Alongside the long-anticipated addition of Norsca in Total War: WARHAMMER II’s Mortal Empires campaign and a bunch of changes and upgrades, the Resurgent Update includes a significant update focused on one of the main Old World races.
After nearly a century of escalating raids, the Vikings left an indelible stamp on Britannia, altering the course of its history forever. Not least of all culturally, as many smaller bands of Vikings had settled around the isles prior to Alfred’s defeat of the Great Viking army.
These smaller factions traded an existence of ceaseless conflict for a new life in Britannia, establishing their own petty principalities, intermarrying and ultimately becoming part of the warp-and-woof of Britannic life. This mingling of cultures, so emblematic of British history, helped create the rich melting-pot of attitudes, beliefs and language that has made the isles and their people so unique.
Some Vikings never truly settled however; their designs were grander, their hunger for conquest and greatness unquenched. These Sea Kings would continue their bellicose work, heedless of any decree from England’s upstart ruler…
In 878 AD, the Great Viking Army was defeated by King Alfred and faced a new life of enforced settlement in the east of Britannia. A bitter pill for the invaders to swallow, in light of their grand vision for a new Scandinavian kingdom. The previous century had seen escalating Viking incursions across the isles. What began as sporadic coastal raids intensified over time as the Vikings began to glean the scale of plunder Britannia could offer. A sense of organisation crept into their plans, and in due course the Danes, supported by the Swedes and Norwegians, raised a great army with the intention of conquering Britannia and avenging the death of the legendary Viking warlord Ragnar Lothbrok, executed by the King of Northumbria in 865 AD.
The Welsh Kingdoms descended from the Celtic Britons who occupied much of the island of Britain from the Iron Age, into and beyond its Romanisation in the First Century.
Not long after the Romans departed, the lands would come to be dominated by Anglo-Saxons who had arrived from northern Europe. Ironically, the term ‘Welsh’ derives from the Anglo-Saxon term for foreigner, ‘wealas’, which they applied to the native Britons. The Anglo-Saxons flourished and many of the old Brittonic kingdoms began to disappear.
The Britons who inhabited the Welsh peninsula were able to hold ground against attacks from the Anglo Saxons, Gaels and numerous bands of Vikings. These kingdoms were among the last bastion of Romano-British culture but there was a shift towards a more militaristic way of life in order to survive against these persistent invaders.
Britons also still occupied what is now southern Scotland. Here, the kingdom of Strat Clut, known as the Strathclyde Welsh to the Anglo-Saxons, defended their realm under constant pressure from Picts and Vikings.
The Nabataeans were great builders and pioneers of advanced construction techniques. They were the first civilization to use cement extensively, and built remarkable watertight reservoirs, ensuring a plentiful supply of potable water. Even when under threat from powerful foes like the Seleucids and Judeans, their progressive society enabled them to flourish and prosper.
The Nabataeans were very literate and had a remarkable degree of gender equality for an ancient civilization, with women participating in both political and religious matters. Nabatae was an important crossroad for the spice trade, serving as a conduit between the southern kingdoms that produced frankincense and myrrh, and the wealthy eastern and western empires who were its primary buyers.
Preserving all this wealth at such a geographically strategic location demanded a well-trained military and a strong navy. Nabatae had both, bolstered by excellent engineering and exploitation of the surrounding environment, making their capital city of Petra a nigh-impregnable bastion.
The Sabaean kingdom lies in the harsh lands of the southern Arabian Peninsula. Even in such inhospitable conditions, however, these ingenious people thrived. They built dams, invented new irrigation techniques and became masters of water-efficiency. The Sabaeans were also excellent sailors, and had strong trade relations with peoples across the Red Sea.
In battle Saba has access to elite camel cavalry units like the Ma’rib Camel Cataphracts and Royal Camel Archers. Caravan Guard are the backbone of the Saba army that do not require you to research a military building to recruit them and allows you to focus on trade and economy in your campaign as Saba. Although you should probably ensure you keep a healthy amount in your treasury so you can make use of the faction trait that allows you the access cheaper and stronger mercenary units.
Prior to Numidia’s founding after the 2nd Punic war, its people were divided into two Berber tribes: the Massyli and the Masaesyli. Both were skilled warriors and there were many rivalries between them.
The Massyli had strong relations with Carthage, a key reason for the Massaesyli aligning with Rome when the opportunity came. Through many twists and turns, both tribes ultimately unified into the Kingdom of Numidia, under the Massylian king Massinissa. He ruled for an astonishing 54 years, transforming his kingdom into a prospering North African power.
A major regional power with vast resources derived from its trade in gold, jewels and exotic hides, Kush has been overshadowed by its more powerful and famous northern neighbour, Egypt.
In the early 3rd century BC, king Ergamenes decided to wrest power away from the priests of Amun, and moved the capital from Napata to Meroe. The priests would no longer decide the fate of the kings and queens.
The shift of capital also marked something of a break from Egyptian culture with Hellenistic, Indian, Persian and African influences making their way through the trade routes. The kings and warrior queens would sit on the throne and rule with authority and conviction to protect the riches of Nubia. Even the Romans could not conquer Meroe, and preferred to trade instead.
Gaelic culture initially developed in Ireland, their society built around a system of clans and chieftains. With a fierce sense of cultural identity, the Gaels developed distinctive music and artistic styles, and a strong oral tradition. They raided and traded with Roman settlements, and by 878 AD had expanded from Ireland to inhabit much of Scotland.
Further cultural change was wrought with the influx of the Vikings. Some raiders settled in Gaelic lands, becoming the Norse-Gaels. The Scottish Gaels would absorb the Picts to become the Kingdom of Alba – essentially setting the blueprint for modern Scotland.
When Roman rule in England concluded, new kingdoms of Germanic stock coalesced in the counties now known as Northumbria, Mercia, Wessex, Essex, Sussex, East Anglia and Kent. The peoples of these regions came collectively to be known as the Anglo Saxons – a term which came into common usage in the 8th century in order to distinguish the English Saxons from the Old Saxons, or Ealdseaxe, of the European continent.
Broadly speaking, the Anglo Saxons existed between the collapse of Roman rule in the 5th century until the Norman invasion in the 11th century; the early Medieval period. Thrones of Britannia depicts the sweep of the British Isles from 878 AD onwards, when the Anglo Saxons were at their height.