Area of Control [forts]

The new Heroes games produced by Ubisoft. Please specify which game you are referring to in your post.

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MattII
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Postby MattII » Aug 30 2010, 10:06

So what if, instead of taking a mine, a raider could 'destroy' it, requiring the defender to put in time and money to make it useful again?

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Siege warfare

Postby Kalah » Aug 30 2010, 10:16

Banedon wrote:I was under the impression that you can devastate the countryside and the defenders in the fort can't do anything about it because they can't take you on in an open battlefield.


No, actually. These forts (I'm talking mediaeval Europe) were a real nuisance to fledgling central powers because there were quite a few of them, and the central power (i.e. king) would have to bring a very large force to subdue each one, thus consolidating his power throughout the land. Simply bringing small forces was not enough. The forts were surprisingly difficult to take. And the defenders would often break out and create havoc in your lines unless you had a large enough force to effectively rebuke any assault 24/7.

Banedon wrote:Even if the attacking force cannot exploit the resources of the area, the defending force can't exploit the resources either.


True about the resources, but the issue is control over an area. During a siege/battle, the resources (mostly farms) would probably be destroyed anyway. A merely pillaging force would soon be gone, and the resources return to operating normally. This whole debate is a bit silly, I know, since the game is different from RL, but in general, I like the idea that the one who controls the local fort/castle is the one who dominates the region.

Banedon wrote:This system in Heroes 6 makes it such that you can have a hostile force in the vicinity of the fort, strong enough to confine the defenders to the fort but not strong enough to actually take it, and still can't inflict any damage whatsoever on the economy of the defender.


I see where you're going, but it's difficult to translate an RL situation to the game. Historically, an army strong enough to maintain a siege (but not strong enough to take the castle) would have to starve the enemy out. The simplest solution to this in the game is to diminish the area-of-control if you have an enemy army outside your gates for more than a set number of turns. That way, you would not be able to make your enemy lose access to his resources by simply sending wave after wave of small armies to the gates, but you could cause the castle to lose control if you had an army so large that he dared not attack it.
Send your large army to the gates, his area of control grows smaller every other day as long as the siege is intact, and eventually, he will gain no new resources and his forces stop growing. Then you can send reinforcements and eventually take the castle.
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Postby Mirez » Aug 30 2010, 10:27

I wonder if people are actually gunna use the fort in the first place. I'm not too found of splitting my towns defenses in 2
treants are dendrosexual 0_o

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Postby ThunderTitan » Aug 30 2010, 16:33

Wait, isn't everyone just referring to towns as forts?! That was my impression.


And really, the best option would be for the mines that you flag in the enemy's control area to revert to him after a few days instead of right away...
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Postby Mirez » Aug 30 2010, 21:44

ah my bad, it said either a town or fort (forts will probably be used in neutral zones?) or do they just consider a city without a fort a town?

anyways now I see why they reduced the amount of resources. So you can effectively starve the opponent. Just have one hero chill at his crystal (or crystalized dragon blood whatever) and he won't be able to build up his town any further
if the other resources (sulfur, gems etc.) were still present you'd have to send like 5+ heroes over
treants are dendrosexual 0_o

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Postby ThunderTitan » Aug 31 2010, 6:28

But that would only work if there's like just 1 mine in his area of influence... if there are 5 then you'd have to send out 5 heroes... and then you might as well hire enough troops with the money to take his town/fort.
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Re: Siege warfare

Postby Banedon » Sep 1 2010, 2:20

Kalah wrote:I see where you're going, but it's difficult to translate an RL situation to the game. Historically, an army strong enough to maintain a siege (but not strong enough to take the castle) would have to starve the enemy out. The simplest solution to this in the game is to diminish the area-of-control if you have an enemy army outside your gates for more than a set number of turns. That way, you would not be able to make your enemy lose access to his resources by simply sending wave after wave of small armies to the gates, but you could cause the castle to lose control if you had an army so large that he dared not attack it.
Send your large army to the gates, his area of control grows smaller every other day as long as the siege is intact, and eventually, he will gain no new resources and his forces stop growing. Then you can send reinforcements and eventually take the castle.


The army would only have to starve the enemy out if it's intending to seize the castle, which it might not be. If you're the one cooped up in the castle and if you know a hostile force stronger than your own is in the area, then you can't really venture out either because you may get attacked before you can retreat (or you can't retreat anyway because opening the doors to let your own fleeing troops in = letting the enemy troops in as well).

I must say I really don't see why a defending army that can't step out of its castle can still claim a zone of control around the fort. The farms would be burnt, the harvest seized, peasants killed (maybe), etc and the defender can't do anything. A few turns is too long; the damage done would be immediate.

I still favour any hostile force in the area -> mines don't switch sides. There's nothing wrong with sending multiple small armies to harass your opponent. There are multiple weaknesses with this strategy, e.g. Heroes are not cheap to recruit after all, by splitting up the defender can attack and defeat your forces piecemeal, and your heroes will die so you feed your opponent experience.
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Postby ThunderTitan » Sep 1 2010, 6:39

Plus, there's no actual corresponding action to starving out a fort while your faction is taking advantage of the resources of the area in Heroes.
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Postby Soronarr » Sep 1 2010, 10:17

^^
There's a little concept called guerilla warfare. He has a secure base from where he can launch his hit-and-run assaults, using light, mobile troops. Together with local support and knowing the region, even a small force can be a huge thorn in the side of a large army.

Messing you with you supply lines, sabotaging mines, throwing quick ambushes. Unless you literaly camp a substantial force on a mine, you won't be able to hold it, or keep it productive. Neither can he, but that's exactly why it's a no win scenario for you.

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Postby MattII » Sep 1 2010, 10:30

IMO if they're going to keep up with this charade of 'areas of control' then need to make some way for the enemy to disable a mine for a few days (not take it, but not allow the owners to get anything from it either).

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Postby ThunderTitan » Sep 1 2010, 10:38

Soronarr wrote:^^
There's a little concept called guerilla warfare. He has a secure base from where he can launch his hit-and-run assaults, using light, mobile troops. Together with local support and knowing the region, even a small force can be a huge thorn in the side of a large army.

Messing you with you supply lines, sabotaging mines, throwing quick ambushes. Unless you literaly camp a substantial force on a mine, you won't be able to hold it, or keep it productive. Neither can he, but that's exactly why it's a no win scenario for you.


And that's what hiring heroes to stay near your castle (and in it when an enemy force is around) represents...

And they're still holding them oil wells in Iraq, ain't they... even making them productive somewhat (and this applies even to when the violence was at it's highest). It's not so clean cut.
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Postby Soronarr » Sep 1 2010, 11:08

And they have forces guarding the oil wells.
Not to mention that destroying oil wells leads to ecological consequences.

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Re: Siege warfare

Postby Kalah » Sep 1 2010, 13:27

Banedon wrote:If you're the one cooped up in the castle and if you know a hostile force stronger than your own is in the area, then you can't really venture out either because you may get attacked before you can retreat (or you can't retreat anyway because opening the doors to let your own fleeing troops in = letting the enemy troops in as well). (...) I must say I really don't see why a defending army that can't step out of its castle can still claim a zone of control around the fort.


Actually, the assumption that a beseiging army has complete control of what comes in and out of a fort is a bit of a misconception. Most sieges were only able to keep new supplies from reaching the defenders, but not really able to keep people from coming out. It was not a hermetic seal. The defenders' making quick breakouts and creating havoc in the siege camp was always a real danger, especially in dark/misty conditions such dusk/early dawn. You (as well as my students ;) ) seem to be under the general impression that an army staging a siege around a fort would always be ready to rebut any assault made by the defenders. In reality, these breakouts could be quite an effective way of demoralizing the beseiging army, particularly if it lasted long. The very existence of a fighting force inside a fort would be considered a force-in-being.

There are exceptions, of course, and some seiges that were more effective in keeping the defenders completely sealed in, but those was mostly later middle ages and city seiges.

Banedon wrote:I still favour any hostile force in the area -> mines don't switch sides.


Agreed.

Banedon wrote:There's nothing wrong with sending multiple small armies to harass your opponent.


I guess so, but I don't like it at all. Unless we're talking about sending proper armies, and not just a hero with a couple of unicorns. The implication is that you can do some proper damage (deprive resources) by just sending a non-force into your enemy's lands.
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Postby ThunderTitan » Sep 2 2010, 6:09

Coming out and setting the siege engines on fire was also a useful strategy. But like you said, those where mostly done while the surrounding enemy was resting. We don't really have that in Heroes.


Soronarr wrote:And they have forces guarding the oil wells.


No, really...
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Postby Banedon » Sep 6 2010, 4:53

Sure it's possible to break the siege and send small units out, but those small units don't exactly aim to bring resources back into the fort, do they? Even if they take the mines they can't cart the resources back.

I don't get the problem with sending a couple of unicorns either. Guerilla warfare does exact a toll, doesn't it?
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Re: Area of Control [forts]

Postby Roman » Oct 1 2010, 16:10

arturchix wrote:I remember Thundertitan asked me how exactly forts or Area of Control works - hope this will explain.

How Area Control works?

An Area contains one and only one Control Point (it can be either a Town or a Fort).

When the Player captures a Control Point, the Player gets control over certain Mines and Dwellings in the Area, according to the following rules:

1. The Player gets control over all non-neutral Mines and Dwellings in the Area automatically.

2. Other Players’ Heroes can capture Mines or Dwellings in Player’s Area. These capturing Heroes, however, must stay at the entrance of the Building to own it. As soon as the Hero of another Player leaves the controlled building, it will be owned (controlled) by the Player again.

3. If there is an Area owned by a Player with a neutral Mine or Dwelling in it which is guarded by a neutral Army, and the Player kills this army, captures the Building and leaves it, the other Player (who controls the Area) will get control over the Building (he becomes the owner).

4. If an Area is neutral (the Control Point is neutral), captured Mines and Dwellings will not change back to neutral when left. They function like HoMM 1-5 Buildings until the Control Point is captured by any of the Players.

Benefits of controlling an Area

Controlling (owning) an Area has specific benefits:

1. Heroes of the owner spend less movement points when moving in the Area.

2. Some faction unique buildings will have effect in the Town’s Area.

Editor

Case 1: When a Mine or Dwelling is inside an Area without a Control Point, it is functioning like HoMM 1-5 Mines: whoever captures it will own it until another Player captures it. The Error Summary Window inside the Editor will warn the user about this.

Case 2: If there are two or more Control Points in an Area, it will be considered a highest priority error in the Error Summary Window inside the Editor, so the Map cannot be played.

Case 3: When there are no Areas set up on the scenario, the game functions like old HoMM 1-5 games: a Town, Fort, Mine or Dwelling will be owned by whoever captures it until another Player captures it. The Error Summary Window inside the Editor will warn the user about it. Also, it is possible that some parts of the Map contain Areas while other parts have no Areas at all.

The devs are willing to hear your feedback!


This is great! I had some apprehensions when reading about the system at first, but I really like the implementation and as it is possible to go back to the HOMM V system in some maps by simply not setting areas of control, that makes it even better.

Just to be clear about creature dwellings, however, do they get linked to the town which has them in their area of control, or are they linked to any town the player owns?

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Postby ThunderTitan » Oct 2 2010, 20:26

So wait, you can take mines for the other player... how bloody crazy is that.
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Postby MattII » Oct 2 2010, 20:46

Ubisoft seems to be good at making these arbitrary decisions.

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Postby Roman » Oct 2 2010, 22:15

I don't see your problems with this one. After all, as the information presented in OP says, you can eliminate areas of control at which point mines and dwellings will function the same as in HoMM I-V.

I personally like the idea of reducing some of the micromanagement of having secondary heroes have to go to each creature dwelling each week in order to maximize efficiency of creature production. Some micromanagement is good for the game, of course, but I didn't feel this in particular added to the gameplay. With respect to the mines and areas of control - the new system creates fewer, but more strategic, points - forts and towns. We will see how that will work out - it seems promising, but also has pitfalls. Nonetheless, the ability to remove zones of control in the editor means that I am not worried. Hence, this seems to be a win-win from my perspective, unlike some other changes.

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Postby ThunderTitan » Oct 2 2010, 22:57

I don't know if i\d call "you can just take it out" as a win-win... it's a bit like the Conflux, you could just not use it on a map, but it would have still been nicer if it was less broken...

I personally like the idea of reducing some of the micromanagement of having secondary heroes have to go to each creature dwelling each week in order to maximize efficiency of creature production.


Actually that wouldn't be required even without the area of control because now external dwellings simply add to the numbers being produced in town when you have them flagged (and apparently they only give your hero units when you first flag them).
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