As much as they are designed to aid fast passage, border forts are there to protect against scurrilous bandits intent on anarchy and plunder. No wonder then that many fortresses have been built since that reference their design and layout. Border Fort just happens to be the most famous example - and most rigorously contested.
Throughout history, the Borderlands has been a region infused by discontent and stoked by open rebellion, as bands of lawless brigands have ravaged its towns leaving chaos in their wake. It was only in recent times that armies have sought to bring order to the region (while, conveniently, asserting dominion over its lucrative resources), before which the agreed policy among many neighbouring fiefdoms was one of containment. The ring of border forts that maintain security - upon which Border Fort is based - is a testament to this policy: to close out the rebels while keeping the trade routes open.
Border Fort is imposing in and of itself, especially because its foundation makes strategic use of the rugged landscape to deter approaching attackers. However, just like the forts in which it’s based, Border Fort is to all intents and purposes a fortified staging post for trade and diplomacy, so while the outer wall is well maintained, heavily defended and difficult to breach, the vast inner courtyard offers a direct route to victory - though one that’s not without significant dangers for both sides.
PLAN OF ATTACK
- With five siege weapons ranged across the wall of the main gate and four behind guarding the channels that lead to capture point A, a direct frontal assault on Border Fort is going to be bloody. Thankfully, the attackers have a good amount of cover and quite a few siege options of their own, so get into position and quickly take out those guns before they take out yours!
- If you plan to deploy your own siege weapons, it might be wise to place them on the ridge to the right of the deployment area, where there is an offset to your height disadvantage and a good amount of cover. However, be wary of the cannon on the corner of the outer wall that has an excellent field of fire over your support flank.
- A safer route to attack is the left flank, but the siege tower has a long way to go before it reaches the wall - giving the defenders plenty of opportunities to turn it into kindling. Use ladders if you can to take out the rocket artillery - and any enemy units - guarding the flank approach
- One benefit of attacking from the left side of the map - apart from the more straightforward route to point A - is that there is a small fortified area behind the wall that you can drop onto. As well there being a supply point there, the palisades overlook the main approach towards point B. Denying your enemy access to it will go a long way towards smoothing your advance - plus, you can use it to loop around to take point A from the steps if you haven’t secured it already.
- Your units won’t climb over it, but that stake wall directly ahead of the main gate can easily be used as a shortcut if you want to harass the enemy or carve through a unit of carelessly-positioned archers. To the left of it, there’s also a cart you can jump onto to get onto the roofed buildings behind.
- The channels are wide, which means that even though there’s only one path to take from point A to B, battles within the walls can play out like a field encounter. As such, a single unit can easily be outflanked and outnumbered, so attack in numbers and try to overlap your forces to be able to cover as wide an area as space will allow. The attackers can then expand to fill the raised courtyard around point B regardless of where the enemy is positioned.
- With only a small front to attack, most of which is heavily fortified, the defenders have a great opportunity to thin the enemy out before it’s able to breach the outer wall. Use siege weapons and archers to try to give yourself a numerical advantage when the time comes to defend the battlements.
- If the enemy seems focused on assaulting the left side of the map - as it likely will - if it’s focused on supporting the advance of the siege towers, remember you can mount a surprise cavalry charge by riding out from the main gate. Across such an open map, cavalry units generally are a useful option to have in reserve.
- Once capture point A is lost, retreat to the small fortified area that’s inside the west wall. It will be hard to defend if the attackers decide to pour over the outer wall, but if you can hold it, it’s a great place to be able to harry their advance, especially from the platform just north of the supply point.
- When it comes to defending point B, the simplest strategy is to keep the enemy from entering the courtyard surrounding it. Defend the staked fence to the south in numbers while plugging the gap to the east through which it could be outflanked. If and when the position is lost, your last redoubt should be the raised courtyard.