|+20 people per turn.|
Available on Shore:
Barbarians are one of the Human races, and are genetically similar to the High Men and Nomads. Barbarians are distinguishable by several common traits, such as red or blond hair and slightly-tanned skin.
Barbarians are renowned warriors, feared primarily for their ability to produce and use finely-balanced Thrown weapons. These give the Barbarian army a strong advantage in the early game, particularly over the Normal Unit armies of other races. This allows Barbarians to expand their empire by conquest fairly early on.
Conquest is very important to the Barbarians, because they are technologically inferior to the other races. Although Barbarian Towns grow very rapidly, they do not have the means to produce very high-end units or boost their resource output by a wide margin, and thus rely on captured cities to advance in the later game. Fortunately, Barbarians have no particular racial enemies, and will not have problems keeping subjugated Towns under control.
Physical Features Edit
Barbarians are Humans, who have formed a civilization separate from the High Men and Nomads. Thus, while Barbarians often look a little different from both High Men and Nomads, they are otherwise members of the same species, and should thus be familiar to anyone reading this text.
More specifically however, Barbarians tend to have some key distinguishing figures that are common within their society. For starters, it seems that among Barbarians red hair is as common as blonde or brown, and they appear to be slightly more tanned than their relatives the High Men. This may come from a higher exposure to the outdoors, since Barbarians spend most of their time in hunting and working out in the wilderness around their settlements.
Barbarians live primarily in small hunter-gatherer communities, though many herding communities also exist. Barbarian men and women both participate in hunting, fishing, foraging, or any other survival-related activities as necessary.
Experience with hunting techniques have led the Barbarians to develop good short-range weaponry - particularly thrown axes and knives. These are manufactured at a very high quality, and are used on the battlefield to great effect. Experience with fishing has, over the centuries, allowed Barbarians to excel in boat designs, and they are quite capable of building large, ocean-going ships with which to explore and conquer other lands.
Barbarian religion is fairly well-developed, as is their concept of trade and their ability to efficiently work the lands around their settlements. However, they are a very practical people and are not interested in the magical arts, in advanced theology, nor in high architecture or mechanics. This limits their society in terms of potential progress, and puts them at a disadvantage as their neighbours work to improve their own societies.
On the other hand, Barbarian concepts of justice are quite advanced. They have no serious quarrels with any of the other species, and their administrative systems are quite fair. This allows them to subjugate other races with minimal friction, and also means that they do not tend to revolt when subjugated by others. They tend to run their own affairs and remain amiable with other races living nearby.
The Barbarian military has a strong advantage over other Arcanian races during the early portion of the game. This is primarily thanks to most of their units possessing the Thrown ability (starting at Thrown 1 for most new units), which gives them good offensive strength. Barbarian units prefer to keep the initiative during combat in order to utilize this ability effectively.
The variety of units in a Barbarian army, however, is somewhat lacking, and their best unit (the Berserkers) is not the most impressive Normal Unit around. This makes them somewhat inferior as the game enters its late stage. Fortunately, Barbarians should have little trouble subjugating other races and producing stronger units to complement their own.
Other than the Thrown ability, most Barbarian standard units have the advantage of slightly higher Resistance than other similar units. On the other hand, they are slightly more expensive to produce (usually +50% more expensive), but this should not pose a big problem.
Army List Edit
|Barbarian Swordsmen||30||1||6||1||3||1||2||5||1||Large Shield|
|Barbarian Bowmen||30||1||6||1||1||1||1||5||1||Ranged Attack x8|
|Barbarian Cavalry||60||1||4||2||4||1||2||5||3||First Strike|
|Barbarian Shamans||50||1||4||1||2||2||3||7||1||Ranged Attack x4, Healer, Purify|
|Barbarian Settlers||60||1||1||1||1||5||10||Create Outpost|
|Galley||100||1||1||3||8||2||4||6||20||Ranged Attack x8, Transport 5|
|Warship||160||1||1||4||10||10||5||7||30||Ranged Attack x99, Transport 3, Long Range|
Force Composition Edit
Barbarians do not possess a sufficient variety of units nor sufficient high-tier units to allow making very powerful armies. Even Berserkers, who are generally quite powerful, require some support from other units.
Generally speaking, a large army will contain several infantry units, such as Barbarian Spearmen, Barbarian Swordsmen and/or Berserkers if available. These are supported by one or two Barbarian Cavalry units, and a few ranged units - preferably Barbarian Shamans.
Experience is of extreme importance, as it applies bonuses both to the units' basic properties and to their Thrown Attack strength. Proper use of the Thrown Attack makes high-level Barbarian units significantly more dangerous than low-tier ones, and they should be kept alive if at all possible.
Barbarian Settlers are the only way to create a new Barbarian town. Of course, Barbarians generally expand their empire via conquest, but there are plenty of cases where a player will want to expand into an unpopulated area, and must create Barbarian Settlers to do so.
The Barbarians can project power through raw population. Place new Barbarian settlements in areas with fairly high population caps or along the coast. With the high Population Growth rate of Barbarians, new Settlements will grow rapidly. Thus, if no towns are around to be conquered, plenty of successful new towns can be created in a rather short period of time. However, note that the potential of each such town will be relatively limited, due to the limited variety of Town Buildings that Barbarian towns can have.
Barbarian Spearmen can be said to have twice the attack strength of most other Spearmen units, thanks to their Thrown Attack. This rapidly increases with Experience Level, so eventually they will be quite dangerous in combat.
In order to utilize this ability, Barbarian Spearmen must maintain the initiative: They must voluntarily make Melee Attacks, and avoid allowing the enemy to Melee Attack them. Otherwise, Barbarian Spearmen are not really more effective than other Spearmen.
Barbarian Swordsmen have a weak Thrown Attack, significantly weaker than their Melee Attack, but still somewhat likely to injure low-level enemies. By focusing on lightly-armored enemy units, Barbarian Swordsmen can inflict a surprising amount of additional damage, particularly as their Experience Level grows.
Barbarian Swordsmen will likely serve as the bulk of the Barbarian army for the majority of the early and mid game. As with Barbarian Spearmen, they need to maintain the initiative if they wish to utilize their Thrown Attack, so careful maneuvering is in order.
Barbarian Bowmen are very basic Ranged Attack units, which will accompany and support other Barbarian units. Barbarian Bowmen are generally not superior to any other Bowmen types, and are extremely ineffective at low Experience Levels. They do get better with time though.
It is generally recommended to try and advance Barbarian Bowmen towards the enemy before unleashing their Ranged Attacks. This allows them to minimize or negate any To Hit distance penalties, making their attack a little less worthless.
Barbarian Cavalry, like all other Cavalry units, is fast and strong. With First Strike, it has an added incentive to maintain the initiative - allowing it to weaken enemy Multi-Figure units before those units can Counter Attack. Furthermore, when using the initiative, Barbarian Cavalry also utilize a weak Thrown Attack which can cause extra damage.
Barbarian Shamans are the more preferred Ranged Attack support units for Barbarian armies. Not only do they have a stronger attack than Barbarian Bowmen do, but also provide faster healing for the entire army stack.
Barbarian Shamans are cheap enough that you'd likely want to add one or more to any advancing army. They'll cut down healing times between battles, allowing the Barbarian empire to expand more rapidly.
Berserkers are unique to the Barbarian race, and cannot be produced by any other race. They are infantry units, comparable to Barbarian Spearmen or Barbarian Swordsmen - but significantly more powerful. Their primary Melee Attack can go through heavy armor, and packs an additional Thrown Attack punch for extra damage against light/medium-armored units.
Berserkers are very lightly-armored themselves, and must utilize their Thrown Attack whenever possible to minimize Counter Attack damage from the target. They are most effective when attacking in groups, picking off one enemy target at a time if possible.
Berserkers are fairly cheap for their effectiveness, but are also easily lost. Protective magic may be required to help them survive prolonged combat.
The Trireme is a Ship which can transport up to 2 Walking units across bodies of water, and can travel at a fairly good rate. Early in the game, Triremes can help empires expand rapidly across short continental gaps or large inland seas. This is very important for Barbarian empires, particularly when looking for suitable races to conquer before the mid-game phase occurs.
Triremes are not very effective in combat. If one is lost, and units it was transporting at the time will sink with it, so it is important to avoid combat. Try not to rely on these for long trans-oceanic journeys.
The Galley is a strong transport Ship, which can carry up to 5 Walking units across Oceans quite rapidly. This is a good ship to have in the later game, when an empire is expanding into or has gained a foothold on another continent. This will be important for more Barbarian empires as they run out of races to conquer on their home continent, or for rapid colonization across the water.
Galleys are fairly good in combat, is quite tough, and can be relied upon to transport troops over larger distances. Nonetheless, if a Galley does sink, all units it was transporting will immediately drown.
Warships possess a Long Range Ranged Boulder Attack which can be used indefinitely during combat. Their amazing speed allows them to effectively maneuver while doing this, meaning that they can potentially wipe out entire armies on their own. With certain types of magic, it can also form the basis of one of the strongest strategies available for winning the game.
Furthermore, Warships can also transport 3 Walking units, so they can be used as a very safe means of moving entire armies across oceans. They will usually become a very important asset to any Barbarian empire that has expanded to a remote continent.
Barbarian citizens look like this:
Barbarian towns grow faster than most other races, at +20 people each turn on top of the town's basic Population Growth rate. Thus, Barbarian towns will generally grow to very large sizes, and often fulfill each town's Maximum Population.
The fast growth rate makes Barbarians good at quickly exploiting natural resources in a new area. This will come in handy during the later game, when conquest is slowing down and there are still gaps to be filled inside your territory. Even in an empire not run by Barbarians, putting new Barbarian cities in such areas can be very profitable.
Unrest in Barbarian towns shouldn't be a problem early on. However, remember that most Barbarian towns will eventually grow to very large sizes, and cannot build the Cathedral to make up for this. As a result you may need additional means (possibly magical ones) to minimize that Unrest.
Although not the most technologically inferior race in the game, Barbarian technology is nonetheless lacking. Barbarians are one of the less-advanced races, and this is expressed through limitations in the types of Town Buildings that can be built in Barbarian towns.
Barbarians do not have a particular deficiency in any of the building branches, advancing at least partway along each of them. However they cannot reach the very-advanced structures, so Barbarian towns will likely never develop into powerful Mana, Gold or Research production centers, and neither can they produce highly-trained units.
Barbarian Unrest is fortunately low compared to that of other races, but the lack of access to advanced religious structures may pose a problem when a town approaches or reaches its maximum size.
Nonetheless, Barbarians do have an important technological advantage in naval construction, as they are one of the few races that can construct a Maritime Guild (enabling the creation of Warships, a possibly game-winning strategy).
The following table compares the total potential output of Barbarian citizens to how they begin initially, taking into account the full extent of the race's Town Building development branches, and assuming a Tax Rate of 2 Gold.
|Barbarian Farmer||2, ½, 2||2, 1, 3|
|Barbarian Worker||2, 2||4, 3|
The Building Chart Edit
The chart below shows all Town Buildings that can be constructed in Barbarian towns, as well as the buildings that cannot be constructed. It also shows the requirements to construct each building.
|= Not available|
|= Available only if the town is constructed next to a Shore|
|= Has no prerequisites.|
Interracial Relations Edit
Barbarians tend to keep rather amicable relations with other races. They have no particular racial enemies (other than Klackons, who are everybody's enemies), and so tend to get along with any ruler or any subject.
While an empire's Fortress is inside a Barbarian town, all other Barbarian towns belonging to this empire feel no adverse effect to their Unrest levels. Thus, the level of Unrest in each such town is based only on the current Tax Rate and other external factors.
The same applies to any Orc and Nomad towns under the control of a Barbarian empire - they feel no extra Unrest. Similarly, a Barbarian town under the rule of an Orc or Nomad empire feels no extra Unrest either.
As with all other races, Barbarians do not like to be ruled by a Klackon empire, with each Barbarian town in such an empire suffering +20% Unrest. Similarly, Klackons do not like being ruled by any other race, so Klackon towns will suffer +20% Unrest while subjugated by a Barbarian empire.
All other races not mentioned above hold onlу mildly-strained relations with the Barbarians. This results in a +10% Unrest penalty in towns belonging to those races while under the rule of a Barbarian empire. Similarly, Barbarian towns under the rule of those other races suffer +10% Unrest.
The table below breaks down all race relations regarding Barbarian empires. The same values are used for Barbarian towns controlled by empires of different races.
As a result of these relations, Barbarians will rarely have a problem living under the rule of most empires, and most races will have little trouble living under Barbarian rule. This helps Barbarians expand by conquest, not having to worry too much about keeping control of subjugated towns. Conversely, it makes Barbarian towns good targets for conquest by various empires.
If you possess the Move Fortress spell, or come into a situation where you are allowed to relocated your Fortress at will, this can be extremely important. A diverse empire containing many races may prefer to place its Fortress in a Barbarian town, to minimize the Unrest in each of its other towns. (Halflings inspire lower unrest on average, but occasionally they don't appear on the map, or you have lots of Dark Elf towns but not quite enough to justify making the latter the Fortress race.)
Complementary Magic Edit
Barbarian-centric empires work almost equally well with any of the magical Realms, but excel with none. The Sorcery realm is arguably the most noteworthy, since it offers Barbarian empires a game-winning strategy accessible to few other races.
With their high figure count, Thrown Attack, and (sadly) poor mobility just crying out for Endurance, Berserkers benefit more than almost every other top-end unit from Life Magic's numerous unit-boosting spells.
Nature Magic offers an eclectic mix of strategic mobility (Path Finding, Water Walking) and accelerated exploration (Earth Lore), healing (Nature's Cures), direct damage (Ice Bolt), useful and cheap summons (Sprites), unit protection (Resist Elements, Stone Skin, Iron Skin, Elemental Armor), and of course some really nasty late-game creatures (Colossus, Great Wyrm). There's no racial interaction that really stands out, but taken together these spells provide a lot of value.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of the Sorcery Realm when combined with a Barbarian empire is the use of the Flight spell on Barbarian Warships. A fleet of such ships can literally slaughter its way through almost any opposition, especially when Invisibility is also applied.
Flight is nice for expansion as well, but it often comes too late for that to matter.
Psionic Blast is a decent direct damage spell, and you can have it on turn 1. Alternatively, if you're fighting with a relatively small army and you're only concerned about missile troops, Guardian Wind may be just what the doctor ordered.
The Barbarian unit lineup does not have a strong midgame ranged attacker. The humble Warp Wood spell goes a very long way toward shoring up this weakness; and direct damage spells like Fire Bolt and Lightning Bolt work against most of the rock-throwers and magical ranged attackers missed by Warp Wood. With a mere 3 Chaos books, you can start the game with both Warp Wood and Fire Bolt.
The high growth rate and good interracial relations of Barbarians work pretty well with Dark Rituals early on (though the lack of higher-end unrest-reducing buildings may eventually prove problematic).
Black Channels boosts both Melee and Thrown attacks, though the Thrown boost is smaller.
Barbarian empires need to exploit the advantage that they have over other Arcanian empires early in the game. Their Normal Units are quite dangerous in Melee combat, and are generally more powerful than other Normal Units at least until the middle of the campaign.
Thus, locating and conquering neutral and enemy Towns early on is of high priority. In particular, Barbarians will want to try and locate towns belonging to other races, so that they can be subjugated and forced to produce more powerful units and/or Town Buildings for the Barbarian empire.
Alternative methods include rapid and very dense expansion through colonization. Barbarian ships should be very useful for this, if the starting town is isolated or does not have sufficient room to grow. New Barbarian towns grow very rapidly, so the population will likely be able to produce plenty of Food and new troops within a very short timeframe. Take advantage of this and keep increasing the size of your army; if it's not big enough by the mid game, enemy high-tier Normal Units may end up posing a serious threat to you sooner rather than later.
As discussed previously in this article, Barbarians work well with various types of magic, and it's usually very important to determine which spells in your repertoire synergize well with Barbarian units and towns in order to make the best of this race. If no specific spells contribute to your strategy, consider progressing directly towards high-end Fantastic Units and begin replacing Barbarian units with them as soon as possible.
If you cannot secure an overwhelming advantage by the time access to the plane of Myrror is obtained, you may have already lost the game. Rapid progress is therefore extremely important for the Barbarians: if they cannot build a strong empire quickly enough, they'll be overrun rather easily by other empires.