A guide for anyone who wants to throw themselves into the ultimate survival challenge: 900 % – no pause – all wonders. Although the guide is aimed for the hardest difficulty, the strategy described can certainly be used by people struggling with easier game modes as well.
After I started using the strategy below I could “quite consistently” reach the final wave, at first I had some successful runs without wonders, then runs with almost all wonders and now the last run was with all the wonders. This guide does not cover the absolute basics like “explore with your archers, grab free loot, walls are important” etc. I just wanted to share my strategy and hear about your experiences.
Remember that it will never go exactly as planned, sometimes your foundry will be delayed for a couple of days or maybe your economy allows your sniper army to appear much faster.
Be picky with starting position
Turtle in your base for the first 30 days
Clear the map with two groups of snipers while Thanatos defend your base
1. The most important part is large area to build houses on, this is essential. Being walled in by terrain is ideal but not a must. Having most sides unprotected can be fine, just make sure your archers are constantly pushing/patrolling where needed.
2. Food: Grass where you can build 1-2 early farms + additional grass you can expand to.
3. Wood: 20+ with easy access to 40+
4. Stone: 4+ with access to at least another 4 within 10-20 days
5. Iron: you don’t need iron at start but you MUST have iron production around day 15-20.
This is the minimum but normally you’ll want more than this. If you got “ok” building area or no free loot then double these figures would be a great start.
Before first wave (day 1-11)
Pay attention to the zombie’s reactions; if you attract runners there’s a big chance there’s a village of doom or just a high density of runners in that direction. Be very gentle with that front and realize you won’t go deeper in that direction anytime soon. In some directions there may just be a bunch of slow walkers which means you can push quite hard.
Use animation cancelling to make your archers shoot faster (with an archer, press A and left-click on a zombie. Just as the arrow leaves the bow, press A and click on the zombie again).
Rush workshop to research farm. If you don’t know where you should push with your archers and have some spare gold, lookout towers can be a huge help. Before day 10 you probably want to research market if you have low food, or research cottage if you have much food and high wood production.
Since animation cancelling is so efficient I only build barracks if I need archers on patrol to cover up blind spots. Aim for at least +450 gold income, it’s very possible (but hard) to reach +6-700 income with good housing or gold mining. Kite first wave with archer and ballista.
Before second wave (day 12-19)
No mayor land claiming is taking place but the constant pushing with archers have left you with a little more space to build on, maybe you could build a few extra sawmills, quarries or farms. If your economy allows you can slowly advance with ballistas; build one a few tiles in front of another, then demolish the one further away from the front = more space for your buildings.
Defeat the second wave with walls and 2-3 ballistas and possibly archer kite / stakes traps.
Before third wave (day 20-26)
You will need 3-4 ballistas on the front facing the village of doom, that will handle the periodic waves from the village for the rest of the game.
2-3 ballistas will defeat the third wave at day 26 with the help of the snipers you produced.
As you advance forward with your snipers, remember to always place tesla towers + walls along the way to immediately secure the area. When you’ve taken what you need, place ballistas to defend so the snipers can push another front or fall back to defeat another wave.
Increasing income is the main priority, producing snipers is secondary. Often there is a bottle neck like low stone income, which means you can upgrade as many stone houses as possible but still have gold over for snipers.
It’s not very efficient for snipers to bounce back and forth between pushing fronts and defending waves, too much walking. When you can afford, get an engineering center (at latest day 50) to build a bunch of Thanatos which defend waves as your snipers are pushing.
Keep building snipers – the more the better. At this point 50 snipers will handle any resistance they encounter.
A huge difficulty on no pause is that it’s easy to get capped with resources so it’s super important to build many warehouses throughout the game, you never want your gold income to arrive when the gold storage is already full, that leads to a huge gold loss. Aside from that, you want a large storage so you can build all the wonders in the very end of the game. If you even consider building a warehouse at some spot, it most certainly is a good idea to build it.
If the engineering center was late and your Thanatos defense didn’t go as planned you can always defend waves with a thick layer of stone walls and executors + ballistas (consider demolishing the executor afterwards to regain resources and avoid it’s upkeep cost).
Using only one army to clear the map will take too much time so you have to split your snipers in two groups for faster map clearing. A group of 80-100 snipers is so strong you don’t even need to supervise them, you can just make an attack move across the map and they will destroy any giants or mutants in their way. To keep down the losses when encountering giants, you can let 1-3 snipers sacrifice themselves for the greater good to keep the rest of the army safe (or let a titan kite the giant).
If you have not yet found a useful placement for your third market, consider building it anyway just to get better sell price if you produce lots of resources.
Don’t always expand your base to the very edge of the map; often it’s a good idea to stop at bottlenecks when they are close to the edge (easier to defend final wave). This is more important later in the game when you are not that desperate for small portions of extra building space.
The first wonder you should build is The Silent Beholder which reveals the map so you get more information on where to expand, the other wonders can wait.
Remember that for each direction (up, down, left, right) there will come more zombies in the center and probably no zombies at all in the very corners of the map, so plan your defense accordingly.
Spread out your snipers and Thanatos along your defenses, but remember it may take them days (!!!) to walk across the map. Spam thick layers of walls, build executors.
Unless you had an amazing economy, it’s a bad idea to research and build every single the wonder before the final wave because you need those resources for defense buildings, most wonders can be built after the final wave. Just make sure to research them in time, you don’t want to end up in a situation where there are 2 days until game end and you can’t start the research of The Victorious because the stone workshop is already busy researching The Academy of Immortals.
As the final wave gets thinner some fronts will have defeated all the zombies coming at them, demolish the defense buildings there so you can afford creating new defense where needed.
After final wave
Demolish all defense buildings to gain resources for wonders, also move your Thanatos to the engineering center so you can delete them for extra resources. You can also delete snipers but that takes a looong time since you must delete them one by one, and you’re probably busy building tesla towers, wonders and mills (and of course houses if you want a nice score).