First, a quick explainer of what “Clash of Clans” is and what the ultimate goals are.
The game is based around building, and then protecting, a village and attacking the villages of others. As the game progresses — signalled by a higher level Town Hall, the centerpiece of the village — it becomes harder, more expensive, and longer.
There are various types of defences (from the cannon to the X-Bow), various types of troops (such as the “hog rider” or Golem), different sets of “heroes” (unlocked at higher levels), and an assortment of other things that you will discover as you progress.
Gameplay is simple: You either tend to your village (upgrading assets, for example), attack other bases, or engage in Clan Wars (more on those later).
To speed up upgrades and to buy more resources (which are broken down into gold, elixir, and dark elixir), Supercell offers gems which can be bought for real money (£3.99 gets you 500, and so on.) At the highest levels, upgrades can take up to two weeks.