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Mission 15 - Carving a Path (by Brugle)
(Played at Very Hard)

Base map
Start date: January 1220

Objectives

All difficulty choices
Eliminate all Enemy Units

Fight your way through the Pig's home county and escape into the fenlands on the other side. You will need to strike hard and fast before the Pig returns with his main force. Storm the Gatehouse of the Pig's castle with a ram, dispatch the garrison and hide in the fenlands beyond.

Resources

no gold
Troops
19 archers
69 spearmen
18 macemen
6 crossbowmen
1 ram
4 engineers
6 laddermen
5 tunnelers

No trade options are available in this mission

Notes

I must confess that I used a non-obvious fact learned in one of my normal difficulty attempts. Tunnelers, when starting northeast of the castle so that their tunnels pass along the edge of the moat, will breach the wall (by the granary) into the inner courtyard. Along that end of the moat, a narrow path is blocked by a few tiles of raised land that extend to the water. Filling in a few tiles of the moat will allow passage to the breach, although 11 tiles were actually filled (19 when I played at Hard), since moat fillers are difficult to control.

Since I was already using one questionable practice, I decided to use "future knowledge" (that the 6 enemy macemen would emerge from the castle), to quickly kill a few defenders. (This turned out to be unnecessary, since there would be sufficient troops at the end to kill the macemen, but I didn't know that at the time.)

At the start, while keeping out of range of defenders' arrows, the archers and crossbowmen were stationed in front of the gatehouse (by a dead tree), while the other troops were sent around the castle to the northeast. 2 tunnelers were told to start digging. After killing the macemen, the archers and crossbowmen were sent to join the others.

Then came the tricky bit. 2 macemen were sent to fill in the moat, while 3 archers ran back and forth nearby, attracting most of the enemy fire. Whenever the macemen were significantly wounded, another 1 or 2 were sent to join them, so that there were always 1 or 2 or 3 macemen working on the moat. When an archer was killed, another was sent to join the demonstration. I was constantly clicking and pausing the game. Macemen frequently started filling the moat in the wrong direction and had to be sent back to the right area, and archers had to keep changing direction. (Another confession: a couple of times I forgot about the archers for a few moments, and when I looked all 3 were dying, so I went back to a saved game made shortly before.) Meanwhile, the tunnelers breached the wall.

When enough moat was filled to make a path to the breach, the inner courtyard was cleared. Macemen turned left at the breach and went clockwise on the wall, killing archers and crossbowmen (on a northeast tower, the central gatehouse and turrets, and the southwest towers), and then destroyed the hunting lodges. (Only the 2 macemen working on the moat and the 2 being sent to join them went to the first tower, since it was cleared before other macemen could help.) 4 enemy archers, apparently intending to replace their comrades on the first tower cleared, left the outer courtyard by the southeast gatehouse and went around the moat to the breach, where they were killed by some spearmen. Most spearmen turned right at the breach and went counterclockwise on the wall, killing archers (on a northeast tower and the west tower). Archers (who delayed starting, to avoid arriving at the tower before it was cleared) and crossbowmen turned right at the breach to the first tower, shot the crossbowmen on the keep (individually targeted), went counterclockwise on the wall to the northwest gatehouse, and shot the nearby pikemen.

All of the above took slightly under a year. Clearing the outer courtyard, without attracting return fire, took somewhat longer. Archers and crossbowmen went to the first southwest tower, shot most of the archers and crossbowmen on the southeast wall (individually targetted), went to the next southwest tower, shot the archer and crossbowmen near/on the east tower (individually targetted), and shot the remaining pikemen. The last enemy was killed in Feb 1222. Victory was declared at the start of the next month, with 36% troops lost.


Total Losses: 36%

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