In war, as a th8, the goal is simply to get 3 stars against another th8. As a good old full dragon attack is a viable strategy for an early th8, I strongly recommend Mass Hogs for any mid-late th8 that has high level hogs.
This guide may also be useful for th9 using hogs, late th7 with lvl2 hogs, or any curious player that wants to know more about strategy in Clash of Clans.
I - Prerequisite and army composition Edit
The first thing you need for a high performance in war as a th8 is to level up your hog riders to level 3, and ideally to level 4. I know it is hard to get so much dark elixir, and e all want to level up our Barbarian King (BK), so it is up to you to decide what to upgrade first, but a high level BK is not needed to do mass hogs. Still, level 1 BK is really appreciated for the start of the attack, and the protection of the wizards.
You also need level 4 or more (maybe 3 would work?), because low level wizards it will slow down your cleanup and you will run out of time...
A poison spell, at any level, will prevent a dragon in clan castle to wipe out your hogs riders.
Your hogs will not survive without healing spells, and that's where you should use your elixir to get the strongest, holiest, level 5...
Then, for the clan castle (CC), you will obviously take some more hogs, because CC wizards will be grouped, so easily killed at once. I have been testing many different poison spells for now, and if you use them properly you can kill a max dragon with two level 2 poison spells, and each level 1 and level 4. But you should be careful with the timing, I'll come to that later.
So here is the recap, with the numbers corresponding to the army composition I always use:
- 33 hogs riders level 3+
- 8 wizards level 4+
- 2 archers level 1+
- 1 barbarian level 1+
- BK level 1+
- 3 healing spells level 5+
- 1 poison spell level 1+ = L
- 5 clan castle clan hogs
- 1 clan castle poison spell level (5-L)+
II - Preparation Edit
Scouting for the mass hogs is very, very important. You need to know each one of your moves BEFORE the attack.
1 - Looking for bombs Edit
First, you should look for the three big bombs. Bombs are the first cause of failure in a mass hogs attack. Watch the replays from the previous attacks, and search for the big bombs locations, 2x2 gaps in the core of the village. Don't be afraid to guess according to the enemy' clan style.
You should try to figure out how you could trigger them. A hog rider only attack the closest defensive building, so look for a direct trajectory between the spawn and a defensive building that passes through the bomb location.
If the bombs are in the core, you should deduce where you will use healing spells, predicting your hogs trajectory. Remember that the healing spell should heal the hogs before they pass through the bomb, because if they are not at full health when the bomb explodes they will die all at once. It is also important to heal them a bit after the explosion.
If there is a double giant bomb, try to predict a trajectory for your hogs that will trigger it in two times, and use one heal before the first bomb, and another on the second bomb. Still, remember that it is advised not to attack bases with a double giant bomb that you are forced to trigger at once. It will kill your hogs for sure, heal or not.
2 - Planning the attack Edit
The second thing to look for is the CC range. You can almost always trigger the CC with a couple barbarians/archers or one(two) hog rider(s). You know that having troops in the CC range is sufficient to lure the CC troops, you just have to decide precisely how you will do it before the attack starts. If you can spawn your troops in the CC range, prepare to use a barbarian or archer, and use another one if it is still not empty. If it is not possible, try to see if there is a building in the range that a hog rider would attack first. If you cannot even do that, you have three choices: use BK+wizards to attack close enough to the core to trigger CC, use many hogs, or just give up, this base is probably not suited for hogs.
The goal now is to decide where you will start your attack. Search for a side where your hogs can attack different buildings at once - when defences are lined up. Also look for the defences range, and try to figure out where is the spawning place which crosses the most defence ranges, to send your BK as a meat shield. Personally, I like to attack on the enemy's BK's side, using my BK as a tank and three wizards to take out the enemy's BK if possible. If you know where are the skeleton traps, try to make sure you will trigger them as late as possible.
The last thing to prepare for is the healing spells. You can now say where your hogs will go during the attack, and predict when your troops will split in two groups. Using one spell just before the split is a good idea, and as said before, using spells before/after big bombs is a good idea. Spells used on stacked defenses are very useful, and even more if it includes a wizard tower.
3 - Recap Edit
- Searching for big bombs, see if there are double big bombs, and plan the triggering/healing
- Look at the CC range, plan the luring
- Look at the defences and their range, plan the troop sending
- Look for stacks of defence buildings, plan the healing.
III - Attack Edit
Here is the description of the attack, step by step.
1 - Trigger the bombs and kill CC Edit
Send the less possible troops, as soon as possible, to empty the enemy's CC. You can try to also trigger a bomb at the same time. As soon as the CC is empty, try to stack the troops with archers sent one by one, far away in the direction you want to correct the stacking. Just be sure that they are in the range of a poison spell. If you can trigger at this time skeleton traps, it is bonus to lure them as well.
Then, use your less powerful poison spell, and wait for 10 seconds before using the second one. To be even faster, if your enemy has a max drag and max balloon in its CC, use the second poison spell as soon as the balloon is dead. It is said on the cocwiki that poison spells just add up, and that you can use them all at once, but that's false, if you stack them it deals less total damage than if you use them one after the other. The optimal timing I found is about 9-13s between each, maybe I'll make an article about that later.
Now that the CC troops are dead you can finish to trigger the bombs.
2 - Send hogs and heal Edit
Be careful with this part, because it needs extreme speed and precision. Do not think too much, the thinking should be done in the preparation part... So I'll describe it shortly:
- send your BK as meat shield,
- immediately send all your hog riders with two or three fingers, in the direction of two or three buildings,
- add your CC hogs,
- activate your BK's power to heal him,
- use your healing spells as planned, just before the hogs should be entering in their area.
Now you can slow the pace.
3 - Erase the base Edit
This part should start at the very moment you used your spell first healing spell. What is difficult is to clean and think about the next spells at the same time. If the base is not too hard, you can wait for your three spells to be used to start cleaning up.
Send your archers/barbarians you have left, at the corners, and a wizard at each corner left. Next, if the enemy's BK is alive, you should try to kill him with 3-4 wizards in an arc of a circle. If you can, wait for your own BK to challenge him before sending these assassins wizards. You can also kill surviving skeletons using two wizards. Finally, drop the rest of your wizards at the sides of the base and next to your (maybe) alive BK.
Now you can enjoy watching this city burn, as emperor Nero in the Great Fire of Rome...