Dissatisfaction is the first scenario of the Devapala campaign in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition - Dynasties of India.
O' Lord Buddha, keep my mind sharp and my memory clear as I recount this tale.
I tell of warriors and weapons, faith and fury, and a man whose like we shall not see again. Devapala, son of Dharmapala, the greatest ruler of the Pala dynasty.
From his ancestors he inherited the fertile earth and thick jungles of Bengal, a realm where tigers prowl, reptiles swim, and the sacred waters of the Ganges empty into the sea.
This is the land of the Mahayana, the great vehicle of Buddhist teaching — a creed that guides us towards Nirvana, an enlightened escape from the endless cycle of birth and rebirth.
Some call the life of a monk difficult, but they know nothing of that of an emperor. We monks must only care for the spiritual welfare of our people. An emperor, however, taints himself daily with their material concerns, miring himself in dissatisfaction.
Dissatisfaction is an inherent aspect of our material existence — that is the First Noble Truth.
Devapala's aspiration in life was selfless: to become a Bodhisattva — an enlightened being who forestalls Nirvana in order to hold the door open for others rather than locking it behind him.
To do this, he sought to build an empire and rule benevolently, improving the lot of his subjects — a noble aim, but one not easily accomplished in such violent times.
Devapala knew that he needed to secure Bengal's borders before he could rebuild its interior. Summoning his armies, he sent his cousin and commander Jayapala to demand the submission of the neighboring realms of Kamarupa and Utkala.
- Starting Age: Feudal Age
- Starting resources: 500 food, 500 wood, 200 gold, 200 stone
- Population limit: 125
- Capture Kamarupa's Town Center by bringing a soldier to it.
- Defeat Utkala.
- Capture Kamarupa without losing a single unit to obtain the Castle Age research for free.
- Defeat the Rashtrakutas.
- Defeat the Pratiharas.
- Devapala is restricted to the Castle Age and a population limit of 125.
- Bengali Town Centers automatically spawn additional Villagers as you advance through the ages.
- The Pratiharas and Rashtrakutas are only a nuisance, but the equipment stored in their camps could be of use to you.
- The dense Bengali climate can make land-based invasions a challenge. Consider also attacking Utkala by sea.
- Beware of fearsome Bengali tigers!
Your scouts report:
- Devapala (1, Yellow) and his army have thrust into enemy territory with the aim of quickly seizing a base from which they can launch further operations.
- Kamarupa (2, Blue) is an obvious first target. Its rich lands in the northeast are defended by a pitifully weak military primarily of infantry.
- Utkala (3, Green) is a more formidable opponent. Its realm to the southwest is ruled by defiant queen who will send elephants and Skirmishers into battle. Utkala may also deploy a navy to attack the Pala forces by sea.
- The Pratiharas (4, Red) and Rashtrakutas (5, Purple) are old rivals of the Palas. Thus far they have only established small camps in the west and northwest of the map, but raiding parties of mounted units and infantry, respectively, may soon venture into Pala territory.
- Player (Bengalis): The player starts out with a small force of Battle Elephants, Armored Elephants, and Rathas located just southeast of Kamarupa.
- Kamarupa (Bengalis): Kamarupa is only defended by a small militia and Palisade Walls on the side facing the player's initial forces. The western side of the city is more heavily fortified by Stone Walls and Watch Towers, which will proof a boon once the players seizes control. Capturing Kamarupa without losing a single soldier will make the player automatically advance to the Castle Age.
- Utkala (Bengalis): Utkala has a sizeable city spread over much of the southwest of the map. They have a Castle, Stone Walls, and several Docks from which they send forth fleets of Fishing Ships. They will build warships if the player attempts to build their own warships.
- Pratiharas (Gurjaras): The Pratiharas have a small outpost in the northwest of the map behind a Palisade Wall. This outpost lacks any economy, and is centered around two Stables from which raids of cavalry are sent at the player. Defeating them gives the player Plate Barding Armor for free.
- Rashtrakutas (Dravidians): The Rashtrakutas have a small outpost in the furthest west of the map. Just like the Pratiharas, they do not have any economy, just a pair of Barracks from which they send regular raiding forces of infantry to the player. Defeating them gives the player Blast Furnace for free.
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In order to advance to the Castle Age for free, the player must reach Kamarupa's Town Center without losing a single unit. This can be done by sending the Rathas to use hit-and-run tactics against the Kamarupa Guards. This may take a few tries, but it will save the player time and resources to advance to the Castle Age. Make sure the Rathas focus on Spearmen first; even though Bengali Battle Elephants take reduced bonus damage, Spearmen can still kill them fairly quickly. Also, avoid sending the Rathas against the Skirmishers, as they take bonus damage from them regardless of which mode they are in. Alternatively, if one is skilled enough at micromanagement, they could send forward their Scout Cavalry and one Ratha, using the Ratha to draw all of the Kamarupa infantry and Skirmishers into chasing it. As the Skirmishers move to attack the Ratha, the Scout Cavalry can run through the Palisade Gate once the Skirmishers open it, potentially leading to an absolutely bloodless capture of Kamarupa and causing all of its military units to convert to the player's side. This will likely take several tries, however, because the Ratha could be quickly killed by Spearmen or Skirmishers.
Once the player gains control of Kamarupa, they should start producing Villagers and a solid economy (build Town Centers if the player got Castle Age early). The army should be mainly composed of Rathas, Armored Elephants, and Battle Elephants. As the resources in the player's town are limited, the player has to expand out of Kamarupa to procure more resources. Building a Dock near where the scenario starts is ideal, as there is a lot of fish to gather.
Whenever Utkala launches their next attack, they will send a threat, giving the player a chance to prepare for their attacks. By then, the player should have a Castle or two to help defeat the raiding parties. Armored Elephants are still a problem, since they can make quick work of buildings, and should be countered by Pikemen or Battle Elephants.
When the player has a large enough army to go on the offensive, they should first take own Pratiharas and Rashtrakutas, because their army is small and can fall early. Defeating them gives the player Plate Barding Armor and Blast Furnace for free, respectively.
To yield fewer casualties, it is recommended that the player attacks Utkala from the sea. Beware that Utkala will build their own warships to counter the player's navy, so the player should be on their guard. Utkala's Docks should be the priority, since they will not rebuild their Docks, and mass Demolition Ships will do the work. Once the Docks are down, load all units in Transport Ships and land them on Utkala's coast and defeat them. Send the Rathas and Battle Elephants to attack military units, while the Armored Elephants take down defenses. Once Utkala is defeated, the player is victorious.
While Kamarupa submitted almost instantly, Utkala fought hard. As the bodies of the slain piled up, Devapala began for a moment to doubt the virtue of his cause.
Yet, as the months passed and the wounds of the realm healed, these doubts slowly vanished. His heart bloomed as he observed the prosperity of his land and the contentment of his people.
"We are what we think, and what we think we become. Our thoughts shape the world," said the Buddha.
Devapala's shaping of the world had only just begun.
- Dissatisfaction is based on the Devapala's first military campaign with his cousin and general Jayapala in the invasion of Pragjyotisha (present-day Assam) between 815 and 821 where the king submitted without giving a fight and Utkala (present-day Odisha) whose ruler fled from his capital city.