While we are working on to streamline the current features and eliminate the reported bugs, it's about time to start planning the next feature group to implement.
So once again, it is your turn to decide what you would like to try next!
If you ask a realtor what the three most important factors are in selling a house, the answer will almost always be 1. Location 2. Location and 3. Location. In Feudums, deciding where to place your settlements and defensive buildings - ie. castles - location will be a prime concern of yours as well.
Knowing the game’s terrain types is the first step in making the right decision. Feudums has seven different types of terrain (plus rivers) that you can encounter.
GRASSLANDS are the wide-open areas on the map. Not to be confused with its less-fertile cousin, PLAINS, both types of tiles are ideal spots to place farms - although you will get a better harvest from placing it on the grassland tile. Settlements, farms, and castles may be built on both sets of tiles.
FORESTS are home to many tasty critters and the local population or invading army can hunt there to gain additional food as needed. Forest will be used mainly for logging as the lumber a forest produces will be used in nearly all tile improvements as well as building military equipment like siege engines. Keep in mind that forests also affect combat and movement. All military types move slower through the trees and defending infantry receive a bonus. Forest tiles cannot be upgraded in any form. However, players can purposely clear the tile of trees. If that happens, the tile becomes grassland.
WETLANDS or SWAMPS are nasty, wet places that provide a small amount of food and coin for nearby settlements but aren’t much good for anything else. They can serve as a natural barrier to potential invaders, as wartime armies would experience heavy attrition trying to pass (if they could pass, at all). As natural barriers, they can be just as effective as mountains in the right hands. Only light military units can move through a swamp tile and at a very reduced rate. No tile improvements may be made on a wetlands tile.
HILLS are great places to place tile improvements such as settlements and castles because their wartime bonuses always favor the defending army, and you can even perform devastating counter-attacks from the tops. Hills also can provide iron or wealth (by building a mine) or stone (by building a quarry) for their owner. Ecclesiastical fiefs may also be built on hills. These small pastoral fiefs provide a boost to a nearby population’s morale, offer extra Virtue and later they might unlock ecclesiastical unit types if you also have a castle nearby.
The most important feature to realize about MOUNTAINS is that they are impassable. When faced with a mountain range, units have no choice but to find an alternate way around them if no mountain passes are available. Iron, and wealth (gold and silver) can be found in mountains and mines may be built on a mountain tile. Stone quarries may also be built on a mountain. The only type of settlement which can be built on a mountain is the ecclesiastical fief - that might provide more bonuses than on a hill or grassland.
There will be no mariners fighting on the water - at least in the 1.0 release. SEA and LAKE tiles provide a boost in food and coin to nearby settlements. Moving over water tiles require a boat and captain - which can be found if you have the coin to pay for the passage. Beware though, attrition can be deadly if a storm sweeps up and plunges your troops to the bottom of the water.
From an economic perspective, RIVERS are important as they enhance the yield of farmlands, cities and castles that are placed next to them. Farmlands benefit from a better yield of food, cities get a population growth bonus and better commercial income, while castles gain extra coins for guarding and assuming toll duty on the river transit.
For military units, rivers provide an additional defensive bonus if they’re defending against a hostile force crossing the river to reach them; also, all units moving through a river are slowed down.
So where should you place that city or farm? Well, it will all depend on the overall terrain layout of your feudum. Look for hill tiles near rivers, lakes or forests. Those are your best spots for settlements. Being on on a hill tile gives the settlement a defensive bonus plus they are near other resources.
Obviously, farms should always be placed on grassland tiles if possible. Plains are a substitute if no grassland is available. Never place farms on hills unless no other choices remain. Farms benefit from being next to a river, so if possible, you should place them down the length of a river. Settlements gain extra coin if they sit alongside a river so when considering your settlements, look for hills alongside a river especially where they empty into a larger body of water.
The lake or sea tiles provide a little extra food plus they guard at least one direction from attack.
Settlements should also have a forest nearby to harvest for available lumber and firewood. However, this is a potential trap the lord must take into account. Forests must be close enough to tap their abundant resources but far enough away that an enemy force can’t encamp and harass the locals. With the bonus given to defenders in a forest, they might be hard to dislodge.
Castles are a lord’s main defensive structure. When considering where to place a castle, a feudum’s defense should always be the main concern. With the defensive bonus received by being on a hill, the first rule of castle placement is: Castles should always be built on a hill tile. The 2nd and 3rd rule is the same as the first. Obviously, there will be exceptions as hills are not located everywhere. But always look for hills when determining how to defend your feudum. Also, if you set it as the Manor of your feudum, it'll be harder to take the whole feudum with a siege.
Hills and mountains are the most important terrain tiles on the map. Because mountains are impassable, they are very important in the game. When expanding, look at the mountains first - is there a range of mountains that could form a defensive border for me?
Use a mountain range as shield but remember, the shield works both ways. If later in the game, you wish to attack the feudum on the other side of the mountain range, you’ll be forced to travel the long way around it as well.
Swamps or wetlands do not provide much benefit but slow down movement - so use it as secondary natural barriers. A player could consider placing a settlement near a swampy area of the map if attacks are a possibility.
Consider real-life examples of castles as a learning tool on castle placement. Both Dover and Lewes Castles in southern England sit atop hills, one near the sea, the other on a river next to a town and farmland.
Where players ultimately choose to build their cities, farms and fortifications will affect their gaming success. Consider your options carefully before sending your workers out to start building anything because you will have to live with the consequences of your decision for a long time.