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34 - The Coconut Grove

Author File Description
Sparrow Mission 34 - The Coconut Grove

The link above will download a saved game just before victory for you to look over, including the layout I used for my castle. All castles are still standing with each lord still alive and under "house arrest". To mark this map as completed on the trail you can achieve victory by using the group of 15 pikemen at each castle to kill each lord. It's highly recommended you play it yourself, however.

You have 3,000 gold and face 5 enemy lords with 40,000, Caliph ("The Scorpion"), the Snake (Duc Beauregard), the Rat (Duc de Puce), Sultan Abdul; and the Pig (Duc Truffe). This is a free-for-all with everyone out for themselves, no alliances. You're situated in the west with enemies close on the north and south. To the east is a central oasis to be shared by all. There's a small grove of trees to the west, and iron and stone deposits close on the north and south. Your starting gold is plenty to face these lightweights who will focus much of their efforts squabbling amongst themselves. Your biggest threat is in the startup phase where you're under attack on different fronts very quickly, and are in close proximity to the Snake to the north and Caliph in the south. Caliph must be neutralized fast. Snake is a minor annoyance. Caliph will immediately set up lookout towers with Arabian archers that are close enough to do serious snipping damage in much of your compound. He must be neutralized quickly. The Snake will harass you quickly with lightweight troops and catapults. While I plant wheat and hops early, many will be burned out and need to be replaced, therefore wheat production will be slower than usual.

There are many ways to achieve victory. The following is but one. I usually don't go for a lightning victory and prefer to give adversaries a sporting chance to show me their best. Speed is essential in setting up your castle, but I take more time after that and build a solid economic base. This method uses crossbows, wheat only, and full ale coverage. Build food to double rations (+8), ale to full coverage (+8), and taxes to -16. Not enough space or starting gold for effective religion. Use thin low walls with a single entrance near the keep heavily guarded by crossbowmen, with a gatehouse, or as I often prefer, open without a gatehouse. A trebuchet will counter the harassment of Caliph to the south, fire ballista will dispatch the Snake's catapults on the north. Crossbowmen will establish control of your area very early leaving you to push production to needed levels and assemble invading forces of your choice. When ready foray out and have fun. This scenario is fairly easy once you secure your castle.

Slowing the game down to 20 and liberal use of the pause key (P) will help you achieve a fast setup. Later you can speed things up when you're comfortable. You'll have a much easier time if you move the stockpile. This will put your production out of range of the Caliph's Arabian archers. Delete the stockpile immediately the game starts. I relocated it northwest of the campfire square just far enough to put a market between the two with a tile of space between market and stockpile. I like the market close to the keep since I use it frequently, but it's not necessary. Continue with another 3 or 4 stockpile tiles to the northwest. Site your granary. I put it on the north side of the stockpile towards the end so it can be surrounded with bakeries.

I usually place woodcutters next but in this case I lay down five fletchers and an armory along the southern edge of the stockpile and set them all to crossbows since we need weapons in a big hurry. Then 5 woodcutters in the trees at the western edge of the board. Sending woodcutters to the central oasis early on is folly since they will never return.

You'll probably need another hovel or two. Keep well ahead on accommodations so you always have peasants to train. You start with 200 bread so food on normal rations is OK at this point and taxes are zero.

Next wall your area in. It's very important to do all this setup stuff very fast before competing peasants, woodcutters, quarries, etc. start to hinder your wall building. As you can see in the screen shot I start with a single round tower maybe a half dozen tiles out from the eastern corner of the keep and then run a low wall for access to the keep. The south wall (all walls are low to save stone) extends from the map edge, includes two trees, then crosses the stone quarry area, jogs slightly inside the iron deposit (as walls delete iron but not stone, if you want to mine later on), back out a little and joins up with the tower. The north wall extends from the map edge, again through the other stone deposit, inside of the iron, bulges back out, then turns south sort of in a line between the keep and the tower, with a gatehouse northwest of the tower facing northeast and close in to the keep so tower fire will cover it. You can also leave the entrance open, in which case a lip extending out at the end towards the tower is a good idea. The bulges, especially on the north, claim a little extra territory which is handy.

You may ask why not claim the whole of the stone and iron deposits? I think this is a big mistake as it puts you too far inside the range of enemy archers. You need your walls far enough back to provide cover for your fire ballistas. Also when the enemy puts something like a quarry next to it I think he tends to target a different part of the wall with siege engines. You don't need iron at this point anyway and my wall placement still allowed for six quarries inside the walls. So don't be greedy, share with your neighbors. It will all be yours soon anyway.

As mentioned above you can leave the entrance open with no gatehouse. This encourages attackers to make for the open entrance where your crossbows in the tower will deal with them before they can enter the castle. You also don't have to deal with unwanted gate closures. The north wall should be reinforced, three or more tiles deep on the bulge from the Snake's quarries to the east until the wall turns south towards your tower. The Snake usually sends catapults to pound this section. Also reinforce around the tower with low wall sections, two or three tiles deep, especially on the east facing the oasis. Sometimes siege engines will have a go at the tower.

Buy wood as needed, sell all the pitch and iron. You need gold, pitch won't be used, iron can be mined later. Next I set up one quarry in the south inside my walls and one ox. Then barracks and engineers guild a little south of the armory. Two inns over near the map edge will give you full ale coverage up to sixty peasants.

It's now time to get some crossbows up in the tower. They're much hardier than bowmen or Arabian bowmen and have much more stopping power. They're more difficult and expensive to make but well worth it. Buy leather armor since there's no safe place for a dairy farm. Buy 20 leather armor and 15 crossbows, train immediately and send to the tower. By this time you've probably made a few crossbows of your own so should be able to train the other 5. This gives you about 20 crossbows in the tower, enough for a start. They should hold off initial enemy probes which should be starting about now. If you wish you can also set up a mangonel or ballista in the tower. You should have all this accomplished by Jun or Jul of year 0. The enemy will start harassing you around Aug of 0.

Now set up one trebuchet south of the barracks and west of the quarry which should be in range of the closest row of Caliph's lookout towers full of Arabian bowmen. As soon as it's built target the lookout towers one by one. This is super effective and will neutralize his proximity threat. Be sure to retarget as each tower falls and keep it supplied with stone. He will rebuild them for a time and eventually give up.

Also create 2 fire ballistae and send one just inside the south wall west of the quarry and the other just inside the north wall west of the Snake's quarries. The southern one is there to eliminate any fire ballistae the Caliph may send later from his western side to target your quarry. You probably can't afford it yet, and you can always build it if needed, but you may need a third fire ballista south of your keep if the Caliph sends catapults around his eastern side. The northern one should immediately target the catapults that will appear by the western end of the Snake's castle and north of his quarries. Continue to keep an eye on this area even after you dispatch the first catapult. More will follow. The fire ballista can easily deal with it, but it must be told to do so. Neglecting this will result in severe damage to your northern wall and a possible breach, disastrous but not necessarily fatal. Repair wall as necessary. If you're tucked in tight to the wall you should be safe from arrows.

If you wish you can build additional trebuchets and fire ballistae to accomplish these tasks faster, but it's not necessary and you will be low on gold at this point.

I should mention there is an alternate strategy to pounding the Caliphs lookout towers with a trebuchet. That is training at least 15-20 crossbowmen and putting them in several lookout towers on your southern wall east of the iron deposit and going "toe to toe" so to speak, with his lookout towers. You will also need reinforcements, but they will clean out his back towers and walls closest to you and neutralize the threat. You can, of course, use both strategies.

Now I set up about 4 or 5 wheat farms and 2 hops (more would be better) as close to the entrance as possible. A lot of these will be burned and need to be rebuilt. That's ok.

You now need to get food and ale production going. I set up two mills, eight to ten bakeries, three or four breweries to start. Your ale bonus should be kicking in so see if you can bump taxes to -8 yet. You can probably bump rations to one and a half and taxes to -12. Once the bakeries get going you should be able to support double rations and -16 taxes. Buy wheat if you need to and keep rebuilding the wheat farms and add more. As you get stronger they'll be in less jeopardy. When possible add more quarries, and then a gatehouse and iron mines on your south side. Sell all excess stone and iron for gold.

As crossbows are produced buy leather armor and put more crossbowmen in the tower. The round tower capacity of 35 should be adequate. Build population, add bakeries, hovels, inns, breweries, quarries, weapons production, etc to your taste. By the end of the scenario I had:
18 bakeries
2 mills
4 breweries
4 inns
5 fletchers
2 poleturners
1 armorer
6 quarries
7 iron mines
8 wheat farms
3 hops farms
population 114
taxes -16

You should now be in control and can start building an invasion force of your choice. So many combinations work. In this scenario I built a force of 130-150 crossbowmen, 50 pikemen, 12 catapults, 12 fire ballistae, and some extra engineers. A smaller force would probably do, but with this force you should encounter few problems. Pikemen are used for the final assault on the lords and can be substituted with macemen, assassins, swordsmen, or Arabian swordsmen (since there are no moats). All should work just as well. Fire ballistae are not necessary, but a personal favorite. Twelve catapults are excessive but fun, and will open a hole in a wall really fast. If you set up half a dozen dairy farms you can have some extra fun and launch a small herd of diseased cows into the Sultan's and Pig's castles. I always keep fresh reinforcements coming.

You could deal with either the Snake or Caliph first. I opted for the Snake since he's the easiest. Your crossbowmen can easily neutralize all the Snake's archers and most other troops. Pikemen can breach the wall and mop up.

On to the Caliph who should be fairly easy. The easiest place to attack was on the backside of his castle closest to your own. Crossbowmen and fire ballistas should not have much trouble cleaning out towers of Arabian archers. Be careful of pitch traps around his castle. Catapults can be used to pulverize the walls. They'll need to keep at it a little while as the Caliph will usually continue to repair the walls until he runs out of resources. Then, as with the Snake, send in your pikemen to finish him off. Be aware that while the Caliph's castle stands the Arabian archers in his front lookout towers can still target anything outside your southern walls although most iron miners seem to survive.

Now you have two minor threats to deal with. The Rat will send out archers who will take up a secure position and start to kill off all the farmers and woodsmen of yours he can target. The Pig will send crossbowmen, macemen and catapults and start destroying your farms and attacking your walls. The Sultan may send some troops against you but your tower crew should handle them ably. You should have plenty of gold at this point through high taxes and selling off huge amounts of stone and iron, so you could just ignore the Rat and buy farm resources while dealing with the Pig. But I prefer to split off about 30 or so crossbowmen and keep the Rat in check. This leaves me free to concentrate on the Pig. Be sure to reinforce your Rat patrol periodically.

I usually advance a mix of crossbowmen and fire ballistae in a rolling advance, that is, advancing the rear 20-40%, then once they're in firing position, advancing the new rear, and so forth in a continuing forward push. This insures that a large portion are always firing if the enemy is in range. Advancing in this fashion will steadily clean out most of the Pig's castle. Continue and send about two-thirds around to the rear as many troops will be left on and around the keep. Here's where you can have some fun with the catapults if you bring them around to the rear as well. If you established dairy farms earlier you can rain down a dozen diseased cows at a time around the keep. Makes quite a toxic cloud. Then just smash the wall and finish off with pikemen.

On to the Sultan who tends to send a lot troops out after you. Your crossbows and fire ballistae should show him the folly of this tactic. When his attacks dwindle, smash his walls with your catapults and in go the pikemen. The Rat should be quite weak at this point. Similar tactics will dispatch him and give you a well deserved victory.

Good luck,
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AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Lord Alex16 This mission is "everyman for themself style with human lord, snake, caliph, rat, pig, and sultan. You start with 3000 gold and computer lords start with 40000

Place 5 stockpile pieces, a granary or two, barracks, mercenary post, an armory and a market. Immediately work up an army of maceman and attack snake. You should easily eliminate him if you do it quick enough. You will recieve about 9000 gold for killing him. After this, you should have no problem getting stone and iron. Get many towers and many crossbowman to protect from pigs attacks. You will need 2 balistas and a magenol.

Place a woodcutter in front of caliphs gatehouse and turn it OFF. This will keep his troops from getting out and stop resources from getting in. He will spend his gold very fast. You will not have to worry about attacks from rat because caliphs archers will pick them off before they get to you. Eventually, pig will eliminate rat. Sultan and Pig will fight throughout the mission, damaging eachothers armies. After they battle, and you feel your army can take pigs, then send in maceman to kill pig.

Then, we go to caliph. Use crossbowman to pick off EVERYONE IN HIS CASTLE. Then send in about 10 or 15 assasin to finish the job.

Sultan should be easy at this point. Get many catapults to put a hole in his castle. Send crossbowman with the catapults to protect them. Pick off sultans troops with the crossbowman if you can. Then, send in assasin to finish sultan off.

NOTE- This mission is very complex and is not easy. It would be impossible for me to write every single thing I did in this mission. But, I can say that after you have a lot of gold from selling stone and iron, you should put shrines to get +5 in popularity and put a couple churches and a cathedrals (put enough until your religion is at +9.) You will be able to raise taxes or to lower rations-- because there is not much oasis land to get food from. You should also buy or produce ale and place a couple of inns in order to get +8 in ale coverage.
Skasian To completely nullify the snake at the beginning, use a fire ballista (follow the original guide above) and target his engineer guild on the left of his base, this will set off a chain fire throughout his base and make him incapable of producing anything or massing an army, continuouly set fire to the engineer's guild once the snake rebuilds and and you should be able to maintain the fire inside his base.

I set fire to his base 6 or 7 times and then the snake died in the fire. Easy effective way to kill the snake with just 1 fire ballista :)

crusadermacenite And Exactly how many Woodcutters are needed!?!
Lord Ursus I am not going to read this. All your walkthroughs are too long!

[Edited on 05/04/06 @ 02:16 PM]

mavengloiven to Lord Ursus the Impatient :)

The truth is, by the time you get up to the 34th level, there is no simple solution, other than the ridiculous "ox tether" cheat, to winning these tough matches. Therefore, the walkthroughs will necessarily be long and detailed. I, for one, appreciate the long walkthroughs, as they always give me some helpful ideas before I attempt the mission on my own.
philip5000 At the start slow it down to 20 and make a mercanry post behind the snakes keep. then make 30 arabian swordsmen and midway through creating them make 3 or so horse archers so they can get there quick and prevent the snake from making walls. then make all your swordsmen attack the king wile there on there way make walls around your keepout of range of the caliphs archers and then when the snake dies you will get 10000 gold. and then proceed to kill the rest.
gtcayman How do you build on stone? the footprint always turns red when i try it.
TheFrank Heh, tried this without any gimmicks (not that I ever do). I made a very small base (the southern border a little bit above the Caliph's quarries). Didn't bother to fence off any food, it was too much of a hassle to deal with. I mean, look at all that stone and iron! You could live off that crap. I enclosed the stone and iron above (the Snake is less threatening than the Caliph) and made maybe 2-3 quarries. Enclosed the small strip of castle land. Made as much square towers as I can (bought some stone), maybe 4 of them, situated well away from archers (so there were like 3 in the middle right below the stone quarry). Two mangonels are firing at the Snake, and I also have lots of ballistae for taking out siege machines. Used up all the stone/wood, etc., then removed the stockpile and situated it near the quarry.

Your money comes from selling iron and stone. Fill up that area with quarries! Make sure you have inns and ale to keep your people happy, buy food once in a while.

The eastern border only went as far as the actual keep itself, so I had to keep the Lord away from the shots. I defended myself until the Snake stops bothering my quarries and I'm getting a good supply of stone in. Made some trebuchets and finished off the Caliph's towers. With that gone I expanded my borders a bit, had so much stone I made round towers, moats, double gates...basically went crazy. I went for the Snake first by using a catapult to destroy his gate and just sending 30 macemen in to storm his keep. Caliph went down next, again just used catapults to level his keep, since you have so much money now you can do whatever you want, even get a good supply of food going.

My only regret is that the Rat got finished off way in the beginning by someone else. Not that there's much of an accomplishment killing him, but still...

End result, 190 troops lost (had a miscalculation with a bunch of horse archers, or I might have lost less), 1950 troops killed.

[Edited on 08/17/06 @ 03:38 PM]

orbwhisper I cant seem to complete this mission. And the download only opens up Halflife 2? What would yall recomend?
File Author
I just checked the download. It's definitely a saved game of this mission.

Where exactly are you having trouble?
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