Your Armory is one of your most important buildings to maintain as you gain levels. Around the midgame maintaining your Armory starts to take its toll in competing for valuable resources with your base, Gunboat, Statue, Vault, Radar and other critical defenses like Rocket Launchers and Boom Cannons. Because of the high cost in resources to keep it going, it becomes an easy artifact to ignore since you might be more intent on rushing your HQ. Still, it’s not something you can ignore for long.
The Armory is ranked alongside your Sculptor, Vault, Landing Craft and Gunboat as one of the most important things to upgrade upon gaining an HQ upgrade. Depending on where you’re at, it ranks within the top three eminent upgrades. However, I’ve seen players with severely under-leveled Armories, which obviously penalize them heavily in battles. Instead, these players end up focusing on resource or defense buildings or have things mixed.
With the change in the way VP and matchmaking works, keeping a low level Armory can restrict you if your source of income is through raiding. Generally, my rule of thumb is to make sure the difference between my HQ and Armory levels are no more than one. I’ve found that difference allows me to maximize my troops without too many issues.
From my own experience, at one time I did a series of HQ rushes that left my Armory almost three levels behind. I had the experience necessary for the HQ upgrades because I was attempting to maximize my defense. Once I realized that a more offensive strategy would be more fruitful in the long haul, I switched tactics but the damage at that time had been done and I ended up struggling for a bit so that my Armory could catch up.
On top of that, I blindly would upgrade every troop in my armory before allowing myself to progress to the next level. This strategy went down terribly as I had wasted a ton of resources that could’ve been refocused on my main troops. Now, early on keeping multiple troops upgraded isn’t that much of an issue as you probably will hit maximum capacity with your gold.
But this really hurts the moment you start needing resources for your Armory upgrades while hitting those gold limits. The result is a massive waste/loss of gold. Obviously, having an updated Radar helps as well but it might be too late if both your Armory and Radar are competing for the same resources and time.
Also, there are times when you may be a few upgrades away from maxing out your Gunboat abilities or Troops in your Armory and may have a choice between upgrading another Armory ability or the Armory itself. In this case, always go for the Armory, especially at the upper levels. The Armory doesn’t really take that long to upgrade whereas the Gunboat or Troop can take a few days. Rather than take a chance for someone depleting your hard earned resources while something is being upgraded within the Armory, you’re better off just going for the Armory upgrade itself because you’ll have more things to spend excess gold on.
An example of this occurred the other day when I had the choice between aiming for a Medic upgrade or choosing my Armory. Because we were in the Mega Crab event weekend, I realized that my time was limited for the resource grab. But already I had been raided once during the Mega Crab weekend and had to rebuild my stone resource. Originally, I wanted to upgrade my Landing Craft to 18 since it was cheaper and hence easier compared to the Armory. But I knew that if I upgraded the Armory right now, it would take a while before I would see a gold shortage as a level 19 Armory opens up quite a few (expensive) upgrades to me whereas my Landing Craft would yield nothing immediately. Rather than risk waiting to obtain a similar number of resources again, I decided to go with the Armory straight out. Now, once I get enough Gold, I’ll be able to upgrade whichever ability I need and want rather than what I have remaining.
Also, you can feel the immediate impact having that upgrade makes. For instance, a tank gets almost 300 HP per upgrade, which is huge and can make the difference between surviving a shot from a Sniper Tower or a massive DPS loss (not to mention the time it takes for replacing the tank). So you can never go wrong with your Armory upgrades.
Now, Armory upgrades might not seem as exciting or utilitarian at first. For instance, you might want a Radar upgrade just because it helps open your map up. Early on, this works out fine. But towards the mid to upper game, I find it to compete too heavily with my Armory. My philosophy is that the Radar is a nice luxury you earn once you’ve taken care of the rest of the opponents on your map, which can only happen once you gain enough power to defeat them. And generally, around HQ16, you’ll definitely feel the balance of power in PVP swing towards having good troops and gunboat abilities.
Probably, the only times I’d de-prioritize your Armory upgrades is when you get a Vault, Sculptor or a new Landing Craft. Vault is just far too important because those percentages add up. And Sculptors make such a huge difference. Same thing with having a new Landing Craft. It’s so easy and quick to upgrade a Landing Craft in the first few levels compared to the benefits of an Armory. But after that, nothing else really can compete.
While it can be difficult around the midgame to continuously push your Armory to the next level with each HQ improvement, it truly becomes one of the top three things you need to work on immediately after you update your HQ.