For Fierdsvain troop overview, see Fierdsvain Troop Tree.
Along the western coast of Pendor lies the Fierdsvain, ruled by Koningur Valdis. Originally the Fierdsvain were humble traders, their merchant ships plying the far distant coasts of the Baccus Empire, Mettenheim and Barclay and bringing back to Pendor great riches and exotic luxuries. With the fall of Pendor, the Fierdsvain cities of Javiksholm, Windholm and Valonbray found themselves isolated from any central administration and so became independent Free Trader cities under the control of wealthy Merchant Princes. When the Baccus Empire invaded under the command of General Oasar, the Fierdsvain Merchant Princes went to King Alfred of Sarleon and pledged their financial support in exchange for military protection. Alfred agreed, and so for a decade the Fierdsvain came under the crown of Sarleon and peace was maintained.
Then the Baccus Empire collapsed, leaving General Oasar isolated from the main Empire; he was forced to cancel the contracts of his mercenary Vanskerries. The Vanskerry clans found themselves without a method for sustenance, with their normal mercenary contracts gone and their own lands unsuited to agriculture; so they decided to strike at the wealthy coastal Fierdsvain lands. Increasingly under siege by the Vanskerries, the Sarleon Lords found themselves simply unable to uphold their part of the bargain for mutual defense, so a group of Fierdsvain patricians met with some Vanskerry Jarls and offered them lands and titles in the Fierdsvain lands if they would protect the trade routes and towns. Vanity forever being one of mankind’s greatest vices, some Jarls accepted the offer and moved their families and warriors to the Fierdsvain lands, and thus the poachers became the gamekeepers. Sarleon, angered at the prospect of Vanskerries successfully gaining a beachhead, withdrew military support and the Fierdsvain split from their sovereign lord.
The friendly Vanskerry Jarls were as good as their word, and shed much blood in the defense of their new homes. Over time the civilized Vanskerries and Fierdsvain inhabitants began to intermarry and the Fierdsvain as we know it today was created. The people still show Fierdsvain traits of being able traders and Vanskerry traits of being fearsome warriors. The strength of their Vanskerry ancestors continues to be harnessed, coupled with the expensive arms and armor the Fierdsvain money can buy. This has made for a very able military force.
Commentary on the FierdsvainEdit
"The Fierdsvain welcome all into their lands, so long as they come well equipped...with a full money pouch." -Guild Master of Javiksholm
"We respect the fighting skills of the now civilized Vanskerries among them, but their merchants are a little too soft for our taste." -Anonymous Ravenstern Lord
"They are nothing more than renegade traders. Sarleon will stand by them no longer." -King Ulric of Sarleon
"The merchants of the Fierdsvain drive a hard bargain with their prices, but they are always willing to trade." -D'Shar Horse Breeder
"My celebrated colleagues would do well to investigate the civilizing influence the Fierdsvain applied to their Vanskerry cousins. Many lessons could be learned from this." -Head Lecturer, Janos University
The Fierdsvain are a very infantry based faction. Their infantry is one of the most powerful in the game so using other infantry against them isn't the best decision. Archers can prove very effective against them if used correctly. A good tactic for facing them if you are fond of exploiting the AI is to get a lot of good, high tier archers (preferably Silvermist Rangers or Ravenstern Rangers). You will also need an armored horse. Get your archers on a hill and any infantry/companions in front of them. Let their cavalry charge your troops while you distract any infantry. Lead the infantry around in a circular motion and be careful not to get too close. The rangers should deal with the cavalry easily and fire at the infantry. Disrupt any archer lines when possible ( though this isn't a priority as Fierdsvain archers are quite weak in the archery field). When your archers run out of arrows or you feel there's too much cavalry or infantry, simply lead the enemy's force away from yours and retreat. Repeat until their party is eliminated (you could send in your cavalry for a quicker process at the end to finish them).
For defending castles, make sure you have troops fit for tanking a lot of hits. Get a trusty two-handler and start doing overhead slashes at the side. Make sure to also have archers to thin the herd. For doing sieges, get a nice archer line going and when they've been weakened enough, send in the rest of your troops.
Unit Tactical OverviewEdit
Infantry: The men of the Fierdsvain kingdom are much stronger and larger than most Pendorians. This grants them physical advantage over the infantry of other kingdoms. Hardened by constant raids from the Vanskerries and their way of life, Fierdsvain men are already extremely strong individuals by the time they are old enough to serve in a lord's warband. In addition to their formidable physical prowess, Fierdsvain men generally carry axes, increasing their lethality. The infantry is the true powerhouse of the Fierdsvain kingdom, and allowing a battalion of them to reach your soldiers unscathed spells disaster for your troops.
Fierdsvain infantry are already powerful fighters when they attain the rank of Light Infantry, proficient not only in melee but make do as decent skirmishers with their throwing axes as well. As compared to the other kingdoms' infantry, the Fierdsvain soldiers also have higher powerstrike, ironflesh and athletics attributes. Their weapon proficiencies are also higher, making them much more dangerous fighters as compared to other soldiers. Fierdsvain infantry branch out into two different specialties, namely the Fierdsvain Huscarls and the Berserkers. The heavily-armored and disciplined Huscarls make up the shieldwall, while lightly-armored and largely suicidal Berserkers are the shock troops of the Fierdsvain.
Using the Fierdsvain infantry is easy even for an inexperienced commander. Their large round shields can easily protect them from hails of missile fire, and their high endurance often grants them an edge over their foes. Using the Berserkers, on the other hand, is an entirely different story. The berserkers don light fur clothings, sometimes nothing at all, besides their pants to battle. While this makes them completely vulnerable to enemy ranged fire, it allows them to move and strike faster than other troops. Their two-handed weapons are extremely powerful, shattering shields and butchering their foes with ease. Berserkers that make it to an enemy infantry line often rake up kills single-handedly, even more so than the Huscarls. They also make short work of cavalry.
Granted that the Fierdsvain infantry are extremely strong fighters, usually winning battles even with the odds against them, it is ill-advised to send them into a fight that is heavily pitted against them. Even the Empire and D'Shar footmen can make short work of them if you send them in without any support. Despite that, a commander looking for strong infantry should employ a few of them to strengthen their infantry forces.
Archers: Fierdsvain does not field any powerful archers, as the men place great emphasis on personal strength and valor, which causes many of their men to engage heavily in melee combat and regard the bow as a weapon for the weak. However, in order to have some form of measure against enemy archers, the Fierdsvain have adopted the use of the bow into its military system. However, due to their disgust for the weapon, it is usually Fierdsvain men of lower stature and criminals who wield it.
The short bow they wield is not particularly impressive, as they lack the punch and range of the composite bow. Their powerdraw skill is not worth noting as well. In short, the bows only grant them slightly longer and more accurate shots against their enemies as compared to their more lethal throwing weapons. The only aspect worth noting about Fierdsvain Archers are their melee skills as compared to other archers fielded by the other factions. Their leaf swords and axes are suited for heavy melee combat. Despite their melee advantage, it is still pretty lackluster and they can only hold their own in melee combats against single enemies, unlike the Huscarls who can easily hold their own against multiple enemies at one time.
When playing as a Fierdsvain vassal or mercenary, save yourself the trouble and obtain archers from Sarleon or Ravenstern instead. The Heavy Archers can barely bring down any cavalry, and are almost entirely useless as ranged troops in sieges. In fact, the most powerful ranged weapon that the Fierdsvain equips their soldiers lie in the grasp of their infantry in the form of throwing axes and spears.
Cavalry: By and far, a large portion of the Fierdsvain army is comprised of footmen, lacking any form of cavalry in their rank-and-file troops, due to their lack of horses and their disgust for enemies who fight on mounts. However, Fierdsvain are not entirely stubborn people and they have decreed for noble women with the funds to purchase her own mount, armor and arms the opportunity to join the Fierdsvain lords in battle, and the chance to be knighted as a prestigious Lady Valkyrie.
Due to their reliance on cavalry forces from the nobles, Fierdsvain warbands have a smaller cavalry forces as compared to the D'Shar or Ravenstern armies. The noble women also function as medium skirmishing cavalry armed with Jarids, axes and two-handed berserker swords. Their mounts are lightly-armored warhorses, faster than the steeds of the Ravenstern and Sarleon Knights. This grants them exceptional mobility, allowing them to reach an enemy line in record time. The Valkyries are rather lightly-armored individuals, and while this reduces their encumbrance, it makes them extremely vulnerable to archers and crossbowmen. Their shields are also extremely weak, usually shattering from just a volley of missile fire.
Their household troop, the Valdis Huscarls are the opposite of the Valkyries, usually riding on heavier mounts like chargers and even the Ironbred Chargers. They are also heavily armored and tougher than the Valkyries. They are slower but they can easily ram down infantry and scatter even the most disciplined shield wall. They are only fielded by the Fierdsvain monarch in great numbers.
In an ideal army, it is good to keep a small force of skirmishing cavalry to slaughter fleeing soldiers or distract enemies long enough for the heavier Fierdsvain infantry to finish off their foes. A larger heavy cavalry force should still be under your command to complement the Valkyries. On a flat battleground, Valkyries are extremely lethal, easily eliminating their foes with a single swipe of their weapons. Their Jarids also enable them to engage their enemies from range. The Valkyries are vulnerable to archers, so don't send them riding towards their doom. Instead, flank the enemies with your cavalry, while your infantry soak up their volleys with their shields.