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The Wolf

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Damn you, boy. I will have revenge.
— The Wolf, losing buildings
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

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
Ranged Troops Archers
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.


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.


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.


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.


  • 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


In the original Stronghold, the Wolf acts as the leader of the four tyrants who have divided the land. The RatThe Snake, and The Pig are all afraid of him to some extent. The Wolf, as he proudly admits, is also the one who killed the player's father.

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'.

Stronghold CrusaderEdit

The recurring Wolf builds his castles and his attack forces just like in the original Stronghold, but there are some changes. He less concentrates on harassment and has become a fairly defensive player. If a game goes on for long enough, he tends to be the lord with the most troops, sometimes exceeding 500 in total. He has been known to reach over 900 troops in total if in an excellent economic position and having been given enough time.

Overall, he is considered the hardest overall AI lord in Stronghold Crusader to beat because of his excellent economy and massively built castles with large garrisons of strong troops.


The Wolf has a very productive economy based on heavy industry. He produces apples and cheese for food and gathers all raw materials. He constructs 6 quarries, numerous iron mines and many pitch rigs. He motivates his people with maximum negative Fear Factor, to greatly boost output. To counter the negative popularity, he gives standardly extra to double rations and produces ale. He also has heavy tax rates and therefore sometimes chapels and churches may be seen to build.

If left for a long enough time, the Wolf can build up vast quantities of gold, allowing him to withstand a siege even more effectively. With this gold, he will buy in weapons, meaning he can build up a large army and attack sooner and more frequently than Emperor Frederick, who has similar troops to the Wolf and a similar defensive stance to him, but does not buy in weapons.


Offense is not the strength of the Wolf. He spends most of his time building up his forces after constructing a proper defense. He won't launch a full scale attack until his troop numbers reach at least 150 in total (and won't send too many men on this first attack as he likes to keep his castle well garrisoned). His troops however do pack a punch when unleashed, despite the reduction in strength assocaited with negative fear factor.

Harassment is common from the Wolf, especially in the very beginning. For counter-attacks he uses Arabian bowmen (spread out in loose formation and difficult to kill) and fast moving horse archers, of which he brings sometimes dozens. He also amasses catapults if he has the finances. He also sends small groups of pikemen to destroy outlying buildings.

The siege forces he brings however, may prove deadly and require a proper defense. These consist of crossbowmen, pikemen and swordsmen. More pikemen are brought when the enemy surrounds himself with a moat. His engineers will construct catapults, trebuchets and fire ballistae. He likes diverting his troops to both attack the castle and destroy outside buildings.


For defense duties he employs archers and crossbowmen, sometimes engineers with boiling oil. His castles have massive outposts, thick walls, pitch ditches spread out and killing pits, along with multiple strong towers and defense mangonels. He digs moat with pikemen.

To protect his farms and industries, The Wolf will build small groups of archers and crossbowmen to patrol buildings. When under siege, the Wolf likes to send small groups of pikemen to attack the besieging army and may also use Arabian archers in loose formation against them.

How to deal withEdit


The Wolf's attacks need a good number of units to deflect, mainly because of the heavily armored troops he uses. Crossbowmen and fire ballistae are invaluable, as well as ballistae and mangonels which should not be neglected. A moat is very effective in slowing down the advancing units, but his pikemen will try and dig it up so make sure you have crossbowmen on walls and towers to kill them. Some catapults deployed around the castle also help, since they can batter any swordsmen or pikemen into death with one hit, although targets will have to be manually assigned by the player. Setting pitch ditches on fire, or using fire throwers is a good last resort if swordsmen and pikemen are slowly demolishing your walls.

It is best not to reach this stage, and to do this, it is useful to deplete some of the Wolf's swordsmen and pikemen when they are waiting to attack, which they do for a long time before advancing. Sending a good sized group of horse archers out to fire at them from a distance is most effective for this, and keeping their distance from the melee troops will be easy as swordsmen and pikemen are so slow. Additionally these horse archers can destroy the Wolf's siege equipment. Make sure you do this after the crossbowmen have advanced and been killed and there are only pikemen and swordsmen left, as crossbow bolts can kill even moving horse archers.


Dispatching the Wolf's castles can be really troublesome if given enough time to be constructed. The heavy defense, the massive structures and deployed siege engines outside the castle resemble a hedgehog, which won't allow any intruders in. Fortunately, there are some ways:

  • Prevention: Although the Wolf spends most of his starting money on defenders, he is very likely to have no resources to construct towers and gatehouses. Assassins and horse archers in decent numbers may be a good solution. Assassins are good against advancing pikemen, while horse archers pick off Arab bowmen and crossbowmen stuck on the ground. The horsemen may also draw fire while your melee troops kill the king.
  • Attrition: This is the most common way to siege the Wolf. Your best chance to attack after he has moved out his attack force. Use a good number of horse archers, melee troops and catapults to achieve this. Use the horse archers to terrorize workers and patrolling troops, killing the masses of Arabian bowmen he sends to counter your move. In the meantime, smash the towers and essential buildings with your catapults and make sure you have enough stone to feed them (5 quarries are a must). When you have created a breach, move in some troops so pikemen and swordsmen will be drawn off from the keep. Kill them and launch a massive wave of melee troops to win.
  • Alternatively, if you can afford it, build up a force of at least 50 fire ballistae and after he has moved out his attack force, move them within range of his walls, taking out all the units on top of them tower by tower. Move them within range to take out the units on the keep afterwards. Feed in assassins behind to kill the lord.

Setting fire to the buildings outside his walls with large slave armies of about 100 with about 20 horse archers for distraction prior to any of these attacks is also recommended to ruin his economy, but make sure the fire has gone out before you launch the main attack.

Stronghold 3Edit

The Wolf returned in Stronghold 3 to reprise his role of the main game antagonist. It is revealed he managed to survive his presumed death in Stronghold, after he was impaled with a sword and thrown off a tower. It is then revealed that he was nursed back to health in the ten years since his presumed death. Two of his allies are the sons of the Pig and the Rat, while the last is the Jackal, Eastern in origin.


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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