Scale usually gives the advantage in Illyriad. An attack with 10,000 troops will crush a defence with 1,000, regardless of terrain and tactics and similar subtleties. However, Blockades can favour the small as much as the big.
A Blockade of just 1 Commander and 10 Soldiers seems to have the same chance to capture 70 Caravans as a Blockade with 10 Commanders and 10,000 soldiers. For a low risk, the same reward is attainable.
Moreover, Caravans seem to have to dodge each Blockade in turn. They have a percentage chance to dodge each. First the longest-established (first to be set up) Blockade has a chance to grab the ‘vans, then the second longest established has a chance, and so on. If there are 8 Blockades, the Caravans have to dodge all 8 to get through. So, if you have one big Blockade, you have a much lower chance of capturing Caravans than if you encircle the target city with 8 tiny Blockades.
Hitting a target settlement with a swarm of little Blockades also has another advantage: it is quite confusing for players and their allies. Especially if the player is on-line only infrequently, it is hard to keep track of the Blockades and reliably eliminate all of them. (“Oi, wasn’t someone going to crush that Blockade at Bob’s City?” – “Yeah, I did that yesterday” – “No, it’s still there” – “Hang on, that’s on a different square” – “Right, I’ve sent troops again” – “Wait a minute, there are two more Blockades there now!” – etc.)
So, that’s Blockade Swarms. The Attack tactic may favour the biggest players. But the Blockade tactic is just as useful to small, tenacious players.
[This post is the second of a series on the Blockade in Illyriad. The full list of posts is here.]