24

Method

September 7, 2022 by Tim

I love me some Total Warhammer, you know this.

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However it occurred to me yesterday, as I restarted my Ogre campaign from scratch, that I think I have restarted every campaign I have played in the franchise (at least in Mortal Empires/Immortal Empires; the “story” campaigns are usually small and straightforward enough that even if you fumble the early game, they’re over before it matters too much).

While the basic mechanics are roughly the same for any faction, they each have some unique mechanics that change the way they play in big ways. And then you add in the differing strengths and weaknesses of the units, you’re sort of learning all over again for each new race.

I’ve clocked in around 300 hours in the Total Warhammer franchise overall, which is a lot of hours in general, but also feels like barely scratching the surface of a game like this. I know some things, but I’m not at a place where I’ve memorized all of the kill traits for opposing Legendary Lords, or instantly know an enemy’s army composition/stats just by glancing across the field. I have not played every faction, and I haven’t graduated to playing on Legendary yet.

So in that regard, I guess I play a training campaign each time I start a new faction in Total Warhammer. Take Ogres for example. The game (and youtube videos) can TELL you that they use camps to set up bases anywhere you want instead of relying on captured provinces to build high tier structures, in a way that is wholly unique to the Ogre Kingdoms.

But it provides no applicable insight on where you want camps, when to build them up and when to use them as temporary support for your raiding armies, which buildings you want and in which order, etc.; the elements I can only start to dissect seeing it in action.

So it might be turn 60 before I realize “Oh wait, these units aren’t holding up, I should have phased them out/not upgraded them as much” or “Shit, I’ve built up/invested in this camp that would have been much better strategically placed over here.”

Usually around turn 120-140 I look at the (often messy) situation with the benefit of my newfound applied knowledge, and say “Well that was a good warmup, let’s do it for real now.” Fellow Total War players, am I alone here? I can’t think of any other game I do this with.

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Akanon
Akanon
25 days ago

That’s every strategy game for me 🙂 Although I usually do multiple starts in quick succession, sinc early game is usually the hardest, and optimizing it sets you up for a quick snowball

Singulativ
Singulativ
25 days ago

Total War: Medieval 2 was like that for me. It is a really special feeling to experience all of Total War a first time and struggling in the early game due to inexperience and later on realizing that you will have no chance in the late game and need to do the first part all over again.

Similiar experience was Civilization II for me. It took me forever to get the early/mid/late game right – and that was still on the easiest difficulty!

Nextgener
Nextgener
25 days ago

You do realize that’s essentially the entire mechanic of Rouglikes, right?

ltmarcos
ltmarcos
25 days ago
Reply to  Tim

Also most Rougelikes can be won or failed in an hour or 2, or even less in some games. To get to the 120 turn mark you have probably invested 10+ hours into a “run”

deep
deep
25 days ago
Reply to  ltmarcos
ltmarcos
ltmarcos
23 days ago
Reply to  deep

I feel dumb. Not sure how I missed that.

TomB
TomB
19 days ago
Reply to  ltmarcos

Rogue / Rouge seems to be a very common typo. And spell checkers won’t get it because both are words.

I’ve stumped a few players who’ve had the typo in their character description on some MMOs by asking:
“Does your character wear red?”
“No, black. Why?”
“Oh, no reason. Red just seemed more apropos.”

blake
blake
25 days ago

My housemate has played the exact same setup in Stellaris over and over for the last 2 years. The other day found him playing a new race and felt like I should splash him with holy water or something.

TomB
TomB
19 days ago
Reply to  blake

Two years? Not so hard to believe. I’ve played every game with a custom built race and there are soooo many variations and so many ways to interact with the other factions… I find though, as I have far more responsibilities than I did 20 years ago and somewhat less health and/or energy, real life in the non-electronic world wants enough of me that I can’t really afford to learn how to master a strategy game with depth anymore. I tend to set the difficulties down and just play to see things unfold for a while, but I don’t worry… Read more »

Curtis
Curtis
25 days ago

I do the same thing with most 4X games. Stellaris took me I don’t even know how many restarts before I actually understood what I’m doing. Same with civ4 back in the day.

DraconFW
DraconFW
25 days ago

I have wanted to get into a Total War Game, but they won’t give us a 40k game for some reason, and none of the other Total War games settings piques my interest. Warhammer is just Angry Warcraft (yes I know who came first but I found out about Warcraft first so nyeh!) and I’m fantasied out.

Taylan Ertan
Taylan Ertan
24 days ago
Reply to  DraconFW

I mean, Dawn of War is the closest you can have with 40k. Because 40k’s scale is literally galactic and that is not too fitting for Total War.

Magus
Magus
25 days ago

I only played Total War: Rome. Did the campaign (with a little help of a guide) and it went well. Then I took over Rome successfully. This turned the other two Roman factions against me. This far into the game, they had grown pretty large as well. I was able to defeat one of them. Then it turned into a race who could conquer the remaining countries first. My main army was spread all over Egypt. The other Roman faction was much more organized. The campaign ended in a win for me before it came to a huge war in… Read more »

Timmeh
Timmeh
23 days ago
Reply to  Magus

That is WAY better than any time I have played a total war: rome campaign

Mirra
Mirra
25 days ago

The ultimate result: Pick Dawi again. There are grudges to be settled!

Cyric313
Cyric313
25 days ago
Reply to  Tim

Dawi-Zharr needs to be purged by the sons of the mountain.
Kazukan Kazakit-HA!

sylmar
sylmar
25 days ago

To me, this applies to every game where you can build yourself into a dead-end through bad choices, be it through bad space planning, inefficient upgrade paths, etc. Learning new game mechanics always takes some trial and error. If the choices you made end up being too crippling in the long run (or if you’re a perfectionist like me), might as well start over, especially if it’s not possible to re-spec your character or destroy and rebuild whatever you built (or if it is too annoying). Many of the games I like to play have mechanics like that, so I… Read more »

TheZomby
TheZomby
25 days ago

First campagin in Immortal Empire I was trying out Valkia, I was fighting the dark elves to the south, and I had only one army and a half, and I just did not manage to hold anything, until I realized why my starting region was “glowy” with a special icon next to it, and there were more of these region to the East. So it took me maybe 60-70 turns to get a second Dark Fortress, then I just took a bunch more, churning out new armies, and giving non-dark fortress terrains to my newly vassalized Norscans (which you get… Read more »

John
John
25 days ago

Tim, every time I play as a new faction its a DEMO run*. (* Unless somehow I get it right) But, its created with that goal that its ok to burn out, this is learning. Do what you can, get that experience and knowledge, and then make a proper run at it.

Quilty
Quilty
24 days ago

100% with you there. ive put in 500 hours into tww2 and i STILL do that. its crazy how much that game just takes over

Cmd1095
Cmd1095
24 days ago

I have this experience with most strategy games that run as long as this, but yeah I’ve definitely noticed it in Total War for sure

Verdiekus
Verdiekus
24 days ago

Lords of magic is a game similar to that for me. An older game with lots of replay value, it takes time to figure out what units are good at what and the timing needed to pull it off. I’ve always enjoyed the total war series since the first Shogun total war, but the warhammer series has blown me away. Hands down the best of the lot.

Rakshiir
Rakshiir
24 days ago

I think there are several things that can go wrong in a TW:W campaign. So it is not unheard of to restart – unless you are a legend of total war and cheese your way to victory every time. Learning a race also takes time, the strategy for a new race or sometimes even a certain legendary lord can change how you play. I don’t think I have restarted every campaign, but it also happened several times where I feel like some things went wrong and it will be hard to impossible to fix it. I’d rather start new and… Read more »

Ant
Ant
24 days ago

It’s by design: Alith Anar in 2 is an obvious example, where the objectives encourage you to go North, but if you start by doing that, you are going to get attacked by Morathy in the east and every other DE in the north. It’s much better to kill Morathy first and then go north, so that your foe has only one angle of attack.

Kasaix
Kasaix
24 days ago

I can’t login to comment under my own name. It’s been like this for a while, and I don’t know why. I get to a page that says this: “Your access to this site has been temporarily limited by the site owner.” I’m positive I haven’t done anything to warrant a ban, I barely comment at all, and it’s never negative.

Kasaix
Kasaix
23 days ago
Reply to  Tim

Will do, thank you.

Saixak
Saixak
22 days ago
Reply to  Tim

New name, new account. It’s working so far. Thanks for your help!

KBABZ
KBABZ
24 days ago

I can relate to this in a different way: I love replaying the first act of a game now that I know what I’m doing and where all the secrets are, giving me a much larger advantage than I had the first time around!

Taylan Ertan
Taylan Ertan
24 days ago

One solution I have for ‘phasing out’ stuff, MODS! Especially the ‘Chaos Warband upgrade’ but for all factions so when your starter units get ranked up, you can upgrade them to the higher tier. Which makes sense.

Besides, there is always the 100th Empire run you can play as a safe, chill run.

Last edited 24 days ago by Taylan Ertan
James
James
24 days ago

Basically my problem in every Total War game. They are great, but so very specific a type of game. Kinda like the various Paradox Grand Strategy games have some specific quirks.

tim
tim
23 days ago

Usually I restart with another race and go until I start losing. I have had some success where I am facing overwhelming large army in winning but i also lost big facing an evenly match army. I am at the end game scenario winning and losing cause i over extended myself.

Drenzul
Drenzul
22 days ago

120 turns? Really?

Only a few races are anywhere near that complex!!!
What takes you that long to work out?

C'Tis player
C'Tis player
22 days ago

Yeah, that’s me in Dominions. Except I am not too good at strategy games so it’s usually a couple ‘practice’ half-games before I start to get a hold on a new faction.

Vadim
Vadim
19 days ago

Yeah, I delete the game after it)
I can understand learning through practice in RTS, and even there 30-40min match is pretty lengthy for a test run. Trying to get a hold of a faction in TW takes a couple of evening from me. And more often than not I understand that this try is bad one and I sohuld restart, but I still don’t know what went wrong.

And that means I’ll return to the series in a year or two, when I feel like I accumulated some patience.

Mano308gts
Mano308gts
12 days ago

With 2k hours across TWW and TWW2 (and TWW3 on steam but not installed until future notice due to ssd vs HDD issues…)

I used to do this. Nowadays I just quit the game somewhere around turn 100 or so, because it gets borin when the turns get long, or in other words, when the campaign becomes overpowered.

Andyc
Andyc
8 days ago

Although not the same scope or scale, since it’s not grand strategy, Dune: Spice Wars is a lot like this. 😀 Especially since they’ve redesigned and rebalanced the game 4 times now! 😳😅 Units and mechanics introduced or redesigned! 😳 Having to relearn how each side works AGAIN (so that’s now 5 sides per update! 😅)