Meet the Kingdom - Dev Blog 3

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NS2 Xenophon
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Meet the Kingdom - Dev Blog 3

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:

Average 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

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.

town

Towns:

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.

 

Village

Villages:

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.

 

Castle

Castles:

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.

 

Purchasable Fortifications:

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.

 

Keep

Keeps:

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.

 

Stockade

Stockades:

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.

 

Watchtower

Watchtowers:

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/Objectives

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.

 

City and Capital

The Capital:

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.

 

Abbey

Abbeys:

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.

 

Farmstead

Farmsteads:

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!

Ser Jorah
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How exactly does the surrounding terrain affect towns and villages? I get that it changes the pop, dev and econ, but what are the particulars?

Ser Jorah Mormont of friendzone island, at your service.

NS2 Xenophon
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The hex that a settlement is placed in and the 6 hexes surrounding it all change the population, development and economy attributes of the town. Here's an example of a village surrounded by several different terrain types - you can see the terrain effects on the village in the bottom left:

Most terrain types offer a trade off, such as better econ but reduced population or high population but low development. For example, a village entirely surrounded entirely by mountains has high econ (from mining) but very low population and thus no levies. While a town surrounded by open grasslands will have high pop and lots of levies but average econ.

Rivers and roads are perhaps the most important terrain types. Rivers grant a +2 Pop, +2 Dev, +2 Econ modifier for every river hex-side adjacent to the settlement. Roads grant a +2 Dev, +2 econ. So clustering all of your towns and villages along rivers with roads running by them is attractive, but it can also backfire horribly and make your kingdom incredibly vulnerable to Goblin attackers.

When you are placing a settlement, the exact effects of the surrounding terrain are displayed on the HUD.

There's an entire art to placing towns and the 'right' choice is really a matter of your play style.

Ser Jorah
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Wouldn't clustering all of your villages together make them easier to defend? Since they'd be close together and make the attacker fight along a smaller front?

Ser Jorah Mormont of friendzone island, at your service.

NS2 Xenophon
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Not necessarily. Clustering everything together can make it easier to defend, but the minimum distance between towns is 10 hexes and 4 between villages, so you won't be able to get everything in one place.

It is even more troublesome if the Goblins have a relic raid objective, since you have no control over where the abbeys spawn and they can spawn all over the map.