Total War Pharaoh Information, Discussion and PC Gamer Links

Total War Pharaoh releases on October 11 on Steam and some time in 2024 on Epic.

What is it? Historical strategy RTS.

System Requirements

PC Gamer Links:

Changed the title to include the word "discussion", and I shall now post scintillating tidbits from my games.


Either this wasn't mentioned in reviews or my skimming didn't notice it, but the options to start a game have been vastly increased, making many of the mods that people create unnecessary.

Want more or less resources, replenishment, income, etc? It's all there in the options along with many more things to fine tune your campaign. This is a huge improvement over previous games and something that needs to be highlighted and praised.
I can only speak in generalities at this point, but after about an hour and a half, I can say that I like the game's UI and organization, which worried me a bit after playing Three Kingdoms. Pharaoh, while more complex than the Warhammer games, shares a lot of features with Warhammer and Troy that make the game easier to comprehend. For instance, in Three Kingdoms, there really was not a regional building tree and the research tree was an absolute mess. Well, the building tree is back, which makes planning and strategizing in a coherent way easier. And the research tree seems to be gone, although in all that time I've only done 3 turns (I'm trying to examine everything and learn the game in depth), so it may show up here soon.

Generals also have a nice skill tree which is completely revealed from the start. It's simple and easy enough that you can look ahead and plan how you want to approach developing each general.

I've only fought one battle, but I've looked through all the units available to my faction, and statements about the battles being boring due to units restricted by history seems overstated to me. I can see a lot of different units fulfilling different roles on the battlefield.

I don't have chariots yet. I know that each type of chariot varies by faction and there is some debate about the usage and usefulness of chariots. I know how I plan to use them, but whether that actually works or not I won't know until I actually get some.
Wow, people are furious with Creative Assembly. It has nothing to do with Pharaoh except for the price, but people are taking it out on Pharaoh non-the-less. Let me just say unequivocally, this is NOT a reskin of Troy. It has the resources and trading of Troy, but the rest of the game is completely different.

Part of me is happy to see Creative Assembly finally getting what's coming to them after many years of poor behavior, but the game, Pharaoh, doesn't deserve the insane vitriol it's getting. It's actually a good game. Punish Creative Assembly when they deserve it, not the next chance you get. This has all the logic and calm of a messy divorce.
Pharaoh could stand to be a little more informative about what is going on. I had two incidents happen that I don't understand yet.

1) In turn 7 I declared war on my neighbor and took out his army in an outpost. During the AI's turn, I wasn't asked to make any decisions and at no point during turn 7 did I touch diplomacy. In turn 8 I move to attack one of his cities and am informed that I just signed a peace treaty with him and that attacking him now will destroy my legitimacy.

2) Then in the last turn before stopping for the night, my food production dropped by 600 per turn, and my bronze production dropped by 100. Again, there were no messages, no options that I selected, nothing. There were no enemy armies wandering through my territory. Nothing at all was changed as far as I could tell. It's possible that the seasons changed, but I don't know what that would have to do with bronze production, and I had no trade deals that would have accounted for that.
Okay, that wasn't so bad. After just a few hours of playtime, I think I have it pretty learned now. It shouldn't have taken me that long, tbh. First I had to get used to the UI and know where to look. Then I had to get into the entire Court system to see how that functioned. But I'm really enjoying the extra strategy layer and how the campaign progresses.

Campaign: To understand the game, you have to understand the campaign. I should have read up more before I started playing. But Egypt is going from good to terrible during this game's timeframe. There are three periods: Prosperity, Crisis and Collapse. You begin your journey in Prosperity and end in Collapse. When the game starts, you are flush with resources and making more every turn. Over time this economy begins to collapse. By the time you hit Crisis, you better have been laser focused on increasing your resources or you will be in trouble. I played a few hours with Guido today, and when we hit the Crisis period, he had negative income on all 5 resources. What he had focused, successfully, on was becoming Pharaoh, and he paid a severe price for it. If we hadn't been playing co-op, he probably would have lost the game, but I was able to pay for his army for awhile.

Strategy: Resources, Court, Ambitions, Commands, Settlements/Outposts
There's more to it than that, but these are the high points.

Resources: There are five resources that you need for various things. Each settlement contains one, but sometimes two when one is wood, and who you war with better be focused on what resources they have access to. You start the game with plenty of resources, but that starts to drop quickly.

Another way to get resources is to barter with other factions. I don't know how other people play, but I bartered almost every single turn in order to build out my settlements and outposts.

Court: Court involves 6 positions of power in the Egyptian government, and you get two moves per turn. Sometimes people will offer to buy one or more of your turns with gold.

The point of this is to gain a seat in the government in order to unlock some powerful bonuses and units. It's simple and yet has a little too much to it for me to explain it here.

Ambitions: These are missions that you select at the start of each cycle. They offer rewards for completion, usually decent sums of resources.

Commands: I only know about Ramses' command, but I assume they vary from faction to faction. One of the results of my commands was to be able to attack for the next two turns while in the march stance. This was incredibly helpful. On multiple occasions I was a good distance from an invading army, and I was able to go into march stance, stop at an outpost (which refunds some of your movement) and then go on to reach and attack the invading force. There are also some rewards for not using commands during the current cycle

Settlements/Outposts: Settlements are in the Warhammer form, but outposts are new. Each settlement has up to 4 outposts where you can place a building that gives you things like immunity from attrition (a big deal in this game), population happiness and extra resources. There is so much going on in the game, that every outpost decision feels crucial.

Two more notes. All those awesome options are not available in multiplayer, even co-op, and enemy armies don't seem to run away on the campaign map, which almost made me cry with joy :)
Intended to relax and play Pharaoh all day, but I'm taking a break because I've reached a strategic 4-way stop, and I'm not sure which direction I'm going.

There's a civil war ongoing, the winner of which will become the next Pharaoh. Do I want to get involved with that? More importantly, will I lose the game if someone else becomes Pharaoh now? I'm only on turn 40. Seems like there will must be another chance because there are only 9 turns left in the war.

My area borders Canaan. It makes the other Egyptian factions much less antsy when I charge through Canaan. Should I just take the easy way out for now and expand in that direction?

Or should I ready my ships and head down the Nile and look for Egyptian lands to take? I don't want to take the cities closest to me because those are my allies, but I don't want to move my armies too far away because we've entered the Collapse phase, and we are being raided by foreign armies.
My decision was "None of the Above". What I decided to do was to go to war, one at a time, against the factions who are involved in the civil war. This was partially made because I was misremembering the civil war info, and there actually is no specified end date. This way, I'm participating, but not at war with all of these factions at the same time. When my position becomes better, I'll officially join the civil war.
This game is difficult, at least for me, and I'm only on Normal. I actually can't afford any armies right now. Not one. And I have 14 settlements. I'm losing resources like crazy each turn because, of course, I do actually have to have an army. Right now I've chosen a path to blitz through Canaan that, when I'm finished, should get me back in the positive for everything, but I can't stop there because I desperately need a second army.

If someone declares war on me in the next few turns, I'm going to really be irritated about having to run home. Every turn I have to set up barter agreements just to keep myself afloat.

One mistake I will not make again is spreading the building out too thin. I've been trying to develop every province I own instead of improving one province at a time to maximize resource production.

Also, I have no idea when, but at some point the stone is going to run out in my quarries. That'll be great. There are hardly any settlements with quarries.


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