Here is a step-by-step guide that will hopefully help people complete the monthly event, "The Thorn King". I have not gone into detail about the battles apart from one of them - I have mostly provided what you need to do. Hopefully, you should all be able to fight your own battles - if you are doing this event, you need to be clever enough to work some things out alone. I have included various screenshots of things, including the soldiers you earn and the soldiers you face.
A few general tips are:
- Don't spend rubies because you won't get many at the end of this. That means no large tents, no hunter's tents, no ruby decos, no auto-finishing buildings and no auto-troops/resources arrive (however, you could just use time skips instead for both).
- Don't attack a tower (or even a resource village) unless you are sure you will win. It takes 2 hours to send troops across, so don't waste the ones you already have.
- Never attack a medium or large resource village.
- Follow the quests you are given.
- Always send either veteran soldiers (or 2-handed swords and heavy crossbow if you don't have veterans yet).
- Keep your morale high - at the very least at 0, but I recommend +50 or higher if you can manage it.
- Match melee with ranged and ranged with melee.
- Don't rush this - you were given a month, so take a month.
- Unlock as much spaces as possible to get 5 talismans per space unlocked.
Step 0: Are you ready?
Before you start the challenge, ask yourself if you are ready. I personally don't recommend that you enter if you are below level 40, don't have five level 5 barracks or aren't willing to lose thousands of coins and hundreds of troops.
Step 1: Enter the Map
Click on the skull near the bottom of the screen, then donate the necessary wood, stone, food and coins. This shouldn't be too much of a challenge. Then click on the skull again and enter the map.
Step 2: Start Building
You have been given 1500 wood and stone. Use them to build stuff. I recommend to use the wood/stone reward and the left over resources to build a supply storage area and then build 2 small tents (or large ones for rubies)
Step 3: The First Castle
Send over 10 troops - 5 veteran macemen/two-handed swordsmen and 5 veteran crossbowmen/heavy crossbowmen. Wait 2 hours until they arrive (or use skips). Once they have arrived, click on the first castle and attack it with 5 troops on the left flank and 5 on the right. You should win with no or little losses.
Step 4: Resource villages
Attack the 2 small resource villages that you have unlocked with the troops you have over and over, until you have very few troops left (I'd say anything less than 10 and you can stop). You may wish to send more troops first, and could build another small tent if you have enough resources. Use the looted resources to build drill grounds (try to keep your morale above +20) and small tents. Expand the camp only when you run out of space. When you have a capacity of 40 troops and you have 40 in your camp, you should lose 0/1 troops per battle (2 max). This means that you can get a lot of resources with very few troops. When you attack the villages, always attack the 2 weakest flanks. Send as many troops in the 3 waves to carry loot and to fight in the keep. For instance, in one village, there were 5 on the left and none on the middle or right. I sent the maximum of 96 troops on the middle and right, so I didn't lose any when they got through to the keep.
Step 5: Attack!
Once you feel that you have enough troops to attack the next tower, do so. Make sure that you plan ahead - use heavy crossbows against skeleton warriors and 2-handed swords against skeleton bowmen. Try and attack every castle - don't just clear a path and go straight through to the end. This way you complete more quests and get more rubies and resources. After attacking some castles, you will complete quests, and earn special soldiers: use these to attack. Do not try to save them until you get near the end of the event because they waste your capacity, and you need all the capacity you can get. Continue attacking until you reach the fifth tower.
Step 6: The Double Keep Tower
The fifth tower has a double keep (both of them). Now, this doesn't make any difference, or at least no noticeable difference (apart from double the rubies ), but I have given this it's own step because it is a particularly strong tower. I've given my own battle advice, but other people may have found better ways. By the way, I had 73 morale when I did this attack, so if you have less, expect more losses. For the fifth tower, I sent 255 troops - 129 2-handed swords and 126 heavy crossbow (I don't have access to veterans... yet). I kept my losses to a minimum (96) because I used tools. I sent 72 Heavy Xbow and 57 2 Handed Swordsmen with 8 battering ram and 2 ladders in the middle (wave 1). I sent 43 2HS, 10 mantlets and 5 ladders on the right (wave 1). After that, just send as many troops as you can on the other waves, but don't waste tools. You want as many troops in the keep, because out of the 181 soldiers that I got to the keep, 22 died. You may want to consider sending mostly ranged on the 2nd and 3rd (and 4th if you have it) waves, because there are more of their melee soldiers that go into the keep. Before you attack, I am unsure whether towers in this challenge flip flanks. It would be wise to check, so attack whichever flank is weakest on your espionage. Other people have used a suicide wave to wipe out tools. I haven't tried that (you can't attack the towers after your 1st victory anyway), but it might be an okay idea. You will obviously lose more troops from the 1st wave, but you would save on tools and that could be better. 3 spearmen is a quick and easy way to do so. If anyone wants to make any alterations to this plan strategy, or anything else I have said, please reply. You get 50 rubies and 1500 coins here, a nice bonus.
Step 7: The Bridge
You have to pay 18,000 wood and stone to complete the bridge. Keep farming those small villages and hold off on the camp upgrades for a bit and you should be done in no time at all. This took me under a day.
Step 8: Attack! (again)
Keep attacking these towers and make sure you do attack all of them* - you need all the reward you can get. Try to send at least 1 soldier for every soldier in their castle, but if you use tactics then this is not strictly necessary. From this point on, there is nothing new - just attack the towers and resource villages and build small tents while keeping a high morale with drill grounds.
- You access the first 6th tower after you build a bridge, but you don't have to build both bridges to defeat. Once you defeat the 7th tower, you unlock the 6th tower that you didn't already defeat. So don't waste 18,000 resources on that second bridge.
Step 9: The Final Castle
Once you reach the final castle, be sure to get every single soldier that your capacity will allow, and make sure that your capacity is as high as your camp will allow. Make sure you have every extension you can, and (again) keep the morale as high as you can*. Try and avoid sending the special soldiers in the attack, or send them in the later flanks (I recommend sending them in wave 3 or 4 just in case), because they are a big part of the reward and you don't want to waste them.
- If you're running out of time, you don't *have* to fully extend the camp. You should be able to do it easily with 400 soldiers (as long as you are using 2HS, HCB, veterans and/or kingsguard) and 300 morale.
When you've beaten this castle, you complete a quest and earn 50 rubies. However, you also get a screen like the one below telling you that you have got 300 rubies. Please do bear in mind that those 300 rubies are only one-third of the total ruby reward, and you get as many soldiers as you managed to save.
Step 10: Finish!
After you have won, try not to waste any of those special soldiers because they are quite powerful. You can even send in more normal troops if you want. Once you have defeated the Necromancer's castle, you can click a button which will send the soldiers back (and any resources) and end the event. Don't click it until you've defeated all of the towers or until you're sure that you couldn't defeat another tower with the remaining time left- they have rubies and coins in them and some have a decent amount of resources. You can also complete a series of quests through defeating them. The total reward is 900 rubies and 500 special soldiers. While you are likely to have lost some of the soldiers along the way, you definitely got all 900 rubies if you defeated every tower. If you didn't, don't worry - you got 400 rubies plus any from the towers, and you defeated at least 9 of them.