Northgard Articles RSS Feed | Northgard RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network RTS Games to Play While Waiting for Warcraft 3 Reforged Tue, 14 Jan 2020 11:57:06 -0500 Ty Arthur


What's your favorite RTS game to chill out with while waiting on Warcraft 3: Reforged? Sound off in the comments below, and we'll see you in the lobby when it finally lands January 28!


Of course, with the remake coming soon, we're left wondering: is a true successor ever going to come from Blizzard? Will we ever get Warcraft 4


Knowing Blizzard's track record with canceling anticipated projects and the timeline on the company actually releasing follow-ups to major franchises, we won't hold our breath.


Sins Of A Solar Empire: Rebellion


Love both turn-based 4X expansion games and fast-paced RTS titles? You get both with Sins Of A Solar Empire, and its a winning combination.


Even before diving into the modding community, the replayability available here is simply huge, and somehow, Rebellion is still getting new patches, updates, and events from the development team eight years after its initial launch.


This is an old one, but one that should be at the top of your list if you've never played it. 


A Year Of Rain


When looking for an experience very similar to the original Warcraft 3: Reign Of Chaos, it doesn't get much closer than A Year Of Rain. The influence and inspiration it takes from Warcraft 3 is very clear, but the twist here is that you can play co-op as a team of two.


The only thing to keep in mind before jumping into A Year Of Rain is that this is an Early Access and unfinished release. There's a lot of potential here, but you have to see it. There's still lots of room for improvement overall.


Seven Kingdoms Ancient Adversaries


There aren't many super-old-school games that manage to effectively work in espionage and diplomacy to the standard RTS conquer formula. But Ancient Adversaries pulls it off.


Managing your population and morale is just as important as amassing overwhelming force, and you've actually have to think about what you will do with a conquered area after taking it over.


As a game that came out in the late 1990s, Ancient Adversaries is a little clunky due to an aging UI, but it's still worth it for fans of old-school RTS titles.


Creeper World 3: Arc Eternal


A mix of tower defense and RTS, Creeper World 3 is radically different than the rest of the games on our list, but still well worth playing if you want to try something new.


Instead of hordes of orcs or stormtroopers, here, you are basically fighting a spilled liquid that terraforms the terrain. Your goal is to stop its relentless advance and eventually fight back to take out the source. It's somewhat like Plague Inc., with a nefarious virus-like substance polluting the land. 


There's a lot more strategy to it than you might think, though, and the number of levels and playthrough styles on offer are staggering. With a level editor included, you could easily sink a very silly number of hours into mastering every aspect of Creeper World 3.


The Tone Rebellion


Since releasing back in 1997, there has never been an RTS quite like this one, and it baffles me there's never been a remake or sequel in all that time.


Very much a product of its time, The Tone Rebellion features a quasi-3D style that will bring to mind contemporaries like Alien Legacy or Septerra Core.


As a leader of the jellyfish-style Floaters, your goal is to free your people from the tentacles of the mighty Leviathan. With light RPG elements and a totally different faction selection than your typical RTS, this is a game that deserved more attention than it ever got.


Sadly, this is one of those classic games that never made it to digital outlets. Your only options now are to find a disc floating around somewhere or hit up an abandonware site. Make sure to give it a vote on the GOG community wishlist page if you want to see it make a proper digital return!


Age Of Empires 3


Plenty of gamers still look with rose-colored glasses at Age Of Empires 2 as the pinnacle of the series. And yeah, it had a lot going for it back in the day. Hell, the game's been re-released twice, with the latest Definitive Edition bringing brand-new campaigns and civs to the game. 


For something a little different, though, I recommend hitting up the sequel if you haven't played it yet or just want a historical game in the RTS genre.


The time periods and locations on display here aren't often explored in the real-time strategy genre, skipping around from Spanish knights in the 16th Century to various First Nations conflicts, the American Revolution, and even the Indian Rebellion in the 1850s.


That's not to mention several new series' mechanics make AoE 3 well-worth checking out. 


Tooth and Tail


Ready for a tale of riots, revolution, and meat, my furry comrade? Imagine if Fievel Mousekewitz and his clan decided to stay home and devour their oppressors while overthrowing the bourgeois instead of moving to America and you've got Tooth & Tail.


Many of the traditional RTS base building elements are turned on their heads here, resulting in fast-paced matches as the Longcoats, Commonfolk, KSR, and Civilized factions engage in a war of supremacy to discover who gets to eat tonight. 


If you dig anthropomorphic mice fighting for justice (whether Mouse Guard or Redwall), you'll have a good time here.


Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2


If you like the ship-to-ship combat of Empire At War and want to skip the ground-based skirmishes altogether, then the Battlefleet Gothic series is the way to go.


While most of the Warhammer 40K games are based around space marines or various alien factions engaged in wars of attrition on various planets, these titles finally give the Imperial Navy its proper due.


From the killer ship designs to the unique space-based maps, there's a ton to love for Games Workshop fans here, although the PvP and skirmish modes are probably more fun than the campaign in the longterm.


Star Wars: Empire At War


If you somehow missed it, yes, there is in fact a proper real time strategy Star Wars title set during the rebellion era, and it is absolutely as awesome as that sounds like it would be.


Whether moving resistance soldiers through the rainy wilderness to take down a shield generator or commanding a fleet of Star Destroyers to destroy rebel X-Wing scum, Empire At War is pretty much everything you could want from an RTS Star Wars game.


While the base campaign is fun, the real goods are found in the modding community. Devoted fans have painstakingly recreated the Clone Wars and other famous eras of franchise history, which vastly increases your potential play time.




Viking-themed RTS? Sign me up! The fact that this one is from the indie developer behind the clever Evoland titles is just icing on the cake.


Northgard has less micromanagement than other fast-paced strategy entries, and it has a more "board-game" feel to it. But it's still most definitely a real-time game that can blow away large chunks of your time. 


In another fun twist, Northgard works in some interesting Catan-style elements for a different economy and resource management system. It also has some decent "expansions" worth checking out. 


Company Of Heroes 2


A unique take on historical strategy, Company Of Heroes 2 offers a slightly different focus than most of the other RTS games on our list.


Starting as the Russian army moves in to break the German forces, this tactical look at WWII features an infantry creation and management system that has been shifted and streamlined from the typical strategy game. 


CoH2 has a solid balance of objective-based gameplay and RTS front-line conquering. While extremely intense because of the subject matter, Company Of Heroes 2 still has enough entertaining gameplay elements to keep you hooked and playing for hours. It, like Dawn of War, is often part of quarterly sales on Steam and GoG. 


Dawn Of War


Somehow, the Games Workshop license still hasn't managed to produce a better 40K real-time strategy game than this ancient (and let's be honest, kinda' ugly) entry from Relic Entertainment.


While a lot of fans were enamored in the first few days, the luster of Dawn Of War 3 wore off pretty quickly. Between bugs in the campaign and the fact that the single-player mode was basically a tutorial for the game's mutliplayer component, things went downhill fast.


Skip that title in the series and come back to this hallowed classic instead. The story campaign of the original Dawn Of War is still incredibly solid for its age.


If you just want to jump into some RTS action and take over territory, though, both the standalone Dark Crusade and/or Soulstorm "expansions" are the way to go. You can grab all of them at Steam or GOG for a very reasonable price these days.


Ready for the re-imagined Warcraft 3: Reforged to finally hit the launcher? We've only been waiting 18 years for a proper return to Azeroth in all its RTS glory. And now, it's nearly here!


After Starcraft: Remastered arrived back in 2017, it shouldn't have been much of a shock that Warcraft 3: Reign Of Chaos would get an overhaul next. Frankly, it needed one. While the cut scenes were gritty look and the mechanics solid, the actual gameplay featured a cartoonish graphical aesthetic that didn't quite match the dark story set in the world of Azeroth. 


We still have a few weeks until we can finally return to fight for orcish independence, though, so in the meantime, you might want to polish your classic RTS skills with a few rounds of skirmishes. With that in mind, we've rounded up all the top real-time strategy games to play if you just can't wait for Reforged to arrive at the end of January.


We're going with mostly classic titles here either because they came out decades ago, or just emulate that old-school style with a few more modern entries as well to round things out.


Let's command and conquer! 

Northgard Ragnarok Update Review: The End of Days Isn't So Apocalyptic Sat, 06 Oct 2018 11:21:24 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Ragnarok. The end of days. 

In Norse mythology, Ragnarok is a time of great tribulation and hardship. It is a time of violence and difficulty. Ragnarok, as it seems, is when the gods kick you in the ass. 

If you've played enough Northgard, you know that even on its hardest setting, it's never been a truly difficult strategy game. Although it's immensely fun to play, I've always seen Northgard as a casual, more laid-back RTS experience. 

Hoping for something of a difficulty spike, I jumped into the game's new update with gusto. But despite its foreboding moniker, Ragnarok doesn't make Northgard any harder than its ever been. As soon as you figure out the gods aren't as clever as they think, gaining victory comes as it has many times before. 

In some ways, that's not a bad thing. But with such high hopes ahead of release, it's a bit of a letdown that more risks weren't taken. 

Three warriors in red stand next to a snow covered trading post by the shore

More Like DLC

If you're looking for it, Ragnarok brings plenty of new content to Northgard.

When you boot up, you'll find a new option for the update after choosing singleplayer in the main menu. Select your clan, and you're loaded into the new Ragnarok map, a terribly (and aptly) desolate place covered in the drab brown and grey overtones of the apocalypse. 

From there, things begin differently enough. 

Resource Priorities Have Changed

The biggest change you'll immediately notice is that early-game resources such as food and lumber are scant -- and you can only gain food by foraging or hunting (unless you're playing as Clan Fenrir, of course).

This one wrinkle can -- and probably will -- completely change your strategy; where you might have once expanded toward fertile land and then areas with stone or iron, you'll now find yourself quickly seeking out the map's few hunting areas to quickly establish a foothold. 

It's a dynamic mix-up I found refreshing for the first several matches, but ultimately one that led to rote repetition in subsequent games, specifically if I never deviated from the optimum path of my own accord.  

I also quickly found that Ragnarok is easy peasy if you play with a clan like The Raven, which has the ability to annex land via Krowns instead of food. By building enough marketplaces and trading posts alongside a savvy trade route or two, you can easily circumvent the primary obstacles inherent to the map and glide to victory. 

Ghostly fallen sailors attack a Northgard settlement from the sea

Ghosts, Raiders, Volcanoes, Oh My

Not everything comes up roses. 

One thing that does shake things up quite a bit is the addition of new events and enemy types. If you're like me and consistently go for Wisdom or Trade victories, completely ignoring your warband in the process, that changes here. 

In many ways, it's essential you build a relatively robust warband of at least 12 warriors and one hero unit. Not only will that help you defend against wolves, Draugr, and other players but also against Fallen Sailors and the Myrkalfar, or Dark Elves.

The former damage sponges present a dire threat as they attack from the sea in numbers and not only bring strife but also unhappiness to your territory, causing your workers to be less productive. The latter are more nagging, launching raids on "random players" (read: you) each year stealing resources from your stores and leaving a few warriors dead if you're not careful. 

But by far one of the most interesting new enemies comes from the molten rocks spewed forth by the unconquerable volcano in the middle of the Ragnarok map.

Like other random events, the volcano will erupt, sending ash across the sky and darkening the map for a time. This darkness hides the stone golems that have indiscriminately on the map. At first they look like simple boulders, but if you don't mine them fast enough, they'll morph into raucous golems bent of your destruction.  

Couple that with a random rat infestation and Gates to Helheim, and you're in for a devastating ride.

An overlay showing the three military paths new to Ragnarok

Way of the Warrior

If you've not yet guessed, Ragnarok more the pushes you toward a Domination victory, for better or worse. The incentive is increased by the new Military Paths system, which gives your warband XP for every enemy killed. 

Depending on your playstyle, points rack up quickly, giving you access to three different paths: Tactician, Guardian, and Conqueror. Within each of these three paths there are three buffs that unlock at certain XP levels. Some provide increased health while others instill fear into the hearts of your enemies. 

The Guardian is the clearcut choice, though, because it increases your warband by one for every guard tower you have built (and by two if that guard tower is upgraded). Since you can -- and certainly should -- build guard towers in each section of your territory for protection, you can save some space on Training Camps and resources on upgrading them. 

So while Military Paths are interesting, there's never really any reason to pick anything but Guardian. Ever. 

Oh, and there's also something called a Bloodmoon, which increases the attack power of every unit outside of its territory. This is perfect for attacking other settlements, but since I've only gotten one once in a few matches (and wasn't close enough to another camp to test it out) I can't exactly say if it works as advertised or note. 

The Verdict

At the end of the day, Northgard's newest update is a mixed bag. On paper, all of the added content adds dynamic new layers to an already fun RTS. In practice, the number of occurrences feels unbalanced and the Ragnarok map is just, well, drab. 

Since the update is free, it kind of feels a bit ungrateful to gripe at all. But with all its potential not maximized, it feels like all that tribulation and hardship is a bit for naught. 

Ragnarok Will Soon Descend on Northgard in New, Free Update Mon, 01 Oct 2018 15:19:47 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Since its release on Steam Early Access back in 2017, Northgard has received steady updates from developer Shiro Games. Whether it was the game's highly-anticipated multiplayer component or new clans such as Bjarki or Slidrugtanni, Northgard has steadily improved over its lifespan and has sold 800,000 copies to date. 

While Shiro shipped the Snake Clan DLC back in July, the developers have just revealed that something else has also been in the works and will soon arrive to ravage the shores of Northgard: Ragnarok. 

Although we don't currently have a firm release date for the free DLC, we do know a little about what the update will include.

For starters, there will be a new map devastated only by what the developers call a "cataclysm." Though vague by itself, it's clear that resources won't be easy to come by; regions of the map will sparse of food and lumber and new tiles will introduce creative obstacles. 

The map will also introduce new events, such as invasions by metaphysical enemies, as well as previously uncovered secrets and a new faction, the Mythkälfer. 

However, one of the more intriguing elements will be the update's addition of the Military Paths battle mechanic. This essentially acts as a relatively small revision to the game's battle mechanics, where players can unlock new talents by filling up an experience bar. There will be three paths, each of which will have its own pros and cons. 

There is currently no release date for the Ragnarok update. However, since sources have said it was to originally release by the "end of September," it's safe to say its release is just around the corner. 

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news and information on Northgard's Ragnarok update as it develops, as well as our Ragnarok beta impressions in the coming days. 

Northgard Release Date Set for March 7 Tue, 20 Feb 2018 11:58:42 -0500 Nicolas Entrabartolo

By Odin's beard!  Northgard just got an official release date. Though it has been sitting in early access for a little over a year, Northgard was just announced to open fully on March 7, 2018. On Steam, you can acquire the game for $29.99.

Follow along with Rig, son of the recently deceased High King of the Vikings, and his close friend Brand through 11 chapters of a single-player campaign, to investigate the murder of his father and the theft of a regal horn. You will journey to Northgard, a land filled with monsters and new allies.

The multiplayer aspect was featured in the early access, allowing players to kill others, research lore, or make a lot of gold. From performing great deeds, you gain a prestige victory, granting you the rank of king. Along with this rank, you can construct a wonder to glorify your legacy.

Be sure to stay tuned to GameSkinny for tips, news, and more once Northgard is released.


Northgard Update: Viking RTS Gets Base-Game Upgrades, New Clan Sat, 25 Mar 2017 16:11:44 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Released on Steam earlier this year to critical acclaim from fans and journalists alike, Shiro Games' Viking RTS, Northgard, just received a fresh update that brings with it both changes to the base game and a brand new clan. 

Focused on mercantilism and exploration, the Raven Clan looks to build a new dynamic within the already deep Northgard RTS formula. Getting a closer look at the update at PAX East, we can easily say that the Raven Clan gives players brand new -- and interesting -- ways to strategize and claim victory in this strange and distant land. 

Let's take a look at what Shiro's bringing to the table in this new update. 

Taking a Closer Look at Northgard's Raven Clan


Trade and discovery are the two great pillars upon which the Raven Clan is built. Now, instead of exclusively relying on Scouts to pull back Northgard's fog of war, players are able to exploit the Raven Clan's seafaring nature to not only immediately build a Harbor (which replaces the Longship Dock), but also quickly explore distant lands by recruiting Sailors. From one side of the map to the next, the Raven Clan's raiding parties can uncover distant shores on which to embark -- and through which to find new territories. 

This is especially helpful in discovering other clans to trade with during the early game. It's also possible that players pursuing a conquest victory can more quickly raid their neighboring clans. 

On top of that, the Raven Clan has some interesting new tricks up its sleeve when it comes to bonuses.

Starting Bonuses: 
  • Start with the Trading knowledge, which increases players' Krowns production
  • Can build the Harbor to explore coastal areas and later send Mercenaries to attack
Fame Bonuses:
  • Everything Has a Price: Players can colonize new areas with Krowns (requires 200 Fame)
  • Mercenaries: Players can recruit Mercenaries at their Harbor and send them to raid coastal areas (requires 500 Fame)

On top of those clan-specific bonuses, the Raven Clan has a handful of new additions to the Lore tree, which help them proliferate faster. Here are the highlights. 

Raven-Clan Specific Knowledge Tree Additions: 
  • Greater Trade Routes: Increases players' trading routes' Krown income and diplomacy by 50%

  • Rangers: Increases scouting and exploration speed by 100%

  • Gear Upgrade: Increases players' military units attack power depending on your Krowns in stock

  • Journeyman: Increase players' happiness based on the area you have explored

  • Knowledge of the World: Allows players to trade Lore at the Marketplace

These new features help the Raven Clan stand apart from other clans in the game, giving them more flexibility in territorial acquisition and trade. 

Changes to Northgard's Original Clans

Over the past month, Shiro Games has been hard at work listening to and implementing fan feedback. The changes made to Northgard's original clans tweak their base gameplay -- and look to make players happier. Here's a rundown of the patch's new additions. 

Changes to The Stag Clan

Players are able to construct the Hall of Skalds without having to first upgrade their Town Hall, helping them save precious resources. On top of that, players sccrounging as the Eikthyrnir's Stag will also see Thane bonuses change, with new resources being added to the mix. 

Changes to The Goat Clan

The knowledge "Healthy Food" has been replaced with the knowledge "Barricades." This new knowledge allows the Goat Clan to increase civilian resistance by 10% -- per structure within any particular region. 

A Big Change for All Clans: 

Amassing wealth won't bring you happiness in Northgard these days. That means the Happiness bonus for all Clans typically associated with stockpiling Krowns has now been removed. Instead, the Raven Clan is the only coterie with the buff. 

Other Changes to Northgard's Gameplay

From squishing combat bugs and adding CTRL+1-9 shortcuts, to spawning more fish in the world and allowing players to upgrade the tools of their sailors, Northgard's latest set of improvements looks to address some of the game's bigger gripes. 

We won't get into all of the changes here, but check out Northgard's Steam Patch Notes for more info. 


Based on our time with Northgard's new kid on the block, the Raven Clan is a fun addition to the game, a signal that Shiro Games is doing whatever they can to provide players with a variety of strategic options in their newest RTS. What's more, the latest base-game patches help better balance the game's primary clans, all while adding intriguing elements to RTS strategy, planning, and execution. 

At PAX East, we were told that a variety of additional updates would launch throughout 2017. Specifically, multiplayer and narrative-driven campaigns are the foci of Shiro Games at the moment. However, there's still at least one Clan spot open... 

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news and updates on Viking RTS Northgard

Two Viking Factions We Want to Round Out Northgard's Clan Choices Sat, 04 Mar 2017 20:20:43 -0500 Justin Michael

If you haven't seen or heard of Northgard, you obviously didn't pay attention to the Steam Top Sellers list last week or read our useful beginner's tips guide.  An RTS game that puts you in control of a faction of Vikings who are trying to colonize a new, mysterious land, Northgard is the newest strategy game from Shiro games, the makers of Evoland and Evoland II

Currently, the game is in Early Access and as such, is only a fraction of what the final product will look like. But even that fraction is a highly enjoyable game with three different factions to play as and procedurally-generated maps that keep each new game interesting.

Currently, the three different factions that players can choose from in Northgard are the wolf (aggressors), the stag (expansionists), and the goat (pragmatists). But, as you might notice in the picture, there are two factions not released yet. While we might not know what the devs have planned for these two remaining factions it's always fun to take a crack at guessing. So, if I were the developer, what two other factions would I add to Northgard first?

The Eagle

While there are no eagles in Norse mythos that carry a name, eagles are still a revered and sacred symbol. In fact, according to the Poetic and Prose Eddas, atop the world tree, Yggdrasil, sits an Eagle who is wise with knowledge, as it can see all that is laid out before it from its lofty perch.

It would make sense for the eagle clan to be a wisdom-based clan, possibly with bonuses for lore production. And they could have a unique unit -- like the wolf clan's Berzerker -- but instead of being a cantankerous warmonger, it would specialize in lore like, perhaps, a Gothi or a beefier healer unit.   

As far as the starting bonuses go, I would start them off with a free scout who could seek out new areas and explore ruins 30% faster since eagles are attributed to having such great vision. Perhaps they would also start with enough lore to choose one of the starting perks as well.

I'd also give them boosts to the trading and healing skills because of their greater wisdom, but they would have slightly weaker warriors as a trade-off given their scholarly nature. 

The Auroch

The auroch was a wild ox and is the ancestor of the domestic cattle we have around the world today. Known for its strength, size, and stubborn temperament, this would be the perfect animal to serve as the clan mascot for a defensive-style clan. 

Being a protective people, the aurochs would have stronger defensive towers and general buildings, as well as health increases for their combat units when they upgrade those units' tools. They would also have buffs to their markets and gold accrual, given their defensive nature.

It would also make sense for their land tiles to be more resilient, taking longer to capture after a fight with their enemies, allowing them the possibility to mount a quick counterattack. 

As far as wins go, the aurochs would be more of a non-aggressive win-type clan -- most likely winning the game by a trade or wisdom victory.

Both of these clan types would fit in very well with the current selection of clans and really round out the game, while offering diverse player types something to fit their style. As someone who generally wins these types of games by non-aggressive victories, the auroch and the eagle clans are really appealing choices. 

What additional factions would you like to see added to Northgard? How would you balance them with the current clans? Let's talk about it in the comments below!

Northgard Tops the Steam Top Sellers Chart for Indie Games Mon, 27 Feb 2017 14:26:37 -0500 Justin Michael

This past week has seen a number of new games hit the market -- indie and AAA titles alike. Games like For Honor, Sniper 4, and Ghost Recon: Wildlands are expected to been seen in Steam's Top Seller list. But one indie title managed to claw its way into the top 10 list and become the top selling indie game this week: Northgard.

Northgard, the current project of Shiro Games -- the creative minds behind other titles like Evoland & Evoland II -- may only be in early access, but it already shows much promise with the available gameplay and great audio/visual elements.

So, what kind of game is Northgard?

My first impression of it felt a lot like a colony simulation game, something like Banished or Age of Empires -- except that Northgard isn't as "busy" as AoE but is busier than Banished. 

You're playing as a group of Vikings who have settled into a new, mysterious continent and must fight for control of the lands. There are currently 3 playable factions for aggressive/defensive/expansionist playstyles, and it looks like the team plans to expand to at least 5 factions.

There is a good balance of resource gathering, map exploration, settlement management, and battles. In addition to that, there are a number of ways to achieve a victory, which makes winning viable for all playstyles. 

One of the unique aspects I like about the game is that there is limited building availability per map section, so you really need to plan out what it is you're doing as you expand your colony. Also, assigning your villagers a job is a really fun and engaging way to add a bit more life into the game as it breaks up general units that do everything. Miners mine, Raiders raid, and Scouts scout. 

Scouts, by the way, are pretty cool and useful units as they survey the lands and gather vital intel on their discoveries such as building limits, resources available, and they can even explore ruins giving your faction a possible boost over your rivals.

If this sounds like something you'd be interested in playing, the game is currently on sale over on the Steam Marketplace for $17.99. We also have a Northgard starter guide to help you crush the other factions and conquer this new, mysterious land.

Northgard Guide: How to Win by Forging the Sword of Odin Mon, 27 Feb 2017 10:32:27 -0500 Jonathan Moore

From a traditional domination victory to controlling the mythical Yggdrasil, there are multiple ways to triumph and defeat your opponent in Northgard. Some are easy to figure out, while others are a bit more obtuse and unclear.

In this guide, we’ll quickly walk you through the steps to achieving The Smith victory condition, which finds you forging the great Sword of Odin to smite your enemies into the underworld of Hel. 

Let’s get started.

Search the Lands of Northgard for the Magma Flow 

The first thing you’re going to want to do is seek out the Magma Flow, a territory on the map that’s covered in molten rock and small lava cones. That’s where you’ll build your Forge and start constructing the Sword of Odin somewhere in the mid-to-late game.

As you probably already know from our previous Northgard Guide: Tips and Tricks for Getting Started with Your First Settlement, maps in this Viking-centric RTS are procedurally generated – meaning each map will always be different from the last. So that means you’re going to have to seek out the Magma Flow somewhat blindfolded – unless you’re lucky enough to have spawned near it, which is very (very) rare.

But to speed up the process of discovery, make sure you focus on creating Scouts as soon as possible – three to four should be enough to quickly expose the map without compromising your resource production and Warrior recruitment. And speaking of warriors…

Be Prepared to Fight for The Sword of Odin

Not only will you have to recruit Warriors to battle your way through wolves, Draugr, and Valkyries to get and secure the Magma Flow, the area will be a hotly contested one once you get there, especially against multiple AI opponents on a normal-to-high difficulty setting. So, before you even build your Forge, make sure you’ve:

  1. Stationed a contingent of at least five-six Warriors in the Magma Flow territory.
  2. Pooled your resources to recruit a Warchief for the area. This particular unit is a veritable tank, dealing high amounts of damage while also sponging damage for your Warriors.
  3. Built a Defense Tower in the territory, right next to where you plan to build your Forge for optimal protection.

Be prepared for a fight. Once you begin the forging process, the AI will be automatically drawn to that specific territory to stop you.

Forging the Sword of Odin – The Resources You’ll Need to Stockpile

To actually construct the Sword of Odin, you’ll need iron -- lots of it. In fact, each piece of the Sword of Odin requires iron for forging -- and nothing else. This means that while you’re doing all of the above searching and fighting and fortifying, you’ll also be wanting to:

  • Keep an eye out for iron deposits throughout the continent of Northgard -- and build Mines whenever possible, especially early on
  • Spend any early iron you get on first improving your miner’s tools so that they mine faster in the mid-to-late game
  • Stockpile at least 50 iron, while using any excess to then upgrade your Warriors’ weapons (which will cost 5 additional iron) so they’re stronger for defending your Forge

Each piece of the Sword of Odin – the hilt, sword guard, and blade – costs 15 iron each to forge. As soon as you’re done forging these three pieces of the Sword of Odin, you’ll win the game – and be awarded The Smith achievement.

Be sure to stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Northgard guides and news.

Northgard Guide: Tips and Tricks For Getting Started with Your First Settlement Sun, 26 Feb 2017 11:12:59 -0500 Jonathan Moore

Northgard is a smooth and mechanically robust real-time strategy game that subverts expectations with fresh and inventive features. There are a lot of moving parts in this RTS from Evoland and Evoland II developer, Shiro Games. There’s no pausing to strategize, either, so you need to hit the ground running if you’re going to rule this Viking continent – whether that be through conquest, trade, or lore. 

To get you started on the right boot, we’ve put together this beginner's guide full of tips, tricks, and strategies for starting your first settlement in Northgard, which will set you up for victory in the mid-to-late game.

Here, we’ll cover:

  • Early Base Construction
  • Land Colonization
  • Villager Management
  • Resource Management

Let’s get started.

Tips for Building Your Base in Northgard’s Early Game

Each map in Northgard is procedurally generated, which means you’ll theoretically never play the same map twice. It also means that you’ll never really know where resources will be or what type of terrain you’ll be faced with when first starting out.

However, you’ll always start with a Town Hall and three villagers.  

As you can’t strategize or create buildings or units when pausing the game (Northgard’s pause feature straight up “stops” gameplay), you’ll want to start building your base right away. First, you’ll want to pay attention to how many buildings your current section of the map can hold at any one time.

As this is the beginning of the game for you, you should currently only have one territory in your kingdom. Click anywhere in your territory and look at the build and villager menu on the right-hand side of the screen. To the left of that, you’ll see a rectangular box with a house symbol at the top and a number to the right of that symbol (which should say 1/5). This is the number of buildings (5) you can build in that specific territory. Keep this number in mind as you construct your base.

But first, you’ll want to build a House so that your Town Hall can keep pumping out villagers at a steady pace. Each house adds 5 to your population.

Next, you’ll want to build a Scout Camp, which will allow you to convert your villagers to scouts. Vitally important to expanding your empire, scouts are the only means by which you’ll be able to explore the map and colonize new territories.

After you build a Scout Camp, you’ll want to immediately build a Woodcutter’s Lodge. Optimally, you’ll want to build the Woodcutter’s Lodge close to a forest within your starting territory (you'll get a 20 percent bonus to production for doing so). However, if you begin within a region that does not have a forest – or only a very small outcropping of trees – it may be worthwhile to wait until your scout has charted the immediate territories surrounding your starting position and found a more suitable location for your lodge.

Once you’ve built your Woodcutter’s Lodge, you’ll have a choice: either build a Training Camp or a Trading Post. A Trading Post helps you gain more krowns, which you'll need to pay your building upkeep and pay for your warriors. On top of that, krowns are also used (among other resources) to construct and upgrade buildings.

However, in the early game, you’ll automatically get +2 krowns every 10 seconds of so from your Town Hall, which means you’ll have a small-but-steady stream of krowns coming in – as a long as you don’t build too many buildings before you build your first Trading Post. That means you can get away with building a Training Camp at this point in the game, as well as convert a few villagers to warriors. The choice is up to you – just keep an eye on your krown consumption.

Winter in Northgard is Something You Want to Prepare For 

At this point in the game, you’re most likely already moving into your first winter season in Northgard. This is when all resource production slows -- meaning you’ll bring in less food and wood.

From here, you’ll want to think about building the following if you haven’t already:

  • A Hunter’s Camp if you’ve found and colonized a territory that has deer
  • A Fisherman’s Hut if you’ve found a lake that has fish
    • (Note: The sea doesn’t necessarily have fish. In fact, I’ve yet to find other fish in the sea …)
  • A Farm if you’ve found a plot of fertile land
  • A Silo, which increases your food storage capacity, if you’re focusing on food production
  • A Sheepfold if you began the game with sheep or have found a territory with sheep (doing so dramatically increases food production).
  • A Mine if you’ve found stone or iron deposits

You can easily get through the early game (especially on lower difficulties) without building a Defense Tower or Healer’s Hut. These structures unnecessarily consume vital early-game resources that could be used for your winter stockpile or quickly expanding your territorial dominance.

You Won’t Survive a Second in Northgard Without Colonizing New Lands

As we mentioned above, the scout is your only way of discovering and colonizing new territories in Northgard’s wilderness. But there are just a few things you need to keep in mind after your scout’s pulled back the fog war. 

You can control your scout.

This may seem obvious, but when you create a scout, he immediately runs off to chart new territories at random. If there’s a sector of the map you’d rather have him investigate, click him and make him go to edge of that region. He’ll automatically start scouting.

Your scout knows how much you can build in a region.

Remember: each region has a structure limit. Once your scout has found new regions, click on the region to see how many structures you can build on it, as well as what resources it contains. It may be that you want to move your Mine or your Woodcutter’s Lodge to this newly discovered location. But before you do...

Check to see how much food it will cost to colonize new territory.

At the beginning of the game, territories cost very small amounts of food to colonize. However, as your add more and more sectors to your empire, the amount of food required to do so steadily increases. Just be sure to not spend your winter reserves on annexing a piece of land you can’t immediately use.

Make sure you won't have to fight for the land.

You can’t colonize new territories if enemies (human or otherwise) already inhabit those lands -- unless you send warriors in first. In other words, you’ll have to clear any area of hostiles before your villagers will help bring that land into the kingdom. 

Managing Villagers in Northgard is Essential to Early-Game Dominance

Making new units in Northgard is unique, if a little strange when compared to traditional strategy game mechanics. To create warriors, scouts, farmers, loremasters, fishermen, hunters, or any other type of unit (sans the Warchief), you’ll have to convert villagers to those units individually. Unlike traditional RTS games, you won’t construct or queue units from each building.

How to put villagers in roles:
  • First, select a villager
    Then, for example, if you want that villager to become a warrior (as in the screenshot above), you’ll go to your Training Camp and hover your cursor over the camp
  • You’ll immediately see a small avatar of a Warrior and a green plus sign
  • Right click the Training Camp and your villager will now convert into a Warrior

To succeed in Northgard, you’ll need to constantly balance the roles of your villagers and workers in each region of your budding empire. Keep a close eye on your resources and don’t be afraid to reassign villagers and workers to new roles when needed. 

How to change a worker to a new role (or back to a villager): 

To change back into a villager (which is the only unit that can build new structures): 

  • Left click a worker
  • Find a house and hover over it
  • Right click the house when the avatar and green plus symbol appear
  • Wait for your worker to convert back to a villager

To change the role of a worker (from a hunter to a merchant, for example): 

  • Select your hunter
  • Hover over the Trading Post until the avatar and green plus sign appear
  • Right click and your hunter will be converted to a merchant

Food, Wood, Krowns, and Stone – Dominating Northgard is All About Resource Management

As with any RTS, resource management is a fickle meta game you’re forced to play in order to win. And in Northgard, Shiro Games has added a few tweaks to the typical strategy game formula to spice things up. Let’s take a quick look. 

Gathering Food 

Each of your units consumes -1 food, unless you have certain in-game or clan-specific modifier engaged to moderate this effect. Conversely, each of your villagers produces +4 food, unless you have other modifiers active.

So, for example, when you first begin, you’ll see that you’re getting +8 (+12-4) food roughly every 7-10 seconds of game time. When you add another villager, you’ll see that you’re getting +11 food (or +16-5) every 7-10 seconds of game time. Understanding this consumption ratio can radically inform your early-game resource decisions.

Now, as the game goes on, certain modifiers and food producers (such as Farmers, Healers, Hunters, and Fishermen) invariably change this ratio, but understanding its core mechanics helps you determine how many food producers you must have at any one time.

Here’s a breakdown of how much food each type of producer makes:

  • Villagers: +4
  • Healers: +5
  • Fishermen: +4
  • Hunters: +5
  • Farmers: +5
  • Sheepfold +5 (+3 for each subsequent sheep)

You can also upgrade your buildings using stone and krowns to increase food production as you progress through the game. And remember: Food is an important resource as it helps you colonize new territory. 

Gathering Wood 

Compared to food producers, wood cutters are pretty straight forward. Each lumberjack produces +4 wood about every 10 in-game seconds. You will, however, have to account for -1 wood consumption for firewood in the early game, which increases as time goes on or as winter approaches.

Getting Krowns 

As we’ve mentioned, krowns are an important resource for converting villagers to warriors, upgrading buildings, paying upkeep on buildings, and even constructing some buildings, such as Houses. 

At game’s start, your Town Hall will provide +2 krowns. However, the Town Hall does not produce nearly enough krowns to sustain your needs. Building multiple Trading Posts will be necessary to sustain your empire. Build them as soon as possible – without neglecting your other early-game resources.

Note: Building a Trading Post and Marketplace in the same territory boost krown production in that territory by 30 percent. So, when possible, build each structure together for maximum output. 

Mining Stone 

Mining stone isn’t as important in Northgard’s early game as you might initially believe. You'll primarily need it to upgrade buildings and construct carved stones in the game’s later stages.

However, if you come across a territory with stone, it would be wise to mine at least a portion of it early on as you need 10 stone to upgrade your Town Hall, which will help you construct some of Northgard’s more advanced buildings faster.

You can also buy stone with krowns after erecting a Marketplace.


Well that's it for this Northgard guide. We hope these tips and tricks to building your first settlement help you get started quickly and easily. Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Northgard guides and news. 

Shiro Games Releases New Strategy RTS Northgard on Steam Early Access Thu, 23 Feb 2017 16:48:35 -0500 Jonathan Moore

Bordeaux, France-based Shiro Games has announced the release of its newest strategy RTS, Northgard, on Steam Early Access. Available today for $17.99 (normally $19.99), Northgard sets players on a journey of exploration, where they control a band of Vikings in search of new (if unforgiving) lands to colonize.

Predicated on exploration, combat, resource gathering, and base-building, Northgard imbues its world and gameplay with deep-rooted Norse mythology. Players will not only battle the harsh elements of winter, but they will also come toe-to-toe with hordes of undead warriors, giants, dragons, and many other eldritch Norse terrors as they toil to build a new home on an unknown continent. 

Nicolas Cannasse, Shiro Games’ co-founder, is excited to not only bring the team’s vision to Steam Early Access, but to also get the community’s feedback and advice on how Northgard currently plays – and how Shiro can improve it moving forward. In a press release provided by Shiro Games, he said:

“We have always been fans of strategy and simulation games, and with Northgard we have taken what we think are all the best bits, and added a lot of cool Viking themes and fantasy to the mix.

Launching on Early Access will allow us to get direct feedback from our players which we’ll use in fine-tuning the development of Northgard. Not only that, we’ll also be bringing lots of cool new features to the game in the coming months, like new clans to play around with and a story driven campaign amongst other things.”

Having developed the beloved and critically acclaimed Evoland and Evoland II, Shiro Games is no newbie when it comes to creating highly complex and mechanically sound games. Already, Northgard has received a “Very Positive” rating on Steam, with more than 260 users having reviewed the game so far.

Northgard currently has three playable factions, five jobs for Vikings to pursue (merchant, warrior, farmer, sailor, loremaster), and four methods of victory (conquest, fame, lore, and trading). You can learn more about the game by visiting Northgard’s Steam page.

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news about Shiro Games’ newest strategy RTS, Northgard, as well as for all your gaming news.