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Author Topic: Variation on Trickle Feeder Trap  (Read 16392 times)

Kelderek

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Variation on Trickle Feeder Trap
« on: August 13, 2013, 03:24:23 PM »
Inspired by a couple of older traps (Fun egineering projects and Trickle Feeder Trap) I decided to build a new trap that would allow me to stagger the flow of enemies into my kingdom when faced with a large invasion force.

The idea of the trap is to have the lead enemy trigger a set of hatches to drop nearby following enemies down into a pitfall a level below.  The pitfall area below has an elongated path that eventually leads the enemies back to the upper level at a point before the whole trap begins, thus forcing them to path through it again.  The first enemy will always make it through but anything a few steps behind will fall down and be forced to run a longer distance to get back up top.  This separates the enemies nicely.  This process repeats over and over until they all make it through.

Here is an image of the top level showing the enemies pathing into my kingdom.  You'll notice I have two separate "bait" pastures near the start of the trap to lure the enemies into my kingdom.  I also have what I call a LOS trap closer to my guards -- this is simply a small maze that blocks line of sight for incoming enemies so my guards stay close to their training grounds.  The grass is a mess because I recently had removed a different trap system.


This is the level below where you can see the elongated path I force the pitfall victims to follow to get back out to the surface.  I added the second "bait" pasture down here and made the central wall into a rail fence to help enemies not get stuck on that level wandering around aimlessly.  By seeing the animal there they calculate a path that leads them back up top and through my guarded entrance.



The trap is very merchant and gnomad friendly as well, so long as they do not arrive at the same time as an invasion.  If the gnomads are spread out they might path through the pitfall area once or twice, but get in just fine eventually.

Kelderek

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Re: Variation on Trickle Feeder Trap
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2013, 05:51:06 PM »
I made a small revision to the bait pastures.  I decided to remove the trough and place a stockpile nearby, hidden out of line of sight of where any enemies might path.  I then suspended the pastures so that my ranchers would ignore the animals there.  Thankfully, even when suspended an animal will remain in the pasture and will return on its own if it flees from an enemy.  The animals will simply leave the pasture to find food at the nearby stockpile and then return.  This prevents any of my gnomes from catching sight of the enemy prematurely.


syneris

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Re: Variation on Trickle Feeder Trap
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2013, 06:44:19 PM »
Very nice. I was trying to doing something like this on my sudden death game when the nightly attacks started getting above 50 enemies. You seem to have fixed both the issues I was having. First was the battles extending to the trap, causing my soldiers to dance between the pressure plates for the one way entrance (I had two rows). The LOS blocker appears to resolve this (with proper placement). Second was enemies going idle after falling through the trap. Using an animal as bait solves that.


While not exactly a trap, I'm working on a new project that is almost 'finished'.

Kelderek

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Re: Variation on Trickle Feeder Trap
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2013, 07:42:33 PM »
The issue of my soldiers creeping towards the entrance of the trap is really annoying and hard to control.  The LOS maze helps a lot, but it isn't perfect.  I have levers to force the hatches to stay closed in case I need to let the soldiers out (or merchants who are ready to leave).

I have added a second line of hatches after the first one to help the enemies split up even more.  It looks like this now:

To guards <-- PPHHHHHH_PPHHHHHH <-- Outside
P = pressure plate
H = hatch
_ = empty tile

I also lengthened the LOS maze a bit and added another bait animal in that maze to ensure that no enemies get trapped in there either.  This is still very much a work in progress.

Merry76

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Re: Variation on Trickle Feeder Trap
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2013, 10:14:20 PM »
Looks great. It probably does a better job at trickling enemies in than my emu based goblin separator, but that one will have a metric forkton of self powered traps and blunderbustiers that patrol and soot upon the invaders. I guess it will work once it is finished  ;)
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Kelderek

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Re: Variation on Trickle Feeder Trap
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2013, 10:52:33 AM »
Here's a new pic showing the current layout of the trap/maze.  I'm probably over-doing it with the bait pastures, but I figure what the heck, why not?  I pulled up the events log and it shows the ideal order of events: spot-kill-spot-kill-spot-kill...etc.  This last invasion was more than 40 goblins and two-headed ogres in steel + iron.  The first set of hatches are usually sufficient to drop nearby enemies, it is quite rare that enemies making it onto the second set of hatches are close enough to each other that any fall through, but it does happen once or twice per invasion so I will keep it as part of the trap.


Kelderek

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Re: Variation on Trickle Feeder Trap
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2013, 11:05:41 AM »
Ok, I take back what I said about the second set of hatches barely being used.  About 2 minutes after I uploaded that last screenshot I got hit with an invasion of 122 mants -- I'm crapping you negative, I counted it manually from the event log, LOL, it was 122 mants in one invasion!  The second set of hatches was very helpful in this invasion, there were so many mants.

I know I'm tooting my own horn, but it was a thing of beauty to watch them come through only one at a time.  I am quite certain that a mant force that large would have killed some of my soldiers if not all of them had I not implemented some form of trap to stagger their arrival.

This is a custom difficulty: Enemy strength increases over time, 0.5 enemy strength at start, 2.0 size, 2.0 frequency, now in Fall of year 6.

EDIT:  Made a short video of the trap in action:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unphecP0Nr0

dramamine

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Re: Variation on Trickle Feeder Trap
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2013, 02:49:55 PM »
That is brilliant.

I'm almost tempted to start a new world just because something like this would be impossible to put in my current world.

If I start over, I'm definitely doing a difficulty increases over time world. My current map is more of a sandboxy one

brinebold

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Re: Variation on Trickle Feeder Trap
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2013, 09:42:41 AM »
One minor point for improvement: use a male yak or emu. Not an alpaca so you can avoid your gnomes' desire to run up and shear the animal without the need to suspend the pasture.

Kelderek

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Re: Variation on Trickle Feeder Trap
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2013, 10:56:22 AM »
One minor point for improvement: use a male yak or emu. Not an alpaca so you can avoid your gnomes' desire to run up and shear the animal without the need to suspend the pasture.

I'd call that more of an alternative than an improvement  ;)  The "need to suspend a pasture" is nothing more than a single mouse click when I set up the pasture.  Having a suspended pasture has no effect on the effectiveness of the animal as bait.  If they leave the area to flee enemies or to eat at the stockpile, they still come back to the pasture on their own.  Any animal can be used just fine.  The trick is just to make sure your gnomes don't ever have any reason to walk into the pasture area and possibly spot enemies prematurely.

Stickle

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Re: Variation on Trickle Feeder Trap
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2013, 10:45:00 PM »
I'd like to use something like this in my current kingdom, I love the idea of using mechanisms to help my defense, but the 100% effective ones are boring. The thing is, the entrance to my fortress is not conducive to animal pastures... Getting grass to grow would be a major construction project (we are talking about years of game time probably, and my sanity. The first pasture I can do - the one at the front to attract any wandering enemies. But I can't think of any way to grab the enemies' attention again once they've fallen through the hatches. They'll just roam around aimlessly once their path is interrupted, no?

At this point I'm considering just having the hatches open to a pool of lava, but then my army wouldn't have much to do. The other downside of that is on the off chance a goblin dies out in the wild, one of my gnomes will go running to steal his stuff and die a fiery death :-\

I really wish there were more ways of differentiating between friend and foe... There are so many fun things I could do with lava if it wouldn't end up killing my gnomes, too.

Kelderek

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Re: Variation on Trickle Feeder Trap
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2013, 01:37:31 PM »
I'd like to use something like this in my current kingdom, I love the idea of using mechanisms to help my defense, but the 100% effective ones are boring. The thing is, the entrance to my fortress is not conducive to animal pastures... Getting grass to grow would be a major construction project (we are talking about years of game time probably, and my sanity. The first pasture I can do - the one at the front to attract any wandering enemies. But I can't think of any way to grab the enemies' attention again once they've fallen through the hatches. They'll just roam around aimlessly once their path is interrupted, no?

At this point I'm considering just having the hatches open to a pool of lava, but then my army wouldn't have much to do. The other downside of that is on the off chance a goblin dies out in the wild, one of my gnomes will go running to steal his stuff and die a fiery death :-\

I really wish there were more ways of differentiating between friend and foe... There are so many fun things I could do with lava if it wouldn't end up killing my gnomes, too.

The bait pastures are extremely useful, I find myself using them more and more in my kingdoms.  You can overdo it though, you should try to leave a significant portion of the area outside your kingdom with no LOS to any gnomes inside or to any of your pastures -- otherwise you can easily end up with zero mant invasions which can be boring -- you want some of the scouts to never find your entrance.

You do not need to worry about any of your gnomes leaving your kingdom, with this trap it is impossible to leave unless you disable the trap (forcing the hatches to stay closed).  In fact you'll have to remember to disable it if you want to allow merchants to leave.

Stickle

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Re: Variation on Trickle Feeder Trap
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2013, 03:24:47 PM »
The bait pastures are extremely useful, I find myself using them more and more in my kingdoms.  You can overdo it though, you should try to leave a significant portion of the area outside your kingdom with no LOS to any gnomes inside or to any of your pastures -- otherwise you can easily end up with zero mant invasions which can be boring -- you want some of the scouts to never find your entrance.

You do not need to worry about any of your gnomes leaving your kingdom, with this trap it is impossible to leave unless you disable the trap (forcing the hatches to stay closed).  In fact you'll have to remember to disable it if you want to allow merchants to leave.

Good advice! I'm not worried about mant invasions, they will come. I plan to have just a single pasture outside my main wall (fenced off of course) to entice any wanderers around my main entrance; the mants will come :)

And, when you pointed out that my gnomes won't be able to leave the fortress with this trap, it made me think of a solution to the problem of the enemies losing focus once they've fallen through the hatches. I can do what you did, with two strips of hatches, except the entrance back up will be between the two. That way, even if they do lose focus they will eventually find their way back to me (nowhere else for them to go).

I don't plan on ever disabling the trap, instead I intend to make a secret entrance that I'll open for new gnomes and merchants (the lever to activate it will also seal the main entrance so no gnomes get confused and end up stuck in the trap, potentially still full of wandering goblins and ogres and mants.

Gnomarch

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Re: Variation on Trickle Feeder Trap
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2013, 04:23:06 PM »
It's an interesting concept :)

I would make a small adjustment. Currently it releases the goblins back into the world, potentially breaking their pathing and making them scatter, where they can wreak havok on merchants and gnomads. Perhaps the trap should place them in a contained area so that they path directly to the military and not outside.

It depends on what your goals are of course.

Kelderek

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Re: Variation on Trickle Feeder Trap
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2013, 04:26:58 PM »
The idea is to force them to come back through the trap again, over and over.  Each time they go through the trap only one or two enemies make it through and the remaining ones are forced to go through it all again.  This is why I have a bait pasture located near this point, so that enemies spot the animal as they emerge from below ground and immediately try to find their way into the kingdom to kill that animal.  So pathing isn't much of a problem in this case, they do not scatter at all.  The video I linked earlier shows this fairly well.