Designed by Rutam Rane
Commandos Imperial Glory Praetorians Eidos Pyro Studios
Praetorians Game Guide // 5. Campaign
Location: River Sambre, Belgian Kingdom of Nervii.
Date: July 25, 57 BC.

Objectives:
- Publius Licinius Crassus must survive.
- Dumnorix must survive.
- Defend the fort [for 20 minutes].

Unit Control Points: 474/700.
Troop Control Points: 21/60.
Starting units: 6x Auxiliary Archers (30), 3x Auxiliary Infantry, Dumnorix (Centurion, level 0), 4x Legionaries (30), 3x Noblemen (12), Publius Licinius Crassus (Centurion, level 0), 3x Spearmen (30).
Available units: Archer Cavalry, Auxiliary Archers, Auxiliary Infantry, Equites, Hawk Scout, Legionaries, Physician, Spearmen, Wolf Scout.
Available construction: Assault Ladder, Assault Tower, Ballista, Battering Ram, Catapult, Defensive Tower, repair.
                            .-''-.
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          .-'     |2| .            . .           '-.
       .-'             .          .    .            '-.
      '-.               .        .       .         ~~~ '-.
         '-.             .      .           .   ~~        '-.
            '-.           .    .             ]4[             '-.
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                  '-.        .  .    ~~~          .        *  *    '-.
                     '-.       ]3[ ~                     *      *     '-.
                        '-. ~~     .                   *          *      '
                           '-.        .  .  .            *          * .-'
                              '-.                * * * *           .-'
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                                       '-.*       |1|     .-'
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                                                '--'
 _
| | = Village/barracks (may include various defenses).
* * = Fortification/wall.
. . = Path (minor pathways not shown).
~ ~ = River, sea or lake.
] [ = Bridge or location for bridge.
                                                                          
1 = Start fortress/barracks. Population 250.
2 = Nervian villages.
3 = Western bridging point.
4 = Eastern stone bridge.
Commandos Imperial Glory Praetorians Eidos Pyro Studios
Commandos Imperial Glory Praetorians Eidos Pyro Studios
Multiple waves of enemy will attack your fortress from the north throughout the 20 minute mission duration. Initially they will come over the eastern stone bridge (4 on the map above), but after a few minutes they will repair and use the western bridge too (3 on the map above). You are massively outnumbered, so you must use your starting units and location wisely. From Rasm: "The only reason I died the first time was that I didn't know all the stuff you could do, like move soldiers on the walls and repair the gate." There is no one way to survive, but a combination of the strategies below will result in success. Gaius Julius writes: "I think the one thing you have to remember to beat this level, is to stay calm. It's easy to get frustrated, when all those enemy units are coming at you from every side. Especially, when you're informed that there is 1 minute left; it's the longest 1 minute you'll encounter."

The fortress includes a barracks. This functions much like a village, except no garrison or Centurion is required to recruit new units. Immediately recruit a few Physicians and place them close to the walls to help heal defenders. Build additional troops throughout the mission - you can never have enough. Precisely what troop type depends on wider strategies. Remember recruitment orders can be made in advance.

Make use of your Centurions' command bonuses. Position them close to the action and they will gain a lot of experience during the first few attacks. Towards the end of the mission troops in their area of influence will get a significant defensive bonus. Consider creating (by promoting another unit) additional Centurions at the start so that all your units are covered.

The fortified towers built into the walls offer greater protection to units than placing units directly on the walls. Try to keep the fortified towers filled with Auxiliary Archers, and place any excess archers nearby on walls. Gatt notes: "Remember to set all of them as 'aggressive'." The aggressive setting results in archers engaging enemy units as soon as they come into range. This gains you a valuable few extra shots. Wall based archers will not be able to deal with everything. They are very vulnerable to attack from enemy siege engines such as Catapult. Enemy archers also tend to sneak into woodland and fire upon your archers. Should the enemy manage to reach the walls with ladders or Assault Towers, archers die rapidly in melee.

Legionaries (and less so Spearmen) can be placed on the walls to deal with enemy attempts to climb the walls. This allows you to concentrate on other aspects of the battle. However, until enemy arrive on the walls, melee troops are simply targets for enemy ranged attacks, particularly from siege engines. Consequently it may be preferable to keep melee troops off the walls until you see the enemy are about to climb the wall.

BobC writes: "Use catapults (make sure they're set on barrage) to take out archers and enemy cavalry outside the walls when they stop moving. I . usually have 2 pairs of catapults to do this, hotkeyed so I can quickly select targets. One pair by the right wall and one in the middle just behind the door. Two Catapults with barrage can pretty much take down an archer troop with one volley." Setting Catapults to 'aggressive' mode often removes the need to fire them manually. RogueImpaler adds: "Divide your auxiliary troops before you make catapults, or else half of them will take a break." Each Catapult requires only 7 men.

Wall based archers are quite effective against enemy melee troops that cannot find a way over the walls. Certain types of enemy units are more of a threat. Siege engines are, as their name suggests, a potent force in this situation. Battering Rams will rapidly break down your gates, Catapults will wipe whole units off the walls in an instant, Assault Towers will deliver a small enemy army onto a tiny section of wall. Battering Rams are probably the biggest threat, since once your fortress's gates have been destroyed you will suddenly find yourself flooded with melee troops that would otherwise have died quietly outside to your archers' arrows. Gates can (and should) be repaired using Auxiliary Infantry, but repairs are far slower than a Battering Ram can do damage.

Waiting for enemy siege engines to be set alight is not a good strategy - whilst they are burning they are still doing damage. The most common way to deal with approaching siege engines is to charge them with cavalry. The mission introduction suggests using the Noblemen that start outside the gate to attack the first wave. Cicero comments: "Don't sacrifice them there, they can't delay the rush that much. Bring them in, and beef them up with new cavalry recruits." Augment the initial Noblemen with fresh Equites and Archer Cavalry. "When the catapults [or Batter Rams or similar] appear near the bridge to your side, ride out to destroy them. ... Then get your cavalry back to camp at once after the attack." Between attacks using Physicians to heal the cavalry. LordJohnDrinksalot notes that the cavalry do not always need to be brought back into the fortress: "Use the east gap at times to hide cavalry from direct attack and then sally forth and hit catapults while their supporting infantry are attacking the fort." Timing is critical. If the cavalry are positioned outside the fortress permanently they will be swamped by other enemy troops.

Sentient Cheese highlights a problem with the strategy of riding out each time a new siege engine appears: "The siege engines have a much large escort than you seem to realize. The troops always rush the gates first, well ahead of the slow moving rams. My troops can't just ignore the initial escort forces and run past them to the ram." To some extent this depends on timing. LordJohnDrinksalot writes: "Danger is in clashing with enemy melee units; if you do then you're out-of-luck. Be conservative: retreat into the fort often." One strategy relies on archers and friendly Catapults dealing with enemy melee troops before riding out with cavalry, however this risks allowing the enemy siege engines to get _too_ close.

Other approaches leave less to chance by giving the enemy melee troops something else to attack first. Rasm writes: "Move a group of pikemen right in front of your gate. Then shift all your archers on the platform directly above the gate opening. Get them really crammed together. The next wave should come then. If you have about 10 groups of archers on the wall then you should start seeing most of the ground soldiers get wasted." While cramming troops together in this way does effectively focus firepower on the enemy, care needs to be taken to ensure the group does not get hit by fire from enemy Catapults. Sentient Cheese considers: "In between waves, I will station a single legion troop in the center forest and have them hold ground there, on Defensive mode. Then, as the rams roll by and their escort is already hacking away at my gates, I'll have the Legionaries kamikaze the rams."

An alternative to charging siege engines with cavalry, from RogueImpaler: "Roll 3 sets Legionaries and 3 sets archer out to the north forest to hide. Put the Legionaries in front of the archers and the whole bunch on turtle/stationary and then hold. You can take out the rams with the archers while the Legionaries cover. You might want to have a medic with those." Archers can be positioned in the forest close to the western (wooden) bridge. "Wait till new troops come to build the wooden bridge. When they finished and the new troops advance to cross it, quickly set it on fire." Sneaking about in forests also prevents enemy archers hiding in them. Bond0bhave suggests placing Wolf Scouts in woodland to gather such intelligence and provide advanced warning of approaching Catapults.

Rasm has a tactic for dealing with Battering Rams that are at the gate: "Have a group of legions handy right on the other side of it. When the ram starts to bash the door, have the legions walk through it. This causes the ram to stop (since the doors are open). Just walk your legions into the ram. Make sure NOT to do this when there are swarms of enemy infantry around the ram." Once the gate has been broken down, it cannot be repaired. While it is preferable to keep the gate up as long as possible, a few tactics can be used to stem the tide once the gate has been destroyed. WhiteSkull writes: "I stuck 3 spearmen in stationary formation behind the gate 4 legions behind them. Replace spearmen as needed at the gate." From malleus1: "I put one group of archers at the bottom edge of the map facing the gate in stationary position and the catapults beside them, firing 'out the gate', so anything that got through the gate could be held there by a legion or two and bombarded."

The final enemy assault (in the last minute of the mission) is quite tough. From Cicero: "Ready all your legions in open formation and let them attack everything that's outside the fort. Commit all pikemen, auxiliaries and cavalries too." There is a reasonable chance that the enemy will breach the walls right at the end. Keep them engaged with whatever troops you have, but make sure the two (mission critical) Centurions survive and the barracks are not destroyed.
 
Written by timski
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