More Defensive Success – The Base Illusion

more defensive success in clash of clans

Recently, I came across several bases that made me remember this article that is now more than 2 years old and it looks like more and more players use this tactic today. To be honest, this was one of the posts I was proud of most, so I decided to rework it a little bit and I hope you enjoy it.

I was really exited to make this post about making your base look stronger than it is with several tips, but in the end the post took a hard turn. I was researching different layout structures and things that might scare potential attackers off – like the small fishes in the ocean that gather together in swarms to look like a huge fish.

To be honest, I was searching myself nearly to death because there is absolutely nothing around. I ended up on articles about psychological warfare when I remembered something from my time back a few years when I was playing online poker:

Would you rather sit on a poker table together with very good or very bad player?

In fact, I ask myself why I would like to make my base look stronger than it really is – what would be the outcome? I would scare off weaker players that would maybe lose their attack and I would only get attacked by players who are sure they can win the attack on a base that looks stronger than it is. In other words, each attack would be an absolute defeat of my base. I think you can already see where this is going, so what we actually want to do is make our base look weaker than it really is, am I right?

Psychologic Base Design in Clash of Clans

I hope I didn’t confuse you too much in the intro and you didn’t leave this post. 😉 Let’s work towards the goal of getting attacked by players thinking we have a base weak enough for them to be successful. First, I will start off with a poll I found in the official Forum which deals with the question what makes people skip a base instead of attacking it:

What makes you skip a base in Clash of Clans yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7

So here we have the main reasons why people are skipping our base or, in other words, why they think our base is (too) strong.

Remember, we don’t want them to skip our base because, when they skip, they think they would not win the attack resulting in a defensive victory. We will now take some of these points and think what we can do to make it look less dangerous (without making it less dangerous).

High Level Walls

It’s no secret that higher Walls scare off lots of player. It’s very tempting to upgrade the Walls, it’s not necessary. You should really place the Walls very low on your priority list once you get the Level 8 or Level 9 Walls. If you upgrade them always start in the core:

Different layers of wall levels yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7

Why? Simply because Wallbreakers will crush Walls – this has been true since the beginning of Clash of Clans and will always be that way. This means your outside ring is lost practically all of the time, but lots of people invest all their Wallbreakers for the outside when attacking. The regular Troops are then left to bring down the inside layer of Walls.

A Wall Level 7 has 2,500 HP and a Wall Level 8 has 3,000 HP so it can get destroyed by 2 Wallbreakers Level 4 (the Level 7 wall) or 3 Wallbreakers (in the case of the Level 8 Wall). Have you ever seen someone only bring 2 Wallbreakers to an attack? I haven’t. We can assume most attackers have 5 Wallbreakers or so that they will deploy to the outside Wall destroying it right away – Level 7 or Level 8, doesn’t matter. The 500 additional HP of the Wall can hold back some Giants for a couple of seconds, important seconds your defenses can reduce the Giants health.

Base Design Illusion

As we can see most people skip a base when it’s a well designed base – sounds reasonable, right? Of course it does, but what does well-designed mean and why do they skip?

I took some time to watch my own behaviour of skipping and raiding and my answer is: designed well doesn’t mean strong. When I see a base that is tidy (no Obstacles or only outside ring of Obstacles), symmetric and I have the feeling that someone invests a huge amount of time in his base design I think twice before attacking. I asked myself why I tend to do that and the best answer I found was that I assume that if someone is investing that much time in his base he probably has invested also a lot of time in setting up the Traps and testing his design with different setups to make it strong. You probably noticed that I don’t know if it’s strong – I only make the very obvious connection between “looks thought out” and “is thought out” only by some small indications. To give you the unromantic end – each base I attacked offered the strength I assumed, but this is great for the purpose of this post!

If people think symmetric bases with cleared Obstacles are thought out and strong they tend to attack… wait for it… unconventional bases because they – watch your own thoughts – tend to be weaker. I’m not speaking of the lunatic Batman- or Skull-Base designs, I’m speaking of base designs like this:


If I see a base like this I always take a second look and, if you watch yourself, I would bet a fortune you do too! So all we have to do is make our strong base look a little unconventional without making it weaker.

Stop cleaning your base!

Do you like cleaning your room? Probably not. Simply let some Obstacles grow in the wild in between your outside buildings. They don’t harm anyone, but your base directly gets an abandoned look. You can make this even more efficient by not clearing the Tombstones of the last attack. Instead of this:


our base now looks like this:

Clash of Clans Base full Obstacles yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7

Fine. We now created the first eye-catcher for the skipper. If there would be a statistic how many people look at your base and how long they look at it before they next it you would see an increase in the scouting time. Again, watch your own behavior when you come across bases with Tombstones and Obstacles – you tend to take a second look.

Attention! You can let the Tombstones also stay in your base, but if they surround an outside trap you should remove them because it reveals trap positions!

I have come across a base recently that game me a hard time – I spent about 10 seconds to figure out the general layout:

hard to attack base layout yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7

I was pretty amazed why it gave me such a hard time. The base has no crazy layout, but it’s hard to see everything at a glance. The walls make it hard to see the wall breaks, the outside lines are hard to focus on with the walls and obstacles around it.

Even if I attack the base, I wasted half of my scouting time simply trying to figure out something that I normally figure out in 2-3 seconds!

Don’t confuse symmetry with balance.

Symmetric bases are always better in multiplayer (not Clan War!), because it’s harder for the attacker to decide from which side to attack.

You can easily make your base look weird when you move it over to a corner with the “move all” tool in the base layout designer.move all tool yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7

This is also positive, because an attacker doesn’t like to deploy troops directly on the outside, so he will tend to attack from the side with more space – a great opportunity to place more traps there.

Here’s a method that works well for that:

Don’t burn your wings by taking this too far.

This is the point where I stop.

I know there are lots of other things out there like the Sink Hole Strategy which points all damage on one spot hoping someone is stupid enough to fully deploy the whole army in there:

Or also the semi-exposed Town Hall that has everything around it to defend:semi exposed town hall yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7

From my experience this is an All-In situation and if it fails you’ll lose, so I simply can’t recommend that and I also never had a good experience with it. All the techniques I have mentioned in this post don’t really change anything relevant in how your base is working. All we do is mask the fact that we have a strong base.

Thanks for editing: EnchinsuOcha


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  1. come on man, seriously! i am going to give u a suprise. u said nobody usually goes with 2 wall breakers for an attack ,well guess what unfortunately i turned up to go for a war attack with just 2 wall breakers on partially rush TH 11 and to my amazement i ended up two staring it with 51% destruction inspite of the fact that i myself am TH 10 rusher, hehe1.( i have a different layout from all your aspects , oh and by the way nice power of observation u hav got there yourself!.}

  2. This post is a good one… I think Some of you didn’t understand exactly what timmy was trying to convey. He is trying to make the base look weaker than it actually is… This will tempt many of the players.. especially the weaker ones to attack u. In return u get cheap shield and they will also not be able to get much loot out of ur base as their troops are weak. If the attacker is a strong one- whether ur base looks strong or weak, u r gonna get raided badly. So which one do u prefer- to let the weaker ones keep skipping ur base because ur base looks strong? Or to let them raid because they look weaker… I’ll go for the 2nd option. I’m sure you wouldn’t want to let them skip… If u make ur base look strong, You will only end up waiting for stronger one to attack u..

    And about the Walls.. I still agree with Timmy. Weaker wall outside now stronger walls inside.
    Reason is- strong walls or weak wall, your outside walls are going to get breached anyway. U can’t stop them…It’s obvious and u know it. They are surely gonna use wall breakers to break ur outside walls… It’s better to sacrifice ur weak walls n keep ur strong walls Safe inside…I Don’t think I need to explain it further. I hope By now u get what Timmy and I are trying to say..

    • I think we all get it but we don’t agree. If you want people to attack put your TH outside. Simple. You won’t lose many cups or loot and you’ll have your shield. No need to go through more work than that.

      With the walls we’re also disagreeing. I see the points that are being made but my intention is to stop the first star, the 50% star, from happening (if your TH is centered in your base). Putting the strongest walls on the inside won’t help you achieve that. Might be that most people are expecting to lose that star and so they want to prevent the final two from happening. In that case I can see putting them inside.

      • Dude i’m in farming stage only… My Town Hall is always outside for cheap shield…we all know that. Look, when u get raided, a lot of variables comes into play as to why u are raided(high level or low level players)like- they attacked u for trophy or because the loot is good, or because ur base looks easy to him, or he have no choice because it has taken him too long to find the right base or he doesn’t have much time because he’s also busy doing something else and so on…- his motive, time available and pressure…so many reasons. It’s all about chances n luck..
        See, we can go on debating because it’s debatable.
        But point here is- Its not about just keeping the town hall outside… But it’s about doing something more than that….to bring out a new idea-an idea on how to play with the mind of other players-an illusion . I think that’s why Timmy used the word illusion. Sometimes we are all bored with the usual way of playing, don’t we? Maybe this is one way of the many other to try.
        If u think deeply about this.. I think the probability of getting raided by Low level player is slightly higher than probability of getting raided by higher level players…most likely ur Town Hall is going to get destroyed(because sniping TH has become a habit for most players)resulting into getting cheap shield.. I’m not much of a mathematician who deals with probability(forgive me for talking about it)’s just a feeling ..rather an Intuition. Now as to whether they will continue to attack or not depends…probably they will be thinking – should I continue attacking or not?
        If they are desperate,I think they will or they will not, if they later come to realize the true strength of your base..
        So in this way this illusion trick is actually supposed to work…just a quick way to engage/trick them into attacking ur base..get ur Town Hall destroyed at least.
        But like I said – it’s all about chances, Ur luck right? So If the attacker is a low level player, then u r lucky. If he’s a high level players -pray that ur base doesn’t get looted badly 😀 xD

      • And about the walls.. I will still stick to – weak walls outside and strong walls inside. I’m only talking about things in general.. So I don’t know about getting 50% destroyed or other things.
        OK… If u have walls of different levels… I will put the weakest one outside..And Put the “not so weak” walls inside and the strongest walls in the middle layer( strongest wall says -I’m getting closer to outside layer from the inside.. you happy now? 😀 ).
        Assuming that they are using wall breakers..the outside walls is going get breached for sure(if it’s the strong wall, its wasted). Even if they are using a good number of wall breakers, I assume that they will not be able to get deep inside(mostly they are killed before getting inside when they are on the way to inner walls because of the damage taken from the defences especially those defences with splash damage type or sometimes they run towards other closer outer walls n destroy them which we do not intend to break). So My main intention is to slow them down starting from somewhere in the middle layer.

        Even if they are able to reached the inside core of our base, the other side of the middle wall(which is the strongest one) will still be a hinder and it will slow them down tremendously because by that time they will have loose many of their troops.

        maybe u have a point if ur intention is stop attacker from getting that 50% star…I don’t know. It’s just that I haven’t tried keeping my weak wall inside. Maybe u r right in that case 😉

      • The point is to win trophies and potneitally get a 40% shield… rather than put the TH outside and lose trophies to get a shield. It’s really quite simple what he’s saying. I agree on nearly all points he made.

  3. You are going to be attacked anyway, the point is if your base looks weaker eventually this will lead weak people to attack you, giving you some extra thropies or maybe a cheap 12 hours shield.

    It could be a good strategies in higher leagues where nobody is putting their TH outside.

    I will use this technique in my next war clan, maybe I can make some enemies lose some attacks.

  4. Well if you try to make your base look weaker, weak and strong opponents will attack you rather than just strong opponents…honestly just put your th outside your base and you won’t have to worry about it. The last 30 attacks against me are th snipers

    • I agree. The strong players will attack no matter what so if you want to prevent them from having the opportunity put it outside so someone weak snipes it. You don’t have to make the whole thing look weak. Just get a shield by putting it outside and be done with it. I got the point if what was intended by the article but what I’m saying is the point is unnecessary if you do like what is said here and just put the TH out.

  5. This post went in the opposite direction that I intended it to. The point was to make your base look stronger so people don’t attack you as much. Not so you look weaker and people attack you more. Good post though.

  6. Hey Timmy. I really like the thought you put into this post. However I have to disagree with a number of things and explain why so it hopefully adds to everyone’s Clash knowledge and as a result we all become better players.

    I think the point of this post is to have people attack your base more and either horribly lose their attack on you or completely destroy you. That does, as you point out, take a lot of planning and balance. But what is the point of that in the first place?Why do you want someone to attack and completely destroy you? Is a 16 hour shield that much more useful than a 12 hour shield? I don’t see the point if they give you a 16 hour shield they have most likely gotten more starts and therefore you have most likely lost more cups as well as more resources. Tempting someone into an all out attack doesn’t give you anything unless this is all for the satisfaction of your base being strong enough to hold them off and they don’t get any stars. However I think in the end I think it will end up in disaster if we are to do some of the things you are suggesting. Supercell has put a lot of work into already balancing the game which is why you have pointed out many times that Hybrid bases don’t work. They don’t protect anything well so we have to choose what we’re going to protect: resources or cups.

    By changing some of the things you are suggesting in the article I believe you are taking away a lot of your protection in the same way a Hybrid base does. First the walls comment you made. “Level 7 walls being nearly as good as Level 9.” That’s not true. If you are talking about a small section or a corner I understand that the Wall Breakers are going to slice through any wall, but once the WBs are gone if you have interior walls that are Level 9 rather than Level 7 you are going to hold up better. Walls aren’t really meant to protect your base against Wall Breakers because Wall Breakers are DESIGNED to BREAK WALLS. Yes we might slow down troops and maybe even some levels of WBs by upgrading our outside walls and that’s all we can really hope for. This is why no one should put their highest walls on the inside; the highest walls should be on the exterior if you want to win. So maybe a better way to balance this if you want to tempt someone into attacking but have them still have them lose is put your strongest walls in the middle layers. Then their attack starts well but slows down quickly because of the middle layer walls.

    While I do like the idea of a bit of base illusion and asymmetry there is an unbalancing that occurs if it is done to much which will weaken the base so much that you probably won’t get the result of someone attacking and losing. In your example you moved the core of the base to the edge. You didn’t weaken the core but because you moved it there were now more things like pumps and army camps that were exposed on the far side of the map. While this doesn’t do much harm to your resources it will ruin your cup count because now you are an easy base to get 50% on. Yes it is only one star but how is this different from a farming base that has the Town Hall completely exposed for someone to snipe? These two styles of bases are the same; drop some archers to take down anything that is exposed and then use the majority of your army to go after what is protected. In each of these cases it is apparent that the attacker will get one star for sure it is the second star they are looking to get but in one case it will get them more cups (because that’s what they want in that case) but in the other case it will get them lots of resources (because in the other case that is really what they’re going for.

    I do agree that taking these things too far will not be good and creates an “All-in situation.” I agree but I think some of what was suggested has already created this “All-in situation.” The only thing I have no reservations about and completely agree with is not cleaning up your base. Leaving tombstones and obstacles creates a messy situation so they need more time to weigh all the options and possibilities before the decide to attack. I’ve noticed this on many occasions even before reading this article. It is at these times where I have a gut instinct or another little voice that speaks to me. It says, “it’s a trap, don’t attack. Something is wrong with this base and you can’t see it so if you attack without having a super solid plan, you are guaranteed to lose.” So I listen to that voice and hit the next button.

    Thanks for all your work, Timmy. I love the articles, the website, and the community. Sorry the comment was so long but I just had to speak up. Clash on!

      • You haven’t given any reason as to why that would be better or beneficial. If they’re inside then they don’t protect some of your crucial defenses and once those are down you’ve probably already had 50% destroyed and your TH will go probably not long after. Because now there are less defenses protecting your base and these strong walls on the inside will go eventually. The only thing you can hope for is that time runs out before your TH goes. If the strongest walls are on the outside you have a chance of stopping attacking troops (but not wall breakers as we’ve mentioned no walls can stop them) since your defenses are intact and can hold off attacking troops so you have a better chance at not losing this defense.

      • I agree that the strongest walls on the inside. I say this because WB WILL obliterate the walls of course, but they’re so much harder to control once your army is partway into the base. You can pretty much pinpoint which section of the outside wall you want them to destroy, but it gets much more difficult (sometimes impossible) to direct them to go deep inside the base to the very inner section to get to the core. They’re going to get distracted by some other wall section that wasn’t destroyed but easier to get to than the core. That leaves only the other troops (pekka, giant, whatever) to destroy the wall. And if the strongest walls are protecting the core, it will slow down their attack slightly.

      • I see what you mean however you’ve already given up the first star by that point in most cases. With that you’ve lost cups and loot which is what I thought in this case were trying to keep. It is probably best to put the TH out in the end.

      • Most people will use a jump spell to get over your strong inner walls or rage to slice through them easier. If the strongest are on the outside there’s more of a possibility of you lasting long enough so they don’t get that close that they can jump over whatever walls you have on the inside. Each attack is going to be different but I believe the majority of evidence points to putting them outside.

    • I think you didn’t got my initial point. You will get attacked anyway but instead of weaker people skipping your base they should attack it than stronger people…

      • If you want someone to attack put your TH outside. End of story. Why do we need a whole article? If the point is to get someone to attack put the TH out and get a shield for a few cups.

      • If you really want to push far beyond 3k cups you will need that people lose attacks on your base and not only expose your TH…

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