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Guiscard Arrives is the first scenario of the The Hautevilles campaign in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition - Lords of the West.

Intro[]

"Sit down, my king," I said to the young Frederick Roger as he entered the garden. "It is time for your studies. Your German tutors have no doubt told you of the deeds of your Teutonic grandfather."

"I know that story by heart," the boy king replied proudly.

"Indeed," I said with a wink, "but I will tell you of the other side of your family - for you are firstly a son of Sicily."

"Ah, dear Sicily, a kingdom like no other: where three people were fused under the southern sun and formed the jewel that lies between East and West."

"It was the Norman side of your family that made it all possible. Normandy was a cold, northern land of steel and chivalry. But it was also overflowing with the younger sons of minor barons - men aspiring to a greatness that exceeded the constraints of birth and station."

"This story - your story - begins with your great grandfather's brother, Robert de Hauteville: a man of immense stature, with fair hair, broad shoulders, and eyes that all but shot out sparks of flame."

"Robert was driven and possessed that incorrigible confidence that melts away doubts and allows ambition to keep pace with imagination. More cunning than any foe he faced, he was ever-vigilant to seize any advantage, win through any means, and remain unbound by the rules of lesser men."

"You speak of him as a great man...but what did he do?" the boy king asked, his eyes now wide with childish enthusiasm. I answered: "Robert was the first to unite all Italian Normans under a single ruler, but his origins were very humble."

"He came from Normandy to Italy with scarcely thirty followers and sought fortune in this land that so often rewards those with the daring and brilliance to seize it..."

Scenario instructions[]

Starting conditions[]

Differences between difficulty levels[]

Objectives[]

  • Speak with Drogo de Hauteville.

After speaking with Drogo:

  • Bring Robert to his followers.

After reuniting with your followers, choose one of the following objectives:

  • Betray and capture a Norman barony by killing its garrison. To betray a player, go to the diplomacy screen and change your stance to that player to Neutral or Enemy.
  • Travel to Salerno to serve the Lombards.
  • Travel to Bari to serve the Byzantines.

Subsequently:

  • Control 4 Norman baronies. (3 on standard difficulty)
  • Destroy either the Lombard or Byzantine Castle.

Secondary objectives:

  • Fight with your heroes to improve their skill in battle.
  • Capture Norman baronies to increase your population.
  • Capture Villages to gain Villagers and resources.
  • Serve either the Lombards or Byzantines.
    • (if the player changes diplomatic stance with the Lombards) Serve the Byzantines by going to their Castle.
    • (if the player changes diplomatic stance with the Byzantines) Serve the Lombards by going to their Castle.

Hints[]

  1. Robert de Hauteville is restricted to the Castle Age.
  2. Your population limit is 160, but you cannot build Houses. Instead, you must capture Norman baronies and villages to increase your population limit.
  3. You have a few options to establish yourself. Go to the Lombard or Byzantine cities to receive land in exchange for future tribute to your liege lord. Alternatively, you can capture a Norman barony by betraying your kinsmen, preserving your independence.
  4. You can capture Norman baronies or enemy villages by killing the units defending them. Capture Norman baronies for military buildings and troops; capture villages for Villagers and economic buildings.
  5. If you choose to serve the Lombards or the Byzantines, you might find continued service to a liege lord expensive. You can always change diplomacy and rebel against them.
  6. The Normans only respect martial strength, so your Hauteville heroes must lead from the front. Your heroes will improve their skill in battle as they fight enemy units, so use them in battle often.

Scouts[]

Your scouts report:

  • Robert de Hauteville (1, Blue) has arrived in Southern Italy seeking lands and wealth that he cannot earn in Normandy as a younger son of a minor baron.
  • Other Normans (2, Red) arrived decades ago, taking advantage of Italian division to seize baronies of their own in the mountains. Securing these baronies is crucial, as the Normans there can bolster Robert's warbands. The Normans fight as Knight and Serjeants with components of support troops.
  • The Norman Drengot family (3, Cyan) competes with the Hautevilles in Italy. Their raiders will emerge from the sea and from the Norman baronies to indiscriminately plunder the region. They fight primarily as Knights and Light Cavalry.
  • The Byzantines (5, Purple) once ruled all of Southern Italy. The failed revolt of a Lombard prince named Melus—supported by the first Norman arrivals—led to the weakening of Byzantine authority. Nevertheless, under Melus' son, Argyrus, the Byzantines have reasserted themselves in the east and the south with their diverse army and Legionaries.
  • Prince Guaimar (4, Yellow) rules the Lombards, descendants of Germanic immigrants who populate the north. The Lombards fight as infantry and archers. Prince Guaimar is determined to rid Italy of the Byzantines, even if it means risking the arrival of the more dangerous Normans.
  • Finally, Saracen Pirates (6, Green) threaten all of Italy from their base In Sicily, where they receive the protection of the local Arab emirs. The pirates fight primarily from the sea with Galleys, but will also land raiders on Italy's shores.

Players[]

Player[]

Allies → Enemies[]

  • Norman Barons (Sicilians - Normans): are the forces of former arrival Norman Barons. Once the player leave the court of Drogo and kill a Norman Baron, they will change their diplomatic stance to Enemy. This player controls the five Norman Camps as well as the Court of the Hauteville brothers.
  • Guaimar the Lombard (Italians): are the forces of the Lombard Prince Guaimar. He will initially invite Robert to seek shelter in the Lombard lands, but as soon as the player clear the forces of the Norman Barons, Guaimar will eventually grow weary of the player´s expansion. Nevertheless, He will decide to switch the diplomatic stance with the player to Enemy, and the player will have to defeat the Lombards by destroy their Castles.
  • Argyrus the Byzantine (Byzantines): are the army of Argyrus, son of Melus of Bari. Will also invite Robert Guiscard to serve him, but after the Lombards betrays the player and the Norman Barons defeated, they will remain as an ally for the rest of the scenario.

Enemies[]

  • Drengots (Sicilians): are the Norman raiders of Ranulf Drengot, Guiscard´s main rival. This player will not expand their base and only spawns Light Cavalry and Knights from the former Norman Barons to attack the player.
  • Saracen Pirates (Saracens): has their Navy patrol the Sea and will occassionally sends Transport Ships with Camels and Mamelukes to plunder Italy and the player´s base.

Strategy[]

With the starting troops the player gathers just south the gate, go north and claim the first Red camp by changing diplomacy and attacking the troops guarding it. Always engage Guiscard, but do not let him get killed, since his ability to increase HP and attack makes him almost a one man army. With good micro, the player can win this battle without losing any units. Do not destroy the buildings, since the player will inherit them.

Now the player has more population room and will receive a small band of Serjeants. Train as many Serjeants as possible with the initial resources. There is no reason to save resources, as the player has to be aggressive throughout the first part of the scenario.

Take the troops west and cross the river to reach the Yellow village, but do not attack it yet. Keep going west and enter the walled town, which is a different village. Position the units according to their strengths: a Light Cavalry to take out the Monk, Serjeants to deal with Pikemen, and the remaining Light Cavalry and Knights and Guiscard to kill the Genoese Crossbowmen. Do not worry much about anti-cavalry bonus, since the Sicilian bonus halves this feature. It is a good idea to start the attack just when the patrolling Light Cavalry cross the gate to leave the village.

Now the player has a walled base to protect the Villagers and a Town Center the player would have to build if they attacked the first Yellow village. Plus, the player has a University to improve the defenses against Green and Cyan attacks.

Green will come from a base far south across the sea that is not worth destroying, unloading Camels and Mamelukes from Transport Ships. Cyan will harass the player with Light Cavalry and Knights that spam periodically from Red bases. They also unload troops from Transport Ships that come out of nowhere from the western corner of the map. The player can destroy these ships as soon as they appear with a few War Galleys or Fire Ships, but the player will have to build a Dock and will lose precious population room.

Assign the Villagers to work and train more Serjeants at the Donjon to help defeat the Yellow troops in the camp outside. Keep mining stone there and from the mine east across the river until the player has enough to build three Donjons. Place the first one behind the west gate to defend against enemy troops that Cyan and Green may unload there to attack the player's walls. Place two others east, on both margins of the river that enemy Transports Ships will sail to unload troops near the mines. Research Ballistics and Heated Shot and the player should be safe against such attacks.

Keep mining stone and build a Castle to guard the outside village. Since the player's enemies will not deploy Rams, research Murder Holes and the player is safe.

Now the focus is completing the scenario. If the player wants it done as soon as possible, kill the Pikemen and Crossbowmen guarding the Yellow village south, build a Siege Workshop and lay siege to their Castle further south. It is guarded with the same kind of troops the player fought before. Lure them outside the gates and kill them so the player's rams can take down the Castle and the player will be victorious.

If the player wants to explore the whole scenario, ignore the Yellow Castle for now. Train an army to conquer the remaining Red bases and Yellow and Purple villages. Neither of them are aggressive or train more troops, so if the player secured the town against Green and Cyan, they can focus on claiming their lands.

Red will guard their remaining strongholds with Crossbowmen, Knights and Serjeants. They are in expressive numbers, so make sure to have a balanced army to deal with these foes. Plus, since enemy troops are scattered througout tight areas, the player has to micro in order to defeat them without sustaining heavy losses.

Do not forget to fight with Guiscard often so his HP and attack keep going up. Since his progress also triggers the arrival of troops from Tansport Ships, make sure the player's population cap is always full. The player will receive Knights, Serjeants and eventually a pair of Trebuchets. Once these siege weapons arrive, the scenario is all but won, since the player can make light work of the Yellow Castle. This scenario is restricted to the Castle Age, so do not lose these Trebuchets.

Each Red camp conquered increases the population room by 15, but the player has to face larger number of enemy units to claim them. Yellow and Purple villages are easier to claim, but will increase population cap by only 5. On the other hand, the player gets tributed resources once they capture them. So the player should focus on what they need more first.

There is one more Yellow village on the west coast. Once the player claims it, Cyan will focus their raids there, so it is a good idea to build a Castle nearby to defend it.

Keep going south through the west coast to find the first Purple village. The Byzantine settlements are guarded by Long Swordsmen, Pikemen, Crossbowmen and Cataphracts. These battles will be fought in close quarters, so micro carefully or just outnumber them. The last Purple village on this side of the map has a Monastery with a Relic. Defeat the Legionaries guarding it, train a Monk and garrison the Relic.

There is also a Relic just north, next to some Roman ruins. A third one can be found in an island to the west, inside Green camp. The player will have to deal with War Galleys and a Tower to capture it.

There are always small batches of gold and stone in Byzantine camps, so the player may need to conquer them once the bigger mines next to each Red camp are mined out. There is no need to rush, though, since the Purple Villagers mining them are not actually decreasing the amount of resources on the mines. Another gold mine can be found north of the main Red base where the player starts the scenario.

After sweeping the left side of Italy, go east to start the last leg of a U-turn to claim the Purple villages by the east coast. Cross the river to reach the Purple camp with a Town Center and go east again to conquer the last villages on the coast. Go up north, outside the Purple walled town, to find another batch of gold.

After conquering all of the enemy villages, the player reaches maximum population room of 160, which is more than enough to field an army able to face the Purple units guarding their Castle. Use the two Trebuchets to win. If the player does not have them, use rams.

Alternatively, the player can opt to serve Yellow or Purple, as said in the instructions. Any of these lords will give the player the village with the Town Center nearest to their Castle, but the player will have to tribute them resources when they order the player to do so. They will grow increasingly suspicious of the player's activities if the player keeps building on their lands, so be ready to face one of them anyway. This alternative is not recommended, since it increases the scenario's difficulty, and the player will not unlock the achievement "Self-Made Man".

Alternative strategy[]

As above, capture the first red Barony north of the starting location, go past the river west and continue into the fortified town. Position troops next to the Yellow player's units, set diplomacy to Neutral (as to avoid accidentally killing any Villagers) then capture the town. Use the Monastery to train one Monk to heal up the forces, and whittle down the enemy troops next to the Mining Camps while healing the Knights after each mining-raid (they do not give chase). Use the starting Villagers in the meantime to Palisade Wall up the coast so the Cyan and Green players cannot land (since update 51737, the player can also build Donjons to sink enemy Transport Ships). This saves the player a fair amount of stone on multiple Donjons - simply place one Donjon south of the gate to defend the palisades from Green galleys. In the meantime, research Murder Holes and build a Castle next to the shallows near the mineral resources, which the player should have captured from yellow without any losses. Eventually get Masonry and Ballistics as well. After about 4-5 Villagers on gold, 3-ish on Stone, 7-8-ish on food (there is a safer Mill north of the University) and about 6-7 on wood, simply stop making Villagers. Turtle and wait (the opponents do not train siege weaponry, so a Monk and the starting knights and Serjeants can hold the Castle and shallows indefinitely. Use this opportunity to train Guiscard, he potentially grows to 400 hit points and around 30 attack) and do nothing until the player has around 12-15 Petards (it is better to do this quickly, as population space will become sparse). At this point, the Byzantines should still be the player's allies. Use this opportunity to send a Villager with the Petards, hug the northern edge of the map, go east until the player gets to the two red Docks (completely bypassing the red fortress where the scenario began), build a Dock and one Transport Ship (may need to delete some Serjeants for population space). Alternatively, if the first wave of reinforcements from the sea has arrived already, unload the Transport Ship by the player's Castle, then sail it around Italy instead (it should survive the trip so long as the player does not run into yellow's towers or engage with the green player's warships), load all the Petards into the ship, sail into the Byzantine base, and garrison all Petards into the Castle.

Now using all the reinforcements the player has been getting throughout the game, the player should be way over the population limit (hence it was imperative to create the Petards and Transport Ship early). Fully upgrade the Knights and Serjeants, use the stockpiled stone to build additional Town Centers, research First Crusade at the Castle to gain 35 additional Post-Castle Age Serjeants. Then send them plus the Knights to each Barony and conquer them with the entire military. At this stage, the player can simply hug the forest east of the yellow Town Center and largely bypass the village or just plough through it. Take the remaining Baronies, losses on the player's side do not really matter. Then simply set diplomacy to the purple player to Neutral/Enemy and destroy their Castle with the Petards. Even if the Trebuchet reinforcements have arrived at this stage it would be quicker to Petard down the Byzantine Castle than to siege yellow's remaining forces.

Outro[]

"The Italians called Robert, 'Guiscard': the cunning fox. In a few decades, he had brought all of Southern Italy to heel, but his imagination and his cunning would carry him across the horizon to new conquests."

"Where did he go next?" The boy king nearly jumped up as he asked.

"That is a story for tomorrow...not even a king can learn all of history in a single day."

I remained in the garden as young Frederick Roger hurried off, a smile resting on my face. Already I could see in him the shadow of his forefathers. Perhaps, one day, this boy would eclipse them all.

Trivia[]

  • As Robert's renown increases, ships filled with Norman soldiers will arrive from overseas. One of them will contain Robert's brother Roger Bosso, protagonist in the campaign's following scenario.
  • The player gets two different victory messages from Robert Guiscard based on which Castle they destroy.
    • If the player destroys the Lombard Castle, they will get the message "Salerno's power is broken, but the Lombards remain rebellious. I will take their princess Sikelgaita as my wife so that the people bend to my will." Sikelgaita makes a comeback appearence in the third scenario of the campaign.
    • If the player destroys the Byzantine Castle, they will get the message "Run to Constantinople and tell your emperor that Robert de Hauteville calls for him! His court historians will soon know my name well!"
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