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Discussion - Siege Ladders/Scaling Ladders

Posted: 2014-02-10
by Snudge
I was discussing the finer points of darkon sieges with people yesterday and today in regards to how mending its sort of strong in terms of how fast it can fix gates. Suggestions were to nerf mending which i don't like. A friend of mine inspired the idea of an alternative solution today.

This is a discussion thread for the merits of the idea. Darkon has been moving toward realism in alot of ways but notably lacking in how we do a siege is one of the oldest of siege items. Scaling ladders, why we've not thought of this until now I've no idea. Rough idea for it is below, I know it needs refining.

Scaling ladders would be just like a plank in a boat battle in terms of representation. Mechanics I had in mind for it are as follows
4 people to carry it, ten count to put it up, just like loading a siege engine. You can have 1 hand holding something, sword sheild w/e. 1 fireball would destroy it, it can be mended. spears can push it off the wall, for every person on the ladder you need 1 person holding the spear in question or use multiple spears. If the person in the front of the line is killed they must walk directly through the next two people on the ladder to simulate a falling body unless they died over the structure wall.

Re: Discussion - Siege Ladders/Scaling Ladders

Posted: 2014-02-10
by Inox
I am not a fan of this, and here's why:

That is yet another abstraction, which will look terrible to people spectating. It involves a more complex interplay of rules that has to be interpreted within the current already-terrible fortification system, and will slow down combat.

"No, we had one extra person standing on the edge of the 'ladder', so your three people can't push us four off. What do you mean I can't just have my foot on it? Of course I can!"

"No, I was over the wall already, I don't have to walk back through my people."

Constant arguments.

I think most of us agree that the sucky thing about siege battles is when they go on & on in a stalemate. The standing around waiting to fight, trading volleys every so often, is pretty damned boring to watch and pretty damned boring to play.

The issue is: GATES

They are too hard to break down, and way, way too easy to repair. A first rank spell puts them up immediately, and I can't recall the last major siege where there wasn't a ready-Mending Mage handling things. Usually several. Hell, yesterday a beautifully thrown Fireball went over the wall and took out a siege weapon, and it was mended 2 seconds later. Literally.

Once that gate went down, the real fight began in earnest, and suddenly it was worth watching.

We've done numerous day battles where the fortifications had no doors or gates, and those are always a blast. Fighting happens right away, but you still get the strategy of a fortification because you have a defensible choke point.

I strongly believe that gates should either plain not exist outside of country camps, or if they do, they should stay down once they go down. Otherwise, fort fights are just wayyyyy too much wasted time & boredom. I mean, we're here to actually fight each other, right?

Re: Discussion - Siege Ladders/Scaling Ladders

Posted: 2014-02-10
by Snudge
The idea would be that the people using the scaling ladders cannot be in anyway off the ladder, or they are not counted for the purposes of pushing it off. You didn't have both feet on the ladder, sorry but you don't count and have potentially fallen to the ground and taking lights to your legs under the fall rule based on climb walls and falling

Re: Discussion - Siege Ladders/Scaling Ladders

Posted: 2014-02-12
by Sir Tyriel Firebrand
This seems way too complicated and would cause too much confusion mid battle.

Re: Discussion - Siege Ladders/Scaling Ladders

Posted: 2014-02-12
by Snudge
Just put 1 elder to a ladder, that would prevent arguments.

Re: Discussion - Siege Ladders/Scaling Ladders

Posted: 2014-02-12
by Inox
Not really, because it's now a new mechanic everyone has to figure out and figure out how it interacts with everything else.

More abstractions slow down the action.

And, it's yet another thing that will play poorly for spectators.

Re: Discussion - Siege Ladders/Scaling Ladders

Posted: 2014-02-13
by TitusV
I understand the boredom aspects and wanting to keep the game flowing.

However, sieges are supposed to be very difficult. The defender should have a huge advantage. Armies should think twice about attacking an fortified position. So I am torn with your suggestions Inox.

I think there could be compromise by providing a finite number of mends to gates or equipment. Or hit points to gates or equipment. That being said, I don't want to derail this thread so I won't go into it further.

Re: Discussion - Siege Ladders/Scaling Ladders

Posted: 2014-02-13
by Snudge
its a discussion thread you can't really derail it.
I'm just surprised that given how long scaling ladders were used across human history that we don't have them. I get the resistance to the idea, but being able to use a ladder is one of the oldest siege techniques there is

Re: Discussion - Siege Ladders/Scaling Ladders

Posted: 2014-02-14
by Inox
Let's go back to real wooden logs and such for walls and you can bring real ladders. I will be all for it.

I am just sick of the goofy abstractions like rope walls and swimming-by-crawling.

Re: Discussion - Siege Ladders/Scaling Ladders

Posted: 2014-02-14
by Snudge
Sounds like a plan. Though how to make them portable?

Re: Discussion - Siege Ladders/Scaling Ladders

Posted: 2014-02-14
by Sir Tyriel Firebrand
I tend to agree with Inox on this one. The more abstractions you have in the game, the more its looks silly, and the more silly mechanics play into it.