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Survival Guide - Dust Settles: Attacking

Table of Contents:

I. Purpose
II. Army Competency
III. Attacking Another Camp
   A. Attack Range
IV. Rules of Engagement
   A. Standard Operating Procedure
   B. Skirmish
   C. Mission Critical
V. Formation
   A. Standard Assault
   B. Flanking Maneuver
   C. Ranged Fire Primary
VI. Weapons, Vehicles, Aircraft, and Mechs
   A. Close Combat
   B. Ranged Fire
   C. Heavy Weapons
   D. Ground Vehicles
   E. Light Aircraft
   F. Mechs
VII. Assigning Officers
VIII. Improvements
IX. Limitations


The main reason for attacking another camp is to win victory score. Though winning against another camp on their home turf can be difficult, the rewards are high. You will use an army attack against another camp to up your battle ranks and to show your superiority over that camp by defeating their troops, breaking through their wall, destroying their militia, and finally by killing some of their civilian population and burning some of their storage huts and guard posts.

Now as a camp who has survived the apocalypse, you don't want to completely destroy another camp. You only want to take them down a few notches (maybe to surpass them in rank or take revenge for a previous attack) by showing your military superiority and killing some of their population. Your army will only set fire to storage huts as a way to leave a lasting reminder. You only want to hurt their camp, not kill them completely as destroying gardens/farms or recycling plants could.

Because of training and what each of the units is actually for, you can only launch an offensive battle with army, not militia. Even in pre-apocalyptic society, militia were civilians with a bare minimal training in weapons use that would act as the last line of defense in the event that an invading force was able to defeat the homeland's army. These units have no training in rules of engagement or formation and would thus be slaughtered if sent against a camp's full defenses of army and militia. Army on the other hand never really stops training. The primary training, as explained below, merely acts as the basic training for your army. You can attack another camp secretly using special forces, but these units will ideally see no combat during a raid.

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Army Competency:

Attack Page Army Competency

Army competency is a very important factor in any battle. This term refers to how well your troops can work together and get along. The higher your army's competency is, the better your troops will perform in battle. For example, an army armed with ~1,000 rifles and Elite competency against an army with ~1,000 rail guns and Unconfident competency will typically stand a pretty decent chance. Competency affects not only your overall attack and defense in battle, but also your accuracy with weapons. You can check your army's competency level by looking in the "Your Army" box on the Attack page.

The competency levels that you can achieve are as follows in order from lowest to highest: Disorganized, Unconfident, Green, Competent, Confident, Experienced, Decorated, Veteran, and Elite.

Your army's competency will increase the longer they stay together and the more times you win. Also the greater your victory over another camp in the sense of difficulty, the more your competency will increase. For example, if you take on a larger camp and win, your competency will increase more than winning against a small camp.

Their competency will decrease the more times you lose. The size of the loss will affect how much you lose as well. If you lose to a much larger camp, you are not going to lose as much competency as you will if you lose to a tiny camp.

If you increase your ranks by more than half of the current number, your competency will decrease. This is because you are adding so many people to your ranks that these new people will cause the entire group to have to adjust and relearn how to work together. You will also decrease your army's competency any time you relieve more than 25% of your current forces. By relieving this many people you will create a void that the other troops will have to scramble to refill. This causes problems in teamwork and morale as everyone is not quite sure what role they need to fill.

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Attacking Another Camp:

Attack Page Attack Drop-Down List

Whenever you get ready to launch an attack against another camp, you will first select a camp within your attack range from the Attack page. Only those camps within your attack range will be available for selection. Once you have selected a camp to attack, you will select the Rules of Engagement for the battle and the Formation you want to use. Next you can begin assigning weapons, vehicles, and aircraft or you can set the number of army units that you want to send into battle. You will only be able to send as many weapons as you have army assigned to fill their crew requirements, so assign your weapons carefully. Also, make sure you have enough officers assigned to lead the troops you have. Use the parameters explained on the attack page. Sending too many officers or too few officers into battle will cause confusion among your ranks. The greater the excess or deficit, the greater the confusion. Once you have set up all of these variables, you will click Confirm at the bottom of the table. If you have assigned more weapons than total army units being sent, you will not be able to click confirm. You must also make sure that you have at least 50 units assigned to launch an attack.

Attack Page Army Assignment

Once you have set up an attack, you will see a display similar to the one below. It will show you the number of units sent, who is being attacked, the rules of engagement, and the formation assigned. As long as you have not yet ended a turn, you can click the "you may do so now" button to disband the group. Below this you will see a table showing you when the attack was sent, whether the army is on the way to the battle or returning. How much longer your army will be gone from the camp and the player being attacked are also shown in this table. Any attack you send out will take 3 days to actually reach the camp and then another 3 turns to return.

Attack Page Attack Set

If you have ended a turn after setting up an attack, you will not be able to cancel the battle. You will only be able to see the information about the number of troops sent, who they're attacking, and the basic battle type assigned. The table will still display the same information.

Attack Page Army Returning

On the third day, when the attack actually occurs, you will receive the information about the battle above your end turn results. You will get the basic details about the battle results as the first thing you see. If you want to see more details about the battle click Show in the bar underneath for a play-by-play of the volleys and ground gained/lost.

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Attack Range:

You will only ever be able to attack people that are close to you in size (score). These camps will be available for selection in the drop down box in the main Attack table, while those outside of your attack range will not be shown. You can also check the Statistics page to see what camps are within your army, air, and special ops attack range. Your army and air attack range is smaller than your special ops range. Those camps that are inside your attack range, but are unable to be attacked for some reason (i.e. they are in cool down or have reached their 10 attack limit) will be listed in the drop-down box with "(unable)" next to their name.

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Rules of Engagement:

Attack Page Rules of Engagement

After you have selected which camp you want to attack, you will need to select what the rules of engagement for the battle should be. This will basically set the leaving conditions for your troops. Standard Operating Procedure and Skirmish can be used at any time, while Mission Critical can only be used if your army competency is Experienced or better.

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Standard Operating Procedure:

This rule of engagement refers to a standard attack style for your army. Your army will attack the chosen camp with the assigned formation. Once 75% of the troops sent into battle are killed, your army will retreat under fire. The defending army will only move at 1/4 their normal speed, but your army will be unable to return fire. This will lead to at least a few more deaths before your troops are out of range completely. If it comes to down to it, you will have one soldier that will survive at all times. (Someone has to return to give you the battle details.)

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If you decide that you just want to test the waters, so to speak, before launching a serious attack against another camp, then this rule of engagement is probably your best choice. Your army will attack the camp with the assigned formation and will retreat after only 25% of the original force has been killed. This is a great tactic to use with a minimum of your own army so you can see how large the other camp's army is without giving away your own totals. Once again as your army is retreating you will be under fire from the defending camp. You are still guaranteed to have one unit return from the battle.

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Mission Critical:

You will only be able to launch this style of attack if you have a competency of Experienced or better. In this style of attack, your army will fight to the death. These units will continue battling your opponent until you either win the battle or have a single unit left. Either way, the surviving units will return home after the battle. This is an extreme style of battle that should be used only with caution.

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Attack Page Formation

The formation you use will determine where your troops will stop moving and stand their ground firing during battle. Each formation has its own attack style and certain advantages and disadvantages against different defense styles. You will start with the ability to send out a Standard Assault. The other two formations must be opened through Military Tactics research.

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Standard Assault:

This formation is the basic army attack formation. You will have this attack style from the beginning. This attack style has no real advantage or disadvantage against any of the defense styles and thus will remain a decent standby when you want to play it safe with an attack.

When you attack with a Standard Assault formation, your troops will start firing as soon as the first troops come within maximum firing range. This means that you may be running in under fire if the defending camp has better weaponry. Then your troops will keep moving until they reach their minimum attack range where they will stop and continue attacking until defeating all of the defending army or retreating.

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Flanking Maneuver:

In order to send out your troops using this formation, your military tactics research must be at 10 or above. This formation has a definite advantage over the Pro-Active defensive formations. It has a disadvantage against the Distributed Defense, though.

During a battle where this formation is used, your army will split into two main forces. If the defending camp is using a Pro-Active defense, one of the forces will meet the army on the battlefield and engage the defending camp in battle, moving from their maximum to their minimum attack range. Once you have reached the Melee part of the battle, when your close combat troops meet their troops, your other force will launch a surprise attack from behind the defending troops with a bonus in their attack power. Obviously, if the camp has a Distributed Defense, your army will not be able to flank the camp and surprise them. You will have an attack decrease in this case because your army was expecting to surprise the defending camp.

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Ranged Fire Primary:

This formation will require your Military Tactics to be at level 30 or above for use. Your army will have an advantage against a Distributed Defense, but will have a disadvantage against a Proactive defense.

In this formation, your troops will begin firing as soon as the defending camp's troops are within range. Each of your troops will stop at their respective maximum firing range to stand back and fire. You will have an attack bonus against a Distributed Defense. Against a Pro-Active defense, where the defending troops will rush out to meet you, your troops, who were expecting to sit back and fire, will have a disadvantage.

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Weapons, Vehicles, Aircraft, and Mechs:

Attack Page Weapons Assignment

Once you have opened the ability to build weapons, vehicles, aircraft, or mechs or bought some from the Trade Market, you will be able to assign as many weapons as assigned troops. If you send out 50 people, you can only send out 50 weapons (assuming each weapon is carried by only 1 person). Each army unit can carry only one weapon. There are three styles of weapons, close combat, ranged fire, and heavy weapons, as well as two ground vehicles, one aircraft, and three mechs that you can send into a standard battle. There are also three levels of close combat and ranged weaponry, which must be either bought through the Trade Market or built yourself. Remember, if you have a minting license from the Neutral Exchange Camp, you will not be able to make your own ranged weapons, vehicles, or aircraft. Until you have true weapons, your army will improvise and attack with makeshift weapons. These, of course, are not nearly as effective as even the first level weapons.

In order to assign weapons, you will have to assign the excess weapons that you do not currently assigned for defending your camp, or you will have to unassign those weapons. Your army will have to carry the weapons they are assigned, which means that any weapons that would have normally been kept around the camp for quick access during an attack would have to be gathered up for the army that is about to leave. You will lose any weapons carried by soldiers that are killed in the attack.

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Close Combat:

These weapons will be used for melee battle with the defending army and for attacking the militia once you have broken through the defending camp's wall. Once have done sufficient research you will be able to begin with basic swords. Eventually you will be able to build shock pistols. You will want a decent number of these with any attack that you intend to have enter the camp since most other weapons lose their effectiveness at close range.

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Ranged Fire:

You will use these weapons to begin attacking the defending forces as soon as you come into range. These weapons are extremely useful in the beginning of the battle against the defending army, but once you defeat the army and break through the wall, your troops carrying these weapons will drop to 1/4 their normal attack power as they revert to using bayonets and swinging the weapon to use as a bludgeon.

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Heavy Weapons:

These weapons are primarily used to take out vehicles and choppers assigned to defend the camp you are attacking. They are quite useful for attacking armored units used by the defender, but are not that powerful against standard troops. As with ranged fire weapons, these weapons will lose most of their attack power once inside their minimum range.

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Ground Vehicles:

Vehicles are particularly useful for packing a heavy punch in the initial stages of battle. AAV's have a wide range of preferred targets and are especially effective against ground troops. Tanks are great for taking out armored ground troops and mechs, though they are a bit weaker against choppers and standard ground troops. If your troops make it inside the defending camp's walls, the army units assigned to ground vehicles will get out and fight the defending militia with 1/4 of their standard damage.

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Light Aircraft:

The only type of aircraft that will accompany your troops into standard battle are choppers. Fighters and bombers are sent separately for air raids. Choppers don't have a great deal of armor, but they are highly effective against troops on foot and move very quickly. Once your troops defeat the defending army and break through the walls, your chopper troops will exit their aircraft and fight with 1/4 their normal damage.

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Attack Page Mech Assignment Queue

Mechs can only be used, even if purchased off the Trade Market, by a camp with a Military Focus. If you do not set yourself with this focus, then you will not be able to send mechs into battle. Mechs are highly powerful weapons that are rather effective against a wide range of enemy troops. If you get into the camp, your mechs, as with most other weapons will lose much of their effectiveness.

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Assigning Officers:

Attack Page Officer Assignment Tools

One thing that you will have to remember when you set up an attack is officers. If you send a group of soldiers to attack a camp with an inappropriate amount of officers (either too many or too few) your troops will be confused in battle and will lose much of their effectiveness. Below the weapons assignment tools you will have two ways to assign officers to accompany your troops. You can either assign the number of captains, colonels, and generals manually or click the Auto Assign check box just below. If you do not have enough officers for the troops you are sending, the Auto Assign feature will not work. You will have to manually assign as many officers as you have/want to send.

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You will be able to improve your attack power primarily through research, army competency, and formation bonuses.

By researching Coercion, Weapon Design, and Military Tactics, you can improve your attack power. Military Tactics will have the highest effect on the overall battle, but Weapon Design will greatly improve, not only the types of weapons you can build, but also their accuracy values.

Your army's competency will have a major effect on your battles with a greater competency giving you a greater boost. Competency will improve your overall attack values and your troops' accuracy.

Launching a Standard Assault is a safe bet to use against any defensive formation, since it has no disadvantage against any of them, but it will also give you no advantage. The Flanking Maneuver will give you an advantage on the Pro-Active defense, but has a disadvantage against the Distributed Defense. Ranged Fire Primary will have an advantage against the Distributed Defense, but will be disadvantaged against the Proactive defense.

Weather and seasons will also have a small effect on battle.

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Attack Page Attack Limit Reminder

You will only be able to attack a camp with your army 3 times during any 24 hour (real time) period at most. You will be able to launch special ops raids and bombing runs as well, taking the number of attacks by you on any given camp up to a possible 9 in any 24 hour period. Once all of these attacks have been launched, you will have to wait until the 24 hour period is over to attack that person again. Also a person can only be attacked a total of 15 times by anyone or with 10 total army attacks, whichever comes first. After meeting one of those limiters, others in their range will have to wait until 24 hours after the 1st attack to try again.

Any time you send out your army, they will be gone for a total of 6 days (turns), leaving your camp protected only by the army that was not sent out and your militia. You will also have less weaponry, since all of the weapons that your army takes with them will be away from your camp as well.

Attack Page Weapons Reminder

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