Divide and Conquer is the third scenario of the Tariq ibn Ziyad campaign in Age of Empires II HD: The African Kingdoms. After conquering much of central Iberian Peninsula, Tariq ibn Ziyad and Musa ibn Nusayr decide to divide their armies and venture further north and capture the cities of Zaragoza and Narbonne.
713 AD, year 91 of the Hegira...
The meeting between Tariq and Musa was strange to witness. The respect between the two is considerable, but there is an air of competition, of rivalry...
The Caliph has ordered that Tariq and Musa return to Damascus, but they refuse to be robbed of their glory. Dividing the army, Tariq strikes north, while Musa targets the city of Zaragoza.
Recognizing our might, a local Visigoth lord, Theodemir of Murcia, has pledged us his support. Home to a strong army and a thriving economy, Murcia will be a potent ally.
However, we have a new and dangerous enemy. Pelayo of Asturias, a Visigoth nobleman, has rallied what was a fractured resistance into a formidable adversary. In his dominion in Asturias, a large army gathers, preparing to attack.
If we can weather the storm that is sure to come, with the blessing of Allah we may even be able to conquer as far as Septimania!
- Starting Age: Castle Age
- Starting resources: 1,000 food, 1,000 wood, 1,000 gold, 500 stone
- Population limit: 200
- Starting units:
Differences between difficulty levels
- On standard/moderate difficulty, Narbonne has no Guard Towers in their base.
- On standard difficulty, the player starts with the Guard Tower upgrade researched.
- Destroy Zaragoza's Castle.
- Destroy Narbonne's Castle.
- Your bases are divided and cannot be connected until the two southernmost Asturian fortresses are destroyed. Difficult as it might be, preserving both bases is vital due to their economic and strategic value.
- You can ignore the Kingdom of Asturias if you like, but its control of strategic locations and constant raids on your flank might make them a necessary target. Each Asturian fortress is also home to a precious holy relic - capturing them can greatly boost your gold income.
- As well as being a potential trade partner, Theodemir of Murcia has pledged to occasionally provide your armies with tribute and military support.
- The Mediterranean Sea is an abundant source of fish. Additionally, a trade route to the Balearic Islands will be quite lucrative, provided you can defend it from enemy vessels.
- This battle takes place centuries before the introduction of gunpowder into Europe.
Your scouts report:
- The Umayyad-Berber army (Yellow) advances in a two-pronged assault on northeastern Iberia. One camp, situated in the south of the map, is poised to strike at the Visigothic castles of Zaragoza (Green) and Narbonne (Cyan), while the second camp, located in the far-west of the map, lies on the border of the Kingdom of Asturias (Red).
- To the far south lies the Visogothic realm of Murcia (Orange), an ally and dependency of the Umayyad Caliphate.
- The city of Zaragoza (Green) guards the easternmost crossing of the Ebro river. Zaragoza will field an army of cavalry, Pikemen, and Skirmishers, and a small navy safeguards the city from seaborne incursions up the Ebro river.
- The city of Narbonne (Cyan) lies in the far northeast of the map on the Mediterranean coastline. Their army consists of Skirmishers and auxiliary Light Cavalry built around a core of infantry. Their navy prowls the Mediterranean, eager to harass any attempts at fishing and trade.
- The Kingdom of Asturias (Red) is by far the greatest threat. Multiple fortresses in defensible, strategic locations sprawl over the western half of the map, and their army of heavy infantry, cavalry, and powerful siege engines will present a serious challenge to your forces.
- The locals (Grey) on the Balearic Islands in the east of the map are willing trade partners and may be willing to allow you to use their mines.
- Player (Berbers): controls two bases, one in the south-center and another in the west. Each has a Town Center, Villagers, a mix of economic and military buildings, and a sizeable primarily-cavalry army. The southern base also has access to the water at the delta and commands several warships.
- Theodemir of Murcia (Goths): Theodemir of Murcia, a Visigothic General, has pledged allegiance to the forces of Tariq and Musa. He has a well fortified base with lots of infantry and a navy. His base is directly south of the player's eastern base and will periodically send the player tributes of gold and some of his soldiers, mainly Champions and Elite Huskarls. He also has a Market and a Dock, which can be used to trade, though it will not make a lot of gold since his base is so close to the player's own base.
- Locals (Goths): The Locals have their base on a small islands across the Balearic Sea, on the eastern edge of the map. They do not play any major role in this scenario except that their island has a lot of gold mines and upon approaching them, they will let the player use their Mining Camp. They also have a Relic on their island which can be carried back and kept in the player's Monastery. Their Market, located northwest of Narbonne's base, will be used by Narbonne to trade and produce gold.
- Kingdom of Asturias (Goths): They are a group of soldiers who have formed a resistance and are being led by Pelayo of Asturias, a Visigoth nobleman. They have four bases spread across the northern and western sides of the map which separate the two main bases of the player. Each of their base is well fortified, with a Castle, Fortified Walls, and quite a few soldiers and siege weapons. They also hold a Relic in a Monastery in each of their four bases. It is not compulsory to defeat them to win, but they will prove to be a big annoyance, especially in the western base of the player if they are not attacked.
- Zaragoza (Spanish): Their city is located at the center of the map and is built on both sides of the Erbo River. Their city is well fortified, with a Castle and three special towers called 'The Tower of Flies' which are stronger than regular Watch Towers and have hitpoint regeneration, but have a smaller range. They will generally train Knights, Light Cavalry, Pikemen, and Elite Skirmishers. They also have a smaller base to the east of their city, which has two Docks and a few soldiers guarding it. They will use these Docks to produce a powerful navy and attack the player's Docks and harass their Fishing Ships, if they try to fish.
- Narbonne (Goths): They have their city at the north-eastern edge of the map, along the coast of the Balearic Sea. Like Zaragoza, their base is also well fortified, along with a powerful navy. They have a large army in their base, comprising of Long Swordsmen, Elite Huskarls, Scorpions, and Battering Rams. They will also use their Galleons and Fire Ships to harass the player's Fishing Ships and attack the player's Docks, along with Zaragoza.
The objective of the scenario is to destroy the Castles of Zaragoza and Narbonne. The player starts with two separate bases – one on the western edge of the map and another one south of Zaragoza. Both bases have their own economic value – the western base has a lot of gold and stone, while the eastern base has lots of trees nearby and is the player's only access to the Balearic Sea and all the fish in it. Thus, all the Villagers in the western base should be put on gold and stone, while those in the eastern base should cut wood and make farms.
Fishing in the sea will be dangerous, since there are two powerful enemy navies to be careful of. Thus, the player should make Galleys first to ward off enemy ships. Once the player has around ten Galleys, they can start making Fishing Ships. Do not forget to upgrade them to War Galleys and use them to protect the Fishing Ships, immediately replacing the ones that are damaged or destroyed. Since Narbonne is more aggressive at the waters, one strategy is to use Demolition Ships to destroy their Docks to end their harassment. Destroy Zaragoza's docks too for a safe trading and fishing environment.
Narbonne will be the first one to strike. They will attack the eastern base after approximately 10-15 in-game minutes. The player should use the initial army to ward off these attacks. Theodemir of Murcia will periodically give the player Elite Huskarls and Champions, so the player does not need to make many troops of their own. The player should research infantry upgrades as these units will benefit from them (including Plate Mail Armor, that the Goths lack, thus giving the player's Elite Huskarls a total of 12 pierce armor instead of 10). It would be good to make one or two Monks to heal the injured soldiers so they can be used for longer.
Over at the Western base, Kingdom of Asturias will begin attacking the player with Elite Huskarls, Scorpions, and Halberdiers. Once the player has collected enough stone, they should immediately construct a Castle outside their base to defend it. Then start making Knights because the player's initial army will not last long. Make sure to only use the Knights to defend the western base and not to attack their base because the player does not need to waste resources and time attacking the Kingdom of Asturias (though the player can attack them if they are proving too much of an annoyance). If the player wants to attack the Asturians, they should keep in mind that the Berbers have excellent castle drop tactics due to the unique tech Kasbah which speeds up Castle performance. Remember to station any camels inside the castles should the Asturians attempt to destroy the Castles with their trebuchets.
By this time, the player should start to advance to the Imperial Age if they have enough resources. It will be difficult to manage both bases, but do not forget to go back to the eastern base to see if the enemies are attacking there. It would also be a good idea to build a Castle outside the eastern base as well to help defend it.
Defend with Castles
It is also possible to defend the base with five Castles (two for each base and another against Narbonne's ships). First, the player must create 10 villagers in each base. In the west base, collect all stone as soon as possible, and collect food in the other base. The first castle must be built in front of the south base before 10 minutes have passed, and the second one besides the river in order to block enemy ships (the AI is quite stupid and will send fleet after fleet against it). Use the ships to secure the area. Three others castles must be built : two in front of the west base, and the fifth besides the first one. The main purpose of the player's armies is to destroy Trebuchets and rams. As soon as possible, research Murder Holes, Ballistics, and Heated Shot (for the anti-naval Castle). Then, develop a strong army (in addition to the ones protecting the Castles) with 4-5 trebuchets, and destroy all fortresses, one by one.
Once the player has reached Imperial Age, go over to the eastern base and start making Trebuchets at the Castle. At least 5-6 Trebuchets are needed so that they can one-strike most buildings. Again, for lesser casualties, I would recommend performing a castle drop outside Zaragoza. Make sure to rack up enough stone from mines, or buy them at the Market if the player has enough gold. Build 2-3 Castles and fill them up with Camel Archers. While the enemy units are rushing to the Castle just to get themselves killed, send the Trebuchets accompanied by a few defending cavalry units to turn the Castle into rubble.
Once Zaragoza is defeated, train more Cavaliers and Trebuchets and take the fight to Narbonne. Bring all the soldiers from both bases since the player does not need the bases anymore. Open a hole in the wall, bring in the Cavaliers to protect the Trebuchets and attack the military buildings, while the Trebuchets attack the Castle. In case the player's soldiers die, keep Cavaliers queued up in the Stables back at the base. Eventually, Narbonne will be overpowered and their Castle will go down.
It is also possible to attack Narbonne from the water. Mass up a huge fleet of Demolition Ships and blow up the wall surrounding the Castle. The Castle should take damage from the Demolition Ship's area of effect damage. For any excess Demolition Ships, just move them to Narbonne's Castle, as close as possible, and just delete them. After the castle is damaged by a half, or a fourth of its HP, transport the champions and Huskarls to the breach by the sea and level the Castle. Once their Castle is destroyed, the player is victorious.
Septimania and the Ebro Valley have fallen beneath the heel of our glorious armies, but we have not achieved a complete victory. Tariq and Musa were forced to return to Damascus, and without their leadership it will be difficult to defeat the Asturians.
The future of the conquest looks bleak. I shall continue to chronicle the events ahead, though I fear that our land may fall victim to invasions and internal strife, like so many other kingdoms before us.