1066: Year of Viking Destiny – Playing Anglo-Saxon England (Deity)
Playing Anglo-Saxon England in the “1066: Year of Viking Destiny” Scenario for Civilization 5 is challenging, but good fun! Also: It’s entirely different from playing the other 3 civilizations: Whereas the others come to conquer – you are here to stand your ground!
If played right you can win this scenario as England within a few hours. Generations of Anglo-Saxons will remember your name and will – even a thousand years later – refer to your successful struggle saying “This was their finest hour”. The title of this Steam Achievement by the way is a reference to the 3rd speech Winston Churchill held during the Battle of France, when it became clear to anybody that Nazi-Germany would sooner or later have to attack and attempt to invade Britain:
What General Weygand has called the Battle of France is over … the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilisation. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be freed and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands.
But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new dark age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves, that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, This was their finest hour.
Again a very well chosen title for this achievement: Anglo-Saxon England throwing back the Norman conquest, defeating William the (not yet) Conqueror, would have been a remarkable outcome and who knows: With this change in the course of history this may very well have been the Anglo-Saxons finest hour.
This was their Finest Hour – Strategy
You’ll play defensive all the time, but have to bear in mind that time is essential. The earlier you finish the better, because at least on higher levels of difficulty your enemies’ economies grow stronger every turn, plus they regularly get reinforcements for free. Before you start, have a quick look at the Viking Destiny scenario map to get a rough idea of geography of early medieval England.
German and French names of this Steam Achievement:
DE: Das war ihre beste Stunde
FR: Jour de gloire
Here’s what I built in my 2nd playthrough as Anglo-Saxon England (the first on Deity with this faction):
- London – Huscarls, several in a row
- Oxford – Watermill
- Northampton – Watermill
- Warwick – Worker
- Stafford – Stable (because it has a cow and horses)
- Nottingham – Swordsman
- Chester – Domesday Shire Court
- Stamford – Domesday Shire Court
- Norwich – Swordsman
- Thetford – Swordsman
- Bristol – Crossbowman
- Winchester – Swordsman
- Exeter – Horseman
Dover, Wareham, Chichester, York and Lincoln are not worth mentioning, because they will be captured before you can produce anything. It might be best to produce wealth and employ a merchant in the markets of those cities, to make the most of it.
Chronology of Conquests
- Turn 2 – York lost to Norway
Move your units from Gwynedd and Powys to defend against Norway. With 3 Longbowmen and 1-2 Pikemen (upgraded from Spearmen) you should be able to throw back the Norwegians.Your initial units in southern England move east to defend against the Danish. You should be able to build 2 more Swordsmen in Norwich and Thetford. With these you should be able to successfully defend against the first wave of Danish Vikings.
- Turn 3 – Wareham lost to Normandy
- Turn 8 – Lincoln lost to Norway
End of the Norwegian conquest!
Once you get reinforcements from Northumbria, you can advance on Lincoln and York and put the Norwegian conquest to an end!
- Turn 9 – Dover lost to Normandy
Normandy’s units are just overwhelming in numbers. You’ll quickly lose most of your south-coast cities anyway. Defend one with 1 Crossbowman and try to kill as many Normans as you can, but try to save your Crossbowman. Your line of defense will soon be Bristol – Oxford – London.
Bring down 1 Longbowman from your City-State allies (3 are enough against Norway). Together with what you produce down there it will be possible to make a stand against William, Duke of Normandy.
- Turn 11 – Chichester lost to Normandy
- Turn 12 – Winchester lost to Normandy
- Turn 15/16 – Lincoln liberated, recaptured and liberated for good
- Turn 19 – Ipswich lost to Denmark
- Turn 22 – Exeter lost to Normandy
End of the Norman conquest!
The reason the Normans didn’t conquer any more cities in my game was because they never started an all-in assault. They always sent only 2-3 units, which attacked my cities, but were quickly destroyed by ranged units behind that city and the occasional help of a horseman sent down from the north.
- Turn 27 – Norwich lost to Denmark
- Turn 29 – Thetford lost to Denmark
End of the Danish conquest!
This was the 2nd wave of Danish units (see screenshot). Maybe if I hadn’t been focused on recapturing York, I could have defended this. But it’s hard to defend from land against Vikings disembarking. They have 1 more movement doing so and will only crush your defenders. Better dig in between London/Stamford and east England and attack when they march on land.
Also you’re more flexible here, moving units between the north (Lincoln, York), your center (London) and the west (Bristol). Furthermore London as the dominant city in this game has a much higher combat strength. This and the swamplands east of it make it easier to defend as well.
- Turn 30 – York liberated, northern territories completely reclaimed
Defeated the Danish besieging London
- Turn 40 – Finish Domesday Book in London and WIN
Time spent: 2 hours, 13 minutes.
With the Anglo-Saxon unique ability, City-State influence degrades at half and recovers at twice the normal rate. So you normally have to “buy” a City-States allegiance only once throughout the game. Watch out: The first gifts to CS grant more influence and it decreases by 5 every time you buy one.
- Turn 0 – Gwynedd (2 Longbowmen, 1 Spearman)
Gwynedd comes with the same units as Powys, but they’re placed on roads already, so you can move them into range and attack incoming Norwegian units already in the first turn.
- Turn 10 – Powys (2 Longbowmen, 1 Spearman)
You’ll want Powys as 2nd, because you need those two more Longbowmen.
- Turn 15 – Northumbria (Horsemen and Knights)
Northumbrias cavalry will help crushing the remaining Norwegian armies in the north and eventually allow you to liberate York and Lincoln, which you’ll inevitably lose very early.
- Turn 20 – Scotland (Horsemen or Knights and Pikemen)
Scottish units, will also come almost too late, if you go for a quick victory. If the battle lasts longer, the additional melees and cavalry comes handy.
- Turn 26 – Dublin (Pikeman and Archers)
Actually also these units don’t matter anymore. Irish City-States only provide pikemen and archers, the latter being relatively weak against Viking Berserks or Norman Knights.
- Turn 35 – Connacht, Meath or Galloway, no matter – their units are weak and will arrive on the battlefield too late
Order of Domesday Shire Courts built
- Chester (started turn 0)
- Stamford (started turn 0)
- Stafford (finished turn 32)
- Bristol (finished turn 32)
This was their Finest Hour – Conclusion
After having played this scenario a year ago, in January 2014, and having had my difficulties winning as England (if I remember correctly… but then again: I’m in Ireland – I was drunk), I hadn’t expected to win the game on Deity difficulty so easily. The benchmark was playing on Emperor and winning in turn 44. So two levels of difficulty higher I won 4 turns earlier… But it was very straight forward and fun nonetheless.
Compared to the epic battles of the Into the Renaissance scenario, 1066: Year of Viking Destiny is much faster, simpler and shorter. It makes for 1 evening of Civilization-5-fun instead of one month. Faster reward for the conquerors psyche 🙂