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Walls of Constantinople is the third scenario in the Attila the Hun campaign in Age of Empires II: The Conquerors. It is loosely based on Attila's third Balkan campaign of 447 A.D., which climaxed with the Battle of the Utus.

Intro[]

By this time, the Romans had considerable experience dealing with barbarians. They could civilize the raiders to some extent by offering them otherwise useless land on the Roman borders as a token tribute. Before Attila, this tactic seemed to be working on the Huns, who settled in the Danube River valley.

All that changed when Attila seized command. He was much more aggressive and unpredictable than the previous Hunnic kings. He demanded that the tributes from Rome be increased and when the Romans refused, Attila made war on the Eastern Roman Empire.

He marched on the great city of Constantinople, whose double walls had never fallen.

Attila was done with raiding. Now the Huns advanced slowly, eradicating everything in their path. The Romans would reinstate the tribute, or they would be destroyed.

By this time, the Romans had considerable experience dealing with barbarians. They could civilize the raiders to some extent by offering them otherwise useless land on the Roman borders as a token tribute. Before Attila, this tactic seemed to be working on the Huns, who settled in the Danube River valley.

All that changed when Attila seized command. He was much more aggressive and unpredictable than the previous Hunnic kings. He demanded that the tributes from Rome be increased and when the Romans refused, Attila marched on the Eastern Roman Empire.

He marched on the great city of Constantinople, whose double walls had never fallen.

Attila was done with raiding. Now the Huns advanced slowly, eradicating everything in their path. The Romans would reinstate the tribute, or they would be destroyed.

Scenario instructions[]

Starting conditions[]

Differences between difficulty levels[]

  • On standard difficulty, the player starts with Murder Holes researched.

Objectives[]

  • Stockpile 10,000 gold in tribute from the Romans.

Hints[]

  1. Although your goal is to collect gold, do not worry about spending it to train troops. Huns make money by extorting the Romans, not by conservation!
  2. Destroying Roman Town Centers, Docks, Markets and similar buildings will scare the Romans into paying up. But despite their protests, do not cease until you have 10,000 gold.
  3. You cannot merely trade resources for the gold you needed. Your objective is to exact a tribute from the Romans.
  4. The Huns may not go to the Imperial Age.

Scouts[]

  • Your scouts report: The Huns (yellow) have a small town that they will need to defend against early attacks from Marcianopolis (green).
  • Marcianopolis does not have a strong army, but their town is walled, which can prevent an early Hunnic attack. Once you breach the gates, however, the town should crumble.
  • Phillippopolis (red) is defended only by a few towers initially, but they will train an army of infantry and Light Cavalry.
  • Constantinople (blue) is by far the greatest threat. The city's famous walls are very hard to siege but it is not necessary to do so. Extort money from the Romans, and you will be victorious.

Players[]

Player[]

Enemies[]

  • Constantinople (Byzantines) is a big city in the east that is practically impossible to conquer. It is heavily fortified on both land and sea. They do not actively attack the player and are best left alone, but when provoked they will answer with Crossbowmen, Onagers, Monks, and Fire Ships.
  • Marcianopolis (Goths) is located right east of the player's base. They attack early (and often) with swordsmen and Light Cavalry. Destroying their Town Center makes them resign.
  • Philippopolis (Byzantines) lies in the west. Destroying their Town Center also forces them to resign. They field Crossbowmen and Pikemen.

Strategy[]

Attila's army must collect 10,000 gold tribute from the Romans. He does this by threatening the Roman cities of Constantinople (Blue), Marcianopolis (Green), and Philippopolis (Red). Attacking buildings such as Markets and Docks is the easiest way to earn gold, although complete destruction of a city will earn even more. This can also be done by building the first Castle, collecting Relics scattered around, trading with Docks (Marcianopolis is fairly weak but has two Docks), or mining the Gold Mines south of Constantinople (six Gold Mines, for a total of 4,800 gold). The Huns cannot build Markets in this scenario. Contrary to what the scenario hints tell the player, they only need to accumulate the 10,000 gold by any means to achieve victory, it does not all have to come as tribute from the Romans.

Defeating Marcianopolis[]

With the starting resources start training Knights immediately. Optionally an Archery Range can be built to create Cavalry Archers. Immediately start counterattacking Marcianopolis. Get a Siege Workshop up to create Battering Rams to level the town of Marcianopolis. Side-by-side, maintaining a strong economy is crucial. Stone is found outside Philippopolis, while there is gold on the outskirts of Constantinople.

Defeating Philippopolis[]

Use the gold gathered in tributes from flattening Marcianopolis to train reinforcements and march on Philippopolis. Use Cavalry Archers and Knights (or Light Cavalry to save on gold) to take out human units and rams for towers and Town Centers. Once Philippopolis is defeated, send in two Monks to secure the relics. There is a Monastery on the outskirts of Constantinople which can be razed for a food tribute.

Defeating Constantinople[]

While the hints and dialogue strongly advise against attacking Constantinople (and it is possible to win without ever attacking them), it is entirely possible to defeat them with some patience. Build a Castle right outside the town's entrance. Lure the Crossbowmen, Monks and Onagers guarding the outer periphery of the town with Cavalry Archers. Once they are dealt with, send in rams against the gates and towers. Once the town is breached, start luring the Cataphracts and Monks which are no match for massed Cavalry Archers. Use rams to get the Castle followed by the Wonder. This should net the player a large enough tribute to win the scenario.

Alternative[]

Instead of entirely defeating Constantinople, the player can focus on the Docks because they are only guarded by sea walls, which do not have a lot of hit points. They are much easier to destroy than besieging the city by land. To do so, build a Dock nearby (but not too close!) and create Demolition Ships en masse. Send them to breach the sea walls and then destroy the Docks inside. They will be guarded by some Fire Ships but they are not a big threat at all. Just focus on the Docks.

Means to loot resources[]

The Huns may loot gold and other resources in a variety of ways that are not obvious:

  • Every Dock (outside Constantinople) razed provides 500 gold.
  • Every Market (outside Constantinople) razed provides 500 gold.
  • The northern Dock in Constantinople when razed provides 1,000 gold in tribute.
  • Each southern Dock in Constantinople when razed provides 2,500 gold in tribute.
  • Every Town Center razed provides 3,000 gold.
  • The first Castle being built will result in a 500 gold offering from the Romans.
  • Destroying the Trade Cart that travels between the Philippopolis and Constantinople will result in 500 gold tribute.
  • Destroying all the Trade Cogs owned by Constantinople provides 500 gold in tribute.
  • Razing the Monastery outside Constantinople provides 1,000 food.
  • Stationing troops around the Wonder in Constantinople will provide a 1,000 gold tribute to dissuade the Huns from razing it to the ground.
  • Razing the Wonder in Constantinople provides 5,000 gold in loot.

Outro[]

"Who was this man?" I asked, "to threaten the Roman emperor?"

Titles such as "Emperor" meant nothing to the Huns. Attila was not an appointed ruler, only the strongest among the Huns. The amenities of his "office" meant nothing to him. While his chieftains and council ate off of silver plates, Attila's own plate and goblet were hewn from simple wood. His Scythian guards had jewels on their sword hilts and their cloaks were clasped with gold, but Attila showed no such affectations.

He was interested only in conquest. Some said he was trying to build a legacy to rival that of Alexander the Great. All of the barbarians wanted to possess Rome, as if it would buy them instant legitimacy as a world-spanning Empire. Unlike most of the other barbarians, however, Attila was actually going to get his chance.

Trivia[]

  • Though the razed Monastery provides food, the triggered dialogue mentions gold still - all but confirming that the wrong resource is allocated by mistake. This issue was fixed in the co-op version of the scenario and the players will get 1,000 gold (split between them) after razing the Monastery, but it persists in the single player version.

Historical comparison[]

  • Marcianopolis and Philippopolis are the contemporary Bulgarian cities of Devnya and Plovdiv. The hills of the latter can be made out on the map.
    • Marcianopolis was the headquarters of the Roman army that was defeated at the Utus, and it was itself destroyed by the Huns in the aftermath of the battle. Philippopolis, however, had already fallen to the Huns during the previous campaign of 443 - 445 A.D., which is depicted in The Great Ride.
  • Marcianopolis is possibly depicted as Goths rather than Byzantines because the leader of the Roman army at the Utus, the magister millitum Arnegisclus, was himself a Goth.
  • The presence of the Byzantine Wonder in Constantinople, Hagia Sophia, may seem anachronistic as it was built in 537 A.D. in reality. However, a previous basilica had stood in the same place from 415 to 532, when it was destroyed by fire.
  • Constantinople was actually spared destruction because it hastily built its outer double walls and Sea Wall in just two months, after the older wall was damaged by an earthquake.
  • After his victory at the Utus, Attila was able to raid Roman territory as far south as Thermopylae, in central Greece.

Gallery[]

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