Home Strategy, Tips & Tactics


Shawn Mars (US2)Shawn Mars (US2) Posts: 4
edited 25.04.2017 in Strategy, Tips & Tactics
What the different tools actually do, and how to use them to your advantage, is probably one of the least understood aspects of this game. Yet, other than equipment, tools make the biggest difference in terms of the combat effectiveness of your soldiers. This guide will give a basic understanding of what each type of tool does, and explain how you can use that information to your advantage in battle. 

Defensive Strength

The defensive strength for each type of unit (melee ans ranged) is expressed as a percentage. This "Strength Percentage" can be found on the bottom of the defenses page, or at the top of the attack screen for each wall. [Note: this is different than the melee/ranged Distribution Percentage.] Understanding what each of these mean is the first thing you need to know before we discuss tools any further. 100% is full-strength (unmodified.) This can be modified by equipment and tools. The Strength Percentage is multiplied by the base strength for each unit type at the wall, i.e. the actual “strength in defense” that is listed in the description for each unit, in order to determine the modified defensive strength for each unit. The sum of the modified defensive strength for each unit is the overall defensive strength for that wall.

Defensive Bonuses

There are three basic types of defensive bonuses: wall, gate, and moat. Each independently increases the the overall defensive strength at that wall by the given percentage listed. So, 0% means there is no bonus, and +80% means an increase of 80 percent. The effects of wall, gate and moat bonuses are added together, not multiplied, for a total "general" bonus that applies to ALL wall defenders (melee and ranged.) [Note: commander and castellan equipment can further modify these bonuses independently, above and beyond the effects of tools.]

Types of Tools

There are five basic types of tools that correspond to each of the bonuses and modifiers: wall, gate, moat, melee and ranged. Wall, gate and moat tools increase or decrease the corresponding bonuses by the amount listed for each tool. So, if you have a Castle Moat (+20%) and Swamp Snappers (+80%) in your moat slot - that will provide an additional 100% bonus for all defenders at the walls. [Note: there are special tools such as Glory Flags and Loot Sacks, etc. that do not modify defensive bonuses or strength. For the sake of strategy, these tools can be ignored.] 

Melee and ranged tools are fundamentally different because they directly modify the defensive strength of the corresponding soldiers (as opposed to modifying a bonus.) Melee tools modofy the strength percentage of all melee soldiers at the walls by the amount listed. Currently there is only one tool that offers a melee modifier (lime bombs.) Ranged tools modify the strength percentage of all ranged soldiers defending the walls by the percentage listed. [Note: commander and castellan equipment can further modify strength percentages independently, above and beyond the effects of tools.]

For example, let’s assume we are starting with a ranged soldier with a base defensive strength of 50 vs. melee and 100 vs. ranged. Then let's say we have the following bonuses due to tools and equipment: +100% ranged, +60% wall, +60% gate, and +20% moat. First, we need to add the +100% ranged modifier to the ranged strength percentage of 100% and multiply that by the initial strength (50/100) to get the modified strength of 100/200 (50/100 x 200%.) Then we add the wall, gate bonus, and moat bonuses, for a total bonus of 140/280, and then add that to the modified strength (100/200).So, this soldier’s overall effective strength with all bonuses and modifiers added would be: 240 vs. melee and 480 vs. ranged. You can see from this why it is so important for attackers to use tools to reduce these bonuses.

Defensive vs. Offensive Tools

Defensive tools INCREASE bonuses or strength percentages by the specified amount. Offensive tools REDUCE or decrease bonuses or strength percentages. They do not increase the strength of offense in any way (with rare exceptions such as the War Horn.) Bonuses and strength percentages cannot be reduced below zero. Any further reduction has no effect.

Ranged Negation

Because offensive ranged tools directly modify defensive strength percentages, it is possible to reduce the effective strength of ranged defenders at the wall to zero. That means if an offensive army brings enough ranged tools, the ranged defensive soldiers can be completely negated. For example, ranged soldiers without any further modifiers, can be reduced to an effective strength of 0 melee/0 ranged using 10 Iron Mantlets (-100%). [Note: there are currently no offensive tools that reduce melee strength.]

Stacking Tools

The effects of tools “stack”, which means that you can use more than one of the same type of tool and their effects will add up. For instance, if you have one Machicolation (+50% wall bonus) in each of your three wall slots, the effective wall bonus will be increased by a total of 150% per wave. The same goes for offensive tools. So, if you wanted to negate a wall bonus of 150% using siege towers (-15% wall bonus) then you would need to use a total of 10.

Attack Waves

One defensive tool is used in each slot by each attack wave the attacker sends. So, if there are the maximum 4 waves, then the defensive tools in each slot will be reduced by 4. Even if the attacker only sends one soldier in each wave, one tool will still be used for each wave/slot. It does not matter if the attacker brings tools or not, the defensive tools will still be used.

Therefore, it’s important to put at least enough tools in each slot to cover the maximum number of waves that an attacker can attack with. For example, if you have only 2 of each tool in each slot and the enemy sends 4 waves, then on the 3rd and 4th wave you won’t get any bonus from tools, because you will have no more tools left!

Since tools modify defensive bonuses and strength percentages, defensive soldiers are required on a wall for the tools there to be utilized. For instance, if a defender is using the 0-100-0 defense, the attacker will automatically breach the left and right walls without any loss of soldiers or tools on either side.

Tool Strategy

Tools only affect defensive bonuses and strength percentages at the walls. They have no effect in the courtyard. However, disallowing your opponent from getting the +30% courtyard bonus by winning the battle at the walls is the most important strategy. Therefore, choosing the right tools to counteract your opponent or exploit his weaknesses is extremely important.

The basic strategy on offense should be to reduce the wall, gate and moat bonuses, and the ranged defensive percentage, to as close to zero as possible. Typically, you will not be able to reduce all of them however because you are limited on the number of tool slots you have per wave. Therefore, usually you will want to focus on whatever the defender’s biggest bonus is, since this will give you the biggest “bang for your buck.” It should go without saying that you have already spied on your opponent and have an idea what types of tools he will be using. 

For example, if the defender is using 2 Machicolation (+100% wall) 1 Arrow Slit (+70% ranged) and 1 Swamp Snapper (+80%) with level 4 walls (+80%), and a castle moat (+20%), for a total bonus of +180% wall / +70% ranged / +100% moat, then you would most likely want to counter with at least 9 Belfry (-180% wall) / 12 Shield Walls (-180% ranged). It would be best in most cases (unless you were attacking primarily with melee attackers) to choose to ignore moat tools in this case because his moat provides a lesser overall bonus than the walls or ranged bonuses (and because the moat will not help the ranged defenders if they are reduced to zero strength by the ranged tools.)

On defense, you will be looking to exploit any weaknesses your opponent may have. In other words, if he is missing a particular type of tool on any front, then you will have a considerable advantage if you stack as many of that type of tool on your wall as possible. For example, if the attacker doesn't have ranged tools, then you can use 3 Arrow Slits (1 in each slot on a level 3 wall or above) and get a +210% bonus on your ranged defense. This will usually give you an overwhelming advantage on that wall.

This may sound a little complicated at first (especially if you are not a numbers person.) But, it will make more sense once you understand the basic principles and start practicing them. I’d recommend testing them out at first on the robber barons and trying to see how few units you can lose. And then try defending as many walls as possible on defense in order to reduce the overall losses in the courtyard. For the most part, it’s just a matter of trial and error. But, I guarantee you that if you understand and follow the advices given here, then you will excel in this game.

Note on Validity

You may have realized that there are many different opinions from different players about what tools do, and how you should utilize them in battle. Unfortunately, Goodgame does not provide any authoritative information detailing this. The information given here is the result of first-hand experience comparing hundreds of actual battles reports. You can test them yourself by using different set-ups against robber barons and noting how each type of tool affects the resulting losses. Knowledge is power!
Post edited by Shawn Mars (US2) on


  • Lol, 
    Well you certainly helped the advanced players reflect on what they already know, however I seriously doubt any struggling new players got past your first paragraph without being more confused then when they came into this discussion looking for answers. Good info though and very well covered basics. 
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