Total War Warhammer Factions  Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Total War Warhammer Factions  RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Total War: Warhammer 2 Skaven Faction Strategy and Campaign Walkthrough Tue, 03 Oct 2017 17:32:23 -0400 Ty Arthur

There may only be four base Total War: Warhammer 2 factions to pick from, but there's a surprising amount of variety between those vastly different races.

The chaotic Skaven are always on the hunt for Warpstone so they can take over the magical Vortex, and they have a lot of mechanics that set them apart from the Lizardmen or Elves.

To win as the Skaven, you sort have to think like a cowardly rat while also behaving like a horde of unstoppable plague rats rolling over a city. Below we cover all the basics you need to know to get started. Looking for help with other Warhammer II factions? Check out these guides instead:

The Best Skaven Lord for Your Total War: Warhammer 2 Campaign

Your basic decision with the starting Skaven Legendary Lord is between fighter or wizard, but there's actually a bit more to it than just melee or spells when you consider the faction effects of both choices.

Queek Headtaker is your straight up melee duelist, who has high armor and can penetrate enemy armor. Queek offsets your weak starting units in the early campaign. The exact opposite of Malekith from the Dark Elves faction, Queek actually steals some of the XP earned by any other Lord, so he will consistently be at high level even if he doesn't go directory into combat all the time. He's not big on wizards though, so Grey Seers you recruit will have reduced loyalty.

Lord Skrolk is your spell casting option, and he doesn't include a tutorial mission -- so make sure you've mastered the game's basics first! There's a lot of reasons to pick Skrolk, though, like the fact that plague buildings cost half as much to build or that the Pestilent Scheme rite is reduced in cost by a whopping 75%! Additionally, Skrolk is actually a competent melee fighter besides just casting spells, and his skills let you increase his combat prowess even further.

 Picking a Skaven Legendary Lord

Warhammer II Skaven Campaign Strategy

Skaven spread corruption, but it works a bit differently than vampiric or chaos corruption does for any other faction. Your public order will go down as corruption spreads just like with the other types, but it will also cause problems for the other factions and let you use the vital Menace Below ability. Spreading corruption to a nearby province before going on the offensive can be a great way to get ready to invade that area.

Unlike the other three main factions, Skaven settlements are underground and invisible to the other players, showing up as ruins that have to be explored. Some will have nothing, and some will be flooded with your vile ratmen. The result here is that its less dangerous to leave a settlement undefended than with the other Warhammer II factions.

While moving around your Lords, your typical stance will be Ambushing -- but don't forget you can use the Underway to move through otherwise impassable terrain, making the Warhammer II campaign map much more wide open to Skaven than any other faction.

Your strengths as Skaven are your ability to constantly ambush enemy armies and your overwhelming numbers. Your weakness is that those numbers are hungry. While Dark Elves have slaves, Skaven also have a third resource -- in this case, it's simply food. Your endless vermin tides have to consume a lot, and they eat all the time.

Keeping food stocks high gives bonuses, but when food hits 40% or less you take a hit to growth, leadership, and public order. And it gets exponentially worse as the food supplies tumble from there.

Some buildings provide food, but in the beginning your main food gathering technique will be combat -- eat survivors after a battle and loot a settlement when raiding. The end result is that you essentially have to play aggressively. Your empire is a horde of rats expanding outward in a tide. Many of those rats will die. But that's OK, because there's always another wave just behind ready to push forward.

Constant expansion is usually needed to keep up with the pace of food and army growth, and that's where Rites like the Scheme of DOOOOOM! come in, letting you knock down enemy walls so you can easily invade without needing siege equipment.

The Pestilent Scheme Rite (which is super cheap if you picked Lord Skrolk) will kill off armies quickly, again making it quite easy to siege cities after they have been devastated by plague (just don't accidentally infect your own units).

 Skaven Rites

You have to be strategic in how you expand as the Skaven faction, however, because every army and settlement uses up food every round. Don't take more locations than you can consistently feed! Being low on food will set you back significantly, both in keeping armies on the map an in being able to overwhelm opponents in battle.

When you do take a settlement, food comes into play yet again, as you can spend food supply to skip previous buildings in the chain and start with up to a tier III building immediately.

This is a huge advantage and can put you way ahead of the competition, since you get to skip all those turns waiting to build the previous tier buildings. Use this ability wisely to get needed infrastructure while skipping anything that isn't immediately useful.

 Going straight to a Tier III Laboratory

Warhammer II Skaven Combat Strategy

All of the factions play differently in combat, and with Skaven your early campaign battles are all about waves of cannon fodder that swarm over the enemy. You need to outnumber the opponent because your units overall are much weaker. Until much later in the game, you won't have much in the way of mounted units or well-armored characters, so get used to having big groups of rats sacrifice themselves and be replaced.

The flow of combat significantly changes when playing Skaven as opposed to a faction like the Lizardmen, where you would usually want your melee bruisers to rush in and stay put until the enemy is dead.

Most skaven melee units flee easily, but they actually get a speed bonus when ignoring your commands and running for their lives -- which can be used to your advantage. Although they lose morale and flee at the drop of a hat, they recover and regroup quickly. Combat becomes a fluid movement with Skaven, re-positioning across the battlefield and bringing in new units to flank enemies who are chasing your fleeing cowardly rats.

The Menace Below ability is your trump card, so make frequent use of it as needed. The summoned rats aren't super powerful, but having a sneaky surprise attack always available to flank enemy units can be devastating when used properly.

There are plenty of ways to increase your Menace Below usages available, from high food supply to spreading corruption. Anywhere you drop the rats is going to force your opponent to move some units to deal with them, which is perfect for flanking attacks from Night Runners or some ranged fire from Slingers. You can even drop them on much more powerful units -- like right behind a bunch of charging cavalry -- and still get decent results.

While using hordes of weak creatures in the early game, you need to pick your battles wisely. Armored saurus warriors or devastating ranged spells from enemy heroes can annihilate your forces. In the mid to late game, Plague Monks, Storm Vermin, and Warp Lightning Cannons are your saving graces and finally let you meet more heavily armored melee fighters on even ground. Field these better units to finally bring about some serious devastation.

 Summoning the Menace Below to flank mounted units

Those are all the basic tactics you need to know to get started! Do you have any other strategies or tips for the Warhammer II Skaven campaign that have worked well? Let us know in the comments!

Total War: Warhammer 2 Dark Elves Faction Guide and Campaign Walkthrough Mon, 02 Oct 2017 14:49:38 -0400 Ty Arthur

Ready to dive into the complex tactical combat and cutthroat fantasy diplomacy in Total War: Warhammer 2? There are four starting Warhammer factions to pick from, from dinosaur-riding lizards to hordes of subterranean rats -- and each plays incredibly different from the others.

As the Dark Elves, your goal is to obtain the Scrolls of Hekarti to take control of the Vortex through a series of magic rituals. Along the way you'll be raiding settlements, taking slaves, and battling off armies of rat men or weakling High Elves.

Below we cover everything you need to know to get up and running with an unstoppable force of Dark Elves and slaughter your way through the Warhammer 2 campaign!

Looking for a guide how to beat the Total War: Warhammer 2 as dino-taming lizards instead? Check out our guide to the Lizardmen campaign for more information.

The Best Dark Elf Lord for Your Total War: Warhammer 2 Campaign

You've got two starting options for your Legendary Lord: a melee/spell-caster hybrid, or his Hydra-riding mother. The main differences between them revolves around experience points and loyalty.

Dark Elves want to be raiding and engaged in battle whenever possible. If you sit around defending an area instead of going to war, your loyalty will take a big hit -- and that can be disastrous if you aren't prepared.

Malekith automatically gifts out experience to other Lords, which is a major double-edged sword. If a Lord is higher level than Malekith, or if a Lord gets wounded and flees a battle, expect to take a big loyalty hit. While Malekith is technically the easier of the two, you have to keep him in battle constantly or the other Lords (and their armies) will rebel against you. His Bladewind combat ability is extremely useful, however.

Morathi, Malekith's mother, actually gives a bonus to loyalty for other Lords in the area. While technically the more difficult of the two, she can be a better option for the mid game when you need your armies to do what you want them to do. Just keep in mind that she doesn't include a tutorial mission, so you better know what you are doing ahead of time if you go with Morathi.

 Picking Your Dark Elf Legendary Lord

Dark Elf Black Arks

While the Lizardmen have their powerful Geomantic Web to offer bonuses across their empire, the Dark Elves instead get the mobile Black Arks, which support armies and have building slots like any other settlement.

That's not the big draw, though. Black Arks offer bombardments to aid battles close to the Ark. Make sure to position these Arks near where you are about to be engaged in warfare!

Essentially, you've got extra long range spells to rain down death on concentrations of enemy units without actually having to bring in any spell-casting characters, so don't overlook this massive advantage.

 Dropping concentrated fire bombardments

Warhammer II Dark Elf Campaign Strategy

The Dark Elves occupy the frozen north at the campaign's start, with the Skaven being your primary problem throughout the early campaign. To begin, focus on taking Naggarond and then recruit another Lord so you have two armies flush with Darkshards and Dreadspears.

Afterwards, your mid-range goal here is to forge alliances to the south and east to keep people from attacking you while you work towards taking Ghrond. This task should be done via siege rather than a straight fight, as it's very difficult to win that battle in a direct assault. You want the army to come out and fight you instead.

Don't forget that Dark Elves have a leg up over the competition on the technology tree, which can be advanced faster without having to build as many precursor buildings first as other factions.

As mentioned above, you are going to deal with serious loyalty issues throughout the Dark Elves campaign. Completing quests and faction-wide battle wins increase overall loyalty, but losing quests and faction-wide battle losses decreases loyalty. You can help pump this up further by stealing tech, which frequently results in captured slaves as well. Giving these slaves to your Lords will keep loyalty high. 

Don't forget that your Legendary Lord -- no matter which one you picked -- can utilize a Rite to boost loyalty as well. Finally, the Khanite assassin eventually gets the Stalker trait that can also boost loyalty. 

Dark Elves have a third resource to juggle: slaves! You can use this resource to balance out other aspects of the economy in ways the other factions can't use. More slaves means a province produces more gold, which is good -- but get too many slaves and public order starts to drop when the servants outnumbers the actual populace.

If you have a province with high public order but you need gold, upgrade your slave capacity buildings and then start raiding. While order will go down, you will be flush with currency. Likewise, choosing to the option to take slaves after battle is frequently a better idea than killing the survivors for extra experience, since Dark Elves have a high turnover rate and you will be replenishing units often.


Warhammer II Dark Elf Combat Strategy

Darkshard missile infantry are key here, and you can basically formulate your whole battle strategy around them. Later on, Shades can become indispensable and in some situations, even better than Darkshards.

Whether utilizing Darkshards or Shades, you need to master forming them up properly to avoid the problems of friendly fire or missing your enemies entirely. Archers have problems hitting if they are spread out too thin. In general, it's a good idea not to keep them in a long, shallow line, but rather to have two close ranks lined up one behind the other.

You want several groups positioned next to each other that can concentrate fire and reposition quickly to hit moving targets. Make sure to set control groups of your rows of Darkshards so they can quickly rain down fire and you aren't wasting time clicking and dragging to reposition your archers.

In this formation, with several moderately deep ranks that aren't long left to right and are concentrated together, your primary concern should be long range artillery fire from the enemy. If the opposing army has artillery, it needs to be ambushed and taken out early in a battle.

Dark Riders are your initial mounted units, and frankly they aren't that great -- but you should use them for side and back attacks when you are stuck with them. Upgrade these guys as soon as you can to their crossbow version for better tactical options.

What melee unit you want to focus on is up to you, but essentially their goal here is to protect the Darkshards and hold off the larger melee or hero units while you can kill at range. Coupled with abilities like Bladewind and bombardments from your Dark Arks, you can annihilate most enemies.

 Have fun mowing down enemies with your archers!

That's just one of several possible strategies for playing the Dark Elves, but so far for us it's been a winning one. Do you have any other hints and tips for playing these diabolical hit and run combatants?

Let us know your favorite Warhammer 2 Dark Elf strategy in the comments below, and be sure to check out our other Total War: Warhammer 2 guides if you feel like playing a different race or want more help with the game in general.

Total War: Warhammer 2 Lizardmen Faction Strategy Guide and Campaign Walkthrough Fri, 29 Sep 2017 10:35:59 -0400 Ty Arthur

There are an absurd number of elements at play in Total War: Warhammer 2's campaign, from diplomacy to taxes to properly lining up your units for battlefield advantage and even onto game-changing magic rites.

Simply playing the game, let alone getting close to winning, can be a daunting task for a newbie -- which is why we've put together this Total War: Warhammer 2 Lizardmen faction guide.

Below we cover everything you need to know to exterminate those treacherous warm bloods who just can't ever leave well enough alone and stop mucking about with the forces of Chaos.

The Best Lizardmen Lord for Your Total War: Warhammer 2 Campaign

You have two legendary Lord options right off the bat: Mazdamundi, the spell-casting Slaan, or Kroq-Gar, a saurus oldblood general who is focused on direct melee combat and bonuses to nearby units.

Which Lord is best for your Lizardmen army? It depends on what you want out of your campaign. Kroq-Gar begins at a different point of the map and has a slightly harder starting difficulty in the campaign. On the other hand, Mazdamundi has many advantages for the new player because he allows access to an additional Slaan Mage-Priest and offers reduced Rite costs -- but he's also terrible at diplomacy. His many long range spells more than make up for that, however.

 Picking Lord Mazdamundi 

The Geomantic Web

No matter which Lord you choose, the big advantage to the Lizardmen is the Geomantic Web that connects cities in your provinces by magical forces. The Web is incredibly useful -- so you should always conquer an area with a Web node whenever you can, and upgrade it like crazy.

The various Alignments on the Web give you drastic bonuses if you pump them up to tier five. To improve the Web to its highest strength, you need to keep nodes connected to cities of equal Geomantic strength and keep up your relationship with neighboring settlements. Don't forget to build Geomantic Markers and Lodestones on cities that aren't connected to the Web as well.

Always make sure there's space in capitals for Geomantic structures and upgrades. If you are regularly adding to and upgrading the Web, you will frequently be flush with gold and bonuses that will keep you one step ahead of the other factions.

Starting the Geomantic Web

Warhammer II Lizardmen Campaign Strategy

It's worthwhile to be fairly aggressive early on during the campaign, taking on the Skaven and Skeggi but ignoring or getting diplomatic with the Empire to the south.

After taking the Monolith of Fallen Gods, its probably time to get a new Lord and start building up a secondary set of armies so you can tackle problems on different areas of the map at the same time.

Either of the Lizardmen legendary lords have access to four powerful rites that are costly but offer big bonuses. The Rite Of Ferocity is the least expensive, and often is also the most helpful because it gives you bonus experience, gold, and recruitment -- so your armies can pump up faster.

On the defense front, the Rite Of Sotek can be incredibly useful, hampering enemies within your province and making ambushes more deadly.

 Lizardmen Rites

Be sure to go through the quests in the early game to earn gold and Ancient Plaques, since you'll need those for the rituals. In particular, be sure to rush to the Mirror, Mirror quest so you can build a trove at the quest location and generate a steady stream of Plaques.

Whenever a ritual is being enacted, random forces of Chaos will pop up behind your province lines near cities enacting rituals (or near cities that are undefended). The other factions will also be able to see where you rituals are being enacted and will show up to ruin your day. In other words, don't try to expand while you are doing a ritual, because you need armies to protect your cities during those times.

On the expansion front, you can mostly ignore the frozen regions as places to hole up, since (as you'd expect from a cold blooded people) the Lizardmen will see public order plummet in cold regions. The best spots to conquer and fortify are jungles and deserts, although anything that isn't frozen and snowing can work in your favor.

While adding to your Lizardmen empire, don't forget to take into account the level of upkeep and expense going on with your expensive lizard armies, so build economic buildings and do anything you can to keep the gold flowing in.

On the tech tree, feel free to go where you like, focusing on whichever unit or building type you use most. I've found upgrading the solid mid-level saurus warriors to be an effective strategy, but it is also worthwhile to grab a few upgrades on the tree that help increase public order in your provinces, since corrupting influences will frequently appear.

 Lizardmen Tech Tree

Warhammer II Lizardmen Combat Strategy

Before battle while you are still moving around the world map, don't forget that the Lizardmen get the Astromancy stance for armies. While this reduces your mobility, it improves your visibility and lets you ambush easier, in addition to providing vanguard placement in battles.

Besides your powerful Lords, there are essentially two types of Lizardmen to deploy in combat: your slower and harder hitting beasts and saurus warriors, or your cheaper, faster skinks. (Check out our full list of Warhammer: Total War II unit rosters for the full rundown of all the units at your disposal.)

The skinks are good for maneuverability, since they move faster and can redeploy to flank enemies from the side or behind, although in many case you'll want to save your swift mounted units for that strategy. Skinks also break morale and flee regularly, which isn't always a negative, since it lures big melee units away from the main fight.

 Choosing the Astromancy stance

If you've got a hidden unit waiting nearby in the trees or just have some ranged units ready to reposition, fleeing skinks can actually turn the tide of battle. When you work up the tech tree, chameleon skinks can be your sneaky, hit and run units to always vex the enemy and take out unprotected units.

Unlike some of the other factions, sending your saurus units past enemy lines can actually work to your advantage, because they go berserk so easily. Berserk units get big bonuses to combat, but they also don't respond to your commands.

If a squad of saurus warriors goes berserk on the edge of a battle and wastes their time chasing a faster unit of ranged archers, then they are essentially out of the battle. Saurus hilariously trying to chase mounted archers is a sad way to lose a battle. If they are in the thick of combat near a whole bunch of vulnerable melee units, however...

On the opposite side of that, don't be afraid to have your big bruisers flee before they go berserk if things are going badly, so you don't lose highly experienced troops and have to start over with fresh recruits.

Where the Lizardmen trail behind the other factions is in powerful archers, but their later game artillery pieces also happen to be dinosaurs that can more than hold their own in melee, so don't be afraid to put them in harm's way!

After battle, eating the enemies of course is a great way to replenish your forces, but unless you are heavily beaten down and expect another battle soon, you should probably choose the option to sacrifice the survivors instead for all that extra experience.

     A horde of skinks popping out of the tree line can spell doom for your enemy

Those are all the basics you need to know to dominate the Total War: Warhammer II Vortex campaign map! Do you have any other effective Lizardmen strategies we didn't list here? Let us know your best Lizardmen tactics in the comments below! And stay tuned for more Total War: Warhammer 2 guides here on GameSkinny.