Garrisons have too few troops to ever defend succesfully: causes snowballing and boring sieges

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Wahee

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A major issue right now that is contributing to snowballing and just overall boring sieges is that castle/town garrisons are never large enough to defend themselves. Outside of the player, the AI only ever sieges with an army (not individual vassals). A typical army for an average sized faction is what?...300-1000+ units. A typical garrison + militia is usually 150-250.

This means that all AI sieges end in one of two ways, either the army moves away due to an incoming larger army or other need, or they easily take the castle/town. I've never once seen the AI lose the actual assault.

I've managed to do a few siege defenses with a decent sized force, and if you have enough units inside the castle the AI actually performs better. With enough units you can actually block off the gate instead of the typical encircled square of guys behind the gate that gets steamrolled when the gate goes down. You also have enough units to create a chokepoint at the ladders that can actually be defended. The current siege scenes just can't be properly defended with the 150-200 guys you usually have, you need enough bodies to fill all the access points, a larger militia force solves that problem.

This turns all siege gameplay into boring slogs where the defenders never have a chance and you only ever fight underpowered militia garrisons. AI lords never build up garrisons with actual troops and never actually stay inside the walls to participate in the defense.

A simple doubling or more of the base militia (and corresponding food required to prevent starvation) would go a huge way towards slowing down the snowball and making sieges more fun. A mod already do this (Bannerlord Tweaks) and has shown real promise vs. the snowballing, but a permanent official fix is ideal.
 

zeidrich

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I think a lot of the formulas for things like prosperity, food usage, militia, garrisons all are pretty preliminary. A good showcase of this is the militia in villages. The default formula for militia is that you get 1 militia per 250 hearths per day, and 5% of your hearths retire per day. So if you had 300 hearths, you'd get 1.2 per day, and you would slowly gain militia until you reached 24 militia, at which point retirement would be 1.2 per day, and new militia would also be 1.2 per day, and this number would eventually cap.

However, on the start of the game, villages with 200 hearths start with like 35 militia, which is pretty much a scenario that you could never see. There's no way that a village with 200 hearths can ever build 35 militia, nor could so many villages with 35 militia reasonably get to 200 hearths. If it was losing hearths because of raiding it would lose its militia. I guess theoretically it could use it because of years of unresolved issues, but this seems unlikely.

It's the same with the prosperity and garrison impact on food. The game start has prosperity and garrison at a certain rate, and there is an equilibrium point, but that equilibrium point is actually far lower than the settlements start at. You can't afford the food cost of garrison because of these formulas without starving out and losing loyalty and prosperity. The other thing is that lords have been patched to snag garrison troops if they get killed by bandits, so while before there was a problem with broke lords getting constantly captured running around without troops, now there's a problem with lords depleting their garrisons for the same reason.

I think that these numbers will be addressed by taleworlds when other more fundamental fixes are in.
 

luisedgm

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Garrisons right now are too expensive, both money and food wise, towns simply cannot generate enough to protect themselves
 

Azhael

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I agree with everything here and I want to add that it would be nice if taking a castle/town was way harder, you know, like it actually was historically. Not because you have many troops inside, but because the fortification does its damn job of giving actual advantages for the people inside. I think in simulated battles the defenders should get a massive bonus to represent this and sieges need a rework too. I've seen sieges where there are lots of palisades for the attackers to take cover from arrows which somewhat kills the advantage of defenders who have the cover of the walls. Also, there seems to be too many breach points and too effective, like ladders which should be constantly tried to be taken down by defenders. Also the defenders should position themselves better behind the gates once its breached. Murder holes should be taken advantage of and many other things that are lacking in the defenders' side.
 

Chips

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I find that garrisons are shrinking during war as nearly always -ve food, with food stores (especially cities) running out within 2 days despite fully upgraded city.

My own city went from a garrison (admittedly about 20 odd after capture) to 0 due to food shortage in very short order. Didn't seem to be much I could do about it. Perhaps a bit of balance over food usage/stores and depletion.

It was captured when it had a tiny garrison and militia too.
 

urugamer5

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I think the problem is that gatter thr army its too easy. Less influence, less gathering, less snowballing.
I took first city with 60 influence, imagin have 300,i defeat the hole kingdom
 

Neodymus

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On the same note, I always wonder where the palisades for the attackers come from. They are right in shooting range, so they couldn't have been built pre-siege without taking an enormous amount of casualties...
 

Wehveechen

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Agree with this so much. Most of the time, it's better to just let your city or castle be taken and then retake it right away, as opposed to trying to defend. Hopefully future patches will address this.
 

RegamusMaximus

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On the same note, I always wonder where the palisades for the attackers come from. They are right in shooting range, so they couldn't have been built pre-siege without taking an enormous amount of casualties...
They'd build them outside of archer range and then move them up using the prebuilt palisade as cover to do so. It's doable
 

Pejot

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Right now sieges are too short. When one faction decides to take city there won't be any resistance since they can land a siege and build equipment in one in game day. Defenders can't get in time to break the siege and if they didn't rise an army before the siege the chance to get there in time are even lower.
The time it takes to besiege a city should be a lot longer. I think that building the camp with 0 engineering skill should take an ingame week and siege equipment should take 1-3 days depending on skill.
That's also a cause of snowballing cause cities and castles are lost in such short time that there's no chance for reaction. Another thing is that most cities and castles are starving long before a siege but still this should be something that takes time, food and manpower.
 

hamletsdead

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Right now sieges are too short. When one faction decides to take city there won't be any resistance since they can land a siege and build equipment in one in game day. Defenders can't get in time to break the siege and if they didn't rise an army before the siege the chance to get there in time are even lower.
The time it takes to besiege a city should be a lot longer. I think that building the camp with 0 engineering skill should take an ingame week and siege equipment should take 1-3 days depending on skill.
That's also a cause of snowballing cause cities and castles are lost in such short time that there's no chance for reaction. Another thing is that most cities and castles are starving long before a siege but still this should be something that takes time, food and manpower.
Agree. It takes me one day to get around the mountain to get back home and the siege is already over by then. Which is ridiculous. It should be a long hunker down while the food runs out, like a real siege. The defenders should have fire archers, boiling oil to pour on the troops trying to ram the gates, and -- do I really need to say this? -- the defense should already have catapults and ballistas in place as part of their standing defenses. There should also be options for defenders to sally out (e.g., cavalry charge) to engage the attackers, a way to call patrols back to the castle (e.g., carrier pigeons), the battering ram and palisades should be capable of being destroyed by the defenders as the attackers are pushing them towards the walls/gate.

Lastly, anyone for a moat? Nothing like 20 feet of water to keep the armored infantry from trying to storm the walls.
 

paladinx333

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It's just the whole starving garrisons issue again. Lack of food causes garrisons to desert.

There isn't any way to address this withing the game. The improvements that you can build don't add very much food. It's not possible to add food yourself to the garrison's supply cache.

This has been a balance issue since EA started and some changes have actually made the situation worse.
 

9yearsago

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I can't afford large garrisons. I am able to gather enough money but my daily income is always on the negative end and being forced to fight constantly gets really tedious after a while. We need more ways of having income. Taxes barely cover wages of 50 men.

And what happened to sallying out and destroying enemy siege equipment feature?
 

relam10

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Yeah, I think the game need more garrison in general aswell. The problem of this is that snowball not only affect IA, aswell the player. When you reach your full high tier trops, game becomes too easy, you just keep going conquering all castles until you have everything, and sometimes is boring.

Conquering castles should be really hard.

And you should feel great about it, because you managed something hard, not like "oh, one more castle, lets go to another until game end".

Defenders must have way a lot of advantages and tools to defend successfully, and ofc, lords should have enough time to defend their castles if they are traveling out there. Otherwise is always worth just wait until you lose castle and just retake it again, and that sucks, as someone told before.
 
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xdj1nn

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the problem is the "too unrealistic" approach they've opted for sieges.
Small garrisons could effectively wipe out massive armies on sieges, there's a reason why so few siege events in history had actual assaults. Most of them were psychological warfare attacking morale, or, starving out. Assaults only really became more frequent when commanders stated to employ cannons, which only really happened after the Ottoman Emperor took Constantinople by the end of the Medieval period. Basically he was the pioneer on doing it hahaha

Btw, all medieval and iron-age warfare was won by surrender, it was rare to have to kill everyone on the field to win... Meaning that the way sieges are working on BL are really wrong... I shouldn't have to chase down that single remaining peasant who is glitched within a wall to win the siege.
 

Blood Gryphon

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I think something you guys are missing out on is the unfortunate difference in defenders advantage between auto calc (which the AI play by) and the actual in scene battle. Right now garrison sizes are balanced for the autocalc battle, a 200 size defense can defend army sizes of 500 and win. The problem is when the player is involved and makes it an actual scene battle, the defenders advantage goes away. Only way to actually defend a castle in scene is to have 300+ and hope they bring in the buggy siege towers. Garrison sizes are fine where they are at for the autocalc battles, the in scene defenses of the sieges is really what needs improvements.

Also something they haven't implemented yet is getting AI lords to actually sacrifice men to defend inside the castle, like the player can. I think we will get it one day when their aren't other priorities.
 

black_bulldog

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I think something you guys are missing out on is the unfortunate difference in defenders advantage between auto calc (which the AI play by) and the actual in scene battle. Right now garrison sizes are balanced for the autocalc battle, a 200 size defense can defend army sizes of 500 and win. The problem is when the player is involved and makes it an actual scene battle, the defenders advantage goes away. Only way to actually defend a castle in scene is to have 300+ and hope they bring in the buggy siege towers. Garrison sizes are fine where they are at for the autocalc battles, the in scene defenses of the sieges is really what needs improvements.

Also something they haven't implemented yet is getting AI lords to actually sacrifice men to defend inside the castle, like the player can. I think we will get it one day when their aren't other priorities.
True but I want to help defend my fiefs not watch the game play out. There should be some way for TW to balance where even if the player is involved the defenders have an advantage such as a health buff for defenders. The only way I can think to give myself a balance is to lower the difficulty down so troops don't take full damage. The biggest issue I have in defending during a siege is I can command my troops but castle/town defenders I can't give any orders to. Oh and the ai is damn near brain dead when the gates are broken.
 

Blood Gryphon

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True but I want to help defend my fiefs not watch the game play out. There should be some way for TW to balance where even if the player is involved the defenders have an advantage such as a health buff for defenders. The only way I can think to give myself a balance is to lower the difficulty down so troops don't take full damage. The biggest issue I have in defending during a siege is I can command my troops but castle/town defenders I can't give any orders to. Oh and the ai is damn near brain dead when the gates are broken.
Yeah thats what im saying, its less about the size of the garrison and more about giving that garrison a realistic advantage against attackers in scene like they get in the auto calc. Don't worry they have recognized this fact and understand they need to do something about it, but it will likely take awhile as it involves redesigning the siege maps and AI pathing/logic. Trust me my favorite thing in this game is actually defending sieges even though it happens so rarely. One of my accomplishments on the forums is getting the penalty for entering a sieged castle to defend to be reduced (it was like half of your troops but now its around 25-30%).
 

hamletsdead

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the problem is the "too unrealistic" approach they've opted for sieges.
Small garrisons could effectively wipe out massive armies on sieges, there's a reason why so few siege events in history had actual assaults. Most of them were psychological warfare attacking morale, or, starving out. Assaults only really became more frequent when commanders stated to employ cannons, which only really happened after the Ottoman Emperor took Constantinople by the end of the Medieval period. Basically he was the pioneer on doing it hahaha

Btw, all medieval and iron-age warfare was won by surrender, it was rare to have to kill everyone on the field to win... Meaning that the way sieges are working on BL are really wrong... I shouldn't have to chase down that single remaining peasant who is glitched within a wall to win the siege.
Agree, there should be a Surrender popup from the garrison during sieges. When you've got 150 men left and your gates are down and the invaders are storming in, why fight to the death?