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Stronghold (2nd edition)» Forums » General

Subject: Ballista ... underwhelming? rss

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David Vanden Heuvel
Canada
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Played my first game of Stronghold and enjoyed it quite a bit.
Got some things wrong and found the rules updates/FAQ.


I've found that the ballista is kind of...situational at best.

Given the fact that the defender is supposed to choose which unit dies from the invader, usually you're going to just be swapping same strength units unless of course you only use the ballista:
a) when you have lower strength units (but even a goblin with goblin fury can equal the strength of a defending veteran)
b) when no invading units are present. (which is kind of pointless unless it just enables more units to go the hospital and it puts you over the 2unit threshold for being to remove them from the game)

Am I missing something else?
 
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David Vanden Heuvel
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I should note, that if the invader can choose which unit gets destroyed then it would be better since they could use the ballista to gain the numebrs advantage.

It just makes more sense to me to follow the golden rule as written rather than making the change in v1.3
 
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Roeland
Belgium
Gent
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The invader performs the action, so he chooses the casualties on both sides.
 
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Max Jansson
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Trollhättan
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The Golden Rule written in the English rulebooks is wrong. The correction made in 1.3 is the right one. Use ballista together with the right ritual to kill two units instead of one.
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David Vanden Heuvel
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Rlnd wrote:
The invader performs the action, so he chooses the casualties on both sides.

I prefer this, and think it makes more sense... but the recent rules update indicate that the defender gets to pick which of the invaders units gets detroyed. Thus my question.
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David Vanden Heuvel
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Evil_X wrote:
The Golden Rule written in the English rulebooks is wrong. The correction made in 1.3 is the right one. Use ballista together with the right ritual to kill two units instead of one.

but if I use the ritual on a catapult, I still destroy a defender unit PLUS a wall/cauldron/tower component. So my net difference is higher using the catapult rather than the ballista, except under condition a) that I posted above. (ie. all the invader units are weaker than the largest defender unit)
 
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David Vanden Heuvel
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Anyway, since the re-written golden rule only seems to affect the ballista and in a way that, IMO, makes the ballista unattractive when compared to the catapult I'll just houserule the "golden rule" to be the original wording.

It still means I need to send fodder along with my other units and in all honesty, still makes the ballista situational at best.
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Andy Skinner
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Framingham
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I haven't played a lot, but I used a ballista with your (b) option above, and it worked pretty well. That is, I had it fire at a wall where I was not attacking, because if I don't take out more than 2 defenders, I feel like I didn't accomplish very much. The wall section was next to one that I was attacking, and if I did whittle down there, I could redirect some later. But removing defenders, especially marksmen, felt worthwhile.

andy
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João Guisado
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You are all forgetting about a few things that actually make the ballista way more valuable than you're saying even with the new rules (wich are way more balanced):

First of all, when the invader loses one unit, even if it is weaker than the unit killed by the ballista, he easily replaces that unit on the wall next turn. The defender on the other hand, even if loses only one or two units, will have to spend one or two hour glasses to get them out of the courtyard, or at least move the hero to the wall where there's space available to use an order, wich costs at least one hour glass... That said, unless you aim at a wall where there's already a hero, you're always forcing the defender to move the units to the wall again and thus spend more time.

Second of all, and this might be the most important thing, you might win the game just because of the ballista even if all it has done that turn was killing two units of equal strength. (Ie. Defender has veteran and Soldier on the wall with two walls wich sums up to 7 strength. Attacker has advantage of 3, having two trolls and two orc. Without the ballista the attacker would kill probably the veteran, leaving the soldier on the wall which prevents breaching the wall. With the ballista the veteran and one troll would die. But the advantage of the attacker would still be of 3. This advantage would kill the last soldier and the castle would be breached)
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David Vanden Heuvel
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Quote:
That said, unless you aim at a wall where there's already a hero, you're always forcing the defender to move the units to the wall again and thus spend more time.

It's possible you are saving the defender a time unit as well (depending on where they wanted that unit). It's possible that the invader saved the defender an hourglass by moving it to the courtyard for them.

Quote:
But the advantage of the attacker would still be of 3. This advantage would kill the last soldier and the castle would be breached)

good point! I hadn't thought of it that way.
 
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Fabian Schuster
Germany
Ulm
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The Ballista is particularly useful if your strategy involves one or two rounds trying to kill as many defenders as possible instead of attempting a breach. This way you can thin out the defender lines for the late game.
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Mc Jarvis
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Bloomington
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In the original game there were several rounds where the attacker hadn't manned the wall yet and was simply posturing for the moment to pounce. These are the times when the Ballista was useful, because you could zone the defender out of defending the wall preemptively before you got onto it. Even if you killed archers, it was worth it because...

...also, the original rules only had units which fell in melee combat go to the hospital. So it seems the 2nd edition nerfed the ballista in a few ways.
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Ben W
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I've found the ballista is great. Set up two that can shoot the same wall (I think this is possible from memory, been a while), the ritual is great, kill goblins for higher value units potentially, and if you have no one at the wall you can soften them up for next turns assault.

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