CA-Pingu#2295

CA-Pingu#2295

22 days ago May 30,2024, 13:59:57 PM

Total War: PHARAOH - Dev Update – New Cultures and Factions

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Hello, Total War community!


The gods of the ancient world shine down upon us, for today we dive into the second instalment of our Total War: PHARAOH update series, this week highlighting the iconic historical cultures that you’ll march to war in the hope of becoming the undisputed conquerors of the Bronze Age.


But before we get to that; a quick reminder that earlier this month we unveiled some exciting new details about our expanded campaign map that now includes the highly requested regions of Mesopotamia and the Aegean. Click on the links below if you want to hear more: TOTAL WAR: PHARAOH - DEV UPDATE – EXPANDED MAP.


THE FACTION UPDATE


We’re making some big gameplay additions with the Total War: PHARAOH update, and in few places is that more evident than our approach to playable factions. As previously revealed, we’re adding the highly requested regions of Mesopotamia and the Aegean to the conflict alongside their iconic and ancient cultures of Assyria, Babylon, Mycenae and Troy. That means you’ll get to wage war with the most influential forces throughout the region, with each bringing their unique cultural, religious and political identity.


But, that isn’t all. In a move inspired by past Total War titles, we’re also adding an additional 25 playable Minor Factions spread amongst each of the cultures both new and old. These Minor Factions represent an opportunity for us to feature a wider array of Bronze-Age civilisations, kingdoms and tribes in the game, further adding to the roleplaying potential of our sandbox campaign and providing a greater degree of gameplay variety.


Let's get into the details!


ASSYRIA (HANIGALBAT)


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Design Inspiration:


Players will experience the dramatic rise of Hanigalbat, a major faction that was originally known as Mitanni before it was conquered and integrated into the sprawling Assyrian Empire. Playing as Ninurta-Apal-Ekur, the king of Hanigalbat, who is aligned with the Assyrian rulers but ultimately strives to fulfil his own grand ambitions.


This historical narrative is the foundation for our decision to make Hanigalbat the major playable faction, emphasizing its critical role in the power dynamics of the ancient Near East. Meanwhile, Assyria remains a playable Minor Faction, underscoring the complex and often tumultuous relationship between these two powers. By focusing on Hanigalbat, we aim to immerse players in a rich and historically grounded experience, highlighting the intricate political and military strategies that shaped this fascinating era.


Faction Overview:


Hanigalbat and the wider Assyrian empire are characterized by their unrivalled strength, discipline, and strategic prowess. Whilst Ninurta-Apal-Ekur's starting territories are abundant in food, they lack direct access to gold settlements, something his more elite armies will have to quickly remedy if they’re to continue being a major powerbroker in the region.


What's interesting about this faction leader is that he has adopted the name of his favored god, Ninurta, as part of his own name. Ninurta's faction is rated as Еasy in difficulty. 


Starting_Position_Ninurta_02.JPG


Army Composition:


The armies of King Ninurta focus on quality over quantity, making proficient use of heavy front-line units and chariots to crush the enemy. But quality comes at a cost, forcing the King to assemble his troops in small, well-trained groups that slowly expand in size – which is why his enemies should be wary of his expansionist ambitions, for he could soon amass a force of mighty high-tier units that would be difficult to subdue. Additionally, they are one of the few Mesopotamian factions with access to cavalry units, giving them a unique advantage amongst their peers on the battlefield.


Some of their notable units include the elite light archer cavalry, the Assur Horse Archers, and the elite heavy cavalry, the Assur Horsemasters.


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ASSUR ARCHERS


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ASSUR HORSEMASTERS


BABYLON


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Design Inspiration:


Babylon is far from its former glory. The Old Babylonian Empire ended with the Hittite Sacking of Babylon by their king, Mursili, in 1595 BCE. Recently, Assyria's king Tukulti Ninurta I captured Babylon, pushing the Babylonian kingdom into the south of Mesopotamia, away from their capital. However, Tukulti-Ninurta I was slain in a plot by his sons, causing Assyria's might to wane. In the game, you will play as Adad-Shuma-Usur, who already rules from a reclaimed Babylon and strives to oust the Assyrians from Babylonian lands.


Faction Overview:


The Babylonians begin their journey in Southern Mesopotamia, a land rich in food but lacking in other vital resources. As an empire seeking to regain its former glory, they employ a strategy of “Building Tall”, focusing on slow, protected expansion and investing resources into larger settlements, bigger farms, and stronger citadels. They excel at subterfuge; manipulating their enemies into making mistakes, and sewing discontent where possible. Rated as Hard in difficulty, they are favored by the god Marduk.


Starting_Position_Adad_02.JPG


Army Composition:


In a stark contrast to their Assyrian counterparts, the Babylonians must rely on a resolute mixture of lower-tier infantry to bring their empire back to past glories. Nowhere is that more apparent than their dominant use of cheap Siluhu fighters who aim to overwhelm their opponents and disrupt their tactical maneuverability. These units come in a variety of weaponized compositions including spear, sword, and sling variants, making them useful in almost any encounter.


Beyond the more disposable ranks of the Siluhu, Babylon can also employ more elite units such as ‘taskmaster’ infantry that buff nearby allies, or the likes of the Babylonian Specialists – a utility unit equipped with a variety of special skills but limited combat capabilities.


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SILUHLU SPEARS


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BABYLONIAN SPECIALISTS


MYCENAE


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Design Inspiration:


The Mycenaeans are considered one the earliest recognisable Greek civilizations, and despite their seemingly prominent role in the geopolitics of the region, their historical records are extremely sparse. Therefore, we have chosen to rely on the Homeric Cycle to flesh out meaningful characters and explore the possibility of the Trojan War being a historical event.


Faction Overview:


Mycenae, led by Agamemnon, begins its conquest in Western and Central Peloponessus, strategically positioned within easy reach of Crete, the Cyclades, and Attica. In the game it builds faster and at a lower cost, a testament to its impressive prestige. By asserting cultural dominance over its neighbors, Mycenae establishes itself as a bastion of civilization entitled to rule. Additionally, Mycenae's influence over its own territories allows for the recruitment of free units from the respective native rosters. The faction is rated as easy in difficulty and is favored by the god Zeus.


Starting_Position_Agamemnon_02.JPG


Army Composition:


The Mycenaean roster excels in heavy damage with axes and armoured spearmen, with some infantry units having vanguard deployment for surprise attacks. However, their poor ranged capabilities often leave them at a disadvantage in skirmishes. Utilizing spearmen with large shields alongside chariots, javelinmen, and axemen is key to maximizing the effectiveness of Mycenae's roster.


Among its notable units are the elite aggressive frontline unit, the Renowned Axemen, and the elite skirmishing infantry with javelins, Veteran Island Skirmishers.


Menelaus, brother of Agamemnon, will also be a recruitable general.


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RENOWNED AXEMEN


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VETERAN ISLAND SKIRMISHERS


TROY


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Design Inspiration:


Similar to the Mycenaeans, the inspiration for the Trojan faction comes from the Homeric cycle and the fabled Trojan War which started when Paris, Prince of Troy, absconded with Helen, the wife of Menelaus, the Spartan king. This led to a decade-long siege of their city by a coalition of Greek states, which ultimately led to the fall of Troy. Beware Greeks bearing gifts of an equine nature.


Faction Overview:


Led by Priam, they start in the Southern parts of the Dardanelles, with easy access to Thrace, Southern Asia Minor, and the Sea Travel Lanes encompassing the Aegean islands and looping to northern Hittite Lands. Priam's strength lies in forming alliances, gaining the respect and appreciation of like-minded factions, and fostering wealth through these alliances. The faction is rated as Moderate in difficulty, favored by the god Apollo.


Starting_Position_Priam_02.JPG


Unit roster:


The Trojan faction roster is highly defensive, with strong armor values and excellent ranged units. However, their infantry units have lower damage output compared to their Achaean counterparts. Utilizing highly armored spearmen to hold the line, ranged units to deal damage from afar, and chariots to flank the enemy is key to maximizing the effectiveness of the Trojan roster.


Some of the signature units for this faction are the elite defensive unit, the Guards of Troy, and the elite bowmen, the Trojan Nobles.


Paris, Hector and Aeneas will also be recruitable generals.


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GUARDS OF TROY


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TROJAN NOBLES


MINOR FACTIONS


As the name suggests, Minor Factions are smaller in gameplay scope compared to their Major kin, meaning they won’t have access to their own unique set of features such as Faction Commands or unique Court mechanics. Instead, they will take inspiration from the Major Factions, but will still have an identity that will make them an interesting and challenging choice to command through the turbulence of the Bronze-Age collapse.


Some of these Minor Factions contain some well-known characters from A Total War Saga: TROY such as those found within the Mycenaean and Trojan armies, so expect to see the likes of Achilles, Odysseus, Diomedes & Ajax, and Rhesus to be leading their own respective armies.


MINOR FACTIONSSTRENGTHSWEAKNESSES
Napata (Egypt)Long Range WarfareFew high-tier units
Setnakhte (Egypt)Balanced infantryNo chariots
Merneptah (Egypt)High-tier, medium armored units
No low-tier units
Baharia (Egypt)Melee desert warfareFew ranged units
Dungul (Egypt)Ranged desert warfareNo chariots or strong frontline
Ugarit (Canaan)Good castle unitsNo good flankers
Emar (Canaan)Strong attack infantryNo ranged units
Byblos (Canaan)Sea mercenariesNo strong defensive units
Damascus (Canaan)Good ambushersNo solid frontline or chariots
Ashkelon (Canaan)Balanced infantryMostly low tier units
Cimmerians (Hittite)Strong cavalry varietyPoor choice of infantry
Malidiya (Hittite)Heavy infantryNo ranged units
Sangarian Phyrgia (Hittite)Aggressive medium rosterNo defensive units
Alashiya (Hittite)Combines Hittite and Canaan unitsFew elite units
Carchemish (Hittite)Heavy Hittite chariotsNo strong frontline
Aeolia (Aegean)Strong flanking unitsFew defensive units
Lycia (Aegean)Strong chariot unitsNo ranged units
Ithaca (Aegean)Strong ranged and solid frontlineNo chariots
Bоeotians (Aegean)Solid offensive and defensive infantryLittle chariot or ranged variety
Thrace (Aegean)Solid, balanced rosterDoesn’t excel at any one warfare type
Igihalkid (Mesopotamia)Balanced infantryNo elite infantry
Lullubi (Mesopotamia)Good frontline and archersNo mounted units
Sutu (Mesopotamia)CamelsLacks ranged options
Shubru (Mesopotamia)Heavy Hittite defenders and medium Mesopotamian flankersNo ranged units
Assyria (Mesopotamia)CavalryNo elite infantry


JOIN THE DISCUSSION ON DISCORD:


That concludes the New Cultures and Factions blog for Total War: PHARAOH. We hope it has addressed all the details you were curious about. However, if you still have burning questions that you're eager to have answered, we encourage you to join our Discord Q&A on June 11th, where you can speak directly to our developers.


In the next blog post, we'll provide more information about the new battle features.


Once again, we want to thank you for your ongoing support and the invaluable feedback you've been providing. We are looking forward to sharing more with you soon.


– The Total War: PHARAOH team

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22 days ago
May 30, 2024, 2:11:09 PM

Nice, but I'm a bit confused with the 24th faction. Hanigalbat is associated with Assyria, but the last one is also called Assyria. Do you mean Aššur?

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22 days ago
May 30, 2024, 2:23:09 PM
I was hoping for at least two major factions for each new culture but I suppose playable minor factions is a decent compromise.

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22 days ago
May 30, 2024, 2:36:50 PM

A shame Aeneas doesn't get his own faction, and I don't see Memnon mentioned, as they were my personal favorites, but I get compromises need to be made.
But all things aside, this sounds great, I'm actually getting really interested in Pharaoh, so off it goes into the wishlist.

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22 days ago
May 30, 2024, 2:40:21 PM

Minor Factions sound amazing for another game...

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22 days ago
May 30, 2024, 2:47:28 PM

Playable minor factions is a nice touch, and the new Major factions look fun! Can't wait for the release, and to see more of Assyria and Babylon!

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22 days ago
May 30, 2024, 2:50:45 PM

I really don't understand. You want to make a historical game about the Bronze Age and you put in characters who did not really exist. On the one hand you put in figures of which are historical traces and on the other hand you put in characters from Homeric works; it is absolutely nonsense. On the other hand, will the characters be mortal or will they be immortals who at most will be injured for a few turns and that's it? Will there be dynastic management? Do you always want to continue in the pattern laid out with Warhammer at all costs? This is supposed to be a historical game from the way you announced it but it seems to be yet another fantasy game. Sure you can roleplay in a Total War but there has to be a basis for it. If these are the promises well I don't see a coherent structure.


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22 days ago
May 30, 2024, 3:01:22 PM

Uau. Thank you TW Sofia. I hope to see Naval battles back and the Mediterranean as a normal sea (you could make storms also on naval battles) ... and increase the dificulty of the gameplay ... and reward players that go after your ACHIEVMENTS.


And in the long term, I hope to see the entire Europe-Asia-North Africa back as game-play. And who knows, maybe even the Americas ...

Updated 22 days ago.
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22 days ago
May 30, 2024, 3:02:30 PM

I'm hyped but seeing cavalry added into the game is a HUGE let down.


Pharaoh is supposed to be based on Bronze Age warfare and the fact that we were only relying on infantry and chariots is what makes this game so unique.

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22 days ago
May 30, 2024, 3:09:53 PM

maxfi#6100 wrote:

I really don't understand. You want to make a historical game about the Bronze Age and you put in characters who did not really exist. On the one hand you put in figures of which are historical traces and on the other hand you put in characters from Homeric works; it is absolutely nonsense. On the other hand, will the characters be mortal or will they be immortals who at most will be injured for a few turns and that's it? Will there be dynastic management? Do you always want to continue in the pattern laid out with Warhammer at all costs? This is supposed to be a historical game from the way you announced it but it seems to be yet another fantasy game. Sure you can roleplay in a Total War but there has to be a basis for it. If these are the promises well I don't see a coherent structure.


CA already confirmed dynastic management in the large update announcement.
Nowhere in this article are immortal heroes mentioned. Since recruitable generals are talked about I would assume that you can use these generals as heirs etc.
The game's timeframe makes relying on fully historically proven characters incredibly hard. As long as the homeric characters are just human being where is the problem?

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22 days ago
May 30, 2024, 3:15:53 PM
  • No fixing the landscape in Canaan (shechem on the right side of Jordan, removal of all impassable fill, etc)
  • No additional Southern Canaanite City States (Gezer, Gath, etc)
  • No ISRAEL 
  • No Edom
  • No Moab 
  • No Midian
  • Cavalry ! (First used by Assyria in 9th C BCE)
  • Homeric Heroes ?

Don’t get me wrong, Im really pleased the map has expanded in some parts, pleased with Assyrians and Babylonians … but really … we are really going to ignore significant sections of history?


Are we really going to have this plethora of tiny obscure minor factions (especially more Hittite and Egyptian padding) but will have to forgo having major players from the mid 12th C BCE?


For the love of the gods WHY?


Updated 22 days ago.
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22 days ago
May 30, 2024, 3:18:44 PM

Not mentioned here, but i hope you all include the Minoans as a minor faction. They were one of the preeminant Bronze Age factions. already in decline at this point, but certainly still one of the more influential groups in the Aegean. 

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22 days ago
May 30, 2024, 3:19:18 PM

Psycho_V#4329 wrote:
  • No fixing the landscape in Canaan
  • No additional Southern Canaanite City States
  • No ISRAEL 
  • No Edom
  • No Moab 
  • No Midian

Im really pleased the map has expanded in some parts, pleased with Assyrians and Babylonians … but really … we are really going to ignore significant sections of history?


    What we're getting is already way more than what we were expecting, considering the massive failure of the game.


    Let's already enjoy what we're getting and we'll talk about adding new civilizations for later.

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    22 days ago
    May 30, 2024, 3:23:02 PM

    Great news. Hope, Memnon and amazons will be added too.


    Considering anti-homerian feedback:  just make a new switch to remove them in campaign settings.

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    22 days ago
    May 30, 2024, 3:26:22 PM

    oOIYvYIOo#4650 wrote:

    Uau. Thank you TW Sofia. I hope to see Naval battles back and the Mediterranean as a normal sea (you could make storms also on naval battles) ... and increase the dificulty of the gameplay ... and reward players that go after your ACHIEVMENTS.


    And in the long term, I hope to see the entire Europe-Asia-North Africa back as game-play. And who knows, maybe even the Americas ...

    Pharaoh isn't the game you want for those suggestions. Naval warfare was not a thing yet at the time, the closest thing they had were landing battles like Alashiya or the battle of the Delta where they were forced to disembark and fight on land.

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