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The Lombard League is the fourth scenario of the Barbarossa campaign in Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings. It is loosely based on Barbarossa's fifth and final Italian campaign (1174-1177) and the punitive campaign against Henry the Lion in Saxony (1180-1181).


As long as Barbarossa's knights were present, peace endured. But the emperor could not be everywhere at once. Whenever he went to Italy, Germany would flare up, and when Barbarossa returned to Germany, the Italians began plotting again.

Milan had fallen, but the remainder of the Italian cities joined together in a confederation known as the Lombard League for the purpose of defeating Barbarossa.

If Barbarossa intended to make Italy part of the Holy Roman Empire, he would have to conquer the Lombard League city by city.

But Barbarossa still had a secret weapon: Henry the Lion and his seasoned troops.

Scenario instructions[]

Starting conditions[]


  • Construct a Wonder within the city walls of Venice, Padua, or Verona.


  • The Lombards have a head start on you, so build defensive structures until you can train an army.

Scouts (Definitive Edition)[]

Your scouts report:

  • The Italians have rebelled against the rule of Barbarossa (1, Red) once more. This time, several cities oppose him, and Barbarossa has called in the aid of Henry the Lion (2, Orange). The Italians, however, have split up the German forces and are already assaulting Barbarossa's fort.
  • Venice (3, Purple) lies on the coast, and from there its inhabitants control the Adriatic Sea. They will use Pikemen and Bombard Cannons to defend their city on land and will build Galleys, Fire Ships, and Cannon Galleons to control the water.
  • Padua (4, Green) is initially the most dangerous of the Italian cities. With their army of Cavaliers, Genoese Crossbowmen, and siege weapons, they will be able to pressure Barbarossa early on.
  • Verona (5, Yellow) is the Italian city the farthest from Barbarossa. Although it does not pose an immediate threat, its army of Cavaliers, Hand Cannoneers, Scorpions, and Monks will become formidable in time.



  • Player (Teutons): The player starts in the southwest with a Town Center which is under heavy attack and is doomed to fall in a matter of minutes. The player's starting units are assembled around the Town Center.

Ally → Enemy[]


  • Padua (Teutons in The Age of Kings, Italians in the Definitive Edition): Padua has the largest army. They launch an attack at the beginning of the scenario using Trebuchets, Paladins (Cavaliers as of the Definitive Edition), and Teutonic Knights (Genoese Crossbowmen in the Definitive Edition), among other powerful units. Their fortified city is in the northern corner of the map. They also have a minor encampment consisting of stables and towers in the south, just west of the player's starting position.
  • Venice (Byzantines): Venice is situated in the center of the map, with a large fortress on the mainland, with a Castle and large army on an island offshore. They have the largest navy on the map. They produce naval units, Halberdiers, and Bombard Cannons.
  • Verona (Franks): Verona inhabits a small fortified city in the northwest. They train Knights (which they will eventually upgrade to Cavaliers and Paladins if the game progresses long enough), Hand Cannoneers, Monks, and Heavy Scorpions. They are the only faction in the scenario that does not have a Castle.


Start off by loading your villagers on a transport ship and sail east to get a navy and additional units. There are two viable areas to build your town; the area immediately south of your old town and another area across the ocean to the northeast, close to Padua. The northeast area is a good choice if you wish to build a Castle, since it is awkward for Henry The Lion to attack you there. Be sure to reorder your boats so they sail directly there and don't get hit by the Venetian towers to either side of the journey. Padua will be occupied with your old walls for some time so they will not immediately be aggressive; you will have time to build a town. Build your town northwards, behind the patch of trees and towards the edge of the map, to avoid the Venetian navy which can be quite aggressive. A good place to build your castle is in front of the left set of shallows; this places it close enough to Padua to defend you across the river, and forces ships to sail up the river to attack the castle, meaning they come into range. Be sure to research your unique technology to give your castle more range, it will make things easier. Good unit choices are Halberdiers to counter the Paduan cavalry and some Cavaliers of your own to take care of any of Henry's Teutonic Knights or Paduan Trebuchets. Punch away at the Paduan walls with some Trebuchets, with your units in front of them to defend; your castle and units should defeat them easily and drain them of resources. Edge forward until you have destroyed their town, then build the wonder there. Defending it not necessary as you win as soon as construction of the Wonder is completed.

Additionally, the level can be beaten in 20 minutes by following this strategy:




Henry the Lion was immediately banished to England. Separated from his wealth and army, there was little more he could do to plague Barbarossa.

After six campaigns down to Italy, Barbarossa was weary of crossing the Alps.

The fighting ended with the signing of the Treaty of Constance, which said effectively that the emperor and the pope were equals.

It was a tenuous peace, and one that seemed unlikely to endure when, suddenly, the pope died.

The new pope was less interested in squabbling with the emperor than he was with events down south. You see, the Europeans were being driven out of the Holy Land. It was time for another Crusade.


  • In the beginning of the scenario, Henry the Lion says "I will send my knights to assist you though I fear they will be too late". While probably unintentional, this can be seen as a coded reference to Teutons' lack of Husbandry.
  • Some players manage to win this scenario without building a Castle and thus without being betrayed by Henry the Lion and so the outro mentioning Henry the Lion's exile may sound confusing to them. One possible reason was that Henry simply did not provide help in the battle that would have satisfied Frederick Barbarossa (as was the case in real life).
  • Since the Italians were not introduced until The Forgotten, the Italian cities in this scenario were represented by Franks, Teutons, and Byzantines. It was announced that in the Definitive Edition, all would be changed to Italians, but in the end, only Padua was changed to Italian.
    • This was possibly done to give the enemy players some variety and also a reference to the Fall of Rome scenario from the Attila the Hun campaign, where Verona was played by the Franks.

Historical comparison[]

  • In addition to the northern Italian cities and the Papacy, the Lombard League was joined by the Kingdom of Sicily and the Byzantine Empire.
  • The battle that begins the scenario is likely a reference to the Battle of Alessandria (1175), a defeat for Barbarossa considered shocking at the time, although it happened in Piedmont rather than Veneto.
  • The Italian campaign was a defeat for Barbarossa, who was crushed again at Legnano on May 29, 1176, and had to recognize Alexander III as Pope.
  • Instead of allying with the Lombard League and trying to usurp Barbarossa's throne, Henry the Lion just refused to provide troops unless given the city of Goslar, which was in turn denied by Barbarossa, and was a convenient scapegoat for Barbarossa's failure and the actual reason for Henry the Lion's exile.