The Right Partner is the second scenario of the Yodit campaign in Age of Empires II HD: The African Kingdoms. In this scenario, Yodit has to impress the Syrian prince Zanobis in order for him to marry her and strengthen her position.
Despite the late hour, the market of Aksum was still crowded. Vendors shouted from several wooden stalls, describing their goods: bolts of silk from the Far East, olibanum incense from Arabia, bracelets made from Egyptian glass, our own Ethiopian ivory, – products from all over the world have been exchanged in the city since ancient times.
At every stall, Daniel was enthralled by some exotic items he had never seen before – not a very good situation to start bargaining, but I could not spoil his mood just to save a few coins. In the end, we settled on some beautiful, golden earrings for mother. She had always liked jewelry.'Father', Daniel asked me just after the purchase, 'You promised to tell me the story of Yodit's exile once we brought a present for mother.'
So there we were, sitting on some low wall next to the shop. I was tired from browsing all of the stalls, but a man should keep his word, especially to his son.
Sighing, I began: 'Yodit traveled north for many years, searching for someone who could help her seek revenge for the humiliation she suffered at the hands of Gidajan. Eventually, when making a camp near the border of Egypt, the princess heard a rumor that perhaps presented the opportunity she had been waiting. The Syrian prince Zanobis was traveling the region, looking for a suitable bride. But how could she, an exiled princess, convince such a powerful man?'
- Starting Age: Feudal Age
- Starting resources: 400 food, 200 wood, 200 gold, 200 stone
- Population limit: 150
- Visit the surrounding settlements. Complete the quests that they give you to build Yodit's reputation.
- Prove yourself to the Nobatians by defeating the Ikshids.
- Prove yourself to the Ikshids by defeating the Nobatians.
- Rescue Makeda and return her to the northernmost Beja village.
- Build 5 towers in the Beja village directly to the southwest of your harbor to protect them from enemy raids.
- Destroy the 4 pirate Docks to put an end to their raids on Aydhab.
- Find 2 Relics and garrison them in the Monastery in Aydhab (the easternmost Beja town with a Castle).
- Princess Yodit is restricted to the Castle Age and a population limit of 150.
- The plains near your main camp are rich in food and wood, but contain few mineral resources. You will need to push out into the desert in order to obtain gold and stone.
- The Red Sea is an excellent source of food, provided that you can defend your fishing fleet from pirates.
- At certain points, you may be asked to declare war on another player. To do this, simply change your diplomatic stance to Neutral or Enemy with them.
- The Nobatians and Ikshids are quite protective of their territory and will not tolerate foreign buildings in their land.
Your scouts report:
- Princess Yodit (1, Green) initially commands two camps - one in the plains to the south, and one on the shores of the Red Sea. Both are exposed and will require protection from early raids.
- Beja nomads (2, Red) populate the eastern desert and the port of Aydhab. They are famed merchants and their camps guard an old caravan route along the shores of the Red Sea.
- The Nubian realm of Nobatia (3, Purple) controls the city of Qasr Ibrim in the west. Its motives are unknown, although an army of Pikemen, Skirmishers, Light Cavalry, and Shotel Warriors guards its lands against Ikshid incursions.
- The Egyptian Ikshids (4, Yellow) control the city of Aswan, straddling the Nile river in the northwest of the map. Hordes of Camel Riders, horsemen, and Long Swordsmen have unsuccessfully attempted to invade Nobatia numerous times.
- Arabian pirates (5, Cyan) control a pair of citadels on the eastern bank of the Red Sea, regularly plundering merchant vessels with a fearsome fleet of War Galleys.
- Not all Beja tribesmen are friendly. Many hostile bands (6, Orange) guard treasures and haunt caravan routes in the middle of the desert, while groups of raiders (7, Grey) often descend upon nearby villages in search of loot.
- Beja Tribes (Ethiopians) consist of four tribes, each of which has to be helped in order to build a reputation. They are allied with all other factions.
Allies → potential enemies
- Nobatia (Ethiopians) control a city in the west fortified by walls, towers, and a Castle. Their initial army consists mostly of Shotel Warriors and Archers of the Eyes, along with a few other units. During the course of the scenario the player has to decide whether to declare war on either Nobatia or the Ikshids (via the deplomacy menu or by constructing a building on their land). When provoked they train Shotel Warriors, Scout Cavalry, Skirmishers (both of which they will upgrade, given the time), Pikemen, Mangonels, and Battering Rams. They resign when their Castle is destroyed (this does not happen in the Definitive Edition and the player will have to destroy most of their base).
- Ikshids (Saracens) have a city in the northwest, which is somewhat better fortified, boasting two castles. At the start of the scenario their city is guarded by a wide variety of mounted units, supported by a few Pikemen. In time of war they produce additional Camel Riders, Mamelukes, Cavalry Archers, and Battering Rams. They also resign when their Castles are razed (this does not happen in the Definitive Edition and the player will have to destroy most of their base).
- Pirates (Saracens) occupy two islands with Docks and Towers on them. Their initial fleet includes two Fire Ships, but they will only produce War Galleys.
- Hostile Beja Tribes (Ethiopians) inhabit the desert, passively guarding resources or Relics. They consist of Camel Riders, Camel Archers, Crossbowmen, and some Shotel Warriors and Eastern Swordsmen. They also have some Guard Towers.
- Raiders (Ethiopians) have three spawning points where motley bands of different warriors appear. Additionally they have a spawning point for War Galleys. Contrary to their name they do not conduct much raiding but rather arbitrarily spread their units around their spawning points.
To win, each of the four Beja Tribes has to be impressed, and either Nobatia or the Ikshids have to be defeated to gain the support of the other one.
- The village directly southwest of the player's harbor fears raids and wants the player to build five Watch Towers within their village limits. This demand can be postponed as the Raiders are actually allied with the Beja Tribes in diplomacy settings, so they will not get attacked anyway.
- The village northeast of the player's base is tributary to Aydhab (the easternmost Beja Tribes town at the sea, with a Castle) and wants her to pay the tribute by placing two relics inside Aydhab's Monastery. Like the previous objective, this one is in no rush to be completed, in contrast, captured Relics should be kept by the player until the end of the scenario in order to generate additional gold. Alternatively, the player can put the Relics in the Monastery and then change diplomacy to neutral and destroy the Monastery. A total of four Relics can be found on the map, two of which coincide with the following two objectives.
- The easternmost city claim their trade routes are plundered by Pirates (even though they are not) and they want the Pirates' Docks destroyed.
- The chief of the northern village laments that his daughter Makeda has been kidnapped and taken north and wants the player to free her and bring her back.
- Lastly, Nobatia and the Ikshids both demand the player to defeat the other. Naturally only one of the two demands can be met. As neither of the two adversaries starts producing units before war is declared upon them, this objective can be delayed as well.
Since the player's harbor will be frequently under attack, it is better to just leave it and bring the Villagers and the military units to the player's base. To avoid running into enemy units, the player's units should first move to the eastern city and then to the city closest to the player's base. The player should focus on advancing to the Castle Age and building a Castle with Murder Holes to protect their base against the Raiders. Building additional Castles on strategic locations can prevent the player from being caught off guard so the player should mine as much stone as possible when it is safe to do so (remember to save 625 stone to build the five Towers).
The first two objectives to be completed should be the one with the Pirate Docks and the one with the captive daughter, as there is a Raiders spawning point both at Makeda's prison and near the Docks, so the armies there become gradually larger.
Since the player's starting harbor most likely got destroyed, the player has to build new Docks to defeat the Pirates. Before doing this, build a Castle (with Bodkin Arrow researched) to the east of the eastern town, which will take care of the Pirates' War Galleys. Since the Pirates exclusively build War Galleys, build lots of Fire Ships (with Careening researched) to destroy the Pirates' Docks. On their island in the eastern corner of the map another relic is located. Like mentioned before, the Relics should not be immediately delivered to Aydhab but instead be put in a player's Monastery to accumulate gold in the meantime.
Makeda is held prisoner north, watched by a Guard Tower, Hostile Beja Tribes Shotel Warriors, Eastern Swordsmen, Camel Riders, Camel Archers, and Crossbowmen as well as Raiders Camel Riders, Camel Archers, Cavalry Archers, and Light Cavalry. Right next to her a Relic can be found. Bring a Ram to destroy the enemy Tower and bring a big army of Shotel Warriors to rescue Makeda and protect the player's Monk. The player can also build a Castle nearby if they have enough stone.
Note: Be very careful not to let Makeda get killed, as she is close to a Raiders' spawning point and so the player can be caught in surprise. Makeda's death will not trigger defeat, but the player will not be able to win the scenario either. It is therefore a good idea to save the game before rescuing Makeda.
With the two rising threats dealt with, the conquest objective of Nobatia or Ikshids can be tackled. The decision is up to the player, but it is easier to defeat Nobatia as they have a smaller base and only one Castle. While the player is limited to the Castle Age, they have access to Capped Rams in the Siege Workshop, making it easier to destroy the Castle(s). Either enemy will resign when all of its production buildings are destroyed. A sound strategy against either enemy is to build a Castle near the entrance to their respective city, but this should be deliberate, as finishing the construction of any building on their land automatically is considered a declaration of war, so an army should be amassed beforehand. Alternatively, the player can bring lots of Capped Rams (each can garrison five infantry units) and Shotel Warriors inside the city and then change the diplomatic stance to neutral or enemy.
The last two objectives should be smooth sailing by now. The two already captured Relics have to be transferred to the Monastery in the city with the Castle and, if the player has 625 stone, they can build the five Watch Towers near the player's starting harbor (if not, just buy stone at the Market).
With all five objectives completed, Zanobis is impressed and proposes to Yodit, making her victorious.
'Of course, Zanobis was impressed by Yodit's achievements. He went looking for this famous princess and asked her to marry him', I concluded. Smiling broadly, Daniel responded: 'Queen Yodit is truly a strong woman, father. But how did she...' I quickly raised my hand to stop him: 'No, son. No more questions now.
It will soon be dark and we need to return to the inn. A meal will do us both much good.' Daniel looked disappointed. My, the boy was fond of this story! 'Perhaps I'll tell you about one of her great victories before going to bed', I conceded before leaving the market.
Bugs and changes
- AI should appear less passive and attack the player.
- Player colors have been updated to use the correct color.
- Player 8 has been removed from the scenario.