Ghenghis Khan 5: The Promise
This scenario is fairly easy if you cheat, but quite hard if you do not. The scenario has been designed so that a certain very bad event will happen at some point, but the designer gave you a break by setting the trigger in a particular way, assumed that you would act in good faith, and did not set a trigger to deal with people who act in bad faith. Anybody who feels the need to figure out ways to benefit from loopholes in the scenario design is gaming the system instead of simulating the conflict, and might as well enter the "I win" cheat code right away.
In order to win the scenario normally, you need to move at least one unit to three different locations, i.e. capture three flags. Be aware of the fact that this has no effect on the combat capacity of your enemies, except perhaps to annoy their home guards.
Use your Mangudai to scout. They don't have a great sight range, so be careful, but at least they are fast. Your catapult has no use at this time. Your villagers start doing their own thing immediately. It's pretty reasonable to stick with that, with a slight adjustment to the hunters. (Check the tactics section for some hunting tips.) Start spamming villagers. Put at least a third on food. After that, wood, gold, stone, and construction are all about equally important. Be prepared to fight from the Town Center, because you may be attacked before you get any defenses up. There are no sheep or berries available in this scenario, so hunt and fish for food. Avoid farming until later, due to the overhead costs.
As you scout your home area, you find a pond with 1,000 food, a relic, 9 gold mines, and 6 stone mines. You do not lack for gold in this scenario. The stone is enough to get you started, and you will find much, much more, although you may wish for even more. It's definitely worth building a Mill right beside the pond.
You find that there are a lot of cliffs in this scenario. Strategic movement will be very restricted. This benefits the defender. You find that the route to Poland is very short, and that a Polish Tower obstructs you. You could probably run past it fairly easily, but don't do this yet. Very soon, you recruit a Scout Cavalry. This is not a recruit in the normal sense, because it doesn't exist until you get to a certain location. This means that it will get all the upgrades. You are informed that a "huge army" is about to attack you, and that you have to build a strong fortification in the middle of the map.
The first non-villager units that you should build are probably a couple of monks.
Head towards the middle of the map with your new scout, and send one Mangudai that way as well. Leave the other two Mangudai at home. A German castle dominates the heights. Don't let it ruin your day! There is also a German Tower in this area. Between them, they quite effectively block this area. However, if you are careful, you can safely sneak past them with fast units. Villagers and monks? Inadvisable.
If you try to head towards Bohemian territory, in the west, you are warned away. Heed this warning! The German territory is also inaccessible, due to strong defenses.
In the SW part of the map, you recruit a monk and 8 Huskarls. The monk will not get any of your limited monk upgrades, in particular the speed upgrade. If you care about that, the only way to differentiate him from your other monks is via his control group. You could disband him, but he's not that much worse than your other monks. The Huskarls will not get any upgrades either, so they aren't worth much in the long run. If you want to make this scenario easier, you could eventually disband them. However, this group actually has a very useful job to do right now, and that is taking out the German Tower in the middle of the map.
Poland will be attacking you relatively soon. At least one of their scouts will already have run through your area, and you have no way to stop fast scouts yet. Wall Poland in. With a safe area and a monk available, you can reasonably try to scout Polish territory. However, you won't get very far, because there are too many defenses. Poland is quite strong right now, and you really should block them off with a castle. It will turn out that Poland is just a flash in the pan, but if your defense over there is strong, it allows you to turn your attention to the rest of the map, which is where the main action will take place. As long as they are able, the Poles will attack you with melee units and catapults. This is no problem if you have a castle behind a wall, but will pose significant difficulties otherwise. Note that a Wall Maze Complex is not appropriate for this situation. Poland is simply too close to you for that to work.
It won't be long before your Huskarl group has opened the road to the middle of the map. The German castle will still cause some problems, but your units can sneak by it if you are careful. Move some villagers and monks into that area and start developing it. You will need a trebuchet to take out that castle, and that has to be a priority, unless you want to risk having the Germans produce Teutonic Knights in the middle of your base.
There are only two openings into your victory area in the middle of the map. This makes it a good place to defend. You don't have to defend against the expected huge attack there, but you do need to build three castles there. Can you do both separately? Can you build a strong fortification somewhere and still have enough stone for the rest of the scenario AND build three more castles? Maybe, but if you factor in the time pressure and the explicit instructions, the practical answer is no.
Your first construction in the victory area should probably be a small gated wall to seal off the side entrance. This wall should be positioned to cooperate with a castle that will be built there soon. After that, start building the front wall of your fortification. The part that faces Bohemia should be two layers thick. Bring that wall around along the pond, where it can be one layer thick. Leave a narrow passage along the pond. Curl the wall around in a spiral pattern, and make sure that you leave an opening. The objective is to get the enemy force to walk down the narrow passage, heading for the opening, while castles and other units behind the wall pour a rain of fire into the enemy force. Hopefully, you can get siege weapons to not deploy outside of the range of your castles. Depending how much time and stone you have, you can later increase the thickness of your walls. You will need exactly two gates in your wall, one by the cliff, and one by the pond. Because gates allow many adjacent units to attack them, you need to add some additional stonework in front of the gates.
When the front wall is substantially complete, build a castle to protect the side entrance to your victory area. Start moving mobile units into this area. Focus on Light Cavalry and Mangudai. Don't bother with basic cavalry archers, because your Mangudai are better at present, and although the two types are otherwise roughly equivalent when fully upgraded, Mangudai are better against siege weapons. Start raiding the countryside. The Germans like to hunt in the SW, and you know what to do about that.
About this time, your first trebuchet will be available. Use it to take out the German castle near your victory area. Some number of Teutonic Knights will get upset at this, but they are too slow to be a real threat. Your second trebuchet should be deployed against Poland, but Poland needs to be treated as a sideshow.
Germany will be attacking you by now. They use Pikemen and Crossbowmen, perhaps as many as ten each at any given time. Eventually, they send Teutonic Knights as well. None of these are a serious threat, as long as you use good tactics. Germany likes to attack your monastery in the SW. This building is by no means important. Defend it if you like, but don't commit a lot of resources there.
About 30 minutes after the scenario starts, your victory area should be humming. You should have about 5 stone miners there, perhaps 5 more builders, and elsewhere about 5 each villagers collecting wood, food, and gold. You should have about 5 each Mangudai and Light Cavalry, 10 monks, several trebuchets, one other catapult, and the recruited Huskarls. Maybe you also have some other recruits, although so far you haven't encountered anything worth converting. You should have researched most of your upgrades, except the very expensive ones. Your bank balance will be close to zero, except that you should have about 500 stone.
About 31 minutes after the scenario starts, you are told that "the Bohemian cavalry will attack very soon". It's time to finish your fortification. Put one castle in the SW of your victory area and one in the SE. Add interior walls and gates in case there are breakthroughs. Move most of your army into this area, and keep building new units. Expect a very heavy attack, and prepare accordingly. Make sure that you save lots of stone for repairs.
For some reason, you may have been expecting an attack by a bunch of heavy cavalry. Surprise! What Bohemia actually sends is 25 Paladins and 25 Champions, but also 3 trebuchets, 9 Siege Rams, and 9 Siege Onagers. You have never seen a single attack of such enormous size and power in any 75-population AoE game. Prepare to die!
Gaming the System
You were explicitly told to build a strong fortification, including three castles, in the middle of the map. At some point, you were also explicitly told that you would be attacked soon. It turns out, however, that the Bohemian attack does not happen at a particular time, but rather is triggered when your third castle in your victory area is completed. Therefore you could ignore the threatened Bohemian attack for now, crush all other opposition, strip mine the whole map, set up humungous defenses, and only then trigger the Bohemian attack. This is called gaming the system, because what you are doing is exploiting flaws in the scenario design.
Shortly after you finish the third castle in your victory area, you start to detect Bohemian units. First you see a bunch of heavy cavalry, and then a bunch of infantry. None of this should worry you, although you should move your units in the field closer to your fortification for safety. Try to lure some of the Bohemian cavalry over to the side entrance, although they seem to want to head over there in any case. Keep in mind that Mongol cavalry is faster than Teutonic cavalry.
Many of the Bohemian units head for the gap in your wall. Most of them will die on the way there. If it looks like some of them will get in, you might have to seal the gap.
Pretty soon, you start to see the Bohemian siege train. Now this should definitely worry you. Kill them, stat. Start with the trebuchets, because they can engage your castles without being subject to return fire. Take out the Siege Onagers next, because they can shoot over walls. They have a strong attack, but are fairly easy to kill. As long as the Germans are not attacking at the same time, wiping out the Bohemian catapults is fairly easy, because their cavalry is probably on the other side of the map, and their infantry has died in front of your castles. For some reason, the Bohemian battering rams don't do much. This is probably because, when they got their marching orders, it looked like a good idea to go through the gap in your wall, but when they got there, it didn't exist, and they can't decide on a useful course of action. Whatever the reason, it won't be long before only the Bohemian cavalry remains, and it just mills around aimlessly.
So far, you have just killed all the Bohemian units. However, you really want to possess those Paladins. Lure them into range of your monks in small numbers and start to proselytize. You have a good chance of recruiting about 10 of them, and then the Bohemian field army is gone. This should put you over the population limit, so make sure that you have all your core units before doing this.
You may wonder if Bohemia can mount any more attacks. The AoE expert will have noted that Bohemia's score was constant until they attacked you. This means that they had no functioning economy. After you wiped out their field army, their score dropped by 2269, and again it remains constant. This means that they are not producing new units, although that might change in the future.
By the time the Bohemian field army is gone, Poland should be hors de combat. They only had 4 gold mines, plus their initial stockpile, and everything they spent it on is dead by now. Every time they see a clear path to some other gold mine, some of their villagers will try to get there, and they all die too. Poland still has lots of wood and food, but they don't build any military units once their gold is used up. You can eliminate Poland with a very small force. But leave their Market alone, and use their farms for your own purposes. Note that Poland seems so weak mainly because you invested in an early castle over there.
Germany is still attacking you, and, although their units are mostly junk, they are quite powerful against your field army. However, they are ineffective against stonework. Therefore, the most efficient way of defeating Germany is to just push your stonework forward. You certainly have enough stone available.
When Germany is dead, you can research Spies for only 200 gold. You will see that Bohemia has a few units trapped by impassable (at least for an AI) terrain and some stonework. Your trebuchets will make short work of the static defenses, and you can even shell the trapped units.
The final group does pose a bit of a problem, assuming that you are aiming to take zero casualties. (Of course, you could simply swamp them by now.) One thing that you could do is to bombard the area with your trebuchets, which takes a while but should eventually work. You could also build a castle just out of their range, and then break open their wall and sit back and watch their last units die.
Historical notes: It is suggested in the scenario introduction that Genghis Khan died of old age. In fact, he died from falling off a horse, although that may well have been age-related. Germany and Poland, while allied here, have been hostile towards each other for much of their history.