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Bukhara is one of the scenarios in the Battles of the Forgotten in Age of Empires II HD: The Forgotten. It is loosely based on the Battle of Bukhara (c. 560 A.D., 557 in the game) and the First Perso-Turkic War (588-589).

Intro[]

Seventy-three long years have passed since thousands of nomadic riders flooded the Eastern borders of Persia, defeated the Persian army, and killed the shah himself. The invaders plunged deep into the heartland of the empire. The weakened Persians had no choice but to give in to the outrageous demands of tribute imposed by the White Huns.

Now, Khosrau, the grandson of the slain shah is ready to take revenge for the eternal shame cast upon his empire.

Persian heralds visit the four corners of the empire to gather one of the largest armies this world has ever seen. But even with an army that could fill the space between the Zagros and Alborz mountain ranges, the White Hunnic horse archers will not be easily beaten.

Khosrau knows that perhaps the only way to ensure victory is to ally with another nomadic people: the Gokturks. These nomads from lands hardly touched by civilization hate the White Huns as much as the Persians do. They are as tough and hardy as the White Huns, and, most importantly, can strike the Huns from their rear.

The earth trembles as thousands of Persian horses and elephants travel to battle. Khosrau will soon show the world that the Persian Empire is still a force to be reckoned with...

Seventy-three years have passed. Seventy-three long years since the horsemen of the White Huns trampled the former Eastern border of Persia like a swarm of locusts, ambushed our beloved Shah, and then plundered the heartland of the empire. Their advance was barely stopped with the help of the local nobility. Afterwards our weakened empire had no choice but to give in to the outrageous annual demands of tribute imposed by the White Huns. Now, seventy-three years later, Khosrau, the grandson of the slain Shah, is ready to take revenge for this eternal shame cast upon his family's name.

His family is the renowned dynasty of the Sassanids, rulers of one of the greatest empires that ever existed and having done so for several centuries now. In the meantime, on the western border, our other archenemy, the Byzantines, will have to wait until the threat of the East has been dealt with. An uneasy peace treaty with them has given us time to deal with the White Huns and so Khosrau has told his generals to go to all four corners of the empire and gather the support of every man and family in the empire.

But even with an army that could fill the space between the Zagros and Alborz mountains, Khosrau knows that the White Huns are a foe not to be underestimated. The only way to be sure of victory would be to ally with another enemy of theirs, the Gokturks. These nomads from lands hardly known to civilized men hate the White Huns just as much as we Persians do. The Gokturks live in harsh conditions and are trained to fight on horseback just as well as the White Huns and their arrows will not easily miss their targets.

As I mount my heavy armored horse and hear the earth tremble under the weight of my fellow Savaran horsemen riding East to meet our Shah Khosrau, a pleasant but ominous thought comes to mind. Our Shah, Khosrau would soon show the world that the Persian empire is still a force to be reckoned with. He would show the White Huns that the Sassanids would not stand for the disgrace cast upon them and will wipe the White Huns off the face of the earth...

Scenario instructions[]

Starting conditions[]

  • Starting Age: FeudalageDE.png Feudal Age
  • Starting resources: None
  • Population limit: 150
  • Starting units:
  • Objectives[]

    Main objectives[]

    • Wait for instructions.
      • Follow the guide down the mountain.
      • Khosrau and the rest of the Persian army will arrive once you advance to the Imperial Age.
      • Defeat the White Huns.
      • Defeat the Gokturks.

    Secondary objectives[]

    • Tribute Khorasan (6, Blue) 1,500 gold to recruit a band of heavy cavalry. This will also unlock the Sogdian Cataphracts at the Stable.
    • Protect the Trade Carts, Caravanserais, and Markets of the Silk Road to keep on getting gold tributes.
    • Send 5 villagers to the Fire Temple.
    • Pay 400 gold in tribute to the White Huns or refuse and fight them. You have 5 minutes to comply.
    • Pay 600 gold in tribute to the White Huns or refuse and fight them. You have 5 minutes to comply.
    • Pay 1,000 gold in tribute to the White Huns or refuse and fight them. You have 5 minutes to comply.
    • Bring a messenger to the Gokturk castle to form an alliance with them.
    • Protect the Persian villages to keep getting their resources.

    Main[]

    • Khosrau must survive.
    • Follow the guide to the place where you can set up your base.
    • Reach the Imperial Age and wait for your army to arrive.
    • Defeat the White Huns.
    • Defeat the Gokturks.

    Optional[]

    • Protect the Persian villages.
    • Pay 400 gold in tribute to the White Huns within 5 minutes.
    • Pay 600 gold in tribute to the White Huns within 5 minutes.
    • Pay 1000 gold in tribute to the White Huns within 5 minutes.
    • Send a messenger to the Gokturks to form an alliance.
    • Destroy and replace the towers guarding the Silk Road.
    • Send 10 villagers to the Fire Temple.
    • Tribute 1000 wood to Khorasan to earn access to their fish supply.
    • You can train ten Savarans by clicking on the main pavilion (costs 1500 gold).

    Hints[]

    • The Persian army is limited to a population of 150 and does not have access to gunpowder.
    • Protect the local villages to ensure a steady flow of income.
    • Paying tribute to the White Huns is not obligatory, but the White Huns are a dangerous adversary and placating them early on will give you time to build an army.
    • Forming an alliance with the longtime rival of the White Huns, the Gokturks, will help you in defeating the White Huns.
    • If you are low on gold, establishing a trade route with the trading post at the other end of the Silk Road will turn a great profit.
    • Cavalry Archers dominate these plains- countering them with Halberdiers and Elite Skirmishers will be the most cost-effective solution. A more costly but also viable strategy is using Persian heavy cavalry and War Elephants.
    • Seek out the Sogdian Cataphracts. These armored cavalry are expensive, but their loyalty will serve you well in battle.

  • Protect the local villages to ensure a steady flow of tribute.
  • Paying the tributes the White Huns ask of you isn't obligatory, but the White Huns are a dangerous adversary and placating them early on would be wise.
  • Forming an alliance with the Gokturks will help you in defeating the White Huns.
  • If you are low on gold, you can earn a great profit through trade with the trading post at the other end of the Silk Road.
  • Cavalry Archers dominate these plains- countering them with Halberdiers and Elite Skirmishers will be the most cost effective solution. The Persians have excellent cavalry so be sure to use them as well. War Elephants, on the other hand, aren't very useful in this situation.
  • Savarans are Persian heavy cavalry that can regenerate. They come at a price but they are worth their weight in gold.

  • Scouts[]

    Your scouts report:

    • There are several small Persian villages (2, Orange) scattered across Khorasan. As they are on the edge of the empire, they are unprotected and vulnerable to nomadic raids.
    • To the north live the tribes of the Gokturks (4, Purple). Little is known about these nomadic people, except that they train Cavalry Archers and Light Cavalry.
    • To the east, the White Huns (3, Green) have captured several fortifications and are threatening the Persian Empire. For now, they are satisfied with our annual tributes of gold, but sooner or later they will make open war on Persia. Their army consists of Mangudai, Light Cavalry, and Cavalry Archers, as well as swift siege engines.
    • The lucrative Silk Road, a trade route stretching from China to Europe, winds through this land.

    Players[]

    Player[]

    • The Player (Persians) starts with a Light Cavalry, who will be followed by three Knights and three Villagers, on the northwestern fringe of the map. After following the Persian guide (a Spearman) down the mountain, a Town Center foundation is created near the western shore of the sea.

    Allies[]

    • Persia (Persians) has a number of incompletely fenced towns and production buildings spread over the western part of the map, between the player's base and the Huns. They have a Castle west, some Watch Towers, and train unupgraded Spearmen and Skirmishers only. They provide the player with resources while alive but are under constant attack by the Hun Raiders. Once the player reaches the Imperial Age and Khosrau arrives, their military base west is converted to the player.
    • Khorasan (Hindustanis) has a small camp west by the river, where the player can hire Sogdian Cataphract for 1,500 gold; the Fire Temple (a Monastery) and two stationary Monks on a mountain in the center (who will join the player with a Relic if provided with 5 Villagers), and a Market town on the far east of the map.

    Ally → Enemy[]

    • The White Huns (Mongols) have scattered but well-defended camps on the southern section of the map. They reach the Imperial Age quickly and field large armies of Heavy Cavalry Archers, Elite Mangudai, Hussars, Siege Rams, Siege Onagers, and Trebuchets. Their attack can be delayed by paying them 400, 600, and 1000 Gold successively. Although the player's starting stance towards them is Ally, their own stance is Neutral and their military units will attack the player's own on sight. They change their stance to Enemy if the player does it first, does not pay Tribute, or advances to the Imperial Age.

    Neutral → Ally → Enemy[]

    • The Gokturks (Turks) have some encampments on the northeastern corner of the map. Their army is comprised of Cavalry Archers and Hussars. After reaching the Imperial Age, they offer to ally with the player against the White Huns (but not the Hun Raiders). However, this alliance is brittle, and will be broken if the player either attempts to mine Gold or build a Castle near their encampment, or when two White Hun Castles are destroyed. This leaves the player no choice but to also defeat the Gokturks in order to win the scenario.

    Enemy[]

    • The Hun Raiders (Huns) have three small encampments with Watch Towers, Stables and Archery Ranges where they produce a constant trickle of Knights, Light Cavalry, and Cavalry Archers despite having no economy. They attack Persia in the beginning and move onto the player after defeating it. Two of the encampments are west, just south of Persian territory, and the third is east, deep into White Hun territory and only reachable after getting past a White Hun Castle. They resign if the player destroys their Tower and initial Cavalry Archers.

    Player[]

    Allies[]

    • Persia (Persians) has a vast city (mostly comprised of Farms and Town Centers) on the west part of the map. They are totally helpless, being slowly destroyed by the Hun Raiders. Once the player reaches the Imperial Age, their remaining buildings are converted to the player's possession
    • Khorasan (Hindustanis) has the Fire Temple near the center of the map, a Market on the far east, and a small camp across the river where the player can hire Savaran cavalry.

    Ally → Enemy[]

    • The White Huns (Mongols) have scattered yet well-defended camps on the southern half of the map. They quickly reach the Imperial Age and field large armies of Heavy Cavalry Archers, Elite Mangudai, Hussars, Elite Skirmishers, Monks, and Trebuchets. Their attack can be delayed by paying them Tribute.

    Neutral → Ally → Enemy[]

    • The Gokturks (Turks) have some encampments on the northeastern corner of the map. Their army is comprised of Heavy Cavalry Archers, Hussars, and Trebuchets. The player will be given an optional objective to ally with them against the White Huns. However, this alliance is brittle, and will be broken if the player attempts to mine Gold near their encampment. Nevertheless, the player will need to defeat them at a latter time to win the scenario.

    Enemy[]

    • The Hun Raiders (Huns) have three small encampments that produce Knights, Light Cavalry, and Cavalry Archers to harass Persia and the player early in the game. Later on, they assist the White Huns in defending their camp. They also have some Watch Towers along the Silk Road east that block the player from trading with Khorasan.

    Strategy[]

    Although the map layout is essentially the same in the Definitive Edition of this scenario, there are some notable differences that make the scenario significantly easier compared to the The Forgotten version of the scenario. Regardless, the same strategies can be applied as in the HD Edition.

    When interacting with Khorasan, players can no longer access their fish supply and they will no longer have a Dock north of the lake of where players would establish their base. In addition, Savarans are notably cheaper, as it now costs 1,500 gold to hire 12 Savarans, whereas it was 1,500 for 10 in the HD Edition.

    Players no longer have to destroy enemy Watch Towers along the trade route and erect their own towers in place. Instead, there are outposts marking the trade route to Khorasan. However, it is important to note that even if the trade route is free of enemy towers, Hun Raiders and the White Huns frequently patrol the area and will attack any unit, which makes it difficult to trade since the player's diplomatic stance is set to "ally" and changing it would cause the White Huns to change the stance to enemy. Regardless, it is still possible to stockpile gold with the (orange) allied village and doing so would be ideal by using Trade Cogs along the river with the dock nearest to an unoccupied mining camp in the southern most part of the map.

    Dealing with the White Huns is also significantly different in the Definitive Edition versus the HD Edition. In the latter, the White Huns would have periodically made Monks, Trebuchets and Elite Skirmishers, but this behavior would not be present in the Definitive Edition. Instead, once the White Huns decide to assault the player, they use an army comprising mostly of Mangudai, Hussars and Siege Rams (and occasionally Trebuchets, but not in excessive numbers as before), which makes it somewhat easier compared to the HD Edition. Despite this being the case, the White Huns are notable more resilient and will not resign easily as before, while in the HD Edition, all the player has to do is destroy three of their castles and result in their defeat. In the Definitive Edition, the White Huns will not surrender even after three castles have been destroyed and will require the player to actually eradicate them completely, which can be very tedious because of the number of Villagers and because they will rebuild military structures with the exception of castles. Be wary, however, that if two castles have been destroyed, the Gokturks will immediately switch their stance to enemy and they will make attempts to attack, although their army comprises mostly of Hussars.

    Alternative strategy[]

    As soon as the player sets up a camp, they should send their three Knights and Light Cavalry to destroy the nearest Raider camp. Destroy the Watch Tower and Archery Range, and then lure the approaching Raiders to the northern village. Once the garrisoned orange Town Center kills all of the starting Cavalry Archers, the Raiders resign, significantly easing the player's pressure. The player should pay all three installments of tributes to the White Huns before booming. However, the player has to be quick when doing this, as the Raiders will train more units after 10 minutes passed in the game.

    The player has to make sure their resource amount is 5-digits (the main source of gold income is by trading with a Dock; Trading with the Market at the other side of the map is not recommended, because the White Huns will disrupt the trade routes once war is declared), maxing their population limit with Knights and War Elephants, and researching all technologies in the Castle Age. Furthermore, the player has to wall off the southern and central passes, and build a forward camp of 3-5 Castles with several Stables to protect all of the orange Persian villages. Since the White Huns' army is not to be messed with, the player has to be absolutely prepared before advancing to the Imperial Age. No Persian village would be severely harmed in this way as well.

    Once the Imperial Age is reached, the White Huns will start attacking right off the bat. Since the passes in the central region are walled off, the White Huns will be funneled north to the Gokturk camp. Once the Gokturks offer the alliance, immediately accept, and the Gokturks will start to attack any incoming White Hunnic units. Assuming the player upgraded to Cavalier with their Imperial Age Blacksmith upgrades with Elite War Elephants, it is time to raze the nearest two Castles (the north and central Castle). It is almost impossible to destroy all three Castles in one go, so the player has to queue up extra Cavaliers.

    The Gokturks will betray the player after two White Hunnic Castles are down, but that's a good thing. When the Turks were allied, they sent smaller attacking parties, but their army became larger after the betrayal, so they would put up a better fight against the White Huns both aggressively and defensively.

    As soon as the last White Hunnic Castle is destroyed, the player will have no problems wiping our the rest of the White Huns. After the White Huns are gone, the Gokturks will fall easily to the player's Cavaliers and War Elephants.

    Build a town as fast as possible and protect the allied villages to ensure the flow of tributed resources from them, then advance to Imperial Age. Wall off every shallow to block the Hun Raiders' onslaught. It is advisable to build some Galleys to attack the raiders and White Huns attempting to cross the river from the water.

    There are more ways to earn gold should the mines get depleted. Right across the river there is a Fire Temple (Monastery). Sending 10 Villagers there will gain their Monks and a Relic. The road between the Gokturk and White Hun territories is occupied by four Gokturk Watch Towers; destroying them and erecting four Persian towers in their place, earns the player 100 gold every minute, and the chance to trade safely with the Khorasan Market east. Khorasan also has a Dock across the lake, near the Gokturk camp, where trade can also be done.

    As time progresses, the White Huns will periodically ask for large tributes of gold, first of 400, then 600, then finally 1,000. Note that Banking is not available, so tribute will add a 20% fee (Coinage is automatically researched at the start of the game). Failure to pay will result in the White Huns changing their stance to enemy, so it is ill-advised to refuse paying until a large army has been created. If the player intends to pay, some Villagers should be assigned to mine gold right from the beginning.

    Also south of the river and to the west of the Fire Temple is a camp with a Paladin, two Elite Cataphracts, and a few Pavilions. This is a camp that trains Savarans. Clicking on the main Pavilion will train 10 Savarans for 1,500 gold. It is advisable to train these and combine them with other cavalry, especially War Elephants before declaring war on the White Huns.

    Once in the Imperial Age the war with the White Huns begins. Prepare to fight their Mangudai and Hussar combination. They'll also make other units like Elite Skirmishers, Monks, and Trebuchets but in smaller numbers. The best way to counter them is by making Heavy Camels, Halberdiers, and Elite Skirmishers with some heavy cavalry; or, if resources allow it, massing Savarans and fully upgraded War Elephants to overhelm the White Huns and their fortifications, plus some Trebuchets to snipe Castles and towers. Destroy the Hun Raider bases west and secure that territory by building some Castles and military buildings near the White Hun base to aid in the fight and replenish forces.

    Accept the alliance offered by the Gokturks and allow their excellent Heavy Cavalry Archers and Hussars to distract the White Huns. The White Huns rebuild their Stables, Archery Ranges, and other buildings when they are destroyed by the player, but not their Castles or Monasteries, which deprives them of creating new Trebuchets, Mangudai, and Monks, and should therefore be a priority target. Once all military buildings have been destroyed, the White Huns resign. There is a brief window of time right here when Spies can be researched for only 200 gold. The Gokturks then declare war on the player, but they are not as powerful as the White Huns, and will be easily overrun by using the same army composition.

    Outro[]

    The White Huns were powerful but too disorganized to cope with multiple invasions. When the Persians and their Turkic allies launched a two-pronged attack, the White Huns panicked. The mighty Persian beasts of war and swift, accurate Turkish horse archers crushed the disorientated enemy within eight days.

    After the Persian victory at Bukhara, the White Huns faded into history and the Gokturks and Persians divided the conquered land among themselves. Under Khosrau, Persia once more became a worthy rival of the Byzantine Empire, while the Turks established themselves in the vacuum left by the White Huns.

    The White Huns possessed great military power but their lack of organization made them unable to fight on multiple fronts. When we Persians and our allied Turkish tribes launched our two-pronged attack, the White Huns were quickly defeated. The mighty heavy-armored Persian cavalry and swift, accurate Turkish horse archers crushed the disorientated enemy within eight days. The victory at the battle of Bukhara was of great significance to us, for the White Huns faded into history and the Gokturks and Persians ended up dividing the conquered land among themselves. The great endeavors of our great emperor, Khosrau have restored Persia to its former glory...

    Trivia[]

    • In the Definitive Edition, the Objectives tab on the side asks the player to send any unit to the Gokturk Castle in order to ally with them, but the Trigger is only activated by military units and not Villagers, for example.
    • With Dynasties of India, the Savar unit the player can recruit was reworked as Sogdian Cataphract, which has similar functionality, but is now a regular unit instead of a hero unit.
    • After Dynasties of India, the Paladin upgrade is disabled in this scenario.

    Historical comparison[]

    • Although the Tatars seem to cover the Gokturks according to their AI player names, they are still portrayed as Turks in the Definitive Edition.
    • Historically, the Persian-Gokturk alliance fought the Hephthalites, whom Procopius of Caesarea called "White Huns". While some scholars identify these with the Spet Xyon ("White Xionites") in Iranian sources and Sveta Huna ("White Huna") in Indian sources, others disagree.
    • The "slain Shah" from the intro is Peroz I, grandfather of Khosrau I, who was killed at the Battle of Herat (484).
    • The sea north of the map appears to be a combination of the Caspian, which is surrounded by rugged, forested terrain but has no major rivers flowing into it from the south, and the Aral, which has (or had) the Amu Darya but is in a flat, desertic plain.
    • Khorasan in this scenario represents Greater Khorasan, which also included parts of Afghanistan and Turkestan, not just modern Khorasan in Iran. The Battle of Bukhara took place in eastern Uzbekistan.
    • In the HD Edition, the Gokturks use the Cyan color, presumably in reference to them being called the "Blue" or "Celestial Turks" historically, while the Hun Raiders use Purple. The colors are switched on the Definitive Edition for reasons unknown, but it might have been in order to give the White Huns and Hun Raiders similar colors, or to give the Gokturks the same color used by the Turkish players in Manzikert, Bapheus, Lepanto, and the Dracula campaign.
    • The last part of the scenario, after the Gokturks betray the player but the White Huns are not defeated yet, references how the Gokturks made war on the Sasanian Empire after the Battle of Bukhara. They offered to ally with the Byzantines in 568, and invaded Persia in 588 along with their Hephthalite subjects. As in the scenario, they were defeated and retreated north of the Oxus (Amu Darya), which had been the border agreed after the defeat of the Hephthalites.
    • The unique Cataphract unit the player can recruit from Khorasan are Sogdian, which was an ancient Iranian civilization in central Asia that consisted of various city-states in Transoxiana controlled by many factions (two of which are the Hephthalite and Sasanian Empires in this scenario). They are often associated with various eastern Iranian and Indo-Iranian ethnic groups such as Scythians, Alans, and Saka.
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