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Stronghold Crusader: Walkthroughs » 18 - A Barren Land

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18 - A Barren Land

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Kester Mission 18 - A Barren Land

In this mission the Human Lord is set against five versions of the Snake: Duc Beauregard, Duc Vipertooth, Earl Doubletongue, Earl Poisonberry, and Lord Python. The Human Lord begins with 4000 gold, and the enemies all begin with 2000 gold. This mission turned out to be surprisingly easy, given that there are five opponents to conquer.

I tried several strategies with this mission. The first was mildly successful; I marched on two of the lords right away and conquered them without any trouble. The problem was that I was also trying to build up and maintain an economy to sustain my lord through what I anticipated would be a long gameplay. I had quarries, farms, weapons manufacturers, etc., all of which were subject to the Snakes' slaves, who will plague you throughout this mission. I spent some unnecessary time building towers with archers against the slaves.

Another strategy was to wall off my corner of the map. That kept the slaves out, but I still spent an inordinate amount of time supplying the walls and towers with archers to defend against the enemy. And given the extra time, the enemies had time to build up their armies, and I found myself continually on the defensive. On my last try, I hit upon a very simple strategy, which worked.

A Barren Land begins in January 1381. When the game starts, place the following: granary, two apple farms, 3 woodcutters, marketplace, 2 quarries with ox tethers, the barracks, and armory. Sell the extra stone and buy 30 macemen.

Immediately march upon Lord Python. He will be almost completely defenseless this early in the game. I killed him in October 1381, losing only 2 macemen. Note - there will be a message about lions attacking, but don't let it distract you. There are only two or three, and if you've left behind the spearmen and archers that you were given at the beginning, your keep should be okay!

Next march upon Earl Poisonberry. He'll die quickly also! He was killed in February of 1382, and I only lost another 3 macemen.

At this point, go back to your keep and add another 10 macemen to help you take out the third, Earl Doubletongue. Don't bother having your macemen dig the moat - just have them take down the gatehouse. When he died in September of 1382, I had only lost about 5 macemen.

Continue counter-clockwise around the map, and take out the fourth enemy, Duke Vipertooth. He won't provide much resistance against your forces.

After Duke Vipertooth dies, pull back your macemen out of reach of the last enemy's archers. Sell your accumulated stone, buy another 20 macemen, and set them marching on the last keep. When they get close, set all your remaining macemen on attacking Duc Beauregard (you should have about 50 left at this point). The Duc's keep and forces will be slightly stronger than the others, since he's had more time to prepare. I lost about 25 macemen taking him down.

The game ended in September 1383, not even three full years into gameplay!
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BobThePlumber Maybe because I'm not an uber Stronghold player, I found it impossible to rush all of the opponents. I began by placing granary, two apple farms, 3 woodcutters, marketplace, 2 quarries, 4 ox tethers, the barracks, and armory, just as Kester said. I sold what I could and bought 40 macemen, which I promptly marched off to conquer. I added a third quarry and fifth and sixth ox tethers. After defeating Vipertooth, I pulled away my gang of macemen. I think they got out of my sight for a minute, but I only had about 10 left. Oops. Anyways, I built a small wall close to my keep running north as far as it could go, then I put in a tower with ballista on the northeast corner, then extended it west, leaving a square or two to channel his troops through with killing pits and put in a gatehouse as far north as possible so my workers could extract stone without being turned into mincemeat every time he attacked. I made a fletcher and put archers on the gatehouse for slaves, and crossbowmen on the tower, then built up 100 macemen and smashed him like flowerpot.

[Edited on 10/19/05 @ 09:08 PM]

rian222 I tried a typical assassin rush. I built a granary and a market, sold all of my resources(except bread), and spent all my money on assassins.
I rushed the first 4 snakes, and used the victory money to build more assassins. Then I killed the last snake.
palestine wow...the assasin rush really took me a year and a half to wipe the snakes of the map... first i sent 30 assasins for the first kill...the purple snake (forgot their names). that conquer was very easy. then i sent the 28 i had left to kill the one rite next to the one i killed...after that i send in 20 more assasins to help out the 20 or so i had left...then the last two i had were killed by the remaining and an extra 10....i had about 25-30 left....pretty easy..the first time i tried i with different strategies i failed miserably...thanks for the hint
crusader5673 thanks for the assain rush tactic
AdariousMist The assassin rush does not work for me. I 'always' get all but 'one' of them. leaving me with 1 to deal with. With the resources as slow to gather as they are this makes things between difficult to impossible.

constant attacks, persistent deterioration of troops, burning of farms *even with water counters* ... and so many stinking archers that even a group of 50 assassins is taken out too soon ... leaves one wondering what they'll try next. It is Snake Earl Poisonberry that I have left .. with the S shaped castle.

update: After building 5 square towers filled with an even mixture of crossbowmen/archers (right behind farms), I was able to keep the defense under control.

Meanwhile I had 10 iron mines and 4 quarrys with 2 tethers each. I put about 20 archers over there to prevent any straggler slaves from burning. Then I hired 100 each of: assassins, arab swordsmen, regular archers, and crossbowmen. Finally, I made 4 catapults and 9 fire ballistas.

I attacked from the southeast corner past the iron reserves. Using the archers/crossbowmen to take out most of his, and using the catapults to take the 1 tower in range out. Then used the swordsmen to get into the castle. I converged on Poisonberry with both the 100 swordsmen and assassins. Overkill yeah, but complete insurance of winning. It took 35 in game years at a speed of 35 to do all this.

[Edited on 07/19/06 @ 01:39 PM]

liberty how boring !! i cant stand winning a map in the early stages , it somehow takes the game out of the game. i much prefered to build up my forces and let the snakes do the same. the map is still an easy one to master. the only difficlut bit is stemming the 5 snakes attacks with slaves at the start. this is easily overcome by building water pots near your buildings and putting up 3 defence turrets manned with crossbowmen, 2 near the green land to defend your farms, and one up near the pass close to the quarries. wall off the pass leading to the iron reserves and you are set to build as you please.
As for taking out the fully built castles, i went on the rampage with knights and crossbowmen. i knocked holes in walls with catapults, then sent my knights up to the keep whilst taking out the many archers with crosbow bolts. all in all a much more satisfying game .
Sir Launcelaut the person who said that tha assasin tactic doesn't work because there is always one left, just put some oxtethers where people can get out of his castle and you will be fine. You probably didn't do the rush fast and early enough.
Birowizard While I used Kester's walkthrough for the initial set up, (never say no to good advice!), I found Liberty's version much more satisfying as a means to win out. I used 2 square towers as close to the edge of the farmland as possible, filled, (as quickly as possible) with archers, crossbowmen and braziers. I added mangonels (to be manned by engineers later). This gave me enough breathing space to gather stone for more towers which, like Liberty, I placed overlooking the quarry and iron mines nearest my keep.

If you build walls (with gatehouses), between the rock passes closest to your keep, you can stave off most of the attacks from the Snakes using the towers overlooking them.
Adding more walls and gates as the game progresses, to close off the farmland area allows your farmers access, while preventing enemy ingress.
By the 3rd year of the 'battle' I had 1 tower overlooking each of the mining areas, each bristling with bowmen of both types. These kept all of the enemy raiders from even reaching my mines. I was able to destroy the enemies' mines placed there and hastily add my own, to increase revenues from stone and iron production.
You do have to keep a close watch on the farmland throughout; the Snakes' use of fireslaves is continuous, and if you're not careful will enable them to destroy your farms and erect their own, just by shear weight of numbers.
Again, (old record stuck in the groove here), horse archers were the most useful in the initial assaults, as they quickly see to any ranged defense and then ground troops. I did end up 'refilling' the numbers several times, because each of the Snakes use many archers atop their keeps. However, the horse archers killed men faster than each enemy could replace them, (provided you attack one Snake at a time), giving me ample time and resources to replenish their numbers and build macemen, pikemen, knights and spearmen. I sent about 25 horse archers to do each initial assault, then a combined group of about 15 macemen, 10 spearmen and 12 -14 pikemen/knights once each Snake's defenses were taken out.
All in all, a very easy game to win, if you're careful, and also very satisfying economically. It can take a long time to build any serious wealth in this scenario, but that's half the fun - achieving total domination!

[Edited on 05/22/07 @ 08:58 AM]

XGrimorgX I haven't read this yet, but I always use small groups of slingers to fend off those slaves. Gatehouses with archers on top placed on the front and a couple slingers are usually enough to kill them all. Especially the quarries to the NW (like 8 I had) should be guarded.

I'm not really into rushing tactics. This tactic works well on virtually every map. Start of with placing a couple stockpiles, build the market and quite a number of woodcutters, depening on availability of trees.
I usually spend like 400-600 gold as well on buying wood and some gold on archers from the mercenary post. Place some small gatehouses as far to the front as possible and place a couple archers on each of them. Then use the pile of wood to build quarries. If I need more people I just build the houses. Don't worry about food, just put them on half rations and get 2-4 inns up and buy the ale from the market. Having loads of raw resources makes it easy to get the cash flowing. Sell the stone to get more archers and when it's strong enough go for an army.
With 8 quarries you have enough gold to choose a strategy you like, but I did it with crossbowmen and assassins for melee.
barbarius Well, we can win to this map quite quickly. Rushing all the IAs is very, very, very easy. Do you trust me ? No ? Well, so, look at this :
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