A siege is a military blockade of a city or fortress with the goal of conquering it by attrition or by force. It is a holdout type of warfare where whoever holds out the longest wins. Sieges occur when the settlement cannot be taken by swift attack because it has walls. (Settlements without walls can be attacked immediately) Tactics involve surrounding and cutting off the defender and attempts to bring down the fortifications usualy with siege engines. Sieges are present in all Total war games.
A siege will not happen if the defending city has no units, but it is an option even if the city has no walls.
No units can leave a besieged city on the campaign map.
Rome: Total WarEdit
A siege can be carried out by as little as 1 unit, which, interestingly, does not have to be infantry. Besieged units will lose men to attrition every turn, while the attacker loses none.
All siege engines must be "carried" by a unit in battle. That unit cannot be in any formations while carrying it. Cavalry cannot carry siege engines.
Siege engines can be built with "construction points" which is determined by the number of men in a besieging army, the general's traits and his retinue. Construction points are not cumulative, and is given every turn. A Battering Ram requires 50, a ladder 25, a Siege Tower 65, and a Sapping Point 75. Only the Battering Ram is available when besieging a city without stone walls, and Battering Rams can only attack Gates when up against Stone Walls.
The Battering Ram and Siege Tower can be destroyed by fire arrows or onager missiles. A fully damaged Siege Tower will kill everyone in or on it at the time. The better the wall, the taller and more armoured the Siege Tower will be, even causing the Siege Tower to contain archers and ballistas. Such Siege Towers will shoot defending infantry on the wall as it apporaches it. If a unit is ordered back outside the city while it is on a wall, it will sometimes use the nearest siege engine to do so.
If a unit carrying siege equipment is attacked by another unit (not by missiles), it will drop it and engage them. This applies to onagers and ballistae too.
- Rams are carried by units to any wooden section of a wall. Rams can attack all sections of wooden walls and palisades. Otherwise, they can only attack gates. The ramming animation is rather undramatic and deals about 12% damage to the section of wall. Rams are the most vulnerable because the ramming unit cannot do anything while the ram is at work.
- Ladders are carried by units to the wall by "attacking" the wall with it. Each unit carries two ladders. Once in position, to use them, the player needs to only order units to move to a spot on the wall, and the units will use the ladders to get up. Ladders can be toppled.
- Siege towers are carried by units to the wall in the same manner as ladders. Once in place, they are used the same as ladders. Units will treat siege towers as a path up the walls. One cannot load units onto a siege tower and then move it onto the wall. If destroyed, all units on the tower will be killed.
- Sapping points are static digging points on the field already in place when you start a battle. If a unit can sap and are assigned to the sapping point, they will enter the sapping point and dig a tunnel from the sapping point to the wall. Once there, they will periodically damage the wall by 20% until the wall falls down, at which point the unit will exit the sapping point. When all the units have exited, the sapping point will collapse. If destroyed otherwise when units are digging, it will kill all units in the tunnel.
Towers and WallsEdit
Wooden defences consist of a gate and walls, with wooden towers spread sporadically along them. Stone walls allow troops to be positioned on them, and contain in-built towers.
Walls cannot be attacked by normal troops, only by rams, artillery, sapping point or elephants (Wooden walls only). Onagers are most effective for this, a Ballista doing minimal damage. Scorpions and Repeating Ballistas cannot attack walls. The section of wall being attacked will be seen to crack having taken enough damage. When a wall is destroyed, all troops on that section will fall to their deaths, and a breach will be created.
During a siege, towers can be disabled by artillery, causing more damage to the settlement's walls on the campaign map. (Wooden towers cannot be targeted, but they're mostly harmless) Higher level walls will have towers containing ballistas. Troops can capture a tower and turn it on the defenders waiting below the walls by marching through it. A gate can be similarly turned, allowing attackers to pour into the city.
Units that rout on a wall will fight to the death, meaning they can be ignored and bypassed. However, they will not be counted as routing, and will not allow the player to end the battle once the other enemy units are routed.
The defender wins if the timer runs out (not available in largest-scale battles) or if the attacking army is defeated. The attacker wins by routing the entire defending army at the same time, or ridding the town square of enemy troops and placing their own troops on it, thus "capturing" it, for 3 minutes.