Total War: Warhammer 2 returns to the spotlight with the latest DLC lord pack, The Queen And The Crone.
For fans of Total War: Warhammer 2, there’s no end of replayability for your campaigns in the base game
If you own the original Total War: Warhammer, you can access two wholly different campaigns in Warhammer 2. To compensate for various variables each new campaign comes with, worthy additions to Total War need to think outside the box.
Thus, a mix of DLC’s compensates the insatiable desire of fans to bring the tabletop game into Total War. Expensive new factions like the Tomb Kings, Norsca, and Bretonnia contrast the smaller Lord Packs Creative Assembly offers for $7.99 USD. These Lord packs often contain unique stories within an already established faction. And the truly great have tons of new units to freshen up the campaign.
Lord packs ranged from the good (think The King and The Warlord) to the bad (admittedly freeLC’s like Grombindal The White Dwarf). Past Lord packs focused upon adding new units to armies unavailable to their respective factions. The Queen and The Crone, the latest DLC available for the game, pulls a different gimmick than past Lord Packs. Instead of focusing upon loads of units, a host of unique campaign modifiers make these Lords wholly unique.
The Murderous Druchii
Crone Hellebron represents Har Ganeth, one of the most bloodthirsty sub-factions within the already murderous Dark Elves. With an insatiable desire to murder, Har Ganeth represses their bestial instincts with the harshest punishments for crime among the Dark Elves. But all bets are off come Blood Night. In a Purge-esque twist, all crime becomes legal upon Blood Night to fill the Blood Cauldrons of the Crone. When the cauldrons are full, Crone Hellebron restores her lost youth and leads Har Ganeth upon more murderous campaigns. But each Blood Night, more sacrifices are required to restore Hellebron’s lost power…
Blood Night Rising
Crone Hellebron comes with a host of unique campaign balances that Maleketh and Morathi lack. Did you ever think the Druchii slave economy felt too broken during a campaign? Crone Hellebron balances that out with a unique withering mechanic. As each turn ends, a meter showing Crone Hellebron’s youth slowly depletes as her blood magic reveals her true form.
This changes her unit leadership, provincial stability, and her lord’s battle vigor. This meter can be restored fully by unleashing Har Ganeth’s Blood Night. Upon your next turn, a rogue army called the Blood Voyage will make the trek to the High Elven lands to raid and pillage. When the army falls in battle, Har Ganeth shall inherit all of the Blood Voyage’s spoils to enrich the province.
But each Blood Night requires more and more slaves to fuel the Blood Cauldrons of Crone Hellebron. During actual play, this makes Crone’s economy much harder to manage. She isn’t very new player friendly – her mechanics require aggressive expansion in order to gather more slaves for the cauldrons. Early campaigns become incredibly hard to manage as Crone Hellebron starts with a reduced meter and tier-one settlement. Prioritizing slave capture skills and technology will help compensate for this – but conquest will still be a slog.
Hellebron’s new units include the low-tier Sisters of Slaughter and Doomfire Warlocks. The Sisters of Slaughter are rather squishy poison-throwers – useful as hidden ambushers to flank armies focused on another in melee. Doomfire Warlocks take to the battlefield as epic spell-slinging cavalry. In the right hands, a unit of these can utterly destroy an enemy army. But the High Elves have a counter to this incredibly devastating lord.
Beacon of Light
Allariel the Everqueen commands the Avelorn High Elven faction. The nemesis of Crone Hellebron, she holds the esteem of High Elves everywhere. Not the typical figurehead of Everqueens past, Allariel fights to defend her homeland from those seeking to tear the world asunder. But her powers tie directly into the very nature of the Warhammer world. When the Doom Tide of Chaos arrives, Allariel’s power fades. Only the successful expulsion of Chaos from the world fully restores her to her former power.
Allariel receives a bonus to both provincial stability and leadership wherever she goes – making her incredibly useful for any rebellious conquered provinces. This ties into her Defender of Ulthuan mechanic, a differentiator similar to Crone Hellebron’s albeit for the High Elves. If both inner and outer Ulthuan remains free of foreign powers, she receives powerful benefits to diplomacy, provincial stability, and army/building costs. Should territory become lost, however, these scales become tipped negatively against Allariel. Thus, Allariel’s entire campaign focus should entail protecting the High Elven home at all costs. Outside territorial conquest becomes a secondary objective due to the negative consequences of losing the High Elven homeland.
In battle, Allariel is mainly a support-based spellcaster. She has powerful defensive and healing abilities to provide her troops. However, in combat, she does fairly limited damage. Therefore, players would be remiss to keep Allariel away from the front lines. The Sisters of Avelorn, a combined bow/infantry class, are great at protecting Allariel to round out her defense. Shadow Warriors also bolster Avelorn’s armies. These are vanguard bow units, able to stalk the battlefield and surprise enemy armies with flanking bow attacks. Ranged units are definitely buffed under Allariel’s command, changing the posture of a High Elven campaign during the mid-to-late game.
The End Times
This DLC won’t be for everyone. For the casual Total War: Warhammer 2 fan, The Queen And The Crone doesn’t add enough to make it a must-buy package. That being said, however, the difficult campaign additions and storyline tying Crone Hellebron and Allariel make for an entertaining romp for the hardcore Total War fan. Despite the fact only two units and one special agent were added to the lords, the unique campaign mechanics keep the flavor interesting. The mechanics force a unique playstyle different from the base lords. Personally, I prefer these changes to campaign mechanics over having a ton of new units on the roster.
But the pack also contains a new item of power for each faction to strive for. A new legendary weapon – the sword of Khaine – can instantly buff up a lord in dire need. But I’ll keep that quest line secret – but rest assured, power comes at a cost to your lord’s faction…
If you liked packs like The King And The Warlord or The Grim And The Grave, The Queen And The Crone will be right up your alley.
Copy Provided By Publisher For Review
Release date: May 31, 2018
Platforms: PC (Reviewed)
Developer: Creative Assembly
Price: $7.99 USD