Total War fans were beginning to get nervous at the fact that no playable eastern faction had been announced for Total War: Rome II with only two slots left. Today The Creative Assembly made quite a few people happy by announcing that Parthia will be the seventh playable faction in the game. Here’s its official blurb:
The ascension to power of Arsaces, leader of the Parni tribe, assured them victory against the Seleucid protectorate of Parthava, who had been weakened in their attempts to break free of Greco-Macedonian rule. Thus began the rise of Parthia, an eastern empire comparable to the Achaemenid dynasty of old and one of the few who came close to matching the power and wealth of Rome.
Parthia is definitely most famous for its cavalry, from deadly horse archers to the iconic royal Cataphracts and their fully barded horses (that you can see in the first screenshot above), backed up by Iranian hillmen, spearmen, skirmisher units and mercenaries.
Parthia blends Persian, Hellenistic and local elements and enjoys strong trade and culture-related advantages, while tolerance of foreign traditions gives it an edge when expanding and absorbing other cultures. Its Zoroastrian tradition creates an aversion to slavery, that gives the Parthian empire a slight disadvantage in production and public order.
The jury is still out on what the eight (and presumably last) playable faction will be, with the hardcore community fragmented over multiple and equally interesting options. Depending on what the verdict will be, some may not forgive the inclusion of the relatively irrelevant Iceni. Hopefully we’ll know soon.