Author Topic: Fortifications  (Read 311 times)

Axton

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Fortifications
« Topic Start: May 10, 2018, 05:34:40 AM »
Can the fortifications get a revamp? As it stands, it makes zero sense. Anything beyond a motte and bailey is confined to heavy population centers which isn't even historically accurate. Cities, while fortified, weren't castles. A key concept in castle building minimizing paths of approach, where as a city needs numerous paths of approach to allow for easy movement of trade. That's typically why the city became so prosperous. As it stands, you can't build more than a palisade in mountainous terrain when, if one takes a cursory look at history, a mountain was one of the most preferred places to build a castle. On top of all this, it seems that the lower level fortification will only barely hinder an enemy force, making them a completely useless feature for a region. Without even a sturdy battering ram, no one should be able to penetrate a palisade, but that doesn't seem to stop them anyways. It's why things like sieges happen, where you camp out in front of the enemy fortress until they starve or sally forth.

I think max fortification levels should be raised to the maximum everywhere and do away with the silly notion of a "stronghold region", whatever the real life equivalent is supposed to be likely never existed, and without something for the siege or maybe a spy to open the gates, the enemy gets to just sit there, not attack unless the defenders sally forth. On the flip side, the defenders don't get resupplied until the besieging army is scared off.

Anaris

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Re: Fortifications
« Reply #1: May 10, 2018, 02:51:37 PM »
First of all, fortifications are necessarily an abstraction. To be truly accurate, fortifications in any region type besides a city or stronghold would have to be around a bunch of smaller enclaves rather than one monolithic wall around a single place.

Second of all, what regions you can and can't build fortifications in is very heavily influenced by game balance, as opposed to historical accuracy. It used to be possible to build palisades in any region, but this caused cavalry to become effectively useless.

Third of all, in real life you'd also be able to straight-up build a city in a region that's now a rural, and that is not, and will never be possible in BattleMaster. Similarly, some kinds of fortifications will not ever be supported in some places.

All that said, I am interested in ways to make fortifications more interesting than they are today—both harder to walk over, and supporting more complex interactions. I have some changes on the drawing board to how food is handled that should make sieges a genuine possibility, and once that's true, it opens up new options for making city assaults harder.
Timothy Collett

"The only thing you can't trade for your heart's desire...is your heart." "You are what you do.  Choose again, and change." "One of these days, someone's gonna plug you, and you're going to die saying, 'What did I say? What did I say?'"  ~ Miles Naismith Vorkosigan

JeVondair

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Re: Fortifications
« Reply #2: May 10, 2018, 04:15:10 PM »
How about adding traps that local lords can purchase for their regions from siege workshops? Falling rocks, boiling oil, catapults, ballista, etc. You can even make current seige options scaleable. For example, an infantry unit can purchase a battering ram and later upgrade that into a siege tower. Archers can purchase ballista, MI can get catapults which can then be upgraded to trebuchets. All of which stays with your current unit as siege weapons currently do so if your unit is lost then you loose your investment as well.

we got options, y'all.
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Axton

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Re: Fortifications
« Reply #3: May 10, 2018, 10:59:23 PM »
First of all, fortifications are necessarily an abstraction. To be truly accurate, fortifications in any region type besides a city or stronghold would have to be around a bunch of smaller enclaves rather than one monolithic wall around a single place.
Not entirely true. If a force remains within the walls of their castle (and it is conceivable for there to only be one within a given region), that would leave attacking forces free to loot and pillage the country side, but at the same time, the attackers can't move on further into their enemy's territory until they had dealt with the defenders lest they emerge behind them and catch the attackers in a pincer with defenders from a further in castle.

Second of all, what regions you can and can't build fortifications in is very heavily influenced by game balance, as opposed to historical accuracy. It used to be possible to build palisades in any region, but this caused cavalry to become effectively useless.
That can be changed by allowing what I proposed. Cavalry can go around tearing up the countryside while the defenders hide behind the wall and then are very useful if the defenders decide to sally forth. Further, if we have it so that the walls, once taken, allow the cavalry in through the gate where they can start ripping up the defenders within the walls.

Third of all, in real life you'd also be able to straight-up build a city in a region that's now a rural, and that is not, and will never be possible in BattleMaster. Similarly, some kinds of fortifications will not ever be supported in some places.
Cities aren't just built out nowhere. They start as a settlement that is desirable to reside at for one reason or another and grow until they become cities. Typically, this was because they were at a location which facilitated trade, like river forks, as trade hubs afforded convenient locations for artisans to build their shops. Sure, you can build a structure just about anywhere, but a collection of buildings does not make a city. A population does. This stands in stark contrast to fortifications which are built and staffed to defend an area of import to someone. Unlike a city, which grows organically, a castle is a more deliberate structure.

All that said, I am interested in ways to make fortifications more interesting than they are today—both harder to walk over, and supporting more complex interactions. I have some changes on the drawing board to how food is handled that should make sieges a genuine possibility, and once that's true, it opens up new options for making city assaults harder.
Well, you've got my recommendations. Lock in food stores for the duration of a siege, allow the defenders to choose whether or not to sally forth, attackers can't attack without siege equipment, allow them fortifications to be built anywhere. Other things like murder holes in the gatehouses or oil on the walls are good ideas for addons, but those are kind of predicated on an actual siege mechanic being built.

If differing levels of fortification limits are really considered necessary, then maybe we can have limits on the number of redundant walls there are for certain areas.

Anaris

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Re: Fortifications
« Reply #4: May 11, 2018, 05:06:57 PM »
Not entirely true. If a force remains within the walls of their castle (and it is conceivable for there to only be one within a given region), that would leave attacking forces free to loot and pillage the country side, but at the same time, the attackers can't move on further into their enemy's territory until they had dealt with the defenders lest they emerge behind them and catch the attackers in a pincer with defenders from a further in castle.

The city or stronghold is the castle. The rural region is the countryside. There isn't a castle in a rural region.

That may not be how you've interpreted it, but that is canonically how the BattleMaster universe operates.

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That can be changed by allowing what I proposed. Cavalry can go around tearing up the countryside while the defenders hide behind the wall and then are very useful if the defenders decide to sally forth. Further, if we have it so that the walls, once taken, allow the cavalry in through the gate where they can start ripping up the defenders within the walls.

I mean, we do have that. But it loses the main benefit of cavalry in BM: their charge.

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Cities aren't just built out nowhere. They start as a settlement that is desirable to reside at for one reason or another and grow until they become cities. Typically, this was because they were at a location which facilitated trade, like river forks, as trade hubs afforded convenient locations for artisans to build their shops. Sure, you can build a structure just about anywhere, but a collection of buildings does not make a city. A population does. This stands in stark contrast to fortifications which are built and staffed to defend an area of import to someone. Unlike a city, which grows organically, a castle is a more deliberate structure.

And it is not one you will be able to build, because in BattleMaster, a castle is effectively what a Stronghold region is.

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Well, you've got my recommendations. Lock in food stores for the duration of a siege, allow the defenders to choose whether or not to sally forth, attackers can't attack without siege equipment, allow them fortifications to be built anywhere. Other things like murder holes in the gatehouses or oil on the walls are good ideas for addons, but those are kind of predicated on an actual siege mechanic being built.

And some of those recommendations are, indeed, pretty close to some of the ideas I already have in mind for improving fortifications at some point in the future.
Timothy Collett

"The only thing you can't trade for your heart's desire...is your heart." "You are what you do.  Choose again, and change." "One of these days, someone's gonna plug you, and you're going to die saying, 'What did I say? What did I say?'"  ~ Miles Naismith Vorkosigan

Axton

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Re: Fortifications
« Reply #5: May 12, 2018, 12:45:08 AM »
The city or stronghold is the castle. The rural region is the countryside. There isn't a castle in a rural region.

That may not be how you've interpreted it, but that is canonically how the BattleMaster universe operates.
Then why have a separate lord for each? An estate with a fortified home, maybe, but the point of the lord is that he was needed to manage lands further out and protect them. If they can't protect their lands worth a damn, then they don't have a purpose.

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I mean, we do have that. But it loses the main benefit of cavalry in BM: their charge.
They can still charge once the gate house has been taken, and they can still charge during a sally forth.

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And it is not one you will be able to build, because in BattleMaster, a castle is effectively what a Stronghold region is.
It still makes no sense. You would build castles on your frontiers to guard against enemy attack, but the strongholds are cities are frequently towards the core of the kingdom, assuming it's large enough to have a core. Hell, it makes no sense to call most of the various realms independent kingdoms. Maybe petty kingdoms for a few, but a lot of realms seem to be the size of a county at best based on what you're saying.

Chenier

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Re: Fortifications
« Reply #6: May 14, 2018, 05:13:44 PM »
BM demographics make no sense. Don't try to figure it out, the math will just never add up. ;)

Anaris

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Re: Fortifications
« Reply #7: May 15, 2018, 05:54:57 PM »
Then why have a separate lord for each? An estate with a fortified home, maybe, but the point of the lord is that he was needed to manage lands further out and protect them. If they can't protect their lands worth a damn, then they don't have a purpose.

I see several logical fallacies in here, but I will leave it at this: BM is not a medieval simulator, nor does it aspire to be one. There are times when we make decisions based on what was most historically accurate, or what would be most realistic, but there are other times we make decisions based on game balance or fun, even if it goes completely against history.
Timothy Collett

"The only thing you can't trade for your heart's desire...is your heart." "You are what you do.  Choose again, and change." "One of these days, someone's gonna plug you, and you're going to die saying, 'What did I say? What did I say?'"  ~ Miles Naismith Vorkosigan