Total War: Warhammer 2

#1422

I won the Dwarf campaign in TW1, but most of my attempts since to play havent been so successful. I just bought the WE and TK expansions this weekend in the Chinese New Year sale so will try those campaigns next. The WE one sees me starting in a position im not used to, surrounded by neutrals.

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#1423

My Wood Elf ME campaign is pretty much the definition of why the diplomatic and world position define your campaign.

Thanks to the addition of tons more vampires, all Bretonnia has been overrun with vamps. The Empire has been pushed back to the Reik river, and Orcs swarm over the mountains and lands to the south and east and blown up all the dwarfs except “The Dwarfs” (an awkward carryover from War1 is how the vanilla factions have vanilla names). The Border Princes have been swarmed and destroyed and even the Skaven have overwhelmed by vamps.

So i’m at war with every faction around me up to several provinces deep in every direction.

It’s not that the Wood Elves can’t easily beat one or two armies, but that they’re defending over space swarm after swarm. It’s not massing enough tripp’s to beat them here, it’s having enough troops to beat them here and there and there at the same time.

I hadn’t played WE ina long time and forgot how different they are. One “nice” thing is their “out of the forest” settlements are super cheap, and come with pretty decent garrisons (o. So you don’t actually care is a place gets raided or sacked b/c it’s only a few dozen gold to fix it up again. It does mean that effectively WE have to use the global recruitment pool for all recruiting, so the “real” cost per unit is a good 50% higher than list price.

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#1424

So yeah one of the main strategic questions is, eat the Bretonnians for the nice ports (there’s a tech for 400% more income from ports), or keep them as trading partners. I tend to be opportunistic but last run I barely took a couple of Bret factions. It’s also nice to see Bretonnia go raze Norsca settlements because I hate Scandinavians, that chaos/red hospitality is annoying for most races. It is very difficult to eliminate the norsca from the game.

I basically killed the brown dwarf, the heimrich undead (30% MR), then skarsnik (more buffs), then it was a nice fun ride to fight VC. That’s even more buffs and it relieves pressure for trading partners, the empire. The nice thing about wood elf settlements is since they suck so much, I didn’t bother taking many vampire cities either. Sack + burn!

By then chaos shows up, so maybe send a stack to help. The elf stacks are so powerful that you just need one in every direction and basically get to go anywhere you bloody feel like. It is quite fun and liberating not to care about territory.

The wandering bastards (brown? I forgot the name, it’s a horde DLC race) seem weaker than they used to be too. Auto resolve and they’d lose to garrisons. They are no longer a threat.

One thing I haven’t figured is confederation - normally you get that shitty stack too. Orion is nice, but the other lords tend to have bad army comps. Sometimes I keep them, but sometimes I think you’re better off not using them. Maybe just a half stack to follow the main stack around to raze/hold reinforcements? The upkeep can get expensive, and sometimes these tertiary lords can’t hold their own against an entire civilization.

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#1425

Honestly the real Wood Elf dilemma in the early game - with either subfaction - is how to take the rest of Wood Elf land before the other WE major confederates them all. When the WE expansion first came out more than once the other 3 WE Tree Settlement combined into one, now hostile, faction vs my 1 Tree Settlement, because I tried playing nice to the other Wood Elves for too long. And since you get so little powerbar from additional provinces, not only will you never Confederate the remaining WE player, but they’re highly likely to attack you with their much larger economy and army sizes.

In this most recent game when I saw the two middle WE declare on each other, and one guy took a big hit to his stack, I swooped in and declared on him even though it tanked my reputation. I was then able to take all three trees in not too much time and effort. Even though that was 50 turns back, my Rep is still Very Low, which means basically no allies or trading otherwise. But I had to get those WE settlements first.

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#1426

Welcome to my world! So hard to find a good position and defend the go on the offensive. But hey … that’s what makes me keep coming back.

I do think High Elves as Tyrion may just be the easiest ME campaign. By Turn 180 or so I am on the way to a nice victory. Especially after I have the 3 other legendary lords running around for me as my generals.

I notice (and I may have mentioned this before so kick me if I have) if you start as the Empire and then get the other two legendary lords (two I think) you can get their questlines and run down some nice items. Too bad the Empire is a tough one by turn 150-200 or so. BTW if you’ve been avoiding the empire legendary lord that had the whole fanatics bonuses don’t… (he’s green) – those guys are cheap and a full stack of em with traits and etc is just too much fun to see. Straight up murdered the vamps to the south.

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#1427

Sorry, this post became an accidental strategy guide book. But as someone who finds the game quite easy on Very Hard I thought I’d share some of my decision-making process, and how thinking about it that way makes the game easy. Hopefully someone finds it helpful!

Once you realize how the AI makes its decisions in terms of who to War-Declare, you will actually have a much easier time on the higher campaign difficulties. Because a 3 front war is suboptimal until such a point as you have about 6 stacks and can just expand in every direction at once. By which point you’ve won.

  • Geographic distance/opportunity. The AI looks for where it is close to your weak points. This is pretty obvious but worth saying anyways. It theoretically theory crafts its chances for an attack on a city to work before it issues move orders. Even something basic like walling a minor city near potential hostiles before moving your army out of the general area will save you needless war-decs, because of these calculations.

  • Lord/Faction traits and bias. All the factions have AI traits that functionally make the AI more amenable to peaceful treaties with your faction or less. It’s helpful for your decision making to know which directions can you safely expand in and which borders will always be volatile. For example, you always want to get rid of factions like Wood Elves at the highest priority because they have some kind of specific Wood Elf AI behavior that makes them go from loving you to warring you in the matter of one turn.

  • Your “Trustworthiness” level. This is a HUGE wild-card factor. If you break any treaties, or declare a war outside of the 7 turns window of ending a NAP, the AI is going to hate you in general and make many more war-decs than it normally would. All the AI will, not just the one you betrayed.

If you consider all those factors before deciding where to plan your expansion, you can actually come to a pretty logical decision even with factions that seem to begin the game surrounded geographically. The Vampire Counts come to mind here. If you defeat the neighboring vampires and conquer their territory, you can virtually always get the dwarves to your east and south to not only trade treaty you (turns out they hate vampires in general so much that vampires who kill other vampires are ok in their books, I guess), but NAP you.

You have one city (Waldenhof I believe) that if you wall in the northern Sylvania, you will basically never hear from the dwarves again (*edited to add that the reason for this is AI generally won’t attack major cities like Drakenhof/Altdorf etc without massive armies, they consider them unwinnable fights, and Drakenhof in the South and Waldenhof are the two cities the AI is checking to attack from the dwarves). The closest human city to the north is from a weak faction that won’t be interested in you for a bit, and Waldenhof is also the point those AI’s will check for weakness. So with Walling one city, killing some other vampires, and trading with some dwarves, you have secured the North, East, and South. Well. The game just got super easy.

Plan ahead, especially with factions like Vampire Counts who start with some NAPs, so you can cancel them 7 turns prior to your planned invasion with the least possible disruption to the hidden diplomacy number of Trustworthiness. You’ll find most factions have a plan like this where they can crush in one obvious direction leaving a minimal defense at home, so you can really snowball by taking 1-2 cities per turn quite early in the game.

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#1428

MM! Nice! Now THAT is some strategy! Hmm --how do you know all that? Just playing?

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#1429

I guess spending so many years playing strategy games in general has taught me to pay very close attention to what the AI does. Once you understand the motivation behind its decision-making, it becomes extremely beatable even with bonuses because it doesn’t learn from its mistakes, but hopefully as humans, we do.

I don’t know if you’ve ever played EUIV, but it requires the same kind of thinking. It’s all a balancing act in not getting the AI to go into freak-out mode and forming a huge unbeatable coalition against you. So you choose directions of expansion and form alliances in the areas that you think will become problematic in the future.

So that’s the long way of saying yes. I guess it’s just a lot of game playing over the years. Hah.

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#1430

Wow, that doesn’t match up to my experience at all. We must have very different play styles. Chosen with Halberds are slow as are all heavy infantry, but they kill nearly anything they meet so the slow doesn’t bother me none. It takes a little patience, but they are very heavily armored so they will stay alive long enough to win the fight. I think Chosen with Halberds will, at full strength, win a one-on-one fight with any heavy cavalry in the game and almost any infantry. The few units that can give them trouble still won’t kill them because those are the ones you manually target the Hellcannons on.

In general I consider any one-stack vs one-stack fight to be completely winnable by Chaos as long as that Chaos lord has teched up enough to have Chosen and Hellcannons. Sorcerors and Chaos Knights and Dragon Ogres are all nice, but I like my odds against any single AI stack of any race with 1 Lord, 3 Hellcannons, and 16 Chosen.

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#1431

So apparently Tom will be streaming Warhammer 2 on “Request Wednesday” (this Wednesday).

His faction is a total mystery. James Miller wants rats.

I think I want lizard ladies (“Kroc Gar”)

I think I saw FG pushing for Tomb Kings.

Chime in. You know he’ll just do what he wants anyways but what the heck.

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#1432
  • High Elves
  • Dark Elves
  • Lizardmen
  • Skaven
  • Tomb Kings
  • Vampire Coast

0 voters

I’m not really going to know what I’m doing one way or another, so I don’t mind throwing faction choice to the wind. Y’all feel free to vote if you think there’s a particular faction I should jump into!

-Tom

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Live streaming on YouTube and Twitch every Mon, Wed, and Fri at 6pm Pacific!
#1433

Oh thanks Tom! That’s the way to do it! Wait … rats are winning? grrrrr!

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#1434

Skaven for a noob? That’s cruel-funny. He’s going to rage-quit.

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#1435

Yeah, I really can’t get behind the people voting for Skaven. I think the best three lords for someone who’s relatively new to Warhammer 2 are Mazdamundi (Lizardmen wizard frog), Tyrion (High Elf melee prince) or Settra the Imperishable (Tomb King wizard on a chariot).

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#1436

RH Tyrion being probably the best choice.

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#1437

Does Tom have any idea how crazy it’s going to be when he opens the lord/faction select screen?

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#1438

I didn’t want to say it lest I get boohoo’d, but I agree that Skaven just seems like a bad idea. I voted for Tomb Kings myself only because I like the Vortex campaign they have and they are different enough, particularly diverse in terms of army. Never tried Vampire Coast yet… I’ll get around to it once I finish my Dwarven run on ME.

Ah well, I think I’ll be able to catch the stream for a change (curse you timezones), might be interesting to see Tom losing his shit.

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#1439

The people voting for Skaven know exactly why they’re voting for Skaven.

Anyway, Queek isn’t too bad. The others are certainly more interesting. That means play Tretch by the way.

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#1440

Trolling Tom with rats.

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#1441

Strato I agree Tomb Kings is a great choice. It was my second choice (if I could have a runner up)

(Queen on the Tomb kings… she is very serious -and she starts in a generally good spot in vortex)

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