“Viking unique unit. Infantry that slowly heals itself.”—Age of Empires II description
Berserks can be upgraded to Elite Berserks in the Imperial Age.
The Berserk is a heavy infantry unit that is armed with an axe and shield, and has the ability to regenerate health over time (20 hit points per minute, can be doubled with Berserkergang). This allows them to last long in combat and makes them effective in pitched battles. As most infantry, Berserks gain a small attack bonus against enemy standard buildings and Eagle Warriors. The Vikings' civilization bonus gives them +15% HP in Castle Age and 20% in Imperial Age, so a Berserk will have 61 HP, 11 attack and 2/3 armor. An Elite Berserk will have 75 HP, 18 attack, and 5/5 armor when fully upgraded.
On land maps, a Viking player has to make a choice between training Berserks or Champions. Due to the costs involved in upgrading both units, it is impractical to train both units. The Berserk's advantages over the Militia-line lies in their regeneration, superior armor, attack, and speed. On the downside they cost an extra 5 food and 5 gold and are harder to mass.
Castle Age Edit
Berserks have rather weak statistics in the Castle Age, inferior to the Long Swordsman (on a cost basis). Their only advantage over the Swordsman is their regeneration and speed. Hence they can be used as moderately effective raiders. Even though Chieftains gives them a fighting chance against Knights, but it is rather expensive, so against cavalry, Pikemen should be used.
Comparison to the Champion Edit
Elite Berserks, however, are statistically superior to Champions. With 18, they have +1 attack. Also, they have +1 armor, +0.15 speed, and the regeneration ability at the cost of 5 food and 5 gold each. The Champion has +9 HP. Overall, the Berserk is the better unit, first of all because of its speed. The only advantage the Champion holds (next to the HP) is their attack bonus against Eagle Warriors. Champions get +8 attack, Elite Berserks only +3.
Berserks share all the weaknesses of most infantry, but to a lesser extent. Berserks can catch up with foot archers, but they still shouldn't be used against them, especially in mass battles. Hand Cannoneers and Slingers absolutely devastate Berserks. Massed Scorpions can also inflict massive losses against Berserks. Jaguar Warriors and Samurai (unlike Champions) are the melee units that threaten Berserks. Cataphracts counter Berserks as well. Like against almost all melee units, Teutonic Knights and Boyars are also effective against Berserks.
Further statistics Edit
As Berserks are unique to the Vikings, only technologies that are available to them are shown in the following table:
|Unit strengths and weaknesses|
|Strong vs.||Skirmishers, Halberdiers, Camels, Eagle Warriors, buildings, Light Cavalry|
|Weak vs.||Cataphracts, Jaguar Warriors, Boyars, Hand Cannoneers, Conquistadors, Slingers, Plumed Archers, Samurai, Teutonic Knights|
|Attack|| Forging (+1)|
Iron Casting (+1)
Blast Furnace (+2)
Arson (+2 attack against standard buildings)
Chieftains (+5 attack against cavalry and +4 against camels)
|Armor|| Scale Mail Armor (+1/+1)|
Chain Mail Armor (+1/+1)
Plate Mail Armor (+1/+2)
|Conversion defense|| Faith|
|Creation speed||Conscription (+33%)|
|Other||Berserkergang (increases regeneration speed)|
Civilization bonuses Edit
- Vikings: Berserks have +15%/20% HP in the Castle/Imperial Age.
Team bonuses Edit
- A team containing Berbers: With Kasbah researched, Berserks are created and upgraded 25% faster, and Conscription, Chieftains, and Berserkergang are researched 25% faster.
- A team containing Goths: Researching Tracking, Squires, and Arson is 20% faster.
- A team containing Teutons: Berserks are more resistant to conversion.
The Age of Kings Edit
- Berserks have 48 HP (60 for Elite).
- Berserks train in 16 seconds.
- Berserks move at a speed of 0.9.
- Berserks have 0 pierce armor.
The Conquerors Edit
- Berserks now move at a speed of 1.05.
- Berserks now have 1 pierce armor.
- Heresy introduced.
- Vikings: Berserkergang introduced. It costs 500F/850G.
The Forgotten Edit
- Berserks now have 54 (62 for Elite) HP.
- Berserks now train in 14 seconds.
- Vikings: Berserkergang now costs 850F/400G. Chieftains introduced. It costs 700F/400G and gives Berserks +4 attack against cavalry.
The African Kingdoms Edit
- Arson introduced.
- Vikings: Chieftains now cost 400F/300G and gives Berserks +5 attack against cavalry.
- Vikings: With patch 4.8b, Chieftains now gives Berserks additional +2 attack against camels.
Rise of the Rajas Edit
- With patch 5.7, Chieftains now makes Berserks do +4 damage to camels instead of +2.
- Despite the fact that Viking warriors never had horned helmets, Berserks are depicted with horned helmets, most likely because they'd be most recognizable that way. Horned helms were only used by Vikings during certain religious rituals.
- Berserks were the first units to be given a regeneration ability (in The Age of Kings). Later on, other units joined them, such as heroes and Berber camel units.
“Late in the eighth century Viking sea raiders from Scandinavia appeared suddenly in Northern Europe. They raided and plundered coastal communities for the next 150 years. Most of the progress made by Charlemagne in uniting Northern Europe and beginning a rebirth of civilization was erased by the turmoil they caused. The Vikings were known for their great seamanship and ferocity in battle. Witnesses claimed that Viking warriors would occasionally go "berserk" and attack with nearly inhuman zeal, oblivious to all danger. Such behavior was terrifying to behold and very difficult to withstand. The ability to go mad with battle lust was a powerful attribute during a period of widespread superstition.”