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Isaiah

SHC Skirmish Trails

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I thought we could discuss the trails here.

 

My progress:

 

I finished #7: Greek Fire and #8: Sands of Times recently.

 

In Greek Fire, I saw the Caliph actually use fire ballistas offensively and catapults, and while I had to constantly replace troops, I was able to easily defend cuz there was only 1 ford through which the enemy could travel. I should've blocked the ford a bit earlier though......

 

In Sands of Time, I had more difficulty than expected. Rather than fight the rats over the stone and iron, I ran a minimalist economy with a hops farm and wheat farm on the nearest oasis grass. That was it for resources -- the rest was bought. I made money off of sailing excess crossbows. As far as offense goes, I sent several slaves to burn the orange rat's castle, so he would be unable to attack me. Later, once I finally got a few archers to clear his keep, I get attacked by 300 spearmen plus 50 archers or so.... I nearly died as I still had low walls and about 70 or so archers. Luckily, I had started Pike production and was able to sell some Pikes to raise money for Metal Rmor for 5 pikemen. After that, I realized I needed tall walls and a moat, and meanwhile, I got a much needed 500 gold to spend on buying stone (for my small encampment had been obliberated). I burnt the yellow Rat's castle too and took him out by sending armoured troops using the ford near the orange rat's old castle. Finally, I cleared the blue keep with Crossbowmen then had my Lord take out the Blue rat. I then sent all my defend archers to go attack the gray rat alongside a healthy chunk of pike/swords.

 

Once, I had an entire siege force of about 20 macemen, and 5 pikes/swords obliberated by the combined siege forces of the blue and gray rat -- Spearmen are powerful in numbers, and the rat seems to send almost all his troops out when he conducts sieges (might explain how he lost his castle so easily in Stronghold 1 ;)!)

Edited by Isaiah

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Ahh, it has been quite a while since I was on that trail (never managed to finish it).

Your story gets me tempted to try it again.

 

Nice writing.

Keep it coming :)

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This is a great idea! Any chance you could upload finished saved games to our downloads section? That would be awesome. :)


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I see you had an interesting fight against the four Rats there. I believe I won that mission by rushing, but I am unsure, although your way was certainly more fun.

 

If you find any mission difficult to pass, let us know, you might give some of us a challenge.

 

By the way, this might go a little bit of topic, but... how have others done with Crusader Extreme Trail? I must say that I have never won that one, I had less interest in winning it, but we could go through it and see how are we doing those missions! We could try not to use any of the powers, or to use only few of them such as healing troops or getting cash of gold now and then... but definitely not throwing stone from the sky. :D That might be interesting - to see what we can win without those special abilities. What do you think?

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This is a great idea! Any chance you could upload finished saved games to our downloads section? That would be awesome. :)
Later, but I save right after the last lord dies (idk why, I just do), so the files may be of limited use.

 

I did #9: The Oasis recently.

 

For the first time ever, I made a pretty large castle. I think I've might've went as far as 80 people only in a freebuild game once or twice before; this was the first time I actually built a castle with over 80 people in actual game. Generally, my population is in the 50s (20s if I decide against food) because I need to maintain my bread chain and still have 6 peasants left for recruits. The difference on this map was two-fold: 1. There was mounds of iron and stone, and 2. My opponent was Saladin who I know from past experiences is extremely tough to siege. Another first for me was training a large army. Generally, I train 30 or so pikemen with maybe some monks as backups, and some siege towers or battering rams, and definitely fire ballistae, but I knew that wouldn't work here. Therefore, I trained about 5 siege towers, 50 crossbows, 30 pikes, 20 swords, 40 or so macemen, and 40 slingers. (Actually, I think I trained way more -- my total troop count including defenders was over 400). My strategy was to have the siege towers dock to Saladin's walls, so I could use his round towers against him; the slingers were my expendables as the rest of my troops got into position. With my sheer number of troops, I overpowered him. (I did have one issue which I'm pretty sure's a bug: I had my metal units go to Saladins southern gatehouse (get on top it) and cleared all his troops, yet the gatehouse was never captured.... So I had to wait on my macemen to finish destroying the wall....) Also, I found it strange that Saladin built an Armoury and made weapons, yet never built a barracks. Aiv problem? Last of all, I was rather disappointed when I was never attacked by Saladin.

 

@EaglePrince

Yeah, we can discuss Extreme too. The two volley skills are overpowered, but still interesting. Also, have you tried editting the trail? I made it (way) easier, but you can changes lots about it.

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I find that interesting, many players tend to build larger castles to have stronger economy. You may show us a picture of your typical castle, when you build it in another mission.

 

I never tried editing the trail, I found it more interesting to play the original one. Well, about volley powers, although they are interesting, I don't like them as they make no sense - rocks fall from the sky. :)

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How is the progress coming along Isaiah? I just found out the old site I used to frequent was no more (thankfully it seems there is room for one more here), so nostalgia has driven me to take up the trail once more. I never managed to complete it before.

Currently I'm just about to start mission #08 - The Sands of Time. I vaguely recall fighting over the iron and stone last time, so perhaps this time I'll take a leaf out of your book and focus on food production. Variety is the spice of life and all that?;)

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Welcome to Stronghold Nation, Frankel! I see fun times are upon you. :) Oh, also, now it came to me - if there is any mission you find interesting to play with someone, let me know. I would find it interesting to join a mission with you - you to fight on the same position where you are in the Crusader Trail mission, and your opponents as well, while I would be somewhere aside with my small castle as a support. I could send you some goods and gold to help you, or even some troops into your defense, though I think it would be more interesting not to help you in attacks. :)

 

By the way, I'm guessing that you meant on Stronghold Knights when you said "the old site"? :)

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Thanks EaglePrince. I do indeed mean SHK.

 

That sounds fun about the skirmish trail. I'm up for multiplayer match-ups anytime, although expect to be a crutch that I have to lean on quite heavily!

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Glad to see another Stronghold knights come here. :) You may not know me, or remember me, from there, as I came there relatively late considering that the game is from 2001. I starting spending some time on places like these since 2009. or even some time later.

 

Sure, no problem, in fact, that's exactly what I had in mind, and I believe that it will suit me just fine - I'd be chilling in my castle while you do all the fight. :) In fact, I could try limiting myself only to training archers, spearmen and constructing catapults - that way I could be able to help you in defense, help in your attacks, and send you some goods and gold, while it would be really hard for me to kill an opponent.

 

Nice avatar though! :D

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Well that's 08 - The Sands of Time done and dusted! Easy enough. I started off by buying enough stone to cover a short wall, 2 towers and the gatehouse. Then I bought about 30 bows and moves all of my archers to these two towers. After that I had peace to build up a small army (a few archers, crossbowmen, macemen and fire ballistae) and took them out one by one.

 

600x400http://i.imgur.com/hHKF95M.jpg[/img]

 

By the way, I hope you don't mind I post in this thread tracking my progress also? It might keep me motivated to finish the trail this time :)

 

Also I play on steam. Does anybody know how to copy my save files if I wanted to share them with someone?

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09 - The Oasis: Well this is one of those missions where I lose the run of myself somewhat, and build a castle (and economy) far larger than needed. Defeating Saladin is simply not enough, I have to out-economy the economist!

 

Well without further ado, this is my castle. Similar idea to last time. After I place the usual (granary, 3 wheat farms, 1 hops farm, 1 mill, 1 brewery, 6-8 bakeries, armory, barracks, merc post, engineers guild & quarries), I build two square towers facing the enemy. Saladin is fond of horse archers and swordsmen, so I buy some crossbows/leather armor, 2 ballistae and toughen them up a bit. I then bought a handful of slaves to build a moat. With this setup you can play out the rest of the mission at your own pace.

 

You can see the fruits of my effort here. I added a few more towers and ballistae for the siege equipment he likes to build. You can ignore the outer moat. Once the inner moat was complete I decided to see how far the slaves would get before they died :)

600x400http://i.imgur.com/B891G4H.jpg[/img]

 

It didnt take long to build up an unnecessarily large force (200 horse archers, 200 macemen, 15 fire ballistae and 15 catapults. I know... I know...). My strategy vs this type of Saladin keep would still be the same with a smaller force. Take out the mangonels/ballistae. Move men to the gate to trap them in the keep and then set it alight.

 

600x400http://i.imgur.com/KpBuaUQ.jpg[/img]

 

For anyone interested, although I beat him on a couple of fronts, he beat me on wood and food production! He deserved this. Now onwards and upwards.

 

By the way, I appreciate this is all old hat to some folks, so feel free to shush the new kid on the block if you find my rambling posts somewhat boring :)

 

P.S. Merry Christmas!?

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Hi Frankel, I'm one of The Site Moderators - Crusader 1307.

Sorry so late in welcoming you to the Site - Welcome!??? :)

 

Interesting tactics you used! I might give your ideas on #8 a try sometime. Thanks for your information.

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You did great there I see. :) Good job, and I see while attacking Saladin you took no risk. Thanks for the screenshots, that way we can see a little bit more how you fought.

 

I see you like wall up yourself, I usually build a "complete castle" - just like an AI lord would. I mean, I don't make only walls in front of my castle, I build it around the keep.

 

And, of course, just keep us posted, we here like Stronghold games, and we like to speaking about that topic, and here about battles others fought. :)

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Thank you for your kind words gentlemen.

@EaglePrince - Generally I focus on a strong forward point in the base (i.e. a couple of square towers) where I think the AI are likely to attack. Beyond that it really depends on my mood what kind of castle I build. Sometimes I moat, sometimes I partial wall, and sometimes like you I complete the castle.

Today's mission, 10 - Land of Palms, I decided to follow your lead and create an enclosed structure. I think it is a nice map to do so as, aside from iron and stone, everything else is easily managed within a small area. In the screenshot below you will see the main area (with my two towers at the bottom as usual). I later expanded to wall in my usual 4 farms (I kept my cheese farm in the inner enclosure more for the tanners than the food) just for aesthetic purposes. The mission itself was not too tricky given the starting resources; two towers with 40-50 crossbowmen and 2 ballistae, coupled with one square tower, 20 crossbowmen and another ballista for the rat (you can see the red dot), was more than enough to defend us. For my offense I focused on crossbowmen and macemen this time. Saladin followed the same routine as last time. Take out the tower defense, close the gates, destroy the merc post & engineers guild and then set fire (I build a couple of fire ballistae while the sultan was dying).

600x400http://i.imgur.com/ynd2sIs.jpg?1[/img]

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Nice battle report, my lord. :)

 

Speaking of way how we build our castle - yes, it always depends of our mood, whether we want to play a relaxed game, or we simply want to fight. :) Also, in essence, I still do similar thing as you did this time - first I build defenses towards the enemy, that is on the side where I am most likely to be attacked. After I build defenses there, then I would enclose the castle. Enclosing the castle is not my primary goal here, it is also a matter of aesthetics or a principle... Well, to be more precise, in singleplayer it is like that, but in multiplayer I enclose the castle as soon as possible, as with human opponent you never know what's next they're going to do. :)

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The last time I tried a multiplayer game of Stronghold online, the opponent spammed mills, built a massive army and rushed me in no time. I prefer playing vs AI because I get to take my time a bit more. Even if they do rush because of a big gold advantage, its still somewhat more realistic.

 

Now the last one for Christmas day, #11 - Rocky Waste. Me vs three pigs. I like the pig as he is aggressive enough, and three of them given enough time muster up nice little attacks. They are somewhat hampered in this mission however by the close proximity of their castles.

 

Anyways, a familiar start here. EaglePrince has got me in the mood for enclosed castles. I must admit I hate the pig a little when he destroys my beautiful walls with his wretched catapults. This time I used about 100 swordsmen, 50 crossbows and 20 engineers to wipe them all out in one go, starting from left to right. The last is always the easiest (if you have troops left) because of the hole in his wall left after the middle pig's castle crumbles.

 

600x400http://i.imgur.com/HhcpDGc.jpg[/img]

 

For valour!

Edited by Frankel

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Welcome @Frankel!

 

It seems like you have a lot of Crusader knowledge, you play the game very well!

 

Also I play on steam. Does anybody know how to copy my save files if I wanted to share them with someone?

 

They should be in the same folder as standard Crusader saves, in My Documents/Stronghold Crusader/, I should think. Let me know if they aren't and I'll rethink. :)

 

You sound like the ultimate Crusader player and it's great to have you on-board!


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Well, I'm glad I got you in the mood, you now showed us a nice castle. :)

 

Regarding multiplayer, I know... There are many players who spam buildings that they don't "actually need". That is, they don't build mills so they could produce flour faster, they build it to get troops fast, and also to get more gold - they make large population, they set food rations to zero and taxes to maximum. People would slowly leave the castle, but as there are so many "unneeded" workers the players economy wouldn't suffer even they people don't have food and people pay those cruel taxes. We here consider that as a "less honorable" way of playing, and we avoid using any such tricks and exploits of the game.

 

...so, if that is why you don't prefer multiplayer, that's because you played with the wrong people. :) Or, to be more precise - there are people who like to play in your playing stile. They care more about winning, while we care about other things more.

 

Oh, and regarding those "sleepers" (that's how we call those unneeded workers), even though we don't build buildings we don't need only to get those sleepers, it is useful that you are able to shut down a group of buildings to get more troops fast, and then to turn them on again... You can always do that, but you do that with buildings that you actually need: if you shut down bakeries you will have less bread, if you shut down quarries you will lose some stone, etc... I myself in multiplayer only shut down quarries and iron mines now and then, others don't like doing that at all. :) I don't do that with woodcutters, as that way one can get "cheap sleepers" - 3 wood per 1 sleeper only.

 

That's useful if you don't want to let your opponent recover from your attack and to attack again quickly, or if you need to defend yourself. :)

 

Here are my castle, and castle of my ally - we played a game yesterday.

 

2015-12-25%203.png

 

2015-12-25%204.png

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Thanks. :) The map is called Petrovaradin. It can be downloaded from Stronghold Nation downloads central. My mom made the map, and this time I was playing with her.

 

I was in northeast while she was in southeast. Northwest from me was Caliph, while southeast was the Pig, and in the northwest position was the Wolf. In the valley were two Wazirs and Emir - Emir was in the western position, while on the other two, closer to us, were Wazirs.

 

It was a crusader game, and we gave computer the advantage - they started with 4000 gold. We tried with 8000 gold as well, but I haven't played Crusader for a while, and we couldn't handle it this time like that, we gave up. :) Then we decided to give them only 4000 gold, and then it was less a mission impossible. :)

 

First I took down Caliph (after I set my economy and defenses), and then I heard the Pig talking "Pig don't like this...", and I was like "oh, right, I could kill you as well"... :D Before attacking these two guys I had weakened them by mangonels by the way. Later we started attacking Wazirs from the hill with trebuchets and ballistae - we destroyed their defenses and we set their castles to fire. Later we easily killed both of them. Emir was next one to go, now we both had huge armies he simply wasn't able to handle. After that we had even more troops, and Wolf was defeated pretty easily as well. :)

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That looks like a fantastic map, and you didn't go easy on yourself with the AI! I'd say those outer buildings tempted the Caliph's fiery demeanour to say the least!

As for my own progress, the next two skirmishes (#12 - The Creek and #13 - Heat of the Desert) were hurried somewhat. The close proximity of the enemy keeps and the lack of economy built up by the AI, meant that I didn't really build any economy of sorts. Rather I decided to press on. For the first mission, against the Lionheart, he has no economy due to his position. Given the gold at hand I built 4 square towers, hired 50 or so crossbowmen, 3 mangonels and 1 ballista. These coupled with a few fire ballistae quickly reduced his keep to rubble. It was simply a case of hiring a few macemen to walk in unopposed.

600x400http://i.imgur.com/EWXgUTY.jpg[/img]

 

The next mission followed a similar approach. This time I used archers instead of crossbowmen, and used about 50 assassins to complete the mission. Again not much of a challenge. Its eat or be eaten at the start due to the space, and for better or worse the AI is very rigid in it's tactics making for a simple enough duel.

 

600x400http://i.imgur.com/k8r1jdd.jpg[/img]

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Well, yes, that is my weak point, those buildings can get burned, but I tend to build those behind my castle, so Caliphs slaves can't reach them nor any ballista is able to set them on fire.

 

Regarding those two missions you just won, you did it great! Speaking about your castles there, well, you weren't actually able to do something like that, that map was too small, and it was more important to have defensive structures... And of course, in this case Lionheart would have fired from mangonels at your castle if you didn't do that first, so it was all necessary. Also, you were able to build a small castle afterwards, but that wouldn't be much fun though, considering that the was was already won. :)

 

You are correct, their tactic isn't much impressive, but that's why I find it fun to fight against AI lords with as less starting goods, and less resources around my castle, while I also take care that AI lords have enough resources to give me their best. :) If he doesn't have enough stone around he wouldn't decide to build some iron mines instead just to sell those and buy stone if needs or train more troops. I mean, that's just one simple thing, while I understand that it's not an easy task to make AI lords more intelligent when it comes to fighting. Maybe in other games, but in Stronghold when they should know how to attack a castle (which may have plenty of defensive structures) most effectively - that wouldn't be indeed a hard task. :)

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Well, a few beads of sweat, a few grey hairs and a couple of hours later and mission #14 - The Land of the Arab is complete. This has been the most enjoyable mission to date, not least because of the close shave I had at the beginning, so indulge me while I pen a line or two extra in memory.

 

I was caught napping in this mission by the nearby Caliph. I went against my usual patterns here and nearly paid the price. I focused on my economy and stone to circle my caste for fear of fire, and that was very nearly my undoing. The caliph rushed me with slaves, and enough survived to the cover of my walls, and burned my keep to the ground. Eventually I killed those slaves (sold all of my food just to buy 5 bows and train them). There is a story that escapes me, that mentions a naked man having very little to hide his modesty and needing quick hands to move a hat or something around his body. That is how I felt about my 5 lowly bowmen.

 

Panic over I managed to begin getting an economy up and running. It didn't take too long with the abundance of resources. The caliph was completely subdued for some reason, not making any army of note other than the occasional pack of slaves.

600x400http://i.imgur.com/KlibsOE.jpg[/img]

 

The Sultan was the first to go as his constant mutterings of restless camels, and resting doves deserved swift and decisive quietening. I moved some horse archers, pikemen and a couple of engineers to the top right of the map and as luck would have it he emptied his castle. I let him slaughter his troops on my now well established defence, took out his wall slingers with the horse archers, lit his mercenary post on fire with fire ballistae and then finished him off with the pikemen.

 

The Calpih was next. I had amassed a larger army down below at this stage, horse archers, macemen and more engineers. I asked the pig to attack, which he kindly obliged (unlike when I asked him to defend me), and he was as kind as to use his troops to trigger the pitch ditches. Once they were burned out, I sent in the horse archers and fire ballistae to do their work. Replacing the ballistae with catapults once the fire had begun enabled me to quickly knock some towers and rush in with the macemen.

 

By this stage my economy was thriving and it took only a couple of minutes to hear "Your army is at it's maximum size". Although Saladin's castle was imposing (my favourite design of his, and possibly my favourite keep of the original Lords), the horse archers quickly dismantled the mounted weapons and shut the gates. The macement split, one group destroying the mercenary post and the other the engineers guild. The fire ballistae set the keep alight and by the time the pikemen and macemen had the gates destroyed there was nothing between my men and a swift end to Saladin.

600x400http://i.imgur.com/GMnz3jt.jpg[/img]

 

I see the moon is bright tonight! How long may we reign?

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Mission #15 - The Lion's Mane complete. Not much to report here. Another mission where the AI's keep and economy is hampered by the terrain. I had a good defense built up for nothing. To defeat him I simply used crossbowmen to take out his archers, torched his keep and then walked in with some arabian swordsmen. My castle for this mission is below. My economy was pretty much run off selling crossbows from the ample supply of wood.

 

600x400http://i.imgur.com/QEiVSz1.jpg[/img]

 

Next up is me vs. two Saladin's on a resource rich map. This should be at least a little more challenging :)

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