Like all mobile war games, Rise of the Kings emphasizes combat more than any other aspect of the game. Sure, you have to build an impressive base to support your ever-growing army, but the ultimate goal is always the same – to attack and conquer other players. Sooner or later, you join an alliance and combat becomes even more essential as you begin to organize massive rallies with your teammates.
The combat system in Rise of the Kingdoms is both similar to that of other mobile RTS games and slightly different. While casualties are calculated in mainly the same way (melee lower tier units die first), the important distinction in RotK is that each type of troop is further divided into two categories – offensive and defensive. This is the first thing you have to understand in order to succeed in the game, so let’s get right to it.
Offensive vs Defensive Troops
In Rise of the Kings, you’ll find the four types of troops you’re probably already familiar with from other mobile RTS games. These are Infantry, Archers, Cavalry, and War Machines, each with their own strengths and vulnerabilities, which we will get to in a moment.
The distinctive feature of troops in RotK is that each type can have defensive and offensive units. If you look at your Infantry options, for example, you’ll notice that about half of the units use a sword, while the other half use a spear or an axe. The first are defensive troops, while the latter are offensive. In other words, sword-wielding knights have higher defense and HP, while spearmen are more vulnerable, but deal higher damage.
The rule of thumb is that defensive troops should be left in your castle to, well, defend against attacks, while offensive troops should be used in marches and rallies. One notable exception is that of defensive infantry, which you can use to diminish the number of casualties you suffer during an attack on another player. Another example is that of defensive war machines, which you can use as fodder while attacking a castle, but which are otherwise way too slow to use on marches.
Troop Types and Functions
Each type of troop is best suited for a specific role due to their strengths and vulnerabilities against other troops. Here is a brief rundown on how you should use each type:
Like in most mobile war games, Infantry units are widely used as cannon fodder. They are there to protect the rest of your army, so HP and defense are their most important stats. Offensive infantry is most effective against both types of enemy Cavalry, whereas Defensive infantry is best used to counter all types of ranged units, from mounted archers to bowmen and Offensive war machines. Regardless of the type, you should use Infantry in all of your compositions so as to prevent additional casualties among your more expensive troops.
These troops are your main tool to clear spearmen so that your army can deal more damage to your enemy’s backline units. Crossbowmen have a higher range and a skill that lets them inflict 10% more damage while defensing a castle. Bowmen, on the other hand, are slightly weaker in terms of HP and defense, but have a higher initial attack. The greatest weakness of both of these troops is Cavalry, so you shouldn’t deploy a lot of Archers against armies that are predominantly made up of riders.
These units primarily target the enemy’s Archers and focus on the troops that are furthest in the back. In other words, if the opponent’s army includes both Bowmen and Crossbowmen, the Cavalry will first target the latter because they have a higher range and tend to linger further behind. Cavalry troops are further divided into Lancers, which have higher defense and HP, and Mounted Archers, which excel during attacks and deal additional damage during battles for resource tiles.
Finally, War Machines are, by far, the strongest troops in Rise of the Kings. They have very high defense and attack and are only vulnerable to defensive infantry. Both types of War Machines, defensive and offensive, gain a bonus when they are the attackers of a castle. Rams, the defensive War Machines, move to the front of the battlefield and gain additional defense during a siege, thus protecting your more vulnerable troops. Catapults, on the other hand, have very long range and deal massive damage, although their attacks are quite slow. They gain a whopping 40% additional damage when attacking a castle.
Optimal Attack Formations
There is no one “ideal” attack formation to suit all battles, which we believe is part of the fun of playing Rise of the Kings. Before you send your army on a march, the first thing you should do is to send a scout. Provided that your Watchtower is upgraded enough, this will give you invaluable information about the troop composition of your opponent’s army.
Only based on this information can you devise a competent plan. For example, if your enemy’s army includes a lot of Archers, the main portion of your march should consist of Mounted Archers, which would target the former directly and essentially cripple the opponent’s offensive capabilities.
At the same time, however, you will need to protect your main damage dealers. Mounted Archers, for example, will be targeted by the enemy’s Infantry. As such, you should protect them with your own set of Bowmen, which will deal maximum damage against spear- and shieldmen. Last, but not least, you should include a good amount of both offensive and defensive Infantry to reduce the number of troops you will have to heal or retrain after the battle.
If you’re already adhering to these rules, but still having a hard time in combat, this is likely because you’re using lower-tier troops or because you haven’t researched enough Military and Defensive technologies. While combat may be the bread-and-butter of Rise of the Kings, never forget that a strong army must be backed up by a stable, wealthy kingdom. Last, but not least, remember that playing Rise of the Kings on PC with BlueStacks can help you manage your base with greater ease, as well as stay sharp in case of an attack!