StrongHold Mission 8: Sands of Time
Human Lord (4,000 gold) v Rat, Duc de Puce, Rat “The Weasel”, Rat The Ferret” and Rat “The Stoat” (all 2,000 starting gold)
One of the differences between this mission and the ones previously is the location of the resources, namely iron and stone. The centre of the map holds an abundance of both, but getting iron and stone to your stockpile is difficult and here you will have to fight to get a foothold. There is plenty of oasis grass, but again unprotected farms will be overrun and your workers killed before they get a chance to harvest their crops.
I took an alternative approach here. Rather than fight for control of the iron and stone, I again fell back on maximum ale coverage and turned off food consumption, with bread generating more than enough gold.
I placed a couple of woodcutters’ huts near the keep to start off with, and with the starting stone I placed a long wall section to protect an area of oasis grass. With 4,000 starting gold, I bought some 40 bows and recruited archers, lining the walls and concentrating some on the area of wall closest to the iron and stone in the middle of the map. This was just about enough to hold off any attacks, and 4 wheat farms generated more than enough to set up a strong bread production chain.
I did end up buying most of my wood, as the woodcutters had to venture outside of the walled area, and were promptly cut down by the Rat lords’ archers.
All of the invasions I faced consisted of archers and spearmen, and my own archers on walls saw them off quite easily.
I slowly introduced manufacturing crossbows, buying leather armour and set up a small attacking force of crossbowmen. I also had plenty of gold to buy iron, manufacturing swords & stell armour, and the swordsmen that resulted proved to be deadly against the more numerous, but weaker forces of the Rat lords.
If you can protect your farmland, and replace archers occasionally to defend your castle, you shouldn’t have too many problems with this map. My attacking force of swordsmen and crossbowmen soon saw off two Rat lords, and towards the end, with an abundance of gold, I placed a mercenary tent, recuited horse archers and assassins.
The Rat prefers weaker troops and has appalling defences. Overcome the number of units he produces by concentrating on strong attack/defence units as I did.