Ok so you've decided you wanna play as a viking and conquer the world? Well this guide will focus on the start of 1 of 4 different Norse petty kingdoms. The petty kingdom of Jylland, The petty kingdom of Sjaelland, The petty kingdom of Svitjod and lastly the petty kingdom of Ostlandet. They will eventually blur into each other but the start for each is unique. This guide will also utilize the kingdom you form first along with the kingdom of Finland title (which is a extremely weak kingdom anyhow and it doesn't matter if you give it away later) to create the empire of Scandinavia.
So the advantages of the Norse in 867 are:
- Invasion CB allows you to take over the kingdom that your primary title resides in
- Norse raiders can travel throughout the river system
- Quick expansion from your native lands can quickly allow you to create the Empire of Scandinavia.
The disadvantages of the Norse in 867 are:
- Without reformation, Gavelkind is the only succession law available to you unless Norse is reformed or you convert to Christianity. This means you have to use assassins to kill off all but 1 son which is risky business
Petty kingdom of Jylland:
Ok so you've decided to take the easy route? Yes the easy route. At the start it doesn't look to good but don't worry. Soon a message will pop up giving you the option to pick between 3 prepared invasions. You can either take the petty kingdom of Mercia, the petty kingdom of Brittany or the petty kingdom of Wessex. Opt for the last one. This part of England is the strongest so make sure you have enough troops for it and don't launch it too early.
Once the invasion is launched make sure you occupy the top county in all counties in the petty kingdom of Wessex. This will give you full control over the entire southern part of England and you can move your capital to Middlesex. Now give away your old counties (you don't want those anymore anyway since the ones in England is far superior) and set your ambition to become king of England.
Next objective is to attack the kingdom of Mercia and take some more counties so that you can form the kingdom of England. While doing this you may also want to take over the petty kingdom of Sjaelland to get some more counties. Hopefully they will have gone north into Norway but they could also go for Lithuania (since your blocking their access to create the kingdom of Denmark).
Once you're king of England any Norse county that isn't part of a duchy that you have a border with will accept a offer of vassalization. This should net you a big part of Norway and parts of Sweden. Just keep going with conquering all of England and, if possible, Scotland so you can also take Ireland while you're at it. Meanwhile in Scandinavia you should keep conquering and use your chancellor to make claims for you in the duchies that won't bow the knee to you. Also keep conquering the counties in Finland and you will soon have enough to form the empire of Scandinavia .
Alternatively with this starting position: Instead of forming the empire of Scandinavia you can opt to form the empire of Britannia depending on how the situation is progressing.
Petty kingdom of Sjaelland:
Ok this is a little harder than going as Jylland but far from hard. You're allied with your viking brothers over in England and Scotland along with the petty kingdom of Sweden. You're pretty strong from the start so immediately go up and conquer Ostlandet. This will stop them from creating Norway. Also take the option to conquer Jylland as early as possible so you can create the kingdom of Denmark.
Once the kingdom of Denmark is created then vassalize the counties in Norway that are still free and start making your move into Finland. While your doing this the petty kingdom of Sweden should have expanded and conquered pretty much all of Sweden but if you're quick you will manage to vassalize a couple of them up in the north. Also put your chancellor to fabricate claims in the duchy of småland or västergötland. When pretty much all of Finland is under your sway you should have a couple of claims in Sweden to press so go on and press them and you should have enough counties to form the empire.
Petty kingdom of svitjod:
Another easy win. This is all about being quick and conquering the petty kingdom of Sjaelland before they can become a threat. Your allied with the sons of lodbrok, Sjaelland and the Norse invaders in Rus. Make the become king of Sweden as your ambition. and start conquering vestergötland and småland as quick as you can. Hopefully Sjaelland will still be busy in England assisting their allies there so go on and attack them with a subjugation. If you manage this part you've won basically.
Keep on conquering northwards and form the kingdom of Sweden. Vassalize any county next to your border than have Norse as religion same as the other starting positions. Keep on conquering Finland and you will soon have most of the territory of the empire of Scandinavia so go ahead and form it.
Petty kingdom of Ostlandet:
This one is alot harder than the others even though you don't have any threats to begin with. Choose the ambition to become king of Norway and just keep on conquering the entire country. Do NOT use any subjugation CB outside of Norway just yet. Make sure you ally with some other Norse petty kingdom at this point.You will soon have a border with svitjod so use the subjugation on them for a quick land grab. Now make the kingdom of Norway.
Put your chancellor in Sjaelland to fabricate claims there. While waiting for claims keep on pushing into Finland. Once you have most of Finland you should have gained a few claims in Denmark so go on and press those. When Denmark is firmly under your boot go ahead and form the empire of Scandinavia.
Unifying the pagan north:
Unless you opted for playing Jylland you should now designate where your gonna have your capital. The wisest place to place the capital is in Uppsala in Sweden no matter where you started. This is because the counties surrounding it are quite good. The only position that is better is in the duchy of Holstein but unfortunately this is half controlled by east francia (most likely at least) so you're unlikely to make any gains here just yet.
Now, once you've assigned where your gonna build your capital, start expanding into the Baltic in the kingdom of Lithuania and Pomerania. They should be pretty disorganized and fall easy to you. At this point the kingdom of Poland should have formed and the kingdom of great Moravia should have collapsed giving you some easy grabs in their former territory in meissen and Bohemia when you get there. The Christians are unlikely to bother you much unless you attack them or take over the two pagan counties in the duchy of Saxony.
If the kingdom of Rus fell to the Slavic religion go ahead and conquer it too. Shouldn't be to hard since you're vastly stronger than they are by this point. If the kingdom of Poland is form you can do a fast grab of it with the subjugation CB.
Now your empire should encompass the following kingdoms at least: Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Pomerania (most of it), Poland, Lithuania and Rus. Your now strong enough to face off against the Karlings.
Reformation and the powerful Karlings:
Now its time to reform the Norse religion. For this you will most likely need to conquer the provinces of braunschweig and zeeland. Depending on how the situation have unfolded down here it can be either a walk in the park or a nightmare. If the holy roman empire have formed your gonna have to take it slow and preferably wait for their vassals to rebel or alternatively drag their armies right into your pagan lands and let the attrition do the job. If east francia is independent and same with lotharingia then go for one of the provinces near braunschweig first via conquest CB. The Karlings will most likely band together against you but you should be able to prevail against them.
When the first war is won wait for your troop levels to return and launch a conquest of Zeeland. Take it and you should be at 4/5 holy sites. Just wait 10 years per conquest its not worth loosing alot of prestige to grab the holy sites. If anything near your borders rebels then quickly grab something from them while you can since this will weaken the Karlings. Next take Braunschweig and you will have enough to reform the Norse religion
The worst scenarios when trying to reform the Norse religion is that the Holy roman empire is formed and having both Zeeland and Barunschweig in it. I've once had the holy roman empire encompass all of the land that the Karling dynasty members started with. If this happen to you then just restart cause you're not gonna be able to take them on. They will have roughly 3 times your troop amount. It saves you some time to restart rather than waiting for their vassals to rebel.
Alternatively the empire of francia can have formed and having most of the karling starting lands within it. This isn't that much of a deal but again if it is too large just restart.
Post reformation tips:
- Focus on getting a retinue compromised of mostly heavy infantry along with archers.
- Set crown authority to medium in the empire
- Set elective as your crown law since its better to be able to pick your heir yourself.
- Move the capital (unless the one you have is very well build) down to Bremen and take control of the duchy of Holstein
- Focus on taking down the Karlings and whats left of Great Moravia
- Get 4 in military organization and take over the kingdoms of Hungary and Ruthenia.
- After year 1100 you will be able to launch a great holy war against a entire kingdom that you designate so make sure this kingdom have lots of counties to take over for maximized effect. This should be used against the Muslims in Andalusia for a big chunk of land grab.
- Beware the mongols. They are the only danger basically when you've dealt with the Karlings.
- Conquer Rome via conquest CB. This is to prevent them from launching a crusade against you after 1087.
- Keep an eye on what other pagan religions have reformed. The Tengri religion is very nasty since its members have unlimited invasion CB same as Muslims and Hungary may control all the land from Hungary to Turkestan
- It is possible to take every county on the map this way since once the north and the British isles are under your control there wont be any other Norse pagan counties for you to deal with so you can just conquer away