The Battle of Stirling is the fifth scenario in the William Wallace learning campaign in Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings. Designed for players who have never before played an Age of Empires game, it simulates a random map match (the most popular type of multiplayer match).
The scenario is named after the Battle of Stirling Bridge (September 11, 1297).
The time for minor skirmishes is over. We now prepare for war.
The villain, Longshanks, is poised to cross the River Forth and threaten the town of Stirling with a force of men-at-arms, heavy cavalry, and a multitude of archers.
Our newly forged army marches southward, to establish our own base and attack the English before they can ready their troops.
- Starting Age: Dark Age
- Starting resources: 500 wood, 400 food, 500 gold, 400 stone
- Population limit: 75
- Starting units:
- Gaia units: None
- Defeat the English army and destroy their Tower.
- This scenario begins in a similar way to Random Map games. After you play this scenario, you should know all you need to play a Random Map game.
- Keep exploring!
- Player (Celts): The player starts in the east of the map with a small village.
- English (Britons): The English are the only enemy. They have a camp in the west of the map that is surrounded by a Palisade Wall. Inside there are six Archers and six Men-at-Arms as well as a Watch Tower. Also, the English attack the player once, with five Militia.
The player starts with only a Town Center and cannot advance beyond the Feudal Age. The player will be prompted to begin gathering food and wood and keep creating Villagers until they have ten. Gathering stone won't be necessary, as the player starts with more than enough and won't use very much. Build a Mill, a Mining Camp, and a Lumber Camp next to the respective resources.
Exploring the map with the Scout Cavalry and following the dirt path to the west will allow the player to find more resources and locate the English base, which is guarded by a Palisade Wall. The English cannot replenish their troops, but before trying to knock it down and invade, it is recommended that the player advances to the Feudal Age, researches the Man-at-Arms upgrade, and builds an army of about 12 soldiers.
While the player is advancing to the Feudal Age, a group of five English Militia will attack their village. Ringing the Town Bell will be enough to dispatch them. In this scenario, the player face both Archers and Men-at-arms. Therefore, build an Archery Range and create some Skirmishers to deal with the former. Building a Blacksmith and researching the upgrades there is also helpful.
With that done, the player can attack the English base. The easiest way here is to use Skirmishers to kill the Archers before taking down the wall. Afterwards, the Men-at-Arms can destroy the wall and assist the Skirmishers in the fight against the English Men-at-Arms. Once the enemy soldiers are dead, the Watch Tower will be easy to destroy with the Men-at-Arms, as it cannot attack them when they are close enough. Once the Tower is destroyed, the scenario is won.
Stirling was our first great victory. Even as we held the coastline, word came in that the Stirling Bridge had been held by a force of Scots led by the mythical knight of whom so many have spoken.
Now we know his name: Sir William Wallace, the Hammer of the English.
Edward Longshanks names Wallace a traitor and a criminal. But Sir William replies that he cannot be a traitor, since he never swore fealty to an English king.
With Wallace leading our armies, the men fight with renewed vigor. Perhaps the tide of our misfortune is about to turn...
- Just like in previous scenarios, there is a way to win the game without destroying the Tower. After killing all of the English soldiers, the player must cut their way out of the forest surrounding his village and send out their troops to the north of the English camp. There will be a lone Archer surrounded by trees. After killing him the English will be automatically defeated.
- Throughout the game, the speed cannot be changed.
- Though named after the Battle of Stirling Bridge, the bridge never appears in, or is referenced in the original version of the scenario. This also happens in the movie Braveheart, whose version of Stirling is closer to the later Battle of Bannockburn. Historically, the bridge was of extreme strategic importance because the armies were separated by the river Forth and it could only be crossed by two horsemen at a time. The Scots captured the bridge while the English were crossing, dividing the English army and slaughtering the forces trapped north of the river. Afterward, the forces south of the river withdrew and the Scots attacked their supply train.
- In the Definitive Edition, Stirling Bridge is now present. The player must use the bridge to cross a small river in order to reach the English camp, though beyond this, it plays no role in the gameplay. The ending narration refers to Stirling Bridge being held by the Scots, though the scenario name is unchanged.
- The Dead Tree Hill (where the player is recommended to build a Watch Tower) could be a reference to Abbey Craig, where Wallace camped in the leadup to the battle. The Wallace Monument, which resembles a Medieval tower, was built on top of the Craig in 1869.