So, back in TW:W1 land, I finished up the Dwarf campaign. It really was fairly easy (sorry @Strato, I think it’s much easier not in ME) but a ton of fun. I never really got too good at dealing with cavalry but it didn’t matter all that much; turns out that even though my little guys went flying when the Chaos Knights (or chariots) smacked into them, they’d just get right back up and put an axe through their fancy armor. It was really cool to get the top-line infantry–ironbreakers that were pretty much impervious and had a little satchel charge they’d also toss out when you’re charging them, because f— you, that’s why. My slayers did seem to keep getting killed off (I guess that’s the point), though they were really nice for getting the tough jobs done. (Though once in a silly undead battle (that I should have autoresolved because I outclassed them so badly) I did have a unit of slayers out on the flank that annihilated a skeleton unit without taking a single casualty, which was cool.)
I also got my only heroic victory when I was trying to colonize the mountains between the Empire and Bretonnia and an army got caught by two undead armies. I just did the dwarfy thing and stood and shot at them and beat off the first army, and then the second, and then they went poof as undead are wont to do. (To be fair I did do a bit of fancy generalling with the slayers and the shooters and the flanks against all those stupid flying monsters.) Generally I don’t really get opportunities for heroic opportunities because I really try to win the battle before taking to the field (Sun Tzu and all that).
The Empire really got hosed by Chaos, but I eventually took care of the invasion, and things were oddly peaceful thereafter–I finished off the vampires, because they were annoying and the greenskins were long gone, so it was just me walking up north to recolonize the Gianthomes and the Empire’s AI seemingly failing to rebuild cities with minimal competition (from the remaining Norscans).
I then dove right in to a Bretonnia campaign (I have trouble playing as bad guys) and that was fun. I tried to start as the fairy lady (I forget her name) in southern France but you start at war with the Wood Elves and there’s really not a lot you can do there. So I restarted as the Lion Lion guy and generally had a pretty good time smashing things with knights. I thought the peasant economy was a nice touch but ultimately it didn’t have too much of an effect on me–if you’re loading your armies up with peasants, well, you’re gonna have a bad time. I guess you could take the approach of trying to derive all your money from industry, but even then your upkeep dollars should really be spent on knights, knights, and more knights (plus some mounted archers, to disrupt their formations).
When I finally did take it to the tree-huggers I moved in with multiple armies, and in the only real battle we fought they didn’t seem to have an answer to heavy cavalry, so, tough on them… Unfortunately I wasn’t in time to save the fairy lady–she was eliminated about 5 turns before I could get there, so I was pretty bummed that I couldn’t get that legendary lord (via confederation). I also really liked the ending to the Bretonnia campaign where you have to go fight some set-piece battle on the other side of the world. I chose the orc one because I figured it would be easier, and it was pretty cool to take my main army off on a crusade into the badlands. The battle itself was also pretty cool, but I had like 3 units each of royal pegasus and royal gryphon knights, plus Mr. Lion Lion was insanely powerful… I had the Green Knight, too, but he was just puttering around on the ground trying to look tough. I was really happy they had that for the campaign victory, because I did not feel like trudging all the way to Kislev and playing Archaon whack-a-mole.
…so then I started one as the greenskins, because now there were only bad guys left, and I chose the guy who gets death magic (… the slaughterer?) because it seemed like fun. It was actually really cool to have the death magic come in starting at level 8 and still being a melee beast (on a wyvern, too). Though I was a little unimpressed with the first set of death magic spells. I did manage to recruit the other legendary lord (Grimgor) and confederate in the third (Wurzag). Wurzag was also really cool, not least because I was greatly amused by his cackling “Wurzag da Great Green Prophet… huh huh huh huh” when I clicked on him. I was pleased to be able to get him to level >20, though one of his quests bugged out when I needed to sack 3 greenskin towns and there was only one left on the map. (Grimgor had a similar quest, but there were 0 left so the quest auto-resolved and moved to the next step without issue.) (I was also really unimpressed that Grimgor didn’t get any mounts at all–my no-name general got to a wyvern, why can’t he?)
The greenskin waagh thing really made it easy to keep to my principle of “never use one army when you could use two”–I was worried that having the waagh’s be almost always just goblins would be a problem, but it turns out that having a ton of wolf riders and wolf rider archers really does wonders for disrupting the enemy lines, and then following up with da boyz in the reinforcement army makes smashing very effective. (And autoresolve also worked in my favor, provided I could manage the part where the waaghs move after your turn.)
I was never able to defeat chaos in a fair fight, though. I had a couple 1-on-1s where they smashed my armies and then a 2-on-1 where I still lost (but closely). Chaos troops are just even smashier than black orcs, and I couldn’t really disrupt them with mounted archers when the arrows just plink off of their armor. I did manage to win Grimgor’s quest battle against chaos, but (1) half the army was marauders (weaker than regular chaos warriors), while during the invasion half the army was chosen and more (stronger than regular chaos warriors), and (2) I had two spiders, a giant, and some trolls (and half my army was black orcs). Perhaps if I brought bigger things to the invasion battles I’d have done better. In the end I defeated the invasion by getting the event that gave +5 fightiness for 6 turns (or vice versa, heh), and then getting five armies and three waaghs to surround them and do a bunch of autoresolves.
Again the empire got hosed by chaos, and again I’d say it was peaceful after the invasion, but instead I just rolled into the flatlands (or rather, tunneled, because that way I could avoid the corruption) and razed the empire’s remaining 5 towns to finish the campaign.
Overall the greenskins were a ton of fun. I really like the goblin/orc dichotomy and the fact that you can get monsters. The orc lords were fun because I’d just load them up with attack and weapon strength bonuses and they’d smash. I turned one goblin big boss hero into a battlefield assassin, and another into a campaign assassin, and that was great, too. And the Gork and Mork magic was appropriately thematic.
So, I guess this is all to say that I’ve really liked this game. I should probably, like, get a life or something now. (Really I’m just waiting for the Wood Elf DLC to go on sale because that’s the army I collected as a kid.)