Way of the Berserker
The way of the Berserker is a rather rare play style in Boom Beach. At the time of writing the original author of this article had only seen two other than himself in roughly 300 bases, friend or foe. An updated estimate after more extended gameplay would put less than 1 in 200 players as Berserkers.
Compared to the vast majority of players who are Generalists, upgrading a mixture of their attack and defense structures and tech depending on what they feel they need the most of and being a jack-of-all-trades, the main aspect of a Berserker is that they completely ignore on purpose all defensive structures and technology (a.k.a. mines) in order to focus entirely on attack tech. They also are usually permanently Suiciding their HQ on the beach in order to keep their Victory Point count down in order to keep reasonable-level targets on their map that don't have too much of a tech difference.
Because of the lack of defense technology Berserkers need to follow a very specific strategy when it comes to gaining and spending resources on their upgrades, especially when they get to the very high upgrade levels of the tech. These strategies revolve around two core principals:
1) Don't Steal What You Can't Spend
If an easy-to-defeat player with a large mass of resources has showed up on your map, but you have a slow building upgrade going, a slow tech upgrading in your Armory, you've done all the explorations in your current map and your sub is in the middle of a dive, there is literally zero point in hitting that player at that time. You won't be able to do anything with the resources and will just make yourself a target. The extra VP gain won't help either as it could make new player bases on your map be too high a level for you to handle. Leave him alone until a more opportune moment. The same thing goes for the large resource Terror bases unless the event is close to finishing and you can still beat the current base.
2) Prep to Blitz
Since you have no defense you need to be able to grab all the resources you need for an upgrade very, very quickly and spend them the moment you can. Therefore, you need to prep ALL of your potential resource sources in readiness for this:
- Defeatable and rich player bases on the map, waiting until the middle of a Terror event to refresh bases is a good idea to try and catch someone in the middle of a big buildup. Remember, the resources shown that you can get from a base the instant you first scout it never change no matter how long you wait to attack them. Note, Scouting a base does not mean when they show up on your map, it is when you directly look at the base. So even if you have a bunch of player bases show up, DO NOT LOOK AT THEM until a Terror event is active. If you're lucky one or more might be up long enough for a cycle-through by the time Terror shows up, so if your eventual scouting of them doesn't turn up a rich target you can immediately cycle them for another chance at a rich target.
- Waiting for one of the NPC events like Dr. Terror or Gearheart.
- Sending your Submarine on a dive for a good chunk of building resources but not collecting from it until the moment you need them. You can even click on a finished Submarine to see what it has without accidentally collecting them, unlike a resource boat.
- Resource boats. Remember in particular, the Gold boat has 100% perfect protection so you can leave it as long as you like. The other ones, not so much; if someone nabs one of your resource bases you will lose some of it.
- The OP reward boat.
- The VP daily reward boat.
- Trees and rocks on your main base and resource bases.
- NPC bases (as an emergency backup).
The last 5 of the list above can be grabbed at will when you want (unless you need to grab the VP or OP boats before you lose them), so focus on getting what you can from the players and special NPC event first. Rip through them like the hand of God, get your upgrades started then sit back and have a beer :)
A couple of other key aspects:
- Since you will be attacking a lot, you should only upgrade your troops to a level that you can reasonably afford to replace if you have very little gold on hand and therefore have to rely on your boat and base income rate.
- Do not forget about upgrade Leapfrogging. If you cancel an upgrade (with the exception of building a Statue) you get half the spent resources back. It might sound like a waste, but during the timer of that upgrade it acts like a 100% perfect protection for that half-quantity of resources that you spent. If you didn't have to spend any Diamonds to start that upgrade, proving that you were capable of building up that quantity, you can do it again. If with the resources you have at the moment plus the 50% return of cancelling that upgrade you can start a much bigger/more powerful/more important upgrade that is a lot harder to build up enough resources for, DO IT. You will frequently have to do upgrades that cost 8 times the amount of resources your Vault can perfect-protect, and often Leapfrogging upgrades like this can be the only way to start them.
- For Statue choices, completely and utterly ignore Blue statues (though build through them to eventually recycle the Masterpieces into power powder), the Power Stone Chance statue (the most useless statue in existence; you have to be able to beat a base to get stones from it, so if you want more just go kill more people) and any Green statue that doesn't give you at least a 30% increase in Gold production. You should also only devote one statue slot each to Gold and Resource Reward, at most one MP and Guardian for Gunboat Energy with the rest being red; properly positioned troops can do 20 times the damage of your gunboat. At first the Gold one might sound odd for an attack-focused Berserker, but think about this: you only upgrade your troops to levels that you can reasonably afford to replace with your main gold production. The best un-powdered Gold masterpiece gives +50% gold production which means you can afford 50% pricier troops. Going by the average stat boosts and costs of the troops and provided you upgrade your troops accordingly once you get one, that one 50% gold boost statue gives about as much of a boost to your troops as four perfect red Guardians, two of each type. So it is definitely worth it during earlier buildup. Once you get to the higher levels (at least HQ 16), the Gold statue can be traded out; your raiding plus carefully keeping at least your Vault's perfect-protection amount available should cover your troop costs.
- If you were to focus only on attack tech and not upgrade your troops to unaffordable levels you will eventually find that you literally run out of stuff to upgrade; attack tech by itself does not give you enough XP to unlock the next HQ level, so ironically Berserkers will often also have maxed or close to maxed resource buildings. If you have been focused like this from a very early stage, the level 34-37 stretch between HQ levels 15 and 16 is especially brutal for this.
- Do not wait to upgrade your HQ once you've unlocked the next tier, unless you can't currently store enough of a resource to pay for it without masses of Diamonds. You need the new tech levels that it will unlock.
- This is one of the rarest known playstyles
- Because of their lack of a desire to focus on defensive base layouts, Berserkers can have some of the most artistically creative bases found anywhere. Shapes, faces and even words have been seen spelled out by the buildings and/or mines of Berserker bases.
- The existence of Berserkers, despite how rare they are, could be the very core reason why the Matchmaking system was introduced in the first place. No Generalist base could stop the attack of an equal-level Berserker unless the latter made critical mistakes during their attack, they simply don't have the required defensive tech. Therefore, if players were matched by level the Berserkers would run rampant, attacking everyone on sight and cycling through dozens of targets a day on their map, likely driving away waves of frustrated new players as they constantly got killed again and again. The Matchmaking system still caters to Berserkers to a degree; many get a great deal of satisfaction from destroying the base of a player that is a significantly higher level than their own, and imagining the look on their face when they see the battle report when they're used to seeing ones from players above their level.