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Huns (RTW:BI Faction)

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Huns (RTW:BI Faction)
The Huns' faction symbol
Name: Huns
From Game: Barbarian Invasion
Culture: Hun

The Huns are one of the playable factions in the Barbarian Invasion for Rome: Total War.

Game Play

Starting Position

The Huns start the game as a horde army without any cities, close to the village of Vicus Sarmatae. Their immediate targets are the Roxolani (to the immediate south) and the Sarmatians (to the south-west).

Win Conditions

The Huns must hold 15 Settlements, including: Northern Italy (Rome), Thracia (Constantinopole)


The Huns were a steppe people, naturally reliant on horses. The Huns have some of the best cavalry in the game, but are lacking in infantry. Missile cavalry are a staple of the Hunnic armies, and can be used to devastating effect. The Huns unfortunately have no ports to speak of, so you'll have to take someone else's port if you want a navy.

Unique Units

The Hunnic army's cavalry and cavalry archers give them the easy option of the Cantabrian Circle (firing at enemies from far away) while the cavalry charge in repeatedly.

Strategy guides

At the start of the game, you have 9 horde armies at your disposal, mostly composed of cavalry units of course, and also 4 units of spearmen each. An immediate target for attack would be the defenceless village of Vicus Sarmatae. It might be best just to pillage Vicus Sarmatae rather than taking, because of its small population, the drain on your treasury and of course the fact that your fierce army's strength is halved. Rather, try heading south into Roxolani territory and taking their capital. It's a minor city, which very unfortunately for the Roxolani, happens to have no walls. From there as your homeland, you may start your empire, and spread death across Europe. You can also choose to keep the rest of your army in Horde mode for a while, but remember that your money is dwindling away, so sack often, and take into consideration, the cost and upkeep of hiring mercenaries. Perhaps the best option is to simply sack the Roxolani capital and head west with your armies intact.

In the beginning of the game, the more ambitious, however, may wish to head south with their armies pillaging/sacking villages along the way to add to your treasury and settle in richer lands. It is very useful to keep at least two of the horde armies close to each other. Especially when facing armies with large cavalry components, one horde army can borrow the horse archers from the other nearby horde army, thus doubling the ability to destroy the enemy from a distance. This allows the Hun general to hold his infantry away from the fight and prevent the loss of infantry from attrition. The less losses you experience early, the more cities you can sack later and the bigger your cash reserves to have when you settle down.

Although it is tempting to bull your way through lesser hordes, you will pay the price in men that cannot be replaced until you settle down, so don't fight other hordes (with their horse archers intact) unless you absolutely have to. It is better to let them spend their strength against each other and against the Romans. If you leave the Vandals alone, they will get out of your way on their campaign to win Spain and North Africa. After you settle down to establish a new homeland, you will have to deal with the Sarmatians on their way back through southern Europe, but their strength will be significantly reduced. The Vandals will also come calling hard, because taking Rome is also a victory condition for them. You must aggressively seek trading partners to support your permanent armies, because you're going to need good infantry to defend your cities.

Along the way, you will have made many enemies who will offer to end hostilities with you for a fat price. Don't fall for that - you don't have to. Eventually, they will want peace with you just for trading rights or just to secure their border with you as they go to war with someone else. You have a kingdom growing ever stronger and can wait for them to settle on your terms.

Alternative guide

At the beginning, there are many choices for a horde faction. You can horde imediately(unless you are already a horde) and begin a rampage, or you can try to wait. There are pros and cons for both choices. The horde imediately will give you instant added protection, for you will get a large amount of men in the form of horde units. However, you are not invincible. Never attack another horde unless your playing for a challenge. You will weaken your army as well as the enemy army, while the Romans grow stronger.

When in this horde form, there are a few places that are good to settle in, and a few places that are not. You may settle in the Huge city of Constantinople and the surrounding cities.

Pros- You have three rich cities waiting for you to take. Constantinople, Thessalonica and Athens. These cities can provide a strong base to launch attacks from. Constantinople is one of the most developed cities in the map at this time, rivaled only by Rome.

Cons- If you have been sacking the various other tribes lands, they will now be coming after you. The Sarmatians, Goths and Vandals are some of them. If you ignored them and moved on, then they should be fighting each other now. In my Hun campaign, I was able to directly and indirectly ally with all the barbarian factions except the Goths. That leaves you free to take on the Western Roman Empire.

The other good land to settle in is Italy itself.

Pros- If its good enough for the greatest power on earth, it should be good enough for you. If you have unleashed the hordes in the East, Constantinople and Greece may not be the safest option. Instead, Italy seems safer. But only from the nomads. The Vandals will still come after you, as well as the barbarian tribes to the North of the Rhine. Without the WRE to stop them, they will come flowing into Italy. The Rhine barbarians are relatively easier to defeat with your horse archers and cavalry. An added bonus is that, unlike Greece, there is are two advanced cities in Italy. Rome, and Ravenna. These two are one of the most advanced cities in the world. Along with Tarentum in the South, you have a perfect place to settle.

Cons- The Barbarians may be easier to defeat, but there are more in numbers. The Franks and Saxons can grow dangerous if they settle down, and marauding Goths and Vandals can also be a danger. It is hard to defend Italy, because there are three entry points. Between the alps and the sea, through the alps themselves, and between the alps and the sea in the west. In Greece you have one frontier. Here you have three possible ones.

There are many more advanced cities such as Carthage, Antioch, Alexandria and even Ctesiphon. However, these two areas are the closest and best places in my opinion.

Once you settle down, you will imediately lose almost all your forces. You will retain a few units, but not many. This is why its good to sack cities. The money you collected from sacking the East, (if you did) will all go into developing the cities you have. Rome and Ravenna might not need much upgrading, but you rdiplomat should get trade rights with whoever you are not at war with. If you didn't sack the east like me, then settling will be harder. That is when your alliances come into play. For example, the Alemanni would definetely attack me in my weak post horde state and take rome if I am allied to the Saxons. It doesn't matter to them. However, they will think twice about attacking if the Burgundii, Vandals and Franks were allied to me as well. All these tribes are relatively close to Alemanni lands save the Vandals. Alliances will not be permanent. Eventually, your "Allies" will realize that they are fighting over rebel provinces with 500 people while you are occupying Rome with 30000 people. By then you need to have a army ready.

My army composition was pretty simple. Since the Huns have no foot archers, I had about 2 hunnic elite cavalry and 3 hunnic archers with one silver chevron.(Seige engineers give archers plus two experience, plus the pagan temples.). Most of the remaining units were Hunnic heavy cavalry and about 4-6 units of Infantry. Make sure you have infantry in your cities, but use more cavalry in your battles. The Alemanni should be the first to attack if they have beaten off the Franks and Romans. They'll come pouring through the Alps and lay waste to Mediolanium. Don't let them. Mediolanium is not the best of cities, but it is better than Vicus Alemanni. They will be able to train better men there, and the one thing you don't want is chosen archers shooting you up. Stop them before that. Their army may have Bezerkers, and that is one of the reasons why I love fighting barbarians with Horse archer factions. The weakness of Bezerkers are their armor. A cavalry charge could kill quite a few, but archers can kill more without a single casualty. Try it. Take a full stack of Bezerkers and try to beat a full stack of Hunnic archers. (Custom battle) The rest of the Alemanni should be easy to take. If you want to, go into Germania and take their city. Again this has pros and cons. You will be able to destroy them, but the Vandals might be able to slip in without you guarding Italy. The Vandals have mostly Horse archers with a few heavy infantry. For some reason, the Vandals and the Huns seem to always want to settle in Campus Iazyges when controlled by AI. If they did, they aren't a real threat. If they didnt, there is probably a large amount of angry Vandals ready to swarm Italy. The archers are your biggest threat. Even though each army has about two units of them, they can inflict substantial casualties on you. Use your heavy cav to take them out. The mostly horse archer vandal army should pose little threat to your elite army. The last faction that could do you harm are the Romans. By now, the remnants of the Western Roman Empire will be pumping out full armies from Iberia and Gaul if they haven't lost men there. Meanwhile you will have to go East and take Constantinople to fulfill you requirements. Make another army while fighting the barbarians. Use your elite army to face the Rmans, use this secondary army to take Constantinople.

By now, you should have all the required territories, and about 20 provinces through expansion against Rome and the barbarians. You could continue, but I stopped there. The Sassanids will be your biggest threat if you continue. I hope this helps. :)



The history of the people known to the West as the Huns can be traced back to what's now Mongolia, where many of the "steppe empires" made their start. From 315 to 25 BC, a fierce people known to the Chinese as the Hsiung-nu controlled vast tracts of land. The Hsiung-nu made regular raids into Qin China (sometimes very close to the capital), and the China of their successors, the Han. The Chinese regarded the Hsiung-nu as half-human demons, because of their brutality, and their affinity for horses. Several walls were built to keep the Hsiung-nu at bay, and these were later combined and improved to form the famous Great Wall. During the Han empire, the Emperor Wudi launched raids into Hsiung-nu territory. From 119 - 110 BC, the Hsiung-nu were continuously attacked, and their empire made weak. In 48 BC, their empire collapsed, and the region was without a single power, just warring tribes.

Around 350 AD, the tribes began to move west, and by about 370, they began to reorganize into one nation again. These people became the Huns. The historical evidence for a Hunnic presence, by the way, is bronze cauldrons, their famous recurved bows, and their calling card - a pile of deformed and burnt skulls. Now, there were actually two types of Huns, White(Hephthalites) and Black. They split around this time, and went their separate ways. The Black Huns were the ones in this game, who headed west into Europe. The White Huns went south into India and destroyed the Gupta Empire. Many other tribes were displaced by the Huns and headed west as well. In 363 AD, the Huns appeared in Europe; this is why the game starts in this exact year. The Huns did not immediately move into the Eastern Empire, but, instead, terrorized north-eastern Europe. Many peoples were assaulted and displaced, including the Goths, who headed south into Dacia, where they were treated to Roman hospitality (enslavement).

In 434, a boy by the name of Attila was born. Attila and his brother, Bleda, were to succeed their father upon his death. In 441 AD, a campaign was begun in the Eastern Empire. The Huns razed many cities to the ground, including Sofia and Belgrade. In the end, they exacted tribute from the Eastern Empire of 2,100 pounds of gold a year. The brothers co-ruled the Confederation for a time, and there was peace, the Huns turned east like their brethren and tried to invade the Sassanids. However, at some point, Attila killed his brother in a duel of sorts, and became leader of the Hunnic Confederation. He then set about wreaking havoc on the Eastern and Western Empires, going as far west as the city of Orleans in Central Gaul. He earned the name "Scourge of God" because of his brutality. He then went for the prize of the West, Roma herself. He would have attacked the city, but Pope Leo I persuaded him to spare the city with a large bribe, and Pricus of Panium was able to negotiate a shaky peace settlement. The Huns were allowed to settle in what's now Hungary. (Modern Hungarians are mostly Magyars, not Huns; the Magyars arrived about 600 years later.)

The Huns were prone to in-fighting, and so when Attila died in 453, the Hunnic Empire collapsed and faded into history. 23 years later, the Western Roman Empire met the same fate. The name Attila is synonymous with the Huns. Attila was one of the most reviled human beings in history, then and even today.

See Also

Barbarian Invasion Factions
Eastern Roman Empire | Western Roman Empire | Huns | Goths | Sarmatians | Vandals | Franks | Saxons | Alemanni | Sassanids | Celts | Burgundii | Lombardi | Roxolani | Berbers | Slavs | Romano British | Ostrogoths | Eastern Roman Rebels | Western Roman Rebels | Rebels
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