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    Your Elvenar Team


Hi all - I am the Spire Mage for Maximum Effort on Arendyll. Some of you may know me from the Spire Master "Interviews" I post in The Lounge; where I have interviewed a Canadian Klingon (don't ask), a Self-Help Author, a card-carrying member of PETG, a Hippie, and even myself (that guy was a real jerk, I ended up in a pose off against...myself...but after 3 grueling hours I lost). :( Anyways, go there to read them if you like a walk on the silly side, they seem to be popular with the community at large too, so I think you will get a chuckle from them (hopefully).

Maximum Effort lives, breathes, and eats Spire...it's our thing. We have hit Gold 64 weeks in a row, so being the Spire Mage means I am dealing with a bunch of JADED Spire Masters. So, when I took over as Spire Mage, I decided to make things a little more difficult...no... I mean more "interesting" for our FS when it comes to Spire. Yes, that's what I mean indeed. ;)

"Interesting" = I occasionally throw out challenges to make everyone's life harder. It's not enough to just get to the top...pfft...no, you get to the top with one hand tied behind your back and anchored to an...anchor. A heavy one too. That's the kind of challenges I throw out, and OF COURSE every member in my FS loves it!! They beg me all the time to make the challenges weekly instead of just throwing them out randomly with no rhyme or reason or concern for pesky things like events or Fellowship Adventures, etc. This is all true!*

*=Yeah, not true except for the totally random part, I do like me some chaos!!

Anyways, one of my favorite challenges is COMBAT ONLY SPIRE ASCENDS, and I am going to go into the tactics of making such an ascent doable and easy even. I will cover the groundwork you need to lay, the buildings you need, and some tactics. There is a lot of combat specific threads here, so I am not going to belabor the tactics too much. Important to note that this is the EASIEST challenge I throw out; each subsequent challenge gets progressively harder.

Disclaimer: If you are a proud member of PETG (People for the Ethical Treatment of Ghosts) then this is your trigger warning...don't read on, it will upset you!

EDIT on 8/2: Several responders have noted that they think my minimum suggested buildings is too high! So, for the more experienced players, bigger cities, and those with highly advanced combat Ancient Wonders etc. then this is overkill. PLEASE take a look at their responses too and adjust accordingly to your city/server/skill level. Also, as some mentioned below, there is many tactics to getting up Spire: fighting the trash ghosts, catering the boss ghosts, etc. I think everyone understand this. The idea of THIS posting though is to power your way up the Spire 100% though fighting, so any response mentioning catering is good info generally, but not what we are looking to accomplish here specifically.

You need some "stuff" to make this work well so I recommend:
3 to 9 pet foods
(to feed the next 3 buildings, and if it takes you multiple days to do Spire then you will need enough for multiple feedings)
The Fire Pheonix (unit damage buff...a must have)
The Twilight Pheonix (unit rezzing...very nice to have)
The Brown Bear (unit production bonus...not totally necessary but helpful)
AT LEAST 4 Unleashed Unit Upgrade buildings* (+25% unit hitpoints, so 4 gives you an extra +100%. Critical to have)
or AT LEAST 2 Dwarven Armorer's* (+50% unit hitpoints, so 2 gives you an extra +100%. Again, critical to have if you don't have the previous buildings)
AT LEAST 2 Enlightened Light Range buildings* (+50% damage to all light range units, so 2 gives you an extra +100%, very important!)
AT LEAST 2 Magnificent Mage Multiplier's* (+50% damage to all mage units, so 2 gives you an extra +100%, I think even more important than the Light Range)


1) Make sure you have enough units to get the job done!
I personally run about 40 to 50 squads in my army of every army type, but you could do this with much less very easily. Stock up, you can feed your Brown Bear if you want to get it done quick.
2) Wait for TUESDAY! Why? So that your god like units can kick some serious tail very easily in tourney also! This is not mandatory of course but you will get the "best bang for your buck" by waiting and killing two stones with one bird. Also, I make sure I have a bunch of Incomplete Provinces too, so that your units can easily cut through them all just like a stick of butter through a hot knife! I am a Genius, eh? o_O
3) Feed your Pheonix's and drop your buildings! It's time to roll!
4) Holding back and sniping from a distance is KEY! You are NOT playing auto when you are manual, so don't act like it! The first round is critical! If your archers or mages can't easily reach the majority of enemies across the board from you, then walk them to the side, spread out, count the spaces between you and your enemies so that you don't get sniped on the first round yourself. Let them mindlessly come to you instead. Once you engage, always attack the other ranged enemies FIRST, don't worry about the slower light melee, or the Heavy Units, Kite BACK while whittling them all down. Yes, they may eventually catch you with about 25% of their force intact, so what? Easy Peasy.
5) Don't Auto unless 4 of their 5 units is hard countered by what you are attacking with! This is my own personal rule, and even sometimes still it bites me in the butt. I have lost on Auto before many times, then go in manually with the same exact units and wipe the enemy out with only a squad or two damaged or destroyed. Why? See point #4 above.

1) Once a month at a minimum you should fight up the Spire!
By doing this once a month it gives you time to gather up all the buildings and pet food, etc. that you will need. By executing your fiendish plans, you can hoard a bunch of goods that you would have otherwise meekly handed over to the ghost bullies as bribes!
2) You will be awesome! You will be a force to be reckoned with! Your ghosts will tell horror stories about you to the littler ghosts. You will be feared! Boo-Yah!
3) You could be ready IF someone was every crazy enough to throw out a game wide combat challenge! So, completely and hypothetically speaking, let's say there was a certain Spire Mage who challenged the community as a whole across every server to join him as he tilts at windmills...err...I mean as he and his FS fight their way to the top. What if he were to say something like, "Start gathering your buildings, let's roll in a couple weeks"? Then, what if he posted a Challenge Thread in The Lounge about this hypothetical event on any given day? /cough Saturday the 6th /cough /cough...
IF that were to happen that challenge thread would identify the date that this mythical GAME WIDE "combat only challenge" would start and ask anyone interested in taking part to scribe their name in the book of the Dead...I mean Damned...I mean Doomed.../sigh...I mean they would just need to reply in thread that they too are Spire Masters, and they will prove it! The rules for this challenge will be divulged then and I can promise you that any players brave enough to accept it will be rewarded...with a harder challenge later! Woot! Doesn't that sound like fun!? Heck, you could even rope in some of your "way too trusting" guild mates to join in the carnage too!
To recap, gather some stuff because you never know if "someone" will do all of that, so prepare now! Also, don't forget to check out my Spire Interviews if you haven't already! Thanks for reading and I hope some of my ideas will prove helpful to you moving forward!
Spire Mage for Maximum Effort on Arendyll
(Let's be friends! You can just call me Ebon)

P.S. I know some players combat up Spire every week, if that is you then this challenge should be a cake walk for you but join it anyways because I promise you the next one is NOT easy! :cool:
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Buddy member #3, EAA
Nice write-up and some good tips, however, I do think you are going WAY over the top on the use of the Military boosters and DA, I can knock down the spire fighting only and use just 1 of each and feed the fire chicken once and use timers to get it done in one sitting.
If you place the Military bldgs late on Thursday you can use them for 2 weeks of Spire and if you have a Timewarp and Polar Bear you can sweep through the tourney, in the same manner, using just the 1 set of Military bldgs.

If you "need" that many boosts either your troops are too weak or you are trying to play with no losses to your troops, and both are bad strategies.

Hi Ed, yes my city pales in comparison to yours, so my troops are probably weaker. Good point about the Timewarp and Polar Bear...neither of which I have but I do know what you are talking about. Some of the bigger cities in my FS probably do something similar but the suggestions I am making will carry anyone up...even comparatively small cities like mine at 228K... even much smaller in fact. Thanks for the feedback, hope you join the challenges when they start...that P.S. I put at the end of my original posting was inserted exactly for players like you, since I have 2 or 3 guildies now in M.E. that fight through Spire weekly. Also, as I mentioned for tactics, there are much more Indepth threads for that on this forum for sure.


Buddy member #3, EAA
Ebon, I have another city at 195K, and at the end of Halflings and I fight with it and generally only use my Fire Chicken. While I realize every city is unique in its setup and structure I can't help but stress that using that many "Boosters" says to me you should not be fighting as much and should be catering/negotiating to the top of the spire. That same 195K city caters 25 provinces in the tourney usually to 3 or 4 rounds and has done 6,750 points in a push week while using a DA, MMM, UUU, and ELR (1 each) and fighting the final 2 rounds due to catering costs.

I would hate for a newer player that is sitting in Faries to get the idea that this is what it takes to "win" in the game as that level of "booster" use is not very sustainable to the majority of players nor is it a wise expenditure when what you need is more troops. Losses happen and should be expected by anyone fighting in the spire or tourney.

If you only have 40-50 "stacks" then you need to increase your troop production dramatically, and until that point, you should cater/negotiate the spire. IMO



Well-Known Member
Good strategy tips Ebon, but it only applies to worlds that have a generous MA and spire when it comes to military buildings and pet food.
It is normal to fight turnaments and spire for many weeks with none of the military buildings at all where I am, and I check MA every 6 hours and top the spire every week! I'm lucky to have the fire phoenix and once or twice pet food offers in MA. There are lots of players who have to go without pet food for a long time.
So what you're suggesting is for players with no shortage of pet food and military buildings i.e best case scenario ;)


Chef, Scroll-Keeper, and Buddy Fan Club Member
Three to 9 pet foods, 4 UUU, 2 DAs, 2 ELR, 2 MM, and then DOUBLING that to 8 UUU, 4 DA, 4 ELR, and 4 MM if you're on mobile is simply unsustainable. No way, no how, can anyone possibly do that at a minimum of once a month, no less! Even going up to the top every week for a chance at DAs and crafting every single 5-day in the MA, you simply can't do it. I craft every one I can find, and I practically live on Elvenar, so I know they don't come up that often. If I get a UUU once a week on average in the MA and you want a mobile user to spend 8 UUUs a month "at a minimum," that is simply unsustainable.

I understand that the rng gods favor some more than others, and you may get 2 UUUs a week in the MA while I get one. But you're giving advice to a wide range of people, from raw newbies to people struggling in chapters 17 (raises hand), 18, and 19. It may not be best to offer advice that fits only the luckiest souls. That makes for a frustrating experience for the ones that the rng gods don't smile upon.

I'm not trying to dampen your spirit. You've obviously got an awesome and very unique team who loves to climb the spire. You're a well-loved spire mage and well-suited to your particular group. However, I suspect that not everyone in your team follows your advice on the number of buildings to put out. They couldn't sustain it forever.
All I'm trying to say is, you may need to try something and study it carefully for 9-12 months, to assess the details and the true impact of the advice, before presenting it as a workable plan. Use mobile and put out that many buildings every month for 9-12 months. If it really and truly works for you over the long haul, you may want to publish your findings as they relate to you, and people can see for themselves the data. But even then, it would be one person's battle with the rng gods.

You may say that 9-12 months is unnecessary, but look at it this way ... 9-12 months, at once a month, is only 9-12 instances. That's a small amount of data to assess before giving advice. Advice based on 3-4 instances, or even more if the data was not carefully recorded and the number of buildings actually recorded, is not really a workable plan. It's just a, "hey guys, I did this once or twice and the rng gods smiled on me, so now you should all do this too."

Forgive me if I sound condescending; that's not my intent here. I don't want to belittle your awesome achievement in a group that is doing extraordinarily well, no doubt due to your efforts to make it interesting and fun. I just want to take in the big picture.


Active Member
I prefer a balanced Spire climb of ~80% fighting and catering the rest. Some battle setups are very iffy and I prefer to hand over my goods rather than risk a large amount of troops. I typically use 1 DA (or 2 UUU), 1 MMM, and 1 ELR, as well at 2 pet food for Fire Phoenix per week which for me I have found sustainable.

But that is just me :)


Chef, Scroll-Keeper, Buddy's #1 Fan
Agree with what’s already been said. 2 of each support building (and 4 UUUs) is already an overkill. To preface that with “AT LEAST” in bold and all caps is suggesting players possibly use more than 8+!! o_Oo_O

Hi Ed, yes my city pales in comparison to yours, so my troops are probably weaker.
I used to use 2 UUU, 1 ELR, and 1 MMM (4 total) and then sprint the second week’s Spire. One week, I didn’t finish the sprint because I had to be somewhere. When I got back, I only had 4 encounters left, but buildings expired. Not enough encounters to drop fresh buffs and dropping them on Sunday means it won’t cover full length of upcoming tourney. I fought it with only fed Fire Phoenix instead and won. My Fire Phoenix at the time was only at level 5 so I wasn’t that far along in the game yet. Once I realized I can beat the top Boss on 25% boost, I stopped sprinting second Spire. The point of sprinting was to stretch the 4 buffs for 2 week’s worth of Spire, but if I don’t need to use that many, I don’t need to burn my timers either. Since that week, I’ve only used 2 buffs a week (1UUU and either 1 ELR or MMM, depending on the tourney), which is very sustainable so I don’t need to sprint second Spire anymore. My 2 buffs might be too economical for most, but the point is, it can be done with far less than 8+!

but the suggestions I am making will carry anyone up...
Early chapter players might need this much buffing to make it through the Spire, but even if they do, their troop production is simply too woeful to make enough troops back in time for next Spire, tourney, or anything else. And this is even if they got their Needles maxed out already. I know because I have tried this strategy in my second city, but you simply cannot overcome the lack of space to fit more armories in early chapters. As @ed1960 already said, some cities shouldn’t be fighting too hard yet. It’s always easy to spend troops, but it’s much harder to make them back in time. So you’d have a fun week and then be crippled to do anything with your army next week. They probably won’t have a decent Brown Bear yet to help recover, but that is using even more resources to fix a hangover for a week of fun.

I get this is meant to be a “fun” monthly challenge. However, let’s frame it this way… The top of the Spire is comparable to Province 20 of tourney (higher if you want to amend for it being a 2 & 3-wave battles). If this is meant to be for everyone as you’ve suggested, then is there wisdom in asking a chap 3-5 city to fight to Province 20 in tourney for the heck of it? Does the tourney mage ask players to overextend themselves for fun once a month too? I guess that is up to the individual players to decide. As an AM though, I would be more interested in getting my team ready to climb the Spire every week sustainably than blow resources they may or may not have for fun once a month. Personally, if they are dropping 8+ buffs a week, I’d rather see them put up 20K tourney scores. I want more RRs…get to work, chop-chop!
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All good points, and yes probably all of you are higher than my city, and I had no idea that some buff buildings are harder to get on some servers apparently as one of the responses indicated? Thats crazy, I am on three different worlds and have never really noticed a difference I will start keeping an eye out for that.

Look, many of you have rightly noted that I am just trying to gin up some fun and excitement for Spire climbing in general and spire combat in particular. My advice might be overkill for some cities but IF you are not used to combat and/or the Spire then what I advise will motor you to the top for sure...regardless of skill level and city. Now, that also means that you are going to crush tourney as well, my highest weeks in tourney are also the weeks I combat only.

I didn't want to step on the tactics too much (as I mentioned in the original posting) because I know there is a lot of folks here who have a better grasp of it and are much more Indepth with it - I feel like some of you have busted out a calculator, an abacus, and a sun dial to figure out all this stuff even in a reply posting! Impressive, you are all dedicated generals!

That all being said, I will edit my original posting only to note that several experienced players think what I am suggesting is overkill and when deciding to board the combat only train to take a peek at all of your replies too. Fair enough?

I also would think that everyone replying will hopefully join in the challenge I will post Saturday 8/6 in the Lounge. For most of you that haunt this particular forum it will be a cake walk because you apparently fight up the Spire every week, and you carry your trusty sun dial with you wherever you go! Now though, you have inspired me to offer a harder challenge as an option for you jaded killers. My FS already did it, 5 or 6 attempted it while several others called me nutso, 3 completed. It's NOT easy and you will absolutely need more than the bare minimum of one hitpoints buff building, one fed chicken, and your trusty sun dial. I promise. :cool:


Buddy member #3, EAA
My advice might be overkill for some cities but IF you are not used to combat and/or the Spire then what I advise will motor you to the top for sure...regardless of skill level and city
And therein lies the problem, I bolded the point for emphasis, it might be overkill for some but it can kill others and as @crackie pointed out
It’s always easy to spend troops, but it’s much harder to make them back in time.
this can and will cripple small cities that waste the earned "boosters" before they can fully use them just for the FUN of it and then have no troops for a good while until they can rebuild them, and then Repeat the process. Nope, no way is this something that should be done.
I feel like some of you have busted out a calculator, an abacus, and a sun dial to figure out all this stuff even in a reply posting
I am not a "maths" person and I use my common sense and experience to guide my FS mates and anyone that asks me how to best utilize the resources in the game for fun. If you have to use boosters to win then you should not be fighting, before the "boosters" existed you HAD to know how to fight to win, now the game has made it "simple stupid" and that can be taken away at any time.

I had no idea that some buff buildings are harder to get on some servers apparently as one of the responses indicated?
I cannot imagine how you did not know this, the availability of petfood alone makes it a very rare resource to the vast majority and while the Military Boosters do show up more often It is rare to see more than a few per week. All of these Items are subject to the whims of the RNG's.

My advice to all players remains the same and will so until the game forces a change.

Cater all you need to, fight where you can win (low province rounds, first two gates of the spire and regular provinces) to learn HOW to fight, using your troops, not the "boosters". Start to fight as a practice AFTER O&G; fight for practice BEFORE O&G, plain and simple.



Chef, Scroll-Keeper, and Buddy Fan Club Member
That all being said, I will edit my original posting only to note that several experienced players think what I am suggesting is overkill and when deciding to board the combat only train to take a peek at all of your replies too. Fair enough?


Well-Known Member
I think that the experienced players say don't put out that many buff buildings etc. that it is unsustainable. What they aren't doing is telling you how you can fight to the top (that is the challenge here) without doing so many buffs. How many troops do you burn through? Do you need to prep troops just for the spire or is the piddly amount most players have enough for a challenge like this? What kind of strategy should a player use to do this with less buff to their troop? Manual or auto?

I get that this is a lot of buildings and pet food but it seems like it is a finger way and a pat on the butt and Ebon is sent back to his room. Give your tips or advice, don't just say NO.
Thanks for listening.


Buddy member #3, EAA
OK I am the one that said NO so I will take the heat for that, and my answer is still NO, and NO and NO. As I said from the start, the advice given is so over the top and wasteful as to be dangerous to a city and its future growth. Even going out to 58 provinces for 6 rounds I have never ever placed more than 2 of each booster and DA, and for that, I used 1 PF for my Fire chicken and 1 PF for my Polar bear, and 1 each PF each for my 2 Twilight Phoenix's ( I had never used them before and wanted to test them)

As for what strategy to use is so unique to an individual city I would say go read up here on tips and "best practices"

I won't quote myself to save space in reading but I did say

I said that you can fight to the top with 1 of each and that using more was wasteful.
I said that "if" you need that many boosters then your troops are too weak or too few and you should not fight but cater/negotiate.
I said that each city is unique and there is no one solution but having to use that many boosters mean you should not fight.
I said teaching a player to "win" that way was a mistake and unsustainable.
I said if you only have a minimal amount of troops you should not battle.
I said if you follow this concept you can and will cripple small cities that can ill afford to replace troops wasted in this endeavor.
I said you need to learn to battle without the aid of the boosters first.
I said to save all the boosters and petfood for the time you CAN fight effectively (after chapter 7)

The proposal was to get players to follow his advice and do a "FUN Challenge" and I and others took exception to that, the only FUN would be others laughing at the followers for getting sucked into such a wasteful proposition.

I stand by my response and just say NO to this kind of wasteful and harmful action.

Lastly, I gave the best advice I know

My advice to all players remains the same and will so until the game forces a change.
Cater all you need to, fight where you can win (low province rounds, first two gates of the spire and regular provinces) to learn HOW to fight, using your troops, not the "boosters". Start to fight as a practice AFTER O&G; fight for practice BEFORE O&G, plain and simple.



Chef, Scroll-Keeper, Buddy's #1 Fan
Look, many of you have rightly noted that I am just trying to gin up some fun and excitement for Spire climbing in general and spire combat in particular.
The problem isn't creating some fun. Lord knows I've done some pretty idiotic stuff to my city for amusement every now and then. It's a slow game. Totally get it! The hard pill to swallow for most people here is asking players, who may or may not know what they are doing, to use some of the hardest to obtain resources frivolously. That part doesn't come off as sound advice. It's one thing if it's geared towards people that know what they're doing and have the resources. Then by all means, have fun giving it a go! But it's the "everyone" part...let's pump the breaks on that a little and think it through.

What they aren't doing is telling you how you can fight to the top (that is the challenge here) without doing so many buffs. How many troops do you burn through? Do you need to prep troops just for the spire or is the piddly amount most players have enough for a challenge like this? What kind of strategy should a player use to do this with less buff to their troop? Manual or auto?
Or the possibility that early chapter players are not expected to be able to do it fighting yet. As I've said, the Lab is comparable to around the stack size of Province 20 in tourney, higher if you want to account for the fact that it's a multi-wave encounter. Do you expect your chapter 3 players to be able to fight to Province 20-25 in tourney? Most people generally accept that as no without needing to go into too much details.

The people in the worst position to be doing this (early chapter) require the most excessive spending of rare resources to pull this off. Even if you buff yourself to the teeth and pull off the challenge, you will still be limping after this in recovery as a beginner city due to inherent limitations of early chapter troop production, especially if there are any Mist Walkers around. As I've also stated, I have tried building a fighting city to fight my way through the Spire in my 2nd city. The thinking was...if I know what I'm doing and can fight the Lab without catering, then it's pure diamond profit each Spire run starting at Chap 3 when Spire is unlocked. Again, even with a maxed out Needles (pre-sentient level), the limitations comes from lack of real estate to build enough armories. A maxed Needles means my barracks are cranking troops out as fast as they can with max production bonus. You simply won't be able to make back enough troops in time for next week, even if you were successful in fighting all the way to the top. Even though I am pretty far removed from chapter 3 now, I still remember the early chapter troop woes from having experimented to see if it can be overcome with a maxed out Needles.

Unless they've just parked in early chapters, it also takes a really long time to gather enough bear artifacts to evolve a Brown Bear to help with recovery so it's unlikely most early chapter cities have one to lean on. You're stuck with wimpy armories and limits of your barracks/training ground levels and can't produce much unless you want to spend diamonds on more real estate. Obviously, this is not an issue limited to only early chapter cities and troop recovery is something players need to address/juggle throughout the game, as city builder games are generally about resource management. However, for early chapter players, there are some hard limits until they can get Bulwark or Shrewdy to help beef up the effectiveness of armories.

We're pointing out even if they could do this, should we be encouraging everyone to do this? @Ebonknight01 is obviously saying yes and most of us think no, it's not worth up to 9 pet foods and 8+ support buildings that he's suggesting beginners use. Essentially, the problem people have with the challenge is it's like telling a player in Fairy chapter to fight through the Orc wall for fun. Could they drop enough buffs to break through the Orc Wall fighting? Probably. But should we be advising players to fight through the Orc wall for the heck of it or be advising them to just wait until they've researched Breeding Grounds tech instead and save all those buff buildings for another time when they can be used more effectively? And then there's the part about doing this for fun once a month...


Buddy Fan Club member
This is going to be long...
Re: @Ebonknight01's Spire tactics:
This sounds a lot like push weeks for Gold Spire. Many FS's use this 'push week' approach for Spire and tourney, though usually without favoring a specific method of clearing encounters. I'm not a fan. My personal preference is steady progress over what I see as 'big push-big rewards...limp around recovering for 3 wks...big push-big rewards; rinse and repeat'. Still, it appeared to be successful from what I read, the other mages were in favor of trying it for Spire, so we started them once/month back in Feb. We'd been a solidly Silver Spire group since a few weeks after the FS portion of the Spire launched. I had been tracking our Spire totals weekly since the Perks were released, adjusting out any archive pts used as we went along. Without the archives, we were a solid 10th FS bubble (?crystal) each week with an occasional 11th FS bubble. Immediately, we fell into a solid 9th FS bubble with the rare 10th FS bubble on non-push weeks. I tracked this for awhile, discussed it with the mages, and then held a FS wide discussion in early June. We made that month's gold push week the last push anything. Since then, we've moved back to a solid 10th FS bubble weekly and just got the 11th bubble last week. Using Archive pts, we've been taking gold since June whenever we could and that has worked out to getting gold every 3 weeks. We're going to allow the frequency of gold weeks to increase organically as members return to steady city and spire progress without disruption from the push weeks. It is notable that the interest in doing/doing more in Spire has increased among players. That may not have happened without the push weeks where they learned the value of Spire rewards.
Re: Combat
I learned the combat system when there was only a browser version of the game, no mobile app. There was no Spire, no combat boost bldgs, no evolving bldgs, no instants, no vitality surges. Tournaments had changed from originally being with neighbors to an FS activity before I started. When I started, tourney provinces had 4 encounters each. There was one training queue shared by all 3 training bldgs, so you could only train 5 slots at a time; today you can train 15 slots at a time across all three bldgs. In short: combat then was nothing like the game is today.
But, what I learned backs up @ed1960's: Troops are a resource that needs to be managed similarly to how you balance other resources in the game. You learn fairly quickly it is not efficient to make your own non-boosted goods, so you build boosted factories and trade for the others. You learn what demands are placed on those resources by the game and you adjust your production to be in line with what you need. That changes, depending on where you are in the game. *Note: I'm a fighting city because I enjoy it. I still recognize that is not the most efficient use of resources*. Hybrid cities (cities that use some combo of battle/cater to complete encounters) make the best use of all game resources available to them.
Just like it's more efficient to trade for non-boosted goods, there are efficient uses of troops and that changes depending on where you are in the game. There are more facets to the demands the game makes on your troops. There is the battle pentagon and the strengths/weaknesses of troop types. If I try to clear an encounter facing all Light Range and I send in all mages, the game will demand a huge amount of mages and I will still usually fail to clear the encounter. There is Squad Size, mine vs the enemy's. There is unit star level: The game will demand more of my troop resources when my highest star level is 2 and I'm going against 3* enemy units. To me, all of those things are dependent on troop (resource) production. I need to be able to produce enough troops to meet the game demand, just like other resources. At lower chapters, that meant using troops sparingly; I simply did not have the room to produce enough troops to supply the demand. In those chapters I still needed goods for other city progress, my AW's were few and lower levels, etc. I focused on:
A) Make as many troops per day as possible: for my playstyle, that meant prioritizing getting the training bldgs (esp barracks at early chapters) where they were training something/anything 24/7. Since upgrading the barracks decreased training time, I held off on the Needles longer than many other players who could make up the troops lost during their time away from the game when they were here. I couldn't do that.
B) Keep as many troops alive as possible. This meant learning the troop strengths/weaknesses and using appropriate troops in a battle. It also meant I prioritized the Martial Monastery (Sanctuary for humans) AW for placement/upgrades. An unexpected side effect was a huge increase in culture, freeing up more space in my city since I could delete culture bldgs.
C) Use troops across all 3 training bldgs to reduce reliance on one bldg for troop replacement. Ex: when 2 different units from 2 different training bldgs will produce a win, but one of the troop types will take on more losses: If I have 75 more squads of the weaker troop type, he's going in. 1st, I have more I can afford to lose; 2nd, the weaker unit doesn't take up a training slot in the same bldg as the stronger one for replacement. That saves the stronger unit for higher level fights where the weaker one can't win, and still allows replacement of the stronger unit during the same training time as the weaker one.
For my now Ch18 city, doing this over time, has gotten me to a situation where I have a hoarder's supply (of course I do, lol!) of squads of units I use. For some of the ones I don't use, I have very few squads. For the ones I use, I have 1000+ squads of every unit. I only use brown bear when something happens in rl and I have to take shortcuts due to time constraints. My goal of producing 3 squads/slot in each training bldg is still a juggling act, but hovers around goal most of the time. That's 72 squads/day. I did use brown bear to get me up to the 1K squads (mostly to satisfy my inner hoarder, lol!) but I can maintain my inventory of this resource now without usually needing it.
*Note: I have not used any troop instants (unless required by an event quest) or vitality surges, nor yet placed the evolving bldg that recovers troops. I am in the slow process of moving towards my goal of 10K tourney/wk, currently at 8370/wk (6 rounds of 31 provinces) while topping the Spire weekly. My desire is to do that sustainably: for me that means I need to be back at 1K squads of needed troops by the time the next 'whatever' launches. Once I crack the 9K barrier, I'll place the evolving bldg that recovers troops and be more open to using vitality surges. I should have a hoarder's inventory of those by then since I craft every one I see, lol!


Well-Known Member
For those who don't have the extra headroom to deal with making things harder for themselves, go right ahead and keep maximizing your gains for as little losses as possible. It's the smart thing to do. If you're a smart person, stop reading. The words ahead will take your IQ and brutalize it in ways only a hopelessly addicted person can, leaving your intellect a hollow facsimile of its former greatness.
EDIT: I thought I should clarify that the comment above is intended for the spoilered text below, not towards any further discussion. It sure looks a heck of a lot more unmissable while in the editor, but so much smaller in actuality.


However, once you reach the peak of your game (or want feel like you want to be there, even for just a week), things get a little crazed. It's only natural! The best of the best always acquire... quirks... that are and do strange things. It's lonely at the apex and the only way to climb higher is to build yourself a goddamned tower on that mountain so as to PIERCE THE HEAVENS! Once you have that tower, why not invite a few fellows and clown all over Spire using your own. You reject Spire and build your own that's better in every way: It even has card-counting havens and semi-professional courtesans! What's not to like? Wasteful spending? Bah. No such thing! It's your casino in the sky, and as a rule, the house always wins.

Possible examples of extreme clowning include:
  • Use only the Light Melee troops your Dwarven Bulwark spits out. nbd if they all die; just harvest their boots for the unlikely event the developers give thought to this idea
  • No-holds barred! Race your way to the top using powderized time boost scrolls as fuel for the JATO strapped to your back. TAS submissions will be disqualified, and may be against ToS.
  • Always have a pair of Blossom Mages in the periphery (slots 4 and 5) no matter what. Dealing with cynophobia is best done with exposure, right? Right???
  • Go using orc-only troops. Musclemancy is a thing, right? Call down the Heavenly Tacos and smite thine enemies with Hell's Artificial Hot Sauce. Eschew Cross-fit and embrace Resistance Training and the Godly Powers of Whey. Nothing could possibly go wrong, and how bad could it be?
  • People like Easymode, right? Erect as many Enlightened Light Range as you would workshops during shantytown season and go at it with your weakest Light Ranged troop. Every shot, a blow that would make the Death Star weep in bitter jealousy. Every return shot, wracked with mortal pains as they're pierced through their *ahem* thermal exhaust port.
I, unfortunately, fall in the "want to feel like I want to be there" part. Still. If you've gathered enough troop boost buildings to feel comfortable splurging once in a great while, why not? Though to be fair, in my two offshoot cities, I carry my negotiator with me if I decide to rocket my way up with zero hesitation or caution and work him like a cerberus
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Oh Wise One
What they aren't doing is telling you how you can fight to the top (that is the challenge here) without doing so many buffs. How many troops do you burn through? Do you need to prep troops just for the spire or is the piddly amount most players have enough for a challenge like this? What kind of strategy should a player use to do this with less buff to their troop? Manual or auto?
There really isn't a secret to it, combat is combat. You only need 2 things to combat spire all the way:
  • Combat knowledge
  • Troop production
If you don't have troop production you can't combat every week, it then becomes once a whatever based on the towns production. Boosts just make it easier, either temporary or wonders.

Smaller towns have a real issue getting troop production and their advantage is negotiating. So for a small town going combat only in spire negates their advantage. For a small town (not that small is defined) the free troop buildings really help to get decent production but then you can only have so many of them and a limit of troop variety. So using those troops when the fights suit and negotiating when they don't is best.

But if the challenege in the OP is to combat only a town really needs to wait until they have the production they need. They also need to learn combat in world map (yellow provinces) or tourny (maybe 10+, not province 1-6). Easy world map provinces, early tourny provinces and the first couple spire fights are generally designed for you to win regardless of making mistake, tourny allows you to win with the worst possible options. So you can't get a true picture of combat until you are in more even fights and that requires larger towns with more provinces.

Bears, phoenix, boost buildings aren't needed. I have some low chapter towns that can combat reasonably high in spire (not every fight as I wont waste troops) and they win easily without those things. I have a ch15 town that combats all the way without those buildings. Those things just make it easier, it still comes back to production, production and knowledge.

Most towns likely never build enough armouries to have a good production anyway, so boosts become more important to allow losses to match production.