How Should Every Faction Change For Warhammer III? Part 3 (Norsca, Bretonnia, Wood Elves, WoC, and Beastmen)

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Preamble

Oh, God, I knew this day would come. I knew the day would come when I would have to take up the task of "fixing" Bretonnia, Warriors of Chaos, AND Beastmen, all on the same blog. After the relatively breezy time that was the last episode of this series, we now arrive at some of the worst factions in Warhammer II, at least from a campaign perspective. Luckily for me, some recent early-release footage of Warhammer III has all but confirmed a handful of suggestions I wrote down before publishing. Also, with additional news of Warhammer III drawing nigh, there's never been a better time to contemplate the state of Warhammer II! So, without further ado, let's jump into it!

For those of you who may have missed the previous entries in this series, here are some links:

Norsca

WHY ARE NORSCAN TROLLS STILL SHITTY POST GREENSKINS UPDATE?!
WHY ARE NORSCAN TROLLS STILL SHITTY POST GREENSKINS UPDATE?!

Current State: Meh

The underlying issue with Norsca is apparent right off the bat. As the last faction with only two Legendary Lords, their nation, in general, feels half complete. The good news is that Warhammer III is bound to make things better as the addition of Kislev and the Chaos Wastes will add in much-needed detail and action to Norsca's portion of the map. However, as things stand, Norsca is a bit of a one-trick pony, with most people sticking with Wulfrik and fat stacks of War Mammoth spam. Don't get me wrong, rocking everyone's favorite Chaos Viking is fun, but it becomes a bit formulaic after the third or fourth time. Also, if you enjoy playing as Throgg, I want you to drop a comment on this blog and tell me who hurt you. His campaign start is by far one of the most boring in the game, and his faction-wide buffs are appalling!

Change #1: Give Them Troll Country And Make Troll Units Not Shitty

Obviously, the first thing that needs to be done to make Norsca better is to give them a "complete roster." This, at least in my opinion, starts with them getting at least one more starting position and a new Legendary Lord. As the sub-title here suggests, I think this new starting position should be in Troll Country. I think the game does a poor job of conveying that the peninsula of Norsca contains two distinct cultures united by its support of Chaos. On one side, you have the Norscan Mainland dominated by Wulfrik the Wanderer and his mammoths. On the other side, you have Troll Country, which is teeming with angry Chaos monsters like Manticores, Dire Wolves, Drakes, Giants, and all sorts of nasty shit. Unfortunately, Troll Country currently isn't an available starting position, even for Throgg. Worse, because non-hero large units like trolls and ogres get ripped the fuck up by archer units, only Wulfrik's playstyle has any viability in the mid to late campaign.

Troll Country adds a lot to Norsca beyond a new starting position. First, Throt could be an early rival to whichever Norscan Legendary Lord starts there as Clan Moulder's "Hell Pit" resides there. Additionally, it forces Creative Assembly to give the faction a more diverse unit roster. That, in turn, will hopefully inspire them to fill in a lot of gaps on the Norscan Peninsula, which currently is just a bunch of uninhabited tundra. Also, to tie things back to my earlier hate of Throgg; why the fuck can't he recruit the new Greenskin troll units? The Greenskin update gave Goblins and Orcs a smattering of new troll units but left the roster for the one troll Legendary Lord completely untouched. I just... how does that make any sense? You can copy-paste them into Throgg's unit roster or palette swap them and turn them blue so you can call them frost trolls or some shit like that! The balance issues surrounding large mono units are still a "problem." However, that's going to be something we talk about more exhaustively with a different faction.

A lot of this is bound to change in the next game.
A lot of this is bound to change in the next game.

Change #2: More Start Positions & Direct At Least One Of Their Legendary Lords At Kislev

Again, in terms of making Norsca more "fun," the critical point moving forward is going to be Kislev. As things stand, Norsca spends what feels like an eternity confederating a bunch of autonomous tribes in the Chaos Wastes and the Norscan Pennisula before marching to lay siege on The Empire or Bretonnia. To this point, I think the easiest solution is the best one: let Wulfrik the Wanderer fuck up Kislev. All of his early pillaging targets and campaign objectives should point him towards Kislev. Other Norscan leaders from Warhammer lore like Beorg Bearstruck or Harald Hammerstorm can take up the old battleax, quite literally in Harald's case, of laying waste on The Empire. Wulfrik, on the other hand, is THE DUDE to lead a massive Viking raid against Kislev. Speaking of which, please, Creative Assembly, make pillaging as Norsca more fun. I should get more out of salting the earth as Norsca than a measly monument to Chaos.

Additionally, Norsca desperately needs more campaign objectives. Right now, your choices are to either side with Archaeon and play second-fiddle with the Warriors of Chaos or challenge Archaeon for the title of "Everchosen." Unless you find the idea of doing chores for WoC entertaining, this "choice" is a no-brainer. Unfortunately, there's not a lot to do after you become the Everchosen. You continue salting the earth, as was the case before, but now with more War Mammoth doomstacks because being the Everchosen gives you a 75% upkeep reduction. It is a very monotonous end-game and one reason I have only completed the Norscan campaign once. There are other balance changes that this point brings up as well. The berserk and rage abilities need to be changed to remain relevant well into the late game. Berserkers, in particular, have a recurring issue in that their unique buff is tricky to trigger. Likewise, I would prefer if Wulfrik had a new passive that allowed him to make all of his units rage or go berserk with the click of a button. Finally, and this is a point that will come up repeatedly in this episode, but Chaos Corruption needs to be "good."

Bretonnia

It's time to party like it is 1096 A.D.
It's time to party like it is 1096 A.D.

Current State: BAD (ABSOLUTE DOGSHIT IF YOU ARE PLAYING BORDELEAUX!)

I like Bretonnia. I don't know if it is because they remind me of the many hours I sunk into Medieval II: Total War, but I like playing as them. I enjoy ignoring the supply line mechanic and recruiting gobs of calvary units without a worry in the world. Additionally, the Grail Vow system is well done and adds a lot of "spice" into a medieval-themed Empire campaign. However, I know Bretonnia is not in a good place right now. I know this to be a fact because two out of their four Legendary Lords usually get eliminated by turn fifty in my campaigns. Their complete lack of siege equipment and gunpowder units makes them woefully ill-prepared for the late game. Finally, they have so many other factions gunning for them right off the bat. They have a TON of problems, and the sad thing is they likely aren't going to get anything in Warhammer III to help them deal with those problems.

Change #1: Let Them Go On Crusades Like Its Medieval II: Total War

This change is one I am amazed hasn't been added to the game already. Sure, some people are apt to point out that the Grail Vow system already allows Bretonnia to recruit massive stacks of peasants and knights with almost no upkeep. However, I think the addition of "Crusades" can address some of the gaps presented by the Grail Vows in their current form. For example, suppose Bretonnia hears that The Empire or Kislev are under siege by the Warriors of Chaos. In that case, they should be able to form a crusading army that can march through the lands of other nations without penalty and with zero upkeep. If you want to go one step further, have them be able to recruit Crusade-specific units that get better or more plentiful based on the overall population of their faction. Don't get me wrong, the "Errantry Battle" mechanic can stay, as it directs the player towards early goals. Nonetheless, a Crusade is more than a start-specific target; it is a call heard around the realm of Bretonnia. Also, The Lady should operate much like the Pope did in Medieval II: Total War. She should have a far more prominent role in guiding the various Bretonnian leaders, bestowing blessings and buffs to those who court her favor.

A Crusade mechanic addresses another issue I have with Bretonnia in general: their various lords don't interact with one another. Even with The Empire, you have the Imperial Authority mechanic, which leads to fun rivalries and one-off civil wars. Bretonnia, on the other hand, just contracts or grows based on how well things are going with Louen Leoncoeur. However, if a fellow Bretonnian faction leader is in a lost position, they should be able to request a Crusade against their attacker from their fellow countrymen. That is something the current questing mechanic in Warhammer II is severely lacking. As things stand, quests and Grail Vows just happen. They are not done with the support of other Grail Knights from around the realm, and the accomplishments of other factions go almost entirely unreported. Furthermore, Bretonnia could use a new sub-faction similar to Markus Wulfhart or Beastlord Rakarth. There should be a roving band of crusading knights led by Calard of Garamont or Bohemond Beastslayer ready to pounce on any excuse to kill Greenskins, Undead, or Skaven.

Royal Hippogryph Knights are still probably my favorite unit in Warhammer II
Royal Hippogryph Knights are still probably my favorite unit in Warhammer II

Change #2: Give Them The Paragon System From Total War Saga: Troy

One of the recurring criticisms directed at Bretonnia is that inevitably you have to recruit a lot of monotonous stacks of peasant units that cannot do shit. Part of this is due to Bretonnia's almost complete lack of siege equipment. Due to their cavalry-focused nature, you often tack on one Blessed Field Trebuchet in a stack of Grail Guardians or Hippogryph Knights just for the "Siege Attacker" ability. Or you can go the more common route of having a stack of peasants and trebuchets accompanying your cavalry units. The problem with either scenario is that your peasants and artillery units always get wrecked, and that's doubly so if you use "Auto-Resolve." Because Bretonnia's non-calvary units often are stuck in low-tier deadends, I think the Paragon System from Total War Saga: Troy would benefit them.

For those unfamiliar, the paragon system allows certain factions in Total War Troy to make regular units stronger through training. Paragon Units are not permanent recruitable resources and instead need to be made by the player every turn. Paragon units also have distinguishing features like visible captains and slightly altered uniforms. In Troy, there are two different versions of the paragon system. First, Diomedes needs to conquer land and territories before unlocking paragon units that can get trained for free. Second, Ajax challenges his paragon units to duels to train them in a particular type of combat. I like the idea of each Bretonnian Lord having their own way of teaching their peasants, and in fact, it connects nicely to the feudal undertones of the faction. Wouldn't it be cool if Bretonnian knights could recruit pages or squires? More importantly, regardless of the approach, both versions of the Paragon System in Troy allow regular units to gain stats that prevent them from getting whipped out when auto resolving battles. This is especially a problem with Bretonnia, as very often, even when you attempt to resolve a "gimmie" battle, your trebuchets or peasant archers are likely to get annihilated. And if a faction is primarily comprised of bullshit units, at least allow me to send them to school so they can roll with an advantage when auto resolving.

Change #3: Make Alberic d'Bordeleaux Not An Embarrassment

Don't get me wrong, +25% to trade income is "nice," but Alberic d'Bordeleaux is only marginally better than a generic lord. If it were not for Grimgor Ironhide or Tretch Craventail, I'd feel comfortable calling him the worst Legendary Lord in the game. His faction itself isn't in a good place either. If you allow the computer to control them, they usually get wiped out by Wulfrik. Also, one of their Prophetesses generic lord types is useless. They do not get the upkeep discount on high-tier cavalry units that different generic lord types get, which is incredibly important for Bretonnia because that's their whole gimmick.

Wood Elves

At least the Wood Elves have at least one Legendary Lord that is reasonably fun to play.
At least the Wood Elves have at least one Legendary Lord that is reasonably fun to play.

Current State: Okay

It's odd to say, but the Wood Elves in Warhammer II got weaker after their faction-specific update. The Sisters of Twilight and Drycha are fantastic additions. Still, in general, Wood Elves have become more challenging to play in the Mortal Empires campaign because the game has taken away two useful "cheats." The Amber mechanic, which could be cheesed to gain ridiculous amounts of money, got seriously nerfed. The same could be said about the Outpost mechanic, which, while overpowered before the most recent update, has been eviscerated. Likewise, the new forest health mechanic attached with every magical forest is fickle. However, much like Bretonnia, it is doubtful the Wood Elves will get any significant updates given that they have already gotten their due in Warhammer II.

Change #1: Figure Out What You Want Out Of The Amber And Outpost Mechanics

With the Wood Elves, we will immediately tackle the two elephants in the room: amber and outposts. As mentioned earlier, since "The Twisted and the Twilight" DLC, both mechanics are a shadow of their former selves. In the case of Outposts, I think Creative Assembly is better off ditching them entirely. Personally, I have nothing against the Wood Elves being a "build tall" faction that turtles only a handful of settlements surrounding and occupying the magical forests. In fact, the old version of the outpost system made them a bit too similar to their conquest and imperialistic cousins, the High Elves. If you feel like keeping the outpost system, it will make the most sense if they operate similarly to Pirate Coves. Sure, the Wood Elves NEED the Wildroots to explore the rest of the map, but their visibility makes them way too vulnerable to attackers. Opposing armies and factions should need to investigate to find Wildroots just as they do for Under Cities or Pirate Coves.

The amber system can stay so long as Creative Assembly updates it in several regards. Since the amber system debuted, Creative Assembly has been obsessed with making it weaker. Presently, the Wood Elves only use amber to research technology and to bestow faction-wide buffs. Additionally, the Wood Elves can only gain amber through healing a magical forest. That means the Wood Elves are hampered in terms of how much they are allowed to get out of their tech tree unless they deliberately lose magical forests so they can heal them for amber. The idea of attaching amber to research is fine, but only providing the player with one way to get amber is rough. It's especially wild because the Wood Elves can't make an immediate push from their starting settlements to get more resources. Either Creative Assembly allows players to farm amber like the good old days, or they force players into bottlenecks where they have to wait, turn-after-turn before they can upgrade even the most basic units. And I don't get why Creative Assembly gutted the Wood Elves' resource spam when the High Elves and their gold farming shenanigans remain untouched.

It will be
It will be "interesting" to see how CA attempt to add magical forests to the larger campaign map.

Change #2: Give Them A Faction-Specific Druidic Lore Of Magic

I want to preface this section by saying that I like Drycha and the Sisters of Twilight. Both play differently enough from Orion and Durthu that I think they can "hold the fort" until the next update for the Wood Elves ten years from now. However, I am disappointed that the most recent DLC did not add a new faction-specific lore of magic. Sure, the DLC added new Spellweaver units as well as a hero name Ariel, which all mix Dark and High magic into their unit roster. However, that does not change the fact they lack any lore distinct to them. Even the Beastmen have the "Lore of the Wild," and they're the Beastmen! I cannot imagine this is an oversight, but it is crazy that an old-world faction has no faction-specific lore of magic to distinguish it from any other race in the game. That's why I think the Wood Elves should get Druids.

I know Drycha and Durthu are pseudo-Druids in how they command animals and beasts to do their bidding. However, with a "Lore of Druids," spellcasters could summon magical animals much like the Skaven's "Menace Below" ability. Also, druidic magic has traditionally been about warping the environment and shapeshifting on top of summoning animals like Aquaman. Sure, some spells create rugged terrain for opposing enemies or a den of thorns that can deal damage. What I would be more interested in is being able to summon foliage or trees and using this plantlife as a cover or to conceal units. Likewise, I would love to see the Wood Elves get a hero or Legendary Lord who assumes increasingly powerful beast forms that tie into the wildlife they are protecting. I know everyone loves dragons and chimeras, but what about a druid unit that transforms into a ferocious bear or mountain lion? I think this fits with the overall theme of the Wood Elves and gives them something different to utilize in certain matchups.

Change #3: Add More Magical Forests

I'm not going to spend as much time talking about this point as I feel like it is a "given." There's a more significant discussion to be had about how much the Wood Elves should interact with Kislev or Grand Cathay and how much it makes sense in the scope of a grand campaign. I personally cannot think of a logical way to put a magic forest in the Choas Wastes. However, I would not put it past Creative Assembly to find a way. Additionally, based on what they end up doing with the Amber and Wildroot systems, the buffs for occupying Magic Forests need to change. Finally, the Wood Elves need at least some variety to their grand campaign win conditions. You could honestly say that about virtually every faction in the game. Still, given the Wood Elves' nature and play style, I hope Creative Assembly does not copy-paste the current win conditions for the Wood Elves from Warhammer II into III.

Warriors Of Chaos

Get fucked Warriors of Chaos!
Get fucked Warriors of Chaos!

Current State: REALLY FUCKING BAD!

Oh, dear God, what is there to say about the current state of Warriors of Chaos? Well, for one thing, the Chaos Invasion is a joke. Even when Creative Assembly announced they "buffed" the Chaos Invasion on Legendary difficulty in Warhammer II, people were defeating it within one battle within hours. From top to bottom, the faction is fundamentally broken. Their version of Warhammer II's horde system provides none of the upsides of being a horde but all of its downsides. Chaos Corruption is fucking awful. Sigvald is a terrible Legendary Lord who cannot reliably perform his job as a duelist. Simply put: they are a goddamn disaster. However, at least there's a light at the end of the tunnel. With Creative Assembly announcing each of the Chaos Gods are getting dedicated factions in Warhammer III, the Warriors of Chaos are bound to get some much-needed attention. Not only does Warhammer III appear to have an emphasis on Chaos, but if Creative Assembly do not address what makes Warriors of Chaos busted, then the mono Chaos God factions will be dead on arrival. Which, I think we can all agree, is not something they want to happen.

Change #1: MAKE CHAOS CORRUPTION NOT AWFUL!

This point is "the big one" when it comes to the Warriors of Chaos. As I have repeatedly hounded in this blog and previous entries of this series, Chaos Corruption sucks shit. Skaven and Vampiric Corruption beat it by a country mile, and in its current form, Chaos Corruption is a mild nuisance rather than a full-blown threat. Constructing monuments to the Chaos Gods after razing a settlement isn't as awesome as you'd hope. That's partly because of the way Chaos Corruption spreads in Warhammer II as well as the "debuff" it inflicts on Order-aligned characters. When it comes to spreading Chaos, the monuments are too easy to destroy. The hellspawn units the monuments spawn are a joke, and it doesn't help Warriors of Chaos have the weakest roster in the game. The debuff, on the other hand, is a whole different issue. Chaos inflicts the "Insane" debuff, which lowers a hero unit's melee defense by sixteen points, lowers public order by five points, BUT also increases said unit's weapon damage by TWENTY POINTS. THAT'S ALL CHAOS CORRUPTION DOES!

If Creative Assembly is going to put a more considerable emphasis on the Chaos Gods, then this whole mechanic needs to be torn down and replaced with something better. The first remedy I see is to allow Chaos monuments to get stronger the longer they remain active. Maybe even have the monuments become portals to the Chaos Realm that unleash more powerful hellspawn or can be used as fast travel points. That way, factions like The Empire, Bretonnia, Dwarfs, and eventually Kislev are forced to run around the map tending to Chaos rather than ignoring them entirely until the Chaos Invasion. This subject reminds me that we need to talk about the Chaos Invasion. The easiest solution I see here is that each Legendary Lord within Warriors of Chaos should immediately be vying for the title of "Everchosen," and they can call forth a Chaos Invasion upon being successful. To reward players for taking this task seriously, I think the strength of the Chaos Invasion should be primarily, though not entirely, contingent on how soon the player ascends to the title of Everchosen. If you stomp out every other competing Legendary Lord and WoC sub-faction by turn fifty, there should be a reward for that.

This simply needs to be better.
This simply needs to be better.

Change #2: Allow Them To Interact With The Realm of Chaos

Creative Assembly has been teasing the Realm of Chaos since Warhammer III's announcement, so let's talk about it. Warriors of Chaos are a horde faction, and their horde mechanics are awful. The need to camp and change stances to recruit new units is no fucking fun, but we will be discussing that with my section on Beastmen. However, with the introduction of the Chaos Gods, the Realm of Chaos is bound to have a presence. The way previous leaks seem to suggest is that the Chaos Gods have portions of this realm divided up and can develop colonies as any faction would on the campaign map. However, on the standard world map, the Chaos Gods still function like a horde allowing them to reap the benefits of being a "normal" faction while romping around like they are Genghis Khan. If that is indeed the case, then Warriors of Chaos should function the same. You cannot have an already completely compromised Chaos faction not have a cool thing that other Chaos factions are getting and expect players to continue wanting to play them. That's not going to happen.

I understand the prospect of Archaon or Be'lakor, whom we will talk about shortly, going toe-to-toe with the Chaos Gods rubs people the wrong way. But you know what? Fuck it! First, becoming the Everchosen is the same as becoming a Choas God. Second, suppose you hate the idea of Archaon beating up Khorne. How about we compromise and say Warriors of Chaos "unlock" the ability to enter the Realm of Chaos after a Legendary Lord of theirs becomes the Everchosen. Again, my thought process here is to incentivize players to treat unifying the faction as their initial priority and unleashing the nastiest possible Chaos Invasion as their second. Upon entering the Chaos Realm, if an Everchosen can pry away lands from Khorne, Tzeentch, Slaanesh, or Nurgle, the units they "unlock" for their Chaos Invasion change. For example, beating up Khorne allows the Everchosen to research or recruit better cavalry, whereas tackling Nurgle enables them to recruit plague priests or better artillery.

Change #3: Stop Fucking Around And Rename Them "Chaos Undivided!"

What are we even doing at this point? Everyone knows Warriors of Chaos are a broken half-baked faction that no one enjoys playing. Why has Creative Assembly allowed them to wallow in their filth for this long? First, let's talk about their current unit roster. It sucks. The emphasis on melee infantry is part of the reason why defeating the Chaos Invasion isn't that difficult of a task if you know what you are doing. To make matters worse, the units they can recruit through "Regiments of Renown" aren't that great. The fact Dragon Ogres, Mirror Guard, and Daemonspew are WORSE than normal Shaggoths, IS A PROBLEM! IT'S A BIG FUCKING PROBLEM!

Therefore, item number three on my plan is for Warriors of Chaos to become "Chaos Undivided" and for them to get better end-game units. To be honest, they need a more diverse unit roster regardless of where they are with the game's turn order, but they feel especially fragile while the rest of the world is developing doomstacks. Finally, give them Be'lakor. I don't understand why he wasn't added to Warhammer II when Warriors of Chaos needed him the most, but now is the time for his proper introduction. I can only imagine Sigvald will leave Warriors of Chaos to join Slaanesh's faction. Therefore, it seems appropriate to replace him with someone that is a better fit. Sarthorael the Everwatcher is already there, but he's likely to join Tzeentch. That would leave Warriors of Chaos with just Archaon and Kholek. So, not only would Be'lakor allow the faction to have more starting positions, but it would play up the sense of rivalry each Legendary Lord has when it comes to their separate claims to become Everchosen.

Beastmen

whelp... it's time to talk about everyone's favorite Warhammer II faction!
whelp... it's time to talk about everyone's favorite Warhammer II faction!

Current State: ABSOLUTE DOGSHIT AND EVERYONE KNOWS IT!

Seriously, everyone who plays Beastmen knows they are the worst faction in the game. I get they are surprisingly viable in multiplayer given their bum-rush nature, but they are an absolute tire fire in the grand campaign. It's so bad that multiple PC gaming publications have attempted to bring attention to the poor state of Beastmen in hopes that Creative Assembly will do something about it. Obviously, these efforts have proven to be fruitless. As they stand now, Beastmen are afflicted with a bit of a quadruple whammy of sorts:

  1. They are a Chaos-faction that relies on spreading Chaos Corruption which is comically underpowered in Warhammer II.
  2. They are a horde-based faction and cannot develop settlements.
  3. The unit roster for Beastmen feels half complete. They are in dire need of an update because they perpetually feel left behind.
  4. Beastmen rely on a TON of non-hero mono large units, which, as I mentioned earlier, get ripped the fuck up by artillery and ranged units.

So, I've already addressed how I would "fix" Chaos Corruption with my section on Warriors of Chaos. That leaves the other three issues "open" for redress. In all likelihood, I'm betting that Creative Assembly leaves Beastmen completely untouched until they are forced to do something when Warhammer III's Mortal Empires campaign is released. Until then, I guess there has to be one faction that's weaker than the others.

Change #1: Give Them The Horde System From Total War Saga: Troy

Yeah, yeah. I get this might seem like a cop-out, but I honestly feel like Penthesilea's Amazonian faction is the best a horde faction has ever felt or played in a Total War game. First, Penthesilea's "War Chain" is so much better than the "Camp Stance" system in Warhammer II. With Penthesilea in Troy, she has a build path directly connected towards improving her horde growth. Additionally, if you have a population suprlus, you don't have to worry about it going to waste as you can use it to further research into buildings or faction-wide buffs. Likewise, in Troy, you can research and develop your horde's stats and technology without harming your sense of flow on the campaign map. That is one of the primary issues I have with how hordes work in Warhammer II. With factions like the Beastmen, you pillage turn after turn and then spend turn after turn developing your stacks of units so they can at least tread water against other factions.

I also feel that Troy's horde faction does a far better job of directing the player into a recommended series of steps. For example, the Amazons are stuck with level one units until you pillage or raze a settlement. Additionally, there's no better feeling in Troy than when you sack a massive settlement as Penthesilea, upgrade your current units one or two levels, and then immediately attack a nearby army. It's honestly that seamless in Troy, and the fact Warhammer II has not borrowed this exact structure is utterly baffling. Finally, the Amazon's have a unique Battle Glory/Blood Oath system whenever they sack settlements. Depending on the level of the settlement you have sacked in Troy, you get different resources or currencies. More importantly, upon sacking or razing a settlement, the player chooses between buffing their besieging army or their entire faction. Obviously, faction-wide buffs are more expensive, but the army-specific buffs allow players to differentiate units under different lords. It's a great idea that would make Beastmen at least a bit more enjoyable to play.

Change #2: Give Them A Better WAAAGH! Mechanic, A More Complete Roster, And A New Lord

Alright, now I will engage in an admitted cop-out. I'm going to talk about three balance changes that the Beastmen need that don't warrant their own chapter. The first of these is pretty simple. The Beastmen essentially have the old Waaagh system, and it is THE WORST. It's infuriating to see brayherds and supporting armies go in the opposite direction you want them to go, and often you have to waste a turn for them to teleport where your armies reside on the map. All Creative Assembly needs to do is give the Beastmen the improved Waaagh system from the Greenskin update. That's honestly all they need to do. Equally simple is giving the Beastmen better mid to late-game units. Their limited roster is not a goddamn selling point even if Creative Assembly thinks it is one as they have so many holes in their metagame it is not even funny. They have precisely one archery unit and a single missile cavalry unit. Their one dedicated artillery unit, the Cygor, is so slow it doesn't play into the hit-and-run tactics of the Beastmen. It's the worst.

You might have noted that I also mentioned I think Beastmen demand at least one more Legendary Lord. So, I'm going to kill two birds with one stone. I think the next Legendary Lord for Beastmen should be Ungrol Four-Horn with Taurox The Brass Bull as a close second. I prefer Ungrol Four-Horn in part because he employs Chaos mutants which would allow him to use a mutation system similar to Clan Moulder. For Ungrol Four-Horn, different Chaos Mutants would unlock in their Regiments of Renown menu based on the dominant culture or race of the settlements they have sacked. This allows Ungrol Four-Horn potentially to have a gnarly army filled with dwarven and elven chaos mutants alongside other Beastmen standbys. You could also introduce "Gaves" or abandoned human mutants that have grudges against the human-based races. On the other hand, Taurox The Brass Bull, which would be the more orthodox option, is a psychotic minotaur who could field an army of bloodthirsty bull and ox-themed monstrosities. I'm not sure how much bovine-themed units would add in terms of gameplay variety, but at least they would look different.

You know things are bad when people aren't having a fun time even with your elite units.
You know things are bad when people aren't having a fun time even with your elite units.

Change #3: Make Them The Natural Enemies Of Wood Elves And Allow Them To Occupy Magical Forests

You know what? FUCK IT! Beastmen are FUCKING AWFUL! So, why not fundamentally change how they play in Warhammer III? There's no way you could make them WORSE! Here's what I imagine. One of the issues I have with Beastmen is how aimless their campaign feels. Yes, as a horde faction, the game provides a series of minor settlements, which eventually funnel you towards a major one. However, ask me what or who the de jure long-term target is for Beastmen, and I'd honestly struggle to come up with an answer. That is why Beastmen should start with a casus belli against the Wood Elves. The Wood Elves are the Order-aligned inverse of Beastmen, they both employ a similar battle tactic, and their diametrically opposed settlement systems should make this an exciting matchup. The Wood Elves turtle only a few settlements which makes them an easier target for Beastmen. And an "easy target" is what the Beastmen need right now.

Also, why not let Beastmen settle on the magical forests permanently? You could still have them function as a horde faction on the campaign map, but they should get something mechanically for razing Athel Loren or anything like it. Occupying a magical forest as Beastmen would function like occupying portions of the Realm of Chaos as WoC. You likely still want them to view most of the map as sites for monuments to Chaos. However, being able to occupy something, even if it does not function entirely like a settlement, allows Beastmen to spread Chaos Corruption at a steady clip. They can't do this currently because the monuments they erect after burning down a settlement are hilariously easy to destroy. I understand this "change" might sound extreme. However, given that the Chaos Gods are getting dedicated factions and Warriors of Chaos likely to get a buff in prep for Warhammer III, something radical needs to be done with Beastmen. Otherwise, why would I ever play as them when I could be rocking Blood Knights with Khorne?

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Mordred

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Awesome read.

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ZombiePie

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#3 ZombiePie  Staff

Now that the big Warhammer III event is basically over, I fell pretty good about my predictions for Warriors of Chaos. I talked it out with @arbitrarywaterfor a bit, but I feel like with the confirmation that the Realm of Chaos will be represented that they are going to play into the mono Chaos Gods. Also, Be'lakor has to be a given at this point.

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SeventyTwoTransformations

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Do people actually care about beastmen or is it a case of all the other factions got reworks so they should get one too? To me they have just never been that interesting to me but maybe the fact I dislike playing horde factions have something to do with it.

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GloveSlipper

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Another great write up! Such good analysis!

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ArbitraryWater

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@seventytwotransformations: FWIW I like the Beastmen in actual combat, given how much of their strategy revolves around winning in the initial rush. Malagor’s leadership debuffs make it extra fun when you win with a big stupid rout. But their campaign gameplay is booty, especially since they still have the broken, terrible version of the Waagh mechanic.

I do wonder if Creative Assembly considers a potential Beastmen rework too much of a resource sink versus the attach rate of the DLC. They’re the least played faction by a significant margin, and unlike the Wood Elves their roster is notably incomplete. Still, with WoC getting inevitably reworked as part of this third game I think it would... stick out in a really awkward way if the beasties were left untouched?

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El_Blarfo

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#7  Edited By El_Blarfo

@zombiepie said:

Also, Be'lakor has to be a given at this point

As a DLC or Free-LC lord post launch if nothing else.

Also, asking as a guy who only dips back into this game every few months or so, is there still one DLC to go for Warhammer 2, or am I crazy? I seem to recall folks speculating that it might include a Beastmen overhaul.