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Author Topic: Best Strategy game for Siege Warfare?  (Read 6659 times)
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kronovan
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« on: January 20, 2009, 06:00:55 PM »

I've been wanting to play a strategy game that features battles and siege warfare in the middle ages (medieval) era. The problem is that I wont to play it when I'm on vacation and my personal laptop is a fairly wimpy machine: 1500 Mhz CPU, 786 MB RAM, 64k Video Card, on-board realtek sound. I'm really looking for games where it's focused on battles and sieges. I'm not opposed to doing some micromanagement just as long as it's pertinent to the battle or defence at hand; I'm not looking for any civilization type games. I'm also not opposed to older 2d games if there realistic and fun to play and run stably on WinXP. I do have Stronghold Deluxe and Stronghold Crusader via my gametap account which run like butter on my laptop, but I'm wondering if there's any other games.

Are there any other games that will run on my laptop that are superior to the stronghold series?
« Last Edit: January 20, 2009, 06:36:47 PM by kronovan » Logged
wonderpug
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« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2009, 06:05:26 PM »

Lords of the Realm II?
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kronovan
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« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2009, 06:22:02 PM »

Quote from: wonderpug on January 20, 2009, 06:05:26 PM

Lords of the Realm II?

Awesome, I have that game via my gametap subscription too. Many thanks for the suggestion.  smile
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Daehawk
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« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2009, 06:32:26 PM »

Stronghold?
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kronovan
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« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2009, 06:42:44 PM »

Quote from: Daehawk on January 20, 2009, 06:32:26 PM

Stronghold?

Hmm...either you didn't read all of my post or you're mocking my misspellings of Stronghold; corrected them now. slywink I'm going to give Lords of the Realm a try, but I might just stick with stronghold if Lords doesn't support online play or mods. I'm fairly well versed in French medieval history and there's some famous sieges I'd really like to play. I didn't mention it earlier, but I'd like to also play the odd match with my son when I'm away on biz.
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wonderpug
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« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2009, 06:54:04 PM »

Have you played Medieval: Total War?
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kronovan
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« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2009, 07:07:12 PM »

Quote from: wonderpug on January 20, 2009, 06:54:04 PM

Have you played Medieval: Total War?

I've played some of the early Total War series and liked them, but I haven't played Medieval TW nor any of them on my personal laptop. I know that Medieval TW II won't run on it due to the wimpy Intel video card; no shader support, 3D texture compression, AGP texture acceleration, etc. It does support DirectDraw and Direct3D though. With all of that in mind I'm really not sure if it will run Medieval TW?
« Last Edit: January 20, 2009, 07:14:44 PM by kronovan » Logged
Daehawk
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« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2009, 07:27:12 PM »

Quote from: kronovan on January 20, 2009, 06:42:44 PM

Quote from: Daehawk on January 20, 2009, 06:32:26 PM

Stronghold?

Hmm...either you didn't read all of my post or you're mocking my misspellings of Stronghold; corrected them now. slywink I'm going to give Lords of the Realm a try, but I might just stick with stronghold if Lords doesn't support online play or mods. I'm fairly well versed in French medieval history and there's some famous sieges I'd really like to play. I didn't mention it earlier, but I'd like to also play the odd match with my son when I'm away on biz.

Doh! Didn't read it all. Just read the first part then saw that LotR was suggested and Stronghold popped into my head.
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« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2009, 07:40:27 PM »

How about Stronghold?
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kronovan
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« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2009, 09:12:28 PM »

Quote from: CeeKay on January 20, 2009, 07:40:27 PM

How about Stronghold?

Yah, yah...yuh wise guy.  Tongue
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« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2009, 09:59:28 PM »

Might be hard to find now, but one game that was great for building defenses and sieging your opponent's castle was Rampart. slywink
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kronovan
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« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2009, 10:07:47 PM »

Well...looks like I'm SOL on Lords of the Realm II. It's yet another game that's caught in the Canadian distribution tug-of-war between Sierra and new owners of the license, with the net result that I'm not able to download it on gametap. I went through this BS with Homeworld 2 and I'm really starting to get tired of it. I can't tell you how happy I'd be if the ghost of Sierra just fell into some blackhole.

Anyhow...looks like I'll just be playing Stronghold unless I'm lucky enough to stumble on a bargain bin or preowned copy. I found out that Medieval TW will run on my system, but the 3 stores I checked on my lunchbreak only sell Medieval II TW.  frown
« Last Edit: January 20, 2009, 11:29:50 PM by kronovan » Logged
corruptrelic
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« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2009, 12:42:08 AM »

Didn't Lords of the Realm III come out? Never tried it but it definitely looked like it had some castle siege warfare.

The game that had by far the best sieges I've ever experience was Rome Total War. It may run on your laptop but definitely try the demo first.
Rome is a little behind Medieval but it's still all the same stuff, siege weapons and towers, archers, infantry, GIANT castles, and so on. I played one map, Rome, with myself and one computer ally as Rome's defenders. 2 enemy computer AI's as the attackers. Armies were randomized by the computer so there's not much micromanagement, you get what you get and once your troops are gone, your'e done. You can also set any of your troops to be controlled by the AI, so if you only want to control your calvary, you can set everyone else to AI-control. Or just control everyone.. however you like it, you still have an AI buddy who is fighting beside you to defend Rome.
Rome itself is HUGE. Giant walls surround the city itself, so it's a tough battle getting in. You'll see your AI partner position his troops around Rome, keeping a few back at the center of the city which is where you need to get to conquer it.
I put all my archers on the walls themselves, couple of seige weapons scattered around the city (which I always set to AI-control) and left my general and his troops in the center of the city.

From there, you'll experience thousands of enemy troops marching on Rome. They'll be firing catapults, moving siege towers to your walls and keeping their archers back to help counter yours on the wall. When their siege tower reaches the wall, you'll see enemy troops start coming up and at this point, you either stand your ground on the wall with your centurions and other infantry, or you start pulling them back for more ofa  guerilla warfare in the city streets themselves. (The city streets are tiny and troops have to bunch up together to get through, plenty of good ambush points.) I usually put about 30 infantry on the wall to hold them off while I regroup my other troops. They'll eventually over power your infantry and start coming down the walls into the city itself, and from there it's all or nothing. They make their way for the city center to conquer you fighting your troops along the way.
All at the same time, your AI ally has been holding up the other side of Rome against the other enemy who's been trying to breach those walls. He's been doing a hell of a job as the barbarians still haven't been able to get through his forces. (The map Rome really is that big.)
If you play your cards right, you can take the barbarians out in urban warfare on the city streets, but if you're careless, they'll cut through you like butter. Your ally will send what he can to the city center to help you, but then his remaining forces end up getting overwhelmed and now you're being attacked on all sides.

Needless to say, the real-time Sieges in Rome Total War are by far the best I have ever experienced in a video game, ever. The fact that you can mix and match teams - so you're not "alone" in defending the huge castle, is what makes it all the more fun.
Since Medieval Total War II came after Rome, I can only imagine they made the sieges all the better. (But as with you, my PC would never be able to pull it off.)

Another game - Besieger. It's RTS but it comes with a few prebuilt Siege maps. You can play as attacker or defender. The computer brings ladders and everything to your castle and tries to take it over. Usually about 40 units per side. Standard siege, but all real-time.

A little older (1700s I think) Cossacks is RTS, but comes with prebuilt maps as well. Fun as hell. If you play as defender you have to try and hold off against the advancing enemy infantry and their non-stop cannons that are pounding your town. The unit numbers are often in the thousands, so it's a big battle that can go on for quite a while. A lot of the maps as the defender you're outnumbered, which makes it all the more fun to try and hold off against the attack.

Finally, my current favorite PC game, Rise & Fall Civilizations at War. I wrote a pretty in-depth experience of it in the trading forum of one of my games, but to make it short, it's a real-time strategy game (you can zoom in as close as you want to the battle so you're right there in it or as far back out to where they look like ants) that has battles in the thousands. There's some micromanagement in the regular skirmishes, but the AI builds up good sized walls which you'll have to take down or go over with ladders.
All kinds of siege equipment from battering rams, siege towers, ladders, ballistas, and more. Best part of the game - you can be the hero. You can control your hero directly in third person view, using standard first person controls to control him. (WSAD, left mouse to attack, etc) Joining your troops on the front lines is a great experience. The enemy has their heroes as well. Whenever we get huge battles going (couple thousands infantry battling eachother in the middle of the map with catapults and archers blasting everybody from the distance) I always look for the enemy hero and meet him in the battlefield. Damn fun!

The map editor in Rise & Fall you can make any kind of siege you can dream of. I built a map where I was King of the castle - so you control your hero, only ONE guy, Julius Ceaser.. It's in third person view. Your ally, the Egyptians, have about 200 troops and Cleopatra backing you up. Archers are scattered thinly across the walls, 2 catapults inside the castle, a few healers, and a variety of infantry soldiers stationed across the castle.
The enemy, the Persians, have approximately 3,000 troops. (Yes you're outnumbered 15 to 1!) Their troops however, are mostly light infantry and they have no archers. They have 4 catapults, 4 siege towers, 2 battering rams and a dozen ladder teams.

With your hero, you can choose between hand to hand combat or bow and arrow. So as you see the enemy slowing marching towards your castle you can usually pick a few hundred of them off before the siege towers and ladders are in place. (Plus Cleopatra and her archers are letting them have it too.) The catapults will usually end up taking out a block of the wall before their siege towers or ladders are in place, so they'll try to come in through that tiny gap. Your egyptian infantry allies will battle them at the opening while the egyptian archers keep firing from atop the walls. (Although it's funny as hell watching the catapults take out the part of the wall where some of the archers were stationed!) Cleopatra is bipolar you never know what she's going to do. Sometimes she'll stay on top of the walls and keep firing arrows, other times she'll go down to the center castle and fight hand to hand.. mostly she stays back with her bow and arrow though.
If you play very cautiously (if you die, game over) and do your best you can win with all of your allies dead. If you sit back and watch your Egyptian allies try to defend the castle by themselves (which can be fun also) you'll be completely overwhelmed by Persian troops and lose. I stayed on top of the wall during one test and watched them take down the wall, come through the gap, kill all of my allied troops, climb the ladders to the top, battle their way through the archers and infantry stationed on the wall, until they got to the end where me and Cleopatra where. Cleopatra held her own taking out at least 20 Persians before they hacked her down, while I took out another 40. In the end, we lost..

That's just one exmaple of a siege map I made. Whatever you can think of, can be done in Rise and Fall. The walls are life-size, catapults and battering rams are huge, the battles are in the thousands, and you get to control your own character if you want. To this day, it remains my favorite PC game of all time.. highly suggest you check it out!

Ah well, so much for "short"!  icon_biggrin
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« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2009, 01:16:46 AM »

oddly enough GOG.com has started selling Stronghold today.
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Daehawk
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« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2009, 03:28:55 AM »

There was the Interplay Castles series. but theres another game Im trying to think of. Lemme look a sec.


EDIT; Other one was Siege by Mindcraft
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« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2009, 04:03:33 AM »

Siege? Castles??! What century are you living in?

Siege was actually very good for it's time. I don't know how it'd hold up by today's standards, or if you could even play it on XP, assuming you could find such an ancient game and an old disk drive that could read it.
I used to be addicted to that game growing up, defending your castle against wave after waves of enemy troops. Minotaurs comes to my mind.

Castles was good too, the sieges sucked but it had a lot more going for it with the evolving story and decisions you could make.

Stronghold 2 would probably work on the OP's laptop. If you like Stronghold, Stronghold 2 makes it better and adds true 3d. There are plenty of pre-built siege maps that are a lot of fun to play, as attackers or defenders. Usually about 50 units per side. The AI does a pretty good job of attacking your Castle with the ladders and infantry, hunting your King down.
In the skirmish mode, the AI players build up their Castle, King on top (just like Stronghold Crusaders) couple of swordsmen protecting him and a group of archers along the wall.
I did a 2vs4 (me and one AI vs 4 enemy AI's) I got taken out right away but managed to save my King and a few archers, moving them to my ally's stronghold. Put the archers on the wall and King alongside his, and watched as all 4 enemy players clashed against the castle walls all at once. We put up a good fight but just couldn't fend off 4 players attacking his castle all at the same time.
If for skirmish or for the pre-built siege maps, Stronghold 2 definitely fits the description.
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« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2009, 04:10:00 AM »

Also FYI, Rise & Fall Civilizations at War is now free:

http://www.gamershell.com/download_33916.shtml



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« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2009, 07:27:32 AM »

Quote from: corruptrelic on January 21, 2009, 12:42:08 AM

Didn't Lords of the Realm III come out? Never tried it but it definitely looked like it had some castle siege warfare.

I've looked into it, but systemrequirementslab.com (Can You Run it?) informs me that my laptops video card fails because it lacks a Direct X 8.1 DXT Compression-compatible video card (GeForce/Radeon). There's a chance that it might have reported that because my video card is an Intel, but I won't be holding my breath on that and I won't be surprised if my GPU doesn't support any form of texture compression.

Quote
Stronghold 2 would probably work on the OP's laptop.

Again 'Can You Run It?' tells that it's a no go because my GPU doesn't support HW Transform & Lighting

Quote
Finally, my current favorite PC game, Rise & Fall Civilizations at War.

Last but not least, 'Can You Run It?' reports it as a no go because my GPU doesn't have Vertex Shader Ver.1.1+, Pixel Shader Ver.1.1+, and again no HW Transform & Lighting.

I'm thinking that anything post 2002 probably isn't going to run on my laptop. Lords of the Realm II, Stronghold 1/Crusader and any of the Total War series (excluding Medieval II) are all possibilities. I already have Stronghold 1 & Crusader installed via my gametap sub, but I suspect I'm going to have a helluva time finding copies of LotR2 and Medieval Total War.

Anyhow...many thanks to everyone for the great suggestions, you've definitely given me some 'Oldies but Goldie's' to look into.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2009, 07:34:51 AM by kronovan » Logged
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« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2009, 03:27:37 AM »

Have you considered the siege gameplay in Zork II?
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« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2009, 11:40:07 PM »

That's too bad.. Rise & Fall is the kind of game that makes you (well me, anyway) want to buy a new PC just to play it as it was meant to be.
When you experience THOUSANDS of troops clashing at your city walls knowing full well you and your allies will probably die by the sword defending your City, is a feeling that no other game can come close to re-creating.
The fact that you can actually BE a character in the game and control him directly just likea first person shooter in the midst of battle, is icing on the cake. It's the only way I play now in my siege maps with the AI controlling all of my allied defenders.

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« Reply #20 on: January 27, 2009, 05:19:31 AM »

Quote from: Shkspr on January 26, 2009, 03:27:37 AM

Have you considered the siege gameplay in Zork II?

That was solid.
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kronovan
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« Reply #21 on: January 27, 2009, 06:20:01 AM »

Quote from: CeeKay on January 21, 2009, 01:16:46 AM

oddly enough GOG.com has started selling Stronghold today.

After putting some time into Sronghold Deluxe over the past week, I'm convinced it's a very good game and worth the time. I didn't want to get another gametap sub just to play against my son while I'm away on biz, so I started calling around to stores but came up blank.
I'd completely forgot about this reply in this post and was amazed to find out that COG is selling it for only $6! Damn, for that money you really can't go wrong with this game. The only concern I have is that the COG version won't work with the Deluxe version on gametap, but at worst that's only going to set me out an additional $6. slywink
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kronovan
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« Reply #22 on: January 27, 2009, 06:24:39 AM »

Quote from: Redfive on January 27, 2009, 05:19:31 AM

Quote from: Shkspr on January 26, 2009, 03:27:37 AM

Have you considered the siege gameplay in Zork II?

That was solid.

Really? And here I thought Shkspr was mocking my wimpy laptop by suggesting an old Zork game. smile I've certainly enjoyed the time I've put in the Zork games I've played, but I wasn't aware there was 1 that featured siege gameplay. I've more or less decided on Stronghold, but I'm willing to try just about anyting that's decent and will run on my laptop.
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