Fortress/Outpost Shutdown

Problem: A Fortress/Outpost will sometimes shutdown, that is: stop firing arrows, Springald, and/or Cannon in any direction.

This is a baffling problem although probably not as important as some other reported problems since it occurs in very a very specific situation. I’ve played a number of skirmishes to get more information on how to duplicate the problem. Here is some more information:

Btw, I haven’t seen any guides or tips indicating that Fortresses and Outposts eventually run out of ammo. If this is the case, let me know and ignore the rest of this post. It would explain the shutdown behavior, although if this is expected behavior, the amount of ammo a fortress starts with seems to be arbitrary.

I’ve seen the same shutdown behavior happen with Rus Fortresses, English Outposts, and Chinese Outposts (I haven’t played enough of the other civilizations to know if it also happens with them, but I suspect it does).

The Fortress/Outpost shutdown seems to reliably occur when more than one Fortress/Outpost are built at a “choke point”. I’ve built two or more Fortresses/Outposts side-by-side at open or clear points in a map and the shutdown never occurs (oops, I take this back. See “Update” below).

The maps I use to duplicate the problem are “Mongolian Heights” and “Confluence”, These maps have rivers and fords. When I build 2 or more Fortresses/Outposts next to or near each other at the ford, the shutdown problem always occurs.

I’ve seen the shutdown problem only twice at other non-ford points on “Mongolian Heights” and also on the “Altai” map. These instances were also at choke points between cliffs or rock outcroppings.

If I build one Fortress/Outpost at a choke point, it will continue to work throughout the game (as far as I can tell). If I build two or more Fortresses/Outposts at a choke point, after some amount of time, an arbitrary number of Fortresses/Outposts will shutdown. Sometimes this happens as soon as the second Fortress/Outpost is fortified, sometimes it happens up to 20 minutes later (since I have to wait for the enemy to attack, it’s sometimes hard to know when the shutdown occurs). Sometimes one of three shutdown, sometimes 2 of four shutdown, sometimes all Fortresses/Outposts at the choke point shutdown. I don’t see any pattern as to why the number of Fortresses/Outposts at a choke point varies, but at least one will shutdown.

I’ve seen the shutdown behavior at choke points with mixed combinations of Arrow Slit, Springald, and Cannon equipped Outposts. The shutdown behavior occurs independent of what emplacement has been added to the Outpost. It occurs for both fortified and non-fortified Outposts.

Which of the cluster of Fortresses/Outposts will shutdown seems to be random. Originally, I thought it was always the most recently built Fortress/Outpost in a cluster that remains firing. For example, after building three Fortresses at a ford and later discovering only one firing, I’ve built a fourth Fortress and later checked back when the enemy attacks and discover only the fourth Fortress is firing. However, in other games, I’ve checked back to find one of the older fortresses/outposts still firing and the newer ones shutdown.

If the enemy destroys one of the Fortresses/Outposts, and if I replace the destroyed fortress/outpost with a new one in the same place, the new one works. I’ve discovered that if I let the first generation of fortresses/outposts in a cluster at a ford get destroyed, the replacement fortresses in the same locations all work for the remainder of the game (I’m not 100 % sure about this – by this point in the game, the enemy usually doesn’t attack as often).

Saving the game and coming back to it does not change the behavior.

Update: Today on the “Confluence” map, I saw one English Outpost fortified with a Cannon shutdown after about 30 minutes. The Outpost was alone in a traversable forest. Also, I placed two springald fortified outposts at the corner of where the two rivers meet on the “Confluence” map. After firing for some time, both Outposts eventually shutdown as if they ran out of ammo. The Enemy eventually destroyed both outposts with flaming arrows, hand-cannons, and springald fire from across the river.

I’m playing AOE IV version 5.0.11963.0 on Windows 10, I’ve seen this shutdown problem since it was first reported in December 2021.

Please let me know if you need any additional information.


Thank you @Packadayhabit. I appreciate the thorough information! We are on it.