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Crossing the Alps is the first scenario of the Enemies of Rome campaign in Age of Empires: The Rise of Rome. The Carthaginian armies of Hannibal Barca must make their way through the Roman countryside.

This scenario is considered difficult by many players.

Scenario instructions[]


Your plan to march into Italy through the Alps is brilliant but fraught with risk. There are dangerous tribes in the mountains and Roman garrisons in the foothills at the base of the Alps. It is likely that the Gauls in northern Italy will rally to your cause if you can break through. Scouts marked the pass through the mountains, but were then taken prisoner. If you can locate and free them, they might be of great use in your efforts to break through.
—In-game section

Starting conditions[]


  • Get both Armored Elephants and Hannibal past the double flags in the lower corner of the map.


  • The Romans have gotten advance word of your arrival and have started preparing for battle. Move quickly to lessen their preparation time.
  • Use waypoints to guide your troops through the narrow valleys. To use waypoints, click a unit, press SHIFT, right-click each point along the path, release the SHIFT key, and then right-click the last point in the path.



  • Player (Carthaginians): The player starts with an army in the western corner of the map and some villagers in captivity by the townsmen at the south-eastern edge. Despite being in the Iron Age, the player is not able to build Docks, Markets, Stables, Government Center, and Temples.


  • Vilagers (Romans): The Villagers own two bases: one at the end of the road south to the player, the other nearby the center of the map. They have only primitive technology and the player can ignore them entirely.
  • Townsmen (Romans): The Townsmen also own two bases: one in the northern corner of the map which can be ignored, the other is a prison where the player's villagers are in captivity. the latter one must be attacked by the player to reach the goal.
  • 1st Legion (Romans): The 1st Legion controls the southern corner of the map with several towers, an army made of Phalanxes, and a town nearby the goal.


You start the scenario with a force of War Elephants, Elephant Archers, Legions, a Scout, and the three objective-connected Elephant units (Hannibal and the Armored Elephants).

There are four units you should keep out of harm's way at all costs: the Scout, to provide Line of Sight, and the three Elephants, because you might have to run past the towers at the end, which will be a lot easier if they're at full hit points.

Move north, until you reach the yellow city. Destroying it will take them out of the picture, but you can also head east, through the woods, and hope they won't be a problem. On easier difficulties, this is the best option. Whether you destroy the town or not, head east next.

There are two ways south: one short, past a row of towers, and one longer, with no opposition. The eastern path, with no opposition, will be easier.

Break through the wall, and find and free the Villagers here. You can now build up a base and create reinforcements, but pressing through and finishing the scenario with your initial force is certainly possible.

Go through enemy defenses and soldiers, sending your War Elephants and Elephant Archers first to soak up the damage and level their defenses. The last obstacle is a row of heavily upgraded towers. Send your War Elephants forward to attack the towers, and run past them with Hannibal and the Armored Elephants. If they reach the flags, you've won.


Historical notes[]

In 219 BC the Second Punic War between Rome and Carthage was instigated in Spain, where Hannibal of Carthage invaded the Greek city of Sarguntum (an ally of Rome). The Romans demanded that Carthage lift the siege and surrender Hannibal. Carthage refused and Rome declared war. Hannibal took the city by storm after an eight-month siege. He then advanced north into Gaul with an army of 50,000 infantry, 9,000 cavalry, and 80 elephants.

Catching Rome by surprise, Hannibal led his army across Gaul, up the Rhone River Valley, into modern Switzerland, across the Alps in October, and down into the Po River Valley. Due to harsh winter conditions in the mountains and resistance from mountain tribes, he arrived in Italy with only 20,000 infantry, 6,000 cavalry, and a few elephants.

While Rome hurried troops north, Hannibal recruited Gauls. He met the Romans in three major battles at Trebia (218 BC), Lake Trasimene (217 BC), and Cannae (216 BC). All were resounding Carthaginian victories leaving approximately 120,000 Romans dead. The Romans were forced to avoid open battle for several years while a new generation of soldiers grew old enough for duty. But Hannibal lacked the strength to take Rome itself. For 14 more years he devastated the countryside and tried to convince the other cities of Italy to drop their allegiance to Rome.

Defeats in Spain and a Roman invasion of North Africa finally forced Hannibal to return home. With a largely untrained army, he met Scipio's veterans at the battle of Zama in 202 BC. The Roman victory brought an end to the Second Punic War and to Carthage's empire.
—In-game section


Your crossing of the Alps was a masterstroke that has amazed the world. All Carthage applauds you and your army. The Romans now feel the revenge of Carthage. We will once more be masters of the Mediterranean.
—In-game section


Your failure in the Alps has doomed the efforts of Carthage in this second war with Rome. They control the seas already. Taking the war into Italy was our great hope for keeping them off-balance. Now our colonies in Spain are under attack because so many of our troops from there were lost with you. It is only a matter of time before a great Roman army lands in North Africa itself. You were a fool to think elephants could cross the Alps.
—In-game section
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Campaigns in Age of Empires
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Definitive Edition
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Names in brackets represent campaigns and scenarios renamed and/or reworked in the Definitive Edition.