Nimbyism in HOMM (portal placement woes)

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Nimbyism in HOMM (portal placement woes)

Postby Blocks100 » Apr 23 2011, 13:05

The one thing that always irked me slightly about the brilliant HOMM III was the tendency (especially with random map creation) for Monoliths and Subterranean Gates to be placed right next to my starting town. Now these are iconic HOMM map locations, and it'll be interesting to see how they're placed in HOMM VI, but please, not-in-my-backyard!

Apart for the idiocy of building a town right next to an ancient portal that allows invasion by distant armies, poor portal placement always seemed like a conceit to allow the AI to 'get the jump' on your town before you were ready. Now I understand if some players of the game don't mind having portals next to their starting town, allowing them early-game 'rushes'. But for me, it went against my preferred play style of slowing building up my forces, exploring the map, and then taking the fight to the AI when I'm ready on my terms.

How will Monoliths be used in this new sequel? I have seen at least one screenshot where a portal is on some floating demonic island - and this seems the best way to use them: a means to access otherwise inaccessible map locations. I’d even entertain a system by which the rumoured rare resource (dragon blood?) would have to be ‘spent’ in order to power Monoliths, thereby restricting their use. I want discovering a portal on a HOMM VI map to be an ‘event’, not a fast transportation system. Oh, and no more glitchy AI heroes getting stuck in a loop of travelling constantly back-and-forth through portals.

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Postby ThunderTitan » Apr 26 2011, 19:42

Why would you build your town away from a bottle neck for the invading army and give them time to prepare themselves for a battle after being in travel mode (which usually involves no tactical formations).

/real world stuff



But yeah, in-game i have nothing against your ideas.
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Postby intipacha » May 9 2011, 7:03

well if you're playing against AI, it doesn't really matter where the portal is since your strategy is certainly far more elaborate than even strongest AI, and in most circumstances you will beat him.

playing against human, i should say you need to abandon the "when i'm ready, i'll go to battle" philosophy. you really need to be ready all the time, or as ready as you can be. depends on how well guarded the portal is. with practice, you can assume approximately when the portal guards can be passed with negligible casualties - by that time u need to assume the enemy will emerge the very next turn. or better - go and surprise him yourself!

in some cases i actually prefer having a portal very close to to town because it can give you the edge of extra troops 1st day of a week.

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Re: Nimbyism in HOMM (portal placement woes)

Postby Slayer of Cliffracers » May 10 2011, 13:09

Blocks100 wrote:Apart for the idiocy of building a town right next to an ancient portal that allows invasion by distant armies, poor portal placement always seemed like a conceit to allow the AI to 'get the jump' on your town before you were ready. Now I understand if some players of the game don't mind having portals next to their starting town, allowing them early-game 'rushes'. But for me, it went against my preferred play style of slowing building up my forces, exploring the map, and then taking the fight to the AI when I'm ready on my terms.


Asking why are towns built near magical portals is a bit like asking why a towns built near roads.
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Postby ThunderTitan » May 22 2011, 20:42

But at least we've learned a new word:

Nimbyism:

an acronym for 'not in my back yard', was first used in the 1980s to refer to people who objected to the siting of something unpleasant or unwanted in their own neighbourhood, without being opposed to its introduction in principle (as long as it was located somewhere else). The word, unlike others of the same kind, has endured.

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Re: Nimbyism in HOMM (portal placement woes)

Postby MattII » May 23 2011, 2:29

Slayer of Cliffracers wrote:Asking why are towns built near magical portals is a bit like asking why a towns built near roads.
Except that you can see who's coming up the road, whereas you can't see who's coming through a portal most of the time, until they do, and if it's an invading army, then you're probably not going to have a lot of time to prepare.

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Postby ThunderTitan » May 23 2011, 20:27

That's why you post lookouts at the other end... duh.

If you're gonna only watch from the castle you're in then even a road based army will get close enough for you not to have time to prepare. Hell, even an army not using a road or any other movement helpful terrain that manages to get close enough to be spotted that late has a giant advantage (which is why the name Hannibal rings a bell to most ppl today).
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Re: Nimbyism in HOMM (portal placement woes)

Postby Slayer of Cliffracers » May 24 2011, 10:53

MattII wrote:Except that you can see who's coming up the road, whereas you can't see who's coming through a portal most of the time, until they do, and if it's an invading army, then you're probably not going to have a lot of time to prepare.


Again you are assuming that towns and cities are built according to a purely military considerations. Have you not considered the sheer costs which are involved in shipping goods over however many miles by cart? Near a magical portal allowing instant travel then is an ideal position to build a town.

The reason they don't fear the other town will invade them is because they weren't enemies with that town at the time of it's construction.
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Postby ThunderTitan » May 24 2011, 11:37

What really doesn't make much sense is why the Portal doesn't have a small Fort build around it so any enemy army would be trapped there...

I guess all those pesky neutrals always sitting in front of it makes it hard to build anything solid.
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Postby Slayer of Cliffracers » May 24 2011, 12:20

ThunderTitan wrote:What really doesn't make much sense is why the Portal doesn't have a small Fort build around it so any enemy army would be trapped there...

I guess all those pesky neutrals always sitting in front of it makes it hard to build anything solid.


They can have a fort, it's called a garrison. The problem with building a fort directly on top of the portal is I guess that the walls of said fort have to face one way or the other.

The accomadation for the soldiers cannot be on the inside of the fort because that would make them vulnrable to being well assasinated in their sleep. Thus the accomadation has to be on the other side, meaning that the army is vulnrable to attack from the outside.

Basically building a fort only makes sense if the only possible point of approach to the town is through the portal.
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Postby ThunderTitan » May 24 2011, 15:46

Or they could build walls that face both ways... the reason a normal fort doesn't have them is because there's no point.
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Postby MattII » May 24 2011, 21:13

Yeah, the battle of Alesia worked well for the Romans, and they were surrounding a town.

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Postby Slayer of Cliffracers » May 25 2011, 22:24

ThunderTitan wrote:Or they could build walls that face both ways... the reason a normal fort doesn't have them is because there's no point.


The reason is that the men don't live on the walls. The relatively defenseless accomadation will either have to be on the inside, where the portal is or on the outside where they can be attacked by anyone coming from the other side of the portal.

The fort also needs BIG gates (so as not to be an obstruction on commerce), these gates need to open from one side or the other, the accomadation has to be on one side of the gate or the other.
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Postby Humakt » Jun 1 2011, 10:25

Lore be damned. Map makers could and should place the portals about anywhere they so desire, or not place them at all.
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Postby ThunderTitan » Jun 2 2011, 15:26

Slayer of Cliffracers wrote:The reason is that the men don't live on the walls. The relatively defenseless accomadation will either have to be on the inside, where the portal is or on the outside where they can be attacked by anyone coming from the other side of the portal.

The fort also needs BIG gates (so as not to be an obstruction on commerce), these gates need to open from one side or the other, the accomadation has to be on one side of the gate or the other.


Professional soldiers could just live in the towers or even a town nearby and go guarding in shifts.

And two sets of gates with a killing zone in between have existed IRL, no reason they couldn't adapt one for a portal fort.
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Postby vicheron » Jun 4 2011, 2:13

I wonder what would happen if they built a protective shield in front of the portal like the iris in Stargate.

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Postby ThunderTitan » Jun 4 2011, 10:04

Same as in Stargate... you'd have to clean the blood splotches on the side facing the portal every day...
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Postby Mirez » Jun 4 2011, 18:37

sounds like an awesome feature for heroes 6
treants are dendrosexual 0_o

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Postby Slayer of Cliffracers » Jun 4 2011, 19:27

ThunderTitan wrote: Professional soldiers could just live in the towers or even a town nearby and go guarding in shifts.

And two sets of gates with a killing zone in between have existed IRL, no reason they couldn't adapt one for a portal fort.


People have indeed built defensive systems involving killing zones and multiple sets of gates but they were always defending against an external foe. The middle of the fort was always 'safe', enemies couldn't just appear in the middle of the fort and attack the fort from within and without simotaneously.

Accomadating soldiers (and their commanders) within the walls would perhaps allow one to create a viable fort around a portal but this is done at a far greater expense and for lesser defensive benefit than fortifying the town itself. What you have created is a rather vulnrable fort at great expense.

Remember that they haven't built their town on the portal, they have built it near the portal. It is thus preferable to fortify the town itself because that way you only have to worry about being attacked from one direction. If you have any forces available, it is just more efficiant to place them inside the fortified town itself.

vicheron wrote:I wonder what would happen if they built a protective shield in front of the portal like the iris in Stargate.


It's called a quest guard, one that only allows them to pass. :) :) :)

That already exists.
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Postby ThunderTitan » Jun 7 2011, 21:19

Slayer of Cliffracers wrote:People have indeed built defensive systems involving killing zones and multiple sets of gates but they were always defending against an external foe.


PoW prisons also needed to make sure the guy inside didn't get out easily...


And seeing how the romans used to build walls around enemy fortresses to keep them in there's no reason why someone couldn't build 2 sets of walls and live in between them...


And there's also the fact that once the enemy was there on the outside they didn't really need to guard the portal anymore anyway...
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