In the scenario, the player plays as the Sassanid Persians led by their Shah Khosrau I trying to make up for the humiliating defeat by the White Huns and regaining the land that was lost.
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 Edit
Starting conditions Edit
- Starting Age: Feudal Age
- Starting resources: None
- Population limit: 150
- Starting units (HD edition):
- Khosrau must survive (not in the Definitive Edition)
- 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.
- 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. (Removed in the Definitive Edition; there are no towers present along the road)
- Send 10 (5 in the Definitive Edition) villagers to the Fire Temple.
- Tribute 1000 wood to Khorasan to earn access to their fish supply. (Removed in the Definitive Edition)
- You can train ten Savarans by clicking on the main pavilion (costs 1500 gold [500 gold in the Definitive Edition]).
- 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.
- Savaran are Persian heavy cavalry that can regenerate. They come at a great price but are worth their weight in gold.
- 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.
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 (6, Blue) 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.
- Player (Persians) - initially starts with Khosrau and a Scythian Scout, who will be suddenly followed by a three Elephant Archers and three Villagers.
- 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 would be converted under the player's possession
- Khorasan (Indians) - has the Fire Temple near the center of the map. Also possesses a Market to the northeast of the map, where the player can trade provided they can gain control of the Silk Road. They also have a tiny camp across the river which would offer the player to pay some Gold in exchange for a few Savaran cavalry.
Ally → enemy Edit
- White Huns (Mongols) - has a scattered yet powerful camps spanning from the south to the east of the map. They will quickly reach the Imperial Age and will eventually field large armies which consists of Heavy Cavalry Archers, Elite Mangudais, Hussars and Elite Skirmishers, escorted by a few Monks and will include some Trebuchets to attack the player. It will be wise to pay them as the player can until they are ready to face the White Huns' powerful force. In the Definitive Edition, the White Huns sends Siege Rams and Onagers instead of Elite Skirmishers and Monks.
Neutral → ally → enemy Edit
- Gokturks (Purple in the Definitive Edition) (Turks) - has few scattered encampments north of the map. Their army is also comprised of Heavy Cavalry Archers and Hussars, along with some Trebuchets. The player will be given an optional objective to ally with them to fight the White Huns. However, this alliance is brittle, as it would 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.
- Hun Raiders (Cyan in the Definitive Edition) (Huns) - has three small encampments which produces Knights, Light Cavalry and Cavalry Archers to harass Persia and the player early game. By late game, they will attempt to assist the White Huns in defending the latter's camp. They also have some Watch Towers along the Silk Road to deny the player of trading with Khorasan. In the Definitive Edition, they will resign if the player destroys the Tower and kills their initial Cavalry Archers at the early stage.
Strategy (HD Edition) Edit
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There are many ways to earn gold in this map should the mines get depleted. At the edge of Persian influence lies a Fire Temple dedicated to Zoroaster. Sending 10 Villagers to them will give you their Monks and a Relic. There are four purple towers that need to be destroyed and replaced with your own towers. Not only by doing so, you will earn 100 gold every minute, you can also trade safely with the Khorasan market to the north-east, giving you even more gold. There is also a blue dock up north the lake, near the Gokturk camp where you can trade with to earn further more gold. You will have no trouble whatsoever with gold in your treasury.
As time progresses, the White Huns will periodically ask for large tributes of gold, first at 400, then 600 and then finally 1,000. It is important to note that Banking is not available for research and will include the 20% fee if the player plans to follow the demands (coinage is automatically upgraded in the start of the game); failure to do so would result in the White Huns changing their stance to the player to enemy, so it is ill-advised to refuse paying unless the player has a army large enough to withstand the onslaught of the White Huns. But while this can exacerbate an already stressful situation, especially with dealing with the Hun Raiders, it is important to know that the White Huns will eventually stop asking for tribute permanently after paying the final 1,000 gold tribute, which then would allow the player to focus on building up gold again without interruption. If the player intends to keep up with the tributes, make sure to stockpile gold resources early on to avoid problems.
A bit south to the temple lies 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 you get to the Imperial Age war is declared on the White Huns and you'll have to defeat them. Watch out for their Mangudai and hussar combination. They'll also make other units like Elite Skirmishers, Monks and Trebuchets but in smaller amounts. The best way to counter them is by making Heavy Camels, Halberdiers and Elite Skirmisher with some heavy cavalry (you can buy Savarans, a heavy armored regenerating cavalry unit). Alternatively, if you earned huge amounts of gold from the mentioned quests above, massing a enormous army of Savarans and War Elephants to outnumber the White Huns is a great alternative too, since the White Huns' units are not as well-armored comparing to the heavy Persian cavalry units and might fall to them easily. Also a couple of Castles near their base will aid you in your fight. There's also the possibility to ally the Gokturks. The Gokturks have excellent Heavy Cavalry Archers and Hussars so they'll help you distract the enemy and raid the enemy towns. Remember that the White Huns will only attempt to rebuild basic military structures such as Stables and Archery Range when destroyed by the player, but will NOT attempt to rebuild their Castles or Monasteries . Therefore, Castles should be the primary target of the player's Trebuchets so the White Huns could no longer create their own. You can attempt to sneak some Petards to blow up the Monastery east of the map, but you should do it immediately after war is declared. Once you've destroyed all their Castles and their military the White Huns will resign, which would make it easier to research Spies immediately as it only costs 200 gold! However, the Gokturks will betray you, but they're not that strong as the White Huns and should be easy to defeat. Once their base is destroyed as well, you win the scenario!
Strategy (Definitive Edition) Edit
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 if you played the scenario 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 more expensive, as each unit costs 500 gold, whereas it was 1500 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 instead 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, where in the HD Edition, all you have to do is destroy 3 of their castles and result in their defeat. In the Definitive Edition, the White Huns will not surrender even after 3 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 2 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.
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...
- Although the Tatars seem to represent the Gokturks, there were no changes in the Definitive Edition.
- Historically, the Persian-Gokturk alliance fought the Hephthalites, whom some scholars identify with the White Huns; though others disagree.
- The Scouts section in the Definitive Edition incorrectly states that the White Huns are the sixth faction and are colored blue, both of which actually apply to Khorasan.