Forge of Empires Military Guide

The Ultimate Forge of Empires Military Guide

If you play

Forge of Empires, you will know that your Forge of Empires Military Strategy is essential. Your offensive and defensive strategy can be the difference between success and failure.

Thats why we’ve written this Forge of Empires Military Guide; to give you the upper hand in battle!

First we will outline our most recommended Offensive strategy, and then we will move on to defence.

So without further ado, lets begin.


Military Offense is an essential component in your journey to Forge an Empire.

If you are looking for the best offensive army or the best combination of units, this forge of empires battle tips guide is for you.

Its all about being selective and not wasting resources and space on military buildings/units that do not offer much in return.

So sit back, grab a cup of coffee and read through this walk-through on what units will help you in forge of empires.

Stage 1: In the beginning – Spearmen and Slingers

At the start of Forge of Empires, there is very little choice in which units you can deploy. Spearmen are optimal for two reasons.

First, they are cheap and secondly, they can be replaced in as little as 25 seconds. We must be aware that because they are melee units, they are most at risk from retaliation damage.

As you progress to the point that you have unlocked slingers, we advise that you deploy some of these units to decrease the damage and losses to your army.

For the most part, a great combination is an equal balance – 4 of each: 4 spearmen and 4 slingers. In some particular instances, 8 slingers will prove an optimal setup.

As these are relatively weak you will find that this will not always work. Ultimately, no more than 2 spear fighter barracks and 2 slinger ranges will be necessary.

Stage 2: The Consistent Military Offense – Archers

Once you have progressed enough and move into the Iron Age, one of your main priorities should be to unlock archers.

Our reasoning comes from the fact that Archers unleash significant damage to enemies  in the early stages of the game.

With as little as 8 archers in your offensive army, you can overcome the majority of foes in the PvE map.

Your neighbors’ defenses will not stand a chance in battle! What’s more, archers are fully capable of defeating units right up until and including the Early Middle Ages.

If deployed appropriately, they can even defeat units from the High Middle Ages. This makes them worth the investment early on in Forge of Empires.

Perhaps the biggest perk to Archers, is that the buildings in which they are deployed from, archery ranges, only takes up 4 squares of space per building.

We can easily fit several archery ranges into our city, easily, and without cluttering the landscape. If partaking in the Bronze Age tournament, which is fully optional,  keep your barracks and slinger ranges.

If you decide you do not want to participate, swap these ranges immediately for 4 archery ranges.

This will keep you as a force to be reckoned with until you manage to unlock the crossbowmen in the High Middle Ages.

Please do note, there are 1 or 2 battles that you need to face in the Continent Map that cannot be beaten with just an 8 archer army. For these battles, we advise long-ranged units.

(Optional) Stage 3: The Unnecessary Military Addition – Mounted Archers

Just like the Bronze Age tournament, an option is presented to us in the Early Middle Ages. The Early Middle Ages tournament.

For those wishing to participate, a single mounted archer range will be sufficient.

You can quite simply get away with putting one mounted archer in your army, along with 7 archers.

But if you don’t play to take part in the Early Middle Ages tournament, you can skip this step in its entirety.

The three most important things to note: mounted archers are very weak. military buildings take up too much room, and the training time is too long for them to be considered a suitable replacement/enhancement for archers.

Stage 4: Time to Upgrade the Military – Crossbowmen and/or Trebuchets

We’ve already outlined in this guide that short-ranged units are the best possible option in Forge of Empires.

But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t deploy long-ranged units; these are beneficial for many reasons.

They have the ability to fire immediately at the defending army from the very first turn. And they do this with great damage.

Despite their power, it is advised to only deploy long-ranged units from the High and Late Middle Ages.

This is because in the early ages, the previous long-ranged units (the catapault and ballista) are weak and easy to defeat. The buildings to create such units also take up too much room.

When it comes to upgrading, Crossbowmen provide new benefits to archers in regards to damage and also in their defense.

They frequently receive a 2-hit just like archers, but sometimes require 3 hits to be destroyed. The downside is in their range, which is only 5. Archers, on the other hand, have a more promising range of 6.

The lower range of Crossbowmen should not distract you however, and once you unlock crossbowmen, they should become your focus.

Sell off your archery ranges and build 3 or 4 crossbow ranges. More  if you frequently fight. For the most part, 3 will be sufficient.

At the time in which you unlock Trebuchets, around the late High Middle Ages, you will be presented with the option to either stick only with crossbowmen, or build 2 Trebuchet camps.

From our experience, a duo of crossbowmen and Trebuchets seems to form a great offense. Trebuchets prove to be an optimal defending unit.

If you want to simplify things, you can decide to remove your crossbowmen and only deploy Trebuchets.

If you choose this method, the recommended setup is 3 or 4 Trebuchet camps.

Step 5: Preparing For The Latter Ages – Longbow Archers and Cannons

At this point you’ve progressed far, and all of your hard work is starting to unfold as you acquire military offensive powerhouses.

Longbow archers are what you have been waiting for!

They have an awesome range of 7 tiles, and even more impressively, they will frequently hit the defending army even if it is moving away.

Compared to crossbowmen they are strong, and are therefore able to take several hits from lower-tiered units and even cannons.

Most importantly, their damage is significant. They add the extra punch required when defending in the Late Middle Ages and beyond.

For optimal performance, 3 longbow archer ranges are advised. Later in the ages, a 4th range might be necessary against neighbors with stronger defenses.

It is worth remembering that Cannons are an option and a viable replacement for Trebuchets.

There is however, a disadvantage that arises. Their range is 2 less than that of a Trebuchet. Additionally, Trebuchets have the ability to attack defending units without having to move. Cannons, on the other hand, are required to move at least 2 tiles to attack defending units that have not moved.

This will only complicate matters when there is an 8 vs. 8 long-ranged unit battle, so don’t be too worried about this from occurring.

Cannons are stronger than Trebuchets, and therefore have the ability in the Late Middle Ages to perform better than Trebuchets.

Therefore, we advise to replace Trebuchet camps for the equal number of cannon camps.

Yet again we are faced with the option to take place in the Ages Tournament.

For those interested in competing in both the Late Middle Ages tournament and the High Middle Ages tournament (at the same time), keeping 2 High Middle Ages military buildings will be enough to get you through both tournaments.

When it comes to unit reduction, Longbows will be the first to take out after the earlier Colonial Age.

This age is difficult, and some regions cannot be defeated easily without Colonial Age units.

Step 6: The End Military Game – Colonial Age Units

When we compare to the Late Middle Age units, Colonial Age units are significantly stronger. These units are durable, even including their short-ranged varieties.

These units require many shots from Late Middle Age units alone, and are formidable against all the other lower-tiered units we have fought thus far in FOE.

It is in the Colonial Age that we see a balance between the variety of unit types. Lets run through the units and then the strategies against each one.

The first unit of the Colonial Age that we will unlock will be the short-ranged unit: the Musketeers.

These have the same range and movement as longbow archers, but are more powerful in both attack and defense.

For this reason, Musketeers will form the backbone of our Colonial Age army. They will fare very well against the majority of Colonial Age units.

Up next is the infantry unit: Rangers. These will have the same movement as great sword warriors, but most importantly can enforce more damage!

They will gain us a large defensive bonus when up in the bushes, (a special ability exclusive to Rangers).

A great perk is that they become completely immune to all ranged attacks if they stand in forests.

The only way in which they can incur damage in forests, is if a unit stands immediately next to them and attacks.

Consequently, this leads to retaliation damage, so we advise that you first target other units and then target the rangers only once they have moved out from the forest.

A third unit that will be unlocked is a cavalry unit: Dragoons.

These are heavier, and have the same movement as heavy knights.Ulitametly, they have the highest defense in the game and are therefore fantastic defensively.

It requires considerable strength to take them down, and since Dragoons can enforce a lot of damage themselves, these units are superb if you choose to use them, but are incredibly difficult to defeat if you if you come up against them.

The fourth unit in line to unlock is the infantry-ranged unit: Grenadiers.

These are a unique unit, and unlike any unit that have arisen in FOE up until now. Grenadiers are infantry units, but will use a ranged attack.

Due to this combination, their range of attack is only 2 tiles. They also have a reduced movement of 12 (6 normal tiles), but they are tied up against Dragoons when it comes to the highest defense in the game.

What’s more, they gain defensive bonuses when on normal terrain, and so they are extremely tough.

The final unit to unlock will be the long-ranged unit: Field Guns.

These are insanely damaging. Just like all long-ranged units, their damage output is not so great compared to other units.

Their advantage lies in the fact that they can attack from the very first turn – giving us the upper hand.

With a huge range of 15, this unit is an incredible upgrade from the previously acquired Cannons, who crops-compare with a range of 12. In large numbers, Field Guns can be devastating.

Now we have been through each unit, let’s finally discuss the most optimum unit balance.

Musketeers are quite average. They can wield a good amount of damage against Grenadiers, Rangers, and Field guns.

Against Grenadiers, about 2 to 3 shots will normally be required. Against rangers,  it will take more – 3 to 4 shots. Field guns always require just 2 hits to be killed.

Rangers are optimal against field guns, great against musketeers, ok against dragoons, but very poor against Grenadiers.

And knowing that grenadiers have a range of 2, we cannot count on retaliation damage when the grenadiers do attack. Alternatively, when rangers attack, Grenadiers have the ability to retaliate.

Dragoons seem to do very well against all units but are more optimal against musketeers. This is due to their speed and defense.

Finally, field guns will do best against musketeers (3 hits, sometimes 4), Grenadiers (3 to 4 hits, or sometimes 5), and will do badly rangers and dragoons.

Understanding the above will help you determine what units are best to use when planning a military offense.

Despite more heavily defensive units in the final age, our recommendation does not change from any of the previous ages.

The most ideal offensive setups will be a mix of musketeers and field guns. Field guns are required to beat enemy musketeers, and musketeers are required to provide that final punch that field guns cannot provide against the remaining units.

Although this army does not seem to fare well against an army of 8 Rangers or Dragoons, all other armies should be beatable with this arrangement.

Remember, Rangers are always an option if you want to take down the lowest-tiered defenses.

Thankfully, they will only take 1 bar (or less) of damage from a Trebuchet, and hence, they are useful for taking down 8-Trebuchet armies.

As for using Rangers in an offensive setup, this is not best advised. This is the same for Dragoons.

On a final note in our Military Offensive Strategy for Forge of Empires – Grenadiers seem to be the most useless unit in the Colonial Age.

They are slow, and are easily defeated by Musketeers and Field guns. But just bare this in mind when you come up against an army – if they do not have these units you should be ok.

Military Defense

Now let’s turn to our Military Defense strategy, which is important and overlooked, but perhaps not as important as our offensive counterpart.

Building military buildings and units purely for defense is therefore not advised and nto something that we advocate here at Forge of Empires Tips.

Getting ransacked is not all that damaging, and if your timing is right, you can avoid having all of your goods plundered.

This is the only thing that you need worry about. When we take a long term view and approach; being plundered for a few coins/ supplies is not all that damaging.

Along our quest to forge an empire, if we want to minimize the number of attacks we receive on our cities or prevent ultimate devastation by our attackers, we can deploy a number of different defensive options.

Don’t forget that you need to place your units in the defending army slot and not the attacking army slot.

Or otherwise you are simply not defending your city. It is important to note that defending units do not get killed or even lost – so you might as well set up some defense.

This is all, unless you are trying to avoid giving PvP players battle points.

It may come as a surprise but defensive options only really become available towards the latter stages of Forge of Empires.

Before the Late Middle Ages, nearly all defensive combinations are easily breakable.

Step 1: In the Beginning – 8 Spearmen

At the start of Forge of Empires, your defense should just be compromised of spearmen.

The reason for this is that they have quite a long movement range, and so for new players to the game, 8 spearmen will prove a tough defense to break.

Remember, only Bronze Age units will be attacking. Even against fiercer archers, these often require at least 3 hits to take down – so the attacker will more than likely take some damage.

So to reiterate our earlier point, our goal here is to annoy and deter an attack, not so much to completely defend.

Step 2: Continue As Is – 8 Archers

When we reach the The Iron Age, we are not offered any real defensive options.

Therefore, when we are defending at this time, we can stick with 8 archers. This will ensure that we damage some of the attacker’s units as it is unlikely that they will use 8 long-ranged units (which prevent damage from our Archers).

Step 3: The Problematic Military Defense – 8 Mounted Archers

We have now reached a point in FOE that our first defense is somewhat stronger. Mounted archers, despite being offensively weak, are optimal defensively.

As they are cavalry, mounted archers have the ability to move and attack on the very first turn. For this reason alone, the attacker’s army will be damaged almost every time.

The attacker, who will most likely cycle through the neighborhood and attack all in site,  will be annoyed, it’s inevitable.

By damaging some if not many of their units, we cut down the number of full health and fresh units they have remaining.

This prevents the attacker from wanting to fight you every time. Because of this, it is likely that we are reserved until last -the final battle of the neighborhood.

Hopefully, we may just be left alone once they see our Mounted Archers.

Step 4: Our Military Defense that Damages – 8 Trebuchets

Due to the completely random terrain configurations, our Mounted archers will not always be able to cause damage to our foes.

In the event that an attacker is lucky (utilizing swamps and forests in the middle of the battlefield), then our mounted archers will not be able to attack the first turn and will likely be defeated instead.

Our suggested solution is to deploy a 8 Trebuchet defense. Like mounted archers, Trebuchets can attack on the first turn.

The benefit of them however is that they can do this even without moving.

By having these units in our defense, it is inevitable that the attacker will lose at least a couple of units.

The best tactic to defeat an 8 Trebuchet defense is by using 8 mounted archers, as they will often go first and for the most part, can take out at least 4 Trebuchets on the very first turn.

The promising thing is that almost no player will use 8 mounted archers as an offense – so we are protected along these lines.

Step 5: Switch to Defensive – Longbow Archers and Cannons

By the end of Forge of Empires, most players will use a combination of longbow archers and cannons for their offense.

Similarly, this also proves to be a strong defense – both units have great damage output and more importantly, range.

Perhaps the most simple defense: 8 longbow archers, or a duo of longbow archers and cannons, will be an optimal and difficult defense to overcome.

Step 6: Our First Serious Military Defense – Great Sword Warriors and Heavy Knights

Up until we reach this far in FOE, all our defenses are quite easily penetrated.

Once we unlock the great sword warriors and heavy knights, we are no longer a sitting duck and easy target for our foes.

Due to updates to FOE, and the following stat changes, great sword warriors are not as weak as they once were. T

heir movement has increased from 10 to 16, which has made them more forthcoming and able to the attack an army quicker. T

heir stats prove incredibly high in defense, and they are able to take multiple shots from any ranged or melee unit.

For the most part, they defend well against just about any defense but be aware of the terrain is crowded. If it is crowded with swamps, rocks and forests,

Sword Warriors are prone to being defeated more easily.

This is why we turn to heavy knights.  They have an advanced movement range. Coupled with their high defense, these units are compare similarly to great sword warriors, but are not as vulnerable to random terrain generation.

It proves incredibly difficult to take down even one heavy knight as far into the game as the Late Middle Ages units, and so being able to defeat a full fleet of 8 proves almost impossible.

Therefore, by creating a unit of 8 Sword Warriors or Heavy Knights will be sufficient to have the strongest defense imaginable.

Only when we reach the Colonial Age, and the units that attack at this juncture, will this defense prove to be more vulnerable.

We have to remember that this is inevitable when a defense meets a higher-tiered offense.

Step 7: Our Strongest Military Defense – Colonial Age Units

With the Colonial Age and the heavy defense units, we are presented with an option to create almost undefeatable defenses.

We don’t have to create them all to be impenetrable; and we can deploy some to be used as a deterrent against lower-tiered attackers. So if we first turn our attention to general defenses.

Deploying 8 musketeers in our defense will likely be our first potential possibility. The good news; it’s a great defense.

Musketeers are finely balanced with a good defense and great offense. This makes them hard to take down for players outside of the Colonial Age.

However, when other Colonial Age players do attack, this defense is not likely to succeed, due to field guns. rangers and dragoons.

A further potential option open to us is the blend of musketeers and rangers. This proves to be effective, as rangers act as a shield for our musketeers.

All the while our musketeers wil help protect the rangers from being defeated. A mix of field guns and musketeers is the likely unit to defeat it, but will endure heavy casualties in the process.

Deploying just 8 field guns will prove a formidable defense purely based on attackers experience.

For players that are yet to see field guns: they are likely to attack before any other long-ranged units.

For the most part, players adopt long-ranged units including Trebuchets and cannons into their offense.

So when they attack a player that has deployed field guns,  their Trebuchets and cannons take the second turn in the attack.

And here is the perk we have been waiting for, when an attacker notices this, they will immediately surrender – they have no chance of winning the dual.

At this point it is likely that the attackers will return by bringing rangers, dragoons, and musketeers, which will eventually see off our field guns.

We are now coming to the end of our defensive strategy. Now we will outline the ultimate defense to beat.

A defense consisting of 8 rangers or 8 dragoons is is practically impossible to defeat unless an attacker has 8 grenadiers or 8 rangers/dragoons and, is fortunate in the process.

Even when they do succeed, they’ll experience all sorts of casualties. Here, the attacker will probably never attack again, making this a formidable deterrent.

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4 thoughts on “Forge of Empires Military Guide”

  1. Hello, i do not see in the interface of the game how to set my defensive army (i play on an Android device), i can only set my attacking army. Any help would be appreciated.

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