Path of War, Chapter 9
PATH OF WAR: LOST KING CAMPAIGN
|Starting units:||1 cat, 2 trebuchets, 4 fire ballistae, 4 catapults, 30 spearmen, 31 macemen, 8 pikemen, 24 swordsmen, 4 knights, 33 archers, 8 crossbowmen, and your Lord|
|Starting Date:||June 1096|
In Chapter #9 you’re facing a typical siege mission full of some tactical opportunities, where two reliable allies (the King and Sir William) are fighting on your side, so that you can calmly proceed without any hectics.
While Sir William is acting on his own and struggling through the Northeastern walls in deploring heavy and dreadful casualties, the King’s forces keep staying idle around their siege camp, at least for a while. However, the King’s troops aren’t able to launch an attack, because of lacking siege equipment as catapults/trebuchets or rams. Later, the King will depend on your assistance to get into the castle. Though, he has to deal with the Bull’s invading gang, but he will eliminate them due to his military strength and superiority.
Now let’s switch over to the initial status quo; right in the beginning of this mission, your troops are under permanent fire from a ballista up on a near tower on the other side of the river. Therefore, retreat all your units (except your trebuchets!) down to the beach where your Lord and his knights are already waiting. Be aware that you mustn’t move the trebuchets! Unlike catapults, they would deploy once they are set up, and can’t be displaced again. If you should have done this by mistake, I advice you to restart the mission.
Before traversing the bridge, you should eliminate those enemy mangonels, fire ballistae, and archers on the towers on the other side of the ravine. To achieve this, pick out just one of your fire ballistae. I discovered that the enemy defenders won’t take notice of you if you confine yourself to only one ballista. Three or even four ballistae within hostile range and you’ll be getting immediately under permanent fire. Thus, slowly sneak up the hill left to the bridge and as you’re advancing direct the cursor to the archers/ballistae up on the round tower.
As soon as the red attack symbol appears, have your ballista open fire. In no time, these defensive forces will be a thing of the past.
Now turn to the left (as shown on the picture below) and destroy the three mangonels as you’re moving ahead along the cliff edge.
Contrary to all expectations it may happen that hails of stones are flying over your head (catapulted by the mangonels). Don’t worry, they probably won’t hit you because of their inaccuracy. The crossbowmen and the fire ballista on the tower at the rear wall sector you can leave alive, as they don’t cause any troubles.
After this cleaning operation is done you can dare making your primary steps across the bridge. However, the narrow path that is leading upwards to the first gatehouse is “interlarded” with all kinds of traps (i.e. rolling logs, man traps, killing pits, pitch ditches).
The following tactics worked fine for me:
Select just one catapult and one fire ballista and move them across the bridge one behind the other exactly that far until you reach a spot vis-à-vis to the first rolling log. In principle, while you’re marching carefully ahead keep your units as close as possible to the outermost right edge of the path, in creeping along the foot of the steep rock face. Thus, you will avoid padding into various traps. Open the bombardment onto the rolling logs, walls, and gatehouse gradually, and have the ballista clear the walls of enemy archers as well.
On this picture above you may figure out how to advance at best (follow the red broken line!). Head on to the right-handed niche situated in front of the outer wall line. Never forget to save the game periodically during this tough stage. If you should lose one of your siege equipment by traps, make a new attempt from the latest point.
Knock down the walls and gates as this allows you to enter or conquer the castle wherever you wish. Simultaneously, fetch the cat and take the bearing of the same “key position” your catapult and ballista are heading for. If this kind of filigree is too awkward or long winded you could also send in some laddermen or spearmen to set off the traps. This may ease your advance if you agree to sacrifice a certain contingent of units.
During all these activities, you can ignore Sir William’s efforts to get to Lord Barclay’s keep. He will have penetrated several walls and killed many defenders, but he won’t get any laurels on his assault.
The cat will slowly get along and finally reach that “strategic base” I have mentioned above. Now catapults and ballistae are able to take shelter under its wooden shield in order to target the second defence line, which is at range. As you can make out on this next picture, clear all the walls and towers in a well-tried manner. It’s also time to have your remaining catapults and fire ballistae follow on. The more carefully you act in this early stage the fewer casualties you may deplore later.
The Conquest of the Castle
Let’s tackle another essential task: You have to take a few preparations to clear the deployment area for your troops inside Lord Barclay’s fortifications. Obviously, the best place for that is the outer bailey. There are the church, the monastery, and different workshops, and what’s important to know: a location that is actually free of traps! Don’t send your ballistae straight on in direction to the church, bypass these hidden deadly zone littered by traps, and follow the traced out path along the previously destroyed outer wall as displayed on the next picture.
Besides, kill the enemy archers up on the western hoarded square tower and the main gatehouse, too. Your four ballistae (continuously on aggressive stance) will accomplish this task automatically as enemies are close enough. Meanwhile, have the catapults raze the small gatehouse to the ground. When this is done, you’ll be getting free access to the second inner bailey.
Right now, you can bring up your army still leaving back your trebuchets! Don’t make this fatal mistake in fetching them all together at once. You may not stay out of range of that dangerous mangonel which is set up on the right-hand great round tower next to the keep, immediately firing at your forces as they’re approaching in masses. Instead of doing so, form several smaller groups compound of approximately eight men each, and steer them upwards along the well-known path, exactly using the same route that has been appropriate to your ballistae and catapults.Repeat this process as often as necessary until your troops are completely arrayed. If you wish, you can get your Lord to the “resettled” army, but that’s not urgent.
Finally yet importantly, it’s high time to bring your trebuchets into action. They are charged to destroy the two mighty round towers adjacent to the keep as well as to eliminate the guarding mangonel and fire ballista on top.
Attention! The enemy has spread out several annoying ballistae underneath the keep and the towers. How to putting these out of action? Before you deploy your trebuchets make sure that no traps are in the way that could put an end to your plans very quickly. If you’re unsure of that have some spearmen control the path again upwards to the defined deployment points. Probably a few missing traps will be set off, but that’s ok. Move trebuchet #1 to the left of the former small gate and trebuchet # 2 up to the corner as shown on this next picture.
From now on, open permanent fire on these round towers; you will notice another welcome side effect: Because of inaccuracy, the trebuchets won’ t hit the targets precisely, but several projectiles will smash the enemy’s siege equipment placed on the ground underneath. That’s just what we intend to do. Well, it may take some time until the gigantic towers break down, but there’s no need to rush things.
Furthermore, tear down the last barrier (the gate in front of the keep) to enable free access to the keep. Your catapults protected by the cat should do it in a reliable way. In case that a few hostile fire ballistae are left, get rid of them with assistance of your own fire ballistae.
Thus, you are ready to take the keep by assault!
Halt! Don’t forget your ally, the King! For a long time, he’ s been waiting outside the castle. Give him a hand and open the main gate in occupying it. Send in a few crossbowmen or archers, and the drawbridge will be pulled down automatically. Then the King’s troops will rush in without any delay.
Right now, we’ve reached the crucial phase of the mission:
It’s recommendable to let the King’s men go first, and while the kingly forces are putting up a fierce fight against the enemy defenders, you should activate your pikemen, macemen and swordsmen simultaneously heading for Lord Barclay by clicking on him repeatedly. Don’t waste your time in diverting struggles. Keep on heading for your goal and defeat Lord Barclay.
Lean back and watch the final onslaught as there’s nothing in your way to disturb you! Even my four mounted knights didn’t come into action. They were destined to be my last hidden reserves if I should fail yet…
Congratulations on your victory!
*) denotes a former staff member.