Total War: Warhammer 2


I noticed some AI discussion in some other strategy games recently.

My opinion is that the strategic AI is a lot better in TW2, while the tactical (in battle AI) seems around the same.

One of the reasons ME is such a difficult campaign is (again, in my opinion) is the AI in strategic mode is a LOT better that usual. PLUS: Almost every faction has a lot to deal with very quickly.

(usual meaning Total War ai… I can play a Rome 2 game and feel a win in 25 turns – Warhammer 2? I haven’t won one yet ME)

My old school thoughts about good ai were GalCiv 2 and Civ IV – but I think the strategic AI in War 2 is better.


I’ve been playing an ME game recently as one of the dwarf factions. I like a lot of the game improvements from 1 to 2, there are a few interface improvements (and a few steps back, why do I have to press Esc to skip dialogue EVERY TIME), AI doesnt seem improved and turns take soooooo loooooooong.

Skaven were a welcome addition to the game as Dwarfs, but the doomstacks that started pouring down from chaos remained as uninteresting a late game mechanic as ever.

I went back and started an Empire campaign in WH1 and turn times were night and day, about 15-20 seconds.

In WH2 I found that I spent more time in busy work upgrading lords and agents than I did in playing the game. With 20+ lords and agents every turn had a couple of minutes of pointlessly upgrading them.

I also still struggle with understanding why some units are good and some are bad against some other units, and the proliferation of stats and additional bonuses don’t seem to have improved the games versus previous iterations.

I like the WH setting but I think the campaign map is less interesting than Shogun 2 and the battles work less well than both Rome 2 and Shogun 2. I enjoy seeing armies fighting, I don’t have the grà for seeing my Lord wading into enemies that a lot of people see to have.


Game is 50% off on Steam, decent discounts on DLC for both games too. Finally caved and bought the sequel with its almost bewildering option of factions to play.


Very tempted to pick up WH2 during this sale, despite not spending enough time in WH1 to really justify it. Bah.


WH1 is just DLC for WH2! And who just buys the DLC, you need the real game too!


Well, we have been discussing this game on Tom’s Live stream – he killed zombies.

My Challenge for any of you: Win a Mortal Empires campaign on at least (normal/battle – hard/campaign)

Speak up here if you do. I have tried a few campaigns and it is Not easy.

WH2 (normal/Hard)


So sell me on this KG, why do I want to play it on hard campaign settings?


RH I think that Warhammer needs some difficulty settings. I hate that battle difficulty gets adjusted – but campaign difficulty… You need to at least run campaign at hard. RH I just edited this post – I mean that campaign difficulty needs a boost. Battle difficulty is annoying.


Well I’ll give it a try!


Yeah, that’s how I usually play it.


Working on it :) I was going to respond after kedaha’s post last night but decided sleep was a better option.

So, game settings are very hard campaign, and either normal or hard battle. I can not remember off the top of my head which, but I suspect it is normal because I rarely have a unit rout. Other background is that I am playing as Grombrindal the White Dwarf on ME of course.

Turns 1-10 went easily from what I recall. Managed to secure Silver Pass in two turns. Took the Pillars on turn 1 and the other province following turn. The trick was to make good use of the irondrakes. They cause leadership loss when they burn the orcs and force easy routes. Grombrindal is an absolute beast. Not in the same league as Tyrion of High Elves, but all the same, effective at tanking and cutting through orc squads.

Turns 10-50. Gold is tight. Best I can afford is two stacks of Dwarven armies. The immediate decision was to push north and get Mt Gunbad and the Brightstone Mine. 1500 gold extra per turn wasn’t enough though to support a third army. I opted to keep sending Grombrindal north to continue with Orcish genocide. That would at least close off that front, then I could focus my efforts south. Thorgrim Grudgebearer was used to take the port to the west of Silver road and try to contain the orcish invasions. Things are tight…

Turns 50-100. Grind, grind, grind. Vampire counts/Von Carstein decided they wanted me dead also. I’ve tried so hard to keep the Slayer King alive to no avail. He ended up falling thanks to some stupid forays he did into the VC territories. Sartosa also tried to have a go, but decided to peace out eventually once my power started to rise. Securing the port and trading with the empire was a smart move. What wasn’t smart was ignoring the south. I wiped the orcs from the north, but the southern front was being pressured hard. Giants now start to appear amidst the Orcish armies. Black Orcs are their front line and those damn boar riders are exploiting weaknesses in my military strategy. I confederated Clan Angrud, managing to fold the LL into my ranks and his Ancestor Thane. The other Ancestors are gone, banished I guess. Thanks AI for letting them die. Then again, me letting Karak Kadrin die was just as bad…

Turn 100-120. Something had to give. I’ve wiped the Orcs from the north, but was making no substantial progress south. I decided Grombrindal needed to be present. He moves south, opening the northern lands to the VC. In other news, I have enough gold flowing now for a fourth army, and I think I’m set for complete extermination of Green skins. I’ve ranged as far south as Karak 8 Peaks and I think I finally have some traction over the Orcs. Of course, with VC getting stronger, I have a slog ahead of me to deal with them. Still, Mt Gunbad is highly defensible, and I ended up moving my third army there to fortify a little better after losing Grom Pass. Everywhere else is just VC domination at the moment, though thankfully Empire are still holding out.

Moving forward, I want to establish friendly relations with Tomb Kings, at whatever cost. I need to focus on Vampire Counts/Von Carstein. The corruption is taking hold and causing some problems with public order. Add to that, the book of grudges is filled with grudges against VC chewing into my public order and army expenses. I need to right those grudges at any cost.

My biggest mistake was not taking and holding Death Pass I think it is. The provinces with the gold and iron mine at least. That whole province is a great source of income and might have hurt the orcs if they couldn’t maintain that province. Instead, gold became a non-issue for them, leading me to fight a grinding war. Believe me, even losing one dwarf for every ten orcs, their number felt insurmountable to say the least.

Happy to expand further if there are further questions. A lot of this is from recollection, though I have the save files all present. I’m not going to say or imply I’m a great player. Believe me, I was tearing my hair out too often with the battles at times. There were points where I didn’t feel like I was making any progress, just punishing myself over and over and over again. Also loved the underway battles because it worked to my favour. Take that Orcs! I also know there is a lot of work ahead of me. I think I need more flame units to deal with VC. Heck, I’ve only just started getting organ guns online, and only from about the 100th turn have I managed to have proper cannons. They certainly got a workout in one particular battle.


Dwarf is hard mode. One thing I would do differently is, if you have the chance to take Black Crag do not occupy it. Sack and raze that shit. It costs way too much to hold it. I know you’re a dwarf, but don’t be greedy!


Well, Damn Strato! That’s the way to take it to em! I love the White Dwarf!

There is a pretty good guns and butter balance here (on hard and higher) that you describe that is the key to victory. Dwarves have it much harder (in my opinion) in me than in War1.

That said please continue with your after action report! (I may secretly play the White Dwarf myself here soon)


That scares me more. I don’t have all the DLC for WH1… deep dark rabbit hole there.


You don’t need any more DLC! Warhammer 1+2 gives you hundreds of hours goodness.


I agree. Firstly, yes, I should have taken Black Crag sooner. The prevailing idea though I think is to sack and raze the surrounding areas and aim to hold the main province. At least that has walls and can tie up an army in a siege for at least a turn. Nice thing I like about playing Dwarves is that their siege units mean I don’t give a stuff about building siege towers, I just hit them hard from the first turn with cannons to bring down the towers, and bombard gates if I need to.

One thing I need to think about is the value of having archer units scale the walls while I surge through the gates. Would only work I think if there were no opposing archers on the walls.

Yeah, I think “easy” in the Warhammer games only refers to the initial starting position. There’s no way Dwarves are easy mode across the whole game. Part of supplementing income is with trade. I think in War 1, trade agreements were easier to negotiate. In War 2, once I lost my Dwarven kin to the north and west, I had no trading partners. And given the speed at which the Dwarves were dying around me, I wasn’t trading for a long time, not until I managed to get a hold of the port and actually get the Empire on board. And what a lucrative boon that was.

The other thing about hard and hardest is the focus on public order, something I never had to contend with when I played Dwarves in Warhammer 1 on normal mode. Now, almost immediately, a building slot has to be taken up with a tavern/public order building to try and keep unrest under control. I did suffer a fair bit of pain when I rushed in to confederate Clan Angrund. And when budgets are tight, army composition is a matter of efficiency. And sometimes just being a little pragmatic. Thunderers are a cool unit to have but they aren’t always as good as a nice Quarreler unit that can shoot over the top of my Dwarven infantry. Quarrelers can also fight better if exposed to melee combat. And Quarrelers also require less management in intense combat situations. In normal, I’d probably use the Thunderers because it feels satisfying in the battles watching the decimation of the enemy. I have had to start adding in Thunderers though towards the Orcish army now that they have a substantial number of Black Orcs only because I need the AP. When I deal with Vampire Counts though, I think I’ll be fielding mostly Quarrelers again.

Overall, I find that on hard/hardest, what is happening on the map is the real strategy part of the game and the battles are the setpieces to ensure that army composition and position came to fruition or failed spectacularly.

Please do! One thing I always like in these sorts of games is how differently campaigns pan out when start positions are the same. Like I touched on in the other post, I had a lot of frustrating moments where it felt like I was going nowhere. I haven’t played since I posted, but I’ll add more once I get back to the game. I’ve managed to keep the Irondrakes alive since the start of the game, though I did stupidly lose my Gyrocopter in some unfortunate battle along the way. Might’ve autoresolved one without paying much attention. Certainly looking forward to playing more, I think I’m starting to get some serious traction. Well, at least until VC pull something on me, or some other nation decides I need to die. I predict Sartosa will do so.


I won with Dark Elves on my usual difficulty (VH campaign/H battle). Pretty much conquered the Americas down to Lustria (there’s a nice little bottleneck there which makes it a natural place to stop expanding + the provinces below that line are crap for DElfs anyway), and then wiped the High Elfs from Ulthuan. Then I tracked down the Chaos dude and killed him.

I suspect the Dark Elf main is one the easiest nations to win ME with - units are awesome (Darkshards remain relevant all the way through the game), and it’s very easy to consolidate an empire up in the corner, allowing for secure expansion without much risk of having to fight a multiple front war.


So, what makes Warhammer 2 better than WH1?

I know the endgame is one of the ‘bullet points’, anything else?


IMO it boils down to it offers a better range of campaign options, specifically size of the campaign. The Vortex Campaign is a smaller campaign, with fewer factions and a more focused endgame. The Mortal Empires campaign is a massive mega campaign with all the things - all the factions, all the Lords, all the territories, all everything.

I personally prefer the more focused campaigns like Vortex and Shogun 2 for example. But if you want to “go large” Rome II style, then Mortal Empires has you covered.

Plus, the new factions are pretty damn good IMO. High Elves are a classic “high quality / high cost” faction, Skaven are nicely plague-y and sneaky, Dark Elves are just flat nasty with lots of armor piecing and vicious offense, the Lizardmen are basically dinosaur-men, who can ride dinosaurs, and also lead really big dinosaurs into battle, AND they have a dinosaur with a frickin’ laser on its head. Tomb kings are cool undead/Egyptian theme and of course Zombie Pirates. What more do you want?


Mortal Empires campaign even on a relatively fast computer still does turns sorta slower than you’d like.

Btw with Mods you can open up some factions in the Vortex campaign and have some fun --quicker turns and a smaller (but not much smaller) map.

(Is it a smaller map now that I think on it?)