Doing campaign levels in Kingdoms of Middle Earth is fun and good for a number of things, such as: Leveling up your heroes, farming items and hourglasses, getting armor scraps to trade for equipment, or get awesome equipment/items/ tokens from Smaug. But there is also the Campaign High Score Event, either individual or alliance based.
Most of the times, people will run down the campaign levels with full t1 armies and wipe out any resistance. But this strategy gets you far from a high score on the different levels, which you need if you wanna compete in the aforementioned events.
So what army should you use? T1 or T5? Mixed or single troop type? Should you use speed ups? How is campaign high score even calculated? In this article, I give you a rundown of some very basic tips to get your high scores up and be competitive.
So before we get into the tips, it is important to understand how campaign high scores are determined. I will make it no secret that I have no clue what the exact formula is, nor do I have any intention to do so. But that doesn’t matter. What matters is, is that scores are determined based on three stats:
- Number of troops used in the attack
- Numbers of troops lost
- The marching time it took your troops to get to the level
You can access your current stats by pressing on a campaign level on a map, and then press the “i” button next to your current high score. In the pop-up screen, you can see the above mentioned stats labeled as ”efficiency”,”vitality” and ”time”. It shows the stats from your latest attack, and from your record high score attack.
Minimize number of troops, but don’t use the minimum
The key in getting high scores for the efficiency and vitality points is using as a low a number of units impossible, evidently. BUT, there is a major BUT…There is of course an absolute minimum number of troops you need to defeat the goblins on a certain map. The big BUT here is that that minimum number of troops does NOT yield you the highest high score for that map!
That is because of the battle mechanics in this game. I will do a post later on the exact mechanics as far as I understand them, but suffice to say here is that the game battle mechanics work in rounds. Each round of battle, damage of all standing troops on both sides is calculated and then distributed among the enemies. Lets do a quick and simple example. We will not focus on factors such as runes/heroes etcetera.
Say you want to attack 100 t1 goblins. They have 100 attack points and 200 health points. Lets go through two scenarios:
- Overwhelming force
You attack with an overwhelming number of troops: 1000 t1, with 1000 attack points and 2000 health points. The goblins are wiped out completely in the first round, and they kill 50 of your troops.
- Matched force
Now you attack with 100 t1 troops. Round one kills 50 troops on both sides. Round two, with 50 troops remaining on both sides, kills 25 on both sides, and so on.
In the second case, if you win through RNG, you have used the minimum number of troops, but battle was spread out over multiple rounds, and you lost almost all troops. Turns out that this significantly lowers your high score.
Somewhere in between these extremes lays the perfect number which will net you the highest score. I will be honest again and tell you that I do not know the exact number necessary, nor can I because this is complicated by factors such as Goblin hero level, your hero level, research, runes and equipment. It will be a bit of trial and error, but for now, remember that minimum =/= best.
Use your highest level hero and your best equipment
Ok, I should not have to mention this, but always use your highest level hero, and make sure he has your highest gear equipped, preferably the Pilfered set from Smaug of course.
To further increase your score, always try to use runes. Normal combat and defense runes are obligatory, and if you have enough Runes of Fury and/or Runes of Invulnerability, use them. Both attack and defense runes will help lower the troops necessary and up your scores. Please also not that the normal and super runes stack! So a combat rune and RoF give you 120% increased attack. If you don’t have runes laying around, don’t worry, you can still get great scores without them with the right troop numbers, albeit not the top scores.
So now we come down to the three important questions to achieve the best high score:
- What troops should you use?
- How many troops should you use?
- Should you use speed-ups?
1. What troops should you use?
First and foremost, you should use your highest Tier troops to get the greatest scores. You will need less troops and less will die, increasing efficiency and vitality scores. But what troop types should you use?
As you know, each troop type has a strong against opponent and a weak against opponent, like this: Mounted>ranged>foot>mounted… So if you attack a single type of enemy troops, you just match your strong troops against it. But what if the enemy has 2 or 3 troop types? Well, turns out that, crazy as it seems, using one troop type gives you the highest scores! Say the enemy has 100 mounted, 100 foot and 100 ranged troops. Instinct would say you should also send all 3 troop types to make use of the strong against bonus. But your troops will then also have a weak against one of the opponents, hurting your score. So here are the troop types you should use:
Two notes here. You may be wondering why, when you fight against two enemy types, you need the specific troops mentioned to attack. The below picture shows the example possibilities for when you attack Mounted and Foot Goblins:
When you attack with Mounted troops, the enemy foot troops have an advantage over you. When you attack with ranged troops, you have an advantage over the foot troops, but this time the mounted enemy has an advantage over you. If you attack with foot troops however, only you have an advantage, over the mounted enemy. So as a general rule of thumb, use the enemy troop type that is strong against the other enemy troop type!
The second note is that, when I talk about the enemy having all 3 troop types, I mean the enemy has reasonable even amounts of all troops. But some maps have for example 500-600 mounted and foot troops, and only 60 ranged troops. In this case, it is better to treat the enemy as having only mounted and foot troops, as the number of ranged troops is so insignificant compared to the other types. In such case, choose your troops according to the above picture.
2. How many troops should you use?
I have already mentioned how I cannot give exact numbers for troop numbers needed for the best scores, due to multiple factors. So basically, its gonna be trial and error finding out what troop numbers work for your specific setup.
But there is something you can do. If you go to my campaign article, you can download the campaign spreadsheet which lists the enemies for most maps. You can fill in your hero level and research etc, and it gives you the number of t1-3 required to beat the map in one single round.
Take one single map with a medium amount of enemies. Attack it with the suggested amount of t1 troops, and look at your high score. Now attack again with 25% more and 25% less t1 troops, and see again what it does to your score. Shouldn’t take long to figure out approximately the right amount of troops this way. Once you have the right number, translate the t1 troops needed into tier 2-5. Attack with that and you should get your highest score.
If you do this for medium sized enemies on a few maps, you can start to see roughly the amount of troops needed to defeat a certain number of enemies. Then use this knowledge to go after the other maps.
3. Should you use speed-ups?
Update: Marching times have since been removed form campaign, so you cannot even use hourglasses anymore.
Following the above steps, you should arrive at your best efficiency and vitality scores, but what about the time score? Well, although march times across maps and levels vary, I have never marched for longer than 30 seconds on any level. This could be because of tavern, I don’t know. But basically the only thing you can do to decrease march time more is apply a Bilbo’s hourglass as fast as possible. But should you?
Well, it turns out the time factor is not as influential as the other two. Assuming you go with high tier, high hero armies at it, applying an hourglass only increases high score a little bit. For scores around 200.000 without speed up, an hourglasses only adds a few thousand points max, from personal experience. The bonus is usually lower than 1%. So unless you want to be the absolute number one and have a RoI/RoF burning, or you have a shitload of hourglasses laying around, you shouldn’t bother. Especially in alliance based campaign events, it is far more important that EVERY alliance member plays the levels.