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Denmark: Under-powered or Underrated?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by rawrtrav, Jul 9, 2014.

  1. rawrtrav

    rawrtrav Chieftain

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    So, everyone knows that Denmark are commonly thought of as one of the worst civs on the game, in the bottom tier with the likes of the Iroquois and Byzantium.

    I thought I'd try out my own game as Denmark to see if this is really the case, and I was thinking to myself 'How bad can they really be?'. I have to say, I really don't see why people call them under-powered and I think they are massively underrated.



    Spoiler :
    My game; I picked archipelago, Emperor difficulty, Epic speed (1.5x standard), and started off on a small island with no one around me. I had 3 gold and a dye within range of Copenhagen. I rushed to the Great Library and got it by turn 58 (Turn 39 equivalent on standard), so got pretty lucky, but having the gold nearby helped with hammers.

    I got sailing/optics pretty quickly after this, while building the NC (Philosophy free from GL), and started exploring with a trireme, quickly finding Theodora, Gandhi, Enrico Dandolo and an abundance of city states.

    I managed to get my NC up by turn 80 (Turn 54 equivalent on standard) so I knew that I'd be technologically superior to everyone else, and started to tech towards the first Danish unique unit.

    I got metal casting and was the first into the Medieval era as a result, and switched my science focus to move up the tree towards Education instead, while buying iron from Gandhi so I could make some Berserkers. I managed to get a reasonable force of 4 Berserkers, 2 catapults and 2 composite bowmen and started sailing off towards Theodora. Constantinople fell within 2 turns of being opened up on and I realised the strength of the Berserkers - it doesn't fall with their ability to move more, it's when they become available on the tech tree. Theodora had 4 warriors and 2 composite bowmen as her defence, which my 21 strength Berserkers quickly flattened, forcing her to peace out and give me her remaining cities.

    I move on to the next civ; Enrico Dandolo and his mega capital. He is the closest to me in terms of 'Pointiest Sticks', so it's convenient that he's the next closest to me physically as well. I again sail towards my next opponent and realise that the bulk of his army is 3 pikemen, who stood no chance against my Berserkers. I take Venice just as quickly as I took Constantinople and peace out for his remaining luxuries to temporarily keep my happiness up while I rush some Colosseums.

    10 turns later (Now around 450AD, can't remember what turn) and I'm able to upgrade my composite bows to crossbowmen and my catapults to trebuchets.

    I start sailing towards the next civ - Nebuchadnezzar. I've now found everyone on the map and can see their capitals, Babylon being not only the most populous, but also having those lovely Walls Of Babylon meaning it's by far the strongest. I decide to test it out and declare war on him as soon as my units are in position. I notice that his army is a lot stronger than the last two. He has 4 swordsmen, 3 composite bows and a galeass. The Berserkers really showed off their strength again as I was able to inflict 38 points of damage to a FORTIFIED swordsman, while only taking 16 damage myself (It was around that anyway). I took Babylon down within 3 turns again, thanks to the trebuchets, and started sailing towards Gandhi in the north, now that I no longer need his iron to fund my armies.

    At this point, I'm working the top of the science tree, bulbing a GS to finish Astronomy and then teching Navigation. I pump out a couple of frigates and a couple more Berserkers to join my forces, and I attack Dehli from the sea. He's roughly the same strength as Babylon so I'm easily able to flatten him, leaving 2 civs left.

    Polynesia and the Shoshone are battling it out on their own small continent, with Kamehameha approaching Moson Kahni. I found the World Congress and propose an embargo on the Shoshone, just to ensure that Polynesia can overpower them and hopefully I'd have a real fight on my hand. I decide to stay peaceful and tech up to Ski Infantry, so that I can see how they're used, and I manage to get them around the year 1250. By this point, Moson Kahni has fallen to Kamehameha, so I just straight declare on Polynesia, rather than worrying about the Shoshone. My army now consists of 3 cannons, 6 Ski Infantry, 2 Frigates and 3 Crossbowmen.

    The Ski Infantry are extremely useful on this continent as it seems to be the perfect hilly terrain for them, and they're able to absolutely demolish the Polynesian musketmen. It takes me roughly 15 turns to sweep through 5 cities, largely thanks to the double movement from the Ski Infantry, and I quickly find myself next to Honolulu. I've already demolished his army (Which consisted of 7 musketmen, 3 knights, 3 crossbowmen and a hell of a lot of boats), so taking Honolulu is really quite easy, given I've got +1 range on 2 of my cannons by this point. It was quite an anticlimactic end to the game, but it really did show the power of the Danes. The early-mid game push they get from Berserkers just puts you so far ahead of everyone else at that point in the game that it's laughable.




    Let's look at their unique stuff:


    Unique Ability
    Their ability is a very very nice fit for warfare. As people have pointed out, one of the saving graces of Denmark is the ability to move your catapult/trebuchet/whatever from the sea to a tile that it can fire from and then be able to unleash hell upon your opponents city. This is completely true and really really powerful. It's obviously much more of a benefit in the early game, where the units have 2 range rather than 3 range, and at that point in the game the borders of a civ are not too far extended into the water, making it easily accessible and easy to disembark onto land.

    You've then also got the fact that their embarked units have 3 movement points, meaning they're able to traverse the map much quicker than anyone else. Not necessarily the most amazing thing in the world, but a fair few other civs have just a single UU that has an extra movement point - at least this is spread across the whole board. It's also pretty helpful when you're out scouting, looking for those random ruins on small islands in the middle of nowhere. I had it twice in my game where I saw another scout making a run towards a ruin but I was able to get there quicker than him thanks to 3 movement points/1 point to disembark.

    The final area of their UA is that it costs no movement points to pillage. That's a free 25 health PLUS the 10/15 health it'd repair from just fortifying anyway. Pillaging would normally mean you get the 25 health but that you can't auto-heal that turn as you've used up a movement point. This is at least a third of your health back in one turn, really really useful if you're using trying to bait a cities bombardment away from your catapults for a couple of turns.


    Berserker
    The Berserker is the first of the Danish unique units, and it wasn't until a few days ago that I really read what the Berserker is. I just assumed that it had the extra movement point and the amphibious promotion, NEVER did I realise that you actually get the Berserker a tech early. It might not sound like much but oh my, you can get your Berserker's up while other civs are messing around somewhere between warriors and swordsmen! They're technically the longswordsman replacement, but the tech you get them at makes them more like the equivalent of a pikemen. That means that everyone else has a maximum of 16 strength while you're running around with 21 strength, 3 movement and amphibious units. Extremely powerful!

    Even without the amphibious point, the Berserker is still an extremely strong unit just because of how early you get them compared to the longswordsman. It may only help you take down 2 or 3 civs before others are able to catch up and produce their own longswordsman, but that's an easy 2 or 3 civs that most others wouldn't be able to take down so easily.



    Norwegian Ski Infantry
    I didn't get much use out of my Norwegian Ski Infantry in my game, as my Berserkers had made sure I was already close to victory. However, I did take note of how powerful they are in hills. The extra 25% essentially makes them a UU that has a strength of 42.5 - the same as a Foreign Legion. Combine that with Drill 1 + 2 from Barracks/Armoury and you're unstoppable in the hills. The double movement is also a big help as you maneuver around your enemies and take them out from atop the hills. The snow/tundra boost isn't a huge help overall, but could be useful if you have a runaway Sweden/Russia in the game.

    Overall the Ski Infantry isn't as amazing as the Berserker, but it's still much more powerful than anything else that comes in at riflemen, as long as you're in hills. I personally prefer the Swedish Carolean, but I'd say that if you can get the Carolean's into hills/snow/tundra, you'd definitely give them a run for their money, as well as overpower anything else at this time.


    Neither of their units are pushovers then, in comparison to other civs that have 2 units where one of which tends to be not much better than the base unit. The Berserker is absolutely amazing, simply because of how early you get it, while the Ski Infantry is useful for half of the map (Assuming half of the map is hilly).


    Overall (TL;DR), I think it makes Denmark one of the most powerful domination civs. They're not suited to anything else, but for pure domination, they're one of the easiest to use and you're able to greatly overpower everyone in the early-mid game, where the only other real competitor is Rome and her Legions (17 strength compared to 21). The boost you get from overpowering everyone at this stage should mean you're able to level up your units so that by the time they're Ski Infantry, they're unstoppable on hills and a force to be reckoned with on flat ground as well.

    But, I want to know your opinions. Do you think that Denmark is really that under-powered, or like me do you think they're actually massively underrated? Either way, I'd like to hear your reasoning as it tends to be a civ that people look over and don't really mention!
     
  2. Loucypher

    Loucypher King

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    That alone kinda nullifies your argument, as Denmark is BUILT for archipelago. Ofcourse they're gonna be better there then on any other kind of map.
    The problems with Denmark are various. First, their units. Now, you're right in saying that neither of them are pushovers. But first the Berserker. It sits at an awkward position on the tech tree (You really want to push for Education on the higher levels), and it has a pretty short shelf life due to the muskets coming just two techs later. Which is a tech a lot of civs love due to a good amount of UU's hanging out there.
    Then the Ski Infantry. Yeah again they're not poor, but they're nothing too spectacular either. They come at a time where Artillery starts dominating the battlefield too.
    They're both infantry units. They are notoriously unspectacular due to the sheer power of archers/artillery/bombers, making them glorified meatshields.
    Now, combine them with the UA. Yes, you now have some strong units that can pillage coasts beautifully. Coastal invasions are also a powerful part of Denmark's game. But that is all they can do very well. Compare to other warmongers - Japan has a culture boon through Bushido (And Samurai can go toe-to-toe with Berserkers), Songhai has a gold bonus on top of a culture bonus with their temple replacement, the Ottomans have a cheap-as-can-be navy (Which is stronger at taking down coastal cities then the Danes ever will be) and the Janissary is a scary unit, Mongolia blitzes across the land outmaneuvring everything, Rome has a production bonus...Denmark can pillage pretty well? The problem is that the AI rarely feels the effects of that due to their insane bonuses except for the strategic resources bit.

    I'd also like to note that you compare the Berserkers to the Roman Legions. Keep in mind that the Legions are a Swordsman replacement. A more proper comparison is Japan's Samurai, another Longswordsman replacement. And generally, aside from coastal warfare, the Samurai seems to edge out the Berserker.

    Now, are the Danish units and the UA on itself bad? Not for that one specific gameplan, no. But on higher levels (Where the AI will have Longswords around the same time as you will have Berserkers, if they aren't at Muskets already), and given the higher warmonger penalties, a full-out-coastal-raid approach doesn't tend to be that great.
     
  3. Krajzen

    Krajzen Deity

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    1) Denmark has absolutely no bonus for anything other than warfare

    2) ...and constant warfare is bad strategy (heh, kinda realistic)

    3) Extremely situational UA - how often you make massive sea - land offensives when navy is not enough to capture coastal cities? I mean, it can be nice but it is definitely not top tier...

    4) OK Berserker unit but nothing crazy

    5) Mediocre Ski Infantry unit

    The biggest problem is complete lack of any peaceful bonus. Denmark is the only civ besides Zulu and Mongolia which has literally absolutely nothing for peace times - and Zulu/Mongol military bonuses are much stronger and much more universal.

    Zulu have superior infantry able to massacre the entire continent since very early game
    Mongol have superior cavalry able to do the same thing a bit later

    Denmark has... Uhm... Trait which makes archipelago offensives a bit easier...

    Also, Denmark was nerfed in GAK really much when 100hp system and melee navy was introduced. In 10hp system Denmark could suddenly arrive on the coast and annihilate enemy ranged forces (or even take city) in one turn, also its mobile infantry was much more dangerous when it could quickly annihilate ranged units in 1 turn. Danish invasions were also much more useful in combat system which didn't really offer much in terms of overseas invasions (you HAD to take cities via land units, you could only melt their defences via navy).

    So, currently we have a faction with a bit easier overseas assaults and quicker mediocre units (infantry).

    I'm not sure if calling it BAD is justified but I think it is one of the weakest factions.
     
  4. poom3619

    poom3619 Ping Pang Poom!

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    O, The warrior of Valhalla lost most of their power due to such a great nerf.
     
  5. chazzycat

    chazzycat Deity

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    I agree with you OP, they are underrated. Not one of the best civs, but not terrible either. Moving the berserker to metal casting makes a big difference.

    the thing is, you don't even have to conquer people as the Danes. You can just mess everyone's economy up big time by pillaging everything and stealing their workers, and make peace. This type of war triggers very little diplo hate in BNW.

    And yes they need water, but there are plenty of civs that are totally map dependent. Sure that can prevent them from being top tier, but doesn't mean they are terrible.
     
  6. CraigMak

    CraigMak The Borg

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    The berzerker is EXTREMELY strong, 3 movement and is opened up way early. You can nail some one with these things really early if you do a beeline for them. If your opponent doesn't rush xbows they are probably dead with these coming their way.
     
  7. cain3456

    cain3456 Prince

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    Since when are the Iroquois considered bottom tier?
     
  8. chazzycat

    chazzycat Deity

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    since their stupid forest roads don't connect to regular roads and drive everyone batsh1t crazy
     
  9. Dr. D

    Dr. D Warlord

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    I'd say they're underrated, but there's a catch.

    The reason they are bashed so much is because they have no benefits to growth or science and the players who do the same thing regardless of which civ they play by beelining all the science techs, sticking to 4 cities, playing nice with everyone and building a spaceship as quickly as possible will gain no benefit by playing Denmark (unless they need to conquer a city late game for some aluminum). For those who like to adapt to the strengths of the civ and roleplay a bit, Denmark can be quite fun and effective (archipelago or not).

    The catch is that on the highest difficulties, the game starts pigeonholing the player into more of a science focus and less of a war focus. On high difficulty, the AI starts with benefits that the human player will eventually catch up to but only after berserkers have lost their advantage. The later into the game you get, the less the UA makes a large difference on most maps: ranged artillery and bombers offset the bonus of being able to disembark and fire a trebuchet or cannon.

    I'd say Denmark's bonuses work very well on any map type up through emperor but after that, they lose their punch because you can't roleplay as effectively. If you play at a difficulty that is a little more balanced (i.e. not immortal or deity) they can be quite strong.
     
  10. Myth and Legend

    Myth and Legend Prince

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    Archipelago is a gimmick start. It is unfair to a large number of civs and benefits a few. You'd see tremendeous results with England, Polynesia and Malaysia as well. Heck, even Songhai would be better than on a Continetns or Pangea map.

    Epic speed benefits civs with early UUs since it slows down the game. Tech is slower but unit movement is the same, thus you have longer wars in classical and medieval times, thus classical and medieval UUs have a larger window of opportunity to be useful.

    Emperor difficulty is too low to gauge the strength of a civ. With these settings I think any civ would do fine. You could wondermonger with Egypt on Emperor probably.
     
  11. Loucypher

    Loucypher King

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    Since their UA is pretty poor due to only working in their own territory. Since their UU is highly "meh" with nothing truly spectacular to set it apart. Since their UB is actually WORSE then the building it replaces. Hence, bottom tier.
     
  12. rawrtrav

    rawrtrav Chieftain

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    It's good to see a few people agree with me! Sure, I used a 'biased' map type for my test of them, but isn't that what everyone would do if they were playing Denmark? I mean, any game that has water in it would be just as good - Large islands, small continents, regular continents, you name it. I just picked archipelago as I haven't played an archipelago map in a long while, and those tend to be the games where you can meet everyone pretty quickly due to the islands all being connected by coastline.

    Loucypher says that instead of comparing the Berserker to the Legion/Swordsman, I should be comparing it to the Longswordsman/Samurai, simply because that's what it replaces, but my point was that you get the Berserker at such an early point that it's actually comparable to the first. I don't know about anyone else, but the only time I really get the tech for Longswordsmen is when I'm getting Musketmen. I never go specifically for Longswordsmen because it's in a dead part of the tree on it's own, whereas the Berserker is bundled in with a really useful tech that gives you Workshops and opens up the tech path for Trebuchets and the World Congress! As I said in my playthrough, I teched to Metal Casting then proceeded to tech to Education instead. If I was concentrating on science output, I might tech to Iron Working and stop there, just so I have some sort of defence, but one tech further and I'm in a position where nothing else at that point can beat me - well worth it.

    'At higher difficulties they're not as good'; but surely that's the case with all Civs that are based around warmongering? I play at Emperor level, which I'd still consider pretty high, simply because at the higher levels you're not playing a game of Civ5, you're playing a game of catch up, and I just personally don't find it all that fun. I can play deity and beat it pretty efficiently with a top tier civ, I can play immortal and get my science output to be three times as large as the AI's, meaning I can just about catch up before they nuke me into the ground, but I don't see how people can find that fun. Each to their own I guess. Denmark may not be great at the highest levels, but then I question you, what civs are great at the highest levels except the extremely overpowered ones?

    I'm not claiming that Denmark are a top tier civ - far from it. I'm just here to give a defence for them not being in the very bottom tier, and for people to give them a chance if you haven't already. You might even find it fun!
     
  13. Loucypher

    Loucypher King

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    Mongolia is still awesome at the higher levels due to just how effective they are. Arabia can monger war beautifully as well. England would like to make a case as well. China is war-based and pretty damn good. The Aztecs and Zulus are also far from awful. The Huns will crush opposition even early on deity. So that answers the question of which war-based civs are still good (or even great) at higher levels.

    As for the second bit, a lot of civs can win on Deity much easier then Denmark could possibly hope to achieve. Simply because most of them aren't 100% war-based. When it comes to 100% war-based civs, Denmark is simply put the worst, though they might be tied with the Ottomans there.

    Now Denmark sure can be FUN to play, but that wasn't what the topic was about, it was if they were underrated or not. And no, they're not underrated. They're just a relatively poor civ that is still fun to play.
     
  14. Dr. D

    Dr. D Warlord

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    I agree, I prefer emperor because I find it more fun and flexible and less gimmicky. Denmark is still good at what they do after catching up scientifically at immortal or deity, but it seems that by the time you've gotten to that point, their strengths are now alternatives (compared to the effectiveness of artillery, bomber, frigate and melee ship usage) instead of a marked advantage as in earlier eras. Like you mentioned, immortal and deity will always cater to science civs, meaning this level is more or less unbalanced at that point. Emperor and below, as it was said, you can warmonger with everyone, but Denmark does it better than most.
     
  15. dragonxxx

    dragonxxx King

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    there are many civs that are better t warmongering than them ... Zulu, Huns, England, China, Mongols, Arabia, Aztecs or even Sweden and Babylon
     
  16. Krajzen

    Krajzen Deity

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    :crazyeye: Yes I am obviously compulsive pacifist who takes Zulu and Denmark and builds 4 cities which remain nice with everyone :crazyeye:

    Zulu are ingenious for domination. On Immortal I conquered my continent with Zulu before the end of medieval era and this was without any crazy strategy or huge luck - they have brilliant infantry, brilliant promotions and maintenance bonus which allows you on huge army in very early game.

    Mongolia relies literally on a single unit - buffed by trait and Khan - which can annihilate half of the world in one era.

    In the same situation even non stricte military civs like Poland or Indonesia would have particular bonuses to development possible to be forged into war arsenal.

    On the same map - Continents - Denmark would
    a) Do nothing in the early game, sorry but it is hard to benefit from this trait when your entire navy can travel only on this one hex wide coast :p Damn, I even tried it on archipelago map other time and it was cute but nothing really powerful...

    b) In mid game you get Berserkers. Fast infantry able to kill ranged units, available earlier. Cool. Personally I really like these guys - the problem is they not synergize with... Uhm... Anything :p I mean, yay they benefit from trait, but

    - they lose move bonus and advantage when upgraded to musketmen

    - ...and before renaissance era we return to point A: you hardly can do military landing with 3 movement naval units and those narrow coastlines (good luck surviving ranged fire and difficult terrain)

    c) So, Berserkers are gone and amphibious infantry remains. Upgrade to ski infantry. Yay, fast movement on tundra and snow! They can move so fast on polar regions!


    ...Tell me, how often the main factor deciding about victory are Massive Landing Operations In Poor Tundra Regions Which Require Infantry Assault And Cannot Be Solved Via Navy (Eventually Artillery)? :crazyeye:
     
  17. chazzycat

    chazzycat Deity

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    you forgot the other half of the UA - pillaging with no movement cost. pillaging gets gold and heals the unit too. Because of the UA you can pillage the 2nd ring of every enemy city even with warriors or whatever, and retreat back out of range of the city attack.

    they do keep the amphibious promotion, but yeah that loss of +1 movement does hurt.

    you forgot hills, which are actually relevant. Because of the UA you can do things no on else can do. Land from the sea onto a hill, pillage, and fortify in the same turn, for example. make of it what you will
     
  18. Vitruvius

    Vitruvius King

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    Deity is too low too. You need to look at multiplayer if you want a fair comparison. And I definitely wouldn't want to play against a human Denmark player.
     
  19. GoStu

    GoStu King

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    I say they deserve most of the bashing they get. All their bonuses are geared towards war, except that they're not very good bonuses for most wars. Berserkers are neat, but that's a real crap part of the tech tree. While you're getting Berserkers, other people are working towards Crossbows & such which can hold them. There is a timing window where you could hit a bit harder than a generic civ, but not impressively harder. I mean, look at the other 100% war, or mostly war civs:

    Compare to Mongolia's Khan/Keshik - the Khan in particular I love because he's actually a nice boost all game long, and the Keshik is a MONSTER of a unit that can clear a continent.

    Compare to the Zulu, who not only have another monster of a murder-machine, but their UA means that your units (already scary) can be running around with all their unique promotions quicker, and then all other kinds of nasty upgrades like March, Blitz, etc.

    Compare to the Aztecs, who rocket through early social policies and have one of the scariest ancient UU's whose unique promotions rock all game long. On top of this, the Aztecs have one of the best UB's in the entire game, growing tall cities to massive heights.

    Compare to Assyria, who can actually beeline war techs & not get left dreadfully behind by civs who take the top of the tech tree instead.

    Even more peaceful civs with only a partial war focus can arguably do better at warmongering. A civ like the Celts for example can have an easy religion and extra happiness through Opera Houses, both of which can supply much-needed smiles which are often the true constraint on a warmonger. Egypt can do this too, with Burial Tombs providing up to four happiness on no maintenance with the right beliefs.

    So yeah. To sum up: Denmark is a weak civilization because all their bonuses are solely for war, and are outshone even by civs who have an advantage in peacetime as well.
     
  20. Tabarnak

    Tabarnak R.I.P.

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    In a mp perspective we can set Denmark as a mid tier civ. First of all he starts COASTAL. The coastal starts makes me put ALL civs starting coastal at least counsidered as a mid tier civ.

    Now, to go top civ you need some strong UA/UB/UU to pass.

    For UA: Too much situationnal. But i can see it works in pangea corners(units can move 3 tiles right?) but in water maps strong players will have a minimum of fleet to counter any land based attacks. So you need both a fleet and units which is very hammer consuming.

    For UB: .......................................

    For UU: Now that's interesting...Berserkers are a bit like Impis. 3 moves, good to attack but high defence compared to Impis which are stronger to attacks but weaker at defence. Biggest problem come from the fact that a no iron game litterally destroy that opportunity. And for the ski infantry well it's not a strong bonus to exploit. If only he got a true infantry bonus instead(Plastics) since that this tech is probably one of the most important of the game and mp players like to beeline that tech for many reasons(the 6 Foreign Legions from Freedom tramsformed into infantry units is a popular approach).

    Overall it's an ok civ and the coastal start MUST be exploited to see something good from them. He's more or less situated in the ''low tier civ of the mid tier civ branch'' category.

    But i can see a 6 iron start with 6 Berserkers at a door of another civ before the turn 70(quick speed mp) and be very...very...confident on your capacities to advance :)
     

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