Content of the article: "Let’s discuss garrisons"
I have always been fascinated with siege defenses, maybe because as a kid I watched the LotR movies and grew up with the old TWs where the combination of completely custom garrisons, older AI (anyone remember the cavalry only sieges that never attacked because they couldn't use siege engines?), and the central plaza making everyone inside unbreakable made for some really epic defenses.
Nowadays, I think most of us are almost constantly on the attack and rarely experience a siege defense, but from time to time it may happen (mostly when the completely opportunistic AI thinks there's no way you can win). Predetermined garrisons are a mixed blessing, they are relatively fast to get online without having to basically recruit another army and possibly building the needed barracks and so on, but sometimes they can be pretty bad (Lizardmen) or remain terribly outdated (Skaven).
So, I was curious what people thought about the various factions' garrisons. I'll start with the ones I had experience with. I'm considering defense on the player's part, as the AI just suicides everyone on the walls.
Dwarfs: tough infantry, gunpowder, artillery, even a minor settlement can fend off quite large assaults. Very good.
Empire: not as good as the Dwarfs, but better than many others. Gunpowder and artillery, again, are pretty good on the defense. There's also the forts, whose garrisons are even beefier (if I'm not mistaken).
Skaven: sadly, all their best units are DLC units and there's an unwritten "no DLC units in garrisons" rule, so they suffer in that regard (imagine having weapon teams… maybe someday). But Menace Below, Warpbomb, catapults and the higher tier towers make the little rats perform surprisingly well.
Lizardmen: meh, minor settlements are particularly bad. Major ones are better, for what it's worth. If the minor ones come under any serious attack, they are basically screwed.
Gobbos (Skarsnik): surprisingly good, tons of tarpits (silver shield spearmen) and archers, some trolls and cavalry to flank the enemy once they have engaged, and especially Fanatics at higher levels make the little buggers put up a surprisingly good fight.
High Elves: there's a sweet spot in major settlements when there's tons of Sea Guard. I think one can choose not to upgrade the walls further and retain them, instead of having them replaced by something else (maybe even White Lions of Trash if I recall correctly). Still, archers and the bolt throwers are no gunpowder units but can still make the defense a lot easier. Not bad.
Vampire Counts: I once read of a strategy where you wait for the enemy to engage and then send the flying units to take out their artillery and ranged units, but I could never try that as the AI never attacked me playing as them. They do have a bonus building that increases corruption damage and beefs up the garrison a bit beyond the usual walls and main building line, something some other factions could really use if they had such an option.
Those of you who have had more experience in siege defense with other factions, how would you rate them?
Edit: I'll add more if they come to mind and/or check them out when I fire up my PC. Also, unless stated otherwise, I'm talking fully upgraded settlement + walls.
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