Like the tall river grasses I bend in the wind.
— The Nizar, when under siege.

The Nizar is an AI Lord encountered in Stronghold Crusader and Stronghold Crusader Extreme.


Though the inspiration for the character is not entirely clear, it is possible that The Nizar and his followers are based on a medieval Islamic group known as "The Hashashins/Assassins." During the middle ages, "Nizar" refered to those who were followers of Nizari Isma'ilism (a branch of Shia Islam), of which the Assassins were a part of. The Assassins relied on murder and scare tactics to achieve their goals, and thrived well into the thirteenth century.[1]

Appearance and personalityEdit

The Nizar wears a scarf to protect his face from the fierce desert sun and sandstorms. This also helps shield his identity, although not as much as the Caliph or Wazir does. The Nizar is very fit and agile (he is not a lazy lord) and likes going up and down the rope he has installed in his castle and likes tricking those trying to converse with him by hiding for a time up the rope, leaving them wondering where the Nizar is, hearing only his voice.

Despite the Nizar being known as 'The Silent', like the rest of the AI lords (apart from those that use knight raids), he does like to give his enemies some advance warning of his most powerful attacks, but only in strange metaphors. This is his downfall, as his enemies have (a little bit) of time to prepare for his assassins.

Despite his fearsome reputation as a leader of Assassins, to his own people, the Nizar is actually a relatively benevolent lord, allowing his workers some time off. However he is suspicious of his allies, sometimes to the point of being disrespectful, and lacks chivalry towards his enemies.

Castles and strategiesEdit

The Nizar relies on the element of surprise to catch his enemies off guard. His frequent use of assassins often makes it difficult to gauge his strength, and the quantity in which they attack can number into the hundreds.


The Nizar runs a good, but not great economy. This is mostly because he does not place many woodcutters, only places a single quarry and has only two iron mines. The Nizar therefore relies heavily on raising taxes. To boost his popularity to enable him to do this, along the edge of his island fortress, the Nizar will place lots of statues and shrines, granting him the benefit of a positive fear factor bonus. He also relies on having a high bread production to allow him to give double rations to his peasants (and sell excess bread), and has a large number of bakeries and several mills for this. As well as this, he has a few inns, supplied by several breweries which further boost his popularity.

This agricultural-based economy means he relies heavily on farmlands for wheat and hops farms, and if he has little oasis space near his castle or if his farms are constantly under fire from the enemy, his economy will suffer. Like the Wazir, he is rather too reliant on bread production as a source of income, and if this is disrupted, his economy will greatly suffer.


The Nizar's island castles are well garrisoned but lack the protection of walls.


As an attacker, The Nizar's forces can be quite devastating against an unprepared opponent. Even early in a game, he will hire assassins in great numbers and send them to either attack or scale enemy walls. They have a bonus in combat associated with positve fear factor and so fight very well. This plan of attack becomes significantly crippled when The Nizar is confronted by the obstacle of a moat, as his assassins lack the ability to fill it in.

The Nizar will hire slaves in increasingly greater quantities as the game progresses to aid his assassins, paricularly if his enemy has a moat, however archers and Arabian bowmen usually slaughter them will ease.

He also uses his assassins for harassment, showing up before the player could react. They like to target quarries and mines, nevertheless they do not hesitate to move in the enemy castle and wreak havoc.


His best (and largest) castles feature a long, narrow path that winds through the moat and under several gatehouses before ending at the central island. The Nizar's defensive plan relies on the player being foolish enough to walk down this path and over the countless killing pits hidden beneath it. To make matters worse, The Nizar will place fire ballistae along the coast of the main island and use them to blast any approaching intruders.

All of The Nizar's castles are surrounded by a very large moat. Because of the size of this moat, the castle itself takes on the appearance of a small island crowded full of busy buildings. The Nizar places a little too much confidence in his moat however, and makes the mistake of not building walls. However the lack of walls means he does not have to waste too much gold on buying in stone for rebuilding during a siege and can instead concentrate on troop production for defence. He will construct two to four lookout towers and one to three Round Towers on his island. These towers are accessible by stairs, and manned by plenty of Arabian bowmen.

His outlying farms and industrial buildings are defended by groups of Arabian archers, and he will usually send more Arabian archers (and sometimes assassins) out from his castle if they are being targeted by an enemy.

How to deal withEdit


If you are on low ground, use a moat. This will stop the Nizar's assassins from reaching the inside of your castle. He will still try and dig up the moat with slaves, but these can be killed easily by a decent number of archers.

If you are on high ground, use a crenelated wall or a low wall on the outside edge of your normal high wall. Assassins cannot climb this and will instead hack at the walls. A few groups of slingers or a few scattered fire throwers amongst your wall mounted archers should deal with these.

A reliable way to prevent his Assassins from taking your walls, towers, and gatehouses is to deploy your own Assassins as spotters. Scatter a group of Assassins around your perimeter, just within your Archers' maximum range. This allows your ranged units up the walls and towers to engage incoming Assassins earlier, compared to when they have to do so without the spotters.


It is a good idea to repeatedly target the Nizar's farms (and if you can his stone and iron mines as well) a long time before besieging him to cripple his economy, but make sure you have enough troops to deal with his visible Arabian archers and invisible assassins. Moving horse archers are ideal for this purpose.

Since he does not build walls, the use of trebuchets, catapults, and fire ballistae can wreak havoc on The Nizar's buildings, and in the case of fire ballistae, troops, long before the player's army even makes to the island. In addition, destroying The Nizar's towers with siege equipment before attempting to fill in the moat will go a long way in minimizing the player's casualities. Be advised though, that The Nizar will often send out a pack of Arabian bowmen to attack the player's siege equipment, so it should not be left unguarded!

Once his visible troops are dead, the top of the keep should be targeted and fired at with fire ballistae to kill his invisible assassins. The gold and troops information screen should be looked at to see whether his army size is reducing.

It may not be needed to dig in his moat at all if a clear dryland path exists. When negotiating this, a substantial force of about 50 macemen is best for this as they are fast and are more likely to avoid much of the killing pits that the Nizar places there. Make sure the gatehouses have already been destroyed from afar with catapults or trebuchets before doing this. It should then be easy enough to reach the moat with the macemen and kill the lord.


For the Nizar's quotes, see: The Nizar/Quotes.


  • The Nizar can use the Emir's castles relatively well, as both characters have bread and ale industries, a similar population size, and use positive fear factor. If the Emir's aiv files are copied from the aiv folder to a temporary folder, the word 'Emir' in each changed to 'Nizar' and these pasted in to the aiv folder and overwritten, this can be enabled. The barracks will be useless, but the armoury and fletchers workshops won't be, as the Nizar will sell the bows produced for a profit. The only problem is that the Nizar won't man the Emir's lookout towers, as these are manned with European archers, which the Nizar does not use.
  • The Nizar can also use Saladin's castles, but with less effectiveness, as he will not use Saladin's blacksmiths and armourers workshops as he usually sells his iron immediately when it arrives in the stockpile.

External linksEdit

  1. An Article about Islam and "The Assassins" during the medieval Crusades.
Stronghold Crusader / Stronghold Crusader Extreme Characters
Stronghold Crusader The RatThe SnakeThe PigThe WolfThe SultanThe CaliphSaladinRichard The Lionheart
Stronghold Crusader Extreme Emperor FrederickKing PhillipThe SheriffThe AbbotThe MarshalThe WazirThe EmirThe Nizar
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