1066: Year of Viking Destiny – Playing William the Conqueror, Normandy (Deity)
Playing Normandy in the “1066: Year of Viking Destiny” Scenario for Civilization 5 is not much different from playing Denmark or Norway: You’ll invade with everything you got and produce reinforcements at home.
You’ll have all reason to be optimistic: Your initial forces are sufficient to advance deeply into England without even having to wait for backup from home in Normandy. Also: Both Norway and Denmark have to deal with heavy English resistance in the north and London. For you the south and the west are ripe for the taking!
See, I have taken England with both my hands.
— William the Conqueror
Time to Stitch a Tapestry – Strategy
Although you might not need reinforcements at the start, I’ll start with the build order for home regardless:
Initially I tried building Ironworks in Caen for more production, but that was a waste of time – you’ll capture Anglo-Saxon cities without Workshops before you can finish, so focus on National Treasury first!
|1. Stable (6)
|1. National Treasury
(default focus, lock engineer in workshop, buy stable)
|1. Stable (6)
(default focus, lock working the iron)
|2. Forge||other units continuously…||2. Forge|
|3. Norman Knight||3. Norman Knight|
|other units continuously…||other units continuously…|
“Time to Stitch a Tapestry” is fitting title for this achievement: It refers to the Bayeux Tapestry, a 70 meter long embroidered cloth depicting the Norman conquest and the events leading to it!
German and French names of this Steam Achievement:
DE: Zeit für einen Wandteppich
FR: Prêt pour une tapisserie ?
The Norman Knight, your unique unit, is incredibly powerful:
- attack more than once each turn
- no penalty attacking cities
- defensive terrain bonus
They will be your main attacking force obviously. So playing Normandy in this scenario all other melee units are merely canon fodder. Use swordsmen and pikemen to protect damaged Norman Knights. Even sacrifice them. No matter, but save your knights at all costs. Behind the knights march Crossbowmen. Use them to damage enemies before attacking them. In the end I had several highly promoted Norman Knights: Shock 1, 2 and 3, March (heals every turn), +1 Movement and +25% against wounded units. With these promotions a Norman Knight can literally sweep through enemy armies and survive!
You’ll land quite close to London, which means you won’t be able to build Domesday Shire Courts in the first cities you capture. This is a strategic disadvantage. Take Norway for example: They can build Shire Courts in all initially captured cities! But at least in my Deity game as Normandy, England defended very well in the north, so the Norwegians never threatened my victory. Have a look at the Viking Destiny scenario map to better plan your invasion!
Although I had some problems with Exeter, bottom line it was a good move to leave both Exeter AND Dover until later. Capturing those two cities early will draw your main forces away from the center and delay your foray into Middle-England, where you have to build most of your Domesday Shire Courts.
Don’t delay it too long though, since you’ll need the horses from both cities to increase your army of Norman Knights!
Also: Spare London for the start. No need to rush there only to defend it against Denmark! Pass London to the west, capture the other English cities and let the Danish troops grind off London. The Danish will come for Northampton anyways, so leave some defenders west and north of London to kill marauding Danish vikings. Stay out of range of London though. No need for self sacrifice just yet.
Chronology of Conquests
During your conquest you won’t have much time to improve any infrastructure. However there are 3 important roads to be built. I’ve highlighted these below.
- Turn 2 – Norway captures York
Denmark captures Ipswich
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 6 – Wareham captured
As you can see in the screenshots I positioned my units to attack both Wareham and Chichester in the same turn. A useless maneuver, since you’re at war already. It felt like I was used to doing this from any other game, where of course you want to have the biggest impact the very turn you declare war on your opponent.
- Turn 8 – Denmark captures Norwich
- Turn 9 – Winchester captured
Norway captures Lincoln
End of the Norwegian conquest!
Denmark captures Thetford
End of the Danish conquest!
Resting my Norman Knights after the initial attacks, Winchester is the next city in line. Focusing fire with several Crossbowmen and Catapults, Winchester doesn’t resist much. After this: Rest your units and march further north.
- Turn 12 – Bristol captured
- Turn 14 – Oxford captured
As soon as you can: Buy a worker in England, build a road on the very tile SE of Oxford. This saves your reinforcements about 1 turn of movement (5 tiles) marching from the south coast to Northampton.
- Turn 19 – Northampton captured
The second worker bought builds a road from Northampton to the east. This is essential to get the north-south connection from Northampton to Stamford and also to be more flexible countering the incoming Danish troops in this area.
- Turn 21 – Warwick captured
Once you have Northampton and Warwick, buy another worker to build a road between Warwick and Northampton, you can move troops south of Nottingham using this road.
- Turn 23 – Dover captured
Using solely reinforcements from Normandy.
- Turn 31 – Exeter captured
Again I did this using only reinforcements from Normandy. Bringing only 1 Norman Knight and 3 Crossbowmen I quickly realized this wasn’t enough. To capture a city you need at least 2 Norman Knights. Capturing Exeter took longer because I had to withdraw and heal and then attack again, bringing more units.
- Turn 33 – Stafford captured
- Turn 36 – Chester captured
- Turn 38 – Stamford captured
- Turn 43 – Nottingham captured
By now (latest) you will experience massive onslaughts of Norwegian troops coming from the Irish Sea, and via land marching on Nottingham and Stamford. I have no idea why Norway had held back instead of attacking England in such force. But your by now well promoted Crossbowmen and Norman Knights will be able to throw back these attacks and even go offensive again.
- Also around this time you need to march on London if you want to win in time. Bringing in reinforcements from the south (melees and ranged) and some of your Norman Knights from the north (3-4) will be enough to capture London in 2-3 turns without big losses.
- Turn 46 – London captured (Defeating Harold Godwinson of Anglo-Saxon England)
By now your economy should be quite strong. London will have a city size of around 8. Save your gold during those 8 turns of resistance. Once London can start production, buy watermill, workshop and anything else that boosts production. Then set it to production focus, employ an engineer in the workshop. Doing so I was able to build the Domesday Book in 8 turns, starting turn 54, finishing turn 62.
- Turn 51 – Ipswich (from Denmark)
- Turn 53 – Lincoln (from Norway) recaptured 3 times until turn 56
- Turn 55 – Thetford (from Denmark)
- Turn 57 – Norwich (from Denmark)
- Turn 62 – Finish Domesday Book in London and WIN
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
Time spent: 3 hours, 30 minutes.
Playing Normandy you can pretty much ignore the City States. England will be allied with all of them sooner or later, but no matter: You’ll have to kill their units anyways. Capturing the City States themselves would only be a distraction from the conquest of all English cities, so why bother?
Order of Domesday Shire Courts built
- Wareham (started turn 7)
- Warwick (turns 22-44)
- Exeter (turns 35-49, buying a workshop in turn 40)
- Stafford (turns 36-48, buying a workshop in turn 44)
- Chester (turns 40-50)
These actually didn’t matter anymore as one only needs six, but anyways:
- Stamford (turns 42-55, buying a workshop in turn 46)
- Nottingham (turns 46-53)
Time to Stitch a Tapestry – Conclusion
I’m just replaying the 1066: Year of Viking Destiny scenario with all factions on Deity difficulty. Maybe I got better, but rather I believe there’s a slight flaw in the mechanics here: When playing on Emperor difficulty, all invading forces advance much further into England. On Immortal for example I won with William in turn 56 using a Great Engineer. I had wasted too many resources on Catapults and Triremes… Playing on Deity, the Anglo-Saxons seem to defend much better against the other AIs, which makes it easier for you as the human player.
It’s fun regardless. Especially stepping into the footsteps of William the Conqueror and successfully and entirely conquering England! It sure is about time to stitch a tapestry for me! I accept offers in the comments or via any of the channels linked in the footer! 😀