This guide is to explain how to do various methods when defending. For an idea of a full approach to defending, and some explanations of when would be a good idea to use each method, click here. For learning how to Tag incoming attacks quickly & efficiently, click here.

Here, I am going to cover the major defensive techniques. Some of these will come across as stupidly obvious, but I would be surprised if everybody who reads this knows all of this already/does this when defending. I am posting this due to several people asking me how to backtime/snipe after reading my basic defensive guide, and so I have written this up so I don't explain it several times.


  • Dodging
  • Backtiming
  • Sniping
  • Defensive nobling
  • Stacking
  • Packet System


I will NOT be explaining in this guide when you should use one method over the other as a definitive statement, as each attacker could use that to their advantage if they see you repeating the same methods over and over again. Better to mix it up a bit and use your brain when deciding what method to use.

The idea with this method of defendingis to have the least losses you possibly can from incoming attacks. You don't want to give them anything other than troop loss. So, you dodge all your troops by attacking a nearby barb village or supporting a local village. You ALSO dodge all resources. Accept market trades, build up HQ queue and/or troop queues. Ensure that the resource count as the attacks land are as low as possible.


The idea with this is to dodge an attack on a village, and retaliate by landing a nuke to hit straight after their troops return. The best thing to do for this is to use a good attack tagging script that tells you when the troops return. You then can use TwStats on your world, get the relevant attack planner up and set the landing time to match what it says in the tagged incoming.

I use a different method from some people. Early game I will send 100 axes and 10 cats to hit the rally point of the village I am backtiming, to land 1-2 minutes before the troops return. I will then backtime from the village being hit or another one, or have a tribe mate do it if need be. This lowers the possibility of someone being able to dodge the backtime (usually through getting a report on a nearby village, putting the attack again with all troops in the quickbar and clicking "ok" as the troops arrive back).

Later on, I will send 2-3 nukes to clear potential stacks/weaken them and to take out the rally point. I will then backtime with 2-3 more nukes to ensure clearing as much support as possible and weakening the nuke/clearing it completely.


The idea here is to have troops landing to support a village between a nuke/first attack with nobles/cats and the remainder of them, in order to keep the village/prevent major losses through a cat train.

You can do this in 2 ways. 

  1. Cancelling/Bouncing attacks from the village being hit (can be hard). 
  2. Sending support from other villages (much easier and more reliable)

I will explain how to do (1) first. You need to first of all check the train gap. Let's make it tough and assume that the village has all troops landing in the same second. The ms times are 070, 170, 270, 370. So, we want to have the village's support returning to the village between 071 and169. So, we attack a nearby barb village. We have to send AFTER the incoming attacks are down to double the cancelling attack time or closer.

We need to send this to land on an even second if the incoming attack is on an even second, odd if it is on an odd second. Send, see if it lands on the right ms. If not, cancel, retry. When you get the right one (will take a few attempts usually), leave it. Work out when you sent it, write down the number. Work out when you need it to return and write it down. You need to cancel the attack that is sent at 50% of the remaining time for the incoming attack to land FROM THE TIME YOU SENT IT. It will then arrive, if you have done it right, in the gap.

This 1ms cancel snipe, should demonstrate how a cancel snipe will look if done right. Technically it is a 50ms cancel snipe - it is a 1ms snipe for purposes of it being cancelled if it sniped the nobles but wasn't the ms behind the noble.

Now let's assume it crosses a second. So, 930, 030, 130, 230. We can easily get the returning attack to come back to the village at 000. This is because, when every attack lands on tribalwars, whatever ms the attack lands on, it will return on the second, at 000. As such, we just need to wait for the second attack in the train to be say 30:00 minutes away, and at the same time that i reaches this, launch the attack at a barb village 15:00 minutes away. Hey presto! You've sniped it.
Now to explain (2). All you do is use TwStats attack planner or a Sniping Script, to work out when to send support. Sending in a train is a good idea, as you don't know where the nuke may be in the train. Just send at the correct time, first at cat speed. If you mess it up, cancel. Try again at sword speed. Then again at spear if need be, and if you must, at light cav/hc speed.

Defensive Nobling

This is my favourite method (I spent a lot of time working to perfect this ingame) which not many people have used that I have fought or played with. The idea is to cause the enemy to waste lots of nobles and a nuke offense trying to take a village, and then you recap it afterwards. Ok, so basically, you pre-noble the village, and clear the offense each time they cap the village, and take the village back straight after.

Far away train? If you are able to pre-noble 20 hours before the incoming lands, follow this. If not, drop straight to the Close By? paragraph. Send 3 nobles 20 hours beforehand to lower the loyalty of the village. Send ANOTHER one, or two if needs be, nearer the time. This is to get the loyalty as close to 20, or under it, as you can, without nobling it yourself. This way, the noble with a nuke will hit it first. Ignore the Close By? paragraph and jump to Offensive Time paragraph.

Close by train? What you need to do is pre-noble with 3 nobles, to land as close as you can before the incoming train. Then do the below.

Offensive Time! What we do here, is time a nuke to land after the first incoming noble. This is the same as sniping - the wall *should* be 0, so you can have 3 attempts. 1 at ram speed, 1 at sword speed and 1 at axe speed. Rams aren't needed if the wall is 0, to clear a single Offensive village.

Also, time 2 1k axe, 500 lc attacks to land between the 2nd, 3rd and 4th nobles. This is to clean the village out, so the nobles will hit the village with no losses, and so are most likely to over-noble a couple more times.

Re-cap! Send 1-2 nobles after this to retake the village immediately. This way you keep the village and have caused a lot of annoyance to the attacker. If they sent support, perhaps time nukes to hit the support as it lands. Easy ODA and cleans out a couple of support villages for 2 weeks or more.


In a large war, stacking is a good method of defense. Heavy stacks = major losses for enemy nukes. I took 4 1.5k barbs in the middle of enemy territory on W39, and put a 200k/80k + 60k hc stack in the village. Over 100 nukes lost, and only 1 village cleared and capped so far. The larger the stack, the more troops it takes to clear it, and the less worth it is for the enemy to try and clear it.


A good method for stacking is sending small troopcounts from many villages. Instead of sending 5 full stacks from 5 villages, send 10 half-stacks from 10 villages. The reason being, you can rebuild the losses quicker, and so send support back to that village from the supporting villages much faster. 

Packet System

Packet Systems are essentially sending small numbers of troops from multiple villages, instead of large amounts from a single village. The idea behind it is to minimize the rebuild time should the troops get cleared or hit hard.

As this is quite hard to explain without an example, an example will be used. The Def build for this example will be 8000 spears, 2000 hc. The training period for that build for this example will be 8 days (192 hours)

XXX|YYY needs support.

Option 1:

Send troops from Village 01 - 8000 spear, 2000 hc.

Result? If cleared, it will take you say 8 days to rebuild this.

Option 2:

Send small troops from several Villages.

Village 01 - 1000 spear, 200 hc
Village 02 - 1000 spear, 200 hc
Village 03 - 1000 spear, 200 hc
Village 04 - 1000 spear, 200 hc
Village 05 - 1000 spear, 200 hc
Village 06 - 1000 spear, 200 hc
Village 07 - 1000 spear, 200 hc
Village 08 - 1000 spear, 200 hc

Result? If cleared, each village would have a 1 day rebuild time.

In general, if you can rebuild all losses in 24 hours as opposed to taking over a week, the 24 hour rebuild time is more effective.

You could make a system that is much more effective than this if you have both the village quantity required for it to work, and the discipline to use the method. For example, if I had 32 Def villages and only needed to get 1 Def somewhere, I could send 32 batches of 250 spears, 50 hc. This would be a 6 hour rebuild period.

A simple switch in how you support your own villages and other players where perfect timing isn't a necessity, and you can turn from a 192 hour troop rebuild period to a 6 hour rebuild period.

Source : Tribal Wars Forums

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