Ikariam Library

Town Defence Guide

by ImmortalNights (revision 2; 2008-05-10, orginal 2008-03-19)


Having defence in your town is the one thing stopping other players marching in and emptying your warehouse while you're off line. It may seem rather simple to some people but I still frequently see active players with no defence.

That said, I hope that none of the alliance members somehow think that is a wise idea, so this guide is aimed at ensuring the best possible defence rather then simply telling you that you need it.

The Best Defence

Ikariam contains eight unique troops. Although I could complain about the variations and speciality of them there is of course one clear winner when it comes to defence. This troop should be a well known type beyond that of Ikariam and its defensive powers should also be as well known.

The Phalanx is the key to defence!

It is easily the best value for money, in terms of resources needed to train one and the upkeep to keep one. They are of course out done by the attack value of higher up troops but the answer is simply to have more of them!

Why The Phalanx

The Phalanx and the defensive powers that it has is the one reason I like Ikariam so much. It may not be realistic on many fronts, but the Phalanx being the key to defence is one area that it is true to reality.

The Phalanx has a base defence of 40. Along with a speciality bonus of Resistance, giving a further 30%. That is a minimum of 52. (That is higher the the maximum defence of any troop lower, Slinger, Swordsman and the Phalanx itself)

The upgrades for a Phalanx increase its defence by 10; assuming the 30% bonus adds on top of that, the maximum defence value of a Phalanx is an impressive 91.

That is, again more then everything below and now includes the Archer.

What About Better Defence

Those of you that have looked into the defence values of units will know that the Gunman has a higher maximum defence, along with any unit above it. While this is true, take into account the upkeep cost and resource cost of a Gunman compared to a Phalanx and you will see the Phalanx is still better.

One fully upgraded Gunman provides 106 Defence, costing 58 Gold per hour and 691 Resources (see footnote on resource costs).

Two fully upgraded Phalanx provides 182 Defence, costing 48 Gold per hour and 496 Resources.

The only negative difference is the extra citizen that is used, even taking that as a further 4 Gold for 2 hours (at a really low population growth rate) still means the two Phalanx are better value.

So How Many

It's not easy to define a total amount of Phalanx you should use in defence of your towns. However I can recommend some numbers based on what I have at this time.

Remember, if someone is attacking the chances of them attacking your capital is significantly more than that of any other of your towns. Always have more defence there.

Town Wall

Remember, a 100% or more defence bonus should not be overlooked! It is also important to ensure that the difference between the Town Hall level and the Town Wall level is as minimum as possible.

Each level that the Town Hall is above the Town Wall reduces the base 10% defence bonuse, while still allowing an attacker to get maximum breaches which could effectively negate the defence bonus but worse still provide the attacker with a higher attack bonus.


Ships are an effective deterant for attackers aiming to attack your town from another island.

Ships travel much slower then trade ships that carry troops; often to attack with a fleet of ships it will take more then twice as long to arrive at the destination. Ships in defence prevent incoming troops from landing at your towns shore, therefore the attacker would have to send a fleet before attacking with troops.

This often causes much higher cost, time management and lygistical problems meaning you're less likely to be hit by anyone that isn't determined.

A single ship therefore not only prevents the fastest attack method (of simply sending troops), but deters random attacks and provides you with more time to mount an effective defence.

From experiance, against novice attackers, it is possible to manuover ships to block and miss incoming attacks incuring little cost and preventing any time of attack upon your town or fleet. With no victory for the attacker, they are likely to move to an easier target.

Defensive Spies

Spies working in the Towns defence make it much more difficult for would-be attackers to get a spy into your Town and to complete espanarge missions.

If the enemy is unable to get intelligence about your Wall level, Town defences and resource stock they are much less likely to attack.

Having ten spies in defence will provide your Town with close to maximum resistance to spies entering your Town, or completing missions within your Town.

Beyond The Phalanx

It is true that the Phalanx although very good for defence does become obsolete eventually. The Steamgients do provide better value for money in defensive values. That said, even with high level Academie the time it would take to get from Phalanx to Steamgiants is near on two months of research. Waiting would take forever!


Resource costs are calculated as 1 * wood value plus 2 * luxury value. This is the same way as the Generals score is calculated.

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