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Thread: [Submod] Defensive Siege Artillery

  1. #1

    Default [Submod] Defensive Siege Artillery

    So I was reading an interesting Osprey book about Greek and Roman fortifications and artillery in the Hellenistic period and thought to myself: man, real shame that something similar doesn't exist in EBII. Well - now it does!

    This mod will change the towers of large and huge cities to fire oxybeles bolts rather than their usual anaemic arrows. If that sounds wildly unbalanced and a great way to make sieges impossible, well - you would be completely right, actually, and my first attempt at this mod was ludicrously broken.

    But, after several iterations, I think the mod is fairly balanced although it will obviously change the way you must approach fortifications.

    This mod is built with two goals in mind:
    1. Historical verisimilitude - defensive artillery was a key feature of Roman and Greek fortifications in the Hellenistic period and now that's reflected in the mod.
    2. Change the siege dynamics for larger, better-fortified cities to make attacking them a more challenging strategic endeavour. Rapid assaults will be costlier - if you're taking an important city or fortress, starve them out, bring siege artillery, or accept higher losses.

    CHANGELOG
    - Large/huge non-barbarian cities' towers will fire the same shot as an oxybeles arrow-projector, but with half the range (so the attacker's stone-projecting artillery can bring them down). The shot will absolutely go through several units at once but has a very slow reload rate (expect no more than 2 volleys before siege towers reach the walls). Huge cities have slightly faster-firing arrow-projector towers.
    - Rams and siege towers have double health so defensive arrow-projectors can't really bring them down.
    - However, they can be set ablaze - ignition chance was almost meaningless in the base mod since only hot oil could ignite siege engines, but now your towers can too. All siege engines have a 10% or 20% (varying by culture and engine) chance to be set alight by a flaming shot. On average you will get two volleys before the towers/rams reach you so you may bring down a tower or two - in vanilla EBII there was no way to stop them at all.

    INSTALL INSTRUCTIONS
    - Download the attached file and unzip it to your desktop.
    - Navigate to your Medieval II Total War\mods\ebii\data folder and make a backup of the descr_walls.txt and descr_engines.txt files.
    - Copy the mod files from your desktop to your Medieval II Total War\mods\ebii\data folder, overwriting both the vanilla ones.
    - To uninstall, just replace your modded files with the backups.

    FINAL NOTES
    This mod only changes the large/huge city walls of "civilised" factions, not the first-level stone walls or any of the wooden walls. If you spot a bug, inconsistency, or something else gone terribly wrong, post in the thread and let me know.

    Have fun!

    Wall_Artillery.7z
    Last edited by Baharr; January 12, 2019 at 11:09 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: [Submod] Defensive Siege Artillery

    good idea and thanks a lot for sharing. downloading

  3. #3

    Default Re: [Submod] Defensive Siege Artillery

    Sounds good!

  4. #4

    Default Re: [Submod] Defensive Siege Artillery

    seems like a great idea for an attacking human player. How does an attacking AI deal with it?

  5. #5

    Default Re: [Submod] Defensive Siege Artillery

    Based on my testing, the AI will do what it's always done and focus its entire army on a single side of the settlement. In the past this was not optimal (I'd always attack from three sides and got through sieges much quicker that way) but now that sort of concentration of force is necessary for assaulting large and huge cities.

    As a general rule based on my test sieges in custom battle, if your garrison for a large/huge city is half the size of the enemy army then (depending on relative troop quality and a degree of luck) the AI will suffer 25%-50% casualties before winning. If your forces are matched the AI will suffer at least 50% casualties and may be unable to take the settlement at all.

  6. #6

    Default Re: [Submod] Defensive Siege Artillery

    Really nice Idea, can you post screens of your changes?

  7. #7
    QuintusSertorius's Avatar EBII Hod Carrier
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    Default Re: [Submod] Defensive Siege Artillery

    The team is discussing taking this submod up into the development build.

  8. #8

    Default Re: [Submod] Defensive Siege Artillery

    I'd be delighted if the team decides to incorporate the submod! I'm also happy to hand over "ownership" of the mod to the team if they want to incorporate it and iterate on it in the future.

    Of course if the team decides against it I will be happy to maintain it here in the subforum.

    EDIT: Also, I'm really busy this week, but sometime over the weekend I'll try and make time to run a few custom battles and post screens of the changes in action as well as the casualties screen.
    Last edited by Baharr; January 28, 2019 at 01:46 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: [Submod] Defensive Siege Artillery

    I'm surprised this isn't in the base mod—quite an easy change to implement, discussion about the decision will probably take longer.

  10. #10

    Default Re: [Submod] Defensive Siege Artillery

    Ah, I promised screenshots and then completely forgot about it - let me remedy that.

    So the first three screenshots show a (for me, anyway) typical garrison force defending a large settlement and a fairly typical field army that's prepared itself well for the siege - some stone throwers, plenty of siege engines. The besieging force managed to take out the gatehouse and one of the towers with its artillery before running out of ammo - it then wins with about 30% casualties, mostly lighter troops who got shot up by the defending psiloi.

    The last two images show the same field army, but without adequate siege preparation. This time they win with nearly 50% casualties, but a good chunk of those are from among the heavier troops, who got bogged down on the walls and were then shot up by the towers. The besiegers also got somewhat lucky and killed my general early on, which gave them an advantage, so potentially their losses could have been even higher if my troops hadn't broken and fled the walls.

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  11. #11
    Lusitanio's Avatar Content Staff
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    Default Re: [Submod] Defensive Siege Artillery

    Following the idea from this submod: http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showt...8#post15750728

    What you think about making the gates stronger and the rams weaker, allowing the breach of the gate to take more time than usual?

  12. #12
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    Default Re: [Submod] Defensive Siege Artillery

    What a great idea. Would really help slow down expansion for player even further. Does it change anything regarding autoresolved battles? Mostly wondering for AI, how might be effected.

  13. #13
    Roma_Victrix's Avatar I am your sovereign now
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    Default Re: [Submod] Defensive Siege Artillery

    Superb idea! That's +1 rep to you, Baharr.

    To be honest, in addition to using Onagers/Lithobolos to tear down walls and Oxybeles/Scorpion artillery to fire bolts at troops stationed on the walls when besieging a city, I also use the Oxybeles/Scorpion from within my settlements when they are under siege. Placing them in or near the town or city square, they can fire in various directions at enemies that are trying to scale the walls. They can even fire over the walls given their incredible range. I think those in addition to your ballista towers will make defensive sieges brutally effective for me, and not too damaging for offensive sieges so long as I spend the extra time wheeling Onagers/Lithobolos catapults to the battlefront.

    However, while the Greeks get the Lithobolos with the Thorakitai reforms of circa 220 BC, the Romans don't get the Onager until the Marian reforms, between 147 to 107 BC! That puts the Romans at a huge disadvantage, even when considering they get the Scorpion during the Polybian period. I guess the offset for that is Rome has a bunch of barbarian cultures surrounding it, so if barbarian cities don't have this technology, Rome's early expansion isn't affected too much except for areas like Sicily, North Africa, and Spain where Greek and Carthaginian cities will have ballista towers.

    Come to think of it, Greek factions can recruit heavy Lithobolos artillery from various locations, whereas from what I've seen the Romans can only recruit Onagers from the city of Rome and Scorpion artillery throughout the Italy after the Marian period. Likewise the Scorpion is only available in Rome during the Polybian era. For your submod, you might want to rethink this recruitment of siege artillery.

  14. #14
    QuintusSertorius's Avatar EBII Hod Carrier
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    Default Re: [Submod] Defensive Siege Artillery

    Quote Originally Posted by Roma_Victrix View Post
    However, while the Greeks get the Lithobolos with the Thorakitai reforms of circa 220 BC, the Romans don't get the Onager until the Marian reforms, between 147 to 107 BC! That puts the Romans at a huge disadvantage, even when considering they get the Scorpion during the Polybian period. I guess the offset for that is Rome has a bunch of barbarian cultures surrounding it, so if barbarian cities don't have this technology, Rome's early expansion isn't affected too much except for areas like Sicily, North Africa, and Spain where Greek and Carthaginian cities will have ballista towers.

    Come to think of it, Greek factions can recruit heavy Lithobolos artillery from various locations, whereas from what I've seen the Romans can only recruit Onagers from the city of Rome and Scorpion artillery throughout the Italy after the Marian period. Likewise the Scorpion is only available in Rome during the Polybian era. For your submod, you might want to rethink this recruitment of siege artillery.
    I'll add them to the Provincial Colony, for the Romans.

  15. #15
    Jurand of Cracow's Avatar History and gameplay!
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    Default Re: [Submod] Defensive Siege Artillery

    Very good ideas here, I'm looking forward to the implementation!

    On the issue of the sieges: I've produced a concept of making sieges more intricate for another mod - if somebody is interested, it's to be found here. In the thread there're also some ideas about siege engines, maybe somebody would find new ideas there.

  16. #16
    Lusitanio's Avatar Content Staff
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    Default Re: [Submod] Defensive Siege Artillery

    Jurand your ideas remember me of this submod: http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showt...e-Mechanic-HSM

  17. #17

    Default Re: [Submod] Defensive Siege Artillery

    Quote Originally Posted by Dooz View Post
    What a great idea. Would really help slow down expansion for player even further. Does it change anything regarding autoresolved battles? Mostly wondering for AI, how might be effected.
    I don't really know about autoresolve since I never autoresolve sieges and I'm not even sure how autoresolve works. Someone more knowledgeable about autoresolve could tell you whether or not it takes into account things like the actual stats of towers and walls or if it's a fixed modifier based on city level; if it's a fixed modifier, then this mod shouldn't affect it all.

    Quote Originally Posted by QuintusSertorius View Post
    I'll add them to the Provincial Colony, for the Romans.
    Thank you, and thanks to Roma Victrix for spotting a potential oversight!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lusitanio View Post
    What you think about making the gates stronger and the rams weaker, allowing the breach of the gate to take more time than usual?
    The issue with this is that I'm not sure how well the AI would cope, it rarely builds more than 2-3 rams per siege and there's a good chance already it will lose one. If they were much weaker then it's possible that the AI's rams would simply never be able to break down the gates, which would potentially make sieges trivial to win for a human defender.

  18. #18
    Lusitanio's Avatar Content Staff
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    Default Re: [Submod] Defensive Siege Artillery

    Maybe making the gates a bit stronger would give us some more time before it gets breached while allowing the ram to reach the gate without being destroyed.

  19. #19
    Roma_Victrix's Avatar I am your sovereign now
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    Default Re: [Submod] Defensive Siege Artillery

    Quote Originally Posted by Baharr View Post
    Thank you, and thanks to Roma Victrix for spotting a potential oversight!
    Excellent! I'm glad something substantive was gained from my suggestions.

  20. #20
    Jurand of Cracow's Avatar History and gameplay!
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    Default Re: [Submod] Defensive Siege Artillery

    Quote Originally Posted by Lusitanio View Post
    Jurand your ideas remember me of this submod: http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showt...e-Mechanic-HSM
    Very interesting. Is z3n going to work on it for EBII?

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