The Western Roman Emperor had a sister named Honoria, who after weary years of confinement to her parlor, made the preposterous decision to send a letter to Attila the Hun. She asked him to marry her. One suspects Honoria did not know what she was getting into.
Attila was plentifully supplied with wives, but he immediately saw the advantage that such a union could put him in. Suddenly, his plans changed. He would not invade the Eastern Roman Empire at Constantinople, but the Western Empire, at Rome. Indeed, he claimed half of the Western Empire as his dowry.
Attila sent the Huns to march across the Rhine River, and made alliances with the other barbarian chieftains. Some, namely the Burgundians and the Ostrogoths, joined the Hunnic confederation, while others, such as the Visigoths, sought to seek Roman favor by opposing the Huns.
When Attila entered the Roman province of Gaul, he could claim that he merely sought by force what was his by right of betrothal to Honoria.
Scenario Instructions Edit
Starting Conditions Edit
- Starting Age: Castle Age
- Starting resources: 800 wood, 200 food, 200 gold, 500 stone
- Population limit: 150
- Starting units:
- Defeat Orléans.
- Defeat Metz.
- Defeat Burgundy.
- Defeat the Roman Army.
- OPTIONAL: Burgundy is willing to join you, if you can convince them you are trustworthy. First they want a tribute of 500 gold.
- OPTIONAL: Burgundy will join you if you build a Castle within the flagged area of their town within 10 minutes.
- Your forces begin scattered. Look for a good place for an initial camp while avoiding wolves. In the dead of winter, forage sites are hard to come by, but there are hungry deer to be found.
- You cannot match the Frankish technology, but you do have the strength of numbers. Unleash the horde upon the cities of Gaul!
- Your scouts report: After invading Gaul, the Huns begin scattered. They must regroup while avoiding stumbling too close to Burgundy (purple) in the south, Metz (red) to the north or the great city of Orléans (cyan) to the northwest.
- Burgundy trains archers, rams, and infantry, but is not well-defended and might fall to an early attack. The Burgundians are easily intimidated and might even be persuaded to join the Hunnic cause.
- Metz makes up for Burgundy's weakness with an army of Knights and Throwing Axemen. Their Castle and proximity to Orléans offers them some defense.
- Orléans is a walled city protected by Towers and Castles. Its army of Spearmen, Knights, and Monks may prove a challenge for the Huns.
- Scouts also report that the Western Roman Empire is sending Aetius' army to reinforce Gaul. The Romans have no town in the area, but their legions and Cataphracts could strike at any time.
- Player (Huns): The player starts with the starting units scattered in the eastern corner of the map with no buildings to begin with.
- Metz (Franks): Metz is a rather small town in the north. They mostly field Knights, Throwing Axemen, and Battering Rams. In the Definitive Edition (in hard difficulty), they can advance to the Imperial Age and will update Knights to Cavaliers. They also train Two-handed Swordsmen.
- Burgundy (Franks): Burgundy is an unfortified town in the south. They mostly train Battering Rams and Crossbowmen, but are not much of a threat.
- Orléans (Franks): Orléans is a fortified town that lies to the west. They also have a forward Castle that lies rather central. They field a powerful army consisting of Paladins, Trebuchets, Elite Throwing Axemen, Scorpions, Halberdiers, and Monks.
- Western Roman Empire (Byzantines): The army of the Western Roman Empire appears once Orléans Town Center has been razed. It consists of Champions and Elite Cataphracts. In the Definitive Edition, the army consists of Legionaries and Centurions. They appear on the western border of the map and march right to Orléans.
Attila must defeat the three opponents Burgundy (purple), Orleans (cyan) and Metz (red). It is possible to intimidate Burgundy into forming an alliance with the player by destroying their Town Center, tributing them 500 gold and building them a Castle under 10 minutes. Instead of destroying their Town Center, the player can also just wait - Burgundy will make the same offer.
Once Orléans Town Center has been destroyed, the Western Roman Empire (Blue) will attack. The army spawns on the left side of the map. Strategically constructing walls, towers and Castles before they arrive will decimate their forces, as they have no siege weapons.
Note: If the scenario doesn't finish even after seemingly defeating the Western Roman Army, look for rogue Western Roman units that may have escaped to the countryside and running all over the map. The player needs to find such units and kill them in order to completely defeat the Western Roman army. In most cases, the rogue unit may be an Elite Cataphract, and it can only be chased and killed with a Scout Cavalry or Cavalry Archer, as it prefers to run away rather than fight back.
Alternative Strategy Edit
The player can kill the Western Roman Empire's placeholder unit (A Samurai) located behind the forest at the very top of the map before defeating Burgundy, Orleans and Metz, the Western Roman Empire will be defeated prematurely; their army will still spawn, but because they were already counted as "defeated" beforehand, the player only needs to defeat the final Frankish town before they cause any significant damage to their forces.
The old priest hung his head as he related what happened next, and I could tell the weight of the memories caused him great sorrow.
Attila would stop at nothing until he reached his fiancée, Honoria, and his goal of ruling the Roman Empire. The ravaging of Gaul was unprecedented.
People were tortured, their bodies torn asunder by wild horses, or their bones crushed under the weight of rolling wagons. Their unburied limbs were abandoned on the public roads as prey to dogs.
Heads on stakes stretched from Gaul clear back to the Danube River, from whence the Huns had come. They lay siege to Orléans, for Attila had learned much of siegecraft since he had faced the walls of Constantinople.
But as the Huns set to their fell task, a great cloud of dust appeared on the horizon. Aetius and the Roman army had come.
Historical comparison Edit
- Though this is a fully snowed winter map, the real campaign took place in spring, with Metz falling on April 7 and Orleans being besieged in May. The change is probably due to avoiding making the scenario a retread of the Joan of Arc campaign's second scenario, which takes place in the same general area.
- The possible alliance with the Burgundians is probably inspired by the fact that some Burgundians fought for the Huns and others for the Romans.
- The name of the scenario makes it also a reference to the epic German poem The Nibelungenlied in which Attila weds the sister of the Burgundian King.
- Coincidentally, the Burgundians are played by Franks (as in the Joan of Arc and Barbarossa campaigns), and while not referenced, the Franks were also divided by two claimants to the crown: one supported by Attila, and another by Aetius.
- Though played by Franks, Orleans was ruled at the time by the Alans, who appear as Vikings in the following scenario. Coincidentally, both players use the cyan color.
- Historically, the Huns failed to enter Orleans, but the siege drew long enough for the Alans to negotiate surrendering the city. The arrival of Aetius's army prevented this, and Attila withdrew north while his Gepid vassals covered his retreat. Aetius destroyed the Gepids and pursued Attila until they fought at the Catalaunian Fields.