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An Arabian Knight is the first scenario of the Saladin campaign in Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings. It is a simplified version of the Crusader invasions of Egypt (1154-1169), where Saladin first rose to prominence as a military leader, and of the actions in the Giza-Cairo-Fustat area in particular.

Scenario Instructions Edit

Starting Conditions Edit

Objectives Edit

  • Defeat the Franks west of Cairo.
    • Get your soldiers to the Mosque in Cairo.
    • Defeat the Franks east of Cairo by destroying their Town Center.

Hints Edit

  • Use the line of sight of your Light Cavalry to avoid unwanted encounters.

Players Edit

Player Edit

  • Player (Saracens): The player starts with Saladin's army in the northern corner of the map.

Allies -> Enemies -> Allies Edit

  • Egyptians (Saracens): The Egyptians control Cairo which takes up most of the center of the map. They also have some Pyramids and Farming areas west of the river. Initially allied, they change their diplomatic stance to enemy before Saladin's army reaches Cairo. However, when his army reaches the Mosque in Cairo, they change their stance back to ally and also give the player additional troops (10 Camels, 6 Cavalry Archers, and a Siege Ram). They attack the player sparsely with a few Archers, Camels, and Mamelukes.

Enemies Edit

  • West Franks (Franks): The West Franks have troops scattered over the western part of the map consisting of Knights, Crossbowmen, and Men-at-Arms. They also control the bridge to the south.
  • East Franks (Franks): The East Franks have an army camp east of Cairo. They field Knights, Crossbowmen, Pikemen, and Onagers.

Strategy Edit

An arabian knight-0

Frankish crusaders are attempting to capture the city of Cairo, and Saladin's forces set out to stop them. In this scenario, the player cannot control any buildings or create units. The first objective is to defeat the West Franks. Their forces consist mainly of Knights, Men-at-arms, and Crossbowmen. Begin by assigning control groups to each type of unit and moving south. Camels/Mamelukes effectively counter their cavalry, Scorpions will take care of massed swordsmen, and Crossbowmen are vulnerable to Light Cavalry. Despite the objective given in the scenario, the player does not have to destroy all of their soldiers and military buildings. Simply focus on taking out the units that actually attack the player's forces rather than trying to round up all of them.

Once the player reaches the bridge to Cairo in the south, the Egyptians will announce that they do not trust Saladin and will ally with the Franks. The new objective is to persuade them to change their mind by positioning a soldier outside their Mosque. Continue east across the bridge. Halfway across, the player will reach a Blacksmith controlled by the Franks. Destroy it to unlock the Chain Barding Armor technology. The player will also capture a Cannon Galleon. Before entering the city, the Egyptians will attack. Their forces consist mainly of Archers and Camels. They shouldn't be too much of a problem for the army as long as the player stays away from the city, since there is a dangerous Guard Tower near the entrance. Destroy the Gate with the Cannon Galleon, as well as the frontal Guard Tower. The best way to get to the Mosque is with the Light Cavalry, as the plater only needs to reach the Gate outside in order to fulfill the objective. An Egyptian Monk may try to convert the player's units - try to ignore him, as he will heal the troops after the Egyptians become allies once again.

Upon reaching the Mosque, the player will be given more units (Camels, Cavalry Archers, and a Siege Ram). To win, the player must destroy the East Franks' Town Center. Assign control groups and head out of the city. The enemy base is surrounded by a ring of Guard Towers, and it's advisable to knock one down with the Siege Ram. Try to protect the ram if you can - the Franks will go after it with Knights, Onagers, Pikemen, Crossbowmen, and one Monk. Garrisoning infantry inside is advisable if the player is playing a version of Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings that includes The Conquerors expansion. It's not hard to win even if the Ram is destroyed though, as long as the player eliminates all of their units. Attack the Town Center as soon as it's safe.

Trivia Edit

Historical comparison Edit

  • Alhough the cutscenes introduce Saladin as the leader of the Saracens already (and famous in Europe), he actually first came to Egypt under the command of his uncle, General Shirkuh, who was in the service of the Zengid ruler of Syria, Nur ad-Din.
  • The Saladin hero unit does not appear, as it was introduced in Age of Empires II HD: The Forgotten. However, the two Mamelukes the Player starts with are a possible allusion to Saladin and Shirkuh, given their commanding position.
    • Losing any or both of them does not affect game play.
  • The narrator fears that his captors are Turkish horse archers. Turkish horse archers were particularly feared by Crusaders, although mostly due to their use of Parthian Tactics.
  • The "ineffectual fool" ruling Egypt could be Al-Adid, the last Fatimid Caliph of Egypt, who was ruler in name only; or most likely his Vizier Shawar, who made the same illogical changes in alliances as the Egyptians in this scenario. Shawar also razed his own capital Fustat when he thought it was about to fall into enemy hands. It was then rebuilt by Saladin as part of nearby Cairo, which is alluded to in the post-game cutscene as Saladin directing several construction projects after taking over the city.
  • Though played by Franks, the Crusaders that invaded Egypt were from the Kingdom of Jerusalem and the Hospitaller and Templar orders. This isn't a mistake since most of them were French and all Crusaders were called "Franks" by the Saracens, but it contrasts with later scenarios where Jerusalem is played by Byzantines and the Hospitallers and Templars by Teutons.
  • The post-game cutscene claims that Saladin behaved unlike a prince of Europe when he respected the lives of his political opponents. In real life, Shawar was executed by Shirkuh; then the timely deaths of Shirkuh, Al-Adid, and Nur ad-Din all within five years allowed Saladin to take over both Egypt and Syria.

Gallery Edit

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