Total War Saga is Creative Assembly's bite-sized take on history

Visually stunning.

I played 3 Kingdoms for like 3 hrs…sadface.

Just bouncing off the format quite hard now.

Ok, so it’s semi-historical in the same sense 3K was. I’m ok with that.

Also, a TW without cavalry can be interesting. Much more attrition I would imagine.

I didn’t quite catch this from the images I posted (though the effect is certainly present in the first one); but the skyboxes sometimes have a unique aesthetic flair inspired roughly by the era.

It might not work for everyone, but I like the contrast between the sky and the more realistic style of the terrain. Seems like this approach is utilized on the Strategic campaign map.

I picked up Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia during the steam xmas sale and while I’ve only gotten a few hours into my first campaign, I must say I’m pleasantly surprised by what I’ve found so far.

I rather like the art style, find the setting engaging because I love the time period and think it’s well suited for TW and very much like the limitations built into recruitment which really make you stop and think about treating your guys like a bunch of easily replaced cannon fodder (because they very much are not given the very slow pace at which they replenish and the restrictions on how fast you can recruit new units).

I’ll circle back periodically as the campaign progresses with further observations and based on how it goes might even go so far as an AAR not unlike the one I did for Aggressors: Ancient Rome.

P.S. So does this mean we’re going to lump all the Saga CA works into one thread? Seems like rather shoddy treatment don’t you think?

Hmm, judging from the lack of response and low activity in this thread apparently the interest in the saga series is low and combining them all in one thread is the right call.

Thrones was ok, but it made two cardinal sins, imo; it was too big and too ahistoric.

Total War games at this point are about a bunch of small factions duking it out until one of them wins. Pretty much, 1-2-3, every game since Shogun 2 follows this formula exactly. Only Atilla managed to come up with a somewhat different setup (at least on the surface).

Thrones though - not only are most of the minor factions historically irrelevant if not actually non-existent - it doesn’t play like history. If I want English vs Vikings (and maybe some Celtic nations for good measure), I don’t want to start on a giant 300 settlement map with 40-odd randomly named factions and spend my game years duking it out with minor factions that literally never existed. I just want my Heptarchy, and throw in a few Celtic and Viking factions for good measure.

Thrones’ map is too big, and too generic, with little interesting geographic dilemmas or geographic narrative going on. Honestly Attila’s Age of Charlemagne feels more like I wanted with thrones. If they had been brave enough to make a tighter, smaller scale game, I think it would have been better received. Instead they tried to shoehorn a much smaller theatre into the generic grand strategy shoebox that everything they make fits in, including giant maps, dozens or hundreds of settlements, bragging about how “large” the map is, such that getting across Britain takes like 6 or 10 years of game time or something stupid.

Sure it’s a bit streamlined by comparison, but not by a huge amount. It feels rather wide and shallow, when i’dve preferred narrow and deep.

Academy Game’s 878 board game, simple and straightforward, feels like a Viking invasion of England. Total War Saga Thrones feels like a reskinned Rome 2 spread out too thin on a giant piece of Britain sized toast. I try to play Thrones every now and again, and almost immediately get bored and wander off to play something else. And it’s not that strictly speaking Thrones is bad - if it were the only Total War game I owned, it’d be great. It’s that it’s just so ordinary compared to most of the Total War games released in recent years, it simply loses on opportunity cost.

I quite liked AOC as well. But I’m still enjoying TOB despite all the issues you pointed out, and absolutely loved S2/FOTS/ROTS and the more recent 3K.

Still really liking this one. And started a new campaign as Kingdom of Mierce and it’s a blast, you start basically surrounded by enemies and fighting for your life from the 1st turn.

Here’s steam review below I wrote last week on it:

Chalk this one up under “best to form your own opinion” about a game, which given that I’m still writing a review is mildly amusing (assuming anyone bothers to read it).

Initial reactions were fairly negative so I gave this a pass until it was on sale. I’m glad I circled back as this has proven to be a very enjoyable game and a much better work by CA than the initial reviews indicated.

The art style is very well done, I particularly like the use of stain glass art throughout, it’s just brilliantly done.

The time period and type of units commonly used for the period fit Total War like hand in glove with the usual cast of unit types: spear, sword, archer and cav. The RTS tactical battles are as enjoyable as ever. I like the implementation of supply lines for your troops and especially like the slow pace of recruitment and that units initially recruited are at about half strength and take time to come to full battle readiness. This means you’ve got to plan not only for supplying your troops but you’ve got to plan in advance on recruiting them. No more instant armies to the rescue.

Speaking of planning, the map is HUGE, so be ready to either recruit a lot of armies or spend a lot of turns getting them somewhere. I’d of suggested to CA they tone it down a bit. Sure it makes a nice bullet point on the ads to say huge map, but it’s just absurdly large when you keep in mind we’re talking basically about a map comprising modern UK (at least until they blow themselves up via Brexit). Was this map the brits at CA compensating? ;)

The province development has been negatively talked about as if it was over simplified, I don’t see it. The provinces have a number of options for development and finishing out buildings connects back to research that’s now gated by the need to build certain buildings or conquer provinces with them in order to unlock a research chain. This makes for an interesting challenge. Not only that, some of the research items produce negative effects making it necessary to weigh what you get against the downside.

I’ve completed one campaign as King Alfred of West Seaxe and had an absolute blast conquering and maintaining vassals on the way to victory. I’ll be diving back in again shortly because I love this period of history and think the TW game mechanics and units for the period are particularly well suited to it and make for a fun campaign and an entertaining game.

Put it on your calendars

Can’t imagine that deal would have been cheap to organise, even if only for the period of the first 24 hours of release. Big thumbs down for no planned cross-play support though. Ugh, seriously, segregating the online community never works well for multiplayer. Not even like it is impossible to do, AoE2:DE allows for crossplay between X-Box Live and Steam for crying out loud.

Might end up having to double dip for a Steam copy later for decent mod support and the mod workshop too. According to CA’s FAQ at least, mod support is going to be dependent on EGS’ roadmap being implemented. Been a while since I’ve enjoyed a CA game unmodded unfortunately.

The first dip is free, so it’s really only paying for the 2nd dip. :P

Paying Australian prices for it though, so it might as well be a double dip when it eventually releases on Steam. :P

CA typically sells at least a few DLCs for TW titles, does this mean they’re waiting till it’s on steam to do that or just not selling any for this one?

I’ve not looked yet, but I would expect the gnashing of teeth by the TW community over this will be fun to watch.

This is probably for the best. It’s not been clear to me that the “Saga” part of Total War Sagas has really been thought through - it just seems like another headline banner to put just another Total War game under. Clearly they have enough talent and assets that using an existing engine with big tweaks and new art is much easier/cheaper for them to do. I really wanted something like tight, heavily scripted, thoughtful and complicated battles and not another messy 100 hour campaign, but that’s so baked into the engine/design process they don’t seem to be able to break out of that mindset.

But I was wondering if/when they’d move to Epic - the Steam cut has to really hurt at this point. That they’re more or less telling it as it is straight out and saying kind of all the basic details of why they’re doing it is really the only way this doesn’t turn into a giant hate fest. But, tbh, I’ve not been impressed with any of the Saga games and something about this one seems underwhelming as well, so maybe using it as an enormously expensive advertisement is the right way of going about it.

Is there an actual date for this anywhere? I sure as hell don’t want to miss the freebie window!

13.08.20 - I am sure someone here will post it that day as well.

And nice - For free? Thats rather generous. This was another title I wasn’t sure I was getting, based on their previous Saga game, but for free - no worries!

Either 12 August or 13 August I guess, judging from that tweet above with the Steam release date.


I imagine they’re doing the freebie to alleviate all the rage that will come their way because of the exclusivity part. I suppose in an ideal world we’d imagine that the extra profit they’ll get from Epic would be equivalent to the amount they’ll forgo with the giveaway.