Towers from Castle Age: a new tech

  • The problem

Once upon a time, Tower rushing was a very popular strategy. Through a series of well adjusted nerfs, Tower rush is probably in an alright spot now. But from Castle Age, and even more so in Imperial, towers are rarely seen. I am not talking about Bombard towers here.

Is this a problem? Not really so much. At least, it is not a balance problem. But do we want to improve the diversity of strategies in the game? Well at least I do, and I suppose you too.

So should we buff towers? We could surely improve the HP or the armour a bit, ### the main reason why civilisations with good towers (and even very good, including Koreans, Japanese, etc.) is the high cost of our dear towers. 125 stone when one could pile up and get a castle is not a worthy investment.

  • Proposed solution

So I propose a new tech, Outpost network, which would grant “towers cost -40 stone” (i.e. 85s, 50w) for 250w, 100s, available at the university in Imperial Age, locked behind Arrowslits.

Arrowslits would be moved to Castle Age, allowing the player who wanted to invest in towers to keep up, and would get a cost reduction to 150f, 150w. So in a way, Arrowslits would get back to the point they were at after their introduction, but only causing half the additional attack.

A new tech comes with the advantage that it is civilisation-dependent, and we could exclude civilisations at will.

  • Would it be enough

Maybe not, but that could be tweaked later on.

4 Likes

This means that you need at least 3 towers for the tech to pay back. And then it is also locked behind another tech. I cant imagine that will change a lot.

1 Like

I think the better solution is to generally reduce the Stone cost but increase the Wood cost.

In the early game Stone is not much more valuable then Wood.
Villagers collect 0.39 Wood/second and 0.36 Stone/second in Dark Age while Woods gets improved by 20% in Feudal Age while Stone only gets improved by 15%.
Not that much of a difference though.
But in the late game (on most maps) Stone is a lot more valuable then Wood because it’s the most limited resource in the game.

Reducing the Stone cost by 25 Stone but increasing the Wood cost by 50 Wood would make them cost 100 Stone 100 Wood.
That would make them a little harder to build in Feudal Age but more affordable in Late game.

Castles currently cost 5.2x as much Stone as Towers, with that change it would be 6.5x as much.
In total resources it would be the other way round. From 3.7x as expensive down to 3.25x as expensive.

The other big issue with Towers is that they need technologies to be stronger.
Castles get their full attack for free in Castle Age (ignoring the Blacksmith upgrades that Towers need too) while Towers need 2 upgrades plus Arrow Slits.

One way to make Tower Upgrades more obtainable would be to move them into the Tower so you don’t need to build a University.
You still want that for Ballistics and Arrow Slits though.

While you don’t want to build Towers in Castle Age because they offer less protection then Castles for the same resources, you don’t want to build them in Imperial Age because you don’t want to waste this rare resource on a purely defensive building if you can also get one that produces your UU and Trebuchets.

The main issue with this change is that It would allow to build 2 Towers with the starting Stone instead of just 1.
Changing the starting Stone on the other hand would change the number of TCs you can build in Castle Age without starting to mine Stone.

2 Likes

Towers shouldn’t be that strong in castle age imo. They should be a mid-imperial thing. However, you usually run out of stone by that point, and bombard towers are better anyway.

So, I agree. However, I would prefer changing the cost of towers from stone to wood, at least partially.

1 Like

I though about the amount of Stone replaced by Wood again.

To match Feudal Age collection rate the Wood cost would have to be only 13% higher but you also need to kinda calculate in that you need to build an additional mining camp and research the mining upgrade.
Without the mining upgrade but with the wood upgrade Wood collects a whole 30% faster.

So to just factor in collection rate if we’d make the Tower cost 25 less Stone it should cost 32.5 more Wood. Adding a little Wood to make up for the Mining camp cost we could say 40 more Wood which is close to the 50 I suggested.

Alternatively would be the a little more conservative approach of only reducing the Stone cost by 20. This means that the Tower costs 105 Stone so 2 Towers cost more then 200 Stone.
So -20 Stone and +30 Wood to end up at 105 Stone 80 Wood.

The problem is that it’s hard to balance early and late game, so adding a technology to change the stone cost is interesting, but adding more new technologies is bad. Towers already need so many technologies.
The alternative would be to add a Stone → Wood cost to existing technologies like the Tower upgrades or Masonry+Architecture (Civilisation balance has to be considered here).
Keep is more commonly available then Masonry, but Keep is also the technology that is required to make Towers strong in the first place.

So each of the 2 technologies (either both Tower upgrades or both building upgrades) would reduce the Tower cost by 15 Stone and increase it by 15 Wood.
So:
Stone: 105 → 90 → 75
Wood: 75 → 90 → 105

Thank you for your feedback.

So, I packed two solutions together in this post: Arrowslits being cheaper and moved to the Castle Age, and the introduction of a ‘Supplies-like’ tech for Towers in Imperial.

  • Arrowslits: I hardly think I need to argue, it is two expensive and coming too late. If a player wants to consistently use towers for defense, or to keep a strategic position, towers need to somewhat scale with age, and Guard tower is not really enough. We could discuss scraping the tech entirely and just give its effect to all towers, but it is not quite civilisation-specific, and then when should the bonus come. I’m happy with 150f, 150w in CA, as a start, and perhaps also shorter research time.

  • Outpost network: we can argue whether it should be tied to Arrowslits or not, about the cost (perhaps do not make it cost stone), etc., but as a start I am happy with my proposition.

I strongly disagree the base cost of towers should be modified, as putting a lot of villagers on wood instead of stone allows for a much larger variety in the economy, and might make tower rushing OP in Feudal. I am also unsure why a tech (if that is what we are talking about) should increase the wood cost: if you invest into a tech, you should just get a pure benefit. The Slav unique tech does ot, but it also affects Castles.

Embedding a discount in the tower upgrade cost is interesting, but that does not allow for civilisation diversity, and again should not increase a cost (even if it is wood).

But I heard you, and I agree teching into Keep is too long, and especially on the university time: 75s for Keep! This could be 45s instead. I would make the upgrade costs {100f, 200w} and {350f, 300w} for resp. Guard Tower and Keep.

If these somewhat small changes do not suffice, we can always talk about it again.