For smaller players that go through the motions each day of doing some research, troop training and building without having a clear plan, this guide gives some suggestions as to how to best grow towards Command Center 15.
For a starting player the main focus should be to reach Command Center 15 which unlocks an extra Deployment. Deployments are key in gathering and therefor very important for growth. Upgrading other buildings as far as not required to reach Command Center lvl 15 and for example researching tier 2 troops should only be done after you have reached Command Center 15.
Once you have reached Command Center 15 make sure to upgrade all your other buildings and focus more on research, including unlocking tier 2 troops.
As you might have noticed THE key factor in this game limiting your growth (at least early on) is resources, not the timers.
Early on in the game you could train troops, upgrade buildings and start research every time a timer was finished, but, depending on your activity, once you reach Command Center 12/13. this is likely no longer the case, you need to get resources first before you can start your next building and research, maybe even troop training.
With respect to resources there are two key factors, one is the maximize your resource income, the other is to make sure your resource are not taken away by enemies before you can use them.
What I will not really look into in this guide is the usage of resource for other activities than your own upgrades, like donating to Allies. This is something up to you and your alliance.
Gathering resources is an important way to get more resources, especially considering you do not need to be online for your troops to gather for you. Checking in every couple of hours to send your troops out again is good enough. In the next section I give some tips on boosting your resource gathering rates.
Killing Syndicate Targets provide you with a chance to get resource items, although it is random and there is a lot of other possible loot as well, it is still useful, as these items are very valuable safe resources: these items cannot be taken away from you, so great to build up large amounts of resources.
Production via resource buildings is also a good way. It is going quite fast, but has a major drawback which is that production stops once you have reached max capacity, which is quite low. I have chosen to build roughly the same amount of each of the resource buildings, as building upgrades, research, troop and trap training all have their own resources they require a lot of. If going heavy on any kind of resource, probably Stone (required a lot for building upgrades) and food (to keep your food prodution/upkeep balance positive early on in the game) are good choices.
In the Economy research tree, the Hero Skill points and with equipment there are various ways to boost your resource gathering speed and especially resource production. These are important to help you grow, so pay attention to them.
An important factor in gathering is not only the speed, but also the amount of deployments you can send out, depending on how many Deployment Slots you have unlocked.
Your Command Center is key to unlocking most Deployments. You start with one Deployment from Command Center lvl 1 and you unlock new Deployements at Command Center lvl 6 and lvl 15. It is not known to me whether more Deployments are unlocked at higher levels.
At VIP 4 you also unlock an extra Deployment. VIP is a spenders only feature and I am not sure whether at higher VIP levels more Deployments are unlocked.
In the Hero Skill tree the Deployment Mastery at the bottom of the tree unlocks an extra Deployment. I am not exactly sure what the minimum Hero Level requirement is to have enough points to unlock this, will be hard.
These are the ones known to me, if you happen to know any other ways to get extra Deployments, please share.
It is important to keep your resources safe as much as possible. You put a lot of effort to collect resources and it would be very disappointing if just before you give the assignment to upgrade to the next Command Center level some large player teleports in and steals all your resources (not to mention if he hospitalizes all your troop in the process). For this reason you should make sure to never have many unsafe resources when you are not online or not shielded.
Some considerations, what I typically do is for the smaller upgrades and researches I do not use any resource items. I keep these for the huge research projects (like March Slot III), and Command Center upgrades. This makes sure that when I do need to have a lot of resources for the large ones, I always have plenty of items.
There are some ways in which you get resources where you have some choice when to collect them, for example the Base Missions, only collect these when you are going to use the resources directly.
Upgrade the Warehouse whenever you can, this influences the amount of "unsafe" resources that cannot be taken by attackers.
Some alliances work together on Pushing members to the next Command Center level. Typically each day a person and time is announced, and everybody works hard to fill the requirements for that person to upgrade his Command Center. When you have a very loyal group of people who all put in roughly the same effort (and money), this might be a fine method, but there are some potential drawbacks: it is difficult to do this in a way that everyone feels fair (you tend to either get a situation that people who have a hard time growing need to use their resources to help others grow, or you have people who spend way more time help people who are hardly on), and it can lead to a lot of dissatisfaction when someone who has been pushed a lot decides to leave the alliance (and anyone who has played this type of game for a while, know there are plenty of people switching alliances).
In general focus all your activities on increasing resource income (and decreasing resource cost, if that becomes possible) first as much as possible.
For resource gathering the location of your alliance hive is also important. Depending on the area on the map you are on, you will have higher or lower level resource tiles around you. This influences the amount of resources in a resource tile and likely also the speed with which you gather (I have not yet done any comparison tests with respect to speed on different level resource tiles, but know from other games this can also be better for higher tiles). You want to be around at least level 4 resource tiles to be able to send your troops out to gather for a while while you go offlie. Higher is better, but this also depends on how competitive your Region is, if there are a lot of tilehits on level 6 and 5 tiles, better stay away from them.
You should have enough troops to completely deplete as many resource tiles as you have march slots, but this should normally not be an issue.
Although in my experience resources are way more of an issue than the construction and research timers, it is still good to make things go as fast as possible as well, so if you see any ways to speed up construction and research, focus on them as well.
I hope this guide has offered some help, both with the day to day upgrades, but also with what to focus on (e.g. unlock the additional Deployment Slots via Command Center upgrades). If you have questions or you want to share tips for others, please leave your remarks in the comment section.
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