Faction Overview France in Rise of Chivalry France in Renovatio Europam
The French have the power of Chivalry. They replace the Americans.

Faction Type: Catholic
National Bonuses:

  • First Wonder is built instantly, provided no other nation is building it also
  • Start with 1 Science Tech already researched
  • Recieve a free Scholar whenever a new University is built
  • Military ground units upgrade 25% cheaper
  • Recieve +3 Food, Timber, Metal, and Wealth for every non-Scout Barracks unit while they are not garrisoned
  • Governments at the Senate are free
French Flag

Unique Units:

NB: France is not able to build Order Knights from the Nobles' Court.


  • [1] Galloglaich
  • [2] Breton routiers
  • [3] Reisläufer; Genoese Crossbowmen

Available Unique Buildings:

  • Abbey (wonder)
  • Aachen Palace Complex (wonder)
  • White Tower (wonder)
  • Grand Cathedral (wonder)

Available Unique Techs:

  • Centralisation

Suggestions and spoilersEdit

  • Strengths: Strong cavalry tradition, improved research and strategic flexibility via free government
  • Weaknesses: Heavy reliance on infantry to provide economic resources reduces French resilience: if an army is annihilated, it will be difficult for France to bounce back.

The French kingdom is suited at medium- to long-term warfare and booming. While they are not really a rush civ per se given that their unique units (being mostly heavy cavalry) are all given towards having more hitpoints and speed, the economic and technological bonuses at France's fingertips make it more suited to a wait-and-see game. The abilities to build your first wonder — of which, you can choose three — and research your first government instantaneously can be used to France's advantage in picking your new strategy as quickly as possible.

France's army is typified by several areas: it receives the slower but tougher Carrack; its heavy cavalry have speed bonuses in production, upgrade and movement, eventually acquiring added attack as well. Yet, the real power of its army however lies with its foot army: non-barracks units can create resources of their own so long as they're not lurking in taverns or barracks quarters. This means that France is a good faction to use in diplomacy games, where you can keep your infantry in reserve while you leach off resources to feed your allies in the fight — Venice's ability to convert small gains into large ones should be taken notice of. So while other players have economic bonuses 'built in' that allow them to rebuild and replenish faster, the French have to wisely pick their battles in order not to damage their economy.

Thus France is a rather powerful faction in Rise of Kings. Although it doesn't have the best infantry, it still has many powerful bonuses that it can rely on to win all manner of games. The ability to build more Wonders than any other European nation, coupled with its mid- to late-game military strengths make it a viable faction to use due to it granting you all manner of strategic options.

Faction summaryEdit

  • Ageing Process — France relies on a strong and highly advanced army. You must place an emphasis on getting to successive ages as fast as possible to maintain technological superiority of your infantry.
  • Chaaarge!!! — Given their speed, French cavalry are well suited for taking out archers. Use them as a flanking force against other cavalry units, and charge enemy archers and siege weapons head-on.
  • Racehorse — Faster upgrade times for French cavalry means that in many cases, heavy cavalry, ranging from Scara Cavalry all the way to the Gendarmerie will be an integral part of French military might.
  • Sitzkrieg — While it is true that French barracks units do have an edge, in particularly its Halberdiers and Billmen, they shouldn't be used in active service, as they are better off left to generate resources. The French infantry is better off either as a reserve or in defence. Almost any faction can be improved further with this, but the best allies are the Papal States, with their costly unit lines.
  • Pick Your Poison — choose your battles carefully, and avoid them if possible. The French do not use reckless charges like the Chinese or Scots, nor do they turtle recklessly (like the Papal States, Japan or Byzantium). They always seek to pick the right opportunity and then exploit.

Settlements: Paris; Orleans; Rheims; Tours; Greater Quevilly; Poitiers; Calvados; Brest; Metz; Calais; Varennes; Evreux; Nîmes; Brussels; Strasbourg; Rocroi; Boulogne; Vendôme; Coutrai; Bordeaux; Nantes; Blois; Narbonne; Chartres; Bourges; Soissons; Pont-Audemer; Toulouse; Pont-L'Evêque; Lisieux; Harfleur; Honfleur; Fresnoy; Amiens; Cherbourg; Castillon; Lorient; Mont-Saint-Aignan; Angouleme; St Stephen's of Rouvray; Bayonne; Moulins; Artois; Aubusson

Leaders: Francis, Eudes, Hugh, Charles, Louis XII, Eleanor of Aquitane, Thibault de Blois, Robert the Pious, Phillipe Auguste, Étienne "La Hire" of Vignolles, John of Harcourt, Anna Vreizh

Best age(s): All


France has its origins from the Gauls, a warlike tribe that came into conflict with the Romans as they expanded into Europe from the Caucasus and defeated by the same in 52 BCE. Although it took another ten years to quell them completely, the Gauls were so thoroughly absorbed into the Roman Empire that the Franks under Charlemagne inherited a Gallo-Roman character that pervades the modern nation of France to this day.

Foundations of Roman culture in FranceEdit

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"The Gauls" were actually the Roman name for the Celtic tribes that inhabited the areas now known as France. They eventually came into conflict with the Romans, and managed to sack Rome in 390 BCE. However, Rome managed to contain them as their warlike society often put them at odds with each other as much as they did with Rome. Eventually Imperial Rome conquered the area inhabited by the Gauls through the Gallic Wars (58 BCE to 41 BCE) and incorporated them into Roman provinces. In 48 CE, the Roman Emperor Claudius began admitting Gallic nobles into the Roman senate. He encouraged the Gauls into Emperor-worship, and in turn incorporated Celtic pagan beliefs into Roman religion.

The Dark AgesEdit

By the end of the 5th century, a new wave of Germanic tribes including the Vandals, Visigoths, Alamani, Burgundians and the Franks wrested control of Gaul from the Romans. One of the Frankish tribes, the Merovingians, however managed to unify the Franks and eventually conquered most of Gaul. This established what is now known as the Merovingian dynasty. After the adoption of Christianity, the Frankish Empire reached its zenith under the rule of Charlemagne (768–814). He established the Carolingian dynasty and formed what was called the Holy Roman Empire, after wars with the Saxons to the East, Saracens to the south across the sea, and the Moors in southern Spain.

Unfortunately, Charlemagne's strong and wise rule, which saw the invention of lower-case letters to increase literacy, and the beginning of a jury system and responsible government did not last. His feuding descendants eventually broke the Empire apart, and so by the middle of the 9th century the Holy Roman Empire was divided into several kingdoms; most notable were that of Western Francia and the various German Duchies of Eastern Francia. This was the birth of modern France.

Through the Middle Ages, France participated in the numerous Christian Crusades (from 1096 to 1291) against the Islamic empires in the Middle East. It also saw the establishment of the order of the Templar Knights in 1119. While these enterprises failed in the goal of taking control of the Holy lands from the Muslims, they did achieve a sense of worldliness in the minds of the European kingdoms.
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The Forge of War: Disunion and UnificationEdit

Despite all these feats, however, France remained a disunited nation well into the 17th century. Although Charlemagne attempted to create a single unified trans-European imperium, geographic and economic concerns would doom that vision, and by the onset of the 10th century AD, Western Francia was as good as separate from the rest of the Empire, which would remain a going concern dubbed the so-called "Holy Roman Empire". Western Francia in turn was not united, her nobles having their own projects. With vast amounts of arable land and Frankish feudal customs, the military aristocracy was highly independent and were not merely content to remain vassals of their kings, and some of these warlords even founded their own dynasties in other nations. The lords of Anjou, Normandy, and Burgundy were responsible for the conquest and creation of new nations and kingdoms stretching from Ireland and Iberia all the way to Greece and the Middle East.

The seeds for unification as a single nation, culminating in the centralising influences of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Empire, were not sown by the French themselves, but by the English. For many centuries, the king of France had to compete for power with the lords of Normandy and Anjou (by the mid-12th century, Anjou could claim to rule more land than Paris did, comprising of present-day England, Ireland and western France), and although Phillipe II Auguste would reduce English prossessions in France and foil Imperial designs on his demesnes in the 13th century, it would not be until the close of Hundred Years' War of 1337–1453 that a French national identity could be established. In the late Mediaeval period, France became embroiled in a series of regional and dynastic conflicts with England. French forces were met with sounding defeats at the hands of the English at the Battle of Crecy in 1346, cementing English control over the north and west, then again at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. English claims to the French throne looked all but assured.

Yet, in these dark moments, there were two events that were going to change it all — France was inspired by the patriotism of a certain Jeanne, nicknamed "La Pucelle" but better known to the English-speaking world as Joan of Arc. Despite being a woman, Jeanne lead the Dauphin and his army through a series of rapid victories, before being betrayed by jealous nobles to the English and sent to burn at the stake at Rouen in 1431. The battle of Chastillon was the last battle fought on French soil in the war and the first major conflict involving widespread use of gunpowder artillery, and resulted in the French crown retaking almost all of the territories lost to the English. The then Dauphin was crowned King Charles VII of all France. This has instilled a sense of intense patriotism in France against foreign incursions since then, and in subsequent centuries would lay down the cornerstones of France's national identity and aspirations.