Base building overall
Just like planning battles needs thought, base building needs it too. A key feature in how you're going to shape your base is to possess strategic spots that you need in the longer run to outlast your opponents.
Design Meeting #2
The implementation of countryside has multiple objectives
- Force players to spread and allow players to expand quickly
- Move battles to multiple spots
- Give capturing buildings a good use
The player which is controlling most of the map must have a significant advantage to exploit. This will incite players to expand earlier and make some encounters.
It will also make battles happen at various places and various sizes. The more the countryside is defended, the harder it will be to take it, but it also includes spread vs defend tactics. Gaining ground slowly can end in a siege with a superior army on the long run, while a strong strike directly at the cities can be sufficient if the defenses are too spread.
A base can come in various shapes in 0 A.D. and holds multiple roles:
- Economic role
- Army building an enhancing role
- Defensive role
On alpha 18 a base is always centered around a Civil Centre and thus covers almost every time the three roles.
The drawback is there is no really cheap weak point that can be built to cover more terrain. Village phase is mostly confined to the small territory and cavalry rush because there is no way to expand in this phase. All resources are available around the starting Civil Centre and if it's not enough for long term it can hold pretty much work on them.
By diversing a bit the nature of bases and giving more opportunities to create weak forward bases, the game can gain in depth in map covering, capturing and sieging.
There will be two kinds of bases: the city, small stronghold with almost all facilities, and countryside, weaker but still supporting the city and widespread.
The cities and the countrysides acts in symbiosis, the city providing military defenses for the countryside, while the countryside supports the city to build a larger army.
The economic role of a base is mostly assumed by dropsites and working citizens. Trading is an advanced way of dealing with resources between two cities.
In a city, the Civil Centre is a dropsite for all resources and to be able to work on its own (and not be deserted by all workers), it should keep a restricted way to collect them all. The limit is either limited by the gathering speed or by the number of gatherers allowed on one spot.
The countryside develops around other dropsites, either storehouse for wood, stone and metal, farmstead for food and docks for all resources. The first two dropsites allows to research economic techs.
The dropsites will then belong more to the countryside than the city, even if a city can hold one of them, there won't be much space around for a lot and it would be better to spread them.
Last, the population limit resource is covered by building houses. For a large army a lot of houses are required, there may not be enough space in the city for them all, or it could reduce it's defensiveness by spreading too much.
This economic role is the key value of the countryside. Even if the city can hold on by itself, there won't be enough to build up a strong army quickly if concentrating only in expensive cities.
The military role is given mostly to the city. It can train soldiers and hold the blacksmith to develop enhancing techs.
The military role is not given at all to the countryside. Houses can still train female citizen on later game to develop the economic effectiveness of the countryside quickly but with a strong weakness.
The army is used either economically and defensively when working at the city or in the countryside and also has an offensive role when attacking other bases.
While the army is not working while fighting, capturing an outpost can have two advantage effect: cutting resources source for the opponent, especially with large outpost where everyone has been killed (and buildings captured for free) and gathering near to the next attack point.
Because the army cannot travel fast enough to respond to every attack everywhere, small outposts also act as static watch spots.
Even if the army can fight on it's own, the defensive facilities of bases can increase their efficiency a lot while defending. The defenses are walls, towers and fortresses (and in a lesser extend temples).
Outposts cannot have strudy defenses but still requires a way to be reinforced. Even if no match against city defenses, an outpost must still become a defendable spot once settled well, requiring significantly more fightpower to take than the workers inside. Being rather small and without much free space, it will be hard to wall them efficiently, nor having layers of towers. To leave them mostly weak but still defendable, only wooden defenses are allowed in outposts. Dealing with an outpost is more a matter of killing everyone than breaching in a stronghold.
A city can lay all the defensive buildings. The civil centre also acts like a small defense but considering it's military role and the available defenses and surrounding outposts it is more an early game shelter than a real defensive building. When it comes to strongly rely on the civil centre the city is already almost down.
Booming aims toward getting a strong economy very quickly to tech and build up a superior army very fast, at the cost of poor defenses.
The extreme strategy is building almost only female citizen and spreading a lot to make all of them gather something. Once the resources are there, teching and building a superior army is very fast.
On the other side, outposts are almost not defended and can be taken very easily. The resources used to set them is then given to the opponent.
Rushers builds a strong army very quickly at the cost of economic development. They take their advantage of having a superior army very quickly, but if they fail they will mostly fall behind because of not being able to reitaliate quickly enough.
If building almost only military units and making them progress directly through the opponent city, there will be a strong line settled almost next to the opponent city. If this line fails it can be a free outpost easy to defend.
The turtling strategy consists in building a impenetrable stronghold constantly growing while the opponent is losing power against it. By spreading slowly but surely, the turtler will conquer opponent outposts one by one and settle in it. On the long run there would be not enough resources to hold back the strong army built behind the walls.