Adrianople (378) - Great battles of Late Antiquity

Discuss Adrianople (378) - Great battles of Late Antiquity

Ehi I’m the designer. You can write here if you had issues playing this scenario. I imagine it could be a little harsh at the beginning but should run smoother after you get a grip on mechanics.

Hey there!

Just leaving a comment here to let you know that (as both a Greek and a student of History/Archaeology) I quite enjoyed your long campaign “Constantinople - The End of the Ancient World”, so when I saw that you’d published another scenario I immediately jumped in!

This one was quite the challenge in the beginning, what with the incessant Hun attacks, the need to focus on two fronts (north of the Danube and north of Marcianopolis), and then the constant Roman harassment, and that poor priest has his work cut out for him with all the conversions available. But it’s also a lot of fun and it’s incredibly satisfying to raid as soon as you have your base firmly established. The migratory aspects (depletion of food depending on unit population, moving of base with deletion of player-controlled trade workshop, discovery of Roman technologies in destroyed towns and forts) I thought were also well-implemented.

that being said, I’ve played through the scenario to completion three times already and I’ve encountered a couple of minor bugs. Off the top of my head, they are the following:

  1. Sometimes parts of the dialogue between Alavivus and Lupicinus don’t trigger. On a related note, it would also be a good idea to give a few seconds’ warning that the Romans have turned or are about to turn on you so that players know to immediately shift their focus to the castle of Marcianopolis and get Fritigern out of danger. Also, placing a flag or other marker near the roman stable north of the castle could help.

  2. Sometimes your Cyan allies are attacked by the Blue player before you begin your assault on the middle fortress on the Danube limes. I don’t know if this was because I took too long to assault that fort, but it was a bit strange to get the message that my allied player was defeated before I’d even done anything to trigger his activation.

  3. Sometimes the Blue player attacks the Yellow player before you’ve interacted with them and destroys their base before they can give you the assignment to destroy Nicopolis ad Istrum.

  4. If I’ve understood it correctly, once you’ve established your base at Ad Salices and Lupicinus discovers and attacks you, the Roman forts on the Danube limes all begin sending troops to attack you occasionally. The problem is that the biggest fortress at Nicopolis ad Istrum sends all its troops to the left-most corner of the map, in the mountainous area with the gold and stone mines, instead of attacking. Is this on purpose so that the troops don’t encounter the Yellow player? At any rate these troops become a sizeable force if left for too long and need to be dealt with.

  5. In my second play-through I decided to set up the town centre from the wagon taken after sacking Cabyle. Some time later I decided that I wanted to revert back to a nomadic play style because I’d collected quite a few carts with spoils from sacking settlements, so I deleted the town centre. The problem is that after that, I couldn’t take over any remaining trade workshops so as to establish a base and cash in the carts, and also my villagers couldn’t build any buildings.

Overall though, this scenario is a lot of fun (and also quite funny at times!) and I can tell that a lot of research and effort has been poured into it. I highly recommend it for players looking for something beyond your typical AoE II build-and-destroy. Also, were you by any chance influenced by Philthydelphia’s Alexios I Komnenos, Seljuk and Vandals scenarios?

Looking forward to your next work!

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Thank you very much for your praise! I really enjoy knowing in general what people think of what I create, you can leave a review if you want.
In Constantinople not everything is historically exact but it’s acceptable I think, I like to put minor things and names in those scenarios to make use of all the trivia I know of late Roman empire ahah I put a lot of effort too in storytelling which imho is often the weak part of custom campaigns (intro and outro slides and dialogues).

What worries me the most about your points is that the early part of the scenario indeed is not very smooth and intuitive and may be frustrating and need many retries… After that as you say it’s funnier but I imagine many people being stuck on it (I’m sure I got a 1 star vote for that reason alone lol) so I’ll definitely try to simplify it! It’s very hard to understand if something is good or not without having testers, that’s why I always write here to exhort players in giving me feedback so I can adjust accordingly.

Your allies getting destroyed before you can reach them is new to me and I’m very sorry! Nicopolis behaviour is hard to trigger right, indeed their troops sometimes just walk into the corner of the map, I made a trigger specifically to adjust that but if it persists I’m gonna try something else.

Finally such a bummer about not being able to build again and get trade workshops after you unpack the town center… Probably the worst offender, almost game breaking, I never noticed it so thank you for pointing it out!

About philtydelphia yeah I definitely took inspiration from the vandals one for Adrianople! But I like most of his scenarios, vandals, komnenos, Seljuks, Bjorn and Ragnar raids probably the most!

Thank you very much for your feedback man, you can let me know about Constantinople too if you’re willing to!

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Your scenarios have a unique blend of humour and history that I find immensely enjoyable. I’d even be down to play-test your work if I my job didn’t take up so much of my time. As it stands, I’m more than happy to play them on release and note anything that seems off. Of course, I left a review of Adrianople on the relevant page so I hope that helps, it’s definitely not worth only 1 star lol.

I imagine that your work is incredibly trigger-heavy so it makes sense for a few of them to not function exactly as planned, but with the exception of the town centre thing they’re not game-breaking.

As for your Constantinople campaign, it’s been some time since I last played through it, but the day before yesterday I tried to play the last scenario (which I also found to be the most challenging and almost infuriating at times, not gonna lie) but your forces immediately get detected and attacked from the beginning so something from one of the most recent patches must have thrown it off.
In fact, I think that final scenario could be a mini-campaign all on its own, with the amount of content it has in it (A Byzantine-Eastern Roman campaign focusing on Heraclius, now there’s something I’d pay good money to play! There’s not nearly enough Medieval Roman content for AoEII). There’s definitely a lot to talk about regarding tweaks, bugs and everything else there so if you’re willing I’ll try and recall everything that seemed clunky, off, buggy or tweakable, make a list of observations, and send them over. It’ll probably take a while though, given my work.

As an aside, If you’re willing to share, what’s your next scenario going to be about?

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Oh I see so you’re the user I can’t see the name who voted 5 stars! Thank you very much, I think you got the spirit of the scenario, indeed I personally like to use black humour the more dramatic an event is. I love late antiquity for the reason that I see it as very tragic but at the same time I don’t want to sound rhetorical and i think sarcasm can actually make something seems even more intense.

If you have time to make a list of course that would help me! I just hope there are not too many bugs lol. I just corrected the one in the Heraclius scenario that another user made me notice! Once I corrected Adrianople too I’m gonna update both.

My next project is a Berber full campaign about the last queen of romanised/Christian Berbers before the coming of the Arabs. There are not much info left for that fascinating character so I had to invent a lot, not that I’m complaining ahah still I think the general events are quite historically grounded. But it takes soooo much time to make these scenarios that many months are needed because yeah real life… Constantinople took me one full year and Adrianople about two months so I imagine this new one I started last month will need at least six months as well.

I think I could have a lot of fun with this one, but the beginning is just…way too brutal, in my opinion. Maybe I just ##### but I felt like even with all my villagers working constantly and the priest converting every single villager around the first town, I could barely produce troops fast enough to defeat each wave of Huns, and I lost my entire army in each fight.

Then blue turned on me with little to no warning, and the screen was wrenched away to Fritigern, which was manageable when I knew it was coming on my second try, but it was all I could do to get the villagers away, and I lost all my troops again in the process even then, and then the level just expects me to immediately attack a garrisoned town?

So, at that point I managed to lure out just a few troops at a time with Fritigern and take the town, and right as I have enough resources to start producing units, I get attacked by a mob of blue’s units, again with no real warning. I had like…four Men-at-Arms trained. I just gave up at that point.

The level does not give you enough time between fights to prepare, and the fights themselves throw way too many units at you to come away with anything left for the next fight. I’m not leaving a rating because I think this level could be a lot of fun, and as mentioned above, it greatly resembles Philthydelphia’s scenarios, which I adore and have completed all of.

But…for lack of a better term, I think the beginning needs to be dumbed down a bit. Only the best and/or most determined players are going to get through it. It’s just too frustrating to get rushed down every time you think you’re finally getting onto your feet, never really getting enough space to breathe.

For specifics, I think there’s too many units in the Hunnic armies and the blue army that attacks you shortly after taking the first town, too little time between attacks, and too little warning that they’re about to happen. Blue’s betrayal and first attack on your town definitely need to give you more time to prepare, and the second one comes to quickly to prepare for, especially with the unit composition he brings. Additionally, it would help if during the switch to the two chieftains across the river, your units are protected somehow- in my first attempt, Fritigern was in a fight and got unhorsed while I lost control of him, and I lost all my villagers.

I don’t know if you’ll make any adjustments based on my comment- maybe it’s just a skill issue. But I would like to give it another try, if the beginning of the level is ever tweaked to be more survivable.

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Thank you for taking the time to advise me. I was indeed thinking of smoothing things a bit at the beginning. You’re right that it’s not easy at all and it can be even frustrating… I definitely plan to give you more time before blue’s first attack and make Huns initial attacks weaker.

If you can go past the initial phase anyway you will see that this scenario is way more than that! I hope you’re gonna give it another chance soon but in any case I’m gonna make it easier with the next update!

Thank you again for the educated criticism. Still have troubles in the difficulty department but I’m working on it! Hope you’ll let me know what you think overall once you finish the scenario!

Ok I just updated it in case you wanna give it another try! I didn’t want to totally erase the struggle for survival in early stages but now it should be easier for sure.

Hey there!
This is definitely not an easy scenario, especially in its early stages, but it’s possible to survive (and even thrive!) in the early part. I’ve played it 4 or 5 times to completion so far and I’ve found that the following process works best:

  1. Map your priest to a shortcut and always be converting villagers before the first Hun attack. Start with the female villagers outside the huts south of the resource-gathering area, which aren’t tasked to automatically return to what they are gathering. In any event I don’t think it’s possible to have more than 11-12 villagers in total, and you don’t really need more than that at the start.
  2. Immediately research loom at the trade workshop once you’re given control of your starting base. It takes forever to research so the sooner the better.
  3. Immediately task your food-gathering villagers to the cows you’re given. You’ll ultimately want 7-8 villagers in total on food and 3-4 on wood at any given time. Once the cows are done, task the villagers to the nearby hunt and after that’s done steal grey’s pigs and eat them. The berries should be gathered dead last, if at all.
  4. Immediately task one of your wood-gathering villagers to surround your outer towers with palisade walls so the hun Tarkans can’t get under them. This villager should also build 2-3 houses once the palisades are done and then be immediately tasked to return to wood. Queueing is your friend here.
  5. The first wave of Huns is easy to deal with without losing your entire starting army. Just position your Huscarls close to the trade workshop with your priest behind them, agro all the enemy units with yours and have your priest convert a Tarkan and then heal your units. You’ve got Roman allies with their faster-healing team bonus, which helps immensely. This way you make use of all the resources you’ve been given to defend your base (all three towers + units) and you’ll lose 2-3 Huscarls max.
  6. By the time the first wave has been repelled you should have enough food to go up to Feudal so do that. In this early part of the scenario spearmen are your friends so you want to get to them ASAP. Also, a blacksmith to research the infantry upgrades will help immensely.
  7. Your priest is your saving grace here, be sure to protect him at all costs as it’s basically impossible to survive without him. If he’s drawn agro from an enemy unit what I like to do is garrison him in the tower next to the trade workshop.
  8. The next 2-3 Hunnic waves are easier to deal with than the first. Just repeat what you did in the first wave, and always be training spearmen. If you’re lucky, you’ll even manage to escape Marcianopolis with 2-3 converted Tarkans in tow in addition to your surviving infantry units, which you’ll have upgraded.
  9. If you can afford it, research wheelbarrow at the trade workshop and double-bit axe at the lumber camp as soon as you hit Feudal. In any event, be sure not to leave Marcianopolis without these upgrades, they’ll save you later.
  10. Once you’re given the message that Alavivus has been stabbed and the Romans are about to turn on you, quickly select all your units and remove them from the Romans’ line of sight, taking them north. This way the Romans will attack your buildings but your units will have gotten away. Take care to also have Fritigern survive.
  11. Once you’re given control of Alatheus and Saphrax wait for the two Roman auxiliarii to turn on you, take them down and head to the north corner of the map, above the Roman fort. There you’ll find a respectable Gaia army (and another priest, JOY!) which you can use, with the proper micro in order to avoid casualties, to demolish the Roman fort. This is incredibly helpful as it unites your two forces and removes a source of enemy units in one action. There’s also a centurion or two that you should try to convert here.
  12. If you’ve done everything correctly thus far, you should have plenty of units left over from your start outside Marcianopolis to take down the garrison of Ad Salices without issue. Once you’re established there, build a barracks and archery range. Trash units are your friends here, gold is incredibly rare at the start of the scenario and should only be used to research upgrades and maybe recruit a priest or two once you’ve reached castle age.
  13. The Romans will attack, and this is perhaps the only part of the early section of this scenario which I feel is a bit too luck-based. You’ll need (I stress, NEED) to convert one of the two centurions from the attacking army and task it to deal with the other centurion because otherwise those two units can basically melt anything you can train.
  14. After that, the Romans will periodically send units to attack you but it’s nothing you won’t be able to deal with.
    And with that you’re set up for the rest of the scenario! My advice after this is to hold off on attacking Marcianopolis for as long as possible, raid as much as you can and accomplish as many secondary goals as you can find, because later on the scenario has a number of timers that can easily spiral out of control.
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Even better than I would play myself! I’m not a great aoe2 player admittedly, may seem strange given the difficulty of my scenarios but I’m actually quite slow.

The only thing I add is that saving alatheus and safrax while not being mandatory really boosts your economy at the beginning cause if you take down the krepost on the Danube you get a lot of resources from the slow cart! Plus more units, a priest, two small carts, one less position to defend (they won’t train units from that camp anymore) and arson (with goths!) Which means you’ll probably go castle immediately once taken the first village and easily repel blue’s first attack.

However I realised that in general if you don’t do exactly as scripted it’s very hard to deal with blue’s first attack which it’s probably designed around you being able to save alatheus and safrax but it shouldn’t be that way since it states that’s a secondary objective.
So now I made it in a way that you should be able to easily deal with lupicinus even without playing the best you can. Let me know how it goes!

That was definitely more manageable, but I think there are a few things later on on that also need work. I don’t think those things are necessarily how you intended it to work, though.

So, the biggest problem I noticed is that there does not seem to be a cap on enemy unit production. They just infinitely pump out units. That’s not a huge problem if they’re sending them to die on your defenses, but a few of the forts/cities have a tendency to build an infinite number of units and just. Leave them all where they spawn.

The end result of that is that they have dozens and dozens of units packed inside their camp, and while it’s possible to kill them all, eventually, it takes constant unit production and tens of thousands of resources to do. The big offenders were the middle fort on the river, the city where the Arch is built, and Adrianople itself.

Honestly, the first two weren’t too bad, and I was able to drown them in pikemen until they ran out of units. Adrianople was the problem. The units are focused on a chokepoint, and they have onagers, scorpions, and longbowmen in addition to all the crazy heavy cavalry. I am not exaggerating when I say that I sent thousands of units into that chokepoint and before I gave up and cheated. Seriously, my end statistics had 4000 units lost, and I think at least half were from that battle alone.

It kind of reminded me of the original Forgotten release, specifically the…second, I think, scenario of the Bari campaign. In its original state the AI had infinite resources, the only approaches were chokepoints, and you were fighting them while down an age. I only won because there was an infinite gold mine, allowing me to send waves of 60 cataphracts through their docks to pick up troop production.

In this case, I was mostly limited to trash, because relic gold is slow, and I only managed to pick off a krepost and a siege workshop. I just could not get past those units to reach anything else, and the only other approach was guarded by three castles, heavy scorpions, and more heavy cavalry.

The southwest fort was almost as bad, but its tendency to trickle units into attacks helped somewhat once I spent around 20k food and wood pushing them back to their gates and surrounded the gate with towers full of archers while I replenished by resources. They were sending a literally unending stream of units out with only seconds between each wave. I nearly ran out of resources forcing them back.

I think these problems combine with what Zooropean111 said about Marcianopolis to make the scenario literally unwinnable unless you cheese it. If you take Marcianopolis when it seems the level intends you to, the infinite, fast troop production means it is impossible to stop the arch from being constructed and the timer from running down. It takes like, an hour of pushing through a meat grinder to defeat each of the locations I’ve mentioned. Even bypassing two of the forts by jumping the river and going straight for the Arch, I still could not get through the endless units before the timer ran out. Having events progress from ‘raze Marcianopolis’ > ‘defeat an army’ > ‘conquer half the map and stop this wonder or lose’ is way too sharp of an escalation.

I think the triggers for unit production need some kind of cap to prevent troop counts from spiraling out of control, and that Marcianopolis shouldn’t be the trigger that leads to the Arch being built. It’s too early in the level to trigger a lose condition on the other side of the map like that, and you simply don’t have time to do anything once the Arch starts construction.

The Roman army that’s supposed to patrol the map also becomes kind of irrelevant as a result, because the only reason you would ever trigger it is that you’ve already overrun all the cities and forts, so you can just drown it in a deathball the moment it walks out of Adrianopolis.

So, in summary…I’d say the spawn triggers need a pop cap or stop condition that prevents them from infinitely spawning a swarm the Zerg would blush at, the main quest needs a bit of spacing to allow a more natural progression from taking Marcianopolis to assaulting the city at the bottom of the map, and some way of accessing trebuchets is needed to make Adrianopolis beatable.

Additionally, I think the rewards for razing villages and cities should be lowered by one each- this would allow you to actually claim the village razing reward without losing the ability to loot (especially considering the final village ends up giving you a useless ox cart), and to claim the reward for cities before razing Adrianopolis, which essentially makes that reward useless since you’ve already won by doing so.

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I don’t remember exactly all the numbers but there’s a cap for every unit created in any city and fort. For example they can only have at max two or four mangonels in Augusta Trajana, I think 8 cataphracts at the same time in Adrianople iirc and so on, depending on how strong is the unit to avoid happening what you said.

You’re right that Adrianople is kinda of a ##### ### oh my god 4000 units??? Why didn’t you change strategy ahah I’m really sorry, that must have been painful but it was not intended to play like that. You can’t make trebuchets that’s true but you can make longboats for example, have you tried it? You can transport villagers or units through the river in the middle of the map towards Adrianople and easily acces through the city from there or even build inside it. In alternative massed longboats can melt their buildings and units helping you getting inside from land. If you can’t get inside from the south you can do from the north where Valens is stationed. Don’t know if you tried this? He will run inside to cover leaving you deal with his remaining army and from there it shouldn’t be that hard to wipe away the castles with huskarls spam (or even trying a combined attack from both sides). But it’s true that accessing from south is kinda of a grinder because of position and fortifications, anyway you have alternatives and ways to do that as well so in the end while hard and long for sure I thought it was acceptable for the last big battle.

I don’t know how your playstyle is but just spamming units it’s not what will make you win in this case even if you’re goths. If you took down all of the forts and cities before Adrianople you should possess the ability to create tarkans, cataphracts, legionaries, longoboats, kipchaks… So again you’re not just the typical goth spam and you should take advantage of that. Augusta Trajana is a little grindy as well but I didn’t have all those difficulties, when adding cavalry archers and mangonels plus usual waves of infantry I could enter and destroy the arch without too many problems. The other semi grind you have is the fort of nicopolis but nothing that you can’t deal with and even in this case you can attack through water and land at the same time. Spending thousands of resources to get through it however idk it’s kinda strange in my experience, it was not that hard.

What I’m considering is to find a way to trigger a little later the building of the arch (even if I could reach it while taking my time and razing every single village city and fort along the way), did you notice you can research atheism if you unpack the town center? That should often be enough and the building process anyway is very slow. Also you’re not forced to take all other cities and can just rush to Augusta.

And yes the bonuses kicking in after taking Adrianople are kinda useless… But how can I give the bonus for destroying that city before you do it? Wouldn’t make much sense as a reward. It’s technically possible to destroy Adrianople before other cities but I never tried tbh. And the ox carts being useless, well for that you just need to let a trade workshop intact until the end. Yes you need to renounce to a small ox cart (not that much anyway) and to silk armour but that’s the trade off I guess. It depends on what strategy you wanna adopt to take Adrianople.

Ok the comparison to Bari doesn’t seem very positive lol so I imagine your experience was not the best. I’d like to have more opinions and then see what else I can change without making it a complete walk in the park, that was the problem I had with some philtydelphia scenarios where you basically had infinite resources after a certain point and you could just spam units to the enemy and win. Thanks again for letting me know how it went, I’m sorry for the grind!

This comment is based on experiences playing on moderate difficulty, I haven’t tried hard difficulty yet.

You’re not wrong about the unit spam, and I’ve noticed that especially the middle fort on the Danube, despite initially sending raiding parties against your base, eventually stops doing that and just keeps massing troops inside its walls. This obviously necessitates building a number of military production buildings outside it and attacking with a constantly produced mix of nordic warriors, skirmishers, light cav and priests (which in the early part of the scenario before you sack Marcianopolis is perhaps your most gold-efficient unit comp). Generally I think it would be a good idea to avoid archers altogether, given the lack of the crossbow upgrade.
This approach and unit comp also works wonders on the southwest Roman fort, if you attack it from behind where the Yellow player attacks it. If you use 2-3 waves of nordic warriors backed up by the above units and time your attacks to coincide with yellow’s, the fort falls quite easily. A good idea here is to convert as many ships as you can and use those converted ships to take down the docks.
It’s true that Augusta Traiana, where the arch is built, is a ##### to take down but I find that a mix of Huscarls, kipchaks, priests and either mangonels or scorpions (think scorpions are better tho) basically make short work of anything in the chokepoint at the gate.
As for Adrianopolis itself, the southern approach is basically a no-go, there’s no way the unit composition you have available to you in the scenario gets you through the Kreposts, donjons, onagers, ships and hundreds of land units and over the bridges to attack the castle. Surprisingly enough, the northern approach, while looking a lot more formidable, basically melts away if you attack it with a mix of Huscarls, capped rams, kipchaks and priests. It requires a lot of micro though to take down priority targets like onagers and scorpions, so it can feel a bit grindy, and your first two huscarl waves are guaranteed to die to the units guarding the gate.

One major issue I think this scenario has is that it’s perhaps not all that intuitive what the best course of action is at any given time. I myself am a bit of a completionist (like when I play open-world games if there’s even one question mark on the map or secondary assignment or fetch quest that’s not part of the main quest, I just have to take care of it before moving on with the main quest lol) so in this case when I’m given the opportunity and resources to attack poorly defended villages and spread all over the map with military buildings etc. that’s usually what I’m going to do. Maybe it ought to be made a bit clearer that you should do everything in your power to spread across the map with military buildings outside the major settlements, raid villages and forts, and establish your economy before attacking and taking Marcianopolis.

Also, a major quality-of-life improvement I feel this scenario should have is the ability to build new siege workshops after taking a city (usually Cabyle) that has one. There’s no reason not to allow something like that.

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Ok guys I’m taking notes.
The issue I dislike the most is the middle fort amassing troops… I never noticed it since I always take it out before marcianopolis or just after that to free farnobius and go towards yellow. But I’ll fix that asap.

Since it seems too hard to invade adrianopolis from the south I thought I could give the player either bagains or garland wars after sacking Augusta Trajana. That should make a difference right? I’d like to go with bagains since the other would maybe be too much, what do you think?

Sure, being able to build siege workshops after cabyle sounds very reasonable, I didn’t think of it because I usually prefer to use wood for longboats. They really help in taking adrianopole if you go from the south. I’d rather use huskarls than capped rams as my siege lol.

I’m a completist as well but I thought it was quite obvious that it’s part of the semi nomadic playstyle to wander around, build stuff wherever you need in search of resources and to quickly amass an army. I made farms cost double, the Mongol nomads tech and Sebastianus constantly patrolling army as an incentive for you to not stick in the same place and represent goths during this war, they were actually in constant movement trying to grab whatever they could and so you should do ahah!

In the next patch I’ll also add gambesons to be researched (another little help) and Romans will start building the arch a little later or if you move to the south. Hopefully this will make the scenario less frustrating even in later stages.

I’m sorry, I wasn’t clear enough in my previous reply. I actually did try other unit compositions! I got the krepost and siege workshop down with longboats, but getting any closer to the bridge got them melted by a combo of the castle, scorpions, and priests. I also tried landing cataphracts and other units directly inside the base, but there wasn’t much space to land because the priests would notice me the moment I passed the market, so I couldn’t really build anything without getting attacked, and the time between landings was too high, so they would replenish their numbers by the time I did anything. The northern approach I had difficulty with because the cavalry melted my infantry, but the castles melted my pikemen, so I didn’t make much headway there either.

Part of the problem is the limited gold, I think. You mention using a lot of gold units, but when the enemy has infinite units, it’s very discouraging to lose an entire wave of gold units and know you just cannot afford to replace them, while the enemy will do so easily. It seems you had more luck with using them than I did, but I felt forced to use trash units because I could keep up the production of them and maintain pressure on the enemy, whereas I could only use gold units sparingly, and I was SOL if the attack wasn’t as successful as I hoped. I saved all my gold until Adrianople, knowing it was the toughest city to crack, and then went all out with gold units, but still ran out of gold before breaking their defenses.

I think the problem with Sebastianus is that he doesn’t trigger until you destroy Marcianopolis. He’s not much of an incentive because you’ll never see him until he’s not much of a threat, since if you take Marcianopolis, things escalate rapidly into the end game, so it needs to be delayed as long as possible. I’d actually suggest making him appear earlier, honestly, and maybe beef up his army, because there’s very little reason to not fortify and hide behind garrisoned towers right now.

As for food, I’m really not sure what the best way to handle it is, but I think the double cost farms don’t really discourage farming so much as they encourage more wood cutting. One thing you noted is that in Philthydelphia’s scenarios you eventually have infinite resources, but the infinite enemies here very much encourage chopping every tree on the map and building up an enormous amount of resources to overwhelm them with sheer numbers. Maybe removing the ability to build farms at all, and restricting the player to finite food sources while reducing the enemy’s ability to replace its troops would work better?

Sorry if it comes across like I just want it to be easier- I’m mostly trying to address parts I think are unbalanced. On the contrary, I think some of the cities/forts were actually very well balanced. The eastern city with the port took some doing, but didn’t feel like an endless grind, and it was the same with the city that destroys its bridge when you approach it.

In response to Zooropean, I was on Standard, but the Alans got wiped out almost immediately after I reached them. I’m not sure how you were able to time your attacks to coincide with them. I hadn’t even finished building an army to attack when I got the message that they were defeated, and when I reached their camp it was absolutely lousy with blue units, to the point where I needed several waves of units just to clear them out. To be clear, I was building out of ten barracks at the time, so that was a very short amount of time.

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I don’t know man, ten barracks to take out nicopolis? I barely built 2, spam some huskarls and I’m usually done. I play on standard as well so I’m actually having troubles giving you advice …

I don’t wanna sound like playing down your difficulties but really I never had such troubled experience. I’ll retry the whole thing asap because it’s seem really strange to me the difference can be that big. Funnily i usually have more troubles with Sebastianus so maybe it all comes down to individual abilities and preferences…

Three relics on the map are a small trickle to make gold infinite but I’ll eventually make Adrianople produce less units and taking longer time. I never had problems of gold usually if not until Adrianople but by that point I accumulated so many resources that I just sell them (specially stone) and I basically never run out of it. So in my experience the game was grindy at the end but balanced. You also get tower shields after destroying the forts so your trash is actually valuable!

If you tried water and even the north side idk to me has always worked… 30 longboats were enough, not kidding, also a transport with 10 villagers I sent in the little isle between the west broken bridge and the walls of Adrianople to build a barrack, spam huskarls, destroy the gate and slowly cripple from there too worked just fine (adding huskarls again and again).

Do you think getting bagains and/or garland wars before adrianopolis instead of after it would help resolving the issue? Your infantry would become really powerful that way.

Not sure. I might try getting some screenshots because it sounds like things aren’t quite adding up here. It’s like they were producing more units in my run than they were supposed to, or something.

Okay, I’ve added a couple screenshots from right after I took the middle fortress. Nicopolis immediately sent out a constant stream of troops - you can see here that they overran the Alans and there was only a few tiles between each wave of units. It doesn’t look like much at first, but the moment I engaged them all those waves began to pile up on top of each other, because they were essentially receiving a constant stream of reinforcements adding five to ten units to the fight every few seconds, and the Alans went down so fast they were entirely useless. Enough units were already present just past this position up river that when I engaged, they delayed me long enough for several more waves to arrive, bringing the numbers up to even and then quickly tilting in their favor.

I’m not sure the Alans even attacked them. It was in the fog of war at the time, so the first I knew they were under attack was the message they were defeated. They may not have even had time to generate an army.

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So here’s the thing, nicopolis is triggered to start attacking yellow only if you reach yellow base and ally with them against blue.
So my guess is that you went in yellow base and then didn’t help them in dealing with nicopolis but I can’t be sure since I didn’t watch your match, because I can assure you blue won’t attack yellow unless you do so.

### here is to avoid going to yellow base if you’re not ready or willing to fight nicopolis and want to take another route.

But let me know if that’s the case! I’m retrying the scenario right now and everything seems quite smooth apart ai bugging out as always, specially yellow and sebastianus that ########## I’m gonna try to improve it but pathfinding unfortunately is a problem Devs don’t wanna deal in this game and every new patch resolve one issue but create ten others…

But I’m having fun, tons of resources and units (125 pop and 2600 gold yikes!) and not grinding at all for now! I’m about to reach nicopolis and yellow base is still completely intact (this to prove you my previous point).

Did the changes I suggested sounds fair to you to make your experience less frustrating? I’ll let you know if I can reach the arch in time (for now it’s halfway) and if Adrianople is still a grind!

Oh yeah, not saying they were destroyed prematurely. I was responding to Zooropean’s point about using them to defeat Nicopolis. I was just describing how, within a couple minutes, Nicopolis just utterly annihilated them before I even finished building an army, so they weren’t very helpful.

Out of curiosity, what happens when you encounter Sebastianus? By the time he appeared for me I had conquered the entire map except Adrianople and just met him with around sixty pikeman and norse warriors. His army died pretty fast.

Also, now that you mention it, I entirely forgot the market existed, so that one is completely on me. My fault for staying up late to finish the level and tackling Adrianople past midnight :skull_and_crossbones:

And yeah, I do think those rewards would help take Adrianopolis.

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