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Stronghold Crusader: Walkthroughs » 26 - Vultures Claw

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26 - Vultures Claw

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Kester Mission 26 - Vulture's Claw

This difficult mission pairs the Human Lord and The Snake, Duc Beauregard against three foes: Caliph "The Scorpion", Caliph "The Jackal" and Sultan Abdul. The Human Lord starts with 3000 gold, and everyone else has 40,000. Gameplay begins in 0 A.D.

This is the first mission I've played where my ally has actually been of help. The Snake only asked for a few goods and was usually agreeable to attacking when I requested his aid. He occasionally asked for my aid, which I satisfied by lining his walls with some of my own crossbowmen and archers. I discovered in one early attempt that in this mission it's best not to ignore his request for immediate assistance - he will fall to the Caliphs if you don't help him.

The Scorpion's keep is positioned in the center of the map. The Jackal and Sultan Abdul are together at the top right, and you and the Snake are together at the bottom right. Take advantage of your ally's early monetary advantage by building a wall extending from the walls he builds. Don't try to build your own separate keep - you'll be sharing armies as well as access to farmland and quarries, so it's best to build together.

I started by placing quarries and ox tethers, iron mines, apple trees, armory and barracks. I built a wall from the Snake's tower, going around my keep to the edge of the map. I then began the long slow process of building my army. (Note: I did try early attacks on the enemy with quickly purchased forces, but even very early in the game the odds are too overwhelming.) While your army is building up, there will be a number of small invasions from your foes, but if you have crossbowmen with braziers along all your walls, you should be okay.

The first enemy I attacked was The Scorpion. (Note: On one attempt I marched my entire army around the edge of the map to attack Sultan Abdul first, but as I was doing so The Jackal destroyed The Snake... and I lost against the Sultan anyway.) If you aren't careful, all three enemies in this mission will quickly destroy your forces by burning them. To get around this I set catapults to destroy the towers first, followed by a small ground crew of macemen to destroy any siege equipment outside the castle walls. Then I launched the main offensive. This same strategy worked for all three. When I attacked The Scorpion, I had about 45 crossbowmen, 4 catapults, 15 spearmen, and 140 macemen.

Next in the order of attack (as he was then the weakest at that point) was Sultan Abdul. I didn't place the mercenary post until after defeating The Scorpion. The 3800 gold I acquired from his defeat enabled me to build up my army with Arabian swordsmen. Before marching my army north (to get them out of reach of The Jackal and into position to attack), I had built it up to include: 25 archers, 5 spearmen, 60 macemen, 45 crossbowmen, 31 pikemen, 29 engineers, 5 catapults, 17 slingers, and 235 Arabian swordsmen. I positioned the catapults to the west and northwest of Sultan Abdul's keep and set them to destroying the gatehouse and towers. When they were down, I rushed the army in, and was able to defeat the Sultan.

The strategy for The Jackal was the same, but was a bit more difficult as his castle included an inner and outer courtyard (separated with towers) and two gatehouses. Ask your ally The Snake for help in invading - he will probably agree. His forces will draw fire to the south, allowing you to attack from the north. Again, I set catapults on all sides of the castle to destroy the towers and gatehouses. They will quickly be rebuilt as his quarries are pretty well protected. When the towers are down, go in with your macemen first. They can quickly destroy the gatehouses if they are rebuilt. Then march the rest of your army to the keep to take out The Jackal. I finally beat him with an army of 23 archers, 70 macemen, 45 crossbowmen, 25 pikemen, 14 engineers, 4 catapults, and 180 Arabian swordsmen.

This is a very long game. The first enemy wasn't defeated until year 24, the second in 31, and the final one in year 39. If someone else has an alternate strategy that allows for a shorter game, I would love to see it!

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AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
themaster123456 for all of you who found the snake taking up oasis space get any unit (not ranged) and in the small box it says "attack here" then left ckick on his farms (usefull) :0)
Lord Wabbit I quite enjoyed this defence intensive map, and Snake proved to be a useful distraction, and when there was only the blue Caliph left, he even got inside his inner walls.

In the beginning, it's a good idea to set to stage for a booming economy, as well as building a good defence. I built 2 wheat and 1 hops farm, 2 quarries respectively with 2 ox tethers, 2 iron mines, and plenty of woodcutters. As there are a lot of trees on the oasis behind your castle, placing a lot of woodcutters early on will clear it for more farms. But there was a problem with this; Snake placed a lot of woodcutters too. While this clears the oasis faster, it also means you're both going to be short of wood, and fast. (Not a good map if you're against deforestation). This, I found, was quite a big problem.

After building a 3 tile thick wall extending from Snake's castle, and fortifications around the back also, buy in Crossbowmen. And I mean quickly. Sultan and the 2 Caliphs will soon be sending a shock force including a LOT of Swordsmen. Snake will be not be able to handle this with his archers and spearmen. I built two Square towers to cover my own castle preliminary, then as soon as possible built two more to cover Snake's castle; brimming with Crossbowmen. I suggest only having one tower with a mangonel, focusing on the Caliph on the hill, and the rest with Ballistae, as Caliph delights in using Fire Ballistae and plenty of catapults.

The first attack of (a lot of) swordsmen is pretty quick, and you won't have enough gold to buy too many Crossbowmen, so buy some normal archers with braziers, and use pitch to burn their socks off.

It's important, also, to build woodcutters far to the west of your keep, in the corner, where a lot of trees will have grown in the absence of farms in their place. You should also vigorously exploit the iron deposits, behind Snake and in the south-western corner.

I used a combination of Macemen, Crossbowmen, and a few catapults to eradicate each opponent. As my mangonel had pounded the yellow Caliph's gatehouse (and anyone exiting through it) his economy was in pretty bad shape. I waited until both the Caliphs had little money left and were picking pennies off the floor before attacking, so their reinforcements were few and far between.

I recommend Macemen for their lightning speed and high attack power, which soon makes short work of a thin wall and a thin (or fat, in Sultan's case) Lord. Crossbowmen, for me, while killing a hell of a lot of enemy archers on the keep and towers, only really provided a distraction for the charge of Macemen. As as result, I had to replace a lot more Crossbowmen than Macemen.

Ultimately it's up to you how you deal with each Caliph. Giving Caliph a taste of his own medicine and a lesson in watching your castle burn would be pretty fun.

Just remember, getting your castle up quickly is vital, or you can say g'bye to any buildings you've built as they add to global warming.

Happy Crusading!

Dragol This is an easy mission if you can get ur defence under controll. The best thing is to harass the one up on the hill with catapults and stuff, use ale +8 and taxes -8 for extra gold. the blue caliph is real hard i attacked him 3 times with waves of 130+ maceman and they didnt even get into the keep. i had to destroy their economy to win this one. Snake helped out alot with the harassing. This mission was extremly long for me and i got my highest score ever of 66000!
Darkness_Elf finished it in 11 game years and after 2 restarts (within 5 minutes of starting, because snake took my oasis and because i placed my tower in caliphs range accidentally) AD 1255 on 27
ibballin "Snake refuses to give you money..."
No AI gives you gold, it's a real disadvantage that they put into the game. I had Lionheart as an ally once and he stopped producing troops and he didn't even give me 5 gold (he already had like 500k!).
Bman980 I need Help! The caliph right across from me builds fire ballistas early and pummels any guys i send to the towers!
dmassive I win this map on the second try XD
In the first game I play as usual, but enemy Catapults destroy my towers, walls, archers, etc... in a very easy way. But in the second try I do this:

1. The first and the most important, build everything under-right your keep, to avoid enemy Catapults.
2. build quickly Wheat Farm as many as you can, this important for sell Wheat and gain gold. Build on the left side of the map too. Process your Wheat for food too.
3. build three quarry under-right your keep.
4. Close your keep quickly as near as you can, because if you build far, your wall will be destroyed by enemy Catapults.
5. Try to join your walls with you ally. This help when you ask for defense.
6. Ask for defense only if you think you can't stop your enemy.
7. build crossbowmen or archers as many as you can, ever.

Until this point you will have good defense and earn some money, but you still receives important damage from enemy Fire Ballista.

8. build Square Towers and set ballista and archers there. Five ST at a good strategy point will kill enemy Fire Ballista, but if you can build more, build more! :)
9. Now, your defense is complete, prepare to siege your enemy as you like. The keep on the high land should be the first.
10. Good Luck!
yesladsitshug i found that as long as a constant stream of archers and stone were produced it was relatively easy to defend. then i built about 200 macemen and wiped everyone out. however i did need to weaken all their defenses with archers first
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