So you have come to hear the tale of Frederick Barbarossa? Better order us another round. Maybe three. You see... it is a great tale. But then again, everything about the man was great.
Barbarossa was a man of great appetites... great ambition... and a great, red beard. But the question - the question you want to know - is: Was that enough? Is the will of one man enough to forge an empire?
For there was no Holy Roman Empire at that time, only a gaggle of quarrelling city-states. These dubiously loyal princedoms were more interested in a loose confederation than a unified empire.
But Barbarossa, he believed that he was the emperor by will of God, and he intended to bring the Holy Roman Empire back to its former glory. If that meant crushing all of the German princes, well, so be it.
Scenario Instructions Edit
Starting Conditions Edit
- Starting Age: Castle Age
- Starting resources: 200 wood, 200 food, 500 gold, 500 stone
- Population limit: 75 (125 in the Definitive Edition)
- Starting units:
- Collect 4 of the 6 relics from the surrounding German duchies.
- Because the empire faces so many enemies, it would be wise to depose one or two early before they become a real threat.
- Remember, only Monks can transport and garrison relics.
- Take care to have a Monk nearby to transport the relics you locate.
- You can tell if an enemy Monastery has a relic garrisoned inside if the Monastery has a flag perched on top of it. The only way to recover relics inside an enemy Monastery is to destroy the Monastery.
In the Definitive Edition, Bohemia is represented by the Slavs instead of the Teutons, while the Mongols have been replaced with the Cumans. Additionally, Swabia has been renamed Lorraine, though they still use the Teutonic tech tree.
- Player (Teutons): The player starts in the center of the map on a small landmass surrounded by rivers with a Castle, Monastery, and Town Center. They also start with a free Light Cavalry, which cannot usually be trained by the Teutons.
- Mongols/Cumans in the Definitive Edition (Mongols, Cumans in the Definitive Edition): The Mongols'/Cumans' stance with the player is set as 'ally' (players can switch their stance with them as 'ally' to see them). They are located to the far east and possess an army, but do not have a settlement, nor any Villagers. The Mongol/Cuman army consists of three Siege Onagers, six Mangudai (six Kipchak in the Definitive Edition), and four Cavalry Archers. Once given 200 gold as tribute, all units will join the player.
- Austria (Goths): Austria is located in the southeast, where it has a small town. It is one of the weaker factions on the map, but their Relic is defended by a Castle. It is also close in proximity to the stronger teams of Bohemia and Bavaria and primarily uses Long Swordsmen and Battering Rams in battle.
- Bavaria (Teutons): Bavaria to the south is one of the stronger factions on the map. They are relatively the counterparts of Saxony and primarily use Knights and Scorpions in battle. Their settlement is surrounded by Stone Walls.
- Bohemia (Teutons, Slavs in the Definitive Edition): Although starting in the Castle Age, the Bohemians are initially rather weak and only have a small town to the east. Nevertheless, they grow quickly and become a strong faction as the game progresses.
- Burgundy (Franks): Burgundy is one of the weaker opponents on the map and is easily accessible from the initial base. They pose no real threat to the player, but their Guard Towers are scattered throughout their village. Their settlement resides just southwest of the player's village and they mainly use Crossbowmen and Skirmishers in battle along with a few Knights. It is recommended to claim Burgundy's Relic first. They are also the only Western European civilization on the map.
- Saxony (Teutons): The Saxons have a fortified town to the north and are one of the stronger opponents. Despite their walls there is a hole on the south-eastern side along the river allowing an early raiding (the hole is blocked by walls in the Definitive Edition). They primarily use Archers and Teutonic Knights in battle.
- Swabia/Lorraine in the Definitive Edition (Teutons): Swabia/Lorraine is in the northwest. Their army is predominantly Spearmen and Knights along with some Mangonels. They are comparatively weak.
In this scenario the player faces alone 6 enemies, however there is only one task to complete, and the player has a few head starts, that can be used to obtain advantage over enemies. First of all, the player's territory contains quite enough resources, it is surrounded by rivers and there is only 4 access points. These can be blocked quickly by the starting villagers with walls and protected with towers since the earlier attacks will consist of spearmen and archers. Also, when the player is already at the Castle Age, most of the enemies start in the Feudal Age. The time it takes them to advance age can be used to raid a town with the starting army if it's correctly used.
For raiding any enemy city, it follows almost the same dynamics, it's matter of pushing back enemy units, protecting Monks and siege weapons, until they are no longer vulnerable and have a chance to attack monasteries, that will drop out relics when they get damaged enough, then it's turn to Monks to retrieve the relic.
At this point, it's possible to eliminate most of the towns, only Bavaria starts fortified, it's better to ignore them. Even though there is a relic in Saxony's territory, they don't start with a Monk nor can create one, so their relic stays out until it's usually picked up by the Swabians/Lorrainers or Bohemians. Austria, Burgundy and Swabia/Lorraine train Militias, skirmishers and spearmen respectively to protect themselves, while Bohemia has no way to counter an early attack. Despite it's easy to get rid of Austria, they have a castle near their monastery, at this moment it's not recommended to attack them since it will get units and Monks lost in vain.
At this moment, the best choice is to take down Bohemia now, as they will become a powerful threat. The east shallows is protected by two towers, to avoid these, other way to reach them is the path to the south then follow the river heading east, until shallows are found, they are located east across the river. Meanwhile, at the base, it's important to create and send at least two Monks to retrieve relics, villagers can be assigned to build up defenses, gather resources and improve the army, while military units are on their way.
After reaching the enemy's village, the mangonel can attack the town center while knights go after villagers without getting close to the town center or once it's already destroyed. Since at this moment the siege strength is quite limited, all units can concentrate their attacks to the monastery, Monks should be already there by when the relic is out, knights can eliminate any standing villagers until they retreat.
When done, the other opponents will be already in the Castle Age by then, and will start producing better units and some siege weapons. Next priority should be attacking Swabia/Lorraine that besides pikemen, they will also train knights and mangonels. The bridge on the north can be used to reduce the Swabian/Lorrainer army by luring them there, where the structure prevents being flanked by them. A small group of crossbowmen and pikemen can deal most of it, some knights should be on frontline if any mangonel gets close they can quickly come into play and Monks can stay safe back to heal units taking advantage of teutons' bonus. Once they exhausted most of their units, the offensive can be sent further in the village get near the monastery.
Now, Austria and Burgundy are still the weakest enemies, and either can be the next target. The first creates some rams and long-swordsmen that can not stand a chance against a group of cavalry (knight line) or teutonic knights. They have a castle near their monastery that now, with a well prepared army, it can be destroyed to allow Monks to get the relic. The later will have in their territory towers scattered, and train mostly crossbowmen, skirmishers and a few knights. Cavalry should be enough to counter these ranged units, and their knights should be no problem with pikemen or if they are outnumbered and outperformed by heavy cavalry.
Given the case that none of the first raids dropped two relics, invading both Austrians and Burgundians should still be fairly easy to achieve the main objective. Two curious aspects regarding the Definitive Edition version of the scenario is that Austria used to be stronger (all of their starting Militia were removed) and the bizarre southeastern Saxony's area missing a whole wall section is now properly walled, which makes then less susceptible to raids.
Alternatively, it is worth mentioning that with some skill and micromanagement, it is feasible to neutralize the enemies with the starting Mangonel or with the Siege Onagers belonging to Mongols/Cumans simply by targeting the ground near any extremity of a Town Center outside of arrow fire. The AI does not answer very well to such tactics and may lose their initial Town Center along with Villagers due to lacking an army to defend, and also because the Villagers will not attack the siege weapons. Cutting trees with Siege Onagers or sending 5 Petards to demolish Town Centers are also powerful tools to engage the opponents.
A multiple rush against many enemies simultaneously might be complex to pull off, but will grant the player the possibility of rendering useless or defeating early at least 3 to 4 enemies without much effort. Not only that, the player will start with a good amount of stone in the stockpile (500), which makes easier for the player to build a forward Castle on any non-walled enemy city on the map, which will also be devastating and basically nullify one of the opponents early on. Another option is to build multiple forward Town Centers.
Some experience with multi-tasking may grant a "Conquest" victory in this scenario in around 20 minutes or less with the total destruction of the six enemies, as long as the player accepts the Mongol/Cuman mercenaries in the army. This is excellent information for achievement hunters looking for the Furor Teutonicus achievement. Below, there are two examples of the rush strategy focusing on taking off all enemies before they start to mass units or boom, utilizing several offensive approaches. The first video (left) used the strategy in Age of Empires II HD: Rise of the Rajas, and the second one (right) was an improved strategy for the Definitive Edition.
They have called Barbarossa the scourge of Europe. But he was as skilled a diplomat as he was a warrior.
He united the German principalities with more than just the sword. He established a set of legal codes known as the Land Peaces. He helped the hungry by fixing an official price for grain after every harvest. The provinces of Germany quickly became the wealthiest and most powerful in Europe.
The Holy Roman Empire was so successful, in fact, that it quickly became strong enough to expand.
They have called Barbarossa the scourge of Europe. But he was as skilled a diplomat as he was a warrior.
He united Germany with more than just the sword. He established a set of legal codes known as the Land Peaces. He helped the hungry by fixing an official price for grain after every harvest. The provinces of Germany quickly became the wealthiest and most powerful in Europe.
The Holy Roman Empire was so successful, in fact, that it quickly overgrew its boundaries.
- It's not necessary to defeat completely any enemy but doing it prevents a future besiege on own's base.
- Accepting the Mongols'/Cumans' offer, gives all their units along with three siege onagers that can assist the initial siege.
- In the Definitive Edition, clearing the scenario by defeating all enemies rather than collecting the Relics will award the "Furor Teutonicus" achievement.
Historical comparison Edit
- Barbarossa was crowned King of Germany, Italy, and Burgundy in 1152, and Roman Emperor on January 2, 1155. The titles were largely ceremonial in the aftermath of the Investiture Controversy, but Barbarossa regained some power through political alliances and prestige acquired in military campaigns outside Germany. He added the word "Holy" to the Holy Roman Empire in 1157, at the beginning of his conflict with the Pope.
- In addition to the Kingdom of Burgundy, there was also a County of Burgundy within the Holy Roman Empire, of which Barbarossa became Count through marriage in 1156; and a Duchy of Burgundy directly west of it, which was part of France.
- Of the other enemy factions, Swabia, Saxony, Bavaria, and Bohemia were Duchies within the Holy Roman Empire, and Austria was a Margraviate subject to Bavaria (until Barbarossa separated and elevated it to Duchy in 1156). The Duke of Bohemia proclaimed himself King in 1158.
- Barbarossa had been Duke of Swabia before being elected King of Germany. Because he could not hold both titles at the same time, he arranged for the Duchy to pass to his six-year-old cousin, Frederick IV.
- Although Swabia is placed at the north of the map, real-life Swabia is in the south of Germany, directly west of Bavaria and east of Burgundy. This was corrected in the Definitive Edition by replacing Swabia with Lorraine.
- The location of Barbarossa's base in the scenario and intro corresponds loosely with Franconia, which was indeed the center of Barbarossa's power.
- The presence of Mongols in Hungary is anachronistic, as they did not invade the region until 1241. This was corrected in the Definitive Edition by replacing the Mongols with the Cumans, who have a presence in the Carpathian Mountains and also launched several wars against the Kingdom of Hungary.