When we think of medieval times, perhaps we think of famous leaders like Henry VIII, castles with moats and portcullises, and thousands of soldiers doing battle with broadswords while wearing suits of armour. And then, perhaps a bit of Skyrim-ti““‘nged fantasy creeps in. Popular culture has taken the middle ages as a starting point for high fantasy for decades, dating back to The Lord of the Rings, and if you’ve binge-watched enough Game of Thrones in your time the lines between commonly agreed history and, well, ‘straight-up fantasy fiction in suits of armour’ starts to blur.
This isn’t the case with Ancestors Legacy. There’s nary a wizard in long robes or a flying, fire-breathing reptile in sight on the battlefields here, just historically accurate soldiers from four distinct nations doing what they do best: tearing their enemies limb-from-limb. And the devotion to period authenticity goes further than the appearance of the world and its inhabitants, into the mechanics themselves. The statistics, economy, unique squad types and skills are all informed by the strengths and weaknesses of each nation in recorded history. Some are fast and agile, able to mount large armies at a moment’s notice, but whose armies aren’t especially durable. Others prefer mounted cavalry and present a very tough challenge on the battlefield, but pay a lot in unit upkeep. The game’s balance informs nation behaviour to an extent, but they’re also each crafted in accordance with what we know about their people from the history books and how they approached the business of war.
A huge swathe of Middle Ages history is covered in the campaign, beginning with Ulf Ironbear’s assault on an English monastery in 793 AD, generally considered the beginning of the Viking invasion, and moving right through to 1278 AD when the newly-crowned German king Rudolf, defended his throne against Czech king Premyslid II Ottokar. Famous battles such as Hastings in 1066 are covered along the way, and each nation has both offensive and defensive scenarios to contend with.
The medieval era also saw big advances in siege weaponry, and that’s reflected by the rumbling menace of Ballistae and Catapults in Ancestors Legacy. These instruments can wreak large-scale havoc on opponents, but their availability depends on your nation’s technology tier.