This article described various ways of defending yourself in World War Rising.
Using a shield gives the best protection in the sense that while the shield is active, there are no ways to be attacked. Putting up a shield can be done via the arrow up button at the right of your screen in base view. It costs fuel. 50 for the first hour, 250 per hour until 10 hours and 500 per hour for longer times, up til 3 days.
Shields are a great cheap way to put up for one hour when you realize you are attacked, but an expensive way to permanently prefent attacks. If you do so, try to at least make sure you check in every 10 hours so that the cost remains relatively low.
The fake rally is a free way to protect yourself, but has quite some restrictions. It uses the concept that your hero and troops that are ‘in a rally’ are not involved with attacks on your base, so they cannot be killed. However resources (above Warehouse capacity) will still be taken and wall defenses will still be destroyed.
To set a rally you need to have a War Room and the capacity of your rally is limited by your War Room level (limits the total Rally capacity) and your Command Center level (limits your deployment size). You should select the maximum Rally time, 8 hours, and as a target, especially if you think you might be away more than 8 hours, it is best to select a city at the other side of the map, so that the march there and back can add another significant amount of time. It is important you select a weak opponent, in case your rally does lead to an attack (typically you will cancel it before it does) you do not want to lose any troops, and you also do not want your target to get annoyed and be able to attack you.
There are plenty of drawbacks of the fake rally, besides the limited protection it offers to begin with. The possibility of having more troops than your rally allows to protect, the vulnerability of wall defenses, the limited time are a few.
When an attack is incoming and you are online and you do not put up a shield (which you should really do if you have any doubt you can beat the attacker, if only for 1 hour), you can chose to defend against the attack. Depending on your Radar Station level you get information about the attack. This can help you in deciding whether defending against the attack is the best option. If you decide to defend you can consider the following: ask your alliance members to reinforce your embassy, you can make sure your equipment and hero talent points are set for combat, and you can use items to boost your attack stats. Keep in mind that the attacker is online for sure and can call off the attack.
Consider your hospital capacity, realize not having enough space (which you typically don't have in this game, as hospitals are very small) means you risk losing troops permanently.
When an attack is incoming you can also opt to empty your castle. This means send your troops outside and make sure the resources you have are below Warehouse levels. You can use your resources by for example starting a building upgrade, research project and troop trainings. You can send out your troops to gather resources or reinforce an alliance member.
When you are not online you do not have the option to react on incoming attacks, you need to make a decision in advance. As stated before, staying shielded whenever you are offline is expensive and for most players not an option. Because of there are always big players that can decide to zero you if they want, leaving your troops in your base can be costly.
However not leaving your troops in your base has some disadvantages as well, it means people can just attack you and take your excess resources, making it difficult to build up resources for larger building upgrades and research projects.
It is a difficult choice to make, but basically you will probably decide to not keep your troops in your base anymore if you are hit too often and are zeroed. If that is the case you might opt to send your troops to an alliance member that is shielded (or a very strong alliance member if no one puts up a shield).
Depending on the region you are playing in it might be an option to just send your troops outside on a tile over night. In some regions attacks will only be done on bases, but this is not a sure thing, so very risky as well.
As discussed above, the Fake Rally is an option as well to start when you will be offline for a long time.
The best way to protect yourself is putting up a shield, but since that is quite expensive you might decide to set a fake rally, reinforce a shielded or strong alliance member, or even just park troops on a tile on the region map, before you go offline for longer times. Rules and habits in your specific region might influence what your best move is.
If you have any questions or other tips to defend or protect yourself, please leave a comment.