Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition – Hauteville Mission 5 Tips

Really tough mission. Probably one of the hardest in the campaigns all the way up to and incl. DLC 1 (havent tried DLC 2 and 3 or rome yet).

Useful Tips

It’s one of those build and defend a wonder missions, but it is optional – you are free to conquer the entire map if you wish. Or ally with everyone.

I feel like map knowledge plays a huge role in making things hard or easy, i.e. a replay is much easier than the first time you experience this mission. For example, your starting location is split between calabria and sicily, and knowing you should bag the resources in calabria before the AI pushes you out is key to survival.

As such, I recommend walling up the approaches from the north. Double Wall. Triple Wall, even. It significantly delays the enemy’s breach compared to building a gate which will collapse quickly. If you want, you can build a castle to whittle away at the enemy paladins but honestly they are so well armored that it takes a while to kill them so I just leave it at walling off the gaps in the forest.

There’s not much to take in calabria anyway, you should just clear the gold and stone deposits before pulling back to Sicily.

Now in sicily, the island is divided into a walled off northern part that contains your military buildings, docks and a castle, and an open southern part where your TC and farms are. The AI will soon land troops in the south that are quick to massacre your villagers if your attention is elsewhere, so I suggest you station your army in southern sicily to intercept any roaming bands of troops that have landed, and as soon as you have the stone, build a donjon in the south-west, south and south-east.

Considering how your island gets ruthlessly raided by enemy fleets, it is prudent to research ballistics, heated shot and the blacksmith range techs as soon as you have the resources for them. It’s also useful to build a dock or two in the south, and train some fast fire ships which, together with drydock, can turn into swift interceptors that sail up the flanks of sicily and go after enemy cannon galeons that would otherwise take out your castle and donjons from a safe distance – making fast fire ships at the northern docks is suboptimal because enemy fast fire ships and galeons are often in their way of reaching the cannon galeons.

Now let’s talk about the byzantines. Initially they want a tribute of 500 gold, then 1000, then 1500 gold, so you want to research coinage quickly. Failing to pay will turn them hostile. However, paying the gold not only keeps them off your neck, but as an ally, you can send your trade cogs to their docks to collect 65 or so gold at a time – building a line of, say, 10 trade cogs (with the researched dry dock speed bonus) will ensure a steady stream of gold that quickly pays itself. Just make sure not to veer too far south-east or you will attract the attention of the saracen pirates, who, at a later point in the game, can also be bribed to join your cause.

There are a few islands south of sicily that either have relics for your monk to pick up and bring back to the monastery, or gold deposits to mine.

Once you have the pirates and the byzantines as your allies, you could indeed start thinking about returning with an invasion force to italy. Ranulf Drengot has a castle not too far north from where your starting position in calabria used to be. If you manage to sneak land a transport ship with trebs into range and take it out before getting hit by the roaming patrols, you will get the opportunity to ally with him without having to take out his sizeable base in Apulia. Otherwise, an invasion of italy from the south is a PITA and i would suggest you invade the island of sardinia instead, and then take out the italian cities faction.

Or you could build the wonder and start the countdown to victory.

Volodymyr Azimoff
About Volodymyr Azimoff 13544 Articles
I love games and I live games. Video games are my passion, my hobby and my job. My experience with games started back in 1994 with the Metal Mutant game on ZX Spectrum computer. And since then, I’ve been playing on anything from consoles, to mobile devices. My first official job in the game industry started back in 2005, and I'm still doing what I love to do.

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