Mission 18 - A Barren Land
Posted on 10/28/04 @ 12:00 AM (updated 11/06/04
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!