Forums  /  Age of Empires  /  conquest speedruns of campaigns?
  sabinscabin

A majority of the campaign scenarios can be won without destroying all enemies, and hence involve making the fastest beeline possible to the goal.

I've been doing some "conquest" runs lately, in which I simply destroy all enemies (excluding non-war boats, which don't count toward survival). For the vast majority of campaign scenarios, doing this automatically wins the mission, even if the explicit goal is something else. There are a few exceptions, for example in Tigris Valley you still must deliver the artifacts even if you destroy everyone.

I'm curious as to how quickly some of the campaign scenarios can be done with "destroy all enemies", e.g. conquest, particularly scenarios like Coming of the Huns (which would involve killing not just red, but also yellow and orange) and also Battle of Tunes.

For example, here's a Battle of Tunes hardest/fastest conquest in about 37 min RTA, played on the demo version: ... Of course, I'm not nearly as good as the top players here, so I have a feeling if someone much more experienced took a shot at this, they could get this one down to say low 20s.

More generally, I think conquest runs of campaigns (of course, not counting the ones whose official goal is already conquest, like Lord of the Euphrates) would be interesting, since the strategies involved may be completely different, but equally, if not more, interesting.

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  sabinscabin

additionally, I guess one could think of this as an individual scenario 100%, as opposed to just beating the scenario, which is sort of like any%.

also, some more scenarios where it would be really interesting to see the strategies involved are Oppression, Ninevah, and Crossing the Alps. Interestingly, Ninevah is not that hard to conquest, since the single villager working on the wonder can be killed and they will make no attempt to replace it. Crossing the Alps in my opinion may be the hardest mission to conquest (I've personally never done it nor seen any videos), since it takes around 10 minutes or so just to get villagers, the tech tree for that mission is nerfed, and also both the red and yellow team spam tons of fully-upgraded troops and siege weapons.

 
  habbis

Interesting idea.

Thought I believe validating some runs with this idea might prove problematic. Take Oppression for an example. How can you tell for sure that when you destroy the red Government Center as the last thing, it really is the last thing red had? I haven't really studied the map apart from rushing the building down, so I can't tell if there is a chance of them making a single troll War Galley and leave it in random corner or so. But that just crossed my mind.

 
  sabinscabin

actually it's pretty easy to confirm conquest; simply look at the "survival" column in the post game achievements, and if conquest is successful, there should only be a single blue "yes"

in battle of tunes, there is often a yellow "troll trireme" parked right outside the east walls of carthage that I had to hunt down even after the yellow base is completely annihilated.

also, ironically in oppression the Tang is quite technologically backward. Even though they start out with phalanxes and catapults, they are actually still in bronze age, and at least in my playthrough don't even appear to be too interested in upgrading from scout ships to war galleys!

 
  BigBassie30

I like the idea. In some cases one would have to come up with creative strategies.

However, in some cases it might get very obnoxious. For example, the Birth of Rome mission, which has a gigantic map with many enemies. And then, after killing every enemy one by one (probably many missions will involve building catapults in the enemy base), you have to find this randomly hidden villager. I have done campaign runs where I manage to pull of a difficult trick to safe 30 seconds, only to lose 2 minutes in the next mission looking for some stupid villager in some trees.

In other missions, say 'island hopping' or 'the great hunt', you can accidently trigger victory too early.
Also, conquest isn't always possible, say 'canyon of death' , 'caravan' or 'the assasins' (not sure about that last one though).

So I think full campaign runs won't be interesting, but it would be a nice new category for individual missions. Just like the easiest category.

 
  habbis

The Assasins is possible if you are willing to grind for 2 hours or so... I once did it for the kicks and giggles. I don't recommend it... And yes, BigBassie has a good point; some missions are nearly impossible if not impossible. Though I'm going to try conquest in Canyon of death and Caravan when I have the time for the same reason I did it for The Assasins

 
  sabinscabin

Actually, for birth of rome, all of the other 7-8 civs have anemic economies, and tend to send most of their villagers (usually villager high is no more than 5 for each enemy team) scouting. Last time I played the mission, every other civ (except for possibly the one that builds scouts, that town I raided) sent all their units, both villagers and troops, to my base, and my population screen became all blue without requiring to hunt any units down. Of course, the map is the largest possible, so hunting down buildings was actually quite time consuming.

Canyon of death can probably be conquested without too much headache, since you get access to stone throwers later on, and can even convert two more stone throwers for a total of four. I suppose the lengthiest part would be going back through the old continent and destroying all the towers.

Assassins would definitely be a pain in the neck, may take 2+ hours.

for great hunt, it's actually pretty easy to avoid triggering early victory, since the artifact is at the very top corner of the map. The Sumerian catapults must then be killed, not converted, and any sumerian heavy cavalry close to the northern corner must also not be converted. Otherwise, avoiding the northern corner in the line of sight should not be too hard.

Also, I mentioned in my original post that crossing the alps may be very, very difficult, if not impossible. There are two red villages, and given enough time they will boom to the iron age and create tons of troops. Also, there's the village at the very end which has tons of guard towers, and they too will boom to iron and spam centurions and catapults.

Additionally, what about the Greek scenario Wonder? That one might be actually impossible; you would need to either kill all the yellow villagers before the wonder gets completed, or finish the conquest of all three enemies before the yellow wonder's 2000 year mark. The former may be possible, but the latter I think is not.

 
  habbis

I finisihed The Assasins on conquest again - 1:30:00 IGT but it took much longer than 45 minutes because of tons of save/load. You can jebait towers with the Hero Perseus in a way it stops shooting anything by moving out of the tower range at the right time - this helps you a lot with the guard towers. You can lure the objective enemy hero far away with your cavalier or Perseus to avoid him attacking while you are sacking the town. And it's a micro fest - actually not bad to train your micro.

The real pain in the neck in conquest is Caravan. I took red and brown easily with -15HP to the improved bowmen. Orange's eles were easy to micro but then I went for the towers... 6 composite bowmen take forever to take down 1 Guard tower and you need to dodge almost every projectile it shoots. The jebait doesn't work here and I quit after taking forever to take one tower down and realized I had 5 left. So it is possible but extremely frustrating.