Kingdoms' Week: Total War! Day Two

Day Two: America Bound

Today PC Gamer unravels part two of our week of info-feed on the subject of Kingdoms, the forthcoming expansion for Medieval Total War II. You can read the first part here.

It's a complex beast, this Kingdoms thing, and it promises to make our games of Medieval II far more flexible and varied than ever before, thanks to the introduction of 150 new units, four new campaigns, and plenty more cleverness and visual splendour.

Chief among its new wonders are those four new campaigns, each of which focuses on smaller regions across the world, making things more digestible than the grand campaign. Instead of demanding a week of constant play these are smaller, faster challenges that might require your tactical brain to commit to just a weekend of war, rather than the weeks you might be facing with a full European epic. We'll be talking about each of the campaigns in turn, all this week.

Red sky at night, aztecs delight.

Today we look at the Americas. This is one of the later campaigns, based on the movement of the Spanish and other European nations into the body of the American continents. You'll get to play as the Spaniards who arrived in the Americas and began conquering and Empire building like it was going out of fashion. You'll have to impress the imperialists back home with your conquests if you want the full range of toys, and the greater your achievements in both military and diplomatic arenas the better off you will be. Achieve the missions set for you and win some key battles and the better resources will be gifted with by the Spanish nobility.

Of course you can also play as the native races, including Apaches, Mayans and Tlaxcalans, as they resist the invasion of disease-toting Euros. Each of the native nations has quite different unit types and their own peculiar approaches to combat. Clearly they'll struggle to take on the well-armed Europeans, so it's down to your tactical insight to find the best ways to use these lightly armed skirmish units against the Conquistadors, as well as rival native cultures.

You can also expect to see a bunch of new hero characters for factions across the world. Including William Wallace, Llywelyn The Last and, presumably, popular south American Aztec king, Moctezuma II. Hero characters will act as a kind of 'super general', bringing big stats and special units to your force. Keeping these guys alive and using them to win your most desperate battles will be crucial to a successful Kingdoms campaign.

So yes, you heard it here: Kingdoms is coming, and you won't be able to pronounce half of the names. Check back with PC Gamer tomorrow for even more information.