No Man's Land is the second scenario of the Algirdas and Kestutis campaign in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition - Dawn of the Dukes.
Come to the East! Do God's work and be rewarded, not only with nebulous concepts of 'salvation' and 'eternity' — but also with land and plunder! That was the promise of the Teutonic Order, and the reason that they could rely on a steady supply of battle-hungry knights: Christians of low noble birth who were easily tempted to try their luck in Lithuania.
It was a scheme as ingenious as it was devious, and far from the holy mission that they spoke of publicly. After the Saracens ousted them from their 'Holy Land' and stripped away their Middle Eastern estates, these crusaders now planted their iron heels on our backs to sate their lust for blood and plunder.
When Algirdas was forced to deal with the defiant city-states of Ruthenia wreaking havoc on the Lithuanian borderlands, the opportunistic Teutons saw a chance to invade our homeland yet again.
Believing that western Lithuania lay open while Algirdas was occupied in the east, they marched into our lands. They were not expecting to face Kestutis, who had stayed behind to hold the heartland; but Kestutis was expecting them and lay in wait, eager to teach these sword-swinging marauders a lesson.
- Starting Age: Castle Age
- Starting resources: 250 food, 600 wood, 450 gold, 125 stone
- Population limit: 200
Differences between difficulty levels
- Put an end to the Teutonic Order's assaults by destroying at least two of its Castles.
- (after destroying the first Teutonic Castle) Defeat the Livonian Order's army.
- Burn down the Monasteries in Bryansk to rob the city of its Relics and force its inhabitants to surrender.
- Burn down the Monasteries in Kursk to rob the city of its Relics and force its inhabitants to surrender.
- (secondary) Ally with the Tatar refugees to allow them to settle in Lithuania as your vassal - or change your diplomatic stance to enemy and attack them instead to loot their belongings.
- Algirdas and Kestutis are restricted to a population limit of 200.
- While Algirdas set up camp in the southeast, Kestutis lead his followers to the west to invade the lands of the Teutonic Order. A large river separates both camps, preventing your forces from uniting initially.
- Docks and ships cannot be built in the dead of winter due to the icy riverbanks.
- Remember, Lithuanian Knights and Leiciai gain additional attack from garrisoned Relics, making your cavalry a force to bear.
- Consider subduing the weaker Ruthenian cities before marching on the formidable Teutons. Bryansk (4, Blue) in particular is easy prey and will not advance to the Imperial Age for the time being.
Your scouts report:
- Algirdas has camped in the east to invade Ruthenia, while Kestutis moves against the Teutonic Order in the west.
- The Teutonic Order (2, Grey) has three large fortresses spread across the center and west of the map. Each is heavily fortified and guarded by heavy cavalry, Teutonic Knights, and Crossbowmen. The Order will also make use of siege engines such as Capped Rams and Trebuchets on the offensive.
- The Livonian Order (3, Orange), is an ally of the Teutonic Order and will likely assist its fellow crusaders by sending armies from its territory in the northeast. They consist of Knights, infantry, Skirmishers, and siege engines.
- To conquer Ruthenia, Algirdas must subdue the hardy inhabitants of Bryansk and Kursk. Bryansk's garrison (4, Blue) consists of swordsmen, archery units, and Light Cavalry, while Kursk (5, Purple) is defended by Knights, Boyars, and Spearmen.
- Word has it that Tartar refugees (6, Yellow) from the Kipchak steppes have fled west from the Golden Horde, seeking Algirdas' and Kestutis' permission to settle at the Lithuanian border.
- Player (Lithuanians): Algirdas and Kestutis start with two separate bases: Algirdas in the northeast and Kestutis in the northwest. Both bases have a sizable army.
Neutral → Ally or Enemy
- Tatar Refugees (Tatars): The Tatars are encamped to the west of Algirdas' base, over the river from Kestutis' base They can be reached from Algirdas' base, whereas Kestutis is cut off from them. They will ask for refuge, and if the player accepts, they will move to the south and establish a small base. After that they will actively attack the Teutonic Order. Otherwise, the player can choose to attack the Tatars and loot their resources.
- The Teutonic Order (Teutons): The most dangerous enemy. The Order has three Castles and two Fortresses guarding the entrance to Kestutis' base. The player will need to destroy at least two Teutonic Castles to win the scenario. The crusaders will attack mainly Kestutis' forces with Paladins, Teutonic Knights, Crossbowmen, and siege weapons.
- The Livonian Order (Teutons): The Livonian Knights will respond to their fellow Order after the latter's first Castle has been destroyed. They will start marching from the north towards Algirdas' base and attack with Elite Skirmishers, Paladins, and Trebuchets.
Enemy → Ally
- Bryansk (Slavs): The city of Bryansk is one of two cities that Algirdas must subdue and will attack his base. They will submit after their three Monasteries are destroyed. The city trains Light Cavalry, Swordsmen, and Crossbowmen.
- Kursk (Slavs): The city of Kursk is more powerful, boasting three Castles. Like Bryansk, they will actively attack Algirdas, but with Boyars, Pikemen, and siege weapons. They will eventually reach the Imperial Age and upgrade their units. After the player destroys their three Monasteries, they will surrender.
Note: The player can choose to ally with the Tatar refugees, and once the player hits the Imperial Age, a trigger will make them research Cuman Mercenaries, allowing the player to train five free Elite Kipchaks per Castle built.
This scenario ramps up the difficulty compared to the first one, mainly due to the fact that it forces the player to manage two bases. This walkthrough should help the player by labeling the early attack patterns to ensure a smooth start and warn against a spoiler potential trigger later on in the scenario. For simplicity, the base facing the Teutonic forces (Grey) will be labelled the west base, the one facing the Slavs (Blue and Purple) will be the north base.
The north base will face the first attack relatively early, so a Castle is essential. The player should use some of the idle Villagers by the Town Center to build a second Town Center by the stone piles southwest. Several geese herds can be located around the player's base (12 of them northwest, 3 going towards Blue hugging the north border of the map and another 5 by the Tatar camp). Use the scout to locate them to kickstart the economy with the Villagers not building the additional Town Center and ally with the Tatars in the process. Once stone becomes available, the player should consider stone walling one of the two paths leading to the base. Walling off the gap where two Boars are grazing while leaving the smaller more defensible choke by the gold pile works well. Build a Castle next to the gold piles towards the Purple base. The player should expand the economy as best as possible, but getting the Pikeman upgrade and Crossbowmen is also necessary. Purple leads the attack followed in close succession by Blue with a Slavic army of Boyars, Knights, Longswordmen, Crossbowmen, and (later on) siege. Once the player survives the two attacks, Grey will attack the western base. The player should turn their attention over there to set up a Castle and defenses, but ultimately, the north base should be the main focus of battle in the early stages.
Purple and Blue both will "resign" once all their Monasteries are destroyed (no need to pick the Relics to trigger it). They switch their allegiance to the player once done, so the player will benefit not only from allies, but will max out the civilization bonus from Relics for Knights and Leiciai (+4 attack). The player should stay on the defense until the Imperial Age though, as the Purple base has two Castles overlooking the corners of the base, making Trebuchets the ideal unit to clear them, followed by the two Monasteries hiding behind each one. The player can get an early Relic by destroying the lone Monastery to the north of the Purple base defended by a single tower. This can be achieved with Battering Ram for an early gain. A suggested force of Leiciai (or later Paladins), Halbediers, Crossbowmen, 4-6 Trebuchets, and a few Monks counter both Slav enemies. Once Purple is dealt with, Blue can suffer the same fate with one Monastery within the walls on the west side of the base and 2 Monasteries in the open by a Fortified Tower.
The player should retreat this force to the north base and build a Castle protecting the empty northern corner of the map.
Once the initial two attacks from Blue and Purple are dealt with, the player should focus their attention to the western front. Scout for Geese (seven can be found really close to the Grey bases south and southeast). This base offers a nice woodline west of the Town Center. Ideally, the player would wall off the southwestern part of the base and build the second Castle southeast of this base's gold piles as soon as stone is available. Consider building a Market if short 100-200 stone. Facing Teutonic forces with high melee armor, such as Teutonic Knights, Knight-line, and Crusader Knights, along with Crossbowmen, and Trebuchets, Leiciai work wonders supported by Pikemen/Halberdiers (build Barracks after the Castle is finished). The player should only sally forth later on when Grey sends Trebuchets (focus on them), afterwards retreating underneath the Castle to engage the rest of the forces. Later on, Crossbowmen can be added to this force once Blue/Purple is dealt with. With a few Trebuchets, the player can now tackle the Castle to the southeast. Once destroyed, whatever building Grey possessed in the area transfers to the player's control. Destroying the first fortress will also trigger Grey's cry for help.
Orange joins the party
Following Grey's plea for help, Orange will spawn an army in the north corner of the map (swampy area). It is therefore not recommended to send northern forces south after Blue and Purple surrender. Orange fields a typical AI balance army of cavalry, infantry and archers with four Trebuchets. Paladins, Halberdiers, and Crossbowmen are an ideal counter. Once that single wave is defeated, Orange resigns. The player can then focus all their attention to destroy either of Grey's Castles left standing to win the game.
The Grand Master of the Order had greatly underestimated the resourceful brothers. It seemed that Algirdas and Kestutis were invincible whenever they joined forces. Exasperated, the Teutonic Order was forced to give up its invasion plans — at least for a time.
The war with the Order was a long and bloody affair, but in the end Kestutis repelled the invaders. He was henceforth known as 'the Steadfast' for his stubborn defense and loyalty to his brother. Once Algirdas arrived to help, the brothers even managed to conquer several important Teutonic fortresses.
But their quick triumph made steadfast Kestutis careless.
During a skirmish, retreating crusaders captured and dragged him to one of the Teutonic border fortresses. Perhaps the crusaders even put chains on him, like those that we wear right now? I like to think that they did... but in any case, Kestutis did not remain a prisoner for long.
With the help of a loyal servant, he broke a hole in the three-meter-thick wall of his cell while Algirdas distracted the crusader guards with a feigned attack. In the chaos that ensued, Kestutis left the castle on horseback, dressed as a Teutonic knight.
- In all of the campaigns before, Teuton players are represented in red, even in the previous scenario. But, starting from this scenario, Teutons are now in grey.
- When the player approaches Kursk, a message from Kursk will appear saying that "Not long ago, a one-eyed khan burned our entire city to the ground." This can be seen as a reference to Nogai Khan and the last scenario of the Ivaylo campaign, though the enemy city in that scenario, which is also represented by the color purple, is Kiev and not Kursk.