Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Atgxtg

Book of the Estate DV Error?

Recommended Posts

I was looking at the stats for the Fortified Motte, and something seems off. It's listed as DV5 (9 with the +4 for the Motte), but:

Works: Ditch and Rampart 3, Palisade 3, Postern gate -1, Simple Gateworks 1

Equals 6 points, not 5. Or DV10 with the Motte.

 

But, I don't think the M&B should get the Ditch & Rampart bonus since the Motte would seem to superceed that, and all the M&B examples I've seen put the palisade on top of the Motte.

 

IS there any errata or something for this?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The canonical motte-and-bailey for KAP is:

DV: 5/11/2   

Bailey DR2 (DV 5): 2 acres, 400 yrd perimeter; Min/Max Defenders: 10/400; Ditch & rampart (3), Palisade (3),  Gate (-2),  Gate works (1);

Motte DR1 (DV 11c): 0.2 acres, 100 yrd perimeter; Min/Max Defenders: 3/100;  Motte (4), Ditch (2), Palisade (3),  Postern gate (-1),  Gate works (1);

Stronghold DR0 (DV 2):  Wooden tower (2)

The motte gets DV 11 because the wooden tower in the center overlooks the motte palisade providing a 'concentric' defense bonus (the c in 11c).  The motte doesn't add DV to the bailey.  You might argue that it should, but that isn't the way we've done it traditionally. YPMV.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your missing my point.

The Motte is listed as DV 9 (11 with the tower) but according to the "Works' provided (Ditch and Rampart 3, Palisade 3, Postern gate -1, Simple Gateworks 1 = 6) it would be DV 10 (12 with tower) not DV 9 (11 with tower). The official math doesn't add up. 

 

Edited by Atgxtg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are correct that there are errors in the BoE, especially v1. 

The motte shouldn't get a ditch and rampart.  Just a ditch (DF 2), as in the above example. 

DV 5/11/2 is correct DV although the works appear wrong.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, fulk said:

BoE has also been revised a few times.  At which version are you looking? 

 

The Fortified Motte values that Atgxtg reported are in v1.3.2, too. So it is not a version issue, this time around.

However, it might be a legacy issue... Let me check an earlier version... Yeah, v1.2 is even worse, when it comes to math errors. But funnily enough, it counts up to 8 for fortified motte, by mistaking Ditch for 2 (instead of 3 alone) and Palisade 2 (instead of 3 alone). Neither version would give 11, so something is off here.

Personally, I'd be happy enough to handwave the difference and have it as 12, but the Atgxtg's option of saying that the Motte supersedes the 'rampart' part of the Ditch and Rampart, and hence together they are just 2+4=6 instead of 3+4=7, would work for me, too. And heck, that is exactly what your example just said: Ditch (2) instead of Ditch & rampart (3).

So the problem is simply that ESTATE doesn't list Ditch by its own, and uses Ditch & Rampart instead, with the Motte.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Greg was bouncing around on DV values early on.  They didn't stabilize until BoCastles.  Either way, the above motte-and-bailey is correct and should match stuff in BoWarlord etc.

NT

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, fulk said:

I think Greg was bouncing around on DV values early on.  They didn't stabilize until BoCastles.  Either way, the above motte-and-bailey is correct and should match stuff in BoWarlord etc.

I KNOW he was. I was involved with BoCastle years back and one of the problems I had with it was Greg wanted to increase the gate penalty. The part I couldn't accept was that the final DV for a palisade and gate ended up negative, and I felt that having a wall and gate to defend behind should always be better than just an open space. 

 

7 hours ago, Morien said:

So the problem is simply that ESTATE doesn't list Ditch by its own, and uses Ditch & Rampart instead, with the Motte.

In my old draft from Book of Castles, Ditch & Rampart was DV2, a Double Ditch & Rampart was DV3, and a Ditch & Rampart DV4.  A DV2 D&R would work perfectly. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suggest just not thinking to much about the numbers around fortifications DV and assaults. They are not rigorously implemented,  have undesirable emergent dynamics*, and seem to have contradictory elements from multiple drafts or the like. Trying to dig in them deeply will only bring woe. I speak from experience. 

(* The minimum & maximum defenders by wall footage rules, and the assault gear vs dv rules in particular lead to crazy town outcomes and un-fun optimal paths if you actually do the math.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, JonL said:

I suggest just not thinking to much about the numbers around fortifications DV and assaults. They are not rigorously implemented,  have undesirable emergent dynamics*, and seem to have contradictory elements from multiple drafts or the like. Trying to dig in them deeply will only bring woe. I speak from experience. 

Sorry,  but I disagree. I see not reason why the numbers can't add up properly. Yes, errors happen, but that is what they are, errors, and they should be corrected when it is possible.  We shouldn't just stick out heads in the sand and ignore anything that doesn't add up-or nothing will ever get fixed or improved. I don't care if they want the Motte & Tower to be DV9, 10, or 11, but I do care for it to be the same value, at least in the same book, and on the same page. 

Now again, errors creep into things, and something like this can easily slip past people, but it should be fixed and made consistent when discovered, eventually. I don't expect a instant solution, but I do expect the values to be the same at some point in the future. 

As far as the conflicting values from multiple drafts and whatnot, that is what I expect the Book of Castles to eventually rectify, and bring everything back into some sort of internally consistent system.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even if you tweak this or that conflicting value into consistancy, the core of the assault rules is deeply messed up. In particular, the two specific relationships I mentioned mean that what you've got in the core of the fortress doesn't really matter. The only real effective defense is a large outer perimeter with many towers, as large as you can possibly man,  and  large stores of assault gear to neutralize attacker assault gear. The large outer perimeter lets you utilize enough troops to be able to use enough assault gear neutralize the attacker's assault gear,  and thus keep the perimiter's high DV (thanks to many towers outweighing the gate penalties) intact. Normal sized perimeters indirectly limit the amount of assault gear that can be used to maintain their effectiveness thanks to the max defenders by footage limit and limit to deployablle assault gear by defender headcount interacting. 

The assault gear an attacker needs to neutralize defenses can be freely replenished between attacks, while the defenders have only what they've been socking away each winter. You thus need to have a high enough outer perimeter DV to inflict massive casualties, as repeated assaults will otherwise deplete the gear you need to maintain then effectiveness of your wall. 

The fallback to the keep scenario is pointless, because it's smaller perimeter places such a low cap on the number of defenders that can participate, and thus the amount of assault gear that they can utilize to maintain the keep's effectiveness, that holding it against any force that was able to overcome your outer perimeter is highly unlikely from a numerical standpoint.

This is not conjecture, I spread-sheeted and graphed all this when my weekly group played Pendragon a few years back. The dynamics that emerge from the rules are simply not desirable from either a fictional or fun standpoint.

That's what I mean about the assault rules being an exercise in suffering. You can build a defensible castle under these rules, but it will look more like a Constantinople or Troy rather than anything Mallory would imagine.

Moreover, while the fact that an assault will succeed of fail based more on the budgeting for arrows, fire buckets,  and oil you did over the last ten years than anything that happens on the day of the battle may be true to life - it is utterly out of step tonally with a game about Knights, (Doubly so so the DVx5 differentials from of a single tower ot the assault gear attackers can improvise in the field numerically dwarf PKs or their wives/stewards' siege skill.)

My advice is that any future work on this corner of the game start over from first principles.

 

Edited by JonL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, JonL said:

Even if you tweak this or that conflicting value into consistancy, the core of the assault rules is deeply messed up. In particular, the two specific relationships I mentioned mean that what you've got in the core of the fortress doesn't really matter. The only real effective defense is a large outer perimeter with many towers, as large as you can possibly man,  and  large stores of assault gear to neutralize attacker assault gear. The large outer perimeter lets you utilize enough troops to be able to use enough assault gear neutralize the attacker's assault gear,  and thus keep the perimiter's high DV (thanks to many towers outweighing the gate penalties) intact. Normal sized perimeters indirectly limit the amount of assault gear that can be used to maintain their effectiveness thanks to the max defenders by footage limit and limit to deployablle assault gear by defender headcount interacting. 

Yes but the Seige rules in Book of the Estate are presented as "Simple Seige Resolution". I expect there will be something a little better in BoC when it comes out. The simple system seems to favor the attacker too much. The attacker should be suffering more casualties than the defender. The medieval rule was that you needed 3:1 odds to even consider an assault, as the defenders would kill 1-2 men each as the attackers tried to get to the ramparts.

Hopefully the BoC will adjust these values somewhat, and add in a simple way to  track food (like £1 feeds so many men for a month OR 4 times that for a week), a modifier for malnutrition and starvation, and a roll of some sort fo disease to affect either (or both) sides. And then the effects of winter. I don't think it would need to be made all that more complex to do most of this. 

Right now, for the most part, it's not that big of an issue, since if an attacker doesn't have the men and equipment to can't take a castle quickly, there's no point in assaulting it. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All of the castles 'Built' in BoCastles were done with an excel program, so they are internally consistent and the DVs add correctly. 

BoCastles add a lot of logistics to control for some of the problems above.  For example, 

(1) You can't just buy Assault Gear and Siege Engines whenever you want or replenish it at will.  You need engineers for Siege Engies. Both also take time to produce.

(2) The amount you can deploy is based on the size of the force.  So 20 men can't use 100 AG.  You need a lot of soldiers to use a lot of AG or SE.  For example, you would need ~400 soldiers to deploy a siege tower.

(3) Recruiting soldiers is limited based on your land holdings and glory.  A random knight can't just hire 500 foot soldiers.  

(4) You have to track food.  BTW, this part tormented me for ages.  I spent a lot of time reading articles on medieval logistics and food requirements.  Interesting stuff.  

(5) You have to transport stuff.  So if you have 100 AG, you need the wagons to get it there.  Wagons are limited.

(6) The number of attackers is limited (as well as defenders) based on the perimeter.  So you can't throw 1000 men at the keep.  There is only one door.  

 

NT

 

 

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
51 minutes ago, fulk said:

All of the castles 'Built' in BoCastles were done with an excel program, so they are internally consistent and the DVs add correctly. 

BoCastles add a lot of logistics to control for some of the problems above.  For example, 

(1) You can't just buy Assault Gear and Siege Engines whenever you want or replenish it at will.  You need engineers for Siege Engies. Both also take time to produce.

Yup, and the Quick rules did already note that. Since I'm running way back in the 420s the only Siege engines are some old Roman ones that have been sitting around rotting for the last 15 years. It makes fortifications far more formidable, since you basically have to throw a lot of men at them to stand a chance of taking the place, and that limits the number of people who could successful attack such a place. 

51 minutes ago, fulk said:

(2) The amount you can deploy is based on the size of the force.  So 20 men can't use 100 AG.  You need a lot of soldiers to use a lot of AG or SE.  For example, you would need ~400 soldiers to deploy a siege tower.

That's alos noted in the quick rules. 

51 minutes ago, fulk said:

(3) Recruiting soldiers is limited based on your land holdings and glory.  A random knight can't just hire 500 foot soldiers.  

If he had the money couldn't he hire a lot of mercenaries? Yes, there migght be social consequnces if someone's leige lord found out that sir So &So was rasing a army, and the word could get out to the intended target, but if someone had the libra and his liege lords approval he could do it. 

51 minutes ago, fulk said:

(4) You have to track food.  BTW, this part tormented me for ages.  I spent a lot of time reading articles on medieval logistics and food requirements.  Interesting stuff.  

Yea. While it's more bookeeping, I think it is important, as very few castles fell to direct assault. Usually it turned into who started to starve first and/or who got hit by disease. 

51 minutes ago, fulk said:

(5) You have to transport stuff.  So if you have 100 AG, you need the wagons to get it there.  Wagons are limited.

And would need drivers and cart animals to do it, which means more mouths to feed. Excellent!

51 minutes ago, fulk said:

(6) The number of attackers is limited (as well as defenders) based on the perimeter.  So you can't throw 1000 men at the keep.  There is only one door.  

Ooh, I like that. That would also mean that with concentric castles the attacker would be able to commit fewer men to the assault and the defender would need fewer men to defend the walls. 

Thanks.

 

Say, how close it Castles to being finished?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Those do sound like some helpful improvements/refinements, though one would of course need to see the final numbers to judge the degree to which they redress the imbalances.

That being said, I think the whole model remains a bit incoherent from a play standpoint. The huge swings in bonuses incurred by DV/assault-gear/numbers make that budgeting/logistical contest dwarf the impact of the characters' or their allies' Siege skills. When one side or the other ends up with a net +40 or more, it doesn't really matter whether a leader has a skill of 4 or 16, or is inspired+10  by Loyalty.

Things I'd like to see in siege rules:
* Week long turns where each side takes one action each turn, Attackers might Forage, Assault, Sap/Undermine, Dig-in, or Build, while Defenders might Repair, Sally, Build, Break-out, etc. 
* Food & Water supplies mattering , with Stewardship rolls helping manage them. Full rations help your fighting & morale, but of course run out faster.
* Troop morale mattering, with Orate, Folklore, Battle, or Siege rolls possibly coming into play.
* Harrying attackers, whether by a nearby allies or sallying forth.
* Attempts to damage/repair the fortress and reduce its effectiveness (undermining, burning, etc) probably involving contested Siege rolls.
* Stewardship or Siege rolls to prevent/curb disease outbreaks.
* Melee results for PK's influencing the outcome of assaults, much like they do in Book of Battle's battle rounds.

Basically, if a siege going to be a major adventure scenario, the PKs should have many significant things to do and choices to make that have a meaningful impact on the outcome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great minds...That describes the overall content of Book of Castles pretty well. 

Re the large bonuses, you shouldn't expect to take a strong castle without a large, well supplied army with lots of Assault Gear and Siege Engines.  That said the Assault rules are for large, full-scale assaults.  If you're looking at a -40 modifier to assault the castle, you should probably try a ruse or special ops type sneak attack, which would just use regular role playing rules. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, historically sieges didn't give much opportunity for individual heroics to sway the outcome. It's like battles in KAP, only more so. In fact assaults kinda suck for knight, since they loose most of their advantages (being mounted), are just like another armored footman.

The way I've viewed it is that if the attacking army can't offset most of the DV modifiers with siege engines, assault gear, or sheer numbers, then they should try to assault the castle and just besiege it and try to starve the defenders out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...