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31 - Warning Drums

Author File Description
Stratego Mission 31 - Warning Drums
Three adversaries:
The Wolf Duke Volpe, the Wolf Lord Fairfang, the Wolf Lord Lupus

Death match conditions for all players

In this hard mission, where three characters of the Wolf surround you, you have to take care of your defence right from the start. Your keep is located on a rounded, sandy, and flat hill with green areas in the midst of the map. The periphery of this strategic central position is full of stone and iron resources that you cannot directly exploit at the beginning.

It is necessary by all means, to enclose your small settlement as early as possible. At first, you should slow down game speed on the lowest level. Then you should quickly erect the following buildings and all of them close to each other (have a look at the minimap or my saved game file!).
Begin with 5 or 6 stockpile elements, 1 granary, 2 apple orchards, 3 woodcutters, 1 market place, mercenary post and barracks, 3 huts, 1 quarry, 2 ox tethers, 1 church, 1 inn (buy hops!), 1 brewery, 1 engineer’s guild, 4 fletchers (crossbows!), 1 armoury and 2 iron mines.
After that raise your taxes up to “mean taxes” or partially “extortionate taxes”. Now’s the right moment to build up your defensive wall structure: Go to the market and sell all the initial pitch, the grain and respectively the initial iron resources. Then buy in 200 stones and start to enclose your keep by a doubled wall as you can see on the minimap. The next steps will be to place at least three square towers at a time on each opponent’s side. On each two towers of them, you ought to place mangonels and one ballista on each remaining tower. Begin to build up this tower line north of your keep opposite to Duke Lupus’ Castle, where you’ll directly get under pressure. Besides, recruit numerous crossbowmen and additionally post them on top of your towers. All the necessary leather arms you should buy on the market place in this first stage. Your northern mangonels should aim at the hostile mangonels and ballistas.
Your remaining eastern and southern mangonels, fixed on the other two opponents, should take different targets in front of their castles under sustained fire (i.e. quarries, iron mines and so on…). Your ballistas will automatically care about the approaching hostile catapults. Take care of the repeating attacks of knights and pikemen coming from everywhere around!
Post crossbowmen on top of all three rows of towers in time and if need be, recruit some slingers at the mercenary post. When your towers keep in check each opponent, you have to erect a few trebuchets inside of your castle systematically destroying the walls and towers of the northern Lupus’ Castle. Besiege and take this fortification by storm as usual with the help of various units (crossbowmen, protected by shields, swordsmen, or pikemen and fire ballistas).By the way, it might happen that you have to fill in a deep moat by spearmen or pikemen. When you’ve finally conquered Duke Lupus, you will get less problems with the other two adversaries. Persistently subdue them in an habitual manner by using all the efficient besieging methods, i.e. trebuchets, fire ballistas and crossbowmen. It’s advantageous at any case, to press both castles hard by durably eliminating those economic structures outside and behind the enemies’ castles.

You will need about 20 (or longer) game years to finish all three opponents depending on your successful progress concerning your defence and offensive.

Good luck!

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AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Chronomorte This was difficult, but I found a lot of success with the following 'sacrifice' plan that I stumbled upon by accident.
The two main elements to this plan are 1) neutralize blue with two mangonel towers right away and 2) put towers in reach of each of the other castles (with mangonels) to draw fire and whittle down full-fledged attacks while you build up your main castle just behind.

The very first thing I did was completely neutalize
the Eastern enemy by building two round towers with mangonels and archers (10 or so each, with braziers) within range of his outer gatehouse. (always cut away the stairs right after you get any of your first towers loaded) I set both mangonels to attack his gatehouse and that pretty much kept him down the entire game - he never mounted an attack after the first one that my archers easily repelled, and the stray stones from the mangonels kept demolishing everything he built. Keep an eye on these from time to time, as his gatehouse will be destroyed and rebuilt a few times and you have to re-target the mangonels.

Next, I stumbled upon a very effective 'sacrifice' that bought me enough time to complete my castle and build up
all defenses. Just within range of each of the other enemy's mangonels, build two towers just like you did for the Eastern-most enemy. So now you will have 6 round towers stocked with mangonels/archers/braziers. 2 are suppressing the blue enemy, 2 are drawing fire from each of the others. The Southern enemy has trebuchets set up, so this method will attract that and the mangonels to fire at your exposed 2 towers. These towers will eventually fail, but not before granting you enough time to completely enclose and set up a fully stocked and functioning castle just behind them! The
sacrifice towers should be built and stocked up as soon as possible after placing the eastern towers and your granery, even if you nearly go broke doing it (Don't forget to set down a trading post before you sell all your wood if you need to) Both enemies will continously attack your double-tower setup with everything from catapults to trebuchets to horsemen - repair them from time to time, restock them a little bit when you get time, but keep in mind these are just drawing fire while you make your 'real' castle just behind them.

Quickly return to your keep and build up your production,
put some stone-miners at the near quarry and some iron miners to the east (near the blue castle that won't be
troubling you). Set up farming, I used wheat and bread
(which could be sold if necessary) and with careful placement I was able to enclose the fields. All kinds of
attacks will be occurring around your double tower setups,
but turn all of your energy into building an enclosed castle now, with crenelated walls and towers at at least every corner. Build your original two towers (that are attacking blue) into your outer castle wall on that side, but build a couple of squares away from your sacrifice towers. Some of these towers will be very near your sacrifice towers, but they will be out of range of mangonel and trebuchet fire. Stock them with ballista and braziers and archers. Don't forget to put a gatehouse by the close rock mine. Buy up lumber and keep placing iron mines, starting from around the southeast and working around. Add stone mines as you see fit also, there are a couple places outside easy reach of any attacks.

One humorous but effective thing I did when I had purchased a little excess lumber was to place 2 or three woodsmen huts
in the 'backyard' of the two active castles. They would target these with mangonels, and for a while take the pressure off the frontline towers while blowing away their own walls and people. I recommend doing this once or twice.

Soon, your outer towers will fail, sell them off and retreat all your remaining archers (if any) to your inner castle. You should have a double-walled castle with functioning ballista towers and plenty of iron production by now. At this point you can start producing pikemen or macemen (by selling off the iron and stone excess) and wipe out blue very easily. The other two can be handled with standard seige tactics - watch out for pitch traps all around, though.

They will each mount a couple of decent attacks, but behind your double walls, with ballista towers, brazier archers, and pikemen, these attacks will be repelled handily. This was a fun way to complete this level, taking the pressure off my central area while constantly harassing each enemy with mangonels.
Regal1 This was a difficult mission so I started over a few times and changed my strategy. Eventually my way was faster than Stratego's (about 15 years total) and used fewer towers and fewer sacrificing than Chronomorte. Here's what worked for me...

I started building in this order:
5 stockpile elements
2 orchards
1 wheat farm
1 dairy
3 wood cutters
3 huts (locate them by the South Western quarry at the bottom of your hill--huts to be located outside castle walls)
3 quarries & 6 oxen (located on Southern quarry to be enclosed inside castle walls)
1 inn
1 brewery
2 iron mines (located on Western iron area to be enclosed inside castle walls)
1 tanner (near dairy)
3 fletchers (crossbows)
engineer's guild
stone barracks

If you have the game set to the slowest speed and you're fairly quick about it, you can get all this stuff built with no problems. I had to buy wood often in order to get all this stuff built but felt it important enough to do so instead of waiting.

Then I started on the walls... Get stone stocks up to about 200 and enclose your keep. I went with Stratego's castle plan and it worked out well. I put 1 square tower on the 3 sides closest to the enemy, putting mangonels on those and buying arms to make crossbowmen. I started with about 5 crossbowmen per tower.

I doubled the walls and eventually tripled them in places, especially towards the Wolf to the South who uses trebuchets early on. I evenly added square towers near each original tower as soon as I had more stone. I added balistae to those and more crossbowmen. It's annoying but at times you'll be hit from all 3 sides so you have to keep reinforcing your walls.

Eventually I had enough of a breather to add the following:
1 mill
3 bakers
1 more dairy
1 more tanner
1 hops farm
Mercenary barracks
2 blacksmiths
2 metal armorers

Try to add the mill and bakers as soon as you can, you can add the other stuff later.
Eventually you want about 12 towers and average about 9 crossbowmen each. Set engineers to build trebuchets aimed at all 3 enemies. It's difficult to keep up with all that's going on which is what makes this mission so difficult.

I found it easier to go after Wolf Lupus (blue) first and killed him in year 1696. Then I went after Wolf Fairfang and killed him in year 1698. By this time I had plenty of swordsmen, macemen, fire ballistae, and crossbowmen to overwhelm the enemy.

It wasn't until I went after Wolf Volpe (to the Southeast) that I ran into pitch ditches and lost some men. But I had so many swordsmen that I was able to kill him in year 1700.

Hope you find this helpful... Good luck!
Ibeliamoyes I found this mission very easy. It helps to build your castle small. The order i killed them in was blue (because he was failing), orange, then yellow. Yellow has the hardest castle IMO. I trebuched his towers until they were smashed and couldnt be deleted. To attack i smashed the front tower and marched in. I lost a lot of troop here however and a better strategy should be used.

[Edited on 08/10/05 @ 06:12 AM]

me_cool I found this mission extreamly easy and did it the first time I tried. First i set up an aconomy really quickly, I made a wall with 6 sqaure towers and maned them with crosbowmen. 2 towers at blue 2 at yellow and 2 at the last guy also man them with mangonals. (The mangonals wont reach but attack them as far as you can and they should do a fair bit of damage). The blue was most siple I marced about 100 pikemen on him and he fell befor my men. Then for the yellow dude i sent 3 catapults on him and marced my pikemen again but he has pitch and is much harder than blue. I made about 50 more pikemen and 50 macemen and marched them on the last dude. Good luck (;
place ox teahers at the wolfs gatehouses
its going to cut back on ur stone tremendously but it makes up for causing them not to attack which allows you to raise a lot of iron to then buy stone.
Sir Danath I found thi map to be very easy, and I completed it on the first attempt.

Setting the speed down to 20, I quickly set up another 5 stockpile elements, a trade center, and 4 granaries. Next, I constructed 4 woodcutters and 6 wheat farms near my castle. After this, I walled myself and the quarry south of my position in, leaving room for expansion. I placed a square tower for each wolf. Place a mangonel on the tower facing the Blue Wolf, because he's the only one closest enough to hit with it. Place balliste at the other two to prevent catapults from hitting you.
From here, build an engineer's guild and a barracks and armoury, and put them up at the towers. After this, make 10 crossbowmen and 10 archers for each tower.
This taken care of, place 2 quarries on the quarry just south of your position, as well as 2 ox teathers for each. This will bring in plenty of stone to start.
From here, place 4 or 5 iron mines on the iron deposit east of your position, near the blue wolf. He soon won't be in any position to do anything.

By this time, you need to build a mill and 5 or 6 bakeries. This'll bring in plenty of food. Next, place 4 weapon smiths, 4 armouries, and 2 pole turners making pikes. You will probably have to replace some of your archers by now, but they should be fine for a little longer.

Now that weapon production is under way, place another tower at each wall with a wolf at it. Man them all with mangonels, and have them target either the walls of your enemies, or their iron/stone to limit them. Place 10 archers and 5 crossbowmen in these (your gold will cover this no problem).

At this point, the blue wolf should be pretty weak. He had very few troops at this point, having exhausted his gold on troops and his castle, and my mangonels and archers have picked off his troops. However, his surviving pikemen have begun digging a moat, making things difficult.

I constructed a mercenary post, seeing as how my troop procudction wasn't far under way. I made 30 assassins, 30 arab swordsman, and 30 arab archers. The assassins moved in, covered by archers, and opened the gate. From there, arab swordsman cleared out any survivors. The wolf will probably have 2 or 3 layers of castle. Rinse and repeat, then have either your assassins or swordsmen finish him off.

Lord Volpe, who is south east of your position, is next on the list. Move your archers and crossbowmen from the north west wall to the north east wall. The yellow wolf won't attack you from the sides. Construct another tower on each side, and man it with the spare engineers and balliste. You should have at least 20 assassins, archers and swordsmen left from taking down the blue wolf. Flesh this force out with about 30 horse archers and the troops your barracks can produce. From here, send in the horse archers and arab archers, taking down Volpe's mangonels, fire balliste, and balliste, as well as any enemy archers and engineers they can. Have your assassins kill the rest of the ranged soldiers. After this, send in your swordsmen and pikemen (I had about 50 swordsmen and 15 pikemen). Be warned, the wolf has a heft bodyguard of swordsmen and crossbowmen. I took down his gate, but had to take another shot at him. No worries, your balliste and mangonels keep his quarries from running, and he won't be able to rebuild it before you finish him off with a secon wave (Only some 15 swordsmen in the second wave).

By now you know the pattern. I had enough money and went a little nuts, hiring 400 horse archers and just ripping the final wolf's defenses apart. Crossbowmen, archers, engineers, balliste, mangonels, swordsmen and pikemen all went down to the horse archers, who lost probably 50 of their number. From there, I only needed 20 swordsmen (I had made around 137 by this time) to finish him off.

It was a surprisingly easy victory in this game, despite what I had thought it would be.
mavengloiven I, too, completed this on the first attempt, although it was a LONG battle, and I certainly wouldn't call this level "easy."

You have plenty of resources to set up a good defence and a good economy at the start, and let me echo another gamer from this forum in saying that it is important to put up seige towers with mangonels & ballista to pound away at your enemies' towers. This game had an extremely "messy" feel to it, mainly because I couldn't get a wall around my castle for quite some time, and for every mangonel aimed at an enemy tower, there were two or three aimed at me - so there was stone flying around everywhere, knocking out an occasional farm, killing workers, etc. In fact, I found this level to be maddening at first as I tried to keep tabs on what buildings I had running and what was destroyed. You really have to multi-task here, doing about 5 things at once.

Anyway, once you get your army built up and your economy going, you should find that you are the #1 lord pretty quickly. The yellow and orange wolfs are more formidable, but the blue pretty much went stagnant as soon as I took out his towers. He wasn't too hard to remove, I think I sent in about 25 macemen and about 25 swordsmen, under the cover of about 25 archers, of course.

Now, the two other opponents are a little more difficult to remove. I made the mistake of thinking my defences were sufficient against the orange wolf, and I focused all my energies on crippling the yellow wolf with about 5 trebuchet and a bunch of fire ballista. Bad move, before I knew it, orange had broken down my defensive and was laying waste to the rear portion of my land. I wasn't ever in any danger of losing, mind you, but I had to rebuild some stuff. At this point, I had plenty of stone since I had quarries in my land as well as where the blue wolf used to be, so I built a long straight wall all the way across the edge of my land opposite to the orange wolf, and I constructed 5 square towers and put ballista in all of them. I also put up about 20 crossbowmen and about 15 fire archers, and I placed some fire ballista around the edges just in case he sent a huge force in that got past my defences. Finally, I destroyed the stairs leading up, so his poleman couldn't get up in my towers and take out my ballista. There. That took care of orange for the time being, so back to yellow.

In the meantime, yellow had rebuilt his towers and was pummeling me again with mangonel, so I quickly took them, out and set up a little outpost over to the side of his castle (the opposite side to where orange was). I built about 3 trebuchet and some fire ballista, which I used to take out all his towers and as many of his farms and buildings as I could reach. I then sent in a group of crossbowmen and horse archers - I think 15 crossbowmen and about 35 horse archers - to clear away all his archers and bowmen from his keep and along his walls, as well as to take out any spare fire ballista might be laying about. At this point I had about 75 swordsmen and about 45 macemen, so I decided to send in the troops in 2 waves - macemen first and then swordsmen. However, I found that once I got inside his keep, the macemen were more than enough to take out the yellow lord.

The orange was not too hard after that, although it took quite a few archers and horse archers to clear off the top of his keep. He had a bunch of spikes all around his castle, and so I lost some guys going in - wonder if anyone can share a strategy for how to beat the spikes trap? Also, can I do the spikes trap? How?

Fun level - challenging.

derekcdjc Anybody, I need to know why crossbowman are so much better than regular bowman. They shoot slower and cant use Braziers. Anybody??
Birowizard Statego is right on the money with his walkthrough in this one! Deviate from it at your own risk, (unless you're using cheats).
This was a difficult starting point for me, although with Stratego's excellent advice I was able to get enough weapons production going to produce men enough to repell the early attacks. There are several, and they WILL dismantle walls erected in the first phase. I found the best way of defending agaisnt these attacks was to place pikemen and Arabian knights at the various points where the Wolfs' men broke through, and added to their number as weapons and money allowed.
I haven't quite finished this level yet, but have taken down one of the Wolves; (northeast as you look at Strato's map), have achieved greatest lord status and have the other 2 Wolves basically shut down by sustained mangonel/ballista fire.
I did use a trick from Kester's later walkthroughs that helps a great deal: place 'mean things' enough to raise efficiency to 130%, but ensure you have enough religion, ale and food coverage to compensate. This means that the peasants produce more of everything; weapons, food, ale, etc, more rapidly, and enables you to: 1) set food to extra rations, (or even double sometimes), 2) get more troops faster, which you certainly need earlier on, and 3) get more stone to enable running repairs to existing towers/walls and also build new ones. Taxes can still be set fairly high - I think mine were at -8 throughout - due to the increased food rations...
A tricky start, but a gratifying end position, if you're careful!

This one is fun to defend, (as long as you win!), and even more satisfying in some ways than #25, "The Forgotten."
Update: 07/12/07 - Victory achieved not long after I sat back down at the PC: It might help those who follow to know that I embelished Stratego's 'two towers' strategy by making a total of four towers facing each Wolf. This was not long after I'd managed to subdue their attacks with just 2 towers facing each one; the mangonel/ballista combination effectively diverts their economic attention to repairs and re-manning that which is damaged, and away from millitary units. Adding the third and fourth towers speeds up the destruction, and also enables you to focus on other targets, like stone mines & farmalnd, etc.
At the end, I'd gathered over 10,000 in gold, and so decided to stop taxation, since I was selling stone and iron for income, as well as surplus bread and weapons. (I'd maxed out my army). As the last Wolf fell, I had +17 poularity, and about 13,000 gold...

[Edited on 07/12/07 @ 02:58 PM]

Venomrider reply to derekcdjc's question on best archer types,crossbowmen are usually better than other archers because while they fire more slowly they punch right through armored targets like swordsmen and siege engines as well as taking more of a beating than arab or cruasader archers.
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