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    FAQ/Walkthrough by wolfmanphd

    Version: 1.0 | Updated: 07/03/06 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    A G E  O F  E M P I R E S: 
       Age   of   Kings
    FAQ/Guide by Wolff Dobson
    greenexec AT gmail.com
    I love this game and was playing along and got a little stuck on
    Japanese mission 4, and then I discovered there wasn't a complete FAQ
    for this game. 
    Here is a list of tactics I used plus a recounting of my own trials on
    campaigns 2, 3, 4, and the tricky ones on 5.
    Table of contents:
      * MINAMOTO
      * KHAN
      * SALADIN
      * RICHARD
      * NOTES
    1. Good Formations
    For the first three or four campaigns at least, you can use what I
    call "Good Formation" and you will radically increase your chances.
    Good Formation is great for advancing into enemy territory slowly but
    surely.  Good Formation is how to stay alive on the maps where you get
    no reinforcements.  (This assumes third age or better---at second age
    you have many fewer choices and usually not a lot of capacity for
    building up a big collection of units.)
    First, pikemen in the front.  Pikes are tough units that can withstand
    an enemy cav charge and can withstand a turn of arrows without dying.
    Behind them, stack up your archers and crossbowmen.  On either flank,
    maybe one square behind your pikes, place your cavalry.  Behind this
    put your support troops, like monks and trebuchets.
    So, for example
     [Enemy here]
    P = Pikeman (or strong foot unit)
    A = Archer or other missile unit
    C = Cavalry of any sort
    H = Hero
    T = Trebuchet or onager (I prefer Trebs)
    M = Monk
    S = Siege engines, support troops
    Smaller versions of this will work, but this is the basic idea---strong
    foot units backed up by archers and cav.
    This formation basically makes you nigh invincible to attacks from
    equal or lesser forces.  It's not particularly offensive, but when
    you're attacked, you can crush your opponents with your archers and
    send your pikes back to get healed up while you do counter-charges
    with your reserve cavalry and/or heroes.  If you find yourself in a
    situation where you need to just survive, Good Formation can be a
    lifesaver.  If you're looking to advance against a heavily-armed town,
    again, this is your best friend.
    Pikes are cheap, but if you have the cash, you can frequently replace
    them in places with samurai.  Elite Samurai are tough, very reliable
    troopers that are basically gold except against heavy cavalry or very
    heavy missile fire.
    3. Concentrating force
    This game really rewards force concentration---basically, making a mob
    of guys and keeping them together.  It's very tempting to go off and
    score local victories with errant cavalry charges or letting your
    archers fall behind while your samurai rush ahead.  However, unless
    you have a big advantage in force or production, this is eventually a
    loser.  You're better off moving everyone up together.
    My brother and I call assembling your troops "making an FFEM", or
    making a Fighting Force of Extraordinary Magnitude.  It's good to
    spend a turn or two getting your forces strong and in order before
    advancing.  Sending one samurai into a nest of monks and archers is a
    recipe for quick death.  Sending four samurai into the same nest with
    an archer behind them makes all the difference.
    2. Advancing across bridges
    You will find yourself in several campaigns trying to advance across a
    bridge into enemy territory.  On maps without production, you should
    just move slowly and make good use of your long-range missiles.
    On maps with production, though, there's a trick that helped me. 
    So, here's your map:
    Enemy  ]R[  Your side 
    Area   ]i[
    Here's what I suggest for your first stage: Jam up the bridge with a
    strong unit, like a Pike or even your hero.  Then, build a town right
    at the foot of the bridge as fast as you can.  The final layout will
    be like this:
    Enemy  ]R[ 
    Area   ]i[TA
            = B*?
    * Town Center
    S siege workshop
    B Barracks
    A Archery range
    ? Whatever you want
    T Tower
    The towers are optional if you're producing faster than your enemy.
    Use the siege workshop and the archery range to build some ranged
    units and put them in the towers while you build an FFEM (Fighting
    Force of Extraordinary Magnitude). 
    When you're ready, advance across the bridge in Good Formation
    (see above).  Establish a beachhead and then, wherever makes sense,
    build a castle on the other side.  Then fill the castle with siege and
    archers and you should be good to go.
    Sometimes it can feel wrong to be building a town in an area that
    doesn't give you four building squares, but often the ease of getting
    fresh troops to the front outweighs this.  Plus, once you're on the
    other side of the river, you can demolish the town and move it
    4. Kill the archers
    Enemy missile weapons are really annoying, and here I will call every
    kind of missile unit an "archer".  Archers, in real life and in the game,
    serve to force your enemy to move (as standing still will kill them),
    either moving away or towards the archers.  In bad cases, archers are
    forcing you to rush forward before you're ready.  Then the archers run
    away and you get slammed by the enemy cavalry.
    On maps where there is no production, you can gain a huge advantage if
    your murder the enemy archers.  It's worth sacrificing a cav here and
    there or enduring some painful hits if you can be sure you do in an
    archer 100% (i.e. don't let them heal).
    Cavalry and champions are both great for murdering archers.  Do it
    5. Kill the monks
    Monks double your trouble.  On certain maps and when the computer is a
    little broke, the AI will make squads of 4 or more monks who will go
    around converting your guys and healing up the bastards you've been
    trying to kill.  They're force multipliers for the enemy so you
    should remove them as soon as possible.
    6. Kill the farms before the towns
    This is just obvious thinking, but sometimes you get all caught up
    trying to burn down a town that you forget you should turn off the
    spigot first.
    7. Remember that siege units can't cross a ford.
    A ford are the little rocky river-crossings.  I forgot this about a
    dozen times and found myself with a castle and a trebuchet locked onto
    an island.
    This is silly, of course---in real life, engineers would build
    trebuchets and battering rams on the spot.  When they needed to move
    on to the next battle, the engineers would disassemble the siege
    machinery and carry the valuable bits with them in horse carts.
    Japan Mission 2: Ichi no Tani
    This was hard the first time, but the second time I kept my troops in
    Good Formation and had no trouble once I took out the archers.  In
    First take EVERYBODY up the right (east) side of the map.  You'll get
    harassed by archers and stuff, but keep your troops together and
    generally let them come to you.  When you get to the swamps, send some
    samurai over the swamps and get the monk.  Bring him back through the
    swamps while everyone waits for them to get back.  Pick off archers
    with cavalry if you can, but don't get very aggressive.
    Now, get your Good Formation together and advance slowly up the main
    road north.  Move very slowly, keep your pikemen in front and
    archers/cavalry behind, and siege engines way in back.  You'll meet a
    few lines of resistance, but just take them down bit by bit and use
     and your monks behind the lines to keep everyone alive.
    When you can see the castle and are just out of range of the scorpion
    inside, send a bunch of guys over the mountains to the west (archers
    on the mountain tops, samurai and cav over the hill) and mop up
    stragglers over there.  Explore that area west and behind the castle
    and make sure you have killed everyone.
    Then attack the castle with your footsoldiers and samurai and it goes
    down quickly.  All three stars!
    Then there's that next one.  Yeah, you know what I mean.  Japan, Yashima.
    Japan Mission 4: Yashima
    This is really hard because up until this point, you've not had a
    really dedicated resistance that can reinforce itself.  There are two
    civs you're up against (this is key) and they're not very aggressive
    but, oh, lordy, are they a tough nut to crack.  This mission took me
    75 turns at least, and my hand cramped.  In retrospect, it shouldn't
    have taken that long.
    First thing:  Block the bridge with Minamoto to stop grunt-rush.
    Build villagers, send them off to the islands and whatnot to build out
    all your resources.  Fairly early on, send a villager and/or some
    cavalry over the mountains to the south and set up villages there.  You
    can build a town there, too, but put it as far east as you can
    (towards the bridge). 
    During the Third age, focus on getting rich and getting tech.  You can
    try a few scout-ish attacks over the bridge to stop him from building
    farms, but, honestly, you probably won't get far.
    Once you reach the Fourth Age, you can go offensive.  You need to
    attack both across the bridge in the north a little and in the south a
    In the south, demolish your town and build it right next to the bridge
    (see "Attacking across a bridge" above in Strategy Tips).  There's not
    a great 4-space spot, but you'll get three useful ones and that's all
    you really need.
    Send your villagers across the bridge along with some cav, some
    samurai, and some monks.  As quickly as possible, set up a castle on
    the purple side of the river.
    At the same time, build a castle near your bridge that you stopped-up
    with Minamoto.  Start pouring troops, especially samurai and pikes,
    over the bridge.  Back them up with archers and crossbows, and use
    Minamoto in the back to heal people up.  (A monk wouldn't go amiss,
    here, either.)
    The emperor and the other purple guys will be infuriating at this
    point.  They will build monks like mad and start converting your
    troops.  You can thwart this by A) killing monks as soon as you can so
    there aren't big groups of them, and B) use elite samurai who are
    invincible to conversion.  You will also end up with knots of
    entrenched missile guys on the mountain ridges---they are very
    difficult to dislodge, although once you have your trebuchets, you can
    advance on them en masse and take them down. 
    Now, START BURNING FIELDS.  Towns are fine, but it's the fields and
    mines in the south that you need to get rid of.  Build on them as soon
    as possible afterwards so you get the bonus unit cap.  Build siege and
    monks at your southern town along with horses.  Get some trebuchets
    from your castle along with elite samurai, preferably three of them
    once your unit cap is high, and then put samurai and cavalry in front
    of them and advance, turn by turn, towards the purple southern town.
    Burn the town down, then get the fields behind it.  Once you've burned
    that town, you've won and it's just a grim mopping-up.  Advance with
    lots of siege and lots of archers and samurai and go crazy.  I found
    the trebs very helpful here.
    Right before you burn the last city, the Emperor will appear and try
    to run to a boat.  You have basically two turns to kill him, so be
    ready by bringing up lots of archers when you're sieging the last
    city.  Be sure to destroy the eastern-most parts of the last city so
    you can chase the Emperor with some cav as necessary.
    As astoundingly frustrating as this mission was, it's very hard to
    lose since you have lots of resources and easy choke points to defend
    when the going gets tough, and the purple guys have nowhere to expand
    to.  It allowed me to develop my strategies with lots of hopeless
    Minamoto Mission 5: Khan
    This is fun.  My only advice is to draw Khan far away from his boat
    before you attack him since when he hits 50% health he runs back to
    his boat.  For me, I had no warning since I attacked him near his boat
    and, whoops, there he went without a second chance.
    Khan Mission 1
    The only thing hard about this mission is that you are now facing two
    empires in two directions.  The northern guys are pretty weak, though,
    and you have help.
    First, I'd suggest stealing your "friend"'s resources by sending your
    villagers north to build farms and mines.  Then run south and get the
    rest of your resources.
    You'll get a couple of weak attacks during the second age, but it
    should be no trouble.  I let my buddy wreck their town up there while
    I held off the south through the third age and sent my scout cavalry
    to die burning the southern guys' mines.  You'll have to advance
    across the southern bridge, but I don't even think you'll need to
    build a castle; it's very easy and your enemy will build pikemen to
    try to stop you.  Build archers and your own pikes and you're all
    set, plus Khan himself to back him up.
    Khan mission 2
    You need to convert all the chieftains for full points.  Map is
    basically four corners, with warlord chieftains in every corner.  The
    key observation here is to realize that the enemy warlords don't move
    unless you trigger them crossing into their territory.  Thus, you can
    go really slow, making Good Formations and healing everyone between
    First move, use Nomadic travel on some horses and a monk.  Use the
    horses to ride into the mountains in the SW, then use the Monk to run
    up and convert the first warlord.  In my case, he went down fast.
    Reinforce your position for the one turn you need to last while the
    war lord is converting by pulling more people into the mountains and
    blocking the pass.  Hope your monk doesn't die---if he does, you need
    to bring up expensive troops like Horse Archers to soak up the AI's
    attention for that turn.
    After you now own all the dudes in the SW plus your own, reconsolidate
    your position using Good Formation rules: Pikemen in front, archers
    behind, cav in reserve and on flanks.  I got rushed by the NW guys and
    basically just withstood them for two turns, eliminating most of the
    enemy except a few Manguadai because they're freakin' stacked and I
    had nothing to ace them.  Then, again, with the Nomadic Travel and
    sent a monk over the mountains, avoiding the main force, and converted
    the warlord.
    I spent a few turns spent doing nothing but healing, getting everyone
    to full strength, then Good Formation advancing until I could see the
    guys in the NE.  Again, Nomadic Travel and a cav rush into the middle
    of their territory to find the their warchief, then a monk dash in to
    convert.  No dice, though, and had to send the other three monks in
    and withstand two turns of punishment (eliminating most of NE's
    forces) to get the convert, finally.
    I paused a while healing, but eventually the SE guy wandered over the
    ford to mug me from the south; I had left some guards just in case.
    Given that I had about 14 troops vs. his 5, it was short work to
    finish his guys off and then send my monks down to convert.
    Khan mission 3
    You have to build the Wonder (a big tent) and defend it.  There are
    some other side goals about building 4 mines, uncovering the map, and
    finishing quickly.
    I screwed this one up and got no stars (but was close to getting two
    when the flag fell).  Essentially, you should probably do what the AI
    does---build a town at the foot of the road, build a barracks and
    mills/mines on all the resources on your side of the river.  Use the
    barracks to build a lot of pikemen and guard your bridges, using Khan
    to provide Patron of Arts and boost quickly into the 4th age.
    Of course, I didn't do that.  Instead, I started with monks and a
    stable and proceeded to be an utter jerk to the nearby civs.  I built
    a mine on the far side of the river on Blue's territory and used my
    scout cav to axe enemy villagers.  This was fun, but was slow and I
    had to work so hard to protect my assets near Blue that I lost time
    advancing ages.  Arguably, I held him back too, but the truth is that
    it just let Purple get ahead.
    One of the annoying things is that most of your farms are near the
    river, so you'll constantly be rebuilding them when they get burned by
    Blue's archers.  There's little to do but basically hold them off,
    although when you become cash-rich you can invest in all kinds of
    siege stuff and arbalests and it becomes much easier.  Orange will
    sometimes come over the north bridge and burn farms, but Khan or some
    camels can pop any one visitor easily.
    The other thing I did, which was kinda smart, was place my second town
    next to the ford on the far east of my territory, one space away from
    the ford to Orange.  Orange keeps trying to build a town and castle on
    the other side of the ford, but you can keep sending troops and arrows
    across and, later, build a mine there.  I also built a castle on
    Oranges's side and started sending out Mangaudai along with pikes and
    whatever else I could buy at the market.  (Woad raiders?  Sure, why
    not?)  Orange is under constant pressure from Purple and Blue so you
    can pretty much bottle him up before you reach the 4th age.  I had
    taken over his fields and mines by the next age, and you can sidle up
    the east side of the map and get an easy steal of Purple's mine, too
    (equals 4 mines, plus exploration credit!  Two stars!).
    One oddity of the AI is that, when pressed, they basically ignore your
    villagers and favor instead making angry gestures at your towns across
    the river.  Baffling.  In the middle of a huge knot of trouble, I was
    able to burn Orange's main mill and replace it with my own and no one
    seemed to care.  Literally entire civilizations rode by and ignored
    No matter what strategy you choose you win, though, because you have a
    massive head start in tech.  You should be able to coast to the 4th
    age without breaking a sweat, and then amass a considerable fortune
    and build the wonder.  The "surprise" is, outta nowhere, Blue and
    Orange (and probably Purple) get a huge troop reinforcement and some
    siege machinery.  You have to wait out a dozen or more turns while
    they lumber slowly towards you.  If you have good long-range siege
    stuff (cannons, a trebuchet, heavy scorpions) and some cav and pikes
    to mop up, this will be a breeze.  I built my second castle between my
    two cities and constructed all my towers while I waited.  I also
    concentrated on killing the enemy trebuchets early.
    It was sort of boring.  I went over and started building more mills
    where Orange hadn't noticed open grain and then used Khan and his
    nomadic travel to visit Purple.  I think it might be fun to go back
    and try to win on Bloodshed instead of by building the Wonder.
    Khan mission 4
    This is another easy one, as long as you use the skills you have.
    It's very long, though, and it's a bloodshed scenario---wipe out two
    other civilizations (the Shah and Kiev).
    The three stars are easy to get; get to the Imperial Age first
    (trivial, assuming you research every turn you can, which you should
    anyhow), find all the ruins and capture all the relics.  The ruins are
    pretty much the last thing you do as at least two of the ruins are
    tucked behind enemy lines.
    Hint: there're ruins in the NE corner where you start---collect ruins
    by ending your turn on them.
    Build a ton of villagers first, then use your Light Cav and Khan to
    bop around the map exploring.  You'll soon see that the bad guys are
    on the far side of a river to the north, and that there's really only
    one bridge.  If you survived Japan mission 4, you know what to do:
    Build a town at the foot of that bridge.  (I actually built one at the
    crossroads nearby, then built another one at the bridge so I could
    really crank troops across the gap.)  Make lots of pikes and archers
    and establish control of your side of the bridge.  You'll get
    attacked, but fortunately the Shah and Peter of Kiev hate each other,
    too, so they'll be burning each other's mines and stuff while you
    Basically, don't let anyone get a foothold past the bridge (or fords,
    or ridge of mountains), and keep a few guys patrolling in the deserts
    to the west (I had one cav unit, one pike, and some villagers) so you
    can send in reinforcements if the Shah gets all crazy on you and
    starts sneaking guys onto your territory.  This gives you 2/3rds of
    the map and 2/3rds of the resources, so by the 3rd age you should be
    sending in Good Formations across the bridge and then build a castle
    or two over there.  You should be fine, since you'll have a heavy tech
    advantage and, if you have a town or two just across the bridge,
    plenty of reinforcements.  Do economic damage when you can (grab those
    two mines just across the bridge) and make sure you send in some
    onagers and lots of archers to keep the pikemen at bay.
    I also built two castles on the tiny bit of land right next to Kiev's
    town in the far NW.  It's just across all the fords and near the ruins
    and relic over there.  I lost some villagers setting it up, but after
    that I just kept making Mangaudai and harassing those farms over there
    so that my main bridge attack went smoothly.  By the time you're up at
    a 40 unit cap, you should be controlling the battlefield.
    This is pretty easy, just long---a lot like Japan Mission 4, but since
    you already know how to beat that, this is cake.
    AI foible: The Shah decided he needed several siege engines when I was
    shredding him with pikemen.  It was bizarre---here he makes three
    onagers with no support troops, yet doesn't even fire them at me most
    of the time.  It actually was a bit of snooze just to burn all the
    towns with your War Wolves at the end.
    Also, I found it faster and easier to build a town next to each relic,
    then build a monk to go retrieve it than build three monks and walk
    them slowly all over the map.
    Khan Mission 5
    This one was scary but fun.  It's a callback to the early Kublai Khan
    mission 5 for the Japanese, only this time you're the Mongols and
    you're badly outnumbered and get no villagers or towns.  You're the
    Mongol horde and you're like locusts, shredding everything before you.
    The big thing to remember is A) you're going to get some
    reinforcements if you can wait it out, and B) you need to concentrate
    your force.  Your first sortie is pretty weak, although you should
    endeavor to ace any crossbowmen nearby.  Run away north and west when
    the going gets tough.  It's just not sane to try to advance very far
    into the wall of samurai and archers.  Keep your trebuchet alive with
    the monk if you have to, and kill that mine for some easy econ damage.
    The second boatload is pretty strong---a lot of Mangaudai and camels
    plus another monk.  Again, your monk is very valuable for healing.  I
    used one of my battering rams plus one other unit to start murdering
    villagers and burning farms way west and north---the Japanese will not
    be able to rebuild.
    Start burning down the town with the camels, Mangaudai and siege
    engines packed together, and try to get both parts of your forces
    together.  Use your ranged weapons to pick at samurai as they get
    close.  Once the town is down, get your forces together.  You won't
    really have any pikemen to speak of unless you get lucky and convert
    some (although I stuck to healing up my tattered forces mostly), but
    you can still make a wide wall of horses with your siege engines
    behind them.  The twin trebuchets can cover one another as you
    advance, and you can use Nomadic Travel to rush some camels and
    Mangaudai up to kill the enemy crossbows before they get shots off.
    The third boatload should put the nail in it if you haven't
    accidentally gotten Khan killed.  You can just burn down the temple if
    you want at this point, but it's fun to try to rush the other town
    with everything you have and go for some bonus stars.  Again, all you
    really need to do is keep everyone together and use those three
    trebuchets to level the buildings.  With careful healing, you should
    have enough mojo to shred the remaining town and castles.
    This was the first mission where I really figured out what to do with
    battering rams.
    Amusing AI moment: I had burned both towns and was advancing up the
    peninsula towards the two castles.  In-game, it's basically a
    desperate group of Japanese samurai doing a last stand at two castles
    against a sea of slavering, ululating, bloodthirsty Huns.  The AI
    decides it'll put down a town right there to make more troops and I'm
    a little scared since my guys are quite beaten-up.  Fortunately, the
    Japanese commander apparently looked at the plans for the barracks and
    archery range and shouted, "You NINCOMPOOPS!  I said I wanted a
    UNIVERSITY!"  Sure enough, they built a little tiny Harvard to hold
    off the horde.
    Other silliness: I left a battering ram behind the horde and used it
    to destroy all the leftover farms and unclaimed buildings.  He was
    sort of beaten-up and not much use, so I mentally nicknamed him "The
    Brave Little Toaster" and, after he ran out of things to do, I sent
    him up to do the final blow to the last Japanese castle.  He was the
    Little Siege Engine That Could.
    Saladin Mission 1
    For a "Hard" mission, this one is pretty easy to beat but tricky to
    get all three stars (I got two; finished too slow). It's mostly hard
    because the terrain makes siege engines all-but-useless and the TC
    limit is low and one of your towns is only mosques.
    They key to get three stars is to realize that there are actually 6
    relics on the map but you only need 4, and to have a little
    foreknowledge of the map. There are two easy relics, one right next to
    you and one far to the SW in the desert. Build two monks early on and
    go and get them.
    The other two are tricky. There is one that's close as the crow flies,
    but it's mired in swamps and staggeringly slow to get to, and you have
    to pass through lots of enemy territory. You can spend less time
    screwing around trying to get it and concentrate on shredding Bilbeis,
    the town just east of Cairo. (Shredding Bilbeis is an optional star,
    but fast and mandatory as they're a big pain in the patookis.) To
    shred Bilbeis, you just need to make a bunch of archers, one or two
    pikes, and fill the rest up with cav. Move them forward in formation
    and use Saladin's Rain of Arrows or Hit and Run to boost your success,
    then burn the city and the nearby mines and farms.
    While you're doing that, make a bunch of villagers and build mines and
    mills in the desert and near Bilbeis; it's easy and after the fall of
    Bilbeis you'll be way ahead of everyone.
    I'd also suggest removing your blacksmithy and switching it to a
    market once you've got the 3rd-age tech bonues, then switch it back to
    a blacksmith when you hit the 4th age as you'll have lots of money.
    At that point there's a third relic on an ismuth in the NE, and there
    is a ford to get Orange. As Bilbeis is falling, make pikes and archers
    and send them, along with the monk, across the ford east and south of
    your city (not the one right next to your city). It's slow going over
    the swamp and you'll get hassled by archers, but you need to get to
    the west side of Orange's city so you can hit the city from all
    sides. You'll need lots of arbalests and archers to break down the
    Once Orange has fallen, you can hustle your monk over to the
    swamp-infested relic, but it's a long road back. Alternately, you can
    work forwards with a wave of Malamutes and archers and start
    containing Blue while spawning new guys at Cairo and running them to
    attack Alexandria, but if you want to finish in under 26 turns, I
    think this might be a loser (but fun).
    An alternate strategy that I thought of but didn't try is, directly
    after the fall of Bilbeis, demolish Cairo and reconstitute it in the
    desert in the west and assault Alexandria (dark blue). I don't think
    that's faster than breaking down Orange, but it might be, and there's
    a relic right next door to it. Alexandria is pretty tough, though, and
    might be too hard. Again, you'll have to send a squadron of
    footsoldiers and monks over the ford, this time the ford right next to
    Cairo, and attack Alexandria from the east, too.
    Saladin Mission 2: Rise to Power 2
    This is pretty easy to get two stars, hard to get three (finish
    Your main goal is to take down the castle that's just round the corner
    from where you start.  This is touch-and-go, but you can basically do
    it with cavalry and swordsmen.  I built a town right next to my first
    town just a bit down the road so I could run fresh troops in faster.
    Markets are good, here, so you can grab elephants and other fun stuff.
    I think right near the end of this castle I built another town west of
    the bridge and put in archers and towers (see below).
    Send your monk out, get the relics nearby, and remember they don't
    actually need a mosque to return to---just seizing them is all you
    have to do.  
    Once you kill the castle, build your castle on that spot, then build
    archers in the town just west of the bridge to Syria (blue).  Park
    some archers in the town and some siege equipment in the castle.  Use
    the archers and siege (and a pike or two) to guard the bridge against
    blue while you take Saladin, a villager, and some cavalry to Orange
    land to the east.  Build troops at the castle, too, to help
    (Mamelukes!  Whee!).  Burn Orange's fields, replace them with yours,
    and soon you'll have a big unit cap and you can start idly pushing
    back blue over the bridge while you shred Bastra with Saladin.
    Blue is then screwed once you build your town on Bastra's ashes, and
    it's mostly a race to see if you can get up the road fast enough (and
    burn all his farms on the way) and take down the town.
    Saladin Mission 3: Reynald's Raiders
    This was just fun, if totally silly.  You'll be hauling those carts
    back and forth across the maps while trying to keep your team
    completely alive.  
    The game is made or broken in the first few turns.  Since you don't
    get to pick troops, you have to use a lot of camels against his guys.
    Camels kick booty, though, so it's all good.
    First thing:  You need to take care of the damn templars.  They've got
    Zeal, so they keep coming back to life if you don't hit them hard.
    You should hit them with camels/Mamelukes and pikes.  On that first
    turn, you should set the bulk of your troops in a long line just north
    of Reynald's landing.  Use a pike or camel to take a poke at the first
    Templar across the ford.  
    To distract the enemy, on that same first turn, bring everybody out of
    the eastern-most town to sit on the ridge, but not too close.  Keep
    your horse archers back a bit.  Also, run everyone out of the
    western-most town to attack the castle.  You should be able to burn
    the castle in three or four turns with the guys you have there and
    take out that the knights in it.
    Reynald will rush you on the next turn and you'll take some hits, but
    since you're in a line you can't get surrounded and everyone only gets
    hurt once.  On that second turn, run everyone remotely hurt back to
    town or back to the cart and then hit back, esp. at the Templars.  You
    should crush them and eliminate several units.  If you can get ahead
    on this first wave, you're good.
    There's not a heck of a lot of time pressure, so move everyone up
    together and don't be afraid to leave people back at town to heal
    between missions.  You'll get just a little cash, and I used to buy
    some monks, some more pikemen, and some crossbows.  Once I had a lot
    of guys, I just ranged up and down the road while Reynald kept showing
    up with new guys who I could munge easily.  It's good to surround your
    cart with troops on every move (you just need four as Reynald never
    thinks to bring archers) as Reynald can appear at surprising times.
    Once you've won the first two or three rounds, though, you should be
    I checked---even if you stand where Reynald appears, you can't trap
    Saladin Mission 4: Horns of Hattar
    This is very interesting; sort of a different style for this game.
    The Templars and Reynald slink away pretty easily, so you have to plan
    ahead a bit.
    You have lots of ground troops in the middle and some fast troops on
    the outside.  This is a fine formation.  Take the fast troops
    (Mamelukes, some cav) and run them on the west and east of the main
    body of troops.  They won't see much action for a few turns, and
    that's OK, since once they meet the Templars it'll hurt.  Just move
    your ground troops forward in formation and use Saladin to back them
    up with Aura of Invincibility or Hit'n'Run.  Don't let them separate
    much and watch out for the crossbows---advance on them when you're
    ready to take them all at once.
    With your fast troops, get to the starred attractions (Reynald,
    Templars, and some relics) and kill them, then wheel around to pincer
    the remainders of Reynald's army.  You should end mopping up a few
    Zealous knights who will prove tough due to their regeneration (they
    get a few percentage points back after each attack), so only hit them
    with your freshest troops.  Three stars, babeee.
    Saladin Mission 5: Jerusalem
    Holy crap, how annoying.
    Took me three major tries and several try-it-until-you-lose bits.
    Two big thoughts:
    1. GRUNT RUSH. Every other map has encouraged you to hold it back,
       assemble your troops, get everything organized, keep your heroes to
       the rear. Not this one. This is a good old-fashioned Zerg sprint,
       where you take your crappy men-at-arms and you run like a mother
       towards him and use Saladin as a bludgeon.
    2. You need to do constant econ damage to your enemy to keep him
       down. For me, around turn 14 I surpassed his production capacity
       handily, but I had been running dead-even or a little ahead since
       about turn 5. The Crusaders start with some farms and mines in the
       backfield where you can't get them, and they also build a wonder
       upon reaching the fourth age, but if you play it right they
       shouldn't ever get more than the mines and fields surrounding
       Jerusalem and the ones they start with. If the Crusaders are ahead
       of you significantly on the production curves in the Scoring chart
       by turn 10, you should just pack it in and start over.
    Here's how the game goes if played right:
    1. Turn one: In the SW corner, run one villager towards the nearby
       field and build a mill. Run the other one up along the road
       east---he'll build a castle next turn. Take your man-at-arms, run
       him up the road east, too, and he will discover the nearest
       town. Bring Saladin up behind him. Jaffa: Build a barracks, run
       man-at-arms east towards the other town.
    2. Turn two: Build more farm, send Jaffa guy off to build farms. In
       the south, build a castle about a square away from the enemy
       town. This is your primary production point for the next ten
       turns. Every turn hence, build either a Mameluke or longswordsman
       before you build anything else. Use Saladin and his man-at-arms to
       start burning the fields north of the town. Remember: econ damage
       before anything else. As noted in the general comments, burn the
       fields before the town. Jaffa: Build a more farm/mill, man-at-arms
       heads towards the mine north of the town and/or takes a swipe at
       the church (freakin' monks!). Research the farm bonus (horse
       collar) if you can.
    3. As soon as you can, build a longswordsman in the castle, use Sal
       and the arms guy to break down that mill. Use the longswordsman
       and/or man-at-arms to take down his stupid pikeman he'll
       build. Next turn, build a Mameluke, then send it to burn the mine
       just east of town. Meanwhile, build more villagers back at your
       town and more soldiers at Jaffa.
    From here, you need to make sure you have some random mix of infantry
    near Jaffa taking pokes and swipes at whomever gets spawned at the
    northern enemy town and making sure they don't build any mills or
    mines. In the south, you should keep pouring swordsmen and Mameluke
    (you need both) out of the castle and surrounding the town, squishing
    any farm or mine building. There are two farms near the south town and
    one mine---those should be rubble very early. Basically, every turn,
    try to burn a farm or mill on his side. Meanwhile, you should have 3-4
    villagers building a farm, mine, or mill EVERY TURN.
    You'll want to build a market in your own southern town pretty soon to
    get access to some archery and, around turn 8 or so, see if you can
    afford a blacksmith in the same town. However, your unit cap is going
    to stay pretty low for a while so you can pretty much just make
    infantry in Jaffa and Mameluke and swordsmen in the castle, with a
    random grab at any cool-looking troops in the market. I think I had
    one set of Turkish Janissaries when the southern town fell; the rest
    were infantry or Mamelukes.
    Saladin will get beat-up---he's an arrow magnet. Just pull him back to
    the castle when he's getting hurt, but don't be afraid to use him at
    80% health to take down an onager or something really annoying.
    Use every stupid AI trick in the book, too, the favorite being to
    knock an enemy down to about 5-15% health, then ignore him. The AI
    likes to use these weak dudes to attack your mills or mines, which is
    fine, since it will take them 8 turns or something to defeat it and it
    keeps the AI from building better units.
    The AI will do things like send monks after relics. If you have loose
    troops you can go mug the monks, but, honestly, whatever makes him
    happy and keeps those monks away from me. Also, the AI really wants to
    build a castle near the river just southeast of the northern town. I
    just let it, but kept the pressure on the mills and mines so it
    couldn't build anything there, then took it down during the siege of
    the northern town.
    1. Don't build any buildings near your town on the first turn;
    instead, get a mill and get set up for a castle near the southern
    enemy town.
    2. Grunt-rush enemy mills and mines and use castle built on turn 2 to
    make troops to burn more mills and mines, then remove barracks from
    southern town.
    3. Eventually build a market at southern town and get some siege or
    archers from it. Then, when you have spare cash, a blacksmith is nice.
    4. Just hold off the northern town with pikemen and other infantry
    from a barracks at Jaffa for ten turns, stopping them from building
    mines or mills.
    5. Any time things are getting complicated near southern town, pull
    Saladin back to your castle. ALWAYS BUILD FRESH TROOPS at the castle
    every turn. By turn 14 you should be pulling visibly ahead in
    production; should be even up until this point.
    6. Burn southern enemy town around turn 15-18 or so. You will then be
    rushed by Templars. Use your huge herd of Mamelukes to remove
    them. Build a town center here and take over any remaining buildings,
    then build a siege workshop and an archery range.
    7. Use leftover Mamelukes and swordsmen to remove mills and farms east
    and south, while everyone else takes down northern town. Should fall
    around turn 22 or so. Build another town center here.
    8. You should advance to the 4th age just about the time you're
    getting ready to attack Jerusalem. Jerusalem is a piece of cake if
    they have no resources, so bring up any siege engines you have and
    some archers and take down both castles and the town center. This part
    is easy.
    Saladin Mission 6
    I didn't do well on this, but basically you can close up for two turns
    or so, then use Saladin's Hit'n'Run to zoom your Light Cav and
    Mamelukes up to zap some water carts and use your camels and your
    pikes to kill the Templars.  Honestly, the Templars are pretty scary
    and you have totally the wrong mix of troops to kill them.  I won with
    one star on turn 5, but I think you could do a better job.  I'm open
    to hints. 
    The crossbows I think are actually a false target on this map---they
    actually don't hurt your troops much and killing them has no payoff
    since the scenario is over as soon as you kill your third water cart.
    If you can beat Jerusalem, you can win the remaining Richard
    missions.  The last few are just all about losing most of your troops
    in ugly rushes against overwhelming odds, but winning because you
    fulfilled the mission.  Most are short, though, so you can do a lot of
    Richard, the One Like Mission 6 of Saladin
    The key here is to reduce your surface area.  So, as fast as you can,
    contract your water carts into a ball.  Then, around them, put
    scorpions and crossbows.  Use your cavalry to destroy enemy archers
    and your Templars, backed up with your scorps and crossbows, to take
    out Mamelukes.  I won on turn 8 (you just have to live that long) with
    essentially no troops left but Saladin just gave up and went home.
    Richard, Siege of Acre
    Irritating!  I tried this a couple of different ways.  Saladin will
    just keep getting troops and building new ones, so you're
    hosed---again, even if you win the mission you'll be in terrible
    On the first turn or so, take your Templars and Richard plus a longbow
    or two east, and use everyone else just to make a wall and pick off
    anyone who gets too close to your siege engines.  Don't advance on
    Acre, much.
    With your Richard-led squad, attack the mine.  When the mine burns,
    send someone over the top and draw off Saladin's personal guard.  This
    will trigger Saladin into joining the fight, so you need to then run
    like hell back to your main force just as you get reinforcements.
    Saladin will then drift forwards north of Acre and you can take him
    out with your archers later.
    As you get reinforcements, remember that all you have to do is burn
    the town center.  Everything else doesn't matter.  You get a lot of
    battering rams, so as you clear out a space in front of Acre, don't
    hesitate to run them forward to clear a single path to the town
    center.  You only need to hit the town center twice with a battering
    ram, so keep a longbowman in reserve and use Richard's range-increase
    power to knock out the troops Saladin builds on the town center, then
    ram away.
    I have no idea how to get three stars here---I can do it fast or I can
    kill the mines, but not both.
    Richard, Jerusalem
    Oh, great, freakin' Jerusalem again.  You have a massive force, to
    start with, and a monster unit cap, so it's not so bad.  First, build
    a town in the NE right near where you spawn.  Send 3/4ths of your
    troops west to kill Jaffa and capture its buildings.  Send the other
    quarter to mill around near your town and mop up all the damn
    Mamelukes Saladin will send after your town.
    Around the time Jaffa falls, you have enough troops to make a sortie
    east to get rid of Saladin's castle.  Saladin will slink away and you
    will probably not get the star, but not having Saladin or that castle
    around is neat-o.
    Eventually you will find yourself in a bad state.  You will own the
    north 1/3rd of the map and Saladin will have the south 2/3rds and most
    of the resources, plus he's sending Imperial age units after you.  You
    have two advantages: 1) you're smarter than he is, and 2) his towns
    are far away from you.
    Build castles next to any bridge you're having trouble holding.  Leave
    a villager and some archery in the castles---the villagers to repair,
    the castles to defend and to create more archers.
    Go take out his fields over the hills in the far NE; it's easy econ
    damage and he'll waste a lot of troops trying to stop you.
    Tech up as fast as you can.  Upon reaching the 4th age, you can
    Because of the unit cap, you will either be facing lots of dudes in
    the east (from Jerusalem) or lots of dudes from the west (from
    Ascalon), but not both at the same time.  The Jerusalem attack is
    easier to hold off---there's basically one bridge and you have a town
    right near it.  You can hold it off with a bunch of cheap pikemen,
    archers, and a coupla monks.  When this happens, build like crazy in
    the west, mostly camels, Templars, and longbowmen, plus 2-3 siege
    Take Richard and burst across the bridges to the south with all your
    cavalry and archers, and send the siege rams after them.  Destroy
    every mill and mine you see.  Build on them if you can, since Saladin
    will be slow to remove them.  Use your siege rams to pop farms and/or
    the castle he's built over there and build more rams if you are
    running out.  Use longbowmen and Richard's range-increaser to hold off
    new arrivals from Ascalon.  Concentrate on making sure Saladin loses
    as much production capacity as possible.
    Eventually, you can break Ascalon and then capture it.  You might lose
    your fields in the NE and/or lose a castle that was defending one of
    your bridges, but it's a great trade to lose those in return for
    Ascalon and all the fields and mines between it and Jaffa.  Now you're
    in the turn 20 position of the original Jerusalem map---you have
    everything to the west, and he just has Jerusalem.  You will win!
    It's a cinch from here to get three stars.
    I loved this game.  It was like crack cocaine for me after a while.  I
    was sad to finish it, but it was also getting repetitive.
    Make more, Backbone/Ensemble/Microsoft!  I want a sequel!
    Please send me comments, questions, or improvements.
    This guide is (C) 2006 Wolff Dobson.  This may be not be reproduced
    under any circumstances except for personal, private use. It may not
    be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed publicly without
    advance written permission. Use of this guide on any other web site or
    as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited, and a
    violation of copyright
    If you are paying to read this, you're a fool.

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