This is the first half of mission 11 in the Path of War, in Stronghold 2.
The Hawk arrives back from his journey, but fails to find the King's location. Perfectly sure to find him, Lord Barclay suggests Matthew Steele to get rid of his former master, Sir William. Barclay and Pascal use this time to find the King, while Matthew is fighting.
Steele then arrives to William's homelands, who appears on the other side of a river. William condemns Matthew, as he helped him with money, ranks and lands, only to make him his worst foe. Steele attempts to persuade him to join to his side, but William responds by declaring war. You must strengthen your position in William's territory by capturing an estate.
You get 1500 gold, a small castle and a puny garrison. Sir William however starts with an enormous industry and strong defense, owning most of the estates in the map. To help you in your battle, two outlaw camps are set up: one in the top left corner, and one east to you. Both gangs will be busy harassing and levelling William's estates, although not for long. William's first attacks will come very early, so setting up a basic defense is essential.
A construction is needed first in the castle. Delete every stonework west to your keep, then remove the entire section on the south. Leave the walls unharmed east to the keep and the adjoining ones running to the south. Pull a wall line perpendicularly the wall with the square tower and complete the vertical wall line. Place a small gatehouse anywhere in the walls to gain access. Your keep should be enclosed and you are left with around 40 stone blocks. Delete the dairy farms around the granary and relocate the market somewhere to the far left.
Place 8-10 apple orchards around the granary. Site three fletchers (two making crossbows) and a tanner. Place a dairy farm south to the tanner. Cover rats, filth and crime with the basic buildings (use a flogging post or a torture wheel as a cheap method). Place 6-7 sawpits near the southern forest. Place a statue to provide a small honor income. Finally, buy some stone to build a bastion next to your barracks. Place ballistae in both your towers.
Survival and slow expansionEdit
Sir William will continously send troops to all his estates and finally, to take you. He builds up his first siege camp very early, but you can expect masses of archers, swordsmen and catapults. Use your wood to build apple farms, sawpits and sell some whenever you have more than 35 of them. Also sell apples for a gold boost and recruit archers and crossbowmen for your towers. You may afford some armed peasants against enemy ladders.
Balance out building and trade. Slowly develop weapons production and build out the bread chain. As you erect more hovels, you will soon have to add an extra gong pit, falconer and torture device. Don't build quarries, as William's men will hinder the oxen's route, making stone production useless. Instead, buy in 10 stone and build a treasury. Fluctuate taxes to have a steady +2 popularity balance (to counter losses to negative factors). You can afford higher taxes, but remember to get your popularity back quickly.
Soon you will face a peasant revolt: foot rot causes some peasants to stand up at the campfire and use pitchforks to wreak havoc. Hopefully, your defenders will notice it and those rebels will be down in no time.
William's attacks come in two sizes: small raiding groups and large siege camp attacks. Archers. swordsmen and catapults will amassing, while the siege forces are much more organised. Your archers, ballistae and crossbowmen should effectively deal with most of them, suffering almost no losses with few men.
Siege camps will be set up in either north or east to you. If troops are marching to the north, you should keep some units in the square tower to pin down units marching on the bridge. Some swordsmen are likely to get through unharmed. If most troops are in position, catapults, cats and laddermen will charge your walls. Your northern walls are extremely vulnerable: station there your initial pikemen and spearmen to hold off swordsmen, then finish them off with your Lord. Get your troops back to the keep and reinforce them if you wish. As you get more bowmen to defense duties, fending off William's attacks becomes gradually easier.
Building an armyEdit
You should gain much gold from your food and wood sales. Ensure you have a proper defense at home: build bastions and add troops to your liking. Two mangonels targeting the estate to your east will hamper production there, rendering it useless. Place more statues as you can afford to suffer no shortage of honor for constant recruitment.
There is no really need to capture estates: the northern outlaw camp clears the northern areas, while the eastern estate close to you is the first line of William, where constant fights are common. Your own castle will generate high income. Start assembling horse archers and crossbowmen. When you gathered 70 horse archers and 60 crossbowmen, move out your troops to the bridge next to you. Cross it and remove outlaws raiding on the villages. Fight your way to the outlaw camp and destroy it with some catapults. You should gain 10.000 gold if the other outlaw camp is already destroyed by William.
Slowly push the frontline forward to the first estate in the east. Attack with the horse archers on the fore, eliminating archers and dragging swordsmen, only to be greeted by your crossbowmen. Repeat the torment with the second estate. It is guarded by some macemen as well, but they are weak to your horsemen's fire. Don't leave your crossbowmen behind: they are good at mopping up enemy units.
Upwey will be a bit tougher nut to crack, as there is a noticable resistance consisting of fire ballistae. But, they cannot see you, as a carter post is blocking their view. Bring your troops up to the bridge and recruit an assassin at your mercenary post. Bring him up and get close to the hostile archers. As soon as they see him, swordsmen should start chasing him. Fall back slowly to your awaiting horse archers and crossbowmen. When no swordsman remains, strike down the island with your horse archers or bring some fire ballistae and annihilate William's troops from long range. Then capture the island and mission is completed!
William gets very disappointed upon your activities. He cries for God and feels hatred for killing his troops in Upwey.