Vikingr is likely one of the more unique Warband mods available currently, one in which many Native tactics simply will not work or will require a different approach. To start off with, a few important points :UNLIKE NATIVE
- This is actually not an Usain Bolt simulation. As such, infantry moves at a pace that might be a turn off for Unreal Tournament and Quake 3 Arena fans.
- Throwing weapons are the opposite of 'hilariously useless'!
- Archery goes as far as to require skill.
- Horses cannot keep happily trotting around with two javelins and a half dozen arrows sticking out of them (they will lose speed when damaged, will also take less damage before dying).
- Class restrictions are heavy, preventing both horse and archer swarming.
- This being a western medieval simulation and not Samurai Wars, one cannot jump and slash.
- One cannot couch lances.
Now, these changes make Vikingr a rather different game, right here are some tactics that should help new players get the hang of it :VIKINGR TACTICSStay Close
While individual skill is still a strong factor contributing to the success or failure of a team, a less experienced group will often overcome the odds when working together. Being mobbed by two or more people is a SERIOUS DEAL in Vikingr, and this is especially true of those who wield spears. The realistic pacing ensures one CANNOT whizz around with ease, so avoid putting yourself in this situation and remain always within close (weapon reach) distance of a friend. A single loss is often a bigger deal than it is in Native, so by running off alone you're not only lowering your chances of survival -- but those of your team, too.Dealing with Horsemen
You are better than Native AI. You CAN suppress the urge to chase horses that you can NEVER, NEVER EVER CATCH -- "but he might bump into a tree!" Yes, he might, but meanwhile one of several things will happen : either you, a fraction of the group, or the entire group will give chase, exposing either you, a fraction of the group or the entire group to range fire, an unseen horseman or a tight pack of disciplined infantry.
Instead, decide who will dedicate themselves to counter cavalry and insure that the rest of your team understands NOT to bother with them -- indeed, nothing is worse than an entire team turning around endlessly from fear of a backstabbing horseman. It is possible for a good skirmisher to keep cavalry at bay for the entire fight (cavalry hate
throwers) but he'll need be mindful not to get sucked into melee and be covered by his teammates from enemy infantry.
Essentially, it goes as such : CAV > INFANTRY > SKIRMISHER > CAV.Spear Buddies
Spearmen are immensely useful in this mod and a team that uses them efficiently will most often wipe the floor with one that doesn't. Working in pairs, a melee 'tank' supported by a 'spear buddy' can achieve alot : while the tank draws hits onto his shield, the spear buddy (using overhead stabs, which won't harm your teammate nearly as often) stabs over his friend's shoulder into the enemy opening to attack. The tank must be mindful not to allow his spear buddy to be spammed, indeed, nothing is easier than taking on a shield using spearman : they generally cannot get a stab in between two strikes. As 'tank' remain always between the enemy and the spearman, as spearman, HUG the back of your 'tank' and attack the INSTANT your tank has LANDED his -- the opponent will either be struck or denied the opportunity to strike back.Following
In vikingr numbers matter. A disorganised bunch will, unless highly skilled or lucky, NOT overcome those who are grouped up and organised. Organisation can be as simple as holding a hill or as complex as drawing the enemy into an ambush, but either way it requires a leader -- and a leader requires followers. Experienced players will often call for the group to keep together, to move in a certain direction rather than another, to hold a position; they will just as importantly give the order to CHARGE. All of these things done as ONE can be extremely effective, but requires of ALL involved that they pay attention to the onscreen MESSAGES and their immediate SURROUNDINGS. Here are a few tips to make this easier :
- At the beginning of the round, try to distinguish which player you are following -- remember his name, appearance AND banner, it will come in handy when asked to regroup half way through the battle, for instance.
- If you have spotted the enemy, report it : a simple "CAV BEHIND" (caps are best for this) might save the round.
- READ THE PURPLE LINES (team chat) you might be ahead of the group, thinking they're right behind when in fact they've stopped long ago to regroup -- or, worse yet, you've missed the signal to charge and you're late for the fight. (I cannot tell you how big a difference this makes in Vikingr)
- Try to keep a teammate in your field of view at all times while moving. If everyone sees the man to his right, for instance, a shieldwall can advance faster and tighter. (more on that further down)
- If you agree with a plan, say so! The more support a leader gets the more likely the rest of the team will fall in.
Don't be afraid to speak up as ANY plan is often better than none, even if it's as vague as "MOVE LEFT". If no plan exists, the most you can hope for is that everyone will follow the fastest man (it's often the case). Don't go for anything complicated, keep it simple enough that everyone can understand what's going on and how to achieve it -- you do NOT want half the team to split because your meaning was obscure. And if you can't write it all in a single line, it's likely only going to work with people you know well.
Keep it varied. Doing the same thing over and over, though it may have worked until now will only get people to adapt -- don't allow them the chance. If they're holding, stop (and get the group to stop) to consider how to advance on them -- who has cav superiority? Who has range superiority? Sometimes, it'll be best to move AROUND rather than charge head on. Take short breaks for everyone to catch up, move as a mass not a file, do something original to remind people who they're following and finally, encourage cavalry to WAIT until the melee has begun to do their thing.Terrain Types
Plains, hills, woods, urban areas, rivers and lakes all provide advantages and disadvantages, I'll now try to enumerate them in order for leaders to make the best of their situation.
Plains are obviously the best terrain for cavalry. On plains every unit moves as fast as he can, which, in my opinion makes it the best terrain to fight on unless the enemy is fielding superior cavalry or archers, for whom fields are the second best place to fight. Plains, given the visibility they provide most often grant the greatest capacity for cohesion in a group/shieldwall, which will allow a tight group to support one another more effectively and a leader to issue more informed orders. Overall, plains cut down on the chaos and allow the greatest flexibility.
Hills are a hindrance to all troops but archers. While cavalry and infantry are reduced to a crawl climbing a slope, archers can generally let off double the amount of close range shots before the engagement. While hills often provide long range visibility, once the enemy closes in enough all visibility is lost and those who hold them are most often decimated by flankers. Overall, I would only recommend holding a hill when one has vastly superior ranged capacity AND superior infantry (to overcome the shortage in visibility). Hills are, more often than not, a last resort.
Woods are a good defense against archers and cavalry, especially the latter. Being more dense than they are in Native it takes a skilled horseman to maneuver them, and while he might succeed at dodging trees he'll still be limited in movement -- allowing predictability. Woods are generally the best places to bring the fights to when facing strong cavalry or archers, although their drawback is limited visibility which, again, does not encourage cohesion.
Urban areas, in my opinion, neither benefit nor hinder any troop. While a footman may take cover from ranged fire behind a wall, he'll be more easily flanked than on any other type of terrain. One can vanish behind a wall and be forgotten, only to reappear at the worst of moments -- and this is especially true of cavalry. Urban areas are perhaps the best places to set ambushes.
Rivers and lakes are a great hindrance to infantry, but not nearly as much as they are to cavalry. Slowing down to a crawl, a footman would be well advised to bring the fight into the river if he's facing a horseman one on one, however both would in great danger against an archer or thrower. Occupying a river crossing is often a strong position, especially with ranged superiority.Shieldwalls
Are possible, and more than that -- USEFUL. While the shieldwall draws fire easily, many arrows and javelins will be caught by the shields -- often, providing they overlap, a friend's shield will catch a missile that would have hit you otherwise. They provide a great deal of cohesion, indeed, EVERYONE is within close range, and nobody too far to help. While the enemy might charge with 2, 6, 14 meter gaps in between them -- you are ONE, and CONTINUALLY superior in numbers to the enemy. A shieldwall requires discipline, this is certain, but there is discipline to be found on our servers. A few basic steps to creating a strong shieldwall :
- The bigger shield, the better
- Use your SHIFT key to walk instead of running -- allowing you to stay easily within the wall (you can easily bind zoom to another key)
- Since we do not have voice commands for the moment, it is crucial that you read the commands of whoever is leading the group, although, if you follow the first step you'll generally KNOW if the wall has come to a halt, for instance.
- When the battle begins step in and out to land your hits, but don't allow yourself to be dragged out of the rank! You may have hit him twice, he might be nearly dead, but your absence might cost your team dearly.
- More to come when we've done a few more of these!
I'm certain theres plenty I've left out, so I hope you'll help! Tell me if you can think of anything else, if I made a mistake or forgot something.Contribute!EDIT : Coming next shortcuts, one on one tactics, skirmishing/ambushes, developing Shieldwall section.