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1.16-Viking UHV Strategy Guide

Discussion in 'Gameplay Guides' started by Mxzs, Nov 13, 2019.

  1. Mxzs

    Mxzs Prince

    Aug 16, 2003
    Note: The following strategy guide is for the 3000 BC start. It may not work for the AD 600 start.

    The Viking UHV game isn't for winning. It's for playing, preferably with an open bottle of something alcoholic at hand and some hard metal music thrashing away in the background. If you don't just sort of accidentally win while not paying attention, then you haven't played it right.

    There's a lot of ways to play as the Vikings, and you can find alternative strategies here, here, here, and here. The strategy in this post is fairly conventional and conservative, and is meant to illustrate the basic principles.

    UHV Conditions
    1. Control a European core in 1050.
    2. Found a city in the Americas by 1100.
    3. Collect 3000 gold by conquering cities, pillaging, sinking ships, etc., by 1500.

    These are three distinct goals, though obviously the first and third will be related, and the first two must be pursued almost simultaneously. So playing the Vikings is a bit like juggling axes. Just try not to loose track of any of them.

    Starting Situation
    Almost every UHV game starts with a consideration of where to plant your first cities. It probably doesn't matter greatly, but I prefer to move my first two Settlers westward. The first stops to found Goteburg on the tile north of the Pigs; the other moves to the Baltic coast, to the northernmost of the two unforested tiles, to found Stockholm. Goteburg's location gives it access to Silver, Copper, Pigs and Furs; Stockholm's gives it access to Fish, Deer, Iron, and the same Fur tile that Goteburg has. This placement gives both cities excellent Food and Hammer resources.

    I start by building Forges in both cities. I chop the tile between them (with the hammers going to Stockholm), then move over to chop and mine the Silver, down to mine the Copper, then build roads to connect the Copper to my two cities, and another road out to the Iron. The latter, by the way, won't fall within Stockholm's cultural borders for a dozen or so turns (see below), but that's okay as there is plenty else to work on in the meantime.

    After Forges, I build Barracks. By the time these are up I have the tech to start building Huscarls, along with a third Longboat so I can move my army quickly and in force. It should be possible to build all this with minimal chopping (only the tiles I've mentioned) but you can chop additional forests to speed things up if you want.

    Techs: The only two that you need right away—keep your research at 100% until you get them—are Civil Service and its prerequisite, Ethics.

    Spoiler :
    This, by the way, is some weapons-grade irony: Before they can go on a pillaging spree, the Norsemen have to get themselves some ethics and found a civil service. It makes me wonder if these are Vikings or Minnesotans.

    "Oh hey dere, me and Sven was gonna go on down to the lake, do some fishin' and maybe sack and pillage a coupla da cities dey got down dere, don't you know. You wanna come with?'

    "Yah, hey, well, me and Carla was t'inkin' about takin' the kids minigolfing up dere at the Southdale but, you know, rape-and-pillage sounds pretty nifty too. Tell you what, I'll just get my axe and what say we all meet you up dere? You takin' your longboat or the Chevy?"

    Machinery (for Crossbowmen) and Feudalism (for Lancers) are the only other techs worth pursuing in and of themselves, but they are not an instant need and play no role in the early game.

    As you are building up your core, you can send a Scout around to pop goodie huts. There will be one in or near your core, one in England, one in Ireland, and maybe still one in northern Germany. You can also send your starting Huscarls around to do a little early pillaging and sacking, though you should avoid plunging too deeply into the Continent, where Horse Archers may be lurking.

    Founding Vinland
    At first this looks like a tech rush, but the Vikings' own strategy of island hopping is easy to pull off. Basically, you colonize Iceland, then move down the North American coast to settle in Newfoundland.

    The challenge is that there are Ocean tiles between Europe and Iceland, and between Iceland and North America. Fortunately, even early ships can move across Ocean tiles if these are within your cultural boundaries, so the solution is to found cities in strategic locations, and quickly expand their borders to encompass the Ocean tiles that lie between them.

    The strategic sites in question will be Armagh, which is the northernmost tile in Ireland, and Reykjavik in Iceland, on the hill immediately to the west of the mountains and north of the Fish. To quickly expand your borders to encompass the necessary Ocean tiles, you will need to play with your Culture slider.

    At the start of the game you will have a third Settler on a Galley. Shift it onto a Longboat and race it over to the northern coast of Ireland, depositing it there. Also bring over one of the three Workers you will generate when you found your capital, and set it to work putting Pastures on the Horse and Sheep tiles south of Armagh. (Don't forget to put a road on both, particularly the Horse). Set the city to produce the Viking temple (the Asatru Hof). After that, produce two Settlers.

    After you research Civil Service, turn your Culture slider to 100%. After ten or eleven turns, your borders should have expanded so that a mountain on Iceland becomes visible. (While this is happening, your borders in Scandinavia will also expand; this is what will bring the Iron within Stockholm's borders.) At this point you can move one Settler to Iceland (prefer to use the slow-moving Galley). Open up the Culture Slider to 100% (if you have returned it to 0% in the meantime) until Reykjavik's borders encompass the Whale, which will then open up a path to North America.

    (In addition, leave the slider at 100% until Armagh's borders have encompassed all of Ireland, otherwise the English may settle on the very southern coast, complicating your second goal slightly.)

    Once the path to North America is open, load the second Settler and follow the coastal tiles until you hit Newfoundland, which will be the only land on the east coast that you can explore before hitting more Cape tiles. You can settle your American city anywhere on this coastline, but if you settle on the southernmost tile (south of the Marsh, north of the Fish) border growth—using a religious building or a Monument—will eventually allow you to bypass the Capes and continue down the coast to the Maya and Aztecs at your leisure.

    If you settle these cities quickly and blow out your borders this way, you will be able to found Vinland with time to spare.

    Norman Conquest
    While you are doing this, you will also be preparing for the first UHV condition, which requires you to have more cities in its core than one of the native civilization has. This will work for any European civilization, but the time crunch means you should target someone easy.

    And the Vikings said, So that's why God made England.

    True, the English do spawn a little later than the French and the others, which gives you less time to accomplish the goal, but England is perfect for Viking assaults. The Huscarls come with the Amphibious promotion so that they can attack from the safety of their boats instead of landing first, and their Longboats are also able to bombard coastal cities so that you don't need any Catapults. (The boats are also sturdy enough to fight off Galleys and War Galleys.) This means that England, where every city will likely be coastal, is especially vulnerable to a Viking assault.

    Aside from their Amphibious promotion, the Huscarls get City Attack bonuses, and with Barracks and the Conquest civic (in place when you begin), you can start each new Huscarl with two City Raider promotions—which, as BaneFire puts it, turns your Huscarls into absolute beasts. After bombarding the cities down to 0%, a new Huscarl will stand about a 68% success rate even against a Crossbowman, and the English rarely have more than one Crossbowman in their cities; against Swordmen and Archers the Huscarls will do even better.

    You can probably launch an attack on England with six Huscarls, which you will likely have (if you haven't lost your starting units) about the time the game allows you to declare war on the English. As your invasion proceeds you should be able to build a few more to replace losses.

    Important: Sack the English cities when you take them. This will maximize the loot you take from them (which will amp your score for the third UHV conditions) and because they are new with little infrastructure, you will do minimal damage to them.

    At any rate, you will only have to take two or three cities in order to control England's core, at which point you should try to vassalize the English remnant.

    The North Sea Empire
    After conquering the English, your stability will go into the toilet due to overextension. Fortunately, if you've set up your colonies correctly, you will be on track to meet your second UHV goal at about the same time, setting off a Golden Age, which will give you a chance to reorganize your new kingdom.

    During that Golden Age, switch your civics to medieval settings that mutually support each other: Monarchy, Clergy, Manorialism; retain Vassalization and Conquest. Later on you can switch to Tributaries and to Regulated Trade (if that seems wise in the circumstances). You might also stand to gift some cities back to England, if they are your vassal, though you should keep the highly productive London and Scottish cities (if built) for yourself.

    After you have blown out your borders to open a path to North America, you can resume research, but after conquering England your overhead likely will be so high you will have to set taxes to 100%. The Golden Age should give you some breathing room to resume some minimal teching, but it is probably best that you leave your taxes at 100% and use the cash you make off taxes and pillaging to buy techs off the other civilizations. As noted above, Machinery and Feudalism are the next prime candidates. Commune will let the Great General you're bound to spawn build a Military Academy. Otherwise there's not a lot of tech that you need if playing the UHV game.

    You can continue to develop your core for war by building Lumber Mills on the forested tiles. Nidaros will auto-found about the time of your Golden Age, giving you another city to sack and adding to your core.

    Making the Rest of the World Pay for Your Sins
    After you have stabilized your new empire, you can turn to meeting the third condition: Collecting 3000 gold by, well, acting like a Viking. You should already be well on your way there after your Golden Age

    There is no best strategy for this. Who you target and how you abuse them will depend upon circumstances. But here are some tips:

    * Build up an army before making a move. Don't just scatter your units across the continent, where they can be isolated and mopped up. Treat your raids like large-scale invasions.

    * Build a fast-moving navy of Longboats to carry your units. Your core can produce land units; another city should produce Longboats to move your burgeoning army around.

    * Sniff out weakness. A Spy or two will be an excellent investment if they help you find victims that can be bullied and harassed. Avoid rivals with large, powerful navies and armies.

    * Isolate your victims. Don't DoW on everyone at once. Pick a single target and squeeze them until they are dry before moving on to the next. Pillage them for all they're worth, and sack a city or two to make your point. If you can vassalize them, terrific; then you will have an ally and can return their cities to them. Otherwise, evacuate your conquests and make a token atonement by returning their cities. Or press your victim until they collapse and try gifting the ruins you've accumulated onto their neighbors.

    * Prefer coastal targets. Coastal cities are the most vulnerable, and coastal improvements can be attacked and evacuated before defenders have a chance to mount more than a token a counter-attack.

    * Be sure to sack any cities you take for maximum loot.

    * Don't worry about losing the cities that you take, so don't be afraid to leave them ungarrisoned in the middle of a war. You're out for loot, not empire.

    * Send in diverse stacks. Lancers, Huscarls, Spearmen, Crossbowmen, in a stack, stand a better chance of surviving counterattacks.

    * Send Lancers into the deep countryside. Lancers can move and pillage in one move. When pushing deep onto the continent for loot, use stacks of these.

    * Look far afield. If Europe and the Mediterranean look too hard, cast a wider gaze and send an armada to the Americas or down the coast of Africa.

    * You do not need to keep a large treasury. The game only tracks how the money comes in, not how much there is, for the victory condition. Invest your profits in upgrades and techs while keeping a cushion to guard against bankruptcy.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2019
    PacoPaco likes this.
  2. BaneFire

    BaneFire Warlord

    Jun 6, 2011
    Sacking is a good idea. The guide I wrote was on a version without sacking so I imagine it'll make the victory even sweeter. I wouldn't sack London though, it's still a good city.
  3. jorissimo

    jorissimo Warlord

    Jan 31, 2008
    Swapped cheese and windmills for cod and wine
    I tried this strategy, and everything went well, easily got the first two goals. However, then I started sacking cities here and there, vassalized France, sacked Spain's two northern coastal cities after which they conquered them back, was about to lay my hands on the Moors but then... poof, collapsed. I kinda saw this coming so I had turned off my research long ago, but still... How do you pull it off with only 2 cities in your core? Do you farm everything, letting them grow really big but missing out on production? I switched to the stable civics as you said but to no avail.
  4. rmontaruli

    rmontaruli Prince

    Sep 10, 2002
    I've just won my first game with Vikings thanks to this guide. In my past games with vikings, also in previous versions of DoC, i never understand the Viking ability of pillage: i tried to pillage Bordeaux for example, getting no more than 5 gold.
    This time i wanted to follow the guide, with a 3000BC start.
    I was luck to find 4 barbarian cities in France and i unchained my raiders. More than 100 gold for each city sacked and one worker capured.
    Then when Frank rised i left all cities to them.
    In the meantime my settlement in northern ireland trained the settlers.
    I needed compass to get Iceland: cultural border was not enough.
    However i was able to settle in Vinland in 940AD (and i met a Mayan boat to)
    Then i prepared to invade England. 2 longboats with two Huscarls in each one, one to Plymouth and one to London. (I should had prepared it better with another longboat).
    In the year 1040 i started my invasion.
    Lucky attack with just one casualty.
    Golden age.
    When third longboat was ready, l sent 6 huscarls to sack maya.
    4 cities, good booty. About 2600/3000 gold from pillage.

    The hard part of this turney was to free mayan cities. I tried to give them to Aztecs but Montezuma didn't want them!!!
    I played about 10 turns under collapse risk.
    When my american expedition was in the way to return, i was ready to attack Amburg.
    Got Amburg i needed less then 200 gold to win, and there was a Polish city on baltic coast.

    Last attack with 4 longboats and 8 huscarls.
    But two were sinked by Polish...

    I attacked 2 crossbowmen with my last 4 huscarls after bombarding, and the conclusion was lucky too.
    City pillaged.
    More than 3000 gold got.
    UHV in the next turn, and top score in hall of fame.

    Very funny game!
    Gritzeldrei likes this.
  5. Gritzeldrei

    Gritzeldrei Warlord

    Mar 15, 2020
    Your strategy worked!!!! The firsts and second UHV was merely a breeze. I was able to conquer Greece ( A core spawn for the Greeks, and Byzantines.) with my two starting Huscarls (pretty strong ngl). With a dead Byzantines, I was able to secure the first UHV very easily. I mostly followed your second UHV where I settle in Ireland-Iceland-Vinland (pretty straight forward UHV).

    The final UHV was the ultimate nailbiter for me. At the beginning of the game, I tried a strategy where I invade the barbarian-infested Mediterranean since they all had weak garrisons. With my early plundering, I was able to get around 1800 gold from raiding Carthage and Oea (without losing any units!!!). I also followed your strategy where I don't place that many units in conquered cities. I eventually gave back Carthage and Oea to the Moors ( I got a strategy later). With Athens and Sparta in my hands, I was able to set up a production city where I could pop Huscarls easily. After creating a 6 stack army for raiding the Moors and an 8 stack army for conquering the Holy Romans, I engaged in an all-out war against them. I was able to recapture Carthage and Oea while gaining a huge sump of around 700 gold. Oea didn't give so much. I then conquered Hamburg and Brandenburg making my acquired gold at around 4280. At this point, my stability was going real Bazinga!!! leading to the Byzantines declaring independence. My stability worsened into Collapsing status so I had to think very VERY carefully. The Polish had one sizeable city with an okay-like infrastructure. I easily conquered that city. The problem is....... I lacked 20 gold to win the game.....20 GOLD!!! But....... I had one knight beside a small pasture. With god's glory on my side, I pillaged the improvement and gained........4501 gold.

    Next turn I won the victory......and collapsed. 10/10 Vikings would do again.

    Spoiler :

    Just 2 gold ahead to win the victory. Collapsed the next turn after winning. I love this mod.

    Sixth RFC DOC UHV win overall but the best and funniest game I've ever had Civ4ScreenShot0335.JPG
    Glory to the Norse!!!!
    stillblackadder likes this.

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