Stronghold Legends: Skirmish Opponent 1
By Lord Tanthos
King Arthur, Honorable King of Camelot and Head of the Round Table
King Arthur is described in the game as “a noble king and a brave warrior” who “relies heavily on his Knights of the Round Table.” This description sums up King Arthur very well. He is one of the few characters that will actually give you time to build a fair defense before launching assaults.
This is King Arthur’s stronghold. He has one or two other plans he will occasionally use but this is by far the most common. It is square in shape and has an engine tower situated at each corner. Two mangonels and two dragon harpoons are atop these towers in total. The engineer’s guild that is located just inside the fortress allows his engineers to quickly and efficiently repair breaches in the walls. The dual gatehouses allow the castle’s size to not hinder his economy by much at all.
His economy consists of royal food supplemented by cheese and bread to gain honor which he uses heavily to produce swordsmen and Knights of the Round Table. He usually, if space permits, will make a small ale industry with an inn and 2-4 breweries, often farming hops but sometimes buying them as well. As any other lord, he also mines iron, quarries stone and gathers wood.
King Arthur’s army is perhaps the most limited in troop types next to Lancelot. He will only field pikemen, swordsmen, and archers for barracks units; but, he will commonly supplement that with every Round Table unit (except Gareth, oddly enough.) If given the time and resources he will make a green dragon that will generally target your siege forces or your castle towers.
Defeating Arthur in the open field is easy due to the large number of slow, armored units. A group of archers and crossbowmen can easily defeat a small group of his soldiers. It is best to have a few footmen in a line formation in front of your rangers to cover them in case a knight slips through. When battling the King in the open, always target his knights’ horses first, otherwise they will make mincemeat of your rangers. After they have been forcibly dismounted, shoot any archers. When the archers, if any, are dealt with, the rest should be relatively simple.
His special units, the Knights of the Round Table, are used heavily and frequently by King Arthur. Gawain, Bedivere, Percival, and Galahad will frequently be seen patrolling his wall exterior with small groups of armored units. These knights will only be brought into play if used by the King in a siege or against a siege. Beware especially of Bedivere and Percival! Both have extraordinary abilities to spell your doom in a siege! I definitely recommend having two wall curtains against Bedivere, and against Percival I suggest that you spread your units along the walltops more evenly to minimize losses.
When sieging your castle, King Arthur will bring cat shields, ladders, catapults, and sometimes a siege tower into the field! To make matters worse, he always brings a swarm of archers, and all of his Knights of the Round Table. His catapults will often take less time to set up than the shields, giving you a margin of time to destroy them with missile fire; but, if they are set up you will have to sally out of the castle or they will breach your walls. The ladders, as with any AI are a danger, as a single ladder up for too long could spell death for you. Form walltop patrols of men at arms on defensive stance or, even better, macemen if you can afford it, as they are much faster. Should he bring a siege tower you are best off destroying it with melee units, as rangers will have a difficult time destroying it.
Finally, the glorious part of the guide, destroying all that Arthur worked to create! Conducting a siege of Arthur’s castle can be tricky, due to the mangonels and patrols, and mass of external buildings. As each faction, I recommend the following:
Good (Arthurian): Bring trebuchets, if you can afford them, or catapults with mantlets. Destroy some of his external buildings but don’t try to breach the wall, as it takes far too long with its thickness and the engineers! Instead, bring in a contingent of ladders, or if time is with you, use a siege tower. Send macemen or men-at-arms to the walltops and open a gatehouse. Let the rest of the army stream in that way while your assault troops delay with the archers and pikemen. Alternatively, a battering ram can accomplish nearly the same job just a little more slowly. I recommend using some archers to cover the ram, perhaps with mantlets in front of them.
Ice: Many people underestimate the weak white wolf. However, their incredible (and unbeaten) speed make them ideal for many situations. Use these nimble beasts to dart between patrols and destroy buildings. Once a path through the city has been razed, use polar bears or giants (if they are affordable) to break through a gatehouse. The units you used should definitely be able to delay the enemy long enough for the rest of your infantry to arrive. Do not use white witches against Arthur at any time: the dual dragon harpoons will impale them rapidly.
Evil: Stake hurlers have not only a decent speed, but a good building damage ratio. Several of these can cause great destruction to Arthur and his patrols. Before attacking, send a few of these to destroy buildings and kill patrolling units. It won’t be long before they will respond, so get the rest of the army in soon! For your actual army I recommend ladders and werewolves in a direct approach. Arrows do average damage to werewolves, but if you send hellhounds with the werewolves, they will be able to slip by the occupied pikemen and kill the archers anyway. For the assault on the keep, the relatively cheap but melee-durable Saxon warriors are advised.
Hopefully this guide has either helped your or merely strengthened your knowledge of King Arthur. Look for articles about the other opponents at a later date! For now, go teach Arthur a lesson!
~ Lord Tanthos