The Maid Falls is the sixth and final scenario of the The Grand Dukes of the West campaign in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition - Lords of the West. It is based on the capture of Joan of Arc at Compiègne (May 23, 1430).
Since the rise of the Maid of Orléans, the war had not been going well for England and Burgundy.
In a matter of days, Joan had crushed the combined English and Burgundian forces at Orléans; and now, for a year, she had campaigned with the Armagnac army, bringing it victory after victory. Only recently had she suffered a setback, as her forces failed to take Paris from the English.
She was not a warrior; at just nineteen years of age, she carried nothing but a banner into battle. Yet, her tactics and her fiery speeches that seemed to be the very word of God had made her the Armagnacs' greatest weapon.
Philip resolved to put an end to her for good. His forces were laying siege to Compiègne when word reached him that Joan and her loyal followers had snuck into the city to aid the defenders.
This would be the day that the Maid of Orléans fell.
- Starting Age: Imperial Age
- Starting resources: 0 food, 0 wood, 0 gold, 0 stone; then 600 food, 750 wood, 800 gold, 375 stone
- Population limit: 200
Differences between difficulty levels
- Unhorse (kill) Joan of Arc to capture her.
- Set the Castle in Choisy on fire (reduce the Castle's HP to 1000 or less) to take over the town.
- Do not allow the French to overrun the Burgundian outpost in Margny.
- Build a Market in Siossons to win the favor of the townspeople.
- Tribute 1,000 gold to Soissons (5, Grey) to have their spies work for the Burgundians.
- The Burgundian army can support a population of 200.
- It is not necessary to completely destroy the French. Joan of Arc is the one who stands in your way, and defeating her is Philip the Good's goal.
- Before the Burgundians can begin to lay siege to Compiègne, they must acquire a base from which to operate. Focus on this objective before invading other domains that are controlled by the French.
- The small town of Margny is already in Burgundian hands, but will need your support to withstand French attempts to recapture it.
Your scouts report:
- Philip the Good (1, Purple) has lead his army south to conquer Compiègne and defeat the French army lead by Joan of Arc. Before the actual battle can begin, Philip must conquer Choisy in order to establish a base.
- Choisy (2, Green) is defended by a relatively small garrison. If the Burgundians attack decisively enough, they should have no difficulty in forcing the town to surrender.
- Near Compiègne lies the town of Margny (4, Orange), which has already been conquered by Burgundian soldiers. Philip the Good must support the Burgundian forces that are holding Margny against French attempts to recapture the town.
- Burgundian scouts have learned that the residents of Soissons (5, Grey), a city to the east, are weary of war. It may be possible to come to an agreement with the citizens without having to spill blood.
- Joan of Arc hides in Compiègne with her loyal followers (2, Blue). The Well-fortified city (3, Cyan) is defended by a powerful army consisting of Pikemen, Heavy Crossbowmen, Hand Cannoneers, and Bombard Cannons. Compiègne will not sit idly and let Philip the Good take the initiative, however, and will soon launch counterattacks.
- In the south lie several camps of the French army (6, Yellow), which mainly consists of heavy cavalry. It is not advisable to try to overcome this strong opponent. Instead, Philip the Good should focus on attacking Joan of Arc.
- Player (Burgundians) starts with an army consisting of Long Swordsmen, Hand Cannoneers, Knights, Costilliers, Pikemen, Bombard Cannons and Phillip the Good, with the goal of capturing Choisy.
- Margny (Burgundians) is the strongest ally and they can provide a useful distraction against Compiègne and the French Army. The path to Margny is blocked by a Compiègne's base and, if the town is left unattended, they will most likely be defeated by the French Army.
Neutral → Ally
- Soissons (Franks) is a damaged city to the east of Choisy. As they are weary of war, they will ally with the player as soon as at least one of the player's units gets close enough to their city.
- Choisy (Franks) is defended by a small garrison and a Castle. The player has to conquer the city before sieging Compiègne.
- Compiègne (Franks) is a well-fortified city and the player's strongest opponent, garrisoning Joan of Arc.
- French Army (Franks) is the most aggressive enemy, having a huge encampment and training Paladins, Elite Throwing Axemen, Crossbowmen, and siege weapons. Defeating the French Army will unlock the achievement "Shut Up La Hire!".
- Joan of Arc (Franks) is garrisoned inside Compiègne and is protected by Paladins, Champions and Crossbowmen. Unhorsing their namesake hero results in victory.
The player should reduce Choisy's castle to 1,000 HP first before the game begins. Choisy's guards do not really pose a major threat and they will just go down easily. To avoid fighting under Castle fire, the player can use their hero to lure Choisy's guards into coming to the player's starting camp.
The game begins as soon as the player gains control of Choisy. As with the previous scenarios, the player should wall off all the shallow crossings and build some Galleons and Cannon Galleons to pick off enemy units attempting to cross the river.
There are two Relics that the player should pick up. One is near the eastern corner of the map and the player can get it as soon as they kill the Compiègne's units stationed between Choisy and Soissons (Soissons will become an ally as soon as any of the player's units gets close to them). The other Relic is near the center of the map and will most likely be garrisoned in the Compiègne's Monastery which is located right in the center of the map and therefore only protected by Monks. There is also a third Relic in the northern corner of the map but the player will have to destroy the northern Compiègne's camp to get there.
The first things the player should do is to rack up enough money to pay Soissons. They will receive Spies as a gift, which is very useful, since the player has to monitor enemy activity constantly. As Margny will get attacked by the French Army and Compiegne, the player shouldn't neglect building some defenses for them. As most of Compiegne's buildings are within the Cannon Galleon's range, they will turn into rubble easily. Just watch out for Bombard Cannons, Monks, and some Towers, as they will make quick work of the player's ships.
If the player brings any units near the bridge to the west of the French Army's base, they will be asked to send 5 Petards to the bridge to destroy it. Here timing is the answer: the player can station those 5 Petards close to the bridge, and when they see a big army (preferably with Paladins and Trebuchets) moving to cross the bridge they should move the Petards to the bridge and any units trying to cross the bridge will die in the explosion.
As soon as the player has a large enough force of Paladins, Coustilliers, and Hand Cannoneers, they should go on the offensive. Since these "Heavy Crossbowmen" are just renamed Genoese Crossbowmen, the player should send the Hand Cannoneers to screen the Paladins and shoot them down, while the Trebuchets punch a hole in Compiegne's wall. As soon as it's done, the player can charge in, rout Joan of Arc's personal guard, and finally unhorse Joan of Arc herself. As soon as it's done, the player wins.
The achievement "Shut up La Hire!" can be obtained if the player defeats the French Army before defeating Joan of Arc. As the French Army's horde of Paladins and Throwing Axemen are units that should never be messed with, the player must make sure they have a large enough force before they go on the offensive. Preferably, some forward Castles will be needed to yield less casualties. While the player's Castles mow down enemy units, the enemy Castles should be the target of the player's Trebuchets, since the Army will not rebuild the lost Castles. Next, the player should send Paladins to hunt all the Army's Villagers down so that they will not try to rebuild any buildings. If the player is lucky, they can use their remaining Trebuchets to one-shot most of the buildings until the Army resigns.
Note: the achievement will only unlock when the player finishes the scenario.
If the player is not going for the achievement, the scenario is basically won as soon as Spies is researched. The player just has to gather a big army of Elite Coustilliers (they should be preferred over Paladins for this, due to their cheaper cost and high charge attack) and lure Compiègne's units into opening one of the gates near Joan of Arc's location. After entering Compiègne, the Coustilliers should avoid unnecessary fights and move to the gate leading to Joan of Arc. Luckily, this gate is in the line of sight of Joan of Arc's units, and so they will open it while attempting to attack the player's units. Get the army inside and finish the scenario.
It was late at night when the soldiers brought Joan to Philip. Calmly, he instructed all of us advisors to leave his tent. As soon as they were alone, La Pucelle began berating the duke to his face.
The Dauphin, she said, was chosen by God to be the savior of France. And he, Duke Philip, was a traitor to his country.
She was a zealot, as I have told you, my son; for her, the world was black and white. The goals of the Burgundian duke were as incomprehensible to her as her righteous fire was to Philip.
I could see them through a slit in the tent door: the Duke could barely hide his disgust for this peasant girl who talked down to him as if he were a mere commoner. Yet, he retained his composure. When she was finished, he let a long silence fall on the room.
At last, he spoke in a low voice:
"If the Dauphin is indeed your beloved savoir, Joan, where was he at Paris? Where is he now?" He did not allow her time to answer.
"The moment that I heard of your capture, I dispatched two emissaries: one to the English and one to your Dauphin, each with the same proposal: 10,000 ducats in return for La Pucelle."
"I am a man of my word, girl. If the Dauphin has not abandoned you and wishes to set you free, I will allow you to return to your holy...mission."
"But if not..."
At that moment, two English soldiers entered the tent. With a look of almost pity for the young maiden, Philip nodded. The Englishmen grabbed her by the arms. As they dragged her out, the duke sighed and said:
"Alas, Joan, it is nothing personal. It is only politics."
There she is now; can you see? The English are tying her to the pole. For a short while, this girl was the symbol of French resistance. Now, her death will symbolize the final defeat of the Armagnacs.
Watch my son: not the girl in the flames, but the men around her: the clerics, the inquisitors, the nobles of England and Burgundy. The men who decide the fate of nations. For them, for us, this is not the burning of a heretic, nor the downfall of a hero.
It is, like all things, a means to an end.