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16 - The Desert Hunters

Author File Description
Kester Mission 16 - The Desert Hunters

This mission pits the Human Lord against both Saladin "The Wise" and Saladin "The Just". You start off with 2000 gold, and your opponents each start off with 4000. Gameplay starts in 1355.

I tried various strategies for a quick victory, and none of them worked. Here are some of the things I tried: quickly building a small force and advancing on either of the enemies; trying to hinder the enemies' production with combinations of pikemen, macemen, Arabian horsemen, archers, and slaves; building perimeter towers around my keep and quarries to hold off attacks, rather than walling in the keep (in order to have more stone to sell). None of these worked!

Here is what finally did work:

I began by buying enough wood to place the following: the granary, 4 woodcutters, 3 quarries with 2 oxen each, an iron mine, the marketplace, 2 apple farms, one wheat farm, a hops farm, a bakery, brewery and inn, the mercenary post, the barracks and armory.

Next I quickly walled in the keep, also encompassing the stone and iron areas for protection. As wood production got underway, I added as many more quarries and iron mines as would fit, then started weapon production. I crenelated the walls around the keep, and lined them with archers and crossbowmen with braziers.

I then added one square tower adjacent to the walls, as well as two round towers and a lookout tower further out. I put ballistae on the round towers and archers on the other towers. The towers placed further from the wall prevented the enemy catapults from reaching my walls, and cut down on a lot of time that I had previously spent rebuilding the walls.

For the next few game years I concentrated on building up my forces. In previous attempts I'd tried marching on the enemy with what I thought was a full army, only to be demolished. So when I finally marched on Saladin "The Just", my army had about 40 each of pikemen, Arabian knights, knights, as well as an assortment of archers and horse archers. Sheer numbers allowed my army to breach the gate and overrun the keep. Saladin "The Just" was killed in February 1363.

I then regrouped my forces, and spent several more game years building them up. When I finally marched on Saladin "The Wise" I had 637 units and about 300 gold. It seems like overkill, but trust me, it wasn't! In several prior attempts, I tried with fewer numbers and lost. Saladin, meanwhile, had a mere 145 military units, but 80,000 gold to instantly replace any that were lost.

The army I compiled before the final assault had the following: 33 archers, 106 macemen, 57 crossbowmen, 43 pikemen, 51 knights, 64 engineers, 20 laddermen, 3 rams, 4 siege towers, 6 catapults, 17 Arabian archers, 10 slaves, 8 assassins, 46 horse archers, 154 Arabian knights and 13 flamethrowers.

I approached from the west, first with catapults to tear down the walls and towers. Next came a contingent of macement (along with the rams) to take down the gate. Be sure to have the rest of the army in place to immediately follow them inside once the gate is down - the quarries are protected on the other side of the keep, so Saladin will immediately rebuild them if you wait too long. Once the gate was down, I directed all forces to attack Saladin, and he finally died in July 1370.

This is a long mission - I'm afraid I couldn't find any shortcuts! There was a great feeling of satisfaction at the end, however, due in part to having built up a highly efficient economy to support my war efforts.

Good luck with this one!
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AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
player45999 Get ready for this one it'll be long but its fun. Just get your defenses up and try digging a moat because one of the Saladin's uses assasins. DON'T UNDERESTIMATE EITHER ONE!!They're stronger than they seem i lost lots of men due to my arrogance. Save before each assault on both of them so you can reload if you lnow you need more men.
hippibashr After Saladin set fire to his own buildings several times to burn out my swordsmen, I figured out a nice tactic to use against him.

This works for at least the Southwest Saladin; take a couple fire ballista and set fire to his stone production...the fire spreads pretty quickly and he keeps rebuilding which only spreads the fire more. This is only how I finally finished him, I don't know how well it works as the main strategy.
billybillbobob i found that, after i had completed my defences, that if you set fire to any of the buildings next to either of the saladins, that the fire gets inside to his castle, and continues to burn because he keeps rebuilding, and on your final assult you can just kill the lord using crossbowmen
Darth_Vader1_4 One of my favorite tactics that works well against all is to repetedly smash their defenses with lots of siege.

If you can build about 15 Trebushes and continualy destroy the enemys defense eventualy he will run out of stone to build walls and you can then sistematicly destoy some vital buildings.

After the walls are done you can do a couple of things, either constantly destroy the granary witch will deny him of reinforcements, or just set his buildings on fire.
threesix did any1 use the cheat about using ox tethers to block the gatehouses?
philip5000 When i started i built 4 dairy farms and 4 apple farms with the granary near them. then i made a wall with battlements and had arabian archers with fire arrows. letting the saladins do the attacking.i began getting wood with 6 wood cutters and when i had enough wood i got 3 quarrys and 9 oxes.i got 3 iron mines. then i began making swords and armour. i bought 10 crossbows so i could take care of any attacking arabian swordsman. when i had 150 swordsmen i attacked the first saladin after burning his bakerys with 10 fire ballistas. make sure u kill the fire throwers before the swordsmen come in. siege the second salading with trebs till he has no catapults. then destroy the back gate to get in.

[Edited on 02/01/06 @ 11:08 PM]

stratter when i download the file it will not open or do anything when i open it. what do i open it with or what do i do?
LordEX Qhy dont u guys just build like 5 seige towers and instead of taking down his walls capture them.
crusader5673 one good way to defend against both saladins is when you first start place your granary and all your usual startup buildings. Start spear prodution quickly and dig a moat around the area you wish to build on. don't worry about building a gatehouse with a drawbridge until your ready to start seiging. then build square or round towers and man the with archers or crossbowmen and mangolels or balistas. this works with some other missions too.

[Edited on 07/01/06 @ 01:40 AM]

AdariousMist This one took me quite some time, more than one restart, and almost had me ready to use a chicken..which I haven't done to this point.

Get your walls up as fast as possible and make them thick. A one layer wall will be destroyed in seconds by them in their initial raids.

One of the more annoying parts to this particular level was not far into the game (at 35 speed). Initially they'll send a group or two of horse archers. However, after that ... they send multiple groups of mixed units that are fairly large ... one after the next for 2 to 4 waves. It was that point that they kept wiping my progress out.

In the end I survived that set of sieges, and wiped out Saladin 'the just' without much trouble. Saladin 'the wise', however, proved to be far more difficult. I took in an army of 110 arab archers, 140 pikemen, 80 macemen, 100 assassins, 75 crossbowmen, 6 catapults, and 6 fire ballistas. They were crushed as he had upwards of 100k gold to spend on consistent backup. The assassins were taken by fire throwers that the archers couldn't get to within the keep mob.

What I ended up doing was reloading and using that army as a distraction while I sent 260 assassins in (allowing them to group outside the west wall first) ... and kept on telling them to focus on Saladin. About 160 were burned dead, the rest got up there and wiped him out, including the fire throwers

[Edited on 07/17/06 @ 02:28 PM]

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