Total War Warhammer/Tactics/Norsca

From 1d4chan

This is the tactica for the Total War: Warhammer version of Norsca.

Why Play Norsca?[edit]

  • Because you don't need no sissy armor to serve the dark gods!
  • You favor an aggressive play style with a lot of good large units and ways to fight large units.
  • You just love viking bad guys.


  • Monsters: You have a wide variety of beasties that can fulfill a variety of roles. From monstrous infantry, cavalry, fliers and Mammoths, you have one of the widest variety of monsters in the game.
  • Anti Large: Not only do you have a ton of monsters, but you also have a lot of ways to kill them. A good chunk of your units have the Anti Large bonus, meaning you shouldn't have much in the way of issue with dealing with monsters or cavalry.
  • Hard-Hitting Infantry: Your infantry tend to hit pretty hard for their price point, so you can get in a ton of damage on the front line very fast. If they get in on the right target you will be able to cause quite a bit of damage.
  • Mobility: You have a ton of fast movers and speedy characters, meaning you can get around the battlefield pretty quick and wrap around flanks.


  • DLC Faction: The pre-order bonus faction for the second Total War: Warhammer game, or a $10 tax to any/everyone who didn't pre-order it. Potentially a petty mark against it, considering that even the base game factions have DLC packs, but at least the base game factions are freely playable even aside that.
  • Limited Range: Your missile doesn't go very far and you can only get a single unit of artillery, the melee is where you belong.
  • Lack of Armor: These boys believe that nice pectorals and flowing hair make a perfect substitute for armor. They are wrong. You can get shredded by missiles and artillery, so watch out.
  • No Heavy Cav: You have marauder horsemen and some monsters that can fill the role, but it doesn't quite replace the impact heavy cavalry can have on the field. This means you are missing out on some mobile hard-hitting power.
  • Campaign is shit in WH2: You will get swarmed by every other faction on the map and you have a hard time holding any territory, not to mention trying to expand into the Old World or Naggarond. The Norscan campaign was designed around the climate mechanics in Warhammer 1, which 2 completely abandoned. Hope and pray to the Dark Gods that a grand rework of Chaos may come in Warhammer 3.

Universal Traits[edit]

  • Rage: The signature ability on most of your humans, which lets them step up from their Warriors of Chaos brethren. Overtime while in combat, the unit gains buffs to melee power and weapon strength help it in sustained fights. but when it goes through all of the 4 tiers, they lose it all, so they have to disengage and start again.
  • Berserk: An ability like Rage but with additional melee defense to help them stay in the fight.


Legendary Lords[edit]

It's worth mentioning here that the Norscans have the ability to force any other Norscan faction leader into a confederation, provided you beat them in a battle. Considering how everyone starts clumped together in the northern edge of the map, You'll usually end up with both legendary lords under your control very early in the campaign.

  • Wulfrik the Wanderer: The face of the race and a dedicated character duelist. He comes with three things that makes him incredible. First of all, the dude gets to ride a friggin war mammoth, which allows him to rampage across the lines of infantry and flatten all in front of him. Next is his ability Hunter of Champions, which allows him to severely debuff the speed and stats of enemy characters which makes it easier for him to beat the shit out of them. Finally is Seafang, or as it's known, "The Lore of Boats". This summons his ship which acts as a line spell and flattens anything it hits. This not only makes him great at character killing but also a great infantry blob killer.
In the campaign he is focused on enhancing Marauder and Mammoths units. Almost universally regarded as the better choice for starting a campaign because his focus is on your most basic units and your most powerful ones. Even if you prefer Throgg in combat, you can quickly force him into a confederation and reap the benefits of the World Walker tribe.
  • Throgg: The Troll King and a dedicated battering ram. He does a lot of damage up and has regeneration, allowing him to brawl with most other lords without fear. However, he is a large target and as such is vulnerable to ranged attacks and all manner of anti-large weaponry. He also has 3 uses of a fairly accurate and long ranged Copious Vomit attack for some minor sniping ability. In the campaign any army he leads is completely immune to attrition, making him a good leader for a spearhead force to plunge into dangerous terrain.
His campaign gives bonuses to trolls, wolves, and non-mammoth monsters. Sounds good, but those are all specialized units meant to supplement a larger army of marauders. His greatest strengths are his physical combat prowess and his attrition immunity, neither of which has anything to do with his subfaction. Generally it's better to start with Wulfrik and confederate into Throgg to get the best of both worlds.
  • Azrik the Maze Keeper: A Lord of Change only available in the campaign by devoting yourself to the Eagle. Azrik is immediately recruited at maximum level and draws from the lores of death and metal. He's a beast in melee and spell-casting, but his size makes his an obvious target for enemy ranged units.

Generic Lords[edit]

  • Marauder Chieftan: Your only generic option, and he's essentially Wulfrik only without Seafang or Hunter of Champions. You know, the things that make him really good? On his own, he's a generic combat character for the majority of the campaign. What saves him from overall mediocrity is the fact that you can put him on a Mammoth and have him run rampage all across the battlefield. He's one of those lords who can be great but needs investment in campaign and additional funds in multiplayer in order to really make him worth it.


  • Shaman-Sorcerer: Your Human wizard with the lore of Metal, Fire, or Death. A cheap and generic wizard hero, for when you want magic on a budget. You can also mount him on a Chariot if you want some more speed and a bit of melee damage.
  • Skin Wolf Werekin: Your anti-large melee hero. A fast-moving monster with high damage and regeneration allow him to function as a mainline brawler or a high speed assassin. In the campaign each werekin can enhance his armies stats, either increasing their melee attack or defense. Each Werekin can only get one of the bonuses, but multiple Werekin can stack the same effect for a powerful doomstack.
  • Fimir Balefiend: Came back from being Squated, a foreshadowing of the fate of the Zoats. Has access to the lore of Fire and Shadow. Different from the Shaman due to innate tankiness, better melee attack and AP damage. On the other hand, the shaman can get a mount whilst the balefiend cannot.
  • Kihar the Tormentor: A legendary hero you can unlock by devoting yourself to the serpent. On the battlefield he's a max-level Chaos Sorcerer (a chaos warriors variety with plate armour, not your normal norscan) on a two-headed mutant dragon who can wreck the enemy in melee or at a range with spells from the lores of fire and metal. On the campaign map his hero actions usually succeed 100% of the time barring enemy modifiers, letting him wreck garrisons and assassinate enemy heroes with impunity.


Melee Units[edit]

  • Marauders (Shields/Spears/Great Weapons): Your basic bread-and-butter infantry. Identical to their chaos counterparts, and rather squishy. Rage gives them an edge but not too much. They are useful in filling out a list with more expendable bodies. The shield variety are the cheapest and toughest, while the spear type get bonus damage against large targets. The Great Weapon marauders are a cheap if squishy source of anti-armour damage, but not much else. Overall they aren't terrible, but not particularly great either.
    • Icehorn Marauders (ROR): Better than their Marauder brothers with perfect vigor and immune to psychology. Like the normal variety, they can't win a battle on their own, but not useless by any means.
  • Marauder Berserkers: Marauders with two melee weapons for double the fun. They deal high damage and are deceptively tough once they get into melee thanks to the Berserker ability, which makes them tougher as they build up rage.
    • Brutes of the Hound(ROR): Berserkers that are Unbreakable. better at finishing the job of breaking or destroying a unit before they are killed to the man.
  • Marauder Champions: Your Elite infantry, meant to sprinkle them into a line to give your army some hardpoints so the monster has the time to flank. Also, a better line if the enemy shoots a lot of arrows compared to normal Marauders.
  • Marauder Champions (Great Weapons): Elite AP infantry, better at their can opening jobs then Marauders. Expensive so only mix in a few into a line.

Missile Infantry[edit]

  • Marauder Hunters: Short-range axe-throwing units that deal high AP damage and cause the shieldbreak effect, lowering the enemies missile block chance. You don't have much of a ranged army to capitalize on the effect, but it helps the ranged units you do have do more damage. They're also just about as good as normal marauders in melee, which is good because they don't have the range nor the ammunition to stay out of combat.
  • Marauder Hunters (Javelins): Higher range than the standard hunters, but with better damage against large targets. The increased range makes them a more well-rounded choice than the axe-throwing variety.

Cavalry and Chariots[edit]

  • Marauder Horsemen: This may come as a shock to you, but marauder horsemen are marauders... on horses. They have throwing spears for some ranged combat and regular spears for flanking charges. They serve as a cheap distraction and skirmish chaser but lack the bodies for serious combat.
  • Marauder Horsemen (Throwing Axes): Trading their spears for axes and shields, the throwing axe variety is tougher and more specialized than the standard horsemen.
  • Marauder Horsemasters: All around better Horsemen, with the stats to actually do some decent work in melee. They aren't anywhere close to knights, but they can cause a lot of pain with a few cycle charges.
  • Marauder Chariot: Your cheaper harassment chariot. Faster than the wolf variety, but with less damage and utility. Phase them out as soon as you can in the campaign, and seriously consider taking the wolf ones in multi-player.
  • Marauder Ice Wolves Chariot: Your big chariot pulled by a couple of giant wolves. Higher damage than the horse kind, and the wolves slow down any enemy they hit in melee. These ones can also bring throwing axes for a bit of ranged bite while their gearing up for the next charge.

Monstrous Infantry[edit]

  • Norscan Trolls: Low leadership and weak to missiles and fire, They bring the DPS while the marauders hold the enemies in place. need micro, but cost-effective in skillful hands.
  • Norscan Ice Trolls: Slightly better than the above. Frostbite will allow you to slow enemies down and make them easier targets.
  • Skin Wolves: Anti-Large, Regeneration, Frenzy...on top of that move pretty fast and absolutely demolish infantry as long as its not infantry that can in a reliant way fight monstrous infantry or has flaming attacks (or units that are both like the High Elf Dragonborn RoR).
  • Skin Wolves (Armoured): Same as above, but with extra armor at the cost of being a tad slower.
    • Maws of Savagery (ROR): Same as the above Armoured Skin Wolves, but with better leadership, melee defense and attack, as well as having Vanguard.
  • Fimir Warriors: Your tanky anti-armor unit with additional magical attacks. On top of that has Armour-Sundering attacks that give enemies -30 to their armor. Also are Siege Attackers, so you won't need towers and rams if you have them.
    • Mist Stalkers (ROR): Like the above, but on top of fear, they also cause Terror and have Vanguard.
  • Fimir Warriors (Great Weapons): Same as your vanilla Warriors, but with Great Weapons and with Anti-Large.


  • Norscan Warhounds: Standard hound-type units. Fast and disposable, throw them at enemy artillery and wizards to keep the enemy occupied while you move into position. Scaly skin helps protect them from missiles, but they won't survive against anything stronger than an artillery crew.
    • Beasts of Tashnar (ROR): Warhounds with frenzy, anti-large, and a crazy 50% missile resistance. Better than normal hounds, but not as good as ice wolves against most foes.
  • Norscan Ice Wolves: Bigger badder ice wolves with Frostbite to slow down running targets and let your slower monsters smash them. Their reduced unit size also, ironically enough, massively improves their survivablility because individual models will soak up more damage per head (or paw) and increase the damage one model can put out before it goes down. Granted, they still will go down in prolonged fights, but it's still something to keep in mind.


  • Feral Manticore: Exactly like the summoned kind from the lore of beasts, the manticore is a powerful aerial force that can smash enemy backlines to keep the rest of the army safe.
  • Norscan Giant: Nope. Not worth it. There is basically no redeeming feature to giants, and the Norscan kind is no exception. Grab a mammoth if you want something big.
  • Frost-Wyrm: A massive chaos dragon that can freeze enemies in place with melee attacks and a frost-breath weapon. Like all dragons it hits hard in combat but fall apart faster than you want if it gets caught out of position.
  • Feral Mammoth: Let's talk about mammoths. Mammoths are amazing. Mammoths are the single best thing the Norscan army has, and one of the best monsters in the game. As if the huge health bar and great stats aren't enough, the mammoths unique attack animations allow it to sweep through huge swaths of infantry at once; combined with its terror and can route most infantry units in just a few hits. The feral variety is the cheapest but runs the risk of rampaging, which can be a nightmare for such a slow and valuable unit.
  • War Mammoth: Take everything great about the Mammoth, give it more armor, immunity to rampaging, and a howdah with guys throwing spears from it's back. If you can afford it, get one. If you can't afford it, save up and get one later.
    • Soulcrusher (ROR): A mammoth with the ability to temporarily gain 44% physical resistance, in case you need it to hold the line against the entire godsdamned Empire all at once. It also has strider, which is weird for such a massive unit, but useful.
  • War Mammoth (Warshrine): A mammoth that provides leadership buffs to allies around it, at the cost of shooting ability and speed. Not bad in multiplayer, but in the campaign you should try to phase out your infantry once you get mammoths in favor of even more mammoths. A bit of a niche pick, but at the end of the day it's still a mammoth; never the worst choice.

Campaign Only[edit]

  • The Ice-Forged Legion: A unique artillery unit you get from devoting yourself to the Hound. It's an upgraded chaos Hellcannon with homing projectiles that never misses. Seriously don't bother taking manual control of projectiles, its homing capabilities are that good.


Multiplayer Strategies[edit]

  • Beastmen:
  • Bretonnia:
  • Chaos Warriors:
  • Dark Elves:
  • Dwarfs:
  • Empire:
  • Greenskins:
  • High Elves:
  • Lizardmen:
  • Norsca:
  • Skaven:
  • Tomb Kings:
  • Vampire Coast:
  • Vampire Counts:
  • Wood Elves:

Campaign Strategies[edit]



Total War: Warhammer Tactics Articles
General Tactics
Total War: Warhammer
Total War: Warhammer 2
Total War: Warhammer 3