|This article is about the the scenario in the original game. For the scenario in the Definitive Edition, see The Great Hunt (Definitive Edition). For the god power in Age of Mythology, see Great Hunt.|
The Great Hunt is the fifth scenario of the Voices of Babylon campaign in Age of Empires. The goal is to make the way across the map, while picking up extra troops on the way, ultimately finding an Artifact. It was reworked for the Definitive Edition.
|“||The glory of Babylon has been restored by the recapture of the city from the Elamites. King Nebuchadnezzar I vows that recapturing the city is not enough, however. The Elamites must feel his wrath in their homeland. Attack the Elamites in their mountainous strongholds. Find and recapture the statue of the god Marduk that they carted off (represented by an Artifact). Peoples long oppressed by the Elamites will give you aid in your quest if you can locate them.||”|
|—In-game campaign description|
- Capture the Artifact.
- The long road ahead is paved with many obstacles. Sometimes it is better to push through a hotspot than to stand and fight.
- Gather as many allies as you can along your way; you will need them in the end.
- Player (Egyptians): The player starts at the west corner with a few Axemen.
- Elam (Greeks): This player has several Bowmen and Improved Bowmen waiting to ambush the player near the start of the game.
- Elam (Babylonians): This player has several Sentry Towers that are parallelly arranged on the sides of the path to the south of the map. This player also controls a few Bowmen and Ballistae that guard the player's path.
- Elam (Persians): This player has four Elephant Archers guarding a path waiting to ambush the player.
- Elam (Yamato): This player has several Sentry Towers at the center of the map, blocking the player's access onto a cliff. They also own several Ballistae and Catapults past the towers.
- Elam (Hittites): has a few Stone Throwers to the middle northwest of the map, alongside with a couple of Sentry Towers. Elam also has another separate army southeaast of the map, which consists of a few Priests and some Composite Bowmen.
- Elam (Phoenicians): has the most units on the map. They control the shallows spanning from the northeast to the northwest of the map.
- Elam (Sumerians): This player has few Catapults and many Heavy Cavalry and Ballistae at their disposal. They control the island which contains the Artifact the player must capture.
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In this scenario, there are seven "Elam" teams of different civilizations and colors. None of these need to be defeated to win, as long as you find the Artifact. It's quite long and risky, so save often.
You start off with a handful of Axemen in the western corner. Move south, avoiding the Lion King and Elephant King as much as possible, until you find the Improved Bowmen. Continue south, killing the Bowmen that get in your way, to find two Scouts. Your Axemen and Bowmen aren't very important from this point forward.
There's a corridor of Sentry Towers ahead of you. Don't try to destroy them, just move your forces past them, and find the Cavalry units. Send the Cavalry north, past the Elephant Archers. To the east, there's a row of Sentry Towers making a wall, so it's impossible to sneak past. Go north.
You'll come across two Stone Throwers, guarded by Towers. You can save them, if you want to try to convert them, but that might be too risky; destroying the siege units are the safer option. Continue past to find a wall, behind which there's two Priests. Heal your cavalry if they're damaged, then move one of the Priests to the right (the Berry Bushes point the way). You'll get a Light Transport.
On a small island just south of the boat, there are two Stone Throwers. Send your Priests across to convert them; as long as you stay close enough, they can't hurt you. Then convert the Elephant Archers you ran past - attacking them with Cavalry will ensure that they won't try to hurt your Priests.
Destroy the Towers. Behind the Towers, there's Ballistae and Catapults, so send your Cavalry forward to destroy them. Then, there's a row of archers and a few Priests. Don't let them Convert anything important! If your archers and Axemen are still alive, send them first. Losing them won't matter.
Move towards the coast to find a transport. If you send a few units south, they can pick up three Priests that are hidden in the shallows. There's two more Light Transports on the map, and a host of enemy Ballistae and Catapults. Placing Priests right next to them will allow you to Convert them while remaining too close to shoot. Convert as many of them as you want.
When you think you have enough, send you Cavalry, Siege units, Elephant Archers and Priests to the island to the north. The Cavalry should go first, to kill siege units. The Elephant Archers should tackle Heavy Cavalry, and the Stone Throwers and Catapults should level Towers. Heal anything that's damaged. At the northernmost point of the map, you'll find the Artifact.
Converting enemy units as the scenario progresses is a must, since the player's own forces are limited. Since the player can capture Priests in pair or in trio, at least two Priests must attempt to convert an enemy unit at a time, especially ranged units. However when attempting to convert siege weapons, the Priest can be assigned to stand adjacent to the siege weapon first then attempt to convert. The player needs to distract the siege weapon with Cavalry or Elephant Archer (however the former needs to dodge the projectiles, while the latter can be used as a meatshield) before attempting to close the gap between the siege weapon and the Priest.
|“||The reign of Nebuchadnezzar I was not without turmoil. He engaged in warfare with the enemies that surrounded Babylon to both punish them for past invasions and to keep them off balance. The Elamites to the east were an especial annoyance because they had little else of value near them to covet and the Zagros Mountains were a natural defensive barrier between them and the open land of the Tigris and Euphrates Valleys.||”|
|“||The Babylonians took war to the Elamites and kept them off balance. The Elamites never threatened to take Babylon again.||”|
- It is the only official scenario in the original Age of Empires with a Sumerian team.
- It is the only official scenario outside of the Yamato Empire of the Rising Sun campaign with an Asian team.
- The arrangement of the civilizations is default, except for players 4 and 5, which are assigned with the Persians and Yamato, respectively.
- The fact player 4 playing as the Persians hints the player that the Elephant Archers are worth converting, since they gain a speed bonus, which are actually needed on the latter part of the game.