I feel that the layout of the siege maps for WH3 has improved dramatically. Major and minor settlements feel a lot better to navigate, assault, and defend. However, everything else feels like it will have a massively negative impact on the game going forward and may make the combined campaign map one of the absolute worst Total War experiences out there. I realize that that's a bold claim, but I don't make that claim lightly. Here are the following reasons why I believe that is the case:
- Minor settlement battles should be tied to garrison buildings. I know it has been brought up numerous times before, but I feel like CA really needs to know how big of an issue this is! Field battles are almost non-existent in the campaign right now, unless you're willing to cheese/trick the AI via ambush stance.
- Part of this is to do with the campaign AI itself being way too cautious at the expense of fun (considering the amount of cheats they get). But there's no reason that minor settlement battles should be the only battle type when assaulting a minor settlement. Tying these maps to garrison buildings will make them far more rare, but also keep them relevant in the cases they should be.
- Walled settlement battles shouldn't have two victory points. This just makes unwalled settlements the superior choice. Walled settlements are more difficult to defend, which is insane considering the investment into superior defenses should make them easier to defend. Just change the secondary victory point into a normal capture point. Again, a point that's been brought up.
- Supplies should not be passively gained during battle. Total War is not a Tower Defense game, and it shouldn't pretend like it is. Dawn of War 3 failed because it pretended to be something it wasn't, and Warhammer 3 is trying to be something it isn't. Survival battles are incredibly limited and unique, but sieges are literally everywhere.
- Technology, garrison buildings, and the delay of assaulting a settlement, should massively increase the supplies you start with at the beginning of a battle. However, you should only be able to spend supplies during the Deployment Phase of the battle. The ability to generate and spend supplies during the battle actively makes the experience worse. Not only does it push the player toward the most efficient and optimal strategy, discussed in point 3, but it also means that the AI spams towers over and over again, which isn't fun to fight against.
- Sieges have never really been fun in the Total War: Warhammer series, and because of the supply mechanic in WH3, it's the least fun it has ever been. The supplies mechanic feels like it renders all of the hard work the designers put into making these new maps utterly useless, as there's no reason to actually fight across the whole map. It's best to just defend the victory point and surrender the capture points. The buffs they get and the loss of supplies you receive do not matter when you can just build tier 3 towers and destroy most armies with a token force.
- The best strategy is currently to just cap the victory point within LoS of tier 3 towers the player can build. This makes battles trivial, but also completely destroys any fun from the game. It also further reinforces the playstyle of just... ignoring everything except the victory point.
- Towers should be limited to either tier 1 or tier 2 in siege battles. Currently the tier 3 towers are the best towers to build, and as they can be placed where you want them and are independent of the garrison/settlement tier, they're significantly better than walled towers. This is backwards and should not be the case. The towers on the walls should be your best line of defense.
- This is why defense placement should have been curated like previous Total War entries. The Three Kingdoms settlements were fine, and had towers you could capture all over the map. It makes absolutely no sense to remove that system and reinvent the wheel by introducing this Tower Defense-style system.
While everyone may not agree with me, I feel that these changes will make sieges far more enjoyable and far less overbearing. Also, I'll address this now: I do not want to rely on mods for this for one very specific reason. This heavily impacts the enjoyment of the vanilla game, and relying on mods to fix something so fundamental can cause problems. The mod creator can move on to other games or projects, letting the mod fall out of date and die. The mod can have unforeseen circumstances where it conflicts with other mods and causes problems for players. And, worst of all, having this system function as-is, when it's this frustrating, could drive away players that simply don't use mods at all. Not every player has a desire to use mods! Please don't forget that! And also don't think poorly of them or insult them for not wanting to use mods! Its their choice.