Total War: Pharaoh

Isn’t that literally what the Saga games were meant to be doing?

Yeah, but then they all kind of sucked.

The Saga games were frustratingly silly because they promised small, bite sized campaigns and instead… delivered 300 province monster maps. They totally missed the mark as to what they should have been. Instead of experimenting with the Total War engine, which they’re so loathe to change, they just… cranked out MOTS. Troy was actually kind of ok, probably the most OK of both of them, mainly because it was made by their Sophia office (ie, E. European cheap house), but at least it looked different in the battle maps, had a different feel.

The Pardox grand strategy games ruined Total War for me, or at least the strategy layer of them. Though I tend to prefer history instead of fantasy, I thought the Warhammer Total War games took the series in an interesting direction.

It will be interesting to see how they depict these Bronze Age conflicts. Personally, I thought the battles in the Troy game were a bit bland.

I would really like to see them take another stab at gunpowder era conflicts. Would love to see a game focused on the 30 Years War, in which long linear musket formations were still in their infancy.

The problem with Ancient Egypt games is that they usually fail to convey how utterly alien the culture was to ours. It is sobering to recall that Cleopatra is closer to our time than the time when the Pyramids were built. I do not expect an academic treatise from a game, but I do expect the same sort of awe and spectacle that I receive, for example, from the film The Egyptian (1954). Too often in ancient games we receive a generic treatment with very little period feel.

YAY - Finally! A new Total war game, and a historical as well!

Its going to be interesting to see what kind of advancements and features they bring along from their Warhammer experiences.

All you naysayers get out of here! THIS IS MY THREAD NOW!

Yes, but on the other hand the scope of the game, in geography and factions, doesn’t seem that big. As Grifman says:

I wonder if this started as a Saga game and later got upgraded (in price too) to a full TW entry.

Why start with all the major players when they can drip feed faction dlcs and map expansions for years.

Depending on how large and detailed the base map happens to be, I wouldn’t necessarily have any personal complaints about this happening.

That would however be highly contingent on the campaign victory conditions not being a complete slog. Because while Rome II might have had a large map in terms of geography covered… Boy, did I basically never actually finish a campaign due to how much of a slog meeting any of the conditions was.

Historical Total War campaign victory conditions have a habit these days of far outstretching their own fun factor. I believe my official count for Rome II and beyond peaks at a mere, paltry one official campaign victory.

People say Realm Divide in Shogun II was an annoyance but at least I can claim to have officially complete several Shogun II campaigns.

I can’t imagine them doing this, since it would require actual strategic planning. Maybe there will be some light “attrition” mechanic, but nothing really impactful, I guess. I’d even say, that TW AI is bad at purpose, so players are allowed to win. And imo its not the strategic challenge anyway, that makes a TW game attractive to its audience, but the power fantasy combined with AAA cinematics.

Nah, that’s not what TW is trying to model. It’s also not what most mainstream players want to see in a strategy game (imo). Otherwise the Hegemony series would have been much more successful, since it tried to model exactly this seasonal campaigning and supply economics.

No doubt you’re right. Hegemony doesn’t have a separate battle layer, right? So it can afford to keep the strategic gameplay more challenging. I watched a few videos of Rule The Waves 3, and it keeps throwing me off how easily and often great powers go to war in that, but it’s the same issue: Players have battleships, so they need to have battles.

(Also, for the record, I think you seem to be agreeing with @ArtVandelay.)

Strong agree here. (I have no knowledge of the Hegemony series, maybe I should check it out.) CA has found a huge market with TW Warhammer and I think they’d be hated if they changed things so that you had virtually no control over a battle once it starts and your army melts away when planting time comes and your authority extends a day’s ride past your camp and you have to re-fight the same campaign every year. (OK, I’m exaggerating, but still.)

I think they could use the TW engine to do something like that, and as pointed out above having things focused on moving armies around means it wouldn’t necessarily have to look all that different, but it would tank their sales.

Other things I’d like to see, that won’t happen:

  • Different seasons in different parts of the map (hell, even seasons at all). IIRC the ancient Egyptians had three seasons: before the flood, during the flood, and after the flood. I’m less sure about the Hittites, but I believe things were different in Mesopotamia.
  • Chariots used realistically. Chariots were king of the battlefield pre-collapse, but they’re not battering rams. That’s just… not how physics works.
  • Ridiculously ahistorical unit types–hell, even “unit types” at all is a bit of an anachronism. But I have a feeling they’re going to find some passage somewhere that could maybe be translated as “I once saw a Hittite with a blade on a stick; I think, it was dark” and now we’ll find three different types of Hittite halberdiers.

Games tend to do “Hollywood history” rather than the real thing. Anything with a real ancient history feel is a welcome surprise for exactly the reasons you state here- the sweep of Egyptian history is utterly staggering and I’d love to see the early eras represented properly (to the degree possible given the sketchy record).

I say this with all sincerity, @razgon, and no small amount of envy: your optimism is refreshing. :)

Indeed. I mean, her father was a Mithridates, and the entire Ptolemaic line was at its roots Macedonian Greek. She was in many ways a Greek ruler or an Asia Minor potentate more than a traditional Egyptian god queen.

Yup. The way this kind of thing is treated in pop history products really does make you wonder what will get cuisinarted together 1000 years from now.

True, although I believe she was the only Ptolemaic ruler to bother to learn Egyptian. She associated herself with the Egyptian goddess Isis. She may have been trying to get support from the Egyptian people, although our sources tend to be hostile towards her, and we see her policies as a result through a glass darkly.

One theory is that she cultivated the priests and the traditionalists so that she could be both Queen and Pharaoh (which apparently were two different roles/titles, the former being secular and having sway mostly over Alexandria, and the latter religious, with at least theoretical rule over the rest of Egypt, or something like that). Along with the title came access to the treasury, access to which monarchs who were not Pharaoh didn’t have.

So were previous Ptolemaic rulers not Pharaohs? Who was the Pharaoh for the two odd centuries of Ptolemaic rule?

I’ve seen the situation in Ptolemaic Egypt (and to a lesser degree the other Successor states) described as the Hellenistic rulers presenting as strictly Greek when interacting with the Greek and Hellenized elites, and taking on a more traditional Egyptian (or Persian) identity for the “natives”.