A beginner guide for the Vikings - important locations, base strategy, technologies and the key to victory!
Yes, we are Vikings. Yes, we need loot. Yes, we kill everything. - Random Viking ca. 878 a.d.
So i started my campagin on vh, vh settings. I did not know, what to expect and had a hard time getting around the first few turns. Lots and lots of reading and getting used to the new mechanics. Therefore I will spare you this time and let you read my guide.
The Great Viking Army
My first step was to get used to my new faction. The starting screen might be confusing, but there are really only 4 points you need to know for vikings:
Early Game this might get tricky from time to time. As the base loyalty is randomly generated, you might have to kill of quite a few generals, who want to improve "their standing within the realm". Mid and late game, this does not really concern your gameplay as you hopefully have amassed enough gold to easily buy their loyalty.
Income from raiding and sacking +150%:
Be a real viking! Vikings were famous for their raiding and therefore also plays a vital part in Thrones of Britannia. But dont be fooled, vikings were also famous for trading. So even tough it really helps you boost your income, it is NOT you main goal to sack and loot everything.
The single most important and annoying thing about playing the Great Viking Army is the here king mechanic. Going around and killing everything (obviously) makes your English people unhappy. Two things to remember: NEVER sack an English city and never ransom English prisoners even if it might be tempting.
Very strong axe infantry:
Oh boy, this is so true. Your axemen really can bash enemy lines if used correctly. I will properly explain this in the section "Battle".
There you go. Onwards to Glory!
First Phase Gamplay
Like with every faction you have to start by killing of the small rebel force . This battle can easily be won with the right tactics.
You start your campaign with a very good starting position, even tough it doesnt look like it. You are surrounded by English factions, which quite frankly sucks because of the Here king mechanic. Fortunately, you are a mighty warlord and have this guide.
After defeating the first rebel army, immediately start by spending every possible gold coin to improve your food chain buildings. FOOD is the key ressource to start your campaign with. Build your kings army to the food limit with preferably axe infantry and spearman. If you have some spare coins and food, also try to reinforce your secondary army with 2-3 units of spearman.
First Phase conquests (blue):
After defeating the rebels you should receive a mission to end the reign of the faction to your west. Lucky for you, they do not have any allies (yet) and are an easy picking due to their only one army. Chase the enemy army with your kings own and use the secondary army to the south. Capture their food settlements and they will start to suffer attrition. Use the pathways as illustrated for a quick victory. Remember to NOT sack the settlements to limit the anger of your English people. The same goes with defeating an army. Take on warriors is recommended to improve your reinforcement rate and also boost your "army" mechanics.
Second Phase conquest (purple):
You might ask at this point: why should i go to Ireland? The marked province was the key to my strategy. It contains a monastery. If upgraded it provides up to 50% boost in research. Furthermore it includes a province with a gold mine. Do i need to add more? It also has a province with fish --> more food --> bigger army. GG, well played. Be careful not to waste to long on the water, since you will suffer attrition if you run out of supplies (Helpful hint: you can directly assault a province by sea, no need for sieging). VERY IMPORTANT: these are not English people: sack them and ransom prisoners, it will improve your gold situation and also makes your English people happier.
As soon as your Irish conquest is complete, go hunt for your northern neighbours.
Try to become friendly with the welsh and the Dublin vikings. They will prove to be valuable allies in mid game.
Viking Battle Tactics
In thrones we have this new skill called "Shield". What does it? As I experienced not really much. It affects your combat style, but not all too much.
War... War never ends...
You are playing VIkings. Vikings stand for shield walls. What strategy to you use? Well... Shield walls...The describtion of this formation explains every details of Viking combat in one small window. It is 90% of your combat technic. You want your melee infantry (preferably sword infantry in mid to late game) in the middle. Your arches are behind, your spearmen on the flanks (especially against English cav) and your cav hidden away on the flanks.
Now the important part: You do not stay in this formation. As soon as your shield wall is engaged, it will hold for approx 5-10min (early game) before it is overpowered. This provides you with the game changing opportunity.
If you have any Great Axe infantry (which you never put in the shield wall because they have no shield, duh...) move em to your flanks. At early game your general or shielded axe inf also does the deal. Also, if you lack the numbers, you can also user your archers to fire at the flanks which is superbly effective. Your cav can now catch their range units off guard. One or two cav units is enough to destroy at least 2-3 range units per battle (early game).
Result of first battle.
This tactis does also work late game, but your shieldwall will definitely fall faster. So keep this in mind!
Mid Game: Technology, Locations and Expansion
This is where it starts to get trickier. By the point you have finished the northwestern ireland conquest and succesfully achieved the fall of your northern English neighbours, Mercia and West Seaxe will have strengthened their hold on the south.
A few minor tips:
- If you have problems with your English people, continue sacking and raiding Scotland and Ireland from your Irish base.
- Keep improving your food limit at any possible situation.
- Don't get into a war with the south yet.
- Improve your trading settlements (your capital and the conquered region NW of your starting point).
This goes in hand with mentioned tips. I personally prefer civic techs aside a few minor military ones. First phase research (blue) should concentrate on food and research speed. Secondly (purple), the tavern keeps public order high and the war feavour tech is simply OP, but only available late game.
Berserkers are a must. They simply reck every other unit in the game. Especially good against enemy generals. Better archers are a good counter against enemy cav and enemy archers. Medium siege equip goes without saying. Catapults are definitely not necessary in this game. Your second phase military research should focus on finishing the axe infantry tree and some cav research.
At this point you should be powerful enough, have enough incoming from sacking and raiding Ireland+Scotland and have at least 3-4 armies. Look our for the "special hall" cities and monastries. They will provide you with the best bonuses. Dont bother to conquer the whole of Scotland... the real economic weight lies within England. Furthermore it will provide you with some juicy targets for sacking later on. Important Hint: "Raiding" stance will not affect your war feavour. This way you can generate more income without being at war -> I know, it is absolute nonesense, but hey, if it is there...
Expansion mid game:
Now it gets real. England is calling! And your berserkers shall answer! When i started my invasion of England, my "allies" East Engle was already defeated. Within only 5 turns i defeated 5 Mercian armies with my described battle style. (Shieldwall center, Berserkers against enemy generals, great axe inf on their flanks and archers against enemy cav and enemy archers). After that, Northern Mercia quickly fell to my Vikings. Unfortunately, at that point I had to stop waring (cuz of war feavour). West Seaxe thanked me for this and annexed Mercia to become the Anglo-Saxons.
If you befriended Wales in Early Game, you might find a friend to help you at this point. Diplomacy is really screwed tou and it is really hard to get em to join a war. Either end their kingdom by launching sea attacks on their settlements with one or two armies in defense or try your luck with diplomacy. (recommended: first option, you are vikings).
After Mercia has fallen, your late game and all out war starts.
Late Game: Strategy and Ultimate Victory
I said strategy, didnt I. Well, I have to disappoint you about that. There really is no real strategy to beat West Seaxe. It is a simple and brutal bloodbath... SInce you were listening to my guide, you should have amassed tons of food and gold...
Defeating the last enemy:
By now you should have achieved at least a small fame victory or small conquest victory. IF you really want to get to ulitimate victory, it will take even more blood baths... Since you are already in the South defeating West Seaxe / Anglo Saxons, take your army and doubletap (2 armies) the enemy invaders (Normans). Also position 2-3 armies north of your capital to counter the (Danes). These armies are about even to yours, but you should have the advantage or better skilled and upgraded solider (armor and weapon).
The real deal and the hardest fighting I did in my whole campaign, was the final (Norse) invasion. Remember how I said that Berserkers rek everything? Well unfortunately that counts both ways and their berserkers are Jomsviking (even stronger). I literally lost about 4 armies before I could finally stop their push and win my campaign.