The Cleansing of Paris is the third scenario of the The Grand Dukes of the West campaign in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition - Lords of the West.
In England, they celebrated the Battle of Agincourt as a victory over France. In truth, it was a victory only over the Armagnacs. The Burgundians stayed out of the fight and John eagerly watched as the English king did his work for him, decimating the Armagnac alliance.
Still, the English invasion of France had swiftly turned in Henry's favor. With the road to Paris now open, he marched his armies towards the French capital.
Sensing his time to strike, John the Fearless rallied his armies. He would race the English to Paris and seize it from the Armagnacs before Henry could arrive.
- Kill Bernard d'Armagnac to conquer Paris.
- You must conquer the city before Henry V and his army arrive.
- Three guild leaders that are willing to cooperate with the Burgundians can be found in the city. Meet with them and attempt to earn their support.
- (After meeting the leader of the craftsmen's guild) Kill the Armagnac soldiers occupying the Lumber Camps outside of the city.
- (After meeting the leader of the merchant's guild) Destroy the Armagnac blockade on the Seine River.
- (After meeting the leader of the butcher's guild) Free the butchers imprisoned outside of the city walls.
- (After reaching the University) Find two stolen artifacts (Relic Carts) and bring them back to the scholars at the University to gain access to additional technologies.
- John the Fearless must rely on the strength of his army. He can neither build his own economy nor train additional troops. However, influential Parisian citizens that are dissatisfied with the rule of the Armagnacs may be persuaded to join the Burgundians.
- The Armagnacs control all of Paris' gates. Drive away or eliminate the soldiers guarding each gate to open them.
- The struggle for Paris is already in full swing. You will find insurgents that you can integrate into your army everywhere in the city and its vicinity.
Your scouts report:
- John the Fearless and his army (1, Purple) have assembled west of Paris, near the St. Martin Abbey. From here, a road leads to the Porte de Buci. With the help of defectors, the Burgundians should not have much difficulty in capturing the gate and gaining access to Paris (2, Grey).
- The Armagnacs (3, Cyan) control the city, but have upset many of its residents. Spies report that street fights are already breaking out between the Armagnac soldiers and the townspeople everywhere in Paris.
- Surrounded by his bodyguards, Bernard d'Armagnac (4, Blue) has withdrawn to the north of the city.
- The Parisian guilds (5, Green) have not forgotten the many favors that John the Fearless has done them. University scholars (6, Yellow) could also be willing to help the Burgundians get rid of the Armagnacs.
- Scouts report that a huge English force (7, Red) is marching towards Paris. John the Fearless must conquer Paris before the English arrive.
- Player (Burgundians): The player starts with a big army on the western side of the map and must conquer Paris by killing Bernard d'Armagnac.
- Paris (Franks): Paris is under Armagnac occupation. Most of its gates are locked, but will be unlocked when the Armagnac troops next to it are killed.
- Craftsmen (Franks): There are three Craftsmen inside Paris, each next to a Market. They will help the player in exchange for some favors.
- Scholars (Franks): The Scholars are four Monks next to a University. They will give the player some Imperial Age technologies in exchange for two Relic Carts.
- Henry V (Britons): Henry V wants to conquer Paris for himself and is marching on the way to it. As the bridge between him and the player is broken, the player will not be fighting him and he has no role in the scenario other than setting up a timer.
- Armagnacs (Franks): The Armagnacs have a diverse army occupying Paris and, in particular, its many gates.
- Bernard d'Armagnac (Franks): Bernard d'Armagnac is protected by Paladins, Arbalesters, Hand Cannoneers, and Pikemen. Killing him results in victory.
While the 45-minute timer should be more than enough to win the scenario, it is not enough time to patiently scout the entire map in order to find all Gaia units or to complete all secondary objectives, so the player should focus on the essential - unless they want a real challenge. Even though it is possible to do both aforementioned things, as well as to defeat Armagnacs and Bernard d'Armagnac himself, it not only requires extensive micro-management and high pace to make it in time (with just a few minutes or possibly seconds left before the English arrival), but it also requires great precision and baiting tactics in order to separate strong enemy units, as well as not to lose too many units.
The player starts the scenario will some units inside Paris, but it is better to leave the city and scout the outside to find Gaia units. Meeting the leader of the craftsmen's guild will give the player a secondary objective of clearing a nearby logging from Armagnacs, but it is not really necessary to complete it (completing it will give the player two Onagers and three Heavy Scorpions though). By no later than 20 minutes after the scenario starts, the player should begin the invasion of Paris.
There are two ways to cross the Seine River:
- Through the Île de la Cité like in The Siege of Paris. This is strongly discouraged, as this river crossing is guarded by Paladins, Hand Cannoneers, Onagers, Bombard Cannons, and Bombard Towers.
- Through the bridge to the east that is broken at the start of the scenario. For the bridge to be repaired, the player needs to destroy the Armagnac blockade to the east of the bridge. The player should take this option.
The middle gate is the preferred one to enter (destroying the garrison next to it will unlock the gate). Now here micromanagement is essential and the player should separate their infantry, cavalry, and archers into different control groups. Similar to what happens in The Siege of Paris, the player will most likely find themselves accidentally triggering enemy units to attack their units, but thanks to the player's big army, this should not be a big problem. The leader of the merchant's guild asks the player to destroy the Armagnac blockade on the Seine River, which is essential to cross the river. The Scholars are nearby (they have a University and four Monks) and ask the player to find two Relic Carts and bring them. Completing this secondary objective will give the player Blast Furnace, Bracer, and Siege Engineers (the latter only being useful if the player did the craftsmen's quest), but is probably not worth the time.
After crossing the bridge, the player has two options to enter the part of the city where Bernard d'Armagnac is:
- Through the gate inside the city. The large number of buildings inside the city makes it very hard for the player to micromanage their units properly, so this option is not recommended.
- Exiting the city through the eastern gate, going around the city and reentering through the north. The player should take this option.
The eastern gate has enemy Hand Cannoneers on the outside, so the player should use their archers to kill them as the player's cavalry cannot reach them. The leader of the butcher's guild is nearby and asks the player to free the Butchers imprisoned outside the city walls. Doing this will give the player 15 Butchers (re-skinned Militia with 130 HP and 10 attack) to reinforce the army.
Now the player should move north to unlock the gate to Bernard d'Armagnac. If the player still has time, they can scout this side of the river to find more Gaia units, but their big army should be enough to finish the scenario. After killing the cyan units protecting the gate, lure the blue Paladins outside, as it is preferable to fight outside the city (to avoid having melee units stuck at the gate). When Bernard d'Armagnac is mostly unprotected, charge at him and finish the scenario.
Paris was now in Burgundian hands, but in seizing the city, John had made an enemy of the English king.
Not wanting to fight both the Armagnacs and the English at the same time, he moved to make peace with his French rivals. The heir to the French throne, the Dauphin, agreed to meet with him on a bridge near Montereau.
John and the Dauphin each arrived with ten of their trusted men and John knelt before the Dauphin as a show of respect; but as he rose, two men of the Dauphin's retinue, who were Armagnac loyalists, sprung into action and charged John with axes raised.
It was a trap. Before the meeting could even begin, John the Fearless was struck down and killed while the Dauphin only watched unperturbed. It was a fitting end for the man whose career had started with just such an assassination.
The Burgundians were outraged. There would be no peace between the French factions, and Henry V would go on to win many more battles against his fractured enemies.
But while this marks the end of the story of John the Fearless, the tale of Burgundy is not yet over...
- This scenario is modeled after the scenario The Siege of Paris, from the Joan of Arc campaign, and its events take place in 1418, eleven years before the Siege of Paris.
- While the player has no resources for the entire scenario, they will get 38 gold if they lose John the Fearless. This is most likely due to the reason explained here.