I've read quite a few strategies on this board which call for catapaults in the early game to help 'soften' cities you are attacking. I must say I'm quite fuzzy on how this works. I sent a group of no less than 25: warriors(10), archers(9), and knights(6) against the German capital of Berlin. They had a single elite spearman with city walls on rough terrain. I complimented my force with 6 catapaults which I parked outside the city. Every single round, for no less than 15 rounds, I pounded the city. I dropped the city from size 3 to size 1. The vast majority of the time, nothing happened. No citizen loss, no notification about the walls coming down, no damage to that elite spearman. Nothing. Mixed in with the zero-results was the occasional "Bombardment failed" message. Each round I was getting 6 catapault shots and it didn't injure that spearman but once in every 18 shots (3 rounds). I would reduce his hp by one block...and the next round he'd be full health again. I eventually got fed up and attacked with every unit I had brought up. They all died. All of them. To one spearman. Sigh. So...exactly what are these things good for again?