What is Sniping?
“Sniping" is a method of play that you can utilize to accomplish several things:
First a reminder - No sniping on other guild-mates buildings unless there is an understanding in place. It is just bad form as and could make you subject to dismissal from the Guild. Sniping your friends is a matter of choice as some take offense and will remove you from their list and/or convince others to plunder your City. Most sniping takes place by looking at other GBs in your neighborhood.
Generally speaking, a snipe is when you place FP on another person's GB in hopes of taking a reward spot. One can choose to snipe because they need or want Blueprints (BP), Forge Points (FP) or Medals.
A snipe is a good way to spend excess FP points as getting the FP reward from a GB is the primary way to put FP in the bank for later. This is known as converting FP (from the FP bar) to Forge Packages. Once the GB reward is paid out, the forge packages will be placed in your inventory for your use later. It is recommended to keep about 300 - 500 FP in inventory.
Sniping is a gamble ... It's a risk vs rewards and you will get better at as you practice. So let's say you place FP on another GB .. is that player still active? Is that player even leveling that GB? Will another player come along and place more FP than you thus bumping you out of the rewards?
You can monitor other GBs that you have placed FP on through your GB Contributions list. The list will be ordered by the GB that you last placed FP on. All contributed GBs will stay on the list until that GB levels (or the player formally withdraws from the game.) Even when your neighborhood changes, the GB will remain on the list although you will not be able to go back to that player and look at other GBs they may have available or at the same GB after it levels.
To snipe effectively, you have to know what you want, what your limitations are and information about the target. For instance, I may be looking to MAKE forge points. So, I look around and find a GB that I think is active and the situation is such that I can spend 1 FP so when the GB levels, I am paid 5 FP on the reward.
To ensure your reward spot, you will be required to do some math. To make for an easy example, let's suppose I was after the 1st reward spot on a GB that had recently been levelled so it was at 0 contributions but needed 180 points to level. To ensure that first spot was locked in, I will need to contribute 90 FP points (180/2 = 90).
What if someone else had the same idea such that we were tied at 90? The reward spot will go to the player that reached 90 first. So if you approached a GB in that situation, you would know that the best you could do was 2nd reward spot so you would then do the math again ... 90 points remaining so 90/2 = 45 so you would know that you would need to contribute 45 FP to secure that spot.
Unfortunately, it is never this easy and will get very hairy and convoluted to work it out but with practice you will get this down with ease.
As mentioned, you will not be able to place FP that are not in your neighborhood – but that GB looked ripe for the picking, but you just can't commit to it right now. Simply place 1 FP on the GB so it is added to your Contribution List. This is called a 'marker' to allow you to track the GB until you are positioned to do something or decide not too because something better came along, or another sniper took your preferred spot. Once you get your own GBs in place, you will notice these markers on them as others are looking at your building for the same.
The best buildings to snipe on are the 'self-levelers'. These are folks that, for some reason, put FP on their own buildings such that every reward spot is available (you do not get rewards for placing FP on your own GB). In those instances, sometimes placement of 1 FP is enough to earn the 1st reward spot. Always check on these as someone else may have come and placed 2 FP so they bump you down ...
It is challenging to determine how much to put down but most importantly WHEN. To soon and other folks will see it; too late and you lose your chance. It makes it even tougher when you do not have much FP to work with as you are counting on the FP Bar as your main source of FP. Here is how I play these ....
I first assume the players already on the target GB to simply monitor through their Contribution List to see if their reward spot is has changed (they almost never open the GB up to look at the activity). I slowly put FP on the GB until I am even with the next players reward spot (because if they are paying attention, they may start loading FP onto the GB at which point I may want to cut my losses as I can't compete). Then I wait until my FP Bar is full and apply the whole shot to the GB to leap over them. Hopefully, they have spent their FP on other things thinking they were secure and can't respond or just decide to cut their own losses for that spot as well.
Now, if they respond by loading more, then I have a choice. Do I now spend my FP Packs and leap to a secure spot (by doing the math) or .... ? Thus the gamble and the fun!
This is another place where FP Packs come into play. Most experienced players will sit on FP Packs in order to purchase Goods for construction of new GBs but also to use in instances where a GB 4th or 5th reward spot is easy pickings, do the math, place the right amount of FP down and be done with the gamble as they have locked in the reward. As an example, the GB rewards go up with the levels so if I determine that I must spend 50 FP for that spot and the reward is 2 BP, 20 FP and 300 Medals, then I have only spent 30 FP to get that reward which could be a very good buy.
So ... if you need a place to spend some FP or want some cheap thrills, try out another aspect of the game – and if you are lucky, you will get a sweet, endearing love letter about how you cheated someone out of their cheat.
A quick overview of ways to invest through sniping and the tradeoffs associated with each.
Examples of the above …
Regarding (3), when you really get good, you should be able to double your FP investment on low-level neighborhood Oracles; however, the payout is a long wait as those players are placing their limited FP into the technology tree as well.
Now that you have an idea of what you are after and the trade-offs, let’s turn to the sexy side of sniping and learn how to play with (FP) markers.
Note first that the neighborhood changes every two weeks on a Monday. The day before neighborhood change, go through your ‘hood and place 1FP marker on any building that:
Another technique for a self-leveling whale is to look at payout for 1st - 5th place to determine which ones pay FP. The more paying places the better. Place FP that equals the amount of the lowest winning space and take 1st. Let’s break this down ….
Example: A GB reward spots pay 80, 50, 25 and 10 and is currently empty. Place 10 FP which will set you in the 1st reward spot. Here is the psychology, other folks may not have the reserves to bump you and if they do, you have a 10 FP head start should you decide to bump them. If you decide not to, you will still need be outbid by 3 other people which will place you in 4th and you will still break even.
*** BONUS TIPS ***
Find your gravy train by going into the Events section of your Town Hall and filter it by ‘Great Building Events’ and Viola! Look up that sexy sweetheart and take her out on another hot date; although … you may need to send that Friend’s Request (and good luck with that after you just hit them =])
*** Keys to Success ***
Quick refresher – ‘locking in’ is applying just enough FP such that that no competitor can exceed your donation. For instance, if it takes 200 FP to level a GB, then 100 is sufficient to lock (in the case of a tie, the reward spot goes to the person that donated first).
After a couple of a few weeks of, you probably will find a few hundred FPs in the bank. You will eventually invest most of these, but this is where the magic just begins …
Last but not least, once you have secured your position and there are potentially other lockable reward spots; share with your guild-mates if you robbed a friend!
Here are more tips for mitigating your risk when sniping low level players. It is framed around the idea of avoiding wasting FP (even a marker) and looking to determine if a player is active or not before engaging in the snipe.
If the Tavern is full and all production is stopped, you can simply attack them to see if there are any goods available to plunder – if not there's a good chance the city has been abandoned or neglected for a period of time. Track these folks because many Event buildings will reset (e.g., Moongate) that can be plundered again … and again … if they are not motivated.
This is not limited to low level, Oracle-only owning players either but these are typically the highest risk category for snipers. Good luck and great fortune!
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