There are four main ways to defend and to be a truly great player you will need to master all of them.
First there is stacking. This is the most fundamental skill in defense, and also one of the most effective. This is essentially supporting villages under attack in an effort to kill the attacking armies. Problem is though that as simple as it seems many players fail at this. The either move in to little defense or improperly select villages to defend.
When your stacking you should avoid:
-Defending villages that don’t have full walls
-Defending a village with less than 30k population of D units
-Defending with just HC support
-Using offensive units to defend
-Defending remote villages
The goal with stacking is to maximize your opponent losses will minimizing your own. Defending villages, unlike attacking, allow you to amass armies as large as you want. Which considering how the battle system calculates is a huge advantage. No offensive army can consist of more than 20k total population (unless farm bonus) which when combined with a wall bonus can vastly swing the balance to the defender’s side. If your smart with your D you can knock the teeth off the aggressor with very few of your own troops lost. You just need to remember the more D you can get the fewer casualties you will take. When you’re playing D its all about conserving troops which stacking allows you to do very effectively.
Next there is blocking/bouncing nobles. This defensive method is a far step up from simply stacking and often requires very exact timing and planning. Further if you cant figure out how to mark incoming this method will fail for you. Your goal here is not to kill the offensive armies. Rather you are trying to dodge as much as you can and just defend against the nobles. This is a very risky strategy but can be used to buy significant amounts of time if you need to hold out for a while longer and have low troop counts.
This is done by first marking the incoming nuke and noble speed attacks so that you can later dodge defense in between the clearing and noble attacks. Often times this will require you to be accurate down to the second, in some cases milliseconds to make sure that you split that short bit of time between the attacks. This works because nobles (especially the middle nobles of a train) often have small escorts which make them for very easy targets and if the nobles don’t survive no loyalty is lost.
However as I said this method is risky. Your villages often, if not always, get their walls destroyed, which makes any future defensive efforts very risky. Further this method requires your account to be watched 24/7 because if you can’t mark the noble attacks you will become a sitting duck. Additionally there is always the possibility that those nobles could be escorted by a full nuke which will render most any defense useless with the loss of the wall. Else they could just time another clearing attack into the middle of the train. But that being said if this is executed correctly a player can truly last nearly forever on a minimum number of troops.
The next method of defense is counter attacking. If you are constantly on the defense you can never bounce back. Offense builds faster than D so if you don’t strike back you will be fighting a loosing battle. Further you can use your offense to actually effectively defend yourself by targeting enemy offenses. First step to effectively doing so requires you to identify which villages are offensive and which are defensive. Next is to attack with your nukes aiming at those offensive villages to take the nukes out while they are at home. It’s the best and most effective way to cripple your opponent. The catch of it is though that they can easily dodge your attacks. The best way to ensure that this isn’t the case is to time your offense to arrive immediately after the target nuke returns home to prevent them from sending it away in time.
Last method of defense is the most unorthodox, but one of the most effective: Renobling your own villages. This method involves purposely allowing your village to fall into enemy hands or even prenobling it to make it “easier” for them. This is another of those risky maneuvers. It’s actually very effective, especially on non-coin worlds. The goal is to make the enemy take the village spending the noble, then hopefully repeatedly renoble his new village from himself over and over again, and then finally for you to take it back again. This makes your rival spend his nobles wasting the packages that they cost to build which can really cut into resources slowing down the war effort against you. Further you can turn their own troops against them as they repeatedly attack and renoble themselves.
If you are using this method be sure that all the troops of the village are used else you will lose them without a fight when the village is nobled. Also bear in mind that you will feel the costs of the renobling the village on a package world as well. Also bear in mind that when the village is out of your control you will take a dive in points which can lower your morale and assist your defensive effort elsewhere which can come in very useful in a close fight. Then you come back with your own offense/noble and take the village back. Just be sure to do so quickly (within seconds if possible) else you may end up facing support in the village you can’t beat when they rebuild the wall. Like so many of the defensive methods before timing is key.