Starter/Basic Strategy Guide

Posted May 26 2021 - 19:26
As kinda suggested by Lucek, I'm going to write out a basic strategy guide. This guide will cover the basics of building an economy, an army, combat, operations, acres/locations, diplomacy, and build templates as well as leveling up - not necessarily in that order.

This guide is not meant to lock you into any particular way of playing. While the concepts discussed here will be helpful for just about any build, in order to truly excel you'll need to take what you learn and try to improve upon it and find new ways to better yourself and your build to create a more personalized style of play.

If you want to skip to a particular main section, use Ctr + F (or Cmd + F) and type in the section you desire from the ones below and you should be taken right to it. Each main section may contain multiple smaller subsections relevant to the original topic. Its a lot of reading, but I do recommend to read through everything if you have the time if you are a newer or inexperienced player. Throughout this jumbled mess I've also included links to the actual guide, and a link to one of my old forum posts, in which I go over unit upkeep and other random information - some of the information in my post has been implemented into the official guide over time.

1. Builds
2. Leveling & Economy
3. Locations
4. Combat & Operations
5. Diplomacy
6. Other/Notes

1. Builds

The first thing you should do when creating a town, is determine how you primarily want to play. There are various heroes, special units, techs, research that can shape how you play the game.

The basic builds you'll see people as in outbreak are as follows: Offense, Defense, Economy, and Operations. There are more advanced ways of playing which may combine multiple of these roles into a single build, but these are the basic archetypes in Outbreak.

Experiment with the basic roles and consider trying out hybrid roles to better match your preferred playstyle as many heroes, specials, and techs work well with multiple playstyles and can be used effectively in a variety of situations.

Here are some relevant sections of the official Guide, in relation to making builds:

In addition to planning your build, depending on the area you signup in, you may desire more or less public order for your hero. More experienced areas will require either more active consideration for your order, or a larger bonus.

1.1 Offense

Offense towns are characterized by a more direct and aggressive playstyle. They are great for taking out other players if one desires a PvP experience, or for NPC factions for PvE.

Heroes that work well for offensive towns usually have a high attack bonus, but you might also see more advanced offensive players running with some mix of tax bonuses or defense thrown in as well.

Popular default heroes for offensive towns include General Johnson, General Ironside, and occasionally The Gouverneur.

Specials used by offense towns can vary from player to player, but popular picks can include Assault Bikers, Navy Seals, and Heavy Mortars but other units are not uncommon either.

As for the Tech tree, many will spec into the left or middle-left side of the tree for bonuses towards units and convoy travel time.

Research will depend on a number of factors, but research that improves attack, *base unit stats for your special, force readiness, food, and cash income are generally helpful.

1.2 Defense

Defense towns tend to be characterized by a lack of interaction - as they cannot attack very well due to lower attack bonuses. That's not to say that defense towns can't attack other players or more well defended locations but it tends to be infrequent. Once they do control a location however, with the right setup it can be near impossible to capture.

Defense towns will often use heroes with high defense and/or op defense, but you may see some with bits of tax or attack thrown in. Some of the more common default heroes for defense towns include Officer Clark, The Gouverneur, or Mayor Anderson.

Specials for defense towns are generally one of a couple things, Marines and Heavy mortars being the most frequent, but Quads and snipers can also work extremely well.

Defense towns will generally stay on the mid-right and right side of the Technology Tree, for the bonuses towards defense and structures.

Research is more or less the opposite of offense town though it still can vary depending on numerous factors, in general research that improves defense, op defense, wood, stone, and power production can be good choices to consider.

1.3 Economic

Economic towns are focused on resource production and trade - cash is king, both literally and figuratively. As other players in outbreak are actual people rather than NPCs, a good eco player can use diplomatic skills and auctions to make up for a lack of actual bonuses by trading for what they need to get the upper hand.

Eco towns will generally stick to heroes with high tax and public order bonuses, possibly with some defense or op defense mixed in. Common ones include Merchant Jesse, Mayor Anderson, and The Gouverneur.

As eco towns are more focused on trade or support rather than actual combat, specials they use might be more focused on defense or have other uses such as freeing up vehicles for trade. With that in mind, specials like Navy Seals or Assault Bikers/Quads may be more useful for their unique properties, as well any special with good defenses.

Eco towns will primarily head down the mid-right or right side of the tech tree, for bonuses related to defense, structures, and trade convoy protection.

Research for eco towns primarily focuses on resource production, and if smuggler tech isn't chosen, potentially concealment to better hide convoys if trading long-distance.

1.4 Ops

Towns with a focus on operations tend to be more covert, rather than being overtly aggressive, allowing them to take out defenses or steal supplies from others before either engaging with their own army or prompting an ally to hit their target.

Ops towns tend to have heroes with decent ops attack/defense possibly with some attack or tax bonuses. Agent smith is the most common default ops hero, but General Johnson or Merchant Jesse is also sometimes used.

Specials for ops builds is almost always Navy Seals, but snipers may be used by ops players playing more defensively.

Ops towns will usually stick down the middle of the tech tree for bonuses related operations.

Research for Ops towns consists mainly of anything that boosts ops and ops energy, as well as bonuses towards agents as they'll typically be the primary unit in an ops town even if an agent special unit replacer was not chosen.

2. Leveling & Economy

Once you've figured out a general idea of the build you want to go with, create your town and start the game. Leveling is a slow, but handy process. The missions provide a basic idea of how to do things, and provide a fair amount of energy after completion. Its also required to access the Tech tree, and later, Research.

First thing you generally want to do, is adjust your policies. The inventory tab has a few things you can adjust in regards to food and tax policies, in addition to disabling power in your town.

Once you've adjusted your policies, you want to build up an early economy - I'll try not to delve on this too much until the actual economy section, but you want to be able to support the necessary troops and structures in your town to be able to level up. Wood and food are handy early on, so woodcutters and farms are always nice to start with before building up more quarries for more advanced buildings.

From there, follow the missions and continue building up a basic economy to support them - some people will choose certain town backgrounds to help with early missions, namely market town for the starting apartments. In addition, having higher tax and public order bonuses can make the process a little easier and faster.

Unless you know a town is abandoned and is weak enough to raid for a large amount of resources, DO NOT ATTACK OTHER PLAYERS OR LOCATIONS during the leveling process, unless it is required (level 33 mission requires an acre capture). It is often more problematic to attack early than it is beneficial, and many players who do it end up having their leveling process prolonged immensely due to the troop losses and early meaningless wars.

2.1 Economy

Alright, so economy is highly important to the leveling process, but the leveling process is only the early game.
When it comes to an early game economy, I personally like to aim for roughly 100 woodcutters, 100 quarries, and 150-200 farms in my town before or shortly after obtaining level 40. This provides a solid all-around income to support enough troops for missions and early acre capturing, without compromising a town's overbuild.

Once the mid-game begins, I like to spend my time replacing structures and building enough power to support what I have or plan to build. Houses and apartments are slowly replaced by flats, until I've got at least 40-60 flats sometimes building more. Once I've got my flats I build casinos, each casino can cover enough population for 2 flats, so if you build 60 flats you only need 30 casinos for example.

Refineries are the next big thing I build, I'm usually in the negatives for fuel, but I try to have enough refineries to cover at least half or more of my acre fuel costs so that I don't spend too much on fuel.

For power I tend to go windmills, but with some investment into their research biomass powerplants are more efficient in the long run in terms of build space and are less vulnerable to ops.

Depending on the town I'm building, I may end up scrapping all of my defensive structures to use the space and resources for other buildings - this is primarily more useful for builds/playstyles which intend to have their army act as their town's main line of defense. For builds in which your army may be away from home, or guarding locations defensive structures are much more useful.

Stacking checkposts or bunkers isn't uncommon for some defensive towns, as once you've got enough of them it becomes fairly difficult to remove them even if they are easy to op. When I am building bunkers and checkposts, I like to have around 50 or so checkposts and at least 30 bunkers - I don't usually build roadblocks, but even just 20 or 30 of them can be fairly handy at keeping ops away from checkposts if you don't have too many and are raising ops level somewhat. If you are stacking checkposts in the hundreds though, its best to just scrap roadblocks as they aren't going to do much unless you build a hundred or so to match.

**As for garages and unit buildings, I tend to scrap unit buildings that aren't relevant. I then build up enough of my unit structures to have at least a couple thousand of my special unit and supporting units. Garages are built up to have enough vehicles to be able to move my army, and possibly some extra for trade. Warehouses are usually around 5 to 20 depending on how much I plan on trading that round.

For late-game economy, once you've got most/all of your important and expensive structures built, you can usually get away with spamming resource production buildings like farms or cabins to further boost your economy, since you don't need to care as much about overbuild affecting things like flats, since you've already got them built.

3. Locations

Locations are a large part of both your economy, and your PvPvE experience. They can double down on resources you already have plenty of, or can be used to compensate for ones you lack, or act as insurance against attacks. Not to mention the special characteristics of government locations, which provide unique benefits for their owner and often clan.

Official Guide stuffs:

3.1 Acres

Acres are a great way to boost your income while avoiding the harsh overbuild penalties that can be present from building in your town. When capturing them, try to go for nearby Fallen Angels aacres first, then once you've got a slightly larger army go for Vipers and Chargers. Black Seals, Diamond Devils, and Red Boars are fairly difficult, and need a fair bit more preparation to take out, so avoid them early on unless you feel extremely confident in your army's attack bonuses and score.

The acres you grab can play a large role in how you manage your town and build. For example, I like to primarily go for Forests and Hills, this allows me to expand my town rapidly by mass building flats and farms keeping my food income safe in the case my acres are attacked but leaving me more vulnerable to direct hits.

However, there are also benefits to doing the opposite - with a town focused more on wood and stone, you can quickly build up a bunch of plains acres and defend them with structures. This ensures that if your town is hit, you suffer few losses from starvation and desertion though highly dependent on your acres to survive.

Using acres, you can decentralize your economy in various ways to protect against different kinds of threats.

3.2 Government Facilities

Government Facilities are harder to capture than acres, but provide very large bonuses. Some locations are highly fought over, such as Fairgrounds, Military Camp, and Waterworks while others like the Car Depot or Refineries tend to be left alone by most.

These facilities are much more limited than acres, so not everyone will be able to grab one but they can be powerful if you can both capture and keep them. For the most part, unless you've done a decent job of engaging in diplomacy, I'd leave most of the more highly sought after locations alone for the major clans and towns to fight over, and instead attempt to go for something most people are willing to pass up or are less willing to attack. Even the facilities that people often ignore have decent bonuses, and provide a fair bit to your score if you aren't too picky about locations.

4. Combat & Operations

Outbreak is a pvp game by its very nature, with pve elements. So understanding combat is extremely important and can easily improve any player's ability to take down even strong opponents if carefully done.

Here's some useful/relevant official guide entries to consider checking out:

4.1 Army Composition

Army composition is extremely important to Outbreak, each unit serves a purpose. I like to think the units in Outbreak follow a sort of "rock-paper-scissors" rule in a somewhat loose sense.

Civil units are easily spammed and take large amounts of casualties, making them good cannon fodder to protect other units from mortars or high kill ratio armies. Police have higher stats than militia, but are far more expensive in upkeep and better serve a role in keeping the peace in your town, while militia are cheap and extremely expendable making them perfect meat shields.

Soldiers are good all around, having high defense/attack and low death rates allowing them to survive most encounters fairly well though their moderate kill rate doesn't typically take out many enemies.

Agent's high kill rate is very punishing to bikers, bikers on the other hand have improved rates against mortars and excel at taking them out and surviving the encounter, meanwhile the high kill rate and mortar phase provided by mortars obliterates agents who's moderate death rate will look anything but moderate in that fight.

With this all in mind, its a good idea to mix a couple different unit types together - for example, throwing in militia with agents can drastically reduce casualties to agents in some fights. Toss in some mortars to that composition, and you've got an army with an extremely high kill rate and destructive power, that's able to take minimal casualties all things considered - though this army would be heavily reliant on vehicles and quite slow to move around the map.

With all that said, I'd generally focus your army around your special unit in some fashion, as your special unit is stronger than other standard units. After all, there's no reason to have a special unit if you don't put it to good use. Some specials, specifically Quads, are extremely unique and versatile, and can considerably change how you may want to compose your army.

4.2 Operations

Operations are extremely handy - if you aren't using them, do it. Even if you're just going to do scavenging at the end of the day, put it to use doing something.

Leveling up operations is easy enough, perform a aggressive operation or use government missions. I personally like to perform aggressive ops, when you're early in the leveling process just unlocking aggressive operations many towns lack defense against them and are vulnerable to simple infiltrations or gather infos - these are very good at raising your op level early on, before eventually switching your ops over to fallen angels acres and such once people have built up their towns a bit.

With a higher operations level you not only have more energy, but you also have a better op attack score and op defense score. Higher op defense without having to build structures is extremely handy, especially if you are going to build things like checkposts or have a hero with a high op defense bonus. This can effectively make you immune to ops from other players, aside from missiles which ignore op defense.

Operations can be used in conjunction with pretty much any build, without any real investment into op bonuses, making it extremely handy for any player to utilize. While having little to no op bonuses will prevent you from cracking some of the harder strongholds, the extra op levels and energy will better allow you to defend yourself and perform extra actions such as managing refugees and order, scavenging supplies, or using tactics on acres.

4.3 Battle
Winning battles is actually fairly easy, especially with the battle simulator, which can be found on the Attack tab by clicking on the little monitor icon with an X in the upper right of the screen.

With the battle simulator, all you really need to do is get a couple of infiltration reports on a target, put the information into the simulator, add the appropriate bonuses and what you want to send, and then run the simulation. Extremely simple, and you'll get a report in your inbox with what the battle would look like - just remember that you aren't able to adjust enemy special units or research yet, and that infiltrations provide approximate troop counts not exact counts. So expect a degree of variation in the scores from the simulator and your actual attacks.

Some people prefer to do the math manually with a calculator still - I'm one of those people, so I'll go through explaining how to do it. It's slower, but more accurate if done right as you can account for things like research or special units.

For determing attack score, first take the amount of a unit you are planning on sending to attack, and multiply it by its attack score. Keep doing this until you've got your total base attack score of your army without bonuses. Once you've done that, take the total score and multiply it by your total attack bonus - bear in mind your bonuses are a percentage, so you'll have to turn it into a fraction when multiplying.

So for example lets say my special is assault bikers, I have a 50% attack bonus from hero and a 25% attack bonus from research and I am attacking with an army of 1000 of every unit (militia, police, agent, assault, soldier, and mortar). This is how I'd calculate it:

(1x1000+2x1000+4x1000+9x1000+6x1000+4x1000)x1.75 = 45,500 total attack score

You can also do it this way:
1x1000+2x1000+4x1000+9x1000+6x1000+4x1000 = 26,000 base attack score
26,000x.75 = 19,500 bonus score
26,000+19,500 = 45,500 total

But its slower - doing the fraction the way I did in the first equation skips some of the steps in the second one, as it includes both the bonus attack score and the base attack score whereas in the second one you need to add the bonus and the base attack score together once you're done.

Calculating defense works fairly simularly, except in addition to calculating units, you also have to add in defense structures and base location defense before multiplying by the bonus - acres have a base 50 defense score, government facilities have a base of 300, and towns have a score of 10*town level.

Just remember to use the appropriate score values for the situation - you don't want to calculate a defense score using unit's attack values by mistake for example.

5. Diplomacy

Probably the most entertaining aspect of Outbreak, at least in my opinion, is the diplomacy aspect. Aside from the basic alliances, non-aggression pacts, clans, and wars you can also talk to people set up individual diplomacy in that way.

This can be extremely entertaining, as you can work together with others, work out profitable trade deals, or mislead them into traps among effectively infinite possibilities - the only limiting factor with diplomacy in Outbreak, is what your mind can come up with.

I don't recommend being toxic of course, some shit talk and joking is encouraged and deemed fun for most of course, after all its fine to make enemies for a round or two, but one should avoid making permanent enemies where possible - after all, your enemies are people too, and clans shift and change over time. You might find that your enemies from a couple rounds ago are now your best trading partner or ally for a little while whereas former allies are may be engaging you in a war.

In addition to that, with no limit on clan size, you can easily take the opportunity to speak with and directly ask advice or make friends with highly experienced players - many long-time and experienced players are happy to help others out with advice and tips/tricks. So not only can you better protect yourself by having strength in numbers, it can be an extra opportunity to better yourself as a player.

So send messages to people every now and then, you'd be surprised what a little diplomacy can do.

6. Other/Notes

This next section basically covers notes and a few extra resources to read or check out. With all that said, I hope the information and basics here helps to further your game, and wish you the best of luck in future rounds!

*all builds should have some focus on boosting their special unit, if it has research to boost its base stats - in addition, building projects is also handy for any build.

**always have at least 1 police station to train agents, even if you aren't dedicated to ops, being able to perform basic functions like improving public order or managing population is handy for any build

In case you missed it the other 300 times I posted it, here's a link to the official guide which has tons of great information and right below that I'll shill for my own unit upkeep/other things post: