The recent announcement that the Kingdoms expansion is making its way to mobile this Fall, some 15 years after it was released for PC, is extremely welcome for fans. But if you haven’t played it before, then you may appreciate a little help from our Total War: Medieval II – Kingdoms Faction Guide.
We’ll introduce you to all the new factions that are available in the four new campaigns – Americas, Brittania, Crusades and the Teutonic Campaign. There are over 20 new factions you can choose to play as. Let’s meet them, starting with the factions avaialble in the Americas Campaign.
Total War: Medieval II – Kingdoms Faction Guide
The premise is simple enough: you choose a civilisation (or faction) and build into a world power through a combination of statecraft, espionage, and war.
Not all factions are available immediately. Some can only be unlocked after you’ve defeated them in campaign, or unlock them all by completing an entire campaign with one of the starting factions.
Here are the key players in the Americas campaign in Kingdoms.
The Americas campaign starts in 1521, during the age of discovery. Spain seeks to conquer the New World, while the native peoples attempt to drive them back, or capture territory form their indigenous rivals.
The Spanish Conquistadors benefit from powerful units, while the native factions have weaker units, but more of them. They also tend to have higher morale.
Several of the native factions benefit from the Sun God religious boost. This allows them to sacrifice units, instead of disbanding them. This has the benefit of increasing the happiness of the local population, as well as boosting the Sun God religion. They can also sacrifice populations upon capturing a settlement.
There are seven playable factions in this campaign, of which the Apachean, Aztec, Mayans and New Spain are available from the start.
The Apachean tribes have extremely brave troops, particularly skilled as archers, but also good in melee combat. They have the added benefit of being able to use weapons captured from their enemies. This allows them to develop cavalry and musketeers, for example. They do lack armour, however.
They can also access the “Warpath” ability, which is broadly equivalent to the Jihad in the main campaign.
The Apachean faction are regarded as an “easy” faction to play as. They lack technology early on, but because they can exploit the technologies of their enemies, this weakness can swiftly be negated. Units are also extremely cheap to generate.
The Aztecs have huge numbers of fast-moving infantry, including Jaguar and eagle orders. They do suffer from having little armour, and limited weapons technology. In addition, they lack cavalry or artillery.
They start the game with well-established cities, and powerful units can be accessed with only a few upgrades. This makes them strong initially, but other factions who have superior technology will eventually overtake them.
The Aztecs are moderate difficulty, as they are strong initially, which can give players a decisive advantage. But things can get tricky if you don’t take that opportunity.
Much like the Aztecs, the Mayans prinicple advantage is the sheer weight of numbers they can bring to battle. They also possess hive throwers, who hurl Hornets nests at their enemies. But they similarly lack armour and weapons technology.
The Mayans are considered hard to play as, because they are located close to the Spanish, and potentially the English (who appear as non-playable faction). These invasions mean you will be constantly facing more technologically advanced opponents.
As the interlopers to these lands, the Spanish are at a severe numerical disadvantage. But what they lack in men, they compensate for by having crossbows, gunners, and cavalry technologies. The Spanish are also able to attack using boats, which can be a huge advantage. They can also draw on native mercenaries to bolster their numbers.
New Spain also start off on Havana, which, as an island, cannot be reached by other factions, except New France and New England.
Perhaps not surprisingy, playing as New Spain is regarded as easy to play with.
The next three factions are unlockable:
The Chichimec are more similar to the Apacheans, with strong archers. But they also benefit from strong infantry, and can also use enemy technology against them, allowing them to acquire cavalry and guns.
But like the Aztec and Mayans, they lack armour, and have very basic weaponry. They are viewed as a moderately difficult faction.
Another moderately difficult faction to pick, there’s very much a theme with the Meso-American tribes.
Once again, the Tarascans benefit from numerical supremacy. The drawback, however, is their limited armour and weapons tech. They do also have the Priests of Quetzlcoatl, who are particularly fierce warriors. Units are cheap and fast.
The Tlaxcalans aim to wipe out the Aztecs, and once again, rely on numbers over armour and weaponry. And like the Tarascans, also have the Preists of Quetzlcoatl to call upon.
The drawback is that they are surrounded by arguably the two strongest factions in the Aztecs and the Spanish. Allying with the Spanish reduces the threat from the Aztecs, but allows the Spanish to get stronger, which is a big risk.
This makes the Tlaxcalans a hard faction to play as.
With seven different factions available in the Americas campaign, they each offer a different experience, and a different challenge. Hopefully, this Total War: Medieval II – Kingdoms faction guide will let you see which one will be the best choice for you.