I recently had a chance to sit down with the latest faction for Total War: Warhammer, the last faction of Warhammer, before the sequel comes down the pipe: The chaotic Norsca faction, led by Wulfrik the Wanderer. His name is appropriate because you’re going to do a lot [and I mean a lot] of wandering. Wulfrik’s one of the most badass characters in the whole of Warhammer lore, and I enjoy playing as him. I feel like maybe he wasn’t as strong as he could have been, but on the whole, my army was pretty powerful as a group. One of the things that make the faction interesting is that yes, you do want to raze cities and towns into rubble, you gain bonuses/benefits for it.
When you choose to destroy a town, you can erect a monument to one of the Gods, each giving its own bonus, up to rank three. Do not make the same mistake I did the first couple of times I tried to complete the campaign: You can raze every other enemy city into rubble, and raise a monument, you shouldn’t. You need another town or two to help you create income. The key is having at least two powerful groups of military might, and even if you’re in a debt/losing gold each turn because of it, it’s not the end of the world.
Your primary source of income is raiding other towns, the richer the better. But you have to figure out where you want these outposts are, a good strategic point to retreat to. Speaking of Gods, one of the most important things is gaining favor with the God of your choice, and sacrificing your Hunts [from the new Hunt quests], building Monuments. You can gain benefits of multiple Gods, that is, until it’s time to focus on just one at 100 points. Each God gives you an incredibly powerful unit, except the Crow. The Crow spreads a plague that your army is immune to. That’s pretty awesome and one of my personal favorites. It’s really an interesting way to play the game, creating far more challenge and a new way for me personally to look at the game. Once you reach level 3 with your God, the scenario’s all but over. It’s a very simple story and not one that has a lot of sub-chapters and things to fool around with. You should decide early which of the Gods you want to worship: the Snake (Slaanesh), the Crow (Nurgle), the Eagle (Tzeentch), or the Hound (Khorne).
The thing I enjoy about Norsca is while I enjoy political intrigue, there is none of that in the Norsca campaign. One of the factions giving you a hard time? Are they trying to horn in on your territory? Destroy them! Build an army, raze their cities, sacrifice them to your Dark Gods. The citizens in your empire prefer Chaos, and the less Chaos in your territory, the angrier they’ll be. So get out there and destroy your foes! The Monstrous Arcanum is your guide to hunting massive monsters, which will definitely feel more like a raid boss than a regular encounter.
Winning those is one of your other primary goals, gaining powerful equipment or units like the Regiments of Renown. There are some incredible units you can unlock as you go, but remember, you can only recruit them once. Once they’re gone, they’re gone. If you have a habit of auto-doing battles when you’re bored, remember that they can die, so you don’t want to let them go to waste. It can be very challenging to juggle your income and the army because your army is the most important thing. I found myself in debt most of my playthrough, but that ended once I’d grab another town, raid them, and pushed my army into glorious combat. Though I had some issues finding/using my own units in the winter battles, in especially hill-dotted areas. Other than that, everything was fantastic.
Your other option is Throgg, the King of the Trolls. I didn’t use Throgg as much because I frankly wasn’t ready for how challenging their scenario is. But despite that, Throgg felt a bit more powerful, and it is incredibly satisfying to destroy weaker armies with the Trolls/Fimir. Wulfrik is more fun to play as a whole, but Throgg has his own obstacles to overcome. He too wants to unite the frozen north under his thumb, and he’s probably wiser than Wulfrik, a hilarious notion for a troll. Throgg is the Wintertooth, able to fell any great champion that comes across his path. If you like pillaging, ruination, and overall destruction and chaos, without all the frustration that comes with the Chaos faction, Norsca is for you.
No matter which Legendary Lord you choose, it’s going to be incredibly fun. The other tribes are not simply going to let you run them roughshod and will fight back, but if you overpower a few of them early, it’s not going to be so rough. You want to get a second army going as soon as it’s convenient, get a few Mammoths when it’s feasible. The units as a whole are a lot of fun, from rage-filled vikings [of course], Skin-Wolves, Mammoths, Hunters. You’re going to want to use the Rage mechanics to your advantage, the longer they’re in combat, the stronger they are. So you want to balance that with other units to protect them, or hit from afar. As a whole, the Norsca update is a fantastic one, and for players that want a little something different, and want to be in a constant state of war and conflict, look no further.