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Question:
The map is classic Garden of War, and I'm at s9 (mid left) after moving from 8 (bottom left). I am humans. My opponents are at 11 (top left), and 2 (right-side, top). My partner is at s6 (bottom middle). What should we do?
-Submitted by Reikan

Answer:
This is one of the hardest situations to win from on any map. You and your ally got dealt the worst 2 spots on the map, and your allies not only got 2 of the best, they have 2 spots that counter most of the strategies that you could try. Rushing is impossible. You are already behind, and could never keep up. Peon warfare is out of the question because his ally at 2 will kill any attempts that you have at it. Two-Halling is suicidal. This leaves you with a 1 Hall power. Not only are you left with very few options, but you also have to deal with his scout peon.

Your Hall position is the first problem you have to deal with. You basically have 2 choices of where you can built it. Both of these positions are setup specifically for not allowing an enemy peon to do much damage.
Hall placement 1 Hall placement 2
If you are not going to wall in that farm-sized hole right away, then you are going to get peon scouted more than 90% of the time. These 2 Town Hall placements limit the amount of damage that can be done with his scouting peon. Note that when you pass his peon with your scout peon, you should wall in your top as soon as possible. You do not want any other peons of his getting in. The yellow boxes in the pictures show you where enemies will typically build buildings when your Hall is built in one of these two positions. 'F' represents a farm, and 'rax' represents a barracks. The red 'x's you see, are where the enemies peons will pop out after the building is completed or cancelled. Your goal is to kill the enemy peon as soon as you can. If you build your Hall low like in the first picture, you can take 2 peons and block in the enemies peon so it cannot get away. A 2 on 1 peon battle is an easy win. Smart players will try to build a wall and cancel it to quickly hop over your peon, but if you are paying attention yourself, you can simple back one of your 2 peons up and force him to again appear in between your 2 peons. If you allow his peon to wall you completely off to the left side of your Hall (eg. he gets both farms placed in picture 1) than the game is over. You cannot let this happen.

Another big problem you will face is when the enemy just sticks a barracks in your peon line and let's it build. This forces you to stick up at least 1 guard tower. It may not seem like much, but you are already behind from moving, and have an inferior position to his. If you do need a guard tower, place it below your mine so it covers the enemies barracks, and the offensive tower that is possible to the right. Your top should be walled, and you should have your ballista started already. You are going to need it.

I tend to lean towards the lower Hall placement. It doesnt let one enemy peon restrict you as much. One building cannot restrict access to certain sides of your Town Hall. If you do like building your Hall in the higher position, remember that you can hop a peasant below the Hall, by blocking the first available popping position with a peasant, wall, or building.

The Farm Spot

The Farm Lots of players will build a farm here in order to stop you from sending multiple peasants up to cause havok in their city. If an enemy does this (no matter what the position of his building) use your own buildings to force his peon back to the outside of your wallin. Get all your buildings going, and start your ballista as soon as possible. The farm position in this picture is where most players will build this farm. It forces you to build 2 buildings to pop their peon back, but as I have illustrated, it is still easily done. Remember that you should wall this in yourself if the enemy doesn't. You don't want any more than 1 enemy peon inside your wallin, and the enemy at 2 prevents you to do any serious damage with your peons. With your 1 scout peasant, you should try to get a barracks in his line. Stop his mining operations for as long as you can. Most players will chop the tree next to their Hall if you do get a barracks in their line. Once the enemy chops this tree cancel your barracks and build a farm. This will keep them off their gold mine for awhile, and maybe enough that you can catch up. Make sure you stop their peon before it can build a second building!

Powering
Now you try to one Hall power like a madman. If everything went well early on, than the enemy only built 1 farm in your city before you killed the peon, and you got a Barracks in his peon line. Even if you couldn't get a barracks going in his base, you are still alright as long as he couldn't do anything to you as well. Get all of your necessary buildings started so you can build a ballista. Take 1 peasant, and scout the top treeline to check if top left is trying to chop into you from above. There are 3 spots that only require 2 chops, so make sure you check them all. Your goal now is to get a Keep fast. Fifteen peons at the most before upgrading to Keep. Get your second barracks started so it is done before your stables. Start pumping knights until you have 4-6. Start chopping out around now, and you will have 8-10 by the time the peasant finishes chopping the tree. If all goes well, this should be enough knight power to run over any grunts that enemies had been building up. If top left chose to power, than you will be hitting his wallin about the time he his upgrading to Fortress. Don't sweat it. You don't even have to get inside of his base to kill him. Bring your ballista up and set it up to the right of his wallin against the trees. Tell it to attack ground in the enemies peon line. If the enemies can't get through the knights to kill the ballista, or find some other way to kill it, than the top left player is in some big trouble.

Your Ally
Your ally is left to defend for himself, but usually will only be attacked by the enemy at 2. I seriously suggest he reconsiders staying at 6:30 instead of moving to s6. The 30k mine at bottom middle takes too long to walk to, is too hard to wall, and has a very slow 2 hall no matter where he goes with it. In this circumstance (you guys being 6 and 8), and 1 barracks defend rush works very well. Bottom middle is always scouted late, and as such, your ally will have lots of time to setup some defense. He can also send a few extra grunts out to kill any enemy catapults that are sent your way. When I do the spot of the day for staying at 6:30 (GoW) I'll show you a REALLY good 1 hall power for this. Just remember that he doesn't want to repair anything, and he should be sending peons onto gold early, in order to keep up in the resource game. Setup a 4 on 3, with a few grunts for back up, and use a catapult behind them (or a cannon tower).

If he is set on moving, than I suggest he 2-Halls to 5 as fast as he can, and chops the 2 trees that connect the 2 spots. Try to defend everything with just 1 catapult. It is hard to do, but any more defense will put you so far behind that it's not worth it.

Remember...
This is almost as non-flexible as a pure cookbook strat. Rushing is out of the question, and there is no way you will out power your enemies, so it only leaves you with a small door of opportunity during the keep stage. I won't lie. These positions are very hard to win from. You HAVE to kill 11 (or 2) somehow if you plan on winning the game. Footies will never get the job done, so get those knights fast. If you can't take out one of them at the Keep stage, than you will lose 99% of the time.

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