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61 - Mirage

Author File Description
Lord Michael I

In Mirage you are challenged to face a lonely Nizar. But don’t be tricked into thinking this will be easy. If you don’t start up your castle defenses quickly, things can turn ugly. Lucky for you, you’ll be starting with 7000 gold, and the A.I will also… Oh wait, he’s starting with 20,000 gold…

Despite this starting advantage, and if you follow the walkthrough written here, you’ll probably beat this guy easily, so let’s get started.

As always it is recommendable to slow down things to 20. This will give you more time for you to think and place your primary buildings. After slowing down the game, build the traditional rectangular stockpile, by adding 5 tiles. After that add your granary, preferably behind the keep, in a place near your stockpile, yet not in they way of your future workers; you can later proceed to build one mill, two iron mines and two wheat farms. You have plenty of greenery all around you, but I placed them to the north, as so:

Later place a hops farm. Again, it’s your decision. I put it close to my wheat farms, to the north. Then, set up two woodcutters and one marketplace. Since you’ve got plenty of money, quickly buy 400 wood. After that, set up two quarries and four oxen, as the picture describes it:

I enclosed in a circle both woodcutters for you to see where I placed them. When you place your quarries, try not to place the quarry completely on top of the stones. You need to economize the space there because by selling stone is how you’ll get your money. This means that later on the game we will place more quarries, so leave space for them!

Now, build 5 hovels, in a place where they won’t get in the way of your workers. As always, I recommend you place them near the marketplace, because it is far from your stockpile. Now it’s time to finish setting up your prosperous town. Build 6 bakeries, 2 fletchers (Make them craft bows), 2 blacksmiths (Set them to craft swords), and one Armorer’s Workshop. Place an armory near these buildings. Now erect 2 breweries and 2 Inns. This is how my town looked like:

If you can’t see the buildings correctly, I enclosed each type of them in circles. The blue circle is surrounding the weapons industry buildings; the red one is enclosing my breweries and inns. The green arrow is pointing towards the bakeries. You can also download the save game and look more closely at the town. By this moment I have sped up to normal speed.

If you have read previous walkthroughs, and have noticed this time I am not recruiting either crossbowmen or pikemen, it’s because of the enemy we’re facing. He will attack fairly quickly, so we need ranged units as fast as possible. In this case, Archers are a better option because bows are produced much faster than crossbows. And we’re crafting swords instead of pikes because swordsmen stand a much better chance against assassins than pikemen do.

So, let’s set up the town defenses. Build two round towers, each one barely touching themselves (Leave just one space between both of them). Place the towers at the edge of your hill (I’ll put an image later). Now, enclose your castle with walls, except that small space between the two towers. This will act as a “trap”, since all the attackers, instead of climbing walls and such, will walk through that small passageway. This will slow down the assault, and will give time to your archers to shoot them down. If they miss anything, swordsmen will be waiting at the end of your trap. If you run out of stone, just buy some more. You still got plenty of gold. At the top of the towers, place ballistae. Man them with engineers, of course.

I flattened the towers on the second image for you to have a better look of the passageway of death. After making your towers, ballistae, walls, etc. Send your archers to one of the towers, and your spearmen near the end of the tunnel. Now go to the market and sell all that extra pitch, you won’t really need it. With that profit, buy 15 stone (If you don’t have any), and place a Barracks. Put a rally point for your swordsmen, near the place where your spearmen are. Of course, recruit anything possible.

Now, buy some wood, and place two more Iron Mines, and 2 more Quarries. Along with the quarries, place 4 more oxen. Now erect one hovel. Your population should reach 58. Now, place a mercenaries post, and start recruiting Horse Archers. This is optional, but if you want, you can recruit slaves also. I used the slaves to burn down the Nizar’s castle later on.

Make your Horse Archers assemble outside your castle walls, close to where your passageway is placed. I will later put an image on where they are recommended to be. You can stop recruiting them when you have around 25 Horse Archers.

Stone and iron will be pouring in now. Sell all your stone and excess iron for a profit. If you want to speed up the recruiting process you can buy some armor, since sword production will be faster. You can also buy bows, if you feel you don’t have enough archers on your towers.
Keep on with this process, sell extra stuff, recruit swordsmen and archers (Slaves if you want to), and wait for more goods to come along. If you haven’t done it, set your taxes to -8, since the inns probably will be functioning by now. If you want more goods on your stockpile, build 4 more iron mines, and place one more hovel and one more inn, to keep up the +8 ale bonus.

This is how my first attack ended. Just one assassin got through, and got killed by my swordsmen. The rest were killed by my archers and Horse Archers. You can note in this picture how my Horse Archers are positioned.

By this time you should have around 15 swordsmen. It is time for you to decide if you want to keep recruiting swordsmen, to later use them as an offensive force to kill the Nizar, or destroy the blacksmiths, and start producing pikes to recruit pikemen.
I used the second option. In a previous attempt I used swordsmen and almost fell asleep because of the low speed of the swordsmen.

So, if you’re using pikemen, destroy one blacksmith (Just one), and place one poleturner, set on pike production. Leave one blacksmith, for him to make swords to sell them in the market for some extra gold.

Keep on enlarging your army. Recruit archers, pikemen and slaves. When you have around 50-70 slaves, you can stop recruiting them, and concentrate on recruiting more Horse Archers. We need a big number of these because we’ll use them later on the attack. Make the Horse Archers assemble where the others are, outside your castle.
Remember to always sell everything you don’t need, from stone and iron, to extra hops, wheat, ale, bread, and swords.

You must keep in mind that your Horse Archers are not very smart. During attacks, select them and command them yourself, because sometimes, when attacks are larger, they will be in the assassin’s way, which would turn out to be a chaos. Sometimes they won’t even shoot at the assassins until they are at a very close distance, so if you notice that, manually select a target for them.

When you reach 30 archers, stop recruiting them, destroy the fletchers, and place one more pole turner to speed up pike production.

By this point there is not much left to do. Just concentrate on recruiting Horse Archers and pikemen (Or swordsmen). When you’re comfortable with your army size, pay the Nizar a visit.

My attacking army consisted of 250 Horse Archers, 30 pikemen, and 60 Slaves. Also, you should always attack immediately after the Nizar fails an attack on your castle. I played this mission various times and more than once my Horse Archers got annihilated because the Nizar sent out some assassins that were supposed to go to my castle.

When attacking, send in your Horse Archers first. Clear out the towers, destroy the fire Ballistae, and send in your pikemen to destroy the gates. Be careful when your clearing the towers; try not to get too close to the moat, since there might be traps there. As a tip, for those who chose to recruit slaves, you can send them to “Destroy” the gatehouse. The Nizar’s gatehouse will have traps scattered around it, so send in the slaves first to clear the area from traps, and then send in the pikemen to do the real job. This may sound cruel, but it works.

Once the gatehouse is torn down, retreat your pikemen and slaves out of the way, and put place your Horse Archers at a distance from the gatehouse. Not always, but sometimes assassins will pour out of the castle, so keep your Horse Archers at a safe distance to take them out. When the area is clear, send in your slaves and set everything alight!

When the fire calms down, send in your pikemen and kill of the sneaky Nizar.

Congratulations! You have advanced to yet another mission…If you have any questions about this or any other walkthrough, you can always email me. (My email is in my profile.)

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AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
The Hitman Thank you, we appreciate your hard work!
The Hitman Why have you changed the map's name? The mission is called Holy Hole, not Mirage...
Bartimaeus M I have Found a way to stop most of all Nizar's attacks because he uses lots of assassins. it expensive in stone but the idea is to create a keep with 2-3 layers thick of the crenulated walls.
That way the assassins can't climb to walls because each square of wall is to high for the assassin to climb and they can't walk on them.

Does anyone know if this work if you make a wall of towers?
(id: monkcrazy5)
[quote][b]Quoted from Lord Michael I:[/b]In Holy Hole you are challenged to face a lonely Nizar.[/quote]

I believe that's supposed to be Mirage
artofmath I noticed that you have some sizeable chunks of iron that you can build on... I personally find it much better to sell iron and go easy on the stone. Each trip by an iron miner gives 56 gold, but each trip by an ox gives 84 gold.

Let's pretend that we have 10 population. We will be able to support 5 iron mines, or 2 quarries and 4 oxen. For a trip by everyone, the iron miners will give 330 gold, while the oxen give just 328 gold. It doesn't sound like much of a loss, but you MUST take into account the amount of time the worker isn't walking. The ox handler has to stand around loading, while the iron miner can potentially never stop working. So, all distances and populations being equal, it is something like 10 or 20% better to sell iron and use stone to build (more towers!), rather than sell stone and have no catapult or building material left.

Lord Michael I
File Author
Thanks for the info, artofmath :) I just decided on stone by choosing randomly.

And yes, some days ago there was a misunderstanding regarding many titles of the missions.
The Hitman, do you have Stronghold Crusader:Extreme installed? Sir Hugh had the same mistake with it installed. I only have the warchest edition of the game, and for me the names are correct. You can visit Stronghold and note that the titles are the same as the ones listed here. Obviously, Extreme is doing something with the titles.

And yes, that part is wrong, . I suppose Sir Hugh forgot to correct it. I'll email him if it is not corrected.

Bartimaeus, I have not tried it. Sounds interesting, though ;)
De Puce artofmath once again shows us the Art of Math.
Bartimaeus M I will note in extreme the ninjas that come at you with the the forces from the outpost and attack the outer wall because they cant clinb , same for some towers but in the original warchest version, i have never encountered a ninja attacking my walls or towers.. only the slaves so when they are gone, its much easier to build in peace then to get an army later.. that is how i usually play against the nizar - this does also help against some other AIs that uses ninjas.
The Hitman @Lord Michael - yes, I saw it in the SHC v1.2 skirmish trail 2. I didn't had any suspecious though, because I think the title fits with the map. Anyway, good job, and strategy for defending :)
The Hitman Well, it's called Holy Hole :|
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