A GGGGG EEEEEE OOOOO FFFFFF TTTTTTT H H EEEEEE A A G E O O F T H H E AAAAA G GGG EEEE O O FFFF T HHHHHH EEEE A A G G E O O F T H H E A A GGGGG EEEEEE OOOOO F T H H EEEEEE EEEEEE MM MM PPPPP IIIIIII RRRRR EEEEEE SSSSSSS 222222 E M M M M P P I R R E S 2 EEEE M M M PPPPP I RRRRR EEEE SSSSSSS 2 E M M P I R R E S 2 EEEEEE M M P IIIIIII R R EEEEEE SSSSSSS 2222222 TABLE OF CONTENENTS -INTRODUCTION -FOOD -STARTING -DEFENCE -ATTACK -WALKTHROUGH: -JOAN 1-6 -GENGHIS 1-6 -FREDERICK 1-6 -SALADIN 1-6 INTRODUCTION With twelve distinct and powerful civilizations, four different Ages, various technological advances, and dozens of units, Age of Empires 2: Age of Kings is an enormous game. Food Production Early Preparation Your most important goal in the game's opening minutes is to establish Villager flow— a continual buildup of Villagers. Build your entire strategy around keeping Villager production continuous. Lack of housing and low food reserves are the primary potential hindrances to Villager flow, so monitor these factors closely! Another obvious goal is to save the food you'll need to advance to the Feudal Age. Sheep Because it doesn’t require a mill, shepherding is a useful way to gather food, enabling you to herd all of the Sheep you find back to your Town Center. The hard part is simply finding the scattered livestock: there aren’t many Sheep and they're spread all over the map. You must keep your initial Scout moving as he seeks this highly sought-after food source. Berries Berries are now among the games slowest food sources. Don’t collect them until you’ve taken advantage of all of the Sheep in your area. If you go for the Berries first, your Villagers will collect more slowly than enemy Villagers. Boars Although an excellent source of food, hunting Boars can be a deadly chore for your Villagers. A common tactic is to attack the Boar, then run back toward your Village. Boars and Villagers run at the same speed, which makes luring the swine to Town Centers and Mills an effortless task. Just make sure to have Villagers waiting to help the poor soul doing the luring! Deer Hunting Deer differs from hunting Boars in that there's no danger involved and luring isn't an option. Hunting can be slower than many other forms of gathering food. Wait to hunt until Sheep and Berries fulfill the demands that Villagers place on your food reserves. Shore Fish Shore-fishing's gathering rate exceeds that of most other food sources, bringing in food at about the same rate as hunting. Shore Fish are spread out all over the map, however. A few locations on most maps offer three or more Shore Fish close together. Construct a Mill at these spots immediately. Boat Fish Building a small fleet of Fishing Ships during the Dark Age slows your Feudal and Castle times. Most players simply wait until after they reach Castle to exploit the naval economy. Players going for early boat-fishing should know that Boat Fish gather faster than Shore Fish. Farms Farms support a faster gathering rate. Farmers now gather food just as fast as Berry Pickers. Farms also get a price discount. These cheaper Farms are much easier to build in sufficient quantities to supply your growing empire. Unlike other food sources, you're limited to one Villager per Farm. Massive amounts of wood must be chopped to set up many Villagers on different Farms. This tremendous logging project, like boat-fishing, has a negative impact on Feudal and Castle Ages. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Getting Started The most decisive factor in most games is how quickly you can set up your village with adequate Food, Lumber, Stone, and Gold production. The following tips will help you advance to the Feudal Age and beyond before most of your opponents do. Normal Opening Begin by assigning the Scout to search the local surroundings for Sheep. He or she always finds four Sheep nearby. Two of your initial three Villagers should begin constructing a House immediately, while the third looks for Sheep, as well. Don’t build a Mill or gather Berries yet. Place your first six Villagers on shepherding duty. Keep your Scout moving, exploring the local surroundings. Cover the coastline for Shore Fish and note any gold or stone. Send any Sheep you find directly back to your Town Center. Once you have six Villagers, set your Town Center Gathering Point on the closest trees. Lumber Camp or Mill If you’ve found a good supply of sheep (eight or so), build the Lumber Camp to increase Lumber Production. If you haven’t found enough Sheep, construct a Mill near the best secondary food source. Sometimes you can build a Mill among multiple food sources. Once your population reaches eight, it’s time to build another House. As a rule of thumb, begin building a House when your current population is two fewer than you can support. Now begin working on a Lumber Camp or Mill (whatever you haven’t built already). Your Scout should have uncovered all of the local resources by now, so placing it will be easy. Put a few Villagers on wood-chopping duty during this time frame. You should have a healthy Villager population, one Mill, and one Lumber Camp in addition to your housing. Keep the Town Center Gathering Point selected on the latest food source you're gathering. Now construct a second Mill near a different food source. This position usually includes Shore Fish, because you don't need Mills for hunting. If you're playing on a map without water, you can skip this second Mill. Luring Boars back to the Town Center now becomes a priority. Command a Villager to shoot the closest Boar with one arrow and then run back to the Town Center. Have five or six other Villagers waiting near the Town Center for the incoming Boar. Ambush the Villager-chasing Boar with the small horde of Villagers. Mining Camps Your growing Villager population should number about fifteen. Command your Scout to search unexplored territory for the enemy and any remaining Sheep. It’s also time to begin worrying about wood requirements for Mining Camps. Once your wood reserves are high enough, build your Mining Camps. Farming If you've exhausted all of the local food resources, you must begin farming. Don’t pass up any of the more difficult, but more productive, food producing methods like Hunting and Foraging, before you begin building farms. Advancing to the Feudal Age After your population passes twenty Villagers, consider advancing to the Feudal Age. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Defense Dark Age Town Center Garrisoning The Town Center is the nerve center of your defense. Plan your defensive setup around this powerful building. Flee toward the Town Center whenever trouble surfaces. You can kill two birds with one stone by hiding Villagers in this safe building as you damage enemy troops. Loom Upgrade The Loom essentially doubles the punishment Villagers can take under enemy fire. Villagers are an empire's lifeblood, so this technology is mighty enticing for a mere fifty gold. It's much easier to fend off an early attack if you've researched Loom. Your Villagers have greater success reaching Town Centers under enemy fire and will fight well against weaker Feudal Age units, such as Skirmishers. Consider researching Loom just before upgrading to the Feudal Age or just after the upgrade finishes. Palisade Walls Now you can surround your growing village with Palisade Walls before the enemy even gets the notion of attacking. The walls are very cheap—only two wood per tile— although admittedly not particularly strong. Feudal Age Towers Garrisoning Villagers or archery units can strengthen Towers, which, like other buildings that support garrisoning, offer a safe haven when the enemy attacks. Placing Towers in range of the Town Center effectively removes their minimum-range weakness. Towers also have a weakness—minimum range. If the enemy begins attacking your Tower, simply garrison your Town Center. Or build two Towers that overlap and protect each others weak spots. Stone Walls Stone Walls stand tall at an impressive 1,800 hit points and very strong building armor. They're virtually invincible until Battering Rams come out during the Castle Age. Begin walling the area the moment you reach the Feudal Age. Walls delay enemy advances and tell you exactly where the attack is coming from. Assign a small army of Villagers to begin walling right away and you'll finish far earlier. They can return to their usual tasks when the project is finished. Castle Age Defending Siege Battering Rams are designed solely for building demolition. They're stacked with piercing armor, rendering arrow attacks ineffective. This nullifies the firepower from the three buildings that support garrisoning—Town Center, Tower, and Castle. You'll need melee units to deal with the opposing Battering Rams—enough to handle the enemy troops defending the Rams. Knights are quick enough to destroy Battering Rams before they cause too much damage, and fast enough to retreat back behind your walls from enemy Cavalry and Infantry, once the Rams have fallen. Castles The Castle is virtually insurmountable until the Imperial Age. Unless your entire army has been slaughtered and the enemy has multiple Battering Rams smashing down the front door, you can count on holding your position. Place these structures wisely: they'll turn the location into a strong point. The Castle's destructive firepower forces the enemy to consider attacking elsewhere and from a different direction. Furthermore, you can Garrison the Castle, which makes it virtually impenetrable. Imperial Age Any player who hasn't taken the offensive by the Imperial Age is probably in trouble. The Imperial Age completes a balance shift, giving the attack a distinct advantage. Units become stronger than structures, far more powerful than in earlier ages. The principal difference, however, lies in the introduction of two powerful offensive units—the Trebuchet and the Bombard Cannon. These units outrange all defensive structures, rendering them vulnerable to their barrages. Military units offer the only means of countering these offensive dynamos. Relying on defensive structures during the Imperial Age will doom you to failure. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Attack Dark Age It is extremely difficult to wage war during the Dark Ages. It is unlikely that the units you could afford to create this early in the game could withstand the firepower of your opponent’s Town Center, let alone any defenses that might have been erected. It is recommended that the Dark Age be a time of preparation for later ages. Feudal Age A Feudal Age death blow is rare in The Age of Kings. The attacker will face too many problems against enemy defenses. The goal of a Feudal Age strike, then, is to impede, not destroy. This paradigm shift forces early attackers to be more careful and coordinated. Choose your targets wisely and keep building your economy throughout your attack. The number-one goal of Feudal Age strikes should be keeping the enemy from gathering gold and lumber. Your targets may flee toward the enemy Town Center for safety, but the Villagers who flee aren't gathering resources while they're garrisoned. Keep your forces away from the enemy Town Center; they won't last long under fire from a heavily garrisoned building. Keep your troops sweeping around the Town Center looking for additional mining and lumberjack operations. Squelch attempts to establish another flow of resources. Castle Age The Castle Age brings about the first of two major shifts toward the offensive. The two main additions to the offensive repertoire are Raiding units and siege weaponry. Raiding units rely on speed and guerrilla warfare tactics. Use Cavalry Archers and Light Cavalry to wear down your target. Siege weaponry, most notably Battering Rams, takes a less subtle approach by proudly bashing in the front door. Raiding Parties Cavalry Archers and Light Cavalry both possess the speed raiding tactics require. Each has enticing characteristics. The Cavalry Archer offers a ranged attack and blazing speed. Picking off farmers isn't quite as dangerous with these mounted Archers. The Light Cavalry showcases strength and superior vision. Finding enemy Villagers won't be a problem with Light Cavalry. Try not to confront the opposition with your raiding parties. Your only goal is to slaughter enemy Villagers. Siege Attackers get a new trump card in this age. Battering Rams finally allow them to overcome a garrisoned enemy Town Center with ease. Loaded with piercing armor, these razing machines simply shrug off the arrows. The enemy can't hope to stop a ram- supported army without a contingent of melee forces. As the attacker, your job is to prevent these hand-to-hand units from reaching the Battering Rams before they fulfill their destiny. Imperial Age The Imperial Age finalizes the shift of power to the offensive end of the spectrum. You no longer need to approach enemy structures with vulnerable Battering Rams, but can bombard them from a safe distance. The Trebuchet and the Bombard Cannon have better range than all of the defensive structures and force the enemy to engage them with ground troops. Long-range bombardment usually turns into a huge positional war. Each side establishes a defensive encampment and slowly attempts to push into enemy territory using appropriate counterunits: if the enemy builds Cavaliers, counter with Pikemen and Monks. Because all players have access to siege units, the victor is usually the player who can defeat the enemy army. Defensive structures can only supplement an army; they can't hold positions themselves. WALKTHROUGH Joan 1 You start in the French camp where you meet Sieur Bertrand and Sieur de Metz. Before leaving, collect the four Men-at-arms and four Crossbowmen willing to follow and help you. Follow the road south to the two Dire Wolves. Kill the Wolves, using your Crossbowmen to dispatch them one at a time. Continue on the path and watch the spectacular battle between the French army and the British. Don't get involved. After the battle, continue to the river. There you'll encounter two groups of highwaymen. They should pose little challenge. Follow the road as it swings north. Eventually, the road curves southwest and you come to a bridge. Cross it and follow the road. Kill the three Dire Wolves along the way with your Crossbowmen and continue into the village, where you'll pick up reinforcements—six Pikemen, four Men-at-arms, and a Capped Ram. Take your troops back across the bridge and follow the road back the way you came. When you pass the first section of trees on the south side of the road, turn south. You'll come to another forest. Stay close to it and follow it around west and then south. Soon you'll see the walls of the Burgundian encampment. A road on the southwest side of the forest will lead you to the front gates of this Burgundian encampment. Four Archers and two Light Cavalry wait for you to assault the encampment walls. Keep your forces beyond Archer range from the walls and send a single Knight to hit the gate once or twice. This triggers the troops within to come out and attack. Quickly return your Knight to your troops. First out of the gate will be the Light Cavalry; dispatch them in a hurry, as Archers soon appear on the scene. The Archers are the reason for keeping your distance from the walls. If you get too close, they'll hide and attack with impunity from behind the walls and gate. After they've advanced a short distance from the gate, quickly charge before they can retreat back inside. If they make it back in, retreat and wait for them to show themselves again. Don't attempt to follow a unit through a gate: the gate will close, instantly killing any troops under it. Now make short work of the gate itself with your Capped Ram. Once inside, send the Ram to take out the Tower to the west. Head northwest and cross the river. Follow the riverbank to the south and then west. After you pass the forest along the north bank of the east-west river, proceed with extreme caution. A large army of Burgundians waits nearby and, if they attack, you have no chance of defeating them. Leave all but one of your troops at the forest edge. Send a single unit, preferably a Knight, farther along the bank of the river until you activate the three Transports that await you. If you should activate the Burgundian army, charge your lone unit at the enemy as you quickly send your Transports down to your waiting troops. (To board the Transports, select your troops and then right-click on the Transports. When the first Transport fills up, simply right-click on another, and again on the last.) Once your troops are safely in the Transports, follow the river southeast. You'll come to a fork where a Burgundian ship sits at anchor. Don't linger near the ship or it may attack. Make haste down the right fork and follow the river southwest. Soon you'll see a French Outpost on the east bank. Disembark and collect more reinforcements, including two Scorpions. This activates a force of Burgundian soldiers with a Mangonel. Dispatch the Mangonel quickly with your Knights, Pikemen, and/or Men-at-arms. Cross the river to the west, where a small force of highwaymen waits to attack you, as well. After you eliminate this final menace, continue along the road to the Chateau of Chinon. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Joan 2 You start with a small force you must take to Blois, where a larger force awaits your arrival—and your command. On the road to Blois, you'll run into a small group of Burgundian Light Cavalry and Knights. You should be able to dispatch them handily. Prior to combat, you pass a Monk on the road—the only Monk you'll encounter for a long stretch. Send wounded soldiers, including Joan, to him for healing after the fight. After you reach Blois and gather your new troops, head out the northeast gate and proceed north to the riverbank. Follow the bank east to the Dock, where two Transports await you. Use them to cross the river. Once all of your troops and the Trade Carts are on the north shore, take them to the city of Orleans. When they reach the Town Center, you'll receive resources to start your economy. Wall the bridge to the south right away and then wall the area west of Orleans. Position your Crossbowmen in the Towers to the extreme east. Build two Towers to guard the walls at the bridge. Wall the area above the bridge; build an east-west wall stretching from the river to your wall west of Orleans. Building a city gate in this area will allow you to deploy troops in the region and give your Villagers access for wall repair. Now you can concentrate on economic growth. Your army is large enough to take care of the light excursions the British send to harass your walls east of the Cathedral. Use the many Farms west of the city for food. The British tend to use Longbowmen, Spearmen, Men-at-arms, and Monks, mingled with a few siege weapons. Counter the British Monks with your own Monks. You'll also need Monks to heal your forces during and after skirmishes. Monks are great assets against computer opponents because there tend to be limits to resources and population in campaign scenarios. A liberal supply of Monks will boost your economy by allowing you to get the most out of your troops. Use Skirmishers, Elite Skirmishers, or Knights to counter the Longbowmen. Because of the abundance of English Longbowmen, avoid using Swordsmen. Don't engage Spearmen with your Cavalry units; they'll be hopelessly countered. To counter Spearmen, opt instead for Crossbowmen. Upgrading your units is important in most scenarios and this one is no exception. Build an Archery Range as one of your first buildings. The Archery Range will supply you with the Skirmisher and Crossbowman units you need and later will allow you to build a Siege Workshop. Once you reach the Castle Age, build a Monastery so you can train Monks. Also build the Siege Workshop, because you'll need a few Battering Rams to take down the British Castle and win the scenario. Mangonels will help counter enemy Longbowmen, British Towers, and walls. They're key, too, for destroying troops assailing your walls guarding the southern bridge. Of the two northern British encampments, it's easiest to assault the westernmost encampment first. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Joan 3 You begin this scenario with a force strong enough to protect you into the Castle Age and beyond. Send a unit west toward the battle standard to acquire Transports and two Demolition Ships. Feel free to use the Demolition Ships to destroy a British ship at will. Use the Transports to land your troops on the north bank, at the map's east edge. A short walk northeast along the map edge reveals a gold pile at the edge of a forest. Establish your economic base in this clearing. There you'll find a fair amount of gold, plenty of forest, some stone, and Sheep. Don't dock and fish on the river, as the British will simply build up a large navy and destroy your work. Two Burgundian Towers lie to your north and west. Using Joan and your Knights, you can destroy these Towers with no damage to your troops. As you approach, jog left or right when the Towers fire. The Burgundians haven't researched Murder Holes and, thus, can't hurt your troops once they're next to the Towers. Begin collecting the Sheep scattered about the area. You can send a Scout along the river far to the west. There, just east of the British Dock, you'll find a few more Sheep. Three chokepoints work well as you begin walling in your economy. Just beyond where the northern Tower used to be you'll find a nice spot to wall. Wall the gap between the two forests north of your stone pile, blocking this entrance to your town. Finally, wall from the western forest to the river. Use the small forest between the two to supplement your wall, if you wall the hidden path that leads through it. As you wall yourself in, and even thereafter, small forces of Burgundians will cross the river from the west to harass you. Erect a gate on the west bank. Each time the Burgundians attempt to cross, they'll attack the gate, alerting you to their presence. Simply dispatch troops to eliminate the threat and then send a Villager to repair any damage. Focus on reaching the Castle Age and upgrading your units fully. In the Castle Age, build Monks to heal your original forces. You also can put Monks near the gate area to convert any troops that come knocking. To assault the Burgundian village, build a force of Cavaliers, Elite Skirmishers, and Crossbowmen. The village isn't walled, but has several Towers placed close together for protection. To effect a quick resignation from Burgundy, build three Rams, guard them with your troops, and take down some Towers. Upon resigning, Burgundy will delete most of his buildings, including all remaining Towers. Send Villagers to mine gold and stone left in his area. If you walled in your original town correctly, it will be largely left alone. Leave Joan in this town (she would become the main target in the battles at the Castles). Your army should comprise about twenty-five percent Knights, twenty-five percent Pikemen, twenty-five percent Throwing Axemen, four or five Monks, and five or six Battering Rams. Upgrade all of your units fully. Travel with a few Villagers to erect defenses along the way and to repair the Rams as needed. Build defenses at every crossing of the north-south river to keep the British and Fastolf's armies off your flanks. A British encampment lies due north of the now-deserted Burgundy village. Of the three Castles, raze this first. Work clockwise to destroy the remaining Castles. After your assault on the first Castle, you'll face one of the most strenuous battles of the campaign: Fastolf turns his steady stream of smaller forces into a torrent of destruction. You'll suffer severe losses. Build a defensive area, including a Castle of your own and erect plenty of Towers. Use this as an area for retreat and healing. You'll need to destroy Fastolf's Rams immediately or his forces will flatten your Towers and your Castle. Use your Monks to help even the odds, sending them back into the Towers and Castle as needed for protection. After this heavy assault, rebuild your forces and take down the third and final Castle. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Joan 4 Scenario 4 begins at the east end of a road. Your initial destination is a village at the end of this road. A mid-sized force of British troops waits for you along the way. If you attempt to circumvent these troops, they'll await you in the village. The soldiers will stand amongst your future Villagers and slay them upon your arrival. Proceed down the road and engage the British. You'll take losses, but you'll survive. When you arrive in town, you'll get a handful of Villagers and a meager amount of resources. Immediately collect the Sheep west of town, or the enemies will snatch them up. Enemy troops will attack from a river crossing to the north and another crossing near the former British camp. To head off these attacks, wall the crossing to the north and station your troops east of your village. Once the north is walled, work on walling the crossing to the east, as well. Don't allow your troops to cross the river; this instigates a large attack for which you're unprepared. At this point, the goal is to reach the Imperial Age and have fully upgraded units at your disposal. It's time to build your Blacksmith. When the resources are available, build a Monastery and train a few Monks. As you begin amassing your army, concentrate on Knight units, upgrading them to Paladins. Erect a Castle to create Trebuchets and the Frank's unique unit, the Elite Throwing Axeman. Cavaliers, Scorpions, Onagers, Pikemen, and Longbowmen are the primary British units. Build Paladins to counter the Cavaliers, Scorpions, and Onagers. Build Throwing Axemen to counter the Pikemen. You can use both against Longbowmen. When you have a large army at your command, cross the river north of your town. Chalon is your first target. The Town Center lies just north of the crossing and it's easy to destroy. After wiping out Chalon, build a defensive base on its former site. Rheims will send a lot of troops to harass you. Without these defenses you'd soon find yourself without an army to command. Build several Stables, a Castle, a Monastery, and plenty of defensive Towers. Use Trebuchets to take out the surrounding Towers. Next concentrate on killing Troyes. A large group of Paladins will take down this Town Center without delay. Rheims has many Longbowmen and Onagers. Use a constant onslaught of Paladins to keep them at bay. Use a few Trebuchets to take out the defending Towers and Gate and then move them forward and take out the Town Center to complete the scenario. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Joan 5 Start by grouping your units by type and assigning them hotkeys; for example, assign your Bombard Cannons and Jeanne de Lorraine to . Set your diplomacy with the British to Neutral. This will keep enemy buildings from distracting your units from enemy troops. To destroy a building, select the units you wish to use and then right- click on the building. Use Trebuchets as Scouts, implementing their extremely long sight range. With a Trebuchet, you can uncover any enemy unit without activating it. After these preparations, you're ready to save the Villagers and liberate Paris. Follow the west edge of the map until you encounter a few Towers and a Castle. Paris's western gate lies northeast. Destroy the Towers and Castle to give yourself breathing room. Next, attack Paris's western gate with your Trebuchets and Cannons. The British will retaliate with Champions and Elite Longbowmen. Counter with Knights and Crossbowmen. Just past the Barracks inside the gates, you'll find the Villagers you must escort to the chateau. Remember, at least six of them must survive. Three Galleons lie at anchor in the river and will attack as soon as you're close enough. Destroy them with your Cannons. A Castle lies directly south, defended by a Trebuchet, Elite Longbowmen, and Champions. Destroy the Trebuchet with your Cannons as quickly as you can. Use Knights to kill the Elite Longbowmen and Crossbowmen to take out the Champions as they charge your position. Take out the Castle with your Trebuchets. Head east toward the bridge, watching for a Cannon Galleon that will attack. Take it out with your Cannons. Gather your troops near the bridge. A Tower and two Monks lurk on the island. Take out the Tower with your Trebuchets and send Joan after the Monks: don't allow her to take much damage. Two Onagers come to defend the island. If Joan is healthy enough, she can take the Onagers. Otherwise, use your Knights on them. If the Onagers come into range, take them out with your Cannons. To avoid losing Cannons, move them quickly should the Onagers fire on them. Once these blocks are out of your way, assemble your troops on the island. Two Houses lie south of the bridge. Destroy them with your Cannons. Don't attack the Tower north of the bridge; this unleashes a massive horde of British troops. As you exit the bridge, the Tower begins firing on you. Use a Paladin or any other unit with a high Piercing Armor value to draw the Tower's fire while your Villagers pass through this danger zone. Head south to the gold. This activates your reinforcements to the east and British Elite Longbowmen will ambush them immediately. Send your Knights to their aid, followed by the rest of your troops. Use your Cannons to make a hole in the wall next to the gold and leave Paris. Travel north to the road and follow it south to the fork. Group Joan with the Villagers and save your game. It's very difficult to get Joan and the Villagers through. Engage the Burgundians with your remaining troops. Use Cavalry units to kill all ranged units. Run Joan and the Villagers to the square to end the scenario. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Joan 6 You begin with Guy Josselyn, your narrator, and the Trade Cart holding the French flag. The Trade Cart must survive to plant the French flag on the hill in Castillion. Head southeast and activate the French army awaiting you. Now activate the French cannon troops across the river to the west. Your first goal is to kick the Burgundians out of their walled town and implement it as your economic base. Repair any holes in the Burgundian walls and then begin working on your economy. Remember to wall up or destroy the original Burgundian gates, as enemy troops can still pass through them. Move your troops to the hill west of your town, using your Arbalests and Hand Cannoneers against enemy Cavalry units. Next, wall the paths south and southwest of the hill to keep the British from helping Shrewsbury once you engage him in battle. Use the troops on the hill to protect your Villagers as they build the walls. Once you've secured your village with walls, head north to eliminate Shrewsbury. Destroy his Castle and his Town Center to effect his resignation, which leaves you alone with the British. Shrewsbury leaves behind gold mines and stone, which are useful to you later in the game. Use Towers, Castles, walls, and gates to secure the crossing between you and the British at Castillion. Rousted from their town, the Burgundians have set up shop to the south. They send a continuous stream of Infantry and Pikemen and are quick to rebuild. Before engaging the British, relieve yourself of this nuisance.Don't destroy the Burgundian Market. This gives you the option of building a Market in Shrewsbury's town and using Trade Carts to supplement your gold supply. The British are fond of Scorpions and Elite Longbowmen in this scenario. Gunpowder units best for dealing with this rabble. The enemy assails your defenses without letup at the crossing before you're ready to continue. Steadily build your forces and then advance toward the hill, building defenses and military buildings along the way. Once you've arrived at the hill and are certain of the Trade Cart's safe passage, bring up the flag and claim your victory. Genghis 1 You must complete several tasks to unify the tribes of Mongolia. 1. Get the Sheep without fighting You could raid the huge guarded Kara Khitai sheep pen in the north, but there's really no need: plenty of sheep roam free on the map. Find them and send them back to the Kereyids, taking care not to send them through another tribe's town. 2. Kill the wolves and get the Relic A well-defended Kara Khitai Relic lies in the northwest, but you can get another at less cost. Three Wolves guard it in the northeast. You can dispatch them easily because they aren't smart enough even to defend each other; they just sit and watch as you battle their mates. Next, send a Monk to carry the Relic to the Ungirrads: don't send him past the Kara Khitai tower. The Ungirrads will join you—a small addition to your riders. 3. Kill Ornlu the Wolf and his pack Ride to the far east side of the map and into the mountains, where Ornlu and his pack await you. They'll defend each other better than the earlier pack, but you're powerful enough now that killing them is an easy task. 4. Visit the Naiman Kill the Naiman tribe for their impertinence in demanding that you traverse the entire map to destroy their enemies. Now all you need do to win is pay a (nonhostile) visit to the Tayichi'uds to hear them swear allegiance. But don't do it just yet. Instead, first visit every Kara Khitai area on the map and wipe it clean! It's unnecessary to finish the scenario, but you'll be glad you did. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Genghis 2 Run to the nearby Tayichi'ud camp. You must pillage it to enslave a few Villagers to build up your army. One immediate problem: the Villagers will assist their Light Cavalry in defending the village and confront your troops with clenched fists. They're not a serious danger to you, but you are to them. You'll need every Villager you can get in the next few minutes, so you can't afford to kill any, even accidentally. Instead, kill only the Tayichi'ud troops so the Villagers will surrender. To do this, circle the Village counterclockwise and approach it from the northeast so you encounter the troops first. Group your entire force for easy access. Sweep in and kill all enemy troops. If you keep targeting enemy troops (that is, continue right- clicking on them until they're killed), your forces will ignore the Villagers and keep attacking your chosen targets. Now you have a new village. Don't just stand there! Any minute now Kara Khitai bandits will sweep in, attacking Khan's Wonder and your village. They so vastly outnumber you at this point you have only one option: build a Stone Wall to keep them out (they'll hack quickly through a Palisade). Unfortunately, you can build Stone Walls only in the Feudal Age, so you must get there as fast as you can. Immediately start building Villagers with what little food you have and assign all to hunt. Once you have enough Villagers hunting to build more Villagers without interruption, you can afford to assign the next few Villagers to get other resources. Send two to mine gold in the northwest, two to mine stone in the west, and one to chop wood in the forest next to the gold. Have each build the appropriate resource-collecting building where they're working. Next build a mill in the far southeast next to the game there. Once you've collected all the food from the game near your Town Center, send all hunters southeast to work at the new mill. Keep building Villagers until your total population is about twenty-five. Then advance to the Feudal Age. During this period, you must destroy one Kara Khitai army of Archers and Light Cavalry. Your strategy should be to lure the fast Cavalry away from cover of the Archers; then wheel around and destroy them. Then ride down the Archers. As soon as you hit the Feudal Age, start building the Stone Wall. You'll need to wall off the entire eastern section of the map, where your Town Center and Khan's Wonder are located. Using the forest and cliffs to the northwest as a natural barrier, build a wall that stretches south all the way to the rock outcropping in the southeast. There's a one-tile crack in the cliffs on your northwest border: be sure to wall that too, or all your efforts will be for naught. Surprisingly, you need only one Villager to erect the entire wall; your computer foes won't attack this unit, even as it seals their doom. However, the enemy will make further attempts to wipe out your small army, so you must build up beforehand. As soon as you begin the Feudal Age upgrade, start building Militia from the Barracks the Tayichi'uds left behind Tayichi'ud. As you arrive in the Feudal Age, upgrade them to Men-at-arms; then use all of your food and gold to make more. Cluster your entire army around the Barracks. When the second invasion arrives, you'll have just enough to defeat it. If your wall isn't finished by the time their third wave masses, you're in big trouble: time to restart the scenario. However, even with the wall up, you may not be out of the woods. The enemy forces bashing on the wall will shoot at your Villagers if they repair it. Thus, it's usually quite difficult to keep the opposition from breaking in after several minutes. Use this time to upgrade and enlarge your forces to drive the enemy off for good. Build a ring of Towers near your Town Center and fill them with upgraded Archers. Guard them with Infantry and Light Cavalry. You should weather the storm if you wait for the enemy to come to you. After you rebuild the wall and upgrade it, the great danger is past. You still must hurry, but the general idea is simpler now: build a strong economy and a large army. Use the wild game as your first food source, while it lasts, as the Mongols are extremely efficient hunters. Although not absolutely necessary, it's a good idea early in the game (while the route is still open) to sneak a Villager or two to the far southeast to harvest the Elk herds there. Attack only when you've built a huge force of Mangudai and Light Cavalry; sweep in and kill everything in sight. Kushluk's Scorpions offer little resistance. You have all of the gold and stone you need; from here it's just a matter of building up your empire and crushing your weak enemy. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Genghis 3 You begin with just a small force of Cavalry. Clearly you'll need some Villagers to help you build. Fortunately, a town of Engineers lies across a river to the northeast; ferry your troops across using the Transport. Approach the Engineer town from the northeast, but retreat after shooting an arrow at the Militia to lure them away from their Town Center. Then turn and crush them; do the same to the Crossbowmen who follow. After you've killed the small Engineer army, head farther south and liberate your siege equipment and three Villagers. Set the Mangonel to work against the engineer Town Center and have your Cavalry slaughter all remaining engineer Villagers on the island. Meanwhile, your new Villagers have work to do. Waves of Hsi Hsia attack quite soon, so must build up extremely quickly. Charge half of the Villagers with making a Town Center in the south of the island, near the Shore Fish. Have the remaining Villagers build five Houses. Then build a Dock in the far southeast and about eight Fishing Ships, even as you continue building Villagers. Using this fast-start strategy you can get to the Castle Age in about fifteen minutes. Meanwhile, your riders must fend off the first attack. They'll suffer losses, but should prevail. The second attack (Archers, Scorpions, and Battering Rams) comes very soon after you arrive in the Castle Age and is harder to fend off than the first. Because you start with lots of stone, the best way to survive is to build an east-west line of Towers just north of all of your buildings. Build several Archers to garrison the Towers. Next, build Knights, using them only to smash the enemy Battering Rams; let the Archers kill everything else. You should just barely be able to withstand their attack, but thereafter can upgrade the Towers and build up enough force to establish a comfortable defense. During all of this excitement, ferry two Villagers and a Light Cavalryman north across the river. Send them to build a second base in the northwest. Next, mine the gold and stone there as fast as you can. The Chinese will attack once they detect you there, so you also must build up a sizable army quickly. Build at least two Town Centers in the north; construct one between the two Berry Patches. Start creating Miners and Builders. In general, you must build only military and gathering structures here. Make structures such as the Blacksmith and the University on your island, where they're safer. Be sure to build a Castle and an army as soon as you can to deal with intruding Chinese. Whatever you do, don't attack the Hsi Hsia Outposts until you're ready to do full-scale battle. Your initial thrust should be against the Jin. They have a formidable navy, so you must build one of your own to protect any Transports you send. Once you defeat their initial navy, they dispute the sea no further. However, walls and Guard Towers protect their island so well, you'll probably need Cannon Galleons to punch your way through. Water extends all through this map. About 2two-thirds of the Jin island is within the range of an Elite Cannon Galleon. A sure-fire strategy against the Jin is to build about six or eight Elite Cannon Galleons (protected by normal Galleons) and bombard the enemy from the sea. Raze towers, kill the troops that come to the water's edge in an attempt to sink your navy with arrows, and destroy all buildings on the island that are within range. Unfortunately, you can't hit the enemy Wonder with your Galleons; you'll have to land troops to take it out. By the time your Cannons finish blasting the Jin, though, they'll offer little resistance. You should have plenty of time to build a Castle and a Stable on their island (cover your Villagers with your navy as they build); make Trebuchets, Mangudai, and Cavaliers to finish the job. Once you defeat the Jin, you'll have access to most of the gold and stone you'll need to conquer the other empires. Soften up enemy defenses by sending in the navy again. Large and small rivers reach into most enemy lands, so send a big navy (including several Galleons) upriver, destroying everything you see. Send a few Transports loaded with Villagers and troops to the end of the main river. It's time to capture the lands west of the Tangut. Build a base there and capture all of the nearby stone and gold. For now, stay clear of the Sung lands south of the river; the Sung horde of Swordsmen is very powerful and you don't want to deal with them yet. Instead, push east against the Tangut and Hsi Hsia. It will be a slog, but if you build mixed forces of fully upgraded units you should have little trouble. Deal with the Sung last. Build several Keeps at each crossing to their domain. Put Archers in the Keeps and build Cavaliers and Mangudai to defend them. Now, provoke the Sung by raiding their territory. Their troops should stream toward the crossings at your Keeps; be sure your navy is on hand to help pound them into submission. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Genghis 4 Instead of attacking the Khwarazm immediately, accept their friendship and go after their northern neighbors. It's in this land that you'll find the resources you ultimately need to smite the Shah. Don't attack anyone immediately! Your two bases have enough resources to advance to the Imperial Age. The Merkids serve as a useful buffer between you and the powerful Russians. Sit tight. Advance your economy to the Castle Age, at least; build a large army and wall your western base against the Russian hordes. The huge cliff massif running most of the way down the middle of the map effectively cuts off your western and eastern bases. Be sure to divide labor efficiently between the two. Initially, do all wood chopping in the west and all mining in the east. Use both bases to collect food. Place all military buildings and troops in your western base, near your initial enemies. Another problem is the Shah's fickle affection for you. For the first twenty-nine minutes, you can retain his good will simply by keeping your troops out of his city. But at minute thirty, he'll declare war—unless he receives his "gift"; be sure he gets it. You're in no position yet to conduct full-scale war against the Khwarazm. Instead, you'll be shooting the Russians at your walls! It's crucial to protect yourself from the Persians by walling them in. Early on, send two Villagers from your eastern base south to the Persian gate and cover it with at least three layers of fortified wall. Then do the same to the tiny entrance to the east. Purchase the Architecture upgrade to strengthen these walls still further; then, even with several War Elephants pounding on them, you'll have time to prepare. After fending off the first Russian attacks and assassinating the Shah, sweep into the Merkid camp. They'll surrender quickly. Next, send a mix of Mangudai and Light Cavalry, supported by two or three Siege Onagers, against the Russian base. When groups of Infantry approach, stand your ground around the Onagers. Under your barrage of flaming boulders and arrows, few enemy units will get to use their swords. Once you wear down the Russians, build Trebuchets and knock down their Castle and Barracks. Without these structures, Merkids soon wither and resign. The Khwarazm are a far more dangerous opponent. Their Elite Elephants are virtually unbeatable in battle and the Khwarazm have the resources to make an awful lot of them. You can win only if you carefully place and protect several Monks. Build a large southern fortress, including a Castle and a walled, towered courtyard. Leave a tiny chink in the courtyard's rear wall for entry and egress. Build several Stables and Churches in the rear. Place ten-twelve Monks in the courtyard, along with the Onagers. Leave the rest of your army outside as bait! Send a Trebuchet and troops to knock down the Khwarazm western gate: this provokes them to send countless War Elephants, Heavy Cavalry Archers, and Paladins to attack. Retreat to your fortress and start converting! Eventually, you'll have enough Elephants to go on the offensive. Repeat the process of walling in your Monks—as far into the Persian town as you can reach. This time, include Trebuchets in the courtyard to knock down the Persian Castle and other buildings. Keep constructing priestly fire-bases farther and farther eastward until the you control all of Samarkand. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Genghis 5 Immediately send a Villager south of the nearby stone pile and build a wall across the canyon. Repeat two or three more times, as fast as you can. Your goal is to develop fast enough that you fortify the last two wall lines before enemy Onagers hit them; otherwise, they'll smash through. Build one Tower just south of the stone pile—as a defense against the Germans, not the Poles! Unless you have a counter, the Germans soon will be firing down at you from the western approach. You must wall out the Germans, too. Do this at the top of the long mountain pass. The Germans will attack your fortifications several times with Battering Rams. This placement gives you a great deal of warning (the enemy must walk right past your Tower), allowing you to send Mangudai to defend against either Poles or Germans, as needed. Build a Tower behind this northern wall to harass enemy troops. Meanwhile, build up as fast as you can. Build a Castle and an army. Be sure to include several Arbalests, which can fire from Towers. Build Trebuchets to deal with Polish Onagers from long range. Enemy Siege units immediately recognize it when you target them and move away. To get around that, target the ground next to them. Be sure to knock the Onagers off of the high cliff before you advance. Then head south, building and filling towers as you go. The Polish army of Paladins will spend its force on the Towers while your Archers and other units chew them to ribbons. Use Mangudai to deal with nearby Onagers. By the time you conquer them, the Poles will have run out of gold and stone. You won't find these resources in their land, so you may run low. Trade food and wood for gold and pursue your next move: colonizing westward. A group of lost Huskarls and Monks in the far west will join your army, so send a quick rider to enlist their aid. With the added strength of the new recruits, destroy the German Castle-and-Tower complex in the center of the map. Once these are gone, you'll have access to a stone pile in the west and gold and stone in the middle. Beware—the Germans now come at you in force. You'll have to fight for these resources. Despite the your lieutenants' predictions, the Bohemian King Wenceslas should stay put unless you provoke him directly. Your next challenge is to fight the Germans, represented by the Teuton civilization. Use several Mangudai, supported by Heavy Cavalry and Towers, to defeat their Teutonic Knights and Battering Rams. This will leave you free to mine stone and gold in peace for a while. Once your resource levels have recovered, finish off the weakened Germans using Trebuchets supported by your riders. Now you'll have access to the rest of the Germans' unused gold. It is time to gird yourself against the Bohemians! Theirs is a mighty army, not easily defeated in melee combat. You must build a system of fortifications and lure them to attack it. Build three Castles in the flagged area and place Towers and walls in front of them. Leave only a small open entrance (also called the "killing zone") to this complex. Man the Towers with Archers. Build lots of Heavy Camels, Cavaliers, and Mangudai. Place Trebuchets in the rear to attack their enemy counterparts. Now you're ready for battle! Send a single rider north to lure the Bohemian down and watch the spectacle. The enemy first sends in masses of Paladins. You'll shoot down most of them. Siege Onagers, which arrive in a large group with about ten Siege Rams, are more of a threat. Attack as best you can with your Mangudai and Cavaliers, handling the Onagers first. With luck, you'll lose only one Castle to the Battering Rams. The good news at this point is that the Bohemian is largely finished; you need only rebuild your Castle(s) and go knock down theirs. The bad news is that Keeps and Bombard Towers defend the enemy base. The key to your assault is the massive Trebuchet, which outranges all other land weapons. Inch your Trebuchets forward just enough to get in range of enemy towers; then pull the lanyard. Be ready to retreat your Trebuchets quickly! Use Mangudai and Cavaliers to blunt enemy counterattacks and you'll escape the worst. Tighten the noose around the Bohemians inch by inch until they're weak enough for your forces to destroy. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Genghis 6 About five minutes into the scenario, the Hungarians (represented by the Teuton civilization) send in a force of Paladins, Teutonic Knights, Scorpions, and Archers. These "invaders" immediately set upon your outer works, destroying all of your Towers one by one until they reach your Town Center where they plan to wipe you out. Your first impulse may be to send in your whole force. Don't. Any troops you send in will blow up along with the enemy when your Saboteurs attack. Instead, let the Saboteurs do their work alone for a bit. The other side clusters Knights around Towers when attacking them. When it does this, send in a Saboteur or two. The resulting blast damages all troops in a small radius. In this manner, with two Saboteurs you can often take out as many as five Teutonic Knights and Paladins. Not bad! You have ten Saboteurs, quite enough to tear the heart out of attack. Afterward, send in all of your Cavalry to mop up any remaining enemy troops. The carnage will discourage the Hungarians. Aside from a few halfhearted attacks, they'll stick to their heavily fortified Castle. You must build a powerful economy and army to root them out of this den. Build a massive horde of about forty fully upgraded Cavaliers and Mangudai, several Monks for healing purposes, four Siege Onagers, and at least eight Trebuchets to knock down the Hungarian fortress. Your population limit is seventy-five, so consider building large numbers of Villagers at the beginning to gather resources, and then killing some of them to make room for more military units. Try to reach your population cap by minute forty, when Subotai arrives. If you do, his force will push you way over the population limit. Because the Hungarians have switched to a Wonder strategy, you must take them out much faster than you'd like. Their strong defensive capabilities make this that much harder. Any head-on attack will fail miserably. Don't try to cross the bridge (the Hungarians will blow it up soon). Instead, take a roundabout route across the shallows. Set up all eight Trebuchets—two to fire over the woods at enemy Towers and six to defend the two. The Hungarians are fond of using Trebuchets of their own for counterbattery fire. Once the Towers are down, withdraw the Trebuchets and use the Siege Onagers to cut a path through the woods. This path will become your first killing zone. Set your Siege Onagers to fire at the ground in the path and position the rest of your troops around the Onagers, standing their ground. Now send a lone rider through this hail of fire to lure the Hungarians to your army. Slaughter, advance, and repeat, using Hungarian gate openings as future killing zones. Frederick 1 Use all of your food to create new Villagers. Send each Villager, escorted by a military unit, to the edge of your small central island. Search for the four crossings to the rest of the map. As you find them, immediately wall them. As your new Villagers are made, send them to help until all four barriers are constructed. Then send everyone back to the Town Center to gather resources. Build a balanced economy as fast as you can. As soon as you have several Archers, attack the clamoring enemy troops pounding on your walls. Focus on one wall at a time, sending enough troops there to wipe out the enemy. If the Archers don't destroy the enemy, at least they will keep the enemy troops busy while several Villagers build a tower. As you complete each tower, garrison an Archer or two and move on. Once the towers are up, add a Mangonel to each crossing to prevent the inevitable Battering Ram attacks. Now that your crossings are secure, advance your economy to the Imperial Age and destroy your opponents one by one. When you have enough resources, begin building Knights, Teutonic Knights, and Cannoneers. Mine lots of stone; your enemies will send endless swarms of Knights, Swordsmen, Scorpions, and Mangonels against you. The stone is for your overall offensive strategy: several towers filled with Archers. By this time, your enemies' energy is dropping. They have seen their best and brightest slaughtered by your fortified Towers. Build an army of Knights, Teutonic Knights, and Battering Rams and quickly bring them to their knees. Use the Knights to quickly attack dangerous siege weapons, and use the Teutonic Knights against all other troops. Let the Knights run wild against enemy Villagers. As you destroy each kingdom's Castle, Town Center, and Villagers, it will resign. Destroy enemy churches to reveal the relics inside. To win, you must have six different Monks holding one relic apiece. Bring them back to your original church, but leave each Monk and relic standing outside of the church. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Frederick 2 First, send your Scout to survey Henry's lands. You can see them now—while he is allied—but when he turns on you, they will darken unless you explore them beforehand. Spend your initial shipment of gold on Knights, several Battering Rams, Teutonic Knights, and Crossbowmen. You'll have just enough time to campaign against the Polish Castle in the northwest before the traitor strikes. March north and lay waste to the lightly guarded Castle. At the Polish Castle, defend your Battering Rams from Infantry attack. Use your Cavalry to smite down Polish Onagers before they savage your army. You'll suffer moderate casualties, but most only wounded. When Henry initiates his betrayal, do not throw these soldiers into the fight against him; instead, heal them inside your Castle and build a wholly new force (using your next supply shipment) to blunt Henry's initial attack. Henry attacks with a mix of Teutonic Knights, Swordsmen, and Battering Rams. Several unit mixes can stop him, but be sure to include lots of Teutonic Knights and Archers in your army. Upgrade these units before sending them into battle. Amass a large force before counterattacking, but do not dally too long; Henry's Battering Rams will eventually knock down your houses. If this happens you're in trouble because you have no way to make more. Once your "Army of the North" is healed, add it to the fray and concentrate on knocking down Henry's Castle. "The Lion" will quickly cower when the castle falls. With Henry's surrender, you can knock down the walls, imprison his captured Villagers, and use them yourself. Now your immediate goals are to defend Saxony and Bavaria from the attacking Poles while building up your economy. Send a ten-unit mix of Teutonic Knights, Cavalry, and Archers to the border shallows of each of your counties; this is enough to stop any Polish incursions. These blockades allow you to focus on upgrades, more troops, and a navy. A navy will be of great help in conquering Poland; rivers lead to both of the enemy Castles, so build a force of Cannon Galleons and lay waste to them. This may be a challenge because the Poles like to build Onagers. However, it will allow you to avoid a long, slogging match against the Polish Huskarls. If the Poles still don't surrender, instruct your navy to destroy everything within range of the water and send an army to take out the northern siege workshop. Send Cavalry to wipe out any Onagers you find. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Frederick 3 The best initial strategy is to send your force of Priests and Spearmen on a quick mission to steal Cremali Villagers, then stay out of the line of fire. Head down the coast until you reach the Cremali stone-mining operation. Set all units on no-attack to prevent them from blowing your cover. Use Monks to convert no more than two Villagers. Next bring everyone back to your base to start making a Town Center. Meanwhile, send a few War Galleys to help defend the Garcona dock from the river patrol. The Cremali will eventually start attacking you. Quickly build a Blacksmith and upgrade your Spearmen's armor. If you are attacked, retreat your forces to the Garcona and then sit back and watch them fight. Using this technique, you can eventually coax your ally's troops close enough to your town to protect it so that you can concentrate on economic development. The Garcona will usually smash Crema with no help from you whatsoever. While you build up, the river patrol will pose a greater danger with their endless naval harassment. As soon as possible, build two Keeps and put some Cannoneers inside to keep the coast clear. By the time you start running low on gold, the Cremali field in the east should be liberated. Use this gold to reach the Imperial Age; then consider how best to overcome Milan. Although a slow advance such as this has its own appeal, it is not the most fun or elegant way to win the scenario. Instead, after fending off the first big Milanese attack, finish it in style! After ramming through Milan's northern gate, send in about twelve fully-upgraded Cannoneers, four Teutonic Knights, and three Monks, each in their own group. Rush straight up to the cathedral plateau, swerving to avoid Onager blasts. Only stop to shoot units close enough to block your path. Cannoneers really mow down most units that get in their way! Once at the cathedral, position your Cannoneers next to the barracks so they can cut down any new Swordsmen the Milanese make. Place the Knights to block the path up the plateau and start converting the cathedral. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Frederick 4 Your top priority from the beginning must be Towers and the stone to make them. To protect your small fishing fleet and the food it brings in, focus on fortifying the river mouth. Have two Villagers immediately build no fewer than three Towers and send all your Mangonels and War Galleys to back them up. This little fortress should be enough to beat off the Venetian attack. Meanwhile, split your remaining Villagers into two groups. Have one construct a Town Center next to the southern stone pile and have the other build houses furiously. You can't build any new units until you rebuild all of the houses lost in the initial defeat. You have plenty of wood and food, so concentrate on getting the gold and (especially) stone flowing. Your starting army is strong enough to protect you for awhile from the rampaging Paduan Teutonic Knights and Cavaliers. Begin training Crossbowmen and staffing a line of Towers running east-west below the river as soon as possible. Although the more northerly shallows are usually strong places to defend, in this case the Venetian navy makes the task impossible. Build a church and Monks early; you'll need them for converting and healing. As you grow more secure, increase your food and wood operations. Train Cannoneers and Cannon Galleys and be sure to build a Castle. The Paduan is skilled at siege operations, so your Cavalry must be vigilant against Trebuchet and (later) Bombard Cannon attacks. Prepare to ride hard at the enemy before they knock down your Towers. The only way to win is by land, although you shouldn't hesitate to use your navy for defense and for limited attacks against the resource-rich southern islands. Pursue all army upgrades, including Elite Teutonic Knight and Paladin, in order to drive the aggressive Paduans and "born-again traitor" Henry the Lion back across the western plains. This constraint puts you in a double bind because there isn't enough gold in your single pile to adequately outfit the Emperor's army. Therefore, you must brave the seas and commit yourself to a two-front war in search of gold. If you decide to land on the far northeastern peninsula, send Transports counterclockwise along the edge of the map and avoid Venetian patrols. Send a sizable force with your Villagers; you'll encounter resistance soon after landing because this is the Paduan's front yard. Build another Castle and Tower network (again, set back from the sea; the Venetian navy cannot be trifled with). Staff it with deadly hand Cannoneers. These Towers, backed up by Paladins, will bleed the Paduan dry, though it won't come easily. To mine the massive gold pile, you must build either Bombard Towers or Cannons and stand toe-to-toe with the Venetian navy. Either way, you must spend a lot of resources to get the job done. Alternatively, attack the two southern islands for their gold and stone. The stone island is relatively easy to capture—a lone Trebuchet can knock down its Tower. The much-needed gold is harder to get, though. The Venetian navy and a force of Bombard Cannons guard the Castle. It requires several attack waves to take. First, send a force of Paladins to kill the Bombard Cannons. Do not try to retreat the Paladins after their mission is complete. Next, send upgraded Battering Rams to knock down the Castle and Towers. The Venetian Cannon Galleons will make short work of the Battering Rams unless you establish local (and very temporary) sea control. Send about eight Cannon Galleons along and keep them clear of the island's Towers. Curiously, once all of the island's fortifications are gone, the Venetians trouble you no more in this area. Send a several Villagers to collect its gold. With this gold and stone, you can finally move north from your southwestern base to drive Henry the Lion, the Paduans, and the Veronese back and eventually capture many resources. Prepare a massive force of Paladins, Teutonic Knights, and Cannoneers (deployed in Towers). Use them all to protect your several Trebuchets. Also create a few Onagers to combat the Veronese Cannoneers. By the time you reach the top of the western plain, your enemies' troops will be shattered. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Frederick 5 You must cross the Sea of Marmara to Turkey either from Constantinople or from Gallipoli. The obvious choice seems to be Constantinople. The Emperor of Byzantium is your ally and his powerful navy would be of great help in getting past the Saracen naval blockade, but the Emperor is fickle and will chase you from the city gates. This may make Gallipoli look more attractive as a departure point, but the Saracen naval blockade of Gallipoli is too formidable to run, as you will discover by having your army sunk several times if you try this approach. Therefore, the best route does, in fact, lie through Constantinople; storm the city so that its navy will transport you. Several challenges lie between you and the city. Begin by organizing your troops well. Put Crossbowmen and Pikemen in one group and place them in a staggered formation so that an errant Onager shot doesn't kill twenty men. Next, make individual groups of Paladins and Teutonic Knights, giving the Knights the same formation (Paladins are agile enough to leave out of formation). Create one last group out of everyone else. You won't use this grouping in battle, but it's an easy way to get the rest of your army to march. Use a Scout to check what's ahead while the army follows. If you detect a threat, engage it with the group or individual units that can best handle it. Sometimes, when handling mixed forces, multiple groups must engage the enemy; ensure that your units face off against their intended targets. When fights do not go as planned, don't hesitate to retreat. Perhaps you can set up a trap for the enemy with the rest of your army. A lone Saracen Galley blocks the river crossing; demolish this with Trebuchets. Across the river are greater dangers. Your Scouts should retreat from the Saracen ambush without serious loss, but destroying it is difficult. Most encounters with the four Elite Mamelukes draw the entire Saracen army of Mamelukes, Heavy Camels, and Siege Onagers into a larger conflict. Destroy each successive wave quickly before reinforcements arrive. Hit the Mamelukes with your Archers and Pikemen, then retreat them to be healed while your Teutonic Knights (backed by Archers) take on a wave of Heavy Camels. Finally, send your Paladins to dodge and weave their way to the approaching Siege Onagers. During all of this action, periodically send a Trebuchet (whose line of sight is fantastic) reasonably close to the front lines to use it as an early warning radar; retreat it whenever the enemy gets close. Once you have wiped out the Saracen army, it's easy to use your Trebuchets to destroy their Castle. Now, assault Constantinople. The city is ringed by Bombard Towers and has two strong gates, but these are easily destroyed by your Trebuchets. As you fire upon them, the Byzantines rally forth, sometimes with Elite Cataphracts, sometimes with Siege Onagers. One attack, in which both of these units approach simultaneously, is particularly difficult to endure without loss. The solution is to retreat your entire army. The Cataphracts will leave the slow Onagers behind. Use your Pikemen and Teutonic Knights to dispose of the Cataphracts, retreating away just as the Onagers catch up to their fallen horsemen. Follow by sending in a few Paladins to smash the enemy's forlorn siege. Once you've destroyed Constantinople's defenses, lob a few Trebuchet rounds at the Hagia Sophia Wonder to make the Byzantine Emperor see his error. He presents you with a large navy including several Transports for your use. However, at this point the navy is in grave danger, along with any aspirations that you have of crossing the Sea of Marmara; within seconds, an immense Saracen fleet sails in to destroy it. Your only hope is to use your army to support your new navy. Immediately position Siege Onagers and Trebuchets at the northeastern walls of the city. Move the warships into the outer harbor where they'll be protected by your siege weapons. Spread them out; the deadliest weapon the enemy possesses is the Heavy Demolition Ship. Finally, move your Monks and a small force of Paladins (acting as cannon fodder) to the wall. Use all of these forces to sink or convert as many ships as you can. Concentrate on fire and demolition ships. Though you'll take heavy damage, with luck you can save one or two Transports, which are enough to get you to the eastern landing area. Ferry all of your remaining troops there and begin the long journey to the Hospitaller camp. From this point onward, you must protect your remaining Trebuchets. You'll continually encounter mounted Archers, fortifications, or Bombard Cannons. If you bumble into these engagements, you will suffer crippling losses. It is crucial to use Trebuchets as your eyes, stopping to assess the latest threat and figure out which of your remaining troops can best handle it. This brings up a technique for easily destroying many threats: using the Trebuchet as a long-distance, undetectable artillery piece. Due to a limitation of the computer opponent's intelligence, Trebuchets can fire on enemy units without being detected as long as they are out of the enemy unit's line of sight. This makes it easy, although tedious, to pound your enemies without suffering a scratch. To do this, don't right-click on the enemy unit; it will be alerted to your attack and move. Instead, set your Trebuchet to Area attack the region occupied by the enemy unit. If you are down to your last ten units, you can often finish the march by shooting as many enemies from long range as possible while avoiding or killing enemy Trebuchets with your other units. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Frederick 6 You must first break through the fortifications of Saladin and Damascus. With Barbarossa's death, you are not seen as a threat and are free to set up your attack until (ten minutes later) your enemies get wise. Pay attention to how long it takes to produce each unit and the buildings required for training them. The Damascene camp must be the focus of your attack. Although it's possible to punch through the rear camp wall and push on through to Jerusalem, this is quite risky because the Damascenes will pursue. You will have no easy way to fortify your isolated armies and a lucky siege shot could obliterate the Emperor's body. Leave the Emperor's body tucked away in the northern oasis of your camp and plan on obliterating the Damascenes; then use their camp as a forward base to overcome the remaining defenders of Jerusalem. Only when the path is cleared will you escort the Emperor's body in stately grace to the Dome of the Rock. Destroy the several Damascene siege weapons scattered throughout the compound. Position a Paladin or two next to each and the enemy will automatically attack when alliances change. The Damascenes have Paladins of their own; to defeat them (and as an added weapon against Elephants) place your Pikemen in the middle of the complex. You'll need several siege units of your own to destroy the front gate (allowing your reinforcements to enter), the back wall, and the enemy Castle. Build several Capped Battering Rams and Trebuchets and enclose the Trebuchets in their own wall within range of the Castle. It is worthwhile to build a Castle of your own filled with Archers close to the back wall of the compound; these will wear down his units. As soon as the Castle is constructed, start training Teutonic Knights at your Castle. Build several Keep Towers, both for the elephants to chew on and to cut down enemy Villagers. Have a few Villagers of your own in the enemy camp to do repair work. Don't forget that all of these units and structures will need to be upgraded to have a chance of victory. Now that you know which units to make, consider all of the buildings necessary to construct and upgrade them. You can build almost all of these in your camp and still reach attack positions in time. Produce Villagers to help you get all of this building done. Don't bother with resource gathering except for some gold. It is a good idea to build an upgraded wall around your camp; Saladin will attack it later. As the minutes tick down and tension mounts, focus less on your base and more on theirs—positioning your units is really critical! At zero hour, the action will quickly desolve into a bloody chaos that you cannot fully control. Focus your will on two goals: turning Elephants and destroying the Damascene Castle and the Trebuchets he will make there. Immediately put your own Trebuchets to work on the enemy Castle and destroy his initial siege units so that these efforts will not be hindered. Then click one-by-one on your Monks and have them convert Elephants. With the rest of your time, use your other units to kill enemy Monks and prevent his Elephants from knocking down the wall to your Monks. If you have a few seconds left over from these crucial maneuverings, set your Battering Rams to work destroying the walls or his buildings, but keep them away from his units! After a really nasty fight, you'll own the Damascene base. Now secure it from the impending Saracen counterattacks. Build Towers on the periphery and fill them with Archers. After healing your forces (including the Elephants), you are ready to head south. Your major opposition in this phase comes from Saracen Mamelukes, Archers (including Saladin's cursed Archers of the Eyes), and Onagers. Your Paladins, Teutonic Knights, and Elephants shouldn't have too much trouble rolling over them, especially if you periodically construct Archer-filled Towers to consolidate your gains. Put your Villagers to work in your base to build a strong economy. Your initial resources will run out soon; use the new resources to fully upgrade all of your units. When you have destroyed Saladin's forest of tents, head slightly southeast and destroy all of his military buildings and Town Center. This provides a staging area for the final attack on Jerusalem. Now you encounter forces more difficult to handle; swarms of Horse Archers backed by Monks sweep in from the west. If you send Paladins to slice them apart, the enemy Monks will convert many of them. Use Monks (guarded by the rest of the army) to show the Horse Archers the error of their ways. You can often assign several Monks to convert the enemy while still more heal them from behind. When you have converted enough Horse Archers, have them shoot down their old compatriots—especially the Monks. Using this strategy, you can easily reach the northern wall of Jerusalem. Punch through it with Battering Rams and Trebuchets and send in a horde of Teutonic Horse Archers to deal with the enemy Monks inside. Monitor your troops so that they do not accidentally knock down the Dome of the Rock. When the city is stripped of defenders, set up a solemn victory march—you deserve it for having gotten this far! Line the route of the Emperor's cart with your cheering troops and deliver him to heaven. Saladin 1 When you reach the map's southern edge, Egypt decides you are untrustworthy. The Franks and traitorous Egyptians form an alliance against you. While you are engaged with the Franks, the Egyptians send troops to their aid. The Egyptian aid consists of Elite Mamelukes, Archers, and Camels. A Frank Cannon Galley floats near a small island as you approach the gates of Cairo. The moment any of your units get near the Galley, it defects to your side. Use this Galley to destroy the Blacksmith on the island as quickly as possible. After the Blacksmith is destroyed, you gain the Chain Barding Armor upgrade. This upgrade gives your Mamelukes, Camels, and Light Cavalry an additional point of piercing and normal armor. You need to destroy all of the west Frank's buildings and troops to accomplish your first objective. Your second objective, established when Egypt turns on you, is to bring your troops to the Mosque in Cairo. Use the newly acquired Cannon Galley to destroy the Egyptian Tower guarding the gate and the gate itself. Before entering the city with your troops, set your diplomatic stance with Egypt to Neutral so your units don't preoccupy themselves with attacking the buildings. You're not here to conquer, but to rescue Cairo from the European infidels and the coward who is ruling Cairo. Once inside the city, send a few fast-moving Scouts to the Mosque. Don't attack any Egyptian units in Cairo and avoid the Castle and the Towers at all costs. Upon reaching the Gate to the Mosque, Egypt once again allies with you. A nearby Egyptian Monk heals your troops. When your troops are healed and ready for battle, move out of the eastern gate and prepare to fight. Between your troops and the targeted Town Center stands a line of Frank Towers. Once you attack a Tower, the Franks send a fairly small force to counterattack, which is easily destroyed. Send one Cavalry Archer to provoke the counterattack and lure the forces back to your army. After each battle, reduce your losses by healing your troops with the Egyptian Monk near the Mosque. Near the Town Center you find eleven Pikemen, four Crossbowmen, a Monk, a Knight, and two Onagers. Once your troops are completely healed, charge in. Attempt to use your Light Cavalry on the enemy Monk and the four Crossbowmen, your Camels on the remaining Knight and Onagers, and your Mamelukes, Cavalry Archers, and Infantry on the Pikemen. Remember not to let the Pikemen close in on any of the mounted units. Using the right counter units and controlling the battle is the key to an easy win. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Saladin 2 You begin the scenario with three Light Cavalry. Send one to the Town Center of your southern ally, Medina, and one to the Town center of your ally to the north, Aqaba. Help yourself to the sheep in Medina. Send Camels and one remaining Light Cavalry east to the road the Trade Carts travel. Have this group select a Trade Cart to guard. Set these forces to Defensive stance so they won't leave the cart to give chase to the enemies. After you have established a stable food income, start sending all new Villagers to chop wood. In the area to your east near the deer, set up a Mill. Next concentrate on building a Barracks, an Archery Range, and a Blacksmith. Upgrade both your Archery and Infantry units at the Blacksmith. As your camp expands, start building military units. The enemy forces consist mainly of a horde of Archers, a handful of Skirmishers, and one Ram from the Raiders. Fifteen Skirmishers and five Spearmen should be a safe and adequate defense against them. Build the Spearmen without delay. Beware of enemy Knights that occasionally wander into your town. A single Knight can destroy many Skirmishers. If an ally loses a Town Center, the scenario is lost. Research Cartography so you can keep an eye on your allies. With quick preparations, you'll be ready when the Raiders attack your town. If you're prepared before they attack, take the battle to them. When the enemy troops are destroyed, park your remaining units in front of the Raiders' gate. One at a time, Archers and Scouts will emerge to face you and die miserably. During all of these preparations and battles, continue building military units and Villagers. When you hit a population of approximately fifty or sixty units, advance to the Castle Age. Upgrade your existing army by researching the Pikemen and Elite Skirmisher upgrades. Remember to research the armor and attack upgrades for your military at the Blacksmith. Build a Siege Workshop and a few Battering Rams. You should now be able to easily rid your island of all enemies. Begin the destruction of the Raiders' town. The Raiders will resign after you have taken out a good portion of their buildings. You also must contend with some Knights and Crossbowmen stationed around the island by Reynald's Bandits, but your forces should be more than adequate to rid your island of their presence. To head off raids by Pirates, build defenses at your town. Most raids consist of Paladins and siege weapons. Counter with Monks, Pikemen, and/or Mamelukes; concentrate on using Mamelukes, because they are an all-around good unit if you can muster an adequately large group of them. Proceed westward to the center island. You find a crossing that you can access from inside the town of Aqaba. Several gold piles are on this island, including one guarded by the red enemy at the edge of the map. You'll also find a large pile of stone here. Destroy the houses, Tower, and dock that lie on the southern part of this island. Be attentive; a few random Paladins still run about. Build Barracks on this island and train fully upgraded Pikemen—the Pirates have many Paladins on the next island to the west. If you choose to concentrate on Mamelukes rather than Pikemen, bring them over the crossing from your initial island. Do not use Camels to fight the Paladins! One Paladin can destroy one Camel: a losing battle. Build a dock with healthy defenses on the west side of the center island. You'll need two or more Transports for the ferry operation to the far western island. Land a huge group of either Pikemen or Mamelukes on the Pirates' southern shore. Shortly after you land, Paladins and Onagers swarm you. As your units die, keep building new ones and be ready to send over a second wave. This group should take care of the bulk of the Raiders' army. When you have cleared an area and are no longer being overwhelmed by the enemy, bring Villagers in and erect military buildings and defenses on the southern end of this last island. Reynald has a Castle in the main part of his town. Two or three Battering Rams with support can take care of it easily. In order to complete the scenario, you must maintain a constant pressure on the Pirates. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Saladin 3 Double up on Palisades by your Barracks in the southern camp to stave off any attacks until a bit later in the game. Just as you start to pick up steam, Jerusalem attacks with Knights and Spearmen. If your northern camp is attacked, you have plenty of troops to fight back. However, in case the other camp is targeted, prepare Spearmen in the south. Remember to get economic upgrades and infantry upgrades at the Blacksmith as soon as you can. When this is done, upgrade to Castle Age. After the initial wave of the Jerusalem Knights and Spearmen, the other three enemy factions keep the troops at your northern camp busy. Jerusalem now concentrates on your southern camp, which the British also attack occasionally with siege units and Crossbowmen. A force of approximately fifteen troops consisting of Swordsmen, Skirmishers, Light Cavalry, and Crossbowmen keep this camp fairly safe. A Monk's healing power is helpful, too. Concentrate on your northern camp. Move the woodcutters to the forest at the north side of the map and use Palisades to wall in the area. Keep a force of Light Cavalry, Pikemen, and Crossbowmen on hand to deal with the invading forces. When you have amassed an army consisting of Pikemen, Skirmishers, Light Cavalry, Infantry, Crossbowmen, Camels, and several Monks, head southwest and take the Piece of the Cross from the Crusaders. A variety of enemy troops await you, so prepare a wide range of units for this force. Priests hiding behind a double layer of Palisades will convert some of your troops. Attack the Palisades relentlessly with a few units while the majority of your army holds off other attackers. Use your Monks to convert as many enemies as possible while keeping your troops healed. At the same time, do not allow your camps to be overrun. It would be a shame to make the long journey back to your northern camp with the hard-earned relic, only to be greeted by a large enemy force intent on recovering it. Use the box formation to protect the Monk carrying the relic. Once the Piece of the Cross arrives in the square between the Horns of Hattin, you are victorious. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Saladin 4 Start by building a Town Center near the gold and forest just east of your troops. You have a sufficient military to hold off the initial attacks, so concentrate on building a strong economy. You'll find scattered herds of sheep all around you. Send your Light Cavalry out in a wide semicircle to collect them for your initial food source. When you are done with the sheep, you can hunt pockets of nearby deer. Finally, when the natural food supplies have been depleted, fall back on farming. Use one of your starting Villagers to build a house, then find the stone pile to your northwest and build another Town Center near the stone and forest there. When you have about five Villagers, build a Castle to protect your town. Also erect a few Towers to support it. Concentrate on upgrading your economy, but don't skimp on the military upgrades. Cavalry armor, Cavalry attack, missile range, ballistics, and building upgrades that benefit your towers and Castle are also important. Until you have trained Monks, use your Castle to garrison military for healing purposes. Keep your Archers of the Eyes garrisoned in the Castle to increase your Castle attack; this will keep your town fairly safe from aggressors. When you can afford to do so, advance to the Imperial Age. When you reach Imperial Age, concentrate on training fully upgraded Elite Mamelukes. Build up a force of twenty or more Elite Mamelukes. Also make a few Monks for healing the Mamelukes and build a Trebuchet to destroy the two towers of Jerusalem closest to you and to knock a hole in the wall so your Mamelukes can enter Jerusalem. The Elite Mamelukes can handle anything the enemy throws at them if you heal them between fights by heading back to your Monks. Keep your Monks stationed safely in your town. Slowly move your Trebuchet forward; guard it with Mamelukes. Use the Trebuchet to wipe out the Towers and put a hole in the wall. Once there is a hole in the wall, change your diplomatic stance for Jerusalem to Neutral. You don't want any units attacking a Monastery or the Dome of the Rock by accident and the Neutral alliance will prevent them from doing this. You can use your Trebuchet to take out the remaining Towers, but be extremely careful with the Tower built right next to one of the monasteries. Trebuchets aren't always accurate and it would be unfortunate to lose the scenario at this point because of a stray shot. Either way, the Towers should fall quickly to your army and victory will be yours. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Saladin 5 Once more, it is imperative to act quickly to start your economy growing. The scenario calls for fishing and lots of farming. Build a Town Center near the stone and wood just outside of your east wall. Farm inside the walls around your original Town Center and use Fishing Ships to boost food production. Build walls around your exterior base in preparation for the attacks that are about to begin. Gold is scarce at the beginning of the scenario, so assign a few Villagers to mine gold in the first few minutes. Your defenses will be greatly bolstered by Monks; use them to convert enemy Knights. Tiberias, Tyre, and Tripoli Guards will all send raiding parties at around the ten-minute mark. Upgrade your attack and Cavalry armor at the Blacksmith to prepare for them. By the time the attackers arrive, you must have five or more Camels waiting for them. After surviving the initial onslaught, continue to build your economy and advance to the Imperial Age. Don't be found guilty of neglecting your defenses, or you'll pay for it with your life! Tyre is preparing to send a fleet your way, so when you have wood to spare, use it to build warships. Make good use of your Galleys, which attack twenty percent faster. Your most dangerous naval enemy is the Fire Ship. To ensure a well-rounded navy, add Demolition Ships to the mix. When you advance to the Imperial Age, research the Elite Cannon Galleon. Use these powerful ships to bombard first Tyre, then Ascalon. As your navy finishes this task, start training Elite Mamelukes and a few Trebuchets. You won't have much time left to destroy Ascalon's Wonder. Use your Cannon Galleons to attack the Towers within range of the water and the Trebuchets to clear those that will interfere and are out of the Galleons' range. Slowly advance the Trebuchets to destroy the Wonder. Finish off Ascalon by killing his three Villagers. If Tyre is still offering resistance, it will be easy to crush him once the Wonder is destroyed. Load Transports with the rest of your army. Send the remainder of your navy to accompany the Transports and make a beachhead on his island. Defend your Trebuchets with Mamelukes. Destroy any remaining towers with your Trebuchets. Once the Towers are down, mop up all remaining Villagers, troops, and buildings. To effect his resignation and end the scenario, destroy the dock that stands on a small island to the west. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Saladin 6 You begin with a walled city, several Villagers, and a small amount of resources. As the scenario starts, your first impulse may be to Scout the map. This is usually a good instinct—one that should be followed in nearly every situation. However, if you're playing this game on Hard or Hardest setting, you really don't have time to do that. The troops are out there waiting for you to build your Wonder. If you build it, they will come! You have a few immediate goals—things that must be started within the first twenty seconds or so. Move four of the Villagers that start near your Town Center outside of your walls. Send one of them to each gap and wall it off with gates. Build a Town Center with your Villagers near the gold and stone mine at the southwest corner of your town. Start fishing with your Fishing Ships near your docks. Move your troops out of the city so they can defend your new outer perimeter. Move your navy down to the southeast and around the corner to guard the narrow strip of land that enters your city. This scenario is all about walling out the enemies. Once you've walled every possible entrance to your area, start several farms; you need the food to create a large economy quickly. Place a lumber yard near your Town Center by the trees there. You'll need lots of lumber, so assign a few Villagers to chop wood. Also, as soon as you have the first layer of gates and walls erected, build a Trebuchet in your uppermost Castle. You're going to need several, but only one or two for the first ten minutes or so will do. Delete a small section of the wall that borders the sea near your gold and stone mines. Pop a Villager out of the hole and have him build a dock. The extra food provided by four or five Fishing Ships will help you quickly establish a military. Also, near your gold and stone, erect a second Town Center; this will help you build Villagers more quickly. You'll need many Villagers to gather resources and to create the Wonder. Once you've assigned all of your Villagers and Fishing Ships to their tasks, finish walling the several entrances to your town. There are five choke points you must wall. Don't forget any of them—the enemy is quick to exploit any openings you neglect. Don't settle for a single layer of wall. Keep walling over and over again. Put five gates in a row wherever possible. You're just trying to buy time, so the thicker the walls and gates, the better. Gates are better than walls in this scenario because you'll need to sally out with Knights or other Battering Ram killing units. Don't get too many military upgrades at first. As soon as you've successfully walled yourself in, start building Trebuchets; you need three or four. Watch for enemy attacks and counter from a distance with the Trebuchets. Remember to use the [T] Attack Ground command for better targeting. Now begin saving wood, stone, and gold. The sooner you can get your Wonder going, the less time the enemies have to build up troops. Delete a house or two to make room to construct your Wonder and assign as many Villagers as you can afford to build it. You'll be under heavy siege, so keep several Villagers gathering resources. This is a good time to start getting upgrades. Cavalry units are extremely useful as siege unit counters—don't forget to create several Knights and upgrade them. Towers don't seem to fare very well against all the long-range siege units the enemies throw at you. More than anything else, continue to wall over and over again in key spots. If you can build walls six or eight tiles thick, do it. The extra layers of wall buy you precious minutes you'll need to hold your Wonder. By the time your Wonder is completed, you should have at least a half-dozen Trebuchets, at least ten Knights, and a small contingent of Elite Mamelukes. Use the Trebuchets to pelt the enemy Trebuchets and Cannon. Send small groups of Knights out to hit Battering Rams, then bring them quickly back in to be healed by your Monks. Just when it seems the battle is hopeless, your Persian ally sends you a Transport full of Elephants. The Elephants provide a much-needed boost to your faltering defenses. Don't expect any more help from the Persian; there will be none. As the clock ticks down, you'll be surprised how incredibly long the 300 years lasts. Wave after wave of attack continues to pummel your walls. The enemies will probably break through in several places and start swarming in toward your Wonder. To help the Wonder last a bit longer, build walls directly around it. Also make walls at any other choke point or gap in your city. Make it as difficult as possible for enemy troops to approach the Wonder.