I finished the other campaign in the new DLC for Warhammer 2, the one for Markus Wulfhart, which is basically themed as the Empire attempting to colonise Lustria, which mechanics to ensure it ends in tears to a certain extent. The idea being the that more you attack and fight and stuff, the angrier the lizardmen get, and then they send an unbreakable army to kill you (and boy that does hurt, because unbreakable means they fight to the last lizard, and lizardmen are balanced around running away at a certain point!) and you also have to watch a sort of popularity bar which decreases if you fuck up. On the flip side, the higher the “trouble meter” - which I thought of like the stars in GTA - goes, the sooner you get free reinforcements from the Empire. Ideally you want to hover on 3-4 stars as much as possible (particularly 4), getting a steady stream of reinforcements, but realistically you will hit 5.
(One thing worth noting - attacking an army who is using the underway or the like and you intercepted DOES count as an attack and give you a “star” - well, skull, I mean, obviously it’s a skull, it’s Warhammer!)
It certainly lead to an exciting campaign and a lot of apocalyptic battles. Just one problem. They weren’t against lizardmen!
All the major lizardmen factions were wiped out by about turn 50. Sure, I was responsible for Hexoatl being contained (they declared war on me!), but Itza, Nakai and his Defenders, Tehenuin’s lot at the bottom, and literally all the minor factions got wiped out by an unholy alliance (literally an alliance!) of the Skaven (who confederated into Pestilens), the Vampire Coast (Luthor Harkon’s lot), and Lokhir Fellheart (the Dark Elf pirate). I guess there was still the ones on the other continent, but damn.
So it was very weird, having these massive, insane battles (some of them significantly harder than any endgame quest battle I’ve played in Warhammer), but most of them against Skaven! Who are, as it turns out, a pretty good match for the Empire. The Empire’s weakness in terms of infantry really shows up quite brutally their fast, highly-aggressive units (many of which are “glass cannons”) and short-ranged, high-damage range units. But equally the Empire’s heavy artillery and powerful longer-ranged ranged units really punish them (especially as the Empire stuff is usually cheaper and has higher unit numbers - Skaven Ratling Guns are terrifying - until you realize 2 units of Empire Handgunners drastically outgun them - the main advantage Ratling Guns have is intimidation and the fact that they stagger units when they hit, preventing them from closing in, something I never knew before this campaign.
Anyway I now feel qualified to review “The Hunter and the Beast”, which is the latest DLC for Warhammer 2, and I’d say probably the best “Lord Pack” DLC for either Warhammer game, in terms of the campaigns it offers. Units-wise it’s not really as exciting as some, but adding the Empire to the Vortex Campaign is huge, and Nakai’s campaign is also different enough from all the other ones that it’s worth playing. They’ve steadily improved with each Lord Pack I think, so that’s perhaps unsurprising. I believe they have another one coming towards the end of the year, so this bodes well for that. The War Wagons for the Empire are interesting, but the basic ones rapidly trail off in usefulness. However the ones with Mortars, and the special one with Helblasters are great the whole way through, and let you pull off stuff you couldn’t with a normal mortar or Helblaster Volley Gun, because you can just drive around at like 15mph with them (rather than them being slowly man-dragged into position). If you could get the Helblaster kind as a generic unit I’d field 4 in every army!