Continued from the Plight of Swadia thread.
Feedback on Senuzgda Castle (Swadian castle SW of Dhirim):
The defensive layout is sub-optimal for several reasons.
1.) There is no barred gate. The invader has to run along the road, then dive right towards the stairs up to the central gate tower.
Due to the layout of the initial spawning points and the gate towers, this means that the attacking force is effectively shielded from roughly a third - if not more - of the enemy archers at all times due to the layout of the side/central towers, and that any such fire is hardly enough to stop tier 5+ units, whether Foot or dismounted Cavalry.
2.) The Spawn-Point for infantry units within the central tower has them hunker -away- from the narrow stair leading upwards, leaving any attacker more than enough space to get 5-10 soldiers up at any time, which in case of heavily armored infantry spearheads is usually more than enough to break the backbone of that first block of defenders.
Meanwhile, again, due to the layout, the defending archers are unable to fire upon the attackers - neither while standing in the courtyard, as the barrier of stones/spikes is high enough to eat up most projectiles, nor while standing on the towers, as the fighting is taking place not on the walls, but within an enclosed room.
3.) The vast inner courtyard means that, once the initial defenders are getting mauled, any newly-spawned defending troops have to run for almost a minute, never in time to actually do anything but getting picked off by the attacker's archers, which by now should occupy the gangway up the wall, giving them a perfect high ground to shoot down into the completely cover-free courtyard.
4.) At this point, the attacker can just herd their archers to and fro, shooting the defenders until the archers are out of ammunition, then mop up the rest with infantry, further minimizing losses.
Suggestions: I do not see how to fix this without extensively redesigning the gate/tower area to feature better fields of fire for the archers. However, adding ladders to channel the attackers - with positions for defending archers to shoot any such attackers in the side, as with most other castles/towns - is quite necessary.
First and most importantly, in my opinion, would be to bar the gate, slap some ladders onto those walls and shift the initial defender spawn-points accordingly, as well as either providing some cover from the upper wall gangway in the central courtyard (so the defender can assemble without getting shot to pieces from their own walls).
Thoughts on Uxkhal:
1.) The double-wall set-up, unfortunately, does not work well with Mount & Blade, as the defender is forced, by initial spawn-point, to defend the front wall with half the troops - and it takes ages for the defenders of the back wall to arrive at the front wall due to the pathing AI.
2.) Due to this split defense, there are not enough archers to exploit the considerable vulnerabilities of these siege ladders - shooting people in the flanks from towers jutting slightly forward - as half the troops are at the back wall. This, in turn, means that the enemy assault infantry will be able to arrive in force and good health to punch through the (equally understrength) front wall defending infantry.
3.) Due to the very steep angle of the wall to the ground, the dead zone for back wall archers is considerable making it even more difficult for them to weaken the enemy attackers. Also, it is somewhat illogical for ladders to lean on the back wall already - wouldn't an attacker have to get past the first wall and deploy them under fire then (I assume this is impossible with the WB mechanics, but still).
4.) Spawn-point problem for the defender, again. I do not know if it is the same for everyone else, but with battle size 300, by the time enemies respawn, I have (most of the time) already had my archers pick off most of the defenders on the back wall. I would suggest adding either more stairs, or broadening the stairs at the back wall to make it easier/faster for troops to move up to defend it.
a.) Keeping the dual-wall system:
Move the front wall forward by several meters (increasing the field of fire for back wall archers), lower the front and back wall by roughly 2-3 meters, thus lowering the deadzone for the back wall. Actually, lower the front wall more, so attacking archers can't just shoot the back wall defenders from now-equal height, and instead end up in an exposed position (more so than on the ground).
b.) Not keeping the dual-wall setup:
Standard ladder siege defense. Archer towers to the side of the ladders, infantry spawn right at the ladders, 2-3 ladders tops. Fairly vanilla setup, but it does work, and actually gives the defender the home field advantage they need.
I must make clear, however, that these are not demands; things are fine the way they are. The player, after all, has a brain they can use, and if that means letting the enemy take the castle/the city, then taking it back, so be it.