This is all subject to change due to the only information being from the pioneer server, and not being able to test it yet, it will be updated and strategy added in time, but for now it may help people get an idea of what to expect
All you need to know about the All-out war!
What Is All-Out War?
All-Out War is a new Real Time Strategy (RTS) event, somewhere between a mix of Siege of Winterfell and Glorious Battle. It blends the core mechanics of the structure of three marches using Strategic Skills and buffs from commanders, as seen in Siege of Winterfell, with the map and organizational design elements from Glorious Battle such as 8 factions, leaders needing to declare war on locations and a variety of buildings you will want to control in an effort to work towards controlling the centremost building on the map. These dynamics of the gamemode will mean that communicating with other factions, and coming to arrangements will likely be key to any success.
The map, when zoomed out, shares a very similar structure to that seen in Glorious Battle, with the same 8 factions spread out across the map.
However when zoomed in further, you will see many small villages breaking up the more significant buildings which act as the equivalents to the likes of Merchant Cities or Fortresses in GB. These villages remain significant because you can only declare war on a location that is 1 tile adjacent away from a city or village that your faction is in ownership of.
According to the current rules listed on Pioneer, matchmaking will be done based upon Alliance Score rankings, with 'the top 16 alliances on the game going into the ‘Super Battlefield'. Faction leaders will be assigned in the same way they are in GB, with the 4 officials of an alliance having the ability to declare war on locations and such. During Pioneer testing, declaring war on an unoccupied location took 30 seconds, and declaring war on a location occupied by another faction began a timer of 1 hour. These numbers are likely placeholders for testing purposes, with numbers closer to current GB being more likely to be seen in live.
When you deploy your troops and control them, the map will feel closer to the SoW map due to how it will feel moving your troops around. Despite that, like GB, there are a variety of cities you will want to try and occupy -
• Industrial Cities - are where you can mine brass/silver/obsidian, which are needed to be gathered to build the likes of chariots, and upgrade cities.
• Military Cities - are where you can deploy troops from to reduce march times similar to Fortresses in GB, for the cost of wheat that must have been transported to the site. Like GB, resilience is in effect in All-out War, so you will gain fighting advantages from minimizing your resilience loss deploying from Barracks in Military Cities since your resilience will decay the more distance you travel with your troops.
• Blessing Cities - Increase your Faction's Total Stats.
• Resources Cities - Increase your Faction's Gathering Speed(s).
• Potion Cities - Increase your Faction's Healing Speed.
Inside each city, are different buildings which you will have to interact with in different ways.
• Every city has a Municipal Center (shown below) inside, which needs to be destroyed and then occupied to capture a city. You will have to be close to an allied Municipal Center for certain interactions, such as using wheat to heal your marches or initiating/joining a rally done via a War Chariot.
• Every city also has a Warehouse inside, which is where you can carry resources that your troops have mined inside an Industrial City, or outside in the map itself. Warehouses act as a faction wide bank, and it is where you can both deposit or withdraw wheat, silver, brass and obsidian to use in healing or production of chariots to buff your marches.
• Each city also has 4 City Gates, one on each side (North/East/South/West) and one must be destroyed in order to enter the city.
• There will also be 4 Archer Towers, one in each corner of the city walls. They will attack enemies in range of their attack radius and act as defensive fortifications.
• Military Cities are where you can find Barracks, which are the equivalent of Fortresses in GB, and Armories, which are where you can produce Chariots.
Outside any city, you will also be able to find a variety of resource nodes in the form of wheat fields, and silver/brass/obsidian nodes.
Setting Up Your Troops, And Combat
All-out War will follow the same system for utilizing your troops as seen in Siege of Winterfell, with you being able to pick 3 commanders per march, a dragon, and also event specific vehicles that must be crafted first. Because of this, the same concepts that we have applied to Siege of Winterfell will also exist here, with the likes of passive army size being the stat you will want to push the most to increase your effectiveness. Army Size increase scrolls will not take effect within the event.
Whilst you will actually gain 10% merit for kills you obtain within the event, you won't actually play with your own troops from your castle - you can choose any mix of troops up to 10 million of your highest unlocked unit types within the event map, and if your deployment dies, similar to SoW, some troops are 'seriously wounded' which is effectively dead for the duration of the event, whilst the majority can be healed with speed ups, but also the commanders used are put on a 30 minute cooldown where they cannot be used unless a finite event specific item is used to 'revive them'.
Unlike SoW, healing will use the real world map values for resources, and also Valyrian Steel for T5s, which means that you will likely want to stock up on excess resources to heal large amounts of T4s and if T5s are available to you, you might want to consider how much you use them through the duration of the event due to the difficulties of healing them. The All-out War hospital is in effect infinite in its capacity however, so you could use and 'kill' say 5 million T5s for the first part of the event, and then stick to using T4s and only heal them as it goes on.
If you set up one of your deployments as mono unit/1 troop type, you can convert them to 'special troops' when deploying them - Infantry can become 'Ironclads', Cavalry can become 'Kamikaze Soldiers', Spearmen can become 'Odd Formation Soldiers', and Bowmen can become 'Eagle Eyes'. Doing this will give your units special effects.
Ironclads (mono Infantry) = 30% reduced movement speed, whilst countering all sources of damage and increasing their own counter coefficient by 30%.
• This makes them the prototypical 'tank' unit, giving up mobility for a significant amount of survivability if the tooltip is to be believed, since even Cavalry will go from dealing 200% damage to them, to 50%. (There is some debate over whether the tooltip for Ironclads indicates that they in fact effectively counter all unit types as opposed to just taking reduced damage as if they countered all unit types, but we need the event to go live to test this interaction before we have a real answer).
Kamikaze (mono Cavalry) = 25% increased damage taken from counterattacks, in exchange for 10% increased out of combat movement speed and for the first 3 seconds of entering a fight, they deal 50% increased damage.
• These will be very effective at flanking and quickly closing the distance to, and killing, isolated targets.
Odd formation (mono Spearmen) = 15% reduced damage from pincer attacks, 5% damage reduction from all sources, and 25% reduced damage taken from skills.
• These do not look very impressive to me at first hand to be honest, but maybe we’ll know more when the event goes live.
Eagle Eyes (mono Bowmen) = 300% increased attack range, but your movement speed is reduced by 30%, you cannot recover rage (i.e. you can't use commander's active skills), you deal 25% lowered attack damage and damage done to you is increased by 50%
• You will have to really play from a distance with these or you will die, and it will be harder to kite enemies with the 30% reduced movement speed. - as alluded to earlier, the tooltip for these actually states that they can't be countered by anything except by Ironclads, which could mean that Ironclads tooltip actually means they counter everything defensively and offensively. - in pioneer, mono Bows currently outrange the defensive structures so they cannot hit them - You can shoot OVER walls/defensive structures and the only counterplay is the defenders coming out and chasing down the bows by closing the distance at the cost of exposing themselves to damage.
Changing your mono unit marches into Special Troops is OPTIONAL - they all seem like upgrades at face value but if you don’t want to try, you can just deploy normally and ignore it. On the same note, you will have to actually remember to click the box to convert them to Special Units when deploying your troops to receive the buffs.
You can also tick 'Convert to Logistics' when deploying a march, which increases the troops Health/Defence whilst reducing their attack, and supplies carried by these units can be used to replenish the Resilience of allies. You can also heal allies when in logistics if deployed with a medic vehicle. Both of these actions will consume wheat that is being carried by the troops, so you will have to withdraw some from a Warehouse or gather some before being able to heal. The 'D' key will be the hotkey to restore resilience to allies via a logistic march, and 'F' will be the key to restore health to an ally.
For marches not converted to Logistics, you will still be able to use the resilience restore and self heal functions, but only for yourself. You will require wheat on hand in the same way, the hotkey for self healing will be 'S' but without being in logistics you are required to be stood next to a Municipal Center in an allied city, as shown in a previous image. And you can also use 'A' to restore resilience to a march, but you will have to be stood inside an allied Village, which are the smaller locations that separate the bigger cities, looking like below.
These villages can also be upgraded to 'Fortresses' via a sum of silver/brass/obsidian, which creates a bubble that increases the stats of defenders when inside of it.
Currently, on live servers, the list for RTS skills has been reworked since the previous Siege of Winterfell season, with all commanders seeing their active abilities changed, and rarities of commanders now affecting the active skills also. This means that the likes of ideas such as using Daenerys at Gray because of how good her active skill is, are no longer viable in my opinion.
Assuming gold rarity, I would rank commanders under their new skills as:
Inf - Sinara > Latz > Rhea > Andrea > Chris > Feis > (Patelo) > Lareo > Haley > Barrett > Arya (Arya/Barrett might be better than Lareo via 2* army size but actives are worse)
Cav - Leila > Enzo > Salma > Laena > Mengo > Merrel > (Rhea) > Winton > Robb > Russell > Jeane
Spear - Jaime > Drake > Annie > Patelo > Hector > Arslan > (Salma) > Gorell > Uma > Varys (Varys might be better than Uma via 2* army size but active is worse)
Bow - Theon > Sansa > O'Biehn > Mel > Kravras > Sheila > Robert
Total Stats - Dany > Baelish > Margaery > Sandor > Cersei > Night King > Jon > (Annie) > Julien > Seg > Simon >>> Soren/Raymond/Sabrina (all give no stats and have terrible actives) - Marg is worth it in any march if gold, Annie might need testing to see the effectiveness of her heal in practice to compare her to alternatives, the others are fairly meh and there'll likely be higher priorities for each unit type.
Please feel free to discuss these 'rankings' and test and trust yourself since it's just my opinion and they're definitely subject to discussion and change!
Vehicles and Gathering
Armories, found in Military Cities, can construct vehicles, or chariots. Chariots are the mythical 5th slot to the right of the Dragon slot when deploying marches previously in the Siege of Winterfell. There is effectively an offensive vehicle, a medic vehicle, and a gathering vehicle.
• Offensive vehicles, or Positional Chariot's give 50% all Total Stats to the march and allows the user to initiate a rally in which 30 others can join. They also grant an active skill that you can use for a temporary buff, on a 30 minute cooldown. Rallies can only be initiated if you have a War Chariot, and you must be within the radius of an allied Municipal Center, and they can then be initiated by pressing 'Z' - they have no troop limits, only participant limits, similar to defending an AC building, yet all troops are rallied under the stats of the rally leader who can then target enemies/enemy structures with them.
• Medic vehicles reduce your speed but when equipped to a Logistics march, allow you to heal others. You can deploy 2 normal PvP marches and have the 3rd as a Logistics march with a Medic vehicle, for example.
• Gathering vehicles, or 'Resource Wagons' are required to gather materials on the All-out War map. You will start with 3 of them. When equipped, they will increase your gathering speed for the event specific resource types and allow you to gather, but you will need upgraded versions to mine higher rarities of nodes (Silver > Brass > Obsidian).
The resources gained from gathering are required to build vehicles, to upgrade villages to Fortresses, and wheat is required to be transported to Barracks so that they can deploy troops. Wheat carried by your troops personally can be used to self heal and recover your own troop's resilience, whereas to do so to others your troops must be in logistics. Resources can be transported to a Warehouse and deposited in them, but also withdrawn from them, so you can take wheat out to recover your resilience or self heal after marching or fighting later.
There are 4 Resource types available to be gathered - Wheat, Silver, Brass, Obsidian. Wheat is used for in-combat healing, and Silver/Brass/Obsidian to create Vehicles and upgrade cities. Silver/Brass/Obsidian is mined in and around Industrial Cities, with Obsidian only being able to be farmed with a fully upgraded Gathering Chariot. Wheat farms are found outside of Allied City walls, looking like Wheat in the world map, and the other mines looking like recoloured Lv5 Diamond Nodes as seen after KvK (shown below)
To gather you must select a march with a gathering chariot equipped, and then right click on a gathering node as if you're attacking it. Your troops will then carry the gathered resources, and you can carry them to the warehouse to deposit them to a faction wide 'bank' that is accessible from any other allied warehouse on the map, from which you can withdraw what you need in the future.
The Shop (+ Rewards)
As seen in events such as Siege of Winterfell and Alliance Conquest, there is a store that is accessible to the officials of the alliance.
There are actually 333 days worth of 'free heals' that can be bought per week via Alliance Supplies, so plenty of healing will be able to be done without touching your own reserves. You will also be able to buy personal active buffs with diamonds which give a variety of bonuses. And similar to GB, there is a variety of ways to receive rewards in All-out War - there are milestone rewards for eliminations and healing (but this only counts for actually healing allies troops via medic chariot on pioneer to date), as well as leaderboard rewards for Faction Points at the end, as well as Personal Eliminations. The elimination leaderboard seems to be the best way to get locking runes for reforging weapons in the game, as well as dropping Kravras' weapon or its fragments, and a new march skin if you can rank in the top 3.
There is a store that shares some similarities to the GB store, with a maximum limit of the currency that you can obtain similar to Glory Points, and a store that resets daily, whilst another resets every 14 days. So far the best buys look like the S Castle Essences, but it is again, all subject to change.