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New Battle Mechanics

We’ve so far talked a lot about the changes you can expect to see in the Grand Campaign of Thrones of Britannia. Today, it’s all about Battle. Here are our top 5 changes that you can look forward to trying out on the battlefield.

  1. Sheild-based warfare

This is the era of the shield wall. It’s the tactic with which Alfred beat the Great Viking Army at the battle of Edington, and remained predominant across battlefields of the era. To reflect this style of warfare, we’ve reduced the distance between soldiers in many units, with dense blocks of tightly-packed soldiers. We’ve also reduced infantry charge distances, as the short, sharp clashing of swords and shields makes combat feel faithful to this intimately intense combat style.

To complement this, all units with shields now have the Charge Reflect attribute, which means that if they’re stationary and braced when charged by cavalry, the horses will refuse the charge. You’ll see them rear up before slowly advancing into close-quarters combat, negating any bonuses from impact. Of course, this means you’ll have to be very choosy about where to point your cavalry – either at unshielded targets, or maneuvering them into positions where they can play hammer to your shield-wall’s anvil.

 

  1. Cavalry combat

Cavalry versus cavalry is a different ball-game. We’ve actually increased cavalry spacing in Thrones of Brittania, which promotes more realistic cavalry combat, as horses pass through gaps in the opposing unit and cycle round to clash again.

 

  1. Critical hits

Thrones will introduce a new critical hit chance for Battle that reproduces the ‘arrow in the eye’ effect. Now, impacts from both melee and missile attacks have a chance of dealing a critical blow, delivering 10 times their usual damage. This means you’ll now see the occasional solder buckle to the ground when charged or under a hail of arrows, as he’s dispatched by a particularly vicious blow.

 

  1. Unit modes

Guard mode makes a welcome return for Thrones, and maintains the functionality that makes it ideal for holding ground and not pursuing routers. As a small quality of life improvement, we’re also adding optional default settings for various unit states. So, you can now define Guard Mode, Skirmish Mode, Always-Run and  Group-Locking as on or off by default.

 

  1. New Settlement maps/Improved AI

A whole host of new maps have been made for Thrones of Britannia, including a lot less 'hard collisions' and a lot more 'soft collisions', meaning armies will be able to move through towns much more fluidly and fighting in the streets will be less confined to narrow corridors.

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The Character System

The Character system has been reworked for Thrones of Britannia, allowing you to progress with your characters in a way that makes sense to you

The Character system has been reworked for Thrones of Britannia, allowing you to progress with your characters in a way that makes sense to you, and not having traits and abilities locked through a skill tree. So, you could create a general who makes your men formidable fighters, that only a fool would meet in battle. Or you could create one who can range far and fast, striking enemy settlements and sacking them for all their worth. You can also do this for governors who can boost your income from the region they govern, and boost food output, extend siege holdout times and much more. All the skills can be leveled up five times for greater bonuses. And throughout this process all the skills are unlocked and can be selected allowing you to decide how you want your characters to progress.

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The Province System

Provinces have been made more influential, with key settlements within your regions that cannot defend themselves

Provinces have been made more influential, with key settlements within your regions that cannot defend themselves. If an enemy army invades your lands, they can take key strategic settlements such as, farms that supply your armies with food, when that is lost, and you do not have enough reserves, your men will begin to starve. Mines, that supply you with the coin to pay your armies, if men are not paid their swords are not yours. When you take one of these settlements you then take the surrounding lands with it, and you can garrison your troops inside, which will grant you replenishment from the local region. This now gives you the opportunity to (instead of having to siege your enemy and losing a lot of men) take away their coin and food, and watch as their army melts away.

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The Tech Tree

The tech tree is now less of a tree and more a series of branches

The tech tree is now less of a tree and more a series of branches. Still split into military and civic, there are several branches to go down, all of which are locked from the start of the game, and must be unlocked through completing pre-requisite conditions. From recruiting units, or sieging settlements, and so on. This gives you some objectives throughout your campaign, and shouldn’t be ignored or it’ll seriously impact your late game. These technologies will unlock new buildings, grant public order bonuses, raise the starting capacity of units, and upgrades to later game regiments.

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Unit Recruitment

Recruitment is not so simple. When recruiting a unit, you can select the army you want it in, and recruit it

Recruitment is not so simple. When recruiting a unit, you can select the army you want it in, and recruit it. However, it will not give you an entire unit, only a small band of men, which will replenish to a full unit over time. You can improve this by building granaries, souterrains, and arenas, all of which have replenishment multipliers. This changes the focus of unit construction, to unit replenishment and preservation, placing a much greater value on each unit, than in previous Total War games. It also prevents being able to recruit a huge army within one turn without a substantial amount of money.

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War Fervour

War is a balancing act, and your people will always want what they don’t have. When you’re at peace, and prospering, your people will want war and conquest. When you are at war for years on end, your people will want peace. This is a scale, and when the scale is balanced everything will be well, when it tips in one direction or another bonuses and penalties will come into play, and the further it tips the greater these will become. This scale places restrictions on your rule. You cannot sensibly march your men off to war if they do not want one. There is only one way of dealing with the wants of the people, give them what they want. But do the people understand the cost?

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Tomb Kings: Legendary Lords

Learn about the four Legendary Lords at your disposal when playing as the Tomb Kings.

Settra the Imperishable is the greatest of all of the Tomb Kings. In life, Settra saw the rise to greatness of Nehekhara, and has been awoken to find it all in ruins. His goal is to restore his great empire. Settra is the easiest King to start off with, with strong faction effects for growth and public order. He also starts with Tomb Guards equipped with halberds and a Khemrian Warsphinx.

Grand Hierophant Khatep was once the religious head of the mortuary cult. Khatep refused death but time has taken its toll on him, after being banished by Settra, Khatep would only be able to return when the mortuary cult could fulfil their promise to restore the golden age of the Nehekhara. Khatep is one of the hardest Kings to start off with, being banished far from the rest of the Tomb Kings and surrounded by enemies, support is hard to come by. Khatep starts with a Hierotitan and Carrions, with much stronger enemies nearby. The Exiles can live comfortably within the mountains, while also gaining canopic jars each turn without the need for character traits, they also have diplomatic issues with the Dark Elves that are their neighbors, but they can be rounded up with the movement bonus in all armies.

High Queen Khalida, was once a much loved and respected queen, struck down in her prime. Khalida has risen again to protect her home lands against the corruption of the vampires. Poison is one of Khalidas key weapons, as it courses through her. Khalida starts with a unit of Sepulchral Stalkers and Necropilis Knights. Khalida is joined by her famed archer legions with their bonus 20% ammunition throughout all of her armies. Khalida was greatly respected throughout all of the Nehekhara and as such she gains +20 to all diplomatic relations with all Tomb Kings.

Arkhan the Black was once a lieutenant of Nagash, greatly aiding the great necromancer in his rise to power. Arkhan is one of the hardest characters to play as he starts with an under developed settlement and strong enemies (Dwarfs) all around. Arkhan adopts vampiric units to his roster, enabling him to recruit some of the foulest beasts to his armies. He also has strong ties to the Vampire Counts with a +20 to diplomacy with them, and a -50 to all Tomb Kings. Arkhan also has a +10 magical reserve for all of his armies. Vampiric corruption does not affect the public order of his settlements and he starts with units of Crypt Ghouls and a Tomb Scorpion.

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Battle: Basic Tactics

This video will give you a feel for some of the basic tactics you can use on the battlefield in Total War: WARHAMMER II. 

This video will give you a feel for some of the basic tactics you can use on the battlefield in Total War: WARHAMMER II.

To move a unit in battle, left-click to select it, before right-clicking the location where you wish them to move to. In Total War: WARHAMMER 2, units in battle will charge towards a target by default. For more information, check out our battle keyboard and mouse controls video.

Missile units will fire-at-will automatically, meaning they fire at enemies in range as they see fit. However, constantly reloading and firing will both tire your troops and use up their ammunition quickly, but not necessarily wisely. You can leave this button enabled most of the time, unless you wish to specifically target a certain enemy unit. They will also have Skirmish Mode enabled, this means they will keep themselves at a safe distance from the enemy and not engage in melee. This is especially effective for missile cavalry, as their fast pace allows them to shoot the enemy and skirmish away before they can take any melee damage, and then fire another round.

Most units can hide in forests, meaning they can launch a surprise attack without the enemy knowing of their location. Hills and other terrain features that block the enemy’s line-of-sight can also be used to conceal units – an army, including your own, must have line-of-sight to an enemy in order for it to be visible. The best practice is to control high-ground to give you an overview of the battlefield.

Units fight most effectively against an enemy that is directly in front of them; troops will take more casualties and their leadership level will suffer when attacked in the flank or rear. To avoid being flanked, be sure to line up your infantry units in a strong line formation with their sides touching for protection and so that the enemy is unable to reach around behind.

Mounted troops such as cavalry are good for flanking due to their speed: charging them into the flank of an enemy will impart a big leadership shock, whereupon they can retreat and charge again.  However, mounted troops are vulnerable against spear weapons, so try to use them against massed infantry such as swordsmen or unprotected artillery.

If you have a strong infantry frontline, you can use this to contain the enemy as they attack you, keeping them in position with their backs open and vulnerable. Then, charge your mounted units into their rear, causing great casualty and lowering their leadership significantly. This is known as the “Hammer and Anvil” technique, where your infantry is the anvil and the cavalry the hammer.

Additional armies drawn into battle on the campaign map appear as reinforcements, and will emerge at the edge of the battlefield during the fighting. They take time to appear, so the army being reinforced is vulnerable for a short time until they join their ranks, so plan your fight accordingly!

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Battle: Keyboard and Mouse Controls

This video will teach you how to control the camera and give your units orders on the battle map.

This video will teach you how to control the camera and give your units orders on the battle map.

In battle you can select a single unit by left-clicking on it, or select multiple units by left-clicking and dragging a box around them. You can also hold down Ctrl when left-clicking to select multiple units individually. Units may also be selected by left-clicking their unit cards, seen on the bottom of the screen here.

To move the camera around the battle, use the WASD keys; you can hold down shift to move around a little faster. Use the Q and E keys to rotate and scroll the mousewheel to move up and down. Lastly, hold down the mousewheel and move the mouse to rotate the camera in any desired direction.

You can press ESC at any time to open the menu, which allows you to change the options or even concede the battle.

To order units into position, simply right-click where you want them to go. If you right-click and drag on the terrain, you can order selected units into more precise positions. Hold down spacebar when in battle to see unit destinations when they are moving.

Press Ctrl + A to select your entire army at once, and left-click away from your army to deselect any selected units. With multiple units selected, hold down both ALT and drag your cursor to order them to move together, whilst keeping their formation. You can press BACKSPACE to halt selected units at any time.

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Campaign: Keyboard and Mouse Controls

This video will help you maneuver around the campaign map effectively.

This video will help you maneuver around the campaign map effectively.

To move the camera about the campaign map, use the WASD keys or hold the middle mouse button and drag. You can select armies and settlements by left clicking and order selected armies to move or attack by right-clicking the destination or target.

To zoom in or out, scroll the mousewheel up and down, or by using the Z and X keys. If you scroll out far enough the strategic map will be displayed, showing the areas you have discovered. You can also rotate the camera with the Q and E keys.

When in the army or province overview panels, you can also click on the army or settlement to move your camera over to their location.

Lastly, press escape to access the game options, where you are able to save and load games, as well as access the options.

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Campaign: What the UI Is and Does

This video will show you how to use the user interface on the campaign map.

This video will show you how to use the user interface on the campaign map.

When you first enter the Eye of the Vortex campaign, you'll be faced with the campaign map. On the very top at the left are some buttons, the leftmost being the game menu. Here, we can save, load, or open the game options. The Advisor will appear from time to time to offer assistance to the player.

Next up are the help pages, if you find yourself stuck at any point, simply open them up and browse through the available topics. Any orange text you see in any of the panels or advisor text can be clicked to link to their respective help pages. We also have the spell browser which allows you to look through the various spells available in the game as well as the camera settings.

Moving to the right, on the central bar we have the treasury: this is the amount of funds available to your faction. To the right of that is your predicted income next turn, try to keep this in the green or you won’t be able to fund your armies!

Next to that we have each faction’s ritual currency indicator and ritual bar: ritual currency contains the knowledge and power required to conduct rituals. The races fighting for control of the Great Vortex each collect different types of ritual currency; the Skaven for example collect Warpstone. For more information on rituals check out our Eye of the Vortex campaign videos.

On the right here we have another small panel, press this plus button to open a minimap: you can click anywhere in here and your camera will pan over to that location.

Above that you will find drop-down lists of information relevant to your faction: your current missions and quests, important events, a list of your lords and heroes, a summary of provinces owned and discovered, and finally a list of other known factions. Click the next button to view the Faction Summary screen, which shows some information about the history and overall state of your faction On the bottom right here we have the end turn button, clicking this will end your current turn and progress the game. Be sure to attend to any notifications here before you can end your turn. You can see your current turn number just below.

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Battle: What the UI is and Does

In this video we'll explain how to use the user interface on the battle map.

In this video we'll explain how to use the user interface on the battle map.

When you enter a battle, this is the screen you will see. On the top left you have access to options, the help pages and the spell browser, much the same as the campaign UI. To access the game menu quickly, simply press ESC.

In the middle is your faction’s icon, the battle timer displaying how much time is left of the battle and the balance of power indicator, which shows the current relative strengths of allied and enemy forces.

To the right we have the radar map. This shows the position of allied and enemy units at a glance, while the tactical map shows a more in-depth overview of the battlefield. To access the tactical map, press tab and your camera will zoom out to give you a bird’s-eye view.

Above the radar map are the time controls, here you can speed up, pause or slow down time. You can also pause the battle by pressing P.

To the bottom left is a portrait of the unit you currently have selected. When a Lord or character with abilities is selected, they will appear on this panel.

Each unit in your army is represented on the battle interface by a Unit Card. These are shown on the bottom of the screen. The number of soldiers remaining in a unit are represented by their green bars, their level of experience by the number of chevrons and their remaining ammunition, if they fire any, by the brown bar just below the health. A Unit Card will flash red when it comes under attack and turn grey when that unit is routing. Other information indicated on a Unit Card includes whether the subject unit is moving, firing missile weapons or being fired upon.

Press I to toggle the unit details panel to see more detail about a selected unit.

The spells available to a wizard are shown on the Winds of Magic panel on the bottom right when the wizard is selected. The reserve of magic is represented by the blue bar to the right, and the current available power is represented by the large number in the porthole.

Armies may occasionally enter battle with army-wide abilities that are not tied to a Lord or an individual unit. You can browse and activate these from the Army Ability panel.

Hold down the spacebar to see a whole host of information. You can check any of these boxes on the right here to toggle various differences. When you have ordered a unit to move, you can see their target destination and the path they are taking when space is held.

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Battle: Unit Cards, Stats and Abilities

In this video we'll learn how to read unit cards, stats and abilities when reading into what your units are capable of.

In this video we'll learn how to read unit cards, stats and abilities when reading into what your units are capable of. The stat sheet of your units will give you a good idea of their strengths and weaknesses in combat:

The melee attack determines the chance of a successful hit upon the enemy when engaged – this skill can be improved by battle-hardened troops gaining experience through melee fighting. Similar to melee attack, the melee defence determines the chance of a unit being successfully hit by the enemy in melee. However, this only applies to melee and provides no protection from missiles!

Another important aspect of a unit's stat sheet is whether or not it has armour-piercing damage, which mostly ignores any armour the target may have. Armoured units can block damage from any source apart from armour piercing, so it’s best to send your armour-piercing troops against heavily-armoured enemies. However, armour-piercing units are generally heavier and attack at a slower rate, making them less efficient against poorly-armoured units.

Some of the more elite units can cause fear or terror in the enemy: fear will frighten all enemy units, reducing their leadership when nearby. These units are also immune to fear themselves.

Terror can cause a melee target to rout for a short period of time, and units that cause it are immune to both fear and terror.

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Battle: Unit Types, Strengths and Weaknesses

In this video we'll learn about the strengths and weaknesses of some of your units and how those can be applied against the enemy.

In this video we'll learn about the strengths and weaknesses of some of your units and how those can be applied against the enemy.

A unit’s strengths, weaknesses and capabilities depend on its type; each faction has a sizeable set of units to choose from. Units can be divided into seven approximate categories: infantry, mounted units, missile units, monsters and giants, flying units, wizards and artillery.

Many of the golden rules of ancient warfare apply: cavalry are thwarted by spear-wielding infantry, spear-wielding infantry suffer against swordsmen, swordsmen are vulnerable to archers, and archers are in trouble against cavalry. If you ever get stuck, try referring to this time-worn wisdom.

When building an army, aim to balance your elite high-tier units with enough protection from lower-tier, especially when playing as the Skaven, for example. The Skaven roster contains many elite, hard-hitting units which are slow and not very well armoured, so will need units of infantry to keep the enemy at bay.

Generally speaking, an army should have a frontline composed of infantry such as swordsmen or spearmen, with a few cavalry units to the sides to protect them from flanked attacks.

Behind the frontline, try placing some missile units such as archers, so that they may open fire upon the enemy but are not left vulnerable and exposed. Missile units are generally less armoured than infantry, so will need some protection.

Behind that, if you have any, place some artillery such as catapults or canons at the very back of your formation. Artillery units are extremely slow and cannot run, so are vulnerable to being wiped out by the enemy as they struggle to rout. However, they do have a very long range, so don’t need to be as near to the enemy as missile units. Keep in mind that the further the enemy is from them, the lower their accuracy!

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Battle: Siege Battles

In this video we will learn how to attack and defend settlements on the campaign map and how to enact those siege battles on the battle map.

In this video we will learn how to attack and defend settlements on the campaign map and how to enact those siege battles on the battle map.

An army may lay siege to an enemy settlement over many turns, surrounding it in attempt to starve out the besieged defenders. Those inside must either sally forth, or seek outside help to avoid starvation or defeat.

To lay siege a settlement, simply attack with a selected army by right-clicking on it: this will bring up the Siege panel. The skull and cross bones emblem will show you how many turns until the settlement’s garrison’s supplies run out and they start to starve, and the hourglass icon shows how many turns remain until they surrender. Press the crossed swords button at the bottom to surround the settlement and begin the siege.

Some settlements are fortified, such as province capitals, and siege weapons are usually needed by the attacker to reduce any fortifications. These can be constructed on the siege panel, and are represented by the two building icons under 'available siege equipment'.

There's the battering ram, used for breaking down gates, and the siege tower which will protect any units attempting to climb an enemy wall. A siege equipment’s cost is displayed underneath, and costs labour force to build. Some pieces of equipment will take multiple turns to build due to the amount of labour force you can exert each turn. The total amount of labour force is governed by the size of your army. Click on a siege equipment icon to add it to the construction queue: this will show you how many turns remain until each piece is built. When you are happy with your construction queue, click the Continue Siege button on the bottom to return to the campaign map. Artillery and monsters can also be used to attack fortifications, such as the stegadon, which has the Siege Attacker ability shown on their unit info panel.

During battle, the defender may station units on the walls to defend them, and direct the fire of their wall towers against the enemy. To fire a controlled tower, left-click on the icon above the tower, and right-click on the desired enemy target. To climb the walls and face the enemy as the attacker, selected infantry can be instructed to scale the fortifications either unprotected and much slower with ladders, or with a siege tower defending them from attack if you have constructed any.

Siege weapons are manned by infantry or missile units, who are then able to push them towards the enemy walls; instruct them to attack a section of fortification by right-clicking. A selected infantry or missile unit can be ordered to pick up siege equipment by right-clicking on it, or drop it by clicking on the Drop Siege Equipment button at the bottom of the UI.

Watch out, defenders may target siege weapons with missiles to attempt to destroy them before they reach the walls!

The goal of the attacking army in a siege battle is to kill all the defenders or force them to retreat, or capture the control point located in the centre of the fortress by placing units in the square box around the point itself. The attacking forces will need to hold this point for a specific amount of time, conquering the fortress.

There are also control points located on top of the gates, if there are no defending units nearby and you have placed attacking units on top of these points, the gates will be captured. This will allow easy access for your attacking troops to enter the fortifications.

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Battle: Deployment and Battle Terrain

In this video we'll learn about the best ways to set up your armies for battle and how the terrain can affect their performance in combat.

In this video we'll learn about the best ways to set up your armies for battle and how the terrain can affect their performance in combat.

Under the Lord, armies are subdivided into units. Orders in battle are issued to units, not individual troops. Select multiple units by left-clicking and dragging a box around them - this allows you to re-position them or command multiple orders at once.

The first step of a battle is deployment: you must position your units within the designated deployment zone, shown in game as a yellow, glowing border. The enemy's is shown in red. When the deployment phase is finished, the battle will begin. Survey the terrain around before deploying your units to use it to your advantage, such as hills, as units with the high ground possess a significant advantage when fighting on sloped terrain.

If there are hills or areas of high elevation, the best practice is to position your missile units on top: this will give them a height advantage which increases their range and allows them to shoot over your melee units, preventing them from being obstructed. Watch out for obstacles! If your missile or artillery units are obstructed by an obstacle, they won’t be able to shoot at the enemy. Try to avoid these areas and keep your units as far from them as possible.

Units moving through shallow water receive a serious penalty to their movement speed, as well as their overall effectiveness in combat – imagine how hard it would be to brandish a sword while wading through a swamp. This doesn’t apply to giants of course, as they can simply stomp their way through. In the same vein, you can use these areas for a significant advantage: order your melee units next to the water with your missile units behind. They will be able to shoot at the slower-moving enemy whilst your melee units pick the stragglers off.

Hills, mountains, rivers and forests can be used to conceal troops from an enemy as an army must have line-of-sight of an opposing unit to see it. However, most units can hide in forests, even within line-of-slight, as long as they are not moving quickly.  Forests are perfect for preparing ambushes on the enemy and long strips of trees can even be used to flank the unsuspecting foe.

The best practice for an army set up is to place your missile and artillery units towards the back and your infantry at the front, allowing them to protect the units behind. If you have any mounted units, place them near the sides of your formation to allow them easy access onto the battlefield when the fighting begins: they can be used to flank the enemy and attack them in the side or rear. Units receive a significant debuff when flanked, so try to flank the enemy wherever possible! Each infantry unit should cover the flank of the next to both protect and form an impenetrable line of defence.

Some units with the vanguard ability can deploy outside of the deployment zone, try hiding these in forests or behind obstacles in order to conceal them from the enemy. This is useful for ambushing foes when they least expect it and to disguise the true strength of your army.

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Battle: How to Use Lords and Heroes

In this video you'll learn about the mighty Heroes and Lords at your disposal in Total War: WARHAMMER II

In this video you'll learn about the mighty Heroes and Lords at your disposal in Total War: WARHAMMER II

Heroes and Lords can be recruited on their respective recruitment panels, located on the Province Overview panel. To raise an army, you first need a Lord, as what good is an army without a leader? Heroes are not available from Turn One of the campaign, but become unlocked when their specific building has been erected in a settlement; their building requirements are shown on the Hero Recruitment panel. Heroes and Lords can level up by gaining experience points, albeit a different process to Unit Experience, as well as acquiring new items, followers and banners.

Heroes can move independently of armies and can freely move into enemy territory. They are used to strengthen your armies or settlements, or to strike against enemy targets. For example, Skaven can recruit Assassins, which can be sent into enemy territory in attempt to sabotage an army or assassinate another Hero. Tooltips on the various Hero action buttons show more information about that action, including its chance at success. A Hero with more experience will have a higher success rate in actions!

Looking at a character in more detail allows us to see their current rank as well as how much experience is needed for them to rank up. Clicking on this icon brings up the Character Details panel. The leftmost section of this panel shows us character stats and effects which influence both the campaign and battle. Hover over any of these stats to learn more about them.

How many skill points a character currently has to spend are displayed in the top-right and can be used in exchange for unlocking the skills in the tree. Again, hover over the skills to learn what they do. Certain skills will even unlock mounts for the character.

Characters gain rank and items and develop traits as they perform successful actions. Clicking the magnifying glass button brings up the Details screen. Here we can see what the character currently has equipped as well as any traits or items the character may have obtained. We can also see their current location, as well as how much it is costing you per turn to upkeep their army.

Characters can gain magical items and banners from victory in battle: these can be equipped by selecting them down here. Banners can be equipped on the pre-battle screen onto specific units to provide them with various stat bonuses, attributes and abilities.

When going into battle, armies are led by a Lord who leads and encourages the troops. The Lord appears in battle as a single-person unit – Lords provide a leadership boost to nearby troops, improving their courage in battle. The area of a Lord’s leadership boost is shown as a blue circle when the cursor is placed over them. Try to protect your Lord in battle – they are your most important unit! Without them, troops are much more likely to rout and run away from the enemy.

Select your Lord to browse and activate their abilities – these are shown around the Unit Portrait panel on the left-hand side. To cast a spell, first left-click a spell button and then left-click a target; many spells may be overcast by left-clicking on the spell button a second time before casting. An overcast spells has a greater effect, but also a chance of being miscast and dealing damage to the caster, so use this warily.

When a spellcaster is selected, the spells available to them are shown on the Winds of Magic panel, on the bottom right.

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Campaign: Provinces and Settlements

This video will explain how territory is divvied up on the Campaign Map, how to manage said territory and the garrisons that protect your lands.

This video will explain how territory is divvied up on the Campaign Map, how to manage said territory and the garrisons that protect your lands.

Territory on the Campaign Map is divided into provinces, each province contains multiple settlements which can be attacked and controlled. Settlements are cities or ports on the map from which provinces are defended and controlled. Ownership of a settlement grants ownership of the territory around it. To attack a settlement, first select an army and then right-click on the desired target location.

To protect a settlement, the ruling faction may position an army inside to defend it from attack; settlements also produce their own garrison army which will automatically defend it when attacked. These armies have no upkeep cost, but can be depleted by repeated battles.

Although a faction may expand and capture any settlement, some are located in climates unsuitable for your faction to colonise, causing slower growth and a variety of other penalties. Plan your expansions accordingly! Around an army or settlement is a zone of control: enemies cannot pass through these, except to attack the owner. This can come in useful when protecting a settlement, placing an army at a potential pathway to it would force any would-be attacker to engage the army first.

Buildings may be constructed within a settlement by the faction that controls it to boost its production capabilities or defences – construction and repair options may be browsed on the Province Overview panel. For more information on buildings and their uses, check out our video on buildings in the campaign.

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Campaign: How Turns Work

This video will touch on how turns on the campaign map work and how to navigate them.

This video will touch on how turns on the campaign map work and how to navigate them.

Time is advanced in the form of turns in the campaign map, click the End Turn button to progress the game onwards. Once your turn has ended, other factions will take their own turns in which they can move armies and recruit units, etc. The number of your current turn can be seen on the bottom right, underneath the End Turn button. The game will automatically save each turn and can be saved manually during your turn, except on Legendary difficulty, so choose wisely! If you decide to load up an old save, simply go to the game options from either the main menu or within a campaign. This is useful if you make a tactical error and want to try again. To take it one step further, simply press CTRL + S within a campaign game to quickly save, or CTRL + L to quickly load the last saved game.

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Campaign: Public Order, Taxes and Corruption

In this video we'll be showing how public order affects your provinces and how you can keep it under control to avoid rebellions.

In this video we'll be showing how public order affects your provinces and how you can keep it under control to avoid rebellions.

Clicking on a settlement opens the province overview panel: on the left of which, is all the information about the owned settlements in full.
Checking the box titled Tax Province will provide your faction with increased income, but also negatively effect the public order. Hovering over Income will show you what buildings in your settlements are providing you with money. Un-ticking this box increases the number next to the public order total. This number is the amount that public order will change by next turn. Hovering over this will show what is affecting this number.

Public order is a measurement of how happy or repressed the citizens are in a faction, if it reaches minus 100 the province will revolt. If this happens, a rebellion army will appear and, if left to gather strength, may attack nearby settlements. If a revolutionary army appears, do not hesitate to crush it!

Below public order is a measurement of Chaos, Vampiric or Skaven corruption in a province; excessive corruption can lead to unrest and attrition, and even an eventual uprising if left unchecked. Corruption also effects public order; the lower the level of corruption, the higher the public order bonus will be. If public order drops too low in a corrupted province, then a Chaos, Vampiric or Skaven uprising will occur in place of a standard revolt.

Factions can use Heroes, construct certain buildings or deploy Lords with certain skills or followers to combat corruption and raise public order in their provinces. Having an army garrisoned in one of your provinces will also work to suppress those rebelling against you and raise public order.

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Campaign: Technologies

In this video we'll briefly explain the technology screen in which you can upgrade the technical prowess of your armies.

In this video we'll briefly explain the technology screen in which you can upgrade the technical prowess of your armies.

Factions can research technologies over time. These bring a variety of civic and military benefits. To start research into a technology, open up the technology panel by clicking on the technology button in the bottom right panel. Only one technology can be researched at a time, and each lead to other technologies on this panel, much like a tree. Hover over a technology to reveal its tooltip to learn what benefits it will provide; some technology research options also unlock after the construction of specific buildings.

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Campaign: Diplomacy

In this video we will be discussing the intricacies of diplomacy and how to use the systems to your advantage.

In this video we will be discussing the intricacies of diplomacy and how to use the systems to your advantage.

To initiate negotiations with another faction, click on the diplomacy button at the bottom right of the campaign UI. Information about your faction is shown on the left; you can see your allies, enemies and trade partners as well as the resources you are currently trading. The central panel shows a list of known factions and your relations with them: the green colour represents that a faction is friendly towards you, the brown indicates relations are neutral and the red, hostile. If you hover your cursor over a faction you can see a list of things that have a positive and negative impact on your relations - useful to know if you would like to be on better terms with a faction!

You'll also be able to see their relative strength over them – the more yellow you see on the bar next to their strength rank, the stronger you are in comparison. You can also view the treaties that have already been signed between your faction and others and whether you are currently at war. The second-last column shows if trading is possible between your factions and if you are currently trading with one another, and lastly, we have the aforementioned attitude.

Click on a faction to move your camera over to their location or double-click to open negotiations. To add an offer or demand, just press the button at the top of the diplomacy section to see your options. The colour of the diplomacy icons here represents how likely the other party are to agree to the offer, green being high and red low.

Non-aggression pacts are the ideal first step in building friendly relations with another faction; a faction breaking a non-aggression pact will incur significant diplomatic penalties which make it less likely that other factions will trust them in future. Military access allows you to move through one another’s territory without any diplomatic penalty and defensive allies are sworn to protect each other if war is declared on one of them.

Military alliances are a stronger version of defensive ones and will replace the latter if signed. Military allies are under oath to support each other if attacked or attacking another Lord or Race, however significant diplomatic standing must be built up between the two before an alliance proposal is likely to succeed.

Lastly, if you are negotiating with another faction of the same Race, you may have the option to confederate – this means that their faction will be assimilated into your own, including their settlements and some of their armies. However, watch out as you will also inherit their armies and upkeep! For example, if they had minus 2000 gold per turn, your income will also decrease by that value. Confederating also incurs a significant penalty to public order, so make sure your faction can handle the hit before proceeding.

You can also ask a faction to break a treaty it has already agreed with another faction. You can demand or offer a payment either to extract money from another faction to make your own offer more desirable; using the arrows to adjust the amount you send. You can also offer a small, medium or generous gift to a faction to improve your standing with them. You can also ask them to join a war against a third-party, and lastly and perhaps most importantly your faction can declare war upon theirs! This will end any current agreements you have with their faction and may cost you your deals with other factions, as they will pick sides.

When you have decided your negotiation, its success rate will appear at the bottom of the panel. Try adding in an appealing monetary gift to sweeten the deal if it’s not looking likely to succeed.

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Campaign: Recruiting Armies

In this video we'll be showing you how to recruit new units to your armies and how to raise new armies to take the fight to multiple fronts.

In this video we'll be showing you how to recruit new units to your armies and how to raise new armies to take the fight to multiple fronts.

Recruitment takes time, costs money and the recruiting army must remain stationary whilst recruitment is taking place. To recruit new units to swell the ranks for an army, simply click the Recruit Units button at the bottom of the screen and a new panel will open. Depending on what military buildings you have constructed in your settlements, different and more advanced units will appear here – but watch where you choose to recruit! The local recruitment options show all units that are available in the local province. It will remain empty when not in controlled territory. The global recruitment pool is shared across all armies in a faction, even when in foreign territory! However, these units cost much more and take longer to recruit. Lastly, watch how many units you are recruiting at once: each unit requires an upkeep payment per turn, so make sure there’s enough in your treasury and predicted income.

If you would like, entirely new armies may be raised from the Recruit Lord panel to allow wars to be fought on multiple fronts. Recruit a new Lord to appoint them to lead the new military force, and then recruit units under them by the method we just mentioned.

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Campaign: Army Movement, Stances and Exploration

In this video we'll show you how to move your armies around the campaign map on both land and sea, and we'll be explaining how your army's stance can affect how they move.

In this video we'll show you how to move your armies around the campaign map on both land and sea, and we'll be explaining how your army's stance can affect how they move.

To move an army, or hero, simply select by left-clicking and then right-click on the desired destination. If the destination is further than the army can move in one turn, the movement will take place over multiple turns.

The distance a selected army or hero can move is displayed by a yellow highlighted boundary which can fluctuate depending on what stance an army is currently in. You can also see this amount represented in the bar on the bottom left of the screen as shown in the video. Around an army is a red zone of control: enemies cannot pass through these except to attack the owner.

Roads that cross the landscape usually provide the fastest and safest method of travel – some races have their own special movement abilities which allow them to cross impassable areas, such as the Skaven who use the Underway. These are called Stances and can be seen on the bottom left corner of the campaign screen when an army is selected. Armies can modify their movement, behaviour and abilities by adopting Stances. An army may raid enemy territory by entering the Raiding Stance; raiding brings in money and has detrimental effects on the target. Raiding in enemy territory causes unhappiness in the targeted province.

There are a variety of different terrain types on the map, some of which are dangerous and may inflict attritional casualties on armies passing through, so watch your step… Hostile terrain types such as snowy wastes, deep ocean, deserts and swamps are uncomfortable for travelling troops. Watch out – should a Skaven plague spread to an army, all units will suffer attritional casualties for the duration of the plague!

Unexplored areas of the campaign map are obscured by the Fog of War – this may be lifted by sending an army or hero to explore in that direction. However, High Elves may use espionage to lift the Fog of War over the territory of any factions they trade with.

Sea areas of the map may only be charted by boat, but armies must take time to construct and dismantle their ships as they transition between the land and water. Be careful, an army will not be able to move further on that turn when switching between, unless they move through a port. The oceans sometimes throw up chance encounters such as wrecked vessels or shifting islands. Armies at sea which are close to such encounters may be able to plunder them for rewards. Set sail for a treasure hunt, but watch out for storms that might also cause attrition!

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Campaign: Buildings

In this video we learn how buildings are built, maintained and how they can be used to grow your empire, recruit new armies and keep your populace happy or detained.

In this video we learn how buildings are built, maintained and how they can be used to grow your empire, recruit new armies and keep your populace happy or detained.

Buildings may be constructed within a settlement to boost its production capabilities or defences; they cost time and money to build, but grant a variety of benefits when completed which are shown on their icon tooltips. Buildings are constructed in slots: new slots are unlocked in a settlement when the central building is upgraded. Growth causes population surplus to accumulate in a province – this surplus can be spent on upgrading that central building to unlock new slots; this increases the settlement size. A settlement decreases in size when sacked or occupied.

Existing buildings can be upgraded to other buildings of the same type, but watch out for limitation in a settlement’s maximum level size! A building can only be upgraded to the level of the settlement building.

Buildings are usually specialised towards a specific purpose, such as unit recruitment or generating income. Military buildings specialise in allowing recruitment of new unit types, improving recruited units or in allowing more recruitment. Defensive buildings such as walls specialise in providing garrison units or improved fortifications. For more information on garrisons, check out our provinces and settlements video. Lastly, economic buildings generate taxes or produce resources, if available in the local province - these resources can then be traded with other factions for income.

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