Gameplay Tips & Tricks:
Alright so I saw some people complaining that it was too difficult. It's actually just right. I had to play most of the boss levels 5+ times before I'd refined my strategy into a winning one. So be patient and let the game frustrate you -- you'll be happier when you figure it out. I'm not gonna write this in any particular order, just things that work:
You might think that building a mine first is the best move -- and it usually is -- but another person suggested building a graveyard and targeting the enemy castle(s) to get them to build a hasty tower. That's a good strategy sometimes. It's less about getting the enemy to spend money than getting them to occupy an important space with useless tower You must get good at destroying towers. There are no controls explained so it took me a minute to figure out you can even do it. You put your cursor over a tower and
then press its corresponding key again. It is VERY important to do this. One of the best strategies I found was build a watchtower, build a second watchtower, then destroy the first watchtower and replace it with a graveyard. This allows you to advance your offense while always keeping your graveyards protected.
Another critical strategy is to destroy watchtowers when they are at 1 health. This is a cost-saving technique that is necessary to win. For example, in the level where you're in the middle and being attacked from either side, I had to keep one side plugged with 2 watchtowers the entire battle while I focused my offense on the other side. If I did not destroy and then rebuild watchtowers in that battle I would not have had enough money.
Usually the best way to win is build a solid base of mines and then race the AI to the crystals using the watchtower/graveyard technique.
One graveyard can go a long way. In the early game, consider switching targets
frequently to scatter the enemy and get them to build many defenses. This allows one graveyard to do much more than would be expected. This is more pronounced with three or so graveyards, where you need to keep the targets updated or else they will all go to sleep and waste time.
Learn to recognize "safe" hexes. Usually you can figure out where you're "meant" to place your mines and you should do so. Same with watchtowers -- some places are just more defensible than others. As you capture territory, you get more safe hexes and defensible hexes. Sometimes you need the money and placing a mine there is a good idea, but not always.
The early game is critical. If the AI outpaces you, you usually lose. If you
outpace the AI in the early game, you usually win. Don't spend too much time on mines if you can't afford to.
Advice for Specific Levels:
I think the creators did a really good job at making each level require inventing a new strategy. Some are less obvious than others.
For the boss that steals your towers, you MUST destroy them first. If he captures like, any of them you're toast. So pay attention. You see the eye first at the castle and then again over your tower before it's stolen. Don't miss it. For the level where you're in the middle and being attacked from either end (I think it's in the lower left/center of the map), which I had a lot of trouble with, try building 1 mine in a safe spot and then building 3 graveyards in a triangle capturing 2 of the 4 crystals. This trio is strong enough to take down their defenses midgame. Just push offense really hard after that. Make sure to defend your weak side with watchtowers (but not graveyards -- you don't have the money to spare).
For the blacksmith boss, basically build a ton of mines and then push the crystal aggressively. He's gonna get a crystal for sure, so you need to beat him to it and then keep up constant pressure. Use the watchtower/graveyard advance technique.