With all the characters under you command, some are going to like you more than others, here is how you keep them loyal.
New Battle Mechanics
We’ve so far talked a lot about the changes you can expect to see in the Grand Campaign of Thrones of Britannia. Today, it’s all about Battle. Here are our top 5 changes that you can look forward to trying out on the battlefield.
- Sheild-based warfare
This is the era of the shield wall. It’s the tactic with which Alfred beat the Great Viking Army at the battle of Edington, and remained predominant across battlefields of the era. To reflect this style of warfare, we’ve reduced the distance between soldiers in many units, with dense blocks of tightly-packed soldiers. We’ve also reduced infantry charge distances, as the short, sharp clashing of swords and shields makes combat feel faithful to this intimately intense combat style.
To complement this, all units with shields now have the Charge Reflect attribute, which means that if they’re stationary and braced when charged by cavalry, the horses will refuse the charge. You’ll see them rear up before slowly advancing into close-quarters combat, negating any bonuses from impact. Of course, this means you’ll have to be very choosy about where to point your cavalry – either at unshielded targets, or maneuvering them into positions where they can play hammer to your shield-wall’s anvil.
- Cavalry combat
Cavalry versus cavalry is a different ball-game. We’ve actually increased cavalry spacing in Thrones of Brittania, which promotes more realistic cavalry combat, as horses pass through gaps in the opposing unit and cycle round to clash again.
- Critical hits
Thrones will introduce a new critical hit chance for Battle that reproduces the ‘arrow in the eye’ effect. Now, impacts from both melee and missile attacks have a chance of dealing a critical blow, delivering 10 times their usual damage. This means you’ll now see the occasional solder buckle to the ground when charged or under a hail of arrows, as he’s dispatched by a particularly vicious blow.
- Unit modes
Guard mode makes a welcome return for Thrones, and maintains the functionality that makes it ideal for holding ground and not pursuing routers. As a small quality of life improvement, we’re also adding optional default settings for various unit states. So, you can now define Guard Mode, Skirmish Mode, Always-Run and Group-Locking as on or off by default.
- New Settlement maps/Improved AI
A whole host of new maps have been made for Thrones of Britannia, including a lot less ‘hard collisions’ and a lot more ‘soft collisions’, meaning armies will be able to move through towns much more fluidly and fighting in the streets will be less confined to narrow corridors.
The Character System
The Character system has been reworked for Thrones of Britannia, allowing you to progress with your characters in a way that makes sense to you
The Character system has been reworked for Thrones of Britannia, allowing you to progress with your characters in a way that makes sense to you, and not having traits and abilities locked through a skill tree. So, you could create a general who makes your men formidable fighters, that only a fool would meet in battle. Or you could create one who can range far and fast, striking enemy settlements and sacking them for all their worth. You can also do this for governors who can boost your income from the region they govern, and boost food output, extend siege holdout times and much more. All the skills can be leveled up five times for greater bonuses. And throughout this process all the skills are unlocked and can be selected allowing you to decide how you want your characters to progress.
The Province System
Provinces have been made more influential, with key settlements within your regions that cannot defend themselves
Provinces have been made more influential, with key settlements within your regions that cannot defend themselves. If an enemy army invades your lands, they can take key strategic settlements such as, farms that supply your armies with food, when that is lost, and you do not have enough reserves, your men will begin to starve. Mines, that supply you with the coin to pay your armies, if men are not paid their swords are not yours. When you take one of these settlements you then take the surrounding lands with it, and you can garrison your troops inside, which will grant you replenishment from the local region. This now gives you the opportunity to (instead of having to siege your enemy and losing a lot of men) take away their coin and food, and watch as their army melts away.
The Tech Tree
The tech tree is now less of a tree and more a series of branches
The tech tree is now less of a tree and more a series of branches. Still split into military and civic, there are several branches to go down, all of which are locked from the start of the game, and must be unlocked through completing pre-requisite conditions. From recruiting units, or sieging settlements, and so on. This gives you some objectives throughout your campaign, and shouldn’t be ignored or it’ll seriously impact your late game. These technologies will unlock new buildings, grant public order bonuses, raise the starting capacity of units, and upgrades to later game regiments.
Recruitment is not so simple. When recruiting a unit, you can select the army you want it in, and recruit it
Recruitment is not so simple. When recruiting a unit, you can select the army you want it in, and recruit it. However, it will not give you an entire unit, only a small band of men, which will replenish to a full unit over time. You can improve this by building granaries, souterrains, and arenas, all of which have replenishment multipliers. This changes the focus of unit construction, to unit replenishment and preservation, placing a much greater value on each unit, than in previous Total War games. It also prevents being able to recruit a huge army within one turn without a substantial amount of money.
War is a balancing act, and your people will always want what they don’t have. When you’re at peace, and prospering, your people will want war and conquest. When you are at war for years on end, your people will want peace. This is a scale, and when the scale is balanced everything will be well, when it tips in one direction or another bonuses and penalties will come into play, and the further it tips the greater these will become. This scale places restrictions on your rule. You cannot sensibly march your men off to war if they do not want one. There is only one way of dealing with the wants of the people, give them what they want. But do the people understand the cost?
The English Kingdoms: Faction Breakdown
The English Kingdoms of Britannia inhabit the Southern most lands of the British Isles. After decades of Viking raids, the Kingdoms of West Seaxe and Mierce are ready to reclaim the lands of England under their own banners
The English Kingdoms of Britannia inhabit the Southern most lands of the British Isles. After decades of Viking raids, the Kingdoms of West Seaxe and Mierce are ready to reclaim the lands of England under their own banners, and they won’t hesitate to destroy each other to make that happen.
The English Kingdoms will enjoy the benefits of the Fyrd, part-time soldiers pledged to leave their farms for military service each year. These fyrdmen limit the amount of levy units that are available to recruit based on the number of settlements players control on the campaign map. You’ll need to be careful not to recruit more than your limit into your armies, as you may begin to throttle your food production. On top of this, all English military commanders have a larger aura on the battlefield and their soldiers will gain a melee attack bonus when fighting battles as the defender.
On the battlefield the English Kingdoms have strong armoured swordsmen and spear infantry at their disposal and can field impressive cavalry in late game battles.
The Kingdom of West Seaxe controls the southern coast of both England and Wales through its own occupation and the many smaller kingdoms that swear vassalage to them. Your vassals are sworn allies and will always join you in battle. You can view the amount of tribute they are sending you each turn via the summary tab in your economic overview. The generals of West Seaxe are well trained and will earn XP each turn, even when idle. Although lead by the famous King Alfred, players will also have to manage the Witan; An Anglo-Saxon council summoned by the King to discuss progress in the nation and proposals for West Seaxe’s future. The members of the Witan will provide a series of choices for the player to select from concerning the management of the kingdom over the next few turns, each with their own positive and negative effects.
The Kingdom of Mierce is situated north of West Seaxe on the border of England and Wales. Without the benefit of a coastal border, they will be beset on all sides by potential enemies. All units in Mierce’s armies will receive a morale bonus from their generals, provided he is still alive. The King of Mierce will also have to manage the ample gold supply that his faction accrues over the course of their campaign. Once the Miercian treasury reaches certain thresholds, the King can spread his ample supply of wealth between different parties to gain their favour, and bonuses for their campaign. It’s not always favourable to be giving out cash sums every time you have some in the supply though: To combat this, Mierce can research a specific technology to decrease the amount of money they have to spend to gain each bonus.
The Gaelic Kingdoms: Faction Breakdown
The culture of the Gaels spreads across modern day Scotland and Ireland, both lands in equal levels of turmoil and seeking God’s chosen to rise and unite the nations under one banner.
The culture of the Gaels spreads across modern day Scotland and Ireland, both lands in equal levels of turmoil and seeking God’s chosen to rise and unite the nations under one banner. Both Gaelic Kingdoms playable in Thrones of Britannia pine for the throne of their respective countries, and to earn it they will have to prove their legitimacy.
Legitimacy is a unique cultural currency for Gaelic factions that scales between -10 and 100. You can earn legitimacy through the capture of settlements in your respective territory, (Scotland for Circenn or Ireland for Mide) by forging alliances with other scottish or irish factions respectively, or by reinforcing the armies of your allies. With each increase of your legitimacy your faction will receive bonuses to your warriors’ martial prowess on the battlefield and an increase in loyalty from your subordinates on the campaign map. However, dropping below 0 can have adverse effects on both. Legitimacy will also degrade with each turn.
When certain thresholds of legitimacy are reached it will trigger incidents that can benefit your nation and dilemmas in which legitimacy can be spent to trigger even further benefits to your Kingdom. Legitimacy can also be spent to annex other factions under your rule, further strengthening your claim for the crown. The cost of the annex will only be spent on successful attempts.
Gaelic characters will also start with increased loyalty and their faction as a whole will receive a large increase in income from church buildings.
The Kingdom Circenn resides on the Eastern coast of Scotland. The men of Circenn are hardy, and with the construction of a unique Souterrain building their armies will become immune to snow attrition.
The capital of Circenn, Scoan is said to have once been home to the stone of destiny. Playing as Circenn you will be able to undertake consecutive missions to take control of other settlements in search of the stone’s divine strength. On the battlefield Circenn can field good all-round infantry with some high quality spearmen. They also have very strong missile units and powerful, unique crossbow units.
The Kingdom of Mide is the most central of the kingdoms of Ireland. Many High Kings have come from Mide in the past and the current ruler, Flann Sinna, aspires to hold the title as well. Due to their strong central position and a bonus to diplomacy with all other Irish factions, Mide is a good choice for newer players or those looking for an easier start. Armies from Mide will be able to field excellent mid-to-high tier sword infantry, including the unique Gallowglass unit, as well as exceptional javelin infantry.
Every other Summer, Mide will have the option of hosting the Fair of Tailtiu: An event that sees people gather for games, funerals and even marriages. Players will be given a dilemma in which they can choose to either hold the fair, costing them gold but gaining them legitimacy, or to refuse instead which will cost the ruling character their influence
The Welsh Kingdoms: Faction Breakdown
The Welsh Kingdoms are as divided as their Anglo-Saxon neighbours. Though they were further afield from the invasions of the Great Heathen army, some kingdoms have fared better than others.
The Welsh Kingdoms are as divided as their Anglo-Saxon neighbours. Though they were further afield from the invasions of the Great Heathen army, some kingdoms have fared better than others. Wales is a land of heroic men and heroic deeds and as such their kings will be well received by their people for following in that tradition. Heroism is a unique cultural currency for the Welsh that can be increased by winning battles, ranking up their characters, unlocking certain technology and owning welsh lands. The grandeur of a hero is always changing however and losing battles and settlements will undermine your status.
The Heroism bar is measured between -10 and 100. With each section the player fills through their heroic deeds, they will gain more and more bonuses to their campaign. Your men will not suffer cowards though, if the bar ever reaches below 0 you will face large factionwide penalties.
Both Welsh Kingdoms will also receive bonus supplies to their armies in friendly territory and increase to unit morale when fighting on home soil.
The Kingdom of Gwined occupy the northern-most territory of Wales. Secure in their borders, and with a military ally to the south, Gwined have one of the easier starting positions in Thrones of Britannia. A good start for less experienced players, Gwined can take their time establishing themselves before they are met with any great danger.
With the Legendary Battle Sites mechanic, Gwined characters can stand in the shoes of former heroes and conquer famous territory or re-forge old alliances. These missions will provide bonuses for their completion but can only be given when the mission the player currently holds has been completed.
The followers of Gwined characters are extra effective and will give increased benefits. Gwined can also field strong spearmen on the battlefield as well as exceptional archers.
The Kingdom of Strat Clut inhabits the southern border of modern day Scotland. A Kingdom of the Old North that stood firm through the Viking invasions, Strat Clut will have a difficult start to their campaign. With no strong defensible borders to call their own and caught between two major powers in Circenn and Northleode, they will need to strengthen themselves or risk being crushed early on.
With that in mind, Strat Clut will earn bonuses for owning settlements next to eachother. As well as this, capturing certain major settlements has a chance of triggering specific missions for the Kingdom as well. As with Gwined’s Legendary Battle Sites, the player will have to complete their current mission before they gain another. Strat Clut can field the strong spearmen that the Welsh are known for as well as exceptional cavalry units.
The Great Viking Army: Faction Breakdown
The Great Viking Army made their presence felt across the eastern coast of the British Isles and have now staked their claim on the land.
The Great Viking Army made their presence felt across the eastern coast of the British Isles and have now staked their claim on the land. The Viking settlers have not forgotten their roots and continue to raid and sack enemy territory, gaining a bonus to the income it generates. The Great Viking Army has also not forgotten their bitter war with the Anglo-Saxons and their armies will receive morale boosts when fighting against them.
The new kings of Danelaw will have to play a delicate game of appeasing the English and the Danes under his rule. The Here King mechanic is a cultural currency used by the Kingdoms of the Great Viking Army that splits the public opinions of the People and the Army on your nation. Each have their own gauge that ranges from -50 to 50 that will drop and rise based on your actions on the campaign map. Choices that favour the English people like choosing to occupy non-English territory you have sieged or ransoming your captives after battle will raise their opinion of you. Likewise, actions that favour your war hungry armies will raise their opinion of you as well. Both parties offer benefits to the running of your nation when they are kept happy, and in reverse allowing their opinion of you to drop too far can be crippling. It’s not just the way you run your nation that will affect these however, certain dilemmas will appear, as well, that will ask you to choose between the two and favouring one side will almost always upset the other.
The Kingdom of Northymbre sits not far from the Scottish border, ruled by the Viking King Guthfrid. Rumoured to be a former slave, Guthfrid does not command much influence in his court and is liable to low loyalty from his characters. Combined with a starting location flanked by 3 major powers, Guthfrid has one of the more difficult starts in the game. Still holding a grudge from the murder of King Ragnar, the faction of Northymbre will receive missions to enact revenge. All missions of Ragnar’s Legacy will focus on fighting the Anglo-Saxons and raiding and occupying their lands, but will only trigger when Northymbre is at war with an English faction.
Northymbre’s forces have a bonus to their charging ability, and access to Berserkers. They also have good all around infantry including the powerful Northumbrian spearmen and very strong axe infantry.
The Kingdom of East Engle reside on the most easterly point of the British Isles, sharing a border with West Seaxe and the vassals of Northymbre. With rich lands and a coastal border, East Engle have a much easier start. Employing the strong axemen, beserkers and well rounded infantry of their northern brethren as well as the powerful Anglian Champions.
The faction leader Guthrum is the King of Danelaw and enacts his will through force and aggression. As such, the faction of East Engle will receive missions which will give unique rewards for fighting with your neighbours.
The Viking Sea Kings: Faction Breakdown
When the Vikings began to settle in Britannia, not all fleets were focused solely on the eastern coasts.
When the Vikings began to settle in Britannia, not all fleets were focused solely on the eastern coasts. The Kingdoms of Sudreyar and Dyflin travelled as far as the Western coastal isles of Scotland and the Eastern coast of Ireland. The Viking Sea Kings have stayed true to their ancestral desires for exploration and raiding, and have become masters of the seas that envelop the British Isles. Their navies will even be immune to seasickness and high seas attrition.
The Viking Sea Kings can periodically send their ships out to explore new lands, for plunder and colonisation. The Expedition bar is one of the unique mechanics that the Sea Kings have at their disposal. The bar will fill whenever your faction is raiding, sacking, blockading ports or ranking up your characters. Once the bar reaches 100 your men can be sent out on Expeditions to find new lands. Expeditions take the form of a choose your own adventure, in which you will be able to choose your direction and where to dock your ships. Upon finding new territory, you will be given options with how to proceed which can lead to bonuses for your forces and on the campaign.
As well as Expeditions, the Viking Sea Kings can also force tribute from their weak and coin rich neighbours. The tribute bar ranges from -10 to 100 and instead of only receiving its benefits once the bar is full, with each tier of the bar completed you will receive greater benefits to your campaign. Upon reaching 100, benefits will be felt on almost all aspects of income as well as improving influence. Should the player ever be forced to offer gold in diplomacy, their tribute level will decrease. If the Tribute level should ever drop below 0, the factions will suffer increased army upkeep costs and a drop in influence.
The Kingdom of Dyflin Resides in the modern day capital of Ireland, Dublin. They also hold the Isle of Man that sits in between Ireland and the mainland of Britannia, making for a fantastic central hub from which attacks can be made on England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Though Dyflin do not have the most difficult start of all the factions, they will be plunged into war almost straight away.
Dyflin have formed a strong economy of forced labour since they initially settled in Ireland, and now hold the largest slave market in all of Britannia. Slaves can be earned by winning battles, raiding and sacking enemy lands, occupying enemy settlements or from your vassals. At the end of each turn a percentage of those slaves will be sold on to new masters giving an alternative source of income for your faction. With the building of the thrall trader, Dyflin can increase the percentage of slaves that are sold each turn and the building or upgrading of these traders will also provide an instant cash bonus. The large host of slaves that Dyflin have in their workforce means that they will be able to build new buildings with a 15% discount.
On the battlefield Dyflin have access to very strong axe infantry as well as the Norse unit of Berserkers. The Dyflin roster as a whole has a good diversity of units and can also field some strong javelinmen.
The Kingdom of Sudreyar inhabits the western coast of Scotland and the Isles off its shores. Starting in isolation and with a strong military ally to their East, these Vikings do not have a host of issues to deal with at the start of their campaign but with a slow start they will have to be careful not to be left behind.
The Kingdom of Sudreyar hosts a Field of Assembly, a gathering of free men and lawmakers who meet to decide on matters of the day. The assembly will decide on missions that the army should be sent on in exchange for reward. You will only be able to work on one mission at a time and will need to complete your current assignment before a new one can be given to you.
The forces of Sudreyar boast very strong sword and axe infantry as well as access to Berserkers and norse units. Sudreyars armies have a good diversity of troops and will gain +5 supplies when in foreign territory.