The Battle of Guadalete is the first scenario of the Tariq ibn Ziyad campaign in Age of Empires II HD: The African Kingdoms. It encompasses the first embarking of the Umayyad Caliphate, led by Tariq ibn Ziyad, to the southern part of the Iberian Peninsula and the decisive Battle of Guadalete against the Visigoth king, Roderic.
711 AD, year 89 of the Hegira...
I begin my tale as the winds throw the sands up into a spiral, forcing the men and horses to shield their eyes and seek refuge. I cannot help but notice how the camels stand tall, undaunted.
We are a people of the horse, but we have the resilience of camels as well. Invaders have swept through this land for centuries, and yet we Berbers have remained powerful and strong-willed.
Despite our strength, we have only rarely ventured outside of our homeland on the path of conquest. That is about to change. A man named Tariq ibn Ziyad has sowed the seeds of ambition among warriors and simple herdsmen alike, and we prepare for war.
Tariq is not as other men. Once a slave, he rose to become a brilliant general. Strong, charismatic, and tactful, he is also a Berber like us. Thousands of men flock to his banner, and men who formerly shunned the thought of venturing across the sea now eagerly board the ships destined for Iberia.
With Allah as my witness, I shall truthfully record the events to come, for good or ill.
- Starting Age: Feudal Age
- Starting resources: 500 food, 500 wood, 500 gold, 200 stone
- Population limit: 120
- Starting technologies:
- Starting units:
Differences between difficulty levels
- On standard difficulty, Cordoba's Fire Towers are removed.
- Defeat Roderic's Army.
- Destroy Cordoba's Castle.
- Destroy Visigoth Castles.
- Bring Tariq to the local villages.
- The Berbers have access to a wide array of cavalry units that are light, inexpensive, and excel at outmaneuvering and countering most enemy armies. Needless to say, they should form the core of your fighting force.
- The city of Cordoba and the Visigoth fortresses are well-fortified. You will require well-supported siege equipment to breach them.
- Fish are abundant in the Atlantic Ocean and the Alboran Sea as well as several rivers, but beware of marauding Visigoth ships.
- If you run low on gold, you can trade across the sea with the Berber city of Ceuta to the south. Pirate hoards are also rumored to be located on various islands and might provide a decent boost to your economy.
- The Berber army is restricted to the Castle Age and its population limit is 120. Reinforcements of heavy troops, however, will periodically arrive from North Africa.
Your scouts report:
- Tariq ibn Ziyad's army (Yellow) has landed at Gibraltar and must defeat the army of the Visigoth king Roderic (Green) in order to establish a foothold in the region before the Berbers deem it safe to send him villagers to establish a camp.
- The army of the Visigoth king Roderic (Green) has assembled on the far side of the ford in the northwest and is comprised mainly of infantry units with a few supporting archery and cavalry units. It is loosely unified, however, and will be demoralized beyond help should their leader fall in battle.
- A pair of Visigoth fortresses (Cyan) in the northeast watch over much of the region, and their troops will aggressively resist any invader. The core of their armies is infantry, but they will employ small contingents of archers, cavalry, and siege as well, and send warships to attack from the water.
- The city of Cordoba (Purple, located in the far north of the map) is well-fortified and its strategic location means that it will have to be taken if the Berber army is to control southern Iberia. Legions of archers, cavalry, infantry, siege, and clerics will provide staunch resistance on the land, while their warships will defend the city from amphibious incursions.
- There are a couple of local villages (Grey) spread across the region that may be willing to aid your war effort once Roderic's army is defeated.
- Player (Berbers): The player starts with a big army of Berber cavalry units in Gibraltar, commanded by Tariq ibn Ziyad, on their way to fight Roderic's Army. After defeating Roderic, a shipment of ten Villagers will arrive from Ceuta in order to establish a foothold in Iberia and conquer Cordoba.
- Ceuta (Saracens): They are located at the southern-most edge of the map, across the Alboran Sea, on the edge of the African continent. They will periodically give troops to the player, and their ports can be used to trade if the player is short of gold, but other than that, they do not have any major role in this scenario.
- Locals (Goths): The Locals are located a little further north of the starting position of the player and upon bringing Tariq to them, they will provide him with a few infantry. After defeating Roderic's Army and returning to their base, they will let the player use their Blacksmith, Stable, Market and Dock as well. A little southwest of their base, they have four Villagers who will join the player once Tariq comes near them. They also own a Market north of the Visigoths' main base which Cordoba (and the player) can trade with.
- Roderic's Army (Goths): They are located near the western edge of the map and have no Villagers or Town Center, but possess a large number of infantry along with Light Cavalry and Cavalry Archers and are protecting Roderic. The player's first objective is to kill Roderic, who is being protected by this army. Once Roderic and his army have been defeated, Roderic's Army will surrender.
- Visigoths (Goths): They are located near the eastern edge of the map and will send small raiding parties to the player's village. Their main base, situated along the coast, is well fortified with walls and a Castle. Their second, smaller base, located just a little further, is comparatively weaker but still has a Castle. They have no Villagers or Town Center, but they do have a navy and will try to harass the player's fishing ships if they try to fish in the Alboran Sea. It is not compulsory to defeat them, but destroying their Castles will give the player some gold (2,000 each) as loot.
- Cordoba (Italians): Their base is located on the northern edge of the map. They are the most powerful enemy and the main objective, after killing Roderic, is to destroy their Castle. Their base is well fortified and built on both sides of a river. They also have a few warships on this river. They have no Villagers or Town Center. Their castle is located at the deepest part of their base and reaching there and destroying the castle will take a considerable amount of troops and siege.
The player starts with a large horde of Cavalry and Cavalry Archers at the southern edge of the Iberian Peninsula. Their initial objective is to kill the usurping Visigothic King Roderic, situated up ahead along the road. Going a little further up, the player will come to the base of the Locals, who will give them some infantry to aid in the battle. Taking the army up north, the player will meet the soldiers of Roderic's Army. After defeating them, going a little further up, they will meet Roderic with a few more soldiers. The player should be able to defeat him and his remaining soldiers without much difficulty. Roderic's Army does not have to be taken on in full force, as several smaller groups of enemies can be lured out using Cavalry Archers.
Establishing a position
After defeating Roderic's Army, they will surrender and the new objective will be to destroy the castle of Cordoba. The player will be given a few Villagers in a Transport Ship near where the player started. An ideal place to start the base is right in front of the Market of the Locals, since there is plenty of wood along with gold and stone nearby. Ceuta will give the player a few soldiers every few minutes, which can be helpful since the population limit is quite low, at 120.
A good strategy is to build Docks way up at the former location of Roderic's Army and make Trade Cogs to trade with Ceuta, which will ensure a reliable supply of gold. However, be careful since there is a danger of the Docks being attacked since it is so far from the base. If the player still runs low on gold, there are also three small islands, each with a Relic and abundant supply of gold and stone which can be claimed and used. The player can also make Fishing Ships here, since fish is abundant in the Alboran Sea, but be careful of enemy warships.
Overall, the scenario is pretty straightforward and should not be much of a trouble. The player can attack the Visigoths if they want to, but it is not really needed since the Relics and abundant gold supply will provide enough gold so the player does not really need the gold loot. Instead, the player should focus all their military on destroying Cordoba's Castle.
Since the player is limited to the Castle Age, Battering Rams (the player gets the Capped Ram technology automatically once they reach the Castle Age) filled with infantry are the best siege weapon. The army should comprise mainly of Knights and Camels. Cordoba does not make Cavalry Archers so do not waste resources on making Camel Archers. It will be helpful to bring a few Cavalry Archers and Genitours to counter enemy Pikemen and Crossbowmen. The player should use Rams to open a hole in the wall and bring the Knights and Camels inside to wreak havoc in the enemy's base. The first priority should be to destroy their Stables, Archery Ranges, Barracks and Siege Workshops so that they cannot produce more units to counter the player. After destroying them, the player should aim for the Docks to stop them from making ships. After that, the player should attack their towers. Once the player crosses the bridge to the other side of the city, the remaining units can be used to engage the enemy and distract them while the Rams aim for the Castle. Once the Castle is down, the player is victorious.
An alternative to attacking Cordoba is a castle drop. Since the Berber unique technology, Kasbah, makes team castles work faster, the player should make the most of it. The player should make sure they have plenty stone enough for three to four castles outside Cordoba's walls and the player should fill up the castles with the camel archers to shoot down enemy units and buildings for lesser casualties.
Wracked by fear and treachery, the slow Visigoth forces fell easily to our agile horsemen. Thousands lie dead, and yet one cannot help but admire how the Visigoths fought valiantly and honorably to the bitter end. It is a melancholy thing to see their corpses left to the crows and wolves.
As we entered the city of Cordoba, our men stared in awe at the architecture and riches on display. Now is no time for resting, Tariq tells us. There is much left to be done.
- This region was also used in Black Guards, the fourth scenario of the El Cid campaign. However, the land is more desert in that scenario.