By: Jeffrey Carey
The Total War computer game franchise got its start with the game Shogun: Total War in 2000. Since then it has become one of the biggest campaign strategy games for computers in the world. In this walk-through, I will be taking you through the beginning of one of the Total War franchise’s newest games, Total War: Warhammer. In Total War: Warhammer, there are many playable factions, but this walk-through will focus on helping you get your first province secured as the Empire faction. In order to get started, you’ll need to have the game installed, select campaign, new campaign, then grand campaign. This’ll take you to the faction selection screen. Select Empire and then choose Karl Franz as your leader. Once you’ve done that, we can begin.
- When you first start your campaign, you will be greeted by this message:
This is what is called a mission and you will see them from time to time as you play the game. Typically, missions will have a turn-based time limit, but this one does not. Completing missions is helpful as they will have some beneficial reward that will help you beat the game; in this case, completing the request will give you money. Go ahead and click the check mark to acknowledge the mission once you’ve read it.
2. Now that you’ve acknowledge the mission, the campaign map has opened up to you and should look something like this: (you can zoom in and out on the campaign map using the scroll button on your mouse)
In the top right corner of the screen is the minimap which shows you, in different colors, the different regions of the world as well as who currently controls which region. The uncolored areas are areas that you have no information about yet. The minimap will grow as you discover more of the world. For now, let’s focus on the region you control, Altdorf. On the minimap, it is the area in middle, colored bright red. On the campaign map, it is labeled “Altdorf” and has your factions coat of arms on it. Regions are where you will spend gold to construct buildings and raise armies to help you win the game. For now, left click on Altdorf.
3. Left clicking on Altdorf should bring up this screen:
The bar on the bottom of the screen displays the province information; the regions that make up the province and the buildings that have been constructed in them, as well as the province name, which in this case is “Reikland”. The regions with chains crossing over them represent regions that you do not currently control; highlighted regions without chains show the regions under your control. Moving your mouse cursor the boxes under the Altdorf heading will display information about the buildings you currently have constructed. Any building icon with a hammer in the top right corner can be improved. (You can also destroy building to free up construction slots but you won’t need to worry about that for this walk-through.) Let’s go ahead and upgrade a building.
4. Move your cursor over the building with the hammer in the top right corner. (The one with the skull on it.) You’ll see a construction tree, starting from the bottom, of the building progression chain for this building. You already own the version at the very bottom of the chain, so go ahead on click the next version of this building.
5. Now that you’ve decided to improve your building, construction has begun on your upgraded building. Every building in the game has a turn-based construction time that must pass before the building or upgrade is complete. In this case, the construction time is two turns. Buildings and upgrades also have a cost to build associated with them; in this case it was 2000 gold. You can see your current gold and how much you’ll earn next turn in the middle of the very top of the screen. The number on the left is current wealth and the number on the right is next turn earnings.
6. So we’ve looked at the basics of cities and buildings, now let’s turn our attention towards armies; you’ll need multiple strong armies to beat the game, but for now you only have one, fairly weak, army. Let’s fix that. Next to Altdorf should be a small man with a flag sticking out of him.
This is your army and much like with your cities, you can get more information about it by left-clicking on it. Left clicking your army will change the screen like so:
The bright yellow area indicates the extent of your army’s movement this turn. The bar on the bottom of the screen shows the units that make up the army. We’ll go ahead and move the army and then hire some more troops.
7. To move your army, right click on the area of the map you want the army to move to. In this case, since we want to conquer our province and we have a mission to defeat a rebel army, we’ll move southeast towards the city of Grunburg.
You’ll notice that as you move, the highlighted yellow area will shrink indicating that you have less space you are using up the army’s movement for this turn. The distance your army can move refreshes as the start of each turn. You’ll notice that we weren’t able to move the maximum distance towards Grunburg because they have an army in the way. The read circle around their army indicates its area of influence and you can’t move an army into the area of influence of an enemy army unless you are attacking them. We’ll hold off attacking this turn in order to increase the size of our army.
8. In order to train new troops, first make sure you have your army selected. Then left click the button at the bottom middle of the screen that looks like a flag with a plus-sign next to it. (Hovering your cursor over it should bring up a tag that says “Recruit Units”.) Click that button.
Clicking the “Recruit Units” button will show you a bar with all the units you can currently recruit. Just like with constructing buildings, training troops takes time and money. The number next to the hourglass at the top of the unit banner shows how many turns it will take to train that unit. The number next to the treasure chest at the bottom of the unit banner is how much it will cost to train that unit. And the number next to the gold coin at the bottom of the unit banner is how much it will cost you per turn to keep that unit. Let’s go ahead and higher three new units of free company militia. Left clicking on a unit banner starts training one of that type of unit. Your army should now look like this:
Next turn, those free company militia will be ready to fight. Since we’ve done all we can with our city and since we’ve got some units training, lets go ahead and end this first turn. To end a turn, click the big hourglass button in the bottom right corner of the screen.
9. Once you end your turn, all the other factions will have a chance to take their turns. In this case, there is a chance the enemy army we stood close to will attack. If they do, you’ll see this screen:
The panel on the left shows your units and the panel on the right shows the enemy army’s units. The yellow and red bar in the middle of the screen shows each army’s odds of victory. The more of that bar that is yellow, the greater your odds of victory. We’re not focusing on controlling battles during this walk-through so go ahead and click the middle button at the bottom of the screen that looks like a computer with 2 arrows on its screen. Hovering over it with your cursor will bring up a tag that reads “Auto-Resolve”. This button has the computer simulate the battle and is useful for saving time. The button on the left takes you to a battlefield where you take control of your army and its units and fight the battle yourself. The button on the right tells your army to retreat. (Not every situation will allow for an army to retreat and not every battle with odds in your favor will be won.) After the battle resolves go ahead and click the button on the bottom of the screen that looks like a ball and chain. Each of the buttons on the bottom of the screen after you win a fight will allow you to choose what to do with your “captives” from the battle and each will have a different effect. You can hover your cursor over each to read what they do.
10. Once all the other factions have completed their turns, play comes back around to you. If you were attacked by the rebel army and won, you may notice there is a yellow arrow over your army’s banner:
This indicates that the army’s commander has leveled up and you can increase his abilities. Go ahead and select the army, then click on the number two in the bottom left of the screen. (This number is your general’s current level and will increase as he fights and wins more battles.) Clicking the number two will bring up your general’s skill tree.
There are many different skill trees in Total War: Warhammer and they allow you to customize your generals to better fit your playstyle. In the top right corner you can see your general’s current skill points. Spending these skill points unlocks abilities. In this case, go ahead and click on the red ability that says inspiring presence and unlock it. Once you do, click the check mark on the bottom of the screen to return to the campaign map.
11. It’s time to conquer a new city. At this point, you should be fairly close to Grunburg and the city should lie within your army’s field of movement.
If some of their army survived the earlier fight, go ahead and right click their army while you have your army selected to order your army to attack. Just like when you were the one being attacked, the combat screen will appear. We’re going to go ahead and select auto-resolve once again. Defeating their army will allow you a straight shot to capture Grunburg, so, as you did when attacking their army, select your army then right click Grunburg. You can go ahead and auto-resolve this fight as well. Conquering Grunberg should complete another quest and level up you general some more so upgrade him in a way that you like. I chose to put a point into “Hard to Hit”, “Inspiring Presence”, and “Route Marcher” to make him more of an all rounder, but you can choose to upgrade him however you want. You should also have a fair amount of gold at this point so go ahead and buy some more troops. The free company militia are extremely powerful in the early stages of the game but are the most expensive. Ultimately, which troops you want to train is up to you. After taking Grunburg and selecting new troops to train, you can end the turn.
12. You’ve now taken Grunburg and it’s time to turn your gaze to the rest of the the province of Reikland, but first, that building we started upgrading on the first turn of the game has completed, unlocking the ability for us to start learning technologies. In the bottom right of the screen, you’ll see a button with a sword and quill on it. Click that button and you’ll see this screen:
This is your technology tree. Here you can learn technologies to improve many different aspects of your faction, whether they be militaristic improvements or civil/building improvements. The skills that are grayed out cannot be unlocked at the current time, you’ll need to construct more buildings to learn them. Choose one of the skills that are yellow to start learning, but take note, each skill will take some number of turns to learn, just like construction and training take some number of turns to complete. The difference here is that skills don’t cost money to learn. Once you’ve selected a skill click the check mark and we can start making moves to conquer the rest of the territory.
13. By looking at your army’s movement range, you can see that Helmgart is the next closest city that you need to conquer to complete the province of Reikland.
Go ahead and move your army as close to Helmgart as you can, then start training more troops. (Note: You can’t train troops everywhere and you won’t always want to or necessarily have to money to train, but in these early turns, it’s important to build a strong army so we we’re gonna try and max out our army size as quickly as possible.) Once you’ve moved your army and started training troops, you can end the turn.
14. Once it’s your turn again, go ahead and attack Helgart. You should have good odds to win.
Auto-resolving should yield an easy victory. You’ll notice that taking a city uses up all of your army’s remaining movement, so if you take a city you won’t be able to move your army out of it until the next turn. Go ahead and check to see if you can construct or improve any buildings. Once you’ve done that, train more troops for your army. Each army can only have 20 units in it and you should be pretty close to reaching this unit cap now. When you’re ready, end the turn and we can start making moves towards the final region of the province.
15. Your army should be able to reach Eilhart in one movement from Helgart, so go ahead and order an attack. Having already crushed their armies, the garrison of Eilhart should offer no trouble for your battle hardened army. Auto-resolve the fight and complete your conquest of the Reikland.
16. Congratulations on securing the Reikland. You now have a base from which to strike out towards the rest of the world. Can you use the information to conquer the world? Or will you fall to some other greater faction? Your fate is your’s to craft.