Northmen: tips, tricks and feedback

I’m enjoying playing with the Northmen. I’m playing in the arctic on hard and it’s been very challenging.

First, a few tips for the hunters starting package.

  1. Being able to start with a few archers lures you into a false sense of security, the advancement tree for Northmen is the most difficult to climb quickly. The archers are much better than Footman early game, but you eventually need knights and clerics which are both harder to get. The new advancement tree requires advancement through both archer and footman to become a knight, which means one or both of your starting archers should be fast tracked to knighthood. Even though footman is worse than archer, use your stonemason to produce a sword talisman to upgrade one to a footman as soon as possible, then use that bow talisman to train a replacement archer.

  2. Get a blacksmith running as soon as possible! First you need to produce a shield to promote your footman to a knight, then produce a saw to train a carpenter. You’ll need a carpenter to make bow talismans to have more than 2 archers at a time. You also need a carpenter to craft the herbalists staff. This means you have to get a high level blacksmith, then high level carpenter, then a herbalist, then finally cleric.

  3. The tailor can produce bunny shields! I think this shield is unique to the Northmen, but it’s better than the best shield the blacksmith can make and is usable by both the footman and the knight. Having one or two of these in the hand of a knight or fighter can make the difference between a village wipe and victory.


  1. The large variety of trees makes it difficult to keep the village looking pretty, because you can’t plant a sufficient number of the same looking trees. I’m doing my best to minimize chopping down all the high altitude trees since my farmers can only create pine saplings which are dark green, but it’s tough since the blacksmith needs so much wood to fuel the furnace. The contrast makes the village look kind of odd and out of place against the much lighter colors of the untouched vegetation. I appear to have made it through winter to the rainy season and the high altitude trees seem to stay covered in “snow” all year, and look pretty foolish next to trees the player can plant.

  2. Northmen should be able to grow wheat! This seems so obvious to me I wonder if it was just a mistake that it was left out. Thematically, wheat is a more important crop in cold arid climates than sweet potatoes. Strategically, corn and carrots are both unavailable which means poyo’s and rabbits are a no-go for shepherds, but sheep should be available for their wool. Maybe I’ve just not gotten very lucky with my merchants, but I’ve not been able to obtain any seeds for new crops. One merchant came offering golden gourds in exchange for carrots which I can’t grow.


There’s been some modifications in recent patches. The Herbalist staff can be crafted by a Potter, which comes after Mason.
Shepherd animals food made by the Cook take different ingredients now. I think the food for Poyos is made from bug meat, and Sheep food also comes from something else, maybe wintermoss fibre?
I like the loadout with one Archer bow, and a Herbalist staff, it can get a Cleric faster, and you can make a (Wooden) Sword with the Mason, and pass the bow around to new recruits, while working your footmen towards Knights.
A Herbalist can level up quick by making seeds from plants, and then you also get a good flower production going after their first bloom. Weaver can also be made from Mason, and their supply fibre from Wintermoss grows faster than before now too.


food for poyos is made from bug meet.

Yep, verified. I was so hung up on sheep I didn’t even check poyos.

sheep food comes from something else.

It is indeed wintermoss fibre. I settled higher in the mountains where I’d not actually gathered any of the stuff, and was expecting eventually my farmers would be able to plant the crop. It is odd, and a little tedious that the way to cultivate the stuff in mass is to individually place plants in a field and then harvest them all manually every time. I suppose the idea is that a northern alliance village would not be a huge exporter of cloth products, so only harvesting enough to support my tailors is reasonable.

I’d tried the other loadout the first time (one bow and herbalist staff) but had an unfortunate village wipe, but it might actually be the better one. two archers and a trapper ended up producing a large surplus of meat such that i was selling my meat stews at merchants, so one archer is probably enough.

Quick note: now that cooks can craft high-quality foods, meat stews can become really good trading options in the mid- or late-game. At the highest quality, 54g for 1 jerky and 2 veggies (normally worth 3g and 2g each respectively) is amazing; although even if you’re keeping the best food for its bonuses and selling off the fine and normal quality you’ll still make a good amount of gold that way. Works with tasty bug stew and veggie stew too; but jerky is something you’ll be most likely to have a surplus of.