For this the first in a series of topographic guides looking at ways to achieve victory across the numerous lands of Conqueror’s Blade, it seemed only right and proper to take a look at the very first battle many will have fought over during the very first Siege Test: Augolia.
Traditionally Augolia has been the dominant settlement of Ostaria, which has inevitably made it a focus for many a rising kingdom looking to assert itself in the region. Situated across rolling terrain and fortified within a dry moat, what the castle may lack in royal stature it more than makes up for in stubborn defensibility, which is why it has played host to many a desperate - and often successful - last stand. That the outer walls appear to be in a perpetual state of reconstruction is an unavoidable consequence of the city’s enduring significance.
Numerous artillery pieces are set along the full breadth of Augolia’s outer walls, with the main concentration of defensive firepower set upon the battlements of the barbican (A). In addition, Augolia’s wide battlements are able to contain a full garrison of defenders that can rely on unobscured views of any attacking force, whether the enemy assaults the walls directly or tries to secure the precipitous walkway that leads into the murderous heart of the city (B). The key to securing Augolia has always been left temptingly in its doorway. It’s in breaking through and moving beyond it that the battle is often won or lost.
PLAN OF ATTACK
- As soon as battle begins the attacking forces need to do two things - neutralise as much incoming fire as possible using siege engines, and move unprotected units into cover or towards the flanks to avoid being caught in what is dangerously open terrain.
- It takes time for the towers and battering rams to do their work, so be patient and coordinate your next move with your allies if you can, try to take one or both of the outer walls to the north and south of the main gate. If you can remain undetected, use ladders to get behind enemy forces that might be preoccupied with the centre ground.
- Even if you are unsuccessful in securing one or both flanks, you will in your efforts be able to distract defensive efforts away from the overeager allies forces that will inevitably be drawn towards the activity around the barbican and gatehouse.
- If the enemy is allowed to pour fire and arrows onto the unwalled neck and thereafter into the giant murder hole that is the gatehouse entranceway, attrition will be your undoing. However, if you can time another flanking assault to take the battlements while the defenders sense victory elsewhere, the odds might yet be reversed.
- If you can advance into the inner courtyard, you will likely be outnumbered. Disperse your forces to avoid being overwhelmed and try to take the final victory location without succumbing to mounted reinforcements.
- There are only three effective routes into Augolia; via the gatehouse and the north and south outer walls. If the enemy is properly organised and attempts a coordinated attack, either using the flanks alone or across all three zones, then a similarly coordinated defence will be necessary.
- Use artillery weapons quickly to limit the enemy to narrow fronts. If the walls are breached, provide an effective counter to the troops before you (i.e don’t charge into a wall of spears).
- If you do have to prioritise your defense, try to limit the enemy to a single attacking channel, ideally via the central barbican. Although it will fall quickly and give the attackers a precios victory location, you will have a significant height advantage and a devastating field of fire into a narrow channel that will quickly become packed with units eager to find sanctuary.
- Use fire pots upon the enemy below and when the main gate is breached, don’t overcommit your forces to plugging the gap. Try to keep the enemy contained in the entranceway and use ranged units to thin the enemy numbers so that any breakthrough units can be chased down by fresh reinforcements from the inner courtyard.
- The gatehouse area will be where the battle is won or lost. Be wary of raiding units trying to break the deadlock and you should be able to retain the numbers to sustain your terrain advantage.