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The Siege of Jerusalem is the fourth scenario of the Saladin campaign in Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings. It is based on the Siege of Jerusalem of September 20 - October 2, 1187.

Intro Edit

Jerusalem. Twenty years have I been with the Saracens...

Saladin's target is Jerusalem. The great, ancient city is sacred to Christianity, Judaism, and Islam and is the virtual capital of the Holy Land. If there can be a victor in this endless conflict, it will be the army that holds Jerusalem.

To complicate matters, Saladin is determined not to harm the city itself. If a single holy shrine is damaged, the populace might well view Saladin not as a liberator but as yet another conqueror.

Scenario Instructions Edit

Starting Conditions Edit

Objectives Edit

  • Do not allow any Jerusalem Monastery or the Dome of the Rock to be destroyed.
  • Destroy the 5 towers defending Jerusalem so that Saladin's army can occupy the city.

Hints Edit

  • Saladin is restricted to a population limit of 75/100.
  • Cut off Jerusalem's food supply by raiding outlying farms.
  • The two Orders of Knighthood have outlying bases that should be dealt with before assaulting the city.
  • Trebuchets can make short work of towers from a distance.

Scouts (Definitive Edition) Edit

Your scouts report:

  • Saladin's army (1, Green) has assembled to the northeast of Jerusalem and has already set up a small camp.
  • Jerusalem (2, Blue) is located in the center of the map. Its defenders will rely primarily on archery units and their powerful Cataphracts to parry any assaults that come their way.
  • The Hospitallers (3, Orange) camp to the west, but they have also own some military buildings inside Jerusalem. They will send Teutonic Knights, Scorpions and Knights into battle.
  • The Knights Templar (4, Yellow) have taken their position to the south. They are led by the Master of the Templar himself, who commands numerous swordsmen and Knights.

Players Edit

Player Edit

  • Player (Saracens): The player starts with all starting units in the northeast of the map.

Enemies Edit

Strategy Edit

To complete this scenario you must destroy all five towers in the City of Jerusalem, which occupies a large area in the center of the map. You will lose if you destroy a Monastery or the Dome of the Rock. This is the first scenario in the Saladin campaign in which you can research the entirety of your civilization's tech tree.

Your opponents are the same as those from the previous scenario, except there are no British. The Hospitallers have their main base in the northwest, while the Knights Templar are based in the far south. These bases are not well-fortified, but both orders of knights have major buildings in the city proper as well. All three enemies will attack with heavy cavalry. Jerusalem will also use Pikemen, Crossbowmen, Mangonels, and Cataphracts. The Hospitallers will use Teutonic Knights and Scorpions, while the Knight Templar will attack with Battering Rams. All three will start in the Castle Age, but Jerusalem will advance to the Imperial Age and may upgrade its units.

Starting up your base Edit

You start in the northeast with no buildings other than five Pavilions, which the Crusaders will keep trying to attack. Construct your own village there - you'll have easy access to wood, gold, and stone as well as a few Sheep. Start with the Town Center, then get your first three Villagers on food and create more. Your first priorities now should be fortifications and stone. Scout around a bit with your Light Cavalry so you can see the whole area, then get to work on the Stone Walls and Gates. Your starting units should be adequate to handle the first few attacks. Most of the crusaders' attacks will be on the west edge of your base, so you should build a Castle on the outskirts. None of their units (with the exception of the rams the Knight Templar will use) are particularly threatening to a Castle, but they are exceptionally persistent and can cause significant damage. Building a second Castle nearby will mitigate the problem somewhat, and garrisoning your Archers of the Eyes (if they're still around) is not a bad idea. The cliff in the southeast corner of your base is a good place for your third Castle. Keep creating Villagers and aim to have around four on each resource, plus a few more for building and repairing.

Building and defending your base Edit

After your fortifications are in place, defense becomes much easier and you can focus on building up. Keep creating Villagers so you have around four on each resource, plus a few more to build and repair. For major buildings, your first priorities should be the University, Market, Blacksmith, and Stable. Research Murder Holes, Husbandry, Fortified Wall, Ballistics, Masonry, and Bodkin Arrow for defensive technologies. Keep at least five Mamelukes on hand to destroy rams, and garrison a repairman or two in the Castles on the west side.

Aside from that, the scenario is fairly straightforward. Research economic technologies and construct the last few major buildings (Monastery, Archery Range, and Siege Workshop. There are two Relics on the map: one in the far east, and one in the Hospitallers' base. The one in the east is easy to get, the other requires more effort (though you don't really need it anyway). The area east of your base also has resources (two gold mines, a stone mine, and plenty of wood). Continue building your economy and advance to the Imperial Age. Hoardings and Bracer are the last two defensive technologies you can research.

Attacking Jerusalem Edit

This scenario allows you to use anything in your civilization's tech tree. You'll want a versatile army so you can handle the many types of troops your enemies will use on you, along with some powerful siege weapons to take down the towers. The Bombard Cannon is the best choice for several reasons. Firstly, it works well on walls as well as buildings. Secondly, it cannot miss its target (unlike the Trebuchet). This is important because a missed shot can damage nearby buildings and there is one tower right next to a Jerusalem Monastery. Five Bombard Cannons will be enough. For your other units have around 15-20 Mamelukes or Heavy Camel Riders (to counter cavalry), 10 Hussars (to counter siege units and Crossbowmen), 10 Hand Cannoneers (to counter Cataphracts), 10 Cavalry Archers (to counter Teutonic Knights and other infantry), and five Monks (to heal your army).

Before you attack, change your diplomatic stance on all of your enemies to "neutral". This will prevent your units from attacking buildings wantonly. Also set your Bombard Cannons to neutral, as you only want them to fire when you direct them to, and set control groups. Although heavily fortified, you do not have to break open the walls of Jerusalem and raid the city to destroy four of the towers as they lie on the outer perimeter (a Bombard Tower and two Guard Towers/Keeps on the north, a Guard Tower or Keep on the south). There is a final Bombard Tower in the center of the city so you'll need to break in with your Bombard Cannons to destroy it.

Outro Edit

The last time I entered Jerusalem, as a Crusading knight, I waded through the blood of victims. This time, not a building was looted, not a townsperson was injured. Saladin set free nearly every prisoner he took.

The citizens of Jerusalem proclaimed Saladin as their savior. He offered to free me, but after 20 years in his service I have decided to see it out to the end.

Trivia Edit

  • It is possible to build a Wonder in this scenario after advancing to the Imperial Age. However, this will not result in victory.
  • When the Master of the Templar is killed, he says: "If you strike me down, I will grow more powerful than you can possibly imagine." This is a reference to Obi-Wan Kenobi's similar line from the 1977 film Star Wars.

Historical comparison Edit

  • Instead of advancing from Hattin to Jerusalem as in the campaign, Saladin first marched up and down the Mediterranean coast, taking most cities depicted in the following scenario before Jerusalem.
  • "Archers of the Eyes" was the name given by the Saracens to the Nubian archers at the time of the conquest of Egypt in the 7th century, who were said to be skilled enough to blind their enemies by shooting arrows in their eyes without killing them. Nubian soldiers were common in Egypt due to the Baqt, and Saladin called for Egyptian reinforcements after the Battle of Hattin, explaining their presence in this scenario and The Lion and the Demon.
  • The Master of the Templar was actually taken prisoner at Hattin and released in 1188 in exchange for the city of Tartus. In consequence, he could not be killed in action at Jerusalem, though he was captured again during the Crusader siege of Acre and executed.
  • In the outro, the narrator claims that the last time he entered Jerusalem he was forced to wade in the blood of its people. This is an obvious reference to the previous siege of Jerusalem, where the Crusaders were said to do such after massacring the Muslims refuged in the Temple Mount. However, it is impossible for the narrator to be a veteran of both sieges because they were 88 years apart.
  • The Templar castle and buildings in the southwestern corner of Jerusalem correspond to Al-Aqsa Mosque, which was indeed used as a fortress and stable by the Templars. It was, in fact, their headquarters and the source of their name, because they believed it was the ancient Temple of Solomon. As it is not a monastery in the scenario, the player has no penalty for destroying it - even though Saladin would have been as much against.

Gallery Edit

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