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Ragnarok to Victory

Published 1/29/03, AoM v1.03

By Little_Wing

Norse are probably my favorite civ, as they are so much fun to play. Ragnarok is a GP unlike any other in the game and has the potential to turn the tide of a close match, if used correctly. Ragnarok is one of the unusual GP's, and I like to use it in those longer games, so I thought I'd post some tips in using it more effectively.

First of all, Ragnarok is very much a planned GP, in that you need to prepare to make sure it will end up hurting the enemy more than you. Ragnarok is not a GP to be used lightly, you must know what you are going to do with those heroes and how you are going to recover your econ.

  • If you can, increase your villager pop as much as possible before blowing the horn.
     
  • Decide before hand what you are going to hit. Get into position if possible to reduce the time your enemy has to prepare. Scout well if you can, and especially look for infantry counters.
     
  • Make sure, if at all possible, to have some saved resources. There will be a far while were your econ is producing little, and you will spend like crazy. Especially make sure you have enough wood/gold for TC and hill fort building, these are key to winning with Ragnarok. Taking a TC or two, and getting hill forts up in the enemy base is an almost certain win, make sure you have the wood/gold.
     
  • I like to move my villagers to a staging point before using Ragnarok. Shift click so they drop their resources first. This is very valuable for two reasons: One, you don't end up with any wasted heroes not being used because you forgot about some wood choppers or something, and: Two, it maximizes the impact of the assault. But be careful about alerting an enemy, if they see your villagers going forwards, and you are Baldr, they would be idiots not to expect Ragnarok. Still, even if they do see them, by that time you are only 20-30 secs at most from using it, so it is not to bad.
     
  • Don't let your heroes and military stream into the enemy, they should attack en masse. If they stream in, the enemy can cut them down in chunks as they march in. Attacking en masse reduces your losses and increases the damage to the enemy.
     
  • Traffic control - don't get clogged up trying to get around your own buildings. If you have a row of longhouses in the way, with only a few gaps between them, delete a longhouse or two if needed to help prevent your forces from jamming up and stopping. Be ruthless, this is Ragnarok. There is nothing worse than launching your attack only to find the the front troops moved in fine, but the bulk of your troops are caught up on your own buildings. Make sure troops don't get hung up!
     
  • Hit them where they are weakest, if possible. Just because you now have a pop of 220 is no reason to throw yourself at a triangle of three fortress.
     
  • Queue up villagers at your TC's to get your econ going again. Make sure the TC gather points are where you want them, you don't want to check 3 minutes later and find your villagers standing around doing nothing.
     
  • Queue military units that you think you will need, especially considering what your enemy will likely build to counter your Ragnarok heroes.
     
  • Bypass strong areas when practical. Your prime objective using Ragnarok is to knock down TC's and build yours. If there is a fort, walk past it, don't waste time hammering it down when you can be taking out TC's This is especially true against Egypt, Migdols may look important, but the TC is far more valuable, and TC Mercs are much more dangerous than anything coming out of a Migdol.
     
  • Get armour upgrades, particularly pierce, as much as is affordable, since you will be fighting under TC/fort/tower fire.
     
  • Get at least some rams made (or siege MU's) before going Ragnarok. Rams are invaluable for quickly reducing TC's/forts while your heroes and mil fight. Remember, you won't be able to make any for a while as you will be popped out
     
  • Spend your favor, and be ready to queue up MU's', as the heavy fighting will generate favor quickly, and there is no sense wasting it.
     
  • Prepare your support beforehand. Get some rams ready, and especially units to fight counter-infantry Ragnarok heroes are strong, but you need to be ready to deal with Hypaspists, Toxotes, Axemen, Chariots and Throwing Axemen.
     
  • Build like a madman. Knock down TC's and build your own on settlement immediately. Also, put up hill forts next to them, and longhouses if possible. It really is hard on an enemy to lose a TC in the middle of their base and see 20 heroes/TA's putting up a TC, that is very hard to stop.
     
  • Target the right buildings. I usually go for TC's, houses, and then military buildings. If you can knock down a TC and some houses, your enemy will have a very hard time pumping out the counter units. I don't usually bother with killing villagers much, that can wait, as in the short term they are taking up the enemy's pop slots. If I can get a TC and some houses down that is what matters.
     
  • Consider attacking on two fronts. This will make it easier to move in, as trying to move a very large mil into one area can lead to masses of troops clogged up. And it will be impossible for an enemy to fight both groups at once. But be very careful that you don't end up allowing an enemy to destroy one attacking group, and then move to destroy the other. If an attack in one area isn't going well, pull them back and hit somewhere else, don't waste those heroes in a fight you can't win.
     
  • Watch your base area. A smart player will send a ram/giant/siege tower or whatever to knock down your TC's, as you have no units at home and can't make any. Keep an eye on the mini-map and be ready to send back a few units.
     
  • And perhaps most important of all: Trade caravans! These are vital, have a good trade network up and running before using Ragnarok. Caravans don't get converted into heroes, and they will be your econ for the next while. Caravans will keep the gold coming in even though you are over pop and have no villagers, and with gold you can buy wood/food if needed. Caravans are vital in quickly recovering your econ, don't be afraid to buy food/wood if needed, by Mythic the prices should be low anyway. Trade caravans let you enjoy the benefits of Ragnarok (huge army, breaking the the pop limit) while greatly reducing the econ hit. It is quite possible to run a no vil econ for a while, with caravans supplying the gold. This is the number one method to avoiding the econ crunch of Ragnarok.

Remember, when a Ragnarok fails, it is the econ hit that kills you, not losing the heroes on the battlefield. Caravans really help you rebuild your econ quickly, and tide you over while you are over pop.

I hope this helps, Ragnarok is a very fun late game option. Make the most of it and it can truly win the game for you.

-Little_Wing