Reaching South is the fourth scenario of the Le Loi campaign in Age of Empires II HD: Rise of the Rajas. Le Loi has set his sights on the Ming capital of Nghệ An, but he has to first pass through Cam Banh, a Vietnamese general who cooperated with the Ming Chinese, and the stronghold of the veteran Chinese general Wang Tong, who has been specially appointed by the Ming Chinese to stop the advance of Le Loi.
With Hanoi under Le Loi's control, the Chinese retreated behind the walls ofthe larger towns and cities of the south. There, they would wait for Wang Tong, the approaching Ming general. Le Loi had to act quickly, but he could not underestimate the Ming. The garrisons had large stockpiles of gunpowder and Wang Tong's army marched at a frantic pace to reach the besieged cities.
Once Hanoi had fallen, Lê Lợi looked south, towards the Ming capital of Nghệ An. To get there, however, his army would have to pass by a fortress which was in the hands of Cam Banh, a Vietnamese magnate in service to the Ming. The Ming were not going to let the Vietnamese take the fortress so easily and so they sent their most capable general, Wang Tong, to lift the siege.Wang Tong was an experienced tactician, a veteran of several Ming wars. If anyone was able to challenge Lê Lợi, it would be him.
- Starting age: Castle Age
- Starting resources: 450 food, 500 wood, 350 gold, 125 stone
- Population limit: 120
- Starting units:
- Capture the 3 gunpowder stores in the southeastern Ming fortress by destroying the Keep near each respective store.
- Win the support of the villagers by wiping out the Ming forces occupying their settlement.
- The Vietnamese are restricted to a population limit of 120.
- The Ming army in the north has occupied a region rich with resources. It may make sense to conquer this territory before attacking the Ming fortress in the southeast.
- Remember that the Chinese have subjugated many villages. As always, it is worthwhile to free occupied settlements from the Ming.
- Keep in mind that you need to capture, not destroy the Ming gunpowder stores. You will lose if one is destroyed. Once you have captured a gunpowder store, the enemy may try to destroy it as well - do not allow them to do so!
Your scouts report:
- The Ming fortress (2, Cyan) lies southeast to the Vietnamese camp. Its walls are heavily guarded by a strong garrison composed of Pikemen, heavy cavalry, and Crossbowmen.
- To the north, the Ming army (4, Green) has established a camp. They will attack constantly with Light Cavalry, Crossbowmen, and swordsmen.
- The Chinese general Wang Tong (6, Blue) himself commands a wing of the Ming forces. It can be expected that he will intervene if Le Loi's soldiers should succeed in expelling the regular Chinese forces.
- Starting age: Castle Age
- Starting resources: 150 food, 150 wood, 100 gold, 0 stone
- Population limit: 200
- Starting units:
- Destroy the wonder within the fortress.
- Construct a new Wonder in the captured fortress.
- Stop the Ming reinforcements by destroying their base in the north.
- Find a way to destroy the Ming ships before they can reach the fortress.
- Break the Ming trade by destroying the market in the north.
- The Vietnamese started in the Castle Age with access to the Imperial Age.
- Beware of counter-attacks from the Ming.
- Try to control the road to the enemy fortress.
- The Ming walls are almost impenetrable except for the gates.
- Try to be as swift as you can when finally sieging down the enemy's fortress.
Your scouts report:
- The Ming fortress, lead by Cam Banh (blue) lies south of the Vietnamese camp. It is heavily defended and well supplied. Troops arrive constantly from both sea (purple) and land (green).
- The Vietnamese forces (yellow) must try to prevent the enemy fortress from receiving reinforcements. Thereafter the Vietnamese must take and hold the fortress until their leader Le Loi arrives.
- Player (Vietnamese): The player starts with a small base on the northwest of the map, protected by Palisade Walls.
Neutral → Allies
- Locals (Vietnamese): The Locals have a village in the west with some Mills and Farms. Once the player frees them from the Ming Occupying Forces, their Villagers will start farming and they will occasionally tribute food to the player.
- Wang Tong (Chinese): Wang Tong has an army of Cavaliers, Arbalesters, and Trebuchets, and will attack with 6 Knights after four minutes. He will later attack in two big waves (no later than the 70-minute mark). After his army is defeated, he will resign.
- Ming Occupying Forces (Chinese): They occupy the Locals' village with a Guard Tower, as well as Cavaliers, Chu Ko Nu, and Scorpions.
- Ming Army (Chinese): They have a Castle and some production buildings in the North. They train Two-Handed Swordsmen, Light Cavalry, Crossbowmen, and Chu Ko Nu.
- Ming Fortress (Chinese): The Ming Fortress is in the eastern part of the map and guards the three gunpowder stores. They are the main enemy in this scenario, training Halberdiers, Cavaliers, Crossbowmen, Elite Chu Ko Nu, and Trebuchets.
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The player starts with a small base with a few Villagers. Get to work on the economy right away producing as many Villagers as possible. The player will receive numerous raids from Ming Army starting with several Skirmishers and Crossbowmen, to Two-Handed Swordsmen later on. Cam Banh will attack periodically as well, but Ming is the immediate threat. After the player has got a decent economy, a few military buildings, and a Castle, they should try to get to the Imperial Age. Once there, build Trebuchets to take down Ming's towers and gates. The base directly to the north has an Archery Range and the Cam Banh Market that needs to be destroyed for the side quest, though the player can choose to ignore it and keep the blue market for trade instead. From the causeway leading to the North camp, the player can destroy the Ming Castle and open the second gate with Trebuchets. Once the gates are down the Ming fall quickly.
The locals to the southwest will show the player a passageway to cut off the Ming Fleet if the player finds their settlement and build a mill for them. This path will take the player a group of soldiers guarding a hill with the help of a Dragon Ship. Constructing a Castle on this hill will complete the objective.
Cam Banh is in a well fortified city with a castle guarding the gate. Trebuchets can deal with this while infantry protect from the archers and siege they send against the player. They have no villagers, so once their production buildings are destroyed, they cannot be rebuilt. The initial raids sent against the player consist mostly of Chu No Ku, Long Swordsmen, Light Cavalry, and Knights. Outside the walls of the city is a Monastery with a Relic guarded by some infantry and three Monks. It is recommended that the player take a few villagers with them after the initial assault on the base to build production buildings so the player's units will not have to traverse the map to reinforce losses.
Since the armies the player fights rely heavily on archers, it is best to upgrade to Imperial Skirmishers to help keep that at bay, guarded by infantry and Rattan Archers to protect against their minimum range. There is abundant wood at the starting location to fill this need. The player will lose a lot of men repelling the raids in the early to mid game. Gold is more scarce and should be used to build trebuchets to deal with the opponent's buildings and Militia line troops to defend the archers and Skirmishers who will make quick work of enemies when grouped up.
There is a Relic hidden in the forest directly north of the Lumber Camp, but the trees must be cleared before it can be reached. Once the player destroys the enemy Wonder, the player must construct another, since they do not have to defend it. Once the city has been cleared of hostiles, the player can commit all Villagers to its construction to win the scenario.
Since there are just three Relics on the map, an easier way to win is constructing a Monastery and sending Monks collecting them all and winning after the Relic countdown.
Definitive Edition hard
When the game starts, queue some Villagers and build a second Town Center. The player should aim at producing around 60 Villagers. Use one Villager to gate off the side entrance, which will funnel the enemy attacks through the main entrance with the two Watch Towers. Garrison the archers in the towers, and use another Villager to Palisade wall the bottleneck smaller - but not closed entirely. Build a Monastery, then put all Villagers on foraging. Once the player has around 14 foragers, start producing lumberjacks and then gold miners. Immediately after the second wave of attacks, start collecting stone. Maybe put a Watch Tower down to protect the stone miners.
While working on the economy, put down a Blacksmith, Barracks, and Archery Range and start producing units and upgrading. The player might be gold-starved after the initial pile is exhausted, so it may be a good idea to focus on Pikemen/Elite Skirmishers at first. With a few upgrades and the two Monks converting mounted units, the player should be able to defend the enemy attacks. Use the mounted units to destroy Trebuchets as soon as they are visible. Note: the enemy may attack from the South, so do not extend too far East unless the player think they can defend themselves. There is also one Relic that the player might want to find/capture in the southwestern portion of the map surrounded by four Tigers.
Once the player gets to the Imperial Age, build a few Trebuchets. From here, the player should attack the Ming Army north of the base, who should fall easily to a few well-defended Trebuchets. After the north enemy resigns, their Market seems to disappear along with them, so do not bother producing Trade Carts. Once the player has replenished the army, attack the small enemy southwest of the initial base. They have one Watch Tower and a handful of upgraded units, but they should not produce new ones and as such should be destroyed easily. The Locals will now tribute food throughout the game.
When it is only the player and the Ming Fortress left, things are straightforward. As usual, try to save up 650 stone and build a secondary forward Castle outside of their base's entrance. Use this to defend the troops while they defend the Trebuchets while they destroy the gates. With the gates down and a few well-defended Trebuchets, victory should be immediate.
Note: To avoid accidentally destroying any of the gunpowder stores, the player should change the diplomatic stance with the Ming Fortress to neutral before attacking their base. Also, do not use Capped Rams to destroy the towers, as they may accidentally destroy the gunpowder stores due to blast damage.
After capturing a major citadel with its gunpowder stores intact, Le Loi was able to take several key towns and hold off Wang Tong and his army.Wang Tong knew that his position was poor, and so he retreated to strengthen his supply lines and replenish his forces. For now, there would be no battle. Le Loi marched further south with Wang Tong and his army following closely, and gaining strength...
The Ming made several attempts to reach the fortress but the Vietnamese managed to repulse the large army of Wang Tong. The fortress fell and Cam Banh was captured, signifying another important turning point in the war. Wang Tong and his army weren't completely defeated but he had gotten himself in a bad position with low supplies. No longer able to attack the Vietnamese or prevent the Vietnamese rebels to go south, he retreated to a save[sic] location. Now the way south laid open for Lê Lợi's army... With Wang Tong following it closely.
- In the Definitive Edition, Wang Tong quotes Sun Tzu before and after each of his attacks:
- (before the first attack) "If you know the enemy and know yourself, your victory will not stand in doubt. If you know Heaven and know Earth, you may make your victory complete."
- (after the first attack) "Pretend to be weak, so that your opponent will grow arrogant."
- This is a warning that Wang Tong will attack again, but with a much stronger army.
- (before the second attack) "A kingdom that has been destroyed once can never again come back into being, nor can the dead ever be brought back to life."
- This quote can be seen as inaccurate, as not only the events of this campaign show, but also the history of China herself.
- (after the second attack) "He who advances without seeking fame, who retreats without escaping blame, whose one aim is to protect his people and to serve his lord - that man is a jewel of the realm."