Any large society will need its protectors. Any thief might need a back up plan. Therefore I have written this guide to warfare in OHOL ranging from the most anti climatic of skirmishes to drawn out city sieges. Now, here are the three main elements of fighting in this ol’ game.
These allow you to kill or stun your opponents when more mundane methods of combat (like calling each other nooby noobs) are not working. Knives, bows and snowballs are the main three weapons provided. Seems simple enough, but using them is a different matter. After killing another player the murderer is slowed and prevented from dropping their then temporarily useless weapon unless a snowball is used, making them vulnerable. Therefore a group is needed to cover any incapacitated allies. When conducting large scale assaults a strength in numbers can easily be the deciding factor for this reason. Therefore you need to make the most of your troops. Make sure that you have a team medic who holds a sterilised knife, several sterilised pads and a needle with ball of thread. The medic might also carry a cart for food supplies. Every other soldier in the militia can therefore free up backpack space for arrows. A knife in the apron is also a handy feature. Another way to improve your chances is to construct temporary field fortifications. Run into combat and quickly set up a series of Adobe walls from surrounding resources for arrow cover. You can build these up later if you plan to stay. Also look out for nearby features such as snow banks and bear caves. I will explain more about these in section three. Snow balls are useful when going on raids as they don’t necessarily kills anyone, meaning there is someone to raid next time. But you need the snow pile to hand otherwise the ammunition will melt. Several snowballs can still be lethal if applied in succession. In these ways a group of soldiers or bandits can attack a settlement or fortress effectively despite resistance. However there are ways the locals can defend themselves more effectively.
Many of the techniques used by attacking forces can be limited by cleaning out nearby hazzards. Build your bases far away from snow drifts which can be used to kill you, or really close to them so you can use the snow balls for yourself. Kill those bears so they don’t kill you. This is the first thing that is advisable done before anything else. You could even trap bears for later use in battles. Also make sure that the village has plenty of food and medical supplies to hand. Starving to death in a fight is rather embarrassing unless it is a siege. If you plan on building up your town for defence purposes then you could employ several techniques. By digging up all the nearby natural sources of food that you can, an invading force without access to your farms could find sieging a difficult matter. Also by filling up the ground with items in the town centre a player can be stopped from dropping their bow and using their knife. This means that defenders can defeat them relatively easily if they are out of arrows. Finally there’s always the more conventional means of warfare. Building walls will keep em out for sure, although don’t box yourselves in with stone walls. When they become ancient you won’t be able to move them and you’ll be trapped. This is also really expensive and may force an attacking party to set up a forge to make the required tools to break down your defences. Alternatively small patches of walls can be used to provide a spot of covering fire, or a fortress system where in the event of an attack the townsfolk retreat into a building with plenty of supplies. Therefore anyone trying to enter the tower must first have an empty hand to open the door. This makes them vulnerable to attack and they may not be able to drop their bow if there’s no space. You might even consider a chambered system so the attackers can’t get in all at once. Locking the door is also an option but be careful for they could forge a key to get in and surprise you all. However you also want to be able to fight off the enemy. I would advise keeping the fort doors defended and unlocked to begin with and if they do not go away then lock them. Stone walls are best advised for building fortresses. You might even need to have children inside a castle or fortress if the siege is ongoing. In this case you might need to attempt to launch a swift counterattack on the foe. Building the castle around a snow drift is useful for this as it gives you a quick easy source of weaponry.
3: Special Circumstances.
“But I want to be an awesome ninja warlord all on my own,” someone could be thinking. Well don’t worry there is a way. Even though one player on their own using conventional weapons is fairly useless except through the use of hit and run tactics, other special techniques can be used to defeat a number of players beside yourself. The main one of these is the use of bears. They will follow you and, while dangerous and hard to control, can be devastating. If you learn to fight alongside a bear then you could defeat several people at once with the bear defending you from attack while you are vulnerable. A bear can charge ahead in a straight line, so simply stand by your enemy and wait for the bear to attack. However this method is very difficult due to how close you need to get to the enemy. Therefore you might stand just between your enemy and the bear before jumping out the way quick. Other methods include camping near a snow drift. Throwing snow balls won’t make you vulnerable like stabbing someone or shooting them will. This means you can effectively ward off attack by standing on a snow drift and lobbing snow balls at anyone who comes near you. As the game progresses there will likely become more and more elaborate ways to defeat your enemies such as via electrocution. But remember to supply any attack force with enough food and medical supplies or you are going to lose.
Although I would not advise fighting each other, sometimes griefers get organised and need dealing with. Or perhaps that old kingdom to the south wants to start raiding you for tools since theirs are running thin. It is therefore useful to have an idea on how to form a militia and fight in one. Forces are also useful for farming bell towers, where the players stand around the tower after it has been rung and filter out all the griefers who would naturally come to try their luck, letting only the innocent players through. Other functions might include industrial scale hunting, clearing out badland bear caves and law enforcement. Any town above a certain population size should consider this somewhat morbid means of power, because perhaps the alternative is much worse.