To experienced players, this might seem obvious, but as a new player, I tried for so long to make towers and walls work, but they just don’t. During feudal age and before ballistics, their arrows are very easy to avoid and they don’t do much damage anyway, even when fully garrisoned. Against archers, I guess they’re fine, but against everything else, they are terrible.
Stone walls, on top of being more expensive than palisade walls (5 stone vs. 3 wood) and stone mining slower, also don’t build very fast. On any open-ish maps or open maps, they are nearly useless. Even rushing feudal, there is a 0% chance of walling up before the opponent rushes you.
Palisade walls are, of course, pretty horrible against the common men-at-arms into archers/scouts.
Idk, maybe I’m wrong and it’s possible to play defensively, but it doesn’t seem viable.
(Another problem with walling is how you’re cutting yourself off from resources and ceding map control. Space can also become an issue.)
Since the devs can just change the dials whenever they want to, I don’t think defense is bad by itself, just that the game isn’t balanced to favor it. Of course, aggro interferes with the opponent’s game while also protecting your own economy, while defense just does the latter. However, again, if the devs wanted to, they could make towers more powerful/ give TCs more range, make walls cheaper etc.
Anyway, those are my observations. If I’m doing something wrong, please let me know because I do prefer playing defensively, if it can work.