Like other basic infantry units Ulfsarks are a soft counter against cavalry and as such supposed to be cost-effective against most cavalry units. Heavier cavalry such as War Elephants and Jarls require hard counter units to be cost-effectively defeated. Ulfsarks can be upgraded to become hard counter units against cavalry through the heroic upgrade Swine Array.
God Bonuses and Upgrades
- Lone Wanderer (Odin) increases speed by 10%.
- Mithril Breastplate (Forseti) decreases hack vulnerability by 10%.
- Call of Valhalla (Bragi) increases hit points by 15%.
- Swine Array (Bragi) doubles damage to cavalry.
- Berserkergang (Tyr) increases attack by 10% and hit points by 15%.
- Eyes in the Forest (Loki) increases Line of Sight by 3.
- Medium Infantry, Heavy Infantry, and Champion Infantry all increase LOS by 1 and attack by 10%, and increase hit points by 10%, 15% and 20% respectively.
- Copper Weapons, Bronze Weapons, and Iron Weapons increase attack by 10%.
- Hammer of the Gods (Thor) increases attack by 10%.
- Copper Mail, Bronze Mail, and Iron Mail decrease hack vulnerability by 10%.
- Meteoric Iron Mail (Thor) decreases hack vulnerability by 10%.
- Copper Shields, Bronze Shields, and Iron Shields decrease pierce vulnerability by 10%.
- Dragonscale Shields (Thor) decreases pierce vulnerability by 10%.
- Levy Longhouse and Conscript Longhouse decrease training time by 20%.
Ulfsarks are critical in the early stages of the game, especially the Archaic Age since they are the primary Norse builders and scouts. Norse players start out with one Ulfsark. Losing this initial Ulfsark early is dangerous, as more time and resources must be spent to replace it. They are well rounded units and are good against cavalry and fair against infantry. They are also the only dedicated anti-cavalry unit the Norse possess, so they fulfill an important role in all Ages.
Ulfsarks are powerful in melee combat but will lose to counter-infantry so it is best to use them with Throwing Axemen or Raiding Cavalry. They are more lightly armored than their counterparts, the Hoplite, Spearman and Murmillo, but have a higher attack. With the right upgrades and gods, the Ulsfarks' attack can be boosted to a maximum of 16 (compared to 14 for both the Murmillo and Hoplite). As infantry units, they are weak against ranged units.
If Thor chosen as the major god, a Dwarven Foundry can be built to research technology beyond iron. With Forseti, Bragi, and Tyr as minor gods, many improvements beneficial to Ulfsarks become available. With all those upgrades, Ulfsarks will have a very high attack, high hit points, decent armor, fast speed and high rate of attack while still being cheap and fast to produce and being able to build.
Age of Mythology
- Originally, Ulfsarks had 5 pierce armor. With patch 1.07, they have 10 pierce armor.
- Champion Ulfsarks are equipped with kite shields. However, this is anachronistic, as kite shields were used from the 10th century on. Also, wielding both a kite shield and a two-handed axe would be unwieldy.
- Though Ulfsarks fight bare-chested in-game, their real-life counterparts historically wore mails (see gallery).
- Saving a standard game (such as a random map) as soon as the game starts (before any units could be spawned from the Town Center) then loading that save game will cause the Ulfsark to have a starting attack value of "0".
- Villagers attacked by such an Ulfsark will not stop what they are doing and will simply ignore the Ulfsark, and no damage is dealt.
Viking warriors who wore wolf skins into battle were known as Ulfsarks, another tradition of the Berserks (bear skins). These men were renowned for their tendency to go into battle frenzy. Ulfsarks fought on foot, armed mainly with axes and swords. They generally wore minimal armor, preferring the freedom of movement rather than the heavier protection.