Attack Boost Vs. Defense Boost
I did a series of controlled experiments with the Attack Boost vs Defense Boost to determine which boost was better. Conventional wisdom would lead you to believe that you should use the Attack Boost when you are attacking someone and you should use the Defense Boost when you are defending your city against an aggressor. In fact, this is how most players use their boosts, mostly because they don’t know any better.
Quick note: It’s important to know the Attack Boost and Defense Boost are part of a trio of boosts, the third being Anti-Scout, that are mutually exclusive. Only one of those 3 can be used at a time.
Apart from the conventional wisdom about when to use each battle boost, many players are under the misconception that the Attack Boost doesn’t even have an effect when you are defending and the Defense Boost doesn’t have an effect when you are attacking. As you’ll see, this simply isn’t true. Part of the reason for the misunderstanding around Attack and Defense Boosts is the vague descriptions for these Items.
You get slightly more insight if you look at the single sentences at the top of the Attack and Defense Boost screens accessed from the main Boost Screen (icon on the right side of your city view). At the top of the Attack Boost screen, it says “Increase your Troop’s Attack with these boosts to deal more damage to your enemies!” and the top of the Defense Boost screen says “Increase your Troop’s Defense to suffer less casualties during a fight!” These little nuggets hint to the fact that either boost can be used during any kind of fight and underscore what their effects really are:
Activating Attack Boost enables you to kill more enemy troops.
Activating Defense Boost prevents more of your troops from dying.
It doesn’t matter whether you are the attacker or the defender. Either boost can be used for its intended effect.
Now that we are clear on what each boost does, how does each boost actually perform? In order to answer that question, I conducted a series of controlled studies where I recreated the exact same battle many times, with the only variable being the type of boost activated for each opponent.
In this Attack Boost vs Defense Boost experiment, a SH17 attacked a SH10. We would expect the SH17 to have more combat research completed, thereby giving it an advantage even when going against an equal number of opposing troops. To reduce the SH17 advantage, for no other reason than to make healing the victim’s troops quicker, the hero wasn’t included in the march. 300 evenly mixed T2 were sent against 300 evenly mixed T2. The SH17 marched with no hero, but the SH10 had it’s hero.
The fact that this comparison is not exactly apples to apples doesn’t matter. As long as we recreate the exact same battle conditions with only one variable, we can make conclusions about the effect of that variable – in this case, which boost was running.
Without further ado, here are the results. The first test is the baseline with no boosts running, for which all of the other tests are compared.
Attack Boost vs Defense Boost Test Results
|Test ID||Attacker’s Boost||Defender’s Boost||Attacker Losses||Defender Losses||Results|
|1||None||None||30||41||This is the control test to set baseline|
|2||Defense Boost||None||29||41||Defense boost reduced attacker’s losses by 3.3%|
|3||Attack Boost||None||30||48||Attack boost increased attacker’s kills by 17%|
|4||Attack Boost||Defense Boost||30||45||Defense boost reduced defender’s losses by 6.2%|
|5||Attack Boost||Attack Boost||36||48||Attack boost increased defender’s kills by 20%|
|6||Defense Boost||Defense Boost||29||39||Defense boost reduced defender’s losses by 4.9%|
|7||None||Defense Boost||30||39||Defense boost reduced defender’s losses by 4.9%|
|8||None||Attack Boost||36||41||Attack boost increased defender’s kills by 20%|
Conclusions About Attack and Defense Boosts
The Attack Boost is way better at its job (increasing kills) than the Defense Boost is at its job (reducing deaths). As you can see in the table, whenever the Defense Boost was used, that player lost a few less troops, but gave up considerably more kills by not using the Attack Boost. Where defense yields single digit percentage improvements in saved lives, attack yields double digit improvements in enemies killed.
If you’re goal is to inflict as much damage as possible, even when defending your city, the Attack Boost is the clear winner in the Attack Boost vs Defense Boost debate. However, because we don’t know the exact equation the game uses to determine battle outcomes, there may be other factors with more advanced players that improve the performance of the Defense Boost. For instance, perhaps Troop Health research and equipment has some multiplying effect on lives saved that isn’t yet clear. More tests are in order!
Friendly Reminder: Be sure to activate VIP bonus for additional attack boosts at VIP level 9 and 10.
Can you think of any scenario where a Defense Boost would be a better choice? Is there a fault in the testing method I used? What things would you like to see Battle Tested? Please tell us in the comments.
Contributed by Nogaro