Introducing the Hittite Factions
The wildly differing approaches of Suppiluliuma and Kurunta
The natural beauty of Hatti inspires wonder, but beneath its veneer lies an empire divided.
Away from the squabbles of the Egyptians and the chaos of the Canaanites, the Hittites have their own trials and tribulations to navigate as they struggle to survive both the collapse of the Bronze Age and invaders from foreign lands.
Whether you choose to command the Great King or assume the role of the stag god reborn, will you be the one to bring glory to Hatti in its darkest hour?
The Hittite leaders you’ll command of in Total War: PHARAOH have similar goals, but their paths and mindsets vary greatly.
In the capital, Hattusa, Suppiluliuma stands as Great King over a crumbling court. Surrounded by foes who crave his destruction, the Hittite empire threatens to crumble around him, but he will defend it to his dying breath to ensure his people’s safety and his empire’s glory.
Meanwhile, in Tarhuntassa, the hunt begins with the cruel reign of Kurunta, a leader who shares a name with the stag god. Tracking his rivals, he plots to grow his power and take the Hittite Empire for his own, inflicting misery upon any he regards as an enemy. You can either join his new kingdom or be sacrificed in its glory.
The leaders of the Hittite factions may share geography in common, but their ethics and playstyles are polar opposites.
Suppiluliuma strives to rebuild and defend the honour of the Hittite Kingdom. He is a very defensive character, a trait embodied both by his campaign style and his armies. Owing to the fractured nature of the Hittites, Suppiluliuma’s unique buildings focus on increasing the happiness and morale of his people, defending them with stalwart garrisons that are well maintained.
Support buildings include the Safe Haven, which increases happiness, workforce growth and food output, and the Garrison Quarters, which offer happiness, influence and the means with which to sustain sieges. The Royal Garrison Palace, meanwhile, provides additional ammunition for armies and strengthened morale for the inevitable sieges of rogue factions, while the Army Supply Centre improves melee defence and morale, all while reducing regional army upkeep.
Suppiluliuma’s Faction Commands, a new feature added to Total War: PHARAOH, also embody his playstyle. As an active command, you can increase the replenishment of your armies. Furthermore, if you wait for Shemsu Hor, your workforce will increase across every province held.
In contrast, Kurunta believes the Kingdom is rightfully his.
Along with the mind of a king, he also boasts the mentality of a hunter. He’s not focused on building people up – he wants them kept under heel so he can strike when they’re at their lowest.
His titles and playstyle are geared toward stalking opponents, undermining and debuffing them in preparation for battle. His unique buildings get the best out of the land’s native units, with little regard for the hit it delivers to influence. The Military Sabotage Camp, meanwhile, decreases enemy movement and melee attack strength in adjacent provinces while increasing the raiding income of Kurunta’s own armies.
The Mercenary Hunting Village delivers experience to armies and food to the masses, along with reducing upkeep… at the cost of influence. The Mercenary Centre improves recruitment rank, increases recruitment slots and brings legitimacy to Kurunta’s name, albeit while once again denting influence. When activated, his Faction Commands grant increased income from Razing, but rob him of the ability to colonise ruins.
HOW THEY PLAY
The native forces of Hatti’s lands have not only the difficulties of fighting on sand to contend with – they must also confront elements such as torrential rain, heavy fog and fierce storms. As such, they are normally found wearing much heavier armour than their Egyptian and Canaanite counterparts.
Two strong traits you can expect to see from Hittite forces are Mistwalker, which allows units to traverse fog unseen, and Storm Warrior, which reduces the penalties for fighting in rain or thunderstorms. Less of a quick, surgical force, and more a wall of nigh-impenetrable bronze, the Hittites bring a war of attrition to the table.
The Anatolian, Kaskian and Phyrigian tribes make their home in the Highlands of Anatolia and are always prepared to answer the call of their Great King. Their lighter armoured units are capable enough, with high speed and skirmishing abilities – as raiders, they excel at causing chaos among enemy ranks so heavier units can eventually arrive to deliver the final blow.
Heavier armoured units, such as Armoured Anatolian Spears, are also very capable defensive units, ensuring the line remains resolute.
In the Anatolian Lowlands, Anatolian forces mix with the Isuwa tribesman. The Isuwan and Luwian forces bring lighter and medium armoured forces into the fray. Isuwan Axemen and Renowned Isuwan Axemen boast excellent anti-shield combat, while lighter armoured units can be utilised to thin enemy numbers ahead of the heavies. Their ranged infantry also excel.
All of which brings us to each leader’s unique faction units.
Suppiluliuma’s forces are stalwart defenders. Adorned in heavy armour, these units can weather whatever you throw at them. He is not without offense, however. His archers apply pressure ahead of spear chariots, which cause devastating blows to undefended enemy missile lines.
Kurunta’s unique offerings offer more variety than his counterpart’s forces. Featuring a mix of different armour types and weapons, his forces specialise in melee combat while the Hittite Chargers, wielding great axes and heavy armour, unleash devastating flanking attacks while Kaskian Warriors sow chaos with their raiding abilities.
Phyrigian Mercenaries also bring the fury, throwing javelins and shattering shields with their axes.
From the Great King who’ll do whatever it takes to rebuild his home, to the Usurping Hunter who’ll take back the throne he believes is his, civil war has divided their lands – with whom will you take the throne to protect the Empire?