A Total War Saga: Troy is the next release in the Total War franchise. As a result, people who love the franchise’s combination of turn-based strategy with real-time tactical combat might want to keep an eye out for the upcoming title, particularly if they have a fondness for the relevant cultures as well as the relevant periods. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about Total War Saga: Troy:
1. Based on the Trojan War
Given the name, it should come as no surprise to learn that Total War Saga: Troy will be based on the Trojan War. In short, the war started because when the Trojan prince Paris departed from the Spartan king Menelaus’s home where he had been a guest, he did so in the company of Menelaus’s beautiful wife Helen. This was an egregious violation of the rules of hospitality that bound both host and guest, which was taken with deadly seriousness all around the Mediterranean in ancient times. Moreover, all of the suitors of Helen had sworn to defend her marriage with whoever her father Tyndareus had chosen, thus ensuring a massive alliance of Greek kings and princes that rallied to Menelaus and his brother Agamemnon.
2. Famous Source Material
Our main source for the Trojan War is the Iliad, which is one of the most famous works in the western canon. In short, the Iliad is an epic poem that covers a very short period in what was supposed to have been a ten-year siege of the city of Trojan. Said period starts with an incident in which Agamemnon dishonors the greatest Greek warrior Achilles, thus causing him to withdraw from the war. As a result, the conflict goes badly for the Greeks, so much so that Achilles is convinced to lend his armor to his best friend Patroclus so that the latter can help out while pretending to be Achilles. Unfortunately, Patroclus is killed by the Trojan prince Hector, thus ensuring Achilles’s return to the battlefield in search of vengeance.
3. Likely to Draw From the Epic Cycle
Generally speaking, people know the Trojan War because of either the Iliad or the Odyssey, which isn’t actually about the Trojan War but rather about one of the Greek kings named Odysseus’s ten-year-long quest to return home. However, it is important to note that there were other epic poems that covered the rest of the conflict, which went under the collective name of the Epic Cycle. Unfortunately, the Epic Cycle has been lost to us, meaning that we are reliant on fragments as well as surviving summaries of their contents.
4. Based on the “Truth Behind Homer’s Iliad”
Currently, the claim is that Total War Saga: Troy will be based on the “truth behind Homer’s Iliad.” This can sound rather strange because we tend to see the Iliad as mythology. However, it is important to note that the classical Greeks saw the Iliad more as legendary history. Moreover, there is archaeological evidence that there was some kind of conflict between proto-Greeks and an Anatolian city that served as the basis for Troy, though the truth of things remains obscured by the passage of centuries and centuries.
5. Mythological Units Will Show Up, Kind Of
Before the reveal, there was considerable speculation about whether Total War Saga: Troy would have mythological units showing up because of the popularity of the Total War: Warhammer games. As it turns out, the upcoming title will have hypothetical units that could have served as the basis of mythological monsters. In the Steam screenshots, there is one of a warrior wearing a bull mask while wielding the iconic double-bitted axe called the labrys, which is presumably the unit based on the Minotaur of Cretan fame.
6. Gods Take a Backseat Role
In the Iliad, the Greek gods were active participants in the conflict for both sides. Since Total War Saga: Troy is taking more of a historical approach to the conflict, it should come as no surprise to learn that the Greek gods will be taking a more backseat role. To be exact, dedication to various gods leads to various bonuses, which aren’t the products of divine intervention but rather human actions reflecting human beliefs.
7. Eight Legendary Heroes
The success of Total War: Three Kingdoms meant that it was inevitable that the upcoming title would have a huge emphasis on legendary heroes, particularly when one considers the nature of its main source material. Now, it has been confirmed that there will be eight legendary heroes for the Greeks and the Trojans. So far, Achilles, Hector, Menelaus, Agamemnon, Odysseus, and Paris have been confirmed, meaning that there are two spots remaining to be revealed. Time will tell whether the roster will be further fleshed out by DLC.
8. Increased Emphasis on Infantry Combat
The unit rosters in Total War games see significant variation based on the nature of warfare in the relevant periods. As such, Total War Saga: Troy will have much more emphasis on infantry-versus-infantry combat. This is because most horses were used for pulling chariots in this period, which were used for transportation rather than fighting platforms. With that said, it is interesting to note that the FAQ uses phrases such as “scarce and rarely used” as well as “generally used to haul chariots” when referring to horses, which is interesting because of a couple of things. One, one of the most notable Trojan allies was the Amazon queen Penthesilea. Two, the Amazons are sometimes speculated to have been inspired by the Scythians, who were famous for being horse-riding nomads.
9. The Trailer Shows the Famous Duel Between Achilles and Hector
People who know anything about the Iliad should have no problems recognizing the incident that is depicted in the trailer for Total War Saga: Troy. After all, it is the famous duel between Achilles and Hector, which ends with Achilles killing Hector before desecrating his body in an overwhelming rage. With that said, it should be mentioned that the Iliad doesn’t end with this incident but rather with Hector’s father Priam approaching Achilles to beg for the return of Hector’s body. Something that moves Achilles because he is reminded of their respective losses in the war.
10. The Trailer Is Much More Dignified than the Version in the Iliad
Amusingly, the trailer presents a much more dignified start to the fight than the source material. For those who are curious, the Iliad version sees Achilles routing the entire Trojan army in his fury, which sends the Trojans and their allies fleeing into the city itself. The sole exception is Hector, who decides to fight Achilles before the gates of Troy. However, this turns out to be a huge mistake because Hector is spooked into running when he actually sees a furious Achilles, with the result that he is chased around the city’s walls three times before he is fooled into fighting.