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User reviews: Mostly Positive (34 reviews)
Release Date: May 29, 2014
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This content requires the base game Total War™: ROME II - Emperor Edition on Steam in order to play.

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Pirates & Raiders Culture Pack

Become the scourge of the ancient world with the Total War™: ROME II - Pirates & Raiders Culture Pack. Introducing a new playable culture consisting of three new raiding-focused factions, Pirates & Raiders brings new buildings, technologies, religion, faction traits, battlefield and naval units to Total War: ROME II.

Players can now plunder the campaign map as the Ardiaei of Illyria, and the Thracian tribes of Tylis and the Odrysian Kingdom. With their own rosters of military and naval units, distinct traits and play styles, these Balkan factions offer a new and unique way to experience the Grand Campaign in ROME II.


New features:

New Balkan cultural traits – Tylis, the Ardiaei and the Odrysian Kingdom are all adept raiders, snatching wealth from under the noses of the other factions. They’re also able to assemble mercenary armies with great speed, before swooping on military targets.

New faction traits – Each of the Balkan factions has its own starting position on the campaign map and its own set of faction traits, making a unique Grand Campaign experience. All are accomplished brigands; in addition, The Illyrians of the Ardiaei favour piracy, the Thracians of the Odrysian Kingdom are excellent archers, while the people of Tylis, heirs to the Celtic migrations into Asia Minor, train their new melee infantry recruits to a high standard.

New religion – The Ardiaei and Odrysian Kingdom both feature their own unique religious building chains, which bring numerous benefits and effects to their campaign gameplay.

New technologies – The Ardiaei and Odrysian Kingdom both feature their own unique technologies, which enable the player to unlock key new units and effects which replace parts of the core Barbarian culture technology trees.

New units – Sharing much with their Celtic forbears, the factions of the Balkan culture principally employ the core Barbarian unit-roster, with the following new units available for each faction:

Ardiaei:
• Illyrian Marines: Highly trained, medium-armoured spear infantry.
• Illyrian Raiders: Fast-moving, axe-wielding stealth infantry.
• Illyrian Noble Hoplites: Well-drilled, very heavily armoured infantry.
• Raiding Hemiola: Fast boarding-craft manned by Illyrian Raiders.
• Assault Hexeres: Huge assault-barge manned by Illyrian Raiders.
• Assault Tetreres: Large assault-barge manned by Illyrian Raiders.

Odrysian Kingdom:
• Thracian Horsemen: Fast-moving, spear-armed medium cavalry.

Tylis:
• Gallo-Thracian Warriors: Fast-moving, hard-hitting sword infantry.
• Tribal Warriors: well-armoured medium swordsmen, great in defence.
• Raiding Horsemen: Noble multirole, armed with javelin and sword.

New Mercenaries – The soldiers of the raiding nations know well the value of coin and will ply their fearsome skills at the behest of others. When playing as another faction, the following mercenaries and auxiliaries will be available to you when recruiting from within the indicated territory:

Mercenaries:
• Mercenary Thracian Warriors: Superior sword-wielding melee infantry. (Thracia)
• Mercenary Falxmen: Melee infantry wielding the vicious curve-bladed falx. (Dacia)
• Mercenary Dacian Skirmishers: Excellent, javelin-armed skirmishers. (Dacia)
• Mercenary Illyrian Raiders: Fast-moving, axe-wielding stealth infantry. (Illyria)
• Raiding Hemiola: Fast attack barge manned by Mercenary Illyrian Raiders (Illyria)

Auxiliaries:
• Auxiliary Thracian Warriors: Superior sword-wielding melee infantry. (Thracia)
• Auxiliary Falxmen: Melee infantry wielding the vicious curve-bladed falx. (Dacia)
• Auxiliary Dacian Skirmishers: Excellent, javelin-armed skirmishers. (Dacia)
• Auxiliary Illyrian Raiders: Fast-moving, axe-wielding stealth infantry.(Illyria)

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum
    • OS: XP/ Vista / Windows 7 / Windows 8
    • Processor:2 GHz Intel Dual Core processor / 2.6 GHz Intel Single Core processor
    • Memory:2GB RAM
    • Graphics:512 MB DirectX 9.0c compatible card (shader model 3, vertex texture fetch support).
    • DirectX®:9.0c
    • Hard Drive:35 GB HD space
    • Additional:Screen Resolution - 1024x768
    Recommended:
    • OS:Windows 7 / Windows 8
    • Processor:2nd Generation Intel Core i5 processor (or greater)
    • Memory:4GB RAM
    • Graphics:1024 MB DirectX 11 compatible graphics card.
    • DirectX®:11
    • Hard Drive:35 GB HD space
    • Additional:Screen Resolution - 1920x1080
    • Operating System: OS X 10.7.5
    • Processor: 1.7 GHz Intel Core i5
    • RAM: 4 GB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 25 GB
    • Video Card: 512 MB AMD Radeon HD 4850, NVidia GeForce 640 or Intel HD 4000
    • Screen Resolution: 1024x768.

    Unsupported graphics chipsets for Mac: NVidia GeForce 9 series, GeForce 300 series, GeForce Quadro series, AMD Radeon HD 4000 series, Radeon HD 2000 series
    • Operating System: OS X 10.7.5 (or later)
    • Processor: 2nd Generation
    Intel Core i5 (or greater)
    • RAM: 8 GB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 25 GB
    • Video Card: 1 GB NVidia 750 (or better)
    • Screen Resolution: 1920x1080.

    Unsupported graphics chipsets for Mac: NVidia GeForce 9 series, GeForce 300 series, GeForce Quadro series, AMD Radeon HD 4000 series, Radeon HD 2000 series
Helpful customer reviews
39 of 40 people (98%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Posted: January 16
Pirates & Raiders is poorly done. The blanket Balkan culture is as poorly thought out as the blanket Eastern culture.

Tylis has a nice enough hybrid roster, but both the Odrysians and Ardiaei got left behind. The Odrysians have no proper spear units, nothing that indicates their Hellenizing during this era. Thracians used the falx as alongside the rhomphaia, so they ought to have the Falxmen, too. Likewise, if Tylis is going to have Gallo-Thracian Infantry, then why would the Odrysians not have something similar? The Ardiaei should have a midtier sword unit, using the sica. The sica is a sword found throughout the Balkans, but the Romans remarked it as a weapon of the Illyrians specifically, so why do they make no use of it?

There is also nothing particularly “piratical” or raid-based about these factions. Like the Nomads, they play no differently from other factions. They get no bonuses to Ambush stance, but it would not matter as the varied stances are overall useless, a flaw of the base-game, where it is better to just attack something than to “raid” the area.

Despite the introduction of “Balkan”/Thracian culture, this pack failed to fix the Bithynian roster (they are a Hellenized group of Thracians, situated in Nicomedia), they are still based on an Eastern template for no reason. The free Getae released alongside this were more fleshed out than Odrysia or Ardiaei.
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8 of 11 people (73%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Posted: February 15
Pros:
Its the time of the Falx.
New area of the map to start in, interesting cultural mixes

Cons:
Limited unit choice. Especially as the Odrysian Kingdom.
Limited advancement available, feels very samey and repetitive in campaign and battle.

Overall:
Worth having if you play as another faction, as the new mercs and auxilia are good to play with. But not worth it for just playing as one of the factions in this DLC.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
Posted: May 5
Do not get it, completely a lack of units for the Ardiaei which is was completely disappointed with. Tylis has a decent roster and Odrysia is medicore at best. Just not worth getting unless on sale, not much effort were put into the factions.
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17 of 34 people (50%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Posted: February 15
Shame on Creative assembly for all the overpriced and abusive downloadable items.

Total war fans, show your discontent for Creative Assembly's practices !

Note : This is a general criticism of Rome II's marketing scheme, and not DLC specific.
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44 of 53 people (83%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Posted: November 26, 2014
One of the most interesting choices of factions to play as, while staying in Southern Europe and don't want to play as a Greek faction.
The only bad thing is that unit rosters could be better and the fact that, at least the Odryssian Kingdom, was very similar to the Greek kingdoms. So why wooden villages? Archaeological evidence shows us otherwise. :P
Aside from that, I'd recommend it.
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