Somebody was complaining about the Defend the Fortress the other day, either here or on the Facebook page, and I can't find that reply anywhere. So I made a new topic, just for this one challenge you do as part of nearly every governor quest.
Yes, it's hard. The question is, is it too hard?
I did not do any of the settlement governor quests until I had already won the basic game at around level 60. By that point I had upgraded my ship somewhat. So I never faced Defend the Fortress at the beginner levels with a raw beginner level ship. If the challenge is different, easier, at those levels I can't speak to that. Maybe at Level 6 it's super easy.
But at the higher levels, this is what I've seen ( I'm trying to win one DtF at level 6600 ):
The fortress can not defend itself. It has a strength equal to the game level you are playing. At some point in the game the enemy ships' cannons become numerically stronger than the current game level; thus the fortress is going to be destroyed with just one hit from any enemy ship. Just one. To me it doesn't even look like they need to shoot the thing. Just getting their ships next to it or near to it is enough. ( Maybe they're using their front cannons, which would be the only time in the whole game that these things do any kind of damage at all. I know mine are worthless, and my ship's cannons are over 50,000 strong )
I don't want to give away how to win this quest, but I will say that my experience has shown it is impossible to do with one of the larger ships. The big ships fire slower, reload slower, and have too much momentum once they start moving
That commenter from the other day mentioned how new ships appear right next to the fortress. This I have seen. You get no time at all to spot them or attack them. And boom, you're dead. They also frequently pop into existence in the nooks behind the fortress on either side of the bridge to the island. You can not hit them with mortars or cannons from there unless your ship is far off to one side so that you have a direct line of sight into those nooks. And if you are off to one side, the next ships will appear on the other side, giving you no time to sail over there, and you will lose. Every time. Just a few minutes ago, I noticed that destroyed enemy ships near the fortress continue to do damage until they are nearly fully sunk. What the heck?
The ships in this battle sail many times faster than in any other conflict in the game. I have a theory, based on thousands of battles in other parts of the game, that the speed of the battle can be controlled by the player by how much sails they have raised. Raise all your sails and the enemy ships sail faster too. Fortress is not like that. Your ship's speed does not seem to influence theirs.
There is no high altitude birds-eye view on the direction view toggle on the left side of the screen. With one, you could at least look down on the big picture and strategize for an instant or shoot long distance shots better.
I don't own an Android tablet. I play the game on a medium size smartphone. Perhaps a tablet would give you a much bigger picture, which would allow you to target your mortar shots far more precisely.
Without a doubt, Defend the Fortress is the toughest challenge in the game by far. Several of the map quests and governor quests are very mild. Some are so easy that they could be called boring. I use the word relaxing instead. In the one where you have to sail through the maze using the compass, that's all you have to do. There is no fighting, no whirlpools, no gun turrets. Just sail around corners for a few minutes and you win. The rescue missions are relaxing as well. Use the compass to guide you to the cargo or sailors, and pick them up. Sure, you can blast the two or three enemy ships if you want, but you don't really need to. The Clear the Canyon missions are a bit harder, but if you take your time and blow up everything you will win. When I first played the Escort missions I didn't quite get it, and I'd fill up my ship with loot and go home and dump it. So I wound up fighting a couple hundred waves of enemies for hours at a time. But even then, it was only 4 or 5 ships at a time, and none of them had magical speed or powers. The missions where you have to clear the trade routes are just going from one small battle to another. If you can survive a battle on the high seas you can win this one too. The rescue the captive ship is also relaxing fun once you learn the right approach. Blackbeard's ambush is tough at first, but once you learn to run away first and then fight, it really helps. The mission where you have to avoid the whirlpools is one of my favorites, but it too can be beaten after a couple tries. So in general, none of the missions is really difficult. It's what makes this a fun game for players that aren't hard core gamers. And then you run up against Defend The Fortress, and find you've got a serious Boss Level challenge to deal with.
So is it too hard? Compared to the rest of the game, I'd say it is. The enemy ships are too fast, the fortress is too weak, the viewpoint selector isn't responsive enough, and the enemy ships materialize far too close to the fortress.
Playing DtF a bunch of times, trying new tactics and different ships, means you keep blasting ships of one faction. Which means you've started another war. Oh well that's how it goes.
In the 2.5.0 release they're back again at the 3 star settlement governor quests; some of them even have an extra 2 levels where you have to fight off 6 and then 7 ships.
What's your experience with Defend the Fortress?
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