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Stronghold 1 Military Campaign

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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


  1. Acquire 20 meat
  2. 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 :)



Mission 2: Finishing the Fort


  1. Acquire 35 meat
  2. 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.



Mission 3: Eliminating the Wolves


  1. 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.



Mission 4: Hidden Lookout


  1. 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.



Mission 5: Between a Rock and a Hard Place


  1. 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.




Mission 6: The Rat's Proposal


  1. Negotiations with the Rat
  2. 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.



Mission 7: Breaking the Siege


  1. 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.



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.

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I remember having lots of fun with the campaign of the first game.

I found it much more interesting than the campaign for Crusader, but perhaps that was also because it was my first Stronghold and everything was new to me :)


It will be interesting to see how you do it. I may be tempted to try some of those missions again myself.

Or perhaps some of them find their way into the 52 weeks contest :)

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I agree, it is a special feeling when you play such a game for the first time, but in my case - it was my second Stronghold, and when I played those missions, I also had more fun then with Crusader missions. Of course, at this point I am talking about Crusader campaigns, while I had way more fun in Crusader Trail. I just like those missions where I need to rebuild a castle, or to build it out of nothing. In other words - invasions and skirmish. :)


You did fine job with those first missions, sir.

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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!)

Edited by Frankel

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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 :)

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What happens when you try to reply, and what browser are you using?


The fields have eyes, and the woods have ears.

⁠— Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales: The Knight's Tale

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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.

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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


  1. Acquire 10 Ale
  2. 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.



Mission 9: The Rat's Last Stand


  1. 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.



Mission 10: The Snake Hunt Begins


  1. Achieve 50 population
  2. 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.



Mission 11: First Blood


  1. 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.?


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.



And so we are getting back on track. Hopefully I should have more updates for you later this week and sorry for my absence.

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Mission 12: The Ransom


  1. 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



  1. 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.


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



  1. 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).?



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.



Edited by Frankel

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