Looks can be deceptive, but Hidden City isn’t anything of the sort. What you see is what you get: the line of attack is simple and the imposing defences are in direct opposition to it. May the best side win!
In the hope that those that covet it wouldn’t bother looking for it, Hidden City is among a small club of towns, cities and even entire countries that have been named in the hope of deterring would-be conquerors. The theory, it’s assumed, is that if Hidden City was so hard to find, why should anyone bother looking for it in the first place? Thus, left alone, its rulers hoped they would also be left in peace.
The ruse worked, for a while. Inevitably, however, word began to spread that Hidden City wasn’t just easily located, it was easily taken. The subsequent owner quickly learnt the lesson of its predecessor; by lining the battlements with a more substantial deterrent than the previous occupant had thought to rely on.
Hidden City maintains a low profile, which means it lacks a dominating presence in the landscape. Its walls are low and wide, its layout is largely square and grid-based, and, once-breached, there are almost no raised defensive positions within the city walls. However, being small and almost symmetrical means troops can quickly support one another without losing their bearings. More importantly, before the final control point is taken, the attackers have to first get past the main gates and its sentry-like guns.
PLAN OF ATTACK
- Your attacking options are limited when it comes to taking the main gate at point A. You can attack from the front, against which are ranged a number of heavy cannon - more than is usual for a siege map - or, you can attempt to breach the side walls. In either case, the defenders will always be difficult to prize out. If you do attempt a frontal assault, try to take out as many cannons as possible before the main attack begins.
- Because point A is probably the easiest position to defend, and because it is so fundamental to any attack, it’s easy to lose the initiative and to keep blindly attacking in the hope the enemy will eventually fall. Inevitably it will, but to hasten it you need to broaden the front line so that the besieged units are being attacked from as many sides as possible, which will have the added effect of neutralising any attempts at reinforcement.
- Ironically, there is no place to hide for either side in Hidden City, so don’t expect any surprise attacks from within the city walls. However, the relatively long and straight streets are surprisingly good terrain for all unit types, including cavalry. Just because you need to be direct in your attacks, doesn’t mean the defenders will play to the same script. Just when you think a control point is about to become yours is when it’s most likely to slip from your grasp.
- Whatever strategy you adopt, the main objective should be to hold control point A for as long as possible. Stationing the majority of your units and warlords on or around the gatehouse battlements is an obvious tactic that should have the desired effect. However, it may be an idea to keep the battlements uncluttered with a larger force in reserve - one that’s ready to reinforce the main position when needed. This could take the form of heavy infantry at the gates or a more mobile-infused cavalry force patrolling the two flanks. This would give any enemy hoping to attack your rear some cause for concern.
- The attack is going to be focused on progressing from point A to B and then to C in a fairly direct route. The inner terrain will help such an advance, but equally, it allows you to direct lightning-fast counterattacks and calvary changes that, at worst, will slow the attackers down. If you can harang and harass with mobile units while shepherding the main attack to a standstill, all will not be lost.