Today brings a big new free update for A Total War Saga: Thrones Of Britannia, adding new Allegiance and Decree systems (well, new to Battlebrits but borrowed from earlier Total War games). Developers Creative Assemble have conceded that they got a little carried away stripping back the Total War formula (the Warmula, as I imagine the official term is) for the first of the new Saga spin-off series, see, so they've gone back to pack in more gameguts. Speaking of guts, Total War's customary gore DLC is now available for Battlebrits too.
Allegiance is based on the Religion and Culture systems from Twattila and Rometwo respectively, which broadly controls how much an area supports you. Decrees are similar to Twarhammer 2's Rites, letting players activate temporary grand policies with passive perks ranging from beefing up buildings to making armies easier to maintain.
The update also gives new bonuses to pagan kings, reworks buildings with new tech branches, adds more types of Estates, improves the politics UI, fixes bugs, fiddles with balance, and changes loads more as all described in the Allegiance update patch notes.
The update had been in public testing since mid-July, and today launched live for everyone.
Launching alongside this free update is new paid DLC, Blood, Sweat and Spears - the customary Total War pack whacking in a load of gore. This one is free to people who bought Twattila's Blood & Burning DLC, but otherwise costs £1.99/€2.49/$2.99 on Steam.
Creative Assembly have explained over the years that they split the gore off so the main game can have a lower age rating, then charge a couple quid for the DLC cos it does take work. What do your bones get you?
- Ultra-violent battle fatalities
- Gory combat animations on the campaign map
- Blood spraying across the battlefield and spilling on the floor
- Guts spilling out of stomach wounds
- Blood-splattered unit cards as the units take damage in battle
- Blood-soaked event clips
Which is a product feature list reading to me like a readme file by an excitable modder. I'm particularly thinking of this old chestnut from Wolfenstein 3D:
"Gorier graphics than the original. Make guards heads explode when shooting them! Make dogs lose a gallon of blood from a massive head-wound. AWESOME!"
Plus ça change, plus c'est aauuuughhghgbbrlrllrsslllckckkkkkkkkkAGHHHSPURTSPURT.