In the distance, wooden towers as tall as giants take shape in the dense morning fog that hovers over the vast Poyang lake. These wooden islands, each carrying two to three thousand men and horses, are tall enough to scale city walls. Their target is the Ming city of Nanchang.
The Mongol Yuan dynasty is on the verge of collapse and Chinese warlords are eager to take its place. The Han want to make use of the fighting between their rivals, the Ming and the Wu, to launch a surprise attack on the Ming and seize the Jiangxi region from them.
The Ming, however, are not prepared to surrender Nanchang so easily, and their army sails north to face the Han. The Ming general Zhu Yuanzhang is outnumbered, but he is determined to thwart the Han ambitions. After all, only one warlord can rule China.
10th century- the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period in Medieval China. The land is once again in turmoil. In the far East, near the sea, there is the small coastal state of Wuyue, advanced in science and culture. Due to its wealth it has given its ruler Qian Liu the opportunity to attack Wuyue's bigger and stronger neighbor, the state of Wu. Wu is a military powerhouse and hated by the other states, so Qian Liu aims to destroy his enemy and secure its military power for himself.
Success will ensure eternal glory for the king and his people and a chance at reuniting China. Defeat will mean the end of the Wuyue state and its great ruler. The invasion is to take place near the Langshan or the Wolf Mountain, on the northern shores of the Yangtze river, where the Wuyue navy under Prince Qian Yuanguan has quickly built a fleet of small war vessels, having modified fishing and trade ships. The Wu, however, got word of the river invasion and have sent their best commander, Peng Yanzhang, to protect the river at all costs.
Resources in this war-plagued land are scarce and technology and innovation will prove to play an important role in the upcoming battle. Outnumbered and in hostile territory, Qian Yuanguan will need to be creative and work quickly in order to succeed. Aside from technology, the prince will also have to rely on the support of the locals to obtain more supplies for his navy. Therefore, Qian Liu has ordered his son to sail down the river to a lake on whose shores he plans to build a grandiose temple.
If he succeeds in building it, the temple will show the people of Wu the might of the Wuyue and the ruler of Wu will quickly lose his support among his military leaders. While small rays of sun dance on the steady and calm Wolf Mountain River, shouts are heard in the far distance... If silent, one can hear them cry: "Enemy ships sighted!". Soon, the river will turn red...
Historical information Edit
The scenario is based off the 919 CE Battle of Langshan Jiang during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms, during which the navy of Wuyue general Qian Guanyuan (the player) defeated the Wu navy of Peng Yanzhang. Although the game depicts Wu as having a larger navy and army, the two forces were actually around the same size in real life.
In the Definitive Edition, however, the scenario is instead based on the Battle of Lake Poyang in 1363 between Zhu Yuanzhang rebel forces and Chen Youliang during the Red Turban Rebellion which brought the end of the Yuan dynasty. Chen besieged Nanchang with a large fleet on Lake Poyang and Zhu engaged with a much smaller fleet. As in the real battle, a small fishing ship managed to slip through the Chen blockade, as depicted by the Fishing boat warning the player of the enemy fleet. Although the scenario ends with Chen being defeated, the battle was less conclusive.
The player has 25 minutes to clear the blockage before the first shipment arrives
Appearing later Edit
- Escort the first shipment to the Temple Complex/Nanchang (Definitive Edition).
- Escort the remaining 4 shipments safely. Each will arrive 25 minutes after the previous reaches the temple complex.
- Build a Monument and protect it from enemy attacks.
Dragon ship quest (Removed in the Definitive Edition) Edit
- Find a fuse to ignite the oil
- Find a smith to cast the Fire Siphons
- Find a Master Builder for the ships
Secondary Objectives Edit
- The rice farmers will provide the player with food as long as their market stands. (This has been removed in the Definitive Edition)
- As long as the Trade Workshop (Docks in the Definitive Edition) (cyan) stands, the player will receive Dragon Ships.
Neutral, potential allies Edit
- Temple Complex/Nanchang in the Definitive Edition (Chinese) is the place where the player has to build the Temple of Heaven. In this scenario they play no role, and are located on the south side of the map. The player has to land here by clearing all the enemy ships blocking their way. The player has to escort 5 shipments which start from different locations on the map. The player will have their base here.
- Chinese Peasants (Chinese) are located at different places where the player can complete the Dragon Ship quest. They will tribute 500 food and Dragon Ships, which are like Fire Ships, as long as the player protects their Market and Trade Workshop.
- Definitive Edition: The Chinese Peasants are located just east of where the starting point is; at the far north of the map; and at the far east of the map. Only the northern village will an active role in the scenario by providing Dragon ships for 100 gold per ship. The colony just east of the starting point will turn over to your control after defeating the first flotilla of Han Navy.
Enemy to Ally Edit
- River Pirates/Pirates in the Definitive Edition (Chinese) are located in the north east of the map. They are also scattered around NanChang to the east and west. They ask for 2000 gold from the player in return for their alliance. Even though they are easy to defeat, two shipments arrive from this direction, and it will be better if the player can make them allies as they will be able to quickly wipe out the Siege Workshops and Docks located on the northern island and will produce a large navy to support the player.
- Definitive Edition: The Pirates are not that strong, however it will still be useful to pay them as they offer a small distraction for shipments arriving on the north-east edge of the map.
- Wu Navy/Admiral Chen in the Definitve Edition (Chinese) is located in different places on the map with Galleons, Fire Ships and several Transport Ships with Wu Army units. The player should kill their ships before the fifth shipment arrives in order to make the game easier. They are scattered in different places and block the passage of all shipments to Peng Yanzhang. Clearing their ships before the second shipment arrives will be a better option for the player. As they don't have Villagers, destroying their docks is a good option.
- Definitive Edition: Admiral Chen has towers with extremely high range and attack guarding some of their docks, so destroying their docks will be near impossible. It is still important to destroy as many of their ships as possible before, during, and after each shipment.
- Wu Army/Han Army in the Definitive Edition (Chinese) is located to the south of the starting point, (in the Definitive Edition, they started west of Nanchang). The Wu Army includes four rams and a sizable army of both missile and land units such as Light Cavalry, trebuchets,and Chu Ko Nu (in the Definitive Edition). Though they are difficult to defeat, building a castle and some towers in their direction before the third shipment arrives, will help the player later in the game. They attack only on land. When you begin construction of the Temple of Heaven, they will attempt an assault on the city.
- Peng Yanzhang/Han Navy in the Definitive Edition (Chinese) is located mainly in the west, protecting the Wu Navy, and in the south, beside Wu Army, and in the northeast, protecting the Wu Navy with a castle and some towers. They block the path of the five shipments. Clearing their ships before the second shipment arrives will be a better option for the player. They attack on land and with Galleons. As they don't have Villagers, destroying their docks is a good option.
- Definitive Edition: The Han Navy play a lesser role in Lake Poyang than in Langshan Jiang. They have Galleons, Fire Ships, and some transports with soldiers. However, they will still attack your ships and block the shipments, similar to Admiral Chen.
Course of events Edit
The player starts with a bunch of ships in the western corner of the map and has 25 minutes to clear the way for the first shipment (one allied Transport Ship, starting at the same spot as the player, that will go to the Temple Complex/Nanchang). For this, the player has to destroy the ships and Towers in the narrow waterway before them, and some small groups of ships in the open water in the middle of the map.
The Chinese Peasant village in the left map corner will be switched to the player once they discover it. When the first transport ship arrives, all the player's buildings and units will be switched to Chinese Peasants, i.e. they lose everything, except for the resources they have gathered. (This does not happen in the Definitive Edition) But at the same time, a part of the Temple Complex/NanChang will be switched to the player, so they will have a well developed base. It has enough housing for 100 units, while the maximum unit limit for this scenario is 150.
After that, every 25 minutes another allied Transport Ship will arrive at the map edges and go towards the temple. The second Transport Ship will appear behind the Pirate settlement on the northeast edge, the third on the northwest edge behind the peninsula, the fourth where the player started and the fifth on the southwest edge where the small creek with "seawall bridge" is. If any of those transports are destroyed, the player will lose the scenario. When all have arrived, the player has to send villagers to build the Temple of Heaven (a Wonder). When it is completed, the scenario is won.
Note: In the Definitive Edition, The 2nd, and 4th shipment arrivals are different. (2nd) will arrive north of the pirate base. (4th) east of the pirate base.
At first, kill a few enemy ships in front of the player until the player gets in range of the first Tower. Meanwhile, send the Transport Ship with the Villagers to the right, and they will discover a few units, including a Trebuchet. Unload the Villagers to gather the gold and wood in that small piece of land. Load the Trebuchet and additional units, and take all the soldiers (in the transports) and take them a few tiles it to the small swamp spots along the waterway ahead.
(Definitive Edition: Unload them a couple of tiles north of the lumber camp.There you will find a small Chinese Peasant colony that will change to your control.)
Use the Trebuchet to destroy the towers and use the remaining soldiers to kill the scattered enemy around the area. Start gathering food with the villagers. Meanwhile, build a Monastery and 3-4 Monks and a Market to sell wood and food for gold and stone. Convert as many enemy ships as possible and repair the ships with Villagers. This will allow for two strategies from now on.
Definitive Edition: Be protective and try to destroy the towers first to protect your ships and soldiers, before moving in to kill the scattered enemy troops. Gather food, wood, and gold (there is another tile of gold just south east of the end of the river delta/swamp area). Build a Market to balance economy where needed. Build Monastery and 2-3 monks to convert as much enemy ships as possible. Be careful not to get the monks killed as they are expensive. Ensure Block Printing (See Chinese update where they can access Block Printing), and Illumination is researched. Build a university to research Chemistry. Build a Dock where you loaded the trebuchet, and create as many War Galleys/Galleons as possible, whilst researching Galleon, Shipwright, and Dry Dock. Add 2-3 fishing ships for additional food income.
Strategy A Edit
The player must clear the way and wait for the Transport Ship to appear, then escort it, possibly sacrificing some units on the way. The player will now have a base behind the temple complex. Secure it to both sides on land and wear down the enemy as usual. Peng Yanzhang will build a lot of ships, but can't build any new buildings, so concentrate on their Docks to make things much easier (Cannon Galleons really help a lot here). Have 2000 gold handy to pay the Pirates for alliance when that opportunity opens, or just destroy them if that's easier.
In this strategy, the player is under time pressure, and MUST clear the way for the Transport Ships in time or lose. Saving the game before each Transport Ship appears is strongly recommended.
Strategy B Edit
Before the Transport Ship arrives, position all ships in a tight formation in the waterway, blocking it completely, so that the Transport Ship cannot pass. With careful re-positioning, it can be trapped so it can't move at all by just using a few ships and still be able to get around that spot with the player's own Transport Ships. The player should save the game before and after, to be on the safe side, because if the Transport slips through, it can't be caught anymore.
It is possible to block the narrow section of the river (right in between the first 4 red Towers) with only 4 ships.
As long as the Transport Ship is stuck there, the player can develop as slow as they want. Peng Yanzhang will send around some single ships that need a bit of attention, but otherwise the enemies will not move yet. That means the player can build a Dock at the waterway delta and establish a trade route with the Temple Complex with a lot of Trade Cogs and invest that heap of money in technologies. For example, it is easier to just wait until the player can afford Spies than exploring the map the hard way.
So this is a strategy for the "relaxed builder" type of gamer.
There is no need to let loose the trapped transport ship until every last enemy is wiped out completely. Then just let it slip, set time to 8x and wait until all ships have reached the temple, put a few dozen Villagers on the temple to build it and the scenario is over.
Strategy B is less practical in the Definitive Edition.
Definitive Edition Strategy Edit
This strategy is similar to Strategy A, but requires a few amendments due to Definitive Edition changes.
The player must clear the way and wait for the Transport Ship to appear, then escort it, possibly sacrificing some units on the way. After the first shipment, the player will now have relatively built up base at Nanchang. Immediately start collecting resources and training additional villagers. Construct additional docks within the harbor to train Galleons at a faster rate. (Although Fire Ships are better at fighting enemy Galleons, Han Navy and Admiral Chen will have demolition ships that damage Fire Ships easily. Mass Galleon + Focus fire on enemy ships is important.) Ensure all relevant Blacksmith, Dock, and University upgrades to improve Galleons is researched. Enemy ships appear to lack certain Blacksmith upgrades, so your ships will be able to tackle enemies.
Han Navy will eventually attack the initial colony you had on the west, so transport all your villages, trebuchet, monks, and soldiers across to Nanchang.
Securing both sides of Nanchang on land, especially the west of the city, as the Han Army will consistently attack. When enough resources is stockpiled, construct a castle outside the west gate of the city, and upgrade Architecture, Arrow Slits, Keep, and Bombard Tower. With the soldiers you initially start with, as well as soldiers that you gain in NanChang, scout to the east of the city and kill the small groups of Pirates in the area. Construct an additional TC east of the city and continue to gather the resources there. Use your soldiers to do the same for the west side of the city up until eastern gate of the Han Army base at the river ford. Note: There is a relic at the eastern peasant village, collect it and bring it to the city's monastery located on the west side of the city.
Admiral Chen and Han Navy will constantly patrol the lake and attack the city by water. Constantly build Galleons and clear the path for the transport ships. Cannon Galleons will help with destroying towers. Also, as the enemies can't build any new buildings, destroy their Docks to make things slightly easier. But, Admiral Chen has a few fortified towers that have a range as high as a trebuchet and an attack level that can kill ships with one arrow, so the docks around those areas will not be able to be destroyed without heavy losses, and those areas should be avoided. These towers are located (1) to the north west of the lake, south east of Admiral Chen's base; (2) east of the lake, south of the pirate base; and (3) east of the Han Army base.
Eventually, pay 2000 gold to the Pirates for an alliance when that opportunity opens, or just destroy them if that's easier, but it is better to just pay, as the distract the enemy.
After the second shipment and in preparation for the third, find the northern Chinese Peasant village. There, you will be able to buy Dragon Boats for 100 gold each. Add them to your armada, as they are very strong and better than regular Castle Age Fire Ships.
Time management is key. Death of the transport ships will result in defeat. Saving at intervals of the scenario is highly advised.
Construct additional towers and bombard towers around your base. After all the shipments have arrived, bring as many villagers as possible to construct the Temple of Heaven. You should have a large enough navy and army to protect the city. All Han forces (inc. Admiral Chen) will launch an 'all out' assault on the city. Defend the city until the Temple is completed.
The Dragon Boat QuestEdit
As soon as the player reaches the mouth of the waterway, they can see a grey, smoking area on the south bank. This has no actual purpose in game (i.e. they don't have to do anything there), just for the story, which says that the player found combustible tar oil here. Now the player needs black powder to ignite it, a smith to construct a flame thrower and a Dock to build special ships around it. Find the Monk in the southern corner of the map for the first task. The smith is in the eastern corner (discovering the Chinese Peasant village there will yield 500 food regularly, as long as their Market is not destroyed) and the shipyard is in the northern corner. Here, Dragons Ships (a special kind of Fire Ships with high pierce armor, strong against buildings) will trickle out as long as their Dock is not destroyed.
This is mainly for story purposes, as this was the first military use of black powder recorded in history (the ancient Greek used similar tactics in ship battles, but not with black powder). But for game play purposes, this quest is negligible, as the player will have to be at all corners of the map (which means they have progressed already quite far) and then they will only receive a small amount of ships over time. The default ship types do fine, and the player can build many more of them.
Although vastly outnumbered by the large Han tower ships, the smaller and more maneuverable Ming vessels were better suited for the shallow water. During the second night of the battle, the Ming launched a surprise attack with fire ships, which devastated many of the Han ships. Thousands of Han soldiers drowned or burned alive.
The Ming victory secured their position as the strongest faction in China. In time, they conquered the Middle Kingdom, ending a century of Mongol domination. The new dynasty ruled China for nearly three centuries, ushering in a great age of prosperity and stability.
Qian Yuanguan used various tactics during the battle- he ordered his men to throw ashes into the faces of the enemy sailors and to use sand to protect the decks of their own ships from fire. Later, after his ascension to the throne, he was named Wenmu, or civil and solemn. King Wenmu's use of gunpowder to ignite his flamethrowers' oil and burn the enemy fleet is the first recorded use of the explosive mixture for military purposes. Although not a decisive end to the Chinese civil war, this battle is probably the most important event of its time and changed the future of the entire world.
- This is the only scenario in the entire game where the Chinese are featured as a playable civilization.