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This article is about the civilization in Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings. For the civilization in Age of Mythology, see Norse.
Civilization Technology tree Strategy
The vast forests and mountain fjords of Scandinavia were home to unpredictable, adventurous gods and even more daring folk. Rule the rivers and seas with lithe Longboats, initiate your most fearless warriors into the Berserkergang, and set forth to plunder, settle, and trade in new lands. The skálds will sing your glory in poetic verse from North America to Byzantium, and sagas shall tell of the exploits of legendary kings and warriors. Only the most daring will earn the right to enter Valhalla and feast at Odin's table!
—Description[1]

The Vikings are a Central European[note 1] civilization in Age of Empires II. They are based on the Scandinavian countries (Norway, Sweden, and Denmark) in the Viking Age. They focus on infantry and navy.

The Swedes and Danes, two of the Scandinavian countries, are represented in Age of Empires III. The Vikings also appear in Age of Mythology as the Norse.

Characteristics[]

Unique units[]

Unique technologies[]

Civilization bonuses[]

  • Wheelbarrow and Hand Cart free.
  • Warships cost -15%/-15%/-20% in the Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age.
  • Infantry have +20% hit points starting from the Feudal Age.

Team bonus[]

Docks are 15% cheaper.

Overview[]

The Vikings are a naval and infantry civilization. Their ships are indeed excellent, thanks to a discount which offsets the lack of Shipwright and gives them the ability to outproduce every other civilization, and the excellent Longboat. Despite lacking the Halberdier upgrade, their infantry are also remarkable, with all upgrades, additional HP, and an excellent unique technology that improves their performance when engaging cavalry units and while raiding. Their Castle unique unit, the Berserk, is a valuable all-purpose foot soldier that heals itself and has decent stats all around. Their economy is arguably the best in the game from the mid-Feudal Age to the early-Imperial Age due to free Wheelbarrow and Hand Cart, which give a 5 Villager advantage, a boost to Villager collection, and saves a sizable amount of resources (475 food, 250 wood). They also have decent foot archers, as even though they lack Thumb Ring, they have Bogsveigar in the Imperial Age and are still decent during the Castle Age thanks to their economy. Viking siege weapons and defensive structures are both somewhat solid, with the Siege Ram in particular mixing well with the Vikings infantry.

With all of these strengths come a few notable weaknesses. The absence of even Fire Galleys should be noted, though, as it can be a disadvantage early on when Longboats are not yet available. Viking cavalry are very weak, lacking upgrades across the board (Plate Barding Armor, Husbandry, and Bloodlines as well as all final tier upgrades), it is hard to justify their use outside of early-game raiding. A similar story applies for their Cavalry Archers, without Thumb Ring or the Heavy Cavalry Archer upgrade as well as the previous cavalry deficits. Their Monks are below average without technologies like Redemption, Sanctity, and Theocracy. Lastly, they lack any viable counters to enemy siege without Redemption, Bombard Cannon, or viable cavalry.

Overall, the Vikings are a powerful civilization with their top-notch economy and great infantry and navy. Their economy gives them a lot of flexibility in the mid-game, with their biggest problem being their vulnerability to siege.

Changelog[]

AoE2-DLCicon-1 The Conquerors[]

  • Berserkergang introduced.
  • Longboats training time decreased (41 → 25 seconds).
  • Berserk movement speed increased (0.9 → 1.05).
  • Berserk pierce armor increased (0 → 1).

AoE2-DLCicon-2 The Forgotten[]

  • Warship discount staggered (20% (all ages) → 10% (Feudal)/15% (Castle)/20% (Imperial)).
  • Treadmill Crane added to the technology tree.
  • Berserkergang food cost increased (500 food → 850 food)
  • Berserkergang gold cost decreased (850 gold → 400 gold).
  • Chieftains introduced.
  • Team bonus's Dock discount decreased (25% → 15%).
  • Longboats wood cost decreased (100 wood → 90 wood).
  • Berserk hit points increased (48 (non-Elite)/60 (Elite) → 54/62)
  • Berserk training time reduced (16 → 14 seconds).

AoE2-DLCicon-3 The African Kingdoms[]

  • Chieftains cost reduced (700 food, 400 gold → 400 food, 300 gold)
  • Chieftains now increases anti-cavalry attack by +5 (from +4).
  • Longboats no longer require a Castle.
  • Longboats wood cost reverted (90 wood → 100 wood).
  • With Patch 4.8, Chieftains affects all infantry units, instead of just Berserks.
  • With Patch 4.8b, Chieftains gives infantry +2 attack against camels.

AoE2-DLCicon-4 Rise of the Rajas[]

  • With Patch 5.5, Warship discount increased in Feudal Age (10% → 15%).
  • With Patch 5.7, Chieftains' anti-camel damage increased (+2 → +4).

AoEIIDE icon Definitive Edition[]

Dawn of the Dukes icon Dawn of the Dukes[]

  • With update 56005:
    • Vikings can no longer research Thumb Ring technology.
    • Infantry HP bonus is now consistent (10% (Feudal)/15% (Castle)/20% (Imperial) → 20% (all)).
    • Non-Elite Berserks have more attack (9 → 12) and melee armor (0 → 1).
    • Elite Berserks train faster in (14 → 12) seconds.
    • The Elite Berserk upgrade cost was reduced (1,300 food, 550 gold → 1,075 food, 475 gold).

AoE2Icon-DynastiesIndia Dynasties of India[]

Campaign appearances[]

The Vikings are the playable civilization in the six following scenarios:

They also appear in:

CampaignIcon-AttilaDE Attila the Hun[]

Battles of the Conquerors Icon Battles of the Conquerors[]

Vinlandsaga is played as the Vikings.

CampaignIcon-BariDE Bari[]

In the Definitive Edition:

VictorsAndVanquished Campaign Icon Victors and Vanquished[]

  • Scn 26 finehair Finehair
    • Norse - Ally
    • Southern Jarls - Enemy
    • Hordaland - Enemy
    • Western Sea Kings - Enemy
    • Danes - Enemy

In-game dialogue language[]

In-game, Viking units speak Old Norse, the North Germanic/Scandinavian language spoken by the Vikings. Old Norse is the ancestor of all the North Germanic/Scandinavian languages; Icelandic, Faroese, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, and Norn which was spoken in Orkney and Shetland. Icelandic is by far the closest language to Old Norse. It was formerly written with Younger Futhark and later written with the Latin alphabet.

Villager
Military
Monk
King

AI player names[]

When playing a random map game against the computer, the player may encounter any of the following Viking AI characters:

  • Chief Thorgest (ᛏᚼᚢᚱᚴᛁᛋᛏᚱ; died 845): Viking chief in Ireland. Launched conquests throughout Ireland as well as into Wales. He was defeated and vanquished by Irish King Niall.
  • Erik Bloodaxe (ᛁᛁᚱᛁᚴᚱ ᛒᛚᚢᚦᚬᚴᛋ; c. 885-954): Eric Haraldsson, ruled first over Norway, later over Northumbria as well. Grandson of Halfdan the Black.
  • Erik the Red (c. 950 – c. 1003): A Norse explorer known for the foundation of the first European settlement in Greenland. He is the main protagonist of the Vinlandsaga scenario.
  • Halfdan the Black (ᚼᛅᛚᚠᛏᛅᚾᚱ ᛋᚢᛅᚱᛏᛁ; c. 810-c. 860): King of Vestfold, known for subjugating many petty kingdoms in Norway throughout the ninth century. Father of Harald Fairhair (the first King of Norway). Grandfather of Erik Bloodax.
  • Harald Bluetooth (ᚼᛅᚱᛅᛚᛏ ᛒᛚᚬᛏᛅᚾᛏ; died c. 985): Danish king of Denmark and Norway, first introduced Christianity to Denmark. Father of Sweyn Forkbeard; mounted a revolt against him and drove him into exile.
  • Harald Hardrada (ᚼᛅᚱᛅᛚᛏᚱ ᚼᛅᚱᚦᚱᛅᚦᛁ; c. 1015-1066): Norwegian King, spent time in exile in Kievan Rus' and the Byzantine Empire before his ascent to the throne in 1046. Invaded England in 1066, but was killed in the Battle of Stamford Bridge.
  • Harald I Fairhair (ᚼᛅᚱᛅᛚᛏ ᚼᛅᚱᚠᛅᚴᚱᛁ; c. 850-932): Son of Halfdan the Black and considered the first king of Norway. His existence is widely debated.
  • King Godfred (ᚴᚬᛏᚠᚱᛁᛏ; died c. 985): Semi-legendary King of Denmark. Son of Siegfried. He supposedly killed by one of his own Huskarls.
  • Jarl Thorfinn of Orkney (ᚦᚬᚱᚠᛁᚾᚾᚱ; 1009?–c. 1065): Was an 11th-century Earl of Orkney. He was the youngest of five sons of Earl Sigurd Hlodvirsson and the only one resulting from Sigurd's marriage to a daughter of Malcolm II of Scotland.
  • Knut the Great (Knútr inn ríki; 990-1035): King of England from 1016, of Denmark from 1018, and of Norway from 1028 until his death. These kingdoms united under his rule are referred to together as the North Sea Empire by historians.
  • Magnus Olafsson (ᛘᛅᚴᚾᚢᛋ ᚢᛚᛅᚠᛋᛋᚬᚾ; died 1265): King of Mann and the Isles (1254–1265). The last king of the Crovan dynasty. Though a monarch in his own right, he paid tribute to Norwegian King Haakon IV.
  • Magnus the Strong (ᛘᛅᚴᚾᚢᛋ ᛏᛁᚾ ᛋᛏᚬᚱᚴᛁ; c. 1106-1134): Magnus I, King of Sweden. A tall, strong man, described as well-endowed by nature. He was defeated and killed at the Battle of Fotevik.
  • Olaf II Haraldson (ᚢᛚᛅᚠᚱ ᚼᛅᚱᛅᛚᛏᛋᛋᚬᚾ; 995-1030): King of Norway from 1015-1028. He was famous for temporarily freeing Norway of Danish domination; is now a symbol of Norwegian nationalism. He was canonized by the Roman Catholic Church.
  • Olaf Tryggvason (ᚢᛚᛅᚠᚢᚱ ᛏᚱᚢᚴᚴᚢᛅᛋᚬᚾ; died 1000): King of Norway from 995-1000. He was famous for spreading Christianity in Norway, and was killed at the battle of Svolder, which led to period of foreign domination over Norway.
  • Sigurd (ᛋᛁᚴᚢᚱᚦᚱ; c. 770-c. 804): Legendary Swedish King, supposedly defeated King Harald Wartooth of Denmark and conquered his land. Notably similar to Siegfried, the Danish King.
  • Svein Forkbeard (ᛋᚢᛁᛁᚾᚾ ᛏᚢᚢᚴᚢᛋᚴᛁᚴᚴ; 960-1014): King of Denmark from 986-1014. Son of Harald Bluetooth, came to power by deposing his father. He successfully invaded England, becoming its first Danish King in 1013.

The following AI players are only present before the Definitive Edition:

  • Canute IV (ᚴᚾᚢᛏ; c. 1042-1086): King of Denmark (1080-1086), ambitious ruler who aimed to increase the power of the Danish monarchy. He was canonized by the Roman Catholic Church in 1101.
  • Jarl Osbiorn (ᚬᛋᛒᛁᚬᚱᚾ): Danish Jarl (Earl). Brother of the Danish King Sweyn II, commanded Sweyn II's fleet.
  • Siegfried (ᛋᛁᚴᚠᚱᛁᛏ; died c. 804): Semi-legendary King of Denmark from about 770 until his death. Father of King Godfred.

History[]

The Vikings (meaning "northmen") were the last of the barbarian tribes called Germans by the Romans to terrorize Europe. Spreading out from their homelands in Scandinavia, they struck suddenly across the seas from their dragon boats (called such because of the dragon heads carved on the bow and stern). They began by raiding, pillaging, and withdrawing before any serious armed resistance could be mounted, but they gradually grew more bold. Eventually they occupied and settled significant parts of Europe.

Being pagan, they did not hesitate to kill churchmen and loot church holdings, and they were feared for their ruthlessness and ferocity. At the same time, they were remarkable craftsmen, sailors, explorers, and traders.



The Viking homelands were Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. They and their descendants controlled, at least temporarily, most of the Baltic Coast, much of inland Russia, Normandy in France, England, Sicily, southern Italy, and parts of Palestine. They discovered Iceland in 825 (Irish monks were there already) and settled there in 875. They colonized Greenland in 985. Some people think that the Vikings reached Newfoundland and explored part of North America 500 years before the voyage of Columbus.

Vikings began raiding and then settling along the eastern Baltic Sea in the sixth and seventh centuries. At the end of the eighth century, they were making long raids down the rivers of modern Russia and setting up forts along the way for defense. In the ninth century, they were ruling Kiev and in 907 a force of 2000 ships and 80,000 men attacked Constantinople. They were bought off by the emperor of Byzantium with very favorable terms of trade.

Vikings struck first in the West in the late eighth century. Danes attacked and looted the famous island monastery at Lindisfarne on the northeast coast of England, beginning a trend. The size and frequency of raids against England, France, Ireland and Germany increased to the point of becoming invasions. Settlements were established as bases for further raids. Viking settlements in northwestern France came to be known as Normandy ("from the northmen"), and the residents were called Normans.

In 865 a large Danish army invaded England, and they went on to hold much of England for the next two centuries. One of the last kings of all England before 1066 was Canute, who ruled Denmark and Norway simultaneously. In 871 another large fleet sailed up the Seine River to attack Paris. They besieged the city for two years before being bought off with a large cash payment and permission to loot part of western France unimpeded.

In 911 the French king made the Viking chief of Normandy a duke in return for converting to Christianity and ceasing to raid. From the Duchy of Normandy came a remarkable series of warriors, including William I, who conquered England in 1066, Robert Guiscard and his family, who took Sicily from the Arabs between 1060 and 1091, and Baldwin I, king of the crusader kingdom of Jerusalem.

Viking raids stopped at the end of the tenth century. Denmark, Sweden, and Norway had become kingdoms, and much of their king's energy was devoted to running their lands. The spread of Christianity weakened the old pagan warrior values, which died out. The Norse were also absorbed by the cultures into which they had intruded. The occupiers and conquerors of England became English, the Normans became French, and the Rus became Russians.[1]

Trivia[]

  • The Vikings' civilization icon is based on the raven banner.
  • The user interface image in the Definitive Edition displays a vegvísir, an Icelandic magical stave intended to help the bearer find their way through rough weather.
  • The King has a lost voice clip (Move 4).
  • The Wonder of the Vikings is a church. In reality, though, the Vikings of the Viking Age were predominantly polytheistic pagans. Mass Christianization of the Scandinavian peninsula took place in the early 12th century, by which point the Viking Age was long over.
  • The following heroes available in the Scenario Editor are themed on the Vikings: Erik the Red, Hrolf the Ganger, Siegfried, Harald Hardrada (and his older removed version Harold Haardraade), Jarl, and Leif Erikson. Also, The Middlebrook is an entirely modern reference, but does use a Viking Longboat model.
  • For years, the Vikings have been one of the most banned civilizations in several tournaments due to their extremely effective economy in the early game, thanks to their free Wheelbarrow and Hand Cart technologies, which also translates into a solid and consistent Villager and military production in the Imperial Age, despite having very limited military options on land maps (mostly to archers and, particularly, their powerful infantry). In addition, the Vikings are tied with the Italians as the strongest and most effective civilization on water maps thanks to their discount on warships and Docks, as well having a strong unique warship.
    • In many tournaments, the Vikings were normally played as an archer civilization: they used to have access to fully upgradable Arbalesters, and their solid economy allows them to commit to an archer rush strategy with the option of an early Imperial Age push with Arbalesters and Siege Rams. This may explain why update 56005 removed Thumb Ring in exchange for their infantry health bonus being buffed, as the Vikings were originally designed to be an infantry rush civilization rather than an archer rush civilization. After the loss of Thumb Ring, the Vikings were not as powerful as before in land maps even with their infantry buffed. Despite still having high win rates, they were one of the least picked civilizations in high-level tournaments. They regained their strength in Arbalesters with their new unique technology, which was comparable in strength to Thumb Ring. This ensured that their great economy was not abused with Archer-play in the mid-game.
  • The Vikings and Dravidians are the only two civilizations capable of building Stables that lack both Stable technologies.
  • The Warship discount bonus applied to Transport Ships ever since release until update 73855, despite them not being a military unit. This ambiguity was more pronounced with the new Korean bonus, whose discount military units which did not include Transport Ships.
  • The Vikings' fully upgradable Castles could be a reference to their historical ring fortresses, although their design was remarkably different from a typical in-game Castle.

Gallery[]

Notes[]

  1. As in, they have Central European architecture. The Vikings are originally from Northern Europe.

References[]

Civilizations in Age of Empires II
Categorised by architecture sets
AfricanEthiopians AoE2 Ethiopians · Malians AoE2 Malians
Central AsianCumans AoE2 Cumans · Tatars AoE2 Tatars
Central EuropeanGoths AoE2 Goths · Huns AoE2 Huns · Teutons AoE2 Teutons · Vikings AoE2 Vikings
East AsianChinese AoE2 Chinese · Japanese AoE2 Japanese · Koreans AoE2 Koreans · Mongols AoE2 Mongols · Vietnamese AoE2 Vietnamese
Eastern EuropeanBohemians AoE2 Bohemians · Bulgarians AoE2 Bulgarians · Lithuanians AoE2 Lithuanians · Magyars AoE2 Magyars · Poles AoE2 Poles · Slavs AoE2 Slavs
MediterraneanArmenians AoE2 Armenians · Byzantines AoE2 Byzantines · Georgians AoE2 Georgians · Italians AoE2 Italians · Portuguese AoE2 Portuguese · Romans AoE2 Romans · Sicilians AoE2 Sicilians · Spanish AoE2 Spanish
Middle EasternBerbers AoE2 Berbers · Persians AoE2 Persians · Saracens AoE2 Saracens · Turks AoE2 Turks
Native AmericanAztecs AoE2 Aztecs · Incas AoE2 Incas · Mayans AoE2 Mayans
South Asian/IndianBengalis AoE2 Bengalis · Dravidians AoE2 Dravidians · Gurjaras AoE2 Gurjaras · Hindustanis AoE2 Hindustanis · Indians AoE2 Indians (removed)
Southeast AsianBurmese AoE2 Burmese · Khmer AoE2 Khmer · Malay AoE2 Malay
Western EuropeanBritons AoE2 Britons · Burgundians AoE2 Burgundians · Celts AoE2 Celts · Franks AoE2 Franks
Categorised by expansions
AoE2-DLCicon-0 The Age of KingsBritons AoE2 Britons · Byzantines AoE2 Byzantines · Celts AoE2 Celts · Chinese AoE2 Chinese · Franks AoE2 Franks · Goths AoE2 Goths · Japanese AoE2 Japanese · Mongols AoE2 Mongols · Persians AoE2 Persians · Saracens AoE2 Saracens · Teutons AoE2 Teutons · Turks AoE2 Turks · Vikings AoE2 Vikings
AoE2-DLCicon-1 The ConquerorsAztecs AoE2 Aztecs · Huns AoE2 Huns · Koreans AoE2 Koreans · Mayans AoE2 Mayans · Spanish AoE2 Spanish
AoE2-DLCicon-2 The ForgottenIncas AoE2 Incas · Indians AoE2 Indians (removed) · Italians AoE2 Italians · Magyars AoE2 Magyars · Slavs AoE2 Slavs
AoE2-DLCicon-3 The African KingdomsBerbers AoE2 Berbers · Ethiopians AoE2 Ethiopians · Malians AoE2 Malians · Portuguese AoE2 Portuguese
AoE2-DLCicon-4 Rise of the RajasBurmese AoE2 Burmese · Khmer AoE2 Khmer · Malay AoE2 Malay · Vietnamese AoE2 Vietnamese
AoE2-DLCicon-5 The Last KhansBulgarians AoE2 Bulgarians · Cumans AoE2 Cumans · Lithuanians AoE2 Lithuanians · Tatars AoE2 Tatars
AoE2Icon-LordsWest Lords of the WestBurgundians AoE2 Burgundians · Sicilians AoE2 Sicilians
Dawn of the Dukes icon Dawn of the DukesBohemians AoE2 Bohemians · Poles AoE2 Poles
AoE2Icon-DynastiesIndia Dynasties of IndiaBengalis AoE2 Bengalis · Dravidians AoE2 Dravidians · Gurjaras AoE2 Gurjaras · Hindustanis AoE2 Hindustanis
AoE2Icon-ReturnRome Return of RomeRomans AoE2 Romans
AoE2Icon-MountainRoyals The Mountain RoyalsArmenians AoE2 Armenians · Georgians AoE2 Georgians
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