Clash of Kings (CoK), one of the top grossing Android and iOS apps has been around since 2014, developed and published by Elex Tech.
For those who haven't played the original one, to sum it up, Clash of Kings is a multiplayer online strategy game where you have to gather resources, build your empire, train an army, research your army's strength, and fight enemies. Remember Age of Empires? The game is a lot like that, except it's more elaborate and has cooler features.
In the original, Chinese players massively dominated the game, outnumbering everyone else combined. And since the developer, Elex Tech, is a Chinese company, the Chinese players are offered resource and other packs at a cheaper price (about 20th of the price that any other player would normally pay). Which brought Elex to publish a different version of the game last year titled Clash of Kings: The West, meant for users, as the name suggests, based in the west.
Starting from level one, you can go up till level 30. Once you have gotten yourself a C30 (castle level 30) and trained your t10s (troops level 10), you can build a Wonder and proceed towards upgrading your castle to prestige levels—prestige level one (p1) to prestige level five (p5) that come with very powerful attributes. It may seem impossible to upgrade your buildings without spending money on the game once you've reached level 26-ish, but take it from a CoK veteran, it's doable if you have a lot of farms and help from your alliance members.
In your castle, there are about 15 buildings that you can upgrade, including five major buildings—the College and the four training facilities (Barracks, Stables, Range and Siege Engine Factory). It's crucial to upgrade these buildings along with maximising your hospital capacity and Embassy.
The army and formation
This is a game of war for those who love fighting, but it's important to focus on building your empire first and not fight too much until you have higher level troops (at least t7s or higher). The reason being that lower level troops die fast in battles and if you're fighting too much while you're still growing, progress will be slow.
During battles, make sure you have your army's formation right to project maximum damage and minimise casualties. Send about 4% infantry, and 32% cavalry, 32% archers and 32% siege engines. So if you have a army march size 75,000, 3,000 or less should be your infantry, and your cavalry, archers and siege engines should be 24,000 each. However, you can tweak the percentage of your cavalry, archers and sieges—if you have stronger cavalry or archers, feel free to send more of them and less of sieges. But there's no point in sending too many infantry, as they are meant to die in battles as they shield to the rest of your army.
Your college allows you to research technologies under Resources, City Development, City Defense and Military. Among these, the most crucial technologies that you need to prioritise are the ones under Military. Here you get to research your troop attack, defense and health percentages, march size, marching speed, training, etc. But before you jump right into it, you may want to research your resource gathering speed under Resources that will help you faster with growth.
Don't forget to research First Aid under City Development, it converts a small percentage of killed soldiers in battles to wounded.
Plunder, Kill Enemies Event and more
Besides the regular Daily Events that come with five phases (randomly shuffled through Training Troops, Gather Resources, Increase Strength, Castle Development and the last phase being Kill Enemies Event), CoK West introduced a cross-server killing and resource plundering event called Plunder Event that takes place three days a week (Friday, Saturday and Sunday). The event enables Lords (players) from other kingdoms to teleport to your kingdom and attack, kill and rob whoever they want.
Tips and tricks
Farms: If you're aiming to build a C30 (castle 30) or higher, make a few farm castles. Just train a 100k t2 sieges there, research their resource gathering speed and send them out to gather. You'll need to make a few Gmail or Facebook accounts to bind each one of your farms with them.
Safety and hiding: During Kill Enemies or Plunder Event, keep your main and farm castles empty by using up all your resources and hiding your troops. The Magic Mirror feature in the game allows other Lords to find out about the resources your castles are storing, so you need to keep your guard up at all times. You can hide troops in Kingdom Ruins, Alliance Supermine, in an alliance member's Embassy with a Peace Shield on, and also in Alliance Turrets underway. Alternatively, you can place a Peace Shield on your own castle.
Skill Attack: To do a Skill Attack, which is attainable at Lord Level 38, you can accumulate Lord Level Experience/Points by completing Daily Tasks, Quests, buying Lord Exp from the Travelling Merchant in your castle, killing higher level monsters, and upgrading your buildings.
Equipments: You can forge equipments in your Blacksmith in six colours—white, green, blue, purple, orange and gold, with white offering the weakest buffs and gold offering the strongest. Make sure your equipments are purple or higher.