Total War: Warhammer 2 DLC Guide14 Nov 2018 1
Total War Warhammer II is a bit of an oddity as far as Creative Assembly games are concerned, lacking the flood of DLCs that usually accompany every Total War title. Over a year after launch, the game has only just got its third paid DLC, finally crossing the threshold for us to make one of our critically acclaimed DLC buying guides.
Total War: Warhammer has far more DLC, and you can check out our complete guide here.
Still, we'd be remiss if we didn't offer a patented Strategy Gamer’s DLC Guide, so here's everything you need to know about Total War: Warhammer II's expansions.
Total War: WARHAMMER II - Rise of the Tomb Kings (£13.99) (Review)
Warhammer II’s first DLC is also its best, bringing the undead rulers or Nehekarah to virtual life for the first time in history. Rise of the Tomb Kings is a massive expansion, adding the Land of the Dead in all its sandy and pyramid-y glory and tasking players to find five of the Nine Books of Nagash to gain complete control over the eternal unlife of its eponymous rulers.
The story takes place in the same map as the base game’s Eye of the Vortex campaign, but the addition of the Tomb Kings as a playable faction upends every other mechanic Total War relies on. Units require no upkeep nor incur recruitment costs but have caps that require the construction of certain buildings, allowing these faux-Egyptians to raise an entire 20 stack army in a couple of turns. Due to being a bunch of reanimate obsessed skeletons, Tomb King units are also impervious to morale loss and never rout, but unlike Vampires and their thralled brethren, retain enough independence and self-will to not immediately crumble to dust if their leader dies.
Even better, the Tomb Kings have access to massive stone constructs that can wipe the floor with pretty much any flesh and blood monster in the Warhammer franchise, . Add to that four legendary lords, a unique Dynasty system to replace the research tree, and a RPG-like loot-crafting mechanic to equip your Lords, and Rise of the Tomb Kings proudly stands as not just the best DLC in the Total Warhammer franchise, but in Total War as a whole.
- Land of the Dead Map.
- Unit recruitment and upkeep system.
- Mortuary Cult loot-crafting system is novel.
- Completely different experience from every other Total War faction ever.
IS IT WORTH IT?
Yes. Get it.
Total War: WARHAMMER II - The Queen & The Crone (£5.99)
The second DLC is less of an expansion, and more of a rounding up of things that *really* should have been there at launch. The Queen & The Crone adds new units, two factions, and a bunch of Regiments of Renown to the ranks of the High Elves and Dark Elves, finally adding the elite special units to one of the base game’s races.
The High Elves expand their roster with the addition of the Everqueen Allarielle of Avelorn, while the Dark Elves get the Hag Queen of Har Ganeth Crone Hellebron. Both Legendary Ladies are the heads of their respective factions, offering powerful bonuses based on their campaign performance. The Everqueen leaves lingering effects through every province she passes, buffing the region and bolstering public order while gaining strength when Ulthuan is free from enemy control, while the Hag Queen needs to constantly kill thousands of slaves in ritualistic sacrifices in order to keep her youthful appearance and maximum power.
Those changes offer a higher degree of investment in the campaign than usual and are complemented by the new units quite well. The Asur gain access to the Sisters of Avelorn -- mixed ranged/melee fighters -- and the Shadow Warriors -- ranger-like scouts who shoot undetected and fire in any direction while running. The Druchii, on the other hand, can play with the Sisters of Slaughter -- poisoned whip-wielding lady gladiators that cause fear -- and the Doomfire Warlocks -- spellcasting magical cavalry that deals both magical and poisonous damage in melee.
Those new units are more powerful than the base game’s standard ones -- a gap that is only widened by the inclusion of the Regiments of Renown such as flaming lance Dragon Princes. The final additions are a High Elven Handmaiden Hero for Avelorn and a Supreme Sorceress army Lord for the Dark Elves, adding a bit more of asymmetry to what is overall a very balanced pack.
- Avelorn and Har Ganeth new mechanics are very different from base game Elves.
- New units are devastating in the field.
- Regiments of Renown are mostly unimpressive, and hardly necessary.
IS IT WORTH IT?
Yes, if you are mainly an Elven player. I expect a Lizardmen & Skaven pack to be in the works now and bound to be released soon, so keep your eyes peeled for that.
Total War: WARHAMMER II - Curse of the Vampire Coast (£13.99) (Review)
Arr, the high seas. Who doesn’t love pirate battles, where crew swing between decks with swashbuckling prowess and ships blow the crap out of each other with broadsides? Unfortunately for all of us, the pirate themed expansion to Warhammer II has no ship battles, so… arrr, who doesn't love giant pirate armies fighting… on the land… like… regular… armies. Arrrr.
Curse of the Vampire Coast was one hell of a curveball, taking a very minor aspect of Warhammer lore and expanding it to mainstream status. It adds four new factions and their Legendary Lords to the game, from the crazed Luthor Harkon in Lustria to the mutant Aranessa Saltspite in Sartosa, and all of them are focused on living on the high seas with armies of undead people under their thumb.
The biggest differential for pirate factions is their possession of a legendary ship, the personal vessel of their legendary lord. The big boat serves as a mobile base, allowing players to upgrade buildings and churn out units anywhere, granting a degree of mobility matched only by horde armies. Unlike horde armies, however, the undead pirates can conquer settlements or install Pirate Coves that syphon the money of nearby cities without any of the admin work, making this one of the versatile playthrough options one can have.
The campaign also brings treasure maps for treasure, Infamy lists for stat bonuses, and cursed Pieces of Eight to unlock Regiments of Renown, keeping the pirate theme running strong. Similar to the Empire in Warhammer I, players can also appoint Lords to positions in the hierarchy that benefit both that army and the faction, though loyalty is an ever present concern if you want to keep the scallywag in office.
In battle, the focus is obviously on ranged units, with most of the roster possessing firearms of some kind. Zombie sailors and vampire pirates let out a wall of gunfire upon approaching enemies, while giant walking animated shipwrecks, mortars, and cannons let death fly from afar. Add to that a giant walking crab and a gigantic cannon bigger than a dragon, and the pirate faction is easily one of the most diverse and interesting ones in Warhammer II.
- Great unit design, especially visually.
- Every mechanic is tailored to be as pirate-y as possible.
- Legendary Ships are a great idea.
- No ship battles are obviously inexcusable.
IS IT WORTH IT?
As novel as it is, this DLC can only be recommended if you like the idea of sailing undead vampires. The lack of ship battles or boarding doesn’t really capture the feel of being a pirate on the seas, and the DLC does end up playing as a normal Total War faction due to huge 20 stack armies fighting each other on land maps all the time.
- Rise of the Tomb Kings
- The Queen & The Crone
- Curse of the Vampire Coast
What's been your favourite TWW2 DLC to date? What would you like to see them do next? Let us know in the comments!