Meatshields are used frequently due to the fact that most range troops have low health and deal more damage attacking with range than they do with melee. If an enemy unit is within melee range of a range troop, the range troop automatically switches to melee attacking, which can turn deadly for your troops. The longbowmen, for example, deals 80 damage when attacking with range. If they are reached by enemy melee units, they will only deal 5 damage per hit, less than conscripts and equal to spies. Putting into consideration enemy troop defense stats, LBM more than likely end up doing 1 damage per hit.
The most preferred melee troops used as meatshields are troops with decent load capacities, typically the actual transport troops themselves. Atlantis contains 3 types of transport troops: Porters, Armored Transports, and Pack Dragons. While Pack Dragons are too fast and too valuable to use as meatshields, ATs and Porters are popularly used, porters being replaced by ATs quickly due to the increased health, defense, and much larger load capacity.
Possible melee troopsEdit
When load capacity is not a goal and you're looking to deal massive damage, other melee troops can be a better choice. Here are a few common picks:
- Minotaurs: Minotaurs are an inexpensive troop that is easily replaced and commonly trained during power challenges. With strong sanctuary boosts, Minotaurs can rock the battle as a meatshield.
- Granite Ogres: Granite Ogres are truly one of the most combat-effective meatshield troops, as they have the second highest health in the game and are fast enough to get in front of most range troops as well as strong enough to hold their own against most melee troops. They are commonly paired with Lava Jaws.
- Petrified Titans: Titans have a devastating attack power, causing almost any troop that comes within their reach to die within a turn or two. WARNING: Titans have an extremely low speed, so it may not be smart to use them as an offensive meatshield. They are typically used defensively, as they will be the last line of defense (and a good one at that) if all other meatshields fail.
- Shamans: Shamans are relatively new to Atlantis and have already proven their value in battle. Shamans are capable of healing each other and friendly troops by attacking, making them a regenerating meatshield. While they aren't the strongest nor have the highest health in the game, their healing prowess makes them valuable in any battle.
- War Scarabs: War Scarabs are the absolute best meatshield troop in the game, and it unlikely that any troop will be able to challenge it. Scarabs present damage reflect powers, able to reflect melee damage back upon the attacker by 50%. They also have the highest health in the game, even higher than the Granite Ogre, meaning that they can take hit after hit after hit and stay standing (while the damage hurts the attacker at the same time). The biggest downfall to this troop, however, is its food intake, which is 9,500 each troop. Players unable to maintain their food consumption or are too low in power to utilize this troop should avoid using the troop bundles until later.
Not Recommended TroopsEdit
While all melee troops can be used as a meatsheild theoretically, there are many who are very rarely successful and are not recommended unless they are mixed with more appropriate meatshield troops.
- Porters: While porters are used early in the game as meatshields, they are close to useless as you grow more and more powerful. Their low speed, attack, and health barely makes up for their decent load capacity. It is suggested to upgrade to Armored Transports as soon as possible.
- Conscripts: Next to porters, Conscripts are the weakest troop , with one of the lowest attack, life, and defense stats in the game. They are expendable so if you do not care about losing them, they could be used as a meatshield, but do not expect them to survive very long. If you do have to use conscripts as a meatshield, only use them against low level wildernesses and camps, and send LOTS of range troops.
- Giants: These troops are fairly strong for a regular troop, but their slow speed makes them a liability as a meatshield. Meatshields need to be able to move fast enough to get in front of range troops before the enemies reach them, which Giants are unable to do. On defense, however, Giants can prove excellent meatshields in a battle just like Petrified Titans.
Armored Transports are the the most common and most trained troop in the game. Majority of players will have more ATs trained than any other troop. Because of their decent stats, they are used as a meatshield in all battles, from Anthropus Camps and Wildernesses to attacking other players (although attacking players with ATs does present a higher risk of losing ATs).
Armored Transports seem to have a unique effect as a meatshield. Due to some unknown cause in the game's battle mechanics, Smaller amounts of Armored Transports are more successful meatshields than large amounts of stronger melee units, such as Frost Giants.