Just as with attacking other players, defense is a numbers game. To put it simply: Work towards unlocking the advanced troops, and train large numbers of troops. The more and better troops that you have, the better you'll fare in battles. If you need time to build your troops up, go to the Wall and set your defense to "Evade". You will lose more resources this way, but your troops will sit out of battles, meaning they will not die, so using evade mode is an easy way to build up your troop numbers.
Upgrade the Wall in order to increase defensive bonuses per troop that you have. Upgrade your Sentinel in order to better detect when you have an impending attack or when someone has spied on you. Use your various researches that upgrade troop life, attack and defense, to strengthen your entire army, and send your troops on frequent attack missions so that your generals can gain some easy levels.
Train more Spies and upgrade Clairvoyance in order to be able to assess more information about the enemy, such as troop numbers and troop types, as well as resource numbers. You can spy on other players, Grodz bases and Anthropus Camps. If you want to get troop numbers fairly easily, though, simply send a minimally-sized army on a suicide mission, then go read the battle report. You'll see all of the troops that participated in the battle.
After each battle, you can recover the troops that you lost if you have enough Rubies to spend, but any troops that are lost are gone for good and replacements must be trained. If you have rubies to spend, you can also use them to buy various buffs in the store that can power up your troops.
Your dragon also has these same abilities, which can be seen by going to the "Gear" area of the Dragon's Keep. Once your Dragon is able to be used in battle, the game changes, since they will add massive amounts of clout to your battle effort. The higher you upgrade the Dragon's Keep and the better the gear, the more powerful your Dragon will be, which will make it easy to defeat almost any player who has not unlocked their Dragon yet.
How to win battles in Dragons of Atlantis: Heirs of the Dragon
Winning battles is essentially a numbers game. You start off with nearly-worthless Conscripts, which are good for attacking level 1 Wilds and… well, not much else. Your first goal should be to ignore the Conscripts and start unlocking new troops. Porters will carry your stolen resources back with them, so always make sure to have a good supply of them on hand.
Halberdiers and Minotaurs are worthwhile early on. Train large numbers of those two, especially the Minotaurs. Longbowmen will be unlocked next, and due to their range, they are great for attacking from the back and not taking damage while the Minotaurs and others fight at the front. The short range troops will be the first ones to take damage while the long range troops will only take damage once the short range troops have been killed.
As you continue further you'll unlock the Swift Strike Dragons, which are a strong troop, and in large numbers they are good for winning most of the Grodz battles, as well as defeating levels 3-5 Anthropus Camps. Battle Dragons are far more powerful than Swift Strike Dragons, and should be good for defeating up to 8 of the Grodz Battles, as well as higher level Anthropus Camps.
You can also unlock your Armored Transports, which, like the Porters, are a carrier troop, but they are far more heavily defended and carry far more resources with them.
Finally, your top 2 troops that you can unlock are the Giants and the Fire Mirrors. These two troops are extremely powerful, and will help you win the final two Grodz battles, which will then allow you to unlock the Great Dragon in battle. Once you have these troops, the high level Anthropus Camps will be made short work of, and you'll easily be able to defeat other players, especially by constantly training more and more of them.
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