Total War: Warhammer Faction Guide
Total War Warhammer is a difficult game to wrap your head around at first. Unless you are familiar with both Total War gameplay and Warhammer lore, the game has a steep learning curve for entry. Therefore, it is good to have a basic understanding of each faction and strategies for surviving the campaign. For that reason we’ve compiled this Warhammer faction guide to get you up and running.
This guide is strictly for the campaign game, as multiplayer strategies are considerably different. Having an entire army of one unit type or nothing but Lords simply won’t work in the campaign where you need to worry about the long term. With that in mind, here are some tips to make your introduction to the game less painful.
Cross Faction Tips
Some strategies are worth applying to all factions. These apply to empire construction and army maintenance. No matter which faction you choose, buildings should be constructed strategically. For example, if a structure has tier 4 or 5 upgrades, you should only build them in your capital because constructing those anywhere else will cause you to miss out on the final units or bonuses. The only exceptions to this rule are buildings for population or income growth. It never hurts to have more growth, and these buildings should be built in every non-capital city.
For all non-Chaos factions, build defensive structures in the settlements facing your enemy, especially those to the north. Defensive structures do more than add extra troops to the city garrison; they create a barrier that often keeps them from being overrun immediately. This delay gives you time to move your armies to respond. The added troops also help keep your military cost down as you don’t need a standing army in the area for defense. In the same vein, you should limit the size of your army when not at war. This means dismissing lesser units after large battles and recruiting new ones when you need them again. Do this for units you can create in one or two rounds, which is often more than enough time.
The Empire is by far the most balanced class which, oddly enough, makes them more difficult to start with. When you first start playing the game, you probably don’t know what kind of combat you’ll want to favor. Moreover, due to their building trees, it can be tough to create all of the units you want in the same region, making it more difficult to manage production in your empire. To streamline this, I would suggest basic unit and artillery to start. Build towards the Steam Tank as quickly as you can. The Demi Griff knights and Luminark of Hysh are both fantastic units, but they are also situational, expensive, and easily killed if a mistake is made. The Steam Tanks are expensive but hard to kill. They have great ranged damage, which means you can field fewer artillery units and they are also extremely dangerous in melee range. They are one of the best units in the game and will keep you alive while you figure out which strategy works best for your gameplay style.
The Empire specific mechanic is to appoint Lords to governmental positions, which grants static buffs to the Lords and their units. While buffs themselves are not fantastic, there is no downside to filling every slot you can.
You won’t be able to win over all the human kingdoms through diplomacy alone. Some will need to be conquered. When doing this, move east towards the Vampires. While the Vampires are a threat, Chaos is more dangerous. Leave the human factions to the North as a buffer between you and Chaos, weakening Chaos and allowing you more time to prepare. That might sound cowardly, but it works.
As many have suggested, the Dwarves are the easiest campaign to start with. The tech tree is linear, their military is defensive in spirit, and their map position means they have ample time to prepare for the armies of Chaos. That being said, if you don’t react to the orcs properly, they can create some serious issues in the early game.
The basic Dwarven strategy is the best offense is a good defense. This is partially because they are so good at it and partially because they move too slowly to out-flank most enemies. The Greenskins will come to you so you should let them. Focus on good missile and artillery units, along with hearty infantry. Put your ranged units on any elevated surface you can and let your infantry hold the enemy in place while they are shot. Against the orcs, focus all ranged attacks on Lords and Heroes and rely on the enemy losing the morale battle. If you can take out key units, the entire Greenskin army may fold, allowing you to win the battle with few losses. Because this strategy works so well, you can avoid more finicky units like the Gyro Copters. Dwarf units are expensive so keeping it simple is often the best long-term strategy.
More on the topic of expenses: use as little money as possible expanding your empire. Move into the Orc regions but let the other Dwarf Kingdoms join you through diplomacy. There is no point in fighting other Dwarfs, and the Vampires are unlikely to pose a real threat, so sit back and develop your economy. There is little use for the more expensive unit types, so you can spend that money on building upgrades. Turtling up works well because the dwarfs are so defensive and their tech tree and building upgrades can make your economy especially strong. Every turn you don’t spend cash can mean the difference of tens of thousands of coins. Use this money for upgrades and gifts, and you can rule a vast mountain kingdom without having to risk your best units. By the time Chaos shows up, if they even do, you’ll have tons of cash to raise multiple armies to wipe them out.
The Dwarfs unique mechanic is The Book of Grudges which acts as a log of every Lord and nation which has offended you. This list acts like optional side quests to seek out revenge and gain honor. The Greenskins are aggressive and will fill this book up quickly. Keep on them and the grudges will be a good source of secondary income, but if you ignore them for too long agitation will grow in the Dwarven population.
Click thru to page two for Greenskins, Vampire Counts and Warriors of Chaos…