Hello again Explorers! Huge shout out again to Kelociraptor for being the contributing author for this article. This is the 2nd of a 2 part series discussing alliance missions and how to reach that coveted 5 rank on both! She did an overview of Exploration yesterday (check out the link below) and now it's time to talk about Defense!
Overview of Defense Tasks
Oh, Defense, the side that kind of makes everybody crazy in a lot of ways. Unlike Exploration, the rank requirements for Defense are always the same:
Planning, strategizing,and cooperation will be your best friends here. Ideally, you will be starting Rank 3 by the reset on Tuesday (10am Eastern) if your ambition is to make Rank 5. This gives your group 6 full days to complete the mountainous tasks in the final 2 ranks. I’m not going to talk specifically about the Partner Up or Attack Practice missions, because those don’t seem to be a problem for many. Friendlies are a huge help toward Battle missions and thereby take care of themselves, while all Friendly, Arena, and Tournament battles count toward Takedown numbers.
If your group is like mine, the Daily Defense Mission (also known as DBI or D10) tends to be be your bottle neck early in the week. If you’re not aware, you can actually stack up to 3 of these without losing them or missing out on any. You just have to know when your reset is and make sure you actually defeat 10 creatures. Once the weekend comes around, and we’re in good shape for that mission, I ask the members to stack theirs as best they can without compromising their own personal missions. This provides a jump start once everything resets on Monday. I’ve also created a habit among my group for people to call out when they’ve completed their D10, adding a level of accountability and recognition.
Battles tend to be a struggle because we all know how finicky that arena can be whether chock full of glitches or chock full of losses. This is one place where goals make a big impact. At any given Rank, you can math out a reasonable per member goal for the day. To motor from Qualifying through 2, it’s about 17 per member for the first day. When you factor in strike towers and the opportunity to use Friendlies to your advantage, this number isn’t as large as it seems. Vocalize the goal to your group. Many will do more, some will do less. People are less likely to do less when given an expectation for the group’s benefit. Emphasize the importance of strike towers and even illustrate the impact they have on your goals. There was once a weekend that consisted of 28 steps over Friday through Sunday. Extrapolating that over 50 members completing all steps, that came out to 1,400 battles over 3 days alone!
I will side step for a moment to address ways to maximize efficiency around Friendly battles when used to assist your other missions. First, and most obvious, do them within your alliance. Each fight counts for 2 for both Partner Up & Defense Training. Make a plan where one side always “lays down” and lets the other just chomp away as fast as they can. This will likely involve a lot of swapping, but it works wonders in reducing the time it takes. I wouldn’t recommend changing out a team, because you know that’s just a recipe for entering the real arena without remembering to change it back! Another thing my group does is “set and forget” these battles. We let them ride out while we go about whatever outside things we have going on. Weekend tournaments are another fun way to assist battle numbers. Encourage your group to participate in something fun and typically different. The net cost of these is typically minimal and can be made up via the daily free cash links or coins from supply drops (whichever they are requiring for entry).
Finally, there is Fusion Supplies. Opening incubators. This one is extra tough because there isn’t a free and easy way to add to the numbers like you can do for battles with friendlies. Incubators need periods of time, and you have to win battles in order to acquire them. Sometimes that alone seems an impossible task, but just see the bright side for every battle you do, you are helping your group achieve a goal. Speaking of goals, this is another where those are helpful. Do your math, and let the group know what each member should try to achieve in order to stay on pace. Remember, it’s across the board, so they can use strike towers, free incubators, and D10s to help. Never ask or expect anyone to use hard cash to force incubators open or real/hard cash to buy incubators from the store. Appreciate those who do, but make sure your team knows you’d never put them in that position.
Once again, some pre-planning can help out here. If you are coming out of a rank with Fusion Supplies complete, ask your members to hold off opening incubators until you rank up. Also ask people to hold off on strike towers if there’s time before expiration (which can also be used to pre-plan for Battles in the right situation). I never ask or expect anyone to hold themselves back, but most are willing to wait once that rank up is within close reach. Also, ask members to focus on lower duration incubators over Ranks 3 and 4. This will require holding on to 12- and 24-hour incubators until Monday when the overall requirements will be much lower. I know this can cause some frustration with one less slot to cycle over the weekend, but that’s a lot of precious time that other incubators can’t be cooked if you’re sitting on the lengthier varieties.
When all is said and done, and you’ve successfully achieved what you’d been hoping, thank and praise your group for a job well done. Brag about them in a social forum. Then, maybe most importantly, do a temperature check. Pushing for some of these levels can feel overwhelming, especially when all hands aren’t equally on deck. I do this every week and have yet to have anyone respond negatively. My group gets a crazy rush out of completing 5/5 and are just ready to get back at it again. It really is quite addicting once you get a taste. Only time will tell how long we’ll keep it up, but we’ll be using all of the strategies above for the long haul.