These are forts that can be built by armies in strategic locations.
Wooden FortEditThis is a fort made of wood. It is the first level in the fort-building chain.
A wooden fort is a substantial defensive work, built from logs and supporting earthworks.
As a defensive work, it is well able to withstand enemy attacks when properly defended by stalwart men, a garrison should expect to hold out against attacks for some little time. The walls are high enough to give a good firing position to any defenders, and any aggressor had better bring a ladder or particularly acrobatic attackers to siege! The walls are only the most visible part of the defence: the surrounding trees and undergrowth are cut back to provide a clear firing - and therefore killing - ground for the defenders. This cleared ground often extends well beyond musket range, to deny attackers the chance to approach unseen.
Unlike a stockade, a fort is a relatively permanent structure and, as such, it serves to mark ownership of territory as much as to command the surrounding area. Forts are positioned with an eye to using existing terrain, commanding any strategic approaches (such as passes and river crossings) and intimidating the natives.
- Level 0
- 2 Turns to Build
- 1500 Coin
- Built by Armies
Artillery FortEditThis is the second level in the fort-building chain.
An artillery fort is a permanent defensive structure, mounting as many heavy guns as the builders can afford to emplace.
An artillery fort has strong walls and parapets with embrasures: gaps for cannons to fire through at attackers. Properly served and loaded with grape or canister shot, guns turn the approaches to the fort into death traps for any attacking infantry.
The fort has to be strongly constructed to withstand repeated pounding by attacking cannons, and by the recoil of its own pieces. Repeated firing by even small cannons, such as nine-pounders, causes tremendous strain on the structure. The other risk to the fort is, of course, fire. While the fabric of the building itself will not burn, the magazine holding the powder and shot for the fort can catch fire and explode.
Historically, it is not unknown for defenders to blow their own forts up, by accident or design. The powder magazine was a dangerous place, and required rigid abherence to correct procedures by everyone if disaster was to be avoided. On one occasion at Fort York, during the War of 1812, the defending British set off the magazine as they withdrew to deny the contents to the American attackers, killing hundreds of the assault force in the explosion.
- Level 1
- 3 Turns to Build
- 3000 Coin
- Requires Wooden Fort
Star FortEditThis is the third and last level in the fort-building chain.
A star fort is an enormous system of bastions and defensive positions with interlocking fields of fire: an intimidating obstacle to any attacker! In the Medieval period, castles had relied on high walls to make them impregnable and to give them a sense of overwhelming grandeur - part of their purpose was simply to intimidate lesser men. With the advent of gunpowder artillery, a different defensive scheme was required. Fortifications sank into the ground, protected by enormously thick walls, deep counterscarps and a sloping bank or glacis that would, hopefully, cause cannon shots to ricochet over the defences rather than penetrate. Passive defence, however, is not enough. The layout of projecting bastions in a star fort creates interlocking fields of flanking fire to destroy attackers as they approach over the sloping glacis. In theory, no attacker should reach the wall without coming under sustained and murderous attack from the defenders. The star shape evolved so that no part of the defences would be "blind" to fire from somewhere within the fort. The whole structure is, in fact, one massive killing zone for artillery weapons and defensive musketry. Historically, the most notable creator of star forts was the French military engineering genius, Marshall Varban (1633-1707); his name is virtually synonymous with the design. His defences at Verdun were still in use during the battle there in 1916 during the First World War.
- Level 2
- 5 Turns to Build
- 6000 Coin
- Requires Artillery Fort
Settlement FortificationsEditThese are fortifications built to fortify a region's city. They do not require armies to build.
Defences constructed around a town will hold off many attacks, but cannot be expected to hold off heavy attacks forever.
Settlements defences are seldom allowed to be truly impregnable defences. Practical matters such as cost, or the need to house a growing population, often stop city fathers from investing fully in their own defences. Instead, their defences are good enough to deter a casual attack, and good enough to hold up an enemy's advance. Interlocking fields of fire can sweep attackers off the glacis as the defenders reap a terrible toll. It takes a disciplined approach to reduce a settlement's fortification to a point where a breach is "practicable" and the town can be taken.
Historically, the town garrison was often offered the "honours of war" and allowed to march away with their weapons, but only if they gave up without a fight. The townsfolk were likely to be spared of any indignity. Once, however, the attackers had launched an assault, then the town, its inhibitants and the garrison were fair game for any amount of pillaging and looting. The assault was a dangerous business, and a lawless orgy afterwards was often the soldiers' reward.
- Level 0
- 4 Turns to Build
- 4000 Coin
- Surrounds city approaches with a ring of artillery forts, protecting it from assault.
Improved Settlement FortificationsEditAt settlements grow there is a need for more elaborate defence in depth. The fortifications are designed to intimidate any attacking force, and then kill them.
Extensive fortifications cost huge sums of money and much effort. There is little point in constructing them unless they are well maintained and needed for the future survival and prosperity of the town. A defensive wall is good for a sense of security, but does not feed a hungry family after a poor local harvest! As a practical matter, then, these fortifications are erected along borders and around towns of real strategic significance.
The defences are laid out according to the latest military fashions, and as well as built as any purely military fortification. This can cause local problems, as prime building land is either used for the fort themselves, or must be kept clear to provide excellent fields of fire. During long periods of peace, the city fathers must resist the temptation to cover the killing zones with houses and commercial properties!
Historically, fortresses created by Marshal Vauban of France dominated their towns for centuries. The fortresses of Strasbourg, in Alsace, are typical of his work, and were a clear geographical boundary until the end of the 19th Century.
- Level 1
- 6 Turns to Build
- 8000 Coin
- +1 Happiness (Lower Classes)
- +1 Happiness (Middle Classes/ Nobility)
- Surrounds city approaches with a ring of star forts, protecting it from assault
- Enhances National Prestige
- Requires Settlement Fortifications