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Thread: A small guide to defending in Arena against last minute steals.

  1. #1
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    Aug 2015

    A small guide to defending in Arena against last minute steals.

    I decided to write this guide because last minute steals are an increasingly problem in arena for many players, especially after the new wave of server merges. So the question is how do we counter this practice in a more efficient manner?

    Before anything else we need to understand what is last minute steal?
    Last minute stealing is the practice of attacking someone in arena in the last minute before server resets (23:59) with the purpose of letting the victim unable to have enough time to respond and take the place back in time.

    First of all we need to understand that this technique is more efficient for players in USA, Eastern Asia and Australia employed vs players in Europe and Africa. This is due to the time zone differences and the fact server reset occurs at 00:00 GMT, thus most defenders in the said timezones are unlikely to be online at the time.
    This difference in timezones actually makes the defending strategies against last minute steal to be split in two: passive and active defending strategies.

    Let's talk a little about the common aspects of these two strategies:
    1) No matter the strategy employed the commanders used by the defending players play a key role foiling the attacking player's plans. Usually the attacker is a player with lower force, thus the need for the last minute strategy, and that means he will actually try probing the "victim" either in colonial space, mining space or in arena.
    Considering this, the best commanders for defending are those that can actually make battles unpredictable. Commanders like Azrael make it very hard for an attacker to tune his formation for a counter.
    Ursa is one of the preferred tools employed in last minute stealing, but he is also one of the best defenders. If the defender has first shot then Rashka and Sturdy are also great commanders to be used. On the other hand if the defender shoots second, then Louise is one of the biggest help it can get.

    2) Another key aspect in the defensive strategy is actually denying your enemy information as much as possible. That means never use your defensive formation when you are mining since mining is a great place where players can gather information about their enemies.
    Another place where players gather information is Colonial space, thus in order to protect yourself against probing in there you should ask someone in your alliance to keep you colonised before reset, thus making it harder for an enemy to actually see the formation in there.

    3) Formation used is also important. In order to maximise your chances of successful defending, always make certain that the key defenders can't be hit by a well placed cross/vertical/horizontal attack. This means they should be kept as much as possible in a diagonal position to each other.

    The particulars of the above mentioned strategies are as follow:

    Passive strategies - if a player can't be online during the reset then he has to employ a passive strategy. In order for this strategy to have the best chance of success they need to do basically tune their formation as much as possible in such a way that they make it harder for the enemy to attack them. This means avoid 3 in a line formations as much as possible. The "chaotic" ships like Azrael should be placed early in the formation so that they can have a great impact on the battle.
    The only other thing you can do is observe your enemy patterns and see if they have a tendency to use paints and in what days. Counter that with a set of your own paints if needed.

    Active strategies - if a player is online during reset, then their defensive options are more interesting.
    The most important aspect is to always have 1 arena supply ready for use in case you need it. It's better to lose 20 credits for a supply than 100 or more for losing your spot in top10.

    One option is to enter the arena screen at 23:59 and start counting one minute until reset. It is important to know that while in that screen, the position will not automatically change even if you are attacked successfully. Thus it is critical that during this last minute you check the battle history so that you see if you were attacked. If that happens and you successfully defended, then it is often advisable to change formation a little so that you confuse the attacker on his next try.
    If you didn't defend, then exit the arena screen immediately and enter again so that your position refreshes and you can attack back to take your place.
    Since you can't see global notifications during the time in arena screen. If you are a top3 player and have another device in hand, a backup would be to be logged on a different account on the same server just to monitor the in game notifications about a successful arena top3 change, thus being able to have a faster reaction time.

    The other option is to go into the formation screen and change formations every few seconds during the last minute while keeping an eye to the announcements to see if you were successfully attacked.

    Thank you for reading this and hopefully it is at least a little bit helpful!
    Last edited by Bogdan; April 13th, 2017 at 12:34.
    богдан.s387/World 187/iOS

  2. #2
    Five-Star Admiral Frankie's Avatar
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    Dec 2015
    Thank you Bogdan for very nice guide...

    I guess most of the players will keep full 5 supply to attack at the last moment.
    Therefore, all the scouting/mining/farming as spy info will not be required. You will see the defence formation immediately.

    Even if you are active, there is not too much you can do unless you have saved all formations and you can quickly change among them (some have Primus,Pandora and +1 so not too many chances and time to respond) ... all you can do it attack back and hope for win with few changes you can make if you are in last minute before reset...

    but I do agree with all you said..
    Frankie.s214 , World 1117\ Merged, Android
    PVP: Sniper Ursa [ +7], Dark Russian [+7], Crazy Frog [+7], Handsome Evil [ +7], FS [+7]

    No longer playing GL ...

  3. #3
    Well done, thanks!
    I would have a formation with only my flagship to defend and to spy my oponents. In this matter, they get no infos and you have all informations you need to build your fleet to attack them.

    Unless I'm wrong you have the same xp whether you are a ruler or not. You may just lose some gala energy but I think it worst due to the arena reward you will get.
    THE STAR +7 // Lucifer +5 // The surfer +7 // Angel of Death +3 // The pawn +5

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  4. #4
    Three-Star Admiral
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    thanks for the effort bogdan.

    a simple typo in point 1. i think you meant to say 'foiling' instead of 'folding'.

    yes usually people have 3 formations total. i do sometimes prep another formation to counter a most likely change to your attacker's formation as i have tried moving ships around at the last minute and it is too risky. slight lags/failure with your telco or wireless and you lose top spot.

    although you can try to leave a single fs as a formation like warcry did, i find that to be inefficient especially when there's a pandora event going on, which incidentally also helps in you figuring out opponents' defense formations based on the order shown in pandora info page (if you know from previous observations and experience that he doesn't have another formation ready). conversely it is also very easy and possible to figure out if he is trying to trick you.

    oh and i remember someone (night owl/z3 maybe?) mentioned that the counter really takes into account the change up to 45secs in the last minute (correct me if i am wrong), so the last 15 secs won't count even if u win?

    in any case be prepared to use credits on cooldowns and lose supplies. i always use 2 and keep 3 cause that is all the time u can comfortably have in the last few minutes. at most i spend 20 credits or more while i complete all required task events first to play safe.

    adding onto this don't forget to exit the game completely and come back in after reset otherwise you lose rewards associated with the number of attacks you did. game gets wonky at reset time.
    Last edited by rx3; April 13th, 2017 at 06:27.

  5. #5
    One-Star Admiral
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    Aug 2015
    Quote Originally Posted by WarCry View Post
    Well done, thanks!
    I would have a formation with only my flagship to defend and to spy my oponents. In this matter, they get no infos and you have all informations you need to build your fleet to attack them.

    Unless I'm wrong you have the same xp whether you are a ruler or not. You may just lose some gala energy but I think it worst due to the arena reward you will get.
    Usually the ones who do want to last minute steal are weaker than you are, otherwise they would be able to defend and not bother with that. That is why I prefer having a formation that would make my opponents waste a few supplies on the attack first ... that way if they start to late with the attacks they have lower chances to get the right formation in time and if they start earlier, I have an early warning of what they plan to do (the most dangerous attackers are the ones who are unpredictable and don't always attack you, they swap targets randomly to make people let their guard down).

    @rx3 Thx for spotting the mistake ... I'll correct it as well as a few typos I noticed
    богдан.s387/World 187/iOS

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