|Faction Overview||Norse in Rise of Chivalry||Norse in Renovatio Europam|
|Faction Type: Catholic|
Suggestions and SpoilersEdit
- 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.
- 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 should be able to save up on food substantially. Strike early and often, and your opponent will find it hard to recover.
- 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 heavy warships and powerful infantry in the Dark Age, their military bonuses eventually weaken and disappear by the Imperial Era. Harass your opponents and delay their development in order to ensure that you will attain greater technological progress than they do.
- Black Market Ops — The Norse may have no economic bonuses, but the ability to create light infantry out of thin air is a potential money spinner: use your axemen, backed up with other units such as pikemen and archers, 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.
Settlements: Jelling; Roskilde; Aarhus; Copenhagen; Odense; Frederiksberg; Jorvik; Esbjerg; Horsens; Vadrefjord; Arklow; Leixlip; Annagassan; Carlingfjord; Oseberg; Uppsala; Lund; Nidaros; Kristianstad; Goteborg; Malmö; Norrköping; Gavle; Helsingborg; Karlskrona; Jönköping; Örebro; Stockholm; Molde; Hammerfest; Namsos; Boras; Halmstad; Trondheim; Oslo; Skien; Bergen; Stavanger; Fredrikstad; Köngsberg; Turku; Borgå; Ulvila; Strangfjord; Gentofte; Gladsaxe; Herning; Scelig Mhicil; Lough Rea; Vejle; Silkeborg; Dublin; Fredericia
Leaders: Rollo, Kristian, Cnut, Harald Bluetooth, Gorm the Sleepy, Sveyn Forkbeard, Eric Evergood, Valdemar the Victorious, Ivar the Boneless, Margaret; Olaf Tryggvason, Erik Hedningen, Erik Bloodaxe, Thorstein the Red, Haakon, Magnus
Best eras: Dark to Castle
Scandinavia is a harsh and forbidding land of extreme cold and broken land, characterised mostly by deep valleys called fjords and icy mountains and glaciers. As such, the Norse, denied of proper harvests and trapped in a cold, inhospitable and hostile environment, were soon forced into activities related to the sea — fishing, trading as well as piracy and trading.
Throughout the so-called "Viking Era" beginning in the 8th century, new communities were founded in England, France, Greenland and Iceland. Although as a rule the Norse (and later, their own Gallicised children, the Normands (or Normans, as they are known to the Britush) were never truly united, there was one kingdom which dominated the Mediaeval Norse, and that was the kingdom of Denmark. With its fertile soil and relatively mild climate, Denmark (or the "Danes' march", as it was known) boasted the largest population. Through diplomacy and conquest, the Danish crown managed to briefly unite all of Scandinavia as the Kalmar Union by the 14th century, before ineffectual government and political violence resulted in its dissolution.
The Viking EraEdit
While Danish vikings would travel into Western Europe, Swedish Vikings mainly traveled east into Russia and down into Asia. The large Russian mainland and its many navigable rivers offered good prospects for merchandise and, at times, plundering. Extensive Scandinavian settlement began on the eastern Baltic coast throughout the 9th century, which would then be assimilated by the local Slavic population to form the first Russian principalities.
The Christian EraEdit
Around 980, Harold Bluetooth unified the many petty kingdoms in what is now Denmark, and created a single state. Embracing Christianity, he forged bonds with western and central Europe, particularly the Holy Roman Empire and the Papacy. The first was necessary as it was a neighbouring state; the second was to further strengthen his position at home, with the help of the clergy. When England broke away from Danish control after the death of Canute the Great (1035), Denmark faced internal disorder and raids by Norwegian vikings, but Canute’s nephew Sweyn Estridson (1020-1074) strengthened royal authority. Yet, peace would still remain elusive.
The Disorder ContinuesEdit
Subsequent centuries after Sweyn would prove to be a turbulent period. Civil wars, disunity and interference by the Hanseatic League would continue to ail Danish politics, but there were two bright spots during these centuries. Valdemar I "the Great" (1131-82) would stabilise the kingdom and institute legal reforms, and build a castle in the village of Havn, leading eventually to the foundation of Copenhagen, the modern capital of Denmark. Denmark was transformed in this time into a major power, competing with the Hanseatic League, the Counts of Holstein, and the Teutonic Knights for trade, territory, and influence throughout the Baltic. The Danes launched various ‘crusades’ to claim territories, notably modern Estonia, but things would take for a turn for the worse in 1227: following the loss of Danish territories in Germany, royal prestige would be tarnished and the nobility forced the king to grant a charter, considered Denmark's first constitution, which preserved the rights of Danish magnates at the expense of the crown. Meanwhile, the kingdom continued to fall apart; the Black Death made an appearance in Denmark, weakening the crown's ability to project power; and the territory of Scania passed for a while to the King of Sweden. Again, another strong figure would appear to restore order: Valdemar IV Atterdag, or "New Day." Ascending to the throne in 1340, Valdemar IV briefly reunited the old kingdom of Denmark by turning the counts against each other.
The Hanseatic LeagueEditValdemar IV's continued efforts at expansion brought him at odds with the Hanseatic League. He conquered Gotaland, much to the displeasure of the League, since Visby, an important trading town, was located there. In revenge, the League allied with Sweden to attack Denmark. Initially a disaster when Danish forces captured a large Hanseatic fleet, and ransomed them back for an enormous sum, the League's fortunes changed when the nobles of Jutland rebelled against heavy taxation. Valdemar IV was subsequently exiled in 1370, and the Hanseatic League gained control of fortresses between Scania and Zeeland.
Margaret I was the daughter of Valdemar IV Atterdag. She was married to Håkon VI of Norway in an attempt to join the two kingdoms, along with Sweden, since Håkon was related to the Swedish royal family. Originally her son, Olaf III was intended to rule the three kingdoms, but due to his early death she took on the role. Her capable rule would unite Sweden, Denmark, Norway and their subject territories in the Faroe islands together in what was called the Kalmar Union, made official in 1397.
Dissolution of the UnionEdit
Margaret's successor, however, Eric of Pomerania, lacked his predecessor's skill and was directly responsible for the breakup of the Kalmar Union. However, there was still some enthusiasm for the idea, so when Christopher of Bavaria, a distant relative came to the throne, he managed to be elected in all three kingdoms, briefly reuniting Scandinavia.
Over time, the Swedish nobility grew increasingly unhappy with Danish rule and the Union soon became merely a legal concept with little practical application, due to Danish adventures in Germany interfering in the trade in Swedish iron ore, and Swedish fears of Danish domination. Thus, the history of the Kalmar Union revolved around civil wars breaking out in Sweden, with Kalmar forces having to be sent back to restore order. By the time the Swedes elected Gustav Vasa as their king in 1523, the union was as good as dissolved. For the next three centuries after the Vasa, Sweden and Denmark would be continuously at war with one another until the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815.