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63 - Blessed Union

Author File Description
Lord Michael I


Mission 63 - Blessed Union is one of those maps that don’t have a natural landscape. This map has four “valleys”, divided by a big cross. This unusual landscape can lead to different, yet fun offensive tactics…

You’ll start with 7000 gold pieces, while all the AI’s will have 20000 gold from the start. But don’t worry, you’ve got two advantages: You have an AI on your side, and your starting goods will be plentiful. In this mission you will be teamed up with an Abbot, against a sneaky Nizar and a rushing Emir. As the previous mission, you have to be quick on your start, since attacks will start early on the game, especially from the Emir, who will probably rush you with a big army of swordsmen.

So, start with lowering your speed to 20, and instead of starting by making your stockpile, immediately build your farms (1 Dairy Farm, 2 Wheat Farms and 1 Hops Farm), this is because if you take too much time, the Abbot will take the greenery for himself, leaving limited space for your farms. Try to place your farms as close as possible to your keep.

After placing your farms, form that recognizable rectangle-shaped stockpile, and set up your granary, always convenient to be built behind your keep, this way it will be close to the stockpile, bakeries, etc, but it will not be in the way for other buildings. After setting your stockpile and granary, proceed to erect your marketplace, fairly far away from your stockpile. While you’re there, buy 275 wood pieces to build your town.

Now complete your town: Place weapons industry buildings (2 Fletchers set on crossbow production, 1 tanner, 1 pole turner set on pike production, one armorer and one armory), 6 Bakeries, 1 mill, 2 Breweries and 2 Inns. The place 2 Quarries on the rock deposits east to your keep, with one ox for each quarry, 2 Iron mines on the iron deposits on the east of your keep, on the top of the strange hill, build 4 hovels to start manning these buildings (I put my hovels near the marketplace), and finish by building two woodcutters near your farms.



This is my town. I tried to make it easier to understand: The yellow dots mark the weapons buildings, the red dots, my bakeries, mill and granary. The Green dots mark my breweries and Inns; the blue dots my resource buildings, such as the Quarries, oxen, iron mines and woodcutters. Finally, the Purple dots are my farms. I didn’t mark the marketplace and the hovels, but they are clearly visible.

Now, to place defensive buildings… For this map I had planned to explain the use of moats, and its great effectiveness against attacking assassins, but then I learned that you can’t put moats on high ground. I tried to find a way to place moats on the foot of the hills, but they resulted ineffective.

Since the moats were useless in this map, I chose the old trick of the “Gap of doom”. To start, place a Round tower and a small gatehouse protecting your iron mines, as so:



If there are any gaps, simply fill them with walls. Proceed to man it. Grab your starting archers and place them on top of the tower. Then, build an engineer’s guild, hire two engineers, build a tower mounted ballistae and man it with your two engineers. After the tower is set, block the eastern entrance to your castle with walls:



This way you will block all easy entrances to your castle, and channel enemy assassins to the only open spot, that means going through the Abbot’s defenses. Still, you need to man tower you placed, from time to time, assassins will choose to attack it instead.

The south western front is protected by the Abbot, but he will need help. Build another round tower, near his quarries, and place a ballista there too. Now, go to your town and build a Barracks and a Mercenary guild. Go to the market and sell all that pitch. Then, buy 20 crossbows and leather armors, a tactic used in the past mission. Recruit these men and send 10 to each tower. You can now return to your normal speed, as recruiting soldiers at the lowest speed is really annoying.

The Inns you built are probably functional, so put your taxes to -8. Well, you’re up and running! All that you need to do now is to recruit soldiers and grow your defenses and melee army. Each time you recruit something, distribute them in the most even way between the two fronts (If you recruit 4 pikemen, send 2 to the foot of your south western tower and the remaining two to the hill tower).

To enhance your protection, you can build a big, simple wall (I’ll explain later), because sometimes enemies will go around the Abbot’s castle, and attack you from the west of your keep, a place where there are no defenses.



First build a small one like above, shaped like an “L”. Don’t make a straight wall because we need that space to be in the inside part of the wall, since we will place some trebuchets there later.



Then, build a huge wall, starting from the Abbot’s square tower, all the way to the edge of the map. This way, the only way enemies can directly enter your town is by the small gap between your southwestern tower and the Abbot’s castle, which will be heavily defended, of course.

Let’s start attacking the enemy. The Emir is the weakest and closest of your enemies, so let’s start there. Start by hiring 6 engineers, and building two trebuchets:



If you place them exactly as I have done, you will be able to target many of the Emir’s towers. Start by taking down his round towers (Always try to cripple them instead of completely destroying them), then destroying his lookout towers.

Leaving the siege aside, you can go back to town and build a second granary and armory, as you’re economy will grow fast, and you will quickly receive the “Granary is full” messages.

Keep recruiting, especially pikemen. These will later be used to kill the enemy lords, so we need plenty of them. As for the crossbowmen, you can stop recruiting them when you have around 25 in each tower. You can sell the weapons produced for a profit. You are allowed to speed up the recruiting process: You can sell some extra iron, stone, etc, and then buy some weapons to enhance the recruiting process.

Once you stop recruiting crossbowmen (Keep recruiting pikemen), build a mercenary guild (If you haven’t), and start recruiting Horse Archers. You have some money, but to be able to afford a nice number of them, go to the market and sell everything you don’t need, like crossbows, excess stone, iron, wheat, ale, bread, etc. Try not to sell wood, because in this map you will share your woods with the Abbot. The AI’s in Stronghold Crusader apparently still don’t know the consequences of deforestation, as they will sometimes build like 5 woodcutters near a small forest with ten trees. In some years, there will be no trees since the big number of woodcutters won’t let new trees to grow. This is what will happen here, around the final stages in the map, there will not be one tree in your valley, and your woodcutters will be forced to go far away to get wood, dramatically decreasing wood income.

With that in mind, resume your recruiting progress. As you did with the crossbowmen, when you reach a number of 30 crossbowmen in total, and around 100 Horse Archers, go on and attack the Emir. Before attacking, be sure all the towers that were in range of your trebuchets are down or crippled, also check the keep. If there are a lot of swordsmen there, you may want to wait, since this overpopulation of swordsmen normally means the Emir will soon attack you. It’s better to wait and let your crossbowmen kill the swordsmen than risking your Horse Archers dying in a clash with some swordsmen before the reach the castle.



When using Horse Archers, you must always take advantage of their ability to move around and shoot arrows at the same time. In fact, because of this, I still had 100 Horse Archers after the attack! You can see that most of the Emir’s towers are crippled, and that only three remained, one of which had archers, the other two had nothing on them.

Another tip is to move around, but never going too far from the gate. If you are in a certain area, the gate will be closed, thus trapping enemy swordsmen and Horse Archers hopelessly inside the castle. Once you’ve taken the tower defenses, rain the trapped enemies with arrows until they fall. Then, send in your pikemen, and take the Emir down his throne.

After taking the Emir down, reassemble your troops in your town, replace the fallen soldiers and unman your two trebuchets. Then, recruit 9 more engineers, and, if you wish, more Horse Archers. After that, assemble them in the barren northeastern valley (Open a hole in your wall for them to access it quicker, and then rebuild the wall). During this attack I had 150 Horse Archers, 50 more than the previous 100.

First, build three trebuchets, forming a triangle, close to the southern rock wall:



Place your Horse Archers and pikemen close to them for protection. With the trebuchets, target all possible towers, and take down the three gatehouses. The towers in range are two Lookout towers and one round tower. There will be one lookout tower that the trebuchet in the back will not be able to shoot at. It may take several tries after the Nizar runs out of stone, and eventually stops reconstructing the gates and towers you destroy, so be patient.

I highly recommend you set your Horse Archers to fire at will where the hill connects with the Nizar’s valley, as so:



From time to time the Nizar will send groups of archers to take down the trebuchets. If you target that area you will take down many archers before they can even shoot their first arrow. Of course, if some archers slip through the rain of arrows, select your Horse Archers and target them instead. Once they’re dead, resume your previous actions.

After taking down the gates, and crippling the towers, build 3 Fire Ballistae with your remaining 6 engineers, and place them on top of the hill, protected by Horse Archers. Target the closest building with them, and see the Nizar’s castle set alight. This will eliminate many assassins and other enemies before you even get in the castle. From the hill, you will also be able to destroy the enemy Fire Ballistae, either with your Horse Arches, or your own Fire Ballistae.

After the fire spreads around the castle, send your Horse Archers down the hill, to eliminate the archers on the towers. Try to avoid the edges with the moat, as some times there are traps there. When the archers go down, send in your pikemen to fill in the moat, and kill the Nizar. As a tip, once you fill the moat, you may want to get some slaves through the passageway where the gates were, as it is full of traps. You may loose a lot of pikemen there if you’re not careful.

Well, that’s it! You’ve beaten two Arab enemies with a little help from an ally! Congratulations! The saved game available for download has both enemies still standing – The Emir’s castle is not functional, I sent some assassins to make sure of that, and the Nizar’s castle is still on fire, with an army of pikemen, Horse Archers and Fire Ballistae surrounding him. I left the Trebuchets built in this mission, for you to have a better look at them.

If you still have questions about this, or any other mission, just email me. My email is in my profile.
AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
The Hitman I couldn't believe there could be such easy mission at such high level :) Passed it in 29 minutes :D
peter2008 Thank you, Lord Michael I, for writing this comprehensive and insistent walkthrough.
(With that masses of stone at hand I used six trebs to siege the Nizar. Smashed all his valuable buildings until he removed his good things.)
monkcrazy5 I'm trying to get 1,000,000$ on this one, you can place over 20 quarries I think..
lord dredde The weird thing i've noticed while playing the warchest trail on the new game is that the names are different,especially the mission 'snaking stream' which comes with crusader extreme,the map is that of 'drawn and quartered ' on multiplayer.go figure?
Anyway many thanks for the walkthroughs.

Lord Dredde
manudan cool, am working on this map, killed the emir exactly and am now going in on the nizar with 150 horses and 21 pikemen + 60 crossbows and 3 trebs
RangerWill I followed everything in the walkthrough but at the beginning The Abbot got killed by The Nizar, please help

Nevermind, I beat this surprisingly easy mission with the walkthrough

[Edited on 10/29/11 @ 10:41 AM]

shareef Easy mission, I started normally with a strong economy, (that doesn't mean tons of quarries) I only placed 1 hops farm, 9 breweries (because I built that far away from my stockpile). and 5 inns, later increased to 7, I didn't feed the POP.

I built 4 quarries, oxen tethers, and TONS of weapon production,

16 armourers
23 Poleturners (PIKES)
14 Fletchers (XBOWS)

I will try uploading a pic and embed it here so if it doesn't work, you will just see some meaningless characters excuse that




and in case it doesn't work, this is a direct link:
http://i1148.photobucket.com/albums/o575/SMGpro/screen_capture_003edited.jpg

http://i1148.photobucket.com/albums/o575/SMGpro/screen_capture_001edited.jpg


For killing the Emir, place 3 trebs in sniper position behind the cliff, destroy the towers at reach, he will rebuild, no problem, you only do that to take down the archers atop, when he rebuilds, he will take time to remount the towers, go in with as many pikemen as you can, you can either take a tower again and go in with the pikemen, or you can bring a part of te wall down, (As I did), either way, 150+ pikemen = DEAD EMIR

about the dying abbot problem, once I sent him 100 Xbowmen, it all went fine, the trick is that the abbot seems to be extra-hated from the AIs, they will completely ignore you (except for Nizar who will skirmish using 5 or so assassins every now and then) so mount the towers with 30 or so, keep the above mentioned trebs in place to detect any passing assassins, and the rest at the end to abbots castle to the east, not very far away.

I will edit this later telling how I killed the nizar and how explaining the colours in the maps
shareef The first pic :

The red circle surrounds the defending troops, the blue surreounds the iron mines

The second pic :
Red dot: pike makers
Blue : Xbow makers
Green : armour makers
terquiz circle: defence against sneaking assassins
Black : inns
yellow : hops farm
red : wheat farm
brown : fire balistae

I am talking about a comment I posted earlier with two picture links

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