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The Hand of a Daughter is the third scenario of the Sforza campaign in Age of Empires II HD: The Forgotten.

Intro[]

"Visconti freed Sforza after languishing in the dark. Much like you freed me from sleeping hungry outside on the dirt in the cold." I could not thank the half-noble man enough. I figured he was somewhat rich. Who else would bring spare salted pork with them to a library? In addition, he must have had quite the upbringing as intelligent as he was. I still enjoy reading about military tactics, but I never liked reading about Dukes and nobles; only a truly wise man could have the patience for that boring stuff.

"The Duke sounds like he was generous enough at times to gain the love of his people, but really it seems like they were used to a monarchy and wanted his line to continue. He was cruel but he still continued to reign." Indeed the Duke could go from paranoid, imprisoning a man as great as Sforza, to generous in an instant, offering Sforza the hand of his daughter and thus inheritance of Milan. An issue tormenting Duke Visconti was his line, and he only had his illegitimate child Bianca Maria. Bianca's mother was the only woman Visconti ever loved and he had no other children with his wives.

He had no son, but given how often noble sons and fathers seem to quarrel, Sforza ironically became the closest thing to Visconti's son, as well as the closest thing to a Prince for the Milanese, who adored him and his gallant and generous army. Sforza would only get the hand of Bianca Maria if he could avenge Milan's loss to the Florentine-Venetian alliance. The Venetians were going to invade Milan once more and again hired Carmagnola, both for his skill and as an insult to Visconti. It was time for Sforza to redeem himself.

Players[]

Allies[]

  • Duchy of Milan (Italians)
  • Sforza's Spy (Italians)

Ally to enemy[]

  • Carmagnola's Camp (Italians)

Enemies[]

  • Carmagnola's Guards (Spanish)
  • Venetian Main Fleet (Italians)
  • Venetian Navy (Byzantines)

Strategy[]

The player starts with two spies, Geremio and Simone, who are on top of a waterfall, on their mission to send fake scouting report into Carmagnola's camp, in order to mislead Carmagnola. They have to walk along a dirty, polluted stream to enter the military camp. Both of them must survive, and while they have very strong attack, they have very short line-of-sight. Whenever they encounter a guard of Carmagnola, they must kill him within 5 seconds or else the alarm will be sounded and all the nearby soldiers of Carmagnola will rush to the two intruders, and it is impossible for the player to kill all enemies at once.

Before the player enters the camp, they meet two Militias, owned by Carmagnola's Guards (Red), and a Man-at-Arms, owned by Sforza's Spies (Green). The Militias will attack the player and the other spy. If the player manages to save the other spy, he will join the player and reveal his name, Cysion. This name probability references the Forgotten Empires lead designer and manager.

There are several ways to sabotage the camp on the way to fulfilling the main objective. There are some Trebuchets facing a Castle (both owned by "Carmagnola's Camp"), and the player may click on the Outpost to destroy the castle with the trebuchets. There are a few Milanese Mills; clicking on the outpost would destroy the mills. To the southeast, there is an aquaduct that the player can destroy by clicking on the Outpost next to it. Going to the west, the player can find a Trade Workshop that can be "blown up" by clicking on the Outpost next to it. Going even further, the player will find some cages with some horses inside. The player can free the horses by clicking on the Outpost close to them. Furth west, there are many packed Trebuchets, and clicking on the outpost will destroy them all. In the north, there is a row of aqueducts; clicking on the outpost would destroy the piece at the pool. There is a cave here; if the two spies enter, they end up in west of Carmagnola's island. South of the cave is a chapel, where the spies can get healed from their wounds. By taking an effort, and clicking on all of the outposts, the player will weaken Carmagnola's Camp.

These effects will be triggered if the player clicks on the Outposts:

  • Clicking the Outpost by the Stable will reduce the number of Paladins to be trained later.
  • Clicking the Outpost by the Barracks will reduce the number of Champions to be trained later.
  • Clicking the Outpost by the aqueduct will reduce the number of Bombard Cannons to be build later.
  • Clicking the Outpost by the Trade Workshop will reduce the number of Hand Cannoneers to be trained later.
  • Clicking the Outpost near the packed Trebuchets will destroy all Trebuchets in sight. Carmagnola will not rebuild his lost Trebuchets. Useful if the player intends to build a base near the camp.
  • Clicking the Outpost near the Castle will trigger the Trebuchets to destroy the Castle.

When the tent (a Pavilion) is revealed, the player should not take the shortest route to reach there, as it would alert Carmagnola's troops. Instead, the player should take a back route and sneak in, which would be along the Palisade Walls. The player should destroy the Palisade Gates to facilitate invasion later. Once the player reaches the tent, click on it to enter, which is on the northeastern side of the map. The spies will place a false report before leaving (by clicking on the spy). Then the two spies must safely get out of the camp and return to the waterfall where they started.

The two spies return to Sforza's camp in the southwest to report, and the player starts building up a base and building troops to defend against the Venetians. There will be 7 Venetian Galleons which the player must destroy, while preventing the Milanese navy (Galleys) in the west from being annihilated. As the player cannot build a navy in this scenario, the only way to counter the enemy navy is building towers, castles, or simply using ranged units such as Genoese Crossbowmen.

Once the Venetian galleons are destroyed, the player must prepare to face Carmagnola's base and defeat his army. At this moment, the Milanese Dock near the player's base is taken over by "Carmagnola's Guards".

While Gold Mines and Stone Mines are quite limited in the surroundings, the player can find another three gold mines further east, being guarded by Venetian towers. By simply destroying the towers and killing all surrounding soldiers, the player may safely mine gold there. There are plenty of gold mines and stone mines in the eastern tip of the map. Besides that, the player shall trade with the Milanese Market in the south.

Easier way[]

The player can switch the diplomacy when controlling the Spies, as long as the guards are killed, destroy all the buildings that will produce armies. Since the Spies have very high attack, this will not be time-costing. Bombard Towers are available in this campaign, so the player can build one on the small islands of the water to easily defend the Venetian Galleons.

Outro[]

The battle was a major victory for Milan, especially for Sforza. After the battle, Sforza rebuilt aqueducts, farms, and houses destroyed by his or Carmagnola's armies. Carmagnola was beheaded in the San Marco forum for his failure. My savior asked, "Was Sforza generous to the Milanese in order to gain their love so he could oust Visconti and become Duke?" I told him, "I don't think so. Remember, the people still loved Visconti. Francesco was self-serving like most Condotteri, but had he killed Visconti, he would rule over a population that hated him. Francesco would eventually get his chance anyway."

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