Hammer of the Scots is the fifth and final scenario of the Edward Longshanks campaign in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition - Lords of the West.
The Scots did not take their humbling well. A year after Balliol's defeat, they rallied around the fiery knight William Wallace and poured out of the highlands like rabid wolves.
Wallace was said to be a seven-foot-tall giant who lopped off the heads of horses and men with a five-and-a-half-foot sword: a barbaric match for my own ferocious father.
After a string of unexpected victories, Wallace's rebels were scattered at the Battle of Falkirk and forced into hiding. Like a vengeful spectre, he continued to harry English troops and convoys from the shadows.
Undaunted, Edward and his commander Aymer de Valence approached Stirling Castle. Accompanying them was Robert the Bruce, a Scottish lord sworn to Edward but known to covet the Scottish crown. Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer, as the ancient adage goes.
Taking after his famed predecessor Richard the Lionheart, he ordered the construction of a massive set of trebuchets near the walls of Stirling.
His warning to the defenders was simple and dreadful: surrender or face bombardment more ferocious than a rain of hellfire and brimstone.
- Starting Age: Imperial Age
- Starting resources: 0 food, 0 wood, 0 gold, 0 stone
- Population limit: 200
- Starting units:
- Defend the English engineers from Scottish attacks.
- (subsequently) Research Warwolf.
- (subsequently) Kill Stirling Castle's Garrison.
After killing Stirling Castle's Garrison:
- Defeat Wallace's Army.
- (secondary) Kill William Wallace.
- Defeat Robert the Bruce.
- King Edward's forces can support a population limit of 200, but still cannot construct Cannon Galleons.
- Shrewd management of your limited forces is key to accomplishing your initial objectives. Use Longbowmen against infantry, Pikemen against cavalry, and Knights against Skirmishers.
- Wallace's charismatic leadership holds his forces together. Kill him and his men will disband.
- Robert the Bruce covets the Scottish crown. He is your sworn vassal for the time being, but cannot be trusted.
- The Scots will defend their lands fiercely. Build forward bases to control resources and sustain offensives.
Your scouts report:
- King Edward (1, Red) camps outside of Stirling Castle with a besieging force, supported by the English army (3, Orange) and its engineers (2, Yellow).
- Stirling Castle (5, Grey) is defended by a starving and desperate garrison (6, Purple) of infantry, Skirmishers, and Light Cavalry.
- William Wallace (8, Blue) camps near Glasgow to the southwest, surrounded by a fiercely loyal bodyguard. His army (7, Cyan) is composed of cavalry, swordsmen, and Crossbowmen.
- Edward's vassal Robert the Bruce (4, Green), a lord with a claim to the crown of Scotland, camps to the northeast near Methven. His forces of Pikemen, Woad Raiders, and siege engines are the best that Scotland has to offer.
- Player (Britons): The player starts with a sizeable army of Pikemen, Knights, and Longbowmen, and is tasked with defending the English Engineers while they are gathering the resources to build the Warwolf Trebuchet.
- English Engineers (Britons): They collect resources near Stirling Castle and must be protected.
- The English Army (Britons): They are inactive for the time being, but their units and buildings will turn over to the player as soon as the Stirling Garrison is defeated.
Ally → Enemy
- Robert the Bruce (Celts): Robert is at first allied with the player, but will soon betray the player. He is the most dangerous player, and he maintains his base in the northern area of the map. He deploys Halberdiers, Elite Woad Raiders, and siege weapons to attack the player. He will also send Galleons to harrass the player's eastern base.
- The Stirling Garrison (Celts): A starving and depleted garrison, they occupy Stirling with Light Cavalry, Skirmishers, infantry, and Scorpions.
- William Wallace (Celts): He makes his camp in the southwest of the map along with his army. Killing their namesake hero will make Wallace's Army resign.
- Wallace's Army (Celts): The army of William Wallace. They are composed of cavalry, swordsmen, Crossbowmen, and rams.
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In the beginning, the player will be tasked with defending the engineers from the Garrison while they gather wood and stone for the player. After five minutes, the player is told to research the unique technology Warwolf, and then the hero Trebuchet will be created.
William Wallace and his army will be the player's only enemies at first, but soon, Robert the Bruce will betray the player. Both enemies will actively attack the player. However, killing William Wallace himself will make the Army resign.
Killing William Wallace
It is strongly recommended that the player kills Wallace as soon as they get the Trebuchet, as not only will the player have just one enemy to focus on, the "Malleus Scotorum" achievement (to kill William Wallace before Robert the Bruce's betrayal) will also be unlocked. Diplomatic stances are locked in this scenario, but the player can use Warwolf's blast damage to destroy the barricade using the attack ground feature. Send the army south, including the Trebuchet. Unpack the Trebuchet, and use it to destroy the Guard Towers guarding Wallace's camp. Wallace's army should come to attack the player, but they can easily be dealt with by using Longbowmen and Knights in front to tank. Lure Wallace's units out of the camp one by one, and watch out for Onager shots. The player has to practice utmost caution when it comes to Celtic siege weapons, because they fire faster and have extra hit points thanks to Furor Celtica. The player should use the Knights to shred the Onagers, although by timing it right they can actually use Warwolf to do so instead. As soon as Wallace's guards are killed, the player can proceed to kill Wallace himself. As Wallace has high HP, the player should make use of the elevated terrain, and fight the hero unit on the higher ground. He will go down with the Knights and Longbowmen the player has. Put the Longbowmen on one of the lower hills, and then use the Knights to lure Wallace towards them. As he is on defensive stance, he should never actually reach the Longbowmen, and the process can be repeated unit he is killed. Once Wallace is gone, the player has one less enemy to worry about. As soon as the player receives the buildings and resources, the Army resigns immediately.
Defeating the Garrison
If the player has a good number of units remaining, the player should use them to kill the garrison. As the gates are locked, the Long Swordsmen will fall to Longbowmen. Because the Longbowmen outrange the Skirmishers, they can actually kill them while standing safely out of range. The player still must exercise caution when dealing with Skirmishers. Use Monks to heal the Longbowmen while dealing with the Scorpions and Skirmishers. After most of the Garrison are gone, the player can smash the gate and then use the Knights to end the remaining Garrison. Once they are defeated, the English Army will turn all they have to the player.
Defeating Robert the Bruce
Shortly after the real game begins, Robert the Bruce will betray the player. The player has to wall off the shallows and bridges, and build ships to intercept enemy units, particularly Trebuchets, trying to attack the player's base. As mentioned before, the player has to watch out for their Siege Onagers, as Celtic ones are deadlier than generic ones. One Siege Onager shot can massacre a group of Longbowmen if it gets within range. If the Gold Mines are running out, the player can trade with the Market that Wallace left behind. There's no need to worry about the eastern base getting attacked by the Galleons, as most of the attention is paid in the western base. Robert's Galleons will get destroyed anyway.
By the time the player has a good number of Cavaliers, Elite Longbowmen, and Trebuchets, it is time to go on the offensive. Robert has three Castles: two at the northernmost corner of the map and one in the eastern base. The player should prioritize destroying the Castles first, since Robert's Trebuchets are the biggest threat. As soon as the Castles are razed, the player can attack the rest of Robert's base. Siege Workshops should be the next: while mass Elite Longbowmen can easily destroy enemy Siege Onagers using hit-and-run tactics (since they outrange them by 3 tiles), a small in-game distraction is all it takes for a Siege Onager shot to massacre them, so it is safer to ensure Robert cannot build them.
It should be noted that Robert will attempt to rebuild their Castles, so try not to let this happen. After all of the Town Centers are razed, the player should kill off any surviving Villagers wandering around in the map. As soon as the Town Centers, Siege Workshops, and Castles are down, the player can wipe out the rest of Robert's base, and the player will be victorious.
Alternative method to defeat Robert the Bruce earlier
Because the game starts with Robert the Bruce being allied to the player, it is possible to attack him before he betrays the player. To do this, kill Wallace first, then pack the Trebuchet and move it northeast, towards the top of the map. Because Warwolf is able to cause allied damage when attacking, it can be unpacked and used to attack ground on all of Robert's buildings. After destroying Robert's three bases, the player can come back and use Warwolf to snipe Robert himself and John Comyn. Due to their stance, they will not actually move, unlike the other units in Robert's army, and the 100% accurate Trebuchet can easily one-shot them. Killing them seems to have no detrimental effects, and is worth doing. Only after this should the Stirling garrison be destroyed. Robert's army will quickly try and rebuild after betraying the player, but it will be some time before they can produce new military. Use all the Villagers to start building Castles on the bridges to Robert's land, ideally near where his southernmost base was. Progressively step these in, and use them to kill all of Robert's military. The collective Halberdiers and Elite Woad Raiders will be able to destroy an ungarrisoned Castle, but they can be lured to a second one and easily dealt with. It does not matter if the player loses any, or even all, of the Villagers, provided they are able to kill Robert's entire army. The player should then research Bracer, and use the remaining resources to create as many Longbowmen as possible. Because Robert will not rebuild any Castles straight away, and instead will build a lot of other production buildings and try to reboom, the player will be able to use Warwolf and the Longbowmen to destroy buildings and snipe Villagers, respectively. Once most/all of Robert's Villagers and production buildings are destroyed, the player will win the scenario.
William Wallace's body was butchered and his remains were scattered across Scotland as a grim warning to any who might fancy themselves a heroic rebel.
Yet, the effect was the opposite of what my father hoped for. The dying embers of rebellion were kindled into a raging flame as the treacherous Robert the Bruce renounced his vassalage and raised his banners.
With his last war still raging, my father, the mighty king of England and Hammer of the Scots, passed away. England is now mine to rule; his vision mine to fulfill... or to squander.
Robert the Bruce remains a threat and unrest brews throughout England; even my own barons show contempt and demand that my powers be diminished.
I have studied all that my father did, and still the task at hand terrifies me. He faced every adversity and grew to be a great king; yet I already feel my soul buckling under the weight of the crown.
I am king now, but what king shall I be? Should I be deceptive, as my father was in his youth? Should I be the pious and chivalrous administrator. Or brutal to no ends, a new Hammer of the Scots?
How ever can a man become so great as to fulfill all of these roles? I fear that there is no answer.
Even so... when I stand by my father's tomb, the fear and the shame sometimes sweep aside. Deep within me, I know that, whatever else, I must try. I must fight for my crown, my kingdom, and for my father's legacy...
...I will not fail you, father.
- The scenario achievement's name, "Malleus Scotorum", is the Latin translation of the scenario's name.
- In real life, Wallace survived his defeat at Falkirk in 1298 and fled to France, where he remained in exile until returning to Scotland in 1304. His capture, trial and execution by the English took place in 1305, a full seven years after the Battle of Falkirk.