Content of the article: "2020 in Total War"
Thought it would be fun to actually have a wholesome list of "2020 in Total War" instead of only memes. List what you did in Total War last year! Here is mine.
- Started and finished a Hellebron campaign, finally! Her thematics is really fun but it's way too late her thematic powers really get to shine and by the time you are done buffing up your witches and sisters of slaughter you are already snowballing the campaign… either way it was fun, especially rushing to kill Morathi before she allies herself with Malekith, take her capital then fight off the asur invasion.
- Yet again, Malekith united all elvendom under the banner of peace. Morathi was executed early on so all is well, no cultist bloody bloodshit.
- There was an attempt to play as Imrik but after fighting off the immediate danger of Snitkch and Malus, his campaign fell into aimless boredom. Maybe I should give it another try in 2021 but this time, in Vortex.
- Started and finished an Eltharion campaign in Vortex! He is a really cool character although his mechanics are really underwhelming: Athel Tamatha is maxed out fairly fast so his unique resource becomes completely useless (much like the Empire's original update, there should be an after-update to fix this), not being able to capture enemy lords via autoresolve sucks big time, and Grom spawning right to your capital for a final battle after he was both personally murdered and his entire faction killed off from the campaign was just a letdown.
- Started and finished my first Malus campaign in Vortex. Really cool character, love the deamon balancing mechanics, and the possession flavour of the UI with the whispers and the purple borders. It feels super weird that he is the "cavalry upgrading lord" though, as badass as he is on foot. Eh, I can enjoy him with my standard army comp too but his heavy focus on cold one's isn't one of the best decisions CA made this year.
- Started a new Orion campaign! My old favourite race is back on track baby! Although I must admit I quit this campaign around turn 100. I love the Woodelf update but I never quite found *my* LL and Orion was the lesser bad (as intolerable as he is as a raging madman, at least he says something I can understand unlike Durthu, and he is an elf). I bought the DLC right off the bad but kinda regretted it because I don't play any of it's content yet and the new units are really low effort (all of them reskin with no voicelines at all, wtf?) and just straight better version of already existing units in a pay to win manner instead of something new the woodelves didn't have (Zoats are cool, okay). It feels like I should really try the Sisters but I'm kinda burned out.
- Finished my first Empire campaign ever, despite being a player since early W1 times. I never quite liked the Empire, they were the mehh faction for me, but their faction update with the provinces and diplomatic dilemmas really gave them the personality I knew they had in the lore – where I like them – but lacked in the game. It was fun, going to do it once more in 2021!
- Bought the book! Well, the first 40 chapters from 120, but this alone is already a monster size of a book. I stopped reading around chapter 15 because turns out chinese literature is really hard to digest and lacks the focus a good story that carries itself needs. There are 1200 named characters here guys, good luck keeping track of who is important and who isn't. The point is, I tried to get into this game since I bought it on release and put it down with great regret, finding myself unable to get my "hook" in the setting that would serve as a vehicle to carry me through. Since watching some of the series (quit around 14 episodes alright :D) and now reading the book, I jumped back to the game with much more topographical and historical knowledge, and I'm able to differentiate a lot characters and their motivations.
- Guys this game is damn hard after a 1000 hours of Warhammer 2. It offered me easy difficulty, despite me winning in general, albeit very slowly growing. I'm trying to figure out how the economy works (the idea is that if a province has a special building like an iron mine, that is focused on industry, so I build everything industry in that province, otherwise go for food / peasantry), and trying to be sneaky Sun Jian with the support of bad boy Sun Ce, killing off the Han empire's remains because "they are in bad hands, it's gonna be much better under my rule" and I actually try to do good for the people and become Emperor through conquest but no betrayals. Guys, what a magical feeling it is buy a single missing city from a neutral / friendly faction, to complete your province. What a magical feeling it is to offer peace to an AI who attacked me but I beat it back to it's last city, and while I show up a sign of a friendly panda knocking on his door, he actually accepts peace because they have common fucking sense of self preservation. Diplomacy in this game (putting character satisfaction and court aside, which are bullshit, but diplomacy between factions is what I'm talking about) is stunningly good. Though I don't enjoy the combat much, I got to snowballing point and I'm 90 turns deep in this campaign, instead of quitting after 15 like I did 6 times before. I'm finally hooked, and I'll continue to be in 2021! The DLC seems really bad, but the Yellow Turbans preorder DLC and the Eight Princes seem super valuable and fun.
Thrones of Britannia:
- Now that History Channel's Vikings is back on track – actually over but I just recently discovered the last half of the last season is out – I though to myself, let's give it another look, Tob couldn't be that bad, why did it flop? Well the UI is horrendous, there are literally nobody besides Alfred from the 3 generations of characters we followed through the show (viking, rus, british or french) so I have to relatable character to play as… well, fuck. I gifted away a copy of a Warhammer 2 DLC instead of spending that money on this game. Best hope ToB has is being in a Humble Choice or giveaway tbh.
- I don't know about you guys but I really don't enjoy this. The graphics are absolutely stunning, the UI immediately familiar after Warhammer (maybe a bit too much, feels really modded TWW2 to me), but… it's kinda not really sandbox? I love that every character has a unique goal but the scripted campaign events are really not my thing. I get it that Troy is about the siege of Troy but I was really hoping for an "anything can happen" like in other TW games kinda campaign option where if I want to be all friends with the Greeks playing as one of the trojans, I can be. So naturally I was waiting for the amazons DLC, to create the safe heaven for them in the world. When they released, I conquered like 2 provinces and I was like "okay here is the amazon kingdom, be safe ladies, job done" and quit because I felt unmotivated to play. Maybe this year we'll get our steam copies, and I'll give it another shot. I really disliked the "you have to constantly refill a god's support across many buildings in many provinces" mechanics and the 4 resources seem more like an afterthought than something that enriches the game, not satisfying to be rich with these resources, chore-like to gather them when in need early on.
Plans for 2021!
- Warhammer 3 obviously. First and foremost I have high hopes that CA will get to do their second creative DLC where they get to make up most of the units for a race, and that race will be the Silk Empire of the East. I'm very curious how the campaign map will look (those industry heavy factory filled chaos dwarf lands!), and there are plenty of already existing LLs I want to play as from Warhammer 2 who's campaigns are going to be massively different now that they can go where now there is a map border. Khalida, hopefully Neferata (next TWW2 DLC?), the dawi lords, Malus Darkblade, Norsca, Clan Eshin and even Chaos Warriors. Also looking forward to the beautiful ice queen Lady Katarina of Kislev, so I don't have unreasonable hopes… I hope. It's very exciting either way!
- MOAR THREE KINGDOMS! And finishing the book first and foremost it was super expensive.
- An attempt to like Thrones of Britannia, I think 6th one.
- Hopefully getting a free copy of Troy on steam via account linking, and giving it another chance.
- Total War: Warhammer II – The Bliss of Finishing a Campaign I Never Knew (First Ever Win)
- So what do we want CA to learn from Total War Saga: Troy?
- The problem with Troy (and perhaps the AI on higher difficulties in general)
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