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Northgard is a city-building and RTS game developed by Shiro Games, in which you take the on the role of a Viking clan leader, who, after years of tireless explorations, has discovered a new land filled with mystery, danger and riches: Northgard. There are currently eleven clans to choose from:

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  • Fenrir: The Clan of the Wolf are perhaps the classic "Viking" clan. They are warriors, reavers and slayers of man and beast alike, bringing war to their neighbours and thriving off it before going for the throat.
  • Eikthyrnir: Providence and prosperity is the name of the game for the Clan of the Stag, a band of adventurers, skalds, poets and braggarts with an astonishing list of achievements. They will prove unstoppable if given enough space to grow out their antlers.
  • Heidrun: Some call the Clan of the Goat valourless homebodies, but any stony or frozen wasteland will soon become a land of mead and honey when their hands work it. They are gatherers and shepherds, practical and resourceful, and once they hit charging speed nothing can stop them.
  • Huginn and Muninn: The Clan of the Raven are a cunning and shady cabal of merchants, mercenaries and spies. They share their coin prudently and information even moreso. They sail far and wide to bring shiny things back to the nest.
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  • Bjarki: The Clan of the Bear are a group of resilient survivalists and hardy winter-worshippers hailing from the furthest north. Nothing fazes the Clan of the Bear, not invaders or winters, and they are indomitable when riled.
  • Slidrugtanni: The Clan of the Boar embraces the ancient, the primitive and the different, and so attracts wildmen, druids and seers from far and wide. They are clever and spiritual, and have a knack for unearthing valuable secrets.

Five clans are DLC.

  • Sváfnir: The Clan of the Snake works through subterfuge, progressing by undermining others.
  • Nidhogg: The Clan of the Dragon gains bonuses using slaves to fuel their dark magic.
  • Lyngbakr: The Clan of the Kraken worships the gigantic creature, fearing its brutal might, honoring its instinctual knowledge, and using its powers when he deigns bestow upon them.
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  • Svardilfari: The Clan of the Horse are led by Brok and Eitria, two spirited siblings, who are also recognized by all as the best craftsman and woman of the known world.
  • Himminbrjotir: The Clan of the Ox is led by Torfin, an ancient leader who returned to help his progeny; the clan is known for its tremendous might and unrelenting devotion to its ancestors.

After choosing your clan, you will have to conquer and tame Northgard, enduring harsh winters and defeating rival clans along with other enemies ranging from dire wolves to undead warriors. Players start on a map divided into tiles that the player must explore to reveal. Each tile will contain valuable resources, enemies, or unique features that can aid your clan. Players must colonize tiles to work resources and gain an edge over their rivals.

There are five ways to win the game:

  • Domination: Use your forces to eliminate the opposing armies, decolonize their land gains, and destroy their town halls.
  • Fame: Accomplish great deeds and acquire land to gain renown across all of Northgard for the prowess of your leadership. Unavailable for Sváfnir, as they do not use Fame mechanics.
  • Trade: Accumulate wealth and become influential through your trade routes to the mainland. Unavailable for Lyngbakr, as they cannot build Longship Docks.
  • Lore: Study the secrets of the land and use the knowledge you find to become closer to the gods than anyone else.
  • Map Condition: There is a random chance the game map will have a special victory option involving control of a particular territory.

After roughly a year in early access, the game was released on March 9, 2018. Besides the usual single-player skirmish and multiplayer, the game has two other modes:

  • Story: The player (eventually) play as or encounters each of the six original clans.
  • Conquest: A series of missions which has no overarching story, but completing each mission allows the player to add one bonus for subsequent missions. To add strategic depth, there are 3 choices for each bonus (except for "major" missions represented by a larger disc, where the bonus is pre-determined).

A Kickstarter campaign for The Board Game, Northgard: Uncharted Lands was held in 2020.


Tropes Featured In Game:

  • A Commander Is You:
    • Fenrir: Spammer/Brute/Anti-Turtle. With huge offensive bonuses, Fenrir is a clan that thrives when constantly at war, as long as the was doesn't come to their turf. They can gain gold from fallen humanoids and food from predators, they gain a damage bonus fighting outside their territory, and they are faster at taking down and conquering enemy territory. But Fenrir does not fare as well on the defensive, so you must keep the momentum going.
    • Eikthyrnir: Balanced/Generalist/Economist. Eikthyrnir is a clan that starts out weak, especially militarily, but can expand very quickly and it's likely all over if they are given room to grow out their antlers. They have a unique Hall of Skalds building (replaces the Brewery and produces more Fame), start with more supplies to kickstart the colony, and extra food production and Happiness.
    • Heidrun: Spammer/Generalist/Industrial. Distinct from Eikthyrnir, Heidrun is a clan that builds tall and runs dense but efficient settlements. They start with a sheep immediately and have reduced food consumption, gain extra production and defence from Feasts, and gain two free tool upgrades to help workers and an extra space for all upgraded production buildings. Just keep in mind they need a lot of resources particularly plenty of stone to access their best upgrades.
    • Fuginn and Muninn: Balanced/Guerilla/Diplomat. The Raven Clan is an unorthodox one but they have a lot of interesting strategic possibilities. They have a unique Harbour building (replace the Longship Dock and gives extra Happiness), doubled scouting and exploration speed, the chance to reveal coastal tiles for a pittance, increased trade income, and the ability to hire mercenaries for amphibious sneak-attacks. However Fuginn and Muninn's powers are highly situational - they excel at trade but need friendly clans or a Jotnarr/Kobold presence to trade with, their armies are strong but only when you are rich which incentivises you to not spend, and the only reliable strengths of the clan are expansion and scouting.
    • Bjarki: Elitist/Brute/Turtle. Bjarki is like Fenrir a clan suited to war, but unlike Fenrir they take a more defensive and quality-over-quantity approach. They have not one but two heroes (!), reduced penalties during the winter months, improved fishermen huts, warriors who gain increased toughness and healing in winter, and chances to gain Happiness and Fame from war. Bjarki's weakness is that while winter is a great time for them, they have few abilities that benefit them in the summer months.
    • Sildrugtanni: Spammer/Gimmick/Research. Sildrugtanni is a clan that plays very unconventionally, sprawling across the land and hunting for opportunities to gain Lore while eschewing working with clans in favour of more inhuman allies. They gain population from territory and significant bonuses from unupgraded buildings, so investing in infrastructure is rarely necessary. Attack frequency from Neutral populations (wild animals, Druagr and Valkyries) is all but eliminated and trade with Neutral factions becomes possible, albeit at the cost of handicapping the economy's normal growth. Like Raven Clan, these bonuses are situational and if there are no Neutral factions left then Sildrugtanni can be in trouble.
  • Animal Motifs: Each playable clan has an animal motif, based around an animal figure in Norse Mythology.
    • Fenrir - The Wolf: Fenrir is a monstrous wolf, the son of Loki and the one who will kill Odin at Ragnarök.
    • Eikthyrnir - The Stag: Eikthyrnir is a stag that stands upon Valhalla.
    • Heidrun - The Goat: Heidrun is a goat that provides the Einherjar — Odin's chosen warriors — with mead from its udders.
    • Huginn and Muninn - The Raven: Huginn and Muninn — whose names mean 'thought' and 'memory' — are the Ravens of Odin.
    • Bjarki - The Bear: The clan is likely named for Bödvar Bjarki, a shapeshifting hero analogous to Beowulf, who in some instances took the form of a bear.
    • Slidrugtanni - The Boar: This is another name for Gullinbursti, the shining, golden boar gifted to the god Freyr by the sons of Ivaldi.
    • Sváfnir - The Snake: In one poem, Odin names Sváfnir as a serpent that gnaws on the branches of the world tree Yggdrasil.
    • Nidhogg - The Dragon: Nidhogg is a massive serpent/wyrm who gnaws on the roots of Yggdrasil.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit:
    • The maximum amount of people in your clan depends on the amount of houses you've built (and upgraded). Additionally, your clan stops growing if they aren't kept happy.
    • You can never have more than one Warchief (except for one cl, Berserker and Bláinn (giant), respectively.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Some areas are home to Brown Bears. Unlike wolves, they are alone most of the time and they will never attack your territory, but it takes quite a few warriors to take one out.
  • The Berserker: There is a Berserker special unit available to the the Fenrir after they achieve the title of Jarl.
  • Born Under the Sail: Lyngbakr, as they suffer multiple penalties when colonizing, building or fighting in non-coastal tiles.
  • Circle of Standing Stones: You can find ancient standing stones all over Northgard. Your villagers can be assigned to study them, increasing the speed at which you gain new knowledge.
  • Construct Additional Pylons: You're going to have to keep building houses to increase your population, find and improve food resources to keep your ever-growing clan fed, build multiple training camps to increase your warband size, and keep expanding your borders in order to have enough space for all those buildings.
  • Cycle of Hurting: This can happen when the clan incurs various efficiency penalties due to shortage of food, being wounded, sick or unhappy at the same time, not to mention that being wounded and/or sick can lead to unhappiness in the first place.
  • Easy Logistics: Played with. While tiles with certain characteristics never lose them (e.g. deer never runs out, fertile lands never become infertile...), all units only heal in controlled territory, not in neutral or enemy territory. This means that as one clan displaces tiles controlled by another, said clan's "supply lines" become longer (unless the displaced tile is colonized and becomes allied territory), while the other clan's lines become shorter. Also, Iron and Stone deposits will run out.
  • Endless Game: Once a victory condition has been reached, you can still choose to let the game continue.
  • Fictional Currency: The in-game currency is named Kröwns, as a reference to crowns, the former currency of several Scandinavian countries.
  • Hellgate: One of the random map-generated victory conditions is a Gate to Helheim, which the player must capture and guard for one year.
  • Hero Unit: The Warchief, who is usually recruited at the Training Camp for Kröwns and Iron, except for:
    • Sváfnir, as they receive their Warchief Signy for free. Signy also passively gains strength as the game progresses;
    • Svardilfari, as they recruit their two Warchiefs Brok and Eitria from their unique Forge building, using only Kröwns. Brok and Eitria are also the clan's only miners and smiths; the clan cannot build mines or have generic miners or smiths. If any enemy enters the tile where they're mining or forging, they'll stop the task at hand and engage.
  • Hired Guns: After reaching the title of Jarl, the Clan of the Raven can hire mercenaries to attack any coastal tile. The mercenaries aren't particularly strong, and they will only attack and hold a single tile, but they can be used to disrupt an area that you might not have direct access to.
  • Horny Vikings: Oh, close to everybody in the game. The warrior units have flavor text that discusses the trope, noting that Vikings did not wear horned helmets in real history.
  • Human Sacrifice: The Clan of the Dragon can sacrifice citizens and thralls to gain bonus resources.
  • Mook Medic: Healers, who double up as Food gatherers when not required to heal.
  • Noble Savage: The Clan of the Boar shuns soulless krowns and the comforts of civilised and modern... 9th century living, to embrace communion with the natural world and the spirits.
  • Noob Bridge: The game doesn't really hint on how to recruit the Warchief. It becomes more glaring after playing Story Mode, as over there, the Warchief is always given at the start of every level for free. In other modes, this only happens to one clan.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: The Jötnar are huge, hairy men decked out in skulls and bones, but are normally peaceful. You can either choose to slay them and take their land, or you can choose to trade with them in order to increase your relations with them — though they will only accept food. If you increase your relationship with them enough, you will earn a special giant unit named Bláinn.
  • Our Wights Are Different: The draugr, the evil spirits of selfish people who cling on to the mortal world and make life difficult for their living heirs. Wights will haunt areas in groups of up to six, and sometimes attack territory as if drawn by recollections of their past lives. One draugr is generally superior to a basic, unupgraded warrior.
  • Proud Merchant Race: The Clan of the Raven.
  • Proud Warrior Race: The Clan of the Wolf (offensive reavers) and the Clan of the Bear (territorial guardians).
  • Random Number God: The Yggdrasil map victory condition for Clan Heidrun's Conquest mode is this, as you need to find enough natural food sources to build (and then upgrade) 3 food silos in order to have enough food to colonise Yggdrasil.
  • "Risk"-Style Map: Unlike most other RTS games, the map of Northgard is split into many different tiles. Each tile can only hold a limited amount of buildings, and colonizing additional tiles costs food (or Kröwns, if you are playing as the Clan of the Raven). Each tile can also hold certain special properties that might make them more desirable, such as fertile land, a lake full of fish, a lush forest, ancient ruins or shipwrecks, or perhaps a wolf den or Draugar tomb that will earn the first person to conquer it a small fame bonus.
  • Savage Wolves: Dire wolves are some of the local wildlife you have to deal with. Up to six can stalk in a single area, and they will invade your territory whenever hunger takes them. Two warriors will be able to handle three wolves in most cases, but one wolf will be able to devour a villager if they can isolate one. They'll also cause alarm, wound people and hamper productivity.
  • Snow Means Death: Winter represents a time when it becomes too cold to fight or work effectively, putting invasion plans on hold and forcing people to survive on their stockpiles of food and firewood. Should either run out, disaster will strike. Blizzards are even worse - temperatures plummet further, nearly everybody's jobs become twice as hard, and freezing winds wrap around every building forcing even more firewood to be burned just to stay tolerable.
  • Tech Tree: By assigning Loremasters to study ancient standing stones, the player can earn lore in order to advance along a simple tech tree. Each playable clan also has certain tech replacements that further separate their playstyle.
  • Valkyries: Certain parts of the map — such as the Gate to Helheim, the Relic of the Gods, or Yggdrasil — are guarded by Corrupted Valkyries. They are one of the most challenging enemies in the game.
  • Variable Player Goals: There are multiple ways to win, and each clan has a choice of which one they wish to pursue, unless explicitly prohibited:
    • Domination Victory: The winner is the first clan to destroy all others.
    • Fame Victory: You must reach a certain Fame milestone and build the Altar of Kings.
    • Trade Victory: You must have four active merchants, at least 1,000 Kröwns in your treasury and at least 8,000 Kröwns earned in the game overall.
    • Wisdom Victory: You must have at least four active loremasters and have earned enough lore to unlock all the Blessings of the Gods.
    • There are also various map-specific victory types, one of which is randomly determined each game:
      • You must find the World Tree Yggdrasil and colonize it.
      • You must find the Gate of Helheim, clear out the Corrupted Valkyries there and defend it for one year as more and more Valkyries crawl out.
      • You must find the Magma Flow, build a Forge and reforge the Sword of Odin.
  • Winter Warfare: Winter, besides increasing your food and firewood consumption, gives your military units a significant decrease in fighting power outside of your territory. If you haven't yet unlocked Fur Coats, you'd better postpone your conquering plans until spring comes.
    • Inverted for the Bear Clan, whose warriors enjoy increased defence (and a Healing Factor once you unlock a certain tech) in winter which makes winter the best time for them to fight.
  • Worker Unit: The standard Villagers can be assigned to construct buildings and will otherwise gather food. At any available building, they can be converted to a different type of worker, which then proceeds to gather a different resource; Miners will gather iron or stone, Woodcutters will gather wood, Merchants will earn Kröwns, Loremasters discover new lore, Brewers increase your happiness, etc. Your Villagers can also be turned into Scouts and discover new areas of the map or Warrior units that will fight for you. Converting workers and military units back to Villagers means sending them to the Town Hall or a house.
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