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Protected Hexes

Bob
Starting with EE 12, hexes with Holdings (not Siege Engines) placed in them won't run PvP windows when they have at least 4 neighboring hexes that are also under their control or are controlled by their allies (companies from the same settlement or from allied settlements). Those neighbors can be either Wild hexes with holdings in them or settlement hexes. The big exception to this rule is that any hex neighboring an unallied settlement will still run its PvP windows as scheduled, so that any settlement can have some chance of claiming its core six for itself or its allies.

The goal of this change is to require attackers to work their way through the layered defenses of a settlement, including the layered defenses of allied settlements. Hexes deep inside an alliance should be relatively safe, while those on the borders are subject to more attacks. Every settlement should be able to provide protected status to at least one of its core 6 hexes, making it that much harder for someone to come in and immediately surround them with siege equipment.

In the future, we'll likely add additional ways to mitigate this protection. For example, when we make it possible for mobs from neighboring escalations to occasionally send invaders to raid nearby Holdings, that will probably involve adding some chance that even a protected hex will still run its scheduled PvP window when there's an escalation in a neighboring hex.
Hobson Fiffledown
Looks like eight Core6 hexes (from six settlements) will be impossible to protect this way. All of them due to shield hex roads within two hexes of their settlement. If the road shield hexes are basically Thornkeep controlled, should they count against a settlement's defense?
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Bob
Hobson Fiffledown
Looks like eight Core6 hexes (from six settlements) will be impossible to protect this way. All of them due to shield hex roads within two hexes of their settlement. If the road shield hexes are basically Thornkeep controlled, should they count against a settlement's defense?

If the shield hexes counted as allied, I'd worry that it would be too easy to protect nearly every hex in an alliance. With the roads working against that, we get a lot more borders. Fortunately, different settlement locations are allowed to have different advantages and disadvantages, so it's okay that some don't get as much advantage out of this system as others. At least everyone seems to be able to protect 1 or more of their core 6, so nobody has to go completely unprotected.
Hobson Fiffledown
It certainly sounds more equitable to say everyone can protect at least one of their hexes… But I'm pretty sure the truth of it is that every single settlement can completely protect ALL SIX of their core hexes, except for six settlements who get the short stick here because of roads. Perhaps a road within 2 hexes of a settlement can be influence invested to count as allied. Maybe you have to surround that road hex with allied hexes too? This isn't like elevations, transition hexes, or "rivers", or any other terrain tradeoffs people knew would be coming. This doesn't seem like fun terrain differences between settlements, it seems like new mechanics being applied haphazardly.

Hard is fun, different is fun, I'm all on board for that. But end-game warfare is about to come online, and a few settlements are about to have some permanent end-game negatives assigned to them because this new road change doesn't play well with the whole map (Talonguard 4&5, Corvus Citadel 5&6, Staalgard 5, Sunholm 6, Sigil 2, Carpe Noctum 1). You've already made some individual hex changes to fix some problems with this new mechanic… smile

"Talonguard! Now with one-third less defending ability, and one-third less sugar!"
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Hobson Fiffledown
Or we could use some hard mechanical benefit at the settlement level for proximity to roads.

Say….one-sixth to one-third off upkeep costs. smile
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Decius
High Road has the short stick. After only a four weeks of conpletely successful holding attacks a siege can start.
The Eternal Balance
Makes sense to me - if You are close to a major road it is easier to roll your Siege engines close to the Settlement. Not everything in the game has to be 100% equal.
It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.
Hobson Fiffledown
EB, I can see that as a valid in-game excuse for these problem areas, roads are easier to roll siege engines along. But I'd like to see it matched with some sort of infrastructure benefit so choices can matter here.

Siege isn't really too big of a concern here, with the whole supply line every 4(?) hexes needed to place a siege engine. That's going to be a thing, right? It's that during a normal feud, all other settlements reap the intended benefit of this Protected Hex mechanic (pushing potential property-losing conflict out to the borders), while six settlements have one or two permanently vulnerable holdings in their core6 during every PvP window. You need a supply line to lay a siege weapon, but not to sack a hex and place your own holding (right?). Seems like an undue defensive burden to put on a small number of settlements just because a couple of new mechanics don't overlap well in some places.
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Flari-Merchant
I'm thinking automatic "road tax" bulk resource deposits are in order! smile

Seriously though, Hobson isn't on a self serving trip here. Some of those cities belong to the last group that we struggled against.
Bob
We hope to make this system more complicated in the future to give it a little more interesting balance, but this blunt initial version of it at least makes it possible for everyone to create some level of layered defenses.

For the supply lines, I'd actually been hoping I could drop that requirement with the inclusion of these protected hexes, but the roads do seem to make it still a necessary thing. Back in it goes.
 
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