SG Presents: Top Five Total War Saga Destinations

By Craig Robinson 21 Nov 2017 0

With the announcement made by Creative Assembly a while back, Total War will now have a spin-off series of isolated games based on very specific periods of history. Total War Sagas, as it's called, has the potential to completely revamp their historical games due to the focus and greater detail on a specific area. It was only last week when they announced their first endeavour to the Viking age of Britain, due 2018.


In Thrones of Brittania, you can play as the Great Heathen Army, Alfred the Great, and other minor nations that were involved in the period. This announcement got us thinking, what areas of history would make a good saga? Here are our top five ideas on niche and interesting timelines that could make captivating titles.

#1: The Levantine Crusades.

Knights templar

Now you may be thinking, "but there is already a Crusade DLC in Medieval II Total War!", which you are correct in saying - although that never stopped them doing Britannia. A revamp with improved graphics, a working multiplayer, and more specialisation into this period would already be starting on the right foot.

But how would they make it different? If Creative Assembly decide to express their ingenuity on these Sagas, then they could make some interesting mechanics. First off, after playing a fair amount of Warhammer, the Chaos nomad armies could play brilliantly into roaming Crusade armies. Imagine taking control of Godfrey of Bouillon in the First Crusade and laying siege after siege to the Levantine Coast. Then when you have Jerusalem, you can trigger an event to establish the Kingdom of Jerusalem which switches the play style from a nomad into a traditional empire. A similar mechanic could work for the Mongols when they make their first incursions into Baghdad in 1258. Then you can make date triggered events if the player meets certain conditions to launch Zengi, Saladin, and other Crusader forces into the Holy Land.

In addition, there are the traditional countries that would be great to play as. From Byzantium, to Mongolia, each nation would bring that unique campaign to the area. Depending on the date you play in, each nation will have specific strengths and weaknesses and looming challenges they must face. Playing as the County of Edessa would result in that imminent presence of Zengi that you must counteract to survive, whilst Byzantium should expect to see the Fourth Crusade at its door step. If there are bookmarks or side campaigns to choose from in these Sagas, the possibilities are endless in creating an amazing Crusade game.

#2: Thirty Years' War

The Hanging by Jacques Callot

Unlike the last entry, the Thirty-Years War will be a brand-new adventure for Creative Assembly. The Thirty-Years war from 1618-1648 created huge conflicts across the board for every European country. During this period, the hostilities between Catholics and Protestants was at its highest, and was central to many of the period's conflicts. Britain was in its Civil War, France was in open competition against Spain to become the European Powerhouse, whilst Austria was trying to maintain Habsburg domination of the Holy Roman Empire. Meanwhile, the German and Dutch Princes wanted greater self-autonomy.

With the conclusion to this war, the Treaty of Westphalia enhanced the power of many. Countries like Sweden, France, and the Protestant Princes gained more power, whilst the Power of Catholicism and the importance of the HRE remained intact to ensure a greater status quo. As the player, you could choose any of these great or smaller nations and have those personal goals set out to enhance the reputation of a weaker country or become the greatest power - or just simply take everything over in midst of all the chaos the period has. Looking at interesting mechanics, there can be a corruption type mechanic. Each province will have a Catholic and Protestant percentage which could make control of these territories by nations of other religions more hostile, depending.

If there is anything iconic about the Thirty-Year War, it is the destruction of Magdeburg and the huge migration of people. 30 years of constant warfare did lots of damage, particularly to the North German provinces. This could be a way of showing a story of how the war in this period severely affected its environment on the game map, and may provide negative traits in certain provinces.

#3: The Three Kingdoms

Three Kingdoms

For those that like Asian history, we will be branching out our ideas to the time of The Three Kingdoms. After the collapse of the Han dynasty, three kingdoms emerged from the ruins: the Wei dynasty in the North, and the Shu and Wu in the south. Each Dynasty claimed succession rights from the Han and would compete for domination of China from 220 - 280 A.D.

A classical game of build an empire in China and maintain it, China’s history is a region known for its civil wars and competing dynasties. A Saga on China could easily include internal politics that would cause distress and dysfunction for each dynasty, helping to promote careful strategies in becoming the Emperor.

Combat may feel a bit more unique compared to other eras. It is in this period that the stirrup was near its historical use in China, and the heavy focus of Chinese crossbowman may make the game feel more unique compared to other unit types in other titles.

It will be interesting to see if Creative Assembly does approach another Asian theme -- CA have only touched the Shoguns, so China might be a good place to look at, especially with the very specific focuses of the Sagas.

#4 Balkan Uprisings

Ioannina liberation 1913

Total War has never really gone as far as the 20th century, and like the previous China idea, it will be interesting to see if CA does go into uncharted territory.

For those unaware what the Balkan uprisings are, it was a 2-year conflict where the likes of Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Albania revolted against the Ottomans in 1912. They gained independence from the Ottomans and then fought between themselves for which territories they would adopt after the Treaty of London in 1913. The conflict continued till 1914 before the outbreak of the First World War.

The way the game could operate is by giving the Balkan states a cooperative campaign to fight against the Ottomans. When that war is concluded, the game would create a stalemate for the player to decide which territories they think they should gain. This creates the 2nd conflict, which Bulgaria historically started by being the aggressor over Macedonian territory against Greece and Serbia. A player that can control becoming the bigger Balkan nation could create interesting scenarios and could recruit the aid of the Great Powers that were historically reluctant to get involved to spice up the gameplay.

As for the Ottomans if they manage to win the war then it could end the game all together before the 2nd disputes between the Balkan states begin.

Whether this idea will work is one thing. I just want to see CA come out with something new as the sagas offer the opportunity for the designers to really flex their muscles (not to mention that the game could be an easy tie in if CA ever decide to a Great War saga).

#5: American Civil War

Battle of Gettysburg

Oh, what a way for CA to recapture the North American continent without over complicating anything. An American Civil War title would encompass much of the North American continent due to the war between the Confederates and the United States. It also provides opportunity to build the strong empires like the Apache, Comanche and Lakota Empires in the Mid-West. You can also include the British in the North and the Spanish to the South as something extra to cause tensions for each faction.

I do not think Creative Assembly will have to do anything too experimental here. It can be like Napoleon and Empire unit types, including unique features for each faction such as American Dragoons, Native Horseback Riders, Red Coats, etc. They can also use similar spy and diplomacy mechanics as done before -- just the ability to play somewhere they have not gone before but with similar thematic as their other titles can feel fresh for their older fanbase to play through. I think this will be one of the more likely sagas for Total War if they do attempt to reconnect with the 19th century, especially if they want something located in the Americas.

That is it for our 5 ideas. If you have any historical ideas that you think will make great Total War sagas, then let us know in the comments below!



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