36 - The Descent
Mission 36 - The Descent
Posted on 10/28/04 @ 12:00 AM (updated 03/30/05
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", except for your ally, The Pig. On the verge of annihilation, I protected him with my crossbows and he remained dormant. I've just given him a huge infusion of cash and supplies and he has sprung to life again. If you care to observe his behavior and how he attacks your enemies, enjoy. To mark this map as completed on the trail you can achieve victory by using the group of 10 swordsmen at each castle to kill each lord. It's highly recommended you play it yourself, however.
You face four enemy lords, two Snakes and two Lionhearts, along with your ally, the Pig. Computer lords start with 4,000 gold, you start with 2,000, 30 archers, 7 swordsmen and 3 knights. You're in the northeast of a map with two high desert ridges extending east to west, one in the north and one in the south, separated by a large fertile valley with lots of grassland and marshes. The Snake, Duc Beauregard is immediately to the west of you in the upper middle of the map and your ally, the Pig, Duc Truffe is on the other side of him in the northwest. Arrayed on the southern ridge, west to east are Lionheart, Richard II, Lionheart, Richard I, and the Snake, Earl Doubletongue. There is a huge iron deposit to your west between you and the Snake, Duc Beauregard. Stone is in the far north center but the Snake will prevent you from exploiting it, at least until you get rid of his troublesome presence. More deposits of iron and stone are arrayed across the southern map edge.
This mission shouldn't be too difficult. The Snake to your west will send over two small groups of archers at the beginning of the game. It is essential to eliminate this threat immediately or they will be shooting your peasants left and right. Once they are dispatched, the Snake will send mostly weak ground troops that pose no significant threat, spearmen, slaves, slingers and some archers.
The Snake, Earl Doubletonge to the south will send similar troops and will burn out your farms if they are not protected. The two Lionhearts will be slower in attacking, but will use heavy troops (pikemen and swordsmen), catapults and trebuchets.
All four lords will attack your ally, the Pig, the two Lionhearts giving him the toughest go. If left to fend for himself he invariably is eliminated. With your help he may survive, although you really don't need him. I chose not to help him so I could enjoy the fun of defeating each lord myself.
A reasonable amount of control can be established right from the beginning, and will increase with time. First up will be dealing with archers sent by The Snake from the west. Your 30 archers in a defense turret near the iron deposit will accomplish this easily. A second tower will be set up in the south to guard the farms. A round tower will be added later and a few fire ballistae to help deal with invasions of armored troops and catapults from the Lionhearts. While time isn't as critical as in some other missions, you won't want to dawdle. Setting up a healthy economy quickly will make it easier to fend off attackers, generate much gold for the training of troops, and enable you to start striking back that much earlier.
I found walls and moats are not needed. Attacks seem to always come from the same directions and my crossbowmen were adequate to deal with them, backed up by the starting swordsmen and knights.
I recommend a full wheat economy run at double rations and +8 food bonus, full ale coverage for another +8, and cathedral, church, and religion at 50% coverage or more for +7 or better. You can ramp up production by placing bad things to a fear factor level of -5 and still run -16 taxes. The gold will flow.
Produce only crossbows in the beginning as they are the only missile troop type with the punch to take down the armored ground troops and catapults to come later. Crossbows will not only be used as weapons, but some will be sold for gold to help finance more troops, buy stone to build and repair the towers, and keep a supply of ale.
Take full advantage of the large iron deposit and set up iron mines as soon as you can. I ended up with over twenty, generating so much gold that I decided against setting up quarries later on as it would have filled up the stockpile too quickly, forcing me to divert my attention more often to sell off the accumulated goods.
When you have your iron mines, religion and bad things (if used) in place and are starting to see a surplus of crossbowmen and gold you can assemble an invasion force of your choice and set out to conquer all the lords. Many troop types will work, but I chose horse archers to clean off walls and towers, supported by extra crossbowmen not needed for defense. Assassins were used to open gates and swordsmen to assault the keep and finish off the lords.
I have seen it recommended not to produce food in this mission. Seems the height of folly to me. Wheat is readily grown and double rations are easy to build to. Why throw a +8 food bonus away? And you can sure use it in the early years before your iron mines are established. High taxes are vital. The farms will be burned out in a flash during the Snake, Earl Doubletongue's first attacks if not protected, but a well placed tower prevents this and should keep them safe for the remainder of the game. I just don't see any reason not to use wheat farms.
USING BAD THINGS AND A NEGATIVE FEAR FACTOR:
If you've never tried using bad things this is a great mission to do it. They can speed things up by providing resources and gold much faster. They do absolute wonders for food production, ale and produce lots of extra goods. They dramatically increase your income and enable you to build your army faster and generate lots of reinforcements without running out of gold. You'll also see the power they bring in terms of maintaining a large population with fewer resources.
Since the enemies are not difficult and your army can be quite large, the -25% attack rating reduction penalty that a -5 fear factor brings will not really be noticed. And the -5 hit on your popularity is more than compensated for by double rations, religion, and selling off extra goods.
When I first completed the trail I never used them. I just never felt the need to go the extra step. Bad things are not essential here, but I recommend them only because it will speed things up for you and give you lots of gold to play with. This mission can still be won handily without them.
As you should already know, the fear factor level ranges from +5 to -5. Each positive increment makes your peasants progressively more lazy, taking time off to visit the good things you've built, also just stopping and taking a break wherever they happen to be. Production suffers dramatically, but you do get a +25% attack rating bonus, making your troops fight harder and a +5 popularity bonus. Walling good things off helps a little since peasants won't visit them, but they still stop and take long breaks.
Bad things do the opposite, increasing production and giving a -25% attack rating penalty. Troops will be weaker, but you can produce a lot more weapons in the same period of time. Each negative level of bad things increases production a certain amount building to a level of -5 where you generally get a 33% or 50% production increase, depending on the commodity. That means food, wheat, all weapons, stone, iron, wood, hops, ale, pitch, in short all goods delivered to the stockpile, granary or armory, except flour. But it gets better than that, much better for ale and bread.
Take the wheat-flour-bread production chain. If a wheat farm can produce 10 bundles of wheat in a given time period, with a -5 fear factor level it will actually deliver 15 bundles, a 50% increase in the same period of time. The mills have no increase in production so their output is 10 and 15 sacks of flour, respectively in this example.
But the bakeries also have a 50% increase in their output. In the first instance they will take the 10 sacks of flour and produce 80 loaves of bread (8 per delivery). In the second instance with a fear factor level of -5 the baker will take 15 sacks of flour and produce 180 loaves of bread (50% increase equals 12 per delivery). The result from wheat to bread has been compounded to give you an astounding 125% extra bread from the original wheat deliveries.
Hops/ale/flagons also compound in a similar, but slightly less, fashion resulting in an almost 78% increase. Hops and ale both increase 33%, while flagons remain unchanged.
A -5 fear factor also brings -5 to your popularity and a resulting hit on taxes, but this is compensated for by the ability to increase food rations due to the extra food production. One bump in rations will make up 4 of the -5 right off the bat. Religion can take care of the remaining -1 and selling off all that increased production alone will probably more than make up for lost tax revenue.
Now, you will need extra peasants to handle a lot of the extra production enabled by bad things, but your increased food production makes their added food requirement insignificant. And those extra mouths you feed also pay taxes. Your tax base will go up. You come out way ahead.
Use of bad things in this mission illustrates another point. Restriction of available resources can put limits on how certain parts of your economy run. With the six wheat farms that are available, wheat/flour/bread can be run at double rations and stay in balance up to a population of about 90. After that food stocks will decline unless rations are decreased or extra wheat is purchased and additional bakeries are added. A buildup of bad things can solve this and maintain current rations without buying wheat or adding bakeries by their effect of gradually increasing wheat production and baker efficiency to keep pace with the growing population, in this case up to at least 130 peasants. We may in fact, have a surplus to sell.
In this mission, where we're already running at double rations, the resulting drop in popularity of -5 can easily be offset by building religion at the same time and in sync with its decrease. A church and cathedral give us +3 and half a dozen chapels or so gives us at least another +4. We're still at -16 taxes with +2 or +3 to spare.
Since iron is an important contributor to income in this mission it makes sense to extend the stockpile toward the iron deposits. Wheat is to the south and a distance off so this makes sense for that commodity, too. You can look at the screen shot to see where I set up buildings: granary northwest of the campfire, bakeries northwest of the keep and continuing counter clockwise around the granary, inns northeast of the keep, weapons southeast of the stockpile, first row fletchers only, second row armory/fletchers/armorers/blacksmiths, third+ rows armory/tanners/armorers/blacksmiths, mills northeast of the keep and stockpile, barracks southwest of the stockpile, engineers guild to the south, hovels/bad things in the far northeast, cathedral/church in the mid northeast, chapels spaced around. A nice, tight, orderly layout makes for excellent production.
Building the castle proceeded in several phases. I set up granary, marketplace, hovels, wheat farms, woodcutters, dairy farm, inn, armory, fletchers, tanner, and two perimeter turrets to start. This establishes defense, starts food and weapons production, and sets the ale bonus in motion.
Then I added more fletchers, tanners, barracks, hovels, inn, iron mines. This allows you to start training troops, maintains full ale coverage, keeps well ahead on population, builds stronger weapons production and produces some iron to sell.
Next came engineers guild, armorers, blacksmiths, remaining iron mines and religious buildings. After Snake is eliminated, hops farms, breweries, and mercenary post.
Slow speed down to 20 and make liberal use of the pause key (P). Add two stockpile tiles in a southwest direction. Site granary northwest of campfire and marketplace northeast of keep. Lay down six wheat farms in the southern oasis area (see second screen shot below).
The Snake's archers will group quickly in the west and become a nasty threat if not dealt with immediately. Erect a defense turret west of the keep. Locate it west of the lone cactus and a few tiles northeast of the top eastern edge of the iron deposit, about midway between the two. Add two low wall tiles and stairs. Put all 30 archers up there with all haste. They should be able to eliminate all of the Snake's archers with very few losses.
Buy 225 wood. Site dairy farm as shown, two hovels in the extreme northeast and nine woodcutters, four in the northern grove, and five in the south among the wheat farms. Now build five fletchers and an armory south of the stockpile and add one tanner. Set fletchers to produce crossbows. Next an inn northeast of the keep and buy five ale. Send two swordsmen to the tower stairs to guard.
Now set up a second defense turret in the south near the wheat farms as shown in the screen shot. It butts up against the rocks on its southeast and southwest sides. Then, as before, two low wall tiles and stairs. Set up a barracks southwest of the stockpile, leaving room for at least two more stockpile tiles. As soon as the Snake's archers have been dispatched. Send ten archers to the southern tower and two swordsmen to guard the stairs leaving the remainder of the archers in the western tower. Move the three knightsk between the barracks and the southern tower and a little back towards the stockpile to stay out of missile range. Knights will be used to counter any enemy that slip into the wheat farms and to attack catapults to the southwest a little later.
Locate one iron mine just south of the western turret. Buy 10 stone and set up a low wall around three sides of the dairy farm. Put a second row on the southwest side. This forces enemy troops to attack it from the keep side and provides some protection from catapults later on. If the dairy farm is destroyed, just keep rebuilding it. The wall will allow you to start meaningful leather armor production.
When ale bonus kicks in raise taxes to -8. Taxes plus the sale of crossbows will have to provide the gold for now to purchase stone, ale, leather armor, a little wood and train troops.
Buy five leather armor. Train crossbowmen as crossbows are produced and gold permits. Train more crossbowmen over time by selling many crossbows and buying leather armor as needed. Buy small lots of wood if necessary to keep fletchers supplied. Split crossbowmen trained and send half to reinforce each tower. Send three to the rocks just northeast of the wheat farms as backup.
GROW YOUR ECONOMY:
As woodcutters start to deliver wood, site a second inn and two more hovels. When the first wheat is almost delivered to the stockpile, put a mill just northeast of the keep and stockpile. Then some bakeries as wood permits, four right away, building to eight, then twelve to fourteen. Granary will be low at this point, but should not be quite empty. Fresh bread should arrive just in time. Keep the bakeries coming and as bread stocks grow go to extra rations and -12 taxes. When you get up to about a dozen bakeries you should be able to go to double rations and -16 taxes.
Add two more fletchers, more tanners, a third inn, more hovels, a second mill and add iron mines. Add four more stockpile tiles as shown.
Buy five more stone and put a double row of full size wall tiles in front of the western tower to protect it from catapult hits.
Your crossbows should have held off any small invasions during this time. As soon as catapults appear, send your knights to destroy them. Buy stone to repair damage to towers. You can survive without the knights but it will cost you a lot more in stone for repairs and you'll have to wait until the catapults run out of rocks or move into range.
Keep adding iron mines. You can eventually end up with twenty or so. Buy stone until you have 45 then set up a round tower and stairs as shown in screen shot. Low wall comes out the side for three tiles before turning for the stairs to accommodate an iron mine butting up against rear of tower and sticking out a few tiles. You should have extra crossbowmen by now to send to the new tower, 10-15 to start. Add to this until you fill the tower.
Add an engineers guild. Put a ballista in the round tower and man it. Make three or four (or more) fire ballistae and station them using the rocks for cover as shown in the screen shot. They are not required but I think they help.
Add hovels and inns as needed, one inn for each 30 peasants. Sell iron as it comes in to finance more crossbows, and a cathedral. Start adding bad things to step up production. Cathedral bonus will offset the popularity penalty. Build bad things to -5 while adding a church and half a dozen chapels to keep popularity in balance. Bad things should also up food production which must stay in balance as the population increases. If not using bad things either reduce food rations and taxes, or buy in wheat and add more wheat farms, mills and bakeries, and then use religion bonus to bump taxes to -20.
As trees are cleared around woodcutters, locate them to fresh areas. There should be space for two more farms, either wheat or hops, among the original six once the trees are cleared. If you are using bad things, you won't need more wheat farms, so opt for hops. If trees are cleared late in the game west of your farms, additional farms can be added there.
Add a couple of blacksmiths producing swords, and armorers. When chapels and bad things are all placed you should have a roaring economy with lots of weapons production and a full complement of iron mines. Population should probably be around 130 so as to have 24 peasants at the campfire for quick training. Train swordsmen and maybe some knights, and you should have lots of crossbowmen and quite a bit of gold.
READY YOUR INVASION FORCE:
You can now assemble an invasion force. You should be in a financial condition to choose whatever troops you wish. Since you probably already have most of what you need for the Snake in crossbows and swordsmen you can use these. 20 crossbows and half a dozen swordsmen is probably adequate. Crossbows can circle around the north side slowly taking out all wall and tower positioned troops. Swordsmen can smash through the backside or use assassins to open the gate and go in the front.
With the Snake gone you can go after the trees in the north center and set up quarries if you like. But if you've done everything I've suggested your economy is probably in such fine shape the quarries will not be worth the bother. They may actually be a distraction as they will force you to visit the stockpile and market more often to sell off goods.
At this point I opted for speed, so set up a mercenary post and assembled 150 horse archers. If you want fast ground troops you can train macemen or pikemen, or do as I did and stay with swordsmen. Slow, but by the time the horse archers have attacked, been reinforced, and finally finished their work the swordsmen should have arrived. And they always get the job done. A dozen assassins isn't a bad idea either, to open gates and enable a quick and easy march into the keep. I also sent all the extra crossbows I didn't need to support the effort.
Use the horse archers to clean off towers, walls and the keep. When the horse archers have made things completely safe the assassins can raise the gates and give the crossbowmen access to the walls and towers where they can be very handy in eliminating additional troops inside the castle that the horse archers can't (or won't) target. Swordsmen make their entrance and deal the final blow. Watch for oil engineers. While still outside, the crossbowmen can also help neutralize the pikemen that the Lionhearts may send out when you begin your attack. Enemy pikemen are devastating to horse archers.
I tackled the Snake, Earl Doubletongue south across the swamp next. The Snake, Richard I, Richard II, one, two, three. None should be that hard.
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To be successful, forget stone mining and concentrate of gathering wood. Set taxes to Low. I placed a granary (on half rations), a marketplace, an inn (buy ale!), a couple of hovels, and about 10 woodcutters shacks in the area of forest in the top right corner. Next I placed an iron mine to the east of my keep, and a small tower next to it, with a brazier and all my archers in it. I also surrounded the iron mine with killing pits.
Posted on 01/14/05 @ 12:00 AM
Set up a barracks and armory, and buy 10 crossbows and 10 leather armor, creating 10 crossbowmen. Set up a second small tower just south of your keep on the fringes of the grassland, and place 6 crossbow men in it, with the other 4 being placed on top of the keep.
Then, place a hops farm and a wheat farm on the grassland next to this tower, and place a small well there too.
As wood starts coming in, surround your farms with killing pits.
Once hops and wheat start hitting the stockpile, put up a mill, a bakery, and a brewery.
By now, the enemies around you have just about enclosed their keeps, so go around and place ox tethers directly in front of all their gatehouses, trapping them inside. Put the tethers to sleep, and check them periodically, as the Richards' will try to knock them down with mangonels, and the Snakes will eventually burn their way out.
But, if you survive the attacks they throw at you up to the point where all enemy soldiers are trapped inside their own keep, then you can relax and concentrate on building an army.
As wood increases, build a mess of bakeries (I had 12) and start a massive production of bread. Combine this with about 10 iron mines in the iron quarries east of your keep, and sell these products to produce gold.
Put up about a dozen fletchers, set on crossbow production, and 6 tanners (put up 2 dairy farms).
Although it will be slow going for awhile (I got burned out twice by enemy slaves and had to rebuild), the killing pits and archers should be able to protect your area well enough for a serious army to be developed, provided you have trapped the bulk of the enemies inside their keeps with your ox tethers.
Once I had about 25 crossbow men, I put up an engineer guild, created 12 engineers, and built 6 fire ballistas. I then attacked the Snake directly east. By this time, he had little left, as all his soldiers were trapped inside his keep, and supplies were unable to go in either. I moved slowly up to his wall and mowed everyone down with my strike force of crossbow men and ballistas. 10 macemen were quickly produced back home (buy maces!), and the Snake fell quick enough.
By this time, my 10 woodcutters had felled the entire upper corner forest where I had originally placed them, so I deleted all those shacks and placed 10 new ones directly north of where the Snakes keep used to be. Again, don't bother with the stone quarries here, as you won't be able to get the stone back home anyway with all your ox tethers asleep.
The 2nd snake went down next, again with a strike force of (this time) 45 crossbowmen and 12 ballistas, who moved right up to the enemy wall after a pair of well placed trebuchets (guarded by 6 shields) had knocked down the nearest towers.
Once more, the crossbows and ballistas mowed down everything inside the keep, and 15 macemen went in and dealt with the Lord personally.
Note that before this point, I had to replace the ox tethers in front of this enemies drawbridge, as his slaves had burned their way out.
Some more quick building (including 6 catapults), with trebuchets knocking down the leading towers, and I marched my crossbow men and ballistas up to the wall of the closest Richard. He had spent all this time trying futilely to get out of his keep, but was unable to get rid of my ox tethers in front of his gatehouse. Thus, by then he had little of anything left. He fell to my macemen after the crossbows and ballistas had done their job.
The last Richard was the hardest, having a few tough towers well lined by ballista, but I managed to edge in some shields and set up a few trebuchets to knock down these towers. I lost 5 trebuchets in the process, but did get his towers down, so then immediately marched the crossbow men and ballistas up to his wall.
By then, he had escaped the trap of his castle, but was engaged with some of the Pigs men, who were also knocking on his door. At this point, I ordered the Pig to attack him, which he did, and while they were engaging each other, I managed to get my forces right to his wall. A last mowing down with crossbows and ballistas, and I marched in the macemen one last time.
The mission will be much easier if you have the control of the iron near to your keep. Try it this way:
Posted on 03/17/05 @ 12:00 AM
First build 3 woodcutters in the corner above your keep, the granary, a hut and 2 dairy farms, then build 4 lookout towers. 3 of them around the iron and the last one at your dairy famrs. Put 4 arabian archers at each tower. Now build as much iron mines as possible. You have to rebuild them serveral times. Then start crossbow production, build 2 wheat farms and begin to produce bread.
Remember rebuild the iron mines after every attack of one of the Richards.
When you've enough gold buy stone , build a square tower at the iron and put 25 crossbows and one ballista on them.
This beginning is very hard, but after 2 years holding on, you're strong enough to kill the snake to your right. Buy or produce 10 knights, destroy the walls and just walk in to kill the lord.
With 10 or more iron mines you'll soon be rich enough to do everything you like and finish the level.
(please excuse my bad english)
As with pretty much every mission in the skirmish trail the hard part is only holding off the enemy at the beginning.
Posted on 06/27/05 @ 03:31 AM
Since IRON is the main source of income, it is logical to move the stockpile imeediatly just northeast of the iron deposits, this will greatly increase your iron income as you workers won't have to work far at all!
I also suggest as with any other map with close enemys at the start to build 1 fireballista and light up the snake's base immediatly, just fire at his hovels or feltchers until they light up, once he puts the fire out target something else and set it on fire. Rinse and Repeat and should keep the close snake at bay.
Also i found it helpful to move the western square tower that you build to fend off his archers a little more west then suggested in the guide as you will effectively put half his base out of commission. Add a few crossbowers for support in this tower and the snake should be pretty screwed early on.
These put X of these there, Y of these there never worked for me. My advice on this scenario is right to at the start put a tower near the ore to the south west of the keep and put all of your archers in it. Then put a few woodcutters near the trees in the north east corner and build a mercenary hut and a few hovels and a market. After that sell all of your stone and recruit all of the arabian swordsmen your gold will allow. Throw all you have at Snake Beauregard and you can defeat him right away. After that you can get stone and ore and then mission is just a matter of time.
Posted on 12/29/05 @ 03:47 AM
this is interesting... ive never really used or thought about the implications of negative fear factor before! +120% bread production wow!
Posted on 05/27/06 @ 08:16 PM
i also figured out if you make +5 fear factor as well as a cathedral and a church you can run an economy without feeding, or giving them ale, although it lowers efficiency way down
I thought the walkthrough - especially the start - was good advice and worked great for me. Once you can establish an economy and repel the attacks by your foes (Richard's attacks are much more dangerous than the two Snakes, and you simply must get at least one round tower out there in the grass area to take out the catapults), it's not too hard. Getting rid of the Snake to your right is a major step - once that's done, it's just a matter of being patient and taking care of business.
Posted on 12/25/06 @ 10:11 PM
I also liked the "build no walls" strategy, and instead went for a few strategically placed towers (permiter towers and watchtowers) filled with crossbowmen to take out advancing enemies. I also used a lot of fire ballistae around my base, as the enemies are slow moving and take even longer than usual to get up the sand dunes to where the castles are.
This reminds me - in previous games I've gone with regular archers because they are cheaper and thus more plentiful, but I went with crossbowmen here, and I am reminded how superior they are, and how they make the game SO much easier to win once you get that foothold.
i mined both iron and stone , and set up a full wall round my corner of the map. a tower and water pots protected my quarries.
Posted on 01/05/07 @ 04:49 PM
this worked wonders .... i killed the snake to my west first off so i could wall in the iron.
i finished the map with 75,000 spare gold having produced over 1000 weapons and an army of about 350 .!!!
like sharproad says , get rid of the snake and the map is yours.
i too placed a tower within range of his keep, put all my bows up there with 15 arabian bows .
when all were dead i sent my initial 7 swords to kill him
[Edited on 01/05/07 @ 04:52 PM]
Even with all the advice, this mission was helluva hard. Speed it essential.
Posted on 06/02/07 @ 12:01 AM
I found that adding more Round Towers was definatley a good idea. More towers, more fire balliste. The stone, once I killed the Snake, was probably not needed, but it helped for massing huge numbers of swordsmen. Once I had about 300, I managed to wipe out the Blue snake and Richard closest to him. The second Lionheart managed to hold against the survivors, but was so wiped from it, that I sent in a clean-up force and mopped him up.
Difficult mission, even after setting fire to the yellow Snake's castle. Blue Snake and Richard brought in Catapults which managed to kill all but one of my swordsmen... My knights promptly died to Pikemen trying to kill the catapults.
Posted on 04/19/08 @ 08:44 AM
I downloaded the saved file, but it opened some WinRAR setup which I have no idea how to operate. It then said this was not a free service and I had to pay for it. What the hell was I paying for?
Some instructions as to downloading the saved files would be much appreciated...
Well my strategy is this: I haven't read all of the responses BUT my strategy is usually the same: When you start immediately reduce the game speed to 20 - 25... After that Build wheat farms, woodcutters, etc... and mercenary camp! Build also extra two houses to provide yourself with population and create as many slaves as you can and star digging a (not very thick) moat (like 3-4 squares). Then build the round tower and assign all archers + ballista on it! Bear in mind that you need to cover as much as farmland as possible!
Posted on 04/27/08 @ 02:24 PM
You will likely to be penniless within a minute but it SHOULD take you trough the first five minutes! When you make a moat you don't need do spend the your stone on walls which will be easily destroyed by the enemy's catapults! You need to devise this and try to suppress the "Richard 1"as he is your most formidable adversary! The snake is virtually harmless if you listen to other gamers and burn his estates as frequently as you can! Hope this helps!