The Mandalay Cobra is the second scenario of the Bayinnaung campaign in Age of Empires II HD: Rise of the Rajas. It is based on the Toungoo-Ava War.

Intro[edit | edit source]

1543 AD. Year Thirteen of the reign of King Tabinshwehti.

Our conquest of Lower Burma has brought fear to the Shan warlords. They called upon their allies, the Kingdom of Ava and the mighty Rakhine people, to raise armies against us.

My King and I march north to Upper Burma, following the pilgrimage trail to Pagan, city of 10,000 temples. From this city, the ancient Kings of Pagan once ruled over a united Burmese people. If my King is to rule all of Burma, he must be crowned in Pagan.

I will march ahead of my King to secure the city while he leads the army against our enemies. I will make all preparations for his coronation in that ancient capital. I will make sure that my brother fulfills his prophesied destiny.

Objectives[edit | edit source]

Main objectives[edit | edit source]

  • Accumulate 4,000 gold
  • Kill King Hkonmaing of Ava (king) and take the Pagan crown

Secondary objectives[edit | edit source]

  • Do not lose a relic

Players[edit | edit source]

Ally[edit | edit source]

  • Toungoo Camp (Burmese) are villages dotting the area. At these villages, Gaia units can be found.

Enemy[edit | edit source]

Strategy[edit | edit source]

Setting[edit | edit source]

The player controls the ancient pilgrim's city of Pagan. Owing to the city's religious role, it has no walls, and the player can't construct walls, towers, or Castles, so they have to rely solely on their military for defense, rather than fortifications.

At the beginning of the scenario, the player has 6 Monasteries with a Relic in each of them, so they have a steady gold income. However, if any of the Relics is ungarrisoned (for example if the corresponding Monastery is heavily damaged), the fragile Relic is irretrievably lost (removed from the game via trigger), so the player has to defend from multiple angles to keep the gold flowing, as there are no gold mines to be found on the map, except for in the enemies' bases.

Since the player cannot build walls or towers, they should instead consider surrounding their Monasteries with Houses or other structures to prevent enemy melee units from surrounding them. This can at least buy time for the player to defend the Monasteries if they are attacked.

There are several Gaia camps to be found on the eastern half of the map, most importantly among them king Tabinshwehti and his forces, in the northeast, between Shan and Ava.

While the objective is to accumulate 4,000 gold, this sum has to be reached only once, and can then be spent freely.

Early attacks[edit | edit source]

Rakhine immediately attacks with Galleys and Fire Ships, and they also regularly try landing their infantry units. While Fire Ships are usually great for defence in small numbers, they might have a hard time sinking Transport Ships in time, due to their low line of sight and range, and Rakhine's Galleys can kite them towards their Towers and Harbors, so the player should lean more towards Galleys on their own. Should a Transport Ship succeed in crossing the river, Toungoo Warriors or starting micromanaged Arambai (also decent against Fire Ships near the shore) can deal with their infantry. While below average (lacking Leather Archer Armor), Burmese Crossbowmen are a decent, but gold-intense counter. Another possibility is to simply overpower them using the superior Burmese infantry (+1 attack per age). Once the player has naval superiority, Rakhine is no longer a threat.

Shan also attacks immediately, from the northeast. A gold-conserving counter to them would be Elite Skirmishers and Pikemen.

The collector[edit | edit source]

Immediately upon the start of the scenario, the player should use the Arambai in the camp in the south to collect all Gaia units near the eastern shore of the river. The Toungoo Warriors and Monks should be able to halt Ava's troops. The Gaia Monks are significantly stronger than the ones the player can train, having double the base hit points (60) and a whopping 15 range. The Canoes and Dragon Ship (an improved version of the Fire Ship) can be used to sink Shan's Fishing Ships and War Galleys or help in the fight against Rakhine. One Canoe can go to the northeastern tip of the lake to collect King Tabinshwehti and his troops. If the player feels like this wasn't intended by the designers, they can also try to make a run for it through Shan's base, using some Cavalry.

Shan siege[edit | edit source]

While not an objective, it is beneficial to eradicate the Shan, halting their annoying raids and grabbing their resources (most importantly gold mines). Tabinshwehti and his army can be used to attack Shan immediately. As Shan have a Castle though, his villagers should construct a Siege Workshop to create Battering Rams or (if in the Imperial Age already) Bombard Cannons.

Regicide[edit | edit source]

Once Shan is defeated and the threat of Rakhine contained on their small island, the player can focus on killing King Hkonmaing. His base can be attacked either from the north or the west. The north is preferable if the player has a lot of ranged units, due to the narrow winding path and the cliffs, whereas the west is better if the player has a lot of melee units, due to the open area.

Heavy Scorpions fare very well against nearly all of Ava's units but have to be protected by bulky units like Elite Battle Elephants or Champions. While the Burmese Crosbowmen are very fragile, they are still a decent counter to Ava's infantry and Monks. Like always, Monks are a perfect counter to enemy battle Elephants.

Like mentioned before, King Hkonmaing hides inside a Castle, so bringing along siege weapons should not be forgotten.

Once the Ava King is dead, and the player has had at least 4,000 gold at any point during the scenario, the player is victorious.

Outro[edit | edit source]

Our kingdom is mighty under King Tabinshwehti. The greatest monks, warriors, and administrators in all of Burma come to our court. The King has made me his chief minister but I worry for my brother.

A man from Portugal has stumbled into the court and intrigued the King with his foreign ways and a bottle of strong wine. I fear that the blessed path that we have walked together has now come to a cursed end.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Thado Dhamma Yaza, Bayinnaung's youngest brother and Diogo Soares de Albergaria, a Portuguese mercenary and explorer in service to King Tabinshwehti, make an appearance in this scenario as a renamed Bui Bi and Francisco de Orellana, respectively.
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