Manzikert is a scenario in the Battles of the Conquerors campaign in Age of Empires II: The Conquerors. You play as the Turks (purple), trying to fight the heavily armored soldiers of the Byzantines. This scenario is based on the Battle of Manzikert.

Intro[edit | edit source]

Minarets of dust twist upwards as horse hooves strike the fractured earth. Thousands of Seljuk Turks stream across the Anatolian Plateau to converge on the walled town of Manzikert, which was recently recaptured by the Byzantine army.

The Byzantines are the heirs of Rome, and their armored cataphracts and legions of disciplined swordsmen can smash aside the light armored Turkish horse archers--provided they can catch them. However, an unlikely turn of events has greatly improved the Turks' chances for victory.

The Byzantine army is wracked by treachery and deceit from within. One day, a band of mercenaries deserts the Byzantines. On another, the army's second in command leads a treacherous conspiracy against the commanding general.

If the Turks can somehow turn the splintering factions against the Byzantine army, they may overcome a better-equipped and better-trained enemy.

Scenario Instructions[edit | edit source]

Starting Conditions[edit | edit source]

* An additional 2000 on easy

** Easy difficulty only

Objectives[edit | edit source]

  • Receive tributes from the Theme of Galatia by capturing their Town Center.
  • Receive tributes from the Theme of Pisidia by capturing their Town Center.
  • Receive tributes from the Theme of Cappadocia by capturing their Town Center.
  • Defeat the Byzantine army.

Later Objectives[edit | edit source]

  • OPTIONAL: Destroy the 4 Saracen towers so that your allies can mine their gold.

Hints[edit | edit source]

  1. Your Turkish army has no villagers. In order to replenish your troops, you will need to rely on tributes from conquered Byzantine Themes (towns).
  2. Do not destroy many buildings of the Byzantine Themes or you will have less to use once they are conquered.
  3. This battle takes place centuries before the discovery of gunpowder.
  4. Garrisoned Battering Rams are useful for taking out enemy gates and towers.

Scouts[edit | edit source]

  • Your scouts report: The Seljuk Turk army (purple) is far from home and does not have the resources to construct a base. You can, however, train additional units.
  • Additional resources and buildings can be gained by conquering the three Byzantine Themes (towns) of Cappadocia, Pisidia, and Galatia and the Saracen (cyan) gold mines. However, you must defeat—not conquer -- the Byzantine army.
  • The Byzantine Themes rely largely on walls and towers for defenses. The Byzantine Army is a different story. You can expect to combat Cataphracts, Monks, and the famous Roman Legions.

Players[edit | edit source]

Enemies[edit | edit source]

  • Byzantine Army (Byzantines) is based in the east, and being the main opponent of the player. They also have a castle and a Siege Workshop near Galatia and Pisidia.
  • Saracens (Saracens) is based in the west, and plays very little role in the scenario. Their villagers are mining gold, and destroying their four towers upon conquered towns' request, would force them to resign immediately.

Enemies → Allies[edit | edit source]

  • Cappadocia (Byzantines) is located in the south, neighbouring the player's initial base. It has several gates and Watch Towers which the player must either destroy or sneak through before conquering the city.
  • Galatia (Byzantines) is in the north. It is the largest and wealthiest city in the scenario, generating gold for the player once conquered. Its gate is locked, which the player must destroy before entering the city. It is the only one of the three cities having castles and monastery.
  • Pisidia (Byzantines) is in the central. It is the only city without walls and gate, if played at "Standard" difficulty.

Strategy[edit | edit source]

You start with Trebuchets (only on Standard difficulty), Camel Riders, Light Cavalry, Long Swordsmen and Cavalry Archers at a small area with Military Buildings.

Your first goal is to station at least one soldier near the Town Center of each of the three small cities. Cappadocia and Galatia are protected by walls and gates, which must be destroyed to gain access to the Town Center (you can attempt to sneak through Cappadocia's gates as their soldiers exit, but as Galatia's gate is locked, sneaking through is not an option). Pisidia has no walls, making their town easier to capture (Pisidia has walls and gates on Moderate and Hard difficulties).

Send at least one soldier to the Town Center; Light Cavalry are excellent for the job. Don't waste units fighting their soldiers, as when you capture the Town Center, the enemy soldiers vanish.

You can send some soldiers and siege units to the Saracen lands to the west, to capture the gold mines there (which Pisidia will mine for you).

Once you have control of all three cities, Imperial Age will be researched, and you can start planning your attack on the Byzantine city to the east.

Another much intensive and arguably less time-consuming way to win this level would be focusing on upgrading and training Cavalry Archers and building at least two Battering Rams right off the start, going directly to the Byzantine Army stronghold once finished (curiously, in order to activate the victory condition of this sncenario, you just need to defeat the Byzantine Army. Capturing Town Centers is "optional"). Having a good micromanagement against the early army of the main opponent on this scenario may be difficulty but it is not in any way impossible. Of course, having the two Trebuchets on standard setting will make your job much more easier if you insist on going this way. Passing the gates can be an extenuous task, but since they will be opened several times by the defendants, you certainly will have chances to do it. Both castles can be avoided as well when storming the city, as you can see on the video below:


World record? Manzikert mission on Hard but I win without capturing any Theme WALKTHROUGH

Manzikert walkthrough on Hard difficulty, won without the capture of any Theme.

Important note: After cornering and killing all of the villagers from the Byzantine Army, you can finish him off by destroying the market. There is no need to hunt down every single remaining unit from this opponent.

Note: The Saracens or Byzantines have Heresy, so converting Villagers will not work.

Outro[edit | edit source]

As long as the sun was in the sky, the Byzantines could fight the Turks back towards their camp. When dusk settled over Anatolia, however, the Turks could harass the ponderous Byzantine cavalry as it withdrew to Manzikert.

When they could stand no more of this torment, the Byzantine flanks collapsed into a full rout and the Turkish horse archers pounced for a quick kill.

The Battle of Manzikert was not lost due to the poor performance of soldiers or commanders, but through Byzantine treachery. Deceit from within the armies disrupted the chain of command, as factions feuding for control of the throne in Constantinople betrayed their armies at the front.

A much-weakened Byzantium was then forced to call to the rest of the Christian West for help, leading to the Crusades. The Byzantine Empire lingered for another four centuries, but in only a shadow of its former glory.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Despite the scenario supposedly taking place before the discovery of gunpowder, the player is still able to train Petards.
  • Historically, it is believed that this battle marked the end of the use of Cataphracts by the Byzantines on the battlefield (through the last record dates back to 1001); however, in the next decades they recruited some Western European mercenaries as heavy cavalry, better known as "Latinikon", with similar fashion to the Cataphracts.
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