This is the second half of mission 6 in the Path of War, in Stronghold 2.
The setting outEdit
You inherit the buildings in Edwin's castle and a large stock of raw materials and weapons. Your former castle, Implestow is under a friend's control, who delivers you goods throughout the mission. You should own most or every estate on the map.
First of all, get all your troops to regroup at home. Your ally will be able to defend himself and you will need every man to fend off the first invasion. Then to the construction: delete all buildings (except for barracks, armoury, granary and stockpile), including your farms. You can leave Edwin's former defense line, but you should use as much space up as you can. Build your market and treasury behind the keep. Rearrange your buildings: 3-4 hovels, 2 tanners, 6-8 fletchers, 2 gong pits, a falconer, the courthouse, a guard post, a punishment device (preferrably a chopping block), a dairy farm and an engineer's guild. Set rations to double and give large bribes, as you'll start with 0 popularity. Revert them to normal when popularity has risen high enough.
Build many carter posts (5-6) for each estate, then let themselves send anything they could. Add huge food production and optimize stone and pitch producers so you'll gain more goods from the carters. You will really depend on carters, as your own estate is very small and only pitch can be gathered from the marsh along the border very inefficiently. Purchase estates which are neutral and reclaim enemy estates.
Building up and deflecting knightsEdit
You should recruit archers and mostly crossbowmen for your towers. Your weapons production should amass weapons, but you can buy in weapons from estate incomes and goods to accelerate recruitment. Particularly stone and food should be sold if they start piling up. There are many options for defense: burning logs, pitch, wooden traps, towers. They are costly to invest in, but worth it. They should be kept for the final invasion, although they can be used up for minor invasions (burning logs and wooden traps, respectively).
Your constant challenge will be four packs of ten knights coming under the flag of Lord Barclay. They turn up in the south and progress their way to your castle, harassing your estates on their way: destroying buildings and killing peasants. Some estates may be guarded by Implestow's archers, but they will be relentlessly slaughtered. The knights will eventually attack your carters, leaving their goods until another carter comes to pick them up. Avoid battling the knights at the moment, as mounted knights attack much more faster then an unmounted knight. (a mounted knight starts attacking immediately upon reaching a target and unmounted ones have a 3 second delay before attacking)
Place Killing Pits spread evenly out as they may try to avoid them if bunched together. If you haven't built a Engineer's Guild yet, build it and create at least 10-12 catapults and use them against the knights. Your goal at the moment is to kill their mounts, as an unmounted knight moves very slowly. Try to use them against the unmounted knights if you wish, as catapults are costly to create. If you knock them into a building, tree or a body of water, they will be instantly killed regardless of the amount of health they have. Alternatively, if you have a large stock of wood, you can place Killing Pits at your estates to wound the horses and potentially kill them for your units.
After the knights are killed, send units to recapture any estates that the knights took from you.
The final invasionEdit
Soon Lord Barclay with his army should arrive. He brings hardier troops and archers to fight. Soon he sets up his siege camp but waits for a moment. A bit later Pascal and Lady Seren also turns up, but Seren stops, promising she will negotiate with William that he surrenders. She waves a white flag and tells William that she betrayed Barclay's clan. But soon Seren's troops start fighting Barclay's and Pascal's army, revealing her treachery. Furiously the two start the attack.
A huge variety of troops will rush your defenses. You can stop them by a well-prepared catapult barrage. A dozen catapults should be deployed and targeted at both siege camps, preventing so a large army of siege equipment to be created. They will be slaughtered, but their main goal will be completed. Then, you should deflect a desperate effort of laddermen to push ladders against your walls. When all laddermen are disposed of, you will have to move out to remove the armies or make a gap in your wall, to make the enemy moving towards it. Close the gap and rely on your defenders to kill them. When the enemy are all done for, you won the mission!
Lady Seren tells William that she always fought for him and the King, who has been resting at her. She also reveals that William is truly unreliable for the King, as he freed Edwin, destroyed her property and left the King's side in the crucial moment.
With the information Matthew owns, he finds himself at the crossroads. He can either help Lady Seren and Sir William fight for the King, or join forces with Barclay and the Hawk to truly make the country a stronger place.