|Map Name||The Corner (6)|
|Allies||Sultana "The Fearless"|
|Enemies||Rat "The Useless"|
Rat "The Foolish"
|← -The Iron Hills →|
This is mission 1 in the Stronghold Crusader 2 skirmish trail, Breath of the Infidel.
The first mission of this campaign pits you against two Rats and a Slave King. It is guaranteed that right from the outset, things are going to blaze, as all three of your opponents are heavily orientated towards harassment. You are not alone however against their "might", as a friendly Sultana joins the fray on your side. Both teams start far from each other, with the Slave King's band on the top and your team on the bottom.
The map is a very big one, with lots of big desert plains conveniently spread out in the vicinity of cliffs. Interestingly, oasis and raw materials are quite scarce, with each estate having around one resource patch. The topmost estates get more resources, but your team is in possession of higher ground. Unluckily, the Sultana gets no stone whatsoever, and she has her oases lying out far from her castle. She is very prone to be overwhelmed with harassment if she cannot take care of herself in the beginning.
Every player is given a good amount of resources, however you are capped of iron and you cannot rely on its utility in the long run. You have to play with "cheap" units and mercenaries at their fullest to secure your position.
You can build the the stockpile halfway between the stone and the oasis. Since the forest is huge, you can build an abundance of woodcutters to clear the area. Build a few wheat farms to the small oasis field right in the east, populate your stone deposits with quarries and build a medium tower with stairs access, north from your position (you have no other options, really), and send your starting troops there. Since not enough archers can be gathered fast enough, you should also recruit a few Arabian swordsmen for ground defense. Secure the stairs and the tower.
The Slave King will attack first, as well as the rodents' first harasses should kick in. They are not very large at first, however they will grow in frequency and numbers. Micro your swordsmen so that harassers will not get up to the tower. If the Slave King constructs catapults to bombard your tower, send out the Arabian swordsmen to deal with them. Your tower will take a little damage, but there should be enough stone to repair it. The Rat will come with a similar force, but should suffer the same fate. Keep that tower repaired!
Stabilizing the positionEdit
Your lonely tower with constant reinforcing will hold out steadily. In the meantime, build fletcher's workshops to add bow production, build mills with bakeries and sell the surplus stone. You can up the tax rates as long as you have all 4 food in the granary or sell some bread to get raw gold. When the bakeries start overflowing the granary, start selling the bread from here on as well.
The Sultana should be doing alright and defend well against the enemy attacks. Your defenses will still get the more pressure however, and your starting units will take casualties. The Slave King likes to send groups of deadly Arabian bowmen and slaves, which move fast and take advantage of their gap-closing ability. You might station a healer or two in the cover of the tower to improve your archers' sustainability. Mop up any force passing through your defense line with the Arabian swordsmen. Build more workshops for production. Men-at-arms are a great addition to your defenses, but you might skip them in favour of a faster counterattack.
Your wood and stone will pile up heavily because there will be no need to build anything urgent. Use the wood to build more of that bread facilities. If the Sultana asks for some goods, send her them so her mood will be up in case you will need an attack.
Vanquishing the adversariesEdit
When you have a good amount of Arabian swordsmen, archers and Arabian bowmen, march towards the center. Station your ranged units on higher ground so they gain range and defense advantages. You can choose who to go after first, but it is easier to dispose of the blue Rat first: he is so defenseless that you can kill him with only swordsmen. Let the swordsmen go first and your archers should stay behind, do not sacrifice them into the rodent defenses. Break through the weak gatehouses and go after the lord.
Next, turn your attention to the Slave King. His castle is tiny and lightly defended, but reinforcements from the mercenars post are substantial and whirling dervishes will easily cleave their way through your cramped swordsmen ranks. Therefore, bring your archers to the fore and clear out the towers first, then go for the keep. Try to stay away from the walls as pitch ditches are everywhere. When you could thin out the defenders, breach the walls and move in for the kill. You might lose most of your ranged units, but the emphasis is to get your swordsmen immediately. They make short work of the exposed lord.
Last but not least, the green Rat is remaining. He should be under great pressure from your ally: the Sultana will throw away armies, but she would have neutralized the green economy and her units should be breaking into the castle. If she is not succeeding, give her a hand. Move in with fresh troops and repeat the siege the way you did with the teal Rat. The vermin should have little resistance left.
He is no match for your power. Victory!