Strongholds are a worker tier job. They're the lowest tier. A planet under siege will start losing pops. As pops are lost the first jobs to be left empty are the lowest tier jobs. Everyone moves up and gets promoted to nobles and scientists and artisans, meanwhile the strongholds become empty. All of those defense armies despawn.
It only takes a few lost pops to cause defense armies to vanish, leaving planets effectively helpless against invasion. Even if you cover your planet in strongholds as long as you have any specialist or better jobs the strongholds will rapidly empty. A bombarding fleet doesn't need to kill your defending armies, they just need to take out a few pops and there go all of your ground defenses.
This makes it effectively impossible to defend a planet on the ground. It also makes invading any planet a cakewalk. There's no effective resistance on the ground anymore.
Cadia falls with this kind of job priority system.
Suggested fix: bump up soldier jobs to a much higher priority, either as specialists or even lowest on the noble tier. This would keep soldiers at their posts even in case of siege, invasion, or civil unrest. Soldiers would be the last line of defense of your planetary government, not the first to desert their posts.
© Post "Besieged planets disband all their defense armies due to the loss of a few pops" for game Stellaris.
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