Crop infertility that is, as food and harvest bounties will be rather important if you want to keep your people and armies alive. A new features post from Creative Assembly goes into some depth about fertility of the land in Total War: Attila and why you should be paying attention to it.
The game’s 395 AD start date is the cusp of the Dark Ages. Historical records suggest that the world underwent some kind of climate shift during the period (attributed in the Creative Assembly piece to volcanic activity and … space weirdness, which sounds intriguing.) In Total War: Attila, these colder winters and dryer summers take their toll on the fertility of the land.
As players progress deeper into the campaign, winters will get longer (leading to serious attrition on soldiers) and crop harvests will steadily fall as the land quality degrades. Two types of food producing buildings will be available in the game; those which provide a flat amount separate from land fertility, and those who get a bonus based on the quality of the soil. If your bread production depends heavily on the latter and fertility starts to fail, you’ll need to take action.
The piece says that the Eastern and Western Roman Empires begin in positions where the land is of a high quality. This, of course, will make them prime targets for other nations and migratory tribes who haven’t had a decent meal in a while. Ideally, the land fertility mechanics will encourage long-term planning and squeeze factions into conflicts over food.
Total War: Attila comes to PC on 17 February.