[10 unique and valuable pro tips for beating crusader extreme below]
As someone who was addicted to strategy games around the time the original crusader game came out, I would heavily recommend this to people who either like age of empires, who would like to relive those days and to those people who like challenges. The game includes Crusader Extreme HD, with missions 'so difficult' (the first 14 missions took me 1-3 hours each, excluding some start-over missions because i failed) that you need to resort to a very defensive guerilla/ninja playing style to succeed. there's missions where u have to defeat more than 7 opponents on a single map, all by yourself. And everyone starts with the same resources.
After some restarted missions and succeeding (im about halfway now i guess, at mission 14) i found out a strategy that works out for 90% of the missions. If you want to figure this out yourself do not read on, i will not mention anything new. but for those who quit out of frustration heres how you can do it:
1. some missions involve defeating multiple opponents of which some are very closeby, even withing arrow range of your castle (you dont want that). use up all you money to build knights and send them in to kill the enemies close to you. in some missions, its possible to kill enemy lords before they have even built their castle.
2. NEVER forget to build a market in the beginning. not all maps offer all resource types within range or within castle building range, which means e.g. if theres only quarry near the keep, you will have to put as any quarry miines there as possible and sell some of it to buy stone/wood.
3. always start off building 3 more stockpile spaces (free), a market, 2-4 hovels depending on how much starting resources u have, and a combination of 5, 10 or 15 'good things' and a church (or 2, if u can), and either a mercenary post or barracks + armory. buying weapons to recruit non-mercenary troops is usually cheaper. mercenary post recommended when u have a lot of starting money.
4. build a wall ASAP around your keep with enough space to put in all your buildings needed to recruit ttroops and keep the economy going. set mercenary slaves or regular troops like spearman and archers at work to dig a moat on the inner side of the wall, then build another wall that will actually function as your wall. the first wall is just to protect them from harm while digging. if youre skilled at timing things and monitoring progress, you won't need to but if you have plenty of starting cash in some missions then this is a safe method.
5. do not forget to build stairs at your walls. because it is not possible to build when enemies are close and then your guys wont be able to man the walls/towers you built.
6. if you build a keep, always build a bridge at it right away.
7. save up the rock volley to slowly kill off enemytroop spawn posts during missions. do not use it up for anything else unless you really really need it because you would lose your lord otherwise or enemy is about to breach walls.
8. enemy knights are the biggest problem when they attack early in the game. therefore, just buy leather armour and crossbows and build crossbow archers or when low on cash u will need sligshot mercs who have strengths in great numbers.
9. last but very important tip: if u wanna destroy an enemy castle, bring plenty of archers. like 50+ . and put them in a place where they can hit the enemies campfire where the peasants gather. set attack location instead of directly clicking a peasant cuz they will stop attacking when all peasants are down and hit other targets instead. this prevents them from building new troops while u are attacking, which was often the reason i lost all my troops cuz the enemy started building knights superfast and in the end i didnt have enough troops to get on top of the keep and kill the leader.
10. Try to build a perimiter wall ALL AROUND buildings that involve a production chain. if it's not possible, put a big waterpot near valuable locations and station some archers that can easily kill off slaves who want to lit up your mines for example.
i could give more tips, but these things i found out and used helped me through the first 14 missions fairly easy. you should figure the rest out for yourself through trial and error