Questions for Zachriel: Fortress Guru


Minister of salty snacks
Dec 30, 2001
Brooklyn, NY

Based on the contents of your website, I'd say that you're right person to ask all those nagging questions I still have about fortresses and how they're implemented in the game. Please indulge me, if you will.

1.) Does constructing a fortress over an underlying resource eliminate, or effect that resource in any way?

The reason I ask is that I've had situations in which I've constructed forts over resources and had them disappear on me in the trade advisors screen. They didn't disappear from the map, mind you, they just weren't listed in the trade advisor's screen.

2.) Have you ever seen the AI construct one fortress?

Remember in Civ II, when the AI would habitually construct defensive rings around each city...and them leave them undefended?

3.) When using your Maginot Line strategy, have you ever noticed that a neigboring hostile AI is far more likely to plop 10-30 units along your coastline far to the rear?

It's an intriguing strategy, but it practice, I'm afraid that all a Maginot Line-type defense does is make "Jarheads" out of the AI. The only games in which I've ever seen the AI build Marines in any appreciable numbers were those in which I employed this strategy. Have you noticed this too?

Thanks for reading. umm..if you opt to at all, that is.
Oh no. A test! At least they're all yes/no answers.

1. I don't think so. That should be easy to determine and I will get back to you on that.

2. No. That is very unfortunate. Others have reported AI fortresses, but I think they are rare.

3. Absolutely. Hitting an infantry wall head on would be a very bad idea. The AI almost always attempts an amphibious assault, so you should try to keep some mobile defense forces on hand.

I have not noticed that they are more prone to attack, though. Certainly a sea invasion is more difficult than a land invasion, and the wall also protects any allies you may have in the rear.

Another common strategy is to leave a hole in the wall on level terrain and use it as a kill zone. Artillery really makes the kill zone truly deadly. With a 10-20 artillery, you can usually reduce any stack of units to one hit point in very short order.

Let me know if I passed.
2. The AI will construct fortresses on colonies. Actually, it seems the worker who will found the colony, first builds a fortress on the tile.
Originally posted by eyrei
2. The AI will construct fortresses on colonies. Actually, it seems the worker who will found the colony, first builds a fortress on the tile.

Interesting observation, eyrei. I rarely see colonies either, even though I usually play crowded maps. I wonder why?
The really funny thing is, the AI often does not fortify a unit in the colony.
...but then again, I am a liberal grader at that.:cool:

Thanks for your meticulous response. I have, however, tried to create kill-zones with forts. Unfortunately, because I tend to stack copious numbers of units at those forts on either side of the gap, the AI tends to avoid it like the plague.

It's a shame that the AI doesn't make use of fortresses though. Not only would the presence of AI constructed forts make the game more challenging, but they would also make nice, practical prizes when captured.

Eyrei, like you, I have seldom seen the AI construct any colonies either. In fact, I've only witnessed it on one occasion, constructed by the Zulu of all tribes. What was my response to seeing such a rare phenomenon? I promptly attacked and destroyed it. Subconsciously, I must the sort of SOB who would fire a harpoon cannon at a Blue Whale if I ever stumbled across one at sea..:rolleyes:

Thanks Guys!
In a recent crowded game I played (16-standard) The industrious French had 3 colonies! one for horse, one for iron and one for spices. I took a screen shot but unfortunately it is 2.5 meg bitmap so its far too big - if anyone can tell me how to make it smaller I will post it here.
I have seen the AI building colonies (mainly french and chinese), often building roads over 15 tiles to reach them. I usually send a unit to pillage that road :D

They build fortress on the colonies. They build fortress on choke points as well.

Here is one of my favourite strategies with fortress though : when I am at war with a poweful neighbour, and I just don't want to keep his cities, I need a safe spot to rest my wounded units. So, with all the captured workers, I quickly build a fortress (usually i have enough captured workers to build it in one turn) and let my units fortify and heal there (outside of AI border).

This will give you the defensive bonus needed to withstand a counter attack.

When the war is over, there is a large continent with fortresses scattered all over it :D

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