Released in 2018, Northgard has become a staple of colony simulator strategy games.
Featuring a charming set of graphics, immersive maps and a wide variety of clans, it’s truly one of the greatest real-time strategy games available today.
Each clan has their own set of strengths and weaknesses to cater to different play styles.
Northgard’s unique clans keep players coming back as randomly generated maps, combined with the unique bonuses of each faction, offer a different experience in each game.
If you’re reading this, you’ve likely just started playing Northgard or have become a seasoned PvE veteran and are looking to delve into PvP combat.
Don’t be deterred if your favorite clan is on the list, Northgard is well balanced and all clans are viable, just some are that bit more effective than others!
- Start the game with 1 Sheep & allows you to build 2 Sheepfolds
- 20% reduction in Military Experience earned
- Feast production bonus increased by 20%
- Shepherd (200 Fame)
Gain 2 extra Sheep. Increases amount of Sheepfold allowed by 1 and increases their production by 10%.
- Team Work (500 Fame)
Your defense towers have a 25% damage reduction while your colony is feasting & gain a free feast once per year.
Perfect for making the most out of little territory zones, the Clan of the Goat excels at gaining high amounts of resources without expansion.
Eldhrumnir, their unique relic, grants health regeneration & reduced feast food cost to further enhance their survivability.
Utilise the Sheepfolds for additional food production while retaining the wood retention bonus during winter that sheep provide.
While colonies fall around them the Clan of the Goat will endure.
- Two clan warchiefs are recruitable at the forge for krowns, no barracks or iron needed.
- Cannot build mines
- Warchiefs can mine ore nodes
- Volund’s Forge can be built, rather than the ordinary forge
- Villagers build & repair 30% faster
- Craftsmen (200 Fame)
Upgraded tools are 10% more efficient. Stone and iron sell for more krowns and your trading partner gets more of those resources.
- Legacy of the Earth (500 Fame)
Unlocks a second relic. Spawns 2 stone and iron deposits in your territory.
Regarded as the best forging clan in the entire game, Clan of the Horse can provide significant bonuses during themed partner battles, or for co-op missions.
Their two warchiefs Eitria and Brok are the only miners and forgers you can recruit.
Using the two big units efficiently will see significant gains to iron, stone and lore production.
Definitely recommended for players who enjoy keeping to themselves for the most part.
Quickly upgrade tools and get the second relic to have an advantage over your opponents.
- Start with Signy (Warchief) already recruited
- Can construct the unique Skirmisher Camp and recruit Skirmishers
- No access to Fame, Signy instead grows stronger over time
One of the most unique clans in the game, caring not for fame and fortune, choosing to remain in the shadows instead.
Skirmishers are powerful ranged units that can explore neutral territory without alerting any nearby forces.
Let’s say there’s a Draugr Camp in between you and a rival, you can send Skirmishers to raid the enemy clan’s lands without them being able to retaliate quickly.
If they do charge in to fight the Draugr, you can send your army in to mop up the survivors.
Clan Snake’s warchief Signy gains powerful abilities as the match progresses, eventually being able to move like skirmishers, as well as scorch territory tiles to steal resources and reduce resource production.
Overall, it’s quite a niche clan that is most effective for PvP battles.
- For the 2 months before winter, this clan has a 30% production bonus
- During winter, this clan consumes more food and wood
- Can seek out and claim the unique resource Ingredients
- Stove replaces the Brewery and is able to cook meals for various bonuses using ingredients
- Has a unique victory condition; Ratatoskr
- A Helpind Hand (200 Fame)
A boat delivers plenty of ingredients. You can now make meals for allies and unlock a “gift” route in the Trading Post.
- Plot for the Throne (500 Fame)
Increases Fame depending on how populous your colony is compared to rivals. Increased villager arrival rate.
- Most Beautiful Banquet (1000 Fame)
Grants access to the unique victory condition.
Clan Squirrel’s play style revolves mostly around scavenging for ingredients to achieve victory.
Acquire 1000 meat, fish, vegetables and mushrooms to complete the victory condition and win the game!
In the meantime, utilise meals to provide bonuses to production, military might, or to heal injured units.
This clan is one of the trickiest to use but it also comes with the added effect of surprise. Your opponents will never know what you’re really up to, surprise attacks can give you a big advantage.
- Learning new lore knowledge grants more Fame
- +2 max population for every territory
- Mender’s Hut replaces the Healer’s Hut. Menders provide lore instead of food
- Can colonise neutral zones containing wildlife for additional food. Wild life will stay and protect the zone
- No reduced happiness for un-upgraded buildings
- Heritage (200 Fame)
Gain a free knowledge point.
- Greater Blessings (500 Fame)
Upgrades the blessing bonuses
At one with nature, Clan of the Boar looks after the world they live in.
It is an early game clan who can expand quickly, leaving wildlife behind to protect territories.
One of their biggest problems is the inability to trade with other clans.
However, they can recruit a Giant Boar that can either be sacrificed for 200 food or used in battle.
A mixed play style is recommended with this faction, early expansion is good but you don’t want to overextend your lines.
- Slaying wildlife grants extra food
- Military personnel consume less food and provide colony happiness
- While you have no military units, the next recruit is free
- Dominion (200 Fame)
Berserker can colonise areas for free, once a year.
- Assault (500 Fame)
Warband units gain 15% bonus attack when fighting in a neutral or enemy territory. Dominion can be activated every 6 months.
My personal favourite, Clan of the Wolf is an aggressive faction that constantly seeks out fights and new territory.
Berserkers are one of the best warchiefs in the game, with high offensive power and the ability to colonise zones themselves.
If you find a nearby wolf den, it’s worth keeping it under control as an additional source of income. Each time a wolf spawns, it’ll provide valuable military experience, as well as 60 food!
Defensive players should stay far away from this clan due to their aggressive nature. If you’re not constantly attacking, you’re playing this clan wrong.
- Reduced food and wood penalties in winter
- Military units gain a 10% damage reduction buff in winter, rather than the negative winter effects
- Can summon a powerful Armoured Bear and Shield Maiden
- Kindred Spirit (200 Fame)
Placing the armoured bear or shield maiden inside a zone grants 15% bonus production.
- The Bear Awakens (500 Fame)
Provides bonus Fame for any enemy killed in a zone containing a shield maiden. Increased military unit attack by 1% per 100 Fame.
No doubt you’ve faced this clan in PvE adventures, the Bear Clan is a frustratingly strong faction to defeat.
Constantly summoning their armoured bear and shield maiden and keeping them occupied in zones for production bonuses means they can
I’ve found a good strategy is to play mostly defensive until you get the 500 Fame bonus, then keep raiding with your shield maiden to gain that precious attack bonus.
Once it’s around 10%, as well as having your military units upgraded, it shouldn’t be too difficult to conquer the rest of the map!
- Start the game with bonus resources
- Hall of Skalds replaces the Brewery, producing Fame
- Supplies (200 Fame)
Grants a large number of bonus resources
- Dedication (500 Fame)
All upgraded buildings have a 10% production bonus, increased by 1% per 100 Fame.
Considered to be the best starting clan for new players in Northgord due to the amount of starting resources and easy access to fame.
They also have access to one of the best relics in the game, with your warchief automatically colonising any zone they conquer.
It does rely on fame and happiness for maximum competence though, which teaches players how to run their colony properly.
Overall, Clan of the Stag is a versatile clan with a focus on a balance between economy and military.
- Can summon two powerful creatures, Brundr and Kaelinn
- Can acquire hunting trophies from creature kills
- Archery Range replaces the Axe Thrower Camp and can train Trackers
- Rather than your ordinary military path, Clan Lynx spends hunting trophies to upgrade Brundr, Kaelinn, and Trackers
- Lure (200 Fame)
Unlocks the Lure ability, attracting mythical animals. Lynx’s next clan feast has reduced cost, up to 50%, per creature killed.
- Oskoreia (500 Fame)
Unlocks the Oskoreia ability, allowing their warchief to sacrifice themself to summon mythical spirit creatures.
Masters of stalking and taking down prey, utilising their Lynx heroes, archers and various wildlife forms to engage in decisive ambushes.
Their beastmaster and warchief Mielikki has weaker stats than other warchiefs, but makes up for such a disadvantage in other ways.
Her ability to use Lure, as well as produce Lore within your territory, offers a completely different style to other clans.
Sending out your Lynxes early is crucial for this clan, as they need their upgrades as soon as possible. Their first upgrade grants regeneration while they’re in the same territory and is absolutely essential for acquiring trophies early on.
- 50% increased colonisation and building costs on non-coastal zones
- Reduced attack power for all units on non-coastal zones
- Cannot build the Longship Dock
- Fishermen Hut is replaced by the Fishery which has a 20% production bonus and can be used to fish in the sea
- Brewery is replaced by the Hörgr, it can turn female villagers into Norns. They produce happiness and wyrd, a unique resource that can turn Norns into a Valkyrie as well as activate abilities
- Future Sight (200 Fame)
Gain 400 wyrd. Become aware of events 5 more months before they happen. While the Kraken event is active, your clan is feasting.
- Howl from the Sea Master (500 Fame)
Enemy units killed outside Kraken territory have a 30% chance to become Spectral Warriors under Kraken’s control. These warrior reduce happiness in zones they reside in.
Requiring around a dozen games of experience before finally getting to grips of this clan makes it one of the most difficult to use but oh man, it’s by far the best out there in terms of gameplay experience.
For starters, you cannot win the game via commerce. I know many players don’t particularly aim for that kind of victory anyway though.
With their unique knowledges, you can reveal all neutral camps as well as gain huge bonuses to fishing production.
Spending Wyrd is one of the most difficult aspects to understand as there are so many bonuses you can acquire.
One of the first units you should look to acquire is the Valkyrie for 600 Wyrd. Use it to defend your territory while you expand to more coastal zones and get more Fisherman Huts constructed.
After that, it’s a case of raiding villages with the Ancient Spirit ability (1000 Wyrd) as well as preparing for events well in advance. As you know what events will arise before anyone else, you can plan your offensive strategies accordingly.
To summarise, Clan of the Kraken will bring the most joy when playing Northgard, as well as give you the highest chance of winning!
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