|Hassan ben Sahid|
|Hassan ben Sahid|
Hassan ben Sahid is the leader of the corsairs. He will attempt to extort money from you, and will declare war on you if you don't meet his demands. Ultimately you can Fraternise (ally) with him, which requires either destroying corsair ships (leading to The Last Contingent) or buying him off (leading to The Feast).
At easier difficulty levels, you can avoid discovering him if you know (or can guess) where he is on the map, until your economy is on track and his demands don't cripple you (or you can build a war fleet). In such games, you might choose to discover him as soon as you start making your first passive-sale profit makers. At Hard difficulty he will seek you out and attack you, regardless of whether you have found his lair.
If you choose to buy trade treaties he will ask for 10% of your balance periodically (with a minimum and maximum demand), a certain number of times. If at one point you couldn't pay him, but later you can, you can always click on him and pay up.
If you've met his demands a set number of times he will ask for goods for The Feast quest. This quest has no time limit. You will have to continue paying extortion money as usual until the quest is completed if you want to avoid war. You can check the number of pacts you've bought with him on the Diplomacy screen (F7) by hovering your cursor over the shield-and-olive-branches button to the right of his name. When you supply the goods required for The Feast he will Fraternise with you and never extort you again. Your "alliance" will be locked in permanently. You may lose a little Reputation with other minor AI players if you Fraternise with him.
The following table shows the kind of demands he'll make, depending on his difficulty setting:
|Difficulty||Maximum Demand||Demands every (minutes)||The Feast||The Last Contingent|
|Number of Demands||Goods required||Ships to Sink||Quest Fleet Size|
|Easy||20,000||50||8||80 Meat, 120 Beer, 80 Weapons||30||13|
|Medium||25,000||45||14||120 Meat, 160 Beer, 120 Weapons||50||17|
|Hard||30,000||40||20||240 Beer, 80 Pearl Necklaces, 40 Gold||70||21|
His difficulty setting is preset for scenarios, and can be adjusted in the configuration for a custom game.
He won't send out ships, and won't pester you or anyone else, unless you or someone else has "discovered" him. But since you have little control over other AI players at the start of a game, you and everyone else will usually all be attacked by him within time, except perhaps in Easy games where you can make sure you don't find him.
In a sense, he uses passive-aggressive settings. Each individual pirate ship only attacks for a limited amount of time and then breaks off, and even the lowliest trade ship can usually limp away from a single corsair (hopefully, directly to a Repair crane). But the ante is increased at Hard difficulty, when some of his ships start patrolling in packs of three, five, or more, as the game progresses. These packs will destroy small ships and can put a real dent in large ships before his ships might break off individually. They work by line of sight, and only go after you if they see you during their patrol pattern. All in all, depending on whether you sailed right into the wolf pack; your trade ship stopped at a warehouse; they had to work to keep up with your ship; etc., you may be able to dance around him until you have a force to stop him - assuming you haven't acquiesced to his extortion demands.
If you Fraternise with him and you have a metropolis (3500 noblemen/5240 envoys in a city), he will ultimately give you a quest requiring you to defeat all other NPCs. Also note that occasionally you may be asked by the Emperor or Sultan (after finishing their monument) to sink corsairs (usually a handful, but occasionally, dozens). You can't attack Hassan once you have fraternized - unless, that is, you have bought Letters of Marque from him! Because these quests may have time limits, you would be wise to stock up on a number of Letters, once you reach the metropolis-quest stage.
He offers a wide variety of Expedition maps and martial items. Once you've completed an Imperial cathedral or Sultan's mosque these expedition maps can cheaply procure veteran crew that are as good as the ones that cost far more Honor. He also offers particular booty or war Productivity and Tax items, such as for making or taxing cannons, pearl necklaces, and beer. Hassan offers so many maps and types of war gear that his productivity and tax items are relatively rare, compared to Northburgh and Al Zahir.