A Kingdom Divided is the first scenario of the The Grand Dukes of the West campaign in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition - Lords of the West. It is based on the Battle of Othée (September 23, 1408).
Tomorrow, when Joan of Arc burns at the stake, I want you to watch carefully.
Not the young woman in the flames… but the men who sentenced her to burn.
The English will carry out the sentence; but when nothing but her ashes remains, it is the Grand Duke of the West, our Duke of Burgundy, that will have seized a triumph.
For you see, this spectacle is not really about the Maid of Orléans; her death is only as important as the benefit that it brings us. What burns on that pyre is not Joan the person, but La Pucelle: the symbol of the French resistance.
You are young, my son; you have never seen our duchy as anything but a powerful state. But we were not always so mighty. In the greater tale of history, Burgundy is but a newborn power, carved from the lands of the kingdoms and empires that surround us.
Our ascent began with John the Fearless, the father of our current duke. Up until then, the dukes of Burgundy and the Armagnac faction had been equal rivals, fighting for influence at the court of the Mad King of France.
Louis, the leader of the Armagnac faction, had been using the funds of the French crown for years to stifle John in any way possible. He also boasted of having bedded John’s wife...
Tiring of these insults and Louis’ abuse of royal influence, John decided to end their rivalry for good. Just three years into his reign, he sent fifteen men to stab the Armagnac duke to death on the streets of Paris in broad daylight.
It was a true show of force; in one bloody act, John established himself as the most powerful duke in France.
The Armagnac faction, now leaderless, began preparing for a long war. To keep the Burgundians occupied, they supported a revolt in the city of Liège, which was ruled by John’s brother-in-law, the Duke of Bavaria.
John the Fearless would not let such unrest spoil his plans for the grand duchy. And so he marched his armies north, to a small village outside Liège called Othée…
- Starting Age: Castle Age
- Starting resources: 300 food, 250 wood, 250 gold, 125 stone
- Population limit: 150
- Capture the city of Liège by destroying 2 of its 3 Castles.
After either 15 minutes have passed or the player has gotten close enough to Liège, the main objective is replaced by the following:
- Reduce the civilian population of Liège to 15 or less.
- Loot Markets, Mills and Trade Workshops in the nearby villages to receive additional resources.
- Destroy the rebels' Gunpowder Stores.
- The Burgundians are restricted to a population limit of 150 and you cannot advance to the Imperial Age.
- Six villages (3, Grey) that support the rebels are located in the vicinity. You can plunder their Trade Workshops, Mills and Markets for additional resources.
- You can trade with your ally for additional gold income, but ensure that your enemies do not wreak havoc on your trade routes.
- John the Fearless has recruited siege engineers from the Flemish cities whose expertise provides the Burgundians with the means to construct Capped Rams.
Your scouts report:
- John the Fearless and his army (1, Purple) have assembled to the west, accompanied by some Villagers which can set up a camp.
- The city of Liège (2, Cyan) is located to the southeast. The rebels will defend the city fiercely with Skirmishers, Spearmen, and Archers. As long as the city's supply camps (4, Green) remain intact, Liège will also make use of gunpowder units such as Hand Cannoneers and Organ Guns.
- Your ally, the Duke of Bavaria (5, Yellow), has set up his camp to the north. Eager to take back Liège, the duke will send heavy cavalry and Monks into battle.
- Six nearby villages (3, Grey) support the rebels in Liège, but are barely defended and can be easily plundered.
- Player (Burgundians) starts with a small base in the western area of the map.
- The Duke of Bavaria (Teutons) starts with a small base in the northern area of the map. He will come to the player's aid if they are under attack. He is mostly able to repeal enemy attacks on his own but the player should still keep an eye on him.
- Villages (Franks) are defended by small garrisons of Militia, Spearmen, and Crossbowmen. Destroying their Markets, Mills and Trade Workshops will give the player resources.
- Liège (Franks) is the strongest enemy in the scenario, training Elite Skirmishers, Pikemen, Crossbowmen, and Battering Rams. They also train Hand Cannoneers (despite being restricted to the Castle Age) and Organ Guns (despite being represented by the Franks).
- Rebel Supply Camps (Franks) have two well-defended camps. The southern camp has Long Swordsmen and Crossbowmen, while the eastern camp has Pikemen, Crossbowmen, and Scorpions. Destroying their Gunpowder Stores will stop Liège's production of Hand Cannoneers and Organ Guns.
(Assuming hard difficulty:) Immediately boom. To the east of the starting area, there is a stone deposit, which is a good spot for a second Town Center. Liège will attack, but the player has some time before then. Use the starting troops to raid the village north and south of the player to get their resources. Get a Castle up next to the second Town Center and wall the starting area off. This should protect the player from most attacks, so long as the player keeps a few Knights around to destroy Rams.
From this point, keep booming while raiding the remaining villages. Taking out the Gunpowder Stores in the Rebel Supply Camps is highly advised, as that stops the production of Organ Guns and Hand Cannoneers. Each of the Rebel Supply Camps bases will fall to a dozen Cavaliers (be careful with enemy Pikemen). Also, send a dozen Cavaliers to protect The Duke of Bavaria, as they act as a good buffer (and they also come to the player's aid when the player is under attack).
Note: for the "No Wheels" achievement, make sure the player does not build any siege weapons.
To win, the player has to reduce Liège to 15 Villagers. There are Town Centers north and south of the base that will both reduce the villager count. If the player wishes to achievement-hunt, just drop a Castle near one of the gates and take out a tower. Send in Cavaliers to the interior Town Centers and wipe out the remaining Villagers.
Liège will attack with Pikemen, Crossbowmen, and rams. Keep Cavaliers on hand to protect buildings, a few Monks to heal troops, and the Castles will take out the others.
If the player does not want to go for the achievement, rams with swordsmen inside will cut through Liège like butter.
Oddly enough, for the purpose of this achievement, Petards do not count as siege weapons. This can be explained by the fact that they do not have wheels.
The Battle of Othée was a decisive victory for John the Fearless. He rode in triumph to Paris and his armies entered the city without a fight.
The Armagnac plot had failed. But since they had not openly waged war on him, John could not yet exact his revenge by force.
Instead, John had the 15-year-old son of the deceased duke brought before him. Still mourning the death of his father, the boy was forced to forgive his father’s murderer in public.
A cruel act, you say; and that it was. But remember, my son, that cruelty was not John’s goal, only a means to an end. By orchestrating this public display, John showed not just the boy, but the entire House of Armagnac on their knees, kissing his feet.
It was one insult too many for the proud Armagnacs, and the struggle between the two factions would soon turn into open war.