This wolf is not so big as looking, but in rear part of castle (outside of fortification) are barracks, houses, tradepost etc. This part on map must be free of obstacles to build full featured castle.
Thats the one
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Is this for crusader or crusader extreme???
AI Castles can be used for both, so it's for SHC and SHC-E.
@poool: Well, that is an interesting design you came up with. I like it :-)
But I think there could be done some improvements. So, I tried to find the "imperfectnesses" and give some hints to correct/improve them. The list may seem rather long, but I tried to explain the single aspects detailedly and add some specific info.
And I listed not only "bigger mistakes", but also small ones, weak spots and some personal opinion.
I don't want to criticize you or decry your work; I just want to give you hints to improve this and/or future creations of yours.
I know that it takes a good while to create a new castle (I'm also working on new castles), test if/how well it works, I know that it's not easy to decide between the "certain something", design, some leading ideas (for example "I want to create a 3-layer-fortress, a water castle, one with extremely good defenses or with a great economy, a castle which is star-shaped, looks like a lion-head", etc) and overall efficiency; objective and subjective criteria.
But please take the time to read through it and if you have further questions/different opinions, just tell me.
First of all, the inner square part of the castle should be a bit more fortificated, as there is just a small moat between the 2-tile-walls and the enemy and on higher ground, the moat can't be set up. Then it just takes some catapults to fire at one corner of the inner square and a big bunch of macemen along with some archers to take the castle.
Moreover, the exits/entrances of the castle are not that well-made: Of course, this way of arranging the gates provides some good protection. But if Wolf ever has to delete his gates and towers (if he is on low gold etc), then he's already as good as dead, as he can't exit his castle anymore and thus can't make any more gold.
So, there should be at least 1 "normal" entrance which is still passable without the gate. Maybe at the back of the castle (on the bottom in AIV-editor).
Then, there is much empty space inside the castle between the buildings. That's not good. Use the space more efficiently by arranging the buildings differently!
And I suggest adding a well or two.
Normally, the Wolf has 4-5 inns.
Every inn provides +8 popularity for up to 30 peasants, so your Wolf would only get +8 for a population of max. 60. But from the minimap i can see 9 hovels (x8 people = 72 in total) and your keep provides housing for another 10 people. So, you have around 82 population. That means that you have a bit less than 75% of your people drunken, offering a bonus of only +4. So, add at least 1 additional inn.
Usually Wolf has bad things in order to boost up his economy by 50%. He uses chapels, church and (in some fortresses) cathedral to achieve high bonuses in religion to set up heavy taxes.
You have neither bad things nor religion - less productive, but cheaper in setup and you have to defend less buildings/room, so that's ok...
But what's not ok is that you have 3 hovels next to your keep while such important buildings as marketplace, barracks, mercenary posts are unprotected. And the oil smelter is completely missing. I suggest moving your 2 tanners to where the hovels are now, putting the 3 hovels outside and placing your marketplace and an oil smelter on the free space. Then you can add 9 "oil" spots for the engineers with boiling oil. Important: the spot with no. 1 is often not occupied in the game.
Boiling oil is a real useful invention as some of it next to the keep entrance can burn away up to 50 pikemen (own experience...) or protect important passages of wall.
You didn't add any trebuchets to the castle (Wolf usually has 3 of them) - they may spend stones uselessly with shooting at lonely hostile woodcutters huts, that's right. But if there is a hostile castle next to Wolf, that would allow a steadily siege with many problems (crumbled towers and walls, loss of soldier who were on the towers, high amount of stone to rebuild the fortifications) for the enemy.
Another point are dog cages: Not used regularly, but quite usefull against hords of hostile archers (especially the Arabian horse archers), slaves etc.
Next: Where's your pitch ditch? As your Lord is on Wolfs keep and your spearmen are "trapped" on some low wall of Wolf, I think he's allied with you in the picture. But there's no pitch ditch. I suggest to add some pitch in front of the corners of the inner square and maybe in front of the (in the AIV-editor) upper tower-arrangement.
Moreover, you could place some killing pits in front of your fire ballistae (but 2 tiles away to allow the placement of the siege-tents to build the ballistae), around the campfire, the stairs leading into the castle and maybe in front of the drawbridges.
If the castle is built on higher ground, then the drawbridges won't be built. That means that enemies can conquer the gates+towers easily with assassins or siege towers, as the wall next to drawbridge and the towers can be accessed. I suggest placing 2 rows of crenelated walls here (low wall-high wall combination would allow the enemy access to the outer wall and thus to the tower).
Maybe you also could add one single square or defense tower inside the castle, with 1 tile of wall and stairs next to it, to provide some kind of a "second line of defense" / "last defense" next to the keep, including 1-2 spots of archers, 1-2 spots of crossbowmen, 1-3 spots of oil-engineers and maybe some additional killing pits next to the tower.
A last point is the balance of your weapons production: The amount of armourers should be ~ the amount of (blacksmiths+poleturners), the amount of fletchers ~ the amount of tanners (the Wolf doesn't make bows, he buys them! Wolf only produces crossbows, which are more profitable).
In a big castle, the ways that the workers have to walk may influence the above, as for example a blacksmith directly next to stockpile+armoury can work more efficient - and thus faster - than a armourer far away from stockpile and/or armoury.
If there is any free room, you should fill it with additional fletchers (producing crossbows) or tanners, as these make the best profit for Wolf:
crossbow sells for 30, costs 12 (3woodx4gold), so the profit is 18 (as collecting 3 woods takes 3 times as much time as collecting 1 wood, the profit per wood may be more important: 18/3 = 6), leather body sells for ... ehm don't know it right now, but it costs nothing.
pikes need 2 wood, sell for 18, profit per wood: 5, buying iron and selling maces/swords/metal armour would lead to immense losses.
If you want to make castls for different characters, too, the following may be important: spears need 1 wood, sell for 10 --> profit per wood: 6 (same as crossbows+lower costs for the workshop in the beginning), bows need 2 wood, sell for 15 --> profit per wood 3,5. And always test, which weapons are made at each workshop by the specific AI!
I hope my hints are helpful for you.
[Edited on 06/02/10 @ 09:31 AM]
I very appreciate your analysis.
I have some different looks to inside fortification:Enemy lords need to kill all staff on two groups on towers to get acces to moat. If they achieve this goal (in full arming towers is very difficult) one wall in addition is unimporatnt.
Space between two groups of towers is to small and enemy cannot achieve moats alive.
Lack of walls and religion is conditioned by effort to keep size of castle in average. This castle is on border and addition make it too big.
Thats also reason for keeping barracks, mercenary and houses outside. We must differentiate between human and AI opponent -
Creative human can exploit this weakness, but unfortunately AI not.My standard test is one Wolf against three arabians - Omar, Wazir and Saladin or Caliph.
Build good castle which can stand up to average human is very different league and is not my goal in this case.
You are right in oil smelter and oil throwers and I will work on it.
Market place is so cheap(5 pieces of wood) that wolf can easily built new every time is destroyed.
Moats are essential in this complex and this castle is designed for maps with possibility to build moats.
Anyway, you find main weaknes of this castle - castle is in half way to finish.
I hope will you look there week later and you can test improved castle - your opinion is anticipate.
Thanks for feedback which is very important.
[Edited on 06/03/10 @ 03:08 AM]
I surely will look here from time to time =)
Just one thing: This castle is "specialized" for low ground, so anyone who wants to use it should choose a map with low ground. Nonetheless, if it is not too difficult, adjusting it in a way that allows playing it also on higher ground, would be fine, or maybe providing 2 versions of it. (just a suggestion).
And of course, a fully armed Wolf is always hard to beat. But Wolf doesn't always have the time to place 5 archers/crossbowmen per spot before anyone tries attacking him, and some siege engines (trebuchets) could quickly take out one or two towers, decimating his ranging units.
Then, it is not impossible anymore to reach and dig up the moat. What I want to say: Always try not to put all one's eggs in one basket.
However, keep up the good work!
I would like to send you an email concerning your castle, but unfortunately I can't see your email address in your profile...
So, I would be glad if you could send me an email instead (you can look up my email address in my profile).
[Edited on 06/12/10 @ 06:52 PM]