Once your city is more than five minutes old, it’ll be producing sought-after resources. We’d all like to play as a peaceful existence, but sooner or later you’re going to have to unlock Military Tactics in the Iron Age, and from there on out it’s game-on with your neighborhood.

It should not be forgotten that this is a war game. You can be a trader if you want to be, but you’ll still need some sort of an army to protect your precious goods from those who don’t want to be as peaceful as you are. Being attacked and plundered is something that will happen to you. It’s one of the few things that isn’t an if, it’s a when. The only real question is, how prepared will you be? It doesn’t feel quite as awful after all if the person who plundered you lost most of their army to do it. The best feeling of course is being able to stop them in their tracks, but that’s just not always going to happen.

No one wants to be plundered though, so the first way to stop plunderers is to set up your Home Defense, or Home D for short.

Your Home D can be setup in your army management screen:

For this you can choose any of your military to make up your Home D, with a maximum of 8 (just like any battle selection). What you choose will depend partly on what you have available, and what you think would be a good defense.

If you’re already being hit regularly by someone and they keep breaching your defenses, you’ll want to switch your Home D up to accommodate what they’re using as an attacking army. Otherwise, just try to set up the strongest Home D you can think of.

Something things to keep in mind when doing this are:

  • No more than two rogues in a Home D. Too many rogues means that the attacker can focus on your seed units, and when they’re gone your rogues are sitting ducks.
  • A champion can be helpful sometimes, but not always.
  • Military Drummers and Color Guards are generally not useful beyond Iron Age (but hang on to them for GvG)
  • If you struggle with a setup in Guild Expedition, others likely do too. Mimicking that lineup would be advisable.
  • Ahead-of-Age troops are awesome in a Home D, because they’re definitely not expected.

To setup your Home D, you’ll need to find the troops you want, and then click on the blue helmet:

Once you click on that blue helmet, any troops you click on will then join your Home D. The numbers under the helmet represent how many of your eight possible defenders you’ve selected. You can also use this same button to deselect troops from your Home D, in order to choose different ones.

If you’re on mobile, you have to individually select each unit, and there will be a helmet at the bottom with the same number setup below to tell you how many you currently have selected. Clicking this button will let you set or unset a unit as a defender.

Troops that you select to defend your city remain available to use in battle. Just remember that if you injure them in battle, if they aren’t healed by the time someone comes a knockin’ on your door, they will also be injured in their fight to protect your city and its productions. So either replace them if you do fight with and injure them, or don’t select troops that you plan to fight with.

If someone attacks you and they get injured (or killed) defending your great city, fear not! Nothing actually happened to them, and you will still have a fully-defended city. Your attacker though will end up with injured or dead troops by your Home D’s hands.

Once you have a Home D selected, it will always appear in the front of your troops when you’re looking at all troop types at once, and the troops will be highlighted blue with a little shield in the corner like so:

In this way you will always know which troops you have set to defend your great city.

Aside from just setting up a good Home D army, you’ll want to think about getting items or buildings that can increase your defense bonus. Sometimes it isn’t just about what army they come at you with when they attack, but their attack bonus. If you have a decent defense bonus, that helps to negate the attack bonus, or overpower it, making you that much more difficult to plunder. However, even the best defense bonus can usually be bested by a better attack bonus, so consider how much space you want to spend on defense, too.

If you do not have a Home D setup and someone attacks, you will be defaulted to two spearmen regardless of what age you are in. Essentially, it means you’re just going to let an attacker waltz right into your city. One of the few times it’s recommended to try the default two spearmen is if you’re getting attacked religiously and also plundered; because some attack for the PvP Tower points, and two spearmen gets them next to nada. Sometimes it helps an attacker give up, but not always. Better to just have a Home D set up by default.