8 Financial Lessons from Playing CoC

Clash of Clans
A few months ago, while some of my colleagues were busy contemplating on what appeared to me as some sort of strategy-planning”, my curiosity invited me to take a look at what they’re raving about. 

It was Clash of Clans, a mobile game (developed by SUPERCELL) in which players build and protect their own village and train troops that can attack other villages.

I was hesitant at first because I knew that when I find something addictive, it takes away some of my productivity and wakes up the gamer in me. But a few weeks later, I started playing Clash of Clans. You might say I’m just having an excuse for myself so I can play the game, but interestingly, I had a mission not named destroy other players’ villages: I wanted to write an article about Clash of Clans and the implied lessons players can learn from playing it!
The best way to do that? Play the game myself.
So in hopes of being able to write a good article that could bring financial wisdom from playing Clash of Clans, I grabbed my phone and installed the game. What I found out was that, there are actually valuable financial lessons playing Clash of Clans can teach you!

1. It takes money to make money
If you need to make an upgrade in one of your buildings, you'll surely need either gold or elixir - a lot of them! And while getting them from the goblins is free, the amount of gold and elixir that you can loot from their village are barely enough. 

Clash of Clans - Find a Match

Hence, you need to find a good village (TH Hunt) with a lot of stored gold and elixir to attack. But doing so comes with a price! You need to pay some amount of gold (the higher the Town Hall level you have, the higher the amount of gold you need to pay) in order to find a village to attack from one to another. But is it worth the pay? Oh yeah! But it's never going be Christmas all the time! Sometimes, you’ll need to spend 10 or more times before finding a wealthy village with decent amount of loot you can attack.
Clash of Clans - Find a Village

But the price does not come cheap! You need to actually destroy the village in order to get the anticipated loots, which brings us to the next lesson...

2. You need a plan of attack 
All Out! won't always work, trust me. A war game is not just a numbers game.   There's a reason it's called a strategy game. So don't put in your troops in the battlefield all at once and hope that no bombs, spring traps, canons, Clan Castle or hidden Tesla will destroy them! 

Clash of Clans - Plan of Attack

During my first Clan War, I quickly got the itch to attack the opposing village assigned to me. So without asking for any strategy from my clan or even studying the village of the player I’m about to attack, I proudly threw together a rag-tag of Level 1 Barbarians, Giants and Archers! With the fate of my opponent’s village soon lying on the mercy of my mighty army, I irrevocably released the reinforcement troops inside my Clan Castle -- Level 6 Balloons!
Who’s your Daddy now? I told myself.
But as my colleagues would happily tell you, it was a forgettable first-time Clan War experience.  It was an awful epic-fail attack! Little did I know that my opponent’s Clan Castle houses some powerful Wizards and Archers that made the joy out of melting by beloved mighty Level 6 Balloons! By the time I realized that I needed to take out the troops inside the Clan Castle first (and the Air Defense structure), it was all too late! I had already deployed all my troops that all I could ever do then was watch how my army got pulverized by my opponent’s defense. *Sniff*Sniff*
Clash of Clans - Plan Ahead!

Plan ahead! You need to study a village’s layout so you can plan your best course of action to take against your opponent. Planning allows you to carefully plot your moves that could lead to an efficient attack, such as taking out the troops inside the Clan Castle first, before sending your Giants through those pesky mortars, or crushing that Air Defense before releasing your Balloons and Dragons! The same holds true when investing as you need to carefully study the business or investment first before deciding to put your money! Know the risks, what-if's and fundamental concepts before making a move!
Unlike other strategy games (such as Battle Realms and Red Alert) where you have full control on each of the units during clash, you actually lose control of your units once you deploy them on the battle field and move on their own! Financially speaking, deploying troops means investing your money. And once your money is in your chosen investment, it will either grow (passive income, stocks, mutual funds) or disappear (scams) on its own.

3. Delay Gratification
Some of our financial plans are jeopardized whenever we're caught between
deciding to enjoy now and sacrificing to enjoy later. People who would go for deciding to enjoy now would most likely have the infamous mantra of I work hard, I deserve this! or the ever-despicable, YOLO (You Only Live Once). Some things are meant to be enjoyed at the moment because these are when memories are created. But then again, it's not the fancy cup of coffee you enjoy; it’s the company of the person with you that makes every sip worth the bill. It's just often overlooked. 

Clash of Clans - Buy Gems

This problem is best simulated when you're caught between waiting....and instantly enjoying an  upgrade. So you blindly use gems in order to finish an upgrade of a building or a troop instantly! Heck, you even make in-app purchases! Now you're using real money! And SUPERCELL can't be happier than that! Clash of Clans is designed to be a waiting game. Patience is a virtue, indeed. So whenever you lose patience in waiting and hit that Buy Gems to kill the waiting time, that’s; 

You: 0

Investments take time, learn to wait.
*500 Gems = 225 Pesos

4. Fortify your walls
Clash of Clans, without a doubt, brought strategy gaming to the next level. You attack and be attacked! And when you do, you either make walls (defend) or break walls (attack).

From a defensive standpoint, you need to upgrade your walls in order to add chances of defending your village from attacking enemies, or at least buy them some time before reaching your Town Hall or storage buildings, thus achieving 3 Stars quite a job for them. Of course, it will require you to strategically put your walls in your village since they're limited per Town Hall level. Will you use them to fence your Town Hall? Will you fortify them for your dark elixir and gold storage buildings? Or will you use them as a maze and have spring traps and giant bombs welcome your unwanted guests?

Clash of Clans - Walls

In financial planning, your walls are your protection too! You might have heard that in order for you to become financially successful, you need to Save, Protect and Grow! And by 'Protect', it means protect your main source of income -- yourself! So it's really a must that before you start investing your money, you need to get an insurance for yourself. Would it be health insurance? Life insurance? Memorial Plan? Assess your situation and decide what 'Protection' is best for you by talking to a financial advisor.

5. Increase Your Psychological Wallet
Now you're probably scratching your head, thinking,
How the heck playing CoC can increase my wallet? Err. That's Psychological wallet, man, not your physical wallet! Seriously speaking, playing the game can really do wonders for your psychological wallet. 
Clash of Clans is basically a game where you need to make upgrades in almost all parts of your village in order to get stronger to compete with stronger villages. At first, its peanuts! Because you’ll just spend less than a thousand gold or elixir to upgrade your Town Hall, Barracks, Towers, etc. You are being mentally prepared for what is bound to be a tall task ahead!

Clash of Clans - Upgrades

As your progress in the game and upgrade your Town Hall one level to the next, you will notice that each upgrade costs sky high! A piece of wall would cost you 4 million gold at Town Hall 9! So if you look at that upgrade when you're still at Town Hall 6 and below, you'll probably say, That's way too much! Why? Because your psychological wallet is still small compared to those who already have Town Hall 9! Those who are already in that level can somehow easily make a way to save or loot because their minds were already programmed that such amount is possible because they already have the necessary upgrades and skills that they will need!

As Bo Sanchez puts it, Enlarge your psychological wallet. The poor have tiny psychological wallets. God wants to give them more but their psychology can’t handle the blessing.
6. Give and you shall receive
There's a reason it's called Clash of
Clan, right? A clan is there to have player interaction. Moreover, it will teach players to practice giving, thru donating troops when a member of their clan is in need. Be it for looting, clan wars or simply to defend their village. But players need to be cautious of abusing the Request Troops feature as there is a Donate and Receive ratio.

Clash of Clans - Request Troops

Personally, I think this is simply to remind players that there is more pride and joy in giving than in receiving. It's one of the overlooked reasons why players are more motivated to upgrade their villages and skills - in order for them to have stronger troops so they can take pride in donating troops with their co-clans.
I believe no real-life explanation is needed here.

7. Seek help

Your clan is there not just to bring you to wars. It's there to help you by donating troops or help you to strategize your plan of attack whenever you’re in a clan war. So seek help from others because no General has ever won a war alone!

Clash of Clans - Clan Castle

Financially speaking, you need to ask too! But ask the right person, not the person nearest to you. Knowledge is power. Read books and blogs, attend seminars and ask the right people such as financial advisors to help you keep track of your financial plans and build a winning strategy for your future.

8. Know when to quit
As there is much fun and learning in playing Clash of Clans (or any other game), you still need to remember that, at the end of the day, it's just a game. 

Clash of Clans - Quit

A game should never affect your life and the way you live it. And if this game is taking most of your precious time that it already crushes your productivity, then it's time to go to Settings > Apps > Clash of Clans > Uninstall.
Game Over.


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  1. LOL! I was flashing smiles the whole time reading! and wooow, what a powerful way to end your article right there! A brilliant article! Thumbs UP on this one!

  2. A real connection on the game with every point! 3 Stars for ths! ***

  3. - On the other hand it also shows you (1) you need to destroy others in order for you to grow and (2) if you're powerful enough, you can easily crush others
    - After telling the readers that Clash of Clans teaches 8 lessons, at the end of the article, the author says that "a game should never affect your life and the way you live it". Is he saying to just ignore the whole article?
    - It is not just Clash of Clans that teaches these lessons but most games in general.

    Anyway it was still a good read.

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