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CA's Total War: The Celtic-Han-Lizardmen alliance that never was


Corvinus85
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On 3/3/2022 at 2:26 PM, The Winged Shadow said:

Kossars are the Lothern Sea Guard of WH3. Pretty OP. I still use them. Only now, fairly late game, i have started to phase few of them out for the gunners for AP damage. Specially for the settlement battles where i need the AP damage against armoured Ogres. Front line of Streltsi just shreds ogres. Bloody expensive units though. I feel like Ice Guards are still better as you can buff them more with traits and they are very good in melee (new Sisters of Avelorn/Shades essentially).

My campaign is still ongoing. Skrag will make a move for the portals again so i need to send Katarin to the forge ASAP. My two armies (bear stack with Boris and a "balanced" army of armoured kossar, normal kossar, Streltsi and little groms) are pushing in to ogre territory. Camapaign could end in the next two three turn depending on Skrag does. If he rushes the forge of souls next turn i am out of luck as Katarin is still a 2-3 turns away from the nearest rift. But if he doesn't I think I should be able to wipe him out before the rifts open again. 

My race with Cathay is going to be a lot tougher if the campaign makes it that far. I cockblocked Miao Ying last rift by taking the Tzeentch soul, but won't be able to do it again next rift. Plan is still to avoid war with her by closing all her portals haha

Katarin personally can actually get her ice Guard cheaper than kossars, and get their MD up to 60, making them reasonably tanky halberd infantry along with their shootiness. It's pretty great. 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Galactus said:

What. It does not take 2-3 hours. Like, 1 hour tops for me, and I've beaten it three times. 

Well here is Legend of Total War's video where it takes him 269 minutes (there is a time jump), but he does it by cheezing the game to obtain a massive pool of supplies so he can upgrade his units to the max. 

I didn't go that nuts and I completed the battle once in 77 minutes.

Edited by Corvinus85
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I have finally turned the Kislev campaign around and finished the final battle. I had to take a break for a few days as i was playing it way too much and started dreaming about it....:uhoh:

My final battle clocked at 30 min, but i expect it took me around an hour (lots of pause + commands). I guess if you don't want to lose any units it might be worth cheesing, but 2-3hr is not worth not losing a few units! I wasn't fully prepared for that last battle though, it was super rough. I am lucky that I chose my own choke points rather than rushing and defending the capture point area as that seemed like a total trap. I'd have gotten overrun if i tried to stay there. I took the standard Ice Guard + hero + couple of little grom and the last wave was rough. Sacrificed a few reinforcement unit so my units didn't get wiped and my 4 heroes and the lord were pretty much maxed out on regen and almost dead. Now that i know what to expect I can do it much better next time. My choke points weren't tower friendly so i did make life harder for myself! But it was a good final mission.

Probably going to start Slaneesh next.

 

Edited by The Winged Shadow
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Started a new campaign with Slaneesh and decided to build tall this time around. Got only one province but easily managed to get 3 souls. I peaced out with Khorne and the warrior of chaos faction in the starter area. I built my province around farming rebellions by constructing the buildings that give negative public order but increased income, paired with the economy building that gives double the gold when public order is below -50. Now my province rebels every 2 turn (more if i let the rebellion roll on a bit and get that +20 public order buff). Have so much time to do side stuff like treasure hunt etc.

Currently focusing on building a Cultist spam army for the last soul (Nurgle) as I was still running with Tier 1 units (demonettes/chaos furies/marauders) and the starter units (cav, chariot and mosntrous infantry unit). Got my ass kicked in the Khorne realm, so decided to upgrade my army before the last portal. So far, the Cultists on foot seem very tanky. Easy to get the melee defense up to 70+ so they rarely take damage. Keeping them on foot helps them fight together and harder to hit. They can summon up to 3 demonettes and 1 keeper of secrets each, which seems a bit crazy. Currently running a half stack army of just heroes, 2 keeper and 2 soul grinders so Nkari doesn't get focused by anti-large units. Not sure whether to get some low tier units for some auto resolve power or minor settlement battles (like furies to help take out towers). But since i rarely have settlement battles, it might be a non issue. But it feels wrong to not have a full stack.

I also found out pretty late in my campaign that your hero action on enemy armies marks them with gift of slaneesh which generates devotees. Now i have two dedicated heroes just assaulting every army in sight! I am generating stupid amount of devotees now, all of which is going toward building cultist capacity buildings in enemy territory. I wish I discovered this earlier, would've made use of the devotee army a lot more. I think I will summon a couple of devotee army to defend my home base and then go for sea treasures or something while waiting for the rifts.

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So I have been trying to maintain interest in the game, feel like I should follow it through and get good value until Immortal Empires comes out and fixes the game. I am getting some pretty low frame rates and the games starts to chug as my campaigns drag on.

I saw an interesting post on a total war forum, that maybe helps to explain some of the design decisions for WH3. Essentially CA have tried to address the big problem that most people have with Total War campaigns, which is that you can totally steam roll the game by just expanding, and by mid/late in the campaign you are so unstoppable that its just an end turn simulator.

It makes sense then that the Narrative campaigns in 3 tend to encourage you to turtle up a bit and not expand too much, and try to make sure there is always something to do throughout the campaign. I guess this is something they tried with the Vortex campaigns, but that wasn't really successful. 

I get why they want to fix that problem, it does seem like they just created a bigger problem instead.

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I am building tall this run and it feels more like an end turn simulator than when i built wide with Kislev. With big empires it takes forever to manage all the little things, turns take forever to complete. Now, I don't have anything to do between portals since i peaced out with everyone and I have to go out of my way to find enemies or find something else to do. And if i start wars, then portals just become a massive chore as you gotta go in with your main army.

I like that for the narrative campaign turtling up is an option. But the turn limit for portal is awful. Doesn't matter what you do, you need to wait for at least 4 portal openings, so that is like 120 turns or something? You just can't finish earlier if you chose to. And camping at forge of souls to deny others the victory was super boring on my Kislev run, since they didn't always come when you want them to so you end up staying there for 15 turns (and sometimes they no show, so you waste 15 turns....).

I think I went a bit too extreme with my one province this run. Ideally I should've gotten one or two more. But it did force me to an interesting play style and force some interesting mechanic (like the rebellion farm/negative public order economy). Next play through will be a 2-3 province play I think. While I enjoy expanding my empire, the portal closing is god awful and I never want to do that again in a narrative campaign.

edit: To be honest, I don't even see the late game as a problem. I mean, what do you expect? You max out on army and economy, so you SHOULD be OP. Otherwise you don't get a sense of progression, early game = mid game = late game. I don't see how you can make late game interesting. Even when your enemy AI is massive (Order tide or Dark elves for me usually) and taking them out is a challenge when they have strong end game army, it becomes a chore because it feels like you fight the same battle over and over and its not interesting anymore. Usually I lose interest mid/end game when I achieve short campaign victory. Nothing will change that I think. But that is fine because I then move onto another faction with different mechanics*.

*i lie, it's probably another lizardment campaign

 

Edited by The Winged Shadow
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New update coming early next month hopes to address many of the issues people are having with the campaign. 
https://www.totalwar.com/blog/dev-diary-1-1-20220318/

 

Quote

The Realm of Chaos has been one of the most prevalent discussion points amongst the community, and we’re using this update to implement several bug fixes and gameplay tweaks that change how it fits into the mechanics of the game. This includes several key changes:

  • The strength of the negative Realm traits has been reduced by roughly ~50%.
  • Daemon Legendary Lords will no longer be burdened by the negative traits of their respective patron god.
  • Traits gained in the Realm of Chaos will now be removed when a Legendary Lord completes the survival battle within that realm.
  • When a player intercepts an AI Lord at the Forge of Souls, their souls will now be lost—forcing them to restart their collection. This should make it easier to disrupt the Souls race.
  • The “Protection” building chain can now be used to prevent rifts from spawning in the province in which they’re built.
  • The rewards for gaining Souls have been improved by providing additional bonuses for a limited period of time.

These changes are intended to make the Souls race less urgent and give you the chance to approach the battlefield in different ways. We will, of course, continue to adjust the mechanics in the future, but look forward to seeing how these changes impact your experience as you jump in after 1.1.

 

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I don't think people had issue with the negative trait amount as much as the horrible gameplay of waiting for unknown number of turns at the province capital to remove it (or invest in a garbage building to increase the chance of removal). But I am glad they addressed both. Super happy about the rift spawning building as well!

Only issue at the moment is the interception mechanic. I hope they do the teleport/mission system like in Vortex to avoid the need to camp at the Forge.

In other news, my Slaneesh campaign has come to an end I think. I've won the souls race. Ended up going in with Nkari + Shadow sorceress + 12 cultist on foot + 4 soul grinders (badly needed some anti large in army). This time I camped out at the second holding point rather that the last area, which helped with filtering enemies through slowly and muuuuuuch better tower coverage. The last holding point has some of the stupidest tower positions ever (designed to infuriate!). I also ended up vassalling the ogres (traded them a tier 4 region......) and one empire faction (via domination) but both ended up causing more issues. My demon allies ended their defensive alliance because they didn't like the ogres and empire, people declared war on my vassal and i got dragged into it etc. Don't think it is worth the hassle unless for a themed run or something.

Overall, Slaneesh has some interesting mechanics and i enjoyed it a lot more once i got my head around the campaign mechanics. The army roster didn't suit me very well as i am terrible at micro so i didn't get to utilise the chariots/cavs as much. Next time I might try a more defensive setup, like an overlapping defensive line of demonettes/monstrous infantry and then just focus on cycle charging with chariots. I feel bad about not utilising chariots more as they were quite good, they had a lot of mass and just sliced through the lines really well. Now to figure out who to play next......

 

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All 4 Chaos God factions badly need a roster increase. They only have 14 units, I believe.

Right now the Ogres seem to be the most complete faction. Their roster is at 23 units and 3 heroes. But the Ogres are in dire need of the combined map. Playing just in sandbox mode with them would be fun. They are a disadvantage when in the Chaos Realms because a full stack army consumes a lot of meat.

I am glad of all the planned changes to the game.

Right now doing a Boris campaign. I have 2 souls, the same most others. I participated in the destruction of Goldtooth, but interesting the Followers of the Maw took over the souls race. I'm curious what will happen once the race for Kislev's dominance ends between the Ice Court and the Orthodoxy. I gave supporters to the Ice Court and they are going to win it.

Contrary to how the advisor tells you to advance your conquests, I went south and now control most of the Darklands and helped the Dwarfs that are in the Mountains of Mourn survive the Ogres' onslaughts. Zhao Ming smashed his way through the mountains from the other side. I am on friendly terms with all of the Cathay factions. Also allied with the Lizardmen standing faction that occupies the Dragon Isles.

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There are some major issues with Chariots right now anyway, especially l Slaneesh’s ones, where they barely kill anything. So I don’t think you missed much until that is fixed. Can’t say I approve of the cheesy tactic of all single entity army but I’ll let you off for now!

 

Agree with the unit roster point, we got a lot of factions on release but all the rosters feel really empty. Most chaos factions just have reskins of each other: Furies,  Forsaken and Spawn, as well as Soul Grinders which really bother me. It all feels a little disappointing, but I don’t know what other units appear in tabletop that weren’t included. 

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8 hours ago, Heartofice said:

There are some major issues with Chariots right now anyway, especially l Slaneesh’s ones, where they barely kill anything. So I don’t think you missed much until that is fixed. Can’t say I approve of the cheesy tactic of all single entity army but I’ll let you off for now!

That explains why my starter chariot experience wasn't great. I thought it was because it wasn't the tier 5 chariot, or i'm not microing it properly. I do love my single entity spams. Initially i was going for a couple of cultist for the summons, just to allow for some overloads in a 20v20 scenario, but they were just so tanky on foot! I didn't build the marauder building that gives the tier 2 whip marauders and the tier 1 marauders were melting so quick in battles that i had to update to tankier frontline. Demonettes are okay, but not for frontal charge. I was going to transition to exalted demonettes, but I couldn't resist trying out the cultist spam.

I am not too fussed about the unit roster as I know it will improve as dlcs and patches get released, same as WH2. I think there is enough unit variety that you can still make interesting armies. For Slaneesh I could've gone for a Cav focused army, Chariot focused army, Melee focused (small and monstrous mix or just one type). The range/arty options are limited, but that can get added later, or perhaps never due to the faction theme. There will no doubt be more heroes and lord types added. Slaneesh could really use some replenishment heroes. Or at least use devotees to improve replenishment. It's pretty bad otherwise.

Not sure how many more units they can add for each chaos god specific factions since they are so heavily flavoured. They all have a decent roster for their faction flavour.

Edited by The Winged Shadow
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14 hours ago, The Winged Shadow said:

Not sure how many more units they can add for each chaos god specific factions since they are so heavily flavoured. They all have a decent roster for their faction flavour.

Saw video from Great Book of Grudges on this very topic. He went though some of the options for tabletop units that haven’t been used yet for Chaos.

I can’t say it filled me with a ton of excitement to be honest. Each monogod has a handful of units they could get. Many of which felt like variations on Chaos Warriors, Chosen or Marauders, units you feel we should have already gotten. 
 

It might be that CA have to be more creative in future DLC to fill out the roster 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well I got 100 hrs with WH3 and I had my fill for now. I will wait for DLCs, but especially for the combined map. 

I have to say the amount of bad reviews and vitriol I'm seeing online for this game puzzles me. Could the game have been better? Absolutely. There do seem to be some performance issues, but I haven't encountered much. I think I had one game crash in the early days of the launch.

As to the gameplay and replayability, it's really no worse nor better than its two predecessors when they were launched. The Rift mechanic is annoying, but at least you can close them when they pop up. OTOH, the Vortex campaign really has a problem with spawning Chaos armies which you can't attack if you're not the ritual instigator. (and this after X updates and improvements)

WH3 certainly made some welcomed improvements, like the reinforcement mechanic, allied outposts and being able to borrow allied armies, and various quality of life improvements. The small settlement battles are alright. I think the defense towers are OP, and maybe they should do something about that. There is still some laziness to how siege battles were thought out.

The battles for the demon souls are my least favorite thing as they rely too much on fast clicking and they basically become tower defense games.

Should CA have done better? Of course. But it's really not the game for which to take out the pitchforks and torches.

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4 minutes ago, Corvinus85 said:

Should CA have done better? Of course. But it's really not the game for which to take out the pitchforks and torches.

I think a lot of the commentators on the game are mostly pissed off because the user base has dropped off so dramatically. Could be a lot of reasons, like Elden Ring coming out, but I think the problem is that the game has so little replayability, the rifts and Realm of Chaos mechanics are just not fun. 

There are all the other issues as well which I won't go in to. 

Is the game better than WH2 at release? Ummm.. I dunno, the vortex mechanic was not very fun but it didn't feel too oppressive, I could enjoy the game and mostly ignore it if I wanted. You don't get that option with RoC, it railroads you down one path and discourages you from doing anything else.

It still is an improvement on the last game in a lot of ways, it just feels quite unfinished and has a lot of problems. There is a general sense I feel that players are just waiting around for the 'real' game to arrive.

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45 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

It still is an improvement on the last game in a lot of ways, it just feels quite unfinished and has a lot of problems. There is a general sense I feel that players are just waiting around for the 'real' game to arrive.

Yes, I think everyone is just waiting for the gigantic combined map game. With added character and faction DLCs, that game will have huge replayability.

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1 minute ago, Corvinus85 said:

Yes, I think everyone is just waiting for the gigantic combined map game. With added character and faction DLCs, that game will have huge replayability.

I think the big pull is making the game more sandbox and giving players more freedom. That is the one thing I'm looking forward do. I love a lot of the cool new mechanics in the game for some factions, and I just can't wait to use them, right now its very focused on one thing.

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Dealing with endgame power creep is a perennial Total War problem. It became such an issue with Medieval that they put in the Roman Civil War mechanic, as undercooked as it was, in Rome, and the AI in Medieval II was programmed to ally together and attack you the larger your empire got. They've also taken increasingly strident steps in encouraging people to build smaller, more focused empires with much more specific victory conditions rather than painting the entire map in your colour (really starting in Empire).

I don't think it's a problem they've ever really cracked, or can crack, since making your empire start to collapse when it gets too big (following history) feels brutally unfair to the player who's achieved that success.

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3 hours ago, Werthead said:

Dealing with endgame power creep is a perennial Total War problem. It became such an issue with Medieval that they put in the Roman Civil War mechanic, as undercooked as it was, in Rome, and the AI in Medieval II was programmed to ally together and attack you the larger your empire got. They've also taken increasingly strident steps in encouraging people to build smaller, more focused empires with much more specific victory conditions rather than painting the entire map in your colour (really starting in Empire).

I don't think it's a problem they've ever really cracked, or can crack, since making your empire start to collapse when it gets too big (following history) feels brutally unfair to the player who's achieved that success.

Isn't that the issue with most strategy games? Essentially the player is put at a disadvantage at the beginning of the game but is able to understand the mechanics of the game to compound their small wins into a massive steamroller. I seem to remember that happening in most games I play, I'm thinking of Civilisation as one instance. 

I did think of something like Crusader Kings 3 where the issues you face are not always related to your ability build upon your previous success and things can fall apart quite quickly (outside of being able to just cheese the genetics system to create a lineage of godmen)

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2 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

Isn't that the issue with most strategy games? Essentially the player is put at a disadvantage at the beginning of the game but is able to understand the mechanics of the game to compound their small wins into a massive steamroller. I seem to remember that happening in most games I play, I'm thinking of Civilisation as one instance. 

I did think of something like Crusader Kings 3 where the issues you face are not always related to your ability build upon your previous success and things can fall apart quite quickly (outside of being able to just cheese the genetics system to create a lineage of godmen)

I think so, and I think at some point there is an acknowledgement that some of these games are power fantasies. People play them because they want to win and feel great, and if they want to make the game tougher they can up to a point (mods, difficulty levels). If you love Total War and have done for a long time, then the late game power creep problem is something you're used to by now.

Crusader Kings 3 and its ilk are more interested in building stories out of how things go wrong as much (if not much more entertainingly) than if they go right, which is a very different philosophy. It's harder to obviously "lose" a CK game than it is a Total War game.

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What I think something that CK3 does is allow you to play the same game at different scales, without it ultimately becoming too tedious and overwhelming, or easy.

So no matter how big your empire you can delegate enough decision making to the point where you are still doing the same stuff but not micromanaging everything. The challenge of the game doesn't tend to change as you move into the end game.

The issue something like Total War has is working out what the player should actually be doing in the mid to end game. Thats why stuff like the Vortex mechanic or RoC on paper seem like good ideas. They prevent you running out of stuff to do. It's just that it has been badly implemented and makes the rest of the game seem like a hinderance.

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