Bohemond and the Emperor is the third scenario of the The Hautevilles campaign in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition - Lords of the West.

Intro[edit | edit source]

"What did my great grandfather do next?" asked the boy king.

"I know you want to hear more of Count Roger, my young king, but there are many lessons to learn from the other Hautevilles."

"While your great grandfather was uniting Sicily, Robert Guiscard looked east to a Byzantine Empire reeling from its crushing defeat at Manzikert. He arranged for an Orthodox monk to claim that he was a deposed emperor in need of Guiscard's support."

"Guiscard recognized, however, that he could not devote his full attention to such a campaign. The ceaseless feuds between Pope and Holy Roman Emperor would inevitably draw him back to Italy. He therefore assigned the command of the expedition to his eldest son, Bohemond."

"Twenty years before, when Bohemond had been a boy, Guiscard discarded Bohemond's mother to marry a local Lombard princess for a momentary advantage. The first marriage to Bohemond's mother was ruled invalid by a compliant Pope, reducing Bohemond to a bastard."

"By tradition, nothing of Guiscard's would pass to Bohemond, but this obstacle only hardened the warrior prince. He had all of the individual heroism, tactical brilliance, and religious conviction to inspire men to follow him to the ends of the earth and challenge even an emperor."

"What Bohemond had not accounted for, however, was the power of a woman."

Scenario instructions[edit | edit source]

Starting conditions[edit | edit source]

Objectives[edit | edit source]

  • Defeat the 0/3 generals.
    • Komnenos' Strength: 10/10 (starting strength of 7 on standard difficulty)
    • Pakourianos' Strength: 10/10 (starting strength of 7 on standard difficulty)
    • Melissenos' Strength: 10/10 (starting strength of 7 on standard difficulty)

Secondary objectives:

  • Fight with Bohemond to receive Norman warbands.
  • Find Bogomil priests.
  • Destroy the northern towers to unleash the Pechenegs.

Hints[edit | edit source]

  1. Sikelgaita has refused to help you, forcing you to rely on your own personal retinue. Therefore, you are restricted to a population limit of 75 and cannot build walls, Castles, or warships. Your Transport Ships have increased line of sight, however.
  2. The Byzantine armies should not be fought directly—at the start they heal very rapidly. Destroying their military buildings is the only way to reduce their healing speed.
  3. Monitor your objectives to track the strength (healing rate) of each general's army. When it falls to zero, they will no longer heal and are vulnerable to attack.
  4. The Byzantines will aggressively seek out your forces. Us this aggression against them by launching diversionary attacks away from your true targets.
  5. Loot enemy buildings to supplement your economy. Lumber Camps provide wood, Mills provide foods, and Market and Mining Camps provide gold.
  6. Use Bohemond in battle. The more that he fights, the more Normans will join him.
  7. Explore the map to find allies. The Bogomils will allow you to purchase the services of spies at your Castle.

Scouts[edit | edit source]

Your scouts report:

  • Bohemond de Hauteville (1, Blue) begins on the southeastern coast of Italy. His preparations for the invasion of the Byzantine Empire have been thwarted by his stepmother, the Lombard warrior princess Sikelgaita (7, Grey). He will need to rely on his own personal valor to attract Norman Knights to his banner.
  • Three Byzantine armies oppose Bohemond under the commands of the Emperor Alexios Komnenos (2, Purple) and his generals Nikephoros Milissenos (3, Green) and Gregorios Pakourianos (4, Yellow). The Byzantine armies consist of Legionaries and Cataphracts. Alexios Komnenos' own force includes English Varangians (Berserks) who seek revenge against the Normans following their defeat at Hastings in 1066. The Byzantine armies replenish themselves (heal rapidly), making them difficult to fight.
  • Bohemond can reduce the healing rate of these armies by destroying their military buildings defending by Byzantine Garrisons (5, Red).
  • Local factions opposed to the Byzantines can help Bohemond, including the Bulgarians and the Bogomils, a heretical sect. Many Byzantine soldiers are secret followers of Bogomilism and may be willing to spy for Bohemond.
  • The Byzantine marches in the north hold back the nomadic Pechenegs (6, Orange). Destroying these defenses will unleash these hordes of Tarkans, Steppe Lancers and Kipchaks on the Byzantines.
  • Finally, the Norman adventurer Roussel de Bailleul ventured east with an army a few years ago. This army may still be alive, beyond the hostile Seljuk Turks (8, Cyan).

Players[edit | edit source]

Ally[edit | edit source]

  • Pechenegs (Cumans) have a big army including Tarkans but require the player to destroy three Towers in order to invade Greece. They can easily fight the Byzantine Garrisons and destroy some buildings but are no match against the fast-regenerating Byzantine Armies.
  • Sikelgaita (Sicilians) has a small base in the western corner of the map and has no role in the scenario other than to taunt Bohemond.

Enemies[edit | edit source]

  • Alexios Komnenos (Byzantines)
  • Nikephoros Melissenos (Byzantines)
  • Gregorios Pakourianos (Byzantines)
  • Byzantine Garrisons (Byzantines) guard the Byzantine buildings and the fortifications against the Pechenegs but, unlike the Byzantine armies, they do not regenerate and are easy to defeat.
  • Seljuk Turks (Turks) have Light Cavalry and Cavalry Archers scattered around Anatolia and are easy to defeat.

Strategy[edit | edit source]

Basics[edit | edit source]

This scenario is easy to master, even on high difficulty levels, as the enemy AIs are absolutely passive and have no navy. In addition, the Byzantines will never produce buildings or troops and the player's troops will only be attacked if they attack themselves or come very close to the enemy troops / buildings. As long as the Byzantines have buildings (all buildings except walls, Gates, towers, Houses and storage areas count), their troops have so much regeneration that they are practically invincible. The player can find many Gaia troops on the map, which is why the player shouldn't explore the maps at first. The player starts in Apulia with a base that has almost everything the player needs. The Byzantines are exclusively on the Greek mainland. The green player is closest to the player (Epirus region), the yellow player in the lower part (Pelepones & Macedonia) and the violet is furthest away from the player (Thrace and the lower Balkans). Incidentally, in the upper corner of the map, the player will find normadic invaders who can help during the game. In the right corner of the map, there is also a section of Anatolia, where there is a large group of Gaia Paladins who are guarded by Turks who are hostile to the player.

On the Ionian Islands and the Aegis Islands, the player can pick Relics and mine gold undisturbed.

Beginning[edit | edit source]

The player should first build up the economy and research for Transport Ships, economy and cavalry. It is absolutely not recommended to explore the map directly. Then, the player should build four to eight Transport Ships and use the entire remaining population exclusively for Knights (and if necessary, also for some Monks, even if this is not absolutely necessary - see section Gaia troops). As soon as the population limit is reached, the player can begin to explore the map in order to collect the many, many Gaia troops on the map.

Gaia troops[edit | edit source]

All over the map, there are a group of Konniks and Monks, as well as some Paladins in Anatolia. The first group of Monks is on an Inon island just below the player base. More Monks can be found to the right of the green coastal villages - these are best picked up from the east. The Bulgarian Konniks have smaller groups above the Peloponnese and large groups on both sides of the river above Constantinople (the easternmost city with the wonder of the world). The Paladins mentioned above can be found in Anatolia (right corner of the map - fairly in the middle of the land mass). The Paladins are the only Gaia troops that cannot be reached without a fight, but the Turkish resistance is quite pointless. As soon as the player has collected all the troops and also set up their own, the Monks can be relocated to a coastal island of the player's choice (e.g. an island that is probably Samos and a little to the right of Athens). All other (cavalry) units now move to Transport Ships.

Raids[edit | edit source]

To win the scenario, the player has to destroy the enemy buildings. As soon as the player attacks them, however, the entire enemy army of the respective player (yellow protecting yellow villages, green protecting the green villages ...) will march to the attacked buildings and hunt the enemy troops until they are dead or unreachable (in the Transport Ship). Therefore, the player should split the Transport Ships into two groups, each attacking two different villages. Concentrate on the weak garrisons and the buildings to be destroyed - ignore the other buildings, as the player will need them later to lure the army away from the last village, as the AI will come to the player even if there is nothing relevant for army regeneration in a village. As soon as the player sees the first troops of the enemy army, the player should send their cavalry back to the ships; but first, walk a little more in circles, so that the slow infantry of the Byzantines catch up with the main army; otherwise, the player will only stretch the enemy armies very much in the end, which is just annoying. Warning; when the player's Konniks die, they will become an infantry unit. But if the player lets them move together with the rest of the army, they slow down the player's entire army. and the Byzantine Cataphracts will quickly make short work of the player's army if the player doesn't notice this immediately.

After the player's troops have withdrawn into their ships, bring them to the Monk's islands and heal the troops up again.

The enemy army is vulnerable when they only have two houses left, but it is advisable to destroy them all anyway, because their regeneration is still high enough to cause high losses. In addition, the player should first destroy all buildings of all three armies. Should the player's own army then, contrary to expectations, not be able to defeat them all one by one, the player can then build a better balanced counter-army.

Finishing[edit | edit source]

Since the three armies are now vulnerable, it is time to fulfill the request of the Pechenegs (the Nomads in the upper corner) and destroy the pair of Byzantine towers. Then, the Pechenegs will ride into the Byzantine heartland and defeat about 1.5 enemy armies. The player's army should now be united in a position to defeat the remaining enemies without any problems. If in doubt, the player can also simply send all troops to their death and build new ones; the map has enough resources and the enemy will not train any new troops.

Alternative strategy[edit | edit source]

While the player is strongly discouraged to fight the Byzantine armies before destroying their military buildings due to their extremely fast regeneration, the armies are still vulnerable to conversion (the Byzantine armies have Heresy researched, so their units will die). One way of decimating both the yellow and the purple armies is by unloading Monks (with Illumination researched; the Sicilians cannot research Theocracy) and a Trebuchet (with Siege Engineers researched) in a location right between yellow and purple buildings that enemy units cannot reach since it is blocked by trees and houses. Use the Trebuchet to destroy in-range buildings, which will lure the yellow and purple armies. Use the Monks to "convert" them. This will lead to the defeat of the yellow army and the purple army will only have their hero Alexios Komnenos left. Now the player can destroy the remaining purple military buildings and then find and kill Alexios Komnenos. It remains to defeat the green army, which should be easy by first destroying their buildings with hit-and-run tactics and the help of the Pechenegs and then defeating the enemy army with numerical superiority.

Alternative strategy 2[edit | edit source]

This strategy is simple, but a bit time-consuming. The player can ignore the hard fighting.

  • Task the Villagers to gather enough resources for the Imperial Age, one Market, one Monastery, one Siege Workshop, and one Archery Range.
  • If running out of gold, build Trade Cogs and trade with the Dock right across the channel. Seven gold per trip per ship, so it will take a while. Research Caravan to speed up gold generation.
  • Send the initial force to the large island to the south (island #1)), it has towers and troops - the priority is destroying the towers. Continue south to locate the two priests to have the option of researching spies. Don't worry about the gold price.
  • Send a ship to the northeast of the map. Search for the two small islands that have 1 Relic each. Continue northeast to reach Alexios Komnenos' city. Locate the Dock and send the Trade Cogs there. Each trip will net 127 per ship. Now task the Villagers to gather wood. No more need to gather food unless the player needs to make more Villagers or research. But this strategy only needs wood and gold.
  • By this point, the player will have enough resources to research Onager and Chemistry. Build around 20, and around the same number of Trebuchets. Make some Cavalry Archers and three transport Ships.
  • Locate a small island with a tree to the east of island #1. It sits between island #1 and another island that only has a Lumber Camp.
  • Use the Onagers to clear the trees on the little island. Land all Onagers on it and put them on standby.
  • By now, the player should have Spies researched. Land one cavalry archer and attack the green building to lure the green army to chase the Cavalry Archer. Have the archer run to the shore near the little island full of Onagers. Watch as the green army gets destroyed.
  • Do the same to the yellow army too.
  • Now only Alexios Komnenos' army is left. Time for the Trebuchet. Near the base where the player sent the Trade Cogs is a small river that leads inland. Send the Transport Ships with Onagers, Trebuchets and Cavalry Archers there. On the right is a group of gaia Konniks which can be used as bait. On the left bank, land 1-3 Onagers to clear the trees. Land the Trebuchets, put them as close to the edge as possible, and unpack them. Land the rest of the Onagers and put them as far to the north as possible. Use the Trebuchets to attack the troops. It can one-hit-kill foot soldiers wile Cataphracts need two or three hits. But the purpose is to reduce the number. When they are out of range, land a Cavalry Archer further from the Trebuchets and Onagers. Use the same tactic to lead the remaining troop to the Onagers.

Outro[edit | edit source]

"Robert Guiscard died suddenly in 1085 while Bohemond was stricken by illness, or, as some say, poisoned by his step-mother Sikelgaita."

"Believing that Bohemond might die, the Normal lords had no choice but to elect Sikelgaita's son as duke, a decision further encouraged by Count Roger of Sicily's support for the weaker and more easily influenced son of Robert Guiscard."

"The seeds of Count Roger's patience were beginning to take root, but Bohemond's story is not yet finished."

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