Fort battles are a player-versus-player turn based game within The West. Two teams comprised of tens to hundreds of players, the attackers and defenders, fight over a series of rounds to complete a victory condition. The only way to take over a fort owned by another town is achieve victory as the attacking town.
Before the battle
To initiate a fort battle, a town’s councillor or founder must travel to an enemy fort and click the declare button in the lower right corner, scheduling a battle to start in 24 hours’ time. Declaring a fort battle has a base cost of $1500 for a small fort, $5000 for a medium fort and $10000 for a big fort, doubled for every battle already declared within the previous three hours. This money is automatically deducted from the attacking town’s treasury. Once this has occurred, a report will be sent to all players involved, alerting them that the hatchet has been dug up and requesting their assistance at the battle.
Joining the battle
You must join before a battle to participate in it. To do so, open the fort screen and click the attack or defend button in the lower right corner. Since Version 2.08, all players can sign up without being physically present at the fort and also participate in fort battles regardless of whether they belong to a town. If you are not an alliance member of the attacking or defending towns then you must pick which side to fight for.
Before the battle begins you can continue to move around the map and perform other tasks as normal. However, your character must be present at the fort for the start of the battle, or they will be excluded from it. Once the battle has commenced, you cannot do any other jobs, complete quests, use consumable items, change clothes or join other battles; you also cannot leave your town or be kicked out. You must then wait until the battle concludes.
After joining a fort battle, you will be shown the pre-battle screen, allowing you to choose your starting and target positions. Although this is not necessary, it is highly advisable, as the default behaviour is to select a random starting location and move attackers towards the flag. Attackers can only select a starting position in the red area (surrounding the edges of the map) and similarly the defenders can only select a starting position in the blue area (inside the fort). Click a valid location once to select a starting position and again to choose a target location. These positions can be edited later by clicking and dragging the markers. Once the battle begins, if two players have requested the same starting position, one will be moved to the nearest free position. Priority is given to players from the attacking and defending alliances, otherwise the first player takes the position.
Before the battle, generals and captains can assign ranks to all players that have joined on their side. If the number of players on one side exceeds the server limit, players with a lower ranking will be randomly removed before players with a higher ranking.
General - Automatically assigned to founders of the attacking town and the fort owner town as well as the attacking town's councillors. As officers, generals can assign ranks up to captain and cannot be demoted.
Captain - Automatically assigned to founders of fort member towns and councillors of all defending towns. As officers, captains can assign ranks up to sergeant and can only be demoted by generals.
Sergeant - An ordinary enlisted rank.
Private - An ordinary enlisted rank.
Recruit - Automatically assigned to players joining a fort battle.
Reservist - An ordinary enlisted rank.
Traitor - Cannot access the fort chat.
The battle map is divided into sectors (the larger regions) and fields (individual squares). Sectors can only hold one team at a time whereas fields can only hold one player at a time. The ability to ‘control’ sectors by positioning one or more comrades in them, blocking it to the enemy, is an important aspect of battle strategy. Some sectors provide advantages or disadvantages to aiming and dodging.
The towers offer the highest bonuses on the map. They contribute strongly to both aiming (attack value) and dodging (defend value), with increasing effect at higher building levels. Each tower belongs to a specific class: NE is dueller, SE is worker, SW is soldier and NW is adventurer. When standing on your class' tower, you receive an additional bonus to both aiming and dodging.
The walls offer the next best bonuses on the map. They also contribute to both aiming (attack value) and dodging (defend value), with increasing effect at higher building levels. Each section of the wall provides the same bonuses, to all classes.
The centre-south two fields of the wall form the gate. The gate provides the same type of bonuses as the wall but in lesser quantities. Both fields are at ground level, ie the height is zero, extending nearby players' line of sight through the fort.
The barracks, resource stock and headquarters are shown on the battle map. They contribute slightly to both aiming (attack value) and dodging (defend value), with increasing effect at higher building levels. The location of each building roughly matches its position on the fort window: the headquarters to the west, the barracks in the north-east and the resource stock in the south-east.
The sectors surrounding the flag are the only areas to offer a penalty to attackers. The fields adjacent to the flag apply a penalty of -25% to both aiming (attack value) and dodging (defend value), while the surrounding sectors apply a smaller penalty of -12.5%. Both attackers and defenders get this penalty. This area also has a small height, so it can be seen from the towers over the inner buildings.
Fort battles are organised into rounds, with approximately a minute between them. Each round every living player has the opportunity to shoot and then move, performed automatically by an AI for offline participants. The attackers can win by holding the flag for five consecutive rounds or eliminating the defenders; the defenders can win by surviving for 55 rounds or eliminating the attackers.
Order of events
Players shoot, if they can, and then move once per round. The player order is determined as follows, in order:
- All defenders have their turn before the attackers.
- Higher ranked players have their turn before lower ranked players.
- Alliance members have their turn before freelancers.
When two players have the same priority after the first three rules are applied, the tie is broken by giving way to players with higher leadership, then higher dodging, then higher aiming and finally the lower player ID.
If a player swaps position with a team member (see below), the second player to have their turn naturally moves before they shoot.
Each round, it is possible to move into any free field in your current sector or an adjacent sector that is not controlled by the enemy; any longer distances will take multiple rounds to travel. Online players can target a field by clicking on their character’s icon and then clicking on any field, even if occupied. Until the target field becomes reachable, the AI will continue to move players randomly in the direction towards it, using the shortest distance possible. If two friendly players both target the opposite’s field, the arrow indicating the movement path will turn green and the players will swap during the next round, even though neither field is free.
When shooting, players automatically direct their fire at the closest enemy visible to them. Alternatively, if they have targeted their movement to an enemy controlled sector, they will instead shoot at the closest enemy visible within that sector. This allows for a degree of choice in aim. Friendly fire is not possible.
Areas of the map shown in grey are outside the player’s line of sight. They can continue to see what is happening in these areas, however they cannot shoot at or be shot by enemies within them. Visibility is not blocked by other players but by structures such as walls and towers that have height. The height is shown in the pre-battle tooltips, however this value is only used for calculation and does not apply directly.
Exchange of fire
Several factors influence whether you hit or miss your target, and how much damage is then dealt. These include your skills and clothing, your target’s skills and clothing, your positions, any sector bonuses and some luck.
Each round, every player has an ‘attack’ and ‘defend’ bonus calculated for them. The greater the attack value, the more likely one is to hit their target and similarly the greater the defend value, the less likely one is to be hit themselves. (In other words, these values do not correspond to the attacking and defending sides.) When calculating whether a hit is landed successfully, the number used is randomly taken between zero (inclusive) and the corresponding value (exclusive). The higher of the randomised attack and defend values wins.
Three of five possible skills contribute to the attack and defend values. These are:
- Leadership, used always.
- Hiding, used always by the attackers.
- Setting Traps, used always by the defenders.
- Aiming, used only for the attack value.
- Dodging, used only for the defend value.
However, although not contributing directly, health remains the most important skill by allowing you to survive longer.
In version 2.42, hiding and setting traps have replaced stamina and hiding (respectively).This can be seen in the table below, where the skill points required for the same in-battle bonus are shown on the same row:
|Bonus||Leadership / Aiming / Dodging||Hiding / Setting Traps|
|+1||1 point||1 point|
|+2||4 points||3 points|
|+3||9 points||6 points|
|+4||16 points||10 points|
|+5||25 points||15 points|
|+6||36 points||20 points|
|+7||49 points||26 points|
|+8||64 points||32 points|
|+9||81 points||39 points|
|+10||100 points||46 points|
Generally, each further point placed in a single skill is slightly less effective than the one before it. Detailed information on how these numbers are calculated can be found below in the Detailed formulas section.
When you shoot, the bonus your targets receive for their defensive values is increased depending on the distance. The closer the shooter is to their target, the greater the chance of hitting. Distance has no impact on the damage inflicted.
- +10 dodge for target at a distance of 5 fields
- +25 dodge for target at a distance of 10 fields
- +44 dodge for target at a distance of 15 fields
The attack and defend values can also be boosted by direct bonuses. These can come from special sectors, such as the fort towers, walls and buildings, as explained earlier. Additionally, some items and buffs offer bonuses to individuals and/or the entire sector. The adventurer's, soldier's and worker's character class bonuses also affect the calculations. Finally, the attack value receives a default bonus of 25 and the defend value receives a default bonus of 10.
The damage dealt per shot depends primarily on the gun that the shooter wields. A weapon inflicts a random number from within the stated range, but no more than 33% of the opponent’s maximum health points. Additionally, this damage can be increased through direct bonuses and skills and likewise reduced from the opponent’s resistance. For example, a player with 1200 health points cannot receive more than 396 damage from a single hit, although they can still be knocked out in one round if they are hit by at least four separate players.
Unlike aiming, only one skill influences each players' damage and resistance values at a time. These are:
- Leadership, used when shooting.
- Hiding, used when dodging by attackers.
- Setting Traps, used when dodging by defenders.
Unlike skills contributing to aiming, each point placed in a single skill will have equivalent effect, no matter how many are added. Detailed information on how to calculate precise values can be found below in the Detailed formulas section.
Your final damage and resistance values are divided by the number of health points your character has at full health. For example, a character with 2000 damage from skills and their weapon with 1000 health will resist 20 damage per shot, however a similar character with 5000 health will only resist 4 damage per shot. Keep in mind, however, that having higher resistance will not necessarily allow you to survive longer than having high health points. Similarly, sacrificing health points for greater damage will minimise the number of rounds you can survive to target enemies.
Unlike aiming calculations, there are no sectors on the map that provide a bonus to damage or resistance. However, items and buffs are available that offer bonuses to individuals and/or the entire sector. The dueller's critical hit bonus as well as the soldier's leadership bonus (to a lesser extent) both contribute to overall damage too. There is no minimum damage; if a player enters a battle with no fort weapon equipped, they fight with the Stone that has a damage range of 50-110.
All values are calculated internally to twelve decimal places, then rounded or truncated as needed for display. Differences will frequently arise where class bonuses affect the calculations. For a summary of these, please visit the character classes page.
- Hiding is used by the attackers and setting traps is used by the defenders.
- Hiding is used by the attackers and setting traps is used by the defenders.
- Weapon Damage includes bonuses from items and buffs.
- MaxHP is the amount of health points the shooter has at full health.
- Hiding is used by the attackers and setting traps is used by the defenders.
- MaxHP is the amount of health points the target has at full health.
After the battle
Once a battle is over, all characters will be updated to reflect their new health and knocked out players sent to the hotel. A battle report is then sent to all players. If the attackers won the battle, provided the fort was not under administrator takeover protection, fort ownership will transfer immediately. The defenders will no longer be able to access the fort and the attacking town gains full founder rights. Other towns that participated in the attack do not automatically receive a membership slot in the fort. A cooldown protection period of 24 hours protects the fort from further battle declarations.
Everybody who participated in the battle receives bonds and experience points. The amount of experience depends on your level, the damage you caused, the duration you survived and whether you won or lost the battle. You even receive points if you passed out. Additionally, any on-hand cash lost by players that passed out during the battle is randomly distributed amongst the survivors.
Each battle report shows how many bonds you earnt and for what reason. The following factors all contribute:
- 1 bond for attending the battle.
- 1 bond if your team wins.
- Up to 9 bonds for having the highest count in certain statistics.
- Up to 10 bonds for your battle stats.
- 0.1 bonds per hit.
- 0.1 bonds per dodged shot.
- 0.0005 bonds per damage point inflicted.
- 1 bond per knocked out opponent.
- 0.1 bonds per round online, up to 5 bonds.
Even if you qualify for more, you never receive more than 26 bonds.
Harambe is lost but never forgotten.
Maneuvers are essentially "practice" fortbattles. Detailed information can be found here: maneuvers.
For those that just started fort fighting, here is a guide with some basic information that will help you through your first battles.