Always shield to defend farms. Alliances can lure you to drop tags as all troops return home and then they can speed attack you
There are 2 methods for farm defence and they are quite simply “open” and “closed”. There are some differences in how these styles operate.
The main thing to remember is that if the farm is open then the enemy can reinforce your farm against you as you are emptying it and your troops you attack with are lost.
The point above is the major defining factor in farm defence.
Farms that are managed as open are fine, the only things we need to mention are to make sure that you close the access to the farm to loot them. Secondly make sure that someone has not already joined the farm whilst it’s open in anticipation of you looting soon (obsessed enemies follow your daily routine to catch you out).
If they join and keep setting 30 minute rallies then you can not kick them out and they can just sit there and whilst they do you can not empty the farms.
Only effective if you run an organised alliance. The farms always stay closed and remain closed at all times.
The farms need a spread of active deputy players and officers that can provide access to the active defenders through invitations.
Defending usually costs gems, the people who spend less can still help with farm defence by providing access to the defender through invitations. This part is of huge importance for this method and requires good communication.
If common defenders keep invitations in their inbox then that invitation will stay until used. You can save your invites as long as you do not delete them.
You can call to open all farms when under attack but you must make sure you close them all again to loot.
Note: RFA never ever lost troops looting on own farms until we used the open method because our player base declined with the length of the server.