Hailing from the harsh deserts of Africa and the Middle East, these factions are part of the new Desert Kingdoms cultural group, and bring new campaign mechanics, new horde gameplay mechanics, events, enhanced religion features, battlefield rosters and unique units to Total War: ATTILA.
All factions in the Desert Kingdoms cultural group benefit from the following traits:
- +2 Sanitation in all regions
- +15 Melee attack in desert battles
- Immunity to desert attrition
New Religion Features: Because of the dramatic impact religious changes had on these cultures in this period, the Empires of Sand Culture Pack includes a number of changes that increase the importance of religion. There are three new religions available: Eastern Christianity, Judaism and Semitic Paganism.
Each non-horde Desert Kingdoms faction has two main religions to choose between. Aksum may follow Eastern Christianity and Semitic Paganism, while Himyar may choose between Judaism and Semitic Paganism.
Religion now has further-reaching effects, influencing many aspects of Desert Kingdoms campaign gameplay. It is deeply intertwined with a number of features including building chains, victory conditions, events, technologies and overall campaign bonuses.
Dual religion building chains: Aksum and Himyar possess a building chain for each of their main religions. They can build these buildings regardless of their faction religion. This allows players to exert greater control over their faction religion and change it reactively in response to their situation.
Tier-5 barracks: Aksum and Himyar have two new tier-5 barracks available, one for each religion. To unlock a barracks, the faction must have 75% influence in the respective religion. These barracks buildings each provide three unique elite units as well as unlocking a variety of campaign benefits.
Split victory-conditions and achievements: Desert Kingdoms factions have two sets of victory conditions, one for each of their main religions, that involve a number of units and structures related to that religion.
Increased diplomatic significance: The new religions have increased diplomatic impact, forcing the player to choose their religion carefully based on who they wish to ally with.
Pleasure building-chain: Non-horde Desert Kingdoms factions have access to a new industrial building-chain which provides large sums of money, but decreases your majority religion, meaning you must choose between religious stability and financial gain.
Religious technologies: Each non-horde Desert Kingdoms faction has a technology chain for each of its main religions. These convey a number of religious and campaign bonuses to help you manage and optimize your religious choices.
Increased Religious Discord Penalties: The public order penalties for religious disharmony within your provinces have been increased between the new religions, meaning that the benefits are balanced with increased risk if you fail to manage your religions correctly.
Reactive Religious events (Aksum and Himyar): Two new events have been added that trigger when certain religious conditions are met, and provide you with intriguing dilemmas and missions.
The Tanukhids: The Tanukhids are a horde faction, representing a desert rebellion with a hyper-aggressive playstyle, plus a host of unique traits and features.
Faction Trait: Legendary Raiders
- Rapacious Horde: Food is obtained through settlement battles rather than buildings.
- Victory rallies: Every military victory spreads your fame and swells your ranks, increasing the horde’s growth.
- Swelling Ranks: Armies in Raiding stance gain a free Rebellion Militia unit every turn.
Aksum: Located on the coast of Africa, the people of Aksum owe their power to excellent trade routes, a fact reflected in their gameplay and traits.
Faction Trait: Gateway To The East
- Supply network: +30 food for each active trade network (maximum 150).
- Merchant Guards: +100 to mercenary pool replenishment rate.
- Commercial Mastery: +10% trade income.
Himyar: Himyar is a powerful Arabian kingdom on the peninsula. The Himyarites survive in their arid lands through a series of specialised adaptations to the desert.
Faction Trait: Desert Warriors
- Fatigue rate: -15% for all warriors.
- Marib Dam: Unique fertility-boosting building in faction capital.
- Desert Saboteurs: Stops foreign replenishment in regions where armies are present.