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NAT II's Art of the Defensive Siege, pt. 1

Are the Pig's macemen too quick for you or the Wolf's swordsmen too tough? Below are a whole array of tips to ensure your castle stays standing!

1) - Spacing out your troops

This is a screenshot from Javier castle with the men laid out as the map starts.

This screenshot however is how the men should be set out if you want to survive this map. With this setup, as long as your spearmen are on aggressive stance and you use your boiling oil on the top of the gatehouse sensibly this map can be completed on very hard with 5 or 10% losses. This is simply due to moving your soldiers around the castle. With Javier it is particularly relevant due to the ladder men they attack you with. If your spearmen are left on the keep they are helpless to stop them but garrisoned along the walls they can take care of all the ladder men leaving your archers and crossbowmen to concentrate on more important things.

2) - Using a fighting retreat

Using a fighting retreat is essential in stronghold especially when defending a large castle with many layers of walls. The screenshot, taken from Lord Karn's Battle of Mistwood shows my archers and crossbowmen heading back to the next wall while a group of pikemen hold off the swordsmen pouring in at the fallen tower. These pikemen are essential as they slow down enemy advances giving time for your missile troops to head back to the next wall. With these men holding off the enemy quicker soldiers like macemen can easily catch your retreating archers and crossbowmen especially if your retreat is a late one.

3) - Massing soldiers in front of your walls

This screenshot taken from The Battle for Stormford by Talos_911 shows soldiers fighting in front of the wall; an excellent tactic. By moving soldiers in front of your walls they hold up the enemy advance and increase your archers firing time significantly meaning that they can do much more damage. Soldiers when left in front of your walls should be on aggressive stance, but it is important that they do not stray far from the walls or they will lose the bonus of the covering archer fire. Unlike in The Battle for Stormford where troops have been deployed for you outside the walls, most siege maps come with very few hand-to-hand soldiers. Normally they are in the keep; these men should be moved to in front of an important wall as they will be much more useful there. Another good technique which is an alternative to using this defence is to leave your men just behind the gate and rush out when the gate or a nearby tower is in serious peril. This means that your soldiers aren't wasted attacking small groups of enemy soldiers that won't do very much damage.

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