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The Wolf

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I will kill you soon. You and all your vermin.
— The Wolf, taunting before an attack
The Wolf
Stronghold 1 Wolf
Personal Information
Real Name Duc Volpe
Nicknames Stronghold Crusader:
Duc Volpe
Lord Fairfang
Lord Lupus
Earl Redclaw
Lord Crackbone
Lord Howlingtop
Lord Greyback

Stronghold Crusader 2:
The Affliction
The Scourge
The Plague
The Tyrant
The Devil
The Eternal
The Inescapable
The Nightmare

Appears on Stronghold
Stronghold Crusader
Stronghold 3
Stronghold Crusader 2
Physical Information
Gender Male
Age 44
Height 6'6"
Weight 269 LB
Strategical Information
Difficulty Very Hard
Melee Troops Pikemen
Swordsmen
Ranged Troops Archers
Crossbowmen
Arabian bowmen
Horse archers
Siege Engines

Duc Volpe, also known as The Wolf, is the main antagonist in Stronghold and Stronghold 3, appearing also as an AI enemy in Stronghold Crusader, Stronghold Crusader Extreme and Stronghold Crusader 2.

BackgroundEdit

The Wolf's past is shrouded with mystery, and what is known of his history is mainly patched together from stories and unreliable rumors alone. This aside, it is believed that both of his parents died from natural causes in close succession shortly after his eighteenth birthday.

After receiving his dukedom, the Wolf took it upon himself to go traveling, stating he needed some time to think things through, leaving his loyal servants to manage the lands for him. Nobody knows for certain where he went, but he returned a year later with a new companion calling himself The Pig. After a visit to the king of the homeland himself, he began to instigate his invasion plans of Britain with the Pig in tow as his right hand man. There have also been wild accusations flying around the King's Court that the Wolf has somehow become involved with the "Order of Black Knights". However there is only unsubstantiated and anecdotal evidence to support these claims.

After being impaled by a sword and thrown off a castle tower in the first war and being carried by his men to be healed in The East, he returned in Stronghold 3. Ten years older, he became more bitter than ever, driven more by revenge than conquest (despite his aforementioned skill). This eventually cost him the kingdom a second time, but in the end he captured "The Boy" that caused his downfall. What vengeful mechanization take place are never mentioned.

AppearanceEdit

The Wolf is built from pure muscle, undoubtedly making him the strongest of the foes you will meet. His awesome presence comes mainly from his well-toned gargantuan figure, which is capped with a sturdy pair of broad shoulders. His square jaw is coated with a layer of rough stubble and, coupled with his well defined cheekbones, gives him a handsome Germanic look. His pair of cold steely eyes rounded off by thick eyebrows almost meeting in the middle, allow him to turn his intense stare on or off at will. He usually wears a loose fitting red shirt with the top two buttons undone which exposes his ample chest hair that rhythmically heaves up and down as he breathes.

In Stronghold 3, set ten years after Stronghold, the Wolf returns with a more grizzly look than before, donning a greying beard and a vicious scar over his left eye (presumably from his injuries sustained from Stronghold), and bushier eyebrows, again, due to his age.

PersonalityEdit

The Wolf is the cold and calculating mastermind behind the entire saga. Secretive in nature, he gives little away in the form of body language, as he consciously makes sure his arms are folded and eye contact is never severed during negotiations. His exterior is almost always calm showing a similar amount of emotion as a newly carved stone, and even in the face of adversity he manages to keep his cool. Underneath, the cogs never stop whirring as he thinks up the most cunning way to outsmart the opposition. If someone foolishly antagonizes him, he will tense his jaw and slowly circle his neck to release a succession of blood-curdling cracking sounds before retorting.

On the exceptionally rare occasions when he does become enraged, he will curl up one side of his top lip revealing an oversized canine then let out a low growl. The Wolf is the most efficient as well as the cruelest of leaders rumored to kill even his most loyal of his staff that step out of line, causing people under his rule to respect him through sheer terror. His voice is always emotionless and serious in tone. He likes pacing up and down, as a canine would do.

It is not known how he speaks to his allies as a servant carries his messages. However if he has a large army he will sometimes agree to attack (the Wolf of course, never attacks anyway if he has less than 150 troops). He may also help the player if he has enough troops. He is reluctant to give goods to the player, even if he has them in his stockpile/armory. He will however, if he has them, usually agree to give a moderate amount of apples, which can make him a useful ally if you run out of food. He may also send a few, though not many, pikemen, to dig his allies' moats if necessary.

Castles and StrategiesEdit

The Wolf is one of the strongest AI opponents in both Stronghold and Stronghold Crusader.

In StrongholdEdit

He likes to build massive castles with thick walls and large towers. All of his castles are surrounded by killing pits and plenty of pitch. Some of the Wolf's more complex castle designs can hold out against even the largest of siege forces if he is permitted enough time to dig his moat and establish his economy. Out of all the AI players encountered, the Wolf's castles are the true forts that deserve to call them 'strongholds'.

In Stronghold CrusaderEdit

The recurring Wolf is adept at managing his castle and economy. He relies on huge stone and iron production backed up with a bare minimal food production and stable Ale Production. He builds plenty of workshops and spends most of his time to establish his position in the early phases of the game. He has been known to reach over 900 troops in total if he is in an excellent economic position and having been given enough time.

The Wolf is a master of castle building. He uses complex designs, which consist heavily fortified chokepoints. He uses square towers or defense turrets manned by crossbowmen, archers and mangonels, while he deploys numerous fire ballistae and trebuchets on the ground. He also likes to defend his walls with moat, pitch ditches and killing pits in abundance.

The Wolf concentrates less on harassment, restraining himself to small groups of horse archers and catapults. However, he conducts well-organized sieges with large armies, containing pikemen, swordsmen and crossbowmen. He constructs additional catapults, fire ballistae and trebuchets to destroy enemy properties.

For more details, see: The Wolf/Strategies (SHC)

In Stronghold Crusader 2 Edit

Duc Volpe's war prowess is as effective as ever, however he is more aggressive and fearsome in his own way. He loves to push more and focuses a lot more on sieges, while he builds simpler, yet heavily fortified castles.

The Wolf builds square-shaped castles with grand towers on the corners and he gradually extends them with several lookout towers along the walls. He places several ballistae and mangonels above the walls and garrisons them with crossbowmen, archers, Arabian bowmen and the ocassional pikemen. In the very late-game, he surrounds his walls with killing pits.

The Wolf uses a steamroll technique that is unseen among other AI lords. Although he leads siege camp attacks, he uses heavy harassment groups of swordsmen and crossbowmen that are slow but can grow to a huge size over time, consisting 50 troops a time. His siege armies also have various units along with the two types of units above, namely archers, sergeants-at-arms, unmounted templar knights and whirling dervishes. In the siege camp war wolves, mantlets and trebuchets are made.

Dealing with the WolfEdit

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

CastlesEdit

  • 1. "Butterfly" Castle
  • 2. "Ellipse" Castle
  • 3. "Cross" Castle
  • 4. "Pentagon" Castle
  • 5. "Triangle" Castle
  • 6. "Half-Circle" Castle
  • 7. "Giant Square" Castle
  • 8. "Compact" Castle

QuotesEdit

Note: the Wolf will command his servant to carry messages, when he is the player's ally.

For the Wolf's quotes see: Quotes:The Wolf

For the servant's messages see: Quotes:Servant

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