Campaign Suggestion - Stephen the Great (46 victories / 48 battles)

(please note: I will make jokes but it’s all historically accurate)

Let me begin with a summary of Romania’s history:

And Moldova since it’s basically the same until 1812:

Both of these videos briefly mention Stephen the Great (and Vlad the Impaler, his cousin by the way. Yes, they were cousins. Not only that, but Vlad the Impaler helped Stephen the Great get his throne & Stephen the Great helped Vlad the Impaler get his throne during his last/third reign, by helped I mean literally being with them in the army).

As the not clickbait title says, he fought a total of 48 battles during his lifetime, and won 46.

As a Romanian, I know that Vlad the Impaler is far far far far more popular, because cruelty and all that. But by all objective accounts I think Stephen the Great was a better… everything.

He ruled for 47 years, Vlad the Impaler ruled for 8 years (all his reigns combined). He defeated all his neighbours at different points: Ottomans, Wallachians (but not during Vlad’s reign), Hungarians, Poles (yes, Battle of the Cosmin Forest) and Tattars.

And unlike Vlad the Impaler (if you watched the Netflix show Mehmed vs Vlad you know what I’m talking about), unlike his cousin, when Mehmed II the Conqueror invaded Moldavia he failed to capture it.

But enough of the main events, let’s make a summary of his life, and why I think he objectively deserves to have a campaign, yes I’m Romanian so I’m biased but let me tell you about him and you be the judge:

I don’t think it’s an understatement to say that if Stephen the Great would have been born the prince of a greater country he would have been the next Caesar. His only fault was that unlike Vlad the Impaler he was pretty much his polar opposite, a very religious and pious person, the Pope even named him “Champion of Christ” despite being Orthodox.

Oh yeah, and his most badass moment: he sent a letter to all European powers asking them to start a new Crusade against the Ottomans in the name of Christianity (he sent it to the king of France & England as well, all Christian leaders of Europe), but only 2.000 Szekely answered because they were too busy fighting each other.

Where as Vlad the Impaler was a sadist, Stephen the Great was a religious zealot (the man would build 1 church at the site of each victorious battle after the battle to thank God, this is not a legend, the churches exist to this day and the writing makes it very clear).

I’m not a religious person, but man Stephen the Great was overkill.

And while we’re at it. May I suggest a Romanian/Vlach civilization? At this point, I don’t care about the specifics, many better suited people made suggestions about it, I would just like to be able to play as the Romanians in Age of Empires 2.

Anyway, his life & his help from his polar opposite cousin Vlad the Impaler

As I said, Stephen the Great is less popular than his cousin in international history, because being a religious man is less cool than impaling the opposition, but by the end of this I think you will agree with me that he was his superior in so many ways. Just not marketing. Hard to beat the Vampire brand.

Stephen the Great was the Prince of Moldavia. He was to become the ruler of Moldavia. But his uncle had other plans. His uncle killed his father in 1451 and took his throne. His only 2 real choices being decapitation or fleeing, Stephen (soon to become the Great but I’ll refer to him as the Great from now on) fled to Hungary. From Hungary, he joined the army of his cousin, yes Vlad the Impaler, and helped Vlad the Impaler take his 2nd reign in Wallachia in 1456.

In return, Vlad the Impaler returned the favor. Vlad the Impaler invaded Moldavia with an army against Stephen the Great’s uncle. Who was defeated and Stephen the Great finally took his father’s throne.

Fun epic so far? the revenge trope. But it gets better.

A new ruler right? well, Wallachia and Moldavia were the pawns of 3 great powers: Ottomans, Hungarians and Poles. Stephen the Great picked the Poles and in 1459 he decided to become a Polish ###### (all 3 of them were very insistent so he had to accept to one or risk being invaded, #MedievalLife), this infuriated King Matthias of Hungary, who felt offended and invaded Moldavia.

You know how I told you that Stephen the Great won 46 out of 48 battles? yeah, the battles with the Hungarians are not one of them. Despite the Poles not offering any support (only nominal ######### the Moldavians under Stephen the Great knocked the heck out of them at the Battle of Baia.

Oh yes, the Moldavians were always outnumbered. They were outnumbered in every battle being a small nation so I’m just going to say it now and know that it applies for all battles I’m going to mention. Don’t worry, I’m not going to mention all 48 of them, only the most important ones (and the 2 defeats, sorry Stephen, people tend to remember you for your failure not your succes, you’re the unliving proof of that).

Not only Stephen the Great beat the Hungarians at the Battle of Baia, but after their victory they advanced and attacked Transylvania. He kept sacking Transylvania until 1469 until King Matthias signed a peace treaty so he would stop and accepted Polish suveranity over Moldavia (remember, the Poles didn’t move 1 finger).

In the meantime, Vlad the Impaler lost the throne of Wallachia to his younger brother, Radu the Handsome in 1462 (watch the Netflix series Mehmed vs Vlad to catch up), Stephen the Great knew that a war with the Ottomans was imminent, and he tried to take Chilia fortress and failed. This was his first fail 1/2. I hope we won’t see this battle in the campaign, such an embarrassment to an otherwise good general. Hey, you can’t be top game all the time, right?

Anyway, he took Chilia in a 2nd attept 2 years later (see, it eventually worked!). The Ottomans were mad but chill, for the time being. In 1470, Stephen the Great attacked Radu the Handsome in Wallachia. In response, the Ottoman Empire sent the Tatars to invade Moldavia but Stephen the Great defeated them at Lipnic and returned to Wallachia to his original campaign. (a small distraction, the Tattars are no match for Stephen)

In 1474, Stephen the Great finally defeated Radu the Handsome who fled to the Ottoman Empire and placed Laiota Basarab as ruler of Wallachia (follow-up to the Netflix series, how long did Radu the Handsome last on the throne? Stephen the Great long)

But 2 years later Laiota Basarab switched sides (top 10 anime betryals). Stephen the Great thought he was going to be a loyal ally, like his cousin (who was at the time a prisoner of the Hungarians so he couldn’t count on him) but he wasn’t.

The same year Laiota Basarab switched sides, Mehmed II asked Stephen the Great to give up on Wallachia, give back Chilia and pay tribute to the Ottoman Empire (reasonable demands). Stephen the Great refused and war was on (grew cocky this big boy).

Mehmed II sent Suleiman Pasha and Laiota Basarab to deal with Stephen the Great. Who defeated them at the Battle of Vaslui in 1475.

And it is here that you have to see what Stephen the Great was all about:

I can’t pull this off in Age of Empires 2 let alone in real life.

It was after this battle that… can you guess it? what did he do after this great victory?

The letter. He sent letter to all European leaders to start a new Crusade against the Ottoman Empire.

You already know their reply from the introduction of this topic. Hooray to the Szekely, the only ones to actually respond. And they weren’t even a country, but warriors from Hungary. (the Szekely previously helped his uncle kill his father, but hey, details)

But one year later, in 1476, Mehmed II came personally to fight Stephen the Great with a much bigger army, he defeated Stephen the Great at the Battle of Valea Alba. However, unlike Vlad the Impaler’s failure, Mehmed II, the conqeror of Constantinople, couldn’t conquer Suceava, the capital of Moldova, he was unable to take Moldavia’s capital, Suceava and eventually retreated before suffering attrition (the game Stephen the Great was playing all along! the defeat at Valea Alba was just a ploy you see! Ok, no, he really messed up there, defeat 2/2 but sources say the Ottomans suffered “heavy” casualities despite not saying the actual numbers so cut the man some slack, there’s a reason he couldn’t take Suceava!; estimated numbers: 100.000 - 150.000 Ottomans; 10.000 - 30.000 Moldavians. So thank you. Don’t hold it against him).

Later the same year in 1476, the same year he was invaded but retreated by Mehmed II the Conqueror of Constantinopole, Stephen the Great invaded Wallachia from the east while his cousin Vlad the Impaler invaded Wallachia from the west (SPOILER: Vlad’s 3rd and final reign).

Laiota Basarab (the traitor, the backstabber, the top 10 anime betrayals guy!) fled to the Ottoman Empire, Vlad the Impaler was again ruler of Wallachia, Stephen the Great gave to Vlad 2.000 elite soldies as personal guard, but 2 months later Laiota Basarab returned with an Ottoman army and Vlad the Impaler was killed in battle. (noob! ez win, gg)

As for the war between Stephen the Great and the Ottoman Empire? oh yeah, the war lasted for 8 more years, but Stephen the Great being Stephen the Great he held on.

In 1484, the Ottomans eventually managed to reconquer Chilia (shameful display! Stephen the Great lost a battle for this!) and Cetatea Alba and incorporate them into the Ottoman Empire, then signed a peace treaty with Stephen the Great where he would have to pay tribute and become an Ottoman ####### (I mean, the man lasted all he could)

But then all changed when the fire nation attacked, I mean the Polish.

Being impressed by his victories over the Ottomans /sarcasm off; that earned him the title “Champion of Christ” from the Pope. In 1494, the Polish King John Albert planned a replacement of Stephen III with Sigismund, his younger brother.

In 1497, the Polish army marched in Moldavia under the pretext to release of Chilia and Cetatea Alba from the Ottoman Empire (we will avenge you Stephen, no worry, you can always count of Polish support, you are our ###### after all, are you not?). Then, John Albert suddently attacked Moldavia’s capital, Suceava, but was unable to take it (just like Mehmed the Conqueror, hah!) and eventually retreated.

On the way home, Stephen the Great attacked John Albert starting the Battle of Cosmin Forest heavly crippling the Polish army. And again, this being Moldavia, while being outnumbered.

But, just like Hungary before them after losing the battle of Baia, in 1948, Stephen the Great sent armies to loot and plunder Poland. In 1499, John Albert signed a peace treaty so he would stop looting and plundering Poland, the Polish suzeranity over Moldavia ended.

In 1500, Stephen the Great stopped paying tribute to the Ottoman Empire again, and joined the Venetian - Ottoman war (1499 - 1503) together with Hungary, he defeated the Ottoman army again, but he could not recapture Chilia or Cetatea Alba.

In 1502, the Tatars of the Great Horde invaded Moldavia but Stephen the Great defeated them with the support of the Crimean Tatars. (finally a top 10 anime betrayals that worked in his favor). In 1503, Hungary and Wallachia signed a peace treaty with the Ottoman Empire and Stephen the Great again paid a yearly tribute to the Ottomans. He died in 1504 of poor health.

On his deathbed, he had urged his son and co-ruler, Bogdan, to continue to pay the tribute to the Sultan (not a noble ending for a warrior who spent his life fighting the Ottoman Empire, but historical accuracy forces me to mention this, who knows what his reasons were, maybe he thought that Moldavia had the best prosperity when not at war, maybe he thought that the Ottomans would one day rule Europe, or that his son was not good enough, nobody knows, but he said it, and I’ll say it. Oh yeah, he had plans to join an Anti-Ottoman Alliance before his death, so maybe he thought that his son wasn’t good enough, or nobody else could do it but him).

Possible Missions.

  1. Help Vlad the Impaler take his throne on Wallachia (2nd reign)
  2. Be helped by Vlad the Impaler take your throne from your uncle.
  3. Battle of Baia (Hungarians being bitter about accepting Polish suveranity)
  4. Fight Radu the Handsome (please mention the top 10 anime betryal)
  5. Battle of Vaslui (best defeat ever)
  6. Help put Vlad the Impaler back on the throne.
  7. Battle of Codrii Cosminului
  8. Final battle against the Tattars

I know that Age of Empire 2’s campaign usually take 5-6 scenarios, but tell me, which battle should I remove without removing an essential piece of information about Stephen the Great? I already removed a lot to narrow it down to 8.

Anyway, I hope you liked this summary.

If you are extra-interested:

By the way, this one is in Romanian but is made by one of the biggest historians in Romania, the branch of the Romanian Academy specialized in Vlad the Impaler, so you can’t get more serious historians than that. It has english subtitles (you can’t get more professional than that):

A video summary:

That’s it. Thank you for reading so far. The man ruled for 47 years and won 46 battles out of 48. What more is there to add?


I know I approach European content proposals with more negativity than usual because I think the region is extremely overrepresented, but while the dude is cool and would be a good campaign you are asking for way too much. Asking for a new campaign for a civilization that already has a campaign in the time period (a campsign thst wouldnt be that diferent from the existing on either) is ridiculous. But not only that, the campaign would be the first ever AoE2 8 scenario campaign because you didnt know what to skip. Dude, if Tamerlane or Gengis Khan can work in less than 7 scenarios so can Stephen the Great.

If we get a new campaigns for civs who already have campaigns they should be (at least at first) about era defining leaders or great conquerors from a diferent time period than the existing campaign, not a king that lived at the same time and wasnt even all that imfluential beyond an small region. People like Charlemagne, Alfred the Great, Belisarius, Heraclius, Kublai Khan, the first Caliphs, Baibars, Muhammad Ghori, etc. etc. And even those campaigns should wait until all the current civs get their own campaign.

Those numbers mean nothing, all civs in their golden age under able leadership had a streak of victories. Nothing Special.

Why are you posting the same topic again?


Are Romanians the most privileged nation to have 2 campaigns in aoe2?

Matthias could’ve easily conquered Moldavia, it is just he was busy conquering Czechia and Austria.

Yes, I understand that 2 campaigns for the same civ is too much, there are civs who don’t even have 1 campaign, but at least a Romanian civ should be added.

The 8 scenarios are merely suggestions that can be picked from for the campaign, the most important battles so to speak. 2 or 3 can be removed to make a default campaign of 5 or 6.

A streak of victories yes, but we are usually talking about big nations with big armies. Stephen the Great managed to win 46/48 battles while being outnumbered in most of his battles. In all fairness, he shouldn’t even have won half of them. A big nation with a powerful army in a winning streak is more common than a small nation with a small army, beating far stronger neighbors, consistently.

The topic was improved upon in many ways.

Matthias could’ve easily conquered Moldavia so much that he barely escaped with his life (had to send all his troops in a suicide charge so that he has time to escape from Baia) when trying to conquer Moldavia.

And then Stephen the Great advanced in Transylvania and sacked the place, Matthias was unable to drive him out of Hungary so he sued for peace. But yes, he could have easily conquered it, if it wasn’t for Stephen the Great defeating him in battle multiple times.


Not before Venetians and Serbians.


Maybe you can try making the campaign yourself. If you need help I could help you

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Austria and Czechia were far more powerful than Moldavia. Hungarian army focused on them and the rest was at the Ottoman border.

Moldova only survived between Ottos, Bulgars, Hungarians, Poles and Tatars because everyone had greater interests. There are 20 more important civs that arent in aoe2 than Vlachs.

There was a poll on this forum a while ago about which European nations would you like next, the results were in this order: Swiss, Romanians, Serbians and Venetians. But ok.

That’s actually a good idea, I’ll make a scenario.

Of course Austria and Czechia were far more powerful than Moldavia, but the Hungarians still lost to the Moldavians when on paper they should have won, because they heavily outnumbered them.

Matthias personally led the men to battle against the Moldavians and lost. And given that Stephen the Great was basically sacking Transylvania while Matthias was trying (and failing) to remove him from his own land. I seriously doubt it was just a sideshow, especially when the Hungarians didn’t fought the Austrians/Czechs and the Moldavians at the same time.

Matthias had his full army with them, but that wasn’t enough. So the argument that he “could have won” or “they didn’t gave it all as it was just a sideshow” doesn’t hold up given that Matthias already gave his 100%. And just like Hungary was mostly politically focused on Austria and Czechia instead of the Ottoman Empire and Moldavia. Moldavia was focused on the Ottoman Empire and Poland. While also fighting the Tatars. But they still managed to beat the Hungarians.

Can you list those 20 more important civs and precisely makes them in your eyes important? I think not, but prove me wrong if you can.

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The Wikipedia is lying here, Matthias campaign against Moldavia started with victories and became a stalemate: Moldavians were pushed back and Matthias left Moldavia. Still Stephen III was forced to accept Matthias as his lord. Hungarians never had 40000 men in their army, they barely outnumbered the Vlachs.

The Wikipedia is lying? Wikipedia is not the most accurate source of information by far, but I seriously doubt Wikipedia is really that far off here. I have no idea where you got that information from but it’s not even close to real history.

Moldavians were pushed back and Matthias left Moldavia… while being chased by Stephen the Great after he barely escaped with his life?

Still Stephen III was forced to accept Matthias as his lord… while plundering Transylvania?

The Moldavians had 12.000 men and the Hungarians 40.000…

I’m still waiting for that list of 20 more important civs and precisely makes them in your eyes important.

I was actually curious where did you get that information from and I think I got an answer:
Contemporary Hungarian sources say the Battle of Baia (1467) was the victory of King Matthias, Vlachs were annihilated and Moldavia became a Hungarian ###### again. Which contradicts Wikipedia’s and most historians’ “Decisive Moldavian victory”.

Why did the Hungarian say such a thing? As the Quora answer points out: Go figure. Sure they do… it’s normal, don’t you think? What else would they say? That the king had failed his objectives: removing Stephen from the throne of Moldavia and re-establishing the Hungarian crown’s (or at least Matthias’) sovereignty over Moldavia?

After reading the contemporary Hungarian sources, we take a look at other available sources (contemporary or not) and see that, surprise surprise, not everyone had the same perception of those particular events.

(some sources are listed in the answer)

Literally everyone else but the Hungarians say that the Moldavians won that battle, and hard.

But Matthias, as always, was very good at propaganda. He even managed to sell out the betrayal and capture of Vlad the Impaler (that he promissed to support in the war with the Ottomans but actually imprisoned when he arrived) as a move to protect Europe since Vlad the Impaler was planning to switch sides to the Ottomans (while being at war with them).

Only Romanians say they won the battle, they want to put every little “success” they had into glory. Can imagine Polish king siding with Moldavians since they were enemies of Hungary. Vlachs betraying Europe and siding with Ottomans became a tradition, no surprise Matthias was worried the same would happen again.

Jurchens, Tibetans, Khitans, Tanguts, Nanzhao, Uyghurs and Gokturks: All of them had big, influental empires with great army sizes, economy. They had importance in world trade and some of them built big navies. Major powers in East Asia

Oriyas, Kannadigas, Deccanis, Sinhalese: Easily comparable to Sinosphere dynasties. Big army, landmass, economy, navy, part of world trade.

Armenians, Chazars Georgians: Chazars rivaled Arabs, Byzantines, Persians and Gokturks. Georgians established the strongest Christian Empire in Caucasus. Armenians had more independence and relevance than Vlachs

Siamese, Chams: Chams destroyed Angkor, the capital of the strongest SEA Empire, raided China coast. Siam includes Thailand and Laos and it emerged from the Burmese Empire becoming the strongest in SEA in the late timeline of aoe2

Somalis, Swahili, Nubians, Songhai: The first two were major naval powers in the Indian ocean, they colonized before Europeans and traded with Chinese. Nubians stopped Arabs that was almost impossible in the 7th century. Songhai was the biggest empire in all of Africa.


Wrong. Only Hungarians say they won the battle. Literally everyone else say they lost. You have 10 sources saying that they lost the battle, and 1 Hungarian source saying that they won the battle. But you would have known that if you would have bothered to check that Quora link… or Wikipedia for that matter.

Result: Decisive Moldavian victory[1][2][3][4][5]

The Moldavians got the upper hand of the battle and launched another attack against the royal guard, which consisted of 200 heavily armed knights, the aristocrats, and Corvinus. Many Moldavians were killed in the tumult that followed, as Báthory and the rest of the knights defended the entrance to the market.[6] Corvinus was wounded and, allegedly he had to be “carried from the battlefield on a stretcher, to avoid him falling into the hands of the enemy.”[14]

According to Długosz, Corvinus escaped the Moldavians due to the assistance of another Vlach (Romanian), whom Stephen found and had executed because of treachery.[7]

Some of the Hungarian standards that were captured came with a ##### ##### of tents, waggons and guns", which were sent to Casimir as proof of Stephen’s victory.[14] Upon his return to Brassó on Christmas day, Corvinus took revenge on the people who had rebelled against him; thereafter he collected a war tax of 400,000 florins, which they had to pay immediately, in gold.[14] With this money he raised an army of foreign mercenaries, which would prove more loyal to him.[7]

→ hungarian and polish sources, not romanian

Why do “Romanians” say it was a Moldavian victory?

Because Corvinus (ironically of romanian heritage himself) the King of Hungary invaded Moldova to conquer it and place a man he trusted on the throne.

Instead, he got beaten, barely escaped with his life due to some romanians from Maramures, and then suffered an invasion from Stephen (Moldova) in return.

Seeing himself beaten and invaded, Corvinus sued for peace and reached a peace saying ‘’Corvinus is the boss’’. Why? Because Stephen needed his support against the turks in the time to come and, at the end of the days, words on paper are words on paper, but Corvinus was crushed in his invasion of Moldova and then suffered an invasion himself, resulting in him sue-ing for peace.

‘’Contemporary Hungarian sources’’ (that 1 source you would rather believe over the 10 others, not conspiracy)

I mean, why would the guys hired by Matthias Corvinus that he could execute on a whim say that he won when he didn’t?

I mean, do you even need an answer? Why does Matthias say he won when he didn’t? Because saying you lost sucked and back then you didn’t have the interent or accessible printing presses and you could just lie about it and who would know realistically.

So basically: everyone who isn’t Romanian made it to that list. I’m surprised you didn’t put the Sami on the list.

I would point out that you’re Hungarian and this is a matter of nationalism for you rather than objectivity. If it wouldn’t be already self-evident from the fact that you claim Matthias campaign against Moldavia because Matthias himself said so despite every source saying otherwise.

Matthias literally pulled out a Putin (or Putin pulled out a Matthias), “we didn’t lose, that was our plan all along!”.

Its fairly easy. You may think of your country very highly but in the AoE2 time period they werent able to do much. The world is full of civilizations, the Vlachs independence was shortlasting and they were interesting but nor very powerful nor that influential.

I dont think you need a list with what I said before but here you go
  • Somalis
  • Nubians
  • Kanembu
  • Thai
  • Jurchen
  • Tanguts
  • Chams
  • Kalinga
  • Serbs
  • Yoruba
  • Songhai
  • Tibetans
  • Shona
  • Gokturks
  • Kannadiga
  • Hausa
  • Georgians
  • Guptas
  • Khitan
  • Chimu
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I would consider Samis on par with Vlachs. Jurchens with 1-2 million big armies are Chinese and Mongols caliber. Serbs, Croats, Venetians and Swiss are also more influental from Europe than Vlachs.

Stephen III became the v_as_l of Hungary which means they didn’t win. The Hungarian Wikipedia is correctly pointing out Hungarian victory over Moldavians.

And how were the Samis on par with Vlachs? (I can tell you are not joking even though it’s ridiculous)

How were the Serbs and Croats more influential?

AH, THE HUNGARIAN WIKIPEDIA! There we go. Everyone else say they lost but the Hungarians say that they won so they must be right. Because those 10 other sources are wrong but that 1 Hungarian source is right.

I have never seen anyone winning a battle and then retreating chased down by the army they just defeated only for that army to stay in Transylvania and plunder it.

The Battle of Baia took place in 1467 and Stephen the Great became a v_as_l of Hungary in 1475 to get military support against the Ottoman Empire.

There’s a difference of 8 years. If you think that Stephen the Great became the v_as_l of Hungary after 8 years because of the Battle of Baia that he lost.

I honestly Im happy that theres someone from eastern europe that defends the right for the diferent civilizations of the world outside of Europe to get a proper representation but lower your agressiveness please, theres no need to fight each other