Today The Creative Assembly announced the fourth playable faction that will be included between the final eight of Total War: Rome II after Rome itself, Carthage and Macedon, the Iceni British tribe.
I can already imagine quite a few confused faces, and many people asking themselves: who the hell are the Iceni?
Here’s their official description:
An Iron Age tribe of southern Britain, the Iceni are a proud and fierce people. They inhabit the flatlands, marshes and fens that border the North Sea, south of the Wash. They are practiced raiders, and frequently engage in battle with their tribal neighbours, the Coritani and Atrebates.
If you’re still confused, I’ll drop a name: Queen Boudica. Rings a bell? Brownie points if she does without clicking on the link. She was the queen of the Iceni, and she led an uprising around AD 60, giving the Roman occupants quite a bit of trouble. Even if your historical knowledge is weak, you possibly met her cartoonish version as the leader of the Celts in Civilization IV and V.
In Rome II the Iceni will focus their military strenght on solid infantry, extensive use of slings for ranged combat, light cavalry and their powerful war chariots. As a warlike tribe they will also benefit for public order bonuses for every fresh declaration of war. You can see the first screenshot depicting them above. Can you hear them scream “Freedom!!!“?
Interestingly enough, their inclusion between the limited playable factions (apparently there will be only eight) stirred quite a lot of controversy between the hardcore and vocal Total War community.
While the figure of Boudica definitely makes for a romantic addition to the game, the historical relevance of the Iceni is, addmittedly, very close to zero, especially compared to the extensive timeline of the game and to the many other factions that populated Europe, the Middle East and North Africa during Roman times. But after all The Creative Assembly is a British company. Hard to expect them not to include a British tribe in the game.