Norse/Strategic Overview

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Faction Overview Strategic Overview History
  • Strengths: Good Dark Age and Castle Age army
  • Weaknesses: Poor economy, weak mid- to late-game military. Its sole unit light becomes weaker each age.

Like their historical counterparts, the Norse are known for one thing: plundering resources. Rushing will most definitely be something the player should try to master, should be done almost immediately as the game starts since military units will also contribute to the Norse economy to keep the machinery of the kingdom going with each kill they make.

Norse troops reflect their Viking heritage well. The Viking is a very strong unit, with added attack and speed, making it a dangerous foe to encounter in the Dark Ages. Over time, he will slowly sacrifice speed for added armour, hitpoints and attack, however, before culminating in the Halberider. The fact that the Norse can spawn many of these units whenever you build a new Barracks means that you can easily amass an army of harder-hitting units that can be used to rush an enemy in the early game, or at least defend your lines effectively in the Imperial Era.

This is somewhat offset by their heavy cavalry, which while costing no metal in ramp, has an attack penalty, making them even weaker as a cavalry force goes, resulting in a cheaper but vastly more inferior unit that may not be able to serve in a shock role unlike the Byzantine, Polish or French cavalry. Thankfully, by the time the French and the Polish have obtained their heavy cavalry, the Norse should have moved on from Vikings and have began to field elite heavy cavalry, crossbow levymen and halberdiers (and semi-mercenary arquebus troops), which can help save your hide in a pinch. The Norse are not shortchanged on naval forces, either, being capable of recruiting Longships along with four other factions, which are a cheaper albeit weaker version of the Roundship, at least one age earlier. Although with less armour and without a good siege capability, Longships can be used to trump Dromonds and hold unfortified beaches, although the lack of a proper siege vessel in the Castle Age limits their usefulness somewhat.

So the Norse are a somewhat difficult but rewarding faction to play if you do know what you are doing. If one is unable to finish off an enemy outright with a rush, keeping the pressure on with constant harassment and raids is advisable, in particularly outlying enemy settlements and trade units where you can do your damage with as little risk to yourself as possible. So attack often and attack early. Use the military to keep their enemies in check while enriching your own economy. Another alternative is to make friends with someone whose economy or technologies can help yours, such as Venice, France, or Burgundy. Venice's warships complement the Norse well, France's heavy cavalry can help you in a pinch, while Burgundy's more diverse army can help greatly.

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Faction summary[edit]

  • The most militaristic of all factions, with a powerful arsenal of units and the ability to use them to profit.
  • Spam It Man — With the ability to generate free axemen from your barracks, you can save on using food for building your army.
  • They Do Not Go Gently — Vikings start off as light infantry with a strong attack, but over time get even heavier and slower: change your tactics to suit changes in your army.
  • Ageing Gracelessly — Although the Norse are very powerful having good ships and infantry in the Dark Age, their military bonuses eventually weaken and disappear by the Imperial Era. So rush as early and often as possible to keep your opponent off balance.
  • Black Market Ops — The Norse may have no economic bonuses, but the ability to create free units that generate resources by killing enemies is a powerful one: use your a soldiers to take apart enemy armies for resources. Build your own merchants and caravans to improve trade while taking apart your opponents' own to dirsupt trade and line your own pockets.
  • Best Friends — During games, join forces with others to take advantage of their abilities or to deter them from attacking: so far, your best friends will be those with an ability to generate resources to give to you as tribute, but other factions able to launch guerilla raids such as the Saracens, Mongols and Welsh might need to be considered. Of these, the Saracens have good economic bonuses, while the Welsh army with cloaked spearmen and javelin cavalry can complement your own army of light axers and heavy cavalry.

Best eras:[edit]

Dark to Castle.

Strategic Overview
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Basic gameplay Rise of Chivalry Renovatio Europam