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EA Vanheim, Age of Vanir


Vanheim is a land of misty moors and bitter forests inhabited by a tall and innately magical race known as the Vanir. The Vanir are mortal enemies of the giants of Jotunheim and since the beginning of time they have waged a great war upon each other. They are masters of illusions and are able to trick mortals with their glamour. In halls under the mountains of Vanheim live Dwarves, smiths capable of crafting fabulous items. Vanheim is a land of magic and even the horses are enchanted and exceptionally fast. Vanir are skilled shipwrights and navigators and can sail the oceans. Lesser beings are not held in high regard and their blood is sacrificed to sate the Awakening God. – Nation Description

General Overview

FIXME How the nation plays and what it is good at should go here, aka why would it be cool to play, what's good about it (in general terms) and where they falter possibly there could be a standard for nation classification (sacred heavy, elves, communion nation, blood nation, research, economical, forging, stealth, thug based, etc.) National Features

National Features

Race Military Magic Access Priests Buildings
Prefers 1
Van Elves
Stealthy (65)
+4 MR vs. Humans
+3 DEF & HP vs. Humans
+2 ATT & PRE vs. Humans
+1 MOR, STR, & CS vs. Humans
Expensive & Few
Capital-Only Dwarven Mages
Sailing Elf Vikings
Strong Thugs
No cheap mages
Berserking Vanhere sacreds
air 44 (Rare 5)
earth 33 (Rare 4)
blood 22 (Rare 3)
death 11 (Rare 2)
fire 11 (Rare 2)

Summonable: air 44*, earth 33*,
water 22*, fire 22* , nature 22*, death 22*

*Can't be summoned natively.
holy 22 in all Forts
Blood Sacrifice
Standard (Fortress)

Andvarian Dwarves

Vanheim has recruitable Master Smiths who can forge equipment one level higher than comparable mages, though only for magic paths they have. The smiths are slow to recruit, and not quite as flexible as the other mages of the nation, but they raise Vanheim's effective magic access for the purpose of getting items:

  • earth 44 (rare 5) ← There are only a few Earth items Vanheim can't make
  • fire 22 (rare 3)
  • death 22 (rare 3)

All of the smiths will at least have earth 33 in terms of forging, and the crosspaths they can get in conjunction with their smithing skill lets Vanheim make a wide variety of things… just not cheaply.

Capital Sites

Vanhalla The Halls of Andvare
Enables recruitment of Vanadrott, Vanhere.
Generates 3airgem per turn.
Enables recruitment of Dwarven Smith, Fay Boar
Generates 3earthgem per turn.

National Units

The nation is made up of mostly Elves, long-lived and glamoured beings with high defense skill. The majority of your armies will be invisible on the strategic maps of other players, making you an ever-elusive threat that can steal land at any moment.


EA Vanheim's mage lineup largely lacks "efficient" spellcasters; all mages aside from the cap-only Dwarven Smith are skilled elves on horses and thus cost a heavy premium.

Image Unit Name Special Attributes Comments
Van Scout
Gold 40
Stealthy (75)
Mountain Survival
Forest Survival
Scout for Scouting.
Glamour makes it near impossible for most patrols to catch him.
Gold 140
air 11holy 11 7
Stealthy (65)
Sailing (Max Size 3)
Your army leader, your light thug, your infrastructure-builder, and your "cheapest" Mage.
They can become "massed" Lightning Bolt and (with 1airgem) Thunder Strike casters in a pinch if Storm is up;
they can even make use of Shock Wave due to their high defense, near the frontlines if you so choose.
Dwarven Smith
Gold 140
Capital Only
earth 22random1100%
Master Smith (1)
Darkvision (50%)
Mountain Survival
Prophet Shape: Dwarf Elder
The smith that makes a lot of your thug gear.
National Master Smiths are rare and good, able to forge a large variety of gear.
National earth 22 mages are rather good in battle, but you lose out on speed and covertness by waiting for them to catch up.
Gold 275
air 22blood 11holy 22 11
Stealthy (65)
Sailing (Max Size 3)
Your professional leader/mage/thug, and your "cheapest" Bloodhunter.
air 22 bestows Mistform and Gift of Flight, and makes their glamour grant 75% protection.
in the later game, they can form Blood sabbaths and Spam Thunder Strike.
Gold 410
Capital Only
air 33blood 11holy 22random1100%
Resist Shock (5)
Stealthy (65)
Sailing (Max Size 3)
These "kings" (in the meme sense) are your best mages and leaders.
air 44 provides Storm, and/or Mass Flight, and Living Clouds, not to mention the boosters.
For thugs, earth 11 randoms provide Ironskin, Stoneskin (if you worry about your other zappers), and Temper Flesh.
blood 22's can summon Storm Demons, costly-but-powerful elites.
death 11's can lead your hordes of Storm Demons in the late game.


Image Unit Name Special Attributes Comments
Serf Warrior
Gold 8
Human militia.
Suitable for siege or patrol chaff; ineffective in combat.
Gold 25
Stealthy (65)
Line infantry. Working against their awful armor, elven glamour makes Huskarlar resilient in melee.
Certain things counter glamour, though, such as Evocations; even one point of damage busts it.
Gold 25
Stealthy (65)
Axe Huskarlar deal five more damage per swipe than Spear Huskarlar (19 vs. 14);
due to the damage types, the gap closes against Protection, but not by much.
On the other hand, Axe Huskarlar have 2 fewer points of Defence, which makes them much worse at line-holding.
Gold 30
Stealthy (65)
Improved armor and Defence over the Huskarlar makes the Hirdmen's glamour even better.
They're also more reliable at hitting other elves in melee, due to their swords;
Huskarlar have javelins, on the other hand, which always pick the correct image to hit (if they hit).
Mounted Hirdman
Gold 50
Stealthy (65)
Exceptionally high defence and glamour makes these elf cavalry very hard to hit in melee, but they don't hit as hard themselves as heavy cavalry.
That being said, their first hit still does 19 damage, and scales well with Strength of Giants.
Their high speed makes them good flankers, while that and their stealth make them good raiders.
Gold 40
Capital Only
Stealthy (65)
Ambidextrous (1)
Berserker (5)
One of the most efficient sacreds in the game; their two attacks are fairly strong (coming from Size 2 units), their glamour gives them the edge in first strikes, and their Berserker trait makes them killing machines when mangled. All of that is without a Bless.
Their Protection is 18 for the body and 21 for the head while they're berserk.
It's amazing that they're not more expensive.
Fay Boar
Gold 100
Capital Only
Supply Bonus (50)
Forest Survival
Reusable Size 3 Elephants. Immortality returns the pigs to you three turns after you lose them.
Unfortunately, given their high cost and Vanheim's lack of a need for massive armies, the pigs are not recommended.


Image Unit Name Special Attributes Comments
Vanlade - Vanadrott air 44death 22blood 22holy 22 21
Resist Shock (7)
Inspirational (1)
Stealthy (65)
Sailing (Max Size 3)
A greater Vanadrott with more paths.
Vanlade will likely be your only death 33 mage (death 22 plus the Dwarven Skull Staff).
Incidentally, this makes him your only Wailing Winds caster.
His other paths are not particularly rare, but not very common either.
Last-but-not-least, he has 22 Defence.
Sölvis - Vanadis fire 22air 33holy 11 15
Resist Shock (5)
Awe (3)
Stealthy (65)
Sailing (Max Size 3)
Spirit Sight
Combat Caster
Sölvis has a unique path combination for Vanheim, alongside built-in Flight.
Foes need to beat a Morale check vs. 13 and an Attack check vs. 21 to touch her;
then, thanks to her glamour, the first attempt has only a 20% chance of connecting.
Then there's the combination of Mistform and Phoenix Pyre for thugging;
or, for back-rank shenanigans, Sulphur Haze and 2firegem Fire Elementals.


Magic Access

EA Vanheim is heavily focused on air and earth magic, with a side gig in blood, fire and death.

Vanheim has access to the following paths for the purposes of rituals:



  • No astral magic
  • death 11 on Dwarven Smiths, death 22 via a Skull Staff (Master Smith)
  • No nature magic
  • blood 22 on Vanadrotts, as much blood as required via empowering and boosters.

National Spells


  • Conjuration 4 air 33death 11 for 1airgem: Summon Valkyries ( Valkyrie×7)
    Summons flying, glamoured sacreds. These can be useful for pressuring back lines in combat, but they can't be scripted (since they are summoned), making them equally-likely to divebomb the enemy's frontlines or middle-ranks instead. Blessing them is also tricky, requiring either a delay in casting Divine Blessing or a particular grouping of your other Sacred troops for the standard Blessing.


  • Conjuration 3 nature 22 for 6naturegem: Sloth of Bears ( Great Bear×10+)
    Undisciplined animals with low attack density but a lot of strength. Makes decent siege chaff. Note that casting Summon Animals in Highlands yields more bears on average (13 vs. 10), if you're in a rush.
  • Conjuration 4 death 22 for 12deathgem: Awaken Draugar ( Draug×3)
    Undead medium-heavy infantry with fear and a cold aura. They change into size 3 Draugar once under 20 hitpoints, increasing their Strength by 3 and their Combat Speed by 2; like with other size-changes, this doesn't displace units in the same square as long as none of them advance. Compared to Wights, Draugar are much less mage-turn efficient, weaker until pushed to their Size 3 forms, and lacking the decay attack that counters thugs and elites, but their fear and chill auras give them significant utility when mixed into front lines.
  • Conjuration 8 air 44earth 33 for 62airgem: Summon Dwarf of the Four Directions
    Summons one of the four Dwarves of the Four Directions, powerful mages who have significant combat, ritual-casting and forging capabilities (air 44earth 33random2200% and Master Smith 1). Also increases the likelihood of Hurricanes ravaging the world for each dwarf summoned. If all four dwarves are alive at once, the world is plunged into a Perpetual Storm and all battles will have Darkness over them; this is a somewhat-roundabout manner to apply what amounts to two Global Enchantments at once, but the only way to dispel either effect is to kill one of them.

Note that only the Draug Ritual and the Valkyrie Combat Spell are natively available to Vanheim.

Notable Generic Magic


Vanheim relies more on their surprise attack with hard to hit troops and commanders that can solo battalions over traditional magic artillery. Your thugs will be forced to take up the artillery role late game when Glamour stops being a huge advantage in combat, though this is defiantly not the most gold efficient roll for them.

Early game combat involving Van is having a thugged wizards cast Mistform and Flight then attack rear, with summoned Air Elementals for extra support.

Have capital only Dwarf Smiths which bring Earth magic to combat, improving amour with Marble Warriors and harass with Maws of the Earth, Rain of Stones and Destruction. But their movement on the map is see-able by most scouts.

Vanadrotts make up your wind power, being the ones putting up Storm so your Vanherse and Vanjarls can spam lighting spells.

Blood communions are also important to the nation. Vanjarl are expensive for nearly sitting around but are the only national way to empower your mages. With the addition of boosters, can cast higher Air, Earth, Death, Fire, and blood spell (can empower any Dwarf in Blood to join). For example, you can cast Storm without Vanadrotts. Blood is useful for taking out dangerous units with Life for a Life, and shift fighting in your favor with Blood Rain, Wailing Winds, and Rush of Strength.

Wind of Death is an interesting spell as Vans still have between 100 to 500 years of life in them, So armies made up of shorter-lived races and, more importantly, the elder mages that are the backbone armies, will be crippled and die, while only some of your will only be a few decades from retirement. (There are more races in EA with long Life spans, so not always effective.)


Vanadrott and Vanjarl can Cloud Trapeze, Letting them immediately pounce on any province in range, including a surprise blood sabbath.

Late game use Storm Demons as they are strong demons. Also getting Bind Heliophagus and Elemental Royalty for Stronger power.

Magic Items

Your recruitable thugs are mounted mages that are really hard to hit. They may need not that much extra prot, but shouldn't but that much encumbrance on them as they will be casting spells. The better thing is giving them weapons to stab better (Fire Brand, or Frost Brand for AOE, Flesh Eater for anti thugging). Can make Earth, Blood, and even the hard to make air boosters (some rare Dwarven Smiths can forge Skull of Fire). Even make a Robe of the Magi for late-game magic boosting.

National Discount Items

  • Dwarven Hammer Cont 2, earth 33, 12earthgem: A quintessential item for forging. Forge Discount on an item that gives you Forge discount is an economic win.
  • Lightweight Scale Mail Cont 2, air 11, 4airgem: light armour for non-van thugs and mages.
  • Weightless Scale Mail Cont 2, air 22, 8airgem: pay more so the Scale Mail has no encumbrance of a thug build that's more consciences about fatigue produced per turn.
  • Cauldron of the Elven Halls Cont 4, air 33, 12airgem: if your glamoured army does get reported by a scout or contains non-glamoured units, only a fraction will be reported. If you into mind game strategies having a massive army mistaken as a small raiding party grants you a greater level of surprise.


Power Curve

This is probably the most difficult section to get consensus for. Describe how strong the nation is during expansion, the early, mid and late game, and what makes it strong/weak at each of those points. This should give readers an idea of where the weaknesses of a nation lie (if they have not been shown already) and when to take advantage of a nation's strengths.

Expansion Strategies

List some example expansion strategies here. If a strong bless or pretender is required then leave the specifics for the pretender section.

Example Pretender Builds

List some example pretender builds. Try to use the following format to keep authorship and pretender design rationale clear.

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vanheim-ea.txt · Last modified: 2024/02/03 00:53 by fenrir