Over the next few days I will be posting some of the working rules I've developed for Conqueror: Siege Assault. These are the trial versions and obvious need to be firmed up.
Feedback is much appreciated.
Fortifications over time have varied greatly, form simple earthen mounds to wooden stockades and finally stone castles. It is impossible for one set of rules to cover all of these materials in detail (and foolish to try) so instead we will focus on the essential structures and provide rules to support attacking (or defending) them.
This is the building block of all fortresses, and their height and materials are entirely up to the players’ imagination. For convenience, however, we shall assume that they are at least twice the height of models being used to attack them and created in sections six to twelve inches long. They should have some form of parapet along the top where the defenders can stand and this should be wide enough to support two models.
The key features of curtain walls for our purposes are that they can be scaled using ladders and breached with greater ease than any other section of the fortress. We will look into this in greater detail later.
Towers are self-contained defensive works that overshadow the curtain walls. Towers are much smaller (no more than four inches on a side) and too high to be reached by ladders. Breaching a tower is more difficult (due the deeper foundations necessary to support their immense weight) and also more dangerous to the defenders.
The gate is the most vulnerable and therefore important point in the entire fortress. The gate may be simply a gap in the wall or a complex building featuring a portcullis and multiple doors. Either way, possession of the gate is usually tantamount to taking the fortress.
Some castles may be built with a keep, which is rally just an enlarged tower. The keep is too high for ladders, too difficult to batter down (since it is often inside the curtain walls) and it serves as the last refuge for the defenders.
In field battles, routed units have plenty of room to try to make good their escape, but within the confines of a castle, there are less options.
Troops outside the walls will fleet away from the enemy as normal, with defending troops attempting to reach the (relative) safety of their fortress.
Within the walls, defending troops will attempted to reach a rally point, that is a spot within the castle selected before the game begins. This will usually be a tower or the keep (if there is one).
Attacking troops will attempt to escape and will only rally outside the walls.
Special Morale Rules
Because the tight confines of a fortress do not lend themselves to fighting in close order, combats will generally not see the outranking bonus applied. Thus units scaling walls, using siege towers, etc. will not receive this bonus. However, where space permits (such as a breach), the extra weight of numbers will be felt. The simple rule is: if both sides are fighting from a position where normal ranks can be utilized, this is included, if either side cannot benefit from it, no one does.
Troops defending a fortress are under no illusion regarding their chances of escape, and typically will fight with greater determination than in the open field. To reflect this “backs against the wall” mentality, defending troops gain a +1 bonus to all their morale rolls. Note that this applies even to units outside the fortress (since the sortie may be their best hope to survive).
Special Shooting Rules
Units within a fortress generally benefit from a -2 to hit modifier for being in heavy cover. However, if the walls are properly battlemented (which they should be), units may take Full Cover, that is stay below the parapet or step back from the arrow loop to avoid any risk of taking missile fire.
Units within a fortress may start the game in Full Cover (and it’s a good idea to assume that they do), and may only emerge from it during their own movement phase – they may not “pop up” during the opposing player’s turn to participate in their portion of the shooting phase.
Once out of Full Cover, they may not return to it until it is once again their Movement Phase.
Models on the top of walls or towers are assumed to be equipped with copious amounts of missiles (rocks, boiling liquids, darts, pianos, kitchen sinks) that can be dropped on the attackers below.
These weapons make missile attacks as normal during the Shooting Phase using their unmodified Shooting Skill. Unlike normal missile attacks, the resulting hits are not halved (because the targets are so closely packed together) and have an armor save modifier of -2.
Models may only target models “beneath them” aligning as if they were to engage in Melee Combat. Just as with Melee Combat, only a partial overlap is needed to conduct the attack.
Models may move into position (either up to the wall or along it to reach a troop concentration) and still attack without penalty.