There are five standard military units in the game, those being age-specific fast, light, heavy, ranged, and artillery troops. Most eras have one troop for each type, but in the higher eras like Arctic and Oceanic Future you can have two troops to a type in some instances. In addition to these standard military units there are four special military units; three which have no age specificity, and one that does. Each unit comes with unique abilities not found among standard units that can enhance your overall fighting abilities. The four special units are Rogues, Champions, Color Guards, and Military Drummers. Lets review each one individually for the best understanding.
Rogues are the best of the special units, and the one you will use the most if you do any considerable amount of fighting. Paired with a couple of seed units (typically one or two of your standard military units or a champion of your era) they make for a formidable attacking army because of their special ability: Secret Identity. Secret Identity reads as follows: Ignores first damage and transforms into another unit of your army. Dies instead, if you have no unit without secret identity remaining. What this means is your rogues will transform to match another unit on the field that does not have secret identity, and gain all those skills. When they are attacked and transformed they do not take damage from that first hit. This means that a rogue can essentially absorb one hit per wave of battle. If there are no seed units on the field, meaning you either took all rogues into battle or your seed units were killed before a rogue was transformed (or not all rogues were transformed before you lose any seed units and possible transformations), then your rogues will automatically die when hit. This is true in reverse as well, if you can kill any starting seeds and potential new seeds from transformed rogues, then you can pick off remaining enemy rogues easily. It is important to note that while rogues do have a high attack value, they rarely will one-shot an enemy that they are able to hit before transforming. Once transformed they take on the attack and defense bonuses, as well as troop abilities, of whatever they transform into. They will only transform into another unit you have brought to battle that is still currently alive when they are hit. If it’s a two-wave battle, they will return to being rogues for the second wave and will remain so until transformed again. These units have no specific age, so their stats do not change regardless of what era they’re in. They also will not count towards quests requiring you to gather units of a specific age since they are ageless. You will find these units listed with other light units in your roster.
You can acquire rogues from a Rogue Hideout (often shortened to RH in game). These hideouts cannot be gotten through the standard purchase menu, and instead you have to be lucky enough to earn one during an event quest, from a daily quest, or if you’re able to, purchase it from the Antique Dealer. If you have Alcatraz, all you need is one Rogue Hideout and you can start to amass your legion of willing
sacrifices foot soldiers to do the dirty work on the field. When you plant a Rogue Hideout you will have two open slots for free, and the rest cost diamonds to unlock. Do not make the mistake of paying diamonds to unlock those slots, because if you ever need to store the hideout you will lose those slots! Put another way, once you unlock the slots with diamonds to make additional attached rogues you will never ever be able to store that building again unless you are okay with losing your investment. It’s worth the time to let Alcatraz make you unattached rogues to save precious diamonds.
Something special for the Rogue Hideout is the ability, with a Rogue Hideout Shrink Kit, to turn it into a smaller building called the Rogue Den. It will save you a couple squares of space, which in this game is never a bad thing. Forgive me, but I cannot remember if changing from the Hideout to the Den will affect diamond slots. I’ve never shrunk mine for that exact unknown (since I made the mistake with my first hideout of paying to unlock slots). If you have this knowledge and want to chime in down below in the comments it’d be appreciated. Especially since things are always changing with how Inno runs FoE and what players can and cannot do. Since I cannot say for sure though, my advice is not to shrink a hideout to a den if you’ve unlocked any diamond slots unless you’re okay with potentially losing them to the abyss. I’m also unsure if there’s a warning to let you know this could happen, again, these things change with time. The last time I had checked, when you shrunk a hideout to a den it initially went to inventory and that ruined diamond slots. Nowadays that might not be the case.
Champions are the only unit among the four special ones mentioned here that are age specific. Depending on the era of the champion will affect how they look in your roster as well as what they look like on the battlefield. This also means that their specific attack and defense bonuses will differ from era to era. These units are pretty popular in lower eras for fighting, and even some higher eras because they can be very powerful. If you are part of a GvG team it is wise to have a Champion Retreat for as many eras as possible because of their usefulness. These troops will be listed under fast units from Bronze Age to Modern Era, and in Post Modern Era and beyond they are heavy units. They all feature the same two special abilities though, Chivalry and Call of Duty.
Chivalry: Gains bonus to attack and defense when it is the only unit with chivalry in your army. This means that the number next to this ability is how much additional attack and defense the Champion will have if it’s the only unit with this ability that you take onto the field. For this reason it’s advisable, should you be fighting with a Champion, to only take one. Otherwise the bonus won’t apply.
Call of Duty: Grants attack and defense bonus to all friendly units when this unit is killed. Only applicable once. So this means when your Champion is killed, the number next to this bonus is granted to the attack and defense of all other units you brought to battle. Again, this can only happen once so there’s no reason to take multiple Champions on the field with you. Similarly if the opponent has a champion it is in your best interests, if it is safe to do so, to try and leave the Champion for last (or close to last) to kill so that you don’t make fighting the other units on the field anymore difficult than it already might be.
The Champion Retreat is where you will get Champions from, and it comes with one slot by default unlocked, and one more slot you can purchase with diamonds. Just like the Rogue Hideout it is not worth unlocking that slot. You will almost certainly be picking this building up and storing it away at some point, so don’t waste your diamonds. Again, this is a fantastic building to pair with Alcatraz to get some unattached units for use, rather than relying on earning multiple or unlocking the extra slot. Just like the Rogue Hideout, these are typically earned in daily quests or purchased from the Antique Dealer. At one point they could be found in events, but that has become rare in current times. Not impossible, but definitely not as likely anymore. This is potentially because focus has shifted away from GvG to GBG, and Champions aren’t quite the powerhouse they once were. Even in GvG, once you get to FE and beyond the usefulness of the Champion goes down drastically, and you can bet Inno is aware of this. It’s still worth having the Champion Retreat for each era though if your team likes to GvG, or to have one you can age-up with you for quick troops when you move eras until you unlock something better in the tech tree.
Color Guards are a non-age specific unit like the Rogue, and beyond early eras they lose their sparkle very quickly. Found under heavy units in your roster, these troops have the special ability called Rally. Rally reads as follows: All friendly units start a battle with +12% attack and defense bonus. Does not stack. So this means that you only need one Color Guard in an army because you won’t get multiple bonuses, and having one in your army will give all units an extra 12% attack and defense bonus. In the early eras this is a huge boost, and the abilities of the Color Guard can sort-of hold their own. In later eras the Color Guard is extremely weak, and will not hold its own in battle, often being easily one-hit-killed.
These units can be gained from a Color Guard Camp, and like a Champion Retreat you get one free slot and one slot that you can purchase with diamonds. Especially here you do not want to unlock this diamond slot because you absolutely will not be keeping this building forever. Some people who earn them make some Color Guards as fodder for GvG by combining it with Alcatraz, but most people don’t even care about them. They can be gained from events sometimes, and you can purchase them in the Antique Dealer. For the most part though it’s not going to be worth the space that it takes up, but if you’re a collector then you can happily keep one in your inventory for all eternity.
The last of the four special units that we’ll cover here are Military Drummers. These units, like the Color Guards, are ageless and not very useful past the early eras except as GvG fodder because they’re really weak and their abilities don’t stand up through the ages. They can be found under the light units in your roster, and have the special abilities Morale and Rally.
Morale: All friendly units start a battle with 1 point of armor. Does not stack. So this means that when you enter a battle, you’ll see a little blue pip at the end of the health bar for your units. This is one extra pip of damage that’s required to kill your units. Even if the Drummer is killed in battle, that pip will remain for your surviving troops.
Rally: All friendly units start a battle with +6% attack and defense bonus. Does not stack. So it’s exactly like the Color Guard, except it’s half the amount of bonus. Since the bonus does not stack, having both a Color Guard and a Drummer on the field will mean one of their Rally bonuses won’t apply. If memory serves me correctly, the Color Guard’s Rally would trump the Drummer’s since it is higher, and Morale would still be in play.
Military Drummers can be earned through a Drummer School, and just like the Champion Retreat and the Color Guard Camp you get one free space, and one that costs diamonds. Similarly, it’s not worth it to unlock the one for diamonds because you will not be keeping this building in your city. The cool thing about the Drummer School is it does give your attacking army a 4% attack boost while it’s built in your city. That really isn’t a reason to keep it planted though, so enjoy it from your inventory if you’re a collector and ignore it otherwise. Like our other special military buildings, events and the Antique Dealer are where you might be able to score one of these. Honestly though it’s almost impossible to get one for the era that it’s useful to, which are basically Bronze, Iron, and Early Middle Ages. Beyond that the Drummer School and Color Guard Camps just don’t stand up to the test of time for their intended use.
So overall the unit you absolutely want to get your hands on are Rogues. They will serve you until the end of time in FoE. The next most useful units are the Champion, and these are the only ones that are age-specific. Color Guards and Military Drummers are useful in Bronze, Iron, and Early Middle Ages and beyond that can be GvG fodder. Any of these units that you want to produce in bulk are best done with a beefed up Alcatraz. Good luck and happy battling!