|This article is about the civilization in Age of Empires II. For their appearance in Age of Mythology, see Norse.|
The Vikings were best known for being advent sailors and for establishing settlements and colonies in the Northern Atlantic in Greenland and Newfoundland, hundreds of years before the arrivals of other European explorers (first settlement in 985). They were also known for bringing fear among several European communities since they would raid small villages unexpectedly. As a result, their navy and infantry are among the finest in the game and have a unique unit in both branches.
Contrary to popular belief, spread through 19th and 20th centuries' popular culture, the Vikings did not actually wear spiked or horned helmets, but they refrained from trimming their head and facial hair to give the look of a big, scary, and hairy beast. This is reflected by their unique unit, the Berserk, and their unique technology that benefits them. Furthermore, their infantry, including the Berserk, have more health.
The Vikings also excelled at naval warfare and tactics, and mastered the art of various types of sailing. Therefore, their other unique unit is the Longboat which is a well-constructed slim boat that gracefully shoots through the water and fires volleys of arrows. To further emphasize their ability as fine shipbuilders, all Viking ships cost fewer resources, and their team bonus allows Docks to be built for less wood as well.
Overview[edit | edit source]
The Vikings are a naval and infantry civilization. Their ships are indeed excellent, coming with a discount which offsets the lack of Shipwright and an excellent unique unit to reinforce their navy. The absence of even Fire Galleys should be noted, though, as it can be a disadvantage early on when Longboats are not yet available. Despite lacking the Halberdier upgrade, their infantry is excellent as well with all upgrades, additional HP, and an excellent unique technology that improves their performance when engaging cavalry units. The latter are very weak for the Vikings themselves, though. Lacking upgrades across the board, most notably Plate Barding Armor and Bloodlines as well as all final tier upgrades, it is hard to justify their use. Their Cavalry Archers are also not worth considering, but their foot archers definitely are as their Arbalesters get all upgrades. Their other unique unit, the Berserk, is an excellent all-purpose infantry warrior that heal itself, but also Age of Empires II's most expensive units to fully upgrade. Viking siege weapons are somewhat lacking, and their Monks are simply bad. Their defensive structures are not a particular highlight either, but their Castle at least gets all upgrades. Their economy excels at early Castle Age, but lacks before mid Feudal Age unless it is a water map.
Campaign appearances[edit | edit source]
The Vikings have 2 scenarios devoted to their civilization. Vindlandsaga from the Battles of the Conquerors campaign depicts Erik the Red who is the must survive hero unit during the conquest of Britain, Greenland and founding the new world in North America. York from the Battles of the Forgotten is about Ragnar Lodbrok's sons who arrive on the British Isles to avenge the death of their father against Ælla of Northumbria. They also appear in:
Characteristics[edit | edit source]
Unique units[edit | edit source]
Unique technologies[edit | edit source]
Civilization bonuses[edit | edit source]
Team bonus[edit | edit source]
Changelog[edit | edit source]
The Age of Kings[edit | edit source]
The Conquerors[edit | edit source]
The Forgotten[edit | edit source]
The African Kingdoms[edit | edit source]
Rise of the Rajas[edit | edit source]
Definitive Edition[edit | edit source]
In-game dialogue language[edit | edit source]
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 is formerly written with Younger Futhark and later written with Latin alphabet.
AI player names[edit | edit source]
History[edit | edit source]
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, 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.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
Gallery[edit | edit source]
Video overview[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]