Please, please. Please... don't hurt me, please!
— The Rat, pleading
The Rat
Personal Information
Real Name Duc de Puce
Nicknames Stronghold Crusader:
Duc de Puce
The Stoat
The Weasel
The Ferret
Duc Camembert
Duc Souris
Duc Morceaux
Le Grand Fromage

Stronghold Crusader 2:
The Idiot
The Illiterate
The Timid
The Useless
The Nervous
The Hysterical
The Indecisive
The Foolish

Appears on Stronghold

Stronghold Crusader
Stronghold 3
Stronghold Crusader 2

Physical Information
Gender Male
Age 25
Height 5'4"
Weight 111 Lbs
Strategical Information
Difficulty Very Easy (SC)

Easy (SC2)

Melee Troops Spearmen (SC)

Men at arms (SC2)
Conscripts (SC2)

Ranged Troops Archers
Siege Engines Catapults (SC2)

Duc De Puce (more commonly known as "The Rat") is an antagonist of the Stronghold series and an AI character in Stronghold Crusader, Extreme and Stronghold Crusader 2.

Biography Edit

The Rat was raised as an only child in lands belonging to the Puce family. The duke showed his mother favor, ensuring that she never paid taxes and always had enough to get by. One day, a messenger came to the door with some very surprising news. It was revealed that his father was the same Duc de Puce who his mother had once worked for as a serving wench. Due to an unfortunate accident, the entire Puce family had been lost at sea whilst returning from holiday leaving the Rat as next in line to inherit the title of duke. Lacking an education, he turned to Duc Beauregard (The Snake), who governed a neighboring province, for advice on how to best manage his lands. More than happy to advise the poor fool, Duc Beauregard sent over a handful of his most loyal staff to assist and, thanks to his aid, the Rat now runs a respectful, if impoverished, kingdom.

Appearance Edit

In Stronghold Crusader, the Rat is a highly-strung character with little self-confidence and no capacity to hide this fact. His general jittery nature sometimes gives way to short bursts of spasmodic twitching when he speaks. His relationship with the rodent world has left him flea-ridden giving him a tendency to scratch himself furiously. As yet, his voice has not broken and on a few occasions, when threatened, has been known to scream “Eeeak”.

He also hasn't mastered the art of wearing a suit of armour and the visor of the helmet keeps falling down over his head at the most inappropriate times. Some say it's a loose hinge in his bascinet (the kind of helmet he is wearing), other say it's just too large, some might say his face does not fit in well.


The Rat's overall skittishness causes him to rapidly look around in different directions when asked for his opinion. When he finally responds, his speech is often splintered with sporadic “errs”, “ums” and twitches from his upper lip to fill in the pauses. To top it all off, the Rat is a poor judge of character, making him easy prey for anyone trying to lure the gullible fool into a trap.

He is however, a character with a sense of humor and has an infectious laugh, much like the Pig. Like the Pig, he quickly becomes very flustered when under attack. He is not cruel to his workers, but he is quick to criticize his troops when something goes wrong.

In Stronghold Crusader 2, the Rat returns and his personality is quite different. He noticeably speaks with a more noble-sounding voice, and while he still gets frightened when threatened, he is more confident overall. This change is probably due to the fact that the Rat is older and more experienced than in the first game. He is more nasty and dis-likable, calling the player a 'peasant' whether an enemy or ally. His personality has therefore changed to become more like that of Edwin in Stronghold 2.

Castles and StrategiesEdit

In Stronghold CrusaderEdit

The Rat-0

The Rat from Stronghold Crusader

The Rat is a very poor strategist; although he often rushes his opponents early on, he almost never does so with enough force to pose a real threat.

His industry is centered around wood production, which he uses to supply his numerous poleturner's and fletcher's workshops. He mines some stone for repairs and construction, but does not make use of advanced industry or increased food variety.

The Rat builds mostly single-layered walls in a haphazard, mazelike pattern. Often, these walls are connected to his keep, which may form part of the perimeter of the castle. He also makes use of a small gatehouse and the occasional perimeter turret. He fortifies his castle with sporadically placed archers (which are often left standing atop walls rather than towers) and regularly patrolling spearmen on the walls. His castles tend to suffer from several design flaws, such as stairs placed outside the walls.

The Rat harasses opponents with small groups of archers and spearmen. When attacking an enemy castle, he uses larger groups of these units, but he does not make use of siege equipment.

For more details, read here: The Rat/Strategies (SHC)

In Stronghold Crusader 2Edit

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The Rat from Stronghold Crusader 2

The Rat's behavior is similar to what it was in Stronghold Crusader; however, he is slightly more skilled, as well as being noticeably more aggressive.

His castle patterns have a double set of thin walls, curtain gatehouses and single archers on the walls and he builds few weapon workshops. No towers are built, but the Rat keeps a light guard of conscripts, men-at-arms and archers around himself.

The Rat is more organized with harassment than in the first game. He sends small groups of conscripts and men-at-arms, often teams coming after one another consisting of these cheap troops. In large attacks, these two unit types are used, albeit in greater numbers, together with archers, and the Rat will construct mantlets and catapults to support them in sieges.

Dealing with The RatEdit

For tips on how to beat The Rat, see: The Rat/Counter-strategies (SHC)


For the quotes of The Rat, see: The Rat/Quotes


Stronghold Crusader / Stronghold Crusader Extreme Characters
Stronghold Crusader The RatThe SnakeThe PigThe WolfThe SultanThe CaliphSaladinRichard The Lionheart
Stronghold Crusader Extreme Emperor FrederickKing PhillipThe SheriffThe AbbotThe MarshalThe WazirThe EmirThe Nizar
Stronghold Crusader 2 Characters
Stronghold Crusader 2 The RatThe WolfSaladinThe CaliphRichard The LionheartThe ShahThe Slave KingThe Sultana
DLC The PrincessThe PigThe TemplarThe DukeThe EmperorThe HermitThe JackalThe Khan