What drives a king and his people to expand their lands to the very edge of the unknown? Why are the people willing to sacrifice and that of their families for a ruler they have never met?
The legends of our ancestors are what drive us. The way people speak of our predecessors and what they managed to achieve. Everybody has heard of the great Srivijaya Empire – a great power of the past that exerted its rule upon all the islands and even dared to dictate high tolls to the Indian and Chinese trading ships that passed between them. Sadly, that same greed also led to their downfall.
The animal that we hold in highest esteem in our culture is the Kancil, and foreigners laugh at us when they hear about it. 'Why would you ever think so highly of such a small and benign creature?', they ask. But that is because they know nothing of its heart. Despite its unimpressive appearance, the Kancil has the ability to overcome any obstacle, defeat much larger adversaries through sheer cunning, and possesses a bravery like that of no other animal.
Just like the kancil, small and benign as we are now, we will raise a new empire from the ground up – the Majapahit Empire – larger and stronger than any before it! Our legends will ripple through the ages and we will be remembered!
- Javanese (Malay) form the villages dotting the landscape. They are allied to all players and perform an immersive role.
Neutral, possible ally, then enemyEdit
- Mongols (Mongols) are the forces of Kublai Khan, invading the area. They are hostile towards the player's enemies, and living by the motto "my enemy's enemy is my friend" they suggest an alliance with the player after conquering a few villages. After one of the two enemies is defeated, however, they betray the player and switch their allegiance back to enemy. Their base is in the very south of the map and they field a hard-to-counter army consisting of Light Cavalry, Cavalry Archers, Mangudai, Mangonels and Battering Rams. They will usually beat Singhasari by themselves.
- Singhasari (Malay) is the former territory of the collapsed Singhasari Kingdom and now has been occupied by Kediri loyalists. Their base, guarded with Walls and Watch Towers, is located to the east. Their army consists of Crossbowmen, Long Swordsmen, Battle Elephants, Pikemen, Cavalry Archers, and Mangonels. They will usually be conquered by the Mongols. They resign when their Town Center is destroyed.
- Kediri's Castle (Malay) is, as the name suggests, a very well fortified stronghold in the west. Their units also guard the Javanese villages. Given the resources, which arrive by trading carts spawning at 3 different points on the map, they train Knights, Crossbowmen, Pikemen and Battle Elephants.
The player starts in the Castle Age, but with only Dark Age technologies researched, the aging up being done via trigger.
While the initial population cap is 75, it can be raised by conquering villages (+5 per village, up to 125). This is done by destroying the Watch Tower guarding the village, upon which a player's Watch Tower will spawn upon a player's unit walking nearby the remains of the former enemy Watch Tower. The player's Watch Tower can also in turn be destroyed by enemies, so they should be guarded by units, preferably Pikemen, because they can deal with Battle Elephants and Knights while the tower makes short work of ranged units. However, the player cannot construct new towers, so they have to rely on units or Castles for defense. The player should still research the Guard Tower upgrade, though.
As a potential strategy, the player could also surround the towers with houses, preventing enemy units from getting into melee range of them (or at least from getting a full surround) and forcing them to destroy the houses first. Houses are cheap and have decent durability against anything except siege weapons, so they can make good impromptu walls for the towers provided there is enough space, and allow the player to save their stone for Castles.
The player starts with a small but easy-to-defend base in the north of the map. The space is very constricted, but additional room can be acquired by chopping the wood to the north, which reveals a larger area filled with additional resources, most importantly gold.
A Relic can be found west from Singhasari's base.
There is various "equipment" to be found on the map, but the only one of them being actually useful is a Siege Workshop in the west, spawning a Trebuchet and two Siege Rams, which have to be protected at all costs, as they can't be replaced, with the player limited to the Castle Age. Getting the other equipment can be useful, though, as it means the player can save resources that they would otherwise have to spend on technologies.
Building a base and conquering the villagesEdit
The player starts with a small base, unupgraded army and ample resources to quickly expand the base and upgrade the units. The base is very defensible with only one small access which can easily be walled of.
It might be a good idea to construct a dock very early, as the Malay have cheaper Fishing Ships and Fish Traps (plus the Fish Traps last indefinitely, making them a good long term investment, providing unlimited and safe food) as no enemy has any fleet whatsoever and one of Singhasari's gold mines can be attacked from the river. The player should be careful not to sail too far south though, as Singhasari has some towers.
A Lumber Camp should be constructed north, as behind the trees there is more space and resources, and when cutting too far south-east the villagers will be in range of Singhasari towers.
At the beginning of the game the player mostly has to deal with raids by Singhasari and the Mongols; however, they also fight each other, so the player should focus on defense and taking villages.
Before venturing out, it might be a good idea to build a Blacksmith and research some upgrades to strengthen the sizeable but weak army. When heading southwest immediately there are some Gaia Battle Elephants to be found which can easily conquer the first village.
Malay Battle Elephants are arguably the worst of all civilisations, lacking Bloodlines and even Chain Barding Armor, but in turn they are 30% cheaper, costing 84 food and 49 gold. Even without the upgrades, they are probably the best melee unit, and preferable in any way over Knights, of which the Malay have the worst of any civilisation in the game. An exception is fighting ranged units, as the AI can kite the slow elephants indefinitely.
The opponents train very diverse armies, so it's quite hard to counter them effectively. Monks are the best counters to enemy battle Elephants, and can also heal the bulky elephants of the player.
After conquering some villages [?] the Mongols offer an alliance. This should be accepted, as not only does their raiding cease, they also focus their attention towards Singhasari and eventually beat them, so the player can focus mostly on the villages, letting the two enemies wear out each other's resources and dealing with the Mongols later.
Another important side task at this stage of the game is to cut off Kediri's Castle of resources. Their supplies arrive via Trade Carts which spawn at three set points at the very edge of the map: North-west, south-west and south-east, so it is a good idea to either station some fast units there or simply wall off the entry point with Palisade Walls, making the carts stuck. Without those supplies, they are unable to train any new units, allowing the player to concentrate on the Mongols.
The betrayal of the MongolsEdit
When one of the two other enemies is defeated (most likely Singhasari, because as mentioned before, the Mongols will eventually overwhelm them and destroy their Town Center, prompting them to resign), the Mongols betray the Majapahit. However, the player can choose to betray the Mongols themselves at any given time via the diplomacy button, if they see an opportune moment, but this is not advised. The Mongols will also turn back to enemies when the player constructs a building in their base or brings significant numbers of military units into their main base to the south.
Before this happens, as mentioned before,it is advisable to take care of Kediri's Castle's supply lines, allowing the player to focus on the Mongol threat. Just when about one player is about to be defeated, the player should be prepared to fight Mongols. They will become an enemy if the player builds anything close to the town. Building a Castle with many villagers just outside of their town with troops to defend it just before they turn enemy will prove very helpful to attack Mongols.
The Mongols' army is very hard to counter (for unit list check the "Players" section). Knights would normally stomp any of their units, however, as mentioned before, the Malay Knights are abysmal, so the player has to be creative with a wide variety of units themselves when fighting the Mongols. Massed Skirmishers and some Pikemen can be used to hold the Mongols while using seige weapons (the acquired Trebuchet can be really helpful) to destroy their production.
Their base is quite well defended, but their Castle and some of their military production buildings can be besieged by Trebuchet from a small beach north-west of their moat. The beach should be fortified beforehand though (while they are still allies), as their Mangudai make short work of any siege weapons.
After their Castle is destroyed, the Mongols will resign, giving all of their remaining Villagers and buildings to the player. Therefore, the player should focus on taking down the Mongol Castle, and try not to destroy any other building or villager.
Besieging Kediri's CastleEdit
If the aformentionen preparations are taken (cutting off their resources, keeping the Trebuchet), conquering Kediri's Castle is a mere formality. The Trebuchet can make short work of their Towers, Gates and Castle from afar, if protected by other units, while the enemy can't reinforce their army.
With all three enemies defeated, the scenario is won.
And this is how our founder, Arya Wiraraja[sic] created the Majapahit Empire from the small village he was given. Defeating his Javanese overlord and the mighty Mongol invaders, by being cunning just like the kancil. I'm certain that the gods have favored him and his family. This is why I, Gajah Mada, commander of the elite guard of the Majapahit kings, have sworn to serve them for the rest of my life.
Historical comparison Edit
- In the scenario, it is mentioned that Raden Wijaya has defected from Singhasari and went out to establish his own empire. In reality, Raden Wijaya was the son-in-law of Kertanegara, the last king of Singhasari that was assassinated by Jayakatwang, the Duke of Kediri. Raden Wijaya soon was forced to flee the palace and sought help from Aria Wiraraja, the Duke of Madura. The reason for this change of story is unknown, but it's probably for gameplay reasons.
- As seen above, the outro incorrectly claims that Aria Wiraraja was the founder of the Majapahit Empire, where it was Raden Wijaya that should be mentioned. This is most likely an oversight by the developers.
- The intro mentions that the Srivijaya Empire is already collapsing, which is partially correct; by the time of the scenario, the Srivijaya Empire had been badly weakened following the war against Chola-Khmer coalition as well as the Pamalayu expedition. It would eventually collapse when Gajah Mada himself led the Majapahit conquest of Sumatra, coupled by the rise of Samudera Pasai in the present-day Aceh.
- The Mongols were in fact betrayed by the Javanese in a surprise attack on their main camp shortly after Jayakatwang was captured and executed, not in the battlefield.
- The Mongols were absurdly placed in the southernmost end of the map, although it's clear that they landed in a port city in Northern Java.
- The Mongol troops were led by Gaoxing, Ike Mese, and Shi-Bi.
- The Mongol invasion of Java was the last expedition in Kublai Khan's reign.