The Promise is the fifth scenario of the Genghis Khan campaign in Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings. It is based on the Battle of Legnica (April 9, 1241), during the First Mongol Invasion of Poland (1240-1241).
Old wolves do not die gracefully. Warriors their entire lives, they do not know how to live when they grow old and their fangs fall out. Such it is with Mongols as well. Genghis Khan was now eighty years old.
On the night when we knew that our glorious conquest was about to end, Genghis summoned his sons to his tent.
They found their father shivering before a fire, delirious with pain. "My descendants will wear gold," he said, "they will eat the finest meats and ride the finest horses... and forget to whom they owe it all. A deed is not glorious until it is finished."
And he refused to die until Ogatai, his third son, promised to continue the war.
Ogatai emerged from the tent, carrying his father's bow, and declared:
"This storm is not yet finished. I still hear the sound of lightning, and it strikes in Poland."
The church bells rang in Europe when they saw our horde pouring out of the mountains. The armies of Bohemia and Germany hastened to Poland's defense.
To them, our army might have been from the Underworld itself, still commanded by the shade of the Great Khan.
- Starting Age: Castle Age
- Starting resources: 200 food, 400 wood, 200 gold, 200 stone
- Population limit: 75 (125 in the Definitive Edition)
- Starting units:
- Gaia units:
Differences between difficulty levels
- On standard difficulty, the Bohemian army has less Paladins, Champions, Siege Rams, and Siege Onagers.
- Capture the Bohemian flag.
- Capture the Polish flag.
- Capture the German flag.
- Construct 3 Castles within the flagged area, and withstand the assault of the Bohemian army.
- Don't spend all of your stone at the Market. You're going to need it.
Scouts (Definitive Edition)
Your scouts report:
- The Mongol forces (1, Orange) have arrived in the north of the map and have already built a small camp. They will need to expand soon to strike at the united European armies.
- The Polish (2, Blue) have taken their position in the east. Their army consists of Knights, swordsmen, and Mangonels.
- In the south are the reasonably well-fortified camps of the Germans (4, Red). They will send Pikemen and Crossbowmen into battle, led by Teutonic Knights. The Germans will also make use of Battering Rams to tear down your fortifications.
- The Bohemians (3, Green) are your strongest opponent. They are passive initially, but the fighting will be fierce should the Bohemian army attack. The Bohemians have access to siege weapons of all kinds and also own a huge army of Paladins and Champions.
- Player (Mongols): The player starts with the starting units, a few Yurts, and a Town Center in the northeast.
- Bohemians (Teutons in The Age of Kings, Bohemians in Dawn of the Dukes): The Bohemians have a heavily guarded fortification in the northwest. Their Castle is protected with Bombard Towers, Paladins, Champions, Siege Rams, Siege Onagers, and Trebuchets (and Monks in the Definitive Edition).
- Polish (Goths in The Age of Kings, Slavs in the Definitive Edition, Poles in Dawn of the Dukes): The Polish are the weakest enemy, and are settled in the east. Their town features a Castle and a few Watch Towers, but is not walled. They train Men-at-Arms/Long Swordsmen/Two-Handed Swordsmen, Knights/Cavaliers, and Mangonels/Onagers.
- Germans (Teutons): The Germans have walled a town in the south, and also initially hold the center of the map. They mostly train Teutonic Knights, Pikemen/Halberdiers, Battering Rams/Capped Rams, and Crossbowmen.
To win, the player must capture the flags of their opponents by razing the nearby buildings and stationing units beside them. The enemies are the Polish (Blue, Goths/Slavs/Poles), Germans (Red, Teutons) and Bohemians (Green, Teutons/Bohemians). There are also Monks and Huskarls on a mountain in the western corner of the map that will join the player when found. In the Definitive Edition, the Huskarls are replaced with fully upgraded Elite Leiciai; these can be used to raid the Polish base with minimal risk. There is a Relic in the northern corner of the map.
The Bohemians are the most powerful by far, with a massive army that will not attack unless provoked. As an alternative to attacking the Bohemians, the player may build three Castles inside a flagged area in the center of the map, which will cause the Bohemian army to attack. Walling this approach will greatly help in defeating the Bohemian army.
It is best to defeat the other two enemies first, and then as mentioned above wall off passes between cliffs where the Bohemian army will attempt to flank the player. The player should build multiple walls and towers before completing the last castle. If the player has gathered enough stone, the player may construct multiple Castles at the same time to defend the passageway, as Bohemia will only attack after the third Castle has finished construction. Mangudai are quite useful for sorties, as they have an anti-siege weapon bonus and can avoid the slower Bohemian Paladins and swordsmen. As with Persian War Elephants in the previous scenario, converting German Teutonic Knights is also recommended to boost the player's own forces.
Take some Villagers to and chop the trees west of the Gold Mine and Relic. There is a very narrow passage once the player has cleared the forest. When there is enough resources, build some Trebuchets and guide them one by one through that passage. They will be in range of some of the Bohemian forces which the player can attack with the Trebuchets without them triggering all their army - at the worst, their Trebuchets will fire back and some of their forces will move out but the player can easily destroy them. Also once the player has entered the area, their villagers can also clear the trees there. (Note: this works so far at 'Easiest' level.)
Dawn of the Dukes
With the release of Dawn of the Dukes, the scenario was changed so that the Bohemian and Polish enemies' civilizations were replaced by their namesake ones. While this has no real difference regarding the Polish enemy (they do not train unique units), the Bohemian army is weaker since the Bohemians lack Bloodlines, Plate Barding Armor, Ironclad, and the Teutonic melee armor bonus. To compensate for this, now there is a 50 minute timer which starts the moment the Light Cavalry brings the message about the Bohemian army. When the timer ends, the Bohemian army will attack, regardless of whether the player has build the three Castles in the flagged area.
One way of delaying triggering this timer consists of not going to the spot where the Light Cavalry appears. This way, the player can freely boom and turtle by building two Castles with Murder Holes, one north and the other south of the player's base, to protect against attacks from the Germans and the Polish, respectively. Build the southern Castle (right below the Stone Mines) first since the Polish will attack early with Knights. Walling or training some Pikemen can also be useful to repeal that initial attack in case the player has not collected the necessary stone by then. After building both Castles, the player should garrison them with Mangudai and research all useful upgrades. When the Germans send Battering Rams, the player's Mangudai can take care of them. Also, do not forget to pick the Relic in the northern corner of the map.
By the time the player reaches the Imperial Age, they can use Trebuchets to destroy the German Castle located in the middle of the map from a safe distance. Then a combination of Elite Mangudai and Trebuchets can easily defeat the Polish (just be careful about Mangonel shots) and capture their flag. After that, triggering the timer should not be a problem anymore and so the player should defeat the Germans with a similar army composition (as they mostly train infantry) and capture their flag. After defeating both the Polish and the German, the player can research Spies for only 200 gold, thus being able to see most of the map, including the Bohemian base.
Now use the remaining time to gather enough stone for three more Castles and train more Elite Mangudai until the player has at least 45, so that they can garrison 15 in each Castle (15 fully upgraded Elite Mangudai are enough for a Castle to fire all 20 extra arrows). Do not forget to research Masonry and Hoardings as well. When the Bohemian army comes, let the Castles take down as many enemy units as possible. When most enemy Paladins, Champions, and Siege Onagers are taken down, ungarrison the Mangudai and use their anti-siege bonus to take down the enemy Siege Rams and Trebuchets.
Now the player can go capture the Bohemian flag. The Bohemians still have some Siege Onagers in unreachable hills, but the player can destroy them with Trebuchets from a safe distance (as the Siege Onagers cannot move close enough). The same applies to the Siege Onagers and Monks next to the Bohemian Castle. After clearing the Bohemian base, bring a unit to capture the flag and finish the scenario.
European knights fight as individuals, but Mongols fight as part of a united army. Laden down with armor, the Polish and Germans could not catch our quick-footed horses.
Time and again we fired flaming arrows at them, then retreated out of range. When the enemy cavalry pursued, we would lead them into an ambush.
The ambush was always announced by the naqara, a huge drum carried into battle on a camel. A hundred times a hundred times has the naqara sounded on this day.
We were ordered to cut off an ear for every victim. Nine sacks of ears were sent back to Ogetai Khan.
- When this scenario and the following are opened in the Editor, the player's name is no longer Genghis Khan but Ogedei Khan.
- The Bohemians start with an army of 76 units, one over the unit cap for the scenario.
- The intro shows 80-year-old Genghis Khan dying of old age shortly after ordering the invasion of Poland. In reality, he died at 65, in 1227, while he was campaigning in China.
- Although the scenario depicts a very mountainous and forested landscape, the real battle took place in a plain. The rivers and lakes appear to be based on the real location, however.
- The arrival of the large Bohemian army from the north and its ambush by three Mongol castles is based on the Mongols luring the Poles and Germans to a grassy area coated in fuel, then setting it alight to blind the European knights with smoke and ambush them. This strategy was also used (and is referenced in the cutscenes) in The Battle at the Kalka River.
- King Wenceslaus I was indeed heading to the area with a large Bohemian force, but he missed the battle because the Mongols departed immediately to invade Hungary. Wenceslaus met a small Mongol scout party near Klodzko, however, and defeated it.
- The main force at Legnica was actually commanded by Duke Henry II of Poland, who died in the battle. There was a small Czech force led by Boleslav Depolt of Moravia, who also died.
- Despite their defeat, the Europeans considered it a victory because the Mongols did not advance further into Poland. Unbeknownst to them, the Mongols had no interest in conquering Poland and their invasion was solely to distract the Europeans from their simultaneous invasion of Hungary, in which they succeeded.
- Poland would be invaded again by the Mongols in 1259-1260 and 1287-1288. However these invasions were more for the purpose of pillaging and weakening the Polish nobles to prevent their interference in Hungary, rather than outright conquest. In addition, Poland would repulse the third Mongol invasion (1287-1288).
- Bohemia and Poland are both Slavic nations. However, since the Slav civilization was not introduced until the Forgotten was released, Poland is represented by Goths (like in Henry the Lion) and Bohemia by Teutons (like in Holy Roman Emperor), likely due to Bohemia being one of the Imperial States in the Holy Roman Empire.