This article may contain outdated information that is inaccurate for the current version of the game. It was last updated for 1.6.
- Light ship cost
- Light ship combat ability
- Production efficiency
- Morale of navies
- Ship costs
- Can recruit Explorers and Conquistadors
- Colonial range
- Global trade power
- Trade steering
Norway is a country that nearly touches the top of the Earth. Although it starts as a lesser partner in the Kalmar Union, the Norwegians control Iceland, a perfect stepping stone into Greenland and thus the New World. Although it will likely never manage to compete with its eastern neighbour Sweden, it can become an economic and trading powerhouse in its own right.
The Norwegian nobleman and knight, Sigurd Jonsson, is a former drottsete, a man who could rule the country in the King's name, and regent of Norway. He is a direct descendant of the old Norwegian royal family and the commander of Akershus Fortress from 1440 to 1445. Sigurd Jonsson is one of the leading proponents of the anti-Hanseatic policies in Norway.
||Mean time to happen (MTTH)
He could be of use to the realm
The son of National Counselor Henrik Jensson, Nils Henriksson, has recently married Ingerd Ottesdatter and consolidated his possession of the Austrått estates. He is now one of Norway's largest landowners, with properties in Bergen, Vardøhus, Hålogaland, Fosen, Frosta, Stjørdal, Sunnmøre, Romsdal, Edøy, Selbu and Herjedalen. He has been suggested to the post of National Counselor.
||Mean time to happen (MTTH)
Let him become an advisor
The first fortification in Vardø Municipality in Finnmark county was built in 1306 and was called Varghøya. The second fortification was built in Østervågen, erected between 1450 and 1500, a rectangular fortification with two corner bastions.
||Mean time to happen (MTTH)
Fortify the fortress further
Increase defenses in the whole of Norway
The final construction of the fortress in Bagahus, Bohuslän is done. A river forms a natural moat around the fortress as it commands its surroundings from a cliff 40 meters high. It serves as the main defense against Sweden with its four rectangular corner towers and the three meters thick wall which surrounds it.
||Mean time to happen (MTTH)
Norway has several disadvantages at game start. Like Sweden, Norway starts as a lesser partner in a personal union under Denmark. Unlike Sweden, Norway does not have the upfront military power nor economy to easily break free alone. In addition, Norway's lands are fairly poor, with 3 base tax being its highest valued province, and it doesn't have good fur production like Sweden has. Norway cannot expect to afford any advisors in a long while, and unless Norway is at war or expect a war shortly the funding for the army should be at minimum (just to avoid deficit). Early "random" events seem to pile up bad luck too so having some spare cash is not a bad idea.
Adding to the challenge, Norway's trade situation is less than ideal. The vast majority of its provinces are within the North Sea trade node, whilst its capital is in Lübeck, where it only has two provinces and around 5 trade power. One possibility is to initially move the capital to the North Sea, which will substantially increase early game trade income. However, this also has disadvantages: since Lübeck and the Baltic Sea do not feed into the North Sea, expanding towards Denmark and Sweden is inefficient, trade-wise, unless further administrative power is spent relocating the capital back to Lübeck once enough of the trade node is controlled. Without moving the capital back to Lübeck, the only real options are to colonize in the New World, or expand into Novgorod, around the Swedish borders. Alternatively, Norway can leave its capital in Lübeck from 1444, and focus on constructing a large trade fleet there.
Fighting Denmark for independence all by yourself will mean that you also need to fight Sweden (if it is still in the Kalmar Union), Denmark's vassal Holstein and any allies Denmark bring to the table. This can still be done early, but it takes a massive investment in mercenaries and going well over your force limit, and will likely cost a lot of loans. Norway is already very poor and starting the game almost bankrupt makes things much too hard. Luckily gaining independence becomes easy if you ask your next-door neighbour for a bit of help.
Using Sweden to break free of the Kalmar Union
With patch 1.6.1 (and possibly earlier) Norway can ally with Sweden, as both countries have a common goal - breaking free from the Kalmar Union. Either Norway can wait till Sweden declares a war of independence, or Norway can take charge and declare the independence. If Norway declares independence the player controls the peace treaty afterwards, so the player can adapt it to Norway's particular medium and long-term strategy. Denmark will have backup from Holstein and any allies, and seems to get strong allies like Lithuania and Poland within a month or two of the game start. It is recommended to ally Sweden on the first day of the game, and then declare independence instantly when Sweden accepts the alliance (12th of November 1444). This way the number of danish allies will be greatly reduced, probably no one coming to Denmark's aid.
With 1.7 it seems that Denmark is sometimes able to ally and call allies into the war. The mechanics aren't certain why or with who this happens. If you have CoP/Support for Independence option and the Diplomatic Reputation advisor, you should be able to get The Hansa to support independence on 11th of November 1444. If you're luckier than you deserve and started as Curia Controller you should be able to set everything in motion (Sweden + Hansa) and declare war on 12th of November 1444.
Norway is poor, has few land forces and cannot really afford any serious fighting - but Norway's naval strength is key to winning the war for both Sweden and Norway. The norwegian land forces should be used for sieges in combination with naval blockades, not actual fighting. Sweden should do all the serious land fighting in this war. After declaring war on Denmark, use Norway's new king as general (and pray for siege dots). Let Norway's navy work together with Sweden's galleys to crush the danish navy right away, and ensure that Norway's navy mops up any other enemy navy so Norway has full control from Skagerrak to the South Baltic Sea. If you have Hansa support you will crush the Holstein and Danish navies within a few days without waiting for the swedish navy to help out. This approach also saves 50 diplomatic points since you can rely on The Hansa having an admiral so you don't need one.
Typically Denmark will move her forces from Sjælland to Skåne to fight Sweden. When that happens, move a single ship to block Öresund so the danes can't get back. Then use the norwegian cogs to ferry over the land forces to North Jylland and lay siege to Denmark. Use naval blockade and sieges gradually and safely to eventually take Sjælland. You might need to kill the Holstein army (size 2 or 3) so you can spread out your army for maximum siege afterwards. If you have Hansa support you can rely on the Tha Hansa to crush the Holstein army and siege their provinces (and they will not ask for the provinces in a peace treaty). Norway should be able to avoid losses and loans during the campaign if played right. Investing in a few light ships to reach the naval force limit is probably where you want to spend money early on as they are excellent for blockades (speed 10), they get the norwegian combat bonus and they will make money for you after the war.
After a few danish provinces fall both Norway and Sweden should be free of the PU (~22% with normal difficulty when starting war in 1444). With sufficient warscore there should be some bonus provinces for Norway, or even release of Holstein (~19%) or Gotland (~17%) to cripple Denmark. If Norway negotiates the peace treaty with Denmark, the results should coincide with your strategy ahead (see next section).
After breaking free from Denmark (war)
After breaking free from Denmark and the Kalmar Union Norway needs to decide what to do next. If Norway fought a war for independence Denmark should be weaker and Denmark's navy should be non-existent at the very least. If Norway allied with Sweden during the war, both countries should be free now, making the situation in Northern Europe more volatile. After the war Sweden and Scotland may either be friends or enemies/rivals which also needs to be factored in.
With a shattered danish navy and England busy with the Hundred Years War and War of the Roses, Norway can dominate the sea in Northern Europe. This will allow Norway to strike anywhere and be a very useful ally for others. During other wars there should be chances to occupy provinces but also let others to the bulk of the army warfare,
Basically a free Norway early has tons of opportunities but needs to decide where to go and several options exist:
- Dominating Scandinavia
- If the War of Independence managed to split Scandinavia into Norway, Sweden, Denmark and possibly Holstein and Gotland, it opens up a game where Norway might get some provinces gradually in the next decades and possibly be strong enough to take on Sweden later. The danish provinces are valuable both in resources and tax, but also as a stepping stone southwards, dominating the Lübeck trade node and opening up the Baltic Sea. With Denmark not too weakened, allying with England and/or Denmark, Norway may be able to expand in to Sweden despite its size and superior armies. Norway is easily overextended so ensure that you core new provinces quickly. Strategically, getting Fyn will cripple Denmark, but rebel stacks will typically outnumber your army/cogs, and attacking them is always at -1 modifier. You will need 3 danish provinces to make danish an accepted culture.
- Dominating Lübeck Trade
- If Norway gets a foothold either in Denmark or Holstein after the War of Independence, the Hansa aren't far away with their super trade nodes. Denmark would be a fantastic ally for this (but they will probably still be upset), Sweden is a decent ally, possibly other Hansa enemies. If Norway gets the Hansa nodes and Denmark, combined with Norway's (hopefully) large merchant navy Norway should be able to fund colonization and maybe an advisor. The HRE and Austria might be a problem when dealing with german and low country provinces, and Norway has no chance to deal with Austria's stacks of doom.
- Going South
- By dominating Northern Europe with a strong navy, grabbing the coast nodes in the low country towards Antwerpen and south of Denmark one can get a very strong trade empire in the north. To do this Norway probably needs to be funded by "owning" the Lübeck trade node or a sizable chunk of swedish provinces. Allying with France, Burgundy or England might help.
- Going East
- Novgorod will be attacked by Muscovy (again and again), weakening it considerably. In an alliance with Sweden there might be provinces to grab here. Unfortunately these provinces will not fit into trade nodes where Norway is strong already.
- Going West
- Scotland is a volatile country which can either be a useful ally when dividing Ireland, or an enemy where Norway wants Scotland or Scotland wants norwegian islands. Historically Norway have taken Scotland and Ireland before, and taking Scotland will strengthen the dominance on the North Sea trade node. If the norwegian capital is moved to Bergen/Bergenhus there just might be money in it.
- Mass colonisation
- Using three colonists, it is possible for Norway to quickly grab the eastern seaboard of North America and the Caribbean, keeping out other European powers. After, it is simple for even a few Norwegian soldiers to conquer the Native American nations.
Once free from the Kalmar Union, England makes a useful choice for an ally, since Norway will likely come into conflict with Scotland, and England will usually help against the other Scandinavians with its powerful navy. If Norway and England are allies no one can stand against their combined naval forces. A long-term alliance will allow Norway to focus on a money-making merchant navy (light ships) and let England spend money on the expensive warships.
If the capital is moved to the North Sea, Scotland becomes the most obvious rival; however, if Scotland is conquered, England will likely attempt to take the lands to form Great Britain. With a North Sea capital, Denmark makes a nice choice for an ally, so long as it has forgiven breaking the Kalmar Union. Denmark will help against England, which will allow Norway to keep Scotland's lands and monopolize the North Sea. From there, colonization of the New World is possible and lucrative.
If Sweden is hostile, or you expect Sweden to be hostile the missions and events for forts along the border and in Finnmark might be useful, but ideally you should either keep Sweden friendly or expand instead of paying for forts on the swedish border. The game also seems to provide missions to make Scotland a friend, but in some games Scotland is hellbent on hating you so check relations before accepting scottish missions. The Papal State is also far away so missions for improving relations for a few extra papal votes does not make sense early on. Norway does not have population to compete vote-wise with bigger countries further south.
Remaining in the Kalmar Union
Instead of breaking away early from the Kalmar Union, Norway can instead maintain the union with Denmark for as long as possible. This generally leads to a number of wars (as Denmark will factor in Norway's military power when considering its offensive options) which keeps Denmark's prestige high, maintaining the personal union across successive monarchs. Unfortunately this will also mean that Denmark might get involved in fruitless and dangerous wars, where Norway's merchant navy cannot move freely and make money.
However, a benefit to this approach is that as long as the Union persists, Norway gets its legitimacy from Denmark, freeing Norway's hand in making decisions that would otherwise negatively affect her legitimacy. Usually Norway doesn't need to actually contribute all that much in the wars on the continent, except maybe to cherry pick battles for army tradition and especially naval tradition.
The union with Denmark will allow Norway to work without worrying about Sweden and start colonizing the new world. With Iceland and the exploration idea, Norway can colonize Greenland and modern-day Canada very quickly. This colonization of North America will stop Denmark being able to diplomatically annex Norway, because when a subject of a personal union has more provinces than the overlord, the overlord can't annex the subject. It will also result in a higher income, though the player may find that relocating the capital to the Faroe Islands may be necessary.
The negative part of remaining in the Kalmar Union is that most of the expansive and ambitious openings described earlier (Scandinavia, Low Countries, Ireland, Scotland) aren't possible. Denmark is unlikely to give Norway extra provinces despite sieges and war effort. Norway cannot declare war when this is necessary, and when colonizing you probably want a few native provinces. Expect the norwegian economy to be poor for a long time.