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Mapmaking 101 - Stone Bridges

One of our regular visitors, thurdl* , thought up this wonderful way of building bridges with the Stronghold Editor. The last part is written by yours truly and shows an alternate way to implement bridges, which is heavily based on thurdl's original idea.

Basic steps for making a bridge over a canyon and river in Stronghold. NOTE: All screenshots were taken with the height turned off using the spacebar. This makes it easier to see the steps, and easier to actually construct the bridge.

Making a bridge

Step One
Flatten all terrain, and create several rows of wall. In this screenshot I made four rows of wall. Add a fifth, and the resulting bridge will be the same width as a large gatehouse.

Step Two
Create crenellations along the walls, and one block beyond the wall. To extend the crenellations further than the wall, first draw them on all sides of the wall (any attempt to go further will result in the building turning red). Once both sides are created, it should be possible to add one block of crenellation beyond what would normally be legal. The fact that crenellations can be built off of each other and not a wall is another little trick of the editor.

Step Three
First using the smallest brush, then larger ones, flesh out the canyon with Mid Plain. Make sure the height difference abuts the ends of the walls and the crenellations, or there will be a gap between the bridge and the canyon wall.

Step Four
Build stairs coming down from each side of the walls used to make the bridge. The height difference between the wall and the Mid Plain will only require one unit of stair at each point to give full access to the top of the bridge.

Step Five
Draw your river so that it cuts through the canyon, and appears on either side of the bridge.

Step Six
Now, it’s a simple matter of adding eye candy, such as foam at the bridge base and shore shrubs, and hit the spacebar again to see your final creation.

Going Further
Another handy trick to know and remember is that elevation cannot be changed where there is already a building. Thus, if you create your standard bridge, and bring ALL surrounding terrain up to the Mid Plain height, the resulting bridge will be much shallower, but still have a raised effect over the water. The final screenshot (a prototype for a future siege level) shows this lower bridge, built 5 wall units thick instead of four, so as to line up with the width of the large gatehouse. Other ideas may be to have perimeter towers guarding the bridge, or even create some damage to the walls so the bridge must be rebuilt. Play around with the idea, as this is just meant to be a springboard of sorts.
Happy Gaming.


An Alternate Design
I realised the biggest problem with a bridge like the one above is that it can be easily destroyed, both on purpose by the player who owns it, or accidently by siege engines. If it's the only access to a particular location, this makes it a hazard in the average scenario, as it is easy to make it unbeatable this way.

The difference of approach is to use the raised land as the actual bridge, creating a 'land bridge'. This is done by starting to place two walls and line them with crenelated walls.
The next step is to remove the actual walls and use the terrain tool to raise the land between the two walls to the required level (normally Low Plain). The resulting bridge deck will be slightly lower than the stone deck, but it will be completely indestructible, leaving access even if the walls on the side get destroyed.

Additional Note: Bridges made with using (lowered) walls will automatically be indestructable if boulders are used inside the walls. The will 'fill' the walls with solid earth, which can not be destroyed.

Here's an example


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