The stealthy Assassin is one of the most notorious units from the original Stronghold Crusader. Our mission with Crusader 2 has always been to recreate the original’s gameplay in 3D, but also to evolve and expand on the strongest parts of Crusader 1. With his ability to cloak from enemy sight this unique unit was a favourite among players and one we just couldn’t resist bringing back. He is the best reason for you to line your castle walls with as many archers as possible!
In contrast to units like Slaves or Horse Archers the Assassin may appear to be more of a lone wolf, but this doesn’t necessarily mean you should send him in on his own. The Assassin’s cloak ability is active when there are no enemies in the immediate area around him, meaning the more Assassins you have spread out together the larger the area of detection around them will be. That said the smart player will move several Assassins in a tight group, slipping past unmanned walls and around the back of an enemy’s base, from where they can launch a surprise attack. Just keep track of the detection eye in the game’s UI, which will warn you if your troops are in danger of being detected. Surprise attacks are very much the Assassin’s bread and butter, given his relatively low attacking strength, although the ability to cloak and his fast movement speed more than make up for this.
Complementing the Assassin’s cloak ability is his grappling hook, which can be used to climb up and over crenulated walls. To use the grappling hook simply select the Assassin and click on any wall to have him scale it, at this point he has three main options:
1) Move along the wall and try to take out enemy troops stationed on walls or in towers.
2) Capture the gatehouse, open it and allow your forces to quickly storm through.
3) Climb down the other side of the wall and attempt to infiltrate the enemy base.
As an Assassin you must watch out for Archers, who can easily cancel out your cloak and even shoot you down as you scale castle walls. Another strategy is to attack with your main force and clear the wall of any Archers, you can then feign retreat while sending in your Assassins to scale the wall and infiltrate the enemy castle unseen. Do this before your opponent has a chance to station troops back on their walls and you could have a squad of Assassins ready to flank the enemy from behind, while your main force attacks them head on.
Suffice to say the Assassin lends himself well to experimentation and a variety of different tactics, which is ideal considering that he is one of the less expensive units in the game. Just remember you won’t see him coming, so if you suddenly hear “Our Lord is under attack” don’t act like we didn’t warn you!