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The Old World is the first scenario of the Francisco de Almeida campaign in Age of Empires II HD: The African Kingdoms.

After the death of Henry IV of Castile, the crown went to his daughter Juana. Queen Juana married Afonso V of Portugal, in an attempt to unite the kingdoms of Castile and Portugal.

However, Queen Juana's aunt, Isabella seeks the throne of Castile for herself and her husband, Ferdinand II, King of Aragon has brought his army into Castile. The armies of Portugal and Aragon meet at the city of Toro, to decide the fate of Castile.


My captain is dead. Tell King Manuel that the red blood of Francisco de Almeida, conqueror of the Indies, stains a white beach at the edge of his empire. After braving Spanish knights, Berber horsemen, and Indian elephants, it was the king's lost faith in a devoted servant that took his life's breath.

Lies they whispered in our king's ear! They called Dom Francisco mad with lust for power, riches, and glory. Those jackals! Those men who had never set foot on a swaying caravel in a monsoon or felt the heat of the African sun sting upon a reddened neck!

Was not my captain's devotion measured in the sweat and blood he poured across three continents and three oceans?

I was a boy when the battlefield of Toro birthed the legend of Dom Francisco. While the last of the Moors held in Granada, the Christian kingdoms of Iberia warred for the throne of Castile.

King Henry had died, leaving his kingdom to his daughter Juana, wife of King Afonso of Portugal. The union of the two lands was celebrated in our country but, for the ambition of a queen, it was not to be...

Queen Juana's twenty-five-year-old aunt, Isabella, sought the throne for herself. Her powerful husband, the king of Aragon, led his army into Castile to seize the crown for his wife and unite that kingdom with his own. The armies of Aragon and Portugal met near the city of Toro to decide the fate of three kingdoms...

Scenario instructions[]

Starting conditions[]

Differences between difficulty levels[]

  • On Standard difficulty, the locations of the Aragonese camps and Isabelista Mills are revealed, and the player receives more resources upon taking command of Toro. Furthermore, while the Aragonese have many Castle Age technologies researched from the start, Murder Holes is not one of them.
  • On Hard, there are fewer units from King Afonso's Army to recruit, and the Isabelistas start with Ballistics and Iron Casting researched.



  • Defend the city of Toro.
  • Destroy the three Aragonese military camps.

Then, choose one of the following objectives:

  • Destroy the Isabelista military buildings.
  • Destroy the Isabelista Mills.


  • Bring Prince Juan to the remnants of King Afonso's Army.
  • Find and unhorse (kill) the Duke of Alba and Cardinal Mendoza.


  1. You are restricted to the Castle Age and a population limit of 200.
  2. The Aragonese can train new units while you initially cannot so speed and aggressiveness is critical.
  3. Killing the Duke of Alba and Cardinal Mendoza will provide you with gold to use later once you take control of the Juanista forces.
  4. The bridge into Isabelista-held Zamora is well-defended but finding a beachhead further east will give you access to less defended parts of the city and farmlands.

  • You are restricted to the Castle Age and a population limit of 100.
  • The Aragonese can train new units while you initially cannot so speed and aggressiveness is critical.
  • Killing the Duke of Alba and Cardinal Mendoza before the camps are destroyed will allow you to begin the build and destroy portion of the scenario with more resources.
  • The bridge into Isabelista-held Zamora is well-defended but finding a beachhead further east will give you access to less defended parts of the city and farmlands.

  • Scouts[]

    Your scouts report:

    • Francisco de Almeida commands the Portuguese reserve in Toro (3, Green), a city on the Duero river. The battle has not gone well for the Portuguese and King Afonso's Army (2, Red) has routed. The remaining soldiers hide on the outskirts of the battlefield. Only Prince Juan himself will restore their fighting courage.
    • Aragon (6, Yellow) controls the field with three military camps. Its traditional army consists of cavalry, swordsmen, and archers, as well as a new Organ Gun captured from the Portuguese. The Duke of Alba and Cardinal Mendoza command the army.
    • Zamora straddles the river west of Toro. The city is divided between the allied Juanistas (4, Purple) who control the north bank of the river, and the enemy Isabelistas (7, Grey), who command the south. Both sides consist of Pikemen, Condottieri, Crossbowmen, siege weapons, and limited Light Cavalry.




    • King Afonso's Army (Portuguese): They are the soldiers of King Afonso who are present in small groups all over the northern and eastern parts of the map. Bringing Prince Juan to them will convince them to join his army.
    • City of Toro (Spanish): They are present near the eastern edge of the map and only have a few buildings, which after defeating the initial wave of Aragonese Army (yellow), will come under the player's control. One of the player's main objectives is to defend the City of Toro, specifically the Town Center at the heart of it, which will result in the player's defeat if destroyed by the Aragonese.
    • Juanistas (Spanish): They occupy the northern half of Zamora, in the western part of the map but it is not accessible unless the three military camps of Aragonese Army are destroyed. Once the player destroys the three camps, all of Juanistas' buildings will come under the player's control and they will surrender.
    • Castilian Villages (Spanish): They are small civilian villages with a few buildings scattered all over the map, being neutral in the conflict. They do not produce any units and do not play any significant role in this scenario. They have a Hunting Wolf and a special Monk named 'Blind Lame Priest' near an Aragonese Army military camp. Except the name and appearance, all aspects of the Monk are similar to a normal Monk and if the player brings injured units to him, he will heal them. They also have a Villager who will be trying to kill a sheep but there is a glitch where the sheep will not die no matter how much the Villager hits it. They have a Dock in the Isabelistas side of Zamora (see below).

    Ally → Enemy[]

    • Isabelistas (Spanish): They occupy the southern half of Zamora, in the southwestern part of the map. After all three military camps of Aragonese Army have been destroyed, they will turn their stance towards the player to enemy and start attacking the Juanistas side of Zamora which has now come under the player's control. They mainly train Archers and Light Cavalry. They also have a few Condottieri in the beginning but they cannot train more since they are not allied to an Italian player.


    • Aragonese Army (Spanish): They have three military camps spread over the northern part of the map, along with a few Villagers. They will send an initial wave to attack the player's army near the City of Toro, after which they will occasionally send Archers and Cavaliers to attack the player.
    • Aragonese Army (Aragonese Army before the Definitive Edition) (Spanish): They will have soldiers defending the military camps of Aragonese Army (yellow), along with a few soldiers patrolling the free area outside the camps. They have two special units - Cardinal Mendoza (Cavalier) and Duke of Alba (Paladin) and killing them will give the player 500 gold each.


    The player starts with a small army along with Prince Juan. Immediately, the soldiers of Aragonese Army (yellow) will attack the army. The player should be able to defeat the soldiers, even though their army will take some damage. Unlike most scenarios, the hero Prince Juan does not need to survive to win the scenario (Note: This is no longer possible in the Definitive Edition.) but he is the most powerful unit, and has a lot of Hit Points, so it is advisable that the player keep him alive.

    There is a Monk inside the City of Toro so the player can take their units to him to heal them. Now the player should take Prince Juan and use him to explore the map around the City of Toro. There are three groups of soldiers of King Afonso's Army very close to the City of Toro and taking Prince Juan to them will convince them to join the player's army. Then a little more away from the City of Toro, there will be two more groups of soldiers. Once the player finds a Light Cavalry, it will be useful to take a Light Cavalry along with Prince Juan to help explore the map. Once the player has gathered a large enough army, they can attack the first Aragonese Army military camp nearest to the City of Toro.

    Do be warned that Aragonese forces may occasionally attack Toro and, as the player's sole Watch Tower does not have Murder Holes, it can be destroyed fairly quickly. The game will end in defeat if the Town Center in Toro falls, so the city must be defended with a sizable contingent of troops until the Aragonese forces surrender at which point the attacking will stop (see below).

    • Note: Toro (Green) has its diplomatic stance towards the Aragonese set to "Ally", thus the raiding parties will never attack the lone Monk nor the Cathedral, and the Monk will heal them if they are damaged while fighting the player's troops. This can prove annoying very quickly as the player don't have access to any form of health replenishment other than the very same Monk, which will more often than not prioritize the Aragonese troops over the player's, until much later while the enemy can slowly whittle them down. Due to this reason, it would be reasonable to lure the attacking forces outside the city before attacking them.

    The player should use the Capped Ram to bring down the military buildings and towers while other units should protect the Ram from enemy soldiers. Use Prince Juan as a tank, so that most enemy soldiers are aiming at him while the player's other soldiers finish the enemy units.

    Now it would be a good idea to find Duke of Alba and kill him, which will give the player 500 gold. He will be circling the area around the three military camps, along with three Cavaliers (named 'Duke of Alba's Men' but otherwise similar to normal Cavaliers). The player should wait for his team to come to the first military camp and then attack him. After killing him, if the player wants to heal their units and doesn't have a Monk, they can either return to the Monk at the City of Toro or go to the Blind Lame Priest who is near the second military camp.

    Now the player should explore the entire eastern part of the map and collect any remaining soldiers from King Afonso's Army (there is one group near the extreme north of the map as well). Once all of them have been collected, the player can attack the second military camp. This camp has Palisade Walls around it and Cardinal Mendoza is waiting inside this camp. Use the Capped Ram to break through the walls and aim for the Organ Gun inside first. Then use the remaining soldiers to kill enemy units, again using Prince Juan as a tank to soak up damage.

    Once the second camp has been destroyed, go to the third camp. Here, there will be an Onager waiting near the Watch Tower so use Prince Juan to attack and destroy it before it can do serious damage. Then bring in the Capped Ram and destroy the Watch Tower along with other buildings. Once the military buildings of the third camp have been destroyed, both Aragonese Army (yellow) and Aragonese Army (orange) will surrender.

    After this, the broken bridge connecting to the Juanistas side of Zamora will repair, and the Juanistas will surrender, giving all of its buildings to the player. But soon after, the Isabelistas will change stance with the player to enemy and almost immediately cross over the bridge and attack the player's new city. The player will get a new army inside this city so bring the army south near the bridge to fend of these attacks. After defeating the enemies, the player can start making Villagers. Use one Villager to wall off the bridge so that the Isabelistas' soldiers cannot cross over. Once the bridge has been walled off, the entire northern landmass will belong to the player since Isabelistas does not make Transport Ships.

    Since the player also takes over Toro (after defeating the Aragonese), which includes a dock, the player may trade with the local Castilian civilian dock in the Isabelistas side of Zamora. However, the Isabelistas have their own dock right on the west of it, which produces galleys. Therefore, in order to keep the player's Trade Cog safe, the player must destroy the Isabelistas' dock (which the player may use Demolition Ships).

    The player has two options: to either destroy the military buildings of Isabelistas or to destroy its Mills.

    If the player chooses to destroy the military buildings, they should only make Knights and Battering Rams since Isabelistas do not have a very strong army. The main problem will be the Fortress which will attack the player's units with arrows like a Castle, so taking it down should be first priority. Use the Knights to attack the Isabelistas' units and Rams to attack the Fortress. Another safer-yet-time-consuming way to get rid of the Fortress is to line the shores directly opposite it with Towers, which can outrange and eventually destroy it given the appropriate upgrades (Bodkin Arrow for the +1 range). The Watch Towers have 1 range on the Fortress, so the player will need to be careful with the tower placement, and it's probably a good idea to fully garrison the towers to expedite the Fortress destruction.

    After the Fortress comes down, keep attacking other military buildings. Eventually, all of the Isabelista's military buildings will be destroyed and the player will be victorious.

    If the player chooses to destroy the Mills, they start with one Transport Ship when they obtain the Juanistas' eastern town which they can use to ferry across five units at a time, landing away from the Isabelistas. Since this can be tedious and time-consuming, the player should research Careening and, since the initial Transport Ship does not get affected by upgrades, they should build more Transport Ships. A Transport Ship can also be used to ferry a Monk to the small island with a Relic in the southeast and to the Relic on the southern mainland. Two Battering Rams and a small army are all that is needed to destroy the Mills one at a time and win the scenario.


    Despite the successes of Dom Francisco and Prince Juan, the Battle of Toro was indecisive. After three more years of war, a compromise was reached.

    Isabella was crowned Queen of Castile, joining that kingdom with Aragon into a unified Spain. In exchange, the wise King Afonso, attuned to the changing times, received Spanish assurances that the African coast and the waters and lands to the East were a Portuguese dominion.


    • The Blind Lame Priest Monk is a reference to the units of the same name in the scenario The Assassins in the Yamato Empire of the Rising Sun campaign in Age of Empires.
    • There's an area in the western corner (about 3% of the map) that the player cannot access, which contains a Hunting Wolf (Red - King's Alfonso's Army).
    • Prince Juan is the future Portuguese king João II and so it would have been more correct to name the hero unit as Prince João, instead of using the corresponding Spanish name.
    • In the beginning of the scenario, Prince Juan pronounces "Sao Jorge!" as if it were a Spanish sentence instead of a Portuguese one.
    • The river separating Zamora between the Juanistas and the Isabelistas is most likely the Douro.