Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Extreme Dwarven Makeover - I

Invigorated by my thorough rinsing, I had a second crack at the Karaks.

A New Dawn. Dwarf Dawn. Dwawn.

Dwarven Total Warhammer, round two!

Revisionary History 

We'll skip the early bits this time, and join the campaign some twenty turns in.

Exactly the same set up as last time. Still playing on hard, and not letting myself reload the game and try again if there's a disaster. I've learned from my initial mistakes, and this time I've been much more cautious with my armies. Instead of heading off towards the nearest enemy or quest, the kind of ruthless expansionism that Total War games usually encourage, I've stayed at home.

Gnashrak didn't make it out of the first battle alive - as his troops closed, I stuck some miners round the back of the orc line this time. When Thorgrim broke Gnashrak, he ran straight into them and they picked him to bits. That gave me plenty of time to consolidate my position and even go and beat that first quest battle without distractions.

The Silver Road is safe, heavily fortified and protected by the High King and the largest army he can muster. To the north, Zhufbar is a military ally. To the West, Barak Varr has joined my clan more fully, but this time they haven't had time to spread out and are still fairly concentrated at home. Just past them are the Border Princes - they're sniffy, too sniffy to trade with me, but not hostile either.

To the south, enemies.

Obviously the orcs are all over everything to the south, fighting with themselves less and less as Grimgor coerces them to his will. The dwarf holds of Karak Azgal and Karak Eight Peaks are surrounded, and the western badlands are nothing but green.

The Vampire Counts to the North are locked in combat with Zhufbar and Karak Kadrin, which means that I've had to pitch in thanks to my alliance with Zhufbar. And Chaos is already on the march, sending huge armies down from the north and burning everything in their wake.

What's a dwarf to do?


The next eighty turns or so are dedicated to finishing off the Greenskins properly.

Dwarven Moisture Farm. The moisture is beard sweat, a key ingredient in dwarven ale. 

Orcs do a lot of raiding, sending fairly big armies at any settlement without enough guards. As before, every time they manage it I declare another grudge on them, so I'm quickly getting a grumpy populace at home. Grumpier, anyway.

That means more rebellions, and that means more orcs. This time, I'm ready for it though, and I expand as slowly as I can.

That's quite slowly. We're dwarves, our legs are only little. 

Time after time, the orcs crash against superior defences. Sometimes we lose. Even then, the attackers take a hefty dent. They either have to run home to heal up, or I can trot a vengeful army after them and wipe them out fairly quickly. Before long, my string of victories has won me reknown amongst the other southern dwarf clans. Karaks Azgal and Eight Peaks join my kingdom, along with their holdings and armies. Zhufbar aren't far behind, although Karak Kadrin are a bit standoffish, suspicious of my growing power.

The financial boost from this is enough to outfit me with better troops and armies. Thunderers and cannons back my lines now, with greathammer-swinging Longbeards on the front line. Finally, I get off the back foot and go out conquering.

Oh Grimgor. Yes, you outnumber us. But we have a cannon. Do you have a cannon? No, you do not. No cannon, no victory. Those are the rules. 

Grimgor and Azhag do their best. It's not bad at times - when I first welcome the southern clans into my confederation, their southern holdings are intact, and that lasts almost no time at all before the orcs cut great swathes out of it.

But they can't hold it. One by one, I settle my grudges, take back the holds and push them back. By the time turn 100 rolls about, the Greenskins are firmly back in the desert regions with some pitiful armies. It's just a question of mopping them up.

All those yellow bits are mine. Also: mines.

Obviously, this is the point a new enemy would raise its head. Alternatively, its dead.

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