Estates are a source of raw materials and gold in Stronghold 2.
Village estates are found in almost all maps and add a twist to the gameplay. These estates produce certain raw materials and other products and run a small economy. In the beginning of the game, they either neutral or belong to a landlord. When an estate is owned by someone, the estate produces goods and delivers them via its carter's posts. A vassal estate also generates a mere 10 gold every game month.
Neutral estates can be acquired by buying them for 100 honor. This time the estate will activate its carters and start delivering goods to the owner.
Estates owned by enemies can be taken away by sending troops to the village flag. When troops get near it, a countdown from 2000 units starts. The more soldiers sent, the faster the clock ticks. Ownership changes immediately, when the clock reaches 0. However, all hostile troops nearby must be eliminated or chased away to start converting. If an enemy's troops get near the flag, the conversion fails.
It is possible to build on a friendly estate. Military buildings cannot be built, but an armory or an engineer's guild can. Buildings cost the same to erect, but upon demolition, no goods are returned. Village estates cannot trade, nor build armies.
In Kingmaker and multiplayer games, village ownership can be managed between players before the game is started. When a lord is defeated, their estate is converted to a regular village estate.
A castle estate is created, when a computer lord's castle falls in custom skirmish. The estate is controlled by a simple AI, which inherits the former castle's template and tries to rebuild it every time (walls, towers and traps, respectively). It also runs a more advanced economy and actually creates armies if ordered to do so. Some goods are sent by the estate as well, mostly food and wood. Excess buildings from the former lord won't be replaced.
This estate can be utilized to three different roles:
- Economic: in this state the estate produces and delivers goods as village estates do.
- Defensive: the estate builds up a small garrison to defend itself.
- Aggressive: the estate builds up a fair-sized army and attacks one of the owner's enemies.
The castle estate produces all food types and acquires wood, stone and iron. It also places poleturners, fletchers, an armourer and a blacksmith. It also buys in spears to speed up recruitment.
The estate uses spearmen and archers to defend and attack. The attacking army consists around 50 spearmen and 15 archers. A siege camp is also erected by the allied estate and it builds two catapults and hires a dozen laddermen. It sends the spearmen to the fore, later followed by the archers.
- Note: castle estates usually appear in custom missions and in a few campaign missions. Most of the time they are replaced with a village estate, which behaves just like a normal estate does.