The Vikings are primarily an offensive civilization with strong infantry and an effective navy.
Strengths[edit | edit source]
Their infantry have increased hit points which aids in pitched battles. Their unique unit is the Berserk, a powerful infantry unit with a high attack and hit point with the ability to regenerate lost hit points, slowly, over time. Berserks are good at destroying buildings and can combat other melee units effectively. Since they regenerate, they can survive prolonged combat without the need of Monks supporting them. However, even with this regeneration, Berserks are still vulnerable to ranged units and other units that possess a large attack. The Vikings also have a strong navy, having a naval unique unit, the Longboat. Longboats fire volleys of arrows and are capable of defeating almost any naval unit. In addition, their docks are cheaper to build and their ships are cheaper to create. The Vikings also get Wheelbarrow and Hand Cart for free, boosting their mid-game economy for different strategies. One last thing to note is that the Vikings' defense is surprisingly good with Fortified Wall, Architecture, Hoardings, and Heated Shot.
Weaknesses[edit | edit source]
The Vikings lack many important Monastery technologies like Sanctity, have limited light and heavy cavalry (they lack Hussars, Paladins, Heavy Cavalry Archers, and lots of cavalry upgrades such as Bloodlines, Husbandry and Plate Barding Armor), have no Halberdiers (though the extra HP for pikeman cover this to some extent), no gunpowder units or Towers (except Cannon Galleon and Elite Cannon Galleon), no Siege Onagers, and no Fire Ships (but the Longboat can more than make up for this).
Their Berserk aren't always reliable in terms of melee combat. While they can slowly regenerate their extremely high hit points, other unique units that are not weak to melee can eventually overrun them.
Despite being depicted as a naval civilization, Vikings are surprisingly vulnerable in the Feudal Age water combat because they have no access to the Fire Galley-line. This in turn puts Vikings at a disadvantage when confronting a naval army consisting mainly of Fire Galleys. Although the Demolition Raft can counter Fire Galley in theory, the Demolition Raft needs a lot of micromanagement to be used effectively, and cannot be used repeatedly. So unless they can mass their warships early by taking advantage of their cheaper cost, Vikings player ideally shouldn't stay in the Feudal Age for too long.
Strategy[edit | edit source]
Viking are one of the most, if not the most, powerful civilization on water maps. Their dock bonus and the discount for all their warships allows for them to take control of the sea earlier than other civilizations. Vikings are perfectly capable to perform sea rushes in maps like archipelago and islands with their cheaper galleys from the Feudal Age. Despite the fact that their discount bonus was modified in "The Forgotten", they can still do this. Their longboats are perfectly capable to take down almost all kinds of ships in a unit vs unit combat, but they perform better if massed since these unique vessels can be created very quickly and each one shoots multiple arrows.
On land Viking players must focus on their infantry, and are able to perform infantry rushes from the Feudal Age. Normally a Viking player will go for an Infantry Flush (feudal rush) on maps that have no seas or water. The extra hp for their infantry improves this tactic but other than that, it will be a standard rush. Sadly, Vikings are a lot less versatile on land than on water but if managed well they can thrive in non water maps, and should always try a rushing tactic in the early game. They get Wheelbarrow and Hand Cart for free, slightly boosting their middle game economy. While the Vikings have one of the worst cavalry in game due to lacking key important technologies (Bloodlines, Husbandry, Paladin, Hussars and Plate Barding Armor), the Vikings can still pull off a viable (but suboptimal when compared to Huns, Berbers, and Mongols) Knight rush in the game thanks to their strong economic bonuses, meaning the Vikings can pump out Knights much sooner and in higher numbers thanks to the Wheelbarrow and Hand Cart free upgrades.
Vikings are probably at their strongest in the Castle Age once they get Berserks and longboats. Berserks can heal themselves slowly, allowing a Viking player to not create supporting monks in battle. Berserks must be paired with other infantry units at this point, and also have some range support from siege units and archers. Gathering Infantry units in rams for a siege is also a viable tactic for the Vikings. Viking infantry units are also able to become cannon fodder as they can take a lot of damage before dying.
Strategy changes in The Forgotten[edit | edit source]
Berserks are more useful in this expansion. Chieftains gives an attack bonus against cavalry, making them a powerful counter-unit, Berserkergang now costs 850 food and 400 gold (from 500 food and 850 gold), making this improvement cheaper than in The Conquerors. Their base HP and their training time are also improved.
Their naval bonuses (cheaper ships and cheaper dock) was changed too, but in this case reduced those bonuses; the cost bonus for their ships is now staggered and the team bonus for the dock was reduced to 15%. However the cost for the Longboat was reduced to 90 wood 40 gold (from 100 wood 50 gold).
Strategy changes in The African Kingdoms[edit | edit source]
As there were introduced 2 new ships, Vikings get a distinctive advantage from these new introductions as they can spam the Demolition raft for a lower cost than other Civilizations since Feudal Age (they lack the Fire Galley). The cost of their longboats in the other hand is restored to their original cost but no longer requires a castle to access them.
Chieftains Technology cost was reduced significantly, additionally the bonus against cavalry has been raised from +4 to +5.
Strategy changes in Rise of the Rajas[edit | edit source]
Chieftains now applies to all infantry units, meaning that the Militia line also possesses some utility against cavalry. Also, Pikemen now become stronger versus cavalry as well, especially against Cataphracts.
Strategy changes in the Definitive Edition[edit | edit source]
Supplies was added to every civilization except the Goths. As this reduces the cost of the Militia-line infantry, it makes a Feudal Age rush with Men-at-Arms more appealing, especially for a civilization like the Vikings which has infantry with more hit points. Also, their Champions will be more easily massed in the later stages of the game.
Alliances[edit | edit source]
Vikings make perfect allies on water maps. Their cheaper Dock bonus helps them and their allies control the waterways sooner than the enemy team early in the game. Their Longboats and other cheaper ships are invaluable on any water map. Their tougher infantry also is a great for keeping control on land.
Vikings should be paired with other strong navy civilizations on water maps, such as Koreans, Japanese, Persians and Saracens. From among strong naval civilizations, the Malay are probably the best pick as allies for the Vikings; the far-sighted docks can be used to build up vigilant, fast-response garrison fleets, and in return, Malay players can build up their own coastal defense network for a bargain price. The Japanese team bonus (+2 line of sight for Galleys) also helps the Viking early game water rush and scouting. The Berbers may not seem as an obvious option for an alliance, as Viking Genitours will not be any special, but as they have a good navy they can also benefit from the Viking team Bonus, while at the same time enabling their Viking ally to faster spam their Berserks, Trebuchets, and Petards through the implementation of the Kasbah technology, plus their own Genitours to support infantry. The Malians don't have any direct bonus to their navy (and has a pretty lacking late-game navy), but they do have overall cheaper buildings, as they have a wood discount on them, so when allied with Vikings, the Malian Docks cost drops even more (15% + 15% for a total 30% discount). Also, Vikings have almost all University upgrades (only lacking Keep and Bombard Tower), and the Malian team bonus boost their research speed, so a Malian-Viking alliance works pretty well, especially in water maps. In exchange for bargain-price Docks, Sicilian allies provide their Viking teammates enhanced Transport Ships with extra defenses and capacity, and this particular synergy may allow for early landings for both teammates.
Portuguese allies are also fantastic teammates for the Vikings: they grant free Cartography upgrade for their Viking allies in order to conduct effective early joint-rushes, either on land or water maps, solid economy powered by their Feitorias, in exchange for bargain price Docks to produce extra warships with the Carrack upgrade, especially Caravels with piercing attack.
Being a civilization with bad cavalry and lacking gunpowder, giving the Vikings a gunpowder civilization (such as Spanish) or a cavalry/elephant civilization (such as Franks for the former and Burmese for the latter) as allies may aid them, especially in the late-game. Vikings also benefit greatly from infantry-focused team bonuses. In that regard, Goths are a perfect teammate, as they provide +20% faster Barracks. Italian Condottieri have more hit points for the Viking player. They can take care of enemy gunpowder units, which are dangerous to Viking infantry and ships. The strong Italian navy and archers make a good synergy with the Viking army.
A Vietnamese ally grants the Vikings extra bag of tricks: gold subsidy from Paper Money provides them decent bankroll for extra Berserks and longboats; Imperial Skirmisher upgrade gifts them another wise choice against enemy archers and cavalry archers alike, as well as they can address the locations of the opponents for early aggression.
Compared advantages and disadvantages[edit | edit source]
Advantages vs other civilizations[edit | edit source]
Disadvantages vs other civilizations[edit | edit source]
Situational advantages[edit | edit source]