The K&B Handbook

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The K&B Handbook

Post by peugeot407 on Thu 7 Mar 2013 - 5:35

This new section of our forums is all about playing K&B, something that is getting closer and closer to being a reality. We realise that K&B is introducing some new gameplay systems, and drastically reforming some existing ones, so this thread is here to help. Read it and you will know exactly what's changed, and what to expect when playing K&B. For now, there's only our completely revamped Siege System, but more will be added over time. This is however, unlike the Friday Updates, not a thread that will be updated at regular intervals, it's more based on demand. We'll try to keep it as complete as possible by ourselves, but once the Prologue has been released, we'll be open for requests as well.

Temporary note: Please fill in the poll. It will give us a decent impression about whether it's worth the time and effort to write more entries for the Handbook...



The Siege System

What you should know
There's some basic information you need to know to understand our siege system. Unlike in the 18th and 19th centuries in which AoE3 takes place, the Middle Ages were a period in which fortifications played a major role. It's not without a reason that some of the most well-known battles from the period were sieges; the Siege of Jerusalem, Siege of Orléans, Siege of Granada, Crusader Siege of Constantinople, of course also the Ottoman Siege of Constantinople, I could continue for quite a while... We wanted to reflect this in K&B, by giving more thought to the way buildings are taken down (or not) than ES had with AoE3. Walls will be considerably stronger in K&B, and while it is still a possibility to simply use artillery to blast them out of the way, this won't be half as effective as it was in AoE3, at least not until gunpowder artillery becomes available in Age V. Also, while all units can attack ordinary buildings, it's no longer possible for ordinary infantry or cavalry units to attack Walls or Castles. Moreover, Towers also give a hitpoints boost to nearby Crossbowmen, making it all the more attractive for the defender to sit back and let the attacker try his best, as sitting back and waiting has become a much more comfortable option now. All this certainly creates a need for a more potent system of siege units, which we have been trying to achieve in K&B.

How it works
There are two very distinctly different ways of going about a siege.


The first option is to ignore it altogether, and just use artillery. Ballistae (as shown in the picture), Catapults and, in later ages, Bombards, as well as several unique artillery units, do a reasonably good job at destroying Walls and Castles, so it is entirely feasible to just stick with them. Artillery has however seen a significant drop in attacking power as compared to AoE3, especially the non-gunpowder artillery pieces, so the second option may be worth considering, particularly in sieges where both forces are evenly matched.


The second option hinges largely around Sappers, even though there is a plethora of backup units to strengthen its potential, and to improve an attacker's chances in general. Sappers are exceptionally good at destroying enemy buildings, and they are the only infantry unit that can attack Walls and Castles (except the Order of Santiago's Gastador, which can also attack defences). They are not extremely good at this, but their siege attack against Walls is by all means decent, and they can easily be brought to bear in quite significant numbers.


Sappers can however do more than just attack buildings. They can also build one themselves; the Siege Camp. This is a cheap and very weak building that can be taken down very easily if spotted by the enemy, but it is not supposed to last very long, because its purpose lies purely in besieging. If the siege is succesful, it's served its purpose, and if the siege fails, it's no longer of any use either. What the Siege Camp does is train three dedicated siege units, that are all very powerful in their specific field of expertise, and completely useless in a non-siege battle, partly because they move very slowly, but mainly because none of them can attack units. In fact, only a single one of them can attack buildings...


The Battering Ram is a siege unit that only has a siege attack. Moreover, it cannot attack Walls or Castles, and is of no use unless the enemy has built Gates in his defences. Then, the Battering Ram can shine. Useless in every other respect, a Battering Ram can destroy a Gate in no time, allowing a very quick entry into the enemy's defensive perimeter. Of course, the defender would know this, so it makes sense to protect the Battering Ram...


The Mantlet is a very specific siege unit that can't attack anybody or anything. It is not an offensive unit at all, in fact, but is used as a makeshift wall to put the attacker on equal footing with the defender in a siege, by sheltering the attacker's units from enemy attacks. What it does is provide such a significant hitpoint boost that all units near the Mantlet (except other Mantlets) become virtually invincible until the Mantlet is destroyed. This is going to happen, obviously, because Mantlets don't have an astronomical amount of hitpoints themselves, but it is a good way to slow the enemy's progress in killing off your troops. For obvious reasons, Mantlets come with a buildlimit.




The Siege Tower is specific siege unit that functions mainly as a troop transport. A small number of infantry units can garrison inside the Siege Tower, and slowly be transported towards the enemy walls. The garrisoned units do not just benefit from the Siege Tower's massive structural strength, they also add to it by providing a small ranged attack which an ungarrisoned Siege Tower does not have. It is by no means a very powerful attack, but it may be enough to take out some particularly annoying units on the other side of the enemy defenses. Because of the Siege Tower's high amount of hitpoints, it can continue attacking the enemy for quite a while before it is destroyed, even artillery will have difficulties bringing a Siege Tower down. Once the usefulness of the ranged attack has been exhausted, the garrisoned units can simply be ejected in a very convenient place. This is particularly useful as a way of making sure your Sappers make it to the enemy's walls in one piece, but it can also be applied in different ways, taking Skirmishers to the walls in order to take out enemy Crossbowmen for instance.




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Re: The K&B Handbook

Post by Hoop Thrower on Thu 7 Mar 2013 - 7:04

Ah, the siege units are lovely, and I see many really creative uses of models ingame here, alas, this is not the topic at hand, so let's change subject...

The Siege Camp is ingenious, it reminds me of Stronghold's Engineer's tent, I'm not sure if that's what inspired you, but the similarity is striking, of course, the choices in units are really different, but the principle is the same.

So let me see if I got this straight, the 3 siege camp units are the Siege Tower, the mantlet and the ram, right? I'll kinda miss the covered rams from AoE2.
I also love how that siege tower looks.

Something that left me wondering is, why the towers give a hit point boost to nearby crossobowmen instead of just getting stronger the more crossbowmen it has garrisoned inside? This sounds more intuitive to me at least.

Ah, I'll miss the chu-ko-nu stopping sieges like in age of empires II, well, maybe that's something for a mod version of K&Bs...

Also, I can't wait to trick someone into letting their gates open so I can get my units inside. Muhahahaha

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Re: The K&B Handbook

Post by AOE_Fan on Thu 7 Mar 2013 - 7:21

Yep, the units trainable from Siege Camps are indeed Mantlet, Siege Tower and Ram. As for Towers boosting HP of Crossbowmen instead of the opposite, I guess it would be pretty much the same after all. The original idea was that Walls would boost Crossbowmen's hitpoints but it turned out to be really overpowering feature due to stacking auras.
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Re: The K&B Handbook

Post by Hoop Thrower on Sun 10 Mar 2013 - 11:45

There's a question that suddendly intrigued me: What's the Naffatun's role in this now? Does it count as a siege unit? Can it attack walls? Is it better against buildings or is it just a ranged unit with area damage attack?

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Re: The K&B Handbook

Post by Persian_Fusilier on Sun 10 Mar 2013 - 17:49

Wow , thats a cool abstract information!

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Re: The K&B Handbook

Post by Nosferatu on Mon 11 Mar 2013 - 6:29

the texture of the siege tower is very beautiful, in fact it is my favorite texture in a mod of Age3
I wonder if good mixing it with cavalry?
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Re: The K&B Handbook

Post by peugeot407 on Mon 11 Mar 2013 - 6:41

I suppose cavalry has its uses in a siege, rushing into the enemy base once the walls are down, but it's no significantly more useful than infantry, and unlike infantry, cavalry can't be garissoned inside a Siege Tower.


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Re: The K&B Handbook

Post by peugeot407 on Mon 11 Mar 2013 - 10:31

...also, to answer Hoop's question: By its Grenadier-esque nature, the Naffatun is quite good against ordinary buildings, certainly, but like other infantry units, it can't attack Walls or Castles.


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Re: The K&B Handbook

Post by PierceBel on Mon 18 Mar 2013 - 17:00

This is amazing! What all have you guys done for regular siege engines? I'd love to hear the list, or see screen caps sometime. Please tell me that there are Trebuchets, and that they can only attack buildings.
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Re: The K&B Handbook

Post by AOE_Fan on Tue 19 Mar 2013 - 23:42

List of siege units appearing in Prologue:
  • Ballista
  • Catapult
  • Bombard
  • Sapper
  • Ram
  • Siege Tower
  • Mantlet

So unfortunately no Trebuchets, thanks to Aoe3's restrictions for adding new models into game...
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Re: The K&B Handbook

Post by PierceBel on Wed 20 Mar 2013 - 17:38

Thanks! I'm actually impressed with that list. I also LOVE the idea of how you have integrated siege-specific engines, kind of like in the Total War series. I'm extremely excited for this game.
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Re: The K&B Handbook

Post by posionrun on Sat 23 Mar 2013 - 0:01

I like it all except for the rams, i think they should be larger with wheels and the soldiers should have to push it not carry it, but i'm not saying increase damage or strength i'm just saying change visuals.
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Re: The K&B Handbook

Post by peugeot407 on Sat 23 Mar 2013 - 0:03

We probably would, if we had the means... We have been thinking of attaching a cap on top of it though, so that it still looks somewhat like you describe, and we may do that still, rather depending on how good it will look.


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