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Voyle Sep 16, 2012 @ 10:25am
[Guide] Towers and Defense
This guide will hopefully explain to you everything you need to know about towers and defending your castle from the enemy. If you have suggestions or corrections please leave them below and they will be editted in as applicable. Most of the raw data can be found on the Wiki Page[] and on my spreadsheet[]. Additional Information on Units and Upgrades is provided in a companion guide.

Arrow (Propelled Arrow Dispensary)
  • Cheapest Tower in the Game
  • Good For mazing
  • Most effective when attacking enemies health
  • Only tower type you need while your enemy is using T1 units
  • Level 1 tower can reach 2 hexes away, while level 2/3 can shoot 3 hexes away.
  • Damage reduced to 40% vs armour or shields
Cannon (Ballistic Impulsion Facilitator)
  • Higher range than Lightning and Arrow, combined with its minimum range makes this tower ideal for secondary rows that are not directly mazed on
  • Long cooldown on shots makes it very prone to overkilling units. Try to spread out cannons when possible.
  • Usually only need 2-4 cannons vs knights
  • Against zoombots you will need far more (6-12 initially), because of the fact zoombots are mostly armour combined with the fact that cannons mostly overkill units, you will find your cannons less effective than expected vs zoombots.
  • Level 1 can shoot 3 hexes away while level 2/3 can shoot 4 hexes away. useful when covering the distance across a mine onto the path or further beefing up a 3 hex wide tower section.
  • Very effective vs armour (x4 damage)
  • Damage reduced to 25% vs health or shields
Lightning (Voltaic Liberation Apparatus)
  • Front loads its damage into a chaining attack that hits multiple targets.
  • Best used early in the maze to cleave off low level shields and around loops where it will get several attacks off on the same group.
  • Performs nearly as well on the third row as it does on the first row because of its ability to hit "any unit" and still hit the whole group. When possible try to reserve the front row for arrow towers.
  • Most expensive of the 3-basic towers
  • Not necessary vs tier 2 units, when your enemy upgrades to 1/3 shields you should drop one lightning, if they start sending shielders you should have at least 3 in the front of your maze with more scattered through the rest of your maze. For stanleys 4-8 lightning towers will be needed, with preferrance towards 8 if you have the gold.
  • Because of the large step up in need for lightning towers vs stanley it is recommended to start to build a few at the front of your maze before stanley's arrive so that you are prepared.
  • When hitting max number of targets a level 3 lightning will do more total health/armour damage than a level 3 arrow tower
  • Upgrades increase range to the same levels as the arrow tower, reduces cooldown between shots and increases number of targets hit. Upgrading this tower is often more gold efficient than upgrading cannons or arrows.
  • Super effective vs shields (x6 damage)
  • Damage reduced to 16% vs health or armour
Catapult (Torsion Projectile Approximator)
  • Slow firing and expensive tower with Area of Effect damage.
  • The slow rate of fire increases the chance of this tower to either miss the target or overkill the target. This quality becomes worse the more catapults you have in a single space.
  • Good at softening up a wave at the front of your maze and for increasing total damage at the front of your maze
  • High range, Good damage per hit. Best used in a position where the enemies will stay in range for a long period of time, or ideally where the enemies will return to through a loop.
  • Unable to shoot at zoombots, unless zoombots are being slowed by a fan
  • The upgraded version hits more targets (wider Area of Effect), has a longer range (more uptime) and more damage per shot, further the negative effects of missing a target are lessened with the increased area of effect from higher level catapults. Upgrading this tower is often more gold efficient than buying a second catapult of the same level.
  • Equal damage vs both armour and health
  • Damage is reduced to 25% against shielded targets, try to have lightning towers covering the radius you are using your catapult in.
Hammer (Mechanized Stature Diminisher)
  • High damage for 1 hex, good at killing the front tank of a group.
  • 1-1.5 second stun, useful near other strong towers
  • Hex based tower can be placed in different spots than radius based towers and have no negative effect on performance. This allows you to sell some arrow maze towers and put hammers down to support your other stronger towers
  • Expensive, relatively low dps, if you are considering this tower think more about how the stun will help you rather than the strike, its long reload speed means that it can usually only hit 1 target in a wave.
  • Upgrades increase the stun duration and moderately increase the damage. Upgrades are a a very poor return on investment in terms of gold spent, but if the stun is valuable (against a small group of very strong units) than it could be worth it.
  • Suggest many level 1 hammers as opposed to upgraded hammers
  • Does equal damage to all health types
Lava (Molten Discomfort Distributor)
  • 3 Second Damage over Time. If your enemy has movement speed increases it will cause your lava tower to start to clip its own damage as the units reach the next bucket faster. However since it is gauranteed 3 seconds of damage it is less effected by increases in speed than other towers.
  • Damage over time clipping can be mitigated (or avoided) by adding towers inbetween the buckets and increasing the travel time to each bucket.
  • Strong vs zoombots because faster units increases number of targets hit by each bucket. Edit: post update, now hits all targets passing by, but hits targets directly poured upon twice as hard. This makes it especially strong against hordes of small units.
  • Expensive to place down, arguable usefulness against 1.0 movespeed units.
  • Strong at killing shielders because they cannot avoid the lava damage through the use of a tank. Edit: now nerfed against shields to partially mitigate the overall large damage increase due to hitting all units, and to provide a counter.
  • Best placed on the end of a row where there is little space competition, the same as the hammer, hex based towers are more useful in areas that radius based towers wouldn't be.
  • When combined with an exit fan, it allows you to get 3 more seconds worth of the DoT effect, also the exit area can be lined with other towers to take advantage of the fan. I would not suggest putting fans all around it as your benefit will not outweigh the costs of placing fans.
  • Very reasonable upgrade curve, inbetween cannons and lightning for gold effectiveness.
  • Does equal damage to health and armor.
Fan (Cyclonic Momentum Decelerator)
  • Progressive slow starting 4 hexes infront of the fan and increasing in power as the units get closer to the fan
  • Only effects units moving directly against the fan (slow) or directly with it (fast).
  • To get maximum effect it is important to have 5 empty hexes infront of a fan, as part of the first hex the units will not be traveling against the fan, and are instead traveling at an angle. However 4 hexes is still very efficient.
  • The fan cannot blow through other towers, be careful when choosing its placement
  • The fan reduces the speed of units and does no damage itself, so in this way it does not help you deny battle points from your enemy, however if you have sufficient nearby towers it can save you money by using those existing towers in that zone instead of making a new zone.
  • ~10 nearby towers will make this tower gold efficient in your tower setup, if you have less more expensive towers it may still be worth it for you, a degree of judgement will need to be used.
  • Upgrades are very gold efficent. Often if it was worth placing down a level 1 fan it will be worth upgrading each level of the fan without need to change your towers.
Buff (Optical Proximity Multiplicator)
  • Hex efficient with only 3 other towers
  • Expensive tower, Best used when fully surrounded by 6 other level 3 towers.
  • Ideally used in loop sections so that your towers can get double benefit, and in the middle of a row so that your extra range isn't wasted.
  • Also very good with catapults, increasing their range by a percentage is very noticeable.
  • Suggest only using this tower when you have all level 3 towers in a section and are still looking for "something more".

  • Last line of defense
  • Base damage 22 dps per turret (total of 6 turrets), usually 2 turrets can hit any 1 target at any time
  • Each turret upgrade adds 11 dps to each turret (slightly under a level 1 arrow tower)
  • Equal damage to all health types
  • Prioritizes shielders first, and Motivators last
  • Requires at least 3 turret upgrades to dps through a healing aura (when only a few units have been leaked). When a large amount of units are in the healing aura you will require 8 turret upgrades (maximum of 9) to be able to kill any of the units.
  • Total of 25,000 Health
  • Generates ARG upon taking damage. A full meter occurs after taking 4850 damage
Last edited by Ar-Pharazon; Jun 21, 2014 @ 9:21am
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Voyle Sep 16, 2012 @ 10:25am 
The following will be less about specific towers and more about the concepts and strategies to build a successful defense.

Layered Health System

The units “Health” comes in three layers:
  • Shields. To counter shields you need lightning.
  • Armour. To counter armour you need cannons.
  • Health. To counter health you need arrows.
This is one of the most important concepts to the game. When units are pathing through your maze you should look at them and decide if they have too much shields, too much armour, or too much health, and use that information to build your next tower or replace an existing tower. Often 1 layer will be giving you troubles and reducing the output of your other towers. Ex. zoombots going by your all arrow maze, all of your arrows damage is wasted if they are shooting at the armour, if you place more cannons down your arrows will be able to do health damage and become effective.

Denying Battle Points

Battle points are given for each second that units are alive inside your maze, this makes it very important to kill the enemy's units quickly. For more information on how battle points are earned please see this post. Before we move on, I'd really suggest you check out that post.

Tower Placement

Often being able to build towers properly (efficiently) will allow you to save gold in defending your castle and be able to use that “extra” gold to put pressure on your opponent. The general idea is to build enough lightning and cannons to kill the shields and armour of the units being sent at you and fill the rest of the spots with arrows to kill the health of the units. As the game progresses you will often need to shift to more cannons and more lightning and an overall larger maze. If you find yourself needing more cannons/lightning you can either sell existing arrow towers, or plan ahead for your needs and keep a level 1 “placeholder” cannon/lightning in your maze and upgrade it when needed. This alternative strategy will save you gold long term, but cost more gold upfront and in most cases help your opponent earn battle points.

When you finally decide what additional tower(s) you need, you should then select the hex that works best for your chosen tower. This will end up giving you much better results than choosing a tower to "Fit" on a specific hex. Often most hexes aren't worthy of an expensive tower and should be filled with an arrow to maze on, but the best spots should be saved for lightnings/cannons to get several shots off from one spot, this will save you money from increased effectiveness of your more expensive towers.

Looping the Path

When you loop enemies around towers you have, the towers in range will do more damage, as they have a longer uptime on the enemy units. It is important to upgrade your towers on the loops as they are going to be your most effective towers. High cooldown towers (Catapult/Lightning) are very useful on the end/start of loops as they are able to front load their damage as the wave starts to come, and can continue to attack the wave for a good amount of time while they slowly get out of range and then are still back off of cooldown by the time the front unit gets to the other side of the loop.

Avoid Leaks

Should be self-explanatory, but often I see players disregard their defences and leak units constantly. If you are leaking this wave you are definitely leaking the next wave. Almost every send the enemy launches at you will get progressively stronger, and you need to keep your maze getting progressively stronger to counter their advantage. Towers are expensive compared to units, but they pay themselves off in the long run if you build efficiently.

Exception: ARGed units will make it much further than the next unit wave, however if you are able to shut down an ARG send, you are likely safe for at least 2-3 more normal sends so it could still be worth trying to stop.

Avoid “Stacking” non-arrow towers

In most scenarios it will be inefficient to have a group of the same towers in one concentrated area, The layered health system means that you are encouraged to have a variety of towers in your tower build to be able to burn through each unit consecutively. When "stacking" towers, their negative qualities are magnified.

Turtling Mine Upgrades

After a big send instead of upgrading your units and following it up with a better send to put pressure on your enemy you can instead upgrade your mines and spend your gold on towers. This will give you a gold advantage over your opponent and it forces them to attack you to be able to get enough BP to upgrade their own mines to match you, this will take them at least a minute to get up to your speed if timed correctly and can give you a slight gold advantage. Since you are building towers it will allow you to safely live through your mines downtime (the period of time where you recover the cost of your mine through its increased income). This often forces your opponent to upgrade a mine when their defences are not ready for it, because they are too worried about matching your gold mine rather than losing gold in the future.

Building with Mines

Often Mines will be right in your way and end up blocking off many valuable hexes. Your best options are to either avoid the mine entirely, or build towards it and use the most dead hexes as possible. Remember mines are meant to change your "normal build" and you must use judgement whether or not it is worth going past a mine at all, and if so which sides you want to go past.
Last edited by Voyle; Sep 18, 2012 @ 2:26pm
Voyle Sep 16, 2012 @ 11:00am 
Example builds and explanations of pros and cons for each map. Will build on this section as time permits, example screenshots appreciated.

Battle Bluffs

  • Opening Builds
    • Can give you a first wave advantage under certain conditions
    • Often a mark of a new player and a free win
    • Quickly loses value from the second wave+
    • Very hex inefficient and the lack of tower density makes your enemy gain BP for free.
    • 1 Step up from the standard build
    • Will beat a standard build, but is still lacking in initial firepower compared to the other builds.
    • Has a nice natural fan location on the end of the row
  • 2 Wide Deny
    • 1 Step up from the 1 wide deny
    • Will be fairly competitive with most other builds
    • Has room for fans at the end of rows
    • Can fit multiplicators on starting towers
    • Fairly constant tower density to burn through support units quickly
    • Easily expandable in early game for more cannons/arrows without the need to sell
  • 3 Wide Deny
    • You guessed it, 1 Step up from the 2 wide deny
    • Will be fairly competitive with most other builds
    • Has room for fans at the end of rows
    • Can fit multiplicators on starting towers on both sides of the road
    • Fairly constant tower density to burn through support units quickly
    • Easily expandable in early game for more cannons/arrows without the need to sell
    • Will have more initial firepower than the 2 Wide Deny, but after ~8 hexes will drop to the same levels
    • The 3 hexes on the shoulder (mainly in the bottom corner) often feel useless as they have such a fraction of their potential uptime in this shape.
  • Straight Line
    • Most aggressive build
    • In the short run will be the best at killing units
    • Vulnerable to healers as the "maze" is only 8 hexes long
    • with 3 rows on either side of the path, your incidental damage will be huge, but your single target burn will just cut down any knight/support unit
    • Needs a fan to be very viable, the short path can be a problem against long wave sizes if units are able to get passed your tower block while your towers are reloading
    • Long Term you may feel like you don't have enough hexes to maze with, but you can always do that on the third island.
    • So expandable to your needs that you might wonder why there isn't more people doing this build.
    • Many of the advantages of the 3 wide deny without all of the useless towers in the corner.
    • Fairly inflexible to the need for more cannons/arrows, you will need to sell/upgrade hard to changing scenarios.
    • Very aggressive start, the second hex is in range of 20 towers
    • Good vs shielder as the curves naturally put the front unit out of range and your damage is spread incidentally over the entire wave. Also key lightning locations can easily cover more hexes than in a standard deny build
    • Long term less hex efficient than a regular deny build as it doesn't account for fan spacing. However this build is also cheaper gold wise until the fan comes out.
    • More initial gold cost than a standard build but becomes equal to or better by wave 2

Dusk Till Death

  • Map Features
  • Natural bridges
    • Remember to use these to loop around established towers as often as possible. This will allow you to save a lot of gold for defense and make this "small map" much more defensible


  • Opening Builds
    • Strong overall tower density
    • Many possible fan locations
    • Depending on mines, you can use any/all ramps without compromising the starting build
    • Room for multiplicators at the front later in the game
    • Room for early lava tower if facing zoombots
    • Long Natural loop gives many of your front towers increased uptime and makes catapults very appealing
    • Heavier opening, can give you an advantage for the first 5ish waves
    • 2 multiplicator spots in the front in a fan zone, can help lock down tier 2/3 units for a longer period of time.
    • Many fan locations
    • Initial curve gives your inside lane a lot of benefit for more expensive towers, which can be extended into two fan zones
    • More effective arrow towers, as they are shooting from either side rather than across 3 hexes of towers
    • Blocks 2 of the 5 Ramps, still enough to go down and return and leave again
    • Little Benefit to looping around the start, as there are very few maze-able hexes. However benefits from much higher tower density.
    • Easily expandable to a lava tower for zoombots
  • Map Features
  • Ramps/Staircases
    • Avoid the Ramps/Staircases for at least the first 10 hexes whenever possible. They are a good source of early free BP for your enemy if you let them.
    • They can also be used as a great source of loops to strengthen your defenses and increase your incidental damage on the back half of the wave.
Last edited by Voyle; Sep 20, 2012 @ 9:36am
Voyle Sep 20, 2012 @ 9:05am 
If you have other starting builds / effective tower layouts you would like to share please either let me know and i'll add the screenshot to the above post, or add it to the comments below. Hopefully some inspiration / discussions can arise.
RimJob (Banned) Sep 20, 2012 @ 6:41pm 
If you're having issues with this game and it "sucking", take the time and read this, you'll be top 100 in 2 days. Great job Voyle thanks a lot:)
Evan FTL Sep 23, 2012 @ 5:07pm 
Thank you, good read.
Bastispark Oct 4, 2012 @ 10:45am 
how many of a certain tower do i need for a certain unit?
this is what u could include
KazeTanade Oct 6, 2012 @ 7:06am 
hi Voyle, as a new player, I find it very vexing that although all the guides say that arrow towers are the best at dealing with Health, to deal with knights I require an extremely long maze, equal to that needed to deal with zoombots; except Knights are harder to kill.

With that view, I'd like to ask if the EXACT setup you used in the 1-shoulder deny build, with the high density of cannons, is effective at dealing with Knights, and more so compared to stacking many arrow towers with sparse cannons interwoven between them. It may not be 1 shoulder, but 2, 3, or even straight line, but I would like to know about the tower densities and ratios for dealing with most Tier 2 assaults.
Blizzie Oct 6, 2012 @ 10:29am 
You watch the units as they walk through your maze. You should be able to tell if you need more cannons or not. Zoombots will require a few more cannons spread out due to their faster speed. There's no magic ratio since this is a dynamic game and what you do will vary depending on what you opponent does. A lot of it is practice and learning.
Voyle Oct 6, 2012 @ 9:38pm 
Originally posted by KazeTanade:
hi Voyle, as a new player, I find it very vexing that although all the guides say that arrow towers are the best at dealing with Health, to deal with knights I require an extremely long maze, equal to that needed to deal with zoombots; except Knights are harder to kill.

With that view, I'd like to ask if the EXACT setup you used in the 1-shoulder deny build, with the high density of cannons, is effective at dealing with Knights, and more so compared to stacking many arrow towers with sparse cannons interwoven between them. It may not be 1 shoulder, but 2, 3, or even straight line, but I would like to know about the tower densities and ratios for dealing with most Tier 2 assaults.

That picture (the 1 wide deny) was actually taken vs zoombots. Against knights I usually only build 2-4 cannons with a high amount of arrow towers, the faster the arrows can burn through the knight the less cannons you need. However it is very important that one of your cannons can hit the first unit as soon as he enters your maze. More than 3 cannons firing at one knight will be ineffective, so try to spread them out, but its alright to have more in the front and just 1 further back.
Jack - FRANCE Dec 27, 2012 @ 1:38am 
Very helpfull, thx for your work ! Will try this tonight at home ^^
hahaha Dec 27, 2012 @ 10:33pm 
thanks, i was looking for data like that.
MindALot Jan 7, 2013 @ 8:21pm 
Are there any good gameplay videos showing some of these starts and a good notificiation of when/where to upgrade? I'm very curious when you would rip out part of the starting maze to add in the lava pit. I've uploaded a few gameplay videos, however I have not yet been able to build decent mazes, and seem to suffer from zoombots in most games.
Sausenebb Oct 20, 2013 @ 3:54pm 
Thank you! I was looking for something like this.
Roald Hoffmann Nov 4, 2013 @ 3:02pm 
Hi Voyle,

First of all, thank you so much for this guide! It definitely helps me get a better understanding of what the heck is going on in this game, since I am still new and have not yet been able to beat even the level 1 bot XD

Just a question, I see your image for the 1 Wide Shoulder Deny tower layout, however I don't understand how the 2 Wide and 3 Wide variations would look. Can you (or anyone else reading this forum) please post a picture of that? From the description, I am having a hard time understanding what makes it different. In my head I am just picturing the same thing but with less towers and twice as much area for the enemy wave to walk through, but that doesn't seem right to me... then again I am a noobie so maybe that is what it is!

Thanks again!!
Voyle Nov 5, 2013 @ 3:25pm 
It just beefs up the "empty shoulder", so more towers on the left if you are green or more towers on the right if you are desert. It helps a lot for the earlier game, but a lot of the towers on the shoulder get very little use. I haven't been playing this for a while now but hopefully that makes sense. The straight line is still one of my favourites for that map, in which you basically go diagonally down towards the middle and then all the way back in a straight line and then loop back up to the island, you can have 4 towers on ethier side of the path and it can shut down your opponent well into t3.

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