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Duel of the Dukes is the third scenario of the Jadwiga campaign in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition - Dawn of the Dukes. It is based on the Lithuanian Civil War (1389–1392).

Intro[]

Since a king's word is supreme, who can say to him, 'What are you doing?' So says the Preacher.

Vytautas, Jogaila's cousin, disagreed.

Back in Lithuania, he was building an alliance of noblemen who would rather have him as Grand Duke than Jogaila - and people were flocking to him.

Many Lithuanian nobles were disillusioned with Jogaila's reign. The few times the king went back to Lithuania, he spent his days converting the people to Christianity en masse and burning pagan holy sites.

The things that we do for the Pope's approval...

Vytautas was no pagan zealot, but he knew an opportunity when he saw one. As the son of Kestutis, a former duke of Lithuania who had been killed on Jogaila's orders, he also had a bone to pick with his cousin.

That personal mission of revenge resonated with the Lithuanian people, even though Vytautas, being quite accustomed to that ruthless political climate, used it mostly for political gains.

But, as I said, Vytautas knew an opportunity when he saw one.

Scenario instructions[]

Starting conditions[]

Objectives[]

Main objectives[]

  • Seize 8 of the 9 towns on the map by razing their respective Castles.
  • Do not let Vytautas seize all of your towns.

Secondary objectives[]

  • Use your heroes in combat (to fight, heal or convert). The more experience that they gain, the stronger they will become.

Hints[]

  1. In this mission, you will be fighting across the entire map - often in several locations at once with the goal of seizing enemy towns by destroying their Castles. For the most part, you will not have to worry about gathering resources, as you will receive continuous tributes from your Polish allies. However, there is a small economic base in your starting location where you can gather extra resources if you need them.
  2. You cannot build any buildings in this mission, nor can you produce any new Villagers. You also do not need to build Houses to maintain your population limit of 200.
  3. Be aggressive! Vytautas will not rest on his laurels, and neither can you if you want to win.
  4. When selecting your starting towns, be careful which choices you make. For example: if you do not pick a starting town that can produce infantry, you will need to conquer one before you can train that type of unit. Remember that you only control the military production buildings - not including Docks or Monasteries - and Blacksmiths in a town.
  5. Beware of foreign interventions! Some neutral factions might see this civil war as an opportunity to expand their own realms.

Scouts[]

Your scouts report:

  • Jogaila and Jadwiga (1, Red) have arrived in a war-torn Lithuania and set up a small economic camp. They control three of the nine towns in the region.
  • Meanwhile, Vytautas (2, Green) has a small economic base as well as six towns under his control. His starting position is stronger, so you must act quickly to even the odds.
  • To the west lies the realm of the Teutonic Order (4, Grey). The Order is a neutral faction in this war... ostensibly. Its ranks have recently swelled with volunteers from Western Europe, soldiers eager to fight against the "eastern pagans" - by which they mean you!
  • The villages and towns of Lithuania (6, Cyan) have (rather unwillingly) lent their homes and fields as the stage for this great war, but they will take no part in it themselves.
  • Lastly, a contingent of Muscovite soldiers has been seen marching into Lithuania from the far north. While they appear to be a neutral faction, they may have thrown their lot in with Vytautas.

Players[]

Player[]

  • The Player (Poles) is first engaged in a cutscene then prompted to select three towns (in alternate turns with Vytautas). They then start with a base in the southwest of the map along with the three selected towns and the troops in them. The base has an army as well as several Villagers who can only construct resource collection buildings (and no Town Center to train further Villagers).

Allies[]

  • The Polish Forces (Poles) represent the initial units that will be assigned to the player after the cutscene.
  • The Lithuanian Towns (Lithuanians) represent the various Lithuanian settlements in this region being contested by the two rivals, namely Grodno, Kaunas, Krewo, Minsk, Ostrow, Seinai, Trakai, Vilnius, and Volkowysk. They control all the buildings and walls of the various towns which can be captured by the player or Vytautas.

Enemies[]

  • Vytautas (Lithuanians) starts with the initial control of three towns, and will select three in turns with the player at the start.
  • The Teutonic Order (Teutons) starts with a base in the western end of the map defended by Castles and towers. It spawns an army and trains further troops eventually.
  • Muscovy (Slavs) has no base in this area, but its army is spawned eventually.

Strategy[]

This scenario is a highly chaotic one. The player should expect quite a challenge to overcome on Hard difficulty. They should expect setbacks, but the scenario is meant to be played aggressively.

At the beginning of the scenario, the player splits the bases using the flare command between them and Vytautas. When the player picks an infantry/archery/cavalry base, they can expect Vytautas to pick the one remaining of the same type. While being at the player's discretion which bases to pick, it is strongly recommended NOT to pick the cavalry base close to the player's starting location. This base's Castle can easily be taken out by the player's starting forces. Two units are particularly useful in this scenario: Arbalesters and Winged Hussars (get both upgrades early). The player can go for Bombard Cannons or Trebuchets for their siege option. The player will also need Pikemen to complement their forces; they are fully upgraded, but missing the Halberdier upgrade really hurts the Poles in this scenario. The player also has a small outpost for resource gathering and will receive regular tributes for their war efforts. The player will be unable to build any military production building and will find their production building queued up. If the player picked a town with a Blacksmith, researching Bracer, Plate Mail Armor, and Blast Furnace is also worthwhile.

Since the player's starting troops are respawned, they will benefit from upgrades. However, none of the military buildings, not even the starting ones, are affected by the player's upgrades, as they originally belonged to the Lithuanian Towns. In particular, researching Conscription or Hoardings will be a waste of time and resources.

Provided that the player opens this game by taking the cavalry base northeast of their camp, they will have 4 bases. As soon as the player secures one of Green's base (by destroying the enemy Castle which will be replaced by one under the player's control), Muscovy (Orange) will spawn a massive army of Elite Boyars, Two-Handed Swordmen, Pikemen, Heavy Cavalry Archers, and Trebuchets in the north corner of the map by the town with the Wonder and Stables. Green will also start flooding the map with Halberdiers, Champions, Heavy Cavalry Archers, Crossbowmen, Cavaliers/Paladins, rams, and Trebuchets. The player will most likely lose a town to this combined assault, since it is quite difficult to deal with all the Trebuchets in time. The player should abuse the time window from within the gates of the attacked settlement to deal as much range damage as possible to whittle Orange's force away. Orange will resign once all their troops are dead. The player should also consider attacking the infantry stronghold in the dead center of the map while Orange and Green are busy dealing with the player's town. The player should protect any town building archers aggressively. Losing an infantry or cavalry town is a setback, but one that the player can recover from.

Once the player starts to win over Green (at 6/8 town captured), the Teutonic Order (Grey) joins Green against the player. Their base is in the west corner. They usually go for the player's camp, putting the player at risk of losing both their Villagers and their Market. This army of Teutonic Knights, Paladins, Hand Cannoneers, Halberdiers, Siege Onagers, and Bombard Cannons is very hard to repel. The player can fend one, perhaps two attacks with Winged Hussars, Pikemen, and Arbalesters, but should they delay winning the scenario, they will eventually lose their camp. The player should press on and capture the remaining towns as every town they takes reduces how much Green can retaliate. Once the player captures eight towns, both sides call for a ceasefire and the player wins the scenario.

Alternative strategy[]

Some points to realize:

  1. The player does not gain any advantage for taking a town beside more production buildings.
  2. Even worse, taking more than one town puts the player at a significant disadvantage and taking 6/8 towns puts the player on a death timer.
  3. Green has no Villagers and limited production buildings.

Therefore, the player's (devious) attack plan should be:

Never seize a town (except the first) through the scenario. Take all the towns at once and end the scenario in an instant.

This strategy only has the weakness that the player should be extra careful not to lose Archery Ranges or Stables. A group of Hussars patrolling nearby is the best solution to snipe sneaky Trebuchets (If it still happens, consider letting Green take the town and retake it).

Instead, go around the map town by town and destroy all of Green's other production buildings. Stables, Archery Ranges, Barracks, and Siege Workshops. Once all of them are razed, all that Green can spam are Leiciai and Trebuchets. which should be easily defended against. Then damage each Castle until ~100 HP with Obuchs or Trebuchets and deal the killing blow to all of them in a coordinated attack.

If the player wants to fight Orange. the player can also just send all the army up to the Wonder town after the player destroys all of Green's production buildings. Just take a Castle (preferably the one with the University) and wipe out Orange at spawn location. Razing the three remaining Castles is still recommended.

In terms of units:

Forget about the Barracks units. The Polish Obuch is much better than Polish Champions or Pikemen (even against cavalry!), and can also be used to raze buildings. Instead, focus on Arbalesters, Obuchs in front, and Winged Hussars to snipe siege weapons and archers.

Outro[]

Vytautas, much like Jogaila, was at heart a pragmatist.

Apparently that is what they call themselves, the men who would shake hands with their father's murderer for a bit of land and a slightly fancier title.

As total victory proved impossible, Vytautas settled for a partial one. He would become Duke of Lithuania, claiming Jogaila's old title, but Jogaila would remain his overlord; and with the stroke of a pen, the Lithuanian civil war came to a close.

For all of the bloodshed that we had seen, I believe that something was born that day that will eclipse any of their military victories: a true union between our countries.

It happened gradually, but it dawned on me at last why I had been put in this role as queen. I had been placed there by Providence to preserve this union; this bond of peace between two countries and their peoples.

It is a beautiful thing, peace - a rare thing; a golden seam that glitters only for a moment in the fabric of reality.

If I leave no other legacy than having kept this union intact for a few more years, I shall have served my people well.

Trivia[]

  • In the southern corner of the map, there is a King unit named "LordBasse" next to a burning House. LordBasse is the scenario designer for the Jadwiga campaign.
  • While Conscription and Hoardings are available in this scenario, they will not benefit the player's military buildings, since they originally belonged to the Lithuanian Towns, therefore just wasting the research cost.
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