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Field of Glory: Kingdoms - will be released this June

Published on April 08, 2024

Field of Glory: Kingdoms will be released this June

Kingdoms continues and expands the concept of national traits, just like its predecessor Empires did, but significantly broadens it both in number and diversity. The assumption here is that certain nations (or often groups of nations with the same culture) had specific traditions or approaches that cannot be covered by general rules applicable to everyone. Thus, it represents a blend of pragmatism and humility, recognizing that a game cannot replicate the entire complexity of the real world, and therefore, abstractions and simplifications are necessary.

There from the start - Doge reigning for a long time

But enough about the theory; perhaps it's best if we give you some juicy details about the specificities of certain nations and how these affect, or even shape, their gameplay. Let's start with the heavyweight of the game, the Byzantine Empire (called by its contemporaries the Roman Empire). The Byzantine Empire is somewhat a colossus with feet of clay. Its vast expanses are not necessarily well-administered, and remote regions can be quite disloyal. One of its strengths is the ability to easily recruit mercenaries (more frequently and at a lower cost) but having too many can encourage coups.

Finding the right balance is crucial, and even though it's convenient to quickly form quality units in provinces without military infrastructure, these same provinces could rebel, led by one of your generals and mercenaries joining his adventure! The Byzantines also have another concern; they do not earn as many Legacy points as they should (which is fortunate for the game's balance because otherwise, given their size, the game would be short!) but must complete missions to restore the empire's past glory, following in the footsteps of emperors from the 7th to the 9th century. Easier said than done, however, and it will require a lot of skill and effort, all while juggling the threat of the Seljuq Turks, who are keen on claiming a part of Byzantine Anatolia.

War in the North or tales of two brothers - A battle in the wood

In contrast, a power with a really small geographical footprint would be Venice. Sort of the antithesis of the Byzantines, Venice derives its power not from the number of its regions, but from its commercial outposts (noting that we're talking about Venice, but it more accurately refers to the cultural group of the Italian Maritime Republics, which includes Genoa, Amalfi, and Pisa). Through these overseas commercial outposts, known as Fondachi, the maritime republics can collect gold through lucrative trade with other countries. However, don't think gameplay is just about setting up outposts in different nations faster and faster; there are many nuances and risks to consider, otherwise, where would the interest be! On one hand, the more outposts you have in a given country, the more expensive the next one will be, preventing you from concentrating your outposts in Europe's largest country (the Byzantines) but requiring you to weigh opportunities. On the other hand, if your relations deteriorate with the host country, you risk a generalized expropriation, with a significant loss of money on your side. And of course, such frictions don't come out of nowhere, so there may come a time when the said Byzantines set their sights on some of your regions, if one of their missions leads them to a 'just' reconquest of certain lost lands. Moreover, it's likely that other maritime republics will have outposts too, leading to frictions. Fortunately, Venice (and to a lesser extent the other maritime republics) can rely on a quality navy, produced via their coastal arsenals.

Byzantine missions, it will require a major effort to secure your legacy with the Eastern Romans

Finally, let's look at the example of the Rus' Principalities, numerous at the time and extending from Novgorod to Kyiv, the city where the first Rurikid princes formed medieval Rus'. This cultural and ethnic group is massive and includes, besides the aforementioned principalities (Kingdoms includes nearly 500 factions, more than triple its predecessor Empires), principalities like Chernigov, Rostov, Halych, and about a dozen others. These have strengths and weaknesses through their cultural abilities but tend to have a defensive profile overall. Indeed, you'll easily and freely receive Detinets in your regions, kinds of small fortified village centers, which you can evolve with some effort into Kremlins (originally not limited to Moscow).

Byzantine Empire dynasty age. Coups are easily identified

That's not all, as a pragmatic people above all, these principalities could under certain conditions halt a war by forcing their opponent to accept them as vassals.

It's not very glorious, but historically, facing the Mongol onslaught, this was the choice made by many Russian principalities. But awaiting this hypothetical (and unfortunate) future, the Russian principalities have their days in the sun, through powerful commercial outposts installed along rivers (after all, the nobility descended from the Varangian Vikings, talented merchants) and their powerful Druzhina cavalry has nothing to envy the heavy cavalry of nomadic peoples or their Polish and Hungarian neighbors (two countries with strong cohesion that can quickly become powerful). To complete the picture, as one of the twelve cultural groups with specific national traits, the principalities also have special rules managing their peasants and free men (via the 'Russkaya Prava' trait) and can quickly remove an unskilled leader through their 'Fragmented States' trait, which, however, slightly increases the likelihood of civil wars.

As you can see, Kingdoms is literally filled with special rules for many nations, to ensure your experience of the game is really different depending on which country you choose, beyond the initial geographical and geopolitical situation. 

Your replayability is thus guaranteed, especially if you want to play a multiplayer game that supports up to 16 players simultaneously.

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