Total War: Pharaoh is adding horses and camels due to popular demand

Player feedback trumps historical accuracy
Creative Assembly / Sega

In a Q&A session on the Total War Discord server, Creative Assembly Sofia’s Todor Nikolov said that Total War: Pharaoh’s addition of cavalry units to the Bronze Age game in the upcoming map expansion update is entirely due to fans asking for more unit variety.

One user asked whether the team had used any historical evidence to justify the addition of cavalry units or if it came down to creative liberty. “I will be completely frank here,” Nikolov answered. “There is no evidence that we should have horsemen in the game apart from player feedback on unit diversity feeling lacking.”

He concluded: “This is the most important reason behind the inclusion of horse and camel riders.” It sounds like the team itself wasn't thrilled with the decision, but had to comply to popular demand due to Pharaoh's difficult player count situation.

Cavalry is generally held to have arrived on battlefields in this area about 200 to 400 years after the era in which Pharaoh takes place, so this is indeed quite a jump in time – and while it’s easy to call those players who demanded more unit variety ignorant or whatever else, the truth is that older historical Total War entries have never been bastions of historical accuracy either.

The original Rome: Total War alone delivers many examples for this, as do Medieval 2 or Shogun 2, but we needn’t go that far back – let’s take Pharaoh’s chariots, for example. 

Historically, chariots in this era were used for one of two purposes, namely as mobile missile platforms or as transports for elite warriors. While Pharaoh does feature chariots that function this way, it also has melee chariots that are very anachronistic. Back then, they would not have charged infantry lines to break them apart. This only happened later with the introduction of blades protruding from the wheels.

So, yes: There’s plenty of historical inaccuracies in the game, and indeed the entire series, already – so that has little to do with an influx of players who came to the franchise with the Warhammer games and aren’t used to the style of the historical games.

CA Sofia also covered the inclusion of cavalry as cleverly as possible, giving it to the faction that would eventually be the first to use it on a large scale in warfare centuries later, so it’s not that big of a deal.

Just don’t base your school presentations on what you see in the game and you’ll be fine.

Marco Wutz


Marco Wutz is a writer from Parkstetten, Germany. He has a degree in Ancient History and a particular love for real-time and turn-based strategy games like StarCraft, Age of Empires, Total War, Age of Wonders, Crusader Kings, and Civilization as well as a soft spot for Genshin Impact and Honkai: Star Rail. He began covering StarCraft 2 as a writer in 2011 for the largest German community around the game and hosted a live tournament on a stage at gamescom 2014 before he went on to work for Bonjwa, one of the country's biggest Twitch channels. He branched out to write in English in 2015 by joining, the global center of the StarCraft scene run by Team Liquid, which was nominated as the Best Coverage Website of the Year at the Esports Industry Awards in 2017. He worked as a translator on The Crusader Stands Watch, a biography in memory of Dennis "INTERNETHULK" Hawelka, and provided live coverage of many StarCraft 2 events on the social channels of as well as DreamHack, the world's largest gaming festival. From there, he transitioned into writing about the games industry in general after his graduation, joining GLHF, a content agency specializing in video games coverage for media partners across the globe, in 2021. He has also written for NGL.ONE, kicker, ComputerBild, USA Today's ForTheWin, The Sun, Men's Journal, and Parade. Email: