It’s 1.30am, and I just realized I haven’t done my GW2 dailies yet.
I work tomorrow.
I started playing Total War: Warhammer at 7.30pm.
It’s got that addictive Civilization “one more turn” thing going.
I don’t actually know what I’m doing.
I wussed out and set it on easy difficulty, while I started the seldom attempted process these days of poring over game guides and tips online…. mostly at the moment trying to figure out the battle controls.
I’m sure it’s familiar for a Total War player.
For someone who keeps buying the various volumes of the franchise when it drops to 5 bucks and then never gets around to playing them, it’s a little less easy.
There’s something about the spectacle of fantasy warhammer battles that really makes me want to learn a fairly unfamiliar game genre/jargon/controls which all the previous historical battle sims couldn’t though.
Even when you’re on the losing end of a lost battle, it’s still entertaining to try your damnedest.
The dwarves attacked my barely defended minor settlement early on in the game. I had some 3 goblin spearmen and 2 basic orc boyz, against solid ranks of crossbow-wielding dwarves and some axe and pickaxe infantry.
It was totally hopeless, with no Ork boss to keep order and inspire leadership, I knew the units would keep breaking under heavy fire.
Still, the goal was to try and take out at least one unit before dying horribly. So I issued the orders to run to high ground, to run to forests… preferably before the dwarves got their missile units in range.
One unit of melee dwarves gamely turned our way while the rest marched on, following some oblivious directive of admittedly-cheaty easy AI.
T’was then I realized that the dwarves really have kinda short legs, and Total War must somehow simulate that through speed stats or whatever.
Because we were able to swarm and nearly overwhelm that faster group of dwarves before the rest of the army ponderously turned and jogged toward us…
…whereupon I sadly had to try and give the order to break away. Four units successfully ran, but one got caught by the incoming crossbow fire.
That was the beginning of the end. Suffering heavy casualties, that unit broke and routed, shaking the morale of the others.
I got them into the forests for a last stand (I have no idea if the terrain does anything, but it looked cool) and the poor remnants of the garrison were slaughtered.
Obviously, that slight cannot go unavenged.
(I’d probably make a good dwarf player too – I like turtling, being defensive, shooting things full of holes from a long distance away, having sturdy melee units, and boy, can I hold a grudge.
Also, the dwarves are freakin’ scary because they don’t seem to break and run at all. They fight to the very last dwarf, or something.)
I did eventually figure out the basics of Greenskin warfare, which appears to be produce a massive swarm of intimidating numbers, while raiding your arse off in order not to go broke and get stuck with one’s empire disintegrating from infighting around you.
Also, putting armies in close proximity with each other lets them reinforce and join the same battle. (Thanks, specific Total War trivia fact I had to learn.)
No kill like overkill. 5000 orcs against 400 dwarves. My kind of fight.
The mildly sad thing is that I still don’t really trust myself with the battle controls, so I end up auto-resolving most of the battles that are way in my favor… so as not to actually screw it up by bad tactical commanding on the battlefield.
My main battleforce is actually pretty buff now, after a whole bunch of combat.
A second faction of dwarves caught my group traveling through the tunnels (both dwarves and orcs can quick-travel using a special movement stance that ignores overland terrain, the downside is that armies can intercept each other and the losing team is wiped out completely.
These dwarves gambled… poorly.)
I guess they get xp and become veterans and such, and the lord and heroes are lavishly bedecked with all the loot I’ve ransacked from said battles. (And, of course, it’s on easy difficulty because first game, total war noob and all that.)
This was a rare opportunity to actually fight.
Again, a garrison defence.
A group of rather angry Empire decided to visit my nearest settlement, cos my two armies complete with attendant waargh NPC armies was busy raiding and pillaging through their territory.
(Greenskins aren’t allowed to capture human cities, so it’s either sack them and leave them in the hands of the owner or raze ’em to the ground. Far be it for me to destroy my rice bowl. I need that gold. I’s farmin ‘umies.)
Fortunately, said settlement was a little further along the tech tree by this time, and had a respectable garrison to protect itself.
Not overwhelming, but fairly even odds (with easy difficulty skewing things further in my favor, this was a good chance to actually practice -some- attempt at tactical play.)
I tried a tactic I read off the interweb. Place missile units in front, turn on skirmish mode, let them soften up the incoming enemy and then retreat through the ranks of the melee units. Who then charge when the groups are in range.
Even nicer, I outnumbered them and had some cavalry, so of course, flanking / pincer maneuver was attempted and the extra units ordered to charge in from the sides.
Freaking textbook victory.
The one thorn in my side was the Empire captain, who was tearing apart the orcs fighting him. Had to charge two or three units at him, and pepper him with arrows (for all I know, the friendly fire might have hurt me more) before he finally was unhorsed, and then broke and ran.
The other tip I read was to let the battle go on for a while to let your victorious army have a chance to cause more casualties to the losing party.
Also, it was just hilarious to watch the imagined humiliation of this “hero” legging it, while a hundred some orcs jogged after him, hacking away at him.
He had ridiculously high hp or armor though. It was going down little by little, but barely. So out of curiosity as to whether we could actually kill him, I let the battle continue.
The orcs chased him through a wood…
…providing this lovely screenshot.
Sadly, he made it to the edge of the map and escaped by the skin of his teeth, with a -sliver- of hp left.
It was such a satisfying battle summary screen though. Especially since -they- were the aggressor.
452 men enter.
26 walk out alive. (Ok, -ran- out.)
They did kill some orcs. Took ’em two men to take down one orc though.
And meh, there’s always plenty more orcs where they came from.
(Assuming the gold doesn’t run out. Gah, the gold. I think I spend half the game staring at the income bar on the top of the screen as a Greenskin, worrying about the lack of funds to pay the upkeep of the horde.)