Rob Zacny

Episode 411: Total War: WARHAMMER II

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Three Moves Ahead 411:

Three Moves Ahead 411


Total War: WARHAMMER II
Are you ready for morehammer? Nah, just kidding, we won't do that bit again. Guest host Rowan Kaiser talks to T.J. Hafer and Kotaku's Luke Plunkett about Total War: WARHAMMER II. The Warhammer train keeps on hammerin' as the dark elves, Skaven, and other grimdark beings storm across the battlefields in the Total War engine once again. This sequel comes hot on the heels of the original game and improves it in many ways, but is it worth picking up? Tune in to find out.

Total War: WARHAMMER II

 

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I just thought I would mention this... do you think perhaps you find the battlefield uncontrollable simply because you have too many units on the screen at once?

 

I played tabletop warhammer, and even in a turn based game, I remember thinking  that I didn't want more than 10 units on the battlefield, simply because they were too tough to come up with proper planning. I have also heard (no idea if this is true), that people can't really deal well with more than 10 units at a time, so tend to just group them into a bunch of homogenous guys who do the same stuff (which warhammer is terrible at: if you just select 5 units and right click somewhere, it turns into a disaster). I am not aware of any tabletop game that has more than 10 maneuver elements as a matter of course.

 

The multiplayer is balanced around most factions having well under 20 units. 15 is more normal, I would say. also, I watch turin (one of the highest skill youtubers for the game), and he charges his main infantry line... by individually clicking every infantry unit and giving them individual charge icons. And he's one of the best players with the tightest controls I have seen so far. Who has not figured out how to make a line of 6 guys charge into an enemy line of 6 guys without clicking at least 12 times.

 

then you get thrown into campaign, which is really the introductory experience, and you get thrown into battles where the smallest viable army is 20 units and 40 man double stacks are not uncommon, especially on higher difficulties.

 

Maybe your problems are not really that the formations are bad, or that it's too fast paced. Maybe the scale of the campaign battle is wrong. Individual units don't turn into a giant disaster.

 

I constantly thought, while playing the campaign, that what I really wanted was a series of 10 units on 10 unit battles. I got a couple rebellions that were on that scale, and I felt like that was by far the best part of the campaign for me. And that would also prevent archer spam from ruling (much harder to protect them), which would in turn make elite infantry much better, because there wouldn't be the giant gun lines to rout them before they even reached melee.

 

 

Also, a side note. for the dark elves, slaves are a huge deal and very viable, but you have to do the math in your head to realize it. 

 

Slave capacity of naggarond: 10,000, give or take. I think it's actually 12000+, once upgraded. 

Slave buildings possible: 3, for 35 income per 100 slaves. (10+10+15). 10,000 slaves is 100 groups of 100. 100*35= 3500. 

 

That's 3.5k gold, per turn, in one province alone, with no technology upgrades, no lord skills, and no black roads of Naggarond.  And there are a LOT of slave techs and skills in the game. Not to mention morathi's starting province (who malekith can of course conquer), gives her something like +100% income from buildings. I hear that you can easily get that province kicking out 5 figures of income alone.

 

What does the dark elf economy building produce? I don't even remember... 375? maybe 500? So slaves are double the income and change, easily? and you can build those in the same provinces as your slave provinces anyways?

 

Slaves ARE the dark elf economy. Which is why I felt like the dark elf campaign mechanic was the best one: the dark elf mechanic is "you want to build up your own home and turtle, but you also want to fight, all the time, constantly, and you want to be surrounded by enemies". They love it when the chaos hordes (in the vortex campaign, didn't play mortal empires) come knocking... it revitalizes their economy. High elves are just annoyed. And given that it's a war game where 90% of your income is going into army upkeep, making your armies useful and rewarding is pretty good in a campaign.

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One minor thing that is noticeable better is music - not that the previous games had bad ones, but here you can notice much better tracks, many of them with a very LORT inspiration or chorus (or even some lyrics?).

 

On the subject of factions, I would agree that the Lizardman geomantic web is the less noticeable, but their armies are a lot fun to play - even the feral version of most their dinosaurs units are deadly, specially against skaven (I see that myself, when I attacked a single stack of lizardman with two skaven stacks - let me tell you, four feral units caused my massed Skaven force to scatter to four corners). The High Elves (much like the Dark Elves) armies are very fun to play and their units are the most visual impressive. The High Elves strategic ability is ok, I see the AI use it against me twice. The Dark Elves on the other hand, have this several minor abilities aside for the ones which you guys covered, there is also "surname" stuff (which you can give to agent or lords(?) when they reach a certain level). By last, the Skaven are very good to play too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I went back to listen to this old episode and it looks like it was taken down.

 

i have gotten into a big warhammer two mood lately.  I wanted to hear what you originally thought about it. 

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On 3/11/2020 at 9:35 PM, Tdoggs said:

I went back to listen to this old episode and it looks like it was taken down.

 

i have gotten into a big warhammer two mood lately.  I wanted to hear what you originally thought about it. 


The episode seems to work for me.  Both listening from the website and downloading the MP3.

3MA content seems to have a slowed down quite a bit lately though-

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