Vikings. Primarily that means Viking Dwarves, but Nordgaard also has Humans and Ogres.
Nordgaard was founded by two demigod brothers whose mother was one of the Asrae (gods of Humans) and whose father was one of the elemental earth gods. Nordgaard lies in the north of Ghorn, bordering the deadly Northlands (home to ice demons).
Nordgaard was chosen by the Asrae gods to become one of the five Blessed Kingdoms. The Demigod hero Isenwolf led the armies of Nordgaard across the western ocean conquering much of northern Velyr.
Besides that, the Dwarves of Nordgaard long since colonised most of the major mountain chains of Ghorn and the human Skannfyrd have been expanding southwards with raiding parties and settlers for hundreds of years.
General Gaming concept:
Subfaction 1 – Clans. These are the most common denizens of Nordgaard, representing the farmers, loggers, miners etc. who live in the wild expanses of Nordgaards countryside, and are formed into a family and clan structure, at the top of which is the king. First and foremost are the local dwarven militia troops called Fjell Warriors, but it also includes the professional soldiers of Nordgaard’s standing army – the units of thanes.
Subfaction 2 – Guilds. The Guilds subfaction represents primarily Dwarves who are members of the guilds and groups which lay outside of clan control. This includes mundane guilds like jewellers but also the ranger guild of Fimbul Toughborns and the mystic-military society of the Einherjer.
Subfaction 3 – Skannfyrd. The Skannfyrd are Humans and Ogres who have become permanently entwined with the Dwarves, forming together with them the Nordgaard culture. Skannfyrd worship the gods of the earth element and a Pantheon of the Asrae. Their culture is approximately as civilized as the Wyldfolk.
Durability – Nordgaard models generally have more life points and decent armor, as well as abilities like Leatherskin, Resilient, and Tenacious, which make them even more durable. Nordgaard also has good to excellent armor – particularly the Dwarves.
Melee Excellence – all Nordgaard models have average or above average MEL except the Fjell Warriors militia troops.
Hard-Hitting – Nordgaard models have average to excellent POW, so they can cut down even heavy infantry.
Items – Nordgaard has a large armory to choose from compared to most other factions, particularly in terms of weapons and armor.
Magical immunity – Nordgaard models, especially the Dwarves have higher than average MAG, making them less susceptible to enemy spells.
Slow Movement – Dwarves have MOV2, so they are slower in the game and can be out-maneuvered. It is possible to reduce this deficiency by playing mixed warbands of Skannfyrd humans, Ogres giants and Vargs.
Synergies and Complexity
Nordgaard is intermediate in complexity. Skannfyrd are a little easier than Clans and Guilds.
Playing Dwarves requires some skill because they rarely get to charge the enemy so must prepare themselves to be charged. This is not catastrophic in Godslayer because charged models can fight back and most melee is simultaneous.
Nordgaard also have ways to increase their durability for example the magical potions of the Brewer, healing and resurrection of the Valkyrie and tactics like Shieldwall, as well as several ordered tactics from some of the warlords.
So use of simple synergies like tactics is normally necessary for success with Nordgaard.
Why should I collect Nordgaard?
If you like Dwarves, you will love Nordgaard
If you like Vikings, you will like Nordgaard. Even if you like Vikings and hate Dwarves, it is completely possible to play a Skannfyrd-only subfaction warband with only humans, Ogres, giants and Vargs. Wave-2 Nordgaard releases will focus more on the Skannfyrd subfaction.
If you like rock-hard, solid troops, the Nordgaard is for you.
What Types of Warbands can I build?
Viking Menace – Lots of Skannfyrd Kinswords, led by the Scarjarl, and backed up by Chainslayer Ogres, Fjellgangr Giants and Bloodvargs as flankers. This is an easy-to-use, large warband. It can absorb lots of casualties, and perform pretty offensively. Chainslayers mow-down enemy light infantry and Fjellgangr giants pound enemy warlords. Add the Valkyrie for greater effect because she has a good synergy with Skannfyrd.
Elite Indestructibles – 2 units of elite Einherjer led by a Runegate Keeper. These guys are already the toughest unit in the game, but you can buff the ARM and DEF with the Brewer and tactics of the Runegate Keeper. Add the Valkyrie, and then any troopers which do get killed can be easily resurrected.
Dwarven Horde – 3-4 units of Fjell Warriors buffed by the Brewer and Warsmith.
Hammer and Anvil – Fjell Warrior Dwarves in Shield wall backed by the Warsmith and Brewer provide a solid Anvil to absorb the enemy’s charge. Fjellganger giants and Vargs on the flanks provide the hammer to smash the halted enemy from behind.
Layered Defence – place 2 units of Fjell Warriors in a line with shield wall. Behind and between them a unit of Einherjer. On a hill behind them place Fimbull Toughborns In front of the Fjell Warriors place Chainslayers.
The Toughborns weaken the approaching enemy with their crossbows. The enemy models will need to charge through the combined 11 inches covered by the 2 Chainslayers, suffering automatic hits from the swinging chains. The enemy making it through will smash against the Shield wall of the Fjell Warriors. If the wall breaks, rush in your 3 Einherjer to plug the hole. The will grind down your enemy to a halt.
Ogre Horde – Use two of the Wave-2 starterbox units of Myrgarder Huscarl Ogres, backed up with Chainslayer Ogres and led by the Gestir Captain Ogre. This warband is a hard-hitting and tough unit with decent speed. Naturally that means they are pretty much an elite warband with less models.