Some general tips from me, Ed touched on a couple of them probably, just random thoughts for new players. Important defense info that isn't really clear on the building upgrade pages: Gun Towers gain an additional cannon at lv 7. They get extra range at lv 3/5/9 as well (every odd level - 7 being the cannon instead), which is marked, but its a good piece of info to know when building. Upgrading Ground Pounder reduces the minimum range it can target at. The maximum range doesn't change, so it isn't obvious from the upgrade page, but because it can now hit things at a closer minimum range, it has a larger targeting area. Ground Pounders fire 3 shells every other second. Mortars fire one shell every 5 seconds. They have a minimum range, so melee range troops cannot be targeted by the mortar they are attacking. MM fire one shell every 6 seconds, and have a minimum range as well. Gun Towers also have a minimum range. Each cannon on the gun tower must target a different troop. The two/three cannons cannot target the same troop. Bunkers will not change targets until the target dies or walks out of firing area. One high hp unit placed first can save the lives of many gunners. Mines look like green squares on the map until they explode. A green square in a place it normally wouldn't be is a dead giveaway, so use decorations to create more green patches! Mystic Mines look like colorful flowerboxes until they deploy. Look for them when attacking, and use your colorful flowerboxes to help disguise yours defensively. Walls do not have to be rebuilt when destroyed - I didn't build walls until PH5, because I was worried they'd be permanently destroyed like how mines initially were. Unit info: Brutes target defenses first typically. This makes them valuable, despite the high cost, whereas other pirates may stand around hitting all the stores while defenses kill them off. Sky Raiders fly the direction of the waves/the direction the flags are pointing. The Flag decoration will get in their way and make them fall. WD does not attack. Their "damage" stat is instead related to how much damage units in their bubble are protected from. General info: At low levels, don't bother protecting your PH. You're wasting area and walls, and have no reason to worry about pirate rank yet. Instead, keep it in a location where troops will likely be forced to waste time killing it while defenses pick them off. It has a LOT of HP, and if someone destroys it, you get a free 12 hour shield during which you cannot be attacked. Putting a 4 wall thick shield around your PH is just a waste, as gunners can fire over all of them and hit it still. I've seen lots of low level bases make this mistake - everything in the open, and then all their walls around a PH, and I just fire over it anyways. You can pre-rotate your defenses (cannons, gun towers, even mortars somewhat) so that they are already pointing the right direction. This can save you a second during defenses where they would otherwise be spent rotating. DO NOT PUT PONDS IN YOUR BASE. Plug them with decorations, or consider a more condensed layout. Don't do the battles on the exploration map, like pirate stronghold, until you have an expensive upgrade to use the loot on. Use these once you get to PH6/7/8 to afford a big upgrade, when you already have a lot saved up for it. You can also complete quests ahead of time, but don't actually collect grog or gold rewards yet. EXPLORE your map. You get lots of gems from it, and much needed bp and ep. When you aren't exploring, consider sending your ship on long circular trips through a lot of squares to have a chance to get free gems (see my gem farming guide in strategy forum). For most players, the best use of your gems will be your extra building huts (get these ASAP). Don't use your gems on resources, as the amount you get per gem is really small. If you want to speed up construction, its a good idea to do one big long upgrade rather than speeding up a bunch of short ones. 2000 approx gems will completely speed up an 8 day construction, which gets you much more time per gem than if you were to do 8 1-day upgrades. For troops, the opposite is true. The second best thing to spend gems on, after builder huts, is to speed up training troops. Split your troops into batches of 4 minutes (wait a second or two if you have to, find the best way to break them up for your troop levels). 1 gem will get you 4 minutes worth of troops, which with PC3 is 7 gunners at max level, 1 brute and 4 gunners, or 2 brutes and 1 gunner. This means 8 gems is a full, max level army, which can net you LOTS of resources. 8 gems would get you approx 10k gold if you just bought it with gems, but you will likely make 200-400k gold and grog at higher levels with the same amount of gems!! 6 minutes takes 2 gems, and 8 minutes takes 3 gems. This means that by splitting your troops up into sets of 4 minutes, you save 50%! In fact, a 32 minute army will take 8 gems if you split it up, but will take you twice as many if you don't. When attacking a base, drop a couple brutes near a mortar, either to distract it, or to wait for it to be destroyed. Also, at lower levels, brutes will be great for punching holes in walls before sending the rest of your troops.