You may be asking yourself "What the fuck is Total War?, well no need to do anything strenuous like Googling, I'll tell you!
Total War is a very popular series of strategy games, set in a variety of time periods stretching from Alexander the Great to the end of the Samurai in Japan. The games feature two main types of gameplay, turn-based gameplay on a world map where you manage your factions developments, move armies, and conduct diplomacy. The other, and more important/entertaining part, is the battling. In Total War, when you get into a battle, you are given command of an army of soldiers, sometimes thousands, or even tens of thousands, strong. Battles are real time, focusing on both numbers and strategy, usually with the goal of causing all your enemies to flee, killing them, or capturing them. There are also siege battles that usually require you to send your men through narrow choke points with the goal of capturing a flag-lined square that some how means you've won, or vice-versa if you're defending. Units come in a varity of types, ranging from Greek Hoplites and French knights, to British Redcoats and Japanese Samurai.
"Huh, that sounds good," you say, "I might start playing these."
Great! To do that, you'll need some titles, and maybe, just maybe, a brief description to help you know if the game is right for you (Though he Wikipedia does all that, but fuck off and enjoy my thread)
Relased Titles in the Total War Series:
Shogun: Total War is the first game in the series. Shogun: Total War is focused on samurai warfare in the Sengoku period of Japanese history, which lasted from the mid-15th century to the beginning of the 17th century. The game puts the player in the position of a Japanese daimyo with the objective of conquering Japan through military might, diplomacy, espionage, trade, and religion - thereby taking the position of shogun. The game consists of seven factions which the player can choose to play as each one of Japan's historical clans. The island of Kyūshū and the southwest end of Honshū incorporates the Shimazu, Mōri and Takeda clans, while the Oda and Imagawa clans control the central parts of Honshū. The northern parts of Honshū are home to the Uesugi and Hōjō clans. While each clan has access to the same broad units and technology and begins the game with roughly the same amount of land, each clan has a specific advantage in a particular area. For instance, the Imagawa clan trains more efficient espionage agents, while the Takeda clan can produce higher quality cavalry, etc.. Smaller, independent factions are represented as rebel clans and ronin.
Pictures of tiny, pixelated men killing each other:
Medieval: Total War is based upon the building of an empire across medieval Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. It focuses on the warfare, religion and politics of the time to ultimately lead the player in conquest of the known world. As with the preceding Total War game, Shogun: Total War, the game consists of two broad areas of gameplay: a turn-based campaign map that allows the user to move armies across provinces, control agents, diplomacy, religion, and other tasks needed to run their faction, and a real-time battlefield, where the player directs the land battles and sieges that occur.
The strategic portion of the game divides the campaign map among twenty factions from the period, with a total of twelve being playable. The initial extent of each major faction's territory, and the factions available, depends on the starting period of the game, Early (1087), High (1205) or Late (1321), reflecting the historical state of these factions over time. The factions themselves represent many of the major nations at the time, including the Byzantine Empire, France, England, the Holy Roman Empire and the Ottoman Empire. Several factions, such as the Golden Horde, emerge during the course of play at their historical time. These factions, together with several other factions appearing at the start of the campaign, are unavailable to the player in the main campaign. Each faction varies in territory, religion and units; however, factions of the same culture share many of their core units.
In addition to the main campaign, Medieval: Total War also features a game mode where the player can undertake various historical campaigns and battles. Historical campaigns allow the player to control a series of famous battles from a war of the medieval period, such as the Hundred Years War and the Crusades, playing as historic commanders like Richard the Lionheart. Individual historic battles have the player controlling a historical figure in an isolated battle that occurred in the era, such as controlling William Wallace through the Battle of Stirling Bridge.
So tiny, so pixalley, so much killing:
In Rome: Total War, the player takes a role equivalent to the head of one the three great Roman houses at the time; the Julii, Brutii, and Scipii. Each of these factions have a different set of attributes, initial objectives, and a few initial provinces under control. Control of a province is given to the faction whose army is occupying the province's city. The ultimate goal is to become emperor by conquering 50 provinces, gaining support from the people, before capturing Rome itself, but a "Short game" can be used, in which you have to control 15 provinces and outlast another faction(s). Cities have a variety of buildings which may be built or upgraded, such as: temples, aqueducts and amphitheatres which increase the people's general happiness and wellbeing; markets and academies which respectively increase the city's financial contribution and likelihood of producing effective family members (see below); walls which make the city more resistant to assault by enemy armies; and barracks, archery ranges and stables which unlock new military units which may be trained in the city. The player's empire is expanded by training armies in friendly cities and using them to assault and occupy enemy cities (native mercenary units may also be hired by a family member outside a city). Controlling more cities brings benefits in its increased geographical dominance and increased income from the new population's taxes. However, more cities and larger populations become increasingly difficult to control, owing to local populaces being resistant to foreign rule, and the increased distance reinforcements have to travel. If a city's inhabitants are overtaxed, underdeveloped or unprotected, they rebel and become in effect their own faction - the player's control of the city is lost, garrisoned units are forced out of the city, and a hostile rebel army is formed in its place.
Looking a little less pixalated, and there's a lot more death. Still pretty small:
For Medieval II: Total War, the campaign allows the player to assume control of a faction of the time period, and build a civilization, both economically and militarily in order to conquer other factions. Gameplay consists of controlling the faction's military, economic, and social systems in large campaign maps. During the player's turn, armies, fleets, and agents can be moved on the map. When an army engages another army, the player can choose to fight the battle personally in the battle mode, or automatically calculate the outcome.
The goal of the campaign depends on which type of campaign is played. The short campaign requires the player to defeat one or two enemy factions (for example, Holy Roman Empire must defeat its historical enemies Milan and Denmark) and control at least 15 settlements. The long campaign requires the player to control at least 45 territories and one or two significant cities, which are faction specific, such as Jerusalem, Granada, Rome or Constantinople.
Any nation conquered in the Grand Campaign will be unlocked as a playable faction, with the exception of the Papal States, Mongols, Timurids, Aztecs (only encountered in the New World in the late period) and Rebels. Completing the Grand Campaign on any difficulty level unlocks all factions as playable. (Wasn't much on the Wikipedia page, just fill in the blanks yourselves)
Starting to look pretty good, and look at all the death! But I guess size doesn't matter for Creative Assembly:
Empire: Total War is focused on exploration, economics, politics, religion, the founding of colonies and, ultimately, conquest. The game is set in the early modern period, spanning from 1701 to the early 19th century allowing players to lead a variety of contemporary factions to dominate Europe, North Africa, the Americas and the Indies. The player will use both complex strategies on the campaign map as well as command military forces in battles on both land and sea. As with previous Total War games, Empire: Total War consists of two broad areas of gameplay: a turn-based geopolitical campaign that allows the user to move armies and navies across the globe, conduct diplomacy, trade, espionage, and the internal politics of their nation, and other tasks needed to run their nation, as well as a real-time battle mode that enables players to direct the course of any battles that take place.
Empire: Total War features approximately fifty 18th-century factions; however, only eleven of the most powerful and influential factions of the era are playable. In western Europe, the main factions are Great Britain, France, the United Provinces, Spain and Sweden, while central and eastern Europe are represented by Prussia, Austria, Russia and Poland–Lithuania. In the Balkans and Middle East, the Ottoman Empire is depicted as a dominating faction for Islam, while the Maratha Confederacy and Mughal Empire are the major powers on the Indian subcontinent. The New World colonies of the major powers are represented as protectorates of their respective home nations. The establishment of key nations during the era, such as Revolutionary France and the United States, and the fall of native states to the larger empires is reflected in the game, though given player involvement any of these major events may be averted. Smaller factions, including the less powerful German and Italian states, Native American tribes and North African countries are also represented. Each faction varies in territory, strengths and specialities.
A story-driven campaign mode entitled "Road to Independence" is also included in Empire: Total War, where the player guides the British colonisation of America in three structured chapters. The first chapter sees the player establish and develop the English colony of Jamestown, the second focuses on the British fighting both the French and their allied Native American nations in the French and Indian War, whilst the third portion has the player directing the American Continental Army against the British in the War of Independence. This campaign is goal-orientated and strictly historical in nature, and additionally functions as an active learning experience, where players may learn, in each chapter: firstly, to manage and defend regional economies, secondly, to form alliances and to capture and hold territories and exploit their resources on increasingly large scales, and finally, to use all of the player's acquired skills to survive and achieve victory in a total war against a superior opponent. Completion of "Road to Independence" unlocks the newly formed United States for use in a shorter, later version of the full campaign.
Really looking good. And this is death on an unprecedented scale! And maybe it's just me, but the Redcoats are looking a little taller. Milk, maybe:
As with all other games in the Total War series, Napoleon consists of two gameplay types: a turn-based geopolitical campaign - which requires players to build structures in a faction's territories to produce units and create a source of income, research new technologies, deal with other in-game factions through diplomacy, trade and war, send agents on missions, create and command armies, and eventually become the world's dominant faction - and real-time tactical battles where players command huge armies to direct the course of any battles that take place.
Napoleon contains four campaigns, two of which follow Napoleon's early military career. The first career event is the Italian campaign of 1796, while the second is the French invasion of Egypt in 1798. Both feature smaller, optional missions that help drive the story forward. The major French campaign, however, is the so-called "Mastery of Europe," which resembles the holistic modes of previous Total War games. Conversely, the "Campaigns of the Coalition" allows players to govern Great Britain, Russia, Prussia or the Austrian Empire and attempt to defeat Napoleonic France in Europe. Each major campaign requires players to obtain a certain number of territories, although unlike Empire: Total War, one does not need to wait till the end of the campaign to be declared winner. Like in Empire, revolutions and revolts can affect the course of a player's campaign; France however in the Mastery of Europe campaign is all but immune to revolution. For the first time in the Total War franchise, attrition now plays a part on the campaign map. Depending on the location, armies will lose men due to heat or snow. Unlike Empire, the losses an army has on campaign are automatically replenished when in friendly territory. Some of Napoleon's most famous battles such as Austerlitz, Battle of the Pyramids, and Waterloo are available as historical scenarios, separate from the campaign.
As with previous Total War games, battles can be fought manually or auto resolved when two hostile armies or navies meet on the campaign map. Armies and navies consist of Napoleonic era land units and ships respectively. On the battle map, the attacker will win if he manages to rout the entire enemy army while the defender wins if he manages to rout the attacker or have at least one unit remaining when the time limit runs out. Similar somewhat to Empire, land units are armed with gunpowder weapons such as muskets and cannons and melee weapons like swords, sabers and bayonets. Units have morale that will fall if massive casualties are incurred, if they are flanked, the general is killed and several other factors. Once a unit's morale is broken, it will rout and attempt to escape the battlefield. Broken units may regain morale if the balance of power changes, so to ensure these units will not remain a threat, players ought to chase them down with light cavalry. Infantry units may engage in both firefights and melees, cavalry can generally only fight in a melee with the exception of mounted infantry and missile cavalry while artillery units are best used to hit targets from afar. CA also implemented a feature wherein while playing a campaign, several notable commanders, including Napoleon himself, instead of being killed on the battlefield, are wounded and sent back to the faction's main capital.
A new physics system had been implemented for the real-time battles, so that when cannon balls hit the ground, for instance, they leave impact craters. Gunpowder smoke lingers and reduces visibility in protracted engagements. Mike Simpson, CA's studio director, reported that there are a number of environmental factors that affect battlefield tactics: gunpowder backfires when it rains, and the elevation of landscape affects the range of munitions. Individuals within a unit now vary to a greater degree, and are no longer as generic as in previous titles in the series. The campaign map is narrower in focus, but more detailed than Empire's campaign map. Turns in Napoleon: Total War represent two weeks, while previous titles sported turns that were the equivalent of at least six months.
Damn, it's like I'm watching a medium-budget cartoon, it looks so good! Plus, there's more death then the Black Death and McDonalds cheeseburgers combined! But alas, it's still so small:
Shogun 2 is set in 16th-century feudal Japan, in the aftermath of the Ōnin War. The country is fractured into rival clans led by local warlords, each fighting for control. The player takes on the management of one of these clans, with the goal of dominating other factions and claiming his rule over Japan. The standard edition of the game features a total of eight factions (plus a ninth faction for the tutorial), each with a unique starting position and different political and military strengths. The limited edition includes an exclusive ninja clan, the Hattori, and a DLC unlocks a tenth clan, the Ikko-Ikki.
The game moves away from the European setting of previous Total War games and returns to the first setting in the Total War series, but making significant changes to core gameplay elements of Shogun 2. Compared to Empire which spanned almost the entire globe, the new installment focuses only on the islands of Japan (excluding Hokkaido) and on a reduced number of unit types. Shogun 2's blend of turn-based strategy and real-time tactics gameplay is a staple of the Total War series. The player plays the role of both the clan leader and general, alternating between the campaign, where the player manages his land and armies turn by turn, and the battles, where the player takes control of the army on the battlefield in real-time. In the campaign, the player needs to oversee the development of settlements, military production, economic growth, and technological advancement. The armies and units are organized and moved around the stylised campaign map by the player to carry out battles with other factions. In addition to fighting, the player is able to engage in diplomacy, political maneuvering, and special agents to gain the upper hand. Ninja and geisha are also present in the game as assassins and spies. While religion isn't as relevant as it was in Medieval II, it can't be neglected by the player. Greater interaction with the European foreigners (Nanban traders), for example, to enhance trade and acquire firearms, exposes the clan to Christianity, which will seriously increase religious unrest in the provinces. Religious agents, such as monks and priests can be used to convert the enemy population.
This looks great, just beautiful! The death is so visually appealing to the eyes that it makes wars on huge scales seem like enjoyable experiences! Who care's that they're all so tiny when it looks this fun:
"Well I'm sold. But surely these games, no matter how fun, can get boring after a while. Is there any way to keep them exciting?"
Yes, and it's a good think you asked, voice in my head, because I just aso happen to have a list of all the Total War official DLC open on my browser! Pretty much each game has at least one DLC of it's own, and some have multiple.
For Rome: Total War, there's:
Adding to Medieval II: Total War is:
-Medieval II: Kingdoms
Empire has a bunch of shitty unit add-ons, but there is one major DLC (Which I never heard of but whatever), valled Empire: Total War: Warpath which features Native Americans fighting Europeans for their land. I couldn't fin a Wikipedia link, but just fucking Google it yourselves.
Napoleon also has unit-add-ons, but there is also one major DLC:
-The Peninsular Campaign.
Shogun II has two DLCs. Well one, and one stand-alone, but they're virtually the same game anyway:
-Rise of the Samurai
-Fall of the Samurai, which you don't really need Shogun II for, but it's really just a very large DLC.
There's also a shitton of mods, most found here(Well, in each games individual mod section, but fuck off I'm not linking every one, find it yourself). I'll list 'em off once people suggest me some because I can't be arsed to do it right now. Except this one here;
Also, and in my opinion most importantly, there is a new Total War game in development. Rome II, in fact. It's slated for a second half, likely fourth quarter, 2013 release. Here's a video, if more com out, you can always find them here:
Also here's the Gamespot link in case that get's taken down.
Last but not least, as a free tip to any prospective Medieval II players who intends to play a Catholic faction, if the Pope tells you to do something, tell him to fuck off and besiege Rome. It almost always ends well.