Post news RSS Edain 4.5: Sieges, part I

The siege rework is one of the core elements in Edain 4.5. This update takes a look at changes made to fortresses, most importantly the static defenses, all of which now have fleshed out strengths and weaknesses!

Posted by on

Sieges in Edain 4.5, part I: Defense

Greetings, Companions of Edain!

As you know, sieges are one of the core topics we want to overhaul in 4.5. Today we'd like to share the first part of the changes with you by taking a look at the defensive options in fortresses and camps.

As we already showcased in our first siege update, all factions will have access to new defensive tools in 4.5. A few examples would be Gondor's Wall Crane, the Dwarves' Boiling Oil or moving Isengard's Warg Sentry to the small buildplots.
Today's update is less about showing you those new features and more about their purpose and how they interact with already existing elements to make sieges more interesting. For that reason, towers and wall catapults have also been changed.

The first step was a global reduction of tower damage. Towers were the main reason why sieges often followed the same static pattern: Their enormous strength against everything that wasn't a siege weapon made it nearly impossible to tear down a defended fortress, because they could decimate even large upgraded armies. As a result, the attacker didn't even try to enter the fortress in the first place and instead used catapults to shoot it down from afar, not risking his army. That wasn't a fun experience, neither for the defender nor for the attacker: The attacker sat around with the army he built up with great effort, waiting for the catapults to arrive; the defender on the other hand couldn't deal with the superior army and therefore couldn't destroy the catapults, meaning that he was just waiting for his end. By giving both parties new tools, we want to create more interesting siege gameplay.


First of all, the damage of all towers has been reduced. The purpose of defensive structures was never to protect an empty fortress all on their own, but rather to help defending soldiers push back a stronger army. To further emphasise this, their health has been reduced by a substantial amount. Those two changes vary between the different kinds of towers, because they fill different roles.

Small sentry towers like the ones Mordor and Isengard can build on their defensive plots have to protect their base from rushes above all else. Without walls, their bases are very vulnerable, which is why they need cheap and easily accessible defensive options against aggressive opponents. Compared to other towers, their damage nerf hasn't been as substantial, but their health decrease has been just that. Their damage should be strong enough to easily fend off lone batallions early in the game, but later on a skilled attacker can deal with them quickly if he manages to attack several of them simultaneously with a large enough force. He can then proceed to tear down the citadel to prevent the rebuilding of those structures.

A smart defender on the other hand can split up his forces to protect the towers from melee attacks, keeping them alive for a longer time and, in doing so, getting the most out of their damage output. Their price has been increased slightly from 150 to 200 so they are still cheap enough to build in the early game. Towers that good factions can build in their camps have been treated similarly.

The large towers that can be erected on normal buildplots have been nerfed both in health and in damage. The same principle applies: If your force is big enough, you should be able to bring them down quite handily if they are undefended. But unlike their smaller counterparts, big towers are not designed to counter early rushes. For that reason, it now takes about 25% longer to build them. The goal of this change is to reduce situations (especially on narrow multiplayer maps) where a player with an inferior army would just get an outpost up and build one or several towers, forcing his opponent to retreat because the towers would built too quickly to destroy them. In exchange, the vision range of these towers was increased so they can function as an early warning system. Of course this is not as effective as scouting actively with your units or a scout hero, but it does give the player more time to react to the enemy's movements.

Wall towers have been hit hardest by the price increases. Their purpose differs a lot from small sentry towers since the walls and the gate are sufficient to nullify any early attacks in the first place. These towers are meant to allow a relatively small garrison to fight against much stronger armies, providing valuable damage against all kinds of units. Because they can only be attacked by siege machines which forces your opponent to invest a lot of money into those, these kinds of towers should require a larger investment and in turn hurt the defender more when they get destroyed. That is why their price has been increased from 500 to 700 in addition to less health and less damage, even though they haven't been nerfed as hard as the other towers in that area.

Another change has been made to the Ugrades you can get via Sauron's Influence, Gondor's Stonemason or just by getting them at each seperate tower: Upgrades that added elemental damage (like Fire Arrows) have been removed, as they were strong enough to destroy even rams and catapults. Since that pretty much contradicts the thought that siege engines are supposed to be good against towers, they now have access to a new upgrade in form of additional garrisons that boosts their regular ranged damage. This change might make them even better against soldiers, but in exchange for that, they will be nearly useless against their designated counter. The lone exception to this will be the Silverthorn upgrade in Lothlorien's Sanctuary - the most skilled archers in Middle-Earth with their unique upgrade should keep that feature in our opinion, so the elemental damage will stay (albeit in smaller amounts).

Other defensive options

Wall catapults have always been a bit tricky and underused. Why spend money on them when towers are cheaper, significantly more effective against units and both will get obliterated by enemy catapults? To solve this problem, we decided to turn wall catapults into designated catapult counters. Their range has been increased, which means they now have a big advantage against their mobile opposites, and the center of their impact deals increased damage. In return, their minimal range has also been increased, giving rams or exotic weapons like Isengard's mines bigger chances to blow up the pedestal. On top of that, the catapults are slightly more vulnerable to upgraded archers, and they remain pretty useless against ladders or other ways to sneak into the fortress. Unlike towers they are quite vulnerable to all different kinds of units, so you would be wise to protect them with either towers or archers on your wall. Speaking of archers...

Placing archers on your walls is one of those atmospheric must-haves in an epic siege. Unfortunately, their effectiveness in this regard has been limited - being the only unit up on the wall turned them into target practice for attacking ranged units, and getting rid of them was usually not a big problem. Of course we want archers to be useful in those scenarios, which is why we introduced a bonus for all units on top of a wall that makes them a lot tougher against ranged damage. This is supposed to show the advantage you get behind cover as opposed to standing in the middle of nowhere on an open field. And in addition to that, they already gain increased range to illustrate their height advantage. But watch out - this also applies to enemies who make it onto your wall!

The citadel

And that leads us to the final change we want to share with you today. As Ealendril said in the first update, in 4.5 the citadel will give all structures and walls within your fortress a bonus that increases their armor against siege engines by 50%. This effectively doubles their hp against rams, catapults, mines etc.! Towers will of course also benefit from this, but their health reduction offsets this. Walls on the other hand are the biggest beneficiaries here: They can only be attacked by siege engines, so with this buff they gain an incredible amount of durability considering their massive 10.000 HP (used to be 6.000). This may be a controversial change if you look at it in a vacuum, considering how tough buildings already are and how that often forces you to get catapults to get anything done. But our goal is to make sieges more diverse and more dynamic (e.g. by the changes we just presented you) and to not let them turn into boring and tedious static battles. With weakened towers, attackers have better chances to take the enemy base down by storming it with their army. Their role is the destruction of the citadel. The citadel has of course always been a priority target because it can prevent the rebuilding of structures and the use of the spellbook, but now it can be a key component of your strategy to take down the entire fortress by massively increasing the effectiveness of siege engines. It also serves the purpose of increasing the attractiveness of ladders and siege towers: They allow the attacker to use the walls as an attack route, which is now a lot harder to do with conventional weapons such as rams or catapults. Alternatively, there will be weapons with special bonuses against walls such as Isengard's mines. This gives the attacker to choose between investing into those weapons or attacking the weaker, but more easily defendable gate.

You might have realized that we aim to give all elements of an army a specific role in sieging your enemy, if possible. Towers are great versus units, but can easily be swarmed and taken down without a meatshield to protect them. Wall catapults are brilliant against mobile catapults, but can easily be outmanouvred. Archers on your wall can provide excellent fire support, but are rather weak against siege engines and are in trouble if the enemy scales the walls. And faction specific features like Rohans Banner or the Dwarven Raven Tower can give you other advantages still. And we tried to follow this guideline on the offensive part of siege battles as well - the citadel bonus is the first glimpse into the changes we made concerning priorities and options for the attacker. But that is a topic for another day.

As always, we are excited to hear your feedback!
Your Edain team

Maimbot6000 - - 1,747 comments

Cool beans!

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
Hoar - - 1,682 comments

Germans are tinkering with irrelevant stats, more news at 11.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+10 votes
Lord_of_Mordor - - 1,172 comments

If siege battles are irrelevant to you, Edain may just not be the right mod for you. Sorry about that.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+29 votes
GreatDodoOfDoom - - 33 comments

Are there plans on making changes to trolls? They also have a siege role, have they not? I noticed they are not very durable and die super fast against single basic lance/bow units or towers, even when armored. Unarmored ones are even only useable on lone unprotected farms.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+3 votes
Glorfindel23 - - 1,470 comments

Yeah, but you must take in account that the trolls are the fastest siege weapons of the game. I think that the player have so the possibility to pay attention, to the strategy of his enemy to avoid his spearmen.
The only point where I can agree is for the Towers but here this was not the troll the problem but the towers which was too strong, however like we read with the recent new, the towers will be less powerful in the next version.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+5 votes
Pathartis - - 48 comments

Looks great! Glad to see progress is being made, and I wish the team the best :)

Sure stuff like this isn't as exciting as a new faction, but it's important to balance what you have and fine tune the less flashy aspects of the mod.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+4 votes
Ilya97 - - 55 comments

As always, everything is very well thought of before implementing. Amazing work team!

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
GrandSerpent - - 537 comments

Grond approves 4.5 πŸ‘ŒπŸΌπŸ˜Ž

Reply Good karma Bad karma+4 votes
Bombur - - 33 comments

So you basically rendered the already weak evil bases even weaker with nearly useless towers?
Yeah, seems great ...

Reply Good karma Bad karma+6 votes
Lord_of_Mordor - - 1,172 comments

Weak bases have always been meant to be a weakness of the evil factions (except for Angmar). However, note that they also get the citadel bonus against siege weaponry.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+16 votes
GrandSerpent - - 537 comments

I found that in the current version of 4.4.1 if you play against brutal Mordor or Isengard, their bases are equally strong as the ones that have walls. This, however, is mainly because of the easily affordable and spam-able units that actually defend their base, the usage of all defensive build plots for towers, upgrading the economical buildings to maximum extent, using the build plots around the Citadel of Mordor which usually contains 2 catapults and 2 watcher expansions and finally: the importance of having more settlement build options that result in creating economical buildings. So, my perspective is that they are not so weak even if their bases aren't surrounded by walls.
Here in this update, if you look closer and use the logical way, you are about to find that every system has its own weakness, it up to you to decide either to exploit it or forfeit it.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+5 votes
Glorfindel23 - - 1,470 comments

Good work! (Like always) :)

Reply Good karma Bad karma+9 votes
DiamondBorne - - 694 comments

I greatly likes the defence buff to units on the wall but I smell bull on increased range that you said were already present in the current version. I remembered seeing Gondor archers on the wall having trouble shooting back at Massed mordor archers. Of course I didn't want the range buff to be nowhere near vanilla where Rohirrim on the final level of Helm's deep could snipes far down to the of the bridge but still, range buff on higher elevation would be nice.

Another thing I'm skeptical is this change in siege mechanic might kills turtle playstyle. Edain already has agressive gameplay. Nerf too mcuh defence would turn this into Street Fighter V of real-time strategy game.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+6 votes
YeshuaEnthusiast - - 127 comments

Are the AI getting an update?
I have never seen siege ladders or towers from the enemy... I also never see the balrog or nazgul used which was very common in BFME1.

Thanks and Blessings,

Reply Good karma Bad karma+5 votes
MrTodd - - 392 comments

Cool ideas, the towers nerf was necessary, heroic units will have a chance to survive in sieges.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
Drogoth-fan - - 343 comments

nice good work team :)

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
VARIANVS - - 194 comments

Keep going! Sounds nice!

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
ApornasPlanet - - 4,114 comments

This should make things interesting

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
Lich_King_of_Angmar - - 48 comments

Will we see changes in the AI?

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
Jennings17soco - - 247 comments

Sorry if this is a dumb question. Haven't checked the page in a while, is there a set month/year/quarter or something that we can expect 4.5?

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
officialNecro - - 1,383 comments

No, we can only suppose

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
Guest - - 687,512 comments

Sounds awesome! I always hated playing with fortresses because of the tedious siege battles. Keep up the good work

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
Stahlrim - - 24 comments

Even after your first article explained the upcoming changes to siege combat, I was not really excited. I never got into siege combat before. But now, I am excited to see what the changes related to sieges will bring to the game! Once again, great work you guys! Macht's gut!

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
DaxGarson - - 39 comments

Always read the full article. I was initially a little troubled by the tower nerf but everything together sounds like it's going to be a lot more diverse and fun. Good work guys. Can't wait for it to release.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
JoeFerris - - 120 comments

Will someone make more 6+ player maps with castles? In BFME1 my favorite map was Old Brown Lands and there is no equivalent in this legendary mod.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
aidenpons - - 68 comments


I'm liking this a lot! Less neccessary catapults is... a must.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
Post a comment
Sign in or join with:

Only registered members can share their thoughts. So come on! Join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) and join in the conversation.