There is one important principle in antwar.io that stands far above the rest - some teammates can not be helpful at all and may be a waste of food, space, and combat strength. Your best two options are to:
play with a team of known players, preferably with some sort of external communication; if you have played with them before and know that they are dependable, allow them in. play solo and click the "lock" button (for teams not including black or red).
Take note of how many teams and players are initially present. That factor may change without any notice to you during the round, however it is crucial to have a rough estimate of the self-aware ant population during the transition from early to middle game.
Group Strategy Edit
There are a few important principles to know when in a group.
Make sure to focus primarily on communication (within a nest can work, but it is best if you play with other people externally and talk about the game before actually entering to figure out "what actions mean what" so no chat or verbal communication is needed). For example, a controlled queen is placing dirt near the entrance, it means for another player to take it to the surface to be discarded.
Hatch eggs as fast as the nest will possibly allow. Dig out for moist dirt patches and find food to support the brood and queen.
Keep in mind of where you place aphids. Make sure no players take them underground where they cannot generate food, and make sure they leave them in the closest foliage feature to harvest a permanent food supply from them.
Divide roles amongst yourselves. There are many tasks to handle and little time to get them done. There are five pillars of work that can be done. Foraging is done by hunters. They find loose food, harvest food from aphids, and kill prey/predators for sustenance to bring back to the nest for feeding. Nest work is done by nurses. These protect the nest with their lives while feeding the queen and brood and moving items to different locations in the colony. Excavation is done by diggers. They create dead-end tunnels, expand the nest size, and build protective borders underground. Combat is done by fighters. These ward off or engage in raids, create defense systems underground and outside of the nests, and lead AI into battles on the surface. Exploration is done by scouts. They look for unattended aphids, find enemy nests, and search for other landmarks.
Group Raids Edit
Group raiding is difficult, especially since it is suggested that at least two other players remain within the team's nest for protection and that two players should always raid together and with AI followers. There are multiple ways to raid and multiple purposes for raiding enemy nests. If you find an empty nest with nothing remaining, and if the nest is located near another nest being used by an enemy, make sure to close it up as fast as possible as not to be used by an enemy team. If you raid a functional nest, there are a few ways you could do so in a group. Utilize a nearby abandoned nest to dig out into the enemy's. Find yourself in trouble with the other enemy ants? Use this as an escape area as not to run by the enemy's entrance where most will be contained.
If your nest is near theirs, you can go underground and dig a winding path to their nest. Only you would be prepared for the difficult run back, so they make take longer to get back to you and raid on your own. In early-game, entering directly into their nest with many ally ants to take them down is good. However, your side may be too weak to take them on just yet. A few key points and actions should be taken beforehand. Wait until you are hungry. Quickly consume a food and gather your provisions. Track enemy pheromones. Make sure that some hunting parties are away for food while you raid them.
Be prepared to fight and gather resources. Many enemies may be about, and while at it, the remaining ally ants should take away developing ants and food to raise as the nest's own. Gather the possible aphids near their entrance and bring back to your own nearby bush.
Group Defense Edit
When an enemy party brings over hordes of their AI goons for the goal of killing your queen, there are several ways a group can defend themselves.
Hide the queen(s)! The queen is the most important ant in the entire group. Make sure to leave her in a chamber with moist soil, other ally ants, a few pellets of food, and to have her protected with several layers of dirt around her.
Sacrifice the queen(s)! If the enemy greatly outnumbers or kills off all remaining allies, the best action to take is a swift yet painful death. Switch to the queen ant player and direct her into the enemy's mandibles where she is to face a, quite literally, crushing defeat.
Make corridors narrow and winding. It will take more time for a raid to navigate through and give the allies several seconds to make a hasty escape. Put narrow "dead end" trails along the corridors. To use the full power and skill of subterranean architecture, add these to confuse enemies and make them take even more time to find your nest.
Send strong battalions both directly outside nests and surrounding the entrances underground. This will provide a large buffer against enemies and may help catch stray mobs that wander into the nearby area.
Queen Ant Tutorial Edit
Assuming you spawn as the queen, pick a location that fits the following criteria: See those brown/white specks on the ground in this image? They aren’t just there to look pretty. The light dots represent dry soil where your nest will be able to store food without spoiling. The dark dots represent moist soil, where your eggs can survive and grow. Find an area that has decent patches of both nearby. Bonus points if it has some food nearby, but that’s not absolutely necessary. Does the area have a bush/grass in it? Take cover underneath to provide lasting protection and a possible external aphid farm.
Isn’t close to another nest (could be an advantage if they are not advanced, but generally is too risky.) Do a quick circle to look for nests / other queens on the move.) Isn’t too close to a corner of the map – makes your nest very easy to locate and find again once players start hunting. This also makes your hunting and food hauling more time-consuming as less prey will end up within a decent range of you. This entire process should be done as quickly as possible. Generally speaking, you’ll be in a much better situation if you can get ants hatching as soon as possible.
Limited Duties Edit
Queen ants are unable to leave the nest. They cannot fight as strong as other ants and must be fed often. A queen cannot:
- Discard dirt outside the nest.
- Be left hungry for over 2 minutes.
- Be placed in a vulnerable position where easily accessed by enemies.
However, a player using the queen is able to:
- Gain high attention by AI ants. They will follow the player queen around to feed her, care for her brood, bring the brood nearby, or simply stick by her side without being summoned via "follow."
- Use her reproductive ability to take care of her brood.
- Possess the power to move quickly about the nest. When as the queen and placing brood members on near plots of moist dirt, other AI ants will move the brood to the same location.
Early Game (3 to 10 AI Allies) Edit
After picking your nest location:
Ensure you have at least one moist (dark brown) and dry (light tan, cracked) tile available to your ants and queen.
Look for easy food: look to see if there’s any pre-generated caverns available, there will often be dry soil spots with small amounts of food on them; dig to these if possible. There also might have been some food on the surface already available – get your ants to follow you and dismiss them when they’re close to the food, and they’ll automatically take it back and place it on dry soil in your nest. Hunt: If you have 6-8 food in your nest already, disregard this step and begin the next. If you have at least some food, take two of your ants with you, leaving one to feed the larva and queen. If you have none, take all of your ants by clicking +5 follow. Look for prey, bring your ants close and dismiss them – they’ll automatically begin attacking the prey, and will gather one food each once the creature is killed. At this point, take food back with them, as every bit will count. Do more trips to the corpse if you need to harvest the rest of the food. While hunting, take mental notes of any enemy ants or hives you see.
Do NOT lose any ants to combat or spiders during this stage – this could lose you the game as you’ll fall behind enemy nests in progress.
Dig: This is where your nest placement choices will shine. Dig out a semi-secluded area of moist soil (ideally 6+ tiles) where you can place your queen, and the workers can feed eggs. An ideal nest area also has a dry soil area nearby for easily accessible food storage. Extra space around this area will benefit your colony. Install a choke point (1 tile space) between the entrance and this nursery area; if you’re attacked, this will mitigate damage by limiting the amount of ants that can fit through at once, and allowing your recently hatched ants to gang up on the ants that make it through. Keep digging until you begin to get low on food – hopefully by this point you’ve got 5 AI ants or more, and you’re ready for the next stage of the colony.
Mid Game (11 to 20 AI Allies) Edit
Middle game starts after you’ve got enough AI ants to kill a spider (5) and a few to leave behind to feed/defend the queen and larva - it ends when you’ve got enough ants to attack an enemy hive without suffering severe losses to your population. During this phase, you must balance hunting and nest management. Ensure you have enough food to sustain your queen and larva for a several in-game days and nights. Take a hunting party of 5, 10, or 15.
At this point, your ideal prey is a spider. To kill one, corral your hunting party, engage the spider by getting close to it, and dismiss your ants. 5 ants is enough to take down a spider with only one or two casualties, assuming all of your ants fully fight. If you’re without a hunting party you can also engage the spider, lead it back to your hive, summon your ants and dismiss them at the spider (who will still be nearby) for easy food collection.
Super food is dropped by spiders, along with some regular food. When this is fed to the queen, it increases her egg laying rate for some time. When fed to a hungry larva, it will create a soldier ant which has slower movement yet has superior combat abilities. If you eat it, it will create a temporary speed boost for a short time – this is not worth it; make sure that stuff gets fed to the queen or larvae. This is necessary to build a solid late-game military with plenty of ants.
If you have at least 5 ants to spare, you can potentially also rob any weaker nests. When attempting this, try to immediately lead your horde to their food/larva supply if it isn’t well defended and dismiss them – they’ll steal food/larva and run instead of pointless fighting. Doing this is a gamble, don’t risk any ant population you can’t afford to lose. It might be worth solo scouting out the enemy colony quickly before sending your own troops down.
As ant population sharply rises across the map during middle game, you’ll notice that there’s much less food/prey available, but your means of hunting are far better than they were. Don’t be afraid to skirmish over large food piles, especially if they contain blue food. One or two ants lost is no big deal when you can raise 3 new soldier ants to replace it. If there’s an enemy colony nearby that’s beginning to harass you, food deprivation can be a solid strategy – look for their tracks and kill their slow, helpless AI ants returning with food, and steal their hard work before they can make it back.
Keep mental notes of your nest’s levels of ants, eggs/larva and food. Never allow the food to become dangerously low. Assuming you’re doing well, your population will begin to rise quickly. In late middle game, it’s crucial to keep many ants around to defend from raiders.
Late Game (Over 20 AI Allies) Edit
This will ultimately be a lot like midgame, except the pace will increase and combat between colonies will turn from skirmishes and robberies into battles with many casualties.
Hopefully, you’ve fortified your nest, egg zone and queen. You might notice some moist/dry tiles are disappearing – this is called tile degradation. If you picked out a good area at the start, you’ll be able to quickly tunnel your way over to fresh soil tiles.
At this stage, keep your unit out of combat as there will be nobody to prevent the AI from making dumb decisions if you fall.
Play your strategy smart – if there’s several large/competent hives, it’s not worth it taking a heavy loss and leaving your defense forces vulnerable to enemy attack, especially if your attack fails and you gain few resources from it.
Late-game can last a long time, so don't stop periodically hunting/fortifying unless you're in imminent danger or see an obvious opportunity for ill-gotten gains or victory.