Mission 11 - First Blood
Start date: January 1159
|All difficulty choices|
|Eliminate all Enemy Units|
Advance yourself into the next of the Snake's counties and defend yourself against his forces. This county shares its borders with the Wolf's so stay alert as you will need to react quickly if he decides to show his face.
This is a rather nasty mission which will last about 9 years.
The first choice is where to build your keep. I first tried it in the middle next to the quarry there, but this gives you very little time to react to invasions. I gave it a second go down among the hills in the south, which gives you the additional problem of having little space for your bigger buildings like dairy farms. However, it's a great place that can be quickly walled off across the whole width of the map, with the bluff that has the iron ore serving as a natural archer platform.
Note: Although you can see Crossbowmen as an option on the barracks you will only be able to recruit these later in the scenario.
As you have seen from the above, I located my keep in the far south where I built some walls, woodcutters, a quarry, two iron mines (thinking I could sell iron, which you can't), two dairy farms, and added an armoury and barracks when the first two loads of stone arrived. A fletcher, tanner and a blacksmith were added later.
Once these were up I started recruiting archers and spearmen. I added a tower to the outside wall and when, in the third year, the Snake showed up, I blocked the remaining gaps with a wooden wall. Half my archers were on the bluff, the other half in the tower on the hill top.
The Snake sent in a small group of archers and macemen, which were quickly dispatched as I sent them looking for the gap in the wall.
This little tactic is (ab)using the AI, as I started out with a single gap in the East wall, which I closed as the soldiers were committed. By the time they started to knock the walls down I opened up a gap on the other side of the bluff. The macemen picked up their maces and headed for the other side.
Rinse and repeat. Note: this tactic takes some fairly accurate work and I had to replay various attacks before I got the hang of it.
The archers had died quickly so didn't form any problem.
Very soon after this attack had failed a second, larger, group of soldiers attacked, and suffered the same fate as the first attack.
However, well before I was done with this, a small attack force of the Wolf arrived, about a dozen archers and three swordsmen.
The archers were picked off as they got within reach of the tower and the swordsmen marched on slowly.
While they were marching up and down I added more archers and a farm. This was rather late, as by now I was suffering from lack of food. I built a market and managed to sell some stone which kept my people more or less happy. I had to stop taxing them and got very, very low on money. So low I couldn't recruit any more soldiers.
Eventually the last swordsman expired and a hooded stranger showed up with the designs for a crossbow.
By now I had added a mill and two bakeries, and the last few souls of my once proud population started making bread. (Population had dropped from 28 to 4!)
I speeded up the game and managed to get my economy back up and running by the time the Snake arrived somewhen in 1166.
I had a few crossbow units up by this time and they, together with the archers, practiced target shooting as the Snake's soldiers kept running from one end of the wall to the other. The force consisted of more archers and macemen, but this time they were accompanied by engineers with portable shields.
Like the other two attacks before them, this one fizzled out as well.
By now I was making money again by selling stone and had gathered a nice force of almost a dozen crossbow men who, at 20 gold, are fairly expensive.
By the year 1168 the Wolf attacked once more, this time with a score of archers, and half a score of swordsmen.
The archers were quickly vanquished and I planned to set the swordsmen running around the bluff once more.
Something went wrong.
The swordsmen committed themselves to one piece of wall and broke through, about half a dozen started demolishing my wall and killing people. Luckily I managed to retreat from the tower to the keep and, while the swordsmen wrought havoc among my peasants, my arrows and quarrels killed them one by one.
Total Losses 18%
My Score: 13,200
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