HOW TO: Age of Empires 3 Hard Difficulty – Act 2 Mission #8: Bring Down the Mountain

After defeating Warwick’s Stronghold, Warwick gets away and introduces the world to his new allies, the Russians.  The Russians are marching to get the fountain of youth and John Black has to stop them… by bringing down the mountain.

This mission represents a production management system.  You have to manage when you are ‘bringing down a mountain’ with when you are defending.

You will gain access to “miners.”  Miners have the ability to gather goods, mine minerals, throw dynamite (splash damage) at enemies, and destroy rock bridges.

You should take down the bridges from north to south.  If a cannon is not moving by where you are working, ignore it.  You can let ten get by so you have tones of room to beat this.

The best and fastest way to beat this is to keep your miners destroying the bridge as much as possible.  This means that the only time your miners are not destroying the rock bridges is when they have enemies near by.

The miners are recostumed grenadiers and because of this do insanely high splash damage.  This can give you the bolstering you need in large battles.

You should at no point attempt to defend your base.  Instead use your settlers by moving them into the Town Hall and defending from the Town Hall.  By moving your army out of position you slow down your mining or expose your miners to big attacks.

You will gain miners for free throughout the mission so make sure to keep an eye ont his and move them south.

The mission ends the second the third rock bridge falls.

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HOW TO: Age of Empires 3 Hard Difficulty – Act 2 Mission #7: Warwick’s Stronghold

As the approach is made closer and closer to Warwick it is time to hit him head on, at his stronghold.  You come here with a very limited number of resources to use and because of this… you have to rob Warwick blind.

Warwick is bringing in resources along four trade routes. The more resources he gets the more units he can make.  The more you get the higher your income.  You start off with two cannons, a group of musketeers, John Black (hero), and Kenyenkay (hero).  This very unmobile army has to rob trains.  You can do this by tagging them with a unit.  You then bring them home and your settlers will pick up the resources.

Strategically you need to start off by addressing the four lines of attack.  There are two lines of attack on the east and two on the west.  There is one tower per line of attack.  This means the key to getting a lot of carts is to get rid of the towers and split up your army effectively.

In my strategy you focus on just the eastern side of the map.  You use your cannons to take out towers and then position your units on a high ground area between the two points.

Rarely will the computer attack your base and when he does you can defend with your few settlers.  You will want to make mostly musketeers and with all of the experience you will be gaining purchase cannons.

Once you have 4-5 cannons and a large army, you push north… slowly.  The idea here is you have to take out towers and armies slowly and continue pushing forward.  If you lose too many cannons too fast… you lose.

This is a mission you can play pretty safely because the enemy rarely ever attacks you.  Make sure your army is huge before you engage, you will gain resources from two lines of attack when you attack so that will be some extra income.

This mission should take you no more than 20 minutes.

HOW TO: Age of Empires 3 Hard Difficulty – Act 2 Mission #6: Respect

In this mission it is almost impossible to fail.  Doing this mission means keeping your fingers active and keeping your army going.  The tribes will defend themselves and it will be very hard for the tribe leaders (Chiefs) to die off.  The goal here is to build up a big enough army over time while clearing up some objectives and killing enemies.

Once you have a large enough army you can actually engage the northern base with great success.  By knocking it out you can assure a victory as it will support the pending objective that all chiefs must survive.

Your unit composition should start mostly with musketeers and slowly expand into cannons.  Mortars are units you should only consider bringing in near the end when you storm the northern base.

HOW TO: Age of Empires 3 Hard Difficulty – Act 2 Mission #5: The Great Lakes

As an interesting note in American history George Washington learned (along with all of his colonels) guerrilla tactics during the Seven Years War.  He would later use these new updated tactics that gave him such troubles in the Seven Years War against the British to liberate America.  In this mission George Washington, just referred to as Colonel Washington, admits that Warwick is out of control and promises to give aid to finding him and knocking him out.

Colonel Washington offers British fleets in defeating Warwick.

The start of this mission involves moving north and taking out the northern bases.  Be careful, there are now max upgraded towers which do splash damage.  This means you will absolutely need cannons to take this out.  If you have them in your deck, good for you.

After you beat this village you will gain access to transports.  These transports have a very high powered ability.  Instead of transporting your army across the sea and taking out the enemy use these transports to shell out enemy unit producing structures or enemy units.  I would not choose to attack without the special ability Broadside Attack which also has an area of effect component.

At this time you should get your Age maxed out and start producing large quantities of heavily upgraded units.  I would not move until every unit is max upgrade.  I use heavy musketeers supported with cannons.  There are not enough cannons on the enemy side to get cavalry.

After you destroy the southern tower on the western land you will gain access to a large fleet.  However the second you attack the entire mass army of the enemy will march south.  So you will want to  keep his army north by harassing him with your transports while having one or two drop off your units south.  These same transports should be available to pick up the units if the enemy’s units are moving south.  This allows you to effectively strike two points at once and do heavy amounts of damage.

Once you destroy this you will gain large British ships.  The most important is the ability of Mortar.  If you want to make this easy run your heroes into the enemy Town Center.  With this you can mortar down his Town Center and win without having to fight a battle.  Otherwise you can just push forward and use your large fleet to support your attack.

There are two ships to the north that you also have to kill, but by this point that should be a matter of right clicking on it.

HOW TO: Age of Empires 3 Hard Difficulty – Act 2 Mission #4: The Seven Years War

As the Seven Years War begins the Iroquis have chosen to ally themselves against the French against the British.  In this mission you must aid the French by defeating a British fort.

In this mission you will not be able to use aboriginal units.  The French have taken control of all Iroquis outposts leaving you to use only your units.

In this mission the more cannons you have the better you will do.

This mission is all about your attack timing.  You want to attack when some French/Iroquis mantlets start pushing towards the towers.  The mantlets will soak damage from the towers and allow your units to destroy them.  You can push in with or without cannons with great success.

The second the enemy’s forces show up to defend you will want to move back to your base so you are not taking extra damage from the towers.

Once the towers are down on the southside it becomes a matter of slow pushing to the finish.  You can choose to wipe out production on the western side of the map so you face overall less units… but it is not necessary.

If you want to get the secondary objective for bonus experience you can do so while you are wiping out his final building.  Head north and the British will have a trading outpost on an aboriginal camp.  Destroy it and have John Black build a new one, easy.  It can bug from time to time in which case you will not be allowed to build a trading post on it.

HOW TO: Age of Empires 3 Hard Difficulty – Act 2 Mission #3: The Rescue

The Iroquis are under attack from the British, and John Black will fight them back.

In this mission you will have to balance off defending forces for the Indians in the north, and attack units in the South.

The best possible unit to get in the north is going to be the non-mantlet aboriginals.  The reason is because you can only make a certain number of mantlets and a certain number of aboriginals… and you will want the mantlets for your attack.

Your first inclination will be to rush in there, don’t.  Your second inclination will be to move directly from the south, don’t.

Instead get a slightly better economy and head east and then north.  This will give you access to another aboriginal village.  Build a trading post here and this will double the number of aboriginals you can support in your army.  You will want to build all mantlets from this one.

All the while you will be building an army of ranged aboriginals in the north.  Make sure your units are positioned near your tower so as to get maximum defensive bonus.  The AI on the cannon usually just attacks random buildings so leave that until last.

While this is happening amass a maxed out aboriginal army in the east and once you are maxed out (on the number of mantlets) push west with this army.  There will be two unupgraded towers here you can take out.  Once you start attacking they will pull back.  From here you should slowly inch forward wiping out any workers you can.

All the while instead of reinforcing from the east you should start building up an army in the north.  The second that your army gets close to the northern tower you move your northern army forward to support and link them up.  From here it is simply a matter of destroy all remaining buildings with your army.

For help on microing units properly and what your economy should look like watch the VOD.

HOW TO: Age of Empires 3 Hard Difficulty – Act 2 Mission #2: Strange Alliances

The British are coming.  The British under Warwick have oddly been allied with a local tribe.  The Indians end up being a trap, and John Black has to stop them.

Out of the Act 2 missions this one is no doubt the hardest of them on Hard Difficulty.  There are many tactics and tricks people have used to beat this and most of them have been patched as they were exploiting the mission.

To start move your army south to wipe out an Indian Warband.  While doing this hit the delete key after selecting all of your buildings (Stuart’s town).  By destroying your entire town this means that when the British show up they will not take over these  buildings and will not get double production.

After wiping out the two warbands a scripted event will direct you to move towards another Indian village.  Here you will be ambushed by four British musketeers which you can beat easily.

You will gain access to a covered wagon which you can use to build your town hall and start building up an army.  The British will occupy your old base and setup camp.

What makes this mission hard is how the British get a Settler lead and because of this advance much faster.  This means that by waiting around too long the British will eventually overpower you.  This means you will have to strike fast.

Amass an army largely of musketeers mixing in a cannon or two later.

If you move to the northwestern corner of the British base the Brits will have a large collection of Settlers constantly harvesting and the British will constantly send more to this location.  If you widdle down his settler count slowly and cautiously without moving into the base the Brits will not be able to produce units and will not be able to advance.

Using this micromanagement heavy strategy you will slowly get an army built up over time and will be able to push with cannons to take out the Brit’s base.