Played this game a good 60 gours by now. Coming from Medieval II Total War the first 15 or so hours were pure frustration due to bad or bugged mechanics (see below) and extremely forced game mechanics, which took away most of the fun about Total War games (played ‘Eye of the Vortex’ campaign). Had given up on the game but gave it a shot again a few weeks ago and must say it has improved quite a lot with the actual ‘Total War’-like campaign (Mortal Empires).
However, there are still some major issues, some of which are partially gamebreaking as it makes specific units useless, while other bugs are just irritating:
-Attack pathing for a lot of units is horrendous, particularly dwarven gunmen and connons – stops attacking and moves around even though the the same unit type on either side shoots just fine and its on a flat field with perfect view of the target.
-You have to specifically tell groups of units to move 5mm to its right to engage the next enemy when it has killed its own or it’ll just stand there while the rest of the army gets slaughtered even though the unit animations almost touch each other (this often led me to play an entire match in slowmo just so i could avoid units doing nothing)
-ranged and artillery completely breaks when facing a wall – 5 archer groups is orderd to fire at an enemy on a wall, one tries to scale the wall another runs into the wall just standing there and two runs to a weird angle to attack while the last shoots just fine even though they all had perfect vision with no obstacles. Catapults are even worse with upon a targeting a gate sometimes several of them will try to go melee while still carrying the catapult…
-pathfinding for lords is completely moronic at times when moving through the campaign map, taking large detours or moving straight through 3 enemy bases.
-seen opponents heroes as well as lord leaving the battlefield with more than half life but still proclaimed dead post battle (dont think this is a but but it seems very weird)
-‘greetings honorable ally’ to people i have been at war with for 100+ turns and have a negative 450 relation points
-‘Phyrric victory’ even though ones entire army is above 80% hp post battle and the opposing army is completely vanquished and their army was bigger to begin with.
TLDR; Why I didn’t give it a thumbs up:
-the fact that you have to buy Warhammer Total War I (40€!! on Steam- though bough the key online for about 6€) to play the gamemode that allows you to actually play the Total War game, making the base game ~80€ O.o.
-bugs that make some lategame units completely useless because they can’t attack half the time due to bad map pathing (especially during sieges) or because they slaughter your own army more efficiently than the opponents (fx Irondrakes, cannons and many more)
-the game is just too damn expensive for what it delivers, especially given the much needed DLC’s if you would like to play a particular race.
I really wish there was a better ranking system than Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down from these. The game is a great expansion on the original TWW. However, all the new and bright shiny things don’t take away from the core problems with the series as a whole and introduces a few new ones. The long list of grievances will be in bullet point format.
* Building an empire with an ally is still very limited. Let them grow with you and they will never confederate despite you being over 200 rating with them and being 10+ ranks lower than you.
* The new mechanic added is absolute nightmare if you want to do more than sit in a small territory playing spread sheet simulator (aka Romance of the 3 Kingdoms). The first couple rituals are not bad but, after the third they spawn massive 20 stack armies in random spots all over your empire and go on a rampage attacking the most obscure outposts that have nothing to do with the channeling event. The worst part is you can see how the factions that need to do the hiring are losing out and are definitely not sitting on a stockpile of gold (10K to be able to summon such twinked out armies).
* There still is no way to broker territory exchanges between allies. Leaving both people with half completed regions.
* The game is too massive in map size (hard time calling it a con as it feels great exploring it). Though it will leave you infighting amongst your own race more than you will even encounter any of the others. Minus some small incursions here and there. Except during the channeling ritual.
* Garrisons in cities cannot defend lands they are protecting. Despite them now being 20 stack armies when a chain is fully walled and upgraded.
* Allied AI bee lines for objectives you need for campaign when they can not even participate. The resources for the channeling ritual are not shared between allies, which I can’t wait for a
mod to fix.
* The worst by far. 20 Stack to win. There really needs to be a pacing mechanic in which everyone (player and AI) cannot field 20 stack armies until later in the game. Until perhaps they conquered enough territories to support a massive military complex. As it stands its whoever has the most 20 stacks is rank one and can auto resolve to victory. Even adding a mechanic of supply and replacement lines would greatly counter this. Assigning these routes could allow for local recruitment bonuses at the front and allow weaker nations to contribute to war efforts by disrupting them with smaller armies in skirmish based scenarios.
TLDR – Mods are needed to make this a great game. As it stands CA did a great job expanding on the TWW universe. While mods will be needed to make the game truly enjoyable as a game about waging war (much like all their titles). While drifting further into spreadsheet simulator in some enjoyable ways yet, they unfortunately don’t add to the war experience. Instead detracting from it.