Castle Sieges and PC games

My oldest son has a castle project to do. Basically he needs to build and present a model castle to the class. He must choose from either the early, middle or late middle ages and he’s pretty keen to build his model as a castle under siege.

It occurs to me that mucking about with some decent simulations of castle sieges from the various periods would give him some context for the things he’s reading about. Does anyone have any ideas for PC games that might allow him to build, defend or attack a castle? I’d guess a Total War game would be one idea but I don’t know that series well and perhaps there are better options out there.


For first-person attack or defense, go with Mount & Blade. Haven’t seen any in Warband yet but the original uses siege towers for some castles.

You might look at Strongholdas well

…is ok, Castles II is far better and GOG.COM has them both for $5.99

ETA - Nevermind my post, Lute is all over it. :slight_smile:


Not recent, but Lords of the Realm was pretty rockin’.

If you go with Total War, Medieval II would give you the prettiest castle models and the nicest variety of siege engines to attack them with. High level castle towns will have largish walled cities with a higher walled castle within, and a keep inside that.

Medieval II Total War, Stronghold and Mount & Blade Warband will give him the best impressions of castles and sieges, IMHO - at least from a video game perspective :wink:

This should definitely be supplemented with some reading and maybe a documentary or two of course.

There’s a small mountain of library books in the living room so we’re covered there.

Guess I’ll go see if anyone nearby has one of the recommended games and we’ll see what kind of little warlord I’ve got running around the house.

And Luke I’d forgotten completely about Castles - fun game. Wonder why they don’t make more of those kinds of games. I guess they’re rolled into bigger strategy games now.

Bonus points if he makes the wells and granaries on the inside of the castles stand out.

Well, it would be a bonus for the people living there in the 3+ years it usually took to end sieges.

He has mentioned wells and how the people in the castle would need water. Granaries however have never come up. I’ll see if I can get him to link water to food and food to storage. I’m pretty sure the length of sieges hasn’t sunk in - not that a PC game with time compression will help of course. :))

The best wells I’ve seen around Spanish castles weren’t visible from the outside, as they were inside the stronghold proper.

Granaries were also often not separate buildings (which would have been a vulnerability). The “siege granary” would usually be stone and part, again, of the stronghold proper. I’ve seen some where 1/3 of the habitable volume was granaries/larders, strewn about the building if it was large enough for it.

I don’t think this is correct. Though I’d like to be proved wrong.

As far as I know sieges didn’t usually take more than a few months to either succeed or be broken (by reinforcements). Many only lasted days, others did indeed last many months, but I haven’t heard of years, except in rare circumstances, not as the usual length of time i took one o be resolved.

I have heard that the siege machines of the time weren’t really that effective. It’s not like the games where you can bring down a wall in a few minutes.

My study of sieges has been haphazard, but I’ve looked it up now and you were definitely right. Usually decided between 2 and 3 months, with some notable exceptions in both directions. Like the sieges of Paris and Acre, which lasted one and a half and two years, or far out there the siege of Candia, which lasted 22 years. Or the recent siege of Sarajevo, which lasted for four years. Those are the exceptions to the rule, though.

So I’ll reword my point; sieges were often and mostly broken early in the first few months, but they could drag on for years if the defenders couldn’t muster the forces to break the investiture and the attackers were content to starve them out.