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.
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.
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.
- Starting age: Castle Age
- Starting resources: none; then 1,500 food, 1,500 wood, 1,500 gold, 250 stone
- Population limit: 200
- Starting units:
- Minamoto must survive (only in HD)
- Protect Yoshinaka's palace in Kurikara
- Main Objectives
- Bring the supply cart and at least one soldier to Yoshinaka's palace (marked by the blue flag).
- Defeat the Taira army (Orange) and slay the 5 Taira Princes (Red) commanding it.
- 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.
- Minamoto's forces can support a population of 200, but this battle occurs long before the advent of gunpowder weapons.
- The roads in the region around Kurikara are crawling with Taira troops. Taking the most direct route to the city would be advisable.
- The Taira do not yet know that supplies have been delivered to the city, but they will soon attack ferociously.
- The sea is of great strategic importance, but the route out of the bay is blocked by dangerous rocks...
- Having conscripted all of the locals into the army, the Taira are unable to rebuild any buildings.
Your scouts report:
- Minamoto no Yoritomo has sent a relief force (1, Blue) to aid the defenders of the strategic city of Kurikara (2, Purple), a walled city in the northeast loyal to Minamoto and under the command of his cousin Yoshinaka.
- The Hojo Clan (3, Yellow) has a city in the east under the sovereignty of their lord Tokimasa, whose motives are unknown. Their army consists of cavalry and siege units.
- Based in several camps scattered accross the center of the map, the Taira Army (6, Orange) will be your primary opponent early on. They train Light Cavalry, Spearmen, and Crossbowmen, but may also field Samurai.
- The Taira Guards (7, Green) patrol the countryside with cohorts of infantry, and their Villagers are feeding and supplying the Taira forces.
- Surrounded by a moat and heavily fortified, the Taira capital of Kyoto (5, Cyan) has yet to be captured by an invading army. Should the walls be breached, legions of Samurai, Halberdiers, and Cavalry Archers will rush to the defense.
- The Taira armies are commanded by fierce warlords and princes (4, Red), not the least of them the statesman Taira no Koremori. Killing the princes commanding the Taira armies in the field is vital to the success of your armies.
Your scouts report:
- Minamoto no Yoritomo has sent a relief force (Blue) to aid the defenders of the strategic city of Kurikara (Purple), a walled city loyal to Minamoto and under the command of his cousin Yoshinaka.
- The Hojo Clan (Yellow) has a city in the east under the sovereignty of their lord Tokimasa, who has no love for the Taira but will only consider joining the Minamoto if they can break the siege of Kurikara.
- The Taira Army (Orange) will be your primary opponent early on. Their forward siege camp must be destroyed if the siege of Kurikara is to be broken, and three military encampments guard the crossings of the river.
- The Taira Guards (Green) patrol the countryside and their villagers are feeding and supplying the Taira forces.
- Surrounded with a moat and fortified with strong walls, towers, and Castles, the Taira capital of Kyoto (Cyan) has yet to be captured by an invading army. Should the walls be breached, legions of soldiers will rush to the defense.
- The Taira armies are commanded by fierce warlords and princes (Red), not the least of them the Emperor Taira no Kiyomori himself. Killing the princes commanding the Taira armies in the field is vital to the success of your armies.
- Hojo Clan (Japanese): The Hojo clan is situated to the southeast of the player. They will ask for two Trebuchets in exchange for an alliance against the Taira clan. Once they become an ally, they will actively attack the Taira and even besiege Kyoto.
- Yoshinaka (Japanese): Consists of Minamoto no Yoshinaka and the Palace at Kurikara, which the player must defend against the Taira Army,
- Locals (Japanese): Are the villagers of the Japanese countryside. They serve as decoration for the scenario.
- Taira Warlords (Japanese) (briefly an ally): Consist of 5 Warlords which the player must slay in order to weaken the Taira Army. The Warlords will stay at their camp, while Taira no Kiyofusa and his guards guard the Lighthouse.
- Taira Guards (Japanese): Patrol along the roads and consist of Archers, Spearmen and Swordsmen. They also have some units guarding the bridge at the southernmost of the map leading to the Hojo base. They also have Mills and Villagers, from which they supply food for the Taira Army.
- Taira Army (Japanese): The Taira Army consists of three large camps which the player must destroy and kill the warlords. They are the main enemy of the first phase of the scenario and will try to attack Kurikara with Pikemen, Cavalry Archers, rams, and Mangonels.
- Kyoto (Japanese): The Taira Capital, which the player will have to besiege and conquer in order to win the scenario. Kyoto will train Cavalry Archers and Light Cavalry to defend itself.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.