Using the Kingdom of VaegirsEdit
The Vaegirs start off bordering the Nords to the west, Swadia to the south-west and the Khergits to the south. Swadia is usually under attack from all sides, so attacks from that direction are often small and infrequent. However, expect both tough siege battles against the powerful Nordic infantry and quick raids behind your lines by Khergit cavalry. Naturally, try to limit yourself to one war at a time, but since it only takes one to make a war, this isn't always possible. Cavalry raids on Nordic villages can stay out of reach of retribution while denying their jarls the funds to support large armies. Use stationary forces of archers and infantry to prevent the Khergits from taking your castles and their villages away from you. Yours is a balanced troop tree; exploit your enemies' specialization.
The Vaegirs field a relatively balanced force, with their troop tree being similar in setup to the Swadians. However, they cannot match the armored fury of the Swadian Knights, nor the infantry steamroller of the Nords. Where the Vaegirs really shine is their archers. Vaegir Archers and Marksmen don't have the sheer power of the Rhodok Crossbowmen, but their bows feature a much higher rate of fire due to their much faster reloading.
Vaegir foot soldiers are often better left at the second to last tier as Vaegir Infantry rather than upgrading them to Vaegir Guards. On an open battlefield against archers the Guards' lack of a shield is a distinct disadvantage. In sieges, however, their two-handed axes and bardiches can be useful to punch holes in a defender's shield wall. If you do use them, a small force of twenty or so is often enough. This has the added benefit of reducing your upgrade and supply costs.
When fighting an enemy force other than the Swadians, exploit the holes in their troop tree. Bear in mind, even the Swadians have a flaw in that they have heavily armored troops.
- Nords lack cavalry; use your well-armored Vaegir Knights to distract their battle line while your Archers/Marksmen pincushion them. By the time they make it to your own infantry line, they will be weakened and ready for your cavalry to charge. As per Alexander the Great, catch them between the infantry anvil and the cavalry hammer.
- Khergits have no infantry other than their recruits. Plant your archers and infantry on a hill or in a forest and order them to stand as close together as possible. Charging cavalry will get stuck in the mass of bodies and be forced to stop, making them vulnerable to counterattack. Don't let your cavalry charge off after their horse archers.
- Rhodoks lack cavalry, but have fearsome crossbows and good top-tier infantry. Hide your troops just behind the crest of a hill, and when their battle line comes over the top, charge with your infantry. Cavalry can be maneuvered around behind them, just as when facing Nords. When their crossbowmen are distracted with your infantry, utilize their slow reloading time to close the distance with your Knights and Horsemen.
- The Swadians are well balanced and in many ways a mirror of your own forces. These battles often hinge on how well you deal with their Knights. Here is another place Vaegir Guards can be useful. Tightly grouped and positioned on a hill, their two handed weapons can cut down a horse and its rider. Just be sure to back them up with some regular Infantry and Archers/Marksmen and keep a reserve of Knights/Horsemen ready to deal with crossbowmen.
- Sarranids are so far away, they shouldn't be a serious threat. Your own infantry are similar to theirs, but their cavalry are as about powerful as the Swadians. Similar tactics using Guards and Marksmen will hold the line against the Mamelukes. Infantry, on the other hand, have light armor, fast weapons and throwing projectiles. An all Vaegir commander can only hope that the heavy weapons of your own will cancel out the fast, weak attacks the Sarranids bring to bear.
Defeating the Kingdom of VaegirsEdit
As mentioned above, the Vaegirs have a very balanced force. While their early infantry wields axes, like the Nords, their cavalry is like fighting a weaker Swadian Knight who has an axe and a voulge. This means that average Rhodok strategy will not be very effective, as the Vaegirs are also skilled at keeping the enemy at a distance. Pure Swadian brute force will work well, but that is not an option for most players. Sarranids are too lightly armed for the job.
When defending a castle from Vaegirs, one must know a few things about their army composition. Firstly, Vaegirs have one of the best archers in the game, which makes them very effective at picking men off of ramparts. They are lightly armored though, so using Rhodok Sharpshooters will be effective in defending against them in sieges. As always, you should try to have as many Nord Huscarls in your garrison as possible, because they have ranged weapons and are the best close combat troops in the game. Be warned though, the heavy rate of fire achieved by their archers makes them very dangerous, the more shots they take, the more likely it is that someone will go down, or that a shield might break. While the enemy shoots at your men, they are most likely to send their knights up the ladder or siege engine, simply because the Vaegirs do not usually use their elite infantry, the Vaegir Guard. Try to stay on the offensive, because Vaegir sieges can become long and tedious.
When taking a castle from the Vaegirs, bring units with large shields. Using a Heavy Board Shield and a Heavy Bastard Sword along with throwing weapons or a bow and arrows is an extremely effective way to kill Vaegirs. As long as they can't get too close with their axes, you should be able to take a storm of arrows and hit hard enough to eliminate their early units in one blow. Once you clear the ramparts, fire down on them as they attempt to climb back up. Rhodok Sergeants are not recommended though, as they are put to better use when fighting cavalry.
Fighting Vaegirs in open battle is not very difficult at all. Simply bring Swadian Knights and attack directly at their cavalry formation, as they tend to stay bunched up. Once you've taken down their cavalry, ride around and kill whatever ground troops you can, starting with their Marksmen.
While fighting them in hills, simply place your archers on top of the hills and shoot down at their cavalry units. While the cavalry has shields facing up, order your cavalry to charge, and the lances will decimate the front lines of their exposed formation. Make sure that you don't charge over a hill though, because then you will lose your momentum. Then all you have to do is eliminate stragglers.
Postitioning your archers at the top of mountains and stationing dismounted cavalry and infantry in between on a raised area is probably the best approach to attacking Vaegirs in the mountains. The idea is to remove the Vaegirs horses with the archers and then charge with durable infantry. The main problem with this strategy is that it is possible for a battlefield to load in without the ideal circumstances. However, little tweaks in this strategy would not affect your overall outcome. Altogether, you do not want to engage the Vaegirs in mountainous terrain.
Fighting Vaegirs in a valley is simple. Order all soldiers to dismount, and charge them, while you yourself slowly pick off the enemy archers. Once that task is done, either shoot down at the enemy, or go behind them and slash until they all die.