When T.J. tried it out (opens in new tab) Early Access RTS Northgard in February he enjoyed the Viking theme and the Age of Empires-style combat—and the game has come a long way since then. Developer Shiro Games has pushed out regular updates, the latest of which adds a new faction to the game called the Kobolds, as well as fresh resource tiles and a mystical hawk that will scout the map for you.
The Kobold will set up camp at various points in the map near precious resources. They're neutral but they'll protect that loot with their life. So, you can set up trade routes with them or, if you're feeling brave, confront them head on and try to wipe them out. But they're tough to beat, and if you do overcome them you won't be able to trade with them in future, naturally. At first glance, it's a neat dynamic.
The update also adds new tiles for the map, namely geysers, lakes and Thor’s Wrath. Lakes are choc full of fish to keep your clan nourished while geysers grant happiness (because you can relax around them), as well as heat that will reduce resource consumption in the winter. Claiming Thor's Wrath will please the hammer-wielding god of thunder, granting you an attack boost.
The last major addition is Vedrfolnir, a hawk that you'll find hidden somewhere on the map. It's hurt, but if you nurse it to full health it will scout the map for you, revealing new areas.
Shiro Games has made smaller changes too: you'll now receive a notification whenever your units enter a fight, for example. The full list of tweaks is in the patch notes (opens in new tab).