The Maid of Orleans is the second scenario in the Joan of Arc campaign in Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings. It is based on Joan's first major military victory, the lifting of the Siege of Orléans between March 22 and May 8, 1429.
March 26, Chinon
It is one thing for a band of dispirited soldiers to put their trust in a teenage girl. It is entirely another for that girl to be given command of the army of an entire nation.
We were filled with pride when we heard the Dauphin's heralds pronounce Joan the Maid as Commander of the Army of France.
So that she may look like a general, the Dauphin presented Joan with a great warhorse and a suit of white armor.
Joan instructed me to look for an ancient sword buried beneath the altar of a local church.
I was skeptical, but not only did the men unearth a rusted blade, but we found that the sword belonged to Charlemagne, grandfather of France. I shall not doubt her word again. Still visible on the hilt was the fleur-de-lis.
Joan adopted the fleur-de-lis as her symbol and had it blazoned upon her battle standard. Wherever Joan goes, the standard goes also. It goes with us to Orléans.
This war had dragged on for one hundred years with precious few French victories. The people of Orléans need a savior. They are to get Joan of Arc.
- Starting Age: Feudal Age
- Starting resources: 0 food, 0 wood, 0 gold, 0 stone; then 1,000 food, 1,500 wood, 1,500 gold, 500 stone
- Population limit: 75 (125 in the Definitive Edition)
- Starting units:
- Gaia units:
Differences between difficulty levels
- On Standard, all four English bases are missing a Guard Tower each, and Orléans starts with Fletching and Murder Holes researched. Additionally, the South English are missing a Monastery (plus Monk) on the path between Blois and Orléans.
- On Hard, Burgundy, the Northern English/British, and Orléans start with Murder Holes researched.
- Joan must survive.
- The Cathedral in Orléans must remain standing.
- Escort Joan to Blois so that she may command the French army.
- Bring Joan to the Orléans Town Center.
- Deliver 6 Trade Carts of supplies to the Orléans Town Center.
- Convince the British/English to withdraw by destroying 1 of their Castles.
- The French army is limited to the Castle Age and a population of 125.
- Hurry to Orléans before the English can cause much damage. Be wary of English forces south of the river, but do not forget to rendezvous with your army in Blois.
- Once the supplies arrive in Orléans, you will be able to build up your forces. Frankish Knights are useful for taking care of English Longbowmen and siege weapons. Frankish Castles are inexpensive and provide excellent defense.
- Use your Market to trade for resources until you can venture outside the city.
- The English Castles have large garrisons. It is best to assemble a large attack force before attempting to storm them.
- Rich farmland is located west of Orléans, but outside of the city walls and vulnerable.
Scouts (Definitive Edition)
Your scouts report:
- Joan and her escort (1, Blue) is leaving for Orléans. Reinforcements and supplies are waiting for her in Blois (5, Cyan). Finally, the army must reach the city of Orléans (4, Grey) across the river and relieve the English siege of the city.
- The English have divided their army, surrounding Orléans from both sides and occupying several castles. To the north is the Northern English army (3, Red), and to the south the Southern English army (7, Orange). You will need siege equipment to destroy their castles.
- The Burgundians camp to the east. They are not a real threat at first, but left alone they will train a sizable infantry army.
- Player (Franks): The player starts with the starting army at the very south of the map in Chinon.
- Chinon (Franks): Chinon is Joan's starting point. It lies in the very south of the map and does not actively take part in the game.
- Blois (Franks): South Blois lies in the southwest of the map and behaves just like Chinon. There is a Castle in Blois and several Crossbowmen and Knights. The latter go into the player's possession once they arrive in Blois.
- Orléans (Franks): Orléans is a fortified town in the center of the map. This player only contains the city's Gates and the Cathedral. The walls and other stuff that makes up for the rest of the city belongs to the Gaia player, which houses their Cathedral.
- Burgundy (Franks, Burgundians since Lords of the West): Burgundy has a small village in the east, an outpost south of the river near the bridge, and a couple of riders in the south of the map, blocking Joan's path to Blois. They initially have Knights (Coustilliers since Lords of the West) and Light Cavalry. They will later send Men-at-Arms and Spearmen to attack the player.
- North British / North English in the Definitive Edition (Britons): The North British have two joint walled fortifications to the northernmost part of the map, both guarded with a Castle. They attack the player with Longbowmen and Long Swordsmen, together with a few Monks and sometimes Mangonel.
- South British / South English in the Definitive Edition (Britons): The South British have two joint fortifications to the center of the map, south of Orléans. Just like the North British, each walled city are guarded by a Castle. They train Knights and Battering Rams.
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The player starts in Chinon in the south of the map. Take all the player's cavalry units (the player can bring the Swordsmen later as they will only slow down the cavalry units) and ride straight northwest to Blois. The player will be attacked by two Knights (Coustilliers since Lords of the West) and four Light Cavalry of Burgundy. Ignore them and keep going until the player reaches the Castle of Blois. Once there, the player will get reinforcements: 12 Crossbowmen and eight Knights. They will make short work of the attackers. Alternatively (and in particular in the Definitive Edition, to avoid the Coustilliers' charge attack), the player can go around and avoid the Burgundian units.
When arriving in Blois, the player also receives six Trade Carts, which must be safely taken to Orléans. Take Joan and the Trade Carts (the player can leave the remaining units in Blois and garrison the injured ones in the Castle) and leave the city northwards and proceed north until the player reaches a river. Follow the shore to the east. The player will soon reach a Dock and two Transport Ships. Load Joan and the Carts and sail straight north. Pass the small wooded island and unload the Transport Ships, then head to the city of Orléans. The player will arrive safely. Meanwhile, send the players troops, who are still waiting at Blois, eastwards until they reach a South British Wall. It is guarded by two Guard Towers. Just wait there in safe distance (in defensive stance).
In the meantime, Joan and the Carts should have arrived in Orléans. The carts must be delivered at the Town Center. Once the player arrives, they will get three Villagers.
Immediately advance to the Castle Age and take Joan and the Villagers back to the river, where the player's Transport Ships are still waiting. Do not worry about the city of Orléans, the scenario is almost over and the attacks are weak (the enemy mostly sends Longbowmen). Sail south back to the Dock and unload the units. To avoid losing Joan of Arc, garrison her in the Castle of Blois and send the Villagers to meet with the player's army. Build a Siege Workshop as soon as the Castle Age is reached and queue as many Battering Rams as the player's wood allows. The player can also build a second Siege Workshop to speed up Ram production.
As soon as the first Ram is built, start attacking the enemy Wall. Once there is a hole, take the Rams and attack the Castle. This Castle should be preferred over the other three because the South British do not have Murder Holes researched and the only military building in that base is a Siege Workshop. Send the player's entire army in as well (with exception of the Crossbowmen, as they do minimal damage to the Castle and can stay on the outside in case any enemy units appear). If the player is fast enough, there will be no resistance (other than one Ram which will attack the player's own Rams but can be easily destroyed by the player's Knights) and the Castle will not stand for long. Once it is destroyed, the scenario is won.
Note: The player can use the existing Dock or build a new one, but mainly to fish, or target the enemies crossing the bridge.
Joan prophesied that she would be wounded at Orléans. At the height of the battle, an arbalest bolt knocked her from her horse. We could not believe our misfortune.
But as we carried Joan away from the carnage, the battle was won. Orléans was free.
When we entered the city, the entire population cheered us on from windows, rooftops, and city streets.
They fired artillery into the night sky and shouted aloud their nickname for Joan: 'La Pucelle'—The Maid of Orléans.
- Upon advancing to the Castle Age, the buildings of Orléans remain in the Feudal Age design. It is because the "City of Orléans" which is captured by the player initially belongs to Gaia, which is set to the Feudal Age by the developers.
- The same rough area is portrayed one thousand years earlier in the Attila campaign scenario A Barbarian Betrothal.
- Both Chinon and Blois are set diplomatically as allies to the British and therefore their Castle will not attack British troops. Also, the Monk in Chinon heals British troops.
- Although D'Alençon was one of Joan of Arc's allies, he played no part in the relief of the siege. He is perhaps included here because he was a decisive commander in The Cleansing of the Loire, but at the same time, he was not present at the Battle of Patay, which serves as the main inspiration for the following scenario. The real commander of the relief force from Blois was Jean de Brosse.
- La Hire, who appears in the following scenario but not here, actually fought in Orléans and even commanded the city's forces at one point.
- The Burgundians made an agreement with the city commander, Jean de Dunois, and withdrew from the siege about one week before Joan of Arc arrived in the city.
- While the player has the choice to reach Orléans by either Transport Ships or crossing the bridge, in reality the bridge had been destroyed by the defenders to deny its use to the English. The bridge was later rebuilt with planks, only to be destroyed again by Joan.
- The scenario only requires players to destroy one Castle and the English will withdraw. In reality, the French took or destroyed four garrisons (St. Augustine, Boulevart, and Tourelles in the south, and St. Loup in the east).
- In the scenario, the English have two Castles directly south of Orléans and two directly north. The two in the south loosely correspond to St. Augustine and the Boulevart, with Tourelles built on the remains of the bridge. The place of the northern Castles, however, is mostly on lands occupied by Orléans forest. Instead, the strongest English garrisons were west of the city and by the river, in St. Laurent and St. Prive, an area that is empty in the game. Joan of Arc argued with de Brosse because she wanted to land the transports closer to St. Laurent, but in the game this is actually the perfect place to land without trouble.
- Joan was wounded by an arrow while attacking the Boulevart.
- In reality, Chinon is west of Blois rather than south.