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  1. Hi folks! Dropped off the face of the earth there for about a year. Good to see you all still around. Lord Paul, your offer might just have motivated me to get cracking on that trail again :)
  2. Mission 12: The Ransom Objectives Acquire 6000 gold Back on track, but unfortunately I cannot find my screenshot for this mission. None the less I recall it quite well. I didn't hand around too much at the start here. I used one maceman to determine the range of the archers on the wall and then used my tunnellers to knock a hole in the wall. I then used my macemen to rush through the hole in the wall and clear the enemy fort. ? ? ? With that start out of the way, I patched up the hole and proceeded to build up an economy. I manned the northwest walls with my archers and crossbowmen and placed some extra economy buildings (stone, weapons and food production). As stone came in I walled my base from the northern most point up to the lake in the north east corner of the map. I walled to the ridge on the left on the otherside. I was caught out on the first couple of attacks however. I didnt notice some macemen creep down the left of my castle and hamstring my economy by taking out woodcutters and iron mines. I used my remaining macemen to finish them off. At this point I deleted the walls at the rear of my base and finished off my wall to the west (to prevent similar assaults) and fortified the rest of my wall. All the while I was building up a stronger ranged defense. I added a moat between battles while gold was steadily flowing in from my now recovered economy. At this point is was simply a matter of waiting out the remainder of the mission. Mission 13: Snake Eyes Objectives Finish off the Snake once and for all! This was a relatively straightforward mission. You begin in an easily defended location facing the prospect of regular attacks from the pig every year or two. The pig must cross a river here so it is easy to pick off his men as they cross over. Again build up a handful of crossbowmen and archers and place them on a tower within reach of the river. Once you get enough men to cover the pigs attacks (I needed my original macemen at the start to pick off a couple of stragglers who made it through the original line of fire) you can build up a good economy. http://i.imgur.com/rCipHxe.png[/img] Note: At this point, while I was building up an army to face the snake, I had built a forward post near where the pigs attacks originate to take them out as early as possible. When it came to assaulting the Snake's keep I used some catapults to punch holes in the two walls. My defensive archers and crossbowmen were put to use offensively to clear the walls while a small group of macemen finished off the lord on his keep. Mission 14: The Mountain Pass Objectives Survive all of the enemy attacks (Eliminate all units). In this mission our mysterious mate the monk has again bestowed upon us plans, this time for a mounted ballista. I began this mission by deleting all of the walls in my base other than those closest to the enemy's focal point. This may be risky at higher difficulties but at Normal it is simple enough to defend. I used the stone to strengthen walls and move my barracks beside my defensive walls. Weapons production was prioritised with a number of fletchers placed. I focused on crossbowmen but switched to arrows as I ran low on leather armor (or was too poor to buy some). Extra food buildings were placed too (I ran very low at one point and had to buy food).? http://i.imgur.com/crLAz4a.png[/img] My defense originally relied on archers and crossbowmen. I targeted the engineers as much as possible (they tended to attack first) while I had plenty of woodcutters to deal with the macemen as much as possible. I had my own small army of spearmen and macemen that would wait behind the gatehouse and rush out to meet any men that got close. Again on normal just keep up unit production and keep the walls stacked and, in my case, keep the spike traps in plentiful supply. The remainder of the mission takes care of itself. http://i.imgur.com/S2qojKp.png[/img]
  3. Well after a somewhat extended break, my issues are resolved and I can get back to posting :) My memory is a little rusty about the following missions so I will keep the descriptions brief. Mission 8: Dealing With the Devil Objectives: Acquire 10 Ale Eliminate all enemy units Well my recollection of this mission is a big foggy. I started with the usual focus on bread production on the valley floor. I decided to leave off on the hops production for now as I did not trust the Snake to do anything other than take the ale I provided and invade regardless! I originally stationed my troops on my keep and made it a priority to build up a small force of archers. This was enough to hold off the original invasions while I walled off the gaps in the valley. I left a path through the walls in the bottom of the below picture to funnel them though that area. When I was happy with my defenses I obtained the necessary ale (which he was now requesting 20 of) and shortly after the reinforcements arrived the Rat's last assault crumbled on my defense. http://i.imgur.com/B7RR8Ot.png[/img] Mission 9: The Rat's Last Stand Objectives: The usual (i.e. kick some a** and drink some milk) This was a simple enough mission with a few points standing out in my memory. First of all I kept my farmland to the rear of the castle, having added a gatehouse and drawbridge. Secondly I fortified my moat around the front of my castle with my spearmen. Next I build up a force of both spearmen and archers (rather than focusing on archers like usual) and used the stone to add three square towers to the front of my castle. The quarry and woodcutters to the right of my castle were a prime target for enemy soldiers so I left some spearmen within a short distance who could rally to their defense as needed. The last point of note was I tended to have a small forward part ready to harass enemy engineers as they were trying to construct siege equipment, or failing that, destroy the siege equipment as soon as possible. It was not long before the enemy exhausted its forces and the Rat was finally finished. http://i.imgur.com/U18UuZX.png[/img] Mission 10: The Snake Hunt Begins Objectives Achieve 50 population 75% religious coverage In this mission one piece stands out as making my life easier. I walled off a short area around my farms and built a stairway from the top of the cliff down to my farms. This not only saved my farms from enemy troops, but also saved them from the constantly multiplying rabbits. Beyond that the mission was relatively straightforward. Build up a strong defensive structure manned with many archers (watch out for the bears in the wooded area to the north - use archers to kill them). I tended to build a short wall around the front of my quarries also, but this achieved little other than drawing catapult fire. Once my defense was strong enough I build a number of chapels and let the priests get to work. http://i.imgur.com/hSxy4PP.png[/img] Mission 11: First Blood Objectives Kill all enemy troops. So here we have the choice of where to place our keep. I decided to place mine slightly north of the stone mines, alongside the cliff edge. On one hand farmland space is at a premium, as is flat land to place economic buildings, however I liked the thought of placing walls and towers on the raised terrain enabling me to pick off enemy soldiers as they climb through the hills. I don't quite recall the order in which I built up my castle, however I went with a mix of bread, dairy (as much for leather armor as food) and hops. I started building a wall from the east, forcing enemy troops to take the long route to my keep. I made a few macemen at the beginning in case any troops did make it as far as my keep.? http://i.imgur.com/2fTsEWd.png[/img] After a while, my defense was getting stronger and crossbowmen became available to me. I switched most of my production to crossbows, making liberal use of the marketplace. When the Wolf finally arrived he was no match for my defense, so much so that not one troop was lost. http://i.imgur.com/vne4dj5.png[/img] And so we are getting back on track. Hopefully I should have more updates for you later this week and sorry for my absence.
  4. Its almost as if there is another box superimposed on the reply area. Looks like it should be an ad of some description, but I don't see anything on it and no option to close it. I've tried in Chrome (same as I am using at the moment) and Firefox. Probably some kind of adware or something although no scans have picked up anything (although my housemate has problems with unwanted ads on his browser recently). I'm confident I will figure it out this weekend.
  5. Just to let you know I am still progressing on this. Its just I can't seem to post to the forums from my personal laptop at the moment. It won't let me type in the reply box. Once I figure this one out I will have a nice big update for you :)
  6. I didn't know what the first Stronghold I played was. A gentleman who had family in our area used to visit our town for a few weeks each year. When I was a kid he used to drop in some games?(Super Mario!)?for me to play while he was in town. One time he left his laptop with some kind of castle strategy game on it for me to try. I didn't have a clue what I was doing (tried a random game he had saved), but I loved it. It was only years later that I saw Stronghold 1 on a website somewhere and figured it must be it, or at least something similar to it. Actually in hindsight it was SHC he dropped in, and it was a skirmish against a lot of Wolfs. I only played it for at most an hour yet I remember it well. Still, it was a while before I got that, and SH1 kept me busy in the beginning.? Getting back to SH1, I have to say I love the feel of this game. While SHC is a big step up and far more re-playable, I miss the rustic charm of those little wooden settlements and the storyline of the military campaign. It gives a bit of life to the characters. As for my progress, I am currently on Mission 12 and will post some updates soon?:) (Just completed mission 12 and I pressed print screen twice by mistake at the end so I only got the score and not my beautiful castle :(?Oh well, onwards and upwards!)
  7. So I have been working my way through the SHC first skirmish trail and just as a bit of a break I decided to try out the military campaign in SH1. It has been a long time since I tried this, in fact I don't think I ever completed the final mission. I'm not going to (or at least don't intend to) go into a huge amount of detail. Hopefully by posting my progress I will keep myself motivated to finish the campaign this time! I will play through on Normal difficulty. So without further ado... Mission 1: Gathering the Lost Objectives: Acquire 20 meat Acquire 40 wood I popped down a keep and granary, placed a couple of hunters and a few wood cutters and put the kettle on :) http://i.imgur.com/3TON1jY.png[/img] Mission 2: Finishing the Fort Objectives: Acquire 35 meat Complete the castle I used all the starting wood on woodcutters and a few hunters. Then moved my stockpile beside the forest and my woodcutters. Shortly after I sealed my caste and saw out the end of the mission. My castle wasn't sealed for the first wolf attack but it was easily defeated none the less. http://i.imgur.com/lkdSALu.png[/img] Mission 3: Eliminating the Wolves Objectives: Do exactly what it says on the tin (eliminate the wolves :P?) A few woodcutters to the south and a granary and few hunters to the north. Next came the fletchers, an armory and a barracks. I sealed the keep too for fun. The rat sent a small force after a while but the 3 or 4 archers he sent are easily killed and the wolves then eradicated at my own pace. Gold was raised by setting taxes to -4 and setting extra rations for the +4 population bonus. http://i.imgur.com/s1GN1rz.png[/img] Mission 4: Hidden Lookout Objectives: Do to the Rat's troops what you did to the wolves. Eliminate all enemy troops. The usual start here. I placed my keep forward near the edge of the cliffs as its a good base for archers. A few woodcutters (I'm too used to a marketplace to make up for goods I lack. From this mission I started placing more woodcutters at the begining) my granary and 2-3 dairy farms. I decided not to just wall off the gaps, but aim for a keep fully enclosed by wooden walls. Then it was just a matter of building some fletchers and constantly expanding my economy. I was quite exposed for the first assault but had enough archers just to turn the enemy away as they reached the keep. After that my economy was more than strong enough to see the mission out. You can see the final assault below. Taxes and rations were at -8 / +8 respectively in this one. http://i.imgur.com/IsLod7Q.png[/img] Mission 5: Between a Rock and a Hard Place Objectives: Eliminate all enemy troops. I placed the keep (in hindsight I would have placed it closer to the north river to aid my archers), some woodcutters, a couple of wheat farms, the granary and armory. As wood came in up went a mill (didnt place this at the start as it takes a bit of time for wheat to be ready) a few bakeries fletchers and build up from there. For the first attack I didnt have any gates in place on the river but a handful of archers was more than enough to take care of it. From there I just build up a strong economy gated the three northern river passes and threw up some wall. For the final attack I build a little forward outpost just to take the catapult fire that I expected to arrive. It worked as planned. +8/-8 on the taxes and rations again. http://i.imgur.com/eSY6reO.png[/img] Mission 6: The Rat's Proposal Objectives: Negotiations with the Rat Eliminate all enemy units Well the Rat is a rat, who knew? I placed my keep near the stone, From what you see in the picture below, I started with the inside castle and started building (roughly in this order) a few woodcutters (2 north 1 west and 2 east), my barracks, armory, granary, 3 dairy farms, fletchers, 2 quarries, 2 oxen, 2 wheat farms and some bakeries. Now I didn't build all of this off the bat of course, but I had the inside keep walled for the first attack. I did defend it, however the catapults punched a hole in the left wall and the rat's soldiers took out the eastern woodcutters, hence the new wall that was shortly added sealing off that side. I repaired my wall and for future attacks I send a small party of archers forth first (4-5 each time) to try to pick off some engineers before they build their catapults. This worked very well and the rest of the troops were easily killed by my ever increasing army of archers. Ahead of the final attack I built another outer wall to draw catapult fire (and because I had excess stone) and finished the mission easily. http://i.imgur.com/33dWuS0.png[/img] Mission 7: Breaking the Siege Objectives: Eliminate all enemy units So you start off with a handful of troops and a reasonable size force about to attack. You also have the basic makings of a castle with an inner stone wall and an outer wooden wall. First of all I pulled my archers off the wooden wall and placed them on the stone gatehouse. I trained whatever troops I could with the weapons in the armory and build some fletchers. The few spearmen I saw were placed on defensive stance on the walls to deal with the mass of laddermen. The catapults focused on the outer wooden wall, although I was unsure how to deal with the mass of units approaching when I noticed the reinforcements on the beach. They were quickly assigned to the walls along with my other troops and easily dealt with the siege force. When the immediate threat was over I send 4 spearmen to finish off the catapult. From there I built 3 oxen, some more bakeries and another wheat farm. I alternated taxes as I could, eventually settling on -4 when I had enough bakeries to support extra rations. To gain extra wood I deleted all of the wooden walls at the rear of my base and also any wooden watchtowers. From there I built up my defense, dealing with invasions as necessary (small raiding parties of 4-6 men to take out engineers helped here again). By the time the final mission came around I had three outer walls and more than enough troops to finish the mission. http://i.imgur.com/NrVaJcL.png[/img] I'll leave it here for now. I might do a couple more and return to SHC to progress there a little. After a bit of a break from Stronghold this was a fun way to pass a little time and get back into the swing of things.
  8. Most evenings it would be ~21:30 CET before I can start. Probably earlier (19:30) on Thursdays and much more flexible at weekends.
  9. I could do it on a weekday also, however it would probably be quite late in the day for the rest of you!
  10. I'm a bit late to the party on this, but its an excellent topic that deserves an answer. I will focus on Crusader as it has been far too long since I played SH1. What approach do you take when building a castle (in-game or in-editor)? I take very much a horses for courses attitude. Generally I enclose my keep, usually with walls, although sometimes just moats. Square towers for defense. I try to keep as much of my economy inside, with the occasional exception of the barracks/mercenary post. Quarrys and farms are not kept inside my keep if I build a square castle surrounded by walls. Do you ever use mongenels on square / round towers? Only if I am in close proximity to enemy lords' keeps. Otherwise I like having ballista to pick off catapults. Do you ever use turrets, or do you always build towers? Always a tower man, and usually square ones only. Have you ever set troops to patrol an area? Defensively, no. Offensively I sometimes use horse archers on patrol to harass quarries/farms, or to annoy the likes of the sultan. What troops do you use to defend the keep? Walls? Gatehouses / Towers? It depends on the opponent. If it is against the snake or rat (lords who focus on lightly armored units) I tend to just build archers. Against most other lords its Crossbowmen. For the caliph, I tend to build a combination of both. These are usually on square towers. I tend not to use troops on walls or gatehouses. As for hand-to-hand units, I occasionally keep a few inside the keep, although I rarely focus on this. It is only for some very dicey missions that I use these defensively. When sieging an enemy castle, what do you use if you use anything? Hmm this is where my tactics vary a lot. I tend to focus on building a very strong defense in missions. If it is a map that is rich in resources, and gold is easily obtained, then its not uncommon for me to just mass horse archers and some melee units (be it arabian swordsmen, assassins or macemen) to finish off the job. When I originally played the game, my most common method of sieging was a smash and grab approach. Use some catapults to punch a hole in a wall and then storm in with an army of fast units like macemen. This time around I tend to build a handful of fast units (knights/macemen) to take down any barracks/mercenary post outside the keep and to keep the gates closed. Horse archers, crossbowmen or archers I would aim to position at the same time to clear the towers and walls (prioritising mangonels). Then once the enemy lord is trapped, light the keep on fire with some fire ballista. Once they have burned alive, I use an assassin to open a gatehouse and then march in with some ground units to finish the job. What's the hardest troop to kill? The most annoying? In short, whatever the pig builds. Catapults are my biggest irritant (my poor walls), but macemen have caused me problems in the past with their speed. Crossbowmen defensively are a pain too. Special mention to those early raiding parties of horse archers that Saladin sends out. Those are annoying too when you are trying to get your economy up and running. What's your favorite troop? Least favorite? Most useful? My favourite troop. Hmm. Probably either the maceman or fire ballista. Least favourite would be a ladderman (just trying to think of what I never use). Most useful? VS the AI I would almost say slaves. Moats are so good defensively and slaves are so cheap to hire that they make a strong defense very easy to achieve. Do you ever use spearmen when you have better troops available? Haha usually not. I have completed a few missions before by trying to mimic the rat, but that was just for fun. What about laddermen, monks, and tunnellers? Laddermen and Tunnellers I tend not to use. I have used monks in the past to complete missions, but usually just for fun to provide that final killer blow. Which is more important: iron or pitch? Iron. I'm not a big pitch man. What food(s) do you use? Focus is always on bread. There is usually a dairy farm or two for the tanners, and if I have space I add apple farms for the popularity bonus. If you can't use bread, what food would you grow? In missions where I can't produce bread, I usually rely on buying hops rather than produce other food. I would probably focus on apples though if I had the space. Do you use cremulation for defensive purposes? Do I use it? Yes. Is it for defensive purposes? No. I just think it makes my castle look pretty?:D What's your average population size? (Especially Crusader) Probably in the region of 70-90. ~50 is not too uncommon, but I very very rarely go above 100. Are macemen worth the leather? (Does their power make up for the fact that the leather has to be shared between them and crossbowmen?) Yes yes yes. I love macemen. Also leather armor is cheap enough to produce so selling some maces or crossbows if needed to buy some more is easily done. Which is worse (in Crusader): Starting Rush (Trainging a bunch of mercenaries then attacking while the opponent has no time to build up defenses) or horse archers with portable shields? I've never tried the latter, but I would have to pick it from what I have read. A rush can backfire ?leaving you in a weaker position but horse archers are strong enough without the need for portable shields! Which do you prefer: catapults or trebuchets? I use both depending on the situation. Smash and grab: Catapults. Slow and steady (partly destroying a tower so they cant rebuild): Trebuchets. In Crusader, what's your average siege army size? If I don't hear "Your army is approaching its maximum size" then its not big enough! On a more serious note, probably 100-200 units offensively, although I change it up depending on how I feel. Defensively Its hard to gauge. In Crusader, what style of gameplay do you use (defensive, offensive, support/economy, support/defend, etc) Defensive (followed by an army boom and a decisive victory). The best offense is a good defense. What tactics would you use if you couldn't build walls, moats, and other commonly used defensive structures (pitch / boiling oil allowed). Possibly replace the stockpile at the start, positioning my economy further behind my keep (using natural terrain where possible) and using my keep as a tower?:D. Then a combination of fireballista and small groups of crossbowmen supported with macemen (slightly behind crossbowmen to be out of range of original arrows, but close enough to rush forward and protect vs any melee troops that make it close. Who's harder: Saladin or the Wolf in Crusader? They are quite similar I find. It really depends on their castle and how quickly they attack. If I have time to get up some moats and square towers its fine. The original horse archers from Saladin are a pain, but overall probably the wolf. How many Rats would take to kill Saladin?? It depends on the map I guess and how favourably you position the Rats (and how much you incapacitate Saladin).
  11. Maybe we could all shake off the rustiness with an multiplayer game this weekend?
  12. That's the one surely. 30 missions down, 20 to go (lets not mention the second trail for now?:D?).
  13. Hi Isaiah - Good to see you back. Perhaps between us we could look at an online game sometime :) I have also been slacking off myself as of late (work/holiday). I haven't got around to starting my latest skirmish vs. three Wolfs (Wolves?).
  14. Rushing one of them with assassins would be possible, especially the top pig given he wouldnt be able to hire recruits, although having played the mission and knowing he can't recruit I agree I would have been worse off. As for the mangonels, funnily enough thats exactly where I did fire upon although perhaps my luck had deserted me. If I had built farms to the north though a mangonel would have been much more viable I feel as the catapult would only have targeted my quarry at worst.
  15. Mission #30 - Eye of the Camel 2 teams: [Me, Richard] vs [saladin, Sultan]. 2000 starting gold (vs AI 8000) This was a relatively straightforward mission so I shall keep it brief. Saladin had prime location on top of the hill and I had the Sultan as my noisy neighbour. Still, this was nothing to worry about. My usual starting buildings (stockpile, granary, market, armory, barracks, woodcutters, 2 wheat farms, hops farm, dairy farm, quarry, oxen, mill, bakeries, houses). I added one tower slightly north of my keep, added a gatehouse, a ballista and hired some troops for it. I kept my units split between the keep and that tower until I manged to add a second tower (mangonel), wall and units to man it. As for the other side of my keep, I hired some slaves to dig a moat knowing most of saladin's troops are not fond of a shovel. http://i.imgur.com/Xta6NSj.jpg[/img] (The two lines of stone wall you see at the north west of my base were there to protect my towers from catapult fire. I got fed up of repairing them). Once your defense is set this becomes a relatively simple mission. Lionheart keeps wearing away at Saladin and the Sultan is a simple adversary. Once the Sultan is out of the way you have plenty of room for an economy boom. If you have patience you can use the high terrain in the north to siege Saladin's keep, however I went for a mass army of Pikemen and Crossbowmen (with my two knights kindly taking out the mercenary post in advance). On a side note, it seems as if dirty tactics are not beneath the Lionheart. He played the old 'ox tether in at enemy keep' trick with an apple farm, drawing plenty of fire from the enemy mangonel. http://i.imgur.com/H4S1wsb.jpg[/img]
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