Make yourself strong in
Keep your king out of the fray. If you're up against a more significant force, break out from them. You may then keep your king out of the fight and maneuver your other troops around the enemy's king. With this strategy, you can wipe out a much bigger force (and grab their army!). If you're up against a much lesser army, split a few times past them so the enemy is caught in the center of your line (while your king remains safe) and won't be able to escape missiles if they're flying perpendicular to your queue.
First, assemble a small army of archers and swordsmen. Then focus on axemen and mages (particularly axemen), but have an archer unit close (they are great for taking out retreating enemies). If you need to take a larger base, build siege weaponry. Sappers, dragons, and trolls should be dealt with later, and always with a heavy guard of axemen, wizards, and archers. Soldiers aren't worth wasting your time with.
Expand your horizons
At start, just go about defeating enemy armies and destroying lightly defended bases, mines, and outposts while building houses as needed and laying mines whenever you can. Building fortifications is a waste of time. Make yourself a horde.
Build buildings as near to the map's edges as possible. Don't clump them together. Mine defenses strewn over the map are largely useless, as they are typically relatively simple to destroy—even if you invest a lot of time and money in them, they will only be safe from the lowest level players.
Try to establish a base around a mine when you've reached the boundaries of the horde strategy (i.e., you need to improve homes beyond blue to keep your army expanding). If a wall is broken, make sure you have some powerful defenses in the middle, not only on the periphery. Remember that an opposing force can sneak past your defenses and take away the gooey center (your houses and stuff) if you construct on the borders of a map, so make sure they suffer a lot of damage anyplace in your base.
A powerful offensive is the greatest defense. Go on a continual looting spree. Other armies will not be spared your wrath. Never put your faith in a teammate.
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