Greetings and welcome to the third dev blog for Goblin Storm!
Today I will discuss the intricacies of human kingdom building. This will be something of a technical devblog covering the details of each settlement type in a human kingdom. But I promise, I will return next week with a devblog for Goblins and their instinctual compulsion to burn everything down!
Meet the Kingdom:
The average human kingdom is composed of numerous towns, villages, castles, abbeys and other structures. These are divided into roughly three categories, placeable settlements, purchasable fortifications and pre-placed settlements.
Let's take a look at them!
Placeable settlements, (towns, villages and castles) are the bedrock of human kingdoms. They provide all of a kingdom's levies and most of its gold. This is important because gold is used to purchase fortifications and professional soldiers for your field army.
Role: Large settlement.
Number: 2-4 allotted to the human player at the start of the game.
Towns are the core feature of the human kingdom. The population, development and economy of a town are dictated by the surrounding terrain. The population, large levies and tremendous economic value of towns make them valuable assets to the human defender and prime targets for Goblin attackers. Towns must be placed on roads, and must be at least 10 hexes away from any other town. Thus, towns are critical assets, but they also force the human player to spread out and can make the kingdom difficult to defend.
Role: Basic settlement
Number: 6-12 allotted to the human player at the start of the game.
Villages are the bread and butter of a human kingdom. They are numerous and can be placed virtually anywhere on the map, but are individually far less valuable than towns. Just like towns the population, development and economy of a village is dictated by surrounding terrain. For instance, woodlands increase economy but decrease population, while swamps decrease everything. For villages, location is key, and you need to decide what purpose each will serve in the kingdom.
Role: Super-Heavy defensive fortification
Number: 1-3 allotted to the human player at the start of the game.
Castles are the most formidable defensive bulwarks in the human kingdom. They should be placed near valuable objectives, major roads, or at strategic chokepoints. If properly garrisoned, they can only be overcome with hundreds - or even thousands - of Goblin casualties. However, they are few and far between, and even the most formidable castle can be surrounded, besieged and bypassed. Castles come with a small garrison of archers, crossbowmen or men-at-arms.
These fortifications can be purchased with gold to supplement the placeable settlements you received at the beginning of the game. They are powerful if properly placed, but they are also quite expensive. Use them wisely.
Role: Heavy defensive fortification
Price: 20 gold each.
Keeps are sturdy stone towers that provide a significant defensive bonus to any soldiers garrisoned inside. They are the only purchasable fortification that comes with a small garrison of archers, crossbowmen or men-at-arms. Keeps can be placed anywhere, the only restriction is that they must be 2 or more hexes away from other fortifications.
Role: Light defensive fortification
Price: 10 gold each.
Stockades are simple fortifications consisting of a wooden palisade and a small stone or wooden tower. Stockades will not stop a determined invasion, but they can ward off opportunistic raiders. If nothing else they are as speed bumps to slow down oncoming Goblin hordes - so long as they are properly garrisoned. Stockades can be placed anywhere, the only restriction is that they must be 2 or more hexes away from other fortifications.
Role: Observation post
Price: 6 gold each.
Watchtowers are simple wooden observation posts used to keep watch over the wilderness. They provide a two hex line of sight in all directions, but they are completely unprotected and can easily be destroyed by Goblin invaders or passing beasts. Watchtowers cost 6 gold each and may be placed almost anywhere.
Pre-placed settlements are placed semi-randomly around the map, and they vary dramatically in purpose and function. The capital is essentially a pre-placed mega-town. Abbeys are the primary Goblin objective in relic raid scenarios. Finally, farmsteads are small communities of little importance within the hierarchy of the kingdom.
Role: Very large settlement
Number: 1 randomly placed at the beginning of the game.
The Capital is the very heart of the kingdom. It is the only city size settlement available to the human player, and its significant population and strong economy are tremendous assets to the kingdom. However, these same values make it a prime target of Goblin invaders, especially when playing conquest scenarios where the capital's high value makes it the single most important objective on the battlefield.
Role: Relic repository
Number: A randomized number placed around the map at the beginning of the game.
Abbeys are remote sacred sites of contemplation and learning scattered across the human kingdom that house holy relics. Due to their remote nature, abbeys can be notoriously difficult to defend, and their location should be considered when building a kingdom. Luckily, abbeys are largely irrelevant in 3 out of the 4 Goblin Storm scenarios, but if the Goblins do have a relic raid objective, failure to defend them is just about the fastest ways to lose the game.
Farmsteads are small peasant farming communities of little note, randomly placed around the map at the beginning of the game. No force should be wasted defending them, and they are only significant to Goblin raiders as a minute source of gold buried somewhere behind the barn by tax evading peasants.
Tying it all Together:
Kingdom placement is quite simple once you understand the basics. Towns/villages provide levies and gold. Castles, keeps and stockades provide protection. Abbeys should be defended with light, fast units.
Try to balance building a rich kingdom with plentiful gold for buying a professional field army, against a defensible kingdom with numerous levies and well-placed fortifications. In truth, there really are no 'wrong' answers here, just build a kingdom that fits your playstyle. And as always, if you have any questions let me know in the comments below :)
I'll be back next Monday with a dev blog on secret Goblin objectives and the role of deception in Goblin Storm!