Special Unit Strategies

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As BattleDawn is not ony a PBBG, it's also a Real Time Strategy (RTS) game. What's a strategy game without strategy? Read on furthur to find some most common strategies used in BattleDawn. You can also browse around the Strategy & Player Made Guides Board on the forums to check out what strategies other players are using.



Attacking With the Spy

Due to the versatility of the spy there are lots of strategic uses for the spy, and these are considered below:

Lockdown Strategies

The Lockdown function of the spy is one of the most powerful tools of the spy, however in itself it deals no damage. The Lockdown keeps all squads on the target there for between 3 and 6 ticks, which has many strategic uses.

Lockdown followed by a Nuke/Dragon

The Nuke is a powerful tool, and can deal crippling damage to an army - however its main weakness is the dodge. Armies will rarely stay on an outpost if it is being nuked, however will often wait until the last minute to run. A Lockdown when the nuke is at ETA 3 from the target will force the defenders to ion the nuke, or suffer the losses. Ioning is not cheap, and in itself this can be a good result - however when combined with multiple nukes the odds of nukes being ioned get progressively smaller, and the effect of them not being nuked is progressively larger. A lockdown with 3-5 nukes will cripple an army, which will often choose retreat rather than continue on with a now suicidal attack.

Lockdown followed by Further Spy Attacks

The main weakness of the nuke is that even after being locked down there is an escape route for them, the ion cannon, which makes the lockdown virtually useless. This can be overcome by further spy attacks, assuming that the infiltration on the spy is sufficiently high, but does not deal the same level of damage as a nuke, especially a succession of nukes. By using the Spread Virus, Binding Thorns or Earthquake spy attacks soon after a lockdown you can reduce the units HP to 1, making the units vulnerable in subsequent attacks. This must be done as soon as the lockdown is complete, because it is likely spy protection will be layed down as soon as a spy is discovered within the outpost.

Lockdown followed by Overwhelming Attack

When faced with an army that will defeat your own most players will prefer a retreat - however a lockdown can prevent this, holding them there for the duration of the attack. As one can attack from just 3 ticks away it is possible to move units as close as possible and lockdown an opponent for the entire duration of the attack, forcing them to accept the battle, and, with a sufficiently large attacking army, lose that battle. This should be done with almost any use of the lockdown, using the nuke or spy attack strategies given above as a means to make the battle swing even further in your favour.

Spread Virus/Destroy Vehicle Fuel Supplies/Destroy Heavy Vehicle Fuel Supplies

These three basic spy attacks can be used, especially early on, to turn a battle in your favour. Usually a defender will not retreat if there is a reasonable chance of them winning the battle, and one can exploit this by using these spy attacks at the last minute of an atack. Each reduces a single type of unit down to 1 hit point, and have comparitively low infiltration requirements. This makes them useful for spur-of-the-moment useage, reducing a colony's defences down in the early stages of the round and thus making the conquer simple.

As stated above they are also commonly used directly following a lockdown, but this requires a greater degree of infiltration, and thus more forward planning, as well as a greater degree of structures built - basic operations only require a lvl 2 building, but advanced operations require the lvl 4 building of the same type - making it harder to achieve early on.

Drain Mana/Burn Lumber/Poison Water Supply

These three do not have a direct attacking use, however are good at annoying a player. These are primarily used by conquered players against their conquerers, choosing a different form of attack to the use of units as often they are outmatched in army size. By far the most devestating is the Poison Water Supply which reduces the worker count by 10% potentially crippling the income of the colony.

The Drain Mana and Burn Lumber operations do have a use outside of those conquered however. War is expensive, and a good way to make war even harder is to reduce the fuel they have to move or gate with. This is most useful if you get tipped off by someone that an alliance is planning a war against you - as successful spy attacks are annonymous you can periodically drain their Mana and Lumber, making their advance even harder - especially if you can use it whilst they are attempting their advancement.

These are less common strategies, but still worth consideration!

Spy Traps

Spies placed on strategically important allied outpost can be used to trap enemy attacks, saving units through the use of the spy. In order to do this it is necessary to be able to predict which outposts they are going for, and cover them all with spies - and be online at the right time to trigger the trap.

This can be accomplished in two ways - finding a bottleneck between an advancing army and yourself, covering your gates, which are usually priority targets, with a spy on each of these, or alternatively when pushed back against your colonies as a last resort by baiting an attack on an outpost using a sizeable, but destroyable army on a strategically useful outpost.

With either approach the means to ennacting the spy trap is the same:

  1. At the attack's ETA 1 you plan how much is needed to destroy the attackers, when a spy has been activated
  2. In the last 30 seconds of the tick (in which the attackers are ETA 1 away) the units planned to defend are moved to the outpost, with an ETA of 2 (this eta is crucial)
  3. Simultaneously any units on the outpost move to a nearby outpost, again eta 2, and again in the last 30 seconds of the tick
  4. As soon after the tick has passed, before any spy protection can be placed on the outpost, a lockdown and the necessary spy attack (Spread Virus, Binding Thorns or Earthquake) are activated, holding the units on that outpost, and weakening them sufficiently for the smaller army to defeat them.
  5. If the units previously defending the colony are to be involved in the battle, they can now be recalled back to the outpost, switching them into an ETA 1 attack, allong with the units previously sent.
  6. The battle then takes place a tick later, with the larger army destroyed by the much smaller army, at a much lower cost than it would be without the spy's involvement.

Defending Against a Spy

Spy attacks are lethal, and can be devestating - as a result it is vital that one knows how to defend against them. There are two main ways of doing this - spy protection and spy deployment.

Using Spy protection

Spy Protection is the primary means of defending against spies, and should be maintained at all times. The most common place you will be spy attacked is your colony, often from players that you have conquered - as a result the location that requires most spy protection is your colony. It is best to set up your protection as soon as you build your spy, because it is the cheapest time to get the protection up. Getting it to 300 ticks of protection is usually more than enough to defend yourself, whilst allowing you to replace the spy protection every 50 ticks, keeping it at a high level of protection, at the lowest possible cost.

This costs a maximum of 20% of your energy production, but can be reduced by planning your spy attacks arround returning it to base every 50 ticks to reduce this cost to 8% of your income.

Naturally of course it is not always possible to keep your spy returning to your colony every 50 ticks, it may be building infiltration on a difficult colony, or laying in a trap for an attacker, and in these instance it is in the long run cheaper to keep the spy in place and use a more expensive means of spy protection.

Spy protection however should not be limited to your colony - when attacking another alliance the outpost that your army is on should be outfitted with at least 100 ticks of protection before any units land, because it is an obvious target for any spy attacks. Relics are another good location to have spy protection, because other alliances are liable to place their own spies on it to aid in capturing the relic.

Using Spy Deployment

If your spy has a greater infiltration in an allied outpost than an opposing spy it will capture the spy as soon as a spy attack is initiated, forgoing the need for spy protection to be placed. This is a good way to defend something such as a relic in the long run, or to use as spy protection in preperation for a trap. However it has the major disadvantage that it renders your spy, which you only have one of, useless to attack with.

A player controlled relic is a major target for a spy attack, or indeed an attack of any kind, and as a result it is potentially worth having an allied spy permenantly defending it, both as a trap for any successful attack, or as a means to prevent spies being used to ease an attacker taking it.


How To Use / Handle Nukes

One should use nuclear missiles wisely. Make certain that the target is worth using the expensive missile, and if your squads arrive one tick before the nuke, the nuke will remain targeted on the outpost and will deal damage to your own squads indiscriminately. Another thing to remember is that when you follow up a nuclear missile with squads you can attack at the same tick as the nuke so long as the squads attack from another outpost or colony than the one being nuked.

Method 1: Nukes To Attack A Colony

If you want to attack a colony with nukes, be sure you have a good reason first. Don't just throw a nuke at somebody just because he irritates you! That's a useless loss of resources and it won't do any good.

Although nukes kill 10% Image:worker Symbol.jpg, you won't kill a colony by throwing 10 nukes on it. The game is designed to keep players alive!

When you throw 10 nukes on a colony at the same tick, it will count down as followed:

300 workers to start with
- Nuke 1 will kill 10 % of 300 = 30 Image:worker Symbol.jpg. The colony now has 270 Image:worker Symbol.jpg
- Nuke 2 will kill 10 % of 270 = 27 Image:worker Symbol.jpg. The colony now has 243 Image:worker Symbol.jpg
- Nuke 3 will kill 10 % of 243 = 24 Image:worker Symbol.jpg. The colony now has 219 Image:worker Symbol.jpg
- Nuke 4 will kill 10 % of 219 = 22 Image:worker Symbol.jpg. The colony now has 197 Image:worker Symbol.jpg

And so on. Even with 50 nukes you wouldn't kill all of the colony's workers.

A nuke destroys half the health of the units parked on the colony. But 10 nukes on the same tick will do the same damage to those units as 1 nuke would! If you are going to send in 10 nukes and you want to destroy the army, you have to send then one tick after each other. Every tick a nuke hits, the units will be damaged to 1 HP. But, every tick, the units heal one health bar! So lets say the colony has one tank on it with 6 health bars. After the first nuke, he will only have three left. But then there is the next tick. The tank gains a health bar (it now has 4 heath bars) and at the same time there is another nuke so it loses half again. It now has 2 health bars after two nukes!

The best strategy is to attack at the same time as the arriving nuke in order to battle when the enemy's forces are the weakest. Arriving nukes will exact their damage before the battle ensues.

Method 2: Nukes to attack strategic points

Nukes can be used to downgrade outposts. It's not for any outposts though. That would be too expensive. But if an enemy sets up a gate or a silo in your area and you want to stop his actions without actually fighting him, you could send him a nuke to degrade the target.

The target is not only degraded. The number of control ticks is also reset to zero. So the outpost will remain a normal outpost for the minimum required control ticks, before it can be upgraded. For example, it will require 24 ticks before the outpost can become a missile silo again.

What To Do When Nukes Attack You

You don't need to panic when there's a nuke head towards you. You have 4 options.

Option 1: Just Wait And See

When a nuke is not followed up by an attacking squad you can just sit it out. No reason to relocate for one nuke (at least not when you have less then 500 Image:Worker Symbol.jpg). You will lose 10% of your workers that's the worst thing. The health of your units will be 1HP. But when you leave your units on an outpost/colony, they will heal themselves 1 health a tick!


  • You don't need to do anything at all.


  • It takes time to heal your army.
  • You lose some of your units in the blast.
  • You lose 10% of your workers .
  • Hostile squads may easily take your colony/outpost.
  • Outpost will be downgraded(unless it's already a normal OP).

Option 2: Move out your squads

When a nuke is followed up by a squad you should move out your squads and make sure they are 2 ticks away when the nuke hits.


  • Saves your army so that it is ready to defend.


  • You lose 10% of your workers if it hits your colony.
  • An outpost will be downgraded.
  • Hostile squads may already be on their way, so be sure to check your radar or do a satellite scan.

Option 3: Relocate

For this you need:

  • 50 Image:Energy Symbol.jpg
  • An outpost with full control ticks
  • Your colony must have 72 Image:Tick Symbol.jpg control ticks
  • You must have enough Image:Oil Symbol.jpg for the travel distance.

Your outpost and colony will switch places. Any squads on top of your colony WILL NOT move however so move them off first or the nuke will kill 10% of the units on the outpost where your colony used to be.

Be careful with relocating! You can only relocate once every 72 Image:Tick Symbol.jpg ticks!!!!


  • Everyone in your colony is saved.
  • You might be far enough away from the person that fired the nuke.
  • Or you might be close enough to attack him directly.


  • Can only relocate once every 72 Image:Tick Symbol.jpg ticks.
  • Must have enough oil and energy and own an outpost.
  • The outpost and your colony swaps,and the control tick for the swapped OP drops to 0.

Option 4: Ion Cannon

You can, if you've actually built it and have 250 Image:Energy Symbol.jpg spare, fire your Ion Cannon at the nuke. This prevents the nuke getting to you at all hence you get no damage at all! If they were stupid enough to send squads as well, they might be in for a surprise if the owner doesn't realize that you have an Ion Cannon.

Ion Cannon is one of the best options


  • Everyone is saved in your colony.
  • Can be used to defend OPs too.


  • Needs Ion Cannon built and 250 Image:Energy Symbol.jpg.

See Also

Spies & Covert Ops, Nukes

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