Currently you can only be engaged in two wars at a time (one offensive and one defensive), and only with countries in the same or bordering sub-region as you, and only if they have not lost a war recently.
War is one of the key mechanics of the game, as it allows players to capture territory (which act acts as a soft cap on growth).
You can attack anyone regardless of how high their GDP is. Conversely, this means that you can be attacked even if you are a new nation or have a very low GDP.
There are two ways to avoid getting attacked. One is to stay offline for 3 days and hope to god that someone doesn't attack you during that timeframe. Another, safer approach is to go to your user settings and enter "Vacation Mode" . This means that no one can attack you for a minimum of a week. During this time you can only send and receive communiques and news, as well as look at other players. Once a week is up, (vacation mode can last as long as you want but 1 week is minimum), after you log in, your country will be returned to its usual state with nothing changed, since you first selected the vacation mode option. Alternatively, you can join an alliance for protection, though there are instances where this is useless.
In times of war there are many options at ones disposal.
- Land Offensive: You can attack the other nation directly, in which case training and equipment as well as troop numbers will play key parts in winning a battle. However, you can still lose many troops even if you have advantages in all these areas due to RNG.
- Air Raid: You can bomb your opponents. For 1 mbbl of oil you have the choice of attacking various military and civilian targets, you can choose between bombing their ground forces, chemical plants, economy, cities, weapons or oil. Bombing Factories and Cities can result in a loss in reputation. If your opponent has a sufficient number of planes, they might be able to stop your attack and shoot down your planes instead, weakening you.
- Naval Offensive: You can use your navy to attack your opponents. If they have ships, you will either sink their ships or they will sink yours. Once your opponent has less than half of your ships, you can attack their ground forces with your navy, reducing their troop count. Naval Offensives do not consume any resources.
- Chemical Weapons: You can also use chemical weapons (at the cost of 3 reputation levels) which will damage your opponents manpower, troop numbers and lower their GDP, however this is frowned upon and may result in repercussions by the greater >BLOC community (if used when unprovoked).
- Nuclear Strike: You can use a nuclear bomb to decimate the enemy while taking a huge drop on reputation. Will likely result in you getting nuked as well for your aggressive actions.
- Covert Actions: Can be done without declaring war. You can send a special agent into another nation, this agent will report classified information as well as allow you to fund rebels (and lower stability) or fund opposition (lowering approval). The spy can also poison crops, conduct a terrorist attack, sabotage mines, and sabotage oil wells. You can also use spies to assassinate the opposing nation's spies through a counterintelligence sweep.
The Double Tap
You may be wondering to yourself, "Hey, are there any battle strategies I can use to win better?" The simple answer to this is "No." Each battle is determined by a mathematical formula involving your military size, equipment, and training. For obvious reasons, you can't go onto the battle field yourself and direct your men to victory like what might happen in real life. There are no false retreats, no guerilla warfare, and no traps. There are only the game's mathematical formulas. If your army is weaker than your opponent's, you will lose the battle. If your airforce is weaker than your opponent's, there is a good chance that your planes will be defeated over enemy skies. If your enemy does a counterintelligence sweep, there is a chance that your spy will be caught and executed.
That said, there is one factor that is entirely in your control: When you attack. You can attack once per turn. Turn change is midnight and noon Central Standard Time, US. Are you an early riser? Maybe make a quick stop on >BLOC first thing in the morning to bomb your enemy's army, launch a ground assault, and aid his rebels before he wakes up. Maybe you're a night owl who stays up past midnight? Maybe you can stop by before bed to aid the opposition, bomb his economy, and give the gift of GASS while your enemy is asleep. Pathetic NEET who stays at home all day? Don't worry; that might not be a bad thing for warfare on a pointless browser game. While he's off doing silly things like earning a living or having friends, you can get him right after the noon turn change.
One of the most devastating timing strategies is called the double tap. To carry out the double tap, you must attack your enemy shortly before the turn change. Then you attack your enemy again about five minutes after turn change. This applies to anything you can throw at your enemy, including ground attacks, air raids, naval assaults, chemical weapons, and spy actions. Your enemy may log on to find that his rebels have been aided twice and lose soldiers trying to put down the rebellion. Maybe he'll find that his army, once bigger than yours, has been airforce'd and navy'd twice, and that the fight is suddenly fair. There are disadvantaged to the double tap. Occasionally the server lags and your pre-turn change attack isn't registered until after the turn change. There are some members of the >BLOC community who find the double tap to be poor form. You can only double tap once every 24 hours, as opposed to regular attacks which you can make once every 12 hours. That said, the double tap is ideal for a surprise first attack and it is definitely something to consider when going to war.
Advantages of War
To win a war, you must attack your opponent when they have 5k or fewer troops. You can also ask for white peace/accept white peace, in which case peace terms are met between the two parties and neither side receives any penalties or benefits (aside from agreements between the two). When you win a battle in a war, you gain some of the territory of the defending nation; winning the entire war will earn you 1/6 of your opponent's GDP and land, as well as half of your opponent's current budget, RM, and oil. You will also gain a small fraction of their oil reserves and factories (if opponent has a lot of factories) Also, after someone loses a war, they cannot take part in another war for 6 turns, 6 months in game time, or 3 days in real time.