If you’re looking forward to Total War: Elysium, well, that probably puts you in the minority of gamers, considering the chilly reception to its reveal. Still, if you are, Creative Assembly has posted a “chat” — a.k.a. blog in interview form — with Senior Gameplay Designer James Green that dishes on some of the mechanics of the game that also covers in great detail his love for elephants.

The article focuses on the design process for cards, and how they’re made “to fit together with others to form decks and archetypes.” That’s a bit of a departure from early CCG design, where cards might have fit into a faction — like red cards being destructive in Magic: The Gathering — but designing them to fit into specific decks is a somewhat newer trend. The three factions at the game’s launch will be Three Kingdoms, Vikings, and Napoleonic-era French Republic, none of which were known to use War Elephants.

That doesn’t stop Green from waxing poetic about the big bruisers, who aren’t great in one-on-one conflicts but gains the Splash ability when they’re damaged, allowing them to damage multiple enemy units. Other revelations from the article include a detailing of the Vikings’ Raid ability, which offers discounts based on the number of damaged units on the board — yours and your opponent’s — and talk about the design of generals, who form the backbone of any deck. What about a general riding an elephant? Maybe when the game adds Hannibal to the mix.

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