The Golden City is the fourth scenario of the Jan Zizka campaign in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition - Dawn of the Dukes. It is based on the defence of Prague by the (Taborite) Hussites during the first anti-Hussite Crusade. The Battle of Vítkov Hill which happened during the defense is featured in the scenario as well.
Bloodied and battle-hardened from our defeat of the Iron Lords, my Hussites were not content merely with surviving within the thick walls of Tabor.
Knowing that our enemies would soon renew their efforts, we moved north to seize the golden city of Prague, jewel of Bohemia and its seat of power.
Straddling the Vltava River, Prague is not easily defended. We hold all of the city on the east riverbank, but enemy forces have overrun the sector across the river to the west. The glorious Charles Bridge that connects the two will soon become a bloody battleground.
Emperor Sigismund, the man responsible for Hus' death, leads an army of crusaders into Bohemia, vowing to wipe out the so-called Hussite Heresy. It is the ultimate irony for an oath-breaker to claim the moral high ground — but not unexpected from a snake like Sigismund.
His forces seek to encircle the city and suffocate us within our walls. This cannot happen, so we will array our wagons and make our stand on Vitkov Hill.
These fanatical crusaders can keep Rome for all I care, but they will never claim our beloved Prague. Into the battle line, for Hus and dearest Bohemia!
- Starting Age: Castle Age
- Starting resources:
- Population limit: 150
- Starting technologies and upgrades: Crossbowman, Elite Skirmisher, Long Swordsman, Pikeman, Light Cavalry, Fortified Wall, Chemistry, Guard Tower, Bow Saw, Heavy Plow
- Starting units:
- Defend Prague by defeating Emperor Sigismund, the Royalists, and the Crusaders.
- Capture the St. Vitus Cathedral (Monument) to retake the Lesser Town from the Royalists.
- Collect supply carts from local storehouses and return them to Prague for resources.
- Protect allied supply wagons on their way to Prague to receive additional resources.
- Destroy enemy blockades (7, Orange) to allow more supply wagons to travel to Prague.
- Destroy the Vysehrad fortress (7, Orange) so that allied reinforcements can arrive.
- Jan Zizka can reach the Imperial Age and support a population limit of 150, but training additional Villagers, building more walls, or constructing Docks on the Vltava is impossible.
- Your enemies will attack soon. Dedicate the early stages of the mission to organizing and upgrading your troops to prepare for an assault.
- Your ability to break the siege hinges on shipments of supplies from your allies. Protect these wagons and ensure that more arrive — every one that does means more resources for you and less for your enemies.
- Your enemies have superior numbers. Use the terrain and the congested urban setting to your advantage.
- Hussite Wagons are brilliant defensive units capable of sustaining immense damage and protecting vulnerable ranged units from enemy attacks.
Your scouts report:
- Jan Zizka's Hussite Army (1, Cyan) has occupied Prague but is now besieged from all sides by hostile armies.
- Emperor Sigismund (3, Red) camps to the north with an army of infantry, cavalry and siege engines that will attack from the northeast.
- Royalist Bohemians (4, Green) have seized Prague's so-called 'Lesser Town' on the west bank of the Vltava River with a force of swordsmen and Hand Cannoneers. These troops will attack from the west across the Charles Bridge accompanied by siege engines.
- Crusader forces (5, Yellow) led by the Italian magnate Pippo Spano have set a siege to the south of the city and will attack from that direction with Light Cavalry, archery units, Condottieri, and Bombard Cannons.
- Vicious German mercenaries (7, Orange) rove about the country side, looting and killing as they go. Lately they have taken to setting blockades on the major roads to intercept relief supplies destined for Prague.
- Player (Bohemians) starts with control of the districts of Prague east of the river, as well as controls a defensive position on the Vitkov hill northeast of the city with a long ranged Fortified Tower.
- The areas of Prague (Bohemians) not under the player or Royalist control remain out of the conflict until the player captures the western half, then they come under the player's control. There are also three storehouses to the north, near east, and far east of the city.
- Hussites (Bohemians) will be able to send additional reinforcements through the Vltava river once the overlooking Vysehrad fortress no longer threatens them.
- Emperor Sigismund (Teutons) has camped to the northwest and will send periodic raids against the player from the north east. If the player takes all of Prague then he will send troops from the northwest as well.
- Royalists (Bohemians) start with control over much of the city west of the river, and will train and send troops over the Charles Bridge.
- Crusaders (Italians) have set up fortifications in the southeast, and also control the Vysehrad Fortress at the horn of the delta in the south (despite the Objectives stating that it is held by the German Mercenaries).
- German Mercenaries (Teutons): They have set up 4 blockades with Barricades on the roads that they guard with Swordsmen, Crossbowmen, and Scorpions.
This scenario is a challenging one on hard difficulty, especially if the player tries to get the achievement "Zizkov Hill" for keeping the tower northeast of Prague standing. Prague itself is divided in two halves: the west belongs to the Royalists (Green) and the east to the player. This will place the player in the middle of the map with Sigismund forces north (Red) and the Crusader Knights east (Yellow). The player is also unable to train any Villagers, starts with only ten of these, and no gold pile nor stone pile can be found on their side of the river. They are also dependent on supply wagons coming only if the player clears the barricades (Orange) protecting access to the trade route. Four routes can be opened in total, one east of the player's Old Tower, two on each side of Yellow's base and one southeast of Green's outpost. These wagons can be stolen by the enemy, though they tend to ignore them if the player has any forces in the vicinity.
At the start of the scenario, the player should use the two Light Cavalry near the Old Tower to gather the Cows outside the city wall, as well as all three outposts, and send the wagons to town (the one in the far east corner needs to go around the Yellow Castle in order not to be killed). Also, the player must immediately send all the troops (minus both Light Cavalry) near the old tower east to open up the first trade route. This may be the only trade route that the player can secure in a little while, therefore it is vital. Store the three Relics in town and get the Villagers to work (Cows and Berries, then Farm and Lumber Camp northeast of Old Tower later). The player will soon be under heavy pressure from all three sides. Red's focus is to destroy the Old Tower north; they send Paladins, Champions, Teutonic Knights, rams, Mangonels and Trebuchets. Yellow focus on the player's Castle east of Prague with Paladins, Condottieri, Light Cavalry, Genoese Crossbowmen, Arbalesters and Bombard Cannons. Green will attack the twin bridges with Two-Handed Swordsmen, Hand Cannoneers, Capped Rams and Scorpions. Combined with the almost non-existent player economy, it is a challenging opening to contain all three enemies.
The player will be notified of reinforcements coming from the river by boat (only happens once), but they need to clear Yellow's fortress enclosed in walls. A single Trebuchet is enough, provided the player attacks after they repelled an attack from Yellow or babysit the Trebuchet against Bombard Cannons. They need to age up to the Imperial Age first to accomplish this, so the player should do it sooner rather than later. The player should always weight in the benefit of more troops versus upgrades throughout the scenario. If the player desires to complete the achievement on Hard difficulty, they need a mobile force of Cavaliers to attack the Trebuchets, rams and Mangonels from the flank while a force of Hussite Wagons, Hand Cannoneers, Halberdiers and Arbalesters defends the Teutonic melee force by the tower itself (they all have high melee armor). Whenever Yellow attacks, the player should use either Cavaliers or Light Cavalry against their Bombard Cannons, or else their Castle will fall. The bridge itself needs to be defended by Skirmishers, Arbalesters or Hand Cannoneers alongside an answer to Scorpion and rams (ideally, cavalry). The player should consider using defensive stance or stand ground as Green is prone to kite their units all the way back to the western shore into their defensive towers.
The player should use the influx of troops once they secure the transport boat to attack the Yellow Castle near the Old Tower. Along with the Trebuchet that destroyed the fortress, two or three Bombard Cannons with a strong escort will destroy the Castle. Depending on their situation at the Old Tower/Prague, the player might be able to continue their push into Yellow's base proper. From the north, destroying half their base usually end up with the enemy resigning, allowing the player to clear both trade routes on either side of their base (the player will have ample resources from this point onward). The player can (and should) buy stone at the market and set up a Lumber Camp northeast of the Old Tower. Use the Lumberjacks there to repair the tower in between attacks to further guarantee obtaining the achievement.
From here, attacking Green is the logical next step. The player only needs to destroy the Castle south of the Wonder and send troops next to it to transfer all the town to their control, with the exception of a small Green outpost southeast guarding the last trade routes. Green also house a few stone and gold piles, but the scenario is mostly won at this point. From here, Red is an easy target as they do not build any troops anymore. Destroy the Castle for a well-deserved victory.
A drawback of a comfortable, noble life, or even a life of crusading against disorganized heathens, is that you become unaccustomed to true adversity. As they faced our new, unconventional battle tactics, the armies of Sigismund were a relic of a bygone age, and they melted away like snow in the sweltering heat of the summer sun.
Failing to break through our line of wagons, the enemy forces were hurled back by a fierce counterattack. We drove them to the edge of a precipice — and then over it! Sigismund will return, I am sure, but for now we have humiliated him.
One image from the battle is etched into my mind: that of a fearless woman who led a defiant charge in the heat of battle, martyring herself in the defense of our cause. Her name may be unknown, but her legend will live on forever.
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