I have to say… i’m not feeling this one from what i’ve seen of Youtube Let’s Plays.
Hearing of the “Saga” series i had hoped that what these games would be was scaled back historical titles. Shorter campaigns, smaller maps, fewer but more meaningful battles, cheaper price. If they need to build it on an old engine to make that possible well, go ahead, the engines they have work well enough.
That’s not Thrones of Britannia seems to be. At all.
Instead it’s yet another sprawling, enormous map of Great Britain and Ireland that will take you many game years to get from one end of to the other with an army; and that most of Great Britain and Ireland - at least from a war-game perspective - aren’t particularly interesting terrain. With dozens and dozens of settlements you have to capture.
It’s built on the Attila engine so instead of being heavily modded, it is Attila. So you have no shield wall battles. You have giant sieges of “fortified Anglo-Saxon settlements” with giant siege towers and battering rams. You still have archer-cav-infantry, although the cav and archers are much weakened.
But worst of all… and it’s the most petty thing possible… i can’t stand the names or the variety on the campaign map. Sure there were lots of petty kingdoms on the edges, but one of the reasons Æthestan was able to unite the island as something like England is because there was no longer any significant organized political entities besides Wessex. All those petty kingdoms (aside from the Welsh and Scottish ones) were subsumed in war, collapse, and Scandinavian invasions.
So instead the map starts out with dozens of independent settlements. Why?? I don’t want to play Anglo-Saxon Pokémon.
And to top it off everything is named so weird. Honestly i don’t care that Wessex wasn’t actually named Wessex in real life. I don’t want to play with Northumbyre or West Seaxe or Mierce. Just give me the Heptarchy and some Vikings to stab. Not another sprawling, siege-y, takes dozens of hours to complete campaign. It almost feels like they’re trying to “flesh out the bones” of an otherwise mediocre campaign by making it “sound” authentic.
I will say the artistic content in Thrones looks great, and i almost feel what Thrones really is, is CA giving their art team their own game to work on. Like, the actually programming side of things, how things work on a fundamental level - the seeming disinterest in capturing traditionally ascribed elements of Anglo-Saxon/Viking warfare - is neither something they have the authority or ability to change. But boy can they make a bunch of pretty terrain, units, and incidental historically inspired artwork.