Alden Boon

Play Clash of Clans? You’re Gonna Be The Next Steve Jobs

21/09/2015

Half-naked, stunted men who sport canary-yellow hair and Winnfield beards. Hoity-toity markswomen who let fly their arrows with precision. Green slimy sack-toting creatures that run amuck at the sight of glinting gold. We can only be talking about Supercell’s Clash of Clans (CoC). The online multiplayer game has just celebrated its three years. In this time, it has garnered a whooping 15 million — and counting — downloads on Google Play alone. Liam Neeson has starred in a Super Bowl advertisement, in which he channels his killing-machine character Bryan Mills.

Yet the world’s population stands divided. There are the addicts, glued to their screens and obsessing over their inching progress. Then there are those who frown each time the four staccato notes echo through the air. My 30-something elder sister, who leads a high-powered career as a financial manager, came home one day all flustered because her clan members unceremoniously gave her the boot. My hairstylist, whose teenage son is an addict, decries the cloyingly-colourful and headache-inducing interface.

But little do the naysayers know that playing Clash of Clan really is a sort of initiation for future business moguls. Every time we pick up that smart device to play the game we risk it all. We risk our social standing. We risk our device’s battery life. We risk getting all riled up à la Bryan Mills.

There are so many skills and traits we acquire while playing the game. Is it any wonder we’re actually being groomed by Supercell to be the world’s future leaders?

The Importance of Having a Strategy

CoC’s premise is simple: build an army and attack other bases. Besides the battle scars, what you get when you win are loot in the form of gold and elixir; trophies; and even some bragging rights — you can share your replays with your fellow clan members.

Most CoC players have a go-to strategy. Invested players would be privy to esoteric abbreviations like GoWiWi; GoWiPe; Barch; and Lavaloonion. A well-thought-out strategy is half the battle won. Likewise, conglomerates always have a strategy in hand. To edge towards the $1 trillion market cap, Apple is building an interconnected world where its flagship iPhone is the anchor.

Equally pivotal also is execution. CoC players spend hours assembling phalanxes of wizards and golems and archers and finessing the execution of their attack strategies. Like snowflakes, every rival base is different and so the execution has to be nuanced.

In the Face of Adversity, We Can Adapt

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A coven of necromancing witches gets wiped out. That’s 3 hours of training time (if using one dark barrack) and 6,300 globes of dark elixir down the drain.

But even intricately-devised strategies can be thwarted in a heartbeat. In CoC, bobby traps take the form of giant bombs, hidden teslas that electrocute, and others. Spring traps send your tanking giants careening into mid air and Seeking Air Mines make short work of your Smaug-lite dragons.

When things go awry, critical decisions will then have to be made. Deploy the Calvary or hold the hogs? Send out the big guns — Barbarian King and Archer Queen — or keep them until the very last minute to sway the tide? All of these unfold in fleeting, nail-biting three minutes.

It’s not easy being the head honcho, but someone has got to step up. CoC players do not shy away from responsibility.

The Ability to Move with the Tides

An all-hog-rider strategy used to be the attack du jour, and three stars on a TH9 were almost a guarantee. That is until a game update made them highly susceptible to giant bombs. Two successively-detonated bombs could wipe out the entire platoon of hog riders before you could even finish your gasp.

Every so often, CoC would introduce new elements — the dark spells were added on July 1st — and that means reinventing new strategies and retesting their effectiveness. In the business milieu, this is akin to embracing new trends, and finding new ways to shatter status quos. CoC players are never complacent, and we never rest on our laurels.

Patience and Accountability are a Virtue all CoC Players Have

The all-powerful Inferno Towers, which negate healing effects, take two weeks to erect. It requires tenacity to save 4 million worth of gold just to build a Level 10 Town Hall. The game is replete with Sophie’s choices. “Do I upgrade the skills and expertise of the wallbreaker, or improve the potency of that freeze spell?” Every decision is irreversible and you’d have to live with the consequence of your actions.

It Builds Character

CoC steels players for the dog-eat-dog business milieu. In the real world, cutthroat competitors wrest things from you.  Your ideas and credit are going to get stolen, your clients poached, and your jobs taken.

In CoC, players are pitted against players in their own leagues. New players start out in the Bronze League and slowly rise through the ranks to earn a place in Crystal, Titan or Legend echelons — the realm of elite players. In a utopian world, these players stay in their own leagues and fight their equals… but this isn’t wonderland, Alice. High-level players stake out in lower leagues and prey on amateur players with flawed bastions. They have a field day of purloining easy gold and elixir.

What do you do? Against the might of maxed-out impenetrable bastions and heroes, revenge is not an option; it’s a suicide mission. There’s nothing to do, except get better at your game (literally).

Licking the Wounds of Failures

It happens: 49%. Sometimes that coup de grace — an arrow already let loose; a cleaving sword readied for the last hewing — is curtailed by a breath of a millisecond.

Every CoC player would have to deal with embarrassing attacks; it is a rite of passage. Any claim of an unblemished CoC winning streak would be spurious. The embarrassment is all the more humiliating when it’s a Clan War, where every player is required to pitch in and chalk up the stars.

But every failure is a lesson learnt. Do we wallow in self pity? We do, we do. But we get up and fight again. Because we are soldiers — nay — we are wizards that can conjure up fireballs; barbarians with stout hearts; archers with derrieres that won’t quit; towering and behemoth giants; indestructible Pekkas; fire-breathing dragons; sneaky, hypersonic goblins; wallbreakers: harbingers of destruction; and unyielding golems.

We are the Clash of Clans: future leaders of the world.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alden Boon
Alden Boon is a Quarter-finalist in PAGE International Screenwriting Awards. When he's not busy writing, he pretends he is Gandalf.

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