Intro[edit | edit source]
The elders of the Visigothic tribes elected Alaric king of the Visigoths. Never before had there been a single king, but never before had there been a man like Alaric.
We were drawn into another war with Rome. The Romans had failed to fulfill their promises of lands for our families and Alaric was determined to force them to remember their promises. He marched our army south into Greece; 'The Days the Romans ignored the Visigoths are over!' he declared. 'We will set fire to Hellas!'
Scenario instructions[edit | edit source]
Starting conditions[edit | edit source]
- Starting Age: Castle Age
- Starting resources: 750 food, 500 wood, 750 gold, 0 stone
- Population limit: 110
- Starting units:
Objectives[edit | edit source]
- Sack Sparta by destroying its Town Center.
- Sack Argos by destroying its Town Center.
- Sack Corinth by destroying its Town Center.
- Destroy the Roman soldiers and towers defending the Corinthian markets.
- Sack Athens by destroying its Town Center.
- Destroy the Roman soldiers and towers defending the Athenian mines.
- Defeat the Roman Army.
Hints[edit | edit source]
- You have no Villagers here in Greece. In order to replenish your troops, you will need to sack the Greek towns.
- By placing your Huskarls right beneath a Town Center, you can rapidly destroy it.
- Huskarls are excellent at destroying buildings and fortifications, but they are no match against Cataphracts. Consider training different types of units as well when facing the main Roman force.
Scouts[edit | edit source]
Your scouts report:
- The Visigoths (1, Green) are far from home and do not have villagers or resources to construct a base. There are, however, several locations where new soldiers can be recruited.
- Additional resources and buildings can be obtained by sacking the four Greek cities: Sparta, Argos, Corinth, and Athens.
- Sparta (2, Red) lies south of your starting position. Its defense force of Knights, Pikemen, and Long Swordsmen and should be relatively easy to master. Its main economic activity is woodcutting.
- To the east is Argos (4, Yellow). A force of Light Cavalry, Elite Skirmishers, and Scorpions protects its walls. Because of its access to the sea, it has a steady food income.
- Corinth (3, Blue) lies on the isthmus between the Peloponesus and the rest of Greece, which makes it of important strategic value. It fields Knights and Crossbowmen. Although it produces mostly wood, it is also known to be an important trade center. Securing that trade will generate gold for the Visigoths.
- The famed city of Athens (5, Cyan) lies to the northeast of your camp, beyond Corinth, and cannot be reached initially. It is defended by Light Cavalry and Long Swordsmen. It is said that there is an important silver mine to the north of it. Although it does not generate as much as it once did, seizing it will incur additional gold tribute from the Athenians.
- Eastern Roman defense forces (6, Purple) are scattered about Greece to protect it from barbarian raids. However, their main army is coming in from the northwest with the aim to end all raiding. It will train Knights, Long Swordsmen, Monks, and, most dangerous of all, Cataphracts.
Players[edit | edit source]
- Player (Goths): The player starts west with a camp including Barracks, Archery Range, Stable, Siege Workshop, Blacksmith and a Market, along with a sizeable Infantry force, but no Villagers or defensive structures besides decorative Palisade Walls.
Enemies → Allies[edit | edit source]
- Sparta (Byzantines): Sparta is the first enemy encountered by the player (barring the Roman Defenders) and the weakest overall, being defended by a single Fortified Wall line instead of two.
- Corinth (Byzantines) and Argos (Byzantines) lie in the path between Sparta and Athens. Each is protected by two lines of Fortified Walls, cliffs, and Guard Towers. Crossing Corinth is necessary to gain access to the northern half of the map.
- Athens (Byzantines): Athens is at the northeastern limit of the map and the only Greek city protected by a Castle in addition to cliffs and several Guard Towers.
Enemies[edit | edit source]
- Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantines): The Eastern Roman Empire owns a Castle in the Peloponese, at a roughly equal distance from Sparta, Argos, and Corinth, and a large base north, in the lands beyond the isthmus. In addition to the units mentioned by the Scouts, they will also build Battering Rams and use them against the player and any Greek city taken by them.
- Roman Defenders (Byzantines): The Roman Defenders consist of a few groups of powerful units in defensive stance, like Cataphracts, Centurions (whose stats are identical to Elite Cataphracts), and Legionaries (equivalent to Jaguar Warriors). They guard strategic locations scattered through the map, like mountain passages, Eastern Roman bases, Corinth's markets, and Athens's mines.
Strategy[edit | edit source]
Starting resources should be used to research technologies that improve infantry and to create Pikemen and ranged units to support the Swordsmen and Huskarls against the first enemy, Sparta, and its Knights and Swordsmen. Siege units aren't necessary now, as Sparta's fortifications aren't strong, and Huskarls already have high pierce armor and bonus attack against buildings. The attack should be concentrated on the Gate and Town Center, but spare other buildings, including Towers, because they will change to the player's control once Sparta changes stance to Ally. This way, the Towers can be used to defend Sparta against the Romans, and can also heal wounded units by garrisoning them. Sparta's Villagers must also be spared, because any resources they collect will be tributed later to the player. The same applies to the other cities when conquered by the Goths.
The road to Sparta is guarded by a Centurion and some Cataphracts, but they can be avoided by following the cliffs and walking around the bonfire to the west of them. This is advisable because they have a large attack bonus against infantry. However, they should be dealt with after Sparta is conquered, because the longer they remain, the more likely the Romans are to attack the player's starting base, which is unprotected and contains the Goths' only Blacksmith and Market, and their only Siege Workshop before Corinth. Since the Romans will also attack Sparta with Cataphracts, Monks, and Legionaries, it is best to train ranged units or Knights after taking Sparta. After defeating the Centurion and Cataphracts, the player can also follow the road north to some ruins that will research Conscription for free.
East of Sparta is Argos, which is mostly defended by Scorpions and Skirmishers. An unusual but effective way to take it is to build a Siege Tower and ferry Huskarls over the outer gate. Afterward, the Huskarls only need to destroy the inner gate to reach the Town Center. Once Argos falls, the Romans switch their attention to it, sending Battering Rams from Corinth to the north and a Castle west of Argos. Build some rams to attack the Castle and protect them with archers to kill the Byzantine Cataphracts and Legionaries (or, if the player wants to complete the challenge, ignore it and keep defending Argos).
The only access to Corinth forces the player's units to walk along a cliff while under Castle fire, so use rams or Huskarls to soak up arrows and combine them with Pikemen and Skirmishers to fight Corinth's Knights, Crossbowmen, and Monks. After taking Corinth, lure out the Legionaries defending the Markets and kill them with archers or Knights, then take down the Towers. Move next against Athens, but instead of attacking the eastern gate, which is defended by a Castle, find the northern gate, from where the Town Center can be reached more easily. This way, the Castle will also surrender to the player when Athens falls. Repeat the strategy used to capture Corinth's Markets with Athens' mines.
The only objective standing is the Roman army base north. Concentrate a varied force and destroy everything in it.
Achievement[edit | edit source]
To get the achievement "Numerous as the Grains of Sand", the player can only train infantry units.
For the initial group of Cataphracts, train lots of Pikemen to deal with them. After that, the player will only need to train Huskarls, so it is a good idea to sell all the wood at the Market. The player can easily go through the cities' gates by taking advantage of the AI behavior.
- Sparta: Use the Huskarls to take down the gate (ignore the towers), fight Sparta's melee units (the player should win due to numerical advantage), and then send all units under the Town Center to destroy it. After destroying the Town Center, Anarchy is automatically researched, so the player can train Huskarls at the Barracks. Huskarls' speed, high pierce armor and fast creation time are the reasons why they should be preferred over Swordsmen.
- Argos and Corinth: Each of these two cities have ranged units, so the player should feign a retreat to lure them into opening the gates (each city has two gates). Argos has two Scorpions and Corinth has one Mangonel, so the player should put their units on staggered formation and destroy them as soon as possible (be extra careful with Corinth's Mangonel). The player should also kill the enemy melee units and then destroy the Town Center (archer units can be ignored, as their damage is minimal).
- Athens: There are two possible entrances into Athens. The most obvious one is right next to a Castle, so it should be avoided. The other one to the northwest implies going through Athens' mines, which are guarded by Roman soldiers, but the player can also take a shortcut through the hills. Attack the gate with the Huskarls and when Athens' melee units open the gate, get all the units inside, kill the enemy units (it should be easily won, thanks to the player's numerical advantage), and then destroy the Town Center.
After destroying each city's Town Center, the player should create more Huskarls to both expand their army and compensate losses. However, if the city gets under attack, it is better to leave the city and conquer the next one rather than engage in fights with Legionaries and Cataphracts.
Now the player has to take down the Roman base. Once again, there are two gates to go through, and since the Roman army only trains melee units (luckily, the Roman base only has one Cataphract), the player should use the same trick as for Sparta and Athens. After entering through the second gate, focus on taking down the Castle, the towers and the Monastery (as the Romans will keep creating Monks who will convert the player's Huskarls). After that, it is fairly easy to end the scenario by destroying the rest of the base with minimal opposition, and by the end, the achievement will pop out.
Outro[edit | edit source]
Ancient cities - once renowned for their philosophers and soldiers - were sacked and burned to ash. The world was changing rapidly, but Alaric had seen visions.
Despite our victories, the eastern Romans still refused to meet our envoys. Instead, we turned west. The half-Vandal general, Stilicho, was the driving power behind the Western Roman Empire. He knew Alaric from when our king served the Romans. We hoped Stilicho would be more willing to negotiate.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Though not set in the same place nor time as the scenario it replaced, both maps have defeating an incoming Roman army as their last objective, and introduce Legionaries for the first time.
- This scenario is very similar to Manzikert.
Historical comparison[edit | edit source]
- The main difference with the real campaign is that it actually happened in reverse order. The Goths, stopped in their march to Constantinople and pursued by Stilicho from the northwest, sacked Piraeus (near Athens), Corinth, Argos, and Sparta, before they were cornered at Foloi, around the place they begin in the scenario. Somehow the Goths escaped and crossed the Gulf of Corinth to Epirus, which led to accussations that Stilicho had negotiated in secret with Alaric.