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Kurikara is one of the scenarios in the Battles of the Forgotten in Age of Empires II HD: The Forgotten. It is based on the Battle of Kurikara. Lead Minamoto no Yoshinaka to victory against Taira and conquer the city of Kyoto.

Intro[]

Gliding through the trees, the wind whispers a faint melody to the rhythm of the footsteps of soldiers. The narrow mountain pass feels ominous and forbidding, and yet there is a peaceful aura to it that calms Minamoto's vanguard.

The common soldiers groan as a deluge suddenly begins, transforming the soil into a treacherous sea of mud. The battle-hardened samurai alone are silent. Their honor is their prime concern, and it rests on the success of their mission: to deliver supplies to the besieged city of Kurikara.

After years of injustice, the Minamoto clan declared open opposition to the dominance of the wicked Taira, splitting Japan in two. Lord Minamoto controls the East, while his cousin Yoshinaka holds the frontier. Throughout two and a half years of war, the Taira have steadily advanced, rarely seeing defeat.

Their armies strike at Kurikara in a three-pronged assault, while an auxiliary force seizes the lighthouse at the point of the Noto Peninsula, controlling naval passage in and out of the Toyama Gulf. Entourages of samurai patrol all roads to Kurikara, and enemy supply lines reach all the way to Kyoto, the imperial capital.

This will be the decisive battle of this war. If Kurikara falls, the Taira will be free to flood into the Minamoto heartland and claim victory. If Kurikara holds and the Taira are defeated, the tide will turn and Minamoto may even be able to bring the fight to the gates of Kyoto.

The wind whispers a faint melody as it glides through the mountain trees, while the footsteps of soldiers and the creaking of a rolling cart provide the fitting harmony. The pass has a forbidding aura to it, for it is so thin that only thirty men can walk abreast - a narrow corridor perfect for trapping a force in an ambush - and yet there is a peaceful feel to it that calms the nerves of the troops that form Minamoto's vanguard.

Trudging through the pass, the common soldiers groan as a deluge is unleashed, turning the once-firm earth into a treacherous sea of mud. The samurai alone are silent, being battle-hardened veterans to whom the concept of pain is foreign. Their honor is their prime concern, and right now, it rests on the success of their mission: To deliver supplies to the besieged city of Kurikara, a bastion that guards a chokepoint vital to this war.

After years of oppression and anger at the decadence of the Imperial Court, the Minamoto clan declared its open opposition to the dominance of the wicked Taira, splitting Japan into East and West. Lord Minamoto no Yoritomo holds the Minamoto heartland to the East, while his cousin Yoshinaka holds the frontier. Throughout two and a half years of war, the Taira have steadily advanced, rarely seeing defeat thus far.

Their armies advance quickly in a three-pronged assault on Kurikara in an attempt to take the heavily defended pass that has slowed their progress East. In addition to erecting four massive siege camps, the Taira have captured the lighthouse at the point of the Noto Peninsula, controlling naval passage in and out of the Toyama Gulf. Entourages of samurai patrol all roads to Kurikara, and enemy supply lines reach all the way to Kyoto.

This will be the decisive battle of this war. If Kurikara falls, there will be nothing to stop thousands of Taira samurai from flooding into the Minamoto heartland, assuring a swift victory. But if Kurikara holds and the grandiose Taira samurai troop is defeated, then the tide of the war will turn, and Yoritomo will be able to bring the fight to the gates of Kyoto and to the Imperial Palace itself.

Scenario Instructions[]

Objectives[]

  • Minamoto must survive (only in HD)
  • Protect Yoshinaka's palace in Kurikara
Main Objectives
  1. Bring the supply cart and at least one soldier to Yoshinaka's palace (marked by the blue flag).
  2. Defeat the Taira army (Orange) and slay the 5 Taira Princes (Red) commanding it.
  3. Conquer Kyoto from the Taira by destroying all military buildings, slaying all defenders, and killing Emperor Taira no Kiyomori.
Secondary Objectives
  • Bring carts arriving from Kamakura to your palace in Kurikara to receive 1000 gold per cart.
  • Kill Taira no Kiyofusa and his personal guard and capture the lighthouse (monument) so your ships can sail through the rocks unscathed.
  • Bring one military unit to the Hojo palace to negotiate an alliance.
    • Bring two trebuchets to Hojo Tokimasa's palace to earn his alliance.

Players[]

Allies[]

  • Hojo Clan (Japanese)
  • Yoshinaka (Japanese)
  • Locals (Japanese)

Enemies[]

  • Taira Warlords (Japanese) (briefly an ally)
  • Taira Guards (Japanese)
  • Taira Army (Japanese)
  • Kyoto (Japanese)

Strategy[]

The player starts in the east of the map with 11 military units and a Trade Cart. Immediately they should meet a small enemy force (5 Halberdiers, 3 Crossbowmen, 3 Samurai and 1 Light Cavalry). After defeating them, the player should go across the bridge and directly to the town. They should try to avoid patrols from Green (3 Halberdiers, 3 Samurai) as there is no need to fight them right now. When the player arrives at the palace, they will be given control of the purple town and given some resources.

The next objective is to destroy four Orange camps and kill 5 red captains (samurai). Four of those captains are residing in Orange camps and the last one is residing beside the lighthouse in the north, which the player needs to capture to complete the side quest and enable their navy access to the rest of the river. The player should prepare a small force to guard the Villagers as the gold, stone and wood need to be gathered outside of the walls. Defense should be the priority until the player advances to the Imperial Age and make Trebuchets, as there is no point attacking the camps without them. The player should logically first take care of the camp in front of them and then move on to the lighthouse in the north. Just in case, the player should send a few ships to take care of the small fleet near the lighthouse. Also, the player should make Fishing Ships when they take control of the town as the Japanese have faster work rate.

In the mean time, the player should get the quest to ally with the Hojo Clan. Just send a random unit and then two Trebuchets and they will start to send their troops to attack the enemy. This could be a good investment, as they will provide constant distractions. After the player destroys the remaining 3 camps and kill 3 captains, Minamoto will arrive from the player's starting position along with 30 Elite Mounted Samurai. The quest will now be to destroy the city of Kyoto (cyan) on the bottom of the map. The player won't have problems collecting resources for their army as they will control most of the map by now.

Kyoto is a heavily fortified city with 6 Castles and at least 30 towers. After taking down the main gate and two Castles beside it, the player should task their Villagers to build military buildings in front of the walls to keep a constant stream of units flowing. They will need a lot of units, as the enemy will produce troops constantly from all their production buildings, so it's not a bad idea to focus those buildings down with the trebuchets.

Lone Warrior achievement[]

In the Definitive Edition version of the scenario, players are given an opportunity to unlock an achievement titled the "Lone Warrior", where players must achieve victory without the Hojo Clan. The request to send a Trebuchet to their Castle must be completely ignored.

Outro[]

Thunder boomed as spears of lightning pierced the sky. Driven back from the walls of Kurikara, the Taira army retreated in panic as Minamoto claimed victory after victory. Smoke rose from the enemy camps and floated towards Kyoto, an ominous shadow of the doom approaching those inside the city.

Offering thanks and prayers to the gods, Minamoto halted and made camp outside Kyoto. Siege engines pounded the walls for days, reducing its great castles to piles of rubble. As the main gate fell, samurai poured into the city while Minamoto strode triumphantly to the Imperial Palace and planted his banner.

With the power of the Taira broken and their capital taken, a seemingly doomed rebellion had triumphed. It would take two more long years, but Minamoto's prowess as a commander ensured victory at the battle of Dan-no-ura, ending the Genpei War and ushering in the new era of the Kamakura Shogunate.

Thunder boomed as spears of lightning pierced the sky, mingled with the cries of battle. Driven back from the walls of Kurikara, the Taira army had been in steady retreat as Minamoto no Yoritomo led droves of Minamoto and Hojo samurai to victory after victory. Smoke rose from the Taira siege camps and floated with the wind towards Kyoto, an ominous shadow of doom approaching those inside the city.

Offering thanks and prayers to the gods, Yoritomo advanced, halting and making camp outside Kyoto. For days, siege engines pounded the walls of the Imperial City, reducing its great castles to piles of rubble. As the main gate fell, Minamoto clansmen poured into the city, killing all in their path, while Yoritomo strode triumphantly to the Imperial Palace. Entering it, he slew the royal guards stationed there and planted his banner.

With the power of the Taira broken and their capital taken, the war turned in Yoritomo's favor. In one fell swoop, he seized a third of the Taira dominion and turned a doomed rebellion into a triumphant affair. It would take two more long years, but Yoritomo's prowess as a commander ensured victory at the battle of Dan-no-ura in the year 1185, ending the Genpei War and ushering in the new era of the Kamakura Shogunate.

Trivia[]

  • Taira no Kiyomori was a military leader and statesman, never the Emperor of Japan; even so, as Prime Minister, he exerted actual political authority.
    • Historically, Kiyomori died in 1181; and Kurikara would not happen until 1183, two years later.
  • The real battle of Kurikara bore little resemblance to its depiction in this scenario. When Minamoto no Yoritomo came upon the Taira in a narrow mountain pass, he erected a large group of banners on a nearby hill to make the Taira think that his forces were larger than they truly were, allowing him time to wait until nightfall to move his troops into position both in front of and behind the Taira. Then, as was traditional in Japanese warfare at the time, Minamoto called upon the Taira to engage in a series of single combat duels. While the Taira were distracted by these duels, the men behind the Taira position gathered a herd of oxen, tied burning torches to their horns, and sent them stampeding into the Taira ranks. Many of the Taira fell to their deaths from the cliffs in the confusion.
  • In Co-op Campaign Mode, Player 2 is given the base of the Hojo Clan.
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