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Total War: PHARAOH, An Exceptionally Polished Bronze Age Experience

Total War: Pharaoh Does Settlements Differently

Once you’ve won that first battle you are likely to check out a settlement, and the first of the new features reveal themselves.  The panel at the bottom has both Settlements and Outposts, the latter of which is brand new.  In addition to building up your settlement you can create several Outposts at specific locations in the region, easily seen on the map.   Outposts offer a permanent bonus to that region, or armies in the region or for some an increase in the favour of gods or even your leader’s Legitimacy.  The region you are in determines which gods are available to build a monument to.

When you are moving through a region, an army can touch an Outpost on the way.  Doing so will grant the army an additional temporary boost to one of their attributes, such as morale, combat ability or a variety of other interesting perks.  One of the most valuable protects troops in the region against any attrition damage, which is a huge part of a game set in the desert.  There are safe roads in most regions, but as you expand your empire you will eventually go off-roading and attrition is brutal in this game.   Once you’ve taken a Settlement however, you can protect your army from taking more damage when they next venture out.

The building browser will be familiar to anyone who has played Total War before, but there are some new twists.   To construct a building you need to have enough stone, wood and gold to spend instead of simply spending from a single resource.  To make it even more interesting, there is also a workforce cost.  You can see how much idle workforce you have in the left side of the screen, as well as how fast it is growing.   It is good to have enough idle workforce to spend on construction, however they also increase unhappiness in the province and can become a serious problem if they stack up.

The province you are in dictates what gods you can worship, you will expand your pantheon as you travel the world.  Some lands are sacred to the Egyptians and grant Legitimacy to your ruler by owning them.   While this is not terribly important at the beginning of the game it has huge long term effects which will be detailed soon.  The river provinces are great food producers for part of the year, but as the Nile floods you will see a drastic drop in food production until the next growing season.  Food is very important in Total War: Pharaoh as you need a steady income to feed your armies as well as your cities.  All troops come with a food upkeep cost, advanced troops also require bronze.

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