The Suebi are a Rhine-bordering faction brought in to replace the original Rome’s generic Germanic peoples, whom our Joe tells me I probably didn’t quite manage to bump into while trampling all over Gaul. For the sequel, the Creative Assembly have coaxed out their most distinctive features - their ambush tactics, their Berserkers and their haircuts.
The Suebi have turned up on the Total War wiki, swaddled in bear coats and historical context. In-game, as in life, they’ll be lightly equipped - with rounded, oval or long, hexagonal shields and little to no armour - and heavily reliant on infantry and ambush tactics. Sword scarcity means they wield the framea, a “javelin-like” spear.
Unit types are likely to include Berserkers and “sinister, black-painted” Night Hunters.
“To distinguish themselves from their slaves, freemen and warriors wear a form of topknot that has come to be known as a Suebian knot. Their kings, chiefs and champions sport even more elaborate versions of this same hairstyle,” reads the description.
“Given such ostentatious displays, standing out in battle is important. Kings and chiefs, although drawn from elite lineages, are elected, making their continuation of heroic traditions essential in uniting the tribes.”
The Suebi will have a diplomatic edge when dealing with other barbarians, and be able to swiftly overcome other neighbouring tribes. However, a certain cultural dissonance means they’ll have to contend with “considerable resistance”, in the form of rebellions, from conquered enemies.
Does that payoff sound worth it to you?