I am running Princes of the Apocalypse for my group and have determined that the next session will be
the Ice Shield Orcs side quest.
In this scenario, our heroes meet up with about twenty some odd NPCs who are anticipating an orc raid on their ranch. The description of the ranch mentions that they've built defenses, dug trenches, constructed mounds, and that sort of thing. The overhead view map suggests palisades with a few gates. An invading force of many orcs arrive and attack in waves, beginning with javelins, but eventually working their way up to melee weapons. They even start lighting fires at one point.
My question is this: although there are a few suggested ways of dealing with such large numbers in battle, there is no information provided about how to deal with the actual physical defenses! I'm new to managing what essentially amounts to a siege, but I'm very eager to do it. I just want to feel comfortable running a battle of this magnitude, and I want it to be awesome for my players!
I've considered a few options, but I'd love to hear recommendations from more experienced DMs.
1. The weak points of the palisades are the gates, so invading forces will look to overwhelm them. 2. The palisades can potentially be broken, it's a matter of time and of palisade HP, although how I'd determine either, I don't know... that didn't seem to be on the table I found for breaking objects (yes, it's wood, but it's part of a larger structure...).
3. Treat the palisades as essentially impervious. The orcs can attempt to climb the barriers. They make the appropriate checks and are targets while they try.
I can improvise much of this, but would greatly appreciate any insight from people who've run this or similar scenarios.