Win - Kill Olaf
Lose - Your lord dies
Let me preface this by saying that this first mission is difficult, and even with a walkthrough you may not complete this mission on your first attempt. If you are fortunate, you will not suffer from any bugs that make this mission harder, these bugs are usually the cause of this walkthrough failing. I suggest slowing your game speed for the first part as it will allow you to process what is happening. You can do this on the fly by using the number pad ‘+’ and ‘-’ to increase and reduce game speed.
This mission is another siege mission. You are to break through Olaf’s defence to rescue Sir William. You are given limited archers, a lot of spearmen, 4 catapults, a few warrior monks, and your lord. Your lord will play a very different role to what you might expect.
Immediately, you will receive fire from enemy ballistae. You cannot avoid this, and thus your first task will be to rid of them. There are 4 causing you to receive fire. Select all your spearmen, and charge towards the middle. Once you arrive at the ballistae, split your spearmen evenly into two groups. Ensure you target the ballistae quickly, or the berserkers will kill you before you have a chance. In the image below, you can see I have set the spearmen to the line formation. This will reduce the casualties you suffer on your march towards the ballistae by ensuring a more spread target for a single-shot weapon to hit.
As soon as the 4 ballistae are dealt with you should retreat to your lord. Now, you will use your lord as bait. Olaf’s units will target your lord, meaning wherever you move him, Olaf’s troops will readjust their path towards him. Using this knowledge, we can set up a catapult crossfire. Position your lord in the centre of your 4 catapults, placing 2 on either side. Then, use the catapult target function to shoot at the ground fairly in front of your lord, causing Olaf’s berserkers to walk right into the path of fire.
Continue this method until Olaf’s mini-invasions of berserkers come to an end. There are usually 3 waves of units. Once these invasions have ceased, it is time to make use of your archers. Since Olaf is a Stronghold 2 noob, he has placed axe-throwers on his wooden walls. Your archers have a range advantage over these units, despite them having the higher ground. In the image below, you can see me using this advantage to safely engage his axe-throwers. I can kill every single axe-thrower in the first section and on the wall using this knowledge. You can see as you kill a unit, units on the ground will replace them, allowing you to kill them too.
Next, you will want to move your army up to the wall. Use the wooden wall as cover from the ballistae, you’ll need to get your units nice and close to the wall to ensure they cannot be shot. For the remainder of this siege, we will use 2 new methods. Firstly, we will destroy one pillar of wooden wall using 1 spearman. Once this wall is destroyed, we will use the second method. I call this method the rubber banding method, as you will be moving your archers back and forth from cover. With the image below, I can explain in more detail.
The first method can be seen above as the single spearmen creates a gap in the wall. Next, you will use all your archers to move in-line with that gap to shoot the ballista. Keep the archers selected at all times. As the ballista gets loaded and ready to fire, quickly run your archers out of the line of fire to the safety of the wall. Continue this method until the ballista is destroyed. Repeat this on the other side of the fort. If you are unfortunate enough to experience one of the aforementioned bugs, your units will still get shot and killed, despite being well behind cover. If this happens, restarting the mission often fixes it. If you keep having this bug, I’d suggest downloading a save game of Chapter 5, Mission 1 from our SHN download central page.
Once you have cleared the first area, including the axe-throwers by using the range advantage as before, move your units up to the next wall. Repeat method 1 and 2 to remove the next 2 ballistae. For enemy units hiding behind the wall, you can use method 1 to create a small gap, then use the warrior monks to quickly kill the units. Be careful though, you’ll want to ensure no ranged units are on walls close enough to kill your warrior monks. The images below show this tactic being used.
Once you have cleared the second area, including the walled units on all walls, send your troops into that area. You will see Olaf’s remaining army flee the scene. You have now completed mission one of chapter 5. Good job!