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Chapter IV Atuatuca Bloody Siege

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Level 7 Human gamer
Alignment: Lawful good
Posted on April 11, 2014 at 7:54 pm

Chapter IV seems to be a good deal harder than the previous chapters so far (which may partly be due to the missing rewards) and I am fine with that. The additional border Raids work out great even if they could be a little bit less frequent with the thread still being there(maybe 25% less? :) ). Anyway, I am fighting my way through and am very much stuck at Atuatuca. There is a huge force in there, the city is heavily fortified with 2000 points and there is only one point of attack uphill. I consider myself a veteran at Hegemony and have clocked a good deal of hours on Rome but DAMN this is hard :D I have completely lost 4 attack forces now. Thats two legions, two roman skirmishers, two slingers and one cav plus siege engine (no towers possible on this attack which makes things even harder), all upgraded to a decent level and each time completely wiped out. Even without the big force inside (I think something like 4 spear units, two cav and archers) its hard to take but with this force doing frequent sorties it feels near impossible. I even managed to largely wipe them out on two occasions but that takes a big tall on my troops too and the remaining forces cant take the city. I cant really spare more forces because of the raids(which is a good thing) but I cant seem to find a way to take the city like this. Food supply is cut off as far as I can see and I cant actively siege down 2000 points. Its going about down at about 1 point a second and morale of the sieging unit goes down a lot faster. Even if I rotate the sieging units to take turns to regain morale I would probably need something like 10 legions, huge manpower reserves and a LOT of time. Not even to mention the sorties that make everything that much harder.
I will keep trying to find a way tomorrow but what am I missing? Maybe I could scratch together some gauls, draw out the garrison and move in with the fresh roman army once I beat them, but from what I have seem so far this wont work either... I am really taking this as a challenge but am a little bit stumped :) I can normally easily handle everything this game throws at me... guess it would be ok if I could put a siege in place, fight off the sorties and wait the siege out without morale taking such a huge hit because there is no difference between sieging and actively storming the city... however changing that would of course lead to other problems since the other sieges and cities are really easy and normally taken by me even while the sortie is still fighting. Again what am I missing and please dont make me feel too stupid :)

Level 7 Human gamer
Alignment: Lawful good
Posted on April 11, 2014 at 8:35 pm

Ok I got it. I couldnt go to sleep like this and checked again. There was a food supply from off map that I didnt think of and couldnt see as long as I didnt zoom in really close... (which was even defended by steady cav attacks). So now I could cut off food... wait for them to run out. reduce the cities' garrison with 6!!! scorpions, then move in with one storming unit for the slot and some slingers, finally resulting in 0 morale and vicory. Even with this it still was a long siege that took a lot of effort rotating the troops cutting off the supply line in a for me unsupplied region and everything.

I was thinking of deleting my above post now that I solved it but decided to leave it there as lesson for other people and example of how great this game is at times.

Thanks :)

Level 16 Extraplanar gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on April 11, 2014 at 10:47 pm

Thanks for the feedback, that's extremely helpful for us as we continue to balance and polish the game.

Level 7 Human gamer
Alignment: Lawful good
Posted on April 12, 2014 at 4:04 am

Don't get me wrong. Overall this is very positive feedback :) The only pieces of the puzzle I was missing were the food supply line of the enemy that was unclear and hard to notice and being unsure about the siege mechanics because I did not need them at all up to that point since every other city was so easy to take. The challenge itself was very good and satisfying ;) That goes for chapter IV in general and the siege both. The raids are great too.

Level 7 Human gamer
Alignment: Lawful good
Posted on April 12, 2014 at 4:15 am

One small complaint is that there is little one can do about the raids killing the two mine supply lines in the Caesar part of the chapter immediately once they enter the playing region. One had a close enough camp but even with that they enter and before one even has a chance to react the treasury goes -400 and whatever fight one is in goes fubar because of morale. The idea to put the mines in risky positions is good but as it is they are in a position where the risk can not be balanced with skill and it's annoying not to be able to defend them well because of the arbitrary map boundary. My suggestion would be to move the mines just a little bit farther, maybe just behind the camp position or at least so far away that the player has a chance to react to the raids with forces closeby once he notices the raid. They would still be threatening enough if ignored or underestimated but as it is the player is just completely powerless to stop something very bad from happening every 5 minutes or something based on arbitrary boundaries and thats never good.

Level 16 Extraplanar gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on April 16, 2014 at 11:03 pm

In general, positioning troops or a fort near your resource buildings should act as a significant deterrent to raiders, but this isn't well implemented yet. However, as you rightly point out you do still need time to set up that defense.

At the moment we're still finishing up some of the remaining objectives in chapter 4, but once that's complete we'll do a second pass and try to iron out some of those details.

Level 7 Human gamer
Alignment: Lawful good
Posted on April 17, 2014 at 9:14 am

The deterrent apparently worked at a later point since it got a lot more quiet. Was still a bit dicey though especially with the northern mine. In the end I increased the supply area of the next city (no camp anywhere near the northern mine) and positioned some troops as close to the edge of the supply area and the mine as possible. Did more or less the same with the camp in the south and that worked, too. Knowing that you put that kind of deterrence mechanic in definitely helps in dealing with this kind of thing (and of course its awesome that you put it in in general). Still I think there should be a fort closer to the northern mine and maybe a fort with units or a fortified fort with units could have a slightly larger deterrence area, because at the beginning I did have troops stationed reasonably close and it was definitely not enough since deterrence only worked once I had really pushed the limit of where I could permanently place the troops without constantly running them back and forth for supplies.