|“||Can you hear it, hm? That's your death, drawing near.||”|
|— The Snake, taunting before an attack|
|Real Name||Duc Beauregard|
In the original Stronghold, the Snake is one of the four lords who have split the land between themselves. Whilst being very conniving and sly, he also bullies the Rat along with the Pig. He is the one who tricked players father into a trap that cost him his life, although he was not the one who actually killed him. The Snake is the second lord to be defeated in the Military Campaign..
The Snake was once made governor to some of the richest provinces in the homeland where he made an extremely fruitful but less than honourable living from under declaring the taxes collected from his people. The king was eventually made aware of this and decided to have him exiled to Britain in order to keep him at arms length whilst still making use of his talents. Execution was, unfortunately, out of the question as killing such a popular leader with his own hand could well have sparked a revolution. During one of his first military encounters in Britain he went up against your father, losing an eye to him in a skirmish. On that day the Snake swore he would not rest until the decapitated heads of your entire family were lined-up on spikes outside of his keep. Already back to his old tricks, the Snake has his greasy hands in the Rats back pocket, draining his coffers with help from the corrupt tax officials initially sent over to give him aid.
Duc Beauregard is a regal looking gent who is relatively tall and of slight build. He is the most elegant of your opponents (perhaps along with Saladin) as well as the best dressed, making him the complete opposite of The Pig. His chiselled face is accentuated by a head of slicked back black hair, which thins to a point at the front. Only the grey flecks above his ears and the few grey hairs in his short, well-groomed black beard betray his age. As well as wearing tight, figure-hugging clothes, which highlight his slim physique, he also decorates himself with a smattering of lightweight jewellery. Unlike the Rat, Pig and Wolf, but in keeping with his own troops, he does not wear armour.
In the first Stronghold, the Snake is a character that cannot be trusted, turning against his former ally, the Rat and before the events of Stronghold, tricking the player's father to his death. He also, while running a province under employ of the king, underdeclared some of the taxes to maximise his own profits. In Stronghold Crusader, he imposes high taxes to fund numerous mercenaries in the 'Crusader States' campaign and therefore hasn't changed much from the first game. However his taxes in a skirmish game are not that high as he only has high food rations to boost his popularity and he does not hoard gold like the Pig sometimes does, preferring to spend it on an army. However his popularity is rarely at 100, suggesting that whenever possible, he tries to squeeze out as much taxes as he can from his peasants.
The Snake, however, is not cruel to his own people, as the Sheriff, with a similar personality, is. This is perhaps because his troops are weak enough as it is, and eroding their morale would make them even worse fighters. Despite his lack of cruelty, however, the Snake is less than chivalrous to opposing lords with his mocking style of taunting, drawing his sword in front of his neck in the process.
It is unknown how the Snake behaves towards his allies as there is no speech, just one of his soldiers relaying messages, however he appears to be quite helpful to them as he is very willing to send lots of spearmen if a moat needs dug and will usually (if he is not under pressure himself) come to their aid when requested. He will also quite often enthusistically attack an enemy when requsted, and will send small raiding groups to help out in his allies' sieges even when not requested to do so.
Finally, he is obsessed with the letter 'S', not only creating his castles in this shape but also having it as the centrepiece for his elaborate purple banner, which he proudly displays behind his throne.
Castles and strategiesEdit
The Snake runs a modest economy focused on military. He builds 2 quarries along with woodcutters and supplies his peasants with numerous apple orchards. He has many fletchers and poleturners employed, and he also buys in spears and archers in large batches. He also provides a small variety of food by constantly buying in cheese. He has average taxes, but does not affect popularity or production in any way.
Because he builds a basic castle using little stone, and the majority of his troops are so cheap to hire, this economy, despite being small, serves the Snake well enough.
The Snake is a considerably aggressive enemy. He uses only cheap troops (apart from a small number of Arabian archers), which means almost infinite attacks, as one group may quickly follow the other. If in a decent starting position he is often is the quickest AI lord (together with perhaps the Abbot) in the game to produce a large army. However since these troops are so weak he is not as powerful as he seems.
The Snake likes to send raids to his enemies lands often. He recruits a bunch of slaves, in smaller numbers than the Caliph does (but with no fear factor reduction in attack), backed up with slingers and throws them targeting enemy farms and quarries. Slingers are also able to provide a cheap missile cover, as they can effectively kill oxen and workers with one hit. He may also supply these groups with a lonely catapult to provide assistance. If one of his enemies is weak, he won't hesitate to send these raiding groups directly to their castle.
His main siege attacks are only composed of lightly armoured troops, but can still be quite menacing. The spearmen he brings rarely pose much of a threat, but the accompanying archers, both European and Arabian, are often sent in large numbers and can be. The one or two catapults the Snake also brings along can also be an annoyance. The Snake sends laddermen in his main attacks, and is the only AI lord to do so, although these are rarely used even if they do make it to the enemy's walls. They do however serve as a distraction to allow his archers more time to fire at enemy towers, and to allow some of his spearmen to reach the enemy walls. The Snake does not use slaves in his main attacks, but they may appear at the same time as part of a raid.
His attacks are undertaken very quickly after gathering his men, even if he has catapults to set up, and he doesn't leave his troops to wait for a long time like the Pig does. The danger of the Snake's attacks is that everything usually comes at once very quickly.
On low ground, the Snake has a S-shaped castle, bordered by a combination of narrow walls and a moat which encloses his buildings. On high ground, the Snake has an irregular heart shaped castle that sometimes, though not always, encloses all of his buildings. In both designs, perimeter turrets are placed at regular intervals, which are filled with archers. Gatehouses also have a small guard of archers and slingers. The keep is also heavily defended with units since attack forces are assembled there.
The Snake has an unnoticeable strike force of archers and spearmen for dangerous situations. He also recruits two or three (often large) groups of archers to patrol his buildings and sometimes has a group of slingers that run around patrolling his outside buildings (much like the Sultan has but not as many).
How to deal withEdit
To counter his slave raids, a few groups of archers are useful scattered throughout your industry and farm buildings.
The large numbers of both European archers and Arab bowmen that the Snake sends as part of his main attacks can be sufficient to pose a threat to tower and wall mounted missile troops, especially if the Snake has built up a large overall army of 300 or more troops (which can happen quite often due to most of his troops being cheap to create). Due to their deployment in such large numbers and in loose formation, as well as the fact that advancing spearmen and laddermen will be distracting your troops' attention at the same time, they can take a while to kill using the conventional tower mounted archers. Several crossbowmen, each one of which being able to kill one of the Snake's units in one shot as well as being better armoured), are therefore useful alongside your archers.
With your missile troops distracted by enemy archers, some of the Snake's spearmen and laddermen may have reached your walls. A few slingers amongst the archers/crossbowmen on your walls may prove useful in killing them (as they can fire more accurately directly downwards), but they are rarely much of a threat anyway.
The Snake's towers are small, but are usually packed to full capacity with archers. Trying to kill the lord with mass assassins probably won't work because of this (unless you rush him at the start of the game), although it may be possible if you target him after his army has left his castle on an attack, when he has fewer men on his keep. Instead, after his troops have left the castle on an attack, start the siege by destroying his towers from afar with catapults or trebuchets. This stops as many archers from firing on you during the siege and means that an access route is available into the castle without the bother of trying to dig up the moat. A group of fire ballistae can be used to fire upon the archers and other units on his keep, which can be killed quickly. Finally, as the Snake usually keeps trying to replenish his archers and other troops until the bitter end, his fortress will need to be set on fire to prevent this happening. Destroy the wells with the fire ballistae so he can't put it out. Once the fire stops, a few assassins can then be used to kill the lord.
Note: the Snake will command his servant to carry messages, when he is the player's ally.
For the Snake's quotes see: Quotes:The Snake
For the servant's messages see: Quotes:Servant
Two of Snake's possible castle types, represented by the Stronghold Crusader files in the aiv folder Snake2.aiv and Snake6.aiv severely weaken the Snake if he is placed on low ground. This is because there is no gatehouse and the Snake will therefore lock himself in if he builds a moat. This will result in him running out of gold quickly, having 0 popularity, and just sitting there waiting to be killed. It is advised to delete these two files, there will be no ill effects on the game without them. However if these files are kept, an interesting effect may happen he uses these castles on low ground and you give him 40,000 gold and leave him to wait for a long time. He may (not always) build up a huge army as his troops cannot leave his castle and, as well as this making him harder to siege, when he runs out of gold he will destroy his towers, allowing his troops out of his castle to rush an opponent with a potentially very large army.
|Stronghold||The Rat • The Snake • The Pig • The Wolf|
|Stronghold Crusader||Saladin • The Caliph • The Sultan • Lionheart|
|Stronghold Warchest||Emperor Frederick • King Phillip • The Wazir • The Emir • The Nizar • The Sheriff • The Marshal • The Abbot|
|Stronghold 2||Sir William • The King • Lady Seren • Edwin • The Hawk • The Bull • Olaf • The Hammer • The Queen • The Bishop|