Attacks can be started by tapping an island on the Archipelago map that has an enemy base on it.
You cannot start an attack if you have no Troops available for attack in your Landing Crafts, however you will be able to scout the base.
Tapping an island will present two options (Figure 1):
Scout: This allows you to view the base without starting an attack. Tapping on buildings will show some of their statistics such as health and DPS, and tapping on defensive structures will show their attack range. The amount of available loot is determined at the time of your first scout of the base. This is explained on the Loot System page.
Attack: This button takes you to the attack. You will not be able to attack a mercenary base if that player is online or if he/she is currently being attacked. Beginning an attack costs a certain amount of Gold that depends on your Experience level.
Once you arrive at the attack, a 40 second countdown will begin at the top of the screen. Once you launch your first Landing Craft or fire your first Gunboat weapon, the 40 second countdown will immediately end, and the actual attack timer will begin.
The attack timer shows the amount of time that you have left in the attack. The time limit is 4 minutes. Once the attack timer reaches zero, the battle will end and you will be defeated. No rewards will be won, but any troops surviving when the time runs out will be safe.
At any time during this 40 second countdown, you can tap the button found on the top right corner of the screen to return to the Archipelago. You will still expend the Gold you used to start the attack, but you will not lose anything else.
In the bottom left area of your screen, there will be one button for each Landing Craft that you loaded for the battle.
Tapping one will cause the landing zone of the beach(es) to be highlighted. (Figure 2)
Tapping anywhere inside the highlighted area will place a small flag and launch the Landing Craft. (Figure 3)
The troops will leave the Landing Craft and move toward the flag once they land.
In the bottom right area of the screen, there will be one button for each Gunboat weapon that you have unlocked.
Tapping one will cause the battlefield to be highlighted (Figure 4).
The weapons can be fired anywhere inside the highlighted battle area.
Above the weapon buttons, the amount of Gunboat Energy that you currently have is displayed.
Weapons that have a time limited effect will have a small circle that shows how long they will last next to where they land. The color of the timer corresponds to the weapon type (Figure 5).
A button will replace the button once you start the attack. After tapping retreat, a button will replace it. Tapping this will immediately cause any Troops on the battlefield to stop attacking and run back to the Landing Craft at a higher than normal speed. They can still be attacked while doing so. Once they are all off of the battlefield, the attack will end and no rewards will be received.
Any troops that have successfully made it back to the Landing Craft during a retreat are completely safe from defenses and even incoming projectiles from said defenses.
Shock Bombs will prevent troops that they hit from moving and attacking.
Artillery can be shot at places where buildings touch to deal equal damage to each one (pictured below).
Troops that are damaged to the point where their health reaches zero will be defeated and will not return to your island after the attack.
Troops that survive the attack, regardless of the outcome of the attack (a victory, a defeat by running out of time, or a retreat), will return to your home base after the attack.
If there are no troops or Critters remaining, after all troop projectiles and airborne Artillery have hit their target and ongoing Barrages have ended, the battle will end instantly if you don't have enough Gunboat Energy for additional Artillery, Barrage or Critters. If you can afford at least one of them, you'll be given a short delay to fire them (those you can afford will flash).
If the Headquarters is not destroyed after that point then the attack concludes in a defeat for the attacker.
Partially destroying a base without destroying the main building will not result in any rewards. Note, this is not the same as attacking a base in an Operation or Colonel Gearheart's War Factory, see Operation and Colonel Gearheart respectively for more details.
An amount of Resources depending on how much the opponent had unprotected will be received. Learn more about resource rewards on the Loot System page.
There's an achievement which is called Conqueror that gives a total of 60 Diamonds upon destroying a total of 1000 enemy player bases, and another achievement which is called Steamroller that gives a total of 90 Diamonds upon destroying a base of at least level 50 without losing troops.