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Siege in Canaan (The Siege in Canaan in the Definitive Edition) is the twelfth and last scenario in the Ascent of Egypt campaign in Age of Empires. Depicting the Battle of Megiddo, it introduces the player to land sieges.

Scenario instructions[]

Description[]

NuRoR chariot idle
Megiddo, 1457 BCE

Egypt is thriving under the rule of her new pharaohs, but it is time to look outward. Pharaoh Thutmose III is expanding the army and intends to use it to invade Canaan. For centuries, that land has been within the Egyptian sphere of influence, but now it must be added to the Empire once and for all. The Canaanites think they can resist Egypt and have formed an alliance, led by the kings of Kadesh and Megiddo. They are gathering a vast army, but the gods favor us. Commander, the pharaoh entrusts you with the first attacking division. Do not disappoint the pharaoh as he is watching your every move.
—In-game section (identical to the Definitive Edition)

Tutorial[]

HAVE FUN
You have learned the basic skills needed to play the campaigns, a skirmish match, or a game with friends. Now is your chance to use them all against an opponent. Good luck!

Starting conditions[]

Objectives[]

  • Destroy the Canaanite Government Center in the city of Megiddo.

Hints[]

  1. You can support a population of 75.
  2. Take this scenario one step at a time. First, build up a productive base and strong fighting force in your starting location.
  3. Next, advance across the ridges to the northwest, clearing out the enemy forces and towers you encounter. Then begin gathering the gold and stone found in this area.
  4. Clear all the enemies from your side of the river and build up a powerful force of siege engines and supporting units. Destroy the enemy towers guarding the river and advance toward the north.
  5. You might want to heal wounded troops after each obstacle or ridge is cleared.
  6. The enemy Government Center you need to destroy is in the northernmost corner and is defended by walls, towers, and troops.

Description[]

Megiddo, 1457 BCE

Egypt is thriving under the rule of her new pharaohs, but it is time to look outward. Pharaoh Thutmose III is expanding the army and intends to use it to invade Canaan. For centuries, that land has been within the Egyptian sphere of influence, but now it must be added to the Empire once and for all. The Canaanites think they can resist Egypt and have formed an alliance, led by the kings of Kadesh and Megiddo. They are gathering a vast army, but the gods favor us. Commander, the pharaoh entrusts you with the first attacking division. Do not disappoint the pharaoh as he is watching your every move.
—In-game section of the Definitive Edition

Starting conditions[]

Objectives[]

  • Destroy the Canaanite Government Center in the city of Megiddo.

Hints[]

  1. Take this scenario one step at a time. First, build up a productive base and strong fighting force in the area surrounding your initial start.
  2. Next, advance across the ridges to the northwest, clearing out the enemy forces and towers you encounter. Once it's clear, begin gathering the gold and stone found in this area.
  3. Clear all the enemies from your side of the river and build up a powerful force of catapults and supporting units. Destroy the enemy towers guarding the river and advance toward the north.
  4. You might want to heal wounded troops after each obstacle or ridge is cleared.
  5. The enemy Government Center you need to destroy is in the northernmost corner and is defended by walls, towers, and troops.

Description[]

1450 BC

Our glorious new monument to the pharaoh is the envy of everyone and marks Egypt as the greatest civilization in the world. With this major project completed, the pharaoh wishes to turn his attention to the Canniness, who have been a thorn in the side of Egypt for generations. They have foolishly resisted becoming part of greater Egypt for too long. You are to take their largest city under siege and destroy their Government Center. This assault is intended to bring them to heel. The smaller Canaanite cities must surrender to you once their mightiest citadel has fallen.

Starting conditions[]

Objective[]

Hints[]

  • Take this scenario one step at a time. First, build up a productive city and strong fighting force in the area where you begin the game.
  • Next, advance across the ridges to the northwest, clearing out the enemy forces and towers you encounter. Secure and begin gathering the gold and stone found in this area.
  • Clear the enemy from your side of the river and build up a powerful force of catapults and supporting units. Destroy the enemy towers guarding the river and advance toward the north.
  • You might want to heal wounded troops after each obstacle or ridge is cleared.
  • The enemy Government Center you need to destroy is in the north corner and is defended by walls, towers, and troops.

Players[]

Player[]

Enemy[]

  • Canaanites (Phoenicians AoE Phoenicians): The Canaanite base sprawls over a large area north of the river, with numerous Sentry Towers lining the cliffs. They also have a single tower guarding the main supply of gold and stone, west of the player's position. The Canaanites have a small Villager economy, and are able to replenish some of their losses. They are limited to the Bronze Age, and raid the player with Axemen, Bowmen, Short/Broad Swordsmen, Cavalry, and Stone Throwers.

Player[]

Enemy[]

  • Canaanites (Phoenicians AoE Phoenicians): The Canaanite base sprawls over a large area north of the river, with numerous Sentry Towers lining the cliffs. They also have a single tower guarding the main supply of gold and stone, west of the player's position. The Canaanites have a small Villager economy, and are able to replenish some of their losses. They are limited to the Bronze Age, and raid the player with Axemen, Bowmen, Chariots, and Stone Throwers.

Player[]

  • Player (Egyptians AoE Egyptians): The player starts in the southern corner of the map, with a Town Center, Barracks, four Houses, and a small military force. The player begins in the Stone Age, and can advance to the Iron Age. Any western or northern exploration will meet strong resistance; the east has Berry Bushes and trees. There is no gold or stone available in the territory initially controlled by the player.

Enemy[]

  • Canaan (Phoenicians AoE Phoenicians): The Canaanites control a large but primitive army of 50 Clubmen and Bowmen, and numerous Sentry Towers; mostly in their cliffside base north of the river, but some on the gold-rich plateau west of the player's position. They have a small Villager contingent, but don't train new units or research technologies. All Gold and Stone Mines are in areas controlled by the Canaanites, especially a plateau to the west. They change diplomatic stance towards the player from neutral to enemy within the first seconds of the game.

Strategy[]

The player's starting position is initially safe, so long as units don't stray too far. There are no predators, and the enemy is located north of the shallows and west of the cliffs. In earlier versions of the game, the only way to gain gold or stone was to capture the plateau west of the starting position, which has a small garrison of enemy troops, and a Sentry Tower. In Return of Rome, however, it is possible to use the Market to sell food or wood in exchange for gold, and to buy stone.

It is advisable to use the starting supply of stone to build walls or gates filling the gaps in the base defenses, and to block enemy access to the foraging grounds in the east. The Canaanites will eventually send large war parties towards the player position, even if they're left alone. Later they can build Stone Throwers which quickly break through walls and towers, but the initial attack will mostly be Axemen and Bowmen, which can easily be stopped by blocking their movement with walls, and whittling them down with archers firing from behind the walls. Just be careful that units don't get too close to the gates during a siege, because if the gate opens, the enemy can walk through. Putting ranged units in Stand Ground stance is an effective way of avoiding this.

The western gold/stone plateau isn't particularly challenging to take in the Return of Rome version of Siege in Canaan. Build a Siege Workshop and a Stone Thrower to take out the Sentry Tower from beyond its range, and keep the starting units close to protect the siege weapon against the enemy response. This attack will summon most of the Canaanites' western units, but these are easily dealt with by the Improved Bowmen; the bulk of the enemy forces north of the river should stay away for now. With the Sentry Tower dealt with, sweep the Chariots and Improved Bowmen west to clear out any remaining units, and send Villagers to mine the plateau. With stone starting to come in, it is now possible to fortify the two river crossings (the second is in the far west), securing a much larger swathe of territory. Keep military units nearby while the Villagers are setting up walls and towers, because the Canaanites are likely to spot construction activity at the eastern crossing.

There is also some gold located immediately north of the starting Granary, on the other side of the river. It's possible to take this without engaging the river's Sentry Towers by building a transport ship and ferrying Villagers across. However, this is more dangerous than it seems, because the Canaanites will continually attack any player units north of the river. The western plateau, while initially more well-guarded, is safer in the long run.

The western Gold Mines are rich enough to research all technologies available, so the player has a wide choice in how to tackle the Canaanites.

  • The river may not allow access to much of the map, but warships are durable and powerful, so are useful for guarding the river crossings. In groups, they can be more effective than towers.
  • While Stone Throwers are highly effective against buildings, they can damage the player's own units, so are dangerous to use in combination with melee troops. If attacking a tower with melee troops and Stone Throwers, try to keep the soldiers on the opposite side of the tower from the Stone Thrower; this should keep them outside the stones' blast radius. Another drawback with Stone Throwers is that they can't attack close targets, and the Canaanites will eventually field Cavalry, which can quickly close the gap to melee range.
  • Enemy Stone Throwers are best countered with fast melee troops. The best of these available to the Egyptians are Scythe Chariots, researched in the Iron Age and available at the Stable.
  • Another highly effective unit against buildings is the War Elephant. These are slow, and can only engage in melee, but they can level towers quickly, and cause no damage to friendly troops.
  • The Elephant Archer is not effective against buildings, but it's the most durable ranged unit in the game, and the most powerful Archery Range unit available to the Egyptians. These will be unstoppable against the Canaanites' foot troops.
  • The Egyptians field extraordinarily long-ranged Priests. Ordinarily, Priests can be quite vulnerable to Cavalry, but the Egyptians can start the conversion from such a long distance that the enemy is likely to be converted before they reach melee range. Research Afterlife to extend their conversion range even further, and Theocracy to make it easier to micro-manage groups of Priests.
  • A more typical counter to Cavalry is the Hoplite, trained at the Academy. The Hoplite line of units are the most powerful land melee fighters in the game.

After the Canaanites have sent their big raid from north of the river, their forces will be heavily depleted. They do have a Villager economy, and slowly trickle out new units to replenish their forces, but they will never again have as many troops as they do at the start.

The enemy Government Center is located in the far north of the map, in a little enclave ringed by walls. The walls have an opening on the northeast side.

The Definitive and Return of Rome versions of Siege in Canaan are very similar, so most of the Return strategy also applies here. Some key differences:

  • There is absolutely no means of acquiring gold or stone before capturing Canaanite territory in the west or north. This is because the Market in the original and Definitive Edition does not feature commodity trading.
  • On higher difficulties, the Canaanites are more aggressive, so are likely to attack earlier, with an even bigger force.
  • The Canaanite Stables produce Chariots instead of Cavalry, which are significantly weaker.
  • There are no gates in Age of Empires before Return of Rome, so a complete defensive line will require plugging every entrance with walls, and deleting a wall when it's time to move the player's units out of the base.

The enemy has some troops only a few seconds away from the player's starting military units to the west, and holds all the lands north of the river. Avoid running into them, as starting a fight will cause an overwhelming amount of enemy reinforcements to show up. On harder difficulties, most of the enemy's 50 troops will bear down on the position, which will break any early force the player can muster. Use one of the archers to scout the area from a safer distance and make sure to remember the locations of enemy units. The enemy won't attack before the player wanders out and encounters them, so it's possible to build up the base extensively before any fighting takes place.

Unlike later versions of Siege in Canaan, the player starts in the Stone Age. It is game-critical to ration food carefully before reaching the Tool Age. The player is dependent on the enemy-free peninsula to the east before a significant military can be developed, and there are just five Berry Bushes here, plus a fishing spot that can only be reached with Fishing Boats. Take care not to build the Dock on top of the fish, as this will delete it from the map. Altogether, the player only has access to 1,200 food before unlocking Farms, or 950 if the fish is lost. To have enough food left to advance to the Tool Age, no more than 9-14 Villagers or Clubmen can be trained (depending on whether or not the fish was lost). After reaching the Tool Age, Farms can be unlocked by building a Market (which itself requires a Granary), ensuring long-term access to food.

As in all versions of this scenario, wood is plentiful on the eastern peninsula, but there is no gold or stone in the safe territory. The nearest sources are on a plateau to the west, but this is guarded by enemy units and a Sentry Tower. The player will need to rely on Axemen, Chariots, and Chariot Archers to break through the enemy forces. Another useful tactic is to train War Galleys at a Dock: the river doesn't reach into the enemy base, but the Canaanites have to cross it to reach the player's base, and War Galleys are exceptionally durable, powerful units.

While the enemy army is large, it consists solely of primitive Clubmen and Bowmen, and their numbers will not be replenished. (The Canaanites do have a few Villagers, but their only functional purpose is to repair damaged buildings.) The Clubmen are no match for Axemen, the Bowmen are easily crushed by Chariots, and Chariot Archers can outmaneuver and annihilate both. 10 units should be enough to win the initial fighting. Once a suitable force is amassed, move west and start clearing the enemy from the vicinity. As noted, this will trigger a large enemy attack, so be prepared to fend this off. Once the battle is won, some gold will be accessible to the west, and even more gold to the northwest.

North of the river is the enemy base, built into the cliffside. There are numerous Sentry Towers leading all the way to the Government Center, including a pair at the river crossing. These are much tougher than the units, and are best taken out with long-ranged Stone Throwers or durable War Elephants. (Note, Stone Throwers cause friendly-fire damage, so keep any melee troops held back if choosing this strategy. Elephants are safer for a combined-arms approach, but require advancing to the Iron Age.) The enemy army will be heavily depleted after the initial fighting, so the base can be tackled at the player's leisure.

The Government Center is located in the far north of the map, in a walled enclave, which has a gap to the northeast. To win the scenario most quickly, simply ignore the towers, and send the Chariot Archers to the absolute northern corner, then pelt the Government Center with arrows until it falls. Note that converting the Government Center with a Priest will not fulfill the victory condition; the building must be actually destroyed, which you can do easily with the delete key after conversion.

History[]

Historical notes[]

For the first 22 years of his reign, Thutmose III co-ruled Egypt with his aunt, Hatshepsut. During their rule, the two monarchs were equals and divided the ruling tasks between themselves. Thutmose III led the Egyptian armies, an experience which would prove useful later during his own reign. After the death of Hatshepsut, Thutmose III became sole ruler and started to remove all texts referring to his aunt. Under his rule, Egypt reached her greatest territorial extent. In seventeen campaigns, Thutmose III conquered Syria and the Levant in the north and Nubia to the Fourth Cataract in the south.

One of the most important events in Thutmose III's campaigns was the Battle of Megiddo in Canaan. The Canaanite city-states had united under the leadership of the kings of two cities: Megiddo and Kadesh. They mustered an army which threatened Thutmose III's forces. The Egyptians defeated this Canaanite army, which retreated to the City of Megiddo. After a long siege, the City was taken, pillaged, and its inhabitants put to death. The Battle of Megiddo is the earliest battle in history to have been recorded in relatively reliable detail.

Thutmose III's successors were often equally successful and powerful. Amenhotep III brought Egypt to its cultural, political, and economic height. Instead of using force to coerce neighbors into fulfilling Egypt's interests, Amenhotep III relied on diplomacy and the vast wealth of his kingdom. The Egyptian Empire enjoyed stability during his reign and the reigns of his successors, except for a series of clashes between the followers of the cults of Amun and Aten. The priests of Amun had become very powerful and certain pharaohs attempted to weaken the cult's power by strengthening the rival cult of Aten. Amenhotep III's son, Amenhotep IV, was one such pharaoh. Taking the name Akhenaten in honor of the god Aten, he disrupted traditional Egyptian religion by establishing a quasi-monotheistic religion. After his death, however, the cult of Amun was restored to prominence.
—In-game section

Victory[]

It is a glorious day for Pharaoh Thutmose III. All of Canaan has been added to the Empire and Egypt has reached its greatest territorial extent. The scribes will write of this day and your exploits will be read for eternity. The pharaoh will need your services again, however. These conquests have brought Egypt face to face with another empire which contests Egypt's claims to these lands. Prepare your battle chariot as you may soon find yourself at war with the Hittites.
—In-game section

Loss[]

Instead of taking the lead in the initial attack and pushing through to the enemy lines as expected of a great general, you became scared and ran at the first sight of blood. Even the pharaoh himself witnessed your cowardice, and has called for you to be slowly impaled on your own unused sword.
—In-game section

Historical notes[]

Looking back on the history of Egypt, we can discern three long-term foreign policy goals: a stable Nubian frontier to the south, freedom from piracy and invasion from Libya, and control of the Levant to Syria and beyond. While Nubia and Libya were more irritants than sources of potential profit, the eastern Mediterranean coast was an opportunity for real empire building. The cities of Canaan were the nexus of important trade routes between Egypt to the south, Mesopotamia to the east, the Hittites to the north, and the Minoans and Greeks to the west. Despite a relative paucity of natural resources and farmland, the Canaanite cities prospered due to their position in the middle. At one time or another, however, the central hub of Canaan was coveted by the bigger empires on the rim of the trading wheel that revolved around the center.

Around 1450 BC, Egypt had benefited by the rule of several strong pharaohs in succession and held control of the southern Levant (modern Israel and the Sinai). Attempting to extend that control northward, the Egyptians encountered the two other super-powers of the area, the Hittites and Mitanni. The Mitanni controlled what is today eastern Syria and western Iraq, but were short-lived as a power and are little remembered now. The independent cities of the Levant, including Canaan, were caught in the middle. They had to choose an alliance with one power or risk alienating all three.
—In-game section

Historical outcome[]

At the height of its power, Egypt controlled all of Canaan, taking cities by diplomacy or siege as necessary. Egyptian control of Canaan was never absolute for long, however. The Mittani made peace with the Egyptians around 1440 BC, temporarily strengthening Egyptian power in the region, but the Mitanni were in turn destroyed by the Hittites around 1370 BC. Rameses II fought the Hittites to a draw at Kadesh in 1284 BC and both sides backed off in their aggression. The growing power of Assyria to the east gave both reason to pause and a peace treaty between the Egyptians and Hittites was signed in 1270 BC. Copies of this remarkable document were recovered in excavations in both Egypt and Turkey.

The peace of 1270 BC lasted for over 50 years and marked the zenith of Egypt as an ancient power. The peace was sundered by barbarian hordes whose origin and methods remain a mystery. What is clear is that they overran the Hittite empire, destroyed the cities of Canaan, and brought desperate war to the gates of Egypt. Although Egypt survived the onslaught, it declined thereafter and survived mainly as a possession of one empire after another.
—In-game section

Trivia[]

  • In contrast to the claim in the historical notes of the Definitive Edition, Megiddo and its citizens were spared.[1]
  • The battle of Megiddo was the first recorded use of the composite bow as well as the first body count.[1]

References[]

Campaigns in Age of Empires
ReturnRome-AoEIcon Age of Empires
AoE Ascent of Egypt icon Ascent of EgyptAoE Ascent of Egypt icon Hunting · NuRoR villager forager gather Foraging  · NuRoR scout idle Exploration (Discoveries before RoR) · NuRoR villager fisher Dawn of a New Age (Advancing to the next Age in DE) · NuRoR bowman attack Skirmish · NuRoR villager farmer gather Farming · NuRoR trade boat Trade · NuRoR priest converting Religion (Crusade originally) · NuRoR transport ship River Outpost (The River Outpost in DE) · NuRoR scout ship Naval Battle · NuRoR villager builder A Wonder of the World · NuRoR chariot idle Siege in Canaan (The Siege in Canaan in DE)
NuRoR hoplite idle Glory of GreeceOriginal: Land Grab · Citadel · Ionian Expansion · Trojan War · I'll Be Back · Siege of Athens · Xenophon's March · Wonder
DE: NuRoR clubman attack Claiming Territory · NuRoR bowman idle Acropolis · NuRoR cavalry idle The Conquest of Crete · NuRoR hoplite attack The Trojan War · NuRoR heavy transport idle Colonization of Ionia · NuRoR phalanx walk The Siege of Athens · NuRoR centurion attack Xenophon's March · NuRoR alexander attack Alexander the Great
NuRoR priest idle Voices of BabylonNuRoR priest converting The Holy Man (Holy Man originally) · NuRoR war galley idle The Tigris Valley (Tigris Valley originally) · NuRoR composite bowman idle Lost (Vengeance in DE) · NuRoR light transport idle I Shall Return · NuRoR artifact The Great Hunt  · NuRoR scythe chariot idle The Caravan · NuRoR chariot archer attack Lord of the Euphrates · NuRoR heavy catapult The Conquest of Nineveh (Nineveh originally)
Yamato, Empire of
the Rising Sun
The Assassins · Island Hopping · Capture (Definitive Edition) · Mountain Temple (The Mountain Temple) · The Canyon of Death · Oppression (Coup) · A Friend in Need (Jinshin War) · Kyushu Revolts (Fujiwara Revolts)
RomeIcon The Rise of Rome
The Rise of RomeThe Birth of Rome · Pyrrhus of Epirus · Syracuse (The Siege of Syracuse) · Metaurus (The Battle of the Metaurus) · Zama (The Battle of Zama) · Mithridates
Ave CaesarCaesar vs Pirates (Caesar's Revenge) · Britain (The Invasion of Britain) · Alesia (The Siege of Alesia) · Caesar vs Pompey (The Battle of Pharsalus)
Pax Romana
(Imperium Romanum)
Actium (The Battle of Actium) · Year of the Four Emperors (The Year of the Four Emperors) · Ctesiphon (Ransom at Ctesiphon) · Queen Zenobia (Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra) · Coming of the Huns (The Coming of the Huns)
Enemies of RomeCrossing the Alps · Third Greek War (Third Macedonian War) · Spartacus (The Revolt of Spartacus) · Odenathus vs Persians (Odaenathus, Lord of Palmyra)
Age of Empires Definitive Edition icon Definitive Edition
Reign of the HittitesDemo: Homelands  · Growing Pains  · Opening Moves  · Fall of the Mitanni  · Battle of Kadesh
DE: Opening Moves  · Raid on Babylon  · The Battle of Kadesh
AoE The First Punic War icon The First Punic WarDemo/RoR: NuRoR axeman attack Struggle for Sicily · NuRoR war galley Battle of Mylae · NuRoR war elephant attack Battle of Tunis
DE: The Battle of Agrigentum · Battle of Mylae · Battle of Tunis
AoE2Icon-ReturnRome Return of Rome
RoR Trajan TrajanLegates and Legions · Roman Repute · Heads Will Roll · An Old Enemy · Blood in the Water
RoR Pyrrhus of Epirus Pyrrhus of EpirusA Second Alexander · The Many Kings of Macedon · Pyrrhic Victories · Savior of the Greeks · Sisyphus
RoR Sargon of Akkad Sargon of AkkadThe Chosen One · Divine Will · The Prophecy · The Land of Kings · Subartu
Demo versions
Dawn of CivilizationDawn of a New Age  · Skirmish · Crusade · The Wreck of the Hyskos  · Last Stand
Bronze Age Art of War
Shorthands: DE - Definitive Edition, RoR - Return of Rome, originally - in the release version
If no shorthands are written, names in brackets represent campaigns and scenarios renamed and/or reworked in the Definitive Edition.
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