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41 - Thunder Hill

Author File Description
Stratego Mission 41 - Thunder Hill

You are facing three opponents: Richard Lionheart, Caliph, the Scorpion, Caliph, the Jackal, each of them 40000 gold!

Player: 3000 gold

This very hard mission hits you like a hammer, because you will be under attack after a short while by three opponents who will press you hard with a multitude of siege equipments and well-armed units. I don’t know how many restarts have been necessary to find out an effective strategy that would help surviving these massive overwhelming hostile assaults. The only strategy that really would work is to apply delaying tactics.

First, slow down game speed (on minimum!). Now, a race against time has begun, where you simultaneously have to manage many different tasks and where you’ll move your PC-mouse with flying fingers across the map. The three most important things to do are:
1. Delaying the enemy attacks as long as possible.
2. Taking care of a high popularity and a stable food supply.
3. Building up an efficient defensive strategy.

Point 1:

When starting right from the scratch, it’s essential “to life” to keep the enemies at a distance, so that you will gain the necessary time to stabilize your “shaky” position. I tried various methods, but nothing really worked, until I placed six woodcutters (two in front of each opponent’s gatehouse), so that they could not leave their castles for a while. Don’t forget to switch your woodcutters “off” – o.k., so you won’t get any wood for the time being. Well, some time, the enemies still succeed in getting rid of these “nasty blockade” and then you should be sufficiently prepared, if you are following the next steps.

Point 2:

Economically, you start with 1 granary, 2 huts, 1 mill, 1 wheat farm, 1 hops farm, 2 dairy farms, 2 apple orchards, and 4-5 hunters, 2 bakeries and 1 brewery. (Buy wood!!!) This range of buildings will guarantee a stable food supply, while at the same time, one additional inn and one or two churches will give you bonus points for your popularity. Raise your taxes up to “high taxes” depending on your food consumption. The more foodstuffs are allowed to use up, the higher could be the tax rate. The gold that is flowing into your cashbox you ought to use wisely for appropriate military investments (mainly crossbows and leather arms!). The important military buildings are: 1 mercenary post to recruit Arabian archers from time to time, 1 barracks and of course 1 armoury

Point 3:

Sell all your initial surplus iron and pitch, then buy in both leather arms and crossbows and additionally erect three fletchers ( crossbows!!) and 1 tanner – and buy some wood, especially for your fletchers!
Military wise you must wall in your young settlement at all costs. For that purpose, place two quarries and four ox tethers north of your keep. Erect at least six square towers, three at a time west and three northwest of your keep. Staff those western towers with mangonels and the others (against Richard’s catapults) with ballistas. ( engineers guild!!!) While your direct neighbour, the Blue Jackal, seems to be paralyzed by this “surprising” locking up, you should order barrage at the Caliph’s keep by your mangonels. This destroying and deadly shower of stones will decimate the Caliph’s garrison, so that a handful Arabian swordsman will have little trouble with the remaining hostile forces. It might happen however, that some of Richard’s pikemen would break through your wall system, but they won’t survive entering your castle…

If your granary should fall, you have to control your popularity and quickly to rebuild every important building. Also, keep an eye on the Blue Caliph’s slaves who try to burn down your economic structures! When your food production is running, you can resolutely build up a strong weapon production (blacksmiths, armourers, and pole turners) for your offensives after your position is strong or secure enough to stand the enemy attacks. This is the right moment to reactivate again your woodcutters, (if they aren’t destroyed yet) or to erect some new woodcutters huts, now regularly cutting wood.

The first years are characterized by a pure defensive struggle for survival, that’s the crunch point in this hard mission. If you succeed preventing the enemies from concentrated attacks, you will carry out an organized structure consequently planning your offensive. Siege and eliminate your three opponents by using all your own reliable methods that will work at any case.

Please, you may understand that I cannot give you a detailed sequence of all activities, but I’ll present a solution on principle which should serve as a helpful basis to proceed individually. One note: The enemies will be incalculable, so keep that in mind…!

Enjoy and good luck!


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Quickly place three pieces of tall stone wall where (the Blue players) South-Westernly tall tower should be, you cannot build exactly where it is but you can prevent him from building that vital last tower, whilst stopping five archers from firing at you.

Now utilise Stratego's excellent stalling tactic by building wood huts outside the other two enemies doors, now ignore the other two opponents as they wont attack for a while and concerntrate all your attention on killing the Blue opponent.

Now back to your Castle, Immediately put your income to -8, build a Granary, an Inn, as many cow farms as possible to the North west of your keep, you'll need them as an additional defence once the Blue player is dead. Build ten houses (on Barren land due North), a Barracks (next to Keep)and two Armouries (again on Barren Land) and a Market (Barren Land (ie out of harms way)), build four Iron mines and one Stone mine. Sell all remaining stone, iron, and 3/4 of your pitch. Use the gold to buy 35-40 Leather Armours and Maces, then literally at the earliest possible moment charge your Macemen through the gap in the wall. Constantly click on the Blue Commander to prevent deviation from your macemen.

The Blue Commander will succumb to superior numbers. Next Dig a moat between the Northernly rock face just West of the gap but East of the Iron and Stone mines and to the Western side of your keep (it must join your keep), get your victorious macemen digging as soon as they return, continue the moat at least one wood huts width below your keep and run it horizonally East.

Dare I say build the usual as it has after all got you to Mission 41... The best plan for defence is to build a narrow waterway for the attackers to follow (the longer the access route to your keep (the longer you have to pick them off)), ie do not seal off your keep else they will fill in the moat.

Archers both long and short are your best forms of defence. Build Gatehouses and Drawbridges periodically around the moat to allow your Macemen to pick off isolated enemy siege equipment.

Continue to build a drawbuild/gatehouse next to your 4 iron and 2 stone mines, those resources are important for additional income...

Once you have consolidated a strong defensive position mainly against Richard, build an Engineers Guild in the southernly realms of your kingdom and build Catapults, deploy these to attack the Caliph's Castle directly after he has attacked you (thus at his weakest) 20-25 Catapults will reduce his Castle walls to rubble, once a turret has been destroyed quickly build an Ox Tether in its place.
Attack again using your Macemen make sure they don't stop.

Now you can extend your lands this time with as many Round Towers as your resources will allow, use every available resource site and mine! the money will start to flood in.

Attack Richard at your leisure....

Enjoy Octavion

[Edited on 06/02/05 @ 09:04 PM]

Skasian I find it disturbing that good players like you guys have to resort to plaing woodcutters in front of the opponents gatehouses to survive. In my opinion, placing woodcutters is the same as placing an ox tether in front and as you would all well know, this is a flaw in the computers AI and your exploiting it to win. I mean if you wanted to, you could use the woodcutters thing every single stage and win without any trouble at all. THAT IS SOOO CHEAP.

Doesn't anyone have a way to beat this stage WITHOUT resorting to CHEAP TACTICS.
Skasian OK i managed to finish this stage without having to do some cheap tactics such as blocking the comp's gatehouse.

Run Double Rations (+8) Religion (+10!) Ale (+8)
Taxes at Max (-24!).. still left with +2 after all that, feel free to use Bad things if you want to end up with a ton of bread to sell.

If you can get all the above up and running you should be generating SH*T loads of income with a population of 114 which is what I had and still have ALOT of excess stock (mostly bread) to sell. You'll be sooo rich u dunno what to do with your money.


The problem with this stage is the incredibly hard start in which you have to hold off against waves and waves and onslaughting armies from all 3 opponents really early on.

Before you do anything slow down game speed to 20 and use pause if you need it, move ur stockpile northeast of your keep near the green grass (this ensures a fast wheat and hop income) and raise taxes to -2. Build Granary, 3 wheat farm and behind the wheat farms you can fit 3 hop farms, and the build 2 more wheat farms over to the right and a dairy farm (for leather armour). Build all ur houses and markets in the top right corner of the map and buy wood. Build 2 quarries 3 ox tethers 2 iron mines and then u can have woodcutters but they're not nesccessary. Might have missed some important buildings that i forgot to mention so build the other necessary stuff.

Start from your camp fire area and wall off from there to the right edge of the map. Then from the fire place wall off from there to just a bit left your quarry so that it should include a few trees for you. This means that your campfire should be the outermost part of your base. Add 1 square tower just right of your keep with ballista or mangonel your choice aimed at the caliph and fill it up with crossbowmen or archer one you have them. Build up 2 square towers on the western side of your base near the quarries and man them with ballistas to take out his hostile catapluts, again filling them with archers, preferbally crossbows one u have the chance. The walls on the western side at the top should be reinforced to 4 or 5 layers as he (lionheart) will continouly destory them. use low walls if your running out of stone to repair your walls.

Now your keep is enclosed, defenses are partially ready and have your towers ready with no men so far. At this point when i was playing the Caliph below me had only just erected his first 3 towers closest to me. Remember SPEED is the key here, your must be REALLY REALLY FAST otherwise once he starts coming to u and u got no men on ur towers, your screwed. Now buy more wood, and erect 2 mills 14 bakeries or more if you want to have more food. 3 breweries and 2 inns, later adding another inn (1 inn per 30 people). Then build armoury, barracks, 2 fletchers (crossbows) add more as you get the money and 2 tanners, more once u have money. Sell off all un-needed supplies and once u got bread rolling in, sell your bread just so u have enough (say like 10 bread in the granary) as you really need this starting money. IF you still have leftover money, feel free to buy bows and stuff and train men ASAP. Dun forget your engineers guild for ur ballistas.

I know this sounds like alot to do i like 5 mins, but it is do-able and i did it. It takes LOTS of practice and restarting and timing and planning. What i suggest it keep the game speed at 20 for the whole game. If you need it Pause the game using (P) when scrolling around the screen and pause it to plan where your going to build all your buildings. FAST.. move fast is the key.

As you get more money build a cathedral and churchs etc... alot of them and u should get +10 religion like i did, it will take some planning out to fit all the buildings. Then once u have food, raise it to double rations and ale should be at +8 and then tax away. Once you've got it up and running you should be fine. Its just the start thats hard so if you can survive the start then you should be fine. One more note, watch ur top walls as they will be constantly broken and needed to be replaced, i did it using low walls with the tunnelers got annoying.

Attack the 2 caliphs first using whatever you like, but you can do what i did and works against all AI's, only downside is that it costs alot of cash for my method but with 'Crueler then Cruel taxes' and selling goods you should be fine. I always use Horse Archers, Lots of them. If you can get 150 horse archers, it will beat ANY AI garrenteed, provided your not a complete noob. Get 120 horse archers for the caliph and 15 mace men and 1 or 2 assains (buy them), take ur horses for a ride around his base 2 or 3 times and every archer in his towers and in his keep will be dead and you'll lose at max 30 horses, watch out for the pitch and thats probably the only main threat then asssains on the gate house, horses shoots all his people on his keep mace men walk in and kill the lord. Same works with any AI. Just remember to keep the horses moving.

Wow i typed alot oh well hope it helps, i strongly discourage the whole Ox tether or woodcutter in front of gatehouse trick becuase it spoils the game. Don't use it!
albu Skasian, please help me get past this stage. PLEASE!!!
SlashCo I'd actually started considering just skipping this one, before finally winning last night. I'm all for a challenge, but not when it's so ridiculously hard and unbalanced that it actually kills the fun factor.

The only way I found to reliably survive their initial attacks was to relocate my stockpile next to the northern stone/iron patch, and fortify that spot with everything I had. From there, it was the usual job of building up and bringing the enemies down one by one.

[Edited on 08/20/05 @ 01:24 AM]

stockscl No matter what you think about using ox tethers or woodcutters to block the enemy's gates, here is a good stratagy to use on this scenario and all scenarios where the enemy employs slaves or fire ballista.

Once the enemy has created slaves or fire ballista inside his castle walls, stick a few woodcutters or ox tethers inside his castle. The slaves and fire ballista will attempt to destroy your buildings and when they do they will be in for a hot time. Not only will they catch your buildings on fire but they will also catch their own buildings and people on fire! If you can place your buildings near the entrance of the enemy's keep all emerging peasants will catch on fire and delay his ability to strengthen his forces. For added effect, once your buildings have burned to the ground continue to replace them so that the fire will last longer and do even more damage to enemy troups and buildings. "Kill them all!"
Lord Im Stuck Hi all,

I've been playing this game for yonks and learn new tactics every game, that is until I got to 41! It is sooo hard to survive I'm considering giving up! I've tried cheating and still fail! I have read all of the comments above and am unable to complete this mission. Has anyone else got anything helpful for me to try as I really want to complete this game? Many thanks, Lord Im Stuck :0)
Colonel32 I have tried to take out the blue ugly guy at the beginning, an take the 40,000 gold bonus, but he is just too fast in building his defences... has anybody succeded in trying this one?

[Edited on 04/12/06 @ 08:25 PM]

Colonel32 OK, guys, I think I did it... I have killed only the blue caliph yet, but I think I am going to make it, without building woodcutters inside enemy castles, and even moving the storage area.

granary (food gives popularity, popularity gives high recruit renewal rate)
2 houses
trading post
sell almost everything, buy maces and leather armor (50 each)
buy 50 macemen
attack from southeast, thru a watchtower, and head for the keep

maybe you'll need a few loads, but it is possible


[Edited on 04/13/06 @ 01:33 PM]

Mart Yes, I did it, without woodcutter/ox tricks.
Buy plenty of slaves from mercenarypost. Let them dig a moat, first in front of your keep (which will be under fire soon from blue). Build a wall all around, but leave the right end (near the pastures) open. Build 2 round towers next to your keep and one opposite the ford, man them with ballista's

Place your stockpiles way to the back. Build two iron and two quarries. 3 crossbow/2 archer fletchers. Then create siege shop and build 4 fire ballista's. Place them in the upper corner (in the wood, near the ford that Richard uses) (build a small gatehouse there). If you have the funds, build more fire ballista's and send them over there. They should be able to stop most of the siege equipment of richard. Create a maze at the right end (near the opening you left). Build a small tower there, with crossbowmen on top. I made a maze in which they had to walk several times next to the tower. I created a long corridor into my area. That way I could close it of once they were almost through (and because of the length of the corridor I could still close it off).

Once you have this ready, keep building archers and crossbowmen. When your defences are OK, you can switch to the offense, first to blue etc.
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