Kingmaker puts the player in an offline match against up to 7 AI opponents, similar to Stronghold Crusader's Skirmish mode. Players fight against each other for dominance in a Last Man Standing manner, with the last team or player remaining alive as the victor on a pre-selected map.
The starting battleground is divided into estates that can become under the control of different players. Castle estates serve as a starting point for players, while village estates are (mostly) neutral AI-controlled territories that produce goods and ferry them to their owner. Unused and fallen castle estates are automatically converted to a village estate.
Players can build various buildings, gather resources and recruit units in order to amass an army and use them to defeat other enemy lords, utilizing the ever regenerating supply of peasants. Buildings and units cost resources to create, becoming immediately available. Buildings can produce and process resources that are stored at various buildings, and a number of workers are assigned to each of them. Units can combat other troops either in melee or from a range, and they may even attack structures. When units lose their entire health pool, they are eliminated.
Popularity is an important metric that affects peasant migration. Castle management can influence it in either a positive or negative manner, which is refreshed every month. Popularity above 50 makes peasants come in, or leave the castle in the opposite case. The following aspects affect popularity (but not limited to): food, religion, entertainment, taxes, and everyday problems, such as crime, rats and gong.
Honor and gold are two monetary resources in Stronghold 2. Gold is the most important resource in the game that can be used to trade raw materials and fund spendings with recruitments. Honor is a secondary resource that can be accumulated by holding events and reinstituting criminals to society - it can be used to access new technologies by ranking up, to recruit advanced units, and purchase neutral estates.
A player loses when their Lord is defeated in combat. They are automatically eliminated from the game, losing everything they had, and their estates are relinquished to their conqueror.
Each AI (Artificial Intelligence) is based on the characters encountered during Campaign. They are unique in terms of castles and strategies, with varying difficulty. Detailed information can be found on the character's page, or in the summary below. Click on an opponent's avatar to reach their page.
Edwin Blackfly is one of the least talented opponents in Stronghold 2. Using his deception and greed, he oppresses his peasants and uses cheap units in droves to overwhelm his enemies.
Difficulty: Very Easy
Economy: Significantly unproductive, with basic food production and little mining.
Castles: Constructs a basic enclosure with minimal defense on the walls.
Tactics: Relies on spamming spearmen in high numbers to catch enemies off-guard. Calls in armed peasants and a few backup troops in siege attacks.
Seren Wynne is a servant of the Church and a venerable fighter. She uses a high variety of tools at her disposal, posing a challenge to the unprepared player.
Economy: Productive, requires a fair time to build up, with very active weapons production.
Castles: Always builds a confined castle with a tower and a gate. Leaves an opening on the western side that is moderately undermined with a variety of traps.
Tactics: Uses polearm troops to defend and mostly harasses with hobilars throughout the game. Tosses a rather high amount of armor, archers and armed peasants in a siege attack.
Sir William is one of the most persistent and most loyal servant of the Court. He makes sure that nothing stands in his superiors' way, breaking through countless oppositions.
Economy: Very extensive one, producing lots of royal food backed up with ale and religion.
Castles: Builds rather small castles fortified by two towers with ballistae and thick walls. Spreads moat in front of the majority of his settlement.
Tactics: Tosses archers and swordsmen after one another to steamroll his opponent's economy, also buys in weapons in great numbers. Uses an overwhelming number of catapults and additional spearmen during sieges.
The last Viking Warlord in existence is a merciless enemy, who puts all his eggs in one basket when attacking. Notable for his early rushes and simplified economy.
Economy: Basic, iron and spears are sold for a net profit, while ale provides some tax income.
Castles: Very weak and large, relegated to a huge circular wooden wall with sporadic defenders. Builds traps and dog cages in front of gates.
Tactics: Uses exclusively Viking axe throwers and berserkers in the dozens. His armies are very fast, but fall short against a proper defense.
A veteran fighter for tens of years, Sir Grey has seen better days in war in his prime. His ways are conservative, yet he still puts up a fight if required.
Economy: Basic, produces weapons and raw materials in an average scale. Neglects popularity sources.
Castles: Builds a heavily undermanned large square castle with large towers and a large gatehouse in the front. Uses tower ballistae to repel his attackers.
Tactics: Uses a conventional army of archers, swordsmen and spearmen with catapults in attacks. Favours harassment with catapults and a large squad of spearmen.
Pascal Deveraux is a twin brother of William, who serves Barclay as an advisor. He is the master of plotting and bribery, and he has little regard to nobleties or honor.
Economy: A very extensive one, covering ale and religion to boost tax rates. Disfavours mining.
Castles: Erects rectangular castles with lots of wall-mounted defenses, towers and tower engines. Likes to station archers and outlaws on top of structures.
Tactics: Uses small squads of archers with siege engines in large numbers to harass his opponents. With a correct castle design, sends a large number of archers, outlaws and spearmen to sieges.
The King is an elderly leader of England and a very heartful chancellor. He commands an elite squad of English units and prefers to build up before showing his might.
Economy: Builds lots of entertainment and production to erect an economic powerhouse. Tends not to buy in weapons for his troops.
Castles: Extravagantly large, featuring huge courtyards with lots of large towers, thick walls and the occasional sally port. Has a few tower engines and lots of archers with pikemen covering areas.
Tactics: Sends a few pikemen and catapults to harass. With a correct castle design, sends a huge force of pikemen, archers and spearmen and constructs lots of siege engines for an attack. Tends to build his army very late into the game.
Angus McLoud is a Scotch freedom fighter, who devotes all of his effort to his family clan. Using his lust and steadfast background, the Bull is just as solid in his attacks as in his defense.
Economy: Emphasizes ale and religion to ramp up incomes from taxes. Neglects mining but makes up for it with a steady weapons production.
Castles: Wooden enclosures in a shape of the skull, strengthened with countless man traps and large surfaces of moat. Stationary crossbowmen are found on top of wooden platforms.
Tactics: Streams outlaws and macemen against the enemy. During attacks, he uses rams with archers and macemen to knock a hole in enemy defenses.
The Queen is the epitome of a well-rounded enemy in Stronghold 2. She is a very tough character to beat, due to her persistence and affinity to mobile troops. Available in Deluxe.
Economy: Very extensive with lots of weapons production and mines. Produces ale and some royal food.
Castles: Fairly streamlined designs with rectangular layouts. Builds towers on corners and the front with assorted siege engines and lots of archers on top.
Tactics: Heavily relies on horse archers to wreak havoc. In sieges, she uses squads of berserkers, archers and swordsmen with a large number of catapults and cats.
A loyal but zealous servant of the Light, the Bishop reigns over his blessed followers with iron hand. His bark is more dangerous than his bite however, and his efforts usually rarely pay off.
Economy: Humble one with assorted weapons production and church services, tends to struggle from low income.
Castles: Fairly simple stone designs with extensive moat lines and lots of traps. Omits towers and uses crossbowmen in favour of a close-by defense.
Tactics: Harasses with macemen and uses them alongside crossbowmen in a siege attack. Makes catapults and trebuchets in very low numbers.
A mighty aspirant to the throne, Barclay is a determined strategist to overcome his adversaries. He is cruel and cold-blooded, using a variety of mercenaries and barracks troops alike to prevail.
Difficulty: Very hard
Economy: Very big one with lots of weapons workshops and mines. Builds little entertainment but provides ale and religion.
Castles: Has varying designs with different traits. Larger designs have an inner courtyard with sporadic defenses, while more confined castles have lots of moat and traps with multiple rings.
Tactics: Uses hard-hitting troops to attack, particularly with unmounted knights and crossbowmen. He likes to harass with droves of horse archers and siege engines.