In the second campaign of Age of Empires IV, you take control of the French army during the Hundred Years War. Although confronted with inferior English numbers, the mighty French army is decimated by the enemy’s fearsome English Longbow. In the second mission of the campaign, they are pushed all the way back to Paris and must mount a hasty defense behind its mighty stone walls. This guide will explain how to best make your way past the Siege of Paris in Age of Empires IV. It’s a tough fight, but rest assured you’ll come out on the other side.
This is purely a defensive mission; there is no need to plan a counterattack. All you have to do is survive until the enemy has depleted itself over the course of 10 waves. If the city is destroyed, you fail the mission. Specifically, the Red Palace and Guild Hall at the back of your base must not fall or you will trigger the fail state. There is a further island to the rear connected to the main city by two bridges where Notre Dame rests. Do not make the same mistake I did by pulling back all of your forces to this island thinking you can make a last stand, because you will still fail.
I completed this one on normal difficulty. It was the first mission in the game that really gave me trouble, and forced me to switch up my strategy that I had been relying on up until that point, which consisted of groups of ranged and melee cavalry moving quickly between points of contestation backed up by slower groups of fighters and archers. In fact, the key to victory here is to simply spam Arbaletriers to reinforce each of the three gates until English forces have exhausted themselves. But since you’re here, let’s take a step-by-step approach, shall we?
The long version
Your base is in the southwest corner of the map behind stone walls. There are three gates, one in the northwest, northeast, and southeast with one stone tower protecting each. I recommend adding an additional stone tower to each gate and upgrading each with a Springald Emplacement as soon as possible.
Your first order of business is to gather up every villager outside of the stone walls and move them southwest into the safety of the city before they are killed by the English. There are 18 villagers in total: eight farmers, four lumberjacks, four gold miners, and two stone miners. I suggest assigning them to their new tasks while they are en-route to your base so they don’t end up idling around while you are preoccupied. You’ll want to focus on harvesting lumber at first so you can build at least two more farms. There are additional stone and gold deposits on the southwestern-most island but you will want to build a Market for when you inevitably run out of stone for walls and towers.
Start by setting your two Archery Ranges to build as many Arbaletriers as you can afford (usually five at a time) and check back regularly to make sure more are always in production. In Age of Empires IV, these units are relatively weak but have a decent range and do more damage than regular Archers. You can also summon Arbaletriers from your Guild Hall.
Produce at least 15 Villagers, five for each gate to the city. These will be integral for keeping your gates, walls, and towers repaired. I suggest assigning them to control groups 7 through 9. Make sure to pull them out of the line of fire when the English attack.
At your Blacksmith, research Military Academy as soon as possible, which will speed up your production of Arbaletriers. Also, research Boiling Oil at your Arsenal to help deal with enemy Siege Engines. Research Fertilization at your Mill to enhance the harvesting speed of Villagers. Also invest in advanced lumber, gold, and stone harvesting when you have the chance. But most importantly: Keep building Arbaletriers. Notice that you begin the mission with a maxed-out supply cap (200) so you should never need to construct a single Farm.
Soon after the English have finished razing the surrounding countryside, their attacks will begin on your main gates. These attacks consist of two Siege Engines and a Siege Tower (which can offload infantry onto your walls) reinforced by mixed infantry. Always instruct your Arbaletriers and Stone Towers to target Siege Engines and Siege Towers first. Around wave eight, the English will increase the number of Siege Engines and will also begin to target your gates with Trebuchets. This may require you to send a recon force outside the walls to target their artillery. Use the Light Cavalry and Man-at-Arms you start the mission with.
Wave 1, 6, and 10 attack from the Southeast.
Wave 2, 5, 7, and 9 attack from the Northeast.
Wave 3, 4, and 8 attack from the Northwest.
Waves 7 and 8 may attack simultaneously. Also keep in mind that the English will not wait for you to finish repelling one attack before initiating another, so if you are not fast you may have to manage two or even three attacks at the same time.
If you lose a gate, tower, or section of wall do not panic! Finish repelling the attack and task your Villagers will rebuilding the section of wall, which only takes moments depending on how many Villagers are present. Just remember to keep building Arbaletriers and sending them to whichever gate needs them the most. Make sure you order them to fortify the wall and not the ground in front of or behind it!
There is a bar in the upper left of the screen beneath your current objective that fills with each repelled attack. Once it is full, you’ve won!
The short version
Pull all of your Villagers back into the city. Assign five Villagers per gate. Spam Arbaletriers to protect the three gates. Research Military Academy at your Blacksmith. Send your freshly summoned forces where they are needed most.
That’s really all you’ll need to keep in mind regarding this Age of Empires IV Siege of Paris guide. If you don’t use the right tools, it can seem like a massive pain, but I’m sure you showed them in the end.