ARMED! Strategy Guide Part 1

ARMED! Strategy Guide Part 1
   This is my second article giving tips for playing the wonderful Windows Phone game ARMED!. If you have not done so yet you should check part 0.

   This article will deal with some subtleties with the game's interface that can prove important in actual game. In competitive gaming execution is often more important than strategy and while ARMED! does not require sharp reflexes and good aim like Quake or accurate and fast multitasking like StarCraft there is still room for better execution.

   While most people (including me) have called ARMED! a turn based strategy game this is not in fact true. First of all it is obvious that players are not taking turns. It is more like a real time strategy (RTS) game where every 25 (I asked for the actual number) units of time the game is paused and players can give commands. Then the game is resumed and all commands are executed simultaneously. Players cannot give commands unless the game is paused again. Different actions take different amount of time and multiple actions can be performed between pauses if they fit in the time interval. On the other hand an action can be split between two time intervals. Actions are things like moving, shooting and capturing a resource (10 time units).


   In strategy games a waypoint is a point that the unit should visit on its route to some specific location. Usually the player gives a queue of waypoints for the units to follow. This is especially useful if you want to do a flank or sneak a unit behind enemy lines. In ARMED! waypoints can also be used to capture several resources in a row without giving commands every time a resource is reached. You just queue the resources as waypoints in one turn and you are done. However waypoints in this game are much more important than simple convenience for the player. Imagine that you have a Sentry and you want it to capture a couple of resources. The sentry is 5 time units of travel away from the first resource and the second resource is 25 time units away. If you do not use waypoints the Sentry will take the first resource on the first turn, then you will give it a command for the second turn, it will travel during the second turn and will capture the second resource on the third turn. If you use waypoints the Sentry will capture the first resource on the first turn and travel towards the second resource for 10 time units (5 + 10 + 10 = 25). On the second turn it will travel the remaining 15 time units and capture the second resource for the remaining 10 time units. This way just by using waypoints you capture the resource one turn earlier.

Rally Points

   In strategy games a rally point is a point set for a unit producing structure (in ARMED! this is the Factory) where new units head for as soon as they are produced. This is convenient because you can set it to a place near the battle and skip giving the same commands every turn for all your new units. It is important to note that rally points are dynamic thing. You should change them often as the battle front changes. In fact I used rally points to command new units before I produce them. I find it easier to select the large factory building than the small unit that has been produced. You can set a rally point on the factory, produce a unit and then set another rally point before ending the turn. The unit will follow the old rally point. Note that rally points can be combined with waypoints to achieve complex behaviors for the units.

Some Tricks

   Non-flying units cannot see units over cliffs. This way you can monitor a path or even hold a resource with a Sentry and the enemy cannot prevent this unless he brings his own flying units to let him see your Sentry. This is especially annoying for the opponent because you can have his resource blocked for several turns while he brings a flying unit over. It is even more annoying if he does not have a Sentry and needs to stop army production to get one. Many maps have spots like this near resources. Look for them! If you cannot take a resource and do not see enemy blocking it this is not a bug. Just check the cliff! As it happens this is a great use for your initial Sentries. For my first Sentries I set rally points to capture a couple of resources and then take spots over cliffs.

Example of actual rally points I use on the map Villcano. Notice how the Sentry will stop over the cliff before stealing the enemy resource.

   You can use waypoints to move units in cover. On certain maps I set waypoints for the units to move in cover rather than take the shortest route. This way they are somewhat protected and can surprise the opponent's units which cannot retaliate. I set waypoints for Sentries to move over cliffs or to take air paths avoiding the usual places where the opponent moves his tanks.

   Using rally points you can finish the turn much faster. Usually I set complex rally points the first two turns and then for several turns they remain static. There is not much to do on the first few turns anyway so you can concentrate on rally points but then the game gets complex. If you have set the complex rally points in the first turn you can quickly produce a couple of units and end the turn. This puts pressure on the opponent as his time will be reduced. This way he is more likely to make a mistake. Just make sure you do not end the turn before giving all necessary commands.

   The developers have said that in the next version of the game the units will choose their spawn location based on the rally points so this will make them even more important.

   So this is what waypoints and rally points are. Love them, use them and invent more ways to make them useful!
Tags:   english games 
Posted by:   Stilgar
13:35 17.02.2012


First Previous 1 Next Last 

Posted by   Guest (Unregistered)   on   05:37 18.02.2012

Thx again

Posted by   Guest (Unregistered)   on   01:56 10.01.2013

I've been playing Single Player on Surface.  I cannot even get close to beating Insane AI on Riverted map.  Any suggestions?  Thanks in advance

Posted by   Stilgar   on   02:13 10.01.2013

Don't sweat over it. The Insane AI cheats (i.e. it has more money than you). It is certainly beatable but it is totally useless skill. Even if you beat it with a certain strategy this is not what is useful in multiplayer. I don't even remember if I ever played against the insane AI after I first installed the game on Windows Phone.

Traditionally in games where the AI has more money you abuse some hole in the AI usually by camping. Hide units in the forest build turrets (after you take your side of the resources), artilleries and attack very slowly. I assume that the AI will just throw units at you in a manner that is not cost efficient. Keep in mind that this will not work in multiplayer as human players will probably not throw units at you in stupid ways.

Posted by   Guest (Unregistered)   on   00:33 11.01.2013

Thanks for the prompt response.  You're right about the money advantage. It seems to be so enormous that the AI is able to muster a massive force almost immediately and it is impossible to hold onto any extra resources for very long.  It's frustrating, but I don't like to lose.  Maybe soon I'll get up the courage to try multiplayer.  Thanks for the excellent tips and the help.  Best.

Posted by   Stilgar   on   00:47 11.01.2013

You should learn to lose. Everybody loses in multiplayer even the best players:)

Posted by   Guest (Unregistered)   on   00:47 12.01.2013

Learning to lose is for losers!  :)

Posted by   Stilgar   on   03:49 12.01.2013

Quite the opposite. Losers are people who don't know how to lose. To be a winner you should be able to handle losses.

Posted by   Guest (Unregistered)   on   01:06 16.01.2013

You're right.  I was attempting humorous sarcasm.

An update on the insane AI incase anyone else stumbles across this with the same troubles.  Stilgar, your basic advice was sound.  Here are the particulars of how I was able to best the insane AI and now it's quite easy.

Build two factories and churn out drones to claim resources on your side of the river.  Send a couple extras to interfere with the AI resources on the other side of the river, but you won't hold any more than a turn or two.  That's OK.  Be sure to keep drones near all of your resources otherwise you'll lose them quickly and even if you get them back in a turn, every unit of production is critical.  

Don't bother building up defensive structures, or even upgrading much initially.  Use all your resources to churn out tanks and artillery.  Place them in the forests at the north and south ends of the map and place some artillery behind the mountains.  If you have enough fire power you can withstand most assaults, although you will have to be vigilant about replenishing your losses.  Even though it could muster enough units to overwhelm you, the AI opts for a strategy of maintaining a constant attack of about four to six units.  

The first upgrade you should make is to convert one of your factories into a hanger (after it has shields) and start building up air power.  Once you have six ships and a couple hover tanks, then you have an offensive group that can do damage and usually win most battles.  You can launch an offensive across the river at the south end and you can usually overtake the resources that are on the opposite river bank.  

Remember to continue to build up tanks and artillery and use the upgrades to double factory production or build more factories.  Use waypoints effectively to keep units moving towards both the north and south areas to continue replenishing your losses.  Also continue to build air resources to move into the offensive.  A mistake I made was to send one or two units to supplement my offensive force.  It's better to wait until you have a self-sufficient group before moving into combat.  If that means you lose a group that is already engaged, so be it.  You'll probably lose them anyway and sending one or two units at a time is throwing good units after bad.  

After you take the resources on the opposite bank, you can immediately move in and attack the AI's factories at their main base.  If you've accomplished everything so far and your defenses are holding, then you've won.  You can either have some fun picking off the AI's other bases or go for the throat and take out the headquarters immediately.  

The keys: (1) secure resources immediately, (2) buy units, not upgrades or structures, (3) secure the bridges (hence your resources) with overwhelming fire power from tanks up front supported by artillery in the rear with as many units in the forests as possible, (4) develop air power as soon as you can without jeopardizing your defensive posture, (5) build up strong units of at least six air ships and two hover tanks before deploying them offensively.

Posted by   Stilgar   on   01:45 16.01.2013

We're waiting for you in the multiplayer :)

Posted by   Guest (Unregistered)   on   00:41 05.02.2013

<Still trying to listen to your advice regarding being a good loser to become a better winner...>  ;^)

You sound like you know what you are talking about which seems rare these days.

Thanks for this great effort to create a strategy guide, we haven't found anything nearly as useful as part 0 or part 1.  

The *best* thing we got out of this was a matter game mechanics; this was learning that factories have *waypoints*, it then took us a bit of a while to figure out how these worked.  D'oh!  

Oh gee, just drag the little yellow circle around the factory, same as for a tank; how counter-intuitive, buildings should not move... (usually)

Now we have to wonder whether there are other game mechanics we still need to learn that should, perhaps be spelled out in a short guide book covering all controls or options.  

We have yet to find anything that explains all the controls and options available.  We are too old-fashioned to have any patience with the video guides that are becoming so popular on Youtube; they are too hard to search for the relevant information.  With no way to run a search on audio or video content (yet) it's a frustrating way for us to learn; we still have to take notes...

Anyways, thanks again for these guides!  

We have not made up our minds whether we will show up in multiplayer, we do that occasionally, but usually do not play long, as we *still* have cumbersome socialization issues.  <sigh>

Avalon Hill Gamer ---
Grigori Rho Gharveyn, aka Greg Gourdian, Roger Holler, etc...

Posted by   Guest (Unregistered)   on   00:47 05.02.2013

OBTW Stilgar,
We may want to investigate this; we have been a big fan of Dune... We owe a lot to Frank Herbert and quite a few other excellent authors.


Posted by   Stilgar   on   01:22 05.02.2013

Did you play through the tutorial. It explains a lot of things though it leaves many things unexplored.

I thought about writing more articles but I am afraid they will be obsoleted by changes in the game. Part 1 is now obsolete though it still works on a couple of maps (figuring out which ones is left as an exercise for the reader). I may write another strategy guide after the next patch.

Posted by   Guest (Unregistered)   on   03:49 08.02.2013

Yah, played through several tutorials to make sure we eked out all we could.

We shelled out for the ARMED! Forever deal, alas it hardly seems worth the difference in price...  We expected at least some immediate added value...  

We are making diagrams of the 7 game maps in Excel (we like the MS Office drawing tools).  Also, we have made a table comparing all units.  We will follow that up with some upgrade tables.    We will post these somewhere when done and provide a link here.

We may be ready for casual play, not ready to work under pressure yet...  ;^)

Grigori Rho Gharveyn

Posted by   Stilgar   on   04:02 08.02.2013

It is true that the forever pack has no immediate value. The idea is that new map packs and other features will come with future updates. The guys have been strangely silent for a while so I believe they will come with something meaningful soon. BTW you may want to join the Facebook page ( ) and post there. The developers often reply to comments and questions.

Posted by   Grigori Rho Gharveyn   on   15:27 09.02.2013

Sorry, FB kinda hurts, socialization issues...
 However, we did scan it quickly the other day...

Here is a link to the maps we drew:  <a href="">ARMED! MAPS</a>


Posted by   Grigori Rho Gharveyn   on   15:34 09.02.2013

Three times is a charm?  
Where are the options to edit posts or delete them?

One more time: <a href="">ARMED_MAPS</a>

(we may have forgotten more html than we ever knew...)

Posted by   Stilgar   on   17:28 09.02.2013

Sorry there is no way to delete or edit comment. Admin (i.e. me) can delete them but even I cannot edit them. I implemented the system myself as an exercise and as a result it is missing may features and others don't work well. HTML in the comments is not supported. Just drop the URL and the system will make it a link. No way to make a link from a specific word though.

Posted by   Grigori Rho Gharveyn   on   02:50 11.02.2013

Well hey, we like your site software, it's a great job for a DIY app.  We like programming, but we know too little to do anything really fun, useful, yes, IBM used to pay us pretty well to be useful sometimes, but fun? rarely.

Of course the real fun is sorting out the logic and learning new routines.  Alas, we seem to forget faster than we learn these days.

As for ARMED!  We are coming along, gaining confidence, learning the maps.  

If you have ever seen any of the old Avalon Hill games, this one seems most like Blitzkrieg from the point of view of speed being of the essence.  Not sure if Avalon Hill ever put out a game this small or generic though.

Our favorites were Anzio and Afrika Corps; those took days or weeks to play.

We like the fast pace, of the Armed! scenarios, albeit evenly matched players may find it a long haul.

The one part of the game that might be a sore spot for us at this point is the symmetry of the maps.  We would prefer more natural maps that are balanced by starting positions and resource availability, but which do not start out dead even.  Different playing styles might see different starting points as being more advantageous.

Where is the map editor for making our own maps to play?  What about making campaigns, do you think ARMED! will evolve in those directions?


Posted by   Stilgar   on   03:04 11.02.2013

Non-symmetric maps are possible but really hard to balance. Competitive games have moved away from non-symmetric maps through the years and aim for more and more symmetry as it guarantees some level of balance. The amount of effort spent in developing a balanced non-symmetric map is disproportional to the amount of fun. It is better to invest the time in creating more maps.

As far as I know Armed maps are not meant to be developed through an editor. In fact the art is kind of background image and not part of the actual tile. Armed is already pretty sophisticated for a mobile game and I have not heard of a mobile game which has a public level editor. Maybe some day they will get there but for this to happen Armed should become insanely successful.

Posted by   Guest (Unregistered)   on   03:16 25.10.2014

blah blah blah still not helpful

First Previous 1 Next Last 

Post as:

Post a comment: