- Low Production cost.
- Extra Combat Strength against ranged attacks.
Huscarls are quick to produce, and their enhanced defense against ranged attacks represents the shield walls they form in battle. Use them to lead the charge against enemy cities, drawing their fire while your other units focus on weakening their defenses. In other words they can be used as defensively orientated siege units. Try to ensure they have at least the Tortoise promotion when using them as such in order to boost their innate advantage further (Battlecry is another useful promotion with regards as to enemy defenders). If you have to use them offensively against a city, have a Battering Ram close by.
The huscarls (or “housecarls”) were elite soldiers, first raised as a military force by Canute; he modelled them on the quasi-mythical Scandinavian warrior-brotherhood known as Jomsvikings. Indeed, supposedly the original formation of huscarls were built around a nucleus of Jomsvikings that had come to England under famed Thorkell. Supported by a special tax, Canute maintained three “corps” (totaling 3000-4000 men) – two near London and the third near York. Armed with the usual collection of weapons and armor, the huscarls were especially adept at the “shield wall” tactic, which demanded both discipline and fortitude. Canute and other Viking rulers usually placed their huscarls in the center of the line to steady the rest of the army, or spread them along the entire front to take the initial enemy assault. Their exploits in battle were the stuff of legend; for instance, the huscarls formed the iron core of Godwinson’s army at Stamford Bridge and at Hastings.