Alliance Wars pit one alliance versus another for a chance at war loot and to fill war chests. Wars are much like raids in terms of gameplay, except that war energy rather than raid energy is used, the defending team is given additional aid, and full participation requires a total of 30 heroes rather than 5.
Each player in the alliance attempts to gain points for their alliance by defeating enemy heroes. When the timer runs out, the alliance with the most points wins. Points for the alliance remain, even if a player leaves the alliance.
Completely defeated teams revive after a period of time, which increases with each defeat. However if all enemy teams are defeated, all enemy teams revive immediately. (Sometimes called forcing a reset.)
You can attack so long as you have war energy, even if your own team is defeated. Each hero can only attack once per war, so in order to use all 6 war energy, you must have 30 heroes available.
There are generally 2 wars per week on the calendar. They are available under Alliance Icon -> War tab. The alliance icon shows crossed swords whenever war energy is available.
In order to participate in a war, you must
- Be part of an alliance that is participating in wars.
- Be at level 12 as a player or higher.
- Have chosen to participate.
Alliance leaders can opt the entire alliance out of wars. If the alliance leader has enabled wars, each individual player can choose to participate by checking the appropriate box on the war tab.
You must choose to participate in wars before the matchmaking phase begins in order to play in the next war. You cannot join a war once it has already started. Likewise, unchecking the box after matchmaking has begun will not remove you from the current/pending war. The game saves whether or not you choose to participate in wars.
Many alliances require active war participation as a qualification for continued membership in the group. For example, a competitive alliance may kick members who either do not participate or who do not use all of their war energy flags. Other alliances may state that if you will not be able to use all war energy because of real life obligations/travel/etc, you should temporarily opt out of wars so that the group is not penalized in their war score.
An alliance may not participate in wars if its alliance score is less than 3250.
Matchmaking Phase & War Scores
Empires & Puzzles matches alliances of similar strength based off the War Score. The war score is calculated based on the 30 most powerful heroes and troops of each alliance member participating in the wars, adjusted based on past performance of the alliance.
The game will provide a countdown to inform you of when matchmaking will begin and when you will be matched with another alliance to battle. If you have not chosen to participate in wars before matchmaking begins, you will have to wait until the next war to play.
Note: In previous releases, the war score was calculated to include the alliance's trophy scores. However, this appears to no longer be the case. This is because some players engage in cup dropping in order to help fill their wanted missions.
The preparation phase lasts for about 24 hours, before the war begins. Each player must set up a defense team. The game will automatically use the same hero and troop setup that was used for the previous war. Once the war starts, you will not be able to change your defense team. However, it will still be possible to level up the individual heroes and troops you have already assigned to your defense team.
You can check on your own defense team as well as the defense teams of your fellow alliance members on the war battlefield. You can also click on the opposing alliance's war banner to view their members and to get a preview of their potential defenses. However, you will not be able to see for certain what teams the opposing alliance are using until the war starts.
If a player is checked in for the war but their defense team is empty by the time the battles begin, they will not be able to participate in the war — thus putting their alliance at a numerical disadvantage.
The battlefield looks like a field divided by a moat with 3 wooden bridges. Your alliance members will all be on the bottom half of the field. The opposing alliance will be on the top half of the field. During the preparation phase, the top half of the field will be empty. Once the war starts, you will be able to see the opposing team.
At the top of the battlefield, the following are displayed:
- Your available war energy
- Banners for the 2 alliances - clicking on a banner will display information about the alliance, including members, alliance score, and how many war energy flags are still unused for all alliance members in total.
- Battle Score Bar - your alliance will be blue while the opposing alliance will be red. The alliance with a higher score will have a larger portion of the bar as well as a larger numerical score.
- Timer - showing how long the war or the preparation phase will last. Once the war is over, it will display "Victory" or "Defeated".
- War Aid Type - represented as an icon under the opposing team's name. Clicking on the icon will provide more information about what type of support defending teams receive.
- Gear Icon - allows chat toggle, war info, or to set up your next attack team.
- Attack info - displays the results of the most recent attacks. The number of points scored for each attack is displayed, with the attacking player indicated on the left and the defender on the right. Clicking on this area will allow you to see a complete attack history and the list of top attackers. This information is still available for 24 hours after the end of the war (after which the countdown begins until the next matchmaking phase).
- Player Name
- Online/Offline - Represented by a green (online) or red (offline) dot next to their name.
- Team Power - This notes the power of the team at full health.
- Defense Heroes - Small images of the 5 heroes chosen for the defense team are displayed. If a hero has been killed, it will be represented by skull on a black background.
- Hero Health - Above each hero is a green bar representing its current HP.
- War Energy - Available war energy is shown as an orange flag with a double chevron. Each player will be given 3 war energy at the beginning of the war and an additional 3 energy halfway through the war, for a total of 6 war energy.
Clicking on player info will allow you to view more detail about the player, such as their troop assignments and individual hero cards. This allows you to view the power level and special skills of any player's heroes, including heroes that have already been defeated.
Battles & Aid
War battles are much like battles during raids and the main world map. However, if the defending team is not defeated, the current health of the team carries on the next time they are attacked; thus, strategies for recovering/preventing damage are more important for defense teams than in single raids. If a battle ends with any defending heroes having more HP than they did at the start of the battle, the HP they had before the battle will be retained; likewise, if a dead hero is resurrected during the battle then they will still be dead afterwards.
Also, in wars the defending team is given additional aid; the type of aid is visible as an icon under the opposing alliance's name. During a battle, there is a bar at the top of the battle screen. As the battle progresses, the bar will fill up. Once the bar is full, the type of aid will be rendered for your opponent. The less heroes that are left on the defending team, the quicker the bar will fill.
There are three main types of aid:
- Attack Boost - Each defending hero gets a +10% attack bonus that cannot be dispelled or removed each time the attack boost goes off. Represented by an icon with an arrow pointing up.
- Arrow Barrage - The attack does 25% damage on all your heroes based on their current health. Represented by an icon of several arrows.
- Field Aid - Each defending hero will recover 20% of their health. Represented by a cross icon.
Of the three, most players find Field Aid to be more frustrating, as teams may heal themselves even after all enemy healers have been defeated. Some players will utilize the Flee button strategically when field aid is present to ensure the enemy team does not end up with more HP at the end of the battle than it started with.
The points awarded for attacking/defeating a team are allocated in such a way that the points for all (fully healthy) teams on the alliance add up to about 1500; thus, generally more points are available for each battle when there are less participants, and the effects of players fielding weak teams to concede less points will be balanced as their allies will be worth more points.
The points awarded by each team is further divided into points available and bonus points. The points available depend on the current total HP of the team, and the bonus points are awarded when the team is fully defeated (regardless of how many heroes there were at the start of the attack).
After a team is defeated, there is a cooldown time until it revives. Each time the team is defeated, the revive time increases.
The exception to this is if ALL alliance teams are defeated; in which case, all teams revive immediately. Some players refer to this as 'resetting' the board. Some alliances try to coordinate their attacks to try to reset the board as easy teams become available to attack again.
There are two types of loot available from wars:
- War Loot - given to the victorious team
- War Chests - given after you receive 25 war chest points. 5 war chest points are awarded for an alliance war victory, 1 war chest point is awarded for a defeat, and 3 points for a draw. War chest points are alliance specific.
- A player that joins an alliance will have the same number of points as all other members, but if they take part in future wars for the alliance after participating for another alliance, and win the chest, then their rewards will be reduced based on their participation — i.e. how many of the accumulated points they actually contributed to. For example, if a player joins when the alliance has 17 points out of 25, and later wins that chest, their loot from that chest will be reduced to 32%. Current participation can be viewed by clicking on the chest.
Only players that participate in wars are eligible for either war loot or war chests.