ARMED! Strategy Guide Part 0

ARMED! Strategy Guide Part 0
   I love ARMED. It is a turn based strategy game currently exclusive for Windows Phone. I never expected a mobile game to be so cool and make me play it for so long. However I have a problem with it. It is not challenging anymore. I hardly hit anyone who can beat me on the ladder. At the moment I am writing this I occupy the first place and I have lost a total of five games (not counting all the cases I accidentally hit the search button). So I decided to create this strategy guide hoping that other players will read it and improve their game. I do not claim that this is the best and only strategy but I was able to get first on the leaderboards by using it. I would be happy if more players manage to beat me either with my own strategy or one devised to counter it. For the rest of this article I will assume you have have at least played ARMED! the tutorial.

   Disclaimer: Due to changes in patches and evolution of the metagame this opening is not as good as it used to be. It certainly can work and I believe it is still the best on at least one map but it will lose to better openings on most maps. The principles outlined in the article still apply but the specifics are not that clear. For example the optimal unit composition currently involves strikers and it is possible to rush for your opponent's resources with early pushes that this article assumed were impossible. I will leave it as an excercise to the reader to find on which maps the opening works and on which it does not.

Economy-based Strategy Game

   An economy-based strategy game is a strategy game in which the most important aspect to getting better army is the economy. In this kind of game you are able to produce more numerous, better upgraded and higher tech army by acquiring and spending more resources. Note that not every strategy game is economy based. For example WarCraft III is a mixed bag because there is the hero. Even if you have worse economy you may still have stronger army if your hero is higher level. ARMED! however is pure economy-based strategy game.

   The main rule in an economy based game is that you want to invest in economy as much as possible and have just enough to stop your opponent's attack. Assuming you stop his attack with at most equal casualties you should be able to produce better army later because your early investment in economy will pay off. The opposite strategy (sometimes called "rush") is to try to catch an opponent who has invested in economy too much off guard and defeat or severely damage him early. The reason a player who has invested in economy should win in theory is that there is a distance between the bases. If it takes 5 turns for a tank to get to your base this means that you can start making tanks 4 turns later than your opponent and still have equal number of tanks to what he can bring to attack your base at any given time. You can invest these 4 turns in economy.

   The economy in ARMED! is represented by capturing resource nodes. The best way to invest in economy is build drones. Drones are fast and can fly over obstacles so they can capture more resources faster than any other unit. The smallest distance on any ARMED! map is 5-6 tank turns and the opponent needs at least 1 turn to build a factory. This means that we can safely invest in factories and drones in the beginning. I choose to open with 2 factories on the first turn and build 2 drones on the second. I place the factories closest to the nearest resources and closest to the middle of the map. I then go on to capture the closest resources. On the third turn I build two more drones and rally them to capture the next couple of resources. Immediately after capturing the first and second resource nodes I send the two drones to resources in the area of the opponent. If the opponent has opened with fewer drones I usually manage to steal a resource node at least for some time. This allows me to catch up with tanks from my two factories because I have much higher income. I use the drones' speed to avoid tanks. My opponent cannot possibly have tanks everywhere so if he is investing in tanks there will be a resource node that is undefended. Even if I block the resource node and do not capture it this still gives me higher income. In addition drones are useful in the late game as they can spot for units in certain location. I sometimes sneak drones in the back of the enemy base and steal undefended resource nodes. It works quite often.

   After the initial 4 drones I start producing tanks from both factories. Unless the opponent does the same strategy he is forced to pull tanks to side resources to take them back because I have stolen them with a drone. If he pulls more than two tanks I have a numbers advantage in the middle and push for one of the middle resources. If they don't pull tanks I just wait for the resource advantage to kick in and push the middle resource with sheer numbers.

   This strategy works best on open maps because you can use the drones more effectively. This strategy can be stopped relatively easy on Riverted because it is easy to keep all resources with a small number of tanks and the forests near the bridge provide easier way to defend with fewer tanks. Still you can use it to split the map in half. On Deserted there is the option to take the middle resource early and set up defenses there. Despite the fact that the player who opens drones will have more resources early on it is really hard to break this position and the person defending the middle can easily take his half of the map later.

   So this is the basic opening that should make the average ARMED! player much better. This is not my entire strategy. I may post more if I do not see enough improvement on the ladder, if there is interest and if I have the time.

   I hope better understanding of the game will make it more interesting for everybody.

   P.S. Please support the fight against the absurd behavior of the Search button which is by far the worst part of Windows Phone by upvoting the issue on the feedback site.
Tags:   english games 
Last edited by:   Stilgar
on   20:53 04.06.2012
Posted by:   Stilgar
12:37 21.01.2012


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Posted by   Guest (Unregistered)   on   04:45 25.01.2012

Thank you so much. This is what I need and some more of your secrets. Maybe in a costume match you can show me some tricks. My nick is firstmattheo. For so long you are my Armed! Hero
Sincerely Matthias

Posted by   bobafet1 (Unregistered)   on   05:44 02.02.2012

dude now everybdys doing your start its like every mach i play is vs you for about 3 mins. its gona be harer to steal that rank 1 spot if your telling everybdy how o play

Posted by   Stilgar   on   11:14 02.02.2012

Certainly it is better than people opening with a turret next to their base :)

Posted by   Dexstarr (Unregistered)   on   15:39 12.02.2012

Wow!  My mind is blown!  You just totally changed the way I look at some aspects of the game.  I've always opened with 2 factories, 2 drones, 2 drones, and then tanks, tanks, tanks, artillery, etc, but you've convinced me that I wasn't doing it effectively.

I've always wondered how you can amass so many tanks so quickly.  I feel much better about losing if I get the chance to learn something.

I'm going to throw out some questions I would love to hear you answer, whether it's in a reply comment, or a 2nd strategy guide, or a private email.  I'm grateful for any info however you choose to put it out there.

In no particular order...
1) Defensive structures... do you ever use them or do you stick with a tank fleet?  If so, which ones to use in what circumstances?

2) On Sn0wned, how do you invest in econ when the resource nodes are so spread out?  Even if you have more tanks, if you don't distribute them correctly, they can be wiped out.  For example, if you split them equally between the far left and far right nodes, your opponent can concentrate all of theirs on one, and then the other (or worse, march right up the middle and destroy your base very early.... You've pulled that on me more than once!).

3) Number of Factories...  How many do you usually end up with?  Where are some good spots to put them?  Do you ever build hangers or mech factories, or you do always choose the reactor path?
One Last Thing...
I applaud you schooling all of us and your sportsmanship in wanting to help others be better competitors.  Obviously you want to have some secrets, but there's still a lot more we can learn from you.

Would you please consider posting some YouTube videos of typical match from start to finish?  It would be immensely helpful to see it from your viewpoint and is an easy way to teach a lot without having to write a long document.  Most of the effort would be playing the actual games, which you're going to do anyway.

If your wish is really to play against an opponent who offers you a real challenge because they've devised a strategy that counters yours, showing us a few matches (or even just one) from your end is the best way to facilitate that.

In fact, I might post some of my matches on YouTube so people can quickly learn how to lose and/or what DOESN'T work.  :)

Thanks for everything...

Posted by   Stilgar   on   16:38 12.02.2012

Thanks for your reply.

1) I use defensive structures in two situations
  - When I need to deploy firepower to some location quickly and can't wait for armies to come from the base. An example of this would be if I manage to take the middle resource on the side of the opponent on Sn0wned.
  - When it looks like the situation is not going to change for a long time and I have a lot of money. For example I may fortify one or both of the edge resources on Sn0wned. This allows me to redploy troops more confidently. Even if I lose some army two fully upgraded defense structures + a repair depot are really hard to take out.

2) This really depends on the situation in the game. USUALLY I try to be the one who wipes the opponent if he spreads too thin and not the one who tries to defend everything. I go for the side resources when the middle is secured (usually this means position in the woods and an artilery). But really the answer to this question varies depending on the situation in game and I have made the wrong decision more than once.

3) For the meaningful part of the game I stick with 2. One of them has a reactor for sure, the other depends on the map (because some maps require air units). Sometimes if I make the meaningful upgrades and have money to spare I would build a third factory with a mech lab to be able to push the middle or something.

Keep in mind that the answers to these questions are very likely to change with the upcoming balance patch. I chose to write about something that is not likely to change to avoid having an obsolete article in a few weeks. I have another article that I am going to post shortly but I am waiting for a screenshot.

Do you suggest shooting a video of my phone with another camera while playing? I believe this will produce bad results.

Posted by   Curious Guest (Unregistered)   on   18:27 18.05.2014

In maps like Riverted, where the enemy is close to you if you have flying units, how do you respond.  I tried your strategy against the insane AI and it works fine.  Against other players though I seem to be too protective of my southern most resource and then don't have enough to keep my other two protected, or I don't have enough protection and the enemy flies over with 5 strikers and takes over my south resource and then destroys one factory on the turn afterward, and the other on the next turn. How do you keep this balance, do you stay with your tank only defense, or do you go to the air in the first few turns?

Posted by   Stilgar   on   18:37 18.05.2014

After some of the balance patches this strategy is not as good anymore especially on maps like Riverted. It works on a couple of the larger maps but not on Riverted. I haven't played in a while but last time I checked best thing on Riverted was to crank up two tanks from one factory while upgrading it to strikers and use them to take the resource and push along the far bridge towards their resource and eventually take it for a while if it is undefended. If they overdefend you push with strikers across the river. It was a fine balance and probably the metagame evolved since I last played.

As I said the strategy in this article still works on a couple of the larger maps or at least it used to when I last played.

Posted by   Armed Pro (Unregistered)   on   03:14 25.10.2014

Not at all helpful

Posted by   Stilgar   on   09:12 25.10.2014

Well, it is out of date. Believe me it was very helpful when it was written.

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