Thursday, January 17, 2013

Warhammer: Mark of Chaos - Chaos Campaign - Chapter 2, Mission 3

Here are general tips for playing the Chaos Champaign in Warhammer: Mark of Chaos on HARD Difficulty. At the end of Chapter 1, Mission 6, we chose Nurgle instead of Khorne. A list of all our Warhammer: Mark of Chaos articles can be found here.
We won't be hand-holding you through absolutely everything, but instead just give tips on situations that we found tricky or that you might not have considered.

Chapter 2: The Wrath of the Rat-Kin

Mission 3: Hightower Brought Low

Overview
  • This is actually an easy mission IF you don't use the walls too much.
    • The main problem is pathfinding. Sometimes a regiment will leave a wall because the AI calculates a shorter path. This is bad because as soon as you start on a ladder or are partially in a tower or stairs, you cannot abort the move. You basically have to micromanage all your movement to make sure they follow the battlements instead of going up and down.
    • Also, as you move about the walls, you might pull regiments from the ground. They will either shoot at you or charge up the stairs. If you have a ranged combat regiment against a melee regiment, they'll get wiped out in the automatic combat resolution inside stairs or a tower, where you can't help them with other units and you can't use skills.
    • From a tower you can apparently exit the castle altogether and end up outside, but you cannot get back in.
    • However, if you can manage the walls properly, you can take out a lot of enemy units safely, such as the Knights, which can't use the stairs.
  • Take point with the StormVermin, especially against Knights. They are specialized against "Large" creatures. If you hover your mouse over the Armor rating for Knights, you will see that they take over 200% damage from "Piercing" attacks -- i.e., spears and pikes.
    • Add the Grey Seer to the regiment to continually resurrect their numbers using Favoured Minions.
    • Normally I might go with Poisoned Wind Globadiers because their armour is high and I prefer having a lot of ranged regiments. However, in this particular scenario, melee on the walls and initial difficulty in arranging for cover fire means the StormVermin are the safest choice.
  • IF you lose your Grey Seer, restart. You will take too many losses and possibly not win the scenario. There are a couple of healing potions if you need them, dropped by either enemy regiments or looted from destroyed city buildings.
  • With a little luck, you can take NO losses. Even severe losses are acceptable if you don't lose any heroes or lose a full regiment since the optional Festermarsh mission lets you fill out your model counts on five regiments for free.
  • Some regiments, even if not Large, cannot go up a ladder (e.g., Jezzails) so you will have to bust a hole for them, which could cost you a lot of time or some micromanagement.
  • Enemy cannons cannot fire into the castle or onto battlements, so once you are in those areas, you are safe from them.
  • Melee units cannot attack the cannons on towers, even if you are on the battlements or are occupying the tower.
Walkthrough

Attack Force
  • With long-term army composition in mind, for regiments we decided to go with StormVermin, Warplock Jezzails, and four Poisoned Wind Globadiers.
    • Gutter Runners are an interesting regiment, but the main problem is the inability to attach any heroes (e.g., the Grey Seer) to them. In the Chaos Campaign, because you have the ability to resurrect models and finish a mission with essentially no net losses, that is what we aim for always instead of grinding armies and coming out with massive casualties.
    • Full upgrades on all units, including both cannons. The one special magic banner (-30% morale loss) was given to the StormVermin. The Jezzails did not get a magic banner (not necessary, and better banners can be picked up later). The Poisoned Wind Globadiers cannot carry a banner.
  • After buying artifacts for the hero (all put on the Grey Seer), we spent close to 12,000 gold and were pretty much bankrupted.
    • We opted not to sell any regiments at this time.
    • If possible, fully upgrade all the regiments you are bringing in because Skaven have a serious morale problem so you need to give them every combat advantage possible. This doesn't directly improve morale. Instead, winning helps them not lose too much morale.
    • If you are strapped for cash, focus on the StormVermin since they will take point. If it weren't for the time limit, just that regiment plus the Grey Seer could probably win the mission for you even if they can't take out the cannons..
  • Skills
    • The Grey Seer should at a minimum take Favoured Minion and Spell Focus both to maximum, to ensure that you can resurrect often and for the maximum number of models each time.
    • For Kasqit, maybe Eagle Eye and Pestilent Shield and aim for Warpstone Shower. Warpstone Shield is awesome, but you may not pay enough attention to use it and it may compete for mana with Favoured Minion. Instead, just use the free rank 0 version and start working on reaching Warpstone Shower.
Phase 1 - Reach the Wall and Clear the Battlements
  • Have the Lightning Cannons fire at the nearest Empire cannon. While that is happening, charge the wall. Yes, you can actually do that without being blown up but it's a bit risky. If you can't do it, just wait for the cannon to be destroyed first.
    • Take point with the Grey Seer and the Stormvermin. If they are blown up, resurrect them with Favoured Minion. Reach the wall and start heading up.
    • Shortly after the Stormvermin are moving toward the wall, move all your ranged units. You can actually do this because cannon fire will first be directed at the Stormvermin because they are closer, and the Grey Seer can resurrect any dead models. Once you are inside the minimum cannon range, all your regiments are safe and your ranged regiments can give the Stormvermin cover fire.
  • Do not climb the wall with other regiments until it is mostly cleared by the Stormvermin. You do not want to be stuck in melee or be in a tower and have the enemy destroy your regiment by sending in infantry to contest the tower.
    • You could switch the Grey Seer over, but in the thick of combat, there may not be time to do that and there is a timer on how long you can wait before dead models cannot be resurrected by Favoured Minion.
  • While all this is happening, your Lightning Cannon should have destroyed the Empire cannon, or your ranged regiments should have done the job. Start blowing a hole in the wall somewhere in the middle between the cannon tower and the main gate.
    • We need this to exit the castle later to secure the area outside the main gate. Pathfinding is utter rubbish without it, as the game does not apparently recognize your siege ladder as a valid route. Also, you can hold the gatehouse but not open the gate.
    • Do not try to destroy the main gate. Apparently the only target there is the entire gatehouse, and it takes forever to bust through with two cannons.
  • Do NOT...
    • Do NOT take shots at the enemy outside the castle wall with the cannon. Do NOT wander too close to the main gate unless all regiments are on the battlements or inside the city.
      • That will get their attention and Knights and other annoying units will wander over. You want to control when and how you handle them.
    • Do NOT wander too close to the left of the tower on which was the cannon you destroyed unless you are on the battlements or inside the walls. There is a cannon that can take shots at you if you are spotted by the enemy.
  • When you have cleared the battlements, move on to Phase 2.
Phase 2 - Secure the main gate
  • There are two siege points, which can get you a one-time boost of 15 minutes to the time remaining. With that much time, you can completely clear the map.
  • Since you now control the battlements, put one ranged regiment inside the cannon tower, two more on the battlements. Do not approach the main gate by the battlements because of the handgunners outside, who will take shots at you.
  • When your ranged units are ready, send the StormVermin down the stairs and into the inner courtyard. This will cause some knights to cover over. Destroy them then move all your regiments down into the courtyard.
  • There should be no more enemy regiments in the direction of the main gate. Head over there. Secure the siege point with the StormVermin, and start knocking down buildings with your ranged units. When they are close enough to the cannon in the corner, destroy it.
  • If your Lightning Cannon has now made a breach in the wall, assemble your regiments and head out.
    • Again, (StormVermin + Grey Seer) take point so you can maintain net zero losses.
    • Destroy all regiments outside and make sure to chase down all stragglers so they don't wander back to sting you.
    • While the assault is happening, you can start moving your own cannons inside the city, through the breach.
  • If you spent too much time securing the battlements in Phase 1 and time feels short, you can ignore the regiments outside. Destroying them or securing that siege point are not necessary objectives.
    • We finished this mission, including securing all siege points, destroying all enemy regiments, and picking up all items, with about 10 minutes to spare.
  • When you have secured this area, move on to Phase 3.
Phase 3 - Completely clear the exterior courtyard
  • There is still the remainder of the exterior courtyard, including one cannon (which cannot turn around enough to shoot at you), several enemy regiments, and a third siege point.
  • Raze the entire area. There shouldn't be anything here that is a threat to your forces.
  • If time is tight, don't pick up anything unless you dropped it from your inventory. They will automatically be picked up when you win the mission.
Phase 4 - Secure inner courtyard and mission objective
  • Once the exterior courtyard is clear, position your forces at the entrance bottleneck to the inner courtyard where the mission objective siege point is located. Zap a regiment inside with your cannon to draw them all toward the bottleneck. Chase down any broken units before securing the siege point, which ends the scenario.
  • With a bit of luck, you can finish this mission with net 0 losses.

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