Colonizing a zone (a.k.a. an area or a tile) allows the clan to exploit its resources and construct buildings on it. Expanding the clan's territory is necessary for victory, as it brings more resources into the clan's economy and allows it to sustain a higher population (and consequently, a bigger army).
To colonize a tile, all of the following must be true:
- the tile is adjacent to your territory (with one exception, see below)
- the tile is explored by your or an allied clan
- the tile is clear of all hostile creatures such as wolves or bears
- the tile is neutral, meaning is does not belong to another clan or a neutral faction (members of neutral factions count as hostile creatures unless pleased in some way)
- you have enough resources to pay the colonization price (typically Food) or have access to certain abilities (see below)
Colonization cost can be reduced roughly by 30% thanks to the Colonization lore.
In most cases the process of expanding or losing territory comes with a countdown timer. When the colonization price has been paid, a 10-second timer is started on an area. Once it finishes, the colonization is complete.
If any hostile units enter the tile while the timer is running, one of two things happens:
- if your military units occupy the area, they engage in combat; the timer stops and resumes only after all hostiles are eliminated
- if you don't have any forces in the tile - because they were ordered to leave, or were killed defending the tile, or weren't there to begin with - the timer turns backwards, and you start losing control at the same rate of 10% per second.
Note that kiting enemies doesn't count as "engaged in combat". The timer only stops when the units' attack animation is visible.
Timers work a little differently if clans are taking territories from each other (see Decolonization below).
The price in resources scales according to the number of currently controlled territories. For example, if you controlled 6 tiles, adding a 7th area would cost 200 Food. If you then lost two tiles to enemy clans or hostile environment, you would be down to 4 areas, and adding another tile would then cost only 120 Food.
Paying with Food
Available to every clan from the start.
| Food needed,
| Food needed,
Paying with Kröwns
Available to Huginn and Muninn from the start.
| Kröwns needed,
| Kröwns needed,
The clan of the Raven always has the choice between Food and Kröwns. Regardless of the resource used to colonize, both prices will scale accordingly. For example, if you paid 20 Food, then 20 Kröwns, then 80 Food again, that would be 4 territories under your control. The 5th one would always cost 120 Food or 60 Kröwns - it wouldn't matter which of the two resources were used previously and how many times.
Paying with Lore
Available to any clan after forging and placing Jörmunr.
| Lore needed,
| Lore needed,
Note that installing this relic does not replace the usual Food colonization, but gives an option to pay with Lore instead, in the same way that Raven clan can choose between Food and Kröwns.
Areas can be colonized with Lore once every 4 months (4 minutes of real time).
Dominion is an active ability of the Berserker, the Wolf clan's warchief equivalent. To use it, the Berserker must be standing in the area you wish to colonize (the area must still be scouted, adjacent to your territory and clear of hostiles). Select the Berserker, then click the Dominion icon on the unit's tooltip. This will start the usual 10-second colonization timer.
This ability can be used once every year (12 minutes of real time). Reaching 500 Fame reduces the cooldown to half a year (6 minutes). If the ability is already on cooldown when the clan reaches 500 Fame, 6 minutes are subtracted from the cooldown.
Purify is an active ability of the Valkyrie. It can be accessed by consecrating a Norn for 600 Wyrd and improving the Valkyrie's tools (the order is not important). To use it, the Valkyrie must be standing in the area you wish to colonize (normal restrictions apply). Select the Valkyrie, then click the Purify icon on the unit's tooltip. This kills the Valkyrie.
Purification ignores the usual timers of colonizing or decolonizing a tile; it is added to your clan's territory instantly. This is offset by the facts that Road to Valhalla (the ability that consecrates a Norn) is itself on a cooldown, and only one Valkyrie can be controlled at a time.
Annexation is a passive ability granted to the Stag clan's Warchief once their clan-specific relic, Hlidskjalf, has been placed. It works automatically as long as the warchief is present on the invaded tile when its decolonization is finished. At this point, control is transferred from one clan to another instantly. The warchief doesn't have to be in the area for the whole duration of the decolonization timer, just at the moment it runs out.
Annexation is the only way to colonize areas that are not adjacent to your own. However, it only works on areas controlled by other clans. Unoccupied zones or zones belonging to neutral factions cannot be annexed.
Note that, despite being instant, the transfer does not prevent buildings from catching fire (as they normally do after decolonization).
If an area has already been colonized by another clan, it must be decolonized with military units before anyone can expand on it. Creatures such as wolves or draugar can decolonize just as well as competing clans. As a rule of thumb, in Northgard taking control of tiles from enemies is much slower than restoring control of your own tiles or expanding onto neutral ground.
When military units enter an enemy's colonized zone, a 45-second timer is started in that zone. Once it finishes, the zone becomes neutral and can be colonized normally by any other party.
- If any defenses are present on a tile, such as military units or Defense Towers, they engage invaders in combat; the timer stops and resumes only after all defenses are eliminated.
- If the attack is repelled (invading forces retreat or fall in battle), the timer turns backwards, and the owner clan restores control at the rate of 10% per second (approximately 4 times faster than decolonization).
Decolonization of an area, once finished, will cause any buildings in it to catch fire and take damage over time. Left to burn, all structures in that area will break down in 2.5 minutes (significantly slower than after an Earthquake, for example). These buildings can be repaired by any clan that then colonizes the area. This, however, does not allow access to buildings unique to other clans. E.g., the Bear clan colonizing a zone with the Hall of Skalds will control the building, but won't be able to assign villagers to it.