The core of the game is building your base up into a military powerhouse. To do that, you need coins, troops, and the ability to produce those. Success involves growing your base in a balanced manner as rapidly as possible.
Fortunately, following an “ideal path” is definitely not required – it will just slow down your progress.
As you gain levels, you get access to more “advanced” purchase items. Unlike other games, it is definitely not true that higher level items are better. In many cases, a higher level item will be strictly inferior to one available at lower levels.
There are four main currencies in the game: coins, gold stars, hearts, and thorium.
Coins can be earned in lots of different ways. You’ll use them for almost everything.
Gold stars are the premium currency. You can earn some by completing quests, or winning them as event awards. But the primary way to get gold stars is to spend real money on them. There are a handful of really nice things that you'll want that cost gold stars, so horde the stars for these special purchases.
Hearts are earned when you do social things: visiting ally’s bases, completing assistance missions, and completing social quests. Hearts are used to buy premium units.
Thorium is a new currency used for the underwater base and is basically irrelevant to the walkthrough. See notes about the underwater base below.
One thing limiting you is the amount of space you have to grow your base. While the first few land expansions are very cheap, they get quite expensive very quickly. The cost of expansion maxes out at 370,000 coins. By the time you are around level 20, that won’t seem so expensive. However area expansions also take time – over 24 hours – which means you really need to plan ahead when you expand.
The exception is the island in the upper right of the map. Fixing the bridge to this island costs 500,000 coins, (and basically gets you nothing), while the land areas across the bridge cost an extra 125,000 coins per region. (So 625,000 for the first, 750,000 for the second, etc.). They also seem to take about an extra day for the expansion to complete. While there are some free buildings over there that you can eventually get, they aren’t worth the enormous additional expense. Only expand over there if you have used up all of the squares on the mainland.
You start the game with a small nuclear power plant, (a unique building that you can’t sell and no more are sold). Starting at level 5, you can build additional power plants. Power plants produce energy, raising the total energy available to other buildings.
Energy is not a “consumable” resource but acts as a building limit. Each building, (except power plants and boosters), requires a certain amount of energy to be built. If you later sell that building, the energy it was using is freed up and can be used to build something else. The energy gauge in your status bar indicates the amount of available power.
Curiously enough, if your energy level goes negative, (because you sold a power plant), nothing bad happens to your existing builds. You just can’t build any new buildings. This lets you sell power plants you have in order to upgrade them without having to worry about the gap during construction.
The available power plants are:
Wind Power Plant
Solar Power Plant
Coal Power Plant
Wind Turbine Plant
The Wind Power Plant should be used as soon as it is available to help you expand your base. The Geothermal and Bio-Fuel plants are superior, and should replace Wind Power Plants as soon as it's practical. Note that like space expansions, good energy plants also take a long time to construct. Both space and energy are required before you can even begin construction of other buildings.
Income buildings are buildings which produce coins for you. These buildings will be the most common buildings in your base. Here is a list of the income buildings:
35 / 1m
80 / 1m
160 / 5m
400 / 30m
5000 / 3h
540 / 1h
1200 / 30m
850 / 4h
4300 / 3h
1400 / 5h
2000 / 2h
1800 / 4.5h
3500 / 4h
2900 / 8h
4200 / 6h
3300 / 3h
3600 / 2h
4500 / 10h
5600 / 8h
7200 / 12h
8640 / 8h
10250 / 24h
12450 / 14h
15560 / 18h
23550 / 18h
26820 / 16h
30250 / 14h
19960 / 20h
The Crystal Casino
35800 / 22h
The Mess Hall and Military Cottage stand out as the top income producers, but only if you are willing to collect continuously from them every minute. Beyond that, the Chemical Lab and Field Hospital are the most efficient income producers that you can buy for coins. The Field Hospital should be available about the same time you have the space and power to build large areas and you should make fields of them as income producers. When you reach level 31, you can switch to building Chemical Labs (but it’s not worth replacing the Field Hospitals until you have filled up the entire map).
If you have an odd shaped area where a 3x3 building can fit, a Chemical Lab surrounded by 5 guard shacks (4% boost each) gives a yield of 60 coins/hour/square; better than any other 3x3 building.
Note that the highest-level buildings are not the best income producers.
Oil is a resource used to wage war. You need oil to attack another player, fight a campaign story battle, or invade another base. Oil is limited in two ways: You need buildings that produce oil and buildings to store oil. Storage buildings increase the maximum amount of oil you can have at any given time.
The oil producing buildings are:
2 / 3m
5 / 3m
30 / 1h
45 / 30m
40 / 1.5h
70 / 1.5h
55 / 3h
You will generally be relying on Oil Lakes once they become available. While Wells are more efficient, you must collect from them every 3 minutes to reap their full benefits. Each production building also acts like storage as well; you can have your storage full plus your production buildings ready to collect giving you a larger amount of oil immediately available.
Refineries are very slightly more productive and can store more “uncollected” oil, but are less energy efficient.
The oil storage buildings are:
Local Oil Storage
Huge Oil Storage
Local Oil Storage is the best option available for coins. It becomes available fairly quickly and never becomes obsolete.
Military buildings produce troops and weapons for your army. There aren’t a lot of practical options here. For example, to produce ground troops, you can either pay coins for a Barracks or pay gold stars for an Elite Barracks, (which can produce troops at a lower cost). There are other buildings for producing armored vehicles and aircraft.
Also in the military buildings category is the Weapons Workshop which creates power-ups. These are basically weapons you can deploy in a battle to either boost your stats, reduce your opponent’s stats, heal your units or deal direct damage to the enemy units.
The Military Council is a special building which costs gold stars. It provides you a bonus to attack and defense; a bonus that increases the more allies you have. I would not spend gold stars here until after you unlock Prometheus. It also takes a full week to build.
The Development Facility lets you build buildings that improve your attack and defense. These bonuses apply to every battle you fight, (although they take up space and energy). You need this for an achievement, but otherwise I didn’t find it useful.
Lastly is the Fusion Center, which lets you merge a unit with a power-up to create a boosted version of that unit. These fusions are very expensive and very time consuming. Since units only last for a certain number of battles before they have to be replaced, I thought that this was a complete waste of money.
There are three special buildings: The Tax Office, Oil Collector, and Research Center. The Tax Office lets you automatically collect coins from all nearby production buildings. The Oil Collector does the same for oil producing buildings. Basically, it’s a way to avoid having to click on as many buildings to collect oil/coins. The trade-off is that the place where the building is located isn’t producing anything else. They also have a relatively short range. Other than the quest which required them, I never used them.
There is no in-game description of the Research Center. It allows you to research permanent improvements to some buildings, (like giving an X% bonus to all energy buildings). However, the center costs 500,000 coins to build, and these upgrades cost tens of thousands of Thorium or millions of coins. You are not likely to have that much in either currency in the course of this walkthrough.
Boosters are basically city decorations which add a percent bonus to the things around them. For income buildings, they increase the income produced. Energy buildings have their power output increased. Oil buildings have their production or storage capacity increased. Military buildings have their construction time decreased.
In general, I never used boosters at all. In order for a booster to be a better value than just buying another one of the buildings being boosted, it would have to have a bonus that is higher per square. For example, the best income buildings are 2x2. There are a few ways to arrange boosters to boost those income buildings:
- You could make a grid of income buildings with “streets” separating them. The boosters on the corner would boost 4 buildings while the boosters on the side would boost 2 buildings. Since the booster is only taking up 1 square, it would have to provide a total boost of 25% which means that the 2 building boosters have to be 12.5% and the corner boosters would have to be 6.25%
- Instead of a grid, you can make rows, so the “streets” go in only one direction. Every booster boosts 4 buildings in this arrangement but the same math above applies.
- You could make solid grid of income buildings with a 2x2 booster hole surrounded by boosters. If the booster was 1x1, it would be boosting 3 buildings and would need to be 8.3%. If the booster was 2x2, it would be boosting 8 buildings and would need to be 12.5%
However, the best booster at a reasonable cost is the 1x1 guard shack, which boosts only 4%.
The boosters which cost coins that do provide enough of a bonus is the small park (2x2, 17% at 150,000 coins) and the war plane (2x2, 35% at 250,000 coins). However, because they are so expensive, it takes the war plane 1587 hours or nearly 10 weeks for the extra income to pay for its cost. The small park takes 3703 hours or nearly 22 weeks to pay for itself. So it’s totally not worth it.
There are a few premium boosters that you might get in quest rewards that are worth it. You can also use boosters in squares where there isn’t room for a full building (like along the rivers).
One other important comment about boosters: When you earn an achievement, (both Xbox achievements and in-game goals), you’ll get a trophy booster. Don’t place those boosters on your map. They have no benefit, and can’t be sold or removed from the map. They can only be moved to a new location. Effectively, you have now permanently lost one square of your map.
Prometheus is a heavy duty battle machine that can fight on both land and air. It is wicked powerful! However, you need to spend 100 gold stars to unlock it. If you’re going to spend actual money on this game, this is the first thing I would buy. Otherwise, you can eventually get 100 Stars through quest rewards.
Once purchased, it requires oil to power it, (so buy lots more oil lakes), and both coins & hearts to upgrade it. You should definitely upgrade it as much as possible as it is easily your best unit in the game. (And unlike other units, it never needs replacing).
When you reach level 28, you will unlock the underwater base. If you’re just looking at getting all of the achievements, you should ignore this. You’ll probably be in the low 30’s when you get all of the achievements and none are connected with the underwater area.
Things in the underwater base are really, really expensive. The things that cost coins, (mostly the Thorium miners), cost millions of coins and take days to build. Everything else costs large amounts of Thorium.
If you plan to play well beyond the minimum needed to get all of the achievements, you’ll eventually want to build up this base as well. But even then, I would initially give it low priority.
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