Mission 1: Castle of Belvoir, Delaying Tactics
Objective: survive until the time limit and kill all enemy units
Starting goods: 117 wood, 61 stone, 8 iron, 119 apples, 15 cheese, 10 spears, 3 crossbows, 950 gold
Trade options: wood, stone, iron, apples, sword, metal armour
In this first mission you are introduced to the first real fight in Crusader. You have a small fortification set up, while all kinds of resources are at your disposal. You can create all types of units from the barracks, but you will be limited strictly to spearmen, archers, crossbowmen and swordsmen.
Belvoir is a (yet) lightly fortified castle with some buildings and a small economy running. There are some square towers and gatehouses, a chapel, a poleturner and a fletcher. A stone quarry is gathering stones in the north, just south to the iron deposits. Farmland can be found southeast and west to the castle (the latter is rather a forest than a plains). Three signposts are set up on the map.You can either complete the scenario with the initial layout, or make some changes. You can demolish the chapel for a gold boost and destroy the poleturner if you are not going heavy on spearmen. From your starting stone stocks create a square tower adjoining the walls and put ballistae in this and the other towers. Site the engineer's guild and man the ballistae (you will need 6 engineers). Place a small gatehouse between the keep and the stone quarry, so delivery is going to be sped up. Place two or three weapons workshops of your choice.
Outside the castle, place numerous farms around the lake and place woodcutters near the western forest (provide them a gatehouse for easy access). Notice the quarry without their oxen, so build three or so ox tethers to collect stone. You may also place iron mines optionally, however, you will not need them for the first few minutes of the mission. Set up a second quarry and more oxen if you want, but this step can be left for later. Naturally place hovels and buy wood if you are short on it.
The first invasion will occur very early, so you should prioritize missile units, especially crossbowmen. So, place some fletchers and tanners with their dairy farms to start weapon crafting early and use your remaining money on recruiting archers and crossbowmen. You may sell some apples to free up some spare gold.
Horse archers and slingers will come soon and they are fairly weak, but they will keep encircling your castle, forcing you to equally spread out your troops and use ridiculously weak firepower on each group. Your ballistae are useless here with their erratic aiming, so do not rely on them. Try to concentrate fire on the horse archers (assumed slingers are already down), so sooner or later they will fall. Some swordsmen will also join and do some damage to your farms and buildings, therefore try to dispose of them as soon as you can.
After these units are gone, rearrange your units and continue expanding your economy. Place more woodcutters, farms, quarries and oxen, perhaps iron mines. Weapons production is essential for constant recruitment, so always consider placing workshops if you have the finances.
Your incomes will hardly come from wood or stone for the first part of the mission, so you should consider taxation. Religion is very unreliable here (too many workers spread out outside the castle and in different locations), so either start raising rations or building up ale production. Your woodcutters are busy clearing out the forest, so site there hop farms once area is available for them. There should be wood and gold left for breweries and inns to supply your alcoholist peasants.
By now the economy should be running smooth. Sell excess wood and stone (perhaps food) and recruit troops mainly for your walls. Optionally add more towers with their manned ballistae and garrison at regular intervals.A second invasion should come with the same constitution backed up with a few Arab bowmen, swordsmen and engineers. The engineers will construct rams and the army will assault you everywhere, so be prepared. Rams are exceptionally dangerous since you are unlikely to have the firepower against these strong beasts. Have some spearmen or swordsmen to quickly destroy them, but try not to lose too many men to the archers.
Replace every building to quickly restore your economy and prepare for the third invasion. This vangaurd will be the largest of all, with the same contents. This time concentrate on your castle's defense and just forget about your farms and mines, since they are no longer needed in this mission. Just hold your ground and you will win.
- You may consider to delete and replace the granary into the oasis to severely speed up production. Of course, the granary will need protection of some sort. West to the small lake there is enough room for the granary, a small gatehouse and walling. You may wait until the granary empties or sell all apples (cheese will be wasted) and resite the granary there. Set up the walls and gatehouse and send swordsmen reinforcements continually to the area. Station most of them outside the gatehouse, as Arab swordsmen prefer to destroy your farms here. This way, you can have a steady income from food and raw materials become a secondary source of money.
- Dealing with the first invasion can be tricky due to the lack of efficient firepower against horse archers. Your spearmen may come in handy here: hide them behind a corner and when the horse archers come, ambush them and force them into close combat. This will give enough time for your defenders to kill them. You are also provided a good stock of spears, which you cannot sold: you should make good use of them in the very beginning.
|The Call to Arms||Saladin's Conquest|
|Nicacea, Arrival in The Holy Land|
Heraclea, The Journey South
Antioch, The Counter-Siege
Krak de Chevaliers, The Siege of Arqah
Jerusalem, The Final Assault
|Damascus, The Balance of Power Shifts|
Kerak - Reynald's Treachery
Aleppo, Consolidation of Power
Horns of Hattin, Battle on the Hill
Jerusalem, Retaking the Holy City
|The Kings Crusade||Crusader States|
|Belvoir Castle, Delaying Tactics|
Tyre, Drawing the Line
Konya, Frederick Barbarossa
Limassol, The Conquest of Cyprus
|Kingdom of Armenia|
County of Edessa
Principality of Antioch
County of Tripoli
Kingdom of Jerusalem