The newest Total War game is here. Total War: Warhammer 2 is the sequel to last year’s glorious fusion of The Creative Assembly’s strategy franchise with the Warhammer mythos, and continues the story that is anticipated to be a trilogy. As is often the case with these games, it is deep, complex, nuanced, vast, and entirely overwhelming and intimidating, even to franchise veterans, and especially for newcomers.

Which means that everyone needs some help with this game. There is no shame in that- and that’s where we come in, see? In this guide, we share some basic tips and tricks, a guide to base building, to the classes in the game, to fighting corruption, and to the kinds of units in the game. Let’s get started.

TIPS AND TRICKS

  • Let’s start with the basics- focus on the campaign first. It is an excellent way of coming to grips with the nuances and complexities in the game
  • Have a varied army- different kinds of units, so that you are equipped to handle a range of situations, terrains, and enemy responses
  • Build, build, build- a healthy military relies on a healthy economy, and a healthy economy relies on development. Continue to develop things in the grand campaign, so you have a vibrant economy that can sustain a military
  • Use terrain and the lay of your land to your advantage. Try gaining higher ground, or bottlenecking your enemy- anything that can swing the tide of the battle your way, or just give you an advantage
  • Don’t be afraid to spread your units apart. Not too far apart- you don’t want them isolated and outflanked. But having discrete formations that you can use to have a multi-front assault isn’t a bad thing.

BUILDING SETTLEMENTS

There is a nuanced city management game built into Total War. If you have played a grand strategy game, you know at least the basics- every turn, you can use resources to build buildings or units inside your cities and provinces, and these in turn fuel your economy you can use to expand further.

Expansion in Warhammer 2 is contingent on two resources: Gold, which you get from buildings, from looting enemy settlements, and simply as profit from a healthy economy, and population surplus. Population surplus is something that you gain at the end of each turn, and that you can then invest into either developing your existing settlement, or expanding outward. It is highly advised that you first invest in your existing settlement- build more buildings and resources so you generate more population surplus, which can make future expansion easier and faster.

Other things you want to look at is the technologies you are developing, since these directly influence your population surplus too, as well as your active commandments.

Once your capital city gains levels, you can expand with multiple kinds of settlements; you can have multiple provinces, each with their own capital city.

CORRUPTION AND HOW TO COUNTER IT

Corruption, as the name implies, is undesirable. If left unchecked, it reduces the social order of your provinces, which also reduces their military vitality. You can keep tabs on the current corruption levels in your provinces by checking them in your ‘My Provinces’ section.

There are four kinds of corruptions: No, Chaos, Vampire, or Skaven. You will always suffer from Corruption, unless you are the Cult of Pleasure, in which case Chaos Corruption benefits you, or the Skaven, in which case the Skaven Corruption obviously benefits you.

Countering Corruption is easy in theory, but hard to implement:

  • Station more Lords and Ladies in the affected Province to counter Corruption
  • Build more buildings in the affected province to bring it more under your control
  • Implement Orders and Commandments that can counter Corruption

CLASSES GUIDE

High Elves

  • High Elves get two routes to victory- take control of the Vortex, or gain control of 50 provinces. To gain control of a Vortex, you need to complete five Rituals
  • High Elves are rather defensive in terms of play
  • High Elves get Rites, which cost money and have cooldown timers, but which are hugely beneficial, because they grant you perks and bonuses such as helping with public order, control over a province, increased influence, and managing diplomatic relationships.
  • High Elves also gain full sight into any territory they trade with, which can be good to warn you of any suspicious military movements

Skaven

  • Skaven are highly aggressive- so understanding their units and their utility can be crucial.
  • There are two Skaven Lords- The Queek Headtaker has immense pushback and AoE abilities, making him perfect for crowd control and taking on other Lords; Lord Skrolk is magic focused, and can summon a horde of rats to be meat shields for your real army
  • Skave Slaves are meat shields- their dying has no influence whatsoever on your leadership. For late game infantry, Storm Vermin are what you want to go with
  • Plague Monks dish out massive damage, but have very low health, and so are susceptible to being picked off
  • Skaven Slave Slingers are the ranger archery units

Dark Elves

  • Dark Elves are the most powerful class currently
  • Assassins and Dark Lords are the best Lord units you can use for this class; Assassins fire slow but hit hard. On the other hand, Dark Lords just wreak havoc
  • Dreadspears are your basic grunt units- they die a lot, but their strength is in their numbers and the fact that they are expendable
  • The Executioner is another cool unit- as the name implies, this one is utterly badass, and hugely effective on the battlefield
  • Harpies are excellent monsters that you should look into using during sieges
  • The War Hydra is the best that Dark Elves get- induce Terror, regenerate health, and spew fire. They are literally broken in terms of how powerful they are. Naturally, we recommend these.

Lizardmen

  • Lizardmen have a very interesting division in military terms- there are the grunts (skinks) and the beasts (sauruses). What you want to try doing is getting your skinks deep into enemy lines. Skinks are cowardly and will try fleeing- this is a good thing. They detract enemy attention, spread them out, and leave enemy units open, and clear paths. Use this to your advantage
  • Lizardmen perhaps gain the most from building structures, since a lot of their abilities are augmented by buildings and structures.

UNITS

Okay, if you want to prevail militarily in Total War: Warhammer 2, you need to understand the kinds of units you will be handling, and what they do. That’s what this section of the guide covers:

  • Lord: The main ‘hero’ unit on the battlefield, and with devastating abilities. Lords can be of any kind- from melee to magic to more
  • Hero: Confusingly enough, you also get a Hero character. However, a Hero, while almost as powerful as a Lord, is not as important on the battlefield as a Lord can be
  • Wizard: Predictably enough, performs magic. Wizards can be used for crowd control, but it is good to dispatch a battalion to keep them safe and prevent them from dying
  • Monsters: Every faction gets monster units which can be devastating and are the most powerful units they gain access to.
  • Melee Infantry: Literally what it sounds like.
  • Missile Infantry: Ranged units. I shouldn’t have to tell you this.
  • Anti Large Infantry: Infantry units that get bonuses against cavalry, monsters, that kind of thing
  • Cavalry: Mounted units
  • Artillery: Engineered units