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26 - Vultures Claw

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Kester Mission 26 - Vulture's Claw

This difficult mission pairs the Human Lord and The Snake, Duc Beauregard against three foes: Caliph "The Scorpion", Caliph "The Jackal" and Sultan Abdul. The Human Lord starts with 3000 gold, and everyone else has 40,000. Gameplay begins in 0 A.D.

This is the first mission I've played where my ally has actually been of help. The Snake only asked for a few goods and was usually agreeable to attacking when I requested his aid. He occasionally asked for my aid, which I satisfied by lining his walls with some of my own crossbowmen and archers. I discovered in one early attempt that in this mission it's best not to ignore his request for immediate assistance - he will fall to the Caliphs if you don't help him.

The Scorpion's keep is positioned in the center of the map. The Jackal and Sultan Abdul are together at the top right, and you and the Snake are together at the bottom right. Take advantage of your ally's early monetary advantage by building a wall extending from the walls he builds. Don't try to build your own separate keep - you'll be sharing armies as well as access to farmland and quarries, so it's best to build together.

I started by placing quarries and ox tethers, iron mines, apple trees, armory and barracks. I built a wall from the Snake's tower, going around my keep to the edge of the map. I then began the long slow process of building my army. (Note: I did try early attacks on the enemy with quickly purchased forces, but even very early in the game the odds are too overwhelming.) While your army is building up, there will be a number of small invasions from your foes, but if you have crossbowmen with braziers along all your walls, you should be okay.

The first enemy I attacked was The Scorpion. (Note: On one attempt I marched my entire army around the edge of the map to attack Sultan Abdul first, but as I was doing so The Jackal destroyed The Snake... and I lost against the Sultan anyway.) If you aren't careful, all three enemies in this mission will quickly destroy your forces by burning them. To get around this I set catapults to destroy the towers first, followed by a small ground crew of macemen to destroy any siege equipment outside the castle walls. Then I launched the main offensive. This same strategy worked for all three. When I attacked The Scorpion, I had about 45 crossbowmen, 4 catapults, 15 spearmen, and 140 macemen.

Next in the order of attack (as he was then the weakest at that point) was Sultan Abdul. I didn't place the mercenary post until after defeating The Scorpion. The 3800 gold I acquired from his defeat enabled me to build up my army with Arabian swordsmen. Before marching my army north (to get them out of reach of The Jackal and into position to attack), I had built it up to include: 25 archers, 5 spearmen, 60 macemen, 45 crossbowmen, 31 pikemen, 29 engineers, 5 catapults, 17 slingers, and 235 Arabian swordsmen. I positioned the catapults to the west and northwest of Sultan Abdul's keep and set them to destroying the gatehouse and towers. When they were down, I rushed the army in, and was able to defeat the Sultan.

The strategy for The Jackal was the same, but was a bit more difficult as his castle included an inner and outer courtyard (separated with towers) and two gatehouses. Ask your ally The Snake for help in invading - he will probably agree. His forces will draw fire to the south, allowing you to attack from the north. Again, I set catapults on all sides of the castle to destroy the towers and gatehouses. They will quickly be rebuilt as his quarries are pretty well protected. When the towers are down, go in with your macemen first. They can quickly destroy the gatehouses if they are rebuilt. Then march the rest of your army to the keep to take out The Jackal. I finally beat him with an army of 23 archers, 70 macemen, 45 crossbowmen, 25 pikemen, 14 engineers, 4 catapults, and 180 Arabian swordsmen.

This is a very long game. The first enemy wasn't defeated until year 24, the second in 31, and the final one in year 39. If someone else has an alternate strategy that allows for a shorter game, I would love to see it!

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AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
palestine thanks....this walkthrough helped me alot to beat the caliphs and the sultan....great walkthrough
TheFrank I don't know if this is faster, but here's an alternate strategy. You know the part where the iron is at the north (right near the bottom of the hill where the Scorpion's keep is)...I built a sort of square around that to contain it, then enclosed my keep with walls (I basically let the Snake on his own. I hate that guy.) Farms, 3 stone quarries, etc. at the bottom.

Basically the square around the iron mine I fortified by making like triple-layer thick walls, and then making another wall in the center crossing it, and THEN covering the outer edge with tall towers (this is of course done bit by bit). Behind the 'defense square', are two square towers with ballistas and some crossbowmen on top of it. (The square towers are inside the keep). Behind the 1st and second walls near the iron are fire ballistas. The idea is that you can defend the castle with as little troops as possible (since most of the enemy's arrows either get blocked by the tall towers or your walls), so you can just ignore the attacks and concentrate on building up your army. Some pitch against the first later of the outer walls may be necessary to fend off foot soldiers; remember to go after catapults with your fire ballistas.

First I built a row of trebuchets near the iron, again situating them against walls so arrows don't get to them. I had about 4 when I started battering against the Scorpion's keep. Afterwards I just used macemen to kill him. I think I had 40. His castle was relatively empty by then and I still managed to salvage most of them.

Then I went for the Jackal--this went a little easier since the Snake was sending archers against him, distracting him. Eh. I went for overkill anyway--dozens of catapults and fire ballistas levelling his keep to dust. The Sultan followed--just be careful to protect your catapults with archers and some knights or macemen since he would send scores of soldiers towards you.

[Edited on 06/20/06 @ 03:17 AM]

mavengloiven This was a breeze when compared with the last level, #25 "The Forgotten." You start with less cash, but you've got resources up the wazoo. You also get a nice bit of stone so you can build a bunch of defensive towers right away.

I built a wall right off Snake's wall, and I put up 3 square seige towers with mangonels to pummel the guy right across from me from the very start of the game, and I also put up about 3 med. size towers for archers. I bought a bunch of archers, and also built some fire ballistas to bolster my castle against his onslaught of arabic swordsmen. Once you get your defenses straight, then you just need to reinforce Snake's castle - because of his position he will take the brunt of the attacks. I built some towers onto his castle, gave him about 25 archers and about 15 swordsmen for his keep, and I put a BUNCH of fire ballista around the back of his castle where the "blue" lord likes to attack. Piece of cake. After you train a few mangonels/trebuchet on the first guy right across from you - he goes down pretty easy. Then I built a big army and headed north to take on the black lord - caliph I think. 100 swordsmen, 100 crossbowmen, 50 horse archers, 3 catapults, 15 fire ballista. THESE ENEMIES HAVE NO SEIGE TOWERS, and so they are pretty easy to topple with a (1) trebuchet/catapults, (2) then send in 100 crossbowmen to take out all their archers/fire throwers, and (3) fire ballista and 100 swordsmen. Probably overkill, but I like a total romp once in awhile. Piece of cake. The Snake provided some good support, too - kind of nice not having his annoying crap all over my arse for once.
Sir Launcelaut The trick where you put the ox post in front of thier gatehouses doesn't work!I did that and the jackal and the sultan sent over 500 swordsmen{that was only half of the army}that destroyed me and the snake. So to anyone who likes the ox post trick, this isn't a level for you.(but kester, crossbowmen can't use braizers)

[Edited on 01/08/07 @ 11:41 AM]

Birowizard There are several tricks/tips to this one that might help:
1) you start with a large supply of pitch. you can either sell it for gold (Snake refuses to give you money, skinflint that he is), or you can use it to place pitch ditches in front of your joint keeps. (I chose the latter, and then a little later on when the Scorpion/Jackal both Attacked Snake, I just set them on fire).
2) Building your walls in line with the Snake's and adding to his walls with towers/bowmen, etc., actually makes sense: you get to keep a wealthy neighbour alive, and he will send you food/small arms on request.
3) Building towers early on is necessary, but too much too soon will overstretch you; build one or 2 towers and keep them fully manned, then gradually expand as you wear down the Scorpion's denfenses with mangonels.
4) The snake, like all AIs is voracious in his appetite for farmland; get yours in quickly or he'll take all the space and leave you none! (Wheat hops and dairy are really all you need to start).
5) At the south western corner of the map are plentiful stone, iron and trees! Make use of these by placing mines and woodcutters as soon as you can and you'll find that they don't even get attacked by the opponents; you can use these for your economy.

Cheers!
Birowizard
DaveO I found this mission surprisingly easy. In my game I also gave everything the snake wanted. He always attacked when I asked him but he never sent me goods.
Illpassonusernam this mission was kinda hard the snake usally takes up all the oasis so hes annoying.

[Edited on 11/21/07 @ 04:15 PM]

The Executioner1 Difficult mission. Id start by placing the Granary, 3 additional stockpiles, barracks, market and an armory. immediately fill your keep with 15 crossbowmen and 10 arabian bows. build at least one dairy and as many orchards as you can. extend your castle from the snake's. a moat will prove valuble. start leather and crossbow production. when you are well dug in, maneuver an army of 50 crossbowmen and 50 assassins around the caliphs and kill the sultan. (this gives you a nice gold bonus). then attack the caliph on the hill, and use the hill as a staging point to attack the other caliph. trebs help in the final seige.
Lord Wendel Wow I finaly figured out why snake makes that S shaped castle. If you look closely at it one of the ends has a thick oval shape to it with 2 peices of wall missing (those are the eyes of the snake). His castle is in the shape of a snake.

Sorry if you already knew this but I never did and it kinda amazed me (never thought of it being in the shape of a snake).
themaster123456 here is some help for the black player at the back(cant remember name)this is good help for those who have killed the yellow player (cant remember name) go around the edge pf the entire map with about 25 crossbows and 20 swords. there should be slingers running in and out of hid castle use crossbow to kill them. then destroy a lookout tower and kill king (easy)
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