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Desire is the second scenario of the Devapala campaign in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition - Dynasties of India.

Intro[]

"An idea developed and acted on is better than an idea that merely exists as an idea," said the Buddha.

Devapala's successes in Kamarupa and Utkala filled him with increasingly ambitious ideas. The first that he acted on was his desire to control the sacred city of Kannauj, a place that rulers and empires had coveted for centuries. To hold its central temple would be the ultimate stamp of legitimacy.

Desire is the source of dissatisfaction, and is inextricable from it — that is the Second Noble Truth.

Devapala was not alone in his ambition, however. Two other great powers — the Pratiharas of the west and the Rashtrakutas of the south, rivals of the Palas for generations — also lay claim to the glorious city.

Formidable figures lead the enemy armies. The young Pratihara king, Mihira Bhoja, had just subdued his neighbors and bolstered his cavalry with a new breed of horses, the swiftest to be found in all of India.

Amoghavarsha, pride of the Rashtrakutas, oozed confidence after crushing a series of rebellions with a deadly force of infantry and elephants.

Old family friends indeed, as Utkala had so eloquently put it.

Scenario instructions[]

Starting conditions[]

Objectives[]

  • Capture and hold the Monument in Kannauj.
  • (secondary) Build a Castle and train 10 Rathas.
  • (secondary) Repair the Monasteries in Kannauj.

Hints[]

  1. Devapala is restricted to the Castle Age, a population limit of 150, and initially cannot construct Monasteries, nor can he build Docks on the flooded rivers.
  2. This mission will play like a King of the Hill match. Any player that can capture the Monument in Kannauj and hold it until the countdown expires will achieve victory.
  3. Bengali elephant units sustain less bonus damage from their traditional counters. Use them fearlessly!
  4. There are no friends in this three-way rivalry. The Pratiharas and the Rashtrakutas are your enemies, but they will also fight each other.
  5. The climate here is less dense than in the heart of Bengal. Focus on securing the Monument in the center, but be prepared to fight on the perimeters as well!

Scouts[]

Your scouts report:

  • Devapala (1, Yellow) and his forces have established two camps to the east and northeast of the ancient city of Kannauj (2, Grey).
  • The Pratiharas (3, Red) threaten Kannauj from the west and northwest. They train mainly mounted units and are expected to make an early push for the city.
  • The Rashtrakutas (4, Purple) approach Kannauj from the south with armies of foot soldiers and elephants. They are more likely to sit back initially and collect their forces, but then strike out furiously once they are ready.

Players[]

Player[]

  • Player (Bengalis): The Player starts with a sizeable force of Elephant Archers, Battle Elephants and infantry. The main objective is the city of Kannauj.

Allies[]

  • Kannauj (Gurjaras): The city is located in the center and is passive in the conflict.

Enemies[]

  • Pratiharas (Gurjaras): The Pratiharas of Mihira Bhoja camps in the west and northwest. They will train mounted units consists of Shrivamsha Riders, Light Cavalry and Camel Riders in order to fight for the struggle of Kannauj.
  • Rashtrakutas (Dravidians): Amoghavarsha approaches Kannauj from the south with an army of foot soldiers and Elephants. They will collect their forces before strike out furiously at the two competitors.

Strategy[]

Overview[]

The player should not need to worry about getting raided, but must act fast if they want to control the Monument before the time expires. It is likely that the Pratiharas will be the first to control the Monument, and, unless the player intervenes, hold it right up to the end. However, the player only needs to hold the monument at the last moment, when the timer runs out. That said, the player should not leave it to the end to intervene, lest the player times it wrongly and ends up with insufficient time to seize control.

The key military units that will be used in this scenario will be Rathas and/or Battle Elephants.

Right from the start, the player is given access to two possible locations to obtain resources from (1 Town Center in the east, and 1 potential expansion in the northeast of the map). Building a second Town Center is optional, though. What is more important is that the player must make use of the initial conflict between Pratiharas and the Rashtrakutas to quickly train Villagers, so that the the player will possess an economy to fund the units needed to destroy the forces entrenched near the Monument. There is a Relic nearby, which the player can consider picking up when it is possible to do so.

Having built up a strong economy, it is now time to seize control of the Monument. Three things need to be done:

  1. The player should send in military units to clear the area.
  2. Build 3 Castles near the Monument.
  3. Continue the training of more Rathas and more Elephants.
  4. Walls are optional. They are good to have, but it is possible to complete the level without them
  5. Keep a look out for Armored Elephants - Elephants and Pikemen are good options against them. However, spamming melee Rathas from the Castles being used for defense at the monument is sufficient.

Building a Castle and training 10 Rathas will reward the player with the Elite Ratha upgrade (otherwise inaccessible due to the player being restricted to the Castle Age).

After capturing the Monument in Kannauj for the first time, the Monks of the city will ask the player to repair three damaged Monasteries in the city. After doing so, the player unlocks the ability to build Monasteries themselves and receives the Bengali unique technology Mahayana (otherwise inaccessible due to the player being restricted to the Castle Age).

Outro[]

"Endurance is among the most arduous disciplines, but the final victory makes its way to the one who endures the most," said the Buddha.

So it was with the Palas, who often won battles not with tactics but with an uncanny ability to outlast their rivals.

Devapala's orders were clear: Kannauj was not to be damaged. The man who would be a Bodhisattva would not see this holy site defiled by the evils of war.

Battles raged outside of the city for days until the Pratihara and Rashtrakuta armies finally sounded the signal to retreat.

Following his victory, Devapala invited into his entourage a Brahman, the priest who had first welcomed him into Kannauj. That man was I, humble Veeradeva, who would soon grow closer to the emperor than anyone.

Trivia[]

Desire is based on the humiliation of the lords of Gurjara (Bhoja I) and the Dravidas (Amoghavarsha I) between 832 and 836.

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