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Lion of Africa is the second scenario of the Francisco de Almeida campaign in African Kingdoms. Thirteen years after the Battle of Toro, Portugal's control on northern Africa was beginning to be disrupted by local pirates and Berber tribesmen. To re-establish Portugal's hold on the region, Afonso de Albuquerque has been sent to lead a small garrison from an island located on the Loukkos River.


I began my journey with Dom Francisco two decades ago in Morocco. Thirteen years had passed since the Battle of Toro and the grizzled soldier had risen to be an esteemed counselor to King Juan. Courtly life did not suit my captain well, however. He convinced the king to send him to Africa to fight the Moors.

King Afonso had conquered the Tangier coast before the war with Aragon but Portugal's hold on Muslim Africa was tenuous. Barbary pirates menaced the coast and Berber tribesmen emerged from the lifeless deserts in fierce raids.

Against these predator stood a fragile outpost of Christendom on an island in the Loukkos River. The garrison was led by a soldier named Afonso de Albuquerque whose path would cross with ours again in a different world. My captain set sail to take command of this garrison and re-establish Portugal's hold on Tangier.

It would not be the last time that Dom Francisco carried the flag of Portugal to the dangerous edges of the Christian world.

Scenario instructions[]

Starting conditions[]

Differences between difficulty levels[]

  • On Standard difficulty, the Banu Arous are less numerous.



  • Defend the Castle at Fort Graciosa.
  • Destroy the three Docks of the Barbary Pirates.
  • Destroy the Castle of the Barbary Pirates.
  • Destroy the Castle of the Emir.


  • Bring 5 soldiers into the city to 'request' the Emir's assistance.
    • Bring an Organ Gun to the Emir's Castle to buy his assistance.
  • Find the missing Portuguese expedition.
    • Bring the Relic Cart to the Castle at Fort Graciosa.
  • Sink the flagship of the Ottoman privateer Kemal Reis.


  1. You are restricted to a population limit of 200.
  2. The Barbary pirates rely on piracy for income. The fewer ships they have, the less resources they gain to train their units.
  3. The Banu Arous will spawn raiders until their tents in the desert are destroyed.
  4. The Emir can be a powerful ally but weigh his assistance with the threat of giving him cannons.

  • You have a population limit of 75.
  • The Barbary pirates rely on piracy for income. The fewer ships they have, the less resources they gain to train their units.
  • The Banu Arous will spawn raiders until their tents in the desert are destroyed.
  • The Emir can be a powerful ally but weigh his assistance with the threat of giving him cannons.

  • Scouts[]

    Your scouts report:

    • Francisco de Almeida commands Fort Graciosa on the Loukkos River. The island has limited resources and must rely on Berber villages on either side of the river.
    • The Emir (2, Red) rules El Araich, a city on the estuary to the west. The threat of Portuguese cannons has kept him friendly. Until we gain the upperhand over the Pirates, he may be a worthwhile ally... for a heathen.
    • The Barbary Pirates (3, Green) occupy the north bank of the river. They are a strong enemy as long as their fleets are numerous. They are skilled sailors, archers, and spearmen.
    • The Banu Arous (4, Yellow) are Light Cavalry and camel raiders from the deserts to the south and east. Venturing into the desert and destroying their tents is the only way to end their raids.
    • Off the coast are the Canary Islands, territory of Spanish Castile. European treaties matter little on this frontier, however, and the islands would be a rich source of resources, provided the native Guanches (7, Purple) can be pacified.
    • The flagshop of the Ottoman privateer Kemal Reis (5, Grey) has been seen off the coast, attacking Christian ships in support of the beleaguered Emir of Granada. Defeating him would be a boon to the war against the Moors and Ottomans.
    • And somewhere off the African coast, an expedition led by Duarte Pacheco Pereira has been rumored lost.



    Ally → Enemy[]

    • Emir (Saracens): The Emir has a well fortified city with two layers of walls, many Guard Towers and a Castle along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. When the player tries to seek his assistance to fight the Barbary Pirates, he will ask the player to bring an Organ Gun to his Castle so that his engineers can study the Portuguese cannon technology. If the player does this, all of the Emir's Guard Towers will be replaced by Bombard Towers and he will start attacking the ships of Barbary Pirates. However, after the Barbary Pirates have been defeated, he will turn his stance towards the player to enemy.


    • Barbary Pirates (Berbers): They have their base to the north along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. They have three Docks with which they will be making War Galleys and Fast Fire Ships. They also have a Castle near the coast along with a few Watch Towers and will mainly train Scout Cavalry and Crossbowmen.
    • Banu Arous (Berbers): They are an ancient people living in the Saharan Deserts to the east and south of the map. They will train Light Cavalry, Genitours, Camel Archers and Heavy Camel Riders. They will keep spawning units until their camps in the desert have been destroyed.
    • Banu Arous (Berbers): Another faction of Banu Arous (a different player), which mainly occupies the southern part of the map. They will train the same type of units as the other Banu Arous and will keep spawning units until their camps in the desert have been destroyed.
    • Kemal Reis (Turks): He is an Ottoman Pirate whose fleet have caused trouble to the Portuguese near the Tangier coast. He only has a special Fast Fire Ship named 'Kemal Reis' Flagship' with a lot of hit points and high pierce armor. Once the player sinks this ship, Kemal Reis will surrender and the player will get three Caravels as reinforcement from Portugal.
    • Guanches (Malians): They occupy the two islands near the western edge of the map. These islands have a lot of gold and stone mines along with fruit bushes but to get these resources, the player will have to first defeat Guanches' soldiers. Their army consists of unupgraded Gbetos, Skirmishers and a few Canoes.


    The scenario starts with some War Galleys and Fire Ships of Barbary Pirates attacking the player's base. Use the ships near the player's docks to lure them closer to Fort Graciosa (Castle) to help sink the ships faster. One of the player's initial objectives is to defend Fort Graciosa but even if it is destroyed, the player will not lose and the objective will just be crossed out. (Note: In the Definitive Edition, the player will lose if it is destroyed.) However, Fort Graciosa is important to defend the player's base from initial naval attacks so it is advised to protect the Castle and repair it if damaged. The other main objective is to destroy the Castle of Barbary Pirates as well as their three Docks.

    After defeating the initial wave, Francisco advises the player to bring five soldiers to the city of the Emir to ask for his help defending the base from pirate attacks. His outer Gate is locked, for some reason so the only way to enter the city is by Transport Ships. At this point, it is advised that the player delete their Sea Walls near the base, as it serves no real protection and only blocks the ships further down from going up. After destroying the walls, put any five soldiers in a Transport Ship and drop them inside the Emir's city.

    Once this is done, the Emir will ask the player to bring an Organ Gun to his Castle. Now the player has to make a decision as to whether they will side with the Emir or not. Giving him the Organ Gun will turn all his Guard Towers to Bombard Towers and he will use his ships to attack Barbary Pirates' ships. But after he becomes an enemy, the Bombard Towers will make his city harder to raid. Alternatively, the player can decide not to give him an Organ Gun so he does not get Bombard Towers, but then the player will have to face the Barbary Pirate's ships on their own.

    In the end, it will be better to give the Emir an Organ Gun, since he will take care of a very immediate problem of enemy ships while the player's early base is still vulnerable. Also by the time the player has to attack the Emir, the player will have a much stronger economy so they can produce more troops to counter the Bombard Towers. But while transporting the Organ Gun, be careful of enemy ships since they will be prowling the waters near the Emir's city.

    After the Emir gets the Organ Gun, he will start attacking the warships of Barbary Pirates, taking a big burden off of the player's shoulders. Now the main problems facing the player will be the frequent attacks by both Banu Arous players (yellow) on the buildings which are on the mainland.

    While both the Banu Arous are busy attacking the buildings to the south, the player should use the two Villagers cutting wood to the north of the base to make a Town Center nearby. The player should also make Villagers at the initial base to use the resources available there. An immediate problem will be the lack of gold so it is advisable to build a Market to sell off surplus resources. Once enough gold has gathered, the player can make Trade Cogs to trade with the Emir which will provide a slow but steady flow of gold. The player can also send a Light Cavalry near the southern edge of the map, where a lost expedition of Duarte Pacheco Pereira can be found. Returning the Relic Cart to Fort Graciosa will give the player 500 gold.

    After the Town Center is built, the soldiers of both the Banu Arous as well as Barbary Pirates may attack the Villagers so the player should bring their remaining navy near the area to guard them and start making more ships. It is also a good idea to wall off the shallow connecting the two landmasses, after which the player only needs to defend Villagers from Barbary Pirates.

    Now the player should focus on making an army to destroy the Barbary Pirates' Castle. They do not have a very strong army and mainly train Crossbowmen so the player should make only Knights, along with Battering Rams. The player should consider leaving the pirate alone for now, because a Castle or a few towers completely stop them and the player can try to take back the land of the Banu Arous (yellow). In that land, there are two gold mines; one just to the right of the two original stone miners, and one in the southeast of the map .If the player wants to attack the pirates, then they should also make a large navy before launching an attack on the Barbary Pirates, since soon after defeating them, the Emir will become an enemy. After making a hole in the wall, bring the army inside and aim for the Watch Towers and military buildings till the army reaches the Castle walls. Break open the walls with the Rams and then destroy the Castle with them. By this time, if the Emir has not destroyed their Docks, the player can destroy them from land. After this is done, Barbary Pirates will surrender and the Emir will change his stance towards the player to enemy. Now the player's objective is to destroy the Emir's Castle.

    If the player does not want to storm the Castle with rams, then there are two islands belonging to the Malian (purple) with gold on them. They have an army of Skirmishers, Gbeto and a small navy, but no Dock or Villagers. However, there is a hero Fast Fire Ship near the first island that should be kited to the castle (the Emir will not attack it). With the gold, the player can go to the Imperial Age and use Cannon Galleons to bombard the pirate Castle (if the player has not destroyed it already), then destroy the Emir Castle with no retaliation.

    The Emir will start using his ships to attack the player so the player should use their navy to counter them. The player should now make an army to attack the two Banu Arous' camps in the desert. They will train only cavalry units so bringing some Pikemen is a good idea. After all of their camps have been found and destroyed, they will stop attacking the player and the only main enemy left will be the Emir.

    Since the Bombard Towers of the Emir cause pierce damage, the only way to bring them down are Rams who are immune to their high attack. However, once the Gate has been destroyed, head straight for the Castle instead of wasting time attacking every Tower (try to kill the Elite Mameluke near the Castle before the ram gets in). Make sure that the Rams are taking all the damage from the Bombard Towers and use Knights to protect them from enemy units. Once the Rams reach the Castle, they will eventually bring it down and the player will be victorious.

    There is a simpler way to defeat the Emir: the player has to bring Trebuchets to the opposite side of the beach and deploy them on that shore. They will reach the Castle while also being out of range from both the Castle and towers.

    Alternatively (and even quicker than the previous option), the player can send 9 petards right next to the Emir's Castle before the last Barbary Dock is destroyed so that the Castle goes down as soon as the Emir changes his diplomatic stance to enemy.

    Definitive Edition[]

    In the Definitive Edition, this scenario becomes way easier, since the Barbary Pirates will eventually stop training new units. Defeat the initial attack by garrisoning the starting Arbalesters in the tower (which will take care of the enemy Fire Galley) near where the landing is done and use the other units to lure the enemy units into the Castle. After this attack is repealed, send the ships near the southern Dock for protection and send all the Villagers to the island so that they will not get killed. The Barbary Pirates will attempt a few more attacks, but the Castle will take care of them.

    The side quest of bringing an Organ Gun to the Emir's Castle can be ignored, as it will only make the Emir stronger.

    Now the player should focus on finding the Duarte Pacheco Pereira expedition and using it to destroy Banu Arous' tents (Use the Monk to heal any injured units). Banu Arou's units will attempt to destroy the player's buildings, but it is better to focus on destroying the tents to stop the creation of new units and rebuild later. After the Banu Arous' tents are destroyed (be sure to scout the whole desert), kill any remaining enemy units and bring the Relic Cart to the Castle to get 500 gold. By this time, the Barbary Pirates most likely stopped training new units, and so it is safe to bring the Villagers outside the island and get enough resources to advance to the Imperial Age. The Barbary Castle and Docks can be easily destroyed with Trebuchets.

    Before the last Dock is destroyed, the player should prepare against the Emir's betrayal. There are several ways of doing this, but the quickest and cheapest way consists in sending 9 petards right next to the Emir's Castle before the last Barbary Dock is destroyed, so that the Castle goes down as soon as the Emir changes his diplomatic stance to enemy.

    Easiest method[]

    When the scenario begins, make an Organ Gun and send it along with four other military units by Transport Ship to Emir's Castle. This will make him an ally and he will go take on the pirates for the player. Ferry Afonso and a Villager over to Emir's fort once again, and build a Siege Workshop in front of the door, and position Afonso behind the wall just out of range of enemy (yellow) Camel Archers that will appear later (he has range 6, they have range 4). Build a Market in the home base and sell resources enough to buy a Mangonel in Emir's fort. Attack ground the Castle and when it is destroyed, the player wins.


    While we fought the centuries-old war against the Moors in North Africa, other sons of Portugal were the pioneers of a new age. On small leaky caravels, they took the first daring steps from Europe and lifted the shroud that had obscured our understanding of the wider world for a millennium.

    The world was vast, far vaster than we had ever imagined, but men like Bartolomeu Dias and Vasco da Gama reached distant shores and gave us the glimmers of a coming global empire.

    The Turks and Moors might flash their scimitars over the Mediterranean, but they wore no armor on their backs. There, in the Indian Ocean, an ancient trade flourished to the enrichment of the Muslim world.

    Armed with cannons and ships built to withstand the storms of the Atlantic, the sons of Portugal would fall upon this world like a famished lion in the fold.


    • According to the level designer Filthydelphia (Ramsey Abdulrahim), this map was originally intended to be the first scenario of the later discarded Afonso de Albuquerque campaign.