5 Time Periods the Total War Franchise Should Totally Explore

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The Total War series, has proven to be one of the most well known and loved series of strategy games in existence.

However, despite its renown, there are still some very interesting times and places it has yet to explore -- no matter how many time periods it has already gone to.

Starting off by taking on the Shoguns of Japan, Total War: Shogun and it's sequel Shogun 2 is set in feudal Japan. The Roman empire also featured twice, in Rome and Rome 2, which comes with the the Geek empire too -- and the 'spin off' Attila, which added in roving factions which don't have a set city. We then got the Medieval series, which was set in Europe during the Medieval era, and completely changed how trading and negotiations worked. Then, a shift for the Total War series with Empire, being set during the 18th century it focused much more on ranged combat with gunpowder weapons, and cannons. It was mostly set in Europe (due to the faction choices), India and the Americas featured also -- Napoleon took the same idea, but was focused around the Corsican born French general, and Empire maker. Most recently, the Total War series once again did something new and moved into the fantasy world with Warhammer -- it improved the roving factions with Chaos.

But even with all these eras, there are many more which could make for an interesting setting in a Total War game.

Italian Independence Wars

These three wars spanned a time that goes from 1848 to 1866, a time of turmoil in the whole European continent, thus a Total War Game set in Italy and Europe around these years could prove to be quite interesting and unique -- especially so for an American audience

The same goes for everyone really, these particular wars are not well known outside the nations involved in them, but are nonetheless interesting for they still employed some 19th century tactics but at the same time evolved significantly from napoleonic warfare. In fact train transportation of troops became quite notable and important in that era, so train systems along with roads can be in game.

American Civil War

Set more or less at the same time of the Third Italian Independence War, yet in a completely different continent with very different armies and strategies being employed, in fact here trench warfare was prominent although not as much as in WW1, the same can't be said for the European wars of the time.

While there has been a Revolutionary War focused expansion, there isn't a Total War game or expansion set in or around the civil war, thus it would be very much needed. It might even work as an expansion for a game set during the Italian Independence wars period, to sort of show that warfare was not the same everywhere.

Three Kingdoms Era China

Romance of the Three Kingdoms has inspired an insane amount of video games, and the Total War series is not among them at the moment.

Although, given the very volatile and interesting political situation that China was in during the Three Kingdoms period, it should really be covered in one of the next games of the franchise.

The Three Kingdom period was the era that followed the collapse of the Han dynasty, as no Warlord proved to be overwhelmingly superior to the others -- though Cao Cao came close -- the empire ended up divided in 3 sovereign kingdoms that were in a more or less constant state of warfare against each other.

Muslim Arab Conquest of Egypt and the Levant

Given how Important it has been for world history it is surprising that hardly any strategy game focuses on this time period.

I feel that a Total War game set in the Levant from 630 to 700 would be very interesting and fun.

Mostly because the arabs focused on light cavalry, tough not in the same way as the Mongols did, and had the luck of finding both their greatest existential threats, the Persian and Roman empires, exhausted from a long war and decimated by a plague.

A mechanic that simulates the spread of the plague and how it weakens more the settled nations than the nomads like the arabs would be much needed to balance the starting situation, after all the arabs were not incredibly superior soldiers, but had luck and good generals on their side.

Also to note is that arab warfare was mostly made up of raids, a mechanic to allow raiding the infidels unless they convert or pay a monthly tribute could also be introduced.

The Rise of The Mughal Empire

Hardly any game focuses on Indian History, this is a shame, since it is very rich in strife and warfare and very interesting.

A Total War set in the times the Mughal Empire rose to prominence with the whole Indian subcontinent as a playable map would thus feel really fresh compared to another one set in medieval europe or Japan.

This is because as the Mughals were to be later known, they were one of the Gunpowder empires, muslim empires built quickly thanks to the use of cannons and muskets against technologically inferior foes, much like the Ottomans, who ended up controlling half of the mediterranean coast, thus an emphasis on both traditional cavalry tactics but also on siege warfare with cannons would be quite interesting.

These were the time periods/locations I think the Total War series should be set in, do you agree? Do you think other time periods are more suitable? Let me know in the comments below!

Published Dec. 11th 2016

Contributor

I'm a fairly young Italian guy who's a very avid player of Strategy games (Turn based, grand strategy and real time strategy). I also love JRPGs and to a lesser degree western ones, I'm not much of a fan of MMOGs or MOBAs or beat 'em ups on the other hand so my knowledge on them is very limited. I strive to bring the best I can in my work and be as impartial as possible.

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