The Siege of Paris is the fifth scenario in the Joan of Arc campaign in Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings. It is based on the Siege of Paris (September 3–8, 1429) and Joan's capture by the Burgundians at Compiègne (May 23, 1430).
September 3, Rheims
France has a king once more. However, as Joan gains influence with the people, jealousy grows within the court.
The king's evil advisors now seek to destroy Joan. It is only a matter of time before they succeed in poisoning the king's mind.
Joan must hurry to fulfill her mission. Paris, the jewel of France, has been under English tyranny for decades, and French patriots trapped within the city are eager to escape. We are now marching on Paris, hoping that the reinforcements we have been promised will arrive in time.
- Starting Age: Imperial Age
- Starting resources: None (150 wood, 150 gold in the Definitive Edition)
- Population limit: 75
- Starting units:
- Gaia units:
Differences between difficulty levels
- On Standard, the English/British are set to Neutral, there are no Onagers or Trebuchets within Paris, and the Burgundian ambush is missing a few Siege Onagers and Champions.
- On Hard, Paris is now heavily fortified with Keeps and Bombard Towers, the English/British have several Monks within the city, and the Burgundian force is twice as large. It may be a good idea to save often.
- Joan must survive.
- Refugee villagers in Paris are attempting to escape English tyranny. Locate at least 6 of the refugees.
- Rendezvous with the king's reinforcements in Paris, just south of the river bridge.
- Escort Joan and at least 6 of the refugees to the Château of Compiègne (the square between the flags).
- Do not try and defeat every English unit. Focus on your objectives.
- Guard your siege weapons. Towers will be a big problem if you do not.
- The refugees can be used to repair your siege weapons, but they cannot construct buildings.
- If faced with overwhelming opposition, run away! Run away!
- Don't try and defeat every British unit. Focus on your objectives.
- Guard your siege weapons. Towers will be a big problem if you don't.
- If faced with overwhelming opposition, run away! Run away!
Scouts (Definitive Edition)
- The French Army under the command of Joan (1, Blue) has reached the outskirts of the city of Paris (3, Red). The city is huge, and there are English soldiers everywhere. Luckily, there are partisans within the city walls who will rise up against the English once they see the French army. The French king has also promised reinforcements (5, Yellow) to be sent to the city by ship once Joan reaches the Île de la Cité, an island on the Seine River.
- Compiégne (4, Cyan) lies to the east of Paris and is the nearest allied town. If the attack fails, this will be the only safe haven in the area.
- Player (Franks): The player starts in the very south edge of the map with Joan and her army.
- King's Men (Franks): The King's Men send a Transport Ship to aid the player, but have little to spare, only giving a Militia and a Scout Cavalry.
- Compiègne (Franks): Compiègne is a town located at the northeast edge of the map. They have a considerable defense with a Castle and several Keeps. But they will be raided by Burgundy once the player is nearby.
Ally → Neutral
- Burgundy (Franks, Burgundians since Lords of the West): Burgundy has an army waiting outside the city of Compiègne. They pose little threat to the player as they are focused on raiding Compiègne. But try not to get too close to them as they can kill the refugees easily as they have Paladins, Champions, and Onagers (since Lords of the West, they also have Elite Coustilliers)
- British/English in the Definitive Edition (Britons): The British control the entire city of Paris. The player must search the city for French refugees to be rescued and meet with the King's Men here. They defend the city with Elite Longbowmen, Onagers, Champions, and Cavaliers. The British also have a few ships patrolling the Seine River which help defend the city.
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Paris is a massive city controlled by the British, taking up most of the map. The initial goal is to claim the refugees (Villagers) located near the flag inside the city.
Joan starts out with no resources but controls a massive army of archers, infantry, heavy cavalry and several siege weapons. Heroes including Jean de Lorrain and Lord de Graville are also at the player's disposal. This scenario is similar to An Unlikely Messiah in that the player cannot build a base or train units. However, the player is up against fully-upgraded Imperial Age British and Burgundian armies rather than a ragtag band of highwaymen. Although the player controls a large army, this will not be an easy scenario since all enemies are technologically ahead and the player's army cannot be replenished or healed (in the Definitive Edition the player starts with 150 wood, 150 gold, meaning they can repair their siege weapons after finding the refugees, provided they do not get too much damage). Effective micromanagement is essential.
The player should do two things immediately to make the scenario easier. First, change the diplomatic stance on the British from "enemy" to "neutral". The player's soldiers will still defend themselves, but this will stop them from running around and attacking every building in sight. Second, set all the Bombard Cannons (including Jean de Lorrain) to the "no attack" stance. This way, they will not attack anything unless being told to, which is exactly what the player wants (especially because of friendly fire). Set control groups, and start moving along the southwest edge of the map. Although following the dirt road and attacking from the east is more direct and straightforward, the enemy has more towers and troops there. The player's Trebuchets have a long line of sight and they will be able to see the Fortified Walls surrounding the British base. Watch out for the isolated, heavily fortified outpost west of the flag marked on the map. It consists of Bombard Towers, Keeps, and a Castle. These buildings are easy to knock down with the player's Trebuchets and Bombard Cannons and there are no units nearby, so the player should easily destroy them.
Although Joan must be protected at all costs, from The Conquerors onwards she is a formidable scout as well as an excellent Monk-killer on her own since heroes regenerate and cannot be converted. She can also be paired with the player's Light Cavalry as well as Lord de Graville to explore certain areas with good effect. Not only does this make scouting more effective but it also lures some of the British Elite Longbowmen out of the fortress, rendering them more vulnerable to your heavy cavalry without the walls and towers protecting them. You should try this out right away: place your heavy cavalry in front of your crossbowmen rather far from the city walls, keeping your other units (especially siege weapons) in a safe area. Send Joan to the city gate east of where the Castle was, then run away after she comes under attack. The British units are remarkably aggressive in this scenario - once one sees your unit, it will continue chasing until it's killed. The first units to appear will include Champions and Elite Longbowmen. To deal with the former, target them one at a time with all of your Crossbowmen (finishing them off with your heavy cavalry if necessary). When the Longbowmen come out, pursue them with your heavy cavalry (you should have enough room to catch them if your army is stationed far enough from the city wall), possibly dividing your forces if necessary.
There is another Castle and two more Keeps inside the city a bit further south, east of a Trade Workshop. You'll want to get rid of these buildings before you enter Paris as well. There's also a Town Center which probably won't shoot at you, but it's a good idea to destroy it just in case. Send Joan to this wall to lure out the Longbowmen (they should come out the north entrance again, after which they can be dispatched with your heavy cavalry). Try to kill as many of them as possible before you send your siege weapons to attack the buildings (as Bombard Cannons have low piece armor), but don't worry if you can't get them all (just pull your Bombard Cannons back and wait for them to come out of the city so you can attack them with your cavalry). A packed Trebuchet will also attack you (shoot it when it begins unpacking), along with an Onager (which moves slowly so is vulnerable to Bombard Cannons). Once all the defenses are torn apart and the British troops exhausted, the rest should be straightforward. Break a hole in the wall and enter the city.
Running the Gauntlet
Once you enter the city, you'll find all ten refugees (note: in the Definitive Edition the ten refugees will not be in the same place so the player will not find them all at once, and in some cases losing a single refugee may trigger defeat; check the trivia section for more details). Bring them to a safe area and look for a Keep at a crossroads just east of where their second Castle used to be. You'll want to demolish this tower - some Champions will attack when you do. Next, you'll find two Docks in the north next to where you found the refugees. There are three Galleons here - they're very dangerous and very difficult to destroy seeing as you lack towers or warships of your own. It is essential to get rid of them though, so distract them with Joan while you fire away at them with your artillery. They're fast and difficult to hit, but one lucky shot should be enough to sink a ship. Hopefully you won't lose too many of your siege weapons, because you're far from finished with them.
Looking northeast toward the bridge, you'll find two more Keeps. Take out the northern one with your Trebuchets. The southern one is a bit more difficult because attacking it will trigger a Cannon Galleon and possibly a Monk or two. Monks are fairly dangerous, but they pose no threat to your siege units given that Britons cannot research the Redemption technology. Use Jean de Lorrain to demolish this ship - his range is longer (preventing the Cannon Galleon from returning fire). Once the ship and both towers are destroyed, withdraw your siege weapons.
After receiving word of the minimal "reinforcements" (a Scout Cavalry and one Militia) from the King's Men, your next objective is to leave Paris and flee Joan and your refugees to Compiegne. Send Joan to the small island about halfway across and kill two Monks (be wary as you'll be shot at by a Keep). Retreat quickly however, two Onagers will trigger and come after you. These can be taken out with Bombard Cannons or heavy cavalry. Then destroy the Keep on the island. Using Joan again (once her health regenerates), run across the river and turn south. You will activate some Champions; retreat back across the river and defeat them with your Crossbowmen and heavy cavalry. Finally go straight across the river with Joan. You'll find two Monks next to a Cathedral. Killing them will activate some Halberdiers and Elite Longbowmen - run back across and kill them with your Crossbowmen and heavy cavalry in that order.
This should be the last of the British forces. There is one more Keep on the east side of the river that will threaten you. However, attacking it will trigger the elite units in the heavily fortified northeast sector of the city (including Elite Longbowmen, more Halberdiers, Onagers, and Trebuchets). It's better just to bring your entire army across and tank the damage from the tower. As long as six of the Villagers, some of the siege weapons, and Joan herself make it you're in good shape. Immediately turn south, following the river bank, then turn east when you reach a Dock. Follow the path to find the additional units (sixteen Militia, two Throwing Axemen, two Knights, and two Heavy Scorpions). There may be an Elite Longbowman or two left over, but other than that you should be safe. Use your siege weapons to break through the wall right next to the Gold Mine.
After crossing the river merely head north-east until you hit the Paris city walls. Roughly where the additional units join you from the square. From there get your siege units and blow a hole in the walls, you can escape through this gap and avoid a massive portion of British forces. All that should oppose you then is the Burgundian ambush...
Head north and east to the path. Follow it southeast to a fork in the road, then turn east toward Compiegne. Unfortunately, Burgundy attacks with a massive army just before you get there consisting of Light Cavalry, Champions, Paladins, Siege Rams and Siege Onagers (and Elite Coustilliers since Lords of the West). At least six of the villagers along with Joan of Arc have to make it to the area marked with flags. Joan should be able to enter Compiegne relatively safe, and Burgundy will not deliberately attack the refugees because their diplomatic stance is set to neutral.
There is a way to completely avoid the final battle with Burgundy if you still have your Trebuchets. Unpack them at the location depicted in the screenshot. Use the "attack ground" feature to clear a path through the trees. Go due east and change your diplomatic stance on Compiegne from "ally" to "neutral". Use your siege weapons to make a hole in the wall, then change your stance back to ally and move Joan and the refugees to the area marked with the flags.
Tragedy. As the refugees fled into the Château of Compiegne, Joan was trapped outside. Burgundian soldiers knocked her from her horse and paraded around with their prisoner.
None of us can sleep, knowing that our precious Joan of Arc languishes in a Burgundian prison.
The soldiers stare at the uncaring sky, condemning themselves for being unable to save her... for being unable to save France.
Paris was the first major defeat ever dealt to our army. Had the King sent the promised reinforcements, we would have captured the city. Now, it is France's darkest hour.
- Burgundy's starting diplomatic stance is ally. They change it and attack as soon as they see one of the player's units. Setting oneself to ally with Burgundy before this occurs can cause them to just become neutral, avoiding the ambush entirely. That way, they just kill a Compiègne Crossbowman and then march off into Paris.
- The King's Men have a lone Militia hidden in the woods in the far north. This is because giving all of their units to the player would otherwise cause the King's Men to be defeated.
- If the player uses cheats that grant resources and builds a Wonder, victory can be achieved without meeting the objectives. Note that this is currently not possible in the Definitive Edition, as the refugees there are unable to build anything.
- While in the Definitive Edition there are still ten refugees and the player is required to bring only six to Compiègne, they are not all in the same place (six are in the original place while the remaining four are to the south). If the players finds those six Villagers, thus fulfilling the objective, but then loses one of them, defeat will be triggered. More generally, defeat will be triggered whenever the player has less than six Villagers, regardless of whether they can still find more Villagers to compensate the lost ones.
- It is possible to win the scenario by bringing the Villagers inside Compiegne but having Joan of Arc just outside the walls (for example, because the Gates closed behind the Villagers without letting Joan in, due to the presence of Burgundian soldiers). Funnily enough, this is quite similar to what happened to Joan in reality: she led a raid on the Burgundian lines, but stayed at the rear and was left out when the defenders closed the gates too early, leading to her capture.
- The way the scenario plays looks more like a raid than a siege. However, the depiction of Joan of Arc attacking mostly the western gate of Paris is correct (this scenario places the north on the left side, unlike most that have it on the right).
- It is often claimed in retellings of Joan of Arc's story that Charles VII did not support her like he should and that this is why she could not take Paris. However, sending only two men as "reinforcements" is an exaggeration. In reality, Charles VII took over after she was wounded by a crossbow bolt, and led a new failed assault on the area attacked by Joan before ordering retreat. Years later, he bribed some Parisians to open the gates but they were discovered by the English and hanged. These are probably the basis of the "French patriots" that Joan must escort outside of the city in the scenario.
- Though not included, the Duke D'Alençon was among the attackers in reality.
- Jean de Lorrain is based on Jean "le" Lorrain, a fictional master cannoneer mentioned in Mark Twain's novel Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc (1896).
- While Paris had a garrison of 3,000 Englishmen, the two commanders were Burgundians: Jean de Villiers and Simon Morhier. In addition, the civilian population collaborated with the occupiers because they had respected the city's traditional privileges and even given them new ones, and they feared Charles VII would take them away.
- Instead of going straight from Paris to Compiegne, Joan went first to La Charité-sur-Loire, where the Burgundians agreed to surrender the city for ransom.