Hippolyta’s unique mechanics
As mentioned earlier, your Total War Saga: Troy campaign as Hippolyta’s Amazons won’t be far removed from the previous ones you’ve experienced before. The biggest differences, though, will come in the form of her unique mechanics such as the Amazon Kingdom milestones, Amazon Treasures, and Sacred Settlements.
Likewise, there’s the Initiation Rites system for unit promotion. It’s a feature that Hippolyta’s sister Penthesilea also has. I’ll explain this below.
Similar to Penthesilea, Hippolyta’s Amazons can only recruit tier 1 units—ie Amazon Swordswomen, Amazon Chargers, Amazon Archers, etc. They need to level-up before they can be upgraded to tier 2 and tier 3 versions. You’re also required to construct military building chains to unlock upgrades:
- Melee infantry (i.e., Warmaidens, Aristomachoi) – War Field chain
- Cavalry (i.e., Horsewomen, Antianeirai, Hippotoxotai) – Warhorse Field chain
- Ranged infantry (i.e., Hippolyta’s Chosen) – Training Range chain
- Chariots (i.e., Amazon Archer Chariots, Amazon Champions) – Chariot Proving Grounds chain
Note: The upgrades are unlocked faction-wide. You only need one type of each building in your entire empire to upgrade units wherever your armies might be.
Keep in mind that there are various upgrade paths that you can take (as you can see in the image below). Still, in my opinion, you can’t go wrong with Warmaidens, Aristomachoi, Amazon Champions, and Followers of Artemis.
Amazon Treasures (denoted by a white symbol next to your gold resource) are used for numerous boons and effects via the Amazon Kingdom panel (which I’ll talk about later). The resource is gained via the following means:
- Special buildings in your settlements—ie Healer’s Tent chain and Amazon Burial Mounds.
- The Artisanship promotions for your generals. As far as I know, only Warlord – Commander types can get this very early. Other archetypes don’t even have these perks/promotions. These let you obtain roughly 10 Amazon Treasures after being victorious in battles and sieges.
- Sacred Settlements and Sacred Sites which have a special icon next to a location’s nameplate (seen below).
Sacred Settlements and Sacred Sites
Sacred Settlements grant roughly 10 Amazon Treasures each turn and are required for the Homeric Victory condition. Meanwhile, Sacred Sites grant only around five Amazon Treasures.
|Sacred Sites||General Location||Notes|
|Latmos province – Priene||Directly west of Hippolyta’s starting location||You’ll be able to capture this settlement easily enough. Just watch out if Phyllis has control of this settlement in case you have treaties.|
|Melamphilos province – Dolyche||Directly west of Priene||No worries here too, although watch out you have treaties with Phyllis in case this faction has control of this settlement.|
|Maeonia & Tmolos province – Thyaira||Directly north of Hippolyta’s starting location||You probably won’t enact treaties with the minor factions here, so go ahead and capture this one.|
|Sipylos province – Myrra||Directly northwest of Thyaira||If you’re fast, you can grab this before Paris does. I believe it’s part of his epic mission chain.|
|Teythrania province – Kyme||Directly north of Myrra||This one can be captured quickly too.|
|Lycia province – Mobolla||Sarpedon’s starting location||I doubt you can claim this one since Sarpedon would have his eyes on it.|
|Phrygia province – Myrleia||Far to the northeast past Aeneas’ starting location||This one’s doubtful as well since you’re too far away, and Aeneas or Hector might grab it before you do.|
|Lemnos province – Myrina||An island directly west of Troy||This one could get conquered as long as your Trojan friends don’t get to it first.|
So far, so good, right? Sacred Sites help boost your Amazon Treasures income a little bit.
Thankfully, they’re not required to obtain the Homeric Victory. Next comes the bad news.
|Sacred Settlements||General Location||Notes|
|Kaystros province – Ephesos||Just northwest of Hippolyta’s starting location||You’ll be able to grab this fairly early, so no worries.|
|Lesbos province – Methymna||The island directly south of Troy||You can capture this too if you’re quick.|
|Syrmata province – Meropia||An island in the middle of the Aegean; west of the Cyclades/Naxos chain||Capture this one as your armies sail towards Greece.|
|Ellopia province – Histiaea||Mainland Greece; Achilles’ starting location||You’ll likely battle Achilles anyway, so make sure to take control of this one.|
|Apaesos & Hyrtacidae province – Pegaea||East of Troy/Darnadia||This one will likely be controlled by Ilion Hyrtacidae (or Hector/Aeneas). It’s impossible to get this.|
|Bithynia province – Chele||The northeast edge of the map; near Penthesilea’s starting location||Penthesilea will probably raze this one, and it’ll get colonized by either Hector or Aeneas without you knowing.|
Sacred Settlements and Homeric Victory: The big problem
This is actually where I hit a brick wall during my Total War Saga: Troy campaign as Hippolyta’s Amazons. The Homeric Victory requires you to control all six Sacred Settlements. The problem is that there are only six of these in the entire game. I’m not kidding.
I realized too late that mainland Greece didn’t offer more Sacred Settlements. In fact, the last two were already owned by my Trojan allies all the way back to the east. Even if I knew this beforehand, I doubt Hippolyta could rush to grab those last two before her pals take over. There was no other option here but to betray my allies and conquer these territories. Attempting to trade regions or wait for AI minors to “wardec” and take over these lands would be fruitless too.
Amazon Kingdom milestones
This issue left a sour taste towards the end of my playthrough. This was even though the Hippolyta’s Amazon Kingdoms mechanic is probably one of the coolest I’ve ever seen in Total War Saga: Troy. Here’s how it works:
- You need to acquire a specific amount of Amazon’s Treasures. This counts the total you’ve amassed so you could still spend any extra that you have.
- After reaching that requirement, you spend resources to unlock a milestone.
- The milestone provides you with a “feat” or a boost to a particular mechanic in the game.
|Amazon Kingdom Level||Amazon Treasures Requirement||Resource Cost||Milestone Effect|
|Heritage||10||800 food||Veteran Tutelage: Used to level-up a unit.|
|Enlightenment||180||1,500 food; 1,800 wood||Sage Mentoring: Used to level-up a general.|
|Wisdom||600||4,000 food; 800 stone||Wisdom of the Ages: Instantly completes a royal decree/tech; costs Amazon Treasures based on the remaining turns left.|
|Authority||1200||8000 food; 1,000 bronze||Diplomatic Gift: Affects diplomacy for a single negotiation.|
|Legacy||2000||12,000 food; 350 gold||Migration: Instantly upgrades the main settlement building in a region.|
Veteran Tutelage and Sage Mentoring – Spend roughly 7-15 Amazon Treasures each unit level-up. Combined with a prayer to Athena and leader promotions to get higher-ranked recruits, you could boost units and upgrade them to their next tiers quickly. The same also applies to your generals, although the Amazon Treasures costs are a bit higher. It’s only agents that you can’t rank-up this way.
Wisdom of the Ages – This instantly completes a tech (around 40 Amazon Treasure per turn that’s remaining), and you could speed up your research like a breeze. Try not to accidentally click on the button for techs that require resources (ie gold) because that’d just waste the treasures for a measly turn.
Diplomatic Gift – For 25 Amazon Treasures, you gain +10 diplomatic weight to your proposals (the cost is only subtracted if you go through with the deal). This is completely exploitable too, especially when combined with a prayer to Zeus. Just imagine hundreds or thousands of resources being bartered to you freely for several turns.
Migration – This is a bit costly (150 Amazon Treasures), but it’s quite helpful and repeatable until the building chain is maxed out. The upgrade is instant and it won’t cost resources, not even population surplus. What’s not to like?
These unique features truly make Hippolyta’s Amazons an unrivaled faction in Total War Saga: Troy. When I was playing as the other leaders, the AI-controlled Hippolyta was often the spearhead of the Trojan advance, and she easily painted the map in her colors. Now, I know that she’s just that damn good. It’s just very unfortunate that her Homeric Victory conditions (specifically the Sacred Settlements targets) are borked.
In any case, let’s take a look at how your Total War Saga: Troy campaign would go while you’re playing as Hippolyta’s Amazons. It’s time to talk about her epic mission chain and campaign tips.