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Hastings is a campaign scenario in the Battles of the Conquerors. The player controls William the Conqueror (blue) in his quest to invade Britain. This scenario is based on the Battle of Hastings, while the Battle of Stamford Bridge is also depicted as well.

Intro[]

Mercenaries and Norman knights look dubiously at the ships that wobble in the black, fog-choked sea. What man is this Duke William to put so many horses on leaky transports? William ignores their questioning glances and stares across the channel in the direction of England.

Edward the Confessor is dead, and now three men claim rulership of England. Harold the Saxon sits on the English throne and even now hastens to fortify his shores against two invasions.

Harald Hardrada, King of Denmark and Norway, sends Vikings from the north as William invades from the south. The outcome of this three-way conflict is as murky as the fog that shrouds the English Channel.

Harold the Saxon's huskarls are professional soldiers, not mercenaries. William's only chance is to use heavy cavalry. To do so, he must first get all of these horses onto these unreliable boats. The future of England is about to be decided...

Mercenaries and Norman knights look dubiously at the ships that wobble in the black, fog-choked sea. What man is this Duke William to put so many horses on leaky transports? William ignores their questioning glances and stares across the channel in the direction of England.

Edward the Confessor is dead, and now three men claim rulership of England. Harold the Saxon sits on the English throne and even now hastens to fortify his shores against two invasions.

Harald Hardraade, King of Denmark and Norway, sends Vikings from the north as William invades from the south. The outcome of this three-way conflict is as murky as the fog that shrouds the English Channel.

Harold the Saxon's huskarls are professional soldiers, not mercenaries. William's only chance of defeating them is to use heavy cavalry. To do so, he must first get all of these horses onto these unreliable boats. The future of England is about to be decided...

Scenario Instructions[]

Starting Conditions[]

Differences between difficulty levels[]

  • On Standard, the player will start with Murder Holes already researched. There will be no Bombard Tower to the west, east, and south of Harold the Saxon's Castle. Harold the Saxon will not train as many units and so it will be easier to destroy the enemy Castle.

Objectives[]

  • William the Conqueror must survive.
  • Conquer England by destroying the Castle of Harold the Saxon (orange).

Later Objectives[]

  • OPTIONAL: Send Transports to the north to pick up Harald Hardraade's Viking Berserks.

Hints[]

  • 1. While you prepare your army to invade England, be watchful of Saxon attacks into Normandy.
  • 2. The Isle of Wight, along England's southern shore, is a safe staging ground for your invasion.

Scouts[]

  • Your scouts report: The Normans (blue) have a large town established in France. Their lands should be free of enemy marauders, but Harold's Raiders (yellow) could attack at any moment.
  • The Saxon Navy (red) will try to repel any Norman Transports or warships that threaten Harold's Army (orange). You can try to defeat the Saxon Navy's shipyards to the north and south before laying siege to Harold the Saxon's Castle near London.
  • The Vikings under Harald Hardraade (cyan) are a wildcard. They are at war with Harold the Saxon, but can they be trusted?

Players[]

Enemy → Ally[]

  • Harald Hardraade (Vikings) is in Norway, at the northern tip of the map. He has Berserks and Longboats. Once the player accepts his alliance offer, he will begin his invasion of England, having his ground forces defeated at Stamford Bridge (at the northwest), while having a few Longboats sunk at the south of England. After this, the player will take control of his hero unit, as well as his Berserks and Longboats, which are still in Norway, and he will request a Transport Ship. Once the player's Transport Ship reaches Norway, the player will receive tribute from him.

Enemies[]

  • Harold's Raiders (Goths) are at the southeastern part of the map, with a Watch Tower and a few soldiers at the northeastern part of the map. Despite being the nearest threat, they will remain stationary and will not actively attack the player, unless provoked (e.g. entering their line of sight). Their force consists of Huskarls and Pikemen.
  • Harold the Saxon (Goths) is at the central-western part of the map, where London is located. The player must destroy his Castle there to win. His army is primarily composed of Huskarls, Spearmen and Archers, and he will upgrade these units.
  • Saxon Navy (Goths) is protecting Harold the Saxon, having a ground military base at the western tip of the map (including a Market), two Docks at the northwestern part of the map, and a civilian base at the southern-central part of the map (including a Dock). It is the strongest player in this scenario, and will advance to the Imperial Age soon. The navy will keep invading France until all their docks are destroyed. They field Galleys and Fire Galleys at sea, and employ a mix of Huskarls, Spearmen, and Battering Rams on land, and will upgrade all of these units as soon as they are able.

Strategy[]

At the start of the game, both the Saxons (Harold's Raiders (yellow), Harold the Saxon (orange), and Saxon Navy (red), all Goths) and the Vikings (Harald Hardraade, cyan) are hostile to the player. Research Murder Holes, Bodkin Arrow, and Ballistics and mine stone for a second Castle on the shore. Meanwhile, use William the Conqueror to scout the path to the shore and lure any enemy units into the player's starting Castle. When the path is cleared, send the Villagers to build the second Castle, which will take care of enemy ships and prevent enemy landings.

After 2 minutes and 50 seconds, Hardraade will offer an alliance, which the player should accept. Then the player can watch his soldiers' failed invasion of England, and the player will take control of him and his remaining warriors (still in Norway).

Meanwhile the Saxon Navy will attack with a small group of Huskarls. When this happens, garrison the Villagers in the Castle and let the Castle kill the Huskarls.

When the second Castle is built, build a Dock and a Transport Ship to transport Hardraade's units to Normandy, where they can help defend the player's base from the Saxon Navy's landings.

Keep gathering resources, advance to the Imperial Age, and start creating an army and a navy to defend the Transport Ships (research Careening). Since the Saxons rely on Huskarls, training archers is out of the question (the creation of Hand Cannoneers is disabled in this scenario). While the narration suggests using heavy cavalry against enemy Huskarls, the Saxons also train Halberdiers, and, thanks to the Goths' civilization bonuses, as well as their unique technology Perfusion, they can easily overwhelm the player's cavalry. Therefore, it is better to use Elite Throwing Axemen (research the Frankish unique technology Bearded Axe) and Hardraade's surviving Berserks. Since Harold the Saxon's Castle is uphill and has 9,600 HP, the player should also bring lots of Trebuchets (with Siege Engineers researched). Since the player may end up being overwhelmed by Harold the Saxon's numerical advantage, the Trebuchets should focus on destroying the Castle as fast as possible.

Note: if playing on standard difficulty, Harold the Saxon does not train as many units and so Hardraade's Berserks are enough to protect the player's Trebuchets.

Alternatively, the player can train 40 Petards (once again, research Siege Engineers), which have the advantage of being way cheaper than Trebuchets, and send them to destroy the Castle. With such an high number of Petards, Harold the Saxon will not be able to kill them before they get close enough to the Castle and destroy it.

Outro[]

Harold the Saxon's huskarls looked certain to defend the crown for him as they fought the Vikings to a bloody stalemate at Stamford Bridge. Despite his losses, Harold marched his exhausted troops south to meet William the Conqueror near Hastings.

William's archers and pikemen were no match for Harold the Saxon's veteran huskarls, Harold even broke the charge of William's Knights. William himself went down in the fray, and as rumors of his death spread, the Normans turned to flee.

William was not dead, however, and he rallied his troops by throwing aside his helmet so they could see his clean-shaven face and know that he was alive. William and his armored knights rode down the huskarls, breaking the Saxon force, and continued their ride all the way to London. William was crowned king on Christmas Day.

Because his reign eventually ushered England into a position of unprecedented world leadership, the year 1066 became established as the most famous date in English history.

Harold the Saxon's huskarls looked certain to defend the crown for him as they fought the Vikings to a bloody stalemate at Stamford Bridge. Despite his losses, Harold marched his exhausted troops south to meet William the Conqueror near Hastings.

William's archers and pikemen were no match for Harold the Saxon's veteran huskarls. Harold even broke the charge of William's Knights. William himself went down in the fray and as rumors of his death spread, the Normans turned to flee.

But William was not dead, and he rallied his troops by throwing aside his helmet so they could see his clean-shaven face and know he was alive. William and his armored knights rode down the huskarls, breaking the Saxon force, and continued their ride all the way to London. William was crowned king on Christmas Day.

Because his reign eventually ushered England into a position of unprecedented world leadership, the year 1066 became established as the most famous date in English history.

Trivia[]

  • In reality, Harald Hardraade and William the Conqueror were separated claimants over the English throne.
  • Contrary to the game, Harald Hardraade was actually killed in the Battle of Stamford Bridge, marking the end of the Viking Age.
  • The Normans are represented in this scenario by the Franks, which is historically accurate as the descendants of the Viking settlers of Normandy under Rollo had by the time of the Norman conquest assimilated into the culture of their adopted country and did indeed consider themselves as Franks (the terms French and France did not come into widespread use until the reign of King Phillip II Augustus), albeit speaking their own distinct dialect of the French language.
  • The Normans in this scenario are represented by the Franks, while the Normans in the The Hautevilles campaign and the AI players in the Bari campaign are represented by Sicilians.
  • Harold is represented by the Goths. While seemingly not historically accurate, it is a better fit than the Britons for the infantry-heavy armies of the Anglo-Saxons, the troops of which were the household troops or huscarl, the old English spelling of the Danish Huskarl.
  • The intro states that Harald Hardraade was King of Denmark and Norway; only the latter is true. The King of Denmark at the time was Sweyn II.
  • In the co-op campaign mode, both human players are unable to build Trebuchets and Harold the Saxon's Bombard Towers are replaced by Watch Towers.
  • This battle reappears in the first scenario of the The Normans campaign in Age of Empires IV, but at a minor scale (only the battle is played there).
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