Are Cities EVER Defenseless?

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Home Forums Age of Wonders 3 Discussions Are Cities EVER Defenseless?

This topic contains 22 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  leomund 5 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #4139

    I am glad to see in several new games (like Fallen Enchantress or the Total War saga) that coties nowadays in these kind of games always have a realistic town militia even if they don’t have any units defending it.

    It only makes sense that a population would have some sort of way to organize itself against a small invading force or against wild beasts.

    It could be a technology to research and maybe a warlord’s empire would be more inclined to have a stronger militia… Still a city should never be completely defenseless, because in real life that just doesn’t exist.

     

     

    #4141

    Fogcrow
    Member

    agreed

    #4144

    Draxynnic
    Member

    Hrrrmn…

    Previous versions of the game did have the idea of a ‘natural militia’ in the form of the forces that could be generated if the city revolts, and which also needed to be overpowered before you could destroy a building or structure. One way this could be represented is that, if the cities population has a strong enough dislike for the attacker that they would want to rebel if conquered, that these forces might have the same chance to appear beside any player-owned defending forces to resist the attacker. However, these forces would not appear if the city is attacked by a player that the race is on good terms with – the units generated this way have no allegiance to the player and are just defending their homes. (This could be represented by their remaining out of the control of the player, although the player may still be able to cast spells to assist them even if there are no player-owned forces in the battle.)

    #4146

    Zozma
    Member

    Defense of a city represents the player’s foresight and availability of resources. If you want to hold on to a city then you should be able to muster defenses. If you can’t muster defenses, then conquering or expanding were bad investments at the time that are punishable through the loss of said city. A free militia would undermine the management efforts of the player and take away from some of the strategy of the game; knowing when to keep pushing, knowing when to hold back, and knowing how to properly defend your assets.

    It’s not realistic for a lone swordsman to walk into a city and take it uncontested, but neither is it realistic for a lone swordsman to walk into a city, beat their militia, and somehow be able to enforce his will over the masses. Realism has to take a back seat to the functionality of game mechanics, and a free militia could feasibly detract from that.

    #4147

    NEHZ
    Member

    Militia, being payed forces, are basicly the responibility of the goverment, in this case the player like Zozma said. The normal civilians useally don’t take up arms to defend their homes, but leave it to the paid troops. Though they might aid in the form of supplies, medical aid and things like dropping feces over the walls. A resistance, where normal civilians turn into fighters, is something that happens when they’re desperate to change the situation: they realise there aren’t any paid forces to keep them from being oppressed.

    If every unit in the previous AoW games represents a whole group, it’s actually rather realistic that there aren’t any militia.

    That doesn’t mean that uncontrollable militia don’t fall in the ‘superrealism’ catagory though. Meaning they can make the game feel more realistic even if they’re less realistic.

    #4157

    Draxynnic
    Member

    That sort of thing is why I suggested that it only happen if the inhabitants would be inclined to rebel if conquered by the attacker. The civilians probably wouldn’t be all that inclined to fight to prevent themselves from being taken over by someone they can tolerate, but dwarves (for example) would probably be willing to fight to hold off an attack by a goblin leader who has a track record of razing, looting and migrating dwarven cities.

    #4158

    GreyHuntr
    Member

    I must admit that I like the function of militia in the later Total War games. The more loyal the populace, the more militia units spawn to defend it. However, I do not think it is right for Age of Wonders. Zozma makes a good point about weighing the needs of expansion against thee ability to defend what you have gained. I am in a PBEM game of AoW1 right now in which has a lot of islands. One player managed to fly an eagle deep into an enemy empire and take their undefended capital and a few watchtowers. Even though the player that got attacked was my ally, I still applaud the eagle’s owner for taking advantage of the situation. By not having militia automatically spawn it forces you to be aware of your enemies movements lest you get taken by surprise.

    #4159

    BlaneckW
    Member

    I suggested a garrison upgrade, but I only meant it as another upgrade like wall 1 and wall 2, to make defence stronger and cheaper.

    #4160

    Zozma
    Member

    I think that if it’s a feature, it ought to be a little more demanding than a building upgrade or a research option. I could see it working if it functions similar to rushing production in AoW2; disproportionately high gold and population cost, only you get the unit at the end of your turn, it can’t leave the city, and it’s only available as a low tier or unit. And if it’s limited to the Warlord class, even better.

    #4162

    Draxynnic
    Member

    That is one thing I would like to see in general, actually – under certain circumstances (like if the unit is already being built in one turn without being rushed) you can rush it and have it appear at the start of the next player’s turn rather than at the start of your next turn. This would grant an option to deal with some of those “oh, bother” situations that come up when you have Master of Magic-style unit production with HoMM-style overland movement rates.

    #4163

    b0rsuk
    Member

    It depends on the kind of invaders!
    – If they are evil monsters who just want to kill and destroy, people would organize a militia
    – If they are some raiders who want to pillage, rape and raze, they would probably organize a militia
    – If it’s an army of another warlord, they are likely not to do it. People often don’t care whom they pay taxes to, as long as they can live in peace. And rulers are all too happy to take those taxes. Furthermore, if they greet a potential new ruler with sharpened sticks, they risk severe punishment. The new ruler may want to make an example of the City, for example by killing every 10th person in the population.

    Therefore, the way it works in Elemental is unrealistic.

    I agree with Draxynnic – if there is going to be any kind of militia, it should be based on dislike for the attacker. If there’s a race or Leader class they hate for some reason, they would be more likely to help. Alternatively, it could be based on the city’s morale. A city with low morale might even organize a “negative militia” of traitors, who hope to profit under the new leader!. I sincerely hope modders will be able to add this kind of stuff.

    #4166

    Draxynnic
    Member

    That’s quite a valid point – a city with negative morale could well have a chance to initiate a rebellion triggered by the arrival of an invading army, if they think the invaders are likely to win. Especially if they’re on good terms with the attacker…

    #4167

    NEHZ
    Member

    I can already see how a rogue player would manipulate cities before attacking them. First lowering morale, then encouraging civilians to welcome their liberator by harassing their opressors. Viva la resistance! Perhaps rogues can even try to send weapons to oppressed cities.

    #4171

    Jayaris
    Member

    I prefer the retroactive process of a city revolting. I really don’t think the citizens of a city would be loyal or organized enough to form a militia once a professional army is already at the gates.

    I wouldn’t mind having the ability to summon a Militia unit in exchange for a temporary production/income penalty.

    #4172

    Fogcrow
    Member

    Imo in AoW2 undefended town were just to easy to take. An upkeep free militia like 2 Archers and a swordsman for example would really have been nice. a single scout/bird conquering a town just doesn’t feel right for me.

    Imo the militia should consist of tier 0-1 units, number based on town size, shouldn’t require a special class or upgrade or building and should only appear after the town was held for at least 6 consecutive turns.

    #4174

    Deecee
    Member

    Really good ideas here,some I agree some I don’t.  Another way to address this could be making this a choice which will come with it’s penalties based on your class.Altough I don’t know what abilities classes will have,here are some examples I tought of.And ofc these militia won’t be powerful,so will force you to think if it’s worth doing it.Also, they will be available before other player’s turn,so other player will see them and may decide not attacking at all, making this a more difficult choice.

    Dreadnought: Can power up automated defenses as militia but during that time since the city will be focused on powering those constructs,it won’t be able to produce and won’t have any income.

    Rogue: Can hire underground mobs with gold and they also have upkeep until their contract is cancelled.You can cancel their contract once you think it’s safe,but since they were ‘happy’ with all payment,they might turn against you if they feel you are weak once you cancel contract.Also,being looters,rapers,killers,smugglers and all sort of criminals,they increase unrest and lower morale the more they stay active.It may be unwise to do this in recently captured cities,where your influence is still low.

    Druid: Can summon a guardian elemental alligned with sphere of magic (or possibly city terrain).But since this is a hastily done summoning,no rituals or communications done with elemental,so druid had to enslave it.This also made the creature’s ties with our world very weak,and it loses hp each turn it’s active.This act of enslavement makes elementals angry,and those you summoned have their morales dropped significantly,possibly leading to deserters.

    etc.Sorry for long post.These are what came to my mind quickly,they may not make sense at all but I think stuff like these can strengthen the class based leader system while adding more strategic depth into game.

     

    #4193

    Narvek
    Keymaster

    Well the original post was pretty close to the truth in the last paragraph: researchable skills and spells will allow you to have additional defenses for your cities.

    Warlord indeed has a special ‘trick’ pertaining to this. Maybe even two, depending on how you count :p

    It is however important to keep the strategic element of where you allocate your forces, so we won’t make cities pretty strong by default, and it will in fact be possible to just occupy a city with minimal forces.

    (There’s also the fact that some city’s population may very well wish to be saved from the current occupier by the forces that attack it. So it would not necessarily be true that a city’s population always resists.)

    #4195

    Fogcrow
    Member

    researchable skills and spells will allow you to have additional defenses for your cities.

    so researchable skills are in. This makes me very sad.

    I recently rebought AoW:SM( couldn’t get the good old disk version to work graphic wise on a current sys), and replayed it without researching skills(aside from the obligatory casting specialists) or forging items. Was my best experiance in many years with that game^^.

    Like I said in another thread, skills shouldn’t be researchable at all imo, but be gained solely through level ups.

    Well, now that they’r in, how will research work? Same as AoW2? Will we research nonmagical skills with mana again? I can’t put into words just how wrong that feels.

     

     

    #4203

    Red Key
    Member

    so researchable skills are in. This makes me very sad.

    You might be reading too much into what Narvek said. The skills he was referring to might not be the same as the leader/wizard skills in AoW2 (I think they should have been called something different like “traits”). It sounds like there are skills/abilities only certain classes can research, which would be different. Narvek mentioned the Warlord class as an example.

    #4246

    Narvek
    Keymaster

    The skills definitely not like in Shadow Magic. To give you an idea: Your class units are unlocked through researching empire skills from your specific class.

    Anyway, that’s off-topic.

    On topic I can say we will have a new mechanic where we will allow players to harness the strength of the city’s population. It comes at a price however: normal civilians don’t fight for gold or honor, but can be rallied to fight for their freedom..

     

    #4250

    Draxynnic
    Member

    That sounds like it’s basically a case of ‘you need to keep the people happy with you and angry with your enemies’ – which could well involve paying for city improvements that don’t directly relate to your strategic position and/or propaganda that paints the other side as oppressive baby-killers that want to burn their homes and defile their daughters.

    #4255

    BlaneckW
    Member

    They talked about it, or at least mentioned it, in the video with the Theocrat.  I think they have more options available for race relations now than AOW1 wall-building.

    #4256

    leomund
    Member

    I agree with the OP.  Realism aside, I never found it enjoyable to conquer a city, then spend several turns building a wall and a couple low level units.  It adds a lot to the micromanagement of the endgame, without adding too fun (unless you are a bureaucrat at heart).

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