Jaffa, Recaptured

Objectives

  • eliminate all enemy units

‘Saladin has taken advantage of Richard’s disposition and captured Jaffa. Recapture the city and hold out against the Arab offensive’

Resources

Supplies

  • 4000 gold
  • 95 wood
  • 50 stone
  • 60 bread
  • 6 archers
  • 6 spearmen

Trade
All goods are available for trade at standard prices

Notes

On to Jaffa, and a map that has some great strategic elements to it. You start with a good sized army, consisting of 18 knights, 16 engineers, 29 swordsmen, 15 pikemen, 26 spearmen, 52 archers and 75 macemen. Plenty of backbone, you may think. However, Jaffa is incredibly well defended with a combination of troops and weaponry that will really cause you headaches. Be warned, you can’t launch an all-out aggressive attack on Jaffa, you need to plan carefully and systematically.

To take Jaffa is half the battle, but your success here will put you in good stead for defending the castle/city. Here’s how I fared:

With 3,000 gold on normal level I built 3 catapults. I moved these as close to the castle walls as I could, concentrating on the tall towers to the south of the map. The towers hold flamethrowers that have a pretty devastating effect on your troops, setting fire to the ground they walk on and hitting their health hard. I decided they needed to be dealt with if I was going to use any macemen or swordsmen at a later date.

Once the tall towers are destroyed, I moved small numbers of knights to kill the troops that were holding position there, using the knights’ swiftness to avoid as much enemy fire as possible. Repeat this until you are safely able to move the catapults to attack the gatehouse/round towers of the inner wall. There is a large stock of stone to be had once Jaffa is recaptured and along with easy access to stone quarries, replacing these will not be a concern.

The aim here is to carve a path to the keep, whilst removing as much of the threat as possible. In all I destroyed five tall watch towers before I was happy to launch a larger assault.

The next stage of this siege was to take out some of the fire ballista within the castle walls. They are spread out and for this I opted for my remaining knights to swiftly and effectively move around the area. You will take losses here but they are potent weapons that can cause a real problem in numbers.

At this stage I opted for a two-pronged attack. I needed to get some knights to the keep so I gathered all my archers and crossbowmen and forced them to take up position just inside the inner wall, near the round tower I had demolished. At the same time I took 1/3 of my macemen and move them up into the remaining tall towers around the perimeter wall, killing the troops within.

Once the archers and crossbowmen had been placed near the keep and were making short work of the arab archers and flame throwers, the spearmen were asked to join the battle and assist the macemen to clear all towers. Use them in numbers, they are weak in smallish groups.

Finally, with all this going on, the knights were split into two groups, one taking the east side of the castle and the others the west.

It can get a bit messy but it seems to be an effective way to take the castle. Remember that you need to kill all enemy troops within the castle to take control.

Once Jaffa is yours, you need to ready yourself for the invasions that will follow. Initially, concentrate on the food chain; make sure you have enough to feed your people. There are two areas of fertile land to the south east and north east of the castle. I decided not to use the existing two-wall approach to defending, deleting all of the outer stone walling and towers and, once all internal walls had been repaired, sold the remaining stone for a healthy gold boost.

Start weapon production again and make sure you have a good balance between the ground troops such as pikemen and knights, and archers/crossbowmen. The invasions here are problematic, with plenty of ‘heavy’ troops.

Index