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Once you’ve captured that first square of land, the raid has begun. Now the header at the top of the screen will show a timer that counts down 15 minutes — that’s how long you’ve got to finish the raid, though you can finish sooner than that.
The header also shows how many stars you’ve earned in this raid. One star is earned for capturing each of the enemy’s three Orb Shards. Another star is earned by capturing 50% of the enemy’s land, and the final star is earned by defeating 100% of the enemy’s forces.
In a raid, combat works just the same as on the mainland. Your goal is to outwit or outmatch the defender’s defenses, occupy all three Orb Shards, and — to earn a perfect 5-star score — capture all of the defending nation’s land.
Besides the time limit, you have a finite amount of manpower to work with on a raid; once your nation’s manpower runs out, the raid is finished. This means you’ll need to think strategically about just how to engage the enemy, to pull off a decent (or even perfect) victory before time or manpower run out.
You can also build walls and other defenses to help with your attack during a raid. Defensive structures can help protect the land you’ve captured from assaults by the enemy’s defenses, and some can also directly weaken the enemy’s defenses. Keep an eye on the blue Energy Bar in the upper right section of the screen — if you’ve built so many defenses that they burn energy more quickly than your nation can generate it (causing the energy bar to empty to zero), some of the defenses you’ve built may become inert and ineffective. Note that as the attacker on a raid, your nation only generates energy at 10% of the rate that it does on the mainland.
It can also be very important to raise your Geographic Efficiency to 100% on a raid. If you’ve built any walls or defenses, some of them will become inert if your Geo is less than 100%. Also, if you possess any resources on the mainland, the degree to which your stats will be able to benefit from the bonuses from those resources will be diminished if your Geographic Efficiency is less than 100%.
To raise your Geographic Efficiency during a raid, you’ll need to capture a fairly large area of contiguous land, interrupted as little as possible by mountains or water. (See Geographic Efficiency for more details.)
By the same token, it can be useful to carve holes in the defender’s land areas, so as to lower their Geographic Efficiency. This will cause some of their defenses to become inert, and also cause their stats to suffer, if they derive any bonuses from resources.
If you ever want to end a raid early, you can click (or tap) the ‘End Raid’ button in the lower right section of the screen. You can also hit the “Home Island” button during a raid to return to your nation’s home island (and from there, return to the main world as well if you’d like) without ending the raid — so long as the raid’s time has not yet run out, you’ll be able to hit the “Join Raid” button from your home island to return to the raid in progress.
Next: Ending a Raid