Enemy → Ally → Enemy → Ally Edit
- Pecheneg (Turks) - will actively harass the player during the early phase of the game with lots of Scout Cavalry and Archers. During the middle phase of the game, they will attack the player with a huge army which consists of Heavy Cavalry Archers, Hussars, Heavy Camel Riders, Cavaliers, together with Trebuchets and Siege Rams, which may seem impossible to defeat.
Ally (Possible Enemy） Edit
- Khazars (Persians）- owns large city with a large army south of the player's starting position. The player must seek refuge within their city during the early phase of the scenario. However, if the player builds any building within the premises of the city (particularly the area where Khagan is), they will switch their diplomatic stance with the player to Enemy. If they become the player's enemy, they will only attack the player with their initial force, as this AI is not triggered to gather resources or train units throughout the game.
- Byzantines (Byzantines）- has a large city at the south of the map but lack a large military unlike the Khazars. Their peninsula can only be reached with Transport Ships. They do not actively take part on the scenario except their front gates being destroyed by the Bulgars during the middle phase of the scenario. They serve as a decorative player in the game for story and plot purposes.
- Kabars (Turks）- has a small encampment and decent sized Post-Imperial Age army somewhere at the middle of the map (southwest of Khazar's main city. At one point in the game they will give all of their army to the player, leaving only buildings under their possession
- Magyars (Magyars) - has a scattered army across the map and buildings at the middle of the map (referred to as the first principality of Hungary) which comes under the player's possession as the game progresses..Some of their units (notably Svatopluk and the docks near the Moravian island) are given to the Moravians.
- Bulgars (Huns, Bulgarians in the Definitive Edition) - has a heavily defended city west of the Byzantines city. Will initially attack the Byzantines but after reaching the latter's front gate they will stop attacking the Byzantines and wait to fight the player during the middle phase of the scenario.
- Moravians (Slavs) - has a heavily defended city on an island west of the map, which can only be accessed by the player during the final phase of the scenario.
This is a rather unusual scenario, since the player is not supposed to win as soon as possible, but instead required to lose several times in order for the scenario to progress. It can be seen as several smaller scenarios connected with cut-scenes. The player cannot advance to the next age(s), but they will be aged up automatically. As stated in the hints, making (and keeping) a number of saves is strongly advised.
- Phase 1
The player starts at Feudal Age with an assortment of military units and animals, but no Villagers and no buildings, except for a few Houses. The Pecheneg (yellow opponent) will charge immediately with large amounts of units, so don't try to fight back and resist them. Instead, move all units towards the east as soon as possible, then down the river until they reach the Khazars.
- Phase 2
After sending a messenger within the vicinity of the Khagan, the player will eventually be given a Town Center with a few Villagers. Build more villagers and gather resources, but don't spend too much on military units. Try to hold off the attacking Pechenegs (they'll send only Light Cavalry and Archers) with a Palisade Wall and a few Towers, Archers and Spearmen. The Wolves are quite useful since they heal themselves quickly. The player can build a number of Trade Carts to trade with their ally, the Khazars.
At some point (possibly after reaching a certain population count), the Pechenegs will launch a massive attack that can at best be slowed down for a short while, but not withstood, and the player will be given the task to retreat with 30 units to the flag in the south. It is completely irrelevant which units are saved, as they will be deleted completely anyway. Then the player will receive auto Castle Age upgrade.
Note: it actually is possible to defend until the Pechenegs can no longer send units as they have no resources left, however it takes around 3-4 game hours and quite a lot of Towers (a dozen with units inside them will do). Then the player can almost wipe out the enemy with a huge (100+) army (preferably Man-at-Arms type as they have attack bonus vs buildings). However this will break the scenario (even if the player destroys their own Town Center, they won't be able to switch to Phases 5 and 6).
- Phase 3
The player starts a bit further west with a well developed settlement, including three Town Centers and a Castle. The Pechenegs are still the enemy and keep sending units, but not many at first. The player can hold them off relatively easily with Castles and Palisade Walls. Mind that they can cross through the Khazar gates, so the player needs to guard both the north and the east fords. It is a good idea to rake in all resources gathered (it's not too hard to get to five digits in all resources). Some players reported to have managed to defeat the Pecheneg at this stage. This seems to be an extremely hard endeavor, which is not necessary at all. Though it does not break the scenario if they do so.
- Phase 4
Again at some point, the enemy will launch a massive attack, this time with an even larger amount of units. But before they reach the player, the Byzantines will call for help and demand that the player attack the Bulgarians, and the Pecheneg will change to ally. This means that their attack is stalled and a bunch of their units may keep standing in the player's base. The Bulgarians actually only attack the westernmost Byzantine Castle until their units are used up, after that there will be no further exchange of hostilities. At this point the player might think that the Pecheneg cannot be trusted and therefore build a number of catapults and, by using terrain attack, destroy the new "ally" slowly (e.g. wall in the hordes of units so they don't block the catapults, then wall in the Town Centers so Villagers can't escape, then destroy the Town Centers, the Villagers, the military buildings, the military units, and the rest). It's possible to do so, but not required. Again, whatever the player does won't break the scenario.
However, the player have to defeat the Bulgarians now. Don't delete the transport ships, they will be needed, and there is no way to make more. The Bulgarians can churn out vast numbers of units quickly, so if the player opts to build a base on their territory, they'll need several castles of fend the enemy off. Check that the player has gathered more than enough resources and delete most of the Villagers to build a large army. It might be a good idea to build many Petards and attack all the military buildings and Town Centers simultaneously. There's no need to kill all Villagers.
- Phase 5
The Bulgarians will give up just before they are defeated completely, and the Pecheneg will switch from ally to enemy again, as one probably expected. All their units that are standing around in the base or near it (the halted unstoppable assault from earlier) will now defeat the player quickly, while most of the military is in Bulgarian lands. There's no need to worry, as the player will be given the task to retreat west and send a number of units to the flag there. Again, it is irrelevant what kind of units are saved, as they will be deleted automatically anyway, along with everything the player has built. Then the player will receive auto Imperial Age upgrade.
If the Pecheneg were wiped out before, in whatever way, then the scenario might be stuck after defeating the Bulgarians. No need to worry, just delete the three Town Centers that the player started with (see phase 3) to make the game progress.
- Phase 6
The player is tasked with bringing an emissary and a horse to the Moravians, just a bit towards the west. When they return to their people, the Moravians switch to enemy, and the player can build up a base and eventually defeat them. The player should have more than enough resources by now, so the rest of the scenario should be relatively easy.
- Due to the size of the map, players may experience a significant amount of lag.
- On the latter patches of the game, if the player manages to defeat the Pechenegs, the scenario will automatically progress to the last phase, without requiring them to evacuate the first principality with 60 units.( even if the player receives the specific scenario instruction to do so)
- This scenario is one of the few where the player can train Sheep and Cows at their Town Center, something that normally cannot be done in custom maps or any other scenarios. This is can be done in the scenario editor with the "Research Technology" trigger effect by enabling "Enable Cows/Sheep/Llamas/Turkeys". Even though it costs food to train the cows and sheep, the food will be a surplus regardless. This is meant to highlight the "nomadic" nature of the Magyars.
- If you use the marco/polo cheats at the start of the game you can see:
- Richard the Lionheart on an island (below the blue Byzantines)
- The Bulgars start from scratch, almost similarly to a Random Map player, except they have a few Tarkans and Battering Rams near the Byzantine gates
- The Moravians start from scratch, almost similarly to a Random Map player, except they almost immediately start with Svatopluk.(after being converted from the Magyars player)
- In the Definitive Edition, this scenario is completely changed. Pechenegs, Khazars, and Kabars have been removed, and there IS an option to abandon the nomad life by building the Town Center.
- For this purpose, the Teutonic East Franconia was introduced, and the Bulgars became Bulgarians.