Battle X-Ray: ACP vs. HF – Around The World Cup Group Stage

Welcome to the first edition of “Battle X-Ray”, a series of articles devoted to meticulously analyzing thrilling and fiercely contested battles. Within these pages, the community will find insightful commentary and critical observations on the outcomes of these epic clashes. Today, we explore the intricate details of the battle between the Army of Club Penguin and the Help Force in the NA Group Stage of the Around The World Cup.


Designed by Edu14463

The group stage of the Around The World Cup tournament met its conclusion last week, with two extremely close battles taking place on both days of the NA round. One was the clash between two brother allies, the Army of Club Penguin and the Help Force. Both armies fought tooth and nail, as the result of this battle would mean qualification for either of them. The intensity of this battle revealed itself in the score: the Clovers managed to outperform the Helpers – but only during overtime. Thus, what factors led to this outcome? Let us conduct an X-ray examination of this battle.


The first room of the battle saw both armies showcasing similar average sizes of 23 each throughout the room. When both armies have similar sizes across a room, the deciding factors are formations, tactical display, and speed. According to the judging summary of this battle, both armies were even on speed and tactics, leading us to believe that the winner was decided based on formation choices.

For the first 3 minutes, HF entered in an X; meanwhile, ACP formed a V. In my perspective, an X, when chosen against a V, can make an army look larger and allow it to cover more of the room. While the V can cover the top of the X, its bottom and middle remain untouched. Since the Cove is a small room compared to the Stadium and Iceberg, for instance, it is easy to make sloppy formations – especially an X, which is a nightmare for many armies. Compared to ACP’s V, HF’s X was deemed as messy and it took a while for it to be well structured.

In the second third of the room, ACP made a plus, and HF chose an upside-down V. From my personal experience, a plus will always cover the most of an upside-down V. Moreover, occupying the middle of the room is a good rule of thumb for rooms like Cove. However, in the last third of the room, HF switched to a plus and ACP made a backward L. A backward L is a big no-no formation in Cove, as it does not help the army dominate most of the space in the room, and it is not the greatest counter-formation against a plus. Because of this constant switch of domination in the room, it was deemed as a TIE.


Once more, the verdict was decided upon formation choices, as both armies displayed similar sizes. In this room, the judging summary mentions that the Helpers were faster than the Clovers, which helped (no pun intended) them.

Both armies had entered in an upside-down T, taking turns covering each other. When situations like this happen, there are two possibilities: neither army will stand out, or the smaller army will get heavily covered. What is my recommendation? If at a disadvantage, move. And so HF did, as they formed an X.

After ACP moved, they made an upside-down V, which was a bad counter-formation for an X. The top of the X will cover almost half of that formation, as well as will occupy most space in the room. Later, HF made a plus and ACP formed a T. The plus allowed the Helpers to cover the entire vertical of the Clovers. Furthermore, the plus’ horizontal was wider than the T’s, making HF look bigger. Undoubtedly, this room went to HF.


Both armies entered the room ready to give their all in the (supposed) last ten minutes of the battle. Throughout this room, the Helpers had a lot of AFK troops, which made them suffer from gaps in formations, hindering their performance. Sleepy troops are without a shred of doubt a curse to most armies. There is no solution for that unless you properly train them better or buy them a good internet router. Help Force also suffered from filtered tactics, so may this serve as a reminder to always test your tactics beforehand!

In the first third, the Helpers made a backward L, arguably the most orthodox formation to be done in Snow Forts, while the Clovers formed an upside-down Y. The Y formations and their variants have become a trend lately. These formations are usually commended for their complexity, although they turn out to be messy and ineffective. if not done correctly. The Y was dominating the room, leaving the Helpers unable to shine bright.

For the next three minutes, the Clovers kept up with their good performance, switching to a curved anchor, and the Helpers got into a messy and small V. The curved horizontal of the anchor was impressive. They managed to completely cover HF’s V and highlight the size difference. For the first time in the battle, HF’s sizes dropped to below 20, making it more difficult for them to outperform ACP. In the last third, both armies got into a plus, following a similar pattern to the second room. Thus, HF moved into an upside-down V (a bad counter-formation against a plus), but it was not enough to win the room. ACP won room three. Now, let us head into the overtime.


The last room of the battle saw a pattern of HF losing steam and ACP picking up their speed and improving their game. Nonetheless, the Helpers once more suffered from AFK troops and poor formation choices.

First, ACP entered in a good Y, according to the summary, and HF formed a gappy upside-down T. This combination of formations is interesting, given the vertical will become disputed and the horizontal of the T will never cover the diagonals of the Y. And this was precisely what happened. Since ACP had a size advantage, the Clovers managed to dominate the entire vertical. However, they decided to move to an X which took a while to form. The summary mentions that the judges could not comprehend the reasoning behind this movement. Help Force’s upside-down T was severely gappy in its horizontal, which made the army lose points.

After both armies moved, a neutral combination of formations took place: a V against an upside-down V. Judges noted that, at this point, Helpers were reusing basic formations they had already used throughout the previous rooms. Remember to try to use creative but effective formations in battles! Because their troops were more awake, the V was neater than the uV. For the last third of the room, ACP moved into a plus (which was not good, but not bad either) and then HF formed a sideways V. A sideways V is not effective at all against a plus. In the well-drawn diagram below I showcase why not. The sideways V area of coverage – highlighted in yellow – is very small. Thus, most of the plus will remain uncovered. A simple V would be a better alternative to counter a plus.

Battle X-Ray

Graphic design is my passion

In order to understand the involved armies’ perspectives on this battle, Club Penguin Armies reached out to Ugly, ACP Commander-in-Chief, and BEASTO, HF Commander.

What do you think went well in the battle? And what do you think could have been better?

Ugly, ACP Commander-in-Chief: I think what we managed to excel at was our consistency throughout the whole battle, we managed to keep a size advantage even though we were at a disadvantage before the beginning of the battle. Our tactics completion, speed, and covering were also very good as noted by the judges, we also had way less afks than we did before. What we could’ve done better I believe was the formations quality, granted some of our formations did keep us in the lead though we could do way better of course with training for the finals soon. Well done to the Help Force for putting up such an amazing battle, they defied the expectations and I’m proud of them.

BEASTO, HF Commander: Well our max was definitely one of the best points of that battle, considering its a US battle! Also I think there was a mix between good and bad stuff among both armies, its true we slowed down at the end but it was a close battle nevertheless, and hopefully the beginning of something great in the Help Force

The examination concluded. However, an analysis never prompts a closed result, for the debate is forever open and it must take place within army leaders and the community itself. What are your thoughts on this battle? Do you agree with the examination conducted? What tip would you give to both armies? Would you like to conduct an X-ray yourself?

Associate Editor

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Army Legend. Former Water Ninjas leader. Founder and Leader of the Elite Guardians of Club Penguin. Currently working as CPA Associate Editor.

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