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Ghenghis Khan 6: Pax Mongolia

When this scenario starts, we appear to be in pretty good shape. We get some of the best cavalry in the world, and we already have a bunch of them. We already have significant static defenses, not that Towers have much value in the Imperial Age. We won't need to do much research, so our primary expenses will be to build units and buildings. We have 15 stone mines and 10 gold mines available immediately, and as it turns out, we will find a lot more. That is an extravagant amount of stone, and much more gold than we will be able to reasonably use.

Mongols do have certain deficiencies. We won't get any gunpowder units. Our monks are pretty weak; definitely not front line units. We also have 10 Saboteurs, which we will probably never use, but they will take up 10 spots in the unit roster, because we probably won't just disband them.

A good force composition would be 25 villagers, 10 monks, 5 trebuchets, 2 Siege Onagers (to quickly wipe out trees), 8 light cavalry, 10 Mangudai, and 5 Camels. There are certain gaps in the lineup, such as the lack of foot archers, but we should be able to augment this force with Paladins, for example. We do not consider battering rams useful if we can get heavy artillery.

Put the first 5 villagers on food. The next two build a monastery and then collect gold. The next two start building a Wall Maze Complex; the next two collect gold. The next five collect wood, and then four collect stone. The final five are allocated as needed. Use your gold to build two monks, then a trebuchet, and then use your judgment. Focus your economy on filling up the unit roster as rapidly as possible before you have to start converting enemy units, as well as building defenses.

Quickly scout the north side of the river, claiming 10 sheep as you do. You find that the bridge is blocked to the south by some Towers. There is another river crossing to the east, but it is sealed off by trees. (That's why you need Siege Onagers.) When you have nothing better to do, send some light cavalry past the Towers. With proper maneuvering, and considering the Mongol light cavalry advantages, this is easily survivable. Unfortunately, behind the Towers is a large force, all arms, so your scouts must retreat.

Kill all enemy scouts as they try to cross the bridge.

There are two approaches to beating this level: double wall the bridge on your side or make a maze. If you use the double wall approach, you can use a siege weapon (preferably a onager) to take out anyone attacking the wall. If no units are attacking the wall, just retreat a little until they start again. Your biggest problem are monks, so you'd be wise to build a monastery and research faith, but you'll need to target the monks by hand most of the time, so between attacks, balance your villagers to improve your resources. Consider researching everything at the university as soon as possible since this helps your siege weapons dramatically. Two siege weapons are needed when you can afford it.

If you want to take the maze approach, you should plan on building the maziest Maze Complex that you can imagine. Try to make the enemy attack forces walk all the way around the map, so that, by the time they reach your main defense line, you should have been able to pick off all of their heavy equipment. Do not be stingy; you have an awful lot of stone. As the first layer of your Maze, wall off the north end of the bridge ... but not completely; leave one small hole. This starts to channel the attack stream immediately. One problem is your existing Towers. Try to ensure that enemy siege weapons won't get good shots at them, but try to incorporate them into your Maze somehow.

By the time the Hungarians announce their first charge, you will be well prepared for them.

When you get your first trebuchet, start attacking the Towers south of the bridge. At the first hint of counterbattery fire, pack it up and flee. This attack will provoke a massive reaction as their home guard responds. If enemy trebuchets decide to camp out on the bridge, redeploy your trebuchets to the river ford and pick off what you can.

By the time 10 minutes, game time, has passed, you should have killed more than 50 enemy units. Most of these will have died on the march, meaning that they didn't fight back. That is fortunate, because a force of this size, including all arms, is more than you can handle in the open field at this time.

Keep building up your forces, and keep killing enemy units. The best the Hungarians can do is to deploy a bunch of trebuchets on the south side of the bridge to blow up your closest walls, keeping all other units back to defend the trebuchets. They have no hope of successfully crossing the river. The best they do in practice is attack with the trebuchets from the south side of the river, but all other units charge across the bridge and die. Eventually they run out of front-line troops, and then you rush across the bridge with light cavalry and Mangudai and wipe out their trebuchets, although it may take several charge/retreat/heal cycles. Once they run out of trebuchets, you deploy your trebuchets on the north bank of the river and blow up everything they can reach, which is probably quite a lot. If the Hungarians switch to producing Teutonic Knights in their castles, you are laughing, because they are some of the most useless units in the game, especially against cavalry archers.

By the time Subotai arrives, you should be at 75 population, with all necessary research complete, except for a few of the most expensive technologies, and your Onagers should be on their way to the river ford. Your Maze Complex should be very complex. You are unlikely to have converted any enemy units, because your own units are significantly better. Maybe if the Hungarians upgrade their units, this will change, but they probably won't survive that long.

When Subotai's reinforcements arrive, after 40 minutes of game time have passed, you may die laughing. He himself is powerful, but he brings only 10 Saboteurs, which can be sent in all at once kamakazi style to blow up a building of your choice, and 2 pet wolves, whose only redeeming feature is that they don't count towards your population. If you were counting on those reinforcements, you're in deep trouble.

Park the new units somewhere and consider whether to go for the immediate kill, attacking straight across the bridge. You could probably do it, with 40 first-rate units, not including combat engineers, since the Hungarians are down to only about 10 weak units plus static defenses. But a more cautious approach is prudent. This means that you need to go via the river ford and try to find weak points in the Hungarian defenses.

Five minutes after Subotai arrives, the Hungarians blow the bridge. This will help them a lot, because they will not be able to charge suicidally into your fortified position for a while, and they will be able to build up their forces. You will need to build strong defenses at the river ford before knocking down the trees. You may or may not have units trapped on the south side of the river, but you have scads of all types of resource if you need to replace casualties, not that those units are necessarily in trouble.

Villagers can cut a path through a forest simply by harvesting the trees, but this takes a long time. There are also Slash-and-Burn techniques that allow them to cut a path quite rapidly, although a lot of micromanagement is required. A direct hit with a rock from a trebuchet also works, but it is a slow process. Another way, which is also the fastest way, to get through a forest is to hit the trees with rocks from a Siege Onager. As soon as you have that technology, you can start to expand out from the river ford. The big problem is that the Hungarians can reach almost anywhere on the south side of the river with trebuchets from the area they currently occupy. Therefore, any defenses you build on the south side of the river can be destroyed before you can do anything about it. At the same time, as soon as the path is opened, you will be hit by a flood of enemy units, so you need those defenses. Accordingly, you need to quickly and quietly expand your controlled areas so that you get some space that enemy trebuchets can't reach.

Move along the extreme edge of the map towards the south corner. You will find that this whole region is outside the Hungarian wall, and there are no gates in the wall. Put down some gates of your own to create several compartments of a Maze Complex. None of them would stand up long to enemy artillery, but the Hungarians don't yet know that you are here. Start breaking open the Hungarian wall in the extreme south. They may leave you alone for a while, or they may not. As soon as you get a chance, put your own gate in the breach. Again, you have no expectation that this gate will stand up long, but it will slow the enemy down for a while. Start scouting and raiding the Hungarian rear areas.

About one hour, game time, into the scenario, the Hungarians start building a Wonder. This is a pretty arrogant thing to do, considering that there are Mongols howling at the gates. You must punish them for their insolence! Unfortunately, the Wonder seems to go up pretty quickly, so you are under significant time pressure. It is also a lot harder to attack into an actively defended enemy base than it is to cut their troops down as they march towards your base. Furthermore, the Hungarians have used the respite they gained by blowing the bridge to expand their army to the maximum size and to fully upgrade their units. You are now facing Paladins, Elite Teutonic Knights, Elite Skirmishers, monks, trebuchets, and light artillery, all in large numbers. The only benefit to this is that some of these troops are now worth converting. Be careful, though, because you have very weak monks.

The situation has suddenly become a lot more challenging. You need to move fast, and you need to fight well. Advanced tactics are required; simply running forward and slugging it out with the enemy will not work. You need to think like a Mongol. Attack everywhere at once, do as much damage as you can, and use your high mobility to avoid threats. Push your Maze Complex forward at every opportunity. Allocate about 10 villagers to this; you don't really need to collect any more resources. Do these things, and you will find that you will kill the Hungarians faster than they can replace their losses. Once they run out of units, your horsemen can roam the map with impunity, and, more importantly, your trebuchets can go where they want and blow up any building they want in complete safety.

When the Hungarians have no production buildings and no units left, you win. You could even let them finish building their Wonder. After all, just because you are the Mongols doesn't mean that you have to destroy everything in sight.