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Path of Exile is the first scenario of the Yodit campaign in Age of Empires II HD: The African Kingdoms. In this scenario, Yodit, with the help of her loyal bodyguard Samuel, has to escape the clutches of her nephew Gidajan, who framed her for theft, via one of three possible escape routes.

Intro[]

Aksum – the heart of our empire and the cradle of the Ethiopian civilization. Even so, every time our caravan stops here to sell its wares, the city seems less grand; more roofs need thatching, fewer shops are open, and even the shouts of the hawkers are ever so slightly less audible.

My son doesn't notice, of course. Ever since we entered the city, the boy has stared in awe at every building. This is a marvelous sight for a country lad living in the northern highlands.

As we passed a church, a set of golden curtains caught his eye. 'Father, have you ever seen such a treasure? Why does nobody guard it – are they not afraid of thieves?' I could not help but smile. 'Why hire strong-arms when even the queen dares not take them?' A deep frown creased my son's brow.

The boy apparently did not know the story of his ruler yet. 'Forty years ago, when our queen Yodit was but a princess, she discovered the very reason why those curtains do not need any guards...'

'Yodit was truly beautiful. Every lord in the empire contended for her hand, much to the displeasure of Gidajan, her nephew and the heir to the throne. Gidajan devised a plan to be rid of her: in the night he stole the golden curtains and hid them in her room.'

'When the palace guard discovered the treasure, she was locked in the deepest cells. Luckily, there were some who refused to believe the accusations. One loyal captain named Samuel helped her escape through a secret tunnel.'

Aksum – the heart of our empire and the cradle of the Ethiopian civilization and culture since antiquity. Even so, every time our caravan stops here to sell its wares and acquire necessities for the village, the city seems less grand; more roofs need thatching, less shops are open, and even the shouts of the hawkers are ever so slightly less audible.

My son Daniel doesn't notice, of course. For his twelfth birthday, I promised that he could travel with the yearly caravan and see Aksum for himself. Ever since we entered the city, the boy has stared in awe at every building. The city is indeed a marvelous sight for a country lad living in the northern highlands.

As we passed a temple, Daniel abruptly stopped. 'Father', he whispered, his eyes fixed on the golden curtains, 'have you ever seen such a treasure? Why does nobody guard it – are they not afraid of thieves?' I could not help but smile before replying 'Why hire strong-arms when even the queen dares not take them, my son?' A deep frown creased Daniel's brow; 'Don't you lie to me, father! Surely a queen can do whatever she wishes.'

The boy apparently did not know the story of his ruler yet – that needed to change. 'Sit down, son.', I responded, directing Daniel to the stairs of the temple, 'Forty years ago, when our queen Yodit was but a princess, she discovered the very reason why those curtains do not need any guards...'

The boy sat down, leaning close to hear the beginning of what was sure to be a truly wondrous story. 'Yodit was truly beautiful. Every lord in the empire contended for her hand, much to the displeasure of Gidajan, her nephew and the heir to the throne. Gidajan devised a plan to be rid of her: in the night he stole the golden curtains and hid them in her room. When the palace guards discovered the treasure, she was locked in the deepest cells.'

Daniel gasped loudly, but quickly covered his mouth and urged me to go on, 'Luckily, there were some who refused to believe the accusations. One loyal captain, named Samuel, helped her escape through a secret tunnel. As long as she stayed in the Aksumite Empire, Yodit would never be safe from prince Gidajan. Her journey had merely begun...'

Scenario instructions[]

Starting conditions[]

  • Starting Age: FeudalageDE Feudal Age
  • Starting resources:
  • Population limit: 100

Objectives[]

Main objectives[]

  • Yodit must survive.
  • Escape from Gidajan's grasp.
    • (subsequently) Bring Yodit to the loyal village.
    • (subsequently) Bring Yodit to one of the three marked spots on the map in order for her to escape.

Secondary objectives[]

  • Select the Siege Workshop in order to obtain three rams for 500 gold.
  • Select the Dock next to the Ferryman in order to purchase a Transport Ship for 500 gold.

Hints[]

  1. You are restricted to a population limit of 100 and you cannot advance past the Feudal Age.
  2. Samuel is a very capable warrior. Try to keep him alive, but do not be afraid to use him in battle.
  3. Shotel Warriors loyal to Princess Yodit are spread throughout the map. If approached by Yodit or Samuel, they will join your forces.

  1. Samuel is a very capable warrior, do not lose him prematurely.
  2. You cannot advance past the Feudal Age.
  3. Gidajan has a couple of military camps in the area and will regularly send men to attack you. It is not your objective to destroy these camps and it is ill-advised to attempt this.
  4. There is a substantial amount of Baoab[sic] forest to the south of your camp.
  5. There is no gold or stone available in the village. You will have to venture into the wilderness in order to acquire these resources.
  6. Shotel Warriors still loyal to Princess Yodit are to be found all across the map. Bring Yodit or Samuel near them for them to join your side.
  7. There are but few men in the region available to help us, which means you are restricted to a population limit of 100.

Scouts[]

  • Yodit and Samuel (1, Green) have just escaped from the city of Aksum. They need to find a way out of the Aksumite Empire.
  • Aksum (3, Yellow) is your only ally. Some of its inhabitants and soldiers are sympathetic to Yodit.
  • Gidajan (2, Red) is your most dangerous enemy. He will use a full array of Feudal Age units to prevent Yodit from escaping.
  • A fort in the mountains (4, Cyan) blocks the passage through the mountains in the north. The fort is defended by Men-at-arms, Spearmen, and Skirmishers.
  • The fort by the river (5, Purple) is an encampment to the northeast which attempts to block the passageway to the river. The fort's garrison consists of Archers, Scout Cavalry, and swordsmen.
  • A third camp (6, Orange) is located in the eastern forests. It is the only enemy encampment without any walls, but beware its multitude of towers. The camp's forces consist of Scout Cavalry, Archers, and some Spearmen.

  • Yodit and Samuel (green) just escaped from the city of Aksum. They will have to find a way out of the Aksumite Empire.
  • Aksum (yellow) is your only ally. They have some villages and soldiers still loyal to Yodit.
  • Gidajan (red) is your most dangerous enemy. They will use a fully array of feudal age units to prevent Yodit from escaping.
  • Fort in the Mountains (cyan) is the fort which blocks the passage through the mountains in the north. They will train a combination of men-at-arms, spearmen, and skirmishers.
  • Fort by the River (purple) is an encampment to the northeast which attempts to block the passageway to the river. They will train a combination of archers, scout cavalry, and eastern swordsmen.
  • Camp in the Forest (orange) is the camp in the east. It is the only enemy encampment without any walls, but beware their multitude of towers. They will mainly train scout cavalry, archers, and some spearmen.

  • Players[]

    Player[]

    • Player (Ethiopians AoE2 Ethiopians) - Yodit and Samuel (a named, stronger, and regenerating Elite Shotel Warrior, but not a Hero unit) start in the western corner of the map. A pair of friendly Shotel Warriors are in the southwest, and the path ahead leading to a friendly village in the east contains three of Gidajan's Spearmen.

    Allies[]

    • Aksum (Ethiopians AoE2 Ethiopians): The few locals still loyal to Yodit. They consist of a small village, which is later taken over by the player; a total of 10 Shotel Warriors camping in pairs near their small Pavilions, who will join Yodit if either she or Samuel approach them; a siege engineer in the southwest who will sell two Battering Rams for a tribute of 500 gold; and a ferryman in the southeast who will sell a Transport Ship for 500 gold.

    Enemies[]

    • Gidajan (Ethiopians AoE2 Ethiopians): Several forified military camps in the region, which produce a full array of Feudal Age Units as well as the occasional Shotel Warrior.
    • Fort in the Mountains (Ethiopians AoE2 Ethiopians): Blocks the pass to the mountain. They produce Men-at-Arms, Spearmen and Skirmishers.
    • Fort by the River (Saracens AoE2 Saracens): Blocks the river escape route. The have Archers, Scout Cavalry and Eastern Swordsmen at their disposal.
    • Camp in the Forest (Fort in the Forest before the Definitive Edition) (Ethiopians AoE2 Ethiopians): Blocks the passage into the open plains, the third escape route. In contrast to the other two forts, it is not walled, but instead cluttered with Sea Towers. Their army consists of Scout Cavalry, Spearmen and Archers.

    Strategy[]

    The scenario starts with only Yodit and her trusted bodyguard Samuel outside a secret tunnel out of Aksum. When moving south Samuel soon spots a few enemy guards, which he can kill by himself if the Shotel Warrior is targeted first. West of the guards, two loyal Shotel Warriors can be found. With the guards eliminated, Samuel mentions a nearby village whose inhabitants are staunch supporters of Yodit.

    The player should note though that as soon as the village is approached and thus taken over, Gidajan starts producing units and attacking, so it might be better to first scout the map to collect all ten Shotel Warriors and find resources and enemy camps. While Yodit cannot fight she is pretty fast, has a good line of sight, and also regenerates health.

    When the village is reached, the goal of the scenario is revealed: Yodit has to reach one of the marked escape points, each of which is protected by an enemy fort.

    The easy way[]

    The probably easiest but somewhat cheesy way to win this scenario.

    • Use Samuel to kill the three guards at the start and move forward to claim the village.
    • Task two of the Villagers to build a Market and the rest to gather wood or food. As soon as the Market is built, sell everything for gold. The target is 500 gold for the Transport Ship.
    • Move Yodit to the Dock and buy the Transport Ship.
    • Take the ship to the rightmost flag and unload Yodit. The ship survives with 1/5th of its hit points remaining. The player might have to micro to avoid some arrows, but in most cases, the ship will survive.

    The hard way[]

    The scenario can also be drawn out if the player does not wish to use the quick and easy method. In either case all 10 Aksum Shotel Warriors should be gathered before taking over the village, as Gidajan will relentlessly attack with large groups of varied units right off the start. As the scenario is set entirely in the Feudal Age, the Shotel Warriors cannot be replaced, so they should always be garrisoned inside the Town Center when they need healing.

    All of Gidajan's waves head straight for the Town Center as long as it remains standing, and will mostly ignore anything not in the vicinity of it, so the economy should mostly be set up southwest of the base, across the river, where wood and gold can be found. If the woodline right east of the Town Center is used, the lumberjacks will spend more time running towards the Town Center to garrison inside when attacked than actually chopping wood. A few Farms around the Town Center are ok though. Even if the harvest is often interrupted by enemy raids, the villagers can quickly garrison inside the Town Center to fire arrows, which is crucial in defeating some of the first waves.

    North of the village additional gold and, very importantly, one stone mine can be found. The stone, sufficient for two Watch Towers, should be gathered as soon as possible. When affordable, the towers should be built right next to the Town Center (but not right next to each other, so they can still attack enemies at each other's bases) and each garrisoned with either five Archers, five Villagers or a combination of both. In either case, a fully manned and upgraded with Fletching Watch Tower fires a total of 5 arrows, has 5+1 attack and 8+1 range. These two towers and a few additional units stationed under the Town Center along with the farmers garrisoned inside the Town Center in case of attack are sufficient defense against Gidajan's attacks, which allows the player to go on the offensive.

    As the three forts do not attack until provoked it might be a good idea to take out some (or all) of Gidajan's camps to have more breathing room. Both the camp northwest and southeast of Yodit's base are only lightly fortified and can easily fall in a quick sweep supported by the two Battering Rams bought from Aksum for a tribute of 500 gold. It is of utmost importance not to lose the rams as they are irreplaceable. The remaining Shotel Warriors should be garrisoned inside, as not only does this increase the rams' speed and attack, but also allows the warriors to quickly pop out and deal with any enemies attacking the rams in melee range. Additionally, a few Villagers should be around at all times to repair the siege equipment when damaged. The remaining two camps of Gidajan (the one in the center containing a castle and the one in the northeast) are way better fortified, and in most cases are not worth the hassle. They can still be taken down with careful ram management and under heavy losses however, and the camp in the northeast also provides an alternative escape route, allowing Yodit not to deal with any of the three Forts.

    With the threat of Gidajan optionally diminished, the player can take on one of the forts of their choice. All of the forts are defended by towers and all but the one in the forest also have Palisade Walls, so the Battering Rams are very helpful in storming them. They all have a decently rounded army so it is up to the players choice which one they want to face (check Players section above for information about their respective composition) but the Fort by the River probably has the most advanced technology, not only having Bloodlines for their Scout Cavalry, but also Eastern Swordsmen, a version of the Long Swordsmen (to somewhat balance this out, they do not seem to research Scale Mail Armor though). With the passage to any of the three escape points cleared, Yodit can flee the area and thus the scenario is won.

    The fastest way[]

    On standard difficulty, it is possible to just send Yodit to the far right corner flag (at the Fort in the Forest). While traveling, Yodit will find some Shotel Warriors. The player can make it easier by evading the center Gidajan town. When the player is walking through the Fort in the Forest, make sure that Yodit lags behind so the towers will start to shoot the Shotel Warriors, sometimes distracting military units with the other Shotel Warriors. At the end, Yodit will reach the flag. Just make sure to circle her around evading enemies until the player gets the victorious sign.

    Outro[]

    My son smiled when he heard of Yodit's escape. 'As long as she stayed in the Aksumite Empire, however, Yodit would never be safe from prince Gidajan.'

    'Her journey had merely begun...'

    Daniel laughed with joy: 'I knew Yodit would escape prince Gidajan!' After a few seconds, his face became more serious. 'But how did she become queen if she left Ethiopia, father?' he finally asked. 'Indeed a good question, Daniel, but we must be going', I responded while lifting him up. 'The sun is already descending and we still need to visit the market. Mother will not be pleased if we return to the village without a gift for her. If you help me find one, I will tell you how Yodit fared in exile.' That promise put the smile back on the lad's face.

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