If You Built a Fort

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If You Built a Fort

Post by marauder » Thu Aug 13, 2015 11:36 am

Danny and I were talking about this earlier via PM.

There are definite advantages and disadvantages of having a fort. A fort can be used to seize decisive terrain or to provide shelter and ammunition as a base of operations to launch attacks out of.

Given a wooded environment, what would your fort look like? What would it include? Please keep your ideas pragmatic, e.g. something you could actually make, not a giant concrete structure.

I think that the first order would be to include some type of water source. Either a natural spring, an underground pipeline or hose if you aren't terribly far from a residential area, or most likely build some kind of pond. I'd get a preformed pond kit from a home improvement store so that the water would never seep into the ground. It would look natural, but it would have a plastic (lined with gravel) bottom. I'd also use it to stash equipment. Then there would be small bunkers nearby the fort, as this would essentially be used as a base of operations with a ring of random perimeter defenses. I do not plan on getting caught inside, so everything about the design would center around maneuverability. I would manipulate the trees and shrubs in the area to provide maximum cover and to conceal any entrance and exit points. It'd also be helpful to clear out the land beyond this so that we could see people trying to attack the fort.
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Re: If You Built a Fort

Post by jja » Thu Aug 13, 2015 12:33 pm

Definitely need a water source, otherwise the enemy can just wait till you can't fight back anymore
having means to fill water balloons would also be usefull

i would make a concealed base with no visible footprint, hidden in dense undergrowth for example - if they can't find it they can't capture it

if a more conventional, and more defensible base is required

i'd want an elevated position to maximize range.
i would clear all undergrowth within at least 20m of the perimeter.
i would have a wall high enough to crouch behind unseen - but low enough to be fired over - about 4ft maybe.
a roof over the structure would be needed as most weapons will be firing in an arc - a well positioned roof can be as valuable as a wall.
i would want one main entrance to be reassessed into the defenses , creating a kill box for any would be attackers
i would alternate ways out - perhaps a drop that is a safe fall but not climbable unless a rope is lowered
i would want hooks on the uprights around the wall - so 3 man elastic catapults can be mounted and fired solo

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Re: If You Built a Fort

Post by the oncoming storm » Thu Aug 13, 2015 5:36 pm

JJA I like your plan for the base, but if you could use a WBL then I would also try to clear more of that underbrush. perhaps 100' or so.
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Re: If You Built a Fort

Post by DX » Thu Aug 13, 2015 7:57 pm

My favorite type of fort requires minimal construction, instead relying on natural features for protection. #1 by far is a small island or peninsula connected to the mainland by bridges or narrow paths. Your infinite water source also acts as your defense when you have an island. The Paine island was great with small trees and bushes to take cover behind, but had only one entrance, which is a major downside. The Onteora Lake island was much better, with 2 entrances over beaver dam bridges and a central hill as a spine. That island would remain defensible from either direction even if an enemy made it across either of the dams.

An island does not necessarily need to have its own additional defenses onboard. There was a Ridgewood war where Waterbridge ambushed the RM while we were refilling. We ran through the brook and took up positions on a bare gravel bar in the middle of the brook. There was no cover to be had there, but it was out of their range, and they couldn't easily fight from a water position. Them trying led to some kills for us.

The RM fort in the Crescent Forest was a different type of island - a patch of dry land surrounded by small streams and muddy swamp. Metal fence sections turned on their sides served as bridges. The swamps remained muddy during dry periods and flooded completely during wet periods, ensuring some kind of defense regardless of the weather. Benches and a fire pit with a flagpole served as a gathering point at the center of the spot. We never ended up using this position in a war, though.

The peninsula at St. John's Woods had potential for a fort. The small creeks were deep enough that it was difficult to jump them. The land approach was pretty wide, however, and would have needed a long wall. The problem with a position that large is that you need enough players to properly garrison it.

If I can't get an island, a high mound surrounded by flat land is second-best. Both Crescent Forest and Goffle had recycling lots with big mulch mounds that were readily defensible. I made Reed Hill's defensive wall by piling up logs and then covering them with mulch. For water, I stored big water jugs there. Unfortunately, the workers at the recycling center removed the water jugs and part of the wall (I wonder what their reactions to the fortifications were?)

Third-best is a position surrounded by dense thorn bushes. This can keep attackers totally out of range in most directions. However, the thorns offer no protection if enemies are equipped for bushwacking and are able to push through.

A treehouse is next on my list. It's possible to rig water to one or to store a lot of water, and to make it virtually impregnable. The treehouse on Sycamore Island was highly resistant to attack by water guns and even WBLs. It took a water cannon to land a hit inside. That's the equivalent of besieging a fort with small arms fire and field artillery, then bringing in the heavy mortars for huge damage. See the Last of the Mohicans scene of the French and indians attacking Fort William Henry. The field cannons do little damage with their straight-line shots. The mortars can angle their massive payloads right onto the defenses. Looking back at that treehouse round, I should have withdrawn from the line to go refill the water cannon for more shots. The 2000 and 1500 were completely ineffective at landing hits inside or at the defenders on the ground. But, just pointing the APWC at the treehouse had Trevor falling back in fear and poured water through the gap that nothing else could hit. The downside to a treehouse is that there are only certain kinds of places (lol not parks) where you can build one. They would be higher on my list otherwise. The type of treehouse you could rig up in a park is usually very crude and vulnerable. You are also trapped there more than in the other locations.

As far as conventional forts go, a stick wall that incorporates thick trees and boulders can be effective. I would prioritize dodging space over walls and bunkers. Bunkers are mainly useful for ambushing or taking a position out of sight. Streams of water arc right into them like mini mortars, also into the space right behind walls. When you build a wall, you want to defend it from several feet back. Stick walls need to be strong and probably short. A WBL or water cannon shot or just strong winds could knock them right over. The walls do not need to enclose the entire fort - openings help you escape and offer more room to dodge.

If you have tarps, you should save them for roof material. I would want to angle them, so water falls off the roof instead of accumulating there and weighing it down to potential collapse. Water is very heavy, ask anyone who made the trek in to Cedar Hill last weekend. Many roofs on New England houses are steeply slanted so snow slides off them. Mine isn't, but instead, it has a heating system along the edges that starts a slippage area that pulls in ice and snow until it all slides off. Tarps are a nice way to get a portable fort, but they can take a while to setup.

It is possible to make the roof from just natural materials. One of my early forts (Stonewall) was made from huge branches and logs. Both the front wall and roof were super solid when the fort was regularly maintained. The back was open to allow easy entry and exit. The spot behind the back was the main gathering area, with thorn bushes protecting that side from attack. The actual fort did not prove useful in battle, but the small hill it was built on/into had a commanding view of the Sacred Grove and was a useful position to take when Waterbridge entered the reed groves. I later built a small observation area above Stonewall called Briar Hill, which gave the best view of the area. The RM launched several attacks into the Sacred Grove originating from Stonewall. Building the fort gave me good knowledge of an underutilized corner of the park and experience in fort-building. As far as I know of, the core of the fort still stands 11 years later!
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Re: If You Built a Fort

Post by HBWW » Thu Aug 13, 2015 11:03 pm

^ Keep in mind the Sycamore treehouse was completely dependent on the geography of the area as well. I would bet that if there was much more land around that treehouse, it wouldn't have been too defensible. Had I forced Trevor to use the 2500 instead of 2000, I would've had a much better chance at making it to the back of the treehouse and creating opportunities to mess with the defense.

Anyway, I've never been involved with games that had sufficient prep time to build forts, and I would think they're only particularly useful for asymmetrical objective games. For OHS, no teams like to attack strong defensive positions, so stalemates happen and the hunting rule kinda kicks in. For that reason, I'd prefer no actual forts at all and just luring opponents through very ambushable areas. (Since, as you know, I always like a field with plenty of concealment to sneak and battle around, such as the Soakemore portables.)
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Re: If You Built a Fort

Post by SEAL » Fri Aug 14, 2015 8:49 am

When I was younger I remember making big plans to build the ultimate water warfare fort. It was basically going to be a wood clubhouse about the size of a large shed, and it would've served as the Catskill Mountain SEALs' base of operations during our massive neighborhood wars. It also would've been used as a war room (with maps and stuff for making plans), an armory, and we would've had a training ground out back. It was going to have small slits for windows, and a tipping bucket above the door. XD Of course it was never built, 'cause we never got the wood. It probably wouldn't have been used anyway.

These days, I'm not really into forts, preferring naturally defendable positions like hills and islands. However if I had a "home field", I'd probably set up a few structures. They'd be places that my team could hide out in if pursued. I'm thinking they'd just be pretty simple wooden buildings, with like a tarp roof or something. I'd probably equip them with heavy homemade cannons (hidden somewhere out of sight so the enemy can't find them), and have small windows on each side. Of course, they should be big enough to be able to dodge around in effectively. The wood required to build such forts would be costly, but I don't think it's worth it to make them out of lesser materials. I'd just stick to hills or whatever, maybe with brush piled up to impede enemy advancement.
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Re: If You Built a Fort

Post by c0chise » Mon Oct 26, 2015 1:45 pm

Duxburian wrote:My favorite type of fort requires minimal construction, instead relying on natural features for protection. #1 by far is a small island or peninsula connected to the mainland by bridges or narrow paths. Your infinite water source also acts as your defense when you have an island. The Paine island was great with small trees and bushes to take cover behind, but had only one entrance, which is a major downside. The Onteora Lake island was much better, with 2 entrances over beaver dam bridges and a central hill as a spine. That island would remain defensible from either direction even if an enemy made it across either of the dams.
I would just break out the launchers and pound you into submission on your island. Either mobility or cover is necessary. If your island is just a sand bar and some small trees I think you'd get overwhelmed by a serious opponent.

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