El Cid 3: "Exile of the Cid"

Article written by CanOfSpam
Published on 07-04-2016; updated on 07-05-2016
Tags: Conquerors Campaigns, El Cid

Plan of Attack

  • Railroad RPG
  • Cavalry Archers and Knights
  • Build Your Base Outside Zaragosa's Eastern Gate

Relevant Civilization Strengths

  • Cavalry Archers deal +3 building damage

Enemy Opposition

Count Berenguer’s fortress is in the northern corner of the map, lightly garrisoned by knights, long swordsmen and archers. The walls and gates are defended by castles and bombard towers that would wreak havoc on most any attack with Castle Age siege equipment… but the eastern gate is without fortifications.

RPG Scenario

El Cid is a force to be reckoned with in his own right, so follow the prompts until you reach Alfonso’s castle in the south and you‘ll be fine. The town there will provide you with hefty war funds, and rescuing Zaragosa will secure villagers for your assault.

Attack the gates and a squad of pikemen and archers will sally out to greet you, and die. A pair of rams garrisoned with your infantry are sufficient to level the castle, so don’t be afraid to spend the bulk of your funds on cavalry archers, with a pair of knights to stiffen them. Leave yourself enough wood to build a town centre, but it’s possible to achieve victory without building another military building.

After his castle falls Alfonso will ally with you, freeing you to defend an already amply defended Zaragosa. Your speedy force of knights and cavalry archers will sweep aside Berenguer’s siege workshop before your rams can even cross the city.

Your Base

Berenguer isn’t too anxious to do battle after you lift the siege, but caution should prevail here. Exit Zaragosa out the eastern gate to build a town centre along the river with access to shore fishing. Your priority should be to build a blacksmith and research the archer technologies there. You’re welcome to advance to the Imperial Age to overwhelm Berenguer‘s formidable defenseworks, but for all his fortifications his fortress is surprisingly vulnerable.

Beseiging Berenguer

Scouting Berenguer’s fortress can be done by the redoubtable El Cid, but post light cavalry on Defensive to guard any relics your forces encounter until you can seize them for yourself.

This scenario perfectly demonstrates both the staying power and vulnerability of castles in the eponymous Castle Age. Boasting massive hit points that offer you plenty of time to marshal a relief force, castles also turn an entire screen into a killing field. Mangonels and scorpions are effective when defending a castle, but never in attacking one. Battering rams can be brought up, but they’re especially vulnerable to even a small garrison of infantry sheltering at the base of the castle, and in this instance there are the bombard towers to be reckoned with as well.

Rushing them with your own infantry is an investment in food and wood to raise multiple barracks, and for most civilizations without an infantry Unique Unit this will fail more often than not until the next age and champions. In the campaigns, the surest way is training a company of petards screened by knights to draw off the withering barrage of arrows that could devastate them before they can reach the castle’s base and do their sudden catastrophic work. But yet again, this demands constructing and then defending your own castle, allocating almost a thousand food to equip a dozen petards, escorting the vulnerable company until they’re in position, and then successfully screening them with cavalry for them to collapse the castle. Time, resources, and attention you can’t always afford in a multiplayer match.

In multiplayer, that 650 stone investment can force your opponent to match that expense, with a further thousand each in food and gold just to advance to the Imperial Age and build a single trebuchet if he hopes to reduce that fortress. A shrewd investment… but only with shrewd positioning.

Of course, a castle can only guard approaches within their range, at its most lethal when targeted. A force of cavalry can quickly pass through a salvo of arrows to strike deep into the town once you achieve a breakthrough, and thorough scouting will reveal that this is indeed possible.

Bring up the rams you used to destroy Alfonso’s castle to breach Berenguer’s eastern gate. Answer his knights with your own, and his long swordsmen and archers with your Saracen cavalry archers. Armed with the knowledge of his static defenses, cleave to the edge of the map sowing devastation as you go. Once you reach and destroy the town centre, hunt down any villagers that escaped the fortress, and victory is yours.

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