The Final Fortress is the sixth and final scenario of the Le Loi campaign in Age of Empires II HD: Rise of the Rajas. After defeating a Ming army in an initial battle, Le Loi wants to conquer the fortress Dong Do, where general Wang Tong rallies his troops for a last stand.
Dong Do was the last fortress in Ming hands. Wang Tong sent for aid, but reinforcements would not be able to reach him easily while Le Loi held the north and the coast lines. Still, Wang Tong's fortress was well-fortified and well-supplied. If this fortress could hold out long enough, a new Ming army, now marching from China, would break the Vietnamese army and send Le Loi and his men back into the hills. The war was only one battle away from being over, and the fate of Vietnam hung in the balance.
The Ming had lost control over most of Dai Viet. It was only a matter of time before they would be utterly defeated. Lê Lợi however wanted to make peace and offered the Ming a peace deal where they'd divide the country. The Ming were prepared to accept it but the Vietnamese magnates did not want to give in. Lê Lợi gathered his whole army and marched for Đông Đô where Wang Tong had retreated to. The remaining Ming army was still well supplied and strong enough even though no reinforcement could reach them from China. General Wang Tong would not go down without a fight.
- Vietnamese Allies (Vietnamese) initially have two idle villages which are taken over by the player after the first battle is won.
- Ming (Chinese) hold the eponymous final fortress Dong Do in the center of the map, which is well protected by numerous Bombard Towers and Castles. The Ming do not have an economy but seemingly infinite resources, which they spend on a wide array of units, including Chu Ko Nu, Arbalesters, Champions, Halberdiers, Light Cavalry, Cavaliers, Monks, Onagers, Rocketry-empowered Heavy Scorpions, and Flamethrowers. They take a while to build up their army, but attack roughly at the 40 minute mark. In the Definitive Edition, the Ming has Hand Cannoneers. As the Chinese cannot train them, they are spawned by trigger.
- Ming Vanguard (Chinese) have a large army which attack the player at the start of the scenario, as well as two bases, each blocking one of the two ways to Dong Do. They also have infinite resources and use similar units like their general, but lack Monks and Flamethrowers, and instead of Onagers they build Siege Rams. The Ming Vanguard in the Definitive Edition has Villagers to build an economy.
At the start of the scenario, the player has a rather large army, which is attacked by a similarly sized Ming Vanguard army, coming in two waves. During the battle, the player's army is reinforced by flanking Elite Battle Elephants. With careful micromanagement the battle can be survived with a decent chunk of the forces remaining. When the fight is won, the two Vietnamese Allies' villages, including their armies and resources, are handed over to the player.
Building an economy and clearing the path
The player should immediately start establishing a strong economy, while also bolstering their army. The Ming Vanguard keep attacking in infinite waves from their two bases, at least one of which has to be destroyed before taking Dong Do, but it is strongly recommended to level both before the 40 minute mark, at which point, the main Ming force will start attacking as well, in order to be able to focus on the main threat without interruption. Their two bases are not as well fortified as Dong Do, but they still have some Keeps as well as a Castle in each. As the player's eastern village contains a Castle as well, Palisade Walls can be used to funnel the Vanguard attacking from the east towards it, which greatly helps in holding this flank, allowing the player to focus on the northern Vanguard base, which the initial army, reinforced with a few units and preferably a couple of Trebuchets, can take out. It is advised to construct a Castle and Fortified Walls somewhere in the northern gorge afterwards, to later halt the approaching Ming army. Once the northern Vanguard base is done for, the player can attack the southern one, and also erect a Castle and walls near the narrow bridge crossing the river.
Like mentioned before, at roughly the 40 minute mark, the Ming will attack in full force, in an unending stream of units, reminiscent of many of the The Forgotten scenarios. The player needs a wide variety of units to counter the Ming army, who have access to the open Chinese technology tree. Vietnamese Rattan Archers and Elite Skirmishers are well suited to counter Arbalesters and Chu Ko Nu, but quickly fall to Cavaliers and Onagers, so the player might want to return with equal measures. Bombard Cannon can be very effective against Onagers and Heavy Scorpions, as well as buildings. Elite Battle Elephants might be tempting, but their slow speed (in particular in the HD Edition, where the Vietnamese do not have access to Husbandry) and the AI's kiting greatly diminishes their usefulness, except against Cavaliers and Champions. The push against the Ming fortress will be very slow and resource-consuming, so the player should adjust accordingly with a strong economy which can support a constant output of units. When all of Ming's Castles are destroyed, the scenario and the entire campaign are won.
The Ming were defeated on the battlefield and their last fortress fell. Le Loi and Wang Tong met for the first time and agreed to a truce. It was apparent that the two had great respect for each other.
The remaining Ming soldiers, numbering more than 80,000, were now at the mercy of the Vietnamese. Le Loi was lenient, however, and spared their lives. He invited the Ming generals to a lavish banquet and allowed all of the Ming soldiers to return to China unharmed. He even provided ships to transport them and released all prisoners that were taken in the war.
Le Loi knew that the Ming emperor would never give up while his honor was at stake. To make the sure the emperor would not lose face and to secure the future of Vietnam, he sent lavish gifts to the emperor and offered Dai Viet as an independent tributary state of the Ming.It was a small price to pay for peace and stability. Le Loi became emperor and his dynasty would reign over an independent Vietnam for centuries. Le Loi would forever be known as the hero of the people of Vietnam.
By 1427 the Ming had been defeated in battle and Đông Đô had fallen. Lê Lợi and Wang Tong met in person south of the citadel where they made a pact to cease all hostilities. It was a glorious day for the Vietnamese as they once again gained their independence and formed a united kingdom under the leadership of the new king. The Great Lê Lợi.
The remaining Ming soldiers and commanders were at the mercy of the Vietnamese but Lê Lợi was a gracious and honorable winner. The Ming generals were invited to a lavish banquet and afterwards were allowed to lead the 86,640 remaining Ming soldiers back to China. 500 ships were allocated for those who wanted to travel over sea and over 20,000 captured men and horses were released. Among these generals was Wang Tong who also returned to China and later fought in many more Ming wars before retiring.
Regardless of how well Lê Lợi treated the retreating Ming soldiers, he was aware that Dai Viet would never be safe from Chinese interventions once he was gone. So after Lê Lợi was crowned, he patched the relationship with the Chinese and gained with the Ming emperor the status of an independent tributary state for Dai Viet. It was a small cost for the reborn state in return for peace at its northern borders. And while Lê Lợi ended up doing much more great things for the country, things didn't keep being so great after he died, as he had expected. Internal struggles and politics contaminated the Vietnamese court like an infectious disease. Of all the famous heroes who fought with Lê Lợi, none died peacefully in their beds but even so, thanks to Lê Lợi, Dai Viet retains its independence under the leadership of the Le dynasty till this day.You wonder why does a Chinese knows so much of Vietnamese history and why does he hold that foreigner Lê Lợi in such high regard? Especially since he fought a long war against his own country and defeated his armies? Well that's because I'm Wang Tong, former general and Lê Lợi's adversary. And in my many years of fighting I never have fought a more noble and smart commander than him. I do not easily think of others as my equal but we met several times to try to broker a peace between us and shared the same hardships during this war, even if it was on different sides. I respect that man as if he was my brother.
- This battle never took place: Wang Tong was forced to take the Dong Do Oath after hearing of Liu Shen's disastrous defeats in the Chi Lang-Xuong Giang battle and Mu Sheng at Le Hoa gate and had to retreat to China.