Fortification functionality

  • I am wondering what people think of how forts work. Currently most people have them be a defensive unit that boosts other troops defense. I am wondering if it would make more sense for them to lower the enemies offense.

    I am wondering for both functionality, and historical reality.

    Historically, trenches made it harder to get hit, but in the game, the tend to have the affect of making your defensive troops get hits easier.

    Functionally, more defense is better if you are overwhelmed, because you will kill at least something, and if you are overwhelmed, there will still be enough troops with power to wipe you out. less offense is better if you have more troops on defense, because more of your troops will survive (i think). So i am just wondering what people think of this. Thanks

  • Moderators

    you can do both. Doesn't need to be one way or the other. Troops in a fort would have better defense than those in open ground. Verdun : )

  • I know i can do both, I am trying to decide on what I think the better way to do it is, and what makes the most sense. I was thinking it would be nice to have a basic trench that lowers enemy offense, and then an upgrade, maybe a pillbox, that upgrades your defense.

    I am more wondering if there is some reason that it tends to be what it is as opposed to just what it has always been. From a realism perspective, I would say all the way back to artillery in the original version, it would actually kind of make sense for it to lower defenders defense instead of attackers offense.

    Of course I am making an xcom game based on an alien invasion, so it isn't like realism really matters. It isn't like a tactical half rpg, half shooter translates very well to a turn based strategy game anyway!

  • Moderators

    well trenches, forts, pillboxes make me think of the defense. You can represent that by a negative offense or a plus defense. Probably some minor advantages either way.

  • Admin

    Castles are force multipliers. For example, in gate houses with double portcullises, after the attacker has breached the first and is inside the gate-house, murder holes were there so that a single person could from cover cause devastation to the attackers while they worked on the second portcullis. The purpose of many castles was to hold territory. There are a number of stories where only a couple dozen people are enough to hold an entire castle from a significant army.

    Does the castle decrease offensive value? I'd say no. Whether you're punching a wall or a punching a soldier, the punch has the same force.

    On the other hand, obstacles do impede attackers. Castles often had trenches dug in front of their walls to increase the effective height, and where available moats were put in place. This again increased the defensive value of the fort. Thinking of things like tank traps, it also does impede the attacker. In that kind of scenario it is as if the fortification has a defensive (die roll) value in itself.

    Great War IIRC has defensive units that are simply hit points. IMO that makes a good bit of sense as the defensive fortification is absorbing damage.

    To some extent I suspect a lot of it depends on the scenario and time period. Increasing defensive value or having the fortification be hitpoints both make sense. Perhaps the fort could also be a supporting defensive unit and boost the defensive roll as well as be hit points.

  • @LaFayette Thanks, i like your perspective/info on it, particularly the bit about the unit that is basically just hp.

    What would you think of it from modern forces perspective? Trenches and barbed wire i would assume.

  • Moderators


    something to consider if you go lowering offense is your die sides. A six sided die with a infantry attacking at 1 wouldn't work. 12 side, you could lower their attack by 50% from a 2 to a 1. 12 side be the way to go anyway : )

  • @beelee I was already thinking either 12 or 20. The POS tutorial map says that numbers other than 6 can cause issues though, so I am hoping to learn more about that before really figuring out my numbers.

  • Moderators

    Yea i think that's only for certain things. I could be wrong though. TWW uses a 12 side and they have their stuff crunched out pretty good if you want to use something as a base.

  • Moderators Admin

    @beelee Don't say that to loudly @Hepps will get a fat head 😉

  • Moderators


    heh heh we need to try and distract him with whiskey.

    Hepps be doing just fine 🙂

  • Admin

    @ff03k64 said in Fortification functionality:

    What would you think of it from modern forces perspective? Trenches and barbed wire i would assume.

    I could see a case for lowering the effective attack of a unit. Barbed wire slows infantry down. IMO a lot of modern defense is about providing cover and is only effective against certain attacks. In part firepower has grown so overwhelming. For example, pillboxes are still built and used, but it won't fully protect you against direct fire from a tank and airplane.

    Should barbed wire be an attack penalty for just infantry? To answer my own question, I'm not sure. Disrupting infantry will also disrupt the combined arms benefit of infantry attacking with a tank.

    I'm also thinking about ruined cities, notorious as tank traps as anti-tank personnel can often use the ruins for cover, hide and strike.

    I think where it's so complex is that only certain defenses are effective against certain attacks and negating a combined arms attack has its own benefit. For example, a ruined city with a massive smoke screen is simply difficult to attack. Airplanes have trouble, the ruins make it slow and dangerous for vehicles leaving mainly infantry vs infantry combat. That is where you often see tactics of infantry tunneling through building walls from one to another to avoid taking fire from entrenched defensive positions.

    How to model that in a game is an interesting question for certain.

  • IMHO defensive improvements should weaken attackers, not strengthen defenders.

    • Is a defender suddenly going to shoot more accurately by sitting in a pillbox? I contend that an attacker will have a hard time hitting a smaller target and therefore have a lower chance of a hit. Adding barriers should never increase the chance of a hit. I believe that the opposite should be true.
    • 'Buffing' defenders means that the value of the fortification is independent of the size of the attackers forces. Is that how it works in the real world? Is that how it should work in a game? If the number of defenders is small, then they are not getting much 'value' out of their fort.
    • 'Nerfing' attackers, OTOH, means that the attackers' combat effectiveness scales with the size of their army. If a small band of defenders is huddled in their castle, every one of the attackers would have difficulty in shooting them. Or getting over the wall, or overrunning a trench, etc.

    Game Engine Question: A fortification should perhaps provide some protection to defenders by reducing damage. Is there a game mechanism that could change the number of defender hit-points if there are fortress-equivalents present? Say an infantry (normally 1HP) suddenly has 2HP if they are in a fortress? Could this benefit have a unit count limit, so only the, say, first 10 infantry are enhanced as there are space limits in the fortress?

  • Admin

    @tinfoil666 For the most part, I agree with you though whether you have limited battle rounds plays a big part in this as if you don't then the difference between weakening attacker and strengthening defenders isn't much since they fight to the death.

    I don't believe there is any easy way to have a fortification increase the HP of other units. You could either have the fortifications increase their defense or have fortifications that have 0 attack/defense and just HP or some combination of those. You might be able to do something with triggers where units in a territory with a fortification are changed into a unit with more HP after your turn and then a trigger to change them back at the start of your turn.

    I believe what you are getting at would be something like adding a new supportAttachment option that could increase HP instead of just attack/defense. Its an interesting idea and you could create a feature request to see if others supported it as well.

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