More benefits, more surprises
*Special thanks to WAR Angel from K27 for contributing her game guide to us!
*Notice: This is a long gameplay guide and may take you 10 minutes to read.
Click here to read Formation and Countering Part 1
Formations determine the order that your troops will engage the enemy. For example, Infantry-Cavalry formation means that your infantry will be on the first row and closer to the enemy, your cavalry will start in the second row, your spears will be at the third row and your bowmen will be at the last row.
Formations matter because of three reasons:
1 – formations and the speed of each troop (that I talked about their importance earlier) determine how fast they will reach the battlefield. The farther they are at the start of the battle, the later they will join the battlefield. Bowmen are always the last line of formations and since they have a slow speed they join the battles really late.
2 – Only your frontline can receive damage. This means if the enemy is not sending the counter troop type of your frontline, you won’t have a high casualty. This is exactly the same way for enemy troops.
3 –The infantry-cavalry formation is available for everyone as they start the game as the default formation, the other 5 types must be researched in “Maester’s Tower” in the “Formations” research branch. Since formations matter a lot in all fighting (PvE/PvP), they are in a list of the most important researches that players must focus on early in game.
To choose the best formation for each attack/defense several things must be considered:
- Your frontline is what receives most of the enemy damage. 40% of the attackers damaged troops always die regardless of hospital space. It’s good to always use 1 tier lower army as frontline. For example, if your main army is royal (T4 troops) its best to have a shield of T3 troops (or even lower tier) as a meat shield, so as long as the enemy is killing them and dealing less damage to your main army, your army can kill their main troops from behind.
However, your moral drops based on the total loss you have, and using lower-tier troops increase your casualty. And reduces your moral faster so you have to find a balance for that. The army that reduces their enemy moral to 0 first, wins the fight.
- It’s important to choose what formation you want to use based on the enemy troop count before their formation. For example, your enemy might be using full cavalry with Spearman-Infantry formation. This means if you try to counter them with Infantry (which is the normal counter to Spearman-Infantry formation), you will get countered badly and you will have a high casualty.
For example, even though the formations don’t look ideal in first look since the enemy has a lot of cavalries and nearly no infantry, the full spear attack causes a massacre.
- Here is a list of all formations and the best troops that can counter those formations without getting countered:
1- Infantry – Cavalry: Cavalry
2- Spearman – Infantry: Infantry
3- Cavalry – Spearman: Spearman
4- Infantry – Spearman: Infantry
5- Spearman – Cavalry: Spearman
6- Cavalry – Infantry: Cavalry
Pay attention that I’m not saying you should always use that mentioned troop type for each formation. I’m just saying that, for example, the most secure troop type vs an equal force of Infantry cavalry, are cavalry.
For example, combining the points I mentioned above, you can fight with T3 Infantry and T4 Cavalry and T4 Spearman vs enemy Infantry-Spearman formation to reduce your loss and deal most damage to enemy.
Here are some additional things to consider:
1 – The default formation is Infantry – Cavalry. Using Cavalry as the main army in the early game is usually a great idea.
2 – Your formation has nothing to do with the troops you send. I mean for example; you can send only Infantry when your formation is Cavalry-Spearman. Formations only determine the order your troops will engage the enemy and won’t restrict you in any manner.
3 – Countering matters a lot, but buffs and troop ratio matter more. If you look at the troops' attributes that I posted earlier, you can see that higher-tier troops are nearly equal in stats. What makes your troops strong are the attack/defense/health buffs you have for them. Sometimes it’s best to use your best stats troops instead of what makes more sense with formations.
4 – Rally leaders can control the troops they receive when they start a rally from the toolbar on top. Using that and based on the formation they are using, they can control the ratio of each troop type for a better result.
The last thing I’m discussing in this guide is the commanders you must use for fighting.
If you open the “Specialization” tab in your commander’s page, you can see that each commander can contribute to the battlefield in 2 different ways:
- The Army tactic (or the active ability): Like “Act of Mercy” by Arya. Each commander can attack the enemy frontline every few seconds. The damage of the commander will be based on the army that accompanies them. If you don’t send any infantry, Arya won't deal any damage.
Only 4 commanders can accompany the same troop type armies. For example, if you send 5 cavalry commanders, one of them will sit out of battle and won’t use their army tactic during the battle.
- The Military Passives: Like “Dominator’s Howl” and “Warrior’s Shield” of Arya. These passive buffs will apply to your army whenever Arya is included in the battle. You don’t have to send infantry for them to be applied in the battlefield. You can see these buffs as commander’s bonus in the “Battle Log” page of a report when you’re hovering over the related buffs.
The experience proved that the passive buffs (Military Buffs) are more important than the army tactic in the current meta, so it’s better if you send higher quality (preferably gold) commanders who will Buff your frontline’s health and defense and your armies attack whenever you’re attacking or defending.
Commanders' own stats don’t matter in normal fighting, their damage is based on the army which is with them and their buffs quality is based on the quality of commanders (Their color). Commanders' levels are important for unlocking the specializations too.
Never use commanders who won’t buff your army even if you have them in higher quality. Commanders like Soren should never be used in the battlefield even if you have them gold.
The best commanders to be on your wall (for defense) are the ones that give a total bonus to all troops. Kevin, Seg, Arya, Tyrion, Sinara, Jaime, Layla, Theon, Margaery, Annie and all the commanders which come in 1000 BD packs, Jon, Daenerys, Sandor, Baelish, Cersei are all total army buffers. Julien can also be considered a Total attack commander (since he buffs all three frontlines by 30% when gold which is even higher than the other total attack commanders).
It’s also pretty smart to use Sinara, Jaime and Leila depending on your frontline as they have both total attack buffs and buffs for the frontline.
This is because, when defending all your army participates in the battlefield. You can also use the commanders which will buff your wall and fortifications but I won’t recommend personally.
Some Interesting Reports
Posting these reports with permission from the people involved (sorry if they are partially not readable I didn’t take the screenshots myself):
You can see how choosing Spearmen frontline vs Cavalry-Spearmen formation reduced the attacker’s casualty. The defender was using the wrong commanders on the wall as well.
Infantry as frontline vs Spearmen-Infantry formation reduced the attacker’s casualty.
The good number of T4 cavalry in the backline killed the enemy Infantry as the attacker guessed correctly that the enemy had a lot of Infantry.
The defender (left one) has the correct formation and hard counters the attacker. Since the majority of the attacker rally is infantry and they don’t have spears, they break against the Cavalry Infantry formation.
Thanks for reading!
P.S.: This was first published on 2020-06-15.