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Crucible is the first scenario of the Genghis Khan campaign in Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings. It substitutes for Genghis Khan's reunion of the Mongol tribes under his rule in 1206.


A blue wolf took as his spouse a fallow doe. They settled at the head of the Onon River to raise their offspring. And there were born the Mongols.

So begins my life's work, "The Secret History of the Mongols." I have been selected to compose this epic because great events are about to take place. We are going to leave Mongolia.

I have lived always on this frigid, dry, and endless steppe. The tribes here squabble like vultures fighting over the dessicated corpse of a marmot. We fight over limited resources: scarce water, few trees, sparse grass for our herds to graze on.

A wise and dangerous man named Temuchin means to change all this. He says that if the tribal conflict is to end, the Mongols require but two things. First, we need green pastures for our herds. With more to go around, there will be less competition among the tribes.

Second, we are a nation of warriors; we need a common enemy with which to do battle.

To meet both these needs, Temuchin has come up with the most modest of schemes: to unite the tribes and go to war with anyone who stands in our path.

"How?" we ask him. "How can nomadic horsemen in felt tents embark on a campaign of world conquest?"

Temuchin replies that we will fight not as warriors, but as a unified army. We fight not for our glory, but for the glory of Mongolia.

And with those words, the name of Temuchin has passed almost into obscurity. His name is replaced with a title: Great Khan. Genghis Khan.

Scenario instructions[]

Starting conditions[]

Differences between difficulty levels[]

  • On Standard, the Kara-Khitai lose all of their Mangonels, save for the one guarding their Monastery.
  • On Hard, the Relic guarded by wolves on the eastern side of the map is removed, and an extra Cavalry Archer and Mangudai guard the Kara-Khitai sheep pen north of the Kereyids.


  • Wait for instructions from Genghis Khan.
    • Ride forth to each of the Mongol tribes and convince them to join the Khan's army. Make an example of any tribes that openly war against you.
    • The Ungirrads will join if you bring a Relic to their Monastery.
    • The Uighurs will join if you kill Ornlu the wolf and return to tell the tale.
    • The Tayichi'uds will join if you defeat the Naiman and return to tell the tale.
    • The Naiman will join if you defeat the Tayichi'uds and return to tell the tale.
    • The Kereyids will join if you bring them 20 sheep.


  1. You can change Diplomacy settings whenever you want, but don't be surprised if the other tribes respond to your actions.
  2. Only Monks are able to pick up, drop or garrison relics in Monasteries.
  3. The Kereyids are known as the most religious of the tribes and may have a few Monks near their camps.
  4. Use the Objectives button to keep track of new objectives or those that have changed.

Scouts (Definitive Edition)[]

Your scouts report:

  • Genghis Khan's horde (3, Yellow) has assembled in the south of the map. Some warriors (1, Orange) have been tasked to visit the neighboring tribes and convince them to join the Great Khan's forces.
  • The Naiman (7, Green) live to the north. Their military consists of Cavalry Archers. It is said that the Naiman are at war with the Tayichi'uds.
  • The Tayichi'uds (5, Purple) have a camp in the west guarded by Light Cavalry.
  • The northwest is controlled by the Kereyids (4, Blue), a Turkic tribe. The army of the Kereyids consists of mounted archers assisted by Monks.
  • Far to the east you will find a village of the Uighurs (6, Cyan), who are known for their powerful camel riders.
  • The Ungirrads (8, Grey) are the most religious tribe and worship Tengri, the sky god. It is very likely that their Mangudai will join you if you can prove that the sky god is on your side.
  • While most steppe dwellers are not hostile to you, the Kara-Khitai (2, Red) are an exception. They are not interested in joining Genghis Khan and they will harass your men with their mounted archers.



  • Player (Mongols): The player starts in the south of the map. After a brief cutscene, the player is assigned with eight starting units from Genghis Khan.


  • Genghis Khan (Mongols): Genghis Khan appears at the game start with his army and gives the player instructions. He does not play any further role in the scenario.
  • Kereyids (Turks in The Age of Kings, Mongols in the Definitive Edition): The Kereyids have their camp in the northwestern part of the map. Giving them 20 Sheep will get two of their Monks and some Cavalry Archers.
  • Uighurs (Mongols in The Age of Kings, Tatars in the Definitive Edition): The Uighurs are found in the eastern part of the map. Killing Ornlu the Wolf to the east of their village and returning will get most of their Camel Riders, as well as the technology Chemistry.
  • Ungirrads (Mongols): The Ungirrads are found at the central part of the map. Placing a Relic in their Monastery will give the player most of their Mangudai.

Potential Enemies[]

  • Naiman (Green in the Definitive Edition) (Mongols): The Nayman tribe is located at the northern part of the map. Defeating their enemy - the Tayichi'uds, will get most of their Cavalry Archers after returning to their base.
  • Tayichi'uds (Purple in the Definitive Edition) (Mongols): The Tayichi'uds are located at the western part of the map. Defeating their enemy - the Naiman, will get most of their Light Cavalry after returning to their base.


  • Kara-Khitai (Mongols): The Kara-Khitai have troops scattered across the map. They also have a guarded Monastery in the west (holding a Relic), a Sheep pen in the north, and some soldiers guarding another Relic behind the Naiman base in the north.


After a small scene where Khan's army appears, the player obtains four Light Cavalry and four Cavalry Archer from him. The player must convince four tribes to join the Great Khan, while being attacked by Kara-Khitai.

  1. First go to the Kereyids. Giving them 20 Sheep will get two of their Monks and some Cavalry Archers. Location of sheep easily accessible: North of their base there are 8 sheep, north of the Ungirrads there are 6 sheep, between the starting point and the Uighurs there are 8 sheep, north of the Tayichi'uds there are 2 sheep, and south of the Naiman there are 3 sheep.
  2. With their Monk now the player can grab the Relic for the Ungirrads. The player can fight the Kara-Khitai in the west and north of the Naiman to get their guarded Relics or can get the Relic only guarded by wolves between the Naiman and the Uighurs in the east.
  3. Now the player need to kill either the Tayichi'uds or the Naiman. The player can change their stance from Allies to Neutral and attack them without retaliation (In the Definitive Edition, the enemy will retaliate).
  4. Now the player can go to the Uighurs and kill Ornlu the Wolf.

If more units are needed, the player can change their stance from Allies to Neutral and convert units with Monks. Note that in the Definitive Edition, changing diplomatic stance to Neutral will cause the faction to change its stance toward the player to Enemy.


Nearly all of the Mongol tribes have united under the Great Khan. The chieftains of those tribes reluctant to join were boiled alive.

Each day new faces have taken up the bow; unfamiliar hands hold the Nine Bands of yak hair that has become Genghis's standard. There are more men and horses gathered in the camp than I ever knew existed.

Horse archers and lancers, men in leather cuirass and silk armor, all lift their heads upward to the platform from where Genghis speaks. The Great Khan calls himself the punishment of God. Men smile like hungry wolves. It is dawn of the first day of the Mongolian Empire.


  • In the Definitive Edition, the Naiman and Tayichi'uds colors are switched.
  • This is the only level in the campaign where Genghis Khan appears as a unit.
  • Before the Definitive Edition, Before gaining control over the starting Light Cavalry and Cavalry Archers, an archer is hidden in the trees near the Kereyids to prevent the player automatically losing with no units. There is also a Mangudai owned by Genghis Khan at the western tip of the map throughout the game, in order to ensure joint victory with the player. Such placeholder units are no longer necessary in the Definitive Edition.
  • By setting all of the initially allied tribes to Neutral, it is possible to convert all their units one by one without having to fulfill favors. This is especially useful for defeating either the Tayichi'uds or Naimans. Attempting to convert Kara-Khitai troops scattered about the map can also be used to supplement the forces; however, this could prove difficult and require some luck. This does not work in the Definitive Edition, however; switching your stance to Neutral with another faction will cause it to switch to Enemy.
  • In old patches (until 1.0b/1.0e) there is a small chance that Genghis Khan's troops will push him into the conversion zone of the initial player's troops, causing him to be controllable by the player and making the scenario ridiculously easy.
  • This is the only scenario in the game with no enemies at the beginning, only neutral.
  • If the scenario is opened in the Editor, the player's name appears as "Mongol Envoys".
  • Before the HD Edition, Genghis Khan's opening line is the only time one of the titular campaign heroes has a word of spoken dialogue. Although Guy Josselyne and Cuauhtemoc, the narrators of their respective campaigns, become the main protagonist after the original main character dies, neither of their precedessors have any spoken lines.
  • The player gets 100 gold in tribute for each tribe they help. Since the player cannot train any units in this scenario, the sole purpose of those tributes is to trigger victory when the player has 400 gold, that is, after helping four of the five tribes as required.

Historical comparison[]

  • Genghis Khan appears as a white haired man, but he would be in his early 40s at most.
    • For historical accuracy's sake, he should be named Temüjin, as he would not be proclaimed Genghis Khan until 1206, when he would have united the warring Mongolic-speaking tribes.
  • The Kereyids are depicted as Turks and the Uighurs as Mongols. In reality they would be reversed: the Kereyids (Keraites) were a Mongol or Turco-Mongol tribe while the Orkhon Uighurs were a Turkic-speaking people. This is corrected in the Definitive Edition, where the Kereyids are changed to Mongols and the Uighurs are depicted as Tatars, who represent the eastern Turkic tribes from the Age of Empires II timeframe; however, Orkhon Uighurs were non-Muslims and ethnologically distinct from Tatars, whom Orkhon Uyghurs regarded as enemies and rebels.
  • Though not referenced, both the Kereyid and Naiman tribes were Nestorian Christian.
  • The Kereyid challenge is usually pursued first because it provides the player with Monks, who are necessary to fulfill the Ungirrad challenge. Historically, Genghis Khan first gained power by serving the Kereyid Khan Toghrul before he became wary of Genghis Khan and allied with his rival, Jamukha.
  • The Kara-Khitai, who constitute the scenario's most formidable enemy, did not wage war with Genghis Khan in this period. They replace the unmentioned Jadaran tribe of Jamukha, who titled himself Gur Khan ("Universal Ruler", also used by the Kara-Khitai), and allied with the Tayichi'uds, Naiman, and Merkids (enemies in The Horde Rides West but not here). In 1206, Jamukha was betrayed by his men and handed over to Genghis Khan, who had him executed.
    • The outro claims that Genghis Khan boiled alive the chieftains hesitant to follow him. In reality, it was Jamukha who boiled several of Genghis Khan's generals after capturing them.
  • The scenario requires the player to defeat either the Tayichi'uds or the Naiman, because they are at war with each other. The tribes were indeed enemies in reality, but allied against Genghis Khan.
    • The Naiman are stronger, with a Watch Tower in addition to Cavalry Archers; they are the strongest (potential) enemy after the Kara-Khitai. This is consistent with history, as the Naiman actually outnumbered Genghis Khan's Mongols. Another correlation with history is the Naiman base being protected with cliffs, mirroring the mountainous territory of some Naiman subtribes that allowed them to remain free for longer.
    • The Tayichi'uds, the likeliest to be fought due to players being more likely to choose to side with the stronger Naiman (and also enemies in the following scenario), were bitter enemies of Genghis Khan who enslaved him in 1177, when he was 15 years old.
  • The Ungirrads (Khongirad) were less warlike and more Chinese-influenced than other Mongols. They were a popular source of wives for other tribes; both Genghis Khan's mother and first wife were Ungirrad.
  • The Uighurs are a likely reference to the Qocho Kingdom, who submitted peacefully to Genghis Khan in 1209 and enjoyed great autonomy in the Mongol Empire.
  • Curiously, the Kereyids and Tayichi'uds lands were in eastern Mongolia while the Naiman and Uighurs were west, but they are reversed in the scenario.
  • In this scenario, neither the Tatars nor the "Forest People" (Buryats, Oirats and Kyrgyz) appear, which depends on the maximum number of 8 players.