Calm down, you scoundrel! Calm down and let me tell you a story.
Not too long ago, when your fathers were about your age, the Chinese returned to the Dai Viet. After more than five hundred years of independence, the Vietnamese kingdom came once again under the thumb of a Chinese emperor. The Ming dynasty had come to assist the Vietnamese claimant to the throne, but as the country plummeted into chaos, the Ming emperor decided to take the kingdom for himself. Ming soldiers entered and occupied the Vietnamese villages and cities. But while the aristocracy prospered under Ming occupation, the common people suffered. It was clear that the Vietnamese people need a hero to unite and free the country once more. This hero was Lê Lợi.
Lê Lợi was the son of a nobleman, but despite his heritage, he despised the other aristocracy who had sided with the enemy. Lê Lợi's family had founded a new town in northern Vietnam before the Ming occupation, far from the control of the Hanoi government. Here up far north, he gained the support of two famous families, the Trịnh and the Nguyễn. Vastly outnumbered, Lê Lợi turned to waging a guerilla war against the large and well-organized Ming army in 1418. His resistance could only suceeed if he managed to avoid confrontation with the Ming and waited for the seeds of rebellion to bear fruit...
Neutral -> Allies Edit
- Trinh (Vietnamese) are located to the north. Their base is small, but quite well-fortified although it will be breached if received too much attack. Their forces consist of Pikemen, Battle Elephants, Rattan Archers, and Trinh Cavalry (the renamed version of Cataphracts).
- Nguyen (Vietnamese) are located to the south. Like Trinh, they also have small but well-fortified base that cannot sustain too much attack. Their forces consists of Rattan Archers, Crossbowmen, Two-Handed Swordsmen, and Battle Elephants.
- Vietnamese Villages (Vietnamese) have small bases located at northeast, southeast, near west, and far west. Their bases are occupied by Ming Patrols' army and Watch Towers. Some of the bases possess Markets that can be used as trading partner after liberated. They also have a Monastery and several Monks at the southernmost. If the player is able to bring Holy Artifact from Malay Pirates' base to the Monastery, their Monks will join the player.
- Ming (Chinese) have a lot of fortress to the west, north, south, and middle of the map. Their fortresses are extremely difficult to breach because they are protected by Castles, Guard Towers, and Fortified Walls. Furthermore, each fortress is also protected by various units such as Crossbowmen, Chu Ko Nus, Long Swordsmen, Pikemen, Elite Skirmishers, Light Cavalry, and Scorpions.
- Ming Patrols (Chinese) are scattered all over the map. Their bases are protected by Watch Towers that need to be destroyed to accomplish the primary scenario objective. They cannot train units, but possess huge amount of forces consisting of Chu Ko Nus, Crossbowmen, Elite Skirmishers, Pikemen, Long Swordsmen, Knights, Light Cavalry, Scorpions, and War Galleys. Some of them patrol regularly at short distance along the roads.
- Malay Pirates (Malay) are located to the eastermost. They have small forces consisting of Sunda Royal Fighters, Karambit Warriors , Rattan Archers , War Galleys, and Fire Ships. Their base is small, but protected by some Sea Towers. The base is located at an island that can only be accessed by the sea. They also have some troops at the eastern coast near the player's original base.
Hard difficulty: in this scenario the player will not be attacked much, but will lose if one of their allies fall, so the player must try to keep them alive.
Don't produce any units in the beginning, just focus on a wood-food-stone economy. Once the player's allies start getting attacked by the blue they need to send two Villagers into the allies' base (watch out for the roads, as they will be heavily patrolled by the Ming) and build a Castle, Stable, and Barracks and start producing Pikemen and Light Cavalry to help them especially against rams. They may also tribute them with resources to fund their own armies. The north base will need more help.
Once the player has secured that their allies are safe, they can start producing Battle Elephants and Rattan Archers, then they may proceed with taking down the towers. Start with the north one because there is a Market there that could be used to produce gold.
Standard difficulty: the player can focus on a gold-food economy and mass-produce Battle Elephants that can then go for the towers.
There is a Monastery in the southern corner of the map belonging to the Vietnamese Villages that tasks the player with bringing back their "Holy Artifact" (a Relic Cart) which is located on the Malay Pirates island base.
The island has to be conquered in order to gain control of the Relic Cart, with the forces there being at their weakest when attacked from the southeast. Destroy their fleet, Sea Towers and Dock on the south side and then land the attacking troops to take care of the rest (or try to spare their 2 Docks if possible, to send Trade Cogs later for additional gold). Upon returning the Holy Artifact all Vietnamese villages will change to be under the player's control along with six Monks. Be aware that the Ming players will begin to attack them straight away so its wise to clear the villages of strategic importance that the player aim to keep at their control.
The Holy Artifact quest should be ignored completely, since it would render their two Markets useless. A more beneficial path is to clear out Ming patrols, keep the Vietnamese Villages as ally and send Trade Carts for additional gold instead. Getting all the Vietnamese villages under control, however, does have one peculiar advantage, as once the Ming destroy everything there will be significantly fewer obstacles for the player's units to circle around to get to the enemy units/towers, making liberating the villages quite a bit easier.
In the Definitive Edition, completing the Holy Artifact quest only gets the monks and the Monastery changes to the player's control, while Vietnamese villages stay the same.
At least four Relics can be found on the map: one west of the southernmost Ming fortress, one just north of Trinh base across a small bridge and one in the western end of the map guarded by a sizeable Ming force. The one on a small island in the Malay Pirate base (Holy Artifact) is actually a Relic Cart, which can't be garrisoned inside a Monastery.
It began slowly with rather few successes, but soon Lê Lợi started to gain more and more support from the people. The people even dismissed the former Trần dynasty, calling Lê Lợi 'The Peacemaking King'. However, the Ming became wary of his actions and decided to act. A war was imminent...