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The question of castles


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Includes the town walls:

 

Town walls DR5 (DV 13): 30 acres, 4850 ft perimeter; Riverside (7); Ditch & rampart (3), Palisade (3), 2 Gates (-0.8), 2 Gate works (0.4);

Outworks DR4 (DV 13): 6 acres, 2169 ft perimeter; Riverside (7); Ditch & rampart (3), Palisade (3), Gate (-0.9), Gate works (0.5);

Outworks DR3 (DV 5): 5 acres, 1980 ft perimeter; Ditch & rampart (3), Palisade (3), Gate (-2), Gate works (1);

Bailey DR2 (DV 10): 2 acres, 1181 ft perimeter; Ditch & rampart (3), Palisade (3), 2 Gates (-4), 2 Gate towers (8);

Motte DR1 (DV 11c): 0.2 acres, 314 ft perimeter; Motte (4), Ditch (2), Palisade (3), Postern gate (-1), Gate works (1);

Stronghold DR0 (DV 2): Fortified wooden hall (2)

Edited by fulk
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Yes. I have a file with the acres and perimeters for all the castles and builds for every period. Those data didn't make it into BoWarlord.  I'm not sure what the plan is for that information.

For a lot of existing castles, you can just measure the perimeters on google maps. I did that for a lot of them, including just old earthworks where you can still see the outline. For others, I just guessed or went from other sources like Wikipedia or The Gatehouse. The "standard castle" has about a 400 ft perimeter. So for most, you can just use that.

There may be some inconsistencies among castles because I made them over a long period of time while the rules were changing a bit. One big difference is that some features don't add DV but instead reduce the "accessible perimeter" -- so you need fewer people AND fewer towers for the same DV.  

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It isn't published but is in the Castles MS. The rules change may affect some of the DVs in Warlords. I can't remember.  I "built" them over long period of time. One of the old complaints was that big fortifications with large perimeters and lots of towers could have really high DVs.  The newer, currently unpublished but possibly in the Warlords DV, scale the DV of towers to the length of the fortifications.  So, one tower on a huge city wall has little effect.  At the same time, if only a small portion of the walls are accessible, say because most of them are on a cliff edge, you need fewer towers to achieve the 'max' DV.  

think the castles in Warlords all follow the same rules, but those rules might differ a bit from the final rules. Practically speaking, it doesn't matter much. Strong castles are strong castles. I wouldn't obsess about minor differences in DV.  The ones in Warlords will be appropriate if not exactly the same as the final, yet unpublished, rules.

NT

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Rydychan (i.e. Wallingford) Castle is quite complicated, which makes the default 'defense rings' of KAP a bit too simplistic. Those work well enough with isolated, perfectly concentric castles. But if you look at the actual pictures of what the castle would have looked like in the 14th century (such as shown in this museum page: https://www.wallingfordmuseum.org.uk/displays ), you can see that technically, you could assault the inner ring from the riverside*. As the castle is situated at the edge of the town, the town's walls at the very least would not enter into it. 

This is not meant as criticism of our fortifications expert, fulk, but just a recognition that the whole DR & DV system is an abstraction, and cannot, by its design constraints, capture every detail of historical castles.

* = Such an assault would have to be amphibious, under enemy archer fire from the walls, so likely result in huge confusion (hence slow and unorganized) and high casualties. Then again, attacking a strong castle like (middle period) Wallingford head-on is a fool's gambit anyway...

Edited by Morien
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19 minutes ago, Morien said:

This is not meant as criticism of our fortifications expert, fulk, but just a recognition that the whole DR & DV system is an abstraction, and cannot, by its design constraints, capture every detail of historical castles.

No offense taken. I totally agree. Any game system at any level is a simplification. We make compromises. 

I think the thing to remember is that KAP is not a computer game. We don't need to codify every instance in the rules. The GM simply has to and is free to make some decisions. Greg and I went back and forth a bit at the time about this and similar topics (keeps on the castle wall) and he wanted to keep things simple and more or less similar to previous designations. I'd say, if you have a map/plan and want to assault the castle (not town) directly, do so. In some cases, you're going to have to come up with things like ships and barges to hit the riverside section...

Realistically, for example, it might have been better to use the 5-11/2 style designation (instead of 5/11/2) for most motte and bailey castles, because one could assault the motte and bailey separately (5-11) versus in sequence (5/11). The reason not to assault the motte first is that it is harder (11 vs 5) and you might get the defenders to just give up if they lose the bailey (fail a morale roll). 

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15 hours ago, fulk said:

So, one tower on a huge city wall has little effect.  At the same time, if only a small portion of the walls are accessible, say because most of them are on a cliff edge, you need fewer towers to achieve the 'max' DV.  

I want to clarify one more thing - can this system actually increase tower DV if approach is really narrow? Or basic DV is maximum?

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5 hours ago, Oleksandr said:

I want to clarify one more thing - can this system actually increase tower DV if approach is really narrow? Or basic DV is maximum?

I would imagine that there is a cap. After all, if you cram towers right next to one another... Congratulations, you have a very expensive, slightly taller wall.

I think Gatehouses/Barbicans would be a special case, guarding the gate, but priced/modeled as a single unit.

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On 1/21/2022 at 4:36 PM, Morien said:

After all, if you cram towers right next to one another... Congratulations, you have a very expensive, slightly taller wall.

Funnily enough, i'm sure i seen photo of such "wall of (round) towers" 😅 . If i remember correctly, it was in France. 

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On 1/21/2022 at 12:57 AM, Oleksandr said:

I want to clarify one more thing - can this system actually increase tower DV if approach is really narrow? Or basic DV is maximum?

You only get credit up to a certain point. Essentially, there is a value for a 'fully-towered-wall'. You can't go above that. The bonus of extra towers is that if is taken down, you have back up.  I can't remember the exact rule at this point.

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  • 1 month later...
On 10/26/2021 at 12:25 PM, fulk said:

RE DVs: There are also some changes in the way DVs are calculated. Some features no longer affect DV but instead reduce the effective perimeter of the castle. This change affects how much siege equipment and troops are needed to assault or defend the castle. Obviously, a smaller perimeter benefits the defender. 

I'm glad to read this. The perimeter & # of troops dynamics were something that previously short-circuited making an effective fortification that didn't resemble Constantinople.

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