12 : The East Gate of Troy
Designing the East Gate of Troy, with all its angles and sloped walls, was certainly a challenge – and a fun one.
The East Gate of Troy’s citadel has the outward appearance of a small side gate. Indeed, the citadel had four pretty similar minor gateways whose remains still exist. The East Gate may have been designed originally by the prehistoric builders as a necessary access point into the citadel for the Bronze Age population of Troy. However, any day-to-day practicality would hide its clever defensive features.
The East Gate at the time of Troy VI lacked the dog’s leg that was added at a later date. During this earlier period (let’s say at the time of Homer’s Trojan War) attacking the East Gate would mean suffering missile fire from two sides – in the future it would be three! If the attacking force could break through the first gateway they then entered a ‘killing box’. Brought to a halt by yet another gate at a cunning 90-degree angle to the first, they would find themselves at the mercy of the missile fire of the defenders above who now encircled them.
While I worked on the design, I tried to imagine how an attack on the gateway might play out on the tabletop battlefield. How would gamers handle the daunting task of gaining entry against a determined defence? Would they try some sort of subterfuge – perhaps in a wooden horse sort of a way? Maybe the defenders might leave the first gateway wide open in an attempt to lure the attackers into the killing zone! It all went to show how fact can compete perfectly well with fiction!