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Boom there it is! As promised my second blog has special powers. Please let me proudly introduce Rawness 1.0 to you. This is no ordinary spreadsheet, but a troop-and- face-saving-tool to help you improve your tactics. And the best thing is: you don’t need to know zip about Excel to use it.

By the time it’s ready I will find a way to make the tool available to all players. In the meanwhile I will give you a sneak peek and explain the basic concept. I just finished the first part, so now I can show you some screenshots to get the idea. By the way this thing actually works.

01

OK, here we go. The first screenshot shows what I call “Crafty landing”. This is an interactive menu, that allows you to fill your landing crafts. Each craft has three buttons: one slider for the troop type, a second slider for the craft size and there is a check button to (de)activate the craft.

Below this you see a bar and a bubble chart. They show what’s up for each selected troop type in your army. Right now you see the number 40 in the bar, which sums up the 8 x 5 riflemen selected. The bubble also is shown at the number 40 horizontally, cause this always corresponds with the bar. Vertically it is at 1200, since these 40 riflemen together do 1200 dps.

On the right you see a menu for troop levels. Below it you can select troop statue bonuses. And below that five bars show info about the selected, individual troop. Currently it shows troop details, but this chart can be changed to research budget. Then it shows five different bars.

02

There are 37 buttons in this first part.. Instead of explaining every single one to you, I named them in groups in the next screenshot. Each name pretty much tells its purpose. The easy buttons at the very top can make your life easier. The first two buttons make all crafts act like number one. This is great for selecting a single troop army or changing all craft sizes at once.

So what’s the use? Well, you get a lot of information based on all of your choices. Do not mistake this for a simple copy of wiki info. The spreadsheet puts things in perspective. It’s much easier to select your army, troop levels and statue bonuses than estimating these outcomes yourself. Even the chart on the right about single troops can help you discover new facts. This can help you make the right choices and therefore lose less fights and troops.

03
Let’s take my current army for example. I’m level 32 atm, so I have six landing crafts. I upgraded four of them to carry two tanks. The first craft is still level eight and the last one is level four. So I usually fill five crafts with nine tanks and use the first one for whatever seems right. The bar is set to troop size, which means it shows the number of troops and the width relates to used cargo space.



In the bubble chart you can see those nine tanks not even deal twice the dps of twelve riflemen. And adding twelve targets for boom cannons makes these riflemen a nice addition anyway. Also notice the chart on the right now shows a higher health and firepower for a single rifleman based on levels and statues. You might wonder, why I use 0:14 salvo instead of dps on the right. For me this works better, because it gives higher numbers (no decimals) and all troops fire an exact number of shots in those 14 seconds. I will make a few changes to explain a bit more.

04
Now the tank is selected and obviously it does more damage than a single rifleman. With a reload time of 3.5 seconds the tank can shoot 4 times in 14 seconds (and fully reload for its next shot). So the 0:14 salvo works exactly like dps, but is easier to grasp for single troops. I also changed the bar and bubble chart on this one. Now it compares troop health to firepower. Why firepower? A group of tanks can one shot most defenses. So dps is not that interesting right now, I want to know if they can take the building out at once. Then they can reload during their drive to the next target.

05
You might think it’s hard to compare the riflemen health with tanks in this chart. I mean what’s the use of an automated spreadsheet, if you still have to do the math yourself? Don’t worry, you don’t. That’s where the easy buttons come in. If I select “one troop type” all active landing crafts are filled with the same as number one. One single click already tells me a full riflemen (lvl 9) army has a bit less health than even nine level 2 tanks. And unchecking that button lets me continue without the need to select everything again, because it still remembers the previous settings.

06
Another interesting thing is the “research budget” option with the chart on the right. This tells me a rifleman only costs 400 to replace compared to the 9000 of my most expensive troop. And the next upgrade will take 630k and 28 hours to complete compared to the max of 4.4 million and 76 hours for lvl 20 riflemen. And I’ve already spent 1.44 million on them, which can increase up to over 25.

A popular business term is “need to know” vs “nice to know”. This means one should focus on things that really matter. Personally I think all of the info on this first part matters. Still in the end all that matters is if you win the fight without too many losses. From that perspective the first part is just a single step towards a greater goal. The second part (and step) will be adding the targets.

This final screenshot is a preview of what I have in mind for that. I want to add up to eight targets in a similar way as the landing crafts. Covering a whole base would not be realistic anyway, because I’m not planning to implement map layout and troop movement. Don’t get me wrong: this is possible in Excel and I know I can build it. But it would make things complicated and even the biggest nerd would have a hard time using it. Instead I like to provide valuable info reasonably simple.

07
I haven’t made up my mind yet about the second part, but I already know a third will follow. I’m thinking along the way of first adding targets and defining gunboat weaponry and next select how you plan your attack. Somewhere along the line healing will be introduced and I probably combine the attack with a gunboat energy counter. This implies the use of some sort of timeline, but again I simply didn’t decide yet. The deep blue sky is the limit.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the preview. I needed a lot of text for this, so perhaps I’ll try making a video for the next update. It’s much cooler to see how this thing works in realtime and much faster for me to explain. But of course in the end you’ll want to use it yourself and that’s what I’m going for. Enjoy your weekend, have a great week and please leave a comment if you like what you see. If you don’t like what you see, look the other way and still have a great week.