SWC Basics for Beginners

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SWC Basics for Beginners

Post#1 » Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:19 pm

Something I thought about, while reading the Sandbagger thread.

If you are just a casual player, most of this will be irrelevant to you, since you are not playing competitively. If you enjoy winning or plan to compete in conflicts, hopefully this thread helps you. The key things you need to know are the basic base building strategies, how matchups are determined, the impact of medals, the importance of the armory and in turn data fragments aka frags, turret choices, and understanding the impact of the AI both from an attack and defensive standpoint. The last item is key at higher levels when you want to trap or use diversion tactics against squad center and guard reserve troops.


There are now 11 levels, from level 1 through 10 and the new Prestige level or level 11. Key levels are:

Level 5 – Planetary Command is accessible. Allows you to jump to another planet of choice, giving you more opportunities for collecting daily and heroic defense crates. It also gives you another planet to compete in events/conflicts. You can upgrade the planetary command after each HQ upgrade to a max of 6 planets.

Level 6 – Important level for rebels, since the Heavy Soldier becomes available, which is a key unit for level 6 & level 7 rebel players. The armory is also introduced and in effect adds levels on top of the standard HQ upgrades. Every two armory upgrades is worth more than a standard upgrade. For example a level 8 jet/jump with 2 armory upgrades is in theory stronger than a level 9 jet/jump without an armory upgrade.

Level 8 – Jumps (Empire) and Jets (Rebel) become available and they become the go to unit on attacks. They become overpowering once enough armory frags are collected to level up the Jumps/Jets. Rebels gain access to Luke Skywalker and Imperials get Darth Vader. Both have light saber twirls that are effective for blocking turret or troop fire at strategic times.

Level 9 – Sonic Cannons are introduced. These are powerful counters to Jumps/Jets, and can be effective against vehicles and other troops. The Droideka (aka Deka) Oppressor is also introduced. At high levels, this is a highly effective attack unit. Much better than the Sentinel in my opinion.


Tip – Every time you add a turret, it significantly boosts your base score, which in turn may result in facing a higher level opponent. Turrets are a double edged sword. If you are a skilled player, you can overcome the matchmaking issue, but if you are not winning all of your attacks at 100%, adding turrets will not be your friend. Tread with caution. I recommend adding 1 turret at a time and then attacking a few times to gauge your competition, once the turret is completed. There’s no turning back, which is why I would urge caution.

Rapid turret – Your starter set turret. Generalist, does everything and master at nothing. Loses value at level 8 once jets/jump attacks become prevalent. Not effective against vehicles, which is another weakness, especially against Empire vehicle attacks.

Mortars – Great for hitting troop clusters and damaging multiple units with splash damage, but not great for hitting specific units. Also useless against jumps/jets, so mortars become semi-useless at level 8 and higher.

Rocket turret – Great vs. Vehicles, and still has some value versus other troops. Cannot match bursts or sonics vs. jumps/jets. I prefer bursts and sonics with a few rocket turrets at level 9 and above, but there may be others who like liberal use of rockets.

Burst turret – High multiplier against jets/jumps and bruisers (turret busters), meaning they deal increased damage to those specific units, while still doing a great job against other units. The downside is the 9 tile range, which means snipers/togs/etc with a 10 tile range can pick them apart while not being shot. A key turret in countering the jump/jet heavy attacks at level 8 and higher.

Sonic Cannon – Effective against all units and also a great counter to jumps/jets. The downside is they need to recharge, and are vulnerable during that recharge period. Sonic farms (bases with all sonics) can be very tough, since the sonics will fire at different times and from different angles. A cross fire effect. Skilled attackers will bait the sonics by deploying a low level unit like a bantha or dewback, then attack with a jet/jump or vehicle while the sonic is recharging.

Note – At level 10 through Prestige, you will see a heavy dose of bursts and sonics, because both factions rely heavily on buffed jets/jumps on attacks. Plan accordingly.


The armory is a game changer at level 6, and some will argue not in a good way. I like it though. The armory buffs (boosts) various units, structures, or turrets, increasing their damage and/or health. Like steroids for the applicable units. Every two armory upgrades is worth more than a standard upgrade. For example a level 8 jet/jump with 2 armory upgrades is in theory stronger than a level 9 jet/jump. You obtain these upgrades from collecting data fragments aka frags, through daily, event, heroic defense and other events. Any base with high level armory upgrades will be difficult to attack or defend against.

Frags are random, but the most important frags to collect are for jets/jumps, guard reserve, and enhanced heat sink. Wall frags are important for level 7 and below, where they face ground troops.

Tip – If you see glowing barracks, factories, walls, HQ, turrets, resource generators, etc. that means the armory buff is activated. Be especially careful with bases that have glowing barracks and factories. They will spawn (deploy) troops on defense. You need to be prepared.


I cannot stress enough how important frags are in this game, once you get to level 6 and the armory is built. Armory upgrades can be a key differentiator on both offense and defense, since all things being equal, a level 8 with high armory upgrades will beat a level 8 without armory upgrades. Player skill is certainly a factor, but you are fighting uphill if you don’t have armory upgrades that match your opponents. The guard reserve that was introduced in 2018 was a game changer.


Troop upgrades do not affect the matchmaking algorithm, so upgrading your troops to the max levels is encouraged. The key units to upgrade are as follows:

Jets at level 8 and above
Heavy Soldiers at level 6-7
Wookiees at level 2-5
Rebel soldiers at level 1-7
Repair Droid

Empire (See disclaimer below)
Jumps at level 8 and above
Phase II Dark Troopers at level 2-5
Dewbacks at level 6 and above
Heavy Stormtrooper at level 6-7
Stormtroopers at level 1-7
Sniper Trooper/Speeder Bikes
Mobile Heavy Cannon
Repair Droid

• Disclaimer – I have spent far more time as a high level Rebel player and I would defer to veteran Empire players in terms of high priority unit upgrades.


What you add to your base and upgrade will significantly impact your matchups on both attacks and on defense. Be sure you understand this aspect of the game. Any choices you make here are not reversible, without starting all over from scratch. From that standpoint, it is possible to start with a mini base and course correct to a standard/max base, but not the other way around, if you are undecided which way you want to go.

Standard/Max base – Player adds all structures and turrets and max levels everything. Some will argue it is the way the game was meant to be played. The downside is it is not a good strategy for players who struggle on attacks and don’t have natural gaming skills. You will be battling opponents as strong or stronger than you are in general.

Mini (aka Engineered, Sandbagger, Micro) – Player only adds structures he/she needs, and focuses on HQ, Squad Center, Barracks, Factories, and Alloy Depot and Credit Storages. Player only adds a limited number of turrets (half or less of allotment) and does not add traps, to counter the games matchmaking algorithm. This keeps the level of the opponents low, making it easier to attack and to defend. The Mini base player relies on squad center troops and at level 6 the armory and guard reserve, to defend the base in lieu of turrets. Player stays at level 8 or lower for a long time, winning conflicts and events, and focuses on collecting frags to drive armory upgrades over structure & turret upgrades. Transports can be added without much impact on total base score. This base building option is quite effective, although there are players who do not like these bases on principal.

Rushed – Player adds HQ and fully upgrades Alloy Depot and Credit Storages to continually rush HQ upgrades. Player pays minimal attention to other parts of the base, typically falls behind on troop upgrades, and also does not have time to collect frags for armory upgrades. This is a very weak option, since troop and armory upgrades are at the core of winning strategies. The differentiation between a rushed and mini base is the amount of time spent at level 8 and below and the amount of time spent on frag collecting and troop and armory upgrades.

There are obviously bases that fall between these categories, a blend so to speak.


I would suggest not building any because of the matchup impact, until you are ready for a higher level opponent. If you do want to add them, I would add only 2 to 3 max at strategic locations. Watch your defensive replays. Each layout has a tendency to invite similar attack launch points. Be sure you know where they are.

Add the rest of the traps only when you get to level 9 or 10 and only if you want to max level your base at that point.


Every structure (including traps) and turrets adds points to your base score, which in turn moves you up in grade and to higher level opponents on both attacks and on defense. You can game the matchmaking algorithm by not adding traps and turrets, because of their high impact on your base score and the catch 22 aspect on matchmaking. If you are a highly skilled attacker or very active at collecting frags, you can still win without sandbagging. If you are neither, then tread with caution when adding turrets or traps. Even one turret or trap can tip the scales quickly.


From experience a base score under 900 for a level 8 or a base score under 500 for a level 5, will give you very favorable matchups. These are so called mini or engineered bases.


Shows ranking for all squads and its members. Will not display players that are not in squads. Good scouting for war matchups, since it shows when players were last active, all member base scores, their war record, member wins on both attacks and on defense. A good place to find your own base score, to show where you are at (high or low) relative to other players at your HQ level. If you are at the high end, you will be facing tougher opponents than players with similar HQ levels but lower base scores.


Medals have two basic impacts on the game at this time. Conflict points aka gears, are tied to the medal counts. The more medals you have, the more conflict points you can win on defense. On attacks, your conflict points will be based on the base you attack. The other big impact is in matchmaking. The more medals you win, the higher level player you are in theory, which in turn matches you up with similar level opponents. Base score is also a significant part of the matchmaking algorithm. The combination of the two affects matchmaking.

Many mobile games in this genra has AI considerations. SWC is no different. The favorite targets are listed. Generalists will attack what is closest to them, but when two objects are the same distance away, the unit may attack the resource generator or storage first over the turret. A turret specialist like a Wookiee or Dewback will head straight to the nearest turret. Plan accordingly. These AI blind spots can also be used when attacking a base. Any squad center troops and guard reserve troops will attack the first live target they see. Diversions or traps can be set using that AI aspect against them. Those troops can be ambushed or delayed/diverted while they seek out that initial target.

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Re: SWC Basics for Beginners

Post#2 » Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:30 pm

luke50 wrote:...

Luke50 - Great Topic. Look forward to further comments below. :D
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Re: SWC Basics for Beginners

Post#3 » Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:43 pm

Hi all, this is my first post at this active community. I just started HQ9 recently.
The above is very useful info, wish I had it much earlier. Based on the above if I could change the way I played it would have been to spend more time at lower levels to unlock crucial units like Shocks and VT-49. At mid-level it was pain watching traps decimate my dewback horde!

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Re: SWC Basics for Beginners

Post#4 » Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:42 pm

I would suggest a very important omission from the above is knowing targeting preferences, and damage multipliers for units. None of this information is visible in game so you need to refer to other sites such as: https://papajessie.github.io/swcpy/

As an example:
Speeder bikes, have very large positive damage multipliers up to between 175-250% against other units but negative damage multipliers between 25-75% against buildings.

Knowing this information well is kind of crucial to effective attacking, and also base defense.
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Re: SWC Basics for Beginners

Post#5 » Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:43 am

Thx for adding that. Definitely not an all inclusive post. I touched upon multipliers from a defensive standpoint in the burst turret notes, but every units multipliers should be understood for sure. I also noted AI but did not get into targeting preferences in detail. We have great contributors like yourself that will fill in the missing details. That was my hope.


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Re: SWC Basics for Beginners

Post#6 » Wed Dec 12, 2018 2:05 am

Luke - great tips:

There are a few things I would add:
1.) After your hq has been upgraded to a new level, the first order should be to level up troops you most commonly use for attacking and upgrading existing shields (so upgrade the research center first), turrets and traps before adding new ones. Also wait with the SC upgrade until your key troops have been leveled up.

- Adding a turret adds 25 to your base score (giving you a L1 turret), while upgrading existing turrets only adds 5 to your base score.
- Adding a trap adds 30 to your base score, while upgrading it adds between 1 and 2
- Upgrading the squad center adds 25 to your base score - this is five more than upgrading the HQ

2.) For mini base players, there are IMHO two important levels that give you and edge over your opponents:
- L6: The armory gives you an edge against lower level opponents. For defense, this allows you to strengthen walls and turrets, plus add guard reserve.
For offense, you can use buffs to strengthen heroes and troops used during the attack.
As the the daily heroic defense and objectives are still relatively easy, stay on this level until you have buffs for key units and structures. Getting buffs to level 2 is relatively easy.
- L8: You can add jumps / jets, giving you an edge when attacking, especially if you have earned buffs while you had a lower level.

3.) Try finding a squad that lets you participate in squad wars at a low base level. This helps you earn frags to unlock units that will help with the game (e.g. shock trooper / rebel vanguard).

4.) If you have the time, try to earn frags for daily objectives and the heroic defense. This will help you get ahead in the game, making earning more frags easier.

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Re: SWC Basics for Beginners

Post#7 » Wed Dec 12, 2018 5:38 am

Be careful upgrading starships past level 4/5. Make sure the jump in build time is worth the additional power before proceeding.
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Re: SWC Basics for Beginners

Post#8 » Wed Dec 12, 2018 6:26 am

Shelendil wrote:Be careful upgrading starships past level 4/5. Make sure the jump in build time is worth the additional power before proceeding.

Shelendil - Great Point! :D

PRIME EXAMPLE: Rebel Fang Fighter / Empire TIE Striker - It is well known that Level 4 on both of these is the "sweet spot" of Cook Time (12 Minutes each) to Damage done. If you upgraded the Fang Fighter or TIE Striker to Level 5 the Cook Time increase by 4 Minutes to 16 Minutes each.
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Re: SWC Basics for Beginners

Post#9 » Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:47 pm

I'm experimenting with new bases, and here are some observations for new players:

1) At level 4 and below, I would recommend focusing on looting and getting to level 5 as a priority over wins. Each attack needs to be profitable, or you will take a long time to level up. Resources are slim pickings at level 4 and below.

2) This also means use as few troops as you can, to raid as much credits and alloy as you can, and hit bases with easy access to loot. Wins don't matter at level 1 through 4, but loot does.

3) There's a massive jump in loot at level 5, which can drive quick upgrades between level 5 and beyond. We were able to get from level 5 to level 8 in a very short period of time. Level 4 was a pain in the butt, and I would not fault spending $10.00 in crystals to buy your way to level 5 if you have more money than time. From level 5 up, resources are plentiful, thanks to the changes that the devs made when the new Prestige levels were introduced a few months ago.

4) We focused on credit and alloy storage upgrades, to drive HQ, research center, squad center, barracks, factory, armory and planetary command upgrades through level 8. Cantina for me, is a notch lower on the priority list in my mind. It gains importance at level 8 for me, but I'm sure others may chime in on this.

5) We only built 3 turrets, to reduce investment there and also to keep the base score low (this is an option I would recommend to those who want to compete in conflicts and events. If you want the PvP challenge, this may be a boring route to you. Two very different approaches max vs. mini base).

6) Transports were not a high priority, surprisingly, since most attacks consist of minimal units. E.g. Heavy Soldiers, Wookiees, meds and soldiers for rebels at lower levels and Dewbacks, Dark Troopers and stormies for Imperial players. Less than half a transport load per attack, since you are attacking lower level bases if you use the mini base approach (minimal turrets, no more than 1 trap, and minimal resource generators). Transports become more important as you upgrade the rest of the base at level 8. If you are in wars though, you may need to boost transport capacity, since you will encounter tougher opponents.

7) Resource generators were also not really needed, since loot can be stolen on attacks at a faster clip than the generators. Those can be layered in later, after you get to higher levels (8 or higher and only if you want to transition to a max level base at that stage). The reason level 8 is key, is because you gain access to critical heroes and maybe more importantly, access to jets/jumps. The jets/jumps become the dominant go to units at level 8.

8) Focus heavily on upgrading key units only, and upgrade the others in spots. E.g. if an upgrade takes 30 minutes and you plan on circling back for another upgrade, then get that done and then circle back to upgrade the key unit. As primarily a rebel player, upgrade Heroes, Soldiers/Wookiees at level 2-4, Heavy soldiers at level 6, and Jets at level 8. That's your core. As an inexperienced Imperial player, I must say I greatly prefer Dewbacks over Dark Troopers.

9) You will want to add the scout tower, contraband storage, and cantina as they become available, but are not must haves as soon as you reach that level if you still have work to do on the high priority items.

10) Droideka Sentinel - I have mixed feelings on the Deka Sentinel. I think if you go the mini base route, you can avoid adding it. It has minimal use at lower levels, sometimes deters attackers who are intimidated by it, and other drawbacks. I know there may be others that disagree on this, so it's just an opinion. I like the Oppressor that you get at level 9, and only minimally used the Sentinel at level 9-10. It helps more to clean up than for heavy lifting. The cook times get long as you upgrade them and they are always down after you get attacked.

I probably missed some things, but I thought I would pass this on as I build my new bases, with the hindsight that I have from my first base and from other experimental bases we tested during the Amazon Fire transition.
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Re: SWC Basics for Beginners

Post#10 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:36 am

One point may be about mini bases to what to put in SC is to keep large no of reg soldiers( SC under the shield if possible) and also activate the particular skin for the regs and the same for GR so as to force the attacker to use more air and once they run of their airships they probably wont be able to kill those regs form GR and also waste their troops. I have seen this situations and lost to these type of bases.
My squadmate in my reb squad shares his defensive replays of his mini base, how many attackers fail when attacking his base even if they deploy some strikers. He has 2 shields but at low lvl to keep SC covered.
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