As I play the Stronghold game, I always end up with the same kind of strategy: hordes of archers, a handful of crossbows/ballistas and maybe some horse archers and a bunch of cheap slingers. In this mission, you will be challenged by not having access to any of these troops. How do you best conquer a castle and then defend it without “missile troops”?
The full story of this mission is included in the zip file. Here is an overview:
The mission starts with your army being imprisoned in a tower. You must break out of this prison, then conquer a nearby castle before neighboring villages send troops towards you. Once you own the castle you need to defend it from enemies. The local forests are unsuitable for making bows and arrows, so you can't build any of these. However, the unhappy neighbors that attack you cannot build bows and arrows either. After about 15 years, you finally receive support from an ally that sent archers. Soon thereafter, your neighbors realize your troop enhancements and in a last desperate attempt to defeat you, they will march all their armies towards you (600 units).
A real twist in Stronghold gaming: no ranged units or engines this time. (Almost. Two reinforcements will arrive late.)
The start is very tricky, as fits for a map by qtlilkeg. You have to free your units right before the first invasion is coming. Several tries will be needed.
The main part of the mission consists in raising the eco quickly and having long battles with groups of melee troops chasing around in the fields.
Engineers can be positioned at chock points.
Balance was great. Resources are low at the start. Time is given to run a good eco with lots of peasats. Thus I had just gold enough to train troops of my choice, permanently. Would say it's hard because unusual, but not too hard. The invasions are of large numbers, yet one can use the effect that the units differ in speed and part for raids, as an advantage and catch some of them separately with majority relation.