1538 AD. Year Eight of the reign of King Tabinshwehti.
Over two decades ago, before I was even born, an old village shaman came to our little mountain kingdom of Toungoo. He claimed to speak with the nats, the ancestral spirits worshipped by our people before the coming of Buddhism.
The nats had told the shaman that an ancient warrior prince would be reincarnated in our kingdom. This prince would rule as the Cakkavatti, the universal ruler embodying Buddhist virtue. Soon after, a son named Tabinshwehti was reborn to one of the King's wives. At the same time, a servant girl had herself just birthed a son and she was made the newborn prince's wet nurse. After all these years, I know the story of King Tabinshwehti's well. I am the son of his wet nurse. Though we came from very different origins, the nats had joined the King and I.
Though the nats prophesied King Tabinshwehti's greatness, they blessed me as well. But not in the way my mother sees it. She does not believe that the King is the one the shaman spoke of. She says the nats are not that simple; they are tricky spirits who mislead with their blessings. But I tell my mother that I am no warrior prince! The nats have blessed me, though not as she believes. Because the King and I both suckled from my mother, he has treated me like kin and made me his loyal general.
But with every blessing comes a curse. Our kingdom is under attack by the Shan, a warrior people of the far north. Our city's walls cannot stop them so I have proposed to my King that we attack south, away from the northern threat. The Kingdom of Hanthawaddy is a wealthy land and home of the Mon people but it is ruled by a paranoid and cowardly king.
As we march south, the nats bring fear to the Mon king's heart. He flees his lands for the safety of his allies just as a frightened water buffalo runs to his herd after smelling a tiger. The King and I are the Burmese tigers, chasing after that buffalo!
- Starting Age: Feudal Age
- Starting resources:
- Population limit: 200 (125 in the Definitive Edition)
Differences between difficulty levels
- On standard difficulty, the player starts with several technologies researched.
- Kill King Takayupti of Hanthawaddy (King).
- Capture the Monument in Prome.
- Kill King Takayupti in less than 5 minutes.
- You are restricted to the Castle Age and a population limit of 125.
- Use your powerful heroes. Losing them in battle will not bring defeat.
- Burmese Battle Elephants have extra armor that can be further increased by the Howdah unique technology and Blacksmith cavalry armor upgrades.
- The Portuguese will not demand tribute until you encounter them. If you do not wish to war with them, have tribute ready before venturing too far west.
Your scouts report:
- King Takayupti of Hanthawaddy (3, Red) is feeling the Toungoo invasion. He will seek the safety of his Castles to the south, but if they are destroyed, he will flee to Prome.
- Prome (2, Blue) is well-defended by Elephant Archers and Hand Cannoneers. The city's great Monument must be captured for victory.
- The cavalry and archers of the Shan (4, Yellow) pose a threat to Toungoo's base.
- The Portuguese (5, Cyan) will demand tribute when encountered. They can be a powerful friend or enemy.
Ally → potential enemy
- Portuguese (cyan before Dynasties of India) (Portuguese) are the men of João Caeiro (a renamed Francisco de Orellana). They have an outpost in the southwest. While initially allied with all factions on the map, once the player approaches their fortress, they demand a tribute of 500 gold for not attacking the player, and shortly afterwards they want another 500 gold for the player taking over all of their units. They have Condottieri (Two-Handed Swordsmen in the Definitive Edition), Halberdiers, Elite Conquistadors, Hand Cannoneers, Elite Organ Guns, Bombard Cannons, as well as João Caeiro himself and also a fleet consisting of Elite Caravels and Elite Cannon Galleons.
- Prome (Bengalis, Indians before Dynasties of India) is the city in the center of the map and the goal of Tabishweti's conquest. The do not have an economy but they can train units, namely Elephant Archers and Hand Cannoneers, but also some Scorpions.
- Hanthawaddy (Khmer) are Mon King Takayutpi's initial military camp royal guard as well as the King himself.
- Hanthawaddy (Khmer) are King Takayutpi's main forces. They have 3 bases in the east, south, and southwest respectively. Their army is very diversified and includes Long Swordsmen, Pikemen, Battle Elephants (those 3 units are the bulk), but also Crossbowmen, Elite Skirmishers, Ballista Elephants, and Scorpions. To top it of, they also have a navy consisting of all types of war ships, excluding Cannon Galleons.
- Shan (Chinese) are the most immediate threat to the Burmese. They have a base right west of the player's one, as well as a second one still further west. They train mostly Knights, Crossbowmen, and their unique unit, Chu Ko Nu, but also send some Battering Rams.
The player starts in a base with all Feudal Age buildings and a small army at their disposal. The army includes three heroes, King Tabinshwehti (an Elephant Acher), his general Bayinnaung (an Elite Battle Elephant), and Thado Dhamma Yaza (a Monk). All three heroes are very valuable in fights as they are quite resilient.
Around the map, various Gaia units can be acquired, namely in the very east, very west, southeast of Takayupti's camp, and at the southeastern edge of the map. They include Toungoo Warriors, very agile and resilient infantry Heroes, who, as Heroes, can regenerate health.
Further resources can be found west and east of the base, and these areas are also quite easily wallable.
Secondary objective: Killing the Mon King in under 5 minutes
The first objective of this scenario is to kill the Mon King Takayutpi, while a secondary objective is to do so in under 5 minutes. Succeeding in the secondary objective nets 500 gold (and the "Chasing the Crown" achievement, if playing the Definitive Edition), but the objective has to be rushed and this means neglecting defence, resulting in possible economic disadvantage. When his military camp is approached (or after some time has passed) the King flees towards a Castle in the southeast, and it is impossible to catch up to him without Husbandry. The player can take the starting Arambai into the narrow gap between the Palisade Walls and the line of trees on the southeastern edge of the camp, and the Arambai can break down a wall section in a few volleys. The King's escape route is now blocked by the Arambai and he will attempt to flee towards his Castle. The Arambai should be targeting the King and in the situation that the king does escape the player can gather Gaia forces in the eastern and southern sections of the map to destroy the King's castle, as the gaia forces consist of siege. If the player does not want to kill him is the first five minutes, they can as well take their sweet time, as his Hanthawaddy forces do not resign upon his death.
Note: In the Definitive Edition, after certain updates, the King now has 150 HP instead of 75 HP, thus making it almost impossible to kill the King with the starting Arambai. The player should gather the Gaia forces to the east before triggering the King's escape (set the Onager on no-attack stance to avoid friendly fire), use the Monk to convert one of the enemy Battle Elephants and then kill the remaining enemy units that were chasing the Arambai. Now to kill the King, the player should block the King's path to the Castle. For this, good micromanagement (and some luck) are essential. If the King manages to escape, the player can use the Onager and the "attack ground" command to target the area where the King is moving next as a last resource.
Alternatively, since the player starts with enough resources and buildings to advance to the Castle Age, they can research the Castle Age right when the game starts (it will take 160 seconds) and then research Husbandry (it will take 40 seconds). After that, the player only has 100 seconds left, but now that Husbandry is researched it is possible to chase and kill the King before he hides in the Castle (this alternative takes way longer than the previous one).
Halting the Shan
Instead of rushing the King, it might be a better idea to focus on defending against the Shan coming from the west, as they, while not an objective, are the most immediate threat. Tabishwehti and Bayinnaung can tank their units quite well, while the rest of the player's units can dispatch them. A possible army against them would be Battle Elephants (against the Shan Knights, and they can also take quite some arrow shots thanks to their high Pierce Armor) and Elite Skirmishers (while the Burmese lack even the Leather Archer Armor upgrade, they do get the much more important Bracer, and Elite Skirmishers are still very cost efficient against the Shan's numerous archers as well as Prome's units, but they get shredded by Knights). A few mixed-in Monks (the Burmese get all Monastery technologies at a 50% discount) can also lead to a huge swing when converting Shan Knights. Mangonels are also strong against Crossbowmen (and to a lesser extent Chu Ko Nu).
A Castle southwest of the base can halt any Shan and Prome onslaught, as long it is protected from Shan Battering Rams.
Before taking care of the actual objectives it might be a good idea to first at least weaken the Shan by razing their camp right west of the player's base. They also have another base a little further west.
Interlude: Optional task: Acquiring the Portuguese mercenaries
If the player desires, they can make a run for the Portuguese outpost in the southwest, past Prome and Shan. Before doing so however, they should make sure to have at least 1300 gold stockpiled (due to tribute fees). Researching Coinage and Banking is not recommended, as they also cost 300 gold in total, while also costing food.
Once their oupost is reached, the Portuguese demand 500 gold in tribute, for them not to attack the player, and then shortly after, they want another tranche of 500 gold. Upon paying the second tribute, the player takes over all of the Portuguese units. These units can either be used to care care of the Shan for good, take down some of Hathawaddy's production buildings, or/and breach Prome itself. The player should not forget to also collect the Gaia units in the western corner of the map.
Killing the Mon King (if not done already)
It is better to kill King Takayutpi before capturing the Monument, as the Monument has to be held only for a second, if the other objective is already completed, while, if done in reverse, the player has more hassle with Prome.
As mentioned before, the King hides in a Castle in the eastern corner of the map, after his initial camp is approached. The village around the castle produces Ballista Elephants and Battle Elephants, but other reinforcements can come from the west (see Hanthawaddy in the Players section above). If besieging from the north, it is imperative for the player to dispatch some ranged units west of the Castle in order to intercept the King, as he flees once more, when his Castle is in flames. It is also possible to wade through the shallow water and besiege the Castle from the west in the first place, but then the player's forces are attacked from two sides. With the Mon King dead, the first of the two objectives is completed.
Capturing Prome's Monument
The shortest way to Prome's Monument is from the north, where the player should have erected a Castle anyways, giving them place to retreat to, if necessary. Good units to counter Prome's army include Elite Skirmishers (like discussed before, only mediocre for the Burmese), Monks (against their Elephant Archers), Onagers, and Heavy Scorpions. Of course long range siege engines, namely Trebuchets or Bombard Cannons (also effective against their Scorpions and still decent against their Elephant Archers and Hand Cannoneers) should not be forgotten. To capture the Monument, all enemy units surrounding it have to be removed for a least a second, while the player has to have at least one unit near the Monument.
When the Monument is held for even a second (if the Mon King is already dead), the scenario is won.
Note: the strategy described below does not work in Dynasties of India.
The scenario can be won in less than 20 minutes, first by killing the Mon King in less than 5 minutes with the starting Arambai (as mentioned in the secondary objective subsection), and then moving all military units to the Portuguese base (using the elephants to tank enemy fire on the way). With the initial resources (and the 500 gold received from succeeding in the secondary objective), the player can pay the first tribute to the Portuguese and use the Market to get enough gold to pay the second tribute. After taking control of the Portuguese units, the player can easily take down Prome's western gate and capture the monument.
To reward my service in battle, my king bestowed a name of great honor upon me: 'Bayinnaung', which means 'King's Elder Brother'. Though he is a King and I am but the son of a servant girl, he embraced me and declared a shared blood! I am no longer a simple servant. I am Bayinnaung. I am a prince.
- With the release of Dynasties of India, the Prome are represented by the Bengalis, and the player cannot research Imperial Age.