Below are the changes to castles and strongholds and their reasonings:
Castles and strongholds have an inherent defense bonus to initial combat strength of 1.
(this needs no explanation, if you believe that hiding behind 6 feet of stone and shooting arrows through "murder holes" from 40 feet in the air at your enemies confers no better defense bonus than hiding behind a bush in an open field then seek help)
Siege engines may be taken as casualties in combat, but may never retreat.
(defending or attacking forces may hide behind their siege towers or ballistae as cover, but that cover may be destroyed in the process)
Siege engines have a defense of 1 if it is in a castle or stronghold, but may not retreat or be taken as casualties from special cards or sword icons.
(you have comitted your new artillery to the outer walls of the fortress to improve defenses but now are part of the fortress now)
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That makes the game a bit more difficult for losing houses but I'm all for those rules they make total sense!
What makes no sense for me at all is why does using a siege machine gives you a bonus of +4 against castles and strongholds while the these ones give no bonus at all? I agree with you jhagen, I just played a 5p game with a new rule: castles add 2 defense bonus and strongholds add 3. It was an interesting match, wasn't unbalanced cause those bonusses were aplyed to everyone, instead, the game seemed more stable. At the end of the game, the starks (a new player) got trapped in Winterfell, but managed to resist till the end of the game (+3 bonus for stronghold, +2 garrison, units and cards).
The only downside is that it adds some boring calculation…
I'm thinking about giving +2 to castles and +4 to strongholds and instead of giving +4 to sieges, to make them cancel the castles and stronghold bonusses (witch would be way more realistic), it would make things easier.
In real life it would be impossible to take a castle without siege machines.
ps: sorry for the poor english.
Just played 1 game so far but I got the impression that in fact due to the siege engines castle and stronghold territories are weaker and more difficult to defend than normal territories. This may make castles more sense but how does this affect the game flow? I have read a lot about the houses "turtling" on some parts of the map, and this tweak may boost that tactic and thus make the game more boring. Is this the case?
I would like to learn some more experiences around this tweak.
Variant of play posts i make do not go up until they are playtested thoroughly. (albeit not completely playtested for all outcomes and combination possibilities)
in many games it was discovered that strongholds/castles were actually a penalty in some regions (such as martells home, riverrun and harrenhal)
- a lone siege could take a castle with 1 or 2 units defending quite easily.
the issue of basic strength calculation, and the goal of the game was then carried into question for both balance, logic and lore.
- why does a player win the game if he captures 7 castles? what benefit do they confer if they have no strategic value over an empty region or lake.
- all things considered, how does 1 footman unit topple another opposing one securely shacked up in a castle just because their house lord has more power on the fifedoms track. (its rhetorical, and please before you post, assume equal house card powers were played and no support was offered)
With the change it makes muster/victory points easier to defend and therefore more valuable, and in turn subject to more pitched battles over them.
the bottlenecks in seagard, kings landing, winterfell, moat calin and riverrun are not significantly effected by this change.
in fact first turn riverrun from lannister is now a possibility, and martell can leave a lone footman with his garrison for some time now with a hostile barratheon player.(for example)
the reason the defense values were set to 1 and 2 respectively was to allow footmen and kights to defend agains like units with a slight advantage.
remember when aking your own rule variants to start with small changes to the game dynamic first, (such as a +1 or +2) when using much higher numbers you can easily throw game balance off
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