Siege defenders need some love

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Azhael

Veteran
I'm starting this thread because I believe defenders in sieges should have more noticable advantages. Mainly, to make it so that fewer men are required to successfully defend a castle. As of now the amount of troops can have a ratio of 1:1 and attackers still win in many cases. I think a 3:1 ratio should be needed at least, possibly even more, to be able to take a castle. This would not only be more accurate, and thus more immersive and enjoyable in my opinion, but could potentially help mitigate the snowballing issue in the game as of now, since taking a castle would be a significant investment of troops due to the amount of casualties a besieging force would take. Also, this would make taking a castle a more rewarding feat.

Now let's get to the in-game details. Currently, the advantage of cover from arrow fire that merlons should provide is very limited due to the AI just standing there between the gaps while shooting. I hope the devs can implement a mechanic that lets AI and players take cover by pressing F or some other key at merlons and then lean out to shoot arrows, much like in Red Dead Redemption or games like that where you take cover behind corners, boxes and such. This would make hitting defending ranged units very hard as they would only be exposed for very short periods of time while shooting, and only partially as even then they wouldn't fully stand between the gaps. If such a mechanic couldn't be implemented for some reason, then at least making the AI able to shoot, take cover to reload and move again to shoot would work.

Also, there should be less barricades on the field on the attackers' side. There could be some near the siege engines, somewhat far from the castle, but right now there are tons of barricades in most scenes and very close to the walls, which is not very accurate I believe. They couldn't have been built there and I can imagine the attackers carrying an already built barricade between a group of men close to the walls, but that would be very risky as they could get shot easily by arrow fire. Being that the case, building those barricades could be optional in the overworld siege phase and their deployment have a chance of inflicting some casualties on the attackers' side. Currently, having those there pre-deployed is an unnecessary advantage for the attacking side.

Furthermore, ladders should need to be taken near the walls by a group of men, not just laying there conviniently. This would portrait better the risk of assaulting a castle's wall without a ram or siege tower. Say for instance each ladder is carried by 4 men that can't be using shields at the same time and need at least two of them alive. If three get killed, the remaining soldier drops the ladder (as he can't carry it all by himself) and requests help from a fellow soldier who then joins him in picking up the ladder, and start taking it again near the walls. The more men carrying the ladder the faster they could move, but if only two were carrying it then they would be slowed down considerably.

Finally, it is my understanding that destroying a whole section of a castle wall with catapult or trebuchet fire is unrealistic, so huge holes like the ones that leaving the walls with 0 hp create maybe shouldn't exist. If I'm not mistaken, flying boulders were mainly used to destroy small parts of the walls to be able to better reach with a siege tower, or destroy wooden battlements to take out some of the cover defenders had, or cause some casualties and lower morale inside the castle. Maybe lowering the hp of the walls in the overworld phase of the siege could be a requirement to successfully be able to use a siege tower. But anyway, this last part is not the most important one in my opinion, but I thought I could mention it aswell.
 
I agree with all your points. Sieges don't feel like the uphill battle they should and a big part of that is that the castles and walls don't work as the power multiplier they should. I've found it is actually easier to shoot archers up on the battlements from behind the cover of those barricades than the reverse.

In addition to your suggestions it'd also help if the AI was smart enough to use things like the drop rocks and such. It would also help if the gate was more well defended with more castles having gatehouse arrowslits and the AI actually using the murderhole to its full advantage.

I also don't think I've ever seen the AI use the ladder prod to push ladders off the walls. Taking the walls with just ladders should be very costly but right now it just isn't. Letting the AI shove ladders off the walls and shoot ladder carriers on their way to the walls would go a long way to making it very expensive in lives to not bring siege towers.

Sallying out could also work more like a bandit camp fight. You wait for the night, use the sallyport with 10 or so of your best men, and raid the enemy camp to kill as many as you can before the enemy is fully alerted to your presence and you're forced to fall back. It would be a way to bleed enemy sieges that go on for more than one day.

This last suggestion might be a bit too RNG but it'd also help if the process of laying siege was more costly. Troops had to go up to set up those barricades after all. Losing a small number of men every day you are laying siege from crossbow and ballista shots while your troops set up the siege would cause more attrition before the battle commences and give the defenders an additional advantage.
 

Sasete

Recruit
+1000 with this, also I think, we shouldn't be able to attack siege without any other siege engines built such as ram or tower where walls' tier lower than 2. And go back to map scene when they got destroyed. So only ladders shouldn't be enough to attack tier2 and tier3 walls.
 

Aruda

Knight at Arms
VC
I also don't think I've ever seen the AI use the ladder prod to push ladders off the walls. Taking the walls with just ladders should be very costly but right now it just isn't. Letting the AI shove ladders off the walls and shoot ladder carriers on their way to the walls would go a long way to making it very expensive in lives to not bring siege towers.
I agree with everything. But I've seen, several times actually AI pushing the ladders off the walls and when my soldiers lift it up they push it off again immediately. But they dont do it for all the ladders, just doing it for one or two.
 

mfuegemann

Regular
+1 from me. At the moment I can take castles and towns at a minimum cost. The suggestions are sound, thank You for the ideas!
I am not waiting for catapults anymore. I start after the ram and 2 towers are built.
There still is the issue with the gate defending troops, just standing around while attacked.
 
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I agree with everything. But I've seen, several times actually AI pushing the ladders off the walls and when my soldiers lift it up they push it off again immediately. But they dont do it for all the ladders, just doing it for one or two.

Interesting. Maybe they do in my game and I just never noticed because I am busy eye hunting for crossbowmen.
 

Sithrain

Sergeant
The AI will push ladders off the walls fairly reliably, but they can't do it if someone is on the ladder. If you order your whole army to stand in front of the walls some of them will automatically run up to raise the ladders again every time, usually dying in the process, and you can watch the AI react like this forever as far as I can tell. It actually provides an opportunity to snipe whoever is wielding the fork, although it also constantly bleeds your troops while they keep trying to raise the ladders. Your troops will always do this for both ladder spots as well, which can be a little frustrating if you know there's one side you want to avoid.
 

Azhael

Veteran
+1 from me. At the moment I can take castles and towns at a minimum cost. The suggestions are sound, thank You for the ideas!
I am not waiting for catapults anymore. I start after the ram and 2 towers are built.
There still is the issue with the gate defending troops, just standing around while attacked.

Thank you for your comment. Indeed the units behind the gates stand there doing nothing, but I'm pretty sure that will get fixed eventually as it is clearly broken.
 

Ocean Rain

Sergeant
M&BWBWF&S
Agree with all this. It feels more like as a defender you are locked in the town / castle and you have no place left to run instead of feeling protected by the walls and height advantage.
 
I agree with everything.

Let's say the attacker do successfully take the outer walls. I think there should be another line of defence. Looking at the castles and fortifications in Bannerlord, it does seem they have another layer of defence. This was useful historically for defenders to fall back to. I do believe the inner defences were centred around the main keep.

Also, in one of the imperial and Sturgian castle maps, I found a back door which is realistic but honestly it's too easy to access. No gate or anything. Just wide open.
 

Blood Gryphon

Master Knight
WBVC
I like these ideas a lot, but i actually think the Viking Conquest DLC was a great middle ground. As far as barricades and ladders, i think these are fine where they are at, but you should be forced to spend time and sacrifice troops to "place mantlets" like in VC before the actual in game fight happens. I also think when a settlement gets sieged and attackers are building the siege camp, defending parties should be able to get into the settlement with minimal causalities until the siege camp is finished being built. I think all the options from VC sieges should be in Bannerlord, alongside the current features of being able to build siege equipment. They would both start to happen once the siege camp is built, no need make everything in the same queue, just have two different queues for siege equipment and "planning siege" queue like in VC.
 

Blood Gryphon

Master Knight
WBVC
I agree with everything.

Let's say the attacker do successfully take the outer walls. I think there should be another line of defence. Looking at the castles and fortifications in Bannerlord, it does seem they have another layer of defence. This was useful historically for defenders to fall back to. I do believe the inner defences were centred around the main keep.

Also, in one of the imperial and Sturgian castle maps, I found a back door which is realistic but honestly it's too easy to access. No gate or anything. Just wide open.
Yeah right now when the castle walls and gate are lost, troops tend to retreat to the keep. This is because at some point in the future we will have a final keep battle to actually take the castle. Right now it is not implemented. Although some people have actually been popped into the keep scenes by accident.
 
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durbal

Sergeant
Stuff like boiling oil should be at the inner gate and walls by default. It's a fortified castle and the only thing the defenders have is some piles of rocks?

Look at the siege of Constantinople. The Turks outnumbered the Byzantines over tenfold and even then they didn't dare approach the walls until the walls were destroyed.
 
Yeah right now when the castle walls and gate are lost, troops tend to retreat to the keep. This is because at some point in the future we will have a final keep battle to actually take the castle. Right now it is not implemented. Although some people have actually been popped into the keep scenes by accident.
I didn't know that. Thought it was just a bug map.
 

Pejot

Sergeant Knight
WBVC
I agree with OP and I will also add that I would like to see some AI attempts to starve city/castle instead of always assaulting it. Maybe if they have enough chance to win with the garrison in field they could try to starve the city/castle.
 
I don't know if they can starve. Whenever I've siege a castle their food is always at 0 but somehow they increased in units. Days pass and my army starves but not them. Maybe this is a bug only for castles? I haven't payed attention to city siege food.
 

Pejot

Sergeant Knight
WBVC
I don't know if they can starve. Whenever I've siege a castle their food is always at 0 but somehow they increased in units. Days pass and my army starves but not them. Maybe this is a bug only for castles? I haven't payed attention to city siege food.

The food You see at the top is bugged You need to look at city/castle tooltip to se if they can starve. They can but there's also problem with militia that can raise even in starving city if the prosperity is high that's why You see their number raising but at the same time garrison number can decrease cause of starvation.
I actually tested it and I could take the city after 7 days cause all defenders died. It also hits prosperity a lot and is time/influence/money/food consuming.
 
i agree taking a Castle should feel like they Cost ALOT to take and should feel more rewarding when U do take them I find right now I can easily steamroll most sieges as an attacker
 
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