1066: Year of Viking Destiny – Playing Denmark (Deity)
For Denmark you’ll play the Year of Viking Destiny as King Sweyn II. Technically Denmark did not participate in the struggle for England that later became known as the Norman conquest. It was mainly Denmarks and Sweyn’s personal feud with King Harald Hardrada of Norway that puts Denmark in the picture.
Sweyn had already lost Denmark to Haralds nephew Magnus I of Norway, but when Harald returned to claim the throne he joined forces with Sweyn to overcome Magnus. Magnus then shared the throne of Norway and Denkmark with Harald. He designated Sweyn his heir in Denmark and Harald should rule Norway. When Magnus died under unclear circumstances, Harald wouldn’t accept this, so Norway and Denmark were at war for 14 years!
Now so help me God, I shall never yield Denmark. — Sweyn II of Denmark
In 1064 they both finally accepted each other as rulers of independent kingdoms. With peace in Scandinavia, Harald set forth to conquer England. Just imagine: Hadn’t they been at war for 14 long years, combined Norwegian and Danish viking forces could have conquered England!!!
Something funny I found while searching for a featured image for this post:
Odin’s Chosen Warrior is not necessarily a reference to anything Danish. It’s rather a hint to Valhalla, where half of the fallen warriors go to help Odin in the events of Ragnarök. The other half by the way goes with Freya, although Nordic mythology doesn’t clearly state which is the more favorable “heaven” or what Freyas half of the slain warriors do all day 😀
German and French names of this Steam Achievement:
DE: Odins auserwählter Krieger
FR: L’Élu d’Odin
Odin’s Chosen Warrior – Strategy
In my first attempt I was very eager to conquer Norway before turning towards England – a fatal mistake! By capturing Norway Iron supply city, I weakened their army in England. Without conquering any English city myself early on, the Anglo-Saxons were able to build all required Domesday Shire Courts very early and had won the game in turn 15!
Denmark is the only faction I succeeded with building Ironworks early on. It needs some careful optimization of Ribe, but it’s worth the initial investment: You’ll later build a new Berserk in Ribe alone every 2 turns!
|1. Ironworks (6 turns, maximize production, buy the hill tile and a Watermill and employ and engineer)||1. Stable (4 turns, maximize production, employ an engineer)||1. Worker (7 turns, set to growth focus, employ an engineer)|
|2. Stable||Military units continuously…||2. Worker|
|Military units continuously…||3. Worker|
|4. Worker for England and Norway, overall I built about 6-7 Workers before switching to Wealth|
When the above states build Military units, of course it means: Berserks first!
Similar to playing William the Conqueror and his Norman Knights, the Viking strategy is simple and straightforward: Berserks, Berserks and Berserks! Even unpromoted Berserks will be able to capture a city without losses. Also: They’re strong enough to endure some ranged attacks from cities and defending units. Furthermore they have 3 Movement points, so you can even cross a forest or hill or stay out of city range and attack with several Berserks at once.
The thing is: Berserks cost Iron, of which you have limited supply. Once you capture the southernmost Norwegian city, you won’t have a problem with Iron supply anymore.
Chronology of Conquests
Whereas Norway has units at the English shore and Normandy doesn’t have to go far, you’ll have to go all the way from Denmark. So all hands ahoy!
- Turn 2 – Norway captures York
- Turn 3 – Normandy captures Dover
Split your troops. Take a look at the screenshot of the battle of Lincoln and Stamford – take 3 Berserks, 1 Crossbowman, 1 Archer and 1 Catapult to the midlands. Take the Great General, too. The rest will be sent to east England. Time is of the essence, as even with this strategy England will be able to build the required 6 Domesday Shire Courts!Ignore Dover! AI-Denmark always captures it early on, but you’ll leave it to William the Conqueror for now.
- Turn 4 – Normandy captures Wareham
- Turn 6 – Anglo-Saxon England liberates Dover
- Turn 7 – Norwich captured
When your troops arrive, make sure you don’t land in the first turn! You will want to make sure to stay embarked, even “wasting” that last Movement Point. But it’s worth it – an embarked catapult for example can use it’s 4 MP to disembark, move one tile, set up and fire in the same turn. Use this with all your units on both Norwich and Lincoln.In the north though: Make sure to protect yourself from Norwegian units approaching Lincoln from York.Also: With the immense time pressure, consider your available promotions carefully! When a unit had almost full health and got promoted – fine, promote it. When a unit is almost dead – use the instant heal. It will serve you better in the long run.
- Turn 8 – Lincoln captured
Normandy captures Chichester
- Turn 9 – Normandy captures Dover and Winchester
- Turn 11 – Thetford captured
- Turn 14 – Ipswich captured
In east England, continue the conquest as comes naturally: Thetford second, then Ipswich. If you already have reinforcements – attack from the sea. But anyways Ipswich is not much of a challenge. Until here you should not have lost a single unit!Ipswich is vital for your economy! Use what Gold you saved by now to buy a harbor there. For a long time, this will be your only connection between all English cities and Denmark! Not doing so will mean your conquest drains your economy.
- Turn 15 – Stamford captured
- Turn 18 – Nottingham and Northampton captured
At Nottingham I had to rotate a little – evacuate units that were injured, bring in fresh ones from the hinterlands. It should be possible to capture Nottingham with what you have there though. Also that’s important because it’s the second-most productive city of England – you’ll need it for the sake of stopping England to pop out units.Meanwhile your southern army captures Northampton, thus unifying your forces and creating a road connection between your cities in the midlands and east England.Also: From now on all units built at home (mainly Berserks, some pikemen and crossbowmen) will gather north of Aalborg. The goal: Conquering Norway.
- Turn 21 – London captured
With your armies united turn on London. Keep an eye on the Domesday Shire count though: If England has only 5/6 – focus on your defense, so you not lose a city to Norway or worse, to England again. If they already have built 6, you can be 100% sure London is working on the Domesday Book.I rather bring in my troops from Northampton than from east England, as they don’t have to cross the river – makes me more flexible also with intercepting potential English reinforcements from the west. Having suffered little to no losses so far and attacking in full force, London can’t resist long.
- Turn 25 – Oxford captured
- Turn 27 – Dover (Normandy) and Warwick captured
While the conquest of England continues as usually, your army north of Aalborg will sail to Norway. Capturing Tunsberg is now essential, because it holds enormous supplies of Iron. Capturing it you not only get yourself loads of precious Iron, but also weaken their Berserks by 50% (lack of strategic resource penalty).
- Turn 29 – Normandy captures Exeter
- Turn 31 – Bristol captured
- Turn 32 – Chichester (Normandy) captured
- Turn 33 – Winchester (Normandy) captured
Capture the rest of England and the cities taken by Normandy as you see fit. By now, by timeline should be rather a suggestion and you’ll have to react what happens in your game. Important though: First thing all your captured cities build is of course a Domesday Shire Court. The less productive cities might need support – buy a workshop etc.
- Turn 36 – Tunsberg (Norway) captured
With Tunsberg in your hands, the only thing you’ll build in Denmark will be Berserks. Dispatch the north to Norway or to England as you see fit. By now I was confronted with a new wave of Norman invaders, so some reinforcements will come handy!
- Turn 39 – Exeter (Normandy) captured
- Turn 40 – Stafford captured
- Turn 44 – Chester captured
(Defeating Harold Godwinson of Anglo-Saxon England)
- Turn 46 – Normandy captures Chichester
The northern (England) campaign went well, but in the south Normandy managed to take Chichester from me. Not the most important city, as it can’t build a Shire Court, but nonetheless: The Norman conquest must be stopped.
- Turn 47 – Bergen (Norway) captured
- Turn 54 – Chichester (Normandy) captured
- Turn 57 – Trondheim (Norway) captured
- Turn 60 – York (Norway) captured
By now I thought having defeated the Norwegians both in Norway, capturing all their cities, and finally conquering the last original English city, I would defeat them and be rid of all their units… Ironically even though I played them before and was working on the Viking Destiny scenario map, I had forgotten about their cities on the isles around Scotland…It didn’t matter anymore anways, because:
- Turn 61 – Finish Domesday Book in London and WIN
Time spent: 3 hours, 10 minutes.
Again, I counted my losses, just to highlight what your main threats are and where you’ll need reinforcements most:
The biggest losses I suffered capturing Norway. I felt this was essential to stopping reinforcements into northern England. The challenge remains bringing in enough new Berserks for each one who falls after attacking the Norwegian cities from sea. Furthermore the Norman invasion in south England was more of a challenge than actually conquering the Anglo-Saxons.
Similar to Normandy you can basically ignore City States playing Denmark. You won’t even discover Northumbria and Scotland and by the time you’ll reach Wales, Anglo-Saxon England will be extinct and you can make peace.
Order of Domesday Shire Courts built
As stated above it’s crucial to land first in East England and then head straight for the midlands, instead of losing only one single unit at the gates of London! It’s not only to secure the Iron supply there, but also to start building Domesday Shire Courts earlier!
- Norwich (turns 9-25)
- Lincoln (turns 10-22)
- Ipswich (turns 16-46, which a bought Workshop)
- Stamford (turns 17-39)
- Nottingham (turns 20-31)
- Warwich (turns 28-46)
Odin’s Chosen Warrior – Conclusion
Replaying the 1066: Year of Viking Destiny scenario with all factions on Deity difficulty was a rather easy undertaking. My first attempt with Denmark was on King difficulty and I only won in turn 57 – now on Deity it was turn 61. Not too bad.
Playing Denmark the biggest challenge is the stupidity of both Norway and Normandy to capture a significant number of English cities. I mean, the first attempt: Gone in 15 turns! How does England even build all those Domesday Shire Courts AND the Domesday Book in that time???
But even on Deity difficulty there’s measures against that. Finding these was actually the biggest fun. Also: Losing first and then winning after all was a big satisfaction, too! So yes: Playing Denmark on Deity in the 1066: Year of Viking Destiny scenario is the most challenging of all factions, but it’s just as much fun as the other three!