The Frisians represent the Frisian people of Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands. They have a new Northern European architecture set shared with at least the Vikings, and potentially one more Scandinavian civ. Their Wonder is Franeker City Hall, the town hall of one of the major cities in Friesland, a Dutch province.
The Frisians are a cavalry civilization, which is based on how they were expert horse breeders. They also have fairly decent infantry, having Gambesons, but not Supplies (I’ll explain how that’s possible later), and they also possess a decent navy. However, their Monks are absolutely abysmal.
Let’s move on to their civ bonuses.
- Farms built around Mills last 20% longer
This is, of course, a reference to windmills being arguably the most famous element of the Netherlands.
- Technologies don’t require prerequisites
This bonus sounds a little confusing, so let me explain. Basically, how this bonus works is that the Frisians automatically gain access to the current age’s technology for a given line. If you research the most recent one, the effects of the previous ones will be granted for free. So if you wait until the Imperial Age to go cavalry and only research Blast Furnace, you will automatically gain the effects of the previous techs. If you wish to gain the effects earlier, you can pay full price for the techs as they come, providing flexibility at the cost of some resources. While this bonus does apply to unit upgrades (so Two-Handed Swordsmen, Cavaliers, and Capped Rams are functionally skipped), HCs and CGs still require Chemistry, as they are not technologies, but units unlocked by a tech.
This bonus references the period of Frisian freedom, where no centralized government really existed, and only local governments providing representatives from farms and villages supplied any kind of politics.
- Knights benefit double from Husbandry
This references the Friesian horse, a breed of horse unique to Friesland that is descended from medieval Frisian horses. Frisian horses were stocky, but agile, and were favored to be exported to other kingdoms for use as heavy cavalry.
- Can build Pasture
I’ll talk more about this building later, but the bonus references how Frisians have raised cattle ever since the ancient period.
- Team bonus: Soldnerheere available at Stable in Imperial Age
This references the mercenaries that Frisian lords often recruited, and also references how Frisian horses were favored as knightly steeds for other kingdoms, as mentioned above.
Unique Unit 1: Haadlingen
This is a medium cavalry unit that has the ability to increase the build rate, attack, HP, and armor of villagers within an 8-tile radius. Build rate is increased by 15%, attack is increased by 5 (7 for Elite), HP is increased by 25 (30 for Elite), and armor is increased by 1/1 (2/2 for Elite). The unit costs 55 food and 80 gold, and moves slightly faster than a generic Knight, but has 1 less of each armor. However, it does have 10 more HP, which is critical, because the Frisians are missing Bloodlines. The upgrade costs 1000 food, 800 gold.
The unit is very useful in Castle drops and tower rushes, protecting villagers and causing them to build faster and be hardier, while also contributing attack of their own.
Haadlingen were Frisian nobility that were in charge of tracts of land. They were the first Frisian nobles, but obtained that power through seizure of it, rather than through bloodlines. A civil war they were involved in eventually spelled the end of Frisian freedom.
Unique Unit 2: Soldnerheere
The Soldnerheere is a light cavalry unit with speed halfway between the Light Cavalry and generic Knight, sporting 80 HP and 1 base pierce armor. To compensate for its relative lack of resilience, it has the ability to heal 35 HP per minute. This allows the Soldnerheere to engage in combat against a number of units, and then fully heal a few minutes later. The fact that it is a team unit gives it great synergy with other civs, particularly cavalry-focused ones. Although the Meso civs cannot naturally train it, the Aztecs and Incas can do so out of converted Stables.
The unit costs 75 food and 20 gold, so a bit less food than the Hussar, but in exchange for a gold cost. It does not have an Elite upgrade, like the Condottiero.
Soldnerheere were armies of mercenaries fielded by Frisian chieftains. They could’ve ridden horses, like many well-trained armies at the time, but regardless, the Frisians did supply horses to other kingdoms.
Unique Building: Pasture
- This is an economic building that costs 120 wood and 100 food. It automatically supplies 1 cow every two minutes. After researching the Imperial Age unique tech, it can also train villagers and Hussars.
Friesian Husbandry: Light Cavalry +40 HP
Cost: 600 food, 200 gold
This technology essentially gives Light Cavalry Bloodlines twice. Since the Frisians do not have Bloodlines, this is a significant advantage, though other cavalry units will be significantly weaker.
This is a reference to the Friesian breed of horse, which is stocky, but very nimble and agile, a rare combination. Such horses were in high demand in the Middle Ages, and were frequently used as war steeds.
Redjeven: Villagers and Hussars can be produced from Pastures and Mills
Cost: 900 food, 400 gold
This technology not only makes rebooming easier, but it also allows late-game armies to maintain constant production through multiple building types. Since Pastures produce cows automatically every two minutes, with enough of them, they can produce villagers to take food from the cows. Then the food from the cows can go directly into Hussar production or more villagers. Pastures and Mills are considerably cheaper than Stables as well, which makes them useful for Hussar production.
During the Frisian freedom, a semblance of government was kept in rural areas by using selected farmers as representatives of their neighbors. Such representatives were known as redjeven, and they were governed by the Brokmerbrief, a lawbook dictating the actions of the redjeven.
Note: Missing units and techs that are independent of the succeeding line will be marked with an asterisk (*).
Missing Units: Two-Handed Swordsman*, Eagle line, Arbalester, Elephant Archer line, Heavy Cavalry Archer, Cavalier*, Camel line, Battle Elephant line, Steppe Lancer line, Capped Ram*, Siege Onager, Bombard Cannon, Heavy Demolition Ship, Elite Cannon Galleon.
Missing Techs: Supplies*, Parthian Tactics, Bloodlines, Atonement, Heresy, Sanctity, Illumination, Block Printing, Theocracy, Chain Mail Armor*, Ring Archer Armor, Architecture, Keep, Treadmill Crane, Bombard Tower, Arrowslits, Crop Rotation, Gold Shaft Mining, Stone Shaft Mining, Shipwright.