We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

Stronghold Crusader 2 introduces the Sultana, the series’ first female opponent

Stronghold Crusaders 2

A sultana isn’t just a dried grape, it’s also Stronghold Crusader 2’s new AI opponent. She’s based on a historical figure, but Firefly’s put their own spin on her, transforming her into a world-weary freedom fighter and leader of assassins. 

Firefly’s latest dev diary takes a look at the Sultana, and the tactics you’ll need to master if you hope to defeat her. 

According to Firefly’s Nick Tannahill, the series was well overdue a female opponent.

“Looking back it’s embarrassing that out of 16 AI opponents the original Stronghold Crusader didn’t feature a single woman! A lot of our player data suggests that the Stronghold games have a predominantly male audience, as much as 90%, however this is no reason to resist being inclusive. Each character has their own unique AI behaviours, castle designs and mood depending on how the player interacts with them and the Sultana is no exception. She is not simply a token addition to the game’s cast.

“Many of our players have a keen eye for cultural and historical detail, which is part of the reason why Crusader 2 features units like the Sassanid Knight, Whirling Dervish and Hussite War Wagon. History is in our players’ blood and while cultural diversity is great we could all do a better job when it comes to gender. You can expect both the launch line up of AI Lords and those added through post release DLC to reflect that.”

Like the unassuming grape, the Sultana prefers subtlety over force. She recruits fewer troops, but those she has are a tough bunch. Her castle economy is focused on gold production so she can recruit these troops, so it’s a good idea for crusaders to take out those buildings. But that might be tricky, as assassins lurk in the shadows, waiting to defend the castle from attack.

Stronghold Crusader 2 is due out on September 23rd, and is currently 10 percent off on Steam.