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Downloads Home » Stronghold Crusader: Invasions » The Citadel of Tripoli

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The Citadel of Tripoli

Author File Description
File Details
Map Size: 400x400 (Large)
Difficulty: Hard
Citadel of Tripoli

Overlooking the city of Tripoli is the imposing Citadel, which has been renovated and changed many times during history. Today the castle’s main features are an octagonal Fatimid construction converted to a church by the Crusaders, some Crusader structures of the12th-13th centuries, a number of 14th century Mamluk additions, as well as additions made by the Ottoman in the 16th century. The present state of this huge fortress (140 meters long and 70 meters wide) is largely the result of extensive restoration work by Mustafa Barbar Agha, governor of Tripoli at the beginning of the 19th century.
The first Crusade, called by the Pope Urban II in 905, seized Jerusalem in 1099. The city of Tripoli itself remained in Muslim hands. To maintain a secure foothold and to isolate the town more effectively, Raymond built a fort on a nearby hill, called Mount Peregrinus by the Crusaders; from his fort, later known as Saint Gilles, he began his siege of the city of Tripoli in 1101. The siege lasted nine years, and in the course of its original encampment of St.-Gilles gradually assumed the form of a built-up suburb.

The Citadel of Tripoli was built by Esendemir al-Kurji, governor of Tripoli, in 1308 on the emplacement of the Castle of Saint-Gilles. This Mamluk emir was also responsible for several works of public utility in the city such as public bath and a large market place. When the Mount Pelerine quarter was set ablaze by the Mamluks in 1289, the castle of Saint-Gilles suffered from the holocaust and stood abandoned on the hilltop for the next eighteen years. It was essential to have an adequate stronghold in Tripoli for the Sultan’s troops, temporarily garrisoned in Hisn al-Akrad, as the distance was too great in case of enemy attack. The governor therefore chose the emplacement of the gutted Crusader castle on the hill, incorporating what he could in his citadel, and made use of Roman column shafts and other building material he found nearby. Many of the interior walls, ramps and terraces of the citadel seen today were built in his time.

In 1516 Syria and Egypt fell to the Ottoman Sultan Selim I. His son and successor Suleiman I, called the Magnificent (1520-1566), soon after his accession made an inspection tour of his newly conquered lands. He gathered about him in Damascus all his provincial governors and on this occasion took the decision to rebuild the great citadel of Tripoli. Over the entrance portal, the sultan commemorated this important restoration work with an inscription: " in the name of Allah, it has been decreed by the royal sultan’s order, al Malik al-Muzzafar Sultan Suleiman Shah, son of Sultan Selim Shah, may his orders never cease to be obeyed by the emirs, that this blessed citadel be restored so as to be a fortified stronghold for all time". Its construction was completed in the blessed month of Sha’ban of the year 927 (July 1521).

In the years that followed, various Ottoman governors of Tripoli did restoration work on the Citadel to suit their needs and with time the medieval crenulated battlements were destroyed in order to open sally ports for cannons. Very little of the original Crusader structure has survived until this day.

AuthorReviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Map Design4.5
Playability: 5
Wow!! even though it took me several times, it is beatable!! I had so much fun!! I defininety suggest playing this map

Balance: 4
It's tad bit hard, but after a few turns, you should get a hang of it

Creativity: 5
Wow, what can i say.. Its just completely fantastic
Map Design: 4.5
Wow, you sure put alot of work in design! Good work

Story/Instructions: 5
Nice long history , with added hints section

Additional Comments: As this is your 2nd crusader map you made recently im very happy to see that you stuck with sh1,shc and not sh2 maps. All your maps are exellent! Good Job!

[Edited on 08/27/05 @ 08:12 PM]

Lord Valinor
Map Design4.0
Playability: 5
The AI plays flawlessly.

Balance: 4
This is one of the most difficult maps I have played. It took me several attempts to beat it.

Creativity: 4.5
Very good.

Map Design: 5

Story/Instructions: 4.5
Good narrative - I appreciated the attention to detail and historical context.

Additional Comments:
I have not found a better user-designed map than this one. It requires mid-battle troop positioning adjustments that are far more challenging than most invasion scenarios. The resource allocation decisions are also critical.

Adding to the challenge of this map is what can only be described as a design flaw in the castle (the real one, not this map) that makes certain troop movements more difficult than you would like.

I agree with Steele's comment above: you will not find a better or more challenging invasion scenario on the site. Thank you!

[Edited on 10/25/05 @ 03:17 PM]

sphincter do
Map Design5.0
Playability: 5

This is one tough invasion, and probably the best scenario posted on this site.

Balance: 4.5

My only knock here is that there's so much time before the final invasion that you can build large enough forces to easily repel it.

The first and second invasions are the nail-biters.

Creativity: 5

Awesome! The author really fine-tuned this scenario to be challenging and included a few interesting twists.

Map Design: 5

Story/Instructions: 5

Additional Comments:

You're gonna learn to love slingers playing this. Masses of them on the heights are key to your defense.

I demo'd large parts of the citadel right off to generate stone which I sold to buy troops to defend the first invasion. Many parts of the citadel don't need walls as they're perched on bluffs.

I built gatehouses out near the invasion points and also near key resources for defence. Enabling archers to pick away at the invaders from the offensive perches prior to the actual invasion is critical. The only caveat is that you've got to mass them sufficiently so that they overwhelm invading archers and crossbowmen. I then massed cheap slingers behind the gatehouses to add punch to the attacks on the ground troops.

Placing your gatehouses out from the citadel takes the battle out from your vulnerable resources and enables your archers to peck away at the invaders for a longer period of time as they treck toward the citadel.

Holding the quarries in the NE during the first invasion is critical to building your economy. A few archers and slingers manning a gatehouse can handle this task.

Given the long distances workers must trek, it's key to overbuild your industries. At peak, I had maybe 30 loggers to keep the timber flowing.

After the first invasion, I demo'd a hole through the NW wall and plugged it with gatehouses. This enabled me to place industry at both ends of the citadel, with each end having a beeline to the stockpile.

A mobile slinger force ran around the citadel to repel invading knights where they got close. I had no idea how effective massed slinger mosquito-bites are against armored knights.

Establishing the liquor trade is key to maintaing morale and income.

And I built housing sufficient to have ever-expanding population (which peaked around 130). When I received the notice of the second invasion, I turned several industries off and converted these peasant horders to slingers for defense. Once the attack was under control, I turned these industries back on.

Again, having archers to take out the invading archers and crossbowmen is key. But up close, massed slingers are much more effective than expensive archers at taking out the knights

Rebuilding demolished gatehouses after attacks is key. You can also build a second line of defense by placing a gatehouse in the SW just beyond the bluffs. When invaders stop to work on this, they are basically targets in a shooting gallery for your gatehouse archers.

Again, this invasion was as good as they come. Awesome job.

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