Total War: Warhammer Faction And Combat Guide
(Last Updated On: May 28, 2016)

There are a variety of guides being made available for Creative Assembly’s recently released Total War: Warhammer. The game has received some sparkling reviews from both critics and gamers alike, and is currently available for PC. If you need some help with understanding the factions and getting a bearing on the combat, there are some beginner guides available to offer you some tips and hints for effectively playing Total War: Warhammer.

The first guide is a general faction guide from YouTuber Hylor. He gives a quick rundown of the pros and cons for each faction, and what you’ll need in order to succeed when playing as them. You can check out the five minute video below.

The faction guide covers the main playable factions in Total War: Warhammer. The main balanced faction is the Empire, which is the human faction within the game. They focus on industrial machinery and cavalry tactics as you move up through the ranks.

The Dwarfs are the second faction in the game. They have fewer trade options and according to Hylor the Dwarfs have higher morale and higher defense than some of the other factions. They don’t have cavalry options like the Empire, but they do have some formidable aerial units to dispense on enemies. They also focus on lots of long range artillery. Dwarfs also use a Book of Grudges as part of their campaign progression, and players will need to complete all of the entries in the Book of Grudges before they can finish the campaign mode.

The Greenskins consist of Orcs and Goblins. They have an economy based on attaining resources, army management and establishing buildings, but the Greenskin mostly acquire their resources through razing villages, pillaging towns and waging war for the loot. Keeping Greenskins in the fight keeps your empire growing. So simply put: playing like a pacifist will ruin your empire. Playing like Donald Trump will win you the game.

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The Vampires are the fourth faction in the game. They corrupt the lands around them, turning the lush hillsides, fertile forests and green plains into dead wastelands. They don’t trade quite as much as the Empire or Dwarfs, and focus more on slowly usurping the land from others while building an army of the undead. In fact, that’s one of their benefits in battle; being able to raise the undead to fight for them, making them stronger the more both sides lose fighters.

The fifth and final faction is Chaos. The DLC faction is available for free for the first week of Total War: Warhammer being on sale, allowing anyone who purchases the game within that time to get the faction for free, or if you pre-ordered the game. The Chaos works just like the Greenskins; players will need to stay in a constant state of war and ravage the land in order to grow the economy. If you enjoy causing chaos, then the Chaos faction will be right up your alley. They have some mean and dangerous units at their disposal designed to wreck havoc on the battlefield, such as the Chaos Dragon. However, the downside is that when building your armies if you keep them too close to one another they will begin to infight and raise the attrition levels, thus diminishing the prowess of your armies.

Speaking of the Chaos Dragon, Creative Assembly let loose a variety of video guides on the Total War channel to actually help beginners get acquainted with some of the more prominent units in the game. They showcase how they work, what some of their abilities are and how to kill them, like in the video below.

The best advice for taking on a Chaos Dragon? Run. The next best advice? Keep running. If you must take it on then pelt it from a distance or use magic to distract it while long range archers chip away at its life and the slayers get in to battle and surround it. Not dealing with a Chaos Dragon on the field can literally cost you an entire battle if you let it go unchecked.

The next video covers the Empire’s Steam Tank, a mammoth, heavily armored steam machine that rolls into battle with a long range cannon for taking out groups of enemies or buildings, as well as a short range steam exhaust for when enemies clutter around it. You can check out the video below.

They suggest using long-range armor piercing rounds to dwindle the hull of the Steam Tank, and eventually take it down. They suggest avoiding using infantry to crowd the tank, otherwise the tank will just use the hot steam to burn the hordes. Fast moving units and aerial craft are probably what’s best for taking down the Steam Tanks during battle.

The next video covers the Giants on the side of the Greenskin faction. The Giants can easily move through a horde of units, swapping, stomping and kicking foes out of the way. The video below suggests that they’re good for the opening attacks during a siege because they can easily break through forces, but they’re slow and lumber about when it’s time to streamline their next attack. In fact, their lumbering gait is something that can be used against them, as explained in the video.

They suggest using a crowd of infantry to prevent the Giants from moving through your battle lines. Opposite of the Steam Tank, the Giants can’t easily disperse of groups, and have to constantly readjust and re-focus their attention to attack hordes of infantry (or cavalry) that crowd around them. Making them easy pickings for long range artillery while infantry keep the Giants occupied.

For Vampires, they suggest using skeletal warriors to rush the Giant – though they admit that you’ll likely lose a lot of your skeletal forces in doing so. If you have a Giant of your own, they also suggest throwing them into battle against another Giant for good measure.

The next video covers the Varghulfs, a giant predatory creature that’s controlled by the Vampires. They are large, fast, melee based enemies that can regenerate health if they move out of battle and take some respite to boost up their HP. Defeating them can be done in a number of different ways, as explained in the video below.

It’s suggested in the video to use spearmen and shield bearers to crowd the Varghulfs, whittling their health down through a means of attrition. They also suggest using morale penalties to force the Varghulfs to retreat, something they’re known for doing, especially if they get peppered enough by long range fire where they feel as if they’ll need to exit the battle to regenerate their health.

It’s suggested to use aerial units or fast moving units to stay on the heels of the Varghulf to prevent it from regenerating its health. Pistolers and gyrocopters can keep up with the Varghulf, so don’t hesistate to use them to chase down the vampiric beast and finish it off.

The last video covers the Arachnarok. It’s a giant spider on the side of the Greenskins, used mostly by the Goblins. It can sweep in and take out groups of units or web them up. The Goblin commander on its back helps give it some purpose and direction, making it a formidable and deadly unit on the battlefield. You can see it in action in the video below.

To defeat the Arachnarok, the best line of offense from the Dwarven side is the Slayer units, they can crowd and whittle down the life of the giant spider over a period of time. Due to the Slayers lack of low morale, they’re perfect for facing down against the web-slinging monster since they won’t fret or flee the battle.

The lack of the Arachnarok’s armor also makes it prime cannon fodder and bait for long-range artillery fire. It’s suggested to use whatever ranged projectiles you have at your disposal against the Arachnarok to take it down as quickly as possible from a distance. They also suggest that pistols and cannon fire works more effectively than bolts and arrows, so it’s something to keep in mind when facing off against the Arachnarok during battle.

For the Empire the Steam Tank is a formidable adversary for the Arachnarok, while on the Chaos side there’s the Chaos Dragon. The Vampires can also utilize their aerial bats to do damage from above while using disposable units to keep it distracted.

There are more in-depth guides available as well, but for just getting started and learning the basics, hopefully the above guides will give you some understanding on where to hit the ground running.

You can pick up a digital or physical copy of Total War: Warhammer right now for PC.


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Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.