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Total War Arena is Total War Lite, and that’s probably a great thing

Boudicca is a badass.
Total War Arena

It is great to see Wargaming continue their tradition with historical games. This time, however, they are going back even further in history with Total War Arena and a partnership with Total War dev Creative Assembly. The game version allows an online battle where you control a historical leader and three units of different soldiers onto the field You are joined by others in a battle royal to capture the base, destroy your opponents, or die horribly.

In the new demo, we got to see Boudicca played, the famous Celtic warrior queen who destroyed the Romans after the death of her family. Each ancient leader joins the battlefield as part of a unit. They all have special troops types that you can take. Boudicca came with a light cavalry, foot soldiers, and most importantly war dogs.

The campaign began as two groups of players took the field. Each commander has 3 units. Boudicca is good at ambush and flanks, so she ran her troops to the side quickly. Once the other players joined the battle, unleashing her war dogs from the side proved tactful and victorious at the right time. Once of the other armies was defeated, but there were still more players to beat. In the end, the Barbarians helped with the campaign for their side.

There are other ancient commanders you can use in the game as well. Sides are not limited to factions either, you could have Alexander’s army fight alongside Boudicca if you are on the same team. It all depends on how the game shapes up. There are Greek, Roman, and Barbarian factions right now, but many more will be added to the game as it grows. It is still in the very early stages, with beta just beginning.

Total War Arena

 

Wargaming and Creative Assembly combined for an amazing tactical strategy game with this one. There are so many benefits to playing Total War in a group against opponents. Choosing an ancient commander, customizing out your troops, and taking he field with friends is amazing fun. Also, because you command three units, you are never truly out of the fight. If you lose one, the others can retreat and more units on your team can help. It allows you to stay in the game for a long time. Teamwork is critical and having multiple units at each player’s finger tips means you must keep your units under control.

The game play held a ton of strategy but once the battle was joined it went fast and snap decisions were needed. There are several ancient battlefield maps to fight over which is another whole critical part of the game. Normal battles are ten vs. ten, but you can also get practice in five vs. five battles to find out how your troops do. There is a lot of skill trees for each unit and skills for your commander as well. Because of this, you can spend hours setting up the right combos. For example, Boudicca has an ambush and rebellion skills which can turn the tide quickly when used.

Victory conditions are simple and similar to other Wargaming titles. You can capture the enemy base, kill all the opposing units, or at the end, still have the most units on the field. Another important factor is that friendly units can suffer from friendly fire, so you can avoid all the suicide tactics.

We could not get enough of Wargaming’s Total War Arena. The historical maps and troops running across the fields with leaders commanding against each other in a 10v10 match made for fantastic gameplay. As soon as this open beta comes out, we are in for sure! Historical wargamers are going to love it.

Written by
Garrett is a writer for Gamespace.com. He cosplays as an orc, plays Horus Heresy on weekends. You can follow him on Twitter (when he uses it)

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