Total War: WARHAMMER III cataclysmic conclusion to the Total War: WARHAMMER trilogy is coming. Rally your forces and step into the Realm of Chaos, a dimension of mind-bending horror where the very fate of the world will be decided. Will you conquer your Daemons… or command them?
Total War Warhammer 3 Setting
The cataclysmic conclusion to the Total War: WARHAMMER trilogy is coming. Rally your forces and step into the Realm of Chaos, a dimension of mind-bending horror where the very fate of the world will be decided. Will you conquer your Daemons… or command them?
Far beyond the world and its petty wars there exists a dimension of pure, malevolent magic: The Realm of Chaos. It is a terrible place, incomprehensible to the mortal mind. It whispers promises of power, but to behold it is to be seduced by it. To relinquish your soul to it. To become it.
The four Ruinous Powers rule over this place, ever seeking to slip their bonds and engulf the world in a tide of daemonic corruption. Nurgle, the plague god; Slaanesh, the lord of excess; Tzeentch, the changer of ways; and Khorne, the god of blood and slaughter.
On the border between the worlds, two mighty kingdoms stand sentinel: the stern warriors of Kislev and the vast empire of Grand Cathay. But each is beset by its own trials, and now both have cause to cross the threshold and send their armies into the Realm of Chaos.
The world stands on a precipice. A single push will plunge it into cataclysm.
And there is one who schemes to achieve just that, an ancient figure who desires nothing less than to wield supreme power. But to succeed, he will need a champion…
The coming conflict will engulf all. Will you conquer your daemons? Or command them?
ASSAULT ON THE BRASS CITADEL
A survival battle is a new kind of narrative battle we’re designing specifically for Total War: WARHAMMER III. It’s an additional battle type and doesn’t replace any of the traditional battle types players are familiar with from the series.
These are rare and epic encounters – essentially the boss battles of WARAHMMER III – and they trigger as you reach key points in the game’s narrative.
The battle on show today pits Katarin the Ice Queen, one of the playable Legendary Lords of Kislev, against the massed forces of Khorne, and is set before the Brass Citadel, the Blood God’s stronghold, deep in his hellish realm.
Players must overcome wave after wave of daemonic entities and drive forward through the map to capture each victory point in turn, before facing Khorne’s champion – an Exalted Greater Daemon – in a final and desperate struggle.
Many of the foes you’ll face in this battle have reduced hitpoints compared to the those you encounter in other battles during a campaign. This enables us to create the spectacle of Daemons assaulting in plague numbers, while still giving the player a chance of success! If you notice that many lesser daemons seem to fall easily, this is the reason.
Survival Battles are hand-crafted encounters which are longer and more challenging than standard battles. Playtime for this battle is around 45 minutes. They also introduce a suite of new features and mechanics, which you’ll find outlined below.
Much of the gameplay in a survival battle is focussed around victory points. Capturing one grants you supply points, and activates a number of construction slots upon which you can erect offensive and defensive structures. Capturing a victory point also triggers a new wave of Daemons to enter the field, so any structures you build will help you defend the victory point and maintain your army cohesion as the wave of enemies rushes towards you.
Until you capture a victory point, it will grant a passive mapwide debuff to your forces, which is revealed by hovering the cursor over the victory point marker. Capturing it cancels this effect.
If Khorne’s forces retake a victory point you have captured, any structures you erected around it will be destroyed.
As you slay enemies and take victory points, you’ll be granted supplies. These can be spent in a number of ways to improve your fortunes during the battle.
Slaying enemies provides a constant drip-feed of supplies, while capturing a victory point gives you a large burst, which soon fades. This prompts the player to progress to the next point and its promise of fresh supplies. Supplies can be spent on the following activities.
When you capture a point, its attached construction slots will activate. The square slots enable you to build missile towers, while the rectangular slots enable you to build barriers. There are four types of each – hover the cursor over each type to compare them.
Missile towers will fire constantly at enemy forces as they approach and have infinite ammunition. They’re incredibly useful for weakening enemy forces on the approach.
Depending on their type, barricades can be used to provide a raised firing platform for your ranged units, debuff enemies that approach them, and block enemy pathways to funnel your foe into optimal positions. Depending on the situation, enemies may attempt to destroy your barricades.
These ‘tower defence’ style building elements enable you to turn the terrain surrounding each victory point to your tactical advantage.
Structures can be sold for a 50% supplies refund, or replaced by other types, which either refunds or costs you supplies according to the type.
Supplies can also be spent to improve your troops in a number of ways.
The replenishments menu allows you to improve the winds of magic which fuel Katarin’s spellcasting, speed up character ability cooldowns, and restore the health, stamina and ammo of your units.
The upgrades menu allows you to improve the melee weapon, armour, projectiles and shields of any unit you have selected.
Recruiting and Withdrawing Units
The recruitment menu allows you to call in fresh troops to the field. Each victory point you capture has a nearby portal which acts as the spawn point for any new recruits you request. You can define which portal troops spawn at by clicking on the icon above it.
The number and type of troops available to you expands with each victory point you take. So after capturing the first point, you’ll have access to a handful of core units. By the time you capture the third, you’ll be able to call in high-tier units, such as the monstrous Elemental Bear.
If a unit has become sufficiently depleted, it may be more cost-effective in supplies to withdraw it rather than use multiple replenishments on it. Selecting a unit and clicking the ‘teleport withdraw’ button will remove it from the field. It will return to the recruitment pool, replenish itself to full health, and may then be re-recruited to the battle.
THE LORE OF ICE
Katarin wields the Lore of Ice. This is a new lore which focuses on slowing and damaging enemy units, and buffing friendlies. Here’s a quick breakdown of the spells Katarin has available.
✔Crystal Sanctuary: An augment which provides massive damage resistance to friendly units while disabling movement for the duration.
✔Frost Blades: an augment which buffs weapon and AP weapons damage and Melee Attack for the duration.
✔Ice Maiden’s Kiss: A breath-spell which reduces movements speed and causes damage over time to enemy units.
✔Death Frost: A direct damage spell which causes massive damage over time
✔Ice sheet: Reduces the movement and charge speed of the target enemy unit.
✔Heart of Winter: a 4-phase DOT/AOE spell which causes increasing damage and movement speed reductions per-phase in the area of effect.
Guard the Rear!
Light enemy units will constantly feed into the rear of the map (near where your forces initially deployed). It’s therefore a good idea to keep the first victory point defended with perhaps some towers, barricades, and a small handful of defenders. This will prevent forces from attacking and slowing the progress of your advancing troops.
Bear in mind that losing a capture point to Khorne’s forces will destroy all attached missile towers and barricades, so check in on your rearguard from time to time.
It’s a micro-intensive tactic but using your faster cavalry units (eg Winged Lancers or Gryphon Legion riders) to aggro enemy units in an approaching wave and lead them astray is a good way to take the pressure off your main forces while defending a captured victory point. It’ll give your ranged units and missile towers time to whittle away at enemy units and, combined with any confounding routes you’ve created with barricades, this can seriously deplete Khorne’s forces before they reach melee range.
THE FINAL SHOWDOWN
Khorne’s champion is an Exalted Greater Daemon, who will arrive near the third and final victory point after you destroy the enemy wave triggered by its capture. He will appear among a great throng of lesser daemons in an attempt to destroy your forces.
The Exalted Greater Daemon has an enormous number of hit-points, and it will take sustained ranged, melee and spell attacks to topple him.
It’s good to try and tank him with some tougher units and keep him occupied while you whittle down the accompanying wave of Daemons. focussing everything you have on him too early will enable the final waves to overwhelm you. Balance your fire between the two, and focus fire on the boss when you’ve sufficiently reduced or neutralized other threats.