This scenario is similar to a deathmatch, as all players begin with few units but many resources.
'And now,' said Father Armand, 'is where I entered the story.'
The battle between Hun and Roman was fought at the end of June, 451. The Romans were commanded by Aetius, a brilliant and celebrated general who had been held hostage by the Huns when he was a boy. Aetius knew Attila and he knew the Hunnic ways. Since he had returned to the Western Empire, Aetius had done more than any man to keep Rome alive throughout the period of barbarian invasions.
His army was not large enough to face Attila alone, so Aetius convinced tribes of the Alans and Visigoths to ally with him. Even though these dubious allies had a common hatred of the Huns, it was still a remarkable achievement on Aetius' part to have drawn them into a effective military relationship.
The Huns were eager for battle. Attila's shamans looked at the entrails of cattle and the color of sheep bones, and prophesized that the Huns would meet defeat on the Catalaunian Fields. However, they also foresaw that the commander of the opposing force would be killed.
Attila must have though this a fair trade, because he brought battle to Aetius and the Goths.
Before blood was drawn, Attila stood before his assembled troops clutching the sword of Mars in his fist. He told them, 'It is a right of nature to glut the soul with vengeance. I shall hurl the first spear at the foe. If any man can stand at rest while Attila fights, he is a dead man.'
Scenario instructions Edit
Starting conditions Edit
- Starting Age: Castle Age
- Starting resources: 8000 food, 2000 wood, 8000 gold, 1000 stone
- Population limit: 100
- Starting units:
- Defeat the Romans, Alans, and Visigoths.
- This battle will play like a Death Match. Prepare for attack almost immediately, but don't forget to collect resources to replenish your losses.
- Your scouts report: The Huns (yellow) and their allies, the Ostrogoths (red), occupy the right-hand side of the battlefield.
- The Romans (blue) and their allies, the Visigoths (green) and Alans (cyan), are drawn up across the creek on the left-hand side of the battlefield.
- The embattled Franks (gray) have been caught in the middle of the battle, and will soon be defeated. Their fate is none of the Huns' concern.
- Among your enemies, the Romans are the most dangerous. Their infantry, Cataphracts, and siege weapons will initially try and hit the Ostrogoths on the Huns' flank. The Visigoths train Huskarls and some cavalry, while the Alans are composed mostly of Spearmen and Archers.
- Player (Huns): The player starts with no buildings (but a few Sheep) in a central-eastern position on the map. The river separates the player and their ally, the Ostrogoths, from the enemies.
- Ostrogoths (Goths): The Ostrogoths start with a small encampment just north of the player's starting position. They field Knights and Men-at-Arms. In the Definite Edition, they can advance to the Imperial Age and will update Knights to Cavaliers and Men-at-Arms to Champions.
- Franks (Franks): The Franks have some abandoned settlements and Farms scattered across the map. As they cannot train any units and have no army to begin with (except for a lonely Scout Cavalry and Battering Ram), they play no role in this scenario.
- Alans (Vikings, Huns in the Definitive Edition): Alans is a small town in the central west. They attack mainly with Cavalry Archers and Battering Rams.
- Visigoths (Goths): The Visigoths reside at the southern part of the map. They attack mainly with Battering Rams, Knights, and infantry.
- Western Roman Empire (Byzantines): The Western Roman Empire has a town at the northwestern part of the map. They are the strongest opponent. They attack with Cataphracts, Champions, and Scorpions. They defend themselves with Castles which they rebuild when they get destroyed.
The first thing to do right away is build an army as quick as possible. The player should use a Villager to construct a Town Center and after doing that, create more Villagers to construct a lot of military buildings so the player can create an army quickly. The army should consist of Light Cavalry, Tarkans, and a lot of Cavalry Archers. While doing this, send the scout to explore the map and locate the enemy bases.
After the army has been created, send the Villagers to collect resources. Deploy the army near Alans' base. Take some Villagers along. Once the villagers reach Alans' town, construct a Castle. Alans should respond immediately and start attacking the Castle. Set the army's position to defensive and send them only to attack siege weapons. Replenish the army every time some of them are killed. While 're doing all of this, don't forget to advance to the Imperial Age as it will make things easier.
Soon, Alans will be drained out and will send fewer and fewer units, and the player must take them down quickly if they're starting to stop sending military units. Next is the Visigoths. Use the same tactic as against the Alans but this time, build some towers behind the Castle for extra attacks against the enemy's Huskarls. Send the cavalry immediately against their siege weapons before they do much damage to the Castle.
At last is the Western Roman Empire. If the player still has a lot of resources, create some Cavaliers as they are more durable than Hussars. Attack the Western Roman Empire from two sides so their army will be drained much quicker and they cannot rebuild their base elsewhere when it is destroyed. Do not go to the offensive before their army is drained out. Then, create some Petards or deploy siege weapons to destroy their Castles. If the player chooses to deploy siege weapons, they must be protected from enemy melee units. After this is done, destroy their Town Center (make sure that they ran out of stone or destroy it if they're trying to rebuild it). Then, all the player has to do is to kill remaining enemy units and destroy remaining enemy buildings.
It was a catastrophic battle, one of the largest and greatest the world has ever seen. The stream was turned into a torrent by the rushing of blood. I pity those that were forced to slake their thirst from it. 'Cadavero vero innumera', the Romans said afterwards. 'Truly countless bodies.' Perhaps 300,000 men were left dead on the Catalaunian Fields. It is said the ghosts of those killed continued to fight for several days.
I passed within inches of the fell Hun king as he stalked the battlefield, trying to determine which of his chieftains and allies yet lived. When he found me, huddled beneath my shield, I made my peace with God. But Attila did not seek my decapitation. He saw that I was a holy man, and ordered me to join his retinue of foreign advisors. 'That is how you know so much of the Huns,' I offered.
The priest nodded. Despite the carnage, the outcome of the legendary battle was unclear. Attila had lost much of his cavalry, but the Roman army would never recover from its losses. For a time, no one knew if the Hunnic king would continue to pursue the hand of Honoria. 'But what of the prophecy?' I asked. 'Did Aetius die on the battlefield?'
'Nay. It was Theodoric the Goth, not Aetius, who died and fulfilled the prophecy. Aetius knew that if he utterly destroyed the Huns, then the Visigoths would have no need for a Roman alliance and Rome would face yet another barbarian threat.
And so, Aetius retired from military life, hoping that the outcome of the Catalaunian Fields would leave the Huns and Goths in a stalemate. He hoped he had done enough to save his empire. He had not.
- This scenario inspired the rework of the Coming of the Huns scenario in the Imperium Romanum campaign in Age of Empires: Definitive Edition, mirroring features like the map and the starting positions of the teams, but the player taking the Roman command and point of view.
Historical comparison Edit
- Although the player emerges victorious, the real battle is widely regarded as tactically inconclusive (as mentioned in the post-game narrative) and a strategic victory for the Romans and Visigoths.
- On the other hand, the Alans were all but destroyed and the Visigoths fell in disarray after the death of Theodoric, almost breaking lines before his son Thorismund led a surprise charge that routed the Ostrogoths and Huns. Aetius declined to pursue Attila after the battle and allowed the Visigoths and Franks to return home.
- The Alans, represented by Vikings, actually were an Iranian-speaking people from the Eurasian steppes with ways of war similar to the Huns. Perhaps because of this, the Alan AI favors the creation of cavalry archers despite Viking ones not being particularly powerful.
- In the Definitive Edition, the Alans are properly represented by the Huns.
- Aëtius did not retire after the battle. He fought Attila when the latter invaded Italy the year after, as portrayed in the following scenario.