This article will briefly introduce you to the Kingmaker scenario type in Stronghold 2, and what you need to do in order to play both by yourself and online with your friends.
To begin with, the Kingmaker settings can be accessed via the main menu of the game. To get there, select Play, Path of War and then Kingmaker. This will bring you to this screen:
This Kingmaker screen is used for both single player and multiplayer games, although to get here in multiplayer you must get here via a different route which we will discuss later on. We have divided the screen up into several different sections. They are:
This section shows all of the current players, both human and AI, who will play on the map. Human players are clearly marked with the word "human" next to them, while they also keep their own name and crest. The small shield with a red cross through it is for multiplayer games only, and symbolises that the player is ready to start the game. In multiplayer games you can set this by left clicking on the larger shield next to the "Play Game" button.
Meanwhile the game AI are shown with their name and a picture of their face instead of any player colours or shields. When you first enter the Kingmaker settings in single player, only your own name will be present and will need to manually add AI lords to play the game. When you enter multiplayer the other players will soon automatically enter the game lobby with you.
Each player in the game will have their name shown in the same colour that they will play as during the game. In the player's case, this is virtually always red. It is also the same colour that the player is shown on the minimap to the right of this section. If you setup any alliances in the game, then the background will change to reflect this. Players on the same teams will have the same background colour. When two or more players are grouped together in an alliance, you will also see the icon given for the team colour. These players with the same colours will be part of the same team during the game and will fight against all other players and alliances. For example, see the screenshot below. In this instance I am in an alliance with The Bishop while Sir Grey and Edwin are in a separate alliance. Both teams will fight against each other on the map.
The icon with the sword and shield will allow you to add AI lords to play on your map. Note that this icon will only let you do this in Single Player. There is no way for AI lords to play in multiplayer in Stronghold 2. Once you have selected this icon, you will be taken to the opponent selection screen, which is as follows:
The icons at the very top of the screen will inform you who is already configured to play in the game. The player is shown as the red lion. Simply left click on an AI lord to add them into the game. You can also have the same AI Lords play more than once in the same game, subject to a maximum of 8 total players (including yourself). This means you can add up to 7 AI lords into your game. Simply left click on their icon in the center of the screen more than once for this to happen. Once you have configured all the lords you wish to play, hit the "Back" arrow to return to the Kingmaker screen.
As the players have been added to the game, they will be represented by their own avatar and name on the player list. They will also be given a castle estate automatically on the minimap, although you can change this. There will always be spaces for up to 7 players in the game, regardless if the map does not have that many castle estates. If you add more players than there is space for in the selected map, you will not be able to start the game until you have removed some of them.
If you aren't interested in which AI lords play against you, click the dice icon. This will randomise the amount of AI Lords placed on your map along with their castle estates. Each time you randomise the selection of players, all the other players will be removed and then added back onto the map again. Additionally, the randomise icon will automatically fill up all castle estates on the map.
Note that when using the randomise icon, because of the fact that all AI lords are removed, any existing alliances you have setup will also be removed. New randomly selected AI players will be added instead. To add or remove an alliance is an easy task. These define which team a player is on during the game. To add a player to an alliance, left click on their name to the left of the opponent selection icon. This should then highlight. Once this has been done, simply select one of the four smaller coloured shields. Each shield represents its own team, there are a total of four. You would add more players to the same team by following through this process again for the other player(s) you wish to add. When you add a player to an alliance, the background colour behind their name will change to whatever that alliance colour is. When two or more players are part of the saeme alliance, you will also see the crest of the alliance shield appear to the right-hand side of the player names.
You can have one or more players on the same team, and players who are on the same team will fight against all other teams and players who are not assigned to a team as well. In the example below, we have created 4 alliances, each containing 2 players:
To move a player to a different alliance, you simply click on their name and click on the shield of the new alliance you wish them to be a part of. To remove a player from an alliance altogether, select their name and then click on the torn parchment icon just next to the shields. This will remove a specific player's team. Setting a player's alliance does not impact what castle they are assigned to on the minimap.
The minimap shows a preview of whichever map is selected, the number of estates it contains and which players are currently assigned to which estates. There are three types of estates for the purpose of this Kingmaker menu:
As players are added to the player list on the left, they are automatically assigned a castle estate on the minimap. The allocated castle estate will turn the grey keep icon into a tower icon, and be set to that player colour. You can assign village estates to yourself or other lords as well as your castle estate, but each player can only have one castle estate. To change a player's estate, click on the tower icon with their colour and then left click on another castle estate to change their location. You can also swap estates with another player by doing this and clicking on their estate too. Please note the following points about estates before you change any castle estate ownership:
Some maps contain village estates. These villages will sometimes produce goods on their own, or sometimes you will need to start production in those villages. The only way of telling this is through the game editor, unfortunately. You must otherwise play the map to see exactly what the village estates offer, but this doesn't necessarily prevent you from assigning these estates to players before you begin the game.
To assign a village estate, you should left click on your own estate, and then click on whichever village estate you would like to use. Note that this background should turn the same colour as your own estate does. If the village was previously assigned to another player, they will lose that estate and nothing else will happen. You can remove the ownership of a village by left clicking on the castle estate of whoever owns the village estate, and then left clicking on the village estate again. This will remove any ownership from the village and leave it neutral again.
The rules for village estates are as following:
Starting conditions on the map will allow you to setup what each player receives in terms of money, troops and resources when they start the game. They also set out the level of balance between human players and any AI lords who are playing. The four icons are as follows, from the left to the right:
For more information about the ranks above, what they unlock and what rank might be the best one for you to play as, please see this article for a complete overview of Stronghold 2 ranks. The player (or host if this is a multiplayer game) will be able to set the rank level.
It has been reported that the various AI players do not have their rank set by the rank level and instead will use whichever rank they are programmed to have by default. This theory appears convincing especially considering the way that the Stronghold 2 AI Editor works. Please let us know if you know any more about this behaviour and whether it is indeed accurate or not.
The other component of this section is the set of scales, along with a human on one side and the computer on the other. This sets the balance betwen AI lords and yourself. Or, if this is a multiplayer battle, it just sets the balance for players as no AI can play online. By default when you first click on the editor, these scales are balanced, meaning that humans will receive the same amount of resources as the computer does. However you can click on either scale to tilt it more towards or away from your favour. Each time you click on one of these scales, the balance will tip in either the computer's favour, or the human's favour. You can see the total resources below for each setting which is available through the scales:
|Starting Rank||-50% Resources||-25% Resources||Balanced Resources||+25% Resources||+50% Resources|
|Freeman||50 Gold, 12 Wood, 5 Stone, 10 Apples||75 Gold, 18 Wood, 7 Stone, 15 Apples||100 Gold, 25 Wood, 10 Stone, 20 Apples||125 Gold, 31 Wood, 12 Stone, 25 Apples||150 Gold, 37 Wood, 15 Stone, 30 Apples|
|Knight||250 Gold, 25 Wood, 12 Stone, 25 Apples||375 Gold, 37 Wood, 18 Stone, 37 Apples||500 Gold, 50 Wood, 25 Stone, 50 Apples||625 Gold, 62 Wood, 31 Stone, 62 Apples||750 Gold, 75 Wood, 37 Stone, 75 Apples|
|Baron||500 Gold, 50 Wood, 25 Stone, 5 Wheat, 5 Hops, 5 Grapes, 5 Iron, 5 Pitch, 25 Apples, 25 Bread, 2 Pigs, 2 Eels, 2 Geese, 2 Vegetables, 2 Wine, 5 Bows, 5 Spears||750 Gold, 72 Wood, 27 Stone, 7 Wheat, 7 Hops, 7 Grapes, 7 Iron, 7 Pitch, 37 Apples, 37 Bread, 3 Pigs, 3 Eels, 3 Geese, 3 Vegetables, 3 Wine, 7 Bows, 7 Spears||1000 Gold, 95 Wood, 35 Stone, 10 Wheat, 10 Hops, 10 Grapes, 10 Iron, 10 Pitch, 50 Apples, 50 Bread, 5 Pigs, 5 Eels, 5 Geese, 5 Vegetables, 5 Wine, 10 Bows, 10 Spears||1250 Gold, 120 Wood, 47 Stone, 12 Wheat, 12 Hops, 12 Grapes, 12 Iron, 12 Pitch, 62 Apples, 62 Bread, 6 Pigs, 6 Eels, 6 Geese, 6 Vegetables, 6 Wine, 12 Bows, 12 Spears||1500 Gold, 145 Wood, 60 Stone, 15 Wheat, 15 Hops, 15 Grapes, 15 Iron, 15 Pitch, 75 Apples, 75 Bread, 7 Pigs, 7 Eels, 7 Geese, 7 Vegetables, 7 Wine, 15 Bows, 15 Spears|
|Duke||2500 Gold, 195 Wood, 35 Stone, 5 Wheat, 5 Flour, 5 Hops, 5 Ale, 5 Candles, 5 Grapes, 10 Iron, 10 Pitch, 5 Cloth, 5 Wool, 50 Apples, 50 Meat, 50 Bread, 50 Cheese, 10 Pigs, 10 Eels, 10 Geese, 10 Vegetables, 10 Wine, 10 Bows, 10 Crossbows, 5 Swords, 10 Maces, 10 Pikes, 15 Spears, 10 Armour, 10 Leather Armour||3750 Gold, 295 Wood, 60 Stone, 7 Wheat, 7 Flour, 7 Hops, 7 Ale, 7 Candles, 7 Grapes, 15 Iron, 15 Pitch, 7 Cloth, 7 Wool, 75 Apples, 75 Meat, 75 Bread, 75 Cheese, 15 Pigs, 15 Eels, 15 Geese, 15 Vegetables, 15 Wine, 15 Bows, 15 Crossbows, 7 Swords, 15 Maces, 15 Pikes, 22 Spears, 15 Armour, 15 Leather Armour||5000 Gold, 395 Wood, 85 Stone, 10 Wheat, 10 Flour, 10 Hops, 10 Ale, 10 Candles, 10 Grapes, 20 Iron, 20 Pitch, 10 Cloth, 10 Wool, 100 Apples, 100 Meat, 100 Bread, 100 Cheese, 20 Pigs, 20 Eels, 20 Geese, 20 Vegetables, 20 Wine, 20 Bows, 20 Crossbows, 10 Swords, 20 Maces, 20 Pikes, 30 Spears, 20 Armour, 20 Leather Armour||6250 Gold, 495 Wood, 110 Stone, 12 Wheat, 12 Flour, 12 Hops, 12 Ale, 12 Candles, 12 Grapes, 25 Iron, 25 Pitch, 12 Cloth, 12 Wool, 125 Apples, 125 Meat, 125 Bread, 125 Cheese, 25 Pigs, 25 Eels, 25 Geese, 25 Vegetables, 25 Wine, 25 Bows, 25 Crossbows, 12 Swords, 25 Maces, 25 Pikes, 37 Spears, 25 Armour, 25 Leather Armour||7500 Gold, 595 Wood, 135 Stone, 15 Wheat, 15 Flour, 15 Hops, 15 Ale, 15 Candles, 15 Grapes, 30 Iron, 30 Pitch, 15 Cloth, 15 Wool, 150 Apples, 150 Meat, 150 Bread, 150 Cheese, 30 Pigs, 30 Eels, 30 Geese, 30 Vegetables, 30 Wine, 30 Bows, 30 Crossbows, 15 Swords, 30 Maces, 30 Pikes, 45 Spears, 30 Armour, 30 Leather Armour|
As you will see above, the amount of Honour and the number of starting troops are not affected by the human/computer balance levels. These ranks only apply to human players, and the AI place whatever buildings are necessary to create their castle design. AI Ranks do not change.
This section allows you to list all of the available maps that can be played for Kingmaker. You can sort the maps by the number of players (castle estates), whether or not the maps are balanced, alphabetically, as well as by date. You simply left click a heading to do this, and left click again to reverse the sort order.
With the number of players, remember that this is just a maximum amount. You can still play with only a single AI lord if that's what you want. A map must have at least 2 castle estates before it can be used as a Kingmaker map. If it does not, then it will appear greyed out or you will not be allowed to begin the game whilst that specific map is selected.
Similarly if you have more AI lords selected than castle estates for them, maps that cannot accomodate this large number of players will also be greyed out. One or more players must be removed in that circumstance in order for the game to begin.
Maps are considered to be balanced if each castle estate is roughly the same size, as well as having roughly the same level of resources and defensive structures (i.e. hills) that all other castle estates have. Balanced maps should also contain roughly the same amount of wood, stone and iron in all castle estates. If your map does not have all these properties, then it is not balanced. Unbalanced maps can be more interesting because each player has different natural resources available to them. With these kinds of maps, village estates and alliances become very important in ensuring that players can still function properly in the game. For example, some estates may have an excess of iron but no stone, or vice-versa.
Note: In Stronghold 2 version 1.20 there is no way for mapmakers to assign the balance status of their map. This means thta all maps appear balanced even if they are not. You can however fix this by upgrading to the 1.3.1 Deluxe version where mapmakers can specify the balance of their maps through the editor.
The other two ways you can sort maps are through their name and date. The map name is sorted alphabetically, while the map date is not shown. The map date is sorted by the date the map was created or downloaded to your computer.
To select a map you simply scroll down the lsit and click on its name. Maps are greyed out and unselectable if it doesn't have enough castle estates for the amount of players you currently have selected. You can kick players off your map to undisable it and allow you to play it again. If you have no castle estates placed in your map, then the map will always be greyed out, regalrdless of how many players are currently assigned to your map. Once you have selected your map, the minimap preview will change instantly and re-assign all of the players to estates on the new map. Note that any village estates will be cleared and you will need to re-assign any of them if there is an option to do so on the new map.
This will allow you to type in the box and send messages to the other players over multiplayer. However, you cannot send any messages in single player. To do so in multiplayer, simply type in your message in the box at the bottom, and then hit the enter key to send it.
This button will take you bak to the "Path of War" screen.
If you are happy with your player settings, and everything is configured correctly, then this will allow you to start the game.
The best way to set up your Kingmaker of multiplayer game is to follow the following steps as it will help you to do things in a logical order: