From: St. Petersburg, Florida, USA
While I can't tell where in the sequence the fort reduction occurs, it is ahead of the odds in the combat reports. Which, to me, seems completely bass ackwards.
The combat odds should have a direct impact in determining the chances for success of the engineering effort. If the odds are so abysmal that the firepower of the troops in the fort is soo overwhelming that the engineers cannot even get near the fortifications to place the charges then thier chances of success would be greatly reduced.
Allowing the engineers to reduce the fort before the odds are calculated looks a lot like a free pass for the engineers.
It is less bass ackwards than you might think. The odds are calculated *after* all of the combat (artillery bombardment, then devices firing at each other) occurs. The odds only determine if the defender retreats. The combat engineers are in the front line and have to survive all the shooting. If, when the dust settles, you still have enough combat engineers alive and undisrupted, you have a chance to reduce the forts, even if your final odds are (substantially) less than 1:1. Obviously, if your finals odds were, say, 4:1, there is a much better chance, all things being equal, that enough of your engineers survived to take the fort down a level.
Thank you. That's exactly the kind of explanation I was hoping for.
I do still wonder if the AI makes a 1-99 odds attack for the sole purpose of a chance at reducing the fort. If I attacked at 1-99 odds and succeeded in reducing a fort against a PBEM opponent as the AI has done to me I would venture to guess that I might be labeled as having played in a "gamey" manner. Do you know what "substantially" is actually quantified to be? Can you tell us at what level of abysmal odds the chance for fort reduction drops off to 0?