience will make the transition to th9 golem-led attacks easier.
The two key tactics in gowipe, described in the sections below, are
Focus on upgrading all your troops and spells. You should at every town hall level upgrade all your troops to the maximum extent possible. That said, you can go a long way with gowipe starting at town hall 8 if you have maximum level wizards, pekkas, golems and wall breakers, as well as rage and healing spells.
At th9, upgrade your jump spell as a matter of priority. A 40-second jump spell spell makes a tremendous difference to a spell of a mere 20 seconds. For certain base lay-outs a well-placed jump spell can be the key to funneling to the core.
This documents describes gowipe-like attacks. These use a troop ensemble that has at least one golem, quite likely at least one pekka (but not necessarily) and almost certainly wizards. The central tenet however is that these are:
If, for example, the wizards are entirely replaced by witches, this attack is not normally described as a gowipe or gowipe-like attack. However, I feel it encompasses the same spirit of attack as highlighted above, and that gowipe attacks are the natural entry point towards the wider class of golem-led ground assaults.
Practice different approaches: jump spell, wall breakers, clan castle lure or not. This will give you a better understanding of golem-based attacks, and give us surplus attacks during war once we manage to get those 2 stars consistently.
The base lay-out dictates your spell and troop composition. For example, a core that looks to be heavily armed with teslas and giants bombs and is covered by a lot of point and splash defences, will benefit from large units and heroes leading the charge, supported by wizards, and heal and rage spells once the troops enter the core. For certain lay-outs, jump spells can be the key to a simple and predictable attack plan.
Do not panic if and when your golems die. It happens. Sometimes the deployment of heal spells works serendipitously and golems live throughout a large part of the attack. Often the golems will just die. This is not a problem, as long as your other troops have capitalised on their brave sacrifice and managed at this stage to be on their way from the periphery to the core to finish the job.
This is a starting point for a typical golem-led ground assault.
1 or 2 golems (sometimes 3)
between 1 and 4 pekkas, sometimes no pekka at all.
12+ wizards (more wizards if only 1 golem or 1 pekka)
optionally a few witches (means fewer wizards)
Optionally a few archers and/or minions for picking of buildings; only if such buildings exist and the base was designed to be a hard target for 50 percent destruction.
clan castle lure and kill troops.
For spells the following are pretty standard. Since the introduction of the posion spell it is hard to see any use for a lightning spell. High hitpoint troops such as dragons, valkyries, golems, lavahounds and golems are now commonly used in clan castles, and neither poison spells nor lightning spells will hardly cause damage to these troops. Both can take out troops such as witches and wizards, but poison spells only take up a single spell space so are by far the prefered option for the one additional spell space available.
2 rage 2 heal
1 rage 2 heal 1 jump
2 rage 1 heal 1 jump
When I started gowipe I would usually bring two rage spells, as I found it difficult to predict battles. The extra fire power from rage can help widen the focal point of an attack that had veered off course. Now that battles are more predictable, I tend to bring two heal spells, as it generally prolongs the attack and leads to a higher percentage score. Additionally I frequently use a jump spell now, especially where a single jump spell unlocks a good section of the base including the compartment that hosts the town hall.
Your main force needs to go towards the core of the base. This is known as creating a funnel. It means clearing buildings on the periphery using wizards while golems are tanking the defences. You need to focus on clearing the buildings flanking outwards from the golems, so that your main assault force (heroes, pekkas, wizards et cetera) will go the core and not go around the outside of the base. Assault funneling and dealing with clan castle troops are the crucial tactics to master in gowipe-type attacks. Be aware that pekkas have a large area of awareness; the buildings closest to them, which may still be quite far away, must naturally lead them to enter the core of the base. It may thus be necessary that wall breakers already have opened up compartments before you deploy the pekka(s), as it will prefer a more distant building over one that is closer but behind walls. It can be useful to not have the wizards clear all peripheral buildings; it can be beneficial if a middle segment remains, naturally funneling pekkas towards the core.
Ideally you manage to time it such that the pekkas (and other troops) catch up with the golems as the golems go past the first breached wall, so all troops will benefit maximally from your spells. You still need to be careful for the possibility that all structures in a (small) compartment are quickly demolished; the pekka may actually move away from the core if it spots a building it can access by backtracking a little, unless new compartments have already been opened up by wall breakers or a jump spell. This is a typical pitfall in gowipe-type attacks, and the sort of thing you need to consider in your planning.
A jump spell can be extremely effective
where there are many compartments,
where wall breakers may easily target the wrong compartment,
the jump spell will open up the core and no unwanted compartments, effectively creating a funnel for your troops.
You may need a few wall breakers to breach the outer perimeter. Jump spells can be the key ingredient in bases that look very daunting. Most importantly, it can make the attack plan simple, more predictable and less dependent on narrow timing intervals.
Often it will not be necessary to lure clan castle troops. You may want to lure if the clan castle is dead central in the base and the perimeter of the base is pushed out wide. In that case, the golems and wizards will have been at work a while before they trigger the clan castle troops, and will be relatively far from the point where you can deploy troops. This means you have not as much control over timing and location of golems and wizards relative to each other as you would like. This is a scenario where you may choose to lure, for example with a few hogs, giants, or balloons.
Under these conditions:
The clan castle radius ends just before or after the outer wall section that you intend to breach.
You can get enough wizards close to the golem(s) (without bunching up the wizards too much).
Luring is then very often not necessary; get a good amount of wizards in after the golems plus other troops if you can time it, and place a rage spell.
For luring bring 2-3 baloons, 2-3 giants or 3-4 hogs. Use too many rather than too little. An incomplete lure will quite likely mean that one or more high-powered wizards remain (presuming that you chose to lure because the clan castle is too deep in the base). In order to bunch up the troops and draw them to where you want, use archers and/or barbarians. To kill them, scatter archers and/or barbs and put down a few wizards. Witches can work well to aid in killing clan castle troops. Make sure they are not the first troop you put down, they work best while other troops are still alive. As witches use a lot of housing space, this strategy is probably only worthwhile if you can plan it such that the witches will take part in the main attack after disposing of the clan castle troops.
In some cases you can use a balloon. Put it on the straight line that goes from the closest enemy defence to the enemy troops, reasonably close to those troops, so that it travels towards them in the direction of the enemy defence. The balloon does splash damage when it goes down.
It is ideal if you know what is in the clan castle. If that is not the case then archers and wizards are a good combination to combat anything that may be thrown your way. If the clan castle troops seem unkillable, as a last resort you can use your Archer Queen and optionally her royal cloak ability.
Make a plan for the first 6 troop deployments or so. This is a slightly more elaborate example template plan for a base that would suit two golems.
Deploy golem left, deploy golem right, so that they target different compartments and/or different defences.
Once all local defences target the golems, deploy wizards left (3x), wizards right (3x). Leave one or two structure between the golems alone for Pekkas to target. Number may vary of course, perhaps you need more or fewer wizards.
Deploy wall breakers left (2x), wall breakers right (2x). Deploy before pekkas so those will aim for buildings behind breached walls. Watch mortar fire. Know how many you need. Level 9 walls (lego walls) need 3 level 5 wall breakers.
Pekka (one or two).
A few more wizards.
If clan castle troops are activated, deploy rage spell to kill them quickly. This may be anytime around one of 3-6.
Barbarian King and Archer Queen (through rage spell).
Wall breakers (through rage spell).
More wizards (retain some).
For your own clan castle troops, ask the biggest unit the castle can house. If you ask wizards for example, you have no control over the release of the wizards; they will be bunched up and more vulnerable. Hence, ask a pekka or golem. If your clan castle is level three (20 housing spaces), upgrade it as fast as you can.
Know which defences will be triggered and where you will place wizards.
Know when you can deploy wall breakers. Be careful of splash damage, especially mortar fire; deploy just as mortar shells have landed.
If you do not lure clan castle troops, make sure you have enough wizards backing up the golems (not busy destroying high-hitpoint structures such as storages), potentially the Archer Queen as well, and be ready with a rage spell.
If there are unprotected buildings, put some archers on them at the start of the raid, to make sure of 50%. Make sure that if you lure clan castle troops those archers will not interfere with the lure. Alternatively, keep archers in reserve to do this at the end of your attack.
Use two golems if you need to distract multiple defences in a line.
If most defensive power is concentrated in the core (Clan castle, Queen, King, traps, bombs, many point and splash defences), I bring more large units, for example three golems and two pekkas or two golems and three pekkas.
A pekka will target the enemy Archer Queen once it becomes aware of her. It has a long trigger range and is a long-lasting troop with high damage.
The first rage spell will often be in the outer ring/section of the base. This is the time to get as many troops through them as possible. Ideally, perimeter buildings will have been cleared, so that your troops will go through the rage towards the core of the base. If wall breakers are important to your strategy, you really want to blast them through this first rage spell.
Enraged wall breakers, like all troops, do a lot more damage (2.7 times as much for a level 5 rage spell) and additionally get a signficant speed increase. Hence you can tear down high-level walls a lot more easily with enraged wall breakers. See also previous note.
The first heal spell is usually placed just after the first breached wall if the base has a compact layout so that many defences are targeting your troops. In more spread-out bases, it can be possible to wait a bit longer with heal spell deployment.