A Man of God is the second scenario of the Edward Longshanks campaign in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition - Lords of the West.
Ruthless and cunning, Edward did not always adhere to the chivalric codes that the European nobility held so dear. After massacring Simon the Younger's men in a stealthy night attack on Kenilworth, he used the captured banners to disguise his army before smashing de Montfort at Evesham.
In an act of alarming brutality, the corpse of de Montfort, an earl of England, was hacked into carrion and his head mounted on a pike.
Edward had won the war and cowed the rebels into submission in just over a year, but the victory came at the cost of his honor. Nobility and clergy alike cringed at the thought of an impious butcher one day ascending to the throne of England.
To restore his ailing reputation and prove himself worthy of the crown, my father resolved to lead a crusade east to the Holy Land, where the situation grew increasingly dire.
The voracious Mamluk Sultanate waged a fierce war of expansion, first against the Mongols and now against the beleaguered Crusaders. Several fortresses quickly fell before their unstoppable onslaught.
Their leader was Sultan Baibars, a man not unlike my father Edward. Originally a slave of Cuman origin, he rose to prominence through military service and had recently taken power after murdering the reigning sultan.
Having just slaughtered the population of Antioch, his armies now threatened Acre and Tripoli from the east, converging on both cities in a suffocating siege. Edward's army arrived in Acre to find the inhabitants desperate, but not beyond hope.
- Starting Age: Castle Age
- Starting resources: 1,000 food, 1,000 wood, 1,000 gold, 100 stone
- Population limit: 125
- Starting technologies and upgrades: War Galley, Banking
- Hold Acre (Red) and Tripoli (Blue) until the Mamluk forces withdraw. At least one Castle in each city must stand.
- (secondary) Destroy Qaqun (Purple) and Nazareth (Grey) to weaken the enemy war effort.
- (secondary) Loot Blacksmiths and Supply Depots (Trade Workshops) in enemy military camps for technologies and resources.
- (secondary) Send an emissary to the Ilkhanate to form an alliance.
- (secondary) Pay the Ilkhanate (Orange) 500 gold to declare war on the Mamluks and Aleppo.
- (secondary) Use taunts to command the Crusader Orders' armies.
- Type 210 to tell them to defend Acre.
- Type 220 to tell them to defend Tripoli.
- Type 230 to tell them to defend themselves.
- Type 240 to tell them to mount an offensive.
- Lord Edward is restricted to the Castle Age and a population limit of 125. Additionally, his defensive strategy and limited resources preclude the training of Villagers and the construction of many buildings and siege engines.
- Briton Longbowmen are immensely powerful units that are adept at holding defensive positions.
- Use the sea to fish and to trade with the port of Limassol in the west, but beware the Mamluk fleet.
- The knights of the Crusader Orders, the most powerful soldiers on the field, will march as you command. Deploy these elite troops where the fighting is thickest and coordinate their maneuvers with your own.
- The Mongol Ilkhanate detests the Mamluks and could make a powerful ally, should the need arise.
- Lord Edward (1, Red) has arrived in Acre with a crusading force to take over the defense of the city.
- The Crusader city of Tripoli (2, Blue) is situated slightly north of Edward's position in Acre. Tripoli will defend itself with Serjeants, Crossbowmen, and Pikemen.
- The Crusader orders of knighthood (3, Yellow) control several outlying fortresses and camps as well as some enclaves within Acre and Tripoli. They field a powerful army of heavy infantry and heavy cavalry.
- The Mamluk-controlled city of Aleppo (5, Cyan) is poised to strike at Tripoli from the north. Aleppo attacks with Long Swordsmen, Camel Riders, Elite Skirmishers, and siege engines.
- The Mamluk Sultanate (6, Green) controls the southern and eastern portions of the map. Its sultan, Baibars, will mercilessly attack the Crusaders with Mamelukes, Cavalry Archers, Light Cavalry, and siege engines. The Mamluks will also construct a fleet to attack the Crusaders by sea.
- The towns of Qaqun (7, Purple) and Nazareth (8, Grey) lie to the south and southeast. They are supplying the Mamluk forces with provisions and men, but are poorly guarded and will crumble before a swift offensive.
- The Mongol Ilkhanate (4, Orange) holds dominion over the northeast of the map. Its hordes of cavalry and mounted archers lie dormant for now, but could ride at a moment's notice.
- Player (Britons): The player controls the city of Acre. It is well fortified, with a double layer of fortified walls and many towers. Of note is that while the city contains a wide variety of different structures, it lacks a Town Center. The player is also prohibited from building one themselves, nor can they construct more unit-producing structures, making protecting the city buildings of utmost importance. The player's initial garrison consists of a strong core of Longbowmen, supplemented with a small group of Pikemen and Knights.
- Tripoli (Sicilians - Normans): They control the city of Tripoli and will train Serjeants, Pikemen, and Crossbowmen. They are mostly capable of defending themselves but the player should still keep an eye on them.
- Crusader Orders (Teutons): They will only act if the player uses the taunts to direct their actions. They train Knights, Teutonic Knights, and Long Swordsmen.
Neutral → Allies
- The Ilkhanate (Mongols): They will ask for an alliance after a while and will help the player. They train Light Cavalry, Cavalry Archers, and Mangudai.
- Aleppo (Saracens): Aleppo is an enemy city in the middle of the map and will train Camel Riders, Long Swordsmen, Elite Skirmishers and siege weapons.
- Mamluks (Saracens): They have multiple bases scattered around the map and attack Acre from the beginning. They train Mamelukes, Cavalry Archers, Light Cavalry, siege weapons, and war ships. As the time goes, they get stronger and their units get fully upgraded. They will attack with a strong fully-upgraded Saracen army, which includes Trebuchets, in the last ten minutes of the scenario.
- Qaqun (Tatars): They have a small garrison and some buildings, and they provide the Mamluk forces with resources.
- Nazareth (Saracens): They have a small garrison and some buildings, and they provide the Mamluk forces with resources. Nazareth also has a Town Center but they will not train any Villagers.
The player's job is actually quite simple; keep at least one Castle in Acre and one in Tripoli alive for an hour. The difficulty here is, however, that the player - in contrast to the opponent - cannot advance into the Imperial Age and cannot create any Villagers or Town Centers. However, the player can build Trading Cogs and Fishing Ships, so they can gather food and gold. There is very little wood on the map and it can usually only be reached over long walks or in very dangerous locations, so the player will constantly have wood problems. Since the player cannot build Castles, the small increase in stone will be sufficient.
Their own city (Acre) is attacked again and again by the Mamluks, while Tripoli (Blue) is harassed by Aleppo. There are also the Crusader Orders (Yellow), which can theoretically be controlled by chat commands; however, this is very buggy, so do not expect much from them.
From the first moment on, the player has to defend, because at the beginning of the scenario, the initial attack from the Mamluks is already in progress. The Mamluks - like Aleppo - will primarily attack with Cavalry Archers, Camel Riders, and Mamelukes, as well as Battering Rams and Mangonels. Every now and then there are also swordsmen, Crossbowmen or Scorpions. The Cavalry Archers and rams represent the biggest problem here. Since the AI skirmishes excellently and effectively take out the Longbowmen of the player due to the technological progress with the Cavalry Archers, the player has to keep an eye on the Longbowmen; they are key in any English defense. If the player is overwhelmed by multitasking, they should make a lot of use of the pause function. However, the rams must be removed in some other way, which is best done by cavalry or Pikemen. However, since Longbowmen require wood instead of food, and wood is the scenario's scarcest resource, Pikemen cannot be wasted as trash units here.
At the beginning of the scenario, the player should first bring all troops to the upper area of the base and divide and group them into infantry, cavalry and archers. Use at least the defensive stance for melee fighters and block movement for ranged fighters. The player also has two Monasteries, each with a Monk and a Relic. Bring the Relics to the Monastery and then send the Monks to the troops (grouped separately or with the archers). In the meantime, the player should have all of the Villagers gather wood, except for the four by the stones, in the best possible positions in the city. The two lower stone workers will actually mine stone; The other two stone gatherers are sent to the gate in the direction of Tripoli - Tripoli's AI is very incompetent in repairing their walls, so these villagers will take care of it. Depending on the micromangement of the player, this could be wooden hooks in Tripoli or hide in a building there; Tripoli will always send their soldiers out, and so opposing camels come into the Castle, which can kill the player's villagers quickly. At the same time, the player should build five Trade Cogs and 5 to 10 Fishing Ships. In the long term, a number between 10 and 15 is desirable. If the player has problems doing all of this at the same time, the pause function is recommended again.
Remaining raw materials can now be used in troops and research; Longbowmen, Knights, and Light Cavalry should be preferred as soldiers. When researching, the order should be Bodkin Arrow, Chain Barding Armor, Light Cavalry, Iron Casting, Ballistics, Yeomen, Leather Archer Armor. Other research can help as well, but is nowhere near as important. In most cases, research is better than more force; 10-15 Longbowmen and around 20 cavalry units are sufficient at the beginning.
The player should now repel the starting attack. Try to minimize loss. The cavalry should if possible only destroy the rams and then withdraw; the Longbowmen will do most of the defense. Use the Monks too.
Each destroyed Trade Workshop gives the player 500 food, 500 wood, 500 gold. Each destroy Blacksmith gives the player an Imperial Age technology and there are a total of six: one gives the player Chemistry, while each of the other five gives an Imperial Age Blacksmith upgrade.
After the attack is repulsed, move all troops south. There is a little Mamluk camp there that the player has to destroy; this prevents a land attack for the next 40 minutes. Also chat the Teuton with orders to attack the other Mamluk camp in front; For their destruction, the player not only has a much easier defense, but also get raw materials to boost research / army.
Depending on how fast and injured the player is, they can now also try to destroy Qaqun; but be careful. Qaqun has very few soldiers, but right next to Qaqun is the Mamluk harbor, which has a large garrison with which the player does not want to mess with under any circumstances. When in doubt, save before an attack on Qaqun and load if it goes wrong.
However, during this time, Aleppo will be constantly pushing Tripoli. Tripoli alone can manage about two waves. The point in time when the player flattened the southern camp is about the point in time when Tripoli urgently needs help to survive. Pull all troops into Tripoli; The Mamluk AI will now leave the player alone for a very long time due to the destruction of its front camps. Apart from the water front, send all troops to Tripoli. The main load will actually always be on the diagonal gate; should it fall, build a new one immediately. If it is damaged, repair it - two villagers were ordered there at the beginning of the scenario. Put the Longbowmen just behind the towers, with the cavalry in front of them. Tripoli will open the gate again and again, so the player's cavalry must stand as a meat sponge between Camel Riders and Longbowmen. If the player sees rams or Onagers, they should eliminate them as soon as possible. If the archers or cavalry are too badly injured, pull something back and let the wall take the damage; the Monks should take care of the wounded. Hold this tactic for a good 20 minutes - then it will be easy.
In parallel to defending Tripoli, the player has to watch out for the sea. The opponent never builds Cannon Galleons, so that they have practically no chance of ever really hurting the player's Castle with the ships, but the player's entire economy is in the water; therefore, the player must not completely ignore the water. At the beginning, the AI will damage the south wall of the player with its ships. This is incredibly inefficient with ships, so the player really has a lot of time. Build a small fleet; ~ 12 ships, more War Galleys than Fire Ships. This is in the port entrance and serves as a temporary buffer. As already mentioned above, the tower should be operated research. As soon as this is done, put 2-4 where the lower stones were, so the towers are exactly in the entry line of the Mamluk ships. As soon as they are shot at by the towers, they will attack them and die without a chance. It can happen that the Mamluks see a Trade Cog; in which case, the AI stays on it aggressively. The player should continue to leave about six War Galleys in the harbor entrance. If in doubt, just block the pursuers while the towers do the rest.
The Mongols and last waves
The Mongols are a real blessing. After about half of the scenario, they will turn to the player and ask for a messenger - that is, the player has to send some unit (preferably Light Cavalry) to the Mongolian camp. Once there, they offer their help for a mere 500 gold. In contrast to all other allies, the Mongols really have what it takes. This offer must be accepted without fail! After receiving the payment, the Mongols immediately go on the offensive; in the process, they will destroy the Aleppo at the front. These are looted and the player gets more than they paid back in this way. The Mongols will clean up everything from Aleppo to the player's main camp and then smash it to the main camp, but the Mongols will continue to harass Aleppo afterwards. If the player really wants that, they can now even go on the offensive against Aleppo, but the expected losses do not make this profitable. In any case, Tripoli should now be able to survive until the end of the game without help, as Aleppo is now under permanent cover. At the same time, the first Mamluk land attacks should have started again; If not seen yet, the player should build up a small second army to defend the land during a Mamluk aggression. Because Tropli does not need the player's troops anymore, send them down and unite the army. The player will not experience any real attacks until the last ten minutes, but then Mamluks turns up again properly. Mamluks will now pull through all Imperial Age research and harass the player with huge waves of Camel Riders, Trebuchets, and Battering Rams. It is entirely possible that the player will get holes in the first two rings. Especially the Trebuchets are a big problem, because the player would have to go very far with the cavalry and the Saracens, with their camel army, also have an anti-cavalry army. Precisely because the opponent also has all Imperial Age research that was denied to the player, the player would actually no longer have a chance, but there are only 10 ten minutes left. Just send everything to lure opposing riders to the Castle when the walls fall, rush everything to rams and Trebuchets when sighted. A little resistance should be enough; after all, the Mamluks have an extremely long supply line (its base is in the right corner) and the AI hangs on with trivialities like destroying gates, although holes are already there through destroyed Watch Towers. In the worst case scenario, the player loses the eastern Castle. To the west, the Mamluks come, but then hardly runs because this first one will attack all other Houses on the way there; thus, in spite of everything, the player's victory should be certain.
The fighting was vicious. Droves of Crusaders and Mamluks alike fell, spattering the battlements and the fields surrounding Acre and Tripoli with blood and gore.
Throughout the Crusade, my father proved his mettle as a tactician and as a statesman. Fearless when faced with peril, he led a daring raid that devastated the enemy towns of Nazareth and Qaqun.
Following these victories, he convinced the terrifying horde of the Mongol Ilkhanate to descend upon the Mamluks, devastating the region around Aleppo.
The hitherto invincible Baibars was overwhelmed and forced to withdraw, but before doing so he sent a Nizari with a poisoned blade to remove his capable rival. Edward slew the assassin, but a wound in his arm left him bedridden for months.