Designed by Rutam Rane
Commandos Imperial Glory Praetorians Eidos Pyro Studios
Praetorians Game Guide // 5. Campaign
Location: The Cevennes Mountains, Gaul Kingdom of the Avernii.
Date: February 2, 52 BC.

Objectives:
- Capture or destroy Ilanna.
- Capture or destroy Ursoli.
- Titus Labienus must survive.
+ Caius Crastinus must survive (after gaining reinforcements).

Unit Control Points: 234/500.
Troop Control Points: 12/50.
Starting units: 2x Auxiliary Archers (30), 2x Equites (12), Hawk Scout, 2x Legionaries (30), Physician, 2x Spearmen (25), Titus Labienus (Centurion, level 0), Wolf Scout.
Available units:
- Roman: Archer Cavalry, Auxiliary Archers, Auxiliary Infantry, Balearic Slingers, Equites, Hawk Scout, Legionaries, Physician, Praetorians, Spearmen, Wolf Scout.
- Barbarian: Bowmen, Druid, Hawk Scout, Infantry, Mounted Bowmen, Noblemen, Pikemen, Warriors, Wolf Scout.
Available construction: Ballista, Battering Ram, Catapult, Defensive Tower, repair.
                               ..
                            .-'  '-.
                         .-' . G  _ '-.
                      .-'. . ~ ~ |4|. .'-.
                   .-' .         G     G  '-.
                .-'] [~        .    10  .    '-.
             .-'.  ~  . . . . .         .       '-.
          .-'   . ~   .            . .    G .  .   '-.
       .-'      _] [ .  . . . . . _    . .    7  . +  '-.
      '-.      |3|~   .          |2|        . .G  .  8   '-.
         '-.    ~ ~ G   .        ~~  +     .    .           '-.
            '-.~    ~ ~  .      . .    .   .      . . .        '-.
               '-.      ~ .  .       9   .   .         .        G '-.
                  '-.    ~ +      .     .      G  .   .          . 5 '-.
                     '-. ~   . G  . . .             .   . . .  .        '-
                        '-.     .       .         G             .    .-'
                           '-.    .  . . .      .           . .   .-'
                              '-.   .   6 . . . .         .    .-'
                                 '-. .G   .     .     . .   .-'
                                    '-.    .  . . . .    .-'
                                       '-.     .   .  .-'
                                          '-.  1   .-'
                                             '-..-'
 _
| | = Village/barracks (may include various defenses).
 +  = Tower (free-standing from village).
. . = Path (minor pathways not shown).
~ ~ = River, sea or lake.
] [ = Bridge or location for bridge.
                                                                          
1 = Start location.
2 = Ilanna. Population 400.
3 = Ursoli. Population 300.
4 = Lucan. Population 300.
5 = Caius Crastinus' reinforcements.
6 = Gobannitio.
7 = Enemy Hunters.
8 = Suggested defensive position.
9 = Possible defensive position near stone circle south of Ilanna.
10 = Possible defensive position on ridge south of Lucan.
G = Gobannitio units.
Commandos Imperial Glory Praetorians Eidos Pyro Studios
Commandos Imperial Glory Praetorians Eidos Pyro Studios
If you haven't used a 'walkthrough' up until now, there is a good chance you'll be reading now ;-) . This mission seems to be the one most likely to cause frustration and failure. There are two elements that make it particularly hard:

- 1. For the majority of the mission you have no villages and so can train no additional troops. The map however is littered with enemy units, so it is easy to sustain significant casualties before you even get within range of a village.
- 2. Once your troops get close to the villages (the northern half of the map), a huge enemy hoard attacks. The ferosity of this attack can be overwhelming, even if you are expecting it.

The first half of the mission is spent gathering an army. After that select a suitable position to fight the horde. Only then can the two enemy villages be effectively captured or destroyed. The introduction to the mission mentions Lucan as one of the villages that must be captured or destroyed - this is not the case, and Lucan's capture is entirely optional.
New recruits cannot be recruited until quite close to the end of the mission. Your starting force is relatively modest and must be bolstered prior attacking the villages. There are two sources of extra troops - Caius Crastinus' reinforcements in the east (5 on the map above) and Gobannitio's tribe (meet him at point 6 on the map above). The first stage of the mission should be spent assembling an army.

Caius Crastinus' reinforcements will join you as soon as one of your units comes within range. Once you meet Gobannitio he will join you. Gobannitio suggests travelling to Lucan (4 on the map above). Do not do this initially - it is considered as an option under Defeating the horde (see below). Any of his troops (shown as G on the map above) that Gobannitio comes close to will join your army. You should aim to collect as many of Gobannitio's troops as possible - that is all that are found in the southern half of the map.

Do not go north of the line of three towers that divide the north and south of the map; at least not until you have a strategy ready for Defeating the horde (see below).

The map is crawling with enemy units - some hiding in woodland or on high ground, some patrolling along certain paths. You cannot train replacement units and you will need all or most of those that can be gathered to fight the enemy horde later. It is therefore imperative that you keep your loses to a minimum. Dramaticus writes: "That might seem like a no-brainer, but it is easy to have them whittled away." Players that favour overtly offensive tactics may grimace at the thought of trying to prevent every friendly death. However, on 'Normal' difficulty you should expect to kill around 700 enemy during this initial stage, and this simply cannot be done if each battle results in 20% casualties. From LordJohnDrinksalot: "Gather your reinforcements carefully. Scout ahead. Lure the enemy into attacking in small groups. It's possible to have a ten to one kill ratio or better." [Indeed, I've managed to complete the first stage with zero loses, although it took about 90 minutes of painfully slow scouting, positioning, luring and shouting expletives at the screen ;-) .] Plan attacks carefully. Use woodland and high ground to your advantage. Mr Frag writes: "Basically step from high ground to high ground with your archers, and pull the enemy to you with your scouts. Use the leader who steals stamina [Gobannitio] in the attack to deplete their charge ability." Dramaticus comments: "Preserve your Physicians and scouts. Their loss, especially of the scouts, hurt me in many of my early attempts. Keep them back from the action and then rush the Physicians forward to heal after a battle."

Many battles will be fought in this initial stage. Use these to advance your Centurions and Chieftain to level 4. Experienced commanders will start to make a big difference to the outcome of battles. From Mr Frag: "Keep all your command units in each fight so they gain levels as soon as possible. The bonus to attack and defence provided to a level 4 unit is fantastic."

Take extra care against special Barbarian units: Berserkers, Hunters and German Cavalry. You should be familiar with German Cavalry from earlier missions - they are fairly easily disposed of by luring them into a line of stationary Spearmen. Berserkers have a powerful melee attack, however they appear to take a few seconds to 'psych themselves up', so a very rapid, overpowering attack can sometimes avoid the worst of their damage. Another tactic that sometimes works is to send a high-health unit such as a character into the frontline to soak some damage - save before trying this though, since should their health fail them, you'll fail the mission ;-) . Berserkers may be found in the woodland just to the east of Gobannitio (6 on the map above) and on a ridge just to the north-west of Caius Crastinus' reinforcements (5 on the map above). Hunters lay in ambush in woodland, and can only be found by very precise wolf scouting - they are not visible to other units. They attack apparently from nowhere, causing huge amounts of damage - indeed it is possible for them to eliminate a unit completely if (un)lucky. Hunters may be found in the woodland at point 7 on the map above. The most effective way to deal with them in this mission is to ignore them - don't go into the woodland and they will remain inactive. A more conventional anti-hunter technique is to sacrifice a cheap unit such as a scout to their ambush; however at this stage in the game you need ever unit you can get. Alternatively locate them using the scout's wolf, then attempt to engage them with archers, backed up by melee troops once the Hunters become active.

I suggest you first advance north and meet with Gobannitio. Deal with enemy patrols and units in the surrounding woodland before sending a unit to met him. Then slowly work north to the line of towers, then east, then south, picking up the majority of his troops and clearing enemy units in the process. Leave Caius Crastinus' reinforcements until close to the end. I suggest this because: (1) although Caius Crastinus is relatively easy to reach, he is surrounded by some quite unpleasant enemy units (notably the Berserkers on the ridge just to his north-west); (2) Gobannitio's troops cannot join your army until Gobannitio has joined you, so you will waste more time walking across the map; and (3) overall Gobannitio has more troops to offer, arguably of the same or higher quality.

Mr Frag writes: "Don't worry about having a city to recruit [from], as you will already have far more units then you can actually command." Once your army has been assembled, consider how best to defeat the horde.
Once your troops enter the northern half of the map, specifically close to any one of the three villages, several groups of enemy troops attack you. From LordJohnDrinksalot: "The central village and a broad area around it triggers a horde of attackers. The friendly village at the top right also seems to trigger major attacks. The enemy village at the left also triggers waves of attackers. They will probably wipe you out and leave your head on a pole." This attack needs to be prepared for. The most common method is to find a location in or close to the northern half of the map that can be easily fortified, preferably higher ground, preferably with a single entrance. An alternative (generally less successful) strategy is to immediately take control of one of the villages and fortify that. The later is what Gobannitio suggests you do at Lucan.

The capture and defense of Lucan (4 on the map above) is not recommended, but I describe it first to highlight some of the problems. When you get close to Lucan with Gobannitio in your party, the village comes under your control. From bond0bhave: "The key is to stop the Barbarian leader from getting control of the village while you use the Barbarian Infantry you get to build lots of defense towers around the village." The ridge to the south of the village (10 on the map above) contains several enemy units which should be eliminated as soon as possible. It commands views over two approaches to the village and has only one entrance, only accessible to units that can enter woodland. Bond0bhave continues: "When you take the village just mass produce archers, and stack them into the towers you have built on the ridge, I managed to have it so that most enemy attack forces had lost most of their strength by the time they got to the base." The main advantage of capturing Lucan is the ability to recruit troops, including powerful units such as Praetorians.

Unfortunately if you have gathered an army without taking heavy casualties, there will be insufficient Unit Control Points to build additional troops until the first attacks start to do damage, at which point there will only be enough training time for a handful of units. There are only a few minutes to build defenses before the attacks start. There are two major disadvantages to trying to defend Lucan. Firstly the village is inherently difficult to defend, with three main approaches and a very exposed village garrison. Secondly, where other locations tend to attract several waves of attackers, Lucan seems positioned such that many of the attackers appear in one main wave - to quote Mark OHearn: "It will cause a massive onslaught no one can overcome." While it is probably feasible to survive at Lucan on the easier difficulties, the defense of Lucan is not the best overall strategy.

Instead of trying to defend Lucan, find a readily defensible position, fortify your troops in it, and wait for the horde to attack. The position needs to be close to the northern half of the map, however if you use a position in the middle of the map it is possible to set up your defenses, then take a group of fast moving units such as Archer Cavalry close to one of the villages, but break off and flee just before the village defenders attack. This seems to be enough to trigger the horde.

My suggested location is shown as 8 on the map above. Destroy the enemy tower first. This position is on high ground, with a single narrow approach and enough space to hide the majority of your forces at the rear. Since it is closer to one enemy village than the other, the horde will attack in waves, which allows time between attacks for healing and repairs. Mark OHearn suggests: "Set up a strong defensive position south of the village, on the hill near the ruins." This location is marked 9 on the map above. Again it is on high ground and the enemy will tend to attack in waves. It is not quite as easy to defend as location 8.

General tactics are the same at each location. Build several towers to allow archers to fire down onto approaching troops. Catapults and Ballistas can also be effective. Scouts can be used to gain maximum visibility. Since the enemy do not use scouts against you, they are blind to the location of your ranged troops until they reach the same height. So don't let them: Use stationary Spearmen to block the approach(es). You may lose some, but . so long as the line holds this will not be a problem. Keep Centurions, Chieftains and Physicians nearby. From blackwulf: "[Keep] allied warriors and legions in reserve. The mounted horsemen (Equites and Noblemen) were way south. I kept baiting the enemy against this defense; moved the legions up in turtle formation with allied warriors." Legionaries in turtle formation act as an effective decoy - just ensure they do not become swamped by enemy. From LordJohnDrinksalot: "Hotkey Equites to run down Bowmen and retreat from Pikemen."

A third alternative location is the ridged area immediately to the south of Lucan (10 on the map above). Random writes: "The access to this ridge is surrounded by forest. Have some archers set up on the ridge in stationary mode ... and set up your foot troops close by. Then lure some enemy troops into the forest and ambush them." From loki: "Deploy, legions turtled on the front, keep your cavalry way behind, keep the warriors behind the legions." Cavalry will not be able to reach the ridge, since they cannot pass through woodland. This is the most significant advantage when using this method against the enemy. Your cavalry can either be used to bait enemy troops or held in reserve a long way to the south.
Once the attacks die down counter-attack immediately. The enemies throw the majority of their troops into assaulting your fortified position, leaving their villages relatively unguarded. They will continue to train additional units, so there is nothing to be gained from delay. If you survive the horde with the majority of your troops alive, capturing or destroying the two enemy villages will be very straightforward. If your survived, but only just, tactics will be needed.

Both enemy villages have woodland nearby that can be used to sneak attack enemy defenders or burn the village to the ground - particularly useful when attacking Ursoli (3 on the map above). Alternatively, when attacking Ilanna (2 on the map above), Publius suggests: "Capture the elevated terrain just on the south east of the allied village with your Legionaries, send some foot archers and auxiliary to build a catapult there to harass the enemy troops surrounding the allied village. Once provoked, they will meet your Legionaries placed south of the allied village." From LordJohnDrinksalot: "Try and ambush the enemy troops moving from the top left village by various methods. Your wolf scouts help a great deal still. I caught a four 16-man bowmen units with a quick Equite charge and lost no one."

If replacement troops are needed, capture one of the cities. Very capable units such as Praetorians can be produced - and you _will_ have enough Honour Points to produce an army of them ;-) . Publius writes: "It's a good idea too to send the allied chief [Gobannitio] to convert troops in his range."

There is no need to capture Lucan. You can if you wish, but you may have to fight your way through as many enemy troop to reach Lucan as you would to capture one of the other villages.
This is supposed to be fixed by patch 1.04. If they do become stuck there is nothing that you can do to regain control of the units.
 
Written by timski
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