|Lord Michael I
Posted on 04/28/08 @ 09:13 AM
This chapter of the second crusader trail is anything but a Tranquil Getaway. You will be fighting two Abbots and one Emir. Though normally the Abbots are pretty easy to beat, in this mission they will have a great position in the map, and will have the double of your starting gold and resources, so they will try to win no matter what.
First thing to do is to slow down the game. Slow the game down to 20 (Slowest Possible). This will give you some extra time, and hopefully your castle will be up and running before their castles.
The key to this mission is to have a healthy castle way before your enemies have it, so you have to be efficient. Buildings should be placed close to the stockpile and deposits, this way your workers will spend less time walking around to deliver their goods or getting raw materials.
So, after slowing down the game, place 5 stockpiles, shaped in a rectangle (You will have an image later for you to guide yourself), and a granary, some spaces behind your keep. Then place 2 bakeries and a mill. After that set up one fletchers’ workshop, a tanners’ workshop, and a poleturners’ workshop. Build a marketplace, away from the stockpile, since you will need that space for more buildings. Remember to put your Fletcher to make crossbows, and not bows.
After building the marketplace, buy 150 wood pieces. With them, build a woodcutter hut near the trees that are north of your keep, and another one near the trees to the east of your keep, right next to the pitch pocket. After that, erect two hovels, also far away from your stockpile. Also build an armory, near your weapons industry buildings, one dairy farm, two wheat farms and one hops farm.
Now, we need a source of iron and stone. If you haven’t noticed, this will be a problem. The nearest source of iron and stone is far away to the east, fairly close to the Emir’s castle. But you shouldn’t care. The Emir is still busy building his castle, so go ahead and build 2 iron mines and a quarry, along with two oxen.
This is how my town looked like:
Note how I placed my buildings. The bakeries and the mill are close to both the stockpile and the granary, and my weapons industry buildings are also close to the stockpile and the armory. Also note I placed my marketplace and hovels away form the stockpile, so they don’t interfere with my industries. I also placed my dairy farm close to the tanner, and farms close to the stockpile.
Now, proceed to build a Barracks and a Mercenary Post, close to the Marketplace. Immediately hire 10 assassins, and place them near your iron mines. Do the same thing with your starting spearmen. Then, build a defense turret near the woodcutter hut you placed to the east of your castle. Build some stairs, and send your starting archers there. You will have 17 stone left in your stockpile, so build a wall, as so:
Though you will think the wall will do nothing, later on you will know the enemy attacks will approach your castle by skirting the river, so, if you block their way, they will have to make a turn and walk right in front of your tower, giving your men more time to kill the enemy off.
Keep an eye on your town. When you see hops being delivered, erect two breweries. Also keep an eye on your bread production. If you see flour is being piled on your stockpile, feel free to raise your number of Bakeries to 6 (Build 4 more bakeries).
Also, when iron starts to roll in, switch your poleturner to pike production, and build an armorer. When you run out of peasants, simply build more hovels. As ale starts to flow, you can build one inns, when possible a second inn, and raise your taxes up to -8.
If you run out of wood, you can buy some, but don’t buy extra wood, only what you need. Remember – You are not rich.
When you train your pikemen, always send them to the iron mines. In fact, each time you train a melee troop, send him over there. The protection of this part of the map is essential. If you lose control of it, the Emir will start building quarries, farms and iron mines there, and will have a much stronger economy, thus, it will be harder to defeat. When stone starts to appear on your stockpile, sell it for a profit, and, when you have enough money (Around 400 gold), hire 5 Horse Archers, and send them over with your melee troops to the iron mines. You can also sell extra stuff you have like flour and hops to reach this amount of gold.
Now we need another Fletcher, to keep up with the Leather Armor production. Go ahead and build one, along with another hovel and another woodcutter, which you will place near the trees east to your tower. Remember that, if you don’t have enough gold, you can sell extra stuff to afford the buildings.
Keep reinforcing the South-Eastern zone of the map with pikemen, as you reinforce your defense turret with more crossbowmen. Every once in a while, hire some Horse Archers to add some range troops to your small army defending the iron mines.
You will be some years into the mission, when the first waves of attacks will come along. It will probably be an Abbot, sending a large army of monks, archers and engineers towards you. By that time, I had an army of 9 crossbowmen, 3 archers (Both placed on the tower), 12 spearmen, 8 pikemen, 10 assassins and 8 Horse Archers, (Placed near the iron mines).
The archers went directly towards the tower, but the monks headed towards my mines. I suggest you form your men like this:
Note how I formed my men. I placed my Horse Archers behind a wall of melee soldiers. This way, my Horse Archers could fire at the enemy, but the enemy could not harm them, since they would have to go first through a wall of assassins, pikemen and spearmen. Your Horse Archers will kill of most of the enemy, and your melee troops will finish them off. But don’t let your guard down. This is not what you are fighting against. Keep training pikemen, and, when you have some extra money, hire some assassins and Horse Archers.
Just in case, train some pikemen and send them to defend the foot of your tower. The attacks will be large in number, so just in case an enemy manages to cross the wall, your pikemen will be waiting. You may have noticed that your enemies will send some archers now, and they probably will try to kill your oxen and iron deliverers. So you have to kill the before they do it. Build a lookout tower on the other end of the wall you built, and put some crossbowmen there.
At this stage of the map attacks will increase in size and number, and sometimes enemy attacks will go directly to the iron mines, and probably your small defending force will not be able to fend them off completely. I recommend you retreat your melee to the safety of the defense turret, and leave your horse archers behind.
The reason of leaving behind your Horse Archers is because they are fast and can move, while firing arrows at the enemy. So, just select your Horse Archers and make them to move around. You can also stay in a spot, and wait for the enemy to come at your Horse Archers, and right in the last moment, move your Horse Archers to another place. By doing this strategy of avoiding direct confrontation with your enemies, you will be alright. If you get buildings destroyed, just rebuild them. And when peace is restored, send your melee troops back to their places.
Now, go to your town and erect a engineers’ guild, and hire 4 engineers. When you have the money, make them build 2 fire ballistae near the iron mines. Use these fire ballistae to burn down the farms in the area, since sending foot soldiers is dangerous.
Another tip is to always keep your Horse Archers on the top of the small hill, where the stone is. The hill is not very high, but it does make a difference on the range your Horse Archers will have.
The image above shows how I placed my horse archers. Note they are on top of the small hill, while my melee soldiers are guarding the foot of the hill. My fire balistae are to the left of the melee soldiers, and are targeting the farms to the north of their position.
By this moment, I had a small defending force of 15 Horse Archers, 9 spearmen, 12 pikemen, and 19 assassins.
A normal mistake is to believe that your army is ok the way it is. Well, it’s not. A really helpful tip is to always thing bigger. You can always improve your army in some way. So never stop training men. For example, if you fill your two towers with crossbowmen, just place them on the wall. If you have stone, build a bigger tower, thing I did. I had 77 stone, so I destroyed my defense turret, and put a round tower, complete with a tower ballistae.
As for your iron and stone defenses, don’t stop recruiting pikemen, and, from time to time, hire some more Horse Archers. In fact, if you have 420 gold, you can build 2 more fire ballistae, something I highly recommend. So keep growing your army, and destroying those pesky farms. From time to time, go to the market and sell anything you don’t need, like extra food, stone, iron, etc.
Now, it is time to cripple even more the Emir’s economy. If you don’t know, the Emir has a fairly large population, and, without food, they will all be unhappy. So save 450 gold and train two engineers, and make them build 2 fire ballistae, behind your wall, and make them target the farms across the river:
With the image above you can also see I destroyed my defense turret and placed a bigger, round tower. Now, the Emir’s farms in this area are not all of his farms, yet, they are a fairly important part of it, because they are wheat farms, essential for bread production, so it will inflict an economic impact on him. The Emir will try to defend his farms by sending a small number of archers, an enemy your Fire Balistae can take out easily, but not without getting hurt. There will be a moment your Fire Balistae will be weak, so simply unman them, and build 2 new ones. Disband the damaged Balistae.
By this stage of the map my economy was flourishing, I had a bit more than 1500 gold thanks to the taxing and to all the stone I was selling. But, this is not enough if you want to win. Now that you’re economy is stable, build one more quarry and one more iron mine. This time, build 3 oxen, and add one ox to your old quarry. Of course, you must also build a new hovel. This means your population will grow up to 50.
If you want a reference, by this moment, I had an army of 3 archers, 48 crossbowmen, 9 spearmen, 6 fire ballistae (2 placed near the wall and 4 near the iron mines), 38 pikemen, 19 assassins and 15 Horse Archers.
So keep on with the routine: Sell everything you don’t need, unman and build new fire ballistae when they get weak, grow your army, especially your melee troops (I recommend you train pikemen, since assassins are more expensive). I also recommend you enlarge your Horse Archer division. When you can, hire 10 more Horse Archers.
Tip: When you reach the number of 60 crossbowmen, you can stop recruiting them and instead sell the weapons for a profit. You can do the same thing with pikemen. When you get up to 70 pikemen, you can stop training them, and concentrate on gathering money.
When you stop training both crossbowmen and pikemen, sell anything extra and aim for 8000 gold. You need this amount of money to start building a bigger Horse Archer army – The main units in your attack.
When you get 8000 gold, start hiring Horse Archers. 8000 gold will give you 100 Horse Archers, enough for this map. Make them assemble along with the other Horse Archers, near the iron mines. Another thing I recommend is to build one more granary and one more armory. Since your production rate is high, both of them will fill up too quickly.
After you hire all those Horse Archers (I finished up with 130 of them, of course, you can hire more if you want), it is time to attack. First of all, note that the Emir has a mangonel, so we need to put it down before you go in. Hire 6 engineers, and place 2 trebuchets (Image below) and destroy the tower.
The two Trebuchets are placed behind a rock, covered by the mangonel fire. I placed my Horse Archers behind the trebuchets, so they can give cover to them. Now, order them to destroy the tower!
When the tower is destroyed, you are ready to begin the attack. Send in your Horse Archers, and move your melee soldiers to where your trebuchets are. Do not send in your pikemen with the Horse Archers, you will only get them killed. First you have to clear the area for the pikemen to get in. So kill off any enemy in the Emir’s castle, and send in your pikemen for the final blow.
For a reference, by the end of the siege I had 100 Horse Archers Left, from the 130 I started with. I think it is also important to tell that while I was on the siege, the Abbots decided to attack me, so in the middle of the fight I go out of the way of the monks, and killed them with my Horse Archers.
After I killed the Emir, I concentrated all my forces on the Abbot of Dumfries. But first, I went to my town and sold everything I had. There was plenty of stone, iron and weapons to sell. At the end, I had something around 11000 gold. With that, I hired more Horse Archers (At the end I had 200 of them). Another good idea is that if you see the Abbot’s castle is a bit too crowded with monks, you should better wait, because he will attack you. Since you probably have an army of 200 Horse Archers, it is easier that you wait for the attack, and kill the monks in an easier way.
And when you finally attack the Abbot of Dumfries, remember to leave a small amount of Horse Archers (I left 23) guarding the river that connects the Emir’s island with the Abbot’s castle. This way you’ll prevent any monks from going through.
And when you kill the Abbot of Dumfries… You know what to do next. Kill the other Abbot.
Well, I hope this guide has helped you in some way, and I hope even more you had fun playing this mission. Attached to the walkthrough is a saved game, with all the enemies alive, but useless, since they are under siege. With the save game you can see in detail how I built my town, how I placed my wall, and anything else you want.
If you have any doubts on the mission, you can still email me (My email is in my profile).