Loose Ends is the third scenario of the reworked Bari campaign in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition.

Intro[edit | edit source]

My father coughed and took another draught of wine. "Melus sought aid from Salerno, while Dattus fortified a tower on the Garigliano River. From there, they gathered support  and renewed their strength.

Melus reached far for help. Lombards, Germans, and Apulians answered the call, eager for glory and plunder. But there was one more group whose help Melus enlisted!

A new generation of Norman adventurers, forebears of the scum who attack our city as we speak. It is because of Melus that this new menace is upon us.

In response, the Byzantine Emperor sent the general Basil Boioannes and an elite force of the fabled Varangian Guard to meet Melus in the field and crush the rebellion for good.

The armies drew up near the River Ofanto, not far from where the Romans had clashed with Hannibal of Carthage some twelve centuries earlier. The fate of the Mezzogiorno was about to be decided..."

Scenario instructions[edit | edit source]

Starting conditions[edit | edit source]

Objectives[edit | edit source]

  • Defeat Melus' Army.
  • Defeat the Norman Mercenaries.

Hints[edit | edit source]

  1. The Byzantine forces are restricted to a population limit of 125.
  2. Remember that the Byzantines can advance to the Imperial Age quite rapidly because they do not have to spend as many resources as most other civilizations to do so.
  3. Protecting your ally keeps the possibility open of acquiring additional gold through trade.

Scouts[edit | edit source]

  • Basil Boioannes (Purple) has taken his position in the northeast of the map, while his allies of the Varangian Guard (Blue) have camped to the south. The Varangian Guard will mostly rely on infantry such as Berserks and Long Swordsmen. Although their loyalty is beyond question, they will be in for trouble if they are attacked by Norman cavalry.
  • Your enemies, Melus (Orange) and his Norman Mercenaries (Yellow), have pitched their camps across the river. Melus will send infantry into battle and he will also construct rams and Trebuchets. The Norman mercenary cohort consists of heavy cavalry and Throwing Axemen.

Players[edit | edit source]

Player[edit | edit source]

Enemy[edit | edit source]

Strategy[edit | edit source]

There is a lack of gold on this map, so the player's first priority should be building a Monastery and training some Monks to recover the Relics. There is one easy to reach to the west, between the player and their ally's base. The other is north across the river, closer the Melus' base. There is a tower so it would be wise to distract it with some troops while the Monks run the Relic. A Market for trade will help gold accumulation in the late-game.

While Bombard Tower is available for Byzantines, with update 42848, the Bombard Tower technology can no longer be researched in this scenario.

Outro[edit | edit source]

"Not unlike its predecessor, the Second Battle of Cannae was a massacre. The Lombards and their Norman allies were no match for Boioannes' strategic prowess and the ferocity of his Varangian troops.

Melus fled the field and sought refuge with the Pope, which sent him to the court of the Holy Roman Emperor. He gradually poisoned the minds of several influential courtiers and, eventually, the Emperor himself.

Melus died in exile, but the effects of his political machinations were soon to be felt throughout Italy."

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