Reconquista is the sixth and final scenario in the El Cid campaign in Age of Empires II: The Conquerors. It is based on the different Almoravid attempts to conquer Valencia (1094-1102) and the legend that El Cid won his last battle when he was already dead.

Intro[edit | edit source]

We were trapped and alone in our kingdom of Valencia. The Cid immediately sent out messages for potential allies, but there were few to be found. The Christian kingdom of Aragon was too far away, and King Alfonso of Castile seemed in no hurry to come to the Cid's defense. Even the Cid's old ally, Motamid the Moor, was of no avail. Yusuf had sent him into exile in the Sahara Desert, where he spent the rest of his sad days composing poetry. The Berbers rode around the city for ten days and nights, shrieking and banging their weapons on shields made of hippopotamus hide. But the Cid comforted his troops, prayed and planned a counterattack. And then the unthinkable happened. During a brilliant surprise attack to capture gold and horses from the Berbers, Rodrigo Díaz, my Cid, was shot by a stray arrow. The surprise attack became a rout, and the Cid's men barely made it back to the castle with his broken body. Rodrigo and I knew he would not last the night. But we also knew that without their Cid to lead them, the soldiers of Valencia would never have the strength to stand against the Berbers. So as he breathed his last breath, I strapped my husband onto his horse, Bavieca, and placed his sword, Tizon, in his hand. Bavieca stood out above the city of Valencia. My one hope was that the men would not realize the charade -- realize that their Cid was already dead.

We were trapped and alone in our kingdom of Valencia. The Cid immediately sent out messages for potential allies, but there were few to be found. The Christian kingdom of Aragon was too far away, and King Alfonso of Castille seemed in no hurry to come to the Cid's defense. Even the Cid's old ally, Motamid the Moor, was of no avail. Yusuf had sent him into exile in the Sahara Desert, where he spent the rest of his sad days composing poetry. The Berbers rode around the city for ten days and nights, shrieking and banging their weapons on shields made of hippopotamus hide. But the Cid comforted his troops, prayed and planned a counterattack. And then the unthinkable happened. During a brilliant surprise attack to capture gold and horses from the Berbers, Rodrigo Díaz, my Cid, was shot by a stray arrow. The surprise attack became a rout, and the Cid's men barely made it back to the castle with his broken body. Rodrigo and I knew he would not last the night. But we also knew that without their Cid to lead them, the soldiers of Valencia would never have the strength to stand against the Berbers. So it was that even as he breathed his last breath, I strapped my husband onto his horse, Bavieca, and placed his sword, Tizon, in his hand. Bavieca stood out above the city of Valencia. My one hope was that the men would not realize the charade -- realize that their Cid was already dead.

Scenario Instructions[edit | edit source]

Starting Conditions[edit | edit source]

  1. Standard difficulty only
  2. Moderate difficulty only
  3. Hard difficulty only
  4. Standard and moderate difficulty only

Objectives[edit | edit source]

  • Defeat the three armies of Yusuf so that Valencia will remain free.
  • The body of The Cid (near the Castle) must come to no harm, lest the people of Valencia realize they have lost their leader.

Hints[edit | edit source]

  1. You will need to expand out from the Valencian fortress in order to procure more resources.
  2. Concentrate on fighting in Spain at first. Later you can attempt to sail across to Yusuf's base in Africa.
  3. Spanish Cannon Galleons are powerful. You should use them when attacking Yusuf in Africa.

Scouts[edit | edit source]

  • Your scouts report: El Cid (red) has all the buildings he needs in Valencia to quickly field an army.
  • There are three enemies: The Black Guard Army (cyan), Navy (yellow), and Yusuf's elite forces (green).
  • The Black Guard Army is north of Valencia and the most immediate threat, but it can be dispatched by a series of quick raids. The Black Guard Army is composed mostly of Camels and Cavalry Archers.
  • The Black Guard Navy is west of Valencia but can be reached by land. The Navy is better defended than the Army but can still be attacked early. In addition to cavalry, the Black Guard Navy has some Monks.
  • Yusuf is the most dangerous enemy. His ships may attack Valencia early on and his fortress in Africa is dangerous. Yusuf trains Camels, Cavalry Archers, and Monks that he will attempt to transport across in addition to Fire Ships and Cannon Galleons.

Players[edit | edit source]

Player[edit | edit source]

  • Player (Spanish): The player starts in Valencia in the center on the map with a sizeable starting army.

Allies[edit | edit source]

  • Dead El Cid (Spanish): Dead El Cid only has one unit: El Cid Campeador. He stands in front of the Castle in Valencia. If this unit is killed the scenario is failed.

Enemies[edit | edit source]

Strategy[edit | edit source]

The player starts in Valencia, which is at the central-northwestern part of the map. The Middle-Eastern Gaia walls and Castle (in reference to their Muslim builders) immediately turn to the player's control. The player also has several Fish Traps southwest of Valencia, which are exposed to the Black Guard Navy's attacks. There is also a Gaia Monastery west of Valencia (just as in the previous scenario), with a Relic outside.

Outside Valencia, there are gold mines in the Black Guard Army base to the north (thus it's best to defeat the Army first, to ensure the Villagers' safety), as well as the two islands in the sea northeast of Valencia.

The Black Guard Army's base is located northwest of Valencia. Their army is made of Heavy Cavalry Archers and Capped Rams. They start with 4-5 Cavalry Archers to the north, near their Archery Ranges. It is a viable strategy ro rush this zone early, since it has no defenses, and use Rams to destroy the buildings before they start mass-producing. If the player is quick, once they are done with the Cavalry Archers north, the AI will send the rest of its army, either to attack the player or to defend the north. The rest of the enemy army consists of 4-5 Cavalry Archers, 2 Capped Rams, and two Trebuchets. Their Castle should be destroyed while the army is away. The player can make a few Trebuchets to destroy the Castle and the remaining Archery Ranges.

The Black Guard Navy starts with a Town Center and a couple of Villagers, but no army, and all of their first resources go to ships, so it is a good strategy to raid their gold and wood economy. Watch out for Monks. There are also Gold Mines nearby, and if the player is fast enough, they may take all that gold for themselves. But be careful, because the Black Guard Navy also has a Castle near their Docks. To deal with their ships, it is recommended to construct a Castle near the player's Fish Traps, because that's their main initial focus.

Yusuf's base is protected by three special towers, which are renamed versions of The Accursed Tower and The Tower of Flies. Their attack and range is excellent overall, but their strength varies: the eastern tower is weakest, and the southern strongest. It is advisable to start taking down the weakest tower with Cannon Galleons, since they are able to attack beyond the range of the tower.

On the other hand, Cannon Galleons cannot outrange the other two towers. If the player wishes to take down the strongest tower, it is advised to use a Trebuchet to attack from Africa. As they have the same range, the tower will retaliate against it, but cause little damage compared to that dealt against ships.

Outro[edit | edit source]

It was the twilight of Moorish Spain. The Berber army had been broken and Valencia withstood the siege. King Alfonso would not allow us to bury the Cid until he could personally attend the funeral. When he arrived, he dispelled all thoughts of interring the Cid into the earth. Instead, the Cid's body was preserved and placed near the altar of the church, seated on an ivory stool that he had captured from the Moors, clothed in precious silk, and holding his sword, Tizon, in his left hand. And who was left to rule in Valencia? King Alfonso of Castile or Count Berenguer of Barcelona? No. Valencia is mine. It is I, Ximena Díaz who claims rulership of my dead husband's kingdom. And if the Berbers return to Valencia, it is I whom they shall find commanding the soldiers of Rodrigo Díaz, El Cid Campeador!

It was the twilight of Moorish Spain. The Berber army had been broken and Valencia withstood the siege. King Alfonso would not allow us to bury the Cid until he could personally attend the funeral. When he arrived, he dispelled all thoughts of interring the Cid into the earth. Instead, the Cid's body was preserved and placed near the altar of the church, seated on an ivory stool that he had captured from the Moors, clothed in precious silk, and holding his sword, Tizon, in his left hand. And who was left to rule in Valencia? King Alfonso of Castille or Count Berenguer of Barcelona? No. Valencia is mine. It is I, Ximena Díaz who claims rulership of my dead husband's kingdom. And if the Berbers return to Valencia, it is I whom they shall find commanding the soldiers of Rodrigo Díaz, El Cid Campeador!

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • This is the only scenario where El Cid cannot be controlled by the player.
  • Northern Valencia (the location where the Wonder was built in the previous scenario) is now littered with Gold. This might be a reference to the Wonder's real counterpart's name, Torre del Oro, which means "Tower of Gold".
  • Originally, Yusuf's forces were played by Turks even though they appeared previously as Saracens. It is possible that the civilization was changed due to the Spanish tech tree being ill-suited to fight massed Mamelukes (El Cid also used the Saracen tech tree in Black Guards). Alternatively, it could be because the additional range of Turkish Cannon Galleons presents a greater challenge to their fast-firing Spanish counterparts as well as the Spanish's fully upgraded Castles, Keeps, and Bombard Towers.

Historical comparison[edit | edit source]

  • Reconquista is a Spanish and Portuguese word meaning "Reconquest", used in the history of the Iberian Peninsula to name the period between the Battle of Covadonga (c. 718-722), in the aftermath of the Muslim conquest of the Visigoths by Tariq ibn Ziyad and Musa ibn Nusayr; and the Castilian-Aragonese conquest of the last Iberian Muslim state, Granada, in 1492. It is sometimes extended to include the Frankish conquest of southeastern France (which had been part of the Visigothic Kingdom and was also conquered by the Muslims) following Charles Martel's victory at the Battle of Tours (732), but not other parts of France (e.g. Fraxinetum, Corsica) and Italy (Sardinia, Sicily, Bari) that were also conquered by North African Muslims. Unlike what it might seem, the Reconquista was not a single military campaign with a grand, unified plan of conquest, at least until later centuries. It rather contained countless wars between Christian rulers, between Muslim rulers, and between opposing Christian-Muslim alliances.
    • The scenario's name is not without irony, because the Spanish players are not trying to (re)conquer territory, but to keep it from falling to the attacking Berbers. Rather, it is the Berbers who are doing a "Reconquista" of Muslim territories fallen to El Cid.
  • The legend that El Cid won his last battle after death arised from the evacuation of Valencia by Alfonso VI in 1102. The departing forces took El Cid's embalmed body with them, originating rumors that the Almoravids could have crushed them, but froze or fled at the sight of El Cid (d. 1099). In modern retellings, this is usually changed to El Cid being mortally wounded in a skirmish and having his body propped at a following decisive battle against the Almoravids, to keep his men in the dark about his death and not affecting their morale.
    • The actual cause of death of El Cid is unknown, but is believed natural. As in the game, his wife succeeded him as Lady of Valencia and nominal vassal to Alfonso. Following the fall of Valencia, she returned to Castile, and following her death in 1116 she was buried with her husband in Cardeña's monastery. Their graves were destroyed by Napoleon's troops in 1808.
  • The main premise of fighting the Almoravids alone was true early on only, around the Battle of Quart (1094). Later they were helped by Peter I of Aragon (who with El Cid, defeated the Almoravids at Bairen in 1097; in the game, Aragon is said to be too far away to provide help); by Ramon Berenguer III of Barcelona, and finally by Alfonso VI, who ordered the city's evacuation after deeming it untenable.
  • Motamid's fate is based on Al-Mutamid of Seville, who died in exile in southern Morocco in 1095. Zaragoza, however, remained free of Almoravid rule until 1110.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

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