Get ready to fight on the new map, the Passage of Augustus. This time, you will have to blaze the trail to victory in a harsh Alpine environment. Every moment of hesitation or doubt will cost you the lives of your soldiers. Are you ready for this?
The Alps were troublesome for the Romans. Emperor Augustus knew that the peoples who lived there were used to harsh conditions, and that this environment had produced hardy warriors. However, he also knew that the Gaul wasn’t going to remain an ally of Rome if Rome could not defend Gaul’s borders. It was with this knowledge that he sent Aulus Terentius Varro Murena to secure the Great St Bernard Pass in 25 BCE, which led to the slaughter of the Salassi tribe. The extermination of the Alpine tribes was continued in 15 BCE when Augustus’ stepsons, Drusus and Tiberius, defeated forty-five peoples from all around the Alps. By 14 BCE, the Alps were secured, never to be challenged again.
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The Passage of Augustus introduces an entirely new kind of map gameplay to Total War: ARENA. Both teams spawn behind their bases and must initially rush to gain control of it while scouting to see how many men the enemy has committed to doing the same. The bases themselves are very defendable from all angles, which is good because the map heavily encourages flanking. The bases are linked by a narrow pass that will be heavily fought over. Germanicus and Leonidas players will be crucial here with their ranged defence, as both teams will try to use this shortcut to win the game. There is a secondary route that is slightly longer, but the fighting here will be intense too. While these battles are going on, cavalry and light infantry skirmishes will be taking place all over the map as flanking units encounter each other. The map plays like a ‘king of the hill’ mode, in which controlling the central village and the narrow pass are absolutely vital in achieving victory. Early control of this pass will allow you to overwhelm the enemy base or deny them access to it.