A kraal is a defensive building that replaces the stockade for the Netherlands and Portugal. Generally speaking,
- Kraals replace the stockade and blockhouse, and while they have the blockhouse's offensive stats, they have higher hitpoints, as well as very extensive LOS and the ability to locate hidden units.
- Kraals gather happiness from the following: pelts; wool; horses; bison - the rate is +1 for each type.
- Kraals increase your food gather rate, based on the number of merchants you have deployed: the rate is +1/3 food per merchant.
- You can garrison any land unit in a kraal, be it a cavalryman, a cannon, or a tank.
ExampleEditA Portuguese player has built 9 kraals, and has obtained the following patches: 1 bison, and 2 horses. His happiness rate now is +(2)(9), which is +18% happiness. Additionally, he has 6 merchants. His total gather rate is 9 x 12 = +18 food per second.
There are drawbacks to relying on Kraals, however.
Firstly, kraals are not cheap - while they initially cost the same as a normal bastion, they have an added food cost.
Secondly, outposts are not available to factions capable of constructing kraals - that means that while kraals are fairly strong, both Portugal and the Netherlands are at a disadvantage against air units as the kraal does not have the ability to target air units, unlike normal outposts.
Thus, when a Dutch or Portuguese player starts off, they will really need to think carefully over how these monster buildings are placed, as although they are the best defensive structures in the game, the number of these buildings that can be constructed will be limited. It would be often best to place down kraals in highly strategic areas to hold them as a placeholder for forts and fortresses.