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Joan of Arc 1: An Unlikely Messiah

The Franco-English war has lasted for almost one hundred years. The English kings claim rights to the French thrones, and they have conquered the French territory city by city with their allies in Burgundy. The heir to the French monarchy is too cowardly to ascend to the throne. The French army is wounded and tired and has given up all hope. But in the darkest hour, a young peasant girl, Joan of Arc, declares that she intends to save France. She said she had a vision from God to save her homeland from English domination.

Historical note: Depending on who you would ask, you would get a different position on who the rightful King of France really was. Indeed, this was the reason for the Hundred Years' War, and "England", "France", and "Burgundy" were just factions in a war for the throne of France because of complicated dynastic ties.

For definitions, see the Conventions and Tactics pages.


This scenario is pretty straightforward. The main point is that you have almost no way of healing any damage until you reach Chinon, but by then it won't matter. Therefore, you need to avoid all combat, unless you have no choice, and even then, you need to avoid combat. Unfortunately, depending on the difficulty setting and how aggressive the enemy units are, combat will be forced upon you from time to time. An AoE expert will note that infantry can be healed inside an ally's Tower. The Tower near your starting location may be critical to your survival.

Joan is one of your best scouts, because she has the best sight range. She should be your primary scout. Many special events occur in response to her proximity.

As the scenario starts, you recruit two knights. Many special events occur in response to their proximity (window dressing, mostly), so they should be walking around right behind Joan. Try using the "follow" order. They are also your fastest units, so scout with them as appropriate. As Joan walks around inside the French camp, you recruit 4 archers and 4 men-at-arms.

Your first hostile encounter is with two dire wolves. They are not very dire, because they do very little damage per hit. You could sneak by them, or you could waste them. You could even lure them into the French camp and get your allies to deal with them. This early in the scenario, healing is relatively easy, so you may as well have some fun with them.

Your next encounter is a battle between the British and the forces of France. Just sit back and watch it. Even if you could enter the battle, which is almost impossible until it's over, the only way the British could hurt you is via collateral damage (check the diplomacy screen). After the battle, the British disappear. Feel free to hack down a catapult or something afterwards; it's perfectly safe.

A bit further along the path, you encounter a damaged bridge. Head along the path, and you run into some bandits. Head along the coast, and you run into an enemy warship. You can get your company through between them. Then you reach a big group of deer. This is a safe resting area.

When you try to head along the coast again, you are blocked by an enemy town, including Towers. As you skirt the town, you find that you can just sneak by between the town and the bandits. However, you should probably kill the bandits. You have no idea what lies up ahead, and it is prudent to have the route behind you clear, in case you have to flee back through this area. Use standard damage avoidance techniques, and then go back home for healing. (Then let the game run while you have a coffee or something until your force is back at full strength.) Your knights should sit this one out.

After some R&R, you head out again. This time, you try the path to the right from the bandit camp. You find and kill some wolves, and then you run into another bandit camp. So you go back to the first bandit camp and take the left path again. As you skirt the enemy town, its defenses force you into the sight range of a bandit light cavalry unit. This unit is actually dangerous, and there is no way to avoid it. After killing it, you will need some major healing, so you may as well clear out the rest of the second bandit camp.

After your second round of R&R, you continue down the path and cross the bridge to reach a French town. Here you recruit a battering ram and a bunch of infantry. What do we use Pikemen for?

You find that you have no choice left but to go right through the Burgundian town in the middle of the map. You should go in through the wall where neither Tower can hit you. Note that a wall section is weaker than a gate, although less melee units can attack it at a given time. As your battering ram beats on the wall, some number of enemy units will rush out and beat on your battering ram. A priori, you don't know whether that number depends on exactly where you attack, but you do know whether a Tower will or will not attack you, so you choose to avoid the Towers.

Before the ram goes in, however, attack the target wall section with a mobile unit to provoke the defense reaction. Kill the responding units, and heal your damage again.

After you pass through the Burgundian town and cross the river, you reach another French town, but this one is occupied by enemy soldiers. Moving along the path, you encounter some light cavalry, so you go along the river bank instead. As Joan sneaks in there, she recruits three Transport Ships. There is no need to engage the large enemy force. The Transports cannot carry your whole force at once.

The northernmost landing point on the Chinon side of the Loire River is safe, and from there, you are home free. You could continue down the river, but remember that there is an enemy warship there. You could wander around the SW area of the map if you really want to. There you would encounter some enemy soldiers, one last bandit camp, and some more recruits.