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Aethelflaed

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A Beginners tactical guide to Viking Conquest
« on: January 09, 2015, 04:21:03 PM »
A Beginners tactical guide to Viking Conquest

So far there are not many player guides into Viking Conquest (VC) so I thought I’m going to start one (so far there is only one. If you would like to read it to get some more and different information, here is the link http://forums.taleworlds.com/index.php/topic,322455.0.html ). I am playing the storyline mode but most of it applies to the sandbox mode as well. This is no guide for multiplayer though.
I will try to keep this guide updated at later times.

General options:
Once you have started the game and the loading screen finally disappeared, you have several options to choose.  Most of them are quite self-complaining like “Start a new game”. The first option though is “Play Tutorial” and if you have never played Mount and Blade before you should probably get started here to keep frustration levels low once you have started the game. Keep in mind though, that you are not “training” your main character here, so it doesn’t give you any advantage once you start the real game. The tutorial is just to learn how to ride or fight. There are other options like “Custom battle” and Multiplayer” but since this is a guide into the storyline or sandbox mode I won’t stress you on those. “Custom battle” though is quite a good start to try out formations, if you don’t want to do this in game. In “Options” you can adjust the controls, video and sound to your likings. If you are a complete beginner in this game I would recommend to put all settings to the easiest and toggle “show banner on friendly troops” on. Otherwise you might kill friendly troops especially if you are not an expert in the battle formations. You can change those options during gameplay once you press “ESC” and choose “Options”, easy, isn’t it?
So press “Start a New Game” and we can continue. After some more loading a new screen will appear where you can choose from a few options. On the left side you can choose between the storyline or sandbox mode. On the right you can choose between some more difficulty options which are explained once you move the courser over them. You can still change those options in the “camp menu”/”game options” during game play. So choose whatever suits you and continue. After a short introduction into the time you are playing in, we now get to create our in game character.

Character creation:
On the left side you can now see options which can be changed. Once you change them, the story of the first years of your life on the right sight changes accordingly. Personally I like to play a character which has a good background story and don’t care about the stats. But since levelling up in VC is more limited than in native, some might prefer another approach.  The following thread offers quite a good overview, how the different options in character creation affect your character’s statistics in VC.
http://forums.taleworlds.com/index.php/topic,320281.0.html (I sadly can’t find the original thread anymore… but this will do…)
Once you have a storyline to your character that suits you just press “Continue”.
Before you can add a few points to your attributes and skills you have to choose how to save your game in future. “Realistic” means that you can’t quit without saving your game. Additionally the game will save automatically at different stage like when leaving a town or after battles. This means that it has consequences if you attack a bigger force for instance (if you don’t want to quit a battle with CTRL+ALT+DEL). After losing a battle you might lose some of your major equipment and you will definitely lose your army and some of your companions. Nevertheless I find this option quite appealing for its realism. If you are a beginner though, you might prefer the other option. Keep in mind that YOU have to save here. The game won’t save automatically. This has the advantage you can just jump back to the latest save game after a lost battle. Once you have chosen one of the options we start with our character.
On the left you will see four attributes you can add to. The attributes are strength (STR), agility (AGI), intelligence (INT) and charisma (CHA). You’ve got four points to add to attributes. Attribute levels affect the maximum of skill levels. You can only level a skill up to one third of the attribute level each skill is dedicated to (+2 it seems, but correct me on that, if wrong). Adding one point to some of these attributes might also change the amount of points you can distribute between your skills and weapon skills (proficiencies). Adding to INT gives you one point more on skills, adding to AGI gives you more points to proficiencies. Keep in mind though, that VC is a little bit different to Native. You will get only one point for attributes every five levels in future. So you should make your choices carefully. In the middle you see your skills. As said above, the maximum of skill level is determined by its dedicated attribute. On the right you see your weapon skills. Distribute all points to your liking and most importantly… give your character a name. If you want to have a historically correct name, this thread  ( http://forums.taleworlds.com/index.php/topic,237364.0.html ) might be of interest for you. But there are also a lot of pages in the WWW where you might find a fitting name (just google…). Once finished with your attributes and skills you can continue and change the look of your character. Just use the switches on the right sight and below the little picture of YOU… Now you’ve got a fully equipped character for the dark ages. Press continue and you will be either on the Wodenric (storyline) or in a part of the world map which suits your heritage (either somewhere in Scandinavia, England or Ireland).

General game play:
Most of the game play is quite self-explaining so I won’t get further into it. I believe you are able to use a courser and the keyboard.  If you have chosen the storyline campaign, it will guide you to a lot of the basics anyway. Just play YOUR character. Try to think what your character would have chosen and a whole new world will be open to be discovered (or raided) by you.
In the storyline campaign the game will lead you to Doccinga in Frisia. Here you can actually improve some of your one handed weapon skill by talking to some of the fighters and train with them. Just approach them and press “F” once you are near them. You can also ride a horse but this seems not to improve your riding skill sadly. For ten penings (the in game currency) you can also train with a longbow and some javelins. Likewise this doesn’t seem to improve your “archery” or “throwing” skills sadly (at least not in the last version I tried). I usually try to improve my one handed skill a little bit before I talk to Thonrik. Just walk around Doccinga and explore the lovely little village. Once you have done that, the whole map is open to you. Some thieves are running around and hence you aren’t the best fighter and have only a seax to fight with I would try to avoid them. They won’t attack you once you are a poor beggar, but beware if you are getting richer and have a few companions with you. Then they might attack you by themselves.

Get some cash first:
A good way to get some cash and improve your fighting skills is going to the training grounds in Dorestad.  Just do some melee fighting and you will get some penings for it. This will take some time, but once you have some cash, you are a good fighter as well and might have even levelled up. Once you have a little spare cash, I would buy a shield and a better primary weapon. Or other weapons if you prefer. Once you have that, you can actually start to attack smaller groups of thieves alone since you have also improved your fighting skills by now. This will bring you reputation and more money. Another way of getting money is to follow the storyline and start attacking thieves after you have recruited a few men. Smaller groups of thieves might try to avoid your bigger group though. And chasing them is a bit boring… You will also gain less reputation for fighting in a bigger group. If you manage to take some prisoners go to the next bigger town and look into the mead hall for a slave trader. There is usually also another slave trader lingering around somewhere in town, but he will pay you less money for your prisoners.

Leveling up:
Once you gained enough experience to reach another level you can improve your character’s stats. This works as in character creation. Keep in mind though, that it is a little bit different to Native. You will get only one point for attributes every five levels. So the choices are a little more limited.

Recruiting troops:
 Different to native, you need the approval of the local lord to recruit troops on his land. You can only recruit troops in the mead hall of towns if you don’t have the approval of local lords. Higher tier troops won’t follow a little beggar though. You need (a lot of) money AND reputation to recruit them. To get the approval of a lord you need to be on good terms with him, otherwise he won’t allow it to you. Once you’ve got the approval you can ask in towns and villages for recruits. They will be less experienced and less equipped though than the mercenaries in the taverns.

Fighting alone or in small groups:
You can play VC and Mount and Blade trying to avoid fighting at all, but even then sometime you will be forced to defend your life and belongings. And to be honest, the fighting is the reason most of us are playing this game.
If you are fighting in a group, you can control your fellow soldiers by choosing the ones concerned with the numbers 1 to 6 (or more, if you decide to create more subgroups. Just click on any of your troops on the “Army” screen and assign them to a different “Class of troop”) and choosing the options that appear (usually keys from F1 to F6). Try these commands out as often as possible to learn about them. You can also command your troops by pressing “BACKSPACE”.
Your tactics in a small fight should always depend on your skills and the weaponry you own. So I can only give a few hints here and not the “perfect” solution. You need to figure out some tactics by yourself. There is no sense seeking a high and often exposed position if you or your small group don’t own any ranged weapons. In this case some cover behind some trees or a hill is often the better option. As long as you don’t own a superior force to your enemy, they usually are trying to attack you. So let them come close while you wait in cover. So they don’t have enough time to thin your lines or destroy your shields with their ranged weapons. Charge once they are close by if they are archers or skirmishers. They are usually weak in melee combat. Against some Infantry with a few javelins staying in a close formation might still be the better option. If you own the superior force in a fight end the enemy is staying in formation away from you, try to use the surrounding countryside to get closer. A few archers on a hill can really be a problem once attacked openly. If you do own ranged weapons though, a high position with a good view is favourable. Even though you expose yourself to ranged weapons as well. As long as you are higher up than your enemy you have the advantage of range and you might have a little more time to thin the enemy’s lines before going into melee. Because if they want to get you and get out of your constant barrage of javelins and arrows they need to climb the hill you are on and that usually takes some time. More time to thin their lines…

Battles:
In a battle it is crucial that you survive. So don’t play hero because even a superior force might lose once depleted of their leader. In the end you can do some fighting of your own, but in the beginning it is more important that you keep the overview in the chaos of battle.
 Once you are in a battle choosing a good position is the key to victory. Most rules for fighting in a small group apply to battles as well, but here formations are another important factor. I usually start a battle in a holding position, look for a good position and then move my troops there. Since you should have some troops with long ranged weapons (like archers) in a bigger army, being on a hill is always a good start. A hill is also the best option with heavily armoured troops without long ranged weapons and only a few javelins. Try to attack a group of svear warriors holding position on a hill and you will see. I usually try to position archers on top of a hill to give them the advantage of range and position spear men and infantry in a closed formation (such as the shield wall) a little bit deeper in front of them. Skirmisher I position even in front of the shield wall but let them retreat once the enemies are to close since they usually are not as heavily armoured than others. Horse riders should be kept out of range of enemy archers and attack the back of the enemy or their ranged troops once the melee has begun. I personally group my companions as heavy armoured housecarls around me. Once the tides of fortune are definitely on my side, I let them charge as well (and sometimes do some bloody work as well…). In big battles you will get experience though even without fighting, so keep some space for “Battle trophies” in your inventory. Selling those in towns will give you money AND experience so they are worth much more than one more Axe in your loot. These battle trophies usually don’t appear on the loot screen on top, so have a look through all of your loot after a battle.

Sea battles:
The most interesting part of VC in my opinion though is being able to fight on ship. In the storyline you will get a good and fast ship at some stage, so don’t waste money on it. In sandbox it is different. I would always choose speed over size. Place some archers and heavily armed troops in your ship and try to avoid getting boarded in the beginning. Your archers will thin out the enemy’s lines. A good way of doing this is trying to get in an upwind position to your enemy and face them with your broadside. So all of your troops can use their ranged weapons, while the enemy is trying to row towards you. You can repeat this manoeuvre even a several times and defeat far superior forces with this tactic. Once you got boarded by a superior force you will lose though.  Because even if you defeat the troops on the first ship your own troops usually don’t stay together and not staying together facing loads of enemies is always a bad idea. Sadly the command system on sea is not as good as on land so commanding more than one ship is difficult. Against a superior force you might lose all men except the ones in your flagship. Still, sticking to those rules above might lead you to victory.
(click to show/hide)

This guide might not solve all problems that might occur, but I hope it is some help to new players anyway. As mentioned before, this guide gives some more hints http://forums.taleworlds.com/index.php/topic,322455.0.html

JuJu70

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Re: A Beginners tactical guide to Viking Conquest
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2015, 06:20:22 PM »
 
Quote
You can only recruit troops in the mead hall of towns if you don’t have the approval of local lords

You can also recruit at farmsteads, and if you're Christian at monasteries.

gravur

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Re: A Beginners tactical guide to Viking Conquest
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2016, 07:09:21 AM »
can I get some help on how to become king?  I own 3 cities and forts and village, now feel like I'm running around swatting invaders, and want help to guard areas while I venture out to take more areas.  perhaps I'm missing the point?  thanks
Graveur

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Re: A Beginners tactical guide to Viking Conquest
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2016, 09:39:36 AM »
You just have to renounce your oath to your current king but you will lose all your fiefs in the process and conquer a city or castle then you will be asked what to do with it.

gravur

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Re: A Beginners tactical guide to Viking Conquest
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2017, 08:49:58 PM »
thanks, now not sure what is entailed to winning the game. It seems one can own everything but has to have good relations with enough Lords?  Whew!  Major kissing up to those conquered.  Is there any gambit or notification saying one has "won"? 
« Last Edit: July 16, 2017, 07:35:47 PM by gravur »

gravur

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Re: A Beginners tactical guide to Viking Conquest
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2017, 08:52:59 PM »
what to do with the game system allowing an enemy king to have 2380 troops in their fleet? It seems the most I can have at sea is 630.  Don't say "fight better", without telling me how.  Those are daunting odds.

Ser Valdor

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Re: A Beginners tactical guide to Viking Conquest
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2017, 11:58:24 PM »
Thank you, This helped!