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Author Topic: A simple and realistic way to add challenge back to sieges  (Read 14259 times)

Iden

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Re: A simple and realistic way to add challenge back to sieges
« Reply #30 on: January 04, 2010, 05:20:10 pm »

This thread seems to be more of an agricultural thread than it is a siege thread. It should probably be considered strictly an agricultural one -- not a siege thread. Though the reason for it coming up is because of siege, siege is going to change quite a bit.

But which truly is it?
Are we here to say "Let's fix sieges!" or are we here to say "Let's fix agriculture!"?
The two are somewhat separate issues.

A long-term siege was used to deprive a city/castle of it's supplies. Water, food, reinforcements, and misc. goods. Even things as simple as fuel for forges, wood & feathers (which is not an issue for us) for arrows, the basic materials for fortification repairs, extra clothing and boots, and even materials to repair arms and armor for continued use against possibly assaults or for possible sallies.

These things, over a long period of time, would become scarce. Especially food and good water.

All of these things contribute to morale, as well as the togetherness of the establishment's defenses. Classically speaking, the land used for farming was outside the walls. It was too much land to wall off. Sure, your dwarves could do it over a long enough period of time, but you could also be putting that time to more useful endeavors and fortifications. The latter was usually the case in medieval times, especially since stonework was time-consuming and expensive. They were no dwarves in the matter.

So farms were typically prone to being destroyed and overrun during assaults and long-term sieges. Food sources would be limited. Underground farming poses a problem typically never experienced in classical times: The ability to continually have a source of food and water. Some structures were built atop springs, which solved the water problem, but ofttimes food was a limiting factor.

Dwarves solved this problem. Perhaps agriculture does need to be looked at. But as for improving sieges, sieges have a long way to go to be called anything close to. Proposing agricultural changes for the sake that they need to be fixed is one thing. It may indeed need tweaking. But proposing to make agricultural changes for the sake of siegecraft is unrealistic and foolish. The dwarves would have a realistic and simple advantage in this way. It is not something to be taken lightly when angering the dwarfen peoples.

Especially when the Dwarves' have the potential for underground agriculture. One would need to take this into account when trying to siege the Dwarfen people. You cannot simply hope to starve them out. You must try to deprive them of other necessities and, if truly set on destroying these dwarfy folk, find other alternatives for breaching the fort. Alternative methods which do not exist yet, but of which Toady is going to be looking into soon.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2010, 05:21:44 pm by Iden »
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Re: A simple and realistic way to add challenge back to sieges
« Reply #31 on: January 04, 2010, 11:20:37 pm »

Arrkhal, would you consider moving your awesome agricultural suggestions to another thread?  I think a lot of us are losing focus of your suggestion because the OP's goal to make sieges harder.  Once we drop any mention of sieges from the suggestion altogether, it'll make a lot more sense.

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Re: A simple and realistic way to add challenge back to sieges
« Reply #32 on: January 05, 2010, 01:14:27 am »

I might repost if a good agricultural thread comes up.  It's not really anything that original, though, and IIRC, agriculture is lowish priority for now.  I guess sieges are more on topic for the current mainly military arc.

So back on track, allowing goblins to dig, breach walls, cause cave-ins, etc., would be a decision that needs to be approached very carefully.  It should generally be that goblins can do anything dwarves can (though perhaps not as well).  But at the same time, it can't be so easy for gobs to dig their way in that you're better off living like a filthy aboveground humie so that you at least see the green meanies coming.

It should obviously be very easy for goblins to collapse or dig into simple dirt rooms (and maybe they could even employ trench warfare, if they know your fortress relies on projectile weapons), but they should dig stone much more slowly than dwarves.

There should be distinct pros and cons to underground vs. aboveground defenses.  Underground must be slowly and laboriously dug to, but there's not a whole lot you can do to attack goblin diggers without exposing yourself.  Aboveground stuff is much easier to attack, especially with catapaults, but also allows a more active defense.

In the longer term, a good, realistic terrain destruction system would be great.  You'd need to build your fortress deep, with thick walls and ceilings, and plenty of supports, or a well-placed catapault stone (or a few dozen) would cave in the whole thing.  Aboveground walls should eventually be potentially unstable if they're too high and/or thin.

Just better goblin AI by itself would also take the game to the next level too.  It's reasonable for early scouting bands and skirmishers to blunder into your defenses, but by the first real siege, they should really be a lot more organized and intelligent, trying to breach your fortress by some tactic other than a screaming highland charge down the corridor of death.

Use of ladders, grappling hooks, and other climbing tools could certainly make some fortresses harder to defend.

If disease is also implemented in this next version, the goblins could even use biological warfare by flinging corpses and poo!

A realistic need for air circulation would also increase difficulty enormously, as goblins could try to find your air vents and try to smoke you out with fire, stink you out with miasmic filth, etc.  Air circulation could potentially be way too much for newbies, though, depending on how it's done.  I'd just do a simple rule, like X tiles must be open to the outside for every Y tiles of volume in your fortress.  It would certainly eliminate the old "just one entrance" design philosophy.  Combined with terrain destruction and climbing, a large fortress could be very hard to defend.

Things which make sieges really hard, though, should be be saved for a version where diplomacy is better developed.  Like before, I'd suggest a low-maintenance and high-maintenance approach.  The low-maintenance one would be allying with someone and getting them to protect you in exchange for goods, services, whatever.  Costs you money (possibly quite a lot), but you don't have to worry too much about sieges, as your faithful humie pals march off to their deaths under the scorching light of the evil sky-orb.  But handling a big, late-game gobbo siege all on your own should be extremely difficult (and extremely satisfying to beat back).  And of course, it should also be possible to negotiate peace (however temporary) with the gobs.
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profit

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Re: A simple and realistic way to add challenge back to sieges
« Reply #33 on: January 05, 2010, 01:50:19 am »

...  or you can just have 23 champions on patrol around your embark sites perimiter with no defenses except for a 4 square wide entrance into your fort.  Preferably using adamantine shields with adamantine armor.   When they reach level 163 in shield use 120 in hammer use and have 42 strength, things just tend to evaporate instead of invading.

*Even with relentless assault.

*Side note: one of my dwarfs hit a kobold so hard it flew clear across a 3 wide embark, and crashed into the edge of the screen on the other side.  Was one hell of a hit

* The tree-ents flying with hammer hits also give me a massive chuckle.. the thought of a giant tree flying nearly half a mile I cant help but smirk every time I see it.

« Last Edit: January 05, 2010, 01:51:56 am by profit »
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Arrkhal

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Re: A simple and realistic way to add challenge back to sieges
« Reply #34 on: January 05, 2010, 08:54:01 am »

Gobbos dig a tunnel to your fort.  23 champions charge in after.  GOBLINS FIRE A BALLISTA!  Honor the charge they made, noble 23!

Seriously though, 23 champions would probably annihilate an enhanced siege.  The issue there is how easy it is to get those kinds of levels through endless sparring.  Something like in Dungeon Keeper 2 would probably be ideal, where you can only get moderate skill through practice, decent skill in an arena, and the remaining levels require real combat.
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Re: A simple and realistic way to add challenge back to sieges
« Reply #35 on: January 05, 2010, 10:01:54 am »

I like this. I can imagine an extended siege where hungry dwarves use dead bodies to keep the food supplies running.

Urist has been forced to use a friend as fertilizer lately.
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Bauglir

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Re: A simple and realistic way to add challenge back to sieges
« Reply #36 on: January 06, 2010, 11:02:41 am »

-snip-
« Last Edit: April 11, 2015, 12:15:56 am by Bauglir »
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Andeerz

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Re: A simple and realistic way to add challenge back to sieges
« Reply #37 on: January 06, 2010, 08:43:57 pm »

troo... and another thing that is also important and sorta along the same line:

With regard to sapping during sieging: Mining happens ridiculously fast relative to the speed of combat.  With a legendary miner, you could pretty much obliterate a wall section in seconds, even under fire.  What would have taken several months in real life siege mining operations would take a few minutes (which could be a few weeks or so in game time and would sorta match real life in that regard, but combat is still sloooooow).  Well, I guess this will be taken care of when Toady gets there... but I dunno what he would do... perhaps making mining speeds differ depending on whose attacking or defending?
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Pilsu

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Re: A simple and realistic way to add challenge back to sieges
« Reply #38 on: January 08, 2010, 05:54:26 am »

It's not like mining has to be fast you know. Just because we're used to it doesn't validate it's current state

Arrkhal

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Re: A simple and realistic way to add challenge back to sieges
« Reply #39 on: January 08, 2010, 08:48:17 am »

Well, my view on that anyway is that dwarves are really great miners, so of course they're fast.  Gobbos, on the other hand, should take far longer.  Not only for gameplay reasons, but also because gobs shouldn't be very good at digging.  They should be better at killing for sure.  But not at digging.

Of course, if you go to war with your own civ, you may wake up one morning to find your entire fortress balanced on a single soap support...

But anyway, it at least makes sense for dwarves to dig much faster than any other vanilla race, even if they end up slowed down a bit.  You could think of it as sort of like "low fantasy" magic, where, rather than being huge epic spells, magic is a subtle force that pervades the world.  A simple healer can only bandage wounds and use herbal remedies, while a master doctor can cure a fatal injury with a touch, without any sort of definite transition in between; it's impossible to really say where it begins to be "magical."  That's low fantasy vs. high fantasy.

Which DF is destined to be remains to be seen, since the magic system is broken.
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Re: A simple and realistic way to add challenge back to sieges
« Reply #40 on: January 10, 2010, 04:32:19 pm »

I think this would make the game even harder for people who are first starting the game.

Do you remember when u first started the game?

I remember about ten failed fortresses (in their first year) not playing 4 a year coming back 5 failed fortresses and then finally finding the DF wiki.

I really just think that making farming (as you say the only foolproof method of attaining (reliable) food) much more difficult is taking the piss...

Hmm...I realise how this came out and i apologise, I do think that this is a good idea and i was meant to simply suggest one of the potential problems that could arise

Also you said that a difficulty option could be implemented? Wouldn't that simply counteract "A simple and realistic way to add challenge back to sieges"?
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Andeerz

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Re: A simple and realistic way to add challenge back to sieges
« Reply #41 on: January 10, 2010, 11:29:28 pm »


Also you said that a difficulty option could be implemented? Wouldn't that simply counteract "A simple and realistic way to add challenge back to sieges"?

Think about how difficulty setting in realistic flight sims like IL-2 are implemented.  Some people want black-outs and easy stalling, so they leave the difficulty on highest setting to get the experience they desire, while those who want arcade-like play or are just starting out turn off the appropriate difficulty options.  With a similar way to turn features on and off in DF, those people may not want difficult and/or realistic(as far as DF can be realistic) sieges for whatever reason (like just starting the game) can just turn off the factors that make them difficult either for the entire world they generate or just their fortress.  So, nah.  I don't think it would invalidate it. 
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Felblood

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Re: A simple and realistic way to add challenge back to sieges
« Reply #42 on: January 11, 2010, 01:22:03 am »

The problem with the original suggestion is that it is to simple. It doesn't apply pressure to the player, it simply adds a check, that forces complete failure under specific circumstances, but can be safely ignored in all others. This renders it useless and restrictive.

However, it can be made to work, by adding system of internal pressures that make it balance a bit more instead of being pass/fail.

To achieve the desired effect (making prolonged sieges slowly degrade the logistical viability of the fort) without the drawback (sieges must be broken immediately in some areas, even with underground farming), cause the maximum annual yield of a farm to degrade constantly over time, until it reaches a set minimum maximum(say one unit per tile per season) or receives a dosage of fertilizer.

With a large enough set of fields one could still sustain his fort without fertilizer, but the player gains much reduced benefit from expert+ growers(as they produce only as much as the field is physically able to support), and must constantly expand his plots, whenever the fortress grows, or his newest plot degrades too much.

Since so little of value grows in the winder, you want to fertilize every spring, for efficiency, but the spring siege will make this inconvenient if you don't have wood stored up in advance.

This still doesn't really give the goblins a chance to get into a well defended, or tightly sealed fort, and it's unlikely to actually kill anyone who knows the rules. (Face it; Bay12 doesn't direct new people to that wiki. There is no official, useful manual, so there will be some newbies killed by this, but not many, as they'll just adapt by building more farms.)

However, it does make sieges more able to hurt the player for making mistakes, in non-fatal ways, which is the thing that they really need, at this juncture.
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Re: A simple and realistic way to add challenge back to sieges
« Reply #43 on: January 11, 2010, 02:40:45 pm »


Also you said that a difficulty option could be implemented? Wouldn't that simply counteract "A simple and realistic way to add challenge back to sieges"?

Think about how difficulty setting in realistic flight sims like IL-2 are implemented.  Some people want black-outs and easy stalling, so they leave the difficulty on highest setting to get the experience they desire, while those who want arcade-like play or are just starting out turn off the appropriate difficulty options.  With a similar way to turn features on and off in DF, those people may not want difficult and/or realistic(as far as DF can be realistic) sieges for whatever reason (like just starting the game) can just turn off the factors that make them difficult either for the entire world they generate or just their fortress.  So, nah.  I don't think it would invalidate it. 

True true...it would probably be easy to implement a difficulty slider, but then you wouldn't necessarily need for farms to need constant fertilisation a a method, as there are a number of other methods that could be used in a difficulty slider? The reason why fertilisation requirement is a good idea is because its so simple, so if you had a difficulty option, but the only option would fertilisation wouldn't this seem lacklustre?

P.S also remember I am once again simply spit balling possible problems at you don't take this the wrong way.

P.P.S One simple raw editable method I use personally for increasing siege difficulty is to actually mod out of the game all edible plants and instead require them to be processed at a smelter using wood into a cookable extract

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Andeerz

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Re: A simple and realistic way to add challenge back to sieges
« Reply #44 on: January 11, 2010, 10:28:10 pm »

Oh, no worries.  I don't take things like what you said the wrong way.  This is helpful discussion. :D  Also, it wouldn't need to be a difficulty "slider". :3  In IL-2 it does something even better:  a toggle switch for each and every difficulty feature.  For example, you can have every single nit-picking realism detail and still choose to toggle off blackouts and redouts from high gee maneuvers.  :D  And your P.P.S. comment... n33t idea... I might do that meself sometime. :B  And I like your name. 
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