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Razing Hellas is the second scenario of the reworked Alaric campaign in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition. It is based on Alaric's invasion of Greece in 396-397 A.D.

Intro[]

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[]

Starting conditions[]

Objectives[]

  • 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[]

  1. You have no Villagers here in Greece. In order to replenish your troops, you will need to sack the Greek towns.
  2. By placing your Huskarls right beneath a Town Center, you can rapidly destroy it.
  3. 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[]

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[]

Player[]

Enemies → Allies[]

  • Sparta (Byzantines) 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) 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[]

  • The Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantines) owns a Castle in the Peloponnese, 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.
  • The Roman Defenders (Byzantines) 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[]

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. However, it can be worthwhile to build a Siege Tower in order to avoid needing to take down the gate, saving a lot of time; just put it up against a wall segment next to the gate and it will deposit infantry on the other side. The attack should be concentrated on the 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. However, this technology will only benefit the player's starting military buildings, not the ones the player will capture later in the scenario, so it is not that useful.

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 "Numerous as the Grains of Sand" achievement, 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[]

To get the achievement "Numerous as the Grains of Sand", the player can only train infantry units.

Research Squires, Iron Casting, and Chain Mail Armor. For the initial group of Cataphracts, train lots of Pikemen to deal with them (use the Market if necessary). 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 two Mangonels, so the player should put their units on staggered formation and destroy them as soon as possible (be extra careful with Corinth's Mangonels). 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). Capturing Argos will give the player Perfusion, but this technology only benefits the player's starting Barracks, thus not being that useful.
  • 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, preferably until running out of resources. Losing the starting (and only) Market means that the player will run out of food, so keeping some units near it to defend it is a good idea.

Now the player has to take down the Roman base. While this base was originally protected by two gates, this is not the case anymore after certain updates. The player should kill any melee units or Monks and focus on destroying the Roman Castle (which the Romans will use to train Cataphracts, though only in small numbers). After destroying the Castle, destroy 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[]

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[]

  • 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.
  • The scenario's premise of leading an army without an economy and conquering enemy towns to replenish forces is shared with Manzikert.

Historical comparison[]

  • 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.
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