Conqueror 1086 AD Version/contact info: Version 1.00: My first stab at a FAQ. Please submit comments/questions/tips about this via email to conqueror1086ad~gmail~com. Replace the ~ as appropriate. Version 1.01-1.02: various edits Version 2.00: First edit incorporating reader feedback and additions. Thank you chaoyun2k and Simon-Pierre! Known deficiencies - I plan on adding sections about: - impact on Castle structures and raids - courting Victoria - army size translated into # of men in a castle raid - tavern patron bios Table of Contents: I. Introduction & Installation II. Creating Your Character III. Home screen: the Tactical Room IV. Village V. Tournament VI. Weapons & Armor VII. Inside a Casgtle VIII. Courting Walkthroughs IX. Ending the Game I. INTRODUCTION & INSTALLATION This guide was a long time coming. Back in the mid-90s, I had a modest amount of money saved from four years of doing odd jobs for neighbors. I had only ever played computer games that my father had brought home - mostly compilations of shareware and relatively lousy games. Eventually, my parents brought me to an electronics store and allowed me to buy a game of my choosing. How could I not choose Conqueror 1086 AD, with the giant Knight on the cover and the ultra-realistic graphics on the back? The game was certainly expensive, priced at $55, but ended up being a great investment. Having no experience playing any other game at about the time of its actual release, it was my first chance to play a game at the cusp of technology. Despite the various flaws of the game, it provided hours and months and years of entertainment. Of course, modern computers are far too fast to play this game without emulation, so here is a brief synopsis of how I got the game to work on my machine. This is largely a subjective exercise, so do your research and you will be able to determine what works best for you. First step was to download the game from one of the various Abandonware websites out there. Next, you need a DOS emulator to play it. Being a little rusty with the old command prompts, I chose to use D-Fend Reloaded, a graphical interface for the DOSbox program. D-Fend Reloaded, in my opinion, provides a simple interface for adjusting the various settings available within DOSbox, giving you the best true-to-era experience possible. The Profile Wizard guides you through setting up the game to your chosen specifications; tinker with this until you find the settings which match your interest. I would suggest using one of the slower settings at first; otherwise, the game speed will go far too fast to be playable (there is no pause button in the game). Once you have the game installed, its time to create your conqueror and play! II. CREATING YOUR CHARACTER Your character is initially measured across five metrics: Strength, Dexterity, Piety, Stamina, and Honor. Each numerical value corresponds to a qualitative description as well: Strength This attribute determines the health of your character and how much damage their weapon strikes do in melee. This attribute rises quite easily though melee battles in castle sieges. 0: Feeble 1-3: Runt 4-7: Weak(ly) 8-11: Average 12-15: Brawny 16-19: Mighty 20: Herculean Dexterity Uncertain what this attribute impacts, but it can be raised via jousting. 0: (not possible)* 1-3: Unskilled 4-7: Clumsy 8-11: Adequate 12-15: Handy 16-19: Skilled 20: Expert *lowest starting value is 2, and no dilemmas will lower it to 0 Piety This attribute influences your ability to place a Church or Monastery in your Village; below a certain level, you wont be allowed to. It also has some influence on the women you can court; some of them don't like an overly pious man. One of the easier attributes to raise, you can reach Saint quite quickly via 15-shilling donations to various churches. 0: Evil 1-3: Black-Hearted 4-7:Sordid 8-11: Amoral 12-15: Upright 16-19: Righteous 20: Saint Stamina Uncertain what this attribute impacts, but it can be raised via jousting. 0: Exhausted 1-3: Weary 4-7: Dragging 8-11: Average 12-15: Athletic 16-19: Tireless 20: Dynamo Honor This attribute influences your ability to court women, and can be raised by jousting to win the favor of ladies. 0: Blackguard 1-3: Despicable 4-7: Unprincipled 8-11: Decent 12-15: Gallant 16-19: Valiant 20: Chivalrous You have the option of choosing from six pre-generated characters or creating your own. Each of the six pre-generated characters have stats related to their name, as follows: Chaunce Norman Strength: ?? Dexterity: ?? Piety: ?? Stamina: ?? Honor: ?? Wealth: ?? Ronald DeMille Strength: 9 Dexterity: 8 Piety: 8 Stamina: 10 Honor: 10 Wealth: 490s Hayward Tussle Strength: 20 Dexterity: 20 Piety: 8 Stamina: 16 Honor: 10 Wealth: 740s Spencer Goodman Strength: 18 Dexterity: 16 Piety: 18 Stamina: 19 Honor: 20 Wealth: 1240s Mordred Knatchbull Strength: 18 Dexterity: 17 Piety: 0 Stamina: 15 Honor: 0 Wealth: 1240s Simon Hakluyt Strength: 7 Dexterity: 4 Piety: 4 Stamina: 7 Honor: 2 Wealth: 240s Comments: Its rather obvious how each character was designed, with the exception of perhaps Chaunce Norman, whose stats are randomly generated. Why not just make your own character to have random stats? The one difference between this and Sir Chaunce is that his starting gold is randomized as well, whereas you will always start with 240 shillings. Also, beware: you may think Spencer Goodman is easy mode, which is true to some extent, but some of the ladies at the joust have personalities that make them less interested in one with his honor and piety stats. So not every possibility in the game is open to a single individual character. As for choosing to create your own character... if you do, you will see an initial value for each starting statistic, with the option to reroll as many times as you like. Once you settle on a roll you like, you will be given a series of six questions. The idea behind this is that your roll represents you at 12 years of age, and the six questions represent six dilemmas you face as you age to adulthood. Your decisions will influence your stats, for better or worse, so be careful! Most responses check against your current stats, so youre likely to lose stats if you opt to fight a bear while youre a weakling, for example. If you gain gold or items during this process, you will begin the game with them. Whether or not you gained gold or items in the dilemmas, and whether you make your own character or choose a pre-generated one, you will begin the game with the following items: Knights Sword, Fighters Dagger, Gambeson Armor, Tilting Shield, Footmans Helm. You will also get a base of 240 shillings as a created character. Thanks to a post on the Abandonia board for Conqueror (thanks Ceridien!), here is an outline of the options and results for the dilemmas: lord lying about income: - option 1 (tell overlord) not believed: piety +1 believed: piety +1, honor +1 - option 2 (blackmail lord) piety -1, +20 shillings - option 3 (say nothing) no change lord stealing money at mass: - option 1 (tell priest) not believed: piety +1 believed: piety +1 - option 2 (blackmail lord) piety -1, +20 shillings - option 3 (say nothing) no change delivering message (reading it): - option 1 (confess) full success: piety +1 partial success: no change - option 2 (make up story) no change - option 3 (do not deliver message) no change lord taking out loan on fief: - option 1 (tell overlord) believed: piety +1, honor +1 not believed (partial success), piety +1 - option 2 (bribe overlord) piety -1, +20 shillings - option 3 (say nothing) no change buying helm: - option 1 (buy helm) caught by priest: piety -2 - option 2 (steal helm) full success not caught: piety -1, +helm partial success not caught: piety -2, +helm - option 3 (save for it) piety +1 finding magical ring: - option 1 (keep it for yourself) success: strength +1, piety -2, stamina +1, honor +1 failure: no change - option 2 (maid) success: -1 piety, honor +1 - option 3 (church exorcism) piety +1 dishonest lord: - option 1 (tell overlord) piety +1 - option 2 (blackmail lord) piety -1, +20 shillings - option 3 (say nothing) no change dying swordsman: - option 1 (return sword) success: piety +1, stamina +1, honor +1, +dagger failure: piety +1, stamina -1 - option 2 (take sword) piety -1, honor -1 - option 3 (leave sword) no change forester stealing: - option 1 (tell the king) not believed (imprisoned): strength -1, stamina -1 - option 2 (tell the overlord) not believed: no change believed: piety +1, honor +1 - option 3 (say nothing) no change killing dragon (80s): - option 1 (kill it) killed: strength +1, piety +1, honor +1, +sword partial failure: strength -1, piety+1, stamina-1 full failure: strength -3, piety +1, stamina -2 - option 2 (challenge rival) can't get near lair: piety -2, honor -1, accepted: piety -2, - option 3 (decline invitation) no change killing dragon (60s): - option 1 (tell the truth) piety -1, honor +1, +60s - option 2 (bribe) caught: piety -2, honor -1 not caught: piety -1, +60s - option 3 (remain silent) partial success: piety +1 full success: piety +2, +30 shillings yeoman daughter: - option 1 (pretend) piety +2 - option 2 (refuse for honor) failure: no change success: piety +2 - option 3 (enjoy) piety -1 overlord farm: - option 1 (move marker) discovered: -1 piety - option 2 (tell tenants) failure: piety -1, stamina -1 - option 3 (refuse) success: piety +1 overlord heresy: - option 1 (defend) hanged: piety +1/honor -1 released (partial success): piety +1 released (full success): piety +1, honor+1 - option 2 (testify) no change - option 3 (keep quiet) no change boar: - option 1 (attack) success: killed: strength +1, honor +1 failure: strength -1, stamina -1, honor +1 - option 2 (rope it) success: dexterity +2, honor +2 failure: no change - option 3 (run) no change bear: - option 1 (fight) scare away 1: piety +1 scare away 2: piety +1, honor +1 scare away 3: piety +2 fight (no witness): strength +1, piety +1, stamina, +1, honor +1 fight (witnessed): strenght +2, piety +1, stamina +1, honor +5 - option 2 (scare away) success: piety +1, honor +1 - option 3 (cower) no change wolves: - option 1 (dagger) success: strength +1, piety +1, honor +2 failure (friend dies): dexterity +1, piety +1 - option 2 (bow) dexterity +1, piety +1 - option 3 (run away) no change old woman selling ale: - option 1 (report her to overlord) no change - option 2 (buy her beer) failure: no change success: piety +1, honor +1 - option 3 (blackmail her) no change hidden chalice: - option 1 (keep chalice) success: piety -2 failure: no change - option 2 (sell the chalice) piety -2, +10 shillings - option 3 (return chalice to your overlord) piety +1, honor +1 abandoned baby boy: - option 1 (raise it) baby dies: farmers child: count's child: - option 2 (leave at church) no change - option 3 (leave it behind) piety -1 lord steals from mass: - option 1 (tell priest) believed: piety +1 not believed: piety +1 - option 2 (extort lord) piety -1, +20 shillings - option 3 (do nothing) no change highway stranded man: - option 1 (help) attacked by party: strength +1, piety +1 return to village: piety +1, honor +1 - option 2 (leave him be) no change - option 3 (report to town) no change fox: - option 1 (kill them) dexterity +1 - option 2 (tell warden) warden dies: no change warden kills them: no change - option 3 (leave alone) piety +1 disguise as maid: - option 1 (deliver disguised) caught: no change not caught: no change - option 2 (deliver not disguised) caught: no change not caught: dexterity +1 - option 2 (turn down offer) no change captured lord: - option 1 (free him) success: strength +2, dexterity +1, piety +1, +dagger success (wounded): strength -1, dexterity +1, piety +1 - option 2 (go back to sleep) piety -1 - option 3 (tell authorities) no change poaching: - option 1 (bribe priest) piety -1 - option 2 (beg for mercy) full success: strength +1, piety +1, stamina +1 mediocre success: piety +1, stamina +1 - option 3 (run away) no change III. HOME SCREEN: THE TACTICAL ROOM Castle This is the screen where you design your castle. Dont worry if your medieval castle design skills are a little rusty; there is unfortunately no impact of your design on gameplay. When your castle is attacked, you will be warped into it for a melee battle, and the landscape of it will change depending on the structures youve built in the Castle screen. But the actual placement of them and design will have no impact. Most immediately, you can use the Castle screen for a quick Productivity boost. A Steward will add 10%, while a Beadle and a Priest will each add 5%. By July 1, you will likely need to build a Servant Room for them as well, else you will suffer a Productivity penalty. You can safely wait until June to build this. Farm You have four options for planting food in March. All require 5 serfs per tile, so they can be evaluated for profit solely based on their cost and revenue. Below is a table showing: per-tile cost, per-tile return (at 50% Productivity) for non-harvest months, per-tile return for harvest month, total revenue for one year Grain - 1 - 2 - 25 - 47 Beans - 1 - 2 - 25 - 47 Vegetables - 1 - 10 - 10 - 120 Fruit - 5 - 5 - 5 - 60 Planting food leads to population growth. But there is in fact no difference in population growth between a tile of Grains, Beans, Vegetables, or Fruit. Vegetables have the best return for their cost, and Beans are needed for keeping Productivity up (you lose 15% Productivity on July 1 if you dont have enough Beans, and you need 25% of your food to be Beans in order to avoid this message). Grains and Fruit supply less revenue than Vegetables, and have no ancillary effects, so they can be ignored. Ideally then, you should plan on only planting Beans and Vegetables in a ratio of 1 Beans for every 3 Vegetables. Livestock, Horses, and a Granary have no impact on population or Productivity either, so those can be ignored as well. How much food do you need to maximize population growth? It appears that one tile of food per 100 population is needed to maximize growth. Note that this per 100 population refers to the population as it begins the next month. So if you have 1,200 population on March 31 and would grow to 1,284 on April 1, youll need to have 13 food on April 1 in order to attain that growth. Having merely 12 food tiles on April 1 will limit your growth. The formula for population growth is difficult for me to pin down, so rather than try to come up with an equation, Ill post some trials and their results. The column for %requirements is the percentage of the requirement for maximum population growth (in this case, 14 food and 14 houses), and the %max is the percentage of maximum population growth attained. These results all assume 50% Productivity. StartingPop EndingPop Growth Houses Food %requirements %max 1200 1284 7% 14 14 100% 100% 1200 1272 6% 10 10 71% 85% 1200 1272 6% 7 7 50% 85% 1200 1260 5% 6 6 43% 72% 1200 1260 5% 5 5 36% 72% 1200 1248 4% 4 4 29% 57% 1200 1236 3% 3 3 21% 42% 1200 1212 1% 2 2 14% 14% 1200 1212 1% 1 1 7% 14% 1200 1180 -1.7% 0 0 0% -24% One other factor impacting population growth is Tax rate. The game defaults to 10% (you can see and adjust this in the Village screen, which is where you can see your tax revenue coming in from the various establishments in your town). The default value is quite appropriate; it is the highest value at which full population growth is maintained. At 0%, 5%, and 10% you will attain the growth numbers detailed above. If your tax rate is above 10% - that is, anywhere between 15% and 100% - you will lose about 7% of what was expected from the formulas above. Village There are three key structures in the Village screen and the rest serve only to provide a small amount of revenue. A Church and a Monastery each provide an immediate 15% increase in Productivity. Houses allow for higher population growth each month, which is crucial to building more revenue generators and building an army. You will also get a Productivity penalty on July 1 if your housing is not sufficient to support your population (1 house per 100 population). The remainder of the town buildings are really just decoration, providing minimal revenue. Building one Church, one Monastery, and filling all remaining tiles with houses, is probably the ideal powergaming strategy here, though it makes for an ugly village when looking at this screen. Forest The Forest is your best source of income on an ongoing basis. Despite what may be intuitive, Cutting Timber is actually far more profitable than mining. Below is a table of each tile occupation available in the Forest, along with its cost, revenue, and number of Months needed to make back your initial investment at 50% Productivity: Type Cost Serfs Revenue Months50 Cut Timber 5 5 5 1 Iron Mine 400 10 15 27 Coal Mine 400 10 31 13 Gold Mine 400 10 36 12 Silver Mine 400 10 15 27 As you can see, you earn back your investment on Cutting Timber after just one month - so every month thereafter is pure profit. I do not know of any reason to invest in Iron, Coal, or Silver. Gold Mines should be the only thing placed on available tiles. The Woodward is a simple 5% boost to your Productivity by hiring one. Hiring a Prospector does not appear to have any impact on the revenue of your mines. War Planning Here is where you build your armies and send out spies. Spies simply tell you the size of armies as they leave castles, and cost a one-time fee of 80 shillings. Moderately useful, but Id much rather just put the money towards building armies so big I dont care about the size of my opponents armies. Armies have both an upfront cost, and a monthly upkeep cost. Below is a table of the costs of each army type at 50% Productivity and 100% Productivity: Type Price50 Price100 Upkeep50 Upkeep100 Swordsmen 28 20 12 8 Halberdiers 23 15 8 5 Knights 32 24 16 10 In field battles, these units follow simple rules: Swordsmen beat Halberdiers, Halberdiers beat Knights, and Knights beat Swordsmen. Its probably ideal to have a good mix of each and hope you can outmaneuver your opponent and have your Halberdiers fighting their Knights, etc. For castle siege invasions, you simply need an army of any size attached to your character. Since Halberdiers are cheapest, I tend to make an army of 1 Halberdier and connect it with my character for invasions. Army size will dictate how many soldiers you get inside for a castle invasion, but the soldiers in such battles are really not helpful to you unless youre a weakling with poor armor and weaponry. Map Orders Both the Map and Orders page show you the same thing they show you from the primary play screen. Map shows the location of all of the castles in England, and orders shows you a text description of where the current tournament is, as well as any orders from your Overlord or King William. Overview Main page The main page of the Overview is pretty self-explanatory. Fiefs refers to the number of castles you own, and Villages refers to the number of villages (not necessarily forts or castles) therein. In the top right, your attributes are shown, though for some reason your Dexterity and Stamina is not listed. Fame is also shown here; this is a metric that starts at the minimum and rises as you overtake forts and castles. Political The Political screen details the individual forts and castles you control, along with their population. Your initial fort is listed last, and is the only one with a population that can actually grow. Economics The Economics page shows your current wealth, and how much of that came from conquest (i.e. bags and chests of gold in forts youve sieged) and from tournaments (via wagers with other lords over jousts and skirmishes). This page also has a largely useless pictogram that attempts to show the revenue and expense coming from each of the Farm, Village, Forest, and Castle screens. In most games, youll see Farm, Village, and Forest maxed out on the revenue side, and Castle will have a small amount of expense on the other side. Personal The Personal screen will again show your age, wife, and attributes (this time including Stamina and Dexterity). It will also show Lance Experience, which rises as you joust, though it seems to be capped at 20. Your Sword Experience rises not only from fort and castle siege, but also skirmish battles in the Tournament. There is no cap on this number. Lastly, this screen also shows your possessions. This is mostly your weaponry and armor that youd see in battle screens, but also includes various items youve obtained from the ladies of the tournament (Medallion, etc). Special Section: Productivity Productivity is the most important metric in the screens available from the Tactical Room. Productivity not only determines how much revenue you get from your expenditures in Farm, Village, and Forest, but it also serves as a multiplier for population growth. You begin with 50% Productivity, but can easily attain 95% by the end of the first month by doing the following: Castle: add one Steward, one Beadle, and one Priest. Village: add houses as needed, and one Monastery Forest: add one Woodward For some reason, doing the above steps in a different order often results in only 90% Productivity. You will need to take some additional steps to ensure your productivity does not fall on July 1. You will need to ensure you have enough housing for your population (1 house per 100 population), will need to have planted enough Beans to keep up soil productivity, and will need a Servant Room in your Castle. No need to pay for the servant room in the first month of the game (March); wait until June so you dont have to pay for it for extra months. IV. VILLAGE Inn/Tavern Patrons Frederick de Mandeville Gerrard Hugh Bigod Gilbert de Lacy Ivo Nellie Otto Richard de Lucy Church Donations Donations increase your Piety score. I haven't yet worked out if higher donations increase it at a faster rate, nor whether you can just donate to the same church over and over to get all the way to Saint, but suffice to say it won't take long to attain this, even from the lowest Piety score, if you're so inclined. Blessings I don't yet know if these actually have any effect on your success in the joust, in battle, or in managing a fief, but I doubt that it does. Moneylender You have the option to borrow money from the moneylender, which is due with 50% interest when the harvest arrives (July 1). You can borrow up to 200 shillings (thus you will owe 300). In general, this is a very wise investment, since you can put that money to use and earn far more than the 50% interest off of it. No starting player can afford all of the investments he would ideally like to make in the first month (even if you start with a pre-generated character that has 1240 shillings), so in every game there is a way to put the 200 shillings to use in the first month in a way that earns you far more return than the 100 shilling interest youll end up paying in a few months. If you manage to make yourself a formidable melee fighter by July 1, you dont need to pay back the moneylender at all. Hell send his thug after you, and youll fight him in melee. Hes fairly easy to defeat if youre well-armed by this point. Blacksmith Here you can buy and sell various weapons and armors usable in castle sieges. Three weapons (Kingslayer Sword, Bishop's Sword, Mercenary Sword) are not able to be found in siege castles, so your only opportunity to acquire them is from a blacksmith. The remainder of weapons and armor are all either given to you at the start of the game, or able to be found for free within one (or more) castles you siege. V. TOURNAMENT Stands: Courting Adela - You cannot romance her. Period. Jane - Perhaps the easiest to romance. Im not sure she has any restrictions at all on who she will initially give her colors to. Jane has a bit of a scary past - she speaks of nightmares of fighting all around her. Hmmm... wonder if these are repressed memories? Anna Lisa - Daughter of Frederick de Mandeville. Wont let you wear her colors initially if you are highly pious and not famous yet. Victoria - Daughter of Wendessa. Wont let you wear her colors if youre too pious. Wendessa - Rich widow without access to her estate. Mother of Victoria. Valetta - Older woman with access to the mythical dragon-proof armor. Joust You can joust up to three times per tournament. Before and after each, be sure to visit a lady to chat and ask for her colors. You can make a wager with your opponent, which is typically a value between 20 and 80 shillings. I think the record of the opponent does influence how hard it is to defeat them, but if you keep your lance exactly where it begins in the joust, you will win every time anyways. Skirmish You can only skirmish once per tournament, and theres not much to be gained from it. Youll be able to wager against any one of five opposing lords, and face them in a field battle, each of you having about 8 soldiers accompanying you. The Skirmish has no effect on courting ladies, though it does increase your Sword experience and can earn you a few shillings. VI. WEAPONS & ARMOR Weapons There is no way to truly measure the effectiveness of various weapons without massive sample sizes of testing. As a shortcut, I measured the size of each weapon on the Quick Reference Guide (http://www.sierragamers.com/uploads/24082/the_games/ conqueror_quick_reference.pdf) in millimeters. Below is a table of each weapon name, the length of bar on the Quick Reference Guide (including the name itself), and the Buy price of the weapon. Sell price of a weapon or armor is always 75% of the Buy price: Name mm. Buy Price Kingslayer Sword 182 4000 Mercenary's Sword 174 2800 Bishop's Sword 171 3200 Thruster's Sword 143 1500 Armor-Ripping Sword 144 850 Defender's Sword 130 900 Knight's Sword 129 700 Irish Sword 131 500 Battle Sword 122 500 Danish Sword 113 450 General Sword 99 300 Heavy Crossbow 143 --- Light Crossbow 130 --- Spiked Mace 138 90 Flanged Mace 103 100 Battle Axe 122 300 Horseman's Axe 97 210 Saxon Axe 82 120 Basic Axe 81 122 War Hammer 101 100 Hammer 85 130 Stiletto Dagger 68 34 Thruster's Dagger 61 44 Fighter's Dagger 60 --- Decorative Dagger 34 100 Armor For armor, we have an additional metric available, which is the size of the armor bar in skirmish and castle siege screens. I have measured this in terms of pixels in the game window. The chart below has each armor name, the length of the bar in the quick reference guide (including the name itself), the number of pixels it adds to your armor bar, and the Buy price: Name mm. Pixels Buy Price Full Plate 104 35 5000 Half Plate 89 30 3000 Quarter Plate 77 25 1600 Chain Hauberk 60 20 1800 Chain Tunic 46 15 1200 Leather 33 10 800 Gambeson* 25 5 400 Heraldic Shield 48 10 600 Norman Shield 40 10 200 Decorative Shield 35 5 300 Saxon Shield 28 5 120 Tilting Shield 24 -- 50 Great War Helm 45 15 300 War Helm 39 10 180 Norman Helm 33 5 120 Footman's Helm 29 -- 60 *Gambeson provides protection even with another armor equipped For the most part with armor pieces, it looks like one pixel in the armor bar equates to 3 millimeters on the reference guide. For shields and helms, it doesnt hold up as much. Im inclined to think that the armor bar in the game is most representative of the actual algorithmic benefit of each armor piece, so Id advise evaluating the items by that number. VII. Inside a Castle If you choose to siege a castle in first-person, you will be immediately transported inside of it with some number of support men whom you can direct. You will always have at least one man accompanying you, but more can appear if you have a very large army with you when you Attack. The Radar Map is very helpful in this mode, showing you the layout of the floor and potentially alerting you to treasures hiding behind secret walls. To enter a secret room, simply press the space bar in front of the wall as you would if it were a normal door. Vases and barrels can have food in them. This replaces your health, which you will almost always need during the course of a siege. You can generally tell after a few sieges where the Champion of the castle is. I try to avoid him until all other enemies are vanquished, as killing them helps gain Strength and combat experience. There are sometimes small bags of gold in these castles, but more gold is gained by finding weapons and armor in the castle and selling it to a blacksmith afterwards. Because you can only have one of any given item at a time, it is wise to sell off all weapons and armor you don't need. Though because all weapons have a chance to break when you use them, you may want to keep a backup weapon just in case. Two weapons can only be found in castles, never in blacksmith shops. These are the Light Crossbow and the Heavy Crossbow. You can also only find crossbow bolts in various castles. These weapons are most useful if your character is early in their campaign and is relatively weak in combat. The crossbows allow you to damage enemies from a distance, and are especially useful for taking down Champions without suffering damage yourself. The most important thing to ensure in a castle attack is that your men don't perish. If they do, you can still complete that castle attack, but upon exit you will not have an army accompanying you any longer. So you cannot move onto the next castle attack, but rather must create a new army to join with you, which can take as much as a month depending on your location. Because it only requires a minimal army (1 halberdier), provides quite a bit of gold via selling items, and very quickly becomes a walk in the park as your character gains strength and skill, I tend to prefer castle Attack as the primary way for which I grow in Conqueror. VIII. COURTING WALKTHROUGHS In the tables below, a "Win" is when you ask for the lady's colors, win a joust with them, and return to her. A "Visit" is when you click on a lady to speak with her and she has new text for you. Note that you *can* attempt to romance multiple ladies at the same time. In fact, this may be the only way to defeat the dragon, as multiple dragon-fighting items come from multiple women. Adela - You cannot romance her. Period. Jane - Im not sure she has any restrictions at all on who she will initially give her colors to. Win: medallion Win: decorative dagger Visit: hear a story about her feeling of dread upon seeing Hugh Bigod. She mentions something about him having a special lance. Win: Defenders Sword. Win: Hammer. Win: a nondescript Lance. Visit Hugh Bigod in the Inn. He tries to get you away from Jane by telling you Valetta has an interest in you. You can push back and argue that hes just trying to get you off of the trail of his dragon-slaying lance. If you say this, hell offer you a deal: get him a proclamation and hell give you the lance in return. Visit: Declare your love for her on your next meeting. Win: Ask some questions about Hugh, the Pastons, etc., then leave. Visit: Joan, her nanny, will interrupt, and tell you the truth about Hugh and give you the proclamation. Visit: Agree to marry her, and Hugh will jump in and offer you the dragon-slaying lance in exchange for you breaking things off with Jane and giving him the proclamation. Anna Lisa - Wont let you wear her colors initially if you are highly pious and not famous yet. Win: 5 shillings Win: 10 shillings Visit: you can simply listen to her rumors a bunch of times and recite a bit of poetry to her. Then leave and return to her and shell ask you to marry her. Agree to do so, and shell tell you to ask her fathers permission first. Go to the Inn and speak with Frederick. Hell tell you youre too poor to marry her, and will tell you the location of the dragons lair (north Wales) so you can plunder the cave while the dragon is gone (like he does) and earn enough to marry Anna Lisa. Of course, no matter when you stop by, the dragon is there... Victoria - Wont let you wear her colors if youre too pious. Win: nothing Win: nothing Win: Thruster's Dagger Win: nothing Win: Saxon Axe Visit: Simon Le Grey is being quite...forward and possessive towards Victoria and you have the option of defending her honor in a duel, which you have to do to continue. Visit: Poetry. (for the first time she will allow you to court her) Win: Dragon Stone Visit: nothing Visit: Victoria will ask if you wish to marry her. If you don't do so at the next visit Victoria will grow impatient and you must ask her to marry you to continue. She will introduce Gilbert the Lacy, from whom you need permission to get Victoria's dowry of 500,000 shillings. Of course, Gilbert will refuse to let a penny go into dowry, if you want to marry Victoria you have to accept that she's penniless. Then after the vows, some Nigel come into play and tells the story that it's really Victoria that killed Hugh Miller and he's paid to keep her secret, but he wants more and blackmails you. You have the option of declining, confronting Victoria and paying him. I confronted her and she admits the truth, she did it because she didn't want to marry Simon Le Grey. Then we get a few other options besides refusing to pay and agreeing to pay him : we can threaten his life if he says a word and also end your relationship with Victoria. The latter option doesn't do anything, I went with threatening Nigel. Then you have one last chance of paying him, I didn't and so far nothing came of it. Wendessa - Win: nothing Visit: she will introduce you to Gilbert de Lacy, the executor of her estate. Awkward. Win: nothing Win: Dragon Stone (non-functional item, but it is believed that it helps - and may be required - to slay the dragon) Win: Knights Sword. Visit: she tells you she made a bet with Gilbert and wants you to win the next joust for a special prize. Win: the Shield of St. George (special anti-dragon shield... again, may be helpful, may be required, or may be useless, towards killing the dragon) Win: nothing Visit: she tells you of her first marriage and gives you a note from Gilbert. If you tell her youre not scared of him, shell ask you to marry her. If you agree to marry her, Gilbert steps in and tells you that hes had a bit of an executor-with-benefits relationship with her for a little while now, and reminds you that you wont get her money unless he approves of you. To win his approval, he asks for the Orchid of Wessex which is located in Okehampton (you must siege the castle in first-person to find it). Alternatively, you can blackmail him with the note Wendessa gave you. Valetta - Win: nothing Win: nothing Win: nothing Win: nothing Win: nothing Visit: You can successfully marry her if you like. You can also ask her about the dragon, and insist that youre going to challenge it. If you do, shell give you a book to bring to the priest in the town of Ely in Cambridgeshire (just north of Cambridge castle). Giving the priest the book will net you the special Dragon Slaying Armor (again, may be either required, helpful, or useless, in killing the dragon). IX. ENDING THE GAME As mentioned when you begin, there are two paths the game pushes you towards: slaying the dragon and usurping the crown. Since the game ends when you accomplish either of these, you cant do both. Note the game will also end in March 1096 when you turn 30 years old. Path of the Dragon Courting ladies at the Tournaments, and chatter in the Inn, will help you learn what you need to know to slay the dragon. It is believed, but not confirmed, that you need the following things to slay the dragon: - high strength - dragon-slaying armor - Shield of St. George - dragon stone - dragon slaying lance - knowledge of where the dragon resides Strength is needed to wear the dragon-slaying armor (legend has it that its last wearer perished due to insufficient strength - its one heavy set of armor). You can obtain the armor by courting Valetta and telling her you insist on attempting to slay the dragon. You will obtain the dragon stone and the Shield of St. George by courting either Victoria or her mother Wendessa. The dragon slaying lance is obtainable through romance with Jane and the murderer of her parents, Hugh Bigod. Finally, you can figure out where the dragon resides by simply exploring the map, or by romancing Anna Lisa and asking her father Frederick for permission to marry her. Once all items and attributes are obtained, make your way to the dragons lair. Upon entering it, you will cut to a first-person joust scene. Simply lance the dragon in the eye as you approach to attain victory. Path of the Crown In order to usurp the crown from William, you need to capture London. All other villages and fiefs are technically not required, though they do help you build population and thus army size to take on William. There are two ways to take over villages and fiefs: one is a castle siege in which you and some men enter the castle and attempt to kill all inside it, including the lord. The other is via field battle with a large army. Since most field battles involves some losses, youll constantly be needing to replenish your army. On the other hand, a well-equipped character can siege a castle and kill everyone inside without suffering any losses. Additionally, most villages and fiefs have various weapons and armor in side, which can be sold to the blacksmith for a substantial profit, or used to make future sieges easier. However, before we get to castle sieges, its generally a good idea to make sure your home fief is operating smoothly. It will be your biggest source of income over the course of the game. Start off by pressing V for Village. Visit the moneylender and borrow 200 shillings. Exit the village and press H for Home to visit the Tactical Room. Click on the Castle and add a Steward, Beadle, and Priest, for a quick jump to 70% Productivity. Click on Village next, and add houses (Id recommend 20 or so) and a Monastery. Now click on the Forest and add a Woodward. You should now be at 95% productivity. Now go to the army screen and create an army of 1 Halberdier. You only need one unit in an army in order to siege a castle, so we choose Halberdier because its the cheapest. Finally, go to the Farm screen and add as much food as you can. Youll want to add only Beans and Vegetables, in a precise 1:3 ratio, for optimal Productivity and Revenue. Exit out of the tactical room and look at the map. Right click on Army 1 to join your Knight with them. The white dots on the map are villages that can be captured, while the dots with flags are fiefs. Fiefs generally have standing armies that will come out and put you in a field battle if you get too close. Given that you only have 1 Halberdier, you will lose this and your game will be over. So lets start by attacking a village. You can choose any village you like, but once you attack a village, its lord will begin sending armies to siege your home village at regular intervals. Move your Knight and Army 1 together to the chosen village, and press A for Attack when you get there. After a brief loading screen, youll be in the castle or fort. You will have 1 soldier with you (representing your Halberdier unit in your army). Try to keep him alive, because if he dies youll simply be a Knight on the world map, unable to siege more villages. Youll have to create another army unit and meet up with your Knight. So, while protecting your soldier, go about exploring the castle/fort. Unless your strength attribute is pitiful, you shouldnt have much trouble taking down enemies, taking the occasional damage and healing via food and ale that you find. The champion of the castle will be easily identifiable by his armor and the plume in his helmet. I find the best way to fight these guys is by hit-and-fade tactics. Even with the worst stats, you can run up to them, take a swing with your sword, and move directly backward before they can swing back at you. Do this enough and eventually you will kill the champion and the village will be yours. With this new village comes additional population, which can be used immediately. First go to the blacksmith in the village and sell any items you acquired that you dont need. Then go to your Tactical Room of your Home and, if its still March, add more Beans and Vegetables to your Farm (most likely, serfs are the limiting factor that made you stop before, not shillings). Now repeat as desired with the next closest village. Its best to chart out a path on the roads, for two reasons. One, it takes less time. And two, youll pass through other un-attackable villages on the way. You can stop in them and make a donation if you want to raise your piety, and also check for a few of the high-end weapons that youll never find in a castle siege: Mercenary Sword, Bishops Sword, and Kingslayer Sword. As you continue to overtake villages, your strength will slowly grow (as will your Sword Experience in your Overview screen; I have no idea if this actually impacts any algorithms). After March 31, you wont be able to plant any more crops, so your best bet is to use your new serfs to Cut Timber in the Forest. This is the next most profitable way to spend your resources. Eventually, you will want to attack and take over a Fief. These have an extra defense in that as you approach with an army, they will send out an army to meet you. 98 times out of 100, they will intercept you before you can reach the Fief to siege it, so plan on a Field Battle. This means that if its just your Knight and 1 Halberdier, its likely game over. You have three options then. One is to bring at least one additional army and try to use that first to lure their army out; you can then sneak in with your Knight+Halberdier and siege. If you win the siege, all of their armies are removed from the field when you exit, so your decoy army is safe. Two, if you have built up a nice population by this time, you can put together a sizable army and put your Knight with that. Then feel free to meet their army in the field before laying siege, win the battle, and go on to siege the fief. Finally, you can use the save+reload strategy. Armies tend to appear on one side of a fief consistently; if you approach from the other side, you should get the chance to use the Attack command to siege it before youre intercepted or a field battle. Ultimately, you will be the only lord left in England, with all villages and fiefs claimed except London. Build up the largest army you can, and then simply follow the same strategy you used to capture the other fiefs: lure out the Kings armies so you can jump in for a siege, beat the kings armies in field battle and siege at your leisure, or try to find a corner of London you can siege before the Kings armies get to you (very unlikely with London). Inside the siege of London, you will find a massive castle to siege, along with the most enemies youve ever faced in a siege. William will be in a throne room by himself, and at this point should not pose much of a threat to your fully-armored, high-strength knight.