The scenario has a map notable for its large size, portraying the entirety of British Isles including Great Britain, Ireland and Isle of Man. Due to the enormous map size and a large number of units (the population limit is 200 and there are seven opponents), this may be the most demanding scenario in the whole game, so it is a plus to have quite a strong CPU in your computer.
All the seven realms featured in-game are set to be enemies. It is not possible to change the diplomatic stance with them and as such, they will be sorted according to the geographic area to which they are sited.
- Mercia (Britons) - The Kingdom of Mercia controls central England, and borders with Northumbria to the north and Wessex to the south. Also controls (quite erroneously) Wales. It has the highest score among opponents.
- Wessex (Goths) - Wessex controls the entirety of south England and Cornwalls, and borders with East Anglia and Mercia. It is the second strongest kingdom in this scenario.
- Northumbria (Celts) - Controls north England, including the namesake city of York, found to the south of the player's starting position. Borders with Strathclyde to the north, Mercia to the south, and East Anglia to the southeast.
- East Anglia (Britons) - A minor realm that controls the namesake region of East Anglia, to the southwest of the city of York. Borders Wessex to the south, and Mercia to the west.
- Strathclyde / Britons, Scots, and Wales in the Definitive Edition (Celts) - Controls the entirety of Scotland. A weak player and one of the two enemies to begin in the Feudal Age, rather than in the Castle Age. However, in the Definitive Edition, this player also controls parts of England and the entirety of Wales.
- Ui Neill / Northern Irish Kingdoms in the Definitive Edition (Celts) - A famous Irish dynasty, they control north Ireland, as well as a Monastery in the Isle of Man, that is guarded by a Monk, six Spearman, two Militia and two Skirmisher. Notable for starting in the Feudal Age, like Strathclyde.
- Munster / Southern Irish Kingdoms in the Definitive Edition (Celts) - The second Irish realm to appear on this map, it controls most of south Ireland.
The player starts with a small landing party, and the objective is to build a base. This can be done anywhere, but it's wise to choose a spot that can be defended properly but has options for expansion. The Isle of Man has the advantage of being an island and granting a free Castle upon destroying the Monastery located at its center (though landing parties can be a problem), but it doesn't have many resources. A base in the south of Ireland or on the north of Scotland may be harder to defend at the start, but better in the long run, especially when the player can secure an enemy Market and use it for trading.
As soon as the buildings given in the objectives are completed, the player must wait 15 minutes, then 40 Elite Longboats will join them.
- Note: In the Definitive Edition, there is no building construction objectives. The moment a Town Center is completed, a timer will begin after which the fleet will arrive.
After that, the objective to win the game will be to fulfill either of the following:
- To take vengeance on King Aella and prove the superiority of the Norse Gods, destroy the palace in the Northumbrian city of York and replace it with a temple to Odin (wonder) of your own.
- Capture 15 relics and place them on your monasteries. (there are 23 in the map)
- Accumulate a sum of 50 000 gold- weregild for Ragnar's death.
- Defeat five of your seven enemies (Northumbria, East Anglia, Mercia, Wessex, Strathclyde, Ui Neill and Munster).
Since the opponents may become more aggressive after the main army arrives, it may be wise to wait with building a Barracks. Actually this may not be necessary, since the (Elite) Berserks from the castle are much better. In this case, the player will have to do without Squires, but that is a very minor disadvantage. Without building a Barracks, the player can also circumvent the objectives: if they want to conquer the whole map in a slow and bloody way, they would be winning prematurely e.g. by hitting the 50 000 gold mark relatively soon.
The fully developed Elite Berserks are well suited to send out on raids because they heal by themselves and are strong against everything. Ships can also wreak a lot of havoc, because there is not only a long coastline but they can also sail inland on many rivers. Though Cannon Galleons are not available (that would really make it too easy), a pack of Elite Longboats is well suited to harass the enemy heavily.
- Oddly enough, Mercia also controls Wales. This is highly erroneous, as the region was rather dominated by Brythonic/Welsh kingdoms, such as Gwynedd. This is possibly because the scenario's player slots is full and can't add anymore players for Wales.
- The fact Wessex is represented by the Goths rather than the Britons may be a reference to the Hastings scenario, where the Anglo-Saxons are represented in turn by the same civilization.
- The Wonder of the Vikings is referred to as a temple of the Germanic/Norse god Odin, but it's based on a (Christian) church.